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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.]

Friday, May 1, 2015

2015, MAY 1: BATTLE OF THE BANDS (Or, RON DAVIES VERSUS MARIA MULDAUR)

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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...
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THE BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (‘BOTB’)
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Shoop-Shooby –
Shooby-duh-Dooby-Doop-Dooby-Dooby-Doo-Wah –
Buh-Doo-Wah!
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Yes, it’s time once again for ‘Battle Of The Bands’ (‘BOTB’)
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Before I go any further, I want to say I'm pleased to announce that we have a new 'BOTB' participant. So, here goes...
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I'm pleased to announce that we have a new 'BOTB' participant.
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This nice gentleman is named Shady Del Knight and he's the administrator of the blog 'Shady Dell Music & Memories'. So, please be sure to visit his 'Battle Of The Bands' installment and vote there prior to May 7th. Thanks!
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Alright, let’s get on it...
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EUGENE  MARTONE  VS.  JACK  BUTLER
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In my previous 'BOTB' blog bit, I used a very famous song that has been recorded by every singer and their two-legged uncle. One recording of it even won 'Record Of The Year' at the 1966 Grammy Awards. 

This time, I'm going in the opposite direction. I'm using a song that was never a hit for anyone, and it may be unfamiliar to many of you voters. The song is titled 'LONG HARD CLIMB'. It was written by Ron Davies and released on his second album 'U.F.O.'. Let's hear the original...

'LONG  HARD  CLIMB'  by  Ron  Davies



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_d5AF7i1tM 
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GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG
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In 1973, Maria Muldaur released a cover version on her eponymous debut album.

'LONG  HARD  CLIMB'  by  Maria  Muldaur



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYTsA0h4Tqw
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RIDDLER  VS.  BATMAN
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Alright now, “you know the gig”... I welcome EVERYONE to vote for their favorite of these songs in the comment section below. And feel free to tell us WHY you chose one song over the other. 
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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.)
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Voice Your Vote @ ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
@ 'BOOK LOVER' 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.
@ 'THIS BELLE ROCKS' by clicking HERE
@ 'SHADY DELL MUSIC & MEMORIES' by clicking HERE.
@ 'ALEX CAVANAUGH' (when BOTB falls on a Mon., Wed., or Fri.) by clicking HERE.
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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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56 comments:

  1. Hi, Stephen!

    Thanks for plugging my blog as I throw my hat in the ring and stage my very first Battle of the Bands. I can't wait to find out which of the acts competing in my first contest will emerge victorious - The Beatles...or Disco Tex & His Sex-O-Lettes.

    I love the song you featured today and enjoyed both versions. I remember Maria Muldaur's hit single "Midnight at the Oasis" released from the debut album you mentioned. "Oasis" made a run at the top 5 on Billboard in the spring of 1974. The first Mrs. Shady loved that record. Maria does a fine job of covering "Long Hard Climb," but my Pick To Click is the Ron Davies original. Ron's recording reminds me of something James Taylor might have done, or another favorite of mine, folk/country/blues artist Tom Rush.

    Thanks, good buddy. I hope you're feeling better today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SHECKSHASHA ~
      I'm feeling much better. Thanks!

      I was sure you would mention Maria's big... hit. You are such the song/music historian-type.

      And you're right, I can definitely hear some James Taylor in Ron Davies. Wouldn't have made that connection without ya. Tom Rush I've heard but don't know much and can't remember the rest.

      I guess I don't have to tell ya who I'd be voting for in a Beatles vs. Disco Tex match-up, do I? (I'm an underdog and undersexed kind-a guy so... gimme Disco Tex!)

      Thanks again for joining us BOTBers. I look forward to many more excellent Battles from you in the future.

      ~ Stephen

      Delete
  2. Ron Davies gets my vote. I enjoyed his original one the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MIKE ~
      Prove it! Can you prove it?

