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New Countrytime musikal lemonade revu: Sylvia “Second Bloom – The Hits Re-Imagined”

“I’d never heard of her previously, apparently these songs were originally released three decades ago!  Wow, they are still fresh and relevant.  From the first orchestral notes of the album, “Drifter” paints a story…”

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June 8, 2018 saw the reincarnation and rejuvenation of ten tunes by Country/Pop and Adult Contemporary singer, Sylvia, entitled “Second Bloom – The Hits Re-Imagined” [Red Pony Records RPR-1104].  Since that date, she’s been holding court at Country music conventions and hosting radio shows! All grown up now since her early 1980s debuts of these tunes, Sylvia (Hutton) croons often about romantic heartbreak.

I’d never heard of her previously, apparently these songs were originally released three decades ago!  Wow, they are still fresh and relevant.  From the first orchestral notes of the album, “Drifter” paints a story that could be a cowboy plains rider or old USA western-style movie – Pause! “Country & Western” is what people used to call this music! images

The proof is on track three, when she tells her friend, “Tumbleweed”, “you live in a cowboy’s dream…”. Initially sounding like a yodel, that track grew on me!

Slightly sad but not depressing, Sylvia sings about the quirks in romantic relationships from a woman’s perspective; often unrequited with cheatin’ involved like on “Nobody”, a cute play on the word, and often-used tactic by the writers.  I can hear why these were hits – and they still are!

Sylvia’s selections are delivered in typical blunt Country music style,but without the raw edges and always with a lesson. You get ten songs, 70% of which are instant tune wedgies and 60% penned by the duo of Fleming and Morgan.   718oyIXF2kL._SX522_

I dig the fiddle and arrangement on “Fallin’ In Love”!  I like how she handles the boyfriend assuming the posture of “oh she’s just a friend” on “Like Nothing Ever Happened”and the catchy little ditty, “Snapshot”, track eight, which is a different kind of “hold it, say cheese…” as in “caught ya cheatin’!” This version is more mature-sounding that the 1983 original, which had a bubblegum feel to it.  Its “you’re busted, Dude” story-line and playful melody will entrance you instantly! No wonder that the song originally rose to #5 with a bullet from her third album.

“Sweet yesterday” is almost acapella at times and showcases her perfect pitch.  Later, you get a wee taste of easy Caribbean island flavor on “I love You By Heart”.

Professional, crisp and clearly enunciated polished singing, Sylvia is a natural with excellent phrasing like on “Cry Just A Little” which begins with a nice acoustic guitar intro of a few licks. How can we not love this music?

Finally, there once was only one “Sylvia” in my musical life, the late Ms. Robinson, head of Englewood, New Jersey’s R&B label, All Platinum (“Pillowtalk”).  Now, I am happy to add another. Therefore, unequivocally I give this four-out-of-five western boots to “Second Bloom” and you should add it to your collection.   ls

Compare the “blooms” for yourself and watch for any new videos of the re-imagined…

 

and the “Second Bloom” version

Check out her website!  www.SylviaMusic.com  and as always, check in with my mothership www.achilliad.wordpress.com    Thank you and please leave comments.

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Southern Halo, the sequel: “Just Like In The Movies”

 

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The sister trio who I wrote about in 2016, Southern Halo [Southern Halo Music] , is back with their sophomore effort, “Just Like In The Movies”.   Sibling in-unison harmonies fall into the southern rock, indie and country pop categories, .

Flying high on stages and in-studio, the trio consists of Natalia {“Nata”) on guitar/lead vocals, Hannah on bass and  “Tinka” who really bangs-out the beat on those drums –She is hard workin‘! (Reminds me of  the late John “Jabo” Starks of the James Brown’s band! lol)

All of the lyrics are interesting, true-to-life and written against the prism of them having grown up in Mississippi, while listening to blues, rock and country stylings, which has translated into an initial regional appeal-gone-slightly international.  This is especially accurate on “Anything Is Possible”, which was the first single released.

For best songs, “Tom Girl” is recommended because of its movin’ tempo; if only it had a fade ending like the only cut which does, “Notice Me”, also a standout. Cold endings mostly leave me…”cold”.

Eldest lead sister, Natalia Morris says of the recording, “the most important thing is that it’s a concept album. All of these songs are like pieces of a puzzle that all fit together”. That concept is their fantasy world, born of a dream that they have a successful and long musical career, which may happen, “Just Like In The Movies” has fourteen songs and there is even a title song to go with their “Southern Halo” theme on track one.

