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  1. #1191
    Record Label Executive Ruby's Avatar
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    Neil Carter was born on this day in 1958, in Middlesex, west of London, UK. He was only ever really interested in learning about things musical (as opposed to much else), right from the start, and had piano and clarinet lessons from quite a young age, until one day, as he says, “someone mistakenly gave me a bass guitar, and that was it!” He joined his first band at the age of 14 having taught himself both bass and six string, mostly by playing along to the music of his self-proclaimed heroes - David Bowie, Marc Bolan, Queen and Roxy Music.

    Ultimately, he ended up playing keys (and other instruments, including the sax), co-writing and singing with Gary Moore – that was after having done some short stints with Wilder and Wild Horses and a longer one with UFO.

    By the time Moore had decided to head off on a different tangent and make his blues album, Neil Carter had had enough of touring and chose to settle down, once again pursuing his classical interests – this time so thoroughly that he qualified to teach and became Head of Woodwind and Brass at Brighton College, a post he held until 2014. And that’s not all; he also earned himself an appointment as an examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music which is a fairly prestigious, internationally recognised body. Clearly Mr Carter tends not to do things by mere halves!

    Despite having opted for a rather more sedate life and style, when he was approached by Gary Moore in 2009, it didn’t take too much to persuade him to join the proposed 2010 tour which although he initially felt a bit of trepidation about, he enjoyed tremendously – just this time not flinging glorious locks about! Sadly this turned out to be the final curtain for the genius guitarist that was Gary Moore who died early in 2011. Carter says he will not be returning to the world of rock.

    Co-written by Gary Moore and Neil Carter (he quips that this song paid for his house, which I expect it did) – “Empty Rooms” … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3dapDTDJzk

    A track conceived of, and initially written by Carter, with further embellishments by Moore, and his own special touches – “Blood of Emeralds” … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vb4ui2sAY04

    And “Thunder Rising”, also co-written by both – looks like they all really enjoyed this gig!

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  2. #1192
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    Happy Birthday to Steve Winwood who was born on this day in 1948, in Birmingham, England. No idea how he’s eluded this thread up to now, but he’s not here. I checked. He’s had a successful solo career, was a pivotal member of Traffic, did time in Ginger Baker’s Air Force, formed and played in the short-lived Blind Faith, and has been involved in a whole lot of session work. The general consensus seems to be that inconsistency characterises his own output; he’s either hitting all the right notes, or making an abominable noise … oh, alright – that may be a slight and unjust exaggeration, but IMHO sometimes what he does sounds great, and on other occasions, it really doesn’t … mystifying! In fairness though, I’m sure there’s more good than not.

    He’s at home on any number of instruments but is probably best known for his voice and piano work, and expertise on the Hammond.

    Here’s a version of “Higher Love” with his daughter Lilly (which graces a Hershey’s ad, apparently) … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SU0AH4O1HhI

    A session job with Paul Weller, from Stanley Road – those are his keys … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mz3BsXZCLbQ

    “Back in the High Life Again” from his album of almost the same name – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Adw772km7PQ

    Very early Blind Faith with Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Ric Grech … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTJYkjrg594

    A solo acoustic version of “John Barleycorn (must die)” … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8878chOvfI

    With Traffic – a Dave Mason song, “Feelin’ Alright” … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIYLZOp_Bzc

    Another classic Traffic song – “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEZH0t5Yozw

    And from Winwood’s not very well received Refugees of the Heart, a fab song, with Jim Capaldi on drums ……

    "The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson





  3. #1193
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    Happy Birthday to Andrew Latimer who was born on this day in 1949, in Guildford, Surrey. He shares an exact date of birth with Bill Bruford who was born on the same day and year, not far away, in the garden of England … Kent.

    There is not a whole lot of information available about Andy Latimer; his music defines him – well it describes his public persona at any rate, and Camel has been his life’s work. He IS Camel and probably deserves a medal for perseverance as much as for his playing - a less committed character would have thrown in the towel, I’m sure, but not Andy – nope – he just kept on keeping on and staying true to what could only be a very clear inner vision. He’s endured an ever changing line-up of bandmates, seriously dodgy managers, court cases, punk and new wave and a progressive blood disorder which resulted in a bone marrow transplant and saw him out of action for a good few years. He and his wife actually sold their house to finance Dust and Dreams because after nearly two decades of selling records and touring, in the late 80's no-one wanted to sign Camel, at which point he formed his own Camel Productions and did it himself. For someone who is widely recognised by those who should know as being one of the finest guitarists on earth, he is strangely unsung.

    In addition to that great guitar, he sings and plays the flute and other windy things (ocarina, for e.g.), and the keys. As a diehard fan, I am so very grateful for the music without which my own listening experience would be infinitely poorer.

