New Music For Old People: Hugh Laurie, KT Tunstall, Churchill

Al Kooper

Al Kooper

This column is like the title says — its intention is to fill the gap for those of us who were satiated musically in the ’60s and then searched desperately as we aged for music we could relate to and get the same buzz from nowadaze. iTunes was the answer for me in 2003 and I have been following the new releases every Tuesday ever since I realized there was an endless stream of music I could enjoy there.

I also include older items that I felt were obscure originally and might not have been heard back then. The reason I am writing this column is to make sure others don’t miss this wonderful music. These are not top ten items; but they SHOULD’VE been!

1. Hugh Laurie – “Vicksburg Blues”

First of all, this is NOT House music. Sooo the TV star made a blues album in 2011 titled Let Them Talk. I believe it was universally panned by the critics. His fans probably bought it anyway. I don’t watch his show so I knew nothing. That album didn’t grab me so I just let it lay. So two years later he releases ANOTHER blues album (Didn’t It Rain) at a dollar MORE. So I roll my eyes and go in for an iTunes listen. And guess what? I like this track — so sue me.

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2. KT Tunstall – “The Boys of Summer”

If this surprised me, you can imagine how shocked Don Henley must’ve been. First of all, I don’t recall many Eagles/Henley covers out there, as that faction labored for years to make ‘perfect’ records and then they sold more albums than anyone else ever did. Why would ANYONE wanna cover THAT? KT Tunstall has had an up and down career but has impressed me as being a talented singer-songwriter. Her first album, Eye to the Telescope, made her many friends all over the world. She was known for writing original songs that didn’t particularly imitate anyone before her — a unique presence in 2005. So it’s ironic that she covered THIS song, but I think I know why. When a woman sings it, some of the lyric takes on a different meaning. Certainly the title means something different than when Henley sang it. I always thought he was referring to the baseball season. In her version, I think it could mean dalliances she might have had; whereas I’m positive Henley didn’t mean any secret gay alliances. So congrats to KT for taking what looked like a doomed idea and making something really original out of it. And for having the balls to do it without a drum kit playing — a secret message to Henley?

3. Churchill – “Gone Too Long”

This is their second appearance in this column and in the first track, female participant Bethany Kelly sang a great lead. Now there is a male lead here but Kelly sometimes doubles the vocal or sings a single harmony so she’s really not far from the front. Maybe there’ll be duets in their future. This band can become MAJOR if each successive album gets better. I’m already a fan.

This column originally appeared on The Morton Report. Click for more great selections from Al Kooper! As always, show some love to the Morton Report!

Photo Credit: Joe Mabel [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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