Ryan Adams has fearlessly produced a metric shit-ton of music over the years, and this record is my favourite of his.
Happy Birthday to me!
Stones birthday gifts to me from my Mom and Dad go waaaay back to high school. So many wonderful things for the collection, over the years, and I love them all. They know I’m a ‘bit of a Stones fan’ (understatement), though my Mom more recently says things like ‘don’t you have enough of their stuff by now?” Haha no, Mom. Never.
Series: From The Vault
From: Steel Wheels tour, 1990, Tokyo, Japan
This Set: SD Blu-ray/2CD
Total Length: 132:22
The full track list is below. So many great tunes, of course, and they sounded huge. So much energy, too. Remember, this tour was a return, of sorts, after so many years not working together. I loved the Honky Tonk Women / Midnight Rambler / Can’t Always Get What You Want run at the tail end of CD1, and seeing 2000 Light years From Home in the setlist was stellar. 5 tracks off the current (Steel Wheels) album in a 24 song set, here, represents 21% of the show. My bias is showing but this was all kinds of awesome, top to bottom!
I am also happy to get this because I was lucky enough to see the Stones At The Max film presentation in the iMax Theater at Ontario Place in its year of release (from this same tour). I was in high school, and we saw it during a school band trip to the city – our concert band played the wee stage at ON Place that day too. I loved that film, too, such an over-the-top tour. Four years later, I’d see the band in concert myself, at Exhibition Stadium, on the Voodoo Lounge tour…
Stellar addition to the collection. Thanks Mom and Dad!
CD1: Continental Drift / Start Me Up / Bitch / Sad Sad Sad / Harlem Shuffle / Tumbling Dice / Miss You / Ruby Tuesday / Almost Hear You Sigh / Rock And A Hard Place / Mixed Emotions / Honky Tonk Women / Midnight Rambler / You Can’t Always Get What You Want
CD2: Can’t Be Seen / Happy / Paint It Black / 2000 Light Years From Home / Sympathy For The Devil / Gimme Shelter / -band introductions- / It’s Only Rock ’n Roll / Brown Sugar / (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction / Jumpin’ Jack Flash
Youtube has the whole show! Hot damn! Look at the short hair!
Another pillar of the Bryan Adams collection, for me, though this is where the production started heading towards same-y with Mutt Lange and his sound.
In fact, it’s pretty much where I got off the Bryan Adams bus. I mean, I’m still happy to hear his later stuff, but I don’t own anything after this for future play.
Still, this was a massive record, though. Hits and shoulda-beens, this one has it all. So many hummable, memorable melody line, and can we talk about Keith Scott’s guitar work again? That guy rules.
We saw this tour in concert, too – the line-up at London Fairgrounds went Sass Jordan, Steve Miller Band, Extreme, and Bryan Adams. Fun fact: this show was while we were still in high school, and my lovely wife went to this show too, though we all just went as a group of friends. We were still years away from dating each other. D’aw.
I always loved the playfulness of this video:
James rocks. You knew this.
He sent my this awesome CD as one of two (!) birthday prezzies this year. I know!
I don’t tend to like the New Country, to me it just sounds like pop music with a twang, or frustrated Van Halen fans who feel they need to tow the yee-haw line in order to sell records. There are exceptions to every rule, of course, but that’s my overall impression.
Colter Wall suffers none of that. The feel here hews more to Johnny, Waylon, and Merle, with bluegrass and a world of southern hurt built-in. His voice, believe it or not, melds Johnny and Gordon Lightfoot, which is light years ahead of what any shiny added-twang CMT young gun can muster. I wasn’t sure, at first, about the vibrato on the vocals, but it grew on me. He doesn’t sound as young as he is. And what he’s singing is equally important to how he does it – this is real, bloody story-telling. Which goes to show, there’s a big difference between putting on airs and actually having dust on your boots. This record is the real deal.
The Dead South appear on Johnny Boy’s Bones, Belle Plain adds lovely vocals to Caroline, and he even (perfectly) covers Townes Van Zandt’s tune Nothin’.
I saw a comment online that summed it up: Saw this kid last night in Chicago. His voice is startling. His guitar work is original. He’ll be around as long as he wants to be.
