Category Archives: Vocal Music

BLIND MAN / PLaying For Change

Grandpa Elliott gives an unbelievably soulful performance in Playing For Change‘s rendition of this beautiful blues number.


Filed under AMERICANA, Blues Music, Charity, Music, Soul Music, Vocal Music


For Lynn.

Immortal Bach translated:

Come sweet death, come blessed rest!
Come lead me to peace.


Filed under Classical Music, Faith, Music, Religion, Tributes, Vocal Music

Playing For Change: I’d Rather Go Blind

Leave a comment

Filed under AMERICANA, Blues Music, Human Rights, Music, Soul Music, Vocal Music

7 Billion People United

By the end of 2011 the world will have reached 7 billion people. The United Nations Population Fund is leading an innovative global campaign to bring awareness to the opportunities and challenges that this milestone presents. But 7 Billion people means 7 Billion hearts. Music has always been the best way to speak to the hearts of the people. Playing for Change has partnered with the United Nations to present an original song around the world to serve as an anthem for such an important time, “United”. 

We traveled across the globe, put headphones on musicians, added them to the track, and created a video that can serve as a tangible example of something positive we can all do together as a human race. 

Lets inspire each other. Lets everybody get involved and join us on in this journey, so that together we leave this world better than we found it.

To learn more about how to be part of the “United” track go to:

Leave a comment

Filed under Environmental, Folk Music, Human Rights, Music, Vocal Music

Blunt and Frank

New theme song for “Occupy Wall Street”?

This was recorded in 1975, so it’s not exactly written for today’s protesters, but it sure does stand the test of time.

I’ve heard or read Shawn tell about different song’s lyrics, but not this one. Maybe it was written about the Savings and Loan Scandal. The Bush family did quite well being “bailed out” way back then, over 35 years ago!

Blunt And Frank

Mr. Blunt and Mr. Frank

Were standin’ in the halls of their 7 figure bank

Wonderin’ what in the world

They were gonna do for you

I can take the brunt

If you can take the flank

Explained Mr. Blunt to timid Mr. Frank

Wonderin’ what in the world

They were gonna do for you

We been stealin’ this money most every day

And ain’t nobody caught us in any way

But something’s tellin’ me

Now our goose is cooked

We been raisin’ our prices

On the kiddies ices

And the bedroom suites on the corner store

Don’t you think that they could go up some more?

Then with everybody jivin’

About how to be survivin’

We could bring ’em back down again

And it’s gone full circle

While the world bank wins again

Revolution no solution

To the government’s illusion

That the people are amusin’

With the prices that we’re usin’

And I think that they’re abusing

Everything that we try to do

Defamation to the nation

That is drowning in inflation

Immigration, isolation is a useless tabulation

To the calculation that the world

Is gonna want to come to you

So people in distress gonna worry nonetheless

‘Bout the monetary mess from an educated guess, never really blessed

I think we must confess it now

So people jump and shout,

Everything is out

And I’ve said what I have to say

Everybody sit back

While I get ready to play

Where you gonna go

When the people gonna know

That they’re ripping us off again

Right back down

To the same old hole we been in

Bet your bottom dollar

That you’re really gonna holler

When your friends turn you down again

Not a thin dime

To keep in you in your time of men


Filed under AMERICANA, Crime, Folk Music, History, Human Rights, Humor, Lyrics, Music, Rock and Roll, Vocal Music

Most Of Us Don’t Understand At All


This must be seen on youtube, sorry! PLEASE take the time to check it out. Also visit the SHAWN PHILLIPS page (above).


Filed under Human Rights, Lyrics, Music, Vocal Music

Music Is My Ammunition

1 Comment

Filed under Folk Music, Human Rights, Music, Vocal Music

Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me

Bettye LaVette is a great American treasure, who never gets the recognition she deserves. Of course this is a cover of an old Elton John song.

