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Showing posts from November, 2019

Rock Artists Sing Soul

Rock Artists Sing


I've blogged about Soul and there are dozens' of songs sprinkled throughout my posts, but I want to focus on covers by Rock artists. While R&B was the main inspiration of most Rock musicians, Soul music is not far behind. Most of the biggest names in Rock history covered Soul songs and the influence can often be heard in their original material. Most notably this was a trend in the 1960's and there are plenty to choose. As with the Blues, bands from the UK were all over the Soul music scene. While I've dedicated some writing to Soul icons such as Ray Charles, James Brown and the legendary Aretha Franklin, I wanted to feature other artists today.

"Some Other Guy" by Richie Barrett (who discover discovered artists such as Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, the Chantels, Little Anthony & the Imperials, the Valentines, and the Three Degrees) co-wrote this with the famous duo of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, released in April 1962. Not…

Chess Records

Chess Records


Earlier this November I had the privilege and pleasure to visit the former Chess Records (1956-65) building in Chicago. It is an important landmark in the history of Blues and R&R music. It is now home to the Willie Dixon Blues Heaven Foundation and hosts tours of the partially restored original recording Studio room 'B' and the small room which was Studio 'A'. Firstly a thank-you to the Dixon Family for preserving this gem. Also a nod to the fantastic tour guide who's name I didn't catch but he's from Manchester so if you go there and are lucky enough to have him you'll know who I mean. They have lots of photos, great memorabilia and a neat little gift shop (got the t-shirt). I've long been a fan of Chess Records and the music they produced, so if you read this post there are spoilers for the tour but my words can't hold a candle to that experience. I'm happy that this, my 100th blog post coincides with a personally meani…

Southern Rock

Southern Rock


As I have discussed in previous posts trying to pigeon hole bands into genres and subgenres in particular is a tough task at times. That said when we think of Southern Rock there are certain names that come to mind. Most likely those would be 'Lynyrd Skynyrd' (LS) and 'The Allman Brothers Band' (ABB). I've read that the late Ronnie Van Sant who was the lead singer of LS said they were "a rock band who just happen to be from the South" and this is certainly true. But there are some characteristics of the subgenre which set it apart in more ways than just geography. The all too obvious songs we can point to are "Sweet Home Alabama" by LS (1974) and Charlie Daniels "The South's Gonna Do It" (1975). The former I touched on a bit in my post on Neil Young as his "Alabama" and "Southern Man" both struck a nerve in the south and prompted LS to strike back with an 'answer song' both eschewing his v…

Remembrance and Veterans Day

Veterans Day and Remembrance Day




In Canada and the Commonwealth on Remembrance Day we observe the end of WWI to remember those who sacrificed their lives and those that gave service. Since that time it has come to mark military service throughout our history, giving us the peace and prosperity we now enjoy. In the United States it is called Veterans Day and similarly those who served and sacrificed in the military are remembered and honoured. We of course must not forget the others who suffered, sacrificed and supported the military in other ways, least of all the parents and families.

There are many songs written about the military, the wars, the battles and the lives that were affected in tragic and profound ways. Some of the songs are patriotic and celebratory and many are somber and reflective. Equally there are songs that protest wars and military conflicts, speaking of peace and resolving conflict in a non violent fashion, and I believe most of us wish it could be that way.

Mike Pl…