Friday, March 25, 2022

Marcus King - Young Man's Dream

 

It's been a while since I posted a non-various artists collection. 
 
Marcus King is another one of those guitar guys that started out performing at a young age. Like Derek Trucks before him he was a veteran by the time he was Twenty. My brother has been bugging me to listen to this guy for a while now and I would play a video here and there. I was always impressed and could see the attraction but I never took the dive to really give him a chance. This comp is an attempt to rectify that.

YouTube recently recommended the WGBH Live in Studio acoustic session so I gave it a listen. Only a minute in and already I was not disappointed. I like the sound of The Marcus King Band, full on blues based rock, my favorite kind but stripped down to just man and guitar allowed me to get a bigger view of this young man's old soul. So I gathered all the solo performance videos I could and condensed that down to a CD's worth of music for in the car. And now I'm sharing it with you. Enjoy.
 
Tracklist
 
01 Love Song  (Live at JITVHQ in Los Angeles, CA 2020)
02 Man You Didn't Know (Live From The Big House)
03 8am (Live in Studio WGBH)
04 Sorry About Your Love (The Blues Kitchen Presents)
05 Beautiful Stranger (Paste Studio NYC - The Manhattan Center)
06 Where I'm Heading (LaMosiqacom Oneshotsession)
07 Sweet Mariona (Paste Studio NYC - The Manhattan Center)
08 Young Man's Dream (at Easy Eye Sound)
09 Remember (Live in Studio WGBH Acoustic Session)
10 One Day She's Here (Paste Studio NYC - The Manhattan Center)
11 No Pain (Acoustic w/ Dan Auerbach at Easy Eye Sound)
12 Midnight Rider (Live From The Big House)
13 Jealous Man
14 Goodbye Carolina (Live in Studio WGBH)
15 Wildflowers & Wine (Paste Studio NYC - The Manhattan Center)
16 I Won't Be Here
17 Slip Back (in bed - MyMusicRx #Bedstock 2017)
18 Autumn Rains (Live in Studio WGBH)
19 The Well (Paste Studio NYC - The Manhattan Center)
20 Dyin' (Live From The Big House)

Reality Notes

Everything in this comp was ripped from videos found on YouTube. Just do a search for "Marcus King acoustic" and they will pop up. Two of these videos, WGBH and Paste Studios, are multi-song performances the rest are single song videos. I edited out any interviews, applause and bumper music leaving only the music.

The cover is a photo I found on a Google image search which I cropped to a square and added the border using my favorite photo editor/viewer Irfanview. Still looking or a new program to make covers with. I might just end up installing an older version of MS Word that doesn't require a MS account.

Friday, February 25, 2022

Pearhead Jukebox

Hey there. It's been a while hasn't it? I'm still here and I do check in everyday to check/respond to comments and to see what others are doing. I haven't made any new constructions in a while but I do have a few half finished ones waiting for me to wrap up. This is not one of those. I threw this together quickly in the last 24 hours. The reason for the post and the construction was to pay tribute to my friend, band mate, collaborator and the primary reason for my band Pearhead's existence who passed away the last week. Kenny Parisot, You are sorely missed. This is a collection of songs that we regularly covered live and/or recorded under our alter ego Mighty Man. None of these are our versions and not every one is the original version. To shake things up and make the listen more interesting I used live versions or alternate cover versions. Enjoy.
 
Tracklist
 
01 You Can't Always Get What You Want - The Rolling Stones *
    From the album Totally Stripped. This was our standard show opener.
02 Ain't Hurtin' Nobody - John Prine *
    From the album Lost Dogs & Mixed Blessings. Both Kenny and I are big  Prine fans and we did several of his songs.
03 Long Tall Texan - Lyle Lovett
    From the album The Road To Ensenada. We based our version on a Lyle Lovett live rendition but this is pretty close to how we do it as well.
04 (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay - Otis Redding
    From the album The Dock of the Bay. Another standard song from our setlist.
05 Deep Elem Blues - Blackberry Smoke
    From the TRI Studios session with Bob Weir. A dead standard of an old song which we played often.
06 Eurotrash Girl - Cracker *
    A live unplugged version recorded 11/01/2005 at Knickerbockers Bar. Downloaded from The Internet Archives. One of the more contempory songs from our setlists. We played and recorded this before most of the band ever heard the original.
07 For What It's Worth - Crosby, Stills & Nash
    A live rendition from the album Allies. Closer to how we did it at least this is the version I had in my head when we played it.
08 Jersey Girl - Bruce Springsteen *
    From the album Live  1975-1985. Originally written by Tom Waits, Bruce added a verse. Kenny changed it to Mexican Girl in honor of his wife.
09 Pale Blue Eyes [closet mix] - The Velvet Underground *
    From the album The Velvet Underground
10 She Belongs to Me - Bob Dylan
    A live solo acoustic version
11 Angel From Montgomery (Live) - Bonnie Raitt & John Prine *
    A live version of a duet with Bonnie Raitt who is more closely associated with the song and it's composer John Prine
12 Tower of song - Leonard Cohen
    From the album I'm Your Man
13 When I Paint My Masterpiece - Grateful Dead *
    Written by Dylan, first recorded by The Band but often played by the Grateful Dead. This is my favorite version taped off The Gratelful Dead Hour.
14 Whipping Post - Allman Brothers Band
    From the debut self titled album.
15 Into the Mystic - Swell Season *
    From a live recording. Closer to our version than the Van Morrison original.
16 Goodnight, Irene - Lucius *
    Written by Lead Belly. This is a recent rendition that is pretty close to ours

