Friday, July 8, 2011

"Group Hug 1.0" : THE WEEKEND MIX (PT. 1)

Be careful what you wish for.

Of course, I wake up and the chumps over at Blogger decide to give an unexpected makeover to the dashboard on a very big posting day, leaving me in more than a bit of a tizzy. Sorry for the formatting. 

This was more work than I expected, but man it was great fun. I had hoped for just enough submissions for a Weekend Mix, but instead found enough songs in my in-box for almost THREE! (Though, I admit to being a little surprised and disappointed not finding songs from some of Burning Wood's "most loyal" readers. Party poopers.)

There was exactly one song submitted by a woman. Do with that fact what you will.

Some readers sent 2 or 3 songs. Some sent WMA files, which I would need to convert. I'm liking just about everything, so this will be a two-parter, with "Group Hug 1.1" appearing tomorrow.

There's no real theme, though I did sequence the tracks on both today's and tomorrow's offerings to what sounded like...something.



Nowhere With You- Joel Plaskett Emergency
Don't It Make You Feel Good- The Overlanders
Apple Scruffs- George Harrison
The Mighty Quinn (Frankenstein Edit)- Manfred Mann
Got To Get Out- Nick Gilder
Yellow Sunglasses- The Klowns
Royal Oakie- Louie & The Lovers
Jim Cain- Bill Callahan
2:10 Train- Rising Sons
Anything- Just Desserts
Trip Around The Sun- Al Anderson
Dandelion River Run- Mimi & Richard Farina
Ordinary Fool- Hacienda Brothers
You're Supposed To Be Feeling Good- Emmylou Harris
Peter Pan- Jim Boggia
Connection- Montrose
No Matter What- Pete Ham
Burning Love (Live)- Dennis Linds



(James M.)

Joel is a jewel in Canada's east coast music scene crown, 
an indie darling (this song is the most streamed song 
in the history of CBC Radio 3 -- the Internet 
only branch of the national broadcaster), an emerging national star 
and about the best live performer I've ever seen. 
Solo, as producer, or with the band, Joel sounds like everybody 
and simultaneously sounds unique. Over seven albums 
there are a million songs to choose from -- this song is one 
of the most fun and a great introduction.

(James G.)

This is the insanely catchy version of "Don't It Make You Feel Good" by The Overlanders, a song that, as a matter of fact, always does make me feel good. For whatever reason, the 'landers relegated it to the B side of their (1964) single, "Sing A Song of Sadness." It also appears on their 1966 album, MICHELLE.

The song was written by Hank Marvin and Bruce Welch of The Shadows, who also recorded a nice rendition of it in '64. It lacks the bouncy combo organ stylings of the Overlanders version, however, so is docked some pep points, accordingly.
I first became aware of the song when a local oldies DJ discovered, and became fixated on the Overlanders' 45, playing it every evening drive time for weeks.

(John B.)

Back in the day, before it was a country station and before its current incarnation as "Rush Radio" with raving wingnut rants 24/7, WQDR was the AOR station in my listening area. And Apple Scruffs was one of those songs that would come on from time to time that made me leap across the room to crank up the volume. Just George and his guitar (and his first-ever time playing harmonica on record, according to Bobby Whitlock's book), and I loved it. 

And the Apple Scruffs, as most BW readers probably already know, were the girls who sat outside Abbey Road waiting to catch a glimpse. Whitlock writes "They weren't really scruffy... All they really wanted was to touch us or have an autograph. Mostly it was just to see us or give us a flower. That would make them happy." 

Which just makes this track all the more charming, in my book.

(John W.)

Three versions of The Mighty Quinn in progress. I edited them together for a stripped down version.

(Frank D.)

Out of the many thousands of mp3s in my collection, here’s one by the 
high pitched screamer Nick Gilder of Hot Child In The City fame. 
From the same LP as said hit from 1978, this is a steadfast
rocker album cut which maybe could have been a small hit but wasn’t. 
Never even played on the popular FM radio stations at the time, but should’ve been. 
A pity, always a favorite of mine, good song. 


The weekend mix submission I'm attaching is from a Jeff Barry-Ringling Brothers TV endeavor, The Klowns, whose membership including Barry Bostwick.

"Yellow Sunglasses" is found on The Klowns' sole (no! really?) l.p., from 1970.
(The album also includes a track called "Love Is The Answer" that is decidedly not the Todd Rundgren song of the same title.)

 (Jeff K.)

There's this great song that you know and 
which is in constant rotation here.

(Big Jim Slade)
A beautiful introduction to an album that is truly another world. 
I just did a search on Sal's site and found that 
he doesn't like the singing. Yeah, I wasn't sure how I was going 
to take to it either, but after listening to the whole album, 
I was floored. I'll say this, I think his singing 
is as emotive as Paul Simon's. It took me quite a while to 
like PS because I thought he did his vocals at the kitchen table 
while reading the morning paper. Or maybe in the studio, 
but while balancing his checkbook. When I finally listened to Graceland 
with the lyrics in hand, then I got it.

(Steve Simels)

Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder's pioneering blues--folk-rock band ruled 
the clubs in LA in '65 and '66, but they never made 
an album and broke up before what they were doing 
actually became fashionable. 
This unplugged-before-it's-time live in the studio cut 
is beyond spine-tingling; it's hard to fathom that it remained, 
unheard, in the Columbia Records vaults 
until the early '90s. 

(William Repsher)

Just Desserts, an NYC band, put out the album "Does Anybody Notice This 
Sentimental War Going On or Is It Just Us?" on a tiny indie record label
 in 1987 that gets a lot of play on local college radio and Vin Scelsa's
 WNEW Sunday morning show, but never quite makes it.  Co-leader Larry 
Fessenden goes off and becomes noted indie horror movie director; other 
guy, Tom Laverack, puts out solo albums over the years when not being a 
social worker.  In 2011, they get back together as Just Desserts for a 
new album that sounds good (not as good as Sentimental War, which is a 
lost 80s classic), and this song strikes me as the best of the bunch. 

(Jeff C.)
Big Al Anderson also seems to be in a good place. He’s a hero of mine, right up there with Chet and Jimi and Grant Green. Back in the 80s I drove up to Poughkeepsie to see NRBQ at the Chance, a beautiful old theatre. I couldn’t find the place, and after driving around the block a few times, I spotted a guy at a payphone, and I yelled to ask him where the club was. He looked up – and it was Big Al. He pointed out the joint, and I quickly parked and walked over to say thanks. We had a short conversation about being tired (he was) and skiing (he didn’t approve). I grilled him on a couple of guitar-player issues. Then he went in and they played the most incredible set – possibly the best out of 30 or so shows that I saw of the classic line-up. Frank Gadler dropped by and sang a rousing “Howard Johnson’s Got His HoJo Working” – it was that kind of night, magical. 
I was sorry to see him leave the band but it was 
time, I guess, and he’s graced us with some fine music since, but he 
rarely lets it fly the way he did with the Q. This is a gorgeous ballad 
from his “After Hours” album, more typical of his recent stuff, and of 
course it rang especially true for me when I dialed up a live YouTube 
version yesterday. Here’s the studio version. Enjoy.
(A Walk IN The Woods)
One of life's great little tunes, this is a dulcimer-driven instrumental 
from one of their few albums before Richard (who was also a writer) was 
killed on a motorcycle on the same day as the book release party for his
 novel "Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me" in 1966. His wife was 
Mimi FariƱa - sister of Joan Baez. This song is the sound of summer for 
me, and since we're in high summer, this is high in my playlist. 
(J. Loslo)
My submission is "Ordinary Fool,"by Hacienda Brothers. 
Hacienda Brothers were led by the late country 
singer Chris Gaffney and Dave Gonzalez, front man of the Paladins. 
Besides being a great song in itself, 
it's a song that can fit on 
a country playlist or a soul playlist. 
I can hear it being done by Merle Haggard or Solomon Burke.

(Mike Sac)

 Rodney Crowell has written a lot of songs and made a lot of records over the 
years. Some were big hits and some were not. The albums, though they had 
some duds on them, usually had one masterpiece.. Trust me, I have them 
all. Here's one from Luxury Liner that I don't think Rodney ever 
recorded and was always one of my faves (I especially like the James 
Burton guitar licks after the first chorus. Pure country guitar.) I seem to remember hearing this 
on the old WHN New York county radio station. 
I absolutely love this song.   The first time I heard it I thought it was 
an uplifting salute to the little kid in all of us.  Then I focused on the lyrics...
I've been this dude.  No.  I am this dude.  The older I get, 
the better I can handle the crap that 
life flings at me on an everyday basis.  
But, I'll be damned if I'm ever gonna grow up.
(John Ryan)
 You did a story once on covers that were as good or 
better than the original....this is my favorite and just a great song in its own right.
Connection by also sounds nothing like the Stones version. 
I have long believed that Badfinger's "No Matter What" may be the best 
powerpop song ever recorded. So, I was totally knocked on my ass the 
first time I heard Pete Ham's solo acoustic demo of the song.  No 
less powerful than the band version--perhaps even more so in some 
ways--what struck me right away was how delicate a song it really is.  
Stripped of the in-your-face electric guitars and Beatlesque backup 
harmonies, it stands a breathtaking example of Ham's exquisite singing 
and songwriting abilities, and is yet another sad reminder of how much 
was lost in April of 1975. (Taken from Rykodisc's long out of print CD, 7
 Park Avenue.) 
(Steve S.)

Burning hot July.... Dennis Linde wrote this in '72, 
Arthur Alexander first recorded it, and Elvis made it famous, 
so much so that it's heard now mostly as parody. 
But here's the real deal, performed in a live version by the composer.  
Great work everyone. Thank you all. See you tomorrow with "Group Hug 1.1"



James A. Gardner said...

