Showing posts with label Music Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Music Reviews. Show all posts

Monday, July 8, 2024

Amazon Prime All Access Reviewed

Let there be music! Chances are you may be an Amazon Prime customer, but have you utilized the All Access features for music playlists? All Access is a music feature on Amazon Prime that lets you create custom playlists plus curated playlists by Amazon.

Amazon curates play lists based on your library, browsing history, song or artist choice. The names of the playlists from the phone app are self explanatory: My Mix, My Frequent Plays, My Recent Plays, My Discovery Mix, Trending For You are a few.


My Discovery Mix

This playlist curated by Amazon is one of my favorites. A great way to discover artists based on your preferences and can be added to your library easily.

It can be difficult to keep up with all the features Amazon Prime offers and the All Access Playlist is a feature I recently found when exploring the phone app.

One Week On Demand of All Access

One of the best features of the All Access playlists is the ability to stream the playlist on demand and in the order of songs you desire. Ten playlist changes are allowed per day. I suggest taking the time to add your favorite songs to a playlist and then designate the playlist as All Access for easy access to your favorites.

As part of your membership one playlist can be All Access for a week. If you desire to further access the All Access playlists on demand then a monthly subscription is required.

Easy Playlists

The curated lists are great for music play and go when exercising. With a push of a "button" on your phone and you have quick access to your favorite tunes.  Amazon leaves it up to you as to how much work you want to put into creating playlists.

A heavier effort will lend itself to a very personal playlist with songs from the music library or songs previously purchased and downloaded. Less effort is accessing the Amazon curated playlists.

However, similar when browsing the interent, the search history can sometimes give incorrect preferences due to tracking  You may have a curiousity about an artist, search the artist, listen to a few songs, then decide you do care for the artist. Result?  The artist will probably start showing up in the curated lists. 

The Amazon Music App is a wonderful convenience for easy music play, curated music play or personally selected music play. Take advantage of the version included with your Amazon Prime membership!







Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Tuesday, February 14, 2023

A Valentine's Day Music Collection

Looking for some romance music for Valentine's Day or another romantic occasion like a wedding? Take inspiration from this review.

If you are looking for romantic Valentine's Day music, look no further. Take inspiration from this review of a few Valentine's Day music ideas. It includes a couple of my favorite soundtracks that are available on compact disc and a a couple of others that sound fantastic. I have arranged my picks by release date. Enjoy.

FRENCH KISS SOUNDTRACK (1995)

An excellent soundtrack from the romantic comedy, French Kiss.

French Kiss is a great movie that also has a beautiful soundtrack with light pop music. The movie a very popular romantic comedy starring Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline. It features a variety of artists that you will recognize, including Van Morrison, Ella Fitzgerald and Zucchero. Find your copy of the French Kiss soundtrack here on Amazon.

CHOCOLATE SOUNDTRACK (2000)    


Discover the Chocolat movie soundtrack. A lovely, instrumental recording perfect for Valentine's Day or any romantic dinner.

I will admit, I am biased because I thoroughly enjoyed the movie Chocolat but, regardless of whether or not you have seen the movie, if you appreciate instrumental music, you will find this soundtrack beautiful. The movie starred Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp and the CD transports you to the setting of the movie, small town France. It is a perfect backdrop for your Valentine's Day dinner.  Released in 2001, it contains about 40 minutes of perfectly romantic music. Find your copy of the Chocolat soundtrack here on Amazon.

DISNEY'S FAIRY TALE WEDDINGS (2005)


For young and old, this instrumental CD offers up some familiar Disney songs for Valentine's Day.

Another instrumental collection, people who love Disney's love stories will enjoy this compilation. It includes songs from Beauty and the Beast, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Lady and the Tramp and numerous other Disney shows. Whether you listen to this on a CD or through Amazon's streaming service, would be great background music for Valentine's Day. Find Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings here on Amazon.

MARTINA MCBRIDE'S MY HEART (2005)


Martina McBride's My Heart (2005) is perfect for Valentine's Day or romantic music.

Martina McBride’s CD My Heart was released by Hallmark for Valentine’s Day in 2005. It features eight romantic songs that were picked by McBride herself. Some are her own songs; others, covers. This CD is shorter than some but it was quite successful upon its release. McBride sounds lovely in this compilation, which is good for Valentine’s Day and any other romantic occasion even a wedding. If you want to add it to your collection note that I found a better selection of this CD from sellers on eBay. Look for Martina McBride's My Heart here on eBay.

VALENTINE'S DAY SOUNDTRACK (2010)


The Valentine’s Day movie soundtrack includes 18 songs from the 2010 movie of the same name.

Released slightly more recently in 2010, the soundtrack to the Valentine's Day movie is another great choice. The movie included a wide variety of popular actors including Julia Roberts, Jamie Foxx and Anne Hathaway. The CD includes recordings from a wide variety of artists who you will recognize including the likes of Taylor Swift, Willie Nelson, Jewel, Amy Winehouse, Nat King Cole and Maroon 5. Find your copy of the Valentine's Day soundtrack here on Amazon.

NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL A LOVE SONG (2023)


Perfect for Valentine's Day, Here's the new Now Music compilation called Now That's What I Call A Love Song!

Definitely the newest in this series, this set was released in February of 2023 from the people who have presented more than 110 CDs in the NOW Music series. This compilation is packed with new and old love songs by artists you know including but not limited to the likes of Ed Sheeran, Fugees, Sam Smith, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Elton John, Sting, Billy Joel, Norah Jones, Seal, Lana Del Ray, Kacey Musgraves, Nelly Furtado, Miley Cyrus, Dua Lipa, Ariana Grande, Kylie Minogue, Little Mix, Justin Bieber, John Mayer, Cold Play, Pretenders, Robbie Williams and Christina Aguilera. I think this one would make great listening for anyone but would be especially fun for a mixed generation gathering since it presents something for everyone. Find your copy of Now That's What I Call A Love Song here on Amazon. If you want a mix of music that includes today's artists, this is the compilation for you.

Do you have any favorite Valentine's Day music?

Happy Valentine's Day!
Brenda
Treasures By Brenda

QUICK LINKS:

Love chocolate and France? You will enjoy the movie Chocolat!

Yes, I love French Kiss. Learn more here.









Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Bing Crosby - Reviewed

Bing Crosby
Bing Crosby - Reviewed
Photo credit: Getty Free Images

Who doesn’t remember that one voice in a lifetime the voice of Bing Crosby? If you are too young to remember or think that you have never heard him sing, think again. If you listen to any radio station around the holidays then you have probably heard his voice.

Always around the holidays, you'll hear that famous song “White Christmas” played over and over again during the Holiday season. Written by Irving Berlin “White Christmas” was the biggest hit of Bing Crosby’s career and first introduced in 1942 in the Movie "Holiday Inn" 

Then, in 1954 the musical  White Christmas was released, featuring songs by Irving Berlin. This movie still remains a favorite today during the holiday season. We never miss watching White Christmas every year, as it became a tradition in our family while I was growing up.

Solo vocalist, radio, big screen, and television Bing Crosby did it all and did it well. Bing  Crosby was voted by Yank magazine as the person who had done the most for the GI’s during World War II. I really would have thought that would have been Bob Hope.

Bing Crosby was one of my dad's favorites so growing up I became very familiar with his voice, especially around the holidays. I can still hear my dad singing White Christmas as we decorated our tree.


Bing Crosby: Some Interesting Facts


·         Born: May 3, 1903 (Harry Lillis Crosby Jr.) nicknamed Bingo by his neighbor in 1910, later the O was dropped and the nickname Bing stuck.


·         He was among one of the first singers to use the microphone.


·         Bing Crosby invested in the company called Ampex; the company built the first reel-to-reel tape recorder in North America.


·         He was the first to pre-record his own radio show.


·         In 1946 he became part owner of my favorite baseball team the Pittsburgh Pirates. He taped the famous 1960 World Series; this tape was found in his wine cellar in 2009.


·         Bing was an avid hunter and fisherman and was known to be an expert fly fisherman.


·         He also owned a cattle ranch in Elko Nevada where he was the honorary Mayor.


·         A fan of horse racing, he owned his own stables, and his horse Ligaroti raced against Seabiscuit in 1948.

I must have been too young to have had any of this, but there was a Bing Crosby Ice Cream. Maybe I did have it when I was a little one and just don’t remember.

Every time I hear his voice now it brings back memories of my childhood. Maybe that is why I have come to appreciate his voice.



