Saturday, February 27, 2010

First Robin of Spring

To some people, the ground hog seeing it's own shadow is a sign of spring (which I think is stupid) To me, seeing the first robin of year is the true sign of spring coming. The robins around here migrate south for the winter. Guess what? I saw three of them today! YAY!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tom Petty to Headline Summerfest!

I just heard about this a few moments ago! Legendary rockers Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, along with special guests ZZ Top are to headline Summerfest this year! That's awesome news! I remember seeing them there in '93 or '94, by chance. Yeah-some guys walked up to us and asked if we wanted to go see Tom Petty. We said, "Sure, why not?" They gave us some wristbands and we got into the Marcus Ampitheatre for FREE! That show ROCKED! Talk about a lucky day!

Never saw ZZ Top though. This ought to be a good show!

Very Persistant Cat

No audio in this video...I swear this cat has a thing for uniforms and handcuffs!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tickling the Ivorys

Time and time again, I get various keyboard and piano solos going through my head. Some of this stuff are really great! Here is a list of some of my favorite keyboard players. It's in all random order.

Rick Wakeman (Yes) This guys got a shitload of keyboards! This guy is responsible for bringing color and flavor to Yes. He is probably the most respected player in the business! Even though his "Six Wives of Henry VIII" is considered his masterpiece, his solo on "Close to the Edge" comes to my mind more often.

Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) This guy is the master of keyboards! ELP is one of the few bands out there without a "true" guitar player, making his keys the lead instrument. How about that intro to "Karn Evil 9"?

Ray Manzarek (The Doors) This jazz influenced keyboardist provided the distinct sound for the Doors. I just love throwing the vinyl on during a thunderstorm and listen to that solo on "Riders on the Storm" climax! Awesome!

Rick Davies (Supertramp) Supertramp is a very unique band. Having two keybooardists, a sax player, bassist, and a drummer, this definately different from the rest. The triple assault on the ivorys on "Child of Vision" leaves my head swirling for days!

Richard Wright (Pink Floyd) This guy is this the musical landscape for Pink Floyd. C'mon now, "Us and Them" May he rest in peace...

John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) Everybody knows about the prowless of Plant, Page and Bonzo. JPJ is often regonized as the goldfish of Zeppelin, What a shame! Even though tunes like "Trampled Under Foot" and "All My Love" are awesome, No Quarter is his masterpiece! The 1973 version on "The Song Remains the Same Movie" is excellent, but be sure to check out the super epic length versions from 1975 and 1977!

Jon Lord (Deep Purple) His kick ass, Hammond pushing organ solos blow my mind! Can anybody ever get enough of his solo on "Highway Star?"

Bobby Whitlock (Derek and the Dominoes) I could listen to the ending solo on "Layla" over and over. Brings back many memories...

I could go on and on about other keyboard players like Tony Carey from Rainbow, Roy Bitten's solo on "Thunder Road", Steve Winwood's work on "Well All Right", and Bruce Hornsby. This blog is taking me a bit long to write so feel free add on to what you like!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Counting Crows

Sorry that I haven't been blogging so much lately. I been having some personal issues dealing with a horrible tragedy within my family that happened over the weekend. When tragedy strikes, I tend to think about about situations as a whole. Many things crossed my mind-relationships, justice, the truth, and many other things....

Thank God for a special friend of mine who listens. This person has got me into a Counting Crows frame of mind. So today, I've been playing my Live from Chicago 7/4/2004 tape and it brought back some great memories. Memories of a much simpler and happier time.

I wasn't planning to do review on this show, but I'll tell you, it's one of my better concerts in my collection! I remember recording this concert on a chilly October night when my stereo wouldn't pick up the reception on the broadcast. So I set up my boombox outside by the garage and stuck a blank tape in. The results were MUCH better expected! Not only I was chilled to the bone and buzzed with beer, I walked away with a killer recording! The improvisions were awesome! It may have been a rebroadcast, but it was worth it!

Years later, I was telling my special friend about this show and I played it. We shared our special moment together. I'll never forget it.....

To my special friend, THANK YOU!!!

: Rain King* > Raining in Baltimore* > Rain King*, Mrs. Potter's Lullaby, Mr. Jones, Big Yellow Taxi, Daylight Fading, Accidentally In Love, Four White Stallions, Omaha, Miami, Anna Begins, A Long December, Hard Candy, Sullivan Street, Hanginaround^, E: Holiday In Spain

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lynyrd Skynyrd Knebworth Festival Stevenage,England 8/21/1976

I absolutely love southern rock! Bands like the Allman Brothers, the Black Crowes, Molly Hatchet, .38 Special, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, Marshall Tucker Band, get the idea, ROCK! I don't what is, but the blues boogie with hard driven guitar solos really get me going!

