Welcome new thoughts and beginnings with the sound of music to nourish and encourage the spirit.
Bobby Vee – Flyin’ High (1959) The Turtles – Can I Get To Know You Better (1966) Supertramp – Give A Little Bit (1977) James Taylor – Me And My Guitar (1974) Mick Ronson – Slaughter On Tenth Avenue (1974) Taj Mahal – Statesboro Blues (1968) Joan Baez – It Ain’t Me Babe ( 1964) Mike Bloomfield – Stop (1968) Devon Allman – Stop Dragging My Heart Around (2012) feat Samantha Fish The Ozark Mountain Daredevils – Noah (Live) (1978) Carole King – Smackwater Jack (1971) Tapestry Steve Freund – Folks Like You (1999) feat David Maxwell R.I.P. The Doors – Gloria (Live) (1970) Rush – Lessons (1976) 2112 LP Coloseum – Walking In The Park (1968) The Tymes – Ms Grace (1974) Ike & Tina Turner – Black Coffee (1970) Henry Priestman – Same Circus Different Clowns (2014) www.henrypriestman.com U2 – 40 (How Long) (1983) Stephanie Winters – Precious Lord, Take My Hand (1970) www.stephaniewinters.com Keith Jarret – Excerpt from Koln Concert (1975) Buck Owens – Together Again (1964) Red Hot Chili Peppers – Under The Bridge (1991) Bobby Darin – Bes’ Friends (1967) Ken Boothe – The Train Is Coming (1966) Joe Walsh – Happy Ways (1973) Ray Charles – Take These Chains From My Heart (1962) B.B.King – The Thrill Is Gone (1969) Alexsandra Something – Faith (George Michael) (2014 ) Alexsandra llijevski You Tube The Who – Lets See Action (1971)
Joan Baez & Bob Dylan
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Bobby Darin Bes Friends2
Bobby Darin Bes Friends2
James Taylor Me & My Guitar
Carole King Tapestry
Mik The Who
Stephanie Winters @ Whelans Irish Tour 2005
Keith Jarret Koln
Ike & Tina Turner
Devon Allman, Mik The Who
Steve Freund, David Maxwell
Keyboard Ace, David Maxwell, Lucerne Blues Festival
A Truly Elegant Taste Is Accompanied By The Simplicity Of A Heart Full Of Wonder.
Chuck Berry– Carol (1958) Carol was the B Side of Johnny B Goode both rock and roll foundation stones from the Poet of Rock N Roll. Chuck Berry who combined his influences Blues, Ballads and Country music into a winning formula that inspired generations of guitarists in technique and presentation. His playing has shaped electric guitar music like no one else’s. Chuck Berry’s music is the essential guide to Rock N Roll and every branch of music that has evolved since the mid 50’s. Vintage clips of Chuck at the top of game is like is like watching an American vintage car in all its splendour, more feel,more history and takes your breath away and keeps it. Widespread Panic – Little Lilly (2001) An American Southern Jam Rock Band from Athens, Georgia following in the steps of The Allman Brothers & The Grateful Dead. Little Lilly is from the 2001 album Don’t Tell The Band. A loyal fan following and a team spirit between band and audience has been their secret for success. Together Everyone Achieves More Chicago– Feelin Stronger Every Day (1973) Chicago combined horns with rock and roll earning a hard working reputation on the circuit in the late 60’s in venues like the Whiskey A Go Go that got them support slots with Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. By the time they released their Chicago V1 album they had refined their skill set into a smooth funky rocking sound with the icing on the cake being Peter Cetera’s tenor vocal. Feelin Stronger Every Day was a vibrant smooth as silk hit that contributed to making Chicago one of the bestselling most successful groups of all time Good timber does not grow with ease the stronger the wind the stronger the trees. Mary Black– Bright Blue Eyes (1991) Mary Black has a voice that is pure and easy to listen and comes across as a nice person who loves to sing.Seen Mary down in the new Convention Centre few years back and was delighted to meet such a warm and friendly down to earth entertainer.Mary has a gift for interpreting the mystery of an enchanting beautiful traditional or modern lyric that provokes an admiration and pleasure in the listener.Her fans are devoted to her simply I believe because she brings out a respect niceness and good humour in life. Paddy decides to take up boxing and goes for the required medical. A few days later the doctor phones and says Paddy, you realise you’ve got sugar diabetes. Paddy says, Nice one, when do I fight him? Neil Young – Cripple Creek Ferry (1970) After The Goldrush was going to be a movie and Neil Young set about writing tunes like Cripple Creek Ferry for the soundtrack in his home studio with his Crazy Horse backing band which included a teenage Nils Lofgren on keyboards. The movie never seen the light of day but it’s album soundtrack has become a classic Neil Young LP. Chance is a part of reality: we are continually shaped by the forces of coincidence, the unexpected occurs with almost numbing regularity in our lives. Petula Clark– Who Am I (1966) Nothing erases unpleasant thoughts more effectively than concentration on pleasant ones and nothing adds more value than plenty of music in your life as in this beauty from Petula Clark from 1966 whose big voice was a regular soundtrack growing up in the mid 60’s. Wilco – Hate It Here (2007) Seen the Chicago band Wilco at the New Orleans Jazz Fest and loved the wall of sound they created on stage taking us on an exploration of modern music that climbs over many fences. Confident musicians who make you cosy and comfortable then lead you on some delightful detours that are accessible and spontaneous. It’s like trying to describe the flavours in a glass of wine as they bounce you around their sound teasing and pleasing with an infectious wholesome well-rounded cohesive musical groove. Life is a paradise for those who love many things with a passion. Boz Scaggs (Greg Wilson Mix) – Lowdown (1976 & 2008) A silky mix by Greg Wilson of the 1976 classic from Boz Scaggs who was backed up by a team of session musicians that would go on to form Toto on the original Silk Degrees LP. Regarded as a classic Blue Eyed Soul single DJ Greg Wilson (King of the Edit) who was a master of the legendary Northern Clubs in the early 80’s took a 20 year sabbatical and returned in the early noughties added his mixing flair and finesse to update golden era disco music for modern audiences. Bobby Bland – Stormy Monday (1962) Often called the Lion of the Blues his early 60’s records do it for me big time much more than his later material. Pure unvarnished instrumentation and a polished Willie Mitchell production ambiance that is pure heaven to my ears. Disciplined tender blues drenched soulful vocals on this melodic chord arranged version of T Bone Walker’s Call It Stormy Monday which would have been the version influencing The Allman Brothers version almost a decade later. Took me awhile to appreciate Bobby Bland due to listening to some of his later live recordings which were punctuated with a gravel sounding vocal squall which I didn’t get at all. She had that rolling pin in her voice Joni Mitchell– Love (1982) The first lady of Canadian Rock mastered