New Music for Old People: Glenn Frey, Bessie Banks, Mofro, James Griffin and More

By , Columnist

Jamie Lidell

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.

TMR0201 by Lisa on Grooveshark

1. "How Junior Got His Head Put Out" — Mofro (2:19)

This is the real deal from right outside Memphis — only thing is, it’s current. But their studying of roots music is what makes this band so enjoyable. However, I listened to this a few times and I’m STILL not sure how Junior got his head put out or even what getting one’s head put out IS exactly. But I’m from Queens, New York. I think that’s what’s causing the problem.

2. "Like a Fortress" — The Honeydogs (4:24)

This goes back at least a decade but there is something wonderful about it that always brings me back. First off, right from the intro, it’s very Hendrix-ian and the background guitar work is perfectly played. In fact, if any of you know John Mayer (I don’t) this song fits him better than most of his tee shirts and he could tear this up righteously if he had a mind to. But meanwhile, Adam Levy and crew have done an exquisite job and I think you’ll like this a lot. Great lyric as well.

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3. "Little Bit of Feel Good" — Jamie Lidell (2:20)

Conceptually, this puts me to mind of the late, great Robert Palmer at its best moments. The ending is not one of those moments, however.

4. "There Is So Much More" — Brett Dennen (2:27)

At first, because of the range and semi-falsetto take, I thought this was a female vocal. My wife used her Shazam app that listens to music and tells you the artist and the title. I was completely fooled and had to turn my mind around to a lad singing versus a lassie. I wonder if anyone else was misled by this artist’s voice. Once I was in the know I realized the next time I heard the voice I would know it and how important it is to have a recognizable voice. I will keep listening to Brett.

5. "Go Now" — Bessie Banks (2:39)

Those wise in the ways of ‘60s R&B will surely know that this is the original track later covered quite well by The Moody Blues on their first album. Those who don’t can enjoy this for the seminal piece of music that it is and then listen to the Moodys version and wonder which one they like best. I’m all ears in the comments section if you’re wired enough to type.

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6. "Rigamarolle" — Dalton & Dubarri (2:39)

And so we zoom back to 1976 for this largely unknown fine 45 by guitarist/bassist/producer Gary Dalton and Kent Dubarri, drummer and percussionist. They made great records and were pioneers of recording at home almost 40 years ago. This is a great example of their artistry and I believe I am in a minority of people who have heard this track. This inclusion should take care of that statistic. Biggest song? “Success and Failure,” ironically enough, and there’s one more I recall named “Big Love,” a paean to Adele-sized women. I’ll include that in a few weeks with a bit of searching luck.

7. "She Won't Cheat on Us" — Paul Thorn (2:31)

Wanna be a great songwriter? Start by listening to this man’s work. A great lyric, perfect production, a rocking track and a vocal that makes you believe that he believes what he’s singing. It’s a clever story (fictional, I hope) and probably best heard when Paul comes to YOUR town. His between-songs patter is hilarious as well — ALWAYS an evening out well spent.

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8. "She Knows" — James Griffin (2:28)

This is the original version of the song the late Richard Manuel sang his poor heart out on but I wonder how he heard it. James was a slice of the group Bread but not being the lead singer most of the time didn’t propel his name as far as David Gates. Nonetheless he wrote and sang this originally and inspired Richard Manuel to cover it. Took me a lot of time and stale Bread albums to uncover this.

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9. "Candyman Blues" — Little Feat (2:33)

For people not raised in the Crescent City, these guys can play music of this sort as if they were raised on it. Bill Payne’s piano solo alone is worth a listen to this. And there are many reasons why they have outlasted The Grateful Dead (their Jerry Garcia — Lowell George — passed away as well) but they are still on the road as I type this. One of my top ten faves and they ALWAYS let me sit in when I can ambulate to one of their shows. This is on their latest album.

10. "Let's Go Home" — Glenn Frey (3:43)

This is pretty bizarre. An Eagle imagines himself a fox, as crafty country rock legend Frey lets loose an Al Green persona on his 1984 solo disc The Allnighter. He almost pulls it off but is stalled by the exacting perfection used commonly in Eagles productions as opposed to the Memphis players' relaxed grooves under the eye and ear of Al Green producer Willie Mitchell. Frey sings almost entirely in a lower falsetto emulating Green. The singing is pretty darn good but Willie Mitchell's less exacting touch is sorely missing. Nonetheless, the voice leads you through and it is NOT an unpleasant experience by any means. Maybe I’m just too critical here — so sit back with someone special and disprove me. Meanwhile, until next week — let's go home.

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