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Bob Mosolgo

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So far Bob Mosolgo has created 927 blog entries.

Decade of Difference: Soundgarden

Soundgarden was able to carve a niche for hard rock in the evolving genre of alternative rock, drawing on influences from Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath combined with intelligence and humor pulled from the underground rock movement.

One of the first bands released on Seattle’s iconic Sub Pop label, they looked to be the first band to break through commercially from the alt rock world, but it was not the case as Nirvana eclipsed them in 1991. Itv was not until 1994 that Soundgarden would have a major successful release with Superunknown. Leading the album was Black Hole Sun, a major international hit that was one of two singles from the album to win a Grammy. After their following album Down on the Upside also delivered multiple hit singles, the band broke up, suffering from internal strife.

After their breakup in 1997, the band members from Soundgarden spent a decade working on other projects. In 2010 Chris Cornell announced that the band was reforming. The band first released a compilation album, before recording new material in 2012.

There was to be no more new material from the band. In 2016 the band announced that they had several songs written for a new record, but in 2017 Chris Cornell was discovered dead in a Detroit hotel room, victim of an apparent suicide. Soundgarden cancelled the remainder of their tour.

After two years of debating the future of the band guitarist Kim Thayil announced that the band name Soundgarden would be retired. Other than appearing at a tribute concert for Cornell, the surviving band members have not played together.

2021-09-15T22:35:15-04:00September 16th, 2021|

Decade of Difference: Tom Jones

Sir Tom Jones began his career with a string of top 10 hits in the mid 60’s, eventually selling over 100 million records. A musical shape shifter, Jones has sung almost every form of popular music. Choosing a full throated robust style over nuance, Jones is best described as maintaining a swaggering presence in the songs he records.

After recording a string of pop hits in the 60s, Jones followed with readings of country classics, then moved on to becoming a Las Vegas favorite.

Tom Jones began his career in Wales in 1963 with a beat group. After recording some solo tracks, Jones was recruited for a solo career starting in 1964. Initially he paired his strong vocals with over-the-top orchestration and later, repackaged himself into a more mature crooner style.

Always adventurous, Jones has covered everyone from Billy Joe Shaver to the Milk Carton Kids to Radiohead. In 1988 Jones surprised many with a cover Of Prince’s Kiss recorded with the Art of Noise. This led to a new tour, his first in several years and a return to playing clubs which continued for several years.

Tom Jones took a five year break from recording after the passing of his wife of 59 years, but returned this year with a new record. Amongst the tracks is Bobby Cole’s 1967 ballad “I’m Growing Old” — the jazz singer had given it to Jones in 1972. Jones loved the song but felt he was too young to record it. He promised the composer he would cut it when he reached 80.

2021-09-14T22:00:14-04:00September 15th, 2021|

Decade of Difference: Jerry Douglas

Jerry Douglas came into playing the dobro through his father who was a bluegrass musician. As a teen he played with his father’s band, when a member of the bluegrass group The Country Gentlemen heard him. They took Douglas on tour with them for the rest of the summer and then later brought him into a recording studio. Douglas established himself as an in-demand studio musician, a position he has maintained over the years. To date, Jerry Douglas has appeared on over 1500 records and received 32 Grammy nominations, winning 14.

On his own, Douglas has 14 albums crossing a range of genres. His first two albums in the 70s stuck to traditional folk and bluegrass but with a jazz influenced spin. Later albums drew on the skills of artists that he encountered through his studio work, with collaborations on his records with Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton, Peter Rowan and others.

Jerry Douglas has paid tribute to his biggest influence, the bluegrass band Flatt and Scruggs by playing in the tribute group Earls of Leicester. The tribute band won a Grammy in 2015 for their debut album.

With more than 1500 albums to his credit, you would think there would be no one left that Douglas would like to play with – but there was at least one. Douglas had wanted to record with John Hiatt. Despite their both appearing on the second Circle record from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, they did not actually meet.

Finally they met up backstage at the Newport Folk Festival and later Hiatt’s manager suggested that Douglas should produce his next album. When both agreed, the recording was scheduled – unfortunately during the pandemic – but it worked out.

According to Douglas, “So we went in and the pandemic hit. We were supposed to do this in April of 2020. So that wasn’t happening as the studios were closed but we finally got into RCA B that belongs to the Country Music Hall Of Fame. It’s where Chet Atkins made all the records with Elvis and the Everly Brothers and Dolly Parton and everybody recorded in that studio. So because covid had hit Nashville, they couldn’t do tours through the studio so we all masked up and went in there and separated ourselves in the room and made this record in about four days.”

2021-09-13T08:30:28-04:00September 14th, 2021|

Decade of Difference: Tom T. Hall

One of America’s most successful songwriters, Tom T. Hall passed away in mid August. Known as “the Storyteller”, Hall wrote 12 number one songs with an additional 26 that reached the top 10.