                               I'm sure you can find the movie White Christmas streaming somewhere or you can own the DVD

White Christmas (Blu-ray + Digital)White Christmas (Blu-ray + Digital)

 

Find more movie Reviews here: ReviewThisMovies.com

Find more music Reviews here: ReviewThisMusic.com



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Sunday, August 9, 2020

Three Country Music Songs That Might Be Off Your Radar

Three Terrific Country Music Songs to Add to Your Playlist
Being a fan of country music and the stories they tell has been a part of me since I was a little girl. Yah, that was a long time ago.
The tendency with country music is to think it's all about beer and trucks. However, there are a wide variety of songs from inspiration, love, wonder, hope to empowerment.

I'd like to introduce you to three country songs that might be off your radar.

1. The Most Beautiful Things, by Tenille Townes

Introspection and Reflection
I've been a big fan of this Canadian country music star since her first big hit, "Somebody's Daughter." What a great song! You can read more about that song here.
This latest song, 'The Most Beautiful Things,' pulls our heartstrings and reminds us what the most essential part of life is about.
Lyrics: "So why do we close our eyes
When we pray, cry, kiss, dream?
Maybe the most beautiful things in this life
Are felt and never seen"

If you're in the mood for reflection, listen to this one with a nice cup of your favorite beverage and cozy blanket. Embrace the calm. If viewing via mobile, here's the video.




2. One of Them Girls, by Lee Brice

Women Empowerment, Respect, and Individuality
This upbeat tempo country music hit delivers a message that's near and dear to my heart: Empowering women. Granted, it's about a boy who is drawn to 'one of them girls,' however one of them girls is one who is a responsible single mother and dedicated worker who 'ain't trying to meet nobody.' The straightforward storytelling aspect of this video portrays the song's message in a fun, truthful, and powerful way.
Here's one for the girls. If viewing via mobile, here's the video, here's the video.




3. Godspeed, by the Reklaws
Letting Go, Growth, Cosmic Understanding, Peace

The Reklaws are a talented award-winning Canadian country music brother and sister duo. They're one of my favorite groups! Their music tends to lean towards the fun and uplifting aspects of life. However, 'Godspeed' takes a softer cosmic turn.

Godspeed is a message of letting go and holding on at the same time. If you're having a bad day and need a little hope, this light and airy music may be just what your soul aches for. Turn up the song and just breathe.If viewing via mobile,  here's the video.




May you have a lovely day, filled with some measure of hope. Tell someone you love that you love them. To all those suffering during this unprecedented year, Godspeed.

Virtual hugs,
Barbara





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Sunday, July 5, 2020

My Three Favorite Songs About America - Music for Your July 4th Weekend

Celebrating July 4th - My three favorite songs about America

As your Canadian neighbor, I've grown up on all things Canadian and American. It's always been the music that had me at hello - from both of our countries.

I was a young child in the 1960s, and a teenager in the 1970s and honestly feel for people who didn't get to live in those decades, lol: The clothes, the hair, the music, the tv shows! Before there was internet, bank cards, and cell phones - it was the best!

My Three Favorite Songs About America - Spanning Mulitple Decades

1. America The Beautiful

The first time I heard America The Beautiful was in the late 1960s featured in the movie Pollyanna. The song was sung by Haley Mills, and as an 8-year-old, I was utterly mesmerized. I actually had the album from the film and could be heard continually singing America The Beautiful. Pollyanna was originally a 1913 novel written by Eleanor H. Porter and was made into multiple movie versions. The 1960 Disney version of the movie was the one that got me hooked as a little girl.

Here's a Gorgeous Rendition of America The Beautiful by The United States Navy Band - Enjoy!



2. America by Neil Diamond

This song still gives me chills! Of course, the first time I heard it was in the 1980 remake of the film classic The Jazz Singer featuring Neil Diamond. If you've never seen this movie, treat yourself! The film stars Neil Diamond, Laurence Olivier, and Luci Arnaz. The video below features the final scene of the movie when Neil Diamond belts out the moving song about the American dream ... America.



3. American Heart by Faith Hill

The song is fantastic, but it's the combination of the video with the song that takes it to the next level. The song was written by Jim Beavers and Jonathan Singleton, and the video features Faith Hill along with 10-year-old T.J. Jones performing a Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers inspired dance number. The lyrics primarily focus on the resilience of the American heart. It's my favorite country song about America. If you need more songs about America, I've put together a playlist featuring additional country tunes here.




Happy 4th to my American neighbors xxoo




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Sunday, January 26, 2020

Craig Morgan's Incredible Song, The Father, My Son and The Holy Ghost

A gorgeous and moving song about losing someone you love
It's been about three years since singer-songwriter Craig Morgan released new music. Unfortunately, this incredibly emotional song was written to help others who have also experienced gut-wrenching loss. It honors the passing of his 19-year-old son.

These Truthful Lyrics are Extremely Personal, They'll Grab Your Soul - Tissues Needed

I'm listening to "The Father, My Son, and The Holy Ghost" as I'm typing this review, and my eyes are pouring tears. Like any mother, trying to fathom this kind of loss is more than I can wrap my head around.

The lyrics are excruciatingly painful, truthful, and still - filled with healing hope.

"I cried, and cried, and cried until I passed out on the floor
Then I prayed, and prayed, and prayed til I thought I couldn't pray anymore,
And minute by minute, day by day, my God, he gave me hope,
I know my boy ain't here but he ain't gone"

The lyrics tell a personal story of heartache that not one of us wants to feel, yet many have. Man, it breaks me in half even trying to understand how parents can survive the loss of a child.

I've been tested in multiple ways in this life, and I often mention to the good Lord that he no longer needs to keep testing, because I'll pass every exam. However, please dear Lord, this is a test that I'm sure I couldn't pass. 

As Craig Morgan sings this song, I want to reach through the computer screen and give him a compassionate hug, and honestly wish I could erase this horrendous pain. I'm blessed with four sons and beautiful stepchildren and I can't, I just can't imagine this kind of pain. 

"I Won't Completely Heal Til I Go Home"

This part of the song describes the absolute truth about this kind of loss; We won't completely heal until we go home. We learn to live with our new version of life after a soul-crushing loss and know the previous way we lived will never, or never can be experienced again.

I'm almost feeling guilty even thinking about the pain of losing my father because Craig Morgan's loss of his son is pain beyond my comprehension.

Text, Call or Email the Ones You Love Right Now

That's what this song did for me. I just sent a quick "I love you" text to each of my children. I did it for me, for them, and to honor Craig Morgan's beautiful son.

I imagine by now you're wanting to listen to this song? Get out the tissues, because yes, you're going to need them.

Blessings to you, Craig Morgan, and to your family. Thank you for writing this moving song and helping others through their own pain.

You can listen to Craig Morgan speak directly about his loss here on The Kelly Clarkson Show.

This live performance by Craig Morgan at the Opry is spectacular. Listen with high-quality headphones if you're able.




I've been a Craig Morgan fan for a while now and reviewed a few of his other songs that feature story-telling lyrics and inspirational messages. You can find them here.

Virtual hugs.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Sunday, December 8, 2019

5 Inspirational Theme Songs for 2020

What is your life theme for 2020? 5 Life Theme Songs 

Last week I reviewed five inspirational quotes to carry you through 2020. This week's review is about musical inspiration.

Which one of these five areas in life do you feel you need to or want to focus on in 2020?

COURAGE

For me, strangely enough, for 2020, it's courage. It's strange because I've always been a doer, a person who steps-out, steps-up, and gets things accomplished. I've always had the courage to fight for others, and help them with their tasks and build their goals. However, if I'm honest with myself, my weakness is in fighting for my own goals. It's scary when you're only doing for yourself! To keep myself on track and accountable, I've created a specific plan and told most of my family what it is.

More than ever before, I'm feeling a sense of independence. I can't explain it, except to say that to complete my 2020 career-related goals, I need courage and the discipline to follow the plan I've laid out for myself.

Celine Dion's new song 'Courage' is about her new life without the love of her life, her husband, Rene, and the courage needed to step out of her own comfort zones. However, there are lyrics within the song that speaks to exactly how I feel:

"Courage, don't you dare fail me now,
I need you to keep away the doubts
I'm staring in the face of something new
You're all I got to hold on to
So, courage, don't you dare fail me now"



BELIEF

Whether you're trying to achieve a dream, accomplish a goal, or want to believe in the power of good, Rascal Flatt's Olympic Version of Unstoppable is your song. A few New Years ago, I wrote about this being a choice song to start fresh.

Belief gets us to where we're going. It's hard to hold onto, especially when things come crashing down around us. That's when we have to dig deeper, and believe that there's sun on the other side. Mastering self is the hardest battle we'll fight.

Belief for me begins with realizing that the only person I can control is myself. We can't change other people, we all know that, yet we spend so much mental energy trying to. Letting go, in my opinion, that's the road to self-belief.



HOPE

Is 2020 all about holding onto hope? If so, you'll want to add Natasha Bedingfield's song 'Hope' to your new year's playlist.

Holding onto a positive outlook isn't always doable, that's why we have music. The right song, with the right message, can wake us up and help us see things from a different perspective.

My word is Hope. What's a personal word? It's the word that you choose to govern your life by. My children have even selected their own life words. I'm wearing a necklace with the word Hope written on it; it was a gift from one of my closest friends. I never take it off.



KINDNESS

Is kindness your major theme for 2020? Are you planning to seek out more of it? Or are you going to lead by example and be the best person you can be? I imagine most of us think of ourselves as mostly kind anyway. Maybe resisting those moments we want to be unkind is a way to stretch that kindness goal a little further. Most of those tests are within families, and sometimes online.

If you're looking for a song for 2020 that can help stay within the margins of kindness, add Tim McGraw's gorgeous song, 'Humble and Kind' to your playlist.


GRATEFUL

Are you choosing 'Grateful' as your theme for 2020? Get the tissues out and listen to Josh Groban's song 'Thankful.' The lyrics remind us that each of us must find our truth and that it's so long overdue.

As we look into the face of those we love, and smile, we don't always grasp that, that alone is enough. Appreciating all that we have, it's as easy as that isn't it? Would you agree that understanding the concept of being grateful comes more into focus with age?






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, November 11, 2019

Freegal Review: Free Music Downloads

The journey through cutting the cable cord continues! It has been a indeed a journey and  cutting the cord is easy. What is not as easy is finding affordable content that is easy to access and user friendly to replace cable content! I happened upon Freegal when researching the free digital content available from my local library.

freegal free music downloads banner


What Is Freegal?

Freegal is a music library offered through your local library. Music can be downloaded for free with a weekly limit of downloads. The music library includes Sony's music catalog and a reported catalog of over 15 million songs. 

How User Friendly Is Freegal?


As you can see below, I am limited to five downloads per week. The number of downloads per user per week is determined by the package purchased by your library.

freegal free music downloads search bar


It is easy to access Freegal. Simply navigate to the Freegal website and log in with your library membership information. Or enter Freegal through your library digital menu with your library membership number.

The Freegal menu for desktop is self explanatory. The songs can be previewed prior to downloading. I did not find the search feature overly helpful for browsing. However, if you are searching for a particular artist versus general browsing the search engine is adequate.

The library can also be accessed with Apps from Google Play and Apple App Store.

freegal free music downloads dashboards
As with any new service or app there is a small learning curve to use the service. Freegal is easy to use and the music can be downloaded easily with the click of the mouse. Check with your local library to see if Freegal is included with your library membership.

Cutting the cable has been an interesting experience. Freegal is the third service reviewed which offers free content. The search for additional user friendly and robust sources of free content continues!

Where To Find Free Content For Cord Cutters

hoopla dashboard


Hoopla - Hoopla offers free books, movies and television shows through your local library.


kanopy banner


Kanopy- Kanopy offers free movies with an emphasis on Indie films and documentaries.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Life is Short, Make it Sweet

The Heart of Country Music - More Songs
With all that's going on in this world, it's important to focus on the simple things that make life beautiful.

As the song says, 'life is short, make it sweet'. The lyrics of this tune by Old Dominion remind us to spend time with those we love. Sunsets, fun and sharing time with each other, it doesn't get any simpler than that.

(Lyrics)
"I never gotta wonder where my honey be
I ain't savin' all my sugar for a Saturday Night
Seven days a week I got an appetite
The sunsets like a tangerine
Let's find a road we've never seen
Don't waste another mile or a minute not kissin' me
Life is short, make it sweet"

Make it Sweet is a Cheerful Song 

When you need a musical boost, blast this one on repeat. With life's twists and turns, it's not easy being 'seen'. Lolz. The good news is, when you take control of your thoughts and your environment, being seen is something you can control from within. I know, it all sounds cliché but I speak from experience and I've personally done the work.

For over four years now I've made a conscious effort and practiced that other old cliché, 'control your thoughts control your life'. Sure I'll slip up from time to time and unwittingly let someone rent space in my head, but not very often.

As soon as I feel my mental strength begin to diminish, I work to take back that control. It requires a conscious effort, until it becomes subconscious. The key is practice. It's no different than exercising the body: Takes time, takes repetition.

A quick tool I use to pull my mind away from unproductive tangents is word repetition.

Choose your word. Mine is 'Hope'. When the brain decides it wants to run my life, I take back my control by repeating my word over and over inside my head as many times as it takes until that noggin' of mine has forgotten the tangent it was on.

You'll slip up many times and in the middle of it forget you were using word repetition. No biggie. Just pull yourself back on track and start again. After years of doing this, bad thoughts and energy just begin to avoid you - they'll realize you're like Fort Knox, no getting in.



Music is One Road to Inner Peace

Make it Sweet by Old Dominion is the ideal, bring it back to the basics song. As soon as my husband and I heard it, we both smiled and agreed that the message was calming. The lightness of the tune helped to unweight the heaviness of the day.

Another Relaxation Option - The Zen Channel - Stingray Ambiance

If you have this channel, be sure to use it as a way to control the energy you allow in your home.

We mostly read our news now and our TV sets on the main level have Stingray Ambience on all day. They feature gorgeous scenes from all over the world with light music in the background. In fact we rarely watch regular TV now. We only tune into shows that interest us from time to time. We're not blocking out the world, we keep up-to-date online. We're just actively controlling our home's environment. It makes a big difference. It heals the soul.

Between aromatherapy, the Zen Channel and the song Make it Sweet, we're creating our own peace.

Here's to your happiness :)




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Sunday, February 17, 2019

A Country Song About Homelessness - A Moving Reflection in Words

A moving, empathic country song about homeless
Somebody's Daughter by Tenille Townes - A Song Review

I love the rasp and uplifting ache in Tenille Townes's voice as she sings this song. The story and lyrics clearly depict a person whose life wasn't easy. It reminds us that, except for our circumstances, we're all the same.

This country song is about homelessness. It's about those moments we pass by someone at an intersection holding up a cardboard sign asking for money for help.
"Oh I don't know the reasons why I'm the one whose driving by and she's the one on the corner of 18th street...bet she was somebody's best friend, back when she was somebody's sister counting change at the lemonade stand"
This mid-tempo song will touch your soul.


I remember first hearing it on the radio in my kitchen, and because I wasn't listening very closely to the lyrics, the song passed me by without notice. For me, ninety-nine percent of the time, it's the story first, the music second.

The next time I heard the song, I happened to be driving. Then I took the time to listen to the story behind the words.

The Inspiration Behind Tenille Townes Writing This Song

The tune was inspired during a drive Tenille Townes took with her mom in Nashville, Tennessee. They saw a homeless person standing with a sign and began wondering about this person's life story. Personally, I've wondered the same myself. I suspect that's the reason this song touched me so deeply.
The song reminds us that "she was somebody's best friend, somebody's first kiss, somebody's daughter".
What do We Do When We See Someone Standing With a Cardboard Sign Asking for Help?

Many times I've handed out a bit of money. People have told me, "oh, that's a con, they're lazy, they're not deserving." I'm sorry, but the onus is not on me to prove their truth. The recipient has to deal with the validity of the situation. I'm not prepared to conclude that everyone who does this isn't being honest. I believe most are genuinely suffering. I would rather be kind than be judgemental about that situation, but that's me. I just give; you never know who you've helped.

Who is Tenille Townes

Tenille Townes is a rising Canadian Country Music Artist from Grand Prairie, Alberta, Canada. In 2011 she was nominated at 17 years old for Canadian Country Music Female Artist of the Year. Her career is off and running. In 2018 she opened for Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town on The Bandwagon Tour. 

Her Grand Ole Opry Debut

She's also recently enjoyed the honor of performing at the Grand Ole Opry. That was a big deal for her family and friends! Watch and listen to Tenille Townes in her own words, describe her amazing experience. She's a class act.




Big Hearts for Big Kids - Her Cause
In over nine years, she's raised $1.5+ million dollars for Sunrise House, a shelter for homeless youth in Alberta Canada. A cause she generously dedicates her time and name to.

Here's a brief video on her 2018 Fundraiser, Big Hearts for Big Kids:



Homelessness - The Stats and Where to Learn More 

It's roughly estimated that between 150,000 and 300,000 people in Canada are homeless at some given time. In 2017 approximately 5 million people in Canada lived in poverty. Canadians can learn more about homelessness and what can be done here at The Homeless Hub.

According to Voa.org, in the United States in 2017, approximately 553,000 Americans were homeless on a given night, 40 million struggled with hunger, and 40.6 million officially lived in poverty. The US population is about 325 million. To learn more about poverty in the USA and how you can help, visit Voa.org/homeless-people.

"I believe those who suffer the most teach us the most" - by me
.



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Are Your Ears Up for an AMAZING AUDIO REVIVAL?

Technophiles, audiophiles and all like minded people are realizing that old records have never sounded better!

Many changes have occured in the music industry over the years.  From the types of music that are being generated, and to the way we listen to it.

Music in my heyday was listened to on a small, possibly portable turntable.  We were not allowed to use the big "STEREO" in the living room.  That was our parent's domain.  Mine was all in one and had a couple of small speakers attached on either side.  I spent many hours listening to my favorite records on that turntable.  When I grew up I had a similar stereo like the one below, with really good speakers mounted on the walls.

I have seen the advent of many different portable listening devices and the changes in the way things are recorded.  I went from records with  speeds of 78 , 33 and 1/3 or 45's, to cassette tapes, 8 tracks and CD's.  Now you don't have to admit that you fully understand all of this.  ( You'll be giving away one of your best kept secrets if you do!)  Portable turntables all looked something like this:
vinyl record players, audio lovers, record revival

Now I have to tell you that in my house music is very important.  My husband is constantly playing something and I'm never sure what is going to come out of his music room.  One thing is certain, when the music is playing, the memories are also filling my mind of days long ago.  Every song brings a smile to my face and sometimes one or the other will bring a tear or two as well. 

Right now, we are busy cleaning records that we haven't listened to in a long time.  Most of the music we really love has been repurchased on CD's.  After all, we were lead to believe that this was the ultimate sound for any recordings.  I think we were wrong! It was a great marketing ploy.   After all everyone now was rebuying all their favorites in a new format.  The one truth about CD's is that they are much more portable than record players ever were.  So there is room for both formats in most people's homes.

Now this is where this review is going to get right down into the nitty gritty grooves!  One word of caution,  start doing this on a record that you really don't care too much about.  I don't want you to ruin your prized and priceless favorite record right from the start.

But, did you know that you could clean your old records in an easy and inexpensive way?  They will sound so much better than they ever did.  It's easy, doesn't require any special tools or talent and everyone can do it.  

The secret?   Carpenter's glue!  There are many different name brands that you can try, but make sure it's carpenters wood glue and not some "super glue".   There are many different brands of "wood glue", and the favorite seems to be the Titebond, but all of them work and none have been found to have an adverse effect on the records. 



Super glue will get you into all kinds of trouble. So let's not do that! In the pictures below you will see how easy it is to clean your old vinyl records, so that the sound coming out of the speakers is just the way it was recorded.  Full sounds that some CD's just can't match.

removing dust from record albums, glue removal of dirt from LP's,  new uses for carpenters glue
1. Glue spread out over record album.

carpenters glue, dust free records, new uses for carpenters glue, audio revival
2. My other half using his fingers to spread the glue over the record.

audio revival, record cleaning, carpenters glue new uses
3.  Records that have been treated, now drying!


new uses for carpenters glue, audio revival, LP's
4.  Dried glue being peeled off the record face.

Glue on vinyl record
5.  The negative "glue" of the album in its entirety.




That's how easy the process is. It takes about 8 hours to dry completely.  You can use a toothpick to carefully lift the glue at the edge and then slowly peel the rest of the dried glue away from the face of the record.


Now why would you do this? Old records get dusty. It was one of the reasons that records sometimes sounded so scratchy. When you do the glue treatment on your albums, the glue gets right down into the grooves of the records and lifts out any impurities (dust and dirt)  that may be lurking there. You don't have to do this everytime that you want to listen to a record! Get your favorites out (after a test run on another record you don't really care about) and give them a good cleaning. Then after listening to the difference, carefully place the record back in its dust cover. Store your records where they won't be affected by dust, dampness, sunlight and heat. Ours are in a rack, almost like the ones they had in the record stores at the time, and inside a closet. It's a nice cosy place for our favorites and every weekend you can hear the likes of The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Melanie and a few more playing in our wonderfully music filled home.  We love the scores from old musicals so have many of them on LP's as well.  So you know you'd be in for a treat musically, our records have never sounded better!



