Monday, May 31, 2010

NEWS: Slow down those blues: Robert Johnson's recordings are too fast!!

Have we got blues legend Robert Johnson all wrong?

Eric Clapton once described Robert Johnson as "The most important blues singer that ever lived".

To read the rest of this (intriguing) article and to listen to some new samples, click on the URL below:

NEWS: Dennis Hopper Dies

Dennis Hopper, star of cult classic films including Easy Rider and Apocalypse Now, died on Saturday of prostate cancer. He was 74.

To read the rest of this article, clink on the following URL:

18 Reasons Why 'Exile On Main Street' Deserves Its Rep

by Clark Benson

"Exile" is one of those rare records where every year or two a different song on it will become a special talisman to be played when I really need a fix of something deep. This list explains why this 18-song masterpiece deserves every bit of praise it gets. . . . .

To read the rest of this article, click the URL below:

NEWS: New Album - Dustone Cinema "Dreams from the Electric Sleep"

For Immediate Release: Contact: Andrew Calvo - 707‐824‐0323

Dustone Cinema Sends Debut Album into the Cosmos - Free digital downloads of all tracks available at:

(May 27, 2010, Sebastopol, CA) Dustone Cinema is sending its debut album, Dreams From the Electric Sleep into the cosmos. The album is available to download for free at:

Inspired by Tom Wolfe's "Electric Kool‐Aid Acid Test", the four tracks are improvisational, instrumental and psychedelic. They are the antithesis to pop, formulaic music. This is music for long attention spans, where the journey is the reward.

Dreams From the Electric Sleep was produced by Richard Fisher. Richard has worked with a diverse set of artists including Mickey Hart, Tom Waits, Zakir Hussain, Rhythm Devils, Hydra, Booker T, Bonnie Raitt, and the Beastie Boys.

Richard engineered the 2009 Global Drum Project release from Mickey Hart and Zakir Hussain, which won the 2009 Grammy for Best Contemporary World Music Album.

Notable amongst the Dustone Cinema musicians is Bob Bralove, who appears on two of the tracks. Bob Bralove spent 8 years as the Grateful Dead's MIDI wizard and 8 years as computer music director for Stevie Wonder.

The album features Richard Fisher on guitar, synthesizers and sound design, Jack Springett on Drums, Steve Gordon on guitar, Andrew Calvo on bass and synthesizers, Bob Bralove on synthesizers, Joshua Fisher on percussion and synthesizers and Mike Emerson on Hammond Organ and Rhodes.

NEWS: 24-CD Jimi Hendrix Box Set

Hi readers,

Check this out: a 24-CD Jimi Hendrix Box Set sourced from vinyl! As expressed on Youtube by rokysyd11:

May 26, 2010 — Kiloh Smith just got a 24 CD Jimi Hendrix box all sourced from the best vinyl! It was personally made for him by Lucifer Bob!

Lucifer Bob sez: "It is totally handmade and the only one on the planet. It is (almost-completely-nearly) sourced from vinyl and is "Unconditionally Guaranteed" to sound better than any Hendrix CDs that you have ever heard. The French Barclay mono issue is THE SHIT, as is everything else in this collection. The Track Records "Axis: Bold As Love" mono LP pressing is the rarest Hendrix record, worth thousands of dollars, even in poor condition. The copy in this box is absolutely-fucking-perfect. The Classic Records mono LP version from a few years back is a different (modern) mix ... sometimes very different ... but don't take my word for it ... check it out yourself ..."

This is SICK! Watch this vid! Over and out!



Sunday, May 30, 2010

Breaking Down Billy Gibbons Sound - A Look at Gibbons Setup Through the Years

By John T Halbert

One of the most well known guitar legends is undoubtedly Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. If you don't know who he is, you've really missed out on a large portion of rock history and need to get on YouTube or Napster and give ZZ Top and Gibbons a listen.

One of the things that's most asked about Gibbons is how he gets his unique sound. His guitar has a very dry tone that is unique and helps create ZZ Top's unique sound. While his tone is the stuff of legends, and may remain his secret forever, Billy has used a bevy of amps, effects and guitars to produce this unique sound.

Back in the day, Gibbons was most well known for playing his '59 Les Paul Standard, named Pearly Gates. You can hear him playing it on songs such as "La Grange", "Tush", "Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers", as well as many others. He uses a heavy set of strings on this guitar (.011-.052) and actually uses a quarter as his pick of choice. In addition to his Paul, he is also well known for using Dean guitars, most notably the furry ones that he's known for spinning around in his music videos. You can hear him play a Dean Z on tracks from the '80s like "Gimmie All Your Lovin'" and "Sharp Dressed Man".

In more recent years, Gibbons has been known for playing a wider range of guitars. He's been seen playing a '55 Les Paul, with a P-90 in the neck, as well as a '60 Gretsch Bo Diddley on ZZ Top's album "Rhythmeen". Gibbons is also no stranger to Fender's axes. He's been seen playing the classic Stratocaster, Telecaster, Esquire, Teisco Del Ray, Chiquita travel guitar and Jaguar, just to name a few. Also, he's been playing a Mark Erlewine custom guitar since the '80s.

As for effects, Gibbons is well known for using a variety of strange effects. He's been seen with vintage wahs, flangers, harmoniziers, an MXR Pitch Transposer and a Roland chorus, just to name a few. One effect that I've seen him use and think he's used to amazing ends is the Bixonic Expandora fuzzbox.

Billy's choice of amps is also well rounded and includes a custom Rio Grande 125-watt tube amp, a '66 Marshall Plexi, Scholz Rockman, various Fender amps, and a Marshall JMP-1 tube preamp with Peavey's TubeFex. Onstage, Gibbons runs his sound through Orange 4x12 cabinets to create his stage sound. In the mid-'80s, however, this was not his preferred onstage setup. He is most famous for his use of the "Amp Cabin", of his own design, which were walls of Marshall and Fender amps, facing inward on each other, with a mic in the center. He roofed his cabin and used the setup to create a sound that's truly unique.

While Gibbons continues to create a unique and one of a kind sound through his setups, he's been no stranger to experimentation and variety in his setups. I don't know exactly how he gets his tone, and may never for that matter, but one thing I do know is that he's used his expertise to create some of the most unique sounds in the history of Rock and Roll.

John T Halbert is a writer who publishes on subjects of self help and human ability. His studies include the human body and mind and the innate abilities that lie within. He recently helped publish a series of websites about the Schwinn 431 Elliptical and Elliptical Exercise Equipment.

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Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" - A Look at the Numbers

By Robert Herriman

As a long-haired youth growing up in the suburbs of a Northeastern city in the 1970's, there were 4 albums I could remember that everyone I knew, inside and outside of school owned; Led Zeppelin IV, The Eagles Greatest Hits, Frampton Comes Alive and of course the granddaddy of progressive "head" music, Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon".

Today in 2010, I still have two vinyl albums in varying condition, a cassette and a CD. The artwork was fantastic, the enclosed poster that came with the album was plastered everywhere and the music and memories that go along with that album are priceless.

There is another thing that is highly impressive about this record, and that's the numbers. Let's take a look:

1. Record sales: According to an article in, the album is estimated to have sold 45 million copies. This is under Michael Jackson's Thriller and just under AC/DC's Back in Black.

2. Weeks on the Billboard Top 200: It has been on Billboard's Top 200 for an astounding 763 weeks (over 14.6 years). That includes 741 weeks for the original release (1973-1988) plus re-releases. In addition, it has been on Billboard's Top Pop Catalog Album's chart for 960 weeks. That is well over 30 years on Billboard with no sign of slowing!

3. According to the British Recording Music Industry, Dark Side ... was the sixth best selling album in the British Isles.

4. According to Glenn Povey, author of the book Echoes, one out of every fourteen people in the US under the age of 50 is estimated to own, or to have owned, a copy.

5. Rolling Stone magazine ranked Dark Side of the Moon, 35th in their 1987 "Top 100 Albums of the last 20 years". Then again in 2003, it was 43rd in the "500 Greatest Albums of all time".

6. And it's not just the music that has received so many accolades. The cover art, the classic prism, was chosen as VH1's 4th greatest album cover of all time.

And this list doesn't even include the numbers from iTunes, the singles, and other interesting stats.

"Dark Side of the Moon" was released on March 10, 1973 and has been a driving force in rock music ever since. Albums come and go ... oh, except "Dark Side of the Moon".

