But his song does pop into the ol’ brain case now and then. Back in the day I was a fan of CDB. I drifted away from his music for no particular reason, just changing tastes I guess. But this along with The Ballad of the Uneasy Rider are still on my playlist. Even if he does spell Trudie wrong (see the link above).
Charlie was a damn good musician, although his twang distracts from the vocals for me. He could play that fiddle something fierce. I have several big cowboy hats like his. Plus a really nice Stetson my late, great mother-in-law bought me in New Orleans back about 1995.
This video reminds me of The Allman Brothers so much. With the two drummers and dual lead guitars. The song itself isn’t all that complicated, but I can’t play it. I can’t grow a beard that bushy, so I don’t qualify. Guess that means ZZ Top won’t be calling anytime soon either…
P.S. I’ve got a new genealogy blog now. The link is down below!
Saturday afternoon while I was do a little genealogy this played on the Classic Vinyl station. I am very familiar with this song, it is a George Harrison original after all, but not this version. A quick look at the channel guide showed me it was George and his best pal Eric Clapton. I immediately brought up YouTube to see if I could find a video. I did find a video for the two guitar gods playing together, but it didn’t sound quite right.
On the cover I heard, the vocals were really nicely balanced. George’s lead vocal had more presence than both the original by The Beatles and this live video I had found. It took a few changes to my search terms, and some scrolling to find at least the proper vocal mix. If you go to the YouTube page for this song it says it is a 2004 remix of a 1991 concert from Japan. The bootleg concert video (here) is interesting in seeing the interplay of George with the audience at the beginning, and of course to see Eric play in his usual laid-back style. They didn’t call him slow hand for nothing.
The album Live In Japan features this track, and Eric also preformed it at the Concert For George tribute concert to Harrison in 2002.
The video I’m using is boring, true. But I used it because of the superior audio quality. I hope you enjoy it as much as I!
P.S. I’ve got a new genealogy blog now. The link is down below!
Today’s featured guitarist will not be on a lot of folks’ radar, even if he did rank 28th on Rolling Stone’s 2003 list of “The 100 Greatest Guitarist of All Time” and then 47th on the 2011 list. Not too shabby at all.
Mr. Stills has been around a while. While known primarily for his work with Buffalo Springfield and the Crosby, Stills and Nash (with or without Young), he was part of the house band for the New York City club Café au Go Go, known as Au Go Singers. While the groups name leaves some to be desired, the 9-part harmony was spot on. At least that’s what I read; I was way to young to visit. Plus, I lived several hundred miles away.
Since Stephen was a military brat (much like my boys) he travelled quite a bit as a youngster. He spent several years in Florida and Central America. You can tell he must have picked up his Spanish on the street and not in a class room by his basically unintelligible Spanish ramblings at the end of the CS&N hit “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”. Having grown up in Miami I had many native Spanish (Cuban) speaking friends. Not a single one could figure out what he was saying. They’d get words here and there, but nothing that really made any sense.
Stills has said that he intentionally made the final stanzas unexpected and difficult, even using a foreign language for the lyrics, “just to make sure nobody would understand it” (not even Spanish speaking people).
As much as CS&N or CSN&Y are a mainstay of my listening habit, Stills solo work can be just as good, and at times even better. His eponymous titled first solo album features Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, two other guitarists on this list of guitar gods. It also had his biggest solo hit “Love The One You’re With”. That track peak at 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970. His guitar can also be heard on Bill Withers major hit “Ain’t No Sunshine”.
I think my first remembrance of him doesn’t even feature his guitar. It would have been with the Springfield and “For What It’s Worth”. Neil Young played lead on that one. I featured that song some time ago here.
Stills is known for using the “Palmer modal tuning” when playing acoustic guitar. I think I need to learn this method as he’s using it in the video below. And this is one of his songs that I have tried to learn and could never get it even close. I know he was using a different tuning than the standard tuning I was using, but still. Palmer tuning has the guitar set to D A D F# A D (or E E E E B E according to some places), whereas standard tuning is E A D G B E.
