Friday, July 12, 2013

Spinning Vinyl

It's been a while since I've documented a trip through the stacks. In the interest of transparency, this "session" took place over two days, with my lovely wife along for the ride on the second day.

I started out with Hot Tuna 1970, a traditional acoustic blues from Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Cassidy (from Jefferson Aitplane) that still sounds great today. Hesitation Blues, How Long Blues, Death Don't Have No Mercy, side one is hot.

From there I got more current with The Jayhawks Mockingbird Time 2011. A reunion of the classic line-up with Karen Grotberg, and an unusually good reunion effort, rivaling they're best work. Closer To Your Side and She Walks In So Many ways were standouts.

Side two of The Jimi Hendrix Experience 1967 never ceases to amaze. From there I listened to David Crosby's Almost Cut My Hair from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's Deja Vu 1970, one of Crosby's finer moments.

Then I got all bluesy. I listened to Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes' fairly recent Messin' With The Blues 2001, and I mean it when I say this guy's still got it (at least he did 12 years ago). It's remarkable, and the title track and Tell 'Em I'm Broke were killer, with knock-out harmonica on both. Then it's on to Born Under A Bad Sign 1967. I took in side two, which had been a while, and Almost Lost My Mind and The Very Thought Of you rocked. The record is pretty much the definition of blues music.

I've always liked T-Bone Burnett's Trap Door from 1982, and I listened to the entire six-song EP. It's a perfect slice of pop-rock from a basic four-piece band and fabulous songwriting. It's a shame Burnett never did it this way again. While into the pop scene, I listened to side two of The Beatles 1969. Aside from Harrison's embarrassing Piggies, it'd got fine tunes from both Lennon (I'm So Tired, Julia) and McCartney (Blackbird, Rocky Raccoon).

Back to blues-rock for The Allman Brothers' Eat A Peach 1972. I always liked One Way Out. I listened to Bill Champlin doing What Good Is Love from Single 1978, his first solo effort, and even if it sounds too much like Earth, Wing, and Fire, it's still good.

Then it's back to blues for Bob Dylan's Modern Times 2006. I've said it before that Dylan has been experiencing an artistic Renaissance of late, and this is a smoking hot record. Thunder On The Mountain and Rollin' And Tumblin' are just superb, as is Someday Baby. That rasp of a voice still carries more weight than most singers half his age.

Lindsey Buckingham's Go Insane from 1984 is a real ear candy treat. I Want You, Go Insane , and Slow Dancing all thrive on Buckingham's studio smarts, but they're also great tunes.

And why not end the evening mellow, with Jack Johnson In Between Dreams 2005. Better Together you have to like if you have any romance in you. But Good People and Sitting, Waiting, Wishing are also solid gold. I haven't bought any other Jack Johnson records because this one is so good. That's not really like me.

Old and new. The Hendrix and Albert King are both available on new remastered vinyl, and they sound great.

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