This is, hands-down, a fantastic record, top to bottom. It evokes haunted images of barrooms, graveyards and crossroads. It invokes the powers of the greats. It lays it all out raw. This is the best damn record I have heard in ages. Completely recommended.
If you stick around, the whole thing is here:
Great-sounding live album, with excellent song selection (and covers too!). I played the hell out of this, love it.
Following up Reckless must’ve been a wee bit daunting, I mean, that album was everywhere that had electricity.
But you know something, they did it, and they did it very, very well. I love this record. It had great singles, and the ones that weren’t singles shoulda-been. Top to bottom, another perfect effort, and a lot of great messages too (like this one, below, and Rememberance Day, and…).
Back when we were kids, we used to listen to CFTR Toronto and try to tape Diana direct from the radio.
The song is pure Adams rock from the period, and it’s a hoot, all about how he loves Princess Diana and she should leave Charles for him. Ha. And can we talk about Keith Scott’s guitar efforts again (and again and again and again)? I swear, that guy…
More, I remember a Princes Trust concert where he played this song from the stage, looking directly at Diana and Charles. Oh man.
This EP overall is great too. It has Diana and Summer Of ’69 on the first side. Flip it over for the Bryan Adamix: Somebody / It’s Only Love / Diana / Fits Ya Good / Somebody… as remixed by Sanny X, whoever the hell that was. I buy them whenever I see them. I have two 12″ 45 rpm LP copies, and 3 on cassette.
Honestly, I’ve always felt this track should have been on Reckless. Shame it’s never appeared on any hits sets either, I’d love an official CD copy.
I was 10 years old when this dropped and, then as now, I loved every track. It’s all killer no filler, sequenced perfectly.
Here’s a two-fer of tracks. One request: CRANK IT!
RIP to Malik B., a founding member of the Roots.
He was 47.
Somebody stop 2020, please.
Probably the second Adams cassette I ever owned, I played the absolute hell out of this one. If he had never made Reckless after this, if this was his big album, he would still be a huge star.
As a kid, Bryan Adams was huge for us. HUGE. I probably had Reckless first, from the Columbia House tape club, and worked my way back to this one. He’s so young! Great record, though. It’s almost like he sprang into being awesome out of nowhere… I know that’s not true, the real story is he ‘got his first real six-string at a five and dime, and played it til his fingers bled…’ It took him a lot of work to get good! 😉
Here is the end of my (current) AC/DC. You see, I do not own the next album, Rock Or Bust. I thought I did. Weird. Ah well, the completist in me is making sure it’s going on the post-quarantine Taranna list.
Anyway, crank this:
So we’ve been listening to Neil Young in the car lately, as one does. The kids seem OK with it, they like the big rock songs and his guitar skronk freakouts. They thought it was a girl singing in After The Goldrush. Anyway.
Southern Man comes on, and from the backseat my son says “Dad, what’s this song about?” Well. Trying to tread my way through it, I carefully explainedhow it is anti-racism and anti-violence and calls for slavery reparations so that two kids (11 and 8) could understand the song a bit. I also briefly explained Lynyrd Skynyrd’s response in Sweet Home Alabama… I patted myself on the back for navigating that one to their satisfaction (and mine) but man, it was quick thinking on my feet.
Then Ohio came up next. My son asks the same question. So. I carefully try to explain about the Kent State protests and what happened. As a result, both kids requested I skip the rest of that track, and I was OK with that. So we skip ahead and the next track is…
The Needle And The Damage Done. Hooboy. So of course they asked, and I explained this one, which went better because they’ve had anti-drug stuff at school already. However, no amount of explaining the song as a cautionary tale about how Young lost people close to him because of drugs helped because, at this point, Neil was a bit too heavy for them.
I get it. I do. They’re kids. Those are hefty songs, both musically and when you pay attention to the lyrics and messages. It’s a win, I think, to know that they are reminded that there’s a big world out there, and people can use music to actually say things, not just “baby baby” love songs or “let’s party” rock songs. We’ll get there, Neil, we’ll get there.
UPDATE! James saw the Dead South in concert last year, and he wrote about his experience RIGHT HERE!
James rocks. You knew this.
He sent me this awesome CD as one of two (!) birthday prezzies this year. Near as I can tell, this is a 2019 re-release of this Regina act’s 2014 original, with a bonus track included!
