The Rascals “People Got To Be Free” from Greatest Hits (Rhino 2007) —I know the sentiment is hokey, but they convince me - "such an easy, easy thing it should be / why can't you and me learn to love one another?"Buy it!
The Turtles “Let Me Be” from The Best of the Turtles (Rhino 1987) —A fierce statement of individualism in the face of conformity, with maybe a nod to Popeye: I am what I am and that's all I ver can be."Buy it!
Julian Cope “Sunspots” from Floored Genius, Vol. 2 (Dutch East 1994) —I istened to the album "Fried" at work the other day for the first time in 25 years, and this song jumped out at me; this BBC version is actually even better.Buy it!
Ha Ha Tonka “Usual Suspects” from Death of a Decade (Bloodshot 2011) N —Driving beat and seriously catchy - these guys are doing something few indie bands know how to do.Buy it!
Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers “You” from Rare Bird Alert (Rounder 2011) N —A gorgeous song sung by the Dixie Chicks.Buy it!
The Coal Porters “No More Chains” from Durango (Prima 2010) N —Yeah, I missed a chance to play this after the Rascals song; I'm a little slow on the uptake sometimes.Buy it!
David Lowery “Baby, All Those Girls Meant Nothing to Me” from The Palace Guards (429 2011) N —It's hard to reconcile David Lowery's reflexive irony with the yearning for forgiveness he's offering here; ah, why try - he's having a go.Buy it!
Richard Barone “Odd Girl Out” from Glow (Bar/None 2010) —A pop gem about the horrors of pre-Stonewall gay life.Buy it!
Duran Duran “All You Need Is Now” (Tape Modern 2011) N —The big giant hooks that I love from these guys - they've got some new ones. Produced by hep cat Mark Ronson.Buy it!
David Bowie “Hang On To Yourself” from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders From Mars (RCA 1972) —One of Duran Duran's biggest influences.Buy it!
Television “No Glamour For Willi” from Television (CAPITOL 1992) —Those guitars just glisten and glide on this one.Buy it!
City Squirrel “Total” from Blow Music Only With Delicate Mad Worship (Red Pill 2011) N —I love the tightly constricted space of this song, not to mention the drive of that rhythm section.Buy it!
Edwyn Collins “Losing Sleep” (Heavenly www.heavenlyrecordings.com 2010) N —This sounds like classic Orange Juice to me.Buy it!
Teddy Thompson “Over and Over” from Bella (Verve Forecast 2011) N —The strings on this song are so effective - David Kahne arranged them perfectly.Buy it!
Muddy Waters “Jealous Hearted Man” from Hard Again CD ALBUM (Blue Sky 1977) —The piano player on this cut was Pinetop Perkins, who passed away the other day at the age of 97.Buy it!
Pinetop Perkins & Willie "Big Eyes" Smith “Grown Up To Be A Man” from Joined At The Hip: Pinetop Perkins & Willie "Big Eyes" Smith (Telarc 2010) —This was the album that finally got Perkins a grammy, if I'm not mistaken.Buy it!
Pinetop Perkins “Pinetop's Boogie Woogie” from After Hours (blind pig blindpigrecords.com 1988) —This boogie was actually written by one Pinetop Smith, but Perkins does a great job on it.Buy it!
Dr. John “Mama Roux” from Gris Gris (Collector's Choice 1968) —The cowbell holds the funk in this mysterious bit of hoodoo.Buy it!
Run-DMC “King of Rock” from Ultimate Run DMC (Arista 2003) —We watched "The Fighter" the other night, and this cowbell-laden hip hop classic jumped out at me.Buy it!
Los Lobos “Revolution” from Colossal Head (Warner Brothers 1996) —I pulled this album out for the first time in ages the other day - I'd forgotten how many great songs it has. And a prime spot for cowbell.Buy it!
Ozomatli “Dos Cosas Ciertas” from Embrace the Chaos (Interscope 2001) —Hey, there's some bonus cowbell - and some bonus rapping.Buy it!
