Posts Tagged ‘Folk’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Thanksgiving Trifecta #1 – “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” by Arlo Guthrie

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Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Thanksgiving Trifecta #1 – “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” by Arlo Guthrie

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without Arlo’s classic 1967 shaggy dog story of a bunch of hippies doin’ their best to lend a hand to a friend by disposing some garbage on Thanksgiving. It’s a true story about a true Alice, in fact; my Aunt’s sister was good friends with the real Alice back in the day!

What starts off as a silly story about disposing garbage turns comically serious when it gets around to the draft. Enjoy and have a safe, happy and thankful Thanksgiving!

Edited: November 26th, 2015

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “Who By Fire” by Leonard Cohen

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Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “Who By Fire” by Leonard Cohen

It’s that time of year when Jews atone for sins and pray for forgiveness… in exchange for another year on the planet. It’s an unspoken deal Jews strike each year with God and I am just superstitious enough to continue to go along with it.

Today’s song is a track from Leonard Cohen’s fourth studio album New Skin For The Old Ceremony. The song derives from the Unetanneh Tokef prayer that is said on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Jewish High Holy Days. The song is sung as a duet on the album with fellow folk singer (and also a Jew), Janis Ian.

Leonard Cohen: “That song derives very directly from a Hebrew prayer that is sung on the Day of Atonement…according to the tradition, the book of life is opened and in it is inscribed all those who will live, all those who will die for the following year…In that prayer is cataloged all the various ways in which you can quit this veil of tears. The melody is, if not actually stolen, is certainly derived from the melody that I heard in the synagogue as a boy. But, of course, the conclusion online casinos of the song as I write it is somewhat different…”who shall I say is calling”…that is what makes the song into a prayer for me. In my terms, which is who is it, or what is it that determines who will live or who will die.” (from the Harry Rasky film The Song of Leonard Cohen 1979 -http://www.leonardcohen-prologues.com/who_by_fire.htm)

The album also includes the Leonard Cohen classics “Chelsea Hotel #2,” a song about a sexual encounter Cohen had at the Chelsea Hotel with Janis Joplin, “Take This Longing” and “Field Commander Cohen.”

May you, Leonard Cohen and I all be inscribed in the book of life…G’mar Tov…

Edited: September 21st, 2015

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “All My Sorrows” by The Kingston Trio

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Before The Beatles…there was The Kingston Trio! The Trio of Dave Guard, Nick Reynolds and Bob Shane were the most recognized act of the initial folk boom of the late 1950s causing a sensation throughout college campuses. Their brand of exuberantly sung folk songs mingled with a healthy dose of good natured “aw-shucks” humor offered pure entertainment and insured them a place on the charts and on concert stages. Their hits included “Tom Dooley,” “The M.T.A.,” “The Tijuana Jail,” “Where Have All The Flowers Gone,” ”A Worried Man,” plus many others.

I was introduced to the music of The Kingston Trio by my parents, with the group’s Greatest Hits album which was a staple of their record collection. They were also fans of The Brother’s Four and had a Columbia album called All Star Hootenanny that gave me my first taste at a very young age of Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, The Clancy Brothers and Johnny Cash all in one place.

I’ve also had the honor and pleasure of compiling several Kingston Trio collections during my music career while working for Time Life Music and Reader’s Digest Music back in the 1990s. For Reader’s Digest, I compiled a 60-track, 3 CD set called The Kingston Trio: Their Greatest Hits & Finest Performances. At the time of its release, it was the most comprehensive Kingston Trio collection available on the market. It was also one of Reader’s Digest’s most popular single artist collections and was kept in print for many years. At Time Life, I compiled a 30-track, 2 CD collection of their greatest hits for a TV-sold package called The Very Best Of The Kingston Trio, and also created a second 30-track collection of deeper cuts for an upsell called Trio Treasures & Folk Favorites.

I also spent some time consulting for a great Chicago folk record label called Folk Era which is run by Allan Shaw, who is one of the world’s great authorities on The Kingston Trio and the music of the Folk Era. The label is also the home of the Rediscover Music Catalog which includes a well thought out selection of folk music you won’t find elsewhere. During my time working with Folk Era, I was introduced to original Trio member Bob Shane and John Stewart, who replaced Dave Guard in the trio in 1961 and remained a member through 1967. John Stewart was also best remembered for writing The Monkees’ hit “Daydream Believer” and his own classic 1971 album California Bloodlines.

Today’s Song Of the Day was originally from the group’s 1959 fourth album At Large. The group was at the absolute height of their popularity in 1959 placing four consecutive albums into the top ten of the Billboard album charts throughout the year.

“All My Sorrows” was also released as the B-side to the “M.T.A.” single. The songs is also known under the title “All My Trials” and is widely considered a lullaby because of its opening line “Hush little baby don’t you cry.” The song was actually a protest song of both hope and resignation for a time when “All my trials, soon be over.”

The song has been covered by numerous artists including Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Bob Gibson, Dave Van Ronk, Harry Belafonte and Peter Paul & Mary. Over the years, it has also become closely associated with Lindsey Buckingham who recorded it for his album From The Cradle. Before performing the song in concert, Buckingham regularly pays homage to the influence The Kingston Trio has had on his own career.

The At Large album was the first Trio studio album that the group really began to gel instrumentally with each other. The inclusion of David “Buck” Wheat on double bass and occasional guitar filled out their sound. Wheat also assisted with arrangements and remained part of the outfit through the end of 1961. The album won a 1960 Grammy Award for Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording and it was also nominated in the “Best Vocal Group or Chorus” category. It was certified Gold for sales of 1,000,000 units in 1961.

Several other Kingston Classics also came from the At Large album including their #15 hit “M.T.A.,” which is one of their most beloved recordings and “Remember The Alamo,” which was considered and rejected for use in the John Wayne film, The Alamo. The Trio’s recording of “Scarlet Ribbons (For Her Hair)” was originally made popular by Harry Belafonte a few years before The Trio took it on and became a concert staple and another of the group’s most requested songs. The #12 single, “Tijuana Jail” b/w “Oh Cindy,” was also recorded during the sessions for the album, but ultimately left off.

