New Music For Old People: Stephanie McKay, Tank, Anberlin



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. Stephanie McKay – “This Letter”

The guitars in the intro sorta hide the fact this is an R&B track, but the drums soon come to the rescue as the song itself begins. It is a subject matter that has been covered many times before, although this one is a true contender because of the comparative honesty of the lyric and the artist’s performance. Her hubby is overseas fighting and she and their offspring need him back home. Been done before. But I almost believe this one. Her performance is not a super standout, but it is eminently believable — no small trick in today’s R&B. I feel that she has that standout performance within her and I can’t wait to hear it. Meanwhile, this will surely do…

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2. Tank – “Stronger”

This is modern R&B with a nod to the ’70s kind in his vocal approach. This is a nice piece of material, especially the chorus, and Tank wraps his rangy voice around it quite well. I admit I am a sucker for a well-done R&B ballad with personality and this one sure does qualify. Put Tank in your tank and you’ll go to the audio bank. No need for any thank.

3. Anberlin – “Unstable”

Often erroneously tagged as a Christian band—probably because the lead singer’s last name is Christian as is the guitarist’s first name—these rockers started out in Winter Haven, Florida in 2002. They released albums in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2012 and their final album in 2014. I rarely heard of them, but they sold albums and had top-tenners. Comparatively, they made good albums. I think over the years, I downloaded three of their songs. This is my favorite one overall.

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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