Archive for December, 2010


Shady Groove 2010 Year In Review

Well folks, 2010 is drawing to a close and I feel the need to put a cap on this year in true blogger fashion. With a review and the all-popular “Best of” list. I preferred to make a couple of lists: Top 5 Albums of 2010, Top 5 Songs of 2010, and Top 10 Live Shows of 2010. So here we go. Shady Groove comin’ at you one last time for 2010 with a thoughful year review.

When I stopped to think of this year I thought of several ways to approach this review. How do you summarize a year? How do you summarize a year…….in music? After hours of mind expanding thought I realized that 2010, and every year for that matter, is different for everyone. Musical tastes differ. Everyone takes a different musical path to lead them to where they are. So that being the case, this is MY 2010 evolution through music. Totally and completely biased. I leave no mysteries. I write from a Philadelphia, local, folk, gourd-fan point of view. It should be said that I love the complex, the energetic, the earthy, freewheeling, playful, and the weird. Feel free to take my ideas, reply, criticize, comment, love, hate, enjoy them…..

I’ll leave you with some “Top 5” lists. There is also a SG Year in Review Podcast. Make sure to download it as well as Top 5 Songs of 2010. Giddy up.

2010 for me saw quite a revitalization of the classic soul and Motown. The funky rhythms that came from that era were fascinating me all year. I found myself diggin deep into these classic artists such as Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, King Curtis, Wilson Pickett, Arthur Conley, The Isley Brothers, James Brown, etc…As I dug deeper into soul, I also tended to dip deep into the roots of rock and roll, blues, rhythm and blues. Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly. The more I listened the more I wanted to search. The more I searched, the more I heard these classic songs consistently covered by todays artists. An artist cover of another artists song is a powerful endorsement. It is the highest praise that an artist can give another. These are the building blocks of influence on the musical culture. The songs from these artists from our past can be felt and heard in all of the music being released today. Without Chuck Berry we would have no Beatles, no Stones, no Leon Russell. Without Sam Cooke we would have no Aretha Franklin, no Otis Redding, no Isley Brothers. Without the Isley’s we’d have no Black Keys. Without Willie Nelson or Hank Williams we’d have no Shinyribs, no Mason Porter.

I found this year important to pay tribute to the greats. Also to note this year is the live music scene, which is booming in Philadelphia and New York, my usual stomping grounds. Shady Groove caught some kick ass shows this year and we hope that will continue into 2011. Look to the list below for the top 10 live shows.

Yours in Rock. Shady Groove out.

Top 5 Songs of 2010:

1. Shinyribs: If You Need the (442) — Well After Awhile
2. Joe Pug: Speak Plainly, Diana — Nation Of Heat
3. Mason Porter: Old Freight Train — Thunder In The Valley
4. The Black Keys: Tighten Up — Brothers
5. Harlem: Friendly Ghost — Hippies

Top 5 Albums of 2010:
1. Shinyribs — Well After Awhile
2. The Black Keys — Brothers
3. Sharon Jones and the Dapkings — I Learned The Hard Way
4. Mason Porter — Thunder In The Valley
5. Joe Pug — Nation of Heat

Top 10 Live Shows of 2010:
1. Hoots and Hellmouth
2. Cheers Elephant
3. The Black Keys
4. Mason Porter
5. Sharon Jones and The Dapkings
6. The Gourds/Shinyribs
7. Levon Helm
8. The Avett Brothers
9. Leon Russell
10. Joe Pug

Shady Groove Year in Review Podcast 2010:
the track listing went as follows: Booker T and the MG’s – Hang em High ++ Chuck Berry – Roll Over Beethoven ++ Little Richard – Long Tall Sally ++ Arthur Conley – Sweet Soul Music ++ Harlem – Friendly Ghost ++ The Black Keys – Tighten Up ++ Mason Porter – Old Freight Train ++ Joe Pug – Speak Plainly, Diana ++ Shinyribs – If You Need the (442) ++ Mumford and Sons – Little Lion Man ++ Belle and Sebastian – I Want the World to Stop ++ Leon Russell – Dixie Lullaby ++ Dr. John – Big Chief ++ Local Natives – Wide Eyes ++ Talking Heads – Warning Sign ++ The Avett Brothers – Salvation Song ++ Hazmat Modine – It Calls Me ++ Blitzen Trapper – Dragon’s Song ++ The Gourds – Luddite Juice ++ Joe Pug – Nation of Heat ++ Mason Porter – Hangman ++ Sharon Jones and the Dapkings – Better Things ++ The Black Keys – Howlin For You ++ Shinyribs – Shores of Galilee

Download Shady Groove Podcast #15: Year In Review


RIP Joe Strummer

Thought I’d give a shout out today to the late Mr. Joe Strummer, lead singer and guitarist from the British punk rock outfit, The Clash. On this date 8 years ago we lost this exceptional musician.

Those that are familiar with The Clash know that calling them simply a punk rock band would be an understatement. Their music incorporated elements of reggae, ska, dub, funk, rap, dance, and rockabilly. Joe, along with Paul Simonon, Mick Jones, and Nicky Headon created the rebellious attitude and musical experimentation that had a profound influence on alternative rock. They were dubbed, and widely referred to as “The Only Band That Matters”. Their landmark album, London Calling, brought them to popularity in the US in 1979 and has been widely considered as the best album of the 1980’s. Being a child of the 80’s, I agree 100%.

