Music Monday: November 14, 2022

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

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Novenber 12 marked birthday #77 for Neil Young, Both an acoustic master & a rocker at heart, this Canadian native has been making music for over five decades as a solo artist and in classic rock bands, The Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

His lyrics make me feel as if I speak and understand another language. Whether it is his perspective on life, love, death and everything else we see or encounter in this world, Young’s vision is all his own but makes it ours as well. His stories are raw, beautiful and heartbreaking in one aching succinct eloquent tale after another. But they are his to tell and ours to celebrate.

Happy birthday, Neil Young.

Ten silver saxes
A bass with a bow
The drummer relaxes
And waits between shows
“.

Neil Young circa 2000. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Neil Young: “Cinnamon Girl” (1969. written by Neil Young).

Stay safe and well.

Music Monday: August 1, 2022

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

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Unless you were asleep for most of last weekend, you know that music-actually life, for that matter-got a much needed win during this year that just will not stop disappointing us. On Sunday July 24, the legend known as Joni Mitchell made an unexpected yet glorious return to the stage at the 2022 Newport Folk Festival.

Joni2

Joni Mitchell on stage at the Newport Folk Festival on July 24, 2022. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

She sang, she played guitar & she brought the crowd to their feet proving she is still as vibrant & as moving as ever. This after fighting her way back from a serious health crisis-a brain aneurysm in 2015-that took her out of commission. I learned she has been slowly making her way back over the last few years, mostly by way of the “Joni Jams” she hosted in her living room to stay in touch with her musical friends. Earlier this year she was named Musicares Person Of The Year and last year she was celebrated as a Kennedy Centers Honor recipient.

If you need a crash course in her genius, influence & reach, there is a whole 2013 “Parenthood” episode centered around her music (S5 E4, “In Dreams Begin Responsibility”), not to mention an endless supply of YouTube videos to choose from.

The last time Mitchell played at Newport was 53 years ago in 1969. That was the same year she released today’s song. She has written some really beautiful ones in her life but this one makes me tear up every time. It took me years to appreciate the talent of this woman and for that I will always feel ashamed. But this track is her pinnacle, as was her performance last weekend on a magical stage in New England.

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads they say I’ve changed
Well something’s lost but something’s gained
In living every day
“.

joni-mitchell-2022-musicares-person-year-py_22_editorial_1644x925-4

Joni Mitchell circa 1969. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Joni Mitchell: “Both Sides Now” (1969, written by Joni Mitchell).

Stay safe and well.

Music Monday: June 6, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to the first edition of Music Monday for June.

Music Monday

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Two members of The Rolling Stones share the same birthday month. Guitarist Ron Wood celebrated birthday number 75 on June 1. Before he joined the band in 1976, he made a name for himself in The Jeff Beck Group, The Faces and with Rod Stewart. Their 1993 collaboration on Unplugged…..and Seated remains one of my favorites from that series.

Original member Charlie Watts was born June 2, 1941 in London, England. We lost the stylish dashing drummer last August & it hurt in a way I never saw coming. We all know musicians age like the rest of us but when a band is together for nearly 60 years, you start to believe they will outlive us all. Maybe that is just me. But what an ache Watts left behind in all of us who love The Stones.

Today’s song is in my permanent Top 10 list. It has been that way since the first time I heard it. It does not feature Wood but it is still one of the band’s greatest tracks of all time. It is from their 1969 Let It Bleed album and has been one of their signature tunes since then. I cannot even imagine my life without this monumental song in it. I am pretty sure Martin Scorsese feels the same way.

A storm is threatening
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
I’m gonna fade away
“.

Stones 2010

The Rolling Stones circa 2010 (L-R): Charlie Watts, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Ron Wood.

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Rolling Stones: “Gimme Shelter” (1969, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards).

Stay safe & well.

Music Monday: May 9, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Today’s song is another one of those tracks that left an indelible mark on my soul. It is classic rock at its finest, a tune so exquisite it is as close to perfection as I have ever found. The songwriter and singer of this paragon celebrates birthday number 74 this week.

Steve Winwood was born May 12, 1948 in Birmingham, UK. His father was also a musician who schooled his son so well that the younger Winwood was in a band by age 14, The Spencer Davis Group. Next came his tenure with Traffic where he gave us gems like “Empty Pages”, “The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys” & “Dear Mr. Fantasy”. In 1969 he joined forces with future Traffic bassist Rick Grech and musical powerhouses Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton to form Blind Faith. And it is from this supergroup that we arrive at today’s pick.

