Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Nori Bucci

I just discovered this fantastic guitarist while looking around the MySpace Music pages.

Nori Bucci, from Buffalo, New York, was, June of 2002, was selected as one of five finalists in the "North American Rock Guitar Competition." In November of 2003, she won best rock guitarist at the Buffalo music awards.

She started guitar at 10 years old, and at 16, was one her way to mastering classical and fingerstyle guitar.

She has two releases out, "Speak My Soul" and "Tales of a Dream", both recorded in her own studio.

The song "Recurring Nightmare" shows off her strong electric guitar playing.
Check out her MySpace page to hear a few of her songs, including Recurring Nightmare.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Eva Cassidy

How can I go from Bloodrock to Eva Cassidy in just a few days?

It was because I have Eva's version of Fields of Gold on my iPod and was listening to it yesterday. I was walking around the pond at my office park on a beautiful early fall afternoon, looking around at the changing leaves, while enjoying this heavenly voice.

Eva's story is sad. She died before she made a name for herself, outside of Washington D.C area. Her version of this song, and of Over the Rainbow, were played on a radio show in Enlgand, and moved many people to wonder who she was. It was with great sadness that it was announced that she had died a few years earlier.

She had the voice of an angel. I have never heard a voice more pure that Eva's. I find her voice and life inspiring. Eva had chances to sign to a major record label, but refused them, as she thought they would make her change her vision of her music. They sure would have. People like Eva do not come along very often.
Thankfully, she left the world a few albums and videos.

From Wikipdeia:
Four years later, Cassidy's music was brought to the attention of UK audiences when her versions of "Over the Rainbow" and "Fields of Gold" were played on BBC Radio 2. Following the overwhelming response, a camcorder recording of "Over the Rainbow" taken at the Blues Alley was shown on BBC Two's Top of the Pops 2. Shortly after, the compilation album Songbird, climbed to the top of the UK Albums Charts, almost three years after its initial release. The chart success in the United Kingdom led to increased recognition worldwide; as of 2008, her posthumously released recordings, including three UK #1s, have sold around eight million copies.[1] Her music has also charted top 10 positions in Australia, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland.

There are many videos on youTube of Eva, including the ABC News report on her, which is where I first heard of her. Please take the time to give her a listen. I can't tell you her story - it is already written on many websites. They do a much better job than a non-writer like me.

Eva's website.
Crosstown Arts



Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bloodrock

I was digging through an old box of cassettes yesterday. Remember those things? Cassettes were all the rage in the 1970's. I had many of them, mostly recorded from a friend of mine, who had an awesome record collection. He let me raid it, and take what I wanted to record. So I had them proudly displayed near my stereo. My stereo was a Sharp, with a "magic eye" that allowed you to fast forward on your cassette and it would automatically stop at the next song. I was proud of that, too, because it had huge speakers and, well, it looked cool.

I had a handful of tapes that made their way to me from my older sister. I got them when was all of 11 (my daughter is 11 now!). One of them was by Bloodrock, a band from Texas that was famous for the song, DOA, about the victim of an airplane crash . Which, by the way, freaked me out when I first heard it. This tape did not have DOA on it, fortunately. But it did contain some great songs with the underated guitar work of Lee Pickens.

The band, from Ft. Worth, consisted of Jim Rutledge (vocals), Lee Pickens (guitar),
Ed Grundy (bass), Stevie Hill (keyboards), Nick Taylor (guitar),Rick Cobb (drums). By 1972, a few of them left and were replaced and the band moved to a more progressive rock sound.

The cassette I still have, Bloodrock 3, had a few songs that were very influential to me. "Breach of Lease" features a haunting organ throughout, with a killer solo by Lee at the end. "You Gotta Roll" has Lee ripping it on a solo halfway through. He was a fast player, using a Les Paul Goldtop with P-90s. "Jessica" was the single released, not to be at all confused with the Allman Brothers song of the same name.

Bloodrock sounds somewhat dated today when I listened to the tape yesterday. However, when I hear "Breach of Lease", it takes me back to the days when I would set up my tent in the yard, grab a few comic books, and play music while reading. The tape got major play in the rotation of tapes, which containted Savoy Brown, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, Steve Miller and Deep Purple. Not a bad selection to listen to.
This tape is one of the few survivors of my childhood possesions. Strange that it would be a band called Bloodrock that would still be around in my basement.
Bloorock reunited in 2005 for a benefit for Steve Hill.

Link to website, Myspace


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Animal Logic and Deborah Holland

In 1990, we went to see Animal Logic at the Fine Line Cafe in Minneapolis. We got there early, sat near the front, and ordered up lots of food to keep us busy for the two hours we would have to wait.

The wait was worth it, as we were able to see Stewart Copeland, Deborah Holland and Stanley Clarke close up. Rusty Anderson was the guitarist. Rusty had played on the album, and went on to fame as the guitarist for Paul McCartney many years later.

The band put on one of the best concerts I have ever seen. Animal Logic were not a guitar-based band. Clarke handled most of the solos on record, but Rusty cut loose and gave the songs a sonic punch that made it hard for me to listen to the CD. I wanted to hear him again!

Deborah Holland is a magnificent singer and songwriter. I can see why she was chosen. I had read that they had auditioned many singers, and were about to give up, when her demo tape made its way to them. She wrote almost all the material, which was quite an accomplishment when surrounded by such talent. She should have been a huge star, in my opinion.

Stewart Copeland is one of the best drummers in rock, and made my wife say that she never realized how much a drummer can add to the band. To see him up so close was a treat.

This concert was the last of the tour and may have been one of the last in America. Animal Logic released one more CD, Animal Logic II, then broke up. That CD had alot of great songs on it, including the minor hit, I Won't Be Sleeping Anymore. Stanley Clarke carries the song, Stone In My Shoe, which is one of my favorites. There is not much prominent guitar on this CD, but it does not matter.

Standout tunes from the first release, Animal Logic, are Firing Up My Sunset Gun, Elijah, and the hit, Spy in the House of Love.

The band has a MySpace page, which has most of the videos from YouTube. And they have a website from IRS Records. The Wikipedia page has links to interview with the band.


Deborah Holland , to my surprise, is in a group called The Refugees. The last time I read about her she was a music professor at California State University, Los Angeles.

The Refugees also have Wendy Waldman and Cindy Bullens as members.

I am glad to see her still writing and recording music. Her solo material is quite different than Animal Logic, but still nice to listen to her fantastic voice.