Happy New Year listeners and thanks for tuning in.
The band's NYE show was a lot of fun as well as being the first time I've been awake for the new year for quite a while! We had a full house of enthusiastic (mostly) punters who ate, drank, sang and danced the night away. Our three sets were 100% Australian music and chosen to make sure that people would know the tunes and that everyone would like something. Any hiccups were very minor and certainly didn't detract from the show. Hats off to the whole group for putting on a great show. My apologies to one and all for mixing up my Angels songs...oops!
The Angels - Take A Long Line - http://youtu.be/4LdZAK2Rfkg
For all you listeners overseas who like good rock and roll then click on the above link. The Angels were contemporaries of great Aussie bands such as AC/DC, Cold Chisel and Rose Tattoo. That song also has a really easy guitar solo which was fun for me!
Since we're on the Oz Rock bandwagon for a moment it seems remiss not to play this next song. I know that Crowded House are as much a New Zealand band as they are Australian but I'm happy to share. We played this song on Wednesday night and it was probably my favourite other than Midnight Oil's "Hercules". I remember when the gig that the next clip was from was televised nationally. I recorded it on VHS and watched it over and over!
Crowded House - Mean To Me (live 1996) - http://youtu.be/5GWGrjSh6Qc
The last thing I'll say about our show was that it marked the debut of a new(ish) guitar and amp combination for me. Regular readers will be aware of my frustration at getting the guitar sound in my head to come out of my gear. Well folks, it's taken many years of searching but sonic nirvana has been realised. I played my 1991 Fender Stratocaster Plus Deluxe model pretty much all night through a Jet City 20 watt valve amp. Only the really hard rockers needed a switch to the Gibson Les Paul. It really is amazing how much better I think I play, or how much better it feels at least, when you think you sound OK! There are a few guitarists who I base my sounds on...here's one...
Spy Vs Spy - Clarity of Mind - http://youtu.be/AtQ9gETkF4g
Today I spent some time cleaning up and reorganising the back of the garage where all my guitar gear lives. Being able to head out there, plug in and bash out a few tunes is a great tonic for "what ails you"! I also too the opportunity to listen to some Johnny Cash. The Man in Black has a gazillion albums and compilations and it's all good. Today's album of choice was "Orange Blossom Special" . It's Johnny's 21st album and was released in 1965. On the cover JC is pictured sitting on top of a railway carriage. Given that I'm reading about Woody Guthrie and Jack Kerouac the image of Johnny on the train fitted in nicely!
Johnny Cash - All God's Children Ain't Free - http://youtu.be/AM4lxPcUozw
I heard this next song when I obtained a recording of the Belle & Sebastian Xmas Peel Sessions set. It's by James Brown and I'm going to hit you with the original because it's super-fab and groovy. I like the message too.
James Brown - Santa Claus, Go Straight To The Ghetto - http://youtu.be/cz48PR__uSo
The fact that seven pasty Glaswegians covered that song just shows the universal appeal of a good James Brown groove.
It's 37 days now until Zoe heads off to Vanuatu for 6 months and it's feeling pretty real for all of us. She's been busy buying appropriate clothes and collecting yam recipes as that's the staple food! It's very hard to put into words how I feel about Zoe flying off into the distance. I'm so proud of what she's achieved and what she's going to do but I'm a sad Dad too.
Lenny Kravitz - Flowers for Zoe - http://youtu.be/7fu0971-mVM
An album I've been revisiting recently is Stevie Ray Vaughan's 1989 release, "In Step". When I was a teenage metal-head another guitar player insisted that I try this album and I'm glad I did. Interestingly enough, if you believe what you read, this was the first album SRV recorded when he was clean and sober. I just love ther guitar tone on this next track and I've chosen a live version for you because watching Stevie play is as much a treat as listening.
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble - Love Me Darlin' (live) - http://youtu.be/GcF01GzlEi4
H turned me onto the next band by pushing a live acoustic recording my way. I'm still to explore their plugged in stuff but the live set, recorded at the Ryman, is just sublime. This next track is recorded live by KEXP radio and it's beautiful heartache in a song.
Band of Horses - No-one's Gonna Love You - http://youtu.be/KoQy_p3vNb8
I don't like New Year's resolutions. If you need to lose weight, gain weight, do exercise, work harder, work less, give to charity or whatever then just get on with it. What I'm getting on with is listening to more music I haven't heard before. Here's a sample...it probably fits nicely after Band of Horses but is a bit more psychedelic in a good way.
Cursive - The Recluse - http://youtu.be/sOG9xmzH18E
There you have it folks, the first episode for 2015. I hope you found something worth listening to. If you didn't then you are hard to please and need to send me something to try out.
"Nothing changes...." New Year's Day - U2