Buddy Holly Tribute: 50th Anniversary Special
Tuesday, February 3rd , 4 – 6pm on 91.3fm WYEP
Hosted and Produced by Afternoon Mix Host Rosemary WelschFebruary 3 marks the 50th anniversary of “The Day the Music Died". Three of the biggest stars in rock and roll-- Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper-- and their young pilot died in a small plane crash in an Iowa cornfield. This two hour special takes a look at the influence of Buddy Holly's music and celebrates his contribution to the music world.
Here's the WYEP 2008 Top 50 recordings !
1. Radiohead, ‘In Rainbows’
2. Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, ‘Raising Sand’
3. The Hold Steady, Stay Positive’
4. Kathleen Edwards, ‘Asking for Flowers’
5. Coldplay, ‘Viva La Vida, or Death and All His Friends’
6. Death Cab for Cutie, ‘Narrow Stairs’
7. My Morning Jacket, ‘Evil Urges’
8. DeVotchKa, ‘A Mad & Faithful Telling’
9. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, ‘100 Days 100 Nights’
10. Fleet Foxes, ‘Fleet Foxes’
11. Martha Wainwright, ‘I Know You’re Married But I’ve Got Feelings Too’
12. Vampire Weekend, ‘Vampire Weekend’
13. Michael Franti & Spearhead, ‘All Rebel Rockers’
14. Emmylou Harris, ‘All I Intended to Be’
15. Verve//Remixed 4′
16. Alejandro Escovedo, ‘Real Animal’
17. Jackie Greene, ‘Giving Up the Ghost’
18. Conor Oberst, ‘Conor Oberst’
19. Nicole Atkins, ‘Neptune City’
20. Old 97s, ‘Blame It on Gravity’
21. Joe Jackson, ‘Rain’
22. Jack Johnson, ‘Sleep Through the Static’
23. Carbon/Silicon, ‘The Last Post’
24. Buddy Guy, ‘Skin Deep’
25. Dar Williams, ‘Promised Land’
26. Elbow, ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’
27. Levon Helm, ‘Dirt Farmer’
28. The Kooks, ‘Konk’
29. Sheryl Crow, ‘Detours’
30. Okkervil River ‘The Stage Names
31. Richie Havens, ‘Nobody Left to Crown’
32. Dan Wilson, ‘Free Life’
33. Mike Doughty, ‘Golden Delicious’
34. Band of Horses, ‘Cease to Begin’
35. kd Lang ‘Watershed’
36. The Black Keys, ‘Attack & Release’
37. Joan Osborne, ‘Little Wild One’
38. James Hunter, ‘The Hard Way’
39. Drive-By Truckers, ‘Brighter Than Creation’s Dark’
40. Aimee Mann, ‘#@%&! Smilers’
41. Mudcrutch, ‘Mudcrutch’
42. Beck, ‘Modern Guilt’
43. R.E.M., ‘Accelerate’
44. She & Him, ‘Volume One’
45. Chuck Prophet, ‘Soap and Water’
46. Elvis Costello, ‘Momofuku’
47. Duffy, ‘Rockferry’
48. Jim White, ‘Transnormal Skiperoo’
49. Gary Louris, ‘Vagabonds’50. John Fogerty, ‘Revival’
On a cold December Saturday night we went inside The Rex Theater for the double concert bill of Glen Phillips and Jonatha Brooke.
Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket) accompanied by Jonathan Kingham (vocals/guitar) did a 55-minute, 15-song set. Jonatha Brooke came on stage to play the piano and sing two songs with Glen. Jonathan took a turn in the spotlight on “She’s So California”. Glen did a couple of songs from his latest project, Works Progress Administration (WPA), “Rise Up” and his final song of the evening “I Don’t Need Anything I Don’t Have”. From his EP “Secrets of the New Explorer” Glen did a kid’s song about radiation sickness “Solar Flare”, that Jonatha joined him on. Some songs can stand the test of time and be stripped down. That was the case of Toad’s “All I Want”, it was an acoustic gem.
We learned a few things about Jonatha Brooke during her 14-song, 1-hour and 20-minute set. Jonatha will probably never record a Christmas album, she can do an impersonation of a small dog, she’s more comfortable playing the guitar then the piano, for financial reasons she did not bring a band with her, adding that sometimes she likes to go out on tour alone and that she loves her latest release “The Works”.
