Tag Archives: Eric Clapton

My Top 40 at 40!

Recently, and by recently I mean yesterday February 2nd, which just happens to be my day of birth, a buddy of mine threw down the musical gauntlet.  I have briefly and succinctly paraphrased the challenge below:

Top 40 Artists of your life. Not simply a list of 40, but a ranking from 40 to 1. You have to do it. It must be done. It’s your personal Hall of Fame. This is your preference, your jukebox, regardless of genre or generation. This isn’t educational or time relevant. It’s YOUR Top 40 of all time.

This did indeed get the blood rushing and made my musical pants go a little crazy.  I started to brainstorm a list (and by brainstorm I mean immediately sat down and pounded out 40 names, clarified his initial challenge, perused my list again, and started typing the first sentence you read. 

The initial list was not a difficult as I thought.  The ranking of 1-40 took a little bit of time as did my annotations (those are in my tiny, little head) as to why the band/musician made the list.  The list that lies before you is organic in nature and I believe it to be fairly finite to the time that it was written.  The list is not to be likened to a doctoral thesis, packed with statistics that verify the respective placement, resourced with renowned critical fawning, or any type of research other than my ears and their time on earth. 

Be mindful of the fact that there are only 40 spots on this list.  I can tell you that there are probably some glaring omissions on this list.  Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Waylon, Willie, and the boys, did not make the list as well as a litany of other great, well deserving artists.  This list is completely subjective and the omission of anyone is not meant to be a form of disparagement.  It is quite simply a list of bands/musicians that I have loved over the years and also value their contributions to the musical world. 

The final piece of the musical puzzle for this list was really a late night revelation.  I realize it has only been a moment or two since you began reading this but I actually have been running the various scenarios of greatness in my head all night.  And then it hit me, the true measure of an artist’s greatness is my personal commitment to that particular artist. 

  •  How much of myself have I invested in the artists? 
  • What percentage of their catalog do I own? 
  • Would I take the time to see them live if the following were aligned:
    • They are still alive
    • They band is still together
    • The venue was geographically conducive to seeing them live
    • The cost of the ticket did not require me selling my 1st born child.  Although at 15 years of age and being really good at being 15 I would be willing to barter for a really good show right now.

Oddly enough, this revelation did not greatly alter my original list, there were a few additions and subtractions of artists and then the harrowing process of ranking them, with reason, was underway. 

No musicians were harmed in this list.  Of course, egos might be slightly bruised if they ever happen to stumble upon this little read blog and realize their spot on or omission to the list.

So, I give to you my Top 40 at 40!

  1. The Beatles
  2. Bob Dylan
  3. Bruce Springsteen
  4. The Rolling Stones
  5. Led Zeppelin
  6. The Who
  7. Pink Floyd
  8. Tom Petty
  9. The Eagles
  10. Eric Clapton
  11. Elton John
  12. Jimi Hendrix
  13. The Doors
  14. U2
  15. Metallica
  16. Pearl Jam
  17. Van Morrison
  18. Billy Joel
  19. R.E.M.
  20. Rush
  21. Lynryd Skynyrd
  22. Simon & Garfunkel
  23. John Mellencamp
  24. Stevie Ray Vaughan
  25. Prince
  26. Nirvana
  27. Uncle Tupelo
  28. Eminem
  29. Nine Inch Nails
  30. Beck
  31. The Dave Matthews Band
  32. Rage Against the Machine
  33. Robert Earl Keen
  34. N.W.A
  35. The Black Crowes
  36. The Beastie Boys
  37. The White Stripes
  38. Ryan Adams
  39. Ben Harper
  40. Joe Purdy

 

Great music awaits!


Tune in Tuesday:5/4/10

With willing ears, and weary eyes, I willingly welcome you to today’s wonderful installment of Tune in Tuesday features six wonderfully random albums. 

Yes, that is a lot of W words and well, who wouldn’t want to be wowed by the power of the words which Webster’s willingly writes in their wholesome and widely read who’s who of words.

Thickfreakness

The Black Keys

Two white dudes from Akron, Ohio should not sound this damn good playing grungy, bluesy, inspired garage rock. Or in this case, basement rock where this album was actually recorded.   But, alas, they do and we are better for it.  If you are not a fan of The Black Keys, immediately stop reading and check out their music. 

Songlines

The Derek Trucks Band

He is a child prodigy, nephew of Allman Brothers drummer Butch Trucks, touring partner of Eric Clapton, Grammy Award winner, and barely over 30.  Yeah, we should hate him but he is so good that you can’t help but love his work. 