Although touring members of The Trio still exist, the last version with original member Bob Shane stopped touring in 2004.

Edited: February 2nd, 2015

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “Who Knows Where the Time Goes” by Judy Collins

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Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “Who Knows Where the Time Goes” by Judy Collins

This wistful gem is one of Judy Collins’ greatest recordings from her greatest album, the 1968 classic Who Knows Where the Time Goes. The song was written by the late, great Sandy Denny who recorded a demo of it in 1967. Shortly thereafter, Denny joined forces with The Strawbs who had a go at the song on their All Our Own Work album which was recorded in 1967 but not officially released in the U.S. until 1973. After hearing the original demo in 1967, Collins recorded it and relegated to the B-side of her smash hit single “Both Sides Now,” which gave it enormous exposure.

The song surfaced again the following year as the title track to the Who Knows Where the Time Goes album, whose super group of musicians included Stephen Stills (guitar), James Burton (guitar), Buddy Emmons (pedal steel), Van Dyke Parks (piano), Chris Ethridge (bass) and drummer/mother murderer Jim Gordon.

Sandy Denny then took the song with her when she joined Fairport Convention where it was released on their superb 1969 Unhalfbricking album, becoming the group’s signature tune. Others who have committed this song to wax include Greek pop star Nana Mouskouri, 10,000 Maniacs, Cat Power, Charlie Louvin, Susanna Hoffs & Matthew Sweet, Nina Simone and many others.

Denny would later go on to be the only guest vocalist ever to appear on a Led Zeppelin record when she supplied vocals to “The Battle of Evermore.” She later succumbed to complications from a brain hemorrhage after she fell down some steps on April 21st 1978 at the age of 31.

Denny would later go on to be the only guest vocalist ever to appear on a Led Zeppelin record when she supplied vocals to “The Battle of Evermore.”

Edited: December 18th, 2014

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “If I Had My Way” by Peter, Paul and Mary

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Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “If I Had My Way” by Peter, Paul and Mary

They were the original prefab group, put together by their manager much in the same way that The Monkees were. But instead of a casting call, Albert Grossman knew exactly what he was looking for to form his folk group…two bearded guys (one on stand-up bass, one on guitar) and one woman, preferably a blonde, who could all sing. That’s how the folk trio of Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey & Mary Travers came to be. But unlike The Monkees who were ridiculed by many and spent years proving to their audience that they were the real thing, PP&M were welcomed with open arms right from the get-go.

After auditioning for the job of being Peter, Paul and Mary, the trio cut their teeth performing in the folk clubs of Greenwich Village in New York City. Not only did Peter and Paul write many of their biggest songs including “Puff The Magic Dragon,” “The Cruel War,” “Gone The Rainbow,” “Day Is Done” and “I Dig Rock ‘n’ Roll Music,” but they introduced a whole host of songwriters’ material to a new generation of music fans, including songs by Gordon Lightfoot (“Early Morning Rain”), John Denver (“Leaving On A Jet Plane”) and, most crucially, Bob Dylan (“Blowin’ In the Wind”), who not-coincidentally was also managed by Albert Grossman as well. The trio went on to record memorable versions of Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin,” “Don’t Think Twice (It’s Alright)” “It Ain’t Me Babe,” “I Shall Be Released,” “Too Much Of Nothing” and “When The Ship Comes In.”

In 1963, Peter, Paul and Mary appeared at the March on Washington for equal rights, sharing the stage with Martin Luther King when he gave his famous I Have A Dream speech and performing their version of “If I Had A Hammer.” While they were already the darlings of the collegiate generation of folk fans who were also tuned into groups like The Kingston Trio and The Chad Mitchell Trio, that appearance also established them with the burgeoning counter-culture.

After scoring numerous hits, the trio split in 1970 to try their luck at solo careers, with Stookey composing and scoring the hit “Wedding Song (There Is Love),” which went on to become a standard played at millions of weddings each year. The group reformed in 1978 and resumed regular touring together again until Mary Travers died in September of 2009.

The original version of today’s Song of the Day by Eric Berman appeared on the trio’s self-titled debut album from 1962 which spent seven weeks at the top of the Billboard charts. With a story line drawn right from the Bible, the tale of Samson & Delilah has been fodder for numerous artists throughout the years (and under different names including “Samson & Delilah” and “Tear That Building Down”) including the Reverend Gary Davis, Blind Willie Johnson, Ike & Tina Turner, and most notably by the Grateful Dead, who performed it as part of their regular repertoire for many years.

Edited: November 3rd, 2014

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Easy Come Easy Go” by Cass Elliot

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Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Easy Come Easy Go” by Cass Elliot

Only in the 1960s could someone as robust as Cass Elliot become an equally big star. Sure, she had talent to burn and a set of unrivalled pipes, but in this day of the thinner than thin in showbiz, she just would not have stood a chance…and a shame it would have been indeed.

The former Ellen Cohen was born in Maryland and got her start as part of the folk trio, The Big Three along with James Hendricks, whom she was married to for a time in an effort for him to avoid the draft, and Tim Rose. When Rose left the group in 1964, future Lovin’ Spoonful member Zal Yanovsky and Denny Doherty joined their ranks and they became The Mugwumps.

Shortly thereafter, Yanovsky joined forces with John Sebastian while Doherty joined The New Journeymen who counted John Phillips and his wife Michelle amongst their ranks. After Cass joined the fold, the group would soon become The Mamas And The Papas. Of course you can listen to their track,“Creeque Alley” to have the blanks filled in for you.

It would only be a matter of time before Cass, the ultimate hippy chick would record on her own, and with the help of extensive television work, she began to have her own hits. Her records were pure pop affairs cut at Western Recorders in LA in the late 60s and early 70s featuring a who’s who of Wrecking Crew favorites including on this track Hal Blaine, Joe Osborne, Larry Knechtel, Steve Barri and Phil Kaye.

Today’s song of the day is better known for Bobby Sherman’s version than Cass’, but I think the 1971 production values and arrangements on this version make it much better. It is originally from her album Bubble Gum, Lemonade &…Something For Mama whose cover image was framed in chewed bubble gum. Elliot died in London in 1974 of a heart attack (and not from choking on a ham sandwich) in the same flat that Keith Moon would die, at the same age four years later.

