New Music for Old People: Lonnie Mack, Carolyn Wonderland, Tony Lucca, Burt Bacharach and More

By , Columnist

Carolyn Wonderland

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.

TMR1213 by Lisa on Grooveshark

1. "Wham!" — Lonnie Mack (1:54)

Lonnie Mack is, unfortunately, a guitarist waaay overlooked today. Maybe this tap on the shoulder will remind people that he was playing like this at least 50 freakin’ years ago, before Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Stevie Ray and Jimmy Vaughn, and even Mike Bloomfield started catchin’ your ear. This was released as a single in1964 from the album The Wham of That Memphis Man which was released in 1963. There ain’t many people alive still playin' like this, dammit!


2. "Sittin' on Top of the World" — Chris Goss (2:16)

This is from the soundtrack of the Sons of Anarchy TV series and is an updated version of this old blues classic. I kinda like this version although many masters have covered this song quite admirably. I think what I like is that Chris Goss could care less that this song has been recorded to death and just plays it any which way he wants. Chris’s main band is Masters of Reality and he was involved in the production of albums by Queens of the Stone Age. Great music supervision on Sons of Anarchy — the albums of music from the series are totally listenable all the way through.


3. "Mama, You Been on My Mind" — We Are Augustines (2:39)

I am extremely moved by the singer in this band. Every track I’ve heard so far reveals an originality and soulfulness one often does not hear nowadays. I look forward to seeing/hearing them in person.


4. "Hold On" — Julian Lennon (3:48)

This would be a second track from from Julian’s wonderful 2013 album Everything Changes, a great ENTIRE album, a rarity in this day and age. Hey, Jude — please keep up the good work!


5. "Anyone Who Had a Heart" (track) — Burt Bacharach (3:09)

From my collection of instrumental tracks without Dionne Warwick’s great vocals on them, one can hear the intricacies of Burt’s pioneering arrangements, piano playing, and composing. The only thing I still can’t comprehend is the almost Guy Lombardo-sounding sax solo in the middle part — what is that all about?


6. "Close Enough to Home" — Tony Lucca (3:17)

When I first started the column, I used a Tony Lucca performance called “The Death of Me.” So this is his second appearance and his skills are even better than they were in the first entry. He’s done TV time on The Voice and a '90s redo of The Mickey Mouse Club, but we won’t hold that against him.


7. "I Bleed" — World Famous Headliners (4:00)

This may be the third appearance by this humorously-titled Gnashville band featuring ex-NRBQ guitar whiz Al Anderson and Kooper fave, singer-songwriter Pat McLaughlin. Pat sings his butt off on this tune he probably wrote and gets great sympathetic backing from the rest of the lads.


8. "Misunderstood" — Carolyn Wonderland (3:01)

I like to think of this as Miss Understood, as Miss Wonderland sidles up to this with an amazing vocal and slide guitar performance. She’s sliding her way up to the top and is in good shape to be perhaps the next in line when Bonnie Raitt wants to stay home and start sewing. (However, that may never happen!)

9. "My Bitter Seed" — Jimmy Reed (2:10)

Last month I got to play four shows backing up Ron Wood and Mick Taylor in New York. We played 90 minutes of Jimmy Reed songs each night. I suggested this fave of mine, but Ron had never heard it so I’m sendin' it out to Wild Woodie this week.


10. "Don't You Want to Be There" — Fred Martin and The Levite Camp (4:49)

As far as I can make out, Jackson Browne (shown below with the group) took on this gospel band to back him up on the road. He also got them a record deal at Concord Records and produced their album Some Bridges in 2006. This is from that. Surprisingly, they cut some JB tunes and Jackson sang lead in certain sections and then let the soul singers take over. This is a good example of that. I think it’s a combination that works quite well and hope it’s not too late to see some of this live onstage.


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