An obvious comparison would be Mumford & Sons, and that whole raft of bluegrass-inspired, banjo-rocking country-ish stuff from a few years ago. Other times it sounds like Irish drinking music, or Eastern European traditional tunes, or straight-up down-south bluegrass. But where, as one example, the radio-ready Mumford ends is where Dead South picks up, especially in (my favourite) the latter half of the record. There’s real grit, here, and not just in Nate Hilts’ vocals. Lyrically and musically, this is often darker, heavier, more poignant and real, echoing that harrowing old country feel. Real attention has paid to the sound of the album here, too, big and roomy and booming, yet crisp and sharp as a well-honed knife.
I saw it described as “gothic country,” online, and that’s very apt.
Damn, I really like this album. Thanks heaps, James!
YouTube has you covered, here’s a vinyl rip of the whole 2014 release:
I’ve been down the guitar rabbit hole on YouTube for ages, more recently in aid of my Goal For 2024 series. I’ve found channels I love, and to which I subscribe, and thought I’d share with you. If you like guitar stuff, here’s a list of 20 awesome YouTubers who’ve got you covered, for both lessons and gear. I regularly check out new stuff from all of these folks (pretty sure I’ve subscribed to them all).
NB: There are surely others I’ve missed, and this isn’t my Top list, just a bunch I love. When/if I think of more channels, I’ll see if there’s enough to make another post in future.
NB: These aren’t listed in any order of preference. They all rock.
Come for the pure gear geekery and awesome demonstrations, stay for the inspired playing and the genuine good humour from Mick and Dan!
Straight-up, beer and coffee-drinkin’ Nashville session man enters the online fray and blows us all away with his guitar wizardry, insights, and lessons. Guitar purity, video simplicity – recorded in his garage!
UK generational family-run store, now with a huge YouTube presence. Cool demonstrations, challenges, and goofy humour with Captain Lee Anderton, Rob Chapman (Chapman guitars), Rabea Masaad, ‘Danish Pete’ Honore, and others.
One of YouTube’s biggest, longest-running (free, but you should donate!) guitar lesson channels. Justin rules.
You can’t help but fall in love with beautiful Mary. Slice of touring life videos, great interviews and playing, and I could listen to her sing all day. Essential!
Budda is Doctor Guitar! Beautiful, clear gear demonstrations and comparisons, and his bluesy guitar-playing is delicious!
Straight-up enthusiastic guitar and gear reviews, especially love Dagan’s videos. His energy is infectious.
Shane gives great guitar and gear run-downs. Love it.
Cheerful, brilliant guitar gear demonstrations and talk, from a friendly Canadian! Love this channel.
Frank, informative gear information from a guy who’s been there, done that, has the t-shirt and is still in love with guitars!
Another of the longest-running guitar instruction sites. If you wanna learn, Marty’s got you covered!
This guy knows his stuff, inside, out, and backwards. Music theory, song break-downs, you name it. Must-watch stuff.
I love his No Plan B approach to his musical life. Great gear and guitar instructional work from a gigging, recording musician giving it all he’s got!
For whatever reason, I’m just catching up on this site now. Awesome guitar instruction and, more recently, song reaction videos with guitar instruction built in!
Straight-up, no-nonsense, no frills guitar instruction over here at Zombie Guitar. LOVE IT.
Tasteful, humorous and incredibly spot-on at all times. Come for the guitar lessons, stay for the sweater!
For fun and honest gear run-downs and guitar awesomeness from a dyed-in-the-wool rocker. \m/ \m/
Humourous, good-hearted guitar gear and instructional videos. Love that green PRS!
So many crazy instruments, so much energy, and all done with knowledge and care. Awesome.
Guitar retailer that just happens to give excellent guitar instruction in a concise way. Your cool guitar uncle!
So there you go, that’s 20… If you have others that you love, drop a comment below and let us know!
A last one from the Bon Fire boxed set which I do not own, but have the ‘found in the wild’ individual discs.
As I noted yesterday, I do not actually own the boxed set proper for this release, but I did find this on its own, in the wild.
I don’t own the actual box set, I’ve just managed to pick up a couple of the individual discs, along the way.
Today I turn 46 years old. This gives me exactly four years until my 50th birthday, of course, and thus, exactly four years to save towards whatever this goal will become.
If you’ve read any or all of my series concerning what to do for my 50th birthday, I thank you. That whole thing started out as a single post, and, me being me, it snowballed into a series.
