Sunday, January 5, 2020

Songs Of The Week, 2020: 12/28-1/3

Cecilia- NRBQ
Weep No More- Bad Company
I Can't Stop Now- The Humblebums
Junco Partner- Harry Connick Jr.
Poop Ain't Gotta Scuffle No More- James Andrews, Dr. John, Allen Toussaint
I Think It's Going To Rain Today- Irma Thomas & Randy Newman
Lose Again- Linda Ronstadt


Cecilia- NRBQ
Easily one of my five favorite NRBQ tunes, I only just found out while searching for a recent Q setlist, that this was not a Big Al Anderson original but an old tune from 1925 by Johnny Hamp's Kentucky Serenaders, which made me love NRBQ even more, a feat I didn't think was possible.

Weep No More- Bad Company
Another discovery this week was Bad Company's 4th record, "Burnin' Sky." Aside from the title track, I don't recall ever hearing anything else. I decided to give it a spin for the hell of it. What a terrific album! I can see why it might not have gone over well with long time Free/BC fans, as the songs cover a lot of ground, including a bit of psychedelia and some faux doo wop. Overall a really strong album. Of course, the track here is from their second album, "Straight Shooter," a song of the day before I decided to spin "Burnin' Sky." (Sorry for the confusion.)

I Can't Stop Now- The Humblebums
Gerry Rafferty and Billy Connolly and this wonderful piece of pop perfection from 1970. 

Junco Partner- Harry Connick Jr.
You might think of Harry as the crooning Sinatra wannabe, or the affable TV star, or maybe even give him a little credit for his dramatic film roles. But I bet the last thing you think of is Harry Connick Jr., the New Orleans pianist who studied under James Booker. Well, give this track a spin and you'll see why I love this guy.

Poop Ain't Gotta Scuffle No More- James Andrews, Dr. John, Allen Toussaint
James Andrews younger brother Troy has taken the world by storm as Trombone Shorty, but long before Shorty's superstardom, James, aka The Satchmo Of The Ghetto, was keeping the Louis Armstrong flame burning in New Orleans. This track absolutely burns with NOLA flavor. Produced by Allen Toussaint and co-written by Allen and Dr. John, if this doesn't put a smile on your face, you need to get yourself checked out.

I Think It's Going To Rain Today- Irma Thomas & Randy Newman
From Miss Thomas' last release, which is already 12 years old, here is a gorgeous reading of the Randy Newman classic, featuring Randy himself on piano.

Lose Again- Linda Ronstadt
I bet you can guess why there is a Linda Ronstadt song closing things out. If you haven't seen "The Sound Of My Voice," please run to your nearest television or viewing device and watch that baby. There were so many songs I wanted to choose but somehow ended up with this, a personal fave.

As a bonus, here is the original 1925 version of "Cecilia."

Welcome to the Roaring 20's once again!


Beyes said...

Ronstadt - A great documentary and bittersweet closing scene. I never realized just how strong. powerful and rangy her voice was. One of the best interpreters of other people's songs.

pmac said...

I really miss the James Booker influenced Connick.


Hey Sal,

At the risk of sounding like one of "the same three or four loyal readers [who] offer thanks and commentary, [and who] toss a few bucks in the till without a single prompt" :-) I gotta say thanks for these SOTW and for Burning Wood. I was pleased to see a robust discussion on Friday's post; maybe we need a poke but when poked the community sure has something to say!

I was late to the CD party (hey, what was I going to do with all those LPs?). The day I bought my first CD player I stopped at Sam The Record Man and bought Linda's Heart Like a Wheel (not the last CD I'd buy to go with the same album on vinyl). From the Stone Ponies to that stuff with Dolly & Emmylou to her latin work, kids records, and Gilbert and Sullivan -- to say nothing of a solo career that defined a sound, Linda Ronstadt is such a huge part of my musical life. I think what she did with all those songs from Warren Zevon's self titled album are out of this world! Nice we're listening to her more these days (even if for sad reasons).

dogbreath said...

I'd forgotten the Bad Co track & it did take me a while (just a decade or two) to fully appreciate their Burnin' Sky album. Had a couple of Linda Ronstadt's boots on today - not her footwear, a couple of FM recordings. She remains one of my all time favourite female singers & her 70s and 80s output is never off my playlists. Yet another tasty conglomeration nicely zipped up, many thanks. Cheers!

Ken D said...

Did not know that about "Cecilia." Doesn't surprise me, though. All NRBQ alum are tenured professors in the College of Musical Knowledge.
& thanks for the bonus track.

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna kill two birds here. First, I'm one o' those who doesn't always comment on the SOTW posts, but ALWAYS downloads 'em. I do the latter because I like being exposed to the tastes of a catholic (with a small 'c') listener, and your mini write-ups add to the intrigue. I don't comment often because -- and I suspect this may account for others -- I download 'em knowing I won't get to them for a possibly long while, on account of full-time work, singley-parenting full-time 10-year-old twins, needing to get some sleep/showers/meals in the meantime. By the time I listen, weeks may've passed....and I dunno if you ever go back to old posts to see new comments. Anyway, I won't hear this one today, surely, but I already have a comment or two, based on what's on it and what you wrote.
I love love love those first 3 BadCo albums, and never got into anything after that. Coincidentally, I played Straight Shooter last week to see if BadCo's patented tunefulness-with-crunch would catch the kids' attention, but they didn't glom right onto it like they've done with Nirvana and the Beatles and the Coasters. And, tho I didn't pay her much mind while in my teens in her heyday (Save for declaring then, and maintaining to this day, that Hasten Down The Wind is the finest album cover of all time, and her version of Blue Bayou one of the most subtle beauties of the rock era), I came to appreciate LR's undisputed artistry in time. I've not seen the doc, but I've heard over the years that she was never sure of her talent, and that's mind-blowing.
C in California

heartsofstone said...

The Humblebums - great call!!

Shriner said...

I watched the Ronstadt documentary today finally -- yes, it was great. Such a voice. Would have been a bit more interesting to have a bit more of her personal life discussed during her "rock star" phase (the whole "diet pills" thing was a one-sentence gloss over, but was it?)

Yeah, the ending was moving. And she looks almost exactly the same so many years later.

FD13NYC said...

I really like Karla Bonoff's version of Lose Again as well.

Eric said...

Mick Ralph's on Bad Company? Thanks