Bob Mosolgo

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So far Bob Mosolgo has created 564 blog entries.

Decade of Difference: Portishead

Portishead was among the first to popularize trip-hop in the US. Combining slow beats with elements from jazz, house and soundtrack music, the group was not as closely tied to dance as their contemporaries and as a result appealed to a broader audience.

Before Portishead released their debut album, Dummy, in 1994, trip-hop’s broad appeal wasn’t apparent, but the record became an unexpected success in Britain, topping most year-end critics polls and earning the prestigious Mercury Music Prize; in America, it also became an underground hit, selling over 150,000 copies before the group toured the U.S.

Portishead is named after the UK West Coast town where co-founder Geoff Barrow grew up. Barrow had met the members of Massive Attack and written songs for Neneh Cherry before he met Beth Gibbons. She had been singing in pubs and the two began collaborating on songs in 1991. The band mates were both media-shy, making promotion of their first record difficult.

Their second record took three years to create and then Portishead went on a hiatus in 1999 while the bandmates worked on solo projects. Finally in 2005 the group played their first live shows in seven years followed in 2008 by their first record in a decade. A single came in 2010 as a benefit for Amnesty International and since then the group has performed only occasionally.

2023-01-03T08:47:27-05:00January 4th, 2023|

Decade of Difference: John Mellencamp

Singer-Songwriter John Mellencamp turns 71 today. The performer, known at different points in his career as John Cougar, Johnny Cougar, John Cougar Mellencamp than simply John Mellencamp has earned 13 Grammy nominations over his career and holds the record for the most number one singles by a solo artist on the hot mainstream rock chart. A Billboard chart that began in 1981.

In college in Indiana, Mellencamp played in a glitter rock band and after he completed a two year degree had a job installing telephones. He gave all that up to move to New York and pursue music full time. It took a year and a half before he sparked some interest, releasing his first record in 1976 under the name Johnny Cougar because his management thought ‘Mellencamp’ was too hard to pronounce.

After moving to London to record and promote his next album, he was successful enough to return to the US and launch another record. His second record on his return, American Fool was the breakthrough with his first number one song and a Grammy winner among the singles it produced.

John Mellencamp was successful enough in the 80s to convince the record company using his full name would work out OK, and his biggest records were released as John Cougar Mellencamp. 1985’s Scarecrow produced 5 top 10 singles and was an album greatly influenced by 60s rock. Mellencamp gave his band about 100 singles from that era for them to study in preparation for recording the record. Mellencamp has proclaimed that this album actually launched the alt country genre, a view not widely shared.

By 1997 Mellencamp dropped the ‘Cougar’ and has recorded as John Mellencamp since then. His long career includes 24 studio albums with the most recent coming out this year and induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.  If not the first, Mellencamp was among the first to feature old time string instruments like the mandolin, dulcimer and autoharp on a par with the electric guitar and other instruments that are typical in rock music.

2022-10-06T08:29:30-04:00October 7th, 2022|

Decade of Difference: Sam Outlaw

Sam Outlaw describes his musical style as ‘SoCal Country’, a mix of classic honky-tonk and troubadour pop with a southern California vibe.

Born Sam Morgan in South Dakota, he moved with his family to southern California when he was 10. The family imposed significant control over his musical choices but Outlaw found things to his liking from Asleep at the Wheel and the Beatles along with classic country artists like George Jones. His stage name Outlaw is his mother’s maiden name, which he uses as a tribute to her.

A successful career in advertising  left music as a pastime that Outlaw pursued via a country band, but at 30 Outlaw dropped out of advertising to focus on music.

Sam Outlaw collected an all star cast of southern California musicians for his first album Angeleno and the legendary Ry Cooder produced it.The record produced a buzz around Outlaw, with Rolling Stone declaring him one of the emerging artists to see at SXSW in 2015.

His follow up album Tenderheart debuted in the top 5 on the UK country chart, where he also earned award nominations from the UK Country Music Association. Since then Outlaw has evolved his sound to include more of the sounds that influenced him in his youth. Commenting on his decision to go all in on the updated sound, Outlaw says “I put aside questions of what would this do to my career or my fanbase, and instead, I said, I’m going to be the one up on stage playing these songs, so I need to find what makes me excited,” he says. “If I’m bored, the audience will be bored.”

2022-10-04T08:15:55-04:00October 5th, 2022|

Decade of Difference: Nathaniel Rateliff

Growing up in rural Missouri, Nathaniel Rateliff was greatly influenced by his church through his teens. Learning guitar at 13, Rateliff listened exclusively to Christian music until he discovered a copy of John Lennon’s Imagine tucked into his fathers record collection. The title track led Rateliff to question his religious beliefs and moved his music in a secular direction.

Ratliff dropped out of school at 16 and began work in a plastics factory before moving to Denver on an evangelical mission. He also continued songwriting and performing and while in Denver, began to question his spiritual beliefs more intently, eventually leaving his evangelical group to work odd jobs and perform. Over the course of a decade Rateliff got married, built decks and worked in a trucking company. By 2010 his music evolved into quiet, introspective tunes and he released his first album.

After two records, Nathaniel Rateliff found that he was writing songs that required a band so he formed the Night Sweats. Heavily influenced by early Van Morrison records and the Band, the new group built a reputation for their powerful live shows and in 2015 worked to capture that sound on a record.

Rateliff had considered the debut Night Sweats record to be his last chance at a career in music . Fortunately, the lead single SOB was a viral hit. An EP and a second album followed which debuted in the top 20. Despite the success of his group, Rateliff has not been content to drop his quieter solo work, releasing another solo record in 2019. It was his first in 7 years and was followed by a solo tour.

2022-10-03T07:45:00-04:00October 4th, 2022|

Decade of Difference: Lindsey Buckingham

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Lindsey Buckingham won his entry through his work with Fleetwood Mac when he was a member of the group during their most productive years, 1975 to 1987. When asked to join the group in 1974 he agreed only if he could also include his romantic and musical partner Stevie Nicks. Together they led the band through their most successful record. Rumours, released in 1977 sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.


While continuing with Fleetwood Mac in the 80s, Buckingham also produced records for Walter Egan and John Stewart while recording his first solo record. Law and Order featured Buckingham  on almost all of the instruments with appearances by other Fleetwood Mac band mates. The album produced a top 10 single.


Lindsey Buckingham left Fleetwood Mac in 1987, after a long period of difficult relationships with his bandmates, including a breakup with his former girlfriend Stevie Nicks. Buckingham’s following sole record Out of the Cradle focused on the problems with Nicks and the band’


Since then Buckinghams’ career has been a mix of solo records and occasional Fleetwood Mac reunions which ended with his firing from the band in 2018 when he would not agree to terms for a tour by the band.

2022-10-02T10:14:47-04:00October 3rd, 2022|

Country Feedback Playlist for October 2, 2022

Country Feedback Playlist for          10/2/2022

Artist – Album – Title – Release Year

Aaron Raitiere – Single Wide Dreamer – At Least We Didn’t Have Any Kids – 2022

Richard Thompson – Still – Long John Silver – 2015


Brennen Leigh – In Texas With a Band – You’re Doing It Wrong – 2022

Bill and The Belles – Happy Again – Sobbin the Blues – 2021

Wayne Hancock – A-Town Blues – Lifes Lonesome Road – 2001

Asleep At The Wheel – Asleep at the Wheel – Cool as a Breeze – 1985

Hank Garland – (Single) – Seventh and Union – 1951


James Hand – Shadow On The Ground – The Parakeet – 2010

Leona Williams – New Patches – When He Touches Me – 2008

Geoffrey Miller – Leavin’ 101 – Population 3 – 2022

Corb Lund – Pasa-Get-Down-Dena – Highway 87 – 2022


The Flatlanders – Treasure of Love – Pat the Alligator – 2021

Buddy Miller – Cruel Moon – Love Match – 1999

The Texas Tornados – Zone of Our Own – Mi Morenito – 1991

Kimberely Morgan York – Found Yourself a Lady – You’ll Pay – 2022


ZZ Top – Tres Hombres – Master of Sparks – 1973

Various – Too Late to Pray: Defiant Chicago Roots – I Am a Big Town (Jon Langford’s Hillbilly

Lovechild) – 2019


2022-10-02T10:10:52-04:00October 2nd, 2022|

Country Feedback Playlist for September 25, 2022

Country Feedback Playlist for                        9/25/2022

Artist – Album – Title – Release Year

Charley Crockett – The Man From Waco – Name on a Billboard – 2022

Sarah Shook & The Disarmers – Nightroamer – It Doesn’t Change Anything – 2022


Willie Nelson – A Beautiful Time – I Don’t Go To Funerals – 2022

Billy Joe Shaver – The Real Deal – Live Forever – 2005

Sunny Sweeney – AmericanaFest 2022 – Send Your Love Back Home To Me – 2022


Dale Watson – Little Darlin Sessions – He Thought He’d Die Laughing – 2008

Margo Price – Midwest Farmer’s Daughter – About To Find Out – 2016

49 Winchester – Fortune Favors the Bold – Hillbilly Daydream – 2022

Marshall Tucker Band – Long Hard Ride – Long Hard Ride – 1976


Drive-by Truckers – Welcome to Club XIII – Maria’s Awful Disclosures – 2022

Charley Crockett – The Man From Waco – Just Like Honey – 2022

George Jones – Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes – The One I Loved Back Then (The Corvette Song) –


