January 8, 2013
by jason roberts
1 Comment

Review: Thick As A Brick 2

Play oldschoolsong.mp3
(from Thick As A Brick 2)
Yes, I was skeptical too: A “sequel” to an iconic Tull record from 1972, and An Ian Anderson solo record? Well, I’m here to tell you, TAAB2 is an unqualified success. Written and Produced by Mr. Anderson, the 17 thematically cohesive tracks revolve around the theme “What-ifs, Maybes And Might-have-beens”, ways life could have turned out differently for each of us. Familiar ground is covered: social commentary with “Banker Bets, Banker Wins”, a riff on those less fortunate with “Adrift and Dumfounded”, and a knock on organized religion with “Give Till it Hurts”. Even so, Anderson, with his accomplished band, pull off a very listenable package. Some may quibble with the way Anderson holds our hand by offering voice only bits to move the story, and some arrangements that sound a bit like guitar and flute scales, but none the less, the songs are catchy and the lyrics provocative. I also found fascinating the DVD in which we see the famously meticulous Anderson directing his bandmates in their recording sessions. One wonders how hard it was for him to appear “normal” for the camera. All in all, for a fan starved for something new for over a decade, the result is quite satisfying indeed.

April 10, 2012
by jason roberts

Thick As A Brick 2: An Ian Anderson Solo Record

Play one_white_duck.mp3
(from Minstrel in the Gallery)

Indeed, the rumors are true and Ian has put out a “solo” Thick as a Brick 2 under his name and not the bands. Curious. We did however stumble upon a favorable review located here. The review says it’s “Anderson’s best complete work in years.” Our review is forthcoming, but for now we’re a little upset the whole band isn’t involved. Are their schedules too busy or is Ian just polishing his legacy?

November 4, 2011
by jason roberts

Is that a Mandolin?

Play fatman.mp3
(from Stand Up)

Ian Anderson playing his invention, the Claghorn

Ian Anderson on the Claghorn ..”a primitive bamboo flute to which I’d taped a saxophone mouthpiece and an old bicycle horn..it was an attempt to to come out with something that sounded really nasty, really strident and horrid. And it did!…This was one of these great things that were suddenly produced from a carrier bag on stage”.

The Claghorn notwithstanding, the unique sound of Tull comes from among other things,  its choice of instruments. Besides the usual guitar, drums, keyboards and bass,  the mandolin family of instruments features prominently in the bands work.  Inclusion of  the British Iles originated Bouzouki, Mandola, Mandolin, etc.,  testifies both to the bands roots, and the high skill level of the players. Image below courtesy of http://www.myspace.com/handmadeinstruments.

Mandolin Family of Instruments


October 10, 2011
by jason roberts
1 Comment

Thick As A Brick Tour-2012

Play brick.mp3
(excerpt from Thick As A Brick )

Record to be performed in its entirety.

Fans of 1972’s Thick as a Brick will rejoice as the band just announced the cult classic will be performed in its entirety during its 2012 tour of the UK and America.

I guess this is a follow up to 2011’s tour showcasing Aqualung (40th anniversary) where all its songs were played among others.  I didn’t catch this show, since I was out of the country at the time, but I must say I’m curious to see how they will pull this off. At 64 yrs. old, Ian still brings it, with a total of 83 Tull, solo, and orchestral shows scheduled to be performed in 2011.  Let’s hope he saves some energy for 2012!

October 5, 2011
by jason roberts
1 Comment

Jethro Tull: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Play farm.mp3
(from Crest of a Knave)
Most of you know “cold flute hands” is a reference made in the Minstrel of the Gallery song, “Baker Street Muse”, so imagine my surprise when I found the domain name coldflutehands.com available. So, why not create a fan site with it, I reasoned. Surely my friends, when not in my company, needed a destination to read about and kindly bash my singular interest with the band. So, to get things started,  I’ll say it here for the first time: Jethro Tull deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Now,  I know it may take a while, and it may not happen  in my lifetime, but aren’t most great artists not fully appreciated in their lifetimes?  Don’t even get me started on the arbitrary nature of the R&R HOF selection process. Heart?  Guns N’ Roses? I rest my case. Granted the RRHOF needs to get thru the no brainer selections like The Beatles, Stones, Springsteen, Elvis, Sam Cook, Ray Charles, etc, and it will take time, so I’m not saying it should have happened already, but it should happen. Some argue inductees have to be “influential”.  Granted there exist few other R&R bands prominently featuring the flute, but a bands longevity, popularity, body, and high standard of work, should be paramount considerations.