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02/10/17 6:07 AM
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Learn to forget the memories that cause you pain
The last whispered wish of age is to live it all again (JH/RT)
Member Since: 12/15/04
02/11/17 11:23 AM
So it should have been no surprise when Moodies lead singer Justin Hayward’s concert Thursday at tapped that same vein – especially because Hayward sang nine Moodies songs among the 16 he performed in the 97-minute show.
The surprise is that Hayward, with just a second guitarist and keyboard player, was able to capture nearly all of the emotions – musical and vocal – those songs originally offered.
And the selections from his solo career, as well as his 1975 duet album “Blue Jays” with Moodies bassist John Lodge, fit exceptionally well among the group’s work. One solo song, his 1985 cover of Clifford T. Ward’s “The Best is Yet to Come,” was among the best in the show.
That might indicate how essential to The Moody Blues Hayward is.
His voice, though occasionally diminished from the memorable sound of The Moodies, was largely successful in recreating what made those songs so good – from the opening of The Moodies’ hit “Tuesday Afternoon,” which played solo but on which he captured not only the sound, but the tension and feeling of the original, if not the depth of the ache.
He was able to capture the 1960s vibe on “Lovely to See You,” the track from “On the Threshold of a Dream” that has become more popular than its singles (it got a big cheer from the crowd of something more than 400).
Hayward’s solo songs were uniformly good, including the three he played from his most recent disc, 2013’s “Spirits of the Western Sky.” “In Your Eyes” from that disc set a serene mood, and any frailties in his voice (Hayward’s now 70) only added to the affect. The title track was, as you would expect, a lush landscape that fit Hayward’s story of he and his late brother watching the western sky from their boyhood home.
Hayward introduced the songs from his album with Lodge by saying some of the things he wrote never seemed to fit The Moodies. Particularly good was “Where Are You Now,” which though written when Hayward was less than half the age he is now, was a powerful look back on a life. Alone on stage with just a guitar and voice, Hayward’s vocals suddenly became stronger.
Other solo songs also were good. “Forever Autumn,” the Moodies-esque surprise solo hit he had in 1978, was sung with aching intensity that elevated the song, and the crowd rewarded him with a big hand.
“The Wind of Heaven,” which he said he wrote as the title song from an upcoming movie about a veteran’s return from Afghanistan, was gentle and soul-searching.
But by far the best solo song was “The Best is Yet to Come.” A contemplative song that again played to his current voice, it was a devastating commentary on the hope that you have good years ahead, but a realization you no longer may.
But the Moodies hits were perhaps the best part of the show, and Hayward saved most of them for the end, when his voice seemed warmed and stronger.
“Never Comes the Day” was searing – a song of change in a relationship, it was a lovely tune sung lovely – and got great guitarist from Mike Dawes and keyboardist Julie Reagans. “Your Wildest Dreams” was more stark, but nicely captured the feeling of a former relationship from an even greater distance than when the song was release in 1986. It, too, got a big cheer.
The more upbeat “Question” from 1970 had some in the audience singing along -- and clapping along near the end.
And, of course, the main set closed with The Moodies’ biggest hit, a seven-minute “Nights in White Satin” – slow, studied and expertly played with a 12-string guitar, Hayward’s voice at its best – an aching wail.
The encore was The Moodies’ last U.S. Top 40 hit, 1988’s "I Know You're Out There Somewhere."
A sort of sequel to “Your Wildest Dreams," the song did what the best of The Moodies’ music does best: creates melancholy and a mood.
And Hayward solos did it almost as well.
http://www.mcall.com/entertainment/lehigh-valley-music/mc-review-moody-blues-singer-justin-hayward-captures-moods-almost-as-well-as-group-does-20170210-story.html - Includes video.
02/11/17 2:57 PM
Member Since: 07/08/06
02/11/17 3:39 PM
The church in the center of the European background is Il Duomo di Firenze. It's got another name, St Mary's of something or other, and is the most dominant building in Florence's skyline. Last time I was there I stayed in Fiesole, a few miles away from Florence, in an ancient monastery on hill overlooking the city and had a distant view of the duomo from the room's terrace. It was one of the best views I've ever had in my travels. I'll see if I can dig up a picture or two for you.
Thanks again for "taking" us along with you!
