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Posts tagged ‘6149 Turn-Ons’

Howlin’ Wolf’s “I’ll Be Around” – A threat or a promise? You decide.


Check out this song by the Howlin’ Wolf, Chester Burnett. If you were the little lady on the other end of this love song, would you feel like Wolf had your back, or was hovering over it. This song scares the shit out of me every time I hear it. 

16 I’ll Be Around (Single).m4a
Listen on Posterous


6149 Turn-ons: From the Land Down Under – Bernard Fanning


Aussie’s love their music. They are so damn proud of their music and their bands and they have good reason. For those of you who haven’t been there or spent a lot of time there…Australia is very far away from The U.S., let alone, the UK and Europe. Breaking a band locally is hard enough, but breaking a band globally from damn near the bottom of the other side of the Earth is insanely hard. In order to do that, your shit has got to be damn good. 

There has been a lot of damn good shit to come out of Australia: AC/DC (of course), Men at Work, INXS, The Bee Gees, Silverchair, John Butler Trio, Kylie Minogue (not my flavour, but hey, very successful), Xavier Rudd (saw him in Venice in front of St. Mark’s Basilica…killer) and Nick Cave…just to name a few. Then there are a few local legends as well: country star Slim Dusty, Cold Chisel and Chisel’s lead singer Jimmy Barnes (a star in his own right) and Powderfinger. 

Powderfinger is an Aussie rock band. I can’t say I have listened to a lot of their music, but I have listened to their lead singer’s 2005 solo album a lot. Bernard Fanning’s “Tea & Sympathy” was my fave rave Aussie album from my five year stay in Sydney. This album just makes me feel good. It is one of those albums that at first listen you feel close to it. It didn’t have to win me over, it didn’t try to hard and it didn’t shy from expressing itself. I want to say that it has a “feel”…but that can come off as some esoteric, snooty bullshit. That being said, it does have a feel…it is comforting and wise. 

Many, many repeat listens for me. 

This is Fanning’s only solo outing. Apparently the songs he write for Powderfinger, aside from being rock oriented, are external, more message driven (sometimes political).  This collection is inwardly expressive…revealing. As far as the music itself goes, here is what allmusic had to say in it’s review of the album:

Like a reprise of Stephen Stills‘ Manassas or Elton John‘s Tumbleweed ConnectionFanning‘s solo debut is awash in well-constructed pop songs that are dressed up with mandolins, Dobros, and fiddles. There’s a country veneer, but scratch beneath the surface and you’ll find some sturdy pop hooks and the kind of laid-back hippie sentiments that wouldn’t sound out of place on early-’70s FM radio…The opening “Thrill Is Gone” and later “Hope & Validation” both feature the kind of yearning, soaring vocals and infectious melodies that John tossed off regularly early in his career, while lead single “Wish You Well” and “Sleeping Rough” strongly recall Stills‘ work, both solo and withCrosby, Stills, Nash & Young. 

Good company and good commentary. I’m not sure I hear the same tones and sounds as in those two specific albums, but, again…that feel is there.  Fanning hasn’t made a full go at breaking in the States yet. He did open for his coutnryman, Keith Urban in 2006 (I think it was 2006) and was distributed by Urban’s label, Lost Highway. 

If you are looking for a new Turn-On, check out “Tea & Sympathy”. I find it goes best around dusk with a few deep glasses of red (an Aussie Shiraz is my flavour of choice).

Wikipedia: Bernard Fanning
Rdio: “Tea & Sympathy

“Songbird” – Bernard Fanning


“Yesterday’s Gone” – Bernard Fanning

“Not Finished Just Yet” (Live)  – Bernard Fanning

Here is the entire Tea & Sympathy Album (be sure to check out “Thrill is Gone”…not a B.B. King cover…and “sleeping Rough”). Enjoy…

6149 Turn-Ons: Paul Pena is one of the THE hidden folks in the lore of music

In 2000 I was living in Boston, MA. I was still listening to terrestrial radio back then. Boston has a long history of pushing boundaries in radio. I grew up listening (from over in good ol’ New Hampshire) to WZLX, WBCN and many, many college radio stations. Between all of those, I felt like I was in prime position to be turned on to any new sounds and any sounds that were older, but new to me.  By 2000, radio was changing and Boston radio was no exception. Even though corporate had crept in and changed the experience, discovery was still happening. 

I was driving home from work one day on RT.128. I had the dial pegged to 92.9 WBOS. I was cruising along when I heard a song that forced me to pull the car into the breakdown lane and listen. That had never happened to me before while I was driving. Right from the outset this song popped out of the dashboard and grabbed my attention. It was just so damn alive and real that I felt compelled to give it my undivided listening attention. 

That song was “Gonna Move” by Paul Pena. Wow. As soon as it was done, I exhaled and then got back on the road and made a bee-line for the record shop. I bought Paul’s album and sped off, racing home to listen. Little did I know, but this guy was a native son, born in 1950 in Massachusetts. Little did I know that this guy had a lot of rock and roll history on him. Little did I know that this album would be one of the coolest finds I had in the first decade of the new century…and it was almost 30 years old even though it was a new release
I’ll let this 2000 promo vid tell Paul’s story. I hope that after watching it you want to know more about and listen to more of, Paul Pena. His story is fascinating and effects your listening in a warm and rewarding way.

This is the album in question, “New Train“. Here is the excellent allmusic reveiw. In it they said:

New Train sounds fresh, essential, and invigorating, even 27 years after it was recorded, establishing this as one of the most magnificent, previously missing albums of that, or any, era. 

Please pause to have a listen…

Here is a 2001 live performance on Conan O’Brien. Paul does his version of “Jet Airliner”. Of course you know the Steve Miller version…now hear the writer tell the tale HIS way…because the story in the song is Paul’s.

Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi are big Paul fans having covered him in live shows many times. Here is Derek and crew doing the song that pulled me over, “Gonna Move”: