Thursday, March 14, 2013

Still Got The Blueses

It was like a scene from a movie. I was in the back seat of a taxi, riding home on a late Friday night. And while I'd rather keep the details to myself, it wasn't a good ride and it wasn't a good night. The odds that the driver would be my age and a rock fan were slim, as any taxi hailing New Yorker can attest to. But that was the case and he had his radio on. This was the very first time I heard "Still Got The Blues" by Gary Moore. Being a Thin Lizzy fan and always loving Moore's guitar playing, I would have loved this song in any circumstance. But the scenario here couldn't have been any better....or worse, actually.

That was 1989, or maybe 1990. More than a few years back. Yet I can never hear this song without immediately thinking of that cab ride home.

Eric Clapton has just released his 623rd record. It's called "Old Sock." It might as well have been called "Another 45 Minutes Where I Just Phone It All In." But I'm not here to talk about Eric, his missed opportunities or his musical choices as he grows older. I love the man and his playing, and his brief but stirring performance with Willie Weeks and Steve Jordan at the 12-12-12 benefit has stayed with me just as the aforementioned cab ride has. Good music trumps all. It's really a shame that that trio couldn't have been recorded for "Old Sock" instead of the light reggae sounds and lazy standards that make up most of it.  But... there is one winner.

I never thought I'd want to hear any other version of "Still Got The Blues." Gary Moore owns it. But Old Slowsock delivers something tasty and different. Not quite what I felt in the taxi, but Clapton still has the power, when he's in the mood to whip it out.

I guess I am here to talk about Eric, his missed opportunities or his musical choices as he grows older.

Both versions are below.


buzzbabyjesus said...

I listened to 41 seconds of Gary Moore, and managed 1:19 of Eric.
I guess he wins, but I think it was the arty reverb effect on his guitar and vocal that held my interest.

A walk in the woods said...

OK Sal, since you're jumping around on your topic, I hope I can too. I saw that Thin Lizzy's "Black Rose" has been reissued on lovely vinyl recently. I've been buying up Thin Lizzy's albums lately, and have mostly stuck to CD, but I think I'll get that on vinyl.

Anyway, I know Gary Moore was still in the band then. How do you rate that particular Lizzy album - in the top third of your fave Lizzy albums, middle, or bottom?

jeff k said...

I'm getting used to the Clapton version (and the album) but think it would have been better without the adornments. As for the Moore version, I'm with you. There are a few songs that for a period of time in my life I simply couldn't, wouldn't listen to, they just cut too close, and that was one of them. It's a tribute to their honesty as songwriters (two others being Little Village's "Don't Think About Her When You're Trying to Drive," and Neil Young's "Harvest Moon."

It's nice to hear all those now but more from the perspective of appreciating their greatness.

Sal Nunziato said...

AWITW--Black Rose is a great one. And really, the only one with Gary Moore. Highly recommended. The deluxe 2 cd set has great bonus material and might even be less money than the vinyl.

Anonymous said...

I don't hate the Clapton record, I just don't love it. Kind of like most of his studio output over the past couple of decades.

I do however really love the Gary Moore version. Killed me the first time I heard it back in the day and it still works for me. Great guitar sound...