New Music For Old People: James Griffin, Little Feat, Glenn Frey

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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. “She Knows” — James Griffin

This is the original version of the song the late Richard Manuel sang his poor heart out on but I wonder how he heard it. James was a slice of the group Bread but not being the lead singer most of the time didn’t propel his name as far as David Gates. Nonetheless he wrote and sang this originally and inspired Richard Manuel to cover it. Took me a lot of time and stale Bread albums to uncover this.

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2. “Candyman Blues” — Little Feat

For people not raised in the Crescent City, these guys can play music of this sort as if they were raised on it. Bill Payne’s piano solo alone is worth a listen to this. And there are many reasons why they have outlasted The Grateful Dead (their Jerry Garcia — Lowell George — passed away as well) but they are still on the road as I type this. One of my top ten faves and they ALWAYS let me sit in when I can ambulate to one of their shows.

3. “Let’s Go Home” — Glenn Frey

This is pretty bizarre. An Eagle imagines himself a fox, as crafty country rock legend Frey lets loose an Al Green persona on his 1984 solo disc The Allnighter. He almost pulls it off but is stalled by the exacting perfection used commonly in Eagles productions as opposed to the Memphis players’ relaxed grooves under the eye and ear of Al Green producer Willie Mitchell. Frey sings almost entirely in a lower falsetto emulating Green. The singing is pretty darn good but Willie Mitchell’s less exacting touch is sorely missing. Nonetheless, the voice leads you through and it is NOT an unpleasant experience by any means. Maybe I’m just too critical here — so sit back with someone special and disprove me. Meanwhile, until next week — let’s go home.

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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