Sunday, 20 January 2008

This is why I need a second blog…

I was horrified to read tonight about the death of John Stewart.

The BBC news site describes him as the writer of Daydream Believer and former Kingston Trio member but he was so much more than that. From the late 60’s on he released a string of excellent solo albums in that grey area between folk, country, singer/songwriter and soft rock. On the Allmusic site they describe the moods of his music as literate, earthy, bittersweet, reflective, intimate, earnest. That sums him up pretty well but I don’t expect the average post-punk/new wave fan will be that bothered. Well, there will be more of that in a couple of days but just for today I’m going to stray from the “brand”.

I grew up with John Stewart’s music because I had an older brother who bought all his records. Here’s a small selection of some of my favourites.

mp3: John Stewart - July, You’re A Woman
mp3: John Stewart - The Last Campaign Trilogy
mp3: John Stewart - California Bloodlines
mp3: John Stewart - Mother Country

These are taken from the 1974 Phoenix Concerts album. To quote the Allmusic review: “John Stewart' Phoenix Concerts is regarded as one of the classic live records of the folk singer/songwriter genre, and it's easy to see why.”

For the curious here is his not entirely serious version of Daydream Believer from 1971, well after The Monkees version.

mp3: John Stewart - Daydream Believer

These songs will be available 7 days.

11 comments:

londonlee said...

Wow, I never knew he'd died.

I've never heard his albums but somewhere I've got that single "Gold" he recorded with Stevie Nicks.

Mick said...

I believe that was his most commercially successful period but I'm not sure all his traditional fans approved. My take on it is he did it well enough but it wasn't his natural style. He certainly returned to a more 'intimate' style.

Davy H said...

Hey! I don't think you need another blog (unless you want one of course) - where does it say you can't post what you want on this one?

When I started this malarkey I was determined not to box myself in with a pre-determined 'niche' and I'm so glad I didn't.

I'm sorry to say I've never heard of John Stewart, but I'm mighty glad for the introduction.

Mick said...

You're probably right. It's just that I started this with the intention of posting my old records and most of my interesting vinyl is from that late 70s/early 80s era. When I post something different it feels 'wrong'. I think I'm guilty of boxing myself in. Actually, I'm probably too lazy to start a new blog, so I'll probably mix things up here a bit more.

Do you charge for these consultations?

Davy H said...

'No charge' - Tammy Wynette.

Mick said...

Sorry to be pedantic but No Charge was sung by a man, but thanks for standing by your man.

Mick said...

BTW...since I posted this I've learned that his wife, Buffy Ford, was with him when at the end. I think he met her on the Robert Kennedy campaign trail (listen to The Last Campaign Trilogy) and married her in 1975. That's a 40-year relationship. The old romantic in me loves that.

Davy H said...

You can be as pedantic as you like and I love ya for it but if Tammy Wynette did not record 'No Charge' ('An ode to motherhood' - Wiki) then God didn't make them little green apples and it don't rain in Indianpolis in the summertime.

Mick said...

Of course, what I meant to say is she didn't record the UK hit version. She also covered Billy Connolly's D-I-V-O-R-C-E in case you didn't know....

Davy H said...

Yeah, right WOT EVAH.

Raymond said...

You are right about Buffy, Mick.
Pleased to say Amy, Mikael, Jeremy and Luke were all there when John died. Strangely, he died in the same hospital he was born in 68 years ago. He just happened to be in San Diego when he had the stroke.