2 Shades of Grey

Songs from the soundtrack of your life


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Glen Campbell – gifted guitarist and singer – RIP

The sad demise of one of the most talented modern musicians is hard to comprehend. I can’t say I liked everything he did but given his background as a session guitarist for a diverse range of artists including Frank Sinatra and the Righteous Brothers, as a member of the Beach Boys backing band, plus too many great songs – especially those written by Jimmy Webb – it is a very sad loss.

He was once asked on a late night TV show if he was the greatest guitarist, better than Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix and the like. He said no but he thought he was the most versatile, which he put down to his extensive use of a capo. And then proceeded to demonstrate to the host what he meant!

Among my favourite songs “By the time I get to Phoenix” and “Wichita Linesman” stand out. I also liked one of his last songs “Ghost on the Canvas” which I thought was prophetic in many ways.

The song I’ve chosen to include here is from his 64th and last album released in June this year and is another Jimmy Webb composition appropriately titled “Adios“.

The accompanying video showing the final journey of one of his well-used guitars adds a unique touch.


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2 Shades of Grey perform at 43rd Worsthorne Arts & Crafts Fair

2 Shades  were delighted to perform for the fifth consecutive year at Worsthorne Arts & Crafts Fair.

The music was a mixture of standards. pop classics, latin and country.

Pop classics were represented by the Everlys, Billy Fury and the Beatles – “All I have to do is dream”, “I’ll never find another you”, and “Obla-Di Obla-da”. And a modern pop song by Rag and Bone Man “Grace”

Country flavoured songs from Rick Nelson and the Highwaymen – “Hello Mary Lou” and “the Last Cowboy Song”

Latin flavoured “Besame Mucho” and “Ten Guitars”

Standards? “Let there be love”, “I’ve got you under my skin”, and “Every time we say goodbye” by the likes of Nat King Cole, Sinatra, and Ella Fitzgerald (and covered more recently by the likes of Michael Bublé)

Just before the final song “Every Time We Say Goodbye” joint-MC Tony Cummings ( who had provided backing vocals) gave a reading of “In Flanders Field” as a tribute to the those who fell at Passchendaele, also known as the 3rd Ypres battle, which started 100 years ago to the day. (The poem had been written two years earlier after the second battle of Ypres but the imagery of the red poppies has stayed with the world ever since when remembering those who fell in war).

Another enjoyable evening which kicked off the week’s musical performances. Thank you everybody, especially if you joined in the singing (and save me some cake next time!)


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5 Amazing Benefits of Classical Music🎼

MakeItUltra™

By Eric Charles, MA., PhD-c

Audio version | Click here


“Music is the universal language of mankind” ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Around my house I am known as the music man. I have the habit of walking around with my iPhone in my pocket playing music on Spotify. I love all music because it makes me feel happy and alive. Research shows that classical music is exceptionally beneficial for your brain and overall health. The way classical music affects the brain is universal regardless of gender, class or nationality. Wouldn’t it be great if listening to Beethoven or Mozart could unite us all?

Here are  5 ways classical music benefits us all:

1. Improves your focus
Numerous studies have shown that listening to classical music such as Bach, Mozart and Beethoven can improve focus. Complex and continuously changing melodies can help the mind focus by keeping it engaged. When your brain is expecting…

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Silence is Golden for shopkeepers, maybe

The value of music in retail is still a matter of opinion. Recently researchers in Stockholm examined the impact of different music at 16 branches of the same fast food chain over a 5 month period.

They found that having no background music raised sales by 4% compared to a random selection of pop songs.

Sven-Olov Daunfeldt, the lead researcher, says the problem may not be the songs but the type of music.  “Silence is better than the wrong music but a carefully selected mix of brand-fit music can lift sales by 9%”.

In fast food chains music that is welcoming and modern encourages people to spend more. Ed Sheeran‘s Shape of You boosted sales of desserts by 11% and smoothies by 15%.

Rolling Stones music had the opposite effect as their music was considered too traditional. How times and tastes change!

Soundtrack your Brand, a company which provides bespoke song selection to stores, said they chose based on the core customers. Bombastic arena music doesn’t fit in a luxury boutique and Queen‘s Bohemian Rhapsody should never be played in any store. It is too dynamic and changes styles throughout distracting customers from actually doing any shopping.

And there has been a backlash against piped music in stores with several large retailers stopping providing it.

Previous posts on music and shopping here and music in restaurants here


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Scott Walker…………a wondrous voice

My favourite Scott song too written by Tom Rush and in our repertoire. Rush said this song, although not one of his best but made famous by an “English” group, (common misconception by Americans as Walker Bros weren’t known in US and more successful over here) paid for his kids’ college tuition.

Annoyingly since this was posted the video owner has blocked playback of the video other than on YouTube!

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

During a recent bout of redecorating the house (not by me I might add) I had to move all my CDs and store all 800 of them, into boxes for safekeeping. This was an onerous task and one I had been trying to avoid but the painter phoned me and said he would be coming to start work in a couple of days……….so I could no longer put off the task.

So one morning I began taking CDs off the storage shelves and carefully placing them in cardboard boxes. It was quite remarkable what I discovered in my collection, CDs I had bought and then never played, stuff I had bought on my trips to Vilnius and Copenhagen (remember the Jazz CDs we bought here Mike?) and not to mention Tel Aviv (that was one hell of a record shop).

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One of the CDs I came across was “The Best…

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Song lyrics are getting more repetitive (and crappier)

That’s official! A Canadian scientist, Colin Morris, has analysed 15,000 songs dating back to 1958. From the poetry of Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell to the modern pap that is churned out by the likes of Rhianna whose song Oxygen mentions America 33 times and breathe 22 times.

The most repetitive was a 1999 song by Sisqo called the Thong song and among the least was the late Chuck Berry’s 1959 song Back in the USA.

He used a compression algorithm which reduces files sizes by assigning repeated sequences a marker rather than storing the whole sequence. So a song with no repeating sequences can’t be reduced in size. On the other hand Daft Punk’s 1997 hit Around the World simply repeats the title 1,480 times and can be compressed 98%.

Songwriter Crispin Hunt blames the trend on the chart-buying public which comprises largely of 8 – 12 -year olds. The music industry focuses on this age group to get them hooked early.

It does raise the question of whether words really mean so much. When music is so repetitive and songs (?) like Get Low by Dillon Francis and DJ Snake comprise solely the words Brr  x 4 and Get low x 28 repetitions.