Grammy Award winning artist, Jonny Lang, is back with his new album, ‘Signs’. If you aren’t familiar with Jonny, you are definitely missing out. He is a Blues, Gospel and rock guitarist, songwriter and singer. There is nothing this man can’t do. He brings in so many influences and crafts them into heartfelt and moving songs that are either blues or straight up rock & roll and when he mixes the two together, watch out!!
I remember when his first album came out in 1997, ‘Lie to Me’, and he was only 16 years old. I heard that album and couldn’t believe what I was hearing. No 16 year old should be able to pull off what this kid could do. Years went by and he struggled with substance abuse and in 2000 came clean. He found Christianity after shunning it for so long and it changed his perspective on everything. His writing, playing and vocals started hitting on all cylinders. He won a Grammy in 2006 for his album ‘Turn Around’ and he kept putting out incredible music.
Now in 2017, can he still produce albums that strike a chord with you after 20 years in the business? Oh yes he can. Jonny Lang has released what could possibly be the album of the year for me. His vocals, songwriting and guitar playing (damn can he play a guitar) are nothing short of awe-inspiring. Sit back and let me walk you through this masterpiece.
For My Sunday Song #59, I have to go with Joe Walsh’s classic song “Life’s Been Good”. The song is off his 1978 album ‘But Seriously, Folks…” and was released as a single in May of that year. The song has two versions, the album cut which is an epic 8:56 and the radio edit which is only 4:35. The radio edit is great, but the full version is where all the magic happens.
“Life’s Been Good” is song that speaks to the excess of the rock gods of the 70’s. Lyrically, it paints a beautiful picture of how everyone thinks the huge Rock Stars live and probably resonated because everyone wants to be that Rock Star. The song hits all the high points, the mansion, the exotic sports car, the hit records, the fans and the money. What’s not to like.
The song is a mid-tempo beat with almost a reggae feel to it. It has a great guitar riff throughout and includes a bizarre little inside joke about 10 seconds after the song ends. Walsh very humorously goes “uh-oh, here comes a flock of wah wahs” followed by a chorus of duck or geese noises. I have no idea what the inside joke was, but it is quite funny regardless. I wonder what they were smoking?????
Welcome to the last Friday New Releases of the month. There are too many new releases this week and no way to even come close to listening to it all. There a handful I will attempt to get to and those will be highlighted in Blue, but doesn’t mean there aren’t others on this list I don’t want to hear. I have to some way prioritize the listening choices. I am sure there is something on here that you will find exciting. Let me know what you are interested in getting.
- Shania Twain – Now – (Universal Nashville): Oh Shania, how we have missed you. Back with her first album in 15 YEARS!!!. I have heard a couple songs off the album and haven’t been overly impressed so I am little worried about this one. My wife and I enjoy Shania and went saw her in concert about 2 years ago and we also had “From This Moment” played at our wedding. As a result, I will give this a listen despite my hesitations.
- Black Stone Cherry – Black to Blues EP – (Mascot Label Group): The Southern Hard Rock band is bringing us a little EP to hold us over until their next album…I am so cool with that. They don’t seem to ever disappoint and I could use a good old rock album about now.
Is 1991 the greatest year in music? Who knows. I do know it is one of the most influential years in music. I know it was the death of 80’s rock and the start of a new style of music called Grunge. There were so many great albums that came out in that year, some that changed the landscape of music and some that were mostly ignored but were great just the same.
I have asked this question a couple other times…one for 1983 and one for 1987. I think both years were exceptional and now that I have picked 1991 as another year, I am noticing a pattern of great years coming every 4 years. I am definitely going to explore to look into that possible trend more. For now, I will keep focusing on the year that was…1991.
We will start off with the introduction of the new genre of music called Grunge. This subgenre of alternative music actually started in the mid-80’s mostly around the great city of Seattle. It was 1991 that saw this music go mainstream. This music killed off the Hair Bands of the 80’s and the music I grew up with and loved. What were those influential albums that changed the music landscape? Easy…
Motley Crue just released a 30th Anniversary edition of Girls, Girls, Girls. It is totally unnecessary concsidering they aren’t offering anything new. Look to Def Leppard and Whitesnake in how to do a 30th Anniversary Edition. Plus, I just bought The End box set so I don’t need that album again. Because of all this, I thought we would laugh at and with Motley Crue for this week’s Tuesday’s Memes. They are usually good for a few laughs. Enjoy!
This one made me laugh for some strange reason. It is not like Crue was original to begin with.
