The Tree of Forgiveness – John Prine

Years ago I worked for Microsoft as a Systems Engineer. There was a poster in the cafeteria  with an ad slogan that said, “Where Do You Want To Go Today?” The year was 1994 when I discovered the World Wide Web was available through a browser on my computer and a dial-up modem. It was the jump to hyperspace.

Each new day renews the online quest to discover a new music source or reacquaint with an old friend from over the years.

This morning I’m connecting with John Prine who released his new album yesterday, The Tree of Forgiveness.  His first album of new original songs in 13 years that dropped on Friday the 13th 😉

The star-making machinery is actively underway with John Prine appearing on Late Night with Stephen Colbert.  Watch John Prine, Brandi Carlile, and Sturgill Simpson perform the first single from the album, “Summers End”.

Think I’ll make this a John Prine Saturday out of respect for an old friend.

OhBoy

 

 

Advertisements

Don McLean’s Botanical Gardens

Don McLean has released a new album Botanical Gardens. It is his 19th studio album and first in 8 years.

The inspiration for the project started years ago when I would walk in the beautiful gardens in Sydney Australia near the Opera House. I would dream young dreams and it was a comfort and an inspiration. I was always young inside like we all are, and I felt it again there. – Don McLean

Don McLean recently conducted an interview where he discusses the depth and purpose of the songs on Botanical Gardens.  It’s noteworthy to hear an artist share their muse. I am struck to learn that Don McLean is not a set list focused artist and that he reinvents himself on stage each night.

Being of similar age and temperament I am mindful of what Don McLean is saying about the passage of time. His personal reflections echo my sentiments. I found his words a comfort and a blessing.

Don McLean Electronic Press Kit Interview – Interview conducted by and shoot directed by Bob Sarles. DP: Craig Spirko. Audio and media management by Jack Morris.

Tom Waits’ 1970’s Elektra Asylum Catalog Re-Released

Tom Waits’ entire 1970s Elektra Asylum catalog, re-released by Anti-, is now available digitally and on CD. You can purchase a copy and pre-order vinyl here: https://ffm.to/waits_asylumcatalog.

Tom Waits has also curated a 76 song, career-spanning playlist, that you can listen to here: tomwaits.com

 

Bob Seger – I Knew You When (Deluxe Edition)

teaser video below features five songs from the next Bob Se album: “Busload of Faith”, “I Knew You When”, “Blue Ridge”, “Democracy” and “Gracile”.  The album will be available in stores and via streaming services this Friday, November 17th.

It is his 18th studio album in 49 years for Capitol Records.

The cover shot may be from the photo sessions for his second album, Noah, as I notice its the same suit 😉

 

Earlier this year, Seger’s GREATEST HITS album was certified diamond by the RIAA for achieving 10 million units sold in the U.S.

BOB SEGER
I KNEW YOU WHEN
(Capitol Records)

Release Date: November 17th
Produced by Bob Seger

TRACKLISTING

  1. Gracile (2:48)
  2. Busload of Faith (4:32)
  3. The Highway (3:38)
  4. I Knew You When (3:53)
  5. I’ll Remember You (3:48)
  6. The Sea Inside (4:14)
  7. Marie (3:26)
  8. Runaway Train (4:10)
  9. Something More (3:47)
  10. Democracy (6:32)
  11. Forward Into The Past (4:12) (Deluxe Album only)
  12. Blue Ridge (3:50) (Deluxe Album only)
  13. Glenn Song (2:49) (Deluxe Album only)

Our 50 Year Journey with Livingston Taylor

I was chuffed to find out that our warm friend Livingston Taylor is celebrating 50 years as a musician, performer, and educator. Tomorrow, Wednesday, January 18th, will officially be declared “Livingston Taylor Day” by both Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. It gave me pause as I reflected on what Livingston Taylor has meant to our lives.

My wife and I have been dedicated fans of Liv’s music for 47 years. We have been blessed by Livingston’s charm and wit 10 times in concert.

I recall the first concert at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY, in July of 1970. Livingston Taylor was the opening act for Jethro Tull and unknown musician to us but he melted our hearts quickly. He sat directly on a stool in front of us playing acoustic guitar. We became enthralled as Liv sang, “Carolina Day”. We hunted down his first vinyl LP the next day and played it often during our dating years.

mi0001763208

The next concert was three years later, in December 1973 at the University of New Haven. I made arrangements with his manager Don Law to interview Livingston before the concert. I was forced to conduct the interview with a fellow WNHU-FM air personality. I warned this person NOT to mention James Taylor during the interview. I had been warned it infuriated Livingston Taylor to be asked or compared to his brother. That person swore to me he would not do that.

We get to the locker room before the show and Randy Newman, Liv’s opening act is pacing the floor and frequenting the restroom.  He stood off to the side as we interviewed Livingston Taylor. Don’t you know the idiot I am doing the interview with asks Livingston, “So what’s it like to have a famous brother like James? Livingston looks at him and then me and says, “Sorry, interview is over.” I pushed the saboteur off the locker bench, telling him, “Thanks for screwing this up for the station.” Randy Newman then said, “Hey guy, you really blew it for your buddy there.”

Many years later I had a good laugh with Livingston recalling that moment with him at The Towne Crier Cafe in Pawling, NY. We saw him perform there four times, once with his sister Kate Taylor. Livingston was always cordial after the show, willing to sign his CDs and chat with us. We would get seats right next to the stage and order dinner/desert. Livingston would come out of the kitchen, ascend the stage and ask us, “How was the desert? They have the best deserts at The Towne Crier.”

Note: Livingston Taylor will be performing the debut of his new album, Safe Home at the Towne Crier Cafe which is now located in Beacon, N.Y., on Saturday, Jan. 21.

2228210

His signed book Stage Performance has proven invaluable to me as an educator. It has helped me refine how I connnect with my students. I have a peer in music and education with Liv giving me solace 🙂

So that has been our cherished 50-year journey with Livingston Taylor. We’re looking forward to seeing him receive his honors in Boston tomorrow. We won’t be there in person but we will be attending in the music of our hearts.

Greg Lake – Songs of a Lifetime

I am constantly amazed by the powerful brilliance of Greg Lake’s voice. He is instrumental in his role in the history of progressive rock. I was listening to the 2nd and 3rd tracks on King Crimson’s, In the Court of the Crimson King, marveling at the richness found in the songs he sings, “I Talk To The Wind” and “Epitath“.  I decided to dig deeper into Greg Lake’s catalog. His vocal tone is a blessing within the music of our heart.

I spent time beguiled with his live recording, Songs of a Lifetime from 2013. Its a wonderful album to acquiesce with on a lazy afternoon. I relished how Greg Lake took the time to share his memories with an enraptured audience. The revelations allowed further insight into Greg’s artistic process which brought the songs greater sustenance.

So if you are searching for an hour of musical fulfillment, I strongly urge you to listen to Greg Lake’s Songs of a Lifetime.

Image result for greg lake songs of a lifetime