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.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Blues at the Crossroads: Muddy and the Wolf

There are legends in all categories of music. If you are lucky, sometime in your lifetime you may actually get to see a few. The blues genre has a long lists of legends, each with a distinct style and sound. While the soul of the blues is universal, there are variations in rhythm, the addition or types of horns, and attitude. Chicago, Memphis,  Kansas City, New Orleans, every city has their own sound. Last week I was able to see a show which spotlighted the Chicago blues sound of two of its legends: Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf.

The show featured The Fabulous Thunderbirds and more specifically, vocalist/harmonica master Kim Wilson. Special guests were quite a who's who in the blues business. Guitarists Tinsley Ellis, Jody Williams and Bob Margolin, along with the one and only James Cotton on harmonica.

It was one hell of a show. My full review can be found on at this link: Blues at the Crossroads Check it out, I hope you can get a bit of the feeling I did that night.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

2013 Songwriting Hall of Fame: JD Souther

On Friday, the Songwriting Hall of Fame announced their inductees for 2013. Since a few of my favorites are included, I thought I'd do a little post acknowledging each one. They are: Joe Perry/Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Mick Jones/Lou Gramm from Foreigner, John David Souther, Tony Hatch and Holly Knight.

The last three may not be the household names the first four are, but the songs they've written are hits through and through. As time permits before the ceremony, we will take a listen to some of the hits created by the inductees. But today, one of my favorites from the 70's.

While his name may not be familiar, his songs are extremely well known. Having had one hell of a run writing songs for both Linda Ronstadt and the Eagles, J.D. Souther has a reputation for chart-topping songs, most notably in the country-rock genre. Moving to California in the late 60's, he met Glenn Frey and the two became friends, writing partners and roommates. Another legend-to-be also lived in the same building, his name was Jackson Browne, with whom Souther also collaborated in songwriting.

Here's a partial list of his songwriting credits:
"Heartache Tonight," "New Kid in Town," "Victim of Love," "Best of My Love," "You're Only Lonely," "White Rhythm and Blues," "Faithless Love," "Prisoner in Disguise," "Border Town," and "Pretty Goodbyes."

In 1974 he joined with Chris Hillman (The Byrds,Flying Burrito Brothers) and Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield,Poco) and they put out two albums. The first, a self-titled album was one of my favorites.

Let's taste some his his best work as recorded by others and his own interpretations.

Linda Rondstadt "Faithless Love"
The Eagles "Victim of Love"
Souther,Hillman, Furay "Border Town
Bonnie Raitt "Run Like A Thief"
James Taylor/JD Souther "Her Town Too"  co-writers

Just a few delicious morsels from one of country rock's most important composers.

Easy listening for a Sunday morning...or anytime


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Self Description In Four Words: I Won't Back Down

It's another busy week around here. A couple of live shows which will be reviewed before too long. There's some good music coming out which gets me real happy, and as soon as the weather warms up, we can all come out of our cocoons.

Over at Lance's 100 Word Song Challenge, Deb aka @deblsee on Twitter picked out this week's song. For the newbies around here, the picked song is a prompt to write a story, poem, or any post in exactly 100 words. The post doesn't need to come from the title, it can be a feeling you get from it or basically any way you can relate it back. This week's song is a good one. "I Won't Back Down," from Tom Petty.


The Jeep Wrangler barreled against the hill for the eighth time. Damn it. We’re in freakin’ no man’s land. A bead of sweat made its way down Charlie’s forehead. He glanced over at Billy, but Billy was looking at the gravel moving slowly under the truck.

Charlie thought about the commercials he had seen on TV. Those Jeeps would climb a vertical wall without even a hitch in their giddyup. Whose idea was this anyway?

Billy looked over and pleaded “back it up, it’s the only way.”

Never a man who liked to be beaten, Charlie shifted into low.


My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

Monday, February 18, 2013

Dee Rock: "The Road Ain't Long" Album Review

Out of Nashville comes country-rock artist Dee Rock.