Stills received an Honorary Doctorate in Music from the University of Florida in 2018. I had heard that he was a political science student at UF but dropped out, but have not be able to verify that.
Today is one of those days when I have a medley of songs stuck in my head. It was a difficult choice to pick just one of the songs bouncing around inside my noggin, but I picked this one. Not really sure why. Ringo Starr’s Act Naturally (with Buck Owens) was also a major contender.
If I had to come up with a single reason for this song over Ringo’s it would have to be the husband and wife duo of singer-songwriters. I guess this post could fit under that theme as well.
What a list of backing band members! In Eric Clapton’s autobiography, he credits the late Delaney Bramlett with scaring him to broaden his music. Eric really only wanted to be a guitar player, but Delaney thought he should go solo and sing as well. “If you don’t use all your talents, God will take them away” was Delaney’s warning (paraphrased as I no longer have the book to get an exact quote).
All this happened while D&B were touring with Eric’s band Blind Faith.
On the strength of Accept No Substitute, and at his friend Harrison’s suggestion, Eric Clapton took Delaney & Bonnie and Friends on the road in mid-1969 as the opening act for his band Blind Faith. Clapton quickly became friends with Delaney, Bonnie and their band, preferring their music to Blind Faith’s. Impressed by their live performances, he would often appear on stage with Delaney & Bonnie and Friends during this period, and he continued to record and tour with them following Blind Faith’s August 1969 breakup. Clapton helped broker a new record deal for Delaney and Bonnie with his then-US label, Atco (Atlantic) Records, and performed (with Harrison, Dave Mason, and others) on Delaney and Bonnie’s third album, the live On Tour with Eric Clapton (Atco; recorded in the UK, 7 December 1969, and released in North America in March 1970). This album would be their most successful, reaching #29 on the Billboard 200, and achieving RIAAgold record status. Clapton also recruited Delaney and Bonnie and their band to back him on his debut solo album, recorded in late 1969 and early 1970 and produced by Delaney.
So, what song did I pick you may be asking yourself.
“Never Ending Song of Love” is a song written by Delaney Bramlett, and, according to some sources, by his wife Bonnie Bramlett. It was originally recorded with his band, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, in 1971 on the album Motel Shot. Released as a single by Atco Records the same year, “Never Ending Song of Love” became Delaney & Bonnie’s greatest hit on the pop charts, reaching a peak of #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number eight Easy Listening. It reached #16 in Australia.
Last night my dear older brother (whose birthday was Friday – so Happy Birthday again), texted me to go to you tube to listen to Europa by Santana. He was impressed by the bass line. Realizing that he was an amazing bass player in his day, but I wonder how he could avoid the absolute genesis of Carlos Santana. I have written about this particular track some time ago, in Guitar Gods – Chapter One, so I guess it slipped his mind that I knew the song.
Over the course of the two hours or so we went back and forth via text (well I went on for two hours, he gave up about 90 minutes in) we talked many guitarists from Santana, where we started, to David Gilmore, Mark Knopfler, and Stephen Stills. But these guys didn’t come up once until I stumbled on the video below.
Stevie Ray Vaughn is way up there on my guitar gods list. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, son-the-younger was almost named for him. Albert King, on the other hand, was not on the list. But he is now. I knew of Mr. King from the blues channels on Sirius. But I thought he was, as a guitar player, of the B.B. King and Muddy Waters style. By that I mean he would play little licks only when not singing. Both King and Waters are amazing blues artists, but I find their guitar work not as strong as King’s. Maybe I just haven’t seen the proper videos. Leave a comment directing me to watch something to educate me.
This is from a 1983 In Session recording.
In Session is a blues album by Albert King with Stevie Ray Vaughan recorded live for television on December 6, 1983, at CHCH-TV studios in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, when Vaughan was 29 and King was 60. It was released as an album on August 17, 1999 and re-released with a supplemental video recording on DVD on September 28, 2010. It has also been released on CD and SACD.
