I love to make up cds to play in the car on long trips. Here's my playlist for one I made a few years ago. It features alternating songs from Delbert McClinton and Lee Roy Parnell. They both sound kind of bluesy country to me so I think they go well together. I called the cd DelRoy. Here's the list of the tracks with songwriters in parenthesis:
1. People Just Love to Talk - Delbert (Kevin McKendree, Rob McNelley & Delbert McClinton)
2. What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am - Lee Roy (Al Carmichael & Gary Griffin)
3. Starting a Rumor - Delbert (Gary Nicholson, Guy Clark & Delbert McClinton)
4. I'm Holding My Own - Lee Roy (Tony Arata)
5. Cherry Street - Delbert (Gary Nicholson, Kevin McKendree & Delbert McClinton)
6. On the Road - Lee Roy (Bob McDill)
7. Monkey Around - Delbert (Gary Nicholson, Benmont Tench & Delbert McClinton)
8. Love Without Mercy - Lee Roy (Don Pfrimmer & Mike Reid)
9. Old Weakness (Coming On Strong) - Delbert (Gary Nicholson & Bob DiPiero)
10. Tender Moment - Lee Roy (Rory Michael Bourke, Cris Moore & Lee Roy Parnell)
11. Too Much Stuff - Delbert with Lyle Lovett & John Prine (Gary Nicholson & Delbert McClinton)
12. She Won't Be Lonely Long - Lee Roy (Bob McDill)
13. Better Off With the Blues - Delbert (Gary Nicholson, Donnie Fritts & Delbert McClinton)
14. Heart's Desire - Lee Roy (Cris Moore & Lee Roy Parnell)
15. Willie - Delbert (Gary Nicholson & Delbert McClinton)
16. When a Woman Loves a Man - Lee Roy (Mark Luna & Rafe Van Hoy)
17. Leap of Faith - Delbert (Gary Nicholson & Glen Clark)
18. If the House is Rockin' - Lee Roy (Gary Nicholson, Michael Henderson & Wally Wilson)
19. Wouldn't You Think (Should've Been Here By Now) - Delbert (Gary Nicholson, Benmont Tench & Delbert McClinton)
20. A Little Bit of You - Lee Roy (Trey Bruce & Craig Wiseman)
21. Lie No Better - Delbert (Gary Nicholson & Delbert McClinton)
22. oops! ran out of room. I know. With an i-Pod I could keep going, but I don't have one and don't want one.
The songs were chosen from the albums Lee Roy Parnell's "Hits and Highways Ahead", Delbert McClinton's "One of the Fortunate Few" and Delbert's "Acquired Taste". As you may notice, Gary Nicholson co-wrote 10 of the Delbert tracks and 1 for Lee Roy. For more information on the songs - lyric reminders, comments, etc. - see my posts of:
Parnell at the Well - 10/3/08
Delbert - 10/27/08
Delbert's Acquired Taste - 7/19/10
What artists would you pair together for an alternating artist cd?
Thank you Baseball Almanac. I tried to find stats on pickoffs on their website and came up empty so I emailed them as follows:
"Why are there no stats on pickoffs by major league pitchers? There are stats on balks and wild pitches. As a kid I remember that Whitey Ford had a great pickoff move. One game I recall seeing him pick runners off 1st and 2nd base. I've been wondering how many Ford had in his career. Maybe they didn't keep track of pickoffs when he played. Someone commented on the internet that the stat wasn't kept until 1974. I can't find any pickoff stats for pitchers whose careers began after 1974, e.g., Andy Pettitte, so that may not be true."
They responded in less than an hour:
In Lari White's 1995 top ten country song "That's How You Know When You're in Love", written by Lari with husband Chuck Cannon, the chorus describes love that makes your heart sound like rolling thunder and the earth begin to shake. Here's that chorus:
"When your heart makes a sound like rolling thunder
And your arms are wrapped around an angel from above
And when the earth begins to shake
'Cause it can feel the love you make
Oh oh oh that's how you know
When you're in love".
Hal Ketchum sang back-up on that song, one of Lari's best.
Two of my favorite love songs however are of the low-key variety - and they came 20 years apart.
On Hal Ketchum's 1992 album "Sure Love", he recorded "Softer Than a Whisper", a song about finding love without the earth shaking and thunder rolling. It was not released as a single. The song was written by Austin Cunningham and Pat "The Thunder Rolls" Alger.
"I've often wondered how love would strike me yet
Would it hit me like thunder, that's what I'd expect
But when I held you, I knew, it was different from the start
No words were spoken, but I felt it in my heart".
