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.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 293

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?

Shakespeare music

(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.

Today we celebrate the 76th birthday for one of the most prolific voices from the 1960’s Laurel Canyon music scene. Stephen Stills, a man Neil Young calls a genius, was born on January 3, 1945 in Dallas, TX. Best known as a member of the ground breaking groups-Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash (CSN) and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSN&Y)-Stills is also the writer behind one of the 60’s best protest anthems (“For What It’s Worth”) and the voice behind the song that celebrated the biggest concert the country had ever seen to that point (“Woodstock”). He is a two-time inductee into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame for his work with the aforementioned bands.

Stills has released a number of solo records throughout his career with notable songs like “Love The One You’re With”, “Sit Yourself Down” & “Treetop Flyer”. He is also noted for his guitar work and his multi-instrumental skills. He has worked with an array of artists including Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Richie Havens, Jerry Garcia, & Joni Mitchell, amongst others.

His work with CSN stands out the most for me. “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”, written about his one time girlfriend Judy Collins, is a musical odyssey. Just when you thought it could not get any better Stills closed out the song by singing in Spanish. But my favorite track of his is today’s, a stunningly beautiful ballad of lost love & heartbreak, with lyrics that define the word poetic.

Wordlessly watching, he waits by the window and wonders
At the empty place inside
Heartlessly helping himself to her bad dreams, he worries
Did he hear a goodbye
Or even hello
“.

CSN album

Stills & Young

Top: CSN’s 1969 debut album. Bottom: Stills (L) & Neil Young circa 2000. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Crosby, Stills & Nash: “Helplessly Hoping” (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.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 241

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?

kurt v

(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 am somewhat amazed that it took me until the eight month mark to get to a song from one of my favorite albums, “After The Gold Rush” by Neil Young. Of course I have played a few songs by him already but none from that work of art. So I will do that today, in honor of his 75th birthday.

Born Nov 12, 1945 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada Young dropped out of high school to pursue a career in music. He met Stephen Stills in Ontario in the mid 1960’s when he was there on tour with one of his early bands. Then Young met fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell when both were writing two of their finest tracks. Legend has it this is when Young wrote “Sugar Mountain” about his fleeting youth (supposedly he wrote it in 1964 on his 19th birthday). Mitchell has said she wrote “The Circle Game” (Day 55). to help him cope with his growing pains. Around this time a local band, The Guess Who, recorded Young’s song, “Flying on the Ground is Wrong”. He spent the rest of his time in Canada as a solo artist and as a member of The Mynah Birds with future R&B singer, Rick James.

Young relocated to Los Angeles around 1966 and met up with Stills in the Laurel Canyon music scene of the 1960’s. The two formed Buffalo Springfield & had a major hit with 1966’s “For What It’s Worth”, a song credited as one of the first ones to combine folk rock with country rock. But the group had several problems going on behind the music and Young felt confined within a group setting so when the band split up he returned to his solo work. He released his self-titled album in early 1969 followed by “Every One Knows This Is Nowhere” later that year. Both records focused on Young’s electric sound with the second featuring “Cinnamon Girl”, “Down By The River” and “Cowgirl In The Sand”.

It was around this time that Young again reunited with Stills in his new band which was renamed Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. They performed at Woodstock but Young missed one set & refused to be filmed for the other, allegedly because he was in the US illegally (he did not get his green card until 1970). When the band was recording “Deja Vu”, Stills & Young fought frequently over the sound of the band. But they managed to put aside those differences long enough to record his song “Ohio” in May 1970 in response to the Kent State shootings. After that Young left the band for good and went on to his enormously successful solo career.

It began in earnest 50 years ago with 1970’s “After The Gold Rush” which was highlighted by his move to a more acoustic driven sound. Thank goodness for that shift because it continued with the next release, 1972’s “Harvest” album which contains his masterpiece, “Heart Of Gold” (Day 24). But “Gold Rush” has several gems including “Tell Me Why”, “Southern Man”, “Don’t Let It Bring You Down”, “I Believe In You”, the title track and today’s pick. It is another of Young’s heartbreakingly beautiful ballads that just takes hold of me and will not let go. They make my heart hurt for all the right reasons, especially today’s song.

I have a friend I’ve never seen
He hides his head inside a dream
Someone should call him and see
If he can come out
Trying to lose the down that he’s found
“.

