Loving the Music - the Sound of March: 22nd - 31st March 2020
Bouncy fun from Seeed and a look at 2019's release from Van Morrison started the final countdown to the month-end. We promoted unity during this pandemic with Ben Harper and Playing for Change, and topped it all off with a brand new album from James Taylor. What a way to end March.
This series of blog articles cover a week of mini-feature posts from the Loving the Music Facebook page and group. This makes it easier for our music-loving community to search through our ever-growing archive of songs, backstories and trivia.
March 22nd - 31st: Musicians Featured
Seeed - Van Morrison - Ben Harper - Brotherhood of Man - Will I Am - Playing for Change
Tedeschi Trucks Bank - James Taylor - Balkan Beat Box - Paul McCartny
22nd Mar: Need some cheering up this Sunday. Plant a Seeed! Seeed is that catchy Reggae / Hip-Hop / Dancehall 11-piece band with great harmonies (3 top singers in this outfit), slick arrangements (thanks to a killer horn section) and songs you find yourself singing along to although half of it is in German.
Although they have been around since 1998, it was only in around 2010 that I got to know them and they’ve become a regular on my playlists ever since. I was happy to see that they released a new album last year, so today I am featuring a couple of favourites from earlier albums and one from the new Bam Bam album. Let’s head to the Wild West with Dancehall Caballeros, a track from the first album, New Dubby Conquerors.
The second Seeed clip is of two live performances linked back-to-back. The first is about as ‘heavy’ as Seed gets, The song Molotov, and a really good cover of Black’s classic, Wonderful Life. They issued the tracks as an EP in 2011.
In these times of enforced social distancing, I can suggest getting into the swing of the concert by jumping up and down waving your arms to the music in the comfort of your own room while listening. It worked for me! Enjoy 😎
The final Seeed track for today is from the 2019 album 'Bam Bam'. This is their first album since the untimely passing of frontman Demba Nabé in May 2018, "BAM BAM" is the first album since 2000, in which one of the eleven founding members is missing.
To quote their official website: The sound is pure Seeed, clear: urban, voluminous, cosmopolitan pop music with a Berlin attitude and influences from London to Lagos. But above all “BAM BAM” sounds like going out, getting up, and making the world a little bit more colourful and better.
Here’s the track ‘Geld’ featuring some fun beats and the best ‘fat suits’ I have seen in a clip.
I hope that today’s selection has helped cheer up your day and that wherever you are, and whatever situation that you are finding yourself in, that you remain healthy, positive, and above all, safe. 😎
23rd Mar: Just a quick one for this Monday night. I featured Balkan Beat Box a few days ago. I wasn't going to post today but came across this track and can't resist it. Something about the video that had me in stitches. Have fun and stay safe x 😎
24th Mar: An album I haven't spent enough time with yet is Van Morrison's 2019 album, Three Chords and the Truth. The tracks I have heard are pure Van Morrison genius. I think I know what I'll be listening to tonight. Here's a sample... 😎
Van Morrison fans, if you haven't already, please take a listen to Van the Man's 2019 album, Three Chords and the Truth. Fan-bloody-tastic. Here's the title track. This is set to become a classic. 😎
26th Mar: Feeling quite reflective tonight. Everything that needs to be said about staying safe has been said. Tonight I've chosen a few songs of hope while the countdown takes place. First, is Ben Harper reminding us that we can do it with our own two hands.
I can change the world, with my own two hands Make a better place, with my own two hands Make a kinder place, oh with my, oh with my own two hands With my own, with my own two hands 😎
Sound advice from the Brotherhood of Man and the 1970's hit. United we stand, Divided we fall. Stay united friends x
Here's something to remember from will i am and the boys from the Black Eyed Peas. To close tonight's lockdown countdown let's keep in mind we're all One Tribe. Let's pull together over the next three weeks (and beyond) and use this horrible event to get a new perspective on our world and on ourselves. Keep safe my friends. 😎
27th Mar: Amongst the many musical memories I have of my Dad is his reaction when he first saw this video. He loved it. I came across this link and think it’s a nice message to stand by at the moment. Here’s Sir Paul and the frog’s chorus and We All Stand Together.
What better way to end today’s music posts than with the first video I ever saw from Playing for Change. I know we’ve all seen it dozens of times and it is a pretty obvious song to play in this strange time, but I still mist up whenever I hear Grandpa Elliot’s voice, but it’s a happy mist. Although ‘stand by me’ shouldn’t be taken literally at the moment, here’s the Ben E King classic performed by the wonderful musicians of Playing for Change.
Even if you can’t stand by your loved ones physically, stand by them in spirit. We all need to show that extra bit of compassion and understanding right now.
Stay safe, behave yourselves and keep positive friends. 😎
28th Mar: There has been so much good music-making the rounds today and I’ve decided to feature a few of tracks that have really stood out. The first from one of my favourite outfits, The Tedeschi Trucks Band (TTB), this time with the late Sharon Jones (Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings) singing the Sam Cooke classic, Bring it On Home To Me.
I’ve featured TTB quite regularly, but Sharon Jones may be unknown to many. She and the band recorded for Daptone Records (hence the Dap Kings) between 1996 and 2016 and were a main part of the Soul / Funk revival until Sharon succumbed to cancer in 2016. This is a lady with a huge voice as you will hear in this clip. The interaction between Susan and Sharon is a joy to watch.
