Show 16- “Cupid’s Valentines”
Choo-Choo Valentine- Rocky Sharpe and the Replays
Is it possible to do a Valentine show without being too sappy?
Well, this is a good start! A good uptempo tune to start off the show! Remember these folks out of the U.K?
Can it really be 20 years since Rocky Sharpe and the Replays’ Rama Lama Ding Dong was in the UK charts? If it was an oldie then it must be a classic by now. In a short career Rocky, Johnny Stud, Helen Highwater and Eric Rondo put together four albums, seven charting singles and a Christmas EP all inspired by doo wop and 50s rock’n’roll. Whether covers or original songs, the sound and feel can best be described as authentic. Alongside genuine 50s artists at revival concerts, you could be forgiven for believing, as many did and some still do, that the Replays were “originals” from the rock’n’roll years instead of revivalists from the early 80s.
By Jan Podsiadly
Cupid- Elizabeth Cook
If you can’t handle some twang…Well…I mean, she is the “real deal”!
She’s a helluva of a songwriter too!
To say that Elizabeth Cook’s background is like something out of a country song would be wildly underestimating the entire genre. The youngest of 11 half-brothers and sisters, she grew up in rural Florida where her musician parents met while playing in local country bars. Her father learned to play upright bass in a Georgia prison band while serving 11 years for running moonshine. Her mother, a singer and mandolin player from the hills of West Virginia, wrote her daughter’s first songs, including “Does My Daddy Love The Bottle More Than He Loves Me,” and had Elizabeth singing on stage at 4 years old.
In contemporary country music, it’s a rare performer who will dare to take on the industry on her own hogs-and-kisses terms. But for the artist whom Nanci Griffith has called “this generation’s Loretta Lynn,” it takes a certain tenacity to meld smart attitude with classic tradition, the credibility of a life lived with genuine hillbilly passion, and the integrity to write an acclaimed cache of uncommonly cool songs. –http://www.myspace.com/elizabethcook
First of all, there’s Cook’s twangy alto, which used to slip-slide melodically through her lyrics to warm, sweet-as-peach-cobbler effect; on this release, though, her voice is less massaged—shriller, harsher and even more heavily accented—and she doesn’t sing too much.-Rachel Dovey, http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2010/05/elizabeth-cook-welder.html
…while some artists simply seem incapable of being anything other than doggedly idiosyncratic, she makes it pretty evident that she could be a big country music star if she really wanted to. She’s got the chops, both as a singer and a songwriter, and she’s got the production pedigree behind her; Balls was produced by Rodney Crowell, and this one by Don Was. But what’s more than that, Cook has an understanding of country music past and present that she floats across this album, effortlessly and teasingly, as if to taunt the Nashville machine by showing how huge she could be if she were only willing to play by their rules.-Josh Hurst, http://thehurstreview.wordpress.com/2010/05/09/elizabeth-cook-welder/
Sugar Smallhouse Velentine- Samuel James
A good friend of mine turned me on to this artist a few months ago.
Wow! I get the feeling we’ll be hearing a whole lot more about Samuel James. The picking is “dizzying-good”!
Take the songwriting of Bill Withers and Tom Waits. Now combine that with the soul power and energy of James Brown. And the charisma of P.T. Barnum. Enter in the guitar playing of Leo Kotke and you’re starting to get an idea of what Samuel James is all about.He has irreversibly changed what it means to be a solo act. Unfortunately for the reader he is unique to the point of non-comparison. I mean, seriously, he’s been called, “…the Guardian of Lightning,” by Rolling Stone, France. That’s pretty serious, right? He has mastered the guitar, piano, harmonica, and banjo. Yup, even the banjo.
His performances have received standing ovations in the United States from coast to coast as well as England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, France, Spain, Belgium, Germany, and Poland. And Canada. He challenges you not to. It only counts if you come to the show. He will move you from your feet all the way to your heart.-http://www.sugarsmallhouse.com/
“Samuel James is like a time machine – the same one that keeps Son House and Mississippi John Hurt traveling back to the public consciousness” – Portland Phoenix
Samuel James fully discovered his musicianship after a young woman broke his heart. He booked a flight to Ireland figuring the gray and rainy climate would match his mindset. Short of funds to make it home, he learned harmonica from local street musicians. Collecting enough change to make it back to Maine, he gave up a nascent painting career and dove head first into the guitar. –http://www.piedmonttalent.com/artists/artist.cfm?id=115
“Samuel James was born about 50 years too late. With his slide guitar, scratchy vocals and vintage songwriting, he sounds like Robert Johnson’s little brother.” – Lewis Kelly, Vue Weekly,
“Beyond the standard ‘squeeze my lemon’ kind of blues lyric, this is more like O. Henry put to music by Son House. OK, that may be pushing it, but there’s more to James’ lyrics than repetition, and you should know that going in. Johnny Winter comments on his ‘great voice and a great playing style! Traditional blues done with a hip twist.’ Johnny should
-David Kidney, Greenman Review
Little Cupid (Please)- Eva Eastwood and the Major Keys
Hello Sweden! Anyone who cites her influences as Ruth Brown and J.J. Cale are alright in my books!
