Sunday, December 30, 2018

Monday's Music Moves Me: Christmas, New Years, Winter

December's 4M Theme was Christmas for the whole month. It fits since it is still the 12 Days of Christmas.

                                              Straight No Chaser "12 Days of Christmas"

Eric Clapton "Christmas in my Home Town"

                                          But maybe we should give "Winter" a nod..

Sometimes it about longing to get back to someone. "Six Feet of Snow" Little Feat

U2's "New Year's Day"

Happy Winter, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year's!

Battle of the Bands Chronicles Volume Six: 2018 in review

2018 is ending very quickly. As I am thinking what Battle of the Bands I am going to kick off 2019 it is very fitting to look back at the Battles of 2018.

Battle 78 January 15, 2018 Apparently skipping the Battle on the January 1st is something I do. I skipped it this year and in 2017. The Battle for the 15th featured "A Change is Gonna Come" from the great Sam Cooke. Two vocal greats were pitted against one another. Otis Redding versus Seal. Seal won 4 to 2.

Battle 79 February 15, 2018 looks like we were doing these once a month. "Lawyers, Guns and Money" from Warren Zevon. I went for contrast on the contenders Hank Williams Jr against The Wallflowers. The Wallflowers cruised to victory.

Battle 80 March 15, 2018 I went crazy on a "Crazy Train." I went with probably my favorite Virginia band Carbon Leaf against a rocking, Americana band The Gravel Spreaders. The crazy California band won 6 to 2.

Battle 81 April 15, 2018 I went with John Sebastian's "The Face of Appalachia." It was a showdown with Julie Miller against Valerie Carter. Valerie shut out Julie 6 to 0. However, Julie did write my favorite Christian song.

Battle 82 May 1, 2018 I stayed with the John Sebastian songbook. This time it was Jimmy Buffett and The Everly Brothers fighting it out. A shut out for Jimmy 4 to 0.

Battle 83 May 15, 2018 After two straight shut outs I went with Royalty. BB King versus Aretha Franklin. Doing the Roy Hawkins classic "The Thrill is Gone" which belongs to B.B. Another shut out.

Battle 84 June 1, 2018 "Imagine" I went with Elton John and Neil Young to end my shut out streak. Elton won 4 to 3.

Battle 85 June 15, 2018 I stayed with Elton because "I'm Still Standing." Taron Egerton against Martha Wash. Taron won 5 to 3.

Battle 86 July 1,  2018 I went To the Bahama's for a gospel song "I Bid You Goodnight." Really did not go to the Bahama's but if you want to start a go fund me for that I will gladly go! Nicolette Lawson versus Aaron Neville. I threw in a bonus contender Soweto Gospel Choir. Lawson won 3-2-1.

Battle 87 July 15, 2018 John Brim's "I'm Your Ice Cream Man" was my next battle. I used Van Halen's as the example. The original versus Martin Sexton. Sexton won big.

Battle 88 August 1, 2018 Time for the "Summer Time Blues." Blue Cheer and The Who rocked the house to a tie.

Battle 89 August 15, 2018 More "Summer Time Blues." Alan Jackson versus Brian Setzer. Setzer won.

Battle 90 September 1, 2018 I went with one of my favorite songwriters John Hiatt and a tune called "Through Your Hands." I went with Don Henley and David Crosby on this match up. Henley rallied back to win.

Battle 91 September 15, 2018 I decided to put on the rock gears with Black Sabbath's "Changes." Charles Bradley gave his soul version and The Cardigans offered up their take. Charles won.

Battle 92 October 1, 2018 was a tribute to Otis Rush. The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin were two of the biggest rock bands ever and they brought their versions of "I Can't Quit You." The Stones won!

Battle 93 October 15, 2018 we went walking into the "Morning Dew" with Tim Rose and Bonnie Dobson. Dobson won.

Battle 94 November 1, 2018 David Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes" gave me the chance to highlight Eric McFadden. Who blew me away seeing him live and his new album. I wanted a good battle so Scott Weiland was the competition. Eric won!

Battle 95 November 15, 2018 I went to classical guitar. John Williams and Kaori Muraji. Stanley Myer's "Cavatina" was the tune. Kaori won.

Battle 96 December 1, 2018 I kicked off December with The Rolling Stones "As Tears Go By." The twist was all female versions. Marianne Faithful vs Melanie. Marianne won.

