D’angelo the “Black Messiah” is back!

The greatest comeback of 2014
It took D’angelo 14 years of silence, between “Voodoo” released 2000 and his latest release “Black Messiah”, rush releases in December 2014, actually it almost passed us by. The album was rush released without any huge PR campaign, no big boards, no social media leaks. It´s just here in yer face, right here – right now – and it´s a helluva great comeback – a classic album from day one!

It´s the first to be credited to D’angelo And The Vanguards. His new band, and what a band!

DAngelo-Black-Messiah“Black Messiah” sounds like a continuation of “Voodoo” taken 14 years into the future, without loosing it’s inspiration from the big ones from the past. “Black Messiah” shows the path into the future of nu-neo-soul. This is DEEP SOUL!

As earlier releases by D’angelo the shadow of Prince is found all over the album, but on the “Black Messiah” album we also get a large slice of George Clintons psyched out space funk. Guitars ripped off Ernie Isley of the Isley Brothers and Eddie Hazel, even Jimi Hendrix here and there. The funk of Sly Stone, the political soul of Marvin Gaye and the political lyrics and falsetto of Curtis Mayfield. And we’re not forgetting Prince, because this album has also a track, just like “Voodoo”, that is more Prince than Prince has been the last years. «Another Life» is this years «Untitled (How Does It Feel)» both tracks is some of the best tracks Prince has never written, the track you have to double-check the liner notes twice a day!

D’angelos third album is embracing a huge handful of genres but is without doubt a soul album that’s instant funky,  dry like the deserts of Sahara and sweat like a long hot summers night at the same time, groovy as hell, smooth like butter, juicy jazzy, latin and sitar flirting rock and gospel bomb; Sometimes all at the same time!

The return of D’angelo
D’Angelo has had some tough years, his much written a about weight problem, his problem with coping with his own  success and his almost fatal car crash while on drugs, that almost killed him!

Musically Frank Ocean has almost been there on the fantastsit “Orange”, Beyonce has dipped her toes in the same eksperimental water with her self titled latest album, Miguel almost made it, Prince and his 3rd Eye Girl has tried, and revitalised the sound of Prince! But It’s cool to see how D’angelo collects all the loose threads from the aforementioned to create his third album. With “Black Messiah” does D’andelog dare to show his music colleagues how real soul should be done in 2014. The album and sound of “Black Messiah” will be a blueprint for how soul should sound in the future, without loosing it’s roots in the past!

dangelo-reveals-black-messiah-tracklist-and-meaning-behind-album-nameThe albums mighty production sounds 50% improvised and 50% produced. Everything sounds right. It’s a living proof that there is still place for the sound of D’angelo in a world were we questions the future of the album – and physical formats. This is album music, as album music should be released and listened to – at a whole, as a story, as a part of history – from first track – untill the finnished last track!

With their deep soul album «Black Messisah» shows D’angelo And The Vanguards that they live up to the album’s title as a saviour of soul music and that the long wait was worth it!

All of a sudden 14 years didn´t sound so long time ago. What perfect way to end the year!


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Today we remember Bobby Womack

The sad news of soul legend Bobby Womack passing away felt like a hit in the face. The man passed away friday the 27th of June 2014 – and this is my short little tribute to one of my favorite soul singers.


When I hear the name, Bobby Womack, the song “Across 110th Street” is the first song that pops up into my mind.


Quentin Tarantino brought this soul classic to peoples mind by including the song in his crime-blaxploitation-movie Jackie Brown, a movie adaption of Elmore Leonards novel “Rum Punch


The whole soundtrack to “Across 11th Street” is avaliable on YouTube, you can even watch the whole movie here!


This is how I remember Bobby Womack, may he rest in peace.
You´ll won´t be forgotten!

Elvis Presley was a hero to most…!

Louis Armstrong “Wonderful World”

Marvin Gaye “What´s Goin´On”

Bob Dylan “The Times Are-A-Changing”

John Lennon “Imagine”

Prince “Sign´O´The Times”

Curtis Mayfield “Hard Times”

…And this is just a few of many songs with a deeper meaning – something to tell the listener, having an agenda – a political message!

Today Elvis Presley would have been 78 years old. It´s 35 years since he passed away too soon back in 1977.


When it comes to songs with a deeper meaning. Everyone knows his fantastic “In the Ghetto” but Elvis Presleys version of “If I Can Dream” is never mentioned in the company of the aforementioned songs.

Elvis was a hero to most, but he has never, as far as I know, got known for the deeper meaning in “If I Can Dream”.

