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  • Writer's pictureCarmen Cardone

Winston Ackland @ The Blarney Stone

One reason I decided to start writing music blogs for artists in Second Life is because I feel that there is so much talent in this virtual world that is overlooked. It gave me a chance to bring these great artists to more people's attention not only in Sl but for people to be able to read about them in the real world. One of those artists is Winston Ackland.

Winston always left a deep impression on me from the moment I first heard him sing. I forgot the venue I was in, but I was amazed how many people were there at his show including one of the Lindens. I thought my god what a talent to be in sl and why have I not heard of him. I was determined to get him to sing for me at the Cavern Club, which he did.

He is so very talented not just in Second Life but in real life. You might have heard him perform his bossa nova version of Nirvana's "Lithium" in the movie Marley and Me. Or his cover of Psycho Killer that is in the Oliver Stone film Savages. So, I am going over to the wonderful venue The Blarney Stone to catch Winston's show.

The Blarney Stone has been in Second Life for over ten years. It is a charming venue that has a great atmosphere, and it is very cozy. For me I get a feeling that I am in a real-life Irish pub being there. When I arrive, Dr Hikiera is there greeting the guests and making everyone feel comfortable.

So, I sit down right at the bar facing the stage as Winston starts to sing the song Stop Your Sobbing by The Pretenders. Oh yeah, I so miss his voice! He has a great voice with so much character in it. I like to use one word to describe great singers, Euphonious!! Beautiful and pleasant as he brings a person to life listening to his songs. He fills the Blarney Stone with his music in the air! So happy to be here today.

Winston has a way of taking songs and turning them into a great cover song and many times I prefer his version to the original. He does this once again with The Passenger by Iggy Pop. This song has a great vibe to it.

Jesus Was a Social Drinker by Chuck Prophet is next up. Oh, I love the guitar in this song and the humor and wit in this uplifting song! I was smiling the whole time I listened to this song! So unique! I love the lyrics to this song and once again Winston has a way of picking great songs and bringing my attention to a song I have not heard before.

Now it is onto Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden. It is a very somber, mesmerizing song that gets you thinking. It was written by the front man of Soundgarden Chris Cornell. It is almost a 6-minute song, but it does not seem that long when you listen. Winston picks songs that make you think about life, this is one of them.

I was not expecting this next song. How Can you mend a Broken Heart by the Bee Gees! I just loved this version, and I can't believe this was from 1971. The Bee Gees were always great at writing a very catchy song.

As Cat Stevens says about this song he wrote, Longer Boats, it is about spaceships and has some hidden meanings in it. Perfect song to show off Winston's talents! Then onto the song You're Dead by Norma Tanega the theme song from "What we do in the Shadows". Wow this song is originally from 1939. What a great beat this song has. Some time I need to ask Winston how he picks his songs he performs. They all seem unique. He has a way of introducing his audiences to song that at least for me I have not heard before.

Now two of Winston's original songs he wrote. The first one is 16 doses and No Country. These are some amazing songs he has written. Doing a search for some of his originals I was amazed at how many songs are out there that you can buy.

This next song was very interesting, Odorono by The Who. One of those quirky songs The Who is famous for. I loved Winston's version.

Fleetwood Mac sang this next song which was written by Peter Green. The song is called Green Manalishi. I am really interested to find out about this song. Winston goes on to sing Calling all Angels by Jane Siberry with K.D. Lang. The lyrics of this song evokes great imagery in your head.

Now Winston switches to the electric guitar to sing Black Magic Woman. I do not think I have ever heard him play electric guitar; this is such a treat! Who doesn't know Black Magic Woman? I did not know this was a Fleetwood Mac song though. I always associated it with Santana. Either way this was a great version by Winston and so enjoyed the electric guitar.

Each Night is the next song which is another Winston original. I usually can figure out the names of songs and who originally sang them. But during Winston's show I was trying hard to figure out 3 of his songs he sang. Winston came to the rescue and gave me his song list and those 3 songs I was stumped on were his originals. If you look hard online, you can find them.

Now onto a great song by The Turtles, Happy Together. A catchy 60's pop song which is so upbeat. Now on to one of my favorite songs Winston sings.

Jelly Roll!! Love this song this is another Winston original, worth the time to come to his show just to hear this one!

It is that time of the show when the last song is up. "Tobacco Road" is a blues song written and first recorded by John D. Loudermilk in December 1959 and released in 1960. This song became a hit for The Nashville Teens in 1964 and has since become a standard across several musical genres.

Winston, next time I hope you sing that great little quirky song All the Little Fishes, the song that stays in your head from the moment you hear it.

Winston is a premier Second Life performer and an accomplished real-life musician for about 25 years. He will bring a smile to your face with his clever original songs and quirky adaptations of obscure covers. Winston is great at connecting with his audience. Once you have been to one of Winston's show you will not forget him.

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