New Music For Old People: Bruce Scott, The Kitchen Cinq, Mickey Thomas

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. “You Can’t Lose Something That You Never Had” — Bruce Scott

This was my first Bacharach-influenced song and it has many Burt-like tricks in it. This version is one of my favorite covers — it’s a great arrangement, well-produced and a nice sounding vocal. I will always love this although it is about as obscure as possible.

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2. “The Street Song” aka “New York’s My Home” — The Kitchen Cinq

In early ‘65 I wrote this strange song with many different parts in it. My publisher liked it so much he recorded me singing it with a studio full of musicians led by the great musician/arranger Artie Butler. The publisher, Aaron Schroeder, put it out on one of his labels and nobody paid much attention to it. Then a west coast group on Lee Hazelwood’s label covered it and did a pretty good job. The original is on my album Rare and Well Done. Both versions are pretty rare. I think this one was more well done than mine. Mine was comparatively RAW, rawther than well done

3. “Lost Control” — Mickey Thomas

This is from a jam album I did in 1982 called Championship Wrestling. I had other vocalists sing on the album because at that time I was getting bad vocal criticism quite often and was getting bored with it. I hoped this would quell that, but NOBODY heard this album when it came out and it’s generally considered my least-selling solo album. It was a collaboration between uber-producer Bill Szymczyk (pronounced sim’-zick), Steely Dan/Doobies guitarist Jeff Baxter and myself. It was my only solo album I didn’t produce. It was sort of like a soul, R&B version of Super Session. I wrote the song when I lived in Atlanta in 1972 and it was a true story. I wrote the entire lyric on a plane between the two coasts. Mickey, who worked with Bill on “Fooled Around and Fell In Love,” was the perfect vocalist for this song. It was also covered by Leo Sayer (!) on his Here album in the ’80s as well. With Joe Vitale on drums, George ‘Chocolate’ Perry on bass, Paul Harris on piano, Jeff Baxter on guitar and yours truly on organ, I feel it was played to perfection — a big fave of mine that I haven’t heard in a long time. Thanks to Simzick for making it all come together back then over me.

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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