      Just kiddin'. OK, Ron picks up another vote and jumps out to a quick, early lead.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  3. Definitely an obscure song as far as I'm concerned. I don't think I've ever heard this one, but it's a nice relaxing sweet tune that makes me think of lying on a hammock on a summer evening with no mosquitoes or any bugs to bug me.

    As I was listening to the Davies version I was thinking that this is definitely the kind of song that would fit Muldaur's style. Before I even heard Maria sing it, while I was listening to Ron Davies I was imaging Maria singing it.

    Ron does a nice singer songwriter version of this. The orchestration was very appealing. But for my senses Maria Muldaur owns this song. The arrangement has very tasty orchestration. Muldaur's vocals have a distinctive stylistic flair without being overly acrobatic or annoying. Her sound is laid back and pleasing to my ears.

    My unwavering vote goes to Maria Muldaur.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Join us on May 4 with your post of Reflections about this year's A to Z.
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Damn-it, LEE! You spoiled my shut-out. I'll get you for this, man! I'll get you for this...

      [;-)}

      Yes, sir, "sweet" is the word, Bird. This is a sweet song and I think both recordings are great. Ron's is maybe a little more "out of this world" but then it DOES, after all, come from an album titled 'U.F.O.'

      I definitely "get" what yer sayin', Boidman, and thanks for sayin' it. (And thanks for breaking up my shut-out. I wasn't really too worried about it... just a little worried. Ha! Seriously, a wee bit o' worried.)

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  4. Hey Stephen.

    It's interesting when I know exactly how an artist is going to sound, and what the style is going to be, and I haven't even hit the 'play' button. Deep within, I already know what I know but I play the song anyway, because I want to be fair. I wanna make sure that I'm not so wrong. "Everything taking it's on sweet time." Thanks, Maria.

    Ironically I was researching UFO's at one time. I promised a friend I'd help find the 'elusive butterfly.' We'd swap research via compact discs. I thought it was, as a joke that he included Ron Davies' cd, but I made a copy of it. I haven't thought of this song/cd, for years. Now I'll have to get it out and have a memory moment. Can I Count on you, the sax on Misty Roses, Flapjack... a really great piece of work. My vote goes to Ron Davies!

    Sweet battle... and now I know what's on tonight's menu. Baked potatoes and broccoli... can't go wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DIXIE POLKA ~
      Thanks for the vote (and for the dinner).

      I'm kind of surprised to find ANYBODY here actually knows the Ron Davies album. That's pretty arcane archaeology in the Music Department.

      UFOs... my interest began probably in 5th grade and continued for many, many years. I finally came to a conclusion about them and... it AIN'T pretty.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  5. Well, even though I'd never heard this song before, it was a No Contest battle for me. I think it was in one song I really felt like I was lying in the shade of that old oak tree. The other was pretty, but not as restful. I don't know. I'm not sure I can explain this one.

    So, give my vote to Ron Davies. Very nice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. GIRL WONDER ~
      Actually, I'm pretty sure I DO understand what you're implying, and I agree with your ("but not as restful") perception 100%.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  6. You are correct; I had never heard the song. It was also no contest for me - I preferred Ron Davies' version right out of the gate. Davies' mournful voice seemed to lend itself to the song's lyrics much better, but I also preferred his musical arrangement by a landslide. Ms. Muldaur has a beautiful voice, but I liked everything about Ron Davies' version so much more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your vote, KIM.

      >>... "I also preferred his musical arrangement by a landslide."

      The voting is also starting to acquire "landslide" proportions.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  7. Once again, that video of Maria isn't available for this Canadian, sheesh discrimination by video. . .I like Muldaur on many other songs so I'll go with her for my vote. I didn't like the too soft sound of the other. Voting by memory this is called.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. D.G. ~
      Dognap-it! This is really annoying. And how come it's a new development? You didn't have ANY problems with ANY 'BOTB' videos I used to post for the longest time. And now, almost every installment there's one of the two videos that won't play for you (and Birgit, too).