If you want to read the whole thing, I’ve linked all the parts at the bottom of this post. If you don’t want to wade into that quagmire, perhaps this brief summation can describe the points, in a minimal way:
– I like to play guitar, it’s just a hobby. I do not play in a band, I do not play gigs anywhere. My current skill level is: laughable.
– I turn 50 years old in 2024.
– My original thought: I want a guitar made in 1974, same vintage as me, to celebrate my 50th. This brain fart took root and has led me on this merry mental chase.
– I gave a bunch of good reasons why I should do it.
– I gave a history of my (inexpensive) guitar gear (to date).
– Vintage guitars can be very, very expensive. They might be Japanese imports, Mike!
– I considered (electric and acoustic) Custom Shop guitars, other high end guitars (NOS, Closet Classic, Heavy Relic), re-issues, and anniversary editions.
– I considered standard American guitars, then Epiphone and Squier, etc.
– I considered waiting, and buying a brand new guitar in 2024, going forward with it from there. A 50th birthday vintage.
– I love my current (cheap) guitars, so perhaps, instead of a guitar, maybe an amplifier (high to lower end), or pedals were considered.
– I gave a bunch of very good reasons why I shouldn’t do any of this at all.
– I did cost comparisons of many different guitars, amps and pedals that caught my eye, just to get numbers out in front of me so I could think clearly.
I’m no further ahead on a decision, at this point. I see many of the pros and cons of all of it. I might save towards it for four years, get there, and need those funds elsewhere. Or not do it at all. Who knows?
Maybe I need to admit that, while having a guitar from the year of my birth to mark my 50th birthday would be awesome and life-affirming and I’d never need any other gift ever again, what I might actually be looking for is The One. You know what I mean. I want THAT guitar. The one that is so comfortable like your favourite jeans, reliable and trusty like a best friend, with that tone and playability we all dream of in our heads. THAT guitar. The One. Of course, this would involve a lot of time in guitar shoppes just fondling all the instruments, none of which can happen with this lockdown going on, but the point is it might not be (or it might yet be) a guitar from 1974. Maybe I just won’t know ’til we meet, have a conversation, and click together. G-d, it sounds like a relationship. And it is.
Thanks for reading all (or some) of this brain fart series. I’ll keep you posted as I go along. And if the world is still here and we still have functioning internet and society in 2024, I’ll let you know what happens over all of this.
PS: As a brief update, I have had messaging contact with Budda Guedes, an excellent YouTube guitar presenter. You need to watch his videos, he is Doctor Guitar! For me, he recommends one of the most popular amplifiers on the planet (for good reason), the Fender Blues Junior, as a first, home-use tube amplifier. Hard to argue with that!
If you want to read the series, you can do so here:
Part I: My guitar history, my goal for 2024.
Part II: Acoustic guitars.
Part III: Custom Shop, Re-issue and Anniversary guitars.
Part IV: Amplifiers!
Part V: Pedals
Part VI: Need, reasons to not, cost comparisons
Part VII: New amplifier developments
If you don’t care about maintenance stuff, you can skip this post. If you’re curious what’s up at the KMA, read on!
I’m fairly certain few go back to old posts here. However, some things needed doing on the site, and this quarantine has afforded me the time to do it:
I’ve removed the KMA### numbering from all posts. Yes, the ones I added myself, thinking it was an awesome idea – which it was, in a way. But it was mis-numbered a long while ago, and I couldn’t be bothered to rectify it. It was also a bit of a pain to try to maintain, and I know James wasn’t using it, so it was easier to just eliminate it.
If you want to see how many posts are on the KMA, there’s a widget on the right-hand side of the page called Categories, which will show you how many posts James and Aaron have done, add ’em together et voila.
There were a ton of posts that were missing tags. I’ve always tried to add tags, so why there were swaths of posts without tags, I have no idea. So, over time, I’ve added those and now it should be all up to date. This effort has also expanded the Tag Cloud on the right-hand side of the page.
3) Series Numbering:
I’ve chosen to remove the numbering from my most recent album/song-per-day series. Honestly, I’ve just gotten tired of numbering things. Simplify!