Edited: June 24th, 2014

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “East Of Ginger Trees” by Seals & Crofts

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Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “East Of Ginger Trees” by Seals & Crofts

The duo of Jim Seals and Dash Crofts were one of the most successful soft rock groups of the 1970s. The duo hailed from Texas and after gigging around they both joined The Champs of “Tequila” fame as touring members of the group.

Glen Campbell was also a member of the group and the three of them left and formed the group Glen Campbell and the GC’s. After the demise of the GC’s, Seals & Crofts decided to go it alone as a duo with Seals on guitar, violin and saxophone and Crofts on guitar and mandolin. It was around this time they began to follow the Baha’i Faith.

After releasing several albums that didn’t go anywhere, they finally hit with the album Summer Breeze in 1972 that properly highlighted their heavenly harmonies and songwriting chops. The title track became a top-ten hit, but the album also included such gems as “Hummingbird” and today’s Song Of The Day.

From there, the sky was the limit with the hits “Diamond Girl,” “Get Closer,” “We May Never Pass This Way (Again)” and “Hummingbird.” While I was a huge fan of their records, the duo lost me with the release of the 1974 album Unborn Child and it’s stance against abortion. They broke up in 1980 and have reformed sporadically over the years. They are long overdue for a reunion.

 

Edited: June 17th, 2014

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 9/6/13 – “Who By Fire” by Leonard Cohen

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Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Who By Fire” by Leonard Cohen

Today’s Song Of The Day is a track from Leonard Cohen’s fourth studio album New Skin For The Old Ceremony. The song derives from the Unetanneh Tokef prayer that is said on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Jewish High Holy Days. The song is sung as a duet on the album with fellow Jewish folk singer, Janis Ian.

Leonard Cohen: “That song derives very directly from a Hebrew prayer that is sung on the Day of Atonement…according to the tradition, the book of life is opened and in it is inscribed all those who will live, all those who will die for the following year…In that prayer is cataloged all the various ways in which you can quit this veil of tears. The melody is, if not actually stolen, is certainly derived from the melody that I heard in the synagogue as a boy. But, of course, the conclusion of the song as I write it is somewhat different…”who shall I say is calling”…that is what makes the song into a prayer for me. In my terms, which is who is it, or what is it that determines who will live or who will die.”

The album also includes the Leonard Cohen classics “Chelsea Hotel #2,” a song about a sexual encounter Cohen had at the Chelsea Hotel with Janis Joplin, “Take This Longing” and “Field Commander Cohen.”

Edited: September 5th, 2013

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 5/27/13

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Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “All My Sorrows” by The Kingston Trio

Before The Beatles…there was The Kingston Trio! The Trio of Dave Guard, Nick Reynolds and Bob Shane were the most recognized act of the initial folk boom of the late 1950s causing a sensation throughout college campuses. Their brand of exuberantly sung folk songs mingled with a healthy dose of good natured “aw-shucks” humor offered pure entertainment and insured them a place on the charts and on concert stages. Their hits included “Tom Dooley,” “The M.T.A.,” “The Tijuana Jail,” “Where Have All The Flowers Gone,” ”A Worried Man,” plus many others.

I was introduced to the music of The Kingston Trio by my parents, with the group’s Greatest Hits album which was a staple of their record collection. They were also fans of The Brother’s Four and had a Columbia album called All Star Hootenanny that gave me my first taste at a very young age of Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, The Clancy Brothers and Johnny Cash all in one place.

I’ve also had the honor and pleasure of compiling several Kingston Trio collections during my music career while working for Time Life Music and Reader’s Digest Music back in the 1990s. For Reader’s Digest, I compiled a 60-track, 3 CD set called The Kingston Trio: Their Greatest Hits & Finest Performances. At the time of its release, it was the most comprehensive Kingston Trio collection available on the market. It was also one of Reader’s Digest’s most popular single artist collections and was kept in print for many years. At Time Life, I compiled a 30-track, 2 CD collection of their greatest hits for a TV-sold package called The Very Best Of The Kingston Trio, and also created a second 30-track collection of deeper cuts for an upsell called Trio Treasures & Folk Favorites.

I also spent some time consulting for a great Chicago folk record label called Folk Era which is run by Allan Shaw, who is one of the world’s great authorities on The Kingston Trio and the music of the Folk Era. The label is also the home of the Rediscover Music Catalog which includes a well thought out selection of folk music you won’t find elsewhere. During my time working with Folk Era, I was introduced to original Trio member Bob Shane and John Stewart, who replaced Dave Guard in the trio in 1961 and remained a member through 1967. John Stewart was also best remembered for writing The Monkees’ hit “Daydream Believer” and his own classic 1971 album California Bloodlines.

Today’s Song Of the Day was originally from the group’s 1959 fourth album At Large. The group was at the absolute height of their popularity in 1959 placing four consecutive albums into the top ten of the Billboard album charts throughout the year.

“All My Sorrows” was also released as the B-side to the “M.T.A.” single. The songs is also known under the title “All My Trials” and is widely considered a lullaby because of its opening line “Hush little baby don’t you cry.” The song was actually a protest song of both hope and resignation for a time when “All my trials, soon be over.”

The song has been covered by numerous artists including Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Bob Gibson, Dave Van Ronk, Harry Belafonte, Peter Paul & Mary, and many others. Over the years, it has also become closely associated with Lindsey Buckingham who recorded it for his album From The Cradle. Before performing the song in concert, Buckingham regularly pays homage to the influence The Kingston Trio has had on his career.

The At Large album was the first Trio studio album that the group really began to gel instrumentally with each other. The inclusion of David “Buck” Wheat on double bass and occasional guitar filled out their sound. Wheat also assisted with arrangements and remained part of the outfit through the end of 1961. The album won a 1960 Grammy Award for Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording and it was also nominated in the “Best Vocal Group or Chorus” category. It was certified Gold for sales of 1,000,000 units in 1961.

