New Music For Old People: Seasick Steve, Paul Carrack, Kenny Rogers feat. Dolly Parton

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. “Home” — Seasick Steve

A big hit in the UK, Steve is actually an American senior citizen born in Oakland, California in 1941. He is a roughshod man who had a ramblin’ life as a carny worker, a cowboy, and migrant worker. He dabbled in audio engineering in the 1980s and actually produced Modest Mouse’s first album. A blues and folk musician at heart, he built his own instruments and got discovered in Paris and London when busking. He began the full musician’s life in 2006 with the release of his first album, A Dog’s Life. To my ears he is a combo of Billy Gibbons and Ry Cooder and that’s certainly not a bad thing. I have become a fan of his singing and guitar playing and this is a track from his latest album, Hubcap Music, and a great opener for this week.

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2. “Love Is Thicker Than Water” — Paul Carrack

Paul Carrack was born in 1951 and bounced from group to group starting in the ’70s. In the band Ace he warbled their big hit “How Long” and got people’s attention while in Squeeze with “Tempted.” His best stint was in Mike and The Mechanics, which showed him off on “Silent Running,” “The Living Years,” and “Over My Shoulder.” He then played and sang with Roger Waters (post-Floyd) live and on his albums Radio K.A.O.S and The Wall Live in Berlin. After that, the solo albums began and they can be cherry-picked to expose some wonderful singing and writing. As a writer his songs have been recorded by Diana Ross, Tom Jones, Michael McDonald and Jools Holland. This is from his 2010 album, I Know That Name. Love this…

3. “You Can’t Make Old Friends” — Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton

These two voices, memorable from at least “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” and “Jolene,” blend effortlessly on this clever lyric from Kenny’s latest album. He lost me in his “Gambler” period, but before that I was a big fan of the sound of his voice with just that tiny touch of gruffness. I still listen to Dolly’s latest albums and will never tire of that woman.

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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