Born in Kentucky, Hall organized his first band to play between movies for a traveling theater. While in the Army he performed on the Armed Forces Radio Network and after discharge enrolled at Roanoke College. It was there he began working as a radio DJ, with stops at several stations in the mid atlantic. A song written about his experiences, DJ for a Day was his break into music when country singer Jimmy C. Newman recorded it.

Going to work for Newman, Hall became a $50 a week songwriter, composing up to six country songs a day.

Tom T. Hall wrote one of the first pro Vietnam War songs during a time when most music was aimed at opposing views. After Johnnie Wright took the song Hello Vietnam to number one on the country charts, Hall was encouraged to begin recording some of his songs himself. His first record came in 1967 and in 1969, when Jeannie C. Riley took his Harper Valley PTA to number one interest in his recordings increased. Hall was a fixture on the country charts through the mid 70s. He aided this through regular TV appearances on the widely popular “Hee Haw”country variety show.

Hall’s production slowed by the early 80s, and in 1986 he stopped writing songs. In 1994 retired from performing in 1994 and appeared on stage only one more time in 2011. Among his many awards, Hall was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008 and won the IBMA Songwriter of the Year award twelve times.

2021-09-09T14:39:00-04:00September 13th, 2021|

Country Feedback Playlist for Sept 12, 2021

Country Feedback Playlist for 9/12/2021
Artist – Album – Title – Release Year
Sean Burns & Lost Country – Music for Taverns and Honky Tonks – My Old Self – 2018
Jess Daniel – Beyond These Walls – Lookin’ Back – 2021
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Aaron Burdett – Dream Rich, Dirt Poor – I Won the Fight – 2021
Amanda Anne Platt – Amanda Anne Platt and The Honeycutters – Long Ride – 2017
Shannon McNally – The Waylon Sessions – I Ain’t Livin’ Long Like This – 2021
Charlie Robison – Beautiful Day – Beautiful Day – 2009
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The Boxcars – The Boxcars – December 13th – 2010
Don Gibson – – Foggy River – 1959
Zach Schmidt – Raise a Banner – Concrete Dreams – 2021
Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks – Tangled Tales – The Diplomat – 2009
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NRBQ – Wild Weekend – Boy’s Life – 1989
The Gourds – Haymaker! – All the Way to Jerico – 2009
Southern Culture on the Skids – Kudzu Records Presents – Just Like I Treat You – 2021
Blackberry Smoke – Holding All The Roses – Holding All The Roses – 2015
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James Hand – Mighty Lonesome Man – Mighty Lonesome Man – 2012
The Beat Farmers – Tales of the New West – Lost Weekend – 1985
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2021-09-11T11:32:34-04:00September 12th, 2021|

Decade of Difference: Dave Edmunds

Welshman Dave Edmunds played in his first band as a ten year old with his brother Geoff. Initially Dave played piano but quickly moved on to guitar in a series of bands that formed and split in the late 50’s and early 60’s. After working in a Parlophone Records house band for a couple of years, Edmunds joined blues rock band Love Sculpture, which had some low level hits in the UK. That band folded by the end of the 60’s.

It was in 1970 that Dave Edmunds had his biggest solo hit. I Hear you Knockin’ was certified Gold in the US and the UK. At this point Dave Edmunds was focused primarily on the art of producing music Phil Spector style. He spent much of his time in studios re-creating an oldies sound by meticulously laying down track upon track – mostly recordings of himself. It was not unusual for Edmunds to use 40 tracks on a single, and he became proficient at generating records with the sound of old Sun and Chess classics.

Dave Edmunds applied his production skills to artists emerging from the70’s pub rock scene in the UK, including Shakin’ Stevens and Brinsley Schwartz. It was through the latter that Edmunds met Nick Lowe and the pair began a long term creative collaboration through the band Rockpile.

Rockpile amassed a string of hits in the 70s and toured constantly. The band released five complete records with three others appearing under Dave Edmunds’ name and one more under Nick Lowe’s name. 1979 was a busy year for the band, recording solo records from both Lowe and Edmunds. The group finally split up in 1981 citing displeasure with their manager. Lowe and Edmunds did not work together again until 1988.

2021-09-09T07:55:19-04:00September 10th, 2021|

Decade of Difference: Madeleine Peyroux

Madeleine Peyroux is known for her reinterpretation of classic jazz, blues and folk songs. Her initial album, 1996’s Dreamland demonstrated this using a group of seasoned jazz performers and song list of classics. Growing up the daughter of hippies in Athens, Georgia, Peyroux began performing as a busker on the streets of Paris after she and her mother moved there when she was 13 and for several years toured Europe with the Wandering Blues and Jazz Band covering jazz standards.

