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NorthernBandit / Burt K. Arthur / Blog

Rockin down the chimney down!

It's the holiday Season...so don't forget to get up and Rock...when Santa comes about 12 oclock...He'll be Rockin down the chimney down!

This is my life!

This may be of interest to some and then maybe not interesting at all... Rock History, the way I tell it because I grew up in the era of Rock 1968-1979...was something to behold. Everything that happened mattered. Music was everything before and after. When Artists like those that I was weaned on, those players and Bands at the up and coming front of the list were the things I concentrated on...it was Art...Music and Culture...it was showmanship, entertainment. There is so much, one could not saying it all in a short story like this but when a person is living in the character of the times which I believed I did...you might understand why it stayed so proper in my attitudes and why so many Musicians and want-to-be's like me traveled this road with such vigor. It was the best of times. The reason everything mattered was because it was a socially active time...It mattered what Brand of everything you played, not because of cost, it was because of the instruments your favorite Artists played, it was the way it looked hung around their necks...how I thought it should set on me. It was about tone, the sound your gear made. What was cool! Of course it was about the songs...and oh how that made it all came together and if it was something new and underground it was even that much more farout! Farout...now that's a word that dates me but it was common as saying hello to someone and Farout it all was. You might be asking yourself what has this to do with music. Well without it in any culture you have nothing...History is everything. It is from where if you are worth half yourself, where you come from, it is what makes the world go round...for most of us anyway. So...I digress quit frequently but it is a healthy appreciation about which has come before...and you can bet if it was good back then think about how it might be all moderned up with some fresh new blood. There have been some amazing accomplishments in modern music...but think on this... In the late 1800's Blues grew from the stresses and the hard lived lives of African slaves who were brought to this country...Blues music was grown from the experiences of life of men women and children in the field and developed for many reasons...one of many to resolve the pain and to reinforce the belief that through sticking together and raising a voice to the heavens their pain if only for awhile might be released from the torture they suffered. Not necessarily something you would sing with a smile on your face but with conviction in you heart. That is where my Rock saga begins...with a Band's that originated in the British Isles who through their interruption's developed Blues as it had been created by statesmen of this genre and elevated this soul driven sound with Electric guitar, Bass, Drums and passionate Vocal sounds. I mention no names mostly because it would only cause controversy...there are so many paths. This is about life...is not about acting or a performance though that is what it is called when you are in front of an audience...which explains a little about why I don't play live anymore... ...this is about being true to oneself, to ones spirit... The honest nature of Blues and Rock!

To all my friends!

Greetings to you, All of my fellow friends, Fans and Musicians! It is a wonderful time to be an Artist. I cannot say so much for the Music Industry that which I know very little about from a professional point of view. I am but alas a mere mortal in the realm of god's ( a non-professional Artist ) always have been will probably always be a novice. The beauty however is the way you see yourself in these times of creation...boils down to the tenacity you excrete from every musical pore of your being, through your singing, musicianship and through your networking. If you so choose a narrow path to what you do. Today the environment is quite full of "professional Musicians and Artists". As pretentious as anyone of us can be...the step from novice to Professional is as challenging as someone outside of the Artist's world striking out to get a job to earn a wage to support yourself or your family. I have never chosen the life of Entertainment...that is what I am referring to. Being an Entertainer now that is what I have always envisioned myself doing and being but I can tell you for me it is but a dream, a desire but not a reality. I chose to travel the Entertainment road through my private work...not so private these days since I am on Facebook, Jango, Fandelism, SoundCloud...but here is the thing...as much as I attempt to be 'Out There' I am still a Non-Professional. The thing to understand though about my style is that I have never given up being what I have wanted my whole music life...it only happens because it is what I desire. Some Artists will choose to make their livelihood in Entertainment...I make not money or profit monetarily from what I do musically. I receive nor do I ask for contributions to what I do. My Music is for the world...no matter how small or big that world might be...I do these things because it is what I enjoy doing above many things. I would like to invite you if you haven't already to stop by sometime and 'Listen to some of what NorthernBandit does. It may not be perfect...if it were I would be a Professional but alas I am but a lowly Singer/Songwriter that just happens to play a lot of instruments and experiments in the Genre of Blues and Rock Old School style. Good honest real life music...like the twists and turns that happen to us all as we ride down the road to history. History is where my sound comes from and I can only hope that somewhere in the Mix y'all can hear and see in your mind the stories my songs have to tell...they are my pictures in sounds and words...The portrait of life...in Rock. Thank you...for allowing me to share these things with you...Peace!

