When it comes to opening a club, bar or restaurant, it’s location, location, location.

In music, its the song, song, song written by storytellers- and being a musical storyteller is something and someone who can never be replaced. Musical stories don’t exactly have to be Shakespeare, either. They can be quite primal, and to the point.

The story where a man loves a woman has been around since the Stone Age. How one tells the story and the words he uses to hit head, heart and home is what matters.

Jimmy Webb, Lennon, Ray Davies, that song and dance man- Dylan, Clapton, James Taylor, Brian Wilson, Don Henley, Paul Simon, Jerry Jeff Walker’s Mr Bojangles, Harry Nilsson, Eminem, Alicia Keys, Adele and so many more, didn’t rely on beats,or resort to wearing meat dressers, using auto-tuners and turning to an orgy of onstage muso-porno to get their music heard. They succeeded through words and melodies.

Sorry but Keisha, that old tart Madonna, the new tart GaGa and Rihanna- who has an exceptional voice- have disappeared into that vortex of Perez Hilton and TMZ sleaziness and taken a generation with them like some demented new versions of the Pied Piper Of Hamlyn.

None of these hugely overpaid artists are exactly Laura Nyro, Carly Simon or Joni Mitchell wearing her heart on her sleeve and singing about Graham Nash in Conversations or looking at both sides now. Thank gawd for Adele.

Listen to Jimmy Webb’s songs which fit Glen Campbell’s voice like a glove and most written before he was twenty and one truly appreciates the genius of this Tunesmith, the title of his Must Read book.

Unlike Dylan who almost dares us to keep up with him as he enters Desolation Row and revisits Highway 61 with all those clowns doing tricks for her, Webb, like Hal David who, with Burt Bacharach has given the world classics like Walk On By and One Less Bell To Answer, Close To You etc, is one of those songwriters who straddles the areas where Desperate Housewives live with a certain middle-of-the-road appeal and suburban honesty.

Webb writes about he watched TV, and “the leading lady looked too much for the likes of me/and I woke up crying in my sleep” and it’s something many can understand. Same with the heart-wrenching All I Know.

I was listening to Gordon Lightfoot’s If You Could Read My Mind with my brother from another mother- Justin- the other night and was reminded just what a brilliant and underrated song this is, how it has been so carefully crafted and just what a bittersweet story it tells. One has to wonder what Lightfoot must have been going through?

As the song’s lyrics wrapped around my heart and head, I turned to Justin and tears were streaming down my face- and we kept talking. It was the honesty of a perfect song bringing the truth and hurt out. It was therapeutic as it made so much more seem so petty and insignificant.


(Source: Slang Strong)

Yes, even men bleed and here was and is a song that brought a myriad of different thoughts about life and truth to the surface and which we often suffocate and keep hid- missing friends no longer here, friends hanging in there, lost love, the mistakes made, truth, lies, guilt, forgiveness, disappointment, all that which can never be forgiven, and how, as Diana Ross sang, love still here, but, darling, now you’re gone.

Today, one can listen to the Adele record and here a great storyteller make her songs reveal it all and “how we could have had it all.” Yes, we could have, might have, but it’s time to move on ‘cos that ship has sailed.

Others are following in Adele’s footsteps, especially in the UK, and writing songs that has an opening, a middle and an ending and not a bunch of words held together by beats.

It’s a return to the musical storytellers and carrying on a tradition started in Tin Pan Alley, became lost for a while, and is now back as a world that has lost confidence in false prophets disguised as Presidents of countries and idols in every industry fall from grace every day, looks and listens to music again differently just as there is a new-found emphasis on life’s priorities.

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