    It’s impossible to choose favourites – there are so many. For today, I like this – his father had passed away which was a terrible blow to him, and during that difficult time he found out more about his family’s history. The album Harbour of Tears was written in homage and to process his grief, and I think it’s evident that he poured his heart into it … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjdJbP1V6hs

    And this – the title track from Stationary Traveller … he’s playing electric and classical guitars, bass and pan pipes … gorgeous, IMHO …

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  4. #1194
    a restless spirit Jerome's Avatar
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    A masterful guitarist. The one thing about his playing that always stood out for me was the tone he got out of the instrument. 'Nude' is probably my favourite Camel album, but The Snow Goose & Pressure Points are not far behind. And on one trip to Italy some years back I listened to nothing but Dust and Dreams for two weeks. For me that album and Lake Como always go together.
    'The purpose of life is a life of purpose' - Athena Orchard.

  5. #1195
    Record Label Executive Ruby's Avatar
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    ^It’s The Snow Goose followed by Nude for me. Always loved Paul Gallico’s story so that album takes precedence, and they did it proud IMHO. I don’t know how, but they captured the essence absolutely perfectly. Lake Como - always looks so idyllic in photos.
    "The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson





  6. #1196
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    Mickey Newbury was born on this day in 1940, in Houston, Texas. He died in 2002, of emphysema – a truly horrible condition. Presumably things might have been different had he not smoked, but therein lies the rub; would his voice still have had that ineffable quality? Impossible to tell – he definitely had some kind of magic going on.

    He was a prolific and highly esteemed singer/songwriter who has had literally thousands of people doing known covers of work – 450 versions of his “An American Trilogy” alone (ok – he arranged more than wrote it, but that’s an aside) – and … just hazarding a wild flyer … Elvis might have had something to do with the popularity of that particular ‘song’! Lol!

    He is referred to as the original hippie cowboy and probably largely inspired the outlaw country movement although he didn’t like that idea much and during an interview said “It's just categorising again, making a new pigeon-hole to stick somebody into. You got to be dressed a certain way, you got to be a drinker and a hell-raiser, cuss and make an ass of yourself, act like a kid. I've told 'em I quit playing cowboys when I grew up. I just get turned off by all that.”

    He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1980 and at the time was the youngest person to have had that honour bestowed upon them, despite the fact that he was actually quite disdainful of the recognised structures and norms dictated by Nashville and the music business in general – by then he had physically moved away, and was living in Oregon. He never gained a huge commercial audience although lauded by both his peers and critics alike. He did have one specific bright and shining moment – quote from Wiki – “In 1968, Newbury saw huge success with four top-five songs across four different charts: "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)" #5 on the Pop/Rock chart by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition; "Sweet Memories" #1 on Easy Listening by Andy Williams; "Time is a Thief" #1 on the R&B chart by Solomon Burke; and "Here Comes the Rain Baby" #1 on the Country chart by Eddy Arnold. This feat has not been repeated.”

    Sometimes I think it’s a question of timing, or maybe these artists who escape recognition are catalysts and as such in a completely different league. In any event, commercial success does not necessarily denote brilliance, nor is it always deserved; of course an artist should be able to make a decent living out of what do, but there’s so much blatant fakery and what was once art for art’s sake has become largely art for business’ sake, with giant PR machines moving things along. Not to say it’s all bad – change is inevitable after all – it’s just a funny old world, with blurry lines, IMHO!

    Kris Kristofferson is one of those admiring peers mentioned earlier and the uploader edited him in to introduce this clip … “In ‘59” from his final album A Long Road Homehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJYdPv03y9U

    The title track from that album … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1zUOQ6Eksg

    “Just Dropped In”, and “Wish I Was” … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9C1h71eWHI

    And finally, the reason he’s being posted here in the first place – the earworm I’ve had roaming around in my head for about a week. No idea where these things come from! “Heaven Help the Child” …

    "The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson





  7. #1197
    a restless spirit Jerome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruby View Post
    ^It’s The Snow Goose followed by Nude for me. Always loved Paul Gallico’s story so that album takes precedence, and they did it proud IMHO. I don’t know how, but they captured the essence absolutely perfectly. Lake Como - always looks so idyllic in photos.
    My favourite spot in Lake Como - the pictures do not really do this any justice - a simply stunning place - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villa_del_Balbianello
    'The purpose of life is a life of purpose' - Athena Orchard.

  8. #1198
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    ^That does look stunning! So gracious.

