New Music For Old People: Graham Central Station, The Marvelettes, Albert King

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. “It’s the Engine In Me” — Graham Central Station

This is vintage GCS and a paean to the legend of soulster Larry Graham. Co-creator of the Family Stone sound and originator of the slap-bass style, he’s ingrained in the correct history books. Here’s a good reason why. Amazing singing (especially in the fade) as well as bass playing, I can recall having to stop my session once at Sausalito (CA) Record Plant because Larry was recording a bass part in the studio next to me through FOUR Marshall bass amps and it was so loud they probably had to cancel classes at all Sausalito public schools that afternoon. Here’s what that sounds like now.

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2. “Destination Anywhere” — The Marvelettes

From the glory days of Motown comes this overlooked gem of yesteryear. I love the concept of the lyric: a girl goes up to a ticket window at a train station and asks for a ticket. The agent says, “Where to?” and therein begins the story that maybe a few can relate to. A great record that doesn’t deserve to be extinct.

3. “Like a Road Leading Home” — Albert King

One of the best vocals ever by the famed guitar-slinger of the ‘70s, it is also the one destination the above Marvelettes DON’T wanna go to. I love his vocal on this; it was rare you could REALLY hear his heart and soul vocally eclipse his guitar playing. Lefties rule! And the subject matter of this song’s title takes us to the end of another week of good listening. See ya next week!

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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