Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Draw something every day.
I love music, but I have always been more about guitar tone more than anything since I was a kid. I always liked fuzz-tone guitar, and bouncy or very heavy fat bass lines. I like the drumming of John Bonham about the best, though there are so may good drummers in the world, I could go on praising them forever. But I never thought about singers in the sense of “I like the way that sounds”. I liked good lyrics. I disliked obviously bad things, like David Clayton-Thomas, and “they paved paradise, put up a parking lot” (and for the record, I like many Joni Mitchell songs, but not that one). It was my ex-wife Sara who kind of opened my ears to good voices, singers who possess a good instrument. The first time I remember noticing it I was playing a Jerry Lee Lewis record. She said “he has a beautiful voice.” and she was right, I had always thought of Jerry Lee as a shouter but he’s not at all, he does have a nice voice. A month or two later we were listening to Waylon Jennings “Dreaming My Dreams”, a dollar bin find, and she noticed, yes, he has a really nice voice. It started me thinking about who is a good singer and also who is a good singer with a really nice voice. On the male side I have to put Bobby “Blue” Bland and Little Willie John up at the top. (Also, the recently deceased Ben E. King and B.B. King both had really nice voices, maybe that’s why I’m thinking about it.)
It has a lot to do with choice of material; you might have a really pretty voice but if you are outside of the genres I follow, I’m not likely to know. But I feel bad for missing a performer who is well-known in the kind of music I like and that’s Bonnie Raitt. I had no idea she was such a talented guitar player, for one thing. Also, she sings like a dream. How did I miss her? Maybe I wasn’t ready.
Anyway, now I listen for good voices, and here is one.