Several other Kingston Classics also came from the At Large album including their #15 hit “M.T.A.,” which is one of their most beloved recordings and “Remember The Alamo,” which was considered and rejected for use in the John Wayne film, The Alamo.  The Trio’s recording of “Scarlet Ribbons (For Her Hair)” was originally made popular by Harry Belafonte a few years before The Trio took it on and became a concert staple and another of the group’s most requested songs.  The #12 single, “Tijuana Jail” b/w “Oh Cindy,” was also recorded during the sessions for the album, but ultimately left off.

Although touring members of The Trio still exist, the last version with original member Bob Shane stopped touring in 2004.

Edited: May 27th, 2013

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 2/4/13

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “The Mercy Seat” by Johnny Cash

By the year 2000 and the third album in the American series, Johnny Cash had reestablished himself as one of the greatest singers, not just in country music, but in all music. Producer, Rick Rubin, began working with him several years before and allowed Johnny Cash do what he did best in the studio…be JOHNNY CASH!

Cash began working with Rick Rubin in 1994. Rubin was the founder  of Def Jam Records, and was responsible for producing seminal recordings by Public Enemy and The Beastie Boys. It must have taken quite a leap of faith for Johnny Cash to, not only work with Rick Rubin who was much younger than him, but to put his career in hia hands.

When they first began working together, Cash’s career was pretty much over. He had recorded several ho-hum records for Mercury Records during the mid-to-late 1980s that were nothing special, and even resorted to re-recording some of his older hits for the label. I caught Cash in concert in a small New York City bar back in 1986 when he was touring behind the album Water From The Wells Of Home. His career was so far off the mark, that the place was not even half full, although I must say that he was terrific. The performance was marred by his proclivity to allow his son and wife to take precious concert time away from the main attraction, in order for them to perform their own second-rate material.

Rubin’s whole modus operandi  with Cash was to make bare guitar and voice recordings that would highlight what a great interpreter of material he was. In doing so, Rubin sent Cash tapes of songs he liked, exposing him to material he had never heard by the likes of Tom Petty, Beck, Soundgarden, U2 and Nick Cave, who wrote today’s Song Of The Day.

For American III: Solitary Man,  Rubin assembled an all-star list of backing musicians including Norman Blake, Mike Campbell, Randy Scruggs and Marty Stuart on guitar, Tom Petty, Merle Haggard and Shreyl Crow on backing vocals and Bentmont Tench on organ. “The Mercy Seat”  is probably Cash’s most harrowing recording, even more so than Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ original from their 1988 album Tender Prey.

Of the five American Recordings albums, not to mention the five CD Cash Unearthed box set with more Rubin/Cash collaborations, the American III: Solitary Man album is one of the most enjoyable on every level mainly because of its superb choice of cover songs by Tom Petty (“I Won’t Back Down”), Neil Diamond (“Solitary Man”) and U2 (“One”).  Together, Cash and Rubin formulated a record that kept Johnny Cash not only relevant with the hip cognoscenti,  but also true to himself as a recording artist.

And as for what Nick Cave thought about Cash’s cover, his pride oozes out of every word in the following quote… “It doesn’t matter what anyone says, Johnny Cash recorded my song.”

Edited: February 3rd, 2013

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 1/12/13

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Hit Or Miss” by Odetta

Odetta! Voice of the Civil Rights Movement? Roots mama? Gospel great? Soul queen? Hip hop hottie?

The answer, of course, is yes!

Actually, most people don’t remember who Odetta was. But if you are of a certain age (which is certainly older than I am) and was a fan of folk music, Odetta was your hero. She was an activist, actress and an influence on any folk singer worth his weight in salt…including Dylan, Baez, Belafonte, Ochs, Neil and numerous others.

She was in the thick of things, right there at the March on Washington in 1963. Martin Luther King dubbed her “The queen of American folk music,” and if you’ve ever heard her spine-tingling recording of “Water Boy,” you know he was spot on.

By the early ‘70s, the folk movement had petered out, and unfortunately so had her record sales. So she decided to do what so many others of her stature did, make a faux soul record consisting of mostly covers of tunes by the day’s rock elite. Odetta Sings featured covers of songs by Paul McCartney (“Every Night”), Elton John (“Take Me To The Pilot”), James Taylor (“Lo And Behold”), Randy Newman (“Mama Told Me Not To Come”) and The Rolling Stones (“No Expectations”). She was backed by an all-star group including Carole King on piano, Bernie Leadon on guitar, Russ Kunkel on drums, Clydie King, Vanetta Fields and Merry Clayton on vocals, Barry Beckett on keyboards and a whole host of others who came out to give their props to Odetta.

The album fell flat and was not well received at all. However today’s Song Of The Day stands taller than the rest on the album, and was one of two songs that was written by Odetta. “Hit Or Miss” was not like the rest of the record. Here Odetta turned into the soul queen she really was. If you’ve never heard the full track, you probably heard parts of it in other’s recordings since it was sampled by the likes of De La Soul (“Buddy”) and The Chemical Brothers (“Electrobank”), covered by none other than Bo Diddley in 1974, and has appeared in many TV commercials, including that ridiculous one for Southern Comfort with the shirtless fat guy, currently airing all too regularly.

In 1999, she was awarded the NEA’s National Medal of Arts by President Bill Clinton, and she appeared on David Lettermen’s revered first show back on air after the 9-11 attacks on America. She recorded and toured many times during her later life, including her last tour in 2008 where she performed on stage from a wheelchair. Odetta died of heart disease in New York City in 2008, but left behind a legacy of great recordings ripe for rediscovery by generations to come.

Edited: January 11th, 2013

Song Of the Day by Eric Berman – 1/4/13

Song Of the Day by Eric Berman – “If I Had My Way” by Peter, Paul and Mary

They were the original prefab group, put together by their manager much in the same way that The Monkees were. But instead of a casting call, Albert Grossman knew exactly what he was looking for to form his folk group…two bearded guys (one on stand-up bass, one on guitar) and one woman, preferably a blonde, who could all sing. That’s how the folk trio of Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey & Mary Travers came to be. But unlike The Monkees who were ridiculed by many and spent years proving to their audience that they were the real thing, PP&M were welcomed with open arms right from the get-go.

