MUSIC

Musical Love Trip to Aspen

Musical Love Trip to Aspen

by Kyle K. Mann

 

“I hear Elvin Bishop is lookin’ for a harp player.”

“Oh yeah?”

I tried to act casual, but my heart was racing. Blues harmonica gigs were rare, and my money was running low.

“Yeah,” the guy laughed. He knew I’d been in Beefy Red, a mighty band that had played the Fillmore West and had broken up the previous year. I’d spent most of the intervening time since then on the Big Island, body surfing and lava watching. Now I had returned to Marin County, looking to kick my musical career back into gear. I smiled at the informant patiently, waiting for him to continue.

The dude chuckled, “Only one problem, he and his band just left for Aspen.”

I nodded. My fortunes had just turned, and a detail like that failed to trouble me. “No problem. White is there, and I can hang out with him.” White had been the bassist and a singer in Beefy Red. Now he was learning classical bass and playing in the Aspen Music Festival. The signs were right.

The guy laughed yet again, but with a look of wonder. “But you’re broke, right? No car? How you getting there?”

“I’m hitchin’ it, man. Thanks for the info.” I walked out of the bar and left him scratching his head, puzzled by my optimism.

Back in the early 70s hitchhiking was normal and surprisingly easy. People trusted each other more in those times, and gave rides without fear, even to a longhaired type like me. So it was that I set off the next beautiful June morning from my hometown of San Rafael, California on a mission, little dreaming what was in store.

I had reached White on the phone, and he was cool with me showing up. I’d also called my friends and family, and gotten mostly disbelief. The general consensus was that I was not thinking clearly. I politely scoffed at such notions. All was well! I would prevail!

In reality, of course, I was leaving Marin County with nothing but hope, a couple changes of clothes and a bag full of harmonicas. I’d been couch surfing in the weeks I’d been back from Hawaii, and my novelty value was wearing thin. I stuck out my thumb and promptly got a ride to Davis, nearly to Sacramento. Signs were good.

But the next couple hours I stood there at the freeway entrance, I was discouraged. Nothing. I was just starting to think I had indeed made a bad mistake when a nice guy in a late model car pulled over. “Goin’ East?”

“Yes sir!” I hastily loaded my pack in the back seat, introduced myself, and we were off.

The driver was a bit older than me, maybe thirty. His hair wasn’t long, but long enough to let me know he was hip. As we headed up the Sierras on the I-80 he sounded me out, and when he concluded I was ok told me he was going to Denver. Denver! I was set!

We motored over the mountains past Reno and a colorful sunset in the desert, cruising all night. I caught a bit of sleep, and sometimes chatted, exchanging life stories, and sometimes I mused to myself over my prospects. Was I that crazy, or was my belief correct? Only one way to find out.

Dawn found us at the Utah/Colorado State line. We had headed south at Salt Lake City in the night and were now on the I-70. Up we went into the Rockies, with me grinning in anticipation. I’d never been to Aspen, and looked forward to seeing the fabulous resort town.

We had breakfast in Grand Junction, with me spending some of my last dollars on pancakes and home fries. Delicious! My driving buddy was amused by my enthusiasm, and wished me well when I got out at Glenwood Springs, deep in the Rockies. 24 hours earlier I’d been standing forlornly in Davis, and now here I was, beaming like a loon, only a few miles from my goal.

A couple rides later and I was marveling at the green-clad peaks surrounding Aspen. I cautiously hid my back pack, walked into the lobby of the Continental Hotel and briskly asked the desk clerk for White’s room number.

White was stunned but pleased to see me. “Just don’t let the hotel people know you’re crashing on my floor,” he laughed. And indeed, no one ever questioned me or hassled me in any way in the days that followed. It was a remarkably cordial environment. Now, I had to find my gig.

Elvin Bishop is legendary, and was even in 1973, as one of Paul Butterfield’s great guitar players, the others being the superb Buzz Feiten and the all-time foundational master Mike Bloomfield. Bishop and Bloomfield were in the version of the Butterfield Blues Band that was elected recently to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. So this was no schlub I was asking to hire me. Still, I felt sure it would happen.

