Life 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. A left-handed guitar player who likewise to Albert King and Ed Deane make magic on the fretboard in the most mysterious ways to us guitar fans & enthusiasts. The purpose of life is to discover your gift and the meaning of life if giving your gift away. R.I.P. Otis 
Andrew Gold – Never Let Her Slip Away

Such a talented musician whose presence always added so much class to the collaborations I came across particularly his work with Linda Ronstadt. Andrew always reminds me of his mother Marni Nixon who was the uncredited voice in popular terms behind some of the great Hollywood musicals My Fair Lady, West Side Story and Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend hitting all the high notes for Marilyn Monroe. It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit. 
Status 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

 

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.

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)

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

 

Summertime Peace And Love

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.

Nature’s Saying Let’s Party

Spring Is Natures Way Of Saying Let’s Party – Even If You Have To Hug A Tree. 

Albert Hammond – I’m A Train  (Greatest Hits LP)
Willie Mitchell – Prayer Meetin’
Yvonne Elliman – I Can’t Explain (feat Pete Townshend)
Tony Joe White – Storm’s Comin’
Streetwalkers – Mama Was Mad (Vicious But Fair LP 1977)
Jackie Mittoo & Soul Brothers  – Home Made
Tom Principato Band – They Called For Stormy Monday
Dr Feelgood – Another Man
The Style Council – You’re The Best Thing
Richard Thompson – Beeswing  (DADGBE Tuning ) (Mirror Blue Album)
Pete Townshend – And I Moved ( Empty Glass LP)
Leo O Kelly – Blew My Clouds ( Proto CD) www.leookelly.ie
Donald Byrd – Black Byrd (7″ Single Version 1973)
Teddy Pendergrass – Don’t Leave Me This Way Pt 1 & 2)
Grin (Nils Lofgren) – White Lies (The Music People 3 LP Sampler 1972)
Little Green Cars – My Love Took Me Down To The River To Silence Me
Jackie Moore – Precious Precious Baby Of Mine
Rosanne Cash – Modern Blue
George Thorogood & The Destroyers – High Heeled Sneekers feat Buddy Guy – (2120 South Michegan Avenue Album)

When we accept that the night is just part of the day, we cease to argue with the dark moments in our lives

When Music Is Better Than Words

Mik The Who

A perfect day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing and music makes the world better than words can explain.

David Rose – High Chaparral TV Theme 1967
Sonny & Cher – All I Ever Need Is You1971
Sheryl Crow – Anything But Down 1999
Elvis Costello & The Attractions – Lipstick Vogue 1978
Bette Midler – Midnight In Memphis (The Rose) 1979
Mick,Louise,Michelle Mulcahy – Rose In The Heather 2016
Sylvia Robinson  – Pussy Cat 1975
The Rolling Stones – Dead Flowers 1971 (Live Version)
Eric Bibb – This Land Is Your Land 2017
Rick Derringer – Joyride 1971
Manfred Mann – Pretty Flamingo 1966
Keith & Tex – Don’t Look Back 1967
Nathan Carter – Beeswing 2017
J J Cale – Midnight In Memphis 1997
Karl Blau – Stuck Inside Port Townshend 2013
Little Jimmy King – Another Blues Stringer 1991
The Temptations – Papa Was A Rolling Stone 1972
Toto – Don’t Stop Me Now 1986
Elvis Presley – Tomorrow Is A Long Time 1966
Stanley Turentine – I Told Jesus 1971
Mike Moreno – Spinning Wheel 2012
Neil Young – Little Wing 1980
LP – Scarborough Fair 2017
Bobby Radcliff – Downstroke  2004
Glenn Gould – Aria Goldberg Variations 1981
Ruba Shamshoum – Burkan 2017
Rod Stewart – You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Man 1974
Krokus – Stayed Awake All Night 1983
Betty Harris – 12 Red Roses (Allen Toussaint)1966
Paul Oscher – Standing At The Crossroads 2004
Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa – Black Coffee 2018
The Who – Pinball Wizard (Live)1970

Good music fills the world with good intentions.

 

 

Nourishing Food For Encouragement

Life is like a Pot Of Tea

 

Music is the most important food in my life it satisfies an appetite for contentment excitement and fills mind body and soul with nourishment.

