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All About That Bass – Great Bass Guitar Pop & Rock Songs

Megan Trainor got it right in more ways than one with her double entendre singing the title song of my playlist “All About That Bass.”  The upright bass prominently drives the song and lyrics forward with “no treble.”

I do love this cover of the song by Postmodern Jukebox as well:

One of the most iconic bass riff in a song is Pink Floyd’s Money.  From a band whose songs are typically dominated by guitar and ethereal electronics, the song marches forward to the beat of the wandering bass.

The songs earlier on the list, similar to some wines being fruit forward, think Shiraz, Zinfandel, or Amarone, are bass forward, think Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust” and “Under Pressure,” The Beatles “Come Together,” Lou Reed’s “Walk On The Wild Side,” The Temptations “My Girl,” Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me,” Otis Redding’s “Dock Of The Bay,” and perhaps the most bass forward song Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish.”  While I like this live video of Stevie, as it keys in on the bassist:

I also just love this video as a snapshot of R&B/Soul music in the 70s:

For many of these songs, the bass line often comes to mind before the melody or lyrics.

Some songs are more subtle and balanced, with bass being a steady driver of the song momentum, but not containing a standout bass intro or solo.  Some of my favorites include The Doors “Peace Frog,” Yes “Roundabout” – check out this concert footage, such a great bass line, and so much going on musically, with amazing electric guitar, keyboards, and vocals as well – classic prog rock at its best:

Also The Blues Brothers “Soul Man,” Dobie Gray “Drift Away,” Rush “Digital Man,” Led Zeppelin’s “What Is and What Should Never Be,” the last a great example of the bass moving the song along, as often is the case with more bluesy songs:

Other songs have memorable solos, such as Fleetwood Mac’s solo (at 3:04).  Perhaps among the most surprising, amazing, complex bass solos is from the oft underappreciated member of one of the greatest bands of all time, Led Zeppelin.  Playing bass in the shadows of the best guitarist and drummer of his era in Jimmy Page and John Bonham, John Paul Jones filled in the gaps with solid bass, keyboard, and whatever else needed to be done to fill their sound.  But in this song, I think Page and Bonham were tripping on some new drugs, and Jones seized the opportunity to sneak in among the most amazing bass solos ever.  Check out Zep’s music bible version of the Gospel according to John 1:27, that is 1 minute and 27 seconds into the playlist song – focus on his sprinting bass work underlying Page’s guitar licks, or on this live version check it out around 2:19 in:

A song with a more subtle but beautiful, integral bass line is perhaps one of the finest, well balanced songs ever recorded, Van Morrison’s “Moondance.”  It appears on several of my playlists featuring exceptional instrumentation, including its piano, flute, saxophone, and bass work.  Just spectacular.

Paul McCartney, usually remembered primarily for his being half of one of the greatest songwriting duos of all time alongside John Lennon with the Beatles, also produced some memorable bass lines, in addition to the Beatles’ “Come Together,” Wings’ “Silly Love Songs” and one of the coolest bass intros to a song, from the movie Give My Regards To Broadstreet “No More Lonely Nights.”

The bass lines of some songs seem to lend themselves to a second life. Led Zeppelin’s bass line from the 1969 release “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” appears in Chicago’s 1970 release “25 or 6 to 4.” Vanilla Ice’s rip-off of Queen’s “Under Pressure” with “Ice Ice Baby.” And Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” reworks the bass riff for Chic’s “Good Times.”

And some bands became noted for their bassist and prominent bass presence in their music:  Geddy Lee of Rush, Chris Squire of Yes, Adam Clayton of U2, Flea (Michael Peter Balzary) of Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Sting of The Police.

The Doobie Brothers had some great bass work in their music.  Some memorable songs include “Takin’ It To The Streets,” “Long Train Runnin’,” “Minute By Minute,” and What A Fool Believes.”

Then there were some very prominent session bassists, including Chuck Rainey, who did some regular work with Steely Dan:

He also provided rhythm for the likes of Jackson Brown, Marvin Gaye, Frankie Valli, Smokey Robinson, The Young Rascals, Joe Cocker, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Minnie Riperton, Rickie Lee Jones, and Roberta Flack.  His bass contributions span from Steely Dan to Quincy Jones on the playlist.  Perhaps my favorite Chuck Rainey intro is with Rickie Lee Jones in “Woody And Dutch On The Slow Train To Peking.”  And some of my Steely Dan faves include “Hey Nineteen,” “Aja,” “Josie,” “Peg,” “Kid Charlemagne,” and “Any Major Dude”.  And who knew he provided the delicate bass to complement Joe Cocker’s tender vocals along with beautiful piano and keyboards in “You Are So Beautiful.”

