Page Plant, When the Levee Breaks

Page and Plant, via The Hammock Papers. I love this! If, in a parallel world, the Blues had been born in England, rock’n’roll would look and sound like this. Not necessarily a  bad thing. Performed in what looks like a Welsh slate quarry, owned by a beautifully bemused dog… It reminds me of a similarly bucolic Roy Harper […]

Cornerstones, connections and musical memory

My music collection is built on the cornerstone of three albums that I bought during the last holiday I took with my parents.  They were on vinyl, of course; CDs were still a few years away.  I was at university when breakfast time TV (also a relative novelty) demonstrated their resilience by spreading small, shiny […]

Essential Mixes – #DeepPurple

After some Twitter prodding, Cultural Offering’s Kurt Harden persuaded me to add a Deep Purple list to his impressive collection of Essential Mixes: And The Address, Shades of Deep Purple, 1968 Hush, Shades of Deep Purple, 1968 Hard Road (Wring That Neck), Book of Taliesyn, 1968 Speed King, In Rock, 1970 Child In Time, In […]

The sublime Steely Dan …

From Cultural Offering’s Essential Mixes   Just so much great stuff… 1.    Do It Again, Can’t Buy A Thrill, 1972 5.    Any Major Dude, Pretzel Logic, 1974 8.    Don’t Take Me Alive, The Royal Scam, 1976 9.    Reelin’ In The Years, Can’t Buy A Thrill, 1972 20.  Night by Night, Pretzel Logic, 1974 23.  Bodhisattva, […]

JJ Cale, Troubadour

I’m sad to read that JJ Cale died of a heart-attack on Friday.  A truly understated talent. His laid-back country-blues was unmistakeable and I loved his music, especially his 1971 debut, Naturally, and the string of albums that slowly transitioned from laid-back Tulsa/country-blues to a more urban – but equally unhurried style: 1976’s Troubadour, 1979’s […]

Fender’s Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster

A true icon.  You know you need one. Fender has just launched its Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster (as distinct from the somewhat cheaper Ritchie Blackmore Signature Strat).  It’s a faithful, scratches and all, reproduction of a black 1968 Fender Stratocaster of the type that Blackmore used to write and record Smoke On The water (and […]

Fender’s Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster

A true icon.  You know you need one. Fender has just launched its Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster (as distinct from the somewhat cheaper Ritchie Blackmore Signature Strat).  It’s a faithful, scratches and all, reproduction of a black 1968 Fender Stratocaster of the type that Blackmore used to write and record Smoke On The water (and […]

Hi Ho Silver Lining?

The UK’s population of ash trees faces decimation from Chalara Ash Dieback disease which is spread by air-borne spores (and possibly by past government inaction). Does this mean a potential windfall (or at least axe-fall) for luthiers? The bodies of Fender guitars are made from alder or ash.  Traditionally, the darker grained ash is used […]

Blue Valley – Thomas Blug

Happy Friday!! I’ve just discovered that one of my favourite pieces of music is online: Thomas Blug’s Blue Valley. Blug is a German guitar player who combines blues, jazz, rock and (sadly, occasionally) euro-pop in his mostly instrumental work. He has a feel that comes close to the mighty Jeff Beck and a tone that […]

Fender IPO: Great News? Or Not So Much?

I’m undecided. Fender Musical Instruments filed today for an initial public offering intended to raise $200m.  Fender is an amazing, truly iconic brand that has more than rebuilt its reputation since being taken private (purchased from CBS) in 1984 but will it benefit from the quarterly rigours enforced by Wall Street?  I’m not sure. I […]

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