Tres Songs (Mini-set)

Here’s a new feature. I’m putting three songs together more or less as a mini-set. There’s no real relationship between the songs other then unintentionally. Just three songs I like played back-to-back, almost like a disc jockey would randomly do. Some you might know, some you might have missed. Some you might like, some you might shrug. Eh, at least you’ll hear them. 

Back in the late ’60’s, early ’70’s, there was a band called Mountain with a terrific guitarist named Leslie West. Their bass player was a guy named Felix Pappalardi who was well-known for producing some of Cream’s music. Mountain played at Woodstock and put out a couple of pretty good albums.

I saw West on VH1’s “That Metal Show” not too long ago so he’s still out there doing it. I noted in an earlier post that he long ago sat in with The Who doing a Marvin Gaye song. He also put out an album last year that features, among, others, the late Jack Bruce of Cream playing and singing on one of the band’s staples, “Spoonful.”

One of my favorites of Mountain’s is “Theme for an Imaginary Western,” a tune by Bruce who was bassist, main vocalist and primary songwriter of Cream. It’s got a really nice lazy feel, a cool swirly organ part and a couple of tasty guitar solos. Pappalardi on vocals. I like the whole idea of an imaginary Western. Very evocative.

When the wagons leave the city
For the forest, and further on
Painted wagons of the morning
Dusty roads where they have gone

Sometimes traveling through the darkness
Met the summer coming home
Fallen faces by the wayside
Looked as if they might have known

Curtis Mayfield was a member of a band called The Impressions that formed in the ’50’s and – like the Drifters –  is apparently still going. He was a singer, songwriter and guitarist who was also famous for doing the soundtrack to a movie called “Superfly.”

One of my absolute favorites by him is a song called “Move on Up.” It absolutely cooks. The horn arrangement alone is worth the price of admission. There’s a longer version out there if you find yourself getting into it.

Hush now child, and don’t you cry
Your folks might understand you, by and by
Move on up, toward your destination
Though you may find from time to time

There were several iterations of Fleetwood Mac between the Peter Green blues version and the Nicks/Buckingham version. This song, “Hypnotized” is from their early ’70’s incarnation with guitarist/singer Bob Welch. (The Pointer Sisters covered it!) Spacy, ethereal, otherworldly. And a cool drum/guitar thing happening.

Seems like a dream
Got me hypnotized

They say there’s a place down in Mexico
Where a man can fly over mountains and hills
And he don’t need an airplane or some kind of engine
And he never will

Now you know it’s a meaningless question
To ask if those stories are right
‘Cause what matters most is the feeling
You get when you’re hypnotized


6 thoughts on “Tres Songs (Mini-set)

  1. The Curtis Mayfield I have is ‘Curtis/Live!’, a terrific live album from some hazy bar in Greenwich Village. Fantastic banter and some great playing. Mountain is an interesting band. I’ve heard snippets of Nantucket Sleighride and it all sounds good, though I confess they’re not the type of group I’d muy albums from. Cool post; good idea 🙂


    1. BTW, if you have never heard it, check out “Mississippi Queen” by Mountain. If that doesn’t do it for you, then yeah, they’re probably not your cup of tea.


  2. Interesting. I didn’t know there was a ‘Curtis Live’ album. I’ve added it to the list to listen to. Super-talented guy, tragic death. As to the tres songs post, yeah, I figure what the hell, I’ll play disc jockey every once in a while, see how it works. So many songs I love and I like to share them when I can. And it turns out it’s a two-way street. Thanks.


  3. Another good one Jim. Always dug the Cream /Mountain connections. Heard Jack Bruce’s version of ‘Western’ first but Mountain does a really good job. Three good tunes. Curtis is another special dude. Keep throwing these mixes together. CB enjoys them. Listening while I punch the keys.


  4. I was on some other dude’s blog and out of the blue some guy says, Boy I love ‘Imaginary Western.’ I jumped all over that comment. So good to hear somebody appreciate it.

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  5. Real quick Jim. Followed all the Cream guys solo work but it was Bruce that I spent the most time on. He was a hard guy (his music) for people to categorize. I absolutely dig his stuff. I figured you being a musician with some eclectic tastes, that you would dig him also. Again great little piece.

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