Songs of the Week Friday, Nov 30 2012 

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Jamestown Revival- Revival

I had the immense pleasure of seeing Jamestown Revival play at a SofarLA show this past Tuesday. Their song Revival is a toe-tapping song that makes you want to shout out loud. Recorded, the song is exquisite. Live, the song makes you want to jump up and start dancing a thigh-slapping jig. Revival is definitely one of my favorite songs of the week.

Apache Relay- Lost Kid

Lost Kid was one of the first songs that I heard from Apache Relay. The musical arrangement is upbeat and the lyrics are endearing. Whenever I listen to this song, memories of watching them play live in Monterey with my best friend flow back into my mind. It is definitely a song that I associate with happy times.

The White Buffalo- The Whistler

I discovered The White Buffalo’s The Whistler while watching Sons of Anarchy this past week. The song demanded my attention and I had to find out who was responsible for such a heart wrenching song. The vocals in the song are amazing, and the musical arrangement is haunting. Throw in some damn fine whistling, and you have a remarkable song.

 

This concludes this weeks “Songs of the Week”. Enjoy!

Rizzle

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Take Cover Thursday No. 5 Thursday, Nov 29 2012 

So after a weeklong break, Musically Inspired is back with Take Cover Thursday. For some reason this weeks Take Cover Thursday was a little more diffcult to put together. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy these covers and continue to read. Enjoy…..

Marcus Foster– Couldn’t Love You More (John Martyn)

John Martyn is an amazing artist who has songs that don’t need perfecting. Couldn’t Love You More was always one of those songs for me. It was a song that I had considered “Not to be touched”. That was until I heard Marcus Foster’s version of the song.  Covers like Marcus’ prove that even the greatest of songs can be fine-tuned and perfected if done with respect and passion. Marcus’ soulful voice complements the music and makes the lyrics come to life. You could almost imagine that he was the first one to ever sing this song. Marcus Foster truly did an amazing job with this cover.

Jeff Buckley- Just Like a Woman (Bob Dylan)

The late Jeff Buckley’s cover of Bob Dylan’s Just Like a Woman is one that I have adored for a while. Jeff Buckley’s heart breaking voice and overall arrangement of the song are beautiful.  Out of all the artists who  have covered this wonderful song, Jeff Buckley’s version is by far the most impressive.

Mumford and Sons– Unfinished Business (White Lies)

Mumford and sons version of Unfinished Business was one of the first covers I had heard from them. Though the arrangement is quite different from the original, their version is still quite powerful. Mumford and Sons have an ability to take a song and completely make it their own while still respecting the overall feel of the song. They did a remarkable job at portraying the pain of the lyrics while kicking the arrangement up a notch. This is quite possibly one of my favorite covers from them.

This concludes this weeks edition of Take Cover Thursday. Until next time…

Cheers,

Rizzle

Songs of the Week 11/16/12 Friday, Nov 16 2012 

‘Ello! Here is this week’s Songs of the Week. Hope you give these songs the attention they deserve. Have an excellent weekend!

The Mostar Diving Club- Worlds Apart

Worlds Apart by The Mostar Diving Club is a song that can easily get stuck in one’s head. Featured in the movie Waiting For Forever, Worlds Apart is a song that tells of remembering how a relationship used to be. The soothing melody alongside Damian Katkhuda’s vocals makes the lyrics seem more meaningful and relatable. It was truly a perfect fit for Waiting For Forever.

Johnny Flynn- Howl

Howl just may be my favorite song from Johnny Flynn. Johnny’s voice is amazing in all of his songs, but in Howl it is simply spine tingling. The bluesy guitar playing and large doses of trumpet throughout the song only amplify the “Holy Wow” affect that this song has on me.

Ben Rector- When a Heart Breaks

Ben Rector has a smooth and beautiful voice that has the tendency to remind me of John Mayer. That voice on a track like When a Heart Breaks is enough to bring tears to anyone’s eyes. As if Ben Rectors impressive vocals on this track wasn’t enough, the lyrics go and high five your face. The song is absolutely tragic, but in all the ways that you want a song to be tragic. Absolutely worth checking out.

