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Willie Nelson – Songwriter Extraodinaire

Willie Nelson

Just enjoyed listening to an interview of Willie Nelson on NPR.  Mr. Nelson is promoting his new album, Band of Brothers, which is to be released today.  Here’s a little snippet of the interview:

ARUN RATH: Now you are such a great songwriter but it’s been more than a few years since you released an album and one with so much new material on it. I’m curious have you been writing songs the whole time or are all these very recently written?

WILLIE NELSON: I’m sort of a spasmodic writer I guess. Roger Miller said it pretty well. He said when a writer has to sometimes stop and let the well refill because you run out of things to write about or good things to say. So I think he’s right. Also you have to have some kind of challenge or goal. And there was this new album that we wanted to do. And I needed some new songs. And I said well you know why don’t I write something?

And when you’re Willie Nelson, you can do just that…

Listen to the interview now:

May the Muse stay with Willie and be with you (and that’s even funnier with the reference to Willie as the Yoda of songwriters)…

Yoda Willie!

Petition to have Rush inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

So here’s a link to a petition that was started by your’s truly after years of Rush being ignored for induction into the Performers category in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.  Please pass it on and let’s get the quintessential Canadian prog rock band into the RnR HoF – where they deserve to be… It’s 2012 and too late for this year, but let’s put some pressure on for next year’s induction ceremony… Rush shouldn’t have to wait until 2112 when "the meek shall inherit the earth", modest rockers that they are. Let’s make it happen in 2013!…  May the Muse be with Geddy, Alex and Neil… and no opinions should be divided on Rush getting this recognition!

Juno 2012 Songwriter’s Circle Part 2

From the Juno Awards site:

And here’s part 2 of the Juno Songwriters’ Circle courtesy of the CBC with Terri Clark, Max Kergan and Dan Mangan as host… May the Muse be with you as you listen and enjoy great Canadian (unsung) songsters!

 

Juno 2012 Songwriter’s Circle


From the Juno Awards site:

JUNO Songwriters’ Circle brings together some of today’s most talented Canadian singer/songwriters, sharing songs and stories on stage. Host Dan Mangan hosted the discussion, perform some of his hit songs and got up-close with audiences in this truly unique setting and not-to-be-missed event.
Participating Artists: Host Dan Mangan will be joined on stage by fellow 2012 JUNO Award nominees David Francey, Kiran Ahluwalia, Lindi Ortega, Max Kerman (Arkells) and Terri Clark.
CBC has a great podcast of the circle and here’s part 1… May the Muse be with you as you listen and enjoy great Canadian (unsung) songsters!
 

Barrel of Monkeys and Photographs – Jim Bryson on Kathleen Edwards

Well, Kathleen Edwards most recent release,  Voyageur, is the darling of critics, rightfully so, with its cathartic songs leading to new beginnings from a dissolved past.  I just wanted to share a quote from an interview by David McPherson in the latest Canadian Musician magazine (January/February 2012 edition).  The quote comes from a fellow Canadian singer-songwriter, Jim Bryson, who contributed to Voyageur via emailing parts and pieces of songs back and forth with Edwards (and is part of Edwards’ touring band and a proud new papa to boot – congrats!):

If Edwards chose not to use one of Bryson’s ideas, he didn’t take it personally. “I know how records work,” says the seasoned songwriter. “It’s like taking photographs. You take 100 and you may only use three of them. If it’s a signature part and you really feel connected to it you can have a discussion, but otherwise, if you are playing on someone else’s record, it’s theirs …at the end of the day, it’s her deal. It’s not like I can throw a barrel of monkeys down the stairs and mic it and expect her to use it.”

Now that’s an image that’s hard to get rid of… hmm… probably a novelty record in that idea… Don’t go calling the SPCA on my… I was only joking… But the lesson is to collaborate with respect for the song’s originator… now that I can work with and may the Muse stay with Kathleen, Jim et al…

Elvis Costello – National Ransom

elvis costello, villa solaria, sesto fiorentin...

Image via Wikipedia

Elvis Costello has a new CD out today – National Ransom.  The almost-Canuck discussed his songwriting in a QMI interview in our local freebie 24 hours newspaper in Toronto today, with a little snippet as follows:

Q: You’ve remained very prolific at an age when many songwriters lose touch with the muse. What’s your secret?

A: I suppose people would give you different views of whether I was connected with it or not, depending on how much they like my last recording – or my last 12 recordings. (Laughs)  I love people telling me how great my early records were, when they were mostly roundly ignored.  But I never really have done anything out of routine.  And I sort of feel I can do it with much more freedom because I have access to a lot of different music and different techniques.

Yes, the Muse remains with Elvis… and may the Muse be with you…

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Brian Wilson as Songwriter – Upcoming Documentary

On November 23, 2010, Songwriter 1962 – 1969: Exploring Brian’s Music in a Decade of Dreams will be released online.  The film is a 3-hour 2-DVD collection that examines Wilson’s time writing and recording with the Beach Boys in the 1960s. It also includes many rare and classic live performances, studio footage and archival interviews and photos, as well as discussions with fellow Beach Boys, studio technicians and a variety of other people close to Wilson at the time.

