Column

Easy Ed's Broadside

Exploring music without a map.

Since 2009, Ed has shared his thoughts on ND about music that touches him, and rambled hither and yon about what else is on his mind.

Easy Ed's Broadside

Exploring music without a map.

Since 2009, Ed has shared his thoughts on ND about music that touches him, and rambled hither and yon about what else is on his mind.

Have You Heard Any Good Music Lately?

Glad you posted this, Ed! I missed the interaction on the old forum. Here's a few I've enjoyed recently.

The sound track for Inside Llewyn Davis. Oscar Isaac's performances on Farethewell (Dink's Song) and "Hang Me" are superb. 

Frank Turner's "Positive Songs for Negative People."It's a rocking album. The "Deluxe" album has all the songs done acoustically if the rock is too loud. I recommend the song "The Next Storm." Lovely songwriting and lyrics. 

Turnpike Troubadours eponymous album. Highlight is the track "Falling Out of Love." Heartfelt country music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meg Baird was the soundtrack for much of the summer

and I preordered so I have been listening to Jeffrey Foucault's Salt As Wolves for a few weeks already

For the last 6 weeks or so I've been listening to Townes Van Zandt's first seven studio albums. I got them on a 4 disc set for a reasonable price from Charly. I've been listening to the same 3 live albums since the 90s, but I had avoided the studio albums because I had read a lot of bad reviews about the (over) production. Listening to them on their own terms they are really pretty good with moments of greatness. He just never made a consistently great album like Dylan or John Prine, and that's a shame, but they are well worth listening to.

That Charly set (Texas Troubadour) is a bargain. For me, the problems with the studio albums are more about the production than the material. Overall, they're indipensible. Robert Earl Hardy's biography (A Deeper Blue: The Life and Music of Townes Van Zandt) provides good background around the recording of the albums.

For anyone who wants to go to school on Townes, I highly recommend Texas Troubadour, A Deeper Blue, Live at the Old Quarter, and Margaret Brown's film, Be Here to Love Me.

Also essential is Roadsongs on Sugar Hill; even though it is Townes doing all covers, it is essential, and the album you mentioned as essential is No Deeper Blue, not A Deeper Blue. Great picks indeed as is Be Here To Love Me.

No Deeper Blue is, indeed, a Townes album, but I was referring to the book.

 

Yeah, reading that book is what jogged me to seek out the albums.

 

I recenty bought a used copy of Van Zandt's "Our Mother of the Mountains" and since it was used I could open it and see the musicians listed. They included greats like James Burton and Charlie McCoy so I thought this wasn't one of those over-produced ones. I was wrong. The listing of a flute player should have warned me. Not that I hate flute but on these great country-folk-blues songs it was really out of place but much worse was the stupid orchestration on many of the songs and there was nothing in the credits suggesting such an outrage had been commited. The songs are so good one can almost get past that until you hear the few that were recorded without that junk like "Tecumseh Valley" and "My Proud Mountains" which are simply brilliant and make one want to strangle the producer who almost ruined the rest.

A much better Cd is one I bought in Greece many years ago called "Rain on a Conga Drum" recorded live in Berlin on 10/24/90 and released on SilenZRecords in 1991. It's just Townes and his guitar and includes his between song chatter. It's great. Besides having some of his best songs there are some interesting covers like theJagger-Richards song "Dead Flowers" and Lightnin' Hopkins' "Short-haired Woman Blues." (Not to mention a kind of stupid song from an Elvis movie called "Shrimp Song.")He introduces Lightin's song by saying he once asked Hopkins what is the blues and Lightnin' answered that they were a cross betwee the greens and the yellows. (Groan) But the most interesting and funny story is a long one about how he wrote "Poncho & Lefty." Let me just say that it includes the Rev. Billy Graham and the guru Maharishi (sp?) yogi. I thought this might be some hard-to-find out-of-print Cd but when I checked the All-Music Guide online it was lsited and available through Amazon.

Even a couple cats that used to tour with him and back him up say he was really at his best with just a guitar...

That was a popular thread...I liked it too.   In addition  to "Gates of Gold", Chris Trapper's "Symphonies of Dirt and Dust, Lynn Miles "Downpour" and "Chalk This One Up to the Moon" (the latter is old, but I didn't have it), Dala's Girls From the North Country, Marc Jordan's "Blue Desert" reissue and "This Is How Men Cry", Jimmy LaFave's various "Trail"live releases, Darlingside "Birds Say", and a re-release of the Dingoes "Five Times the Sun (and othter delicacies)"

wow Ed, that Mike Love to Brian Wilson anecdote is just - wow -

here's a 2-3 that are just excellent:

John Statz - Tulsa (2015) - hunt this guy down, he's an excellent singer-songwriter of some quite moody and ethereal tunage; he is not easily pegged.

John Moreland - High On Tulsa Heat (2015) - this new one is just as good as his previous In The Throes; described as a songwriter's songwriter, he produces most of his records; in some ways, he is the Springsteen I can stand (not much of a fan of Springsteen for quite a long time).

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires - DeReconstructed: Alabama dirty, scuzzy, loud R&R band with quite melodic songs; this album sounds like it was recorded onto a 1970's boom box in a large concrete rehearsal space - just exactly the way it should.

 

Moreland is really good...I haven't heard the new one yet...going to see him in two weeks...he's opening for JD McPherson, who should also be excellent.  I have heard good things about Lee Bains...Statz is new to me, but hunt this guy down sounds like "you need this"...so I'll give him a shot...

 

You are correct about the Brian Wilson anecdote...that is one of those faux pas that is beyond weird, and given all the history, some of it fairly recent, is just nuts...you have Brian in the sandbox...Smile the lost record (no longer)...Dr. Landy...50th anniversary...and Mike Love the opportunist who happens to own the name Beach Boys, and tours with a bunch of guys who mostly aren't the Beach Boys...Ed should be famous for that one moment alone...talk about awkward situations...

Yep, always was good to see what others were listening to.  I attend to another list that does just that, but specifically "What are you listening to right now?".  One track or album, usually with album art showing. 

Anyway, here's my list of quality recent listens.

Some things old:

Santana 'Caravanserai', maybe the best 70s fusion album, rhythmic and melodic and mainly instrumental.

Ry Cooder 'Jazz', always liked that one a lot.

Some things newish:

Eric Bibb 'Live a Fip', a live recording courtesy a French radio station, captures his classy excellent acoustic blues style very well.  Not really new, but new to me.

Hans Theessink and Terry Evans "True and Blue".  As Blues Magazine says, "This is handmade roots music at it’s best".  Bare bones, excellent playing and singing, including a couple of covers of Ry Cooder songs that he recorded with Evans.  It's Theessink's guitar and Evans' singing that shine.

Jayme Stone 'Jayme Stone's Lomax Project'.  Also not new, but only out a few months.  Wonderful covers of a tiny portion of the Lomax Project, with engaging performances by a bunch of great musicians, including Tim O'Brien and particularly Margaret Glaspy.  Old standards newly interpreted, along with material new to me.

Moira Smiley and Voco, several albums including the recent 'Laughter Out Of Tears'. Becoming favorites.  I didn't know of Moira Smiley until I saw her at a Jayme Stone/Lomax concert.  She's on that recording, but her own stuff, and that with VOCO, is remarkable.  Wonderful singing, folk songs to Bulgarian songs. Especially good cover of Deportee.  Called “fascinating and multi-lingual” by the LA Times, “gritty and ethereal, banjo to Bartók” by the Village Voice, and Folkworks magazine says "This is a truly phenomenal act, combining the energy of urban street singing with first-rate musicianship, folk roots and traditions from throughout the world. Their body percussion sets are a sight to behold"

Too much, sorry.

Ron, I haven't heard the new one by Hans Theessink & Terry Evans but I just got their 2012 release "Delta Time" and it's quite excellent. One song seems out-of-place though, "The Birds And The Bees" but in the liner notes it's explained Terry sang on the original international hit some 50 years ago as a member of The Turnarounds. That was news to me but I certainly remember to song.