And if Chuck Rainey was among the most prolific bassists, Pino Palladino was like a god walking among mere mortals.  Master of the fretless bass, he could be heard backing such an eclectic group of artists, including Paul Young, Don Henley, David Gilmour, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Melissa Etheridge, Michael McDonald, B.B. King, Tina Turner, Edie Brickell, Charlotte Church, John Mayer, The Who, Amos Lee, Adele, Nine Inch Nails, Keith Urban, Jason Aldean, John Legend, Josh Groban, Ed Sheeran, and Harry Styles.

Sting also champions the fretless bass, as well as the upright bass.  Listen to the selections with The Police and solo.  One song and bass line I just love is “Shape Of My Heart.”  Check out this bass cover playing along with Sting:

Other songs and artists featuring fretless bass beyond Pino and Sting’s work include Jeff Ament’s work with Pearl Jam, many Bad Company offerings, the Rolling Stone’s “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Tumbling Dice,” Pink Floyd’s “Hey You,” Paul Simon’s “The Boy In The Bubble,” “Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer,” Alana Myles’ “Black Velvet,”

Hootie & The Blowfish’s “Let Her Cry,”

Blues Traveler’s “Run-Around,” Ozzy Osbourne’s “Mama I’m Coming Home,” and Eric Clapton’s “Tears In Heaven.” 

Navigating the end of the playlist, songs from The Police collection and Sting to Eric Clapton “Tears In Heaven” feature fretless bass.  And from Paul Young up to Jaco Pastorius feature more fretless bass all from Pino Palladino.  And the last 2 selections are by Jaco, one of the most accomplished jazz bassists who I felt worth a quick listen.  However, I did not include jazz, blues, or country as a whole in the playlist, which is eternally long enough as it is at just a little over 24 hours, a full day’s worth of music.

When listening to the playlist, which obviously will need to be in sessions due to its length, try to focus more on listening to the backing bass, rather than our typical attraction to the melody or lead guitar.  It will open up new horizons in appreciating this music.  I also separated out a few bass sub-playlists, including bass heroes (such as Geddy Lee, Sting, John Paul Jones, Adam Clayton, as well as the Doobies, Steely Dan, Donald Fagan, and KC & The Sunshine Band being represented), as well as more extensive Chuck Rainey and Pino Palladino playlists for those interested.

All About That Bass:

Bass Heroes:

Chuck Rainey:

Pino Palladino:

I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew.  Rediscover the passion of music in your life.

Live in the moment.

Enjoy the moment.

Love the moment.

Listen to the MUSIC!

It’s all about that BASS!

God’s Playlist

When I was involved in youth ministry, we used to talk about “God sightings,” something that happened during the day that made us acutely aware of God in our life.  Well today was a pretty big God sighting.  There have been lots of recent happenings in my family that have created stress and change, with my nephew being in a serious car accident, still working on his recovery, and my uncle recently passing away.

So on my way into work today, heading to Hilton Head Island to round on babies at the hospital, I forgot to open Spotify as I usually do to stream music, often one of my hundreds of playlists, or an artist I really like.  When I forget to do so, my car somehow randomly streams music from my phone, without Spotify or iTunes being open, and not songs that are even on my old iTunes account, downloaded on my phone, or ever played on Spotify.  Usually they are random pop or rock songs, many I’ve never heard before from artists I am unaware of.  I usually quickly open Spotify to rectify my error and listen to something I want.

But today, when the first song, “You Already Know,” started playing, I really liked it, actually listened to it twice it was so good, and spoke to me.  I wasn’t sure if the artist was singing about her boyfriend or God, though on the second listen I felt it was the latter.  The next song, “My God Is Still The Same” was a song I was unfamiliar with as well, but by an artist I knew at least, the Christian band Scantus Real.  I listened to that one twice as well, as it really hit home.  As the next dozen or so songs unfolded, they more and more pierced by soul, touching me spiritually in a way music hasn’t in a long time.  Who was the DJ of this profound, amazing playlist?  How were these songs being chosen just for me, crafting such a meaningful collection of music that I felt I was being called to share with my family, many of whom are grieving and struggling.  I think God was in control of my phone, streaming to me from Heaven.  Many would say it’s just some AI, offering me songs that I like, but many of the songs and artists I had never heard of before, though a few I have listened to with some regularity.  But why all Christian music this morning, when my phone has never randomly streamed such music to me before?

