Tag Archives: Stevie Ray Vaughan

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!


A Bloggers Musical Look at 40!

Well, my dear, sweet, gentle blog readers, today is a milestone day for me.  Or, so I’m told.  Yep, it is my 40th birthday.  Feel free to comment on how old I am or must feel.  Candle jokes are always funny, and yes, I am actually typing this attired in black and with one foot in the grave.

I like to think that I have made my musical feelings abundantly clear over the last year or so in this blog.  Songs are snapshots along our continuum that allow us to recall special times, people, and places. Music shades us in many ways, some so beautifully moving that we are overcome by emotion, others etched in our fabric like a familiar scent that recalls the halcyon days of our youth, while others are just simply attached to a moment in time.

In my forty years, I have lived and experienced more life than I probably deserve.  I know I certainly lived more than my parents deserved.  Through it all, music is the one constant that I have turned to regardless of the situation.  Adolescent love, loss, birth of children, marriage, divorce, and death, and yes, much living in between, music has been my salvation. Music resonates within me at many different levels. The basic premise behind music is notes, keys, chords, rhythm, etc….   It is analogous to food in the fact that there is music for all occasions.

So today, is my musical look at 40!  Below are 40 songs that have colored me indelibly. I will offer no explanation as to why these songs resonate with me nor will I debate their worthiness of inclusion.  After all it is my birthday, my blog and my computer at which I type. 

Below is this Bloggers Musical look at 40:

Song

Artist
  • Blinded By the Light *note* Cause Mama that’s where the fun is!
Bruce Springsteen
  • Everybody Hurts
R.E.M.
  • Simple Man
Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Tiny Dancer
Elton John
  • With or Without You
U2
  • Louisiana Rain
Tom Petty
  • Dyer’s Eve
Metallica
  • Touch From Your Lust
Ben Harper
  • Fire Lake
Bob Segar
  • Masters of War
Bob Dylan
  • See What Tomorrow Brings
Arc Angels
  • There Is So Much More
Brett Dennen
  • Mystic Rhythms
Rush
  • Jimi Thing
The Dave Matthews Band
  • It’s In the Way That You Use It
Eric Clapton
  • Rearview Mirror
Pearl Jam
  • Sweet Child O’ Mine
Guns N’ Roses
  • The Sea and the Rhythm
Iron & Wine
  • Waiting for the Sun
The Jayhawks
  • Little Wing
Jimi Hendrix
  • Highwayman
The Highwaymen
  • Gimme Shelter
The Rolling Stones
  • Chloe Dance/Crown of Thorns
Mother Love Bone
  • When You Come Back Down
Nickel Creek
  • I’m Trying To Find It
Pat Green
  • Wish You Were Here
Pink Floyd
  • Slip Sliding Away
Paul Simon
  • Sideways
Citizen Cope
  • Wheel In The Sky
Journey
  • Sign O’ The Times
Prince
  • What a Crying Shame
The Mavericks
  • Sweet Caroline
Neil Diamond
  • Minutes To Memories
John Mellencamp
  • Band on the Run
Paul McCartney
  • Killing In the Name
Rage Against the Machine
  • Shades of Gray
Robert Earl Keen
  • Life Without You
Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • Plush
Stone Temple Pilots
  • Badfish
Sublime
  • Into the Mystic
Van Morrison

When I hear any of these songs, I vividly remember the moments, feelings, situations, and the friends I shared the moments with.  I contend that these artists and their songs do or will stand the test of time and are just as relevant today as they were in the past or will be in the future.  At least for me!

So there you go, me sharing a little of my birthday with you.  Enjoy and come over later for some cake and ice cream.

Great music awaits!


Mixed Tape Monday: Texas Artists

Welcome to another installment of Mixed Tape Monday.  As you may have noticed, I am on a bit of a Texas Music kick and today will continue down that path.  Yesterday, I had the opportunity to hear some great live music at a little barbeque joint just west of Fort Worth.  I am a huge Walt Wilkins fan and I saw that he had two shows in the Fort Worth area yesterday.  So, off we go for some beer and barbeque and some great music.  In addition to Walt, there were some up and coming musicians like Johnny Cooper, Bobby Duncan, and 6th Market Boulevard that played as well.

So, my topic for today is, you guessed it, Texas Artists.

