Friday, August 29, 2008

The Undertones - Jump Boys

Rock and Roll used to be really great. This is what it sounded like:

The Undertones - Jump Boys (buy)

Dig the bass solo. Also great is the guitar part leading into the bass solo.

Read about The Undertones.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

More Flying Burrito Brothers "Originals"

You may have noticed that I've been in the process of posting the original version of every song covered by Gram Parsons and his various bands (The International Submarine Band, The Byrds, and The Flying Burrito Brothers). Here are six songs covered by The Flying Burrito Brothers that I neglected to include in my first Flying Burrito Brothers post.

To my knowledge, the FBB cover versions of these songs were all studio outtakes first appearing on the Sleepless Nights compilation. While some of them may not be widely identified with the Flying Burrito Brothers, they are all absolutely killer songs.

1. George Jones – Your Angel Steps out of Heaven (out of print)
2. Ray Price - Crazy Arms (buy)
3. Buck Owens - Together Again (buy) (More at Sundazed Music).
4. The Rolling Stones - Honky Tonk Women (buy)
5. Porter Wagoner - Green, Green Grass of Home (buy)
6. Joe Maphis - Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud, Loud Music) (out of print)

See also:
The Safe At Home Originals
The Original Sweetheart Of The Rodeo
The Flying Burrito Brothers Originals, Part I

(Note: Three originals covered by the FBB on the Sleepless Nights LP have already been posted in this series and three more--Gram Parsons solo outtakes--will be posted in the final installment.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Jazz 101: The Miles Davis Quintet

One of the most storied groups in this history of jazz, The Miles Davis Quintet played together for only a short period from 1955-1957--but they were some very good years!

In this post I call your attention to four must-own releases from the Quintet. These LPs were culled from two recording sessions. They're impressive because of the familiarity born out of playing so many live dates together. Read the reviews and check out the samples below.

Five Superb Musicians
Miles Davis (Trumpet)
John Coltrane (Tenor Sax)
Red Garland (Piano)
Paul Chambers (Bass)
Philly Joe Jones (Drums)
Two Legendary Recording Sessions
Four Great Albums
Cookin' With The Miles Davis Quintet
Relaxin' With The Miles Davis Quintet
Workin' With The Miles Davis Quintet
Steamin' With The Miles Davis Quintet

Here is one number from each album:

The Miles Davis Quintet - My Funny Valentine (buy Cookin')
The Miles Davis Quintet - Oleo (buy Relaxin')
The Miles Davis Quintet - It Never Entered My Mind (buy Workin')
The Miles Davis Quintet - Well, You Needn't (buy Steamin')

I believe that all four albums are available for a very reasonable price at E-Music (a service worth checking out).

If you are interested in jazz trumpet, then please visit my recent "jazz" post over at the Star Maker Machine blog, which include a song from another great LP by the Miles Davis Quintet:

Four Trumpeters From The Golden Age Of Jazz

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Fakebook Originals

A long time ago an obscure "band" from New Jersey recorded a wonderful little collection of obscure songs from an even longer time ago (with a few of their own compositions thrown in for good measure). That band grew up to be Yo La Tengo.

Yo La Tengo's wonderful little collection of tunes appeared on a gem of an album called Fakebook, which has long been a favorite of mine. This weeked I finally decided to dig up all of the original versions of the songs covered on Fakebook. Most of them I already had, but special thanks go out to Dean, Lance, and Robert for sending over that hard-to-find Escorts track. Thanks guys!

The eleven tracks lovingly covered on Fakebook are the kind of music known to cause giddiness among record store clerks. It's a veritable music nerd’s dream. The Fakebook liner notes (re-printed here along with a nice album review) confirm that Yo La Tengo's Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley are avid fans of obscure pop, which explains why this collection so nice. Out of all the “original” album posts at STWOF, I think the “original” Fakebook probably stands up best, on its own terms, as a mixed collection. These songs, which span a two-decade period from 1963 to 1985, sound great together (even if you’ve never heard YLT's Fakebook).

So, without further ado, here are the Fakebook “originals.” (As usual, these aren’t all the very first versions of the songs, but we know from the liner notes that these are the versions which inspired Yo La Tengo):

1. The Unholy Modal Rounders - Griselda (buy). [Check out Brendan’s album review of the Have Moicy! LP over at The Rising Storm.]