"It was softer than a whisper
Quiet as the moon
But I could hear it loud as laughter
Across a crowded room
It was gentle as a baby's hand
But it held me like a chain
It was softer than a whisper
When love called out my name".
Hal's old website closed down last year. In September, there appeared at www.halketchum.com a picture of a painting by Hal with the message below reading "new website coming soon!". Hope he's OK. Maybe it will be there when Hal celebrates a big birthday on April 9th.
An outstanding new duo, Striking Matches, released a 4 song EP in 2012. I bought the EP when my wife and I saw them perform with Don Schlitz at the Bluebird Cafe last October. One of the songs, "When the Right One Comes Along", was featured on the new TV series, "Nashville". The song was written by Georgia "Blue Sky Riders" Middleman and the Striking Matches duo, Sarah Zimmermann and Justin Davis.
"There's no music, no confetti
Crowds don't cheer, and bells don't ring
but you'll know it, I can guarantee
when the right one comes along".
"Every single broken heart will lead you to the truth
you think you know what you're lookin for
til what you're lookin for finds you".
The third verse mentions experiencing "a million moments of sweet relief". After the 4th verse, the tag concludes:
"All that changes, is only everything
when the right one comes along".
If you haven't already, I hope you find that right one. I found mine 38 years ago.
Forty Five years ago today my younger brother Rick and I got drafted into the army. I was just over a week shy of 22 and Rick was 20. He was called for his army physical in June of 1967 and I had mine in January of 1968. We were living in Bayside, Queens and had our physicals at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn, NY. The blood test was given standing up. After the blood was drawn, I took one step and passed out. When I came to lying on the floor, I was thinking that maybe this would keep me out of the military. No such luck. I wonder what happened to the guy I saw that day who showed up for his physical walking a duck on a leash.
I wonder how unusual it was back in the 60's for brothers to be drafted on the same day. Couldn't find anything conclusive on the internet. It's certainly nothing to brag about it. I'm just curious. I can safely say that it hasn't happened since 1973. That's because the draft was discontinued then in favor of an all volunteer military. Maybe some brothers enlisted on the same day. I don't know. Our being taken together does seem a bit strange considering our age differences and the approximately 7 months between our physicals. I'm not saying that it was a bad thing. At least I had a friend to help get me through this new experience.
Rick and I were sent by plane to Fort Jackson, South Carolina which is near the city of Columbia. It was our first time flying. Before being assigned to a unit, there was another physical to be taken. Again the blood test was administered to us standing up and again I passed out. (Ever since, I've always made sure that I'm sitting or lying down when having blood drawn.) Both of us were assigned to the same Basic Training company. The barracks were old wooden buildings that probably pre-dated WWII. We shared the same bunk bed. I had the top bunk and Rick had the bottom. The drill sergeant in charge of our training unit, SSG Eddie Goodwin, called us by our last name which he followed by saying "Richard type" or "Robert type".
Before the army, Rick and I played a lot of ball, although not well enough to play on even the high school level. We played basketball, baseball or softball and some touch football, so we thought we were in shape. Not so. Running, marching, with and without rifle and web gear, pugil training, 150 yard man carry, monkey bars, push-ups, etc., all exposed our physical deficiencies.
Whenever I hear the song "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" by the Hollies, I think of the 150 yard man carry. The song was written by Bobby Scott and Bob Russell and was released in the U.S. on Dec 1st, 1969. Here are some of the lyrics:
"But I'm strong
Strong enough to carry him
He ain't heavy, he's my brother"
"So on we go
His welfare is of my concern
No burden is he to bear
We'll get there
For I know
He would not encumber me
He ain't heavy, he's my brother"
I have the song on a 1973 Hollies Greatest Hits LP.
Presumably this man carry training was so that you could carry a wounded fellow soldier from the battlefield to safety. You chose someone approximately your own size and carried him on your back the 150 yards. It wasn't as easy as it sounds. That's 1 1/2 football fields. I carried brother Rick and then he carried me. While he wasn't that heavy - I may have even outweighed him by a few pounds even though he's 2 - 3" taller than me - he was a burden to bear as I'm sure I was for him. My memories of this event are a bit fuzzy but I know that I didn't make the 150 yards without a stumble or two - or three. I really wasn't strong enough to carry him. I probably had to stop a few times. As I have said before, strength is my weakness.
While I'm at it, here are some other recollections of my basic training experience:
My lack of strength was also exposed in pugil training, an activity used to simulate fighting with a bayonet affixed to a rifle. The pugil stick was shaped like a giant Q-tip, padded on each end. I was matched up against a guy about 3 or 4 inches taller and at least 40 pounds heavier than I was. He ko'd me in about 2 seconds. Luckily, we were wearing some kind of protective head gear so no permanent damage was done to my skull.