Rizzle

Take Cover Thursday No.6 Thursday, Nov 15 2012 

This week Take Cover Thursday is back to appearing on a Thursday. I hope you look into these covers and like them as much as I do. Enjoy!

The Civil Wars- Billy Jean

The Civil Wars version of Billy Jean came a sort of shock to my system.  I was not an obsssive fan of Michael Jackson by any means, but his earlier solo releases were enjoyable for me. I would have to say that Billy Jean had probably always been one of my favorites from him. The way that The Civil Wars took a Michael Jackson classic and made it their own is impressive. Normally, any person or band that attempts to cover Michael Jackson tends to come off as cheesy. This is not the case with The Civil Wars. With haunting vocals and a smooth guitar, the Civil Wars did excellent in covering Billy Jean.

Mumford and Sons- Not in Nottingham

Mumford and Sons have done quite a few covers of songs that I enjoy. Their cover of Roger Miller’s Not in Nottingham brought me back to my childhood when I would watch Disney’s Robin Hood. I remember watching the movie and always trying to get the whistle just right. Mumford and Sons not only got the whistle right, they brought back a song from my childhood and made it tragically beautiful. Well done Mumford, well done.

Florence and the Machine- Oh, Darling!

If you have not heard Florence and the Machine’s cover of The Beatles’ Oh, Darling!, do yourself a favor and press the play button on the video above. This cover is soulful, beautiful, and brings out the pleading desperation of the lyrics. Finding cover’s like this one is what make YouTube such a godsend.

Cheers!

Rachel

Songs of The Week Saturday, Nov 10 2012 

This week has been a rather busy week, so not only is this week’s list late, but it is shorter than I would have liked. Regardless, the songs on this list are worth noting and deserve as much attention as they can get. Enjoy!

Bobby Long- Something’s

Earlier this week, I was thrilled to discover that Bobby Long had uploaded another “Song of the Week” on his website. Those who follow Bobby Long look forward to these small treasures that he shares with his fans. The new song Something’s does not disappoint. Bobby Long’s voice on this track is deep, beautiful, and reminds me of Johnny Cash at some points. Backed by just a guitar, Bobby Long’s lyrics in this song are touching and worth listening to. Something’s definitely has me excited and impatient for Bobby Long’s next album.

The River and the Road- Straw, Brick, and Wood

For the past few days I have been addicted to Straw, Brick, and Wood by The River and the Road.  I enjoy the up-beat flow of the instruments and the way that they are complimented by the vocals. With lyrics such as “When you finally have the strength to go know that somebody still loves you so”, I can easily pull strength from this song. I may or not have kept this song on repeat for a couple of hours.

Via Flogging Molly Website

Flogging Molly- If I Ever Leave This World Alive

If I Ever Leave This World Alive by Flogging Molly is a ridiculously beautiful song off of the Drunken Lullabies album. Anytime I listen to this song, I think of my friends and how much I care about them. It matters not the nature of my mood or location, as soon as I hear the intro to this song I think of my friends. Since I have been missing them a lot lately, it’s only natural for me to wallow in this song.

Rachel

Take Cover…Friday No.3 – Abbey Road Edition Friday, Nov 9 2012 

So for a few reasons, this week’s Take Cover Thursday  is happening today…on a Friday.  In addition to that change, this week’s Take Cover Thursday focuses on a Beatles cover band Abbey Road. On 11/04/12, my bestie and I saw Abbey Road at one of our favorite venues, Saint Rocke. Saint Rocke is a smallish venue located in Hermosa Beach, California. The venue offers a full bar and a delicious menue. The lighting may not be so good for pictures, but the atmosphere is addicting.  When the show started, I was amused and happy to see that Abbey Road were dressed in a black suit and tie a la A Hard Day’s Night era. Abbey Road performed every song off of the A Hard Days Night album and brought the crowd to a different era through their renditions.

After their first set, Abbey Road took an intermission to change into spectacular Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band  costumes. The costumes and the set was by far my most favorite. Sgt. Peppers was always a favorite of mine, so I was thrilled to see Abbey Road cover a few songs off of the album.

Next, “John” did a solo performance of You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away  followed by “Paul” performing Yesterday.  With the solo’s done, Abbey Road had one set left. The Last set included costumes reminiscent of The White Album era.  The last set included performances of Back in the U.S.S.R. , and  Hey Jude.

