From sweet and smooth classics, to new names, to old names with new music...the focus here, is to shine a little light on some damn fine music.

I'll find it. You can listen, review, or tell me I wouldn't know good music if it kicked me in the ass. I personally don't give a shit.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Twisted MixTape: It's Not Me, It's You. Or Maybe It's Me.

Because the snackies were so delish at Jen's party last week, well I showed up again. She had another great theme for her Tuesday Twisted MixTape blog hop this week, one where I'm sure we all could think of a few songs that fit. I Suck or You Suck... as in baby ya done me wrong kind of suck. Yeah.

The first one that came to mind was by the Eagles and off one of my favorite albums, On The Border. Love this live clip with Frey looking like a rock star, not an LA businessman. sigh.

"Already Gone"

If you have to get dumped, let someone sing real pretty to you while he does it. From Silk Degrees, I give you Boz Scaggs.

"Its Over"

Vocally impressive, lyrically biting and overall a great sound. It wasn't number one for 642 weeks for nothing. Adele.

"Rolling In The Deep"

Paul Carrack, if you don't know the name, you know the voice. Remember Ace, Squeeze, Mike & the Mechanics. Yeah, that voice. Well in 1987 he put out a solo album called One Good Reason. There's a bunch of good songs on it, two of which... maybe even three, could fit this theme. I can't choose, so I'm posting two of them.

"Don't Shed A Tear"

"Button Off My Shirt"

Sad story getting dumped or dumping someone... I think I need some blues. Something real sweet by Robert Cray.

"I Guess I Showed Her"

Let's finish it up here with one of the greats. Mr. Ray Charles.

"Hit The Road Jack"

Guess it's time for me to hit the road too. Got a nice bottle of white here, anybody have a corkscrew?

Jen Kehl

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Linda Ronstadt: More Than Simple Dreams

Yesterday Linda Ronstadt announced she has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Though she has been aware of this for several months, with her memoir coming out, there was no way her illness would not become public before long. It's a terrible disease to have, it's a terrible disease to watch. What makes it even sadder in this case is it means we will never again hear her sing.

Back in the early 70's, I saw Linda Ronstadt sing at the legendary Capitol Theatre in Passaic. The bill was McKendree Spring, Linda Ronstadt and the Eagles. Those were the kind of shows at the Capitol. Double and triple bills of incredible acts. Every week.

It was after her stint with the Stone Poneys but still in her country-rock period, when she looked and acted like a rocker chick fronting a band. Back then, there weren't a lot of them and I took joy every time I saw a woman up on stage holding court.

It's easy to forget all these years later just how big an artist she was. Covers of Time, Newsweek, six times on the cover of Rolling Stone, Eleven Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award and thirty studio albums... that kind of says it all. She was the biggest female music act at the time.

Eventually she left the world of rock and recorded Mexican songs, as well as Standards. She did them all wonderfully. Although she did write, she wasn't known as a songwriter, but man could she choose a good one. She interpreted some of the best of the day: Karla Bonoff, Warren Zevon, JD Souther, Andrew Gold, Bob Dylan, Goffin-King and Willie Nelson, to name a few.

Let's have a taste.

First up, a song written by the great, late Lowell George of Little Feat. The ultimate truck driver's anthem.


All attitude and voice, I love everything about this song and video. Written by Clint Ballard Jr., it's off the Heart Like A Wheel album.

"You're No Good"

The first song I heard Linda Ronstadt sing in Spanish was on Hasten Down The Wind, which is probably my favorite album of hers. The song is beautiful and powerful, especially when she throws in a verse in English to set it off.

"Lo Siento Mi Vida"

Usually if you decide to cover a song by Roy Orbison, you will lose every time. There aren't many vocalists able to compete with the velvet sound of Roy Orbison singing.

Then there's Linda Ronstadt taking on "Blue Bayou."