The low crawl under barbed wire with live ammo being fired over us was another fun training event (or at least they said it was live - I wasn't about to stand up to check whether or not it was true). The day we did this it was raining steadily. To make matters worse, when we got back to the barracks and removed our mud covered gear and clothing, there was no hot water left in the showers.
"Drop and give me 50". I committed some violation and a sergeant ordered me to do 50 push-ups. As my arms turned to spaghetti after about 25 and I could not raise myself off the ground, I asked "Sarge, can I owe you 25?" He mercifully let me off after saying something like I was a sorry sack of shit.
Before eating in the mess hall, you had to swing through the monkey bars on the chow line. This I could manage without much trouble. Some guys got blisters on their hands. The food was not bad and I came to like some meals I had never tried before like liver and chili, the latter served over rice. One meal I didn't care much for was creamed chipped beef on toast, aka "shit on a shingle" or "sos". Mess hall duty wasn't exactly fun. The first time I pulled KP they assigned me to cleaning the pots and pans. I'm thinking no problem because I'm picturing the pots and pans at home, not the huge ones used in an army mess hall.
When basic training was over, I got assigned to AIT (Advanced Individual Training) at Fort Lewis in the state of Washington. Rick became a holdover at Fort Jackson and a few weeks later joined me at Fort Lewis where he became a cook for his last 21 months in the army. Our barracks were about a half mile apart, separated by a parade ground. With an MOS of 11B and the issuance of green underwear, I had a pretty good idea where my next stop would be.
The basketball season has not turned out well for my teams. The St. John's University Red Storm has in all likelihood failed to make the NCAA tournament. While I'll follow SJU in the NIT and still watch some of the NCAA's, the 2012-13 college hoops season has lost its usual hold on my attention. In the NBA, the Brooklyn Nets are improved over the New Jersey Nets who as recently as the 2009-10 season lost 70 of 82 games. However, the first profesional team to represent Brooklyn since the Dodgers left for L.A in 1958 has shown a consistent lack of ability to handle the good teams. I would be surprised if they don't get eliminated in the first round of the NBA playoffs. These developments have gotten me thinking about baseball more than I usually do during the exhibition season.
The New York Yankees look like they will be starting the 2013 season with a power outage. It's not just A-Rod. His return in 2013 at all is doubtful, and almost certainly not before August. Injuries to Curtis Granderson (43 HR's last year) and Mark Teixeria (24) will keep them out of the lineup probably til mid-May. In the interim, the makeshift lineup will hardly be in the Bronx Bombers tradition. Don't forget that missing from last year's team which produced 245 HR's is Nick Swisher's 24, Russell Martin's 21, Raul Ibanez's 19, Eric Chavez's 16 and Andruw Jones's 14 HR's.
Before I go any further let me unequivocally state that I'm not looking for sympathy. Back in the 1950's there was a saying going the rounds of anti-Yankeedom that "rooting for the Yankees was like rooting for U.S. Steel". (Today you could probably substitute the Koch brothers for U.S. Steel.) If I didn't grow up on Long Island rooting for the greatest baseball team ever, I would be among those wearing the t-shirts reading "I root for the (insert your city's team) and whoever plays the Yankees".
Back to the 2013 Yankees. Grandy's outfield mates, Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki, are not likely to supply much power. Whether it's Eduardo Nunez, Juan Rivera or a rookie call-up filling in for Curtis, the outfield will have no punch 'til he returns. Hope the Grandy Man can cut down on his K's this year. He set the all-time Yankee record with 195 last year.
Kevin Youkilis may start the season at 1B and switch to 3B when Teixeria returns. Yankee Stadium is not as HR friendly to right-handed hitters as it is to lefties so I wouldn't expect more than 20 HR's from the former Red Sox. Jeter figures to be somewhere between 10 - 15 HR's and Jayson Nix or Nunez at 3B are also not known for the long ball. The catching corps will be lucky to hit 10 HR's between them.
Robinson Cano is the only legitimate power threat til Grandy and Teixeria return. In the last 4 years, Cano has hit 25, 28, 28 and 33 HR's. He could be drawing a lot of walks this year.
Left-handed DH Travis Hafner's career with the Cleveland Indians has been injury plagued since 2007, his last full season when in 525 AB's he produced 24 HR's and 100 RBI's. Last year in 219 AB's, he had 12 HR's and 34 RBI's to go with his .228 batting average. Shooting for the short right field porch in Yankee home games may help but my guess is that the Yankees will be lucky to get 20 HR's from old Travis. The right handed DH will probably be shared by giving periodic rests to old folks like Jeter, Youkilis and Juan Rivera.
