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. "Canine Man" — Sea Level (2:56)
I have always loved this track. It features Randall Bramblett singing his composition and some rip-snorting guitar work by Jimmy Naulls. The rhythm guitars are by co-writer Davis Causey. This rocks hard and is a great opener, all the way back from 1979. I am a canine man myself.
2. "Beautiful Night" — Greg Prestopino (3:35)
Greg has played guitar and written some great songs over the years. This was a goonbash between the late great Andrew Gold, Greg, and Matthew Wilder. I believe they played everything between the three of them and Greg and Matthew wrote this, as well as Matthew’s big hit “Break My Stride.” This is a well-made record that’s a pleasure to listen to.
3. "All the Time In the World" — The Subdudes (3:20)
Well, they are not very subdued on this track. Opening with a nod to “Wild Thing,” they plumb their Nawlins roots for all they’re worth and it’s a lovely ride around the Crescent City. On again, off again, they’re always welcome on my iPod.
4. "Anyone Who Had a Heart" — Wynonna (3:20)
This is a total surprise, that she would sing this song and perform it so well. It’s from a live multi-artist tribute to Burt Bacharach and she seemed to totally take the audience with her as she displayed way more than just her country chops. Now I think she should jump genres and challenge her instrument a bit more next time she makes a new album. Also, kudos to the pianist who sounds like it, but was NOT Burt himself.
5. "Temporary Misery" — Donna the Buffalo (2:53)
Every time I see a poster for a summer rock festival, no matter what part of the world it’s in, this band is listed to perform. They have been around and ticket holders seem to enjoy them, or their manager promotes festivals all over the world. This is a good example of what they do and I’m buying about 70% of what they do. That’s a high percentage nowadaze for a fickle fellow like me.
6. "Cold Feet" — Albert King (2:46)
In the late '60s and early '70s, Albert was the foremost influence on slingers like Mike Bloomfield, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. This is comparatively not played as much as his more notorious work, but it’s one of my faves as a bit of a slinger myself. It’s a jam with Booker T & The MG’s and contains one of my favorite blues lines of all time: “Get warm your feet, woman!” His playing and tone are sensational on this track.
7. "Test Drive" — Al Kooper (4:40)
This was a case where I recorded the track before I actually wrote a song over it. I played all the instruments EXCEPT the lead guitar, for which I selected the amazing Buzzy Feiten to come in. This was 1985 and the track was extremely Prince-influenced; so I asked Buzzy to “play like Prince.” I think he did a great job—an underrated genius generally in my book. He played brief stints with Butterfield and The Rascals and designed a famous tuning apparatus for most guitars. Buzz on, Buzzy.
Al (left) and Buzzy, 1985
8. "I'll Be Long Gone" — Tracy Nelson (3:28)
If you’re a long time listener of this column you know what a fan I am of Ms. Nelson. Here she takes a Boz Scaggs song and makes it her own — and a nice organ solo doesn’t hurt either (wasn’t me).
9. "Baby, Don't You Do It" — The Who (5:15)
What a surprise to see them do a Marvin Gaye cover so late in their career. This is the intact Who with all four originals on board. What’s great about their version is they left the R&B feel back in the '60s and gave it the full rockin’ Who treatment. Townshend overdubbed a second guitar on the right track playing simultaneously with the rhythm guitar on the left. The two guitars are totally pushing everyone else on to their usual heights. Keith and John more than keep up and Roger delivers, although I miss at least one of his mighty screams somewhere in this tumultuous five minutes. I had a wonderful reunion with Pete last week—we hadn’t seen each other in close to 40 years—and, I may add, he is an avid reader of this column.
10. "Sirens" — Lisbeth Scott (3:03)
Not easy to follow the last track, but Lisbeth’s work is dependable for situations like these — and she didn’t need any lyrics either. This is a solo piece of just her overdubbed voices. I find it musically compelling, and her singing, as usual, unique and amazing. She is in a class by herself. Merry Christmas, and see you next week with the top 25 tracks from 2012's columns!