Stars Shining Without Darkness

Stars that shine in our lives  without darkness who fill the silence in our lives with the warmth of their music.


The Ventures – Walk Don’t Run (1960)
Achieved worldwide fame with their own distinctive instrumental style that inspired countless young guitar enthusiasts to practice practice practice the Tacoma Washington groups fretboard virtuosity and start their own groups in the early 60’s.Walk Don’t Run was originally a jazz tune by Johnny Smith in 1954, going on to be interpreted fingerstyle by Chet Atkins in the mid 50’s before The Ventures cut their version.Great guitarists are not great because of their technique they are great because of their passion.
Laura Tate – The Boy’s Are Back In Town (2017)
I just love this masterful rendition of Thin Lizzy’s classic from Dallas born Actress Singer Laura Tate which mesmerised me when I first heard it on Noel Casey’s After Midnight Radio Show on 103.2 Dublin City FM. Laura has reimagined and reconstructed Phil Lynott’s tune bringing out the young man Dublin back street emotion and feeling in the lyrics superbly. What is a sacred classic rocking Thin Lizzy anthem has been respectfully converted into a warm heartfelt, bluesy, soulful, jazzy vocal ballad. The Gardai arrested two kids in town earlier, one was drinking battery acid and the other was eating fireworks so they charged one and let the other one off.
Electric Light Orchestra – Bouncer (1980)
Nobody moved The Beatles creativity legacy needle forward or better in 70’s / 80s than Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra and for me, it’s captured on Bouncer which was on an ELO early 80’s B Side gem on the flip side of Four Little Diamonds no pun intended. History repeats itself which is good because most people don’t pay attention the first time anyway.
Earl Scruggs & Lester Flatt – Foggy Mountain Breakdown (1949)
An enduring anthem of bluegrass and banjo music featuring the genre changing 3 finger style banjo picking style of Earl Scruggs. The song and the musical style first grabbed my attention in the Bonnie and Clyde movie as well their Ballad of Jed Clampett theme song for The Beverly Hillbillies but over the years I admired the courage of these guys to experiment with altered tunings and mixing up major and minor chords to create tension and atmosphere. Both musicians had cut their teeth touring with Bill Monroe before launching their own partnership.
Earl almost experienced many injuries over his touring career in car and plane crashes but always bounced back with a fighting spirit to his music.
I will guarantee you that the day you step outside your comfort zone by making success your goal is the day you discover that adversity, risk, and daring will make life sweeter than you ever imagined
Junior Wells & Buddy Guy – Look Over Yonder Wall (1965)
This LP was a game changer when it first came out for Chicago Blues which had only been popularised by singles up to that point and inspired countless guitarists to take the blues and follow the blueprint laid down here by Buddy Guy on guitar, Jack Myers on Bass and Billy Warren on Drums with Junior Wells on the Mississippi Saxophone and frontman duties. This is a good landmark in the evolution of Chicago Blues in that some of 50’s energy had branched off into Rock and Roll but there has always been a Chicago sound captured here that stays close to the original electric Muddy Waters foot stomping road house Chicago juke joint blues of the 50’s. Never seen Junior Wells unfortunately but I have seen Buddy Guy many times over the years in Dublin, Bishopstock,Chicago, New Orleans and he is Mr Bluesman in my book.
The leader must know must know that he knows and must be able to make it abundantly clear to those about him that he knows
Chris O Leary Band  – Hook Line and Sinker  (2015)
Enjoyed a great foot stomping performance from the stocky former marine and New York Blues Harp blower Chris O Leary and his band of great musicians in the Harbour Bar in Bray. My first visit to this venue married with a superb high energy show that paid homage memorably to Sonny Boy (Rice Miller) Williamson and Chris’s love for the music of New Orleans. A seasoned group of musicians on stage many of them involved with Levon Helm’s musical projects prior to leaving us for the great beyond. Very entertaining front man Chris revealing a lot about his relationships and inspirations makes it a fun experience for fans.
I am attracting loving relationships into my life.
Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A Changin  (1964)
This protest anthem came into my life as a result of coming across and reading Steve Jobs autobiography  while  in a Airbnb holiday home belonging to a computer programmer down in Portroe Tipperary looking out over Lough Derg where Steve recalls his obsession with the music of Bob Dylan and his penchant  for collecting bootlegs of Bob’s  concerts and rated this live version as one of his favourites which refreshed the song in my life. Bob used his love of old Irish ballads to construct the structure and style of the song and being the gifted wordsmith that he is, fashioned the perfect protest song. Bob’s lyrics come right across the room and grab your attention by the lapels.
Not knowing when the dawn will come I open every door
Nina Simone – I Wish I Knew How To Be Free (1967)
When we lost the great movie reviewer Barry Norman who was a man of true confidence who knew what he liked and accepted no substitute it reignited my interest in this song which was his theme song in more ways than one. The common denominator for me for both Nina and Barry was honesty and passion and the courage to stick to your convictions.
Honesty is something you can’t wear out. 
Bennie Spellman – Fortune Teller (1962)
This was a popular cover tune for the mid 60’s R&B and Mod groups and I have listened to various interpretations but nothing compares to the New Orleans singers original especially after my visit to New Orleans which helped me define the magic of music from that region. Bennie also worked on Venus and Mars LP for Paul McCartney & Wings in the 70’s.
Originality is simply a fresh pair of eyes.
Sweet Cecilia – Love Is Easy (2017) https://www.sweetceciliagirls.com/
Ever since I witnessed this passionate exciting and beyond cool family band at the New Orleans Jazz Festival I have kept in touch with their musical adventures. Laura, Meagan and Cousin Callie create amazing harmonies that float effortlessly above the flawless rhythms. A fine display of lead guitar on this tune that perfectly complements the architecture of the song. Full to overflowing with enthusiasm and love for their late Dad local music hero Al Berard, their Louisiana roots, and musical heritage and incorporating their talents into making a difference for their community. I got their latest album from CD Baby and it was in my letterbox within a few days https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/sweetcecilia3
The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.
Karl Blau – That’s How I Got To Memphis (2016)
Every now and then I connect with a radio DJ who appears to park their musical taste in the same garage as mine and a consistent favourite is Carol Moran who pops up from time to time on RTE Radio 1 schedules and unfortunately not often enough and that is where I fell in love with the music of Karl Blau and his brilliant interpretations of classics like Tom T Hall’s That’s How I Got To Memphis.
Falling in love consists merely in uncorking the imagination and bottling the common sense.
Grand Funk Railroad – Some Kind Of Wonderful (1974)
One of the band’s favourite singalong tunes on the tour bus from the 60’s when they were travelling on the road. One day someone suggested they record their own version and it was a huge hit for the Flint Michigan Stadium filling rock band. I was a big fan although the music press gave them a hard time on this side of the water. Sadly all that hard work has been tarnished in recent years by a toxic separation that has seen Mark Farner doing his own thing with all kinds of court constraints around use of branding. 
Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realise you’re wrong
The Pretty Things – Big Boss Man (1964)
From the same neighborhood as The Rolling Stones with a passion for rocking up electric Chicago Blues like Jimmy Reed’s classic and their own classics like Rosalyn and Don’t Bring Me Down. The band done their best to adapt with the changing trends over the years but bad timing and poor management directions did’t do them any favors.
It’s always about timing. If it’s too soon, no one understands. If it’s too late, everyone’s forgotten.” 
Martin Simpson – First Cut Is The Deepest (1983) http://www.martinsimpson.com/
The guitar has been the doorway into music for me all my life and when I hear someone who has refined his craft into a fluent language like Martin then it is the greatest buzz on the planet. Martin’s  interpretation of the music he plays reveals no demarcation lines or boundaries just an open heart and passion.
Somewhere out there is a unique place for you to help others–a unique life role for you to fill that only you can fill. 
Lonnie Donegan – Michael Rowed The Boat Ashore (1961)
As a Michael growing up as a kid I had an indifferent attitude to this song as it generally prompted people to sing the chorus to me when I was introduced. It seemed to trigger a subconscious ad lib with people until Mick Jagger came along and I conditioned all to my forename preference. The song itself goes back to a gospel traditional sung by enslaved African Americans and being adopted as a freedom anthem around the time of the American Civil War. Before the blues boom of the 60’s Lonnie Donegan was the man who popularised 3 chords with traditional folk, gospel and blues for the people called skiffle motivating young future Beatles to go out and by guitars.
Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.
Kaz Hawkins – Get Ready  (2014)http://kazhawkins.com/
Enjoyed Kaz Hawkins kicking up a storm on stage at the Wespelaar Blues Festival in Belgium on my blues travels this year. I was blown away by her powerful presence on stage and a lovely lady to meet afterwards where I picked up her Get Ready LP. Kaz has got more recent material but I am thrilled I connected with the title track which doesn’t get any better than this. Kaz has a magnificent voice and surrounded by tight musicians and well produced arrangements this is shake the foundations blues soul from the blues belle from Belfast city.
If you have a set back don’t take a step back get ready for the comeback.
Eels – Mr E’s Beautiful Blues (2000)
My first introduction to The Eels was a book by main man Mark Oliver Everett who life story unfolding within the pages was gripping and engaging creating all kinds of emotions from endearing,empathy, sadness to cautioned and relief that it was someone else’s life and not mine. His music is passionate and authentic and distilled from the life that runs through the veins of its creator and sometimes you get the feeling he doesn’t even know how good some of his songs are when he protests and resists his record companies releases which go on to become classics of his career like this tune.
Goddamn right it’s a beautiful day
Robert Lucas – Slide On Outta Here (1991)
Picked up a few of Robert’s excellent albums in the 90’s a very authentic blues artist who would go on the join Canned Heat but sadly left us in tragic circumstances a few years ago.
When you commit to live authentically, the curtains will open wide for you. There will be no more hiding backstage in the shadows.
Petula Clark – Heart (1965)
I just love Petula’s voice probably because it triggers memories of singing along to her 60’s hits like Downtown as a kid listening to the radio. Another of Carol Moran’s gems that overwhelmed me in its pure brilliance and intensity.
Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson you find the present tense and the past perfect
Sonny Stitt – Cleveland Blues – 1957
There is a season for all things and this song is an example of a gift I got from a work colleague well over 20 years that although cherished and appreciated at the time I didn’t get the music but now my ears have very much adjusted to the fluent expression of musical proficiency and emotion through the idiom of jazz. Back then I was standing at the gate looking into a field bewildered nowadays I have climbed over the gate and stroll around the headland surveying the intuitive and inventive fertile musical crop around me yet not always sure about it all simply enjoying the moment. Oscar Peterson on Piano and Herb Ellis on Guitar are two beautiful musicians supporting Sonny’s Saxophone.
There are two ways of meeting difficulties: You alter the difficulties, or you alter yourself to meet them.
Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention – Trouble Every Day – 1965
When I get Frank Zappa I get that he was a musical genius and his wit and skillful musicianship falls easily into a category of musical brilliance. I fell in love with the Live At The Fillmore LP in the 70’s and have worked back and forth since with mixed emotion and ability to penetrate what he was trying to do. I recently got around to Freak Out his concept double LP debut from 1966. Frank’s satirical view of the world back in 1965 is as sharp today as it was then as he uses a blues based song structure to drive home his observations on news coverage, sensationalism, racial tension, social injustice. Franks creativity was like turning on a new tap and working your way through the rusty water until it ran clear and perfect like Trouble Every Day. Frank was a musical gardener who sowed ideas for other musicians to refine and commercialise for harvest.
It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
The Who – Underture (1968)
A feast of Pete Townshend tuned down trademark power chords and fingerpicking creativity in the studio combining many of the musical themes running through Tommy and his previous Who Sell Out  concept piece Rael into an instrumental with counterpoint Keith Moon drumming and John Entwistle playing the bass like a lead instrument with the odd additional toot and other splashes of musical colour in the mix. Pete was refining his own compositional musical architecture technically and musically at this point maximising the studio technology and bridging the gap between classical, orchestral with popular genres of the day folk pop and rock including the creation of the word Underture. 
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. 
Texas Kelly’s  – Jealous Knife (Live McGratten’s Capel St.)(early 90’s)
In the late 80’s early 90’s I listened to a lot of Waterboy’s music and exchanging bootleg cassettes of their gigs was the currency and soundtrack on the night shifts down in Sheriff Street Sorting Office. I often dropped into McGratten’s Pub on Capel Street on a Sunday night on my into the CSO to hear a mix of local buskers and local rock and trad musicians like Steve Wickham,Wally Page, Paul Byrne (In Tua Nua) (spine chilling vocal) and I have adored this recording I made one night of this great song, Paul’s vocal performance and everyone joining in beautifully in a Dublin bluegrass vibe. The song was written my Martin Clancy of In Tua Nua and although The Texas Kelly’s released it on CD I have since found out I have not heard the recorded version.
You never know when your making a memory.
Dion – Ruby Ruby (90’s radio clip)
A musical wanderer Dion DiMucci is an artist that has repeatedly popped up on my musical radar over the decades and no matter what genre of music doo- wop, folk, rock , blues  he takes to he makes it sound effortless. As he said in a radio interview I taped back in the days when I taped my heroes on the radio on a C90 and listened to it belatedly on night shift “when you’re doing something you like and it comes out of your heart you can sing it with one lip tied behind your back”. Great artist whose music has kept its power and class.
We are all wanderers on this earth. Our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams.
The Kinks – Long Tall Shorty (1964)