Maybe the Yankees will be a running team if the speedy Nunez can get enough at bats to join Ichiro and Gardner on the basepaths. More later in the season.
The pop country group Lady Antebellum has a new single called "Downtown". Despite the lack of critical acclaim, it has been steadily climbing the country music charts. It made me think of another "Downtown" which became a number 1 hit shortly after entering the US pop charts in December of 1964. The singer was Petula Clark, probably the best known female artist of the British invasion along with Dusty Springfield.
I guess that most guys who are music fans remember their first favorite female vocalist. Before Linda Ronstadt and Anne Murray hit the pop music scene, I was a Petula Clark fan. I have 9 of her LP's. While I never got to see her in concert, I saw her on 60's shows like "Shindig", "Hullabaloo", "The Ed Sullivan Show", "The Tonight Show" and others. Go to her website to see who appeared with her on each show and her bio, discography, awards, etc.
Petula Clark is 80 now. She's had a great career. Besides "Downtown", her biggest hits included "I Know a Place", "My Love", "A Sign of the Times", "I Couldn't Live Without Your Love", "Who Am I", "Color My World", "This Is My Song", "The Other Man's Grass Is Always Greener", "Don't Sleep in the Subway", "Kiss Me Goodbye" and "Don't Give Up", her last US top 40 hit which debuted in July of 1968.
In case you are new to her music or just need a little help remembering the songs, here's a lyric reminder for some of my favorite Pet sounds:
"Downtown", written by Tony Hatch
"When you're alone and life is making you lonely
You can always go - downtown.
When you've got worries all the noise and the hurry
Seems to help I know - downtown."
The Songwriters Hall of Fame recently announced their inductees for 2013, one of whom was Tony Hatch. Others included J.D. Souther, Mick Jones & Lou Gramm (Foreigner), Steven Tyler & Joe Perry (Aerosmith) and Holly Knight. Check out the hall's website for more on these artists and other hall members.
"Don't Sleep in the Subway" (Hatch/Trent - Jackie Trent was Hatch's wife at the time) as a New Yorker from Queens who took the subway to high school, Yankee games and later to work, this song grabbed my attention right away.
"Don't sleep in the subway, darlin'.
Don't stand in the pouring rain.
Don't sleep in the subway, darlin'.
The night is long.
Forget your foolish pride.
now you're beside me again."
"I Know a Place" (Tony Hatch)
"I know a place
where the music is fine and the lights are always low!
I know a place
where we can go".
"It's a sign of the times
That your love for me is getting so much stronger
It's a sign of the times
And I know that I won't have to wait much longer"
"This is My Song" (Charles Chaplin) "(L'Amour), C'est Ma Chanson". Driving up to Montreal in the summer of 1970 I recall hearing Petula sing this song in French, the only language I took in HS and college (and recall little of).
"Love, this is my song
Here is a song, a serenade to you
The world cannot be wrong
If in this world there is you"
"The Thirty-First of June" (Tony Hatch) an album track, the first verse ends
"And though I wait each day and hope and pray
Your love will come on soon,
It's as far away as the thirty-first of June"
"The Other Man's Grass Is Always Greener" (Hatch/Trent) I had a Petula Clark tape in our car when the kids were young and my mother-in-law was our daytime summer child care. It seemed to her that every time she started the car to take them somewhere, she heard:
"The other man's grass is always greener
The sun shines brighter on the other side
The other man's grass is always greener
Some are lucky, some are not
Just be thankful for what you've got".
"Who Am I" (Trent/Hatch)
"Maybe I'm reaching far too high,
for I have something else entirely free,
the love of someone close to me,
unfettered by the world that hurries by.
To question such good fortune,
Who am I?"
"Don't Give Up" (Hatch/Trent)
"Don't give up, don't let it get you down
Don't give up, don't think of leaving town
Don't give up, don't run away from it
Love will be yours in the end, my friend."
"Kiss Me Goodbye" (Les Reed/Barry Mason)
"Linger awhile, then I'll go with a smile
Like a friend who just happened to call
For the last time pretend your are mine
My darling, kiss me goodbye
My darling, kiss me goodbye"
"My Love" (Tony Hatch)
"My love is warmer than the warmest sunshine
Softer than a sigh.
My love is deeper than the deepest ocean
Wider than the sky".
"I Couldn't Live without Your Love" (Hatch/Trent)
"I couldn't live without your love
Now I know you're really mine
Gotta have you all the time"
I also always loved her cover of the Lennon-McCartney tune, "Here, There and Everywhere".
