Live the Life

Another Weekend Tune

Here is a song that a bunch of old farts might miss if their offspring didn’t share a love of music. The band Coldplay was on my radar because of my boys, but I never really sought them out to listen to.
On a road trip to Pittsburgh a DJ announced that the new Coldplay song was up next. I decided to give it a listen. Little did I know that it happened to be #1 on Billboard. I think it deserves it. Driving beat, great lyrics; it is probably my favorite song from the past few years. I am glad I stumbled across it.
Coldplay’s official YouTube release won’t play in embedded mode. It is worth seeking out, however. The version I am presenting here is Boyce Avenue’s cover version: just two guys with a bass drum, an acoustic guitar and a keyboard loaded with string instrument sounds. Cool.

Viva la Vida – Coldplay (covered by Boyce Avenue)

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Blue on Black

Another Weekend Tune.

“Blue on Black” captured my attention the very first time I heard it. I didn’t know who performed it or even the correct title. Eventually I googled the lyrics and discovered who performed it, and was surprised.

Kenny Wayne Sheppard is a fantastic guitar player. Possibly the Clapton of his generation. In the following video he is on the left, black sweatshirt, black bandanna. The lead vocals did not sound like Kenny singing, and it was only when I watched a video of his band performing it did I realize that someone else, not Kenny, was singing. Noah Hunt provides the lead vocals. His voice has a fantastic quality, and I think Hunt is perhaps one of the most talented, yet unrecognized, vocalists around.

The album version of the song is fantastic, but I am presenting an acoustic version here. It shows the talents of both Sheppard and Hunt, and it still rocks. This is also one of the songs that inspired me to want to learn to play the guitar properly.

Here is “Blue on Black” – The Kenny Wayne Sheppard Band.

My new Vox Amp

I have a new toy.
I have been teaching myself to play the guitar. I mean really play it, not just hit the rock power chords of “Freebird” like I did way back when.

The toy? A Vox amPlug Headphone Guitar Amplifier – Classic Rock version.
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It is tiny, about the size of a standard deck of playing cards split in half lengthwise. I plugged it into my Peavey T-15 electric guitar and was amazed at the sound quality. And because I used my MP3 player ear buds I was the only one who could hear it. I can practice without disturbing the rest of the household.
I strummed “Horse With No Name” for bit, and then (ahem) hit the “Freebird” power chords.

Now I have no excuse not to learn to play.

This is so cool!!

Ordinary Average Guys

Continuing the Weekend Tunes posting of songs that FLH may have played if life had not intervened.

We covered several Eagles tunes, and I think we even practiced Walsh’s “Life’s Been Good” (perhaps I just played it a lot during the FLH years), so snatching a later Walsh tune would seem to be a good fit.

I was talking to fellow band member Doug the other day, and our conversation drifted to how little spare time we have these days; still. Projects around the house, fixing cars, and the like (not to mention earning a paycheck) just get in the way. I am sure it is the same for Steve, Larry and John. Roger has been able to keep performing, so perhaps there is hope that the rest of us can return to making music again.

Next up: Ordinary Average Guy – Joe Walsh.

Perfectly Good Guitar

My friend Steve has been taking us on trips down memory lane with his Tuesday Tunes (Four Lane Highway edition).  Needless to say I have been on a big music kick for a few weeks now.  I have the itch to sing.

I got to thinking about songs that Four Lane Highway (FLH) could have performed, if we were still jamming and still picking up cool songs to cover.  And by cool songs, I mean songs that might not be part of the mainstream consciousness.  Regional bands like McGuffey Lane, lesser know national bands like the Danny Joe Brown Band; we covered songs from both.  I am talking about Wilco, John Hiatt, John Prine, Cross Canadian Ragweed and many others.

I listen to music when paying bills on the weekend and when a less than mainstream tune gets me to singing along, I’ll post it.

As part of the continuing coincidences that are my life, after I decided to do this, one of the songs I was thinking of played on the internet radio I was listening to.  It kicks off my Weekend Tunes postings:  John Haitt – “Perfectly Good Guitar”