Friday, 30 November 2018

Today is St. Andrews Day. 
Which is an ideal excuse to spin a track by one of my favourite Scottish bands.
Spin is appropriate too, as my original vinyl copy is off their second album 'Steeltown' released in 1984, that I now have as a digitised version. Written and sung by Stuart Adamson on lead guitar, this is 'Just a Shadow' by Big Country. Big favourite of mine that keeps on playing in my head !
For all Scots, near and far.


For the purist the album track was a slightly longer track containing the full guitar solo play out. No video of Big Country but click this link for that version.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

An alternative (and occasional) music posting highlighting something out of the ordinary. Perhaps of limited appeal, unconventional, experimental or just far-out ! Call it what you like (or switch it off, if you don't like). 

This is part of a deliberate Scottish celebration, today and tomorrow.
The video is full of images of the Isle of Skye, where the band Runrig were formed in 1973. 45 years later they played their final concerts this August past. A 'live' album release 'Once in a Lifetime' in 1988, captures their brand of celtic rock, from which this rousing track is taken. 
Donnie Munro sings 'Skye'. "Take me there..." -- bang the drums

Bet you didn't sit still through that...

Friday, 23 November 2018

It was probably when my daughter started playing the drums that I began to appreciate the significance of the drummer at the back (but the heart) of any band. There was a lot more going on than just providing the beat.
Well I've been catching up with the Sky Arts series 'The Art of Drumming' and it's claim that I'll never listen to music the same way ever again, couldn't be more true. Aside from a greater knowledge I have a whole new vocabulary. From the rudiments, rolls, fills and paradiddles to back beat, shuffles, one-drop, swing and ghost notes, it's whole new world of discovery. Plus lots of 'stickmen' I'd not known previously. 
You may not know Hal Blaine, but you sure have heard him play. As a session musician in the 60's he played on all the Beach Boy's hits and countless others also. (A brief list)
Here's the very cool Jeff Porcaro of Toto on the opening beats of 'Rosanna'
The drum pattern is known as a "half-time shuffle", and shows "definite jazz influence", featuring ghost notes and derived from the combination of the Purdie shuffle and the Bo Diddley beat. The Purdie shuffle can be prominently heard on Steely Dan's track "Home at Last" from Aja, which Jeff Porcaro cited as an influence. 

⏩ Drums > harmonies > chorus > horns > & solos (synths, guitar, piano & guitar) - it's got the lot.
And if all that isn't to technical then check this out: 'What makes this Song Great' with Rick Beato (watch and listen, as he dissects the song in 16 minutes)...   You might want to play the complete song again, once you're done !

Friday, 16 November 2018

After last week's video went down (or around) so well I've been wondering how to follow it. Well this may do the trick. 
Except having discovered this video, I couldn't find the exact same clip available on YouTube. So I hope this works for everyone. A slightly different approach to the FRIDAY MUSIC SPOT - just click on the picture arrow as normal, it should link and open a new page in your browser on the correct vimeo video page.
From Bob Dylan's 30th anniversary concert, cue vocals Roger McGuinn, Tom Petty, Neil Young, 'Slowhand' solo Eric Clapton, Bob himself and George Harrison
Lots of smiling going on and ending with a rarity, only a 20 second Neil Young guitar solo, backed by a house band of Booker T and the MGs, that's some line-up.

Poetically looking back on the idealism of youth in one of those songs where the title doesn't actually appear in the lyrics*. 'My Back Pages' - a favourite Dylan track of mine:

If the link doesn't work, try searching: Bob Dylan - My Back Pages LIVE (1992) - that'll get you there.
* Sing along (if you want to) - link to lyrics.

Friday, 9 November 2018

All that recent Blues music rather coincided with some cold and wintery days on the home weather front. This should liven up proceedings a bit. Mad fun on a magic roundabout. Peter Gabriel 'on yer bike' and climbing up on 'Solsbury Hill'. Love it

Friday, 2 November 2018

In collaboration with and for the final performance on this Blues Week 
Gary Hoey    REPLAY
Led Zeppelin  ⏩  REPLAY
Ronnie Baker Brooks  ⏩  REPLAY
④ Legends: Muddy Waters, Memphis Slim, Willy Dixon, Otis Spann, Victoria Spivey +  ⏩  REPLAY
we have - no big surprise - the one and only Joe Bonamassa
I really could have selected any number of tracks but this is live from New York's Beacon Theatre in 2011: "If Heartaches Were Nickels" - amazing

Hope you have enjoyed the week...
Do I hear you cheer more ? An encore then >  this is on Facebook, so if it doesn't work try this link instead >
"Thank you, goodnight" 

➣ Just seen a 'Blues Cruise' advertised for 2019, 'Keeping the Blues Alive' around the mediterranean. 6 days all at sea. It'll cost you mind. 

Thursday, 1 November 2018

I wanted to include a vintage blues offering and came across this recording from 1963, an American Folk Blues Festival on German TV.
Muddy Waters, Memphis Slim, Willy Dixon, Otis Spann, Victoria Spivey and more with 'Bye Bye Blues'. Containing the classic lyric "the blues ain't nothing but a botheration on your mind"
The video last some 8 minutes, while the song ends around five minutes as the credits roll. But stick with it as more credits appear and some great boogie woogie piano plays on.


Not quite singing us out - as tomorrow the Friday STAR TRACK returns with the top of the bill...