Victoria's talents are not limited to songwriting. In addition to co-writing 4 album tracks on Lady Antebellum's debut album, she co-produced it with Paul Worley. She's an outstanding vocalist and has recorded four albums and released a half dozen singles. Of the singer/songwriters who are primarily songwriters, there are few who can match her as a singer. If you want to learn more about her life and accomplishments, check out her website. Here, the focus will be on her music.
The albums are:
"In Full View" 1995
"Victoria Shaw" 1997
"Old Friends New Memories" 2000
"Bring on the Love" 2008
Some of my favorite Shaw songs that follow have also been recorded by Victoria on one of these albums. The list does not reflect the whole of her song writing credits. Some songs have to my knowledge only been recorded by Victoria. The Shaw album, if applicable, will be indicated in parenthesis as (VS), (OFNM) or (BL). Here are the songs with artist, album and writing partner(s) noted, as well as a lyric reminder:
"The River" - Garth Brooks from "Ropin' the Wind" (OFNM) a #1 song for GB in 1992.
co-writer - Garth Brooks
"I'll never reach my destination
If I never try
So I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry."
"She's Every Woman" - Garth Brooks from "Fresh Horses" (OFNM), a #1 for Garth in 1995.
co-writer - Garth Brooks
" 'Cause she'll rage just like a river
Then she'll beg you to forgive her
She's every woman that I've ever known."
Speaking of Garth, I've seen many shows at the Bluebird but this show I was unable to get reservations for:
Monday, June 4, 2012
9pm: A Songwriter’s Tribute to Garth Brooks with Pat Alger, Tony Arata, Kent Blazy, Victoria Shaw and Kim Williams – all writers who have written with, and for, Bluebird discovery, Garth Brooks.
I'll bet it was a great show. Back to the songs.
"Where Your Road Leads" Trisha Yearwood with Garth (FV), from her album of the same name, the single hit a roadblock at #18 in 1998.
co-writer - Desmond Child
"Where your road leads
I will follow
When your heart bleeds
I'll be there for you."
"Too Busy Being in Love" - Doug Stone, from "From the Heart" (OFNM), a #1 hit in 1992.
co-writer - Gary Burr
"I could have written a play so sweet and so funny
Given old Mr. Shakespeare a run for his money" ...
"My only excuse for not doing enough
I was too busy being in love
Yes I was too busy being in love"
When I wrote "Favorite Songs by Favorite Songwriters: Gary Burr" for Country Universe in April of 2010, I must have had brain freeze because I inexplicably omited this song.
At one of her Bluebird Cafe shows Victoria said that the third line in the last verse was "the beautiful 'sonnet' that starts with your name". When Doug Stone recorded the song, he changed the word "sonnet" to "song". She doesn't know why he made the change.
"I Love the Way You Love Me" - John Michael Montgomery from "Life's a Dance" (OFNM), a #1 song in 1993
co-writer - Chuck Cannon
"But I love the way you love me
Strong and wild
Slow and easy
Heart and soul
I love the way you love me"
"We Don't Have to Do This" - Tanya Tucker from her 1994 album, "Soon". reached # 11.
co-writer - Gary Burr
"Tell me where's it written
That we can't change our minds
We don't have to do this
We don't have to say goodbye"
"Never Alone" - Lady A and Jim Brickman from Brickman's album "Valentine", 2008 reissue (BL)
co-writers - Gary Burr & Sarah Buxton
According to Wiki, Lady A made its debut in 2007 as guest vocalists on Jim Brickman's single "Never Alone", before signing to Capitol Records Nashville and releasing "Love Don't Live Here". The song sounds like an Irish blessing:
"May the angels protect you
Trouble neglect you
And heaven accept you when its time to go home"
"A Good Man" - Emerson Drive from "Countrified", a #17 hit in 2006.
co-writers - Keith Follese and Adrienne Jean Felice
"On the day they lay me down
I want everyone to gather ‘round
And say he was a father, brother, neighbour and a friend
He was a good man!"
"Two Pink Lines" - Eric Church from "Sinners Like Me", reached #19 in 2006.
co-writer - Eric Church
"one means none and we're home free
two means three and a diamond ring
yeah I wonder what fate is gonna decide
we're just sittin around waiting on two pink lines"
"God and Me" - an album track from Kristen Chenowith's "Some Lessons Learned" cd. (BL)
co-writer - Gary Burr
"I'm sure the one who made the sunsets and the seasons,
Had a real good reason, for the pain of love".
"I Was Here" - Lady A non-album single that failed to chart and another album track for Kristen Chenowith from "Some Lessons Learned".
co-writers - Gary Burr and Hillary Scott
Victoria's daughter Ruby did a great job singing this inspirational song at one of the Shaw Bluebird shows.
