New Music for Old People: Divine Fits, Jerry Lee Lewis, David Byrne and St. Vincent

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!

Below is a jukebox containing all the songs I picked this week. After you read about them below, go back and listen to whatever you like by just clicking on that title in the jukebox, or stream the whole playlist by clicking on the “play” icon at the top. It’s free and it’s the entire song. We’re not selling anything. We’re just in the business of hopefully making your days better by listening to great music.

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1. “Ain’t That the Way” — Divine Fits (3:31)

This is sort of a cross between the Cars and the Stones, especially on the Keith Richards end. I have always fallen for this groove if the guitars were right and so they are — here. This band consists of one guy from Spoon, another from Wolf Parade, and one from New Bomb Turks: Britt Daniel, Dan Boeckner, and Sam Brown. There must be at least one more tour guy if they wanna do this live and be as good as the record. I think this could turn into something if they can turn their backs on their other bands. Spoon’s new album got good reviews but I don’t know how sales were. This is a good track. I would hang in there.

2. “The Mississippi Kid” — Jerry Lee Lewis (2:58)

If you told me in 1959 when I was a Royal Teen and gawking from the wings of stages watching my heroes (Jerry Lee, Buddy Holly, Jackie Wilson, Larry Williams, etc) that one of them would record a song my name was on, I would’ve laughed my ass off. And now, 56 years later, it’s actually happened. There are a few miracles involved here: Jerry Lee is still alive and kickin’ the piano stool and I co-wrote this with Lynyrd Skynyrd when I produced their first album. Jerry’s daughter is a HUGE Skynyrd fan and I suspect that is how this came to be. The Killer has outlived them all and will be 80 at the end of this September. His energy level and his voice are a little lower but God bless him if The Killer still allows that sorta thang.

3. “Who” — David Byrne and St. Vincent (3:37)

This was from a duet album that came out about a year or two ago, Love This Giant. I have used other tracks from it in past columns. There was a very strong horn presence on this album and the arrangements were GREAT. This is a perfect example and the two of their vocal sounds really complement each other. My son was the first Byrne fan in the family. I didn’t get David until “Once In a Lifetime.” My son Brian was all over “Psycho Killer” but I didn’t get it. Just shows to go ya. Now THIS I totally get and enjoy repeated listens after two years. You roool, David!

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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2 comments to “New Music for Old People: Divine Fits, Jerry Lee Lewis, David Byrne and St. Vincent”
  1. Thanks for that Byrne and St. Vincent exposure. It’s a chillin’ groove. Like your son, I really like Psycho Killer and Talking Heads greatest hits, “Sand in the Vaseline” never goes too long without a hear. Great compliment even though sometimes Byrne comes across to me as having too much “intellectual arrogance” for his own good.

  2. I’ve gotten a lot of folks into the David Byrne/St. Vincent collab. It’s a good entryway into Byrne’s solo stuff without delving too deeply into the theatrical scores.

    For those of you who are just getting introduced to this, I highly recommend his projects with Eno as well.

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