Laura Nyro – A Musical Bloomer

Laura Nyro was one of life’s distinct singer songwriter who was arguably ignored during her short but talented time. Umpteen opportunities to enhance her musical status were overlooked by many, including her own father, to Laura Nyro herself who did not court the media spotlight. With her Morticia Addams looks and celebrity unease, Laura Nyro grew without sunlight but somehow thrived as one of the most influential cross-over musicians of her day. Yet posthumous praise for this vocal genius with innate digital piano dexterity and a penchant for melody and harmonies that paralleled past masters are overwhelming. As Sir Elton John cites his besotted musical fervour for the Laura Nyro style of rhythm and melody, so Kate Bush acknowledged her Goth-like ‘arty’ influence from the slender, straight-haired and pallid figure that was Laura Nyro. Like many flowers whose bloom was short-lived a hybrid daylily was named after Lauara in 2000. But she was no hybrid strain that opened for a day – Laura Nyro was a distinct individual whose music deserves to bloom and take its natural place in time. Laura Nyro – A Musical Bloomer Continue reading “Laura Nyro – A Musical Bloomer”

The Stylistics – It’s All About You

The Stylistics is still sailing with the music scene today as the Soul Cruise liners regularly set sail with you on board. As part of a voyage package upon the ocean waves, this 70’s band of brothers is singing their songs just for you. Whether it’s ‘’I’m Stone In Love With You’’, ‘’You Make Me Feel Brand New’’ or ‘’You Are Everything’’ the Philly Soul band has you at its core. With its unique falsetto-centred wails and lush digital piano harmonies, the Stylistics performing trademark was stamped and weepy ballads that were all about ‘’You’’ became household names. So if you’ve not heard the Stylistics in some time, then ‘’Betcha By Golly Wow’’ – you should! The Stylistics – It’s All About You Continue reading “The Stylistics – It’s All About You”

Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes – Still On Board

Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes may be a lengthy name for this famous 70s band, but they took up even more room on stage as there were so many of them! From the original five of this cross-over Philly soul quintet, there were seventeen members who came and went and the band is clearly still active today. Indeed, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes were reunited in 2013 for the first Soul Train Cruise – a cruise-based line up of some fifteen performing artists that includes Patty LaBelle, The O’Jays and similar soul bands of yesteryear. It would seem their billing was a success as costumes did glitter, digital piano keys did shine and all those 70s chart-busters came flooding back on board the retro Love Boat.Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes – Still On Board Continue reading “Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes – Still On Board”

Donny Hathaway – A Song For You

Donny Hathaway is an American singer songwriter whose style and artistic merit deserve a posthumous mention. I recently caught the final bars of Donny’s track ‘Song For You’ on the radio and on hearing those charismatic lyrics and digital piano decoration, his time as a troubled musician came flooding back. There’s no denying that Donny Hathaway had a sound similar to co-musician Stevie Wonder and for a split second I did think I was hearing the latter performing with his deep, velvety vocals and self-styled digital piano accompaniment from which many artists have taken their influence. The solo and duo repertoire of the 70s highlights the ability of Donny Hathaway to master several black music genres from soul to R&B to blues. ‘’Song For You’’ is one such soulful track that encapsulates the talent of Donny Hathaway who wore his gift for streaming vocals with a digital piano accompaniment to reflect the heart on his musical sleeve.  Donny Hathaway – A Song For You  Continue reading “Donny Hathaway – A Song For You”

Cyndi Lauper – The Barbie Of The 80s

Cyndi Lauper can lay claim to many musical achievements during her forty year career span and don’t forget the Barbie Doll! The former includes two Grammy Awards, one of which is for ‘’Kinky Boots’’ won this year and the latter is a part of a Limited Edition ‘’Ladies of the 80s’’ series made by Mattel. The American toy company won’t have any difficulty in begetting a wardrobe for the Cyndi Lauper recreation as her lifestyle and music defined her so vehemently. The plastic doll, though not the role model of our live version, would be blonde and clad in bright, true colours with a penchant for all things Bohemian. Accessories for Barbie should a digital piano to reflect the Cyndi Lauper contribution to the New Wave scene. Indeed, it was the Cyndi Lauper hit of 86 ‘’True Colours’’ that became her trademark sound and as well as ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’’ – this one’s got a bright future.Cyndi Lauper – The Barbie Of The 80s Continue reading “Cyndi Lauper – The Barbie Of The 80s”

