Showing posts with label robert plant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label robert plant. Show all posts

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 - The Year In Music

For someone like me who likes to bitch about the state of music, I have to admit, 2007 was pretty darn good. You just needed to know how to find the good stuff.

I've read a bunch of critics' lists of the best CD's of 2007, and unfortunately, I haven't had the opportunity to hear them all. The critics could well be right. After all, they did list most of my favorite CD's of the year.

Critics whose opinions I value include Chet Flippo (of course) and Jon Bream, who writes for the Star Tribune. I also like to read Entertainment Weekly's opinions, although their demographic is, admittedly, younger. I also perused the list that No Depression Magazine compiled.

So, here's where we agree:

"Raising Sand" - Alison Krauss & Robert Plant

"Revival" - John Fogerty

"Dwight Sings Buck" - Dwight Yoakam

"Magic" - Bruce Springsteen (the prettiest song of the year, "Girls In Their Summer Clothes")

Some mentioned "The Bluegrass Sessions" by Merle Haggard (produced by Marty Stuart).

At least one list included "In A Perfect World" by Gene Watson.

I would also include The Eagles, "Long Road Out Of Eden" and "Goin' Home - A Tribute To Fats Domino".

I'm sure there must be new artists who are great. I hear there's some British gals who are pretty good.

What I know is, the artists who produced the best music in 2007 (in my opinion) have been around since the 1980's or longer:

Alison Krauss, Robert Plant, John Fogerty, Dwight Yoakam, Bruce Springsteen, Merle Haggard, Gene Watson, The Eagles, Fats Domino.

I don't know what this means. A cynic would say, there are no good new artists on the horizon. I don't believe that. I guess we just don't get a chance to hear the new, good ones.

But thank God for the old ones!

And here's an old one:

Saturday, December 29, 2007

New Music Recommendation - I Report, You Decide (ha)

I picked up a new CD today. Well, I was returning two CD's that I got for Christmas, two CD's that I already had.

Luckily, I read magazines in my spare time, or I would be ignorant to new, interesting CD's.

So, my mission was to find "Goin' Home - A Tribute To Fats Domino".

Luckily, my local Borders had it in stock. Buying music is a pain, which is why I rarely buy any. Face it, most new music is a waste of money and time.

To digress for a minute, do you have a hard time finding good music in your local stores? I do. The closest store to me is Target, which carries the newest offerings by Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney, et al, but would I find "The Bluegrass Sessions" by Merle Haggard there? No. I never buy CD's at Target, because they don't have anything I would want.

We do have a local, independent record store close by, but their selections are minimal in my categories. My categories being, I guess what you would call Alt Country. What used to be just "country" back in the day. Artists like Dwight Yoakam, Marty Stuart, Gene Watson. My other category is older rock artists who sound more country than the so-called country artists of today. Those would include The Eagles, Neil Young, John Fogerty, Tom Petty.

So, I do most of my music shopping online.

You can find anything you want online (I usually shop at Amazon). BUT what if you want music NOW? What if you don't want to wait five business days to get your music?

Oh, you can download music (again, I use Amazon. And if the song I want is unavailable on Amazon, I go to ITunes or WalMart).

That's all fine and dandy if you want just a song or two. Even if you want a whole album, unless it's an artist you cherish. If it's Dwight or George or Marty, for example, I want the actual physical CD. It's just a personal pecadillo of mine.

So, back to my shopping (returning) expedition today. I headed off to Borders, hoping that I could find "Goin' Home". I returned my two CD's (the lady was rather rude, by the way). Then I went off to flip through the CD racks. Surprisingly, I found it rather quickly. And it was worth it. This is a double CD, with artists such as Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Robert Plant, Willie Nelson, Lucinda Williams, Elton John, Randy Newman, Bonnie Raitt, Norah Jones, and many, many more. Also lots of New Orleans blues.

I am very much enjoying it.

So, here's a promotional video for the CD that I found on YouTube:


Friday, December 14, 2007

Categorizing Music

Just to prove my point (if you go back and read my old posts), Newsweek agrees with me:

Newsweek Got It Right For Once

It makes me happy to know that I'm right, and that someone with a lick of sense sees it my way.

Yea, Merle Haggard's "Bluegrass Sessions" isn't technically "bluegrass". Big deal.

It deserved a Grammy nomination.

Lord knows, we have to take any good music that comes our way nowadays.

And we have to recognize a superior product when we hear it.

Otherwise, all we're left with is Carrie Underwood.

Does that speak well of the music of 2007?

I've decided that I'm going back to the days of AM radio, when you'd hear a bunch of songs, without categories, and you'd decide FOR YOURSELF what the best songs were.

So, my nominees for Grammys for 2007 are:

Merle Haggard - The Bluegrass Sessions
Alison Krauss & Robert Plant - Raising Sand
John Fogerty - Revival
Dwight Yoakam - Dwight Sings Buck
Trisha Yearwood - Heaven, Heartache

There ya go - as Steve Carell would say. (He also says, "That's what she said" a lot, but that has no bearing here.)

So, Merle - 1967, 2007 - that's 40 years and still going strong.

Now WHO'S the legend? I rest my case.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

New Music Recommendations

Here are a couple of new CD's that I'm currently enjoying:

Raising Sand - Robert Plant/Alison Krauss

This is an unusual pairing, but it works. Led Zeppelin Meets Bluegrass. What a concept!

I would describe this CD as a mix of bluegrass, rockabilly, and alternative country. Some of the songs are reminiscent of the music that Roseanne Cash used to do, back in those heady days of the eighties.

I especially like:

Killing The Blues
Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)
Through The Morning, Through The Night

But there really are no clinkers here.

Buy it or download (and preview) it here (Amazon has DRM-Free Music Downloads).

Raising Sand

Dwight Sings Buck - Dwight Yoakam

For my money, there's no better pairing than Dwight Yoakam and Buck Owens' songs. I have a special fondness for the music of Buck Owens, so when I heard that Dwight was recording a CD of Buck's songs, I was thrilled.

You can expect the usual high energy performances that Dwight is known for, plus you KNOW all the songs are good!

I think you'll especially like these (I basically could have listed every song on the CD):

Foolin' Around
I Don't Care
Down On The Corner Of Love
Cryin' Time
Above And Beyond
Under Your Spell Again
Close Up The Honky Tonks - a different take on this song, but I like it ~ in fact, I think it's brilliant!
Excuse Me (I Think I've Got A Heartache) - you'll love this one!
Think Of Me
Together Again - Dwight changes this one up a bit, but it's beautiful

I can't say enough about this CD. If you like neotraditionalist country (what used to be called just country), you will LOVE this CD.

Buy it or download (and preview) it here:

Dwight Sings Buck

Now I can't wait to get my new Gene Watson CD.