Saturday, December 26, 2009
Back in early June of this year while we were still in the middle of making things fit into a smaller shop when I was still working at UEM, we had a CNC programmer named Manny that got tickets to go see a guitarist that he’d never heard of that was playing at the Brewery Arts Center right here in Carson City. As I recall, Manny is quite the musician himself so if he’d never heard of the guy I didn’t really think anything of it. So he and his girlfriend went and I went to the movies instead as I recall. The following Monday I discovered who exactly the unknown guitarist was that Manny went and seen right here in my own back yard. It was Robben Ford and The Blue Line. Trust me, that will teach me to not ask for names next time. My butt was sore for three months for all of the constant kicking myself there that I was doing. Please come back anytime Robben… pleeeeeeeeeeassse??
Thursday, December 17, 2009
When you think of a person that is a musical virtuoso you would normally think of someone who plays the Guitar, Violin, piano or any number of other instruments that seem to fit into the mainstream ideology of musicians and music fans everywhere. And while Bela Fleck could have easily became a virtuoso Guitarist he was drawn at an early age in the most unlikely musical direction when he first heard Earl Scruggs- (not a bad influence by the way)- playing the Banjo on the theme song to the Beverly Hillbillies television show. He picked up his first Banjo at the age of 15 from his Grandfather and enrolled in the Emily Dickinson school in Manhattan and later in the New York City High School of music and Art. His early career found him playing with various musicians who would continue to influence his playing and willingness to experiment with would almost be called a classical approach to the way he would come to play the banjo. He released a solo album in 1979 and toured the majority of the early 1980’s playing the bluegrass circuit with mandolin player Sam Bush , until he would eventually form the Flecktones in 1988. Since the inception of his recording career Bela Fleck has been nominated for all in all, 27 Grammy awards and has taken home the gold 11 times. He is widely considered by many to be the premier Banjo player in the world. There are times in life when Rock & Roll if even for a brief moment, infuses the faintest hint of staleness onto my musical palette, and I am curiously drawn to the unfamiliar and what can only be construed as completely different styles of music. Thankfully through a Blogstream friend- (Zappa Fan) during such a time, I was introduced to the unique musical style of Bela Fleck and The Flecktones. And I have been a fan ever since.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
When I think back I suppose the first Pat Travers album that I have ever bought was; Crash and Burn. The howling tune that comes to mind would have to be; “Snorting Whiskey” although the haunting title track was the first Travers tune that I’d ever heard. Add to that the Albert King blues Standard; “Born Under a bad Sign” and you had one kick ass rock album. I quickly became a fan. Pat Travers, now there’s a name that always seems to float around in the back of nearly ever Rock & Roll junkies mind but you never seem to think of until it comes time to just rock your ass off. And our Canadian brother can Rock with the best of them.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
One of my favorite southern rock bands has always been The Allman Brothers over the years a whole lot of talented guitarists, drummers, bassists and keyboard players have ventured in and out of their line up. and the music just keeps getting better and better. and hey.. am I crazy? or does that guy in the video playing that Les Paul look familiar? ohh whats his name.. Warren Something or another. ahhh well I enjoyed the videos.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I have a bone to pick with Rolling Stone Magazine. Ok I don’t put a whole lot of stock in all of the popularity lists that seem to be floating around. After all most seem to be subject to person preference and opinion. But every once in awhile, just.. Every so often.. I come across one that just sort of feels like a thorn in my ass. Such is the list of the 100 greatest guitarists ever. (According to those bone heads at Rolling Stone Magazine.) now I see something like this, and well I suppose that it is partly my own fault for even bothering to look at them, but I simply couldn’t resist. I always read from the bottom to the top starting at 100 so I didn’t read the whole thing. Now this isn’t the whole list mind you, this is simply the first part that got my attention. Pay especially close attention to 96.
90 Glen Buxton of Alice Cooper - Very good player.
91 Robby Krieger of the Doors - Hate the Doors but respect Kreiger.
92 & 93 Fred "Sonic" Smith, Wayne Kramer of the MC5 - On here for one song - Kick Out The Jams.
