Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Grammys 2018

I didn't watch the Grammy's TM Sunday Night.

Waste of time.

Rolling Stones won a Grammy for best traditional blues album with Blue And Lonesome and Randy Newman won one for a instrumental. (Putin).

Bruno Mars creamed Kendrick Lamar and the critics went up in arms about that.  But I don't care.  Kendrick Lamar's rap is something I don't relate.

Overall, a waste of time, but then I said that earlier.

Monday, January 29, 2018

A Few Words About Dennis McMurrin From Scott Sanborn

Back in the 1950’s and 60’s, if people thought you were “hip” or “cool” they might call you daddy-o. Generations later that moniker is still being used, reserved for one local musician who is now getting a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association for his cool career Created in the Corridor.
“I’ve been playing gigs since 1963,” recalled Dennis McMurrin who first picked up a guitar when he was nine years old after watching his jazz guitarist grandfather play. “He was just great. He was fantastic. So when I was real little, I’d watch him. But that was my first influence.”
Growing up in Cedar Rapids, McMurrin took guitar lessons for nearly a decade. Claiming he wasn’t that smart he dropped out of high school in 11th grade to pursue his passion for picking full-time. “It never even entered my mind that I couldn’t do it,” said McMurrin. “I mean that’s how dumb I was…and I had no doubts. Never. I never did.”
And he’s never done anything else. McMurrin’s first band with fellow Cedar Rapids native Michael Boddicker—who went on to become a Grammy-winning composer, was called the Plannets. Their very first performance took place at the old Danceland Ballroom where the downtown Cedar Rapids convention center now stands.
Over the years, McMurrin developed a super-funky, soulful style of blues that won the attention of the world-famous Tower of Power. Their horns can be heard on McMurrin’s 1986 self-titled album recorded at Salty Dog Studios in Los Angeles.
Right after that album, McMurrin formed The Demolition Band to take the songs on the road. They’ve since played countless shows throughout the corridor.
Longtime collaborator Dan Johnson, a bassist, is another career musician who first saw McMurrin perform in the late 60s. “Dennis was in a band called ‘The Travel Agency’ and this is before I even was playing. He was doing stuff on the guitar I’d really never seen. Dennis was the first guy that I’m just going, ‘what is he doing on that guitar?’”
That guitar is the same Gibson McMurrin’s been playing since age 11. “I still remember getting it,” McMurrin recalled fondly. He actually still has the bill of sale from 1964.
And while he’s never given the guitar a nickname like B.B. King’s “Lucille,” He does have his own which he said came by chance thirty years ago on the streets of Iowa City. “A carload full of guys, college kids come by and (shouting) ‘Hey, hey great show last night daddy-o!’ That stuck like crazy.”
“The nickname Daddy-O is so apropos to his personality,” said Nick Stika, a member of the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association’s board of directors who nominated Daddy-O for IRRMA’s Hall of Fame. “Talking to him on the phone was a riot when I got to call him up and tell him he was being inducted. He was excited about it but in that Daddy-O kind of way; ‘Ah, yeah man, that’s cool.’ You know, just the way he presents himself.”
Added Johnson,“The old, poor beatnik musician, it just really embodies him.”
Johnson said McMurrin also embodies style, originality and improvisation—all the elements needed to preserve music as an art form. “As far as the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame goes, there’s this small percentage of guys that are in there that truly, truly deserve to be in there…and Daddy-O is one of ‘em.”
“Just the influence that he’s got with all the musicians around this area,” explained Stika about McMurrin’s qualifications for recognition. “The influence he’s had on everybody to pick up the guitar and go out there and do it.”
“We had a recent gig here at Parlor City with Ron DeWitte,” recalled McMurrin about one of his favorite shows. Terry Lawless showed up. He was on Saturday Night Live the night before, literally he was in New York City. Huge show.”
And Daddy-O says, at 64, he’ll keep doing shows because he still loves it and the phone still rings.
“People keep calling, you know? Come play, so…that’s it.”

Link: http://cbs2iowa.com/news/created-in-the-corridor/created-in-the-corridor-daddy-o

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Mark E Smith

On the day I celebrated my birthday, another Smith, Mark E. Smith of The Fall fame exited this planet.  He was 60. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/jan/24/mark-e-smith-lead-singer-with-the-fall-dies-aged-60

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Too Much Music


Passings; On Jan 16, Dave Holland, former drummer to Trapeze and Judas Priest passed away at age 69.

Jim Rodford, bass player for Argent/The Zombies and The Kinks died Friday after a fall down the stairs.  He was 76.

Hugh Masekela, best known for Grazing In The Grass and appeared on some songs by The Byrds and Paul Simon died from prostate cancer.  He was 78 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Observations From The Forefront-January

Good evening.

