Friday, January 3, 2020

2020 Is Hindsight

As another year ends and a new one begins, I find my enthusiasm for music stronger than ever. I won't pretend that my enthusiasm is fueled by new artists and new music. While I am always open to anything new and exciting, I am no longer searching for the "next big thing" the way I once did. I find myself having more fun with all the great records I grew up playing, either alone in my room or with friends and cousins in their rooms. There is an even greater thrill discovering some of the great records I missed along the way.

I find that pulling out a classic LP I have loved for ages is far more rewarding than slogging through some trendy list of unknowns, or worse, Mojo Magazine's 75 Best Records of 2019. (Only 3 of my 22 faves of 2019 appeared on Mojo's list. One of us is listening to the wrong shit.)

When was the last time you listened to The Jam "Setting Sons," or checked out an existing catalogue like Grant Green's Blue Note output? Or in the case...literally...of the recent John Hiatt boxed set, revisited his post-"Crossing Muddy Waters" records? Catching up on what I missed seems like a safer bet than gambling on something that always seems to disappoint. I no longer feel the need to keep up the way I once did when I had my shop. My former business partner put it this way, "One of the best things about no longer owning a record store is that I don't have to give a damn about new music anymore."
While this all seems very cantankerous, I assure you, I do not have a lawn, and if I did, there would be no need to get off of it...not this time, anyway. I might not have the patience required for the Lizzos and Taylor Swifts, but I'd be the first to champion either or both if I was truly moved. I just haven't been. That said, I did rave about Kelly Clarkson's "Since You've Been Gone" then and I still love it now. I have no agenda and I am not afraid of pop music, or of (almost) any music. (Clarkson is one example and the first to come to mind, so let's not dwell on it.)

I know there is plenty of fine new music to be heard. The down side is my usual complaint. There is TOO much to be heard. It has become impossible to focus. I don't partake in the practice of sampling. One song cannot possibly tell the whole story, and 30 second samples say even less. I know the genres and styles that have never done it for me, so in many cases I just stay away altogether, unless guided to do otherwise. I choose what I know, as I assume you do, or I focus on the opinions of those I respect, like Don over at I Don't Hear A Single.  I would hope I have become one of the opinions you respect.

I have done my best to share music as extreme as Monk is to Motorhead, and though I am another year older, I have only just discovered the beautiful attack and aggression of Pantera. And for the record, The Beatles, The Who and Todd Rundgren do occasionally get booted off the turntable by Trombone Shorty, Alison Moorer and Neu. I enjoy venturing out of my safety zone and often wonder why more people don't, or maybe won't, do the same.

Moving forward, I'd like to devote at least one post a week to jazz and one post to a single album that is currently doing it for me. An "Album Of The Week " if you will.  The irony is, I've admitted in so many words that I find listening to new music a chore, yet I have spent over ten years writing about music I love, hoping to turn you on to something new. My band The John Sally Ride has only been around for four years and we just released a new single that I want all of you to hear, enjoy and share, because that is the point of making music, no? Yet, I've just mentioned how much more fun I have listening to music that is tried and true and expect you to behave differently.


Ultimately, I think we all should give music the same enthusiastic social media support we seem to reserve for Facebook cat videos.

It's an amazing phenomenon.

Writers want to be read, yet they are the last to read fellow writers, unless of course, they've just written something and want you to read it, then maybe, they'll find a minute for you. Musicians want support, yet they are the last to give support to fellow musicians. I have many musician friends who will attest to this, even though many are guilty of the practice. (Myself included, so save the hate mail until at least February.) Some of my oldest friends, a few of them ex-band mates, have yet to say a single word about any of the music I've made since 2016. Not a peep or a groan. I'd take either, I swear. The silence is a killer. Yet, I have shared and purchased their music time and again.

