Archive for the ‘Jimi Hendrix’ Category

The Spin Doctors

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Listen: Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong / Spin Doctors
Little Miss Can't Be Wrong / Spin Doctors

I recall when The Spin Docotrs were drawing record crowds at Wetlands, located in what eventually became a very trendy part of New York: Tribeca.

The club had an out of character for New York City aura. Between the decor and general booking policy, it could have just as easily been in Nashville, but we all loved the place. Walter Durcaz was resident dj, and he would play the most unexpected, and therefore, wonderfully satisfying records. I’d go early, just to sip beer and listen to his choices. Things like The Keef Hartley Band’s ‘Roundabout’ into Cal Tjader ‘Soul Sauce’ then seamlessly segueing Dr. John’s ‘Jump Sturdy’ straight into Juicy Lucy ‘Who Do You Love’. Flawless journeys every time.

Due to their early origins with jam bands, The Spin Doctors were never hip, in a downtown way. I recall when Frankie LaRocca signed them to Epic. Despite all the other folks in the A&R community quietly trying to do the same, once it was decided Epic would be their home, those same folks suddenly wanted the band to fail, basically turning their hipster noses in the air towards The Spin Doctors. This, by the way, was a rather common reaction to every bidding war conclusion, another thing of the now powerless major label world was guilty of in their day.

But if you ever saw The Spin Doctors, in their original classic ’89 lineup, there’s no way you could not have become a fan. Blistering players, a non-stop happy energy and many, many great songs. Most never seeing the light of day, when it came to official releases that is.

‘Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong’ had a hint of The Georgia Satellites during those solos, but it was the Jimi Hendrix style riffs and tones throughout the body of the song that has placed this top of the list amongst The Spin Doctors’ 7′ singles section in the SO MANY RECORDS SO LITTLE TIME Hall Of Fame.

Lonnie Youngblood

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Listen: Soul Food / Lonnie Youngblood
Soul Food / Lonnie Youngblood

I’m a sucker for food songs. It probably explains my fascination with the Food Network, which my pal Maridi coined so well as ‘comfy’. Anyways, sonically, this track just captures a time period that, if you’re hooked on, you can’t get enough of. Specifically, 1965 RnB or Soul, and sometimes referred to as a chitlin’ circuit sound which I find a little offensive.

It was during Lonnie Youngblood’s period with Fairmount that his band included Jimi Hendrix – who in theory is on this. Never mind, it’s a food record favorite (along with ‘Breakin’ Bread’ by Fred & The New JB’s (see that post) and The Soul Runners ‘Grits & Corn Bread’). Not that I would eat most of the items he sings about, but he does make me feel like I want to join in.

The Marmalade

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Listen: Baby Make It Soon / The Marmalade MarmaladeBabyMake.mp3

Apparently, The Marmalade’s ‘I See The Rain’ was one of Jimi Hendrix’s favorite records. Their most collectable release, considered a psych classic, on and on.

All good, a deserved single. Having released a few musically revered but consumer ignored 7′s, UK CBS decided they’d had enough. Onto their pop assembly line The Marmalade went.

Perfect. The more manufactured or schlock, as one friend arrogantly puts it, the singles became, the more I liked them. Indeed, pop/schlock 60′s and 70′s UK singles in general – especially non-hits by nobodies get me excited every time.

‘Baby Make It Soon’ was probably a song the band hated and most likely didn’t even play on. Who cares….it’s a period classic, and many a person’s guilty pleasure. That, I would bet my life on.

Definitely a keeper.

The Sweet Inspirations

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Sweet Inspiration / The Sweet Inspirations

Listen: Sweet Inspiration / The Sweet Inspirations
Sweet Inspiration / The Sweet Inspirations

That's How Strong My Love Is / The Sweet Inspirations

Listen: That’s How Strong My Love Is / The Sweet Inspirations
That's How Strong My Love Is / The Sweet Inspirations

Cissy Houston, Lee Warrick with daughters Dee Dee and Dionne Warwick, Judy Clay, Doris Try – they were all members of The Sweet Inspirations at one time or another. Even if you haven’t heard these classics by them – you have heard these voices many times, contributing to endless sessions by Solomon Burke, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Esther Phillips, Van Morrison’s ‘Brown Eyed Girl’, The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s ‘Burning Of The Midnight Lamp’, even Elvis. Ahmet Ertegan finally decided in 1967 to record them as their own entity. Not only cutting an initial album, but in a one year window, they recorded three. Their versions of current hits became hits again – this time for themselves: ‘Why (Am I Treated So Bad)’, ‘To Love Somebody’, ‘Unchained Melody’. They really hit pay dirt with The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section in Alabama during the early months of 1969 – from which these singles come. Their theme song is a classic. And the gospel purity of ‘That’s How Strong My Love Is’ makes for difficult upstaging.

Graham Coxon

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Listen: Freakin’ Out / Graham Coxon GrahamFreakin.mp3

I always thought Graham Coxon played more like Jimi Hendrix than anyone, even Robin Trower, on Blur’s ‘There’s No Other Way’. I don’t think he repeated the sound though – not sure as I never listened to the band’s albums.

Back in the day, although it does seem odd to put it that way but….back in the day when Jo Whiley held the morning shift on BBC Radio 1 – at the time, they really cranked alternative rock stuff, this got played a lot. It became a favorite.

I’d been meaning to play it for ages, but only just stumbled on this unfiled copy. Still sounds pretty great, a touch more on the hard rock guitar side than I recall, but a fave nonetheless.

Slade

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Do We Still Do It / Slade

Listen: Do We Still Do It / Slade SladeDoWeStill.mp3

I’m breaking my own rule here. The rule: this blog is only about 7″ singles. The rule breaker: ‘Do We Still Do It’, a track so good, so overlooked, so obvious a single. I can’t think of a better one – it’s always topped that list in my head. What was Warner Brothers thinking? At least ‘Do We Still Do It’ opened one side of STOMP YOUR HANDS, CLAP YOUR FEET, even if it was Side Two. This was Slade’s ‘hoping to break thru in The US’ LP. What a surprise, US radio wouldn’t play a band that dressed so colorfully and rocked so crazy. Really sorry about those pathetic US programers everyone. Still embarrassed by them. It took years, but they’re finally putting themselves out of business it seems. I heard today Clear Channel were firing 1500 radio people. Awe, aren’t you sad? Shouldn’t those 1500 stay employed so they can all play and say the same stuff day after day? How unfair, right?

Good riddance! Now flush the overpaid guys who forced the newly unemployed to play that tired stuff in the first place. No one’s listening – what part don’t you get? They say white men can’t dance. Similarly, when it comes to programming good radio, Americans can’t program – only the British can. Get over it.

I’d seen Slade one rainy night in fall ’73 at SUNY Fredonia. Corinne and I braved the back woods road to get to the gymnasium which I recall being pretty full. We elbowed our way right up front. Hey, we considered ourselves UK band fan royalty. I’d just come back from London, and fresh from my job of picking up empty pint glasses at the Marquee. So there.

Well Slade were way more powerful than ever expected. We loved the singles a lot, and the look – glam in general, but holy shit – this was ridiculous. The whole place went beserk. I mean, this had to have happened everywhere. Why didn’t they take off across the country? Baffling.

We left jaws dragging. Well, we didn’t exactly leave – we went to the only motel in town – and in the bar, there was Slade with their manager Chas Chandler. Now this was an unexpected treat. We had pot, they had stories. The next few hours were spent in Noddy’s room, talking to him and Chas (he had been in The Animals and brought Jimi Hendrix to England). All very recounted now, but not then. There was much I wanted him to tell, and he was only too happy in exchange for the good quality joints she was rolling. After a few hours, they were very stoned guys in a two horse town and the only female in sight was my girlfriend. So I figured – time to leave. Nice fellows though and a night to remember forever and ever and ever.