Sometimes, like the gathering of the elements that make the perfect storm, the music, the lyrics, the vocals all come together to create songs and an album that just “blows you away”. That happened to me this morning when I listened to the new CD Home by Louise Mosrie. When I heard that opening dobro and the images of Home painted by a talented songwriter, blessed with a great voice, I knew I was going to like this album! Any doubt of my liking the album was erased when the lyrics on the second song included “in the Indian summer heat John Prine playing on the radio”! The song “God Lives in Arkansas” goes on to paint a vivid picture of Arkansas complete with Rebel flags and sweet peaches. Louise can do something that I love in music and that is create a “sense of place” vividly painting people and places so well that they become real to the listener and she does it well on songs like “Backroads”, “Blackberry Winter” and “Tennessee”. She also creates the bleak life of a miner in the song “Battle of Blair Mountain” with the haunting lyric “find a vein and drain the black gold, hoping to God that the timbers hold, like my father before me, I only live to harvest the coal”
So shortly after the birth of our third son Peter, my wife said that she had had it with grocery shopping and since I know what I’ll eat or want, I can do the shopping! So for the last 24 years I have done the grocery shopping. I usually go on Sunday mornings and typically over the last several years I’ve made a playlist exported it to the MP3 player and listen while I shop! Recently, I just put the player on random and listen to what’s there! Today I took the old ZenV and the mix contained some music I haven’t listen to in a while! It started with a great song off of John Batdorf’s Home Again CD “Something’s Slipping Away” and then Leonard Cohen’s “The Stranger Song” from his first album Songs of Leonard Cohen, When ever I hear that song I think of the movie McCabe and Mrs Miller, especially references to giving up the holy game of poker and the bridge or somewhere later, both lines fit the movie perfectly!
Ok so the the question of the morning! What are the five folk/americana albums that you would take if you were stranded on a desert island??? i.e those albums that you could listen to over and over and over again………
Update….I don’t think I ever listed mine….
John Prine – John Prine
A1A – Jimmy Buffett
Tom Rush – The Circle Game
Tom Paxton – 6
hum… maybe Chris Knight – Chris Knight – but there are many many tied for 5th!!! and yours????
After the trip to the basement to browse through the vinyl, I came up with five albums to put on the turntable and listen to and remember when. Tonight I listened to one side of each of the albums. The albums were: An Anthology of British Blues, featuring various British blues musicians, Lord Sutch and His Heavy Friends, The Souther Hillman Furay Band, A Long Time Comin’ The Electric Flag, and David Buskin.
As I said, An Anthology of British Blues released on Immediate Records in 1970 was a collection some of the best in British blues and featured tracks by John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers featuring Eric Clapton and Eric Clapton by himself. Clapton’s solo tracks were two of the best tracks on the side I listened to. “Snake Drive” and “Tribute to Elmore” are both tracks I remember liking particularly the later. Also, included on Side One were tracks by T.S. McPhee, who the liner notes say was acclaimed as being the greatest “bottleneck” exponent in the country at the time, Savoy Brown Blues Band (I was never a big fan) and Jo-Ann Kelly who provides a nice cover of “I Feel So Good” (I do prefer the Faces with Rod Stewart version). All in all the listen did bring back memories!
so last night I mentioned two of my favorite jazz artists the incomparable Jimmy Smith and the fantastic Milt Jackson. Here are two videos of these greats! Jimmy Smith performing “The Sermon” in 1964 and Milt Jackson’s “Bags Grove” in 1986! Let me know what you think!
