New Music for Old People: Solomon Burke, Neil Young, Wilco, Bette Midler and More

By , Columnist

Leo Sayer assumes the standard Bob Dylan pose for singer-songwriters over 60…

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.

Dec122014 by Willow67 on Grooveshark

1. "Roll With It" — Eric Johnson/Mike Stern (3:24)

Good idea to throw these two uber-players in a playpen with a few microphones and let 'em duke it out. Ya call the album Eclectic and voilà — two serious pickers have fun and share it with their fans and maybe more.

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2. "Water" — Everett Bradley (3:02)

Either ya know him or ya don’t. I didn’t — and then I was transfixed by this track. Great writing and singing made me look him up. Jeez, he played with a lotta people — even Brooce (on the Wrecking Ball tour). And was a key figure in a coupla Broadway shows getting nominated for a Tony. Whatever... here’s this tasteful track and it doesn’t matter WHERE he came from; this just great, listenable music.

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"Hi! After being Al Roker’s stunt double for so many years, it’s really great to have my OWN career!”

3. "Ain't That Somethin'" — Solomon Burke (3:10)

The late Sol pioneered soul music in the '60s and '70s and there are great stories about him — including that when he headlined shows on the chitlin' circuit, he also had a clause that allowed him to run a popcorn concession and keep all the profits. Why didn’t I think of that? This is late vintage Burke and you really feel that he never had to really work — in his last years he did his whole show sitting on a royal throne with robes on! And the soul just poured out of him just like it does here. A great loss for everyone but the soul is forever.

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“Roses! Nearly bloomed roses — a dollar a rose — come on up and get ‘em while they last!"

4. "Come and Get These Memories" — Bette Midler (3:21)

For her comeback album, It's the Girls, Bette returns in amazing voice with a wide swath of older material. This was an early hit on the fledgling Motown label for Martha Reeves and The Vandellas. Bette calms down the tempo and with a sympathetic arrangement digs out the torch song that was always there. I have a great Bette story to relate. My dear friend, actor/writer/director Peter Riegert, was dating Bette in the mid-'70s. He was visiting his parents' apartment in Manhattan and was in the kitchen with his Mom while his Dad watched the football game in the adjoining living room. Peter was regaling his Mom with stories about his new flame Bette Midler, when his father called him into the other room at halftime. His dad asked, "So who is this new Beth Miller gal?" Always loved this story.

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"I don't let the fact that I can't get my bracelet off disrupt my weekly ballet exercises!"

5. "Hit the Floor" — Big Dume (3:14)

See if you can follow this: Brandon Jenner (Bruce Jenner’s son) and Leah Felder (daughter of the Eagles' Don Felder’s) put this band together in Malibu, of course around 2005. The release of the album entitled Inside My Head coincided with a reality show called Princes of Malibu, where the camera followed Brandon and his brother around as they tangled with their stepfather, uber-music producer David Foster, who married their divorced mom who later became one of the cast of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. If you can follow that, it has virtually nothing to do with this pretty darn good track that caught my ear back in 2005. I didn’t read the bio til now. Try to just enjoy the music like I originally did.

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Big Dumes? Medium at best…

6. "Where Did We Go Wrong" — Leo Sayer (3:13)

in the mid-70’s, Brit hitmaker Leo asked to do one of my songs called “Lost Control.” He also asked if I would play on the session. Not a lot of folks were recording my songs at that point, so I was delighted to do so. The album was named Home and I was amazed when I walked in the studio to find Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn from Booker T & The MGs and Bill Payne from Little Feat playing on the date. When the album was released I REALLY liked this song a great deal more than the version of the one I wrote. So here it is for your enjoyment as a reminder of what a great singer little Leo was back in the day and probably still is now, but I am not aware of any current album he has out.

7. "Monday" — Wilco (2:54)

Monday is a day that has been written about throughout music history. This "Monday" is very Stones-influenced and has a captivating hypnotic guitar figure that Keith Richard left on the table a few decades ago. Nonetheless, this early Wilco track rocks like a moose. It’s on a retrospective album they just released called What's Your 20? Essential Tracks 1994-2014.

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Brown Shirts Don’t Make It, guys…

8. "E.N.S." — Keite Young (3:31)

First there was Prince, then there was Bruno Mars. But in between was Keite Young. Born in Texas to a musical family in 1977, he went into gospel music first, joining his parents in working with gospel headliner Kirk Franklin. But then he got bitten by the R&B bug and learned to play a few instruments and write non-gospel songs This song, which is short for "Everybody Needs Someone," is a classic R&B ballad with a lot of gospel feel. If it sounds like Prince at all, well, I’m sure they both spent a bit of time in church. As far as I know there is only one album. It’s from 2007 and is ironically called The Rise and Fall of Keite Young. If you like this, download the whole album. You won’t be disappointed.

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Solve the mystery: Why does a gospel-based artist have Hebrew tattooed on his arms? Maybe he's Slash's half-brother…

9. "Found You Out" — Sir Sly (2:35)

This is the first of two in the Lost Two Found songs contest. Sir Sly is an LA trio whose work pops up in video games and TV commercials. They get played on Sirius and fill 2000-seaters all over the US. This is a taste of what they do. In this song, the woman is revealed as not so nice to the singer/writer. In the second of the Lost Two Found songs quite the opposite occurs. See below...

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Jeez! Couldn’t they have cleaned the mirror in the high school lavatory BEFORE the photo shoot? Not so sly, sirs…

10. "I'm Glad I Found You" — Neil Young (3:18)

So Neil busted out of his eternal/internal marriage and took up with former Splash-to-Jackson Browne, Daryl Hannah. Then he wrote a gushing album about it featuring backing by by a freaking 92-piece orchestra. In spite of all this, it sounds pretty good and even better if you don’t read the New York Post or the Daily Mail. Seriously, this is a nice closer.

After the Old Rush

I was lying with a turned-out mermaid
With the full moon in my eyes
I was thinking about what a friend had said
I was hoping it was a lie

Next week are the tolerable Christmas/New Year's songs...

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