New Music For Old People: Sean Rowe, Conor Oberst and Gillian Welch, Jem



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. Sean Rowe – “Shine My Diamond Ring”

With a busker’s spirit, Sean jumps into this one and tears it apart completely prior to the ending. I love the spirit of this and his guitar playing is great. This is someone to keep your eye on. He’s from Troy, New York and really enjoys doing house concerts at the moment. REALLY?

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2. Conor Oberst and Gillian Welch – “Lua”

This is so well done on every level. First off, it’s a masterpiece of songwriting and it’s underplayed by the musicians so that the song is king. The duo’s voices work well together and you wanna know every word in the lyric almost immediately. This is very special. I think Conor did this originally with his band Bright Eyes. This is the version to have. God bless Gillian Welch and whomever is playing the guitars on this track.

3. Jem – “Crazy”

As usual, there is a strong R&B spin on this Jem track. I love the fact that there is a two-guitar rhythm thing going on, kinda like Nile Rodgers, but instead of two guitars, one is a freaking BANJO. It is so refreshing to hear an R&B banjo. Jem has a lyrical penchant for telling guys to take a hike and this is no exception. If she were aiming this at me, the desired result would be achieved immediately after the first chorus. I don’t stick around to be told these things twice. I like Jem. She’s pretty consistent with the well-made records and the good songs.

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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