Now I'm not known to be the biggest country fan around so in reviewing his album, I wasn't sure what to expect or how I would feel about it. Well, from the opening track "Ripples on the Moon," I was pleasantly surprised. Dee plays one hell of a hot guitar, rocks the melodies pretty hard and has some tasty lyrics. Oh yeah, his voice is pretty fine too.

It also seems Dee Rock has quite a love for Country and the Military. The album has one song "The Uniform," about the sacrifices of our servicemen, servicewomen and their families, along with a couple of other which you can hear on his website: "The Colors I Fly" and "Patriot Girl"

For the full review, as well as his bio and links to his website, where you can listen to all the album tracks, click here; Dee Rock album review at


Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Song Remains the Same, or Does It: Ball and Chain

When I think of the song "Ball and Chain" the version I immediately hear in my head is that of Janis Joplin. Hers was a cover of the Big Mama Thornton song "Ball 'n' Chain. Janis covered the song on her Cheap Thrills album, alongside Big Brother and the Holding Company.

Featuring a full out raw vocal, no one wailed the blues or made you feel them like Janis. This link is from 1967 Monterey Pop Festival and it a joy watching a legend in the making.

Janis Joplin "Ball and Chain"

There are a few different songs with this name, so I've tried to get a wide range of sounds. Next  up is a polar opposite from the Joplin version. It is from a 1982 album by English band XTC and is a pop anthem if ever I heard one.

XTC "Ball and Chain"

Ok, coming back to real music, Elton John put a little country flavor to his take on the song. It was featured on his 1982 album Jump Up and features Pete Townshend on acoustic guitar.

Elton John "Ball and Chain"

And the last version is from a 80's-90's California based reggae/punk/ska band called Sublime. A medley of 5546/Ball and Chain. I'm just loving this song.

Sublime "Ball and Chain"

Pick a favorite, I still love Janis but the reggae flavor is keeping my feet moving.


Monday, February 11, 2013

The Grammy Awards: How I Saw It

So let's talk Grammy Awards.

Yesterday, there were 81 Grammy Awards presented. And do you know how many were presented during the three and a half hour broadcast? Eleven. I'm sorry but it was called the Grammy Awards was it not? And yet they present eleven awards. If you were interested in anything remotely listed as Rock, Blues, Bluegrass or Classical, you were shit out of luck. Virtually all of these awards were handed out before air time.

So what did we get on the live show? Well, it started with the really annoying Taylor Swift complaining about another ex-boyfriend. Dancing and posturing onstage while surrounded by what looked to be the bastard children of Alice in Wonderland and the Ringling Brothers Circus. The bright spot... the show had to get better, didn't it?

Then it was time for some Fun. Yes. So why not let them sing and then drench them with indoor rain. All over the stage. Why? So raise your hand if you thought this was a good idea. Yeah, thought so.

Now about the boob ban. Well I've already talked about that on a post over at, but there are a few comments to be made. Here's my initial thought. Holy shit, did the Grammys become a Miss Prude Contest? I have never seen so many smokin' hot women so covered up. Beyonce, Nicole Kidman, J-Lo...freakin' J-Lo was only showing a leg. The woman who made headlines with a dress that was scotch taped to her breasts a few years ago and yesterday she shows a leg? At least Katy Perry and Kelly Rowland said HA in the face of rules and regulations. One bit of skin we could have done without was Miranda Lambert's hemline or lack thereof, and the cameraman who was determined to find out if the carpet matched the drapes.

Back to the music. Ok, so yes JT has talent. Was he nominated for anything? Was he hosting the show? NO. Note to CBS. Give him a special and let the Awards show be an Awards show. Alicia Keys & Adam Levine were real, Rhianna's ballad was boring and the Black Keys/Dr. John/Preservation Jazz Band were the best thing up to that point.

Proving that you don't need to bounce all over the stage to steal the show, I give you Kelly Clarkson with her tribute to Patti Page and Carole King. Elegant and tasteful.

