Friday, February 23, 2018

Dan Fogelberg - Leader of the Band (Live 2003)

Here is the late Dan Fogelberg singing "Leader of the Band."  He says that if he was allowed to write only one song, this is the song he would have written.

I'm 60 years old in case you were wonderng..  At 60, I can give you some wonderful advice about life. This kind of advice is really important.  I hope you are listening.  You will want to write this down in your journal or common place book.  You may want to put this inside the cover of your Bible or favorite spiritual book.

Seriously, go get a paper and pen right now!  I believe in what I am about to write so stongly that I will give it to you for free.

Here it is . . . Life is all about relationships.  In life, the hardest you are supposed to work,  the greatest endeavor you put into anything, ishould be meant for your relationships.  I mean it.  I have no reason to lie about this.

Great songwriters like Harry Chapin, Gordon Lightfoot, Paul Simon, John Denver, Tom T. Hall, Hoyt Paxton, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Dan Foglelberg (just to name a few) all understood that life is all about relationships.  Great singers and musicians understand this as well.  I have at times wondered if the root of all great music comes from relationship experiences both good and bad, sweet and sour. 

Hey, prove me wrong!  I don't think you will be able to.

I'm talking about relationships with lovers, spouses, family, friends, pets and even places where one has lived or visited.  Let's not forget professional an business relationships either. Relationships provide a depth to life that people crave and work so hard to find.  If they would focus instead on relationships, what they want to find would come to them.

May I ask you a question?

Is there a relationship that right now that needs you undivided attention?

Relationships are what matters, not career and possessions.  Trust me . . . been there, done that.  The richest relationships one can have, are the one you work on with all your heart and soul can muster.

Rick ><>

Harry Chapin--Taxi

Boy, I must really be in a warm, reflective yet meloncholy mood . . . to come across Harry Chapin singing "Taxi."   You want to talk about songwriting?  Ok, but it won't be a real conversation (in my humble opinion) without acknowledging Harry's music.

I wonder sometimes what "could have been" if Harry hadn't been killed in the auto accident years ago.

This a song rich in communicating the need we all have for meaningful relationships.

What relationship do you have today, right nonw, that needs your focus and nurturing?

Rick ><>

Gordon Lightfoot - Canadian Railroad Trilogy (Live In Reno)

Here is a video of Gordon Lightfoot singing a slower version of the "Canadian Railroad Trilogy," a song he was commissioned to write for the centenial celebration of the Canadian Pacific Railroad.  I'm lookiing for the black and white video of Gordon doing this song for the first time many years ago.  I've seen it, but haven't found it yet.

This version is a bit more deliberate than some of his earlier recordings of this song.  Maybe that's part of growing older . . . becoming more deliberate about the things than matter to you.  Gordon is a singer, musician, and fantastic songwriter, but he is also a son of Canada, a historian.  He rose to the occassion with this song.

One thing is evident, he has always had a great backing band.  They are pros.

If given the chance, what would you write a song about?

Rick ><>

Gordon Lightfoot - Song For A Winter's Night

It's been cold and wet here in Texas these past 2-3 weeks.  We are waiting for the arrival of spring and native wildflowers.

Today, it's been drizzling all day . . . and I'm still at home dealing with serious inflammation following double knee replacement.  I was scrolling on YouTube and found this older video of Gordon Lightfoot singing "Song for a Winter's Night."

I love to sing and play guitar, but I have never been a travelling troubadour.  That kind of life would not have sat well with me.  I think some of Gordon's song reflect on all the years of touring he did.  Maybe this is one of them.

Gordon is perhaps one of the best songwriters that has every lived.

Whose hand do you long to hold on a cold winter's night?

Rick ><>

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Michael Nesmith - Different Drum (Live at the Britt Festival 1992)

Well hey and what do you know, Mike did "Different Drum" as an encore at the Britt Festival concert.

Research how many hits songs Mike wrote.  You will be surprised.


Rick ><>

Lyle Lovett - If I Had A Boat (live)

An absolutely marvelous song.  Lyle Lovett's voice is very interesting.  You either love it or hate it.  I love it.  He is a great performer and very fine guitar player.

Why do I like this song?   It speaks to me how life is not so much about making other people happy, but doing what makes me happy.  I haven't done that near enough  of that in my life.  I hope it's not to late.

