All posts by Karlo Berkovich

Former Associate Editor/Web Editor/Sports Editor at Waterloo Region Record with a keen interest in rock music, specifically classic rock with side dishes of blues, late 70s punk and new wave plus sprinklings of reggae, soul and funk. Karlo Berkovich is the host of So Old It's New.

So Old It’s New set list for Saturday, April 20, 2024 – on air 8-10 am ET

My track-by-track tales follow the bare-bones list.

1. David Bowie, Station To Station
2. Deep Purple, Fools
3. Janis Joplin, Move Over
4. The Rolling Stones, Down The Road Apiece
5. ZZ Top, Manic Mechanic
6. Humble Pie, Earth And Water Song
7. David + David, Being Alone Together
8. Styx, Miss America
9. Pearl Jam, Crazy Mary
10. The Beatles, Cry Baby Cry
11. Bob Dylan, Baby Stop Crying
12. Santana, Hope You’re Feeling Better
13. Paul McCartney/Wings, Don’t Let It Bring You Down
14. Carole King, Corazon
15. Steve Miller Band, Journey From Eden
16. The Tragically Hip, Eldorado
17. Neil Young, Eldorado
18. Van Halen, Cabo Wabo
19. Billy Joel, Stiletto
20. KC and The Sunshine Band, Boogie Shoes
21. Joe Walsh/Barnstorm, Mother Says
22. Jack Bruce, Never Tell Your Mother She’s Out Of Tune
23. Warren Zevon, My Ride’s Here

My track-by-track tales:

1. David Bowie, Station To Station . . . Enter a new, at the time, Bowie persona, the Thin White Duke, on this epic opener, the title cut to his 1976 album which represented the start of his transition towards his Berlin period of the albums Low, Heroes and Lodger.

2. Deep Purple, Fools . . . I remember when Nirvana broke big with the Nevermind album, hit single Smells Like Teen Spirit and all of that and I like Nirvana and that album and the whole Seattle scene, but some journalism critics who either should have known better or were ridiculously not well-read, musically speaking, went agog about Nirvana’s soft to hard transitions (not so much within that hit single but throughout the album it came from) within songs . . . and the rest of us were thinking, uh, ever hear Fools by Deep Purple, from 1971 (20-plus years earlier) or much of Led Zeppelin or who knows how many other bands, Jethro Tull an example, with myriad within song changes, etc?

3. Janis Joplin, Move Over . . . The song that arguably got me into Janis Joplin, and she was already gone, sadly, by the time of its release in early 1971; she died in October, 1970. My sister had the Pearl album, so I heard this a lot and yet again I thank my older brother and sister, by 8 and 4 years, respectively, for introducing their younger sibling to so much great music and charting at least part of my musical course. Although it’s a well-known track, or at least has come to be well known, and one written by Joplin herself (many of her hits were covers) Move Over perhaps surprisingly was not released as a single from Pearl, although it’s found its way to various compilations over the years and deservedly so. And what (another) a great name for a Joplin band: she went from Big Brother and The Holding Company to The Kozmic Blues Band to her Canadian backup band on Pearl, the Full Tilt Boogie Band.

4. The Rolling Stones, Down The Road Apiece . . . Boogie woogie early Stones written by American songwriter Don Raye. The Stones put it on their 1965 UK album The Rolling Stones No. 2, released in January, and it came out that same year on the US release The Rolling Stones, Now! back in the days when US labels bastardized releases by UK bands like the Stones and Beatles with different track listings, including singles that were never put on albums in the UK, etc. The Stones played the track on selected shows on their 1981 tour.

5. ZZ Top, Manic Mechanic . . . From ZZ Top’s 1979 album Deguello which featured hits like Cheap Sunglasses and I Thank You plus well-known songs I’m Bad I’m Nationwide. The album is front-to-back good in my opinion but I have a soft spot for this one because when my two boys were young, and getting into the music I was listening to, we formed an air guitar band and this was one of our songs. Eldest son was the singer, I was the guitarist, youngest son played drums although sometimes he and I would switch. As things have played out in reality, eldest son can play most instruments, particularly guitar, has recorded and done gigs beyond his ‘day job’, youngest dabbled in drums, I tried guitar, too lazy and unfocused to continue so I listen instead and do a radio show DJ gig.

6. Humble Pie, Earth And Water Song . . . A mostly pastoral, beautiful piece, heavy in spots, written by Peter Frampton for the Pie’s 1970 album, the band’s third, simply titled Humble Pie.

7. David + David, Being Alone Together . . . What might have been? But people go in different directions, as Davids Baerwald and Ricketts did following the release of their one and only collaboration as a duo, the 1986 arguably somewhat obscure album Boomtown although it was something of a hit at the time. It’s brilliant. I cite it and play it often, it introduced me to Baerwald’s occasional catalog since, while Ricketts went into, mostly, music production. Both guys worked with Sheryl Crow on her 1993 debut album Tuesday Night Music Club.

8. Styx, Miss America . . . Not major into Styx, got into them more, as I did with KISS, via my younger brother by 5 years who was a big fan of both bands during the 1970s. But, I will say, I like this rocking tune, a rival to Prelude 12/Suite Madame Blue as my favorite Styx track. It’s been misinterpreted over time, as it’s actually about writer James Young’s wife’s battle with an incurable disease. Miss America

9. Pearl Jam, Crazy Mary . . . From a tribute covers album of Victoria Williams songs, 1993’s Sweet Relief: A Benefit for Victoria Williams, who was stricken with multiple sclerosis. Williams, who at last look is still with us despite her ongoing health issues, does backing vocals on the song. It’s one of Pearl Jam’s finest performances, in my estimation. The album led to the creation of the Sweet Relief Musician’s Fund, a non-profit charity that provides funds from which professional musicians with medical care or financial needs can draw. There have since been two more such compilations. Among those performing on the various albums were Lou Reed, Smashing Pumpkins, R.E.M., The Jayhawks, Jackson Browne, k.d. lang and Rickie Lee Jones.

10. The Beatles, Cry Baby Cry . . . Most people know the band well enough that finding ‘deep cuts’ can be a challenge. This one’s from The White Album. To me, it’s in the vein of great John Lennon songs on that album, along with I’m So Tired and Happiness Is A Warm Gun, with Cry Baby Cry having the additional ‘oomph’ of Paul McCartney’s Can You Take Me Back coda.

11. Bob Dylan, Baby Stop Crying . . . “You been down to the bottom with a bad man, babe. But you’re back where you belong. Go get me my pistol, babe” . . . and as always with Dylan, his vocal intonations, as on this one from 1978’s Street-Legal, are the ‘thing’. People who say he can’t sing don’t get it; he’s the best Bob Dylan singer there could ever be.

12. Santana, Hope You’re Feeling Better . . . Among my favorites from Santana, a rocking cut from Abraxas; I figured it fit in well with the previous series of people crying and, hopefully, recovered from whatever trauma brought the tears on.

13. Paul McCartney/Wings, Don’t Let It Bring You Down . . . Celtic-type track co-written with Denny Laine, from the London Town album, 1978.

14. Carole King, Corazon . . . Funky, maybe uncharacteristic but intoxicating stuff from King’s 1973 album Fantasy.

15. Steve Miller Band, Journey From Eden . . . From the tail end of Miller’s earlier, psychedelic, bluesy period, a seven-album stretch starting in 1968, before he became a commercial hits machine via albums The Joker, Fly Like An Eagle and Book of Dreams. This is from his 1972 album Recall The Beginning . . . A Journey From Eden. A year later came The Joker and widespread commercial success. And I send this one out to a friend who has been mentioning Miller to me recently.

16. The Tragically Hip, Eldorado . . .

“And tired of thinking ’bout drinking
For thinking of drinking
While thinking ’bout drinking
And thinking ’bout drinking
It’s man-sized inside”

From the Hip album Fully Completely.

17. Neil Young, Eldorado . . . Same title as the Hip song, different song. Spanish guitar showcase, and other things, from Young’s 1989 album Freedom.

18. Van Halen, Cabo Wabo . . . If you like drinking, you like this line: “We drink Mescal right from the bottle. Salt shaker, little lick a lime, oh” . . . Sammy Hagar of Van Hagar fame still going strong, a rich man not just from music but via his Cabo Wabo bar, whiskeys, etc.

19. Billy Joel, Stiletto . . . Why this funky groove, my favorite on the album, wasn’t a single from 1978’s 52nd Street is beyond me but in the end I’m glad because it therefore qualifies as a deep cut which is my show’s raison d’etre.

20. KC and The Sunshine Band, Boogie Shoes . . . Guilty pleasure track, occurred to me out of the blue as a tie-in with Billy Joel’s. Stiletto shoes, you know, etc. An interesting maybe instance of a song being an album track, on KC’s self-titled 1975 album which featured the big hits That’s The Way ( I Like It) and Get Down Tonight then later, via the Saturday Night Fever movie soundtrack, becoming a hit.

21. Joe Walsh/Barnstorm, Mother Says . . . From the first album, 1972’s Barnstorm, Walsh did after leaving the James Gang. It was the first album recorded at Caribou Ranch, built by James William Guercio, best known as the producer on Chicago’s first eleven studio albums. Chicago recorded five albums there while Elton John named his 1974 album Caribou after the studio, where he also recorded Captain Fantastic and The Brown Dirt Cowboy and Rock Of The Westies.

22. Jack Bruce, Never Tell Your Mother She’s Out Of Tune . . . Up tempo jazz all over the place excellence from the former Cream member’s 1969 debut solo album Songs For A Tailor.

23. Warren Zevon, My Ride’s Here . . . Jesus, John Wayne, Shelley, Keats, all in one song . . . Zevon’s way with lyrics was arguably unparalleled. The music’s good, too. Title cut from his 2002 album, as I ride on out of another show.

So Old It’s New set list for Monday, April 15, 2024

My track-by-track tales follow the bare-bones list.

1. FM, Black Noise
2. Nash The Slash, In A Glass Eye
3. BB Gabor, Simulated Groove
4. The Rolling Stones, Hot Stuff
5. Sly & The Family Stone, In Time
6. Isaac Hayes, Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic
7. Curtis Mayfield, Get Down
8. Peter Tosh, Downpressor Man
9. Black Uhuru, Mondays
10. Junior Murvin, Police And Thieves
11. The Clash, Police And Thieves (Junior Murvin cover)
12. Bob Marley/The Wailers, I Shot The Sheriff
13. The Specials, Gangsters
14. Devo, Shrivel-Up
15. Queen + Paul Rodgers, Cosmos Rockin’
16. Paul Rodgers, Deep Blue
17. Love, Bummer In The Summer
18. John Mayall/Bluesbreakers, Out Of Reach
19. Elton John, Indian Sunset

My track-by-track tales:

1. FM, Black Noise . . . Back when FM (radio, not the band) played long tracks, even full albums or album vinyl sides, you were likely to hear this, and/or songs like it, often late at night on things like ‘album replay’ shows. It’s the multi-faceted, including great drumming, title cut from Canadian prog/space rock band FM, featuring Nash The Slash. Many got into the record via its hit single Phasors On Stun, and a great one that is, doubly so because it served as a gateway into a terrific full album listen.

2. Nash The Slash, In A Glass Eye . . . You can hear Nash sing “in a glass eye’ on this spooky track from his post-FM solo album Children Of The Night and I only mention that because the song is written as “In A Glass Eye’ everywhere I look . . . except for my 2016 expanded CD re-release of the 1981 album. My CD copy titles the song In The Glass Eye. Typo? No matter. Cool track, regardless.

3. BB Gabor, Simulated Groove . . . The late Gabor, an emigre from Hungary who fled that country with his parents at the time of the Soviet invasion in 1956 is well known, certainly in Canada, for songs like Metropolitan Life, Nyet Nyet Soviet (Soviet Jewellery), his cover of Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi (which I almost played instead, have before, I imagine will again) and Moscow Drug Club, from his self-titled 1980 debut album. But I love the, er, groove, and fun, partly spoken-word lyrics to this one from his less successful second album, Girls Of The Future. “Would you like to have a daaaance? . . . are you sure you’re from this planet?” Gabor, alas, left us, at his own hand, in his early 40s, in 1990.

4. The Rolling Stones, Hot Stuff . . . Speaking of grooves . . . Funky, catchy, disco-y opening cut to the Stones’ 1976 release Black and Blue, an amalgam of funk, disco, reggae, salsa, hard rock, ballads and whatever else the boys were delving into at the time as they experimented with different guitarists (Harvey Mandel of Canned Heat and various sessions fame on this one) in replacing Mick Taylor, finally settling on Ron Wood. The record was largely savaged by critics at the time but as is often the case, decades later those same critics in ‘retrospective’ reviews praise it. Whatever. I love the album (so did Mick Taylor, apparently) but as a big Stones fan, I’m probably the wrong guy to ask because I embrace everything they’ve done. When it was finally released as a single, after Fool To Cry from the album, Hot Stuff managed just No. 49 on the US charts although it was apparently big in dance clubs. Two years later, people embraced the Stones doing funk/disco as Miss You, from Some Girls, was a No. 1 hit.

5. Sly & The Family Stone, In Time . . . Intoxicating funk/soul from the 1973 album Fresh. Jazz great Miles Davis was apparently so impressed by the song that he made his band listen to it repeatedly for a half hour, to let its potential influences sink in – although Miles had already gone down the psychedelic funk path with his 1972 album On The Corner.

6. Isaac Hayes, Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic . . . Four songs, including two extended cover tunes – Walk On By and By The Time I Get To Phoenix – a compelling, arguably iconic album cover of Hayes’ bald head, and this near 10-minute psychedelic soul exercise and there you have the essence of the 1969 release Hot Buttered Soul. Superb stuff.

7. Curtis Mayfield, Get Down . . . More funky soul, from Mayfield’s second album, Roots, 1971. It’s the type of intoxicating music that envelops the listener in a pleasurable embrace.

8. Peter Tosh, Downpressor Man . . . From Tosh’s 1977 album Equal Rights, one of several recordings of a song he did (some spelled Downpresser Man) of a traditional spiritual with, apparently, unknown authorship also recorded, as Sinnerman, in 1965 by Nina Simone. The song has an interesting history, and thankfully given the internet, it’s easier for me to just link to it:

Peter Tosh and Downpressor Man

9. Black Uhuru, Mondays . . . One of the reggae bands I briefly got into once reggae started breaking big, certainly among mainstream white audiences, thanks in large measure to Eric Clapton’s No. 1 hit cover of Marley’s I Shot The Sheriff (more on that in a bit) and Peter Tosh’s association with The Rolling Stones as he was signed to Rolling Stones Records. I stayed with Marley and Tosh but a reggae ‘Gold’ double CD compilation of various artists – and of course now the internet – has since sufficed, for me, for most of the rest of it. Hypnotic track from a band that’s been around since 1972. Mondays is from the 1982 album Chill Out.

10. Junior Murvin, Police And Thieves . . . Original version of a song, released in 1976, that The Clash covered for their debut album in 1977. The song’s co-writers, Murvin and Lee “Scratch” Perry, the legendary producer/singer/composer, didn’t like the speeded up, more rocking Clash version, with Murvin quoted as saying “they have destroyed Jah work!” and Perry saying The Clash “ruined’ it although he then worked with the band, producing the song Complete Control which was a top 30 single in the UK and appeared on the US version of the first Clash album. Bob Marley liked The Clash version of Police and Thieves and was inspired by it to write his song Punky Reggae Party, whose lyrics mention The Clash, The Damned and The Jam along with reggae bands The Wailers and Toots and The Maytals.

11. The Clash, Police And Thieves . . . I’ve talked so much about the song, I ought to play the Clash version so I leave it for listeners to judge. I like both versions, with a slight preference for the original by Junior Murvin – arguably a better groove and more emotionally charged, even though it’s understated but that’s what makes it effective.

12. Bob Marley/The Wailers, I Shot The Sheriff . . . Marley’s version – from his 1973 album Burnin’ – is arguably not often heard, at least in comparison to Eric Clapton’s cover which came out a year later and did break Marley and reggae into the mainstream. Marley, according to some reports, wasn’t pleased that Clapton’s version received more airplay, even on the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation, than his own version did. To me, another case where both versions are excellent. More on the story of the two versions: Marley and Clapton – I Shot The Sheriff

13. The Specials, Gangsters . . . The song that got me into ska music – bands like The Specials, The Selecter, Madness and The Beat (known as The English Beat in Canada and the US) – during my college days. It’s from the band’s debut album in 1979, at least in Canada, the US and other places. In line with UK music industry practice, at least at the time, it didn’t appear on the UK version of the album but was a top 10 hit single. It didn’t chart in the colonies but like much of the ‘different’ stuff coming out at the time, was pretty well known by followers of such shows as Toronto station City-TV’s The New Music, which is where I first heard it.

14. Devo, Shrivel-Up . . . A college friend – or I suppose I should say acquaintance – of mine I had otherwise nothing in common with but music – not a bad thing at all – introduced me to Devo and the band’s 1978 debut album via playing me their cover of Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones. He knew I was a big Stones fan, said “(Mick) Jagger loves it!” but he didn’t need to sell me on it. I appreciate different and I, too, like Devo’s version of the Stones’ hit because if you’re going to cover a tune, make it different and thus at least attempt to make it your own, otherwise it’s just a note-for-note copy and likely will pale in comparison to the original and risk eliciting a ‘why bother?’ assessment. So I bought the Devo album, and found this infectious track, among many others. My buddies, still channelling the All The Young Dudes lyrics “my brother’s back at home with his Beatles and his Stones (and Zep, and Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath, and The Who and so on . . . and I still was, too) thought I’d lost my mind. I told them to open theirs and kept on my path of discovery with Devo, Talking Heads, Ian Dury (also introduced to me by the aformentioned college friend), etc.

15. Queen + Paul Rodgers, Cosmos Rockin’ . . . From the one and only studio album released by Rodgers with Queen, released in 2008, a few years after they had finished a world tour as Queen + Paul Rodgers, complete with some Free and Bad Company songs and a live album and DVD, Return Of The Champions. They then decided to do a studio album, eventually titled The Cosmos Rocks, with this straight ahead boogie rocker leading things off. It’s not Freddie Mercury, it may not exactly be Queen, but Rodgers is one of the acknowledged greatest voices in rock music and it’s a more than creditable effort.

16. Paul Rodgers, Deep Blue . . . Straight ahead rocker from Rodgers, from his 1999 album Electric, another reliably consistent effort in his catalog. Rodgers released a new studio album, Midnight Rose, in September 2023. It’s good but to be honest I’m not familiar enough with it yet to decide what to play from it, but I will get to it soon. What’s remarkable is that Rodgers is still with us. He suffered major strokes in 2016 and 2019, affecting his speech and musical abilities, then 11 (eleven!) minor strokes but after treatments and surgery has thankfully made a full recovery.

17. Five Man Electrical Band, Moonshine (Friend Of Mine) . . . A minor hit single, made No. 56 in home country Canada in 1970 and is likely familiar to most once heard. It was overshadowed on its parent album, Good-byes and Butterflies, by Signs, the hit single for which the band is best known. I had to drop this track due to time constraints. It’s available on my Bald Boy Facebook page.

18. Love, Bummer In The Summer . . . It’s not quite summer but I couldn’t wait. Nice country guitar break in the middle of the arguably too short (just under two and a half minutes) but very sweet song. Leave ’em wanting more. From the 1967 album Forever Changes, one of those influential albums, particularly on psychedelic and folk rock, that didn’t sell much but is definitely worthy of the acclaim.

19. John Mayall/Bluesbreakers, Out Of Reach . . . A Peter Green-penned and sung haunting slow blues that first saw wide release on the 1971 compilation Thru The Years, a collection of previously unissued songs or singles that weren’t on albums. It later appeared on expanded re-releases, in 2003 and 2006, of The Bluesbreakers’ 1967 album A Hard Road, from whose sessions it came.

20. Doug and The Slugs, Drifting Away . . . Good breakup song. Good lyrics. Good tune. From 1980’s Cognac and Bologna album, which I got into via a short-term college girlfriend who introduced me to the band’s music after she had spent some time in Vancouver, where the Slugs got their start in 1977. Dropped this track due to time constraints. It’s available on my Bald Boy Facebook page.

21. Elton John, Indian Sunset . . . Extended, symphonic in spots, piece from 1971’s Madman Across The Water album. The depth of EJ’s catalog during the 1970s is, well, deep.

So Old It’s New set list for Saturday, April 13, 2024 – on air 8-10 am ET

My track-by-track tales follow the bare-bones list.

1. The Beatles, Birthday
2. Vanilla Fudge, Ticket To Ride
3. Spooky Tooth, I Am The Walrus
4. Rod Stewart, Get Back
5. Deep Purple, Hey Joe
6. Garland Jeffreys, 96 Tears
7. Television, Marquee Moon
8. T Bone Burnett, Humans From Earth
9. Steely Dan, Aja
10. Van Morrison, A Sense Of Wonder
11. Led Zeppelin, Black Country Woman
12. The Rolling Stones, Brand New Car
13. Nazareth, Back To The Trenches
14. The Kinks, To The Bone
15. The Black Crowes, Stare It Cold
16. ZZ Top, Sure Got Cold After The Rain Fell
17. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Gloomy
18. Ian Hunter, Standin’ In My Light
19. The Byrds, Lover Of The Bayou (studio version)
20. Jeff Beck, Blues De Luxe
21. Tommy Bolin, Post Toastee

My track-by-track tales:

1. The Beatles, Birthday . . . It’s my youngest of two son’s birthday Saturday. He’s 32. This is for you, Scott.

2. Vanilla Fudge, Ticket To Ride . . . Somehow or other, playing a Beatles’ track got me thinking of other bands covering Beatles material (and that could and now that it occurs to me likely will be a future show) so here’s the first of a few, then into some more cover tunes and then on with original material from the rest of the artists in the set. Vanilla Fudge puts their psychedelic stamp on this one.

3. Spooky Tooth, I Am The Walrus . . . As does Spooky Tooth, a la Vanilla Fudge psychedelic approach on this Beatles tune and both bands employ what to me is the best/most effective approach to covering well-known songs: make it different, at least attempt to make it your own.

