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.

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…

Rainy Night in Georgia

brook_bentonWritten by Tony Joe White in 1962, Rainy Night in Georgia gained success when recorded by Brook Benton in 1970.  In other words, “an overnight success.”  This song was subsequently recorded by everyone from Rod Stewart and Ray Charles to Hank Williams, Jr.   There’s a good version of Tony performing the song on Austin City Limits here.  I stuck with Brook Benton’s version for the 365 list, because I think it provides good insight to the recording technique of the era… But Tony’s much too cool to leave off the list so I added his Austin City Limits Live version of Poke Salad Annie to the 365.tony_joe_white

As I was digging into Rainy Night in Georgia a few months ago, I found a live version on YouTube that pretty well stunned me.  The band was Jaimoe Jasssz Band . I added their studio version to the B-Side list but I think the live video below is better; I think it grabs all the vibe originally written into the early arrangements, but maybe has a bit more freedom to it.  Enjoy.


Hoverin’ by my suitcase, tryin’ to find a warm place to spend the night…


The B-Side

b_sideThe B-Side dates back to the days of buying a 45rpm to own a particular single… the A-side of the record. The B-side was “the other song,” often great but not where the promotion effort was spent. Some of us gravitate to the songs on the B-side. Sometimes because we found the songs by accident; sometimes because we just want the road less traveled. I can see already that I’ll be pulling “B-side” songs off albums for my 365 list, and some of the actual “A-side” hits will wind up in the B-side playlist, so as to still make mention of them.

Some of the songs will be songs of “honorable mention,” others will be additional songs from an artist in the main list.

Likely, at the start of 2014 I’ll look at this project, rewrite this post, and redefine it to match the finished project. Either way, enjoy.

SPOTIFY LINK to the B-Side Playlist