Archive for June, 2015

The Jim Keltner Collection Vol. 2

June 25th, 2015 6 comments

Jim Keltner Collection Vol.2

Here is the second part of the Jim Keltner Collection, featuring more songs on which one of the great session drummers hit the skins, following Volume 1 a few weeks ago.

One of the most surprising of these is the song that opens this compilation, a Crowded House song. The antipodean group, of course, had a fine drummer: the late, lamented Paul Hester. Now We”re Getting Somewhere was the one track on the debut album that didn”t feature Hester “” nor bassist Nick Seymour; the bass on the song was played by Jerry Scheff. The session musicians were brought in by producer Mitchell Froom.

The day after recording Now We”re Getting Somewhere, Hester and Seymour were allowed to play; the track they put down was Don”t Dream It”s Over. Hester might have been unhappy about Keltner taking his place, but apparently he learned a lot from observing the drumming legend. Still, Now We”re Getting Somewhere is the one single that didn”t make it on to Crowded House”s greatest hits album, Recurring Dream.

In a few weeks” time we”ll have reason to remember that Jim Keltner backed John Lennon at his 1972 concert at New York”s Madison Square Gardens and drummed, along with Ringo (from whom he learned by watching), at George Harrison”s Concert for Bangladesh. He also toured in the late 1980s with Ringo Starr”s All-Starr Band. Around the same time he teamed up with old mates Harrison and Dylan to drum for the Travelin” Wilburys, taking the name Buster Sidebury. After Harrison”s death, he played at the Concert For George.

Jim Keltner was the punchline to a dig by George and Ringo on Paul McCartney, the only Beatle who hadn”t used Keltner”s services. On the back cover of his Red Rose Speedway LP in 1973, Paul invited fans to join the “Wings Fun Club” by sending in a stamped addressed envelope. The same year both Harrison”s Living In The Material World and Starr”s Ringo albums had spoof notes asking fans to join the “Jim Keltner Fan Club” by sending a “stamped undressed elephant”.

Check out this video interview with Keltner, and listen to this fantastic podcast interview with Keltner on John and his famous Lost Weekend, and the other Beatles (including the story of Paul breaking Ringo”s drum):

As always, CD-R length, covers, PW in comments.

1. Crowded House – Now We”re Getting Somewhere (1986)
2. Gary Wright – Dream Weaver (1975)
3. Ry Cooder – Boomer”s Story (1972)
4. The Bee Gees – Saw A New Morning (1973)
5. Johnny Rivers – Rock Me On The Water (1971)
6. Martha Reeves – Power Of Love (1974)
7. Roberta Flack – Making Love (1982)
8. Yvonne Elliman – Savannah (1979)
9. Gabor Szabo – Dear Prudence (1969)
10. Shawn Phillips – Golden Flower (1975)
11. Alison Krauss – Forget About It (1999)
12. Maria McKee – I Forgive You (1993)
13. Melissa Manchester – Don”t Cry Out Loud (1978)
14. Dolly Parton – It”s Too Late To Love Me Now (1978)
15. Buckingham Nicks – Lola (My Love) (1973)
16. Leon Russell – Out In The Woods (1972)
17. Pops Staples – Down In Mississippi (1992)
18. John Mayer – Something Like Olivia (2012)
19. John Hiatt – Thank You Girl (1987)
20. Joe Cocker – Long Drag Off A Cigarette (1984)
21. J.J. Cale – Pack My Jack (1980)


Previous session musicians” collection:
The Bernard Purdie Collection Vol. 1
The Bernard Purdie Collection Vol. 2
The Ricky Lawson Collection Vol. 1
The Ricky Lawson Collection Vol. 2
The Jim Gordon Collection Vol. 1
The Jim Gordon Collection Vol. 2
The Hal Blaine Collection Vol. 1
The Hal Blaine Collection Vol. 2
The Bobby Keys Collection
The Louis Johnson Collection
The Bobby Graham Collection
The Jim Keltner Collection Vol. 1

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Any Major Summer Vol. 5

June 18th, 2015 6 comments

Any Major Summer Vol. 5

As the northern hemisphere is enjoying (or perhaps not) the onset of the summer season, here is the fifth and final summer mix.