the art of painting incredibly visual pictures with her lyrics complemented with bizarre hypnotic guitar tunings she invented herself along her musical journey. Love from her Wild Things Run Free LP in 1982 finds Joni wiser to the ways of the world looking to the bible and Corinthians 13 to find hope in the words of the old scriptures for a more cautious future. The first rule of love is to love yourself first. Simon & Garfunkel – America (1968) Good songs like diamonds are nothing more than chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs. This is a song that nourishes and massages the mind body and soul. A clean confident melodically rich song that has the ability to change despair into joy and chaos into rest. Young lovers searching America for beauty, adventure, and optimism. Foreigner– Woman In Black (1981) Seen Mick Jones with the current lineup in Dublin in recent years but the real deal for me is listening to this soft rock masterpiece from the legendary Lou Gramm & Mick Jones lineup that produced powerful, catchy, hard-driving rock with the perfect captivating Mutt Lange produced mix of lava flowing melody and power back in 1981 on the 4 album. Hollie Cook – Milk And Honey (2011) I love reggae grooves particularly when they are as relaxing and as enjoyable and chilled out as this. Hollie is a musical child daughter of Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook and her mother Jeni was a singer in Culture Club with Boy George as her godfather. All the statistics in the world can’t measure the warmth of music in your life. Frank Zappa – Little Umbrellas (1969) A fascinating musician with an ability to expand beyond boundaries with results that inhabit a space of their own. An experimental trailblazer, an eccentric taboo challenging musician driven by uncompromising intellectual integrity I have only absorbed a small amount of his music over the years but this is one of my favourites from the Hot Rats LP. Deep within us is a creative spirit desiring to be free and we may as well get out of its way for it will give us no peace until we do. Hozier – Someone New (2014) First time seeing Hozier was at the New Orleans’s Jazz Festival with a well oiled touring band of musicians who were effortlessly picking up new fans. Classy songs that catch the ear with a tapestry of well crafted influences spirituals, blues, folk and many more traditional ingredients. I was very proud of our local hero Andrew Hozier Byrne on a world stage with that great voice and a musical canvas totally fluent in the most internationally language on our planet. Grechen Peters– When All You Got Is A Hammer (2015) Seen Grechen in the Button Factory on the Blackbirds album tour a wonderful warm performer on stage and off writing very emotional songs about life and death and the need to protect yourself from the negativity of life when you move away from the bulletproof decades of life into the more vulnerable middle and old decades. Grechen and her equally nice husband and musical partner Barry spent ages after the show conversing and listening with fans and her monthly newsletter is one of my favorite optimistic pick me up reads these days. Die young at an old age. When a pessimist has nothing to worry about he worries about why he has nothing to worry about. Atlanta Rhythm Section – Large Time (1978) One of the most anticipated events of my week in the late 70’s early 80’s was Tommy Vance’s Friday Night Rock on BBC Radio on a dodgy FM signal via the Mourne mountains to the Donabate – Portrane Peninsula. Tommy was my filter for great rock music old and new, he was passionate about what he liked and it rubbed off on the listener effortless much like Pat James Off The Record show on Nova every Sunday night. Large Time by Southern Rockers Atlanta Rhythm Section (ARS) exploded out of the speakers on the Friday Night Rock Show and has stayed with me faithfully ever since. A high-energy tribute song from their Champagne Jam LP in 1978 following the tragic plane crash that cut short the lives of their mates in Lynyrd Skynyrd the previous year. ARS was already on my radar following a review of their support gig with The Who at the Gator Bowl Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Jack Costanzo Orchestra– Peter Gunn Mambo (1961) This Afro Cuban Hollywood dance music from Mr Bongo takes me back to going to the cinema on a Sunday afternoon with my mates and waiting for the lights to dim and the curtains to open while stuffing ourselves with E number laced refreshments and wondering why we were jumping out of our skins. My hyperactive brain was responding then as it does now to the rip-roaring congas, bongos, timbales and mambo horns which is irresistible good time danceable music. The infectious rhythms and playful melodies keep my toes tapping from beginning to end. An ulcer is an unkissed imagination taking its revenge for having been jilted it is an undanced dance an unpainted watercolor an unwritten poem Patsy Cline – Blue Moon Of Kentucky (1963) The classic country music singer with the emotionally charged perfect pitch voice who became a huge top-selling crossover Country Pop success on the mainstream Charts up to her tragic death in a plane crash. The music business had already made her an awesome character and like Chuck Berry she also had a rule with promoters demanding payment before she went on stage “No Dough No Show. The bitter law of life and the hectic touring demands on our heroes over the years has taken many artistic souls to such a horrible end to their lives like Patsy such as Buddy Holly, Glenn Miller, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Otis Redding, Jim Reeves, Jim Croce, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Ronnie Van Zant & Steve Gaines, John Denver, Ricky Nelson. Our days are numbered it is part of being human but we must live our lives with hope and be grateful for our blessings in remembering those we have lost along the way. Manfred Mann – Fox On The Run (1968) Used to sing this on Turvey Avenue back in 1968 in the mornings on my way to the Christian Brothers invariably the nicest part of my school experience where I always felt disconnected from the curriculum and its authoritarian curators. When I finally bailed I was more like a greyhound on the run than a fox such was my urgency to get as far away from those school days in Ireland in those days. Jamiroiquai – Black Capricorn Day (1999) I often think of London funky acid jazz rockers Jamiroquai as a cart before the horse creation in that their music evolved from London DJ’s mixing funky jazz records with their own percussive beats and electronic effects. Frontman rap singer Jay Kay known as the Mad Hatter because of his stage head gear personified this groove-based jazz-funk hip-hop sound genre movement more than anyone else in the 90’s sending Black Capricorn Day to the top of the charts in places like Japan. The O’Jays – Backstabbers (1972) One of the highlights of my visit to the New Orleans Jazz