* We recorded our versions of these songs under the name Mighty Man. You can listen to them here. (You can listen to Pearhead songs here.)

Reality Notes

Kenny was a master story teller and wrote some amazing songs. I posted a collection of demos and stripped down version of his songs here a while back. We tried to keep our covers interesting and often avoided the expected, tried and true songs that everybody else was doing. This is only some of the songs we would do regularly and some we attempted once in a while. The Mighty Man album started as a side project between just me and Kenny when the band seemed to be in a lull. During this period it was often just Kenny and I in the studio so we started to record covers to keep busy and entertain ourselves. The band eventually returned and demanded to be included.

The cover was constructed in Paint.net. I have made all my covers in Microsoft Word until recently when I lost access to my MS account and my copy stopped working. Since then I have been trying different programs looking for a replacement. I did find Paint.net frustrating and gave up once I had this but I am not completely happy with it. If I can make a better one I will replace it.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Melancholia Vol 7

I have a few projects in that I am still playing with but nothing that's really ready to share but I have managed to complete the last missing volume of the Melancholia series.
 
This volume turned out to be sort of a catch-all edition that gathers a lot of songs that didn't seem to fit on the other discs but were played enough to warrant inclusion this collection. While there is no obvious theme there does seem to be an underlying country tinge.

This series is now up to 19 volumes with almost half of those being themed collection, This will probably be the last non-themed edition and maybe the last all together. Readers have most likely noticed the lack of activity here and that will continue to be the norm at least for a while. The last year has killed a lot of enthusiasm in me for many things, this hobby being one of them. I do have a few projects slowly cooking but I'm not going to make any promises as to when they might be done so hang in there.

[Side note: I have been updating some covers here, mostly for this series but one or two others. I have not updated the archives and have no plans to. So if you want the new ones just click on them then right click and save the image.]
 
Tracklist
01 Railroad Earth - Way of the Buffalo
02 Bruce Springsteen - Devils & Dust
03 Ricky Skaggs - Walls Of Time
04 Pat Benatar - We Belong
05 Los Lonely Boys - Heaven
06 Loretta Lynn - Portland, Oregon
07 John Hiatt - Take It Down
08 Modern English - I Melt With You
09 Goo Goo Dolls - Name
10 The Wonders - She Knows It
11 Switchfoot - Twenty-four
12 John Prine - Everything Is Cool
13 Extreme - Hole Hearted
14 REM - Everybody Hurts
15 Supertramp - Even In The Quietest Moments
16 Dwight Yoakam - 1,000 Miles
17 Sugarland - Stand Back Up
18 Prince - Wow
19 Waylon Jennings - Can't You See

Friday, November 20, 2020

Melancholia Vol 10

I have had some fun compiling the many themed Melancholia editions but the original concept for the series was to bring many of my favorite songs together in one collection regardless of genre. The focus is more on a certain vibe and pace which has carried on through the series which means even the special themed editions have this vibe that I chase.

The first five volumes and a few of the themed editions were compiled before I started purchasing CDs. Those and a few others were put together before computer power and storage space were sufficient enough for the existence of a local digital library. With the advent of recordable CDs, the CDR became the new cassette. Nowadays, with so much music just a few taps or clicks away, the playlist has became the new CDR. Which means that later editions evolved more than being put together with what I had on hand in a single sitting. If I didn't like how a song felt in the mix, it was easy to swap it our for another song.

This is most true for these last two editions. They have changed and morphed over the years due to some songs being moved to later themed editions or replaced by songs that were a better fit. Volume seven is still being tweaked but I think I can call this volume done. You could almost call this a themed edition. It does have a slight heavier feel than other editions but there are a few surprises and that vibe is still there. Enjoy.