I have over 20 years experience in clinical and public health microbiology and infectious diseases. I want to enlighten and inform about infectious diseases that could affect you, rare and common, and what you can do to protect you and your family from these dreaded afflictions. See more of my work at

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Cream - How Rock's Original Power Trio Continues to Influence

By Jim Hofman

Cream, the iconic musical power trio, was a musical tour de force in the middle and late 1960's. Consisting of drummer Ginger Baker, bassist Jack Bruce, and guitarist Eric Clapton, their music remains popular to this day. Discover how Cream continues to influence the musical artists of today...

Cream: Their Style

When most music fans think of Cream, the catch phrase "classic rock" comes to mind. And while it is true that most of the band's music is heard on classic rock radio stations these days, a more in depth view is required. The idea for Cream was hatched in early 1966 by drummer Ginger Baker, who was trained in the jazz styles of early 1960's London. He played in a British band called The Graham Bond Organization with bassist Jack Bruce, an exceptionally gifted musician also blessed with a strong voice.

Both soon crossed paths with a young virtuoso guitarist by the name of Eric Clapton, who was cutting his teeth on blues standards in the Chicago and Mississippi Delta style. Each of the three, disenchanted with their current situation, decided to join forces as Cream in June, 1966. At the time and in subsequent interviews, Clapton thought Cream would be a blues band. Alas, he had no idea of the musical direction and influences of both Baker and Bruce.

As Cream developed early on, it was clear this was something very unique. By the time the band dissolved in late 1968, Cream was noted for several musical styles, including blues, hard rock, pop, all underpinned with jazz stylings and lengthy improvisations.

The Ongoing Influence Of Cream

Despite being together for less than three years, Cream is still one of the best known bands of all time. They originally spawned super groups and power trios, like Blind Faith, Mountain, and several others in the early 1970's.

Later, Cream has been credited as an inspiration for popular rock acts in the 1980's and beyond. ZZ Top, an enormously popular rock and blues trio, was directly influenced by Cream, to the point of presenting them for induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

The Police and Van Halen are two of many notably successful groups that have praised the influences of Baker, Bruce, and Clapton. Today, John Mayer plays occasionally with Clapton and has even recorded a version of "Crossroads", a blues standard which Cream made famous over forty years ago.

The Legacy Is Still Developing

All three members of Cream are still playing, with Bruce and Clapton more active than Baker. Cream reunited in 2005 for a highly successful live CD and DVD, with their Royal Albert Hall concerts being attended by rock royalty. Their legacy continues to evolve and their music has stood the test of time.

Discover the latest on the members of Cream, including insight into their music and careers. Visit our interactive site dedicated to the legacy of rock's original power trio at:

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Happy Birthday, Robert Zimmerman

By Robert Herriman

May 24, 1941 was to me as a teenager and still is for many people the birthday of an American poet. Robert Zimmerman, or as he is more well known, Bob Dylan is one of the icons of modern music history and was one of my favorites for decades.

It started in the mid-70s when I bought Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits. This was actually the third piece of vinyl I ever bought (Elton John's Greatest Hits and KISS Alive were the first two, pretty eclectic for a teenager, huh?). I remember playing "Rainy Day Women #12 and 35" on my tabletop turntable in my basement bedroom bellowing "everybody must get stoned" in the most nasal voice I could muster.

As I accumulated more of Dylan's albums, I increasingly became enamored with the lyrics. I thought to myself, "is there any word this guy can't rhyme"? Honestly, Dylan's lyrics were probably the first exposure I had to any type of political thought. Whether it was concerning racial issues (The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll) or what had happened in Vietnam (Masters of War), I was in awe of how well he could tell a story. It was akin to reading the newspaper.

Dylan also fascinated me in the enigmatic way he could jump from genre to genre, not for one second worrying about what the critics would say. If it wasn't folk protest songs, he would be cranking out bluesy rockers, dabbling in country with Johnny Cash in "Nashville Skyline" or modern gospel with the Sultan of Swing himself, guitar virtuoso Mark Knopfler in "Slow Train Coming", his ever changing style always intrigued me.

As a teen in many relationships and the bad break-ups that went along with it, "Blood on the Tracks" became a staple of heartbreak, scorn and even bitterness. "Idiot wind, moving every time you move your mouth". In that same basement bedroom, I would listen to these songs over and over trying to figure out the meaning and imagery of the lyrics. I devoured every book written by some self-proclaimed "Dylanologist" attempting to decipher the meaning behind the elusive songwriter's lyrics. I even went through the painstaking task of reading the most incomprehensible book of all time, Dylan's "Tarantula". What a mess that was!

The only time I saw Dylan live was during the Slow Train Coming tour in 1980 at the Loews Theatre in Syracuse. This was a concert tour that was only going to feature songs related to his conversion to Christianity. As I sat in the audience just absolutely thrilled I was about to see Bob Dylan, I took in the repertoire of his born again gospel playlist, I could hear the grumbling and actually some people walking out because they were displeased with the lack of Dylan "classics" being offered. I couldn't help but think how this may compare in a small way to the 1965 Newport Folk Festival that I read about where Dylan came out for his second set with an electric band and totally upset the folk purists in the audience.

Dylan is also a survivor. In 1966 he had a serious motorcycle accident in Woodstock, New York and three decades later he survived a life-threatening fungal heart infection called histoplasmosis. Bob Dylan's influence can be heard throughout the decades in the music of songwriters like Lennon, Springsteen and Petty, to name just a few.

Well, Happy 69th birthday Robert Zimmerman, whatever persona you are taking on these days.

I have over 20 years experience in clinical and public health microbiology and infectious diseases. I want to enlighten and inform about infectious diseases that could affect you, rare and common, and what you can do to protect you and your family from these dreaded afflictions. See more of my work at

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47 Years Ago Today - The Release of a Monumental Folk Album

By Robert Herriman

It's hard to believe that the album "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" was released nearly five full decades ago on May 27, 1963. Ironically, the release of this platinum album was not in the interest of some at Columbia Records after the release of his self-titled debut album sold only 5000 copies in its first year.

This landmark folk music album, Dylan's second, is full of powerful lyrics about both social justice and longing and love lost. A young man, Dylan was only 22 at its release, was struggling with his relationship with Suze Rotolo (who happens to be on the cover photo with Dylan). Her influence over his writing affected both the political and the personal.

Rotolo, daughter of parents who were devout to the American Communist Party, certainly influenced any social justice and fairness issues Dylan would delve into. The very powerful love songs like "Don't think twice, it's alright" are emotionally tagged to Dylan's relationship to Rotolo. After briefly moving in with Dylan, she went to Italy to study art. The hurt, longing and loss can be heard in Dylan's love songs during this period.
The album featured a litany of songs covering every aspect of life. Some of the highlights include the classic "Blowin' in the Wind", later made famous by Peter, Paul and Mary, which became a staple in the freedom movement of that era.

The painful "Don't think twice, it's alright" was written when Dylan learned of Rotolo's intention to stay in Italy. It is as one author calls it, "an ambiguous mixture of bitterness and regret". Then there is "Oxford Town", a short tune about USAF veteran James Meredith, who was the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi near Oxford, Mississippi. Here federal troops were called in to integrate the school.

Then of course is the ever powerful, "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall". I'll let the final verse speak for itself:

Oh, what'll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what'll you do now, my darling young one?
I'm a-goin' back out 'fore the rain starts a-fallin'
I'll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison
Where the executioner's face is always well hidden
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten
Where black is the color, where none is the number
And I'll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it
Then I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin'
But I'll know my song well before I start singin'
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall

The whole album, in my opinion is a masterpiece of songwriting, and I'm not alone in feeling that. In 2002, the Library of Congress chose "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" as one of the 50 recordings to be added to the National Recording Registry. The album joined "Stars and Stripes Forever", Scott Joplin's "Ragtime" and FDR's fireside chats as inductees. "Freewheelin" epitomizes the early sixties but at the same time, "was ahead of it's time".

I have over 20 years experience in clinical and public health microbiology and infectious diseases. I want to enlighten and inform about infectious diseases that could affect you, rare and common, and what you can do to protect you and your family from these dreaded afflictions. See more of my work at

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

OPINION: Why Hippie Communes Didn't Survive

By Thomas Ryaner

I love that nostalgic era of the 60s and 70s. I wasn't alive back then but I sure wish I was. LSD, Woodstock and all those dreams of the world starting afresh.

