He Stopped Loving Her Today

954f6022a22731977b9c4de536610332d7951de1He Stopped Loving Her Today.  RIP George Jones

I have a longstanding rule that no one should ever shut off their car in the middle of a George Jones song.  A true Country Music Legend.


He had underlined in red, every single “I Love You”


George Jones –”The Possum”

My Funny Valentine

80f05ab18d78dcb6f218e6385684b1e98bbcc262My wife and I were vacationing on Kauai in September 1995, and I happened upon Etta James’ Time After Time album… we spent the rest of the week with it in the CD player, driving around the island with the top down, and I’ve been hooked on this album ever since.  What I found very surprising and refreshing was this:  It’s a solo vocalist album where the artist gives the band a ton of space for instrumental solos.  Sometimes a full verse, sometimes two verses… not the typical “hit factory format” of half a verse solos to a chorus.

And so yes, on February 14 I added “My Funny Valentine” to the 365 list.  Go squeeze someone.

You make me smile with my heart…

Walk Like an Egyptian

537475d1e5fd607aaddc5e716de9303cd1636acdFriday!  Walk Like an Egyptian!  Just turn it up… humor me.  FRIDAY!!

Double Shots…

b6b527471bfe5b1a988970a61b1b1e3c17384c51Inasmuch as all rules are generally broken at some point, I added “double shots” of not one, but two artists in a row this week.  First up is the late Z.Z. Hill.  I first heard Hill’s music during my college years, playing guitar in a bar that was quite unaccustomed to skinny white kids.  But, every Monday night, there was another incarnation of George Spratt and the Blues Impact Band, which consisted of George and whoever he could drag along to split $75 bucks 5 ways.  On a break, “Down Home Blues” would inevitably come blaring out of the juke box.  ”Someone Else is Steppin’ In” has been a fave of mine for years as well, and I rarely listen to one without the other.

c6f68092c0251d2218cf37f0c15ef699363c884bMost of us first heard Francine Reed singing backup for Lyle Lovett on his early albums.  for the 365 list, I’ve chosen two of her “non-Lyle” tunes.  She recorded Funny (How Time Slips Away) as a duet with Willie Nelson and I think it really captures the essence of the song… I was also intrigued with her version of “Trouble In Mind,” an 8 bar blues tune written in the 20s… it’s been covered by everyone from Bob Wills and Johnny Cash to Lightnin’ Hopkins and Aretha Franklin.  

Just take off those fast records, and let me hear some Down Home Blues…



 Thanks to Google Street View, I found a photo of the place
I heard “Down Home Blues” for the first time…


Walkin’ The Country

b20f24e80877793b0c5bfc3e293140ffc7ca44efFRIDAY!! Decided to add “Walkin’ the Country” from “The Ranch” album, Keith Urban‘s band prior to “officially” going solo.  How did this album get to be 15 yrs old so fast? I think I bought this CD the year it came out, and it stays in regular rotation.  Walk in the Country just felt like the way to kick off Friday, so here it is.  FRIDAY!!

You Got to Get Funkifize

07f4511e81643c332b44d26eab3aacecfef97a21I was a teen in Northern California when Tower of Power hit their early commercial success.  Tower of Power was based out of Oakland, which meant (a) I had a few chances to hear ‘em at exotic places like State Fairs etc., and (b) there were other horn section bands popping up who wanted to bring that same sound and groove.  Powerful horns, funk guitar, syncopation, groove, fun.  They weren’t core listening for me then as such, but that groove certainly in ingrained in me.  In addition to their original music, the Tower of Power horns showed up on other artist albums, including Little Feat‘s live album “Waiting for Columbus.”  I’ve worn the grooves deep in that album.  I put “You Got to Get Funkifize” of  ”The Very Best of Tower of Power: The Warner Years on the 365 list and also Little Feat‘s “Rocket In My Pocket.

