I guess it's a testament to my true procrastinating nature that here it is one month away from the start of winter and I'm first falling into fall now. The truth of the matter is that I've been kind of busy with school and dealing with a bit of depression these past weeks. Going back to school was an interesting adventure at first but now I am getting rather tired of it. After working for so many years, taking all these classes that seem so unrelated to the "real" world (whatever THAT is) with kids that are almost young enough to call me grandpa, is starting to get to me. But the good news is that in 6 weeks I'm all done and will be an official college graduate. Hopefully that will make finding a job a bit easier. Also, on the good (if somewhat old by this time) news side of the page is the Yankees winning the World Series. It was a great series and the Phillies were worthy adversaries. It doesn't always work out that way but this year the World Series really did match up the two best U.S. teams in baseball. So enough talk, time to strike up the band.
The Fowls - The Yanks Are Champs
Back in the mid-80s I spotted this record on a back shelf in Stan's Souvenirs Shop, which sits right across the street from the old Yankee Stadium. As soon as I saw the yellow Rotten Rat Records label, I figured it was worth a listen. So I handed over my $4 and hoped for the best. And what a fabulous record it is! Even Billy Miller, co-editor of Kicks Magazine and one of the most vehement Yankee-haters I know has admitted that this is one of the best sports related Rock & Roll records ever.
Bob Dylan - It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (7-25-65)
I'm not sure from what album this particular recording originates although I'm guessing it was from one of the numerous bootlegs made from live tapes recorded during that period. Nonetheless, this is a splendid rendition of one of his best songs.
The Flatmates - If Not For You
I've always had a fascination for Dylan covers. His songs are so multi-faceted and open for interpretation. The best known version of "If Not For You" is probably George Harrison's but I've always liked the Flatmates' take on it just as much.
The Hoods - I'm A Dog
The Hoods hailed from Sweden and this 2-minute plus blast of snotty garageified R&B is one of a handful of great records they recorded in 1964-65. A quick Google search didn't reveal much so if anyone out there has any info on these guys, a comment or two would be greatly appreciated.
Jimmy Patton - Yah I'm Movin'
A few months ago I posted Jimmy' "Okie's in the Pokie" and this track is just as good. He had at least one more 45 "Let Me Slide" which I'll also post sometime. All three are available on a number of different Rockabilly comps that have come out over the years.
Jimmy Reed - Shame, Shame, Shame
Jimmy Reed has always been one of my favorite blues singers. This song is one of his best and has been covered a number of times over the years. Back in January I posted a wild version of this song by Aerosmith from their "Honkin' on Bobo" album.
The Lackloves - In Due Time
These guys embody everything I love about Power Pop - hook-filled songs with intelligent lyrics, lots of chiming guitars and confident yet not overly cocky vocals. They have at least 3 albums out, all of which are available on Amazon.
Lady Dottie & the Diamonds - Why I Sing the Blues
If Etta James ever got together with The Detroit Cobras, they'd probably sound a lot like Lady Dottie and The Diamonds. I can't remember the last time I heard such soulful blues rock so hard. Check out their album. I don't go to nearly as many live shows as I used to but if LD & Co. ever come to town, I'll be front and center.
Beck - I'll Be Your Mirror
I really love this new project of Beck's. He's going back with various friends and re-recording songs by some of his favorite artists. This is his first effort and here he turns in a beautiful version of "I'll Be Your Mirror" from the Velvet Underground's debut album. Best of all, he's posting them online for no charge.
Mike Furber & The Bowery Boys - You Stole My Love
Brisbane, Australia's Mike Furber & Co are fairly well known in 60's garage circles, most notably for their version of "That's When Happiness Begins" but I think I like this one even better.
The Beatles - Baby You're A Rich Man (alt.)
Considering that The Beatles broke up almost 40 years ago, all of the hoopla surrounding their latest box set reissues is truly amazing - and richly deserved. I've been a fan since day one and when I listen to these remasterings I hear things with a clarity I never experienced before. Because they were such perfectionists, for almost every song they recorded there are a number of alternate versions and outakes. I'm sure it's way too much to ask but I'd love to see a similarly mastered box dedicated to some of those. This version of "Baby You're a Rich Man" is not very different from the original single version but I think I detect a few slight changes here and there.
Frantic Johnny Rogers - Sassy
From the fabulous "T-Bird Party" compilation comes this delightful R&B stomper. Anyone with an extra $149. to spend can find a nice NM copy of this on Gemm Music. Or if anyone is looking for a nice graduation present to get me....
The Sting Rays Of Newburgh - Fool
These guys hailed from my home state of New York and as far as I know, this record was their only claim to fame. My apologies for the screw up on the file name. This is how it should read.
The Chaps - Remember To Forget Her
From the sound of this moody folk punker I'm guessing it was recorded in 1965 or 66. This particular recording was taken from the Psychedelic States: Arkansas compilation and if anyone has an original for sale or trade, please get in touch via the comments section.
Vivian Girls - Such A Joke
While this is not at all retro sounding, I can still hear a 60s garage influence in their music. Of course it's all filtered through a punk/post-punk sensibility that many garage purists might not like but personally, I really like both of their albums. Fans of Jesus and Mary Chain or Black Rebel Motorcycle Club take note.
Roger Miller - Dang Me
To many, Roger Miller is primarily remembered as a Country novelty act and this song will do little to change anyone's mind. Truth be told, he was a lot more than that and he was elected to the Nashville Songwriters hall of Fame in 1973. I've always liked his songs for their easy-going warmth and their sense of joie de vivre.
Z.Z. Hill - Baby I'm Sorry
Although Z.Z. never achieved Otis Redding's or Wilson Pickett's level of commercial success, it wasn't for lack of either trying or talent as this stomping soul toe-tapper clearly shows.