Sarah Bareilles – Having Her Say

Sarah Bareilles is having her say. This American singer songwriter is presently at the top of her musical game as her pop single ‘’Brave’’ hit the airwaves in 2013. Since then Sarah Bareilles has been nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Solo Performance.  As this brave young thing whi has been around the pop scene since 2004, has the added bonus of a digital piano to play along with her charismatic vocals, Sarah Bareilles can show off her flexibility as an instrumentalist which she can transfer with equal dexterity to guitar. Being all things ‘’Brave’’ has got this smart girl the backdrop sound for Nokia Lumia 630 smartphone with 4.5’’ display where she can further have her musical say. I’m sure most girls would be grateful for any size screen to display such talent. So let’s see Sarah Bareilles being brave…   Sarah Bareilles – Having Her Say Continue reading “Sarah Bareilles – Having Her Say”

David Soul – Musical Pick Me Up

David Soul is learning to express himself again. The American actor and singer best known in the 70s for his leading role as blonde, good cop ‘’Hutch’’ is out on the streets and can be seen driving a 52 Seat National Express coach. The latest advert called ‘’Way To Go’’ shows David Soul singing his song ‘’Silver Lady’’ whilst at the wheel with the lyrics pertaining to his estranged love rather than the twelve ton people carrier he happens to be steering. David Soul is expressing himself with his chart-topping, pop single that saw Elvis Presley’s ‘’Way Down’’ do exactly that. With its signatory easy-listening, David Soul has produced a handful of winners that have mapped out his musical destiny with his pleading lyrics, lush digital piano chords and romantic strings backing his all the way. With National Express David Soul has chosen a well-trodden path where devotees from his former years will pick up where he left off.  David Soul – Musical Pick Me Up Continue reading “David Soul – Musical Pick Me Up”

America – Mane Music!

America not only united its states but a music trio of the same name. The folk rock groups iconic hit ‘’Horse With No Name’’ is presently being used as a soundtrack for a car advert, and hummed in cars all over the UK. The song’s success was enjoyed by the America threesome from a young age and with its horsey reference to heroin, it typified the 70s culture. With its minimalist 2-chord steady clomp and lyrics of even less academic credibility this song is not yet ready to be put out to grass. The America single may not be your idea of a song track dream as it re-appears in all its simplistic glory – minus the trappings of full orchestral backing or digital piano chord complexities; but a ‘’Horse With No Name’’ has ‘stud’ the test of time and is ‘grazing’ the airwaves as we speak.   America – Mane Music! Continue reading “America – Mane Music!”

Bobby Vee – Bouncing Back

Bobby Vee and his musical making is due in part to the tragic event of 1959; referenced by Don McLean as ‘’The Day the Music Died’’. As Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. ‘’The Big Bopper’’ Richardson lost their lives, it was the death of these three iconic rock and rollers in one fell swoop that led to fifteen year old Bobby Vee stepping up to fill their musical boots.  With an instrumental line up of four; vocals, lead and bass guitar and drums – the band was a success only to increase their ensemble to a quintet by ‘’Gunn’’ engaging the future Bob Dylan as their digital piano player. So Don McLean needn’t have worried about who was going to bake the next ‘’American Pie’’ as Bobby Vee and his buddies ‘The Shadows’ had their audience eating out of their hand. Just like his ‘’Rubber Ball’’ – music came bouncing back!   Bobby Vee – Bouncing Back Continue reading “Bobby Vee – Bouncing Back”

Frankie Valli – Music In The Shade?

Frankie Valli is often thought of as an ‘out there’ frontman for his craft – but this Valli often preferred the musical shade to the limelight. Performing as three different names that included ‘The Four Seasons’, their alias group ‘The Wander Who?’ and as a solo artist Frankie Valli is no stranger to the full glare of 60’s fame. The Four Seasons repertoire was recorded around Rock ‘n’ Roll, Traditional Pop and later Disco/Dance Rock but always with the signatory falsetto vocal line from Frankie Valli. His piercing, high-pitched voice could be heard throughout his tracks and shaped songs like ‘’Sherry’’, ‘’Big Girls Don’t Cry’’ and digital piano led ‘’December 63 (Oh What A Night)’’ with its move-over disco beat.

As a re-run of the 2005 film ‘’Jersey Boys’’ hits the cinema screens this month Frankie Valli will be needing his retro shades as his sunshine hits of the 60’s get a dusting off.  Frankie Valli – Music In The Shade? Continue reading “Frankie Valli – Music In The Shade?”