For B-Side tunes, “You’re Still a Young Man” couldn’t go unmentioned…  Tower of Power asked the question “What is Hip?”  I’d say keeping that sound alive and exciting for over 40 years, they are..

What is hip? Tell me, tell me, if you think you know…

Found a compilation video that was clever.  Someone compiled various videos of “What is Hip” performed live from 1973 to 2011.  Some different players, different lead vocalists, but a groove that won’t give up.


Eye of the Hurricane

dd4a626e7f71bc35ba275c1f09a8df29a0778742Highway 59N in Houston, finishing a long commute well after dinner time, flipping stations hoping for something that would keep me entertained for the last 15 minutes on the road.  100 yards north of FM 1960 I heard David Wilcox performing “Eye Of The Hurricane” for the first time.  Before the song was over I knew I needed to focus on playing acoustic guitar again.

I’ve listened to a lot of David Wilcox music over the last 20 years (YEOW) and enjoyed reading bits of interviews as he travels the world to tell his stories.  Eye Of The Hurricane is one of those songs that grabbed me in such a way I’ll never forget when and where I heard it first, and had me scrambling to own the album How Did You Find Me Here? as soon as possible to try to hold on the inspirational spark it had thrown in my direction.

Tell the truth, explain to me, how you got this need for speed…

Sticking with the motorized theme I added the live version of “Rusty Old American Dream” from Live Songs and Stories to the B-Side playlist. The laughter from an audience member on the last note will be stuck is a somewhat amusing exclamation point…

 Honda Hurricane 

Someone’s Been Tellin’ You Stories

cea32ee6a974ee37784a6ab44dc6b5f0d1c26035Yesterday I was trying explain Spotify to someone, and I said “Just tell me something you want to hear.”

“The Eagles.”

…and wouldn’t you know it, the Eagles do not have their library available on Spotify… So in honor of  that misfire, I decided to add a couple Don Henley songs to the list, and then decided it was time to add “Someone’s Been Tellin’ You Stories” to my 365.  Most people think of Dan Fogelberg as a little more syrupy, but the 1974 album Souvenirs was produced by Joe Walsh and the track “Someone’s Been Tellin’ You Stories” has Joe Walsh playing electric and Glen Frey and Don Henley singing backup. I first heard   As the Raven Flies and Morning Sky from a local bar band, and the album has been in my stash about 28 years, more or less. I put those on the B-Side list.

Part of the Plan” and “There’s a Place in the World for a Gambler” got the radio airtime, but there’s some great writing all through this album.  Dig in and enjoy.

Rock Lobster



Rock Lobster by the B-52s.  What can I say, it’s Friday and you needed it.

Everybody’s Rockin’

North Side Gal

McPherson_91362rgb-530x530When you start a “song a day for a year” project, I think there’s a natural tendency to want to pace yourself a bit.  Give up 5 favorites in 5 days and it’s all downhill… well, I am not gonna wait to talk about Tulsa’s J.D. McPherson.  Certainly not the first band to reach back to early rock-and-roll and rockabilly, but McPherson’s Signs and Signifiers does so in a way that he takes what was old, makes it new, keeps it old, and makes it his own.  Call it roots, call it rockabilly, call it retro, call it throwback, McPherson has found his own voice, and is suddenly touring the world to share it.  This was my favorite album purchase of 2012.

North Side Gal” is the song that dragged me in and is my 365 choice, and “Dimes For Nickles“*** is going to the B-Side list because I hated to not include it as well.  You can download “North Side Gal” for free at www.jdmcpherson.com .

JD McPherson promo photo.The album was recorded at Hi-Style studio in Chicago, using vintage mics and preamps and recorded to 1/4″ tape.  The video below for North Side Gal was shot in the studio.




I’ve also included their SXSW performance video of Dimes For Nickles as a reminder that nowhere but Austin TX will you find a band in a bike shop… Enjoy.

*** No I don’t know if there’s any significance to spelling “Nickels” as “Nickles.”  Maybe JD will check in and let me know…