A track I was happy to see making the rounds today is the beautiful version of Bob Marley’s High Tide or Low Tide performed by jack Johnson and Ben Harper. When two musicians of this calibre get together, magic is born. 😎
I thought I’d save the most epic track that passed my inbox today for last, and what an epic this is. This is a fan edit of Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb from a series of shows that David Gilmour and the boys arranged where different artists performed with them each night. This particular edit includes non-other than David Bowie and Eddie Vedder. This is a huge slice of musical magic!
I’ll leave you with your jaws dropped for this Saturday. Please stay safe and stay sensible. Remember, until we get a handle on this virus there is more than one life at stake whenever you leave your house. Happy Saturday folks 😎
29th March: First for today is a report back. I posted a link from #Rockthelockdown a few days ago in preparation for their weekend of live home-based music streams from artists around the world this weekend. I spent quite a few hours listening to some remarkable talent, many who have music platform links. I’ll be going through them and will be sharing some links in the coming week.
While checking out some of the links I came across a Playing For Change video that I hadn’t seen and is well worth watching (as all of PFC’s videos are). Here they take on The Doobie Brothers huge hit, Listen to the Music.
The track began life when Mark Johnson of PFC met Tom Johnston, the drummer for the Doobies and the decision to do an ‘around the world’ video was born. It features original Doobie Brother’s members, Tom Johnston, Patrick Simmonds and John McFee join a total of 30 musicians from 12 different countries all united through their love of music.
Once you get hooked into the PFC channel you can write-off a few hours. Needless to say, today’s selection is going to be Playing For Change orientated. Any complaints? I didn’t think so. Apart from being a fantastic version, the message is great advice in our current situation.
I recently posted the Ben Harper song, With My Own Two Hands, and was happy to find the link to the good folks of Playing for Change performing the song in their own inimitable way, so for my second track for tonight, here it is!
The third and final track from Playing For Change for tonight honours one of those songs that were destined to become a classic from the moment it was written. Otis Redding’s Dock of the Bay. This song is one of those that epitomises my early teenage years and when taking a listen I was transported back to a simpler time, but very confusing age!
PFC’s version has such a talented line-up of musicians, including Jack Johnson, Otis Redding III and Dexter Redding. The video was filmed to commemorate the 50thAnniversary of the song in 2018. Listening to the song it is as fresh today as it was back then. Enjoy.
I’m about to pop some pizza in the oven and head back to the #Rockthelockdown page to join in a great initiative and listen to some really superb talent. I posted a link to the page earlier, so join me if you feel like it. Folks, needless to say, stay safe and please take the lockdown seriously. There are some folks out there who don’t believe it applies to them. Sad, scary and stupid. Catch you soon 😎
31st Mar: Listening to Radio Caroline in the morning is a part of my sanity strategy on most days, but essential during the lockdown. This morning they played a track from James Taylor’s new album, American Standard. I had no idea that he had released the album earlier this year, and somehow it was exactly what I needed to cheer up a grey, rainy day.
There is something about James Taylor’s voice and style of music that always soothes the nerves when they are their most frayed. Couple that style with some of the greatest classics in the Great American Songbook, and you have a winning combination.
As James Taylor told Rolling Stone magazine, “I’ve always had songs I grew up with that I remember really well, that were part of the family record collection — and I had a sense of how to approach, so it was a natural to put American Standard together,”
But enough blah-yak, have a listen to the first single release from the album, the jazz standard Teach Me Tonight. Written in 1954 by Gene De Paul and Sammy Cahn, it was a huge hit for the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughn, Etta James, and a host of others. Why? Because it is a beautifully crafted song! Enjoy
The second track from James Taylor’s latest album, American Standard, was written by Hoagy Carmichael and Ned Washington and was debuted by Glenn Millar and his band in 1940. It is one of those songs that I grew up knowing, thanks to the musical influence of my folks. Here’s The Nearness of You. 😎
The track I am leaving you with tonight is one of my all-time favourites. Ever since I first heard Blood, Sweat and Tears version way back in the dark ages, this song has rung a deep chord in my musical soul. God Bless The Child was written by Nina Simone and Arthur Herzog Jr and released in 1942.
In her autobiography Lady Sings the Blues, Holiday states that the song developed after an argument with her mother, whose last word on the matter was "God bless the child that's got his own."
James Taylor’s voice hasn’t lost any of its quality over the last half a century and his arrangement on all the tracks of this album is pared down, simple and crisp. This is easy listening at its best. In a crazy time where we don't know will happen from day to day it was reassuring to hear a familiar and much-loved voice singing some much-cherished classics.
I‘ve also chosen this track with my brothers in mind as this is, and was, one of their favourites as well. As always, stay safe and stay alive. Catch you soon. 😎
To give you a quick overview of today's featured selection, here's James Taylor himself explaining the making of American Standard. A worthwhile few minutes viewing. 😎
I hope that you find these weekly recaps of Loving the Music mini-features make your musical world a little easier. Happy exploring! Join our Facebook Community here for a music group who does more than just post a link to a song.
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Words © Andrew Knapp
The author does not own the copyright of any of the videos used in the article