I prefer to listen to a couple of these tunes out of the total context for best enjoyment – otherwise it became a bit trite.

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Personally, their sound is not my cup of tea but I appreciate their family-affair effort, which isn’t always easy in life.  Their sound doesn’t groove with my multi-format disc jockey mind – and I dig a lot of country and blues music – it may be that it is too lovely, and I like “bad” girls. Or maybe this is more the “musical” genre of stage.   Regardless, their “movie” is “G”-rated and I prefer at least a “PG’ or an “R”.  My inner “Siskel and Ebert” likes more drama in its cinema and rates the “movie” with two-and-a-half stars. TWO-AND-A-HALF-rating

Having said that, they will likely be the next number one sensation, lol

 

 

 

[Check out my Mothership blog for book reviews and other commentary/random bachelor diary notes and more at https://achilliad.wordpress.com/  ]

 

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Who Sang That?!

Its a game I play in my musical DJ mind as songs randomly “play” at any time of the night or day.

So last night as I lay,

In bed trying to fall asleep.

The light was off and the room darkest, when suddenly I heard, “And my feet begin to crumble…”  and couldn’t remember most of the rest except, “And that’s the way, that’s the way its meant to be/Our love will never die…”  Where’d that come from?  I asked myself and then began to play the game, “Who sang that!?”

Trini Lopez came to mind first because I could “hear” the Spanish guitar and rhythms. Often I amaze myself with the accuracy with which I remember blasts-from-the-past!  I knew this song was a hit on Top 40 radio back in my teen days.  Not wanting to get up and re-fire up the computer, I turned on my night light and scribbled what I remembered onto a sticky note pad.

Today, while researching something else on YouTube, it came back to me and I grabbed that note to see if I’d won my contest; went to Ask.com and just typed into the search field, “my feet begin to crumble” and “viola!”, I see the name Eddie Rambeau.  (“Wa,wa waaa”)   Hmmm, that doesn’t look or sound familiar, but I played the video and yes, it’s that song!  And the title?  I could have never guessed in a million tries, “Concrete And Clay”.

I would write more background on Eddie and this record, but this video gives it all to you first-hand.  Click on the YouTube logo in the lower right-hand corner for more 411 from the poster of this legendary tune.  With that, please Listen, Read and En-joy….

 

 

Do you remember it?

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The Return of Chaka…

“I’ve followed her career since the ’70s when I was a baby DJ in college.  She even sat on my lap backstage in the dressing room of The Blue Note jazz club in New York City one evening…”

One of my favorite bartenders, who knows I like to write about music from time-to-time, shared with me that he’d recently seen Chaka Khan during a trip to a concert in Florida! Not that she ever went anywhere in my musical mind.  That is especially good to hear since last I heard, rumor had it that she had gone to dry-out in “rehab” or something like that.

I consider her a friendly acquaintance and kindred spirit, since we are of the same age and I’ve followed her career since the ’70s when I was a baby DJ in college.  She even sat on my lap backstage in the dressing room of The Blue Note jazz club in New York City one evening back in the early 1990s, as I was trying to get an interview with her.  She called me “cute”, like a royal Queen would compliment a young squire she might want to toy with and signed my copy of the “Rufusized” album. The late Natalie Cole was also in the room as well as Miki Howard.  One of my all time favorite, wall of fame nights.

It’s strange how I think of songs with my jukebox/DJ mind and then hear about or see that recording artist soon thereafter – if only I could perfect that talent with lottery game numbers!  I’d been thinking of this favorite tune from (what I call) “The Sweet Thing” album recently, “Little Boy Blue” playing in my mind.  Here are the lyrics:

“Time comes down
You got to take it on yourself
You got to give up your past
You got to give up what came last
World goes round
You got to leave it all behind
You got defeated at last

Little boy blue
With the feelin’ in your soul and the gypsy in your eyes
Little boy blue
You got to leave this song behind as it passes by

Yeah, yeah
Life goes on
You got to catch it if you can
You must believe it will last
You can’t remember what went past
Tide comes in

This fog will surely roll away
It can’t leave, it will stay

Little boy blue
Tootin’ on your coke and takin’ a toke
In a lazy haze
Little boy blue
Got to leave this song behind as it passes by”

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Chaka was appearing with The Roots apparently.  This is great news and I pray our paths cross again.

What is/are your favorite song[s] from the Rufus featuring Chaka Khan or Chaka Khan as a solo singer era?  Let us know in the “Leave a reply” box please.

