Archive for December 23rd, 2016



Music albums or the complete purchase of an artist’s work was at times a statement on how you lived your life and how you felt emotionally.
In the Christmas season at our house I am still affected by music I first bought on vinyl and then again bought digitally.
The more tougher the year has been, the more I crave that original feeling I had with certain pieces of music.
This year has been very hard.
So what do I do?
You guessed it. I bring out what makes me feel good.
In 2016 I’m not sure if for example Drake and Adele fans are buying up their vinyl albums or the complete cd so they can feel the whole scope of what the artist was trying to achieve.
Will they still listen 40 years from now?
Quite possibly.
Christmas and at all points now in the year, it’s a fast digital world.
Yet today in 2016 old musical feelings I had still had then are now true to me 40 years later on an emotional and philosophical level
In 1978 when The Last Waltz triple album by The Band was released I purchased it knowing I had a steady job at the mine.
I had a little extra cash.
A triple album was a big purchase at least in the stereo album department
I had married Anna the year before and had cut back some on my live band playing.
But I still wanted to buy new music
This particular album documented The Band’s farewell concert which took place at Bill Graham’s Winterland Ballroom
I was a huge fan right from their debut album Music From Big Pink, so this purchase was kind of a final must have.
Every Christmas that album would come out from my storage shelf and I dropped the needle down to listen for 90 minutes or so.
Hearing The Band rip through songs like Stage Fright, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down and Life Is A Carnival which to my ears were better than the original studio takes was a joy.
Having guest artists like Ronnie Hawkins, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Neil Young and Muddy Waters was icing on the cake.
In the same vein, I recently just purchased Robbie Robertson’s exciting and inspirational new book Testimony, which dedicates the first 30 pages about the influence of Ronnie Hawkins who i had interviewed.
As a musician The Last Waltz represents why being a player and songwriter is so important whatever level you reach.
Full circle folks, each holiday season The Last Waltz is part of it
Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon has been played every Christmas every year in every house i have lived in since 1973.
That is quite a statement.
I had bought it originally at Sam The Record Man in Toronto Yonge Street location
Beginning and ending with a heartbeat i can’t think of another piece of continuous music that reflects life as i have experienced it.
I can tell you whether it’s songs like Breathe, The Great Gig In the Sky, Us and Them or Money the music on Dark Side brings unity.
As the ending song Eclipse states in part, “All that you Touch, All That You See, All That is Now and All that is Gone”  always works for me.
In the end, two distinct pieces of music that bring me joy during the holiday season.
Happy Holidays

December 2016