Song:              One of Those Moments

Artist:              Walt Wilkins

Album:            Rivertown

Song:              Texas On My Mind

Artist:              Django Walker

Album:            Down the Road

Song:              Beautiful Thing

Artist:              Slaid Cleaves       

Album:            Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away

Song:              Eden’sGate

Artist:              Pat Green

Album:            Wave On Wave

Song:              My Brother and Me

Artist:              Bruce Robison

Album:            Wrapped

Song:              Home

Artist:              Eli Young Band

Album:            Jet Black and Jealous

Song:              Shades of Gray

Artist:              Robert Earl Keen

Album:            Picnic

 Song:              Daddy and the Devil

Artist:              Wade Bowen & Chris Knight

Album:            If We ever Make It Home

Song:              Goodbye Sweet Dreams

Artist:              Roky Erikson & Okervil River

Album:            True Love Cast Out All Evil

Song:              Simple Song

Artist:              Lyle Lovett

Album:            Pontiac

Song:              Too Many Ways To Fall

Artist:              Arc Angels

Album:            Arc Angels

 Song:              Sunday Morning Coming Down

Artist:              Kris Kristofferson

Album:            Kristofferson

 Song:              We Can’t Make It Here

Artist:              James McMurtry

Album:            Childish Things

 Song:              Sunday Clothes

Artist:              Charlie Sexton

Album:            Under the Wising Tree

 Song:              Fool

Artist:              Jack Ingram

Album:            Electric

 Song:              Life Without You

Artist:              Stevie Ray Vaughan

Album:            Soul To Soul

Song:              Love Must Follow You Around

Artist:              Randy Rogers Band

Album:            Rollercoaster

 Song:              Indianola

Artist:              Charlie Robison

Album:            Life of the Party

Song:              I’m the One

Artist:              Doyle Bramhall II

Album:            Jellycream

Song:              Come with Me Tonight

Artist:              Bob Schneider

Album:            I’m Good Now


You should be listening to Texas Music!

Recently I posted a blog that featured six Texas artists and it got me to thinking about all of the great music that comes out of Texas.  In years past, when I heard the term Texas music, I immediately associated that with country music.  As I’ve gotten older and immersed myself more into the music scene, I’ve realized that Texas offers a lot to all of the musical genres. 

I grew up on the greatness of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble as well as Jimmie Vaughan’s band the Fabulous Thunderbirds.  They were two paragons of the Texas music scene who paved the way for so many other Texas musicians such as the Arc Angels.

From the country side of music, you have early pioneers such as Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen.  These two college buddies have been leading the charge for over 20 years.  Based on their dedication to the craft, a whole new crop of Texas artists has emerged.  Folks such as Pat Green, Cory Morrow, Wade Bowen, and Walt Wilkins are just a few that top the list.

Austin has been dubbed the Live Music capital of the world and with good reason.  Not only are they home to one of the greatest music festivals (Austin City Limits Music Festival) they also have SXSW which is a great place to catch a litany of great musical acts.  Austin is home to musical greatness such as Spoon, Erin Ivey, James McMurtry, and Bob Schneider.

Dallas has given us the likes of Tripping Daisy, the Old 97’s, Nora Jones, and the erratic and recently erotic Erykah Badu.

Fort Worth is responsible for The Toadies, Elizabeth Wills, and the Butthole Surfers.

Denton, a thriving musical Mecca and home to my Alma Mater has provided us with artist such as Roy Orbison, Bowling For Soup, Eli Young and the always fun polka band Brave Combo.

Houston has provided the Southern Rap community with artists such as The Ghetto Boys, Paul Wall, Mike Jones, and Chamillionaire

Texas has a killer music scene and you should be listening to Texas music in whatever form/genre you dig.

Great music awaits!


Tune In Tuesday: 6/1/10

Welcome to another addition of Tune in Tuesday!  Today’s musical choices are all from the great state of Texas.  And now, the obligatory cheesy state bravado, that’s right folks, it is Tune In Tuesday Texas style! I’m sure that was not as painful to read as it was to write. 

Step Inside This House

Lyle Lovett

Lyle Lovett is a great songwriter and has had a tremendous impact on the Texas music scene.  Step Inside This House is an album of covers written by fellow Texans.  It is one of my favorite albums that Lyle has released.  He covers songs from artist such as Robert Earl Keen, Townes Van Zandt, Steven Fromholz, and Guy Clark.  This release is a two disc album and is great from start to finish.  Lovett’s vocals add new life to the lyrics of others while staying true to their music and most importantly, himself.

