Archive for the ‘Nils Lofgren’ Category

Marlena Shaw

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Listen: Mercy, Mercy, Mercy / Marlena Shaw
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy / Marlena Shaw

Like with Bobby Hebb’s ‘Sunny’, I also have a similar penchant for ‘Mercy, Mercy, Mercy’. Basically, never do I pass up a copy, in fact, the loungier the better.

There are plenty of renditions around by everyone from Jaco Pastorius to Nils Lofgren. Not to mention versions buried in jazzy muzak albums that came fast and furious in the late 60′s.

’67 was the year that saw the song hit Billboard’s Top 5 twice, The Buckinghams version with lyrics, and the original instrumental from The Cannonball Adderley Quintet which went to #1, no doubt a surprise to both artist and label. Big fan of both.

Those in the know, like England’s mods, would attest that the grooviest, hands down, is from Marlena Shaw. Here’s a lady that recorded for the who’s who of RnB/Jazz labels during her career: Chess subsidiary Cadet, Blue Note and Verve.

In ’63, after initially deciding to go for the big time, and get into a record company, she auditioned for, but was turned down by Columbia. Several years later, they changed their minds and signed her away from Blue Note after releasing the wonderfully titled WHO IS THIS BITCH, ANYWAY?

Sounds familiar. I got invited in to Columbia for an interview in the late 80′s, never heard another word from them. About ten years later, out of the blue they rang again, this time offering me a job. I figured, give it a try. Lasted twelve years.

Nils Lofgren

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

NilsCryUSPS, Nils Lofgren, A&M, Al Kooper

NilsCryUK, Nils Lofgren, A&M, Al Kooper

Listen: Cry Tough / Nils Lofgren NilsCry.mp3

Funny coincidence. A repeating lyric in ‘Cry Tough’ is “Doctor Feelgood”. I’m assuming he means something other than the UK band who at the very same time as this was recorded and released, were planting the seeds that would sprout punk and make tasty rock music unhip almost overnight. Somehow though, Nils Lofgren sat pretty nicely beside all that, and most friends I had, like myself, loved the entire CRY TOUGH album. Nils, as with Steve Winwood and JJ Cale, was certainly a port in the AOR storm during those few years, when anything to do with punk was kept off the airwaves.

Produced by Al Kooper meant the album was in solid shape. It was upon release of the followup, I CAME TO DANCE, that he came to town. Voice and playing were superb, lyrically a little too cliched, but his great rag/tag outfit and Keith Richard-like stage presence more than made up for it.