The next night I approached the club Bishop and his band were playing in. I arrived between sets. Bishop was playing a pinball machine in a side room. Too perfect, I thought.

“Hi Elvin, my name’s Kyle and I heard you are looking to hire a harp player.”

Bishop grunted, shoving at the game to move the ball. He was good. “Now who told you that?” he asked in his Oklahoma accent.

Not a question I was expecting, but I plowed on. “I’ve been playing harp for years in bands, and I’m sure you’ll like my playing…” I wanted to pull a harp out and blow him a lick, but the background music in the club was too loud.

“Sorry man, but I can’t add anyone to my band.” He grunted again as he shoved the pinball machine just hard enough to sent the silver ball spinning into a lane that racked up points. He glanced at me sidelong. “See, it’s like this… we are already cutting the pie too many ways as it is.”

I stood there, crestfallen, feeling like a tub of cold water had been thrown on me. My dreams were in ruins. “Ah, yes… I understand,” I mumbled. I didn’t really, since I knew I could get an audience clapping wildly, given a chance. I’d done it plenty of times. “Well, thanks…”

Bishop looked over again, not unkindly. “But hey, good luck to you,” he said as I turned to go, crushed. I stumbled out of the club, blithered by the encounter. Damn, what a whipping.

White was sympathetic, and supportive. “Don’t worry man, something will come up. Why don’t you sit in with the Big Band and me at the Jerome Hotel? Gary Gray will love you” White was right, band leader Gray from UCLA’s jazz program was a Godsend for my morale, being extremely enthusiastic when White introduced me, and a few nights later I played one of the great gigs of my life at the storied Jerome, with a 20 piece horn section that blew the roof off. My solo over that horn section riffing had people patting me on the back and buying drinks. If only Elvin Bishop had heard that!

Still, I had a big problem… stone broke and no prospects to speak of. I woke on White’s hotel room floor in my sleeping bag. He was at a rehearsal, so I went out for breakfast with my last few dollars. Better go to the health food store and get some yoghurt and a muffin, I thought. It will go farther.

At the store I glanced at a bulletin board, then with great interest. A notice read “Harmonica Player Wanted.” I did a comical double take. Really?

Really.

It turned out to be the craziest job ever… walking the Aspen sidewalks blasting on a harmonica with a gigantic customized signboard. It came up to my neck in front, towered three feet over my head in back, was covered with squeeze horns, slide whistles, and real lanterns that lit at night. My boss turned out to be a fine fellow named Dan Arrow, and he advertised half the businesses in Aspen on his  unique sandwich board. The first day on the job I got 20 dollars in tips, plus what he was paying me an hour. In 1973, that was decent cash.

I’d play to the street crowds with a big chordal harmonica Dan gave me. Tunes like Wabash Cannonball and Oh Suzanna would do for a while until I’d start blowing some blues harp just to break it up. People would snap photos and give tips. Not quite what I was expecting, but now I had cash!

And now I could take White out to dinner and buy myself a nice shirt or two. I picked one up that was featured in the window of a fancy store. My luck had turned again, and that’s when I met Carol.

She was standing there with her friend in the game lobby of the Continental, this tall curly-haired beauty. I’d been playing foosball with White and a couple pals,when I noticed her. I started talking and instantly fell head over heels in love. A couple nights later she accepted my invitation, delivered in a mock-English accent, to engage in “a bit of light necking on the veranda.”

We went on a memorable date, thanks to White lending his car, in the Maroon Bell Mountians outside of town. Flowers were everywhere up there. In another week we were a couple, in three I’d convinced her to go back with me to Marin. Turned out she was a world class violinist. Yeah!

But as the weeks went past I realized I wanted to drive back with her. The season was almost over, August was getting on. What to do? Problem: no car.

Fate stepped up again. Dan Arrow had a running Plymouth Valiant in his yard he wanted to get rid of. “Call it a tip for a job well done,” he laughed. Completely illegal, and with snow tires on the back. Those little knobs made a clatter as we drove on the pavement. But what the hell.