Great R&B tune from The Kinks first LP which captures the youthful frenzied joy and enthusiasm that was sweeping the London music club scene at the time. Ray and Dave Davies two very talented brothers whose mix of old english music hall blended with pop rock created beautifully whimsical reflective songs about the 60s youth culture that were a huge influence on the music scene over the years. Deserved much more success in America but suffered from bad management, internal bank conflicts and rush of blood to the head decisions at crucial times that denied them opportunities to reach a bigger audience. 
Timing is everything, even the right decision is wrong if it is made to late
Samantha Fish – Hello Stranger (2017) www.samanthafish.com
I had the pleasure of seeing the radiant Kansas City Singer Songwriter Samantha Fish perform in the New Orleans Rock N Bowl and then jamming later the same night in the fast lane on stage and no problem to her with Tab Benoit and Sonny Landreth.. Samantha is an polished guitarist known for her high energy shows packed with well crafted well played songs bringing a distinctive freshness and vitality to her career at the moment fusing slick production soulful blues sensibilities on her latest LP Chills and Fever. 
Listen to the passion of your soul set the wings of your spirit free and let not a single song go unsung.
Question Mark & The Mysterians – 96 Tears (1966)
My first encounter with this song was at a Eddie & The Hod Rods gig in Moran’s Hotel on Talbot Street but the first generation version goes back to the mid 60’s to Michigan garage rock band ? & The Mysterians who played a big influence on the 70’s Punk New Wave Bands. The Farfisa Organ driven 96 Tears was a Billboard No 1 until The Monkees Last Train To Clarksville pushed it off the top spot and then record company shenanigans and line up changes derailed the band’s career. Bassist Mel Schacher joined at one stage before going on to Grand Funk Railroad. 96 Tears has become a popular standard at this stage covered countless times across various genres from Al Green to The Stranglers.
Music evolves in time and what is an illegal gesture in musical terms 100 years ago is now in common usage.
Lani Hall – Love Song (1972)
A good friend Sean Finn with an eclectic taste and collection of music guided me towards the beautiful singer Lani Hall whose career started as a vocalist for Sérgio Mendes  in the 60’s after he happened upon her singing in a Chicago Coffee Shop going on to release her first solo LP in 1972 full of great cover interpretations of classic contemporary songs like Lesley Duncan’s Love Song. Lani has over 22 albums in 3 different languages and is married to Herb Albert and has the gift of creating the perfect pace and rhythm in her approach to a song and it helps when you are surrounded by the world’s best musicians on your records. 
You increase your joy by increasing the pure joy of others.
Sonny Boy Williamson – Ninety Nine 99 (1958)
There was two Sonny Boy Williamson’s one acoustic blues harp pre World War 11 who passed away suddenly and senselessly resulting from an ice pick and Sonny Rice Miller Williamson 2 defining the Electric Chicago Blues period. His Chess recordings are so good and exciting because we not only get his unique fat back harp sound his wry sense of humourous lyrics but all the amazing blues musicians that created the definitive 50’s Chicago Blues sound Willie Dixon, Luther Tucker,Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rodgers, Buddy Guy, Otis Spann, Fred Below with Leonard and Phil Chess at the buttons.
Yes my baby taken sick on July twenty-nine
Yes the one I love she taken sick on July twenty-nine
Her doctor billed her four hundred dollars,
And I didn’t have but three hundred and ninety nine
Melanie – Lay Down (Candles In The Rain (1970)
After a rousing reception at the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969, Melanie was inspired to write this song about how she felt looking out at half a million young people gathered together to celebrate the music they loved. A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle The song also has an additional uplifting gospel aspect for me in that it features the Edwin Hawkins Singers whose Oh Happy Day is my favourite musical hymn. Want to thank Larry Mann for bringing this song back into my life again during a visit.  
If the only prayer you ever said was ‘Thank You’, that would be enough. 
Lonnie Mack & Stevie Ray Vaughan – If You Have To Know (1985)
Stevie Ray Vaughan was a spectacular blues rock trailblazer in the 80’s until his horrific and tragic death in a helicopter crash in 1991. He took all that went before and worked it like no one else to create a monster sound from his heavy gauge strings that stepped on to the same plate as my favourite guitar blues rock guitarists Albert King, Jimi Hendrix,Rory Gallagher, Freddie King, Jeff Beck,BB King, Eric Clapton and Otis Rush. One unmistakable influence was 60’s instrumental hit maker Lonnie Mack (Memphis) and this was Stevie meeting his hero and treating us to the results on a Stevie produced Lonnie comeback LP called Strike Like Lightning.
Heroes are not just giant statues framed against a red sky they are people who say this is my community and its my responsibility to make it better
Tattoo Rodeo – Been Your Fool For The Last Time (1991)  
Mid 80’s to early 90’s seen this American Rock Band make some great bluesy rock southern rock which worked for me because of the amazing vocal performance of Denis Churchill Dries and the production keyboard arrangements of Michael Lorde. Unfortunately their music was branded as hair metal because some of the band had been in a poodle rock band called White Sister, which meant they never really connected with an audience that would have appreciated them.
Timing is everything, even the right decision is wrong if it is made to late
BB King – Roll Roll Roll – (1991)
One time there was Three Kings Of The Blues Guitar Albert King with his funky wide angle bends, Freddie King with his scorching Texas instrumentals and BB Kings with his sophisticated fluid spine chilling solos against his big band sound and big hearted humour. They are all gone to the great beyond but what a legacy of superb music they left us. 
Treasure the love that you receive above all it will survive long after your gold and good health have vanished.
The Faces  – Stay With Me (1971)
When all the stars in this group were on the same page the result was Stay With Me. Ron Wood’s slide/rhythm guitar expertise, Kenny Jones rock-solid drumming, Ronnie Lane and Ian Mclagan adding layers of magic behind the Jack The Lad antics and vocals of Rod Stewart. A song that rips along like a ladder in a stocking about a groupie named Rita and a raunchy one night stand without any commitments which were fitting subject matter for the band famous for having a very good time bordering on debauchery.
So, in the mornin’, please don’t say you love me
Cause you know I’ll only kick you out the door
Yeah, I’ll pay your cab fare home, you can even use my best cologne
Just don’t be here in the mornin’ when I wake up, come on, honey
Teamwork is a constant balancing act between self-interest and group interest.
Hootie & and The Blowfish – Only Wanna Be With You (1995)
From their breakthrough 1995 LP Cracked Rear View and featuring several Bob Dylan lyrics incorporated into the lyrics which resulted in Bob receiving a share of the sales by way of a court settlement. At a time when heavy metal and grunge was hogging the airwaves this alternative catchy as hell, easy listening rock and soul music found favour with 16 million fans around the globe. Frontman Darius Rucker has a voice that appeals to all the mainstream genres Rock, Soul, Country, and Blues and especially movie soundtrack compilations.
Put on a little Dylan sitting on a fence
I say that line is great, you ask me what I meant by
Said, I shot a man named Gray, took his wife to Italy
She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me
To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

