Classic Rock And Pop Music Blog

Month: September 2022

For My Daughter – A Tribute to My Daughter & All Daughters

For my daughter, on National Daughter’s Day, September 25th, a tribute to her, and all daughters.  I won’t embarrass her with any photos of when she was younger or with any dumb dad jokes, but will express my overflowing and unending love for her, for she holds such a special place in my heart.

As is usual for my blogs, I have videos and a Spotify Playlist.  The lyrics and videos below are among my favorites, and express more than I ever could some of the feelings I have for my little girl.  Some highlights include a new song and video I just discovered, “Daddy Dance With Me” by Krystal Keith, Toby Keith’s daughter.  Another new song I absolutely love is by a friend of mine, Sean Forrest, with “Stay A Little Longer.”  Another great song and video are “Dance With My Daughter” by Jason Blaine.  And of course there’s “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder, “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle, “Cinderella” by Steven Curtis Chapman, “I Loved Her First” by Heartland, and “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts, and “Daddy’s Little Girl” by Al Martino, among others.

You’re Gonna Be

6 pounds and 9 ounces, lookin’ up at me
Like I have all the answers
I hope, I have the ones you need
I’ve never really done this, now I know what scared is

Sometimes, I’ll protect you from everything that’s wrong
Other times, I’ll let you just find out on your own
But that’s when you’ll be growin’
And the whole time I’ll be knowin’

You’re gonna fly with every dream you chase
You’re gonna cry but know that that’s okay
Sometimes life’s not fair but if you hang in there…

…I’m afraid you’ll have to suffer through
some of my mistakes
Lord, knows I’ll be trying, oh, to give you what it takes
What it takes to know the difference between getting by
and livin’

Cause anything worth doing is worth doing all the way
Just know you’ll have to live with all the choices
that you make
So make sure you’re always givin’ way more
than you’re takin’…

…You’re gonna see that sometimes bad is good
We just have to believe things work out like they should
Life has no guarantees, but always loved by me
You’re gonna be

Someone’s everything
You’re gonna see
Just what you are to me

You’re gonna fly with every dream you chase
We just have to believe things work out like they should
Life has no guarantees, but always loved by me
You’re gonna be, always loved by me…

reba mcentire

In My Daughter’s Eyes

In my daughter’s eyes
I am a hero
I am strong and wise
And I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I want to be
In my daughter’s eyes

In my daughter’s eyes
Everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light
And the world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me
Gives me strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter’s eyes

And when she wraps her hand around my finger
How it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about
It’s hanging on when your heart is had enough
It’s giving more when you feel like giving up
I’ve seen the light
It’s in my daughter’s eyes

In my daughter’s eyes
I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
And though she’ll grow and someday leave
Maybe raise a family
When I’m gone I hope you’ll see
How happy she made me
For I’ll be there
In my daughter’s eyes…

martina mcbride

Lady

…I can make you laugh ’til you cry
But she can make your tears dry, and
When you get your heart broke by the wrong guy
She can make it right

I hope you look just like your momma
And love her like I do
You’ll see close to perfect patience
If you watch her every move
You can always run to daddy
You’ll always be my baby, but
Look at her, baby girl
And you’ll learn how to be a lady…

brett young

I’ll Be Your Man

You’re gonna make the finest momma someday
Some man will take you away
But until then
Chase down your dreams
Laugh all the time and believe
That love’s gonna conquer all things
So until then
I’ll be your man

There was a time when I thought I knew love
Until you came into this world
Time keeps on flying
But your always gonna be my baby girl

So as you walk through this life you will see
The world’s what you want it to be
But until then
Go on and dance
Dance like there’s no one around
Never stop singing out loud
And until then
I’ll be your man…

…Go have a ball
Take every chance that you make
You know I’ll be one call away
I’ll always be
I’ll always be your man…

zac brown band

Stay A Little Longer

…Saw you coming down the stairs
Blue dress, a high school dance
Beautiful and free just like a dream
Once I held a baby girl
Now you’re taking on the world
You know I’m your biggest fan
And I always will be

Could you stay a little longer
Before the strike of midnight takes you
Off to your Prince Charming
But you’ll always be my daughter
It went too fast just like they say
Wish you could stay, stay a little longer

