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. "I Wish You Would" — Billy Boy Arnold (2:44)
One of my favorite blooztoons composed by the artist. There are a few versions by him available; this is clearly the best one. What a great groove! It's from the '60s but surely holds up today. I recorded this at a much slower tempo to tip my hat to John Hammond Jr's version on Atlantic featuring Robbie Robertson on guitar, Bill Wyman on bass and Mike Bloomfield on piano. I’ll dig John’s version up for next week.
2. "Born Again" — Robert Randolph (2:47)
The master of the sit-down steel on four legs has a new album just out titled Lickety Split. This is my favorite track from it. What a great musician. We still have not met...
3. "Life Going By" — King's X (3:25)
One of my favorite bands of all time, right up there with Free. This is a lesser known track that always keeps me coming back for more — tasty, massive guitar playing by Ty Tabor and perfect bass choices by Doug Pinnnick. My favorite track is “It’s Love” but I ran that ages ago in one of my first columns. Don’t worry — there’s plenty more!
4. "Snap Your Fingers" — Joe Henderson (2:54)
In the battle of the powerful once-in-a-while resonant vocal LOW note, Brook Benton won the popularity contest, but this track from a gentleman from Mississippi holds up pretty damn well. This was the only hit for poor Joe from 1962, who deserved much more than dying at age 27 from a heart attack in 1964. Thankfully, this track seems to have a long life of its own.
5. "Reunion" — Ronald Isley (3:37)
Speaking of lasting forever, the Isley Brothers' legacy adds another link from Ron’s latest solo album, This Song Is for You, out this week. With what sounds exactly like cousin Ernie’s Hendrixian sweet guitar in the intro and ending, this pays tribute to the Isleys of yore — their hit-laden years. It’s a sound I can never get enough of and Ron will always be one of my favorite, most expressive R&B lead singers of all time.
6. "Kinks Shirt" — Matt Nathanson (2:41)
This guy has hidden from me since his first release in 1993! He had a single that sold almost two million copies that snuck past old hip Al. He’s had dozens of songs on dozens of TV series (not that I watch that many) and somehow avoided my curious ears until his latest album, Last of the Great Pretenders, came out this week. This song cracked me up — a paean to a young lady in a Kinks T-shirt. Now I have to go back and catch up. Meanwhile here’s the first one I ever heard by Matt, a week ago.
7. "I Choose You" — Sara Bareilles (3:35)
Conversely, I’ve heard a great deal of Sara since her debut a few years ago. This is from her latest album, The Blessed Unrest, and it’s a great song very well sung. My secret hope is that she’ll record a duet with Grace Potter sometime. Those two voices together? Endless possibilities. A tour together might have already taken place for all I know.
8. "Hey Girl" — Michael McDonald (3:25)
I always liked the original record by Freddie Scott, produced by the legendary Gerry Goffin. It’s nice to hear MM’s voice on this great song, however, no matter when.
9. "Neighbor, Neighbor" — Jimmy Hughes (2:17)
One of the least known great goodies from the Fame label and studios in rustic Alabama. What a great groove — great guitar and horn parts. My scratched-up single has the best mix of all, so forgive the clicks and pops.
10. "Light My Fire" — Minnie Riperton (3:18)
This is totally obscure and pretty bizarre, from the string intro to the addition of a duet partner whose voice you’ll surely recognize in the fade (hint: it’s not Jim Morrison). The late Minnie thankfully recorded a great deal in her comparatively short life. I’ve never heard THIS track outside my man cave however. A tip of the hat to a great artist who left us way too soon.