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. "Portrait of Red" — The Virginmarys (2:42)
We’ve come a long way from Lou Reed complaining, “Vicious, you hit me with a flower.” Here is a song where the male lead singer implores his mate to: a) “do me some harm” and b) “baby, treat my body like a canvas!” Done in modified heavy metal, it will certainly get your attention. A new Brit trio, primarily beholden to the Sex Pistols and then Nirvana, I actually like this track but don’t dare sing/play it within hearing distance of my wife.
2. "Going Down For the Last Time" — Gregg Guidry (3:02)
Back to 1982 for this one, where this cunning linguist bragged about another subject I don’t need to hear in a song. Written and sung by Gregg, it actually made the Top Twenty back in the day. I rarely come across folks who have ever heard it. I liked it for the well-made pop record it was at the time and I am almost always seduced by guitar solos in three-part harmony. So just in case you never heard this, I’ve included it.
3. "Didn't Want to Love You" — Don Rich (3:12)
This was tricky research. There is a more famous Don Rich who was in Buck Owens' Buckaroos and made solo albums. I almost fell for that. That Don passed in 1974. Louisiana Don Rich is still rockin’ and this track is from his 2006 album called You Need Love. He plays most instruments and has a great sense and balance of the genres he interprets. A tip of the hat to the late Don Rich, who did great work as well.
4. "Take Me to Memphis" — Rose Falcon (3:40)
I don’t like most modern country music because I like the generations behind it more. There was a time when it all sounded like either The Eagles or Lynyrd Skynyrd and I lost the George Joneses and the Hank Williams, Sr's so I kept listening to the older generation except for the rare originals that would emerge every now and then. Rose’s dad is Billy Falcon, a well-respected country songwriter, and his daughter got the gene. She reminds me of the next generation Lucinda Williams and that is a compliment. This track is perfect in many ways and I think will always be a favorite and it was only released one month ago!
5. "Shook Up the World" — Puddle of Mudd
Probably from their singles collection album, Icon, in 2010. This band started in Kansas City Missouri in 1992. They put out homemade albums until 1999 when they broke up and lead singer and writer We Scantlin was summoned to California by Fred Durst, who was starting a label. Fred helped with re-staffing the band and by 2001 Puddle of Mudd (west coast division) had a new album out with top distribution. The rest is history, as they have sold millions of records since 2001. Hope you enjoy this particular change of pace from them.
6. "Pieces" — Trixie Whitley (2:44)
Daughter of folk/blues singer Chris Whitley and cohort of Daniel Lanois, Trixie shines on her first solo album. I love stuff like this when it’s done well, and this is well done.
7. "Sugar and Riley" — Ray Bonneville (2:50)
From his 2011 album Bad Man’s Blood, this has the authentic construction and feel of classic folk blues. It is pleasing on the ears and a nice composition concerning a next-door couple that fights late at night but all is quiet and contented by sunrise. Ray is a great traditionalist if you go for that.
8. "Ne'er Do Wells" — Audra Mae & The Almighty Sound (2:59)
When your great-grandmother was a member of The Gumm Sisters, containing Francis Ethel Gumm (later Judy Garland!), you’ve got music in your blood. Raised on the folk music of her grandparents' teaching, Audra Mae grew up in Oklahoma. Once she eventually got to California, the door swung open, and TV shows began to play her versions of her songs and Susan Boyle covered an Audra Mae original on her chart-topping nine million-selling debut album, which is a good start. Putting together a band of her western friends, The Almighty Sound was born and her first album was released a year ago. This is an original of hers she calls a "union song" — concerning the travails of her grandfather who was a railroad man back in its comparative infancy.
9. "I Think I'm in Love" — Charlie Wilson (2:52)
A formidable presence in the R&B field for decades, in the ‘70s he and his two brothers headed The Gap Band, influencing and selling voluminous vinyl. Trying out the solo stand, he did well right outta da box. Didn’t hurt having friends like Kanye West and Snoop Dogg. What I like about this is that it’s rooted in older R&B and smacks a bit of Bobby Womack on the title line. That’ll always keep me around.
10. "Your Old Lady" — David Lindley (3:28)
This came roaring out of his first solo album in 1981, El Rayo-X. Starting in Kaleidoscope in1966, he let everyone know that the more obscure the instrument and the brand was an integral part of his style. He also dressed like a psychedelic golfer and made me laugh out loud a few times when I’d take in his wardrobe. But we’re talking MUSIC now. This is one of his most historic tracks and one I never get tired of. Originally written and recorded by The Isley Brothers in 1961, it never charted and is an inspired choice for a cover. God bless ya, David — you end my column perfectly.