If that isn’t proof enough about God’s profound presence in my life today, while eating dinner, I swore I could hear music softly being played in the background, but I checked my phone, and no music apps were open, and no music was emanating from its speaker.  I continued to eat, and realized there it definitely music playing, and it sounded like Matt Redman’s “You Never Let Go.”  As I hunted around our first floor I realized it was coming from the screen porch.  Upon opening the slider, I could clearly hear strains of the refrain:

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

You Never let go – matt redman

It was streaming through my Google speaker on the porch, yet I had no device streaming to the speaker.  I had to kindly say “Hey Google, stop playing music.”  I’m not making this up.  God was speaking loud and clear.

So some of the lyrics of the songs:

Whatever I’m feeling
Whatever is coming
Whenever the ending
You’re already there
You go before me
You go behind me
Wherever I’m going
You’re already there

You already know
You already know
Everything I’m scared of
Everything I hope
You hold my tomorrow
And all tomorrow holds
You already know

You Already Know – JJ Heller

Just ask the words
You prayed in desperation if they’re heard
They’ll say my God is still the same
Ask the grave
If it’s strong enough to keep hope in it’s chains
It’ll say, “God is still the same”

When did He break His promise?
When did His kindness fail?
Never has, never will
My God is still the same
When did He lose His power?
When did His mercy change?
Never has, never will
My God is still the same, yeah

My God Is Still The Same – Sanctus Real

They say it only takes a little faith
To move a mountain
Well good thing
A little faith is all I have, right now
But God, when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Oh give me the strength to be able to sing
It is well with my soul…

I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow, I know the hurt
Would all go away if You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

Even If – Mercy Me

I wanna tell the world out there
You’re not some fable or fairy tale
That I’ve made up inside my head
You’re God the Son and You’ve risen from the dead

Well I wanna thank you know
For being patient with me
Oh it’s so hard to see
When my eyes are on me
I guess I’ll have to trust
And just believe what You say
Oh you’re coming again
Coming to take me away

I wanna die and let You give
Your life to me so I might live
And share the hope You gave me
The love that set me free

Make My Life A Prayer To You – Keith Green

And you’ve got the gift of mercy
Don’t ever think it’s strange
Not a curse, but it is a blessing to feel other people’s pain
And always love without condition
And trust with all your heart
There’s healing in the story of your scars

Well, it’s been awhile
Since you’ve been gone
And sometimes I still catch myself trying to call your phone
All the hopes and dreams we used to talk about
They’re still alive in me and I just hope I make you proud
Now I’m your legacy
And it’s your love still holding me together
And I still hear you say

It’s ok to cry
It’s ok to fall apart
You don’t have to try
To be strong when you are not
And it may take sometime to make sense of all your thoughts
But don’t ever fight your tears
‘Cause there is freedom in every drop
Sometimes the only way to heal a broken heart is when we fall apart
Yeah, yeah, it’s okay to fall apart
Sometimes the only way to heal a broken heart is when we fall apart

When We Fall Apart – Ryan Stevenson

Ooh, truth was crashing through the pride and the blame
Cutting straight to the heart of me
Ooh, long before I ever called Your name
You were fighting for my victory
Carved in Your flesh and bone
The wounds that have said my soul’s forgiven
Oh, now I can feel the darkness trembling

All of my fears like Jericho walls
Gotta come down, come down
All of my fears like Jericho walls
Gotta come down, come down, oh Lord
my prison turns to ruin
When Your love moves in
All of my fears like Jericho walls
Gotta come down, come down, come down

Rebuild me from the ground up
All I wanna see is You

Jericho – Andrew Ripp

You’ve been searching, carrying burdens
If you’ve been lost and looking for a home
If you’ve been drifting and something is missing
You should know that you are not alone, hey

Brothers, sisters, come on down to that river
Guaranteed you’ll never be the same
There’s a fountain flowing from the heart of the Savior
Bring your sins and all your guilty stains
Let that river of life wash it all away

River of life – mac powell

And there’s a kind of thing that just breaks a man
Break him down to his knees (oh, yeah, Lord)
God, I’ve been broken more than a time or two, yes, Lord
Then He picked me up (picked me up)
And showed me what it means to be a man
Come on and sing

All my hope is in Jesus
Thank God my yesterday’s gone

All my hope – crowder

The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want
He makes me lie down in green pastures
He leads me beside the still waters
He restoreth my soul
And guides my path in righteousness
For His name’s sake

Surely goodness and loving kindness
Shall follow me all the days of my life
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever and ever and ever

Though I walk through the valley
Of the shadow of death
I will not fear, thou art with me
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me

Thou preparest a table
Before me in the presence of my enemies

Thou anointest my head with oil
My cup’s overflowing

Surely goodness and loving kindness
Shall follow me all the days of my life
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever and ever and ever

The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want

The Lord Is My Shepherd – Keith Green

God’s playlist:

To paraphrase my usual closing:

I hope that this music, these lyrics and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to Faith.  Rediscover the passion of God in your life. I saw God today in the melody and message of beautiful music.  God is good.

