There was a time in the not too distant past in which music aficionados discovered new music (and, more importantly, new artists) on MySpace (I know...how quaint). And, that's where I found the Scottish band Driveblind, a group fronted by a voice named Terry McDermott that burned white hot for moment and then disintegrated.
But, not before recording an album that shuffled forward the other day as I was driving from point A to point B. And, I reveled in the sound.
So, as is my wont, I went searching for whatever happened to that band...and that voice. Imagine my surprise to learn that Terry McDermott went on to be runner-up on Season 3 of The Voice, qualifying with "Baba O'Reilly" and finishing with "I Want to Know What Love Is."
I never made the connection. But, it's certainly there.
There was a sound in the '80s...the power chord, semi-ballad with a certain undeniable British vocal richness. While it existed as a division within the hair metal movement, it possessed an ethereal quality that the other hair bands lacked.
It was the world of Asia, GTR and Yes v2.0. Lots of treble. Lots of high choruses. A sheen, if you will.
The voice behind so much of that movement departed terra firma this week.
I first heard Susan Tedeschi on our local "progressive rock" radio station back around the turn of the century. I was transfixed by her rich snarl...which she could produce with both her voice and her guitar.
During the first decade of this millennium, she and husband Derek Trucks fronted their own projects...with Derek also spending time in the Allman Brothers Band. Indeed, that's how they met. Susan opened for the Allmans on their '99 tour...and the rest, as they say, is history.
But, in 2010, they formed the Tedeschi Trucks Band. And, their onstage and musical chemistry produced something even more magical.
You gotta love the first few lines of his online bio:
"So, what to make of this Rick Brantley? This seeker of the life-changing novel and the perfect pair of beat-to-hell boots; this connoisseur of the cool classic movie and the greasiest dive-bar cheeseburger, disciple of the museum’s masterpiece and the panhandler’s wiliest street-pitch? This guy who lives it, loves it, takes it all in and pours out something so tight and right you just gotta hear it again and again."
As America prepares to install a President that has implied that the use of nuclear weapons is an option, I'm reminded of one particularly biting piece of musical satire by an American icon, Randy Newman.
This year, we offer a cautionary song written in 1969 that is just as relevant today as it was then (and maybe more so). There are a couple live versions out there...but, despite the grainy video, we're going to go with a version recorded at Tulsa's iconic Cain's Ballroom in 1981.
OK...I lied. Yesterday's offering wasn't my last for this holiday season.
Not when I receive such a cool digital Christmas Card from Sam Bush.
We had the chance to catch him a couple years ago at The Harvester in Virginia's Blue Ridge. I don't think I've ever seen a performer that exudes such sheer joy on stage as Sam...and we encourage you to catch him on his 2017 tour, which kicks off in earnest in February.
A few years ago, we turned many of you onto the House of Heroes' version of the Christmas classic, "O Come, O Come Emmanuel." And, it remains our favorite version because of Tim Skipper's stunning vocal.
But on this final offering of the season, we offer this amazing version, recorded at Milestone Church in Keller TX. Yeah...a church that so understands the power of music to energize the flock.