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Session # 9 Music and Beer Part Two

The Session

The Session

As I stated in my first post, I love music. The bitch of it is, I can’t play a lick. Nope, not me. I wasn’t given that talent. Seriously, I wish I had been. There aren’t many days when I wish I couldn’t just pick up a guitar or tickle the ivory as a stress reliever. It would be fantastic.

But, that doesn’t mean I don’t at least have some talent.My mom tells me, I have her voice. She’s probably right. I do enjoy singing but more often than not, I find it’s a solitary pursuit. Alone at the brewery with my Ipod plugged in, I am Pavarotti, Grobin, Manillow, Stipe, Petty and many others rolled into one. And the acustics in here while not great, aren’t that bad either.

But as this post is about music and beer and not singing and beer, we’ll steer the ship back to its original port. My taste in music is quite varied. It ranges from my love of Van Halen (my first ever album in 1984) through the trailer trash riffs of Guns and Roses (seriously is there a more complete album in that genre than Appetite for Destruction)? And at the back end of the spectrum in my youth how about a nod to old school singer and songwriters my parents spun on the turn table found in the guilty pleasures of John Denver and even Neil Diamond.

I went through a pop music phase pre high school which was immediately crushed by the Grunge movement in the early 90’s. Grunge music equaled cheap suitcase beer. In Flagstaff, I did the live Jazz thing on Sunday nights with Celis White by my side. And through all of these movements, there was always beer and never wine.

These days, my love of beer and music takes me in many directions. Each trip starts and ends with my Ipod. Seemingly there are a few constants and constraints with both. Besides a love of great beer, I find myself drawn to great music And at the head of my list, is a self professed love for great singers and songwriters. As far as I can tell, this will never change.

I am especially drawn to whole albums where these talents shine. Toad the Wet Sprocket, Counting Crows, Chris Issac and lately the Fray and Augustana have done their part. Let’s not forget REM Automatic for the People and Midnight Oil Blue Sky Mine. It’s a long and varied list.

I also find that I love songs with a driving base line. I titled this session music in a bottle as the intro riff in the Police’s “Message in a Bottle” is excactly what I am talking about. I have always been a fan of my guitar weilding ax heroes. Whether it be Eddie Van Halen, Slash, or Eric Johnson, there is something about fantastic guitar picking that resonates with me.

In high school, I discovered the music of Eric Johnson. Ah Via Musicom- with Cliffs of Dover, Trademark and Righteous remain untouchable in my world. And the best part is, they all speak to me without uttering a single lyric. This would be my desert island disk (don’t ask about my beer- as long as there is one, I’ll be happy). If you haven’t heard the talented fret work of Mr. Johnson, I suggest you have missed something in life. But hey, that’s just me and my musical stylings.

But I wanted to finish my post today with the real reason that I chose to blog about music. It’s one of those things that just screams for a beer. So with that in mind I am going to suggest something that I am quite certain most of you have never sampled before. Jeff Babgy turned me on to Flogging Molly when we worked side by side in Solana Beach. They are an “Irish Styled” rockish band.

Some five years ago we attended a show of theirs in Phoenix, AZ that started with pre show beers at Four Peaks Brewing Company. We left the brewery and hit the show around 9. I recall vaguely watching Jeff walk up with pints of Guiness and Sidecars in hand. It remains the only “Car Bomb” I have ever consumed. It was vicious. The show was a spectacle of live music. It was above all drinking music.

Three years ago, Flogging Molly released an album titled “Within a mile of home.” It has become my quintissential “drinking album.” Sometimes, i’m struck by the Rum fueled accordian riffs, the overly bawdy scotch laced lyrics and even the finality of life found in the dirge filled somber musings of drunken sailors on leave. It is without fail, one of the finest drinking albums out there.

Here’s my suggestion, buy it. Throw it on the platter and hit play. Download it to your Ipod. Just do it. I love music a lot and this album continues to amaze me. Trust me when I say this. Everyone needs drinking music. I keep looking and I have yet to find a better drinking album than this. Even for those who drink Guiness and fight like the Irish.

Here’s a sample of the lyrics from “Whistles the Wind.”

Well it breaks my heart to see you this way
The beauty in life, where’s your God?
And somebody told me, you were doing okay
Somehow I guess they were wrong

So you drank with the lost souls for too many years
Time to be right cause they’ll cripple with fear
Never been righteous, go sell them, we’re wrong
Life’s only life with you in this song

Now there’s an ocean between us
Where I am and where I want to be
So you prayers in doubt, doubt not for me Well it breaks my heart to see you this way
The beauty in life, where’s your God?
And somebody told me, you were doing okay
Somehow I guess they were wrong

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