My music playlist for Mom’s 82nd birthday

Happy Birthday!
Happy Birthday! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I called Mom today and wished her a happy 82nd birthday.  It’s always nice to talk to her, though I wish more than anything I could have been with her in our hometown to wish her a happy birthday in person.

I also wish I could give her a gift, to show her my appreciation for all she’s given me through the years.  Until that day comes, I’ll have to give her something that’s a reflection of just a part of what she gave me for a lot of years — a gift of music, an appreciation for the art.

My tastes in music are diverse.  Mom’s taste in music is pure country.  But if it wasn’t for that musical “kickstart” she gave me all those years ago …

So, here’s a music playlist with a few of the tunes I think Mom would appreciate.  Oh, and I was just informed by her youngest sister that Mom’s developed quite a hankering for Blake Shelton, so I’ve gotta get some of his tuneage in as well.

Happy birthday (again), Mom!

My music playlist for today (September 10, 2012 edition)

I’m a sucker for bluegrass music.  There’s something about it that’s so pure, especially when you combine the music with a voice that fits the feeling.

English: Alison Krauss performing with Robert ...
English: Alison Krauss performing with Robert Plant at the 2008 Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, TN. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the better modern voices for bluegrass belongs to Alison Krauss.  Combine that voice with her songwriting and fiddling, and you have a powerhouse talent.  Add on the talent that comes from Union Station, and it’s tough to top.

Through her work with Union Station and what she’s done with soundtracks (think of the movies “O Brother Where Art Thou?” and “Cold Mountain”), she’s helped to bring about a modern revival of the oldest form of country music.

It certainly helped that revival for her to be paired up with legendary Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant for some award-winning music.

Awards are nothing new to Krauss.  She’s tied as the third-youngest Grammy Award winner in the honor’s history — receiving her first in 1991 when she was around 20 years old — and she’s the most awarded singer and most awarded female artist in the history of the Grammys.

Just think, she’s still got a long way to go in her career.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a new music blog!

I’m not going to spend a lot of time here on my very first attempt at creating a daily personal blog (one that I’ve grown quite fond of) touting my new music blog that’s just launched in the last couple of hours, but here goes …

I HAVE A NEW MUSIC-RELATED BLOG, FOLKS!!! We have liftoff!  You can already find it with its own domain name as well, at thecrossovermusicchannel.com.

I’ve got my first article in the new blog as well, a more detailed version of the article that I did here yesterday on the Salt Lake City Jazz Festival.

I’ve been tweaking this newborn baby a bit the last couple of days, and I hope you like what you see.  Again, this is my attempt at creating a “business” of my own for now while I continue to search for a “regular job” that’s been elusive until now.  I will continue to pour all the love and passion into this personal blog of mine that you’re reading here, but … a guy’s gotta make a buck, and if things don’t turn around soon it won’t be much fun at all.

This is one way I have to “fight from the inside.”

Next on the agenda now that the new blog is launched:  Anyone know of a car dealership in the Salt Lake City area willing to train a new salesman?

For now, rock on!  And stay tuned!

 

My music playlist for today (September 3, 2012 edition)

Here’s one more go-round for a country music playlist featuring artists that I’ve been able to see in person at the Eastern Idaho State Fair, going on now.

 

Roy Clark - March 2002 Photo by Alan C. Teeple...
Roy Clark – March 2002 Photo by Alan C. Teeple User:ACT1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

This time, I’m going with a couple of the best guitar players that I’ve seen at the fair — Roy Clark and Vince Gill.

 

Growing up, I got a pretty steady diet of the TV show “Hee Haw,” with Clark and Buck Owens hosting every week.  I knew what Roy could do with a guitar.  I was still living at home when I went to the fair with my mother to see him in concert.  Seeing him on TV showing the speed he plays with is one thing.  Seeing him do it live is another.

 

There’s an episode of the old TV sitcom “The Odd Couple” in which Clark guest-starred, and for a few minutes he showed his gift on the guitar by playing “Malaguena.”  It was something to behold.

 

And then there’s Vince Gill.  He might not have the speed of Roy Clark, but he’s still one fine player.  He’s also got a crisp, clear voice that helps him to stand out from the crowd.

 

Cinderella (Vince Gill song)
Cinderella (Vince Gill song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I remember Vince’s talents going back to his days with Pure Prairie League, particularly on a song like “Let Me Love You Tonight.”  He was once offered a spot in the rock group Dire Straits and turned it down, but he went on to do great things in country instead with a bunch of awards from the Academy of Country Music, the Country Music Association, and Grammys galore.

Put Roy Clark and Vince Gill together and just let ’em start playing guitar, and there might be enough fireworks coming from them to light up any stage.

 

 

Counting down to Labor Day: One day to go

One of the best moves I ever made when it comes to this blog was to start featuring music on a daily basis around the first of this year.  My music playlists have consistently been the highest-viewed thing this blog’s had going ever since.

I can write a thought-out piece with a different point of view on politics or the media or current events, I can write about family, I can put together posts here that are (I hope) humorous, I can do photo blogs with pictures that I’m pretty proud of, and none of them get as many people looking at them and coming back to look at them again and again as I do with my music playlists or concert reviews.

