Saturday, July 4, 2020

Grace Potter - Twilight Hour, Volume 1 - Home Concert, Topanga, CA, 4-27-2020

Some musicians have used the coronavirus pandemic lockdown time to take an extended vacation, or otherwise relax. Whereas others have been busy, and actually found new fans through their home concerts. Grace Potter definitely falls into the second category. I'd never heard of her until recently, and she's not super famous. But she's been doing a weekly home concert since early in the lockdown time period, and that came to my attention, since I've been very interested in home concerts in general lately.

She's put out albums since 2004, but they haven't done that well. I think a big problem has been the production. I read some user reviews at rateyourmusic.com, and many had the same complaint, that the music was too slick and overproduced, sucking the life out of it. In my opinion, the home concert format is the ideal cure for that problem. For her weekly shows, she does the occasional song all by herself, but more are done with a band. However, it's a very limited band, often just a drummer and a guitarist, while she alternates between keyboards and guitar. So there's no possible way the music can be slick and/or overproduced.

I must say, I'm really impressed by her talent. Clearly, she has an impressive voice. But she also is a very capable songwriter, and she is talented on the guitar and keyboards as well. She's the real deal.

She also has great taste in music. I plan on posting a whole bunch of her home concerts here. For most of them, a majority of the songs she does are covers. But for this concert, she mostly does originals. The exceptions are: "House of the Rising Sun" (made famous by the Animals), "Black Hole Sun" (by Soundgarden), and "As the World Falls Down" (by David Bowie). Note that the last two songs were recorded on the exact same day, but were done separately, for the rollingstone.com home concert series "In My Room."

If you haven't heard of Grace Potter before, I recommend you check her out.

01. Gumbo Moon (Grace Potter)
02. The House of the Rising Sun (Grace Potter)
03. Black Hole Sun (Grace Potter)
04. Here's to the Meantime (Grace Potter)
05. Falling or Flying (Grace Potter)
06. Apologies (Grace Potter)
07. Medicine (Grace Potter)
08. As the World Falls Down (Grace Potter)
09. Paris [Ooh La La] (Grace Potter)
10. Shout It Out (Grace Potter)
11. Release (Grace Potter)

https://www90.zippyshare.com/v/qMkoWUux/file.html

For many of her home concerts, she's created her own promotional art, drawing it on a chalkboard in her house. This is one such example. I'm impressed by her drawing talent as well as her musical talent. I didn't know a simple chalkboard drawing could look that good.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren - Sunday Mornings with Reina del Cid, Volume 1 (2013-2015)

So the other day I was searching for something on YouTube, and I came across a home concert by a musical act I'd never heard of, Reina del Cid. Since I've been posting a lot of home concerts here, I clicked on it to see if it was up my alley, and I discovered that it definitely was. So much so that I began looking for more music by the same artist, and now I'm starting to post some of that.

It turns out that Reina del Cid is the stage name of the singer-songwriter Rachelle Cordova. She's 32 years old as I write this, and has released four albums since 2012. Although her music is billed just under her Reina del Cid name, virtually everything she's done has been in partnership with Toni Lindgren, who is an excellent lead guitarist, and well as backing vocalist. I don't know why they're not officially billed as a duo, but I'm adding Lindgren to the artist name here, since I consider her guitar playing kind of the "secret sauce" that takes their performances to the next level.

The official Reina del Cid albums consist of her original songs, which are very good. I've been tracking those albums down and enjoying them. The music is in an acoustic mode. Sometimes there's bass and drums, plus other occasional instruments, but those are done acoustically as well, usually with a light touch. For the songs here, the vast majority are with just Reina del Cid on vocals and acoustic guitar, while Toni Lundgren plays lead on another acoustic guitar. I really enjoy their mellow sound. Reina del Cid's lead vocals don't wow with extraordinary range or timbre or anything like that, but there's a certain "je ne sais quoi" that I enjoy.

These two musicians have had a nice tradition going. Starting in 2013, they've been posting one video per week on YouTube, which they call "Sunday Mornings with Reina del Cid." Naturally, the videos come out every Sunday. They've played many originals over the years, but at a rate of one song per week, I don't think even Neil Young or Bruce Springsteen could keep up with new songs every single week. So they're mostly covers, and I've only collected the covers. If you want to hear the originals, very much in the same style, check out the studio albums (or look at the Reina del Cid YouTube page).

One thing I very much enjoy about this duo is their taste in music. They play songs by a wide variety of artists, so wide that after doing this since 2013, they rarely play more than one song by the same artist. They specialize in singer-songwriter-esque rock and folk, but they range all over the place, including country and bluegrass. I've discovered a bunch of excellent songs I'd previously missed due to their cover versions.