Battle 97 December 15, 2018 featured the sounds of Christmas. Chris Tomlin and Michael W. Smith performed "Angels We Have Heard on High" and the winner was Chris Tomlin.

2019 will bring my 100th Battle of the Bands. What songs will pick going forward? What do the songs I've picked say about my musical taste? Only time will tell.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Monday's Music Moves Me: Christmas Eve Edition

Kind of fitting my Music Moves Me post is coming out a little later in the day. It is Christmas Eve!  The theme for the month for Monday's Music Moves Me is Christmas.

I am going to have Bob Dylan tells about tonight..."Twas The Night Before Christmas"

Trans-Siberian Orchestra "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo" 


Celine Dion's "Christmas Eve"

I will leave you with "Silent Night"

It is a new version from Eric Clapton...

Thank you and have a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Battle of the Bands: Chris Tomlin wins the Last Battle of the Bands of 2018

Chris Tomlin bested Michael W. Smith 5 to 3 to win the Last Battle of the Bands for 2018. HIs "Angels We Have Heard on High" finished on top. Chris is a successful Christina artist selling over 7 million albums world wide.

Not only do we announce winner on my blog we also celebrate their music.

                                             "How Great is Our God"

                                           "Our God"

"Holy is the Lord"


I hope you enjoyed the Battle. The first Battle of the Bands of 2019 will be on New Tear's Day so please come back visit and vote! I will have another post of Christmas songs scheduled for Christmas Eve.  

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Monday's Music Moves Me: Merry Rock and Roll Christmas

Monday's Music Moves Me theme for December is Christmas and Holiday music all month long. I've been playing along and adding my own twists. My first one was about getting ready "Christmas Lights," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," and "First Noel." Next I went with Annoying, Band and Controversial. Now I am back with Rock and Roll. Turn it up and enjoy!

Chuck Berry "Run Rudolph Run" 

                                               Elvis Presley  "Blue Christmas"

38 Special "Wild-Eyed Christmas Eve"

                     George Thorogood and The Destroyers "Rock-n-Roll Christmas"

John Lennon "Happy Xmas (The War is Over)

Queen "Thank Good It's Christmas"

Thanks for visiting! I hope you enjoyed the songs!
Happy Holidays and I will see you soon!

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Battle of the Bands: Angels We Have Heard on High

Today I was supposed to be playing "Angels We Have Heard on High" at a recital. Well today I am supposed to work. The latter of the things I'm supposed to do won out! Well since it is the 15th I can play the song here for my Battle of the Bands tune. I promise they will sound better than I would. The song is a well known carol/hymn so I won't go with an original just the contenders.

Contender One: Chris Tomlin

Contender Two: Michael W. Smith

You know the deal vote for the one you like best in the comments. I will count them up and post a winner before Christmas. Thanks for visiting and I hope you have a wonderful Holiday Season!

Friday, December 14, 2018

R.I.P Nancy Wilson Jazz Singer

She would probably hate the term jazz singer but I didn't want her to be confused with Nancy Wilson of Heart fame. The Nancy Wilson my post is about is the 81-year old three time Grammy Award winning vocalist who passed away yesterday.

A news clip or tribute about her below...

I want to share her music and celebrate her life and talents!

"How Glad I Am" which won her first Grammy...

                                            Here she is with "Guess Who I Saw Today"

                                              "Don't Ask My Neighbors"

She leaves behind a recorded legacy and will be missed by fans, family and friends.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Battle of the Bands Chronicles: Volume Five Some Classical but still a musical kitchen sink!

2017 started with a delay so Battle 60 started on January 15, 2017. I went classical with Chopin. You know I had a throw a twist with an electric version from Jimmy Page. I also played it straight with  József Eötvös. Jimmy won y one vote. 

February 1, 2017 Battle 61 marked Black History Month and one of my favorite genres blues. I went with Howlin' Wolf's classic "Backdoor Man." I used Quicksilver Messenger and The Doors. The Doors won a closer one.

Battle 62 on February 15, 2017 continued with a Black History theme as I turned towards Motown with Smokey Robinson's "Cruisin.'" D'Angelo took on Huey Lewis and Gwyneth Paltrow. It was a shut out in favor of Huey and Gwyneth.

Battle 63 March 1, 2017 I went back to classical for inspiration. This time Ravel's Bolero. Twisting it up with Jeff Beck's all star version against a bagpipe version by Carlos Nunez. Bagpipes won!

