Bob Dylan and his band played our town last night and I was fortunate to be there to catch the fantastic performance. The Man himself was in truly great form and his band is absolutely the best rockin' roadhouse country blues band you could ever hope to hear anywhere. My beautiful wife Linda and I were seated front row centre but we stood and grooved for the entire show along with everybody else in the joint. Certainly, the peerless song catalog of Bob Dylan adds an extra quality dimension to the overall impact of a show like Bob's, but anyone who has been seriously paying attention knows that Bob's bands this past few years have been the very best he's ever worked with at least since his touring days with The Band itself. This group, featuring long time Dylan bassist Tony Garnier and new Dylan vet, George Recile on drums, absolutely just smoked from the opening intro on Maggies Farm to the final encore closer All Along The Watchtower. The grooves were tighter than a gnats ass and an absolute joy to be a part of especially so close to the stage. You could read the signals going back and forth between Bob and the guys clearly from where we were which was of course directly in front of Bob and it is more and more evident that Tony has taken on a more defined role as the keeper of the keys now with respect to steering the ship with George. Bob Dylan is still the commander in chief however....not unlike the commander-in-chief of this world and...heh, heh...the one you can't see....and last night he was leading the charge yet again into that special territory that is truly profound and which once again solidly defines Bob Dylan's still growing legend as a consumate blues man, as a peerless songwriter and as a major worldclass performer of extraordinary power.
This was my first opportunity to witness a "piano" Bob gig. A transition he made from playing guitars on stage three years ago shortly after we had caught his last gigs in these parts. I truly enjoyed this new presentation, especially on this nights gripping setlist. Bob played lots of harp on this date too alternating between his keyboard setup position and centre stage to wail the blues. He literally blew the room away all night. Just to note that one absolutely glowing review of this amazing concert from a local newspaper the next day called it the best concert of the year in these parts. The reviewer incorrectly wrote however that Bob performed "Moonlight" from his landmark classic 2001 album Love and Theft, but he actually did not perform that song in this show. He did however perform one badass, definitive rockin' blues version of "Lonesome Day Blues" from that album in the # 7 slot as well as his usual swing closer "Summer Days" from that same album.
If it's true that one is indeed known by the company one tends to keep, then kindly let me introduce you to my new worldwide digital download site ItsAboutMusic.com. My current album Grace & Gravity along with my other two older previous albums Playin Down At The Hollywood and The Comfort Sound Sessions are all now being promoted and sold in the Americana & Country category at ItsAboutMusic.com. IAM is definitely my kind of company to keep with a talented and diverse roster of very respected artists many of whom are legendary musicians such as Richie Furay [Buffalo Springfield/Poco] and Willie Nelson.
I am honored to have had my music accepted for promotion and distribution by this very cool and very professional e-label which represents the finest music artists and songwriters in the world. The level of artists promoted at ItsAboutMusic reflects the true level of my own artistic enterprise and qualified endeavors to perpetuate major goals as a professional songwriter/artist and as a record producer.
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God Bless England in the aftermath of recent terrorist attacks in London. Islamofascist terrorists are aimed ultimately at destroying all of western civilization, so I think we are likely to see a more resolute determination emerge from the English populace now in terms of their collective will to continue to fight tyranny while defending freedom at home and abroad in keeping with their history. The English are proud and tough people and they know there is no substitute for victory. For objective journalism and indepth insights regarding important issues, check out blog masters Hugh Hewitt and the braintrust at Powerline.
As regards our much less important personal concerns here at FRANKtalk blog, it would appear that LycosTripod has finally worked out their bugs and restored our guestbook which was completely inaccessible for three weeks. Three weeks which just happened to coincide with our recent official website launch promotional outreach inviting everyone to sign our guestbook....oh well, it didn't stop you all from sending warm personal e-mails and multiple orders for my CD's, so again, my sincere thanks for your kind reception and support.
On a much sadder note, I've just recently been made aware of the passing of a dear friend of mine from Nashville. Betty Swink worked at Combine Music during my time there as a songwriter. Betty was a terrific friend and a true supporter of mine and I will miss her greatly. She had been retired from Warner/Chappell Music in Nashville, TN. Betty Swink died in Knoxville, TN on May 23, 2005.
My youngest brother, Aaron, who lives and works in Hollywood, has just returned from a whirlwind trip around the continent. His last stop before heading home to LA was New York City. While there he visited the Dakota building and memorial tributes around Central Park commemorating the tragic death of John Lennon which occurred in 1980. In noting the recent 65th birthday of fellow former Beatle, Ringo Starr on July 7th, it registered that since it's been 25 years [!!] since John Lennon was killed at the age of 40 and since he and Ringo were both born in 1940, it would mean that Lennon's own 65th birthday will be this October 9th. Mere trivia perhaps, but life is fleeting.
Now, I promised more concert memories awhile back and I will fulfill on one here today...this one is again from Michigan....it was hot and humid and very "hazy" in Ypsilanti, Michigan when I took my seat at the small auditorium where I'd come to hear the great B.B. King and his main guitar squeeze, "Lucille" play the blues in the summer of 72. I don't know how I always managed to get great tickets for these shows, but I had the best seat in the house and I was diggin' it big time...this was a Blues show as could only be performed by true masters of the form. So, B.B. had it all goin' on with his great band and singers...and oh yes, he also had a very special guest artist join him on stage that night who had just gotten out of hospital and who showed up to sing wearing a huge sheepskin coat. Once he got rollin' however he finally got warmed up enough to shed the sheepskin...then he truly hit his groove...and what a great soulful blues singer he was too....a real legend in fact. His name...? ...oh yes, his name was Howlin' Wolf...! Talk about a wolf in sheeps clothing!
One last thing. The recent Live 8 heist was predictable and not in the least profound. Just an early summer distraction with more vacuous socialist sloganeering and a lot of empty headed rhetoric. But there were some music moments from the televised Canadian portion of the event that I happened to catch that were at least interesting to hear and observe. Deep Purple performing "Hush" for example was great. I never got to hear Deep Purple "live" in the past but I loved their sound and their songs and to hear Ian Gillan still singing so powerfully after all these years was simply fantastic. We used to play "Hush" in an old band...but the funniest moment for me was hearing Neil Young blurting out backstage in a post performance interview that he thought the event was called "Live Bait" because, after all, as he pointed out, this Canadian event portion was being staged in Barrie, Ontario. I laughed right out loud. I used to live near Barrie at one time after living for years just south of there along the 400 in the city of Toronto.
Enjoy your life. Pray for peace. Love your enemy. Never surrender. The spiritual war has been won. But the battles continue...fight hard.