If you talk about music you love, post a video of a song that moves you, talk about your own new release, write a piece you're proud to share, the Facebook boards take a nap. For some reason, the "feed stops working." But then of course, you post a GIF of a young dad getting hit in the nuts with a hockey puck, and you are suddenly the most popular man on social media. Feed fixed. I'd really like to see that change in 2020, on Facebook and here at Burning Wood, as well.

This blog was created in the wake of my business shutting down, with hope of recreating a record store atmosphere, like people gathering round a virtual counter, sharing their feelings and love of music.  I don't get paid, which is a little too much like my shop, actually. None of the bloggers who we all read religiously, get anything from the work put in, except of course, the thrill of the work itself and the pleasure of the readers' feedback and commentary. When the interaction dissipates, it's all just spinning wheels.

The Song Of The Day has been around a long time. It became a "Songs Of The Week" post at the suggestion of many who don't tune in on a daily basis to catch the SOTD. I've added backstories to spark a bit more interest, also at the suggestion of some readers. Yet, even now, the SOTW remains the least popular weekly post on this blog. The same three or four loyal readers offer thanks and commentary, some toss a few bucks in the till without a single prompt, while hundreds download the zip and say nothing. Remember, you owe me nothing. If you are just lurking about and enjoying yourself, that's fine. I mean that. Burning Wood is here for everyone. I'm just letting you know, it isn't as much fun playing to an empty hall. The blogosphere can be a lonely place, especially when you are particularly excited about something and the only party goers are crickets.

Let's make 2020 about support and encouragement, here, elsewhere, at home and at work. I think we can all agree, a few kind words can go a long way. As another friend once said, 'There is nothing colder than indifference."



Frito Bandito said...

Sal, I love your blog and visit every day, although I don't comment very often. You gave me great advice on where to go and who to see when I visited New Orleans for the first time and you were right on the money.

You are also right about there being too much music to listen to. Back when you had to drive to the record store and actually purchase music, you had to be much more focused.

Now I'll admit that my hard drive has many many music files I'll never get to unless I live a long time. I keep telling myself when I'm in the nursing home I'll have all day to get back to that album I downloaded in 1999. Oh well.

Thanks for the tunes and discussion. I'm just glad you're still doing this when so many other sites disappear.

Rodger Stroup said...

I never felt like I needed permission to stop looking for new music that moves me, but Sal today I feel a great weight lifted off my shoulders! I have had much more fun finding music that I missed the first time around. I enjoyed "The Best of Free Design" this morning on my drive in to work. This is the first week in awhile that The Millennium or other Curt Boettcher-related music isn't in my work rotation.
On the "new" side of things, I am enjoying the Who and Michael Monroe. I'm perfectly happy with getting my new music from artists I've been listening to for years.
All the best in 2020 Sal! Thanks for your great posts and your great ears!

Shriner said...

I agree there is a *lot* of new music out there. I don't know if I'd go as far as saying "too much" music -- because I never have the intention of keeping up with everything. It's an impossible task. I -- still! -- read comic books, but at some point it became impossible to keep up with everything Marvel (or DC) releases. I have Netflix, but there's not enough time in the day to watch everything even remotely recommended (much less even considering Amazon Plus or Disney+ -- and I like TV!)

But, yes, this is a good kick-in-the-pants reminder that I should give more feedback to the other blogs that recommend stuff because without them, I would never have discovered Nick Piunti, The Winterpills, The Well Wishers, Gretchen's Wheel, Chris Von Sneidern -- or countless other bands/artists that would have never crossed my path that I enjoy immensely.

New music, though, still thrills me. Yes, I'll still put on "Abbey Road" or "Citizen Steely Dan" if I have company over -- because it feels like comfort food that nobody will object to. It befuddles me that my circle of long-time friends (mid-50s over here) -- most of them fully admit they never listen to anything new -- and many of these are ex-bandmates/musicians as well!

I get that "life gets in the way", but, man, music is the best. *New* music may not be "the best" -- and Radio is certainly not programmed for people of a certain age -- but great stuff *is* out there. And I fully appreciate those -- like Don -- that carry the torch to help curate some of it. It's a labor of love appreciated by me!

