Monthly Archives: July 2008

Rate A Record: In My Arms – Teddy Thompson…3.8

Thanks to all who rated and commented on the Teddy Thompson Rate A Record.  I appreciate all of the discussion and honesty.

Overall, Teddy rates a 3.8 at Music Maven.  The average in the comments was 3.7 and I skewed the rating just a little higher, due to the George Jones cover.

Some comments:

I like the song but Teddy’s voice is kinda of mellow for my taste. This would be a big summer hit if someone with more of an edge to his voice sang it.

Frankly, I like the mellow simplicity of Teddy’s voice.

The song is catchy, and not full of platitudes.

I actually kinda like that it’s mellow…. Really simple song, but it works.

I thought it was very repetitive….those background instrumentals with the organ made me feel like I was on a bad carnival ride.

Personally, I really like the song.  But, more because I love the Traveling Wilburys.  When I first listened to this song, I was like who is that…it’s oddly familiar…wait a minute…oh, yeah!….

  You Got It, Roy Orbison

with a dash of:

  Dwight Yoakam

and of course, the influences of Dylan, Petty and Harrison, as well:

  Handle with Care, The Traveling Wilburys

or maybe more appropriately:

  The Wilbury Twist, The Traveling Wilburys

Regardless, Teddy seems to be combining a little folk with a little country and a little old school rock and even a little soul.  THAT, is something I can’t help but like.

As skylight mentioned in comments, Teddy does a mean Ain’t No Sunshine:

But, the one that puts me over the top is the fantabulous Roger Miller staple, King of the Road.  As Teddy’s George Jones cover, She Thinks I Still Care, King of the Road takes me back to my Dad’s endearing rendition some 40 summers ago.  I abosultely LOVE the song and the duet with Rufus Wainwright is simply delightful.

  King of the Road, Teddy Thompson with Rufus Wainwright

Teddy is a nice reminder that there are still new artists out there that appreciate music across various genres, even those of yesteryear.

1 Comment

Posted by on July 31, 2008 in Emerging Artists, rate a record


Current Country

Felt it was time to touch base on the Country front.  Unlike other music genres, there’s some pretty good music still coming from Nashville.

Currently, the #1 Country song in the land is Good Time, by Alan Jackson.

I really like this song because it’s fun and upbeat.  And, the catchy refrain is infectious…G with an O, O with a D, T with an I and a M and a E.   Good stuff.

Alan Jackson has proved to be a great songwriter over the years, with simple, heartfelt lyrics that really grab the listener.  His last hit, Small Town Southern Man, is a song about his father but it could have just as well have been about my own father.

As I have said before, Country is the new “Pop” music.  Many songs that are considered Country would have been classified as Country 20 years ago.  Also, many songs now cross-over from Country to Mainstream Pop and vice versa.  The #2 song in Country today is a cover of Michael Buble’s Home, performed by Blake Shelton:

One of my all-time favorite Country singers is George Strait.  For 25 years, George has been on or near the top of the business.  Despite the fact that he is some fine eye candy, he also provides songs that are simple, to the point and resonate.

His latest hit, I Saw God Today, is a sweet anthem that pays homage to the simple things in life:

I have often said that when you look into the face of a newborn baby (particularly your own), you look into the face of God.  George’s song echoes that.  The song hits on the kinds of emotions that resonates with virtually all who have been through having a child.

And finally, a ballad from Kenny Chesney…just because I like it.  True to form, Kenny hits the mark with an easy tune and a powerful lyric.  Wonderful in it’s simplicity.

  Better As a Memory

I move on like a sinners prayer
And letting go like a levee breaks
Walk away as if I don’t care
Learn to shoulder my mistakes
Or built to fade like your favorite song
Get reckless when there’s no need
Laugh as your stories ramble on
Break my heart, but it won’t bleed
My only friends are pirates
That’s just who I am
But I’m better as a memory than as your man

Never sure when the truth won’t bend
And pretty good on a lonely night
Or move on the way a storm blows through
And never stay, but then again, I might.
I struggle sometimes to find the words
Always sure until I doubt
Walk a line until it blurs
Build walls too high to climb out
But I’m honest to a fault
That’s just who I am
I’m better as a memory than as your man

I see you leaning, you’re bound to fall
I don’t want to be that mistake
I’m just a dreamer and nothing more
You should know it before it gets too late

Cause goodbyes are like a roulette wheel
You never know where they’re gonna land
First you’re spinning, then you’re standing still
Left holding a losing hand
But one day you’re gonna find someone
And right away you’ll know it’s true
That all of your seeking’s done
It’s just a part of the passing through
Right there in that moment you’ll finally understand
That I was better as a memory than as your man
Better as a memory than as your man

Country appears to be live and well….YEE HAW!

