New Music For Old People: Storyville, Joe Pug, Mapei

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. “The Bluest Eyes” — Storyville

This was a great, bluesy Austin, Texas band in the mid-’90s. In the band were Stevie Ray Vaughn’s bassist and drummer Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton, a double-barreled, double-David guitar section of David Grissom and David Holt, and the great vocals of blond-haired Afro-American singer Malford Milligan. This was the title song of their debut album and I still give it a good listen every now and then. There are some great live videos of them on YouTube as well.

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2. “Stay and Dance” – Joe Pug

A grass-rootster originally from Greenbelt(!), Maryland, he went to a college or two, worked a a carpenter, and eventually became a folk singer for lack of a better description. I like this track for its basicness, a couple of guitars and a vocal recorded pristinely and sung well. The lyric is a play on the phrase “dance with the one who brung ya” and all in all, it’s a pleasant listen and a well-written song.

3. “Don’t Wait” – Mapei

Odd things happen because I hear these tracks with no info provided, plus I only get to hear 90 seconds before coughing up my $1.29. So here there was this weird artist name and more electronica than I can usually tolerate. What got me was the melody, lyric and delivery of the lines “if it wasn’t for you I’d be alone, if it wasn’t for you, I’d be on my own.” It just worked great and I thought I would like to own this strange track that had seduced me with the enclosed section. I NEVER thought until I just researched it that it was a WOMAN singing. And her story is strange. She was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1983 and namd Jacqueline Mapei Cummings. Her Liberian mother and Swedish stepfather moved to Stockholm and stayed there for the school semesters and would then summer in the US. She returned totally to the US when she turned 18 and lived in Brooklyn. She stayed for three years, even living with Lykke Li (!) for awhile and decided to return to Sweden and get involved in electronica. Ultimately, this is the result. This single came out around 2010 and made a lotta noise in the electronica world. Her first album Hey Hey came out in 2014 and she even sang on Letterman. She says her main influences are Radiohead, Donna Summer, Missy Elliott, Diana Ross, Queens of the Stone Age, and Michael Jackson.

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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