Friday, August 28, 2015

"New Orleans" : THE WEEKEND MIX

Here is my friend, Paul Sanchez:

"The tenth anniversary of Katrina and the failure of the federal levees is upon us. I have friends posting that they don't want to hear about it, but most of those friends were not born in New Orleans.
Those of us that were born here know that you cannot wish away sadness and suffering. It is why Second Lines are glorious. The celebration is filled with people chasing sadness away with music, dancing and faith. John Boutte's voice, Shamarr Allen's trumpet, and Glen David Andrews massive spirit all carry that sadness with them but they also carry healing love. I will sing about it and talk about it with friends who need a friend. I'm New Orleans born, New Orleans bred and when I die I'll be New Orleans dead."


On Your Way Down- Allen Toussaint
I Count The Tears- Irma Thomas
Tell It Like It Is- Dirty Dozen Brass Band 
Pump It Up- Jon Cleary
Warsaw Concerto-James Booker
Bayou Breeze- Tab Benoit
Southern Man-John Boutte
Mr. Big Stuff- Kermit Ruffins & The Rebirth Brass Band
Slangshotz & Boomerangz- C.C. Adcock
There Is A Light- Clint Maedgen
When The Levee Breaks Stanton Moore
Time For The Sun To Rise- Earl King
People Say- The Meters
At The Foot Of Canal- Paul Sanchez


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Songs, Songs And More Songs: John Dunbar's New Release

I wrote about John Dunbar's 2014 release "Third Guessing," back in May of that year. One of the things I liked about that record was the quality of the songwriting. You can have all the great ideas in the world and a great producer, but in the end, without a song, all you've got are bells and whistles. John Dunbar can write songs and many of the songs on "Third Guessing" stayed with me.

One of my problems with that record was its D.I.Y. quality. I've never been a fan of lo-fi and while I don't need everything to sound like a Wall Of Sound, or worse, like every MTV hit of the 90's, I do like a nice, fat band with a good drummer. As much as I liked "Third Guessing," I would have loved it with more instrumentation.

This brings me to "From Expectation To Surrender," Dunbar's just-released new set of original tunes. No, there isn't a band. But, Dunbar has stepped it up. Not only is the sound of this record more consistent, it contains some of the best songs Dunbar has ever written.

Check out the title track.

Ray Davies, Elvis Costello and even early Bowie all make spirtual appearances on "From Expectation To Surrender." Check out "I Didn't Know I Was Saying Goodbye," something of a McCartney/McManus collaboration if they had been writing for Costello's "King Of America" record. Or really, prime Difford/Tilbrook.

The record is chock full good of music-- smart lyrics with inspired stories and the all-important hook and melody. Again, these tunes are crying out for a band. Listen to "Buddy Boy." With a driving rhythm section behind it, this tune would give "Kimono My House"-era Sparks a run for its money.

New music rarely excites me these days. And it's not as if I don't try to give something a chance. Problem is, I'm usually bored by Track 3, yearning for something to sink my teeth into. "From Expectation To Surrender" kept me around. John Dunbar could work on his velocity, but he still pitched a complete game with this new record.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Just Need A Minute...

It's almost the end of summer, which also means Burning Wood will be celebrating a birthday. It will be the 7th year of this baby. I looked back at some of the earlier posts. Such crap. I am happy to say that 7 years later, I remain consistent.

This anniversary also means I need to renew the membership of my hosting site. This is where all the zip files remain safe and Propecia-ad free. I never feel comfortable asking for help, but I've been encouraged by friends and loyal readers that doing it once a year isn't nearly as bad as how I feel.

If you feel inspired, the donate button is about halfway down on the right. And if you don't, that's alright, too.

Thank you for your loyalty. This place is really more about you than me.

Songs Of The Week 7.0: 8/15-8/21

Elephants & Flowers- Prince
Chasing Comets-Mads Langer & Tim Christensen
Ship Of Fools- Grateful Dead
We Need To Talk- Randy Bachman
Amy- Ryan Adams
You'll Never Get Me Up In One Of Those-Mickey Jupp
Side With The Seeds- Wilco


Friday, August 21, 2015


There were plenty of great suggestions from all of you, but there was only so much room. Thank you for playing. Now you can play this.

I've added a few of my personal faves to this playlist of oddities that failed to make the official cut and those are the songs I will mention here. For those late to the party, check the comments of yesterday's post for details on the rest of the tracks.

World Party's "When You Come Back To Me" is a piece of brilliance from Karl Wallinger found on the "Reality Bites" soundtrack. It is a Rutles-esque take on Bowie's "Young Americans" that has been killing me since it first appeared in 1994.

"Supercute" is just one more from Prince's never-ending selection of unreleased tunes that are better than what he releases officially.

Marvin Gaye's "Where Are We Going" can be found as a bonus track on the deluxe edition of "What's Goin' On." A stunner.

David Bowie's surprise return to the studio, "The Next Day," is still on heavy rotation, and this Japanese only bonus track, "God Bless The Girl," which also found its way to the "The Next Day Extra" CD, is a fave, sounding like a perfect blend of "The Man Who Sold The World"-era Bowie and 2014 Bowie.


Leave My Kitten Alone-The Beatles
Green Shirt (Demo)- Elvis Costello
When You Come Back To Me- World Party
Supercute- Prince
Where Are We Going- Marvin Gaye
Levon (Demo)- Elton John
Lady With The Spinning Head- U2
Sweet Angel- Jimi Hendrix
Hang On To Yourself- Arnold Corns
Criss Cross Man- Rolling Stones
Shut Out The Light- Bruce Springsteen
Daddy Rollin' (In Your Arms)- Dion
Mississippi- Bob Dylan
This Strange Effect- The Kinks
Please Please Me- Keith Richards
Scream Thy Last Scream- Pink Floyd
Move Over Ms. L- John Lennon
Without You (Demo)- Nilsson
Walk On By- The Beach Boys
God Bless The Girl- David Bowie


Wednesday, August 19, 2015


I don't know if we've done this before, but even if we have, it seems like a fine time to do it again in light of recent discussions about good and bad music and quality releases.

Like most of you, the first time I heard The Beatles version of "Leave My Kitten Alone" was on a bootleg LP some 30 odd years ago. Part of me understands why this had remained an outtake until finally getting an official release on the "Anthology" series. It's raw and flawed. But this is also why I think this is one of The Beatles greatest rock and roll moments, especially Lennon's lead vocal. If I was running the show, there was no way in hell "Matchbox" or "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby" would have made the "Beatles For Sale" cut over "Leave My Kitten Alone." I realize that means Ringo and George would have had to sacrifice a lead vocal, but tough toenails.

You might not agree, but that's okay.

Since we've been discussing "whole albums" and "weak material" and "hype," I thought about all these old timers I am still listening to on a regular basis, and how much of their unreleased music was still very strong. Thanks to the advent of the "Deluxe Edition CD," it became a no-brainer to have 25 "Tommy" outtakes at our disposal. And yes, disposing of most of these outtakes after one curious listen was a no-brainer, as well. But there is a new band's entire career in just what Bruce Springsteen has left on the cutting room floor.

So, the question is:

What are your favorite unreleased tracks?

Pick as many as you'd like.

And to be clear...nothing live! I'm not talking an inspired "Kitty's Back" from the Agora. I'm talking recorded material that was left in the vault, or I'll go as far as a B-Side.