Neil 1970

Neil Young Opening Night Reception For "Special Deluxe" Art Exhibition

Top:  Neil Young circa 1970.  Bottom:  Young circa 2015.  (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Neil Young: “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” (1970, written by Neil Young).

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 232

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?

Thoreau quote 2

(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.

Yesterday marked the 75th birthday of one of my favorite woefully underrated artists, singer/songwriter/actor J.D. Souther. Born John David Souther on November 2, 1945 in Detroit, Michigan he was raised in Texas where he played with a local band before moving to California in the late 1960’s. That is where he first met Glenn Frey and they formed the duo, Longbranch Pennywhistle. They released one album in 1969 that did not make any impact and disbanded a year later. Then he joined the short-lived super group, The Souther-Hillman-Furay Band with Chris Hillman (from The Byrds & The Flying Burrito Brothers) and Richie Furay (from Buffalo Springfield & Poco). They broke up after two albums due to creative clashes.

Souther is considered to be one of the architects of the southern California country rock sound thanks to his collaborations with artists like The Eagles, Jackson Browne & Linda Ronstadt. Some of the songs Souther co-wrote include “Best Of My Love”, “New Kid In Town” & “Heartache Tonight” by The Eagles, “Hearts Against The Wind”, “Faithless Love” and “White Rhythm & Blues” by Linda Ronstadt and “Heart Of The Matter” (Day 89) by Don Henley. Souther also co-wrote & sang harmony vocals on James Taylor’s 1981 hit, “Her Town Too“.

Souther started acting in the 1980’s with roles in TV’s “Thirtysomething” and the movie “Always” where he performed a fabulous version of the 1933 Broadway song made famous by The Platters in 1959, “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes“. Most recently he played the role of record producer Watty White in the show, “Nashville”. I love everything he has done but consider today’s song, a top ten hit from 1979, as my favorite of all his accomplishments.

When you need somebody around on the nights that try you
Remember I was there when you were a queen
And I’ll be the last one there beside you;
So you can call out my name
“.

JD Linda 1979

JD-SOUTHER-BW-PHOTO-BY-LINDA-RONSTADT

JD 2015

Top: Linda Ronstadt & J.D. Souther circa 1979. Middle: Souther circa 1979. Bottom: Souther circa 2015. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

J. D. Souther: “You’re Only Lonely” (1979, written by J. D. Souther).

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 167

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.

I have written before about how big 1978 was for me in  music, so not surprisingly today’s song was released that year as well.  It is by another band I liked enough to listen to when they came on the radio but that is about as far as it went.  Poco was born from the ashes of the 1960’s group, Buffalo Springfield, to become a 1970’s country rock group.  Today’s song and another hit, “Crazy Love”, helped them earn their place in that genre.  When they released their album, “Legend”, I fell head over heels in love with today’s track.  It has all the staples I love in a song: a good vocal, interesting lyrics, a beautiful string arrangement and a fabulous sax solo.  It was written & sung by Paul Cotton who joined the band after Jim Messina (yes, of Loggins & Messina fame) left in 1970.

Today’s song is a wonderful tribute to New Orleans and while that city is famous for its music, the track also celebrates other things, namely the beauty of the Mississippi River rising, the site of the “full moon in tight shining down on the Pontchartrain” and the peace of “the cool southern rain”.  It’s really a beautiful love letter to the city.  We should all love one as much as Cotton loves New Orleans, even if it’s only for a day.

And I trust in your love
Never falling down
I trust in your love
Just like I do in this town
Whoa, never falling down“.

L-R:  Poco circa 1978 & songwriter Paul Cotton circa 1974.  (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Poco:  “Heart Of The Night” (1978, written by Paul Cotton).

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 79

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 I was a teenager I earned money by babysitting.  One of my favorite things to do after the kids went to bed was to look through the album collections of their parents.  It was a great musical education for me as I came across a lot of great singers and songs that way.  One of the best discoveries I made doing this was “The Best of Friends” album by Loggins & Messina.  Up to that point I only knew Loggins from his hit “This Is It” and as the co-writer of “What A Fool Believes” with Michael McDonald for The Doobie Brothers.  The album also introduced me to his partner, Jim Messina, and his earlier bands Buffalo Springfield & Poco.  All 10 songs on the record are fabulous from the writing to the vocals to the arrangements.  But today’s pick is the one I love most, with “House At Pooh Corner” coming in a very close second.

Loggins
(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

 

Loggins & Messina:  “Angry Eyes” (1972, written by Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina).

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

Stay well.