I plan on posting a whole series of albums that gathers up the covers from their "Sunday Mornings" YouTube page. Note that in recent years, Reina del Cid has created a Patreon webpage, which you can find here:

https://www.patreon.com/reinadelcid

Some of the weekly videos are still posted for free on YouTube, while others are only available through the Patreon page, and you have to pay to get access to those. I don't want to play a part in ruining that revenue stream, so I'll only be posting the videos that are freely available on YouTube. The songs are in chronological order from when they were posted, which appears to almost always have been the same day they were performed.

I've tried to break things up so that each album is about 45 minutes long. That's the case for this ablum, give or take a minute or two.

Here are the original artists for each song:

01. Auld Lang Syne - traditional
02. Red Is the Rose - traditional
03. Tupelo Honey - Van Morrison
04. Who Put the Bomp [In the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp] - Barry Mann
05. I Shall Be Released - Bob Dylan
06. I'll Be There - Ray Price
07. Colours - Donovan
08. Angel from Montgomery - John Prine / Bonnie Raitt
09. Kodachrome - Paul Simon
10. Beyond the Sea - Bobby Darrin
11. 21st of May - Nickel Creek
12. Ophelia - Band
13. Run Rudolph Run - Chuck Berry
14. Wild Mountain Thyme - traditional

 Here's the usual song list:

01. Auld Lang Syne (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
02. Red Is the Rose (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
03. Tupelo Honey (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
04. Who Put the Bomp (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
05. I Shall Be Released (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
06. I'll Be There (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
07. Colours (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
08. Angel from Montgomery (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
09. Kodachrome (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
10. Beyond the Sea (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
11. 21st of May (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
12. Ophelia (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
13. Run Rudolph Run (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
14. Wild Mountain Thyme (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)

https://www79.zippyshare.com/v/bL1NVExX/file.html

The cover art is a screenshot from the video for "Tupelo Honey" included here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Imelda May - I'm Crying - Various Songs (2014-2016)

It's time for another Imelda May stray tracks album. This one deals with the years 2014 to 2016. If you like her past ones, you'll be sure to like this one too.

This album is unusual for this stray tracks series in that the vast majority of the songs are officially unreleased. Only three of the 12 songs were officially released. That said, the sound quality is still pretty good. Another six of the songs come from appearances on TV shows, and those all sound very good as well.

This time around, many of the songs are covers of classic songs in a wide variety of genres. She does a New Wave song ("Say Hello, Wave Goodbye"), a Motown song ("Get Ready"), a soul song ("You Send Me"), a British Invasion song ("You Really Got Me"), and many more. She even does a version of "Bein' Green," a song best known due to the version by Kermit the Frog!

01. Your Sister Can't Twist [But She Can Rock 'n' Roll] (Imelda May)
02. Tears of Clew Bay (Imelda May)
03. Baby What You Want Me to Do - Hit the Road, Jack - A Big Hunk o' Love (Imelda May & Jools Holland)
04. Top to Bottom Boogie (Jools Holland with Imelda May)
05. Every Night about This Time (Sinead O'Connor & Imelda May)
06. Get Ready (Smokey Robinson & Imelda May)
07. Say Hello, Wave Goodbye (Imelda May & Marc Almond)
08. Wayfaring Stranger (Lulu & Imelda May)
09. You Really Got Me (Imelda May)
10. I'm Crying (Imelda May)
11. Bein' Green (Imelda May)
12. You Send Me (Imelda May)

https://www31.zippyshare.com/v/EneDr8eh/file.html

The cover is a promotional photo from 2014.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Larkin Poe - Brooklyn Bowl, Nashville, TN, 6-27-2020

I've posted a lot of Larkin Poe music lately. What's different about this one? First off, it's brand new. It's a concert that literally took place a few hours ago. This is the first time I've posted a concert that happened on the same day, and I'm psyched about that. More importantly, I've posted acoustic music from them recently, but this is a full-band concert. It's the Lovell sisters, Megan and Rebecca, on electric guitars instead of acoustic ones, with a bassist and drummer added. It's also a complete concert, at one hour and 16 minutes.

Is this a home concert? Kind of. Technically it isn't, since it was recorded at the Brooklyn Bowl. That might sound like a grand venue such as the Hollywood Bowl, but it's actually a bowling rink. However, in another way it is, because there was absolutely no audience for this concert. It was professionally recorded and filmed by them to be broadcast over the Internet. It's odd sometimes to have a rocking song come to an end and be greeted by total silence. But on the plus side, one can hear the music even better without the usual hollering and cheering.

Just a week or two prior to this, Larkin Poe released their latest album "Self Made Man." The set list leans heavily on songs from that album. I believe all the songs are originals, except for three blues songs ("Preachin' Blues," "John the Revelator," and "Come On in My Kitchen," plus a snippet of "Blue Sky" by the Allman Brothers Band.