It is a captivating performance by all involved, from Grech’s masterful bass line to Baker’s elaborate percussion to Clapton’s stunning acoustic guitar work to Winwood’s soulful vocal delivery of his moving, lonely & succinct lyrics. When I featured this track on Day 74 of my daily music posts during lockdown, I called it “a prayer for all of us who are lost that we may find our way home to wherever and whatever that is”. And I stand by that sentiment. I find this song so beautiful it hurts, the way a magnificent work of art should make you feel. And this is art at its very best.

So, happy birthday, Steve Winwood. Thank you so much for all your exceptional music but for today’s track most of all.

Well I’m near the end
And I just ain’t got the time
And I’m wasted and  I
Can’t find my way home
“.

Blind Faith

Blind Faith circa 1969 L-R:  Steve Winwood, Rick Grech, Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Blind Faith: “Can’t Find My Way Home” (1969, written by Stevie Winwood).

Stay safe & well.

Music Monday: February 21, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

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February 25th will mark the 79th birth anniversary of my favorite Beatle, George Harrison. Born in 1943 in Liverpool, England, he was the youngest of the group and quietly honed his skills as a songwriter and musician. By the time the band broke up in 1970, he was the first member to have a number one single when “My Sweet Lord” hit the top spot on the singles chart at the end of that year.

Harrison followed his spiritual conscience in both his music & his heart. That led to him organizing the first benefit show in 1971, “The Concert For Bangladesh”. After a successful solo career he became one fifth of the supergroup, “The Traveling Wilburys”, in 1988.

I love so much of Harrison’s music, but I have always felt that today’s pick is his most beautiful composition. He was inspired to write it after hearing James Taylor’s song, “Something In The Way She Moves”. Harrison borrowed the first line & the rest is history. Even Frank Sinatra, who supposedly was not a fan of the Beatles, called today’s track “the greatest love song of the past 50 years” when it was released in 1969. He also recorded his own version in 1970. But even The Chairman Of The Board’s rendition comes second to the original for me.

Something in the way she knows
And all I have to do is think of her
Something in the things she shows me
I don’t want to leave her now
You know I believe and how
“.

George

George Harrison circa 1969. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Beatles: “Something” (1969, written by George Harrison).

Stay safe & well.

Music Monday: January 3, 2022

Hi, everyone. Happy New Year! Welcome to the first edition of Music Monday for 2022.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

My clean slate began with a grievous wound: the death of a dear cherished friend, Betty White. I am so happy she is home but utterly heartbroken that she left. And only three weeks before her 100th birthday.

What is there left to say about a queen, an artist, an animal advocate, a badass broad who took bites out of life where the rest of us barely nibbled? Nothing I can think of but this: I know she had a big, beautiful, incredible, rich, long life but my God, what are we going to do without her? Rest in love & peace you sweet wonderful funny friend to all.

Betty edited

Copyright 2011 by Michele Antonio.

In season four of “The Golden Girls”, “the happiest most fulfilling day” for White’s character, Rose Nylund, was when she received permission to start an unauthorized chapter of The Elvis Presley Hunk-A-Hunk-A-Burning-Love Fan Club. How fitting since today’s song is by The King himself.

His life & legacy is another one where there is not much I or anyone else can add to. January 8 will mark the 87th birth anniversary of The King, Elvis Aaron Presley. He was and remains one of the true inventors of rock & roll in this & every other lifetime. He is music royalty & of course, one of the greatest artists of all time. Today’s song is in my Top Five of his recordings and it always will be. Hail to The King.

Oh, let our love survive
I’ll dry the tears from your eyes
Let’s don’t let a good thing die
When honey you know I’ve never lied to you
“.

Elvis

The King circa 1958. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elvis Presley: “Suspicious Minds” (1969, written by Mark James).

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 541

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

blog Sept 2021

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

I have written before that when my favorite songs collide with my favorite TV shows, the world is a perfect place. I was hooked on “Lost” from the minute I saw Matthew Fox in the cast but when I heard today’s song in the third episode I knew the show would be one of my all time favorites. The track was by Virginia Patterson Hensley who the world would come to know as Patsy Cline.

She was born 89 years ago on September 8, 1932 in Winchester, VA. Her voice has long been revered as one of the best in country music history and I especially love that it was just like she was: big, bold, powerful & full of every emotion she was feeling. She grabbed your attention from the minute the music started and did not relinquish that hold until long after the song was over. Her voice just stayed with you for days and days and days. Still does.

