Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Lindsey Buckingham: Celebrating a Musical Genius

These are wacky days on the justice front. The U.S. Supreme Court has loosed corporate interests to wreak untold havoc on our democracy. Alabama Governor Bob Riley is waging a crusade on gambling that mixes Three Stooges buffoonery with middle-of-the-night, Gestapo-like tactics.

We could use a break from all the nuttiness. And what better way to get it than with a musical interlude from one of our Legal Schnauzer favorites, Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham.

Buckingham is best known for generating numerous monster hits for Fleetwood Mac, including "Go Your Own Way," "Big Love," "Tusk," "Second Hand News," and "Monday Morning."

But we have a special admiration for his solo work, which tends to float under the commercial radar. Buckingham long has been a quirky sort, given to experimentation on several fronts--with a dazzling finger-picking guitar style, inventive use of percussion, and a knack for lush, Beach Boys-esque vocal arrangements.

We have touted Buckingham's most recent solo work, 2008's Gift of Screws, as one of the hidden musical gems of recent years.

Buckingham's solo albums tend to not generate hit singles and radio airplay. So we were delighted to discover that two of our favorite cuts from the album can now be heard in live performances on YouTube. The videos are from an episode of A&E's Private Sessions.

The first is Love Runs Deeper, which would have been a massive hit if it had been written 25 years ago and released on a Fleetwood Mac album. Buckingham's wife, Kristen, provides assistance with the lyrics, and the results indicate that her appearance on the album is not just a throwaway to the missus. Her stuff is good, and you can check out the lyrics here:

The second cut is "Great Day," which Buckingham was inspired to write when he heard his young son, Will, fooling around and singing, "It's a . . . great day, great day." Dad thought that could be a song, and Will Buckingham receives a writing credit. The final result features some snapping percussion and a searing guitar solo at the end--along with vivid lyrics.

We don't like to throw the word genius around too often. But we think it applies to Buckingham. As you watch the guy's guitar work on "Great Day," keep in mind this is someone who has never had a music lesson. That's the kind of gift that can only come from some kind of higher power. And Buckingham's brilliance certainly helps us forget--at least for a little while--all the legal chicanery taking place all around us.



James Greek said...

Lindsey Buckingham learned to play when he was three or four playing with a toy Mickey Mouse Guitar.

Vergergc said...

Hi - great blog entry on LB!! I wonder if you're familiar with the Q interview from 2008, from CBC studios with Jian Ghomeshi... ? I've been hunting for this and the Q archives don't go back that far - so they said a few months back. And the lindseybuckingham.wordpress file doesn't work either. Any ideas on locating this? Many thanks!!