Time is like a river. You cannot touch the water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of life.

Summer Of Love 2017

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

MTW’s Rock Show

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.

Summer Daze Happy Moments

May your life be as beautiful as a summer day with just enough clouds to make you appreciate the sunshine.
Lonnie Mack – Memphis  
Foreigner – Blue Morning Blue Day 
Linda Ronstadt – That’ll Be The Day  
Husky Rescue – Summertime Cowboy (www.huskyrescue.com)  
Billy Branch & Sons Of Blues  – Boom Boom (www.billybranch.com)
The Eagles – Cold Day In Hell 
Peter Frampton – Show Me The Way (Acoustic) 
Eleanor McEvoy – I Knew The Bride (www.eleanormcevoy.com)
Johnny Rivers – Blue Suede Shoes   
Them – Gloria
Prince – Horny Toad
The Wallflowers – Heroes 
Bob Dylan – Simple Twist Of Faith 
Ally Bain & Jay Ungar – Ashokan Farewell
The Who – Blue Red & Grey
John Holt – Touch Me In The Morning 
Rita Coolidge – Higher And Higher  
Stephen Bishop – Save It For A Rainy Day  
Bobby Bare – Four Strong Winds  
The Kinks – Days  
The Stereophonics – Have A Nice Day

Enjoy yourself these are the good old days you’re going to miss in the years ahead

When you’re feeling good about life you tend to shine Pick one of those days to look in the mirror and notice the good stuff about yourself.

Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is a gift, That’s why it’s called the present 

The days that make us happy make us wise trust the happy moments

Every day sing a song, see a beautiful picture, speak kind words.

True wisdom lies in gathering the precious things out of each day as it goes by.

Make one person happy each day and in 40 years you will have made 14600 people happy for a little time.

Cheerful Inspiring Optimistic Music

Mik The Who

In these profoundly troubled times songs open the doors of empathy, comfort the heart and help us get on with our lives.