02/11/17 5:08 PM
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02/11/17 5:41 PM
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02/11/17 11:48 PM
02/12/17 7:29 AM
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02/12/17 4:45 PM
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02/14/17 9:44 AM
BY WALTER TUNIS
Contributing Music Critic
Ever since the strains of âNights in White Satinâ defined the progressive sound of late-night radio a half-century ago, the pop world has known the name Justin Hayward. More generally, they knew he helped establish The Moody Blues. But it was Haywardâs voice, guitar and pen that summoned many of the groupâs other established works, including âTuesday Afternoon,â âLovely to See You,â âThe Story in Your Eyesâ and more.
But hereâs a fact even some of the Moodysâ most ardent fans donât know. For 40 of Haywardâs 50 years with the group, he has maintained a solo career, focusing on tunes that are lighter in tone and more personal in narrative.
âIn the early days, I did hold some songs back that I didnât think were kind of appropriate or a decent fit for the Moodys,â said Hayward, who makes his first Lexington appearance since 1994 on Tuesday at the Opera House. âItâs OK being personal, but sometimes itâs good to be â¦ well, not deliberately obscure, but working in a place where you try and make a song more about a general emotion instead of specific one. There are a couple of things on this tour that I probably held back from recording with the Moodys because they were a bit too me-me-me and not us-us-us.â
IâM VERY LUCKY TO STILL HAVE THE MOODYS. I LOVE EVERY MOMENT OF IT. BUT THIS TOUR, WITHOUT THAT VOLUME, IS LIKE BEING IN MY MUSIC ROOM, LIKE BEING WITH FRIENDS.
Thatâs not to say Hayward tucks the familiar Moody Blues tunes in a closet when he tours on his own. In fact, the repertoire this winter is being split between his vintage hits and solo career songs, many of which have been compiled on a new Hayward anthology recording called âAll the Way.â
âIt was a bit daunting, to be quite honest,â Hayward said of his solo careerâs launch with the 1977 album âSongwriter.â âThe people I met during that time were very precious to me. The musicians I worked with are still my friends today. It was kind of scary, but there was so much good will that I found. I didnât find the world saying, âWhen are the Moodys going to get back together?â I found a world that was welcoming to me and people that said, âIâve just always liked your songs.â It was as simple as that.â
The mix of Moody Blues and solo material at Tuesdayâs show will play out not in a band setting, but in a trio configuration that will team Hayward with British guitarist Mike Dawes (who will also open the concert) and keyboardist/vocalist Julie Ragins.
âWith this band, you can hear every nuance of the sound. I get a chance to bring my acoustic guitars, the ones that were used the records. Itâs a little bit more like the original recordings, in some ways â particularly the early recordings where (producer) Tony Clarke and (engineer) Derek Varnals would put the acoustic guitar much further forward and the drums further back in the mix. The acoustic guitar and the mellotron often led the Moodysâ early recordings. Itâs a little bit more like that.
... THESE SONGS, A LOT OF THEM MEAN SOMETHING IN PEOPLESâ LIVES JUST AS SONGS OF OTHER ARTISTS DO IN MINE.
âI mean, Iâm very lucky to still have the Moodys. I love every moment of it. But this tour, without that volume, is like being in my music room, like being with friends. Thatâs how these songs were written, including the parts that I put on all my original demos. Itâs how they originally sounded. Itâs how the songs were born.â
So what drives Hayward in 2017? He turned 70 in October and maintains a hearty touring schedule of solo dates and Moody Blues shows. What keeps his performance attitude so full of vigor?
âWell, thatâs the question, isnât it?â he said. âThere are some things I donât have to deal with that others might. I donât have to deal with celebrity. I donât have to deal with paparazzi or that kind of stuff. Iâm spared that. I can be just the guy walking down the street. But these songs, a lot of them mean something in peoplesâ lives, just as songs of other artists do in mine. And, really, what else would I do?
âMy daughter tells me, âLook, you have a lovely house. You love reading books, why donât we go there and just read books for the rest of our lives?â And I thought, âYeah, thatâs a nice idea. And? What about this other thing I have to do?â
IF YOU GO
Opening:Â Mike Dawes
When:Â 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14
Where:Â Lexington Opera House, 401 W. Short St.
Tickets:Â $55.50, $65.50
Online:Â Justinhayward.com,Â Lexingtonoperahouse.com
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