It was the first of two collaborations captured for television, the second being as invited guests on a show led by B.B. King in 1987. It was recorded for one of a series of live television sessions recording the performances of various artists. The show was called In Session. The album includes a few short segments of the banter by King and Vaughan between songs.
Initially, King was not going to do the show as he did not know who Vaughan was. He did not realize that Vaughan was actually ‘little Stevie’, the ‘skinny kid’ that he let sit in when King played in Texas. King talks about this on one of the conversation tracks. When he realized who Vaughan was, he agreed to play.
The album’s material is mostly King’s concert line up, with one Vaughan cut, “Pride and Joy” on the audio CD (the DVD also features Vaughan’s “Texas Flood”). King is ‘driving’ the session, but he features Vaughan’s guitar extensively on most of the songs. According to the introductory credits on the DVD, a number of the tunes are included there for the first time, having been omitted from the original TV broadcast for reasons of time.
Taking a break from the genealogy today. I did set up a couple of test family trees for the two matches I mentioned yesterday, but that’s it. Not going to stress over finding long lost cousins right now.
Today’s stuck song features two gentlemen that are on some of my other lists. Walter Becker is on the Guitar Gods and Wizards list, and Donald Fagen in also on the Singer – Songwriter list. But this song is not what I had in mind when I will feature each of them later. This is a Steely Dan song. Donald and Walter will show up later.
Steely Dan is an American rock and jazz fusion band founded in 1972 by core members Walter Becker (guitars, bass, backing vocals) and Donald Fagen (keyboards, lead vocals). Blending elements of rock, jazz, latin music, R&B, blues and sophisticated studio production with cryptic and ironic lyrics, the band enjoyed critical and commercial success starting from the early 1970s until breaking up in 1981. Initially the band had a core lineup, but in 1974, Becker and Fagen retired the band from live performances altogether to become a studio-only band, opting to record with a revolving cast of session musicians. Rolling Stone has called them “the perfect musical antiheroes for the Seventies”.
After the group disbanded in 1981, Becker and Fagen were less active throughout most of the next decade, though a cult followingremained devoted to the group. Since reuniting in 1993, Steely Dan has toured steadily and released two albums of new material, the first of which, Two Against Nature, earned a Grammy Award for Album of the Year. They have sold more than 40 million albums worldwide and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2001. VH1 ranked Steely Dan at #82 on their list of the 100 greatest musical artists of all time. Founding member Walter Becker died on September 3, 2017, leaving Fagen as the sole official member.
I have mentioned “The Dan” in an earlier blog post. Well, at least I thought I did. I can’t seem to find it now. So, I guess I’ll have to retell the story. It’s not too long but go get an adult beverage if you’d like.
I was about 13 years old just throwing a football around with a neighbor. He was older than I, about my brother’s age maybe even a few years older. As we were playing catch, we were talking music. Yes, even at an early age I was trying to learn about the music I was listening to on the radio, and from the albums I was “borrowing” from my older siblings.
When we got around to talking about The Beatles (they had broken up by this time) Ol’ Tommy told me that Steely Dan would be the “next Beatles”. They may not have made it quite that big, but they did have a very loyal following. This was about the time that “Reelin’ In The Years” was out so I knew the band. I did my best from then to get every album of theirs I could find. I still have them. Somewhere…
“Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” must be their biggest hit, but it’s not my favorite. For whatever reason “Kid Charlemagne” takes that title. But that’s not the song that’s stuck in my head. This one is.
Oh, I think I scared off the every Friday vistor. I have seen him/her since I mentioned it. Too bad!
10CC… What comes to mind when you hear that? A measurement of volume (10 Cubic Centimeters – although Milliliters is a better term), or maybe, for techies a Carbon Copy on an email send to 10 addresses? Well, in this case, I’m referring to the English “art” band, 10cc.
