Tag Archives: Lynyrd Skynyrd

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!


Mixed Tape Monday:Home

Well, dear, sweet, gentle reader, I apologize for my absence the last couple of days.  I was on vacation and did not have much time to write.  Before you go getting all jealous, I was not at some exotic locale sipping fruity beverages with crazy names and umbrellas impeding my drinking ability; nor was I finding myself in some serene, remote, mountainous setting. 

I was, in fact, at home dealing with the issues of owning a home and in my case, a ninety five year old home.  Yes, the home is indeed older than I.  It is also a lovely home that needed a little repair.  I use the term “little” loosely as I had to replace the upstairs AC and the hot water heater.  And, to be fair, I did not have to do it myself but I did have to avail myself to the schedule of the valiant workers who brought tidings of cool air and hot water. 

I’d like to give a gratuitous plug and a big shout out to Aire Serve Heating and Air Conditioning of Fort Worth and Benjamin Franklin Plumbing for their solid work and expertise.

With all of that being said, today’s Mixed Tape Monday theme is Home!

Enjoy and welcome back to the time waste that is my bog!

Song:              Sweet Home Alabama (I’m sure you all saw that one coming)

Artist:             Lynyrd Skynyrd

Album:           Second Helping

Song:              Home

Artist:             Alexi Murdoch

Album:           Time Without Consequence

Song:              On My Way Back Home

Artist:             Band of Horses

Album:           Infinite Arms

Song:              Taking Your Home

Artist:             Don Henley

Album:           Inside Job

Song:              My Father’s House

Artist:             Bruce Springsteen

Album:           Nebraska

Song:              Home

Artist:             Foo Fighters

Album:           Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace

Song:              What Is Home

Artist:             The Black Crowes

Album:           Before the Frost…

Song:              Heading Home

Artist:             Donavon Frankenreiter

Album:           Donavon Frankenreiter

Song:              Long Way Home From Anywhere

Artist:             Bruce Robison

Album:           Long Way Home From Anywhere

Song:              House of Valparaiso

Artist:             Calexico

Album:           Carried To Dust

Song:              Goin Home

Artist:             Dan Auerbach

Album:           Keep It Hid

Song:              Give a Man a Home

Artist:             Ben Harper

Album:           Fight For Your Mind

Song:              Home

Artist:             Eli Young Band

Album:           Jet Black and Jealous

Song:              This House Is a Circus

Artist:             Arctic Monkeys

Album:           Favourite Worst Nightmare

Song:              Quiet Houses

Artist:             Fleet Foxes

Album:           Fleet Foxes

Song:              My Lady’s House

Artist:             Iron & Wine

Album:           Woman King (EP)

Song:              Charlemagne’s Home Town

Artist:             James McMurtry

Album:           Childish Things

Song:              House of Stone

Artist:             Mudcrutch

Album:           Mudcrutch

Song:              Life In a Glass House

Artist:             Radiohead

Album:           Amnesiac

Song:              I’m Coming Home

Artist:             Robert Earl Keen

Album:           Gringo Honeymoon

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!


You should be listening to Cross Canadian Ragweed!

Cross Canadian Ragweed is the red dirt alt/country musical quartet that hales from Yukon, Oklahoma.  The name is derived from a mixture of three of the four member’s names Grady Cross, Cody Canada, and Randy Ragsdale.  Shortly after forming in Yukon, the band moved to the hopping college town of Stillwater, Oklahoma. 

The band released its first album, Carney, in 1998 while already receiving considerable airplay on college radio.  This was due to their relentless touring of Oklahoma and Texas.  Their second release was their live album from the Wormy Dog Saloon, which is in Oklahoma and is a bar that I was kicked out of one fateful trip to Oklahoma.  Their second studio album Highway 377 was released in 2001.  All of the above mentioned albums were released on the bands independent label Underground Sound.

Cross Canadian Ragweed, also known as the Purple album, cleverly assigned, due to the purple cover, was the bands major label debut.  The album cover’s color was attribute to Randy Ragsdale’s little sister who died prior to the album’s release.

