Clutch is one of those underground cult bands with fiercely loyal fans. They have achieved this status because they put out uniformly outstanding product and they play incredible live shows. This standard of excellence dates back to their formation in the early ’90’s. Although they have a signature sound, they have dabbled in multiple genres of hard rock and metal throughout their career. Neil Fallon is an intense singer, lyricist, and performer. Tim Sult plays for the songs and does it with great tone and style. The rhythm section of Dan Maines on bass and Jean-Paul Gaster on drums blend to make an airtight beast of a team. The album Robot Hive/Exodus was chosen primarily because it contains my favorite song by Clutch, Burning Beard. I could easily have picked any number of others, but Burning Beard rules, both in audio and video formats. If you like bluesy hard rock with great hooks, intelligent lyrics, and grooves for days, Clutch is your band!

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Choosing a Bob Dylan album was difficult, but Blood On The Tracks won the battle; his 1975 masterpiece was too good to deny. For one thing, it kicks off with one of my all time favorite songs of his, Tangled Up In Blue. After that, it just cascades through all of these emotional peaks and valleys, a study of love and relationships going bad, but absolutely compelling. Dylan is of course widely recognized as one of the greatest songwriters of the modern era, and this project was full of treasures, like Idiot Wind, Buckets Of Rain, Simple Twist Of Fate, and the sublime You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go.

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd were members of the original cast of SNL when they came up with the idea for The Blues Brothers. The skit was first conceived as part of their “Killer Bees” routine and gradually became the iconic duo we all know and love. Briefcase Full Of Blues was recorded live and released in 1978 and went on to become one of the best selling blues albums of all time. While it began as a comedy routine, the band assembled was definitely no joke, featuring Paul Shaffer, Tom Scott, Steve Jordan, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Steve Cropper, and Matt “Guitar” Murphy. The setlist was full of songs from established blues, r&b, and reggae artists, and played with stylish swagger by the all star band and its 2 serious blues fanatic stars. I love the album beginning to end, with favorites including the magnificent “B” Movie Boxcar Blues, I Don’t Know, Hey Bartender, Shot Gun Blues, and the singles Soul Man and Rubber Biscuit. The movie did pretty good, too! Classic stuff that still sounds amazing 40 years later. RIP Matt “Guitar” Murphy.

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Tori Amos released Strange Little Girls in 2001; a covers album with an interesting twist…it was comprised of songs originally written and performed by men, but reinterpreted from a woman’s point of view. Not content to simply restructure the DNA of the songs, Amos created characters for each individual track and had them photographed with different hairstyles and makeup and released several different album covers. I love when an artist takes the time to add their own stamp on a classic song or even an obscure one. Of course, sometimes the results are not up to par with the originals, but when a musician of Tori Amos’s caliber sets her creative sights on an idea like this, the outcome produced some amazing work. Her cover of Eminem’s ’97 Bonnie & Clyde is much more menacing than the original, her take on Slayer’s Raining Blood is a sinister nightmare of bass tones and dramatic piano flourishes, much slower than the thrash masterpiece. Other favorites include Time (Tom Waits), I’m Not In Love (10cc), Enjoy The Silence (Depeche Mode), New Age (Velvet Underground), I Don’t Like Mondays (Boomtown Rats), and Real Men (Joe Jackson). Tori Amos has the voice of an angel, but her mind is something else altogether…disturbing ideas obviously inhabit this unique performer’s head…and her fans are eager to explore them all.

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Ministry invaded my musical arsenal as part of the second annual Lollapalooza tour in 1992 (also the year that Psalm 69 was released). Al Jourgensen and co. didn’t invent Industrial Metal, but they certainly helped propel it into the mainstream with this raging collection of inspired insanity. With lead vocals by Gibby Haynes of the notorious Butthole Surfers, the lead off single Jesus Built My Hotrod became a smash hit on MTV. Videos followed for N.W.O. and Just One Fix and suddenly Ministry had a platinum album on their hands. Their performance at that Lollapalooza show was colossally epic and remains one of the most entertaining a nd brutal live events I have ever witnessed. It was the first time I saw a crowd instigate a “sod war” by ripping the lawn to shreds and throwing it in all directions, and also my first time seeing seismic circle pits. I left that show as a lifelong Ministry fan. Psalm 69 is crushing, amusing, terrifying, and sticks to the roof of your mouth like peanut butter.

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Pusha-T has shared the first visuals from his new album DAYTONA. The music video for “If You Know You Know” is rather ominous and sees the rapper driving down the highway before getting pulled over and threatened by police. For the time being, the video is streaming exclusively via Spotify.

Aside from releasing diss tracks against Drake and a new album, the legendary rapper recently recounted being chased by a fox in Wyoming.

Revisit DAYTONA below.

Show on open.spotify.com

Watch Pusha – T’s “ If You Know You Know” Video

I have gone on record as saying that Emmylou Harris has one of the best voices in the history of voices. On her record Red Dirt Girl, she proved that her songwriting skills are top shelf, also. Released in 2000, this Grammy award winning project contains stellar production and atmosphere featuring a blend of country, folk, and light rock. Harris breathes so much life and emotion into her songs and the title song in particular is a heartbreaker. I love music that takes the listener out of their daily routine and I gladly get lost with Emmylou Harris every time I travel into her musical stories.

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind