Poetry and music have, unquestionably, been one of the most palatable artistic marriages since the dawn of time. As the years have gone by, though, very few music artists have been inspired by the concept of unifying those two forms, preferring instead to give space to musical expressions which intent would be, in some cases, to please solely their fans and achieve commercial success, without thinking too much at the depth and quality of the finished product.


It is therefore very gratifying to see that there are still artists, out there, like the American singer and multi-instrumentalist artist Pamela Sue Mann, capable to look far beyond the standard song-making format and focus instead on how different art-forms can live together in perfect unison, just like Mann has so beautifully demonstrated on her latest release, called Revenant.

There are not many artists in the current music scene that, at the age of 37, can be called as such in the most complete sense of the word as much as Hollywood-born singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Judith Hill.


Very often, whenever you may claim to have been raised, artistically, under the protective wing of legendary artists like the late great Roger "Prince" Nelson, who produced Hill's debut album Back In Time at his Paisley Park studios and to have worked with somebody with the caliber of Michael Jackson (Hill rehearsed for several months together with Jackson, prior to his unexpected death, for what was supposed to be Jackson's This Is It Tour), the pressure of fulfilling artistic expectations may be very high and, at times, very consuming on a personal level too.

There are artists who were born with music in their DNA and there is no age limit to their talent, not even the awareness of having sold millions of records and had more than 8 career gold records that can stop that almost visceral need to continue playing and making music, over the years.

This can be, in summary, what the world-famous and hugely talented singer-songwriter John Fogerty who has known, within his glorious career, moments of very high artistic inspiration, must be feeling within himself, despite his very successful 50-plus years spent in the music business at extraordinary level, in the first instance, with Creedence Clearwater Revival, between '68 and '72 and then as a solo artist.

It's sometimes difficult to understand why it would take half a century, for a legendary artist of the talent of Steve Cropper, to release a new album, after his 1969's solo debut With A Little Help From My Friends.


Although stated as his official second solo album on paper, Cropper's new record called Fire It Up is the first one that he has entirely written (and self-produced) from scratch, while his 1969's debut was including not original songs but only cover songs from other fellow artists.

It is so refreshing and reinvigorating, in these days and age, to be still able to find records built on improvisations, feelings and creativity, as the core of their genesis. 


Those attributes have, truth to be told and together with their individual talent as musicians, always been at the forefront of the idea of composing music by acoustic bass and foot percussion player Greg Istock, violinist Eli Wrankle and singer and multi-instrumentalist Hal Cannon, better known, as a collective, as 3Hattrio.

When looking at the history of the Bolshevik Russian Revolution, back in the early 1900s, many may not be aware of the importance of a figure like Vladimir Vladimirovich Majakovskij, poet, artist, playwright and actor, in the development of what would have become known as Russian Futurism.


Majakovskij, who took his own life at the age of 37, despite being a strong admirer of  Vladimir Lenin, had a rather tormented and tumultuous relationship with the Soviet state, using often his high literary skills to criticize the shape of the Soviet system through poems like The Bathhouse or Talking With The Taxman About Poetry. The passion and the commitment for a better world for his country of origin, expressed through all of the Russian artist's poems through the years, it has been and still is a strong reference point not only on a literatural level, for many writers and poets, but also considered as a strong example of futuristic, revolutionary Manifesto, displayed by the artist on many levels, both from an artistic and idealistic side.  

What defines, often, true artistry from a more mediocre one, within the music industry, it is the type of approach that a musician put in his/her own body of work, especially, when making music becomes almost a sort of otherworldly experience.

In that respect, Japanese-born improvisational Pianist and Composer Naoko Sakata, who last year reached the shortlist for the Bluebird Reviews' Artist Of The Year Award thanks to a truly inspired record called Inner Planets, knows very well the meaning of releasing completely mind and soul into music, while working on the making of a record.

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