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. "This Is Gonna Hurt You" — Hoobastank (3:21)
I like the way this draws on the independents of the '80s as much as I scratch my head when I see their name. They are a good band despite their missed nomer, however. I hope this hurts you in a GOOD way.
2. "Walking In the Sand" — Hollie Cook (3:16)
I love reggae covers of old songs — ya know they’re NOT gonna do it just like the original before the needle hits the vinyl. This is really pleasant to listen to and Hollie is the daughter of Paul, legendary Sex Pistol drummer. This is from her 2011 self-titled debut album. It was a rave up in the UK. She rightfully calls her music "tropical pop." I await much more of this trop pop.
3. "I Wouldn't Be a Man" — Josh Turner (3:27)
These days, when country music is as far away from the '50s country music I grew up with and men were MEN, it’s startling to hear a voice like this, especially after the recent demise of the great George Jones, who took one of the great ones with him to heaven or wherever the hell he went. Now if Josh can find/write songs as fine as the Jones catalog, I might just sashay a little closer to Gnashville in my everyday listening habits ...if...if...if...
4. "High Blood Pressure" — Jerry Douglas (3:33)
And what a great idea to have Keb Mo sing this one. He turns in an atypical reading that is just downright perfect. The band is great too, but they don’t list them in iTunes, of course. Maybe sharp-eyed/eared producer Russ Titelman will clue us in the comments section next week? Needless to say (but I’m writing, not talking), Jerry Douglas is his usual flawless self.
5. "Won't Be Long" — Eva Cassidy (3:08)
This song has always been in my Aretha Franklin top ten. It’s from her very first album produced by John Hammond Sr. and composed by J Leslie MacFarland, a great R&B writer from the '50s and '60s. And Eva truly covers it; she doesn’t miss even the tiniest lick in Aretha’s version. Then why play it, you may ask. Because Eva had a different voice than Aretha’s and as time goes by it is just as enjoyable to listen to as Ms. Franklin's. The band is better on Mr. Hammond’s version, however. Pity we lost Eva at such a young age and a blessing that Aretha just keeps on chooglin’.
6. "Regret" — The Winery Dogs (3:39)
Well, they’re just starting out but it’s a supergroup: Billy Sheehan, bassist from Mr. Big; Ritchie Kotzen, guitarist and singer from Poison AND Mr. Big; and Mike Portnoy, leader and drummer of Dream Academy for 25 years. They're all great musicians from Metal-Land and Kotzen is a great singer in the Paul Rodgers vein. I think they tried too hard on this first album but this is one of the simpler tracks. If they can control themselves on the second album, they could be gigantic. Try it on and if it fits — rock it!
7. "If I Had a Son" — James Maddock (3:08)
James has become a friend. He’s a great singer-songwriter, but just under the national volume to be heard. He makes good albums and this is from his latest, Another Life — although this is just him and his acoustic. His band is great but they were having a smoke when this track was cut. Good writing, singing and playing will eventually be heard and put him in the limelight.
8. "Warrior" — Brad Love (2:23)
I’ve included maybe three other tracks from Brad but they were mostly ballads in the BeeGees vein. This is more original sounding but it’s decades old. It grows on you — trust me. He unashamedly attacks this full on and in the end I think it works, although for some it may be a guilty pleasure.
9. "Bye Bye Baby" — Mary Wells (2:52)
One of the very first hits on early Motown and the beginning of a string of them for Mary who had at least 15 hit singles, starting with this one. This is the ONLY one where she screamed her head off, however. All the rest were gentler such as “My Guy” or “You Beat Me to the Punch” to just name a couple. But here one can see the sweat-covered soul that originally formed her that could only originate in a Baptist church on Sunday morning. It’s also an early peek at the Motown sidemen obviously prior to bassist James Jamerson. Soul-drenched history on an old 45...
10. "This Time I'm Gone for Good" — Bobby Bland (2:57)
We lost him in 2013 and this title eerily predicted it. It includes just about every vocal signature that Bobby invented in his long history of singing his heart out and it’s a better column-closer than "Bye Bye Baby." We miss ya, Bobby!
This is a rare pennant I found years ago. It's on my kitchen wall. The iPhone snapped this with my finger pointing. See ya next week...