People would shun society, take to the hills and go about setting up communities where people could live free of the clutches of an evil society. There was however a problem. The whole point of the communes was to share certain values and shun others. Their ideals came before their viability.

Sure they planted a few crops to try and provide for themselves. But providing, making a living always came second. And when a living couldn't be made at all the dream of running away from society was crushed by the need to eat and the need for a roof over one's head. The kids went back to the cities, back to real jobs. They became the very thing that they despised. Their efforts had failed. As they got older and their old dreams became forgotten it never occurred to them that what they were trying to do could have worked, if only they had done it a little differently.

Tribalism vs Community

A tribe is a self sufficient economic unit. It exists for the purpose of providing its members with a means to make a living. Many tribes share religious, cultural and spiritual values. But these all come second. The number one priority in a tribe is viability. If they aren't viable then none of the other things will survive.

The problem with hippie communes was that they weren't organized tribally. To start a tribe people would need to get together and say, "what skills do we have that can allow us to make a living together as an independent unit?" Historically for many tribes it would be the ability to farm or to hunt and gather. But it equally could be the ability to provide modern technological goods and services.

Communes failed because they said, "what values do we share that would make it a good idea to live together?" That failed when they couldn't make a living. But just because that failed does not mean there is no hope of escaping from the horrible economic system we currently live in. However this time we need to take a tribal approach. We need to break off with the intention of making a living together and make that the number one priority. This is how successful communities operate today. They have a functioning business model that allows them to draw a living without resorting to employment.

About The Author

Thomas is a writer whose passion is Deep Ecology. This is a world-view that sees a value in nature regardless of its usefulness to humans. It is partly about saving the world but primarily about creating a better place for humans to live. Living as part of the community of life and not apart from it is a much richer and more satisfying way of life.

Hippie communes sought to return to the community of life. But just because they failed does not mean we cannot return there. But we must understand why they failed so we can make a more effective effort to break free.

For more free articles, videos, books, interviews visit Deep Ecology Hub.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Blues Guitar Riffs - A Brief History of the Blues in Modern Music

By Wayne Ikebuchi

The history of the blues in America is fascinating. Almost all the music made in the USA since the birth of the blues in the late 1800s has been firmly rooted in this tradition. Whether it is the chord progression, the lyrical style, the blues guitar riffs, or the general feel - the Blues reigns supreme in it's influence.

The first thing to be mentioned is the meaning of the expression "the Blues." This is a shortened version of the expression "I've got some Blue Devils sitting on my shoulder, " which was a long way of expressing a sad or down feeling.

One of the most interesting aspects of the blues is the harmonic texture of the music. While blues guitar riffs are based on a major tonal scale - the melodies and guitar licks themselves are based upon a minor tonal scale. This modal mixture is what makes the blues so special.

For example, in the key of G: The accompaniment part will be based mostly on a dominant scale (G, B, D, E, F). At the same time, the melody and all the guitar licks will be focused on a minor pentatonic scale (G, B flat, C, D, and F).

The mix of these two tonal landscapes gives us what we describe as a "bluesy sound." This sound can be heard in the melodies of modern artists from the likes of Shakira, Lady Gaga, Mac Dre, and Muse.

Another element of the blues that has lasted into modern music is the rhythm. This Blues rhythm is often felt as being in "swing time" rather than in "strict time." What this means is that the in-between beats are delayed or moved backwards in time rather than being played exactly in the middle. This is where the term "backbeat" rhythm comes from. This type of beat is felt as the swing in jazz music and can also be found in R&B music. It can certainly still be heard in modern guitar riffs.

This "bluesy" feel is the hallmark sound found in many of today's lead guitar licks and solos. These blues guitar riffs have influenced many of the greats of the past - from Elvis, to Chuck Berry, through to Eric Clapton. The legacy of the blues has been passed down through generations of lead guitar players. Many of the young musicians of today still play these riffs and this musical style is sure to influence many more generations of guitar players.

Want to find out how you can learn to play blues guitar riffs? Get the low down now at

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NEWS: Funny Girl Tickets - Funny Theatre Show‏

by James Rach

Funny Girl is the bittersweet story of film and stage star Fanny Brice as she waits for her husband/gambler Nicky Arnstein to be released from prison. This musical is what helped Barbara Streisand to become a star.

Director Dan Kaye says he hasn't done "Funny Girl" since 1977 and he had the vocal talent in his cast to pull it off. Finally, Tiny Samantha Spiro, with all the heart of a brave Maltese terrier, found the part of her life.

Miss Spiro plays tragicomic showgirl Fanny Brice in Chichester's polished new production of the vintage American musical Funny Girl. Emotional, humorous, with some wonderful songs, this show is both old-fashioned and sprightly. Much of the tale revolves round Ziegfeld's Follies, the New York dance troupe.

The director of the musical, Angus Jackson, has not only found 8 statuesque chorus girls with 16 ladder-length legs, but has also managed, with Stephen Mear's choreography, to get them dancing complicated high-kick numbers on the tiny stage of Chichester's smaller theatre.

Fanny Brice was a Jewish froglet, born in 1891 Manhattan without the usual actress looks but possessed of a giant personality. Fanny Brice and Barbara Windsor might not have been so terribly different.

There may be times when she almost slips back into the Barbara Windsor role she once played at the Royal National Theatre, but maybe that is no bad thing.

The part doesn't just call for comedy. Fanny has to fall in love with the unsuitable Nick Arnstein and combine the harsh with the susceptible.

Miss Spiro manages the 2 with rare subtlety. Her voice may not quite match that of Barbra Streisand, who played Fanny for a long run on Broadway, but she has more than enough bubble and anxiety to overcome any musical impurity.

Jackson works his cast fearfully hard. One moment the chorus line is playing members of Fanny's extended Jewish family, who fuss over her like mobbing crows.

It's on stage is also where Samantha Spiro comes very much to life, producing a presentation of weepy, broad-hearted, full throttle commitment.

The above article is sponsored by is a leader in the business of selling Funny Girl Tickets ( plus more concert tickets, sports tickets, theater tickets as well as special events tickets.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Blues Great - Blind Lemon Jefferson

By John Blackwood

The stories of Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters are those of talents which were for a time unrecognized since they were virtuoso's of a type of music, the blues, which was regarded as somehow lower class, temporary, too related to race, place and time to have any real call to be called music. In some cases they were sought out so that their music could be preserved, doubtless as some form of curiosity.

The early blues greats were mostly unable to read music, had no grounding in musical theory, or musical training. They often taught themselves or picked up what they could from other blues musicians. The first recordings of the blues were something quite different; a female singer (for example Sara Martin) backed by a trained band, performing songs written by professional musicians. All that changed with one man; Blind Lemon Jefferson.

Jefferson was born in Couchman, near Wortham, Texas in 1893, 94 or even 97. His parents were sharecroppers, but as Lemon was either blind or partially blind from birth he was useless in the fields and so devoted himself to music. He began to play at local dances and parties and by 1912 was performing regularly on the streets of Dallas where he met and worked with Huddie Ledbetter, better known as Leadbelly.

In 1925 Lemon was spotted by a scout and taken to Chicago where he began a short but spectacular recording career. His first recordings (for Paramount records) were religious or gospel songs and he used the name Reverend L.J. Bates, but subsequent records were in his own blues style. Lemon had a wide vocal range and an interesting technique for plucking the guitar. He played in many different keys and used different guitar tunings, so his style is difficult to imitate and defies analysis, since it pays no attention to key or time signature.

Lemon's recordings were a great success, and although he was reputedly unhappy with the royalties he received, he is said to have had a bank account containing at least $1500 (equivalent to about $200,000 today) and was able to marry a woman (Roberta Ransom) 10 years his senior as well as employing a chauffeur for one of his two cars. Between 1926 and 1929 he recorded 110 sides including 'Matchbox Blues', a tune later recorded by the Beatles, and 'See that My Grave is Kept Clean', a song so successful it was re-recorded in 1928 and re-released.

His career came to a sudden end when Lemon died, unexpectedly, in December 1929. There seems to be great mystery surrounding Lemon's death. According to some he was poisoned. The most likely explanation appears to be that he died from a heart attack whilst in his car, his driver abandoned him and he then froze to death in the deep cold of a Chicago snowstorm.

Lemon's voice and style may have been too distinctive for his contemporaries as few tried to copy him despite his commercial success. In more recent years he has been the inspiration for many modern artists and his songs, particularly 'See That My Grave is Kept Clean' have been covered by Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead and B B King, who said that Lemon was a particular inspiration.