Keep on keeping on, Sal!

David Handelman said...

What a drag it is/getting old.
I got to where you are about twenty years ago!
If you feel moved to write -- do it!
If you don't feel moved -- don't fake it!

Anonymous said...

I've got a decent size record collection and as my listening time is fairly limited to usually an all-day Sunday listening marathon jam while my wife is at work, I catch myself falling into a cyclicle pattern of listening to the same records or artists just because the music is so enjoyable and, dammit!!, I only have so much time and I don't want to listen to something I might not enjoy as much!!!

But, alas, I then see something in the rack that I haven't noticed in a while, pull it out, place in on the turntable, and BANG! Gold has been struck! Something new to love and enjoy. Just an aside - as I get older my eyesight prevents me from seeing many of my album's spines - if they are thin and not easy to read I tend to miss them. I also get tired of turning my head sideways to read the damn things. Getting old and grumpy ain't I??

Let's all have a great 2020 and peruse our collections carefully in search of buried treasures.


Tumblingdice70 said...

Sal, thank you for your love of music. I don't comment very often either,
but rarely does a day go by where I don't listen to something that you had an influence
in my discovery of it. Chris Price is on current heavy rotation. You are much appreciated,
and here in Nashville your New York edge helps me get the day started right!


Joe said...

Well said Sal.

One of my goals in retirement is digging deeper into my collection to remember why that album was in my collection in the first place. I usually spend my music money on catalog albums, remastered favorites, and the occasional box set.

I do listen to Spotify to check out the highly rated records that the music press is touting but very infrequently will I be moved to plunk down some coins for them.

I look forward to your jazz posts. I have gone through a number of jazz phases (smooth to free jazz) but seem always to return to Coltrane/Miles/Monk, Rollins, DeJonette, Dave Holland, Louis A., Bill and Gil Evans and artists of that generation. I did go back and listen to a lot of Grant Green after your post. Now, I am contemplating a purchase or two.

While I don't always agree with some of your assessments on certain records, the fun for me is in exploring it and making my own assessment.

I get to hear a lot of new artists on SNL which drives me back to my collection to remember why I love music in the first place.

Keep it up. We're all reading and listening.

allen vella said...

Sal, great post today, again. It's gonna be a good year...and New Orleans. I agree wholeheartedly with your post sentiments, about new music and old, rediscovering and discovering. Just had this conversation with a seasoned retired record exec yesterday, pretty much covering all you wrote about.

Bottom line: I love music to much to ever stop listening. I don't have to be the hippest guy in the room anymore, thank god, and I like what I like..but thanks to friends like you, I'm also open to suggestions. I got some great ones from you this year, especially the jazz rediscoveries. So much out there I haven't heard. And doing a radio show (All That Gumbo, or tune in app, Fridays 4-6pm---shameless plug)has also shown me how much I don't know, and how much is still out there awaiting discovery. It never ends if we are open to all possibilities.

Keep on writing and listening and playing, it's the best life for me...and I suspect y'all too.av

allen vella said...

PS- I saw Lizzo on SNL a week ago or so, and although I did not know any of her music, I dug it. I'll admit I couldn't recall it right now, but in the moment it was real and good.. and she had a real band!

Chris S. said...


I keep trying new music because out of “duty” and have really found some wonderful artists, most of who are outside of the rock music I grew up with. Most new music I listen to comes from the Americana (I hate the term but lack for a better one) world. Even though I really like many of these artists when I am at home playing records I find myself going back through all of the “old” records from 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. I give up fighting the urge! There are so many records by artists I really like or are similar to or influences on, those artists that I can keeping diving in the deep end for years to come. And I have been thoroughly enjoying my self doing just that.

Maybe it’s that I am older now and have more time and funds to go deeper than back in my youth. Maybe it is strong nostalgia. Doesn’t matter. I missed a lot the first time and am determined to keep exploring the era’s that I love.