Recycled Recipes EP

Donovan Frankenreiter

This six song EP of covers is a great showcase of Donovan’s smooth vocals.  The song selection is superb, with such gems as, “Wonder Where the Lions AreTheologians”, and “Fortunate Son”, to name a few.

Sunrise Over Sea

John Butler Trio

This little known Australian band is pretty impressive and debut at number 1 in his native home.  He has got kind of a jammy feel to his playing with stand out tracks such as “Peaches & Cream”, “What You Want”, and “Seeing Angles.

Before the Frost/Until the Freeze

The Black Crowes

The latest album from this old school Georgia rock band.  Recorded in the legendary Levon Helm’s Woodstock barn studio, this 2 disc album (one disc, one digital download) is packed with rootsy, rocking, classic Crowes as well as a few slow tempo country tinged tunes.

Corinne Bailey Rae

Corinne Bailey Rae

This is the deftly produce debut album of the silky smooth yet funkily refined Corinne Bailey Rae.  Her voice is comfortable and inviting and the music is perfect accompaniment but never over the top or running interference to mask the vocals. 

Read, review, and respond.

Great music awaits!


50 Artists you should be listening to and own at least one album!

Ok, I thought yesterday’s blog was fun and elicited some reaction from you, the sweet , gentle reader  and a few David Cassidy fans( ITILY ladies and possibly gentlemen) and also caused a bit of a stir on facebook as well.  So, let’s go and reverse the whip.

I will attempt to continue to WOW you with my vast musical knowledge and then silently judge you if you are not impressed with my musical prowess.  Just kidding, I would never judge you or your poor musical taste. 

I do think that there are some artists that transcend genres and have universal appeal.  Others have a loyal following and then have that one album that regales the masses and they are beloved for generations.  Some of us grew up on music and we think it is greatness based solely on the nostalgia for the time and place in which we first heard it.  And then there are music purist who likes a band /artist because they respect the lineage and the impact that they had on music.

I tend to be a bit of all of the above.  There are some artists that I like because there is some form of connectivity that I really can’t explain, while others are truly a moment in time that has endeared me to an artist, and then there is the whole musical heritage piece.  I am intrigued by the evolution of music and the artists that find themselves compelled to play.  As mentioned previously in a blog, I have no musical talent.  I do not play and instrument, I do not sing close to well, and I’ve never had aspirations to do either.  I simply love to listen to music. 

As much as I have a propensity to scorn/judge, in my humble opinion, awful music, I really respect the fact that those dreadful musicians had the nerve to attempt to play, at some point get signed, and were able to release an album or at the very least a single.  When it comes down to it, I don’t judge the horrific musicians as mercilessly as I judge the faction who listens and procures the music.

So, below is a listing of artists/bands that you should be listening to and would be in any reputable music collection.  

  • Ryan Adams
  • The Band
  • The Beastie Boys
  • The Beatles
  • Beck
  • The Black Crowes
  • Jimmy Buffet (with love to Gwendolyn)
  • Johnny Cash
  • Eric Clapton
  • Credence Clearwater Revival
  • Drive-By Truckers
  • Bob Dylan
  • The Eagles
  • Steve Earle
  • Foo Fighters
  • Pat Green
  • Merle Haggard
  • Ben Harper
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Robert Earl Keen
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Dave Matthews Band
  • John Mellencamp
  • Metallica
  • Willie Nelson
  • Nirvana
  • Pearl Jam
  • Tom Petty
  • Pink Floyd
  • The Pixies
  • Joe Purdy
  • Radiohead
  • R.E.M
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Rush
  • Paul Simon
  • Sonic Youth
  • Sound Garden
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • James Taylor
  • Traveling Wilburys
  • U2
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • Wilco
  • Whiskeytown
  • The Who
  • Neil Young
  • ZZ Top

I just listed the artist and not the album or albums that you should be listening to and really own by said artist.  Also, I stopped at 50 and that took a considerable amount of restraint.

This is fundamentally meant to light the candle of thought and get you to think about your 50 artists.  If you only had 50 artists that you could listen to, who would they be?  Think of yourself as Tom Hanks in Cast Away and instead of Wilson the volleyball, you have an iPod with 50 artists and their entire catalog. 

So take some time, peruse the list and let me know who you would have added or deleted from the list or send me you complete list.

Great music awaits!


Last night I pushed the bounds of parental responsibility!

Last night I pushed the bounds of parental responsibility.  I took my oldest son (14) to a State Radio concert at House of Blues in Dallas.  It was not the show that pushed the boundaries; it was the time at which he returned home.  And that time, dear, sweet, gentle reader was, after midnight.  Can you hear Eric Clapton playing as you read?  Why? You might ask.  Well, he had a song called, wait for it….. After Midnight!