I knew this time would come
One day you’d be out on your own
And though my heart is aching
I know that it’s ok
I’ve got memories
And I love the ones you made

Work was piling up so high
Heavy on my mind
You took my hand
Said babe I’ve got to show you
An amazing sunset
And ou’re the one I want to see it with
Lets pour a glass of wine
And give thanks for all the good times

So lets stay a little longer
And remember all the things
That God has done
With so much wonder
Like the color that fade from the sky
Its flying by too fast just like they say
So lets stay, stay a little longer…

Sean Forrest

Butterfly Kisses

…She’ll change her name today
She’ll make a promise
And I’ll give her away
Standing in the bride-room
Just staring at her
She asked me what I’m thinking
And I said, “I’m not sure”
“I just feel like I’m losing my baby girl”
And she leaned over

Gave me butterfly kisses with her mama there
Sticking little white flowers all up in her hair
“Walk me down the aisle, Daddy, it’s just about time”
“Does my wedding gown look pretty, Daddy?”
“Daddy, don’t cry”
Oh, with all that I’ve done wrong
I must have done something right
To deserve her love every morning
And butterfly kisses

I couldn’t ask God for more
Man, this is what love is
I know I gotta let her go
But I’ll always remember
Every hug in the morning
And butterfly kisses…

bob Carlisle

Cinderella

She spins and she sways to whatever song plays
Without a care in the world
And I’m sitting here wearing the weight of the world on my shoulders
It’s been a long day and there’s still work to do
She’s pulling at me saying dad I need you
There’s a ball at the castle and I’ve been invited
And I need to practice my dancin’
Oh, please, daddy, please

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don’t want to miss even one song
‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone…

Steven Curtis Chapman

Dance With My Daughter

…Greatest gift in the world
Is a new baby girl
Feels like God took a chance
Placing her here in my hands

Gonna dance with my daughter
Spin her around under the lights
‘Cause I’m just a father
Making the most of this moment in time
Before she lets me go, I’ll hold her close
Caught in this race against time
Right now all I want is to dance with my daughter tonight…

Jason Blaine

I Loved Her First

…I knew the love of a father runs deep
And I prayed that she’d find you someday
But it’s still hard to give her away
I loved her first

How could that beautiful woman with you
Be the same freckle face kid that I knew
The one that I read all those fairytales to
And tucked into bed all those nights

And I knew the first time I saw you with her
It was only a matter of time
I loved her first, I held her first
And a place in my heart will always be hers
From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me…

Heartland

Daddy Dance With Me

I know what you see when you look at me
As we walk down the aisle
Little pink tutu, bows and tennis shoes
In the wide eyes of your child
Those are all the memories you will cherish and you’ll carry
No matter how much time has come and gone

Daddy dance with me
I want you to see the woman I’ve become.
Daddy don’t let go
I want you to know I’ll always need your love.

Today I became his wife
But I’ll be your baby girl for life
Don’t know what to do when I look at you
Words can’t say enough
What you’ve done for me

You gave me what I need
You were tender, you were tough
Cause the world you built around me
Is the strength that will surround me
And protect me now that I am on my own…

Krystal Keith

Daddy’s Little Girl

…He always used to tell me, “Don’t grow up too fast
Love will come, love will go, your first won’t be your last”
I didn’t always listen when he gave me advice
No, I hate to admit it, but that man was always right

Used to wrap my hands around his little finger
Turns out he was wrapped around mine
He said, “You can be anything you want to
in this great big world”
But I’m always gonna be daddy’s little girl,
daddy’s little girl

When I count my blessings, I know where to start
He might not hold my hand no more
But he’ll always, always hold my heart…

The Shires

My Wish

I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow
And each road leads you where you want to go
And if you’re faced with a choice, and you have to choose
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you
And if one door opens to another door closed
I hope you keep on walkin’ ’till you find the window
If it’s cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile…

…I hope you never look back, but ya never forget
All the ones who love you, in the place you left
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret
And you help somebody every chance you get

Oh, you find God’s grace, in every mistake
And always give more than you take

But more than anything, yeah, more than anything
My wish, for you, is that this life
becomes all that you want it to
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small
You never need to carry more than you can hold
And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to
I hope you know somebody loves you,
and wants the same things too
Yeah, this, is my wish…

rascal flatts

My Father’s Daughter

I am my father’s daughter
I have his eyes
I am the product of his sacrifice
I am the accumulation of the dreams of generations
And their stories live in me like holy water
I am my father’s daughter…

…I am my father’s daughter
I have my Grandma’s eyes
I am the product of such sacrifice

jewel featuring dolly parton

Daddy’s Little Girl

You’re the treasure I cherish, so sparkling and bright
You were touched by the holy and beautiful light
Like angels that sing, a heavenly thing
And you’re daddy’s little girl

mills brothers

So on to my playlist, for my daughter, and daughters everywhere:

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!