4. Rod Stewart, Get Back . . . Stewart has always been a good interpreter of other people’s music and this is a quite fine to me, raunchy in spots cover of The Beatles tune, generally along the same path The Beatles took but different enough with enough of Stewart’s stamp on it. It appeared on the soundtrack of a movie bomb All This and World War II which lasted two weeks in threatres in 1976 before being mercifully pulled out of circulation. I don’t claim to know much about the movie but lots of interesting reading about it is available online including this analysis headlined: ‘All This and World War II’: The Beatles Movie Nobody Asked For, Nobody Saw and Nobody Remembers.’ (but now I want to find it and watch it 🙂 )

All This and World War II

In short, it’s a movie incorporating scenes, mostly newsreel footage, and you can view the trailer in the link above, of World War II juxtaposed to Beatles music, in this case Beatles music as covered by other artists. On the surface, a bizarre concept, but the man behind the movie explains his rationale in the above link. Major artists participated, including Stewart, Elton John, Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music fame, The Bee Gees, Peter Gabriel doing Strawberry Fields Forever in apparently his first solo performance once he left Genesis and before his first solo album was released, Tina Turner, Status Quo . . . But the failure of the movie is maybe, and I can only guess, why Stewart, in his otherwise in depth and informative personal song-by-song liner notes to his Storyteller anthology, said of Get Back only “What’s this doin’ ‘ere?’ Well, I for one am glad he included it on the anthology, it’s a good cover, to me akin to his cover of the Stones’ Street Fighting Man, similar to the original but with enough of Rod’s personal stamp to make it effective.

5. Deep Purple, Hey Joe . . . Not a Beatles cover, but it’s along the lines of the psychedelic Vanilla Fudge and Spooky Tooth Beatles covers earlier in the set, Hey Joe as done by the original version of Deep Purple. That version of the group featured Rod Evans on lead vocals and Nick Simper on bass before they were replaced by Ian Gillan (vocals) and Roger Glover (bass) for the fourth album, In Rock, which charted Purple’s course into the hard rock arena. To that point, Purple had been fairly successful, Hush was a hit single for the first version of the band but they were dipping in and out of various styles and seemingly not totally finding themselves. Yet that first version of the band left lots of great music behind including this epic treatment of the song Jimi Hendrix didn’t write but made famous and I leave listeners to research the myriad tales about who exactly wrote the song. The Purple version is mind blowing, if underappreciated or even recognized, given, especially, the interplay between Purple keyboardist Jon Lord and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, including some fine Spanish guitar interludes, many songs in one, essentially.

6. Garland Jeffreys, 96 Tears . . . Last one in my mini covers set within the overall set. And I reserve the right to go contrary to what I’ve previously said about how making a cover version different is the way to go. Sometimes, you can do the song the same way, but differently enough – I’d put Van Halen’s cover of The Kinks’ You Really Got Me in that category – to still make a song your own while paying respectful homage to the original. And that’s what Garland Jeffreys does on his 1981 version of the ? and the Mysterians 1966 No. 1 hit. I think it’s Jeffreys’ aggressive vocal style that does it for me. I remember when this came out on his Escape Artist album, it of course reminded me of the Mysterians hit, prompted me to buy the Jeffreys album, and I discovered a new artist whose work I like.

7. Television, Marquee Moon . . . Infectious, irresistible riff on this title cut to Television’s most acclaimed album, the 1977 debut that didn’t do much on the charts but has long been cited as a major influence on the development of what became known as alternative rock. I like the song. But I didn’t, at first. I remember buying the album because it’s so acclaimed. Somehow I missed it in the late 1970s which is weird because I was major into the ‘new wave’ stuff that was coming out then but I also totally missed The Stranglers while listening to Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson and Graham Parker and I’ve gone back since and I still don’t ‘get’ The Stranglers but anyway one of those time and place things, I suppose, that I missed in their case. Back to Television: so I bought the album at some point, was unimpressed. Took it back, traded it in at a used store. Then, years later, I was in a used store and a song was playing on the store’s sound system and I’m digging it and I hear the words marquee moon in the lyric and I’m like, “I’ve been too hasty, I must have this!” So, I now long since have it. I still haven’t really grasped the rest of the record but for the title cut alone, it’s well worth it.

8. T Bone Burnett, Humans From Earth . . . His production credits are too long to list – Elvis Costello, Elton John, John Mellencamp to name just a few, myriad soundtracks – but Burnett also does his own music, and this cool soundscape groove is from his 1992 solo release The Criminal Under My Own Hat.

9. Steely Dan, Aja . . . Amazing title cut from the band’s 1977 album. Peg and Josie were the well-known and well-deserved hits but Aja incorporates all that Steely Dan was, could be, and where they were heading in an intoxicating brew of jazz rock and however else one might describe it. Sax solo by the great Wayne Shorter, who deferred at first but then agreed to play on the record and of course adds so much.

10. Van Morrison, A Sense Of Wonder . . . Title cut to Van The Man’s 1984 album, a beautiful, spiritual track released as a single but didn’t chart. Veteran artists seem to get to that point; they continue releasing great music, and Van still is but already 40 years ago he had fallen out of commercial favor at least as far as the charts went, but so what? You miss loads of great music if all you pay attention to is top hits, or charts, if they even exist anymore.

11. Led Zeppelin, Black Country Woman . . . Noted for Robert Plant’s ‘nah, leave it” meaning leave in the sound of an airplane flying overhead at the start of the song as Zep is recording outside at Stargroves, an estate in the English countryside owned at the time by Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones. And a great tune it is, from a great album, Physical Graffiti.

12. The Rolling Stones, Brand New Car . . . And here are the Stones, with a cool wah wah guitar groove tune complete with obvious but still fun double entendre lyrics i.e. car equals woman, from 1994’s Voodoo Lounge album. Some critics panned the song but what is a journalism critic, really, one could argue, but a listener with access to a keyboard and a wide platform? It’s a good song, nice groove, nice playing.

13. Nazareth, Back To The Trenches . . . Nazareth had a great run of hard rocking hit making during most of the 1970s then seemed to sort of lose themselves as they attempted or seemed to attempt to diversify their sound into the 1980s and they lost some fans, as a result, after let’s say the Malice In Wonderland album in 1980 with its hit Holiday but even that album was getting perhaps too slick for some fans’ tastes. Yet even amid the creative let’s call it searching, every now and then the band would reach back to its roots and Back To The Trenches, a hard-driving, pulsating complete with biting political lyrics tune from 1982’s 2XS album, fits that bill and could easily have fit on albums like Razamanaz, Loud ‘n’ Proud and Hair Of The Dog. And Nazareth is still around, original lead singer Dan McCafferty retired due to health reasons and later sadly died, but the band has continued with McCafferty-approved singer Carl Sentance, and has fully – even when McCafferty was still around until 2014’s Rock ‘n Roll Telephone album – returned to kick butt rock and roll as evidenced by the two very decent recent albums, Tattooed On My Brain (2018) and Surviving The Law (2022). By this point, to me, longtime bands carrying on with likely not all the original members, where once I might have said, ah, pack it in, now and obviously likely a product of my own aging, I admire them for their perseverence. I mean, it’s what they do. Why stop?

14. The Kinks, To The Bone . . . Fabulous title cut to what turned out to be the last Kinks album, although rumors persist about a possible reunion but as a major Kinks fan, I actually hope not. It’s been too long, 30 years, let it be. What’s the point, at this point? Both Davies brothers, Ray and Dave, continue to sporadically release solo music, not to me up to their Kinks’ standards but I think it’s all fine, their collective legacy is assured. And why not go out with as brilliant a cut as this title track to what otherwise was a live largely unplugged album (that was a big thing, back then, 1994) played in front of a small audience in the band’s Konk Studios. The album featured most of any Kinks hit you could name, it’s a terrific record, well played, and it ends on this high note of a great studio track. A good one to go out on.

15. The Black Crowes, Stare It Cold . . . Stones-ish without apology – the Crowes often cite the Stones as an obvious influence along with Faces and so on – deep cut from the blockbuster debut Crowes’ album, Shake Your Moneymaker in 1990 featuring hits like Jealous Again, the Otis Redding cover Hard To Handle and Twice As Hard.

16. ZZ Top, Sure Got Cold After The Rain Fell . . . Pure, cool, deep blues from early ZZ Top, from the second album, Rio Grande Mud, released in 1972. I thought of this one due to a forecast of rain, where I live, over the next few days.

17. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Gloomy . . . A multi-faceted track, great guitar sounds and yet more obvious proof that hits compilations are a good way, but not the only way, to appreciate a great band but of course they often serve as a fine introduction and some people are satisfied with the comp, others are prompted to dig deeper. CCR is renowned as a great singles band and deservedly so but there is so much depth to their catalog, as this track from their debut album from 1968 proves.

18. Ian Hunter, Standin’ In My Light . . . It’s been on my list of potential plays and I’ve been trying to get this song in for the last several weeks since returning, as of March 4, from my 9-month hiatus but somehow or other I haven’t made the space or time for it. So, finally, here it is. From Hunter’s great 1979 album You’re Never Alone With A Schizophrenic.

19. The Byrds, Lover Of The Bayou (studio version) . . . I say ‘studio version’ in parentheses because in most cases, including compilations, one will find Lover Of The Bayou in its live three minutes and change version as originally appeared on the half live, half studio album Untitled, in 1970. And the live version as a result has likely become the most well known but while I like both, I tend to prefer the studio version perhaps because it’s almost two minutes longer, hence I’m able to enjoy that infectious riff for longer. The studio version, recorded in 1970 as the band was working on the album, didn’t see physical release, to my knowledge and research, until the 2000 expanded re-release of the original album.

20. Jeff Beck, Blues De Luxe . . . From the Truth album, the 1968 album that set the template for so much that came after (Led Zeppelin, for instance). It featured of course Jeff Beck on guitar, Rod Stewart on lead vocals, Ronnie Wood on bass and Micky Waller on drums but session player to the stars Nicky Hopkins arguably steals the show on piano, on this track.

21. Tommy Bolin, Post Toastee . . . In some ways, the brilliant guitarist Bolin was forever the ‘replacement’ guitarist and even though he brought immense talent and songwriting ability to the bands he joined, like the James Gang (replacing Joe Walsh) and Deep Purple (replacing Ritchie Blackmore) that’s how he was often perceived despite his prodigious talent. He was an amazing artist, with demons, drug addiction, that eventually did him in far too soon but what a legacy. Not only with the aforementioned bands but with jazz drummer Billy Cobham on his Spectrum album (Bolin’s gateway into Deep Purple after David Coverdale heard his playing on the record) and Bolin’s earlier band Zephyr. Bolin wound up doing just two solo studio albums, Teaser and Private Eyes from which I pulled this track and I just had to play it (again, I’ve played it before and don’t like repeating but . . . inevitable . . . ) because while looking it up, in one post on YouTube I saw a comment from a former exotic dancer who said that she always played Post Toastee as part of her act, and always got her best tips when she danced to the song. I can visualize it, dancing to the song’s groove. So, 🙂 here you go. I’ll never think of the song in the same way again.

So Old It’s New set list for Monday, April 8, 2024

1. Pink Floyd, Eclipse
2. Eric Burdon & War, Sun/Moon
3. Genesis, Watcher Of The Skies
4. Triumph, Blinding Light Show/Moonchild
5. Deep Purple, Shield
6. The Monkees, Daily Nightly
7. Fleetwood Mac, Hypnotized
8. David Lee Roth, Ladies Night In Buffalo?
9. The Rolling Stones, Dance, (Pt. 1) (from Live At The Wiltern)
10. Rory Gallagher, Keep A Knockin’ (Little Richard cover, from All Around Man, Live in London)
11. Pete Townshend, Gonna Get Ya
12. AC/DC, Nick Of Time
13. George Thorogood & The Destroyers, Killer’s Bluze
14. Rare Earth, What’d I Say (Ray Charles cover), from Rare Earth In Concert
15. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Don’t Pull Me Over
16. Slim Harpo, Shake Your Hips
17. Sea Level, Nothing Matters But The Fever
18. Eagles, Long Road Out Of Eden

My track-by-track tales, including Buddy Guy’s Feels Like Rain, Concrete Blonde’s Walking In London and Commander Cody’s Lost In The Ozone, which were on my initial list but had to drop for time reasons. Such is live radio. 🙂 Song clips for those songs, and the entire set, are available on my Facebook page, Bald Boy.

1. Pink Floyd, Eclipse . . . I don’t typically like doing the obvious, but what the heck. So we begin, with the first few songs tied, in title at least, to today’s celestial event.

2. Eric Burdon & War, Sun/Moon . . . Ten minute slow-burning funk/psychedelic piece from the second and final album, The Black Man’s Burdon, 1970, by the collaboration between Burdon, of Animals fame, and War.

3. Genesis, Watcher Of The Skies . . . The opening cut on Foxtrot, released in September of 1972. Second time in a few days I’ve mined that album; I played Get ‘Em Out By Friday for last Saturday’s show.

4. Triumph, Blinding Light Show/Moonchild . . . Near nine-minute epic from the Canadian band’s self-titled 1976 debut album, re-released on CD in 1995 with a new title, In The Beginning, and new cover art.

5. Deep Purple, Shield . . . From the first version of Deep Purple, a more psychedelic phase of the band with Rod Evans on lead vocals and Nick Simper on bass before things changed to the harder rock direction with the switch to Ian Gillan as lead singer and Roger Glover on bass for what became the most celebrated version of Purple, the so-called Mark II version of Gillan, Glover, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, keyboardist Jon Lord and drummer Ian Paice. Mark II had many great moments and albums, of course, and likely remain to many the default position for Deep Purple but there are many quality moments in the myriad other versions of the band, and Shield is one of them.

6. The Monkees, Daily Nightly . . . The eclipse turns day into night, at least briefly, prompting my selection of this Monkees song, a spooky offering written by Mike Nesmith. It appeared on the group’s fourth album, PIsces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones Ltd. Apparently, the first rock recording to feature a Moog synthesizer.

7. Fleetwood Mac, Hypnotized . . . Another from the perhaps underappreciated Bob Welch on guitar period of Fleetwood Mac, in the middle between the early Peter Green foundational blues band days and the later Stevie Nicks-Lindsey Buckingham commercial monster sales phase. This one’s from the 1973 album Mystery To Me.

8. David Lee Roth, Ladies Night In Buffalo? . . . From Eat ‘Em and Smile, the first full solo album by Roth after the breakup of the original version of Van Halen, which became the so-called Van Hagar with Sammy Hagar taking over on lead vocals. After a strong start with this album, Roth quickly went downhill commercially. This nice groove tune wasn’t even a single, Yankee Rose from the album was. Easily my favorite Roth solo song, though, and apparently he thought well of it, enough to put it on a later compilation album.

9. The Rolling Stones, Dance (Pt. 1) (from Live At The Wiltern) . . . Extended, even funkier version of the opening track to 1980’s Emotional Rescue album. There is a part 2 to the song, called If I Was A Dancer (Dance Pt. 2) which appeared on the 1981 compilation album Sucking In The Seventies. I’ve played it before on the show, coupling it with part 2 and will get back to it at some point. As for this version of part 1, it’s from the recently released live album of a Los Angeles theatre show, from the 2002-03 Licks world tour. The Stones were touring after releasing their 40th anniversary career (to that point) spanning 40 Licks compilation, which seems and is ages ago now that they are beyond 60 years in the business. It was a tour where the Stones played stadiums, usually focusing on the greatest hits, arenas, going a bit deeper into the catalog and, in some cities, small theatres where they dug even deeper into their album cuts. I saw the stadium and arena shows in Toronto. They didn’t do a theatre show in Toronto as an official part of the tour although they did do a warmup gig at the Palais Royale dance hall. I have it on a bootleg DVD and CD and it’s great, particularly for fans of Stones’ deep cuts as it featured rarely if ever played live songs like Torn and Frayed, Hot Stuff and Heart of Stone, plus some live rehearsal footage.

10. Rory Gallagher, Keep A Knockin’ (from All Around Man, Live in London) . . . Quite the rave-up on short, sweet, two-minutes 15 seconds that’s all you need Little Richard cover from another recent live release, taken from a 1990 show, from the archives of the late great Irish guitarist/songwriter/bandleader. A fellow by the name of Geraint Watkins – who has played with the likes of Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds and Status Quo – does a nice impression of Jerry Lee Lewis on piano on the track, and throughout the album. Or, perhaps I should just say, Geraint Watkins is a great piano/keyboard player, although the boogie woogie on this track reminded me of Jerry Lee.

11. Pete Townshend, Gonna Get Ya . . . From 1980’s Empty Glass, likely if not certainly Townshend’s best solo album, in fact some music critics termed it a Who album that never was. Who singer Roger Daltrey said he felt let down by Townshend, believing many of the songs would have worked as Who songs.

12. AC/DC, Nick Of Time . . . Inspiration comes from anywhere. I was at the grocery store the other day and just as the cashier was finishing ringing in my purchases and about to put down the ‘another cashier will be pleased (I always wonder about that, are they really pleased?) to serve you’ thing, another customer comes up behind me and says, ‘whew, just in the nick of time.” So here you go, this track, complete with some perhaps uncharacteristic, at least for AC/DC, tempo changes, from 1988’s Blow Up Your Video album.

13. George Thorogood & The Destroyers, Killer’s Bluze . . . I just realized this now, as I type this, but playing AC/DC and then Thorogood is maybe interesting happenstance given that both artists have made careers of essentially doing the same thing over and over, yet in such a way that it’s never boring (to me, anyway) and always actually inventive in various ways. All of which of course is a talent in itself; otherwise they wouldn’t have careers. Plus, I like how ‘bluze’ is spelled on this hard, heavy, slow burner. It’s from Thorogood’s 1993 album Haircut.

14. Rare Earth, What’d I Say (Ray Charles cover), from Rare Earth In Concert . . . A reinvention of the Ray Charles tune, from the album an old friend of mine calls ‘the backpack album’ because, well, a backpack is on the cover.

15. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Don’t Pull Me Over . . . Speaking of friends . . . buddy of mine was talking about Petty’s Mojo album the other day. So I threw darts and one landed on this reggae-ish tune featuring some fine wah wah guitar from Mike Campbell, from that 2010 album.

16. Slim Harpo, Shake Your Hips . . . The great thing about music is how you grow up liking a band, then you dig into their influences and who they like and whole new avenues open up. So, I give you this hypnotic track the Stones covered to great effect on 1972’s Exile On Main St. album.

17. Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, Lost In The Ozone . . . Country/rockabilly title cut to the band’s 1971 album. The album also featured perhaps Commander Cody’s best-known to mainstream audiences song, the cover of American singer-songwriter Charlie Ryan’s Hot Rod Lincoln, first released in 1955.

18. Sea Level, Nothing Matters But The Fever . . . Probably my favorite from Sea Level, a funky, blues-based offshoot project of various Allman Brothers Band members between 1976 and 1981 led by the Allmans’ then-piano player Chuck Leavell, hence the group’s name, a pun on C. Leavell. Leavell, whose discography is extensive both as a bandleader and session player, is perhaps best known these days as a longtime touring player with The Rolling Stones. He’s also played on every Stones studio album, except 1997’s Bridges To Babylon and 2023’s Hackney Diamonds, since 1983’s Undercover.

19. Concrete Blonde, Walking In London . . . Title cut from the Los Angeles band’s 1992 album, fueled as always by lead singer Johnette Napolitano’s powerful vocals. Concrete Blonde, defunct now, is best known for the 1990 album Bloodletting and its hit single Joey.

20. Buddy Guy, Feels Like Rain . . . I played John Hiatt’s Perfectly Good Guitar recently and got to talking about how so many artists have covered his tunes including Bonnie Raitt with the hit Thing Called Love and George Thorogood with The Usual. Here’s another example, the title song from Guy’s 1993 album. It was on Hiatt’s 1988 album Slow Turning. Hiatt wasn’t involved with the Guy album, but lots of other music luminaries were including Bonnie Raitt, who played slide guitar and sang on Feels Like Rain, Paul Rodgers, John Mayall, pianist Ian McLagan of Faces and session fame, and Little Feat drummer Richie Hayward and pianist Bill Payne.

21. Eagles, Long Road Out Of Eden . . . Ten-minute title track from the band’s 2007 album which was their first full studio effort since The Long Run in 1979. Few people likely expected a new album at that time, and the band, while continuing to tour even after the death of founder member Glenn Frey in 2016, hasn’t released a new studio album since and almost certainly won’t, Don Henley said at the time of Long Road Out Of Eden’s release, thoughts echoed a few years later by band members Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit.

So Old It’s New set list for Saturday, April 6, 2024 – on air 8-10 am ET

So Old It’s new prog rock set for Saturday. My track-by-track tales follow the bare-bones list.

1. Pink Floyd, Welcome To The Machine
2. Genesis, Get ‘Em Out By Friday
3. King Crimson, Fallen Angel
4. Yes, Starship Trooper
5. Rush, Cygnus X-1
6. Can, Mother Sky
7. Hawkwind, Space Is Deep
8. The Moody Blues, Veteran Cosmic Rocker
9. Saga, Careful Where You Step
10. Jethro Tull, Black Satin Dancer
11. Soft Machine, Hope For Happiness
12. Supertramp, Another Man’s Woman
13. Kansas, The Pinnacle
14. Electric Light Orchestra, Dreaming Of 4000
15. Gentle Giant, Schooldays
16. Camel, A Song Within A Song
17. Emerson, Lake & Palmer, The Endless Enigma Part One/Fugue/The Endless Enigma Part Two

My track-by-track tales:

1. Pink Floyd, Welcome To The Machine . . . From the Wish You Were Here album, 1975. Spooky, dark, machine-like indeed. Lyrics as relevant today – probably even more so – than they were then. I’ve been in a bit of a Floyd phase, put together a suite of their mostly instrumental songs for my show last Saturday – The Great Gig In The Sky/Marooned/On The Run/Cluster One/Terminal Frost/Signs Of Life – and plan to open Monday’s show with a song to do, at least somewhat, with something happening in the sky that day. You’ll see, if you can’t figure it out already but I’m sure most Pink Floyd fans have.

2. Genesis, Get ‘Em Out By Friday . . . A song about what’s now called rent-eviction. From 1972’s Foxtrot album, perhaps best known for the 23-minute epic Supper’s Ready.

3. King Crimson, Fallen Angel . . . A multi-layered track, but then most Crimson songs are, from the 1974 album Red. Brooding, then soft, then hard and heavy, including the drumming of Bill Bruford on the first of two straight songs, with two different bands, featuring Bruford, which also allows me to sneak in a little tale about Geddy Lee reacting to an uninformed interviewer in a documentary I saw some years back on Rush. But let’s wait until I get to the Rush song.

4. Yes, Starship Trooper . . . Bruford again, preceding the time he spent in King Crimson, this time with Yes-mates Jon Anderson (vocals), Chris Squire (bass), Steve Howe (guitars) and at the time of this recording, before Rick Wakeman joined the band for Fragile, Tony Kay (organ/Moog synthesizer). Bruford was with Yes for the band’s first five albums – Yes, Time and a Word, The Yes Album from which I pulled this amazing piece of music, Fragile and Close To The Edge, later returning for Union, in terms of studio work, in 1991. Starship Trooper is, as one reviewer termed it, an astonishing composition/production in three distinct parts featuring myriad tempo changes – Life Seeker, Disillusion and Wurm – displaying all the band could throw at you from its instrumental and vocal arsenal. The essence of prog, in short.

