Warren Haynes of Gov't Mule
This column is like the title says - its intention is to fill the gap for those of us who were satiated musically in the '60s and then searched desperately as we aged for music we could relate to and get the same buzz from nowadaze. iTunes was the answer for me in 2003 and I have been following the new releases every Tuesday ever since I realized there was an endless stream of music I could enjoy there. The reason I am writing this column is to make sure others don't miss this. These are not top ten items; but they SHOULD be!
Below is a jukebox containing all the songs I picked this week. After you read about them below, go back and listen to whatever you like by just clicking on that title in the jukebox, or stream the whole playlist by clicking on the "play" icon at the top. It's free and it's the entire song. We're not selling anything. We're just in the business of hopefully making your days better by listening to great music.
1. "Mr. High & Mighty" - Gov't Mule (4:21)
Warren Haynes and I share a deep love for the departed UK band Free. When this came out a couple of years ago, I knew exactly where Warren’s inspiration lay, and I played this nonstop for a week. It’s still in pretty heavy rotation. One of the reasons Lynyrd Skynyrd let this Yankee produce them was our mutual love of that band, Free. This is a good start but go directly to Free’s “The Stealer” for what made us all diehard fans. Free lives on in spirit, however, in every Gov’t Mule live show.
2. "Lula Lula" - Zombies (3:46)
This is from their post-"Time Of The Season" period and I fear it got lost at that time. It’s one of my fave Zombies tracks and is another one of those that you find yourself singing days later while washing the car or watering the lawn and wondering what it is. That’s called a catchy tune. Be bop a lula lula...
3. "I Wonder" - Adrian Belew (3:56)
As quite a one-of-a-kind lead guitarist, Adrian in his earlier years supported David Bowie and Talking Heads. He joined and became the lead vocalist and co-guitarist and songwriter in the latter-day King Crimson band. He made critically acclaimed solo albums and influenced many up and coming guitarists. Here he is from a solo album totally unleashing on his own composition. He usually rings all my bells so I’m hoping you’ll enjoy his originality as well.
4. "Grey Streak" - Angels of Montenegro (3:46)
I met Canadian Tom St. Louis about 20 years ago in Canada. He played me a track by his band at the time and it has remained with me ever since, although it’s just a demo. This is very pleasant on the ears and I suspect there might be a few people out there who have lived this lyric. An all-time favorite with a wonderful arrangement played by the Angels' then-unorthodox musical lineup.
5. "Peavine" - John Lee Hooker w/Canned Heat (3:22)
John Lee Hooker is best taken as a strong hypnotic. With his repetitive addictive guitar loops, and his low growl of a voice, his LP should have come as a bonus with every ounce of marijuana purchased in the ‘60s. If you just sit back and and focus on the guitar and vocal, you can work up a little high of your own - and with Canned Heat thrown in gratis as well. I probably cannot say, “There were no drugs or alcohol consumed during the making of this record.”
6. "Deus (Remix)" - Sugarcubes (3:43)
I don’t think many listeners know the origins of Icelandic wunderkind Björk, but this is as good a place to start as any. This group was formed in Iceland in 1986 and recorded three albums with varying personnel in their five-year existence. This track got to me way back in ‘86 and I occasionally listen to it for old times' sake. Since then, Björk has trivialized tracks like this, but it’s always nice to hear where things started. Probably for Björk fans only ... but who knows?
7. "Drive" - Ziggy Marley (3:38)
Somebody needs to engineer a live onstage meeting of Marley and the revitalized Cars and let them duet this. This perennial Cars track is surely out of their live repertoire now since the demise of its writer and singer, but Marley puts his dad’s reggae spin on it and sends it whirling back into the future in a meaningful way. I could easily see Ziggy opening for The Cars and giving them a run for their money. Live Nation - are you listening?
8. "Quicksand" - Ryan Lewis (2:47)
Ryan had an accelerated childhood. He was accepted to Harvard in his junior year of high school and graduated with honors at 19. All the while, he honed his musical skills, eventually being discovered by Diddy and put to work producing and writing hip hop hits. I find this track more electronica than rap and enjoy the way it was put together
9. "A Song for You" - The Temptations (4:12)
This often-covered chestnut sired by Leon Russell has, in my opinion, its definitive version right here. I have never heard anyone do this song any better. Shoulda been on the album they did called Masterpiece. Take four and a half minutes out, close your eyes, and enjoy this five star amazing journey.
10. "That's the Way of the World (Live)" - Stuff (5:21)
A ballsy move for a band to take on an instrumental version of this complicated anthem; even if they were the rhythm section that played on many an original anthem by the likes of Aretha, King Curtis, Joe Cocker, Paul Simon, etc. Well, needless to say, they acquit themselves famously. But three-quarters of the way through, the late guitarist Eric Gale takes charge from keyboardist Richard Tee and he just goes on fire. Thankfully, this was recorded - otherwise it would have just been another night on the job. A purrfect way to end this week’s "concert."