Great gig - birthday party! 

Last weekend I played at the most fantastic birthday party. Why was it so fantastic? Great people and great venue, but the most memorable thing for me was how much thought had been put into proceedings (not to mention the great beer from the local craft ale brewer, who was at the party). Luckily the weather behaved (mostly) so it all took place outside - there was an area for dancing at one end of the garden and I was playing around a camp fire, with everyone sitting on straw bales, at the other. The organisers were looking for plenty of Bob Dylan songs (among others) and someone who could play the harmonica, so I fitted the bill pretty well. Once the younger guests had done with dancing, everyone descended on the camp fire just as I was beginning 'Don't Look Back In Anger' which was followed by such classics as 'American Pie', 'Blowin' In The Wind', 'Ruby Tuesday', 'Hotel California', 'House Of The Rising Sun', even 'Dancing Queen' - what a buzz! A really memorable gig....

A new discovery 

I am always excited to make a new discovery when it comes to music - who isn't? I guess part of the excitement is sharing that discovery with others but for me it's mostly about the buzz I get when I stumble upon something that immediately moves me and which I can't get enough of. There's always the danger of overdoing it, listening to something too much (which I'm more often than not guilty of), but you never forget the moment when you first listen to an album and you know it's having a profound effect on you. For me, one such album is 'Heartbreaker' by Ryan Adams which is today celebrating its 15th anniversary - I hardly ever listen to it now but when I occasionally dust it off and stick it on, I can remember the impact it had on me when I first heard it and what I was doing at the time. It will always be an incredible album, to my mind, but in a way it's sad listening to it now because I know it will never move me as much as when I first heard it. Having said that, I never tire of playing 'Come Pick Me Up' on the guitar and going hell-for-leather on the harmonica, and venting some pent-up anger at the world! Anyhow, I digress. 

So my new discovery is a bloke called Gregory Page - He is the perfect antidote for counteracting the effects of today's music industry; it will certainly not be to everyone's taste, and perhaps therein lies the beauty. I love the old-timey sound and just looking at him you know he has been on a journey and has stories to tell. There are also plenty of drinking references in his songs, which I have always had something of a weakness for: 'Love Made Me Drunk'. 

If I had to pick a favourite it would probably be this one, 'Right Or Wrong'.....

As featured in 'The Musician' Magazine (Journal of the Musicians' Union), Autumn 2016 - Reviewed By Keith Ames

As featured in 'The Musician' Magazine (Journal of the Musicians' Union), Autumn 2016 - Reviewed By Keith Ames

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    2016 Alex Meaney