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. "Hold On (Change Is Comin')" — Nigel Lewis & Lynette White (2:35)
This is nice modern soul with an almost gospel lyric as opposed to what a cashier would reply to you at a convenience store. I believe Lynette’s sincerity more than Nigel’s, but nonetheless, they are both above the line of dedication unlike many neo-soul singers of today. This is a couple of years old but it's still a great listen.
2. "Doin' It" — Professor Longhair (2:42)
This is one of the originators of the Crescent City Sound, the pianist that Dr. John, Allen Toussaint and Fats Domino will always hold in esteem. This is a wonderful basic listen to what the New Orleans heritage is all about — not his best track, but one of his best recordings audio-wise. And needless to say, he is doin’ it, babies...
3. "Mamarita" — World Famous Headliners (2:58)
I couldn’t resist dropping this in next. This is from the debut album by Nashville locals who have written and performed on many recordings over the last quarter century. They feature Al Andersen (late of NRBQ) and Pat McLaughlin, who I dubbed the “Van Morrisson of Nashville” back when I lived there in the '90s. Here they take on the very sound 'Fess fathered in the previous track with nary a keyboard in sight. Don’t matter — they KNOW what they’re doing as they are collectively now "the Little Feat of Nashville." Hot stuff!
4. "Stand By Your Man" — Candi Staton (2:53)
This is the best cover of the Tammy Wynette classic and somehow the great lyric means just a wee bit more with Candi wrapped around it. It's from Muscle Shoals back in the glory days and, fer sure, timeless!
5. "The Thrill of This Love" — Van Hunt (2:33)
A well-learned soul youngster who has studied Prince paraphernalia well holds forth here for your listening pleasure. He has a few albums out now if this touches your heart. His discography dates back to 2004. I always keep my eyes and ears on him and I am rarely disappointed.
6. "Crush" — Maimou (3:03)
There is not much history to be found about this original band from Texas. Juliana Sheffield is the singer and Zac Baird is the bandleader. They do all original material and original it is. I love the first line in this song and I tried to place it as perfectly as possible right after Van Hunt. I don't know what category this band fits into nor do I care — I’m just glad I own it. There are several more good tracks I will unleash as time goes by, but this is as good as any of theirs to get you interested and searching. This music is vintage late '90s, so I doubt this band exists any more but I am a Juliana Sheffield fan forever. If YOU know more, let ME know.
7. "Seven Angels on a Bicycle" — Carrie Rodriguez (3:04)
As I live the latter part of my life, I am amazed that someone born in 1978 is now already 35 years old. This is the title tune of Carrie’s debut album of 2006. Initially assisted by Chip Taylor, she was taken touring by Taylor, Lucinda Williams, John Prine, John Mayer, Los Lobos, and Patty Griffin, wherein she began capturing an ever-growing audience. She has a new album on tap for this month and I'm hoping for the best. Don’t miss her when she’s in your town.
8. "It's the Engine In Me" — Graham Central Station (4:09)
This is vintage GCS and a paean to the legend of soulster Larry Graham. Co-creator of the Family Stone sound and originator of the slap-bass style, he’s ingrained in the correct history books. Here’s a good reason why. Amazing singing (especially in the fade) as well as bass playing, I can recall having to stop my session once at Sausalito (CA) Record Plant because Larry was recording a bass part in the studio next to me through FOUR Marshall bass amps and it was so loud they probably had to cancel classes at all Sausalito public schools that afternoon. Here’s what that sounds like now.
9. "Destination Anywhere" — The Marvelettes (2:27)
From the glory days of Motown comes this overlooked gem of yesteryear. I love the concept of the lyric: a girl goes up to a ticket window at a train station and asks for a ticket. The agent says, “Where to?” and therein begins the story that maybe a few can relate to. A great record that doesn’t deserve to be extinct.
10. "Like a Road Leading Home" — Albert King (3:52)
One of the best vocals ever by the famed guitar-slinger of the ‘70s, it is also the one destination the above Marvelettes DON’T wanna go to. I love his vocal on this; it was rare you could REALLY hear his heart and soul vocally eclipse his guitar playing. Lefties rule! And the subject matter of this song's title takes us to the end of another week of good listening. See ya next week!