Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.
In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable.
I’ve visited Memphis once before (October 2009), and I loved it. Sun, Stax, Graceland, Beale Street, The Peabody, Dyer’s, A. Schwab, etc..
I’m finally going back & will also drive from Memphis to Orlando visiting Muscle Shoals & Montgomery. Being given such an opportunity, I feel obligated to produce some material. It is also deep embedded in my nature to always plan well before important ventures – planning is indeed essential.
In this post I’ve collected info on the different places I plan to visit & created relevant playlists for the different sites.
“My music is the spiritual expression of what I am — my faith, my knowledge, my being…When you begin to see the possibilities of music, you desire to do something really good for people, to help humanity free itself from its hangups…I want to speak to their souls.”
All a musician can do is to get closer to the sources of nature, and so feel that he is in communion with the natural laws.
Billie Holiday (born Eleanora Harris April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959) was an American jazz singer and songwriter. Nicknamed “Lady Day” by her friend and musical partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo.
Winford Lindsey Stewart (June 7, 1934 – July 17, 1985), better known as Wynn Stewart, was an American country music performer. He was one of the progenitors of the Bakersfield sound. Although not a huge chart success, he was an inspiration to such greats as Buck Owens and Merle Haggard.
Spencer David Nelson Davies (born 17 July 1939) is a British musician and multi-instrumentalist, and the founder of the 1960s rock band, the Spencer Davis Group. Davis dropped the E in Davies and became Davis because in England and in the US his last name was pronounced “Daveys” and not Davis as in the Welsh pronunciation.
Ronald Franklin Asheton (July 17, 1948 – January 6, 2009) was an American guitarist and co-songwriter with Iggy Pop for the rock band The Stooges. He formed the Stooges along with Pop and his brother, drummer Scott Asheton, and bassist Dave Alexander. Asheton is ranked as number 29 on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.
He was a giant, a great, great soul, with all the humanity, all the wit and humor, all the wisdom, the spirituality, the common sense of a man and compassion for people. He inspired love and had the strength of a hundred men. He was like the sun, the flowers and the moon and we shall miss him enormously. The world is a profoundly emptier place without him.
– Bob Dylan (George Harrison’s Obituary, Nov 2001)
George Harrison: The Last Performance (John Fugelsang)
Broadcast the day George Harrison died.
The last interview & last performance of a truly great individual:
Sticky Fingers was never meant to be the title. It’s just what we called it while we were working on it. Usually though, the working titles stick.
~Keith Richards 1971
While many hold their next album, Exile On Main St., as their zenith, Sticky Fingers, balancing on the knife edge between the 60s and 70s, remains their most coherent statement.
~Chris Jones (bbc.co.uk)
#1 – Brown Sugar:
23 April 1971
2–4 December 1969, Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, Sheffield, Alabama; 17 February, March – May, 16 June – 27 July, 17–31 October 1970, and January 1971,Olympic Studios, London, UK; except “Sister Morphine”, begun 22–31 March 1969
Sticky Fingers is the ninth British and 11th American studio album by English rock band The Rolling Stones, released in April 1971. It is the band’s first album of the 1970s and its first release on the band’s newly formed label, Rolling Stones Records, after having been contracted since 1963 with Decca Records in the UK and London Records in the US. It is also Mick Taylor’s first full-length appearance on a Rolling Stones album, the first Rolling Stones album not to feature any contributions from guitarist and founder Brian Jones and the first one on which Mick Jagger is credited with playing guitar.
The album is often regarded as one of the Stones’ best, containing songs such as the chart-topping “Brown Sugar” and the folk-influenced “Wild Horses”, and achieving triple platinum certification in the US.
#3 – Wild Horses:
During the tour of the States we went to Alabama and played at the Muscle Shoals Studio. That was a fantastic week. We cut some great tracks, which appeared on Sticky Fingers – You Gotta Move, Brown Sugar and Wild Horses – and we did them without Jimmy Miller, which was equally amazing. It worked very well: it’s one of Keith’s things to go in and record while you’re in the middle of a tour and your playing is in good shape. The Muscle Shoals Studio was very special, though – a great studio to work in, a very hip studio, where the drums were on a riser high up in the air, plus you wanted to be there because of all the guys who had worked in the same studio.