It ain't new, and it ain't Americana, but I've just discovered "One Night On Earth" by South African classical guitarist, Derek Gripper, on which he transcribes tunes by Mali's kora maestro, Toumani Diabate. As the title suggests, the album was recorded in just one night. The CD (from 2012) is sold out, but you can name your own price for a download at Gripper's website.

http://nodepression.com/video/african-music-youve-never-heard-it-derek-gripper-plays-toumani-diabat%C3%A9s-jurabi

 

 

"Eatin' At Me" by Gurf Morlix

"South Brodway Athletic Club" by The Bottle Rockets

"Horsehair" by Michael Rank and Stag

"Lone Gone Time" by Kevin Gordon

"Panhandle Rambler" by Joe Ely

That's probably half of my top 10 discs for 2015 list.

I'm trying to decide if this was a very clever way to resurrect the forums on the new NoDepression or simply a way to take attendance on your "follow"ers. Either way, thank you EasyEd!

Hal Bogerd?

"Here!"

It was the former Hal. Figured somebody needed to do it. We'll see if it has legs. 

Kevin Gordon's Long Gone Time is terrific.  Cajun With A K might be the coolest new song I've heard this year.  I wonder why Following A Sign (The Preacher's Wife) is listed as a bonus track, it's a highlight of the record and a great closing tune.  What a great follow up to Gloryland.

Gordon is a great songwriter and you gotta love the alliteration of "dildo addiction" in "Cajun with a K".

Yeah, I'm confused with the whole bonus track issue (not that I'm complaining).

Let's say it's quite a narrative!  It's like a low key Choctow Bingo. Really cool song.

The Los Lobos biography is really well done.  Interesting to read how they coalesced as friends and as a band and how each record came to be.  Reading it prompted me to pull Tin Can Trust out and I've listened to it and Gates of Gold back to back twice in the car during business travel.  They wouldn't know how to make a half baked record if they tried.  

Chris Smither: Still On The Levee - a retrospective with a twist; all new versions.  Definitely not just a gimmick, works really well, interesting.  Love it.

Joe Ely: Panhandle Rambler - very low key.  Like it.  

Dead Rock West - saw them live, very interesting vocal duo, haven't listened to their record yet.

Rhiannon Giddens: Tomorrow Is My Turn.  Love it.  One of my favs from this year.  She could sing the phone book...

Lou Reed: New York.  Love it.  Made the mistake of playing it with my 12 year old son in the car during a recent road trip, had forgotten where some of the lyrics go, but what the hell, he's old enough to understand and discuss some of it.  I think in the liner notes he wrote "you can't beat two guitars, bass and drums" or something like that. Not this well played you can't.

Really enjoying the new Josh Ritter.  Feels like he's made the leap with this one.  Have also been pleasantly surprised with how good the Keith Richards album is...

Great piece Ed, gives me a chance to mention Bill Carter who owned Sounds Great a record store in Gig Harbor. He had this great window to the parking lot and by the time you were in the store, he'd be playing the new music he knew you'd like. R.I.P. Billy C. Smart man, kind heart. And I love your 'John Berryman closing.' Thanks

 

Another one for John Moreland's High On Tulsa Heat.  My favorite album of the year.

Not far behind is Whitey Morgan's Sonic Ranch  His version of Townes' Waiting Round to Die is breath-taking.

I didn't mention Moreland because I've written about him two or three times already this year. But although it's hard to rank favorites, his album is so damn stellar that it sits at the top of my list as well. Had hoped to see him at Newport but had to cancel the trip, but am looking forward to seeing him somewhere. Some really great live acoustic videos on the 'Tube...he's simply amazing. To the uninitiated, go forth and have you're minds blown. 

 

I haven't been listening to much new lately.  I've been going old instead - Gid Tanner, Charlie Poole, the Carter Family, Jim and Jesse, the Stanley Brothers, etc.

PS - I fully support bringing back the forums anyway you can.

o.k. my fav. column is up again. i will try to keep it going. big thank you to easy ed! i agree with -the kennedys-west,great one

                                                    -also frankie lee-american dreamer ,bap kennedy meets ronnie lane-great combo

                                                      will johnson-swan city vampires, alternative flavour,folky edge

                                                       -delaney davidson-lucky guy, real mix

tom waits voice.

                                                      -the americans-home recordings, 2013 release,but rocking similar to the tarbox ramblers

                                                                                                 

 

 

 

 

This is like a class reunion (or maybe after school detention is a better analogy). Great idea and once again thank you EasyEd!! 

 

It's both an experiment and self-serving Hal, as I always want to hear about new things that have escaped my own ears. I love that I'm seeing folks posting comments who I haven't seen on the site for months or years. And I'll take this moment to mention two challenges for keeping this alive, should anyone who can change it be reading this.

The first is that except for the day this column published where it was on the front page, a FB and Tweet and mention in the newsletter...finding this column is not an easy task for somebody who missed it on Thursday. I've expressed my desire to see all columns remain on the column page until the next one runs...it gives it a chance to be seen by more people, and more importantly it broadens the content opportunity and selection for readers.

The second thing is that for myself, if I have to create a login to leave a comment on a website, I usually won't. I understand the value to capturing an email address and whatever other demographics, but there at minimum should be the option to be able to post a thought as a guest.

I'm off the soapbaox...in the mood to dig up the first Earth Opera album with a young Grisman and Rowen. Keep 'em comin' and somebody get Stina back into this thread please. 

 

You should check out Rochester NYs Fran Broderik's solo project, Left-Handed 2nd Baseman... "Over and Over Again (my favorite track)" "sorry god" and "not the boat" are all great tunes, whole albumn is solid, ...www.lh2b.com

That old posting is still there but probably only those of us who commented on it way back when and get notifications realize it.

I agree that Keith Richrads new CD, "Crosseyed Heart" is quite good and so is the latest from Dave & Phil Alvin, "Lost Time" which is similar to their Big Bill Broozy tribute but covers many different, mostly blues artists.

What I've really loved though is re-listening to the only 2 albums by one of my all-time favorites Bruce Henderson. His 1997 release "The Wheels Roll" is excellent but his 1999 release, "Beyond The Pale" is a masterpiece and one of best albums ever recorded in this genre we now call Americana. His website offers a link to a David Lettermen performance of a song from "Beyond the Pale" so probably from 1999. I wish I knew why this fantastic singer-songwriter hasn't released anything for 16 years.

I just bought both Bruce Henderson records Dennis...thanks for the tip...I keep thinking about the Keith Richards...

Jim, I hope you enjoy the Bruce Henderson even half as much as I do. If so it may finally pay you back for introducing me to the great Jimmy LaFave.

While you don't owe me anything, I'm glad you love Jimmy like I do...I will certianly let you know about Bruce Henderson...by the way, I still haven't forgotten about the liner notes and credits for the original "Trail"...I have at least one copy that has the credits and Dave Marsh's liner notes ...it is a small booklet...I'll figure out a way to get that to you.

While you don't owe me anything, I'm glad you love Jimmy like I do...I will certianly let you know about Bruce Henderson...by the way, I still haven't forgotten about the liner notes and credits for the original "Trail"...I have at least one copy that has the credits and Dave Marsh's liner notes ...it is a small booklet...I'll figure out a way to get that to you.

That would be great Jim as I like to have detailed information with my music. I've found a lot of good music by noting who plays on an album and knowing they have been good on other recordings.

I do the same thing Dennis...I will go digging for that very soon...the Bruce Henderson records have shipped, so I will let you know in a few days...looking forward to those.  I will tryt to have the "Trail" liner notes by then.

I saw Phil and Dave Sunday night with the Guilty Ones.  Phil sounded great and Dave obviously relished his role as younger guitar wrangling brother who loved his big brother. There was a true bond on display that you could not fake.  One of the best shows I've seen in years and the kind that makes you go back and listen to an album with new ears. "Lost Time" is a special album in many ways.

 

Wow, man.

That's mighty fine Hal...call us envious...

I can't stop listening to Israel Nash's Rain Plans on repeat. I know I should at least start in on his new album, but I'm still stuck on this one. I was always more of a lurker than a poster on the old boards, but I learned about a ton of great new music from that thread, so I'd love to see it back in some form. And I agree about making it easier to find the regular columns on the website. I want to be able to go straight to my faves!

Got to see Billy Strings and Don Julin this past weekend which got me listening to their album again. I'll be writing about them in next weeks Broadside, but for the uninitiated Billy is a 23 year old six string wizard with a golden throat and Don at 55 is a mandolin master who surpasses almost any dawg you can think of. 