The announcement of the tribute to Bob Marley is where I started to get confused. Bruno Mars came out singing one of his songs, Sting came out singing one of his. What the hell did that have to do with Bob Marley? And why this year Bob Marley? Love Marley, but it was no anniversary pertaining to him. His birthday was just past, but weren't there other names who died this year who would have been more relevant? That being said, once we actually got to the tribute with Rhianna and Ziggy and Damien Marley, it was wonderful.

The Lumineers, Jack White and Carrie Underwood were all great, that is until Underwood's dress developed a life of its own. The light show which appeared on her dress was so distracting that it just trashed her performance. My fear is that this light show will soon be used to display advertisements in some form or another. And won't the world be a better place for that.

And speaking of distraction, the Frank Ocean thing with the Forrest Gump song...huh? This is the song they use to showcase his talent...with that stupid screen making him appear to be running. A joke, and not a funny one. A very small tip of the hat to Adam Yauch seemed an afterthought and I think LL has used up his 15 minutes as an awards show host.

So what was the best moment of the night? For me, no question it was the tribute to Levon Helm, with Elton also giving a salute to the victims of Sandy Hook. Nicely done Sir Elton. Take Zac Brown, T-Bone Burnett, Mavis Staples...MAVIS STAPLES, the Mumfords, Brittney Howard, among others and let them sing 'The Weight." Levon must have been smiling.

And that's how you do it son.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Yeah, But Stuff Has Been Happening

While there haven't been quite as many posts on Kat's Theory of Music lately, it doesn't mean I've been slacking off. I've been lucky enough to have some of my reviews picked up by other websites and for the most part have forgotten to make mention of them here on this site.

So, first up I'd like to thank both and for publishing both my album reviews and concert reviews, and I look forward to writing many more in the future. These are two great sites, so check them out when you get a chance. Links to my posts from can be found on the right hand side of this page under "But Wait, There's More," and you can find under the side heading of "Worth A Look-See." From that link, you can find my featured page on the site.

Lots of good stuff happening on those fronts, but there will still be plenty to talk about here on Kat's Theory.

As always, thanks for stopping by.
Leave a comment, or some breadcrumbs so I know you've been here.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

We All Need A Little Strength

Between writing and life, it's been a very hectic few weeks for me. For the most part it's been fun, but I needed to take a break from a few things to keep the remaining parts of my sanity, as well as sleep from time to time. So after a little hiatus, I'm back on Lance's 100 Word Song Challenge. This week the song was by The Alarm, a British or more accurately Welsh band from the 70's-80's. The chosen song this week is called "Strength."

I've begun to notice I have a very dark side when I write fiction. Go figure.


The chill in Eamon’s bones came not from the Illinois winter, but from the vision he glimpsed of his future. Stoking the fire, he dared not look at the newborn for fear of his emotions: love, hate, fear.

Dirt fell from the shovel onto the planked wooden floor. Tears blurred his vision as he remembered how Abigail would scold him for not cleaning it outdoors. Tomorrow he would write the letter to her family, but tonight he needed to think.

Turning up the oil lamp, the words on her sampler became clear “In God We Trust.”

Lord, give me strength.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

When the Water Gets Muddy, It's Time for Some Blues

It's been a long, cold week. Dear lord, I am in need of some serious blues. Serious blues.

McKinley Morganfield died April 30, 1983 at approximately 70 years of age. His date of birth has long been in question but his impact on the American blues scene has not. He has been ranked as one of the top 100 musicians of all time, and influenced virtually every American and British rock or blues group from the 60's. Zeppelin, Cream, Hendrix, the Stones.. Hendrix is quoted as saying about him "I first heard him as a little boy and it scared me to death." The Rolling Stones got their name from one of his songs.

The king of Chicago Blues, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Hell, they even issued a postage stamp in his honor.

Still can't place the name? How about what his friends called him: Muddy Waters.

Let's just taste a few of his best tunes. They are bound to warm you from the inside out.

Mr. Muddy Waters

"Hoochie Coochie Man"
"Got My Mojo Working"
"Baby Please Don't Go"
"They Call Me Muddy Waters"

ah yes.
I know I'm feeling much, much better.