Festival was seeing The O’Jays one of my favorite 70’s Soul & RnB groups perform on stage with those soothing harmonies and stage moves. Back Stabbers was a No 1 in 1972 warning men about their best mates lustful intentions smiling to their faces while planning to steal away their women. Remember a friends of mine being told one night in the pub that his wife might be gone some night when he gets home to which he replied it wouldn’t be long until they leave her back Jimmy Buffet – Margaritaville (1977) Jimmy’s music takes my mind aways to a laid-back tropical place in my mind where the sun always shines and you quench your thirst with sweet cocktails. Also seen Jimmy live at the Jazz Fest with a stage full of colourful sunshiny people on stage all creating a fun atmosphere. Always pay a visit to one of his restaurants when I am in America and have accumulated a nice collection of his signature shirts which reflect the themes of his songs and bring sunshine to the dullest day. Buddy Guy – She’s Out There Somewhere (1981) The planet’s most able practitioner of genuine well fused Chicago Blues. From doing medley’s of rock and blues riffs at the Temple Bar Festival, walking through the audience at Bishopstock, Crossroads Guitar Festival and New Orleans Blues Tent Buddy is one of the most exciting blues guitarists ever to step on a stage a master of the sizzling Chicago Blues performance. His stinging guitar runs and command of the stage always ups everyone’s game on the stage. Glenn Gould – Goldberg Variations (Excerpt) (1955 & 1981) My adoration of Karishmeh Falfeli’s excellent radio programs guided me towards the music of Glenn Gould, the Canadian Classical Piano player whose extraordinary talent and short life has made him classical music’s Elvis. His interpretation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations in the 50 becomes a best seller because of his stunning, vibrant, energetic pursuit of the spirit and ideal of the music rather than the historically accurate conception. A lovable Aspergers like eccentric and philosopher of music who guarded his privacy fiercely in a hermit-like existence at times he believed music matters more than anything else because of the wonder and serenity that comes from the internal combustion it ignites in the heart. He also advocated solitude for artistic creation and like Karishmeh he hated the spirit and enthusiasm destroying stuffy snobbish competitive hierarchical ranking of musicians in classical music training. Tom Waits – Irene Goodnight (2006) Tom Waits covered Leadbelly’s Goodnight Irene on his box set of rarities called Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards which was kindly gifted to me by music fan Northside Eddie. Tom Waits is an artist impossible to pigeonhole and enjoys a cult following from people who like their music to be unexpected, unpredictable and outside their comfort zone. He is one of the most imaginative artists on the planet who likes to work behind the plaster of life in a subterranean sleazy space where human habits and scabs of life from the junkyards around us that we would prefer to forget about are picked apart in his own uncompromising artistic way. He is the cocktail lounge piano player from hell who refuses to play what is confident and pleasing in favour of music for lifestyle choices that are grotesquely unbelievable bizarre and unprecedented which we prefer to observe from a safe distance. in a voice that sounds like a clapped out Hells Angel motorbike. Jerry Lee Lewis – Matchbox (1964) Matchbox is a song that has evolved from Blind Lemon Jefferson in the late 1920’s to Carl Perkins mid 50’s pioneers of rock and roll Sun sessions era release with Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Charlie Rich in the house around that time. The wild man of rock n roll Jerry Lee in one of the last left standing at this stage having played his style unbridled rock n roll style of uptempo boogie-woogie country blues for the last piano pounding 60 years with over 40 albums released.I also love Albert King’s Live version at the Montreux Jazz Festival in the mid 70’s with our own Rory Gallagher jamming along.
“I’m sitting here wondering will a matchbox hold my clothes”
Once you’re in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity? The Who – Legal Matter (1965) Pete Townshend’s first lead vocal on this Who track from their first LP My Generation. Great guitar intro similar to The Rolling Stones Last Time and with Nicky Hopkins hyper upbeat piano runs driving the song along. Music evolves in time and what was an illegal gesture in musical terms 100 years ago is now in common usage. The Tubes– Talk To Ya Later (1981) My introduction to this song came via a promotional interview one Saturday Afternoon on BBC radio back in ’81 with Fee Waybill explaining The Completion Backwards Principle the title of the experimental irreverent Tubes then savvy business motivational concept LP about seeing the end result of an idea and letting nothing distract your focus until you get to that result. It was fast-talking hard sell showmanship from the masters of satirical theatrical rock mixing it up with lewd underground comedy, dancers and weird visually explicit stage shows predating the audience fashion for MTV band rock video excitement in the 80’s. Talk To You Later was a chart land success with its smooth production and Toto guitarist Steve Lukather adding some six-string polish. If plan A didn’t work the alphabet has 25 more letters! so stay cool.
Musicians seek to find the best in the worst, discover the great in the small, see beauty in the plain, and detect the elegant in the simple.
The Temptations – Just My Imagination Guy Davis – We All Need More Kindness In This World Van Morrison – Satisfied Sister Sledge – We Are Family Niall Toner – Lock And Key Daoirí Farrell – Fergie McCormack Terrie Odabi – When You Love Me Albert King – Put It All In There Jon Cleary – All Good Things Laid Back – Happy Dreamer Wes Montgomery – Pretty Blue Birds Of Chicago – Baton Rouge Sweet – Funny Funny Johnny McEvoy – The Galway Shawl Joanna Connor – Rock N Roll Gypsy Olivia Newton-John – Let Me Be There John Littlejohn – Treat Me Wrong Albert Pla – Walk On The Wild Side Freddie King – Goin Down Guy Clark – Magnolia Wind Doug MacLeod – The Up Song Leonard Cohen – Famous Blue Raincoat Petula Clark – If You Leave Me Now Lindisfarne – Meet Me On The Corner Electric Light Orchestra – Roll Over Beethoven The Who – Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand Aretha Franklin – The Weight (feat Duane Allman) The Youngbloods – Statesboro Blues Creedence Clearwater Revival – Green River Cleo Laine – My Funny Valentine Steve Miller – Jet Airliner Leo Kottke – Corina Corina The Fortunes – Storm In A Tea Cup Hopeton James & Rankin Joe – Just My Imagination J Geils Band – Whammer Jammer
Mik The Who
Make every day a great day do something special for yourself
Spring Is Natures Way Of Saying Let’s Party – Even If You Have To Hug A Tree.
