A list of women in music – turning the tables; click here
special 25th anniversary edition
here’s a re-issue of some really beautiful – magnificent music.
John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers with Gary Moore – So Many Roads
k.d. lang performs “Constant Craving” on MTV Unplugged.
Dark Matter – August 4th 2017
Dark Matter, Randy Newman’s first album of new material in nine years, is due August 4 on Nonesuch; vinyl on August 18.
Taj Mahal & Ry Cooder: Statesboro Blues”
amazing stuff – play it loud!
His last album: Chuck
You would have heard many songs over the decades – but this is something new.
a couple of pieces of music to take you away after a busy day.
New Album: So You Wannabe An Outlaw
A new Steve Earle album is due out soon – this time, with a few friends, moving back to his roots – being country music.
Review: Lyle Lovett Greatest Hits 2017
It has been a while since we have seen a ‘greatest hits’ by Lyle Lovett – and this collection is one to have.
Dear Willie Nelson heard rumours about his own death.
Music Review: Rhiannon Giddens: Freedom Highway, February 2017
My comments have nit changed much from my previous post on Rhiannon Giddens: This 2017 album features a woman with a strong and beautiful voice – singing folk songs of America – making very beautiful Americana music.
Ry Cooder – Jesus on the Mainline (Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017)
Wonderful music from Ry Cooder – see Youtube below..
Sgt Pepper’s 50th birthday
I cannot be! That it is 50 years since at around 11pm when I was suppose to be asleep in bed, that I heard this music coming from the lounge room.
Oh how we wish for more voices to be critical of the current political class and their hangers-on – and I include many journalists as being hangers-on.
Randy Newman on PUTIN
Time for some fun – and a new song from Randy Newman…
Review: Blue & Lonesome
Once upon a time thought The Rolling Stones were one of the great rock’n’roll bands – who also occasionally sang the blues. In between those early years and now there was not a lot of great music from the Stones – loads of concerts and a mix of music – some good and some ok. Would they ever make great music again?
Review: best of Paul Thorn (2016)
Here’s a highly recommended album for those who want to hear good Americana with a touch of rock. This is a best of Paul Thorn-2016 album – two discs. Rating 4/5
A review: Neil Young – Peace Trail
I think the reviewer has it about right for this new album by Neil Young – Peace Trail. Click on the image for the review inThe Guardian.
Music Review: Howe Gelb, Future Standards
Feel like some laid back almost soporific songs as if you had wandered into a quite bar or club. And some music that does not quite follow current americana, rock, blues or jazz trends.
Here’s an album of all of that and a little more. Admittedly I am a fan of Howe Gelb and Giant Sands music – but this is not his usual fare. Yes it still has that Arizona feel but it is very laid back – and enjoyable.
Review Suzanne Vega: Carson McCullers Lover Beloved
One very nice recording just out by Suzanne Vega.
Click on image for a story about Leon Russell 1942-2016
Shine A Light – Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad. 2016 Billy Bragg & Joe Henry
Here’s a fun story about two musicians and how they made this album. They hopped on the train and then jumped off at stops along the way to record a song – while making sure they were back on board as the train left. And yes – the music is good stuff. Definitely worth a listen if you are a follower of Billy Bragg and Joe Henry. Click here for more on the album.
Leonard Cohen: You Want It Darker
Yes, there’s a new album out by our man, Leonard Cohen.
George Monbiot & Ewan McLennan – Breaking the Spell of Loneliness
A collaboration between the writer George Monbiot and musician Ewan McLennan seeking to use music and word to open up the issue of loneliness and bring people together.
Music Review: Keep Me Singing, Van Morrison 2016
Here’s an album for the many Van Morrison fans. They will love it.
A new song from Nick Cave – one you may need to stop and listen to especially when you realise when he wrote it – just after his son had died. Continue reading Nick Cave
Review: Colvin & Earle June 2016
Join two wonderful voices, join two approaches to making music and two lives that have crossed over several times, and you have two marvellous talents – and the result – a great album. Many of the songs are original – and some are covers. It’s all good stuff.
Recommended: Rating 8/10
The first track from his coming album, A Version of Now – which is to be released July 15
Time to play this again – After The Goldrush – where it all began so many years ago.
Natalie Merchant recently appeared on NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert
Video above for Brandy’s new single (2016) and for her 2013 album – click here.
Australia Day is as good a day as any to replay this video clip – just a reminder of what we used to be – but as yet are yet to put aside.
Review: Tracy Chapman Greatest Hits 2015
The first thing to say is that tis is a great collection.
It is a new collection made by Tracy. The title – Greatest Hits – does not quite sit easily with this selection.
Music Review: Bluenote Cafe, Neil Young (2015)
If you like Neil Young’s music, then this album must make its way into your collection. This is Neil Young at his best and doing so as a Blues musician.
The music is from live recordings from 1987 – 1988 and is more or less based around his studio album, This Note’s For You .
