To everyone who has been following Benji’s Music Blog, have a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving.
Hello, everyone! How are you doing? I am doing OK considering that this is my first blog entry in a few months.
As I am pretty sure you were, I was shocked to learn about the death of George Michael this past Christmas Day, which wrapped up a terrible year in which we had already lost a lot of hugely talented musicians such as David Bowie, Prince, Glenn Frey, and Dead Or Alive frontman Pete Burns. Sadly, his passing seems to have been prophesied by his holiday classic, Last Christmas, which he wrote and recorded as a member of Wham!
As someone who grew up in North Carolina during the 80’s, my first memory of hearing George was when Wham’s breakthrough hit, Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, was playing on the radio. Little did I know then that this record and its follow-up, Careless Whisper, would lead to a successful solo career after the duo, which also included guitarist Andrew Ridgeley, split up in 1986. From the controversial I Want Your Sex to soulful covers of Sir Elton John’s Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me and Queen’s Somebody To Love, George’s stream of hits continued well into the 90’s despite legal issues and his 1998 outing as a homosexual (as it had been previously rumoured).
I still remain as huge of a fan of George Michael’s music today as I was when his albums Faith and Listen Without Prejudice were on the radio. To close this blog entry, I want to quote a line from Hard Day, a deep cut on Faith, in which he sings, “Would you gimme a break? Somebody gimme a break now!” Sadly, on 25th December 2016, the artist formerly known as Georgios Panayiotou did get his break when he became a casualty of heart failure. Along the other music legends who passed on last year and in the years before, George Michael’s music will continue to live on, to use a lyric from another one of his songs, Mother’s Pride (from Listen Without Prejudice), ’til kingdom come.
Sir Paul McCartney is suing Sony/ATV Music to regain the rights to the songs that he wrote or co-wrote with the Beatles (mostly with the late John Lennon). Let’s hope that the courts say #yeahyeahyeah in his favour!
Prince’s ‘Emancipation’ Marked His Artistic Rebirth – http://wzlx.cbslocal.com/2016/11/20/princes-emancipation-marked-his-artistic-rebirth/
Vince Neil Performing At Donald Trump’s Presidential Inauguration – http://hollywoodlife.com/2016/11/18/vince-neil-performing-donald-trump-inauguration-president/
I wonder if Vince will have the rest of Mötley Crüe with him…
Hello, everyone. I realise that it has been forever since I have last blogged on here, but this past Saturday night, I rolled on doing to R Lo’s Pub & Grub, a bar and grill on Fisher Ferry Street in my hometown of Thomasville, to see one of my musician friends, Phillip Peace, and his band, the PeaceTrain Band, play a show. These guys play an awesome set each time I see them perform, and Saturday night was no exception.
The PeaceTrain Band entertained the audience with original songs like Rollin’ On Down and Hard Times And Harder Liquor along with cover versions of hits by Neil Young, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Collective Soul. The lead vocal duties were shared by Phillip with his husky tenor and lead guitarist Joe Parsons with his warm baritone.
Before their R Lo’s gig, the PeaceTrain Band also performed at a cancer research benefit show in Greensboro for a very special reason –their beautiful and talented keyboardist/flutist Sylvia McNeill is a cancer survivor whose strength and courage, I’m pretty sure, is inspiring others. Unfortunately, I am driven to add that cancer has affected my family in a more negative matter because both my sister and my mother has different forms of cancer before they passed away. This disease affects more than just the people who have it but also their families, friends, and others in their social inner circles. Be sure to get checked regularly, eat more healthy meals, and exercise regularly to reduce your risk of getting cancer.
If you have not heard the PeaceTrain Band or seen them perform yet, search for them on Google or Bing and check them out. They rock! Also, check out Phillip’s other band, White Light, and their brand of acoustic rock augmented with the best three-part harmony in the business.
Phillip — rhythm guitar, harmonica, and vocals
Joe — lead guitar, mandolin, ukulele, and vocals
Sylvia — keyboard, flute, and vocals
Ben — drums
Eversince I played at my first open mic night 13 years ago, I have met a lot of other fine musicians, and almost none has been as wonderfully talented as the beautiful Kristen Leigh. During the open mic nights at the Flatiron in Greensboro, NC, I was among the many who have witnessed her plaintive guitar work, on-point songwriting, and unique mezzo soprano voice. Her folksy musical style is reminiscent of the Beatles, Sarah McLachlan, and Joni Mitchell. Click on the link below to check out her music.
How Can You Mend A Broken Heart is one of my favourite #BeeGees records, but I first became familiar with it when I first heard the Rev. #AlGreen’s version when I was a kid in the early 80s. Both versions are equally extraordinary as this song remains one of the Gibb Brothers’ finest masterpieces ever.
August 1971 – How Can You Mend a Broken Heart by The Bee Gees – http://wp.me/p6bCmL-17u