From the distributor’s website

Brian Wilson Songwriter 1962 – 1969 is a documentary film in which the rich tapestry of music written and produced by this brilliant 20th century composer is investigated and reviewed. With the main feature running at over three hours in length across two discs, the songs Brian wrote for and recorded with The Beach Boys during the 1960s are here re-assessed to quite startling effect. FEATURES INCLUDE – •Historical musical performances and rare and classic recordings re-assessed by a panel of esteemed experts •Obscure footage, rare archive interviews and seldom seen photographs •Exclusive contributions from fellow Beach Boys, Bruce Johnston and David Marks; Wrecking Crew musicians Carol Kaye and Hal Blaine; friend and Beach Boys manager Fred Vail; producers Russ Titelman and Bill Halverson; Wilson family friends Billy Hinsche and Danny Hutton, biographers Peter Ames Carlin and Domenic Priore and many others •Live and studio recordings of many Brian Wilson classics

May the Muse be with you Brian… check out the video clip below…

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John Lennon Songwriting Exhibit opens at Grammy Museum

On October 9, 2010, on what would have been his 70th birthday, visitors to the Grammy Museum were also able to view the new John Lennon exhibit called ‘Songwriter’ which opened on October 4.

The Exhibit features many items donated by Yoko Ono Lennon. Yoko comments in the Exhibit about Lennon’s songwriting stating that: "in his songs, he was really real, he believed in truth." Ono continues that ideas for songs would come to Lennon at unexpected times and he would be writing down lyrics while they were on airplanes.

The exhibit occupies part of the 4th floor of the museum and showcases many original handwritten lyrics for songs like "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" and "Working Class Hero". Items on display range from Lennon’s Beatles days like his Sgt. Pepper jacket from 1967 to a harmonica and a collarless suit from 1963 that John can be seen wearing on the 45 picture sleeve of "I Saw Her Standing There."

At the end of the exhibit is a special white room, in true John and Yoko style, showcasing a large video screen with John performing ‘Imagine’ and other songs. There is also an interactive wall inviting people to add their thoughts to the phrase "Imagine a world…"

Click on the link for more information on the Grammy Museum, and may the Muse be with you… Ci vedimes…

Tom Waits – Nominee for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2011

From the info page at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee page for Tom Waits:

Only one songwriter could be covered by the Ramones (“I Don’t Want to Grow Up”) and the Eagles  (“Old 55”).  Beginning with his first album in 1973, Tom Waits has carved out a unique place in rock & roll.  His music mixes Chicago blues, parlour ballads, beat poetry, pulp fiction parlance and – when you least expected it – heart-breaking tenderness.  His enormously influential live shows combine elements of German cabaret, vaudeville and roadhouse rock.  After establishing a successful early style as a wry singer-songwriter, Waits went through a dramatic expansion with Swordfishtrombones  (1983). Disregarding musical borders and commercial considerations, he set off in wild pursuit of the Muse.  Waits has composed film scores, musical theatre and an operetta. He has co-written with Keith Richards and William Burroughs.  His songs have been covered by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Solomon Burke, Marianne Faithful, the Neville Brothers, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss and the Blind Boys of Alabama. He has recorded with the Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt, the Replacements and Roy Orbison.   A tribute to his great influence is how many of his songs have been recorded by artists who usually write their own – including Bruce Springsteen (“Jersey Girl”), Tim Buckley (“Martha”), Johnny Cash (“Down By the Train”), Bob Seger (“16 Shells from a Thirty-Ought Six”), T-Bone Burnett (“Time”), Tori Amos (“Time”), Steve Earle (“Way Down In The Hole”), Elvis Costello (“Innocent When You Dream”) and Rod Stewart (“Downtown Train”). 

The Muse has been with Tom for a long time now… He is certainly deserving of this honour and if he doesn’t get in, something’s very wrong with the world…

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What A Tale My Thoughts Could Tell…

Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame Newsletter

cansong

Press Release:

On Thursday, October 21, 2010, two of Canada’s most celebrated songwriters, Ian Tyson and Jim Cuddy, will be live in performance and in conversation for the second episode of the innovative new master series, “If You Could Read My Mind” created by the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Through conversation and music “If You Could Read My Mind” contemplates the continuation of the Lightfoot lyric, “what a tale my thoughts could tell” and digs deep to unearth why Canada is such a hot bed for songwriting talent. The series got off to a phenomenal start this past February with its inaugural sold-out show, featuring the Canadian legends Gordon Lightfoot and Gord Downie.

Hosted by CBC Radio’s Laurie Brown, the October 21st event will also feature emerging Canadian artist Wayne Petti from Cuff The Duke, who will bring his unique blend of alt-country singing-songwriting to the stage for a special performance.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to see Jim Cuddy and Ian Tyson in an intimate setting at the world class, acoustically spectacular George Weston Recital Hall at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. Contact TicketMaster today!

If You Could Read My Mind” featuring Ian Tyson & Jim Cuddy
Thursday, October 21, 2010 – Showtime 8:00 p.m.
The George Weston Recital Hall, Toronto Centre of the Arts, 5040 Yonge Street
Tickets: $30, $40, $50 – On Sale Now
Available on TicketMaster.com or by calling 416-872-1111.
www.cansong.ca

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