I have stuck by the rule of using only one song per artist in this series. The exception was The Beach Boys, the official spokespeople for summer. They featured on the four previous mixes; here they are represented by a gorgeous Brian Wilson track from 1998 and a cover version of the equally lovely Warmth Of The Sun, by Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs. Plus: Bruce & Terry”s Summer Means Fun is very obviously a Beach Boys knock-off.

Few mixes on the Internet are likely to include songs by the Bay City Rollers and Partridge Family (well, the Wrecking Crew, really) on the one hand and Pink Floyd and The Doors on the other. That”s the benefit/penance of riding with a halfhearted dude. There are three songs separating the Partridge Family and Pink Floyd tracks. Does it work out? I think it does, but what do you think?

One track here is brand new: I debated whether to include Matt Nathanson”s joyous Gold In The Summertime, the lead single of his forthcoming new album. In the end, it was too good to exclude, but in fairness to Nathanson, the version here is at a low bitrate. If you like it, buy it. Visit

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-sunburnt covers. PW in comments.

1. Percy Faith Orchestra – Theme from “˜A Summer Place” (1960)
2. Martha and the Vandellas – Dancing In The Streets (1964)
3. Bruce and Terry – Summer Means Fun (1964)
4. The Happenings – See You In September (1966)
5. Billy Idol – HotIn The City (1982)
6. Aerosmith – Girls In Summer (2002)
7. Brian Wilson – Keep An Eye On Summer (1998)
8. Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs – The Warmth Of The Sun (2006)
9. Matt Nathanson – Gold In The Summertime (2015)
10. Corinne Bailey Rae – Put Your Records On (2006)
11. Michael Franks – Summer In New York (2011)
12. The Blackbyrds – Summer Love (1974)
13. Traffic – Paper Sun (1967)
14. Graham Gouldman – Sunburn (1979)
15. Bay City Rollers – Summerlove Sensation (1974)
16. The Partridge Family – Summer Days (1971)
17. The Sunrays – I Live For The Sun (1965)
18. Peter and Gordon – Green Leaves of Summer (1066)
19. Larry Jon Wilson – July The 12th, 1939 (1977)
20. Pink Floyd – Summer “˜68 (1970)
21. The Doors – Summer”s Almost Gone (1968)
22. The Cure – The Last Day Of Summer (2000)


Previously in Any Major Summer
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Any Major Funk Vol. 8

June 11th, 2015 8 comments

Any Major Funk Vol. 8

It is now more than seven years ago since I posted the first Any Major Funk mix (using the word “funk” loosely); here is what I think will be the concluding mix in the series.

Some songs in this series are probably as easily classified as disco “” even on this mix, the tracks by Earth, Wind & Fire or Diana Ross or Donna Summer are not foreign to the disco genre.

All the previous Any Major Funk mixes are up again, with funky covers. Of course, all of them are timed to fit on a standard CD-R. PW in comments.

1. Brothers Johnson – Ain”t We Funkin” Now (1978)
2. Skyy – Show Me The Way (1983)
3. Earth, Wind & Fire with The Emotions – Boogie Wonderland (1979)
4. George Benson – Give Me The Night (1980)
5. Diana Ross – The Boss (1979)
6. Shalamar – The Second Time Around (1979)
7. Jimmy “˜Bo” Horne – You Get Me Hot (1979)
8. Cheryl Lynn – Shake It Up Tonight (1981)
9. Ren̩ & Angela РFree And Easy (1980)
10. Leon Haywood – Strokin” (1976)
11. Linda Clifford – Runaway Love (1979)
12. Gap Band – Outstanding (1982)
13. Slave – Watching You (1980)
14. Side Effect – Take A Chance “˜n” Dance (1980)
15. Gary Toms Empire – Walk On By (1978)
16. Donna Summer – Last Dance (1978)


More Any Major Funk
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In Memoriam – May 2015

June 4th, 2015 6 comments

IM0515aThere isn”t much more to say about B.B. King that the obits haven”t covered. Except this: For years King didn”t receive the respect he merited in some quarters because he was seen as having sold out from the blues genre. These purists regarded King as inauthentic, even if the only delta they”d ever seen was an airline. These were the snobs who resented King and players like Muddy Waters for updating the blues, without having any claim to the blues in the first place, and instead played their obscure blues records from the 1930s and celebrated Dylan”s famous (and probably misunderstood) words, “Just don”t play me any of that B.B. King shit”. Thankfully the “authenticity” debate has been lost by the snobs, and everybody can in good conscience and without qualification celebrate the accomplishments of Blues Boy King.

