Posts Tagged ‘Johnny Cash’

Jake Bugg

I hear people say how badly they would have loved to be alive for the music revolution of the 60s almost every day, and I suppose I’m victim to this statement as well. There’s a lot of great music in the modern age, but classic rock ‘n’ roll and folk music seem to have taken a hiatus the past decade or so. After hearing Jake Bugg’s debut album, I’m happy to say that the hiatus is over.

Jake Bugg channels his inner Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan vocally, Johnny Cash musically, Simon & Garfunkel harmonically, and even pulls in influence from bands like The Beatles and Nirvana as well as artists like Buddy Holly and Hank Williams. In other words, all the great music we listen to when we want to be transported to another time is back, and stronger than ever.

At only 18 years old the time of recording, Jake Bugg’s debut album instantly makes you feel as though you’re in the 1950s listening to your record player, while the Ed Sullivan show plays in the background.

The record starts off with the biggest single from the album, “Lightening Bolt”, which inhabits the “scratchiness” of an old vinyl record and even portrays a hint of skiffle music, popular in England during 1956-57. The upbeat tune is then followed by “Two Fingers”, which was not only recorded in Liverpool (home of The Beatles), but even has a drum beat noticeably influenced by Ringo. “Country Song” reminds me especially of Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”, with its simplistic yet meaningful lyrics, and heart-wrenching guitar.

“Ballad of Mr. Jones” is a song full of storytelling and incredible imagery, similar to early pieces by Bob Dylan (which is ironic considering Dylan uses the name “Mr. Jones” in one of his songs as well). It feels like Bugg took one of Bob Dylan’s stories and put them to Nirvana music.  The album closes with the song “Fire”; a song so reminiscent of classic country-folk music, I had to go back and check to see if it was a cover.

Overall, I was extremely impressed by Jake Bugg’s debut album, and at such a young age, I’m hoping to see a lot more great things to come from him. So turn off the lights, press play, and be transported back to a much simpler time; you won’t regret it.

Johnny Cash’s badassness may never cease to amaze. But hey, let’s just add to it! Before his days as a globe trotting, country superstar, he was in the military. He joined the Air Force in 1950 and was stationed in Landsberg, Germany as a morse code intercept operator during the Cold War. In 1953, he picked up a message that would shake the world. Johnny Cash was the first American to find out that Soviet dictator, Joseph Stalin had died. Cash found out before Dwight Eisenhower, who was not only the President at the time but also had stood next to Stalin during WWII. Just one of many middle fingers Johnny had given to the government in his time.

Johnny Cash in the Army

Johnny Cash

Artist: Johnny Cash
Album: American V: A Hundred Highways
Song: God’s Gonna Cut You Down
Genre: Country/Blues

The man in black had one hell of a life and has covered everyone ranging from Neil Young, Sting, and even Nine Inch Nails. Perhaps one of Johnny Cash’s most famous songs, “Boy Named Sue,” is also a cover song. Boy Named Sue is actually a poem by a man most of us knew growing up. Shel Silverstein! It’s a bit different than The Giving Tree and Where the Sidewalk Ends, but it’s an extremely well written poem in my opinion. To be honest, I couldn’t think of a better person to perform it live.