Free Speech * De Gedachten zijn Vrij: MELANIE (Stoneground Words) * Mon. 18, Tue. 19 July [2016-29]

Melanie Safka

NEW * NIEUW:  MELANIE (Stoneground Words) ** ** REPEATED  * HERHALING: James J. Turner ** BONNIE DOBSON / RAY DORSET (Mungo Jerry) **  VUILE MONG & ZIJN VIEZE GASTEN **   ** There is no freedom without freedom of speech: always, everywhere and for everyone. Anything less is a violation of it.  

SCHEDULE: MONDAYS  & TUESDAYS 12:00 > 20:00 hrs CET or 11 a.m. > 7 p.m. GMT (UK)
FORMAT: Free Speech consists of four 60-minute shows.  A new show is added each week. It is followed by three previous shows. 

12 noon  and 16:000 hrs CET (11 a.m. and  3 p.m. UK time) NEW SHOW

13:00 and 17:00 hrs CET (12 noon  / 4 p.m. UK time) REPEATED   HERHALING
JAMES J. TURNER: selected tracks from  Spirit, Soul and a Handful of Mud (Touch the Moon, 2016)  ** AND  ALSO:  Joe Cocker ** Nina Simone ** The Byrds ** Mark & The Clouds ** Crystal Jacqueline **  Julie Felix ** Voices: Lyndon B. Johnson * Jim Hightower

14:00 and 18:00 hrs CET (1 p.m. / 5 p.m. UK time) REPEATED   HERHALING

15:00 and 19:00 hrs CET (2 p.m. / 6 p.m. UK time) REPEATED   HERHALING
VUILE MONG & ZIJN  VIEZE GASTEN: Radio 68 draait hun eerste LP, alsook een hilarisch interview vanNand Baert (BRT 2, 1977) met Mong en zijn Veurnse compagnon-de-route Fons “Foentje” Boestyn 



Melanie Safka lowres

“Having sung the praise of hippie and thus having advocated kindness, love and peace with  both gentle music and most poetic lyrics that spoke to our hearts and souls, Melanie also met the disappointment that so often accompanies those who build a better world. Yet, as Charles Donovan notes in his review of “Stoneground Words” for, Melanie did not get cynical. “Stoneground Words” (1972) was received with indifference, considering Melanie’s star status, but it’s a wonderful album nonetheless. A serious album, maybe a little too serious for the fans of cute and innocent songs like ‘Animal Crackers’.
The main message of this album is this: I was sent down to the nerve, I was made to live on stoneground words, but I’m back and I’ll live on (“Stoneground Words”). For one thing, Melanie clearly tells us that we’re all individuals, each of us being like a dancer that follows his own ‘time’ (“I Am Not a Poet”). Melanie will do with stoneground words if need be. We shouldn’t forget though that she’s also a member of a special race, the rainbow race, a race that will continue because it’s too soon to die. This is a “different race” different from the races  of ostriches that “bury their heads in the sand”, clutch to their “plastic dreams” and can’t keep their “greedy hands” still. The song’s strongest lines are “You can’t kill all the unbelievers” and “there’s no shortcut to freedom” (“The Rainbow Race”).
After all, the album opens with a very clear message: let’s be together alone. All in all, her beliefs in a different, peaceful world seem to be intact: we’re take care of each other, we’re brothers and sisters, let’s be together. But with a but: let’s be together alone, the main word in that phrase still being“together” (“Together Alone”).
Lend your ears to that great album”.
© Eddy Bonte

JAMES J. TURNER: Spirit, Soul and a Handful of Mud 

James J. Turner: Spirit, Soul and a Handful of Mud (Touch the Moon, 2016)

James J Turner cd cover Spirit lowres

“James J . Turner is a singer-songwriter with heavy folk influences, as is also underlined by  instruments such as the violin, mandolin and accordion. Or is it the  other way around – a folksinger in the singer-songwriter tradition? Folk that also rocks in places too. It doesn’t matter too much, since Turner treats us to a dozen new self-penned tunes of his very own brand.  Some you can sing along to (“Watching You”, with a chorus reminding me of ‘hey you, the rock-steady crew’…), some you can folk-dance to (“Heart of Gold”) and many meant to sit down and listen to – you can still decide about the singing and dancing afterwards. Sit down and listen, because James J. Turner has a view on life he wants to communicate. He’d be happy if you shared his message and most unhappy if you took it for a manual (I presume, I didn’t ask). A lyricist once asked “What colour is the soul of man?”, but Turner’s questions sounds more like “What is man if not soul and spirit?”. And a little mud to symbolize his earthiness, viz. his inabilities and failures in view of his own promises and hopes. A handful of mud too, because no value can exist without  being put in perspective by its counterpart. The soul and the spirit are not stand-alones, they must detach themselves from something basic – God’s clay, man’s mud.