East Ed, are you saying this Don Julin "surpasses" David Grisman or Jethro Burns? This I got to hear. I know it's not a contest but to even come close to their talent has to be somethng special.

This weekend I found a rather special double CD in a used CD bin called "The Fairport Companion" by various artists released in 2006. It's a collection of 37 songs recorded from 1964 to 1996 from bands that contain members of Fairport Convention. Many of the artists I'd never heard of but they often had Richard Thompson in the band. The CD jacket has a fascinating fold out genealogy chart showing bands before and after Fairport Convention which various members played in for awhile. Very interesting like a band called Sour Grapes that existed for about 3 months in 1974 and contained Simon Nicol, Richard & Linda Thompson and 2 others I'd never heard of that tourned in Europe opening for Traffic. Unfortunately they never recorded so they're not on the Cds. But there are some very early pre-Fairport cuts by Sandy Denny as well as stuff by Steeleye Span and various incarnations of The Albi0n Band not-to-mention such unknowns (to me) like Shelagh McDonald sounding a lot like Sandy Denny and featuring Richard Thompson from 1971.

Gotta find that one!

Amazon...$7.49...for the CD used, $18.89 for new...

Gracias, Amigo.

It's on eMusic for under $10.  No liner notes, though, or genealogy chart.

Great find Dennis! I don't get to scour the used bins so much anymore but what a great feeling when you find a nugget like that. 

A couple from 2015 that don’t seem to have been mentioned in this thread as yet …

Iris DeMent The Trackless Woods  Iris sets to music the words of Stalin-era Russian poet, Anna Akhmatova. It’s worth immersing yourself in the story of Akhmatova and reading the poems before approaching the album. A labor of love for Iris DeMent, and it really works.

Ryley Walker Primrose Green Last’s years All Kinds of You was a knockout, with the young Chicagoan seeming to channel the late Bert Jansch. Primrose Green is even better, with a wider range of influences. There’s Jansch, John Martyn, and Tim Buckley at his best. Walker wears his influences on his sleeve, but it never sounds like mere imitation.

o.k. new one to add. just got stephen kellogg's new one- south,west,north,east. pledgers got it early,but it will be available oct.30th. well worth the wait. he seems to be on some kind of amazing creative roll. all his work is great and this one continues the trend. great songwriting with many styles of americana weaving through. you have 20 songs to go through here. on the 3rd listen now and loving it. the search continues!

It looks like this thread has already died. I can't believe that people who come to this site don't have any music they want to alert others to. It just seems to be we same few people who bother to post comments.

Anyway...I've been enjoying the 2004 release by Slade Cleaves, "Wishbones" produced by Gurf Morlix and it almost sounds like a Gurf Morlix release. Go to Hal Bogerd's posting of an interview with Gurf and a discussion about his new album which I haven't yet heard to learn more about the great Gurf Morlix.

I'm also enjoying the new release by Warren Hayes, "Ashes & Dust" which is a collaboration with the band Railroad Earth. This is a beautiful mostly acoustic album. I'm not a big fan of Mr. Hayes but I know he is a respected guitar-slinger and I assume most of his releases are heavy on the electric guitar but not here. It's definitely in what we now call the Americana style and quite impressive.

it's not dead yet,but it might soon be... ok- mike june-poor man's bible ,out early next year except for pledgers. listen to talkin' revolution blues from his web site in the meantime-outstanding songwriting and musicianship.

pete kennedy-heart of gotham, solo album from one half of the kennedy's. i love this album and it's available now. should see it on my best of the year list.

emily duff- go tell your friends. out now, great gutsy singer/songwriter. like what i hear so far

stephen kellogg- south,west,north,east. out early next year, except for pledgers again. 20 song opus and not one dud,great songwriting

aaron lee tasjan-in the blazes. full on americana, sounds good to my ears.

new book i'm liking- fortunate son by john fogerty-the real story and a happy ending.

show of the week- going to see david ramirez in vancouver this week. one of austin's best singer/songwriters

Chuck Cannon - God Shaped Hole, Shawn Mullins - My Stupid Heart, Martin Sexton - Solo, John Moreland - High on Tulsa Heat, Over the Rhine's live record from their 'Barn Concert", Brothers Landreth covers download, and per Dennis Nyman...both of Bruce Henderson's old releases (Beyond the Pale and Wheels Roll)...all of these are excellent.

And I'm still doing the Dingoes "5 Times the Sun and other Delicacies"...great music from back in the late 70's...and I'm channelling the Maryl Streep line 'The dingoes stole my babeeeee"

Going to see the Brothers Landreth Friday night for the second time...they knock it out of the park live...if you haven't seen them, do when you get the chance...

Dingoes?! That's pretty random, Jim. Great band. The singer was Broderick Smith, a very influential figure in Australian music. He fronted a much loved blues/boogie band called Carson prior to going country. Sounded to me like he'd gone to school on Junior Wells. Brod Smith's Big Combo followed the Dingoes, then a long solo career. 

Here's a relatively recent clip, with Brod singing an old Concrete Blonde song.

 

Yep, I'd say random, I hadn't listened to it in a long time but I loved that "5 Times the Sun" record, and I saw they'd re-released it...the re-release has some other tracks on it besides the ones on my original vinyl record.  I loved Broderick Smith's voice...it has that sort of rasp to it where he can sing anything, and the Dingoes covered a lot of territory musically, they are just one of many great bands and singers that A&M records signed and then promptly killed their career...the guy that wrote most of the songs, Kerryn Tollhurst, was a really fine songwriter...there's a song on the record called 'Singing Your Song" that just blew me away...the song itself, and then the instrumental break in the middle and extended intrumental coda at the end...damn fine band...Smith's harmonica and vocal on that is a delight...when I'm sitting around picking with friends, I often play that song and it never fails to get a good reaction in a "that's a great song, what is it?" kind of way...I was aware he (Brod) has continued on, but I don't have any of his stuff...I love the clip you've provided though, so I will try to follow up on getting some.  It's funny...I started playing that Dingoes record again about the time this thread started, and I mentioned that it was an older record that I had loved...Dennis Nyman put something out there about one of his favorites, Bruce Henderson, and couple of records he was listening to, that were also older (recorded 15 + years ago...as you are aware, the Dingoes go further back than that) ...so I ordered Henderson's 2 records, and the first thing I notice when I get "Beyond the Pale" is that Kerryn Tollhurst produced it...the players on Henderson's record are guys like GE Smith and Shaun Pelton, so I guess Tollhurst ended up in NYC, as those guys were in the Saturday Night Live band.  Just thought it was weird that we ended up digging out old stuff to play, and there was a connection like that...you can still buy all these records, so there's no harm in putting it out there...

Thanks for posting this clip again Steve...the Dingoes are nothing but a memory at this point, but they were a really fine Australian band.

 

Thanks Steve Ford for posting this great version of my favorite Concrete Blond song and one of the more powerful anti-religious songs written. I had never hreard of the Dingoes until Jim Hunter mentioned them and now you've alerted me to their singer and an important solo artist from Down Under. I imagine there are many from down there worth checking out like Paul Kelly who is one of my favorites.

Thanks Steve Ford for posting this great version of my favorite Concrete Blond song and one of the more powerful anti-religious songs written. I had never hreard of the Dingoes until Jim Hunter mentioned them and now you've alerted me to their singer and an important solo artist from Down Under. I imagine there are many from down there worth checking out like Paul Kelly who is one of my favorites.

Thanks Steve Ford for posting this great version of my favorite Concrete Blond song and one of the more powerful anti-religious songs written. I had never hreard of the Dingoes until Jim Hunter mentioned them and now you've alerted me to their singer and an important solo artist from Down Under. I imagine there are many from down there worth checking out like Paul Kelly who is one of my favorites.

I was wondering if this thread would survive, and after being dormant for a bit, it awakes. Nice. I'm obsessing over something called the Patuxent Banjo Project, and my column this week focuses on it. 

Listen...no question that the community involvement of the past has faded. All of us who were active participants had a great run we'll all remember, but like everything else in the world...things change. ND is moving in a different direction as an online/print hybrid and many of the new writers are truly first-class. I'm sticking around as long as they'll let me, but yeah...it's different. 

