Hot Tuna “Water Song” from Burgers (RCA 1972) —After all these years, I can still learn about music from my old friend Alex Weir - what a terrific cut that somehow I'd never heard before.Buy it!
Blind Willie McTell “Georgia Rag” from Definitive Blind Willie McTell (Columbia / Legacy 1994) —There may have been others who sang the blues like Blind Willie McTell, but nobody ever played guitar quite like him.Buy it!
Gregg Allman “I Believe I'll Go Back Home” from Low Country Blues (Rounder 2011) N —I love the light touch Allman gives his vocal here - it just skips across the rhythm.Buy it!
The Moonglows “See Saw” from Their Greatest Hits (Chess 1997) —Just a delightful bouncy number with exuberant lead vocals.Buy it!
Danny Barnes “Caveman” from Pizza Box (ATO 2009) N —We got bills to pay, we got shoes to shine, it ain't no different from the caveman time.Buy it!
Hayes Carll “Stomp and Holler” from KMAG YOYO (Lost Highway www.losthighwayrecords.com 2011) N —His new record lives up to the promise of his first one, and then some!Buy it!
Patti Smith “Jubilee” from Trampin' (Columbia 2004) —Patti Smith gets a powerful backing on this powerhouse song.Buy it!
Abigail Washburn “Bright Morning Stars” from City of Refuge (Rounder 2011) N —I love this kind of traditional Appalachian folk harmony.Buy it!
Richard & Linda Thompson “Wall of Death” from Shoot Out the Lights (Hannibal 1982) —A very similar melody to the previous song, showwing Richard Thompson's folk roots. As if they weren't obvious.Buy it!
The Coal Porters “Like a Hurricane” from Durango (Prima 2010) N —A delightful semi-bluegrass take on the Neil Young song - dig the harmonies.Buy it!
Esperanza Spalding “Chim Chim Cheree” from Everybody Wants to Be a Cat:Disney Jazz Album l (Disney New 2011) N —So many of my Facebook friends had never heard of Esperanza Spalding when she won the Best New Artist Grammy last week - and yet, here she is on this fun compilation of Disney songs.Buy it!
George Shearing “Cuban Love Song” from Best of George Shearing (1955-1960) (Blue Note 1995) —I never really gave George Shearing much of a listen - the man was so prolific, and I hadn't really read any strong recommendations. But now that he's passed away, I listened to some and heard a talented pianist.Buy it!
Cannonball Adderley Quintet “A Foggy Day” from George Shearing & Cannonball Adderley Quintets Live at Newport (pablo www.fantasyjazz.com 1957) —I'm not always paying close attention - I thought Shearing played with Cannonball, until I just now realized they share the album, not the music. Still, this is a fun version.Buy it!
Little Willie John “Need Your Love So Bad (1999)” from Fever: The Best of Little Willie John (Rhino 1993) —One of the great Little Willie John's great songs.Buy it!
The Faces “Bad 'N' Ruin” from Long Player (Warner Brothers 1971) —Somebody posted to Facebook a live video of the band doing this song - perfect!Buy it!
Graham Parker “More Questions Than Answers” from Imaginary Television (Bloodshot www.bloodshotrecords.com 2010) —Graham still dabbles with the reggae after all these years.Buy it!
The Jam “Standards” from This Is the Modern World CD ALBUM (Polydor) —Standards Rule OK.Buy it!
Herman's Hermits “There's a Kind of Hush (All Over the World)” from A's B's & EP's (EMI 2004) —I miss the Zanti Misfits version of this one - they taught me to love the song.Buy it!
Blind Faith “Well All Right” from Blind Faith (Polydor 1969) —A song that would be nothing without the cowbell. Well, that's kind of harsh - I have always loved this one. But the cowbell is cool.Buy it!
Captain Beefheart “Semi-Multicoloured Caucasian” from Ice Cream for Crow (Blue Plate 1982) —One of the Captain's most beautiful instrumentals, with a tidbit of cowbell to boot.Buy it!
