Tag Archives: paul mccartney

Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers “Rare Bird Alert” [NEW MUSIC]

It’s summer time and I’m completely obsessed with bluegrass music.  Two things that don’t really have anything to do with each other, but in my own little weirdly wired brain they go hand in hand perfectly.  This is outdoor music.  It’s acoustic.  It can happen anywhere and sound fantastic.  Add arguably the greatest comedian of all time turned banjo virtuoso Steve Martin into the mix and you have something very interesting on your hands.   High quality bluegrass licks with a hint of comedy.  Just like summer and bluegrass they seem to mix just fine.  Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers have recently released a full length record called “Rare Bird Alert.”  Get ready for a good ole’ fashion barnstormer.

Rare Bird Alert – Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers

Steve Martin plays banjo on all the tracks.  Although he limits himself to minimal singing the Steep Canyon Ranger’s more than make up for it.  After the instrumental opener in “Rare Bird Alert” this record moves into some great tracks featuring multi harmonies and a special featured guest.  See if you can recognize his voice.

Best Love – Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers (Feat. ?)

This is not a comedy record at all as you can see.  This is good ole fashion blue grass ass kickin’.  Honestly I worked for like 13 hours straight today and went home and all I wanted was a drink.  As I started to listen to this record more to prep for the blog my brain kept saying “go to the bathtub, make moonshine… it’s not a dumb idea”.  Whiskey was a much better choice than making my own moonshine, but I guess great music makes you think of doing wierd stuff from time to time.  Anyway, I just finished Steve Martin’s biography “Born Standing Up” which in part inspired me to look into his music more.  The banjo has been a part of Steve’s vaudeville/ variety act since very early on in his career.

He’s an amazingly accomplished banjo player and he reaches out on this record and shreds… yes I said shreds on the banjo.

Northern Island – Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers

Now don’t me wrong I don’t think Steve Martin would put out a comedyless product.  There are awesome little gems in here for comedy lovers as well.  Funny little lyrics and an ending that I’ll get to later.  One hilarious little song is called “Atheists Don’t Have No Songs”.  The song is a hymnal with Steve featured on vocals.  It’s pretty hilarious and has become one of my favorite tracks of many on this CD.

Atheists Don’t Have No Songs – Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers

We all know the man is multitalented, that’s never been a debate and this music isn’t that far of a reach for the comedic and now musical genius of Steve Martin, but there’s just a sense of professionalism that comes through even more on this record than in Steve’s larger body of work.  It’s a pleasure to hear him use bluegrass as a vehicle for comedy and music.  It’s an amazing record.  Well at least I thought it was an amazing record…

Then I go to the last track.  The last track on “Rare Bird Alert” is called “King Tut”.  For Steve Martin fans out there this tune is all too familiar.  Back in his SNL and arena (yes arena) standup tour days he performed this song as a sketch and it has gone down in history has one of the greatest SNL sketches ever.

King Tut” is a novelty song performed by Steve Martin and the Toot Uncommons (actually members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band). It was released as a single in 1978, sold over a million copies, and reached number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  Martin previewed the song in a live performance during the April 22, 1978 episode of Saturday Night Live. The song was also included on Martin’s album “A Wild and Crazy Guy.”

King Tut – Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers

This record is awesome.  It’s available everywhere and Steve and the Steep Canyon Rangers are currently on tour HERE.  They are playing San Diego on 8/18.  No LA dates are announced yet, but he has been know to pop in down at the Largo from time to time and play some banjo and tell some jokes.  I’m so happy I got to write about Steve Martin.  He is one of my comedic idols and the guys pretty much dominates everything he sets his mind to.  Enjoy this CD and if you don’t like bluegrass I’m sorry, but you can go take a hike.  Oh and by the way.  The guy singing on that track earlier was Paul McCartney,  no big deal.

Jubilation Day – Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers

By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

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Rave On Buddy Holly [ALBUM REVIEW]

You know every song I’m about to post.  I would hope that you know every artist I’m about to post.  It’s also important that you know who a guy named Buddy Holly is.  I think you do.  “Rave On Buddy Holly” is one of the best tribute records I have ever heard.  The artist lineup and the song choices are epic and spot on.  Buddy Holly, in my opinion, embodied the spirit of local music.  Constantly touring until his untimely death.  I think it’s only proper that a site like this one devoted to spreading the word of good music and artist recognition take a breather from the underground hip hop and indie rock and take a look back at one of the original indie rockers and the people he has inspired.