Should y'all want to keep in touch with each other, feel free to post whatever you want on my Facebook page. (Click on Facebook...the link is there but not highlighted.) I try to check in every day and I'm putting up stuff I find from many roots music sources. 

Back again, notifiers plugged in -

Don't forget that Chris Stapleton's Traveller which just won 3 times at last week's CMA awards, (best new artist, album of the year, best male singer) is knocking over crap in Nashville, and it is really really good; it probably really is album of the year.

And, also there is the little matter of Jason Isbell, and Something More Than Free....

And, I will also vouch for Iris Dement's The Trackless Woods, which will go way beyond 2015 - it is timeless, and that unique.

All of them excellent indeed...Stapleton is the deal...as is Isbell...I don't doubt you on the Iris DeMent, particularly the unique part...

 

In the last few weeks, I've been digging the Yawpers new one, the Supersuckers new one and the Bottle Rockets.

The Dylan box is astounding as well.

Saw a piece in the paper a couple of days ago about the 40th anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald.  That got me, and no doubt countless others, thinking of Gordon Lightfoot's song.  I stuck Summertime Dream, Dream Street Rose and Shadows in the car and have been enjoying them immensely. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald was such a ubiquitous song that I stopped listening to it long ago, but rehearing it this week was a reminder of just how good a song it really is. And I read up on the song, turns out that Lightfoot has been using different lyrics in live shows to reflect the facts about the wreck that came out long after the ship sank. For instance, the "main hatches" never gave way, the boat broke in half.  So Gordon adjusted the lyrics to better reflect the reality and out of sensitivity to the families of those who worked with the hatches. I guess he still meets privately with surviving familly members.  Lightfoot is now nearly 77.  Hasn't made a studio record since Harmony was released in 2004, and that was begun years before, interrupted by his near fatal health issues, and finished only after he recovered. Am going to rotate through his other records here for a few weeks. Have been a big fan since my mid teens, he's still one of my favorites of all.

 

All of which reminds me, I think there's a column on this site, Beer & Music.  If you enjoy beer and haven't heard of or tried the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter by Great Lakes Brewing Company out of Cleveland, it's an outstanding beer, as is their Christmas Ale.

 

 

It is a great porter!...a friend of mine and I were going to try drinking 29 of them for each man...never got close...

Jack 2.0--You mentioned back towards the beginning of this thread the great recent 2-CD release by Chris Smither, "Still on the Levee." I love that compilation of a newly recorded retrospect of his career but must embarrassingly admit it was the first time I ever actually heard him so I am eternally grateful to ND for the review posted on this site that convinced me to buy it. I was familiar with his name as the author of two great songs recorded by Bonnie Raitt early in her career, "Love Me Like a Man" and "I Feel the Same" but had never heard his own versions.

Because of that wonderful introduction to a brilliant but underrated artist I bought a ticket to his concert last night in a small Seattle venue and was totally knocked-out and mesmerized. I was prepared for his amazing songs of lyrical complexity and philosophical humor but was very surprised by what a great guitarist he is--often sounding like two guitar players accompanied by an acomplished percussionist in his two feet. Add to that his interesting and funny between song conversation and it added up to one of the finest concerts I've attended recently--up there with David Bromberg, David Lindley and Garland Jeffreys.  One of his stories about writing a song for his father who surprisingly liked it ended with him saying, "It just goes to show your parents can still surprise you even as they're pushing your buttons. You know, it's easy for them to push those buttons since they installed them." It's a testament to his backlog of excellent songs that he didn't even perform either of those Bonnie Raitt covers which are probably his most famous ones.

The small audience of perhaps a hundred plus were obvious fans who greeeted him enthusiastically as he walked on stange and then sang "Happy Birthday" to him on his (unbeknown to me) 71st birthday. He was touched. Later, in a song about an ex-lover who he sings to wondering what she sees in some old guy "...who must be 70," he got quite a laugh.

I picked up two more CDs from his merchandise table I'm anxious to get into. One is a collection of live mostly solo acoustic recordings like I witnessed and the other is a  (2006, I think) studio album with a band containing some of the great songs I heard last night for the first time. Anyone who is a fan of singer-songwriter-guitarists in general and acoustic folk-blues in particular should discover this artist and that 2 CD release "Still On the Levee" is a great place to start.

Chris's between songs commentary is worth the price of a ticket.  He once referred to George W. Bush as "Dan Quayle with a Texas accent".  Your reaction to seeing Chris reminds me of mine the first time I saw him.  At the time I'd heard his name but not a note of his music. He was part of the Monsters of Folk tour circa 1997-98; Chris, Tom Russell, Dave Alvin, Ramblin' Jack Elliott.  I was there because of Dave Alvin and Tom Russell.  The first song Chris did was Caveman, a song with wise lyrics and a subtle, compelling hook. Blew me away.  Have seen him many times since, mostly solo, though he did a cool show years back with Dave Alvin and Peter Case while touring in support of the Mississippi John Hurt tribute record that Case pulled together. Speaking of whom, I've fallen out of touch with Peter Case's recent music, but he's an interesting songwriter and a fine live performer. 

 

That Mosters of Folk tour sounds like a special concert indeed. I had never even heard of that tour until I saw Dave Alvin at the same venue where I saw Chris Smither and he joked that they should have copyrighted the name because Coonor Oberst and others had formed a supergroup under that title.

I saw Peter Case too at that venue several  years ago with a handful of people. Afterward I talked to Peter for awhile--something I seldom do out of respect for their privacy and an innate shyness--but I wanted to ask him what the hell had happened to Tonio K. who I knew he had co-written some songs with. (He said he was still around and was working with Burt Bacharach which seemed as unlikely as Bacharach and Elvis Costello.) I mentioned to Peter how sad it was that so few people showed up for his show. He answered that as a young man he'd go to clubs to see blues legends where only a handful of people showed up but he had still just  hoped he'd get to do what they did one day. "So," he said, "be careful what you wish for."

Tonio K and Burt Bacharach? That's a non sequitur.  That I gotta hear.

HB-At This Time, an album you did with Burt, won a Grammy for instrumental album, but you wrote lyrics for songs on that record!

TK-That was my question for Burt! [laughs] I asked him, what does that mean? Evidently if more than 50 percent of an album is instrumental, it is considered an instrumental album. But, I’ve got my certificate. I don’t have a Grammy but I have a certificate that says I contributed to a Grammy-winning album. I contributed lyrically to the instrumental album of the year. [laughs] It is actually a pretty cool album.

Another publisher I had at the time asked if I thought Burt would be interested in working with Dre. Whoa! There’s an idea. He said Dre is interested in doing something a little more sophisticated musically than he’s been doing. I said, "Let me run it by Burt." I did, Burt dug the idea, and we got together with Dre. Dre laid a bunch of loops on Burt and Burt wrote a bunch of stuff that I like to say  was somewhere between Stravinsky and Gershwin... and I wrote these snippets of lyrics here and there. Elvis sang one, Rufus Wainwright sang one. Pop "instrumental" album of the year!

 

Nothing is stranger than the truth...Tonio K., Bacharach, and Dre...I loved that piece you did on Tonio K. Hal...

I listened to a Bacharach/Tonio tune on line last night.  It worked ok but nothing I'd want to hear much of.  I have several Bacharach compilations and a Dionne Warwick compilation, and was reading up on him little last night as a result of his mention in this thread.  Hadn't realized he'd written an autobiography, which to me sounds like an interesting book to read, going to order a copy. 

I'll have to give that a shot myself...the book, and maybe some of the Bacharach and Tonio K too...I've never listened to any of it...

After hearing about the curious collaboration between Bacharach & Tonio K. from Peter Case and Hal's wonderful interview with Tonio K. I chanced across a copy of that Bacharach CD in a drug store's cheap cut-out bin for about 8 bucks so bought it. I can't say I've listened to it much but I wouldn't exactly recommend it.

it does sound like a combination of some disparate elements for sure...guess I'll try to find some stuff online...

 

Disparate?  In the semi immortal words of Cal Naughton Jr. in Talladega Nights, they go together like Chinese food and chocolate pudding.

Well said Cal!...deserving of semi-immortality also.

Great line from Peter Case...thanks Dennis!