On his could-have-been 78th birthday it´s time to give Elvis the respect he deserves. For making the song his own, for showing his soul – and for ripping his voice apart like I have never heard before!

This is Elvis at his best and strongest in one of his greatest performances ever!

Here are the lyrics…

There must be lights burning brighter somewhere
Got to be birds flying higher in a sky more blue
If I can dream of a better land
Where all my brothers walk hand in hand
Tell me why, oh why, oh why can’t my dream come true
Oh why
There must be peace and understanding sometime
Strong winds of promise that will blow away
All the doubt and fear
If I can dream of a warmer sun
Where hope keeps shining on everyone
Tell me why, oh why, oh why wont that sun appear
Were lost in a cloud
With too much rain
Were trapped in a world
That’s troubled with pain
But as long as a man
Has the strength to dream
He can redeem his soul and fly
Deep in my heart there’s a tremblin question
Still I am sure that the answer gonna come somehow
Out there in the dark, there’s a beckoning candle, yeah
And while I can think, while I can talk
While I can stand, while I can walk
While I can dream, please let my dream
Come true, ohhhhh, right now
Let it come true right now
Oh yeah

Elvis was a hero to most – and is still today to me…A hero!

The Ballad(s) of Jimi Hendrix

When I say Jimi Hendrix? Whats the first thing that pops into your mind?
I, myself, think things like – guitar hero, legend, how would he sound today, guitar playing with his teeth, “All Along The Watchtower” a song he made his (sorry Mr Bob Dylan) to name but a few things I thought about!

That´s not the only thing I think about when someone mentions his name – i immediately start to hum for myself “Hey Joe” or “Little Wing”. His ballads – because it has to be said, I have a weak spot for his ballads, if they can be called that. His slower songs maybe? No, I call them ballads even if they are not like contemporary ballads with acoustic instruments and sitting-by-the-fireplace-on-the-beach-with-friends-and-sing-along-all-night songs!

Jimi played his ballads like he played his rock songs;
With enormous energy. His rock songs he could make his guitar sound like a machine-gun (see: “Machine Gun”), he could make his guitar speak (see “Still Raining, Still Dreaming”), he could make his guitar sound like a train (See: “Third Stone From The Sun”. There was no limits to what Jimi Hendrix could do with his six stringed friend (which was a right-handed guitar, but he played left-handed). He could played rock and hard rock, he played psychedelic tracks, and he played jazz and the blues. Jimi could and did play both the rhythm guitar parts of his songs + all the guitar solos – without no one even noticing and thinking about that all guitar sounds on the song were made by the same guitar player. Like I said earlier, there was no limitations!

What this blogpost is about;
Jimi Hendrix ballads, because he was (also) a fantastic performer when he slowed down a bit. When he dared sit down (at least that what it sounds like he did) and really feel the songs. When Jimi played ballads his voice became more focused, he sounded relaxed, he showed his smooth(er) side – he dared show his soul – his blues.
Even in his ballads, Jimi Hendrix and his band had this restless thing, that makes his ballads more jazzy and funky than your average ballad. With a drummer, Mitch Mitchell, that played as funky as James Browns drummer, Clyde Stubblefield, at times – and with  bass and guitars that sounds like they want to speed things up and really wants just to party hard(er). But still they manage to tie the knot together and make some of the best songs ever written and played by a Guitar God and his band.

The search for Jimi Hendrix ballads;
I have lost count how many times I have done searches in record-stores (back in the days when we went there to find music – these days they sell more movies and games than music) for an album that collects all Jimi Hendrix ballads. When we got internet i´d done numerous searches from time to tome through the years  – to see if anyone have released a record with Jimi Hendrix best ballads. But I have to say; without any luck. I repeat; No one has never ever released an album with all of Jimi Hendrix best ballads. No record company, no playlist. (Take note Jimi Hendrix estate!).

It could have been done easily – if someone with a CD-burner (are some one still using these?) and some good photoediting/design skills and a good copy machine – to make their own “Jimi Hendrix – The Ballads” compilation with CD-cover et all. That would have been bootlegging or piracy and not to forget an unofficial record. That´s something I don’t support! I would love to have an original CD or LP with Jimi Hendrix ballads. A albums that had been compiled and approved by his estate and record company!

Since we have streaming services for music, like Spotify (I prefer Spotify as my music streaming service) and Last.fm to name a couple of these. It´s easy to make your own playlist or mixtape. I did manage to make my own Jimi Hendrix ballad album, so left me introduce to you:

Jimi Hendrix “The Ballad(s) of Jimi Hendrix”
Some of you might guessed the title of the album by the header of this blogpost?

