Monday, September 24, 2012

Blinded by the bluegrass, revisited

"Fox on the Run." I remember it well.

You see, around the time that I wrote this post, I favorited the Country Gentlemen's version of the song on my YouTube account. Shortly after that, my YouTube account was permanently disabled, and I haven't had access to it since (although I can still access YouTube, as you will see).

For those who missed my August 2009 post, the history of the song can be summed up in one sentence from this article about bluegrass covers of non-bluegrass songs.

"Most people today think of 'Fox on the Run' as a bluegrass standard, but it actually started as a British rock song," Dan Hayes, executive director of the International Bluegrass Music Association, says of the 1960s hit by Manfred Mann.

The fact that people think of the song as a "bluegrass standard" is something that I should explore in my tymshft blog some day. For now, suffice it to say that I've heard the song performed three different ways - the way Manfred Mann did it, the way Tom T. Hall did it, and the way the Country Gentlemen did it.

This version is slightly different, with the instrumentation of the Country Gentlemen, but sung in Tom T. Hall's key and his version.

But that's not why I'm sharing it.

I'm sharing it because of where the Zac Brown Band performed the song. The venue used for this song is older than - well, it's older than Manfred Mann (although tour buses have improved since the days that Manfred Mann and the Beatles used them).

Friday, September 21, 2012

Artist/song combinations you will (probably) never hear

I doubt we will ever hear Anne Murray singing a song entitled "I Eat Zombie Brains."

Nor do I think that we will hear Billy Idol covering the Partridge Family hit "I Think I Love You."

And Hank Williams Jr. will probably never sing a "We Love Barack Obama" ditty.

Notice that I qualified all of the statements above. After all, it seemed extremely unlikely that Pat Boone would cover Ozzy, Deep Purple, Van Halen, and Led Zeppelin - until he did it. Although I could find no mention of "In a Metal Mood" at Boone's official website, which lists no releases between 1995 and 2002.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It's time to acknowledge Mira Aroyo as a class act

There's been some chatter on this side of the pond about TIME Magazine's list of smart musicians, ranging from Queen's Brian May (Ph.D. in astrophysics) to Laurie Anderson.

Anderson is the only female on TIME's list, which raised a question for me - what of Ladytron's Mira Aroyo?

To find information on Aroyo, I went to another list, this one compiled by Daily Top 10.

The Bulgarian born Aroyo is a keyboardist, singer and songwriter for the electropop/New Wave band Ladytron, and also a research scientist with a PhD in molecular genetics from Oxford University.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Moonlight Jazz Quartet

One of my co-workers, Norm Luckett, spends his days configuring automated fingerprint identification systems and his nights in various musical endeavors. Luckett is one of the members of the Moonlight Jazz Quartet, based in Orange County, California.

You can hear music samples here.