Lemon was buried in his home town of Wortham, Texas, in an unmarked grave, however a memorial marker was erected in 1967. In 2007 the graveyard 's name was changed to Blind Lemon Memorial Cemetery and a committee was formed to carry out his wishes and make sure that Blind Lemon Jefferson's grave would always be kept clean.

John Blackwood
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Aretha Franklin

By Dani Kelly

Aretha Franklin is almost seventy years old and yet she is still known as the Queen of Soul. This vivacious singer has won eighteen Grammy Awards in her lifetime and is still actively touring and singing today. She has had twenty #1 Singles and forty-five Top 40 Singles.

Aretha Franklin has pioneered soul, jazz, rock, pop and R & B and found a way to make Gospel popular in the mainstream. It takes a special kind of artist to achieve what she has. After all, Aretha was the first female to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, period.

Among her incredible achievements, Aretha was the first black woman to appear on the cover of Time magazine. She was also awarded with an honorary Doctor of Musicology by the University of Detroit. In 1994 she was the youngest recipient of the Kennedy Center Honor. In 1994 Ms.Franklin was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton. In 2005 President Bush Jr. awarded Aretha Franklin with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Aretha Franklin's list of awards and accolades is never ending.

Aretha Franklin has cleared the way for other female and black artists to succeed; it was not an easy feat for her to achieve so many firsts and Aretha Franklin did so in a different time when the world was much more close-minded than it is today.

Aretha Franklin has been on other peoples labels for the majority of her career. Finally in 2004, after forty-four years in the business, she launched her own record label, Aretha Records. Since launching and working under her own label, her career has expanded to further heights; more recently of which when she was the only featured singer at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration ceremony.

She is a trailblazer even today, leading other artists such as Pearl Jam and MMJ at the upcoming 2010 New Orleans Jazz Fest. She is one of the most respected and revered artists in music today, and Aretha Franklin tickets are in increasingly high-demand. She has received some of the highest honors in music to be achieved.
Check out for Aretha Franklin tickets today.

My name is Dani Kelly. I work in Web Development, online marketing, Social Networking, Social Media, SEO, and more. But first and foremost, I am a writer; a journalist. I love to review our Los Angeles teams and am impassioned about finding the next artist to make it in our highly-critical pool of music fans. Check out my articles and get the latest reviews on how our teams have been doing, are doing, will be doing, etc.

Sometimes I play devils advocate, just to pose the questions. Sometimes I share with you my own, deeply personal view, and sometimes my work is entirely objective. My various writing styles will keep you guessing. Have fun and I hope you enjoy some of my literary musings!

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BOOK REVIEW: The Funkmasters - The James Brown Rhythm Sections

By Paul Wolf

This is a review of the book 'The Funkmasters' by Allan Slutsky and Chuck Silverman. This book is not just for those learning how to play bass, it also includes drum parts and guitar parts. So it can serve as an instructional source for a rhythm section.

So What's The Funkmasters About?

The Funkmasters is a book/CD package chronicling some of the best work of the James Brown band rhythm sections during the period 1960 to 1973. 23 songs are discussed and each song has individual mini-lessons on the bass line, the drum line and the guitar line. Additionally there is brief biographical and stylistic information about all the players involved.

How Is The Funkmasters presented?

The book is hard bound, around 140 pages long and comes with two CDs that reproduce every single note in the book. Each song is presented as a master score - that is all the instruments are together - and the accompanying CD track has all the instruments played. Then each individual part has its own mini-lesson - which is also reproduced on the CD, often at slower tempos to facilitate learning.

The songs transcribed in the Funkmasters focus heavily on grooves. So for individual songs there might be mini-lessons on the verse groove, the chorus groove and the bridge groove. The songs are presented in chronological order so that you can trace the development of the James Brown sound over time - and each song is presented in its historical context.

Songs transcribed include Think, Papa's Got A Brand New Bag, Out Of Sight, I Got You, I Got The Feeling, Licking Stick, Funky Drummer, Sex Machine, Super Bad, Hot Pants, Make it Funky, The Payback and more.

How Could The Funkmasters Be Better?

The Funkmasters book could be improved in the following ways in my opinion.

Firstly, as I never tire of saying the book could be spiral bound. That way if you are going to use it for lots of studying - and there are lots of grooves to work on in this book - it will lie flat on your music standing without sustaining any damage.

Secondly the book is a rhythm section study. But if you are working on it with a fellow drummer and guitarist then each of you have to own the book, and you each have to damage your binding to get it to lie flat on a music stand. A better way might have been to have a 'Rhythm Section Practice Version' where the individual instrument parts for each song are printed on detachable pieces of paper so that the musicians can put those on their music stands.

Thirdly some interviews with some of the surviving rhythm section members would have added some additional background material to the book that would have seriously enhanced it. Bass Player Magazine did an issue with interviews with the surviving James Brown bassists which was both illuminating and inspiring. That could of material - repeated with the drummers and guitarists - would have made an excellent addition to the book.


If you're interesting in adding funk to your how to play bass journey then this is a great primer. James Brown was about grooves - and this is a thesaurus of sweat stained grooves that is essential vocabulary for you to learn. This book gets 4 and a half stars (it loses half a star for the solid binding).

If you want more bass related info, head over to my how to play bass website where you'll find video lessons, articles, reviews and much more. There's also a monthly ezine you can sign up for - in return for signing up you'll get a PDF file with 5 cool bass lines in - and each month's ezine features a bass line in music notation and bass tab.

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Charley Patton the Founder of the Delta Blues - The Legend Lives On

By Bruce B Lamb

Though he used to write his name as Charlie Patton, yet popularly called Charley, is considered as the father of the American Delta Blues genre. This style is one of the oldest renditions of the blues and hence it made Charley Patton as one of the best known figures of American Popular Music. Said to be been born in the year 1887 and died in 1934, Charlie Patton is still considered one of the most influential figures of American music.

Charley and the Early Years of Delta Blues: The Origin of the Genre

Charlie Patton was born in Hinds County, Mississippi and spent most of his life in the Mississippi Delta. He did most of his work in the Delta Blues style from here and for that reason this style was also known as the Mississippi Delta Blues style of music. Most of that area was covered with extremely fertile land, yet poverty was rampant. The socio-economic conditions became the soul of this genre. The cigar box guitar, guitar and harmonica formed the base for this genre's music.

The Unique style that separated it from other country blues: The Differentiating Factor

Although there was not much of a subsequent rhythmic difference between Charlie Patton's style and other country blues to have originated at the same time, most of the areas had the same cultural background, yet the Mississippi Delta Blues stood out because of its harmonic structure and themes that talked exhaustively about the travelling musicians' life, sexuality and life in the delta. Women also had a part in this style, but only a few made names for themselves.

The Accolades for Charlie Patton and Delta Blues Style: Accolades even after his Death

In 2001, Revenant records released a 5-CD feature called Screamin' and Hollerin' Blues - The Worlds of Charley Patton. This included both the released and unreleased works of Charlie Patton and his partners. This became an instant hit among the discerning music population and such was the magic of the genius after so many years, this album became a proud winner of not 1, but 3 Grammy Awards in 2003.

Not just a musician, but a proper showman, Charlie Patton was a charismatic figure who changed the course of American Popular Music. He was so down to earth that he gave blues guitar lessons to the local enthusiasts, and at the same time became a larger than life figure with his raw and energetic voice. Famed musicologist Robert Palmer has praised the contribution of the man popularly called Charley Patton and his legend lives on forever.

Bruce Lamb grew up in a very musical and creative family and has been playing guitar for over forty years. He is the founder of The Guitar Workshop a DVD course and an online and instructional learn to play guitar website. Visit for awesome learn to play guitar lessons. Also check out the crazy videos if you're ever thinking about taking your guitar on an airline.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

VIDEO: Making Sense of the Sixties by allinaday

Hi all,

Just found this fascinating video on YouTube about the emergence of the hippie movement. The film-maker is: who has a fascinating channel on Youtube. In the words of allinaday:

"I am very proud of the television series I made for PBS called Making Sense of the Sixties. I had the chance to spend a year examining my youth and how I became an active member of the 60s generation. If you are from that generation or a child of the 60s, I think you would find the entire series of value".

"To see my other work visit:"

See Making Sense of the Sixties here:

Sunday, May 16, 2010

VIDEO: Black Water by The Doobie Brothers

Hi everyone,

Just caught a great video of one of my favourites - Black Water by the Doobie Brothers from 1974.

