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Category Archives: music dudes

Live from Sun Studios: Adam Levy

Yet another session of Live from Sun Studios is up, this one featuring Adam Levy.

  Interview

As mentioned in the Amber Rubarth post, Adam Levy is part of Norah Jones’ Handsome Band.  In the Sun Studio piece, he performs In the Morning, which he wrote and Norah included on her Feels Like Home CD.

Adam is an accomplished guitar man, providing the solo on Tracey Chapman’s Give Me One Reason:

I knew I liked this guy from the Amber Rubarth vid, and then it is confirmed with the fact that he played guitar on Amos Lee’s debut CD:

  Colors

You may recall that Amos opened for Norah Jones for a while and that debut CD was produced by Lee Alexander, Norah Jones’ bass guitarist and shack-up.

Here’s Washing Day, performed by Amber Rubarth and written by Adam Levy.  Yes, it do go ’round in circles….

Through the wonders of YouTube, I even found this rendition of Johnny B. Goode performed by Levy and his high school band, back in the glorious year of 1982.

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So What?!?

Drive-by post, but I’ll have much more later…

Last night.  2nd Row.  Keb ‘Mo.  Awesome.  Hot new artist found.  Kevin So.

Brighter Day

 
5 Comments

Posted by on February 23, 2008 in blues, Emerging Artists, music dudes

 

The Thunder Rolls….Or Not.

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Oh. My. Gawd.

Friday night, I happened to be channel-surfing and saw that CBS was carrying a Garth Brooks’ concert, live from L.A., to benefit the firefighters who fought the recent wildfires out west. Having nothing better to do at 9:00pm, CST (yes, I’m old), I decided to tune in a see old Garth do his magic.

You see, in my “Blue” period, I was a huge Country Music fan and other than George Straight, Garth Brooks was as big of a country artist as it gets. Garth had many hits in the 80s and 90s and I always had a particular fondness for his ballads like To Make You Feel My Love (written by Bob Dylan) and The Dance.

His concerts were legendary for the passion in his performance and the overall high-energy. Everyone that I’ve known who has attended one of Garth’s shows said two things: 1.) It was worth every penny they paid; 2.) The guy is seriously talented.

So, I looked forward to settling in, hearing and seeing the great Garth Brooks, and being wowed once again. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Garth was really off. I don’t know if he couldn’t hear his tone, was ill or just way rusty, but virtually every song was out flat or out of tune and at points he seemed to be screeching. He covered with a bunch of yells to the crowd and let them sing some verses, but it was just not good. It was more glaringly evident how bad it was when his wife, Trisha Yearwood came out and sang perfectly in tune and then again, when Huey Lewis came out and sang Workin’ for Livin’.

Here’s an excerpt of Friday night’s Garth:

Callin’ Baton Rouge

The unofficial anthem of Louisiana may have been irreparably damaged. Now, contrast that with the loveliness of Garth past, singing one of Mr. D’s all-time favorite songs:

The River

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2008 in Country, music dudes, Reviews, Uncategorized

 

Randy Newman

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When I was less evolved and totally unaware of political correctness, I fell in love with Short People. It was 1977 and I was in 8th grade. Through this controversial little parody ditty, I became aware of the brilliance of Randy Newman for the first time but certainly not the last.

Randy is a dichotomy. Totally talented and steeped in music knowledge and understanding, yet totally irreverent with a penchant for parody and humor. He’s passionate in music, politics, emotion and life.

Born in L.A., Randy Newman moved to New Orleans (where his mother was from) as an infant. Even though he eventually moved back to California, he spent many holidays and summers in New Orleans and the musical influence is definitely prevalent in his music. Nowhere is it more evident than in Newman’s Louisiana 1927, written and recorded in 1973. The song is about the great flood that totally changed the landscape of the South and Louisiana, in particular.

Louisiana 1927

Listen to Randy Newman talk about Louisiana 1927 here. I find his description of New Orleans’ uniqueness is the most accurate I’ve heard. It also includes a wonderful version by Aaron Neville (1991) — the one that first introduced me to the song, from Warm Your Heart.

While Newman shows emotional depth in songs like I Miss You (written for his ex-wife), his real niche is the sardonic irony he is famous for. Examples:

Big Hat, No Cattle

I Love L.A.

Rednecks

Interestingly, Randy Newman has made quite a name for himself as a movie composer, being nominated for a record 16 Oscars, finally winning one for Best Song for If I Didn’t Have You from the Monsters, Inc. Soundtrack. One of my favorite Randy Newman songs is You’ve Got a Friend in Me from Toy Story. Some other scores attributable to Randy Newman are RagTime, The Natural, Parenthood, Meet The Parents, Meet The Fockers, Pleasantville, Maverick, Sea Biscuit, Cars (<—- previously profiled at MM) and a host of others — 20, in all. He is currently working on the score for Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, scheduled for release in 2009.

Randy discusses his writing style:

Randy continues to use his music to speak his mind and recently made headlines with his biting admonishment of the European press:

Few Words in Defense of Our Country

He’s not a technically superb singer. Matter of fact, his voice is very gravely with a distinct accent, however his ability to get to the heart of the matter provides the needed kun-NECK-shun for his music. His songs are genuinely heartfelt (regardless of the particular emotion) and on the mark.

Some other Newman songs that are favorites…..

The great Bobby Darin, covered Newman’s Sail Away on this final album:

Sail Away

Birmingham

Yes, that’s the same Birmingham that Taylor Hicks goes around singing.

TODAY’S TRIVIA: Randy Newman penned Three Dog Night’s #1 hit from 1970, Mama Told Me Not to Come. The song was written in 1966 and was originally recorded by Eric Burdon and The Animals.


 
7 Comments

Posted by on January 12, 2008 in Artists, Good Stuff, music dudes, music legends

 

It Don’t Matter

Donovan Frankenreiter has it right, me thinks.

Every day people like you and me
Just want to live naturally
Time told you and you told me
Nothings gonna get us down can’t you see

I said if it don’t matter to you
It don’t matter to me
If it don’t matter to you
It don’t matter to me

People all around making sounds
And all kinds of noise
If I could only get there then I could enjoy
Who they trying to be who they trying to fool
Lets change the mood right now
Turn down the lights its time to cool it down

If it don’t matter to you
It don’t matter to me
If it don’t matter to you
It don’t matter to me

Yesterday and what we could be
It don’t matter
Getting more of what we don’t need
It don’t matter
Everything unless I’m with you
It doesn’t matter to me, no

Bring it on down bring it on down to me
Sing it on down sing it on down for me
Sing it on down sing it on down to me

If it don’t matter to you
It don’t matter to me
(No no no no)
If it don’t matter to you
It don’t matter to me
(Mmm Hmm)
If it don’t matter to you
It don’t matter to me
(No no no no)
If it don’t matter to you
It don’t matter to me

Sometimes it don’t matter to me
Don’t matter to me

www.donavonf.com

 
4 Comments

Posted by on November 13, 2007 in music dudes, that's life