Well, this bootleg is no exception! Recorded live in 1976, during the height of their career. The good ol' boys from the south pull off a blistering show from the get go and never let up! They start the show with "Working for the MCA" and plow non-stop through songs like "I Ain't the One", "Saturday Night Special", "Gimme Three Steps" and course, FREEBIRD! The triple axe guitar threat of Allen Collins, Gary Rossington, and newcomer Steve Gaines provided a deadlt assault on the senses! Mad hatter Leon Wilkeson got down with a thunderous bass. Keeping excellent rythym, Artimus Pyle pounded away on the skins. Billy Powell just slayed with his piano. The late and great bare footed singer Ronnie Van Zant provided the voice of the south.

Unfortunately, this line up wouldn't last. On Thursday, October 20, 1977, just three days after the release of Street Survivors and five shows into their most successful headlining tour to date, Lynyrd Skynyrd's chartered plane ran out of fuel near the end of their flight from Greenville, South_Carolina, where they had just performed at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium to Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Though the pilots attempted an emergency landing on a small airstrip, the plane crashed in a forest in Gillsburg, Mississippi. Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray were all killed on impact; the other bandmembers suffered serious injuries. The band dissolved shortly after.

The setlist as it appears on my tape:
Working for the MCA
I Ain't the One
Saturday Night Special
What's Your Name
Whiskey Rock-a-Roller
Travellin' Man
Gimme Three Steps
Gimme Back My Bullets
Cry for the Bad Man
Call Me the Breeze
T for Texas
Sweet Home Alabama

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I May Go....

There is a concert out there that I'm stoked about going to. It's Eric Clapton's Third Annual Crossroads Guitar Festival. This year it is being held at Toyota Park in Chicago. That's a good two hour drive south from where I live. This year's line-up is incredible! The Allman Brothers Band, ZZ-Top, Robert Cray, Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Steve Winwood, Robert Randolph, and others! This all day event would start at 10:00 a.m. and ends in God knows what time. This should ought to be a killer concert!

The downside about going is the ticket prices start at $100. That is not including the fees, parking, and merchandise. It's a little steep for me, seeing I'm not used to paying for that much for tickets. It's a once in a lifetime event though. Another problem is who to go to the show with. My son is not too hip about going to a stadium sized concert featuring blues rockers. He's more into the heavy metal thing. Oh well, I'll figure that out later.

Here's a complete line up for the show:

  • Allman Brothers Band
  • BB King
  • Bert Jansch
  • Buddy Guy
  • David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos
  • Doyle Bramhall II
  • Earl Klugh
  • Eric Clapton
  • Gary Clark Jr.
  • Hubert Sumlin
  • James Burton
  • Jeff Beck
  • Jimmie Vaughan
  • Joao Gilberto
  • Joe Bonamassa
  • John Mayer
  • John Renbourn
  • Keb Mo
  • Pino Daniele
  • Robert Cray
  • Robert Randolph
  • Sheryl Crow
  • Sonny Landreth
  • Steve Winwood
  • Vince Gill
  • ZZ Top

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dogs and Cats

For pet lovers out there, I got this in an e-mail today. I thought is was funny...

Dear Dogs and Cats: The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack.. Racing me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort, however. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years - canine/feline attendance is not required.

The proper order for kissing is: Kiss me first, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough.

Finally, in fairness, dear pets, I have posted the following message on the front door:


(1) They live here. You don't.
(2) If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. That's why they call it 'fur'-niture.
(3) I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
(4) To you, they are animals. To me, they are adopted sons/daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don't speak clearly.

Remember, dogs and cats are better than kids because they:
(1) eat less,
(2) don't ask for money all the time,
(3) are easier to train,
(4) normally come when called,
(5) never ask to drive the car,
(6) don't smoke or drink,
(7) don't want to wear your clothes,
(8) don't have to buy the latest fashions,
(9) don't need a gazillion dollars for college and
(10) if they get pregnant, you can sell their children ...