So I’ve written about the folk music I listen to and the blues, bluegrass, and some rock but I haven’t really written about the jazz I listen to. So tonight spinning in the CD player is one of my favorite jazz musicians the incomparable Wes Montgomery. I was still in high school when I started to listen to Wes Montgomery. He recorded three albums on A&M records that were the most commercially successful of his short career. (He died in 1968 of a heart attack). Those three albums A Day in the Life , Down Here on the Ground, and Road Song. all of which contained covers of pop hits along with Wes’ great guitar work were my introduction to his music. I soon moved on to other more classic jazz albums he recorded for Riverside and Verve like Movin’ Wes and Willow Weep for Me. One of my favorites is the album he recorded with Jimmy Smith The Dynamic Duo. That album that lead me to the music of the incredible Jimmy Smith, who will probably be the subject of subsequent jazz posts! As the years have passed, I’ve collected many of his albums on CD including The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery, Bags Meets Wes (an album done with another favorite Milt “Bags” Jackson – like Jimmy Smith more on him later), Boss Guitar, Groove Yard (The Wes Montgomery Trio featuring brothers Buddy and Monk), Live in Belgium 1965 and the one I am listening to tonight Full House – recorded “live” and Tsubo in Berekely California. From the liner notes: Wes had risen from obscurity to being the Number One jazz guitarist in less than two years and while his studio recordings were great most people thought they did not capture the full effect of how incredible a guitarist he was, for that they felt a live recording was needed! So in June of 1962, the stars figuratively and literally aligned to produce this album. Wes had new songs to record and the Miles Davis Sextet was in town which brought together a rhythm section for Wes consisting of Wynton Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers, bass, and Jimmy Cobb, drums. Johnny Griffn a top tenor sax man was also in town, so they were all pulled together and Wes taught them the material. Wes had worked at a coffeehouse called Tsubos and was impressed with the acoustic so that was where it was decided they would record! The place was packed that night, hence the name Full House. Seven songs were recorded that night six were used to fill out the album. Three of the tracks are nine minutes plus giving Wes time to develop his amazing solos, which evidently went from straight notes, to octaves (which no one else did or does) and finally block chords. I didn’t know that, actually I knew he played in octaves, but not the progressions. All I know is that it’s great music and a great album! I also knew he played with his thumb rather than a pick, which gave him a distinctive sound but didn’t know why. Evidently, it was because he didn’t want to disturb his wife when he practiced at night after work!
Today was a mixed blues day, I started by going to the Roots Music Report and looking at the Blues chart. A couple of musicians with new albums stood out one I knew Coco Montoya and the other not so much, one of those artist, where I know the name not the music, Guitar Shorty. So I downloaded both the albums and started the day with Coco Montoya’s new CD I Want it All Back. I first heard Coco Montoya’s guitar on John Mayall’s album Chicago Line, which is an outstanding album and Montoya’s guitar playing is one of the reasons. Since then I’ve picked up a couple of his albums, generally, I like his guitar playing more than his vocals and on first listen that is the way I feel about this album. Generally, the songs are just ok, not really all that straight up blues but more rhythm and blues. One of the tracks stood out because it was a more straight blues number “Fannie Mae”, was one of the few tracks with some nice blues harp in it and it is my favorite track. You know there’s jazz and then there’s smooth jazz on first listen this album is smooth blues! But again, I do like Coco’s guitar work! Overall it’s like a 3 out of 5 for me.
So I first heard the great dobro playing of Rob Ickes on Aubry Haynie’s fine album A Man Must Carry On and when I did some research about Ickes, I found out he was a founding member of the bluegrass group Blue Highway whose album Some Day: the Fifteenth Anniversary Collection I almost picked up Sunday night and now wish I had! Anyway, I listened to their 2008 release Through the Window of a Train today. Overall the album was really good with a good mixture of upbeat tunes and bluegrass ballads. The one track that caught my attention was “Homeless Man” the tale of a homeless veteran.
Today’s mix contains some forgotten music by some musicians I’ve mentioned recently. The mix started of with the song “Long Afternoons” by Paul Seibel from the album Woodsmoke and Oranges. I always loved this song, years after this album Jerry Jeff did a nice cover on his 1977 A Man Must Carry On album and rerecorded it on the Gypsy Songman album. Here’s Jerry Jeff performing it in 2009
Sidemen on this album included the incomparable David Bromberg, fiddler extraordinare Richard Greene who’s band Seatrain pioneered the use of violin in rock, and Weldon Myrick (Area Code 615) on pedal steel guitar.
So Thursday’s eclectic mix started with three CDs I picked up at the Dollar Tree the other night. First up was a self-titled album Tribaljazz from a band that I had never heard of, but the sticker on the cover said it was John Densmore’s (drummer of The Doors) band so, aside from the price, that was good enough reason for me to pick it up. The band is a great eclectic jazz band lead by John Densmore on drums and Art Ellis on flute and the rest of the band is composed of musicians from around the world. John Densmore from the liner notes: