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 Quo – In My Chair (1970)
Came across a motivational term many years ago KISS an abbreviation for Keep It Short & Simple which describes perfectly the crowd pleasing hard blues rock boogie sound of Status Quo. The studio single version of In My Chair was one of the first additions to my own record collection back in 1970 having been blown aways by the previous release Down The Dustpipe. I loved the early 70’s sound of Status Quo and the live ambiance on this record captures the heads down hair swinging groove.
Rodriguez – I Wonder (1970)
Good friend in work Liam Boylan gave me the Searching For Sugar Man DVD which exceeded all expectations in that I had never heard of Rodriguez prior and left me further intrigued and amazed at the spontaneous beauty of his songs and life story. A Detroit singer songwriter who recorded 2 LP’s in the early 70’s and then disappeared with rumours that he had committed suicide at a gig. Belatedly his music connected with the resistance movement in South Africa and he found success in the late 90’s and has been enjoying great success on the back of the Academy Award winning film about his life story.
Japan – I Second That Emotion
This is a Smokey Robinson and The Miracles Motown classic being interpreted in the early 80’s by British New Wave Romantics Japan who incorporated Glam and Ambient ideas into their image and sound. When I hear the song it reminds me of a Prince’s Trust Concert on the tele in the early 80’s featuring Pete Townshend playing Slit Skirts with Japan bassist Mick Karn R.I.P. on stage by his side.
Sweet Cecilia – La Vie C’est Une Bataille (Life is a Battle) (2015) www.sweetceciliagirls.com
Met this wonderful band at the New Orleans Jazz Festival a super confident rousing Louisiana family band with dynamic harmonies and energy bouncing around the stage. St Cecilia is the patron saint of musicians and it’s also the name of their hometown and they left me with one of my favourite live music memories of my trip to the New Orleans Jazz Festival. There is a mesmerising almost spiritual atmosphere in the air around these two sisters Laura and Maegan and their cousin Callie singing and playing their hearts out with clear eyed honesty and good time cajun country rock rhythms.
“Life is a battle that’s what my grandpa said
Life is full of scratches it’s what you make of it”
Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials – I Love My Baby (2002)
Lil’ Ed Williams is a smiling flamboyant high energy torch bearer for Chicago Blues driven along by the classic Hound Dog Taylor and Elmore James and his uncle JB Hutto’s bottleneck razor sharp stomping slide style. A fantastic live band who hit the stage with their three decades of road tested electrifying good time joyful fun boogie behind them they never fail to satisfy. I have been in an elated audience in Lucerne and New Orleans when this tour de force hits the stage and goes full throttle through a performance. One of my favourite live music experiences.
Moskus – Tandem Med Sankt Peter www.moskustrio.no
Chris Issak – Wicked Game
Rhiannon Giddens – She’s Got You
One of my favourite musicians to see live who consistently takes my breath away with her passion and natural charisma. Rhiannon brings history to life on stage and in her story telling song craft with a rootsy integrity and honesty in her convictions that resonates within the most intimate reaches of the audience’s heart. A magnificent voice that shakes your foundations as she takes you on a modern soul,gospel,jazz faithful to the old time and fearless to the new time trad interpretation of the music of resistance that is blended to perfection for the mission at hand. She’s Got You is a classic Patsy Cline Country & Western standard written by Hank Cochran in the early 60’s getting a makeover that brought the song to life for me. Always makes time to meet the audience after her shows with a big heart and a smile that lights up life Rhiannon appears to be relentlessly touring and picking up awards and praise all over the globe but when it’s time to go home it is to Limerick she lays her hat and we are blessed to have such a compassionate talent in the neighbourhood.
Al Berard – Ten Years Gone www.alberard.com
Dean Martin – Gentle On My Mind
Brad Vickers And His Vestapolitans – Raisin’ Praise www.bradvickers.com
Gregory Issacs – House Of The Rising Sun
Sonny Condell – Down In The City
Sam Philips – Lying
Fanny – Summer Song www.fannyrocks.com/
Ray LaMontagne – You Are The Best Thing
Sonny Landreth – Walking Blues www.sonnylandreth.com/
Elvis Presley – Steamroller Blues (Live Aloha From Hawaii)
White man’s blues parody classic written by James Taylor and made famous by The King himself. This is the sound of rural backwaters rhythm’s meeting the bright lights and getting a big city sound with the great
Leftover Salmon – Two Highways www.leftoversalmon.com/
JR Walker & The All Stars – Cleo’s Mood
Los Lonely Boys – Hollywood
Dusty Springfield – Son Of A Preacher Man
Peter Novelli – Bourban Street Blue (2015)
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