5. Rush, Cygnus X-1 . . . Love this one, especially the spooky start, but all of it, from A Farewell To Kings, 1977, the first Rush album I bought with my own money, age 18. I had known their short, straight-ahead singles like In The Mood from their debut album and Fly By Night and bought A Farewell To Kings for another such song, Closer To The Heart and in doing so was introduced to Rush’s progressive rock side via extended pieces like Cygnus X-1 and Xanadu. It’s likely still my favorite Rush album, and not simply for nostalgic reasons. As for the Bill Bruford-Geddy Lee tale I promised: Rush often cited Yes as an influence and if memory serves, I think it was on the excellent documentary Beyond The Lighted Stage, might have been another one, Lee is interviewed backstage by an obviously less than prepared journalist and Lee mentions Yes and Bill Bruford but it’s clear the interviewer doesn’t have a clue about either Yes or Bruford and while Lee is too polite and too nice a guy to say anything, as he patiently proceeds telling his tale, the look of irritation on his face is priceless.

6. Can, Mother Sky . . . Propulsive track from the Krautrock band, originally on their 1970 release of songs they did for films, called Soundtracks. It’s 14-plus minutes long there but while I like that version, I decided to play the edited down, more concise offering that appeared on the 1994 compilation Anthology that got me into the band. I’d always known of them but decided to take the plunge via that compilation, was hooked and very quickly acquired the entire studio catalog.

7. Hawkwind, Space Is Deep . . . Another of those songs in this set that perhaps presages things I’m doing for my upcoming Monday show, to do with space and the sky and such, obviously influenced by a celestial event that is happening on April 8 and I’ll have a few more songs in that vein, title-wise anyway, on Monday. This is from Motorhead founder (after he left Hawkwind) Lemmy’s first studio foray with space rockers Hawkwind, the cleverly – or eye rolling, depending on one’s point of view – titled Doremi Fasol Latido album, released in late 1972.

8. The Moody Blues, Veteran Cosmic Rocker . . . From 1981’s Long Distance Voyager album, likely my favorite full piece of work by the band, probably because music is so often one of those time and place things in terms of what was going on in your life, what the music of the day was, etc. And for me, it was a fun spring and summer, immediately post-college graduation, spent in the San Francisco area of California where my dad had taken a new job. Long Distance Voyager was all over the radio, along with Kim Carnes’ Bette Davis Eyes and Burnin’ For You from Blue Oyster Cult’s Fire Of Unknown Origin album. I wound up buying Long Distance Voyager and Fire Of Unknown Origin, and just enjoying the Carnes song, great tune, great voice, which of course now I can call up any time I wish to hear it.

9. Saga, Careful Where You Step . . . Not a huge Saga fan, even if they are from my hometown of Oakville, Ontario, but I do like their early stuff and this is from the 1980 album Silent Knight, which featured the song Don’t Be Late and got me into the band for a time, following them through such hits or at least well-known tracks like On The Loose, Wind Him Up, The Flyer and Scratching The Surface. In one of those interesting things that happen in music where bands can be huge in a certain place beyond their appeal anywhere else (see Cheap Trick and Japan, just one example; what broke Cheap Trick big was the live at Budokan album), Saga is/was huge in Germany.

10. Jethro Tull, Black Satin Dancer . . . From the Minstrel In The Gallery album, 1975. It’s a record that, over time, and I’m a huge Tull fan, has cemented itself as one of my alltime favorites in the extensive catalog. Obviously, one could say this about so many Tull tracks but we’re talking deeper cuts here and this song is the essence of Tull, encapsulating what the band has been about: tempo changes, flute, acoustic, hard rock, guitar solos, stop, start, back and forth, including sometimes interesting vocals or, rather, mouthing effects. Just listen and you’ll know what I mean. Ridiculously good.

11. Soft Machine, Hope For Happiness . . . From the debut album, 1968, simply titled The Soft Machine, from back before myriad lineup changes to the point where no original members remained, and changes in direction to where Soft Machine eventually – and rather quickly, by the fourth album in 1971 – became an instrumentals-only jazz/jazz fusion/jazz rock band. Quirky, always interesting, ever-changing, worth checking out.

12. Supertramp, Another Man’s Woman . . . Another band I credit my dear departed older brother by eight years for introducing me to when he brought back their first album of any real consequence, Crime Of The Century, in 1974. This is from the followup, 1975’s Crisis, What Crisis? At the time, the band members weren’t happy with the album as they felt it was rushed due to record company pressure to strike while the iron was hot so to speak and issue a followup to Crime Of The Century. Yet Roger Hodgson later termed it his favorite Supertramp record. I like it, can’t really decide between for me the band’s best works – Crime Of The Century, Crisis and Even In The Quietest Moments with a nod to the first post-Hodgson album, 1985’s Brother Where You Bound. No Breakfast In America? No, not really, for me. I saw the tour in Toronto and it was fantastic but as for the album? It’s OK. Lots of hits but way overplayed and far too commercial and pandering to the US audience for me. I mean the songs are infectious ear candy, but no real depth, certainly not as compared to previous records. It worked, commercially, finally broke them in the USA, but it didn’t last long.

13. Kansas, The Pinnacle . . . There are fans of music who may only know Kansas by their two big commercial hits – Carry On Wayward Son and Dust In The Wind – and that’s all well and good. But, unless they bought the actual albums on which those songs appeared – like Leftoverture with the extended piece Magnum Opus or Point Of Know Return with Hopelessly Human and Closet Chronicles – they might not think of Kansas as a progressive rock band producer of multifaceted epics like this. From the Masque album, 1975, which preceded the aforementioned Leftoverture and Point Of Know Return in 1976 and 1977, respectively. For a moment in time, Kansas popped into the commercial rock singles consciousness but like the tide, receded pretty much permanently – and good for it – into the full-blown progressive rock ocean represented by songs like this one.

14. Electric Light Orchestra, Dreaming Of 4000 . . . That heavy guitar riff kicks in at the 12-second mark and you’re thinking hard rock/metal but no, that’s not what prog is about, of course. Suddenly we’ve slowed down, then speeded up, then later on that hard rock guitar riff returns. Etc. Early ELO, from 1973’s On The Third Day. The commercial hits from the album, and great ones they were, were Showdown and Ma-Ma-Ma Belle but that’s why you do full albums, you draw ’em in with the singles so you can expose ’em to killer stuff like Dreaming Of 4000, to be maybe used, sometime down the road, by a DJ doing a deep cuts show.

15. Gentle Giant, Schooldays . . . Such amazing sounds on this one from the British prog, er, giants. You just sort of let yourself be embraced by the sounds, the vocals, all of it. From the 1972 album Three Friends, a concept piece about three childhood friends and their subsequent lives.

16. Camel, A Song Within A Song . . . As the title suggests, truly a song, or songs, within a song. At risk of repeating myself, like so many progressive rock songs, the tempo changes are the appeal, at a given moment things can move in a different direction within the same overall piece, which is the obvious attraction for avid consumers of this form of music. From the English band’s 1976 release Moonmadness. Perhaps a subtle nod on my part, again, to something involving the moon that will happen on Monday, April 8.

17. Emerson, Lake & Palmer, The Endless Enigma Part One/Fugue/The Endless Enigma Part Two . . . The three-part suite that opens ELP’s third album, Trilogy. As I told a friend, my default position on music I mostly listen to is Rolling Stones-ish raunch and roll but I do have a lot of prog and when I listen to it, or play it for the show, it reinforces in me the thought that, while critics of it often suggest it is or can be boring, pretentious stuff, it’s actually brilliant stuff. And it rocks, a lot of the time. Thanks for listening.

So Old It’s New set list for Monday, April 1, 2024

My track-by-track tales follow the bare-bones list.

1. Elvis Costello, Welcome To The Working Week
2. Chicago, Sing A Mean Tune Kid
3. The Clash, The Guns Of Brixton
4. The J. Geils Band, Chimes (live, from Blow Your Face Out)
5. Frank Sinatra, Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
6. Bob Dylan, Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You
7. Robert Palmer, What Do You Care
8. Johnny Cash, (There’ll Be) Peace In The Valley (live, from Johnny Cash at San Quentin)
9. Black Sabbath, Country Girl
10. Emmylou Harris, Two More Bottles Of Wine
11. Mick Jagger, Party Doll
12. Junkhouse, Drink
13. Foreigner, Love Has Taken Its Toll
14. Tim Curry, No Love On The Street
15. Bruce Cockburn, The Rose Above The Sky
16. Molly Hatchet, Fall Of The Peacemakers
17. Patti Smith Group, Space Monkey
18. Grateful Dead, New Speedway Boogie
19. UFO, Rock Bottom
20. Savoy Brown, Leavin’ Again

My track-by-track tales:

1. Elvis Costello, Welcome To The Working Week . . . The only thing wrong with this opening rocker to Costello’s first studio album, My Aim Is True, is that it’s too short. But at one minute, 22 seconds, that’s what makes it so effective; leaves you wanting more. It was the B-side to the Alison single which, remarkably, though it’s come to be one of Costello’s best-known songs, didn’t chart, even on his home turf of the UK. Linda Ronstadt’s beautiful cover version of Alison – how could it not be beautiful, given Ronstadt’s amazing voice now sadly silenced due to a form of Parkinson’s – however, did make No. 30 in the US and No. 66 in the UK. Costello apparently was derisive towards Ronstadt’s version, but was quoted as saying “I didn’t mind spending the money that she earned me (in royalties).”

2. Chicago, Sing A Mean Tune Kid . . . Thank you to my older brother and sister for joining the Columbia Record Club for a time in 1970 and ’71, which helped introduce me to bands who were on that label at the time – Santana, Blood Sweat & Tears and the early, and best, inventive, jazz rock fusion version of Chicago. All of the Terry Kath-era albums are very good, lots of great songs and singles throughout but as whole pieces of creativity, the first three albums, to me, are sublime. This extended track, part song, part band jam, part Kath guitar showcase, is the lead cut on Chicago III, from 1971.

3. The Clash, The Guns Of Brixton . . . Speaking of mean tunes, from London Calling, one of my favorite Clash songs. It was written and sung by bass player Paul Simonon in something of a departure for the band, most of whose material was written and sung by Joe Strummer or Mick Jones. London Calling, a more mainstream offering than previous Clash material, was the album, released in 1979, that broke them big and for a time, into the early 1980s, for me they may truly have lived up to their billing as ‘the only band that matters” and were a group that rivalled my all-time favorites The Rolling Stones as a go-to listen.

“When they kick at your front door
How you gonna come?
With your hands on your head
Or on the trigger of your gun?”

The opening verse is compelling and does what good art does, it prompts you to research and learn about that which prompted the song, which described the tensions that existed in Brixton and led to the 1981 riot but more so, the tune is inspired by the 1972 movie The Harder They Come, starring Jamaican reggae artist Jimmy Cliff.

4. The J. Geils Band, Chimes (live, from Blow Your Face Out) . . . I love the J. Geils Band, especially their pre-overtly commercial stuff like the Freeze Frame album, and especially live. And how can you not love – or want to investigate – an album called Blow Your Face Out ? Which they always did, live. Even on slower material like this or, for another example, their cover of John Lee Hooker’s Serves You Right To Suffer on Geils’ first live album, Full House. Chimes was originally a five-minute track on their 1973 studio release Ladies Invited, and a good version that is, but something magic happened when J. Geils Band went live in concert, evidenced by the 9-minute version on Blow Your Face Out.

5. Frank Sinatra, Bad, Bad Leroy Brown . . . Yeah, I know. Frank Sinatra? Talk about out of left field, perhaps, but I like and embrace all kinds of music, a good song is a good song is a good song, besides which yeah, I sometimes do go out on a limb and there’s some method to this apparent madness. Blame a buddy of mine, or me and him, together. I was talking to him about how I do like throwing the occasional curveball, I’ve done it forever on the show with perhaps jarring genre changes from one song to another, so I said something like I may even play Frank Sinatra sometime, as I continue becoming my dear departed dad, in my own aging time, I think. So be it. So, here you go, with Sinatra’s cover of the Jim Croce hit. It’s not going to replace Croce’s original for me, but not a bad job, Ol’ Blue Eyes. It appeared on Sinatra’s 1974 comeback from a brief retirement (1971-73) album, Some Nice Things I’ve Missed. And we miss Jim Croce (RIP), taken from us at the height of his popularity in a plane crash while on tour in 1973, age 30.

6. Bob Dylan, Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You . . . A single that wasn’t a big hit, made No. 50 and you don’t arguably hear it very much compared to other Dylan tunes, but a jaunty sort of jingle that is one of my favorites of his but of course, being a big Dylan fan, there are countless favorites. It’s from his country rock album, Nashville Skyline, released in 1969 and featuring Johnny Cash, although not on this song, among the musicians. Speaking of Johnny Cash, wait . . .

7. Robert Palmer, What Do You Care . . . Palmer, who sadly died of a heart attack in 2003, age 54, became massively commercially successful with mid- to late 1980s hits like Addicted To Love, Simply Irresistible, I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On, good songs all, and his work with members of Duran Duran as the band The Power Station including hit singles Some Like It Hot and the T. Rex cover (Get It On) Bang A Gong. But I prefer his earlier stuff, songs like Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley and then the two front to back solid albums that made me a fan during my college days, Secrets and Clues, the latter of which I mined for What Do You Care.

8. Johnny Cash, (There’ll Be) Peace In The Valley (live, from Johnny Cash at San Quentin) . . . The wait is over, from the earlier Dylan tune. Here’s Cash, from an album my dad owned and played incessantly and I’m glad he did, Johnny Cash at San Quentin, with a stirring rendition of this spiritual tune.

9. Black Sabbath, Country Girl . . . Speaking of perhaps jarring genre changes, here’s the Ronnie James Dio version of Black Sabbath, from the Mob Rules album. Not only is it a great, melodic tune as so much hard rock actually is, but it serves to set up . . . a country girl.

10. Emmylou Harris, Two More Bottles Of Wine . . . And here she is, country girl Emmylou with a Delbert McClinton-penned tune she took to No. 1 on the country charts in 1978. But you don’t play hits, Bald Boy, it’s a deep cuts show. Or supposed to be. True. But it’s my show, my rules, and as often stated I do play the occasional single that didn’t do well, or a single released by an obscure band that typically doesn’t do well . . . or a country tune my mostly rock audience may not have heard. And, hey, she collaborated with Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits fame on the excellent 2006 album All The Roadrunning from which I’ve played songs in the past so, she’s more than worthy, a great artist. And I appreciate her sentiments, or those of McClinton’s lyrics, good to have booze in reserve, especially on long weekends like Easter, when so many things are closed.

11. Mick Jagger, Party Doll . . . From his second solo album, Primitive Cool, released in 1987. This, to me, is the type of country-ish ballad Jagger does best as evidenced by similar tunes Evening Gown and Hang On To Me Tonight on his 1993 and arguably best solo release Wandering Spirit.

12. Junkhouse, Drink . . . I’ve stated it many times, I like anything Tom Wilson is involved in whether it be as leader of Junkhouse where he first came to prominence, soon branching out to solo work and his involvement with Blackie and The Rodeo Kings and as main person in Lee Harvey Osmond. Wilson kicked booze, sober to this day as far as I know but he wrote about it a lot during his drinking days; this from the 1995 Junkhouse album Birthday Boy.

13. Foreigner, Love Has Taken Its Toll . . . Foreigner is one of those bands where, usually, a compilation of hits will suffice and we all likely know Foreigner’s hits well. But sometimes, you have to own or at least know about an album to get a great deep cut, like this one from the Double Vision album. I bought the album on release in 1978 for the title cut single as well as another single, Hot Blooded, only to discover what might be my favorite Foreigner song.

14. Tim Curry, No Love On The Street . . . From the multi-talented Curry, perhaps best known as Dr. Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture show movie, which I got into in a big way in college. Curry was also the hilarious butler in the movie Clue. So, anyway, when I was browsing the old Sam The Record Man main store in Toronto back then, and they were playing Curry’s just-released 1979 album Fearless, it was an impulse buy I’ve never regretted because it caused me to discover his full discography selected songs of which, including this one and Sloe Gin, have been covered by American blues rocker Joe Bonamassa. But, sorry Joe, love your playing but you don’t have the vocal chops to match Curry’s passion. I’ve played Curry’s Sloe Gin before and will do so again. A great talent, Curry, sadly reduced since a 2012 stroke but still performing.

15. Bruce Cockburn, The Rose Above The Sky . . . Beautiful stuff from his 1980 album Humans. In a 1981 interview about the album, Cockburn touched on what had been a difficult time for him, including a separation from his wife which influenced several songs on the album, like What About The Bond, but cited The Rose Above The Sky as “about moving from downness into something that opens up, although what that something is is not really spelled out.”

16. Molly Hatchet, Fall Of The Peacemakers . . . Every so-called southern rock band seems to have a classic epic track. For Lynyrd Skynyrd, it’s of course Freebird. The Outlaws have Green Grass and High Tides and for Molly Hatchet, it’s this one.

17. Patti Smith Group, Space Monkey . . . From Easter, the 1978 album I got into via a bar band in the pub I worked in during college days playing Easter’s hit single, Because The Night, co-written by Bruce Springsteen.

18. Grateful Dead, New Speedway Boogie . . . A bluesy shuffle from Workingman’s Dead, from 1970.

19. UFO, Rock Bottom . . . Guitar showcase for Michael Schenker on his first outing with UFO, the 1974 album Phenomenom, which could be a reference to his guitar playing.

20. Stevie Ray Vaughan, Superstition (Stevie Wonder cover, from Live Alive) . . . Funky, bluesy, still will always prefer the original classic but SRV puts his own cool stamp on it.

21. The Who, How Many Friends . . . One of my favorite songs from one of my favorite Who albums, The Who By Numbers. It was somewhat dismissed by music critics because it’s not Tommy, Who’s Next or Quadrophenia but cut for cut I think it’s great, probably because I was age 16 in 1975 when it came out, coming of age so to speak in high school, and that’s when so many things truly resonate or we look back on fondly. It was the first Who non-compilation studio album I bought with my own money (for the single, Squeeze Box, which quickly took a back seat to the rest of the record) and to this day it remains a favorite of mine.

22. Savoy Brown, Leavin’ Again . . . Extended blues rock from the 1970 album Looking In. I finally saw Savoy Brown, by then billed as (leader/guitarist and lone constant member) Kim Simmonds (RIP as of 2022) and Savoy Brown, at the Kitchener Blues Festival in 2013. Great show.

So Old It’s New set list for Saturday, March 30, 2024 – on air 8-10 am ET

An all-instrumentals show, including a Pink Floyd song suite I put together, cheating a bit with Clare Torry’s improvised ‘wordless vocals’ on The Great Gig In The Sky, drawing from various of their albums. My track-by-track tales follow the bare-bones list.

1. The Allman Brothers Band, Instrumental Illness
2. The Alan Parsons Project, Lucifer
3. The Alan Parsons Project, In The Lap Of The Gods
4. Pink Floyd, The Great Gig In The Sky/Marooned/On The Run/Cluster One/Terminal Frost/Signs Of Life
5. Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Hoedown
6. Jeff Beck, Beck’s Bolero
7. The Butterfield Blues Band, East West
8. Eagles, Journey Of The Sorcerer
9. Santana, Soul Sacrifice (live at Fillmore West, 1968)
10. Deep Purple, Son Of Alerik
11. Joe Jackson, Zemeo
12. Genesis, Los Endos

My track-by-track tales:

1. The Allman Brothers Band, Instrumental Illness . . . Twelve-minute track from the final studio album by the band, Hittin’ The Note, released in 2003, serves as the title cut for my all-instrumental song show. Interesting, maybe, for me it is, how the set lists can develop. I enjoy the process of putting things together, developing a flow, throwing the occasional deliberate curveball with a genre change from one song to another, etc. Not to overanalyze it but it’s revealing perhaps in terms of how our brains work, how one thought leads to another, and in this case, the decision to do an all-instrumentals show came from searching for Gram Parsons and Flying Burrito Brothers songs in our radio station’s computer system. Searching his name also brought up The Alan Parsons Project, so I listened to that group’s instrumental In The Lap Of The Gods and that was my eureka moment for this week. Out went Gram Parsons, for this show at least, in came instrumentals, and who better to start with than a band, the Allmans, well known for them. It’s a long list that includes In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed, Pegasus, Mountain Jam to name just a few. And, I’m throwing in a couple from The Alan Parsons Project, too.

2. The Alan Parsons Project, Lucifer . . . A hit in Europe, from the 1979 album Eve. I think most people might recognize the groove, soon enough you’re thinking ‘I know that tune”. The song has been used as the theme music to a German political affairs magazine show, Monitor. Damned If I Do was the hit from Eve in North America (No. 16 in Canada, No. 27 in the US).

3. The Alan Parsons Project, In The Lap Of The Gods . . . And here’s the random song that inspired the set, via the Gram Parsons search. It’s from Pyramid, the 1978 album that preceded Eve.

4. Pink Floyd, The Great Gig In The Sky/Marooned/On The Run/Cluster One/Terminal Frost/Signs Of Life . . . I’m cheating with The Great Gig In The Sky as the lead cut in a nearly half hour suite of Pink Floyd instrumentals I’ve put together, given the spoken word parts and, more so, session singer Clare Torry’s stunning, improvised ‘wordless vocals’ on the track from The Dark Side Of The Moon. Interestingly enough, it’s an album on which Alan Parsons served as a studio engineer and suggested Torry, who he had worked with before, as someone who could add something to keyboard player Richard Wright’s composition. The band had no lyrics for the tune, asked Torry if she could improvise something, and the rest is history. She was originally credited as the vocalist, but later sued and received an undisclosed settlement and a songwriting credit. Marooned, Cluster One (both from The Division Bell album), Terminal Frost and Signs Of Life (from A Momentary Lapse Of Reason) are from the post-Roger Waters, David Gilmour-led version of Pink Floyd while On The Run is also from The Dark Side Of The Moon.

5. Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Hoedown . . . An arrangment of a composition by Aaron Copland, who did the music for the ballet Rodeo, which premiered in 1942 and on which his version, titled Hoe-Down, appeared. ELP released their interpretation, with Copland’s permission and credit to him, on their 1972 album Trilogy.