After auditioning for the job of being Peter, Paul and Mary, the trio cut their teeth performing in the folk clubs of Greenwich Village in New York City. Not only did Peter and Paul write many of their biggest songs including “Puff The Magic Dragon,” “The Cruel War,” “Gone The Rainbow,” “Day Is Done” and “I Dig Rock ‘n’ Roll Music,” but they introduced a whole host of songwriters’ material to a new generation of music fans, including songs by Gordon Lightfoot (“Early Morning Rain”), John Denver (“Leaving On A Jet Plane”) and, most crucially, Bob Dylan (“Blowin’ In the Wind”), who not-coincidentally was also managed by Albert Grossman. The trio went on to record memorable versions of Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin,” “Don’t Think Twice (It’s Alright)” “It Ain’t Me Babe,” “I Shall Be Released,” “Too Much Of Nothing” and “When The Ship Comes In.”

In 1963, Peter, Paul and Mary appeared at the Equal Rights March On Washington, sharing the stage with Martin Luther King when he gave his famous I Have A Dream speech and performing their version of “If I Had A Hammer.” While they were already the darlings of the collegiate generation of folk fans who were also tuned into groups like The Kingston Trio and The Chad Mitchell Trio, that appearance also established them with the burgeoning counter-culture.

After scoring numerous hits, the trio split in 1970 to try their luck at solo careers, with Stookey composing and scoring the hit “Wedding Song (There Is Love),” which went on to become a standard played at millions of weddings each year. The group reformed in 1978 and resumed regular touring together again until Mary Travers died in September of 2009.
The original version of today’s Song Of The Day appeared on the trio’s self-titled debut album from 1962 which spent seven weeks at the top of the Billboard charts. With a story line drawn right from the Bible, the tale of Samson & Delilah has been fodder for numerous artists throughout the years (and under different names including “Samson & Delilah” and “Tear That Building Down”) including the Reverend Gary Davis, Blind Willie Johnson, Ike & Tina Turner, and most notably by the Grateful Dead, who performed it as part of their regular repertoire for many years.

But, as much as I love the good ol’ Grateful Dead’s version, it doesn’t hold a candle to this 1967 live version from Japan. For years, this version was available on a Japanese-only vinyl release, until late last month when Rhino Records finally got around to releasing the whole concert on an expanded 2-CD set called “Live In Japan 1967”.

Edited: January 3rd, 2013

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 12/27/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Requiem For John Hurt” by John Fahey

I buy most of my music these days on line. I either purchase from Amazon where I can take advantage of free shipping, eBay where I can score clean copies of used records or directly from record labels like Polyvinyl and Third Man Records.

Earlier today I got a rush and went down to a small independent record store in Barrington, Illinois called Rainbow Records with my friend. I had been to Rainbow once before on Black Friday Record Store Day and thought the store was pretty cool, so I made a mental note to come back again sometime.

Rainbow Records is owned by a fellow record geek named John Thominet, who is the fifth owner of the store that began in the 1970s. While there, I picked up a few used records including Tim Buckley’s first album (which I’ve never owned on vinyl) and a 1970 live double album by The Butterfield Blues Band. I also purchased The Rolling Stones’ “Some Girls Live” (Houston Texas 1978) which is seeing its first release on vinyl, and a reissue of John Fahey’s 1968 album “Requia and other compositions for guitar solo.”
I had been interested in the Fahey album, because I love his solo guitar playing and it also includes an experimental four-part piece called “Requiem For Molly” which takes up most of side two and is not unlike The Beatles’ “Revolution No. 9” with solo guitar interspersed throughout the montage. Today’s Song Of The Day is the album’s lead-off track that pays tribute to Mississippi John Hurt, who had at the time recently passed away. John Fahey on this track: “He was in his quiet way, a very great man, and I deeply mourn our loss of him. So, I wrote this requiem for him, about him, but I play it the way Charley Patton would have played it.”

But I got a lot more than records during my visit to the store…I got a great atmosphere and the feeling of community (similar to that of our weekly vinyl gathering at a local bar), but in a record store setting with people of all ages. There were a couple of teenagers at the store who were buying records that I generally take for granted because I’ve had them for so long. Through their eyes, records like an original pressing of Steely Dan’s “Can’t Buy A Thrill” and The Clash’s “Sandinista” were real finds. I really dug the genuine enthusiasm coming from these young record collectors…they reminded me of…well, me…

With the store’s owner and my buddy John also chiming in on the conversation, we were having a great time together. And with prices that are comparable to what I normally spend on eBay for records, that feeling of community, my friends, is something you can’t possibly get on line.

Edited: December 27th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 9/20/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Who Knows Where The Time Goes” by Judy Collins

This tune, one of Collins’ greatest recordings and the title track from her 1968 album, wasn’t written by or for Collins to record. The song was written by the late, great Sandy Denny who recorded a demo of it in 1967. Shortly thereafter, Denny joined forces with The Strawbs who had a go at the song on their “All Our Own Work” album which was recorded in 1967 but not officially released in the U.S. until 1973. Judy Collins heard Denny’s original demo in 1967 and recorded and released it as the B-side to her smash hit single “Both Sides Now.” She then made that recording the title track to her classic album “Who Knows Where The Time Goes” whose musicians included Stephen Stills (guitar), James Burton (guitar), Buddy Emmons (pedal steel), Van Dyke Parks (piano), Chris Ethridge (bass) and drummer/mother murderer Jim Gordon. Sandy Denny then took the song with her when she joined Fairport Convention where it was recorded for their 1969 album “Unhalfbricking” becoming the group’s signature tune. Others who have committed this song to wax include Nana Mouskouri, 10,000 Maniacs, Cat Power, Charlie Louvin, Susanna Hoffs & Matthew Sweet, Nina Simone and many others.