Eva Eastwood is a Swedish singer/songwriter with a retro style that ranges from rockabilly and rock & roll to traditional country in the Nashville mold. She made her album debut in 2001 and eventually hit the upper reaches of the Swedish charts in 2008 with her sixth album, Well Well Well. Born Eva Östlunds in 1967 in Örebro, Sweden, she cites influences that include Melanie Safka, Ruth Brown, and J.J. Cale. She also found inspiration in the Nashville music scene of the United States, which she visited a few times prior to launching her music career. -Jason Birchmeier, AllMusic.com
Valentine- Kimmie Rhodes and Willie Nelson
Well, what can you say about Willie?
Kimmie Rhodes has been one of my favorites for many years. It’s truly a travesty that she’s not more well-known.
Kimmie Rhodes and Willie Nelson together? Now that’s cool!
Hot tip: Kimmie Rhodes album, “West Texas Heaven” is on my list of “must have albums on the ipod if I’m stranded on a desert island…”
The musical relationship between country legend Willie Nelson and underheralded Austin songwriter Kimmie Rhodes had existed for years — most recently, the two had dueted twice on Rhodes‘ 2002 solo album Love Me Like a Song (the lovely title track and “We’ve Done This Before,” both also included here), yet they had teamed as early as 1996, on both Rhodes‘ West Texas Heaven and Nelson‘s Just One Love albums. On Picture in a Frame, however, their musical simpatico reached an apotheosis. It is one of the most enjoyable albums in either of their careers, which is saying a great deal in both cases. In addition to pairing up a couple outstanding performers — both, in their inimitable ways, outlaws to the country mainstream — the album combines the best of numerous country & western worlds: classic and contemporary, rural versus urban, R&B/jazz-influenced and folk-based, internationally renowned superstardom and best-kept local secret. Best of all, though, it brought together a loose, intimate little acoustic ensemble to play a superior set of songs. -Stanton Swihart, AllMusic.com
Singer-songwriter Kimmie Rhodes is a native Texan who calls Austin home. Kimmie’s multi-platinum selling songs have been recorded by such stellar acts as Willie Nelson, Wynonna Judd, Trisha Yearwood, Amy Grant, CeCe Winans, Joe Ely, John Farnham, Waylon Jennings, Peter Frampton, Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris. A creative and prolific artist, she has recorded and released a total of fifteen solo CDs, written and produced three musical plays and a catalogue of hundreds of songs, and published a book.-http://kimmierhodes.com/bio/
“Kimmie Rhodes: The soul of a poet and the voice of an angel. Walls Fall Down: Everything you need to hear about what you need to know.” -Rodney Crowell
“”Kimmie has the voice of a beautiful child coming from an old soul. She touches us where the better angels of our nature dwell, and I believe we need that now more that ever. If you haven’t before, do yourself a favor in this New Year and bring her into your listening life.” -Emmylou Harris
Cupid Must Be Angry- Nick Lowe
Good to see this “road-warrior” aging gracefully!
This song helps to keep the Valentine show “real” and serves as an antidote to the “sappy” factor!
One constant quality of Nick Lowe is that he knows what he’s doing, and how he wants to do it. “I still love playing with the same guys I’ve been playing with for, well, ages. They’re really great players, and they get me. They can do all kinds of different stuff, and we know what we don’t like. We will work on it a bit, but not labor over it. For me, it’s never like, ‘For the next album I’m going to Peru and find a nose flute.” Never.
