Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Keeping things funky!

Hey, everyone. It's Mitch! 

I think it's time to post again! Let's 'get on the good foot'— and I'll talk about music that I'm into, at the moment

So, lately I've been listening to lots of very cool music. I'd say that I've been moving more towards the funk, rock, and R'n'B 'direction'. 

To be clear, when I say that I love 'R'n'B music', I'm talking about classic, old-school, awesome rythym and blues music. I'm not into the modern, popular stuff that gets labelled 'R'n'B' these days. 

Modern or popular R'n'B isn't my thing at all! I'm going to leave the current, popular stuff for other people to enjoy.

I'm getting back into rock music again, as well. For a while there, I wasn't listening to so much rock music; but I'm back into it, at the moment.

And I'm always listening to the blues! I never stray too far from the blues.

So here's what I've been listening to:

ZZ Top
I'm discovering ZZ Top, and it's way cool! I'd already heard many good things about those guys — but I never really took the time to listen to the music properly. I knew most of the hits, but then I started hearing other stuff, as well.

It's great music! It's bluesy, and it grooves!

Ry Cooder
I love Ry's work. I've heard lots of other musicians speak highly of him, as well. He has feel, AND incredible chops too! He's played with, and recorded with, so many great musicians. Like Taj Mahal, The Rolling Stones, Little Feat, Captain Beefheart. 

Snooks Eaglin
A very versatile blues and R'n'B singer/guitarist. He could play many different songs, and styles of music; like the old-school 'street singers' from the 20s and 30s. Watching him play guitar is amazing!

I've also been listening to Jimmy Reed.

Tune in next time for more! I've got way more to cover. But this post was hanging around, unpublished for a bit too long! This isn't all!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Dig this song, my friends! Dusty Brown

Hi, friends.
It's Mitch. :)

I wanted to post about this music that I wasn't aware of, until very recently. It comes from a pretty obscure harp player/singer, named Dusty Brown. I'll cheerfully admit that I know almost nothing about Dusty Brown. It seems as though he wasn't nearly as well-known as some of the other harp players, who where part of the scene, at the time. But there are still some great Dusty Brown recordings available to buy. (I used iTunes, in this case.)

The song that I featured, in this post is called 'Well You Know I Love You' by Dusty Brown. I discovered Dusty's music through a video interview on:
www.bluesharmonica.com
Great instructional website.

I love finding different music. Peace.


Mitch.


 

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Harp talk, and an update

Hi, everybody. I'm back!

As always, I'm listening to heaps of music at the moment. I'm learning about lots of different music, too. That's one of the many ways that I can keep my mind active.

I love music! And I love discovering new, and different, albums or artists! It might be new material — or simply music that I hadn't heard before. (For whatever reason.) But there's always something cool, waiting for me out there, that I'm yet to hear. 'The quest' (my quest) to hear more cool music, keeps it fresh for me.

I enjoy learning about different subjects, too: the arts, history, spirituality, philosophy, music history, politics, and psychology. 
…And I love to write! So, writing about music is a wonderful way for me to combine two, beautiful things into one venture!

I've been learning to play blues harp for seven years, too. It's great; and it's a wonderful way to express myself. 

When I blow harp, I am personally connected to the music that I love so much! Being able to play — and practice harmonica is even cooler for me; because I didn't think I would ever be able to play a musical instrument, due to my Cerebral Palsy. But blues harp is a really good fit for me, musically!

I tried to play slide guitar — but I never had the necessary motor skills to do so. (Many other boys similarly dream of being a 'guitar hero'; so I wasn't alone!) Even so, it was mighty hard to accept that guitar wouldn't work out!

But blues harp fit me much better. It's small, and I can pick it up, and put it down again. I only have one arm to use, but there have even been great one-armed harp players, before. (Big John Wrencher, for example.)

The great harmonica players can get so many beautiful sounds and textures from that small, deceptive instrument! I love dipping into the music of the great players; and studying it! I try to practice often. Every day, or every other day.

Here's a short list of some of the guys/artists who I'm really enjoying, at the moment. (It's not exhaustive, definitive, or complete.) And it's not in order.

Junior Wells
James Cotton
Carey Bell
Gary Smith
Louis Myers
Big Walter Horton
Snooky Pryor
Bacon Fat
Rod Piazza
Little Walter Jacobs
Rice Miller (AKA 'Sonny Boy Williamson #2')
George 'Harmonica' Smith
Paul Oscher
John Lee 'Sonny Boy' Williamson (The original 'Sonny Boy Williamson'.)
Charlie Musselwhite
Howlin' Wolf

So that's it for now. I hope you enjoyed this post! By all means, let me know what you think. Tell your friends about this post, and the whole blog.

Mitch

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

More rock: The New Barbarians. It's Faces + The Stones

Hi.

To follow up on my previous post about rock music -- here's a cool song, that's taken from a live performance in 1974. I really like this one, I must say; and it features some blokes (A.K.A guys) whom you might recognise... haha!

For those who remember my previous post, I wrote that I'm listening to both Faces and The Stones a lot, lately! And I'm getting pretty deep into Faces' music, which I hadn't really done, before. (Not deep enough, anyway.) And by the way, I've read that the band's name is actually 'Faces' and not 'The Faces'... but I'm not sure which one's right, anymore!

