He Is Risen – Happy Easter 2013

Happy Easter to those who celebrate ūüôā


My Goals Beyond – Mahavishnu John McLaughlin

My Goal’s Beyond¬†by Mahavishnu John McLaughlin creates a¬†spirituality and healing power that resonates within the music of our heart.¬†Listen to “Peace One” permitting the joy to radiate within and about you this day.¬†Namaste’

My Goal’s Beyond – Mahavishnu John McLaughlin

Reverend Gary Davis, Ragtime Guitar

Dave Van Ronk was quite the musicologist. His book, The Mayor of MacDougal Street,¬†informs and educates us in-depth about the late 50’s and early 6o’s blues and folk music of the Village. He takes great delight in sharing the time he spent influenced by the¬†Reverend Gary Davis.

Rev. Gary Davis was renowned for his ragtime guitar method.  He offered guitar lessons at his New York apartment. Dave Van Ronk was one of his students who carried on the ragtime guitar tradition.

Roy Book Binder was another student of Rev. Gary Davis. Listen to his stories about the impact that Rev. Gary Davis has had on his blues career.

Rev. Gary Davis had a major influence on Hot Tuna and Jorma Kaukonen. ¬†Jorma and Jack have played Rev. Gary Davis’s body of work for decades. He does his blues style incredible justice.

Here is my favorite Rev. Gary Davis song ¬†by his student Jorma Kaukonen, “I Am The Light of This World” from¬†Quah.¬†

I hope you will seek to learn more about the life and music of Rev. Gary Davis. I suggest visiting a great fan site dedicated to the blues legend, http://reverendgarydavis.com/index.htm

This YouTube video was filmed for his Folk Alliance International Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.

Rock Candy Funk Party

I was listening to the music player on the Elmore Magazine Website. Normally most music player play lists don’t do much for me. I find many music players very “cheesy” representations of the artist’s music. The playlists are typically “weak” and “”thrown together” in haphazard fashion. However, this funk track has dramatically shifted my reservation towards the positive.

The band is a stunning collaboration of funk, rock and blues superstars. Rock Candy Funk Party is made up of  album producer Tal Bergman (drums), Ron DeJesus (guitar), Joe Bonamassa (guitar), Mike Merritt (bass), and Renato Neto (keyboards).

As Booker T says ūüėČ

Jessie Ware Is Everywhere

Jessie Ware is everywhere. The word ingenue comes to mind when I hear her sing.¬†Her d√©but album¬†Devotion¬†a top seller in 2012 is being re-released on April 15th¬†with the addition of four bonus tracks including two previously unheard cuts ‚Äď ‚ÄėImagine It Was Us‚Äô and ‚ÄėWildest Moments – Feat. A$AP Rocky‚Äô.

Is there a track on the album you’re proudest of?

I think maybe “Running“. It came right at the end of the album, and maybe that was when I was at my most relaxed and content and confident, so it became I easier to write. I feel so proud of that song: it sounds like everything that I wanted to achieve, with the references to old soul and dance, and the groove and electronic feel.

Expect more hype to follow when Jessie Ware invades America next month for concert dates in the New York Area and two appearances at Coachella.

Dave Van Ronk, The Anthology of Folk Music by Harry Smith

Dave Van Ronk, Folksinger
Dave Van Ronk, Folksinger (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s been sheer joy listening to Dave Van Ronk‘s memoir,¬†The Mayor of MacDougal Street¬†on Audio CD.¬†Dave Van Ronk and Elijah Wald¬†guide readers along like Robin Hood and His Merry Men on a passionate journey¬†through the colorful past of Greenwich Village’s folk music scene. The story has added significance as our son lives right in the heart of the neighborhood. He is next to¬†Washington Square Park and Dave Van Ronk Street across from Sheridan Square.

The book has rekindled my dormant flames of interest in folk music. I got the yearn for musicology when I attended the University of New Haven minoring in music. Thankfully that interest continues to guide my conscious flow. The first album by Dave Van Ronk ¬†that played endlessly on my hi-fi was¬†Dave Van Ronk, Folksinger¬†(Prestige). I had no idea until I heard the book how important Izzy Young‘s Folklore Center (pictured on the cover) was to Dave and the folk music idiom.

Which brings me to the folk music foundation classic, The¬†Anthology of Folk Music¬†by Harry Smith. I first learned about the uniqueness of Harry Smith from Patti Smith’s book,¬†Just Kids.¬†Patti Smith and Harry Smith (no relation) were neighbors and close friends residing at The Chelsea Hotel. Harry Smith was also friends with Allen Ginsberg who captured his image in the last week of his life.

“Harry Smith, painter, archivist, anthropologist, film-maker & hermetic alchemist, his last week at Breslin Hotel Manhattan January 12, 1985, transforming milk into milk.” – Allen Ginsberg, Photo by Allen Ginsberg, Courtesy of Allen Ginsberg Trust and Fahey Klein Gallery, Los Angeles

After hearing Dave Van Ronk speak his praises of this essential box set I have to ask myself why haven’t I seen fit to add these essential recordings to my music collection.¬†Arguably the most important release of all-time (1952),¬†The Anthology¬†is a collection of old-time music from the late 20‚Ä≤s and early 30‚Ä≤s that spawned the folk and blues revival of the 60‚Ä≤s and influenced everyone from Dylan to the Grateful Dead.

I must rectify that situation and trust me I will, soon ;). For the music of our heart is incomplete until I have the works by Harry Smith safely listened to and tucked away in my music library.

Let’s Make A Deal – Taj Mahal Edition

As they say on Let’s Make A Deal, do you want what’s behind Door #1, Door #2 0r Door #3? The Taj Mahal Edition for blues music collectors appears below

Record Store Day 2013

Taj Mahal and  SONY Legacy Recordings announce the release of The Hidden Treasures of Taj Mahal and The Natch’l Blues on vinyl for Record Store Day 2013.

Collectible Grade: RECORD STORE DAY FIRST’ RELEASE.  These are titles that you can find on Record Store Day at Record Store Day participating stores. So if you’re a fan of the artist, you get first listen. At some point in the future, generally four to six weeks, these titles will be available, in the same format, at other retailers.

Behind Door #1 – The Hidden Treasures of Taj Mahal

Two 12″ 180-gram vinyl LPs in an individually numbered gatefold jacket – Amazing studio demos chronicling the early years of the American bluesman Taj Mahal.

Behind Door #2 – The Natch’l Blues

12″ 180-gram vinyl in an individually numbered jacket – Taj Mahal’s breathtaking second album, originally released in 1968, showcased a band featuring Al Kooper and Jesse Ed Davis while introducing a generation to deep blues classics like “Corinna,” “She Caught the Katy (and Left Me a Mule to Ride),” and “The Cuckoo.”

Door #3 –¬†The Complete Columbia Albums Collection

The box set includes both prizes behind Door #1 and Door #2 along with 11 other vinyl recordings.

So many choices, so little time ūüėČ