      Well, thanks for keeping Maria in the ballgame anyway.

      ~ Stephen

      Delete
  8. First, beautiful song. And both versions were beautiul. I'd never heard of Ron Davies, but I love his voice; there's a lot of the JJ Cale/Leon Redbone quality to it. And Maria Muldaur... I've been in love with her ever since she asked me to slip off to a sand dune, real soon, and kick up a little dust... I remember hearing some of her work with (now ex-) husband Geoff, and she also made a brief appearance on Paul Butterfield's Better Days' second album singing with Ronnie Baron.

    All that said, I'm going to vote for Ron Davies for the strangest of reasons: His version came to a conclusion, where Maria's faded off. You don't hear many popular songs come to a full stop like that, and it really worked when he did it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JOHN ~
      Thanks for listenin' and votin'.

      The different endings of the two recordings had never even occurred to me. Man, that's "attention to detail".

      >>... And Maria Muldaur... I've been in love with her ever since she asked me to slip off to a sand dune, real soon, and kick up a little dust...

      Ha! You and me both, buddy! I don't know if there was any guy alive back then, when that song hit the charts, who didn't fall in love with Maria. Hell, I was only about 13 then and didn't even understand a good amount of what she was implying... but how could any guy (even a young one) not intuitively "know" it?

      If that's not the sexiest song of all-time, I don't know what is.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  9. Stephen, nice call on this BoTB addition. Yep, you're right this song is a new-to-me cut. And, I haven't heard of either artist before now. I think Ron's vocal style and music arrangement works together the best on this song. I felt his passion through the lyrics more, too. Muldaur is a talented voice and I like her cover, but for me Ron Davies steals my vote on this one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, CATHY!

      And Ron continues to march right over Maria. No shutout here, but the final outcome does not seem the least bit in doubt.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  10. Really beautiful song, and both artists versions are nice. Hard to choose. I think i liked Maria just slightly better though; smoother tones. She just fits my lazy mood today ;)

    I did not participate today, but will likely for the 15th. Congrats on the new member.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DONNA ~
      Thanks for supporting BOTB even when you're not participating. But I greatly look forward to another BOTB installment from you on the 15th.

      And thanks also for the "Maria" vote. She needs all the help she can get right now.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  11. Sheboyganboy SixMay 1, 2015 at 4:20 PM

    I don't remember the song, though I own that Maria Muldaur album. I have VERY nice memories of her "Midnight" hit... revolving around my "first" girlfriend. I like both versions here. However, after hearing the song, I think I'd really like to hear Leon Russell sing this one. Nice words.

    Since both Arlee and I are voting for Maria, if you vote for her also, the world will end. You've been warned!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SHEBOYGANBOY SIX ~
      'Midnight...' what a song, eh? I don't have any girlfriend associations with it, but in my mind... oh, in my dirty, DIRTY mind!... Ha! ...What a song.

      Well, you know I don't want to be held responsible for the end of the world. And when you and Lee both vote one way... well, there's only one way then for me to go... right? (Now I wish I had also used the Helen Reddy version and turned this into a 3-way.)

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Stephen; first time here, but I've been following Arlee Bird's BOTB posts. He said I should tell you I'm a friend of his and would like to join you as a member (starting with the next one May 15). Hope that's okay with you ☺ Music is one of my biggest passions and I've been around a long time, so there's lots of good trivia floating around my brain. You;ll find plenty of music on my website, The Doglady's Den, if you'd like to check me out. Thanks!
    I have heard the original version by Ron Davies before and I do prefer it to Maria Muldaur's rendition, (not to say that her's isn't good). I really like Ron's voice and the whole song has a lovely, languid feel to it. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DEBBIE D. ~
      Welcome! We would love to have you join us BOTBers every 1st and 15th of the month. Any friend of Arlee Bird's is a friend of mine. (Well... almost. I can think of one big exception... but you ain't it!)

