Friday, December 2, 2011
Saturday 6-Pack: #1
Here is the first "Saturday 6-Pack" mix, where I put together a week's worth of musical obsessions into one mini-set for your listening pleasure.
ON YOUR WAY DOWN- LITTLE FEAT
I've always felt that Little Feat were unnecessarily lumped into a group of bands like the Allman Brothers or the Grateful Dead when they really had a sound like no other, covering all grounds from their own brand of punk to funk, country and soul, R&B and more. This version of Allen Toussaint's classic may just be definitive.
THE THINGS I DO FOR YOU- JR. WALKER & THE ALL-STARS
A little known album cut from the great Motown legend. I first heard this tune when it was brought into the mix by my friend and keyboard player Steven, as a possible addition to my old band's repertoire. If memory serves, I don't think any band members were given the actual tune to learn. We just listened to Steven play, sing and arrange it. I was thrilled beyond belief to find out what it actually sounded like. This is a killer track, a little unlike most of your Motown catalogue.
THE YODEL- GRASSELLA OLIPHANT
This is a tune I had been familiar with as part of New Orleans drummer Stanton Moore's live repertoire. I always thought it was his. Then, while listening to a fantastic boxed set from Rhino Records, "What It Is: Funky Soul & Rare Grooves," I was drawn to a cover of a Meters tune by someone named Grassella Oliphant, a jazz drummer who played with people like Sarah Vaughan, Ahmad Jamal and Bobby Hutcherson. A few eBay clicks later, and I found the LP and the origianl version of "The Yodel."
JUST WALKIN' IN THE RAIN- ERIC CLAPTON & THE IMPRESSIONS
From the Sun Records tribute CD from a few or so years ago, here is the old Prisonaires track with one of ol' Slowhand's very best vocal performances.
A THOUSAND DOLLAR CAR- THE BOTTLE ROCKETS
Only heard this tune for the first time this past Wednesday night, as part of G.E. Smith's mini-set performed at a reception for the release of the new book "The Guitar Collection," with photographs by another friend and band member John Peden. I was smiling so hard at the lyrics to this tune, I think I sprained my ear. Can't say I've ever really loved The Bottle Rockets, but G.E.'s version made me track this down, and now I just might.
21ST CENTURY GYPSY SINGING LOVER MAN- TAJ MAHAL
From one of Taj's later releases, "Senor Blues," this is a tune written by New Orleans native (by way of Australia) Jon Cleary. It has been on heavy rotation for about 6 years now. Just a beautiful melody and arrangement, sung from the gut by Mr. Mahal.
I was obsessed with a few more tunes this week, but I love how these 6 play together. If you do, we'll see you with Volume 2.