94 Bert Jansch - Never heard his work.
95 Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine - Like Sonic Youth, the wall of distortion and sound. Not technically impressive.
96 Angus Young of AC/DC - He's better than you think.
97 Robert Randolph - Pedal Steel player. Have not heard him.
98 Leigh Stephens of Blue Cheer - ????
99 Greg Ginn of Black Flag - Good punk guitarist.
100 Kim Thayil of Soundgarden - Pretty good guitarist.
Well now if you will excuse me, I have to be blunt here. Are you fucking Kidding ME ROLLING STONE? What kind of pot are you bone heads smoking? Ok, ok, OK! I promised myself that I wasn’t going to rant about this. So Instead in Angus Young’s defense. I offer this video evidence. So ladies and gentleman of the jury.. I ask you.. Does this sound like the 96th greatest guitarist of all time?… yeeeesh.. Boneheads..
Friday, November 13, 2009
As far as music goes, I tend to gravitate towards guitar players first. True there are great drummers, bassists, keyboard players and other very talented musicians, but the guitar playing is the one true tell for me, if the guitar playing sucks I probably won’t listen to the music. To call Eric Johnson a guitar player- (in my humble opinion) would be like calling Ludwig Van Beethoven a piano player. It simply doesn’t do the artist any justice. Born on August 17th 1954, in Austin Texas, Eric Johnson first musical instrument oddly enough wasn’t the guitar. He and his siblings would learn piano at a very young age, until at the age of 11 when he would take an avid interest in the guitar and would soon find himself influenced by a wide variety of musicians ranging from Eric Clapton to Chet Atkins. He would experiment with several different styles of music taking something from everything he’d heard and incorporating it into what would become his own unique style. In 1974 he would join his first band before striking out on his own years later. Today Eric Johnson is known throughout the guitar world as nothing less than a virtuoso, and his early influences in music are clearly evident in the way he plays and the one word that many would choose to use to describe him would undoubtedly be; “flawless.”
Monday, November 9, 2009
Les Dudek is probably another one of those in a long line of guitarists that you have probably never heard of- but would no doubt enjoy immensely if you had. But that’s the tricky part, you probably HAVE heard him but didn’t know it. He has after all lent his considerable talents many times over to a host of other prominent musicians ranging from Boz Scaggs to the Steve Miller band, and once was even invited to play in a little group called; “Journey” and even did some studio work with The Allman Brothers Band on their “Brothers and Sisters” album. He has worked on other projects as well such as Maria Muldaur’s 1978 album “Southern Winds” and in 1980 collaborated with Dave Mason on the album; “ Old Crest On A New Wave.”
A road that lead to other collaborations with the likes of Cher And Stevie Nicks, contributing a significant amount of music to the soundtrack for the 1984 Cher Movie; “The Mask” So, while his name doesn’t quite roll of the tongue you more than likely have heard him play. As far as Les Dudek’s solo career goes, he has done a few studio albums. two of which were minor hits “City Magic” from his 1976 self entitled debut album and “Old Judge Jones” from the 1977 album “Say No More” I personally didn’t discover Dudek’s talents until 1979 one full year after the release of the album “Ghost Town Parade.” ( my personal favorite by the way) the Video Widget below contains Two nuggets from the “Ghost Town Parade” album, “Central Park” and “Falling Out” so now that I’ve completely butchered the timeline of his stellar career, in closing, let me take this opportunity to introduce to you Mr. Les Dudek. I hope you enjoy his music as much as I do.
