Sometimes the most wonderful things crop up on YouTube as the result of me watching something else.
Recently, I was treated to a clip of an intimate 1983 gig by Randy Newman at the Odeon in NYC.
To help him out on Rider in the Rain, he is joined by Ry Cooder and Linda Ronstadt. Three great musicians clearly having a lot of fun together. That put a big smile on my face too.
And there are many more unexpected things out there. Tom Jones singing with C.S.N & Y. Rhianna live with Calvin Harris at the Brit Awards. Beth Orton and Terry Callier singing Dolphins on Later. Not to mention Rammstein feat Ken Dodd and the Diddymen plus Jools Holland on boogie woogie piano.
Scorchio! The list just goes on and on.
Anyway, all this got me thinking of putting together a dream evening of music for my own pleasure. And for yours too of course! We are in Dreamland so artists being dead is no obstacle. The Taybridge Bar would do very nicely as a venue. And as I have been listening to a lot of Shetland and Scottish stuff recently, there will be a Caledonian flavour to my selections.
I am kicking off with “Peerie” Willie Johnson together with Aly McBain. Bigstevie got me interested in Willie. Local hero in Shetland he had a remarkable life. A self-taught guitarist who brought jazz into folk music.
Next, I would like to welcome to the stage two great artists who are sorely missed here in Kärrtorp : Michael Marra and Jackie Leven. This week it struck me that there are similarities between them. Warmth, poetry, humour, and wild flights of the imagination. I never saw Marra live but I met Jackie a couple of times and can very easily imagine him chatting up Frida Kahlo.
Finally, to celebrate this evening of Scottish talent, it gives me great pleasure to introduce two very talented women.
Firstly from the Hebrides: Julie Fowlis. To paraphrase Dr Johnson “When a man is tired of Julie Fowlis, he is tired of life.” (Thanks Nigel!)
And finally, Karine Polwart singing songs from her new Scottish Songbook album.
”I saw the crescent. You saw the whole of the moon.” Indeed!
There you go. A few favourites of mine.
Anybody else fancy putting together a short programme of artists we might enjoy? Jazz, reggae, metal, indie, crooner. Wales, Bolivia, Iceland. Yorkshire, Tokyo, Paris,
Let your imagination go wild!
My only condition is that at least two of the artists mentioned should be alive, kicking and grateful when hordes of Afterworders come to their gigs and buy mountains of merch.
I leave you with Jackie Leven describing New York Pluggers. I miss the Big Man to this day.