Horslips – The Unfortunate Cup Of Tea (1975)
Irish Traditional Rock Local Heroes instrumental Cup Of Tea reel  album title track from 1975 which sounds like a session beings unfortunately interrupted by the familiar indifferent Publican at closing time.
Fats Domino – Blueberry Hill (1956)
I get my thrill in life every time I hear this gem originally a Gene Autry cowboy film tune in the 40’s thrown in reluctantly at the end of a recording session by New Orlean’s favourite smiling groover Fats Domino in LA. Energetic party music that makes you happy with complexity in its simplicity full of bounce and playful New Orleans Rhythm N Blues. The second best thing to do with your lips is to smile.
Peter & Gordon – Woman (1966)
Paul McCartney wrote this under the name Bernard Webb to test if he could write a hit anonymously back in 1965 for his then girlfriend Jane Asher’s brother Peter who took it up with the charts with his highly successful Peter & Gordon pop duo. Peter later went on to manage and produce  Linda Ronstadt & James Taylor. Great things are done by people who think great thoughts and then go out and make their dreams come true.
Steely Dan  – Turn That Heartbeat Over Again (1972)
My favorite link between jazz and rock Steely Dan made it all look so easy with an ear catching musical vocabulary applied so well by Donald Fagen & Walter Becker. Music has to be the original environmentally friend human habit recycling yesterday’s musical ideas and inspirations for a felicity of expression today. I feel the song lyrically is a grey unstated plea to St Michael for another chance to relive a life full of bad mistakes and choices but then that is just my imagination.
The Imperials – No Shortage (1975)
The song came into my life after hearing Terry Blackwood & The Imperials perform it with the TCB Band at a wonderful Elvis celebration gig in the NCH Dublin. Elvis loved gospel music and The Imperials added that spiritual high to his gigs in the late 60’s early 70’s  
Clifford T Ward –   Still Not Free (1984)
A reclusive artist gone to the great beyond fondly remembered who created strong melodies and well-crafted fluid lyrics that penetrate deeply and passionately song with a beautiful  tenor voice that creates an atmosphere that has always left me feeling euphoric. A teacher whose poetic music ages well like an old  English treasure horde. The most cut throat and risky trade of them all is the music business very often a destructive force for a gentle artist and I think Clifford was of the view that the best armour was to keep out of range.
Johnny ‘Big Moose’ Walker – Would You Baby (1978)
The essential conditions of everything you do must be choice love and passion.
When Johnny Walker was hanging out in Greenville Mississippi as a young man his long mop of hair earned him the nickname Big Moose. He played piano and bass with all the greats Muddy, Elmore, John Lee, Otis Rush, Howlin Wolf, Ike and countless more from the mid 40’s to the mid 90’s. This track on Alligators late 70’s LP Living Chicago Blues captures good raw Chicago Blues loose enough to draw the audience into the groove but tight enough so that the street beat doesn’t fall to pieces with the pure tone of Louis Myers guitar and the rhythmic instincts of Bob Strogers bass lines and Chris Moss drums adding distinctive spice to the foundations.
Diana Ross & The Supremes – Someday We’ll Be Together (1969)
This was the final Supremes song and the start of Diana Ross’s solo career with Johnny Bristol who wrote the song adding some ad libs to encourage Diana’s vocal performance which were kept in the master. None of the other Supremes Mary Wilson or Cindy Birdsong were involved in the recording but the amazing voice of Merry “Gimme Shelter” Clayton is audible in the mix.
You have no friends you have no enemies you have only teachers.
Loudhailer Electric Company – Gypsy Racer (2016) www.loudhailer.net
Connected with this friendly Hull based band I heard on Tom Robinson’s BBC 6 radio show recently who have brightened up my life with their warm psychedelic creativity.  A honeyed but potent sound marinated in juicy rhythms and a guitar sound shinning into the stratosphere like a spirit in the sky.
Luther Allison – Walking Papers (1995)
Seen Luther play in the then Mean Fiddler on Wexford St a short time before he left us for the great beyond in the mid 90’s. An amazing exciting live blues guitar player and entertainer who refined his craft in the stage shadows of Howling Wolf, Freddie King, James Cotton,Motown Bands, decades of live music circuits and festivals, crowds walking and lengthy well executed climactic solos that were mesmerising.You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough 
T Rex – Hot Love ( 1971)
When the cuddly Marc Bolan & T Rex  performed this on Top Of The Pops wearing glitter make up and multi coloured satin outfits  it triggered the start of Glam Rock for me. A folksy elf infatuated with Hendrix riffs on a bluesy rhythm with ex Turtles and Mothers Of Invention vocalists Flo & Eddie on harmonies. Like all fads it was fickle and faded out and not all knew when it was time to go. Treasure the love that you receive above all it will survive long after your gold and good health have vanished.
Bob Dylan – Ramona (1964)
An enduring genius,a unique master who blends the roots of American music with the wisdom of ancient and spiritual literature who has followed his talent with uncompromising courage to bring us to places beyond our imagination or any artistic horizon in my lifetime. To me Bob Dylan is like Joyce, his songs have become scriptures, a daunting, love hate,inspiring mythical genius who makes people comb through every lyric for hidden meaning and his dust bin at times to solve the mysteries of the world. My most amusing memory is of a long haired denim clad student sitting crossed legged in the middle of hallucinogenic smoky, patchouli scented Pembroke Inn one Saturday night in the early 70’s reading aloud  from a Bob Dylan songbook. 
Rickie Lee Jones – Juke Box Fury (1984)