My occasional bouts with mental irregularities aside, I am actually a pretty normal guy- (Don’t laugh.. It’s not THAT funny)- When I’m not at odds with the numerous imaginary entities and people that exist solely within the confines of my cramped cranium. That being said, It was my self appointed task this early morning to set about finding a follow up to the Rory Gallagher post on this very blog. So how does one follow up after such acts as Gov’t Mule and the great Rory Gallagher? Well it was then that a picture began to form from the mist swirling within the dark recesses of my mind. It has to be someone- a single person or band on the very fringes of fame and fortune, but not quite there yet. Somebody… different.. And that my friends is when the psychosis that I am so noted for.. kicked in… Ladies and gentlemen of the jury I give you… Southern Culture On The Skids.. I shit you not.. That is their name. sometimes known as; “SCOTS” Southern Culture On The Skids is a band that was formed in 1983 in Chapel Hill North Carolina by God only knows who but now consists of Guitarist/vocalist Rick Miller, Bass guitarist/Vocalist Mary Huff, Percussionist Dave Hartman and a second Guitarist named Tim Barnes. My personal impression is however you take their music, love it or hate it is always upbeat and dare I say bordering on the cheerful side. And whoever writes their material appears to like Sex, corn liquor and fried chicken. So in closing, I offer no further excuses for this post other than I am over due for my medication.. So until my complete sanity returns- (And that might take awhile) - - please enjoy my latest offering. I have to go now.. The men with the pretty butterfly nets are here.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Aesthetically speaking, Rory Gallagher wasn’t one of those types of rockers that would make your little sister sit up and go all; “wow.. His voice! His sound.. He are soooo beautiful!” nope aesthetically speaking Rory Gallagher’s sound was more of a make you want to open a bottle of beer and chug it, or roll and smoke some doobage while shaking your clinched fist at the sky or ceiling. (Not that I would know anything about such activities) while Rory Gallagher wasn’t and probably still isn’t likely to be the first name that might come to mind when you think of accomplished Rock & Blues musicians, but you may take my word for it, he was every bit as accomplished as any of his contemporaries before or since. Born in Ballyshannon Ireland on march 2nd 1948, Rory Gallagher grew up in Cork City and became at an early age a gifted multi instrumentalist who would form his first band at the age of thirteen. The most prominent in the 60’s being his tenure in a band called; “Taste” before embarking on a solo career in the Early 1970’s. while his early studio efforts never garnered him much in the way of commercial success, his albums at present have sold over 30 million copies world wide and his reputation as a charismatic stage performer would make him someone who had to be seen live to be believed. Rory Gallagher died in London England on June 14th 1995, at the age of 47 due to complications following a liver transplant and was laid to rest at St. Oliver‘s cemetery in Cork City Ireland.
~On a side note I must say that I was thrilled when I came across some of these videos of a few of Rory Gallagher’s live performances. The Video player itself has a few minor bugs but I went back in and listened to each one to see if they were hanging up anywhere I found two that did stop in places and went back in and replaced them. I think it works ok now, at least I hope so. Hope you enjoy the Music and the Vids as much as I did. Please let me know if you had problems. P.S. I‘ve disabled the auto start function of the Gov‘t Mule Widget in the side bar but left it up just in case Rory isn‘t your cup of tea. You can stop the videos and listen to the mule by starting the widget manually if you so choose. Have a great Sunday!~
~ Blessings - Scratch. ~
Friday, November 6, 2009
Now after seeing and possibly hearing what is playing on my latest music widget right now, you may be thinking oh great another Gov’t Mule Post. But listen again, listen closely. I rifled through another pile of Mule tunes to find these incredible gems in the Mp3 files on Flashwidgetz.com. I listened to this play list for almost an hour and I found this particular music to be both beautiful and soulful. And I realized that what I had thought of this band is even truer than what I initially imagined. There is nothing that these guys aren’t capable of. They can play anything, one minute they’ll rock your ass off and the next Warren Haynes will pick up an acoustic guitar and totally blow your mind. On this play list alone the Mule does two of my all time favorite Van Morrison tunes; “Into the Mystic” and a tune called; “And It Stoned Me.” I love it when a band that I’m into totally surprises me by trying something different from their norm, but on this occasion I really can’t say as I’m all that surprised. After all, it is Gov’t Mule we’re talking about here. And I know exactly what they are capable of.