Albert Hammond – I’m A Train (Greatest Hits LP) Willie Mitchell – Prayer Meetin’ Yvonne Elliman – I Can’t Explain (feat Pete Townshend) Tony Joe White – Storm’s Comin’ Streetwalkers – Mama Was Mad (Vicious But Fair LP 1977) Jackie Mittoo & Soul Brothers – Home Made Tom Principato Band – They Called For Stormy Monday Dr Feelgood – Another Man The Style Council – You’re The Best Thing Richard Thompson – Beeswing (DADGBE Tuning ) (Mirror Blue Album) Pete Townshend – And I Moved ( Empty Glass LP) Leo O Kelly – Blew My Clouds ( Proto CD) www.leookelly.ie Donald Byrd – Black Byrd (7″ Single Version 1973) Teddy Pendergrass – Don’t Leave Me This Way Pt 1 & 2) Grin (Nils Lofgren) – White Lies (The Music People 3 LP Sampler 1972) Little Green Cars – My Love Took Me Down To The River To Silence Me Jackie Moore – Precious Precious Baby Of Mine Rosanne Cash – Modern Blue George Thorogood & The Destroyers – High Heeled Sneekers feat Buddy Guy – (2120 South Michegan Avenue Album)
When we accept that the night is just part of the day, we cease to argue with the dark moments in our lives
The most beautiful discovery is to be found in the simple pleasures of life. Allen Toussaint – Tequila Atomic Rooster – Devils Answer The Rossington – Collins Band – Gonna Miss It When It’s Gone Gladys Knight & The Pips – Midnight Train To Georgia Roger Daltrey – It’s A Hard Life Del Shannon – Go To Pieces Mr Bloe – Groovin With Mr Bloe Grateful Dead – New Minglewood Blues Niall O Sullivan – Let It Be Me Solomon Burke – Ooooooo You The Beatles – Get Back Johnny Taylor – I Found A Love Dedringer – Direct Line Michael Martin Murphy – Carolina In The Pines Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians – What I Am Elvis Presley – I Just Can’t Help Believing K D Lang – Tears Don’t Care Who Cries Them Christy Moore – The Cliffs Of Dooneen The Marvelettes – When You’re Young And In Love J J Cale – Midnight In Memphis Zack Boone – Beautiful www.zackboone.com/ Tom Robinson Band – 2 4 6 8 Motorway Junior Parker – Mother In Law Blues Mose Allison – Young Man Blues The Dixie Chicks – Landslide (Sheryl Crow Mix) Count Basie – Take Me Back, Baby (1941) The Carpenters – Goodbye To Love Warren Zevon – Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead Clarence Carter – The Road Of Love Horslips – Trouble With A Capital T Brandy Zdan – More Than A Man www.brandyzdan.com/
Mandolin in Mayo
New Year Resolutions
Johnny Taylor – I Found A Love
Niall O Sullivan & Friends Drawing Room Session
Roger Daltrey Solo LP
Allen Toussaint Live @ New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 2015
Music magically connects people, follows you like a soundtrack grows and matures with you to express and communicate what cannot be said or forgotten in life
Johnny Burnette – The Cincinnati Fireball Esther Philips – And I Love Him Frank Wilson – Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) Carolina Chocolate Drops – Rare Auld Mountain Dew Nils Lofgren – It’s Not A Crime Joni Mitchell – Big Yellow Taxi Don Carlos – Blowing In The Wind Rolling Stones – It’s Only Rock N Roll Tab Benoit – In It To Win It www.tabbenoit.com Roy Bookbinder – Travellin’ Man Big Mama Thornton – Ball & Chain Xray Spex – Germ Free Adolescents John Lee Hooker – Serves You Right To Suffer (The Avener Mix) People’s Choice – Do It Any Way You Wanna Albert King – Going Back To IUKA Grinderswitch – Pickin The Blues Crow Black Chicken – Freedom www.crowblackchicken.com Big Star – Thirteen Man – A Hard Way To Live John Entwistle – Heaven and Hell Miles Davis – Sketches From Spain Excerpt Richie Havens – Dreaming As One Monty Alexander – Redemption Song www.montyalexander.com Kern Pratt – Greenville Mississippi Blues www.kernpratt.com Frankie Miller – When I’m Away From You Lynyrd Skynyrd – I’m A Country Boy John Verity Band – 5000 Miles Gary Puckett & The Union Gap – Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep The Urges – Corners Of Her Mind www.facebook.com/theurges Chubby Checker – Gypsy Free – Highway Song Bonsoir Catin – Baby, Please Don’t Go Bruce Springsteen – Tougher Than The Rest Philip Fankhauser – Are U Outta Your Mind www.philipfankhauser.com
Discover and let us be grateful for musicians who make us happy they are gifted gardeners who create a treasure to make our souls blossom like sunshine
Buddy Holly – Your The One (1958) Picked up this as a 7 inch single in a record shop bargain bin on one of my Saturday Afternoon trawls for music around Dublin’s music shops in the early 70’s’ I grew up emotionally crippled by Buddy’s tragic departure in a touring plane crash in a frozen landscape in 1959 and I have always listened to his music with the thought not very far from my mind that life is fragile. Gerry Rafferty – Right Down The Line (1978) None of us can help the things life has done to us. They’re done before you realize it, and once they’re done they make you do other things until at last everything comes between you and what you’d like to be, and you’ve lost your true self forever. I think of Eugene O Neills words when I think about Gerry Rafferty a beautiful songwriter who wrote upbeat groovy tunes. Like many of my favourite artists he was a perfectionist socially awkward who had been disillusioned by the music business and its pernicious grip on your spirit after legal battles during his Stealers Wheel phase. Gerry wanted to let his melodic music do the talking and was a reclusive addictive figure trying to find a balance between his personal and public life. Humble Pie – Say No More (1973) Eat It was a double LP from Humble Pie which covered the many sides of the band’s talent and in particular Steve Marriott. From the live high energy cover of Honky Tonk Woman and the superb studio version of Ike and Tina’s Black Coffee to this gentle acoustic gem which has stayed with me ever since as one of my favourite love songs. “Cause if you’re the sea then I’m your rock
And if I’m a key then you’re my lock
Well if you’re a foot then I’m your sock, so wear me well” Otis Rush – Homework (1962) Had the pleasure of meeting Otis at a guitar workshop at the Temple Bar Blues Festival in Dublin in the mid 90’s.Very friendly he generously shared the secrets of his style which led the way for electric blues guitarists since his records appeared in the late 50’s. A left-handed guitar player who likewise to Albert King and Ed Deane make magic on the fretboard in the most mysterious ways to us guitar fans & enthusiasts. The purpose of life is to discover your gift and the meaning of life if giving your gift away. R.I.P. Otis Andrew Gold – Never Let Her Slip Away Such a talented musician whose presence always added so much class to the collaborations I came across particularly his work with Linda Ronstadt. Andrew always reminds me of his mother Marni Nixon who was the uncredited voice in popular terms behind some of the great Hollywood musicals My Fair Lady, West Side Story and Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend hitting all the high notes for Marilyn Monroe. It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit. Status Quo – In My Chair (1970) Came across a motivational term many years ago KISS an abbreviation for Keep It Short & Simple which describes perfectly the crowd pleasing hard blues rock boogie sound of Status Quo. The studio single version of In My Chair was one of the first additions to my own record collection back in 1970 having been blown aways by the previous release Down The Dustpipe. I loved the early 70’s sound of Status Quo and the live ambiance on this record captures the heads down hair swinging groove. Rodriguez – I Wonder (1970) www.rodriguez-music.com Good friend in work Liam Boylan gave me the Searching For Sugar Man DVD which exceeded all expectations in that I had never heard of Rodriguez prior and left me further intrigued and amazed at the spontaneous beauty of his songs and life story. A Detroit singer songwriter who recorded 2 LP’s in the early 70’s and then disappeared with rumours that he had committed suicide at a gig. Belatedly his music connected with the resistance movement in South Africa and he found success in the late 90’s and has been enjoying great success on the back of the Academy Award winning film about his life story. Japan – I Second That Emotion
This is a Smokey Robinson and The Miracles Motown classic being interpreted in the early 80’s by British New Wave Romantics Japan who incorporated Glam and Ambient ideas into their image and sound. When I hear the song it reminds me of a Prince’s Trust Concert on the tele in the early 80’s featuring Pete Townshend playing Slit Skirts with Japan bassist Mick Karn R.I.P. on stage by his side. Sweet Cecilia – La Vie C’est Une Bataille (Life is a Battle) (2015)www.sweetceciliagirls.com Met this wonderful band at the New Orleans Jazz Festival a super confident rousing Louisiana family band with dynamic harmonies and energy bouncing around the stage. St Cecilia is the patron saint of musicians and it’s also the name of their hometown and they left me with one of my favourite live music memories of my trip to the New Orleans Jazz Festival. There is a mesmerising almost spiritual atmosphere in the air around these two sisters Laura and Maegan and their cousin Callie singing and playing their hearts out with clear eyed honesty and good time cajun country rock rhythms.
