Archive for mars, 2012

Earl Scruggs (January 6 1924 – March 28 2012)

mars 29, 2012

One of bluegrass music biggest profiles died of natural causes yesterday at the age of 88. Best known for his virtuoso five string banjo playing and for refining a three finger picking technique that now is known as the Scruggs style. This classic song, Foggy Mountain Breakdown, was written by Scruggs in 1949 and was originally recorded by The Foggy Mountain Boys, a influential band consisting of Scruggs and guitar and mandolin player Lester Flatt. The song was later used for the car chase scenes in the motion picture Bonnie and Clyde (1967) but also appeared in many other tv-series and movies through the years, often accompanying fast moving scenes. Foggy Mountain Breakdown still is considered by many banjo players as one of the fastest and rhythmically challenging pieces. In 2001 Steve Martin, guitarist Albert Lee and many other very famous special guests joined Scruggs fast musical pursuit on the grammy winning album Foggy Mountain Breakdown.

Here the whole gang is playing this great title song on Letterman about ten years ago.


Brian Wright & Band, The Troubadour (LA) 23/3 2012

mars 26, 2012

Being one of the classic venues of the Los Angeles rock and folk scene it was with great pleasure I realized The Troubadour was just a ten minute walk down the street from where we stayed.  Since it opened in 1957 the club has hosted many young aspiring artists on its stage. Some of the musicians later became rock megastars, a photo-collage from Guns’N’Roses gig in 1985 hangs on the wall in the small bar by the entrance. James Taylor (partly together with Carole King) and Tom Waits also made a name for themselves here, on this stage they blew both audiences and some rock managers minds. A nice black and white photo shows Waits and Joan Baez smiling together inside the club somewhere round the mid-seventies. All photos that cover the bar-walls works as evidence of The Troubadour’s glory and the yellow light from the sign placed above the entrance surrounds you with an inviting warmth and the small torn box-office gives you an old fashioned feel reminding you of it’s long and rich history. The namedropping list of now legendary bands poets, writers and comedians that once appeared here would get embarrassedly long but I might just ad that Buffalo Springfield made their live debut here and the members of The Byrds met here, while playing at the club’s Monday open mike. Popular live recordings has also been cut at The Troubadour, many ended up with the suiting title Live at The Troubadour, Miles Davis and Fairport Convention used that title for instance. Despite the club’s former glories this place still delivers great bands and artist. If you are a regular here I guess you might have a fair chance seeing some of the big acts of the future…



mars 7, 2012

On the island Holbox (pronounced Holbosch), at the north coast of the Yucatan-peninsula in Mexico, I´ve gladly taking part of the annual february carnival. Mostly performed with drums and horns but ocationally also with a set of guitars and violins. The percussionists are in the instrumental centre, rising and sinking in frequency and controlling the dynamics. The vocal power and wonderful visual appearance comes from a great gathering of female singers in all ages who sings their hearts out on traditional upbeat tunes. Dressed in all kinds of colorful uniforms. Half the town gathers around the orchestra and the singers, spirits are high and spreads fast among the spectators. I´m very happy for this experience…

Now I’m in THE west, at the coastline of the state of California, the heartland of so much pop-culture that I love. To be specific I’m in Santa Cruz, the beautiful coastal town one and a half hours south of San Francisco. It’s a very familiar place for both surfers and skateboarders, the world famous surf-brand O’Neill and of course Santa Cruz Skateboard company originates from here. So also a very environment friendly and aware lifestyle. There’s really a fantastic mix of different kinds of people here, downtown you’ll se at least a couple of talented street-performers or buskers everyday (at least those few days I’ve been visiting). There’s all kinds of characters, a women who alone beautifully sang a capella, a homeless man with a guitar and soft voice and a folk-blues trio with stand up bas, guitar and mandolin. The mainstreet Pacific Avenue is vibrant even in the middle of a normal weekday, it seems to be room for everybody. To get more music you could go to one of the many clubs who serves live music in the evening, Pegi Young and her band is performing on monday and we’re going.

It must also be said that the town also has the worlds sixth oldest wooden roller-coaster down by the famous boardwalk overlooking the wonderful Monterrey bay (the same bay John Steinbeck has been overviewing in some of his novels, for example Cannery Row). I very much enjoy it here and being able to stay with dear friends at their wonderful home is of course a blessing for a visitor. Getting to know a town from the inside is truly a great thing. For a lover of american pale ale beer this is also of course a haven…

Even though new posts has been kept on the down low the last month, I hope you’re visiting at times reading and listening on some of the old stuff you might not have seen. Perhaps the short story about the brazilian psychedelia group Os Mutantes or the eclectic story about Christine McVie might be interesting. You decide what you want to do. The decision is completely yours. But please do.

Talk to you again sooner or later…