Turn it up loud and enjoy!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Baby Boomers and Laughter - It Was the Best of Times

By Phil McMillan

Think about what we saw in the 60's and 70's on TV and at the movies. We grew up with Johnny Carson and watched him before we went to bed. Millions of women in this country slept with Johnny every night. Boomer audiences responded to the irreverent humor of the time by becoming weekly watchers of "Laugh In" and "Saturday Night Live." Members of both shows became instant stars and many went on to movie careers. People made time every week to watch this new humor. It became part of our lives.

None of this was surprising, of course, because we were living in the 60's when practically everything one could think of was tried. Remember Dan Aykroyd and the "Bass-o-matic?" How about the weekly "Flying Fickle Finger of Fate" award on "Laugh In?" Then came the weekly sitcoms lead by "All in the Family." Is there anyone that didn't watch Archie and Meathead? Boomers still watch re-runs of the "Mary Tyler Moore Show" and the "Dick Van Dyke Show." We laughed at "MASH" and "Carol Burnett."

We went to the movies and saw "Animal House." Who will ever forget the words of that famous orator John Belushi when he said disgustedly "Seven years of college down the drain!" Hey, what's a little food fight among friends?

The defining moment of great TV for us Boomers? That's easy. "The Charlie Brown (Peanuts) Christmas Special (1965)" wins hands down. If you didn't laugh your butt off watching Snoopy in that special, then you don't know comedy, Kemosabe! I'm 61 years old and I still watch that special every Christmas holiday season. You should too.

We Baby Boomers learned to laugh at so many things when we were young. Don't stop now. Watch re-runs and movies from our youth and laugh all over again. It really was the best of times.

Phil McMillan is a writer who maintains a daily blog entitled "Baby Boomer Baloney." He provides daily humor videos for his readers as well as music videos from the 60's through the 80's along with his own personal comments.

Phil McMillan

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Lenny White Interview

By Titch Davidson

Lenny White is one of the world's greatest Jazz-Fusion drummers. Here's a look at how he developed as a musician and his advice for up and coming musicians.

What inspired you to start playing the drums?
I don't have a real clear answer for that. I wanted to play the trumpet, but gravitated toward the drums.

What were your main goals as a kid learning his craft?
I wanted to be on an album. My goal was to record with the top Jazz musicians of the day. I used to include my name on the backs of my favorite albums.

How did you approach your own development?
My approach to drumming is somewhat different. I practice exercises for co-ordination, not independence, but co-ordination of all four limbs. I think of rudiments as words. You take words and make sentences, sentences become phrases, phrases become paragraphs, and paragraphs become speeches. Taking drum solos is like public speaking. When you have a large vocabulary and a great knowledge of the language, people are impressed by your use of the language and your statements have meaning. The solo works.

Do you still set goals for yourself today?
I'm always trying to be a better musician. My goals are not confined to my instrument, although I still strive to play what I hear in my head on my instrument, so that should take the rest of my life.

What was the turning point in your career?
I'll let you know when I get there. I hope my career is still evolving ...

What was the toughest point in your career?
I stopped playing to produce records and that was a big mistake. It took me quite some time to get my perspective back, but when I did it made me a much better musician. I'm now coming back from an injury and it is a very challenging process. Sometimes you take the most trivial things for granted, until you're not able to do them. You got to stay up.

Have you ever suffered from fear or insecurity?
Fear and insecurity are things you can hopefully overcome. Sometimes you have to meet your fears head on and attack them to get through them. You won't get past them by avoiding them. Nothing is good or bad, big or small until you relate it to something. Always keep your situation in perspective. Think positive, things will get better, know that and think that.

How do you handle nerves?
I try not to get too high or too low about anything and that kind of gives me perspective. Everybody makes mistakes.

How do you stay motivated and inspired?
When you have an obligation to represent the music you feel passionate about, you get motivated. You want to leave a mark.

What do you think makes a great musician?
Knowledge and humility.

Do you have any good advice for young musicians who are trying to make it?
Have a dream and chase it. Be passionate about whatever you do and let everyone know it. Learn you craft to the best of your ability and then learn how to tell stories with your instrument. Learn as many songs as you can and have a good time.

Visit for free Online Drum Lessons.

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The Age of Aquarius Brings Great Change‏

by Morning Dove

The Age of Aquarius officially started on March 22, 2010. Religious organizations may use the new age as a way to control their congregations with fear. We must understand that the New Age is a shift in energy.

This shift is to bring great advancement in all areas. It's a promise from God that a new beginning will allow us to understand more and to experience greater joy on this planet. It's wonderful and NOT a death sentence. When we see it this way, we will bring positive energy into our surroundings.

When anything changes there is disturbance but God is not responsible for the disturbances. We are responsible. We are changing our level of understanding on a constant basis. More and more technology is revealed. There could be upheaval and yet there might be less than anticipated. It all depends on our ability to embrace a higher vibration of energy.

When we resist we create negative energy, which takes the level of consciousness down, not only in us but in our world. The difference in positive energy being introduced to negative energy is similar to a warm front and a cold front joining forces.

We are very much determining what we experience by how we receive the new age. I believe that if we can take hold of the wondrous future, we will send out into the world positive vibrations. This is the key to limiting disturbance.

In the atmosphere a cold front hitting a warm front causes disturbance. Think of negative emotions as similar to the cold front and positive emotions similar to the warm front. If we can limit the negative, fear-based emotions of the change from one age to another, we will ward off disturbances.

The religious world that would like to create fear by saying this might be the end of the world. This creates in the minds of the followers a negative vibration, which feeds fear and loss into what they project. All of this creates the imbalance of energy in our environment.

I know that the Aquarian age will bring a new form of technology, based on a new state of consciousness that is not force-based. Yes, that is what the Piscean Age was, force-based.

For instance, take oil; how was oil created? By force; by drilling into the Earth. How is it refined; again by force. How is it used to power your cars? From an internal combustion engine; where the force of an explosion forces the pistons to move. Everywhere, there is force. Even in how we live our lives and deal with each other.

We need to transcend from the force-based technology, the force-based economy and a force-based world, to a new form of technology. This new form will not be based on force but on a higher understanding of nature, of the material universe and of the spiritual laws behind it. People will be able to work with life, with Spirit, and with nature and develop technology that will allow all to produce energy without burning any fuel whatsoever.

The Age of Aquarius will bring about wonderful changes in understanding about everything we deal with. Even more important is how we personally see life. Many on earth are the forerunners of Aquarius and are constantly willing to question the way we look at everything. They are willing to see what it is that stops our imagination.

If there is one thing you can do to help usher in a positive change and help God with the new age it would be to open your mind. Be willing to question what limits your imagination and your perception. For if you will not question your current perception, how could you ever free your imagination to soar beyond what you perceive as the limits for life?

We must continue to question church and state, religion and politics. They are like two sides of the coin of life. They truly represent the Alpha and the Omega, the masculine and the feminine.

The Age of Aquarius opens the door in which our differences are seen as our greatest potential. You are to bring an individual expression that is unique and that is not in competition with others. Your individual differences bring to light a beautiful expression of what you came to manifest. What you bring is not suppose to exclude, destroy, or obscure the expression of others. We are to compliment each other, forming a beautiful facet of life.

Our creator desires that his creation embraces the individual differences as beauty. The Creator has given each free will, because the Creator wanted to express itself as many individual facets, having them all form, each, a facet of the diamond mind of God.

Think back for a moment in history as to what has brought about progress in every area. It was diversity. It was someone who refused to see things the way the general mindset of the world was. True joy and happiness is only found in transcending everything.

We are all a work in progress and we are always changing, just like everything else in creation. Change is part of the purpose of God. God could have created a world of predictability and made us as robots, where everything stays the same and perfect as it was made. But God didn't do this because we are an expression of His creative powers.

Instead of whining about change and complaining about things, we need to embrace this opportunity to be a part of the change, instead of being a part of the problem. Raise your consciousness by learning more about what you can do to be a part of the new age. Take responsibility and put on the hat of hope and promise. We must get rid of the mindset that creates fear and inability to take hold of our lives.

Don't let anyone or any religious organization paint a picture that you are a victim and you can't do anything. That must go! Everything in life is about constant transcendence and the sooner you understand this the sooner you will find enormous joy.