Sometimes whenever the mood strikes me, I'll use just any old excuse to listen to Eric Clapton. I got the itch to hear this song tonight so I went searching. they had two versions of it at YouTube but the sound was exceptionally crappy and offensive. I went to Mixpod and was met with equal disappointment but for different reasons. most of the stuff there is from live performances some sound good and some of it sounds like something that someone tried to upload from a bad version of the guitar hero video game. So you really have to dig to find any decent studio stuff. finally I ended up at Flashwidgetz.com I tried it and wouldn't you know? the first search and I found the tune that I was looking for and the right clean crisp studio version. Its still a working playlist and I didn't really have a lot of time to add to it so I settled for the song that I was looking for and I'll go back and add to the playlist later. this song is called "Pilgrim" and was featured on the soundtrack from the Movie; "Lethal Weapon 4" for some reason every time I hear Clapton play this I get this strange Haunting Feeling. Its a beautifully sculptured piece of music really.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
It was either Ummmm. Late 1977.. Or early 1978?.. My brother and me were sitting in his garage listening to Jimi, trying to bang out a piss poor version of Red House on one of my old $10 acoustic guitars that I bought at a yard sale- (Yeah we thought we were cool) - after several attempts we’d concluded that if either of us were ever going to play as good as Jimi Hendrix, one of us was going to have to grow more fingers. So we begrudgingly turned off the stereo when in walks my brothers wife’s younger brother Tim. Long hair flopping in the breeze, jeans ripped at both knees wearing a “Up Yours” tee shirt and wreaking of freshly smoked doobage. Sitting on his shoulders was the biggest boom box that I had ever seen, and from which came a sound of the like that I had never heard before or since, below I shall attempt to reconstruct the entire conversation as it unfolded.
Me: “Whatcha listening to Tim?”
Tim: “ it’s a new band.”
Me: “A what?”
He turned up the volume and both my brother and me leaned forward to give it a better listen.
He looked at me and I looked back at him and we both looked at Tim and then the boom box.
My brother and me: “Who is that?”
Tim: “I tol ya.. it’s a new band.”
Just me now: “Tim you already said that.. What is the new bands name?”
Tim now smiling: “which new band?”
Must have been the doobage.
Both of us again: “The new band you’re listening too!”
Long story short, after much coaxing and me threatening to wrap my $10 Guitar around his skull if he didn’t tell us the name of the new band. Tim finally Gave up a name; “Van Halen”
While I never became a HUGE fan, of theirs I always did have a huge amount of respect for Van Halen’s contributions to the industry. And while the first few albums kicked ass, they have long since began spiraling out of control. And it was a dive that I personally believe that they have never recovered from. Shame too. The original band was loaded. Now it has become a sad excuse for a Rock & Roll Soap opera. Eddie, Alex and mike HATE Dave.. Dave leaves.. Eddie Hires Sammy.. Eddie Hates Sammy.. Sammy Leaves and Mike goes with him.. meanwhile.. Sammy and Mike team up with Joe Satriani to form the new band Chickenfoot. Thanks, but I’ll stick with the original.
~Chickenfoot?.. No foolin?~
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I heard them referred to as everything ranging from a Kiss Knock off. (Yeah I know I didn’t get that one either.) to a mediocre AC/DC clone that exemplifies three chord bravado Raunch and Roll at its finest. Whether you like them, love them, or absolutely despise them. Rhino Bucket’s music carries within it a sound that refuses to be ignored. The band was formed in 1988 in Van Nuys California by original members that included; Georg Dolivo (Guitars and lead Vocals), Greg Fields (Guitars), Reeve Downes (ON Bass Guitar) and Rich Kubach (On Drums). The band would get its feet wet first on the LA music scene following in the early footsteps of other bands of the area like; The Four Horsemen, and Rage Against the Machine as well as several others. Warner Brothers records came calling in 1989 and signed the band to do a self titled record simply called; “Rhino Bucket” at which time Liam Jason would take over the drumming duties. The first album was released in 1990 and included such tracks as; One Night Stand, Train Ride and Even The Sun Goes Down. Rhino Bucket would record two more albums between 1990 and 1994, the bands second effort; “Get Used To It” would flirt with the charts with a hit single from the film “Wayne’s World” titled; “Ride With Yourself” and the following year Simon Wright (Formerly with AC/DC and Dio.) would replace Liam Jason on drums. For the 1994 album “Pain.” the band would see a few line up changes however they wouldn’t record again until 2001 when they reformed with Brian Forsythe from the band; “Kix” on lead guitar. Between 2001 and 2009 Rhino Bucket would record 4 more albums. Presently their line up is as follows:
Georg Dolivo: Guitars and Lead Vocals.