Sal: This must have been a hercula-, herculi-, really big task! Sure looks fun to listen to. A live version of "Burning Love" by the song's composer? Can't wait. His studio version cooks. (Arthur Alexander's is super fine, too.)
Speaking of group hugs, my cover band is playing two of the songs in this mix, tonight, and one of my kids is with us. So, especially nice programming for me!
Thanks for all the work to put this together.


Hey -- this is fun.

What we lack in Sal's curatorial splendour we more that make up in enthusiasm.

Bon weekend tout le monde!

Gene Oberto said...

I've been here before. Made the team but not the first five, or in this case, 18.

But after listening to the what these players gave you, I can see why.

Sal, in spite of the love/hate relationship between you and BW, you've got to admit you have gathered quite a band of Merry Men and at least one Maid Marion.

The first playlist was classic and had me running to the Wayback Machine for further enlightenment. If nothing else, it shows that trying to govern musical taste, whether by radio, record companies or internet providers is futile. Like trying to stop a tsunami with room divider.

Thanks to all the contributors and I can't wait for the next installment.

Sal Nunziato said...

I know you all know this, but just in case you don't...

it wasn't a case of A team or B team.

I simply liked the way the songs sounded together, and I would have put boths CDs (Zips) on today's post, but it all took much longer than I ever expected.

Next month, I will add a few more rules, as we leard from our mistakes.

jeff k said...

really enjoying the mix. (so can you please create a forum, so we can post links to songs we love, among other things?

J. Loslo said...

Okay, I've listened to this once & I'm looking forward to listening again. Sent me to Wikipedia several times.

Nothing on Louie & the Lovers at Wikipedia, so I had to go elsewhere to be reminded why I'd gone looking for them once before-- their debut album was produced by Doug Sahm, who is one of my heroes.

Wikepedia tells us that Dennis Linde wrote both "Burning Love" and "Goodbye Earl," two songs I'd have never thought had a connection. I love stuff like that. Great track, too.

Anything Should Happen said...

Sorry Sal,

I'm just tied up on a massive work project, hence no activity at AIC or anywhere this week.

Great idea, that Don must be a genius for thinking it up blah blah blah.

I have one ready for you for next week, but can't fault Steves choice, I could easily have chosen No Matter What and nod at everything he says.

Plus he's nailed the right version.

Maid Marion said...

I really enjoyed this mix! Looking forward to hearing the next one and crossing my fingers that my selection fits in ok, because it would have clashed horribly with this lot :)

A walk in the woods said...

DAMN this looks cool! I'm honored one of my songs made the mix (Dandelion River Run) and look forward to hearing you other music experts' picks!

Sal, we can't beat your picks and mixes, but much like Avis, we can be #2 and just try harder. Thanks for the outlet to let the peanut gallery take over for a minute. Cheers!

Shriner said...

My selection probably would not have fit here, either.

I wonder if "1.1" is going to end up slightly more "prog" than this mix. ;-)

Shriner said...

"Peter Pan" was the highlight of this set for me. A great tune with a lot going on in it.

Sal Nunziato said...

@Jeff C.

I have a great NRBQ show from Toad's, 1983. Not sure if it's common, and I may have even posted it once. But if it's something you need, say so.

Christine said...

Sal, this was a GREAT idea! I'm really enjoying this mix. My favorites-"Yellow Sunglasses" and "Got to Give it Up."

I know why this woman didn't submit a song--she wasn't sure "March of the Black Queen" would make the cut. Then her feelings would be hurt, and you know, we're a sensitive gender. :)

I think you should continue this in the future. Looking forward to it!

Leon said...

OK, now I've had time to listen to this first mix, and some observations:

observation 1:
Nowhere With You - Joel Plaskett Emergency - This song kills!!!

observation 2:
Got To Get Out- Nick Gilder - a new classic for me... I'd never heard anything but "Hot Child In The City"... did he have other great power-pop like this tune??

observation #3:
I need to listen to a lot more Bill Callahan.

observation #4:
Ordinary Fool- Hacienda Brothers - I need to check out these guys for sure after this teaser.

observation #5:
Connection- Montrose is a cover of the Stones song, right? I could barely tell but I dug it!

bglobe313 said...

1. I couldn't get my "act" together to participate, but I am glad others did.

2. I can't wait to listen to this, and although Sal might have imagined this would be a break, in fact, I am sure it was a lot of works, so thanks.

3. I was happy for the inclusion of the Pete Ham demo of "No Matter What". Wonderful description of that. BUT I was stunned to see 7 Park Avenue is out of print! What the heck! This is a really, really important and great release. I hope it's at least available on download.

Ace K.

P.S. Maybe Rhino Handmade (see article above) could do a deluxe Pete Ham/Badfinger demo set? I do remember a few years ago when a Badfinger one wsa supposedly "coming soon." We await.