Fiona Apple and Jon Brion – Everyday

See I told you!  Fiona Apple and Jon Brion own the second track and one of Holly’s greatest tunes.  Brion is an LA local and he plays shows every Friday night down at the Largo on La Cienega.  Fiona just has such an amazing voice.  I figured that would be a good tune to start out with to wet your whistle.

Dearest – The Black Keys

The video was a little lame, but it has some cool pictures so I left it.

If it wasn’t for that damn plane crash Buddy Holly may well still be with us and who knows what other great music he would have created.  This record is in honor of the man’s 75th birthday and what an impact he has had.  This tribute features everyone from friggin’ Kid Rock to Lou Reed to Modest Mouse to Patti Smith to She and Him to PAUL MCCARTNEY (he gets all caps cuz he’s a Beatle).  It’s pretty all over the place pulling artists from every possible genre of popular music.  My favorite track however is by the one and only Cee Lo Green.  His voice is just unbelievable.  He has found pop success of epic proportions and is far from an indie artist, but he branches out here an gives us an amazing take on a Buddy Holly classic.

(You’re so square) Baby I don’t care – Cee Lo Green

I really don’t have much to review here.  The music is classic and the artists on this record are really dead on in their interpretations of Holly’s music.  There is just enough of the original song and the best part is the obvious individual touches each artist put on his or her song.  One of the best examples of that is Florence and The Machine doing Holly’s tune ‘Not Fade Away.’

Not Fade Away – Florence and The Machine

I think Buddy Holly is beaming with a huge smile somewhere up in rock and roll heaven.  This is really just a fantastic assembly of talent all playing their asses off in honor of a great man.  I know I already said that, but who cares I’ll say it again.  I’m gonna finish this up with a few more tracks by She and Him and one of my favorite singers of all time, Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills, Nash (duh) and Young fame.  Lastly I’ll leave you with a surprising track.  I’m not going to tell you who’s singing it.  Guess in the comments section below and don’t cheat and look at the track listing.  It’s a very far attachement from what this artist usually does and it’s freakin’ amazing.

She and Him – Oh Boy!

Graham Nash – Raining in My Heart

???????? –  Well…All right

He died at 22 and at that age he had already helped define rock and roll as we know it.  He is arguably the most important figure bridging the gap between rockabilly to rock and roll.  He has obviously been missed, but after listening to this record I know for a fact he is not forgotten.  Rave on Buddy Holly…

Here’s the complete track list to inspire you to buy this record.  I’ll be back tomorrow with some good local music, but I had to get this one out.  It’s too good to ignore.

1. “Dearest” – The Black Keys (2:06)
2. “Every Day” – Fiona Apple & Jon Brion (2:19)
3. “It’s So Easy” – Paul McCartney (4:35)
4. “Not Fade Away – Florence + The Machine” (4:02)
5. “(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care” – Cee Lo Green (1:31)
6. “Crying, Waiting, Hoping” – Karen Elson (2:25)
7. “Rave On” – Julian Casablancas (1:55)
8. “I’m Gonna Love You Too” – Jenny O. (2:11)
9. “Maybe Baby” – Justin Townes Earle (2:06)
10. “Oh Boy” – She & Him (2:18)
11. “Changing All Those Changes” – Nick Lowe (1:41)
12. “Words Of Love” – Patti Smith (3:20)
13. “True Love Ways” – My Morning Jacket (3:25)
14. “That’ll Be The Day” – Modest Mouse (2:15)
15. “Well…All Right” – Kid Rock (2:09)
16. “Heartbeat” -The Detroit Cobras (2:20)
17. “Peggy Sue” – Lou Reed (3:19)
18. “Peggy Sue Got Married” – John Doe (3:57)
19. “Raining In My Heart” – Graham Nash (3:30)

By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

The Morning Benders – “All Day Day Light” [VIDEO]

Here’s a look at the video project by Jack Ferry done for “All Day Day Light” by The Morning Benders off their most recent album “Big Echo”. Listen for the new style they bring to a widely loved sound coined by many of the greatest rock bands. They have a very early sixties rock feel similar to The Beatles, which you can also find their FREE download of ‘Ram On (Paul McCartney Cover)’ here. Enjoy the video and please grab some of their music!