Battle 64 March 15, 2017 I went Grateful Dead with "Box of Rain." I pitted a co-writer and lyric master Robert Hunter against Beth Cassidy. Beth won easily.

Battle 65 April 1, 2017 I went with the classic hymn "Amazing Grace."  Celtic Woman against Charlotte Church. It was a beautiful tie.

Battle 66 April 15, 2017 Chuck Berry showed up with "Maybellene" but even this had a twist as the battle featured Gene Vincent and Marty Robbins. Marty won this one easily.

Battle 67 May 1, 2017 It was the Cure with "Friday, I'm in Love. "Natalie Imbruglia took on Yo La Tengo. Natalie won by one.

Battle 68 May 15, 2017 I went commercial. It was a Queen song and the first contender was Nickelback against a Pepsi Commercial. The commercial featured Britney Spears, Pink,  Beyoncé and Enrique Iglesias. Nickelback won.

Battle 69 June 1, 2017 "Blackhole Sun" in tribute to Chris Cornell. Norah Jones against Ann Wilson. This one ended as a tie.

Battle 70 June 15, 2017 "Midnight Rider" by The Allman Brothers was my next battle. My contestants came from Country music Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. Waylon took the victory.

Battle 71 July 2, 2017 I kicked off July with some "Good Lovin'" from The Rascals. I pitted The Grateful Dead against Tommy James and The Shondells. Tommy won 3-2-1 was the voting as The Rascals got some love.

Battle 72 July 15, 2017 featured Bob Dylan's "The Times They are a Changin'." Billy Joel shut our Bruce Springsteen.

Battle 73 August 15, 2017 saw the migration to most of the BOTBs crews switching to once a month. Little Feat stirred the pot with "Apoltical Blues." I pitted them with Van Halen and Phish. No one won it was a three way tie.

Battle 74 September 15, 2017 "When the Levee Breaks" and I didn't use Led Zeppelin. I did pit Alison Krauss against the original Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie. Alison won this one easily.

Battle 75 October 15, 2017 "Tulsa Time" by Don Williams. I know most people are familiar with Eric Clapton's version who was a contender against Reba McEntire. Reba ran away with it.

Battle 76 November 15, 2017 Fats Domino's "Blueberry Hill" in tribute to his passing. The contenders were Louis Armstrong, Led Zeppelin, and The Glen Miller Orchestra. That's an interesting combination. Armstrong won.

Battle 77 December 16, 2017 I was tardy. "Silent Night" was the Battle. The Temptations matched against Pentatonix. Pentatonix won!

Next will be a year in review for 2018!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Battle of the Bands Chronicles: Volume Four A Big Blender of Sound

Battle 41 March 16, 2016 took a folk turn with Pete Seeger's classic "Where have all the Flowers Gone." The Searchers won big over Earth, Wind and Fire.

Battle 42 Star Date April 1, 2016 This Battle was a drum battle and nothing but fun! Just one video on this one. Dave Grohl against Animal. The red furred drummer won easily!

Battle 43: April 15, 2016 "Always Something to Remind Me" featured Sandie Shaw and Naked Eyes. Naked Eyes won 7 to 3.

Battle 44:May 1, 2016 "Nothing Compares to U" Chris Cornell vs Sinead O'Conner. Chris won this battle.

Battle 45: May 15, 2016 Prince was still on my mind. I went folk again with Joni Mitchell "A Case of You." I put Prince against jazz singer Diana Krall. Diana Krall won a close battle.

Battle 46: June 1, 2016 I kept it laid back with Guy Clark's "Boats to Build." Two friends pitted against each other Jimmy Buffett and Jerry Jeff Walker. Alan Jackson aided Jimmy. Jimmy won by many boat drinks.

Battle 47: June 15, 2016 "Relax" by Frankie Goes To Hollywood now that was a twist! Lika Morgan against Powerman 5000. Lika won.

Battle 48: July 1, 2016. I went with the traditional "O Death" to remember Ralph Stanley who passed. Lauren O'Conner and Jen Titus were the contenders. Lauren won this round.

Battle 49: July 15, 2016 I was marking my two year anniversary reusing the Stones "Dead Flowers" this time I changed the contenders to Cowboy Junkies and New Riders of the Purple Sage. NRPS won this one.

Battle 50: August 1, 2016 Decided to use "The Presence of the Lord." Larry Norman against Glenn Kaiser. Glenn won this Battle.

