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Welcome back, my friends, to the "Battle" that never ends.
We're so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside!


This is
'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB') where you listen to different recordings of the same song and vote for the one you like best. Two "Battles" per month, on the 1st and 15th. Six days later (the 7th and 21st), I place my own vote, tally 'em all up and announce the winner.

Friend? Foe? Stranger? No matter, ALL are welcome. So pull up a chair, pour yourself 24 oz. of 'DOG BITE High Gravity Lager' (or the poison of your choice) and turn it up to Eleven!

[NOTE: Links to the first year of 'BOTB' (#1 - #24) can be found at the very bottom of this page.]

Thursday, September 22, 2016

2016, SEPT. 15th BOTB RESULTS And TOP 5 FAVORITE GUITARISTS


This the 22nd of September, meaning that my 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' Results Announcement is a day later than it otter be. But that's because I found this...



...at Mike's Ramblings and I wanted to combine it with my BOTB Results, which I was unable to do during my 12.5 hour work shift yesterday. So -- voila! -- here it is a day late but $155.00 richer.




'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' RESULTS

First I need to say that I'm disappointed that the BOTB vote total was lower than usual. I know it had nuttin' to do with my Battle because this was a damned good one -- I know it and everyone said it, too. A-List and E-Ticket all the way! But several BOTBers did not participate in this round for various personal reasons, and I guess they couldn't find time to come visit my Battle either. But that was NO REFLECTION on the quality of the contest.

I had Richie Havens going against Danny Caron & Maria Muldaur on the song 'I Don't Wanna Know' right HERE. It started out as a real close horse race. With 10 votes recorded, it was tied 5 to 5 and I was starting to worry about the Battle ending in a tie. But then Danny and Maria took the lead and continued to lengthen it until they crossed the finish line.

Richie Havins = 5 votes
Caron & Muldaur = 12 votes

Like everyone else, I thought both recordings were really excellent, but my vote also went to Danny Caron. I loved Maria's powerful, passionate vocals, and Danny happens to be one of my Top 5 Favorite Guitarists of all time... which is why I wanted to combine my BOTB Results with the guitar-related blogfest I found mentioned at Mike's blog.

But before I delve into that subject, I want to again thank DANNY CARON who actually took the time to visit my humble blog, listened to his competitor, Richie Havens, and even left a comment for me in which he also thanked you all. What a super-cool guy! (Thanks, Danny!! I've been doing BOTB for three years but you made this Battle one of my most memorable.)

TOP 5 GUITARISTS

Consarn it! This ain't easy for a guy who loves music like I do -- and so many genres, too. Admittedly, I'm partial to Jazz and Blues players, and my first 3 choices were no-brainer decisions. After that, it gets really tough having to leave so many off my list and narrowing it down. A list without Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell, Mark Knopfler, David Gilmour, Buck Dharma, or Albert King? (And the Unknown Guitarist whom I sense I'm forgetting at the moment and will kick myself for later).

But in the end, my list included Two Dannys, Two Garys, and a Pat.

1: DANNY GATTON

Steve Vai said: "When someone uses the phrase 'the best guitar player in the world', I usually go into an exhaustive discourse on how music is art and you can't judge art and there are many different ways that people play the guitar and it's impossible to be considered the best because then you would have to master all styles and that it's all right to have favorites, etc., etc., etc., blah-blah-blah. But I feel okay in saying that Danny Gatton comes closer than anyone else to being the best guitar player that ever lived."

I concur 100% with Steve Vai on all of that.


Gatton's technique was jaw-dropping and he seemed to play everything -- Jazz, Blues, Rockabilly, Country, and Rock -- equally well. And for a guy who could do 300 miles-per-hour on the frets, he had such great feeling, such sensitivity on the slower numbers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUpP7CnW4yA


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gojiomdeG2A
  
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2: DANNY CARON

My favorite living guitarist and second favorite of all-time is Danny Caron who just won 'Battle Of The Bands' and is now going to Disneyland. (Ha!) In the BOTB comment section, my good pal Sheboyganboy Six asked me how I came to discover Danny. Here's that story...