Live in the moment.

Enjoy the moment.

Love the moment.

Listen to GOD!

Healing Begins – Songs of Hope, Comfort & Healing

What are we to do when tragedy befalls us, and one close to us is struggling for their life? Or what do we do when we are confronted with a life-changing diagnosis, illness, or injury? Who do we turn to? How do we find comfort, peace, and encouragement?

I hope this blog post will serve as just that, with words and music of encouragement for my youngest nephew who is battling to reclaim his life after a severe accident, and for his family, who is trying to stay strong for him and each other, to deal with the day to day demands of his health condition, as well as the mental anguish and heavy hearts. I hope they all may use the music to help heal their hearts, unburden their souls, lift their spirits, and encourage their son/brother to fight the good fight and battle back to health and happiness.

While I have used the following video clip from the Netflix Marvel Comics show “Daredevil” in a previous blog, a tribute to my brother, the youngest of 3 Storo boys befalling a tragedy, it seems appropriate here too. “God’s Plan is like a beautiful tapestry. And the tragedy of being human is we only get to see it from the back, with all the ragged threads and the muddy colors. We only get a hint at the true beauty of what would be revealed if we could see the whole pattern on the other side as God does.”

And God has offered words of comfort and encouragement in His Holy Scriptures, which often serve as the them of most of the songs included in the playlist.

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish now what is being done, the saving of many lives.

genesis 50:20

This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: ‘I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will help you.’

2 Kings 20:5

‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. ‘

jeremiah 29:11

‘But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the Lord.

jeremiah 30:17

In the morning when I rise
Give me Jesus

Give me Jesus
Oh Give me Jesus
You can have all this world
Oh give me Jesus


I speak the name of Jesus over you
In your hurting, in your sorrow
I will ask my God to move
I speak the name ’cause it’s all that I can do
In desperation, I’ll seek Heaven
And pray this for you

I speak the name of all authority
Declaring blessings, every promise
He is faithful to keep
I speak the name no grave could ever hold
He is greater, He is stronger
He’s the God of possible

I pray for your healing
That circumstances would change
I pray that the fear inside would flee in Jesus name
I pray that a breakthrough would happen today
I pray miracles over your life in Jesus name
In Jesus name

In Jesus Name (God of Possible) – Katy Nichols

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

When friends betray us
And when darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It’s not our home

‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if the thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?

Blessings – Laura Story

Peace, be still
Calm this soul
I need You here now
Restore my hope
I confess, I’ve been afraid
Remind my heart, Lord
Increase my faith

So I will run into the waves
As courage comes to take fear’s place
With perfect love, perfect love

O, what can take away
My hallelujah
No darkness can contain
My hallelujah
Your cross has made the way
For my hallelujah
My hallelujah

My Hallelujah – Bryan & Katie Torwalt

I believe You’re my healer
I believe You are all I need
I believe

And I believe You’re my portion
I believe You’re more than enough for me
Jesus You’re all I need

You hold my very moment
You calm my raging seas
You walk with me through fire
And heal all my disease

I trust in You, Lord I trust in You

Healer – Kari Jobe

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you’re broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark

Healing Beings – Tenth Avenue North

Healing is here healing is here
Healing is here and I receive it
Healing is here healing is here
Healing is here and I believe it

I reach my hands to the heavens
I lift my eyes where my help comes from
I look to You my rock my healer
I trust in You

Freedom is here freedom is here
Freedom is here and I receive it
Freedom is here freedom is here
Freedom is here and I believe it

Sickness can’t stay any longer
Your perfect love is casting out fear
You are the God of all power
And it is Your will that my life is healed

Healing Is Here – Deluge

Every anxious thought that steals my breath
It’s a heavy weight upon my chest
As I lie awake and wonder what the future will hold
Help me to remember that You’re in control

I will lift my eyes, I will lift my cares
Lay them in Your hands, I’ll leave them there
When the wind and waves are coming, You shelter me
Even though I’m in the storm, the storm is not in me

You’re my courage when I worry in the dead of night
You’re my strength ’cause I’m not strong enough
to win this fight
You are greater than the battle raging in my mind
I will trust You Lord, I will fear no more

I Will Fear No More – The Afters

Let faith arise
In spite of what I see
Lord, I believe
But help my unbelief
I choose to trust You
No matter what I feel
Let faith arise

Let faith arise
For my Champion’s not dead
He is alive
Oh, and He already knows
My every need
Surely He will come and rescue me

God of miracles come
We need Your supernatural love
To break through
Nothing’s impossible
You’re the God of miracles

Let faith arise
And see the Kingdom come
I lift my eyes
Oh, for the battle has been won
My God is faithful
Oh, and every single word He said is true
This world is shaking

But You cannot be shaken
My heart is breaking
But I’m not broken yet
Your love is fearless
Help me to be courageous too
Oh, there is nothing impossible

God of Miracles – Chris McClarney

Oh, my soul
Oh, how you worry
Oh, how you’re weary, from fearing you lost control
This was the one thing, you didn’t see coming
And no one would blame you, though
If you cried in private
If you tried to hide it away, so no one knows
No one will see, if you stop believing

Oh, my soul
You are not alone
There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know
One more day, He will make a way
Let Him show you how, you can lay this down
‘Cause you’re not alone

Oh My Soul – Casting Crowns

Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet
Every moment of my wandering
Never changes what You see
I’ve tried to win this war, I confess
My hands are weary, I need Your rest
Mighty warrior, King of the fight
No matter what I face, You’re by my side

Truth is, You know what tomorrow brings
There’s not a day ahead You have not seen
So in all things be my life and breath
I want what You want, Lord, and nothing less

You are my strength and comfort
You are my steady hand
You are my firm foundation
The rock on which I stand
Your ways are always higher
Your plans are always good
There’s not a place where I’ll go
You’ve not already stood

When You don’t move the mountains
I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers
As I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust
I will trust in You

Trust In You – Lauren Daigle

He came to walk in truth and grace
Man of sorrows entered all our pain
On the cross, He took our place
Then He rose up out of the grave

Whether I’m in want or plenty
Whether I’m in health or ill
Our God promises His children
He will, He will

He’ll bind up the brokenhearted
Oh He will, oh He will
He’ll set captives free from darkness
So He will, oh He will
He’ll breathe hope into the hopeless
Help a restless soul be still
Oh oh, oh oh
He will, He will!

He Will – Ellie Holcomb

If I let go of it all
I need You to break my fall
Like a faithful child
I’m calling out to You
I’m reaching out for You

I’m giving up, I’m letting go
‘Cause I need You to take control
I’m giving up, I’m letting go
I’m trusting You with all my soul

With All My Soul – Jaci Velasquez

Life can take our breath away
Tragedy can leave a wake
A broken heart won’t ever beat the same
Pain can stop us in our tracks
Losing what we can’t get back
Shaking the foundations of our faith

No matter what’s in my way
No matter the battles I face

The questions keep us in the fight
The answer’s never black or white
We may not know until the other side
But even in this in-between
We fix our eyes on what’s unseen
The shadows never overcome the light

No matter what’s in my way
I know that You won’t ever change

You’re still my hope
You’re still my peace
You’re still my joy
You’re all I need
You’re still my strength
When I am weak
You’re still my God
I still believe

You are still my God
You’re still my rock
My only hope Lord, You’re all I’ve got
In every valley or mountaintop
I’ll say hallelujah
You’re still my God

Amadeo (Still My God) – Ryan Stevenson

The name of Jesus is a refuge
A shelter from the storm, a help to those who call
The name of Jesus is a fortress
A saving place to run, a hope unshakable

When we fall You are the Savior,
when we call You are the answer
There is power in Your name,
there is power in Your name

In the name of Jesus
There is life and healing
Chains are broken in Your name
Every knee will bow down and our hearts will cry out
Songs of freedom in Your name, oh, in Your name

Bring salvation, bring Your Kingdom
Let all that You have made bring glory to Your name
When we fall you are the Savior,
when we call You are the answer
There is power in Your name, there is power in Your name

The Name of Jesus – Chris Tomlin

In Your light, I find the pieces, every missing part
And hope is found in hopeless places, everywhere You are
Take my hand and lead me forward, forward to the start

‘Cause I need You, I need You
It only takes a moment
For You to fix what’s broken in me
I need You

