Category Archives: Music

Walsh Gold

Cameron Walsh
Black Gold (2017)

This is eighteen year old guitarists Cameron’s first album. Produced at NightShift Studios by Arnie Van Bussel, someone I have known since Atari days (circa 1980’s).

Although probably categorized as country music, there are sufficient rock and popular elements to give it a wide appeal.

Review by Tracks:

1. Folsom Prison Blues (Johhny Cash)
Not a song I like, but here it gets more energy with a faster beat and some nice harmonica and violin playing.

2. Downbuzz (Cameron Walsh featuring Molly G)
Probably my favorite song on the album. A ballad with a simple melody and dance-able beat. The duet parts with Molly G really add character to the song. There is a great restrained guitar part about half way through.

3. Tonight the Bottle let me Down (Merle Haggard)
Not a song I had heard before. This is more rocking, with a great rhythm section of the drums, bass and piano.

4. Heartstrings (Sarah Conlan)
An average paint-by-numbers country song. There must be thousands like this. Sarah does have a nice traditional country voice, as heard on her 2014 EP (see link).

5. Cast No Stones (Cody Jinks)
Cody Jinks is an American country music singer from Denton, Texas. Another mid-tempo country song. The only thing of note is that the guitar is more aggressive on this song.

6. Black Gold
(Cameron Walsh with Micheala & Phil Walsh)
I was told Cameron was a Pink Floyd fan and you can hear that from the opening guitar chords. Another great original song.

7. Hag Song (Cameron Walsh)
The production here really pulls back on the instrumentation, allowing Cameron’s voice and acoustic guitar to really shine.

8. One More Last Chance (Vince Gill & G. Nicholson)
A nice change with an upbeat song. This really reminds me of the Coalrangers. All it needs is a Fender Rhodes piano.

9. Believing (Featuring Molly G)
(Emily Shackleton, Tami Hinesh & Kate York)
I don’t know who Molly G is, but I just wanted Cameron to shut up and let her sing the whole song.

10. I Remember (Cameron Walsh)
Everything really comes together in this combination of lyrics and music. I can imagine him on a bar-stool, halfway through a tour singing this with just an acoustic guitar.

11. Glimpse of Redemption (Cameron Walsh)
We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl….
The final instrumental track really shows it’s progressive rock roots. This could have been ripped off from some obscure 1970’s Prog Rock album.

In conclusion, Cameron really has the voice of a forty year old Country singer/songwriter. I prefer the originals to the covers as there is more influence from other genres.

And I do HATE steel guitars.

Spotify #2

After three months of spotify use, here are some observations.

  1. The selection is vast. Even relatively obscure NZ bands are on the site.
  2. Some internationally known bands are not. Notably King Crimson. While they are mentioned there is only one song.
  3. It runs better from the web than the app. The app has an annoying feature of not clearing the screen when closed.
  4. The Spotify works well with JRiver Media Centre. I can switch Android apps and get music playing from the hard drive collection via JRiver, or streaming from Spotify.
  5. The term ‘Your Music” I find annoying. 7Digital does the same. Goodreads uses ‘My Books’, both don’t get the point of view right. Bandcamp is better, with the neutral ‘Collection’. Even Amazon is ‘Your List’ and ‘Your Account’.
  6. I find the Band/Album art to be too large. On a monitor it restricts how much information can be displayed on each screen. A plain text listing would be better.
  7. The circular artist images are just weird. Who made that decision.
  8. You can ‘save’ albums to a list, and they sort by artist. But by the first name. So Tori Amos comes under ‘T’, not ‘A’. There appears to be no way of changing this. The book collection app Calibre is very good at this by saving an Author_Sorted field for each book.
  9. You can follow Artists. This puts them in a list, but in no particular order. This means that if you want to quickly find an artist, the easiest way is to use the search. OK on a PC, but annoying on a Smartphone.
  10. Fortunately the Artist URL is fixed and it can be copied. I took these links into a spreadsheet and added html code. By copying to plain text then a WordPress page I can generate a sorted artist list. This includes Bandcamp links, so I can have an artist list with links to streaming songs.

 

Motown

Standing in the Shadows of Motown is a 2002 documentary film directed by Paul Justman that recounts the story of The Funk Brothers, the uncredited and largely unheralded studio musicians who were the house band that Berry Gordy hand picked in 1959. They recorded and performed on Motowns’ recordings from 1959 to 1972. The film was inspired by the 1989 book Standing in the Shadows of Motown: The Life and Music of Legendary Bassist James Jamerson, a bass guitar instruction book by Allan Slutsky, which features the bass lines of James Jamerson.


Great music documentary about Motown music. Mainly interviews, interspersed with extracts from a Funk Brothers concert.

BrunuhVille

Aurora
by BrunuhVille (2014)


This is the result of a search in bandcamp for artists in the celtic style, like Maire Brennan (Clannad) and Loreena McKennitt. There aren’t that many artists, most of the well known artists are on major labels.
BrunuhVille comes from Coimbra, Portugal and claims to melt elements of Gothic, Orchestral, Celtic, Folk, Movie, Ethnic and World music.
While true, the most influential element is western romantic orchestral music. Elements of Celtic come through in the drums and flutes, the vocals are mainly wordless and add to the mystical style. Very full sound and fine production make this a good album to listen to in the background. There are 11 albums here.

Soviet Style

I have noticed that recent purchases from bandcamp feature artists and bands from regions that were formerly part of, or adjoining the USSR:

Ukraine

https://endlessmelancholy.bandcamp.com/album/oceanmixes

Russia

https://breakmyfuckingsky.bandcamp.com/album/symbiosys-2012

http://music.tunguska.space/

Estonia

https://moderncrusader.bandcamp.com/album/long-way-home-ii

Yekaterinburg, Russia

https://desired.bandcamp.com/album/desired

Mytishchi, Russia

https://eternalwanderers.bandcamp.com/album/journey-out-of-time-unreleased-album

Romania

https://seaovclouds.bandcamp.com/album/out-world

Russian Federation

https://amodelkit.bandcamp.com/album/invention-of-love

Moscow, Russia

http://bc.unitedstudios.ru/album/the-life-we-dance

Bucharest, Romania

https://absurdcus.bandcamp.com/album/a-drop-of-calm

Hungary

https://silentisland.bandcamp.com/album/equator

https://musicformessier.bandcamp.com/album/the-pleiades

Poland

https://post-rockpl.bandcamp.com/album/the-landscape-after-the-flood-post-rock-pl-compilation-vol-3

Spacegoat

Spacegoat
Superstition (2016)

From Monterrey, Mexico this band was a surprise.
Formed by siblings Miguel & Gina Ríos. Spacegoat play a a modern interpretation of classic rock with influences from early Sabbath to Janis Joplin. It sounds good, but probably fits into the modern ‘stoner rock’ category.

Gina Ríos – Vocals & Guitar
Miguel Ríos – Lead Guitar
Rey Fraga – Drums
Rigo Vigil – Bass

Spotify

Pandora vs Spotify

After a year on Pandora I have tried Spotify.
Here are my comparisons:

Pandora

  • It’s cheaper – $55 USD per year vs Spotify $180.
  • Better at random encounters with new artists. The way the playlist work you can’t play a full album, but similar songs are grouped in the same playlist.

Spotify

  • It’s the larger service, I have found more instances of links to Spotify than Pandora. There appear to be more artists.
  • You can play a full album, and in track order.
  • The application leaves screen artifacts when closed. A nuisance but easily fixed with F5.