Video Killed the Radio Star – Celebration of One Hit Wonders

September 25th was declared at National One Hit Wonder Day by music journalist Steve Rosen to commemorate songs that are often artist’s only claim to fame.  One hit wonders are songs that achieved great notoriety and fame, typically top 40 hit songs, by artists that never achieved future songs of such significant popularity.  

Sometimes they are the one shining moment of artists who otherwise fade into obscurity.  Songs that come to mind are “Precious And Few” by Climax, “Seasons In The Sun” by Terry Jacks, “Romeo’s Tune” by Steve Fobert, “Maniac” by Michael Sembello, or “Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell (a song helped by being the son of Motown founder Barry Gordy, and backing vocals by Michael Jackson).

Other times they are the pinnacle achievement, the song that the artist is most identified by, though having otherwise quality song releases that didn’t achieve such high accolades.  Such songs and artists include “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds.  They also have some great songs in “Alive & Kicking” and “Sanctify Yourself.”  Or Georgia Satellites with “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” and “Hippy Hippy Shake,” The Fabulous Thunderbirds” with “Tuff Enough” and “Wrap It Up,” A-ha with “Take On Me” and “The Sun Always Shines On TV.”  Or think of Warren Zevon “Werewolves of London,” Rick James “Superfreak,” Lou Reed “Walk On The Wild Side,” and Frankie Goes To Hollywood “Relax.”  Some of these artists will be the subject of a future blog and playlist of what I call Two Hit Wonders (and sometimes Three…)

Some popular artists appear as one hit wonders, most notably Eric Clapton.  His “Can’t Find My Way Home” with Blind Faith as well as “Layla” with Derek & The Dominoes made the list, the only big hits of those short-lived bands.  And the Grateful Dead, for all their hippie following, was never a band looking for hits, but found their one and only with “Touch Of Grey” in 1987.  Somewhat ironic a song about their getting older drew the most attention.

The title of the blog and playlist are a tribute to the Buggles and their song “Video Killed The Radio Star,” the first ever video featured on the then brand new network MTV.  It’s joked that video/MTV killed the Buggles, as the song is their only hit, their 5 minutes of fame.

The Marvel movie Guardians Of The Galaxy sets the bar for the most One Hit Wonder songs in one movie, with at least 10, including Come And Get Your Love, Hooked On A Feeling, Go All The Way, Spirit In The Sky, Fooled Around And Fell In Love, I’m Not In Love, Cherry Bomb, Escape, O-o-h Child, and Magic.

The first Spotify playlist is an offering of some of the best One Hit Wonders of the ‘70s and ’80s.  I made a similar though much shorter playlist of the best of the best One Hit Wonders of the ’50s and ’60s.  There are a few songs, namely “Can’t Find My Way Home,” “Spirit In The Sky,” and “Get Together” that straddle both lists.  Though released in 1969, they seem to be a bridge to the ‘70s, so I included them in that playlist as well.

And as I mentioned, I will be blogging about my Two (and occasionally Three) Hit Wonders, a few of whom are on the One Hit Wonder list, that I feel have other noteworthy songs that shouldn’t necessarily relegate them to a flash in the pan.  We’ll see what you think.  More on that in a week or two 😉

For a nice review of the history of National One Hit Wonder Day and the growing attention to one hit wonders, see:

Other great One Hit Wonder videos include:

A-ha “Take On Me,” perhaps one of the greatest music videos every made:

Taco – “Puttin’ On The Ritz” – so silly:

Peter Schilling – “Major Tom” – space exploration had a resurgence in the ’80s back to it’s late ’60s to early ’70s glory:

Newcelus – “Jam On It” – this is perhaps the epitome of ’80s break dancing scenes – such memories of school dances!:

