Tom Cruise: Maverick

Robert Redford uses the term “popcorn movie” to describe films intended principally as big, blockbuster entertainment. The term definitely describes Top Gun: Maverick and most of Cruise’s recent filmography. The original Top Gun made a superstar of Cruise. A two-hour MTV, Navy recruitment music video, equal parts adrenaline and jet fuel, and a precursor to … More Tom Cruise: Maverick

John “Don’t Call Me Cougar” Mellencamp: Strictly a One-Eyed Jack (Review)

Seventy-year old John Mellencamp is still ticking and kicking. He’s usually in the news about who he is dating rather than his music, but he still has a loyal legion of fans. Cougar was a nickname he hated, a marketing decision to bypass using his last name, which didn’t sound like a pop star. John … More John “Don’t Call Me Cougar” Mellencamp: Strictly a One-Eyed Jack (Review)

Spirit (the band)

Fifty years later, the band still sounds great. Spirit has been in news in recent years related to a plagiarism lawsuit against Led Zeppelin over parts of “Stairway to Heaven”. I am not going to get into that, my focus will be on the classic period of the band. Randy California (real name Randy Wolfe), … More Spirit (the band)

A Dozen Debut Albums that Failed Expectations, but are Deserve a Listen

Success in the music industry is fickle, a creature of timing, promotion, talent, and luck. Here are five albums I own that sadly were neglected and passed into history. Larry Lee, Marooned. The sweet, polished vocalist of “Jackie Blue” of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils. Offered a solo album where he wrote or co-wrote the songs, … More A Dozen Debut Albums that Failed Expectations, but are Deserve a Listen

Riffing: Music Artists Who Who Utilize the Technique

As a wannabe guitar player, I’m drawn more to smooth sets of chords forming an irresistible melodic progression. A catchy and inventive guitar riff is a thing of beauty for the soul. Riffs seem most closely associated with rock’n’roll, which I agree, but they can be found across musical genres. Riffs catch the ear, and … More Riffing: Music Artists Who Who Utilize the Technique

Belfast (2021)

I never understood the historical, religious and political conflict in Northern Ireland. At the time, all I saw was tragedy. No, I did not live there, so it is perhaps not fair to comment. I do not judge, and naïvely, I always wondered why everyone could not find a way to live in peace. When … More Belfast (2021)

Songwriters: 1960s

Until Buddy Holly and then The Beach Boys, Beatles, Chuck Berry and Bob Dylan, performers were less likely to write their own material. Songwriting was lucrative, but in those days, publishers and producers generally got the lion’s share of the profits as artists tended to lose control of their songs through poor publishing and management … More Songwriters: 1960s