Song 80, Friday, 9/13/2013 -- Bring Stones by Hugh Blumenfeld, who also wrote the song. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The YT video visual is just a still of the Barehanded cover, but while you won't see a whole lot if you play the video, you will hear a really good song. Friday being Friend's Day, today's post is from my friend Hugh Blumenfeld. I actually got to hear him do this one at a Fast Folk concert in Manhattan a short time before I met him, and I really liked the song on first hearing it. The song has very evocative lyrics, but it also has a strong and solid musical setting for those lyrics, which is something folk songs too often lack.
Song 79, Thursday, 9/12/2013 -- Revival by The Allman Brothers Band, written by Dickey Betts. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. When I landed in Atlanta in June of '71, I had never heard of The Allman Brothers, but it didn't take long for that to change -- you couldn't hang out on The Strip in Atlanta in the summer of 1971 without hearing and knowing about them. They were superstars in Atlanta, even though at the time you might not hear much about them in Chicago. In the middle of that summer, their 3rd LP, which was a 2-record live set called At Fillmore East, appeared all over the radio and record stores in Atlanta, and the brothers were even bigger. I heard all their records a lot that summer, because most of the people I knew there had them and listened to them a lot, so by the end of the summer I knew the music of The Allman Brothers very well. This song opens their second LP, Idewild South and hearing it might take you to a time when songwriters wrote lines like People can you feel it -- love is everywhere. That was a good time for music, and for believing in the power of love.
Song 77, Tuesday, 9/10/2013 -- Space Cowboy by Steve Miller Band, written by Steve Miller and Ben Sidran. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The YT video visual is just a still of the Brave New World cover, but you'll hear a really good song even if you won't see much by playing the video. If you only know Steve Miller as The Joker, you might not know just how good his first few albums were. When I first heard this song in the fall of 1969, not long after its release, it sounded to me like Miller just took the Lady Madonna riff, wrote another song around it and signed his name to it. I wondered why the Beatles would let Miller get away with it, but at the time I didn't know how much the Lady Madonna riff owes to a '50s jazz tune called Bad Penny Blues. Paul McCartney hasn't been shy about admitting where he got the inspiration for his riff, but at the time he was shy about playing drums and bass plus doing some background vocals for the Brave New World album, so his contributions were credited to Paul Ramon. All that aside, Steve Miller took that riff and rocked it a lot harder than the Beatles, also adding some other wonderful sounds plus some really stong lyrics, so long before I found out about Bad Penny Blues, I had forgiven Mr. Miller for copping the riff.
Song 75, Sunday, 9/8/2013 -- All Strung Out Over You by The Chambers Brothers, written by R. Clark. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The YT video visual is just a still of the album cover The Time Has Come, but play the video and you might not see much but you'll hear a really good song. I always liked the way this song starts on the second beat, but at first it sounds as if it's the first beat, and then it takes a musical turn that shows where the beat really is. The Chambers Brothers had a big hit in '68 with Time Has Come Today but I missed it, and I only caught up with them a couple of years later. When, a couple of years after that, I finally got the album, it had a lot more good stuff on it than I had expected, and this track especially -- this song, which opens the record, became an instant favorite the first time I played the LP.
Song 74, Saturday, 9/7/2013 -- Darkness Darkness by The Youngbloods, written by Jessie Colin Young. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The YT video visual is just a still of a Youngbloods album cover, but if you play the video, you'll hear a very good song even if you won't see much. Back to my All Time Favorites 1 cassette, this song was all over the radio in the fall of 1969, and it got a lot of airplay over the next 2 or 3 years. Despite all of that radio attention, I never got tired of hearing it, and was happy to finally get a copy of Elephant Mountain so I could hear it any time I wanted. As a songwriter, there are thousands of songs that I like listening to, and I admire the craft involved in so many of them, but I also have a small group, of maybe a couple of dozen songs, that I admire so much, I have a special category called I Wish I'd Written That. This song is one of those -- in the poetic lyrics I hear layers of meanings and deep reflections, all riding on a musical frame that feels just as poetic.
Song 73, Friday, 9/6/2013 -- Raised to Be a Lady by Carol Denney, who also wrote the song. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. Friday being Friend's Day, I decided to put up another song by my Berkeley friend Carol Denney. The YouTube video shows Carol performing this song at Berkeley's Freight and Salvage. If you like this song, it appears on her CD Cruel Lullaby and you can find out more about that here. I like all 3 of Carol's CD, and I listen to them a lot. In this song she gives her take on traditional ladies roles, with wit and some fine blues picking.
Song 71, Wednesday, 9/4/2013 -- World in Changes by Dave Mason, who also wrote the song. You can find a YouTube video of the song here. The YT video visual is just a still graphic, but if you play the video, you'll hear a moving live performance of a really good song even if you won't see anything moving. Dave Mason's first solo album Alone Together has a lot of good songs, many of which I heard on the radio in the fall of 1970, and this one became an instant favorite from the first time I heard it. It seemed like a truly appropriate song for that time of my life, as I had a lot to learn then, about people in general and a couple of women in particular, or maybe more than a couple.