I won’t use their two American airplay hits, “I’m Not In Love”, (from the 1975 album The Original Soundtrack) or from the 1976 album Deceptive Bends, “The Things We Do For Love”. Both are excellent songs with “I’m Not In Love” reaching number one in the UK and number 2 in the US, and “The Things We Do For Love” making it to number 6 and number 5 as well.
10cc is an English rock band formed in Stockport, Greater Manchester in 1972. It initially consisted of four musicians – Graham Gouldman, Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley and Lol Creme – who had written and recorded together since 1968. The group featured two songwriting teams. Stewart and Gouldman were predominantly pop songwriters, who created most of the band’s accessible songs. By contrast, Godley and Creme were the predominantly experimental half of 10cc, featuring art and cinematically-inspired writing.
Every member of 10cc was a multi-instrumentalist, singer, writer and producer. Most of the band’s records were recorded at their own Strawberry Studios (North) in Stockport and Strawberry Studios (South) in Dorking, with most of those engineered by Stewart.
I always enjoy it more when the song is based on an actual event;
The song was based on real events Eric Stewart and Moody Blues vocalist Justin Hayward experienced in Barbados. Stewart changed the location to Jamaica. Graham Gouldman commented: “Some of the experiences that are mentioned are true, and some of them are … fairly true!” Stewart recalled seeing a white guy “trying to be cool and he looked so naff” walking into a group of Afro-Caribbeans and being reprimanded, which became the lyric “Don’t you walk through my words, you got to show some respect.” Another lyric came from a conversation Gouldman had with a Jamaican, who when asked if he liked cricket replied, “No, I love it!”.
While this catchy reggae rhythm is what’s stuck today, I also recommend their 8+ minute opus “Une Nuit A Paris (One Night in Paris)” also from the Original Soundtrack album. But I have to ask what exactly that album was a soundtrack for….
And I’m not going to get into other meanings of the band’s name. See also: The Loving Spoonful. I seem to remember another band name or song title along this line, but it won’t come to mind right now. Leave a comment below if you know of others that fit!
Before we begin this series, I need your input; what exactly (in your most humble opinion), is a “Singer – Songwriter”? Does one have to be a solo act, or are band members in amongst this talented group?
Case in point – Paul Simon (you can read my thoughts on Paul here). He is most definitely a singer – songwriter, but does he qualify for his solo work only, or does his work recorded under the Simon and Garfinkle duo count as well? The same could be asked of any of The Beatles or Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
As per my usual, I asked my brother his thoughts. He says, and I tend to agree with him, that anyone that has written the song that they’re singing qualifies. In that way, any of the gentlemen in The Beatles or CSN&Y qualify. For the most part, I will limit myself to solo artists for now, with some exceptions such as Mr. Simon and maybe a few others.
So, I ask you, dear reader, to leave a comment with your thoughts. I won’t guarantee I’ll take your advice, but let your vote be counted anyway. Also, please let me know any folks you would think qualify for this list (or any other of my series). As with my other list, Guitar Gods (in the process of being expanded to Guitar Gods & Wizards), this list is in my head only. As such names are likely to be forgotten (hey – I’m old!) and a reminder now and then would be helpful.
One last note on suggestions. Please leave all comments here on the blog. Anything placed on the various social media sites are not likely to be seen quickly. I have become very scarce on most social media, and Facebook particularly. Now, on with our first of the “Singer – Songwriters”.
Carole King Klein (born Carol Joan Klein; February 9, 1942) is an American singer-songwriter who has been active since 1958, initially as one of the staff songwriters at the Brill Building and later as a solo artist. She is the most successful female songwriter of the latter half of the 20th century in the US, having written or co-written 118 pop hits on the Billboard Hot 100. King also wrote 61 hits that charted in the UK, making her the most successful female songwriter on the UK singles charts between 1962 and 2005.