Looking at my different categories and tags for my blog, music-related articles beat every other category and tag combined.  Maybe that’s because my music-related articles combine two of my greatest lifelong passions — writing and music.

So, when I look at anything I could possibly do to try and create something to make money on my own while I continue to look for a “regular job” elsewhere, the thought hit me:  create an entirely separate blog that’s devoted entirely to music, one where I can do more in terms of promoting music and the musicians who create and perform it, with CD and DVD reviews, concert reviews, photos from any shows that I attend, music news and word of any upcoming live shows, etc.

I want to try and help musicians become better known, and through the kind of contacts that I’ve been able to make through social media since the start of the year — thanks to new and old friends in California and the efforts to get Lester Chambers‘ name and music out there in the public eye again (his name still gets out there through this blog to this day in a small way because of people searching for information on the live web concert site Stageit.com and finding a “tutorial” I put together back in March) — there’s a bit of a foundation.

In order to start putting this together, I had to go to a blogging site other than WordPress that accepts ads (any ads that you might ever see here are put up by WordPress solely so it can pay its bills, I don’t get a dime out of them) and in which I could possibly get sponsors, where I could launch with an extremely limited budget.

Last night, I put something together called “The Crossover Music Channel.”  There’s some meaning behind the name, and it’s not just about music that easily crosses styles — like Kenny Rogers making it big on the country and pop charts.  It’s called that because, as you can see in my daily music playlists, my tastes in music are quite broad — country, classic rock, jazz, jazz-fusion, progressive rock, soul/funk/blues, contemporary Christian and classical.

I want to keep talking about it all.  And if I can help musicians and myself to pay some bills along the way, so much the better.

That’s why I’ll be “working” today, attending the Salt Lake City Jazz Festival with about 10 hours’ worth of cool jazz from 1-11 p.m., starting with the music of The Hot Club of Zion all the way through to Tower of Power at the end of the day.  My camera’s ready, the new blog is ready for its first article (no, I won’t stop doing this blog) to be written and published … I am so ready and rarin’ to go.

Someone said to me in the last couple of weeks to “sell myself” when it comes to my job search.  I’ve been doing that in the search for a “regular job,” and now I’m going to do it even more, selling myself and my passions for writing, photography, and music in the process.

I need to get ready to go now.  The first show of a long day of music awaits downtown.  I’m excited.

It’s better than doing nothing but sitting around feeling sorry for myself when my search and my efforts to “sell myself” for a “regular job” aren’t quite panning out.

Stay tuned.

Copyright 2012, Daddysangbassdude Media

My music playlist for today (August 27, 2012 edition)

We’re in the middle of “fair season,” with counties and states all around the country putting on fairs around this time of year.  It’s a time for livestock judging, 4H project judging, carnivals, crafts displays, food galore (much of it unhealthy, but, oh, so good), horse races, tractor pulls, monster truck shows, companies showing off the latest and greatest products, and live music shows — just to name a few things.

It’s an exciting time of year for a lot of people.  I’ve got a lot of memories from fair time — as a youth when I’d show dairy cows that I’d raised myself along with seeing whether projects I’d entered in photography and motorcycles won a ribbon, and as an adult when I spent about 10 years being able to get into the Eastern Idaho State Fair with a press pass.  As a journalist, state fair time was always one of the busiest times of every year.

With Labor Day coming up, the biggest day for the EISF is looming.  That’s when it’s packed throughout the grounds.

Maybe fair time is why — when it comes to country music — I think back about this time of year to a lot of the great live music shows I’ve been able to see and photograph, getting right up next to the stage with camera and film in hand.

Someday (Crystal Gayle album)
Someday (Crystal Gayle album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another one of the more memorable shows I got to see was when the award-winning singer Crystal Gayle performed at the fair.

It wasn’t just to see that long, flowing hair of hers either.

Crystal’s style hasn’t been “pure country,” although she started out doing songs written by her legendary sister, Loretta Lynn.  The pressure to do music more like Loretta’s didn’t stop Crystal from breaking out more on her own, and when she did country music fans responded very well.

Where Loretta is “pure country,” through and through, Crystal’s been more crossover, leaning toward jazz and pop.  But with the huge success of songs like “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” on the country charts, few fans at the time were holding that crossover style against her.

There was no arguing with success when it came to Crystal Gayle.

My music playlist for today (August 20, 2012 edition)

When it comes to country music in the playlist, I’m continuing on with some of the acts that I’ve been able to see live in years past — often times getting right up close to the stage to shoot some photos in the process — at the Eastern Idaho State Fair.

Alabama: left to right, Mark Herndon, Teddy Gentry, Jeff Cook, Randy Owen

I remember when the group Alabama came to town.  Their biggest-selling albums may have been behind them by the time I saw them in the early ’90s, but they were still a hot ticket then.  They were still cranking out songs that got plenty of play on the airwaves.  The one down side to that show was the fact that bass player Teddy Gentry — one of three cousins in the group along with lead singer Randy Owen and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Cook — was sick that night and couldn’t perform.  But the replacement bassist did just fine, and along with the other mainstays and Mark Herndon playing like a rock star on the drums, it was all good.