Lurking for just today guys, don't come here anymore for pretty obvious reasons. A note is left at Ed's column on Lucinda why I'm here today and what I've been up to. Agreed everything from Great Lakes is top notch, though I think this northeast Ohio brewery is even better: http://cornerstonebrewing.com/ hit it on the way home from Nashville -- anyway, always goes well with fried clams! 

Anyway you can read what I've been up to there, but I highly recommend a CD from one of my L.A. bands, they were even better live. The Skylarks L.A. May not be "rootsy" enough for some of you though, but they hit a lot of genre notes.

Cheers, Will James

For a moment I thought we had seen the return of the grievous angel...

 

Thanks for the tip on the Skylarks and Cornerstone Will...now if only we can get Cornerstone (or Great Lakes) on tap at a HoJo's!

 

Hope you are doing well...you are missed...

Just saw this Jim. Thanks. Yeah Cornerstone and clams would be great (although they have GREAT burgers). See link to Jack 2.0 on how things are going.

Will, congrats on legally changing your name to Gram Parsons InterNational!  Good to see you checking in lately.

LOL! Just wouldn't let me log in or send me an email for forgot password so I had to register again. They sure don't make it easy here, but this we know. How're things in the Windy City? I'd love to do another gig there, but maybe read this: https://graminternational.wordpress.com/2016/01/17/2016/

Hope you are able to keep your labor of love going.   Have read a number of stories about the resurgence of downtown Buffalo, are there more local options these days?  Sportmens Tavern?  Maybe you can hunt down old members of Talas and The Road!

 

Thanks. Downtown, they're working on it. Imo I make little of it unless they can save the Central Terminal; developer from Toronto now our final hope. Talas and The Road wow, yeah, pretty much faded memories. Think Billy Sheehan is still around; you may be interested in https://www.facebook.com/groups/Bandsfromthe.70s/.  Sportsmen's remains just about the only venue for "Americana," though one I like 189 Public House in East Aurora, where I saw two of my West bands before heading out there but after I booked them, The Far West, and Patrolled By Radar. That user pic of me here from 189. Can't afford Sportsmen's when they have a name act, usually $40 or so per. They were a finalist in Ameripolitan's venue of the year, also two where I've held Gram InterNationals, The Nashville Palace and Don the Beachcomber, all in their Top 10.

 

That pic of a Talas guitar pick actually shows up fine on the image uploader. More great I.T. here.

The problem is that your image is being hosted on Facebook (I can see that when I look at the HTML). Unfortunately the service we use to imbed photos (Embedly) does not support Facebook. Most other images that are hosted on the web do work but there is just something odd about Facebook's images.

I picked up Nuggets From Nuggets, a one disc summary culled from Rhino's 4 disc set, Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From the First Psychedelic Era 1965-68.  Really fun record.  Psychotic Reaction by the Count Five was something I'd never heard before, a wild ride.

Also replaced a lost version of In The Flesh! by The Skeletons from Springfield MO, songs of theirs from the 70's and 80's.   One of the best live bands I've ever seen.  I think their last record was from around '97, called Nothing To Lose, which was an excellent record too.  RIP Lou Whitney.

The Count Five's Psychotic Reaction has to be in the top five garage rock songs.

I see this thread has died again which is a shame.I added a commnent earlier and the submittal wouldn't take and the screen went blank so I submitted it again and when it finally went it posted it 3 times! Hopefully, this one will go better.

Like most music fanatics and obssessive record/CD collectors I tend to focus on new releases and neglect the great older music in my collection so I've been focusing on listening to stuff I haven't listened to in awhile. So I thought I'd mention some that I found particularly good that others may have forgotten about or perhaps never heard about. So here is my first entry.

A.J. Croce-- "That's Me in the Bar" (1995) This excellent release by the son of Jim Croce was produced by drummer extraordinair Jim Kelter who has probably appeared on more albums than any other drummer currently working. For this record he recuited many musicians he's worked for or with, such as guitarists Ry Cooder (on 4 of the 12 cuts), Waddy Wachtel (on 5), Robben Ford (1 cut) and David Hildalgo playing accordion and aranja (whatever that is) on 1 cut. Keltner himself plays on every cut except 1 drummerless one which features a string quartet led by the great violinist Sid Page of Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks fame. This quartet play on two other cuts too with a full band.

As great as the musicians are the real highlights are Croce's songwriting, piano playing and gravelly but alluring vocals. He is certainly the equal of his famous father in talent if not popularity. This is a no-doubt forgotten release that is worth checking out.

 

as the movie byline said, "It's Alive!"  Thread is back on and going...as long as we are talking about this, I have been listening to The Cactus Blossoms, Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, and for going back to the old stuff, I've been playing Mark Erelli's "Hope and Other Casulties", Whiskeytown's "Pneumonia" and Mark Jordan's jazz influenced "This is How Men Cry" and "Make Believe Ballroom"...he is not just one of Canada's greatest songwriters, but one of the world's best...also have recently played one of the best pop music manifesto's in existence...New Radicals "Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too"...the brainchild of Gregg Alexander, a masterwork, made all the more fun by Alexander pulling the plug on the whole exercise and quitting performing just as the record was really starting to sell, and "You Get What You Give" was a hit...youtube has several videos of demos Alexander put out there post New Radicals...he's a pop music wonderkind...highly recommended, but not exactly Americana...

January was kind of a slow month for new music.  I've been listening to Aubrie Sellers "New City Blues" which is really good.  The new Buddy Miller and Friends is just excellent.

Hey Jim, is Mark Jordon the same Mark Jordon who played piano on Van Morrison's "Tupelo Honey" album? If so I had no idea he recorded as a solo artist and I would be very interested in hearing those albums you mentioned. Never heard of Mark Erelli so I'm curious. I have that New Radicals album but haven't listened to it in years. I liked their hit song, especially the lyrics, "Fashion shoots with Beck & Hanson/ Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson/ You're all fakes run to your mansion/ Come around we'll kick your ass in." I would pretty much agree with that assessment except for Beck. I'm not a big fan but do think he's authentic especially after seeing him in that great DVD of the concert of the Harry Smith Project staged and produced by Hal Wilner in which contemporary artists cover the songs in Harry Smith's "Anthology of American Folk Music" which sparked the folk revival in the 50s. Makes one wonder if Greg Alexander dropped out of the bizness because he feared popularity would make him a fake too.

On the one hand we have Marc Jordan (note the "c"), the Canadian performer and songwriter.  He's had great success as a songwriter, for people like Rod Stewart and many others, and has many recordings of his own, including the ones referenced above.  See http://www.marcjordan.com/.

On the other hand we have Mark T. Jordan, keyboardist extraordinaire, with a particular flair on the B3. He's the one who performed on Tupelo Honey, and a zillion others.  He DOES have a Canadian connection, having performed with Ian Tyson  and Colin James, among others, according to AllMusic at http://www.allmusic.com/artist/mark-t-jordan-mn0000643358.

Different people, slightly different names.

Thanks Ron for clearing that up about Marc/Mark Jordon. I forget how Jim spelled the first name and can't just scroll up to see like one could do in the past.

Alexander said in an interview that those lines were in there to see if that was what people would focus on instead of the theme of the alienation of youth...and of course, every interview he was in they asked him about those lines you quoted...he said he ran into Beck and apologized but Beck was sort of in on it, he liked the record and had listened to it and it wasn't a problem...and he ended up producing something for Hanson later on...if you look at the CD artwork, Alexander is pictured with a bar code in every photo...that he was just a product and part of the marketing machine...he was a fascinating guy, and he just quit...Joni Mitchell was quoted as saying that New Radicals record was the best thing she'd heard in 20 years, and she totally understood why he quit...If you look up Gregg Alexander on Youtube, you will find some really good demos that he posted himself...but other than producing a couple of other artists and a couple of songwriting credits (Santana and Michelle Branch did a song together that was a hit single...the name escapes me, but he wrote that) he just left...there's some weird videos on the internet about his political views, and his commentary on the Illuminati...he's a big believer that everything is bought and paid for and we're all asleep at the wheel while it is being done to us...and a lot of us would probably accept that some level of that is true...there is a lot of pointed commentary in that record about big banks, Wall street, credit...but that stuff is in there along with a lot of other more typical songwriting subject matter...I thought it was a a masterpeice, but I'm probably wrong...it's damn good pop music though..."Someday We'll Know" and "Crying Like a Church on Monday" are killer love songs, and "I Hope I didn't Just Give Away the Ending" is a drug bender gone mad...I love the whole thing really, I still play it often..

