New Music For Old People: Fly, Streetlight Manifesto, Rick Vito

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. “Fly” — The Child of Lov

If you like “Gnarls Barkley meets sedated Sly Stone” you will surely enjoy this. The lyric is pretty gospel but the groove is basically un-religious and historical. This is one guy who shuns publicity, so I’ll judge him just by this track. He is GUILTY of reaching me before I knew it with some old tricks. Hope you share that experience with me. GREAT production, methinks…

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2. “With Any Sort of Certainty” — Streetlight Manifesto

I’m in it for the horns and the enthusiasm.

3. “A Change Is Gonna Come” — Rick Vito

In the early ’90s I became aware of a comparatively new genre called Sacred Steel. The trademark guitar seemed to be vocalizing and it required skilled slide playing and a little knowledgeable foot pedal action. It was primarily limited to the black gospel field and its foremost practitioners were The Campbell Bros. and Robert Randolph. There is a compendium CD on Arhoolie of selected tracks from that era you may enjoy if you like this. Rick Vito is a bluesy white man who’s been around this wacky business for decades. We were friendly when we both lived in Gnashville. This is his belated nod to Sacred Steel and is beautifully performed in an understated manner. A great way to close.

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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