Jonatha sang at least four songs from “The Works”. Most of the lyrics on the album were written by Woodie Guthrie. Jonatha told us the history of how she went to the Woodie Guthrie Archives and came out with the idea to do this album. “My Flowers Grow Green” was an especially beautiful tune, with Jonatha singing quietly at the piano. Returning the favor, Glen came back on stage to sing “Sweetest Angel” with Jonatha.
Each of Jonatha’s songs seem to have a story behind them, like title track from “Ten Cent Wings” and a song that was featured in MTV’s “The Hills”.
This was the final show together for Glen and Jonatha until the spring.
Barb S. - Sunday Mix Host
#1: Honeydew / Shawn Mullins / Vanguard Records / 3/11/08
I was very familiar with the songs on this album before I even heard it. For the past couple of years, Shawn Mullins has been on the road introducing us to its characters in “The Ballad of Kathryn Johnston” and “Cabbagetown”. “All in My Head” was the catchy first release, from “Scrubs”. I absolutely love the seamless transition of “Homeless Joe” into “Leaving All Your Troubles Behind”. “See That Train”, “For America”; actually all the tracks prove that Mullins is one of the great American storytellers. This is probably his best effort to date.
#2: Where The Light Is: John Mayer Live in Los Angeles / John Mayer / Sony / 7/1/08
A live 2-CD set that showcases John Mayer in three different genres, in one night, on one stage. Acoustic, jazz/blues (John Mayer Trio) and rocking with his band. I like Mayer's cover of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’”. Mayer continues to grow as a musician, singer-songwriter and performer.
#3: Detours / Sheryl Crow / A&M / 2/5/08
I fell in love with Sheryl Crow’s music when I heard “All I Wanna Do”. This album takes me back 15 years to the “Tuesday Night Music Club” sound. From “Out of Our Heads” to “Shine Over Babylon” to “Gasoline”, you’re hooked. “Detours” made the list of WYEP’s Top 50 Albums of 2008.
#4: Last Days at the Lodge / Amos Lee / Blue Note Records / 6/24/08
Amos Lee is an artist I discovered this year at WYEP. Hearing the track “Listen” made me want to listen to more. Lee's 3rd effort was produced by Don Was. All 11 tracks are easy to listen to.
#5: Skin Deep / Buddy Guy / Zomba / 7/22/08
One of WYEP’s Top 50 albums of 2008. The title track “Skin Deep” features Derek Trucks. A 72-year old blues and rock guitar legend teaming up with a 29-year old “new guitar god”. Also featured: The Memphis Horns, Willie Mitchell, Susan Tedeschi, Eric Clapton, Robert Randolph and Quinn Sullivan. Great guests. Great blues.
Barb's Favorite Concerts of 2008
#1: Marc Cohn / Mr. Smalls Theater / 1/26/08
What can I say, this is only the second time I’ve seen Marc Cohn perform live in Pittsburgh in 17 years. It was a great way to start off the year, and it remains my 2008 highlight concert. Cohn’s four studio albums are like greatest hits collections. It’s always very special to see an artist who does not get out on the road that often. What a great show!
#2: Shawn Mullins / Club Cafe / 4/1/08 (solo) and 9/15/08 (opening for Dar Williams)
Having the chance to see one of my favorite singer-songwriters in an acoustic show twice this year, at such an intimate venue, was quite a treat. Mullins knows how to weave stories in his songs. I’ve been a fan since “Lullaby”.
#3: The Swell Season / The Byham Theater / 9/21/08
A great big thank you to WYEP for introducing me to Glen Hansard, Marketa Irglova and The Frames! Hansard shows so much emotion and just draws you in. This was such a wonderful discovery for me.
#4: Edwin McCain / The Palace Theater, Greensburg / 8/6/08
Edwin McCain is at his best in an acoustic setting. A great storyteller with an even greater sense of humor who knows how to relate to his audience.
#5: John Mayer / Post-Gazette Pavilion / 8/13/08
It’s been a pleasure watching John Mayer mature as a performer. There aren’t too many acts I will drive out to Burgettstown for, Mayer is on the short list.
My insatiable appetite for singer-songwriters was once again more than satisfied in 2008. I look forward to what 2009 will bring in music and concerts.