Paradise Is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings (2015)
It is the done thing for musicians to cover other musicians songs and to do new arrangements of those songs rather than just attempting to mimic them.
here’s another opportunity to enjoy Natalie Merchant – Equestrienne
First Listen: New John Mayall album
Find a Way To Care – John Mayall (2015)
For all the many John Mayall fans this is great news. A new album and even better, John and his band are in top form. There’s more than usual use of keyboards and a few with strong brass instruments.
First Listen: Amy Helm, Didn’t It Rain (2015)
I have had the pleasure of recently discovering the wonderful talent of Amy Helm. While her music is probably somewhere in the style of Americana and alt/country, there is a great mix of other styles in there, from blues and gospel and more. She makes great music.
Recommended: rating 8/10
Neil Young has released a 10-minute short film, Seeding Fear. Click here for the link.
First Listen: Neil Young + Promise Of The Real, ‘The Monsanto Years’
William Elliott Whitmore, Radium Health 2015
This album takes a slightly different direction to the two albums I had previously reviewed – click here. And while I am enjoying listening to this album, I still prefer the other two.
On this 2015 album William Elliott Whitmore has moved slightly away from hos more folk/ americana sitting on the porch style – to having some fun with a small band with various moods and styles, some being a little more rock & roll than previous.
Leonard Cohen: Can’t Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour, 2015
Here’s an album for the fans of Leonard Cohen. The album has a number of well known songs that had been revisited during a number of live performances. He has added a couple of new ones. This is great listening (provided you love Leonard Cohen and his music).
Music Review: Carlo Emerald Acoustic Sessions 2013
I have reviewed Caro Emerald’s music before. It is great! I recently came across some acoustic versions of previous songs that had been released but may now be hard to find. Luckily I found a copy and there are several of the songs online.
Coming Forth By Day , Cassandra Wilson, 2015
Here’s an album by a great jazz blues singer who continually crosses over genres in her many albums. This being a year of celebration of Billie Haliday (her 100th Birthday), Cassandra Wilson has taken a selection of Billie’s songs and covered her music not by doing an imitation, but by making the songs her own.
James McCurtry, Complicated Game 2015
This music may not be joyful enough for everyone, but if you like a touch of Americana with blues, rock and folk along the lines of a great singer/songwriter, then this could be for you.
Steve Earle & The Dukes, Terraplane, 2015
If you already like the music of Steve Earle, then this is easy for you. This is a good album. It is not quite his usual. Steve is having some fun and is accompanied by close colleagues – The Dukes. The music is Texas blues, Steve Earle style. This form of blues takes several directions, wandering across Americana, a little Delta, a southern stomp here and there and a little southern grizzle along the way.
Rhiannon Giddens: Tomorrow Is My Turn, Feb 2015
This album, the first for Rhiannon as a solo artist, features a woman with a strong voice who is singing songs about women written by women. Rhiannon Giddens wrote just one —the last one. The musicians on this album do a fabulous job – and together it is one beautiful experience. Some people may have some difficulties, as she has collected 10 songs from very different sources.
John Mayall: A Special Life, 2014
John Mayall was making his form of blues in the sixties, in the seventies – and now in the 21st Century he is still pumping it out. How cool is that! Back in the seventies no-one could have imagined that we would be listening to the same guy in 2014 as he turned eighty.
Review: Shadows in The Dark
Bob Dylan, 2015
I am sure there are plenty of people who are not taken with much of Dylan’s later music. It has been very much a mixed affair. I am sure that there will be plenty of people who will not get this new album by Dylan. The songs and Dylan’s treatment of them do not fit easily with any category.
Avonmore, Bryan Ferry, 2014
Bryan Ferry’s album, Avonmore, concentrates on the failure of love. Obviously something to do with his most recent marriage and divorce. The music links directly back to former albums such as Boys and Girls (1985) and Bête Noir (1987) as well as Roxy Music’s Avalon (1982).
The production is pure Bryan Ferry. His music continues. What’s age got to do with it? He’s 70 years young and still making music. Good stuff.
Albums by Joan Osborne, including Bring It On Home, 2012
This was my first album by Joan Osborne despite her longish career. This album is for those who love to hear blues and rhythm & blues music being revisited by a talented singer. This is not about simply duplicating the former versions. Rather Joan Osborne and her musicians have delivered some great music through their own soul interpretations.
Music to be enjoyed
Caitlin Canty sings Neil Young’s Unknown Legend
I noticed a rave review online for a singer I had not noticed before, Caitlin Canty. After some further research and listening to the online samples, I dutifully downloaded her music to hear the whole album.
All was going OK, but I was not that enthusiastic on the first listen. No worry, this often happens. I was about to put aside for the night – when I came upon the second last track.
Give My Love To London, Marianne Faithfull, 2014
This album from Marianne Faithfull sees her return to a style close to that of her 1979 album, Broke English – which remains a great piece of music. I recommend this music. Those who have followed her music will really enjoy this album.
Neil teams up Willie Nelson’s sons
Eric Clapton & Friends – The Breeze: An Appreciation of J J Cale (2014)
I am going to keep this short. I have for a long time liked the music of J J Cale. I also happen to like much of , but not all, the music of Eric Clapton. I am aware of many collaborations between J J Cale and Eric Clapton. They are, were, a natural mix and between them we have some great music to enjoy.
for all those lying bastards out there!
One song, True Lies, is obviously based on some of her own relationship experiences. However her lyrics point the finger at people any of us have been unlucky to have known.
Mary Gauthier, Trouble & Love, 2014
If you have read my former post on Mary Gauthier (click here,) you know that I very much like her two former albums. This album is hard blues country by a very talented singer songwriter about love gone wrong. Through the eight songs, Mary lets us in on the thoughts and reactions she worked through as she dealt with the end of a relationship. It hurts.
New Steve Earle Album Announcement
There’s a new Steve Earle Album due in February 2015.
Comment on musicians making political messages
The song I ma referring to is a tune by J.J Cale, The Problem. It is from his wonderful 2004 Album To Tulsa and Back.
Some Humans aren’t Human
In fact one wonders whether such people are in the minority! Our current Federal Government is made up of people who would have trouble being classed as human and everything they are doing clearly shows that they lack humanity.
J J Cale’s last album, Roll On
If you haven’t already – have a good listen. It will be worth it. As usual, he has stuck mostly to his usual style being somewhere out there between okie folk, blues, roots music and a bit of americana. All good stuff.
Annie Lennox – Nostalgia
This is difficult for me as someone who has liked much of Annie Lennox’s music. I have always thought she was going to get even better with age. But as she said in an interview, the rage is not there now that she is happy with life. This new album by Annie Lennox is about revisiting some wonderful jazz and blues numbers, but..
A New Neil Young Album: Storytone
This new album is due out 4th November. There’s a video online of one of the songs. The Deluxe album will contain two discs with two versions of the sons. One with the full orchestra/big band and one as an acoustic. Yes that is Neil with a ninety piece orchestra. I have been online and listened to the full album of the orchestral version.
Jesse Winchester – his last two albums:
Love Filling Station (2009) & A Reasonable Amount of Trouble (2014)
This was a shame as he was indeed a very gentle and quiet personality with an eye on the world.
The music of the Cowboy Junkies
This group of talented Canadians has been making fantastic music for a couple of decades. I cannot remember how many times I have sat back, often with my headphones on, and allowed their music to take me away from all the troubles hanging around. These days life is much more peaceful and the music is even better.
First Listen: Lucinda Williams
Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone
I have downloaded and listen to this album just the once. I have read quite a bit about this latest gem from Lucinda but was prevented from listening to it earlier due to some international travel and an online problem I was experiencing. But all this was solved at last this afternoon and I have been sitting here, with headphones on, making my way through this wonderful album. If you have not already gathered, this is a great album.
New Album announcement
Jackson Browne – standing in the breach
It is great to see established singer/ songwriters being relaxed in his approach to music so that he brings together an album of new and original songs.
Video: review Music
Lulu, Natalie Merchant
Something to enjoy . A new video online by Natalie Merchant. The track Lulu is from Natalie Merchant’s 2014 album.
Beth Orton and Sugaring Season (Deluxe Edition) 2013
Sometimes you buy an album then life gets in the way and you do not get to the chance to really get into the music. This has happened several times to me with the music of Beth Orton. It was a case of bad timing.
I have had albums by Beth for a decade or more but it was only very recently, last week in fact, that I was able to dedicate serious time to sit and listen to her albums. I am recommending her music and would love to see a stage performance. Just dreaming!
Announcement: New Album by Lucinda Williams
Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone
By the time you read this the new album by Lucinda Williams may have been released. All the reviews have been very positive and given the previous albums have been amazing, this definitely bodes well for another great listening experience. As you may have gathered, I rate Lucinda Williams very high on my list of musicians.
Music online: Lyle Lovett and friends
Music Review online
Linton Kwensi Johnson, Paris Live, 2004
The world would be a better place if we treated everyone kindly, be open about things, and listened to more music!
Music Review online
Linton Kwensi Johnson, more time, from Paris Live, 2004
We have been bombarded recently with a lot of neo-conservative rubbish about how everyone needs to work longer hours and stay in work for more years. There’s so much indoctrination being put about how people need to do more and expect less. I disagree.
Music Announcement: new album from Leonard Cohen
Dear Leonard has a new album out 23 September 2014. The title is ‘Popular Problems‘. When questioned about the tone of the new songs, Leonard responded that the world seemed to be confronting all forms of crisis right now. However he added with a smile that he is ‘closet optimistic’.
Review: Visual Arts
Colour Music at the ANU Drill Hall
I wandered into this exhibition with some doubts given the title. I have long been sceptical of the direct link that some artists and authors make between music and the visual arts. This is not to say that some visual artists may be influenced by some music or rhythms.
Music: Neil Young asks that question.
Neil Young has published an online song asking the question about ‘who is gonna to stand up and save the earth?’. The song contains comments about the damage being done to the earth and that we need to take on the big corporations. click here for the song
Geraint Watkins, Moustique, 2014
Geraint Watkin’s albums have been few and they have not commanded a lot of attention. I suspect this is because of the idiosyncratic mix of music styles.
This 2014 album by Geraint Watkins has dominated the car stereo for quite a while now. It is fun to hear the music close up. This album is recommended if you like this sort of mix.