While Record World is dormant, there are still news going around and I would agree to hang around to document the more noteworthy news .  Already we are only half way through the month and already we lost a few notables.  My good friend Duane Connaughton's mom Sioux suddenly passed away today. Anything I can do Duane, please let me know.  Your wife was a great person.

The big news of the week is that The Chrome Horse has returned to New Bo, in the former New Bo Ale House and US Bank building.  This Friday Slap N Tickle will be the first band to play there and Lonesome Road will play on Saturday. It's nice to see the Chrome Horse return to familiar surroundings although they insist that the Blairs Ferry location will still be up and running.  For the past couple years, I tend to park the car in that area to do my Sunday walk but now it looks like finding a parking spot will be a bit more harder to find.

While it looks like I may have returned, I'm basically pacing myself to at least stay in touch once in a while with these observations from the forefront blogs.   I have a band that takes up a lot of my time and to add to that, a special somebody  although she's been sidelined with the flu for the past month and I haven't seen much of her. When she gets sick, she sees nobody including the other half.  But she needs to get better.  Her singing partner in Dreams Of Arcadia is coming back into town for a couple weeks and they'll be hitting the ground running.  Which means I won't be seeing much of her unless I get the night off and go see her play and help her out.   Perhaps in the future, we can form our own duo, but I tend to get in the way more than I help.

Even being in love with a great special woman, I will tend to do my bargain hunts and see what kind of music I can find in 2018.  And of course Madison and the river towns as well.  I would love to see Arizona this year, I haven't been there in five years.  But already things have changed.  No more Hastings and FYE shut down the location I used to frequent when I lived there years ago.  There's Bookman's and Zia's but anything else I would have to scour the thrift stores.

With a special woman in my life, I'm trying to settle my fears and phobias.  The usual feeling that the more she knows me, the more she'll want to run away screaming.  Usually if a woman knows once she finds a great man no matter how skewed he is, she's not going to give him up without a fight. I mean she really wanted to be around me, even when I didn't think she wanted me at all.  So I'm trying to combat that negative thought.  I really want this relationship to succeed so I'm doing my best to curtail the Crabb inside of me.  And I never thought I would ever say that.

I don't have much goals for 2018.  I'll listen to new music if it's worth a listen but I'm not going go out of my way to buy the flavor CD of the month, play it once and then donate it back to Goodwill. There's not much for reissues I'm looking for, unless Universal finally decides to reissue The Brains first album.  Let's face it, 50 years ago, the music on the radio was great.  50 years later nobody gives a fuck about new music and most of it sucks anyway. 50 years later the classic rock and rollers are now 70, Eric Clapton is going deaf and we'll lose more rockers along the way. Maybe even myself if I'm not careful.  If I compile a best of 2018, it will be less albums than last year and most will be forgotten anyway.   I'm sure Half Price Books will continue to have some interesting stuff in the 2 dollar bins, likewise Stuff Etc. and I'll be amused of what 45s I find in the future.   If I can make it to May I would be at my place of employment for 30 years.  Never thought that would come to light.

I hope my family and friends can hang around another year. But things can and will change.  If I lose a certain family member or friend that might drive me over the edge and the world will never hear from me again.   Likewise my special woman,  if I lose her it might break me as well.   But who knows what time will bring.  But if you know me, it will not stop me from continuing to buy used music.  If it's worth a blog, I post it.   But I'm leaving the politics to somebody else.  As well as the cheesecake photo of the month.

So that's it for now.  Keep the cards and letters and comments coming in and I get back to you ASAP. And remember Tide Pods are for washing clothes, not eating them.


Maren Morris-Hero (Columbia 2016)

It was a year ago that Morris took a few ACM awards home and was proclaimed the next big thing.  Judging by seeing this CD in the two dollar bins that maybe her time might have come and gone.  In terms of new country, Hero is more geared toward electronic pop music although it's not as blatant as say Taylor Swift or Lady Gaga but to these ears it's pop with a country voice.  And I don't have much tolerance for pop music of the century 18 years into this.  While kudos was praised for Morris'  hit (the rest didn't make much of a chart dent) My Church,it sounds unfinished, especially at the end when you think there should have been more to this.  I am not a big fan of the processed beats co producer Busbee adds. But pick and choose a song or two and it stands out.  I got a chuckle of Morris use of the S word (Shit if you want to know) and Drunk Girls Don't Cry is the stand out track, more so than My Church.  Second stand out track is I Could Use A Love Song, which did make number 1 on the modern country chart this week.  Not bad, for a 2 dollar find this week at Half Price Books.
Final analysis: fairly listenable  as a pop album masquerading as a country album.
Grade B

Taste-Live At The Aisle Of Wright Festival (Capo/Eagle 2016)

Given Rory Gallagher's crazed guitar playing and original lyrics done as blues, I still find his first band Taste to be an acquired "taste". They certainly go all over the place by playing the riffs and then Rory roaring off to play guitar solos and some off the wall stuff before going back to the song itself and I guess you had to be there to enjoy this.  Without the video, the songs drag, especially the ones that go over ten minutes. However they did three encores to which Rory says they got time for one more short song, which turned out to be the 7 and half minute Blister On The Moon.  Those Irish guitar players got such a sense of humor!
Grade B-