Lately, the coronavirus pandemic has been getting worse in the US (so please keep social distancing!). I wonder if this sort of concert - playing in an venue outside one's home but to all empty seats - will become common in the months to come. Strange times!

01. She's a Self Made Man (Larkin Poe)
02. talk (Larkin Poe)
03. Keep Diggin' (Larkin Poe)
04. Trouble in Mind (Larkin Poe)
05. talk (Larkin Poe)
06. Bleach Blonde Bottle Blues (Larkin Poe)
07. talk (Larkin Poe)
08. Back Down South - Blue Sky (Larkin Poe)
09. talk (Larkin Poe)
10. Preachin' Blues (Larkin Poe)
11. talk (Larkin Poe)
12. Freedom (Larkin Poe)
13. John the Revelator (Larkin Poe)
14. talk (Larkin Poe)
15. Tears of Blue to Gold (Larkin Poe)
16. talk (Larkin Poe)
17. Danger Angel (Larkin Poe)
18. When God Closes a Door (Larkin Poe)
19. talk (Larkin Poe)
20. Ex-Con (Larkin Poe)
21. talk (Larkin Poe)
22. Easy Street (Larkin Poe)
23. talk (Larkin Poe)
24. Blue Ridge Mountains (Larkin Poe)
25. talk (Larkin Poe)
26. Holy Ghost Fire (Larkin Poe)
27. Wanted Woman - AC-DC (Larkin Poe)
28. talk (Larkin Poe)
29. Come On in My Kitchen (Larkin Poe)

https://www84.zippyshare.com/v/O3pOQWYf/file.html

The cover art is taken from a photo I found at Larkin Poe's Instagram account, taken in front of the venue.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Manfred Mann - As Is - Various Songs (1966)

Here's the next in my series of Manfred Mann 1960s albums. This is essentially the officially released British album "As Is." I've included the entire album "as is" (ha ha), but I've added some extra songs.

This album is notable as the first one with the band's new lead vocalist Mike D'Abo, who replaced Paul Jones. Personally, I prefer the D'Abo era. Both were very good vocalists, but D'Abo also was a talented songwriter, including some songs you wouldn't expect, such as "Handbags and Gladrags," a hit for Rod Stewart, and "Build Me Up Buttercup," a hit for the Foundations.

The band had already been moving away from their rhythm and blues sound at the end of the Paul Jones era. Musical trends were changing fast in 1966, and the band fought to stay relevant. While the band wasn't "cutting edge" by any means, you can hear on this album how they continued to diversity their sound.

As far as the extra songs, the first three are from Mike D'Abo and his band just before he joined Manfred Mann. I figured these three songs are pretty good, and I didn't find any better place to put them, so I've stuck them at the start of this album. The song "(Accept My) Invitation" is particularly important because the rest of the Manfred Mann band heard D'Abo sing that in a concert, and were so impressed that they invited him to join the band. The last song is just a little short unreleased acoustic guitar instrumental, but I thought it was nice enough to include.

01. Gonna Make a Woman of You (Mike D'Abo & a Band of Angels)
02. Leave It to Me (Mike D'Abo & a Band of Angels)
03. [Accept My] Invitation (Mike D'Abo & a Band of Angels)
04. Trouble and Tea (Manfred Mann)
05. A Now and Then Thing (Manfred Mann)
06. Each Other's Company (Manfred Mann)
07. Box Office Draw (Manfred Mann)
08. Dealer, Dealer (Manfred Mann)
09. Morning After the Party (Manfred Mann)
10. Another Kind of Music (Manfred Mann)
11. As Long as I Have Loving (Manfred Mann)
12. Autumn Leaves [Instrumental] (Manfred Mann)
13. Superstitious Guy (Manfred Mann)
14. You're My Girl (Manfred Mann)
15. Just like a Woman (Manfred Mann)
16. Acoustic Guitar [Instrumental] (Manfred Mann)

https://www6.zippyshare.com/v/YqGmPHY9/file.html

The album cover is the exact cover from the official album. However, in the bottom left, there was a list of the songs on the album. I didn't want that, because I added some songs. So I used Photoshop to erase those words.

Melissa Etheridge - Home Concert Covers, Volume 3, Los Angeles, CA, 4-23-2020 to 4-29-2020

Melissa Etheridge played over 50 home concerts every day without pause, each one roughly half an hour to an hour. That came to a sudden halt on May 13, 2020, because she found out that day that her son Beckett, age 21, died of causes related to opiod addiction. She took over a month off to grieve.

On June 20th, she reemerged with more home concerts. However, she has changed her model. Instead of posting her concerts for free on the Internet, she's starting a subscription service at etheridgetv.com. If that's her plan, I don't want to undercut it by posting material behind a pay wall for free here. That said, I still have a lot of material to post through May 2020, such as this album.

