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sOuL, Woodstock, and Headnodic Team Up To Pay Tribute To Gil Scott-Heron

Posted by Billyjam, January 14, 2013 09:00am | Post a Comment
         

Oakland emcee sOul recently teamed up with fellow Oaklanders Crown City Rockers members Woodstock and Headnodic to write and record a tribute to the influential late great Gil Scott-Heron. Simply titled “Gil Scott Tribute” the song was recorded in one take (captured in the video above - a video blog session recording with Headnodic who mixed the track) and features Woodstock playing the beat live on his MPC and sampling Gil Scott Heron's “We Almost Lost Detroit” (off Gil Scott Heron & Brian Jackson's 1977 album Bridges) as well as recreating previous hip-hop interpretations of the original sample. Intricate stuff, and it works nicely too, with sOul on the mic spitting socio-political commentary along personal life monologue.

The song was recorded simply as a tribute to Gil Scott Heron and is not for sale but available as a free download here. Gil Scott Heron, who died at age 62 in May 2011, has been called the "godfather of rap" - a term he himself dismissed, preferring to label himself a "bluesologist." After the artist's sudden death a couple of years ago Chuck D of Public Enemy saluted Scott-Heron as a highly influential figure saying, in a heartfelt tribute to the man, that, "We do what we do and how we do because of you!" I agree with Chuck D as to the impact on hip-hop and music in general that Gil Scott Heron has made.

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Villanova Junction

Posted by Whitmore, August 18, 2009 10:05pm | Post a Comment

One of my favorite reads in any blog is the unquantifiable absolute statement ... "this is the consummate, best bla bla bla since the invention of sliced bread and Pepto-Bismol..."; well, 40 years ago today, August 18th 1969, the absolutely greatest blues jam ever captured on celluloid, bar none, absolute fact and sure as shit Sherlock-- Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock and a tiny, minor keyed, mellow and oddly intimate piece, only about three minutes long, so profoundly perfect I don’t think such artistry has been witnessed in western civilization since the days of Johann Sebastian Bach.
 
Hendrix was the headliner at the Woodstock Music & Art Fair but didn’t hit the stage till after the scheduled festival, Monday morning at dawn. The delay was due to the bad weather and an infinite number of logistical problems. By the time he arrived on stage, the audience, which had peaked at over 500,000 people, had dwindled to somewhere between 60,000 to 160,000 people, still a hell of a crowd. Hendrix would play a two hour set, the longest of his career. The official, historic, climax of the set was obviously his rendition of the "The Star-Spangled Banner," probably --and here is one of those absolute statements again -- the greatest musical pyrotechnic blast of the entire crazed decade of the 1960’s, hell, make it the entire second half of the 20th century, life was just never the same after detonation. But as far as I’m concerned the gem of the whole set, and the last song before the encore, is the Hendrix's free form, breathtakingly beautiful, soulful modal blues, "Villanova Junction." And yes, at times the piece has brought me to tears, what can I say, I tear up easily ... watch and listen.

Woodstock by Joni Mitchell

Posted by Miss Ess, January 1, 2009 02:23pm | Post a Comment
joni mitchell
Though a heck of a lot of people got to witness the monster festival that was 1969's Woodstock, a notable exception was Joni Mitchell.

Famously, her agent thought it wojoni mitchelluld be a better idea for her to keep her scheduled appearance on the Dick Cavett Show, and so Joni barely missed one of the most celebrated and fabled musical festivals of all time. Upset about not being able to attend, she quickly wrote the eloquent and apt song "Woodstock" based on what others had said about the festival, capturing a moment at least as well as any musician who was actually there.

Growing up in a Crosby Stills Nash Young-heavy household, we never ever listened to Joni Mitchell's version of her own song "Woodstock" at all. I didn't even know she had written it when I was young. Finally, in college I started listening to her music and found her version to be much more haunting and moving than the comparatively light and sunny (and kinda wanky) CSNY version. 

Here she is playing the song at a festival in Big Sur in 1969, just one month after Woodstock. I believe this is the first public performance of "Woodstock" ever. As she says, "Well everybody has heard about Woodstock and maybe a lot of you were there," you can hear the utter regret in her voice. It's a gorgeous performance.


Here's the CSNY version, in case your memory needs recharging:

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