Only Takes a Moment – Cory Asbury

I call, You hear me 
I’ve lost it all 
And it’s more than I can bear 
I feel so empty

You’re strong 
I’m weary 
I’m holdin’ on 
But I feel like givin’ in 
But still You’re with me 

I know I’m broken 
But You alone 
Can mend this heart of mine 
You’re always with me

And even though I feel so lonely 
Like I’ve never been before 
You never said it would be easy 
But You said you’d see me through 
The storm

And even though I’m walkin’ through 
The valley of the shadow 
I will hold tight to the hand of Him 
Whose love will comfort me 
And when all hope is gone 
And I’ve been wounded in the battle 
He is all the strength that I will 
Ever need 
And He will carry me

He Will Carry Me – Mark Schultz

Don’t you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining

It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard
Impossible is not a word
It’s just a reason for someone not to try
Everybody’s scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
But it’ll be alright

Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing

Overcome the odds
When you don’t have a chance
(That’s what faith can do)
When the world says you can’t
It’ll tell you that you can

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

What Faith Can Do – Kutless

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path 
When I feel afraid
Think I’ve lost my way
Still you’re there right beside me
And nothing will I fear
As long as you are near
Please be near me to the end

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path

Thy word – amy grant

The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want
He makes me lie down in green pastures
He leads me beside the still waters
He restoreth my soul
And guides my path in righteousness
For His name’s sake

Surely goodness and loving kindness
Shall follow me all the days of my life
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever and ever and ever

Though I walk through the valley
Of the shadow of death
I will not fear, thou art with me
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me
Thou preparest a table
Before me in the presence of my enemies

Thou anointest my head with oil
My cup’s overflowing

Surely goodness and loving kindness
Shall follow me all the days of my life
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever and ever and ever

The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want

The Lord Is My Shepherd – Keith Green

Even though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle
of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back
I know You are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

You Never Let Go – Matt Redman

So take me as You find me
All my fears and failures
Fill my life again
I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in
And now I surrender (I surrender)

Savior, He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Forever, author of Salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

Mighty To Save – Jeremy Camp

There is strength within the sorrow
There is beauty in our tears
And you meet us in our mourning
With a love that cast out fear
You are working in our waiting
You’re sanctifying us
When beyond our understanding
You’re teaching us to trust

You are wisdom unimagined
Who could understand your ways
Reigning high above the heavens
Reaching down in endless grace
You’re the lifter of the lowly
Compassionate and kind
You surround and you uphold me
And your promises are my delight

Your plans are still to prosper
You have not forgotten us
You’re with us in the fire and the flood
You’re faithful forever
Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us

Sovereign Over Us – Michael W. Smith

When I am alone
Oh, when I am alone
And when I am alone
Give me Jesus

Give me Jesus, give me Jesus
Give me Jesus, ‘cause it’s all I need, give me Jesus

Give me jesus – jeremy camp

My heart goes out to my nephew along with his siblings, my brother, sister-in-law, and my mom, and to all those affected by this tragedy. Our family has known tragedy over the years, including the untimely deaths of my father and brother (included in tributes in previous blogs). I hope and pray for the healing of mind, body, heart and soul of my nephew; for encouragement of his long road back to life, love, joy, and happiness; and for strength and encouragement for his family to similarly return to life, love, joy and happiness. It is what God has promised us. We trust in Him and rest in His loving arms amidst tears and sadness as we look to the light.

All About SOUL – Soul Songs

All Soul’s Day, also known as the Day of the Dead, observed on November 2nd by Roman Catholics and other Christian denominations, is a day of prayer and remembrance for the faithful departed.  Tradition to remember deceased relatives and friends often center on prayers, alms, and visits to cemeteries.

It follows the Eve of All Saints Day/Halloween on October 31st and All Saints Day on November 1st.  The English word “Halloween” is a Scottish derivation of “All Hallow’s Eve”, contracted to “Hallow-e’en”, with “even” the Scot term for “eve” or evening, shortened to “e’en.”

In addition to the Christian origins of the holiday, significant influence by Celtic harvest festivals, in particular the Gaelic festival Samhain, with pagan roots. The holiday progressed toward its more common customs and appearance in the US with the arrival of Irish and Scottish immigrants in the 19th century.  Traditions from all of these sources have included dressing in black, dressing in costumes, visiting and remembering the dead, jack-o-lanterns to frighten off evil spirits, imagery of ghosts, ghouls, and other spooks, as well as traveling for treats, and eventually tricks.