 01 Velvet Revolver - Fall To Pieces
 02 Deep Purple - Don't Hold Your Breath
 03 Collective Soul - Shine
 04 The Verve Pipe - Colorful
 05 Smashing Pumpkins - Suffer
 06 Thin Lizzy - Showdown
 07 Black Crowes - Soul Singing
 08 Blackberry Smoke - No Way Back To Eden
 09 Kelly Clarkson - Breakaway
 10 Brother Cane - And Fools Shine On
 11 Cheap Trick - Downed
 12 Jane Wiedlin - Our Lips Are Sealed
 13 Francis Dunnery - Too Much Saturn
 14 Queen - Drowse
 15 The Verve - Bitter Sweet Symphony
 16 Steel Dragon - We All Die Young
 17 Journey - Daydream
 18 Willy Porter - Flying
 

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Bob Weir - Chillin' With Bobby

Bob Weir is by far the most visible band member to carry on the torch that the Grateful Dead held high for so many years. Aside from the many post-Dead offshoots such as Dead & Co., The Dead and the Further Festivals and his many solo fronted bands like Ratdog, Bobby has hosted many artists in the extended Grateful Dead family and friends at Tri Studios (Tamalpais Research Institute).
 
Tri Studios is a state of the art performance venue. It also seems to be Bob Weir's home away from home when not on the road. Over the years of its existence Bobby has performed many times as a solo act, in special, one-off configurations with others or just sitting in with the band of the night. A nice handful of these performances are available on YouTube, most from 2013. I've gone through those shows and extracted Bobby's solo and small group performances with a focus on minimal, acoustic based tunes and gathered them into a two CD set that mimics a Grateful Dead show.
 
Tracklist
 
Disc One
01 Cassidy
02 Hell In A Bucket
03 Maggie's Farm
04 Stealin'>Deal
05 Most of the Time
06 Peggy-O
07 China Cat>I Know You Rider>Shakey Ground
08 Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
09 Loose Lucy

Disc Two
01 Sugar Magnolia
02 Cosmic Charlie
03 US Blues
04 Looks Like Rain
05 West L.A. Fadeaway
06 Easy To Slip
07 Black Throated Wind
08 Dark Star
09 El Paso
 
Bonus Tracks
Catfish John
When I Paint My Masterpiece

Reality Notes

My goal here was simply to collect relaxed, acoustic based performances where Bob is either the lead vocalist or at least a co-vocalist. There are a few duets here but mostly it's just Bob singing. Instrumentation is sparse if not solo. No more than a few other musicians on a song. The musician line-up is different from song to song. I refrained from listing the other players but you can get an idea of who's there by checking out the sorce list below.
 
I tried to keep the song choice interesting with some songs rarely played and maybe a few first timers. The classic/obvious choices are all unique due the the laid back, stripped down feel. Even songs like Dark Star or China Cat>I Know You Rider feel fresh and new. And the sound quality is incredible.
 
Cassidy was the driving force behind the compilation. It is one of my favorite Dead tunes and at the top of my list of Bobby songs but live renditions rarely match the feel and power of the studio version. This rendition not only matches the original for me but in some ways surpasses it. I've been looking for a vehicle for the track since I first heard it.

If you plan on burning this to CDs each set will fit on a disc. The bonus tracks will not. They were good enough to keep but not quite enough to be slipped into the main sets. If you play this from your computer or other device it makes a nice faux concert with each disc a set and the bonus tracks as the encore. I kept the bonus tracks because they were both nice renditions and Catfish John was seldom heard in my listening of Dead shows. Both not finding a spot in the main sets due to time constraints but too good to throw away.

For the cover I manipulated slightly a nice recent photo of Bob and added the text and logos. For the sources below I linked to the original videos. There is a lot of good music there. This could have been a three disc set but not everything would have been as revealing as the final set list. Enjoy.

Sources

Friday, September 25, 2020

Kent Nishimura - Arranged By...

There are a lot of good and great guitarists on YouTube and beyond. Some are technically great, some seem overflowing with feeling and soul in spite of technical limitations. But the really great are those that seem to transcend the instrument to the point where flesh, wood and steel become one. Even rarer are those that achieve that oneness at an early age. Kent Nishimura is one of those rare types.

What struck me most about Kent was not his age but the completeness of his arrangements. Everything you expect to hear is there. Melodies, solos, bass lines and percussion. His dexterity and feel for a song is mesmerizing.

I really don't know much more about Kent. His videos have been popping up on my feed for a while but I only recently gave him a listen so he's still very new to me. All I know is what is on his website. He started playing when he received his first guitar at five years old, He released his first album at 12 years old and has released two more since. He is primarily focused on covers but has composed a few originals. This comp collects 24 tracks from his YouTube channel that I found most satisfying. There's a lot more on his channel so check him out. Enjoy.