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Sunday, September 23, 2018

Song Lists to Help Find the Best Songs for Family Dedications and Special Occasions

Song Lists for Families
Finding songs for special occasions, to fit a mood or to tell a story is a passion of mine.

Searching for the right song can soak up countless hours online, and unless you like listening to the lyrics of mountains of songs, it can cost you several days to find the right one.

Sure, there are a lot of topic based song lists online, however I've discovered that a lot of these lists repeat the same songs from one search to another.

I've taken it many steps forward and actually listened to every word of every song to determine if it works for a person, event or mood. You will find some of the songs I recommend mentioned on other lists online, but that's only because I've listened to it and determined it belongs there.

Many of the song lists provided by others online, in my opinion, include songs that either shouldn't be on the list and rarely include newly found gems.

That's where I come in.

I've spent countless hours listening to songs and categorizing them as per their message and what event they would be suitable for. Much of that work can be found on my country music website, Drageda.com.

However, I wanted to introduce you to another place where I compile song lists: On HubPages.

Below is summary of several of my additional song lists to help you find the right song for your needs. I'm always adding new songs, so be sure to check back there from time to time.

When you visit the page listed below, you'll see a list of suggested songs, a short review of it, and a video to watch it.


If you need a song for a mother-son wedding dance or to celebrate another mother son special occasion, be sure to check out these 14 recommended songs.

Father and Son Songs

Here you'll find 12 suggested songs. The twelve songs are selected based on a variety of different types of relationships that can be had between father and son. Not all relationships are good, and you'll even find a song for that.

Father and Daughter Songs

This list features 10 choice songs. Again, they'll fit multiple types of relationships and occasions. However there's one song you absolutely have to listen to regarding a broken relationship between father and daughter; it's gut wrenching.

Mother and Daughter Songs

We've all heard that a mother and daughter can have a complicated relationship, however in my experience most I know have been good. The songs featured here reflect the positive side, however there's one song about a mother, sung by a famous American Idol contestant, that will make you cry.

Grandparent Songs

These ten songs range from topics of aging, loss, and living life to the fullest. If you need a song to celebrate grandma or grandpa, be sure to check out this list. There's a beautiful song by Ed Sheeran wrote for his grandmother that you'll want to hear.



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Sunday, July 1, 2018

A Terrific Upbeat Country Song that Makes You Feel Happy

Listen to "Long Live the Night" by the Reklaws
Great Song! - Available on iTunes
Canada Loves Country Music

To honor Canada Day I wanted to take a minute and introduce you to this brother and sister duo, Jenna and Stuart Walker, known in the Canadian Country Music scene as 'The Reklaws'.

We music fans switch up our favorite songs from time to time, and at the moment this brother and sister duo from Cambridge, Ontario, Canada have me blasting their latest song Long Live the Night.

With the world dishing out stress like skittles right now, sometimes we need a song that makes us jump around and dance like fools.

Long Live the Night by the Reklaws is therapeutic for me; it's that 'release song'.

When the local radio station plays this tune, ask my kids just how nuts their mom gets. Yep, bat*hit bouncing looney. The volume dial gets turned up to 40 and everything else in the world stops. The only thing I hear (and of course the neighbors) is this song. For 3:32 nothing else matters.

We all need a song that reminds us to take a breath and have fun. With all the serious issues that fill our days sometimes the only solution is upbeat, positive music.

The Lyrics Remind Us of the Important Things - These Particular Lyrics Hit Me Like a Ton of Bricks:

Full moon rising
We ain't there yet
Every minute's a memory so drink it in
Before you know it's over, man it flies by fast
Make it last

For those of us who have lived a little longer and who have grown kids, words like 'before you know it's over, man it flies by fast' have an especially poignant meaning.

Oh the power of a song! This young talented duo takes me back to the days when my husband and I were building memories.

The song's upbeat energy reflects my overall happy nature, but most of all it brings me through all those wonderful moments we've lived: Young people dating, fun parties, professional careers that had wonderful moments, weddings, babies, toddlers, new homes, family gatherings, and just loving the journey.

Of course, like everyone else, we've had our share of problems, but when I'm listening to Long Live the Night, it's the good part of our life that surfaces.

That's why I love this song! It brings out the good. It reminds us "Every minute's a memory so drink it in".

Be sure to listen to it - You can find More about The Reklaws at their Website





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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