Thus souls figure prominent on both Halloween October 31st, and All Souls Day November 2nd.  Today’s playlist “All About SOUL” is a tribute to songs featuring Soul in their title.  Some great songs include Billy Joel’s playlist titles song, as  “Soul Man,” “Soul Kitchen,” “Soul Provider,” “Soul Cages,” “Hey, Soul Sister,” “Beautiful Soul,” “Satisfy My Soul,” and “Heart And Soul,” of which there are several unique songs, including the Contours/Jan & Dean, Huey Lewis, T’Pau’s.  And Arthur Conley’s “Sweet Soul Music” references several artists on the list, including Lou Rawls, Sam & Dave, Wilson Pickett, and James Brown.

Watching this performance of Billy Joel’s “All About Soul” I am reminded what a great live performer he is. Not even at the piano on this song, he still can hold an audience and entertain – so great!

From SNL, the Blues Brothers with their version of Sam & Dave’s “Soul Man.” Rewatching this performance I continue to be amazed by their talent and stage presence. They weren’t just actors, but talented musicians and performers. Its a shame John Belushi passed so young.

Huey Lewis might be one of my musical heroes, in that he scored a perfect 800 on his math SATs, hitchhiked from San Francisco to NYC, stowed away on a plane to Scotland, became an accomplished blues player in Madrid, where he busked to earn enough money to purchase a flight back to the states, where he enrolled at Cornell University. He subsequently dropped out his junior year to pursue music, made several album appearance playing harmonica, with the likes of Thin Lizzy, Nick Lowe, and Dave Edmunds, on his way to becoming a pop success in the mid-80s. Here he is with one of his three top 10 hits (along with “I Want A New Drug,” “The Heart of Rock & Roll,” and “If This Is It”) “Heart And Soul”:

Soul Train aired for 35 years, from 1971 to 2006, featuring performances by R&B, soul, and hip hop artists. Dancers were sometimes stars, or sometimes became stars, including over the years Rosie Perez, Carmen Electra, Nick Cannon, Vivica Fox, Jody Watley, Pebbles, MC Hammer, And Walter Payton. The theme song evolved and changed over the years, but was always an entertainment spectacle:

“Soul Provider” – Michael Bolton was so popular in the late ’80s:

“Hey, Soul Sister,” one of my two favorite Train songs, along with “Drops of Jupiter” – so good:

And now for the playlist. I think it will speak to your soul 😉

I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew.  Rediscover the passion of music in your life.

Live in the moment.

Enjoy the moment.

Love the moment. 

Listen to the Music!

Alive And Kicking & 1-2-3 – Not Just One Hit Wonders

Two weeks ago I blogged on One Hit Wonders, and promised to try to rectify the wrongs done to artists on the list wrongfully accused.   The most egregious offenses were against Blind Faith, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Simple Minds, and the Grateful Dead.  In defense of those categorizing such memorable bands with the ignominy of One Hit Wonders is these acts often only had one song to peak high on the charts.  But charting doesn’t always capture the popularity of a band and their releases, with many other quality, well known songs being a part of the fabric of their generation.  For instance, while the Dead’s only hit song on the charts was “Hell In A Bucket” most music listeners in the ‘70s and ‘80s even if not Dead fans know “Friend Of The Devil,” “Casey Jones,” “Ripple”, “Truckin’,” “Shakedown Street,” “Fire On The Mountain,” and “Uncle John’s Band.”  And while Simple Minds was responsible for one of the true anthems of the ‘80s with “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” they also had well known quality songs in “Sanctify Yourself” and “Alive And Kicking,” the latter of which provides the title of the playlist, as these bands didn’t roll over and play dead, but were very alive and kicking

Also included on this new Alive And Kicking playlist that had been previously featured among One Hit Wonder bands on my playlist Video Killed The Radio Star are the likes of Survivor, Shannon, General Public, A-ha, Dead Or Allive, Scandal, Cutting Crew, and even Tone-Loc.

These artists who often had 2 or 3 or more quality offerings inspired a follow-up playlist of bands who were Two and sometimes Three Hit Wonders.  These bands were primarily known for 2 or 3 songs that were hugely successful, with a very significant drop-off in popularity of their other releases.  That doesn’t always mean they didn’t have other quality songs, but often just that such songs were less well known to the general music listening unless big fans of the band.  The playlist is titled “123 – Two (and Three) Hit Wonders” borrowing its name from the Len Barry 1966 song “1 2 3,” with the band’s only other song of significance “Like A Baby.”  Other Two Hit Wonder bands featured include Steppenwolf, Gerry Rafferty, 10cc, Orleans, The Motels, The Romantics, Golden Earring, Power Station, Naked Eyes, Mr. Mister, Crowded House, John Secada, Blues Traveler, Toad The Wet Sprocket, Dido, Five For Fighting, Neon Trees, Owl City and even LMFAO as well as many others. 

