A Few of the Best...

A Few of the Best...
JJ Grey, Lindsey Buckingham, Eddie Vedder, Richard Thompson

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sonia Dada & the Late Rory Gallagher

Sonia Dada has been on my list of favorites for years now. I first heard them coming home from work in my car, on Philadelphia's 88.5 WXPN. I bought and owned their music by that evening. Side note: in that same car ride I also heard cuts from Lindsey Buckingham's then-new CD, 'Out of the Cradle', which I also owned by that night! We'll talk about the great Lindsey in another post.

I've seen Sonia Dada 3 times in the Philly area. People don't sit down, even if there are seats. They are a rockin' gospel-blues music genre group, based in Chicago. One day in 1990, songwriter-guitarist Dan Pritzker got off a subway train and heard the three-part harmonies of Michael Scott, Paris Delane and Sam Hogan. Pritzker had already been working with a group with long time friends, guitarist Dave Resnik, drummer Hank Guaglianone and bassist Erik Scott. The three singers joined the quartet, and Sonia Dada had a new lineup with keyboardist Chris "Hambone" Cameron.

The CD I heard that night in the car was '' A Day At The Beach". Yowza. It's still one of my favorite sounds, and they are GREAT live...really great. Get yourself to iTunes or Amazon and listen to some of the cuts. In fact, go to YouTube and listen to Screamin' John. It's great for openers (sold me!), but the whole album is killer. Sail Away, Crazy Jane and Lester's Methadone Clinic are masterpieces. If music had not become so crushingly competitive, these guys would be headliners ... my opinion of course! They're stars in my book, anyway. Look 'em up or comment here.

Rory Gallagher. Man, I don't even remember when I stumbled across him. He died in the '90's, sadly of liver failure and you-guessed-it, a fatal love affair with alcohol. What an insane GIFT to the music world was this guy! Eric Clapton apparently once stated that Gallagher gave him a whole new understanding of the blues. The best albums are the live ones, if you can get them. My first 'hard listen' was on a business trip by car, and I remember driving across a big bridge to our state capitol, and listening to As the Crow Flies. I almost went off the road with excitement. This guy probably outdid Springsteen onstage for frenetic, insane dedication to kicking out the jams for his audience. Some of the great albums: "The Irish Tour" (As the Crow Flies is on this), "The BBC Concert", and "Stage Struck". Go to YouTube and watch him play Goin' to My Home Town (give this a good 50 seconds of intro to KICK IN to the good stuff...love it!), Cradle Rock, Messin' With the Kid (give this 50 seconds of intro too), Bullfrog Blues (great googely-moogley as Frank Zappa used to say!!!!), Rory Gallagher and Stevie Ray Vaughan ... oh and much, much more.

What a terrible, terrible loss to the music world that Rory isn't with us anymore. One of his songs I listen to, Too Much Alcohol, portends with creepy accuracy, this artist's demise. Our boy apparently drank with the same dedication that he so passionately played his music onstage.

That's it for today. I could write forever about the music I love, and hence the title to this blog.

Next time: we'll talk about Papa Mali and Daniel Lanois. Over and out ...

Free Fallin' Kristin

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