Today’s song was her last single, released in January 1963, two months before she died in a plane crash. Like yesterday’s artist, Buddy Holly, that is sometimes what people remember most about her. If that is the case, I have to conclude that those people have no idea what music is in the first place.

Don’t leave me here in a world
Filled with dreams that might have been
Hurt me now get it over
I may learn to love again
“.

Patsy

Patsy Cline circa 1960. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Patsy Cline: “Leavin’ On Your Mind” (1963, written by Webb Pierce and Wayne Walker).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 514

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Aug 2021 blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

I am not sure if today’s song is considered PC or not anymore given the whole cancel culture climate we are in. I do not mean to offend if it is. I just hear it as a great track by one of my favorite bands. And in honor of Garth Hudson’s 84th birthday earlier this month I want to share it. He was born on August 2, 1937 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada and he was the only member of that fabulous band who did not contribute vocals. He was too busy as a multi-instrumentalist to add that to his resume. He contributed keyboards, saxophone and accordion playing to the group which helped define their sound from day one.

Robbie Robertson may have been the principal songwriter for The Band, but he alone could not have given life to those songs in the phenomenal way the five men did as an ensemble. He & Hudson, who has been working as a solo artist for the last two decades, are the only living members left from this incredible group. I think it is so sad the other three have missed so much. But together they reached the likes of Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Diamond, Neil Young, Elton John & many others who were completely inspired by what The Band created as a whole. That is one impressive fan base. Here’s to 100 more birthdays for Garth Hudson.

Now I don’t mind chopping wood
And I don’t care if the money’s no good
You take what you need
And you leave the rest
“.

Garth 1971

The Band 1970

Top: Garth Hudson circa 1971. Bottom: The Band circa 1970 (L-R): Rick Danko, Hudson, Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson and Richard Manuel. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

The Band: “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” (From the music documentary “The Last Waltz”, released April 26, 1978. Recorded live on November 25, 1976 at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. Originally released in 1969, written by Robbie Robertson).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 491

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Tom Petty music quote

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

On July 8, 1998 Frank Sinatra’s songs & movies were given new places of honor-The Smithsonian and Library of Congress. Today’s song was included in that group and it was played on two space missions: Apollo 10 and Apollo 11, which landed on the moon 52 years ago today on July 20, 1969. Sending a huge thank you out to all our rocket men & women-past, present & future-for having the courage & desire to take us all higher and higher.

Fly me to the moon
Let me play among the stars
Let me see what spring is like on
A-Jupiter and Mars”.

Sinatra

Apollo 11 Astronauts

Top:  Frank Sinatra album cover photograph circa 1960.  Bottom:  The three crew members of NASA’s Apollo 11, May 1969 (L-R):  Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin Jr. (Bottom Photo by Space Frontiers/Getty Images).  (Images found online.  Original sources unknown).    

Frank Sinatra: “Fly Me To The Moon” (1964, written by Bart Howard).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 439

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

May blog 2021

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Crosby, Stills & Nash released their self-titled debut album on May 29, 1969. From the first time the three artists sang together at Joni Mitchell’s Laurel Canyon home, they knew their was something uniquely special about their harmonies. With the release of this record, the world would hear their gift as well.

Each man had already found success in other bands: David Crosby with The Byrds, Stephen Stills with The Buffalo Springfield & Graham Nash from The Hollies. The trio started touring the summer after the first album came out. Their second gig was at Woodstock.

My favorite song from this album is Stills’ exquisite “Helplessly Hoping” (Day 293) with today’s song as the runner up. He wrote & sang this one as well, and both were about his broken heart after his girlfriend, folk singer Judy Collins, ended their relationship. I do not understand how she left a man with such heart, soul & talent, but without that experience we would not have his beautiful music. Or the unique ending of this tune which Stills sang in his mother’s native language of Spanish.

Que linda me la traiga Cuba
La reina de la Mar Caribe
Cielo sol no tiene sangreahi
Y que triste que no puedo vaya oh va, oh va
“.

Translation:

How pretty I’ll bring her to Cuba
The queen of the Caribbean Sea
I only want to visit her there
And how sad that I can’t oh go oh go”.

CSN

Graham Nash, Stephen Stills and David Crosby on the cover of their 1969 debut album. They took the picture before they decided on their name which is why they are not sitting in the order of their group name. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Crosby, Stills & Nash: “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” (1969, written by Stephen Stills).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.