There may be more, smaller, things that need doing, and I might chip away at those when I discover them. There’s one big project I thought of, which is going back to all the old posts that don’t have pictures attached and adding them but, as I mentioned off the top, I’m pretty sure no one goes back to those. So, a massive project like that doesn’t feel all that important. And so on…
Sincere thank you to all of our Readers!
Today was my first trip to the guitar store since all this quarantine started. It felt so good to be back in there…
Massive shout-out to Andy at Long & McQuade today, here’s a post in two parts!
1) Charlotte, My Squier Classic Vibe 50s Stratocaster:
For whatever reason, at the time of purchase, coming from out east as she did, the tremolo arm was not included. I didn’t care, I was just happy to have her in my life, and I’ve played the hell out of that guitar since she arrived. True love.
Lately, I’d been thinking I should pick up an arm for her, just to add to the complete tonal picture of this massively versatile instrument. I looked online, and there are tons, but they come with different sized threads (4.8mm, 5mm, 6mm, etc). I tried to find which one my specific guitar needed, but nothing I found online was definitive. I assumed it was some standard size, but we all know what happens when we assume… Also, part of the problem is likely that Squier more recently re-issued this series, and mine was from the previous series. Anyway.
I called L&M and asked if they knew. Andy, the same dude who sold me this guitar, did not know. But he had a bunch of arms in stock, and said just bring the guitar in and we’ll try them ’til one fits. And the very first arm he tried fit perfectly! It had a black tip, so he swapped it out for that faded white to match the rest of the guitar, and it was good to go. Beautiful.
He only charged me $5, too. I mean, c’mon.
And now I’ve got a whole new world to explore!
2) My Pignose:
I’ve had this wee amp for… I’m going to guess at least 15 years. It’s fun for what it does, gives a great fuzz tone if you set it just right… Anyway, after all this time, the volume knob had become befucked, so now it turned on at 2 o’clock and off at 11 o’clock, rather than on/off both being at high noon (as was original).
I had found a video on YouTube of someone repairing the same amp (though not the same issue), and messaged them my problem. They replied, gave instructions, but it seemed to involve the wiring, and taking things apart inside the amp, etc, and that shit makes me nervous. I left it a while.
On this trip to L&M, I brought the amp along, thinking to ask how they handle repairs (they ship things out). Andy asked what was up, I showed him, and he pulled out a bin of tools, grabbed an Allen key. He pulled off the volume knob, re-set it it where it should sit, and tightened the set-screw inside. Took him 5 seconds. And now it works perfectly again! He even fastened the Allen key inside the amp with some painter’s tape for me, in case I ever need to adjust it again.
Didn’t charge me a cent for the repair, shrugging it off saying it was nothing.
I plugged the amp in, as soon as we got home, and it’s so great to have this wee beastie of an amp back in my arsenal!
I got two guitar-related issues solved today, for $5. Thank you, Andy at L&M! You nailed it!
James rulez. We all know this.
About a week ago, James messaged me to say that Jesse Dangerously had everything on his Bandcamp super-cheap. To get in on it, I had to create a Bandcamp account and, when I tried to do so, it kept failing before giving me the Captcha to prove I’m human (I am, I swear it!). The site wouldn’t let me create an account. Eventually, I gave up. It was OK, there wasn’t much physical product I needed in stock, by then, anyway. But the digital discography was appealing. Ah well.
Yesterday, I got an email from Bandcamp. You Have Received A Gift From James. He’d sent me a link to the entire Jesse Dangerously discography in MP3.
Seriously, folks, James rulez.
THANK YOU JAMES! I am in Jesse Dangerously heaven!
Here is the list, in order I got them. 23 releases in all!
The Rap Hundreds, Season 3
Want, For Wanting, Of Wanting EP (Danger Grove)
The Rap Hundreds, Season 2
Want, For Nothing (Danger Grove)
The Rap Hundreds, Season 1
Remixes (Danger Grove)
Pumpkin Spice Illuminatte
fml lol smdh
There! Are! Four! Lights!
My Dinner With Andre
Ghostbusters Lo-Fi Edit Piece
A More Blessed Perfection
Slept Through A Landslide (Tired Angels remix)
Bring Your Girlfriend To Rap Day
Humble & Brilliant
Verba Volant (9th Anniversary)
How To Express Your Dissenting Political Views Through Origami
The ImF Ride b/w Even Exist (As In, We
Eastern Canadian World Tour 2002
This is all beyond awesome.
