Friday, December 31, 2010

TIME TO ANNOUNCE THE WINNERS OF THE 2010 PENGUIN AWARDS. While this year has been the most difficult due to the extreme mediocrity of the music scene at the moment, I have managed to scrape together several winners.
GONE TO SHILOH by Elton John & Leon Russell featuring Neil Young

GENUINE NEGRO JIG by Carolina Chocolate Drops 

BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER by Mary J. Blige & Andrea Boccelli

The song of the year GONE TO SHILOH was indeed a very haunting one and received a couple reader votes. However, the simple fact is that it won because there really wasn't anything good enough to top it. The album of the year was a different story as Carolina Chocolate Drops' GENUINE NEGRO JIG was far and away the most listened to album in my player owing to the rich variety of song choices and virtuoso performances.  Runner-up was probably Broken Bells then V.V. Brown followed closely by Melody Gardot and Sade. Duet of the Year BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER won by virtue of a goosebump-raising vocal performance. However, the cover song of the year winner WHOLE LOTTA LOVE was truly the surprise. Mary's "Stairway To Heaven" was the one she performed all over the place and the one which got all the press. However the "b-side" of the single was this version of WHOLE LOTTA LOVE which fulfills one of my cardinal rules concerning covers: it should bring something new to the table. . .and this one did. Now, I love Led Zeppelin and always have -- but WHOLE LOTTA LOVE has never been one of my favourites. In fact, I usually skip past it if it's on the radio and I don't even have it in my ipod. Mary J. Blige's version whips it up into a whole new groove which brings the grossly overplayed song new life. It's quite a feat when you make a cover version which is better than the original -- and this one frankly is in my opinion. This is the only version I'll be listening to. So there youse has it: the somewhat underwhelming 2010 Penguin Awards. Click this link to hear a sampling of them. Let's hope next year we find some artists getting off their duffs and concocting some REALLY GOOD MUSIC! I can't take another year like this one!


Dis Guy said...

How many song of the years is that for Elton and who holds the record for most ever? Thought that would be a good trivia question as far as who has won the most Penguin awards.

Cerpts said...

Well, there's a problem. That is, whether or not you count the "honorary" Penguin Awards from the 80's I did a while ago. Technically, if you only count the official ones I've been doing since 1990, then Elton has two: BELIEVE and GOIN' TO SHILOH. However, if'n you're counting the honorary ones he has I'M STILL STANDING as well. Either way he has the record since no one else has won song of the year more than once. If you're looking for album of the year, Cheryl Wheeler holds the record with two wins: DRIVING HOME and MRS. PINOCCI'S GUITAR have both won album of the year. Further than that, if you are going to get into total wins no matter WHAT category, then I couldn't tell ya. Although Mary J. Blige has at least 4 Penguin Awards I can think of off the top of my head. Good trivia question though, you're right.