Three Hit Wonder greats include The Zombies, The Spencer Davis Group, Argent, Kansas, Don McLean, Seals & Croft, Blue Oyster Cult, Steve Perry, Asia, A Flock Of Seagulls, UB40, Tears For Fears, Rick Astley, Spin Doctors, The Fray, Train, and Plain White T’s, among others.  Steve Perry, Tears For Fears, Train, and Plain White T’s are examples of acts who undoubtedly had several other great songs, but not near attaining the popularity of the 3 songs that achieved such success, airplay, and popularity.  Many of you will likely argue how many songs that you love by such artists aren’t included, and thus they are, similar to my One Hit Wonders listed above, falsely accused.  But there’s no denying how popular the listed songs were, and it makes for a fun playlist and great fodder for argument and discussion.

If you are fans of music of the ‘70s and ‘80s, I trust you will thoroughly enjoy the music, if not be frustrated by some of the songs not included.  But that’s the great part about such playlists – they can be a springboard to inspire further listening of other songs, artists, and albums from the past.

I thought I’d do such a wandering, inspired by the playlist, to highlight one of my favorite keyboardists, Steve Winwood, who is featured in these playlists as a member of The Spencer Davis Group and Blind Faith.  In addition to my first concert artist Billy Joel, and another favorite Elton John, Steve is one of the best keyboardists of all time, if not the most precocious.  Steve started his career in his early teens backing on guitar and keyboards for the likes of Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. King, Chuch Berry, and Bo Diddley.  At the age of 14 he joined his first band The Spencer Davis Group.  They had to sneak him into clubs and bars to play, as he was so underage.  He also played keyboards on “Voodoo Chile” on Jimi Hendrix Electric Ladyland album. Additionally he provided keyboards for David Gilmour on his About Face album

So as one of my friends likes to say, we’ll venture down that rabbit hole, borrowing a phrase from Alice In Wonderland.  Though the choice is up to you.  As Morpheus proposes in The Matrix:

You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

morpheus in The Matrix

So if you’re interested in a trip down Steve Winwood lane, take the red pill, and follow the rabbit down the hole to some great music and videos.

Here he is in his mid-teens with the Spencer Davis Group, with a song not included on my playlist, “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out.”  What white teen from England can sing and tickle the ivories like Ray Charles?  Steve Winwood, that’s who!

Now just barely 20 with Blind Faith in Hyde Park, London, in 1969, along with Eric Clapton on guitar only 24, and Ginger Baker on drums the elder statesman at 30.

A great concert to watch Winwood and Clapton reunited is “Live From Madison Square Garden” from 2009 (currently available through Qello Concerts on Prime Video).  It’s such a great concert, well worth a watch.  A similar performance at the Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2007 paired Winwood and Clapton with Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall II.  Just amazing guitars.

His third band was another favorite of mine, Traffic.  Here he’s featured on the almost 14 minute long classic “The Low Spark Of High Healed Boys,” a song featured for its saxophone on my playlist Sultans Of Swing:

And a newer performance of an old Traffic song “Glad” highlights Steve in one of his better piano performances, featured on my Piano Man playlist:

As an FYI, all of my playlists and their associated blogs are accessible via the menu on this blog, sub-categorized as genre, theme, or word centered playlists. So if you’re hunting for certain past playlists or blogs that’s where to find them.

As a solo artist he had many hits, including “While You See A Chance,” “Valerie,” and “Roll With It” and “Higher Love,” among many others:

He even parlayed his popularity to making beer commercials:

I’ve been fortunate enough to see Steve Winwood twice, once in 2004 on his About Time tour, and again in 2010 opening for Carlos Santana.  He’s such a talented musician, with such a soulful voice, amazing keyboard skills, and great guitar chops.  Sadly he was supposed to be on our Keeping the Blues Alive Mediterranean II cruise (see Mediterranean Blues blog and playlist), but had to withdraw for health reasons.  I wish him well, and thank him for the amazing music.

I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew.  Rediscover the passion of music in your life.

Live in the moment.

Enjoy the moment.

Love the moment.

Listen to the Music!

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