Turntables & Vinyl #13 – The New York Adventure

The family and I took a wonderful Spring Break vacation to the bustling city of New York.  What an amazing city.  There are so many things to see and so little time to see it all, but we crammed in as much as we could.  I was even able to take a few hours and visit some record stores while we were down in Greenwich Village. Lucky Me!!

Before we get to that, let’s talk a little about the trip.  We arrived on Sunday afternoon and had a little time to run down to Time Square to check things out.  The kids were stunned by the huge, bright, flashing billboards and all the people…all the interesting and very strange people.

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We saw where the film the Late Show with Steven Colbert, where the Broadway Show Rocktopia was playing which was starring Pat Monahan from Train while we were there (didn’t see it though), we of course saw Time Square and even went and snapped a picture at Radio City Music Hall.

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Calum Scott – ‘Only Human’ – Album Review

Calum Scott’s debut release, ‘Only Human’, came out on Friday, March 9th. A day surrounded by albums from some Hard Rock artists such as Judas Priest, Myles Kennedy, Three Days Grace and even Jimi Hendrix, how did this pop artist catch my ear?  Easy, two years ago this former Britain’s Got Talent contestant released a cover of Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own”.  That song made me stop and take notice.  It was absolutely fantastic (more on it later).  I have been anxiously awaiting an album from him ever since.

And now, the long wait is finally over.  Calum Scott is a cross between many artists.  I would say he is a little bit Sam Smith (without the depressing ass songs), a little bit Adam Levine (his vocal stylings only), a little Gavin DeGraw (catchy pop love songs) and a little bit of James Bay (his first record and even a little of his guitar sound).  He is the best of all those people rolled into one.

There are 14 tracks on the CD version  of the album (vinyl only has 11) so I won’t go through all the songs in detail, but I will highlight several of my favorites.  First off, there are two types of songs throughout the album.  You get the love song ballads and the upbeat pop songs.  I have to admit, I am a sucker for a good love song and Calum has no short supply.  The ballads are beautiful showcases of his amazing, soulful vocal abilities.

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The Original vs. The Cover – “All Along the Watchtower”

For this month’s The Original vs. The Cover, we are tackling the classic song “All Along the Watchtower” written by Bob Dylan.  We are going to explore the Bob Dylan version and the Jimi Hendrix version.  The two versions of this song couldn’t be more different.  You have Bob Dylan’s version which is more Folk Rock and then the Hendrix version which is pure guitar rock.  Each version is a classic in its own right so how do you choose.  Let’s learn about each version first before we decide.

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Bob Dylan wrote and recorded the song back in 1967.  It was on the album John Wesley Harding which was released in December 1967.  The song itself wasn’t released as a single until November 22, 1968 which was actually after The Jimi Hendrix Experience released it as they released it as a single on September 21, 1968.  If we base the original and the cover based off single release date, then Hendrix’s is the original…right?  No, it isn’t but one could make an argument if they so choose.

The song itself is a slow, almost ballad like for part of the song.  Instrumentally, the standout is the harmonica which is the main driver of the song.  The guitar and drum parts were background and their simplicity is what makes it work.  The folksy sound and Dylan’s gritty voice were magical and he sings with such emotion.  This is one of the few songs I actually could understand what he was saying.

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Friday New Releases – March 31st

It is the last Friday of the month and even the last day of the month.  There are over 20 albums on the list today including from some old times like Neil Diamond and Bob Dylan up to newcomers like La’Porsha Renae and Jackie Evancho (ok, she isn’t that new, but she is young).  There are also quite a couple 90’s artists back such as Jamiroquai and Ice T’s Body Count.  Only a few I am really interested in hearing right away and they are highlighted in Blue.  I hope there is something on this list that will brighten your day.  Friday new releases are just a great way to end a busy week.

  • 51ahfe18l2l-_ac_us160_  Brother Firetribe – Sunbound – (Spinefarm):  Yes, I know this album came out last week, but I had excluded it from the list for some strange reason. I wanted to highlight the release so I added it to this week’s new releases…Brother Firetribe comes to us from the great country of Finland.  They are a hard rock and AOR band and is a 5 piece band.  ‘Sunbound’ is their fourth release and after three previously stellar releases, I am looking forward to more magic from this band.

  • 170x170bb-5  Mastodon – Emperor of Sand – (Reprise Records):  Mastodon is heavy metal band from Atlanta, Georgia where I lived for 45 years prior to moving to Charlotte.  These guys are heavy metal and deliver the heavy to the extremes. They are unlike most bands I listen to and it is nice to change it up a little.  I have followed their career for awhile and can’t wait to give a listen.

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Friday New Releases – December 2nd

As we get closer and closer to Christmas, there will be fewer worth while releases.  However, we aren’t there yet as the Rolling Stones are set to release their new album “Blue & Lonesome”.  This will be tops on my list for today. The others I will check out are highlighted in Blue.

  • cover170x170-32  The Rolling Stones – Blue & Lonesome – (Promotone B.V):  The Stones are going back to their roots and bringing us an old school Stones album and it sounds great from what I have heard so far.  Can’t wait for the rest.

  • cover170x170-40  Night Ranger – 35 Years and a Night in Chicago – (Frontiers Music Srl):  Wow!  35 years of Night Ranger.  I will celebrate by listening to their new live album.  I just picked up their first 3 on vinyl and still love them.

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