L-R, Eric Clapton, Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett
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. "Inheritance" — The Last Bison (1:00)
A lovely intro piece from a seven-piece Chesapeake, Virginia band of friends and family. I believe film soundtracks will be in their future as well. This is the title track from their first album which is out now! This segues perfectly into...
2. "Idris" — The New Mastersounds (2:48)
Now this is totally rockin’ music to move to. These lads have totally grasped the zeitgeist of their predecessors in a way that most bands don’t. This isn’t like the real thing — this IS THE REAL THING! From Leeds in the UK — but not so British. This will keep your Meters runnin’.
3. "Let Nothing Separate Us" — Arthur Conley (3:01)
The creator of the song “Sweet Soul Music” tears up this ballad in a way only the originator can. In a career that included a recording partnership with Otis Redding, Arthur made quite a name for himself. A Georgia native, he relocated to the Netherlands in the ‘80s and died of cancer comparatively young at 57 in 2003. His music will live on forever.
4. "Why" — Elisabeth Withers (3:25)
After graduating with honors from the Berklee School of Music, she picked up a degree at NYU and got discovered by Oprah, who cast her in the B’way version of The Color Purple. When you hear her voice soar on the chorus of this great track, it will explain why I don’t have to write any more — but wait for the chorus!
5. "Everything I Build" — The Stills (3:16)
Sometimes I’m too slow. This band existed from 2000 to 2011. They were from Montreal and rose to the top of the Canadian music scene. I like the simplicity and originality of this track. Key members started a new band called Eight & A Half a year ago. I shall investigate...
6. "Comin' Home" — Delaney & Bonnie (2:44)
With Eric Clapton in tow, playing lead guitar and taking vocal instruction from Delaney, this band knew what to do. The Dominos came out of this aggregation eventually, back when Eric was Derek. If you’ve never heard this you’ll probably enjoy it. If you know it already, bet you haven’t heard it in awhile.
7. "Girl I Wanna Lay You Down" — ALO feat. Jack Johnson (2:52)
To me this is a perfect track. All elements are addressed tastefully and having Jack front the Animal Liberation Orchestra was a great idea. Perfection from start to finish.
8. "Pelican" — The Maccabees (2:54)
First off, the name is not derived from Beatle Paul, but rather from a Biblical tribe in the REAL old days. I caught them on late night TV and thought they might, with luck, become U3, if Bono keeps taking years off. This is from their third album, released in 2012, Given to the Wild.
9. "What'd I Say" — Bunny Sigler (2:54)
How many times ya think people aped the Ray Charles original with the same arrangement, etc.? Hundreds, maybe ? So it’s nice to hear someone come up with an original arrangement that in some ways holds up to the original. Bunny has been a favorite of mine for decades and this is from his Philadelphia-International period in the '70s. It stands up well today.
10. "Glamour Girl" — Jimmy Vivino, Al Kooper and the New Rekooperators, Live in Albany, NY 3/16/13 (7:23)
This was from our recent Mike Bloomfield Tribute Tour and since it got bootlegged, I call this fair game. This was a pretty good night for us. The vocal is hard to hear at first because showman Vivino usually sings this without using the mic at first because we can play very softly if we wanna. With Jesse Williams on bass and Ralph Rosen on drums, Jimmy shows how his early background included studying Bloomfield with more intensity and detail than any college course. It’s thrilling for me to have gotten to play with BOTH these mavericks in my lifetime. And don’t forget, we are hard at work right now on a four-disc Bloomfield boxset, with a great deal of unreleased work from the master himself. It will be on SONY-Legacy, and just don’t ask when it will be out because the answer is when it’s good and when it’s ready. Here’s almost seven and a half minutes of people imitating the real thing with a wee bit of entitlement. File your taxes (speaking of the blues) and we’ll see ya next week!
Al Kooper (L) and Jimmy Vivino (R) with the New Rekooperators, Albany NY, 2013