Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasies & A Song

It still isn’t feeling much like spring yet, despite the fact that last week’s storm gave us only about two inches of snow.  And estate sales have been few and far between thanks to the weather and the upcoming Easter holiday.  I needed a break from the ballast of everyday living, so I did the only thing I could do-I went for a ride to listen to some music.  It’s like a mini-vacation for my soul.

My mind goes to so many different places as I drive, and one of the things I kept thinking about was how many artists I have been lucky enough to see in my life, but especially in the last several years because I could capture a moment of the show with my cell phone.

The quality is not the best on some of these shots, but here are several of the people I have been fortunate to see live.

Chris Isaak:

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Marc Cohn:

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Stevie Nicks (in her different looks):

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Todd Rundgren:

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The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin (who celebrated her 76th birthday yesterday):

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Yusuf Islam (f/k/a Cat Stevens):

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Sir Ringo Starr:

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And The Boss, of course:

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I do not have any shows to go to yet for 2018, but with the arrival of spring and the upcoming summer, I am sure it is just a matter of time before a few I want to attend are announced.  Then I will be able to add to this picture collection.

What concerts are you hoping to attend this year?

For this week’s song, I reached back to a band that released their ground-breaking self-titled debut record, “Boston”, in 1976.  Two years later, the group released “Don’t Look Back” and it is the title song that I played over and over during last week’s car ride.   Between Tom Scholz empowering lyrics and Brad Delp’s soaring vocals, it’s hard to feel anything but unshackled and free of the past with words like these:

A new day is breakin’
It’s been too long since I felt this way
I don’t mind where I get taken
The road is callin’
Today is the day”

“It’s a bright horizon and I’m awakin’ now
Oh I see myself in a brand new way
The sun is shinin’
The clouds are breakin’
‘Cause I can’t lose now, there’s no game to play

I do not own the rights to the song.  I am just sharing something that I love with you  🙂

Until next time, happy digging!!!

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25 Days Of Christmas Songs: Day 1

Hello, Vixens!!!  Hope you all enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday.

Now that Turkey Day is behind us and since December begins today, it’s time for me to share some of my favorite Christmas tunes with you.

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But before we dive in, there is some other music I am loving right now that you might like also.  Some of the songs are new, some are old and some are in between.  I have been discovering new to me music through shows like “Psych” (sooooo looking forward to the  movie on December 7), “Criminal Minds”, “Grey’s Anatomy” and, of course, “This Is Us” (In this week’s episode alone, it featured the naked version of George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” and Cat Stevens “Where Do The Children Play“.  Swoon x 2!!!).

I also really love the soundtrack to “Big Little Lies”.  Yes Reese, Nicole, Shailene & Laura were great, but the actress who played Reese’s youngest daughter-Darby Camp- was unbelievably impressive.  And her character’s intense love of great music -that was me at that age!!!  I was Chloe Mackenzie minus the ear buds.  My favorite song from that series?  Leon Bridges:  “River

Here are some of my other top picks of late:

Kelly Clarkson’s version of “Love On The Brain” (The original is good, too, with Rihanna  sounding very old school R&B-soul-like).

Gillian Welch:  “I Made A Lover’s Prayer “.

Andrew Bird:  “Three White Horses“.

Foy Vance “Guiding Light” and “Gabriel & The Vagabond“.

Rufus Wainwright:  “Vibrate” (Just his voice as he plays the piano with one hand.  Beautiful.).

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Rufus Wainwright (original source unknown)

I think I have been even more consumed by my love of music these days because it has been such a sad year for the industry with the losses of Chuck Berry, Gregg Allman, Butch Trucks, Tom Petty,  Chris Cornell, Glen Campbell (he put Jimmy Webb’s songs on the map), David Cassidy (what girl did not l-o-v-e Keith Partridge) and the man with the first song on our countdown.

He was one of the early musical pioneers who helped create rock & roll by linking it to his jazz meets rhythm & blues background.  The only other Fifties-era rocker that sold more records than he was Elvis Presley.  But coming in second with 65 million records sold was no small feat.  According to his bio on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s website, he “scored more hit records than Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Buddy Holly put together”.  That is part of the reason why he was inducted into the HOF with the rest of the inaugural inductees in 1986.