Jim, when I checked online for the lyrics to that song to quote the lines I did, I was surprised and how great the lyrics were throughout that song. I am also surprised by what you say Joni Mitchell had to say about that album. So I will definintely have to listen to that Cd again.

Good to see the conversation flare up again.

Haven't heard the new Tom Jones record, but XM Sirius has one cut in the rotation on I forget which channel, the song being Elvis Presley Blues.  Pretty cool tune.

Was rummaging through some old vinyl on my shelf a couple weeks ago, pulled out Les Dudek's "Say No More" album, had long forgotten Jailabamboozle, a decent tune. 

Glenn Frey's passing made me recall that I saw the Eagles live one time, Milwaukee County Stadium, think it was 1978.  I was not a big fan of the Eagles then or now, but I recall it being a really dull show, mostly a note for note recreation of the recorded versions.  And thinking about that show reminded me of another show  at County Stadium, a post Brewers game short set by Head East.  They were literally wheeled out on a couple of flatbed trailers pulled by groundskeeping equipment, played their set, and were wheeled off, equipment, musicians, the whole shebang on wheels. Kinda funny. Their Flat As A Pancake record was not a bad 70's record.

Head East! A&M 4638. Came out right after Pablo Cruise...4625. Sorry; old record biz dude memories. So for the old stuff, loving The Carter Family on Border Radio collection, the entire Norman Blake discography ( including the two duos with Tony Rice), and Tut Taylor and Clarence White. For newer music those Cactus Blossoms are amazing but they'll likely drive me back to explore the Everly Brothers again. I'm admittedly struggling a little with the new Lucinda Williams, but time and repetition might help. Still can't stop talking up Joan Shelley, Meg Baird and that Elvis Costello book/soundtrack. As far as the Dylan bootleg series box set...it ain't me babe. Nice to see y'all again. 

Loved Pablo Cruise the last couple years of high school.  I looked up which record 4625 was; A Place In The Sun.  I still have the LP I bought when it was first released, later bought the half speed remastered high quality vinyl edition (sounded great), and much later bought the CD for $10.  Fun, well constructed, well played 70's pop.  Nothing more, nothing less. They are why I was at that aforementioned Eagles show, they opened, followed by Steve Miller Band, then the Eagles.  

Yesterday in the car after work I heard Kelly Willis do an intro spot on the XM Outlaw Country channel saying "here's that booger eatin' moron Mojo Nixon".  Coming from her, had to laugh. So when I got home I listened to some of What I Deserve.  My goodness does she have a gorgeous voice.  

Yes, Kelly Willis does have a gorgeous voice and that is a great record.  I saw her at Lilith Fair on the second stage once, I knew who she was thanks to a record review...she was great even then, and that was well before What I Deserve...a waif in a sundress, barefoot, singing country music with her eyes closed mostly, it was great...well before Robison and the kids...

As for Pablo Cruise, that record was the mountaintop as I recall...there was an instrumental at the end of it called "El Verano"...the musicianship was top notch, the guitar player (David Jenkins) is playing some hot stuff, as is the keyboardist Cory Lerios...alas their song writing was pretty formulaic pop stuff and indistinguishable from other bands at the time and going forward...sort of the same formula as Toto...really good players, not much going on with the songs...some of my musician friends love the music from this era because the players are tremendous from a technical standpoint, Toto was for all intents and purposes that era's version of the Wrecking Crew with the Porcaro brothers and Steve Lukather...Pablo Cruise, Toto, Gino Vanelli...late 70's early 80' West Coast hybrid sound...lots of hit records, not a lot of substance songwise

I see Hal has mentioned Les Dudek...serious guitar player, not many songs...Tommy Bolin anyone...?

 

 

 

Yeah, I was surprised to see Pablo Cruise mentioned in a positive way as they always struck me as forgetable but I think that may be an age thing and if they were popular while one was in high school one may have a different take on them. Since I graduated high school in 1968 in Central California I was listening to stuff around that time by Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Grateful Dead, the Byrds and all the great music played on FM radio at that time. But even AM radio in that era played hit songs that were also excellent.

As for Toto, another band I totally dismissed, I once worked with a guy who was a great drummer playing in Seattle bands who worshipped Toto because of Jeff Porcano and traveled hundreds of miles to see them at some county fair (I think after Porcano's death even).

Kelly Willis' "What I Deserve" is one of my favorite albums and has another favorite, Chuck Prophet, playing guitar on it. He produced her 2007 release "Translated From Love" but I'm afraid it paled compared to the brilliant "What I Deserve." But this discussion has convinced me to give it another listen.

I must tell you Dennis, that although I did not care much for Toto apart from their musicianship, their playing on other records was quite inspired.  Jeff Porcaro was likely my favorite drummer too...he, Bernard Purdie, Steve Gadd and Rick Marotta did most of the drumming on Steely Dan records, a particular favorite track is "Doctor Wu" off of "Katy Lied", inspired drumming, plus a phenomenal one take sax solo by the great Phil Woods (who appears with Ben Sidran on the record we discussed "On the Live Side")...Dane Clark, who is John Mellencamp's drummer currently, is from my hometown...Dane would probably own that Jeff Porcaro was one of his favorites as well, he was clearly influenced by him and played like him...his playing style back in the 80's was very similar...he plays more straight ahead with Mellencamp.  Jeff Porcaro died young, 38...cocaine was rumored to be involved...his dad was a session player and arranger, and obviously his brothers were session guys as well, I think Steve still  plays with Toto when they do the reunion thing...most of my musician friends loved Toto...I understood it but I didn't like it like they did...if you listen to the extended coda on "99", the musicianship is ridiculous, and yet really tasteful...I loved some of the musical passages, but the songs...they just didn't have many...Pablo didn't either...

The other guy those same musician friends loved that I didn't really get was Gino Vanelli...again, the musicianship was crazy good, and that is what they loved about it.  He had a record called "Storm at Sunup" that they were nuts about, but I didn't hear any songs there really...lots of instrumental passages...Gino and his brother Joe were excellent musicians, and Gino's singing range is 5+ octaves, he can wail...he sort of had the Tom Jones appeal to his fans...women threw panties and room keys at him...apparently, he's still going strong today...just looked him up...he's made lots of record in the last 10-15 years...may have to check him out and see what he's doing now, just for fun...

Man, this has been fun hasn't it?  I bet Ed is going to log in again and tell us off the top of his head what Vanelli's catalog numbers were...Gino was on A&M records too...Toto was Columbia...

Gino Vanelli is another Canadian, originally from Montreal. 

Yes..."when I think about those nights in Montreal" was the tag line at the beginning of "I Just Wanna Stop", a big hit...I actually have some of his stuff, my friends thought he was so great...I liked some of his later stuff like Black Cars, and he has a live CD that I did play some...ultimately I acknowledge his talent, which is considerable...he really has some pipes...my dad listened to a lot of jazz...I thought that Storm At Sunup record was sort of pseudo jazz at the time...I preferred Steely Dan, who made pop songs with jazz structures and chords I couldn't figure out on the guitar.  Marc Jordan, the Canadian songwriter whom I love, also did that on his best records, "Blue Desert", "Reckelss Valentine", "This Is How Men Cry", and "Make Believe Ballroom", and his last two records, "Crucifix in Deamland" and "On A Perfect Day", are more pop structured...his father Charles was a jazz musician in Toronto...Jordan is a fascinating guy and a wonderful songwriter, a great lyricist...he wrote a song about the Duplissis orphans called "Little Lambs' that is just an amazing song, will tear your heart out...he's written lots of great songs, and he's actually a wonderful artist in his own right, I love his voice and phrasing even though he doesn't have a clasically great voice, he doesn't sound like anyone else...his version of "Rhythm of My Heart" is far superior to Rod Stewart IMO...I got on to him back in the 70's when the Dan's producer, Gary Katz, signed him to Warner Bros. and produced his first record, "Mannequin".  That is a fine debut record as well.  As I am sure you probably know Ron, his wife is Amy Sky, who also sings and writes songs, and his daughter Zoe Sky Jordan also has written and recorded an EP.  I am all about things Canadian, new and old...Brothers Landreth, Corb Lund, Fred Eaglesmith, Noah Gundersen, Dala, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings...We don't even have to mention the obvious ones...thanks for your post and the link to Marc Jordan...all of his records are available online, even an obscure live record, ""Live at the El Macombo"...his stuff is great, if slightly jazz tinged...