Battle 51: August 15, 2016 "Here Comes The Sun"  was the song. I pitted the great Nina Simone who was shut out by Phil Keaggy. Guess the Lord was still hanging out.

Battle 52: September 1, 2016 My Battle's often feature "Good Rocking Tonight." The rockabilly classic brought out rockers Montrose vs Lemmy and Johnny Ramone. Montrose came out victorious.

Battle 53: September 15, 2016 I was "Willin'" to feature some Little Feat! It went to the birds with The Black Crowes meeting The Byrds. Feathers were twisted and it ended as a tie.

Battle 54: October 1, 2016 Rocktober came and it was "Helter Skelter." Aerosmith and Motley Crue joined the party.  The Crew one!

Battle 55: October 15, 2016 Roctober was wild getting out of hand. Wild Thing was being covered by Sam Kinison and The Divinyls. The later won 9 -2.

Battle 56: November 1, 2016 We went back to "Willin'" to break up the tie. This time Linda Ronstadt  and Steve Earle squared off. Linda was the winner.

Battle 57: November 15, 2016 "A  Song for You" Christina Aguilera aided by jazz giant Herbie Hancock took on Ray Charles. The blind legend won!

Battle 58: December 1, 2016 Taylor Dayne's "Tell it to my Heart" brought the 80s back but millennials performed the covers. Nicola Marie and Lynsey Cawthra. Lynsey won.

Battle 59: December 15, 2016 "I Believe in Father Christmas" was my Christmas song. U2 and Vertical Horizon were my contestants. U2 lost big time.

My next Chronicles will start in 2017.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Monday's Music Moves Me: Annoying, Banned, Controversial Christmas Songs

The theme for December for Monday's Music Moves Me is Christmas Music. I kicked it off last week with a Christmas start up. Annoying, Banned, Controversial Christmas songs sounds like a great place to start since some of these have been in the news recently.

It may shock, it may offend, you may disagree but by all means dance!

"Baby Shark" has been very popular! I think some of the popularity is due to it's annoying factor. Just in time for Christmas there is "Santa Shark"...

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" (the banned one)

Bing Crosby and Doris Day have the pleasure of singing the song.

Controversy runs rampant in "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer"

Verbally abusive dad, bullying, and the bad behavior towards him for being different.

Fun little ABC's of Christmas Songs that might be found on the Naughty list. Maybe people are over reacting? I don't know. However if you listened to these three earworms chances are you might just start singing one.

Battle of the Bands Result: As Tears Go By

The way things unfolded I think I should have went with a Christmas song. It is very ironic that I went with "As Tears Go By." It foreshadowed my life and certainly there was enough tears going by last week.

Not to be a Debbie Downer there were some good things happening on my blog. We have a winner! Marianne Faithful won 6 to 1.  It wasn't a close battle but it wasn't a shut out thanks John! Visit his blog it is a fun one!

Even though votes were a little down I did have a new voter. I hope Aisasami will continue to visit and vote. Maybe join the fun?

Like I said we have a winner! We celebrate winners here so let's go!

                                               "Broken English"

"The Ballad of Lucy Jordan"

"The Pleasure Song"

Thanks for visiting! I will be back on the 15th with a new Battle. On Monday's this month I am posting Holiday music. I'm sure I will post something in between so feel free to come back!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Holiday Blues: Farewell to the Family Pet

Maybe I should have gone for the Christmas song on my Battle of the Band perhaps I jinxed myself.  Like most people the Holiday's are a busy time of year. I have a lot going on at work, outside of the work, my daughter's performance, family and the list goes on.

Christmas was going to be busy in a good way. My daughter and I both having important parts in the Christmas Eve late service. I was planning to get her a new laptop and few more items on her Christmas list. That was before it all came crashing down.

                                                   Our cat in his younger days...

I had just gotten home from work and a delivery man had just arrived.  I got out of my car and signed for the package. While I was signing I heard our cat, Bandit meowing from inside. It was unusual for him to meow that loud. Granted he was sick the day before actually turning down treats. He had been vomiting before that. I thought he was just sick and would get over whatever he had. A cat vomiting isn't unusual they get fur balls. When I got inside I could tell my little buddy wasn't doing well. Didn't think it was as dire as it was but  I did think he needed to see someone. I called a few Vet's and they were all about to close so they all recommended an emergency animal hospital. The cat had moved eight feet I put an extra pad of carpet in his carrier and got him to move into it. I contacted the wife to make sure my daughter would be picked up. The ride to the animal hospital was about 30 minutes. I took the ride nice and smooth, talking to bandit. He talked back with some meows and he appeared to get calmer.