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Fave Recording Artists Who Passed in 2017

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The thing about when musicians, singers and recording artists pass away to join that grand band in the heavens is, we mortals left behind can continue to hear them on our vinyl, CD, tape or virtually forever.

Having said that, the following are my notables who I will miss seeing “live” as they left the physical world in two-thousand and seventeen:

 

Chuck Berry – the rock and roll pioneer who I blogged about on the Mothership, www.achilliad.wordpress.com right after it happened.

Fats Domino – American blues pioneer and legend

Al Jarreau – not a personal favorite (his style distracted me) but he was widely popular and always a good request to play on my early Top 40 radio shows.

Mel Tillis – The Country music legend

Gregg Allman – backbone of The Allman Brothers, one of my best rock bands of all times

J. (Warren) Geils, Jr. – of the J. Geils Band, another fantastic rock group.

Tom Petty – What can I say about this favorite who was introduced to me during my early years as a Top 40 radio DJ; Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.  The first record I played by them on WFTQ AM, Worcester, Massachusetts was “Don’t Do Me Like That”, followed by the classic, “Refugee”.  Sad irony is that he died during the same hours of that tragic and horrific Las Vegas concert massacre on October 1st.

Joni Sledge – I think the oldest of the hit family group, Sister Sledge (Atlantic Records), one of my all-time favorite female aggregation. In spite of the commercial success and longevity of “We Are Family”, my favorite Sister Sledge songs are the ballad, “How Can I Believe”? and the Chic-produced (Nile Rogers, et al) “Lost In Music”.

Cuba Gooding, Sr. – Last, but not least on this list, best known as the lead singer of the R&B smash hit group, The Main Ingredient.  After I first interviewed him at Manhattan’s Sweetwater’s, he became a friend and hang-out partner at bars and after-hours clubs we frequented back in the 1980s and 1990s. I will write more extensively about him here, once I am reunited with my music library collection.  We have “stories”!  A great guy who I am saddened to learned died where he did. ‘Nuff said 4 now.

 

This is not, by any means, the whole list, but just a few who came to my jukebox-like mind yesterday, New year’s Eve.  Who are your favorite performers who we lost in 2017?  Tell us in “comments”, please.

Happy Musikal New Year, from KratesfullO’Jointz Musik!

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Janey Street, “In My Own Skin”

“Janey doesn’t look especially happy on this album cover.  Ummm… So I think I will get under her “skin” to find our why.  Oh!  A musical album again!!

Nashville, Tennessee – August 31, 2017 Naphtali Jimi – Freelance Writer

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Ok, gang…“let’s listen!…”

This twenty-seventeen summer was not a bummer because Janey “Blues” Street dropped some coolness from within, on an album entitled, “In My Own Skin”.  Fresh off her award-winning tour and being voted LA Music Critic’s award “Best Rock, Best CD and an Icon Award in Hollywood, Smooth and easy Janey unabashedly continues to croon and apply a tender touch to her guitar, like she always does, with this fresh set about life, love, sex and music.  I have listened to this CD often during my car travels this summer and apologize for the late write-up, which, however,  is just in time for some introspective, romantic, Autumn leaves listening. Its never too late for nice music.

Janey Street’s latest album is like when you visit a friend’ house to grill and chill many a tasty feast, from seafood to tasty meats.  With just the right spice, a beverage and deep flavors, you will know that Ms. Street can be depended upon to deliver musically.  Upon initial listen, frankly I was underwhelmed until I heard cut number eleven, “Dignity”, with its hip-hop bridge, “Tryin’ to work a 9 to 5 to make a livin’/bills just keep on coming, they keep takin’ with no givin’…” then and there I put the brakes on, as the hairs on my own epidermis stood up.  I had to revisit the album, to hear what I had previously missed.

My ears found that, track two, “When You Are Loved” is the most appealing and heartfelt song on this album.  It brought tears to my lonely eyes several times because of its relatability.  Many hurting humans can relate to it and it would even garner today’s radio program directors’ airplay as the first single, IMO.

The whining, “woooo”, bluesy organ on “Guilty Pleasures” and her Marvin Gaye-ish over-dubbing vamp-to-cold ending vocals make this tune my second favorite one. “Undone” is UNder the radar, not a cover of The Guess Who, (although I wish it were) and the most blusey-County music-leaning tune on the album.      IMG_1732

No track is like another one on this, her sophomore album with Blue Elan, which includes this neat song lyric insert to the right!  There is something for almost everyone. The most fun tune is one from her distant past, Queens, New York City roots entitled, “Under the Clock”. Compare the first and recent videos about it.

