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.

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.

 

 

Who Supplies Them Forever

Who Supplies Others With Good Feeling Thoughts And Music Has Enriched Them Forever

*The music show (MP3 file) for this playlist has been archived and is available upon request.

Bad Company – Good Lovin Gone Bad
The Small Faces – Lazy Sunday
Sheryl Crow – Sweet Child Of Mine
Buddy Guy – Red House
Link Wray – It’s All Over Now Baby Blue
The Clash – Police & Thieves
U2 – A Sort Of Homecoming (Live)
Electric Flag – Killing Floor
Joe Walsh – India
Niall Toner Band – Judge & Jury (www.nialltonerband.com)
The Who – Lets See Action
J.J. Cale – Cocaine (Rock In Peace)

Intro Tune: Take It Off The Top – Dixie Dregs
Outro Tune: Je’taime
Background Link Tunes: Groovin – Booker T & MGS

The Secret Is Appreciation

Everyone Wants To Be Appreciated So If You Appreciate Someone Don’t Keep It A Secret.

*The music show (MP3 file) for this playlist has been archived and is available upon request.

Cheap Trick – Surrender (Live @ The Budokan)
The Yardbirds – Train Kept A Rollin 
Status Quo – Mean Girl
America – Sister Golden Hair
The Pogues – The Body Of An American 
Wishbone Ash – Outward Bound
Saxon – 747 (Strangers In The Night )
Blondie – I’m Always Touched By Your Presence Dear
Gaslight Anthem – American Slang
Stone Roses – Shoot You Down
Buddy Guy – Superstar
Buddy Holly – Think It Over
Eric Clapton – Badge (Live @ The Rainbow feat Pete Townshend, Ron Wood,Steve Winwood,Jim Capaldi, Ric Grech)         

Intro Tune – Take It Off The Top – Dixie Dregs
Outro Tune:   Je’t’aime
Background Link Tunes-  Je’t’aime