We thanked and hugged everyone goodbye, White waving in the rearview until he was gone from view. Carol grinned engagingly as we set out, grinding up and over the Continental Divide where at the top a tourist took a fabulous photo of us, and down to beautiful New Mexico and Arizona to the Grand Canyon, where I only had eyes for her, and finally home to Marin.

Next problem: no home and low funds. A couple days of crashing with friends was enough… it was time for a miracle! So we are driving past an apartment in San Rafael and see a sign that said Free Rent. No, not kidding. The owner told us he was selling the complex and wanted to say he had full occupancy. He only asked for a deposit, and we had enough money for that. It was nice, had a pool and a view of Mt. Tamalpias out the back door.

We moved in at once. Remaining problem: no jobs.

I suggested Carol call the Oakland Symphony, but she laughed sweetly. “Oh no Kyle, you don’t understand. They will be starting rehearsals next week for the new season.”

Off my insistence, she phoned. Turned out they had three last minute openings and were auditioning in a few days. Bang, she landed third chair, right behind the Concertmaster. I loved that girl. Talented, lovely, funny… She was the center of my universe, the first live-in love of my life. We never had an argument that I can recall. What bliss!

As for me, I adopted Dan Arrow’s idea to toney Mill Valley, and sold advertising on a sandwich board and played harp strolling around. So I never did get a gig with Elvin Bishop, but I got something better…

A life.

Cut. It’s over 40 years later. Carol and I had broken up, sort of accidentally, after a wonderful, magical year together. Now in 2015 I’m planning to flee the USA and retire in Costa Rica. But… In the dentist’s chair, with a head full of nitrous oxide, a voice speaks. “Before you go south, you have to go north.”

I was aware Carol was living a thousand miles north of Topanga. Ok, I called. Next thing I know I’m driving up to see her.

And you know what? There’s no love like a First Love!
By Kyle K. Mann

Topanga

2/12/17

Raggy Monster Album Review

 

By: Joe Siess

So, because I am tasked with reviewing Raggy Monster’s newest album, As the Thorn Lures the Widow’s Lip, It Seeks No Wisdom from the Wicker Flies, here’s my raw first reaction.

The first thing that came to my mind while I was listening to Raggy Monster play Fool’s Gold live in Miami on Balcony TV, was that Rachel’s voice vaguely reminds me of Nancy Wilson, the lead singer of Heart. And I love Heart. But don’t get me wrong, she totally possesses her own voice.

Rachel’s manic witch doctor persona gives here an edge I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. Wrathful yet creative. Casting riddled incantations from the stage. Powerfully feminine, like a “Yellow Woman” rattling and channeling some kind of ancient force in a dark and wild place. In that case she might be channeling a little bit of Jim Morrison. It appears as though that might be the case and I love it. The music shows me skulls and butterflies. The way good music should.

Rachel also has this Lykke Li or maybe Niki and the Dove thing going on. So I guess i’d describe her sound and style as a combo between a Swedish Nancy Wilson and a Southern witch doctor. It all melts together to produce a tremendous allure I might add.

Raggy Monster as a whole is magnetic in the way they perform. They all seem to know how to submit to the madness of creativity and channel their collective force into music. Songs from the album like Iyiyi, a powerful song i’d recommend watching live on Youtube, demonstrates exactly what I mean. Guinevere is a song that i’d say best captures the essence of Raggy Monster.

However, I think one of my favorite songs from the album was Hannah. Mainly because it rides out like a Johnny Cash song with that grainy, folky vibe it’s got going. It’s kind of romantic really. Visions of unknown horizons. Westward bound like a love lost. But that arresting, manic, poetic mysticism thing comes out in songs like Morgan’s Organs and Guinevere.

The album is diverse in the sense that the sound never stays the same. So it pans out spontaneously because each song is different. But they have this high energy craziness when the perform live, and Rachel reminds me more of Janis Joplin than Robert Plant when they cover Led Zeppelin’s Since I’ve Been Loving You.

