If Only I Could Remember My Name – David Crosby

March 27, 2012

I bought this on its release in February 1971 and ever since it has been on my list of favourite albums.

It was David Crosby’s first solo album, and remains his finest, largely written and wholly recorded in the aftermath of the death, in an automobile accident, of his girlfriend Christine Hinton. It features most of the cream of California musicians of the time, including Phil Lesh, Jerry Garcia and Bill Kreutzman of the Grateful Dead; Paul Kantner, Grace Slick and Jack Cassady from Jefferson Airplane; Carlos Santana and Michael Shreeve of Santana and, of course, Graham Nash and Neil Young.

Reviews at the time were generally unfavourable but that didn’t deter me! At the time I bought anything by CSN&Y.

 The style of the tracks varies but all feature Crosby’s fantastic vocals. Garcia contributes some fine guitar and steel guitar work, particularly on Cowboy Movie and Laughing. 

Tracks: Music Is LoveCowboy MovieTamalpais High (At About 3)LaughingWhat Are Their Names?Traction In The RainSong With No Words (Tree With No Leaves)OrleansI’d Swear There Was Somebody Here

March 2012

March 27, 2012

6 March – I’m not familiar with Laura Marling, despite her being very popular with the media, but my friend has a spare ticket so I agree to go along and see her at the Leeds O2 Academy.
The audience clearly love her but, while she’s not unpleasant, I find her unremarkable. To my ears she sounds too much like other female singers, particular Joni Mitchell, and I feel she needs to forge a more distinctive style.
One  thing she does do with which I agree whole heartedly, she refuses to play an encore. She says they are an affectation and she’s right.

18 March – As our belated Christmas present from Laura and Brian the GLW and I join them to see The Civil Wars at Leeds Metropolitan University. The show has been moved from the original venue The Wardrobe due to ticket demand and with good reason. The place is packed!
Their sound is just their gorgeous harmonies,underpinned by John Paul White’s guitar. They are fine songwriters and perform most of their debut album Barton Hollow. In addition they perform excellent covers of Portishead’s Sour Times, Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, slowed down to a soulful shuffle, and Leonards Cohen’s Dance Me to The End Of Love.
There are echoes of other Americana artists, particularly Chatham County Line, but unlike Laura Marling they bring something of themselves.