In 2004, their sixth release Soul Gravy debuted on the county charts at #4.  Their next studio album, Garage, yielded their first top 40 hit on the country charts with “Fighin For”.  It also contains a tribute song “Dimebag” for the late, great Dimebag Darrell from the cowboys from hell, Pantera!

Mission California is the bands ninth album and has two great cover songs.  “Cry Lonely” is a Chris Knight cover of and they also cover Todd Snider’s “I Believe You”.  Their tenth album Happiness and All Other Things was released in 2009 and was dedicated to Willie Nelson’s late, longtime stage manager Randall “Poodie” Locke.

Cross Canadian Ragweed Discography:

  • Carney
  • Live and Loud at the Wormy Dog Saloon
  • Highway 377
  • Live and Loud at Billy Bob’s
  • Cross Canadian Ragweed
  • Soul Gravy
  • Garage
  • Back to Tulsa – Live an Loud at Cain’s Ballroom
  • Mission California
  • Happiness and All Other Things

Top 5 Cross Canadian Ragweed Songs:

  1. Proud Souls (Caney)
  2. Breakdown (Garage)
  3. Broken (Cross Canadian Ragweed)
  4. Flowers (Soul Gravy)
  5. Jenny (Mission California)

Their sound is a nice blend of country swagger and southern rock that is evocative of band such as the Marshall Tucker Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd.  They tend to tour and travel with like minded folks such as Randy Rogers Band, Stoney LaRue, and Wade Bowen (who is married to Cody Canada’s sister).   

This year, Cross Canadian Ragweed will grace the hallowed grounds of Bonnaroo Music Festival!

Check out Cross Canadian Ragweed at www.crosscanadianragweed.com

www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkFtl50kqYE

www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFVCMIyE9gw

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!


Lyrically Speaking: Great lyrics in music!

I’m always impressed when an artist writes his own material and has the ability to play an instrument.   As I’ve gotten older, I have come to better appreciate all the subtleties of a song and the work that goes into its creation.  To me, the key to great music is the lyrics. I appreciate the instrumentation and all the musical components, but the lyrics are what draw me in. 

The beauty of a lyric is that it can be a simple, well placed line or it can be the entire composition of a song.  It is the artist’s ability to convey a thought or emotion that connects personally to the listener.  In my opinion, it is poetry set to music.  Witty, quirky, rambling thoughts, scathing sociopolitical commentary, beautiful, fluid observations, or emotionally charged lyrics, in my opinion, are the cornerstone of music.

So, I’ve compiled a list of great lyrics.  This will certainly be a reoccurring topic on the blog as there are so many areas to mine for genius lyrics.

Here is the first installment of great lyrics you should be listening to:

Lyric Song Artist
So you’ve been broken and you’ve been hurt, show me somebody who ain’t.  Yeah I know I’m nobody’s bargain but hell a little touch up and a little paint.  Human Touch Bruce Springsteen
A candle throws its light into the darkness, in a nasty world so shines a good deed.  Make sure the fortune you seek is the fortune that you need.  Tell me why the first to ask is the last to give every time. What you say and do not mean follows you close behind.

 

Diamonds On the Inside Ben Harper
People walk a tightrope on a razor’s edge carryin’ their hurt and hatred and weapons.  It could be a bomb or a bullet or a pen or a thought or a word or a sentence.

 

Ain’t No Reason Brett Dennen
Soak me in the sunshine, rinse me in the rain, the smell of hate surrounds me and I want to love again.  Wrap me in feathers lost from angel’s wings, they’ve broken my reflection and I am in need.

 

Broken Reflection (Troubadour’s Prayer) Wade Bowen
Those little demons ain’t the reasons for the bruises on your soul you’ve been neglecting.  You’ll never lose your mind as long as your heart always reminds you where you left it.  And don’t ever let them make you feel like saying what you want is unbecoming. 

 If you were supposed to watch your mouth all the time I doubt your eyes would be above it

 

Gravity’s Gone Drive-By Truckers
Your words just a bloody fallacy a house of cards you painted white. You tried to recreate Normandy but you made up the reason to fight.


And now red oil is spillin’ down on the street and your eyes too big for the belly is weak.

Will you not refuse this currency or is blood money just money to you is blood money just money to you

 

Camilo State Radio
Well I looked my demons in the eyes lay bare my chest
Said do your best to destroy me. I’ve been to hell and back
So many times I must admit you kinda bore me.
There’s a lot of things that can kill a man there’s a lot of ways
To die yes, and some already did and walk beside me.

There’s a lot of things I don’t understand so many people lie. It’s the hurt I hide that fuels the fire inside me.

Will I always feel this way so empty so estranged?

 

Empty Ray LaMontagne
I dreamed you, I saw your face. Caught my lifeline when drifting through space. I saw an angel, I saw my fate I can only thank God it was not too late.

Over mountains I floated away across an ocean I dreamed her name. I followed an angel down through the gates.

I can only thank God it was not too late

 

Angel Dream(No. 2) Tom Petty
Boy, don’t you worry, you’ll find yourself. Follow your heart and nothing else. And you can do this, oh baby, if you try. All that I want for you, my son, is to be satisfiedand be a simple kind of man.
Oh, be something you love and understand.

 

Simple Man Lynyrd Skynyrd
There’s a red barn in the half light and a white frost on the shade. And in the bars down off the main drag they’re drinking down what they got paid and I wonder in all my leaving if I ever could have stayed. I’m coming home There’s a junked out car in the tall grass it ain’t ever gonna sell. And Jimmy’s raising daughters and Jack’s out raising hell.

And I always said I loved you, I never said I loved you well.

 

Cross of Flowers Jeffrey Foucault

Great music awaits!


The High School Years:A Shout Out to the Class of 89 (75115)

We all have a favorite song or songs, one that we will sit in the car and listen to completion even when we are running late, one that we hear and can’t help but smile.  Songs are snapshots along our continuum that allow us to recall special times, people, and places.

This list is a remembrance of my high school years (85-89) and a shout out to the 75115.   Not all of these songs were released during those years, but were the soundtrack to my life at that time.  And no, Rod Stewart’s “Forever Young” despite being the class theme and I’m told prom song, did not make the list.  Sorry to both Rod and the class of 89 from 75115.

Twenty years later, when I hear any of these songs, I fondly remember the times and the friends I shared the moments with.  I contend that these artists and their songs stand the test of time and are just as relevant today as they were many years ago.

I realize that 25 songs is a relatively short list to sum up the high school years and while there are no duplicate artists on the list, these artist and songs shaded and formed a critical time in my life and it is a safe bet the album from which the song came, was and is currently in heavy rotation in my car, home, IPod, and office.

Below are the top 25 songs that harken back the halcyon days of my youth:

Simple Man                       Lynyrd Skynyrd

It’s The End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine)     R.E.M.

Louisiana Rain                  Tom Petty

Seven Bridges Road         The Eagles

Tiny Dancer                        Elton John

Dream On                             Aerosmith

 Shooting Star                    Bad Company

Jungle Love                        Steve Miller Band

 The Weight                         The Band

Fire Lake                              Bob Seger

My Hometown                  Bruce Springsteen

Drive                                    The Cars

I Believe In You              Don Williams

It’s In the Way That You Use It                  Eric Clapton

Sweet Child O’ Mine          Guns ‘N’ Roses

The Pretender                    Jackson Brown

Jackie Brown                       John Mellencamp

Dyers Eve                             Metallica

Rockin’ In the Free World                Neil Young

With Or Without You         U2

Gimme Shelter                     The Rolling Stones

Mystic Rhythms                  Rush

Don’t You Forget About Me            Simple Minds

Copperhead Road                Steve Earle

Congratulations                    Traveling Wilburys

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Great Music Awaits!