With someone like Nick Lowe, who has been such an unending influence on music as a performer, songwriter, producer and all-around proud fan, there is always the question of how he knows when his songs are ready for their public debut. “When I can pick up an acoustic guitar and play the thing through,” he says, “if I can do that and it feels like someone else has written it, or I’m playing a cover song so it doesn’t sound like me anymore, then it’s done. I don’t try to make it anything, because when I try to make it something I can’t stand it. It needs to be as natural as possible, and generally not sound too much like me. It’s an inner gyroscope that lets you know when it’s done.”
As the leader of the seminal pub rockers Brinsley Schwarz, a producer, and a solo artist, Nick Lowe held considerable influence over the development of punk rock. With the Brinsleys, Lowe began a back-to-basics movement that flowered into punk rock in the late ’70s. As the house producer for Stiff, he recorded many seminal records by the likes of the Damned, Elvis Costello, and the Pretenders. His rough, ragged production style earned him the nickname “Basher” and also established the amateurish, D.I.Y. aesthetics of punk. His early solo singles and albums Jesus of Cool and Labour of Lust overflowed with hooks, bizarre jokes, and an infectious energy that made them some of the most acclaimed pop records of the new wave era. As new wave began to fade away in the early ’80s, Lowe began to explore roots rock, eventually becoming a full-fledged country-rocker in the ’90s. While he never had another hit after 1980’s “Cruel to Be Kind,” his records found a devoted cult audience and often were critically praised.
While he was working on material for a new album, Lowe’s Brinsley Schwarz composition “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding,” which had previously been a hit for Costello, was covered by Curtis Stigers for the soundtrack to Whitney Houston’s film The Bodyguard. The album became the biggest-selling soundtrack album in history and, in the process, Lowe unexpectedly became a millionaire from the songwriting royalties.
Lowe made a comeback in 1994 with the straight country album, The Impossible Bird. Hailed as his finest effort in years, the album became a hit in the burgeoning Americana movement in the U.S., and he supported the album with his first solo tour in five years; his touring band featured former Commander Cody guitarist Bill Kirchen. -Stephen Thomas Erlewine, http://www.allmusic.com/artist/nick-lowe-p99712/biography
As long as my body holds out, I’ll be grooving when I’m 70, and not some sort of horrible spectacle.
Be a military flier or be in a band; those were the two hippest things I could imagine.
I like being a big fish in a small pond. I’m not interested in a huge audience because it brings headaches.
I suppose I was waiting until I was old enough to have some sort of experience to sing about. When you’re young, it’s hard to sing the blues. Nobody believes you.
In the ’70s, you had to come up with an album every year whether you were ready or not.
The number of contemporary artists who appeal to me is infinitesimal.
The world is full of musicians who can play great, and you wouldn’t cross the road to see them. It’s people who have this indefinable attitude that are the good ones.
These days, rock ‘n’ roll is much more about rock than about roll. I don’t do rock. But I’m interested in that roll part, because that’s the funny little bit that makes it hip.
They tell me I produced songs. I just stood in the back, wore a good suit and said, Yeah, that’s happening.
When punk rock came along, the one thing you were not supposed to be was musical.
You’ve got to really know your song, inside and out.
– All quotes from:
“Whats so funny bout peace, love and understanding?”
— Nick Lowe
Stupid Cupid- Patsy Cline
Lots of versions of this tune out there but it’s always good to play Patsy Cline, especially an old radio broadcast version!
Johnny Valentine- Hicksville Bombers
Rockabilly out of the U.K!
Hicksville Bombers are a rockin’ trio from Lincoln, England, who play rockabilly, rockin’ blues country and rock’n’roll music in a wild and energetic 50’s style.Since forming in 1992, they have released two EP’s and Five CD albums.
They have played with a number of bands/musicians including rhythm and blues star Ruth Brown, Charlie Gracie, Lord Sutch, BR5-49, Kieran Kane, Dead Rekoning, Mike Henderson, Jack Scott, Jets, Matchbox, Dr Hook, Hayseed Dixie, Bill Wyman plus loads more.
The Bombers have performed at Hemsby Rock’n’Roll Weekenders, country shows, The Americana at Newark and toured Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Holland, Italy, and New York U.S.A. –http://www.hicksvillebombers.com/bio.html
Cupid Shot Us Both With One Arrow- Suzy Bogguss
A class act!
Glad I managed to dig up this tune for the Valentine/Cupid show- fits so well!