6. Jeff Beck, Beck’s Bolero . . . Writing space, even though it’s unlimited on the web 🙂 does not permit all the insights and intrigue about this track which finally appeared on album on Beck’s seminal 1968 release Truth. But the truth about the track itself is rather murky and has taken many twists and turns over the years. Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin fame wrote it, or Jeff Beck might have, or they both did, and either Page, Beck or other people produced it. Gee, Jimmy Page involved in disputes or at least questions about credits? Nah, can’t be. See Led Zeppelin and plagiarism. Oh, also, drummer Keith Moon of The Who, credited as “You Know Who” played on it, so did noted session pianist Nicky Hopkins and future Zeppelin bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones and for a while some combination of those guys might have become the first lineup of Led Zeppelin. And Who bassist John Entwistle was also hanging around the studio at the time. Worth reading up on. As for the song itself, you know it, you love it, you’ll know you know it when you hear it.

7. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, East West . . . Another piece that books, or at least long essays, have been written about. It was apparently inspired by an LSD trip taken by guitarist Mike Bloomfield and incorporates elements of jazz, what’s now called ‘world’ music and psychedelic acid rock. It’s the title cut of the second Butterfield band album, released in 1966. It truly is quite the trip.

8. Eagles, Journey Of The Sorcerer . . . The long and winding road that is the root of this instrumental show brings us back, sort of, to Gram Parsons and The Flying Burrito Brothers. That’s because Bernie Leadon, who had been in the Burritos along with Parsons before joining the Eagles, wrote this piece that appeared on the One Of These Nights album, after which Leadon left the band, being replaced by Joe Walsh of solo and James Gang fame. Leadon did return to tour with the Eagles from 2013-15.

9. Santana, Soul Sacrifice (live at Fillmore West, 1968) . . . Not the famous 1969 Woodstock performance that made Santana stars but a 14-plus minute version from an earlier gig, recorded in December of 1968 on the band’s home turf of San Francisco, eight months before the first studio album was released. The performance finally saw physical copy release in 1997 on the Live At The Fillmore 1968 album.

10. Deep Purple, Son Of Alerik . . . Bluesy 10-minute guitar showcase for Ritchie Blackmore with tasteful input from keyboardist Jon Lord, apparently about a Visigoth king, more commonly spelled Alaric. It’s from the Perfect Strangers album in 1984, the first reunion record released by the celebrated so-called Mark II version of Purple – Blackmore, Lord, singer Ian Gillan, bassist Roger Glover and drummer Ian Paice. An edited version was the B side to the Perfect Strangers single and, later, the full version was added as a bonus track on CD re-releases of the album.

11. Joe Jackson, Zemeo . . . Extended moody piece from the excellent Mike’s Murder movie soundtrack album, released in 1983. The movie, starring Debra Winger and about the seedy side of the Los Angeles entertainment world, bombed at the box office. It had a tortured history, was revamped before release and most of Jackson’s music was replaced with a score done by John Barry, noted for his James Bond movie music and theme. But the soundtrack album is to me one of Jackson’s finest and is essentially a companion piece to his 1982 album Night and Day, although he later released Night and Day II, in 2000.

12. Genesis, Los Endos . . . Ending the show with the final track, appropriately titled, from the first album, A Trick Of The Tail, Genesis did after the departure of lead singer Peter Gabriel. That left drummer Phil Collins, somewhat reluctantly at first and surprising as it may seem now, to eventually take the microphone as new frontman after new singer auditions proved fruitless. Collins sings a barely audible snippet from Supper’s Ready, the epic song from the Gabriel era, on the fadeout as a tribute to the original lead singer.

So Old It’s New set list for Monday, March 25, 2024

My track-by-track tales follow the bare-bones list:

1. Peter Gabriel, Intruder
2. Led Zeppelin, In The Evening
3. The Rolling Stones, Fingerprint File
4. Peter Frampton (I’ll Give You) Monday (live, from Frampton Comes Alive!)
5. Headstones, Captain Of The Shit Out Of Luck
6. Gov’t Mule, Have Mercy On The Criminal (Elton John cover)
7. Black Oak Arkansas, Mutants Of The Monster
8. Richie Havens, Rocky Raccoon (Beatles cover, live)
9. Bruce Springsteen, Adam Raised A Cain
10. Johnny Winter, I’m Yours And I’m Hers
11. Little Feat, Willin’ (original version, from 1971 self-titled debut album; updated and better-known version appeared on 1972’s Sailin’ Shoes album)
12. Linda Ronstadt, Roll Um Easy (Little Feat cover)
13. Dave Edmunds, (I’m Gonna Start) Living Again If It Kills Me
14. John Lee Hooker, Tupelo
15. Nirvana, Polly
16. Soundgarden, Fresh Tendrils
17. Thin Lizzy, Opium Trail
18. John Hiatt, Perfectly Good Guitar
19.Thunderclap Newman, Accidents
20. Canned Heat, Gotta Boogie (The World Boogie)

My track-by-track tales.

1. Peter Gabriel, Intruder . . . Spooky opening track to Gabriel’s third solo album, all of them to that point simply called “Peter Gabriel’ so the third album became known as ‘Melt’ due to its cover art of Gabriel’s face melting. Gabriel’s old Genesis bandmate Phil Collins guests on drums using the ‘gated reverb’ audio proecessing sound technique for the first time, which Collins later used to great effect on his hit single In The Air Tonight on his first solo album, Face Value. I’m no drum or instrument expert, so I leave the audience to look up ‘gated reverb’. Bottom line, it’s a great drum sound.

2. Led Zeppelin, In The Evening . . . I was going to start this evening’s show with this, from In Through The Out Door, makes sense of course but then I thought, the Intruder is, er, intruding In The Evening. Some have criticized Robert Plant’s vocals for being barely understandable. Yeah, maybe, never occurred to me all that much, actually. Most rock songs, let’s face it, you only focus on certain lyrics anyway, the chorus, the signature line, whatever, I mean we’re not talking Bob Dylan or whoever all the time, it’s bloody rock and roll, after all and this is a pulsating, extended rock track with a nice riff; it kicks butt. So there.

3. The Rolling Stones, Fingerprint File . . . This is why you listen to full albums, not just hits compilations. Amazing funk/rock by the boys, Mick Jagger even goes into a spoken-word rap before rap was a big thing, from 1974’s It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll album which got mixed reviews but some rock critics I think are looking to write something more interesting and provocative, being negative towards great artists, than what they might actually be listening to, if they took the time to really listen. Their loss, in my opinion.

4. Peter Frampton, (I’ll Give You) Money (live, from Frampton Comes Alive!) . . . Nice rocker from the live album that finally made Frampton a big solo star, some years after he had left Humble Pie and released several solo records. The studio version of this song is on his fourth studio album, simply titled Frampton and issued in 1975, and it’s good, but as with most of his material it’s long since been eclipsed, to most people, by the versions on Frampton Comes Alive!

5. Headstones, Captain Of The Shit Out Of Luck . . . Short (2 minutes, 14 seconds) sweet, typically blistering Headstones, great song title, from their 2017 album Little Army. Nice harmonica break by lead singer Hugh Dillon.

6. Gov’t Mule, Have Mercy On The Criminal (Elton John cover) . . . The Mule, led by guitarist/vocalist Warren Haynes, is a band that emerged in the 1990s as a side project out of latter-day versions of The Allman Brothers Band to become a top entry in its own right. The Mule does their own great, original blues-based rock but are also excellent at classic rock covers, either in studio or live versions, this studio version of the Elton John/Bernie Taupin tune from the Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player album among them. It appeared on the bonus 3rd disc of the band’s 2021 mostly blues covers release, Heavy Load Blues.

I like The Mule’s classic rock covers so much that, years ago, I burned a CD of their versions of such material: The Beatles’ She Said She Said and Helter Skelter, Free’s Mr. Big, Steppenwolf’s Don’t Step On The Grass, Sam, Black Sabbath’s War Pigs, Humble Pie’s 30 Days In The Hole, King Crimson’s 21st Century Schizoid Man, Deep Purple’s Maybe I’m A Leo, Grand Funk Railroad’s Sin’s A Good Man’s Brother, The Who’s We’re Not Gonna Take It and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man. The band has also done tribute albums of Pink Floyd (Dark Side Of The Mule) and The Rolling Stones (Stoned Side Of The Mule) material. They’ve also done a reggae album of covers and their own stuff, Dub Side Of The Mule. Great stuff, all of it, a fair bit of their work produced by Canadian Gordie Johnson of Big Sugar fame.

7. Black Oak Arkansas, Mutants Of The Monster . . . Two things about Black Oak Arkansas, the southern hard rock/country rock/boogie rock band fronted by Jim “Dandy’ Mangrum. 1. Van Halen’s David Lee Roth was obviously influenced by Mangrum, just listen, read, look at photos. Not criticizing, I liked Roth as Van Halen’s singer during his heyday (his vocals during various reunions tours were embarrassing; he’d lost it), just saying. It’s pretty evident to anyone. 2. Great tune, Mutants Of The Monster, from an even better named album: 1972’s If An Angel Came To See You, Would You Make Her Feel At Home?

8. Richie Havens, Rocky Racoon (live) . . . Havens reinvented various Beatles tunes including Eleanor Rigby, Lady Madonna, Here Comes The Sun, several others in addition to various Bob Dylan tunes. Here’s his speeded up take on this White Album track and, as is often the case it’s his fast acoustic guitar strumming that draws you in for the duration.

9. Bruce Springsteen, Adam Raised A Cain . . . So, I was on Twittter, now of course known as X, the other day posting a previous show of mine and someone was throwing out one of those sorts of random rock and roll questions that can be irresistible. The question: favourite Springsteen album? I couldn’t really pick between what are and always will be my three favourites from that amazing run Springsteen had starting with 1975’s Born To Run, then 1978’s Darkness On The Edge Of Town and 1980’s The River. So I cheated and listed all three. I like the first two Springsteen albums, preceding those three, and subsequent stuff like Nebraska and Tunnel Of Love and assorted great songs throughout the catalog but if forced to pick, it would be those three and if forced to narrow it down to one it might well be Darkness. And then picking a track from that? Well, so many good ones including the title cut which resonates so much, lyrically, to me. But I threw darts and hit on Adam Raised A Cain. No way to go wrong with that album, really.

10. Johnny Winter, I’m Yours And I’m Hers . . . Usually, it was Johnny Winter covering The Rolling Stones (Jumping Jack Flash, Let It Bleed, Silver Train) but the Stones actually at least once covered Winter. They played this tune, from Winter’s 1969 debut album, to open the 1969 Hyde Park tribute concert to the then-recently deceased Brian Jones. It apparently had been Jones’ favorite song.

11. Little Feat, Willin’ (original version, from Little Feat’s self-titled debut album in 1971; updated and likely best-known version appeared on 1972’s Sailin’ Shoes album) . . . A more spare, acoustic take on the Lowell George-penned tune, Willin’ also later done by the next artist in my set.

12. Linda Ronstadt, Roll Um Easy (Little Feat cover) . . . Speaking of Lowell George, he plays slide guitar on this cover of his tune that Ronstadt did for her 1975 album Prisoner In Disguise. Ronstadt covered Willin’ a year earlier on her Heart Like A Wheel album.

13. Dave Edmunds, (I’m Gonna Start) Living Again If It Kills Me . . . It can be interesting what happens as time passes. Case in point, this song. And in fact the album from which it came, Edmunds’ 1981 release Twangin’. I had gotten into him during my second-last year of college when he had a fairly big hit album, Repeat When Necessary, featuring such commercial tracks as Elvis Costello’s Girls Talk and Graham Parker’s Crawling From The Wreckage. All three artists by then had become favorites of mine but when Twangin’ came out, I remember buying it and being disappointed because to my still obviously developing ears, there was nothing immediate that struck me. Years later, I like the album and this song, both in its ballad but slightly rocked up pace but more so, the lyrics about moving on from the past. Sometimes, you have to live for a while for things to resonate.

14. John Lee Hooker, Tupelo . . . So good. One of my favorite Hooker tracks, any era, this one from his late 1980s-1990s rebirth with various guest stars that started with 1989’s The Healer album. But this spare, acoustic blues is all Hooker, from his 1995 album Chill Out. Carlos Santana, Van Morrison and Booker T. Jones are among the guests on the album but this track is just Hooker, his guitar, his voice. Sublime.

15. Nirvana, Polly . . . Disturbing subject matter always makes it a difficult listen for me and I almost hesitate to play it, but I do like the song, musically. It was written, from the perspective of the perpetrator, about the abduction, rape, and torture, with a blowtorch, of a 14-year-old girl returning home from a punk rock concert in Tacoma, Washington in 1987. The girl managed to escape and the perpetrator was arrested and convicted. He’s serving two consecutive 75-year prison terms.

16. Soundgarden, Fresh Tendrils . . . One of those songs that seems and is familiar – love the sort of descending, backwards riff is how I’d describe it – that one might think it was a hit single but that’s what happens with blockbuster albums, like Superunknown. It’s a terrific album, broke Soundgarden big during that early- to mid-1990s period where it seemed the Seattle grunge sound was taking over music, yet Fresh Tendrils, with its catchy ‘long time coming’ refrain wasn’t a single on an album full of them (Black Hole Sun, Fell On Black Days, Spoonman, maybe my favorite Soundgarden song, among them).

17. Thin Lizzy, Opium Trail . . . Yet another of those songs, this one from the Bad Reputation album (which features that also great title cut) in 1977, that shows Lizzy as being far more than just The Boys Are Back In Town. But Lizzy fans know the depth of quality of the band’s catalog, it’s up to others to investigate if they so choose.

18. John Hiatt, Perfectly Good Guitar . . . Hiatt is one of those artists, like Tom Waits, perhaps, where more people have hits with his songs (Bonnie Raitt with Thing Called Love; George Thorogood a minor hit with The Usual) than Hiatt has had himself. I remember hearing Perfectly Good Guitar, great song, I think so anyway, on the radio when the album of the same name came out in 1993. But, turns out, it wasn’t a chart hit, nor was the album which charted, according to my research, only in Australia where it made the lofty heights of No. 83. I shouldn’t have mentioned The Usual. Now I want a drink. To Hiatt’s songwriting.

19. Thunderclap Newman, Accidents . . . One album, one big hit single, Something In The Air, one big name producer and benefactor, The Who’s Pete Townshend, and then, well, we still have this extended piece from 1969’s debut and only record, Hollywood Dream. Guitarist Jimmy McCulloch, later of Paul McCartney and Wings who died as a result of drug and alcohol abuse at age 26 in 1979, was among the personnel on the Thunderclap Newman album and his solo is a featured portion on Accidents.

20. Canned Heat, Gotta Boogie (The World Boogie) . . . That John Lee Hooker Boogie Chillen riff . . . As we boogie on out of here.

So Old It’s New set list for Saturday, March 23, 2024 – on air 8-10 am ET

A long song set, nothing under 8 minutes . . . My track-by-track tales follow the bare-bones list.

1. Flash and The Pan, Welcome To The Universe
2. Fleetwood Mac, Future Games
3. Rush, 2112
4. King Crimson, Moonchild
5. Genesis, The Knife (from Genesis Live, 1973 album)
6. Traffic, The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys
7. Jethro Tull, Baker St. Muse
8. Supertramp, Brother Where You Bound
9. The Rolling Stones, Going Home

My track-by-track tales:

1. Flash and The Pan, Welcome To The Universe . . . Eight minutes and change from the second Flash and The Pan album, Lights In The Night, issued in 1980. The group, largely a studio-only enterprise, was put together by the production team of Harry Vanda and George Young, older brother of AC/DC guitarists Angus and Malcolm, with Vanda and George Young producing all the early AC/DC albums up to Highway To Hell when Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange took over for the first of three straight albums, Back In Black and For Those About To Rock being the others. Vanda and George Young returned as AC/DC producers for 1988’s Blow Up Your Video with George Young later doing Stiff Upper Lip in 2000 as sole producer. As for Flash and The Pan, it’s arguably as far from AC/DC’s hard rock as one could get, although Flash does rock, but in a different, synthesizer-based way. Welcome To The Universe was edited in half for single release, retaining the up tempo middle ‘song’ part while losing the dark, spooky intro and outro portions, which I think costs the song its essence. So, here’s the full version.

2. Fleetwood Mac, Future Games . . . Enter American guitarist Bob Welch in 1971 with his title cut on his first of five albums with Fleetwood Mac, signalling a further change in direction from the original blues rock leanings of the band under founder member/guitarist/singer Peter Green. Green left after 1969’s Then Play On, perhaps my favorite Mac album but even by then the sound, with the addition of guitarist Danny Kirwan, was incorporating psychedelic and folk elements that continued with the addition of Welch, who came on board after 1970’s Kiln House. Fleetweed Mac is an interesting band in that sense, essentially three bands under one banner. There’s the Peter Green mostly blues founding phases, then the 1970-74 period featuring, at various times, separately and together, guitarists Welch, Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer, then the commercial monster many hit singles version of guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and singer Stevie Nicks. All have their moments, and the hypnotic Future Games is one of them, from the arguably underappreciated Welch period. He later re-recorded the song, at half its 8-minute-plus Fleetwood Mac length, for his 1979 solo album The Other One, but I prefer the Mac version.

3. Rush, 2112 . . . Full vinyl-side 20-minute long title cut to the band’s 1976 album, one that arguably saved their career. It’s hard to believe now, but Rush’s previous album, Caress Of Steel, had been a sales disappointment and the band’s record label considered dropping them while pushing for a return to more commercial material. That would be songs like In The Mood or Working Man from the debut album, or Fly By Night, the second album’s hit single title cut on a record that, for the first time, featured a lengthy, progressive piece, By-Tor and The Snow Dog, which presaged even longer multi-part suites like The Necromancer and The Fountain Of Lamneth on Caress Of Steel. Yet, Rush held its ground, returned with another epic in 2112, it succeeded commercially this time, and the rest is history.

4. King Crimson, Moonchild . . . Beautiful track from In The Court Of The Crimson King, the debut and still my favorite Crimson album. It’s very ‘quiet’ for the most part yet compelling particularly to me the straight instrumental parts, concentrating on each instrument, particularly to my ears the drums, from about four minutes in and continuing for the rest of the 12-minute song.

5. Genesis, The Knife (from Genesis Live, 1973 album) . . . Hard rocking early Genesis, uncharacteristic of them to that point. The studio version was on Trespass, the band’s second album, released in 1970 with John Mayhew on drums before Phil Collins, who plays on this live version, joined Genesis for Nursery Cryme in 1971.

6. Traffic, The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys . . . I’ve played this title cut to the 1971 Traffic album before but was reminded of it when an old high school and college pal, after I played Traffic’s version of the traditional English/Scottish song John Barleycorn on Monday, pointed me towards a piano-only version done in 2017 by Steve Winwood who of course was the lead singer and multi-instrumentalist for Traffic. That version, available on YouTube, is worth checking out, I’ll likely get back to it sometime but I decided on the Traffic version for this show.

7. Jethro Tull, Baker St. Muse . . . Love the start of this long story song from the Minstreal In The Gallery album. “Baker St. Muse, take 1″, Ian Anderson intones, before a bit of acoustic guitar then ‘shit, shit, shit, take 2…” Leaving a screw up in makes it better, in my opinion. Another long track in a show of long songs, but never boring, kicking in and rocking it up at around 13 minutes of the 16.5 minutes with mention of the album and song title minstrel in the gallery “one day I’ll be a minstrel in the gallery…paint you a picture of the Queen…” so ‘British’, so great.

8. Supertramp, Brother Where You Bound . . . David Gilmour of Pink Floyd fame does the guitar solos on this 16-minute title cut from Supertramp’s 1985 album, the first record after the departure of one of the band’s two main songwriters, Roger Hodgson. Rick Davies took over full leadership of the band in that sense and, while things did decline in terms of sales from that point on, Supertramp was already in decline after Breakfast In America, a too pop for my taste albeit good and of course hugely successful commercially album . . . Brother Where You Bound is a far better album, I think, darker, harder, harkening back to earlier Supertramp like Crime Of The Century, than the Breakfast In America followup with Hodgson, . . . Famous Last Words.

9. The Rolling Stones, Going Home . . . Went for a beer with a good pal earlier this week and he brought up the Brian Jones period of the Stones career which, in some ways, is forgotten or overlooked or underappreciated, at least by some, now given the long 60-plus year history of the band. But this lengthy jam was from that Jones period (usually on guitar along with Keith Richards, Jones is on harmonica on the track). It’s on Aftermath, the 1966 album where for the first time, all songs were written by the Stones, i.e. Richards and Mick Jagger, the band’s songwriters. To that point, all Stones albums featured a mix of band-penned tunes with blues and R & B covers, so Aftermath – and Between The Buttons in 1967 – is when the group asserted itself as, arguably, more of an album act while still issuing big hit singles, with Jones experimenting on ‘exotic’ instruments like sitar, vibraphone (percussion), kazoo, koto (a stringed Japanese instrument) and marimba (percussion), among others. So many great deep cuts came out of that period, like Going Home, I Am Waiting, Flight 505, to name a few from Aftermath and Yesterday’s Papers, She Smiled Sweetly, Connection, My Obsession, Please Go Home from Between The Buttons which over time has become one of my favorite Stones’ albums.

So Old It’s New set list for Monday, March 18, 2024

Here’s my set list streamed live from 8-10 pm ET Monday, March 18, 2024. I’m back Saturday morning 8-10 am ET with my programmed show. Live in studio each Monday, 8-10 pm.

1. Hawkwind, Sonic Attack
2. Accept, Fast As A Shark
3. Ted Nugent, Stranglehold
4. Budgie, Breadfan
5. Black Sabbath, Supernaut
6. The Rolling Stones, Bite My Head Off
7. Aerosmith, The Hop
8. Eric Burdon & War, Bare Back Ride
9. T. Rex, The Slider
10. Blue Oyster Cult, She’s As Beautiful As A Foot
11. Carlos Santana/John McLaughlin/Mahavishnu Orchestra, A Love Supreme (Part 1, Acknowledgement)
12. Santana, Everything’s Coming Our Way
13. David Baerwald, Bozo Weirdo Wacko Creep
14. Traffic, John Barleycorn Must Die
15. Pretenders, Domestic Silence
16. It’s A Beautiful Day, White Bird
17. Alice Cooper, Generation Landslide
18. April Wine, Silver Dollar
19. David Wilcox, God Is On A Bender
20. Neil Young, Revolution Blues

So Old It’s New set list for Saturday, March 16, 2024 – on air 8-10 am ET

Alphabet soup set list – songs are by bands/artists A to Z. Set list with my track-by-track tales follow the bare-bones list.

