Music Monday: Idina Menzel

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Hi My Loves,

You know how you know that someone is a great singer but it takes a certain moment for you to sit there and go WOW, they are really good!

I was searching for something to watch on a Saturday night and I clicked on to the community Tv channel, somewhere I don’t really stop on but this night it made me want to stay put for two hours and turn the volume up loud. It was Idina Menzel : Live Barefoot at the Symphony

Idina+Menzel+pngOf course I knew who Idina Menzel was – I found her while watching the film version of RENT and first went OMG, what is this RENT thing – Quickly followed by – Wow, Maureen is awesome – followed by OMG, I want Maureen’s cat suit. Well you get the point. An impression was made. Every time since then when she popped up whether in Frozen or Glee or countless people around me talking about what a talent she is, there is always a smile on my face.

On Live Barefoot at the Symphony Idina does different arrangements and some acappella arrangements of songs which really makes you pay attention. I think what I really loved about the whole concert was how personal it was. I’ve read reviews of it and people saying there was too much talking – but that was the reason I loved it – it wasn’t just, here is that song, here is this song but this just wasn’t that at all. She talks about being at NYU and having a crush of her gay professor and being a wedding singer in Long Island before getting her role in Rent and how Saving All My Love For You – was one of the most popular songs for the first dance ( even though it is about infidelity). Even talking about writing songs with her then husband for their son Walker which was hilarious

Thankfully she has worked on solo projects releasing her first solo album entitled Still I Can’t Be Still in 1998. Her second album, Here in 2004 and I Stand is the third studio album and my favorite – I have had Brave off the album on repeat since Saturday

Idina has one of the most powerful voices in the industry. She’s been a powerhouse for years. I’m thankful Frozen has boosted her popularity, even if kids get confused when you tell them Elsa is actually brunette.

If you only know her from Frozen I am begging you to let it go ( sorry, I had too) and swim a little deeper into the world of Idina Menzel – you won’t be disappointed I promise

xxLayla

Sunday Playlist

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  • Frozen by Madonna
  • Heart of Glass by Blondie
  • Brown Sugar by The Rolling Stone
  • Le Freak by Chic
  • Wont Great Fooled Again by The Who
  • Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • What Goin’ On by Marvin Gaye
  • Hotel California by The Eagles
  • I Just Called To Say I Love You by Stevie Wonder
  • Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes
  • Too Much by The Spice Girls
  • Come On Over by Christina Aguilera
  • Miss You by Westlife
  • The Call by The Backstreet Boys
  • Don’t Wanna Let You Go by Five

xxLayla

Cool Links For Cool People

a61f170bf6bb4af7bb81cbcf7bf8d24bHi My Loves,

With a week that started with a photoshoot, progressed with the flu and a trip to the doctors and I ended with dinner, it is safe to say my week was a mix bag of everything you could imagine.Whatever your plans are this week have fun and stay safe

The Pumpkin Can’t Even Handle Me Right Now.

Grease Quotes You Never Understood as a Kid

The Most Beautiful Advert I’ve Ever Seen

Major Runway Moments From Tom Ford

Whimsical Wedding Ideas Inspired By Disney

Great Podcasts for Writers

Kitchen Secrets You Wish You Already Knew

Something To Help You Get Ready For Saint Pat’s Day

This Is Why Lena Heady Is The Queen Of Everything

Great Food In My Most Favorite Place

Music Monday: Jimmy Reed

JimmyReedHi My Loves,

Jimmy Reed is one of those artist that even if you don’t his name and don’t think you’ve heard a lick of his music, chances are, you actually have. The blues are something that has been talking to me since I was in my early twenties. The music slowly crept into my life a song or two at a time and now has a firm hold of my heart and understands my soul like no other kind of music. God, that sounds pretentious but its true

Jimmy Reed was probably one of the first blues artist  that made me ears prick up.

I heard a few of his songs in a movie that spanned decades and in such an amazing way used the music to help them. Jimmy Reed was thankfully  one of the artist they used. So Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby & Little Rain entered my life but didn’t make an impact bigger then – that sounds kinda cool –  and I went on my merry way through life and forgot about it. That was until I had brought that soundtrack for another artist. One night I was lying in bed unable to sleep – normally that would bother me because it happens all the time but it was a work night and I had three hours until I had to get up again so I reached for the ipod hoping that the music would distract my thoughts  so on go shuffle mood and bam, Little Rain started playing. I did listen while it played in the background  – in that moment it was me, Jimmy Reed and early morning darkness. I never looked back.

So who is he?

Jimmy Reed was born in, 1925, on a plantation near Dunleith. He started learning the harmonica and acoustic guitar from his friend Eddie Taylor. In 1943 he moved to Chicago and was quickly drafted into the Navy. He served two years and thankful came home. He married the love of his life Mary, who was known as Mama Reed. The early ’50s found him working as a sideman with John Brim’s Gary Kings and played on the street for tips with Willie Joe Duncan. He auditioned for a deal with Chess Records  but when that fell through he found success with the help of the John Brim’s Gary Kings drummer and was signed to newly formed Vee-Jay Records. He sold  more records than Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Elmore James or Little Walter  which brought the rewards of fame to his doorstep. He fell apart and fell in to alcoholism. Which was so bad that sometimes his wife  – who was one of his backup singers – had to help him remember the lyrics to his songs while recording. Jimmy Reed’s personal problems prevented him from achieving the level of fame that some others found at the time  but oddly enough he had more hit songs than many others. When Vee-Jay Records closed down he signed with another record label but was unable to find another hit as the music scene was changing as quickly

Jimmy Reed

He died in 1976 in California of respiratory failure, eight days short of his 51st birthday but thankful that wasn’t the end of his story. In 1991 he was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and I think his greatest legacy other then his own music, are the artists we now have because of Jimmy Reed, because of his influence.

Neil Young plays Reed’s music to his audience before his shows. “Baby What You Want Me to Do” was also frequently performed by Etta James. Van Morrison’s group Them covered “Bright Lights, Big City” and “Baby, What You Want Me To Do”. The Yardbirds recorded an instrumental dedicated to him entitled “Like Jimmy Reed Again” The Rolling Stones have cited Reed as a major influence on their sound, and their early set lists included many of Reed’s songs, playing covers at the infamous ‘ 1969 Altamont concert. The Steve Miller Band and Elvis. British punk pioneer Billy Childish and his band Thee Headcoats released an EP of Reed covers entitled The Jimmy Reed Experience – that list goes on.

If you think of the influence that Jimmy Reed has had on the music we love and then think of the influence that The Stones and Eric Clapton and the many others have had on bands now formed or yet to be form. Jimmy Reed has done and will do more for music then I think he ever would have imagined

xxLayla

Sunday Playlist

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  • Sugarmama by Bitter Sweet
  • Hard Sun by Eddie Vedder
  • Both Sides Of The Gun by Ben Harper
  • Jacobs Dream by Alison Krauss
  • Woman by Wolfmother
  • Lady D’Arbanville by Cat Stevens
  • Dreaming Under The Same Moon by Julianne Hough
  • So Far Away by Carole King
  • Crawl by Kings of Leon
  • Riverboat Gambler by Carly Simon
  • Everywhere I Go by Jennifer Love Hewitt
  • New Revolution by Gin Wigmore
  • Not UR Girl by Katharine McPhee
  • Into Yesterday by Sugar Ray
  • Vincent by Ronan Keating

xxLayla