Even more entertaining to my double entendre` radio DJ mind from the pre-corporate radio daze, are a few songs like “Sex Is Easy, But Love Is Hard”, “Wrap My Mind Around You” (really?) and “I Wanna Love You Deep”, all of which are getting my brains hard.  I can rework all of those lyrics amusingly, in a sexual healing heartbeat! (towel needed) Get some, Janey!

Bottom Line: Ms. Janey Street can leave a musical legacy like Janis Joplin, given proper promotion and support by great, pro-active public relations, an out-of-the-box thinking label, consistent touring and supportive mass media. Otherwise, her efforts may go down like track nine, “Wreckage”, which is not what I want to see. Therefore, I bestow three-and-a-half out of five, skinny stars for this album.  3-and-one-half-star-rating

We would have liked to have seen her also on this 2017 version for a grownup comparison! Alas…

Please leave your opinions in the “comments” box. Thank you for reading and remember to check in with “the Mothership” at www.achilliad.wordpress.com

“Gimme That Wine” (I found this bottle, what kind?)

When I heard this little ditty that I’d never heard previously today on Russian radio, Davidzon WSNR 620AM http://www.davidzonradio.com/    on my way to work, I lol as a wine connoisseur.   I thought it was by some old black American blues dude, until I looked it up on youtube!

My wife got tired of me runnin ’round
So she tried to keep me home
Well, she broke my nose and hid my clothes
But I continued to roam
Then she finally hit my weak spot
Threatened to throw my bottle out
Well, from the basement to the rooftop
Everybody could hear me shout…

Chorus: Gimme that wine (Unhand that bottle) (3 times)
‘Cause I can’t cut loose without my juice
Gotta have hot lucy when I go walkin’ y’know

Well, one day while crossin’ the avenue
A big car knocked me down
While I was stretched out tyin’ up traffic
And crowds came from blocks around
Now the po-lice were searchin’ my pockets
Before they sent me to the funeral parlor
But when one o’ those cops took my bottle
Jack, I jumped straight up
And commenced to holler

Chorus: Gimme that wine (Unhand that bottle) (3 times)
‘Cause I can’t get well without Muscatel
I only drink for medicinal purposes anyway

Well, now, one real dark and dreary night
As I was staggerin’ home to bed
Well, a bandit jumped from the shadows
And put a blackjack ‘side my head
That cat took my watch, my ring, my money
And I didn’t make a sound
But when he reached an’ got my bottle
You could hear me for blocks around

Chorus: Gimme that wine (Unhand that bottle) (3 times)
Beat my head outta shape, but leave my grape
Watch, ring and money ain’t nothin’ but don mess with my wine, Jim

Well one day my house caught fire
While I was layin’ down sleepin’ off a nap
An’ when I woke up everything was burnin’
With a pop an’ a crackle an’ a snap
Now the fireman chopped up my TV set
And tore my apartment apart
But when he raised his axe to my bottle
I screamed with all my heart…

Chorus: Gimme that wine (Unhand that bottle) (3 times)
So I can drink one toast before I roast
No sense goin’ out half baked, Might as well be Alll tore up

You can take all those Hollywood glamor girls
Lana Turner, Rita Hayworth Bridget Bardot, an’ Lucille Ball
And all them chicks ‘n line ’em upside the wall
Put a gigantic jug beside ’em
Tell me to take my choice
Well, there’d be no doubt which one I chose
The minute I raised my voice

Chorus: Gimme that wine (Unhand that bottle) (3 times)
Well those chicks look fine, but I love my wine

Now some folks like money
Some like to dance and dine
But I’ll be happy
If you give me that wine
Gimme that wine (unhand that bottle)”

I laughed out loud several times and vowed to find it.  From the CBS Collection of Jazz Masterpieces, several of the vinyl albums of which are in my library, you gotta get this one!   Impromptu and spontaneous props.

Triple Confunkshun! “Loves Train” Then and Thereafter Version

I did not click upon a LinkedIN message to my email entitled “Con#Linkedinpuoi”; didn’t look like something I wanted to learn about.  Yet, simultaneously, reading the letters “Con”  reminded me of one of my favorite music bands of all times, Confunkshun! Can you see why?  It was the “Con” thing.  Immediately, I went to YouTube to hear them again – it has been a while – and my/their classic slow jam, “Loves Train”.