Edited: September 19th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 9/6/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Don’t Make Promises” by Tim Hardin

While Tim Hardin was a terrific singer possessing a distinctive vibrato-infused style, he was better known as the gifted songwriter who wrote the classics “If I Were A Carpenter” and “Reason To Believe.” While both songs were covered often by many artists, one of his most covered songs was this lesser known gem. “Don’t Make Promises” was the lead song on Hardin’s first record, “Tim Hardin 1,” and was covered by a myriad of artists including Joan Baez, Bobby Darin, The Kingston Trio, Helen Reddy, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, Rick Nelson, Marianne Faithful, The Beau Brummels, Three Dog Night, Dave Alvin and Paul Weller. As a stage performer, Hardin was erratic at best as illustrated by his appearance at Woodstock where he and his performance were disheveled due to his drug addiction. It’s been reported that Hardin became addicted to heroin while serving in Viet Nam in the early 1960s, which set him up on inevitable road that led to his death from an overdose in 1980. During the latter part of his career, Hardin gave up on writing original songs and focused on covering old rock and roll tunes, today his modest canon or originals is ripe for rediscovery.

Edited: September 5th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 8/25/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Mutt Romney Blues” by Ry Cooder

Ry Cooder has made a novelty record! “Election Special” features nine very topical songs centered on the upcoming presidential election. These are songs about the issues…songs that make us think…like “Mutt Romney’s Blues” about poor Mitt’s dog who took a ride on the top of his car in a luggage rack on a Romney family vacation. Now that’s an issue we can all sing our teeth into! While I believe ol’ Ry’s heart is in the right place and politically I don’t disagree with his views, most of the songs on this record come off like bad jingoistic political advertisements. Musically, the record is a two-man affair featuring Cooder’s tasty guitar playing throughout assisted by his son, Joachim on drums, but with the exception of the song “Brother Is Gone,” this record has left me cold. Oh, and as for the video…it’s a rogue video made by a fan.

Edited: August 24th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 8/12/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Summer’s Almost Over” by Loudon Wainwright III

Tonight we had a going away party for my daughter who will be embarking on her first year of college in another week. What I’ve been told is that the child who leaves for college never really comes back home. What comes back in their place is a more self-assured facsimile of what left, with an all-important year of independence under their belt. Not only am I conflicted with her going away on her own, but it also brings about the feeling of ennui I get at the end of summer in general. That feeling is perfectly captured in this song by Loundon Wainwright III from his 1976 album called “T Shirt.” I remember that when this album came out, our country was in the throes of Bicentennial fever captured by the lead-off track from the album called “Bicentennial.” By the time the Bicentennial buzz wore off, it was time to go back to school and it was this song that always put my emotions into perspective for me.

Edited: August 11th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 8/7/12 (written 8/6/12 – Charlie’s Birthday!)

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “The Bells” by Phil Ochs

Today happens to be my son Charlie’s 15th birthday and I am proud to say that one of his all-time favorite records is Phil Ochs’ first album “All The News That’s Fit To Sing” from 1964. Sure, he heard it from me first after watching the excellent Phil Ochs documentary “There But For Fortune” last year, but in this day of quick cut video games and non-stop Comedy Central, it amazes me that a kid his age would be such a fan of the seemingly prehistoric form of music known as folk, as well as a serious folkie like Ochs. What amazes me more is that he doesn’t really like Dylan that much because he says, “Dylan can’t sing.” This is one of his favorite Ochs songs, which my 18 year old daughter so astutely pointed out is a retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Bells.” Geez…my kids are so smart…smarter than me, in fact. Happy Birthday Charlie, this one’s for you!

Edited: August 6th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 6/26/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Trials, Troubles, Tribulations” by Geoff & Maria Muldaur

She’s the same Maria Muldaur of “Midnight At The Oasis” fame but most people don’t know much about her before she sent her camel to bed. Muldaur’s maiden name was Maria D’Amato and she got her start performing as a member of the Even Dozen Jug Band alongside future Lovin’ Spoonful member John Sebastian, David Grisman and Stefan Grossman. The Jug Band was part of the same Greenwich Village folk scene that spawned Fred Neil, Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan. D’Amato then went on to join the Jim Kweskin Jug Band where she met her future husband Geoff Muldaur. After Kweskin’s outfit split up, Geoff and Maria went on to release two marvelous down-home old-timey albums for Reprise records. This song comes from the first one called “Pottery Pie” released in 1968, a second called “Sweet Potatoes” followed in 1971. Maria Muldaur went solo after their marriage split up in 1972 releasing numerous albums and hitting it big with the aforementioned top-ten hit “Midnight At The Oasis” in 1973. In the late 70s, Maria sang backing vocals with The Jerry Garcia Band. She’s released over 30 albums over the years and continues to release folk and gospel albums to this day.

Edited: June 25th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 6/18/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Scotch And Soda” by The Kingston Trio from the 1958 album “The Kingston Trio.”

 Before The Beatles…there was The Kingston Trio! The Trio of Dave Guard, Nick Reynolds and Bob Shane were the most recognized act of the initial folk boom of the late 1950s causing a sensation throughout college campuses. Their brand of exuberantly sung folk songs mingled with a healthy dose of good natured “aw-shucks” humor offered pure entertainment and insured them a place on the charts and on concert stages. Before the Trio ever recorded a note in the studio, they got a booking based on their performances in frat houses opening for Phyllis Diller at a San Francisco club called The Purple Onion. Sending 500 postcards out to everyone they knew inviting them to the week of gigs, they ended up with a sold out engagement causing a sensation for themselves. Their hits included “Tom Dooley,” “The M.T.A.,” “The Tijuana Jail,” “Where Have All The Flowers Gone,” ”A Worried Man,” and many others. This one comes from their 1958 debut album called “The Kingston Trio.” In 1961, Dave Guard left the group and was replaced by John Stewart a major talent in his own rite who went on to write classics like “Daydream Believer.” I have had the pleasure in my own career of anthologizing The Kingston Trio on CD for both Reader’s Digest and Time Life Music. Although touring members of The Trio still exist, the last version with original member Bob Shane stopped touring in 2004.

Edited: June 17th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 5/29/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Cops Of The World” by Phil Ochs

OK, so the cops did a pretty good job during the NATO Summit in Chicago last weekend. While crowd control was needed in a few instances, the police handled it by using their heads first and then their force. This song comes from an era when cops were considered pigs, and in some cities…in some circumstances, they still are. Phil Ochs had his fair share of run-ins with the police and was even arrested here in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic Convention. This song was recorded in 1966 on his album “Phil Ochs In Concert.” While most of the album was recorded at concerts in Boston and New York City in 1965, some of the tracks are studio recordings with the audience dubbed in.

