Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Blues Monday – Aye It’s My Birthday

July 4, 2011 Posted by | Family, Humour, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Peck Of The Week – Maria McKee

Here is a great live acoustic version of a Springsteen classic from Maria McKee (Lone Justice)

“Backstreets” (Live) – Maria McKee

McKee was a founding member of the cowpunk/country rock band, Lone Justice, in 1982, with whom she released two albums. Several compilations of both previously released and unreleased material and a BBC Live In Concert album have been released since their demise. Her band opened for such acts as U2.

When she was 19, she wrote Feargal Sharkey‘s 1985 UK number one hit “A Good Heart“, a song she has since recorded herself and released on her album Late December.

The song was originally written about her failed relationship with musician Benmont Tench. Sharkey would later go on to also cover “To Miss Someone” from her self-titled solo debut, on his third solo album “Songs From The Mardi Gras”.

In 1987 she was featured in the Robbie Robertson video “Somewhere Down the Crazy River”, and contributed back-up vocals to his debut solo album, which included the song.

She released her first solo, self-titled album in 1989. Her song “Show Me Heaven“, which appeared on the soundtrack to the film Days of Thunder, was a number one single in the United Kingdom for four weeks in 1990.

She refused to perform this song in public up until recently, when she sang it for the first time in eighteen years, at Dublin Gay Pride.

Following her debut, McKee has released five studio (and two live) albums. The later three, High Dive, Peddlin’ Dreams and Late December, were released independently via her own Viewfinder Records label (distributed in the UK via Cooking Vinyl).


To buy the music of Maria McKee click HERE and for Lone Justice click HERE


June 11, 2011 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Cover Stories, Old Music, Peck Of The Week, Video | , , , , | 1 Comment

Bruce Springsteen – The Promise

Darkness on the Edge of Town: The Lost Sessions is the subtitle, Darkness was Springsteen’s melancholy “punk” album, following the tweezered afflatus of Born to Run in 1975 the Darkness album ripped out of its alley three years later like a threat.

It belonged to its own time, not some retooled 1962, and it remains the most convincingly “street” of all Springsteen’s records, not because it romanticises his rust-belt life any differently to the others, but because it sounds as hard and functional as a sidewalk.

The Promise, then, is basically the songs which didn’t make the cut. Add the 21 presented here to the stuff on the Tracks set and that amounts to more than 40 unused performances. Some sessions. Some melancholy.

Springsteen himself still thinks they released the right ones at the time, and he’s not wrong.

But there is plenty here to warm the cockles, and indicate a maturing editorial method. Yes, he’s still in thrall to Spector, Orbison, Dylan, the Brill and all, but there’s a growing awareness in these songs that mere stylised revivalism leads only to a dead end. And every fugitive teen knows that’s the last place you want to get stuck.So while Spectorishness abounds – “The Brokenhearted”, “The Little Things” – so does a rather more evolved, less worked-up ensemble sound arising from the sweat of six guys labouring over chord sequences.

An alternate (original?) version of “Factory”, “Come On (Let’s Go Tonight)”, follows the same dolorous footsteps but does it with David Lindley’s fiddle drone, slightly different lyrics and a wholly developed sense of the beauty in austerity.

Elsewhere there’s an even doomier version of “Racing in the Street”; “Candy’s Day”, a minor-key adumbration of “Candy’s Room”; and the extra-canonical songs you may know but not possess: “Fire”, “Because the Night”, etc.

Then there are the “new” songs, the ones yet to see the light of day. As you’d expect there are wishful epics (the title track revisits “Thunder Road” in shades of gloom) while “City of Night”, which closes the album, is a scrap of a song clearing space for an unlisted votive love ballad aimed like a gimlet at somebody’s ventricles.

What don’t we get that we might reasonably hope for? For one, the spectacular guitar playing which did so much to exert Darkness’s grip on the mind. And it really does appear that no major song has languished unacknowledged in the vaults all these years. This material is worth every mote of your attention, but in truth, we haven’t been missing jewels, only precious stones. As Springsteen knows well, he got it right the first time.


To buy the music of Bruce Springsteen and The Promise click HERE

November 17, 2010 Posted by | New Releases, Video | | 2 Comments

Cover Story Amy Does Bruce

Amy MacDonald has just released a new EP “Love Love” which features her stark cover of Springsteen’s big worldwide hit “Dancing In The Dark”

The original was Springsteen’s tilt at MTV rock and was perhaps his most over produced epic of the time, Amy however strips it right back removing the “party” vibe and replacing it with a real mournful sound driven only by her voice and lone guitar………..brilliant disguise.