I'm proud to say that in 2005, I was the first person to ever write a review for a Danny Caron album at Amazon.com. (You can read that review HERE.) He only had one album under his name then. Today he has three and I own them all, and they are some of my most frequently played CDs. Here are some excerpts from my 2005 review:

Going home from work after midnight a few weeks ago, I put on the local pseudo-Jazz station. Late, when they figure nobody's listening anyway, KYOT sometimes shelves the Kenny G and Dave Koz and spins stuff a little more adventurous. About halfway home they started playing some hot guitarist whose style I did not recognize. Damn! This guy was GOOD! I pulled into my garage, shut off the engine, & just sat there listening, unable to go into the house until the track concluded. (And I'm thinking : "You KYOT Airheadzona DJ better tell me who this is!") "That was DANNY CARON with THE PROMISE", he announced. Now, I know from past experiences that whenever a musical piece commands my attention to that degree upon first listen, I've got a winner.

His first album was titled 'GOOD HANDS', and I concluded that review by writing...

My favorite piece is RAINY NIGHT IN GEORGIA. No, on second thought, I'd say IN A SENTIMENTAL MOOD. Check that; it's definitely SHINE ON. OK, I can't decide..... but did you notice that I didn't even mention THE PROMISE - the head-turning track I heard on the radio, that caught my attention to begin with? That's how impressive this album is! What a travesty of justice that so much acclaim is lavished on each new long-haired, hard rock speed freak guitarist who comes along, but a player like THIS remains unknown. He's never going to get the recognition that he deserves, but hey, you can forget all about Allstate, man, because you're in REALLY 'GOOD HANDS' with DANNY CARON!

What I love most about Danny's playing is the soul-deep Spiritual quality of it. Words can't explain the Spiritual -- they're from two different realms. The truly Spiritual you must be able to feel, and I feel it all through Danny's marvelous playing. It's in the subtle shadings of the notes he plays and it's unmistakable in the melodies of the ballads he composes. Truly, I feel that Danny Caron is the most Spiritual guitarist I've ever heard.

Here's that first song I heard on the radio which really turned my head...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fq-38VfbDQ


And in keeping with that theme, hold on to your hat and wrap your mind around THIS...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNuZ1DywhdA

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The vocalist was Barbara Morrison.

Alright, one more from the BOTB winner. Listen to the amazing Spiritual shadings he imbues these notes with! If you can't "FEEL" this deep inside your Soul... I dunno what to say:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwCMprd8W78


3: PAT METHENY

Although he's a first-rate Jazz guitarist, what I appreciate most about Metheny is the gorgeous and often very catchy melodies he writes. He has always been my #1 choice as "Music To Drive To", and apparently I'm not alone in that opinion. This is one of my favorite YouTube videos -- it features Pat on his synth-guitar and "on the road".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RU6jvtmL4po


4: GARY MOORE

I'm not really a fan of Moore's earlier Hard Rock / Heavy Metal stuffs. But once he discovered and was influenced by Albert King, his playing took on a whole new, more genuinely human emotional quality that I love. Yeah, he could still shred it with his amps turned "up to eleven", but even when he did, it retained a Bluesy feel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJbf4hiyw3g


5: GARY HOEY ("Who He?")

My buddy LC of the blog 'DiscConnected' turned me on to Gary Hoey years ago when we worked for the same company. Guitaristically, Hoey is all over the map. Mostly he plays Rock but you can hear all kinds of different musical infuences in it.