I have recently been told that, according to science, this is the best AC/DC album. It is hard to argue with science.
For some reason I have the CD and 2 copies on LP. Does it matter? Haha no. Crank ’em all!
We’re headed into AC/DC territory in my collection. Special thanks to both Scott (our HMO) and Mike, (and my own minimal efforts to fill in the blanks), I have (almost) all of the studio albums here. And a bunch of other stuff, too! It all rocks, so I’ll speak truth every album: AC/DC RULES.
Haha #69. Nice.
An 80s classic, a big album from my formative years. So many good songs here. I have it on CD and LP. Somehow I am sad that my childhood cassette is long gone.
I was going to post a single song from this fun punker disc here, but Youtube only has one video for this album, and it’s the whole damn thing! Awesome! Crank it!
You probably know them best from their song Woo Hoo and appearance in Kill Bill. They are that, and sooo much more! These Japanese ladies know how to bring the rock in such delightful ways, I love this compilation!
A cover of a Joy Division song? On a limited, numbered CD from one of my favourite Canadian bands?
Oh hell yes.
An excellent follow-up to Dear, Dear. Love this sound.
I remember where I was when this album came out, working a summer job in a stifling auto parts factory, saving up for university. A buddy was headed to the city and I asked him to grab this for me (he got one for himself, too). It really helped me survive that summer!
Probably my favourite top-to-bottom 54-40 record, but that’s tough to say (they’ve done so much greatness).
Part VII: New Amplifier Developments
I was digging around looking at the Fender Hot Rod Deluxes (because of course I was), and I was marvelling at their beauty and tube-driven power. In my YouTube sidebar, I saw a video about amps I’d not yet heard of, the Fender Tone Master series, with Deluxe Reverb, and Twin.
Now, we all know about the classic Deluxe Reverb and Twin amps, right? Behemoths in the Fender amp line-ups now for, what, 50 years? 60? Anyway. Long time champions in the guitar world, massively popular. If you need something for stage and recording, these rock. They’re also found in backlines all over the world. And so on.
Now, Fender has released this Tone Master series, which uses all of their digital processing power to completely, dedicatedly emulate the Deluxe Reverb and Twin amps. Nothing extra, like on my Boss Katana 50 (which I love), which has all sorts of extra amp emulations and gadgets on it. No, just recreate the old originals as faithfully as possible. By all reports, they’ve nailed it.
Looking more closely…
[DR = original Deluxe Reverb / DR TM = Deluxe Reverb Tone Master, and Twin TM = Twin Tone Master]. Prices CAD as of today’s Long & McQuade.
With the original DR and Twin amps, there are a few issues (or non-issues, depending on your point of view), so I’ve put up comparisons by category. See what you think:
– Weight: (DR: 42lbs / DR TM: 23 lbs) (Twin: 60-75 lbs, per model / Twin TM: 33 lbs)
– Fragility/Repair: Tube amps all need work eventually. The Tone Masters are solid state, nothing to be finnicky. Plug and play.
– Cost: (DR: $1500-$3500 / DR TM: $1119.99) (Twin: $1800-$4200 / Twin TM: $1399.99)
– Originals make a huge sound, not really meant as home/practice amps. The Tone Masters make the same huge noise, but have built-in attenuators with multiple attenuation levels, so you can have low volume without sacrificing tone. Yes, you could have an attenuator pedal on the original, but that’s just more cost and hassle.
– Originals have that satisfying big amp buzz/hum, which makes playing cleanly at low levels at home difficult. The Tone Master digital system should remove alot of that buzz/hum, though probably not all. I’d have to try it to see for sure, but I know my Katana does alright.
Honestly, I could see me with a Tone Master DR and happy for the rest of my life. Tube is great, tube was always the dream, but my experiences with the Boss Katana 50 (oh ye g-ds how I love that amp) have shown me that digital need not suck. Amps just keep improving. And if all the reviews online are right, and you really can’t even tell the difference because the Fender engineers have nailed it completely with these TMs, I’d go for the new-fangled and be done!
Happy Canada Day, everyone! Here’s a great Canadian band who, in a moment of perfect timing, was due up today in the series anyway. I love it when a plan comes together.
This is a compilation that is a must-have for those days when early 54-40 is just what I need (it happens often).