“Dancing In The Dark” – Bruce Springsteen

To buy the music of Amy MacDonald click HERE

October 13, 2010 Posted by | Cover Stories, New Music, New Releases, Video | , | 2 Comments

Friday Fun – Born To Add

Okay before I get pelters I do actually LIKE Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuceeee

July 9, 2010 Posted by | Humour, Video | , | Leave a comment

Wednesday’s Words – Reason To Believe

“Struck me kinda funny seemed kind of funny sir to me
How at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe”

“Reason To Believe” – Bruce Springsteen

Seen a man standin’ over a dead dog lyin’ by the highway in a ditch
He’s lookin’ down kinda puzzled pokin’ that dog with a stick
Got his car door flung open he’s standin’ out on highway 31
Like if he stood there long enough that dog’d get up and run
Struck me kinda funny seem kinda funny sir to me
Still at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe

Now Mary Lou loved Johnny with a love mean and true
She said “Baby I’ll work for you every day and bring my money home to you”
One day he up and left her and ever since that
She waits down at the end of that dirt road for young Johnny to come back
Struck me kinda funny seemed kind of funny sir to me
How at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe

Take a baby to the river Kyle William they called him
Wash the baby in the water take away little Kyle’s sin
In a whitewash shotgun shack an old man passes away take his body to the graveyard and over him they pray Lord won’t you tell us
tell us what does it mean
Still at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe

Congregation gathers down by the riverside
Preacher stands with his Bible groom stands waitin’ for his bride
Congregation gone and the sun sets behind a weepin’ willow tree
Groom stands alone and watches the river rush on so effortlessly
Wonderin’ where can his baby be still at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe

Nebraska is the sixth studio album by Bruce Springsteen, released in 1982.

Sparsely-recorded on a cassette-tape Portastudio, Nebraska was originally intended as a demonstration for later expansion into a “proper” album with a full band.

However, Springsteen ultimately decided to release the demos as a standalone album. Nebraska remains one of the most highly-regarded albums in his catalog.

Nebraska is classic Springsteen in the sense that the songs deal with ordinary, blue collar characters who face a challenge or a turning point in their lives. There is very little of the grace or salvation which can be seen in other albums.

To buy the music of Bruce Springsteen click HERE

May 19, 2010 Posted by | Old Music | | Leave a comment

Coming Soon – London Calling

On June 21, Columbia Records will release Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band’s ‘London Calling: Live In Hyde Park’ concert film on one Blu-Ray disc and as a two DVD set. Captured in London at the Hard Rock Calling Festival on June 28, 2009 in HD, the 163-minute film documents 26 tracks of live Springsteen that begin in daylight and progress through a gorgeous sunset into night.

‘London Calling: Live In Hyde Park’ conveys both the experience of being on-stage and the vast crowd experience of the festival environment. Viewers are able to see Springsteen spontaneously directing the E Street Band and shaping the show as it evolves.

The set list spans from ‘Born To Run’ era to ‘Working On a Dream’ and includes rare covers such as The Clash’s “London Calling,” Jimmy Cliff’s “Trapped,” The Young Rascals’ “Good Lovin’,” and Eddie Floyd’s “Raise Your Hand.” Springsteen also performs fan favorite “Hard Times (Come Again No More),” written by Stephen Foster in 1854. Brian Fallon from The Gaslight Anthem joins the band as a guest vocalist on Springsteen’s own “No Surrender.”

The concert earned rave reviews. The London Times called it “epic” and “a revved-up three-hour power drive through Springsteen¹s America.” The Independent concurred, “He awed the 50,000-strong crowds drenched in sweat by the second number, tossing his guitars to the roadies with the vigour of a frontman a third of his age and jogging down a walkway to meet his fans and take their requests, Springsteen’s intensity was staggering from first powerful vocal to final thrashed-out chord.”

GRAMMY and Emmy Award-winning producer and editor Thom Zimny and director Chris Hilson, both members of Springsteen’s video team dating back over a decade, oversaw the film. Audio was mixed by Bob Clearmountain.

Bonus material includes stunning footage of “The River” from Glastonbury, June 27; and the full music video for “Wrecking Ball,” filmed at New Jersey’s Giants Stadium.