And I digress!

So, back to the point, Cade and I have always shared a special musical bond.  As a baby, I would always have music playing and to get him to sleep, I would have to stand and rock him to R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts”.  As he got older, he became fascinated with the cadence and delivery of the Beastie Boys and Red Hot Chili Peppers.  Also, much like me, he would connect to certain lyrics and relate them to certain things in his life.  Most of what he shared, with me, was songs about fathers and sons, family, etc…. 

So, for the last fourteen years, I have had the pleasure of expanding his musical horizons and forming this unique bond.  I have taken proper measures to not, intentionally, prematurely expose him to inappropriate lyrics or subject matters.  At fourteen, he has yet to listen to any of my old school rap CD’s. 

Over the years, we have acquired quite a soundtrack to our lives.  He is open enough to initially listen to anything I play and independent enough to make his own informed decision of good or bad music.  Oddly enough, we tend to agree more than not.  The one glaring difference is the current radio friendly Pop and R&B music that he likes.  The difference there is more of an age and experience thing.  I’ve got Milli Vanilli to live down and he, too, will have his musical regrets.

Here is where I really get to the point!

The concert began at 8:00 and the Austin, Texas band Full Service, relatively promptly, took the stage and played an interesting 30 min. set.  Their sound was a combination of bombastic rock and quirky, yet endearing, stage personality.  After the first few songs, I warmed up to their sound.  However, 30 minutes was just enough time.  The kazoo song was funny and interactive with the crowd.

The same thing cannot be said for the second opening act, American Fang.  This band, out of Houston, Texas was torturous at best.  The lead singer pranced around and screamed while the skinny leg jean guitarist struck customary rock posses and feigned indifference to the crowd.  The music was redundant and lacked creative merit. 

State Radio was great and played about an hour and fifteen minutes and did a commendable job of offering tracks from each of their three full length albums.  Cade knew the words to every song and sang along while taking pictures and recording video with his phone.  This was our second time to see State Radio and Cade’s second concert.  You might recall, from a previous blog, that I took him to Austin City Limits Music Festival a few months back. 

So, last night, I kept my son out late, on a school night, and then, fed him McDonald’s at midnight.  Not exactly a Father Knows Best type move, but for one more day, I was still cool and relevant to him.  We shared an experience that I won’t forget and hope that he, too, holds dear. 

And, yes, he got another State Radio T shirt and a CD.  I might be totally irresponsible, but I’m not a jerk.

Great music awaits!


25 more albums you should own!

Greetings music lovers,

Today’s blog is about 25 albums you should own and has the following parameters:

  •  Album must have been recorded/released prior to 1990
  • No duplication of artist
  • No live albums or greatest hits (kind of an all encompassing copout to include either)
  • Listing of my favorite track from said album (This is not so much a parameter but a mere bonus for your reading pleasure)

Twenty Five albums you should own! (In no particular order):

Artist Album Song
U2 The Joshua Tree (1987) With or Without You
Bob Dylan Oh Mercy (1989) Most of the Time
Bruce Springsteen Nebraska (1982) Nebraska
Paul Simon Graceland (1986) You Can Call Me Al
James McMurtry Too Long in the Wasteland (1989) Angeline
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Hard Promises (1981) The Waiting
Guns N’ Roses Appetite for Destruction (1987) Mr. Brownstone
The Eagles Hotel California (1976) The Last Resort
Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here (1975) Have a Cigar
Robert Earl Keen No Kinda Dancer (1984) Rolling By
Eric Clapton Journeyman (1989) Running On Faith
The Who Quadrophenia (1973) Love Reign O’er Me
Elton John Madman Across the Water (1971) Tiny Dancer
Metallica And Justice For All (1988) Dyers Eve
R.E.M Document (1987) It’s the End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine)
The Pixies Surfer Rosa (1988) Where Is My Mind
John Mellencamp Scarecrow (1985) Minutes To Memories
The Band Music from the Big Pink (1968) The Weight
Van Morrison Moondance (1970) And It Stoned Me
Lynyrd Skynyrd Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin- Nerd (1973) Simple Man
Beastie Boys Paul’s Boutique (1989) Shake Your Rump
The Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 (1988) Congratulations
Warren Zevon Bad Luck Streak In Dancing School (1980) Play It All Night Long
Townes Van Zandt Townes Van Zandt (1969) Lungs
The Rolling Stones Let It Bleed (1969) Gimme Shelter
Jackson Brown The Pretender (1976) The Pretender

 So, there you have it, another list of musical bliss.  Take your time, check them out and let me know what you think.

