Category Archives: music

Remembering Hugh Masekela

I didn’t know it at the time, but Hugh Masekela provided my introduction to African music. The song was “Grazing  in the Grass” and it hit the charts in 1968.

It was different than the other pop hits of that time. Relaxing rather than intense. Inviting and very smooth. Thanks Hugh!

I liked it and like it still. What about you?


Remembering Mel Tillis and Kenny Rogers

36 of Mel Tillis’s songs reached the top ten in country music charts. Not bad!. And one of his most well remembered is “Ruby Don’t Take Your Love to Town.”  The song is about love, so at least in one sense, it is pretty standard stuff for pop and country. But in every other way, it is way outside of pop tradition. It is not about super cool, ego maniacal youth. It is realistic and sad — about the need for love felt by a disabled vet. . So, why, you might think was Kenny Rogers signing it? Good question. But Rogers came out with the song in 1969 and made it a hit.

Mel just passed on, which presents us with a nice opportunity to look back on how Kenny Rogers sang his song. Watching it is a bit like stepping into a time machine. BTW, quick trivia question — what song did Kenny Rogers and the First Edition turn into a hit just before this? You might be surprised – it is the more drug related “I Just Checked in to See What Condition My Condition Was in” Remember that one? Enjoy!

Time to Put Morocco’s Oasis Festival on Your Calendar?

There is no shortage of music festivals around the world. Is there room for one more? Perhaps … if the venue is exotic, the creature comforts are extreme, and the music is inspiring. This is the promise of the Morocco Oasis Festival

(Founder Marjana Jaidi created a one-of-a-kind dance experience in the mountains of Marrakech that gives anyone who attends a chance to immerse themselves in the city’s rich culture, all while enjoying an incredible lineup. It’s the perfect balance between travel and music that will not disappoint.

The promo video at their website is awesome.

We just missed this year’s event. But it is on my calendar for consideration next year,

And you?

Your Sentence: Music by a Tranquil Blue Lake

Of course, you don’t have to go to this prison. It is derelict. But this June you might want to go

The (Into the Valley) series will launch at the end of June at a quarry in Rummu, Estonia, with a setting made complete by a derelict prison on a tranquil blue lake,

Image result for Rummu Estonia

And that is just the beginning of the series

(it is followed by) weekends in an abandoned factory in Stora Vika, Sweden and, in January 2018, a festival in South Africa at the Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town.

The Guardian, hip as ever, offers more about this and other great music festivals in Europe.

Go for it!

Hamburg’s new Elbphilharmonie

Here is a cutaway

Image result for Hamburg new Elbphilharmonie

Review by the Guardian

In 1917, in the depths of the first world war, the German architect Bruno Taut made drawings of his feverish architectural dreams, of crystal halls built on the tops of the Alps, in which there would be nothing but silence and a little beautiful music. He knew that they would be tricky to build, but hoped – in vain – that the monstrous expenditure devoted to conflict could be directed their way. A century later the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, authors of Tate Modern and the Beijing Olympic stadium, have come closer than anyone might have expected to realising Taut’s fantasy. They have put a crystalline palace for music in the air, albeit on top of a large warehouse in Hamburg rather than a mountain, and with a hotel, apartments and car park added to the brief, at the cost of an effort only slightly less than Taut imagined.

check out the story – and the pics there. Very cool!

Here is another image

Image result for Hamburg new Elbphilharmonie

A Tribute to Bob Dylan

Bob just won the Nobel Prize for Lit — something I never would have expected.

M´y first reaction was “Oh, come on!” After all, Bob was not and is not your typical literary figure. And his literary work is found in lyrics to songs – pop songs at that – rather than books.

But there may be something to this. Bob’s lyrics were unique in their time. He touched a rebel chord that lots and lots of people responded to. His attitude became a core piece of counter-culture. he had impact. Huge impact in his day. As much as a literary great would have, if not more.

So that should be rewarded somehow. Right?