King’s major success began in the 1960s when she and her first husband, Gerry Goffin, wrote more than two dozen chart hits, many of which have become standards, for numerous artists. She has continued writing for other artists since then. King’s success as a performer in her own right did not come until the 1970s, when she sang her own songs, accompanying herself on the piano, in a series of albums and concerts. After experiencing commercial disappointment with her debut album Writer, King scored her breakthrough with the album Tapestry, which topped the U.S. album chart for 15 weeks in 1971 and remained on the charts for more than six years.
As most young kids of the time, my musical introduction to her was the Tapestry album. I bought a pirated 8-track (told you I was old!) at a flea market, and promptly wore it out. I was lucky enough to see Ms. King live on Halloween night, 1975. It was a David Crosby and Graham Nash concert and she joined them for a couple of songs. It was spectacular.
As the quote above mentions, along with her then husband she wrote so many songs that other artists recorded. I remember how surprised I was when I learned that they wrote “The Loco Motion”. As far as I was concerned that was a Grand Funk Railroad tune, not to mention the Herman’s Hermits hit “I’m Into Something Good” or Aretha Franklin’s monster hit “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”. I could go on and on.
For us music geeks the sad news this weekend that Peter Green had passed away came as a real blow. May folks may not know who he was, so here’s a quick recap. He was the guy that replaced Eric Clapton in John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. Still not ringing a bell? He was a founding member of Fleetwood Mac. Surely, you’ve heard of that band!
Of course, the version of Fleetwood mac you probably recognize is not the original group. Seems that back in 1966 (I won’t mention who young I was) Peter left the Bluesbreakers taking drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie, who had only been with the Bluesbreakers for a few weeks to start Fleetwood Mac as a blues band. Fleetwood Mac didn’t really become the commercial juggernaut of rock/pop fame until Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham came along a bit later.
Green was a major figure in the “second great epoch” of the British blues movement. B.B. King commented, “He has the sweetest tone I ever heard; he was the only one who gave me the cold sweats.” Eric Clapton praised his guitar playing; he was interested in expressing emotion in his songs, rather than showing off how fast he could play and used string bending, vibrato, and economy of style.
Rolling Stone ranked Green at number 58 in its list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. His tone on the instrumental “The Super-Natural” was rated as one of the 50 greatest of all time by Guitar Player. In June 1996, Green was voted the third-best guitarist of all time in Mojo magazine.
Peter was featured on the Bluesbreakers album A Hard Road in 1967 with two of his songs making the album. One of which is featured below. I have also featured one of my favorites of his originals here.
It seems that Peter may have really messed his head up with a bad acid trip in March 1970 while in Munich. Most reports say this was the beginning of his mental illness issues. He did spend time getting treatment and managed to get back to playing about 1979.
In 1988 Green was quoted as saying: “I’m at present recuperating from treatment for taking drugs. It was drugs that influenced me a lot. I took more than I intended to. I took LSD eight or nine times. The effect of that stuff lasts so long … I wanted to give away all my money … I went kind of holy – no, not holy, religious. I thought I could do it, I thought I was all right on drugs. My failing!”
No, I’m not trying to get through my list quick. I thought it would be cool to combine several of the gods in one post. There is an exceptionally good chance that all these gentlemen will appear here again.
This is a song written by George Harrison, and the lead guitar on the original recording (on The Beatles AKA “The White Album”) is played by Eric Clapton, and here is Peter Frampton doing it live. I also saw covers by lots of other guitar wizards, but I went with this one mainly because as I was starting this post, as only a 2 for 1, with George and Eric. Then I heard Peter’s cover playing on the radio. So, I changed the video and went with this one.
As I mentioned this was originally on the White Album;
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1968 double album The Beatles (also known as “the White Album”). It was written by George Harrison, the band’s lead guitarist. The song serves as a comment on the disharmony within the Beatles following their return from studying Transcendental Meditation in India in early 1968. This lack of camaraderie was reflected in the band’s initial apathy towards the composition, which Harrison countered by inviting his friend and occasional collaborator, Eric Clapton, to contribute to the recording. Clapton overdubbed a lead guitar part, although he was not formally credited for his contribution.