06/04/2005: The Belfast Cowboy
Surfing through the Rolling Stone webpage, I came across this article about one of my favorite musicians, The Belfast Cowboy: Van Morrison: Renaissance Van At 59, Van Morrison is just hitting his stride (by David Wild).
"Everybody loves a Van Morrison song...
....Morrison presents music as he's always heard it: rooted in R&B, but without limits of any sort. It's a sound that began for him in childhood, during the Fifties in Belfast. His father, George, a shipyard worker, was an avid fan of American music. "That was my initiation," he says. "It was a combination of my father's record collection and my friends who were into music. When I was growing up, you didn't have all these categories. Jazz was a very broad term -- it covered all sorts of blues and folk and gospel. That's my kind of jazz. In those days, Woody Guthrie was sold in a jazz shop. Jazz included everything from New Orleans jazz to British traditional jazz to Leadbelly to Ray Charles."
Morrison and Charles duet on Morrison's "Crazy Love" (from 1970's Moondance) on Charles' final album, the Top Ten hit Genius Loves Company. Morrison also wrote a song for soul legend Solomon Burke's latest album, Make Do With What You Got. "If it weren't for guys like Ray and Solomon, I wouldn't be where I am today," he says. "Those guys were the inspiration that got me going. If it wasn't for that kind of music, I couldn't do what I'm doing now."
As for what that is, Morrison keeps it simple: "I'm basically a working musician doing the same thing as when I started out, except that I'm better and more successful. But I'm doing the same thing I've been doing for over forty years now. It's what I do. It's who I am."
I saw him perform one time (oh...about a good 20-25 years ago) and he was FAB. Looks like I'm going to have to buy another CD to make sure I'm current in my collection. *smile*
Karen on 06.04.05 @ 05:40 AM CST