20 August 2007

Something’s Gotta Blow when you work so hard and the sweat pours down on you….

I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of the Blues. I mean to say that while I’ll listen and I understand the historical musical relevance in the same way I understand Rap, I don’t choose to play the Blues or beyond Eric Clapton give too much time to listening to it. When I heard that Joan Armatrading was putting out a Blues record, aptly entitled Into the Blues, I was curious, and excited. This woman could slurp her soup and I’d clap. Ever since High School, thanks to Lauren Marano and Rachel Murdy who turned me on to her, I’ve been a fan. However, despite this, I wasn’t so sure I’d like this CD.

She’s been around since the early 70’s and this, her 18th album, is her first CD of new material since her 2003 release, Lovers Speak. Some of the songs on it, like “A Woman in Love” are not as bluesy as one would expect but are rather truer to her sense of jazz/pop influenced singing and songwriting. The same is true of the exciting tune “Something’s Gotta Blow”- it has a lot of energy, a lot of power and is very jazzy/rock-like. It even has some cool overlaying of her voice that is really kind of trippy and overall it’s a very catchy song. I really dig this tune! I think it’s my favourite on this whole CD.

Other songs, like the title track “Into the Blues”, “Empty Highway” and “Allright” are true to the form of Blues. Heavy on the guitar licks, slower moving, kind of sad and thoughtful. It’s easy to envision a smoke filled room, lots of old Gibson guitars being played, and an old stand-up piano for good measure. Don’t forget the whiskey.

According to Wikipedia Ms. Armatrading says this is "the CD I’ve been promising myself to write for a long time". I think she has served herself, and her fans well. There is something on this album for everyone – true Blues fans will appreciate it, and her loyal fans will groove on it as well. No matter what she does she is the one and only Joan Armatrading: singer/songwriter, jazz influenced, rock and roll pop/folk artist. However she does it it all comes together and it sounds amazing! www.joanarmatrading.com and www.myspace.com/joanarmatrading

I’m not really sure what to talk about this week. It was one of those weeks that started off like any other. Unemployed, blue, trying to stay out of the sweltering 95 degree heat and contemplating how I would move back east if I didn’t find a job very soon. I had two job interviews – the first job I didn’t really want was at a recording studio (no money and well, I’m significantly overqualified). The other job I ended up wanting.

I went into my second interview as usual a little apprehensive. I had done my research and this advertising agency seemed like a very buttoned up kind of place. Not my style but I’ll go anyway (after working at the studio I don’t ever want to have to wear nice clothes to work unless for a special occasion). It goes to show you that websites can be deceiving. This place was funky, creative, the owner was wearing shorts and a t-shirt and I thought – Wow. VERY COOL!!! I really liked the place. This was Wednesday. I got offered the job Thursday. I took it. Life is good.

After a near –perfect weekend (the only thing that would have made it perfect would have been a rain storm and 70 degree weather) I’m spending this week hanging out and enjoying my last few days of freedom. There are baseball games to be watched, errands to run and money to spend now that I’ll have more of it at my disposal. Don’t worry – not too much – just some things I haven’t allowed myself to buy lately.

As I sit here sweating while typing I’m reminded of the fact that I didn’t move here for the weather. This is not my idea of fun. I don’t like the sun very much, I don’t like the heat because it forces me to stay inside and I don’t like bathing in sunblock when I need to go outside. But such is life and I’m glad to be alive, so I’ll deal while the sweat pours out of me and enjoy my time. I’m lucky to be where I am, to have what I have and I’m grateful for my time.

What does this mean for this blog? The blog I started because I had a lot of time on my hands and needed a creative outlet outside of music? It means I’ll likely post on Sunday’s. It may mean shorter posts, but hopefully it means more interesting stories as I navigate new waters in my life. Yeah – I’ll still try and push NUMB on the world but a girl’s gotta make a living (and pay off NUMB)!

Thanks for tuning until...Until next Sunday?...CHEERS!!!

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