In 2003, the band was inducted to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. At the band’s induction, the Clash was said to be “considered one of the most overtly political, explosive and exciting bands in rock and roll history.” In 2004 Rolling Stone ranked them #30 on their list of 100 Greatest Artists of all Time.

Though the band many different musical elements, it is the dub/reggae sounds that really turned me on initially. The incorporation of reggae ‘riddims’ in such a puck rock atmosphere is intoxicating. Check out this cover of the classic Junior Murvin song, Police and Theives. It is found on their debut album, The Clash. enjoy.

So hats off to Joe Strummer. The man behind the genius of The Clash. You will always be missed.


The Moon and the Sun

Last night something that hasn’t happened in 327 years occurred. Well, two events actually occurred last night, but the fact that they happened at the same time created the rarity. I’m talking about the total lunar eclipse that just so happened to align itself with the winter solstice. This hasnt happened since 1683. In addition, there was a minor meteor shower during the peak of the eclipse. All said, this made for an interesting night of moon and star gazing. I was excited.

The winter solstice marks the first day of winter in the northern hemisphere. This occurs when the sun is at its lowest in the sky because the Earth’s north pole, with its axial tilt, is pointing away from it. Because of this, today is the shortest day of the year and also had the longest night. Being that last night was the longest night of the year meant that it was also the darkest, which allowed for perfect viewing. The minor meteor shower would not have been able to be seen had it not been the darkest day of the year.

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth get between the full moon and the sun, blocking the sun’s rays from reflecting off the lunar surface. Not every full moon produces an eclipse but it can only occur during a full moon. There have been 2 full lunar eclipse’ in 2010.

Over the centuries, lunar eclipse’ have generated much lore and even fear. There are those that think the full moon affects their behavior; or that there is most definitely a physical connection between the moon and humans. To the Athenians in the 5th century B.C., a lunar eclipse was seen as a bad omen. Their superstitions led them to delay the siege of Syracuse, which as a result, changed the course of the war. Christopher Columbus, correctly predicted an eclipse in 1504 and used it to frighten natives on Jamaica into feeding his crew.

Science tells us that eclipses are the simple result of predictable celestial alignments. Research has shown no connection between the full moon and human behavior yet many people still believe in the myths. The fact that these myths have been in existence since the beginning of man leads me to the conclusion that people will always believe in these silly myths. In the words of Stevie Wonder,

“When you believe in things
that you don’t understand
and you suffer
Superstition ain’t the way”

Hope you enjoyed this lesson in Lunar science. The moon and the sun will continue to fascinate, inspire, motivate, enthuse, and move. Here’s a couple of tunes that have been inspired by the moon and its powers.

Also keep an eye out for a moon-and-sun-themed podcast from Shady Groove in the near future.


Podcast #14: A Very Shady Christmas

This year, spend your Holidays listening to the best mix of Christmas music around. Straight from the shelves of the Shady Groove archives comes a smart, sophisticated, freewheeling compilation of the finest nature. We’ve compiled many of the season’s classics along with some not-so-well-known favorites of mine. Listen. Dance. Enjoy.

A Very Shady Christmas 2010: Vince Guaraldi Trio – Linus and Lucy ++ The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping ++ Chuck Berry – Run Rudolph Run ++ Clarence Carter – Backdoor Santa ++ Run DMC – Christmas in Hollis ++ Bing Crosby – Mele Kalikimaka ++ Big John Greer – We Wanna See Santa Do the Mambo ++ The Beach Boys – Little Saint Nick ++ Madonna – Santa Baby ++ Brenda Lee – I’m Gonna Lasso Santa Claus ++ Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Merry Christmas Baby ++ Neil Diamond – You Make It Feel Like Christmas ++ Bela Fleck and the Flecktones – Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy ++ Paul McCartney – Wonderful Chrismastime ++ Elvis Presley – Blue Christmas ++ The Youngsters – Christmas In Jail ++ Champion Jack Dupree – Santa Claus Blues ++ Booker T and the MG’s – Jingle Bells ++ CJ Chenier and The Red Hot Louisiana Band – Zydeco Christmas ++ John Lennon – Happy Xmas (War is Over)

Download Shady Groove Podcast #14: A Very Shady Christmas


Download Shady Groove’s Radio Co-Host Debut Show on 91.9 WNTI

Well folks, I know you’ve all been anxiously awaiting my radio co-host debut and it is finally here. Listen. Enjoy. Share.

If you missed the track listing last time, here it is.

91.9 FM December 7:
Buddy Holly – Down the Line ++ Aretha Franklin – Dr. Feelgood (vinyl) ++ Cake – Opera Singer ++ Old 97’s – Bel Air ++ Bob Dylan – I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight ++ The Avett Brothers Pretty Girl From Cedar Lane ++ Dr. John – Huey Smith Medley (vinyl) ++ The Black Keys – Everlasting Light ++ Blitzen Trapper – Country Caravan ++ Mason Porter – Old Freight Train ++ Shinyribs – If You Need the (442) ++ The Allman Brothers Band – BB King Medley ++ Wood Brothers – Luckiest Man ++ Toots and the Maytals – Pressure Drop ++ Grateful Dead – Scarlet Begonias ++ Israel Kamaka – Somewhere Over the Rainbow ++ Leon Russell – Tight Rope (vinyl) ++ Hazmat Modine – Yesterday Morning ++ Boz Scaggs – Loan Me a Dime ++ The Gourds – I Come Up > All the Labor.

Download WNTI Co-Host debut Part 1
Download WNTI Co-Host debut Part 2