Over all, the entire performances were really good.  As far as cover bands go, Abbey Road was one of the best that I have seen. Through their costumes, vocals, and instruments, Abbey Road was able to make the audience feel like they were almost watching the real thing. I feel the need, however, to mention that the night was bitter-sweet. While it was fun to listen to great music from a really good Beatles cover band, it was rather depressing to think about the fact that I will never experience an actual Beatles show. Sure, I have had this thought before, but it really hit me hard that night. While I can discover and listen to new covers of the Beatles song that I love the most, there will never be another new release or new concert from one of my favorite bands. The thought serves as a reminder that good music never truly dies. It can be lost or forgotten for a while, but it never dies. I am at least grateful that I am able to find and listen to pretty much any Beatles song 40 something years after the band ceased being a band. Not many great bands can boast the same.

Rachel

Sofar Los Angeles Review Wednesday, Nov 7 2012 

On October 28th I had the pleasure of attending a Sofar (Sounds From A Room) show in Los Angeles, California. I had connected with Sofar via twitter and volunteered to help with Sofar L.A.’s blog posts. As it turned out, I was not needed to write a review for that night, but was given the opportunity to attend the show anyways. Nothing could have prepared me for the level of awesome that I was about to experience.

For those who are not aware, Sofar shows are intimate and are usually hosted secretly in the homes of Sofar supporters. In order to gain entrance to one of these shows, you must subscribe to their newsletters and pray that you get lucky enough to be selected to attend a show. If you are not lucky enough to score access to a show, Sofar live streams their shows for everyone to enjoy.

Experiencing GOOD live music in the comfort of a living room, with no annoying talking or drunken behavior, is an excellent way to bring the focus back on the music. One of my biggest annoyances is to go to a show and see the audience disrespect the performer by talking during the set.  A Sofar show is the best remedy for that annoyance. The Sofar movement is truly a unique way to discover and experience excellent music.

Sunday’s experience was amazing and not one that I will soon forget. The bands that played that night included: Big Tree, Family of the Year, Ferraby Lionheart, and Monsters Calling Home.  Each band/artist was amazing and brought something different to the show.  I spent most of the night in awe that I was actually experiencing this type of music in a living room setting. Each band was endearing to me in different ways. I truly found some new favorites, especially with Family of the Year and Monsters Calling Home. You can check out the official Sofar review of the night here.

In a world where live performances seem to be less appreciated than they should be, Sofar is fighting to make experiencing live music more important and enjoyable. I am, therefore, honored to boast that I am Sofar L.A.’s blog leader. I look forward to contributing to this amazing movement and to experience more awesome live music.

Check out the Sofar website here and the Sofar blog here.

Rachel

My Songs of the Week Friday, Nov 2 2012 

This weeks “My Songs of the Week” contains songs that I have discovered this past week, as well as songs that I have loved for some time now. All of these artists are extremely talented and should be checked out by anyone who enjoys good music. to discover more about each artist/band simply click on their names. Now onto the good stuff…….

 

Sam Bradley– Whiskey

This song made it to this week’s SOTW because it is my all time favorite Sam Bradley Song. The first time I saw Sam Bradley play was at the Glass House in Pomona, California. As soon as he came on I was impressed by him, but when he began singing “Whiskey” I became officially hooked. From that moment on, listening to Sam sing “Whiskey” takes me back to that moment when it was me, my, sister, and best friend experienced this amazing musician perform. Since I have been really missing seeing Sam Bradley play live lately, this has been my go-to song lately.

Besides the memories that it gives me, “Whiskey” is my favorite because it is absolutely beautiful. The heart wrenching lyrics and Sam’s soulful voice showcase Sam’s talent and his ability as an artist. This song is usually the first song I show to those who are unfamiliar with Sam Bradley.

 

Monsters Calling Home– Monsters Calling Home

On October 28th I had the opportunity to discover Monsters Calling Home at a SoFar show in Los Angeles, CA. Their self-titled song figuratively grabbed me by the balls and threw me against the wall, but in a good way. From the first note, I fell in love with this song. Ever since leaving that show, I cannot get this tune out of my head. The passionate lyrics, addicting melody, and amazing vocals on this track have me anxious to see Monsters Calling Home play again the first chance I get.