One of the most acclaimed female country singers of the late ’80s and ’90s, Suzy Bogguss was able to balance country tradition with a contemporary mainstream sensibility, thereby satisfying both audiences and critics.- Steve Huey, AllMusic.com
More than anything, though, Swing is a showcase for Bogguss’s flexible, breezy vocals: the woman, simply put, proves she can sing anything — and with flair. Country music be damned, this is Suzy Bogguss’s best record yet: sexy, smart, sophisticated, and utterly listenable. -Nicole Pensiero http://www.popmatters.com/music/reviews/b/boggusssuzy-swing.shtml
A small venue is so much more intimate and loose. You can actually be more spontaneous, I feel.
I’ve always seen myself as sort of this funky, eclectic artist.
It’s like Willie Nelson. You’re an artist and you have different styles inside of you.
One of the things that I think is such a constant in country music is that the song is so much a story. I believe it is supposed to be based around a story.
“I had a solo in the seventh grade Christmas recital and I shook so badly it sounded like I had a shotgun vibrato.” – Suzy Bogguss
“If you mean my revelation – it was in Big Sky, MT when I was playing a ski resort, (in the summer) and I realized there would be no talent scouts at 14,000 feet.” – Suzy Bogguss
“It’s been a real roller coaster ride… I’ve been to the top where everybody likes you, and I’ve seen the ride back down… that’s when you begin to see what a long ride it is… both up and down… still, I hope it’s a long, long ride that I’ll stay on for years to come.” – Suzy Bogguss
Valentine NE- Rachel Ries
Pay close attention to this one. This is sweet stuff!
Daughter of Mennonite missionaries, Ms. Rachel Ries hails from the inspiring, vast expanses of South Dakota, by way of Zaire. Her formative years were filled with Congolese spirituals, Mennonite hymns and her mom singing her to sleep with The Carpenters. In her life these days, the choirs have turned into bands, the churches into clubs but her mom can still sing like Karen Carpenter.
Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and viola, Rachel marries sophisticated, at times vintage, musicality to smart lyrics. With a self-taught guitar style reminiscent of Mississippi John Hurt and vocals that at times recall Billie Holiday and early Maria Muldaur, her songs range from the romantic simplicity of jazz standards to the distilled intensity of poet Anne Sexton. Ms. Ries has an adventurous ear for melody and a voice flexible enough to accomplish it.
For You Only is a charming and literary work given additional breadth with a laid-back smattering of banjo, fiddle, piano, accordion, pump organ and percussion. Judith Edelman for Acoustic Guitar magazine writes, “The album was recorded on vintage analog equipment, presumably to further capture a bygone sound. Some artists might need the boost in creating atmosphere, but Ries is well up to the task of invoking mood, memory, and nostalgia all on her own.”
Hibernation is something to rise up out of and good, clean, country living is still something to aspire to. And so for now, Rachel can be found somewhere in Chicago’s west side, wide-eyed & only half-ways citified ; knitting up a storm and in search of a good song.-http://rachelries.com/
If Rachel’s voice were a tree branch, a ripe russet apple would hang at its end: a gift, there to take.
Rachel Ries ensnares the listener in a gorgeous web of silvery vocals, homey fingerpicking and strumming, and literary lyrics wrapped in mercurial, yet soothing tunes. While her vintage sound is reminiscent of music from the 1920s and ’30s, her approach to writing is altogether contemporary, imbuing folksy imagery with a compelling sense of mystery.
– Acoustic Guitar, Judith Edelman
Rachel calls her music “prairie swing and city folk” and to our ears it nestles comfortable alongside Jolie Holland and Eleni Mandell: savvy lyrics and tender melodies, sung with a flexible voice imbued with echoes of the jazz age, and, best of all, graced by the audible stamp of analog recording…
-Border Radio in The Stranger, Kurt B. Reigley
Don’t Mess With Cupid- Otis Redding
Of course the name Otis Redding is synonymous with “Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay”- but he put out so many other memorable tunes!
An honor to play a legend on the show.