Thanks for clarifying the Mark and Marc Jordan thing...I agree with Dennis about Tupelo Honey for sure...

Like you Jim, I respected the musicianship of the Toto members without caring for the music released under their own name with the exception of their hit single, "Africa" which I do still like. But since I only ever owned and heard their first album I'm no expert on their output. If I'm not mistaken they formed as a band after 3 of their members appeared on Boz Scaggs' "Silk Degrees" album, certainly his most popular but my least favorite of one of my favorite artists. I prefer the albums Boz released before that, especially his self-titled, 1969 debut recorded in Muscle Shoals with Duane Allman as part of the session musicians, but also his albums after that recorded in the early 70s with his San Francisco band. "Silk Degrees," to my ears, teeters on a cliff side about to fall into the abyss of disco and sadly lacks the blues infused music he does best like on 1997's wonderful "Come Home." His last two albums are great too.

Now when it comes to Gino Vanelli I've never heard of anyone who cares for him. But Dino Valenti, a.k.a. Chet Powers, is a different story. Lead Singer for Quicksilver Messenger Service (after he got out of jail on a durg possession charge) he wrote the well-known song "Get Together" made famous by the Youngbloods (a tremendously underrated band) under his real name. (A nice version of that song also appears on the first Jefferson Airplane album before Grace Slick joined the band.) I always thought it was curious how, in reverse of most performers who choose a stage name, Chet ditched his "normal" name and chose an ethnic handle for the stage. His songs, "Fresh Air" amd "What About Me," performed with Quicksilver, are great examples of the 60s zeitgeist.

The Youngbloods were an underrated band, and of course, your buddy Donovan once reference "electrical Banana" aka Lowell Levinger...Jesse Colin Young had a pretty nice solo career as well, he had a good following, and a great live band...his "On The Road" live album is a must have if you like live records...all of his stuff is still available.  Quicksilver was quite a band...great album covers too...loved John Cipollina's guitar work...to me they represented San Francisco more than any other band, but I was never a big fan of the Dead, so I know most people wouldn't agree with that sentiment...

About Donovan's "electric banana" the theory at the time was that he was talking about the short-lived urban myth that scraping the inside of a banana and smoking it would get you high. But I read elsewhere (perhaps it was even in Donovan's autobiography,which I confess I read) which might surprise those who think of Donovan as the naive flower child, that he was talking about a vibrator.

I agree that John Cipollina's guitar work was about the best thing about Quicksilver. I have a curious live recording of he and Nick Gravenites in a blues band recorded in a Greek nightclub in the 90s I believe. Gravenites was from Chicago and wrote songs for his friend Paul Butterfield's blues band and was in Michael Bloomfield's short-lived Electric Flag band. He also wrote for Janis Joplin and replaced her in Big Brother and the Holding Company. I saw that version of Big Brother in the 70s and they were great. I also have an album they made with an intersting song about Merle Haggard called "I'll Fix Your Flat Tire Merle" with lyrics that include: "You're a honky I know but Merle you got soul..." That brings to mind the Youngbloods menti0ned above who did a answer song to Merle's "Oakie From Musogee" called "Hippie From Olema" which Merle didn't find amusing at the time. I wonder what he thought of Kinky Friedman's "Asshole from El Paso."

Yep...I remember the mythology...don't remember where I read he was referring to Banana of Youngbloods fame, but whoever pronounced that to be the truth was pretty sure of themselves...a vibrator is a better story anyway...

I had the Electric Flag record, and I've probably got 3 or 4 versions of "I'll Fix Your Flat Tire Merle"..."I heard you had an advneturous youth, makin love in a telephone booth, and hear you even did a little stretch in jail"...I think the last version of that I heard was by Pure Prarie League, whoever is playing in that band now...it was Craig Fuller, Larry Goshorn, Vince Gill as front men...don't know anymore...this was pretty recent, and the version was really pretty good...

I'm pretty sure Merle didn't like any of those songs at the time...he may feel different now though...

No one is surprised you read Donovan's autobiorgraphy, and it's ok to confess, you are among friends...I didn't know there was one...but I might read it too...I never thought of him as naive either...he got busted for weed early on, which freaked me out, but I may have seen "Reefer Madness" that same week too...

 

I bet Ed is going to log in again and ask how his topic of good music turned into  discussion of 70's cheese.

Vanelli is from Canada...and also on A&M...4533 was his biggest seller.

 

I had that one and a few others...

I saw Head East once...they were barely conscious and the singer (John Schlitt) appeared to have forgotten to unzip his pants before his pre-show #1.  They warmed up for someone else, and it escapes me who now...probably Golden Earring...

Speaking of 70s cheese, all I remember about County Stadium was the great food. (Btw, Jack, I may be doing a fest in Milwaukee, probably late August.)

I watched the Phil Ochs documentary There But For Fortune and you have to wonder what Phil (RIP) would be singing, thinking and writing in 2016. 

And speaking of Mojo Nixon (and Phil Ochs)...

 

Pablo Cruise, Les Dudek, Head East.... what's next  Golden  Earring?

 

Next? Why of course Hal...The Ozark Mountain Daredevils. Also on A&M. 4411 and 3654. If you're bringing up the Earrings, I'd go for their long cover of 8 Miles High. 

Ozark Mountain Daredevils...I can see Jesco White now doing his appalachian tap dance to "If You Want to Get to Heaven (you gotta raise a little hell)"...great stuff...they put the microphone down by his feet so you can hear the speed and precision of his tapping...then when it gets to the chorus, he picks up the mic and sings along...the true weird stuff in life is better than anything you could make up...

Ed...your memory of the phonolog is frightening...Jackson Browne Asylum 5051...Marc Jordan "Blue Desert" Warner Bros 3362...ah nevermind, I know I can't compete...I didn't work in record store, I just ordered about a 1/3 of the phonolog...

I did work in a record store; we had a huge book (long before computers), don't recall any numbers.

I think I just provided the two catalog numbers I remember...I used to order lp's literally 3-4 a week, so I was always in that book looking for something...those were the days...

It is probably good that you don't remember the numbers...if you were supposed to commit them to memory, they wouldn't have published the book in the first place.

Here's my thing about catalog numbers. For much of the seventies and eighties I was on the road representing hundreds of labels. I'd go into 2-3 stores per day, take a complete physical inventory of albums, eight tracks and cassettes, and then work with the buyers to place an order. This was pre-barcodes, pre-computers, pre-everything. And to be honest, for much of those days we'd all be blasted on something or another. For some reason that is still inexplicable, I have been given the memory chip gene that can readily spout off selection numbers from everything from Lawwrence Welk to the Stones. Let me tell you, at a party it's a great buzz kill. 

Since I've been riffing on the A&M 3600 series, Supertramp's Crime of the Century was 3647 and The Carpenters hits was 3601. Tomorrow we can review the Cat Stevens and Humble Pie catalog. 

Carry on. 

 

I'm pretty sure this track from their first album was produced by Dave Edmunds.

 

Thanks for that one Hal...and it didn't kill me that you played it, though it hurt a little bit...Lonesome Dave...

Saw Foghat back in the day. They used to say, "Now we're going to play a little country" and then go off on the most ear-splitting rock you'd ever heard. Funny guys.

Bearsville records!  Ed...Catalog number please?

Mono or stereo?

I'm sure you know both...never mind...

I saw Jeffery Dean Foster and The Backsliders this weekend.

$10 and 60 people. Those numbers just don't make sense. JDF put out one of my favorite albums, The Arrow, of 2014. The Backsliders were one of several NC alt-country bands from the 1990's NC blitz that brought you Six String Drag, Two Dollar Pistols and Whiskeytown. One could argue that The Backsliders were the best of that group of bands and to see them and JDF rocking out for the price of a couple beers on a Friday night was a bargain to good for me to pass up.