I am, Morning Dove, named after my great-great grandmother, a Cherokee. My direct descendant, Ralph Waldo Emerson, inspired me to learn the deeper meaning of his writing, which in turn planted the seeds for the ideas presented in my first book. My website:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Great Guitars Made Famous by Great Music Legends

By Melinda Judy

A good guitar can become like a comfortable old pair of jeans:.after you've had it a while, it becomes a part of your personality. It's that way with Willie Nelson and his guitar, a 1969 Martin N-20, he named Trigger after Roy Roger's trusty horse and sidekick. The guitar looks as weathered as Willie from many years of use. Many people would see it as trash but is the most beloved of his possessions. He's made a huge investment in Trigger to keep the guitar playable. Although he didn't have it when he started his career, It hasn't left his stage since he bought it 40 years ago and he has become an icon of country music.

American bluesman guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan (1954-1990) played a number of Fender Stratocasters. His favorite was his number one (also called his first wife), a 1962 model. It became known as the most battered stratocaster in rock history, and got rebuilt more than most custom chevys. It was his main performing instrument and he used it in five of his studio albums and on family style.

In 2004, Fender Custom shop produced a faithful but not totally accurate representation of the guitar: the limited edition had a run of 100 instruments. Another of Vaughan's notable guitars was "Lenny", a 1963 stratocaster bought for Vaughan by some friends who together collected $350 dollars. It was originally a 3-tone Sunburst with a rosewood neck. A limited edition of Lenny has been reproduced by Fender custom shop since December 12, 2007 and is sold by the Guitar Center for $17,000. The guitar was mainly used for "Lenny" a song of the same name dedicated to Vaughan's wife Lenora. In 2004, Lenny was put up for auction and sold to the Guitar Center for $623,500.

Eric Clapton played mainly Gibsons up until 1969. With the influence of Buddy Holly and Buddy Guy, he took an interest in playing Fender Stratocasters. In 1970, he bought 6 Fender Stratocasters from the Shobud Guitar shop in Nashville, Tennessee. After giving one each to George Harrison, Stevie Winwood, and Pete Townsend, he used the best components of the other three to create "Blackie". It became his favorite axe and he played it until 1985. He eventually sold Blackie for $959,500 to raise funds for his Crossroads Center For Drug Addictions. Fender Custom Shop has since produced 275 "Blackies" replicas.

The most expensive vintage guitar known is the 1930's Gibson L-1 that originally belonged to blues guitarist Robert Johnson: the asking price is 6 million. Johnson, who is known as the grandfather of rock n roll, has entranced later generations of rock n roll and blues musicians such as The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. It was rumored but not actually proven that Johnson got his talent by making a pact with the devil. Although he only made 28 recordings in his 27 year lifespan from 1911 to 1938, he is known as one of the most important musicians that ever lived. However, where Johnson's guitar is is a mystery. The only hearsay information about it is that it belongs to a man who lives overseas who isn't giving out any information about it.

Hi, my real name is Melinda Judy but I go by Lyndie Diamond as a stage name. My website is I've had an interest in guitars and other stringed instruments since age 7. I've played professionally most of my adult life and hope to make my music website as entertaining and educational as possible. More information and videos about Willie Nelson is on the 4th page of my website - the 1950 to 1980 section, about midway down. More information and videos about Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton is on the 5th page - 1980 to 2000 section about midway down. Robert Johnson is on the 3rd page in the 1930s section. Please stop by for a visit. If you have any questions or comments, my email is If there is a music topic you would like to find out about let me know. I enjoy doing research and writing.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Snapshot of the 70s

By Michelle McKee

As Baby Boomers and Gen X'ers continue to get older and leave their prime years in the distant past, memories of the 1970s linger. Some people look back with disdain while others focus on what was fun about what became known as the "Me" decade.

The seventies was a decade filled with change. Socially, women were making themselves heard and demanding equal treatment in the workplace. Racial tensions that carried over from the tumultuous sixties also played a major role in day to day life. The war in Vietnam grew into even more of a hot topic as opposition to America's involvement in the conflict grew ever stronger.

Although the decade had a lot of difficult times in it, there were some good things that came from those ten years. Looking back, one can see that music and clothing styles from the period have maintained their grip on American society and have actually experienced a resurgence in interest over recent years.

The hippie culture that began to grow in the mid sixties continued into the decade before dying out during the middle years. The distinctive clothing however, has kept a foothold in popular culture ever since. Today, it is not uncommon to find original pieces of clothing from the period selling as "vintage" on sites like eBay for surprisingly high amounts. Certainly there is still some interest in them.

The music of the day also has its die hard fans. What has become known as classic and album rock is now moving toward the oldies stations, but still has a faithful following even among today's youth. Bands of the era continue to make occasional appearances. The most notable recent sighting may have been The Who playing at a Super Bowl half time show.

As years pass and people grow older, nostalgia begins to kick into high gear for some people. Today's interest in all things seventies may or may not be related to that phenomenon. Regardless, there are many people who truly enjoyed that memorable decade, and as long as they survive, the memories of the seventies will rock on.

If you enjoy reading about all things seventies, you might also enjoy visiting this site about 70s clothing other popular topics of the day.

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Do You Remember the Real 1960s?

By Herb Leibacher

Forty years ago it was the 1960s. This was the time of hippies, free love, hula hoops, the Peppermint Lounge, the twist, the Beatles, the British invasion, and peace signs. It was also the time of integration, freedom marches, the Vietnam War, Woodstock, and LSD. If today's young people seem to be out of control, you should compare them to the young people of the sixties.

If you have ever seen the movie "Hair" then you think you know everything there is to know about the sixties. You would be very surprised to discover that things just weren't like that.

There were very serious young people who were graduating from high school and getting ready to go off to college. For the first time in their lives, they were going to be without the influence of their parents. There would be no moral compass to dictate to them what was right and what was wrong. It was the big step to adulthood. These "kids" weren't hippies. The guys might have started to wear their hair a little longer but you could still tell the girls from the boys.

Most colleges required the girls to wear dresses instead of pants on campus. Dormitories were still separate. Boys weren't allowed above the first floor of the dorm and then they were only allowed in the sitting room. Few of these young people had their own cars. Many of them had to pay their own way through college by working on top of a full load of classes. These "kids" respected their parents and loved their country. Most of them did not want to go to war.

There were young people who got married as soon as they were of draft age because the married "kids" got called up after the single ones. Many children were conceived as insurance against the draft. Those who couldn't get a deferment for college or marriage had to face the fact that they were Vietnam bound if a draft notice made it to their mailbox. Some of these "kids" ran. They snuck across the border to Mexico or Canada to hide from the draft. There were organizations to help them change their identity, find a place to live and make a new life. Sadly, some of the people never saw their families again.

Those who got drafted sucked it up and put on the uniform. Some of them made the service their career. Some of them were killed by the Vietnamese with their jungle terror tactics that were not part of the training our service offered.

Some of the ones who were sent to 'Nam never came home. There were prisoners of war that were never found and freed. There were prisoners of war who came home in every way except mentally. There were prisoners of war who eventually escaped but were afraid to come back to their own country because life as they knew it was over. Many of our "kids" stayed in the jungle framed villages where the natives welcomed them. In their minds their world is gone and they can never go home again. They left behind families who will never know what happened.

The sixties was also a time of terrorist activity in the United States. The Weather Underground or the Weathermen began in 1969. They were an offshoot of the Students for a Democratic Society. They wanted to overthrow the U.S. government and install a sort of dictatorship to "even out" things and "spread the wealth". The sixties was also the time of the Chicago Seven, the Black Panthers, the Symbionese Liberation Army, and domestic bombings.

Much of the truth about the 1960s has largely been glossed over in favor of stories about free-loving hippies. But the truth is that the decade was one of great trial and stress for our country and its people. And many of the ideas impact the people that are now impacting our country.

Herb likes to keep his car looking good. Please check out his website with information on car carpet cleaner supplies and details on car upholstery cleaner.

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Dylan's 'Blood on the Tracks': Outgrowing the Grown-Up Album

by Luke Hudak. Luke is an ardent music fan and a student of music history.

Article posted at:

Often regarded as both a great artistic leap forward for Dylan and a return to his former glories, Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks is to be found at or near the summit of a great many critical "Best Of" lists: Best of the 70s, Best Rock Album of the Last 50 Years, Best Breakup Album, Best Singer-Songwriter Album, even Best Bob Dylan Album.