Family of the Year– Hero

I also saw Family of the Year at the SoFar show in Los Angeles. Though I enjoyed their entire set, their song “Hero” resonated with me the most. I especially fell in love with the line” Let me go, I don’t wanna be your hero. I don’t wanna be a big man, just wanna fight like everyone else”. To me, this song speaks of not wanting to be put upon a pedestal of sorts, and the want to just be allowed to make mistakes. It is a song that pulls at me for many different reasons. The intimacy of this song and the pleas behind it make it suitable for this list.

Rosie Thomas– Farewell

The next song on the list is “Farewell” by Rosie Thomas. Rosie Thomas’ voice in this song is hauntingly beautiful. The song tells of heartbreak and having to say farewell to the one you love the most. At some point in everyone’s life, we will get to the point in a relationship where saying farewell is the only option left. The lyrics “I never asked you for a sailboat in the yard, or that fancy dress to wear, or a ceiling made of stars. And all I got was just this broken heart from you” conveys those emotional situations perfectly.

Take Cover Thursday No. 2- Sam Bradley Edition Thursday, Nov 1 2012 

Sam Bradley (via Last.fm)

This week’s Take Cover Thursday  features one of my favorite musicians, Sam Bradley. Sam Bradley is an amazing singer/songwriter who has created some amazing music for his  2010 EP Zuni, as well as his 2009 self titled EP. Those who know of and have experienced Sam Bradley, know that he has performed some amazing covers. Sam’s ability to take someone else’s song and make it his own is what makes Sam a perfect fit for Take Cover Thursday.

One of my favorite covers from Sam Bradley is his rendition of “Busted” by Harlan Howard. This song has also been covered by Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Willie Nelson, Patty Loveless, and many others. Even with that repertoire, Sam Bradley’s cover of the song is my favorite. The song tells a story of a man who is so down on his luck that he’s…well…busted. The song is somewhat personal to me as my sister and I have dubbed this song as “our song”.  My favorite part of the song is “I went to my brother to ask for a loan, I was busted. I hate to beg like a dog for a bone, but I’m busted. My brother said, “There ain’t a thing I can do, my wife and my kids are all down with the flu. And I was just thinkin’ of callin’ on you, I’m busted”.

The next cover song that Sam Bradley has performed is “The Difference Between Whisky and You” by Chris Stapleton. The song was also covered by Tim McGraw on his “Let Go” album. This song is a beautiful song of heart break and alcohol that goes perfectly with Sam Bradley’s voice. This song could have easily been written specifically for his vocals. Hearing Sam sing “I drink ‘cause I’m lonesome and I’m lonesome ‘cause I drink” send chills up my spine because it’s so beautiful. I would love to see Sam Bradley and Chris Stapleton work together in the future.

Another cover that Sam Bradley has done is Otis Redding’s “That’s How Strong My Love Is”. I have had the pleasure of seeing Sam Bradley perform this song several times now. Watching Sam Bradley belting out the lyrics to this song is heart breaking and uplifting all at the same time. Unless you’ve experienced this for yourself, you have no idea what I’m talking about.

The last cover that I want to discuss is Sam Bradley’s cover of “Dead Flowers”, which is originally performed by the Rolling Stones. I grew up listening to the original version and always loved it. Listening to Sam growl out the lyrics “I’ll be in my basement room with a needle and a spoon and another girl can take my pain away” never fails to make me smile and sometimes has me hitting the repeat button. Sam Bradley definitely does this song justice.

Other covers that Sam Bradley has done include: “Battle of Jericho (With Marcus Foster)”, “Give My Love to Rose (With Lee Lindsey)”, “Grandma’s Hands/No Diggity”, “Just a Thought”, “Masters of War”,  “People Get Ready (with Marcus Foster and Grace Lindsey)”, and “Unchain my Heart” .

In any song that Sam Bradley performs, whether covered or original, it is his personality and beautiful voice that makes the song so special. He is definitely an artist that needs to be listened to and watched. Do yourselves a favor, and check him out.

Rachel