Category Archives: fleetwood mac

The Americans

FX has been hyping this new series for a while. Quite honestly I was getting tired of seeing ads for it during this past season of “Sons of Anarchy,” but I guess the saturation effect worked. I did DVR the pilot and I did watch it.

At first glance “The Americans” appears to be a Reagan era Cold War drama about Soviet sleeper agents, designed to cash in as some sort of hybrid of both “Mad Men” and “Homeland,” but it’s just a little bit more. As a survivor of the period, I can tell you the music is time correct, and I have to say the opening sequence using Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk” is just short of amazing. Serious props to writer and creator Joe Weisberg and director Gavin O’Connor.

The problem is my interest plummeted after that opening sequence. The characters were not engaging, and neither was the acting. Maybe if they had stuck with the slick MTV vibe of the opening, or washed us more in the nostalgia of the 1980s, this could have been good…

Notably, it was nice to see Richard (John-Boy Walton) on TV again, but even his brief presence couldn’t save this. Of course there’s always the possibility that FX could retool or fix this, but it might be too little, too late.

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Bob Welch 1945-2012

Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist and singer Bob Welch was found dead today in Nashville. It was an apparent suicide based on a note found and from the self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest.

Bob Welch was with Fleetwood Mac in the early seventies before Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined the band, and before Mac’s triumphant Rumors album. In fact Buckingham and Nicks were his replacements. Throughout 1977 Welch battled Mac on the charts with his album French Kiss featuring the singles “Ebony Eyes,” “Hot Love, Cold World,” and the ballad, formerly a Mac song, “Sentimental Lady.”

Legal troubles with Fleetwood Mac probably led to his being left out of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremonies when the band was inducted in 1998. In recent years, Welch had experimented with jazz and also released remixes of his earlier work. Rumors indicated Welch had undisclosed health issues before his death.

The Boys Are Back

The Boys are back. I’m not talking Backstreet, Beach or even High School Musical, I’m talking ‘bout Oak Ridge, baby.

The Oak Ridge Boys are back with their old line-up and a fairly recent (May) album. The title track, “The Boys Are Back,” is a gospel-tinged almost slow-motion rap written by country rebel Shooter Jennings. It’s a mission statement, catchy and repetitive that even digs up a Fleetwood Mac “Tusk” vibe toward the end.

Much of the album is composed of covers, and this isn’t the first time the Boys have ventured there. One of my favorites from 2002’s compilation When Pigs Fly: Songs You Never Thought You’d Hear is their “Carry On Wayward Son.” Here the Boys shine on stuff as arcane as John Hooker’s “Boom Boom” and Neil Young’s “Beautiful Bluebird.”

The true gem on The Boys Are Back is both surprising and surprisingly good – the Oak Ridge Boys take on “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes. The Oaks use their versatile voices to replicate the bass and percussion that make the song so hot in any version. Amazing.


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