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posted by: Alley Gator
06/29/12 3:39 pm
Please take our quick survey to help plan the future of Featured Artists on the Alley.
We don't have a proper poll app on our site, so please comment below to answer these questions (or email me if you prefer):

(1) Do you ever, or often, watch the videos of the Featured Artist? or read the article about the Featured Artists?

(2) Which artist(s) would you like to see Featured in the future?

(3) Other feedback or suggestions about the Featured Artists series?

Thanks for your input!!
Linden Arden says:
07/07/12 4:28 am
1. I watch the videos. I'm more likely to watch when the quality is decent &/or it's someone I'm particularly interested in.

2. Sometimes I find myself on YouTube checking out a particular artist or song. I often get sucked into watching a series of videos & usually find something that's revelatory or at least fun. Here's the results of one such experience:

Van Morrison

1. Caravan, 1973 (London) with the Caledonia Soul Orchestra

2. Cypress Avenue, 1979; don’t be fooled by the opening street scenes that precede the live footage.

3. Live at Montreux, 1980—professional video—take your pick; great band featuring one of the best 2 man horn sections ever (Pee Wee Ellis on sax and Mark Ishram on trumpet).

“The Montreux concert performances of the songs on the first disc took place on July 10, 1980 and featured four of the songs that would appear on Morrison's next album, Common One. Other songs played were chosen from albums over the last twelve years of Morrison's recordings, returning even to Astral Weeks for an over seven-minute-long version of "Ballerina". 
Unlike the 1974 Montreux performance, Morrison had played with all of the band members previously. Four of them had been part of The Caledonia Soul Orchestra, disbanded in 1973: David Hayes, Jef Labes, John Platania, and Dahaud Shaar. The other band members had all played on his last two recordings. David Hayes was a seasoned performer, having been part of The Caledonia Soul Orchestra and played bass on Common One and Into the Music. Erik Hage singles out two of the performances at the concert, calling the interaction between the brass and Morrison "simply stunning" on "Troubadours" and "Angeliou" remarking that: "On the former, Ellis and Morrison were locked in with each other, Ellis offering high, intense blasts and Morrison crying out right back at him in the throes of that elusive musical 'connection' he spent so much of his life seeking out.”

4. Astral Weeks/Live at the Hollywood Bowl, 2008. A list of all the songs is here: van+morrison+astral+weeks+live+Ho&gs_l= youtube.

Includes songs not on the CD including Gloria—this is the one I’d choose from this concert. Note that Bianca Thornton is the featured back up singer and Terry Adams is on cello. Both of them were part of the Caledonia Soul Orchestra in 1973. Terry Adams lives in the Bay area where she is cellist and music coordinator for the Nob Hill String Ensemble

Murgatroyd says:
07/09/12 1:55 pm
1. Not yet on the videos, yes on the articles.
2. One idea would be to feature people/bands who are known more for their influence than their work: Little Willie John, The Saints, Harmonia/Cluster, Betty Davis, etc.
3. Variety is the spice of life.
barbara ann 1945 says:
07/10/12 12:11 am
1)Usually I do. Not a big Bonnie Raitt fan so didn't watch her stuff recently. But I think I have both watched and read all the previous featured artist materials.
2)Off the top of my head: Buddy Holly, The Ronettes/Crystals, The Everly Brothers, Janis Joplin, Tom Waits.
3) No suggestions for change at the moment but I'll keep thinking. I like the "Featured Artist" component very much.
jere1911 says:
07/18/12 1:07 am

I do enjoy the Featured Artist feature and hope it continues. I like being surprised by the next one, like songs on the radio. I'd like to see a couple in which the focus is great guitar solos, e.g., Cream, LZ, Van Halen. I also like the idea of featuring artists who may be a lesser known but who are really good in Gator's opinion.