Ch. #37 – “Our simple mortal coils”

 

Unfortunately that has been a bit of unintended lull on what’s suppose to be a weekly series, but I have had some milder turmoil in my personal life and with my relationships the last few weeks which have left me emotionally drained to the degree that I have just not been able to keep up with “Rambling in B-flat” as I want to.

So this piece is me trying to get the show on the roll again, not just for the blog’s sake but also attempting to restore some kind of balance to my life. And at this moment I couldn’t think of any better song for this purpose than Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers‘ 4-chord classic anthem about ups and downs of our mortal coils, “Learning to Fly“.

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Ch. #33 – “When the Blues hit home”

 

As I’m writing this installment of my weekly series on this here blog I’m sitting on a plane bound to the Windy City, Chicago, for a last hurrah of my summer of 2019. And bound towards Chicago, the home and stomping grounds of the many, many artist that turned Blues electric, put it on vinyl and spread it across the world in the 1950s and early 1960s, how could I write about something else then the Blues?

For those of you that have followed the blog for a while or are a recent reader that have caught up with the backlog of “Rambling in B-Flat” shouldn’t be surprised to read that Blues and related music and genres are very dear to me. While I consume and am interested in music from a pretty broad spectrum of genres, I would have to put Blues up their as one of my absolute favorites if pushed into a corner.

So this is going to be my little story, or anecdote if you will, how I found the Blues and how it hasn’t released me since.

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Ch. #31 – “Woodstock and Hendrix”

 

As I have already mentioned and what has become a theme of several installments on this here blog already, this year spells the 50 year’s anniversary of a lot of significant things. Because looking back it turns out that a lot of, to quote the US National Recording Preservation Act of 2000 here, events that were “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” happened in 1969.

As for events directly related to music goes the event most people would associate with 1969 is Woodstock; the mythical music festival that took place in upstate New York that has been enshrined in our collective conscious for it’s pivotal role in the progression of popular music and for it’s cultural impact of both those who attended and those who did not alike.

If you are a regular follower of music journalistic outlets like Rolling Stone, NME, Pitchfork and so on you likely have been exposed to a number of articles the last few months talking about Woodstock. Several about the development and the ultimately unfortunate cancellation of the festival’s 50th anniversary edition, but of course also about the original festival itself.

It has been pretty inspiring lately to read all these articles with tidbits about legendary festival for some one who neither weren’t there or even was conceived at the time. Although there were many a great performer and narratives from Woodstock we could talk about, for me if I had to pick a single thing that I most associate with Woodstock it has to guitar maestro and virtuoso¬†Jimi Hendrix.

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Ch. #11 – “Surf’s Up”

 

As I was hazily going through my feeds on various social media platforms during a lazy Sunday last week I stumbled on the saddening news that “The King of the Surf Guitar”, Dick Dale, had just passed away 81 years old.

Although I think that most of you who are reading this have probably heard my choice of song of the week, the Surf Rock classic “Miserlou“, in various context I would think that the name Dick Dale likely doesn’t ring a bell or doesn’t mean much to you. And I don’t fault you for it; he only had a brief period in the limelight and didn’t put out a whole lot of records or song during his career. But much like Buddy Holly a few years before him, despite the short period in the spotlight he left a lasting impression on the development of Rock and popular music, both artistically and technologically.

Therefore I’m penning this week’s piece in tribute to Dick Dale and to tell you why he and his legacy matters in the history of Rock and Roll.

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Ch. #10 – “Why am I rambling in B-flat?”

 

I’m going to go full meta today as I’m going to elaborate on the very title of this blog by trying to answer on the humble question; Why I’m rambling in B-flat?

That’s a two part question where the first part, the “rambling” part, I have already answered in the “About” page of this blog. Therefore I’m not going to go any deeper into that. Rather what I want to delve into is the second part of the question, the “B-flat” part.

So what’s the deal with B-flat? Well, first and foremost it’s a cute little riff on my first name, Bernhard. Secondly, and much more interestingly, it’s a historical reference to the early days of Rock and Roll and Pop music. To get us to that time and place in musical history we’ll be looking at Chuck Berry‘s Rock and Roll classic and firestarter “Johnny B. Goode”.

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Ch. #7 – “From past to present to past to present”

 

It’s new music alert this week as I’m putting the spotlight on of Blues music brightest names these days, namingly guitar wizard Gary Clark Jr. and his new record “This Land” that came out just the other day as I’m writing this.

For those of you who are living east of the Atlantic Ocean Gary Clark Jr. may not be a familiar name but it’s a different story on the west side of the pond. As this recent piece by Rolling Stone narrates in the last better part of a decade Gary has established himself as the heir apparent of Blues music by many heavy names of yore, such as Buddy Guy and Jimmie Vaughan, and been called “the future” by former President of the United States Barack Obama, who invited him twice during his presidency to play at the White House.

The Blues man persona and “merely” stepping in the shoes of the Blues greats of yesterday is however an idea that Gary isn’t very comfortable with settling with. And “This Land” is an expression of that unconformity.

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Ch. #6 – “Not your regular rock star”

 

One of the most touted and prolific new names in rock music in the last few years is the indie rock sensation from “Down Under“, Courtney Barnett. And I think that for good reason; she is certainly not your regular rock star.

Many of her songs are about topics and themes that is so foreign to what your otherwise “rank and file” rock songs are about. Also the mood and appearance in how she present her songs and herself is also strikingly different to also what most of us generally associate with “rock music”.

Finally, and it pain me that I actually feel it’s worth pointing this out, she is a women. If you look back at the big rock acts of the last 60-ish years or so and even compare to the active big acts of today you see a past and present that is heavily slanted toward the male side. The latter however may soon be about to change.

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