~Charlie Watts in 2003
Although sessions for Sticky Fingers began in earnest in March 1970, The Rolling Stones had recorded at Muscle Shoals Studios in Alabama in December 1969 and “Sister Morphine”, cut during Let It Bleed’s sessions earlier in March of that year, was held over for this release. Much of the recording for Sticky Fingers was made with The Rolling Stones’ mobile studio unit in Stargroves during the summer and autumn of 1970. Early versions of songs that would appear on Exile on Main St. were also rehearsed during these sessions.
#9 – Dead Flowers:
To my mind the things that Ry (Cooder) plays on have a kind of polish that the Stones generally began to develop around that time. The rough edges came off a bit. Mick Taylor started putting on the polish that became the next period of the Stones out of the raw rock and blues band.
~Jimmy Miller in 1979
In 2003, Sticky Fingers was listed as #63 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Mick Jagger – lead vocals, acoustic guitar on “Dead Flowers” and “Moonlight Mile”, electric guitar on “Sway”, percussion on “Brown Sugar”
Keith Richards – electric guitar, six and twelve string acoustic guitar, backing vocals
Mick Taylor – electric, acoustic and slide guitar (not present during “Sister Morphine” sessions)
Charlie Watts – drums
Bill Wyman – bass guitar, electric piano on “You Gotta Move”
Bobby Keys – saxophone
Jim Price – trumpet, piano on “Moonlight Mile”
Ian Stewart – piano on “Brown Sugar” and “Dead Flowers”
Nicky Hopkins – piano on “Sway”, “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”
Jim Dickinson – piano on “Wild Horses”
Jack Nitzsche – piano on “Sister Morphine”
Ry Cooder – slide guitar on “Sister Morphine”
Billy Preston – organ on “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” and “I Got the Blues”
Jimmy Miller – percussion on “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”
Rocky Dijon – congas on “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”
Paul Buckmaster – string arrangement on “Sway” and “Moonlight Mile”
Engineers – Glyn Johns, Andy Johns, Chris Kimsey, Jimmy Johnson
Cover concept/photography – Andy Warhol
We made (tracks) with just Mick Taylor, which are very good and everyone loves, where Keith wasn’t there for whatever reasons… People don’t know that Keith wasn’t there making it. All the stuff like Moonlight Mile, Sway. These tracks are a bit obscure, but they are liked by people that like the Rolling Stones. It’s me and (Mick Taylor) playing off each other – another feeling completely, because he’s following my vocal lines and then extemporizing on them during the solos.
~Mick Jagger in 1995
This post will focus on Concerts & my “Bob Dylan’s Village” tour.
Less planing required for this part.
Find the right websites (Village Voice is a good start for NYC), check their calender (what’s on).. and plot in your dates.
In addition you should visit the websites of important theatres & Music venues.. just to be sure.
I was very lucky to land a concert with 2 of my “Top 25 albums of 2011” artists: The Deep Dark Woods & Robert Earl Keen.
This was pure luck, but when visiting a place like NYC.. there are usually great names performing..
The Venue was “Irving Plaza“: My advice: don’t show up to early.. the bar is… expensive.. 🙂
The Concert was a great experience. Deep Dark Woods delivered the goodies, a dark and moving sound.. that pulls you in and holds a good grip. If you dig Townes Van Zandt’s “No Deeper Blue” (I love that album), you really need to check out their music. I managed to write down 7 out of 10 songs on my mobile phone (forgot pen & paper.. grrrr) of their setlist:
The Banks of Leopold Canal, Westside Street, Back Alley Blues, The Place I Left Behind, Sugar Mama, The Man In Me (Dylan cover), Two Time Loser