Written by Karla Bonoff and off Hasten Down The Wind, I should have included it in this week's No Strings Attached Twisted  MixTape. Karla did it good on her album, Linda did it better.

"Someone To Lay Down Beside Me"

I could easily list another ten songs... or more. But I will end this with a Warren Zevon tune. While we all know Warren wrote some interesting and wonderful songs like "Werewolves Of London," and "Lawyers, Guns And Money," he could also write a beautiful ballad. As with every other song she has covered, Linda's interpretation is perfect.

"Hasten Down The Wind"

An incredible body of work, an incredible voice. Linda Ronstadt.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Count Words, Count Stars... Whatever

So look at me. I'm back again. Don't lie, I know half of you didn't even miss me. But here I am because I felt bad I haven't played in Lance's sandbox for a while.

For newbies around here Lance, my fellow Sprocket and author of myblogcanbeatupyourblog runs a little party every week where someone picks a song and the rest of us take it as a prompt to write exactly 100 words about it. No, I don't know if he counts the words. I try not to cheat.

Anyway, it doesn't matter what you write: poetry, prose, a shopping list... just write something. It makes him happy. Oh and by the way, he just published his second book. The first is about sex and drugs and rock & roll... very cool. The second is about love and death and shit like that. Go to his website and see where to BUY THE BOOK. Else he is not happy.

So the song pick for the week is from a band that has been together for about a decade, had some nice success and have a new album out now. The band is OneRepublic and the song of the week is "Counting Stars." For the most part they are a little too Pop for regular rotation in my playlist, but this is a good song.

A little story in 100 words. Go ahead, count 'em.

"Counting Stars"

It almost felt like the past sixteen years were an unending episode of The Honeymooners. Just like Ralph and Norton’s plans, there was always a get rich scheme. I can still hear him say “it’s gonna be so big baby, we won’t be counting dollars, we’ll be counting stars.”

Sure there were almosts, and I fed off of those moments.
But too often, failure brought the icy chill of depression to engulf me.
Until I was choking.
And still, I threw my arms open wide, time after time.
It seems everything that drowns me makes me want to fly.


My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Wasn't Gonna Do It, But Hey "No Strings Attached"

I can't help myself. I already sent my RSVP back to Jen with my regrets that I wouldn't have time to enter this week's Twisted Tuesday MixTape, and yet here I am.

"Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in." Yes, much like Tom Hanks in "You've Got Mail," I live my life through the wisdom of Godfather quotes. Be afraid.

Anyway, I couldn't resist the pull of this week's theme. No Strings Attached... as in well, you know. Three songs immediately popped into my head, so I figured what the hell, just write it. So here's a quick list, and I mean quick. Also I apologize to everyone who has been leaving comments on my posts, for not commenting back. All I've had time to do is take a look at your lists, smile and move on. There have been some great choices out there. One more week of insanity and things should ease up.

So here we go.

The second song I ever remember about a one-night stand was quite a scandal when it came out in 1968. Originally offered to Connie Francis, who thought it was a little too, well, you know, eventually it became a hit by Merrilee Rush. Later it had a second life with Juice Newton.

"Angel Of The Morning"

For a male perspective that isn't quite wham-bam-thank-you-maam, Bob Seger wrote a beautiful ode to loneliness.

"We've Got Tonight"

Another different perspective from a woman on a mission. Heart sang about a one-night-stand with a lasting gift.

"All I Wanna Do (Is Make Love To You)"

Though not about a one-nighter, it is a song about no-strings attached. This time the view is from the one who is hurt by an affair, not the person having it. Before Dolly Parton was known more for her wigs and amusement park, she was considered one of the best songwriters around. Most of us know she wrote "I Will Always Love You," taken into the stratosphere by Whitney Houston, but this song of pain and desperation is one of her best. Miley Cyrus even recorded it, but don't hold that against it.


Back to a woman looking for a little lovin' with no strings attached, although this is sung by a man. Probably not familiar to most of you, it's off an album called HiStory by One Man's Trash. It's just fun.

