Posts Tagged ‘john mayer’

Feels Like Christmas To Me

December 13, 2017

Liz Longley started writing songs at a very early age and first performed an original song in front of a crowd when she was nine. She began recording a demo record while performing in clubs, competitions and local festivals while in high school (where she also played clarinet and was a drum major in the marching band).

She attended Berklee College of Music and was taught by Livingston Taylor (James Taylor’s younger brother) and John Mayer. During her time with Mayer, all of the students had the opportunity to play an original tune for him.  No pressure right?

“I got so nervous I didn’t know what the heck to play for him,” Longley excitedly recalled. “So I played this song (called “Queen,” available on 2009’s Somewhere in the Middle) that was kind of new. … But he gave me advice on how to restructure it and where to change a chord. And then the next day I remember we were in the studio and he came in and it was a morning where we’re all just like eating our breakfast and he was like spinning around in his studio chair and started singing one of my songs that was on my MySpace page (that still exists) and it was just unreal to hear someone like John Mayer singing back one of my songs, saying he couldn’t get it out of his head. I think I cried right on the spot. … I had to text my mom right away.”

Longley has won several songwriting competitions including the BMI John Lennon Songwriting Scholarship, the International Acoustic Music Awards and the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest.

Her music has also been featured on several TV shows including Army Wives, Switched At Birth and MTV’s Scream: The TV Series.

In December 2013 Longley released Feels Like Christmas To Me. It’s a lovely song available only via her bandcamp site (for a buck). I’ll feature it tonight.

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BB King – Please Come Home For Christmas

December 29, 2015

The music world lost a good one this year. Riley B. (B.B.) King passed away on May 14th, 2015 at the age of 89.

King released a Christmas record, A Christmas Celebration of Hope, back in 2001. It was not met with great reviews. In his review for Allmusic, Richie Unterberger awarded the album 2.5 out of 5 stars and called the collection an “adequate, good-humored reprisal”. Unterberger thought only “Please Come Home for Christmas” was overproduced and concluded his review with the statement: “It’s hardly the first King you’ll pull off your shelf, and not the first R&B Christmas album you’ll turn to either, but you could do worse in the holiday season.”

The song I’m featuring tonight is best known (for my generation anyway) as an Eagles recording. However, Please Come Home for Christmas was written and recorded by Charles Brown in 1960 and has been covered by Johnny and Edgar Winter, Bon Jovi, Willie Nelson, Kelly Clarkson, John Mayer and many, many others. (BTW, the Eagles version of the song features the very first recording of Timothy B Schmidt as the bassist for the band.)

Despite the tepid review, it’s still great to hear BB King sing and play guitar.

Please Come Home for Christmas – B.B. King

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