A magical Irish descended gypsy hearted rocker rooted in the crystal pure up-tempo  jazz funk side of life whose smart lyrics and timeless tunes find beauty in the sadness of life. Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.
Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud (2014)
An idea can turn to dust or magic depending on the talent that rubs up against it.Ed Sheeran has studied the diverse genres that move the generations and solved the commercial nature of his talent with a contemporary yet traditional style proficient and sophisticated beholden to no single musical influence with catchy soulful impactful vocals rubbing up comfortably against some jazzy rhythm n blues guitar beats. Ed’s songs  avoid cliches opting to follow a more difficult route of his own creation full of tuneful authority backed up by the kind of teamwork that ensures if opportunity doesn’t knock build a door especially if you have influential friends like Elton John in charge of your management company. 
James Last Orchestra – The Seduction (Love Theme)(1980)
A chart hit from the Gigolo Soundtrack James Last pulled together a pool of top session players in Los Angeles and New York like David Sanborn on Sax which resulted in amazing evocative and romantic versions of Giorgio Moroder’s The Seduction. I have also found James Last’s LP’s in every charity shop in Dublin mostly in unplayable condition. I guess his audience were inclined to be very generous and compassionate in nature.
Barbara George – I Know (You Don’t Love Me No More )(1961)
New Orleans gospel singer Barbara George took this much covered gem to the top of the charts with lyrics inspired by her husband who she had married at 16.Covered by Fats Domino, Ike and Tina Turner, Cher and Bonnie Raitt, I Know also became a staple for 1960s British performers including the Merseybeats, Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas, and Beryl Marsden. Good friend and Blues Collector kindly Eddie Soye guided me towards her album many years ago and despite the hardship she encountered in her music career before leaving us for the great beyond in 2006 her voice soothes the soul.  The mind rules the body, when the body is strong and willing the mind has an open channel through which to operate.
Karl Blau – To Love Somebody (2016)
Downloaded his album and bought a ticket for his gig in Whelan’s after hearing Karl’s interpretation of one of my favourite Bee Gee tunes on Carol Moran’s superb Weekend on One 6am – 8am show on RTE I. Unfortunately missed the gig due to family illness but I was there in supportive spirit. Love the Bee Gee’s as did Otis Redding who went to see them and asked Maurice to write a song for him and this was it but Otis tragically died in a plane crash before getting a chance to record it.
Willie Blake – Classical Gas (2014)
When I am in search of a peaceful and relaxing lifestyle I tend to surfing my internet radio for some new age vibes which is where I found this funky chilled out version started to roll around my ear drums like silk. Like water which can clearly mirror the sky and the trees only so long as its surface is undisturbed, the mind can only reflect the true image of the self when it is tranquil.
Elvis Presley – Too Much (1956)
Elvis was a larger than life phenomenon to me growing up he represented everything I loved about good looks, fashion, cool dudes and his choice of musicians was impeccable as demonstrated on this outstanding Scotty Moore guitar rhythm and lead track. Recorded in G# during a weekend session  in Nashville it enters with a bang and builds from there with exciting classic rockabilly n country chromatic passages contained right through the 12 bar sequence. Try it with a capo on the first fret in G or tune down a half step with a thumb pick and finger technique. FB friend Mark Braider tells me Scotty lost his way on the solo but Elvis said he liked it the way it was when asked to re record it another take. Art meets serendipity.
Todd Snider – Alright Guy (1994) www.toddsnider.net
I love clever humorous lyrics and Todd first album Songs For The Daily Planet back in ’94 was baked in appeal. With sleeve notes like “Music has always changed my life. Poverty changed it back again” and his variation on The Who lyric “Did you know that there are people who put us down for no other reason than the simple fact that we get around”. I have always enjoyed having Todd’s music in my life.
A person without a sense of humour is like a wagon without springs jolted by every pebble in the road.
Joe Walsh – I’ll Tell The World About You  (1972)
One of my favourite guitarists Joe refined the power trio format with The James Gang and his work with The Eagles is a yardstick by which mainstream rock guitar is measured. Eccentric sense of humour he ran for President promising free gasoline to everyone and is prone to wearing madcap stage gear. Infectious vocalist like Nils Lofgren this song from his first solo album Barnstorm is a good example of his guitar orchestration and vocal harmony style. 
Patty Larkin – The Letter (1990)
I am always charmed by artists who take well loved songs that are part of the soundscape of your life  and replant, imbue and reinterpret in their own diverse style. Sometimes when you dust off something old you come up with a gem like this stripped back acoustic version of The Letter from Patty Larkin’s Live in the Square album recorded live at Sanders Theatre, Cambridge Massachusetts. 
Robert Cray – Grinder (1983)
One of the great guitarists of my generation with an instantly identifiable 5 time Grammy winning sound and style. He is a dedicated hard working musician an experimenter always willing to take chances which doesn’t always fly with the blues puritans but when he gets it right it’s magical,incendiary, soulful and humourous.
Bert Jansch – Anji (1965)