Bonzo Dog Band “I'm the Urban Spaceman” from History of the Bonzos (Beat Goes On 1974) —Sending this one out to Ted Ryan, without whom I'd never have heard this little gem.Buy it!
The Rutles “Cheese and Onions” from The Rutles (Rhino 1978) —Neil Innes is the common chord between the Bonzos and the Rutles. The man knows his way around funny songs.Buy it!
Buddy Holly “I'm Gonna Love You Too” from Buddy Holly (Brunswick 1958) —I admit it - I first heard this done by Blondie. What a great song, though.Buy it!
Howlin' Wolf “Spoonful” from Howlin' Wolf / Moanin' in the Moonlight (MCA 1960) —It's that perfect, loping groove, that stinging guitar, and the Wolf's powerhouse vocal.Buy it!
Bobby "Blue" Bland “Don't Cry No More” from Two Steps From the Blues (MCA 1961) —Bobby "Blue" Bland has a lot of songs about crying.Buy it!
Etta James “Pushover” from Her Best (Chess 1997) —I can't imagine anybody thinking Etta was a pushover, but I'm glad she tackled the accusation.Buy it!
Mel Tormè “Blue and Sentimental” from Duke Ellington & Count Basie Songbooks (Polygram 1961) —A pitch perfect take on the Count Basie number.Buy it!
Sam Cooke “Driftin' Blues” from The Rhythm & the Blues (RCA 1995) —Sam Cooke does a nice version of the Charles Brown classic.Buy it!
Clyde McPhatter “Rock and Cry” from Deep Sea Ball - The Best of Clyde McPhatter (Rhino 1991) —The original Drifters vocalist just had such a great style.Buy it!
Fats Waller “I'm Crazy 'Bout My Baby (And My Baby's Crazy 'Bout Me)” from Ultimate Collection (Castle 1998) —The man was brilliant.Buy it!
Charles Bradley “The World (Is Going Up in Flames)” from No Time for Dreaming (Daptone Records www.daptone.com 2011) N —Another great soul singer comes to Daptone.Buy it!
Erykah Badu “That Hump” from New America Part 2: Return of the Ankh (Universal Motown 2010) —Badu gets down!Buy it!
Cassandra Wilson “Lover Come Back to Me” from Silver Pony (Blue Note 2010) N —Wilson and her band are so in tune with each other on this cut - listen to the way they play with each other's rhythms.Buy it!
Joe Lovano Us Five “Ko Ko” from Bird Songs (Blue Note 2011) N —Lovano decronstructs the heck out of Charlie Parker, with the aid of two drummers.Buy it!
Mark Ronson & The Business Intl “Circuit Breaker” from Record Collection (RCA 2010) —This instrumental cut just blows me away every time - so damn intricate in its construction, and catchy at the same time.Buy it!
Asobi Seksu “Sighs” from Fluorescence (Polyvinyl 2011) N —I gotta admit, I wasn't expecting her to sing this in such a high key.Buy it!
A Flock Of Seagulls “Space Age Love Song” from A Flock of Seagulls CD ALBUM (Jive 1982) —This is they way we used to do these kinds of songs - thanks to Jim Varvaris for reminding me of its beauty.Buy it!
Ultravox “The Lonely Hunter” from Ultravox! (Island 1977) —A bit of glam on the verge of inventing a whole new synth-pop approach.Buy it!
Buzzcocks “Why Can't I Touch It” from A Different Kind of Tension (EMI 1979) —Pete Shelley's existential dilemma.Buy it!
Over the Rhine “Sharpest Blade” from The Long Surrender (GSD 2011) N —Rather a dramatic number. I can hear Joe Henry nodding in approval while he produced this.Buy it!
Diane Birch “This Corrosion” from The Velveteen Age (S-Curve 2011) N —I don't know what the story on this is - we have this 7-track EP here, but it's not in stores yet, to my knowledge. Bonus cowbell, too.Buy it!
Like everything else, times are approximate.
Spinitron and this station are not liable for errors or omissions.