2 kool 2 be 4-gotten

Most people who like music have heroes; gods and goddesses to the fans who follow them through good times and bad. These are the artists we dream about seeing live and the ones the morbid among us say we want played at our funerals when we’re dead.

There are three musical goddesses in my life and I’ve been lucky enough to see two of them. Joni Mitchell and Emmylou Harris are treasured memories and tomorrow night the triumvirate will be complete when Lucinda Williams plays Wellington.

What makes her so good? Well, she’s a great singer, guitarist and songwriter. When she’s not singing her own songs she has impeccable musical taste in the songs she chooses to cover. She works with truly talented musicians and she lets them shine. She’s got one of the world’s best accents. And she makes a straw cowboy hat look cool.

It’s been quite a wait – I have the first recording I bought of hers on vinyl (yes I am a thousand years old but Lucinda’s been around a while too). Let’s hope it’s worth it.

The Blind Boys of Alabama

microphoneA lot of musical groups can say that when they started out recordings were all done on vinyl, which then gave way to cassette tapes which then changed to CDs. When The Blind Boys of Alabama began the musical format du jour was a 78rpm record. This is because the group was formed at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in 1939. Naturally the line-up has changed over the years, but that hasn’t stopped the group from continuing to be phenomenonally successful winning Grammys and touring throughout the United States and internationally.

They perform their well-practised blues and gospel stylings tomorrow night as part of the New Zealand International Jazz and Blues Festival.  For more information on the Blind Boys check out the following –