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Road Home

In 1995, Heart released a live album of all acoustic material. Recorded live in a Seattle club, this revamped line-up offers some very different versions of some of the the most popular Heart songs. Even though some of the mandatory Heart songs like "Dog and Butterfly", "These Dreams" and "Alone" and are there, the rockers like "Barracuda" and "Straight On" are given special treatment. "Crazy On You" was given a special twist to it! There are new songs in there as well, like the title track and " (Up On) Cherry Blossom Road"

One might think this is just another Heart album, think again! To me, it's the best work since their heyday in the '7o's. Even though vocalist Ann Wilson doesn't have the dynamic range she had back them, she can still belt out the vocals! Her younger sister Nancy, plays guitar good as ever pulling off a killer mandolin solo in "The Dream of the Archer" Original guitarist/keyboard Howard Leese still plays the leads with style. Newcomers bassist Fernando Saunders and drummer Denny Fongheiser fill the mold perfectly. And yes, this album was produced by the legendary Led Zeppelin bass player, John Paul Jones! (I think he may have played on a few tracks)

On a personal note, I'm a huge fan of Heart! I absolutely love their first five albums. I thought the next two-"Passionworks" and "Private Audition' were substandard. Even though some of the'8o's stuff was great, I felt is was a bit too commercialized. Yes, I saw Heart twice at Summerfest. The first time in 2007 and a second (a better and more memberable show) last summer.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rainbow Rising

Little did they know, at the time, they had a supergroup on their hands! Rainbow's second album, released in 1976, displays the talents of guitarist Ritchie Blackmore from Deep Purple and Ronnie James Dio from Elf. (Dio later left to join Black Sabbath and form his own band, Dio) Blackmore also hired drummer great- Cozy Powell (Jeff Beck Group, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath), keyboard wizard- Tony Carey (Planet P Project, solo) and bassist Jimmy Bain (Dio) These guys were a force to to recognized! In my opinion, this is the best line-up for Rainbow.

Even though the first side of the album is great, the two epic length songs on the second side are album's heart. The first one, "Stargazer" recorded with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, is about a wizard forcing slaves to build a tower. This song has the most beautiful vocal work that I've heard from Dio. I could just imagine the wizard on the tower!

The other song is "A Light in the Black". This rythym heavy tune features some kick ass guitar/keyboard interplay. It's a tune that'll get your feet stomping! Anyways, it's not just another heavy metal album to ignore....

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More Snow!

I know... the ground hog said six more weeks of winter. Supposed to get 7-14 inches tonight with blizzard conditions. Damn.

Monday, February 8, 2010

When Should They Retire?

Ever wonder when a musician had ought to retire? The sub-par performance of The Who's show at the Super Bowl has got me thinking. As some of favorite classic rock performers are in their sixties, I have noticed their voice ranges have diminished and are moving slower on stage. Thinking about it, some of these musicians are almost my Dad's age. Imagine this, your father or your grandfather strutting around stage in tight leather pants. No Thanks!

No discredit to any musician out there, I understand the passion for music that flow through the veins. Some of these guys are still making excellent music using better wisdom and a broader range of styles. That's what music is all about-to create and explore! Yet, there are some rockers out there that are still spinning their wheels- rehashing their hits year after year. The questions still remain. How long are these guys going to keep it up? Will they continue to create good music? Can they still perform? Are you willing to shell out the big dollar to see your favorite rocker come on stage in a wheelchair?

What are your thoughts about this?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl XLIV

As I predicted, the New Orleans Saints won their first Super Bowl ever! They beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-i4 in this battle of greats. It sure was a good game! During the first quarter, I thought the Colts were going to take the game. From the second quarter on, it was the Saints' game. Quarterback, Drew Brees, threw a good game and won the MVP award.

This year's commercials were especially funny. It was delight to hear my son laugh at them. I really liked the Bud Light and the Doritos commercials. The Kiss/Dr.Pepper one gave me a big smile.

At halftime, The Who put out a decent show. Although they looked old, vocalist Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townsend, moved gracefully. Pete Townsend did a few of his famous "windmills" (My son counted 28) I really liked the stage set up and I thought the lasers were so cool! They played abbreviated versions of "Pinball Wizard", "Baba O'Riley", "Who Are You", "Tommy, Can You Hear Me?", and "Won't Get Fooled Again." Not bad for a bunch old geezers...

What are your thoughts of the game?

Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Milwaukee, WI 5/1/1995

Can anybody withstand another bootleg post about Zeppelin? I hope so, I've got way too much stuff on them. This one comes with some good stories.

I had originally planned on going to this show at the Bradley Center. I didn't go because I had to work and couldn't get off early. I arrived at the ticket place an hour late only to find out that it was sold out. BUMMER! Dejected, as I drove away, I heard over the radio announcements of tickets going on sale for the Chicago shows. YES! I got the tickets the following week and saw them at the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago, two days before this one.

The setlist between both shows were similar, so I'll tell you about my show. It was excellent, perhaps, one of he best concerts that I have ever been to! The band opened up with a rousing version of The Wanton Song and played through tunes like "Bring It On Home" , "Ramble On", and "Thank You" The band-Micheal Lee, on the drums, almost matched John Bonham note for note. Plant's son-in-law, Charlie Jones, provided a good and solid bass. The Cure's guitarist Porl Thompson held an excellent rhythm for Jimmy Page.