Brian Forsythe: Lead Guitars.
Reeve Downes: Bass Guitars.
Simon Wright: Drums.
Today Rhino Bucket still proudly flaunts that same sleazy Raunch and Roll style as they did when they first formed back in 1989. And it doesn’t appear as though that’s going to change anytime soon.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I distinctly remember sitting down on my sofa in front of the television with the sound turned almost all of the way down, eyes closed tightly, head throbbing slightly, suffering from a hang over. (before I quit drinking.) It was a Saturday night and my bud Luis Chavez told me that the Allman Brothers were going to be playing on Austin City Limits. for me, Dickey Betts was always worthy of a listen, so there I sat, hung over, patiently waiting. Then I hear something that doesn’t sound quite right, yeah, it was a Les Paul, definitely, but there was something different sounding about it, I hear this Paul screaming into the opening of “the Same Thing” and I immediately opened my eyes and leaned forward. I remember thinking; “damn, now who is THIS guy?” after doing a little digging, I discovered that “THAT” guy’s name is; Warren Haynes. Yeah I know, that’s probably not the first name that pops into your head when you pause to consider the long line of names in the annals of rock and blues guitar players, but he is there, trust me on that.
Warren Haynes was born on April 6th1960 in Asheville NC, he had just turned the ripe old age of 20 in 1980 when he would catch his first big break. When by chance, Mickey Hayes- (The bass player for David Allan Coe’s recording & road band) spotted him playing in a nightclub in Asheville Called; “The Brass Tap” Hayes told Coe about this guitarist that he’d heard and Coe ended meeting up with and recruiting Warren Haynes shortly thereafter. He would tour several countries with the band for several years and it was through Coe that he would eventually come to meet up with his eventual Allman Brothers Band mate Dickey Betts. Warren Haynes and Mickey Hayes would leave Coes band and relocate to Nashville TN, where together they would form their own band; Rich Hippies. Since then Warren Haynes would continue to refine his guitar playing prowess while moving in and out of the line ups of several different bands throughout his career, arguably the most prominent being The Allman Brothers and of course Gov’t Mule. (Not that I’m Biased or anything)
Today I’m sitting here, a few years after the fact, and I’m here in my desk chair not far from where I first sat when I first heard that Paul screaming in my hung over ears. So here I now sit blasting the mule from my speakers, And as I’m listening to this voice, and this guitar playing, I find myself wondering why Warren Haynes doesn’t get the credit that he so richly deserves? I could go up to 10 or maybe even 20 people, and it is more than likely that less than 10 percent of them would recognize his name. it is a truly sad thing to me, but I know that it isn’t the fans fault, I would think that it has more to do with limited airtime and piss poor public exposure. The truth is Warren Haynes is a monster musician and singer and it is about damn time that the world catches up with the rest of us that have become acquainted with his body of work have known all along, Warren Haynes is an amazing musician, and Gov’t Mule is an amazing band. So here’s what I want you to do. Turn off everything else in your house for at least 10 minutes, sit down and get comfortable. And then turn up your computer speakers. And just listen. Warren should take care of the rest.
The one thing that seems to bother most people about ACDC’s music, is the one thing that I find most appealing about it. Its loud, It’s Raw, and its definitely in your face. I’ve heard this amazing gift of life that we know as music described in many ways, to me? its the purest form of communication ever conceived by the human mind. And you are not likely to find a more straight forward uncomplicated form of musical communication than in the body of work of this band. It can tune you in, tear you up inside and out, and rip out your soul and eat it. Its raw, emotional and powerful stuff this music. Just bend an ear, throw up your hands and shake a leg. And remember, don’t be afraid, its loud, rude and obnoxious because that’s the way Rock& Roll is supposed to be. Pay attention boy’s and girls this shit here? This is how its done.