Posts Tagged ‘john ruberry’

By John Ruberry

The latest media controversy in Illinois is the mailing of what the liberals call “pink slime” newspapers. The term was invented a decade ago by Ryan Zickgraf, a Washington Post reporter, to describe newspapers that aren’t “real,” such as the copy of North Cook News which was mailed to my home last week. On the other hand, as you can see in the photo, the North Cook News is printed on paper and it contains, get this concept, news. North Cook News, and similarly named publications (yes, I said it), is published by Local Government Information Services, which is run by Dan Proft, a conservative activist and former Illinois gubernatorial candidate, who is a co-host of a morning talk radio show on WIND-AM Chicago, part of the Salem News Network.

Proft is also the chair of the People Who Play By The Rules PAC, which has run a series of commercials, including “The Scream,” that have drawn much-needed attention to the SAFE-T Act. Among other things, the law eliminates cash bail in Illinois. Riding off of the emotion after the murder of George Floyd, the voluminous SAFE-T Act passed the Illinois state Senate at 5am on the last day of the lame duck session of the General Assembly early in 2021. It passed the state House that same day. Illinois’ Democratic governor, J.B. Pritzker, signed it into law a month later. Sensing trouble, Dem legislators, or whoever wrote the law, pushed the date that the SAFE-T Act takes effect until January 1, 2023, nearly two months after the 2022 general election. 

Not a single Republican voted for the SAFE-T Act.

As I noted in my Da Tech Guy post last week, in a discussion about the SAFE-T Act, Will County State’s Attorney, James Glasgow, a Democrat, told Fox Chicago’s Mike Flannery on his Flannery Fired Up show, “There are forcible felonies that are not detainable: burglary, robbery, arson, kidnapping, second degree murder, intimidation, aggravated battery, aggravated DUI, [and] drug offenses.” Not detainable means they’ll be set free until their trial date. 

Crime, particularly in the Chicago area, has skyrocketed since 2019. Blame is being given to Cook County’s catch-and-release state’s attorney, Kim Foxx and the anti-police policies of Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot. The mayor was sworn into office in 2019, as was Pritzker. Foxx supports the SAFE-T Act, while all but one of the other 101 county prosecutors oppose it.  

The mayhem of Chicago and Cook County will spread statewide. And the Chicago area will suffer even more because of the SAFE-T Act. 

People Who Play By The Rules PAC television ads and the Proft “pink slime” newspapers must be working. Pritzker and Illinois’ attorney general, Kwame Raoul, say they are open to amendments to the SAFE-T Act–but they don’t offer details. My guess is that the Democrats are panicking. I have no sympathy for them, they’ve had nearly two years to make major changes to the SAFE-T Act.

Meanwhile, Pritzker, a billionaire, is pushing back. He cancelled an appearance at a forum with his Republican opponent, Darren Bailey, sponsored by the Daily Herald newspaper. That paper is published by Paddock Publications, which printed Proft’s Local Government Information Services newspapers; LGIS used Paddock’s bulk-mailing permit to distribute them. That infuriated Pritzker. The governor’s campaign manager, among other things, called Proft’s papers, “fake and misleading and newspaper-style mailers.” Tellingly, the Pritzker camp doesn’t specifically attack the content of Proft’s papers. They are committing the ad hominem fallacy. Paddock, in a statement, announced that it cancelled future printings of LGIS papers. The forum is back on.

The headline of my North Cook News is “Former Chicago chief of detectives: Violent offenders given ‘get out of jail free card.'” That’s true.

Not only have Pritzker and the Democrats, who thanks to gerrymandering enjoy supermajorities in both chambers of the General Assembly, been negligent in fixing the SAFE-T Act debacle, so has the local media. With occasional exceptions, the newsrooms of Illinois’ major newspapers are woke echo chambers. They still claim to be the watchdogs for the public, but these so-called journalists are mostly interested in protecting and advancing leftist narratives. Contemporary reporters are a toxic combination of “the cool kids” in high school, with all of their arrogance, and the false ethical superiority of Iran’s morality police. Community newspapers usually only report on petty crime, but if you need to locate the nearest bake sale, well, you know where to find that information. These weekly papers are in fact weakly ones.

If the Illinois media performed their jobs honestly and capably, there’d be no need for “pink slime.”