Twisted Sister – “We’re Not Gonna Take It” – a kid’s anthem of the ’80s:

Cameo – “Word Up” – a college classic:

Tiffany – “I Think We’re Alone Now”- loved Tiffany and this song:

Alannah Myles – “Black Velvet” – as well as loved Alannah and this song:

Extreme – “More Than Words,” love the song and video, as well as Jack Black and Jimmy Fallon’s cover video (check it out in my Cover Songs blog):

Vanilla Ice – “Ice Ice Baby”

4 Non Blondes – “What’s Up” – an interesting tidbit – “What’s Up” isn’t in the lyrics, but was chosen as a title to avoid confusing the song with Marvin Gaye’s iconic “What’s Going On.” Also, until just recently, I thought the lead singer was a guy. Hey, I never saw the video, never connected the name necessarily referring to women, and well, the ’80s were a decade of returning to the falsetto of the ’50s 😂:

CeeLo Green – “Forget You” – a great song and video, and prefer it to the R-rated version, especially for my blog:

Orianthi – “According To You” – watch her unparalleled female guitar prowess:

The Lumineers – “Ho Hey” – love the folky feel of this:

With several One Hit Wonders the theme song of several hit TV shows including:

Happy Days – Pratt & McClain – “Happy Days.” We all loved this show, Mr. & Mrs. C., and a glimpse of the ’50s: 

Welcome Back, Kotter – John Sebastian – “Welcome Back,” a classic ’70s show, and the springboard for Vinnie Barbarino a.k.a. John Travolta’s career:

The Greatest American Hero – Joey Scarbury – “Believe It Or Not” – such a silly, if not stupid show, but we all loved it – a hero who was unmistakably human, yet still managed to do good:

Cheers – Gary Portnoy – “Everybody Knows Your Name,” just a classic sit-com and recognizable song. Who didn’t want to hang out at this place?:

Making your way in the world today
Takes everything you’ve got
Taking a break from all your worries
Sure would help a lot
Wouldn’t you like to get away?

All those nights when you’ve got no lights
The check is in the mail
And your little angel
Hung the cat up by its tail
And your third fiance didn’t show

Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name
And they’re always glad you came
You want to be where you can see
Our troubles are all the same
You want to be where everybody knows your name

Roll out of bed, Mr. Coffee’s dead
The morning’s looking bright
And your shrink ran off to Europe
And didn’t even write
And your husband wants to be a girl

Be glad there’s one place in the world
Where everybody knows your name
And they’re always glad you came
You want to go where people know
People are all the same
You want to go where everybody knows your name

Friends – The Rembrandts – “I’ll Be There For You,” one of the best TV series ever. I do believe “Just The Way It Is, Baby” makes them more of a Two Hit Wonder. More to follow:

Cops – Inner Circle – “Bad Boys,” perhaps one of the most iconic TV theme songs:

And several prominently featured in movies (with Guardians the true champion as mentioned above):

The Poseidon Adventure – Maureen McGovern – “The Morning After,” not the best movie and such a sad song:

Saturday Night Fever – Yvonne Elliman – “If I Can’t Have You,” a classic song and movie of the disco era:

An American Werewolf In London – Warren Zevon – “Werewolves Of London,” such a great song for the movie, along with CCR’s “Bad Moon Rising”:

Rocky III – Survivor – “Eye Of The Tiger,” the song that made the movie, with the audience cheering on Rocky to beat Clubber – yes, I remember people in the audience at the theater in Rocky I and Rocky III cheering him on!:

Flashdance – Michael Sembello – “Maniac.” This song and scene made the movie:

The following video, a compilation of scenes from the movie, is also great:

Valley Girl – Modern English – “I Melt With You.” Not a good movie, but a great song:

Beverly Hills Cop – Harold Faltermeyer – “Axel F.” My college cheerleading squad did a routine to this song!🤣:

The Breakfast Club – Simple Minds – “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” a song turned down by Billy Idol. I bet he wishes he had a “do-over” on that one. He did later record a version of the song – not as good as Simple Mind’s classic original:

Pretty In Pink – OMD – “If You Leave,” A great Molly Ringwald/John Hughes movie and great song and soundtrack:

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – Yello – “Oh Yeah.” I’ve seen a meme around Facebook that we know we’re getting older as we identify more with the principal and think Ferris is a hoodlum 🤣:

St. Elmo’s Fire – John Parr – “Man In Motion.” I recently watched this movie again, such a testament to the ’80s:

Reservoir Dogs – Stealers Wheel – “Stuck In The Middle With You” (video not included – a bit too graphic to be a part of my usually PG-13 blog 😂)

Guardians Of the Galaxy – Elvin Bishop – “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” [Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord explaining his attachment to his mother’s pop music of the ’70s, as mentioned above, mostly One Hit Wonders]:

Now onto the Playlists.  I think you’ll love them.