A great song.  Please enjoy.  If you have a favorite song video, please let me know so I can post it.

Rick ><>

Michael Nesmith - Joanne (Live at the Britt Festival 1992)

I stumbled across this video several days ago, and ended up watching most of the concert.  I forgot how prolific Michael Nesmith was after he left the Monkee's.

I also found out that he wrote "Different Drums," the song made famous by Linda Rondstadt.    Mercy.

I think this is a very well crafted song.  The chording is really neat.

Years ago, I had a falsetto like that . . . those days are gone.

What music surprises or remembrances have you come across lately?

Rick ><>

Crosby Stills & Nash - Southern Cross

Speaking of Stephen Stills and CS&Y . . . This is on of my favorite acoustic rock songs of all time.   I think a good dreadnaught guitar can carry itself just fine with songs like this!  But, let's not forget the great 3-part harmony.

What is your favorite acoustic rock song?

Rick ><>

D'Addario - The Six Who Made Me: Vince Gill

Here is a good video featuring Vince Gill talking about guitar players that influenced him.

We all have our favorites, those mentors who guide us to discovering the player and performers we are.  My six would be:

-Dear friend and adopted brother . . . the late Joe Laughlin of Houston, TX.

-John Denver

-Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul & Mary)

-Stephen Stills (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young)

-Neil Young (CSYN and solo)

-Joe Walsh (had to through in at least one electric player)

Who are the people who influence the music you make?

Rick ><>

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

10 Reasons Not To Buy A Martin D-18

When I first saw this video, and being a proud owner of a Martin D-18, I thought "what the hell?"

After watching the video, I knew I had to post it.  Why?  I think "Been there, and done that" sums if up nicely.

What does that mean?  Simply put, several of the guitars I own came home after I saw them, played them, and emotionally said / thought, "I've got to have this guitar."

Did I need them?  Truthfully . . . no, I didn't. For that matter, even today the answer is "no I don't." My first good guitar was a Martin D-16gte, and it would be a fine guitar today and handle just about everything I do musically if it was the only guitar I had.  These days, my J-40 and D-18 handle the job nicely.  The D-16 is a back-up guitar.  One day I'm sure I will pass it on to some one deserving.

I've got two build-to-order (BTO's) Taylor's . . . both sinker redwood tops (one is a T-5). Wickedly fine guitars. I played them last back in 2016.  I've got a Fender Strat, pedals and a fancy electric guitar amp as well.  Haven't played it in at least 3 years.  Two Guild jumbos are in my office closet at the church.  Their cases have dust on them.

And yet, I can go into a guitar store (which I am doing less and less these days) and after 15 minutes, be intrigued by a guitar and begin wondering how I can legally leave the store with it.

What's the old saying, "How many guitars does a guitar player need?  

Just one more!"

Enjoy the video.

Rick ><>

Monday, February 5, 2018

Neil Young - Old Man & Heart Of Gold [1971]

I didn't hear Neil's "Harvest" album until 1974.

I was busy playing basketball and foaming at the mouth over a girl.  High
school days . . . so me great memories . . . and some other adventure I can't write about just yet.

I was raised to appreciate and respect older adults.  I had two sets or grandparents who were wonderful to me. I've learned a lot from older friends and mentors along the way.  Now I'm the old guy and I've gotten some opportunities to share with some younger folk when they come as ask, "can we talk for awhile?"

I even have a little gray hair . . . the magic signifier that I've indeed lived a little.

All in all a great song played on a beautiful Martin D-45.  Not sure if it was Hank Williams guitar, as I'm not sure when he received that guitar from Bob Dylan.

And . . . how can we hear "Old Man" and not hear "Heart of Gold"?

Enjoy the video.   Music at it's best . . . the singer-songwriter and their instrument on a stage performing to the audience.

What older adult do you need to say "thank you" to?  What musical instrument do you appreciate and love to make music with.

Rick ><>

The Ballad of the Dreadnought

I came across this video about the history of the Martin dreadnaght guitar.  I am the proud owner / player of a Martin D-18e Retro.

It's a long video, but filled with interesting information that a Martin fan, or non-Martin fan, can appreciate.

Do you have a favorite guitar or other musical instrument?  Would you like to share your story?

Rick ><>