Edited: May 28th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 5/9/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “America!” by Bill Callahan

He’s the artist sometimes known as “Smog” who has spent most of his career releasing some very quirky records. As Smog, Callahan has released 14 lo-fi albums since 1990 laced with very repetitive, simplistic and challenging music featuring strange instrumental combinations, lots of dissonance and sparse lyrics if any at all. He has also released four albums under his own name that are more conventional in instrumentation but still pretty quirky. While he’s not from Chicago, he is afforded a hometown welcome whenever he plays here due to the fact that he’s recorded exclusively for Chicago’s own Drag City records since the beginning of his career. This clip is from one of the cooler Chicago venues, the intimate Lincoln Hall and it was recorded last July. You can find the studio version of this song on his 2011 album called “Apocalypse” which was one of last year’s very best releases.

Edited: May 8th, 2012

Song Of the Day by Eric Berman – 4/27/12

Song Of the Day by Eric Berman – “The Jolly Banker” by Wilco

Back in 1997, British political folkie Billy Bragg joined forces with all-American rock band Wilco to compose and record music for lyrics left behind by the late, great Woody Guthrie. The recordings resulted in the two-volume “Mermaid Avenue” albums. Some songs were recorded by Bragg backed by Wilco and some were just Wilco songs. This one is just a Wilco recording featuring the 1997-lineup with Jay Bennett on piano and organ. Last week, both “Mermaid Avenue” albums were re-released along with a third disc of 17 previously unreleased or hard to find recordings from the sessions, and a documentary DVD about the recording of the record. Here is a cover of a song Woody Guthrie did get a chance to record on his own, and, although it’s been available to stream since 2009, it makes its debut on the third disc of previously unreleased recordings.

Edited: April 26th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 3/18/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “The Whistling Gypsy Rover” by The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem

Patrick “Paddy”, Tommy, Bobby and Liam were the Clancy Brothers and together with Tommy Makem they recorded dozens of records and were responsible for not only introducing America to traditional Irish Folk music, but helping to popularize Folk music all over college campuses throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s. They were a major influence on Bob Dylan who nicked the melody of The Clancy Brothers’ recording of the song “The Patriot Game” and appropriated it for his own song “With God On Our Side.” The Brothers’ big break came on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1961 when Pearl Bailey was a no show and the boys were given her spot giving them an unprecedented 16 minutes of air time in front of an audience of 80 million people. Although they had been recording for the Tradition Record label since the mid-50s, they were signed by John Hammond at Columbia Records shortly after this performance and it was the connections of their label mentor John Hammond that cemented their success. This performance was from a 1962 PBS special filmed in Chicago.

Edited: March 17th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 3/15/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Old L.A.” by New Multitudes

While Bruce Springsteen tries to turn himself into Woody Guthrie by writing socially conscious lyrics (that are nebulous at best) and adopting a faux Oklahoma accent, the spirit and songs of Woody are alive and well in the form of New Multitudes. Marrying new music to lyrics left behind by Woody Guthrie is not a new idea, and Woody certainly left behind some great unrecorded lyrics. It had been done before to great effect by Billy Bragg and Wilco on their two essential “Mermaid Avenue” records. Timed to celebrate Woody’s 100th birthday, comes “New Multitudes” featuring Jay Farrar (Son Volt, Uncle Tupelo), Will Johnson (Monsters Of Folk, Centro-Matic), Anders Parker (Gob Iron, Space Needle) and Yim Yames (My Morning Jacket). The album is sonically reminiscent of classic Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Fleet Foxes, and is certainly the best folk album released this year. It’s also a solid follow-up in the tradition of the “Mermaid Avenue” records and a deserving tribute to one of America’s greatest songwriters. The twelve track album is available in a deluxe version that adds on a second disc with eleven more songs.

Edited: March 15th, 2012

Song Of The Day – 2/20/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Going Home” by Leonard Cohen

Sometimes when bad things happen to people, other people benefit. Case in point is the story of Leonard Cohen. The Canadian musician/poet spent a good portion of his 77 years amassing a fortune off of such classic songs as “Hallelujah,” “Suzanne,” “Bird On A Wire,” “So Long Marianne,” “Sisters Of Mercy,” “Famous Blue Raincoat,” and countless others. Several years ago he found out that his manager embezzled his entire life savings away. This unfortunate event resulted in two critically hailed world tours over a two year period for Leonard and an album of brand new songs released several weeks ago called “Old Ideas.” Leonard’s droll sense of humor is on parade in the album’s kickoff song “Going Home,” in which God calls him “A lazy bastard in a suit.”

Edited: February 20th, 2012

Bonus Super Bowl Song Of The Day – 2/5/12

 

Bonus Song Of The Day – “The Patriot Game” by Liam Clancy

Liam was a member of the Irish folk group The Clancy Brothers whose recording of this song was one of their most popular. The song was later adapted by Bob Dylan for his song “With God On Our Side.” But today, the song is highlighted because the Super Bowl is a Patriot game…one a Patriot fan hopefully will not like the outcome of…unless God is on their side…

Edited: February 5th, 2012

Song Of The Day – 12/30/11

 

 

 

 

 

 

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “A Case Of You” by Prince

Prince has got balls!  Here he attempts to bring his own special flavor to a cover of a Joni Mitchell classic that originally appeared on the album “Blue.” His version is interesting and certainly carries his own soulful stamp on the proceedings. The recording was part of the “A Tribute To Joni Mitchell” album that came out almost five years ago featuring Elvis Costello, Bjork, Sufjan Stevens, k.d. lang, Emmylou Harris and others taking a chance on a Joni song. While the collection is eclectic and entertaining, one thing is for certain…nobody sings Joni Mitchell like the artist herself…and anybody who thinks they can do better is sadly mistaken.

Edited: December 29th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 11/1/11

Song Of The Day – “Riding For The Feeling” by Bill Callahan

In 2005, Bill Callahan began to record under his real name after almost 20 years of recording under the moniker of “Smog.” Callahan creates epic-length ponderings with densely coded lyrics that seemingly talk about one thing but mean another. His latest record, “Apocalypse,” was recorded in Texas and released a few months ago on Chicago’s Drag City record label.