This follows the same format as the two previous Etheridge home concert covers collections I've posted here. Namely, since she's so talkative between songs, I've created two download files. One includes the talking. In this case, that's 58 minutes long. The other is just the songs. That's only 36 minutes. And if it isn't clear enough already, this is only cover versions.

There's not much else to say except I think she's a pretty interesting story teller. So if you're a fan, you should consider hearing the version with talking at least once. But if you're looking to long-term repeat listenability, you might want to focus on the music only version for that.

Oh, one final comment. Back in February, I was pleasantly surprised when all these home concerts started happening. For me, those have been one of the best silver linings to the otherwise very dark coronavirus cloud. It's been a boon for people like me who are into acoustic performances. I'm happy to report this is the 40th one I've posted, with more new ones popping up all the time. :)

Here's a list of the original artists for each song:

01. Apartment No. 9 - Tammy Wynette
02. Heroes - David Bowie
03. Mandy - Barry Manilow
04. Since I Fell for You - Lenny Welch
05. After the Glitter Fades - Stevie Nicks
06. Drift Away - Dobie Gray
07. Angie - Wild Horses - Rolling Stones
08. Let's Get It On - Marvin Gaye

Here's the usual song list for the version with the talking:

01. talk (Melissa Etheridge)
02. Apartment No. 9 (Melissa Etheridge)
03. talk (Melissa Etheridge)
04. Heroes (Melissa Etheridge)
05. talk (Melissa Etheridge)
06. Mandy (Melissa Etheridge)
07. talk (Melissa Etheridge)
08. Since I Fell for You (Melissa Etheridge)
09. talk (Melissa Etheridge)
10. Intro to After the Glitter Fades (Melissa Etheridge)
11. After the Glitter Fades (Melissa Etheridge)
12. talk (Melissa Etheridge)
13. Drift Away (Melissa Etheridge)
14. talk (Melissa Etheridge)
15. Angie - Wild Horses (Melissa Etheridge)
16. talk (Melissa Etheridge)
17. Let's Get It On (Melissa Etheridge)

Here's the music-only song list:

01. Apartment No. 9 (Melissa Etheridge)
02. Heroes (Melissa Etheridge)
03. Mandy (Melissa Etheridge)
04. Since I Fell for You (Melissa Etheridge)
05. After the Glitter Fades (Melissa Etheridge)
06. Drift Away (Melissa Etheridge)
07. Angie - Wild Horses (Melissa Etheridge)
08. Let's Get It On (Melissa Etheridge)

https://www57.zippyshare.com/v/5MxMtbGi/file.html

Music only version:

https://www57.zippyshare.com/v/dxhMq7qW/file.html

The cover art comes from an appearance she made on a radio show, while she was in the room where she does her home concert. I used that as a source instead of a screenshot from one of her home concerts, because this one had a good close up of her head, whereas her home concerts usually are zoomed out and show her entire body. I'll probably use an example of that next time around.

Pete Townshend - Life to Life - Various Songs (1985-1989)

Oops! I was convinced that I'd posted this album months ago. It's a stray tracks album, and I went on to post the rest of the albums in that series. Somehow, it came to my attention that I'd missed this one, so here we go. If you suspect I've missed other albums that are in a series, please let me know.

In the 1980s, Pete Townshend had a fairly active solo career. In 1985, he released the album "White City," which I think is one of his best. This starts with a couple of bonus tracks from that album, and continues to a B-side from his next album in 1989. In between are mostly demos and live tracks. I believe five songs are not written by him: "Save It for Later," "Night Train," "Cool Jerk," "That's Alright, Mama," and "I Put a Spell on You."

"Dig" was a minor hit from Townshend's 1989 album "The Iron Man." But that version was played by the Who, and the lead vocals were sung by Who singer Roger Daltrey. This is a rare B-side version actually sung by Townshend.

In terms of sound quality, everything here is fine. Only two songs are officially unreleased, and both of those sound as good as any official live album.

01. Save It for Later (Pete Townshend)
02. Night School (Pete Townshend)
03. Lonely Words (Pete Townshend)
04. That's All Right, Mama (Pete Townshend)
05. Life to Life (Pete Townshend)
06. Night Train (Pete Townshend)
07. I Put a Spell on You (Pete Townshend)
08. Cool Jerk [Instrumental] (Pete Townshend)
09. Real World [Can You Really Dance] (Pete Townshend)
10. How Did You Love Me Then [Version 1] (Pete Townshend)
11. Penny Drop (Pete Townshend)
12. Dig [Pete Vocal Version] (Pete Townshend)

https://www63.zippyshare.com/v/EEFGiM0R/file.html

The cover art photo is from a mid-1980s publicity photo.