New Music For Old People: Blodwyn Pig, Ry Cooder, Mark Knopfler



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. Blodwyn Pig – “See My Way”

Mick Abrahams, original Jethro Tull guitarist, could only tolerate Ian Anderson for their debut album and went right out and started this band with Andy Pyle (bass), Jack Lancaster (sax and flute), and Ron Berg (drums). This track from their first album, Ahead Rings Out, survives for me almost purely on attitude and dynamics. It sure conjures up everything musically about 1969 when it was first released. Alas, there was only one more expedition with this lineup, Getting to This, in 1970. But I do have a good memory for certain music. If you missed this originally, it still sounds as good today as it did in the drug-addled ’60s.

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2. Ry Cooder – “Dark End of the Street”

This Dan Penn tune was a good choice to re-record, and all parties aboard treat it as a new item. The audience is loving it and gets it back double from the stage. So the question is why does someone yell out my name at the very end? Cracked me up ’cause I knew by the first verse I was gonna put it in the column, but I didn’t expect an audience prompt! And no, I am not hearing someone calling out “Ry Cooder” … WEIRD! Fortunately this won’t go viral and my name will not join “Whipping Post” or “Free Bird” as a stock humorous catcall…

3. Mark Knopfler – “Go, Love”

Our third guitarist today is sorta back in his Dire Straits mentality on this track. And after mucho side roads on many albums, it’s good to have him there. He is tasty as ever, but in the background, the organ sounds unlike a Hammond and more like a toy. I like the concept of the player utilizing a pedal steel mentality in terms of the verse parts and intros, but I miss the real deal in the ending segment. BUT Mark has hit his mark here and I’m glad.

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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