"I wanna do somethin' that matters, say somethin' different,
somethin' that sets the whole world on its ear."
4 songs from Lady A's debut self-titled album:
Track 4 - "Long Gone",
co-writers - Hillary Scott, Adrienne Follese & Keith Follese
"Gone like the wind under Superman’s cape
Like a thief in the night I made the great escape
I’m not the kind of girl that keeps making the same mistakes"
Track 6 - "Love's Lookin' Good On You",
co-writers - Jason Deere & Matt Lopez
"Love, love, love's lookin' good, good, good on you"
Track 7 - "Home is Where the Heart Is",
co-writers - Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley & Hillary Scott
"Mama said home is where the heart is
When I left that town"
Track 9 - "Slow Down Sister".
co-writers - Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley & Jason “Slim” Gambill
"So slow down sister cause I just can’t love ya
But I just can’t get you off my mind"
This last group includes some of my favorite Shaw Songs that to my knowledge have not been recorded by another artist:
"There's a Song In There Somewhere" (BL)
co-writer - Gary Burr
The first verse begins "I've got the broken heart, I've got the empty bed, ... the tear stained pillow ..." and concludes "the only thing missing is the steel guitar". (The steel is not missing on this mid-tempo recording.) The chorus begins with the song title and continues "isn't that what they say, between the saddest of goodbyes and cheap wine, tonight I'm a walking cliche". It concludes "there's a song in there somewhere, maybe I'll write it someday". Maybe Martina McBride will record it some day.
"Waikiki Cowboy" - Victoria Shaw from "OFNM"
co-writer - Gary Burr
funny song - see my post of 4/25/11.
"Almost Mine" - Victoria Shaw with Ty Herndon from "OFNM"
co-writers - Cliff Downs & David Pack
A song of regret: "I remember when your love was almost mine".
"Don't Move" - Victoria Shaw from "VS"co-writer - Steve McClintock
A break-up song: "Don't speak, don't move, this is how I want to remember you."
"In Spite of It All" - Victoria Shaw from "VS"
co-writers - Timothy James Auringer & Steve McClintock
A song about getting over a breakup and being able to move on and trust again. "I'm not afraid to fall, in spite of it all".
Finally, a favorite song (also one of my wife's favorites) she recorded on OFNM but didn't write:
"Tripped" - written by Amy Powers & Peter Zizzo."That's not a hole here in my heart, it's just a temporary rip
I didn't drink in all your lies, I only sipped" ....
"I admit you kind of got to me, but I didn't fall for you I just tripped".
If you get a chance, catch one of her shows. Besides Nashville, she usually does a show or two in NYC every year.
My copy of "Finally Home", the debut album of Blue Sky Riders, arrived from Amazon in the mail two days ago. Fabulous album. BSR is Kenny Loggins, Georgia Middleman and Gary Burr. The album title is part of the lyric from the first track, "I'm a Rider". The album jacket indicates that all 15 songs are written by the trio except "Little Victories" written by BSR and Richard Marx, "A Thousand Wild Horses" by Gary and Sam & Annie Tate, and "How About Now" by Gary and Kenny. BSR began touring in June of 2011 as an opening act for Kenny Loggins and then on their own in 2012. The album is also available on i-Tunes.
The reviews of their live shows and the album have been outstanding. I had pre-ordered the cd before seeing any album reviews since I've become very familiar with the music of Gary Burr and Georgia Middleman over the last three years. My wife and I have seen them at the Bluebird many times plus we have their albums . We also have quite a few old Loggins & Messina (Kenny's first group before going solo) albums and we saw L&M at the Capitol Center in Landover, Maryland in October of 1975. The tickets were $6.50 each - I still have the stubs - for the show which also included Fleetwood Mac as the opening act. A few months earlier we had seen the Beach Boys and Chicago at the same venue for the exhorbitant price of $9.00 a ticket.
Strangely enough, a heavy metal and hard rock website, www.pitriff.com, gave "Finally Home" a great review. Writer Chris Akin of pitriff described BSR as a "supergroup" and the album as a contender for 2013 album of the year. In the world of modern country pop, it's as good as it gets. It features brilliant three part harmonies and the rare combination of all three musicians sharing lead vocals without anyone taking the dominant role as the "leader". "The lyrical craftsmanship on songs like "Windeer Woman", "Feeling Brave", "A Thousand Wild Horses" or almost every other song on the album is stunning."