The surprises kept coming! Robert Plant blew away David "Coverversion's" "Shake My Tree" (from the Coverdale/Page album) proving that you can imitate Robert, but you can't beat the real thing! That song was complete with a theramin solo! The spaced out version of the Cure's "Lullaby" was a treat! Jimmy Page pulled out his famous double neck to play "The Song Remains the Same". Robert Plant sang The Doors' "break On Through" in his "Calling to You" medley.

The band played with a backdrop of a symphony orchestra and the Egyptian Ensemble. Tunes like "No Quarter", "Friends", and "Since I've Been Loving You" proved to me that Zeppelin was more just amps cranked up to 11. The arrangements and the feel of the songs are what moves me. Heck, "Kashmir" had a violin solo in it and it ROCKED!

I left the show feeling extremely satified that this is probably the closest I'll ever get to see Zeppelin. (unless a reunion were to ever to take place) It still remains one of best concerts that I've been to....

The set list
The Wanton Song
Bring It On Home
Ramble On
Thank You
Shake My Tree
No Quarter
Gallows Pole
Hurdy Gurdy Solo
When the Levee Breaks
Hey,Hey What Can I Do
The Song Remains the Same
Since I've Been Loving You
Calling to You
includes Break on Through/Dazed and Confused
Four Sticks
In the Evening
Black Dog

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Some Lyrics Going Through My Head....

My mind is often like a jukebox. I always got some song going through my head in any given moment. Here's what been going through my head lately.

Summer's going fast, nights growing colder
Children growing up, old friends growing older
Freeze this moment a little bit longer
Make each impression a little bit stronger
Experience slips away
Experience slips away...
The innocence slips away


Reflected light
To another's sight
And the moon tells a lover's story

My borrowed face
And my third hand grace
Only reflect your glory

You're still out of reach
Form a dream to rise to


I don't need nobody to tell me the reason why
If I love only you baby I'll be satisfied
You know I'll be satisfied
Because because because you satisfy my love

Can anybody guess these songs?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ragged Glory

There is no musician out there that has a more of a distinguished career as Neil Young. This Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has offered so music in the 50 years that he has been rockin'. He started his career in Canada with the Mynah Birds before moving to California. He spent the late sixties and the early seventies with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, & Nash before going solo. So hard to pigeon toe him any music category. The dude had played acoustic folk, country rock, rockabilly, blues, electronica, grunge, and so forth. Often with very personal songs and polictical views. The unpredictability of this guy is what makes him so great!

This week's review is on his Ragged Glory album. This 1990 release with his long time band, Crazy Horse is totally jammin' It's one of my favs! These guys take it to the limit, showing why Neil Young is the "Godfather of Grunge"! Using an overdose of the Fuzzbox on their guitars, tunes like "Love and Only Love" and "Love to Burn" would get you jamming away the air guitar for at least 10 minutes (each tune) Moniker tune "Mansion on the Hill" rocks! "Fuckin' Up" has been covered and idolized by fellow grunge rockers Pearl Jam.

This whole album is great! Even though Neil Young has got a big handfull of classic albums, I recommend adding this one in to your collection.

Neil Young - Fuckin Up
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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Groundhog Day

I saw it today on the Weather Channel that Punxsutawney Phil got yanked out of his hole and announced six more weeks of winter. YUCK! I know this is all a myth, but I really can do without winter. I really do without bundling up in layers of clothes just to scrape my car of the snow and ice, warm it up and drive it 25 mph just to go to the store. I really do without breaking my back shoveling and dancing on ice. I really do without seeing another snowflake!

I had visited Southern California last summer and found the climate to be perfect for me. I like it HOT! I'd give anything to live in a sub tropical climate with palm trees and sandy beaches. Oh, well...back to reality.

I'm thankful for mild winter that we are having. It only has snowed about three times (two inches today) and the temperatures never got lower than seven degrees this year. But we have six more weeks of winter. Now excuse me while I get a shotgun and blast the oversized rodent...

Monday, February 1, 2010

JTI Christmas Party

Sorry a little late in posting this folks! Been kinda busy... Last Saturday night, the JT Irregulars proudly had their second Christmas Party. This year was a low key affair. Only OrbsCorbs, kkdither, Lizardmom, SER, and myself made it. The low turn out didn't deter our fun. We all brought some dishes to pass. Beejay had some honeybells sent to us from Florida. Lizardmom made some excellent beef and barley soup! We enjoyed some good conversation and had a few laughs. It was great being among some good friends!