(George Benson – Take 5)
Been a long time coming but after 8 months of trials and tribulations it feels like themusicologist is back in the saddle. To be honest there have been times over the past few months when I’ve asked myself whether I should continue to invest so much time and effort in the brave new world of the hyper-real as the ‘return on investment’ is almost impossible to quantify but as the months have rolled by and this new chapter in the book of life gets written I realise how essential it is, (for me at least), to have a soundtrack as well as how much the world is changing in relation to investment. As far as I can see the only life worth living is the one you want to live and not the one forced apoun us by fear, capitalism and politricks. I live and breathe music, (always have), and without it existence would be half of what it is..communication would be even more of a struggle and the continuing and ever more valuable dialogue I find myself engaging in would feel more like a monologue.
Music facilitates learning as it challenges the I to participate and question rather than just observe and obey whereas chasing financial success at the expense of all else is a fools quest..Something I have learnt along the way is that money ain’t worth the paper it’s printed on and the pursuit of it may leave you cold, bitter and empty whereas the pursuit of success as a human being opens up the possibilities to express your self and through that connect with others who are also crawling, walking or running along the road to freedom. I say fuck the money and let’s explore the love.
Today’s cut from master Guitarist George Benson, (a Cat who begun his career at the age of EIGHT playing in an unlicensed nightclub), says it all in two words.
Selected from his 1974 set ‘Bad Benson’
(Bettye Lavette – Easier To Say Than Do)
What is Soul? have I asked this question before? can’t remember and to be honest I don’t think I’ll go back over the last 494 diary entries to satisfy my curiousity ! all I can say is that for me Soul communicates with my emotions in ways that only music seems to be able to. I enjoy looking at Art and reading it too but there’s something about listening to it that has a transcendent quality that words can’t describe..So instead I’ll leave it to the music..
Today’s cut is a first on themusicologist not only for the artist but also for the way in which it was delivered.courtesy of a fellow musicologist who I have had the pleasure to hook up with via the musical diary. The first in a series? of collaborations between themusicologist and audience. Recorded in 1970 for Shelby Singletons SSS International label but not released? BIG label for the Northern Soul Cats this is a fine piece of Soul from a great singer who first recorded at the dawn of Soul in 1962. Probably best known in the Soul community for her Marrow trembling ‘Let Me Down Easy’ .. Still going strong Bettye Lavette is a genuine Soul singer of the highest order.
(Bobby Reed – The Time Is Right For Love)
been waiting almost two years to lay this one down on themusicologist and in true musicology style the ‘time’ has come. One of my all time TOP tunes that never fails to touch me DEEP
“Ooooooh baby, here we are alone at last,
together just the two of us, with no one else in sight….”
(Alton Ellis – Breaking Up)
today’s slice of the communication pie is a 1968 cut credited to Tommy McCook and the Supersonics, (The Treasure Isle musical backbone), with no mention of the singer anywhere on the label. It is, of course, delivered in finest style by the unmistakeable voice of the Godfather of ‘Rock Steady’, Alton Nehemiah Ellis who, as some of you know, passed away this month.
Probably better known for his Studio1 version, this is the one he cut for Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid’s, (The Trojan), musical powerhouse, Treasure Isle. Released on an early, (Orange label), Trojan 45. . such a top ranking early reggae classic that it’s ‘easy’ to pass over due to it’s familiarity but there’s a chance that some of you may not have heard it and more than that the message cuts especially deep for themusicologist at this time so it had to be flung down.
Alton, come in brother man and let the people know what you’re talking about.
“when you turn and you walk through the door…(ahhh ahhh)”
(Billy Bragg – I Keep Faith)
ok..the vibes are beginning to flow. feels a bit like running waist deep through water but they are, at least, on the move. bit of motion on the ocean rather than still waters running too deep.
music connects, we know that and also purifys, nourishing the soul. but in my experience one of its greatest gifts is to inspire. and with that in mind it’s time for a prime slice from inspirational musicologist Billy Bragg.
the second cut from his 2008 set Mr Love & Justice to feature on themusicologist. the other being a critique of ‘Big Pharma’ entitled The Johnny Carcinogenic Show, (musicology #127)
multi faceted dimensions on this cut..but especially going out to all my loved ones….I hope you all know who you are.
(Delilah – Major Lance)
themusicologist is as much about the sharing of knowledge as the music itself. this fling is a fine example of what musicology means to me.
we were at a dear friends daughters second birthday bash, (happy birthday Nova), on Sunday and one of the guests was a beautiful baby girl whose name is this songs title.
of course as themusicologist there was only one thing to do and I enquired as to whether the child and parent were aware of the TOP tune I am about to throw down…as the answer was no I proposed to attach it to an email, (I would consider changing my name to be associated with such a slice of musicology), but this way it gives themusicologist a chance to indulge his passion for this singer, this particular tune and even more importantly the song writer/producer/musical genius whose message has been a constant inspiration throughout my whole life so without further ado .. this ones for you D*****H … from themusicologist.
(Gwen McCrae – Keep The Fire Burning)
this one goes out to the saturday night/sunday morning crew who’s company themusicologist had the absolute pleasure of sharing. special thanks to JP for the kind words regarding this musical diary..it’s what makes it all worthwhile. Not forgetting me bredren, (Reload), and the special woman in my life…
“but as time goes by, things get cold and dry theres no more water in the well,
and there aint no way that two can come together if we stay locked in our shell”
love this piece..