      I just glanced at your blog and - Hokey-Smoke! - that is one very elaborate blog you've put together. I'm not sure if we're worthy but... give us a chance, eh? ;-)

      Feel free to ask any BOTB-related questions you might have. And I will definitely add you to the permanent 'BOTBers' link lists so voters can find your blog on BOTB days.

      >>... I really like Ron's voice and the whole song has a lovely, languid feel to it.

      "Languid" - great word, and just the word for it, too!

      Thanks for your vote and thanks for wanting to play along with us BOTBers. It's a lot of fun, and I look forward to your debut on the 15th.

      And so Ron marches on toward that inevitable BOTB victory...

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    2. LOL Thank you Stephen. I tend to get a bit carried away with website design. It's my main creative outlet and one of my passions, along with music, of course. ☺
      I think I understand the premise, but will certainly ask for clarification, if needed.
      Glad to know that Ron is in the lead!
      Thanks again for adding me to this fun feature. I'll do my best to keep up.
      Debbie @ The Doglady's Den

      Delete
  14. I prefer Maria Muldaur's version. She has a nicer voice to me and I like the music with it more. Maybe the other sounded too nasal to me and Country twang a bit. Funny-it happened again that I could not see it here so I heard Maria's version on youtube.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BIRGIT ~
      Thanks for the extra effort. Also, thanks for helping to keep Maria in the race. It really doesn't matter to me who wins, but I like to see a competitive BOTB match-up.

      Interesting that it was the M.M. video that your fellow Canadian, D.G. Hudson, couldn't access either. So, this is not some random problem, but being based on "something" - something at either YouTube or something that some of the folks who download the videos AT YouTube are doing.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    2. POSTSCRIPT:
      BIRGIT, I meant to add that I think you're right: The Ron Davies original probably leans slightly more toward Country than does the Muldaur cover, which seems more like a Folk or Pop ballad to me.

      Neither version is particularly easy to label, because they both seem to incorporate elements of a couple different musical genres.

      I do like them both though.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  15. At first I couldn't remember where I heard Maria Muldaur's distinctive voice before, and Shady cleared it up with, "Midnight At The Oasis." Congrats to Shady for joining your talented team! Both versions were good, but Maria's unique style gets my vote! Now I'm gonna "send (my) camel to bed!" Hope you're feeling better, Stephen!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. GEM JULIE ~
      Yep, 'Midnight...' was her one big hit and, oh, did it make a splash with the boys!

      Thanks for your vote, and I hope your camel slept well. (Ha!)

      I'm feelin' good, Julie. Got my coffee, got my rent paid for another month, and I got... friends. What more could a man want (except a fifth of vodka to share with Warren)?

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  16. Okay, I'm all about Maria Muldaur! She is a secret fav. Ya'll are mentioning "Midnight at the Oasis" and that is definitely on my list, too.

    Sorry, Ron...Cherdo gone...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for checking in, CHERDO!

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  17. I’ve listened to both versions of ‘the Indian Giver’ song (which BTW, it shall forever be known as) multiple times now. This past time through I’m thinking; ‘hey, why didn’t YOU do a combined BOTB and SOML post with this one, eh’? Just kidding ;-).

    I like both versions for different reasons. I really like Maria and want to vote for her, I really, Really, REALLY do, but the more I listen (and listen to the two of them back to back), I
    find her voice on this number is starting to irritate me.

    Ron, has a more mellow sound, his voice, the instrumentation, the lazy way he rolls the words off his tongue. He does make me want to take a break from life in general (and boy, oh boy, could I use one) and lay down beside him.

    I’m sure this is a tune that just about every person can relate to in some way; ‘Long Hard Climb’, it might be one instance or segment of their life or every single year they’ve been alive, or at least as an adult, but whatever; I suspect that each soul can identify with a ‘long hard climb’ (even if it’s just up the stairs at night, eh?).

    Anyway, my identification goes along better with Ron. He exudes empathy and understanding. I get the feeling he REALLY understands. With Maria, I just don’t ‘feel it’ the same.