“Life is a battle that’s what my grandpa said
Life is full of scratches it’s what you make of it” Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials – I Love My Baby (2002) Lil’ Ed Williams is a smiling flamboyant high energy torch bearer for Chicago Blues driven along by the classic Hound Dog Taylor and Elmore James and his uncle JB Hutto’s bottleneck razor sharp stomping slide style. A fantastic live band who hit the stage with their three decades of road tested electrifying good time joyful fun boogie behind them they never fail to satisfy. I have been in an elated audience in Lucerne and New Orleans when this tour de force hits the stage and goes full throttle through a performance. One of my favourite live music experiences. Moskus – Tandem Med Sankt Peter www.moskustrio.no Chris Issak – Wicked Game Rhiannon Giddens – She’s Got You One of my favourite musicians to see live who consistently takes my breath away with her passion and natural charisma. Rhiannon brings history to life on stage and in her story telling song craft with a rootsy integrity and honesty in her convictions that resonates within the most intimate reaches of the audience’s heart. A magnificent voice that shakes your foundations as she takes you on a modern soul,gospel,jazz faithful to the old time and fearless to the new time trad interpretation of the music of resistance that is blended to perfection for the mission at hand. She’s Got You is a classic Patsy Cline Country & Western standard written by Hank Cochran in the early 60’s getting a makeover that brought the song to life for me. Always makes time to meet the audience after her shows with a big heart and a smile that lights up life Rhiannon appears to be relentlessly touring and picking up awards and praise all over the globe but when it’s time to go home it is to Limerick she lays her hat and we are blessed to have such a compassionate talent in the neighbourhood. Al Berard – Ten Years Gone www.alberard.com Dean Martin – Gentle On My Mind Brad Vickers And His Vestapolitans – Raisin’ Praise www.bradvickers.com Gregory Issacs – House Of The Rising Sun Sonny Condell – Down In The City Sam Philips – Lying Fanny – Summer Song www.fannyrocks.com/ Ray LaMontagne – You Are The Best Thing Sonny Landreth – Walking Blues www.sonnylandreth.com/ Elvis Presley – Steamroller Blues (Live Aloha From Hawaii) White man’s blues parody classic written by James Taylor and made famous by The King himself. This is the sound of rural backwaters rhythm’s meeting the bright lights and getting a big city sound with the great Leftover Salmon – Two Highways www.leftoversalmon.com/ JR Walker & The All Stars – Cleo’s Mood Los Lonely Boys – Hollywood Dusty Springfield – Son Of A Preacher Man Peter Novelli –Bourban Street Blue (2015) www.peternovelli.com Walked into a brightly lit bar on Bourban Street when my ears picked up his exciting guitar sound on my rambles. Peter is a really nice guy who guided me towards some great shows on my trip to New Orleans. Peter is a highly respected, storytelling songwriter and local hero who loves to play and lend his expertise to other cohorts on the New Orleans scene with his production and fretboard expertise. Many people will walk in and out of your life but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart. The Who – Drowned www.thewho.com/classic-quadrophenia Gary Bartz NTU Troop – Celestial Blues Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Don’t Cry No Tears Gov’t Mule – Hard To Handle The Beatles – Hello Goodbye Bryan Adams & Tina Turner – It’s Only Love AC/DC – Playball
Winter is a time for comfort and the pure invincible warmth of music to bring a glow and perseverance to your heart.
