21st November 2020
The second half of April was a bit upside-sown, but we managed to squeeze in some good music amongst the chaos. Chrissie Hynde & The Pretenders graced us with a new album, we met a musical child savant, Taj Farrant, visited our friends at Shoreline Songs and Rootspring Music in Cape Town and spent some time at the #togetherathome concerts. Yep, it was a busy one!
5th – 30th April 2020 – Featured Musicians:
Chrissie Hynde & The Pretenders – The Rolling Stones – Eddie Vedder – Keith Urban – Dax Butler – Paul De Villiers – Alan Cameron Trio – Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain – Ronan Skillen – Tyler Bryant – Taj Farrant
18th Apr: An interesting new release came to my attention a few days ago that I’m happy to share with you. Since the debut of their debut album in 1980 Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders have, in their various line-ups, given their fans huge hits like Brass In Pocket and Don’t Get Me Wrong and a catalogue of 11 albums over the last 40 years.
Good news for fans is that they have a new album being released on 1st May and have already released some promo tracks. So, without further ado, let’s listen to the title track and name of the album, Hate for Sale.
The second track from Chrissy Hynde and the Pretenders new album, Hate for Sale, is destined to be a chart-topper. From the opening riff and the first line from Chrissy, The Buzz has all the markings of a Pretenders classic.
Chrissy explained in a Rolling Stone interview “I think we all know that love affairs can take on the characteristics of drug addiction. ‘The Buzz’ is about that. Not mine, of course — I’m never obsessive, never obsessive, never obsessive.” As the lyrics explain, “Can’t get no relief/ You’ve reduced me to a liar/A liar and a thief/Love, oh love/I can only prove your real/By the scratching and the fever.” I have a feeling we’ll be hearing a lot of this song. Here’s The Buzz
The final track from Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders new album, Hate for Sale is a classic love ballad that I predict will be sung by numerous singers in the future, Can’t Hurt a Fool. Within the first few bars I could imagine an Amy Winehouse cover.
It’s always good to hear the ‘old guard’ of musicians holding their own in today’s music industry, and it seems that Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders are going to remain a part of our musical future.
Thanks for joining me today. Later I will be checking into the #TogetherAtHome YouTube channel to join a host of top musicians curated and in collaboration with Lady Gaga. Scheduled to appear are some of the biggest names in music, including Alicia Keys, Billie Eilish, Elton John, The Rolling Stones and many, many more. I’ll drop a link to the show in the comments section. Have a good Saturday wherever you are and, as always, keep safe. 😎
19 April: Happy Sunday evening folks. I was dipping in and out of the #togetherathome concert last night and didn’t manage to catch this clip while it streamed so am very glad it was posted as a separate vid.
Here’s Mick, Kieth, Ron and Charlie playing from home. It’s probably the first time they have ever performed for the public all from different locations, therefore this clip will probably go down in musical history. It starts off a bit shakey but they soon find their groove. Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones with You Can’t Always Get What You Want. 😎
One of the artists performing on the #togetherathome concert last night is the brilliant Eddie Vedder. Here he sings a track from Pearl Jam’s 2020 album, Gigaton, which they were set for touring when all the restrictions were put into place. Here’s the song River Cross, and its a beauty. 😎
The #togetherathome one-night concert raised $127 million for COVID-19 relief and ‘brought together’ some of the biggest names in modern music. A huge thank you and congratulations to the organisers for a mammoth task.
There are quite a few clips of the various performances, but the track I have decided to close with is Keith Urban’s version of the Steve Winwood number, Higher Love. 😎
22 April; I spent some happy time going through Shoreline Songs YouTube channel. Shoreline Songs is the brainchild of Robin Auld and offers an interface between independent musicians and the various music platforms, channels, fans, content users and marketers both in South Africa and abroad. They handle some of the country’s top artists, local legends and new local acts.
Tonight I’m sharing songs from just a few of their stable of South Africa’s best starting with a man who was a prominent part of the Cape Town scene in the ‘70s and ‘80s, Dax Butler. Sadly substance abuse nearly finished Dax’s career, but his love of songwriting helped pull him through and am happy to feature this excellent track. This song is not only sleazy cool; it’s smoking hot at the same time! Here’s Dax Butler with My Friend Kevin.
In the second song from the Shoreline Songs stable of local musicians tonight, you can almost taste South Africa. The song Masi was written by Cape Town musician Paul De Villiers and features the wonderful voice and beautiful smile of Nhoza Sitsholwana, DerekCraig and Shoreline’s own Robin Auld.
The song is about the housing backlog in the Cape Town township locally known as Masi (Masiphumelele – Xhosa let us succeed). In a Cape Talk interview, Paul explained “I have a domestic worker named Patricia who has waited 10 years with her name on a housing waiting list. It’s all happening now as her house is part of a new batch built, which is very exciting. In spite of the hardships, Masi is a happy place and that was inspirational for writing the song.” Here’s Masi. Enjoy!