    So, do I need to say it? Give my vote to Ron Davis!

    Great BATTLE. It was a hard choice, not so much because I loved each version, but because I really like MM in general, and felt a little bit bad voting against her. Does that make sense? Well, probably not, but then: you know me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 'Indian Giver Song'... yeah, I can't dispute it. But I HAD to do this one. You know.

      And actually, you're right, I could have used this as a combination BOTB and TSOML song. I have already thought about resurrecting it later in my TSOML series.

      OK, so you're voting for Maria Muldaur. Got it!

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    2. Hey you, put my vote back where it belongs!

      Delete
    3. Oops! An honest mistake. You know me: dumb blonde.
      ;-)

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  18. Al Bondigas here. I definitely go with Maria Muldaur. Really dig that voice. I've never heard this song before, but you know I've never been the most musically educated person in the world. That's it. That's my rulin'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your vote, JUDGE AL.

      What initially looked to be a landslide victory for Ron Davies has now become... quite questionable. I'm not counting up the votes but it suddenly feels like this BOTB installment is pretty dern close.

      I'm sure a few more votes will get recorded before The End Is Here, and now I'm thinking that this win is still up for grabs.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  19. Neither of us had heard of this song. Or either of these competitors. It made for an interesting battle (we listened over the weekend, I'm barely creeping by today).

    One of us chose Maria and one of us chose Ron. Any idea who voted for whom?

    Also, sorry about being incommunicado. I had my wisdom teeth out a few days ago. My head's all fuzzy, and my jaw's a little sore, and I look like 1980s character actor Robert Z'Dar. So I didn't want to e-mail you 2 pages of medicine induced nonsense.

    I'm a walkin' country song, man. Which sucks... cuz I don't like country. Unless there's outlaws involved.

    Will E you soon.

    ~6B

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember a time when you BEER BOYS used to vote the same way fairly often. But lately it seems you nearly always split yer votes (which beats splittin' yer pants).

      I am a "confident heterosexual", but I am not a "confident guesser" when it comes to this BOTB installment. Nevertheless, I will hesitatingly guess that Brandon is voting for Ron Davies and you, Bryan, are voting for Maria.

      If I guessed wrong, then my second guess is that you, Bryan, are voting for Ron and Brandon is voting for Maria.

      How'd I do?

      Sorry to hear about the wisdom teeth being pulled. Does this mean yer gonna go all stoopid on me now?

      Seriously, I've heard what a painful nightmare the pulling of wisdom teeth is for some people. Just know that others have felt your pain.

      God invented 'SUCKS' because He loves you and wants to ease your discomfort.

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    2. I would have given you 3 guesses, so you should be happy to know you got it on the 2nd try! Not bad!

      Both versions are great, but something about Ron's version just does it for me a little more. As for my cohort, he sides with Maria's voice. I can't blame him for that.

      We've had a few divided votes, but I've noticed they're usually on pretty close battles. I won't start worrying until he absolutely hates the one I vote for and vice versa.

      I kept hearing wisdom tooth extraction was supposed to be a nightmare, especially at "my age", but I haven't been in any pain at all. I bounced back pretty quickly. But I still have to take these anti-inflammatory meds that make me a little loopy. So do excuse if anything I say doesn't make sense.

      And God may have created SUCKS to make me feel better, but it'll still be a few more days before I can take my proper "medicine". Or so sayeth the dentist. If we TRT something this week, it'll have to be *gasp* dry.

      ~6B

      Delete
    3. >>... you got it on the 2nd try! Not bad!

      No, not bad at ALL!

      (I have always said that when I have a 50-50 chance at something, I have no chance at all.)

      Man, you actually listen to the doctor? With me, the doctor's advice meets "roadblock ear" when it comes to beer.

      I have a couple TRT ideas that have been bouncing around, but haven't even thought of any TAGS episodes. Hmmm....

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  20. PART 1:

    STMcC’s Vote On '2015, May 1: Battle Of The Bands'
    (Or, 'Ron Davies Vs. Maria Muldaur')
    And The Final Tally:


    First, genuine thanks to everyone who took the time to listen to the songs and vote on them.

    Second, let me be clear that I truly enjoy BOTH versions of this song. I think it's a beautiful song with wonderful sentiment, and both recordings are excellent in their own way.

    Having said that, I still STRONGLY prefer one version over the other.

    Sheboyganboy Six said, "I don't remember the song, though I own that Maria Muldaur album."

    I can understand that because I owned the eponymous Maria Muldaur album for quite a long time before this song suddenly jumped out at me one day.

    I first purchased this album on LP when I was still in high school - probably 1976. I purchased it because like every other red-blooded American boy, I had fallen in love with 'MIDNIGHT AT THE OASIS' and, of course, with its singer, Maria Muldaur. Is there ANY man alive who doesn't love 'Midnight At The Oasis'? There may be, but I've never met one. That just might be the sexiest song of all time. It went to #6 in 1974, and interestingly, it was only added to the album as an afterthought (see the video link at bottom).

    At any rate, in 1976, I wasn't ready for this album. Mostly all I cared about was Hard Rock, and Maria's album was full of Folk and Country-sounding Bluegrassy songs. So 'Maria Muldaur' didn't get played much.

    Sometime much, much later in the CD era, I repurchased her album in the new format. By now, I was ready for it, being well-versed in the Blues, Folk, Country, and Jazz. My musical tastes had been vastly expanded, and now I could appreciate what Maria was doing and all the fantastic musicians she had backing her (again, see the video link at the bottom).

    Continued Below...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PART 2:

      I must say though, that both 'LONG HARD CLIMB' and the album's closer 'MAD MAD ME' just struck me as being very slow ballads with no easily discernible melody to speak of.

      Then one day, after my Ma had passed away in 2005, I was sitting on a campstool under a large tree at the open garage door, and I was going through boxes and boxes of her stuff, trying to decide what I would keep and what I would dispose of. I had the 'Maria Muldaur' album playing on a boombox plugged into an extension cord.

      Suddenly 'LONG HARD CLIMB' started playing and I actually HEARD IT for the VERY FIRST TIME! And here come those tears again.

      I just needed to be in the right place, emotionally, in order to really "get" this one. Which goes to show that sometimes we just need to be in a certain receptive state before some music can touch us and fulfill its potential.

      That day, I fell in love with 'LONG HARD CLIMB' and couldn't understand how I could have POSSIBLY not realized how great that song was the 50 previous times I'd heard it.

      [An aside: Today, 'LONG HARD CLIMB' is my favorite song on the album - yes, even better'n 'MIDNIGHT AT THE OASIS'. And oddly, the other nondescript melody-less ballad, 'MAD MAD ME', is my third favorite song on the album. Yep, I eventually "grew into" THAT ballad, too.]

      In February, when I rented a car to drive from Phoenix to Reno to find a place to live, I grabbed a handful of CDs at the last second, when I discovered to my surprise that the rental car had a CD player in it. One of the albums I happened to take with me was 'Maria Muldaur'. 'Long Hard Climb' started playing while I was on the Interstate just East of Las Vegas, whose skyline I could easily see through the windshield. I have so many memories of being with my Pa in Vegas, and of course my parents were married there and I was conceived there.

      'Long Hard Climb' cut so deep that I must have played it 10 or 12 times consecutively, until Vegas wasn't even visible in my rear-view mirror anymore.

      But why do I think Maria's version is considerably better than the Ron Davies original? No, it's not familiarity. It's in the recordings...

      FAE said: "Ron, has a more mellow sound, his voice, the instrumentation, the lazy way he rolls the words off his tongue. ... my identification goes along better with Ron. He exudes empathy and understanding. I get the feeling he REALLY understands. With Maria, I just don’t ‘feel it’ the same."