But who cares what I think, right? Well obviously you care if you’ve read this far. Weird.

Yes. I guess my final words here should be something encouraging. So… skulls and butterflies.

Joe

Seeing Hendrix on Acid

By Kyle K. Mann

The trick to coming on to LSD as you walked through the front door at Winterland was to take it at the perfect point on the drive in, which for us was the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge.

We made it a bit of a ceremony.

It’s early 1968. I forget who drove, but it wasn’t me. I popped a full cap of the purple stuff, I remember that. The 250 microgram dose was a lot, but in those times it seemed normal.

Because we were going to see Hendrix, man!

We got separated soon after we went in. The Winterland foyer was packed. That was fine, we were all one anyway. Half or more of the crowd had taken the good acid we enjoyed in 1968. And what a bill, with Albert King and John Mayall opening the show.

Both warmed us up nicely. Mayall’s band was hot, and he was in fine form, singing and blowing blues harmonica with feeling and power. I particularly remember his version of Parchman’s Farm, with its frantic harp riff and extended solo. Mayall was a authentic blues fan who had had Eric Clapton as a sideman. Born in the late 30’s, he was a bit older than the average rock star. We didn’t care.

Albert King was even older, born in 1923, meaning he was an ancient 45 or so. Again, we didn’t care. “If you don’t love the blues, you got a hole in your soul,” he shouted at one point. Wow, what a voice, what a guitar player. I can still hear him on “Born on a Bad Sign.” Nasty, primal.

By now the acid was peaking, and I stood in a psychedelic maelstrom, both connected to everyone and alone in my selfhood. Ok, Jimi, show me, I thought. Or was it all of us?

He seemed shy, almost, that early ’68 show. We scrutinized him. In turn, he sized his San Francisco audience up, then slowly smiled. And we were sold, right there.

There were very few bi-racial rock bands in 1968. Arthur Lee and Love, Sly and the Family Stone, Paul Butterfield… The Chambers Brothers had a Caucasian drummer. That was about it. But the multi-racial unity of the three members of the Jimi Hendrix Experience was unquestioned that night. Didn’t matter who was black or white, we were beings wearing bodies who loved music and were free. We were Experienced, and it was time to party.

So Jimi started us off with Sgt. Peppers…

His version of the title track and opening song of the album was perfect. After all, in England he had played it with the Beatles in the audience. There is a great photo of the Fab Four in a balcony, staring in fascination. The shot was taken a couple days after the release of their magnum opus, yet Hendrix had mastered the album’s great beginning track, which they Themselves never played live, and made it his own. It wasn’t one-upmanship, it was Hendrix acknowledging who had got us all where we needed to be.

After that breathtaking opening, it was time to rock with the blasting, blisteringly-paced rocker “Fire.”

Nearly a half-century later, as I type, I’m smiling. What an incredible moment. The shattering opening of the power trio, with those landslide drum fills of Mitch Mitchell. And that grooving bass pattern on the chorus! Which that in mind, Hendrix let us know who was in charge, with the commanding line “Move over Rover, and let Jimi take over!” Followed by a simple but grinding guitar solo, featuring those doubled, bent notes.

We in the standing audience were in a frenzy, laughing, shaking (no room to dance, we were packed like sardines) and marveling at the sound. The volume was just right, as I can attest after later hearing the band Blue Cheer on the same stage. That was pain; I actually walked away and went behind the stage so those huge Blue Cheer speakers weren’t pointing at me. So, yeah, Jimi wasn’t the loudest of the rock bands, and thanks Jimi, because my hearing all these years later is still reasonably good.

I’m always glad to hear Fire, to this day. It’s what rock music is all about.

Next up was Hey Joe, the Experience’s first single. It wasn’t then, and isn’t now, my favorite song, because of the vindictive and murderous tone of the lyrics. “I shot her,” Hendrix yells, and I wince. Still, the solo is a delight, and the tune’s slower pace set us up for the next song and the redemptive celebration of femininity, Foxy Lady.

