Category Archives: Uncategorized

Musical palate cleanser, and there was much rejoicing edition

Look who’s back.

“Roots music visionary” (Rolling Stone) Delbert McClinton returns with a swaggering and swingin’ new album, Tall, Dark & Handsome, on July 26 via Hot Shot Records/Thirty Tigers. Featuring 14 new, original new songs – all written or co-written by Delbert the album dives deep into the blues, Americana and beyond, bursting with horns, fiddle, accordion, blazing guitar work, back-up singers and McClinton’s charismatic rasp, proving Lyle Lovett’s claim that “if we could all sing like we want to, we’d all sound like Delbert McClinton.”

Honestly, I’ve lost count of how many albums that makes for him… not that it matters.  And how ’bout this as a resume?

With over 60 years of recording and touring to his credit, McClinton is a true musical zelig: he toured with the Beatles, backed Bo Diddley and Howlin’ Wolf, helped to inspire The Blues Brothers, and performed everywhere from SNL to Austin City Limits (both multiple times) along the way.

There are two pre-release singles, so here you go to start your Monday morning:



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Musical palate cleanser, shake ‘yo ass edition

Somebody mentioned James Brown’s remarkable Love Power Peace live album in the Playpen comments Wednesday, so here’s an example of what he’s talking about.

And here’s a bonus, a live clip of the song:

That sucker just crackles with electricity.  If you don’t own this album, you really should.


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Musical palate cleanser, Night Tripper gone edition

Damn, another great leaves the stage for the last time.

Malcolm John Rebennack Jr., known around the world as Dr. John, initially aspired to be a professional songwriter, producer and sideman, like the utilitarian New Orleans musicians who forged his creative worldview in the 1950s. He wanted to work behind the scenes, not out front.

But after assuming the persona of Dr. John the Night Tripper in the late 1960s, Rebennack was behind the scenes no more. His idiosyncratic style and sound – the gravelly growl, the sly, deceptively leisurely phrasing, the original hipster patois, the hybrid Big Easy piano – embodied New Orleans and its music.

Rebennack, an icon of the city who remained an active creative force until he abruptly disappeared from public view 18 months ago, died Thursday of a heart attack after years of declining health, a family member confirmed. He was 77.

Quite the colorful character, to say the least, you have to like the way he exited his last Jazz Fest concert.

During the 2017 Jazz Fest, he performed on the main Acura Stage on the fest’s first Sunday. The day’s earlier acts were washed out by thunderstorms, but Rebennack, resplendent in a green suit, was unruffled by the turbulent weather.

He fronted his revamped Nite Trippers, a band consisting of New Orleans drummer Herlin Riley, bassist Roland Guerin, guitarist Eric Struthers, organist Joe Ashlar, trumpeter Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown and guest saxophonist Charles Neville. They closed their set with an epic “Big Chief” and a salacious “Such a Night.” Rebennack then strutted offstage, grinning, surround by a trio of scantily clad young ladies.

Yeah, mane.

Here are two cuts in his honor.  The first is from The Last Waltz and it’s one of his classics.

And the second?  Well, I’m sure you’ll hear a lot of “Right Place, Wrong Time” over the next few days, so at least I’ll bring you a version that’s a duet with Eric Clapton.

Rest easy, big mon.  You earned it.


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Musical palate cleanser, back to the well one more time edition

This is the first time I’ve re-posted a song.

It’s not so much that the song is that special, but the backstory is compelling enough that the resolution is worth sharing.

Speaking as he received a lifetime achievement prize at the Ivor Novello Awards, Ashcroft announced: “As of last month, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards signed over all their publishing for Bitter Sweet Symphony, which was a truly kind and magnanimous thing for them to do.”

As a result, all future royalties for the song will now go to Ashcroft.

The singer acknowledged that it was the Rolling Stones’ late manager, Allen Klein, who had been responsible for the situation, rather than the musicians themselves.

“I never had a personal beef with the Stones,” he told the BBC. “They’ve always have been the greatest rock and roll band in the world.”

He went on to thank Jagger and Richards for acknowledging he was responsible “for this [expletive] masterpiece”.

Very nice of Mick and Keef, although I don’t think they’ll miss any meals for the gesture.


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Musical palate cleanser, blues is blue edition


I have thought for a long time that, but for his senseless death, Hendrix would have put out an epic acoustic blues album in his late fifties or early sixties.  Just because he could.

What a loss…


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Musical palate cleanser, before I get old edition

Every time Pete Townsend has a birthday (he turned 74 over the weekend), another version of “My Generation” gets its wings.


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Musical palate cleanser, just around the corner edition

We’re 100 days from the 2019 season kicking off, so it seems appropriate to hear the late, great Ms. Sharon Jones knocking out a live version of her “100 Days, 100 Nights”.


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