Unfortunately, the change in the direction of music as a result of the one-two punch of the Beatles arrival in America in 1964 followed by the British Invasion brought this man’s incredible career to a screeching halt.  But even more depressing, we said a final goodbye to Antoine “Fats” Domino, Jr. on October 24 when he passed away at the age of 89.

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Fats Domino (Courtesy of Barry Peake/Rex/Shutterstock-original source unknown)

One of his musical heroes was Charles Brown who wrote and released the original version of this song in 1960.  But no one does it like the Fat Man.

Fats Domino:  “Please Come Home For Christmas“.

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you   🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

 

 

 

 

Music Road Trip: Yusuf/Cat Stevens Concert: Upper Darby, Pennsylvania

Hi there, Vixens!!!  2014 has had several high points for me (starting this blog being one of them), and two of the highest points were getting to see Yusuf/Cat Stevens live TWICE!!!

The first time was in April at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (he was one of the inductees who performed-read about that here) and the second time was Thursday night (12/4/14) at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.

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Photos and videos were not permitted so I do not have any to show you, but I can share that Yusuf gave an unbelievably great performance.  My favorite moment of the night was when he sang “Trouble” from the “Harold & Maude” soundtrack.  And when he sang his cover of Sam Cooke’s “Another Saturday Night” he advised the audience he changed the lyrics to reflect his search for a job, not a woman, out of respect for his wife.  What a sweetheart!!!

The first single from his new release was another highlight.  If you have not heard it-Yusuf’s stunning version of the Edgar Winter song, “Dying to Live”, listen to it here.

I can also share with you one of my all time favorite stops whenever I am on the road:  a meal at a Cracker Barrel Restaurant.  I discovered this delightful chain of comfort food, old time candy with antiques on display when I took my first trip to Vermont nearly a decade ago, and I have adored it ever since.  The food is always good, the service is always exceptional and the charming ambiance cannot be beat!!!  (These are my personal opinions from my own experiences.  I am not a paid sponsor),

On my way home to NY the day after the concert I stopped at the one in Mount Laurel, NJ during lunch time & had one of my two favorite meals there:  breakfast.

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No one makes pancakes like Cracker Barrel, in my humble opinion!!!  Delectable!!!  And I was lucky enough to get a table right near the fire, which was perfect on a cold, rainy December day!!!

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How cozy!!!

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After I ate, I took a tour of the beautiful holiday decorations throughout the store:

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One of my weaknesses is for snowmen!!!  What a great idea to use the top of one on the tree!!!

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These bobble heads are sooo sweet!!!

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One of several gorgeous trees on display!!!

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What a pretty (and big!!!) snowflake!!!  I think this would look just as pretty hanging from a ribbon in front of an inside window!!!

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Sooo adorable!!!  Love the glittery vest and pink chubby cheeks!!!!  Has a retro feel to him….reminds me of ones I saw in the front yards of homes in my neighborhood where I grew up!!!)

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I wish I had a little baby in my life who I could buy these booties for!!!

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I did not buy anything this year, but I bought this cookie jar last year (my other weakness is for gingerbread people!!!).  I was lucky to get it after Christmas so it was 50% off!!!  Steal!!!

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Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!

“You say you want to start something new…..”

Yusuf Islam, the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, was another 2014 inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Seeing him perform three of his classics-“Father and Son”, “Wild World” & “Peace Train”, was worth the price of admission.

After his abrupt departure from the music world, followed by some ridiculous misquotes by the press, it did not seem like I would ever have the opportunity to see this incredibly talented singer/songwriter perform live. The fact that I saw him at this show, with the Hall of Fame finally giving him his due, was too perfect for words.

Yusef is not the religious zealot the press made him out to be. In fact, the man who graciously accepted his induction from friend Art Garfunkel, was incredibly kind, humble, smart, eloquent and funny. And Yusef’s voice was and is as powerful and passionate as it ever was. The joy his music brought millions is a gift that I cannot get enough of.

The rumor is he is back in the studio working on a new album. And so this gifted musician begins another chapter in his incredible career. Welcome back, Yusef!!!