Masterful guitar work. With one’s neuoreceptors chemically propped open, mindblowing. Hendrix was unstoppable on this song, playing the guitar every way possible. Cartwheeling his strumming arm, then contrasting that by playing one handed in the neck, then using the microphone stand as a slide, then using his elbow as a slide. Laughing “Aw shucks” and making it work, an astounding mix of humility, humor, and complete confidence. A performer’s performer. You couldn’t keep your eyes off him.

Great dynamics on the tune, building that trill louder and louder, then punching through the sound with controlled feedback and then the swoop down the neck into the riff. Hendrix pioneered a lot of techniques, including wah wah and phase shifting, but when it came to feedback he was a sonic Van Gogh. It was something new under the sun. Hearing it, seeing it created live, was like a supernova between your ears.

Somehow he sounded like an orchestra on that guitar. He was one with the instrument, it was like an extension of himself. It was electric/organic, it was like a merging of meat and metal. It was just so Right.

Slowing it down again to cool out, with The Wind Cries Mary. Ahh, didn’t realize we need to relax a bit. Enigmatic lyrics, reflective and thoughtful singing. Soothing and tasty, a different flavor from the Hendrix chocolate sampler box. And dynamic chord changes, especially in the bridge with a flash of bright energy to remind us what’s up. Well sung, well played. Thanks.

Time to crank it back up with Killing Floor, the gigantic Howlin’ Wolf-written masterpiece that the Electric Fag had made their own. Hendrix had opened the Monterey Pop Festival with this ditty (introduced by Brian Jones of the Stones, no less) and here it was now, potent and punchy. Six tunes in, and we are exhausted, well I am anyway. More outstanding showmanship, but I’m starting to overload.

Thankfully, Hendrix slows it down yet again with Little Wing, excellently done of course. Stevie Ray Vaughn paid tribute to this one before he died, and yes, it too was superb, but we are paying homage to the Originator here. The creator, which is obviously vital. It’s a moving song, and sweetly amplified sonic magic. We in the audience were entranced, captivated anew, refreshed… the virtuoso strikes again.

And now the set capper, Are You Experienced? which was of course the title track of the first Hendrix album, as well as a reference to the name of the band. So then, here we went, listening to a song created in the studio with backwards tracks, bass, drums, guitar… and a hammering piano octave that sounds throughout the song. Could the Jimi Hendrix Experience pull it off live?

Yes.

Now, this is a song about taking acid. It doesn’t get much more direct than this. “Have you ever been experienced, well I have” he sings. Well, indeed!

So there we are, many of us on acid, grooving along to Hendrix, shuffling our feet a little, nodding our heads, realizing this is the psychedelic peak. Right here, right now. I’m standing about twenty feet away from the stage, and it’s the Electric Church, with Preacher Hendrix singing his sermon. And it is good. It is still happening, it will always be happening, and we were free, and are free, and always will be free to death and beyond into the spectrum we can dimly make out…

Thanks God, for the salvation.

That said, acid wasn’t for everyone. There were acid casualties, though how many of those were due to bad acid or not even, we will never know. An acid bummer was hellish, the flip side of the ecstatic union pure LSD could bring. I had two bummers in the sixties, and soldiered on because the benefits outweighed the risks.

I can’t find acid any more. For starters it is stunningly illegal. I don’t like to think about how long one can be put away for, for mere possession. But I will say, these days I wouldn’t take a pill someone said was LSD. There’s only one way to take acid now, and that’s blotters, teeny squares of paper. Because LSD is the only drug effective in microgram doses.

That itself is kind of a clue.

Cut to Winterland, that fall of 1968. A lot has happened, and changed, but by heaven there we are again, and even though the stage has been shifted to the opposite side of the hall, we are still loving this show. Here it was that I saw Hendrix, soloing wildly, start running across the stage with his guitar and do a complete forward somersault. While playing perfectly. Landing on his feet, still playing and ending the lick with a flourish.

For decades I thought I’d hallucinated it. Then I saw it on film. So! Not a hallucination after all. What a relief. Because it was a sharp memory, and really cool. Yeah, I’m experienced.

