Category Archives: Featured Articles

Here we will display longer, deeper, more thorough posts about different topics, but all related to Johanna’s Visions

September 30: Bob Dylan released Time Out Of Mind in 1997

bob-dylan-time-out-of-mind-1997

I don’t know… It’s certainly not an album of felicity… I try to live within that line between despondency and hope. I’m suited to walk that line, right between the fire … I see [the album] right straight down the middle of the line, really.
~Bob Dylan to Robert Hilburn in 1997

“My recollection of that record is that it was a struggle. A struggle every inch of the way. Ask Daniel Lanois, who was trying to produce the songs. Ask anyone involved in it. They all would say the same. I didn’t trust the touring band I had at the time to do a good job in the studio, and so I hired these outside guys. But with me not knowing them, and them not knowing the music, things kept on taking unexpected turns. Repeatedly, I’d find myself compromising on this to get to mat. As a result, though it held together as a collection of songs, that album sounds to me a little off.
~Bob Dylan (Press conference 2001)

Cold Irons Bound (official video):

Continue reading September 30: Bob Dylan released Time Out Of Mind in 1997

Who’s your favorite songwriter – Lennon or McCartney ?

This post is all about the songs…

Although the songs where credited Lennon-McCartney / McCartney-Lennon, one of them usually contributed more than the other.

Many books, interviews, articles & not at least the artwork itself  have helped us  get a sense of  who was the “mastermind” behind each song. Most of them where collaborations.. but usually one of them was more to “blame”.

Some important books on this subject:

  • Ian Macdonald – Revolution in the head
  • William J. Dowlding – Beatlesongs
  • Mark Lewisohn – The Complete Beatles Chronicle
  • The Beatles – The Beatles Anthology
  • Bård Ose – Beatles hele livet (Norwegian)

Continue reading Who’s your favorite songwriter – Lennon or McCartney ?

The Best Songs: Where have all the average people gone by Roger Miller


My father used to play this great record by Roger Miller, “Roger Miller” from 1969. There was one particular song that has always stuck with me. Lately I have been listening to the lyrics  more thorough and it has become one of my favourite country songs of all time.

It’s a relatively obscure record, but a great one, so start hunting collectors!

Where Have All the Average People Gone.

The late Dennis Linde wrote “Where Have All the Average People Gone.” Roger Miller recorded it and the song only reached No. 14 on the country chart in 1969, but the lyrics and social commentary still seems relevant. The song is about stereotypes and putting people into categories  based on prejudices.

“Funny I don’t fit,
Where have all the average people gone?”

Roger Miller – Where have all the average people gone (audio):

Continue reading The Best Songs: Where have all the average people gone by Roger Miller

The Best Songs: Lord, I just can’t keep from crying sometimes by Blind Willie Johnson

Drawn by the legendary Robert Crumb
The Best Songs: Lord, I just can’t keep from crying sometimes by Blind Willie Johnson

Chuck Berry, Louis Armstrong, Bach, Beethoven and Blind Willie Johnson was included on the golden record that was sent into deep space in 1977 as part of the Voyager missions. What potential alien life forms might make of Johnson humming along to his slide guitar on “Dark Was The Night (Cold Was The Ground)” is anyone’s guess. The track moves me in a way that’s hard to explain, it’s the sound of pure emotion.

Steve Martin, the actor, once told a story about the golden record: “the first message from extraterrestrials has been received… ‘Send more Blind Willie Johnson’.”

Today we will give you more Blind Willie Johnson, we will present the fantastic,  “Lord, I just can’t keep from crying sometimes” (audio only):

Wikipedia:
“Blind” Willie Johnson (January 22, 1897 – September 18, 1945) was an American singer and guitarist, whose music straddled the border between blues and spirituals.

While the lyrics of all of his songs were religious, his music drew from both sacred and blues traditions. His music is distinguished by his powerful bass thumb-picking and gravelly false-bass voice, with occasional use of a tenor voice.

Johnson was not born blind, and, although it is not known how he lost his sight, Angeline Johnson told Samuel Charters that when Willie was seven his father beat his stepmother after catching her going out with another man. The stepmother then picked up a handful of lye and threw it, not at Willie’s father, but into the face of young Willie.

Johnson made 30 commercial recordings (29 songs) in five separate sessions for Columbia Records from 1927–1930.

“Lord, I just can’t keep from crying sometimes” is sung along with an as-yet-unidentified female singer. They complement each other, he sings in a gruffy voice, she shimmers above with a high pitched soft style of singing.
Continue reading The Best Songs: Lord, I just can’t keep from crying sometimes by Blind Willie Johnson

Van Morrison: Exile, Place & Eternal Movement – Part.1

OLD post … You’re being redirected to a newer version……

This post is inspired by a chapter in Peter Mills great book Hymns to the Silence: Inside the Words and Music of Van Morrison.

Some of the musicians I was working with very early on were very good, but they didn’t want to leave home, so they didn’t go any further…. but I did [want to leave home] or I felt like I had to
~Van Morrison

Exile

Wikipedia: Exile means to be away from one’s home (i.e. city, state or country), while either being explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened with imprisonment or death upon return. It can be a form of punishment and solitude.

Exile i a key theme in Morrison’s work & he also named his recording company ‘Exile’.

His foremost song about exile has to be “Too Long in Exile” – the title cut from his 1993 double album.

Robert Christgau – review of the album:
You know, exile — like Joyce and Shaw and Wilde and, oh yeah, Alex Haley. All on account of those “Bigtime Operators” who bugged his phone back when he was green. Now getting on to grizzled, he seeks guidance from the kas of Doc Pomus and King Pleasure and “The Lonesome Road,” an unutterably sad spiritual recast as an upbeat vibraphone feature. And especially, on three cuts, his old soulmate John Lee Hooker, who doesn’t come close to sounding overexposed on Them’s “Gloria” and Sonny Boy’s “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” and something new by Van called “Wasted Years,” about how the dumb stuff is behind them now. I don’t know about Hook, but Van’s just jiving–when he wanders “In the Forest,” it’s never a safe bet that he’ll get out. A-

 last part of the lyrics:

Too long in exile
You can never go back home again
Too long in exile
You’re about to drive me just insane

Too long in exile, been too long in exile
Just like James Joyce, baby
Too long in exile
Just like Samuel Beckett baby
Too long in exile
Just like Oscar Wilde
Too long in exile
Just like George Best, baby
Too long in exile
Just like Alex Higgins, baby

Continue reading Van Morrison: Exile, Place & Eternal Movement – Part.1