Mr. Akin is especially effusive in his praise of Georgia Middleman. The album will stand as "the launch of Middleman as a mainstream, brilliant singer. While she has penned hits for some of the biggest artists out there today (Reba McIntyre, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban), Middleman's long been overlooked as a singer and performer. That is until now. Her smoky voice pushes relatable songs like the uplifting "Little Victories" into your soul. Her voice, combined with lyrics that literally everyone can relate to, power this song. At other times, like on "Another Spring", she finds her space between Burr and Loggins to raise the spirit of the song. Middleman is one of the single best vocalists out there today, regardless of if she's been heralded as such before now." (In my post of 10/17/10, Georgia's Table, I wrote that "Georgia Middleman is not exactly a household name on the country music scene but she is a very good singer and songwriter.")
In one of the other reviews, Ilene Angel in the Huffington Post called "Finally Home" a celebration, a delicious blend of stunning harmonies, exciting and fresh, chock full of upbeat, hooky choruses as well as meaningful, reflective ballads.
The album jacket provides part of the lyrics to "Feelin' Brave", "Little Victories", "Dream" and "Just Say Yes". To see the complete lyrics and credits, go to www.Blueskyridersband.com. Oops! The lyrics are not there yet.
In the meantime, here's part of what I wrote about a great ballad I heard Gary sing at the Bluebird at least a half dozen times before it was selected to be on "Finally Home":
"A Thousand Wild Horses" is about a man starting a new relationship and worrying about the wild horses or demons of his past. He knows his old issues aren't going away. He'll have to deal with them in this new relationship and he's not optimistic about being successful. "One drink too many, one kiss too deep, and I feel that old shake in the ground, that's a thousand wild horses, thundering behind me, hell bent on running me down." After the bridge, he warns his prospective lover "so if you're thinking you're the one who can save me, baby this ain't no merry-go-round, it's a thousand wild horses ..."
"A Thousand Wild Horses" can also be heard on You-Tube. There's a May 4, 2011 version by the Blue Sky Riders from the Rutledge, one of Nashville's live music venues. Gary sings lead. There's another from a March 18, 2011 show at the Bluebird Cafe with Gary singing solo. (My wife and I were at that Bluebird show which featured Gary and Don Schlitz.) The latter You-Tube is better because of the Bluebird's SHHH! policy so there's less talking in the background. Before the song Gary describes the first time he met Hall of Fame Songwriter Don Schlitz.
Related past posts:
8/9/10 Stop Me if You've Heard This One Before ... (the title of a great Burr album with 18 songs recorded live at the Bluebird)
10/17/10 Georgia's Table
2/9/11 Country Songwriting Team Tate
2/21/11 Things I Didn't Know I Knew (title of Georgia's latest album, a great jazz and pop-inspired collection of songs)
7/20/11 Blue Sky Riders, Headliner Opening for Himself?
It's time for my first playlist of 2013 - songs that mention the word "song" in the title (or sub-title). They could be country or pop, happy or sad but hopefully not bad. The songwriter names appear in parenthesis after the artist. Some songs were singles and some were album tracks. The first group includes fairly recent country songs, most within the last 20 years. Comments and/or partial lyrics follow the song listing. The last group covers songs primarily from the 1960's and 70's and are presented for the most part without comment. They are pop/rock songs I enjoyed in my younger days plus songs reflecting my first explorations into the world of country music. Here they are:
"The Song Remembers When" - Trisha Yearwood (Hugh Prestwood) great singer meets great songwriter equals awesome song - at least in this instance.
"Still I guess some things we bury
Are just bound to rise again
For even if the whole world has forgotten
The song remembers when."
"Heart Like a Sad Song" - Trisha Yearwood (Annie Roboff & Arnie Roman) An album track from "Where Your Road Leads". A mothering instinct?
"She loves the ones with all that wounded pride
The ones who carry all that hurt inside."
"Very Last Country Song" - Sugarland (Tim Owens, Kristian Bush & Jennifer Nettles) An album track from "Love On the Inside", the scene is a woman looking through family photos on her birthday and talking about each one. The chorus includes lines like "If nobody did nobody wrong ... this would be the very last country song".
"Songs for Sale" - David Nail (Scooter Carusoe & Billy Montana) An album track from "Sound of a Million Dreams". Songwriting is just his job, just as "some are called to preach the gospel, string fence in Colorado" ... "swing a hammer at a nail, haul bricks or carry mail", ... "I got songs for sale".
"There's a Song in There Somewhere" - Victoria Shaw (Gary Burr & Victoria Shaw) An album track from Victoria's "Bring On the Love" cd.
The first verse begins "I've got the broken heart, I've got the empty bed, ... the tear stained pillow ..." and "the only thing missing is the steel guitar". (The steel is not missing on this mid-tempo tune.) The chorus concludes "there's a song in there somewhere, maybe I'll write it someday". Maybe Trisha or Martina will record it someday - although Victoria's version is outstanding.
"Songs About Rain" - Gary Allan (Liz Rose & Pat McLaughlin) The song mentions "Rainy Night in Georgia", "Kentucky Rain", "Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again" and "Blue Eyes Crying in the Early Morning Rain". The last song title made me think only of Willie Nelson when I first heard it. The writers may have intended it to cover two songs, Willie's and Gordon Lightfoot's "Early Morning Rain".
"Somedays You Write the Song" - recorded by Guy Clark and by Gary Nicholson (Guy Clark, Jon Randall & Gary Nicholson) "Somedays the song writes you".
"Song for Dad" - Keith Urban (Keith Urban) a tribute to his dad.
"I only hope when I have my own family
That everyday I see
A little more of my father in me."
"The Balloon Song" - John Berry (Casey Beathard) The child is teacher to the man. Leeann Ward on CU wrote: "The song tells the story of a little boy who deals with his mother’s death by sending her messages via balloons".
"On With the Song" - Mary Chapin Carpenter (MCC) Mary's commentary on the "decider" and the "chicks"."A Jukebox and a Country Song" - Doug Stone (Gene Nelson & Ronnie Samoset) There's been a change to his former stompin' grounds.
"That's Another Song" - Bryan White (Monty Powell, Jule Medders, John Paul Daniel & Doug Pincock) A song of regret remembering another time, another place and another song.
"Off to Join the World (The Circus Song)" - Blaine Larsen (Mark D. Sanders & Shawn Camp) His new sweetheart at the circus went back to her old lover so: "He knew when he saw the clown standing behind her
In front of her, there stood one more".
"Always the Love Songs" - Eli Young Band (George Ducas & David Lee Murphy)
"Honky tonk drinkin' songs we could do 'em all night long
But the ones I remember the most ..."
"Play the Song" - Joey & Rory (Rory Lee Feek) a non-charting single from their debut album "The Life of a Song". Enough of the criticisms. Just play it. "Let
the people decide if the music is right or it's wrong".
Finally, a few "Uncaged" songs:
"Island Song" - Zac Brown Band (Nic Cowan) unwinding down in the islands.
"Lance's Song" - Zac Brown Band (Nic Cowan & Zac Brown)
"For him there's no more waiting
Got his silver invitation
To do a little playing
For the big band in the sky."
Next, some older song songs originally recorded by artists who are currently senior citizens and some who sadly didn't get to be seniors:
"Song of the South" - Alabama (Bob McDill), originally recorded by Bobby Bare.
"Song for the Mira" - Anne Murray (Allister MacGillivray)
"A Love Song" - I have it by Loggins & Messina and Anne Murray (Kenny Loggings & Dona Lyn George)
"Danny's Song" - I also have this one by Loggins & Messina and Anne Murray (Kenny Loggins)
"It Was Almost Like a Song" - Ronnie Milsap (A.Jordan & H. David)
"Nobody Likes Sad Songs" - Ronnie Milsap (Bob McDill & W. Holyfield)
"Love Put a Song in My Heart" - Johnny Rodriguez (Ben Peters)
"(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song" - B.J. Thomas (Larry Butler & Chips Moman)
"I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song" - Jim Croce (Jim Croce)
"Like a Sad Song", "Annie's Song" and "Annie's Other Song" - John Denver (all solely written by JD)
"Windsong" - John Denver (Joe Henry & JD)
"Song Sung Blue" - Neil Diamond (Neil Diamond)
"I Write the Songs" - Barry Manilow (Bruce Johnston)
"The Old Songs" - Barry Manilow (David Pomeranz & Buddy Kaye) - love the cover by English country singer, David Bradley.
"The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)" - Simon & Garfunkel (Paul Simon)
"An Old Fashioned Love Song" - Three Dog Night (Paul Williams)
"The Birthday Song" - Don McLean (Don McLean)
"All You Get from Love Is a Love Song" - The Carpenters (Steve Eaton)
"A Song for You" - Leon Russell (Leon Russell) I have it by the Carpenters.
"Border Song" - Elton John (Bernie Taupin & Elton John)
"Your Song" - Elton John (Bernie Taupin & Elton John)
"A Summer Song" - Chad & Jeremy (Clive Metcalfe, Keith Noble & Chad Stuart)
"This Is My Song" - Petula Clark (Charlie Chaplin) C'est Ma Chanson.
"Hey Baby, They're Playing Our Song" - The Buckinghams (James Holvay & Gary Beisbier)
"It's the Same Old Song" - The Four Tops (Lamont Dozier & the brothers Holland - Brian and Eddie)
This list is not meant to be all inclusive. I'm sure I've missed some very good songs. What are your favorite song songs?