Tag Archives: Jimmy Page

In the Light Of Led Zeppelin Pays Homage To The Great Musician With Reinvented Sound

12 May

With the album Pompeii Sessions In The Light Of Led Zeppelin pays homage to Led Zeppelin’s sound and overall vibe within their music, listeners will get immediately entranced by their sound. With heavy bass and drum rhythms going throughout their music, one can sense the underlying passion that lies within these music creators. The band prides itself on playing different version of Zeppelin’s music, versions of cuts that you could never imagine entices concert goers to experience Zeppelin’s sound in a new light. All of the members of the band are musicians from childhood, with paths diverting to professional careers and zipping on back to that of professional music players. Although there seems to numerous amounts of tribute bands, the album Pompeii Sessions revamps a dedication sound and transforms it into their own. A lover of Zeppelin or not, one can find the unique musical qualities within their work to come back for more.

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The Deity of British Blues – Alexis Korner

8 Sep

Alexis Korner

Robert Johnson, Charley Patton, Son House, Ma Rainey, Big Bill Broonzy – Names that are forever linked with their god-like status among the propagation of American Blues – an extensive genre that had an indelible impact on the future molding of rock ‘n’ roll.

On the other side of the pond, British jazz musicians and fans became ensconced with the Blues music of musicians like Ma Rainey and Fats Waller, acquiring much of these tunes from African-American GIs stationed there during the Wars. After the Skiffle craze died down in the 1950s, many Skiffle-influenced musicians turned their attention to pure Blues music. Muddy Waters had a shocking electric (literally) visit to England where he shocked Brits with his amplified electric blues. Some were appalled by his lack of reverence for the classic style, but the youth ate up this edgy playing. Among them was a guitarist by the name of Alexis Korner, who, like the Blues ancestors above, would spark a focus on Blues in Britain and influence a slew of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest musicians. Thus, he too should be considered a true Blues god, and it should come to no surprise that he is often given the moniker of the “Father of British Blues.”

Korner’s elaborate music history is extensive and impactful. It is not easy to keep the plenitude of anecdotes to a minimum, but for the sake of the reader I shall limit my focus to a few stories. Like, for example, in 1969 while touring with a new band, Korner was jamming with a little-known singer named Robert Plant. Jimmy Page, who often performed with Korner at the Marquee Club, was intrigued by Plant’s voice and asked him to join The New Yardbirds…who would soon turn into a rock band called Led Zeppelin with Page and Plant at the helm.

But I am getting ahead of myself. That was in the late 60s. Korner’s career (even though he dabbled in Skiffle) really began in 1961 when he founded Blues Incorporated with Blues harmonica extraordinaire Cyril Davies. Blues Incorporated (like The Yardbirds, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, and Cyril Davies’ All-Stars) was an early example of a “supergroup.” But, in truth, it was just a platform for talented blues musicians to play music. Blues Incorporated, though, has the special mark as the first electrified Blues band in Britain. The band secured a residency at the Marquee (mentioned above) and even established an R&B Night at Ealing Jazz Club.

Remember what I said about the youth loving electrified Blues music? Well, where do you think they went to hear this music? And who do you think inspired them to pursue this music? So when I tell you that Korner played with musicians like Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Paul Jones, Eric Burdon, and many, many others, you should not be too surprised. Most of the early Blues musicians in Britain are linked with Alexis Korner in some way. He is like the Kevin Bacon of British Blues. And when Cyril Davies left Korner to form his All-Stars he played with musicians like Nicky Hopkins and Long John Baldry until he died far too young in 1964. The All-Stars were led by Baldry who created Hoochie Coochie Man, featuring a singer named Rod Stewart. Page also had a few All-Stars jam sessions, adding individuals like Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Bill Wyman, and Mick Jagger to the mix.

But back to Korner for one more story before I urge you to watch this documentary about him.

Blues Incorporated was asked by BBC radio to broadcast a session in the early 60s, but the producer only had room for six musicians. The seventh member of the group with a singer named Mick Jagger. Jagger was asked to gather some friends and play the normal spot at the Marquee. The friends he gathered were Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Ian Stewart on piano, Dick Taylor on bass and Tony Chapman on drums. The band went by the name of  Rollin’ Stones after a Muddy Waters tune.

Cyril Davies on vocals and harmonica. Alexis Korner playing a mean acoustic guitar. Released in November, 1962.

Tangled Up in Blue: The Bands

8 Sep

The Beatles were the most popular rock band throughout the 60s, and many believed their reign of supreme rock band could not be challenged. Well, I’m going to give you two bands that definitely could put up a legitimate fight.