Fact-checkers have been unkind to opposition arguments to the SAFE-T Act. The worst of these fact-checks comes from Jeff Cercone at PolitiFact. He deemed such opposition as “false.” Politi-Farce, that is Dan Bongino’s nickname for them, is partially funded by Facebook; the social media giant has used Cercone’s fact-check to blur out a video pointing out the flaws in the SAFE-T Act. Interestingly, Cercone’s Tweets are protected on Twitter. Is he afraid of his readers? I’m not. You can find me on Twitter. Come and get me, I’m not a coward!

Who did Cercone seek out as experts in his fact-check? Cops? No. Prosecutors? Nope. County sheriffs? Uh-uh. He called on Pritzker’s press secretary, Jordan Abudayyeh, and two criminology professors. Oh sure, he included links to articles with opposing opinions. As for Cercone’s experts, I don’t believe their defenses of the SAFE-T Act.

Instead, Cercone should have reached out to John Curran, a suburban Chicago Republican state senator who is a former Cook County assistant Cook County state’s attorney. That, my friends, is what I call an expert.

“You cannot take deterrence out of the system,’ Curran told John Kass last week in the former Chicago Tribune’s columnist’s Chicago Way podcast, “They’ve been doing that for years, the SAFE-T Act is the final straw. Crime is rampant because people don’t fear getting caught. They [the criminals] don’t stop, the police can’t pursue anymore because of insurance issues, coverage issues, and safety issues. They run and then when they do get caught–they know they are going to get processed, booked, and be back out that day. When there is no fear of accountability in the system, what is going to stop someone who sees something and says, ‘I want to take that?'”

Keep in mind, Curran is talking about the current status quo–before the SAFE-T Act kicks in. When that law goes live, Curran warns, what he described will “put that in place permanently.” Only worse, I’d like to add.

For flight risks, apologists for the SAFE-T Act claim, accused criminals can be detained. “The problem with that,” Curran pointed out to Kass, “is to show that someone is a willful flight risk the prosecutor has to prove that they are planning or attempting to intentionally to evade prosecution by concealing oneself. That is never going to happen,” adding, “You literally have to catch them with the plane ticket in their pocket going to the airport.”

So called fact-checker Cercone needs to listen to that Chicago Way podcast with an open mind.

As I mentioned earlier the SAFE-T Act, which is 764 pages long, passed on the last day of the 101st General Assembly. Curran said he was given one hour to read it.

Social media regularly blocks or suppresses stories that the “enlightened ones” deem false. Most notably is the New York Post’s initial report on the information found on the Hunter Biden laptop, which has since been found to be as genuine as today’s sunrise. On a personal note, I’ve been repeatedly warned by Facebook that my blog entries that I’ve posted on Facebook will be pushed lower into the general FB feed, meaning of course that fewer people will see my posts, because my writings have been labeled “false and misleading.” I am fairly certain I am “shadowbanned” by Twitter. I used to oppose setting up alternative social media platforms for conservatives–it’s best that the libs see the truth, was my reasoning.

Only they don’t see it.

Twitter and Facebook used to suspend accounts of users who claimed that COVID-19 was manufactured in a Chinese laboratory. That story, still not debunked, may end up being authenticated. There are numerous similar tales

What to do?

Well, as a resort, to get an alternative message out, conservatives can mail out “pink slime” newspapers. As a last resort there is always the Howard Beale approach. You can open the window and scream, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna to take it anymore!”

Proft is undaunted. In a statement he fired back at the billionaire, “Governor Pritzker believes his money guarantees him control of government and entitles him to make all media subservient to his government. He lords over Illinois through executive orders. He sees the Fourth Estate as no different than his equestrian estate in Wellington, FL. If he doesn’t like a television ad, it must be taken off the air. If he doesn’t like a newspaper, it must not be printed or circulated.”

Oh yeah, television. Two Chicago TV stations pulled a People Who Play By The Rules PAC ad featuring a Pritzker critic, which the governor says is “false and defamatory.”

In that same statement, Proft vowed that his papers “will continue to be printed and distributed even if we have to return to the Gutenberg press and must enlist fair-minded people across Illinois who want the truth, not Pritzker’s ‘truth,’ to hand deliver them door-to-door.”

John Ruberry regularly blogs from suburban Cook County at Marathon Pundit.