JJ Cale – Anyway the Wind Blows – Lies – 1983

2022-09-24T23:11:15-04:00September 25th, 2022|

Decade of Difference: Bruce Springsteen

Happy Birthday Bruce Springsteen! The artist once said that he would like to make a record with the lyrics like Bob Dylans, a sound like Phil Spector produced it and vocals like Roy Orbison. Although Springsteen was tagged as the next Bob Dylan early in his career, he never shied away from his love of 60’s pop radio songs and rock. His first interest in music came from seeing Elvis Presley perform on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1956.

A series of bands came and went from 1965 to 1971, some of which included future E Street Band members, but Springsteen was a solo act when he signed his first record contract. He immediately rehired most of his own band and initially his debut album Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ was ignored. Manfred Mann had a hit with a cover of Blinded by the Light four years later. Since then the record has gone double platinum and has been named one of the best debut records of all time.

Springsteen’s second album The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle was also initially a failure. It drove Springsteen to rework his band for one final try with Columbia Records. The third time was the charm – Born to Run peaked at number three and while none of the singles did nearly that well, the album benefited from a popular radio format of the day, album oriented rock. Almost all tracks on the album got significant airplay.

This set the stage for Springsteen’s biggest selling album, 1984’s Born in the USA. The record sold 30 million copies worldwide and featured seven hit singles. The title song was often misinterpreted – especially by politicians who chose not to listen to the lyrics but focused on the catchy chorus. Over six decades of performing what could sometimes be three to four hour concerts, he has earned his nickname – The Boss. Happy Birthday, Bruce!

2022-09-22T06:53:40-04:00September 23rd, 2022|

Decade of Difference: Josh Ritter

Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan triggered Ritter’s initial interest in music, prompting him to visit the local K-Mart to purchase his first guitar. Initially drawn to neuroscience as his intellectual pursuit, Ritter quickly shifted to his own independent major “American History Through Narrative Folk Music.” Ritter landed in Boston where he played open mic nights and was fortunate to gain the attention of Glen Hansard, who invited him to Scotland to open on his upcoming tour.


Josh Ritter recorded his first two records independently. The second Golden Age of Radio was made on a $1000 budget. Signature Sounds offered to remaster and re-release the album after hearing Ritter perform and the new version along with his time on Hansards’ tour produced a popular song in Ireland. Ritter found himself a success via word of mouth throughout Ireland.

By 2015 Josh Ritter was releasing his eighth studio album. Sermon on the Rocks was his second record to reach number one on the folk charts. Since then Ritter has released two more records.Since 2002’s Golden Age of Radio, Ritter has consistently earned high praise for his songwriting. Along the way he released a novel and convinced Jason Isbell to produce his latest record with backing from the 400 Unit.

2022-09-22T06:55:53-04:00September 22nd, 2022|

Decade of Difference: John Craigie

Southern Californian John Craigie attended the University of California Santa Cruz where he graduated with a degree in mathematics. Craigie dove into music playing house parties and local venues, first in a psychedelic band during his self described hippie phase, then as a solo singer/songwriter.


Craigie started to work on his solo performances and it took a few years to get his first album out, with Montana Tales releasing in 2009. Three more studio albums followed, plus two live records. The live records reflect Craigie’s greatest strength, personal and funny songs. In fact, he has drawn descriptions as being a cross of John Prine and late comedian Mitch Hedberg.


Jack Johnson championed Craigie on the strength of his second live album released in 2016. Impressed enough to keep the album in his car, Johnson invited Craigie to open his next tour. For his next record, 2018’s No Rain, No Rose Craigie tried to recreate the feel of the old Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Will the Circle Be Unbroken albums. Not so much in the sound, but more in the feel of having musicians perform together that do not often have the opportunity to work with one another


Craigie’s natural ability to weave humor and real-life stories together is refreshing. The performer explained that it wasn’t something he was always able to do, stating, “I think as a child I was always the storyteller and I don’t know if I was funny, but I was trying to be funny.” He went on to explain that it took a few years for him to be comfortable on stage which then enabled him to grow confidently into his comedic shoes.

2022-09-19T22:26:21-04:00September 21st, 2022|