Seen Bert live at Eric Clapton’s Crossroad Festival in 2010 in Chicago an acoustic finger twister whose complex finger style technique and open tunings influenced the way acoustic guitar styles developed in the late 60’s and 70’s. Jimmy Page,Nick Drake, John Martyn,Neil Young and Paul Simon all emulated Bert’s folky baroque style in their acoustic songs. Anji was Bert’s cohort Davy Graham song which became a rite of passage for acoustic finger-style guitarists. Try it with a feeling rather than accuracy with a capo on the 4th fret in Am with a steady descending bass line that encourages you to use your thumb for the F note on the 6th string. I’m told both Davy and Bert seldom played this the same way twice.
Charlie Christian – Flying Home (1942)
For a lot of electric guitar fans it all started back in the forties with Charlie Christian whose riffs and solos jumping out of  Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton tunes lifted and inspired the likes of Chuck Berry in years to come to grab the baton  and turn it into the  Olympic torch we call rock and roll.
Marvin Gaye – Too Busy Thinking Bout My Baby (1969)
Blessed with a supercharged wide spectrum voice Marvin created  music that provokes a distinctive yearning admiration and pleasure in the listener. Started off as a session singer on Chuck Berry classics like Almost Grown and going on to define the sound of Motown .Some artists make music for the sunny side of the street full of fresh blood and sensations of freedom despite the fact that their personal journey through life is filled with pain and despair, cuts and bruises. Anything worthwhile means the greater the happiness the greater could be the sadness, the more exciting the success the more devastating the failure.One good thing about music when it hits you you feel no pain.
Kate O Callaghan – My Dear (2013) www.kateocallaghan.com
No dream is to high for those with their eyes in the sky and when you witness that wholehearted presence on stage as I did a few months back in Paul Lee’s DC Music Club of an artist totally committed to their craft full of freshness and vitality it allows for a very organic connection between artist and audience.
Otis Clay – I Can Take You To Heaven Tonight (1991)
Otis Clay was a rich soul blues gospel rooted singer who brought his uplifting charisma to stellar recordings in the 60’s and 70’s including Trying To Live My Life Without You which Bob Seger climbed the charts with in the early 80’s,also working with the magic of Willie Mitchell, Johnny Rawls and Dave Specter prior to ascending to the great beyond in 2016. Eddie Soye first gave me a heads up to Otis on a mix tape he gave me  and I picked up a Bullseye Blues  album in the early 90’s called I’ll Treat You Right which connected me with I Can Take You To Heaven Tonight which has that beauty and powerful  blast of emotion that a good song provides.
Gene Jug Ammons – Groove Blues (1958)feat (John Coltrane)
I’ve always been a bit like a horse looking over fence when it comes to jazz.
Music friend of mine Oded puts up a picture of his AM and PM vinyl listing each day and I tend to You Tube his choices on the bus home which led me to this Jazz tune from an inspiring and influential Jug collaborating here with John Coltrane whose creativity and potential was stifled by two periods in jail (10 years) on drugs charges in his prime. Destiny is not a matter of chances it is a matter of choices.
Pete Townshend – Oh Parvardigar (1972)
Pete became a disciple of Indian Spiritual teacher Meher Baba in the late 60’s disillusioned with the world of drugs that surrounded him and his creative process. Parvardigar (Master’s Prayer) is Meher Baba’s universal prayer which Pete put to music using an open tuning CGCGCD on his acoustic in the style of Bert Jansch melodic finger style stillness. His teachings prescribed no rules just a simple don’t worry be happy philosophy in the search to be incredibly alive, enlightened and naturally high where spiritual intuition will keep your feet on the ground and guide your rhythm forward each day.
Freddie King – Dust My Broom (Acoustic)(1961)
One of the 3 Kings of Blues Guitar Playing Freddie alongside Albert and BB created their own individual signature styles of playing that has influenced every guitar player since. Texas born Freddie was the master of the electric Texas Chicago Blues shuffle/instrumental like Hideaway a litmus test for aspiring blues guitar players  and The Stumble using a thumb pick and metal index finger pick for that sharp attack. Even on an acoustic his ingenious gift for hook laden riffs and melodies alongside his visceral emotional vocals jump out of the speakers. Sadly 20 years of relentless touring playing 300 gigs a year the 6 foot giant rocket fueled party loving performer left us at 42 with an incomparable legacy that continues to inspire new generations. 
The Archies – Sugar  Sugar (1969) (Andy Kim)
In late 1969 the charts on both sides of the Atlantic was occupied by this catchy TV Cartoon Series The Archies song. Building on the success of The Monkee’s formula this was another perfect 3 minute pop song that floated around the ear drums like candy it was the perfection of simplicity by a group of Don Kirshners (The Man With The Golden Ear) Brill Building session musicians like Andy Kim who charted again in the mid 70’s with Rock Me Gently and  Ron The Cufflinks Dante whose big hit was Tracy as well as producing Barry Manilow’s LP.Ideas are great arrows but there has to be a bow. 
Richard Thompson – Legal Matter (2003)
Who cover driven by the typical swinging good spirited force that is Richard Thompson. The perfect match because in my view both Richard Thompson and Pete Townshend play the acoustic guitar with the potency of a fighting bull.
Santana – Dance Sister Dance (1976)
From my repeated viewings of the Woodstock movie to standing in a muddy field in Slane Carlos Santana has always mapped out his own corner in the playground. Remarkable fretboard talents leading and creating an irresistible stage and studio synergy this opening track from the Amigo LP  is a good example of the layers of smoking latinesque guitar and polish in Santana’s music which effortlessly lets your heart soar as high as it will.

Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks  

Live With Enthusiasm

Summer Time Music Blossoms

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. Left handed guitar player who like Albert King and Ed Deane make magic on the fretboard in the most mysterious ways to us RH enthusiasts.
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 QuoIn 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 ImperialsI 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 GiddensShe’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

 

Elegance In Perfect Simplicity

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. 
HozierSomeone 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 SectionLarge 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.

 

 

Winter Warmers Comfortable Music

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

Carlos Johnson Chicago Bluesman
Carlos Johnson Chicago Bluesman

 

Soundtrack For Sound Seekers

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)

Summer Sunshine In Sound

May your life be as beautiful as a summer day with just enough clouds to make you appreciate the sunshine.

J Geils Band – Angel In Blue
Captain & Tennille – Love Will Keep Us Together
No Sinner – Boo Hoo Hoo (www.nosinner.com)
Freddie King – Wash Out
Dave Edmunds – Bad Is Bad
The Shadows Of Night – I Got My Mojo Working
Royal Southern Brotherhood – Brotherhood
Candi Staton – Suspicious Minds
Mik The Who – Thank You For Being You (www.mikthewho.com)
John Lennon – How
Tommy Tutone – 8675309 Jenny
The Who – Magic Bus
Bread – Everything I Own
Nils Logfren – I Go To Pieces
Eric Clapton – Rock N Roll Heart
J J Cale – I’d Like To Love You Baby
Johnny Rivers – You Can Get It If You Really Want
Tony Joe White – Rainy Day Woman
Joe Higgs – Hard Times Don’t Bother Me (Reggae Master)

Music Speaks For Itself

It’s Nice To Be Important But More Important To Be Nice And In The Company Of Good Music

  • Blue Mink – Good Morning Freedom
  • Philip Mitchell – It Hurts So Good
  • Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Rockin’ Around With You (Live)
  • The Tenors – Weather Report
  • Tim Buckley – Dolphins
  • Bobby Bland – Your The One (That I Adore)
  • Grainne Duffy – Test Of Time
  • Willie Mitchell – That Driving Beat
  • Humble Pie – Black Coffee ( Live with The Blackberries)
  • Ray Stevens – Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
  • Simon & Garfunkel – The Only Living Boy In New York
  • The Who – Naked Eye
  • Dave Specter – Hot Cha
  • Peter Wolf – Never Like This Before
  • Rory Gallagher – I’m Not Surprised
  • Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life (Live)
  • Freddie King – Sweet Home Chicago (Live)
  • Rod Stewart – Maggie Mae (Live)
  • Mike Brookfield – Catfish Missile
  • Amen Corner – If Paradise Is Half As Nice
  • Johnnie Bassett – Blues Guitar Hero Tribute R.I.P. 1935-2012
  • Jaxon Haldane – Birds Fly South
  • Ronnie Greer & Friends – Never Make Your Move Too Soon (featGrainne Duffy 
  • Real generosity is doing something nice for someone who’ll never find it out.