By John Ruberry

The political conversation in Illinois has turned to “The Scream.” In one of the most powerful, and yes, disturbing political ads ever aired, there is no dialogue other than a woman screaming as three thugs run from a car to mug her.

The ad, which is funded by the People Who Play By The Rules PAC, has been pulled from b some television stations. Like many Chicago area residents, I viewed it a week ago, during the Chicago Bears-San Francisco 49ers game on the Fox broadcast network. The ad, using video footage obtained by CWBChicago opens with this caption, “On a Sunday afternoon in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.” It ends with, “Pritzker. Lightfoot. How much worse does it have to get.” Lori Lightfoot is Chicago’s inept mayor, who takes any attack on her, even on COVID-19, and turns it into a racial issue. J.B. Pritzker, a billionaire and Illinois’ governor, is a bit more polished than Lightfoot, but he labeled the ad racist too. Both politicians are Democrats. 

The 45-year-old woman was robbed of her fanny pack, keys, wallet, and phone. While the 32nd Ward of Chicago, where the attack occurred just two Sundays ago, is predominately white, it’s difficult to determine the victim’s race, as is the case of the attackers, they wore hoods and masks. 

Crime has skyrocketed in Chicago since 2019, the year both Pritzker and Lightfoot were sworn into office. Pritzker is running for a second term, and possibly, assuming he wins in November, for president in 2024. Lightfoot is running for reelection too, the first round of voting takes place in late February.

Kim Foxx is Cook County’s State’s Attorney. A Democrat, her campaigns have been funded by ultra-leftist billionaire George Soros. She’s a catch-and-release “prosecutor” of the vein of Los Angeles County’s George Gascon and since-ousted San Francisco district attorney Chesa Boudin. Foxx, best known internationally as Jussie Smollett’s protector, is a member of the rival leftist camp of Cook County Board headed by president Toni Preckwinkle, who was Lightfoot’s runoff opponent in 2019. Despite Foxx’s numerous failures, Lightfoot endorsed Foxx in the Democratic primary in 2020. 

Going back to the ad, “How much worse does it have to get?” Barring changes to the absurdly misnamed Illinois SAFE-T Act, things will get much worse here. Cash bail will be eliminated in Illinois. The Prairie State has 102 counties and of course 102 prosecutors. Of those, 100 oppose the SAFE-T Act. Of course Foxx is one of those two backers of it. While signed into law early last year, Pritzker and Illinois Democratic legislators smelled a pile of you-know-what, so they wrote into the legislation that the law won’t take effect until January 1, 2023, nearly two months after the gubernatorial and General Assembly elections. 

One of the most prominent opponents of the SAFE-T Act is a Democrat, James Glasgow, the state’s attorney of Will County. 

This weekend on Fox Chicago’s Flannery Fired Up, Glasgow told the host, Mike Flannery, “There are forcible felonies that are not detainable.” He then fires those crimes off, “Burglary, robbery, arson, kidnapping, second degree murder, intimidation, aggravated battery, aggravated DUI, [and] drug offenses.”

“Mike,” Glasgow continued, “if I showed up with dump truck full of Fentanyl–enough to kill everyone in the United States of America and I got caught under this new law, I would be processed and released. I could not be detained for a day.”

Flannery mentioned those who say Glasgow is wrong. “[I] just explained it to you,” the prosecutor replied. “Those crimes] are not listed in the detainable offenses. If it’s not listed in the detainable offenses–you can not detain.”

Beyond deeming objections to the SAFE-T Act racist, the media wing of the Democrat Party has also struck back by means of a fact-check, at Snopes, where Nur Ibrahim deemed such criticism as “Mostly False.” No, Ibrahim is mostly false in my opinion about his misleading fact-check–he should have reached out to Glasgow. Yes, there is a reason that Dan Bongino has a regular segment on his radio show and podcast, “Fact-Check Clown Show.”

Barring veto session amendments to the “Unsafety Act,” the rampant criminality of Chicago will spread statewide. If you live outside of Cook County and you want to see what you are facing in 2023, read CWBChicago every day, as I do. The site is filled with stories about accused criminals being released on no little bail, or placed on electronic monitoring, then committing more crimes, including car jackings, rapes, and murders. 

Here are some headlines from this month at CWB Chicago:

18-time felon tells authorities his electronic monitoring bracelet got cut by CTA train tracks

#38: Gunman shot 12-year-old boy in the head while on $1,000 bail for one of Illinois’ most serious gun crimes

#37: Man shot woman dead because he didn’t want her at a block party—while he was supposed to be home on electronic monitoring for 3 felonies, prosecutors say

#36: Driver exchanged shots with gunman in another car while on felony bail, prosecutors say

What do those numbers mean? It is part of CWBChicago’s “coverage of individuals accused of killing, shooting, or trying to kill or shoot others while on bond for a pending felony case. CWBChicago began our series of reports in November 2019 after Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans publicly stated, ‘we haven’t had any horrible incidents occur’ under the court’s bond reform initiative.” Don’t forget, soon there will be no cash bond in Illinois, pending changes in the SAFE-T Act, beginning in 2023.

What to do? Even if you don’t live in Illinois–your state may be next to eliminate cash bail–Glasgow has some advice for you. “It is absolutely critical that we get this message out,” he warns, “or public safety will be damaged more than we can ever imagine.”

And if the SAFE-T Act remains in place? John Kass, in his most recent Chicago Way podcast, recalled this advice from a former confidante of the first Mayor Daley, who said these words to the former Chicago Tribune columnist after Kim Foxx was reelected in 2020, “The message is get the (bleep) out,” A relative of mine lives in Chicago’s 32nd Ward, blocks away from “The Scream” attack and also blocks away from where a culinary student was shot three times after being robbed of his cell phone. He’s planning his Chicago exit after living there for over two decades.

John Ruberry lives in suburban Cook County and he regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Pro-Ukraine protest in downtown Chicago this spring

By John Ruberry

There is good news out of Ukraine, its forces have made gains in the Kharkiv region and they are near Russian border. There is much ground still to liberate, not only land that Russia has seized in the war that began early this year, but also the area that have been controlled by Russian separatists in the Donetsk region since 2014, as well as Crimea, which Vladimir Putin annexed the same year.

Ukraine has endured an unhappy history. World War II and the Holocaust devastated Ukraine. And in order to impose communism on wealthier peasants in Ukraine, Josef Stalin engineered a famine in the early 1930s, known there as the Holodomor, translating roughly into “man-made starvation.” Roughly four million people perished as a result of Stalin’s atrocities against the kulaks in Ukraine.

Even in a closed society, it’s difficult to coverup a famine. And news trickled out of Ukraine about the Holodomor. But a New York Times reporter, based in Moscow, Walter Duranty, dismissed such stories, instead of “famine” he wrote of “malnutrition” in Ukraine, for instance. 

For a series of 1931 articles about the Soviet Union, Duranty, for his “dispassionate interpretive reporting,” he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. 

While in Moscow, Duranty, was granted a rarity, interviews with Stalin; he also enjoyed another rarity, a luxury apartment in the Soviet capital. During the entire history of the USSR, housing of any kind was scarce. In Moscow Duranty had a mistress, whom he impregnated, and a chauffeur. Automobiles were also rare in Russia in the 1930s. 

In 1933, another journalist, or I should say, a real one, Gareth Jones, visited Ukraine and he was horrified by what he found. “If it is grave now and if millions are dying in the villages, as they are, for I did not visit a single village where many had not died, what will it be like in a month’s time?” Jones wrote for the London Evening Standard. “The potatoes left are being counted one by one, but in so many homes the potatoes have long run out.” 

Duranty’s response to Jones was a New York Times article, “Russians Hungry, But Not Starving.” That same year, Duranty wrote to a friend, “The famine is mostly bunk.”

Another shameful sentence from Duranty, about Stalin’s brutal policies as the Holodomor continued, “To put it brutally,” Duranty wrote for the Times, “you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.”

Since the war began attention has been brought to Duranty’s undeserved Pulitzer. Even NPR took notice. “He is the personification of evil in journalism,” Oksana Piaseckyj told NPR earlier this year of Duranty. She is a Ukrainian-American activist who emigrated here as a child over 70 years ago. “We think he was like the originator of fake news,” Piaseckyj added.

The New York Times admitted on its corporate website about Duranty’s work, “Since the 1980’s, the [Times] has been publicly acknowledging his failures.” But it has not returned the tainted Pulitzer. It also notes that twice, most recently in 2003, the Pulitzer board has decided not to revoke its award to Duranty. 