Thanks again for the blog that I read every day but never post to enough. You often provide another spark for me to follow.

Now where is a good place to jump into Roxy Music?

Happy New Year!

Joe said...

Great read as always!!

Ken D said...

Spot-on post, Sal. To boost participation, maybe you should try posting GIFs of young dads getting hit in the nuts with the new Album of the Week?

Meanwhile, add me to list of those returning to mine my library. Yesterday, "Automatic for the People." The day before, "This Year's Model." Sometimes I just close my eyes and pick a CD (yeah, still have hundreds of 'em) at random. For a long car trip a few weeks ago I was having a hard time deciding what to take along so I sort of arbitrarily picked CDs only from the M's: Jesse Malin, Mary Lee's Corvette, McCartney, Tift Merritt, etc. (Don't own any Motorhead though.)

End of the year "10 Best" lists often leave me thinking "who?" Sounds like I'm not alone...

Sal Nunziato said...

Another component I failed to mention in regards to listening, and there being too much music, is the quality of the listen. When I was a kid and the only options were radio and record stores, I had to spend the little money I had very carefully. It was two records a week, if I was lucky. And if one of them wasn't very good, too bad for me. Two records spinning over and over until the next two records. Doesn't it ever occur to you that we all seem to know every song on every record up until the 80's? It's because we spent time with these records, for better or worse. Sometimes, it paid off, and a record would grow on us. The CD era gave us phrases like, "I really dig tracks 2,6 and 8." With all this "hard drive" music, and endless zip files and torrents, quality control in the listening department just has to be compromised.

dogbreath said...

Big fan of this blog since accidentally stumbling across it - was I looking for log burners? Or just looking for wood? (Let's have no more of that - Ed). There's no mistaking your love for music which you communicate passionately and (usually!) eloquently. Following up on your recommendations I've mostly enjoyed what I've found; other times it's been a case of wtf and I've scurried back to the well trodden path. A friend always says there's been no good music since the 80's - which is patently untrue - and I am willing to give "new" music a spin, but it's the decades up to that time wherein my tastes definitely lie. Looking forward to more raves, rants and recommendations in 2020. Cheers!

kevin m said...

Sal - you make a great point about how listening to music on computers/iPods/phones has affected the experience.

Case in point; liner notes. I used to pour over them to read the lyrics, who was the producer/engineer, etc. I remember thinking that Steve Lillywhite did such a good job with the Furs in the early 80s that I was open to any album he produced. Also, album art. Staring at what Roger Deacon did with those YES albums. Now I couldn't tell you anything about who was involved in the making of a record and don't even know if album art exists.

And I've become super lazy. I can't remember the last time I listened to a whole album from beginning to end. I'll listen on shuffle (too lazy to change the settings on my iPod)to hear all of the songs but not the way the artist intended.

I do miss spending a Saturday afternoon at NYCD or Tower, etc. Just browsing through the shelves I would inevitably discover something. That can't be replicated with an instant download.

Robin said...

I was listening to one of my discovery playlists on Amazon and I was thinking... I like it but sort of ache to listen to an old record that's been my friend for a long time. And it hit me finally that I'm not a stick in the mud, I'm open to hear new music and am excited by it, but most new music reminds me of something else, something previous and that older music I have a longtime relationship with, and the stuff I really love, well it's still in my life for a reason- we belong together. I tire of endless playlists (and the skittishness they create, 'oh that song reminds me of this one, now I need to stop and hear that!) and I just want to slow down, pull out "Every Picture Tells a Story" or "Automatic for the People" for example and listen and meet them again- and I always find something new about the music and myself, it's timeless and the relationship is too and it's *not* static, it's a living thing.

I can't have that relationship with Harry Styles (the charm!) or Taylor Swift, that's not their fault, they're someone else's forever music friend. (I have come around to Taylor but I know others' mileage varies, she's an excellent songwriter, a decent performer with charisma, but I sometimes wonder what the world would be like if pop/country songwriters like her dedicated themselves to giving truly great pop singers songs, she's not a bad singer it's just that I believe popular and country music suffer sometimes from the idea that every singer needs to write and every writer needs to sing).