"The Real Thing"

And the last song for this tape, is the first song I remember about "going all the way." Talk about standing the test of time, it was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin for the Shirelles in 1960. It has been covered by, ok, everyone. Why, because it's a beautiful song, that's why. I could have chosen from Amy Winehouse, Norah Jones, The Bee Gees, or probably twenty more. I don't know why, but my favorite is by Dave Mason.

"Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow"

That's it, I'm outta here and crawling back to my dark hole. See y'all in a week, maybe less. Thanks Jen, next time the beer's on me.

Jen Kehl

Friday, August 16, 2013

It's Only Rock and Roll, But I Like It

Driving up to the weekend house, I was thinking that I was in need of some serious Rock & Roll. And because my mind easily wanders, I started to list in my mind, songs that have Rock & Roll in the title. There's a shitload for sure.

So for today's exercise, I thought I'd post some Rock & Roll videos. Some are pretty obvious, some are not. Check out a few if you're not familiar with them, or if it's a song you haven't heard in a while, take a listen, smile and just rock.

Up first, let's start with the lowest common denominator.

Rock & Roll - Led Zeppelin

Getting hungry for more? How about a little....

Rock & Roll Stew - Traffic

"She started shakin' to that fine, fine music. You know her life was saved by rock & roll".  Yeah, that.

Rock & Roll - Velvet Underground

Originally recorded by The Byrds, how about a little TP.

So You Want To Be A Rock & Roll Star - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Had a dose of Robert Plant... bring on Paul Rogers.

Rock & Roll Fantasy - Bad Company

Just had to put this on the list because, well...

Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo - Rick Derringer

This list could go on forever, Off the top of my head I had another twenty songs: Joan Jett, Kiss, Huey Lewis, Billy Joel, The Ramones, Bob Seger and ELO to name a few artists I've omitted. But the last on this list is one artist who had to be here. Because, as Bob Seger sang "all of Chuck's children are out there playing his licks."

Rock And Roll Music - Chuck Berry

"You can come back baby, rock and roll never forgets."


Monday, August 12, 2013

Doubling Down for Tuesday's Twisted MixTape

Last week I was able to squeeze in Jen's MixTape Tuesday blog hop and this week, I'm gonna do it again. This week the theme is Duos or Duets, and for once, I had a flood of possibilities right off the bat. I've decided not to mix and match, but to just go with Duets.

One of the greatest duets ever, and don't argue with me on this, was Marvin Gaye and Tammi Tyrell. Not only did they have great songs to work with, their voices paired perfectly. They had several hits together, and because I can't choose between my two favorites, I'm posting two of the best duets.... ever.

"Ain't No Mountain High Enough"

"You're All I Need To Get By"

One of the most enduring duets, and one which both singer-songwriters still sing, both solo and when they do shows together, was written by Carole King and included in her album Tapestry. James Taylor also recorded it for his album Mud Slide Slim. But the song really comes alive when they sing it together.

"You've Got A Friend"

The album Raising Sand was a brilliant collaboration between Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. It was actually the first time Plant had shared the vocals with anyone. My favorite off the album...

"Killing The Blues"

Whether it's the title, the lyrics or the vocal give and take, when Don Henley and Stevie Nicks got together, it was perfect. This is an early demo version.

"Leather And Lace"

Tina Turner has done several duets over the years. She always knocks them out of the park. For this exercise, I'll go with her duet with Bryan Adams, from his off-the-charts successful album Reckless.

"It's Only Love"

One of the first, if not the first duet I ever remember was from a husband and wife team, Who could have imagined where this song would lead. Is there anyone who doesn't like it, know the words, and sing along every time you hear it? Sonny & Cher.

"I Got You Babe"

This was fun and for me, a real easy list. Thanks Jen, for always putting out the welcome mat.