At the animal hospital I filled out all the paper work. It was just like going to urgent care. We waited in the waiting room. I opened the carrier and petted him. He wasn't going anywhere. I think I even got him to purr. We both watched as some lady carried a big dog to back. Finally they called us back.

I knew from the get go the evening was not going to be cheap. It was $95 just to be seen. They told me there were 2 or 3 animals ahead of us. They took his temperature the old fashioned way, he meowed a couple of times to say that wasn't nice. Well his temperature came in low and they stated he was dehydrated. He jumped the line as they said he was critical. They wanted to give him an IV and get him warmed up. The price went up to $214. Then they came back and started talking about life support options.

I'm like my cat is going to be fine. They are going to give him some fluids and find out what is wrong with him. Then they come back with the medical plan. $1300 to $2300. At this point the cat is already back in the treatment area. That's crazy money for a cat. However he was more than a cat. They needed an $1800 dollar deposit to take care of him.

$1800 is a lot of money too me. What do I do take him home and hope he makes it? Mind you I have a wife who loves that cat, a stepson who won't admit it who loves that cat, and an 11-year old daughter who has spent 8.5 years with that cat. What do I tell my daughter? I pull out my card and pay the $1800. They had to keep him overnight. They did let me see him before I left. He was in a cage close to the nurses station. A heat lamp shining in the cage and a blanket on him. He was alert. I saw his paw bandaged and an IV attached. Pitiful thing to see a cat with an IV. I got the chance to pet him a few more times before I left.

He was going to be alright and I would be picking him up on Thursday. Most of the time being a Dad is a great thing. This night it wasn't so great. I went home and told my daughter Bandit is in the hospital. I told her somethings are more important than a nice Christmas and I asked her if Bandit was more important. She agreed. I told her he was in critical care, I spent a lot of money and the Doctors were working on him.

Somehow everyone got to sleep. Somewhere past 2:30 my phone rang. I missed the call. I called it back and it was the animal hospital. They were using a breathing tube to keep him alive. He had turned for the worst. They said it didn't look good. I'm relaying this to my hysterical wife.
The Doctors are asking me what I want to do. I'm like save my cat. While we are on the call it gets worse. They tell me his heart stopped. Nothing left to do he has expired. I ask if we can see him and the financial questions. Also discuss his cremation. My wife is getting dressed and I go to wake my daughter.

By this point the whole Dad thing kind of stinks. I've never seen anything flex to people like Bandit. He flexed to all of our personalities. He would let Evelyn carry him around like a ragdoll his entire life. He didn't play rough with her. He knew Mama didn't play. He knew me as playtime (and food). He could be himself with me. Claws came out occasionally. My daughter would laugh at us playing because we would chase each other around. She loved it when he would get on his hindlegs and chase me like he was a bear.

Anyway I woke her up and told her what happened.  It was not a fun conversation. We got dressed and drove to the animal hospital. We got to see Bandit one more time and say our goodbyes. He was already on his way to Cat Heaven. We drove home our hearts low and my debt higher. Still in shock he had turned sick so fast. They think his kidneys went bad. They said his vitals and everything were coming up. The believe he had a seizure, stroke and a blood clot. I just hope he knows he was loved.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Monday's Music Moves Me: First Monday of Christmas Music

The theme for Monday's Music Moves Me is Christmas songs. I might expand it to Holiday songs if I come across one or a song that is good for the season.

First up  "The First Noel" this version done by Carrie Underwood...

Coldplay performing "Christmas Lights"..

                                           Decorations and lights are a good way to start off the Holiday season.

                                           Just remember "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"

                                               Well I think this is a good start to the Christmas Season!


Saturday, December 1, 2018

Battle of the Bands: December's Children, Tears, Covers

I know it is December and everyone is thinking the Battle of the Bands is going to be filled with Holiday music. I'm not quite ready for Holiday music. Well the Rolling Stones are going on tour and they had an album December's Children (And Everybody's). I am picking one of the singles from that album because it is December.


The song "As Tears Go By" by The Rolling Stones...

It is a short one so you will still have time for your Holiday Shopping!

                                                Contestant One: Marianne Faithfull

Contestant Two: Melanie


The contenders are both ladies. Vote in the comments on what cover you like best. I will total them up and have the results posted in a week or so. Hope it is fun and I will be back soon!