I remember when Alabama was still relatively unknown on the country charts.  It was 1980, I was in my late teens and I was working as a country disc jockey.  I remember the music director  at the station showing me a new single by a group called Alabama, and he talked highly of it.  The song was called “My Home’s In Alabama.”  On one side was a shorter radio cut.  That was the one that would get the airplay.  On the “B” side was the full song that lasted nearly 6 1/2 minutes.

Being the “rebel” that I was, I played the longer cut whenever I could.  That was the version that showed Alabama in all its country-rock promise, the version that pushed the boundaries.

I followed the band from then on through following years, enjoying the group’s rise to superstardom and remembering when I used to play that one long Alabama song on the radio.

Those were fun times.

My music playlist for today (August 13, 2012 edition)

I featured the Florida-born band Sawyer Brown last week because I’d seen them years ago at the Eastern Idaho State Fair, and — yet again — I talked about how a ticket to see Charlie Daniels and Travis Tritt together in one night at the EISF was one of the most rocking live shows I’ve ever seen.

I’ve featured Travis Tritt in one of my country playlists before.  So guess who I’m featuring today?

English: Charlie Daniels - Taken at the Countr...
English: Charlie Daniels – Taken at the Country Fever Festival in Pryor, Oklahoma 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Where do I begin with Charlie, aside from the fact that any cowboy hat I’ve ever owned — dating back to my high school days — has been shaped as much as possible like one that Charlie himself would wear?  The last two hats I’ve gotten, straw and felt, have been custom-shaped by a true hat-shaping artist.  When he wanted to know how I wanted them to look, I said two words:  “Charlie Daniels.”  He went right to work.

I could also tell about how, when I was a country music disc jockey in my late teens, I used to love to play Charlie’s songs … even if some of them weren’t on the radio station’s “approved list.”  The management might not have approved, but I know from calls that I’d get from listeners that they did.

Yeah, I was a bit of a rebel back then.  Maybe a bit like Charlie himself.

My music playlist for today (August 6, 2012 edition)

My last newspaper job had one benefit that I definitely appreciated.  Located in the town that hosts the Eastern Idaho State Fair, I could be guaranteed of seeing big-name music acts up to three nights every year.  All I needed to get through the gate and wander up to the stage to take photos was a press pass and a camera.

I saw some great shows that way.  I could try to reel off a list of names of performers that I saw there through several years of having that being part of my job duties, but I’m sure I’d forget a couple of them.

There were some performers that were easier to remember than others.  Charlie Daniels and Travis Tritt put on one of the best single nights for a concert together that I can recall seeing in person.  They had those fairgrounds rockin’.  Alabama rocked quite a bit too.  Crystal Gayle’s hair was “all that,” and her voice … sweet.  Ray Stevens was funny.  Vince Gill was one fine guitar picker.  Diamond Rio had a great sound.  The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, the Oak Ridge Boys, Tanya Tucker … on and on the list goes.  Sawyer Brown sounded great together as well, and lead singer Mark Miller sure did know how to get around the stage.

Best of Sawyer Brown
Best of Sawyer Brown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yeah, Mark Miller could do some boot-scootin’ kind of boogiein’.

As I was searching the web trying to recall around what year it was that I saw Sawyer Brown at the fair (it was 1989), I was reminded of a charitable thing that the band did that year.  One of the local high schools had put on a fundraising show and brought in a big band with proceeds going toward Students Against Drunk Drivers (SADD).  The school’s student body president signed a contract making him personally liable for any financial responsibilities, such as damages or paying off people for any expenses incurred.

There were some damages, there was a big bar bill, and the SADD concert fell way short of budget.  The student body president was left with a debt no high school senior could pay off.  It got some national publicity.

Sawyer Brown saw that and decided to donate $1 for every ticket sold for its show at the fair that year to go toward the student’s debt from the SADD show, presenting the student body president with a check for $10,000 the night they performed to cover the debt left to him.

That was cool.

My music playlist for today (July 30, 2012 edition)

Continuing with “Django week,” there was one country music legend who, when asked to name the 10 most influential guitarists of the 20th century, put Django Reinhardt at the top of the list, and he placed himself fifth.

A Session with Chet Atkins
A Session with Chet Atkins (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That was Chet Atkins.

Some people might think that Atkins placing himself that high might have been a display of ego.  I’d say it’s more a sign of self-confidence, knowing the kind of influence you’ve had when it comes to your craft throughout your career.

There are few who could argue that Chet Atkins didn’t deserve to be ranked that high … at least anyone who was really paying attention to what Chet was doing when he played.  He didn’t just play country.  He could handle jazz and classical styles as well.  In fact, he was at times criticized for crossing those “musical boundaries” a bit too much.

Maybe that criticism came more from jealousy that Atkins could do it so well, so effortlessly.

But it was country music where Chet’s signature sound was born, and it’s there that it will always remain.