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. “What Kind of Man” — Florence and the Machine (2:34)
Her next album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, won’t be out for months, but this is the lead-off single that’s out right now. I like this. Her voice gets better with each album and this is no exception and I like the song as well. This album may bust her out big but I haven’t heard it yet.
If you look really closely you can see The Machine under the tree on the right 100 yards behind Florence here...
2. “Somebody Was Watching” — Pops Staples (2:35)
I had to add another track from Roebuck’s posthumous release. This is very much in his famous style but I wish his guitar was louder.
3. “Baby’s Just As Mean As Me” — Steve Earle feat. Eleanor Whitmore (2:11)
There’s kind of an old-timey feel to this track from Steve’s latest album, . Ms. Whitmore’s sound is reminiscent of Maria Muldaur, who also could have sat in and added name value. A tasty swipe at his mate in in this hopefully fictitious lyric.
Dressing rooms ain't what they used to be nowadaze.
4. “Walk It Off” — Conley Graves Trio (1:43)
I found this on iTunes and really enjoyed the piano playing. It was difficult to find info on the man. His period of “fame” was 1956-59 and he recorded for Decca and Liberty. I felt this was a great follow-up for the previous Steve Earle track. Any of you experts out there, leave a comment and please enlighten us all. That’s why we’re all here!
5. “Walk Away” — Katie Love (2:51)
This is a really nice track that just came out from an artist who grew up in a small town in Canada where she was exposed to lots of different influences by her music-loving parents, including gospel music from the church across the street from their home. A ten-year veteran of the music business, this track is from her debut album Ready or Not, which is being released by an independent label in Calgary called Red Tree Records.
6. “Climbin’” — Honeycut (2:48)
This completes a trio of tracks by this band from an album that is nine years old. They sure don’t sound dated to me. Their latest album was released in February, 2012. I hope they’re still out there playing — I’d love to see them live.
7. “A New Anhedonia” — Phosphorescent (3:51)
Phosphorescent is Matthew Houck’s nom de plume for his songwriting and singing. There is country music in here somewhere and there was even a tribute album to Willie Nelson, but you won’t hear it glaring at you on this track. The dictionary says an-he-DON-ia is a psychology term that denotes lack of pleasure or the capacity to experience it. I get a lot of that from iTunes lately. This is from Matthew’s brand new album Live at the Music Hall, which is well-played and sung and excellently recorded. There will be more on here. (Whaddaya mean there’s already a moron here??? It sure isn’t me )
8. “It Sure Wasn’t Me” — Tyrone Davis (3:22)
Those of us who lived on ‘60s and ‘70s R&B will fondly recall Tyrone’s hits back then, “Turn Back the Hands Of Time” and “Can I Change My Mind.” This is comparatively modern Tyrone and it’s not much different than the old ones except for the inclusion of synthesizers replacing great musicians. However, I had to play back the first line a few times to qualify it as going in MY Hall of Fame for great opening lines: “Girl, you said your sister saw me on the Alcoholiday Inn...” There’s some more great ones in here as well. Tyrone didn’t write his hits but he sure could sing ‘em. He was born in Mississippi in 1938 and died of complications from a stroke in 2005 in Chicago, where he lived most of his life. A tip of the headphones to Tyrone Davis and the Alcoholiday Inn.
Wish I could pull off an outfit like this (sigh)...
9. “I Lost You” — Big Dume (3:15)
This is the second of two pretty good tracks from their 2005 album Inside My Head. There was all kinds of soap opera stuff going on in the lives of the children of Bruce Jenner, Don Felder, and the stepchild of uber-producer David Foster. If you can step back from all that mishegas this sounds competitive for its time.
10. “Payola Blues” — Albert Lee (3:41)
I think we need to close this week’s fest with some ass-kickin’ guitar pickin’ and who better qualified than one of the top kings of the strings, Albert Lee. One, two, three — listen to Mr. Lee!
You can tell by Albert's coiffure how many years he spent in Emmy Lou Harris's backup band...
You can sign up for Al Kooper's mailing list right here.