As reported earlier, a while back I did a “blogger’s playlist” wherein I requested and compiled a playlist o’ tunes from anybody who wanted to play. We had so much fun with this I decided to do a Volume 2. This one’s got 40 tunes and is just shy of 3 hours, so less investment of time than your average Boss show. Joe Bonamassa makes two appearances.
As before we had 10 (9 plus yours truly) who submitted, this time including my son Nick. As much as I liked the first list, I like this one even better. It think it’s rootsier, funkier, blusier, ballsier.
And we hit just about every category. So we have rock, soul, blues, jazz, pop, reggae, funk and hip-hop. (Not much in the way of folk.) Also, this year once again no one submitted “Sometimes When We Touch,” “You’re Having My Baby,” or anything by Barry White. There’s always next time!
I said it once before but it bears repeating: The only thing I would suggest is to listen without prejudice. Not every genre here floats my boat, a few songs I’ve heard one time too many. But I tried to listen with fresh ears and I discovered something I dug in each one. I wasn’t looking for a list that reflected my taste; you shouldn’t be looking for one that reflects yours. Go outside your comfort zone.
- I wanted to start this list off with something slower and moodier. As soon as Bowie’s elegiac “Lazarus” came in, that was it, no other choice. Tip ‘o the hat to MusicCommentator for reading my mind.
- In the first twenty songs there are two from each contributor, hopefully laid out in an interesting way. After that I said fuck it and just threw them all in the blender wherever they seemed to fit. You can always shuffle the selections.
- The “Hoochie Coochie Man/Dixie Chicken” medley is an inspired one. It’s a live cut and the jacked-up audience makes me wish I’d been there.
- I’m not the world’s biggest hip-hop fan but when I like it I like it. “Malcolm Said It,” is good and pretty powerful.
- Christian, Mr. “I Only Like Vocals” contributed two (2) instrumentals, one jazz! When last seen he was in Greenwich Village smoking Gauloise cigarettes, wearing a black beret and frequenting jazz clubs where he was heard to say, “Yeah, baby. That’s the shit.”
- Tony (Man of Kent, not one of those dreadful Kentish Men) from Mumbling About gave us a theme of a tribute to the UK, which I found especially poignant since it should be closing its doors for business any day now.
- Song that grew on me the most – “The Humbling River,” especially when the female singer joins in. Lovely. Contributed by our guy from Australia who moved to Jersey. Or perhaps from Jersey who moved to Australia. I can’t keep that part straight. He also provides the Cure’s “Jumping Someone Else’s Train” which cooks right along. Good tune.
- CB gave us a country theme but don’t tell him that CCR is actually a rock band or he’ll keep coming back. He advises us that we “all have Elvis in us.”
Anyway, without further ado, the contributors in the order in which I received them. (The words are theirs unless otherwise indicated.)
MusicCommentator: “Give Me Your Now,” by Allye Gaietto. (“I fell in love with it on first listen. In the song, she takes on the perspective of a woman being cheated on AND the woman who is the cheater.”); “Africa,” by Toto; “In Your Head,” by Fallen Pine. (“I named this my favorite single of 2018 on my blog.”); “Lazarus,” by David Bowie.
BenVeeBlues: “Molly O‘,” Joe Bonamassa. (“Classic rock on steroids!); “Caught Out in the Rain,” Beth Hart (w/Bonamassa). (“Powerful vocals and intensely personal lyrics”); “True Lies,” Kenny Wayne Shepherd; “Hoochie Coochie Man/Dixie Chicken Medley,” Albert Cummings. (“Incredible live performance that would make Muddy & Lowell proud.”)
TheFortnightlyPlaylist: “I Cover The Waterfront,” John Lee Hooker & Van Morrison. (“This song has always struck me as being so honest, and so much a real life story. It’s one of my all-time favorites.”); “Malcolm Said It,” Akala. (“I’ve learned a lot from his music, his lectures, and his books. He’s become a very important artist to me, and someone I have deep respect for. ); “I Wish,” Stevie Wonder; “Get Down Moses,” Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros.
Christian’s Music Musings: “Take Five,” Dave Brubeck. (“While I rarely listen to jazz, I’ve dug this track from the very first time I heard it some 30-40 years ago.”); “Could You Be Loved,” Bob Marley and the Wailers; “Green Onions,” Booker T. & the M.G’s; “To a Princess,” John Mayall. (“it features a bass duet, something I had never heard before! As a former bassist, of course, I may be a bit biased here, but you gotta admit this sounds pretty cool!”)
Mumbling About: Wales, “The Bartender and the Thief,” Stereophonics. (“This tune is forever associated with a kick arse show called The Toxic Twin Towers Ball – as the old Wembley Stadium was famed for its towers.”); Northern Ireland, “Spitting Games,” Snow Patrol; Scotland,”Bubbles,” Biffy Clyro; England (aka Old Blighty), “Private Investigations,” Dire Straits. (“It’s possibly their finest, I love the build in this one. It’s also a go-to whenever I pull out a guitar after a while.”)
Runaway American Dream. “The Humbling River,” Puscifer; “My Gun,“Deal Casino (from Asbury Park); “Jumping Someone Else’s Train,” The Cure; “The One I Love,” R.E.M. (“All of these songs have, in my opinion, a certain power that is unique to them. Even the Cure song has a driving quality that sets it apart from most of their catalogue and from most other songs.”)
Vinyl Daft Dad. “A Quick Death in Texas,” Clutch; “Miss Ohio,” The 1984 Draft. (“Their album was easily one of my favourites from last year and Miss Ohio was quite possibly my favourite track. It’s an unapologetic goodbye with one of the best non-chorusy-choruses I’ve heard.”); “Nobody Knew Me,” Mister Hughes & The Crow Bone Chorus. (“It’s a death waltz blues, with some Waits and The Doors vibes in there among the stomp and slide guitar sparring.”); “Hound Dog,” Robert Palmer.
Cincinnati Babyhead. “It Came Out of the Sky,” Credence Clearwater Revival; “Don’t Go to Strangers,” J.J. Cale. (“Some nice licks J.J. Cale style. One of Clapton’s heroes and CB’s. Doesn’t get any better than this in my world. Perfect combo of music, lyrics, vocals and vibe. J.J. was the man.”); “Johnny 99,” Bruce Springsteen; “Fingernails,” Joe Ely. (“A Texas Country Rocker who never does a show without doing a Buddy Holly song.”)
Nick. “Can’t Read,” Pity Pattern (Nick’s chums); “Awake,” Tycho; “Arcarsenal,” At the Drive In; (Post-hardcore I’m advised); “High and Dry,” Radiohead. (We were overdue for Radiohead.)
Music Enthusiast. “Won’t Be Long,” Sly and the Family Stone. (“I wanted to use this song last time but it was too long. Great, infectious groove.”); “Love Rears Its Ugly Head,” Living Colour. (“Love this song. Perfect bluesy feel, great lyrics.”); “Death Letter,” Cassandra Wilson; (An old Son House tune that was the theme song for HBO’s True Detective, Season 3. T Bone Burnett behind that.); “Scatterbrain,” Jeff Beck.