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. "Finally Falling" — Mayer Hawthorne (3:21)
He came sweeping over the white/soul boundaries and was the talk of the biz. But all of a sudden, all the fans went to Mars (Bruno, that is) and Mayer fell back down to Earth. What fools these mortals be! Here’s one of many reasons why...
2. "New Morning" w/horns — Bob Dylan (3:58)
When I was working on the album New Morning, I asked Bob if I could overdub a horn section on the title song. He said sure and I did. When I played it for his approval he didn’t like it. That was the end of that until last year when they started working on the authorized bootleg #10 and Bob’s manager, Jeff Rosen, invited me to remix the track with the horns the way I wanted them. It's available NOW on the Another Self Portrait box set. Your comments?
3. "Ghost of a Smile" — Peder (3:05)
Originally a DJ in Denmark releasing tracks starting around 2007, Peder Pedersen dropped out and made a solo album more of the singer/songwriter persuasion just released last week. This is the title track and it was overwhelming for me, as I hear influences of Duke Ellington, John Barry and still more on this creatively original track. I will go back and search for more but this is an excellent starter.
4. "She" — Britten (3:34)
This lad came out a few years ago with an album that he played and sang all the parts on accompanied by a drum machine. I included one track back then and now it’s surely time for another. Great stuff!
5. "Treat Me Right" — Grace Potter (3:42)
It's always a pleasure to showcase the best-looking Hammond organ player around. She plays as good as any of us and sings even better. With her great band The Nocturnals in tow, one can expect good, original, down-to-earth soul music. Here comes one now.
6. "My Number" — Foals (2:59)
What hath Daft Punk wrought? This is more of that dancing electronica, well served up by a UK band originally at college in Oxford. They debuted in 2008 and this album, Holy Fire, was released in late February of this year. This track grew on me and reminded of the Daft Punk track that exploded worldwide. Try some of this in a short version and if you like it, download a longer one and dance like everyone else is across the pond.
7. "Elayne" — Freddy Henry (3:20)
A Wisconsin wunderkind I had the pleasure of producing in the late '70s, our efforts unfortunately never made it to CD. The album, on vinyl, was called Get It Out in the Open, ironically, and so I shall. This was a Bill Champlin composition that caught my ear and Freddy liked it as well. Kudos to Skunk Baxter for very tasty pedal steel playing and the guitar cadenza at the song’s finish. Freddy and I will be playing a benefit together in the Milwaukee area at the end of October. More details soon.
8. "Possibilities" — Hurricane Bells (2:53)
I can’t tell from my research if this band still exists. It revolves around guitarist-composer-singer Steve Schiltz, who hails from Rochester, New York. He was originally in a band called Longwave and they made four albums in the mid-2000s. Then he went off to do a solo side project and it became this band. This track is from an album called Tides and Tales, released in late 2011. When this modulates from a subdued intro to a full-on pounding groove, it will get your attention. I like all the parts the instruments are playing at that point — it’s pretty original. Let’s see what happens with these Bells. I believe they’re out touring as I type.
9. "Sign in the Window" w/strings — Bob Dylan (3:50)
Another difference of opinion from the New Morning album with pretty much the same scenario described in track #2 above. I asked to put strings on and Bob didn’t like it and 43 years later they asked me to remix with the orchestra intact. I have always liked Bob’s performance on this track; his vocal and piano-playing are some of the best work of his that I have been involved with. Listen to the piano in the instrumental solo — it is first class piano-playing. His singing is amazing as well; my favorite two points are him singing the word “sleet” and also the word “pa.” I am delighted that they let me finally get this out to the general public (it's available now on the album Another Self Portrait). Your comments are ALWAYS appreciated.
10. "Dead in the Water" — Ellie Goulding (4:01)
Bob would have been the closer this week had I not heard this track from Ellie’s latest album, Halcyon. Admittedly, I don’t ‘get’ everything she does, but when she hits the nail in MY head, I am duly appreciative. This is a perfect example. This is as original sounding as one can get nowadays and the song is quite good as well. She is way more adventurous than Adele and I admire her experimentation although sometimes it goes soaring over my head. I still support that concept in any artist.