Tonight’s final track from the Shoreline Songs stable is for the jazz lovers out there. I’ve chosen the track Barefoot and Beautiful, written as a tribute to Cesaria Evora by Cape Town’s own Alan Cameron. The Alan Cameron Trio comprises of Alan Cameron, Wesley Rustin and Simon Annet, all highly respected, world-class musicians.
This recording is from the trio’s new album, Two Nights at Olympia, recorded at the Olympia Bakery in Kalk Bay, and is pure style. If you love local South African music I highly recommend spending some time exploring Shoreline Song’s YouTube Chanel and social media platforms. What better time to support local? Thanks for joining me tonight and as always, stay safe. 😎
24 April: Let’s watch a little bit of fun with that wonderful outfit, The Ukelele Orchestra of Great Brittain. Here they are separate in lockdown but together in going quite Crazy. Every clip I’ve seen of UOGB has left me with a big smile on my face. Would love to see them live. Enjoy! 😎
A final bit of brilliance from the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain. Here they are live from a 2015 performance featuring the late Kitty Lux who helped form the group. Here they go about proving that all songs kind of have the same root. So clever! 😎
25 April: I’ve been playing in the Rootspring Music archives and come up with three very special tracks for tonight’s selection, each featuring a man who is considered one of our leading percussionists, Ronan Skillen.
For those of you who haven’t heard of Cape Town-based Rootspring Music please visit their webpage and social media channels); Recording studio, performance space, record label – they encompass it all. To quote their mission statement: Rootspring exists for the love of music, including, but not limited to original, traditional and improvised music. We seek to uphold the values of creativity, excellence, and authenticity in all we put our hearts and hands to. We collaborate with exceptional performers for intimate house concerts & field recordings and strive to give these performers a platform to express their music in its most genuine form. Further, we aim to create a safe, tolerant environment where people gather to celebrate honour & participate in conscious music.
To start with I am taking you on a wonderful 10 minute sound journey with the very talented Ronan Skillen, Ben Badenhorst and special guest and overtone chanting maestro, Nestor Kornblum. This was recorded at the Rootspring House in 2019. Here’s Floating Forests – enjoy
The second Rootspring Music / Ronan Skillen clip for tonight was recorded at Rootspring House by one of the audience but has excellent sound. Here’s Ronan and Ben Badengorst getting lost in some improvised Dub. Gotta love seeing really good performers gel like this.
My last track for tonight from Rootspring Music and Ronan Skillen features another of South Africa’s leading musicians (and really nice guys) Guy Buttery. Enjoy 6 minutes of improvised perfection with these two giants.I hope your Saturday evening is a good one. As always, stay safe and stay sane. 😎
26 April: I have a mixed bag for you this Sunday. A new single from the Stones, but to start with a young man I have so much respect for, Tyler Bryant. He is a superb songwriter, lyricist and performer. This is a track he has been performing for several years during live concerts and has now finally released an official version on his 2019 album, Truth & Lies.
“Making sense of loss is not an easy task,” said Taylor in an interview with RocknLoad Magazine, “Sometimes, it’s just impossible. Songwriting has always been my way of tumbling through the feelings I struggle to make sense of. ‘Out There’ has taken on different meanings for me personally over time. Given the current circumstances, this song feels heavier to me than it ever has. I can only imagine what so many people are dealing with right now. There was a lot of love put into this song and I hope every bit of that is transferred and felt by anyone out there who needs it right now.” Here’s the song Out There, and it’s a beauty.
26 April: Taj Farrant blew me away when I first saw his clips. How a kid of 10-years-old puts this much feeling, skill and expertise into his playing is beyond me. When I look at his face while playing I can imagine him at different stages of his future career fronting some of the leading bands to come. There is only one word that springs to mind when it comes to Taj, and that’s a savant. If you haven’t seen Taj perform before you are about to be amazed
You can’t keep a class act down! Those distinguished old gentlemen of Rock n Roll, The Rolling Stones, released a brand new single, their first in 8 years during the past week. This, as a teaser until they can reschedule the dates for the upcoming leg of the No Filter tour.
In a new interview with Zane Lowe of Apple Music, Jagger said he wrote the song with Keith Richards over a year ago. “It wasn’t written for now, but it was just one of those odd things,” he said. “It was written about being in a place which was full of life but is now bereft of life so to speak…I was just jamming on the guitar and wrote it really quickly in like 10 minutes.”
It just goes to show that writing good songs is second nature when you’ve been in the business for over 50 years! Here’s Living in a Ghost Town. Enjoy. I hope the week has been kind to you and that the upcoming one will be even better. As always, keep safe and keep sane and keep listening to the music. 😎
This article was first published on the Design Train website for Loving the Music
Words © Andrew Knapp
The author does not own the copyright of any of the videos used in the article