The Doors were psychedelic in a different way, and could absolutely knock your socks off just playing. Janis Joplin too. Earth, Wind and Fire put on an insane live show, though I’m not sure I’d exactly call it psychedelic. Talking Heads, great stuff but more ironic. There was an American 60’s band called the Kaleidoscope that was genuinely bizarre, though few remember them. Zappa’s band was post psychedelic. The Brazilian master Milton Nascimento, who I saw on acid in the 90’s… he was like jungle psychedelic.

Yep, nobody ever did what Jimi Hendrix did, and these days I can usually command a bit of respect talking about actually seeing it, mining these goddam old hippie memories.

But you know, I sit here laughing quietly, having written that.

I sit here laughing.
by Kyle K. Mann

Topanga

1/26/17

10 Greatest Cover Songs You’ve Never Heard

By: Kidman J. Williams

The cover song is sometimes more vital than the original song itself. When bands play live they always throw you some amazing rendition of an older song, covers are also a very good way for newly formed bands to hone their skills as a unit and sometimes these bands manage to make a great and unique version of what another skilled artist wrote.

We have all heard Aerosmith’s cover of The Beatles Come Together, Nirvana doing David Bowie, or Johnny Cash’s version of Trent Reznor’s Hurt. This collection focuses on cover songs that you may not have ever heard for many different reasons.

These are some of the greatest cover songs that you may not have heard.

  1. 1. Redemption Song: By Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer of The Clash

 

Redemption Song was originally written and recorded by the legendary Jamaican Bob Marley in 1980. It was recorded on his final album and was the last recorded song he did for the album before he died from complications from cancer on May 11 1981.

The song was recorded during Rubin and Cash’s last recorded album together and the duet was “accidental” as Rick Rubin puts it. According to Rick Rubin, ” Joe was coming every day, because he loved Johnny Cash, and he just happened to be in L.A. on vacation. And he actually extended his trip a week longer just to come every day and be around Johnny.”

The song was made and we are thankful for these two musical prophets who came together to bring life back to the words of another musical prophet.

 

  1. 2. Brick House: By Rob Zombie

 

You read that subtitle right. Rob Zombie did a cover of The Commodores’ Brick House with the one and only Lionel Richie.

The original song released in 1977 on the Commodores’ self-titled release was quite the heavyweight composition in funk. But when Zombie got a hold of it in 2003 it went fairly unoticed to many people. The song was put on his greatest hits album named, Past, Present, and Future.

 

  1. 3. I’m on Fire: by Whitey Morgan and the 78’s

 

Bruce Springsteen, The Boss, released I’m on Fire back in 1984 and since then there have been many, many renditions and covers over the years. Some of them by legends like Johnny Cash, some of them by others like Awolnation, Tori Amos, and even John Mayer.

But none really captured the overall tone that Whitey Morgan and the 78’s were able to sonically portray with their version of the Springsteen classic.

Whitey Morgan and the 78’s released it on their debut album Honky Tonks and Cheap Motels in 2008. The band might not be a household name, but you can bet your farm and your bottle of whiskey in the barn that they will be in no time.

 

  1. 4. Gin and Juice: By The Gourds

 

We all know Snoop Dogg’s song Gin and Juice by heart. It is a legendary song at this point. But did you ever think that it could be done in a country way AND be good? I don’t think anyone did.

The Austin, Texas Alt-country band, The Gourds managed to do just that. The Gourds have been putting out albums and touring now for 17 plus years with their brand of country music.

From the first notes that come out of Kevin (Shinyribs) Russell’s mouth you are pretty hooked into this unique take on one of raps’ most popular songs.

There is even a video out there where the song is being played to Snoop Dogg himself. It got the King of Marijuana to sit and bop his head, we are sure you will too.

 

  1. 5. Black Betty: By Ministry

 

We all know about Ram Jam’s version of Black Betty and some of you might actually think that that was the original version of the song which makes this a weirder choice for number 5, but necessary I think considering most people think the original is Ram Jam.

