New Music For Old People: David Bowie, Roy C., Boz Scaggs



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. “Dirty Boys” — David Bowie

This was totally unexpected for me. An excellent arrangement just skirting the avant garde, but the entire concept is just Bowie moving along, improvising along the way. I have been in his presence when he has played sax and suspect that might be him blowing away at the end.

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2. “Don’t Blame the Man” — Roy C.

A Georgia lad, Roy C. Hammond was born in Newington (wherever THAT is) in 1939. He had fringe hits here and there (the UK) throughout his long career, including a stint in The Genies from Long Island who had a hit called “Who’s That Knockin'” in 1958 when I was just starting out. But this is the song he is truly known for as Roy C. It’s on the verge of reggae but stops just short. Someone should do this reggae, it’s a natural. They probably did and I missed it. Lemme know if you know. This was out in 1971 and I still love to drag it out every now and then. Hope you like it.

3. “You Got Me Crying” — Boz Scaggs

This album is called Memphis but this track is a blatant emulation of Chicago’s Jimmy Reed. Jimmy had a unique guitar and harmonica sound that plastered many hits on the R&B charts and influenced many blues acts. I’m sure Dylan appropriated the harmonica rack around Reed’s neck so he could play guitar and harp at the same time as well. So I was surprised that the harmonica solo deviated sharply from the patented Jimmy Reed sound since Boz followed the blues-print up to that point.

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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