Joe Perry-Sweetzerland Manifesto (Roman 2018)

I'm sorry.  It used to be that Perry could make some hard rocking albums but on this, it just doesn't work. The songs are simply not very good.  I'll defend Joe when he puts his vocals on the album but this time out he gives that to the outdated Terry Reid, and David Johansen.  Even Robin Zander is wasted on the Aye Aye Aye. And at the same time Johnny Depp turns Eve Of Destruction into a trainwreck.  At his best Perry lets the music do the talking.  This time out it's more Shit than Sweet.
Grade C

Monday, January 15, 2018

Passings: Eddie Clarke, Keith Jackson....

On Wednesday Fast Eddie Clarke, went to join Lemmy and Phil Taylor in reforming the classic Motorhead lineup in the great beyond.   He was 67 and passed from phenomena.  Although the last Motorhead lineup of Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee were in the band longer then Eddie, it is considered that the early Motorhead albums are their defining moment. Overkill I like a bit more than Ace Of Spades but that's a great album in its own right.  No Sleep Till Hammersmith broke the band into the hard rock scene (they were not metal, Lemmy loved three chord garage rock and roll)  But with Iron Fist, Clarke departed after Lemmy wanted to do a version of Stand By Your Man with Wendy O Williams.

His next band was Fastway, which he started with Pete Way but Chrysalis wouldn't let Way out of his contract, so Way departed and Charlie McCracken replaced him.  Bonus points were given when Jerry Shirley played drums and the first Fastway album is one of the best albums of the 1980s, Eddie Kramer produced that one and the followup All Fired Up, which seemed to be more outtakes from the first album.  But they did have a bona fide hit with Say What You Will.  Waiting For The Roar was a career killer, Terry Manning, the producer opting to update Fastway's sound with keyboards and processed beats.  The followup, Trick Or Treat was a slight return to form but David King left (he went on to Flogging Molly) and  On Target, Clarke went for a Def Leppard sound to which fans got off the bus.  In 2011, Clarke revived Fastway for Eat Dog Eat, which was his hardest rocking album since the first album.  Clarke would jam with Lemmy a couple times in Motorhead and was rumored to be working on something with Lemmy till the iconic bass player died.  With Clarke's passing, the book on Fastway is closed.  A very underrated guitar player but at times when he tried to change with the times, it didn't quite work as well as his years with Motorhead and the first year of Fastway.

On Friday Keith Jackson, classic football announcer died at age 89.  He was the voice of College Football but also announced the first season of Monday Night Football.  With his passing, college football will never be the same again. One of my favorite announcers.

Dolores O'riordan, Cranberry's lead singer and solo artist died Monday. She was 46


Edwin Hawkins, with his gospel band gave the world Oh Happy Day, a top ten hit in 1969 passed away on Monday from pancreatic cancer.  He was 74


Monday, January 8, 2018

Iowa Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame 2018 Inductees

The Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association is honored to be able to recognize Iowa artists with induction into the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame and help retain Iowa’s musical legacy. 2018 Inductees into the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame include: David Ellefson (Individual Artist), The Nadas (Band), Marilyn Maye (Lifetime Achievement), The Bushmen (Band), Rob Lumbard (Individual Artist), Buckeye (Band), Pam Dixon (DJ), IV Pauli (Band), Cabala (Band), Gary Richards (Individual Artist), George Rondinelli (Support People), Crusin’ (Band), Rick Hillyard (Individual Artist), A Stitch ‘n Tyme (Band), Torkays (Band), Lavendar Hill (Band), Dennis McMurrin (Lifetime Achievement), Johnny Green (Individual Artist), Festival (Band), The Trippers (Band), The El Riadas (Band), Dean Davis (Matousek Lifetime Achievement), Rich Mock (Individual Artist), Julie Christensen (Women Who Rock), Duane “Nudie” Binder (Individual Artist), Ralph Goldheim (Individual Artist), Dickinson County News (Media Representative), Jim Musser (Media Representative), and Lorados (Venue). Festivities for the 2018 Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame Inductions will take place September 1st and 2nd in and around Arnolds Park, IA. Tickets will be available for the general public March 1st.

Sunday, January 7, 2018


Ray Thomas-Moody Blues


Chris Tsangarides-Producer for Thin Lizzy, Gary Moore and others


Rick Hall


Since I have a dedicated following (all 2 of you) I have decided to continue to publish music news of interest for the year.  There won't be much comments if any. But I do think I do need to document the happenings of the world of 2018.

Feel free to check in from time to time.

Denise LaSalle 1/9/18  age 78


in May of 2017 Craig Gill killed himself he was 44.