Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Best Neil Young Songs Of All Time - And Why

Harvest Moon (album)
Harvest Moon (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Kenny Selcer

Without a doubt Neil Young is one of the greatest artists in American music of all time.

His music, as well as his approach to music, has influenced millions of people and has helped shaped popular music as we know it today. I am personally a big fan of the man and his music.

When the question of "what the best Neil Young songs of all time were," recently came up in conversation in a group of my friends, it got me thinking about it.

Here's what I came up with in my musing about it. Of course, I lean towards earlier Neil Young - my bias, what can I say? Not in any particular order:

1. Down By The River - When he rocked, he rocked with Crazy Horse, his rockin' band. I still sing this song, when I least expect it (to my self). One of those I shot my baby songs, like Hey Joe. He pays for his crime though.

2. Heart Of Gold - How can I not include this one? I still play this once in a while. People still love it. Great lyrics:

Keep me searching
for a heart of gold
You keep me searching
for a heart of gold
And I'm growing old.
I've been a miner
for a heart of gold.
And I'm getting old too!

3. Harvest Moon - Nice romantic song. Cool lyrics:

Because I'm still in love with you
I want to see you dance again
Because I'm still in love with you
On this harvest moon.

Very visual lyrics. This might be a stretch, but it reminds me, lyrically of Creole Belle by Mississippi John Hurt and later verses written by Taj Majal.

4. Old Man - A song about a son and his father and young and old. I love these songs about age. When I first listened to it I was a kid. It was poignant then and now that I'm an old man, it's even more applicable to me. "Old man look at my life, I'm a lot like you were." Twenty Four and so much more is a great lyric.

Simple, touching and insightful - When I was 24, I didn't particularly think about how much more living I had to do, especially compared with older people.

One more:

5. Rockin' In The Free World - This one acknowledges the political realities. I like that. It rocks, of course. It just seems to say what I would want to put in a song. It has it all. It's no wonder that so many artists have covered this song.

Whether you agree with my choices for the best Neil Young songs of all time, or not, There is no disputing that Neil Young is one of our best singer/songwriters of all time.

If you like Young, you might also check out Kenny Selcer
Click here to download a copy of his latest single for free.

Article Source:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, May 14, 2012

Peace, Love and ... We Can All Join In: How Rock Festivals Helped Change America

by , Like The Dew:

The dawning age of America’s great rock festivals was legendary both for its music and its massive crowds. But a different kind of legacy could be its greatest.
Crowd huddled against the cold at the Palm Beach Pop Festival, November 1969. Photo © Bob Davidoff /
Crowd at the Palm Beach Pop Festival, November 1969.
Photo © Bob Davidoff /

When the Rolling Stones took to the stage one windy November night in Palm Beach, Florida, in 1969, it’s doubtful their audience had any thoughts of politics or cultural change. 

We were just a crowd at a rock festival who had endured a downpour the previous day and now braved the bone-chilling cold front that had rolled through. 

It was hours after midnight and we had waited a long time for this moment. We were simply die-hard music fans, huddled together, buzzed and ready to rock. 

As dawn later broke and we began to drag ourselves back down the highways to our ordinary lives, we gave no thought to whether we were taking anything with us besides all that magnificent music ringing in our ears. 

Nor did we wonder if we were leaving anything in our wake besides our footprints in the mud. Now, upon reflection …

For the last several decades it has been argued that, in the 1960s - or, more accurately, the period roughly between 1963 and 1975 - a cultural revolution of historic importance took place in America.

Although the scale of its significance can be debated, it is indisputable that, during those years, some of the most deeply-rooted pillars of America’s staid social structure of the time were shaken, and either rearranged, removed or rebuilt. In any case, the status quo was irrevocably altered and a ‘counter culture’ began to emerge.

As this disruption and renovation occurred, it involved events that were sometimes thrilling, sometimes frightening, and very often unsettling to one group or another. It proceeded on many fronts at the same time and embraced a wide spectrum of social issues.

These included the struggles for civil rights and women’s liberation; the sexual revolution; environmentalism; protests against the Vietnam war, the draft and nuclear weapons; countless skirmishes for greater freedom of speech and self-expression, including fashion and personal appearance; the emergence of new and experimental art forms and cinema, and an avalanche of new music; the search for alternative routes to spiritual enlightenment; experimentation with mind-altering drugs and entirely new lifestyles; and the beginnings of the gay rights movement.

This was not a single, organized, or even coherent effort at societal reform, but a chaotic jumble of mostly unconnected streams, often with very different constituencies who, like blacks and whites, lived in different worlds and had different priorities. Though all were moving in the same general direction, they tended to move at their own rates.

Some, like the civil rights movement, which had begun in the 1950s and was a prominent forerunner of change, took the form of deliberate, hard-fought political campaigns. Others were more in the nature of socio-cultural trends, and were diffuse and spontaneous.

Taken together, however, they represented a tidal wave of change that swept across the country, leaving little familiar ground for anyone - young or old, black or white - to stand on.

Ultimately, to one extent or another, all sectors of society were affected. Many people believe this wave forever altered the way most Americans saw, and later generations would see themselves, their nation, and the world.

To read further, go to:

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Top 3 Best Led Zeppelin Songs Of All Time - And Why

Jimmy Page; Robert Plant; John Bonham and John...
Jimmy Page; Robert Plant; John Bonham and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin. A crop/montage derived from images with Creative Commons licences on Wiki Commons (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Anthony J Smith

Without a doubt, Led Zeppelin is one of the greatest Rock Bands of all time.

Their music has influenced millions of people and there over all personality helped shape the face of Rock music as we know it. I am personally an enormous fan of Led Zeppelin.

