With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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“Road On Which We Travel” – Reatha Pitman March 2, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 4:15 pm
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When I was a kid and into my teenage years I really couldn’t bring myself to like country and western music, largely because my parents were fans and frankly liking what your parents liked really wasn’t cool. However as I have grown older I find myself becoming much more of a country and western fan, just to add another genre to my already eclectic taste. Largely this came about through what Rick Rubin did with Johnny Cash and rediscovering Willie Nelson, Billie Jo Spears (my Dad loved “Blanket On The Ground”) and particularly Roseanne Cash. Well now there’s a new country singer on the block, her name is Reatha Pitman and she released a fabulous debut country driven EP late last year called “Road On Which We Travel”. 

It keeps very close to traditional country and western in both stylistic delivery and indeed subject matter. These songs are directly from Reatha’s life and her heart. She writes her own songs and you can sense the sometimes delicate balance between happiness and hurt. The EP kicks off with “Hittin’ The Road” which I think is about leaving a cheating partner. It suggests someone who is confident in her decision to leave the ‘love rat’ protagonist.  “Daddy’s Little Girl” for me shows a woman who loves her Daddy with the unconditional love that often exists in a relationship between a child and their father or mother. I understand that feeling because I had that strong bond with my father and I still do with my mother. I love the flow and lyrics of “Darlin’ He’s Yours” which on first listen seems like a mild put down of a previous lover who has left, but it packs a mighty horseshoe encased in its velvet glove delivery. This is a classy début and it bodes incredibly well for the album that Reatha is working on which will hopefully see release later this year.

If you love country music then you must check this lady out. Even if you don’t consider yourself a country fan give it a listen, you might be very, pleasantly surprised! Click here to find the EP on Spotify. Reatha lives in Long Beach, MS on the beach and performs locally along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and into Alabama and Louisiana. I recently interviewed Reatha via Skype, look out for that on this blog very soon. I can tell you that she is delightful, eloquent and in possession of a great sense of humour. She is clearly very passionate about her music too. Bob Harris if you’re reading this you need to check out Reatha for your BBC Radio 2 show!

 

“Maybe she’ll find an island with a shaded tree just like the one in our backyard” February 19, 2012


I was travelling back to York with Catwoman earlier today after a great weekend with family and friends down south. The drive back is a great opportunity to take in Johnnie Walker‘s excellent ‘Sounds Of The 70s‘ show on BBC Radio 2. The music choice as usual was excellent and as occasionally happens for me Johnnie played one track that I don’t think I’ve heard since the 1970s. It was “Shannon” by Henry Gross. I used to really love this when it had just a small amount of radio play in the UK back in ’76.

The song was written after Henry read about the death of Carl Wilson‘s (off of the Beach Boys) Irish Setter Shannon. I think you can definitely pick up a Beach Boys vibe and influence in the performance and production. The song was a number 6 hit in the US Billboard chart in 1976 and a number one in Canada. It only made number 32 in the UK. Another claim to fame the Henry Gross has is that he was the youngest artist to appear on the main stage at Woodstock in 1969. He was a founding member of Sha Na Na with whom he took to the stage immediately before Jimi Hendrix at Max Yasgur‘s farm some 43 years ago this year.

Henry is still recording and performing. Enjoy “Shannon” below along with a great performance from Sha Na Na;

How cool is that? Henry Gross gets a namecheck in an issue of Spiderman!

 

“I just can’t believe you could forget me , after all those happy hours we spent together” June 1, 2010


BBC Radio 2 recently ran a countdown of the top 60 best-selling songs of the 60s in the UK. Presented by Tony Blackburn who was the first person ever to appear on BBC Radio 1 back in September 1967. Without knowing the results I think many of us would have guessed that the Beatles would have figured quite prominently and they did, with 5 songs in the top 10 and 18 in the top 60. While the Rolling Stones could only muster 5 entries and none of those made the top 30. The first record Blackburn ever played on Radio 1; “Flowers In The Rain” by the Move didn’t make the cut. There was also sadly no room for any Motown songs either.

But the biggest surprise for me was who made it to number three, beaten only by the Beatles, it was Ken Dodd. His 1965 UK number 1 “Tears” was amazingly the 3rd best-selling single of the 60s in the UK. I must admit that I was guilty of helping the song a little bit by buying a copy as a present for my Nan, she loved the song.

Ken, like the Beatles, was a scouser, which means that Liverpool provided the whole top 5. Unlike their football clubs who were barely in sniffing distance of the top 5 this year in the Premier League!

Ken had never seen so many queens in one room before!

Here is the top 10 (so much for all that ground breaking 60s rock!);

1. She Loves You – The Beatles
2. I Want To Hold Your Hand – The Beatles
3. Tears – Ken Dodd
4. Can’t Buy Me Love – The Beatles
5. I Feel Fine – The Beatles
6. The Carnival Is Over – The Seekers
7. We Can Work It Out/Day Tripper – The Beatles
8. Release Me – Engelbert Humperdink
9. It’s Now Or Never – Elvis Presley
10. Green Green Grass Of Home – Tom Jones

Check out the BBC news story here and also the Radio 2 site here

Personally I’m looking forward to the top sellers of the 70s now!

 

 
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