Surfdoggin' comes from Hoey's incredible, rip-roaring, ten-hanging soundtrack album to the movie 'The Endless Summer II' and it's probably my favorite of all his recordings. I love the way he intertwines some fast 'n' flashy Country-ish pickin' into this instrumental. Truthfully, I'm not even sure what genre of music I would call this, but whatever it is, it's hot!...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOeQFSHnOH0


Well, my thanks again to the great Danny Caron, and to all of you who took time to listen and vote in my latest BOTB installment. I hope to see all of you (and those MIAs) here again for my next Battle on October 1st.

Bless And Be Blessed.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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Thursday, September 15, 2016

2016, SEPT. 15: BATTLE OF THE BANDS (Or, RICHIE HAVENS VS. DANNY CARON)

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[*This BOTB installment is dedicated to those individuals who are about to join me, beginning this upcoming weekend, in 'THE SPIRITUALITY PROJECT' ('TSP'). I honestly believe we're in for some life-changing stuffs just before He changes "this world" forever.*]
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Donald Trump & his "Deplorables" Vs. Illery-Killery-Hellery Clinton & her medical staff, Male Vs. Female, War Vs. Peace, Light Vs. Dark, Good Vs. Evil, Man Vs. Machine, Love Vs. Hate, Dog Vs. Cat, Sun Vs. Moon, Brain Vs. Brawn, Oscar Vs. Grammy, Angel Vs. Demon, Laurel Vs. Hardy, Beer Vs. Wine, TV Vs. Radio, Pitcher Vs. Batter, Paper Vs. Plastic, Reality Vs. Fantasy, Yeshua Vs. Beelzebub, Conservative Vs. Liberal, You Vs. Me, House Vs. Senate, Offense Vs. Defense, Kramer Vs. Kramer, Spy Vs. Spy, Fischer Vs. Spassky, W.C. Fields Vs. Sobriety, Harold Gimpy, Jr. Vs. Sheldon J. Pismire, Rock Vs. Paper Vs. Scissors, Islam Vs. Everything, Singer Vs. Singer, Band Vs. Band...
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'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB')
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Shoop-Shooby -
Shooby-Duh-Dooby-Doop-Dooby-Dooby-Doo-Wah -
Buh-Doo-Wah!
.
Yes, it's time once again for 'Battle Of The Bands' ('BOTB').
.
Alright, let's get on it. Let's get ON this thing!...
.
EUGENE  MARTONE  VS.  JACK  BUTLER
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The song 'I DON'T WANNA KNOW' was written by John Martyn. What else ya need to know? Carry on...
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GOODNIKS  VS.  NO-GOODNIKS
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I generally don't like to pit live recordings and studio recordings against each other, but each BOTB installment is unique, and the BOTBer needs to evaluate things with an ear toward what will make the best match-up, rather than stick to hard and fast rules that won't always work in every situation.

In this case, I felt strongly that the live version by Richie Havens was considerably better'n his studio recording and would create a more competitive contest against Danny Caron.

But since the video for the Danny Caron rendition has only a single, static image during playback, in order to even the playing field, I think you ought to listen to but not watch the Havens video -- unless you're 100% certain that live concert footage will not sway your ears when it comes time to vote.

Both artists perform this in a Jazzy-Blues-hybrid style. Havens leans perhaps slightly more toward the Jazz side, while Caron more toward the Blues. Or vice versa.
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GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG
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Richie Havens is one of those singers whose popularity and influence was not reflected in Billboard chart success. In fact, he only scored one Top 40 hit. It was a cover of The Beatles' song 'Here Comes The Sun' which went to #16 in 1971. The Beatles themselves never got into the Top 40 with their original. (Some BOTBer might want to pounce on Havens' cover before I do!)

FUN FACT: Richie Havens was the opening act at the famous 1969 Woodstock musical festival. And here's his live version of today's song...