Another case of, “What if?…”
One of the most influential soul singers of the 1960s, Otis Redding exemplified to many listeners the power of Southern “deep soul” — hoarse, gritty vocals, brassy arrangements, and an emotional way with both party tunes and aching ballads. He was also the most consistent exponent of the Stax sound, cutting his records at the Memphis label/studios that did much to update R&B into modern soul. His death at the age of 26 was tragic not just because he seemed on the verge of breaking through to a wide pop audience (which he would indeed do with his posthumous number one single “[Sittin’ On] The Dock of the Bay”). It was also unfortunate because, as “Dock of the Bay” demonstrated, he was also at a point of artistic breakthrough in terms of the expression and sophistication of his songwriting and singing. What Redding might have achieved, or what directions he might have explored, are among the countless tantalizing “what if” questions in rock & roll history. As it is, he did record a considerable wealth of music at Stax, which is now available on thoughtfully archived reissues. -Richie Unterberger, AllMusic.com
Often called the “King of Soul”, he is renowned for an ability to convey strong emotion through his voice. According to the website of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (where he was inducted in 1989), Redding’s name is “synonymous with the term soul, music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm and blues into a form of funky, secular testifying.”-Wikipedia
There was earthiness and candor in his every performance, be it slow, soulful ballads like “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” or fast-paced numbers such as “I Can’t Turn You Loose.” Such albums as Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul – which was recorded in a single 24-hour period in 1965 – is a virtual soul-music primer. In concert, Redding routinely incited pandemonium through the thunderous intensity of his performances, which included vocal ad-libs and false endings – devices that were evident in his memorable rendition of “Try a Little Tenderness” at the Monterey International Pop Festival on June 17, 1967. Redding stole the show at Monterey, as a wide-eyed new audience – the youthful counterculture – enthusiastically opened up to him. Given that launching pad and his songwriting breakthrough with “Sittin’ On (The Dock of the Bay),” Redding was poised for superstardom at the time his twin-engine Beechcraft crashed into Wisconsin’s Lake Monona on December 10, 1967, killing him and four members of his touring band, the Bar-Kays.-http://rockhall.com/inductees/otis-redding/
My Funny Valentine- Elvis Costello
Here’s another song covered by tons of other artists. As usual though, Elvis Costello puts his own very unique interpretation on a classic song composed by Hart and Rodgers.
When Elvis Costello’s first record was released in 1977, his bristling cynicism and anger linked him with the punk and new wave explosion. A cursory listen to My Aim Is True proves that the main connection that Costello had with the punks was his unbridled passion; he tore through rock’s back pages taking whatever he wanted, as well as borrowing from country, Tin Pan Alley pop, reggae, and many other musical genres. Over his career, that musical eclecticism distinguished Costello’s records as much as his fiercely literate lyrics. Because he supported his lyrics with his richly diverse music, Costello emerged as one of the most innovative, influential, and best songwriters since Bob Dylan. -Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusic.com
And obviously, when I started out, I had a little bit more curiosity than some, and went seeking out the original artists, or in some cases searching up country music.
I believe that music is connected by human passions and curiosities rather than by marketing strategies.
I find humming is very useful.
I used to be disgusted; now I try to be amused.
I’d been to Memphis before, but we stayed out of Memphis early on in the late 70s for obvious reasons. People were very sensitive about Elvis Presley, and my stage name obviously would be provocative to some people in that area at that time.
I’ve been lucky to listen to lots of different types of music.
Maybe I just never learned my harmony part, because what everybody says sounds odd to them sounds perfectly natural to me.
My ultimate vocation in life is to be an irritant.
Obviously I got known for some other songs early on, and some of those were rock’n’roll songs. Some of them were melodic pop songs. And I’ve done lots of different things, as you know, but every so often I get drawn back.
Obviously the people that I admired, like the Beatles, were really into rock’n’roll, but it was already a little past rock’n’roll when I started listening and making my own choices about music.
Sometimes I write notes that I have difficulty singing.
There are many critics who have an idealised version of where my strengths lie.
These are the sort of things that push you on in music – the curiosity, a passion for new ideas.
Happy Valentine’s Day- Shemekia Copeland
This song kinda reminds me of Elvis’ “Blue Christmas”.
It’s great to see the daughter of a blues legend making good on her own terms!
The daughter of renowned Texas blues guitarist Johnny Copeland, Shemekia Copeland began making a splash in her own right before she was even out of her teens. Projecting a maturity beyond her years, Copeland fashioned herself a powerful, soul-inflected shouter in the tradition of Koko Taylor and Etta James, yet also proved capable of a subtler range of emotions. Copeland was born in Harlem in 1979 and her father encouraged her to sing right from the beginning, even bringing her up on-stage at the Cotton Club when she was just eight years old.-Steve Huey, AllMusic.com
Shemekia’s passion for singing, matched with her huge, blast-furnace voice, gives her music the timeless power and heart-pounding urgency of a very few greats who have come before her. The media has compared her to a young Etta James, Koko Taylor, Aretha Franklin and Ruth Brown, but Shemekia – who was raised in the tough, urban streets of Harlem – has her own story to tell. Although schooled in Texas blues by her father, Shemekia’s music comes from deep within her soul and from the streets she grew up on, where a daily dose of city sounds – from street performers to gospel singers to blasting radios to bands in local parks – surrounded her.
