Tag Archives: Tuneage

A musical palate cleanser twofer

A sad day yesterday…

I’m not a Van Halen fan, but I certainly respect Eddie’s talent.  That being said, this is too good a story not to share:

So, “Beat It”.

That should be the last time you see Michael Jackson at the blog.

I don’t know if you saw it, but another musician passed away yesterday.

Johnny Nash, whose 1972 song “I Can See Clearly Now” became a Number One hit and enduring radio song, died on Tuesday, his son confirmed to CBS. No cause of death was given. He was 80.

Nash began singing as a child in church in Houston, Texas, where he was born. As a teenager, he participated in a local variety show where he sang R&B covers, and in his late teens, he made his major label debut with 1957’s “A Teenager Sings the Blues.” The following year, his cover of Doris Day’s “A Very Special Love” marked his first charting single. Nash continued to release singles on a variety of labels and scored another chart hit with 1965’s “Let’s Move and Groove Together.”

However, it was his move to Jamaica in the Sixties and his enduring reggae-tinged hit in 1972’s “I Can See Clearly Now” that propelled him to fame. The song sold more than 1 million copies and sat atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart for four weeks.

There was a stretch in ’72 when you couldn’t turn on your radio without hearing “I Can See Clearly Now”.  It really is one of those perfectly constructed pop songs.

Rest in peace, gentlemen.


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Musical palate cleanser, look out for the mic stand edition

I don’t know what I love more about this clip, the way Ronnie Lane and Ron Wood have to duck out of the way as Rod Stewart flails that mic stand, or the boss way Wood handles his cigarette.

The song and performance aren’t half bad, either.


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Musical palate cleanser, “As long as I am strong, I am young” edition

You know what I really hate?  Starting out one of these with a well, damn.

Frederick “Toots” Hibbert, frontman of the pioneering reggae outfit Toots and the Maytals and one of the greatest voices in popular music, died Friday evening at the age of 77.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts to announce that Frederick Nathaniel ‘Toots’ Hibbert passed away peacefully tonight, surrounded by his family at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica,” his family said in a statement. “The family and his management team would like to thank the medical teams and professionals for their care and diligence, and ask that you respect their privacy during their time of grief. Mr. Hibbert is survived by his wife of 39 years, Miss D, and his seven of eight children.”

A cause of death was not disclosed, but the reggae giant was hospitalized last month after showing symptoms consistent with the coronavirus. He was later placed in a medically-induced coma where a rep for the musician said he was “fighting for his life.”

He was one of reggae’s titans (and is credited with coining the term).  Here’s one of his classics:

To my shame, I didn’t realize that he’d gotten back together with the Maytals and released a new album, Got to Be Tough.

“This is my last chance, man,” he told Rolling Stone. “I gotta do this now. Every day I’m getting older. But I still have my strength, so now it’s time.” At 77, reggae’s king is still perpetually in the studio. And still perpetually wearing the crown.

There’s a helluva cover of a Bob Marley song on it.  “Ziggy Marley joins Hibbert and Ringo for a boisterous cover of Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds,” with Jamaican drummer extraordinaire Sly Dunbar and Meters drummer Cyril Neville adding percussive firepower to the album.”

Rest in peace, mon.


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Musical palate cleanser, back to the well one more time again edition

I guess I’m on a little Crowded House kick.  When I posted a song of theirs last week, I came across a note that the band had cancelled its 2020 European tour because of the pandemic.

They’re coping by putting out some cuts that grew out of “practice sessions”.

Nice.  This one’s my favorite of the bunch:

On the occasion of the 33rd anniversary of Crowded House reaching #2 in the American charts, I’d like to post this video of us performing individually from home a version of Don’t Dream It’s Over. We recorded it over a few hours between continents day before yesterday. It was for the “Music From The Front Line” benefit concert in Australia / NZ. I really like the way it sounds and the process of flying tapes back and forth was fun… pure and simple… hope you enjoy too. ~ Neil


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Musical palate cleanser, showin’ the white boys how to do it edition

Chess Records released a bunch of crap in the mid to late 60s when it lost its way (Electric Mud?  Gah.), but one huge exception was Howlin’ Wolf’s The London Sessions, which he recorded with a bunch of British rock luminaries.

One of my favorite cuts from that time was this outtake of “The Red Rooster”, which combined Clapton trying to coax Wolf into playing acoustic on the cut and Wolf directing the Brits on the proper rhythm of the song.  It’s a real kick.


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Musical palate cleanser, too young edition


Justin Townes Earle, an award-winning Americana singer-songwriter and son to country-rock troubadour Steve Earle, has died at age 38.

“It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of the passing of our son, husband, father and friend Justin,” said a message posted Sunday evening to Justin Townes Earle’s verified Facebook page. “So many of you have relied on his music and lyrics over the years and we hope that his music will continue to guide you on your journeys.”

New West Records, Justin Townes Earle’s label, confirmed his death Sunday night. A cause of death was not given at time of publication.

I’ll leave you with a favorite of mine, his cover of The Replacements’ “Can’t Hardly Wait”.

RIP, brother.


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Musical palate cleanser, a little romance edition

Hope you’re in the mood for a little Crowded House this morning.  This is a cover they performed often of a song by an Australian group, Hunters and Collectors, “Throw Your Arms Around Me”.  The lyrics are passionate, the harmonies are killer and the chorus always makes me swoon.


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Musical palate cleanser, middle of nowhere edition

One of the best closing credits songs I can think of, listen to Dwight Yoakam’s “Thousand Miles From Nowhere” play as Red Rock West comes to an end:

Pretty much a perfect match…


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Musical palate cleanser, ear wormin’ edition

This one turned up and I can’t get it out of my head.  Catchy number from Chris Isaak’s 2009 release, Mr. Lucky.

There’s just enough twang in there to make me wonder what somebody like Dwight Yoakam could do with it in a cover version.


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Musical palate cleanser, white boy blues edition

Damn, we lost another one over the weekend.

Peter Green, who has died aged 73 was, alongside Eric Clapton, widely regarded as the foremost white blues guitarist of his generation, although he became equally famous as rock’s second-most notable LSD casualty (after Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett).

In 1969, Green’s band, Fleetwood Mac, sold more albums than the Beatles and the Stones combined, and in its first three years the group’s best-known hits were all written by Green. These included Black Magic Woman, which later became a massive hit for Carlos Santana, and Albatross, the dreamy instrumental which went to the top of the charts in 1968 and has featured as the soundtrack of numerous surfing and wildlife films. Both Oh Well and Man of the World reached No 2 in 1969.

Casualty is putting it mildly.

But the 1960s drug culture took a heavy toll, and in 1970 he dropped out of the music scene and plummeted out of sight (though not before writing the haunting The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown), which seemed to document his descent into madness).

For the next 25 years Green drifted in and out of psychiatric hospitals, earning only the occasional reference in the press – as a cautionary tale about the excesses of Sixties rock.

A real loss.  The man was one of the greatest guitarists to emerge out of ’60s Britain.  Just ask B.B. King.

Critics praised the understated brilliance of his singing and the liquid brilliance of his guitar playing and the pure tone he could coax from his 1959 Les Paul guitar. The great blues guitarist BB King, one of Green’s heroes, whom he had originally set out to emulate, would say of Green: “He has the sweetest tone I ever heard; he was the only one who gave me the cold sweats.”

That is one helluva compliment.  Here’s a brilliant example of what King referred to:

Not a wasted note.  Here’s one more clip, where the blues are tinged with a little psychedelia.

Sorry to see you go, Peter.


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