OK, where were we?
I remember, we were talking about Van Morrison’s childhood influences. There were three more major ones, as I calculate it.
One was Ray Charles. I’m not going to open up a whole Brother Ray thread here, because it could easily consume the next few years. Chances are you are already pretty familiar with some of Ray’s work, and also that there is plenty more you don’t know about. But I’ll leave that to your own discretion.
The second was Lonnie Donegan, the man who invented skiffle. By adapting American blues and folk music into a form that was easy for young Brits to digest and to play, Donegan was an important building block for the Van Morrisons, Beatles, and Rolling Stones of the world. There was a little bit of a Pat Boone flavor to his borderline cultural appropriation, but I think he was sincere in his love of the music. An in-depth of this exploration of this topic may have to wait for another lifetime; in the meantime, here’s Donegan with his band performing a song called “Have a Drink on Me”:
And the third was Muddy Waters. I could happily do a couple of months on Muddy, but I probably shouldn’t. Instead I’m going to throw something together real quick before the Warriors game starts,1 and we’ll move on to new topics next time.(more…)