      Half of FAE's statement I disagree with, and the half I do agree with, also goes toward supporting why I think Maria's version is better.

      Continued Below...

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    2. PART 3:

      I agree that Ron's recording is much more mellow and "lazy" - that's definitely a relaxed, cool lemonade in the shade sound. But I feel it's actually a bit TOO mellow and lazy and... comfortable. Yes, it's just TOO COMFORTABLE, and misses the underlying angst in the song.

      There's a bit more tension in Maria's vocals, and in that tension, I hear her empathy, her understanding of what I've been through. Yes, Maria understands just how LONG and HARD my CLIMB really has been. And bear in mind, I'm not lying beside her in the cool, cool shade of that old oak tree yet. She's inviting me to do that, because she sees I need it, but the song is an invitation, it's not a "done deal" yet.

      Listen to her voice the first time she sings "hasn't there been some long, lonely nights" and especially the second time when she sings "and hasn't it been a long, hard climb?". You can hear the pain of what I've been through echoed in her voice, because she knows what I've experienced and she sympathizes and wants to make it better. Plus, there's just some haunting, melancholy sound to those first few musical notes played that TOTALLY sets the TONE of the song right from the very start.

      With Ron's version, it's just SO-OOO RELAXED and laid-back, that the urgency of the NEED to lie down in the shade of the oak tree with an understanding soul is lost. It's like the trials and tribulations have already been forgotten and napped away.

      Ron's original is good; Maria's cover is great.

      But guess what! My vote for Maria gave us this outcome:

      Ron Davies = 10 Votes
      Maria Muldaur = 10 Votes


      Amazingly, Maria was behind in the voting at one point by 5 votes (7-2), but she staged what may have been the best comeback I've ever had in one of my Battles.

      I think it's quite possible that this is the first time Arlee Bird, Sheboyganboy Six, and I all voted alike on a BOTB installment. The world should come to an end any second now, 3... 2... 1

      My thanks again for all the votes and input. I hope you'll join me again on May 15th for my next BOTB installment. I think I may do something totally different next time - something "seemingly" very Un-BOTB-like, but which I will 'splain when the voting's over and the results are in.

      Link:-> How MARIA MULDAUR Came To Record 'MIDNIGHT AT THE OASIS' (Or, 'HOW TO LOSE YOUR VIRGINITY')

      Link:-> MARIA MULDAUR sings Bob Dylan's 'Lord, Protect My Child'

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

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    3. Like you, I too like Maria's version of "Long Hard Climb" better than "Midnight at the Oasis" which is indeed a fine sexy song.

      I'm surprised that Maria didn't take this contest. In fact I'm somewhat surprised by your vote as I fully expected you to go with the original. Just goes to show you that there are some things about music on which we can agree. This round of battle proves that as there were more than one that we agreed on.

      Good battle. Now I wonder how many of those Ron voters would like to rethink their choice and vote for Maria's version instead.

      Arlee Bird
      A to Z Challenge Co-host
      Tossing It Out

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    4. BOIDMAN ~
      For some reason (or maybe for NO reason) your comments aren't showing up in my Email InBox like they should. (By the way, I've got a new E address which I will send to you later.)

      I'm sure you DID expect me to vote for Ron Davies, especially after you and SBB-6 voted for Maria. And you're right, I too noticed that our votes agreed in several BOTB contests this round. That's kinda scary, ain't it?

      As good as Ron's original is (and it IS good), I thought this was really "no contest". In fact, truth be told, I was a little bit concerned beforehand that this would be a shutout (foolish me). I was relieved that the first vote went to Ron because I knew my vote wasn't going to be able to save him from a shutout.

      Funny how these things go.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    5. Somehow I knew you would vote for Maria.

      I had mentally formulated a big a$$ comment here about your vote and my vote and all the reasons why, but when I came here and saw the stingy reply you left to my original comment, I thought better of it.

      Apparently, I just go on and on way too much. Ha, ha, ha!

