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PIGSHIT: Middle-Aged Symphonies Towards God: The Beach Boys’ Brother Years

Yes indeed, it goes without saying that Brian Wilson and his familial band full of brothers, cousins and friends have enjoyed a career quite unlike any other across the cuckoo annals of show business.

Scoring a local hit in 1961 straight off the mark with their very first little indie single, then soon after placing a sophomore release into no less than the hallowed Billboard Hot 100 – and all at a time when the majority of the band still had to be home in time to attend class the next morning – The Beach Boys, it could be argued, really started their marathon run at the very tip-top, suicidally crash-dove towards oblivion a few short years later, and only then slowly but surely began their struggle up the ladder of ever-lasting fame, fortune and, ultimately, all-American glory …and just finished touring the globe promoting a new (!!) hit album, need I remind anyone. 

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog “Dyddiau Du, Dyddiau Gwyn”

So what do I know about a North Wales-based band called Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog?

Well, they play a soothing mix of country, folk and rock influenced by classic rock archetypes like Dylan, Neil Young and Gram Parsons. But what will throw you off is the entire thing is done in native Welsh. So I have no idea what those lyrics mean, but the title track here, “Dyddiau Du, Dyddiau Gwyn,” has a great melodic bridge and nice steel pedal guitar work. The slow ballad “Malu’r Ffenestri” doesn’t need a lyric, as you can tell right away from its slow piano that it’s a drinkin’ tune. The song “Nansi” is a bouncey country tune that raises the spirit a bit more. The style of “Celwydd Golau Ydi Cariad” is a bit like early era Eagles with a catchy overdubbed chorus.

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Reviews and Suggestions

Where Tom Petty’s Concerned, There’s No Backing Down!

Tom Petty – Live Anthology
Reprise Records

tom-petty-live-anthologyTo me, Tom Petty will always be the quintessential every-day guy who ended up making it big. But not because of his possession of exemplary songwriting talent but because of his irrepressible spirit and pure rock and roll heart, the true power of which may never be known but which will always be felt, which has always guided him throughout his career. Whether it was involving members of his old band Mudcrutch in his original record deal instead of simply going solo, riding out a record company buyout and the personal bankruptcy it caused to rally his band and create Damn The Torpedoes (ie – one of the best rock and roll albums ever), fighting his new record company to lower the list price on his album Hard Promises, punching a wall and breaking his hand just because he hated the producer’s mix of his album Southern Accents and on and on, Petty has consistently done whatever it took and made the right choices, not just for personal economic/monetary reasons but personally and for his fans. This is a man who lives and breathes rock and roll, but seems to love his fans even more and is a genuinely nice guy to boot. A life lived in the spotlight with very few scandals to speak of and nothing but admiration from your peers is a very rare thing indeed in the rock and roll business. If he didn’t bring the rock like a sonofabitch he would be this generation’s answer to Pat Boone for chrissakes. But he does, and people know it. Like AC/DC, Petty’s albums are not going to lead to the next big thing or make waves with any musical innovations but people who love true rock and roll know he is the real deal and bands looking to capture the spirit of what makes rock and roll great will no doubt be listening to and studying his albums until the end of time…at least.

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Rock meet country, country meet rock – Newcomer Eldon Johnson bridges the gap.

the other sideEldon Johnson – The Other Side
Self released

While listening to The Other Side, the fine new album from emerging country rock singer/songwriter Eldon Johnson, I began to think back about what I found interesting about country music when I was younger and why I despise a lot of it now. Country music played a big part of my childhood and was the catalyst for some of the best times of my younger years. My parents were big fans of country, though I must say my dad was (and continues to be) very open to all sorts of music, something I admire and strive for myself. My mom was a little different and pretty much hated the “noise” of most rock and roll and thought the lyrics mostly nonsense but loved country music as most songs tended to be stories about life. Now, I understand country and rock and roll are pretty much the same. Sure, country came first – but I love my rock and roll and most country music on the radio sounds like the Eagles anyway so what’s the difference really? Y’know? As a child, well, that’s another story.