2. The Tremeloes – Here Comes My Baby (buy) [Read the AMG band biography.]

3. The Scene Is Now – Yellow Sarong (buy) [Read the AMG album review.]

4. The Flamin’ Groovies – You Tore Me Down (buy) [Read the AMG album review about this power pop classic.]

5. Rex Garvin & The Mighty Cravers - Emulsified (Out Of Print). [Read more about Rex Garvin & The Mighty Cravers at Funky 16 Corners.]

6. Daniel Johnston – Speeding Motorcycle (buy) [Read the AMG artist biography.]

7. The Flying Burrito Brothers – Tried So Hard (buy) [While the original Gene Clark version (here) is the gold standard, the FBB version is really growing on me. It's nice and easy. Read the AMG album review.]

8. The Kinks – Oklahoma U.S.A. (buy) [Yay! As you may know, I love the Kinks best. Read the AMG album review.]

9. The Escorts – The One To Cry (buy) [As I mentioned, this one was hard to find. The Escorts get trashed pretty badly by AMG--and even in the Fakebook liner notes!--but I like this track.]

10. John Cale - Andalucia (buy) [Read the AMG album review.]

11. NRBQ – What Can I Say? (buy) [Read the AMG album review. This is a great end-of-the-night song.]

Now enjoy a couple of the original composition appearing on Fakebook:

Yo La Tengo – Can’t Forget
Yo La Tengo – The Summer

(buy Fakebook)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Writer's Block: Shel Silverstein - Updated

Shel Silverstein was a modern-day renaissance man. Among his many accomplishments, he was (1) a frequent contributor to Playboy magazine during its glory days, (2) a noted author and illustrator of children's books, and (3) both a singer and an illustrious songwriter.

You know a lot of his songs, but you may not realize that Shel Silverstein wrote all of them them. His three most famous compositions are The Cover Of The Rolling Stone by Dr. Hook, A Boy Named Sue by Johnny Cash, and The Unicorn by just about every "Irish" band on St. Patrick's Day.

Dr. Hook – The Cover Of The Rolling Stone (buy)
Johnny Cash - A Boy Named Sue (buy)

Duly enshrined as a member of the Nashville Songwriters Foundation Hall of Fame, Silverstein was responsible for authoring scores of excellent country songs, including these three:

Loretta Lynn - One's On The Way (buy)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Once More With Feeling (buy)
Tompall Glaser – Put Another Log on the Fire (Male Chauvinist National Anthem) (buy)

Heck, he even wrote a Gordon Lightfoot song:

Gordon Lightfoot - On Susan's Floor (buy)

Earlier this year, Water Records re-released three of Shel's albums: Hairy Jazz, Inside Folk Songs, and Boy Named Sue And His Other Country Songs. All of them are very entertaining.

Shel Silverstein - Ragged But Right (buy) (This one is credited to George Jones, but Shel gives it a good interpretation.)
Shel Silverstein - The Unicorn (buy)
Shel Silverstein - Boy Named Sue (buy)

The one thing I love best about Shel Silverstein's work is great sense of humor. For more information, check out

Robert from Reno just sent over this great Silverstein song that tell's about the boy named Sue from the absentee father's perspective:

Shel Silverstein - The Father Of A Boy Named Sue

And thanks to Matt, we have yet another:

Shel Silverstein - A Front Row Ticket To See Old Johnny Play.

Thanks guys!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Flying Burrito Brothers "Originals"

I've already posted the Safe At Home and Sweetheart Of The Rodeo "originals." Now it's time for the "original" versions of the covers recorded by The Flying Burrito Brothers during the Gram Parsons era (1969-1970).

[I realize that the Burrito's version of Wild Horses was released before The Stones' version, but it's still a Jagger/Richards composition, so that's close enough.]

These "originals" show the R&B/Honky-Tonk/Rock mixture that inspired the Burrito's innovative country-rock style.

From The Gilded Palace Of Sin:

1. Aretha Franklin - Do Right Woman, Do Right Man (buy)
2. James Carr - Dark End Of The Street (buy)

From Burrito Deluxe:

3. Conway Twitty - Image Of Me (buy)
4. Bob Dylan - If You Gotta Go, Go Now (buy)
5. Hank Williams - Farther Along
6. The Rolling Stones - Wild Horses (buy)

From Hot Burritos! Compilation:

7. Dave Dudley - Six Days On The Road (buy)
8. Buck Owens - Close Up The Honky Tonks (buy)
9. George Hamilton IV - Break My Mind (buy)
10. Merle Haggard - Sing Me Back Home (buy)
11. Merle Haggard - The Bottle Let Me Down (buy)
12. The Bee Gees - To Love Somebody (buy) (This one is great!)