It’s time for them to reconsider.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By John Ruberry

A few months ago Van Morrison released his 43rd studio album, What’s It Gonna Take? It’s a stupendous work, and most of its songs focus on the COVID-19 lockdown. Van the Man gives well-deserved musical punch in the nose to lockdown zealots Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Klaus Schwab. 

This week, on August 31, Van Morrison turns 77. He’s still touring, in fact, he begins a short American tour the day after his birthday, which includes, hello Peter, two gigs in Massachusetts.

In 2020 was a rare year for Morrison as he didn’t release a studio album, but he did issue three anti-lockdown songs, “Born to Be Free,” “As I Walked Out” and “No More Lockdowns.” Eric Clapton, another foe of lockdowns, recorded a Morrison-penned anti-lockdown song, “Stand And Deliver.” Morrison has been the most prominent artist who has stood up to opposition to the 2020-2021 shutdown of musical venues.

Of course Morrison is rich, but most musicians aren’t. Many are just getting by.

My DTG review of “What’s It Gonna Take?” is here. And yes, sometimes I am wrong. I predicted the mainstream media, as it did with the collection’s predecessor, the double album Latest Record Project: Volume 1, would savage it. On the contrary, because the hostile reviews of that collection probably helped sales–it charted well, the media took a different approach this time. By mostly ignoring What’s It Gonna Take? But not entirely. Morrison has “descended into lunacy,” is what one reviewer, Arthur Lazarus, a psychiatry professor, said of the album in his review. I was under the impression that mental health professionals now avoid words like “lunacy.” Who is the “crazy” one here, Lazarus? On a positive note, National Review gave a favorable notice to What’s It Gonna Take?

To a small extent, Van Morrison, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has become a non-person. Oh, he appears in Google News searches, as the media dutifully covers his concert appearances. I follow Morrison on Twitter. And like myself, likely because he shares views that run counter to those of the Twitter leftists, in his case about COVID, he’s almost certainly been shadowbanned. I never see the Belfast Lion’s Tweets on my feed, although he has been quiet there lately. Remember, this is a person whose first hit, “Brown Eyed Girl,” is one of the most-played songs on radio–ever.

I’ve been a Van Morrison fan for decades, so I decided to listen to every studio album of his, remember, there are 43 of them–in succession–about a week after I posted my Da Tech Guy writeup on What’s It Gonna Take? It was a wondrous musical adventure that took me through many musical genres, mainly, especially in the second half of his career, Chicago blues, but also of course rock, as well as jazz, country, Celtic, swing, as well as Van the Man’s stream-of-consciousness works, best exemplified on his Astral Works landmark album.

Morrison is a multi-instrumentalist, playing guitar, harmonica, keyboards, and saxophone. But outside of the craftmanship of the songs he writes, he’s best know for his vocals. Morrison’s singing style is a combination of Hank Williams, Muddy Waters, James Brown, and here’s an obscure name for you, Louis Prima. Oh, on a side note, Prima was one of my mother’s favorites. And about that voice, it’s most distinctive quality is “the growl,” which I believe is inspired by bluesmen like Waters. 

Morrison has influenced many artists, including Bob Seger, Graham Parker, Elvis Costello, and Bruce Springsteen. Of the latter two, on their debut albums the feel of Van is quite apparent.

During my Morrison musical sojourn, during which I ironically contracted COVID-19–I am fully recovered–I decided to write a blog post where I list, well, in my opinion at least, his ten best albums. It’s time for me to be Casey Kasem–so let the countdown begin!

Oh, but first, links in the album’s titles bring you Morrison’s website, where you can purchase or download each collection, and also find the Wikipedia article on each of them. 

10: Hymns To The Silence (1991). Morrison’s first double album is a tad long, but it contains one of his best ballads, “Carrying A Torch.” You’ll find an even better rendition of that song on Morrison’s duet album, where Clare Teal accompanies him. Van the Man on this record takes a song that has been covered countless times, Ray Charles’ hit “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” but he gives it a fresh take by having traditional Irish musicians the Chieftains accompany him. There’s also an intriguing spoken word piece too, “On Hyndford Street.”

9: No Guru, No Method, No Teacher (1986). Morrison’s 1980s efforts were mostly jazz and Celtic-influenced songs, many of them expressing a love of nature, with some stream-of consciousness songs throw in. The best of these is No Guru, No Method, No Teacher. Its highlights include “In The Garden,” “Tir Na Nog,” and an homage to his 1970s pop hits, “Ivory Tower.” It was around this time I saw Morrison in concert–so far the only time I have done so. I was under the impression, based on his ’80s works, that the Belfast Lion had lost the roar of his growl. Wrong. He growled a lot that night and it returned to his later studio albums.

