My 10 Favorite Guitar Solos

I’m no musician, nor am I a formally trained music historian. I don’t know the history of Rock and Roll, because, frankly, until the turn of the 21st century, I never liked it much. I used to deejay at parties and dances, and if you want to know something about Funk music or Reggae, I’m…

Sorry, Ms. Jackson, but Erykah’s Mom Loved Her Song

More often that people realize, song lyrics aren’t just brief works of fiction. Inspiration is all around us, every day, and songwriters pull from real life to tell their stories and wrap them in musical harmonies. Songstress Erykah Badu, in a recent interview with Rap Radar’s Brian “B.Dot” Miller, disclosed one such story, that of…

Rest in Peace, Rod Temperton

Rod Temperton, songwriter, died this week from cancer at age 66. Temperton, a Brit, became well-known in the 1970s and 1980s for writing huge danceable hits for the likes of Michael Jackson, Heatwave, Kool and the Gang, Quincy Jones, and George Benson. His work often featured romantic lyrics and a smoothed-out R&B and Pop flow.…

Days of Art – Goodnight, Sweet Prince

This year alone, we’ve lost many cherished celebrities, including the likes of David Bowie, Alan Rickman, and now, Prince Rogers Nelson. The question posed, is why? To many of us, it seems they just keep coming. Others would argue that it’s an illusion, but a few statistics that bear this out. The UK’s Daily Telegraph…

Old School Jamz #1: The Chi-Lites

The Chi-Lites were an R&B vocal group out of Chicago, Illinois, that formed in 1959 by Eugene Record, Robert “Squirrel” Lester, Creadel “Red” Jones, Marshall Thompson, and Clarence Johnson. After Johnson left the group in 1964, they shortened their name from Marshall and the Chi-Lites to simply the Chi-Lites. Record was their new lead singer, as…

Days of Art – Joey Alexander

CBS network did a piece on Joey Alexander, a 12-year-old jazz piano prodigy from Bali, Indonesia. If you are a fan of jazz, of music, or of kids, you should check it out. At the very least, take a listen to Joey’s rendition of “Giant Steps.” Still don’t think he’s legit? Well, he recorded his…

Days of Art – #52: Dee-1

“I said, ‘Homey, that’s my mouth.’ He said, ‘Homey, that’s a pistol.’” A quick shout in your direction about Dee-1, a young rapper from New Orleans who burst onto the scene with the song “Jay, 50 & Weezy” wherein he called out Jay-Z, 50 Cent, and Lil Wayne for their lack of positive influence on…

Days of Art – #50: Black Crowes Songs

This little earworm is brought to you by a discussion between Maria and me wherein I happen to mention that I was going to light a candle. For all those who might have thought “Hard to Handle” is a Black Crowes song, here’s the version I grew up with, the original by Otis Redding. It…