Jen Kehl

Monday, August 5, 2013

Twisted MixTape: End of Decades and a Story To Tell

I was crazy busy last week and I missed the Twisted MixTape Tuesday which knocked off the 2000 decade. I wanted to finish off the years based theme mixtape, so I'll jump into the pool this week with a little something different. But first, I'm finally able to talk about the project I've been working on, and just why I've been so damn busy.

It starts with a guy... doesn't it always.

A few months ago, I saw a message on one of the group boards I follow on Linked-In. It was someone who was looking for a music blogger so I gave it a glance. Checked out his profile to see if it was the type of music I would be interested in writing about or be involved with. Well, he saw I checked out his profile, he checked out mine and got in touch. Long story short... he had a plan to do something very cool and I was offered an opportunity to be involved in it. Now I don't know about you, but these types of opportunities don't get offered to me very often.

His name is Robert Xeno and he has started a record company out of Nashville called Earth Hertz Records. But beyond the record company, he and his wife Eloa, have created a music streaming site which will offer downloads at various formats, from basic MP3s to top of the line audio. They also had they idea that artists should be fairly compensated for their music, without string attached or selling their souls. So they started the first Musician's Cooperative. This is really something special and it's just getting started.

The streaming site went live last week with a soft launch. The tech end of all of this is insanely complicated, so we are working out all the bugs and adding layers as we go. My part in this... well, a lot of writing, interviewing, liner notes and basically building the copy for everyone and everything involved. Needless to say it's been a little like cramming for a final exam. A whole lot needed to be done in a little time, and a whole lot still needs to be done. For me, this is a dream. To be involved with the music from start to finish, and be able to write about it... unbelievably fun. And not only do I have a title, I get to work with some very cool and interesting people.

So for the foreseeable future, I will continue to write in a hit or miss fashion as I get the other stuff under control. Thanks for hanging in guys, we will be having some good music to hear, so I'll let you know about that. Or check out our first few selections now.

Soooo, that's my story. Anyway onto Jen's party. Even though I really wanted back in this week, I didn't have a lot of time to spend on, well thinking long and hard about my choices for 2010-2013. I'm cheating just a bit. My list is not based on popularity of a song, or what it meant to the early part of this decade. This list is based on just some good music I found and wrote about either on my music blog, or or So here we go.

There were a few good albums I reviewed, and some I've even had the pleasure of seeing the artist live. One of them is the latest album by Boz Scaggs, Memphis. This album is mostly covers of southern R&B from the 70s. The album is smooth and really well done. One of two songs on the album originally done by Mink Deville, this is just wonderful.

"Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl"

Second song is from Beth Hart's Bang Bang Boom Boom album. Beth Hart is hotter than hell right now and deservedly so. This album and the two she has done with guitar great Joe Bonamassa show that you can go home again. There aren't many blues voices like hers out there. Close your eyes and feel the raw emotion of this. If you can see her live, don't miss her.

"Caught Out In The Rain"

Eric Burdon released one hell of a record at the age of 71. Til Your River Runs Dry is as strong as it gets for a comeback album. And live, he still commands the stage. This is the opening track to the album.


Steve Lukather is best known as the guitarist for Toto, but his solo work stands on its own very nicely. Especially his latest album Transition. Gone is the over-playing just because you can tendencies. Transition is down to basics and it one of the best of the year.

"Judgement Day"

Chances are if you're not Canadian, you haven't heard of The Trews. That's a shame because they are one hell of a rockin band. They've been around for like ten years, have opened for oh let's see, The Rolling Stones, Robert Plant and Bruce Springsteen, as well as headlining across the world. Last year they released Hope and Ruin, which is filled with catchy rock songs and sweet ballads. Again, if you get the chance, see them live.

"Misery Loves Company"

So that's it for the decades in the Twisted MixTape, and that's the deal with what I've been doing. Stay tuned guys, the fun is just starting.

Jen Kehl