BTW my discover new music playlists on streaming services are usually on point, uncovering hidden gems by artists I do love, or related artists I never paid as much attention to previously. These playlists do sometimes make sense of all the music- too much, you're right-coming from all angles.

Looking forward to the new posts you mention! All the best to everyone in the New Year.

Anything Should Happen said...

Lots of sense as always.

Comments are always hard to come by. I think you do as well as anyone can. I get few, but it all goes on on Social Media. I also have a bizarre audience who seem to like emailing me. Do they not know that I prefer Podcasts?

You know I love The John Sally Ride, I keep shouting about you lot. The band does need a social media presence though, somewhere to go. Bandcamp is a hit once until the next time something is released.

The "new" market is saturated and fragmented. I only get away with it because I know my audience. I love your writing and you are at your best when unearthing some gem from the past. I rely on you.

A walk in the woods said...

Great post as always. Come on, lurkers, comment some more - you make it more fun! I try to comment often, even if just a thanks. Let's all resolve to share more thoughts in 2020.

Sal, did you hear the album Raphael Saadiq put out this year, "Jimmy Lee"? Easily my favorite album of 2019. I know you like him, and I know you didn't dig "Stone Rollin" (me neither) - but this belated return is knock your socks off incredible. Deep stuff.

Also, in the spirit of sharing favorites of, yes, new music in 2019.... here are my favorite individual songs this year:

My Favorite Songs of 2019 | Volume 1

This Land - Gary Clark Jr.
No Time For Cryin' (Live) - Mavis Staples
Make It Better (feat. Smokey Robinson) - Anderson .Paak
Colours - Chelsea Shag
Feels Right - Carly Rae Jepsen & Electric Guest
Something Keeps Calling - Raphael Saadiq Feat. Rob Bacon
Just Do It - Lily & Madeleine
Where The Action Is - The Waterboys
SUN RA - Jamila Woods feat. theMIND and Jasminfire
Black Rooster - Jeb Loy Nichols & The Westwood All-Stars
Wild Horses - Natalie Prass
Morning Is Mended - Steve Gunn
Saint Etienne - J.R. Bohannon
Hello Sunshine - Bruce Springsteen
Feels Like Summer - Childish Gambino
Zonked - Kelley Stoltz
Rotation Wells - Fenella
Slipstream - Jon Hassell
Stay High - Brittany Howard

My Favorite Songs of 2019 | Volume 2

I Used to Live Around Here - Drivin N Cryin
What Do You Want Me To Do - Bob Mould
Last Train To Tokyo - Michael Monroe
Mornin' Noon & Nite - Daddy Long Legs
So Ready - Raphael Saadiq
BETTY (for Boogie) - Jamila Woods
Wonderful Star - Rahsaan Patterson
Freedom - Ranky Tanky
Turn Off The News (Build A Garden) - Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real
Colors - Black Pumas
Thinking Of You - Meernaa
Lonesome Picker - Jim Sullivan
Wild Is the Wind - Chrissie Hynde & The Valve Bone Woe Ensemble
Every Last Coffee Or Tea - 75 Dollar Bill
Thunder Shower - Park Jiha
Bluebird - Miranda Lambert
Time Is Tight - Booker T. Jones

Shriner said...

It's a good point about buying records back in the day -- when you only had so much money, you could only buy so many records and would be stuck with some crap recommended in a local college newspaper from this year's campus "music critic" who gave such a superlative review of some dreck (and I'm looking right at the guy who recommended The Pandoras...) The day I found my first used record store, though, was eye opening (and wallet lightening...)