Playing on this track is Ronnie Wood, Keith 'Keef' Richards, and Rod Stewart... for a start. The band is called The New Barbarians. I don't think these guys recorded much (apart from officially recording their live shows), so it's cool to have this!



This nice 'country-ish' rock ballad is called 'Mystifies Me'. Love the guitar interplay between Ronnie and Keith! Cool vocal harmonies, and back-and-forth, between Ron and Rod, too.

I want to be clear, and say that I bought two versions of it from iTunes. Look under the song title, or for 'The New Barbarians'. It's worth it. The whole album's good! I think at least 2 N.B. shows are available.

I don't wish to rip anybody off. And honestly, when it's as good as this, wanted to own it properly. YouTube (and the rest of The Web) is great for finding something cool for the first time; then using it as a springboard, to take it further, and buy it. Or tell your friends.

Anyway, other versions of this song were also recorded; including from other Barbarians shows, and a Ronnie Wood solo album.

I mean here, we have members of The Stones, and Faces... just having a good time with the music, and playin' together -- and that's special!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Rock

I wanted to broadly discuss my interest in 1960s-70s rock music.

Around the age of 12 or 13, I really began to discover, and appreciate, the genre of music that many people would class as 'classic rock'. Specifically, I like blues-based rock -- mostly bands and artists from the 1960s and 70s. I got into artists and bands like:

Led Zeppelin
Cream
Jimi Hendrix
The Rolling Stones
The Beatles
Black Sabbath
Pink Floyd
Deep Purple
AC/DC
The Beatles' solo careers.
The Who
The Kinks
Eric Clapton -- not only was I investigating his solo career -- but I like most of the bands he's been in, over the years.

And please don't get me wrong -- that list is merely an indication of what I was listening to in my early teens. That was more than ten years ago. I've come so far, since then! And as far artists like Hendrix, Pink Floyd, The Stones, The Beatles, Zeppelin, Sabbath, and Cream go -- I own pretty much their entire catalog now! I know the music very, very well! Especially now!

That's one of the many wonderful things about music, there's always something new for the avid music junkie (= me) to discover! It never gets old! I'd say that I used some of these bands as a kind of 'launching pad' to discover other artists, and other forms of music. Because of my knowledge of the more 'well-known' musicians, I know about other artists, too; like Humble Pie, Little Feat, The Faces, Love, Taj Mahal, Mountain... etc. And I get into other types of music, too.

All art seems to be a door to get to new ideas.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Muddy Waters: live

Hi.
This is a great clip of Muddy Waters (and his band) playing the song 'Long Distance Call' live. From what I can gather, it was at the 1968 Copenhagen Jazz Festival. I could be wrong about that, but the info that was provided about this footage seems to 'check out' fine.


Anyway, I love this song; and I love this particular version of the song! So I think one could easily call this a 'win-win situation' for me, haha!

Muddy's band cooks here. I love the Guild guitar that Muddy is playing! Otis Spann is even sitting at the piano in Muddy's band, at this point in time, which is a cool, rare treat in itself! Most footage of Muddy's gigs with a full band comes from after Spann died.

The original version of 'Long Distance Call' was written by Muddy, and released by Chess in 1951.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Please let me know.

-- Mitch

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Hello. It's me, once again! And Little Walter

Hi, everybody! It's me, Mitch.

Yep, that MitchThe Mitch, hahaha! Just kidding. ;)

So, I'm back again! With a renewed and re-discovered desire to write about music, the arts, culture, and life. Still playing blues harp, too.

The year of 2012 wasn't a great year for me, in terms of my health. It's nice to leave it behind!

It's been an exceedingly long time between 'drinks' (or posts), in terms of my blogging activity. I'm not even certain how long it has been between my blog posts. Doesn't matter now.

But I couldn't let this blog die, nor would I want it to go silent for good! I enjoy writing about music, and the arts, far too much for that to happen. I enjoy the research that I do about music, and the process of discovery. I love finding and hearing new artists! It's just fun for me to discover the music and also, the history that's attached to music!

There's been loads of interesting music in my consciousness, since I last blogged. Lots that's worth talking about here! Let's get started, brothers and sisters!

I wanted to talk about this CD box set... that comes to us from 
The Great Little Walter! 
(AKA Marion Walter Jacobs)

It's a great CD set, from the blues harp master -- and generally wonderful musician -- Marion Walter Jacobs, AKA 'Little' Walter. (1930-1968) The box set's called 'The Complete Chess Masters: 1950-1967'. If you're into blues harp, or blues music generally (and both of those things are true of me), then get this set. The music here is spread over five discs, and it's all great!

Jacobs is often compared to Charlie Parker, or Jimi Hendrix; and it's justified! He was simply that good! He changed the landscape of blues music and blues harmonica with his virtuosity, use of amplification/distortion, and jazzy phrasing. Walter recorded as a sideman (w/ Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers, Otis Rush) and also as a bandleader/solo artist.

It's difficult to overstate his musical impact. He had a sophisticated, imaginative approach to his music, and Walter often treated his harp like a sax. Mind blowing music!