“Words Can Break Your Heart” – Don Henley – “Cass County” (2015)

Oct 7
Posted by admin Filed in Boomers

Where has this guy been anyways? All these years, not turning out new music on a regular basis, trying to be a family man, raising kids and stuff. When rock stars forget their duty to the fans to appease them with fresh product… it’s a beautiful thing, I think. When it happens, it happens, and what you get is probably more pure. But back to my question, where have you been Don Henley?

He is one of those artists, so well known, so recognizable but then when you don’t hear him all the time (except for early spring synched with the ubiquitous command of “let’s play ball”), you forget how deep his catalog goes. I got sidetracked from this lovely new album for a second and transported back to earlier phases of my life. There you are Don Henley. You never really left; maybe it was me who left but now I’m back.

Do yourself a favor, make it a double, put your feet up and listen to the whole album.


“The Weight” – Travis – “Igby Goes Down” (2002)

Apr 21
Posted by admin Filed in Boomers, Rock and Roll Heaven

Check out the obituary for Levon Helm in yesterday’s New York Times.

I pulled into Nazareth, was feeling ’bout half past dead
I just need some place where I can lay my head
Hey, mister, can you tell me, where a man might find a bed?
He just grinned and shook my hand, “No” was all he said.


“Summer Wind” – Frank Sinatra – “Strangers in the Night” (1966)

Jun 21
Posted by admin Filed in Boomers, Rewind, Rock and Roll Heaven

Can an iTune user, please explain to me why they use that service?

I was clearing out my Yahoo in-box this afternoon and decided to open a message that I had from he nice folks at iTunes entitled “Special Offer: June 19-22 Only.” Since I’m 100% disavowed from ever using iTunes, I thought that I should peruse the contents of the message to see if Apple had changed their pricing structure or at the very least had something that could be deemed as a “Special Offer.” They don’t. Their special offer consisted of five recommended albums to help celebrate Father’s Day for the magical price of $6.99 each. I’m still trying to figure out the Dad’s Day tie in, and what I’ve landed on is that 25-40 years ago when our current crop of dads were young and childless, they’d stick these albums (or, in most cases albums that contributed to the compilations that iTunes is practically giving away) in the cassette deck and cruise around town looking for some ripe, young mama cat to tussle with.

So, I ran over to the Zune marketplace and one by one found the albums that iTunes was peddling at low-low prices, and downloaded the entire five pack. The albums are: Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon”, Bob Marley’s “Legend”, Journey’s “Greatest Hits”, Frank Sinatra’s “Nothing But The Best – The Frank Sinatra Collection”, and the Foo Fighters’ “Greatest Hits.” I got all of this (most of which I will actually enjoy listening to, some of which I just downloaded to show that I can, and to spite iTunes) under my Zune pass monthly flat fee of $15. It has been kind of a slow month for my music downloading activities and yet I’ve still managed to collect 22 new albums including today’s additions. If my math is correct, that’s less than 70 cents per album. If I were to be so lucky as to get the iTune money hoarders to give me their “Special Offer” price for 22 albums, that adds up $153.78, to be exact.

To reiterate, can someone please explain to me why they buy things from iTunes?

Happy sunny solstice!


“A Change Is Gonna Come” – Sam Cooke – “Ain’t That Good News” (1964)

Jan 17
Posted by admin Filed in Boomers

I figure this is a fitting time to add the Same Coke classic – I cannot believe that there is no other Sam Cooke entry on this blog to date, I was sure there was, I did a search but nope, downright embarrassing – considering that we are celebrating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther Kind today.

This song is so soulful, easy on the ears, reassuring, and meaningful. Widely thought of as being thee song that symbolized the civil rights movement, it has withstood the test of time and makes “Best Song Ever” lists compiled by everyone from Pitchfork to NPR to Rolling Stone. Cooke cut his teeth as a man singing the gospel before heading for more secular territory but this song kind of embodies everything he ever did.


“Trouble of The World” – Mahlia Jackson – “Sings America’s Hymns” (1967)

Oct 6
Posted by admin Filed in Boomers

As often happens, when I’m in the middle of working on a post – I have a specific song in my head, and am listening to music in the same genre of my intended post, when something else starts playing that just catches my ear, and demands my attention. Suffice it to say, that happened this evening.