1. Atomic Rooster, Death Walks Behind You
2. Bad Company, Crazy Circles
3. J.J. Cale, Call The Doctor
4. The Doors, Been Down So Long
5. Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Bitches Crystal
6. Faces, Cut Across Shorty (live)
7. The Guess Who, Self Pity
8. Heart, Bebe Le Strange
9. Chris Isaak, Speak Of The Devil
10. Jefferson Airplane, The Last Wall Of The Castle
11. The Kinks, Holloway Jail
12. Lynyrd Skynyrd, Four Walls Of Raiford (demo version)
13. Mott The Hoople, Thunderbuck Ram
14. Nazareth, Fat Man
15. The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Chicken Train
16. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, The Last DJ
17. Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Fool
18. Keith Richards, Amnesia
19. Steppenwolf, Power Play
20. Ten Years After, Woman Trouble
21. U2, The Three Sunrises
22. Van Halen, Little Dreamer
23. Wishbone Ash, Time Was
24. XTC, Ten Feet Tall
25. Yes, Parallels
26. Warren Zevon, The Overdraft

My track-by-track tales:

1. Atomic Rooster, Death Walks Behind You . . . Spooky title cut, including a galloping riff the future members of Iron Maiden might have been listening to, on the 1970 release from the British progressive hard rockers. It was the band’s second album, released after drummer Carl Palmer, who had been with Rooster keyboardist Vincent Crane in The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, left to join Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

2. Bad Company, Crazy Circles . . . From the 1979 album Desolation Angels. Rock ‘n Roll Fantasy was the big hit and a great track and one of my favorites by Bad Co it is, but I remember this getting a fair bit of airplay back when commercial FM radio played deeper cuts, or maybe I just played it a lot. Cliche/obvious lyrics about life, perhaps, like this verse, but it works for me:

Life is like a game of chance
Some find riches and some romance
Some find happiness and some find sorrow
Some find it today and some maybe tomorrow

I’ve found all of what’s described, as perhaps many may have, at various times.

3. J.J. Cale, Call The Doctor . . . One of those great J.J. Cale tracks (aren’t they all?) that you won’t find on one of his various compilations, so you have to own, search or stream his 1971 debut album, Naturally, to hear it. Most J.J. Cale songs, like this one, are under three minutes and it never ceases to amaze me how much greatness he’s able to squeeze into such short time frames. Less is indeed often more, I suppose, leaving you wanting more and I submit one can never get enough J.J. Cale. The album produced two Cale songs, Call Me The Breeze and After Midnight, later taken to more commercial success by, respectively, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Eric Clapton in more uptempo versions than Cale’s signature laid back style. I like those versions and artists but still prefer Cale’s originals.

4. The Doors, Been Down So Long . . . From perhaps my favorite Doors album, the bluesy L.A. Woman. The track has received varying reviews over the years but I’m going with the reviewer who, according to Wikipedia, said it’s one of the Doors’ ‘must hear’ blues tracks.

5. Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Bitches Crystal . . . From Tarkus, ELP’s second album highlighted by the 21-minute title cut that was the entire side one of the original vinyl. This one, Bitches Crystal, condenses all progressive rock elements from each individual artist in the band – keyboards, drums, vocals, guitar and bass – into four minutes.

6. Faces, Cut Across Shorty (live) . . . From the rambling, shambling and that’s exactly what the fun Faces were all about, live album from 1974, Coast to Coast: Overture and Beginners. I had the record on vinyl when it came out, lost it over time, but recovered it on CD via a used shop some time back and glad to have it again. A studio version of this track, popularized by Eddie Cochran, appeared on the Rod Stewart solo album Gasoline Alley during what ultimately became an awkward 1969-74 period (of to me and many people, Rod Stewart’s greatest solo years) where Faces members were backing Stewart on his parallel solo excursions until ultimately Rod broke away, or the band broke from him, Ronnie Wood joined The Rolling Stones and Faces went kaput. The band has reunited off and on, including a stint with former Simply Red singer Mick Hucknall replacing Stewart, and a news report in February 2024 suggested the surviving members of the band (Wood and drummer Kenney Jones) were working on a new album although Stewart said they were ‘struggling’.

“I’ve sent a lot of them [songs] to Ronnie Wood,” Stewart said, according to a story on American songwriter.com. “I told him, ‘This is stuff we’ve recorded with my band, maybe The Faces would like to do it instead?’ We’re still struggling to make this album. We’ll see. Some of them might see the light of day.”

7. The Guess Who, Self Pity . . . I admire Randy Bachman as a guitarist, bandleader and producer but I doubt The Guess Who would have done such a terrific funky, vocal-powered by Burton Cummings song like this one from their 1973 album No. 10, had Bachman not left the band after the American Woman album in 1970, leaving Cummings as the undisputed leader.

8. Heart, Bebe Le Strange . . . Title cut from the band’s 1980 album released as the second single from the record (Even It Up was the first) but it was the first Heart single not to make the US Billboard Top 100. Ridiculous of course, it’s a great song, maybe too similar to Even It Up, but a great staccato type track nevertheless, should have been a bigger hit, I like it, so I’m playing it.

9. Chris Isaak, Speak Of The Devil . . . Isaak is best known by most people for his sultry, sexy hit single Wicked Game from the 1989 album Heart Shaped World. Long ago, before one could call up a song at a keystroke, I bought a compilation of his just to have it, and discovered other great stuff, like this one from an artist whose sound has been compared to the likes of Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson and Duane Eddy.

10. Jefferson Airplane, The Last Wall Of The Castle . . . Jefferson Airplane has a big hit album with Surrealistic Pillow in 1967, an album containing the band’s best-known hit songs Somebody To Love and White Rabbit and what do they do as a followup? They go, essentially, back underground, doing the type of thing I admire in creative terms, releasing the almost anti-commercial, psychedelic After Bathing At Baxters, including this Jorma Kaukonen-penned tune featuring his wicked lead guitar.

11. The Kinks, Holloway Jail . . . A couple jail tunes coming up, led by this one from the to me exceptional but commercial failure album that was Muswell Hillbillies, released in 1971. It would probably be categorized as Americana and might do better on the charts were it released today, which is interesting given that Ray Davies did roots rock solo albums titled Americana and Our Country: Americana Act II in 2017 and ’18.

12. Lynyrd Skynyrd, Four Walls Of Raiford (demo version) . . . Acoustic, blues; it’s not really Lynyrd Skynyrd, in a way. It’s original Skynyrd singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Jeff Carlisi, a longtime member of .38 Special, on a song recorded in 1976 and available on bootlegs and/or the Lynyrd Skynyrd box set released in 1991. Regardless how it came about, a great tune.

13. Mott The Hoople, Thunderbuck Ram . . . Mick Ralphs in a rare lead vocal performance (Ian Hunter of course usually sang lead for Mott) on what becomes a kick butt rocker shortly after the beautiful acoustic intro. An AllMusic site reviewer declared this and the entire Mad Shadows second album by Mott The Hoople, released in 1970 before the band achieved stardom, to be a ‘descent downward into murk.’ To which I say: Open your ears.

14. Nazareth, Fat Man . . . Heavy, bluesy, brooding track from the band’s self-titled debut album, released in 1971.
15. The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Chicken Train . . . Harmonica, fiddles and other fun stuff from the band likely best known for their hits If You Wanna Get To Heaven and Jackie Blue. Dig deeper and they’re so much more, evidenced by this track from their 1973 debut album. I’ve heard it described as “a hillbilly song’. I agree. I like it.

16. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, The Last DJ . . . OK, yeah this title cut from Petty’s 2002 album was a No. 22 hit but when one is talking the late great Petty, how often do you hear this song referenced? Besides which, while mine is a deep cuts show, I’ve forever stated I do play the occasional single, even hit ones, but for the most part ones that didn’t do so well on the charts or are not often heard since they came out, or are not embedded in the public consciousness as are so many, for instance, of Petty’s songs. So, disclaimer done, this song and the lyrics are exactly why I do my deep cuts show – I play what I want and thankfully am at an independent station that allows me and my fellow DJs here to do so, unlike commercial radio which is rigidly formatted and which prompted me to become a DJ here and create this show. Several songs on the album, like this one, were critical of the music industry and were boycotted by some radio stations, proving Petty’s point.

“I was elated when my song was banned,” Petty told Billboard. “I remember when the radio meant something. We enjoyed the people who were on it, even if we hated them. They had personalities. They were people of taste, who we trusted. And I see that vanishing.”

17. Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Fool . . . Long jam from a band that was part of the 1960s San Francisco scene along with the Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead yet never ascended to those bands’ commercial heights.

18. Keith Richards, Amnesia . . . From Richard’s most recent and so far last solo album, 2015’s Crosseyed Heart. It chugs along around Richards’ distinctive guitar sound and soloing.

19. Steppenwolf, Power Play . . As I’ve often said, Steppenwolf is so far beyond just Magic Carpet Ride and Born To Be Wild, great tunes both of course but selling the band short on the many great songs, with topical at the time and forever lyrics, that the group has released.

20. Ten Years After, Woman Trouble . . . Boogie rock from Alvin Lee and company from the second TYA album, Stonedhenge, released in 1969. TYA was immortalized by Lee’s guitar performace on I’m Going Home from Woodstock yet Lee, and TYA, were more than that space in time – my deliberate nod to the band’s 1971 album A Space In Time which yielded the terrific hit single I’d Love To Change The World. A band well worth exploring more deeply, if you haven’t.

21. U2, The Three Sunrises . . . Nice guitar work from The Edge on this track, originally a B-side on The Unforgettable Fire single from that album in 1984. It was later released on the Wide Awake In America EP in 1985 and then a limited edition expanded version of the compilation The Best Of 1980-1990, released in 1998.

22. Van Halen, Little Dreamer . . . One of my favorites from an album full of them, the band’s explosive 1978 debut record that gave us such timeless tunes as Runnin’ With The Devil, the Eddie Van Halen guitar showcase Eruption, Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love and VH’s cover of the Kinks’ classic You Really Got Me.

23. Wishbone Ash, Time Was . . . All the elements of Wishbone Ash – progressive, folk and hard rock – come together on this 10-minute highlight of the Argus album, 1972.

24. XTC, Ten Feet Tall . . . Making Plans For Nigel and a great track it was, was the only single released from the 1979 XTC album Drums And Wires but I recall this song getting lots of airplay in Canada during my college days.

25. Yes, Parallels . . From the Going For The One album, 1977. The song, written by bassist Chris Squire, was originally targetted for his solo album Fish Out Of Water but he didn’t think it fit for that record so he brought it to the band which gave it a typical orchestral type Yes treatment.

26. Warren Zevon, The Overdraft . . . No, this rocker from the 1982 album The Envoy is not about the usual/perpetual state of my bank account. But it could be. Nice guitar from a usual Zevon accomplice, Waddy Wachtel, later to become a key member of Rolling Stone Keith Richards’ X-Pensive Winos.

 

 

So Old It’s New set list for Monday, March 11, 2024

So Old It’s New set list for Monday, March 11, 2024
1. Golden Earring, Are You Receiving Me
2. Blind Faith, Had To Cry Today
3. Rush, I Think I’m Going Bald
4. Detroit (featuring Mitch Ryder), Rock ‘N Roll (Lou Reed/Velvet Underground cover)
5. Lou Reed, Kicks
6. The Moving Sidewalks (featuring Billy Gibbons, pre-ZZ Top), Joe Blues
7. The Rolling Stones, Dreamy Skies
8. Robin Trower, Too Rolling Stoned
9. The 31st Of February, (precursor band to The Allman Brothers Band), God Rest His Soul
10. The Allman Brothers Band, Leave My Blues At Home
11. Elton John, Your Sister Can’t Twist (but she can rock ‘n roll)
12. Judas Priest, Invincible Shield
13. KK’s Priest, Reap The Whirlwind
14. Paul McCartney/Wings, Dear Friend
15. John Lennon, Out The Blue
16. George Harrison, Woman Don’t You Cry For Me
17. Ringo Starr, Beaucoups Of Blues
18. Roger Waters, Picture That

So Old It’s New set list for Saturday, March 9, 2024 – on air 8-10 am ET

Here’s my set list for Saturday morning, March 9/24 airing 8-10 am ET. My track-by-track commentary follows the bare-bones set.

1. The Beatles, Good Morning Good Morning
2. Free, Come Together In The Morning
3. Bob Dylan, When You Gonna Wake Up
4. Johnny Winter, Highway 61 Revisited
5. Jimi Hendrix, Like A Rolling Stone (live, 1967 Monterey Pop Festival version)
6. J. Geils Band, First I Look At The Purse (live, from Full House)
7. Savoy Brown, Money Can’t Save Your Soul
8. Rory Gallagher, Bad Penny
9. Eagles, Those Shoes
10. Supertramp, Another Man’s Woman
11. Status Quo, Big Fat Mama
12. The Rolling Stones, She Smiled Sweetly
13. Neil Young, Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown
14. AC/DC, Sin City
15. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, Heavy Music (from Live Bullet)
16. Funkadelic, Maggot Brain
17. Pink Floyd, Pigs (Three Different Ones)
18. Steely Dan, Don’t Take Me Alive
19. Van Morrison, And The Healing Has Begun
20. Dire Straits, Follow Me Home

My track-by-track tales:

1. The Beatles, Good Morning Good Morning . . . Clever, aren’t I? 🙂 Morning show, so, good morning with a song John Lennon wrote for the Sgt. Pepper album after being inspired by watching a commercial for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, and adapting the jingle. So much good in so many songs comes not just from the tunes, but the vocals. Good morning-ah. That sort of thing often really makes it for me.

2. Free, Come Together In The Morning . . . Sticking with our morning theme, bluesy ballad from singer Paul Rodgers and company, some of whom (drummer Simon Kirke) later formed Bad Company along with Rodgers.

3. Bob Dylan, When You Gonna Wake Up . . . Up-tempo tune, biting lyrics, from Dylan’s Slow Train Coming album in 1979. It was his first after converting to Christianity and threw much of his fan base for a loop, which Dylan has always seemed to like doing or, at least, doing whatever it is he chooses to do, which of course is and should be up to him, then watching the reaction with likely amusement. The album gave us the hit single Gotta Serve Somebody for which Dylan won a Grammy Award but beyond that it’s a terrific listen, certainly musically including this track and the title cut.

4. Johnny Winter, Highway 61 Revisited . . . Playing a Dylan tune inspired me to play people covering Dylan tunes, so here’s Winter’s fiery interpretation of the Dylan classic.
5. Jimi Hendrix, Like A Rolling Stone (live from Monterey Pop Festival, 1967) . . . Great version of another Dylan classic. Hendrix was a huge Dylan fan and of course reinterpreted Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower to huge success and acclaim, so much so that Dylan himself started playing Watchtower in concert, or attempting to, a la Hendrix version. But this is the song, Like A Rolling Stone, as done by Hendrix, that got me into Jimi (and Otis Redding, too) when I heard it on a live album my older brother, a huge musical influence on me, had of the Monterey Pop Festival. It featured Hendrix on one side of the vinyl release and Otis Redding on the other. That album is called Historic Performances Recorded at the Monterey International Pop Festival.
6. J. Geils Band, First I Look At The Purse, (live, from Full House) . . . Propulsive track from a propulsive live band, best heard live and arguably my favorite by Geils in this live version, a song written by Smokey Robinson and his Miracles band partner Bobby Rogers.

7. Savoy Brown, Money Can’t Save Your Soul . . . I got into music discussions on Twitter/X the other night which inspired several tracks I’m playing Saturday morning. This is one of them, from the British blues/rock band Savoy Brown, an arguably underappreciated band but one of my favorites. I saw them, billed as Kim Simmonds (the late great guitarist/singer/songwriter/bandleader) and Savoy Brown, in the mid-2000s at the Kitchener Blues Festival. Great show. A band worth checking out and one that proved to be the building blocks for Foghat, which was formed by three members of Savoy Brown after a split in the original Savoy Brown band in 1971.

8. Rory Gallagher, Bad Penny . . . Another artist and track inspired by my Twitter/X discussions. Someone posted a question, asking for people’s favorite songs by Gallagher, the late great and arguably underrated/underappreciated by the masses, Irish guitarist, songwriter and leader of the band Taste before he went solo. So, I listed a few but Bad Penny is likely my alltimer by Rory G, who has been described as ‘the greatest guitarist you’ve never heard of.” People who know his material know how great he was, of course, and he’s been cited by the likes of Eric Clapton, Alex Lifeson of Rush, Brian May of Queen and U2’s The Edge as being a major influence on their playing.

9. Eagles, Those Shoes . . . Another of those songs that came up in the Twitter/X discussion when I mentioned The Long Run, in response to a discussion question, as being among my favorite Eagles albums despite its dismissal by many critics and even some members of the band in the wake of the monumental Hotel California that preceded it. This is my favorite song on The Long Run.

10. Supertramp, Another Man’s Woman . . . From Crisis, What Crisis?, the band’s 1975 album. Supertramp were huge in Canada by this time, on the heels of the brilliant 1974 record Crime Of The Century but it took a while for widespread U.S. chart success which didn’t happen for the band until the deliberately targeted Breakfast In America commercial monster from 1979 that was a worldwide No. 1 album but I consider to be, while good, too pop-oriented, almost candy-ass crap in spots with Bee Gee-like falsetto vocals the Bee Gees got criticized for yet Supertramp seemed to get a pass on. Breakfast is the worst, to me, of the 4-album run that started in 1974 with Crime Of The Century on through Crisis, What Crisis?, Even In The Quietest Moments and then Breakfast In America.
11. Status Quo, Big Fat Mama . . . Kick butt rocker from the band which first came to prominence with the psychedelic pop hit Pictures Of Matchstick Men in 1968 after which the band started going in a harder rock, boogie rock direction. They lost me after the mid-1970s for the most part, for me that early- to mid-70s period was their hard rocking best with songs like this from the appropriately named 1972 album Piledriver.

12. The Rolling Stones, She Smiled Sweetly . . . Beautiful ballad from the 1967 album Between The Buttons, recorded when founding member/guitarist Brian Jones was still in the band and the Stones arguably sometimes explored tangents they later discarded when they became more the bloozy raunch and roll Stones of legend starting with the 1968 album Beggars Banquet. The late Roy Carr (he died in 2018 at 73), a respected English rock music critic, somewhat dismissed Between The Buttons in his fine 1976 book The Rolling Stones: An Illustrated Record. Carr termed Buttons an album that “sounds more like a bunch of vaudevillian Kinks’ outtakes than a bona fide Stones’ collection.” To which I would say a few things, me being a major Stones fan and all, and even if I weren’t:
1. Roy, my boy, what’s your problem with The Kinks? Amazing band, arguably grossly underappreciated when discussed amid the other big original British Invasion bands like The Beatles, Stones and The Who and possessed, in Ray Davies, of one of the all-time songwriters. And if the Stones were maybe sounding like The Kinks, well, they weren’t; no matter what the Stones do or have ever done – rock, reggae, folk, country, disco, whatever – they always sound like the Stones. That’s why they’re so great – they put their own unique stamp on everything they try and moreso, they’re fearless; they try anything yeah sometimes more successfully than other times but at least they give it a go and by doing so open perhaps unknown or undiscovered avenues to their many listeners.

2. Between The Buttons has really grown on me over the years. I think it’s a brilliant album, full of great tunes like She Smiled Sweetly, My Obession, Backstreet Girl, Connection, Please Go Home to name a few not to mention, on the U.S. version released at that time when bands like The Beatles and Stones had different track listings on many albums in the US and UK, the singles Ruby Tuesday and Let’s Spend The Night Together. But I won’t be too harsh on Roy; he did cite Backstreet Girl and Connection as being worthy . . .
3. But so is She Smiled Sweetly. Great song, great vocal performance by Mick Jagger.
13. Neil Young, Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown . . . Notice the pattern here, in terms of song titles as I typically can’t help myself? We started off with the morning motif. Then we got into money, with it not being able to save a soul, a bad penny and looking at purses when selecting a mate . . . and then . . . relationship issues, another man’s woman, a big fat mama who smiles sweetly and now Neil Young wants to go downtown with her on this track that appeared on his bleak, grief-prompted 1975 release Tonight’s The Night, much of which was written in memory of Young’s Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten and roadie Bruce Berry, both lost to drug overdoses. A good rocker, nevertheless.
14. AC/DC, Sin City . . . And now we’re downtown, in Sin City, one of my favorite AC/DC tracks, from the Bon Scott era and 1978’s Powerage album.

15. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, Heavy Music . . . From Live Bullet, the 1976 live album, recorded in 1975, that brought Seger into the wider public consciousness beyond his home stomping grounds of Detroit and the state of Michigan. It came out during that 1970s period where double vinyl live albums were breaking some bands, like Seger’s, big; others being KISS with KISS Alive and Peter Frampton with Frampton Comes Alive! This is the second live song in my set that was recorded in Detroit. This Seger tune was recorded at Cobo Hall, which was once the home arena of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons. The other Detroit live recording was earlier in my set, the J. Geils Band’s First I Look At The Purse, recorded at Detroit’s Cinderella Ballroom. Geils was a Boston-area band but developed a huge following in Detroit.
16. Funkadelic, Maggot Brain . . . 10-minute title track improvisation workout by guitar great Eddie Hazel, from the 1971 album by George Clinton’s Funkadelic, part of his music collective P-Funk that also includes Parliament. It’s complex, and space doesn’t permit but it’s all only a keystroke away on the web and worthwhile reading if one is so inclined.
17. Pink Floyd, Pigs (Three Different Ones) . . . Lengthy, nearly 12-minute almost metallic piece, a Roger Waters diatribe against the manipulative elites of our society, from Floyd’s 1977 album Animals and one of my alltime favorite Floyd songs from an album which tends sometimes to get overlooked amid The Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall but is, I think, on par with all of them and then there’s Meddle, before Dark Side, too . . . And The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn debut when Syd Barrett was still in the band and, and, and. Just get all of it, you’ll like it if you don’t already. But, I will say that the run from Meddle through The Wall, if forced to choose, would my favorite five by Floyd.

18. Steely Dan, Don’t Take Me Alive . . . Great guitar work from Larry Charlton, who played on four Steely Dan albums including the one from which I pulled this track, The Royal Scam. Others were Katy Lied, Aja and Gaucho in a career that has seen Charlton play on albums from the likes of Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Johnny Rivers, Barbra Streisand, The Partridge Family (yes, The Partridge Family and David Cassidy solo stuff, too), on and on. Look Charlton up, a lengthy, eclectic discography – not to mention his own work as a solo artist/bandleader.
19. Van Morrison, And The Healing Has Begun . . . One of my favorites, of which yeah there are likely too many to count, from Van The Man, the man whose voice is so much, more so in my opinion than many artists, an amazing instrument in itself. From 1979’s Into The Music album. Brilliant stuff.

20. Dire Straits, Follow Me Home . . . Last track on the second Straits’ album, Communique and a good one to finish up on, this bluesy track, because I am going home in the sense that the show’s done for Saturday morning. Back Monday, live in studio, 8-10 pm ET. Thanks for listening, and reading, if you have and even if not . . . Take care, all.