Video Killed The Radio Star – ‘70s & ‘80s One Hit Wonders [with video killing the Buggles as well 🤣]:

Get A Job – ‘50s & ‘60s One Hit Wonders [suspecting many of these acts had to get a(nother) job 😂]

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!

Mediterranean Blues

While not exactly my wheelhouse for music, my being more a product of classic rock and pop of the 70’s and 80’s (though I will say Stevie Ray Vaughan, British blues have been among my favorites for years, and Joe Bonamassa and Keb’ Mo’ more recently), I thought I’d get a bit of the blues.  This will not be a comprehensive coverage of the history of the blues, or even modern blues artists, but more a review of one of the most spectacular music events I have had the pleasure of experiencing, the music on board the Norwegian Jade out of Athens, Greece on its sailing for Keeping the Blues Alive Mediterranean II, heretofore called the Blues Cruise.

Blues is a musical genre and form originating in the Deep South of the US in the 1860s by African Americans with roots in African-American work songs and spirituals.  Subgenres include country blues such as Delta blues and Piedmont blues, as well as urban blues styles such as Chicago blues and West Coast blues, evolving to blues rock, with influences over the years on rock, southern rock, and R&B (Rhythm & Blues).  Delta blues, named for the Mississippi Delta, dominated by guitar, especially slide guitar, harmonica, and soulful vocals, perhaps best exemplified by Robert Johnson, and eventually Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and more recently Keb’ Mo’.  Piedmont Blues, named for the Southeast region from Richmond, VA to Atlanta, GA, is characterized by a guitar fingerpicking approach in which a regular, alternating thumb bass string rhythmic pattern supporting a syncopated melody picked with the forefinger and other fingers.  The sound is almost ragtime in style, popularized by Blind Boy Fuller, Guy Davis, Ry Cooder, Doc Watson, Keb’ Mo’ as well.

More urban, modern blues is characterized by Electric blues, with electrified instruments, often electric (instead of upright) bass, keyboards, electric guitar, often with distortion, including Chicago blues, with champions Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Albert King, and Buddy Guy.  West Coast often have strong piano-dominated sounds with jazzy guitar solos, originated from Texas blues players who relocated to California in the 1940, perhaps best exemplified by T Bone Walker.  Strongly influenced by early Electric blues were the cadre of British blues acolytes, including acts such as John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and Animals.  Such acts paved the way for the likes of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Vaughan/Fabulous Thunderbirds, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, influenced Southern Rock such as the Allman Brothers, ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Jeff Healey, and more recently acts like White Stripes, Derek Trucks, Joe Bonamassa, and now the young phenom Toby Lee.

B.B. King is perhaps the face of American blues, with a career spanning 8 decades.  He introduced a style of guitar soloing with fluid string bending, vibrato, and staccato picking that influenced many later blues electric guitar players, like Joe Bonamassa, who opened for B.B. at the age of 12.  

Joe’s tribute to B.B. King:

Joe Bonamassa performing at just the age of 12:

Joe has taken on the mantle of Blues guitar in the U.S., not only being perhaps the best blues guitarist on the face of the planet, but also establishing his Keeping the Blues Alive foundation, with a mission:

Our mission is to conserve the art of music in schools by funding projects, scholarships, and grants that preserve music education for the next generation. Every week, we donate to a school in need of instruments, sheet music, supplies and more in the effort to uphold the rich culture and history of the Blues as a true American art form 

KTBA Foundation

hotlink:

One of their fundraisers for the foundation includes his Keeping the Blues Alive At Sea cruises, with 6 Caribbean (with a 7th upcoming 03/23, embarking from Miami porting in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic) and now 2 Mediterranean cruises.  Arranged and coordinated by Sixthman, an organization that creates memorable music festival experiences on sea and sand, cruise popular acts have included John Hiatt, Blues Traveler, Bruce Hornsby, Eric Gale, Los Lobos, Monte Montgomery, Buddy Guy, George Thorogood, and Peter Frampton.  But if our cruise is any indicator, the less popular acts are equally fantastic.

