Music Monday: April 24, 2023

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Bruce quote 2023

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Today’s song is an unmistakeable classic from the 1970’s and one of my all time favorite songs. It features an incredible base line, great lyrics and a fabulous vocal by one of the best blue eyed soul singers out there.  He is also sadly underrated despite being the voice behind groups like Ace, Squeeze and Mike & The Mechanics.  

Singer, songwriter and musician Paul Carrack was born on April 22, 1951 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England. According to his website, he started touring as a musician when he was 17. That puts his career at 55 years and counting. He started 2023 with the release of a new album, Don’t Wait Too Long, and is currently gearing up for a European tour which will begin next month.

Carrack is one of the vocalists I have loved forever due to his smooth yet incredibly soulful delivery on nearly every song he sings. He has sung today’s song many times over the last five decades in a number of different ways. Yet to me, nothing beats the original. But the version from his 1995 album, Blue Views, comes very close.

Happy birthday, Paul Carrack.

You said that you never intended
To break up our scene in this way
But there ain’t any use in pretending
It could happen to us any day

Top: Paul Carrack (far left) with Ace circa 1974. Bottom: Carrack circa 2022. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Ace: “How Long” (1974, written by Paul Carrack).

Paul Carrack: “How Long” (1995, written by Paul Carrack).

Stay safe & well.


Music Monday: April 17, 2023

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Bruce quote 2023

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Tomorrow is Tax Day here in the U.S. And we all know the only way out is through-meaning either to file a return or an extension. So if you feeling trapped by the looming deadline, why not reduce the pressure by listening to some Blues by way of one of the greatest Southern Rock bands in history?

You got me trapped, Woman
Up on the second floor
If I get by this time
I won’t be trapped no more“.

The Allman Brothers pictured on the cover of their 1971 album, At Fillmore East. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Allman Brothers: “One Way Out” (Recorded live on June 27, 1971 at The Filmore East in New York City. The track appears on the band’s 1972 double album, Eat A Peach. Written by Elmore James, Marshall Sehorn and Sonny Boy Williamson II).

Stay safe & well.

Music Monday: April 10, 2023

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Bruce quote 2023

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Today marks a very dark event in music history. On this day 53 years ago-April 10, 1970-The Beatles broke up. Their popularity detonated like a bomb only six years earlier when they reenvisioned Sunday nights with their first appearance “The Ed Sullivan Show“. The country was still reeling from President John F. Kennedy’s assasination less than three months earlier. The Fab Four propelled not only America but the world forward with their sound, sparking a musical revolution and a British Invasion while redefining music for the rest of our lives.

The turbulence of the 1960’s and the band’s enormous life altering fame turned a group of four young souls into four grown men who got married, became fathers and went searching for more. They experimented with drugs, different cultures and ancient mysticism while longing for peace from the war in Asia and the one in America over civil rights.

Each album by The Beatles was a testament to their experiences, their growth & all that was happening around them. From Rubber Soul to Revolver to Sgt. Peppers to The White Album to Abbey Road to Let It Be, the group was a force that could not be denied. And the most common themes of love and peace in their songs ( “Love Is All You Need“, “Come Together“, And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make“) are even more powerful and sought after now as they were over five decades ago.

Thank you John, Paul, George and Ringo. You gave us so much. But we owe you even more.

I look at the world
And I notice it’s turning
While my guitar gently weeps

With every mistake
We must surely be learning
Still my guitar gently weeps

Beatles 1964

Beatles Hey Jude photo shoot

Top: The Beatles in 1964. Bottom: The Beatles in 1969. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (1968, written by George Harrison).

Stay safe & well.

Music Monday: April 3, 2023

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another edition of Music Monday.

Bruce quote 2023

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Yesterday marked what would have been Marvin Gaye’s 84th birthday. Motown’s “Prince Of Soul” was born April 2, 1939 in Washington, D.C. His voice was one of the strongest, one of the most recognizeable, one of the most powerful & one of the most beautiful to come out of the Motor City. He was also a musician, a songwriter and a producer.

He started with the Motown label in 1960 and by 1962 he had his first hit, “Stubborn Kind Of Fellow”. He spent the next 20 years of his career at the label, and despite incredible highs with hit songs like “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”, duets with Tammi Terrell and seminal albums like “What’s Going On”, Gaye also experienced incredible lows including the end of his first marriage, the death of Terrell and struggles with depression and addiction. He left Motown for CBS Records in 1982.

That same year Gaye enjoyed a career resurgence with the release of Midnight Love. The lead single, “Sexual Healing”, hit #3 by January 1983. It won him the first Grammy Award of his career, Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male (the instrumental version earned him Grammy #2 the same year). But it was what he did next that gave him another career defining moment that is still revered and celebrated 40 years later.

On February 13th, 1983, the NBA’s best gathered at the Los Angeles arena for the 33rd All-Star Game between Eastern and Western Conferences. Gaye was chosen to sing the National Anthem and went on to make history with his suave, soulful and utterly sensational interpretation of the song. The Star Spangled Banner would never sound the same from that point on. It was like watching what Ray Charles did for “America The Beautiful” all over again.

Marvin NBA 1983

Marvin Gaye at the 1983 NBA All Star Game. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I miss this man every single day. I fell in love with his voice before I knew what soul music was but I knew Gaye’s voice was the definition of it, even when I was a young child. He was just that good, just that talented and just that powerful. And every time I hear one of his songs, I remember the first time I heard his voice all over again. But his legacy is best summed up on his website: “His greatness rests in his genius for transforming spiritual energy into songs that both inspire and delight.” Amen.

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Gaye circa 1982. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Marvin Gaye: “National Anthem” (1983, Live at the NBA All Star Game, lyrics by Francis Scott Key and music by John Stafford Smith).

Marving Gaye: “That’s The Way Love Is” (1969, written by Barrett Strong and Norman Whitfield).

Stay safe & well.