I paid tribute to Brothers Johnson bass player Louis Johnson last week with a collection of songs he played on. But it is right that I do mark his passing at 60 in this post. Thank you, Louis, for playing the basslines I danced to, grooved to and smooched to, from Stomp and Don”t Stop Till You Get Enough and Wanna Be Starting Something, from I Keep Forgetting to Strawberry Letter 21, from One Hundred Ways to Human Nature.

Few people in the 1970s sported a shaven bald head and got away with it. For Telly Savalas is was the gimmick that brought him stardom; Isaac Hayes was to cool for hair anyway, and then there was Hot Chocolate”s Errol Brown, who pulled the bald look off with elegance. Hot Chocolate was an early example of a multi-racial group that enjoyed big mainstream success, at least in Britain and Europe. What is not so well known is that Brown and pals started out on The Beatles” Apple records after adapting Lennon”s Give Peace A Chance in reggae style.

English singer Lynn Ripley, who performed under the moniker Twinkle, caused a big stir briefly in 1964 with her song Terry, in which the eponymous character is a killed in a motorcycle accident. Although there was a whole genre dedicated to death songs in the US, the BBC was scandalised by the song”s supposed bad taste and banned it. The overreaction, of course, helped the sales of a song that wasn”t very good, reaching #4 in November 1964. The also self-penned follow-up single, Golden Lights, was much better, but stalled at #21 (it later was covered by The Smiths). It was Twinkle”s second and last hit; she was just 17. On Terry, Twinkle was backed by Jimmy Page on guitar and Bobby Graham on drums (he, of course, was the subject of The Bobby Graham Collection in April). I suspct they might have played on Golden Lights as well.

IM0515bThe man who brought the anthemic We Shall Overcome to the civil rights movement has followed his close collaborator Pete Seeger into the great peace rally in the sky. Guy Carawan, who has died at 87, was among those who loosely adapted Louise Shropshire”s gospel song If My Jesus Wills to become We Shall Overcome. As song leader of the of the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee, an adult education programme for trade union organisers which was engaged in the civil rights movement, Carawan introduced We Shall Overcome first to the unionist and then to the struggle for equal rights.

The key to the success of ABBA”s songs arguably was in their carefully crafted arrangements which framed Agnetha and Annifrid”s vocals (and occasionally Björn”s). One man who appeared on all of these arrangements “” at least those that required the use of the bass guitar “” was Rutger Gunnarsson, who has died at 69. He played on all ABBA”s albums as well as on their tours. From 1977 he arranged for the group (especially strings), and occasionally played percussions and guitar for them. After ABBA he worked in various roles with artists as diverse as Elton John , Adam Ant, Mireille Matthieu and Gwen Stefani, and also worked on stage productions such as Chess, Les Misérables and, of course, Mamma Mia.

He could have been the drummer of Led Zeppelin. At least, Mac Poole was asked by his friend Robert Plant to join the band which he was putting together with Jimmy Page. Poole didn”t take Plant up on the offer since he already had a band (and how many times haven”t we heard that story). Instead Poole found some success with early-“70s prog-rock band Warhorse, future Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman.

Unless you followed the music scene in Detroit closely or have a wide knowledge of jazz, the name Marcus Belgrave might mean little to you. You”ll have heard him blow his trumpet, though (albeit, as is the lot of trumpeters, in concert with others). Most famously, his trumpet was among those who issue that elephant cry in Marvin Gaye”s I Heard It Through The Grapevine. He played on several other Gaye hits; before that he had accompanied Ray Charles, including on his early live album, At Newport. He also played with Charles Mingus, Max Roach, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr., Dizzy Gillespie and John Sinclair. He was a professor of trumpet at Stanford and the Oberlin Conservatory, and tutored many successful jazz musicians.