Barb S. - Sunday Mix Host
This evening's appetizer was Canadian act Luke Doucet and The White Falcon (http://www.lukedoucet.com/) I was sitting in the front row among Canadians who were not familiar with Luke Doucet. It was a late arriving crowd, apparently they wanted to skip the appetizer. It's a shame, they missed the chance to hear one of their own. Luke Doucet and The White Falcon came on stage promptly at 8 pm and did an 8-song, 45-minute set. The White Falcon was comprised of Melissa McClelland on vocals/guitar, along with a drummer and bassist.
Luke did a couple of songs from his 2005 solo release "Broken (and other rouge states)", "Broken One" and "Vladivostok". A song for all the people who go to concerts alone "Cleveland", ending with "First Day", both from his latest release "Blood's Too Rich". Luke has a haunting, heavy guitar sound, reminiscent of Chris Isaak. Reading from his arm, Luke let us know he would be back in Toronto in February and out in the concourse of the arena signing CD's during the intermission. I hope the black ink washed off.
At 9:15 pm the entrée was served. The lights dimmed, the 4-piece band went to their places and James Blunt made his entrance. The 34-year old British singer-songwriter has an amazing amount of energy. The experience of touring across the globe seems to have given James the confidence to use the whole stage, even the whole arena during his show. He has a menu of about 2-dozen plus songs (mostly found on 2-studio albums "Back to Bedlam" and "All The Lost Souls"), yet he was able to mix in some unfamiliar songs with his most well known tunes. The performance had good pacing with fan favorites and new songs interspersed. Most of the changes between numbers went smoothly, with little down time, helping to keep the momentum moving forward. James alternated between the guitar and piano.
The show began with a set of some of his slow, and often thought of as, depressing songs. He decided to change the mood, by singing a song about drugs "Give Me Some Love". I confess, I love to sing along with that one when I'm alone in the car. And sing along we all did, mostly without added encouragement. Although when James debut a new song called "Love, Love, Love" he said if he forgot the words, then well we couldn't help him. He mentioned being stationed in Alberta before singing the somber "No Bravery" at the piano.
Images were projected behind the tiered stage; the lighting and lasers were creative. During "Shine On", James was bathed effectively in green lasers. From the stage he began "Coz I Luv You" (a cover of the Slade song from the 70s) and he finished it in the middle of the arena floor. Jumping off the stage, over the temporary wall, walking on seats to get to a piano that seemed to rise from the floor. At this point the crowd stood up and stayed on their feet for the remainder of the show. Green lasers projected "M-M-M" onto the upper levels of the arena seats during "I'll Take Everything".
"You're Beautiful" was not saved to the very end. I've been to a few concerts this year where the performer's biggest hit, wasn't necessarily used as the last song or part of the encore. I like this trend of giving the audience what they came to hear and then continuing to build from there. James ended with "Same Mistake", the video for which was filmed in Toronto. The 1-hour and 25-minute set was followed by a 20-minute 3-song encore. "One of the Brightest Stars" was sung in the dark with the twinkling of stars on the stage. The final song was "1973", transporting us all back to a discothèque. Silver and later red, white and blue streamers filled the air, while a disco ball rotated above, giving quite an amazing visual image. At the end of the song, James climbed on his upright piano, which didn't seem too steady under his feet. When he came back on stage, he used his own camera to get a photo of his audience; seeming to be genuinely grateful for the applause and support shown throughout the evening.
Out of curiosity, I've been reading the newspaper reviews on line of the Canadian shows as James has made his way across the provinces. Generally the reviews have been favorable, but they've noted that maybe a hockey arena is too large of a venue; that his show would be more suited to a smaller place. I think a respectable number of seats were filled in the ACC. After James played a few songs on a piano in the middle of the arena floor, he convinced me that he could make an arena feel intimate as he brought the entire audience into his performance. Also, those of us in the front row, one by one, got up to lean along the temporary wall that separated us from the stage, just to get a better view. Reflecting on it later, it reminded me of the photos I've seen of The Beatles fans reaching out across the fences trying to get closer. I'm not suggesting that James' career will parallel that of The Beatles or an Elton John, but I think his slice of the musical pie will only keep growing. I've heard that it's hard to really classify his music. Maybe this is part of the reason his popularity in the USA doesn't mirror that of other countries.
Check out the rest of my photos:
Barb S. - Sunday Mix Host