"I DON'T WANNA KNOW" by Richie Havens
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woOR0VW0vhw


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RIDDLER  VS.  BATMAN
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The name Danny Caron might not be familiar to you, but there's a good chance you've unknowingly heard his guitar before. He has played on numerous sessions with the famous Blues singer and pianist Charles Brown. He's also played on recordings with Clifton Chenier, Bonnie Raitt, John Lee Hooker, Van Morrison, Ruth Brown, Etta Jones, John Clayton, Teddy Edwards, Gerald Wilson, Donald Fagen of Steely Dan, Dr. John, Little Milton Campbell, John Hammond Jr., and many others.

It's safe to say that this man has some serious axe chops.

The singer on this track is Maria Muldaur. You women may not know this, but every single guy who was 13 or older in 1973 wanted to "slip off to a sand dune, real soon" with her when it was midnight at the oasis. (Hell, I'd still like to slip off to a sand dune with her, even though it's half-past geriatric at the bingo parlor.)

'I DON'T WANNA KNOW' by Danny Caron & Maria Muldaur
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPBpW0s5Ck0

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Alright now, “you know the gig”... I welcome you (whoever you are) to vote for your favorite of these songs in the comment section below. And feel free to tell us WHY you chose one song over the other. 

After voting here, I suggest - actually I insist - you pop over to the blogs of the other 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' participants to see which songs they have chosen and vote there also. (If their ‘BOTB’ blog bits aren’t posted yet, pour yourself two shots of ‘Grand Marnier’ over ice – do it twice – and then return to their blogs to vice your voice ...vote your vice ...voice your vote.)

Voice Your Vote...

@ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
@ 'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CURIOUS AS A CATHY' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING' by clicking HERE.
@ 'DCRELIEF - BATTLE OF THE BANDS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE DOGLADY'S DEN' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE' by clicking HERE
@ 'ANGELS BARK' by clicking HERE.
@ 'JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE' by clicking HERE.
@ 'JANIE JUNEBUG, RIGHTING & EDITINGby clicking HERE.
@ 'J.A. SCOTT' by clicking HERE.
@ 'QUIET LAUGHTER' by clicking HERE
@ 'REINVINTAGED' by clicking HERE.
@ 'DISCCONNECTED' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE PEDESTRIAN WRITER' by clicking HERE.

As I've done in the past, I will continue to return to my 'BOTB' blog bits on the 7th and 21st of each month to post my own votes and announce the winners in the comment sections.
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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Thursday, September 1, 2016

2016, SEPT. 1st: BATTLE OF THE BANDS (Or, LOS FELINOS VS. BRENDA LEE)


Trump Vs. Hellary, Male Vs. Female, War Vs. Peace, Light Vs. Dark, Good Vs. Evil, Man Vs. Machine, Love Vs. Hate, Dog Vs. Cat, Sun Vs. Moon, Brain Vs. Brawn, Oscar Vs. Grammy, Angel Vs. Demon, Laurel Vs. Hardy, Beer Vs. Wine, TV Vs. Radio, Pitcher Vs. Batter, Paper Vs. Plastic, Reality Vs. Fantasy, Yeshua Vs. Beelzebub, Conservative Vs. Liberal, You Vs. Me, House Vs. Senate, Offense Vs. Defense, Kramer Vs. Kramer, Spy Vs. Spy, Fischer Vs. Spassky, W.C. Fields Vs. Sobriety, Harold Gimpy, Jr. Vs. Sheldon J. Pismire, Rock Vs. Paper Vs. Scissors, Islam Vs. Everything, Singer Vs. Singer, Band Vs. Band...

'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB')


Shoop-Shooby -
Shooby-Duh-Dooby-Doop-Dooby-Dooby-Doo-Wah -
Buh-Doo-Wah!

Yes, it's time once again for 'Battle Of The Bands' ('BOTB').

Alright, let's get on it. Let's get ON this thing!...