Elvis Presley – (Marie’s The Name ) His Latest Flame (1961) Sam Baker – These Broken Fingers (2007) www.sambakermusic.com Carlos Johnson – Delta Blues (2004) The Jayhalks – Miss Williams Guitar (1995) The Band & Eric Clapton – Further On Up The Road (1976) Scott McKenzie – San Francisco ( 1967) Ella Mae Morse – Cow Cow Boogie (1942) Greenshine – Ruby Tuesday (2013) www.greenshinemusic.com) Pete Townshend – There’s A Heartache Following Me(1972) Neil Diamond – Last Thing On My Mind (1971) Sonny & Cher – All I Ever Need Is You (1971) Smokie – Don’t Play Your Rock And Roll To Me (1975) Ella Washington – He Called Me Baby (1969) Dave Mason – Only You Know And I Know (1970) Rhythm Makers – Zone (1976) Odyssey – If Your Looking For A Way Out (1980) Ed Deane – Queen Bee (2016) www.eddeane.com Buddy Holly – Valley Of Tears (1957) Texas born gospel reared country and western musician who refined his style after playing support on early Elvis Presley shows to become a pioneer of popular rock & roll music.My association with this song is linked to my awareness and attention to news bulletins on Radio Luxembourg when news broke the night Keith Moon passed away September 8th / 9th 1978. The Fats Domino written cowboyish vibe of the song was already there growing up since Buddy released it on his self titled 1958 LP but added a poignant soundtrack to the news that another music hero had gone to the great beyond. I was too young to appreciate the great loss of Buddy in a plane crash in 1959 but for me the music died the night Keith Moon left us. Freda Payne – Band Of Gold (1970) The Beatles – No Reply (1964) Marv Johnson – I’ll Pick A Rose For My Rose (1968) Perry Como – When You Were Sweet Sixteen (1947) Charles Lloyd & Nora Jones – You Are So Beautiful (2016) Beres Hammond – Just Like A Woman (2004) Laura Nyro & LaBelle – Jimmy Mack (1971) Bill Howl N Madd Perry & Alphonso Sanders – Boo-Ga-Loo (2010) Bob Dylan – Where Are You Tonight (1978) Chuck Berry – Come On (1961) Greg Kiln Band – Jeopardy (1983) One Kind Word Can Warm Three Winter Months
Life grows best when watered daily with good music. Those who get too big for their pants will be exposed in the end A boiled egg is hard to beat When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months The fact that there is a Highway To Hell and only a Stairway To Heaven says a lot about anticipated traffic numbers What do you call a funny mountain = Hilarious
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Duane Eddy – Because They’re Young 1960 New York born guitar hero who had a string of hits in the late 1950’s early 1960’s. using his signature echo laden twangy lead guitar technique on the bass strings of his guitar. Because They’re Young was a teenage movie and his song of the same name became one of his most famous hits. Ever wonder why you’re in a movie but you’re on television. Old & In The Way – Wild Horses 1975 The self titled classic bluegrass LP recorded in San Francisco in 1973 featuring Jerry Garcia on Banjo with one of my favorite covers. Jerry was a bluegrass banjo player before the Dead and teamed up with some like minded bluegrass fans like Peter Rowan for this project.Jerry Garcia was an experimenter always willing to take chances live which resulted in playing that ranged from magical and incendiary to downright fumbling. Jerry used to say recording is like building a ship in a bottle while playing live is like rowing a boat in a storm. This session was sublime. Fats Domino – Kansas City 1960 Kansas City was a hit for Fat’s Domino in the early 60’s. The song was written by the classic rock and roll songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller of Hound Dog and Jailhouse Rock fame and 70 plus more chart hits. New Orleans most famous musical son Fats Domino has been a huge influence since he introduced the world to his bouncy boogie keyboard technique. A shy humble man who is held in the highest regard for his music. Birds Of Chicago – Dim Lights Of The Palisades 2016 Love this band since seeing them upstairs in Whelan’s a few years back. A hard working traveling family constantly touring from Chicago who makes the most uplifting soulful music full of gorgeous harmonies and melodic grooves.Hard work is the yeast that raises the dough when you are career musicians. Beach Boys – Darlin’ 1967 The Beach Boys make the best sunshine music on the planet. Beach Boys released this as a single from the Wild Honey LP in the original Summer of Love 1967. The secret ingredient behind all the Californian Surf and Beach Fun and Rollicking good time music was some premier session musicians called The Wrecking Crew developing Brian Wilson’s ideas in the studio. Chris Smither – Leave The Light On 2006 Connected with the wonderful New Orleans born Boston based singer songwriter Chris Smither back in the early 90’s and have accumulated a treasure of his music by attending his gigs in Ireland ever since, each one a cherished memory of his unique open hearted performances. Its like going along to reunite with a relative home from abroad such is the intimate warmth of the atmosphere. Humorous catchy bruised and beautiful lyrics on a bed of finger picked acoustic country blues rhythm & lead that flows like silk delivered with a toe tapping smoldering vocal. A folksy troubadour Chris hooks the audience and buoy’s the spirit with his openness and refreshing perspective on the world because like all the great artists I have known he is a contender who has found his groove, an inspired soul who can let it flow and give to others. He road tested some new tunes in advance of his next studio session at the end of this tour, a great tribute to the late Chuck Berry and with his loose easy confidence refreshed the evergreens with flourishes of magical subtle and complex guitar picking to the delight of a full house.
Our own black leather clad blues belle from the north country Clara Rose opened the show with a high energy wholehearted set. Playing a gorgeous jumbo Gibson acoustic guitar Clara Rose delivered a fine mix of tunes with a roof lifting vocal on Big Mama Thornton’s Ball & Chain that in all probability left a few goldfish homeless around Portobello Steely Dan – Deacon Blues 1977 Looking forward to seeing Steely Dan live for the first time this October when they play Dublin. Superb sophisticated musicians who define the word perfection for me. It is said that the closest a person gets to perfection is when they are filling out their job application form. Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez – Angel Of The Morning 2004 A fun guy who has enjoyed his life and made some great music along the way. This was my first time really connecting with Angel Of The Morning apparently it’s been floating around my universe for decades, the time and context was right to bring it into my life. This happens me a lot with songs that passed me by while I was hitchhiking through life.Really enjoyed Chip Taylor’s performance in the DC Music Club for so many reasons such is the charm and life he unfolded for us in conversation and in song with the excellent John Platania (Van The Man, Don McLean, Guy Davis) lending his tasteful electric guitar fills and occasional harmonies to proceedings. Chip born John Wesley Voight shared warm and intimate stories about his famous brothers Jon and Barry and his niece Angelina all reflected in the best possible light. Chip has been around and reminiscence fondly about his famous songs Wild Thing and Angel In The Morning and such is his gift for writing a good song I fell in love with many of his songs spontaneously on the night such is the feel-good vibe he wraps around his tunes and the atmosphere.
Many people miss their share of happiness not because they never found it but because they didn’t take time out along the way to enjoy it and Chip comes across as someone who has never missed out his due of happiness in life. As well as being a legendary singer songwriter he has also been a professional golfer and gambler along the way.