I’m tempted to compare the KTBA-MII Blues Cruise to other music festivals I have attended, including Live Aid – Philadelphia ’85, as well as the serveral SoulFest Christian music festivals I attended in New Hampshire. While Live Aid was the concert of the decade in the 80’s, if not of the century, Woodstock notwithstanding, featuring everyone who was anyone in the 80’s, as a 15 hour concert in the heat of an open stadium at RFK, it wasn’t as relaxing, comfortable, and intimate as the Blues Cruise. And roughing it in the mountains of New Hampshire was always a much anticipated event with my boys and their friends and other youth from our church, it wasn’t exactly cruise ship accommodations, and beyond the headliners there was a much more significant drop-off in talent, though we did always manage to find some lesser known gems. While headliners on the Blues Cruise, such as Joe Bonamassa, Keb’ Mo’, and Tommy Emmanuel may be what brought many of us on the ship, though there were those well acquainted with the likes of Samantha Fish, King King, Walter Trout, Terry Reid, and Marc Broussard, the talent of even lesser known acts was just unbelievable.

The combination of cruise ship accommodations, cuisine, ports, and multiple atmospheres in which to listen to music made it an unparalleled event. Music on the Norwegian Jade (the same ship I had cruised on 6 years prior from Venice to Split and Dobrovnik, Croatia, and Athens and Santorini, Greece) could be heard in a larger environ on the main stage on the Pool Deck, somewhat of a dance party at sea, as well as in the cruise ship Stardust Theater, or for a more intimate environment the Spinnaker Lounge, Bliss Lounge, Magnum’s Champagne and Wine Bar, or even the cruise ship Atrium. But even the Stardust Theater became an intimate venue with a late night Campfire Session, among my favorite concerts of the trip.

Though our cruise embarked from Athens, Greece, we went on a pre-cruise adventure in Crete. Our stay at the Casa Delfino, a boutique hotel in the Old Port of Chania, was the perfect luxurious spa atmosphere to relax before the cruise. The staff insured that our stay was exceptional, including the concierge saving the day helping us secure a rental car and planning our day exploring the northwest countryside of Crete. A hotel not to be missed.

hotlink:

Casa Delfino courtyard
view of the Old Port from the Casa Delfino rooftop bar
Sunset over the Old Port lighthouse in Chania, Crete

Lamb chops were an almost daily staple, as the lamb was so delicious, so expertly grilled. The mussels were the best I ever had. And I came to enjoy the after dinner digestive, though I much preferred raki to ouzo. Raki, also called tsicoudia, is a distilled liquor made from the fermented remnants of grapes pressed in winemaking. It is similar to Italian grappa, and reminiscent of brandy, cognac, or even bourbon in taste.

Chania cuisine – the best lamb chops and mussels under the sun

And I came to enjoy the after dinner digestive, though I much preferred raki to ouzo. Raki, also called tsicoudia, is a distilled liquor made from the fermented remnants of grapes pressed in winemaking. It is similar to Italian grappa, and reminiscent of brandy, cognac, or even bourbon in taste.

Our view of Chania Old Town and the Old Port at dinner

We ventured to an olive oil tasting at Biolea Astrikas Estates and did the sommelier experience – so worth it! Not only the best olive oil, but wine and 5 course meal beyond compare!!

Biolea single estate stone milled cold pressed olive oil
Bruschetta [subsequent courses: Greek tomato, onion, olive, caper, feta salad; sweet potato soup with feta cheese, carob crisps; and fried eggs with Staka (Cretan goat milk cream), almonds, parmesan crisps]
Goat cheese Cretan cheesecake with carob crisp, fresh apricot jam, and basil
Olive groves of Biolea

hotlink:

The azure blue water at the beaches and the surrounding rocks were stunning. And I couldn’t pass up a swim in the Mediterranean.

Falasarna Beach, Crete

We then ventured to Agia Triada Monastery, which was breathtaking:

I was even a wedding crasher at a Greek Orthodox Church!

