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Showing posts from March, 2020

Greatest Pop Rock Ballads (1960's)

The Greatest Pop Rock Ballads (1960's) There are many definitions for "ballad" songs and many sub categories as well such as the; Sentimental, Blues, R&B, Hard Rock, Soft Rock and of course the Power-Ballad. A ballad is generally defined as a song with emotion and sentimentality that may include a story of love, loss, longing or self reflection. It is typically a longer and slower paced song. We can trace the origins back to the singing bards and traditional folk music, through the Victorian parlours, Big Bands and all the way to songs such as Sam Smith's " Stay with Me ". I think all of us generally know a ballad when we hear one. Today I want to talk about Pop-Rock Ballads. " Yesterday " (recorded June 14, released August 6, 1965) written by Paul McCartney, credited to Lennon/McCartney and sang solo as a Beatles member by McCartney.  I've blogged on this, the most covered 'pop' song of all time before but not in this

Greatest Blues Songs

Greatest Blues Songs As with any list of songs as I've mentioned before there is always a lot of subjectivity. However I do take some time and do some research so most of my choices are influenced by others with much more expertise than myself. I have also taken liberties with my categories as well, but hey it's my blog 😉. I already got a start on this list in a previous post with these first two songs ;  Greatest Traditional Blues vocal performance   "Strange Fruit" by Billie Holiday. " Strange Fruit " is a courageous recording by the legendary  Billie Holiday  from 1939. Covered close to 100 times. Here is   Nina Simone   with a great cover version from 1965. Greatest Traditional  Singer/Songwriter Blues song ,  " Mr. Carl's Blues" by Carl Rafferty. Carl Rafferty's 1933 recording of " Mr. Carl's Blues " featured on this occasion amazing accompaniment from the phenomenal piano player, composer, singer and more

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day! A day when typically many have celebrated perhaps a bit too much, all that is Irish, green and is in a beer glass. Most of us don't have much reason to be celebrating this year I know, but if anyone knows about making through tough times it's the Irish. Clichés and all it is recognized in most places as more of a secular fun day than the traditional church ceremonies by Irish Catholics. The Patron Saint gives the public an official holiday in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Monserat. In my Mother's native province of Newfoundland it is also a public holiday that gets moved to the nearest Monday to give people a long weekend, as they really know how to party!  I understand from my best friend Steve who is of Irish descent the parts of the world that party and carry on is not the same way it is celebrated in most of  Ireland at all. While in 2020 the gatherings may be cancelled there still will be some, albeit smaller ones than usual where th

Healing Power of Music

Healing Power of Music Whether a song can give you a little "pick me up" or make a tragic situation just a bit more bearable, many look to music in times of trouble. These days many people are concerned about the immediate future and some have been isolated, so turning to music is a good way to not only pass the time but improve your mood. For a personal crisis, a health concern or even in the face of imminent death there is solace in listening to your favorite music. I have quite a bit of personal experience with this so I will give just two examples you may be able to relate too. My mother while in palliative care enjoyed listening to music, albeit just for a song or two at a time, it would bring a smile to her face and mine as well, especially when she would gently let me know "that's too loud". Funny the little exchanges we remember at times like that. My brother in-law passed away more recently and we shared many a chat about music, being a musician a

Western & Cowboy Music

Western & Cowboy Music Carl Sprague Western Music When we hear the term "Western Music" the obvious question is where is the "Country"? It has been some time since the two genres have been attached to one another. I can't say exactly when the "Western" was dropped but it appears to have lost popularity in the 1970's with the development of other sub genre such as Outlaw Country and the "Bakersfield Sound" from Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. Of course there's a lot of different genres of music that were played and came from the Western part of the US but today I'm focused on what is attached to the term, Western (Country) music. It was quite different; in Texas, Arizona and Oklahoma there were cultural influences not found in it's more eastern 'Country' cousin. Here are some songs typical of the genre; 'The Browns' " My Adobe Hacienda ", " Abilene " by George Hamilton IV, and a s