27 October 2011

Occupy and Stay! -- "The Revolution Starts Now!"

This one goes out to my brothers and sisters on the front lines of the Occupy Movement.

The Revolution Starts Now! (2004) -- Steve Earle

Addendum: One reader reported having a problem with the track player above. You can find a lower fidelity but fine copy of Steve's protest anthem on YouTube at: Steve Earle, "The Revolution Starts Now!"

22 October 2011

Hot Tuna: "Highway Song" -- An "Echoes in the Wind"

I'm gonna borrow a moment in time, peace, and "a little help from my friends". Re-channelling a recent "Saturday Single" at Echoes in the Wind -- from the 1969 Jefferson Airplane / San Francisco stew pot -- comes a side project that turned out to be ambrosia: Hot Tuna. Thanks for the roadmap whiteray.

Hot Tuna, Highway Song, from the album Burgers (1972)

14 October 2011

Talent Rising (R&B/Soul): Johnny Rawls' "I'm a Bluesman" (2009)

Johnny Rawls, Ace of Spades (album, 2009)

I first heard Johnny Rawls' 2009 song I'm A Bluesman on cable radio (Music Choice blues channel) last week. It took a while to track a copy down, but success came "with a little help from me friends." I had immediately fallen in love with the track the first time I heard it, so scoring a copy was a major coup. Gotta watch the pennies without letting it hurt the music.

So, to help get the word out on this mature, rising, classic R&B talent, here's Johnny Rawls' album cut of I'm a Bluesman (2009).

Johnny Rawls' I'm a Bluesman (2009)

"Rawls is a true soul-blues renaissance man..." Allmusic Guide (online). Damn right!

09 October 2011

Caught in the Dark Fires of Love: "We'll Sweep Out the Ashes in the Morning" -- Gram Parsons (with Emmylou Harris, 1973)

While wrestling yesterday with both my new post research and also, invariably, my powerlessness over the sublime but often uncontrollable darker side of love, I found a shining glimmer of insight in my music collection yesterday. From Gram Parson's first solo album, GP (1973), here's We'll Sweep Out the Ashes in the Morning (written by Joyce Allsup; harmony vocal by Emmylou Harris).

This song makes me feel a little less alone, a little less like I'm the only guy who ever traveled this burning highway. Gram, Emmylou & Co. surely helped yesterday, as Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Lou Reed, Dylan, and Johnny Cash (with June) have helped me steer through this "Ring of Fire" before.

We'll Sweep Out the Ashes in the Morning (Gram Parsons, GP, 1973)

04 October 2011

Django Reinhardt & Stéphane Grappelli: "Minor Swing"

Here a hot little tune that made the mix during a recent online discussion of films with jazz performances. I was discussing the tribulations of being the second best guitar player in the world -- always behind Django -- as lovingly illustrated by Woody Allen in his fine film Sweet and Lowdown (1999). This isn't a song from the film, but rather a great Django & Stéphane recording that easily qualifies as "sweet and lowdown".