Justin McGuinn (Justin Ploof) is pictured here.

Review: Justin McGuinn’s “Love Songs & Other Strangers”

It’s fair to say that Justin McGuinn (you may also know him as Justin Ploof) knows a thing or two about music.

If you live in or near Central Minnesota, you may have run into this St. Cloud Tech grad at an area festival, or caught one of his shows. And if you love great music from the 1960s and 1970s, you may have caught some of his tribute shows too.

That’s how I first heard him.

I think it was back in 2005 or so, I was invited by good friend Mick Hatten to catch a George Harrison tribute show. It was a stellar mix of Beatles tunes and solo gems, peppered with incredible guitarists and excellent singers (special props to Billy Scherer, whose vocals on the majestic “Isn’t It a Pity” almost brought tears to my eyes and may have been the defining performance of that song for me). Throughout it, Justin and his dad shared stories and kept the mood festive. This wasn’t a night of mourning George, it was a night of celebrating him.

Since that show, I’ve seen Ploof tackle The Monkees and Creedence Clearwater Revival, too.

The dude obviously has range.

But there is more to Ploof/McGuinn than covering the great songs of obviously incredible artists.

He has his own music to share, his own words to sing.

Continue reading “Review: Justin McGuinn’s “Love Songs & Other Strangers””

The recent March 2017 reissue of Paul McCartney's "Flowers in the Dirt" album.

Catching up on recent releases: “Flowers in the Dirt” reissued by Paul McCartney

There have been so many new releases, archival releases, reissues and box sets released since October, I think I could spend my next six paychecks just on music and still not be caught up.

Too much music? What a delightful problem to have!

One recent release I’ve been able to enjoy is the reissue of Paul McCartney’s “Flowers in the Dirt” album, a record originally released in 1989. Noteworthy for its collaborations with Elvis Costello, it’s also the first McCartney disc released during my lifetime where I remember some of these songs as new releases on the radio.

Musicians Elvis Costello and Paul McCartney perform together. (AP Photo/Sean Dempsey, linked from People.com)
Musicians Elvis Costello and Paul McCartney perform together. (AP Photo/Sean Dempsey, linked from People.com)

(I was born in 1980, but I was too young to remember or notice tracks from “McCartney II,” “Tug of War,” “Pipes of Peace” or “Press to Play” … but I do recall the song “No More Lonely Nights” from the “Give My Regards to Broad Street” soundtrack. Songs like “Ebony and Ivory” and “Say Say Say” were on the periphery of my music knowledge, but I can’t say I paid much attention to them.)

Continue reading “Catching up on recent releases: “Flowers in the Dirt” reissued by Paul McCartney”

Apologies for the silence

Hello, all.

It’s been an unusual month and a half, with lots of ups and downs (on the pleasant side, it’s recently been more ups!).

I promise I’ll be getting back to writing more regularly soon.

I may be getting a management position at an area store soon, and that would give me a bit more schedule stability and time to work on some music musings.

Thank you for your patience, and for giving me reads!