This month marks the twentieth anniversary of a groundbreaking album made largely by the seat of Ry Cooder’s pants. A year earlier, Cooder had been invited to Cuba by a British producer to make an album comprised of Mali and Cuban musicians. But the Mali musicians had not received their visas and couldn’t make the trip to Havana. Undeterred, Cooder and his cohorts recruited local musicians, many of whom had been playing for decades at the 1950s era member-only Buena […]
The first year of school is in the books. Luke finished pre -K today and he passed with flying colors, a kid who “has a positive attitude toward school and learning,” according to his teacher’s year-end report. “Luke likes to do things the right way. He is very social and loves to help others.” It shows. In his first year, Luke has rarely complained about school. He looked forward to going most every morning, and got in the car happy […]
There was a moment in the mid ’90s — somewhere between “Pulp Fiction,” Dick Dale’s revival and Soundgarden — when surf-guitar and grunge existed in roughly the same orbit. Nowhere is that kinship stronger than on this two-minute blast from the Breeders, one of several artists who kept me company while on the road the last two days.
The 1970s were sure a good time to be a cornpone goofball. Jerry Reed, Burt Reynolds and Dom Deloise were big at the box office. Jerry Clower was killin’ it on the comedy circuit. “Hee Haw” and “Starsky and Hutch” were prime-time TV staples. And it was the Golden Era of the Novelty Song. Ray Stevens hit it big with “The Streak,” Leroy Pullins gave us “I’m a Nut,” C.W. McCall brought “Convoy” and Jim Stafford was on Saturday night […]
Some songs zip by so fast, I’d never give them another thought if not for these entries. So it was with the Norwegian band the Dahlmanns, whose music blasted me to work this morning. Say this about the satellite channel the Underground Garage: of all the stations pre-set on my car radio, this is where I’m most likely to hear a song, and a band, I’ve never heard before.
It’s been a Jason Isbell and Drive-By Truckers week. On the way home from Santa Fe, I listened to Isbell’s latest. On Tuesday I listened to a podcast interview with Jason’s former bandmate in the Drive-By Truckers, Patterson Hood. Today en route from Tulsa came Isbell’s “Southeastern,” and tonight I re-watched a segment from CBS Sunday Morning. About five years ago I saw the Truckers at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa. This was shortly after Isbell had left the band. It […]
Now that the Cubs have knocked the Cardinals from the playoffs, I’m not sure what to think. On one hand, the Cubs epitomize what’s right about baseball. A freewheeling bunch of youngsters who love to play; a historic franchise that plays in ballpark where ghosts live, in a great American city; a rabid, championship-starved fan base; and most of all, a century-long story of losing, populated by curses, superstitions, a billy goat and a guy named Bartman. It’s the stuff […]
And after yesterday’s discovery, it’s worth a listen. A cross between Jerry Lee Lewis, James Brown and Little Richard, the guy was onto something. And people thought Elvis was risqué in the ’50s.