segunda-feira, 30 de novembro de 2020

VA - Unsung Hero - A Tribue to The Music of Ron Davies

VA - Unsung Hero - A Tribue to The Music of Ron Davies - 2013

Ron Davies was a genius of rhyme and melody. He has been described by his peers as the "quintessential poet” and the "songwriter's writer." John Hadley (a music professor at the University of Oklahoma) was quoted as saying, “I separate the world into two kinds of people, the ones that get Ron Davies and the ones that don’t.”

Born in Shreveport, Louisiana (the oldest son of country singer Tex Dickerson), Ron was influenced by songwriters like Hank Williams, but he also loved the music of Blind Lemon Jefferson and classical guitarist Andrés Segovia. Ron spent his early years living in the South, until his parents separated, and he moved with his two siblings to Washington State. Ron's last name was changed when his mother remarried, and he was adopted by his kind and loving stepfather, Darby Davies, who bought him his first guitar. Ron’s songs often reflect his love of the Pacific Northwest, and yet a longing to get “Back To The South.”

By the time Ron was seventeen, he had written an album’s worth of stellar songs for a Seattle based band called The Wailers, along with a regional hit single entitled "It's You Alone." Ron's unique style of singing and writing (referred to by Joan Baez as a cross between Bob Dylan and John Lennon) caught the attention of A&M record executives in California. Ron was signed to a recording contract in 1968 and released his first solo album, which he called "Silent Song Through The Land," featuring nine of his original compositions including the blues standard "It Ain't Easy." As a side note, the angelic harmony vocals on this album were sung by Ron’s beautiful young wife, Vicki Lynn Davies, who was his singing partner from 1962 to 1974, as well as the mother of his two daughters.

Ron’s career received a major boost in 1970 when Three Dog Night recorded “It Ain’t Easy” and made it the title of their album. Although often miscredited to Ray Davies from The Kinks (Ron displayed his wry sense of humor when he asked his publisher to take some of The Kinks out of his copyright), “It Ain’t Easy” gained international fame when a British artist by the name of David Bowie recorded it on his RCA album "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars."

It wasn’t long before Ron Davies’ songs were in demand and being recorded by such iconic artists as Long John Baldry, Dave Edmunds, Joe Cocker, Anne Murray, Dobie Gray, Bettye LaVette, Chris Smithers, Glenn Yarbrough, Merry Clayton, Mitch Ryder and Steppenwolf’s John Kay, to name a few. Australian born pop singer Helen Reddy recorded what would later become one of Ron’s signature songs entitled “Long Hard Climb” and made it the title of her 1973 platinum selling album. This song was also recorded by Maria Muldaur on her 1974 Reprice album "Midnight On The Oasis."

With his newfound success, A&M decided to team Ron up with Grammy award winning engineer, Tommy Vicarri, to co-produce his album, "UFO." Enlisting the help of musicians Billy Preston, Wilton Felder, Andy Newmark, and The Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar” girl Claudia Lennear, they created a critically acclaimed masterpiece that prompted Rock Magazine to declare Ron Davies “The Best New Songwriter of the Year.”

Ron moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1985 to write for Cedarwood Publishing and later on in his career for Warner/Chappell Music. His talents were quickly recognized when Jerry Jeff Walker recorded "The Man He Used To Be" and two of his songs appeared on the Grammy nominated Joan Baez album "Play Me Backwards." Ron Davies’ songs have also been recorded by Randy Travis, Nancy Griffith, Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill and Gail Davies, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Chris Scruggs, and Jack White & The Raconteurs.

Although not a professional actor, Ron Davies was cast as the lead character in the George Jones’ video, "old Hard Truth," in 1999. He toured Europe with his sister, country singer Gail Davies, in 2002 and also appeared with her at The Kerrville Folk Festival. Inspired by the reaction he received from the audience (Ron received a standing ovation at the end of his performance) Ron returned to Nashville to record an introspective album entitled "Where Does The Time Go." Sadly, this would be the last album Ron would record. He died of a heart attack on October 30, 2003, leaving behind an amazing legacy of more than 500 songs.

Unsung Hero – A Tribute To The Music of Ron Davies, features 22 of Ron’s finest compositions recorded by some of his favorite artists. This album is a must for any serious connoisseur of good music and poetry.

01. One More Night With You - Gail Davies
02. What Good Is A Secret - John Anderson
03. It's Too Late - Dolly Parton
04. Dark Eyed Gal - Jeff Hanna & Matraca Berg
05. It Ain't Easy - Shelby Lynne
06. Have To Come Down - Jim Lauderdale
07. Say It With Money - Delbert McClinton
08. Long Hard Climb - Mandy Barnett
09. You Stayed Away Too Long - John Prine
10. True Lovers And Friends - Crystal Gayle
11. Hey Honey I'm Home - BR549
12. Steal Across The Border - Gail Davies & Ron Davies
13. Let It Slide - Jimmy Hall
14. Back To The South - Suzy Bogguss
15. More Today Than Yesterday - Vince Gill & Kelly Hogan
16. Innocent Eyes - Kevin Welch
17. Saving It Up For You - Jonell Mosser
18. Walk And Don't Walk - Guy Clark
19. Just The Way It Goes - Robbie Fulks
20. Good Love After Bad - Alison Krauss
21. The Man He Used To Be - Rodney Crowell
22. Lay My Body Down - Bonnie Bramlett


quinta-feira, 26 de novembro de 2020

Looking Glass - Looking Glass

Looking Glass - Looking Glass - 1972

To the outside observer, Looking Glass were one of the luckiest bands to come up during the early '70s -- and doubly so, coming out of New Jersey in 1972 with a number one hit, three years before anyone was thinking about Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, and getting radio play on the song that has carried over into the oldies and '70s nostalgia boom over the decades since. Ironically, the bandmembers were never entirely happy with either the hit or the nature of the success that it brought them, mostly because it didn't represent what Looking Glass actually sounded like.

The group was founded by Brooklyn-born guitarist/singer/songwriter Elliot Lurie, bassist Pieter Sweval, and pianist Larry Gonsky, all of whom were students at New Jersey's Rutgers University. In their original late-'60s incarnation, Looking Glass were successful playing frat parties and local clubs before splitting up in the early '70s after graduation. Eventually, Lurie and Gonsky linked up again with Sweval and drummer Jeffrey Grob (who had been playing together in a band called Tracks), and Looking Glass were reborn. A hard rock outfit with a lot of virtuosity, they decided to try turning professional and shooting for a real career; even as they got lots of work at clubs up and down the East Coast, they began writing songs and heavily rehearsing the new material. Their music impressed Columbia Records president Clive Davis, who signed them to the Epic Records label, and a debut recording session for the company was scheduled.

01. Jenny-Lynne
02. Brandy
03. Catherine Street
04. Don't It Make You Feel Good
05. Golden Rainbow
06. Dealin' With The Devil
07. From Stanton Station
08. One By One


domingo, 22 de novembro de 2020

Wim de Craene - Brussel

Wim de Craene - Brussel - 1975

Born in Ghent in 1950, Belgian cabaret singer Wim de Craene began his career performing in Flemish folk band Ja before he was taken under the wing of Miel Cools in the early '70s, going on to score hits with "Rozane," "Breek Uit Jezelf," and "Tim." After writing his first musical, Help, Ik Win Een Miljoen, and twice entering his homeland's Eurovision pre-selection contest, he began to incorporate pop, rock, disco, and new wave into his sound with diminishing returns. Two years after 1988's final album, Via Dolorosa, he committed suicide with an overdose of anti-depressants, however, his music has since gained more recognition after his death.

01. Straatkoning
02. Elke
03. Tante Emma
04. Wat Ben Ik Voor Een Mens
05. Anno 1830
06. Lucio
07. Aram
08. Sara
09. De Violist
10. Rozane
11. Chantate
12. Brussel
13. Outro


quarta-feira, 18 de novembro de 2020

The Irish Coffee - Heaven

The Irish Coffee - Heaven - 2020

Irish Coffee started in Aalst 50 years ago and was immediately heard with the hit single “Masterpiece / The Show”. Shortly thereafter the - now legendary – debut album was released, now of the most sought after collector items in the world of vinyl. The band called it a day after a few very successful years.

Songwriter and singer William Souffreau, 74 meanwhile, is without doubt the éminence grise of Belgian rock, with an extensive discography, and still very active as well as solo (in 2017 Starman Records released the excellent solo album “Tobacco Fields”) as with Irish Coffee.

Irish Coffee was re-launched in 2005 with a studio album and a live album recorded during the group's passage in the legendary German music program Rockpalast (WDR). In 2013 he recorded the excellent “IC Revisited” together with his power rock trio. Followed two years later by the album “When The Owl Cries” (Starman records), which was very well received by fans and the press.

This new, sharply rocking album is a mix of half a century of classic rock & blues, with a dash of sixties, with Souffreau looking back and looking ahead to life, love and career, and occasionally getting very angry with the World.

William Souffreau is one of the last Belgian rockers of his generation, let's cherish him and hope that a lot of great music may follow.

01. Do My Playing
02. Lay Them Shotguns Down
03. A Whole Lotta Rock To Roll
04. Doing Alright
05. Can’t Take No More
06. Livin’ Ain’t Easy
07. Someday
08. One Day Without You
09. Betty And Johnny
10. Alderman
11. Gonna Take It As It Comes
12. Heaven

William Souffreau - Lead Vocals, Guitar
Frank Van Laethem - Guitar, Vocals
Eric Goedtvinck - Bass
Bruno Beeckmans - Drums, Vocals, Percussion