I was so infatuated with this new Buffalo Tom album last night that I wound up pulling out the entire catalog for a re-examination. Bill Janovitz made of my favorite singles of the 90s with "Taillight's Fade" from the band's first album in '92, "Let Me Come Over." But until last night, nothing they recorded since resonated with me quite like that perfect song. Sure they have released other good stuff, but with their first album since they regrouped in 2007 they have reached a new high point to these ears. Track after track of mature guitar based pop/rock, with more hooks than a tackle box.
They add Tanya Donnelly to the mix on this exquisite ballad....
I'll close with the song that started it all...
Surely I can't be the only one wondering who will be the third? I actually met Owsley once, backstage at the first Furthur Festival and he tried to sell me very expensive jewelry! He inspired many... and here's the audio proof.
And if you've been hoarding some of his magic, go ahead and take it and listen to this...
Although not a household name, you would be hard-pressed to find a musician worth their salt that doesn't know the name Joe Morello. One of the greatest drummers in the history of Jazz and I will never forget the brief time I spent with him or his "even-sticking" technique. The biography below is from his website and I've included his most famous song, written by Paul Desmond his band-mate in the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Joe is playing in 5/4 while the rest of the band stays in 4/4, yet he makes it work. Simply amazing.
BIOGRAPHY of JOE MORELLO
July 17, 1928—March 12, 2011
Joe was born on July 17, 1928, in Springfield, Mass. Having impaired vision since birth, he devoted himself to indoor activities. At the age of six, his family’s encouragement led him to study violin. Three years later, he was featured with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as soloist in the Mendelsohn Violin Concerto. At the age of twelve, he made a second solo appearance with the orchestra. But upon meeting and hearing his idol, the great Jascha Heifetz, Joe felt he could never achieve “that sound”. So, at the age of fifteen, Joe changed the course of his musical endeavors and began to study drums.
Joe’s first drum teacher, Joe Sefcik, was a pit drummer for all the shows in the Springfield area. He was an excellent teacher and gave Joe much encouragement. Joe began sitting in with any group that would allow it. When he was not sitting in, he and his friends, including Teddy Cohen, Chuck Andrus, Hal Sera, Phil Woods and Sal Salvador, would get together and jam in any place they could find. Joe would play any job he was called for. As a result, his musical experiences ranged from rudimental military playing to weddings and social occasions. Eventually, Mr. Sefcik decided it was time for Joe to move on. He recommended a teacher in Boston, the great George Lawrence Stone.
Mr. Stone did many things for Joe. He gave Joe most of the tools for developing technique. He taught Joe to read. But most important of all, he made Joe realize his future was in jazz, not “legitimate” percussion, as Joe had hoped. Through his studies with Mr. Stone, Joe became known as the best drummer in Springfield, and rudimental champion of New England.
Joe’s playing activity increased, and he soon found himself on the road with several groups. First, there was Hank Garland and the Grand Old Opry, and then Whitey Bernard. After much consideration, Joe left Whitey Bernard to go to New York City.
A difficult year followed, but with Joe’s determination and the help of friends like Sal Salvador, Joe began to be noticed. Soon he found himself playing with an impressive cast of musicians that included Gil Melle, Johnny Smith, Tal Farlow, Jimmy Raney, Stan Kenton and Marian McPartland. After leaving Marian McPartland’s trio, he turned down offers from the Benny Goodman band and the Tommy Dorsey band. The offer he chose to accept was a two-month temporary tour with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, which ended up lasting twelve-and-a half years. It was during the period that Joe’s technique received its finishing touches from Billy Gladstone of Radio City Music Hall.
From 1968, when the Dave Brubeck Quartet disbanded, Joe spread his talents over a variety of areas. He maintained a very active private teaching practice. Through his association with DW Drums, Joe made great educational contributions to drumming, as well as the entire field of jazz, by way of his clinics, lectures and guest solo appearances. In his later years, Joe frequently performed with his own group in the New York metropolitan area.