1 Comment

Posted by on July 30, 2008 in Country, Music Today


Rate a Record….Teddy Thompson

Back by popular demand….RATE-A-RECORD!!

Here’s how it works.  Listen to the featured track and then give your rating on a scale from 1 to 5 with 5 being highest.  I’ll compile everyone’s feedback into an average score and do a follow up post featuring your comments in addition to my own feedback.

Today’s submission is Teddy Thompson, son of folk rock legends, Rick and Linda Thompson.  (And no, she wasn’t engaged to Elvis.)  Rick & Linda were authentic hippies who raised young Teddy in an English commune.  (I know, oxymoron.)  Somebody sent me a heads up on Teddy and I’ve been checking him out.

Teddy recently released his new CD, A Piece of What You Need.  Teddy emerged from a back-up singer for Rufus Wainwright, who can be seen in a cameo in the video as Elvis rockin’ the organ.

So, without further adeui, Teddy Thompson and In My Arms:


Posted by on July 28, 2008 in Emerging Artists, rate a record


America’s Got Talent…Well, at least Emily David does

Ladies and Gentleman, Aretha, Jr.

40 year old, Emily David, the next great find from America’s Got Talent:



Posted by on July 27, 2008 in aretha franklin, Emerging Artists, TV


R.I.P. Randy Pausch

1960 – 2008

Late last year, someone sent me an email encouraging me to watch an extraordinary lecture by a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Randy Pausch, who had been recently diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.  His lecture, titled The Last Lecture, centered on truly realizing your childhood dreams and wound up becoming a viral sensation.   Ultimately, the lecture was modified into a best-selling book (a $6 million deal for Randy & his family).

Although the lecture was designed as a legacy for his three young children, it ended up being an inspiration to millions.  Randy’s contention was that if you live your life right, karma will take care of the rest.  I think that his last year, just like the rest of his life, proved that theory out.

If you haven’t experienced the lecture or even if you already have, I strongly encourage you to view it:

  Full lecture

While he explains that he totally understands exactly where his situation stood, he was humorous, engaging and thoroughly sincere in making people see a path to their dreams.  In the Spring, Oprah invited him to give an abridged version of his original 75 minute lecture on her show.  Interestingly, his mood is much more serious and emotional.  The difference in six months showed the psychological wear and tear of living with the fact that you are dying and seeing the affects on your friends and family.

  Abbreviated lecture on Oprah

Randy lost his battle with cancer on Friday, passing on at the age of 47.  However, his positive message of constant pursuit of happiness and dreams has been viewed by over four million viewers.  This lecture will stand as a testament to someone who truly influenced and impacted people lives with a simple example of living a good life — a life of purpose and pursuit.  In the end, Randy provided the perfect legacy for his children…and for many, many others — through his enthusiasm, humor and tenacity.

In a recent TIME interview, a reader asked a musical question of Randy: “What music do you turn to these days to help you get through?”  His answer was that he and his kids are particularly fond of Sgt. Pepper’s….a particluarly fitting piece.

  Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band/With a Little Help From My Friends


Posted by on July 27, 2008 in inspiration, memorials, the beatles


On This Day in Musical History….July 26th

1971:  Mozart born.

1943:  Mick Jagger is born.

1960:  Sam Cooke’s Chain Gang is released


1968:  John Lennon and Paul McCartney complete Hey Jude (arguably the one of the best songs ever written — but then I AM BIASED)


1968:  The Jackson 5 sign a 1-yr. contract with MoTown


1969:  Marilyn McCoo marries Billy Davis, Jr.


1975:  The Hustle, by Van McCoy & The Soul City goes to #1 on the Singles Chart

…man, flashbacks.


1980:  The Rolling Stones hit #1 with Emotional Rescue — it would remain there for seven weeks.


1984:  Prince, or the artist formerly know as Prince, premieres his new movie, Purple Rain


1986:  Peter Gabriel goes to #1 with Sledgehammer — IMO, the BEST rock video ever made.


1992:  MoTowner and originator of My Guy, Mary Wells, dies of cancer


2000:  Napster receives an injunction via the RIAA to refrain from allowing file sharing of RIAA material on their site.  Too bad the genie was already out of the bottle.


Posted by on July 26, 2008 in motown, Music History, oldies, on this day


Friday on My Mind

  The Easybeats, 1967

Happy Weekend.

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Posted by on July 25, 2008 in oldies, weekdays