Wherein I play a couple, two three songs for your (one hopes) pleasure. Just a random assortment of tunes that were rattling around in my brain lately. (Pictured – Ry Cooder)
Chris Isaak is a rocker with a rockabilly bent. Unlike your traditional misfit loner rock and roller, Isaak was class president in his high school and “head of the all-male cheer squad.” I find that amusing. Isaak had a pretty big hit with the song “Wicked Game,” especially after it showed up in David Lynch’s film Wild at Heart. (He’s a Lynch favorite, with some tunes in Blue Velvet too.)
That’s a good tune but the one I really dig is his 1995 number, “Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing.” According to Wikipedia, “the song got most of its mainstream recognition after being featured in the 1999 Stanley Kubrick film Eyes Wide Shut. Kubrick heard the song as Nicole Kidman listened to Isaak’s music to liven up during rehearsals.”
Yeah, baby. It’s sultry, it’s smoky, it’s … naughty. Baby did a really bad thing:
Ry Cooder has a been an ace guitarist in rock and roots music since at least 1967 when he played with Captain Beefheart. After that, he became well-known for his work with the Stones, especially his slide guitar. In an earlier post, I mentioned his great playing on Jagger’s “Memo From Turner.”
Cooder traveled to his own internal drummer, releasing a series of albums that traveled the highways and byways of America looking for its blues and folk roots. In 1979, Ry released what was to be the first digitally recorded major label album in popular music, Bop Till You Drop. This release occurred several years before compact discs were available. (I don’t recall buying one till about 1987 or so.)
From Bop is the song “The Very Thing That Makes You Rich (Makes Me Poor.)” It’s got a soulful gospel feel to it. Interestingly, Cooder got a bunch of songs from a cab driver in Memphis named Sidney Bailey, one of which is this tune:
Doyle Bramhall was a drummer and singer/songwriter who grew out of the Austin, TX blues scene. He first joined up with Jimmie Vaughan in a band called The Chessmen. He later played with Jimmie’s brother, Stevie and co-wrote a few songs with him. Bramhall is also the father of guitarist Doyle Bramhall II, who has played with everyone from Eric Clapton to Roger Waters.
Bramhall senior released an album in 1994 called Bird Nest On the Ground. (Interestingly, it came out on the now-defunct Antone’s label. This is the same Antone that has an Austin club that helped launch both the Fabulous Thunderbirds and Stevie Ray Vaughan.)
There’s some nice stuff on this album but I’ve been getting into the tune “The Hunter” lately. This is a number Albert King did with the MG’s on his Born Under a Bad Sign album.
It ain’t no use to hide
Whoa it ain’t no need to run
Cause I’ve got you in the sights
Of my love, love, love, love gun
If the lyrics sound familiar, you’re probably recognizing them from Zep’s song “How Many More Times.” Robert Plant launches into it about six minutes or so into the tune.