Category Archives: Uncategorized

“We will rebuild.”

I know some of you get a trifle miffed when I venture off topic, but I can’t help but mention the major fire that took place yesterday morning at Franklin’s Barbecue, an Austin mecca I finally was able to visit last year.

This is my favorite part of the aftermath.

Once the fire was out, Franklin offered briskets to the firefighters. There were 110 finished ones sitting in the warmers unharmed, but without any utilities in the building, Franklin couldn’t exactly serve them. The firefighters said they weren’t allowed to accept them, but I wouldn’t blame any of Austin’s finest if they were having brisket for dinner.

In fact, if they didn’t, they’s crazy.

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Musical palate cleanser, the Boss’ advice edition

Hey, listen to the man.

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Musical palate cleanser, crazy for that girl edition

I saw over the weekend that Mark Knopfler celebrated his birthday, so let’s celebrate, too, with my favorite Dire Straits song, “Expresso Love”.

That’s the E Street Band’s Roy Bittan tickling the ivories.  Great lyrics and — it almost goes without saying — great guitar work.

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Musical palate cleanser, another Sixties icon departs edition

If you grew up in the Sixties, you heard this guy and often.

Glen Campbell, the sweet-voiced, guitar-picking son of a sharecropper who became a recording, television and movie star in the 1960s and ’70s, waged a publicized battle with alcohol and drugs and gave his last performances while in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, died on Tuesday in Nashville. He was 81.

Tim Plumley, his publicist, said the cause was Alzheimer’s.

There’s a lot going on in those two sentences.

Campbell was a self-taught musician who couldn’t read music, which is pretty amazing for a guy who first made his bones as a member of the legendary group of LA session musicians known as The Wrecking Crew.  He was a helluva guitarist, as this 2001 version of one of his big hits, “Galveston”, demonstrates.

As the article notes, he was a member of the Beach Boys for a few months in the mid-60s and toured with the group, which leads me to my favorite Campbell song, his first release.

Brian Wilson penned “Guess I’m Dumb” and worked on it with the Beach Boys, but never released it through the group.  Instead, he arranged and produced the song as Campbell’s first single.  Campbell is backed by his mates from The Wrecking Crew and purportedly the background singers are Beach Boys.

The result sounds like Brian Wilson channeling Burt Bacharach and it’s a great pop tune.

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Musical palate cleanser, it was the sixties, man edition

Big Sur, a swimming pool, swaying hippies, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young… what else did you need?

Heavy, brother.

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Musical palate cleanser, ain’t it funky now edition

I’m currently reading James McBride’s excellent book on James Brown, Kill ‘Em and Leave, and what can I say?  I’m in the mood for some Godfather of Soul moves.

Here are a couple of clips from the period when I would say the man was at the height of his power, backed by his best band, the JBs.  First, from Paris in 1971 (and if you don’t own Brown’s Love Power Peace: Live at the Olympia, Paris 1971, you don’t know what you’re missing), here’s a three-minute bite that serves to show off a few members of the band.

And here are 15 glorious minutes on Italian TV.

As the dancer in the back demonstrates, it was also a time when the Afro was at the height of its power.  Enjoy.

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Musical palate cleanser, “who’s that guitar player?” edition

The song is Wilson Pickett’s version of the Beatles’ “Hey Jude”.

The guitar player Eric Clapton asked about is Duane Allman.

Good question.

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