Bob Marley & The Wailers “Simmer Down” from Ska Bonanza - The Studio One Ska Years (Heartbeat 1991) —The greatest of all ska records!Buy it!
The Skatalites “Green Island” from Guns of Navarone - The Best of the Skatalites (Sanctuary Records 2003) —A really cool off-kilter ska instrumental.Buy it!
The Specials “A Message To You Rudy” from The Specials (Chrysalis 1980) —For so many of us, the first ska we ever heard.Buy it!
Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd st. Rhythm Band “Do Your Thing” from Boogie Nights, Vol. 2 (Mixed Repertoire 1998) —I didn't even remember there was cowbell on this one. It's even better.Buy it!
Stevie Wonder “Big Brother” from Talking Book (Motown 1972) —What a sweet song.Buy it!
Eric Clapton “Easy Now” from Eric Clapton (Polydor 1970) —Scott Miller of Game Theory / Loud Family fame recommended this song on his website - it's a quiet gem from an album I'd never listened to before.Buy it!
Johnny Cash “Rock and Roll Ruby” from From Memphis to Hollywood (Columbia Legacy 2011) N —A demo recording from Johnny when he was at Sun. Fascinating.Buy it!
Ray Price “Crazy Arms” from The Essential Ray Price (Columbia 2007) —The great steel guitarist Ralph Mooney passed away a couple days back - he co-wrote this classic.Buy it!
Buck Owens “Under Your Spell Again” from Very Best of Buck Owens Vol. 1 (Rhino 1994) —There's Mooney kicking off this classic - he played on a lot of Buck Owens hits.Buy it!
Merle Haggard “Swinging Doors” from Lonesome Fugitive: The Merle Haggard Anthology (Razor & Tie 1995) —And Merle Haggard knew to hire Mooney, too.Buy it!
Waylon Jennings “Ladies Love Outlaws” (Collectables 2003) —Waylon Jennings once said, "Hell, there's only one steel guitar player, and it's Ralph Mooney."Buy it!
Joe Bonamassa “Sweet Rowena” from Dust Bowl (J&R Adventures 2011) N —I love the sound of Vince Gill singing blues on this cut; maybe he should do more of this.Buy it!
Gregg Allman “Floating Bridge” from Low Country Blues (Rounder 2011) N —Doyle Bramhall II plays some cool guitar on this, Gregg sings it perfectly, and Dr. John tickles the ivories. Nice.Buy it!
Jay Gaunt “Midnight Rider” from Harmonicopia (JPG 2010) N —My review of this excellent record is here: http://blues.about.com/od/cddvdreview1/fr/Jay-Gaunt-Harmonicopia-2010.htmBuy it!
Elvis Presley “Make Me Know It” from Elvis Is Back! (RCA Victor 1960) N —Elvis could sing a little bit.Buy it!
Todd Rundgren “Couldn't I Just Tell You” from Something/Anything (bearsville www.rhino.com 1972) —Now this is power pop!Buy it!
The Baseball Project “Buckner's Bolero” from Volume 2: High and Inside (Yep Roc 2011) N —It's never really about just one play, you know, in baseball or in life.Buy it!
Solomon Burke & De Dijk “Hold On Tight” (Verve Forecast 2011) N —The great soul man left one final recording for his legacy.Buy it!
Aaron Neville “I Done Made Up My Mind” from I Know I've Been Changed (Tell It 2010) N —There is such a joyous feeling in this cut - Joe Henry pushes Aaron Neville to really sing from the heart, not just use the tics everyone expects.Buy it!
The Delmore Brothers “Trouble Ain't Nothin But the Blues” from Freight Train Boogie (Ace 1993) —I've just been blown away by these guys - I just got this compilation and they have so many bluesy country songs to love.Buy it!
Van Morrison “These Dreams of You” from Moondance (Warner Brothers 1970) —What a great song I'd overlooked for a long, long time.Buy it!
Like everything else, times are approximate.
Spinitron and this station are not liable for errors or omissions.