It took eight years for Peyroux to complete her second album with Careless Love appearing in 2004. Although it also was an album primarily featuring covers, it was a more contemporary and diverse set. The album was certified Gold in several countries including the United States.

After another well received album of covers reached the Billboard charts in 2006, Madeleine Peyroux further developed her sound with a 2009 album of original material. It was a creative gamble that paid off with the album debuting at number one on the jazz charts.

Since then Peyroux has managed to broaden her sound while remaining true to her musical roots, sticking primarily to material from iconic musicians she has treasured through the years like Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and Carole King.

‘I am a singer first, and always have been,’ she says. ‘So lyrics are incredibly important to the way that I approach any song. Therefore, I cannot deny that my songwriting heroes are the great lyricists.

2021-09-08T12:25:26-04:00September 9th, 2021|

Decade of Difference: Alison Krauss

At five Alison Krauss began violin lessons and after tiring of classical music she turned her attention to country and bluegrass. By eight she was competing in talent contests, at ten she had her own band and at twelve she won the Illinois State Fiddle Championship.

She played on her first record as a fourteen year old and signed a recording contract that same year. Krauss and her band recorded their first record in 1987 and the group went on to win the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass in America’s National Band Championship contest.

Completing her whirlwind introduction to the music industry, Krauss was nominated for a Grammy in 1989 and then won her first one in 1990.

Alison Krauss continued her eclectic recording mix in the 90s, finding her music appearing on the country, bluegrass and pop charts. 1995’s Now That I’ve Found You: A Collection appeared in the top 10 on both the country and pop charts. In 2002 her contribution to the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack and a following tour caused her popularity to soar.

Krauss has built on her successful vocal and fiddle playing through many collaborations – none more successful than her Grammy winning album with Robert Plant Raising Sand. The pair have just announced a second record together coming later this year, twelve years after the original collaboration.

2021-09-05T20:58:53-04:00September 7th, 2021|

Decade of Difference: Chuck E. Weiss

There really was a ‘Chuck E’ – the focus of Ricki Lee Jones’s hit Chuck E’s in Love’. The song rose to number 4 on the charts in 1979 and remains Jones’s biggest hit. At the time, Jones and her lover, singer/songwriter Tom Waits spent a lot of time with Weiss in LA, until one day he disappeared. Later Weiss called to explain he was in Denver and had fallen in love. When Waits told Jones ‘Chuck E’s in Love, a song was born.

Chuck E. Weiss grew up in Denver where his parents owned a record store. Hanging around local music venues, Weiss met Lightnin’ Hopkins who was impressed with his drumming, and took him along on tour. After settling in LA, Weiss released his first record in 1981 with a long gap, a second record in 2000.

Weiss was associated with the LA music scene for decades – an association he explained as a fear of flying that limited his ability to travel. After eleven years playing Monday nights at a local club called The Central, it closed. Weiss and friend Johnny Depp bought the club and reopened it as The Viper. The most notable event at the Viper was it’s being the site of River Phoenix’s death in 1993.

Weiss’s music ranged across almost every genre. He was noted for including beat poetry and blues in his songs which could also feature nursery rhymes and zydeco. Chuck E. Weiss died in July at the age of 76.

2021-09-05T20:56:11-04:00September 6th, 2021|

Country Feedback Playlist for Sept 5, 2021

Country Feedback Playlist for 9/5/2021
Artist – Album – Title – Release Year
Melissa Carper – Daddy’s Country Gold – My Old Fashioned Gal – 2021
Della Mae – The Butcher Shoppe – Bourbon Hound – 2019
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Alecia Nugent – The Old Side of Town – I Thought He’d Never Leave – 2020
Jim Lauderdale – I’m A Song – End of the World Rag – 2014
Levon Helm – Levon Helm – I’ve Got a Bet With Myself – 1978
Old 97s – Graveyard Whistling – Irish Whiskey Pretty Girls – 2017
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Sierra Ferrell – Long Time Coming – Far Away Across the Sea – 2021
Dale Watson – Call Me Lucky – David Buxkemper – 2019
Wanda Jackson – Encore – Good Girl Down w/Angaleena Presley and Candi Carpenter – 2021
John Hiatt – Beneath this Gruff Exterior – My Baby Blue – 2003
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John Cowan – John Cowan – Wichita Way – 2006
Billy F. Gibbons – Hardware – She’s On Fire – 2021
Fred Eaglesmith – Lipstick, Lies and Gasoline – 105 – 1997
Linda Ronstadt – Heart Like A Wheel – When Will I Be Loved – 1974
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Elijah Ocean – Born Blue – Livin’ to Love You – 2021
JJ Cale – Rewind – Bluebird – 2007
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2021-09-03T21:40:53-04:00September 5th, 2021|