James J. Turner’s songs are about the soul and the spiritual life as opposed to material and materialistic life – the latter bringing about damage and wreckage rather than happiness and salvation. Turner’s concern regards the good life, more exactly an individual’s good life: we’re all unique and able to choose between good and bad (“Watching You”). He’s on the side of the poor soul  as he is the truthful soul  (“Heart Of Gold”). Turner suggests a strong sense of duty when he states that one may opt for the bad life, but no-one can escape his karma (”Karma Will Track You Down”, half song, half chant).
James J. Turner is concerned with items such as morality, justice and our repressive society, yet he’s not your usual rebel or protest singer-songwriter.  All in all, this about the spiritual life. It’s no surprise to learn then that Turner is an active part of the druid / pagan movement.
This is a very nice record full of real songs. Turner performs them with a powerful and convincing voice and is backed by an accomplished and versatile band”.

© Eddy Bonte

Bonnie Dobson and Boys cd cover

“Bonnie Dobson
liet het prachtige ‘Morning Dew’ op de wereld los (1961) en toen dat nummer in de tweede helft  van de jaren zestig talloze keren werd nagezongen (o.a. door The Grateful Dead, Tim Rose, Fred Neil,  Episode Six, en The Jeff Beck Group); was Dobson onder de radar gedoken.
Sinds kort kunnen we gelukkig weer van haar stem en haar liederen genieten” (…)

Mijn recensie van Bonnie Dobson in The Green Note / My review of Bonnie Dobson’s gig at The Green Note:

Ray Dorset is nooit gestopt met platen maken én liedjes schrijven, zodat we vanavond op enkele totaal nieuwe nummers worden getrakteerd. Twee daarvan verwijzen ondubbelzinnig naar de sfeer en de maatschappelijke context van zijn wereldwijde hit ‘In the Summertime’:  ‘Touch the Sky’ en ‘I’ll be A Hippie Till I Die’, zijn twee odes aan liefde, vrede en vrijheid zoals dat toen werd opgevat” (…)
Mijn recensie van Mungo Jerry in The Spirit of 66 / My review of Mungo Jerry at The Spirit of 66:

 Radio 68 draait hun eerste LP, alsook een hilarisch interview vanNand Baert (BRT 2, 1977) met Mong en zijn Veurnse compagnon-de-route Fons “Foentje” Boestyn

Vuile Mong LP Agitat

Het gezelschap De Vieze Gasten – toen nog geen Bij’ De Vieze Gasten – werd opgericht aan het begin van de jaren ‘70 binnen de werking van buurthuis Kontakt in de Sleepstraat in Gent. Toen werd de eerste verjaardag van het buurthuis gevierd en voor die gelegenheid knutselden Mong Rosseel en enkele vrienden een ‘show’ in elkaar: Vuile Mong en de Vieze Gasten waren geboren.
Mong Rosseel: “Walter De Buck had ons zien optreden en hij gaf ons een kans om op de Gentse Feesten van 1972 op te treden. Het publiek was laaiend enthousiast. Walter nam ons mee door Vlaanderen als voorprogramma. Voor we het beseften, werden we een veelgevraagde groep en wordt het programma ook op andere plaatsen gespeeld en besluit een aantal mensen van de startgroep om door te gaan.”
De groep beet zich vast in de actualiteit en bracht aanvankelijk collages van liederen en sketches rond alle mogelijke maatschappelijke thema’s. In de zomer van 1972 stond het gezelschap al op het groot podium van de Gentse Feesten bij Sint-Jacobs – de sterke band met dit unieke volksfeest én Sint-Jacobs is tot op vandaag intact. In 1974 kende de groep een onverwacht commercieel succes met ‘Het Apekot‘, een cabaretesk nummer over het leven van een doorsnee Vlaming.

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