Key Tracks:

Lungs, Rollin’ By, Texas Trilogy (All three songs, thus the word trilogy),

Rivertown

Walt Wilkins

Walt Wilkins is one of the greatest songwriters that you have never heard of.  His music has been covered by the likes of Pat Green and Ricky Skaggs.  Rivertown is one of his earlier solo albums and is filled with musical gems.  He has a really comforting vocal presentation and brings you into each of his songs. 

Key Tracks:

Poetry, One of those Moments, Seven Hillsides, Some Men Fall

Lost Hotel

Wade Bowen

Waco born Bowen is a Texas singer/songwriter who happens to be the brother in law of Cody Canada (Cross Canadian Ragweed).  He co-wrote Pat Green’s hit “Don’t Break My Heart Again” and has released four albums.  Lost Hotel was my introduction to Wade and is one of my favorite albums of his.  His whiskey soaked vocals add an emotional depth to his lyrics.

Key Tracks:

Resurrection, Perfect Silence, Lost Hotel, Broken Reflection (Troubadour’s Prayer)

Soul To Soul

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Not sure what I can say about this album other than it is pure greatness.  Stevie was a genius and this was just one of many ways he displayed his musical prowess.  Life Without You and Change it are in my Top 5 Greatest songs by Stevie.

Key Tracks:

Life Without You, Change It, Lookin’ Out the Window, Look At Little Sister

Carry On

Pat Green

Carry On was Green’s third self released album and one of his finest.  His cover of Walt Wilkin’s “Ruby’s Two Sad Daughters” is amazing and the rest of the tracks are just as good.  I am a huge Pat Green fan but find myself listening to more of his earlier recordings.  This album, in particular, just seems to be more authentic than some of his new releases. 

Key Tracks:

Whiskey, Carry On, Ruby’s Two Sad Daughters, Crazy, Holdin’ On

I’m Good Now

Bob Schneider

A paragon of the Austin music scene, Bob Schneider has got the musical goods.  This is his third solo album.  His funky word play, feel good vibe, and his musical fearlessness make him fun to listen to and even more entertaining to see live.  This album is one of my favorite as well as a favorite of my kids.  And really, there is nothing better than hearing the following words sung from your children when they are all under the age of 5.

I can see god on a cloud in the sky
On top of the world watching the world roll by
With a great big grin and some good cocaine
Jesus by his side in the pouring rain

And then there is another great verse that every kindergarten child should know

 I can see god In Italian shoes
With a beard and a gun and a case of the blues
Smoking a cigarette drinking coors light
With teeth so white they light up the night

It was shortly after this car ride sing along that I received my first of many Father of the Year nominations and subsequent awards.

Key Tracks:

Come With Me Tonight, God Is My Friend, Captain Kirk,

Great music awaits!


Mixed Tape Monday: Rain

Greetings readers of my blog!  Today is Mixed Tape Monday.  For those of you a little young for the mixed tape reference, a mixed tape was what you made for that special someone or yourself that was a compilation of various songs and artists.   The tape was arranged in a particular order to convey your feelings or mood.  Now, we can burn all the music to a playlist or disc and it has the same affect but just not the nostalgia.

 So, with that being said, each Monday will be Mixed Tape Monday and will have a whimsical topic based on well, my whims!  The list will be 15-20 songs that relate to stated whimsical topic.  Given the weather related events of the weekend, today’s topic is Rain.  In case you are not from the DFW area, it rained all weekend long.

 So, listed below are great songs that have rain in the title or referenced in the song. 

 Rain Mixed Tape:

  • Purple Rain
    • Prince
  • Louisiana Rain
    • Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  • Black Rain
    • Ben Harper
  • No Rain
    • Blind Melon
  • A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
    • Bob Dylan
  • Red Rain
    • Peter Gabriel
  • Rain King
    • Counting Crows
  • Have You Ever Seen the Rain
    • Credence Clearwater Revival
  • I Love the Rain the Most
    • Joe Purdy
  • Rain on the Scarecrow
    • John Mellencamp
  • Electrical Storm
    • Joseph Arthur
  • Rainslicker
    • Josh Ritter
  • Naked In the Rain
    • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • The Sky is Crying
    • Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • Something Sexy About the Rain
    • Kenny Chesney
  • November Rain
    • Guns N’ Roses
  • Washington Avenue
    • Pat Green
  • Sit and Listen to the Rain
    • Whiskeytown
  • So. Central Rain
    • R.E.M.
  • Riders On the Storm
    • The Doors

 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!