Ric Ocasek was a legend. As a songwriter, his pop melodies were among the best. The way he blended alternative ideas with timeless power pop sensibilities marked him out as not only a great songwriter, but a master arranger. The very fact that tunes like ‘My Best Friend’s Girl’ and ‘It’s Candy-O’ became fixtures on oldies radio stations despite carrying the kind of vocal that was…quirky, to say the least, speaks volumes about his talent.
The Tedeschi Trucks Band are known for their great live performances. Epic sets where – in the time honoured Grateful Dead and Allman Brothers traditions – anything can happen. Many of their previous live shows have been shared by fans, but few match the grandness of their set a couple of nights ago at the LOCKN’ Festival.
When most people think of Dr. John, first, they’ll think of his 1968 album ‘Gris Gris’ – a groundbreaking work melding voodoo blues, deep psychedelia and a touch of New Orleans jazz – or his popular ‘Right Place, Wrong Time’ single which showed a love of funk that fit the early 70s perfectly. Maybe they’ll think about his appearance at The Band’s Last Waltz, where he was invited to sing ‘Such A Night’, captured on celluloid for future generations to discover.
Van Morrison is a legend. Not only that, but he’s a prolific legend.
Between launching his solo career in 1967 and May 2018, he’s recorded a staggering 39 studio albums. The last five of those have been released within a three year stretch.
While so many people are keen to view Van’s 70s work as the golden age, some of his later works are every bit as good as those famous early releases. 2012’s ‘Born To Sing: No Plan B’ and 2017’s ‘Roll With The Punches’ in particular find Morrison in particularly good voice, backed by a lot of blues based material. Both are albums that far outshine anything any of Van’s potential peers – Dylan, Neil Young, Clapton – could muster during their twilight years.