1. London Calling
2. Badlands
3. Night
4. She’s The One
5. Outlaw Pete
6. Out In The Street
7. Working On A Dream
8. Seeds
9. Johnny 99
10. Youngstown
11. Good Lovin’
12. Bobby Jean
13. Trapped
14. No Surrender
15. Waiting On A Sunny Day
16. The Promised Land
17. Racing In The Street
18. Radio Nowhere
19. Lonesome Day
20. The Rising
21. Born To Run
22. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
23. Hard Times (Come Again No More)
24. Jungleland
25. American Land
26. Glory Days
27. Dancing In The Dark

May 11, 2010 Posted by | New News, New Releases, Video | | Leave a comment

Sunday Sounds – Barb Jungr

Barb Jungr has released a new album titled “The Men I Love – The New American Songbook” she has a good track record in recording unique interpretations of modern songs which has differentiated her from many other modern jazz singers who still cling to yet more versions of older classic songs, particularily the Great American Songbook era and cataogue.

As such her product can be a bit hit and miss as some versions work and some don’t probably dependant upon how closed a persons ears are to a sometimes radical reworking of a favourite song.

The studio recording of ‘The Men I Love’ featuring some of London’s greatest musicians was released at the end of January on the very prominent and exciting Naim Label, her first after leaving the superb Linn Records.

As noted above  her customary approach to arrangements of The New American Songbook, (songs by Byrne and Eno, Cohen, Dylan, Diamond and more) in collaboration with composer Simon Wallace confirms her status as a peerless interpreter of popular song, championing pop tunes as classic repertoire.

Musicians are Simon Wallace on piano, organ and synth, Frank Schaeffer on cello, Steve Watts on double bass, Paul Clarvis on percussion and Clive Bell on flutes and shakahachi.

The album was recorded in London, mixed by Christoph Bracher and features the photography of Steve Ullathorne.

You can downoad for free her version of Jimmy Webb’s “Wichita Lineman” HERE

Here she performs Bruce Springsteen’s “The River” which features on the album

Finally listen to her version of the Talking Heads classic “Once In A Lifetime” below

To buy the music of Barb Jungr click HERE

Here are some older covers not from the new album.

April 18, 2010 Posted by | Jazz Vocal, New Music, New Releases, Video | , , , | 1 Comment

The River

The above picture highlights Dumbarton Rock with the River Leven and River Clyde taken with an iPhone into a low winter sun.

One of my all time top 5 albums.

Now here’s one from a Son Of The Rock

February 24, 2010 Posted by | Photography, Video | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Fog On The Gryffe’s All Mine All Mine

The Gryffe River, Near Houston 8.30am 16th Oct '09

The Gryffe River, Near Houston 8.30am 16th Oct '09

“Meet Me By The River’s Edge” – The Gaslight Anthem

See I’ve been here for 28 years.
Pounding sweat beneath these wheels.
We tattooed lines beneath our skin.
No surrender, my Bobby Jean.

We’ve been burned by all our fears.
Just from growing up around here.
Our father’s factories marked our cars.
While Eden burned against the stars.

And Sally said, Sally said.
I can’t take no more regret.
It cut us deep, into our souls.
Came and climbed into our bed.
And Sally said, Sally said.
Meet me by the River’s edge.
We’re going to wash these sins away.
Or else we won’t come back again.

You know I had these ballroom dreams.
That, as a child, came to me.
I was a boy in Grandma’s arms.
A mother’s pride and a wounded heart.
And I was full with fiery wonder.
You wore Audrey Hepburn pearls.
You were the only one who understood me then and the only one who will.

And Sally said, Sally said.
I can’t take no more regret.
It cut us deep, into our souls.
Came and climbed into our bed.
And Sally said, Sally said.
Meet me by the River’s edge.
We’re going to wash these sins away.
Or else we won’t come back again.

And now I drive the 101 on the California night.
And I’m amazed at all the stars beneath that old Hollywood sign.
And they waltz, (?), to a place we never kept.
And I’m not sure if we belong here, if I ever really left, or If I can go home.

And Sally said, Sally said.
I can’t take no more regret.
It cut us deep, into our souls.
Came and climbed into our bed.
And Sally said, Sally said.
Meet me by the River’s edge.
We’re going to wash these sins away.
Or else we won’t come back again.

No retreat. No regrets.
Meet me by the river’s edge.

The '59 Sound


To buy the music of The Gaslight Anthem click HERE

October 16, 2009 Posted by | Old Music, Photography, Video | , , | Leave a comment

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