Let’s Take A Moment Day 476

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.

If the only thing you know about Marc Cohn is that he wrote & sang today’s song, that is enough. What a gift this track is. Forget the fact that it a fabulous tune and that he sings the heck out of it. It is a wonderful musical history lesson on the “land of the Delta blues”.

There is a reference to the self-appointed “Father of The Blues”, W.C. Handy (he wrote “Saint Louis Blues” amongst other notables songs) who was one of the first musicians to use folk music as the basis for his blues compositions. There are also nods to one of the city’s most famous roads known for its music-Beale Street-along with its most famous resident, Elvis Presley.

Cohn also mentioned his stop at the city’s Hollywood Cafe (“Now Muriel plays piano every Friday at the Hollywood”), one of the city’s best loved musical genres (gospel), soul singer Al Green’s church & a famous Carl Perkins song recorded at Sun Records Studio (“Put on my blue suede shoes…..”). Cohn visited the city in the 1980’s and turned the experience into a Top 20 hit in 1991.

Cohn was born July 5, 1959 in Ohio, making today birthday #62. I saw him at Jones Beach several years ago when he was touring as Stevie Nicks’ special guest. It was probably twenty years after today’s song was released and he sounded as great as he did on the record. He is wonderful live performer & a very talented musician. Here’s to 100 more birthdays for Marc Cohn.

They’ve got catfish on the table
They’ve got gospel in the air
And Reverend Green be glad to see you
When you haven’t got a prayer
“.

Marc

Marc Cohn circa 1991. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Marc Cohn: “Walking In Memphis” (1991, written by Marc Cohn).

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 158

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?

Bruce quote

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal 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.

In the fall of 1991, I saw a fabulous movie that celebrated one of my favorite genres of music:  The Commitments.  It is a story of a hastily put together soul music band in Dublin, Ireland as an easy get rich & famous scheme by music lover/band manager, Jimmy Rabbitte, played by Robert Arkins.  The lead singer of the group was played by Andrew Strong, who was only 17 when the movie was being filmed.  What a voice.  The movie was directed by Alan Parker, who died last month at the age of 76 (Some of his other films include “Fame”, Midnight Express” and “Pink Floyd:  The Wall”).

The most well known member of the cast is probably guitarist, vocalist & songwriter Glen Hansard.  He won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2008 with musician, vocalist & songwriter Marketa Irglova for the achingly beautiful song, “Falling Slowly“, from the 2007 movie, “Once”.  Later Hansard appeared on the show “Parenthood” when he used The Luncheonette recording studio where Adam & Crosby worked (Wow, I really miss that show.  Sigh.).

I knew all the songs The Commitments performed except one.  But it was beautiful with a fantastic horn arrangement and I immediately became obsessed.  So I bought the soundtrack CD and set out to learn everything I could about it.  Since this was 1991 that meant going to that year’s internet, the public library.  The songwriters, Dan Penn and Chip Moman, also wrote Aretha Franklin’s hit, “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” together, and individually they wrote songs for other artists as well.

The first singer to record the song was James Carr, who was rejected by Stax Records but eventually was signed to a small Memphis, TN label, Goldwax Records, in 1964.  They believed he could be their Otis Redding.  He was a great singer, but to me, he sounded more like Percy Sledge.  But Goldwax shut down in 1969 after only five years in business, so Carr tried recording at a couple of other labels.  However, he suffered from bipolar disease and it frequently affected his ability to perform live, so his career languished throughout the 1970’s & 1980’s.  He did enjoy a career resurgence in 1991 after he released a new album when Goldwax was revived.  Carr performed at local musical festivals for the next couple of years before releasing another album in 1994.  But soon after he was diagnosed with lung cancer and died from the disease in 2001 at the very young age of 58.

He did, however, leave us his fantastic recording of today’s song.  It was eventually covered by Sledge himself and other superstars like Aretha Franklin, Linda Ronstadt, Gregg Allman, Elvis Costello and the group, The Flying Burrito Brothers.  How I never heard this song before the movie is a complete mystery to me, but I am unbelievably thankful for finding it and its original incredible singer.

At the dark end of the street
That’s where we always meet
Hiding in shadows where we don’t belong
Living in darkness to hide our wrong
You and me, at the dark end of the street“.

James Carr
   (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

James Carr:  “The Dark End of the Street” (1967, written by Dan Penn and Chip Moman).

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 94

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?

Kerouac

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal 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.

When U2 burst on to the music scene in 1980, it was clear from their song lyrics this was not an ordinary band.  The stories they told were wrought with detail, emotion and meaning.  But I don’t think anyone could have predicted what a humanitarian Bono would go on to become.  He has been trying to end hunger and poverty around the world ever since he recorded the charity single, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” in 1984.  He has met with  everyone from world leaders to the heads of charitable organizations to the Pope himself.  And throughout all this work, he never took the eye off the ball with the band and continued to make great music.  It also did not affect his impossibly good looks, either.  Today’s song is my favorite from U2’s extraordinary catalog.

U2
U2 circa 2000: Adam Clayton (bass), Bono (lead vocals & guitar) the Edge (lead guitar & backing vocals) & Larry Mullen Jr. (drums).  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

U2:  “One” (1991, written by U2:  Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton & Larry Mullen Jr,)

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 75

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?

Peanuts music

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal 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 adored Rod Stewart since the first time I heard “Maggie May”.  I even love his earlier stuff when he was with Jeff Beck and then The Faces.  Stewart was another artist who reinvented himself once music videos were introduced.  It would be extremely hard for me to narrow down only one song of his as my favorite.  I chose today’s song not only because it is a great one but because I also love the video.  I think it is just gorgeous.  From the imagery to the sepia tone color to the couple “moving across the water” as they reach out for each other, it is just sublime.  And so is Stewart’s vocal.  It was written by Robbie Robertson of The Band who released his own version in 1987, but I think Stewart’s arrangement highlights the beauty of the lyrics better:

Can you see what I see
Can you cut behind the mystery
I will meet you by the witness tree
Leave the whole world behind.”

Rod

     Rod Stewart in his video for “Broken Arrow” in 1991.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Rod Stewart:  “Broken Arrow” (1991, 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.