Bruce Springsteen, Mud Morganfield, Amanda Shires and The Mahones: Tomorrow’s Top 40

In this edition of Tomorrow’s Top 40, we are taking a look at some new releases from some talented veterans of the music scene. So, if you are searching for some terrific Soul, R&B, Gospel, Blues, Country or Punk, this is your post because, as you all know, today’s new releases often become Tomorrow’s Top 40 successes. So, let’s quit the chatter and get down to it for the week of November 14-20, 2022. Here we go!

Jameson Street by The Mahones

Ladies and gentlemen….The Mahones!

OMG! It’s The Mahones! Canada’s preeminent Celtic punk rockers, The Mahones have been ripping it up for almost thirty years now. They sing songs about drinking and partying and loving and fighting in a way that is impossible to ignore. The Mahones have drawn their inspiration from the likes of The Pogues at their boozy best. They relentlessly tour, appearing regularly with bands such as The Dropkick Murphys, Stiff Little Fingers, Flogging Molly, Spirit of the West, even opening for The Tragically Hip on one of their Canadian tours. Jameson Street is their first album since before the pandemic so there is an extra energy infused into each song. There is nothing subtle about the music you will hear when you click on their link. It is loud and fast and brash and a whole lot of fun! I think their music sounds better with a beer in your hand but that’s just me. Here are The Mahones with a song that I predict will become a huge hit in pubs everywhere. It is called “Last Call at the Bar”. You can listen to it here. ***If you want a taste of The Mahones live then, check out this rendition of their most popular song, “Paint The Town Red” here.

***There is no lyrics version of this song at this time.

Take It Like a Man by Amanda Shires

Amanda Shires….and her fiddle.

Amanda Shires has been working her way through the ranks of the best female Country and Western singers for a while now. As a teenager, Shires was given a fiddle from a second hand store on the condition that she learn how to play it properly. So, she took lessons from some of Nashville’s best session players and soon found herself performing with The Texas Playboys. In her twenties and thirties, Shires released hit album after hit album. She was declared the “Best Emerging Artist” in 2017 and received a Grammy Award as a member of the band, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit that same year. However, what Amanda Shires is mostly known for is starting an all-female supergroup called The Highwomen. This group was meant to be the female counterpart to the legendary Highwaymen (Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson) from a few decades ago. The Highwomen consists of Shires, Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris and Natalie Hemby. Well, as it has turned out, Amanda Shires is turning forty this year and that has caused her to take stock of her life to date and her hopes for the future. This self-assessment has manifested itself in the form of a new album called Take It Like A Man. The title track has a clever twist at the end that helps make this song a feminist anthem of sorts. You can listen to “Take It Like A Man” here. ***Not sure if it just me but I think she sounds a bit like Dolly Parton.

***The lyrics version of this song can be found here.

Portrait by Mud Morganfield

He sounds as smooth as he looks! This is Larry “Mud” Morganfield.

Growing up on Cape Breton Island as I did, there was a great tendency among the locals to place everyone into family groupings on the basis of a single question that every newcomer tended to be asked…that question was, “Who’s yer fodder?” That is a slangy way of asking who someone’s father was. From there, the newcomer could be judged accordingly: being welcomed with open arms or pushed away, whichever the case may be. Well, it appears that the same sort of judging process has been a part of Larry “Mud” Morganfield’s life for as long as he can remember, too. You may not be familiar with Morganfield’s name but I guarantee you that if you are familiar with music history at all, and in particular, Chicago Blues, then you know Morganfield’s father, Muddy Waters. Waters was a legendary Blues master who passed away in 1983. At that time, Morganfield was driving trucks for a living. He had no intention of trying to start a career in the shadow of his legendary father. In fact, Morganfield was just trying to avoid the bullets that often flew around his neighbourhood in Chicago. But then, the story goes that one night after his father’s death, Morganfield had a dream that he was on stage with his father and that he was playing the Blues and that his dad was smiling upon him. When he awoke, Morganfield decided to pick up a guitar and see what would happen. Well, what happened was that he turned out to be quite the Bluesman, himself. In fact, Morganfield decided to introduce himself to the world by recording an album of his father’s greatest hits, for which he won Bluesman of the Year. To listen to Morganfield play and sing is to hear Muddy Waters again. To follow up his debut success, Morganfield is drawing upon his Gospel and R&B roots with an album called Portrait. From that album, his first single is a soaring Gospel song entitled, “Praise Him”. It is hard not to smile and sway as this song plays. It is magnificent. I am hopeful that Portrait becomes a hit and that Mud Morganfield becomes a success in his own right. Maybe the day will come when people refer to Muddy Waters as Mud Morganfield’s Dad. You can listen to “Praise Him” here.

The lyrics version of this song can be found here.

Only The Strong Survive by Bruce Springsteen

The Boss at age 73.

The storyteller in me absolutely loves Bruce Springsteen. The Boss has written some of the best story-songs of all time. I love “Thunder Road” and “Atlantic City” and “The River”, just to name a few. However, Only The Strong Survive is not an album of new material. It is a covers album containing tracks that Springsteen feels are essential Blues, Soul and R&B songs that today’s generation of listeners should be made aware of. I tip my hat to Springsteen because I have always maintained that the foundational songs that helped start Rock n’ Roll as we know it today all have their roots in black churches and nightclubs on the Chitlin’ circuit. It should not be up to someone like Bruce Springsteen to publicize these songs because they should be part of the Great American Songbook already. But, as many of you know, our understanding and appreciation of cultures that are different from our own tends to be limited. We often stick to cultural experiences that reflect ourselves, thus the Everly Brothers and The Beach Boys become more well known than the Isley Brothers or someone like Jackie Wilson. Whether this is simply due to human nature or to something else is a question for another post. But, for Bruce Springsteen, the answer is clear. He feels that the songs on Only The Strong Survive are under-valued and under-exposed and he is attempting to change that. For that reason, I commend Springsteen for having noble intentions. If you listen to the first single, “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)”, you might think it is a terrific sounding song that fills your heart and soul and gets your toes a-tapping! But, as one critic put it, “The entire album sounds like Springsteen singing karaoke”. That was my impression, too. It will be your impression as well, especially if you listen to the real thing from Mud Morganfield first. That having been said, I am sure that Only The Strong Survive will sell well this holiday season. After all, anything that Springsteen associates himself with will always have a certain level of quality inherent in the final product. So, while there are no new stories from The Boss, he is using his 73rd year wisely to tell a story of a different sort. I hope that his efforts result in a Motown-esque revival because that is some music that really slaps. *You can listen to “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)” here.

***The lyrics version of this song can be found here.

The link to the official website for The Mahones can be found here.

The link to the official website for Amanda Shires can be found here.

The link to the official website for Mud Morganfield can be found here.

The link to the official website for Bruce Springsteen can be found here.

***As always, all original content contained within this post remains the sole property of the author. No portion of this post shall be reblogged, copied or shared in any manner without the express written consent of the author. ©2022

Author: Tom MacInnes

Among the many characters I play: husband, father, son, retired elementary school teacher, writer, Cape Bretoner, lover of hot tea and, above all else, a gentleman. I strive to make a positive difference in the lives of others. In Life, I have chosen to be kind.

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