Tracklist

01 Smooth Jazz Chillout Solo Acoustic Guitar #1 (Short Version)
02 It's Too Late - Carole King
03 Purple Rain - Prince
04 Don't Know Why - Norah Jones
05 Higher Ground - Stevie Wonder
06 Africa - Toto
07 Ain't No Sunshine - Bill Withers
08 Rylynn - Andy Mckee
09 Everybody Wants To Rule The World - Tears For Fears
10 Careless Whisper - George Michael
11 Hit The Road Jack - Ray Charles
12 Living Inside Your Love - Earl Klugh
13 Human Nature - Michael Jackson
14 Another Brick In The Wall - Pink Floyd
15 Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head - B.J. Thomas
16 Lean On Me - Bill Withers
17 What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
18 The Hustle -  Van McCoy
19 You Are The Sunshine Of My Life - Stevie Wonder
20 We Are The Champions - Queen
21 Sweet Love - Anita Baker
22 Lupin III [Jazz] - Yuji Ohno
23 Drive My Car - The Beatles
24 Thriller (Ending) - Michael Jackson

Reality Notes
 
To be totally upfront and honest I am not a big fan of instrumental music and instrumental covers of popular music is more often a miss than a hit for me. As I may have mentioned in other posts, I prefer songs. I need voices and words. The exceptions are often those that can transcend mere music making and transport you somewhere else. I'm a fan of fingerstyle guitar in general and like Michael Hedges and Leo Kottke in particular but they occasionally sing which helps to move things along. I also enjoy some classical things, big fan of Bach, not so much Mozart or Beethoven. I love Ravi Shankar and can get lost in traditional Japanese koto music. But for the most part instrumental music is a background filler for me. In spite of that, this will not be my last instrumental post. I am enthusiastically adding Kent to that short list of instrumentalists I enjoy but I'm not expecting this to be in regular listening rotation. But if you are a fan of this style of music you will love this.

With the exception of track one these are all covers. Kent has a few originals but mostly interprets songs from other artists. Drive My Car is from Kent's first video he posted and is quite young at the time of recording but his skills even then are impressive. Kent covers a lot of genres so in choosing the tracklist I went with my own tastes. I highly recommend going to his channel to watch him play Purple Rain and Brick In The Wall. Both renditions are amazingly complete and must be seen to be believed. There is little to no overlap between the songs on his channel and his official albums so if you are a fan this will sit right alongside those.

I wanted to set a mood with the cover so I avoided using a picture of the artist and instead went with a landscape of meadows and trees. Enjoy.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Allison Young - Pillow Talk

2020's YouTube month continues with the enchanting Allison Young.

Allison is a singer/songwriter from Nashville, the country music capitol of the world and though she touches on country she covers a lot more ground. She's a fine multi-instrumentalist but first and foremost she has one of the most beautiful, natural voices I've heard in a long while.

Allison naturally cultivates the vintage look to great effect which fits her musical style perfectly. She covers a wide range of genres with the bulk of them old standards but most songs seem to come out soft and a bit sultry. I've gone through as much as I could find from her and gathered a CD's worth of covers for you to enjoy.

Tracklist

01 I Wanna Be Loved By You
02 Everyday
03 I Fall To Pieces
04 Autumn in New York   Feat. Josh Turner
05 Pillowtalk
06 I Don’t Want To Set The World On Fire   Feat. Post Modern Jukeboxs
07 We’ll Meet Again
08 Un F The World
09 Sh-Boom (Life Could Be A Dream)
10 I Can’t Help Falling In Love
11 In Spite of Ourselves   Feat. John Paterini
12 Be My Baby
13 If I Didn't Care
14 I'll Be Here In The Morning
15 You Really Got A Hold On Me
16 Creep
17 Mr. Blue Sky   Feat. Post Modern Jukebox
18 Hidden In The Sand
19 Black Coffee
20 The Bug Collector
21 Romulus
22 Gonna Hurry
23 Our Love Is Here To Stay
24 Smile
25 Fever   Feat. Josh Turner

Reality Notes

The bulk of the songs are solo performances with some of those featuring Allison performing all of the instruments and vocals. Three tracks are duets, one with friend John Paterini and two with Josh Turner. Two songs features Allison with Postmodern Jukebox, a group that specializes in doing modern songs in a "loungey"/jazzy style often with guest vocalists like Allison.

Allison has some original music as well. She performs a few of her own songs on her YouTube page. I was prepared to use them if I needed more material to flesh out the album but fortunately I found plenty of covers. Be sure to check out her videos. They are well produced and entertaining, always a pleasant viewing.

For the cover I utilized a pic from a photo session that produced the cover of her EP of originals that can be found on her Bandcamp page. Be sure to check that out.

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Josh Turner
Postmodern Jukebox