John Tout, keyboardist of British prog-rock group Renaissance, on May 1
John Lennon ““ Crippled Inside (1971, on piano)
Renaissance – Closer Than Yesterday (1978)

Guy Carawan, 87, folk singer, musicologist and activist, on May 2
Guy Carawan – We Shall Overcome (live)

Craig Gruber, 63, bassist with Rainbow, Bible Black, Raven Lord, on May 5
Ritchie Blackmore”s Rainbow – Man On The Silver Mountain (1975)

Errol Brown, 71, singer of Hot Chocolate, on May 6
Hot Chocolate Band – Give Peace A Chance (1969)
Hot Chocolate – Brother Louie (1973)
Hot Chocolate – No Doubt About It (1980)

Jerome Cooper, 68, free jazz drummer and percussionist, on May 6

Rutger Gunnarsson, 69, bassist for ABBA, on May 8
Harpo – Rock & Roll Clown (1976, on bass)
Abba – The Name Of The Game (1977, on bass)
Abba – Dancing Queen (live) (released 1986, on bass)

Johnny Gimble, 88, country fiddler, on May 9
Marty Robbins – I”ll Go On Alone (1952, on fiddle)
Johnny Gimble – Fiddlin” Around (1980)

Bobby Jameson, 70, rock singer and songwriter, on May 10
Bobby Jameson ““ Vietnam (1966)

Lucy Fabery, 84, Puerto Rican jazz singer, on May 11

B.B. King, 89, blues legend, on May 14
B.B. King – Miss Martha King (1949)
B.B.King – Save A Seat For Me (1959)
B.B. King – Ghetto Woman (1970)
B.B. King – My Guitar Sings The Blues (1985)

Ortheia Barnes, 70, American R&B and jazz singer, on May 15
Ortheia Barnes – I”ve Never Loved Nobody (Like I Love You) (1967)

Flora MacNeil, 86, Scottish Gaelic singer, on May 16

Chinx, 31, rapper, shot dead on May 17

Elbert West, 47, country singer-songwriter, on May 18
Tracy Lawrence – Sticks And Stones (1991, as co-writer)

Bruce Lundvall, 79, former head of Blue Note, Elektra and Manhattan labels, on May 19

Bob Belden, 58, jazz saxophonist, composer, arranger, producer, on May 20
Bob Belden ““ The Black Daliah (2006)

Louis Johnson, 60, legendary bassist, on May 21
Brothers Johnson – I”ll Be Good To You (1976)
Brothers Johnson – Strawberrry Letter (1977)
Stanley Clarke & Louis Johnson – We Supply (1980)
Michael Jackson – Wanna Be Startin” Something (1983)

Mac Poole, 69, British drummer (Warhorse), on May 21
Warhorse – No Chance (1970)

Darius Minwalla, 39, drummer of The Posies, on May 21
The Posies – Second Time Around (2005)

Twinkle, 66, British singer-songwriter, on May 21
Twinkle – Golden Lights (1965)

Liv Marit Wedvik, 45, Norwegian country singer, drowned on May 23

Marcus Belgrave, 78, jazz trumpeter, on May 24
Ray Charles – What”d I Say (Parts 1 & 2) (1959, on trumpet)
Marvin Gaye – I Heard It Through The Grapevine (1968, on trumpet)

Rocky Frisco, 77, American pianist (J.J. Cale Band), on May 26
J.J. Cale – One Step (2004, on keyboard)

Art Thieme, 73, folk musician, on May 26

Mel Waiters, 58, soul singer, on May 28
Mel Waiters – How Can I Get Next To You? (2001)

Christer Jansson, 51, drummer of Swedish pop band Roxette, announced on May 28

Johnny Keating, 87, British musician, on May 28
Johnny Keating & his Orchestra – Theme from Z-Cars (1962)

(PW in comments)

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