Keep Playin That Rock and Roll

Aye...good evening!    Never in my whole life have I ever broke a Bass Guitar String, perhaps that is a good thing from a safety point of view and knowing what I know about how I used to play...well I used to play pretty hard, you know ROCK and ROLL and all! Now here's the slant of playing Guitar...the same can't be said no matter how much finesse you think you might muster... ...and so last evening as I'm Rockin out with my LP jamming along to the Greatest Hits Of The James Gang...I was Leading away on my high E and TwAnG!@#$ ( an expression not a link ). Moral to the story...You never know when it's gonna happen so having a good quality back up guitar is essential if you want to keep on playin that Rock and Roll.    Sermon over, Amen!

Shine on!

The power of song...

I can't say that soloing has ever been what started me in music...it was the song.

Perhaps at some point soloing ( as in Lead Guitar or Bass ) is possible but what happens is the song before the solo.

A little redundancy perhaps but structure even in Jazz ( an oxymoron ) lends it's self to the Solo vocal or instrument.

For me the song is a story, a picture an adventure...as much as I might think I could by abstract start off cold turkey and just fly I would inevitably come back to song format...Beginning, middle and end. Now that's not to say there isn't room within a song structure to explore the avenues of jamming and soloing...I believe that is what brings out the best in playing...the opportunity to let your music light shine...

Shine on!

I'd like to tell you a Tale of a young man...

( no title, copyright 10/27/1980 by: Burt K. Arthur )

I'd like to tell you a Tale of a young man...

Now this young man was traveling and he came to a village where he happened upon a pub of his interest. Being a man searching for the truth he entered the pub to find the Inn keeper and to ask a question or two and to relax with a jar of ale.

The inn keeper was a large man with a well rounded face and to the young man the inn keeper appeared to be of good nature. "Inn Keeper" tell me, which is the best road to travel? You see I am looking for a place I have never been.

Now the inn keeper settled back against the bar and began by saying...aye me lad, I need a bit of a clue as to these where abouts you seek. Then the young man sprang up from his chair and sang out to the inn keeper his request...

..." I'm looking for a place I've never seen, but I know of it quite well and though I have never been there I'm sure I will find it...pray tell? ...cause I have been searching my whole life long and I know what I am looking for so if you would be so kind to lend a word I'll be off and down the road "

The inn keeper seemed a bit daft from the words the young man sang though they sounded full of conviction and straight as the arrow flies...he was thinking how to answer such a line.

" Take the road you choose by looking at the signs and watch the land marks along the way to help you if you change you mind. While you walk along the road don't dare to go astray, the sky can be dark and the forest dense and many beasts await you in their lairs, keep on the straight away but if you come to a fork in the road, remember what I have said. If the sun is shining and the place looks at peace and still from harm...if could be a warning before the coming of a storm, so take refuge in what you believe and stay with the truth. If you have any problem you know you can always ask for help "

Now the young man was pleased and he paid the keeper well and thanked him for the time he spent sharing what the young man earnestly sought.

...and so as the young man went away, abiding in the truth of what the keeper said...

...and traveled unharmed to that place he had never been.

Good Luck!

I don't know...there has always been something about Trains I can't escape. No need to run away from the feeling...put's a smile on my face. When my son was young we use to take him to Thomas The Tank Engine events around our area...always so much fun. Could it be that my Great Grand Dad was a Brake Man on the B&O in Pennsylvania back before the Civil War I don't know. What I do know is that the universal language on the rails is a hand wave... Hello, Good bye and Good Luck!