Led Zeppelin wasn’t just a band of musicians, but a conduit to the dark side.  They didn’t have to tune down to ungodly low notes or play loud or fast for their music to be bad ass because they weren’t mere mortals.  Jimmy Page wasn’t a guitar god, Robert Plant didn’t sing like an angel, John Bonham didn’t play drums like a sissy and John Paul Jones’ bass lines weren’t stairways to heaven.  Page was a demon, Plant howled like a Viking warrior, Bonham played like he was at war with his drum set and Jones’ bass lines were chutes to hell.  Check out How the West Was Won for 10 minute drum and guitar solos from some of the most talented musicians who ever lived!

The Rolling Stones are one of the few bands that could compete with Zeppelin and the Beatles for popularity.  In fact, the World’s Greatest Rock and Roll band was formed as an anti-Beatles (despite singing Lennon/McCartney songs on their first few albums). They contrasted the Beatles’ finely tailored suits and mop-tops with rugged and dirty looks.  Their image, however, wasn’t just a front.  Their music was the blues with attitude and I don’t mean Tony Robbins keep a positive outlook on life attitude.  It was at times mean (check out “Bitch” on Sticky Fingers) and at times tender (check out “Angie” on Goat’s Head Soup) but they always played with Attitude with a capital A.  The Stones are recognized for their sustained popularity, but I want to bring up a band that was just as good.

Faces played a similar Honky Tonk blues style and they played it exceptionally well, albeit for lesser years.  Check out pre-pop Rod Stewart on vocals and Ronnie Wood (future member of the Stones) on guitar as they play a no-nonsense song about a one night stand.

The Stones and Zeppelin sold millions of studio records in their rise to popularity, but it was a live album that skyrocketed the Allman Brothers Band to stardom.  Unlike the previous bands, the Allman Brothers’ blend of blues was purely Southern and helped to create a Southern Rock sound emulated by many.  That album, Live at the Fillmore East, features two of the greats in the line of talented Allman Brothers Band guitarists.  Duane Allman’s slide guitar is unmatched and the interplay with Dickey Betts defines early Allman Brothers’ sound.  Current guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks are no slouches either.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Hey guys, Matt here. I just wanted to give Aaron Shipper, the author of this post, a full Music Court welcome. Aaron, a blues aficionado and lover of good music, has joined the small editorial staff at the Music Court and will be bringing you music posts in his “A Different Drummer” category two days a week. So, everyone please make Aaron feel at home!

Inagural Journey

5 Sep

I’d like to take you on musical journey, more specifically my musical journey, from a tiny dweeb with a mix CD of songs downloaded from Kazaa to this post pubescent humanoid interested enough in music to volunteer to write for this esteemed music blog.

I envision this category as an exploration of musical genres that I enjoy, handpicking artists, albums and even specific songs that are part of my musical gospel.  These music genres and how I divide and subdivide them are really of my own creation and bear no resemblance to what you may or may not have read on wikipedia.  Also, I haven’t decided yet if I will crossover artists between genres.  You’ll just have to stay tuned to find that tantalizing bit of knowledge out.

With that administration stuff out of the way, we can now make way on this exploration.  I’d like to start with my longest obsession: the blues!

The Blues: Great Guitarists

My guess is if you’re here, you’ve at least heard of the greats.  Perhaps you enjoy listening to the Pioneers of Blues, like Robert Johnson, Chuck Berry, the three Kings (BB, Freddie and Albert), Buddy Guy,  or Hendrix.  Or maybe you rock out with the blues guitarists of the British Invasion, try Jeff Beck, Mr. Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page or Keith Richards.  Perhaps, (like myself), you find something really cool about Southern Blues like SRV, Duane Allman, Dickey Betts or Gary Rossington.  Those guys are the greats for many reasons but they certainly are not the only great players out there.

I’m sure you’ve heard of a guy named John Mayer.  Tall, skinny white dude who only seems like a prick until you actually hear him speak and you can confirm it.  Everytime I used to hear the man’s songs I had the sudden and barely controllable urge to break things.  Sometimes I still do.  However, that doesn’t change the fact that although he may have the voice of a pop singer who injects himself with estrogen, Mr. Mayer plays like a guitar god on steriods with three hands who will be killed painfully when and if he stops playing with a healthy does of skill and soul.  Just check out the mans solo and even compare it to the great Eric Clapton’s.

As amazing as some of these guys are, I’ve never wanted to learn to kick ass and take names on guitar more than seeing a guy by the name of Davy Knowles play live.  I was standing next to another act, a pretty good guitarist himself by the name of Evan Watson (checkout this video) who was standing there, mouth open, shaking his head as Davy fretted and played with one hand.  Check out his album Coming up For Air to understand just how talented he is.

Just watched Davy?  The song he just played isn’t actually his.  It’s by a guy by the name of Rory Gallagher.  I know, wimpy first name, not wimpy player.  The bad boys of rock and roll themselves,, those Rolling Stones even asked this guy to play for them.  That’s how good.  Check out the Irish 74 tour live double album for a legend in tippy top shape.

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