Video of the day: Mavis Staples – A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall (a cappella)

Mavis Staples
Mavis Staples began her career with her family group in 1950. Initially singing locally at churches and appearing on a weekly radio show, the Staples scored a hit in 1956 with “Uncloudy Day” for the Vee-Jay label. When Mavis graduated from what is now Paul Robeson High School in 1957, The Staple Singers took their music on the road. Led by family patriarch Roebuck “Pops” Staples on guitar and including the voices of Mavis and her siblings Cleotha, Yvonne, and Purvis, the Staples were called “God’s Greatest Hitmakers.”

With Mavis’ voice and Pops’ songs, singing, and guitar playing, the Staples evolved from enormously popular gospel singers (with recordings on United and Riverside as well as Vee-Jay) to become the most spectacular and influential spirituality-based group in America. By the mid-1960s The Staple Singers, inspired by Pops’ close friendship with Martin Luther King, Jr., became the spiritual and musical voices of the civil rights movement. They covered contemporary pop hits with positive messages, including Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” and a version of Stephen Stills’ “For What It’s Worth.”

A cappella (Italian for “in the manner of the church” or “in the manner of the chapel”) music is specifically group or solo singing without instrumental accompaniment, or a piece intended to be performed in this way. It contrasts with cantata, which is accompanied singing. A cappella was originally intended to differentiate between Renaissance polyphony and Baroque concertato style. In the 19th century a renewed interest in Renaissance polyphony coupled with an ignorance of the fact that vocal parts were often doubled by instrumentalists led to the term coming to mean unaccompanied vocal music. The term is also used, albeit rarely, as a synonym for alla breve.

Mavis Staples – A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall (a cappella) with a fine introduction by Mavis:

– Hallgeir

The Best Songs – ” Rock Me Baby”

From Wikipedia:

Rock Me Baby” is a blues standard that has become one of the most recorded blues songs of all time. When B.B. King released “Rock Me Baby” in 1964, it became a Top 40 hit reaching #34 in the Billboard Hot 100.  The song is based on earlier blues songs and has been interpreted and recorded by a variety of artists.

B.B. King’s “Rock Me Baby” is based on “Rockin’ and Rollin'”, a song recorded by Lil’ Son Jackson in 1950 (Imperial 5113). King’s lyrics are nearly identical to Jackson’s, although instrumentally the songs are different. “Rockin’ and Rollin'” is a solo piece, with Jackson’s vocal and guitar accompaniment, whereas “Rock Me Baby” is an ensemble piece.

Rock me baby, rock me all night long
Rock me baby, honey, rock me all night long
I want you to rock me baby,
like my back ain’t got no bone

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Bob Dylan: Train of Love, New York City, New York, Early April 1999 (video)

kindredspiritscover johnny cash

I like Johnny Cash’s songs. Because he’s not trying to cover up. Writes real stuff.
~Bob Dylan (Izzy Young’s Notebooks – Oct 1961)

Shown as part of The Johnny Cash tribute show at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City 6 April 1999.

Hey Johnny, I wanna say Hi and I’m sorry we can’t be there, but that’s just the way it is. I wanna sing you one of your songs about trains. I used to sing this song before I ever wrote a song and I also wanna thank you for standing up for me way back when.

Musicians:

  • Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
  • Bucky Baxter (pedal steel guitar & electric slide guitar)
  • Larry Campbell (guitar)
  • Tony Garnier (bass)
  • David Kemper (drums & percussion)

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April 01: The late great Ronnie Lane was born in 1946

ronnie lane

 

April 01: The late great  Ronnie Lane was born in 1946

As the former bassist for the Small Faces, and later the Faces, Ronnie Lane left both bands when he felt the spirit of the group had died, gaining him the reputation of an uncompromising artist, and allowing him the opportunity to release some fine solo material in the ’70s.
~Steve Kurutz (allmusic.com)

Ronnie Wood and Kenney Jones Talk The Faces on Hall of Fame Induction:

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Playlist: 11 hidden gems from Neil Young

neil

Playlist: 11 hidden gems from Neil Young

What is a “buried treasure”, “a hidden gem” or “an underrated gem” ? Well, to me, it’s a great song that seldom (or never) is on the “best-of” lists of the artist, and it could have/should have been.

I am talking about great songs that are often overlooked. We are talking about personal favorites that you wouldn’t rate among the artists top 20 (maybe), but deserve some more praise and recognition than they get.

Neil Young has a lot of those, here are my 11 chosen ones (the Spotify playlist is at the end of the post):

Words – Between the lines of age, Glastonbury 2009 (Harvest):

Bandit (you need to manually go to 54 minutes in, the song lasts for about 6 minutes ,Greendale):

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