Monday, October 13, 2014

Three for the Ride: Joe Walsh, Steve Vai, Jars of Clay

Some days, I take the train to work. Other days, I drive. Either way, I listen to music on the way. I put the iPhone music player on shuffle, and off I go. Calling my collection eclectic would be an understatement. It's often an interesting mix. There are songs though, that I really wish the world could appreciate as much as I do. Songs that make me say, "Ooh, listen to THIS! Isn't it great?!"

Here's what I heard this morning:

Joe Walsh: "Theme from Boat Weirdos"
But Seriously, Folks (1978) is best known for its hit, "Life's Been Good," but there are some other great songs on that record, and this instrumental piece is one of them. There are two very distinct parts in this song, one very dreamy and ethereal with a smooth flute melody played by drummer, Joe Vitale, and the other a more funky guitar-driven bit that features Joe's different guitar styles. It's one of my favorite tracks on this record.

Steve Vai: "Viv Woman"
This is turning into an instrumental sort of day. in 1984, Zappa alumnus Steve Vai released his first solo record, Flex-Able. It's a great first effort that reflects Zappa's influence in a huge way. The most impressive thing is that the record is recorded in his home studio, and as rumor has it, on an 8-track. The sound on this record is great.

Jars of Clay: "The Valley Song"
I've seen these guys 4 times now; twice in 1996 and then twice more recently. The show I saw a couple years ago was one of the best live music performances I have ever experienced. These guys know how to paint beautiful sonic pictures. This song from 2003's studio/live double album, Furthermore: From the Studio, From the Stage, is one of those paintings.

Until next time...

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