To read the rest of this article, click here

The Albums of Bob Dylan, Part Four

By Russell Shortt

Musically, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan would change everything and would create clones of Dylan in bars, student haunts and coffee hang-outs for generations to come. But whatever he did - bedding Joan Baez, walking off the Ed Sullivan Show, singing at the March on Washington, added to the allure, there could be no escape.

He wasn't doing himself any favours of escape by releasing the wonderful album The Times They Are a-Changing' (1964), on which he tackled head-on the raging issues of the day - poverty, racism and social change. But Bob was a-changing too, he had never wanted to be leader of the protest, he recorded Another Side of Bob Dylan in a single, hot June's evening; it was a light-hearted affair, chock-full of passionate love songs.

Dylan was heading rock and roll, telling his self appointed disciples, it ain't me babe, he was younger than all that now. His Bringing It All Back Home (1965) was a type of bridge, being half acoustic, half electric; it kept the folkies hoping that Dylan was still with them, that he was only flirting with the new sound. But the writing was evidently on the wall, anyone who composed a song like Subterranean Homesick Blues was not going to be constrained by one medium, indeed the song with it's Beat influenced lyrics was a forerunner of rap and hip-hop.

He plugged in at the Newport Folk Festival, the crowd booing their Judas, but it was too late for all that, Dylan hit the road with his new lieutenants The Band. And he wasn't just making up the rock and roll numbers, from 1965 he began revolutionising it.

Russell Shortt is a travel consultant with Exploring Ireland, the leading specialists in customised, private escorted tours, escorted coach tours and independent self drive tours of Ireland. Article source Russell Shortt,

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Interview with Tom Waits from Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour

Hi all,

I've just been tracking down some of the more interesting recent Dylan material on the web and here's a really interesting one:

From: Aquarium Drunkard: An interesting set of interviews with Tom Waits on Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour:


Monday, May 3, 2010

The Albums of Bob Dylan, Part Three

By Russell Shortt

Dylan continued to forge links whilst in the uber-cool environment of Greenwich Village, as he burrowed away in the second-hand stores and beetled away in the libraries, studying the past, rooting out rare recordings, discovering lost ballads; examining the way that songs were crafted. It would serve him well, linking the stony ballads of old with the stylish leanings of the Village.

He had his finger on the pulse but he created his own zeitgeist, he was re-inventing the role of folk singer-songwriter. He couch-surfed in some funky houses with fine literature which he hovered up, it would influence his later writings and it was diverse, very diverse, so the influence was rare and distinguished one. A smattering of which includes - Pericles, Machiavelli, Faulkner, Ovid, Byron, Shelley, Poe, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Milton ... they all contributed into the moulding of the young Dylan. He was studying in an old school manner, like Joyce he was creating his own curriculum, keeping an eye on the city, matching the two, sussing how the modern bootlegger linked to The Prince. Indeed, later on when he was branded the mouthpiece of a generation it rankled him greatly.

The accusers couldn't understand his bitterness, why wouldn't anyone desire to be the leader of the counterculture? Perhaps, one who believed himself to be more than simply the main man of a fleeting movement, one who believed himself to be around for a lot longer than that. However, the branding was inescapable, his second album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (1963) contained the protest songs, the articulate fury and catchy melodies that the movement were seeking. He became a pillar and he hated it.

Russell Shortt is a travel consultant with Exploring Ireland, the leading specialists in customised, private escorted tours, escorted coach tours and independent self drive tours of Ireland. Article source Russell Shortt,

Article Source:,-Part-Three&id=2259242

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Albums of Bob Dylan, Part Two

By Russell Shortt

If that is the case, it is all the more impressive, how could somebody maintain such a dedicated following since 1962, without having major talent, simple answer, they couldn't. Criticising Dylan as simplistic, is maddeningly myopic, Dylan is an icon, in the proper meaning of the term, he is America, as Cadillac is, as Fitzgerald's Gatsby is, as Bellow's Augie March is, as Sinatra is, as Jimmy Dean is, as John Wayne is, as Coca-Cola is, as the Hollywood sign is, as Kentucky Fried Chicken is, as Wendy's is, as Tarantino is, as Wall-Mart is; the point is like him or loathe him, he defines America.

The thing is, Dylan himself would probably side with the dissenters. Admittingly, he contrived his past, moulding some type of Twain like upbringing, a wandering Tom Joad, but it created his future, to live that desired future, he required such a base.

Remarkably, Dylan's life became what he really wanted, he did in fact change his past, he became the backwoodsman, the seer of the dustbowl, the compelling enigma, the bard of shrouded Lost America. He trudged out to the near asylum that Woody Guthrie was unfairly housed in, taking the breath of the wandering soul, the prince at the ailing King's bedside, being granted the keys of the kingdom (which he shirked, bizarrely the gatekeeper of a babysitter preventing him) but he caught the most important thing - the link - the link was his.

After signing his first song publishing contract with Lou Levy, he had his celebratory meal in Jack Dempsey's restaurant, shooting the breeze with the Champ. Again a link, Dempsey first won the World Heavyweight Title in 1919, his parents had smudges of Choctaw and Cherokee in them.

Russell Shortt is a travel consultant with Exploring Ireland, the leading specialists in customised, private escorted tours, escorted coach tours and independent self drive tours of Ireland. Article source Russell Shortt,

Article Source:,-Part-Two&id=2259237

VIDEO: Power & Control: LSD in The Sixties - A Film By Aron Ranen

Hi all,

One of my readers, Aron Ranen, has created a fascinating documentary on what is virtually a 'sociology of power and control of LSD in the 1960s'. It is compelling viewing and I urge you to have a look:

Part One: An Introduction

Part Two: This section features Ram Dass and Divinity students who participated in an authorized Tim Leary experiment. 10 were given Mushrooms, and the others a Placebo in a "Religous Test" of the drug run by Harvard. The actual participant is located and interviewed by the filmmaker for this film.

Part Three: In this section the final segment of Preachers on Mushrooms, Haight-Ashbury and the rise of LSD in the Anti-WAR movement with The Free Speech Movement's Michael Rossman. Plus more Ram Dass and the place Tim Leary first took LSD.

Part Four: This Final Segment features LSD's role in the Anti-War and Protest Movement with Paul Krassner.
This documentary was filmed and edited by Aron Ranen who is seeking funding/investor to finish and make it feature-length. If anyone wishes to contact Aron with a joint venture proposal, just let me know and I'll put you in contact.


Dr Robert Muller.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Albums of Bob Dylan, Part One

By Russell Shortt

Bob Dylan, where to begin, all the superlatives have been used; the man dominates, simply dominates, all are in awe of Old Zimmy, the Eternal Trickster. Eternally inscrutable, he is what a musician should be, known for his sound rather than his life, something that has being forgotten somewhere along the line, doused by lazy journalism, the public's juvenile fascination with artists' paltry affectations and the dumb editorial policies of the rags to feed them, indeed they even make them ravenous for it.

Last year , we saw the release of his thirty-third studio album, Together Through Life (2009), how apt, The Old Wizened One has been around longer than most anyone playing, criticising or indeed listening to rock and roll. Reviews of the record have likened it to being quite similar to a Chess Record from the Fifties and that is Dylan - timeless.

Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters are as much Dylan's bedfellows as Springsteen, Arcade Fire, Robert Johnson, Neil Young, Woody Guthrie, Nick Cave, Patti Smith, Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, The Clash ... the list is as endless as it is diverse. But that only is the tip of the iceberg, comparisons go further, centuries further in fact, back to Keats and Tennyson, this isn't being in the slightest bit reckless, Dylan has being nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature more than once; and so rubs shoulders with the likes of Pablo Neruda, Eugenio Montale and Saul Bellow. Of course, many may disagree, detesting the overly dramatic tag of Messiah that are so often ridiculously planted upon him.

The dissenters point out his warbling voice, his many weak offerings and his unwavering acoustic and harmonica routine and ergo state that Dylan the prophet is a result of self hype, that the man behind the curtain is nothing more than the curtain.

Russell Shortt is a travel consultant with Exploring Ireland, the leading specialists in customised, private escorted tours, escorted coach tours and independent self drive tours of Ireland. Article source Russell Shortt,

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How to Play Like Carlos Santana

By Michael Caroff

First, of all, realize that everyone has a unique playing style, and certainly Carlos Santana has a signature sound that is instantly recognizable. While you'll never be Carlos, you can incorporate some of his approach into your own playing.

