THE LISTENING ROOM
Sponsored by East Wisconsin Savings Bank
Singer/Songwriter, Avenue Host
This guy needs no introduction to Avenue listeners! Today we’ve got Steve talking about the music he listens to when he’s not playing music for you.
If you are a fan of Steve, and The Avenue’s format, you’ll want to grab your tickets to Uncovered Too, starring Steve March Tormé. Steve brings his considerable music chops, an all-star band, and special guests to The Meyer Theatre June 28. It’s your chance to see Steve in his natural habitat – the stage! Steve will share the kind of songs we all love from The Avenue as well as his stories behind the music. Those who attended last year’s show raved about the experience so we’re bringing it back! Get your tickets by calling 1.877.508.9191 or online here.
“So, my first LISTENING ROOM contribution. Well, since this is my first, we will go a bit "old school" today, next time I'll write about some more contemporary music.
Here are three offerings that I would suggest to those who'd like to listen.
"I'm definitely a melody/harmony guy. I appreciate all kinds of music but what perks my ears up are interesting left turns in melodies, chord changes, harmonies, etc.
“One of the albums that spurred my interest in being a musician, as I'm sure it did for many others, is The Beatles Rubber Soul. Is it their best album? I'm not sure how to qualify “best” when it comes to The Beatles. Sgt. Pepper was probably more important historically, Revolver might have had the best songs overall but Rubber Soul was where they went from being a curiosity to “wow, these guys just passed up the other groups from England, big time!”
From the opening guitar riff on “Drive My Car” to the fuzz bass on “Think For Yourself” to perhaps the best song John Lennon ever wrote “In My Life,” it just evokes really happy memories for me personally and I never tire of playing it.”
The Beatles, Think For Yourself https://youtu.be/oQ9lEkpaIO8
The Beatles, In My Life https://youtu.be/5zTdxxl-RjA
“Next up: the self-titled debut album by Take 6, released in 1988 on Reprise Records. I've always loved thick, rich vocal harmonies, but even after knowing some of the work of the New York Voices, Manhattan Transfer and especially the Hi-Lo’s, I’d never heard ANYTHING like Take 6. Of course, 10 Grammy wins later and just about every other award one could attain in the recording business, not to mention collaborating with everyone from Whitney Houston, Al Jarreau, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and the aforementioned Manhattan Transfer (whom I saw them in concert with 2 years ago), I'm obviously not the only person who was blown away by their talent. It’s one thing to be able to sing the way they do, that’s impressive enough. But to arrange for a capella singing with the density and sophistication that they do? That’s a lot more than a doo wop group hanging around a street corner. That first album is sublime."
Take 6, Spread Love https://youtu.be/zRfcMn1TVAM
“And finally, a double album that came out in 1972, which cemented my being a big fan of Todd Rundgren, Something/Anything.
“There are other musicians who’ve played all the instruments on their albums and some are really good and some . . . well . . . maybe they should’ve used other players for a little help. Not the case here. Todd plays everything on the album (except for one or two tracks that have horns) and the albums are so diverse and so musical but mostly, they hit my sweet spot: great melodies and harmonies. There are melancholy ballads, hardcore rockers and some unique pop offerings that make those two discs unique and still relevant. He also had the hubris (insight?) to make the first song the single and he did it on purpose, copying the formula that many Motown groups did. And he got away with it. “I Saw the Light” is still one of his best known singles. I wore out Something/Anything a long time ago but I can still throw it in the car stereo and appreciate how good it is.”
Todd Rundgren “I Saw the Light” https://youtu.be/U_KGv7rDWFM
What are YOU listening to? We’d love to hear! All that’s required is your love for music! Send your current playlist and a few words about it to email@example.com – you could be featured in The Listening Room!