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One chanter, three drones, three regulators, thirteen keys, too many near-extinctions to mention and 300 years of heroes: that, with a frisson of fairies on moonlit knolls, is the Irish uilleann ('ill-in') pipes. The Wheels Of The World presents an epic tale of triumph and survival, where the soulful heart of a nation has been kept alive across ages by a slender thread of guardians - blind men, eccentrics, self-aggrandisers, noble heroes, bloody-minded revivalists and at least three people compared to Jimi Hendrix. Uilleann piping is Ireland's equivalent to the story of the blues in America, save that here the trail of legends and lore is richer and deeper by far. It is the sound of 18th-century blues - a microtonal virtuoso machine wielded by misfits and geniuses, often one and the same. This is the story of a continuum, from John McSherry, a 21st-century icon, backwards in time through Paddy Keenan, Liam O'Flynn, Finbar Furey, Seamus Ennis, Willie Clancy, Johnny Doran, Leo Rowsome and Patsy Touhey - at the dawn of recorded sound - and thence to find a litany of unrecorded legends before them. It is also a snapshot of professional Irish traditional musicians, after the gold rush of the late 20th century, keeping calm and carrying on.
On February 16 1969, John McLaughlin flew into New York, from London, in a snowstorm. The following day, Miles Davis, his hero, invited him to play on a record. Two years later, on the path of Bengali mystic Sri Chinmoy, John launched The Mahavishnu Orchestra-an evocation in music of spiritual aspiration and extraordinary power, volume and complexity, far beyond anything else in jazz or rock. Curiously, it was also a huge success. John McLaughlin brought rock music to its pinnacle, the end point in an evolution from Mississippi blues through Coltrane, Hendrix and The Beatles. And then, in November 1975, he hung up his electric guitar and walked away from the stadiums of the rock world for an ongoing, restless career in music of other forms. To most of the world, John McLaughlin looked like an overnight success, with a backstory going back only as far as that February in 1969. Yet he had been a professional musician since 1958, experiencing all the great movements in British music-trad jazz, rock'n'roll, R and B, soul, modern jazz, free jazz, psychedelic rock-a guitar for hire at the centre of 'Swinging London', a bandmate of future members of Cream, Pentangle and Led Zeppelin, but always just under the radar. Drawing on dozens of exclusive interviews and many months of meticulous research, author and music historian Colin Harper brings that unrepeatable era vividly to life. This landmark new work retrieves for the first time the incredible career of John McLaughlin before he conquered the world-and then chronicles how he did so.
This fascinating history charts the struggles and triumphs of Irish folk, trad, and blues musicians before the Irish music industry, and acts like U2, existed. Forgotten heroes and latter-day legends intertwine with honorary visitors who took a bit of Ireland with them, like Bob Dylan and Arlo Guthrie. The main focus of the book, however, is on the influence of homegrown pioneers, from Sweeney's Men in the 1960s to Horslips, De Danann, Anne Briggs, Rory Gallagher, and current groundbreakers like Martin Hayes. Anyone who owns even one Irish record will appreciate this book; anyone who owns a lot of Irish records will no doubt treasure it.
The guitarists' guitarist and the songwriters' songwriter, the legendary Bert Jansch has influenced stars as diverse as Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Paul Simon, Sandy Denny, Nick Drake, Donovan, Pete Townshend, Neil Young, Bernard Butler, Beth Orton and Devendra Banhart. Unassuming, enigmatic and completely focused on his music, he has remained singularly resilient to the vagaries of fashion, being rediscovered and revered by new generations of artists every few years. Born in Edinburgh in 1943, Jansch became an inspirational and pioneering figure during Britain's 'folk revival' of the 1960s. In 1967 he formed folk/jazz fusion band Pentangle with John Renbourn and enjoyed international success until they split in 1973, when he returned to a solo career. Surviving alcoholism and heart surgery, Jansch has recently enjoyed a career renaissance - delivering a series of albums from 1995 onwards which have secured his standing as one of the true originals of British music.
The journey to purchase for the family shop or the B2B buyer is impacted by media, advice, packaging and trial. The sales and marketing challenge is what to say, and where to say it. Shoppernomics, based on research and case studies from US and UK, examines the path taken by the potential buyer. The authors describe the key drivers and barriers on the journey to purchase. They identify the need to get key messages, key partners and key media all working together, and a framework for success. The authors challenge the budget split between sales and marketing as possibly the largest barrier to successful shopper marketing and identify core stores and the areas they serve as being equally important targets for investment. Shoppernomics provides the manual for achieving successful companies serving happy and loyal customers, as the ultimate goal for manufacturers, retailers and brands. It reminds marketers that it is what customers take from their product or service that is important, not what they think they are delivering. It reminds sales people that nothing is more important than matching supply and demand in the eyes of the customer regardless of who actually makes the ultimate sale. Shoppernomics is designed to deliver fast results for companies prepared to recognise that they are not perfect, and go the extra mile to find out why.
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