Today’s song is the title track from Robyn Hitchcock’s unexpected third solo album, I Often Dream of Trains. After a few years with post-punk psychedelia masters the Soft Boys, Hitchcock released Black Snake Diamond Role, a slight shift to pop that mined fairly familiar territory nicely. The problem-plagued Groovy Decay (aka Groovy Decoy aka Gravy Deco) followed, never quite finding its groove.…
Today’s song is Catch the Wind, the first single by Donovan. Although best known now for his fusion of jazz, folk, pop, and psychedelia — which resulted in three massive Top 5 singles in the late 60s — he began his career with an earnest approach to modern folk. Born Donovan Leitch in 1946, he dropped out of art school by 1960, busking and travelling, learning guitar techniques from other players…
Lou Reed was responsible for one of the most important bodies of popular music in the 20th Century. Born in Brooklyn in 1942, he played guitar and sang while in school. He pursued a journalism degree at Syracuse, but right after graduating went right back to music. After a brief period as a staff writer, he fell in with a diverse crowd and formed the Velvet Underground, musical pioneers that…
Let’s Go Crazy
Prince and the Revolution
R & B
Caribbean Queen (No More Love On the Run)
On the Dark Side
John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band
Prince and the Revolution
Martha Wainwright has never shied from musical honesty. She was famously brutal about her relationship with her musician father, Loudon Wainwright III, and has used her relationships and experiences as direct material for her music from the beginning. For her third full disc, 2012’s Come Home to Mama, she had a lot to draw on — a new and turbulent marriage, a premature infant, and the death of…
Today’s song is Reasons for Waiting from Jethro Tull’s transitional second album, Stand Up. After a bluesy debut, co-founder Mick Abrams left the band, leaving Ian Anderson as the group’s primary creative force. Anderson recruited the profoundly talented Martin Barre to fill the lead guitar slot; the pair have been the only constants in over 40 years of eclectic, progressive rock.
Today’s song is Bargesby Ralph McTell. Born Ralph May in 1944, he was named for composer and musicologist Ralph Vaughan Williams, whose gardens his father had tended before WWII. He developed a love of music as a child as well as a keen sense of observation and storytelling. Inspired by the work of American blues greats, he adopted Blind Willie McTell’s surname and began busking and working with…
Today’s song is A Blind Step Away by (John) French, (Fred) Frith, (Henry) Kaiser, (Richard) Thompson. These four innovative, collaborative musicians pooled their diverse talents simultaneously challenging one another and creating a wonderful middle ground in the universe of their broad — sometimes eccentric — tastes.