One of the many lessons Shemekia learned growing up was the importance of singing from the heart. “Nobody wants to listen to someone singing just to earn some money,” she says. “You’ve gotta sing because you need to do it.” Indeed, Shemekia’s soul-satisfying vocals and the lessons she learned from her father, matched with her inner need to sing, have brought her to audiences both young and old. “I still listen to Aretha Franklin, Katie Webster, Trudy Lynn, Etta James, Howard Tate, India Arie and Angelique Kidjo. But I never try to copy them. They’ve all inspired me and helped me become my own person.”
“I want people who love hip-hop to know where it came from,” she told Vibe magazine. “My music is rooted in blues, but it’s different. I’m singing about my era. I’m here and I’m singing about now and not yesterday.” And that’s the truth, nothing but the soul truth.-http://www.alligator.com/index.cfm?section=artists&artistid=41
Volcanic delivery and straight-from-the-gut realism…a masterful blend of fiery blues, ballsy ballads and electrifying rockers” -Vibe
“Young Shemekia is the most soul-shaking, big-voiced blues singer in years, attacking contemporary material like the early Etta James” -Village Voice
“Extraordinary talent…Copeland is a vocalist who knows few stylistic limitations. She’s a true blues diva” –Billboard
Little Arrows- Leapy Lee
A friend of mine convinced me to include this song on the show. When we got talking about it, he practically sang the whole song to me.
So why not? Hey, it was a fun tune in it’s day! So let’s lighten up!
And I thought it was a good “pick-me-up” to follow up Shemekia’s blue Valentine song.
One-hit wonder Leapy Lee seized his moment in the pop music spotlight when 1968’s “Little Arrows” topped the charts in 18 international markets, ascending to number 16 in the U.S. n 1968 Lee signed to the fledgling MCA Records label to record “Little Arrows,” penned by then-unknowns Albert Hammond and Mike Hazelwood. The song proved a monster hit in the U.K., reaching number two on the pop charts (behind the Beatles’ “Hey Jude”) and cracking the U.S. Top 20 on its way to selling close to four million copies worldwide. “Little Arrows” also fell just shy of cracking the Top Ten on the American country music chart. – Jason Ankeny, AllMusic.com
Valentine Moon- Jools Holland (with Sam Brown on vocals)
Well, I learn a whole bunch doing these shows and doing the research for this blog.
I was particularly taken with Sam Brown’s voice and story. Looking forward to perhaps featuring both of these artists on future shows!
Depending on who you talk to, the irrepressible Jools Holland is best known as a blisteringly energetic piano-pounding performer of boogie-woogie, jazz, and R&B; or as the keyboard-wizard sideman to one of the great new wave pop bands of the ’70s and ’80s; or as one of the U.K.’s most popular television presenters. And while any one of these accomplishments would be enough for most people, Jools Holland has managed to be all those things in his remarkable showbiz career — a career that’s seen him work with almost everybody who was anybody on the U.K. or U.S. music scene from the late ’70s onward. – Rudyard Kennedy, AllMusic.com
Julian Miles “Jools” Holland OBE, DL (born 24 January 1958) is an English pianist, bandleader, singer, composer, and television presenter. He was a founder of the band Squeeze, and his work has involved him with many artists including Sting, Eric Clapton, The Who, David Gilmour and Bono.
Holland is a published author and appears on television shows besides his own and contributes to radio shows. In 2004, he collaborated with Tom Jones on an album of traditional R&B music. He currently hosts Later… with Jools Holland, a music-based show aired on BBC2.- Wikipedia
Great things have been predicted for British vocalist and keyboardist Sam Brown. Her debut album, “Stop”, released in 1987, reached the top four on the British music charts, sold more than two and a half million copies and included two hit singles, “Stop” and “This Feeling”…The daughter of classical vocalist Vicki Brown, Brown began her musical career at the age of twelve when she sang background vocals on the Small Faces’ album, “In The Shade”. By the age of twenty, she had sung with Steve Marriott, Sade, Spandau Ballet and Barclay James Harvest. Brown sang harmony on the Pink Floyd album, “The Division Bell”, and joined the band on their world tour in 1994. -Craig Harris, AllMusic.com
As well as her solo career, she has had a successful career as a backing vocalist and collaborating with other artists. She has worked with David Gilmour (David Gilmour in Concert (2002)) and Pink Floyd, Deep Purple (Live at the Royal Albert Hall), The Firm, George Harrison and Nick Cave; plus she has often appeared as a member of Jools Holland‘s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. Brown achieved further prominence via her 2002 performance in the Concert for George tribute show, singing “Horse to the Water“. In 2002 she appeared as backing vocalist at Buckingham palace on the Queen’s jubilee rock concert, Party At The Palace…
In 2007 she released a new solo album entitled Of The Moment. She also returned to the Top 10 of the UK Albums Chart in October 2007, when “Valentine Moon” was included on Jools Holland‘s #9 hit album Best of Friends.
