Tupelo Honey

 

Sorry for the absence. Us guys have been busy not blogging tunes, but now we’re here, and ready to blog tunes. It is spring and I can’t pinpoint exactly why but it seems to be Van Morrison weather, so with that in mind, I will be talking a bit about Van Morrison’s album Tupelo Honey.

There are a lot of good Van Morrison albums out there.  A lot. But I have decided to kick off spring by talking about one in particular, Tupelo Honey. “But Roar2k” you might exclaim “Why aren’t you writing about Moondance? Why not the complex relationship of rhythm and melody found within the ever-acclaimed Astral Weeks?” Well I’ll tell you why. Because Tupelo Honey is the perfect combination of under the radar but also accessible Van Morrison that is light and refreshing and celtic and bluesy wrapped into 40 minutes of delight – so here we go.

The album kicks off with “Wild Night”, a blues inspired melody that is driven by its steady bassline and complementary guitar. There are horns, there’s a tasty little saxophone solo near the end, its a beautiful way to kick off a killer album.

Next up is “(Straight to Your heart) Like a Cannonball”.  Now this is most likely my favourite kind of Van Morrison, and quite simply the defined sound which makes Tupelo Honey so appealing to me in general. While “Wild Night” is undoubtedly the more popular song, “Like a Cannonball”  sets the tone for how the rest of the album will play out. “Old Old Woodstock” is a piano driven ballad which is light, airy, and really conveys the softer side of Van’s vocals. “You’re My Woman”, is an absolutely stunning track and pretty much the quintessential Van Morrison. Slow and lingering verses which climax into an intensely belted out chorus, which is really real, really really real.

Next is the title track “Tupelo Honey”, a love song that lives up to its position as the album’s namesake, as quite simply it is the best piece of music throughout the 40 minutes. “When that Evening Sun Goes Down” is the second to last track and is the the personification of the celtic/blues mix I discussed earlier. The final track is “Moonshine Whiskey” and while “Tupelo Honey” takes the title as best piece of music, “Moonshine Whiskey” is definitely the most musical song on the album. Shifting between meters of cool and easy and upbeat and breezy (?) *fast, it is a feel-good song to the core, and in my opinion one of Van’s best overall compositions. You get an amazing vocal performance, a nice build-up throughout the song, and it goes out on a supremely high note which resonates past the album’s closure. What a god damn album.

“All the girls walk by, dressed up for each other”

 

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