The Box Tops - Break My Mind (buy) (This version was released around the same time as George Hamilton IV's more well-known version of John D. Loudermilk's tune.)

Jerry Lee Lewis - Break My Mind (buy) (Included just because I like Jerry Lee so much.)

Sam Cooke - Farther Along (buy) (Here's a nice gospel rendition from one of the alltime greats.)

Mississippi John Hurt - Farther Along (buy) (And here's a rootsier version.)

See also:
The Safe At Home Originals
The Original Sweetheart Of The Rodeo

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Public Service Announcement

Avoid this stuff:
The Champs – Tequila (buy)

Shelly West - Jose Cuervo (buy) "Tomorrow might be painful, but tonight we're gonna fly..."

Bobby Bare - Tequila Sheila (buy)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Video: Bill Monroe - Blue Moon Of Kentucky

Start your week with a little Bill Monroe:

Thursday, August 07, 2008

There She Goes Again

One of my favorite new country artists, Ms. Caitlin Rose, has a brand new limited-edition EP in the stores called Gorilla Man.

The new release is a cleverly-packaged 7" vinyl EP featuring four songs, three of which appeared in different form on her debut EP called Dead Flowers. Here, on Gorilla Man, Ms. Rose is backed by a full country band. This instrumentation particularly suits the first track on side B, Answer In One Of These Bottles, which is a nice honky-tonk-style drinking song.

Caitlin Rose - Answer In One Of These Bottles (buy)

I've speculated before that Caitlin Rose has a bright future. Someday this very-limited edition 7" will be a nice collector's item. So, get it while supplies last!

Earlier Posts to Check Out:
Entertaining Caitlin Rose interview and mix tape
Review of Dead Flowers EP
Me raving about Caitlin!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Safe At Home "Originals" (Updated)

Before joining The Byrds for Sweetheart Of The Rodeo, Gram Parsons (and what was left of the International Submarine Band) recorded another album of country rock called Safe At Home.

The ten song LP included six covers and four new songs written by Parsons. Here are some earlier versions of the cover songs:

1. Merle Haggard – Somebody Else You've Known (buy)
2. Porter Wagoner - A Satisfied Mind (buy)
3. Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison Blues (buy)
4. Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup - That's All Right (buy)
5. Bobby Bare - Miller's Cave (buy)
6. Johnny Cash - I Still Miss Someone (buy)

Bonus tracks:
Uncle Tupelo - Blue Eyes (buy) (Here's a great cover of a Parsons' original from Safe At Home.)

Hank Snow - Miller's Cave (buy) (You may prefer this over the Bobby Bare version. I don't, but it's still good. More importantly: Does anybody have the Dickey Lee version? It was the first one, but it's out of print and I've never heard it. Please send it over if you have it.)

Elvis Presley - That's All Right (Mama) (buy) (This is almost certainly the version that inspired the ISB's cover.)

Marty Robbins - Knee Deep In The Blues (buy) (The ISB's cover of this hit is included as a bonus track on the CD re-issue of Safe At Home.)

See also:
The Original Sweetheart Of The Rodeo

*** UPDATE!***
Thanks to loyal STWOF reader Dave, you can now hear Dickey Lee's version of Miller’s Cave (which I believe was the first recorded version).

Dickey Lee – Miller’s Cave (out of print).

Dickey Lee did not write Miller’s Cave (that was Jack Clement), but he did write one of the all-time great country songs, She Thinks I Still Care. He also sang one of the most bizarre pop hits of the 1960’s, Laurie (Strange Things Happen).

Thanks Dave!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Laura Cantrell's Guest Post at Boogie Woogie Flu

photo by Ted Barron

One of my favorite artists, Laura Cantrell, has just posted an entertaining and educational rant over at Boogie Woogie Flu about the dearth of female artists in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

[Check It Out!]

Here are my earlier posts about Laura Cantrell:
Queen Of The Coast
Indoor Fireworks

Here is a great song from Laura Cantrell (covering Amy Allison):

Laura Cantrell – The Whiskey Makes You Sweeter (buy)