Brown is also a patron of Tech Music Schools in London, made up of Vocaltech, Guitar-X, Keyboardtech and Drumtech. Brown is also currently teaching backing vocals classes at the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) in Guildford, Surrey, a school for rock and pop musicians.- Wikipedia
At the G8 Conference in Holland, Jools and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra performed All You Need is Love for the leaders of the western world. On hearing the trumpet introduction, Jacques Chirac mistook it for the opening of the French national anthem and stood up.
Out of courtesy Mr Blair, Mr Clinton, and Mr Yeltsin also stood.
Once they realised it was The Beatles’ song, and to avoid an international incident, they carried on dancing. After the performance, Bill Clinton spent half an hour with the brass section – talking about saxophones.-http://www.joolsholland.com/aboutjools.htm
“I didn’t think anybody could play like that. Jools has got that left hand that never stops.” – B.B. King
Jipsy Valentine- The Legendary Shack Shakers
Hang on tight! The end of this tune might just bring out the “inner jipsy” in you!
The Legendary Shack Shakers’ hell-for-leather roadshow has earned quite a name for itself with its unique brand of Southern Gothic that is all-at-once irreverent, revisionist, dangerous, and fun. Led by their wildly charismatic, rail-thin frontman/blues-harpist, J.D. Wilkes, the Shack Shakers are a four-man wrecking crew from the South whose explosive interpretations of the blues, punk, rock and country have made fans, critics and legions of potential converts into true believers.
Described as “…the last great Rock and Roll frontman” by Jello Biafra (of the Dead Kennedys), Shack Shakers front man J.D. Wilkes began yelpin the blues through a ham radio microphone at his boyhood home of Paducah, Kentucky…a short farmer’s blow away from where his future bassist Mark Robertson was cutting his teeth on punk rock and gospel in Nashville, Tennessee. When their paths crossed a few years later in the lawless honky tonks of Music City’s Lower Broadway scene, they found their individuated styles and common interests meshed. That’s when the like-minded, red-headed musical misfits began their crusade.
In addition to his musical accolades, J.D. Wilkes has also been recognized as an accomplished illustrator and painter whose works further the band’s mission of celebrating and honoring the tradition of the American south. Alarm Magazine recently described him as the “Ambassador of Genuine Traditional Southern Culture” and compared his unique storytelling abilities to that of other Southern voices such as William Faulkner, Johnny Cash and Muddy Waters.-http://s305257798.onlinehome.us/about/
Robert Plant is a noted Legendary Shack Shakers fan, and hand-picked the band to open for him on his 2005 tour of Europe. Plant also named “Believe” his favorite record of 2005.-Wikipedia
Valentine’s Day- Steve Earle
Heartfelt. Well-written. This tune is a perfect fit for this week’s show!
Candy Coated Valentine- Robinella and the CC String Band
Robinella is now on her own and has recently released a new album entitled, “Fly Away Bird.”
Robinella’s career began with a sort of luck that rarely comes to most artists within their lifetime. What started out as a simple husband-and-wife duo fresh out of college quickly grew to a full-fledged band that blended Bluegrass, Country and Jazz. The combination of Robinella’s honey-sweet vocals with violin, mandolin, bass, drums and piano captivated audiences, thus creating the ever popular Robinella & the CC Stringband. –
Robinella’s voice is so versatile- so utterly loose, carefree and expressive no matter what the material is- that she glides into every tune…
Valentine- The Gourds
This is a tune that creeps up on you and sticks with you! Had the melody going around in my head for the better part of the week. Cool!
