Friday, September 26, 2008

Trevor Nelson on BBC Radio 2

My last post here was about British soul singer Anthoney Wright. Well, through one of his fan sites, I found out that Wright would be performing live this week on the Wednesday night R&B/soul programme hosted by Trevor Nelson on BBC Radio 2. It's not a programme I had ever listened to before.

Now since I'm not much of a night owl during the working week (I get up at 5:30am Monday through Friday - yawn - in order to beat the traffic into Oxford), I decided to use my DAB radio and digitally record the programme rather than listen live. That way, I can also listen as many times as I'd like on my iPod (once I've converted the file format, that is).

What an interesting radio show - one that I'll be recording every week from now on!

Anthoney Wright, along with an excellent backing band and singers, performed two songs live. One was the track that I've been hearing regularly on the radio - "Reset to Zero". The other was called "No Me Without You". What can I say about the performances? Well, now I'm especially looking forward to the release of Wright's first album (hopefully later this year)! The guy has one of the finest soul voices I've heard in a long time. Really.

My only regret about Wright's performance on Radio 2 this week was that Trevor Nelson didn't interview him. Oh well - can't have everything, I guess!

Here's a shot that I grabbed from Radio 2's site. Let's hope that the Beeb won't be too offended that I am using a photo of Anthoney Wright, from Wednesday night, from their site. I'm only borrowing it!

But through that same radio show, I also have discovered an artist about whom I know little. Nelson played a cover version of Miles Davis' famous song "So What" by an artist called Ronny Jordan. I believe it's from 1992. It was just fantastic, and I've already wish-listed the CD containing it on Amazon. Nelson commented that many purist fans of Davis think this version is a sacrilege. I certainly didn't. It was remarkable. I know almost nothing about Jordan, so I guess more research is due.

So a big "thank you" to Trevor Nelson on two counts this week. And as I said, I'll definitely be listening again.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Learning About - Anthoney Wright

Have any of you heard of UK singer Anthoney Wright?

No - that's not a typo. He spells his first name with an "e". And man, can he sing!

So far, all I've heard is one single - "Reset to Zero". And besides his MySpace page (linked above), I know very little besides what I've learned from this small piece from The Guardian.

I can't wait to hear more, though. This is one of the best soul voices I've heard in a long time!


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Elbow win the 2008 Mercury Prize!

I am just delighted this morning to hear that Elbow have won the prestegious Mercury Prize this year for their terrific CD "The Seldom Seen Kid", released earlier this year. It certainly is in my list of favorites CDs of the year so far.

You can read more about last night's awards via the BBC's site.

I had never heard of Elbow before this CD. They are not newcomers to the music scene, but they aren't that well known to most Americans. Now, I want to explore more. I guess it's time to zip over to Amazon and see what's available in their back catalog!


Friday, September 05, 2008

Pondering something about "Beat It"

Michael Jackson's 1982 hit "Beat It" shuffled up on my iPod Nano while I was walking to the office this morning. Great song, isn't it?

But as the song began, I was thinking that I've always expected "Beat It" to begin in a slightly different key following the intro. Higher? Lower? I'm not quite sure - I'll have to analyze that further.

Has anybody else ever experienced anything similar?

Have a good weekend...


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I'm Listening To: "Sun Mountain" - Walter Becker & Donald Fagen

I didn't even know that this CD - "Sun Mountain" - even existed until very recently. That's hard to believe. I might be one of the world's most avid fans of Becker and Fagen, and I've followed their work from the days of their first Steely Dan release "Can't Buy a Thrill" in 1972. I've seen them twice - although, to be fair, neither of those two concerts was back in the "old days". I only got to see them in the 90s when they restarted their touring.

Each of the 17 tracks on this CD were recorded between 1968 and 1971.

"Sun Mountain", as I discovered, is full of demos - some more polished than others - of songs which both did and didn't eventually make their way onto Steely Dan albums. An example of the latter is "A Little With Sugar", a very engaging song which apparently was least I'm not aware it was ever recorded by Steely Dan. I don't understand why.

So on this CD, you'll hear unreleased compositions as well as the fledgling versions of such classics as "Any Major Dude Will Tell You", "Any World That I'm Welcome To", "Barrytown", and "Parker's Band", among others.

Would I recommend this CD to anybody? Clearly, no. Really, it's for people like me. We're the died-in-the-wool fans of Becker and Fagen who are delighted to get a peek into their early genius. I'm very happy to have added this to my Steely Dan collection!

There's a review of this CD on Amazon, if you'd like to give it a read to get the opinion of another fan.


PS Can you imagine - I've actually married a man who can't stand Steely Dan? It must be true love, then, don't you think? ;-)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I'm Listening To: "Nine Lives" - Steve Winwood, 2008

Steve Winwood's release from earlier this year has been sitting in a pile of CDs on our stereo for quite some time now. I listened to my officemate's copy in our office soon after it was released, and then I guess I just forgot about it.

Last week, I took "Nine Lives" in the car with me for company during my daily commute to/from Oxford. And I remembered why I ordered my own copy of the CD after hearing Gavin's. It's very good!

I love the combinations of R&B, jazz, African and Latin influences. I especially like the sound of electronic organ in contrast with acoustic guitar. And I've always loved the sound of Winwood's voice.

Anyway, whether you like the old Spencer Davis Group sort of Winwood sound, the music of Traffic and/or Blind Faith, or some of Winwood's earlier jazz-oriented solo offerings, I'd suggest you give it a listen.