Edited: November 1st, 2011

Song Of The Day – 11/13/11

Song Of The Day – “Pretty Smart On My Part” by Phil Ochs

“Rehearsals For Retirement” was the first record Phil Ochs released after the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. Ochs was a Yippie (Youth International Party) member and was instrumental in the organization of the protest and the party. This song, and indeed the whole album, reflects the sense of alienation Phil Ochs took home with him from Chicago.

Edited: October 12th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 10/4/11

Song Of The Day – “Coo Coo-U” by The Kingston Trio

The Kingston Trio recorded this song in 1959 and it was relegated to the B-side of one of their singles never to appear on one of their official albums. They picked up this Afro-Cuban gem after meeting Willy Bobo and Mongo Santamaria and hearing them performing it on their tour bus.

Edited: October 4th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 9/28/11

Song Of The Day – “Rain And Snow” by Obray Ramsey

The Grateful Dead’s “Cold Rain And Snow” was based on Ramsey’s version of this traditional favorite. Ramsey was a banjo playing extraordinaire who worked with his cousin Byard Ray in the duo Ray and Ramsey. He was also a member of the group White Lightnin’. While hardly a household name, he did have a song, “Ballad Of Obray Ramsey,” named after him by Matthew’s Southern Comfort.

Edited: September 28th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 9/22/11

Song Of The Day – “Love And Affection” by Joan Armatrading

Armatrading hails from the island of St. Kitts and migrated to the U.K. where she brought her singular brand of soulful folk. This song is the centerpiece of her eponymous third album from 1976. While she didn’t make a huge impact to American audiences until the early 1980s, her true fans hold this song and the record it came from close to their hearts.

Edited: September 22nd, 2011

Song Of The Day – 9/14/11

Song Of The Day – “The Acid Song” by Loudon Wainwright III

I first encountered this song on a 1980 radio broadcast starring David Bromberg celebrating the 6th Anniversary of the New York club, The Bottom Line. It was a big hit with me and my college cronies. Turns out Loudon finally got around to releasing the song on his 2003 live album “Career Moves.” The Bottom Line version is rowdier…but this one does the trick.

Edited: September 14th, 2011

Song Of The Day – “Jane Jane” by Peter, Paul and Mary

Song Of The Day – “Jane Jane” by Peter, Paul and Mary

PP&M were one of the first prefab groups made to order – one blonde female, two bearded bards – by their manager Albert Grossman. They predated the Monkees by several years, and like The Monkees, turned out to be much more than just a made-to-order group. This track originally hails from their 1965 album “See What Tomorrow Brings.”

Edited: August 22nd, 2011

Song Of The Day – 8/14/11

Song Of The Day – “Isn’t It Nice To Be Home Again” by James Taylor

Just got back from vacation this evening after a 19 hour car ride and this classic from the album “Mud Slide Slim And The Blue Horizon” came to mind. I’m working on little sleep and a lot of driving…but the vinyl-centric video that accompanies this song really caught my eye…

Edited: August 13th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 7/10/11

Song Of The Day – “Seasons In The Sun” from the album “Time To Think”

Most people my age know this song as recorded by Terry Jacks.  Word was in the 1970s that ol’ Terry knew he was going to die when he recorded this song.  It’s not the truth…and he’s still alive! Jacks was also behind the hit “Which Way You Going Billy” which he recorded with his wife under the name The Poppy Family…but I digress. Here’s the Kingston Trio’s version from their 1964 album “Time To Think.”

 

Edited: July 9th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 5/29/11

Song Of The Day – “In Spite Of Ourselves” by John Prine & Iris DeMent

One of the most homespun and literate songwriters of our generation…right up there with Dylan, Waits, Young, Springsteen…just about any of the greats…you name ‘em! This song is originally from his 1999 album of the same name, here he is performing it on the sadly defunct TV show “Sessions At West 54th Street.

Edited: May 28th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/25/11

Song Of The Day – “Is This What You Wanted” by Leonard Cohen

By 1974′s “New Skin For The Old Ceremony,” Leonard Cohen began to expand his sound adding rock elements to the mix including Janis Ian as a background singer in order to gain a wider audience. Gone was the stoic bard with a guitar replaced with a more soulful and impassioned singer on an exceptional set of depressing songs.

Edited: April 25th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 4/11/11

Song Of The Day – “Punky’s Dilemma” by Simon and Garfunkel

As we anticipate the release of a new batch of Paul Simon songs tomorrow in the form of “So Beautiful Or So What,” let’s take a look back at one of S&G’s quirky favorites recorded live at The Monterey Pop Festival in June of 1967 and originally from the album “Bookends.”

Edited: April 11th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 2/23/11

Song Of The Day – “Dance Of The Inhabitants Of The Palace Of King Phillip XIV Of Spain” by John Fahey

This song comes from John Fahey’s second album, 1963′s “Volume 2: Death Chants, Breakdowns & Military Waltzes.” I can hear the roots of Led Zeppelin in this 1963 recording…I bet Jimmy Page did too! John Fahey started his recording career by pressing up his first few releases himself on his own Takoma Records label. In fact, his first album was only a pressing of 100 copies, several of which were delivered damaged.  If you’ve got one…I’ll give you $10.00 for it! If you don’t, get yourself Rhino’s 1994 2 CD “Return Of The Repressed Anthology,” it’s well worth it to hear the recordings of this amazing guitarist.

Edited: February 23rd, 2011

Super Bowl Querie????

Tomorrow…will it be The Stealers…

…or will it be The Packers???

Edited: February 5th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 2/3/11

Song Of The Day – “The First Girl I Loved” by Incredible String Band from the album “The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion”

I first came into contact with this wistful song via Judy Collin’s version on her “Who Knows Where The Time Goes” album where it was called “The First Boy I Loved.” It makes sense that she would’ve covered this song as they were both label mates at Elektra Records. It literally took me years to get into the ISB. My older sister had the album “The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter” when I was growing up and I found it to be impenetrable.  Now, I really love their rootsy psychedelic instrumentation, whimsical lyrics, terrific vocals and the songs of Mike Heron and Robin Williamson.

Edited: February 2nd, 2011