I got to know Nanci Griffith through the seminal music paper Beat (norwegian music magazine), this music magazine has been extremely important in my musical upbringing. They made it ok to say that you loved country music. This was a big step for us rock/punk youth. Anyway, they praised Nanci Griffith very early and we listened and we agreed, this was very special indeed.
Her voice, her way of singing, especially other people’s’ songs, it was and is beautiful. My first entry into her world was John Prine’s The Speed of The Sound of Loneliness, it is still the best song in her catalogue. Hell, it would be the best song in almost anybody’s catalogue!
Speed of the sound of Loneliness (with John Prine who wrote this masterpiece):
Nanci Griffith, (born Nanci Caroline Griffith, July 6, 1953, Seguin, Texas) is an American singer, guitarist, and songwriter based in Austin, Texas.
Allmusic: Straddling the fine line between folk and country music, Nanci Griffith has become as well-known for her brilliant, confessional songwriting as her beautiful voice. A self-styled “folkabilly” singer, Griffith began as a kindergarten teacher and occasional folksinger. The country scene took her to heart in the mid-’80s, giving her a reputation as a quality songwriter through hit covers of Griffith’s songs by Kathy Mattea and Suzy Bogguss. Finding no luck with commercial country radio however, Griffith recorded several pop-oriented albums and then returned to her folk roots by the mid-’90s.
Mike Cooley, guitarist, songwriter and singer in one of our favorite bands Drive-By Truckers, was born 14 September 1966.
Happy Birthday, Mike Cooley!
Drive-By Truckers are an alternative country/Southern rock band based in Athens, Georgia, but two of the members (Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley) are originally from The Shoals region of Northern Alabama, and the band strongly identifies with Alabama. Their music uses three guitars as well as bass, drums, and now keyboards.
During a recent solo tour, the Drive by Truckers’ Mike Cooley stopped by the Fretboard Journal magazine offices to perform this tune. “Birthday Boy” originally appeared on the DBT’s album ‘The Big To-Do.’ Cooley also describes the unique guitar he’s playing, built by luthier Scott Baxendale.
Mike Cooley – Birthday Boy:
Drive-By Truckers was co-founded by Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood in Athens, Georgia, in 1996. The two had played in various other bands including Adam’s House Cat which was chosen as a top ten Best Unsigned Band by a Musician contest in the late 1980s. After the demise of Adam’s House Cat, Cooley and Hood performed as a duo under the name “Virgil Kane.” They eventually started a new band, “Horsepussy,” before splitting for a few years. It was during this split that Hood moved to Athens, Georgia and began forming what would become Drive-By Truckers. Cooley soon followed.
Hank Thompson was perhaps the most popular Western swing musician of the ’50s and ’60s, keeping the style alive with a top-notch band, tremendous showmanship, and a versatility that allowed him to expand his repertoire into romantic ballads and hardcore honky tonk numbers.
~Steve Huey (allmusic.com)
The glamour of the gay night life has lured you
To the places where the wine and liquor flow
Where you wait to be anybody’s baby
And forget the truest love you’ll ever know
~Hank Thompson – “The Wild Side of Life”
Jazz is not background music. You must concentrate upon it in order to get the most of it. You must absorb most of it. The harmonies within the music can relax, soothe, relax, and uplift the mind when you concentrate upon and absorb it. Jazz music stimulates the minds and uplifts the souls of those who play it was well as of those who listen to immerse themselves in it. As the mind is stimulated and the soul uplifted, this is eventually reflected in the body.
“We all have to open our minds, stretch forth, take chances and venture out musically to try and arrive at something new and different.”
Horace Silver died of natural causes this summer (June 18, 2014)