    Steve George was born on this day in 1955, in Bloomington, Illinois. He was the keyboardist and co-songwriter for Mr. Mister who were surprisingly short-lived considering they had a couple of really big hits. Timing again – melodic power pop must have been on the way out. Steve and Richard Page (the lead singer) had been friends from childhood and initially formed a band they named Pages which was essentially a practice run for Mr. Mister, you might say. They made the bigtime with their second album, Welcome to the Real World, which contained the singles “Broken Wings” and “Kyrie” then went on to release a third album which just didn’t sell (although one track was nominated for a Grammy).

    After that, they played as backup band for Paul Clark, a Christian music artist, and then put together material for a fourth album, Pull, which was rejected by their own record company and others as being too introspective.

    At this point they disbanded, but Page eventually released Pull on his own label 20 years later, in 2010. Their original guitarist, Steve Farris, had left the band at the time of recording and Trevor Rabin had been called in which gives pause for thought! Here is that man on additional bass and lead guitar … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgNO8mwR1c0.

    I’ve listened to some other tracks from the album – it’s very Toto sounding in places (they’d done session work for them, incidentally) – this is “Waiting in my Dreams” … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAvVFQKWDww.

    Aside from session work and singing backup for a number of artists including Al Jarreau, Cher, Amy Grant, Barry Manilow, Kenny Loggins and Richard Page, Steve George was the musical director for Loggins and has toured with Jewel playing keyboards.

    He’s presently involved in a project called Moonbound (on piano and soprano sax) as are all the former members of Mr. Mister except Page. They have a sort of retro 80’s sound which is actually quite compelling! Don’t know that I’d call it prog, but hey – the lead singer sounds a bit like Phil Collins IMO ... https://powerprog.bandcamp.com/album...-from-the-moon.

    This was a big one for Mr. Mister …

    "The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson





  9. #1199
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    Hal David was born on this day in 1921, in New York City. He met Burt Bacharach at the Brill Building and they formed a songwriting partnership which was incredibly successful over the course of nearly three decades before going a little pear-shaped. David earned a number of HoF awards, honorary appointments to various institutions and boards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Many of his songs gained a wide audience and popularity through the movies for which they were written – he was primarily a lyricist, writing for a few other artists in addition to his collaboration with Bacharach. We know his words – we just do – they continue to be played and will probably endure for some time to come; who hasn’t heard “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”, for example?? He passed away at the age of 91, in 2012.

    I found some interesting covers of his/their songs other than those recorded by the original artists ….

    The aforementioned “Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head” – the Manic Street Preachers …. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we1_bT2elEg

    “Walk On By” – Gabrielle … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbyqM86nPlE

    “Alfie” – David McAlmont … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnOk68L2qmA

    Had to slip an original in here since she was pivotal to their success – they wrote many songs for Dionne Warwick – “Don’t Make Me Over” … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEgxuE7WD6U

    Art Garfunkel doing a song that was written by Hal David and Albert Hammond – “99 Miles From L.A.” … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJca07HLqw0

    “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” – Frankie Goes to Hollywood … and very nicely done it is too … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgy3p-L8RRg

    And from the soundtrack of the movie, Lost Horizon, the title track sung by none other than Shawn Phillips, much to my surprise – but then again, it IS rather obscure and Mr Phillips is no stranger to obscurity, although apparently the song was moderately commercially successful as opposed to the movie which – (from Wiki) … “... was not a critical or commercial success at the time of release, nor has its reputation improved since” …

    "The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson





  10. #1200
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    Happy Birthday to Hartwig Schierbaum, aka Marian Gold, who turns 63 today, he was born in Herford, West Germany in 1954. He is the guiding force behind Alphaville, the only German synthpop/new wave band to have made any real impact in the 80’s – and beyond! They still have a loyal following. Best known for the album Forever Young and its eponymous title track as well as “Big in Japan” and “Sounds Like A Melody”, he’s also released two solo albums. Alphaville made a total of seven studio recordings, culminating in this April’s release of Strange Attractor.

    If Marian Gold hadn’t chosen that ‘stage name’, Gung-ho Charlie might’ve been a contender! Never one bit fazed about whether anyone likes his stuff or not, and not one to bow to peer pressure, he just keeps right on doing what he did thirty something years ago – maybe with a few more FX ; there’s an absolutely irrepressible energy about him, and he can still sing …

    Two from the debut – “Forever Young” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGAVwQAmAHs … and “Big in Japan”, which wasn’t actually big in Japan, or the USA, lol! It was big most everywhere in Europe, Oz and SA as far as I’m aware … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tl6u2NASUzU

    “Jerusalem” – from Afternoons in Utopiahttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGO9G04bEfI

    “Ivory Tower” – from Prostitutehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvF_Y_noUTE

    “Song for No One” – from Catching Rays on Giant … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jkq0MQa18c

    … and “Enigma” from Strange Attractor … clever cover artwork considering the title and fractals etc. … I’ll be listening to the whole album soon, only had a time for a couple of tracks today …

    "The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson





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