Jeez – wouldja look at the size of those hands? I can see why they shot this photo from the waists up.
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.
I also include older items that I felt were obscure originally and might not have been heard back then. The reason I am writing this column is to make sure others don't miss this wonderful music. These are not top ten items; but they SHOULD'VE been!
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.
We apologize to our readers/listeners who are trying to enjoy the playlists via mobile devices like iPhones/iPads and are finding that they can't; these are, unfortunately, circumstances beyond our control. At present, Grooveshark is not compatible with those operating systems, and in order to stream the playlist, you will need to use a PC or Mac.
1. "Run" — Delta Rae (2:37)
They come from Durham, North Carolina, a college town filled with places to play. They fed on their parents’ record collections and learned their history well. They finally strolled into record exec Seymour Stein's office and blew him away with an a cappella song. So here’s an example of what they can do and there’s lots more if you like this. Reminds me of the Wilson sisters in Heart at the peak of their career.
2. "I Will Come" — Alpha Rev (2:33)
This is an Austin, Texas band featuring Casey McPherson formerly of Endochine. This has a bit of electronica going on but owes a bit to The Doors as well. Meshed all together they do have a sound of their own and their brief catalog has graced a few TV shows as background music. They deserve more attention.
3. "Sugaree" — Jimmy Vivino & The Rekooperators (2:42)
My favorite bandmate and I, along with Anton Fig and Harvey Brooks, popped this out a few years ago on what was essentially a Vivino solo album called Do What, Now? This is a Marty Robbins chestnut that we messed around with a wee bit. Jimmy’s guitar solo, as usual, is very respectful of the late Mike Bloomfield and that's one of the reasons I love playing with him. He’s also a damn good singer as well.
4. "Snowblind" — Robbie Williams (3:11)
From boy band to staggering success as a solo artist and then back again, Robbie has had a singularly amazing career. Born in 1974 in the UK, his success in Europe greatly exceeds that in the US. Worldwide he has sold in excess of 70 million albums. I confess I haven’t listened in a few years, so I jumped into his recent solo album, Swings Both Ways, and was reminded of Walker Brother Scott on this track. They actually have had similar careers except that Scott never returned to The Walker Brothers and Robbie played a worldwide tour recently with his original band, Take That.
5. "I'll Be Good to You" — Vanessa Williams & James Williams ()
This goes back almost ten years to 2004 and was on Vanessa’s album Everlasting Love as a duet with James "D-Train" Williams (no relation). Although not written by them, the Ashford-Simpson influence is all over this; it's really tasty old soul with great vocalizing by the singers Williams.
6. "Bird's Eye View" — Erick Turnbull (2:09)
This is hellacious acoustic guitar playing in which Erick Turnbull seems to actually turn into a bull on his instrument. While I was listening, I thought how similar his style was to Kaki King's — and what an amazing duet record they could make. They are both unique in that I believe they are the only two who play like that. "Erickaki" would be a great album title or "King Turnbull." Somebody show them this — I'll produce it for a reduced fee if necessary (poetic license!).
7. "You and Me, Baby (Holdin' On)" — Chuck Prophet (3:32)
In a quasi-Dylanesque setting, Chuck is at his best. He is more appreciated overseas, unfortunately for us. But that's one of the reasons I do this column.
8. "Seven (How Could You Leave Me This Way?)" — Ed Kowalczyk (2:50)
Ed was unknown to me prior to this listen. After research, I learned he was the lead singer of the band Live, and when he left the band, they sued him massively and it’s still pending. Meanwhile this is from his third solo album, The Flood and the Mercy, and it’s a damn good track. Trivia-wise, he played a waiter in the film Fight Club — one of my fave movies. So this is my first listen and I’m interested enough to keep listening. He should get Bill Szymczyk to produce him and they could play Scrabble with no vowels!
9. "Tryin' to Steal a Minute" — Randall Bramblett (3:42)
Randall’s always been an Al favorite and he keeps winning me over consistently throughout the decades. This is another tasty item from his pen. He was in Chuck Leavell’s band Sea Level for awhile and played for a few tours with Steve Winwood’s band. He’s a great guy and makes good albums on a regular basis. That’s all ya can do in this crazy music business...
10. "Something" — Snarky Puppy feat. Lalah Hathaway (5:11)
This band is sneaking into my top ten little by little. They have immaculate taste and feature various women singing lead while they write amazing arrangements and BURN playing behind them. The songs are almost in Steely Dan categorization. Lalah shows she didn’t fall far from the tree her dad Donny planted. This is masterfully performed live by all and that’s also part of the Puppy plan. I gotta go see them the next time they play in town. This is their third appearance in the vaunted closing spot of this column — and all three tracks are from their current album, Family Dinner, Volume One. Trust me if you enjoy this track, and go buy or download the whole album! Hope you are all having a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend — although I try my best to keep the turkeys outta this space.
That lamp looks like one of Paul McCartney’s ex-wives in a hoop dress. See? Now I’m an honorary snarky puppy!