New Music For Old People: Eva Cassidy, The Winery Dogs, James Maddock

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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. “Won’t Be Long” — Eva Cassidy

This song has always been in my Aretha Franklin top ten. It’s from her very first album produced by John Hammond Sr. and composed by J Leslie MacFarland, a great R&B writer from the ’50s and ’60s. And Eva truly covers it; she doesn’t miss even the tiniest lick in Aretha’s version. Then why play it, you may ask. Because Eva had a different voice than Aretha’s and as time goes by it is just as enjoyable to listen to as Ms. Franklin’s. The band is better on Mr. Hammond’s version, however. Pity we lost Eva at such a young age and a blessing that Aretha just keeps on chooglin’.

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2. “Regret” — The Winery Dogs

It’s a supergroup: Billy Sheehan, bassist from Mr. Big; Ritchie Kotzen, guitarist and singer from Poison AND Mr. Big; and Mike Portnoy, leader and drummer of Dream Academy for 25 years. They’re all great musicians from Metal-Land and Kotzen is a great singer in the Paul Rodgers vein. I think they tried too hard on their first album but this is one of the simpler tracks. If they can control themselves on the second album, they could be gigantic. Try it on and if it fits — rock it!

3. “If I Had a Son” — James Maddock

James has become a friend. He’s a great singer-songwriter, but just under the national volume to be heard. He makes good albums and this is from Another Life — although this is just him and his acoustic. His band is great but they were having a smoke when this track was cut. Good writing, singing and playing will eventually be heard and put him in the limelight.

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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