So when the question of "what are the best Led Zeppelin songs of all time," was recently raised during a conversation amongst friends,it got me thinking strongly about the subject, here's what I came up with ...

1. "Whole Lotta Love"

Needless to say, this is the song that pushed Zeppelin over the top! In other words,this is the bands biggest song of their career. Since the outbreak of digital downloads, this record could be surpassed! Let's face it. I doubt it will happen. Especially since this song has some of the most memorable guitar licks of all time! I guess we'll have to wait and see!

I think the band really outdid themselves with this song! The bass playing is perfect. They are widely considered to be one of the most successful, innovative and influential rock groups in the history of music.

With Jimmy Page playing guitar, Robert Plant singing and John Paul Jones laying it down deep in the pocket, along with John Bonham. It's no wonder these guy's are considered the best Rock Band Of All Time PERIOD!

2. "Stairway To Heaven"

You either love it or hate it! Some people love it while for others, it makes their skin crawl! This song is up there with some of the best songs ever written. The words are awesome, referring to the greedy people while still trying to maintain a positive outlook!

Also, I Love the Guitar solo; it's so melodic. For me this guitar solo really accentuates the very soul of the melody, which I believe helped sell millions of Led Zeppelins albums! I'm not saying this to discredit the awesome bass guitar expertise and the awesome drumming! I ultimately feel strongly that the guitar solo along with the vocal lines really did it for me with this song.

3. "Ten Years Gone"

This song is one of my personal favorites, mainly because it's unlike most Zeppelin songs. It's really soulful! I can feel every note and lyric. The guitar intro is just beautiful along with the vocals and lyrics. This is not to say their other songs don't have soul! I'm just saying this song, I think, has the most soul out of all of their hits.

Whether you agree with my picks for the best Led Zeppelin songs of all time or not, there is no disputing that this Band is one of the best we've ever had.

If you like Led Zeppelin, then you might also check out
Tony's music is a lot different than Led Zeppelins, but I think you might like it. Click to download a copy of his latest single for free.

Article Source:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Best Guitars from the 60s and 70s, and the Artists Who Played Them

Ian Anderson and Martin Barre, Jethro Tull in ...
Ian Anderson and Martin Barre, Jethro Tull in concert, Chicago 1973. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There have always been extremely talented musicians responsible for the world's most popular music, but the platform for the guitarists during the 60s and 70s was larger than those of the artists that came before them.

As the players became more and more famous, the demand for high-end equipment grew - as did those item's price tags. As the prices grew, culture placed more value on the particular tools those artists used.

Today, some of the most popular and expensive guitars are modeled after those played by artists in the 60s and 70s. The following is a list of just a few of the most influential artists to come out of the era.

Alan Holdsworth: Gibson SG Custom

If you do not know who Alan Holdsworth is, than you have ample reason to procrastinate with a YouTube surfing session. A British jazz-fusion guitarist, Holdsworth is quite simply one of the best guitarists ever, and has influenced some of the most unlikely (and technically skilled) guitarists today (such as Swede Fredrik Thordendal, of Meshuggah - the current bar for experimental metal for the last two decades).

Imagine a self-taught virtuoso influenced by Django Reinhardt, Jimmy Rainey, Charlie Christian, Joe Pass, Eric Clapton, and John Coltrane, and you still will need to hear Holdsworth signature sans-distortion legato sound in order to make an accurate visualization.

In the early 70s, Holdsworth's sound was produced by a direct line from his Gibson to a Marshall half-stack, although he later gravitated towards more obscure models of guitars. During the 80s, Holdsworth was one of the pioneers of guitar effects-processing (just ask Eddie Van Halen, who was one of many Holdsworth admirers). If you ever plan on getting an mfa degree in fine arts or music production, Holdsworth's various rigs will certainly be a subject of study.

Jimi Hendrix: 1968 black Fender Stratocaster, serial no. 222625

Seattle's own Jimi Hendrix used this left-handed beaut during his later legendary gigs and festivals: Fillmore East, Isle of Wight, Atlanta pop festival, BBC sessions and his last concert: Isle of Fehmarn, in Germany.

Anyone could buy a black strat, and most guitarists could learn Hendrix's bluesy riffs; however, no-one could perform like he did, and no one did what he did during the time he did it. Everyone, including online universities, rank Hendrix as the best performing guitarist ever. Not much else needs to be said about Hendrix. You already know.

Ian Anderson: small-bodied, Martin 0-16NY

Jethro Tull's theatrical frontman-floutist was also a fanboy of Martin acoustics, mainly for their ability to support both steel and nylon strings without losing out on sound. Anderson actually worked with Martin in the 70s to create a signature guitar specifically designed for both types of strings (the 0-28 Ian Anderson Signature Edition guitar).

Martin incorporated a new bridge design for the 0-28 Ian Anderson Signature Edition. The ebony, pyramid bridge utilized a triangular saddle-slot that allowed for the guitarist to place two kinds of Micarta saddles: a white saddle for nylon strings and an offset, black saddle for steel strings.

For this master performer, freedom of expression was key, and his signature Martin model certainly allowed for such freedom.

Obviously, there are more great artists and great guitars to explore, so check out the following resources:
  • - a huge database of guitarists, as well as a ranking of those guitarists (only one on this list made the top 100 - go figure. 
  • - enough pictures of vintage guitars to make any guitar player's mouth water (or hands itch).
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Jimi Hendrix, Live in Stockholm, 1969

Hi everyone, Here's a rare video of the Jimi Hendrix Experience performing live in Stockholm in 1969. He dedicated the concert to the Vietnam War deserters. Enjoy!