Travelling there (in the mainstream) soon became a bore so I headed for the ditch. A rougher ride, but I saw more interesting people – Neil Young
American culture has a huge impact on our lives. This group is primarily concerned with music, believing the most interesting and exciting forms are found away from the mainstream, where creativity not commerce is the guiding principle. Film, literature, theatre, dance are parallel areas of interest.
We want to share old favourites and new discoveries through group meetings and attending gigs. Beer and whiskey appreciation is optional.
Group Convener : Carl Parker
The Group meets at the Victoria Stakes, 1 Muswell Hill, Muswell Hill, N10 3TH on the third Wednesday of every month, 2-4 p.m.
This form may also be used to contact the Convener on any other matter relating to the Group’s activities.
This month’s theme was a favourite song by a male singer. The playlist:
Roger Miller : King of the Road
Neil Young : Unknown Legend
Bob Weir : Looks Like Rain
Jack White : Wayfaring Stranger
Prince : Raspberry Beret
Ry Cooder : The Prodigal Son
John Prine : Hello In There
Guy Clark : L.A. Freeway
Neil Young : Heart of Gold
Talking Heads : Burning Down The House
The Band : The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
Jason Ibell : Elephant
Group members had been asked to select a favourite song by a female singer. These were all collected into a presentation format and each member spoke a few words about their choice. Here is the playlist:
Dolly Parton : Little Sparrow
Mavis Staples : No Time For Cryin’
Gretchen Wilson : Redneck Woman
Dolly Parton : Halos and Horns
The Stone Poneys : Different Drum
Mazzy Star : Fade Into You
Maria Muldaur : Long As I Can See You Smile
Kate & Anna McGarrigle : Walking Song
Frazey Ford : Done
The main topic was a audio/visually illustrated talk given by Carl on the musical career of Bruce Cockburn, which spans close to 50 years.
After a short career in unremarkable psychedelic bands, in 1969 Cockburn set out on a solo career, releasing his first album in 1970. He was recognised in the Juno Awards (Canadian equivalents of the Brits and Grammys) winning folk singer of the year for three years running in the 70s. It wasn’t until the late 70s that he had material released outside Canada. He also experienced a slow conversion to Christianity, elements of which began appearing in his music. He first appeared in Britain in the early 80s and began building a small and loyal following. The big change in his music came following a trip on behalf of Oxfam Canada to Central America, where he witnessed the horrific, bloody impact of US Foreign Policy on the inhabitants of the area, most notably Guatemalan refugees. This led to much controversy being engendered by his song If I Had A Rocket Launcher. Condemned in some quarters as a call to violence, Cockburn denied this, saying it was an expression of rage on behalf of the beleaguered refugees. His music also came to embrace environmental concerns and the wider political world with songs such his anti International Monetary Fund tirade Call It Democracy. He also came to question his Christian faith, especially as his marriage collapsed and he sought to identify its commonalities with other religions and faiths while questioning aspects of the doctrine. In parallel with his changing worldview Cockburn was developing as a musician and became in time to be recognised as an extremely skilful guitarist. In 2001 Cockburn received a Juno Award for Lifetime Achievement. He has released 26 studio albums along with four live collections and had numerous compilations culled from his oeuvre.