Star Date: Now

Yeah I know I'm funny HaHaHa... ...but seriously!

My problem, always has been being serious but when it comes to Rock and Roll damn right cause it's fun or nothing...

We can I sit around and stress about how perfect music aught to be but you know in the end perfect is not necessarily the desired effect.

I will be the first to admit there is nothing finer then watching and listening to a band perform and nail the ques...drive the rhythm and sing like there is no tomorrow...being with your Band mates long enough to have mental muscle memory is spooky if not just down right cool when you experience it...

So here it is in a nut shell...Hat's off to all of my compadres...in the world of music.

Thank you for letting me be part of what my life has always been about...Music!

Y'all Rock!

Simply the Blues...

If you or anyone of your close musical friends has gotten into the Blues you know somewhat of the history...

Perhaps you have not made the deeper connection...to the Blues, it is an important part of knowing for without some basic details there is nothing to connect the dot to.

There was an article recently about a late 60's Artist...well known for becoming the replacement guitarist in the British Band with John Mayall. The Band was the Blues Breakers.

Peter Green ( Greenbaum ) stepped into the Blues Breakers and never looked back...created such a sound but moved on soon after...to join Mick Fleetwood and John McVie among others to create the very first Fleetwood Mac.

I can't speak for Peter Green or for that matter anyone else but what I can do is tell any of you the Blues is a human experience...suffered on many levels...it can either be a disability or it can be a stepping stone to freedom, that doesn't mean it ever goes away and it surely doesn't mean you will ever be free from the effects it has on you but music is one way to find yourself within it and around it.

The face of the Blues has many distinctions...from a time when work and song allowed for the release of pain from the burden of being made a slave under the oppression of another man to the more modern stresses of struggle by economics and the over population of urban development and civil decay. Not to mention the upheaval that occurs within each person.

To describe the Blues is really not to say it is this or it is that though a genre has been established due to a Record Industry profile made for the sake of generating money...it is much more then that...

...it is a means to express ones emotion because of frustration or celebration because of an understanding from where one has been in life to where one see's the future in a better light.

The pain of life ebbs like the ocean tide...it is the Blues that even though many will not admit to drives each and every soul, there is a place for every emotion, an expression and a sound in music that can release an energy that excites or being and allows us to forget if only for a few minutes what was, what can be and what we can do to move through to the other side.

Life...it Ain't Nothing But The Blues!

Dream the Dream!

When I was but a prat of a child life was like a slow meandering stream.

Seemed like it was going no where fast.

Dreams make us wonder and dreaming about things helps us to move In directions that we may never have gone before in relation specifically to events the occur in our life and Day Dreaming is a totally different subject all together.

As for Dreaming about things...it take an inspiration to trigger a Dream to develop and this is where the story begins. 1964 the year of my awaking...I would not have wanted it to be anything but what it was......The Beatles, Paul McCartney and the Hofner Violin Bass.

Being left handed had always presented it's difficulties but when I saw Paul on Stage it was like a light bulb that was never on went off and from that moment on I gained my voice because I loved the melodies and the lyrics...somehow they reach into my being and I identified to a small degree with what the songs were saying to me.

So this is not suppose to be a bunch of psychobabble it's about what makes you dream in the physical world to get you to that happy place you call your life. It all starts in you head somewhere between the sleepy dream and reality as you see it, your Dream.

I still Dream...never stops...it's not like a conversation it's more like a knowing.

When I was 15 I had a vision...I was going to learn to play the guitar. Well, that dream never aspired to more then a delay of four years and an even stronger desire to do that very thing as a 19 year old teenager approaching Adulthood.

So I suppose the whole point if there is one is this...Dreams are what life is made of, it just depends on how much magic is spun with you dream to truly say your dreams came true.

Mine have, how about you?

Peace my friends.