The fact is that nobody really knows for sure where the song originated from or from who. Huddie “Led Belly” Ledbetter recorded one of the most popular versions of the song back in 1939, before him Alan Lomax did a cut.

Some people believe that the song was an old slave song that talked about flintstock guns. Some think it referred to a whiskey, but nobody really knows.

Now, even though Ram Jam saw considerable more success with the song, this is about covers you may not have heard before. Ministry the industrial/hardcore/metal band fronted by the always moody Al Jorgenson (Uncle Al) put out an insane and epic cut of the old song on their album Cover Up.

The album also included many other covers including an intense version of the T. Rex classic Bang a Gong.

 

  1. 6. True Love Ways: By My Morning Jacket

 

Buddy Holly is a legend in the world. He was using recording techniques that weren’t used again until The Beatles came out with Sgt. Pepper. He was one of the originators of Rock music and his life was cut terribly short by a plane crash that took the lives of two others, Ritchie Valens and Big Bopper.

The music of Buddy Holly still lives on and inspires many musicians around the globe including My Morning Jacket.

My Morning Jacket released this gem for a Buddy Holly tribute album in June of 2011 and to my surprise, not a lot of people knew about the song. It does prove to be epic from the opening line, “Just you know why,” it sucks you in and doesn’t let your heart go.

  1. 7. Lithium: By Muse

 

We all know the song Lithium by Nirvana. Nirvana came out of the Seattle Grunge scene and was another band that was gone way too soon with the death of Kurt Cobain.

Nirvana released Nevermind Sept. 24 1991 and lit the whole world on fire with their brand of punk/metal and disillusionment. Lithium was one of those epic songs released and produced by Butch Vig.

Muse who have not done an official release of the song (I’m sure it is right around the corner) have been playing it live at many different events including Coachella. How long they have been doing it…don’t know, but we do know that this huge sounding band does the job and captures exactly what this song needs.

 

  1. 8. Hotel California: By SkaDaddyZ

 

The Eagles Hotel California is one of those over-played classics that everyone loves; even the people that hate The Eagles love its overly poetic lyrics and Don Henley’s high and pompous…yeah, I don’t much care for Henley, but this song is gold.

Hotel California was released in 1976 and won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year. It was also put into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

But this cover is gold. Not many people know it and even fewer people on the internet seem to know exactly who does the song.

Many people think it is done by Pennywise. Other people scream in comments that it is Reel Big Fish, well, it isn’t.

It is done by a lesser known band called SkaDaddyZ. The SkaDaddyZ were founded in 1993 out of Silver Strand Beach in Oxnard, California and have played alongside Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, No Doubt, and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

  1. 9. Whole Lotta Love: By Prince

 

Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin is a well known classic that many bands and artists have over done over the many years. Zeppelin released the song on their second album Led Zeppelin II, Oct. 22 1969.

Prince did it live, never to have recorded it as far as I know. But this version of the old Zeppelin song really takes off as an entity of its own. The second you hear Prince proclaim to the crowd, “No format tonight!” you know you are in for something really special. And he does NOT let you down.

 

  1. 10. We Can Work It Out: By Stevie Wonder

 

The Beatles released We Can Work It Out 

The Beatles recorded this song while recording the Rubber Soul album.

It takes a serious musician to step up and cover The Beatles..and do it well. Enter Stevie Wonder, a soul/funk legend himself. Stevie recorded the song in 1970 and put it on his Signed Sealed Delivered album. He put his own twist and sound on the song making this one of the greatest cover songs of all time.

Fort Vine Album Review

By: Joe Siess

I’ve never been an Indie/Rock kind of guy to tell you the truth. I’ve always gravitated towards the old music. Maybe I have an old soul. I listen to a lot of Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, The Doors, Janis Joplin. All the crazy dead people that self-annihilated in the 70’s because the frequency was up too high.

Listening to Fort Vine’s debut album entitled One in the Same, and checking out their stuff online, I came to the conclusion that Nyna Nelson needs Continue reading