Posts filed under: Singer/Songwriter

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers “The Last DJ” (2002)

Something incredible happens when you tune in Sirius Radio channel 31. Supernatural, even. Tom Petty is still alive. Still there nonchalantly talking about music – his own, and that of multitudes of other artists. Still rambling from topic to topic in an excited but unhurried drawl. Still irreverent, a bit... Read More

Cat Stevens “Father and Son” (1970)

When my son, Max, was in college at Vassar, he had his own radio show, “Band Geeks,” on WVKR, the college radio station beaming out a 3,700 watt signal to campus, to greater Poughkeepsie, NY, and through the magic of the internet, to anyplace else. I was a faithful listener. As with most college radio... Read More

The White Buffalo “Modern Times” (2015)

Here’s my quick description of the video to follow: Burly, long-haired and bearded man dances frantically in front of a tattered, wood-paneled wall. That’s not exactly selling you? Please, give it two-and-a-half minutes, I’m confident you won’t be disappointed. This is Jake Smith, a singer/songwriter performing for roughly 16 years under the moniker The White...... Read More

Hozier “Nina Cried Power” (2018)

“It’s not the waking, it’s the rising” With that softly delivered line, Hozier begins one of the hardest-hitting songs I’ve heard in a very long time. “It’s a song about protest songs,” he says, “It’s a thank you note to the spirit of protest.” Hozier vaulted from obscurity to international acclaim with the roof-raising, anthemic...... Read More

Elliott Smith “Miss Misery” (1997)

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck brought Elliott Smith to much of the world, but my son Max brought him to me. And I feel extremely fortunate that he did; Smith’s songs regularly reached a level of poignancy I think few artists achieve, or probably even seek. His sweet, breathy vocals, painfully personal lyrics, and stripped-down,...... Read More

Amos Lee “Windows Are Rolled Down” (2011)

The Power Of Music I had definitely heard of folk singer/songwriter Amos Lee before this week but frankly knew next to nothing about him or his music. Then, due to circumstances I’ll get to later, I was forwarded the following note, which Lee had just issued to his fan mailing list on the day he...... Read More

Bill Withers “Ain’t No Sunshine” (1971)

Say that Bill Withers created a few of Soul/R&B’s most memorable songs ever, and I’d say “I know.” Say that he was an extremely uncharacteristic success story, and I’d say “I know” again. Say “I know” 24 more times (for a total of 26) and you’ll equal the number of times Withers said “I know”...... Read More

Simon & Garfunkel “Cecilia” (1970)

Friends, I have to ask: What the hell was up with Cecilia?! She’s getting it on with Paul, at his place and in the middle of the afternoon yet, and as soon as he takes a little bathroom break she’s got someone else hopping into bed with her? How did this other guy even get...... Read More

Lucinda Williams “Buttercup” (2011)

Some rock singer’s voices are almost so bizarre you wonder how they even had the audacity to step up to a microphone and try in the first place. I mean, what on earth gave Tom Waits the idea that his grotesque growl could possibly ever work in popular music? Or Lou Reed? Or Joe Cocker??...... Read More

Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real “Set Me Down On A Cloud” (2017)

Here’s some more Lukas Nelson, this time plugged in and with band. First, about the band: Since 2015 Promise Of The Real have been the regular backing unit for a guy named Neil Young. In studio and on tour. So there’s that.... Read More
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