Bernie Taupin and Elton John…I knew them quite well, as they worked together a lot on Bernie’s poetry albums. Bernie and Elton were just getting started when they were doing that. Elton was still the mail boy for Dick James Publishing in London. The studio was in the offices there. He was not Elton at the time. His name was still Reggie.~ Shawn Phillips


Filed under Blues Music, History, Music, Soul Music, Vocal Music

Motes Of Dust

Motes of dust fly through the air they’re dancing in his vacant stare
The hollows in his cheeks are haunted shadows
And down below the sea is strong, the wind it whips itself a froth
A storm is coming on, let’s hope it passes
But storms will come with squalling rain and lightning hurled in screaming pain
The night becomes like mind left standing helpless
But thunder dies away in time to leave the silence so sublime
And once again the need for light is urgent

Though even in the center stage
A paler light doth he make rage
Than those who live their lives in poorest splendor
And diamonds yet festoon the trees
If you but have the eyes to see
To share it with the ones that you are loving
To cast your force into the land in hopes that you can make a plan
To live, let others live and not regret it
And love is peace and God is war
You’ve seen it all go down before
And more’s the shame to stand by while it’s happening
For we are like the storms at sea
A moment’s life like lightning be
Ourselves our only slaves
And only masters

1 Comment

Filed under Folk Music, History, Lyrics, Music, Vocal Music

Kingfisher – Shawn Phillips and Donovan

This year is the 45th since this video was made.

The singer is Donovan, of “Sunshine Superman” fame. If you know my humble blog, you know who Shawn Phillips is. If you are an old guy like me, you know that the interviewer with the banjo on his lap is Pete Seeger.

Shawn and Donovan recently reunited at The Royal Albert Hall in London.

Also joining in the fun were other notable musicians like Jimmy Page!

Shawn Phillips & Jimmy Page

And not the least to join the fun was Mr. Danny Thompson, original Bass Player for Pentangle.

  It seems that Rolling Stone Magazine wrote a “review” of the whole gig, but spent much time carrying on about Jimmy Page appearing, much to the disappointment of Shawn and his fans! Shawn did share a letter he wrote to the magazine:

Dear Mr. Somaiya, and RollingStone Magazine,
                                                                                 I am writing this message on behalf of the rest of the people who took part in the recent Donovan Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, on June 3rd. It would be nice if you could do a followup review. There were a few folks there beside Jimmy Pageyou know. Saw no mention of Mr. Danny Thompson, original Bass Player for Pentangle, and the Bass Player for the momentous event when Miles Davis played, at the Isle Of Wight, and sessions for renowned musicians too numerous to mention.

 Also participating was Shawn Phillips who was the original session Sitar, and Guitar player on ALL THE SESSIONS for the “Sunshine Superman” album, and co-composer of the song “Season Of The Witch”. Would have been nice to note that Mr. Phillips took time off, and canceled 4 concerts to do this from a tour he is currently in the midst of in the U.S. and Canada, that consists of more than 68 concerts away from his home and family from April till Nov. and that he has some 23 CD’s of original music under his belt, and last year celebrated 50 years on the road, but as they say, “Money talks, and bullshit walks”.

 Listen man, the guy played a couple licks, while what should have been 2 weeks of rehearsals packed into 2 days with a full orchestra, went off very well considering the intricacies of the arrangements by John Cameron. A few more lines on his work could be appreciated as well. Would be lovely to have an OBJECTIVE review of what actually went down that night. I have read some of your other work in researching you, and you can write quite well on occasion. Personally, I do know a little about writing, as my Father was an author, and one of his favorite things in teaching me about writing was, “Don’t say Bloodbath”, say, “But did the multitudinous seas encarnadine”.

So c’mon man, write a REAL review. They’ll publish it, even if it’s a few days after the fact. Thank you. I wish you Health, Love, and Clarity,  Shawn Phillips

1 Comment

Filed under Folk Music, History, Music, Rock and Roll, Tributes, Vocal Music