Timing, timing, timing

There's a saying in real estate: the three most important things are "location, location, location." A similar analysis can be made about Santana's guitar style: the three most important facets are timing, timing, and timing.

The fact is, most of Santana's famous solos - Black Magic Woman, Oye Como Va, Evil Ways, Europa, Smooth - are comprised of the reliable old pentatonic (or "blues") scale, with a few extra notes thrown in for color. But a big part of what makes those solos so memorable is the way Carlos plays with the timing.

Most players lay their notes into predictable grooves: quarter notes, eighth notes, 32nd note triplets, etc. But Santana will both "anticipate" (play early) and delay (play late) his notes, setting up phrasing that is both unexpected and compelling.

In order to capture the feel that he delivers naturally, you may have to "force it" at first. But after a while, some of that off-time sense may start to creep into your own solos.

That magic sustain

Ah, we all know the notes that never end. Here's a "secret," though: without a specific technique, it's virtually impossible to make notes last forever, as Santana does. How does he accomplish this seemingly magical sustain? Several factors.

1) You do need a heavy-bodied guitar with good natural sustain, in addition to humbucking pickups that will enhance it.
2) You do need an overdriven amp that offers a rich, saturated distortion. It doesn't have to be a Mesa Boogie - lot's of amplifiers today offer that kind of overdriven sound.
3) Most important of all, you need to find the "sweet spot." Huh? Turn your amp up to performance volume, than hold a specific note, and walk around until you find the exact place in the room where the note will feed back enough to keep going, but not enough to "squeal." Mark that spot with tape, and stand there when you want an endless note. And there you have the Santana secret.

It's a matter of balance

Carlos' solos work in two ways: they stand alone as strong melodic statements, and they perfectly complement the accompaniment. Sounds simple, but it's hard to do.

Here's a trick, though: Record a solo over a rhythm track. Does it fit the groove of the song? Work well with the chord progression? Great. Now, listen without ANY other parts. Does your solo STILL have movement and power? If not, keep finessing it until it works with the background AND on its own. Do that, and you'll begin to capture some of the musical genius that has made Carlos Santana such a legend.
Good luck!

Ultimate Santana is the most comprehensive Santana website online, with information about Santana songs, albums, guitar and amp gear, history, products, and much more.

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The King of the Blues - BB King

By John Blackwood

A man who married twice, had fifteen children and supported them all, became a mega star of his genre yet still, by all accounts is a pleasant and extraordinarily modest man. Mick Brown of the Telegraph described him as a 'kind man in an unkind business'. The world knows him as B.B. King.

B.B. King was born, like many blues legends, in Mississippi, specifically near the town of Ita Bena, where he grew up cared for by his grandmother. His first job was picking cotton in the fields for the princely sum of 35 cents per hundred, but he realised that skill would get him more money and at 16 progressed to tractor driver. The wage? $22 a week.

Riley B King (his actual name) also sang in the church choir, and so at weekends he supplemented his income by playing guitar and singing on street corners. It didn't take long to realise that he made more money singing blues than anything else, and so his career began. After some time in the army Riley moved to Memphis in 1948 and got a job making fuel tanks. He composed a jingle for Pepticon health tonic, the sponsor of a radio show on station WDIA, and found himself with a regular radio spot where he used the name the 'Beale Street Blues Boy' later shortened to B.B.

From 1949 onwards he made records and performed, but despite achieving a degree of fame his records earned him very little. He gradually built a band (the B.B. King Review) and travelled in a bus known as 'big red' all over the USA. In 1956 he played 342 one night stands. In 1958 'big red' collided with a gas truck and was completely destroyed by fire. Unfortunately the insurance had expired that weekend, leaving him with over 100,000 in debts, a sum which took many years to pay off.

Black audiences began to turn away from the blues in the late fifties and as his fans aged his audience began to dwindle, but his album 'Live At the Regal' was well received on both sides of the Atlantic and he found new fame amongst rock fans. In 1967 he performed for his first white audience in San Fransciso and a short while after his fortunes began to improve dramatically when he hired his erstwhile accountant, Sid Seidenberg, to be his manager. Under Seidenberg's guidance he made his first TV appearance and later in 1969 opened 18 concerts for the Rolling Stones. Also in 1969 he recorded a blues song by Rick Darnell and Roy Hawkins called 'The Thrill is Gone' which earned him a Grammy award for Best Male R&B Vocal performance. His version of the song is number 183 in Rolling Stone magazines '500 greatest songs ever'.

Having learned to fly in 1965, BB King flew himself to many of his concerts in the USA, but in the 1970's he began to tour the world and his fame grew. No more small clubs or jazz halls, he performed in large concert halls and travelled to Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and Australia. In 1988 he made 'When Love Comes to Town' with U2 and in 2000 made an album, Riding With The King, with Eric Clapton.

After fifty albums, fifteen Grammy awards, induction into the Blues Foundation, Rock and Roll and Songwriters Halls of fame, two honorary doctorates in Music and two presidential medals (1990 and 2006) no-one can deny BB Kings position as the King of the Blues, but his song goes on. His latest Grammy award was in 2008, for the album 'One Kind Favor'.

In 2010 he is still touring, with concert dates booked for the year and beyond. He travels in a large mobile home where he enjoys listening to music, watching DVD's and playing with his computer. In an interview given last year The King of the Blues admitted to using his computer to learn something new every day, from how-to books through history to nature to learning to play guitar. Surprisingly the man Rolling Stone magazine views as number 3 of the 100 best guitarists in the world, still thinks he has something to learn about guitar playing. How about you?

John Blackwood
Rock Guitar Lessons
Learn to play the guitar

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Bruce Springsteen - A Fearless Voice For Generations

By Dani Kelly

For as long as I can remember Bruce Springsteen has been an untouchable icon in music. Born in 1949, he was considered the voice of the American people with his groundbreaking heartland music when he was first making his way in music. He was a voice that the working class could relate to and had a face that people of every class looked up to. Nicknamed The Boss, Bruce Springsteen is as handsome and sharp today as ever.

It seems that for every career "peak" he reaches, there is yet still another level he manages to both find and climb. Over the years Bruce Springsteen has earned 19 Grammy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, an Academy Award, two Emmy Awards, and countless others. Bruce Springsteen has been inducted into multiple "Hall of Fame" institutions, has been voted Rolling Stone one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. But none of Bruce Springsteen's accomplishments yet have matched one of his more recent honors. President Barack Obama awarded Bruce Springsteen with a Kennedy Center Honors Award, announcing to the crowd, "I'm the President, but he's The Boss."

Bruce Springsteen has rugged good looks and has sustained a status as a sex symbol that has been unbroken by the passing of time. He is as known for his appeal and his music as he is for his fearlessness in advocating a variety of political and social issues, such as his fights for gay marriage. Earlier in 2009 Bruce Springsteen played the half-time show at the Super Bowl XLIII. Millions of viewers across the nation were stunned by both his performance and how incredible he looked for a then fifty-nine year old. Bruce Springsteen has been touring with the E Street Band for as long as I can remember; first from 1972 until 1989, then again in 1995, and for the last decade they have been performing together without hiatus.

I can personally never get enough of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band, and I've seen tickets go for thousands of dollars on online forums such as Craigslist and eBay. The demand for his tickets has rarely been higher with last year turning out to have so many career milestones for The Boss. I remember when Springsteen ticket-goers (myself included) dealt with a canceled a concert in Kansas City last year after Springsteen's 36 year old cousin and assistant-tour manager was found dead in his hotel room from a heroin overdose. It was impossible to get tickets after that.

Hopefully though Springsteen's relentless dedication means that another tour will happen soon to make up for some of 2009's lost time. Given the competitive and cut throat nature of fans of The Boss, I always start my search for Bruce Springsteen tickets with Barry's Tickets Service. Once Bruce gets back on track with another tour, check out Barry's Ticket Service for great seats.

My name is Dani Kelly. I work in Web Development, online marketing, Social Networking, Social Media, SEO, and more. But first and foremost, I am a writer; a journalist. I love to review our Los Angeles teams and am impassioned about finding the next artist to make it in our highly-critical pool of music fans. Check out my articles and get the latest reviews on how our teams have been doing, are doing, will be doing, etc. Sometimes I play devils advocate, just to pose the questions. Sometimes I share with you my own, deeply personal view, and sometimes my work is entirely objective. Though the articles on there are mine, but my various writing styles will keep you guessing as to which ones. Have fun and I hope you enjoy some of my literary musings!

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