 Great music awaits!


John Mayer needs to shut up and play guitar!

John Mayer needs to shut up and play guitar.  I realize that between his music and apparent sexual prowess, he is tabloid fodder and in demand for interviews.  John, if Jessica Simpson was, as you so delicately put it, your sexual crack cocaine, interviews and reporters are your kryptonite.  Dude, SHUT UP, stop the pseudo-intellectual babble and play your guitar. 

I realize that with your fame, guitar skills, money, and looks, life might not be easy for you.  I’m just spit balling here, but I suspect it has been and will continue to be just a tad easier for you than the fry cook at McDonalds jockeying for position to be the drive through guy.  I’m betting that you probably have some form of medical insurance or at least the money to find a good doctor to go and chat with.  You know, I’ve heard that they have some kind of doctor/patient privilege thing where they don’t go tell the whole world all the moronic things you say. 

John, if someone is talking to you and they have some form of recording device or appear to be jotting down notes, SHUT UP!  Stop talking immediately and whip out your guitar and play a tune for them. From now on, you should never, ever be without your guitar.  Your guitar should be to you what the blanket was to Linus. 

While you have had the good fortune to gain carnal knowledge of several really hot and famous for being hot women, you don’t need to notify the world about it.  Or, if you feel the need to do so, pick up your guitar, write some lyrics and act like you are a musician.  Play your guitar, sing your songs, and stop trying to tell the world what a good guy you are.  I’m thinking at this point, the old adage of “Actions speak louder than words” might be a good mantra for you.  SHUT UP AND PLAY GUITAR!

Dude, you have worked with Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Common, and Kanye West to name just a few musicians/artist.  I realize as I typed the last name, you might have more in common with him than the others I mentioned as he has been known to take a left turn on occasion.  But my point is that you have worked with some of the biggest names in the business and those deals are brokered solely on your musical talent.  So, wait for it…. SHUT UP AND PLAY GUITAR!

So, John, to summarize, when Rolling Stone, Playboy, US Weekly, Star, The National Enquirer, People Magazine, or any other form of publication call you up and ask for an interview or a quote, politely decline, offer them two tickets to one of your shows, and hang up the phone.


You should be listening to Doyle Bramhall II !

Doyle Bramhall II is a Dallas, Texas born guitarist, singer/songwriter who just happens to be the son of, wait for it…… Doyle Bramhall, friend of the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan.  While in his late teens, Doyle Bramhall II toured as the second guitarist with Jimmie Vaughan and his band The Fabulous Thunderbirds. I thought my high school job was cool and I only I worked at the local video store.

In1992, he and fellow Texan, Charlie Sexton, co-founded the rock band Arc Angels. Doyle and Charlie completed the lineup with the former rhythm section from Stevie Ray Vaughan’s backing band, Double Trouble (Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon).  Although they have only recorded one album, the band was well received critically and had several radio hits.  Their second album is due sometime in 2010

In 1996, he released his self titled debut solo album which featured Wendy and Lisa who formerly worked with the artist formerly known as Prince.  Bramhall wanted to establish himself beyond a guitarist and the album did not do well commercially but by critics gave it some praise.  His second album Jellycream was released in 1999.  It was met with low sales and led to his label, RCA, to stop funds for his new musical project.  Bramhall eventually asked to be let out of his contract. 

Shortly thereafter, he caught the ear of Eric Clapton and worked on Clapton’s 2001 album Reptile.  It was around this time that Bramhall formed his new band Smokestack which, ironically, opened for Clapton on his 2001 tour and by 2004 he was Clapton’s second guitarist.  Bramhall also played guitar with Roger Waters, of Pink Floyd greatness, on his In the Flesh tour.

Doyle Bramhall II Discography:

  • Doyle Bramhall II
  • Jellycream
  • Welcome

Top five Doyle Bramhall II Songs:

  1. Ain’t Goin’ Down Slow (Doyle Bramhall II)
  2. Marry You (Jellycream)
  3. Green Light Girl (Welcome)
  4. So You Want It To Rain (Welcome)
  5. I’m the One (Jellycream)

What sets the music apart, is the diversity of Bramhall’s talent; songwriting, passionate, soulful vocals, and virtuoso guitar playing.  His sound is taut, unyielding and haunting.  Clearly influenced by the guitar greats of the past but individualized enough to claim a sound all his own.

Check out Doyle Bramhall and let me know what you think www.doylebramhall2nd.com.

Doyle Bramhall’s music is available at iTunes, record stores and www.doylebramhall2nd.com.

Great music awaits!