Original Soul Train:

I want to show you three versions of this favorite song that only time has changed from Soul Train to the best one I have on vinyl.  If you’ve never sung along to this great song, here are the words:

Warm night, can’t sleep
Too hurt, too weak
Gotta call her up
Dial that, number, no one, answers
Till it’s two o’clock
And if by chance, you let me come over
Out on the street, I want to see ya baby
And if by chance you let me just hold ya
I’m down on my knee, I wanna please ya baby, I
[I’ll be your righteous lover!]
She said ‘sugar, honey, darlin’
I really wanna see ya too
It’s just that someone’s, over, and baby
I really wanna be with chu’
But if by chance you let me just hold ya
I’m calling I’m free, I wanna see ya baby
When in need you said you would be here
And you hold the key
To my very being baby and I
[I love you, baby]
If you are that special lover
And love keeps you tied to another
That’s the way it goes on love’s train
Sometimes heart strings can be broken
But you’ve just have to keep on goin’
That’s the way it goes on love’s train…
On a warm night, lady, wants her, baby
So she calls him up
Dial that, number, no one, answers
Till it’s two o’clock
If by chance, you just come over
‘Cause darlin’ please, I’ve got to see ya baby
And when in need you said you would be here
And now I’m in need and please believe me baby
I love you darlin’ (listen babe)
If you are that special lover
Love keeps you tied to another
That’s the way it goes on love’s train.
[You don’t need no, you don’t need no ticket to ride]
Sometimes heart strings can be broken
But you’ve just got to keep on goin’
That’s the way it goes on love’s train
[Listen babe, listen baby]
If deep sorrow you’ve been soakin’
But you’ve just have to keep on strokin’,
That’s the way it goes on love’s train
[Loves a hurting thang ya’ll that makes you want to (cry, come on)]
If you are that special lover
And love keeps you tied to another
That’s the way it goes on love’s train
[Find yourself alone]
Sometimes heart strings can be broken
But you’ve just have to keep on flowin’
That’s the way it goes on love’s train
[In time everything’s gonna be alright]
If deep sorrow you’ve been soakin’
But you’ve just got to keep on strokin’
That’s the way it goes on love’s train…..
Major Props to Michael Cooper & Felton C Pilate 
And this nice version, (if Tom Joyner were not following Michael on-stage, like his usual ass! )

 

Which version do you prefer?  Let the world know in “comments”.  Michael is better not bald; his voice seems still on-point and the band the same.  As for me, the original will always be one of the songs that lives inside the soundtrack of my life as the Vinyl version below, with ALL of the above lyrics (not just an edited version).

“In Time Everything’s gonna be alright, C’mon…”

“Lets Give Them Something To Talk About…”

“…Bonnie Raitt impresses me as a veteran who knows a thing or two, and who music industry types cannot put “something over” on. ..”

Bonnie_Raitt_at_John_Edwards_presidential_campaign

Out of the blue, or maybe her red hair (now with a white streak!), my jukebox-like mind selected this classic 1992 Bonnie Raitt jam on this cold, winter’s night, to keep me warm. I had to write the title down on a sticky because I knew I wanted to blog it here, as my first Grammy winning recording artist revisit post of 2018.  I like this song! It smacks of keeping things going and controversy.  Maybe I’ve played it during my early Top 40 radio DJ days on an overnight stint or two, but it didn’t phase me as much as it does now.  Music is peculiar like that. Like when suddenly, you recognize the words to a favorite song you’ve heard and mumbled through thousands of times!

A cute redhead in tight blue jeans passed me as I was leaving Publix supermarket this afternoon. Her back was to me, pursuing a shopping cart, when I said softly, “Bonnie Raitt”. She caught it; turned and smiled at me.  Maybe I should have taken it further than just a return smile.  Seems like I’m trying to “get lucky” at Publix these days.  Hmmm.  Maybe I can give them workers there somethin’ to talk about, like a love connection! I digress…

In the video below, you can enjoy this confident and talented woman who crosses musical genres like a New York City pedestrian crosses the street.  I didn’t know that she had a guitar named after her, and is the first female guitarist to have received that honor (Fender)! Major props.

Bonnie Raitt impresses me as a veteran who knows a thing or two, and who music industry types cannot put “something over” on.  She’s got that “look” in her eye.  A rock and Roll Hall of Famer, she also reminds me of my musical acquaintance, Janey Street, who also plays guitar.

I would love to interview her and apply my two score in radio as a DJ to a future review.

 

Check her cool website out! https://www.bonnieraitt.com/

Please add your impressions on Bonnie in “comments”. Happy New Year 2018!