Well done Paul Lee and DC Music Club, no road is long with good company and the journey through life doesn’t get any better than Chip Taylor keeping you company in a room full of respectful fans. Gov’t Mule – Soulshine 1994 Seen Gov’t Mule live in New Orleans on my way home from the Jazz Festival when they coincidentally were playing a local venue. Amazing amount of merchandise and a full house of dedicated fans. Gov’t Mule carries on that great American Rock tradition of the Jam Bands like Grateful Dead and The Allman Brothers just letting the music takes its exploratory course on stage. Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Dublin Review 2017 American Southern Rocks finest axeman Warren Haynes was on the boards in Dublin’s Academy tonight making his first visit to Dublin’s fair city with his well oiled funky rock blues and jazzy Gov’t Mule band. Screaming bottleneck Gibson guitar magic, wah-wah and soaring wide angle bends bouncing off of the well calibrated rhythm section that drives and drives along in pure psychedelic Allman Brothers Grateful Dead American Jam Band tradition. Gov’t Mule is as tight a rock and roll you will see on stage with the individual talents of Matt Abts on Drums, Jorgen Carlsson Bass and Danny Louis on Keyboards and anything else he can get his hands on combining to exceed the sum total effortlessly which comes with years and years of cohesive empathy on stage. Gov’t Mule are a full marathon event with a break in the middle to allow the audience come up for air. Warren Haynes loves his guitars and brings in flourishes of his heroes guitar styles into his own soulful stream of playing smiling to himself when his journey along the fret board suddenly collides with an old Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Paul Kossoff groove swinging along from road house blues to jazz fusion in the blink of an eye. There is a power and beauty in Gov’t Mule’s live music experience that breaths new life into the imagination that is indescribably euphoric. www.mikthewho.com Herbie Mann – Memphis Underground 1969 The joy of my relationship with music is that every year I connect with something that has been out there all my life and suddenly it totally overwhelms me with amazement and infatuation. Herbie Mann made this wonderful music back in 1969 with Tom Dowd at the buttons in Chip Moman’s Memphis Studios with Larry Coryell on guitar. I often don’t know whether I should be annoyed with myself for missing out for so long on music like this or whether the time is just right to appreciate it as much as I do. It’s a reminder that the hopes of the world rest on the flexibility vigor capacity for new thought and the fresh outlook of young creative minds to harvest the best of past and brew up a whole new refreshing creation. Jim Suhler – Tijuana Bible 2009 Jim is a beautiful Texas guitarist who embodies everything that is exciting and clean about the Texas Blues Rock style in particular following in the tradition of Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Billy Gibbons and Angus Young and our own local hero Rory Gallagher who is credits regularly in performance as a huge inspiration behind his fretboard magic. Witnessed Jim played a magnificent set at the Swing Wespelaar Blues Festival in Belgium demonstrating his blend of high energy Texas Blues Rock in its full live glory. There are artists who have a flame or charisma that is unique and Jim is on my list from now on. https://jimsuhler.com/, http://www.swingwespelaar.be/ Gary Lewis & The Playboy’s – She’s Just My Style 1965 Gary Lewis son of the late Gerry Lewis had a string of hits in the mid 60’s with upbeat harmonies and Beach Boy rock and roll style gems like She’s Just My Style which featured some great musicians in the mix like Jim Keltner (first session) and Leon Russell (co writer).Happiness is not in the mere possession of success; it lies in the joy of achievement in the thrill of creative effort Pete Townshend – Save It For Later 1986 Pete’s cover of The Beat’s Save It For Later from his solo mid 80’s period. The story goes Pete was working out his interpretation of the tune with Dave Gilmour and rang Dave Wakeling to understand the Open tuned chords. Pete created some great solo collaborative music with his cohorts and peers over the years. Sam Cooke – Sad Mood 1962 There is a sadness that grabs me when I hear Sam Cooke sing which brings to mind an artist with heart wrenching perfection in his voice to interpret emotion in a songs lyrics and the tragic false confidence and human waste of that talent being shot during a wild night in a motel chasing his demons. Be cautious. Opportunity does the knocking for temptation too. Bernard Allison – Slide Master 2010 Seen this fantastic entertainer play at this years Swing Wespelaar Blues Festival in Belgium in August. http://www.swingwespelaar.be/ Following in the footsteps of his Dad Luther Allison who blew me away with his live incendiary guitar performances back in the 90’s before he sadly left us for the great beyond I was thrilled to connect with his son’s music, a relationship that promises to be equally satisfying. Slide Master is on The Otherside album a gift from Dublin City Fm’s Bluestrain Driver Charlie Hussey a few years back and the soundtrack for this years blues travelling adventures. Irma Thomas – I Need Your Love So Bad 1964 I grew up with Peter Green & Fleetwood Mac’s version but I am constantly reminded of my love of music to go back to the original inspiration for the complete experience. Allen Toussaint was at the buttons in 1964 capturing the soulful gospel vibe supported by musicians who play perfectly in support of the song. When I stumble across a song impact and connection like this it makes me feel I have found my own soul. Just spent a week following the path of Hurricane Irma on the news and time and again it associated with the only Irma I know. Colette Cassidy & Nigel Clark – After Hours 2017 www.cassidyandclark.com Since first connecting with Colette Cassidy and Nigel Clark in JJ’s a few years back my mission was to pick up their new album Confetti Falling In The Rain and reconnect with a live interpretation of the new tunes which brought me in the serenity of the fading sunlight on the longest day of the year to an album showcase gig in Arthur’s Blues & Jazz venue on Thomas Street one of the nicest performance spaces in Dublin. Colette has a very lovable charisma and creates an atmosphere that is comfortable, relaxed and profoundly personal as she relates the inspiration behind her lyrics which are performed passionately with her voice and the voice of Nigel’s rich acoustic guitar lines harmoniously cooperating seamlessly. The sound was mixed perfectly for the room with Nigel accuracy and sensitivity briskly wielding his plectrum and fingers with finesse across the top, middle and bass strings of his mixed single line and chord passages amplified with an Oktava Drum Microphone that reflected every subtle nuance and reverberating overtone. A perfectly realized arrangement of Kate Bush’s The Man With The Child In His Eyes was stunningly beautiful and the Confetti Falling In The Rain songs are a delightful listen and spontaneously intoxicating because they have a fresh, breezy air and carefully crafted pride about them. Even the opening chords of David Bowie’s Jean Genie got a mention. As a guitar lover, I reckon it would take me two lifetimes and six hours practice a day to achieve the light touch, groove and tasty innovative soloing in Nigel’s playing.