The Gourds are a good-time, honky tonkin’ band with enough quirk and underground appeal to justify the “alternative” tag in “alternative country-rock.” -Joslyn Layne, AllMusic.com
There are few bands that can successfully (as in without a hint of clichéd, deep south treacle) open a record with the line “Wake up! We’re going to the country,” but Kevin “Shinyribs” Russell‘s ode to the simple (carnal) life splits the difference between hillbilly rapture and secular joy with workmanlike precision, a skill that the Gourds have been applying to their signature brand of idiosyncratic honky tonk for over a decade. The band’s ninth album (and second for “smart pop” stronghold Yep Roc Records) continues the Austin-based ensemble’s penchant for offbeat Southern minutia and melodious, after-hours juke joint revelry… -James Christopher Monger, AllMusic.com
Cupid- Sam Cooke
Yet another legend on the show!
What a great way to end the Valentine/Cupid show.
Happy Valentine’s, everybody!
Sam Cooke was the most important soul singer in history — he was also the inventor of soul music, and its most popular and beloved performer in both the black and white communities. Equally important, he was among the first modern black performers and composers to attend to the business side of the music business, and founded both a record label and a publishing company as an extension of his careers as a singer and composer. Yet, those business interests didn’t prevent him from being engaged in topical issues, including the struggle over civil rights, the pitch and intensity of which followed an arc that paralleled Cooke’s emergence as a star — his own career bridged gaps between black and white audiences that few had tried to surmount, much less succeeded at doing, and also between generations; where Chuck Berry or Little Richard brought black and white teenagers together, James Brown sold records to white teenagers and black listeners of all ages, and Muddy Waters got young white folkies and older black transplants from the South onto the same page, Cooke appealed to all of the above, and the parents of those white teenagers as well — yet he never lost his credibility with his core black audience. In a sense, his appeal anticipated that of the Beatles, in breadth and depth.-Bruce Eder, AllMusic.com
Considered by many to be the definitive soul singer, Sam Cooke blended sensuality and spirituality, sophistication and soul, movie-idol looks and gospel-singer poise. His warm, confessional voice won him a devoted gospel following as lead singer for the Soul Stirrers and sent “You Send Me,” one of his earliest secular recordings, to the top of the pop and R&B charts in 1957. It was the first of 29 Top Forty hits for the Chicago-raised singer, who was one of eight sons born to a Baptist minister.
Cooke’s career was defined by his early embrace of gospel and his subsequent move into the world of pop music and rhythm & blues. Joining the Soul Stirrers at age fifteen, he served as lead vocalist from 1950-56. He recorded his first pop song, “Lovable,” as Dale Cook, choosing the pseudonym so as not to jeopardize his standing within the gospel community. Nonetheless, he’d crossed a line that made it impossible for him to carry on with the Soul Stirrers. Cooke’s first solo successes came on the Keen label, for which he recorded “You Send Me,” “(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons” and “Wonderful World,” among others. In 1960 Cooke signed with RCA, where his hits included “Chain Gang,” “Cupid,” “Another Saturday Night” and “Twistin’ the Night Away.” A versatile singer who never really settled on a style, Cooke tackled everything from sophisticated balladry and lighthearted pop to finger-popping rock and roll and raw, raspy rhythm & blues.
In addition to being a performer, Cooke established himself as a successful and even groundbreaking black entrepreneur operating within the mainstream music industry. Cooke produced records for other singers, founded his own publishing company (Kags Music) and launched a record label (Sar/Derby). He also helped such fellow artists as Bobby Womack, Johnnie Taylor, Billy Preston and Lou Rawls make the transition from gospel to pop. Tragically, Cooke was shot to death at a Los Angeles motel on December 11th, 1964, under mysterious circumstances. RCA posthumously issued “Shake” b/w “A Change Is Gonna Come.” Regarded as one of the greatest singles of the modern era, it matched a hard-hitting R&B number (later cut by Otis Redding) with a haunting song about faith and reckoning that returned Cooke’s voice to its familiar gospel home.-http://rockhall.com/inductees/sam-cooke/
The moon belongs to everyone
The best things in life they’re free
Stars belong to everyone
They cling there for you and for me
“The Best Things in Life Are Free,” Sam Cooke at the Copa (1964)
I always loved Sam Cooke, because he seemed very versatile. He sang gospel, soul, blues, pop music.
– Aaron Neville
Sam Cooke is somebody other singers have to measure themselves against, and most of them go back to pumping gas.
– Keith Richards
“A Change Is Gonna Come”