Sunday morning music

Here’s something rather different, courtesy of Australian reader Snoggeramus.  It’s the famous “Largo al factotum” from Rossini’s opera “The Barber of Seville” . . . played on a rubber chicken! So help me, I’ll never be able to get my hair cut again with a straight face . . . Peter

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You want an earworm? I got your earworm right here!

In e-mail correspondence with an overseas contact, whose native language is not English, he asked at one point “What is an ‘earworm‘?”  Well, of course, I volunteered to provide an example!  As a matter of fact, it’s one I blogged about in 2015, when I first encountered it.  (The comments at that earlier blog post are worth reading, too.) At any rate, here’s Austrian “DJ Ötzi” with his (in)famous “Burger Dance”, which went gold in Germany and hit #1 on the charts there (why, I don’t know!).  His teenybopper audience appear to be singing right along, and getting into the spirit of the

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Sunday morning music

I’d never heard of Canadian rock group Big Wreck until I read this article in The Week a – well, a few weeks ago!  The author wrote: Contemporary pop music sounds impeccable, but less because musicianship has improved than because advances in digital recording technology have made it possible to eliminate imperfections and achieve inhuman standards of flawlessness in every vocal line, drum fill, and guitar solo. The result is pristine. But also antiseptic. Bloodless. Songwriting, meanwhile, has reverted to an updated version of the pre-rock Brill Building model, with committees of pros called in to collaborate on sugary confections packed full of hooks

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Sunday morning music

Newfoundland and Labrador, Canadia’s easternmost province on the Atlantic Ocean, has produced some outstanding folk and historical music groups.  We’ve met some of them in these pages before, such as Figgy Duff and Great Big Sea.  Here’s another one:  The Irish Descendants.  As their name suggests, they’re heavily into Celtic and Irish music, but being from the Atlantic coast, the sea is a primary theme in their songs. Let’s start with “Rocky Road to Dublin”.  For this and other songs, if you need the lyrics, most may be found at the songs’ YouTube pages, just below the videos. Now a slower, more meditative tune,

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Sunday morning music

I’m not a big fan of jazz music.  I’ll listen to a little, and tolerate a little more, but it soon palls on me, and I’ll go looking for something more tuneful and melodious. Nevertheless, I had to do a double-take when my wife sent me a link to jazz artist Gunhild Carling performing live, with bagpipes.  Bagpipes as a jazz instrument?  This I had to hear! She’s also noted for playing up to three trumpets simultaneously. For those who enjoy jazz more than I do, here’s a complete performance with her own band and the Harlem Hotshots. Hope you enjoyed it, jazz fans! Peter

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Sunday morning music

Here’s a group guaranteed to get your toes tappin’ and your fingers slappin’.  It’s a Belorussian medieval folk group, Stary Olsa.  They’ve been around for 20 years, and have established quite the following in Europe. Here’s a studio recording of one of their songs, “Vitaut” (which Google Translate doesn’t recognize, so I can’t tell you what it means, but the video theme suggests it’s a martial number). Where the group shines is in live performances, where they string together several songs or instrumental numbers into a medley.  Here are two such lengthy pieces. Last, but by no means least, the group

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Sunday morning music

Last week I put up half a dozen songs that were iconic, representative of their performers, in a way that makes the one forever identified with the other.  It’s a symbiotic relationship.  I invited readers to contribute their own suggestions for pieces like that, and several of you responded.  Rather than continue with my own selections today, I thought I’d pick half a dozen of your choices that I also like, and put them up instead. From 1973, here’s Strawbs, one of my favorite rock groups of all time, with their three-part masterpiece “Autumn“, one of my favorite progressive rock pieces of

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Soldier Of Fortune, unplugged

While David Coverdale was lead vocalist of the rock band Deep Purple, he recorded several songs that have become indelibly associated with his voice.  One of them, perhaps the most iconic of all, is “Soldier Of Fortune” from the 1975 album “Stormbringer“.  You can listen to that original version here. After leaving Deep Purple, Coverdale founded the group Whitesnake, which is still active.  In 2015 the group recorded “The Purple Album“, featuring songs Coverdale had performed while with Deep Purple.  It included a very good rendition of “Soldier Of Fortune”, which has become my favorite version of the song.  (The entire album makes for very

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