I recently read an article on Mike Tramp that said he was releasing a limited edition box set called “This and That” which would contain 5 CDs and 1 DVD of previously unreleased material as well as some new tracks. It sounds interesting and got me to thinking about his old band White Lion. And I immediately remembered ‘Pride’.
Little did I know at the time that ‘Pride’ was not their debut album. They actually had an album prior called ‘Fight to Survive’ that never amounted to anything. Since “My First Time” is supposed to be the first time I discover a band and it is not on their debut album, then ‘Pride’ worked.
‘Pride’ came out in 1987 slap dab in the middle of the Hair Band explosion. That means BIG HAIR!! Did White Lion have it…uh…YES…
For My Sunday Song #58 I am going to tackle my favorite Beatles song, “Here Comes the Sun”. Notice I said my favorite and I did not say the best. I don’t want anyone getting a hair up there tail because I said the best. My intention is to not start an argument as I know there are many people passionate about their Beatles.
The song was recorded in 1969 and released on their album ‘Abbey Road’ the same year. The song only features three of the Beatles, George, Ringo & Paul as John was recovering from a car crash.
Lyrically, it is a very simple song but musically there is a lot going on. Paul did the bass, of course and Ringo on drums while George did everything else, and I mean everything else. He is credited with both the acoustic and electric guitars, the harmonium, and introducing the band to a Moog synthesizer (which might have looked like something below).
Continue reading “My Sunday Song – “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles”
Another Friday is upon us and another day of new music. There is a little of everything on tab for this week so hopefully there is something you can find you want to give a spin. I have quite a few this week and they are highlighted in Blue as usual.
- Black Country Communion – BCCIV – (J&R Adventures): BCC is back with their 4th album. I thought they might have been done after their last one so I am thrilled to see a new release. If you don’t know who they are, the band consists of some quite talented musicians you might have heard about…Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham and Derek Sherinian. Not a bad line-up. Definitely worth checking out.
- H.E.A.T – Into the Great Unknown – (Frontiers Records): This Swedish rock band brings us their 5th release and first after losing original guitarist Eric Rivers. I am interested to hear it despite 2 of the original members now gone including the lead singer. That usually really bothers me when you lose the singer, but Erik Gronwell can hold his own and has done a fine damn job since taking over. Here is to hoping for more of the same greatness from these guys.
- The Killers – Wonderful Wonderful – (Island Records): For some reason, I really like The Killers. When they are good, they are really good and Brandon Flowers has been sounding great lately. I am digging the new song “Run for Cover” so hoping the rest of the album is on par with that one.
- Mastodon – Cold Dark Place E.P. – (Reprise Records): It is only an E.P., but anything from this Atlanta Metal band is worth grabbing. Bring it on.
- Fergie – Double Duchess – (Retrofuture Productions): Okay, yes I am interested in hearing Fergie. I have my guilty pleasures. She proved she can rock out when she did a song for Slash so I definitely want to hear what she brings to the table this time around.
- Otherwise – Sleeping Lions – (Century Media)
- Macklemore – Gemini – (Bendo LLC)
- Matthew West – All In – (Sparrow)
- Josh Ritter – Gathering – (Pytheas Recordings)
- Midland – On the Rocks – (Big Machine)
- Van Morrison – Roll With The Punches – (Exile Productions)
- Leon Russell – On A Distant Shore – (Palmetto)
- Chris Hillman – Bidin’ my Time – (Rounder)
- Steve Martin / The Steep Canyon Rangers – “The Long-Awaited Album” – (Rounder)
- Cradle of Filth – Cryptoriana: The Seductiveness of Decay – (Nuclear Blast)
- Lecrae – All Things Work Together – (Reach Records)
- Haley Reinhart – What’s That Sound? – (Concord Records)
- Brian Wilson – Playback: The Brian Wilson Anthology – (Rhino/Warners)
Lifehouse has been around since 1999 when they were known as Blyss, but it was their debut album under the name Lifehouse in 2000 that made them stars. The album was ‘No Name Face’ and the song was “Hanging By a Moment” that brought them to my attention. They have quietly been releasing albums ever since and now have 7 studio albums.
I think part of my enjoyment of the band is due to Jude Cole. One of my all time favorite albums is by him called “A View From 3rd Street”. Jude has been producing and writing songs with them for most of their career (around 2005) and that has shown through in the maturity of the songs and albums.
They finally released a greatest hits compilation back on July 14th, 2017 and it was pretty good as it had 18 tracks. However, it was missing several songs that are better than some of the ones on the compilation. So I figured why don’t I do a deep dive and give you the non-singles I think are the best. I hope you enjoy. They are in no particular order except my #1 favorite song is the last one on the list!