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    6. Well, I said all I had to say. Anything else would have just been superficial nuttin'.

      Probably just as well. Why go on and dig yerself in even deeper, eh?

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  21. Am I too late? I was away last weekend and have been swamped all week trying to catch up at work. In fact, had it not been for FAE's post title in my dashboard today, I'd have forgotten all about the BOTB.

    I've never heard Davies' version, but am pretty familiar with Maria's, which I am voting for. Although I liked Davies' version ok.

    Both versions have twangy guitar, but I love Maria's voice. I showed up at the oasis at midnight, but she was not there.

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    1. LC ~
      You too, huh? Yeah, she stood me up, too.

      Yep, I'm afraid the voting window has closed. And that's too bad, because YOUR vote would have given Maria the win. And after she went and mentioned Todd Rundgren in that interview, I think you owed it to her.

      Oh well. Maybe you can make it up to Maria the next time I use her in a BOTB (which I have no plans to do).

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  22. Excuse me, ~ D-FensDogG.

    It's possible you have a couple of 'Soundtracks of My Life' here. I could elaborate on potential, but I'm not actually doing this experiment... so I'll leave it be. Each of us brings to each battle whatever experiences/memories we have of the songs presented. In my case, Ron being the familiar, took the lead. If you'd shared your experience or memory during the battle, would it have influenced me? Hard to say, but I'd guess, no. My direction involved a smile, and good thoughts on a former professor. I don't know about his having a crush on Maria. He definitely was a whipped cream, Herb Albert fan... but that didn't come to mind last BOTB.

    Okay - next confusion! Do you know how to tell who the winner is on a battle? It's the artist who's listed first on result day. You listed Ron, then Maria. Same number of votes. And wasn't it you that just 24 hours earlier spoke of a concern on dating your sister? Yeah, you're infamous! I think this tie is pleasant... shows toughness of choice. Shows unmitigated assault on our ear filters, or whatever it is that Shady mentioned.

    Regarding BOTB, I'm not sure of half of what I'm doing. The other half, I flip a coin. See you on the 15th!

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    1. DIXIE POLKA ~
      Well, I might very well use Maria's 'LONG HARD CLIMB' in my 'Soundtrack' series. I'm basically using my original post as the foundation but I'm updating and rearranging as I go, so there are / will be songs used in the 2015 version that weren't used before, and 'LONG HARD CLIMB' is a very real possibility.

      I couldn't have mentioned my experience / memory in the BOTB blog bit because it would have given away who I was voting for. But I certainly hope that if I HAD mentioned it, it wouldn't have affected YOUR vote. When you vote, I just want to know which version you prefer (for any reason of your own), and I wouldn't want a person voting for my favorite solely because I had slanted things toward it by yakking from my own personal viewpoint.

      Ha! The listing sequence on Results Day sure doesn't mean anything here. I usually post the songs in the order that they were recorded, and I list the results the same way, regardless of which artist got more votes. So... if the sequence of listing on Results Day meant anything, I could decide all ties in my favorite's favor by always posting that one first in the contest (regardless of the chronological order the songs were recorded in). Is this making sense? [:-)}

      ~ D-FensDogG

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  23. I read Dixie's comment, waved my fist in the air, and shouted, "Yeah." Your relationship with so many songs is deeply personal (which is why I thought you'd do an excellent job with The Soundtrack of My Life). I think Cherdo would, too, and she seems to be thinking about it. In fact, I think most BoTBers would given how important music has been in their lives. Ah well. You know what they say about horses and water.

    I'm glad you shared your Maria/Long Hard Climb Story... thanks for that!

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    1. Yes, GIRL WONDER, music isn't just a decoration in my life - it's ESSENTIAL.

      And while there are a lot of songs and pieces of music that I just like because they appeal to me in some simple way, there are a ton of songs and tunes that are deeply personal for me and quite meaningful. You know ('cause it's true for you too), songs that are pretty much intertwined with my very being.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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