Wedding at Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church – Chania, Crete

And found a gorgeous little Catholic Church in a small alleyway across from the Greek Orthodox Church. And there was a synagogue behind that!

Catholic Church of the Assumption – Chania, Crete

Then we headed back to Athens, with a spectacular view of the Acropolis from the Areopagus, where the apostle Paul preached conversion to the Greeks.

View of the Acropolis from the Areopagus.
My fine feathered friend on the Areopagus.

We stayed at another boutique hotel, B4b Athens Signature Hotel, that not only had a spectacular rooftop view of the Acropolis, but had local cell phones for guests to take and use for the duration of their stay with unlimited call, text and data – what a great idea!

Rooftop bar, the night before our KTBA-MII cruise.

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From there we embarked on the most amazing musical adventure. Artists on the Blues Cruise included blues and guitar standouts Joe Bonamassa, Keb’ Mo’, and Tommy Emmanuel.  But new discoveries included the likes of Ana Popovic, King King, Toby Lee, Selwyn Birchwood, Jade Macrae, Elles Bailey, Marc Broussard, and Cold Stares.

But of course, Joe was the headliner – just so amazingly good:

Joe Bonamassa jamming on the pool deck main stage with an All Star band.

Toby Lee, English guitarist from Oxfordshire, England, posted a tribute video to BB King when he was 10 years old that went viral, Lee played with Joe Bonamassa at the Royal Albert Hall at 14 years old.

And here Toby pays tribute to B.B.’s passing. You just have to love those onesies:

Toby has been somewhat mentored by Joe Bonamassa, playing with him at the Royal Albert Hall at just 14.  Here he is before meeting Joe at just the age of 11 covering his “Sloe Gin”:

Here’s just a glimpse of Toby from the cruise – just 17? Ridiculous!:

Keb’ Mo’, an American blues musician, oft described as the “living link to the Delta blues”. His bluesy voice and guitar make him among my favorites. I just love listening to Keb’, and was happy to finally see him perform live.

Ana Popovic, a Serbian blues singer and guitarist, a new discovery for us, again one of our favorites, so much so we have tickets to her show in Savannah, GA in December.

Ana Popovic on the Pool Deck main stage, with Joe Bonamassa (guitar) and Tommy Emmanuel (drums)

King King, one of the hottest British blues rock band, backed by Alan and Stevie Nimmo. While this clip is a cover of one of my all-time favorite Clapton songs, “Old Love” (especially the Unplugged version), they more than do it justice. And their originals are great rocking blues.

King King covering “Old Love” at the Spinnaker Lounge

And Selwyn Birchwood was so amazing, with his gravely deep voice and Piedmont and Delta blues. Our introduction was in the Atrium, just Selwyn and his guitar, but he was equally great with his band at Magnums.

Selwyn covering “Ain’t Nobody’s Business” popularized by Billie Holiday and Bessie Smith

Jade Macrae, a backup singer in Joe Bonamassa’s band, is venturing out on a career of her own. She has some amazing pipes, with a sultry sound reminiscent at times of Whitney Houston, Tina Turner, and Diana Ross. In a turn of roles, with Joe Bonamassa backing her up, she’s trading vocal phrases with Joe’s guitar:

Hailing from Bristol, U.K., Elles Bailey provided some smooth, soulful blues. Check out her touching tribute to Janis Joplin “Girl That Owned The Blues” on the playlist. So beautiful. Here she covers John Prine/Bonnie Raitt with “Angel From Montgomery”:

Jackie Venson, with her funky soul-filled blues has been compared to Joss Stone, though I hear more Tracey Chapman and Joan Armatrading in her vocals and musical style:

Jackie Venson with some percussive help by Keb’ Mo’, Samantha Fish, and Tommy Emmanuel

Samantha Fish was quite the blues rocker, her voice at times shades of Amy Winehouse, here playing some great slide guitar.

Samantha Fish accompanied by Jackie Venson, Keb’ Mo’, and Tommy Emmanuel

While we got rained out mid-cruise at our Mykonos port, our subsequent stop at Kusadasi and Ephesus, Turkey did not disappoint.

The library of Ephesus, second largest of the Ancient world, surpassed only to its counterpart in Rhodes (the latter was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, since destroyed)
The small amphitheater from which Paul preached in Ephesus
Paul was imprisoned overlooking Ephesus, for where he wrote some of the epistles to the Corinthians.

The juxtaposition of Ancient World sightseeing and listening to modern blues was a bit surreal. Nonetheless, back on the Jade, Cold Stares provided some great Blues rock:

The Suffers sound is R&B style blues oft described as Gulf Coast soul. Their lead singer Kam Franklin invokes shades of Aretha and Tina. No one on the ship seemed to have more fun and joy in performing than the Suffers!:

Marc Broussard, an American singer, songwriter, has a style, per Wikipedia, “best described as Bayou Soul, with a mix of funk, blues, R&B, rock, and pop, matches with disctinctive Southern roots.” I guess that about covers it all. His sound is a mix of Huey Lewis, Sam Cook, and Otis Redding, the latter of which I commented on to my wife while he was performing. No sooner had I said that he broke into singing “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” one of my favorite Otis songs. I guess I was pretty spot-on.

Marc Broussard on the pool deck main stage with Joe Bonamassa and Jimmy Vivino accompanying

Tommy Emmanuel is an acoustic guitarist without parallel. Until the cruise I hadn’t realized how the guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela has adopted much of Tommy’s style with flamenco type flourishes and significant percussion of the guitar body (check out “Cantina Senese” on the playlist). From down-under Australia, he is an entertainer extraordinaire. Check out his cover of Nat King Cole’s “Mona Lisa” on the playlist. Here he offers the most delicate finger tapping and styling with “Secret Love”:

Lakota John is cut more from the folk blues mold, sang and played with his dad, who both sang and accommpanied Lakota on harmonica. Lakota has a few songs that are so special, the first about his grandmother, not available on Spotify – I wish I had recorded the song in its entirety:

Lakota John with “She’s Grand”

And here the lyrics to “Good Notes,” which is included in my Spotify playlist. Such a beautiful song.

Good Notes

My body has slowed
just as time has found her wings
my back is now bowed
my heart soars and it sings
shrouded by the cloak
of what they thought of me
not bound by those chains
I’m who I’m meant to be

I listen to the good notes
the bad ones lost in time
here on this journey
living ’till i die

My friends have now passed
their time has reached its end
heaven chose to leave me here
my second wind
spoken words i once swallowed throughout the years, rules I once followed living life with no more fear

Don’t sing like i used to
can’t hit the higher range
voice don’t travel far no more
old songs find their new way
memories music brings
one more way to pray
fingers slower on the strings
while living every note I play

I listen to the good notes
the bad ones lost in time
here on this journey
living ’till I die

Lakota John

For more videos from the cruise, check out my YouTube channel Keeping the Blues Alive Mediterranean II folder:

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From the cruise we headed back to Athens for one last day of holiday after the cruise.

In(n) Athens Boutique Hotel courtyard

We had the fortune at the port of meeting the most wonderful taxi driver Cristos, who made our day absolutely the best finale of a most memorable vacation.

Cristos’ business card – use him if in Athens, he’ll insure your stay is memorable!

He offered his services to introduce us and our friends to more of ancient Greece, including the Temple of Poseidon:

Temple of Poseidon

Crossing the isthmus and Corinth Canal to the Peloponnesus:

Corinth Canal – we had no takers in our group on bungee jumping from the bridge over the canal

Then on to Ancient Corinth:

Continuing in Apostle Paul’s footsteps to Ancient Corinth, to whom he wrote his letters to the Corinthians
The area where Paul was tried for preaching “illegal” religious beliefs, prior to his moving on to Ephesus
Statue in Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth, so realistic, hard to believe it’s stone

Our sightseeing was followed by lunch in a village in the mountains of the Peloponnesus, highlighted by a spicy tzatziki, the meal a wonderful and delicious culmination of the most fantastic trip.

And without further ado the playlist. It is a sampling of songs from the artists on the cruise, by no means comprehensive, but just some of the songs I like by the artists. There are a few duplicate songs, with one version a stripped down acoustic, and the other electric with significant band accompaniment. In these instances they were different enough that I felt both worthy of inclusion. Explore more songs by these artists on your own. I think you’ll appreciate the variety of styles of these great artists. I can see why Joe invited them to participate in the cruise – just fantastic.

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 Blues Music!

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