The Moonglows – Sincerely (1954)
This song was recorded in Chess records the same year I was born. The Kentucky harmony group had paid their dues at this stage touring and releasing records for Alan Freed with little success. Chess got behind them and that made the difference. The Moonglows would also feature on background vocals for Chuck Berry and Etta James. Marvin Gaye joined the group 1959 and became a lead vocalist as various founder members went their separate ways in search of a solo career. Their unique blow harmonising style became a big influence on the birth of Rock & Roll and for me the tasty understated rhythm guitar is infectious.
Amy Winehouse – He Can Only Hold Her (2006)
My read on this song in hindsight puts poor Amy’s life into focus in that she was haunted by demons and addictions  from her past. Sometimes addictions have no logic and all the support and love available still can’t penetrate the mind to change the behavior. Two lives pulling in opposite directions within one body can be to much for this world to comprehend.The tragedy is not that things are broken but in the sad realisation that they are never mended again.
Chris Farlowe – Out Of Time (Live) (1995)
The Small Faces – Collibosher (1969)
This instrumental gem was a backing track that got left off the Ogden Nut Gone Flake LP and finally seen the light of day after the band broke up in 1969. Steve Marriot on guitar and Ronnie Lane on bass worked very well together with Ian McLagan on Keyboards and Kenny Jones nailing down the foundations with his solid drumming style. History tells us that Steve went on to form Humble Pie with Peter Frampton and Rod Stewart and Ron Wood stepped in to make the Small Faces a good time rock and roll band called The Faces.
In life some things happen by accident and we should embrace and enjoy them.
Gerry Rafferty – Waiting For The Day (1978)
The late fantastically great Gerry Rafferty
Alex Puddo – Hot Mouth (2014)
Johnny Cash – One Piece At A Time (1976)
Pat Benatar – Hit Me With Your Best Shot (1980)
Rumplestiltskin – Rumplestiltskin (1970)
This group had the makings of a classic rock band with top session musicians in  Alan Parker Guitar, Herbie Flowers Bass, Alan Hawkshaw Keyboards, Clem Cattini Drums, Peter Stirling Vocals aka Danial Boone with Shel Talmy (The Who) at the buttons in the Studio. These guys were also in the engine room of Blue Mink. The record company let them down and the Rumpelstiltskin project never got off the ground.
The Sun will rise and set regardless. What we choose to do with the light while it’s here is up to us. 
John Martyn – Over The Hill (1973)
Chris Cain – I Still Want To Believe (1997)
Alan Stivell – Foggy Dew (1993)
Tony Joe White – Run With The Bulls (2008)
Medicine Head – Pictures In The Sky (1971)
Linda Ronstadt – Tumbling Dice (1980)
Yo Yo Ma & Allison Krauss – Simple Gifts (2008)
Cannonball Adderley – Autumn Leaves (1958)
Rory Gallagher – 20/20 Vision (1973)
Lynn Tait – Love Is Blue (1968)
Joe Vitale – Sailor Man (1981)
Weatherman – Stormy Daze (2016)
Bobby Goldsboro – Summer The First Time (1968)
Ike & Tina Turner – Early In The Morning (1969)
10CC – Mandy (1974)
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – Last Of My Kind (2017)
David Porter –  I Don’t Know Why I Love You (1970)
Cash Box Kings – Sarah (2003)
Herbie Mann – Claudia Pie (1969)
Joan Osborne – Bold As Love (2002)
George Martin – Theme 1 (1967)
Halpin & Kaley – Glory Daze (1997)
Sonny Landreth – I Know You Rider (2009)
Charles Bradley – Changes (2016)
The Who – Love Ain’t For Keeping (1971) feat Leslie West
AC/DC – Overdose 
 

Your future self is watching you right now through memories.

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 / the 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 super 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 frontman 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 and The Bee Gee’s Somebody To Love. Went to see Karl play in the Workman’s Club last night and it was an exquisite performance from an artist totally comfortably in a style of his own.. The stage was like a blank canvas coloured and embroidered  firstly by the local talents of  Leila & Sarah’s cross stitched Donegal & Mayo vocals on a bunch of warm opening tunes. Karl sipped a pint of Guinness and filled the atmosphere with his amazing cover versions and originals many spontaneously added at the behest of suggestions from the audience. Beautiful spanish guitar picking and smoldering vocals expanded with the well timed use of an old Boss loop that’s passionate exciting and resonates within the most intimate reaches of your heart. In keeping on  with the charm of the man he sketched portraits of fan’s faces as keepsakes in the bar afterwards
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 the 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 neighbourhood 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 did their best to adapt to the changing trends over the years but bad timing and poor management directions didn’t do them any favours.
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 shaking the foundation’s 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 the 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 living 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 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 skilful 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 way 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 you’re 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”. A 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 was 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 a 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 an Eddie & The Hot 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 over 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 humorous 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 hitmaker 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 it is 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 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.