 

So Old It’s New set list for Monday, March 4, 2024

Back in studio and online now last night as the clock has moved on to Tuesday but a fun experience on Monday, March 4/24 in return to studio after a long hiatus thanks to all at the station for ongoing support.

Here’s last night’s set, hopefully added to in terms of video links and so on as I continue to embrace myriad technologies. Thanks again, all.

1. Chicago, Introduction
2. Chicago, Listen
3. Joe Jackson, What A Racket!
4. The Rolling Stones, 100 Years Ago
5. Jethro Tull, Something’s On The Move
6. Queen, Man On The Prowl
7. Scorpions, Speedy’s Coming
8. Andrew Stockdale (of Wolfmother), Keep Moving
9. The Cars, Cruiser
10. The Monks, Bad Habits
11. Led Zeppelin, Trampled Underfoot (request)
12. Deep Purple, Sail Away
13. Iggy Pop, Nightclubbing
14. David Bowie, All The Madmen
15. Rough Trade, It’s A Jungle
16. Fleetwood Mac, Bare Trees
17. Gary Moore, Cold Black Night
18. Focus, Hocus Pocus
19. Frank Zappa/The Mothers of Invention, Po-Jama People
20. Zephyr (featuring Tommy Bolin), Sail On

So Old It’s New set list for Monday, May 22, 2023 – on air 8-10 pm ET

What started with my usual Victoria Day opener, this time a live version of Victoria by The Kinks, soon became a hard rock/metal show, as the muse morphed . . .

  1. The Kinks, Victoria (live, from One For The Road)
  2. Mott The Hoople, Rock And Roll Queen
  3. The Who, The Acid Queen
  4. Stampeders, Then Came The White Man
  5. Aerosmith, Kings And Queens
  6. Metallica, King Nothing
  7. Megadeth, Kill The King
  8. Budgie, If I Were Brittania I’d Waive The Rules
  9. The Rolling Stones, Dirty Work
  10. Accept, Restless And Wild
  11. Deep Purple, Under The Gun
  12. Black Sabbath, Johnny Blade
  13. Blue Oyster Cult, Hot Rails To Hell
  14. Mountain, Sittin’ On A Rainbow
  15. Rainbow, A Light In The Black
  16. Trapeze, Jury
  17. Uriah Heep, The Magician’s Birthday
  18. Judas Priest, Never The Heroes
  19. Whitesnake, Sweet Talker
  20. Fu Manchu, Strato-Streak
  21. AC/DC, All Screwed Up
  22. Ted Nugent, Baby, Please Don’t Go (live, from Double Live Gonzo!)
  23. Pantera, Cemetery Gates

 

So Old It’s New set list for Saturday, May 20, 2023 – on air 7-9 am ET

My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. The Rolling Stones, Too Tough
  2. Ten Years After, 50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain
  3. Hawkwind, Brainstorm
  4. Pete Townshend, Communication
  5. Faces, Bad ‘N’ Ruin
  6. Jimi Hendrix, Like A Rolling Stone (from Live At Monterey)
  7. Neil Young, Albuquerque
  8. The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Arroyo
  9. The Beatles, Doctor Robert
  10. Grateful Dead, Friend Of The Devil
  11. Funkadelic, Wars Of Armageddon
  12. Supertramp, Crime Of The Century (live, Paris album)
  13. Warren Zevon, Genius
  14. Elton John, Stinker
  15. Tommy Bolin, Lotus
  16. Spooky Tooth, Wildfire
  17. Eric Burdon & War, Pretty Colors
  18. Grand Funk Railroad, Mr. Limousine Driver
  19. AC/DC, Ride On
  20. Lynyrd Skynyrd, Am I Losin’
  21. Gregg Allman, House Of Blues
  22. Fleetwood Mac, Coming Home

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. The Rolling Stones, Too Tough . . . Gritty riff-rocker from 1983’s Undercover album, almost metallic Stones likely due to the 1980s touch of overproduction; I recall a critic lamenting the ‘showy guitars’ but heck, man, the Stones are, at their best, a guitar band after all. Speaking of which, nice solo by Ron Wood. Something of an overlooked album, Undercover, the title tune was a hit, the mini-epic Too Much Blood was just that, a tale about cannibalistic serial killers, apparently gleaned from a newspaper article from a real-life crime in Paris, with Mick Jagger rapping references to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and An Officer and A Gentleman ‘something you can take the wife to, you know what I mean?”. Too Tough was a US or North America-only single, didn’t chart although I remember hearing it on radio. The Stones didn’t tour to promote the album as the so-called ‘World War III’ between Jagger and Keith Richards about the band’s direction, Jagger’s solo aspirations and so on heated up for most of the rest of the decade, perhaps accounting for the relative low profile of the record.
    2. Ten Years After, 50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain. . . . Slow building into Alvin Lee guitar wank blues rock rom 1970’s Cricklewood Green album. Interesting aspect to the song, descriptive enough for sure, may be a comment I discovered on YouTube about it. “I’d come home, find my husband, head set on, tapping his foot in an inhuman speed. This was one of his favorites. We made love on acid while this played. I thought it possible we were flying on a cloud.”
    3. Hawkwind, Brainstorm . . . Space rock epic proving that maintaining a riff, embellished with other instrumental accents, over an 11-minute, 34-second period of time can keep a long song compelling. In that sense, it’s actually too short. Driving an endless road to infinity comes to mind.
    4. Pete Townshend, Communication . . . Sometimes I think artists pick the wrong songs as singles. Take Townshend’s All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes album, from which the up-tempo, catchy Communication is drawn. It wasn’t a single. Had it been, it might have helped push the album to more than a middling chart performance. Townshend overlooked, for single release, to me the album’s best songs, Exquisitely Bored and The Sea Refuses No River, both of which I’ve previously played. Instead, he goes with Face Dances, Pt. 2 and Uniforms. Neither ever did much for me. Townshend corrected his errors upon the 2005 release of the 2-CD compilation Gold with Exquisitely Bored and The Sea Refuses No River making the cut. On the flip side, not releasing those great songs as singles means they haven’t been overplayed.
    5. Faces, Bad ‘N’ Ruin . . . Stop, start, reverse sort of riff, if that makes sense, by Ron Wood on this boozy rocker (is there any other kind of Faces song?) from 1971’s Long Player album. Reminds me a bit of Johnny Winter’s I’m Yours And I’m Hers from his self-titled 1969 album. Bad ‘N’ Ruin is from that glorious period of so much great Faces and Rod Stewart music between 1969 and 1974.
    6. Jimi Hendrix, Like A Rolling Stone (from Live At Monterey) . . . Played it before, probably too much, but I can never get enough of this example of Hendrix doing Dylan. Features the classic mid-song Hendrix response to a fan in the crowd: “Yes I know I missed a verse don’t worry . . . ” Gotta love the live experience.
    7. Neil Young, Albuquerque . . . Raw road song, in search of self, or something, ‘I’ll find somewhere where they don’t care who I am’ from the bleak Tonight’s The Night album. On a lighter note, Bugs Bunny always knew he should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque.
    8. The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Arroyo . . . Sounds crazy, maybe, but nearly 50 years later, after only really knowing and growing up in the 1970s with this band’s two big hits, If You Wanna Get To Heaven and Jackie Blue, I bought a compilation of theirs maybe a year ago now, cheap, from my friendly neighborhood independent record store’s used rack. Great stuff, like this hypnotic track.
    9. The Beatles, Doctor Robert . . . From Revolver. About drugs.
    10. Grateful Dead, Friend Of The Devil . . . Such a great, jaunty, country rocker from American Beauty.
    11. Funkadelic, Wars Of Armageddon . . . Freak-out jam in the psychedelic funk fusion of sounds that is the Maggot Brain album.
    12. Supertramp, Crime Of The Century (live, Paris album) . . . Title cut from the band’s breakthrough 1974 studio album, done live on the 1979 Breakfast In America tour that, seemingly, everyone on Earth, including me, saw, given how big Supertramp was then.
    13. Warren Zevon, Genius . . . Typically wonderful wordplay from Zevon. How many other artists could start with ‘a bitter pot of je ne sais quoi’ stirring it with a monkey’s paw while weaving together Miles Davis’s classic album Kind Of Blue, Mata Hari, Albert Einstein and unindicted co-conspirators first made famous during the Watergate scandal, and make it all work? It’s from the My Ride’s Here album in 2002. I had stopped buying Zevon’s individual albums by then, around the time of 1989’s Transverse City, but later in 2002 he issued a compilation titled Genius, which included the song plus various other tracks from the 1990s, and I was re-hooked, saw the error of my ways and filled out my studio album collection.
    14. Elton John, Stinker . . . Catchy funk-rock tune from 1974’s Caribou album, it features the Tower of Power horn section.
    15. Tommy Bolin, Lotus . . . Beautiful, soulful yet rocking track from Bolin’s 1975 solo debut Teaser, issued during the period he was also in Deep Purple for the Come Taste The Band album and tour.
    16. Spooky Tooth, Wildfire . . . Nice riff from future Foreigner founder member Mick Jones on his first outing with Spooky Tooth and the band’s singer/keyboardist Gary Wright, later of solo fame via such hits as Dream Weaver and Love Is Alive. It’s from the 1973 album You Broke My Heart So I Busted Your Jaw.
    17. Eric Burdon & War, Pretty Colors . . . So intoxicatingly funky, from The Black-Man’s Burdon, 1970. What a collaboration.
    18. Grand Funk Railroad, Mr. Limousine Driver . . . Early Grand Funk raunch and roll, lovemaking, or wanting to, in the back seat after a show.
    19. AC/DC, Ride On . . . A song where AC/DC proves they could easily have been a blues band. I suppose The Jack is another one. Anyway, it’s from the Bon Scott era, originally on the album Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap which was released in Australia in 1976 but not until 1981 elsewhere, more than a year after Scott’s death. The song – presumably largely thanks to the line ‘looking for a truck’ – also appeared on the soundtrack/pseudo compilation album Who Made Who in 1986 that accompanied the Stephen King movie Maximum Overdrive, which was loosely based on his short story Trucks. King is a big AC/DC fan.
    20. Lynyrd Skynyrd, Am I Losin’ . . . Heartfelt song about losing a friend, likely over money based on the lyrics, apparently singer/lyricist Ronnie Van Zant’s thoughts about original Skynyrd drummer Bob Burns. Guitar solo by Ed King.
    21. Gregg Allman, House Of Blues . . . Mid-tempo blues from one of my favorite Gregg Allman solo albums, 1997’s Searching For Simplicity. Thirteen songs, eight covers, this one’s an Allman original.
    22. Fleetwood Mac, Coming Home . . . I say this often, I realize, but it bears repeating. The middle period of Fleetwood Mac, with guitarist/singer/songwriter Bob Welch in between the early, Peter Green-led blues band and the later commercial monster featuring Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, is brilliant. This atmospheric, almost Pink Floyd-ish track from 1974’s Heroes Are Hard To Find album is further proof. The Mac is essentially three different bands, all worthwhile listening although the Welch period stuff seems to be the least celebrated.

So Old It’s New set list for Monday, May 15, 2023 – on air 8-10 pm ET

My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. Joe Jackson, 1-2-3 Go (This Town’s A Fairground)
  2. Tim Curry, I Do The Rock
  3. Stray Cats, Rev It Up And Go
  4. Madness, One Step Beyond . . .
  5. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Born To Move
  6. Lighthouse, Broken Guitar Blues
  7. Traveling Wilburys, Dirty World
  8. Elvis Costello and The Attractions, Goon Squad
  9. The Clash, Armagideon Time
  10. Yes, The Ancient: Giants Under The Sun
  11. Wishbone Ash, The King Will Come
  12. Rush, Natural Science
  13. John Mellencamp, All Along The Watchtower
  14. The Rolling Stones, Congratulations
  15. John Lennon, Bony Moronie
  16. Deep Purple, Lady Luck
  17. Iggy Pop, Sister Midnight
  18. Golden Earring, Kill Me (Ce Soir)
  19. The Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack, Over At The Frankenstein Place
  20. Moby Grape, Murder In My Heart For The Judge
  21. Iron Butterfly, Belda-Beast
  22. David Bowie, Teenage Wildlife
  23. Jethro Tull, No Lullaby

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. Joe Jackson, 1-2-3 Go (This Town’s A Fairground) . . . Yet another slice of infectious, driving pop rock excellence from the Mike’s Murder movie soundtrack, released in 1983 and, musically, something of a companion piece to JJ’s 1982 album Night And Day. It’s terrific stuff, but of course I’m a big Joe Jackson fan as often stated. The soundtrack essentially became another studio album for Jackson because as things developed, little of his music was retained for the film, the bulk of whose score wound up being done by John Barry of James Bond film score fame. The film, starring Debra Winger, was a box-office bomb. Perhaps keeping more of Jackson’s music would have helped, he says with a smile.
    2. Tim Curry, I Do The Rock . . . From the Rocky Horror Picture Show star’s 1979 album Fearless, which I heard on the store sound system and impulse bought while browsing through Toronto’s original Sam The Record Man outlet on Yonge St., long since gone but not forgotten. I get to the actual Rocky Horror soundtrack later in the set with Curry, who played Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the zany cult movie, not singing on the track I chose. You’ll see/hear.
    3. Stray Cats, Rev It Up And Go . . . Another of one of those “rifling through my CDs and oh, yeah, these guys, haven’t played them in ages” picks. Rockabilly! Great stuff, kicking off with the Chuck Berry guitar lick you’ve heard on just about every one of his songs, then into it. He didn’t produce this one but Dave Edmunds, known to dabble in a little rockabilly himself, has produced much of the Stray Cats’ material over time. And the band, which has tended to alternate between active and dormant periods in and around Brian Seitzer’s solo and Brian Seitzer Orchestra work, is currently active, having released ’40’, their first studio album in nearly 30 years, in 2019.
    4. Madness, One Step Beyond . . . Perfect name for an out-there ska song, especially the intro. Infectious stuff. Here I am with my Beatles and my Stones and Zeppelin and Purple and so on and then I remember being immediately hooked watching the video for One Step Beyond on Toronto TV station City’s old ‘The New Music’ show in 1979. All my friends thought I had lost it. I thought they might consider expanding their horizons, but to each their own. Interesting reading about the song. It’s a cover of a tune by Jamaican ska singer Prince Buster and released in 1964, with Madness incorporating elements from other songs by Buster, and others, into the band’s final version.
    5. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Born To Move . . . Screeeech as we bank around the corner and off into a totally different direction. CCR. I’ve been in a phase of listening to them lately. ‘Nuff said, really. Obviously great band, including their deeper cuts, like this one from the Pendulum album, released in 1970. The boys were lazy that year, Pendulum being only their second LP release after coming out with three albums in 1969.
    6. Lighthouse, Broken Guitar Blues . . . Guy gets on a plane, nowhere good to store his six-string, a song results. From Canada’s answer to early Chicago or Blood, Sweat & Tears, or vice-versa, it’s actually more of a straight ahead rocker, which fits since it’s about a guitar, than Lighthouse’s usual more horn-drenched jazz-rock fusion stuff.
    7. Traveling Wilburys, Dirty World . . . Lucky Wilbury (aka Bob Dylan) handles most of the lead vocals on this one from Vol. 1 of the ‘family’ project that also included Wilburys Nelson (George Harrison), Otis (Jeff Lynne), Lefty (Roy Orbison) and Charlie T., Jr. (Tom Petty). What a wonderful project it was. When Lefty died, the boys persevered, or maybe it was a group of entirely different people, or split personalities, who issued the second album, Vol. 3. Just having fun. Lucky became Boo; Nelson became Spike; Otis became Clayton and Charlie T. became Muddy. And now Nelson/Spike and Charlie T./Muddy are also gone. Session players included drummer Buster Sidebury (Jim Keltner) and Ken Milbury (Gary Moore) on lead guitar on one song, She’s My Baby, on Vol. 3. To quote the Robert Shaw character in the classic 1973 movie The Sting, ‘ya falla?” (follow). Don’t worry about it, just enjoy.
    8. Elvis Costello and The Attractions, Goon Squad . . . Love the, how is one to describe music in words, best to listen to it of course but that sort of descending beat on this one, from 1979’s Armed Forces album. Serious, deep lyrics perfectly accompanied by the darkish music.
    9. The Clash, Armagideon Time . . . Available since then on various Clash compilations, it was originally the B-side to the 1979 album title cut single London Calling. As related by longime Clash associate and sometime manager Kosmo Vinyl in the liner notes to the box set Clash On Broadway, he had a notion that all great singles should be 2 minutes, 58 seconds long. Why 2:58, who knows? Probably to sound cooler than saying ‘three minutes’. So Clash co-founder Joe Strummer tells him “just stop us when we get to 2:58.” In studio later, the band is cooking, recording the track and Vinyl is vexxed as to what to do as 2:58 approaches, so he risks calling from the control room for the band to wind it up only to have, and you can hear it on the song, Strummer sing back “okay, okay, don’t push us when we’re hot!” And the band plays on for another minute, everyone loves what’s on tape and Vinyl, who thought his life was at risk for interrupting, is still with us at 66. Strummer, sadly, died at age 50 in 2002 of a heart attack caused by an undiagnosed congenital heart defect.
    10. Yes, The Ancient: Giants Under The Sun . . . Another 180 turn in the set. Speaking of risk, I figured I might risk a backlash from some if I played the entire Tales From Topographic Oceans album, which is four songs, one per vinyl side, on original release in 1973. To many, that represented pure prog rock excess and perhaps it was but all kidding aside it’s a great album and as mentioned earlier about expanded horizons, what is the beauty of music, which is really a mood exercise, other than how you can go from raunch and roll to ska to rockabilly to prog and beyond, and enjoy it all because it’s all creative and has merit. If you have an open mind. Anyway, another Yes epic, 18 minutes and change, at times tribal, almost funky, with beautiful acoustic guitar passages and back again. Sublime, really.
    11. Wishbone Ash, The King Will Come . . . I suppose I should have played this when King Charles was crowned last week. But I’m not much into the monarchy and I’ll leave it at that. Good song, though, as I find most Wishbone Ash is.
    12. Rush, Natural Science . . . And so ends the prog segment with this classic from 1980’s Permanent Waves album.
    13. John Mellencamp, All Along The Watchtower . . . I’ve been in a Mellencamp listening phase of late but this cover of the Bob Dylan song is a very recent, wonderful discovery for me, from the used rack in my local independent store just last Friday. It was one of those buys, $6 as I recall, where I knew I better pick it up because it’s fairly rare to my knowledge, would likely be gone soon and I’d regret it, even though it’s available online but I still like physical product. It’s from Mellencamp’s acoustic live album The Good Samaritan Tour 2000, released on CD in 2021. It’s the soundtrack to a documentary film of about 40 minutes’ length that chronicles a tour in 2000 when Mellencamp performed, unannounced, for free in public parks and common spaces across the United States as a thank you to his fans for their ongoing support. The documentary, with all performance footage filmed by fans thus lending the show its raw appeal, originally appeared on Turner Classic Movie’s YouTube channel and both the album and documentary are still available there. It’s great stuff, more than just the music but, musically, it’s just Mellencamp and his acoustic band, guitars, fiddles, accordion, no drums. Sometimes there’s big crowds, sometimes just a handful of people in a park although as the tour developed things exploded, in a wonderful way. They do a selection of his own material like Small Town and Pink Houses and covers of songs by Woody Guthrie (Oklahoma Hills), Dylan, The Rolling Stones (Street Fighting Man and The Spider and The Fly), Donovan’s Hey Gyp, also done by The Animals, and Cut Across Shorty which was done by Eddie Cochran and, later, Rod Stewart.
    14. The Rolling Stones, Congratulations . . . An early Mick Jagger-Keith Richards penned ballad, from 1964 with its typical mocking and sarcastic lyrics about a relationship. It was the B-side to Time Is On My Side in the US and was on the album 12 X 5 in those early days when many British Invasion bands’ releases differed on either side of the pond. It didn’t appear on a UK album until the Decca Records compilation No Stone Unturned in 1973.
    15. John Lennon, Bony Moronie . . . From Lennon’s 1975 album of rock ‘n’ roll standards called, wait for it, Rock ‘N’ Roll. Great fun, back to his roots.
    16. Deep Purple, Lady Luck . . . Not sure what else to say about the Come Taste The Band album I’ve not already said. It’s the one and only one Purple did with the late guitarist Tommy Bolin, lots of people think it’s too different than what many consider ‘should’ be the sound of Deep Purple because it incorporated some funk elements, but that’s what makes it great and shows the band’s musical diversity. And, despite what some folks seem to think, it does rock. As evidence, I present Lady Luck, among several up-tempo tunes on the album starting with the blistering lead track, Comin’ Home. Other than that, I like the album cover, all the boys in a full glass of red wine on the front and the empty glass on the back and since I was having a glass myself when putting the show together, here we are.
    1. Iggy Pop, Sister Midnight . . . From 1977’s The Idiot which is almost a David Bowie album, or a co-Pop/Bowie album given that Bowie plays keyboards on it, produced it and wrote or co-wrote many of the songs including this one that Bowie wrote with his longtime guitarist Carlos Alomar. Recorded around the time of Bowie’s so-called Berlin period that yielded experimental albums like Low, it’s definitely a departure from the punk inclinations of much of the garage rock type material Pop released as main man in The Stooges. Pop described the more mechanical, electronic sound as “a cross between James Brown and Kraftwerk.” Pop returned to a more Stooges-like sound on his next album, Lust For Life which was also released in 1977 and co-produced by Bowie.
    2. Golden Earring, Kill Me (Ce Soir) . . . From Switch, the 1975 album followup to 1973’s Moontan and its hit Radar Love, after which many people, at least in North America, went back to ignoring Golden Earring until 1982’s hit single Twilight Zone. Lots of good music in between and beyond, but who knows what the real recipe for widespread success and acclaim is? I think Motley Crue (and that whole genre of overproduced hair metal) is utter garbage, the worst successful band in the history of popular music, for instance. Yet . . .
    1. The Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack, Over At The Frankenstein Place . . . What a fun movie and forever trigger of memories of college days. What I haven’t mentioned before, not sure how or why I overlooked it, is that John ‘Rabbit’ Bundrick, arguably most famous for his keyboard work with The Who, played on the Rocky Horror film soundtrack. Besides The Who, the widely respected and in demand musician has, since the 1970s, played on albums by Free, Johnny Nash of I Can See Clearly Now fame, Donovan, Eric Burdon and Fairport Convention, among others.
    2. Moby Grape, Murder In My Heart For The Judge . . . Funky, rocking blues number from the San Francisco band’s second album, Wow, in 1968. Love the psychedelic ‘grapes’ album cover. I mean, what else?
    3. Iron Butterfly, Belda-Beast . . . As with Golden Earring, one song – the epic In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida – can overwhelm the rest of a band’s catalog, or even what they actually could be about musically. And it’s interesting that the band was considered heavy when lots of their material, to my ears, is like this song from Ball, the 1969 followup to the Gadda album. It’s eerie, psychedelic and melodic, with nice touches of organ. Relaxing and dreamy, yet still electric. Nice work.
    4. David Bowie, Teenage Wildlife . . . To each their own of course but another example of why it pays to listen to full albums, not just hits or compilations of hits. And without that fact, I wouldn’t have my deep cuts show. The longest song on 1980’s Scary Monsters album that featured the hit singles Ashes To Ashes and Fashion, it’s got a similar arrangement to Bowie’s own song Heroes and has been seen, lyrically, as taking aim at what Bowie perceived to be his imitators, like Gary Numan – “one of the new wave boys, same old thing in brand new drag comes sweeping into view as ugly as a teenage millionaire.” King Crimson leader/guitarist Robert Fripp played on most of the album, including Teenage Wildlife, which also featured Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band keyboardist Roy Bittan.
    5. Jethro Tull, No Lullaby . . . Great drumming by Barriemore Barlow, especially on the intro, on this killer cut from 1978’s Heavy Horses. Thrust and parry, indeed, as the lyrics suggest.

