We have the eldest Roanboy coming home for Christmas and will be spending the week doing family stuff.
Merry Christmas, we'll see you next year.
Ever wonder what's the big deal about Hollywood Fats?
Ever even heard of Hollywood Fats?
That's ok, few have.
Thought by some to be the greatest blues guitarist of them all, Michael Mann suffered the distinct misfortune of coming of age during a time of declining popularity for the Blues and then lost his life at the age of 32 long before getting his shot at another Blues revival.
Legend has it he was playing with Buddy Guy and Junior Wells before he turned 14. He worked with John Lee Hooker, J. B. Hutto and Albert King who fired him because he was too good. He was on the road touring with Muddy Waters before he turned 20, maybe 18.
He recorded some sides both with/as the Hollywood Fats Band and Hollywood Fats and the Paladins all of which were very good but not earth shaking ... at least to my ears.
Finally when Dave Alvin left The Blaster's to become the "Godfather of Americana" or the "King of California" take your pick, Fats took over the lead guitar position and .....
The second time you listen to this, check out the tone, so perfectly crunchy and snarly at the same time.
Feel the power in his rhythm as he locks up the bass and drums and then walks them up into a whole new gear.
Listen for the little two bar fills into and out of both the verse and the chorus that perfectly frame Phil Alvin's vocals.
Finally, check out the look on Phil Alvin's face and know that he knows that what's going on here is very, very hard to come by.
This is Phil Alvin singing like only Phil Alvin can, Lee Allen on the saxaphone, John Bazz playing the bass guitar, Bill Bateman on the drums, and the legendary Michael Mann aka Hollywood Fats on lead guitar.
Rock and Roll Will Stand.
59 years old and it still grabs me by the heart.
Ann Arbor's own (mostly) Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen had recorded Live, Deep in the Heart of Texas there, so we viewed it as special although we really didn't know why.
So, one night in between sets of the Silvertones in the basement of The Blind Pig (that's a pure, wild ass guess ... but likely) Terry informed me that he had heard that the Armadillo World Headquarters was in some kind of trouble and might not be around much longer. Futhermore it was his strongly held opinion that we should go down to Austin, Texas and see a show there while we still could. Finally and as an aside, he had heard that the girls in Austin were awesome.
So we did.
The place was big, rundown, and about half or more empty. The bill featured a bunch of local bands that were all pretty good.
We walked out back to the "Beer Garden" outside and met some people who told us that we needed to make sure to come back tomorrow night for Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown.
So we did.
I was stunned.
He played about every kind of American roots music you can think to name, Blues, Western Swing, Cajun, Swamp, that New Orleans Rhumba thing, Gospel, Funk.
The band was way hot with some outstanding backup vocals that seemed to just walk on up out of the crowd.
He was a helluva guitar player and just when you thought it couldn't possibly get any better, he picked up a fiddle and then later, the harmonica.
Ahhhhh, the memories ............
So anyway, this is Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown appearing on Austin City Limits many years later with another real nice band none of whom I know except that I'm sure I do know the guy up front playing the sax, I just can't pull his name out of RAM.
Born in Louisiana.
As for the girls in Austin, Texas ....... as advertized.
We've been looking for a very long time for some video that does justice to the jaw dropping magnificence that was/is Kid Creole and the Coconuts.
I still haven't found it but these two do offer up a taste.
The Kid and his band never sold well in States despite making a half dozen way sollid records that included a no kidding dozen tunes that should have been ... IMHO ... radio staples for the next 50 years, but they owned Europe in the 80's and continue to fill big rooms there to this day.
This is Band Leader, Record Producer, Songwriter and Frontman extraordinaire Thomas August Darnell Browder aka August Darnell aka Kid Creole on vocals and rhythm guitar, along with the bands Musical Director the lovely and talented Sugar Coated Andy Hernandez aka Coati Mundi on the vibraphone, timbales, boxing gloves, real ugly faces and all around hijinx.
The Coconuts, who don't happen to be appearing in this first vid are Choreographer Adreiana Kaegi aka Mama Coconut, probably Janique Svedberg but maybe Taryn Haegy and Cheryl Pointer, along with Peter Schott on keyboards, Carol Colman on the Bass, Mark Mazur playing guitar, Al Mackon on the drums, Bongo Eddie Folk on percussion, Charles Lagond on saxophone, Ken Fradley on trumpet, and Lee Robertson getting his star turn on trombone.
Easily among the very greatest showbands of all time, this is Kid Creole and the Cocounts in London, England, 1982.
Don't Take My Coconuts
Here's your Coconuts
I don't think we've ever posted music two days in a row, but the Little Wiffer of My Dreams took me out to the Chris Isaak show last night and I'm filled with the spirit of Rock and Roll, as for me at least there are few things in life like a professional Rock and Roll band having a good night.
Besides, Saturn is beating the snot out of both my Moon and Mercury simultaneously together as my partner likes to say and I'm bumping along on the border of the dark side.
I'm thinking I should probably be keeping my thoughts to myself for a bit.
So ..... this is Chris Isaak on lead vocals and guitar along with Hershel Yatovitz on lead guitar, Scott Plunckett at the organ, Rowland Salley on the bass, and drummer Kenney Dale Johnson.
Chris Isaak and Sivertone.
Lie To Me.
How does he hit that note?
I have neither the energy nor the will to do much in the way of either thinking or posting this morning.
