This is a hoot. Enjoy.
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Buddy Guy has a new album coming out on September 30 through RCA/Silvertone, titled The Blues Don’t Lie, and the doyen of Chicago blues has been good enough to share its first single.
The track, Gunsmoke Blues, is a two-hander between Guy and Jason Isbell, with each trading electric guitar licks and vocals, and a cri de cœur with a clear message against gun violence.
… The Blues Don’t Lie is the 34th studio album of Guy’s storied career and is the follow-up to 2018’s The Blues is Alive and Well. It also features guest spots from Elvis Costello, Mavis Staples, James Taylor and others, and was produced by longtime collaborator, the esteemed songwriter and drummer Tom Hambridge.
Great album title! Here’s the single:
And when I say “legend”, I mean effing legend.
Lamont Dozier, the prolific songwriter and producer who was crucial to the success of Motown Records as one-third of the Holland-Dozier-Holland team, died on Monday at his home near Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 81.
Robin Terry, the chairwoman and chief executive of the Motown Museum in Detroit, confirmed the death but did not specify a cause.
In collaboration with the brothers Brian and Eddie Holland, Mr. Dozier wrote songs for dozens of musical acts, but the trio worked most often with Martha and the Vandellas (“Heat Wave,” “Jimmy Mack”), the Four Tops (“Bernadette,” “I Can’t Help Myself”) and especially the Supremes (“You Can’t Hurry Love,” “Baby Love”). Between 1963 and 1972, the Holland-Dozier-Holland team was responsible for more than 80 singles that hit the Top 40 of the pop or R&B charts, including 15 songs that reached No. 1. “It was as if we were playing the lottery and winning every time,” Mr. Dozier wrote in his autobiography, “How Sweet It Is” (2019, written with Scott B. Bomar).
I’m not sure calling Lamont Dozier a giant does him justice. Check out this list:
I could post MPC’s of just their songs for a month, with room to spare, but let’s just settle for this beauty today.
Sublime. Rest in peace, brother. You earned it.
I almost went with “Knowing Me, Knowing You” as the header for yesterday’s Dan Lanning post, but decided to save the song for an MPC today — except instead of posting the ABBA original, I’m giving you a live cover by the great Marshall Crenshaw. Enjoy.
Mick Jagger turned 79 yesterday. To honor that, let’s give a listen to my favorite cut on the Live at the El Mocambo 1977 album, the Stones’ cover of that hoary chestnut “Route 66”.
The band, razor sharp through the whole show (remarkable, considering the circumstances), is especially on for this song. The guitar interplay between Ron and Keef is electrifying — I say that as a big Mick Taylor fanboy — and Charlie Watts just drives everything. Mick’s having a blast, too.
Here’s a great Washington Post piece on Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, the 23-year old blues guitarist from Clarksdale, Mississippi that’s definitely worth your time to read.
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram was wailing on guitar. Eyes shut and head thrown back in the emblematic pose of the guitar hero in ecstasy, he wrung screaming bent high notes and dense, fluid runs from his purple-and-black prototype Kingfish-model Fender. Just seconds into “She Calls Me Kingfish,” the opening song of his set at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston in March, fans were already well on their way up the stairway to guitar-solo heaven, nodding and smiling and shaking their heads in that mmh-mmh-mmm way that guitar freaks fall into when potent stuff starts flowing into their systems through their ears. The Berklee College of Music houses one of the planet’s greatest concentrations of high-end guitar freaks, and they were out in force to hear the 23-year-old phenom from the Mississippi Delta widely hailed as “the future of the blues.” The students in attendance made for a considerably younger turnout than a blues show typically draws. Out in the lobby before the show, I had overheard one long-haired dude saying to a fellow cool-nerd, “He’s, like, my age. It’s nuts.”
And here’s a clip sponsored by Fender (the guitar is gorgeous) of Ingram’s cover of “I Put A Spell On You”:
William Hart, who as the lead singer and chief lyricist of the soul trio the Delfonics helped pioneer the romantic lyrics, falsetto vocals and velvety string arrangements that defined the Philadelphia sound of the 1960s and ’70s, died on July 14 in Philadelphia. He was 77.
His son Hadi said the death, at Temple University Hospital, was caused by complications during surgery.
The Delfonics combined the harmonies of doo-wop, the sweep of orchestral pop and the crispness of funk to churn out a string of hits, 20 of which reached the Billboard Hot 100. (Two made the Top 10.)
Almost all of them were written by Mr. Hart in conjunction with the producer Thom Bell, including “La-La (Means I Love You),” “I’m Sorry” and “Ready or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide From Love),” all released in 1968, and, a year later, “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time),” which won a Grammy for best R&B vocal by a duo or group.
“La-La (Means I Love You)” is pretty much close to perfection. There isn’t a single note out of place. And those vocals! (Just try not to sing along. It’s impossible to resist.)
Philly soul, for the win. Rest in peace, brother.
Here at the blog, we always celebrate a Godfather Fourth.
Because we can, damn it.
Honestly, this cracks me up.
I’m trying to picture an R.E.M. fan who’s kept their cassette player for all these years, waiting for this moment… and I’m failing. LOL.
Anyway, here’s the first cut off the EP, “Wolves, Lower”.
Just a reminder that Rickenbacker guitars will always rule…
Let’s go a little farther down the rabbit hole I entered the last couple of days. The Wondermints are Brian Wilson’s backing band when he’s on tour and here’s their cover of a song he wrote in ’64, originally for the Beach Boys, but recorded instead by Glen Campbell, who, incidentally, had been hired as an emergency fill-in for Wilson on the group’s concert tours back then. Whew, got all that?
Anyway, here’s “Guess I’m Dumb”.