8: Three Chords & the Truth (2019). The title alone makes this effort at least an honorable mention. “Angry Van” of the 2020s didn’t emerge once the COVID lockdowns kicked in. In “Nobody In Charge” Morrison decries, “politicians that waffle endlessly.” A haunting love sing, “Dark Night Of The Soul,” is another highlight. And Van offers a gorgeous re-working of “Auld Lang Syne” on “Days Gone By.”

7: What’s It Gonna Take? (2022). I’ve discussed this work already in this blog post–but to flesh out my love for this album, it’s as fresh as breathing in, mask-free, mountain air in spring. While anti-COVID lockdown songs dominate the collection, including “Dangerous,” which Morrison’s response to comments about him made by Northern Ireland’s health minister, Robin Swann, as well as “Fighting Back Is The New Normal” and “Fodder For The Masses,” the collection ends with another great love ballad, “Pretending.”

6: Veedon Fleece (1974). Stream-of consciousness Van is at the forefront here. Like gourmet cuisine, you may not appreciated Veedon Fleece at first bite, but it’s a hearty musical meal. “Bulbs,” “Linden Arden Stole The Highlights,” and “Streets Of Arklow” are among the great tracks.

5: Saint Dominic’s Preview (1972). Released 50 summers ago, this album contains two of Morrison’s best-known songs, the title track and “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heaven When You Smile).” Van the Man’s greatest “stream” work, “Listen To The Lion,” is an 11-minute long masterpiece.

4: Magic Time (2005). This is the best Van Morrison album you’ve never heard of. There is quite a bit of swing music influence on Magic Time. While Van the Man, as we discussed early, re-worked “Auld Lang Syne” in 2019, he gifts us a New Year’s Eve alternative here with “Celtic New Year.” There’s another preview of “Angry Van” on “Keep Mediocrity At Bay.” Magic Time opens with another great ballad, “Stranded.” And there is a luscious sequel to “Listen To the Lion” in “The Lion This Time.”

3: Into The Music (1979). The Belfast Cowboy–Morrison has a lot of nicknames–ended the 1970s with a bang. It opens with two now-familiar songs, “Bright Side Of The Road” and “Full Force Gale.” There is rock, blues, gospel, and more here. And if Morrison’s “growl” is what you enjoy about him the most, then Into The Music is your album.

2: Moondance (1970). Like many all-time-best albums, Moondance comes across as a greatest hits album. The title track, “Caravan,” “Crazy Love,” and “Into The Mystic” are just four of the great tracks here. And while “Brown Eyed Girl” from Morrison’s first album is one of the most played songs on radio, “Into The Mystic” is a popular song at funerals. And “Crazy Love” is played at many wedding receptions.

1: Astral Weeks (1968). Arguably his first album, as his debut collection, Blowin’ Your Mind, was released without his input, Morrison, with jazz musicians backing him up, recorded a collection that sounded like nothing else up to that point. Is Astral Weeks a rock album? Jazz? Folk? Blues? The answer is none of the above. It’s simply Van Morrison. “The Way Young Lovers Do” foreshadows his 1970s hits, but like Veedon Fleece, stream-of-consciousness dominates here. “Cyprus Avenue” and “Ballerina” are majestic songs. “Madame George” is an enigmatic work, which is one of its enduring qualities.

So, if you are now inclined to explore Van Morrison, you might be wondering “Where do I start?” As I’ve said before, I deplore the term “classic rock,” but if that is your “jones,” then start with Moondance. If your first love is vintage country, then take a look at Pay The Devil. Blues? Get an album that just missed my top ten, Too Long In Exile, where John Lee Hooker teams up Morrison to revisit his “Gloria” hit that he recorded with his band Them in 1964. Are you a punk rocker? Then dig into Morrison’s recordings with Them. If your a jazz aficionado, I recommend Versatile to you. How ’bout Celtic music? Morrison collaborated with The Chieftains on Irish Heartbeat.

Now that I’ve listened to all 43 of Van Morrison’s studio albums I have a plan for what’s next: the Belfast Cowboy’s live albums.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.