Only a dream and feeling no pain: a few thoughts on Van Morrison's pre-Dangerous period best output on from Down the Road

The headline is partially inspired by the prophet of the east back at a time during Van Morrison's last great period 2002-8 and that began on Down the Road to reach a new plateau of achievement on the high ground of Keep it Simple (use of uke on …

Published: 18 Jul 2022. Updated: 22 days.

The headline is partially inspired by the prophet of the east back at a time during Van Morrison's last great period 2002-8 and that began on Down the Road to reach a new plateau of achievement on the high ground of Keep it Simple (use of uke on drinking song 'Behind the Ritual' is a thing of beauty in the chug of the rhythm section traction) as is beyond the bridge the hook leading to an eventual transcendentalism.

You find the spiritual in the lyric is the Open Sesame moment of revelation.

That inspired Van 7-year purple patch as much the song as the singer unprecedented since peak period Glossopiana would not be surpassed again until 2017's Roll With The Punches when the Coalminers' Sumudu gelled most with Dana Masters in the blend of voices on the for the ages 'Transformation'. Masters topically now pursuing her solo career more and more is playing Paul Zauner's widely admired festival in Austria this weekend, again Zauner showing his genius in the puttting on for guiding likely artist international breakthroughs via his influencer festival exposure.

The satori of the early life inhabitant of Hyndford Street's work with Joey De Francesco particularly on 2018's The Prophet Speaks, ''Cooke-ing'' up mucho soulful brilliance on 'Laughin' and Clownin' for instance Van having met Philly legend Joey D over with David Sanborn while hanging out at John Daly's Limerick Jazz Festival, was a joy. Since then it's been mainly downhill on his own records given Van's multiple and often highly controversial non-musical distractions. But let's not forget his glorious work with Robbie Robertson that made it on to Martin Scorsese's brilliant mob movie The Irishman - 'I Hear You Paint Houses?'

Singing the gospel-blues 2015's 'Flesh & Bone' with the great Buddy Guy is jaw-dropping - that's obvious.

While still formidable live during this still current ''dangerous'' period up to the Yule before last anyway. That was when we last caught him live on that occasion at a Vince Power presentation in the former DIngwalls which was just about the best show of Morrison's that we have ever witnessed having seen the singer live 7 or 8 times over a 30 year period.

As a wordsmith and great songwriter let alone that one-in-a-billion voice that the icon is the custodian of, Morrison is peerless and gigging regularly again in the run-up to his 77th birthday next month preceded by a significant Cathedral Quarter 19 August home town show that is very fitting in the year of the Oscar nominated 'Down to Joy' - Belfast and yet another exquisite dream.

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Podcast: arc to the state of the art

Tyshawn Sorey, driving along the Blue Roads - latest thoughts, notes and tones from marlbank. Available on Spotify and Google podcasts. An L shaped room to a view, above, in the rectangles featuring, vertical face, a Manette Street cafe wall …

Published: 18 Jul 2022. Updated: 23 days.

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Tyshawn Sorey, driving along the Blue Roads - latest thoughts, notes and tones from marlbank. Available on Spotify and Google podcasts. An L shaped room to a view, above, in the rectangles featuring, vertical face, a Manette Street cafe wall collage photo shot in the heart of Soho located down an alley not far from Greek Street boîte the Amy Winehouse-loving Jazz After Dark.

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