New Music for Old People: Bill Spooner, Kaki King, Wheat, Mo Rodgers and More

By , Columnist

Mo Rodgers

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.

TMR0705 by Lisa on Grooveshark

1. "Fired Up" — Hanson (1:57)

Let’s just say I really like the guitar figure at the expense of everything else.

2. "King Pizel" — Kaki King (1:23)

Let’s just say I really like the guitar player and the rest of the band.

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3. "Go Through It" — Griffin House (2:29)

This is the third track from his latest album to make the column. That is unusual for me and takes balls. The title of the album is Balls. Très convenient...

4. "Heart of Gold" — Mo Rodgers (2:40)

I actually now like this more than the original version. The vocal is great and so is the groove. It’s hard to challenge Neil Young, but this is actually one Mo better. Nice harp playing as well.

5. "Some Days" — Wheat (2:57)

Holy cow! This band is from Taunton, MA — a stone’s throw from where I hang my hat. This is from their 2004 album Per Second...Every Second. I recall downloading another track as well from that album. Hi, guys! Nice work!

6. "Little Things" — Syleena Johnson & Malone (3:29)

Ah, the R&B ingredient — not to mention that she's the daughter of Hi Records lighthouse Syl Johnson. She has run with Kanye West and R Kelly and been nominated for Grammys. I prefer this old style duet honoring the “little things” in a relationship. Syl’s daughter can sing pretty damn good and this is a great track in the old tradition that old me prefers.

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7. "Anticipatin'" — The Explorers Club (2:33)

These guys started out being Brian Wilson worshippers and were quite accomplished soundalikes. Then with their last album they abandoned the surf for the '60s. This track is like a cross between The Buckinghams and The Newbeats — and that’s not a bad thing. Their skills are just as astute as in their Brian period and once I got over the change, I quite enjoy it.

8. "Only In a Dream" — Bill Spooner (3:20)

I got to know Bill quite well musically when I produced The Tubes' first album. He was the musical leader and main composer. He was extremely gifted and I learned while I worked. This is from his first noticable album AFTER he left The Tubes which is now many moons old. Since then, he battled drugs and eventually won. I always liked this track as it is heavily imbued with his singing, playing, composing and arranging talents albeit a bit shy on the production side. Still, a great listen nonetheless — most people are not as picky-picky as I am.

9. "Guitars and Women" — Rick Derringer (3:27)

And let’s not forget the ‘70s. This is a perfect record which I have always admired. Good song, good singing, great arrangement and perfect production for that time period. It's an oldie rarely heard, unfortunately. Rick started in the ‘60s as a member of The McCoys ("Hang On, Sloopy") and played sideman to both Johnny and Edgar Winter as well as delivering some great solo albums on Columbia. A nice guy, too, as I recall.

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10. "Share Your Love with Me" — The Self-Righteous Brothers (4:58)

This is what Jimmy Vivino and I used to call ourselves in the ‘90s when we played shows comprised of oldies covers. With Mike Merritt on bass and Anton Fig’s capable drumming we played songs like this about every two years. I include this now as a tribute to the original recording by the recently departed blues hero, Bobby “Blue” Bland. Jimmy’s vocal is wonderful and it pays as much tribute to Richard Manuel as it does to BBB. His piano-playing is pretty darn good for a hot guitarist as well. Say goodnight, Al...

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Bobby "Blue" Bland

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