June 25: Happy 82nd Birthday Eddie Floyd

eddie-floyd

.. a workmanlike singer and a very accomplished songwriter, who showed occasional flashes of brilliance.
~The Rough Guide to Soul and R&B

“…I’d had nothing directly to do with Motown while I’d been in Detroit, I’d still been around a lotta their artists and seen from a distance how they did things. And so, when I eventually got to Memphis, I could see that it was pretty much the SAME – you know, musicians getting together producing music, with everybody in the same groove… So yeah, working at Stax was very easy, because everybody was open-minded. You know, Al and I first met (legendary MGs guitarist) Steve Cropper at the same time we met Jim Stewart. So what would happen is, Cropper and I would more or less go off to the hotel, sit down and talk about music – and BOOM, almost immediately we’d WRITE something! While Al Bell and Jim Stewart would go off and talk about music and BUSINESS… So yeah, that’s the way it started – and it just moved on from THERE! I later went on to write with Booker T., which was great too. You know, Stax was all about TEAM-work. Like if an artist was recording and needing backing singers, I’d go and sing on THEIR record, and in turn they’d sing on MINE! That’s just the way we DID things.”
– Eddie Floyd (Blues&Soul.com, issue 1067)

Raise Your Hand – Live in Oslo 1967:

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June 24: Happy 73rd Birthday Jeff Beck

I don’t care about the rules. In fact, if I don’t break the rules at least 10 times in every song then I’m not doing my job properly.
~Jeff Beck

Every time I listen to Jeff Beck my whole view of guitar changes radically. He’s way, way out, doing things you never expect.
~Brian May

Jimmy Page inducts Jeff Beck at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009:

Jeff Beck accepts the award at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Induction:

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Classic Live Album: Townes Van Zandt – Live at the Old Quarter, Houston, Texas

The set features 26 songs, all originals except for covers of “Cocaine Blues,” “Nine Pound Hammer,” and “Who Do You Love,” and Van Zandt brigs these tunes to life with an easy grace that’s a striking complement to the emotional gravity of his lyrics, though he also gives his lighter side an airing here, occasionally cracking jokes and offering a pair of funny talking blues numbers, “Talking Thunderbird Blues” and “Fraternity Blues.” If the renditions of “Pancho & Lefty,” “If I Needed You,” “Rex’s Blues,” “For the Sake of the Song,” and “Tecumseh Valley” aren’t quite definitive, they’re beautiful and affecting, and thanks to the sharp performances, on-point vocals, and superb set list, this is a superior document of Townes Van Zandt on-stage, and is a fine introduction to his body of work.
-Mark Deming (allmusic.com)

Amazon.com dates the CD release @ June 24, 2008, and that finally pushed me (Calendar OCD) to put out a post about this AWESOME album.

I love live music and most of the music I listen to is actually concert bootlegs (mostly Dylan, Van Morrison, Springsteen, The Stones, etc..), but there are some great officially released live albums out there as well.. and this is one of them. Recorded in July 1973, and released as a double live album in 1977.

We really love TVZ here @ borntolisten.com and when we made our “TWZ best songs” lists (a couple of years ago), the favourite versions on my list are mostly from this wonderful album (Kathleen, Lungs, If I Needed You, etc..).

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June 22: Sonny Rollins Released His Masterpiece “Saxophone Colossus” in 1956

Sonny Rollins recorded many memorable sessions during 1954-1958, but Saxophone Colossus is arguably his finest all-around set. Joined by pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Doug Watkins, and drummer Max Roach, Rollins debuts and performs the definitive version of “St. Thomas,” tears into the chord changes of “Mack the Knife” (here called “Moritat”), introduces “Strode Rode,” is lyrical on “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” and constructs a solo on “Blue Seven” that practically defines his style. Essential music that, as with all of Rollins’ Prestige recordings, has also been reissued as part of a huge “complete” box set; listeners with a tight budget are advised to pick up this single disc and be amazed.
-Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)

St. Thomas:

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June 22: Joni Mitchell Released Her Brilliant Album “Blue” in 1971

Sad, spare, and beautiful, Blue is the quintessential confessional singer/songwriter album. Forthright and poetic, Joni Mitchell’s songs are raw nerves, tales of love and loss (two words with relative meaning here) etched with stunning complexity; even tracks like “All I Want,” “My Old Man,” and “Carey” — the brightest, most hopeful moments on the record — are darkened by bittersweet moments of sorrow and loneliness. At the same time that songs like “Little Green” (about a child given up for adoption) and the title cut (a hymn to salvation supposedly penned for James Taylor) raise the stakes of confessional folk-pop to new levels of honesty and openness, Mitchell’s music moves beyond the constraints of acoustic folk into more intricate and diverse territory, setting the stage for the experimentation of her later work. Unrivaled in its intensity and insight, Blue remains a watershed.
-Jason Ankeny (allmusic.com)

A Case of You:

Wikipedia:

Released June 22, 1971
Recorded 1971
Studio A&M Studios
(Hollywood, Los Angeles, California)
Genre Folk
Length 35:41
Label Reprise
Producer Joni Mitchell

Blue is the fourth studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. Exploring the various facets of relationships from infatuation on “A Case of You” to insecurity on “This Flight Tonight“, the songs feature simple accompaniments on piano, guitar and Appalachian dulcimer. The album peaked at number 3 on the UK Albums Chart and number 15 on the Blllboard 200.

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June 22: Happy 81st Birthday Kris Kristofferson – His 10 best songs

 

June 22: Happy Birthday Kris Kristofferson (born 1936 – age 81) – His 10 best songs

One of my fav artists, and he’s written many great songs.

This is a list (+ videos), not a bio… so here goes:
(preferred album version included)

  1. Sunday Morning Coming Down – The Austin Sessions (1999)
  2. Me and Bobby McGee – Kristofferson (1970)
  3. Why Me – The The Austin Sessions (1999)
  4. Help Me Make It Through the Night – Kristofferson (1970)
  5. For the Good Times – The The Austin Sessions (1999)
  6. Here Comes That Rainbow Again – The Essential Kris Kristofferson (2004)
  7. The Silver Tongued Devil and I – The Silver Tongued Devil and I (1971)
  8. To Beat the Devil – The Austin Sessions (1999)
  9. Nobody Wins – The Austin Sessions (1999)
  10. The Pilgrim, Chapter 33 – The Silver Tongued Devil and I (1971)

Yes! I LOVE “The Austin Sessions” album…

There are many great video clips on youtube, and I’ve tried to compile the best versions (live versions are as always preferred):

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Well I woke up Sunday morning,
With no way to hold my head that didn’t hurt.
And the beer I had for breakfast wasn’t bad,
So I had one more for dessert.
Then I fumbled through my closet for my clothes,
And found my cleanest dirty shirt.
An’ I shaved my face and combed my hair,
An’ stumbled down the stairs to meet the day.

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