Blues At My Baby’s House (Buddy Guy)

Messrs Beck and Clapton are certainly very good at what they do, but like that most talented-yet-overrated of psychedelic blues-rockers Jimi Hendrix, they ripped off a lot of what they did from a gallery of illustrious predecessors. This magpie mind-set is hard to fault – ripping off your elders seems to be how music progresses, with one generation cherry-picking from the ones that preceded it, fusing this with their own stylistic preferences, and producing something new(ish). The sad part comes when their venerable forbears don’t get a smidgen of the airplay or acclaim – not to mention remuneration – afforded to the whippersnappers who wouldn’t have got anywhere without them. Continue reading “Blues At My Baby’s House (Buddy Guy)”

All The Madmen (David Bowie)

Shuffle glibly through David Bowie’s commercial highlights – ‘Heroes’, Changes, Let’s Dance etc – and you won’t come away with the image of a songwriter whose principal thematic ingredients include crippling paranoia, isolation, totalitarianism, dystopia, Nietzchian supermen, the occult, various shades of emotional anguish and madness. In Bowie’s darker work, the last one has proved to be a particular preoccupation. As a boy, the young David was close to his half-brother Terry Burns, a charismatic jazz-buff who introduced Bowie to the scratchy improvisations of Ornette Coleman and was influential in shaping his brother’s later avant-garde proclivities. Terry was also schizophrenic. Continue reading “All The Madmen (David Bowie)”