About this homemade album; When I did compile this mixtape I first concentrated on the official Jimi Hendrix albums, the albums he gave out before his all to early death in 1970, then I sorted out the best slow jams from his posthumous albums.
Jimi Hendrix gave out the following albums during his lifetime; “Are Your Experienced?” 1967, “Axis: Bold As Love” 1967, “Electric Ladyland” 1968 and a greatest hits album (with the singles he had released so far) “Smash Hits” was released 1968 (before “Electric Ladyland” was released). His first posthumous album was called “Cry Of Love” and was released just in short time after his death.

Jimi also become only 27 y.o., like his music colleagues( starting with the letter J) from the same time, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison to mention a few). Jimi Hendrix was said to be killed in his sleep by a mix of 9 sleeping pills and some wine.

Back to the album I compiled;
I managed to squeeze in 21 tracks, in a little more than an hour (2 short CDs)
21 Jimi Hendrix ballads that goes from short instrumental intro, to only acoustic guitar, a little trip into the blues and soul of Jimi Hendrix, A few instrumentals, A great amount of songs using the weather as metaphors, great songs about (lost) love and a couple of acoustic/unreleased tracks.

The song count goes as follows
4 tracks from “Are Your Experienced”
4 tracks from “Axis: Bold As Love”
3 tracks from “Electric Ladyland”
4 tracks from “Valleys Of Neptune” (“Cry Of Love”)
1 track  from “First Rays Of The New Rising Sun” (“Rainbow Bridge” (soundtrack)
1 track  from “Valleys Of Neptune”
2 tracks from “Blues”
2 tracks from “South Saturn Delta”

The track list goes as follows, in order from eldest to newest albums.
If you use other services than Spotify, here’s a little guidance of which tracks to use to compile your very own Jimi Hendrix “The Ballad(s) Of Jimi Hendrix”

Side A (or CD1)

  1. Hey Joe
  2. May This Be Love
  3. Wind Cries Mary
  4. Red House
  5. Electric Ladyland
  6. Burning of Midnight Lamp
  7. Moon Turn The Tides
  8. Little Wing
  9. Castles Made Of Sand
  10. One Raining Wish

Side B (or CD2)

  1. Bold As Love
  2. Drifting
  3. My Friend
  4. Angel
  5. Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)
  6. Belly Button Windows
  7. Sweet Angel (Unreleased track)
  8. Midnight Lightning
  9. Crying Blue Rain
  10. Hear My Train Coming
  11. Once I Had A Woman

Listen to the whole compilation of Jimi Hendrix “The Ballad(s) of Jimi Hendrix here!

Do you know or miss any Jimi Hendrix slow jams in the playlist?

Which Jimi Hendrix track is your personal favorite?

The sweet revenge of Tom Jones!


Everyone knew who “the man in black” was. The late and great Johnny Cash. In his last years he hooked up with legendary producer Rick Rubin to produce his “American Recordings” album series. Rick Rubin was also the producer behind the album “21” by Adele – a album that has grown to become one of the bestselling albums the last two years. Many years before that he produced The Beastie Boys first album “Ill Communication”, Slayers “Reign In Blood” and Red Hot Chili Peppers funkiest album “Blood Sugar Sex Magic”. With the “American” albums by Johnny Cash he reinvented Johnny as one of the greatest singer-of-songs ever with sparse recordings of other artists songs mainly acoustic, raw and a naked production.
The albums covered great songs performed by artists like Depeche Mode, Tom Petty, Nine Inch Nails, Leonard Cohen and more! All inn all Johnny Cash released 6 albums produced by Rick Rubin!

In the following years we saw artist like legendary and one of worlds best songwriters Kris Kristofferson record albums in the same vein. Like his “This Old Road”. Kris Kristoffersons friend Willie Nelson has done the same thing for years, and he is also becoming better and better the older he gets, and gets more cred. His voice gets more fragile and broken and shows real soul! Another great of the grand singer-songwriters is Neil Diamond who had Rick Rubin to produce a couple of his albums. His latest albums has been replicas of the Johnny Cash formula; One legend, sparse and quite dark recordings, a large handful of cover songs, but he has not had the same success as the late man in black had. It seems like the team Johnny Cash and Rick Rubin started something they couldn´t imagine themselves!

But now – to the man this blogpost is supposed to be about – and I have to admint – a man I didn´t think I ever would write a blogpost about…

Welcome back Sir Tom Jones

Yes, you read correctly. The welch stallion did two years ago what he should have done years ago. He admitted his age – and has reinvented himself as a living legend – and he sounds better than ever!

I guess many of you fell off your chair now – or think I must be mad or something.