When you’re in the company of artists who do their work well, that pride in their work nourishes the mind and spirit of all who connect with it. Life is good when you use life to provide something that will last. Smokey Robinson – Being With You 1981 Being with you today is worth all the broken hearts of yesterday. Smokey made a chart comeback in 1981 with this beautiful groover. In a simple twist of faith, Kim Carnes was at No 1 with Bette Davis Eyes having scored previously with a remake of another Smokey Robinson track. Smokey wrote Being With You for Kim but his manager persuaded him to record it himself and he ended up in the No 2 spot behind Kim’s monster hit. Ray Charles – Them That Got 1962 Always a winner Ray Charles had it all when it comes to an encyclopedia of music talent, barrelhouse, back alley, sophisticated pizzazz. An ace musician perfectly in control from the cotton fields to the bright city lights he had a suave assurance and authority, technical vision and imagination. An artist like Ray Charles effects eternity you can never tell where his influence stops. Tift Merritt – Wait For Me 2017 I have been a fan of Tift Merrit for many years after connecting with her song Broken and following the trail from there. Tift is a very likable performer on stage and always creates a warm atmosphere for her gentle catchy songs with an equally fragile beautiful voice that is mesmerising to my ears. I am looking forward to her visit to Dublin’s Olympia on the 27th Oct opening for Jason Isobell an artist I have not seen yet but will now resulting from this happy coincidence. Gregory Abbott – Shake You Down 1986 An earlier version of this musical therapy of compiling a soundtrack for my life was done by way of C90 tapes from my old tape 2 tape machine. I listened to one of those tapes recently and it reunited me with Gregory Abbott’s big production sound and Shake You Down the debut single that went viral around the globe in late 1986. Gregory was married to Freda Payne of Band Of Gold Fame in the 70’s and started of singing with Whitney Houston before developing his own career as a Singer Songwriter Producer. I often think some artists appear in my life as if scanned by a searchlight and then disappear when the light moves on to some other attraction in my life JR Walker All Stars – Hot Cha 1965 First heard Dave Specter’s wonderful delicate guitar interpretation of Hot Cha on his Speculatin album and eventually made my way back to the original mid 60’s Motown soul classic B Side of Jr Walker’s Shotgun. The song was credited to one of the All Stars Willie Woods part of the Motown machine wall of sound. Johnny Cronin – If You Ever Knew My Name (2015) https://soundcloud.com/johnny-cronin Johnny is a Swords man a member of a very talented family who I had the pleasure of hanging out with in the wake of the Live Aid Festival until Johnny went down under to make a new life and some great music about his hometown. I was in the first class of the Christian Brothers Secondary School in Swords and spent a lot of time in the locations mentioned in Johnny’s songs. Was invited back in Sept to celebrate the 50th anniversary an event that helped me redefine my attitude in a positive sense towards those days meeting old pals who have created the best version of themselves possible with or without results. Johnny played a fine set of his songs in The Pound in Swords on his recent summer visit home to the auld sod. Chick Corea & Béla Fleck – Mountain (Live) 2015 Enchanting is the only word to explain the amazing musical collaboration and creativity of Béla Fleck’s banjo and Chick Corea’s fluent jazz piano performing together on the delightful National Concert Hall stage a performance space deserving of such fine musicianship. Virtuoso Béla brings the full range of colours out of the banjo in a playful cat and mouse improvisation with Chick Corea’s piano that is like a rollercoaster ride for the banjo and piano, a master class of playing in the moment taking it to the top and pushing each other on a journey that redefines both instruments ability to adapt.
The combination of these two great musicians on stage sharing their thoughts on the music and their experiences with this marriage of banjo and piano is funny and entertaining with the conversations covering everything from being in purgatory (Dallas Airport), Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and an impromptu birthday celebration for Béla much to his surprise once the Happy Birthday greeting was flagged up by a member of the audience.
The banjo has been around me all my life and my connection to this musical adventure has helped me get past decades of associating banjo music with Dublin back lounge sessions hearing the notes in a reduced state of awareness to distressed images of Ned Beatty meeting some relatives of a banjo player in the backwoods of the Cahulawassee River but I have never witnessed this instrument played with such bewitching mastery, assimilating bluegrass, melodic Scruggs style and single string techniques, unusual chords and scales born way beyond practice and found only in God given talent Jimmy Burns – 1959 Revisited : A Tribute 1999 Picked up this album at a Chicago Blues Night in Paris which also featured Dave Specter on stage and Nora Jean Bruso in the plush surroundings of the Lionel Hampton Jazz Club at the Meridien Etoile back in 2004. Few years later I was in Chicago and met the Michael Dotson who plays on the album. Seen Jimmy at the recent Swing Wespelaar Blues Festival in Belgium and he was in top form on stage. Morcheeba – Part Of The Process 1998 This song came back into my life recently and although it’s been around since the late 90’s I just get high on its energy and the gorgeous voice of Sky Edwards at the moment. Sometimes a song can be around you for years just waiting to unfold and reveal itself. The Handsome Family – Gold 2016 www.handsomefamily.com The Handsome Family are a much loved live gig in Ireland and have built a dedicated following over many years and tonight I made it at last to join the fan base of Brett and Rennie Sparks in Vicar Street in Dublin’s fair city. There is a hopeful endearing optimism sweetening the dark humour in the well crafted songs and tight arrangements creating an ambiance and atmosphere that is evocative and moody dark and sexy. Rennie gives you a piece of her mind on matters that matter in life by way of an introduction to each song and The Handsome Family give you their hearts in the music that is rootsy reverb drenched punk inspired absolute magic Americana soundscapes. There is an innate natural quality within great musicians that compels them to make music that gives and gives of themselves so passionately and creatively that it renews our own lives with the joy and pleasure it conveys. Two people who belong together making the world a better place with their artful music and goodness real musicians making music the old fashion way. I got to know Brett and Rennie’s current hometown Albuquerque through Walter White and Breaking Bad and Brett updated me on some of the locations including an apartment used by Jessie and his girlfriend close to one of their own old apartments. A great gig picked up some lovely vinyl and got to meet the musicians the perfect fan experience for me. www.mikthewho.com The Everly Brothers – (‘Til) I Kissed You 1959 Clever original songs with harmonies that were a genetic tour de force all adding up to good time music that centred the most contagious vocals ever to infect an ear drum. Bap Kennedy – Good As Gold 2016 www.bapkennedy.com After Bap passed I discovered and pledged support to this unfinished album on his web site and a few months later his music in the shape of beautiful vinyl LP with a kind note from his wife Brenda filling my head and heart with delight. The importance of music to someone like Bap and to people like myself who see life through an Asperger lens is a realization that is strong in his songs. Never give up hope, fractured is never broken. Billy Nicholls – Without Your Love 1976 My journey to Billy Nicholls was by way of Pete Townshend and their shared devotion to Indian Guru Meher Baba. Without Your Love was a hit from the McVicar soundtrack back in the late 70’s but it is always intriguing and surprisingly enjoyable to hear the original. Forever Is No Time At All is another of Billy’s tunes which was also on Pete’s Who Came First solo LP. Happiest is he that expects no happiness from others. Rhiannon Giddens – We Could Fly 2017 When you are the person you should be you can set the world on fire. Rhiannon Giddens is such a person a breath taking performer whose music is inspirational, honest and crucial if we are to understand the pain and suffering people have gone through on this planet just to survive. Her music is real and her performance always swings back to optimism and hope. Bill Evans – Theme From M.A.S.H. 1983 First time I saw Olivia Trummer play in JJ’s I asked her what her desert island disc might be and she guided me in that conversation to Bill Evan’s You Must Believe In Spring album which I never tire of listening to ever since. Recorded a few years before he left us for the great beyond this gentle beautiful music is his antidote for the wear and tear of life. Of all the things you wear your expression is the most important especially in music.