New Music for Old People: Richard Thompson, The Dø, Bettye Swann, and More

By , Columnist

The Dø

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.

TMR012012 by Lisa on Grooveshark

1. "I Don't Want You Anymore" — Bill Champlin (2:53)

I have been a fan for many years. Great singer, songwriter, musician, and arranger. Founded SF group Sons Of Champlin, and subbed in the band Chicago for a few years. Here’s a nice groove from a solo album called Single released in 1978 and then later on CD. Covered by Tavares (?!) in 2011, but that’s okay — they’re from Boston.

bill-champlin.jpg

2. "I Ain't That Easy to Lose" — Bettye Swann (3:26)

This must be the answer song to the above although it was recorded before it somehow. This Muscle Shoals track from Fame Studios lay in the vaults for decades until Atlantic released it on a compilation CD called ATLANTIC UNEARTHED: Soul Sisters in 2006. This knocked my socks off because of the arrangement and chord changes, but Bettye, famous for her soul classic “Make Me Yours,” sings pretty convincingly on this rare track as well. Enjoy...

3. "Dust It Off" — The Dø (3:23)

Electronica is slowly getting through to me each year. This is a brand new track and it should be a big hit single, but that ain't gonna happen. That doesn’t mean I don’t WANT IT to happen, either. This is a great track and song; sung as real as people can sing. The high notes are sooooo real and the whole track just gets under my skin. But this is definitely electronica and now I am finally a participating participant.

4. "Can You Cure Me" — GrooveLily (2:32)

This is from 2009 but it just got into my ears. It’s from a concept album but it has legs of its own and walks quite well unassisted. An original-sounding composition from the album Sleeping Beauty Wakes. Quite an enjoyable listen with great vocals by this trio. This started out as a theatrical production in 2007 and became an album two years later. Keep your eye on them. I will as well. And that's quite a fency fiddle ya got there, girl...

groovelily.jpg

5. "California Girl" — Tristan Prettyman (3:14)

Tristan is, in reality, actually a San Diego pretty woman, so she’s ill-named. Modeling, surfing, singing, and songwriting comprise most of her life. This is a nice track featuring her acoustic guitar playing and a couple of her voices. It is good listening, well recorded and current.

6. "I Don't Remember Your Name" — The Records (3:24)

A UK band from the '80s with good songwriting. This is a fave of mine primarily for the lyrics and the production. I know this situation has happened to 99% of my readers, ESPECIALLY me. That’s why I like it so much.

7. "The Richest One" — Toni Price (4:57)

I never knew Toni when I lived in Austin in 1980-81. This track came my way after I was no longer a resident. I really like her vocal on this and it’s a pretty great lyric as well. This is a blues influenced ballad done at a nice pace. So far, I’ve not seen her live.

8. "The Art of Living" — The Boomers (3:50)

Those darn Canadians — so many slip past the ears of us American listeners. This is a great musical track with sort of a Rolling Stones guitar theme but much cleaner than what Keith would instinctively provide. He’s an honorary American by now, anyway. This rocks along and is nice to add to your collection of guitar sounds. Nice bass work as well, by the way.

9. "Clownin' Around" — Deer Tick (2:55)

Ever since I read their name, I meant to give a listen as I am a big Deerhoof fan and wanted to see what was up. This deer fer sure ain’t that deer. What I don’t understand is the title of the song. This appears to be a serious lyric about losing a battle with heroin addiction. I can’t seem to grasp where the clownin’ around takes place. Other than that, this is a stark song, believably performed and well written. Wassup with that title, guys?

10. "Oh Missy" — Richard Thompson (3:41)

I have always been a fan and supporter of RT. When I was a record exec at Polygram, I got the chance to sign him and we did two albums and a feature length video with him. This track is from that period. What’s missing is his extraordinary lead playing, so I am enclosing a video of the two of us playing from 1984 with the house band on The Dennis Miller Show. That Richard is quite a songwriter and guitarist.We’ve only played together a handful of times but this was on YouTube and I couldn’t resist, even though the sound guy gave Richard short shrift on his guitar solo volume. And forgive my 1984 look — straight outta Miami Lice. See ya next week...

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