EUGENE  MARTONE  VS.  JACK  BUTLER

For the longest time (and by "longest", I mean longer than most of y'all have been in BOTB) I've wanted to put Elvis Presley up against Brenda Lee, and all because of this darling December 21, 1957, photograph:

"LITTLE  MISS  DYNAMITE"  &  "THE KING OF ROCK 'N' ROLL"

Probably because both artists were born and raised in the South, I always envisioned using the song 'JAMBALAYA' for this Battle. Unfortunately, I waited a long, long time for someone to post the full-length Elvis version at YouTube, but to this day it still hasn't happened. Even now there are just short, heavily edited partial versions and the song included as a part of live medleys. I'd nearly given up on using 'Jambalaya', but then...

On August 1st, our friend and BOTB Master Mary @ 'Jingle Jangle Jungle' (HERE) used 'Jambalaya' in her Battle. She pitted a Mexican group I'd never heard before, Los Felinos, against Jazz singer Harry Connick Jr. I was knocked out by the Los Felinos version which I thought was absolutely terrific (listened to it about 4 times 4 fun) and I decided that whoever won Mary's Battle I would use against Brenda Lee in a future Battle. Today is the day of that "future Battle".
 
GOODNIKS  VS.  NO-GOODNIKS

Happily, LOS FELINOS beat Harry Connick Jr. 8 to 5, so they get the starting position in today's Battle. Here's what Mary had to say about them on August 1st:

"Los Felinos is a Mexican musical group from the mid 70's. They boast a very extensive discography, where they had much success with Flor Morena, Morena of 15 years, Jambalaya, as well as others."

Brenda Lee was this little half-pint sized young child who burst onto the scene in the mid-1950s with a voice about 144,000 sizes too powerful for her body. Thus, she acquired the nickname "Little Miss Dynamite". She had a long and very successful singing career which is still ongoing.

So, essentially, what we've got today are two super-uptempo versions of the song, one delivered in a kind of Tex-Mex meets semi-Surf Guitar hybrid style versus Old School Rockabilly. This should be an A-List E-Ticket BOTB installment... I think.

'JAMBALAYA' by Los Felinos
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVgF_DoNFcU


GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG

'JAMBALAYA' by Brenda Lee
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXk44QoLHmQ


RIDDLER  VS.  BATMAN

OK, you've decided now how you're going to vote in this Battle, right? Based ONLY on the sound of the recordings and no other outside factors, right?

Alright, then I want to share a video with you just for the entertainment value. But this shouldn't affect your vote -- your vote has already been decided and ought not be altered at this point due to the... uh... amazing spectacle you're about to witness. This is just one of those things you can't hardly believe even though you're seeing it:

Click HERE for a grand old performance on the stage of the Grand Ol' Opry.

[NOTE: We have a new BOTBer joining us today. I introduce you to Chris at the blog 'The Pedestrian Writer'. You will find a link to his site at the bottom of the usual list below. Please be sure you stop by to vote and welcome him to BOTB.]

Alright now, “you know the gig”... I welcome you (whoever you are) to vote for your favorite of these songs in the comment section below. And feel free to tell us WHY you chose one song over the other. 

After voting here, I suggest - actually I insist - you pop over to the blogs of the other 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' participants to see which songs they have chosen and vote there also. (If their ‘BOTB’ blog bits aren’t posted yet, pour yourself two shots of ‘Grand Marnier’ over ice – do it twice – and then return to their blogs to vice your voice ...vote your vice ...voice your vote.)

Voice Your Vote...

@ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
@ 'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CURIOUS AS A CATHY' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING' by clicking HERE.
@ 'DCRELIEF - BATTLE OF THE BANDS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE DOGLADY'S DEN' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE' by clicking HERE
@ 'ANGELS BARK' by clicking HERE.
@ 'JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE' by clicking HERE.
@ 'JANIE JUNEBUG, RIGHTING & EDITINGby clicking HERE.
@ 'J.A. SCOTT' by clicking HERE.
@ 'QUIET LAUGHTER' by clicking HERE
@ 'REINVINTAGED' by clicking HERE.
@ 'DISCCONNECTED' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE PEDESTRIAN WRITER' by clicking HERE.

As I've done in the past, I will continue to return to my 'BOTB' blog bits on the 7th and 21st of each month to post my own votes and announce the winners in the comment sections.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

Monday, August 15, 2016

2016, AUG. 15: BATTLE OF THE BANDS (Or, BENNY GOODMAN VS. ELLA FITZGERALD)


Republican Vs. Democrat, Male Vs. Female, War Vs. Peace, Light Vs. Dark, Good Vs. Evil, Man Vs. Machine, Love Vs. Hate, Dog Vs. Cat, Sun Vs. Moon, Brain Vs. Brawn, Oscar Vs. Grammy, Angel Vs. Demon, Laurel Vs. Hardy, Beer Vs. Wine, TV Vs. Radio, Pitcher Vs. Batter, Paper Vs. Plastic, Reality Vs. Fantasy, Yeshua Vs. Beelzebub, Conservative Vs. Liberal, You Vs. Me, House Vs. Senate, Offense Vs. Defense, Kramer Vs. Kramer, Spy Vs. Spy, Fischer Vs. Spassky, W.C. Fields Vs. Sobriety, Harold Gimpy, Jr. Vs. Sheldon J. Pismire, Rock Vs. Paper Vs. Scissors, Islam Vs. Everything, Singer Vs. Singer, Band Vs. Band...

'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB')


Shoop-Shooby -
Shooby-Duh-Dooby-Doop-Dooby-Dooby-Doo-Wah -
Buh-Doo-Wah!

Yes, it's time once again for 'Battle Of The Bands' ('BOTB').

Alright, let's get on it. Let's get ON this thing!...

[**And NOTE that LC of the blog 'Discconnected' is back in the BOTB fold. Be sure to check out his Battle. There's a link to his blog at the end of the list at the bottom of this page, and also one in the right sidebar.]

EUGENE  MARTONE  VS.  JACK  BUTLER

Wackypedia sez: 
"In A Sentimental Mood" is a jazz composition by Duke Ellington which is also performed as a song. Ellington composed the piece in 1935 and recorded it with his orchestra the same year."

This has become a well-known Standard with a gorgeously lilting melody. Listen...

GOODNIKS  VS.  NO-GOODNIKS

'IN A SENTIMENTAL MOOD' -- The Benny Goodman Orchestra
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyVNS_ByzUA


GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG

Now, here's Benny's competition:

'IN A SENTIMENTAL MOOD' -- Ella Fitzgerald
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gOij0El_IY


RIDDLER  VS.  BATMAN

Alright now, “you know the gig”... I welcome you (whoever you are) to vote for your favorite of these songs in the comment section below. And feel free to tell us WHY you chose one song over the other. 

After voting here, I suggest - actually I insist - you pop over to the blogs of the other 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' participants to see which songs they have chosen and vote there also. (If their ‘BOTB’ blog bits aren’t posted yet, pour yourself two shots of ‘Grand Marnier’ over ice – do it twice – and then return to their blogs to vice your voice ...vote your vice ...voice your vote.)

Voice Your Vote...

@ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
@ 'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CURIOUS AS A CATHY' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING' by clicking HERE.
@ 'DCRELIEF - BATTLE OF THE BANDS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE DOGLADY'S DEN' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE' by clicking HERE
@ 'ANGELS BARK' by clicking HERE.
@ 'JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE' by clicking HERE.
@ 'JANIE JUNEBUG, RIGHTING & EDITINGby clicking HERE.
@ 'J.A. SCOTT' by clicking HERE.
@ 'QUIET LAUGHTER' by clicking HERE
@ 'REINVINTAGED' by clicking HERE. 
@ 'DISCCONNECTED' by clicking HERE.

As I've done in the past, I will continue to return to my 'BOTB' blog bits on the 7th and 21st of each month to post my own votes and announce the winners in the comment sections.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy