August 12: Happy 69th Birthday Mark Knopfler

Mark-Knopfler

…. Actually we are soul mates. As far as guitar playing goes he never steps all over with fancy licks. Yeah, Mark was incredible. He helped make this record in a thousand ways, not only musically, which in itself would have been enough. Brilliant guy, I can’t say enough about him.
~Bob Dylan (Talking about Knopfler part in the making of “Infidels” – July 1983 to Martin Killer)

The most celebrated British guitar hero to emerge in the 1970s and ’80s, Mark Knopfler rose to fame as the leader of Dire Straits, and his songwriting and incisive guitar work played a decisive role in making them an international success story. At a time when punk and new wave were making technique for its own sake seem irrelevant, and metal was taking the guitar solo in noisier and unpredictable directions, Knopfler’s clean but dexterous picking proved there was still room for traditionalism and chops in mainstream rock & roll.
~Mark Deming (allmusic.com)

Dire Straits – Sultans Of Swing (Alchemy Live – 1983):

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August 11: Leonard Cohen – New Skin for the Old Ceremony (1974)

leonard cohen old skin

…I must say I’m pleased with the album. It’s good. I’m not ashamed of it and am ready to stand by it. Rather than think of it as a masterpiece, I prefer to look at it as a little gem.
~Leonard Cohen (to Melody Maker’s Harvey Kubernik in March 1975)

That miraculously intimate voice has become more expressive and confident over the years without losing its beguiling flat amateurishness. Some of the new songs are less than memorable, but the settings, by John Lissauer, have the bizarre feel of John Simon’s “overproduction” on Cohen’s first album, which I always believed suited his studied vulgarity perfectly. A-
~Robert Christgau (robertchristgau.com)

.. The lyrics are filled with abstract yet vivid images, and the album primarily uses the metaphor of love and relationships as battlegrounds (“There Is a War,” “Field Commander Cohen”). Cohen is clearly singing from the heart, and he chronicles his relationship with Janis Joplin in “Chelsea Hotel No. 2.” This is one of his best album..
~Vik Lyengar (allmusic.com)

Chelsea Hotel #2

I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,
you were talking so brave and so sweet,
giving me head on the unmade bed,
while the limousines wait in the street.
Those were the reasons and that was New York,
we were running for the money and the flesh.
And that was called love for the workers in song
probably still is for those of them left.
Ah but you got away, didn’t you babe,
you just turned your back on the crowd,
you got away, I never once heard you say,
I need you, I don’t need you,
I need you, I don’t need you
and all of that jiving around.

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August 10: Happy Birthday Ian Anderson (born in 1947)

Ian Anderson.(Jethro Tull)
Ian Anderson.(Jethro Tull)

 

Ian Scott Anderson, MBE (born 10 August 1947) is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, best known for his work as the leader and flautist of British rock band Jethro Tull.

We honor him today with two fine versions of Aqualung, happy birthday Mr. Anderson!

Anderson plays several other musical instruments, including keyboards, bass guitar, bouzoukibalalaika, saxophone, harmonica, and a variety of whistles. His solo work begin with the 1983 album Walk into Light, and since then he released another five works, including the sequel of Jethro Tull albumThick as a Brick (1972) in 2012, entitled TAAB2: Whatever happened to Gerald Bostock.

Aqualung, live 1977 (1978?):

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August 8: Listen to Van Morrison @ Lion’s Share, San Anselmo in 1971

Honestly, this may be the best Van recording I’ve heard, not withstanding its slightly wonky mix of vocals, its beauty is in the fun that Morrison and his band are having. A fantastic recording, a great night.
-Stuart @ collectorsmusicreviews.com

My New World Crystal Ball
Lion’s Share, San Anselmo, CA; August 8, 1971.
Late Show.

Excellent soundboard

Band:

  • Backing Vocals – Ellen Schroer, Janet Planet, Martha Velez
  • Bass – Bill Church
  • Drums – Dahaud Shaar
  • Guitar – John Platania
  • Keyboards – Alan Hand
  • Saxophone – Jack Schroer
  • Vocals – Van Morrison

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August 7: Happy 68th Birthday Rodney Crowell

RodneyCrowell

… When I was 12 years old, or however old I was when Bringing It All Back Home came out, I’d just skip back and forth endlessly between ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ and ‘It’s Alright, Ma’ and ‘Mr. Tambourine Man,’ and now my Dylan roots are showing big time.
— Rodney Crowell

Rodney Crowell & Emmylou Harris – Shelter From The Storm (live 2006)

From Wikipedia:

Born August 7, 1950 (age 68)
Houston, Texas United States
Genres Country
Occupations Musician, Songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Guitar
Years active 1978–present
Labels Warner Bros., Columbia, MCA, Sugar Hill, Epic, Yep Roc
Associated acts Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, The Notorious Cherry Bombs, Los Super Seven
Website Official Site

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Legendary bootleg: Van Morrison – Pagan Streams

van morrison - Pagan Streams

From my perspective, there are better sound-quality boots out there (Live In Montreux, for example), but no Van boot I have — and I have more than a few — so integrates solid sound with a stunning performance: Live In Montreux comes close, but at 150+ minutes, Pagan is the winer. This boot is so good, so valued, that much like the ancestral heir loom one only wears on special occasions, I listen to Pagan Streams infrequently. If I listened to it too often, I would quit my job, leave my wife and dog, and sell my soul to attend every one of the Man’s concerts. I know it took me a while to track this boot down, and all I can say is: if you can find it, buy it.
Niall Connors (oocities.org)

The sound quality of this double CD is a very good audience recording. In fact it sounds a lot like a soundboard recording. There is some distortion in a few tracks but it isn’t a huge problem and is very listenable. Van actually “booted” some tracks from this boot for his Gloria CD single.
-Russell Parkinson  (oocities.org)

Utrecht, Holland – April 1, 1991

  • Van Morrison – vocal
  • Hajih Ahkba – flugelhorn & trumpet
  • Dave Early – drums
  • Georgie Fame – keyboards
  • Howard Francis – keyboards
  • Steve Gregory – saxophone
  • Ronnie Johnson – guitar
  • Nicky Scott – base
  • Candy Dulfer – alto saxophone

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