I’m not sure that I’ve ever heard this song before, but it’ll obviously get a few plays going forward. The late Ms. Jackson’s rich tone and materteral presence puts that “you better be good” fear in me simultaneous to making me feel secure and safe. Gospel music does a lot to sell the dynamic of a congregation whether it be on the religious or secular side of the aisle.

The best music is genuine and full of emotion. The old saying that “you’ll never find an atheist in a fox hole” probably has some sort of musical flip side as I’m guessing there are a few atheists who would admit that they enjoy a little gospel on occasion.


New Orleans

Feb 10
Posted by admin Filed in Boomers

The fleur-de-lis is a symbol used by many different countries and symbolizing a wide range of occurrences, causes, and eras. It’s included on coats of arms and/or flags of France, Scotland, Canada, and Bosnia. For religious purposes, the fleur-de-lis has been associated with the Virgin Mary and was included on the coat of arms of Pope Paul VI. The emblem of the Corvette includes the fleur-de-lis. The US Navy Blue Angels have a looping demonstration named after the flower.

By most accounts the flower represented in this symbol is a lily or iris. As my examples show, its application has been wide ranging. A flower on a battlefield would seem a bit of a paradox but that is exactly where it was last Sunday when a record audience of 110 million viewers watched the New Orleans Saints capture their first Super Bowl title. When all is said and done, the Big Easy’s tattoo parlors will no doubt ink a lot of flowers over the next several weeks, and a lot of those tattoo owners will be welcoming home a brand new baby Drew towards the end of the year.

“When The Saints Go Marching In” – Louis Armstrong


“I Hear Ya’ Knockin’” (1955) – Smiley Lewis

Jan 27
Posted by admin Filed in Boomers, Rock and Roll Heaven

Katy Perry. On a scale of 0 to 10 with 0 being Annoying and 10 being Super Annoying, where would you rank Ms. Perry’s performance as a guest judge on American Idol last night. To get all catty with fellow judge Kara is one thing. Kara’s a big girl and is raking in a big pile of dough, so she can deal with it. Perry’s flippant attitude with contestants and acting like she had somewhere more important to be is what gets her perfect 10, a 10 with a big “T”, on my scorecard. Katy, tell your brasses to sit/stay for a second so you can hear this.

The fans who have been kind enough to put some money in your bank account, did so because you kissed a girl and liked it, more so than because they heard your music and liked it. My free career advice is to keep churning out songs about kissing girls unless you want people to stop putting you on TV and their IPods. You know the whole “act like you’ve been there before” cliché? Maybe try being a role model or a mentor to a couple of kids hoping to catch a break? Apparently not, but that’s okay because I doubt that you would have much to offer unless some poor kid wants advice on what kind of fruit they should dress up as.

Yikes, that was all a major violation of a key tenet of the Play On mission statement which calls for this blog to be a No Hater Zone. So, for the record, I don’t hate Ms. Perry, she’s just annoying. My cat’s annoying but I put up with him. I think I’ll dress my cat up as a watermelon, the next time he starts in with his paranormal, dead zone, guttural yowl.

And for today’s song, here’s something totally unrelated to my rant.


“Tell It Like It Is” (1966) – Aaron Neville

Jan 21
Posted by admin Filed in Boomers, Rewind

Who dat?


“All My Loving” – The Beatles – “With The Beatles” (1963)

Jan 13
Posted by admin Filed in Boomers, Rock and Roll Heaven

So, why is American Idol such a huge television phenomena? I mean, it’s just a talent show, and more specifically a singing contest. How is it that a singing contest is one of the biggest television shows in history? I’m a fan, most of the time but there are still plenty of nauseating moments, weeks with mentors who are irrelevant, horrific original songs, and too mush face time for the host and judges. I’ll talk about Season 9 over the next several months, but promise to not over do it.


“Je t’aime… moi non plus” (I Love You… Me Neither) – Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin – “Jane Birkin/Serge Gainsbourg” (1969)

Jan 6
Posted by admin Filed in Boomers, Rewind

There are 39 days until Valentine’s Day; time a-plenty to buy the requisite chocolate and flowers, get that perfect reservation, book a flight to Paris, download this track… better yet find some vinyl and spin it, or all of the above.

This is a classic duet from the film “Slogan” which starred Gainsbourg and Birkin. So much sex and lust dripped out of this song that quite a few radio stations banned it shortly after it was released.

“You are the wave, And I the naked island”

A Hallmark line? I think not.