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Old Vinyl – Leon’s Hank, Jimmie S, and Jerry Jeff

So the other night I mentioned that if I need to laugh, I’ll read a book by Christopher Moore (and I am reading Bite Me and laughing) and if I need some music to pick up my spirits one of the albums I turn to is Leon Russell’s Hank Wilson’s Back Vol.I! . That album is the first up on Old Vinyl tonight! The album is a collection of covers of some of the best Country songs of all time! It even includes two of the songs that Peter Cooper says every songwriter should know “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”  and the number one song on the list “Lost Highway”!

But my favorites on the album are “Rollin’ in My Sweet Baby’s Arms Part 1 & 2” “Jamalaya” and “Six Pack to Go” on side one and “Battle of New Orleans”  which I’ve loved since I heard Johnny Horton sing it in the early 1960s. I think somewhere in the basement may be a 45 of the song!  “Uncle Pen” another of my all time favorites and “Truck Drivin’ Man. Some of my favorite musicians including David Briggs (piano), Bobby Thompson (banjo), Charlie McCoy (harmonica), Weldon Myrick (steel guitar) and Johnny Gimble (fiddle)play on the album.

Overall Russell’s vocals on the album are great and well the music with the guys I listed plus others is equally great! The album always makes me just feel good!

The second album is Jimmie Spheeris debut album Isle of View (say  it fast and you get I Love You) anyway I didn’t know Spheeris when I bought this album back in 1971 but after a few listens it became one of my favorites! The song “I Am the Mercury”  probably garnered the most FM airplay of all the songs.

I am listening to the first side of the album tonight and all of the songs are great starting with “The Nest, “For Roach”, Monte Luna”,”Seeds of Spring” and ending with “I Am the Mercury”. Just a great album to sit back and just let the music take you away.

Spheeris was killed in 1984  when he was only 34 in Santa Monica, California, when his motorcycle collided with a van as he was leaving a theater after a show. The driver of the van was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and felony vehicular manslaughter. What a loss!

Next up is a Jerry Jeff Walker album that has never been released on CD so I don’t listen to it a lot,  It’s A Good Night for Singin’ . I listened to the second side of the album which opens with a Keith Sykes song “Very Short Time” Jerry Jeff’ notes on the album say that it was the first song he ever heard Keith do in New York.  The second song was also written by Sykes and Richard Gardner “Someday I’ll Get Out of These Bars” another good track! The third song is a Jerry Jeff original and one of my all time favorite songs “Stoney”. The rest of the side includes Jerry Jeff’s wife Susan’s favorite song “Dear John Letter Lounge”, “Leroy” which JJW says is just a good ole bar song. The album closes with the Bob Livingston penned titile track “It’s A Good night for Singing”. The players on the album included The Lost Gonzo Band: Bob Livingston, Gary P. Nunn, John Inmon, Kelly Dunn and Donny Polan and the Nashville Four – Norbert Putnam, Weldon Myrick, Kenny Buttery and David Briggs and some nice fiddling by Johnny Gimble. It was great to hear these songs again.  I don’t know if I can record and clean up the album or not some of the tracks may be too scratched up, but I may try!

Here’s a little “Truck Drivin’ Man” Leon with New Grass Revival!