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. "Young Love" — Kris Allen (2:45)
The guitar figures are so good, a 70-year-old man downloaded this song title.
"Right back atcha, Al baby ... well, maybe not baby..."
2. "Whatcha Gonna Do" — Claire Lynch (3:17)
Claire is a fixture and annual award-winner in the bluegrass field, but I found this track more jazzy, with a particularly great modulation into each chorus. iTunes doesn’t assist me in telling you who plays the acoustic guitar licks and solo, but they are sublime (the licks and solo, not iTunes!). This is a great, timeless track.
3. "I Don't Wanna" — Brett Hite (2:37)
This is a pure arrangement attraction. A college soccer player sidelined by an injury entered the music biz. The heroes here are the arranger and producer... but at least there ARE heroes.
"I think I can get to the World Cup with this B flat chord right here."
4. "Always" — Joonie (2:44)
A great track, perfectly done. A native of Jacksonville, North Carolina, Calvin Gary, Jr. migrated with his musical family to Seattle when he was 12. Gospel and soul music were always prevalent in the household and “Joonie” (a childhood nickname) taught himself to play several instruments growing up, including guitar and piano. Rapper and producer Warren G signed him when he was 21, but creative and ideological differences, in addition to personnel changes at the record company, caused Joonie to walk away from it and take a breather from the record industry in general. Behind the scenes he assisted Elliot Yasmin, Ruben Stoddard, Angie Stone and Mos Def until his songwriting demos caused another solo deal offer to materialize. This time he had total creative control, birthing the album Acoustic Love in 2010, where this track originated. The incredible amount of talent brimming over is obvious from this solo endeavor. Get on board the Joonie train as soon as you can. I’m already there myself in civilian clothes.
5. "Longer" — Brad Kane (3:21)
And speaking of talent, Brad Caleb Kane, born in 1973, has a diverse and impressive resume as an actor, writer, composer and singer. Best known as the singing voice of Aladdin in the various Disney animation films, he also acted in films such as The Flamingo Kid and State Troopers, wrote episodes of one of my favorite TV series (Fringe), and acted on TV in Law & Order, One Life to Live, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sesame Street and numerous others. On Broadway he acted in A Winter's Tale, Sunday in the Park With George, Evita, She Loves Me, and he married actress Sarah Thompson in 2007. Oh, yeah — he composed and sang an album called This Day In History as Brad Caleb Kane in 2008. This is from that album and as a lyricist, I especially enjoyed his lyric "I don’t know why I came here tonight to listen to you tell me what I didn’t do right / I don’t think I can listen to this sh*t much longer..." I wish I wrote that.
"I coulda been a Clark Kent-er..."
6. "Getting Home" — Simplified (2:39)
Here is this week’s pseudo-metal track. A mostly southeastern US band from South Carolina, you can tell they play other kinds of music as this is obviously not a dedicated metal band. BUT it’s a catchy little track and it has its moments.
"We got this old rehearsal room CHEAP from Molly Hatchet a few years ago."
7. "I'll Be the One" — Boz Scaggs (4:02)
This is a good track to explain what Scaggs is best at. That lazy R&B tempo and feel and great singing and songwriting are the trademarks, and this is a favorite of mine that seems to fit in well here this week.
“How did I end up in Kooper’s column?” he said pensively...
8. "Come to Me" — Marv Johnson (2:18)
Historically, this is an important record as it was the first single on Berry Gordy’s fledgling Tamla label out of Detroit. It made noise locally but Gordy had to sell the distribution rights to United Artists Records to really push it out there and it peaked at #6 on the Billboard R&B chart and #30 on the Hot 100 in early 1960. Future backup stars James Jamerson on bass and Benny Benjamin on drums are here and Gordy co-wrote the song with Johnson. My 45 is on the UA label but I have seen Tamla copies. This is a great record of its time and was obviously recorded well to sound so good today, sonically.
Marv? First I was wondering if ya still had that jacket, but then I realized it wouldn’t fit either one of us now...
9. "Hope This Makes You Love Me" — Tank (3:33)
I like when contemporary R&B singers emulate the '70s sound. This is a halfhearted attempt but the chorus is very '70s and made me push the ‘Buy’ button on iTunes. I’m not sorry. Tank is a great writer and singer and I think I’m gonna push that button again for the title song of this album, "Stronger." It just came out this week on Atlantic Records. Ahmet and Jerry would’ve been thumbs up.
10. "She Knows My Name" — The Family Crest (4:01)
Introduced in last week’s column, this band knocks me flat on my ass. Here's originality all over the place. If I were in charge of all American music, this band would be #1. I will continue to play you tracks but please post in Comments as I am curious if anybody else feels like I do. Check out last week's TFC track and video as well if you missed 'em.
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