Music Monday: November 29, 2021

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Before we get to this week’s song, I wanted to let you know that beginning December 1, I will once again feature my 25 Days Of Christmas Music series. I would love for you to join me. And please share your favorite holiday tunes in the comments. Thanks to suggestions by so many of you in the past I have discovered new seasonal music I might not have found on my own. I hope I will do the same for you this year.

On November 9, 1970 Derek & The Dominos released Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs. I adore this album for so many reasons: the one-two punch of Eric Clapton’s virtuoso playing matched note for note with Duane Allman’s, some of Clapton’s best singing & writing were on these tracks, the band as a whole was unbelievably gifted, they did a beautiful cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing” & several blues classics plus the power & beauty of the title track helps it remain an iconic staple in rock music history.

Several artists supposedly based a few of their songs on today’s tune. Two of my favorites are Dolly Parton’s “It’s All Wrong But It’s All Right” and Bruce Springsteen’s “Fade Away”. But even without those tributes, this song is still one of my all time favorites. Clapton’s expression of pain & angst is palpable in every word he sang and the band stayed with him every step of the way.

He has continued to perform this song throughout his career during his live shows and many versions are incredibly good (most notably the “24 Nights” version). But the original just knocks me out every time I hear it. Derek & The Dominos only made one record together but without it the landscape of rock music would look & sound unbelievably different. Bravo to a great album.

“It’s all wrong but it’s alright
The way that you treat me baby
Once I was strong but I lost the fight
You won’t find a better loser
“.

Allman and Dominos

Layla album

clapton allman

Top: Duane Allman with Derek & The Dominos in 1970 (L-R): drummer Jim Gordon, bassist Carl Radle, pianist Bobby Whitlock & Eric Clapton (center). Middle: The cover of the “Layla” album. Bottom: Clapton and Allman in 1970. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Derek & The Dominos: “Bell Bottom Blues” (1970, written by Eric Clapton and Bobby Whitlock).

Stay well.

Music Monday: November 22, 2021

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

This is a short week for many of us thanks to the upcoming holiday. If it is not for you, maybe today’s track will lift your spirits anyway. If you are a fan of the show, “Lost”, then this song is probably stuck in your head with images of Hurley, Charlie, Sawyer, Jin & Vincent enjoying an unexpected van ride in the middle of a not-so-deserted island. It was a great scene with a great tune to underscore the whole feel good vibe. So enjoy the song & have a great week, everybody. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Lost van scene

Three Dog Night 1972

First picture: Our gang from “Lost”: Top image: Charlie & Hurley (Dominic Monaghan and Jorge Garcia). Center image: The ride. Bottom image: Jin, Vincent the Dog & Sawyer (Daniel Dae Kim and Josh Holloway). Second picture: Three Dog Night circa 1972. Cory Wells, pictured center in front row, was the lead singer for today’s song. He shared lead vocal duties with Danny Hutton (front row, left) and Chuck Negron (front row, right). Back row L-R: Joe Schermie, Floyd Sneed, Michael Allsup and Jimmy Greenspoon. 

(Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Three Dog Night: “Shambala” ((1973, written by Daniel Moore).

Stay well.

Music Monday: November 15, 2021

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

November 12 marked birthday #76 for one of the greatest artists Canada ever gave us-Neil Young. It goes without saying that he has written a number of outstanding songs throughout his over five decade career. But for me, it is today’s song that remains his finest piece of music.

I fell in love with it the first time I heard it as a young child & it remains one of my Top Ten favorite songs of all time. This was my first introduction to an acoustic sound and it is beyond spectacular. I will adore Young forever for the plethora of music he has given us, but especially for this heartbreakingly beautiful song most of all.

I’ve been in my mind
It’s such a fine line
That keeps me searching
For a heart of gold and I’m getting old
“.

Neil

Neil Young circa 1970. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Neil Young: “Heart Of Gold” (1972, written by Neil Young).

Stay well.

Music Monday: November 8, 2021

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

In 2010 a fabulous show premiered on TNT that instantly became my new favorite. “Memphis Beat” was a cop show with an interesting twist: the cop loved music so much that each episode ended with him singing a song at the local bar. How could I not like it? The lead actor/cop/singer was played by Jason Lee who may not have done his own singing but was great in the role nonetheless. Other actors in the cast included Alfre Woodard, DJ Qualls, Celia Weston and Sam Hennings. Unfortunately, not as many people enjoyed the show as much like I did so it was cancelled after only one season. Sigh.

The original music for the show was done by American blues musician Keb’ Mo’ and one of the songs he used for the show was a cover of today’s song. And it was unbelievably great. I have searched high & low for it over the last 11 years but I cannot find it or the episode it was featured in anywhere online. I do not believe he ever made it available for commercial release which is an absolute shame because it was that good.

The song was written by American indie toots singer Will Oldham who released the song as the title track to his 1999 album under his stage name, Bonnie “Prince” Billy. It is a wonderful rendition but I must admit I love Johnny Cash’s version so much more. Oldham sang the chorus with Cash on his track which gave it so much depth but it was his stark delivery that brought the song to a level only Cash could deliver. Of course, anything Cash did was gold, but this song is one of my Top Ten picks from his illustrious career. That gives you some idea how great his cover truly is.

Did you know how much I love you
Is a hope that somehow you
Would save me from this darkness
“.

jason lee

Keb Mo

Cash    Will Oldham

Top (L-R): Jason Lee as Dwight Hendricks in a still from the 2010 show, “Memphis Beat”; Keb’ Mo’. Bottom (L-R): Johnny Cash early in his career; Will Oldham. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.).

Johnny Cash: “I See A Darkness” (2000, written by Will Oldham).

Stay well.

Music Monday: November 1, 2021

Hi, everyone. Welcome to November & to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

When Van Morrison was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1993, he did not appear at the ceremony. I do not remember why he was not there but I do remember he was inducted by Robbie Robertson of The Band. After his speech, he was joined by a singer named Adam Duritz for a guitar version of one of Morrison’s most fabulous songs, “Caravan“. It was nothing like Morrison’s exquisite original, but it was a fabulous cover nonetheless.

At the time this incredible performance was all I really knew about Duritz. But later that year he & his band, The Counting Crows, released their debut album August & Everything After. The first single, “Mr. Jones” was in heavy rotation on VH-1 and it was not a bad song. The video of the fast paced tune featured a lively & animated Duritz in a room with his bandmates. But it was the follow up single that I fell in love with. The video had great imagery but it was the heartbreaking lyrics about people struggling with life that made the bigger impact on me. And seeing the band perform this track on Letterman in early 1994 got me even more hooked on it.

Around the same time it earned the band a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal. By their next album, 1996’s Recovering The Satellites, Duritz was dating “Friends” co-star Courtney Cox (who appeared in the video for “A Long December”) & The Counting Crows were one of the most successful bands of the decade. But it was the song he wrote pre-Counting Crows with bandmate David Bryson and members of another 1990’s band, The Himalayans, that will forever speak to me as a great piece of music.

“”Round here, she’s always on my mind
‘Round here, hey man, we got lots of time
‘Round here, we’re never sent to bed early
And nobody makes us wait”.

Counting Crows A

The Counting Crows circa 1996. Lead singer Adam Duritz is standing in the center. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Counting Crows: “‘Round Here” (1993, written by David Bryson, Adam Duritz, Dave Janusko, Dan Jewett and Chris Roldan).

Stay well.