So ..... here's the great Jerry Douglas unaccompanied in what I think is his practice studio, playing for his own self.
The political ads will all be gone by closing time at the polls.
Here's Cuba Gooding Jr. with a reminder of what you can expect to see tomorrow night in the way of prime time television advertising.
I've been listening to this little bit of Power Pop perfection all week.
Who could ask for more?
Hooks galore, a great little guitar riff crunched up to perfection blasting through a set of big ass Marshall stacks, Beatlesque harmonies, scary but cute, maybe legal, probably lesbian girls with a lot of attitude.
I'm not that sure about gigantic firebreathing baby dolls, but it's a music video it doesn't have to make sense.
Performing the video vesrsion of their #33 Australian hit Take Me Away which was subsequently picked up with rerecorded vocals for the Freaky Friday Movie, this is Micaela Slayford on lead vocals and bass, Jessica Bennett on lead guitar and backup vocals, Belinda-Lee Reid on backup vocals and guitar, and Jaclyn Pearson playing her Pearl drum kit.
The call has gone out again for respite from the stress and nonsense that defines these troubled times.
As always, we empathize.
Because I firmly believe that there are only two kinds of people on this earth.
Them that like Little Feat, and them that don't know they like Little Feat.
Just in case you've ever wondered what's the big deal about Lowell George anyway.
Here he is seemingly still asleep on slide guitar and vocals, along with Bill Payne on the keyboards, Paul Barrere on guitar, Richard Hayward playing the drums, Sam Clayton on percussion and Roy Estrada playing bass guitar at about 9:00 AM one morning in 1975 for "The Old Grey Whistle Test" program at the BBC.
Fat Man In The Bathtub.
A little boogie is always good for the soul.
I told you it was good.
It seems your pants are lying through their zipper about the size of your waistline.
Click on the chart for the article.
Damn, is all I gotta say.
Ever wonder what's the big deal about Tommy Emmanuel?
Ever even heard of Tommy Emmanuel?
Don't worry about it, few have.
Here is Tommy Emmanuel unaccompanied playing the Merle Travis classic Nine Pound Hammer along just with about anything else he feels.
Dai Vernon also known as "The Professor" is widely regarded as the most skillful sleight of hand artist to ever perform magic and among the most influential card magicians of the 20th Century. He is credited with inventing or improving many of the close-up tricks using cards, coins, and other small items that are employed by professional magicians to this day.
In 1922, Harry Houdini was the best known magician in the world. Forty eight years old and at the height of his powers, Houdini was so confident of his skills and understanding of magic that he challenged magicians everywhere to show him any trick they might be able to perform three times, and guaranteed that he could tell them how it was done. At the Great Northern Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, young Dai Vernon took the great Houdini up on his offer, performing his "The Ambitious Card" trick for Houdini not three, but seven times in a row with Houdini failing to explain it.
The first video below is a Dai Vernon performance of his version of the Cup and Balls Trick, which version is every bit the standard among magicians as Celebrate and Joy To The World are among wedding bands.
"The Professor" Dai Vernon.
This second vid is an updated version of Vernon's "The Ambitious Card" trick, otherwise known as "The Trick That Fooled Houdini".
See ya Tuesday.
Since we're on the subject.
I have never closed the section of any tape I've ever made offering Life During Wartime and The Walls Came Down with anything other than the Nick Lowe penned and produced, international classic What's So Funny Bout Peace Love and Understanding.
I see no reason to not continue with that practice here.
This is Elvis Costello on guitar and vocals. Steve Nieve on keyboards, Davey Faragher on bass, the great Pete Thomas pounding the drums and singing along just a little.
Evis Costello and the Attractions, Pickups or Imposters ... take your pick.
What's So Funny Bout Peace Love and Understanding.
Usually Rockpile with Teacher Teacher comes next, but we're probably moving on this time.
With the exception of one Christmas party, I've never done a party tape/disc that didn't include The Call's The Walls Came Down immediately next to ... usually leading ... Life During Wartime by Talking Heads.
Because I think it's far more likely that you have seen the promotional video for any given popular song somewhere else already, I mostly go for live performances when posting music around here. And while there are some real interesting vids of the Call performing The Walls Came Down live, I'm making an exception to that rule here only because none of them include my all time favorite little keyboard break within what is one of my very favorite arrangements in general as Garth Hudson worked with The Call in the studio, but to my knowledge, never toured with them.
Arguably one of the most underrated bands of all time, this is Michael Been on vocals and guitar, Tom Ferrier on guitar, Greg Freeman on the bass, Scott Musick playing drums, and Garth Hudson of The Band, on keyboards. I think that's Jim Goodwin standing off to the side playing what appears to be an old Vox, reverse key organ.
The Walls Came Down.
I don't think there are any Russians, and there ain't no Yanks.
Just corporate criminals, playing with tanks.
From their 1984 movie Stop Making Sense, one of our very favorite concert movies.
This is the always interesting David Byrne on vocals, Tina Weymouth on bass guitar, Jerry Harrison on keyboards and Chris Frantz on drums.
They are joined in this performance by Lynn Mabry and Edna Holt on backup vocals, keyboardist Bernie Worrell of Parliament-Funkadelic, percussionist Steve Scales, and guitarist Alex Weir of The Brothers Johnson.
Life During Wartime
It seemed an appropriate choice.
Miraculous how Tina Weymouth swaps basses right there in the middle of the song and you don't see nothing.