Am I talking about the same Tom Jones that has girls – or to sound less pervert – women’s underwear thrown onstage for as long as you and I can remember.

The same Tom Jones that worked with 80s electro-synth group The Art Of Noise on his rework of “Kiss” the Prince classic from 1986.

The same Tom Jones that made a whole album of covers on “Reload” with a bunch of young(er) musicians like Cardigans Nina Person, Lenny Kravitz, Robbie Williams, Manic Street Preachers, Portishead, Stereophonics and Cherys Matthews to name just a few.

The same Tom Jones that did a whole album “Mr Jones” with Wycleff Jean of legendary rap-group The Fugees behind the mixing- and producer table in 2002.

Tom Jones also sported a darker hair and had grown a beard during these “younger” years (thanks to a creative hairdresser one must admit) and his face seemed way smoother than other men half his age.

But back in 2004 something happened – Sir Tom Jones made an album with Jools Holland where they went back to his own roots, covering songs in genres he played in his younger years; Blues, R&B, Rockabilly songs. I haven’t heard this album so I am not going to dig too deep into to it other than I already then heard rumors about Tom Jones is doing giant leap away from dance/rock/pop he did in the late 90s – early 2000s.

Four years later, in 2008 he released “24 Hours” a album that was a again flirting with the combo of modern beats and newer retrosoul by artist like Duffy and the late Amy Winehouse. Enough about that for now!

Then the man rises again…

The welsh stallion, this time not meant sexually – but huge, strong and mighty! Tom Jones doesn´t work with young hip musicians. His hair has got a more natural color, white, gray like silver
r, so has his, new trademark, the beard. His face has started again to show natural lines and he, to be honest, Tom Jones look more natural and cooler than ever!

The year is 2010 and he works with producer Ethan Jones, who has had his magic hands on albums by artists such as Ray LaMontagne, Ryan Adams, Counting Crows, Rufus Wainwright, Joe Cocker – to name a few. Tom Jones sings in a more laid-back tone, his voice sounds deeper. He almost talks more than he sings. He sounds almost like his friend from younger years, Elvis Presley at his last recordings.

You can click here to listen to the album in Spotify

The album he releases, “Praise & Blame” is a spiritual album, where he digs into the american songbook (sic). And starts the album with a great cover of Bob Dylans “What Good Am I” and Tom Jones owns this song from now on! John Lee Hooker also gets covered, country legend Billy Joe Shaver and a great collection of other blues/gospel/soul songs. The four last songs is written by Tom Jones and Ethan Jones and fits perfectly into the great mix of mainly acoustic, sparse recordings – with focus on the voice and naked production and telling the spiritual stories. The album lasts for only 38 great minutes.

It seems like record companies has understood that a album does´t have to fill up all 80 minutes that is possible to push into a single CD. The next, and until now last, Tom Jones album “Spirit In The Room” was released earlier this year, in the first half of 2012 and includes only 37 minutes of music. The albums includes more of the same, as on “Praise & Blame” – and is a great album full of new and old classics songs – no fillers!

You can click here to listen the albums in Spotify

Tom Jones shows the listener that the older he gets, the better he gets. Ethan Jones is still producing his albums and the comparison with Rick Rubins American series of Tom Jones starts to show. The main difference between “Praise & Plame” and “Spirit In The Room” is on “Praise” did Tom Jones mainly do versions of classic blues and R&B songs by long gone legends within the genre – and on “Spirit” he revisits more contemporary songs by artists like the album opener Leonard Cohens “Tower Of Song”. Paul Simons “Love & Blessings” and Paul McCartneys “(I Want To) Come Home”, Richard & Linda Thompsons “Dimming of the Lights” and Tom Waits “Bad As Me” – there is also a cover of a even younger band, The Low Anthem song and some blues covers on this album. Tom Jones has become a laid-back – and a really cool artist – his artistic change can be compared with Johnny Cash´ transformation.

Tom Jones, now being in his 72nd year, shows the listeners that it´s to late to stop now! Instead he has finally started to be what he is – a great performer, that no longer try to be being hip and follows all the newest trends. Instead he has finally found his form – his genre, even though he walks in trails that already has been pawed up by other artists.
He still has courage to do what he does – and proves that he is – a man that is in his last part of life, but he still has the coolness to get on stage – and perform and doing songs the way only he can!

Tom Jones; if your friend the King of Rock&Roll, Elvis Presley, still had lived he would have been proud of you.

I like to think that Elvis looks at Sir Tom Jones from heaven up above with Johnny Cash by his side smiling and they agree…

…Sir Tom Jones – you won at last!