And I would agree with the other "problem" with too much new music is the time you spend with it. I think I listed more than a dozen albums I really liked for my best of 2019 -- and I spent time with them -- multiple spins from start to finish. But there were at least 50 other records I spun once, liked it, but couldn't find time to listen to it again because I'm chasing the dragon with new music. And with the blogs/writers I follow about to post their best of 2019 lists (just waiting for that David Bash 125 list), things are going to pile up again. And don't forget that XTC tribute coming up!

An embarrassment of riches? Or a burden? I tend to go with the former, but I can see the latter being an issue. I'm not sure how people can listen to as much new music as is out there and then figure out what to write about it.

That said: all I know is I'd never want to go backward in time to hear just what the Radio man (or the MTV programmers) told me to listen to. That much, I'm sure of. Don't let me grow too old that I don't want the joy of finding something new. Yes, I'm sure my kids will be spinning "More of the Monkees" on repeat for me when I'm in the home (yes, even *that song*), but I'm not dead yet.

Don't turn off the firehose. Let me figure out how to dance in the spray.

"Here we are now, entertain us" indeed!

Ccjctwo said...

“Catching up on what I missed seems like a safer bet than gambling on something that always seems to disappoint.”
Spot on. For example, I have a Herbie Hancock disc queued up which may as well be new to me. Much safer landing.
‘Let's all resolve to share more thoughts in 2020.’
Sounds good . . . be careful what you wish for!

Sal Nunziato said...


"Let's all resolve to share more thoughts in 2020"

Did I say that?

Anonymous said...

Sal, thank you for this post and this blog. I read it regularly though admittedly, never click on the links to the music nor rarely pay attention to the SOTW. That said, I always take your (or whomever posts) opinion and analysis seriously as you know your stuff.
You make many great points about the state of music today. Too much? For the sake of seeing the cream rise to the top, you bet. Maybe that makes the hunt for the good stuff all the more rewarding though a heck of a lot more time-consuming. Also, I love what you say about "us" (regardless of our age) having a lingua franca of popular music up to, essentially, MTV. That said, I'm very happy deep-diving through music of the 1960s and 1970s I missed instead of later music, for many reasons listed by you and other posters. Let us be analytical and critical, even about ourselves: waves of styles and movements are not necessarily the same quality. Original rockabilly by the 1960s; jazz by the 1970s; disco by the early 1990s - they either died out or evolved from their origins and lost their larger followings. And here, a debate can ensue. "Americana," or what Stephen Stills fifty years ago once simply called "wooden music," has evolved over the last four decades and continues to hold my interest, even though many of my favorite artists have smaller followings compared to artists with larger followings that I find less interesting. The wonderful state of being with pop music.
Ultimately, as we see pop music moving deeper into a classical phase, I hold faith that there is much great stuff being released, there always be be drivel, we'll continue to hold onto the classics (it's the basis of whatever styles we enjoy) and we'll fight about the direction of it all. We don't need to hunker down into camps. We need to keep listening, keep sharing and keep arguing! I'm thankful for this blog as a site that does all of this.

Paul in CA

Anything Should Happen said...

I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts on new bands and promoting them. Musicians recommending other people ditto writers with writers. I'm a great friend of Sal and fan of his Blog. It is never anything but interesting.

However, I moved away from celebrating the old a few years ago and now write and concentrate fully on the new and underappreciated. This was an annoyance at people around my age constantly saying all new music is crap. It patently isn't.

Yes, there is a lot about, yes the quality is variable and everyone's a rock star. But if you take the time to watch what the best half a dozen writers are writing about, this reduces the wading for you and you might just find something you like.

I don't expect musicians to be marketing geniuses or to help others. But surely if they are posting favourable comments and reviews, it would take them little time to mention others they like in the same spirit.

There are some who do, two great examples are in The John Sally Ride. Musicians are pretty poor at marketing themselves generally. They have Facebook pages that they haven't set a tag up. Some don't even have band pages. Others do but reference themselves with a handle that no one will ever find because it is an in band joke.

cmealha said...