 

 

Backsliders are a great band...Chip Robinson is a talented guy...I think Raymond Lee raved about a solo record by him from maybe 2010...can't buy it unfortunately, but I've got a live record by the band from a couple of years before that I love.   $10 bucks seems almost unfair...I got tickets for Mark Erelli and Aoife O'Donovan at a place in Indy called the Hi-Fi...capacity is 92...12 bucks per ticket...Willie Watson was 10 bucks...Marshall Crenshaw and the Bottle Rockets were 15...hard to beat it, but it does seem to be too little to pay...thanks for the videos...good stuff.

 

Dan Hicks died over the weekend.  Quite a talented guy.  The above was from his record Beatin' The Heat from about 15-16 years ago.  Saw a couple of his shows around then, seemed like he had more than a few miles on him even then, but the shows were quite good. 

Indeed a talented guy...RIP...

Anyone home?

Saw Graham Parker a few weeks ago, bought his latest from last year, Mystery Glue.  The show was quite good, just Parker on an acoustic and Brinsley Schwarz on electric guitar.  Couple hours of very solid songs exceptionally well played.  Mystery Glue is a very good record.

I like much of Ray LaMontagne's music and I give him credit for switching things up a lot with his last two records.  I enjoy Supernova but can't make up my mind about his latest, Ouroboros. Has its moments, but too Pink Floyd-esque (ish?) for me.

And I see that Cosmic American Productions, nee Gram InterNational, nee Will James has been on the ND site a bit of late. How's things in WNY, Will?

There's a scene in "Life at 40" (Judd Apatow pic with Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann if you haven't seen it)...he's a record label guy and he takes his wife to see Graham Parker, who is on his label...she's been home mostly with the kids listening to their pop/rap music...Parker and the Rumour is playing an acoustic show, Rudd's character is deep into it and she is just bored to tears...that's exactly how it was when I took my wife to see him...she doesn't like the song he plays in the movie either...great band, lot of really good songs, but I haven't bought anything by him recently

There's a scene later on where Rudd's character is upset because Parker's records aren't selling and Parker is pretty blase about the whole thing...like it's just been his life so far..."Records don't sell...they used to sell...they don't sell anymore"...really funny and a little sad...he should've been more successful probably...I'll take your recommendation on Mystery Glue.

Saw Mark Erelli and Aoife O'donovan a few weeks ago...great show...both of them have excellent recent recordings, the Erelli record is my favorite of the year so far, "For a Song", but it is a really quiet record...Sturgill Simpson is in town Saturday...some people are not that crazy about his latest, but I personally can't wait to hear him play that stuff live...he got out of the "future of country music box" with that one for sure...

I like some of LaMontagne's stuff a lot as well...haven't bought any of his for a while either...

I'll have to check out that movie, hadn't heard of it, thanks for the suggestion.

I think I read somewhere that Nick Lowe kind of lamented having the Rumour back Parker early on, something to do with them being so accomplished individually and having come from established bands that in some ways it might've been almost The Rumour and Graham Parker rather than the other way around.  Can't recall his exact words, something to that effect. Speaking of Nick Lowe, I saw him solo acoustic some years ago and prior to that with Little Village.  I absolutely love his last handful or records, he found a another great grove starting back around Dig My Mood through The Old Magic.  Think he's done a couple of holiday records since that I've not heard.

 

Little Village...that was quite a collection of players...Cooder, Hiatt, Keltner and Lowe...never saw them but I sure wish I had...

Nick Lowe did  a Live from Daryl's House episode back in the early days of that show that seemed like an odd pairing, but it was really good...gotta love that guy...

As for the movie I menitoned, it is a clever movie about hitting middle age...it's not Citizen Kane or the Godfather, but it is one of those movies that has a lot of truth based humor...some of it is more than a little painful to watch...the bits with Graham Parker are quite funny, and he just seems like a real person who's been at music his whole life with all the ups and downs, and at this point nothing fazes him and his expectations are pretty low, whereas the Paul Rudd character is more like I imagine myself in that position, thinking "this guy is great, why don't people appreciate him more?"...Parker holds his own...there is a scene in it that Parker apparently ad-libbed about having gout that the director kept in the movie, the actors went with it...the rest of the movie is clever and rings true most of the time...above average, not great...

I love Graham Parker and think he's one of the more underrated artists still working. I haven't seen that movie yet but have been meaning too. I really liked Parker's first reunion with the Rumour, 2012's "Three Chords Good" but found "Mystery Glue" less compelling. The songs just weren't as good IMO, but I need to listen to it more. His 2007 release "Don't Tell Columbus" is quite excellent.

Other new stuff: I'm in the "love-it" boat when it comes to Sturgill Simpson's latest. His previous release just sounded like a great new Waylon Jennings album but this sounds like a completely new artist. Even his vocals are quite different on some songs and the addition of the Dap Kings horns is very cool. When I heard he'd added strings to some of the songs I almost didn't buy the album because I usually hate strings on pop records but he did it with taste and retraint showing that when done well (like on the Beatles' "Elanore Rigby") it can be quite good.

John Doe's "The Westerner" is quite good and something of a departure in that it is very well produced and sounds good without just adding a bunch of crap. It's mostly in the Americana framework but a few almost sound like X. One cool song is with Debborah Harry.

I posted elsewhere that I like the new Jayhawks' album "Paging Mr. Proust." A lot of it sounds like early Jayhawks to me and some reminded me of the "Revolver" thru "Magical Mystery Tour" Beatles with a little R.E.M. and Young Fresh Fellows thrown in.

on the subject of new music, this is what i have so far for this year. escondido-walking with a stranger.,best so far this year

arlo aldo- house and home., beautiful folkish harmony music

the mayhemingways-hunter street blues.,canadian americana

grant lee phillips-the narrows.,excellent singer/songwriter

other posibilities-jason and michelle,kelley mcrae, chris pureka,etc.

It appears this thread has died again with no comments since May but I found it in order to express my surprise that no mention of the new album by Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle, simply called "Colvin & Earle," has been made on this site. I can't even find it mentioned in the new releases section which I find strange indeed. It is a very good album and all their co-writtren songs are some of the best I've heard in awhile. I also found their surprising covers very interesting including "Ruby Tuesday, "You Were On My Mind" and "Tobacco Road." Both artists are respected and usually covered on this site so why the silence about this excellent album I wonder.

That is a good question Dennis...haven't seen mention of it either...

Thanks Jim for the response. Now I know it's not just me unable to find it.

Has been kind of a "meh" year for new music imho.  My favorites so far:

Sturgill

Margo Price

Brandy Clark

Eli Paperboy Reed

The Heavy

I agree with you Mike about the new Sturgill Simpson but I wasn't that impressed by Margo Price. Perhaps my expectations were too high after reading the rave review on this site and I need to listen to it more to really judge it. I'm not familiar with the other artists you listed. My favorites of the 2016 releases I have besides the "Colvin & Earle" include: The Jayhawks-"Paging Mr. Proust"; Dirk Hamilton- "Touch and Go"; David Grisman-"The David Grisman Sextet"; Michael McDermott-"Willow Springs"; Steve Lawson-"Solid States & Loose Ends"; Eric Clapton- "I Still Do"; Hayes Carll-"Lovers and Leavers"

Older releases I just bought this year I've really enjoyed include: Eric Brace & Peter Coooper-"Master Sessions" (2010); Jimmy LaFave-"Depending On the Distance" (2012); Chuck Prophet-"Balinese Dancer" (1993) and "Feast of Hearts" (1995); Dirk Hamilton-"Meet Me at the Crux" (1978/2007); Steve Earle-"Train a Comin' (1995); Buffy Sainte Marie-"Power in the Blood" (2015)

Mike...like Dennis I agree with most of your choices...Sturgill, Eli Paperboy Reed, and Brandy Clark are all killer (Brandy Clark's touch with a lyric is as good as anyone out there, and her ballads just kill it)...like Dennis, I didn't love the Margo Price but I like it...I'd definitely add Mark Erelli's "For a Song", Dirk Hamilton's "Touch and Go", Bill Mallonee's "Winnowing" and Steve Lawson's "Solid States/Loose Ends"...I ordered that Michael McDermott but I don't have it yet...I like Sarah Jarosz' record too...the title escapes me at the moment...also Stephen Kellogg's South West North East

I've seen Erelli and Kellogg both live this year...fantastic artists and super nice guys too...