Songs of the Week: Two Covers

That’s right, this week we have two songs (catching up from missing last week), both of which are covers which might sound like odd choices but make sense when you hear them.

First is “Changes” by Charles Bradley.  You may be wondering how an artist known as “The Screaming Eagle of Soul” ended up covering an obscure song by Black Sabbath.  After all the original is a simple ballad where Ozzy is backed up with nothing more than a piano and what sounds like Mellotron strings.

It works for a few reasons.  The first being the song itself.  Sure the piano sounds a little dopey, but the chord progression is actually blues based.  Then there is Bradley’s voice.  Ozzy’s performance comes across as a bit sing-songey, but Bradley’s performance drives home the pain of the lyrics.

Our second song is “Bold as Love” by Joan Osborne.  You probably remember her from having written this song (oops, I mean this one).  It’s a shame she got stuck being known that song, considering she is a pretty good singer.  Her contributions to Standing in the Shadows of Motown are one good example.

For many people the guitar pyrotechnics obscures the fact that Jimi Hendrix’s music was grounded in soul.  This arrangement of his classic song brings out the soul in the song by adding some Memphis style horns.




Song of the Week: Bernadette

This week’s song is “Bernadette” by The Four Tops.  It’s a little treat for all the bass players out there, as well as being another classic by the songwriting team of Holland, Dozier, and Holland.

I haven’t had a lot of time to write lately, so here’s the cliff notes:

Song of the Week: What’s Wrong With Me

This week it’s time to shine a light on a singer with an impossibly silken voice, so we feature “What’s Wrong With Me” by Skye.  Skye Edwards came to fame as the singer of the lead singer for the seminal trip hop band Morcheeba, whose track The Sea seems to have graced every chillout compilation ever made.  “What’s Wrong With Me”, comes from her first solo album, Mind How You Go, which also has this track you might recall from a hand soap commercial.

While Morcheeba broke up in 2014, fans will be pleased to know that she and guitarist Ross Godfrey are recording and touring as Skye | Ross.


Song of the Week: A Day in the Life

This Song of the Week is “A Day In The Life” by The Beatles.  This song closes out what many consider the Greatest Album of All Time.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band may be the most written about and glorified album ever.  It’s shorthand for good music, as evidenced in sayings like “That album’s OK, but it’s no Sgt. Pepper”  or “When you play high, everything sounds like Sgt. Pepper, no matter how bad it sounds the next morning”[1], or even “that’s like expecting Nickelback to come out with the next Sgt. Pepper“.

I’m pretty sure with all the articles written about this album, there’s nothing I could say that hasn’t been said before.   I’m sure the same could be said for the song.

One thing I don’t think people appreciate is that this music came out long before it was common to make videos, and the songs themselves had to tell stories and create their own images.  Sgt. Pepper surely led the way in that respect.


[1]  I think I remembered reading this in an issue of Guitar Player magazine.  I also remembered reading in a guitar magazine one of the members of Blind Melon dissing a lot of musicians from the psychedelic era, saying they sucked because “apparently they weren’t doing the same drugs The Beatles were on when they made Sgt. Pepper“.

RIP Ikutaro Kakehashi

In this post we say good-bye and thank you to Ikutaro Kakehashi, the founder of Roland corporation.

Roland is known primarily as a company which makes synthesizers.  They are also known for making drum machines, particularly the TR-808 Rhythm Composer, which has been immensely popular in hip-hop and dance music.  Roland also created the JC-120 Jazz Chorus  amplifier, which is an iconic amp used by Andy Summers of the Police, The Edge of U2, and many others.

Roland also has a division Boss Corporation, which manufactures guitar gear.  If you go to the Guitar Geek Database, you will be hard pressed to find a guitarist without a Boss pedal in their rig.

All of these are pretty huge accomplishments.  However, his contribution which most changed the world was the MIDI Specification, for which he and Dave Smith won a Technical Grammy in 2013.

For those not familiar, MIDI allows musical instruments, effects, and computers to communicate with each other.  It also has been used to control lighting for stage shows.  Most importantly, MIDI allows musicians to use computers as a tool to compose music.

For all these reasons we would like to thank Mr. K. for his contributions and console his loved ones on their loss.