Growing up, we were exposed to a relative trickle of music compared to the firehose stream of music that's out there today. The gatekeepers of the time, radio DJs, record company A&R men, etc., decide what was worthy and what was not. Today there are so many outlets for musicians that it's impossible to keep track of every new thing that's out there. While most of the readers of this blog may not be on board with what's popular with the kids today, that's alright. There is enough new stuff out there to keep us in the game. I can enjoy some stuff from Taylor Swift, Ed Sheehan or Sia but it's more miss than hit and it's not enjoyed with the same enthusiasm as with the stuff we grew up on. However there is enough new music out there to keep us engaged and happy. People like you are the new gatekeepers keeping us up to date on great music both new and old. There's so much stuff I missed the first time around and it's so easy to go back and sample it using the various streaming services like Apple or Spotify. I rely heavily on the 'Essentials' playlists curated by Apple to go back and catch up on people like Leonard Cohen who I previously ignored. So Apple is a new gate keeper but there are so many including you who have turned me on to more than half of the new music I've gotten into in the last couple of decades. No one should bemoan what's popular and what's not. There's so much out there for everyone from people like Brittany Howard to new gems from old heroes like the Who. As Pete Townshend said "it's out job to get out of the fucking way" but we can still sing along while we do it. Thanks for all the music.

Mr. Baez said...

Part of the pleasure of Burning Wood is your insightful writing and the induced feedback. As far as the Song Of The Week feature. I don't think that I have ever commented directly on the selections. But do know, that when I take a trip, I load up my little iPod shuffle with a backlog of your selections and listen on the plane to wherever I'm bound to. Many times I will jot down songs and then on my return home, I'll find myself at Amoeba records combing through the racks looking for what I heard from those selections. Thank you Sal for the wonderful blog that you have created.

ken49 said...

Thanks Sal for another great year of caring about music. Spotify has encouraged me to have access to more current music but also catalogues of bands I missed along the way. The Woods, Minus 5, Peter Holsapple, Drive By Truckers, Tommy Keene's Behind the Parade, Mikal Cronin and comps like English Weather from the late British 60's and early 70's are just a few of the bands who have a significant back catalogue that I am a new to. Also thanks for recontextualizing Genesis' Supper's Ready. One of the highlights of the year was listening to this side long song with a new appreciation, admiration and enjoyment. I had a good year of listening to music. And I like the jazz and one album dedication for the coming year. Should be good.

Dayn McBee said...

Sal, I love reading your blog and enjoy many of your recommendations, including your own JSR work. Thanks for your postings on this blog and most especially, for your interesting commentary on music you find inspiring/moving/interesting. You have, on many occasions, expanded my knowledge of great music and for that, I sincerely Thank You!!!

A guy called Tak said...

Happy new year Sal! I wish you will keep doing your blog for more years to come. Yours is the only one in this internet community talking about Todd, NRBQ, Flat Five, VU, Grant Green, Brian Wilson, Frank Sinatra, Led Zep, A Girl Called Eddie in one article.
Anyway, I really respect your versatility and keen sense of MUSIC. Rock on!

kodak ghost said...

Late in as usual. Good comments here, and I echo much of what you have just written. I have really enjoyed your blues/ New Orleans/ acoustic oriented selections... and who'd have thought you'd pick Grammy winner Yola before anyone else!

Just found and old Etta James track on YouTube "Damn your Eyes" .

and the Rondstdt doco brought back a few memories and brought a tear to the eye in a few places.

Thanks for keeping it all going through 2019.

Eric said...

If I can find a goddamn radio station that plays new music I'd be all ears. Writers not reading writers is something I'm quite guilty of. Probably jealousy Envy disgust especially discussed at the ability the publish at will if it's awful that's why they have a app called medium but in the spirit of the new year I will unload the gun take out the bullets and wish everybody happiness before Iran drops a weapon somewhere in this 50 states

Christine said...

Another great read! Thank you for all the music I never would have had the pleasure of listening to if it hadn't been for you. Happy New Year!