New Music for Old People: Blackstrap, World Famous Headliners, Grand Funk Railroad, The Beach Boys and More

By , Columnist

Blackstrap

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.

TMR0921 by Lisa on Grooveshark

1. "Rough Parade" — Blackstrap (2:51)

Believe it or don’t, this is a co-ed Swedish band that debuted in 2003. This is from their 2008 album Steal My Horses and Run and I love the way it just totally knocks the doors down. The mix gets a little too nitrous oxide for me in the last third, but otherwise this is a great rockin’ track that makes a great opener. I suspect you’ll need earplugs if you see them live. I guess they got their name from her dress (see photo).

2. "Wild Horses" — Faultline feat. Joseph Arthur (4:45)

The combination of this electronic music project from the UK and American Peter Gabriel discovery Joseph Arthur for this one-off track is miraculous. Arthur retains Jagger’s emotion and probable intent without flat-out imitating him as many have in the past. That’s a good start. Faultline has conceived an amazing arrangement, coupled with imaginative background vocals and I consider it a little known masterpiece. It’s a pleasure to share it with all of you. This is from Faultline's 2004 album Your Love Means Everything.

3. "Time (Brings About a Change)" — Keite Young (3:57)

If you’re talented and your great-uncle is bassist Waymon Tisdale, you’re gonna have some kinda chance. If your grandfather was a blues singer and both your parents sang with gospel great Kirk Hamilton, your lineage is positively assured. This is from (as far as I can tell) a solitary album from 2007 titled The Rise and Fall of Keite Young. SLY STONE LIVES! This is what Sly should've sounded like in 2007. Keite learned well and carries on that tradition totally on the nose, as opposed to what Prince did. This just takes me back in a good way and it’s a pleasure to groove to a comparatively modern-day track that pays its respects this well. Careful — this is extremely addicting! I can hear what caused the Rise, but a second album could’ve prevented the Fall — take care of The Family Tisdale, Waymon!

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4. "Rollin' & Tumblin" — 'Babyface' Leroy Foster (2:25)

Comparatively little-known as the Chicago bluesman he was, Leroy died at age 35 from prolonged alcoholism in 1958. The Mississippi-born Foster emigrated to Chicago in the early '40s and after backing Sunnyland Slim as well as Sonny Boy Williamson joined Muddy Waters' early band in 1948, playing drums or guitar depending on who was around. His sideman recording work included Muddy, Little Walter, and pianist Johnny Jones. A local label bankrolled a session under his own name in 1950 including this track, which features Little Walter on harp and Muddy Waters on guitar. They both sang backup vocals and Leroy sang lead. For the time this was recorded, it sounds amazing. This past July Steve Salter, who runs the non-profit Killer Blues Foundation, raised enough money to put a headstone on Foster’s unmarked grave in Griffith, Indiana. We all tip our hats to you, Steve — our pork-pie hats.

5. "Pray Tell" — Anberlin (2:56)

This group is from Orlando, Florida and their first album appeared in 2003. Attention is usually paid to lead singer Stephen Christian who DOES do a good job. This is from their 2010 album Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place, produced by award-winning Brendan O’Brien, ands it brings them dangerously close to a U2 comparison relative to their earlier work. But, hey — I’m suggesting you enjoy this track. I must single out the drummer NathanYoung for his playing in the choruses, most un-studio like and driving like a muthafucka. Everyone involved done good on this track. Don’t understand why they titled it what they did, however. Pray tell, indeed, lads... and what’s wit da white shoes?

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6. "A Cut So Deep" — John Brannen/Lucinda Williams (3:56)

I never heard of John Brannen, but I try to listen to almost everything. So imagine my surprise as I got to verse two when an uncredited, unmistakable voice starts singing. I realized for the first time that Lucinda’s voice is easily recognized out of context and that’s a good thing. A bad thing is that she IS uncredited. Maybe it was record company stuff so I won’t fling accusations around. It’s a good song and they both do a great job but Lucinda does steal the singing show. Now I realize how much I’ve come to savor that voice over the years.

7. "Standing on the Edge" — Frankie Miller (2:31)

I am president of my self-contained Frankie Miller Fan Club. This allows me to play my favorite Miller tracks for you. Fortunately there are many. This is from the self-titled 1982 album, a one-off that was recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama with their extraordinary homebase rhythm section featuring David Hood, Roger Hawkins, Barry Beckett , Wayne Perkins, and Chris Spedding. It was co-written by Free bassist Andy Fraser but totally in command, singin’ his butt off as usual, is co-writer, the great Frankie Miller.

8. "Ball and Chain" — World Famous Headliners (4:02)

These are all-star guys in Gnashville who decided to start a group. This is their first album together. Al Andersen from NRBQ is probably the most famous outside of Tennessee. Being this is their first album, they’re gonna have to open for someone on tour. Who’s gonna want a band named this to open for them? Seriously, this is a LittleFeat/The Band combo that’ll take ya right back to the good old days and they deserve to be their name.

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9. "T.N.U.C." — Grand Funk Railroad (2:56)

This was my fave GFR track. I think it was on their first album. It ran 8:43 back then. All I did was cut the drum solo out — damn, it was loooooong! I went crazy over this groove and wrote at least three songs off the buzz I got from this. I still love Mark Farner’s vocal and gee-tar playing. Don’t spell the title backwards in front of yer grandkids, however...

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10. "Summer's Gone" — The Beach Boys (3:50)

This is from their current 50th anniversary album. I wonder if Brian means it’s fall, or whether summer is permanently gone. It’s almost the damn winter of my life as far as I can tell; summer’s definitely gone here. No more surfin’ for Al, must be a sad song. Good closer. Anybody wanna buy my woodie? See ya next week!

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Legendary musician (Bob Dylan, Blues Project, Super Session, Blood Sweat & Tears), producer (Lynyrd Skynyrd, Nils Lofgren, The Tubes) and author (Backstage Passes & Backstabbing Bastards), Al is happy to join the staff of The Morton Report in an effort to help his fellow listeners stay in tune!

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