Joe appeared on over 120 albums and CDs, of which 60 were with the Dave Brubeck Quartet. He won the Downbeat magazine award for best drummer for five years in a row, the Playboy award seven years in a row, and is the only drummer to win every music poll for five years in a row, including Japan, England, Europe, Australia and South America. He is mentioned in Who’s Who in the East, twelfth edition, and the Blue Book, which is a listing of persons in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States who have achieved distinction in the arts, sciences, business or the professions. Revered by fans and musicians alike, Joe was considered to be one of the finest, and probably one of the most celebrated, drummers in the history of jazz.
Joe's impact on the world of music, and on all the lives of those he touched will live forever.
A few rare favorites to get the weekend started right.
A very interesting new album from Kurt Vile
The Sheen media frenzy made me think of this great old tune from one of my favorite bands of The 80s... The Sound. R.I.P. Adrian Borland.
I was originally going to include this in the Drive-By Truckers post a few days back but decided to let it stand on its own, a flat-out brilliant tune from Jason Isbell's first solo album.
I simply can't get enough of the the latest Twilight Singers album... Dulli has delivered again.
Let's continue our appreciation of Al...
He discovered and produced these boys....
Al signed this band to CBS for this classic album and even wrote the liner notes!
All the chatter regarding the new album has been centered on a "return to form" whatever that means. I've felt all along that they never fully recovered from the loss of Bill Berry as an integral part of the band, and that's not just because I play the drums. Berry brought a lot more to the table musically than most people realize. That being said, this is a pretty damn good "album" ... but there will never be another "Murmur" from R.E.M., nor should there be.
I think this song from 2004 stands up with anything the band ever recorded.
And this one from the start of the Decade is also a favorite...
The man is a living legend... you can look it up!
Notice his name is spelled "Kooder" here... and check out who arranged the tune.
A quick blast of UB40 is all I have time for today.
If you are just now getting into the band through their great new release "The Big To-Do" here's an older reason why I love The Drive-By Truckers...
This is another...
And this just flat-out ROCKS...
Something new from some old and dear friends...
A true CLASSIC...
Some new things for a kickoff to the weekend.
Still not feeling 100% but this showing up today perked me up.
Which caused me to pull this one out for a spin.
And I just couldn't resist reaching back for this...
I'm not feeling very well today, so here's a couple of more recent songs you should be aware of... more tomorrow.
"Waitin' For The Wind" and "Evil Woman" were staples of my musical life back in the day and interestingly enough, this particular line-up of Spooky Tooth wound up branching off into some very interesting directions. "Spooky Two" was actually the second and final album by the band's original line-up, after one pre-Gary Wright release as Art.
The band on this record was:
Mike Harrison - keyboards, vocals Gary Wright - organ, vocals Luther (Luke) Grosvenor - guitar, vocals Greg Ridley - bass, vocals Mike Kellie - drums
Greg Ridley left after this record and wound up joining Humble Pie for their best period (in my opinion), here's Greg taking lead vocals on one of the first classic live albums of the 70s.
Luther Grosvenor soon realized that nobody could pronounce his name anyway, so he changed it to Aeriel Bender and replaced Mick Ralphs in Mott The Hoople. That's him in the middle with the top hat below.
I'm sure everyone remembers Gary Wright's huge solo success in the mid-70s with "Dreamweaver" but I was always partial to his earlier solo work, like this one.
For me the most interesting member was typically the drummer and in this case, Mike Kellie doesn't disappoint. He played on a variety of great rock records as a sideman (as did Gary Wright) before he joined up with Peter Perrett and formed the legendary band, The Only Ones. That's Mike on the far left in the leather jacket.
Peter and Mike had an admirer in NY Dolls guitarist Johnny Thunders, who recruited the pair to play on this classic.
And let's not forget "second-generation" Spooky Tooth guitar player Mick Jones, who was on board for what I feel was the band's last solid album.
After a brief stint with Leslie west, Mick became the most commercially successful of the bunch with the band he designed... Foreigner.
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