This new album cover perfectly fits with the GS's annual musical essay series "The Autumnal Season: Golden Autumn Days", since its artwork is definitely autumnal (not to mention that the bird on the album could represent the object of one of the GS's earlier musical essay series on the origin of modern folk-rock music: "The Mythopoetic Songbird").
Check out this newly-posted video below for the song on the album that the GS would have featured, if he was still able to do a program on the autumnal season.
"Van Morrison is interested, obsessed with how much musical or verbal information he can compress into a small space, and, almost, conversely, how far he can spread one note, word, sound, or picture. To capture one moment, be it a caress or a twitch. He repeats certain phrases to extremes that from anybody else would seem ridiculous, because he's waiting for a vision to unfold, trying as unobtrusively as possible to nudge it along...It's the great search, fueled by the belief that through these musical and mental processes illumination is attainable. Or may at least be glimpsed."
–Lester Bangs (The late American music journalist, author and musician, who wrote for Creem and Rolling Stone magazines and has been called one of the "most influential" voices in rock criticism).
Van Morrison's Music: Celtic Soul with a Yarragh
“To get the yarragh for Morrison you may need a sense of the song as a thing in itself with its own brain, heart, lungs tongue, and ears. Its own desires, fears, will, and even ideas: ‘The question really might really be,’ as he once said, ‘is this song singing you?’ His music can be heard as an attempt to surrender to the yarragh, or to make it surrender to him; to find the music it wants; to bury it; to dig it out of the ground. The yarragh is a version of the art that has touched him: of blues and jazz, for that matter of Yeats and Lead Belly, the voice that strikes a note so exalted you can’t believe a mere human being is responsible for it, a note so unfinished and unsatisfied you can understand why the eternal seems to be riding on its back.”
–Greil Marcus (A rock critic and columnist for Rolling Stone, The Village Voice, Creem, and etc.; author, music journalist, and cultural critic. He is notable for producing scholarly and literary essays that place rock music in a much broader framework of culture and politics than is customary in pop music journalism. Since 2000 he has taught at Princeton, Berkeley, and the New School in New York.)
Photos of a younger "Van The Man"
Photos of an older "Van The Man"
Photos of "Van The Man" with Monarchs, Montgomeries, Them, His Band and the Street Choir
Photos of "Van The Man" early concerts
Photos of "Van The Man" later concerts
Photos of "Van The Man" & Other Musicians
Photos of "Van The Man" & His Wives
Photos of "Van The Man" Inductions & Awards
Portraits of "Van The Man"
Images of "Van The Man" bootleg albums, gig posters, videos, books, & other collectobilia
March 23, 2015
For the Van Morrison birthday trubute, the GS played (with an set-up intro by Lester Bangs) the version of Van's "Cyprus Avenue" from the It's Too Late To Stop Now live album. But the GS's favorite version is not recorded on any album; it's from Van's 1979 concerts in Dublin and Belfast. This again demonstaretes that Van has to be seen and heard live to appreciate the kind of shamanic musician he is, becuase of his incantational and improvisational style.
artwork by Gypsy Scholar
"Celtic Soul" is a take off from Van Morrison's own designation of "Caledonia Soul Music." There’s a bootleg album entitled Van Morrison Meets Bob Dylan and John Lee Hooker (1970), which contains the track, “Caledonia Soul Music” [16:18]. (Though unreleased, this song was supposed to be an outtake of a recording session Van did at Pacific High Studios in 1971.)
The name "Caledonia" has played a prominent role in Van's life and career. Biographer Ritchie Yorke had pointed out already by 1975 that Van Morrison has referred to Caledonia so many times in his career that he "seems to be obsessed with the word". In his 2009 biography, Erik Hage found that "Morrison seemed deeply interested in his paternal Scottish roots during his early career, and later in the ancient countryside of England, hence his repeated use of the term Caledonia (an ancient Roman name for Scotland/northern Britain)". As well as being his daughter Shana's middle name, it's the name of his first production company, his studio, his publishing company, two of his backing groups, his parents' record store in Fairfax, California in the 1970s. Morrison used "Caledonia" in what has been called a quintessential Van Morrison moment in the song, "Listen to the Lion" with the lyrics, "And we sail, and we sail, way up to Caledonia". As late as 2008, Morrison used "Caledonia" as a mantra in the live performance of the song, "Astral Weeks" recorded at the two Hollywood Bowl concerts.
Van also created The Caledonia Soul Orchestra, his backup band, in 1973. The band was named after an eighteen-minute instrumental outtake on the His Band and the Street Choir album. In 1973 Van Morrison and the Caledonia Soul Orchestra went on a three-month tour of the United States, and Europe the result of which was the seminal live double album It's Too Late to Stop Now. The title is taken from the last line in the lyrics in one of Morrison's songs: "Into the Mystic" from the 1970 Moondance album.
The Trickster-god strikes again! The Gypsy Scholar was presented with this picture by a friend (who inserted my name).