Every year, well most years, the blog does a musical rundown. This year I am pulling all the samples from YouTube. Which limits things on one level but is clearly more accessible to more Moon Travellers. Stay tuned for our chronicle of this year's storms of the century. This one is dedicated to Milwaukee's late great Dr Bop.
Number 1 - Her Tenere - The most inspiring music makes you wonder 'where this comes from.' it is such with Bombino. If jimi hendrix, john lee hooker and dick dale had travelled like 3 kings through north africa in the 1960s, and set up on a flatbed truck, and played off the truck generator, and broadcast a jam over some celestial coffee grinder apparatus, that music might become a legend in a nomad camp, and spawn the dessert blues music of Bombino. Her Tenere - The desert/ I am in the desert/Full of nostalgia/ In the desert/Without water I was sitting, meditating/On the problems facing the desert..
Number 2 - Crazy in Love - This is a highly advanced exercise in longing. Bryan Ferry and his colleagues reimagine the music of the long ago white European jazz era. That means oddball renderings of Love is the Drug, Virginia Plain and other Roxy music mainstays on the Jazz Age CD – it also means interesting combos of contemporary style with acoustic jazz recollected in the soundtrack for The Great Gatsby. This is high concept, and maybe less emotionally touching than Ferry's As Time Go By. Picking one number is hard .. I will go with this behind the scenes video that kind of shows the process. When I could imagine being on W.C. Field's great ocean liner S.S. Gigantic – I was a lad I was a sucker for Your Mother Should Know, Grizzly Bear, Hello Hello, and I have never grown out of it. I am just pondering Lost Time. In a way the whole idea of time is illusory. As the physicists continue to make progress on time travel, this becomes more or less clear.
Number 3 - Woke Up This Morning With My Mind On Jesu - What becomes a legend most? How about a late career resurgence full voiced and emotionally directed? Gospel Soul songstress extraordinaire Mavis Staple advises, with stellar accompaniment, that you start your day on the good foot in Woke Up This Morning With My Mind On Jesus! I but it! Get right with God! Don’t forget to pray – and shake a hand everyday. Smack!
Number 4 – Ruby Baby. Fine singer Aaron "Tell it Like it Is" Neville took a look at doo wop this year, and Ruby Baby is a great piece off that record. It just glides. Glide is good. Cant always be thumpthump. It is street corner, like he knew it when it was the fount. And he combines the Drifters' original elements with feel of Dion's remake. Open mindedly. Reinvention is overrated. So, I like it like that. Aaron is certainly right about one thing: It is time to revisit doo wop. It has been a while. I think their could be less violence on our streets if t'were so. Another beauty on this BlueNote release: Money Honey. What if Lester Bangs came down to earth to write one review and it was this Aaron Neville cameo? The bog mindles.
Number 5 – Invitation to the Blues. Some day I might write about the blues songs of the C&W folk. If so will include this number by Ray Price/Roger Miller. It sprung upon the world anew this year via Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, who did a tour and a record. Honestly, I'd rather pick a number they did on a tribute compilation dedicated to slide great Buddy Emmmons, cause it in fact is one of the better records of year, and she sings it (That's All It Took) better here than when she was a yungin w Gram Parsons. However, I could not find that on YouTube, so we will go with their remake of Invitation to the Blues, Live at the Ryman and sounds like it, but which is good too, and includes Vince Gill who is also on the Buddy E tribute.
- Jack Vaughan
Here's an added treat…Eddie Floyd, William Bell, Steve Cropper, Mavis Staples and many others at the White House in April 2013. President Obama enters - not to the strains of Hail to the Chief - to the tune of Green Onions!