So Old It’s New set list for Saturday, May 13, 2023 – on air 7-9 am ET

I was originally going to do a ‘blues masters’ show. It’s something I’ve done on occasion but as things developed I took a slightly different path and wound up also featuring a healthy dose of tracks, mostly slow which is the type of blues I most enjoy, from artists like The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, early Fleetwood Mac and The Allman Brothers who were influenced by and celebrated the masters/originators.

Many of the songs in the set by those artists are covers but some, like the Stones’ deep blues Down In The Hole, an outlier on the Emotional Rescue album and for my money its best cut, are originals. I also like Clapton’s Derek and The Dominos’ slower, extended and bluesier take on the widely known, faster Cream version of Robert Johnson’s Crossroads. And then there’s the wonderful collaborations where the founding masters team with those they influenced, as on Muddy Waters’ Deep Down In Florida, after Johnny Winter produced and played on Muddy’s last three studio albums and on the tour that resulted in Muddy ‘Mississippi’ Waters Live, a terrific concert document.

The set list . . .

1. Elmore James, Blues Before Sunrise
2. Albert King, I’ll Play The Blues For You, Parts 1 & 2
3. Alvin Lee & Co., Every Blues You’ve Ever Heard (live, from In Flight)
4. The Rolling Stones, Down In The Hole
5. The Allman Brothers Band, Stormy Monday (live, from At Fillmore East)
6. Albert Collins, Master Charge
7. Rory Gallagher, Loanshark Blues
8. Boz Scaggs, Loan Me A Dime (Duane Allman on slide guitar)
9. Earl Hooker, Wah Wah Blues
10. John Lee Hooker, It Serves You Right To Suffer
11. Johnny Winter, Be Careful With A Fool
12. The Robert Cray Band, Phone Booth
13. Son Seals, Telephone Angel
14. The Fabulous Thunderbirds, She’s Tuff
15. Fleetwood Mac, Love That Burns
16. Led Zeppelin, Since I’ve Been Loving You
17. Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ain’t Gone ‘N’ Give Up On Love (live)
18. Derek And The Dominos, Crossroads, (from Live At The Fillmore)
19. Muddy Waters, Deep Down In Florida (from Muddy ‘Mississippi’ Waters Live)

So Old It’s New set list for Monday, May 8, 2023 – on air 8-10 pm ET

My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. Emerson, Lake and Powell, Mars, The Bringer Of War
  2. Alannah Myles, Our World Our Times
  3. The Rolling Stones, Continental Drift
  4. Sniff ‘N’ The Tears, Rodeo Drive
  5. James Gang, Driftin’ Dreamer
  6. The Flying Burrito Brothers, Lazy Days
  7. Blue Rodeo, Girl In Green (live, from Just Like A Vacation)
  8. Roxy Music, Beauty Queen
  9. Robbie Robertson, Testimony
  10. Eric Burdon, The Secret
  11. Tom Waits, Jockey Full Of Bourbon
  12. Graham Parker and The Rumour, The Heat In Harlem
  13. John Mellencamp, Case 795 (The Family)
  14. Bruce Cockburn, Silver Wheels
  15. Leon Russell and Willie Nelson, Heartbreak Hotel
  16. The Mamas & The Papas, Twist And Shout
  17. Frank Zappa, Keep It Greasy
  18. Billy Gibbons with Larkin Poe, Stackin’ Bones
  19. Booker T. and The MGs, Heads Or Tails
  20. Peter Gabriel, And Through The Wire
  21. Colin James, Freedom
  22. David + David, Swimming In The Ocean
  23. Queen, It’s LateMy track-by-track tales:
    1. Emerson, Lake and Powell, Mars, The Bringer Of War . . . One of ELP’s calling cards – whether as Emerson, Lake and Palmer or the one-off 1986 Emerson, Lake and Powell when Carl Palmer was unavailable due to contractual obligations to the band Asia – was often its adaptations of classical and/or orchestral pieces. Their eight-minute treatment of a portion of English composer Gustav Holst’s 49-minute suite The Planets, from the lone E, L and Powell album  featuring Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Cozy Powell, is yet another example.
    2. Alannah Myles, Our World Our Times . . . Spooky, hypnotic track I’ve heard suggested would be a cool sci-fi theme, or part of such a soundtrack. Which is maybe why I like it, being a science fiction fan. It’s from Myles’ second album, 1992’s Rockinghorse that followed by three years here self-titled debut. The first album featured the worldwide hit Black Velvet. As a result, that song and album overshadows everything else Myles ever did which is unfair, I think. Rockinghorse, I maintain, is as good an album and for the life of me I don’t get why the title cut, which I’ve played before, wasn’t released as a single. It would have had a chance, at least, of being a hit.
    3. The Rolling Stones, Continental Drift . . . In 1968, Stones’ founder/guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones dug into world music, recording the Morocco-based ensemble the Master Musicians of Joujouka (a Moroccan village) for what became a 1971 release, after Jones’ death in 1969, called Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka. The Stones did this one in homage to him, for their 1989 album Steel Wheels and effectively used portions of the chant-like tune as their intro music for the subsequent tour. “For Stones addicts” according to one of my books: Keith Richards achieves a unique sound on the song by trailing the blade of a knife against the spokes of a spinning bicycle wheel. You can hear it, starting at the 5-second mark. Richards is credited with playing acoustic guitar . . . and bicycle, on the track. The inventiveness of musicians in pursuit of sounds . . . Drummer Charlie Watts beat on a garbage can as a ‘mystery drum’ on the song Moon Is Up on the Stones’ next album, Voodoo Lounge.
    4. Sniff ‘N’ The Tears, Rodeo Drive . . . From the British band’s second album, 1980’s The Game’s Up. An interesting title, perhaps, given that the game was up, relatively speaking, for the band in terms of widespread success after their 1979 debut album Fickle Heart and hit single Driver’s Seat. A one-hit wonder yet the band, which is still around and releasing albums, has some interesting material like this almost progressive, somewhat ghostly, extended track.
    5. James Gang, Driftin’ Dreamer . . . Joe Walsh was gone. Replacement Domenic Triano (of solo and latter-day Guess Who fame) was gone. Triano’s replacement Tommy Bolin (of solo and Deep Purple fame) was gone. So that’s it for the ‘name’ guitarists. But the gang soldiered on for two more albums including Newborn, from which I pulled this track, with a gent I can’t find any info on, Richard Shack, on guitar before Shack was replaced by Bob Webb for the group’s last album, Jesse Come Home, in 1976. I don’t have Newborn, but I do have a fine, comprehensive 2-CD James Gang compilation that includes some songs from it. And despite being critically trashed and not selling, it did feature some quality boogie/country rock tunes, like this one.
    6. The Flying Burrito Brothers, Lazy Days . . . Up tempo country tune. I’ve played it too recently, though. How I know that is because when I went searching for the YouTube clip for my Facebook page, there’s a version of it that I recognized from last time I went looking for it, where a guy speaking Spanish introduces the 3-minute track, extending it to 3:14 with his enthusiastic but ultimately irrelevant insights on his posting. Good song, though, so what the heck. Here it is again, without the Spanish speaker.
    7. Blue Rodeo, Girl In Green (live, from Just Like A Vacation) . . . I don’t play these Canadians enough. Perhaps that will change. This is from the band’s first live album, released in 1999. Love the guitar work. The song was originally on the 1995 studio album Nowhere To Here with Sarah McLauchlan appearing as a guest vocalist on three songs on that album, including Girl In Green. She isn’t on this live version.
    8. Roxy Music, Beauty Queen . . . Early, edgy, noisy Roxy Music, from the band’s second album, For Your Pleasure. Later, on albums like Flesh + Blood and the final studio work, 1982’s Avalon, the sound was slicker, arguably more commercial. All of it I find intoxicatingly good.
    9. Robbie Robertson, Testimony . . . Essentially a Robertson with U2 track as all members of that band play on this song from Robertson’s self-titled debut album in 1987. The collaboration came about in part because U2 was recording their album The Joshua Tree around the same time, also with producer Daniel Lanois. Robertson later titled his 2016 memoir Testimony.
    10. Eric Burdon, The Secret . . . I mentioned some time back that I had been listening to Burdon’s 2004 album My Secret Life, a terrific, varied album of R & B, soul, blues and jazz tunes. Then I forgot all about it, until I was rifling through my CDs and came across it. The Secret is the type of mesmerizing tune I can never get enough of.
    11. Tom Waits, Jockey Full Of Bourbon . . . I’m not a big horse racing fan but always watch the Triple Crown races and Canada’s Queen’s Plate. So, after watching the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, this one likely subconsciously came to mind even though it’s definitely not about horse-racing jockeys. It was the first single from the 1985 album Rain Dogs.
    12. Graham Parker and The Rumour, The Heat In Harlem . . . Extended piece from Parker’s third album, Stick To Me. Not sure what else to say about Parker I haven’t already said, other than I’m a big fan of his early material, like this one from 1977. I love the tempo shift from rock to a more bluesy approach, around the two-minute mark of the seven-minute tune.
    13. John Mellencamp, Case 795 (The Family) . . . I hadn’t listened to Mellencamp in a long time until this past weekend when I popped a compilation of his into the player and, well, here he is. From 1993’s Human Wheels album. Dark, bloody subject matter, good tune.
    14. Bruce Cockburn, Silver Wheels . . . Canadian singer-songwriters were top of mind after playing a full Gordon Lightfoot set on Saturday in tribute to his passing. So, here comes Cockburn, from the 1976 album In The Falling Dark.
    15. Leon Russell and Willie Nelson, Heartbreak Hotel . . . Leon and Willie team up on a fun version of the song Elvis Presley made famous. It’s from their 1979 collaboration album of covers, One For The Road.
    16. The Mamas & The Papas, Twist And Shout . . . Laid back, much different arrangement than that used by The Beatles on their famous version. Both are terrific.
    17. Frank Zappa, Keep It Greasy . . . It’s zany, it’s Zappa, the playing is, as always from Frank and whatever friends he was using at a given time, outstanding. This one’s from the 1979 album Joe’s Garage.
    18. Billy Gibbons with Larkin Poe, Stackin’ Bones . . . I had never heard of Larkin Poe until I got the third solo album, Hardware, by ZZ Top’s main man. It came out in 2021 and Larkin Poe, a roots/southern rock band from Georgia now based in Nashville, help Gibbons out on vocals on this track. Larkin Poe, fronted by sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell, has been described as the little sisters of the Allman Brothers. Great stuff, worth checking out.
    19. Booker T. and The MGs, Heads Or Tails . . . Flip a coin and regardless what comes up, you won’t lose with Booker T. and the boys. Typically infectious, instrumental brilliance from the band.
    20. Peter Gabriel, And Through The Wire . . . From Gabriel’s commercial breakthrough third album, released in 1980. To that point, all his albums were self-titled so tended to be referred to by their cover art, in this case Melt due to Gabriel’s melting face. Great record, full of terrific songs like the singles Games Without Frontiers, No Self Control, Biko, I Don’t Remember and the opening, haunting track Intruder. I remember when it came out, a friend of mine said “I’m now into stuff by solo artists.” About a year later, the Stones’ Tattoo You came out, he was raving about it and I couldn’t resist needling him with “so, you’re back into band albums?”
    21. Colin James, Freedom . . . Nice groove on this one from his 1995 blues album Bad Habits. It’s mostly covers but includes a few originals, like this one. Lots of well-known players/singers on the record including Lenny Kravitz, Waddy Wachtel, Sarah Dash and, helping out on vocals on Freedom, Mavis Staples.
    22. David + David, Swimming In The Ocean . . . Yet another great one from the one and only album, 1986’s Boomtown, by Davids Baerwaeld and Ricketts. I’ve loved it from the first time I heard its lead single, Welcome To The Boomtown, prompting me to buy it. Not a bad song on it. One of these days I’ll just play the whole thing on one of my periodic ‘album replay’ shows.
    23. Queen, It’s Late . . . Brian May-penned tune from the band’s 1977 album News Of The World. Yet another album, by Queen and others, that is solid front to back. It’s Late was actually a single on the record dominated by the success of the excellent but long since, thanks in good measure to sports events, overplayed We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions.

So Old It’s New Gordon Lightfoot (RIP) tribute set list for Saturday, May 6, 2023- on air 7-9 am ET

So Old It’s New set list in tribute to Canadian icon Gordon Lightfoot, who died this past week at age 84. Obviously a pillar of Canadian music and beyond our borders, what is amazingly satisfying and interesting to me has been the ongoing outpouring from people, not just in Canada but everywhere, sharing songs, stories, memories and so on of this artist who obviously deeply touched so many via his ‘story’ songs like The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald and Canadian Railroad Trilogy but also his songs about relationships, usually warts and all, born of his own experiences and therefore relatable to many.

So, a bit of a departure from my usual deep cuts show; instead I offer a mixture of Lightfoot’s hits/well-known tunes and some maybe lesser-known but equally compelling songs. I could have filled much more, obviously, than my 2-hour slot but what follows is what I decided upon. Rest in Peace, Gord, and thanks for all that you brought to so many. No track-by-track tales this week, Lightfoot’s songs speak for themselves.

1. Old Dan’s Records
2. Mister Rock Of Ages
3. Minstrel Of The Dawn
4. Wherefore And Why
5. Early Morning Rain
6. Rainy Day People
7. Beautiful
8. Daylight Katy
9. Make Way For The Lady
10. Cold On The Shoulder
11. Talking In Your Sleep
12. Can’t Depend On Love
13. Cherokee Bend
14. Canadian Railroad Trilogy
15. Steel Rail Blues
16. Circle Of Steel
17. Carefree Highway
18. Don Quixote
19. Protocol
20. Race Among The Ruins
21. Bitter Green
22. Me And Bobby McGee
23. Love & Maple Syrup
24. Cotton Jenny
25. You Are What I Am
26. The Circle Is Small (I Can See It In Your Eyes)
27. If You Could Read My Mind
28. Seven Island Suite
29. Summer Side Of Life
30. Black Day In July
31. The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald
32. Sundown

So Old It’s New set list for Monday, May 1, 2023 – on air 8-10 pm ET

My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. The Rolling Stones, Hey Negrita
  2. Kris Kristofferson, Blame It On The Stones
  3. Humble Pie, Hot ‘N’ Nasty
  4. AC/DC, Stormy May Day
  5. Led Zeppelin, In My Time Of Dying
  6. Blue Oyster Cult, Shooting Shark
  7. Curtis Mayfield, Pusherman
  8. Trooper, The Boys In The Bright White Sports Car
  9. The Beatles, Lovely Rita
  10. Taj Mahal, The Celebrated Walkin’ Blues
  11. John Mayall, Dry Throat (live, from Jazz Blues Fusion)
  12. Bruce Springsteen, Jungleland
  13. Roy Buchanan, Hey Joe (live)
  14. The Byrds, Chestnut Mare
  15. Eric Clapton, Stars, Strays and Ashtrays
  16. Chilliwack, 148 Heavy
  17. David Bowie, Lady Grinning Soul
  18. Dire Straits, Lions
  19. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Luna
  20. The Stills-Young Band, 12/8 Blues (All The Same)
  21. Montrose, Dancin’ Feet
  22. George Thorogood and The Destroyers, Want Ad Blues 

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. The Rolling Stones, Hey Negrita . . . Terrific groove on this one featuring what is likely Ron Wood’s top contribution to the Black and Blue album, his staccato lead guitar work on this track. “Rehearsing guitar players” is how Keith Richards described the sessions for the album, which was put together in the wake of Mick Taylor’s departure after 1974’s It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll album release. Among those at the sessions were Jeff Beck, Peter Frampton, and Rory Gallagher, all of whose actual contributions, if any, didn’t make it to tape while Wayne Perkins’ terrific solo on Hand Of Fate and former Canned Heat member Harvey Mandel’s playing on Hot Stuff and Memory Motel did make the final cut. While Wood isn’t a virtuoso of the calibre of some of those auditioning, the Stones wound up going with who they considered to be the best fit for the band. Wood once related a story where Eric Clapton apparently told him “I could have had that job’ to which Wood replied, ‘yeah, but Eric, you gotta live with ’em, too.” And it’s true and, in fact, Wood was key to holding the band together during the so-called World War III between Richards and Mick Jagger during much of the 1980s. As a big Stones fan, while having the likes of the various mentioned luminaries in the band sounds amazing on the surface, I don’t think it would have worked or lasted with the likes of Clapton, Frampton, Gallagher or Beck as it would have become or been perceived as “the Stones with . . . ” as those players were also songwriters and major solo artists in their own rights. Could they have fit, even been subjugated, in such a band? Former Stones’ bassist Bill Wyman actually spoke to that very dynamic in an interview that’s available on YouTube and came to the conclusion that Wood was indeed the right choice.
    1. Kris Kristofferson, Blame It On The Stones . . . Lead cut on Kristofferson’s self-titled debut album, released in June, 1970. The song references negative impressions older generations had of The Rolling Stones at that time, especially having come off their 1969 Altamont concert where a man, Meredith Hunter, was stabbed and killed by the Hell’s Angels who were in retrospect ludicrously used as security.
    1. Humble Pie, Hot ‘N’ Nasty . . . “Roll it, baby” indeed, as lead singer Steve Marriott intones at the start of this raunch and roller from the 1972 album Smokin’, the first Humble Pie album without Peter Frampton, who had departed for a solo career. Hot ‘N’ Nasty actually did better on the singles charts, hitting No. 35 in Canada and No. 52 in the US, than 30 Days In The Hole, which remains likely Humble Pie’s best-known song and propelled Smokin’ to the top 10 on album charts.
    1. AC/DC, Stormy May Day . . . From 2008’s Black Ice. The opening reminds me of the song I’m playing next.
    1. Led Zeppelin, In My Time Of Dying . . . A gospel blues song by Blind Willie Johnson, originally released in 1928 but given an 11-minute Zep treatment on their Physical Graffiti album. It was also done by Bob Dylan on his 1962 self-titled debut album with the title In My Time Of Dyin’.
    1. Blue Oyster Cult, Shooting Shark . . . A different sort of track for BOC as they, too, embraced a more processed, synthesizer 1980s sound for at least some of their 1983 album The Revolution By Night. Yet while I’m not usually into that sort of stuff, I don’t mind this extended, somewhat spooky, hypnotic song about a bad on-again, off-again relationship, inspired by a Patti Smith poem. Smith had an association with the band dating to her vocals on their song The Revenge Of Vera Gemini from the 1976 album Agents Of Fortune, which yielded the hit single (Don’t Fear) The Reaper.
    2. Curtis Mayfield, Pusherman . . . So funky. From Mayfield’s third solo album, Superfly, after he left The Impressions. It served as the soundtrack for the 1972 film of the same name.
    1. Trooper, The Boys In The Bright White Sports Car . . . A song originally on the band’s 1976 album Two For The Show, it was slightly re-worked and became a successful single when released on 1979’s Hot Shots compilation, an album no doubt in just about every Canadian home, certainly those of baby boomers. At the time, the compilation went quadruple platinum in Canada, platinum in this country being 80,000 copies, breaking records for a recording by a Canadian act.
    2. The Beatles, Lovely Rita . . . I could listen to the intro to this Sgt. Pepper tune forever without getting sick of it, just the way Ringo’s drums kick in at the 10-second mark. The rest of it’s pretty good, too, including Paul McCartney’s pronunciation of ‘buuk’ or ‘boook” in “I caught a glimpse of Rita, filling in a ticket in her little white book”. Piano solo by producer George Martin. The song is described in one of my Beatles’ books as “a glorious throwaway”. Agreed.
    3. Taj Mahal, The Celebrated Walkin’ Blues . . . From Mahal’s self-titled 1968 debut album, it features guitarists Jesse Ed Davis of solo and session fame and Ry Cooder, with whom Mahal had earlier formed the blues/rock/folk band Rising Sons.
    1. John Mayall, Dry Throat (live, from Jazz Blues Fusion) . . . Exactly what the album title describes, jazz/blues fusion. Great stuff from Mayall and his band, recorded live in New York and Boston in late 1971 and released in 1972. Mayall is another of the many artists I got into via my older brother. He brought home Mayall’s USA Union album in 1970 and off I went with Mayall, to this day. It was perfect, really, having a brother eight years older, because, born in 1951, he was in his teens through the heyday of the British Invasion and other 1960s music. So he sort of passed the baton to me and my sister, who was four years older and had her own favorites and discoveries, all of which I at least investigated and maybe added to my own expanding music universe. A wonderful foundation of great memories.
    1. Bruce Springsteen, Jungleland . . . Epic from Springsteen’s breakthrough album, 1975’s Born To Run, notable for the late ‘big man’ Clarence Clemons’ sax solo.
    1. Roy Buchanan, Hey Joe (live) . . . If you know Hey Joe via the Jimi Hendrix version, Buchanan’s live take on it, this one from The Definitive Collection compilation, is a total reinvention. It’s slow blues, talk singing, accompanied by piano and guitar accents, then an explosion around three minutes in, major soloing/riffing at close to five minutes in and then back to the beginning, so to speak, for the last three minutes of the eight-minute plus excursion. What a trip.
    2. The Byrds, Chestnut Mare . . . Full version of a five-minute track from the Untitled album in 1970. It was cut in almost half for single release, at least in the UK and Europe, where the tale of a man’s quest to tame a wild horse, also seen as a commentary on humankind’s attempts to control the environment, did much better on the charts. It went to No. 19 in the UK as opposed to not even making the top 100 in the US.
    3. Eric Clapton, Stars, Strays and Ashtrays . . . Beautiful country blues track, a Clapton-penned outtake from the Slowhand album sessions in 1977 that finally saw official release on a deluxe edition of the album that came out in 2012. That reissue includes a bonus disc of a previously unreleased 1977 concert at London’s Hammersmith Odeon. The iconic venue is now called the Eventim Apollo, due to naming rights/sponsorship.
    4. Chilliwack, 148 Heavy . . . 1979’s Breakdown In Paradise album is the lone non-compilation Chilliwack album I own. I like the band, saw them in a rousing performance a few years ago at the Kitchener Blues Festival, but for me their hits are all I need. Except that there’s two songs they did that I quite like that aren’t on any compilation. Well, check that. The song Communication Breakdown (not the Led Zeppelin tune) is on a hits album. But it’s a truncated version, more than a minute shorter and, damn it, I want the full version, complete with what I think is a cool partially spoken word intro before the band rips into the song. So because of that, and 148 Heavy which I remember instantly liking when I heard it on FM radio while in college, back when radio dug deeper, I simply had to own Breakdown In Paradise. “Heavy’, by the way, is an aviation term used to describe an aircraft’s wake turbulence, which can be dangerous to other aircraft flying in its wake. Typically, and I’m quoting from an encyclopedia, aircraft create the most wake during takeoff, departure, approach and landing, hence the song’s lyrics “148 heavy, landing in Toronto.” I know it’s obvious in terms of time zones but I’ve always loved the lyric, from this British Columbia band, ‘when you left in the west it was only afternoon, half alive and awake you’re flying into the moon . . . ” To again reference my late older brother, I recall one Christmas, we all got together in our parent’s new home in Calgary where mom and dad had moved for my dad’s work. Rob, my older brother, was the first among we siblings to have to get back east home in his case Nova Scotia where he was serving in the military. He calls back upon arrival to advise he got home safe and he says “I’m wide awake and want to party but everyone else is tired and just wants to go to bed.”
    5. David Bowie, Lady Grinning Soul . . . How many rock songs mention the card game canasta? Besides which, what a great tune, jazzy, atmospheric, twinkly piano by Mike Garson who, perhaps amazingly, has contributed in a very cool fashion to YouTube posts of this Aladdin Sane album song by thanking people in comment fields for praising his playing on it. And Garson, who played on 13 Bowie albums – he was Bowie’s longest-serving and most frequently appearing band member – including the studio classics Aladdin Sane, Diamond Dogs and Young Americans, deserves such praise. His long and varied discography also includes sessions with Mick Ronson, Nine Inch Nails, bass superstar Stanley Clarke and Smashing Pumpkins.
    1. Dire Straits, Lions . . . What can one say about Dire Straits’ self-titled debut from 1978? It’s great, it’s far more than the hit single and a great song it is, Sultans of Swing, but every song is terrific, like this one.
    1. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Luna . . . Not sure if I’ve played this before. I don’t think so because, you know how you maybe know an album yet you sort of don’t know it? Or maybe it’s just me. Anyway, I’m a big Petty fan yet aside from a few albums like, mostly, the early ones like the breakthrough Damn The Torpedoes and then Hard Promises, his non-Heartbreakers stuff like Full Moon Fever, I confess I’ve tended to fall into a compilation of his hits rut even while owning it all, studio albums, compilations, box sets. Breakdown, still to me one of his greatest songs, is obviously on compilations so I rarely listen to it from the first, self-titled studio album. Yet the other day, I did when I put that record on and Luna of course came up. Ridiculously great tune, haunting, hypnotic bluesy excellence with that distinctive Petty voice, an instrument in itself, as with so many great artists.
    2. The Stills-Young Band, 12/8 Blues (All The Same) . . . According to one of those track-by-track analysis books I have, this one on Neil Young, the 1976 Stills-Young Band album was originally planned as a sort of return to Buffalo Springfield, at least in terms of creative spirit. Then, David Crosby and Graham Nash were invited to participate and it looked like the sessions would result in a new CSNY album. But internecine warfare ensued and it reverted to a Stills-Young project, this being a Stills-penned tune and a good one it is. Certainly lyrically, in terms of relationships and I’m not talking about the band, it’s about the male-female often flawed communication dynamic. “I got the miserables . . . help me . . . I wanna talk to you . . . .listen too . . . too many times I’ve swallowed my words. Is it a crime to want to be heard?” I’ve always been into Neil Young, always thought he was ‘the’ guy in CSNY and obviously solo, and he still largely is, but as the years go by and I have dug deeper into Stephen Stills, wow.
    1. Montrose, Dancin’ Feet . . . It’s akin to the Deep Purple story, circa 1974 when Purple introduces the previously unknown singer David Coverdale to the world and goes on to further success with the Burn and subsequent albums, Coverdale of course going on to found and front the hugely successful Whitesnake. In this case, Sammy Hagar leaves Montrose and, similarly later to Judas Priest bringing in tribute band singer Ripper Owens when Rob Halford left, Montrose brings in unknown singer Bob James from a Montrose tribute band to take over lead vocals. And it works for two albums including this funky rocker from the band’s 1975 album Warner Bros. Presents Montrose! Cool album cover, too.
    2. George Thorogood and The Destroyers, Want Ad Blues . . . Typically raunchy cover, great bass intro, in this case of a John Lee Hooker tune, from arguably the master coverer-turn-em-into rock tracks artist, Thorogood. From his 1993 album Haircut.

So Old It’s New set list for Saturday, April 29, 2023 – on air 7-9 am ET

My track-by-track tales follow the bare-bones list.

  1. Jethro Tull, Wolf Unchained
  2. Little Feat, Juliette
  3. Zuffalo, Flowering Rush
  4. Grateful Dead, Unbroken Chain
  5. The Allman Brothers Band, High Cost Of Low Living
  6. J.J. Cale, Artificial Paradise
  7. Harry Chapin, Sunday Morning Sunshine
  8. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Lodi
  9. Thin Lizzy, Slow Blues
  10. Ten Years After, Slow Blues In ‘C’ (from Recorded Live)
  11. The Rolling Stones, You Gotta Move (live, from Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! Deluxe box set)
  12. Traffic, (Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired
  13. Jack Bruce, How’s Tricks
  14. Rod Stewart, Lady Day
  15. Bob Dylan, If You See Her, Say Hello
  16. Peter Green, Baby When The Sun Goes Down
  17. Jon Lord with The Hoochie Coochie Men, Back At The Chicken Shack (from Live At The Basement)
  18. Gordon Lightfoot, That Same Old Obsession
  19. Steely Dan, Green Earrings
  20. The Monkees, No Time
  21. Reunion, Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me)
  22. David Essex, Rock On
  23. Edward Bear, Last Song
  24. Dire Straits, Fade To Black

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. Jethro Tull, Wolf Unchained . . . From the new Tull album, RokFlote (rock flute), released last week. Originally to be a primarily instrumental album featuring flute, as planning and sessions progressed Tull leader Ian Anderson began writing more lyrics and it became a full band effort, a concept album based around Norse mythology and history prompted by Anderson’s delving into his own possible Scandinavian roots, as he relates in the album’s liner notes. It’s fairly mellow, this track being the hardest rocking, to my ears, after just a listen or two. But it’s good, making it two straight late-career solid albums from Tull after last year’s The Zealot Gene. Anderson’s voice isn’t what it once was, which is why my lone disappointing of many Tull shows, in 2007, marked the last time I’ll see the band live. But Anderson is smart enough to work around his vocal limitations, likely helped by studio wizardry, on new recorded work that best suits his singing.
    2. Little Feat, Juliette . . . Speaking of flute, Anderson and Tull are likely the most famous for use of the instrument but it’s not as if it’s unique to that band in rock music. A quick web search suggests bands ranging from Canned Heat to Genesis to John Mayall’s various Bluesbreakers incarnations to The Moody Blues, and others, have used flute, although not as extensively as Tull nor, usually, as a lead instrument. Little Feat tried it on this lovely track from the Dixie Chicken album. Feat leader Lowell George plays it, apparently despite his thinking he wasn’t very good at it. Sounds fine to me.
    3. Zuffalo, Flowering Rush . . . This Toronto band will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon by playing the album, and their own stuff, like this tune from their Birdbrain record, in a 9 p.m. show sponsored by Radio Waterloo tonight (Saturday, April 29) at Rhythm and Blues in Cambridge, Ont. Zuffalo describes its sound as ‘groove-driven, uplifting psychedelic rock with folk- and pop-based melodies and harmonies. . . . with funky beats and monstrous riffs that can enter realms of blues and hard rock.” For musical context, Zuffalo reminds me somewhat of The Allman Brothers Band and Grateful Dead, among others. Which leads me into the next two songs . . .
    4. Grateful Dead, Unbroken Chain . . . From The Mars Hotel album, issued in 1974, this tune with a nice, comfortable groove was written and sung by Dead bass player Phil Lesh. I’ve long appreciated them by now but I was somewhat late to the band, knew hit songs like Truckin’ but often smiled at lines about the band like, and I’m paraphrasing, “once Deadheads stopped doing drugs and listened to the band while straight they realized how bad they were.” But such lines aren’t true, as I’ve found out over time while digging deeper.
    5. The Allman Brothers Band, High Cost Of Low Living . . . One of my favorite Allmans tunes, all eras. This one’s from the last studio album Hittin’ The Note, released in 2003. The band became exclusively a live act after that before retiring in 2014 after their final concert at New York’s Beacon Theatre, where they for years set up shop for month-long strings of shows.
    6. J.J. Cale, Artificial Paradise . . . From Cale’s 1992 album 10, being his tenth album. He also has albums called ‘5’ and #8 and wouldn’t you know, they are his fifth and eighth studio albums, respectively. Clever guy. But not all his album titles are like that, and I’m not knocking him by any stretch. He’s one of my favorite artists. He was just so effortlessly smooth in his bluesy, rootsy, country way, always reliably the same yet different enough in each song and album as to remain compelling, rarely if ever repeating himself.
    7. Harry Chapin, Sunday Morning Sunshine . . . Yes, I know it’s a Saturday morning show but I don’t have a Sunday show. At least, not yet, that I know of. Nice tune by Chapin, musically and lyrically, typical of an artist with loads of great stuff yet well known by the masses essentially for two songs – Cat’s In The Cradle and Taxi.
    8. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Lodi . . . It’s on all their compilations so it’s an at least somewhat popular, well-known tune that was the B-side to Bad Moon Rising from the Green River album. Yet it’s one of those CCR songs you don’t tend to hear about much given all their big hit singles, although it’s always been one of my favorites. And what’s wrong with being stuck in Lodi, California, anyway? It’s a key hub of the state’s wine industry.
    9. Thin Lizzy, Slow Blues . . . One of those songs that I’d bet if you played it to someone, unless they were up on Thin Lizzy and, maybe, Phil Lynott’s voice, they’d not guess that it was Thin Lizzy. Great tune. It’s not exactly slow, more mid-tempo I’d say, and a somewhat spooky lament about yet another relationship gone awry. Typical blues fodder. It’s from 1973’s Vagabonds Of The Western World, Thin Lizzy’s third album, three years before they broke big in North America via the Jailbreak album and The Boys Are Back In Town hit single.
    10. Ten Years After, Slow Blues In ‘C’ (from Recorded Live) . . . Thin Lizzy was in the wrong key. So TYA corrected them. Another great bluesy track; I’m in that frame of mind, in large measure, for this show.
    11. The Rolling Stones, You Gotta Move (live, from Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! Deluxe box set) . . . From the expanded version of Ya Ya’s, issued in 2009. Just Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in a mini acoustic set featuring the Fred McDowell blues tune the Stones previewed on their 1969 tour of the United States, recording it, Brown Sugar and Wild Horses at Muscle Shoals studio in Alabama while on tour as shown in the movie Gimme Shelter. The three songs wound up on 1971’s Sticky Fingers album. The expanded Ya Ya’s album release includes five songs – Prodigal Son, You Gotta Move, Under My Thumb, I’m Free and Satisfaction – that were regularly played on the tour but weren’t included on the original 1970 live album.
    12. Traffic, (Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired . . . Exactly how I felt the day before yesterday in prepping the show. Just couldn’t seem to get it together to my own satisfaction. But as often happens, took a break, rearranged things, garbage in garbage out so to speak in terms of tracks (and of course none of them are garbage) and, here we are.
    13. Jack Bruce, How’s Tricks . . . A reggae groove on this title track from the former Cream man’s 1977 album.
    14. Rod Stewart, Lady Day . . . Yet another classic from Rod Stewart’s amazing 1969-74 period when he was maintaining parallel careers, solo and with Faces, most of whom backed him on his solo albums. This one’s from his second solo outing, 1970’s Gasoline Alley. Stewart’s solo success eventually overshadowed and led to the fraying of Faces.
    15. Bob Dylan, If You See Her, Say Hello . . . Another lament to lost love from an album lamenting lost love, Blood On The Tracks.
    16. Peter Green, Baby When The Sun Goes Down . . . Bluesy excellence from the Fleetwood Mac founder’s 1980 album Little Dreamer.
    17. Jon Lord with The Hoochie Coochie Men, Back At The Chicken Shack (from Live At The Basement) . . . The Deep Purple keyboardist having fun with friends in Australia on this great live album, released in 2003. A dip into a bit of Purple’s Lazy to start, then into a blues shuffle showcase of the late great Lord’s skills on this nine-minute excursion.
    18. Gordon Lightfoot, That Same Old Obsession . . . Love, lost love, same old story. Beautiful song was the B-side to You Are What I Am from 1972’s Old Dan’s Records album, one which saw Lightfoot starting to introduce country influences into his music.
    19. Steely Dan, Green Earrings . . . Jazzy, funky rock from The Royal Scam album featuring great guitar from Denny Dias and Elliott Randall.
    20. The Monkees, No Time . . . I had this Monkees’ rocker from the Headquarters album in the hopper and under consideration for today’s show. Then, unrelated to show planning, came a fun chat with friends about The Monkees, so that conversation clinched No Time’s inclusion.
    21. Reunion, Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me) . . . I considered doing another one-hit wonder type show, which I’ve done before but decided to go with just a few such tunes. This one, from 1974, name-checks just about every artist popular in music to that point in a fun tune that made the top 10 in North America, No. 8 on Billboard and No. 2 in Canada.
    22. David Essex, Rock On . . . He’s known as a one-hit wonder, at least in North America, for this song but David Essex, still active at 75, has 19 top 40 singles and 16 top 40 albums in the UK. He’s also an actor, with credits in various movies and TV shows, mostly UK productions, and the stage musicals Godspell and Evita during the 1970s.
    23. Edward Bear, Last Song . . . A No. 1 Canadian and No. 3 US hit in 1973 for the Toronto-based group. Formed in 1966, the band, whose name was derived from Winnie the Pooh, also charted with You, Me and Mexico in 1970.
    24. Dire Straits, Fade To Black . . . And you thought “Last Song’ would be the actual last song. C’mon . . . that’s just what you’d be expecting. Instead, out we fade with this boozy, bluesy track from the final Dire Straits album, 1991’s On Every Street. The late Jeff Porcaro of Toto and extensive session fame was the drummer on most of the album’s songs and was invited on tour – an excellent one I took in when the band came to Toronto. But Porcaro declined due to his commitments to Toto and other projects, of which there were many. Porcaro was one of the most recorded session musicians in history including albums/songs with Steely Dan, Jackson Browne, Boz Scaggs, Diana Ross, Warren Zevon, Michael Jackson, Madonna . . . the list is quite varied, and almost endless.

So Old It’s New set list for Monday, April 24, 2023 – on air 8-10 pm ET

I’ve divided tonight’s show into segments: progressive rock followed by metal/hard rock, then singer/songwriters, then some new wave from my college days before finishing up with The Doors, a different version of Bad Company featuring Paul Rodgers soundalike vocalist Robert Hart, The Rolling Stones and a Mark Knopfler project, The Notting Hillbillies.

My track-by-track tales follow the bare-bones list.

  1. Genesis, Deep In The Motherlode
  2. Pink Floyd, A Pillow Of Winds
  3. Yes, And You And I
  4. Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Knife-Edge
  5. King Crimson, Fallen Angel
  6. Black Sabbath, Falling Off The Edge Of The World
  7. Tipton, Entwistle and Powell, Resolution
  8. Judas Priest, Traitors’ Gate
  9. Iron Maiden, The Clairvoyant
  10. Deep Purple, A Gypsy’s Kiss
  11. Joni Mitchell, The Beat Of Black Wings
  12. Cat Stevens, Lady D’Arbanville
  13. Murray McLauchlan, Train Song
  14. Bruce Cockburn, Justice
  15. The Clash, Ghetto Defendant
  16. The Specials, Gangsters
  17. Flash And The Pan, Captain Beware
  18. Blondie, Dragonfly
  19. The Doors, Orange County Suite
  20. Bad Company, Abandoned And Alone
  21. The Rolling Stones, I Got The Blues
  22. The Notting Hillbillies, Will You Miss Me

    My track-by-track tales:

    1. Genesis, Deep In The Motherlode . . . From the . . . And Then There Were Three . . . album, released in 1978. The record saw the band – with the departure of guitarist Steve Hackett, two albums after the departure of original lead singer Peter Gabriel – reduced to the trio of singer/drummer Phil Collins, keyboardist Tony Banks and bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford. I had always been aware of Genesis but aside from Pink Floyd and knowing Yes songs like Roundabout and ELP stuff like Lucky Man, had not to that point been much into progressive rock. So the album was my full listening gateway into Genesis via the single Follow You Follow Me, a hit that presaged the transformation of the band into a more widely accessible act. But the album retained, albeit in shorter songs, elements of earlier Genesis on tracks like Deep In The Motherlode and I soon was going back to the beginning, and advancing with the band through the Duke album and beyond.
    2. Pink Floyd, A Pillow Of Winds . . . Speaking of Pink Floyd . . . a beautiful, atmospheric piece from the Meddle album. You do feel as if you are floating on the wind.
    3. Yes, And You And I . . . As one reviewer of the Close To The Edge album suggested, if one wants an example of progressive rock, at least Yes’s version of it, this would be a good song to sample, “blending four part vocal harmony with expert musicianship.”
    4. Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Knife-Edge . . . I mentioned Lucky Man earlier. This was its B-side, from the band’s self-titled debut album in 1970 and more representative of the group’s overall sound. But singles entice people to buy albums. If they don’t like the rest of it, and that can definitely happen with some artists, that’s why hits compilations exist.
    5. King Crimson, Fallen Angel . . . The debut Crimson album, 1969’s In The Court Of The Crimson King, will always be my favorite but 1974’s Red, from which I pulled Fallen Angel, is up there. The album has been described as displaying a balance between bone-crushing brutality and cerebral complexity. On the surface, one might not tend to see a marriage between prog and metal, but Red is a heavy album and an influence on metal acts and much of King Crimson’s extensive output rocks. The band’s genius has been that ability to merge heavy material with cerebral complexity.
    6. Black Sabbath, Falling Off The Edge Of The World . . . From 1981’s Mob Rules album, the second studio release with singer Ronnie James Dio, who delivers, along with rest of the band, an epic metallic masterpiece performance.
    7. Tipton, Entwistle and Powell, Resolution . . . Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton released a solo album, Baptizm of Fire, in 1997, with Who bassist John Entwistle and noted drummer Cozy Powell among the session players. Tipton took the songs that didn’t make that album, like this melodic heavy rocker, and released them, in memory of the recent deaths of his friends and colleagues, in 2006 as the Edge Of The World record. Like Baptizm of Fire, it sounds like a Judas Priest album without Rob Halford singing, and while some Priest fans have criticized Tipton’s singing, I don’t mind it.
    8. Judas Priest, Traitors’ Gate . . . From 2018’s Firepower. It’s Priest’s most recent album. released in 2018 and an absolute corker, melodic metal mayhem from start to finish. It’s somewhat rare for a longtime band to come up with such a classic so late in their career, but Priest pulled it off. Meantime, Tipton has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and while he played on Firepower, the affliction has limited his touring with the band and he’s been replaced by English guitarist Andy Sneap for stage performances since 2018 although Tipton has appeared occasionally for a song or two, usually encores. At one point, Priest singer Rob Halford suggested he still tour using backing tracks or a backstage guitarist to cover for him, but Tipton, to his credit I think, rejected those options.
    9. Iron Maiden, The Clairvoyant . . . A Maiden classic from the 1988 album Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son. Looked at cynically, the lyric “there’s a time to live but isn’t it strange that as soon as you’re born you’re dying’ is maybe a lame, obvious attempt to sound profound. But on the other hand, it’s akin to essentially all of the lyrics for Pink Floyd’s Time from The Dark Side Of The Moon, including the passage: “. . . the sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older, shorter of breath and one day closer to death.” Someone has to publicly articulate such thoughts. And on that happy albeit realistic note . . .
    10. Deep Purple, A Gypsy’s Kiss . . . A scorcher from 1984’s Perfect Strangers album, it reminds me of Highway Star in the sense you can imagine yourself driving, too fast, down a long, otherwise empty stretch of highway while grooving to the song turned up to 11. The album reunited the so-called Mark II classic Purple lineup of guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, singer Ian Gillan, drummer Ian Paice, bassist Roger Glover and keyboardist Jon Lord. But as usual, Gillan and Blackmore got at each other’s throats again and, to make a long well-known story I’ve told before short, another studio album ensued, a fractious tour, another breakup, another reunion, then a final breakup of the Mark II version in the middle of another tour. There’s a funny 3-minute video clip from years ago, around the time of the first reunion’s first breakup, called “Blackmore-Gillan battle of words” on YouTube where the two men, separately, discuss their differences. Gillan calls Blackmore a giant among guitarists but ‘he’s an intellectual dwarf . . . I didn’t say that . . . he’s insecure . . . I didn’t say that . . . yes I did.” Cut to Blackmore in a separate interview, deadpan with a bit of a twinkle in his eye: “One of these days when we’re playing, on the road, I’m going to attack Ian Gillan in the back alley . . . he’s bigger than me, he’s probably a better fighter, so I’m going to do it with a few friends of mine, probably Swedish, and we’ll beat him up, but he won’t know it’s me.”
    11. Joni Mitchell, The Beat Of Black Wings . . . From Mitchell’s 1988 album Chalk In A Rainstorm, a compelling tale of an embittered Vietnam War veteran who has difficulty getting the sound of helicopter blades from his head. I don’t have the album. I like Joni’s stuff well enough and have the albums Blue, Court and Spark and one of her live albums, Miles of Aisles and a few others, but am mostly into her well-known singles. What I also have, though, is a terrific compilation of her lesser known material that she selected, released in 1996, called Misses. It’s a companion album to Hits, released on the same day on the proviso that the record company also accede to her request and issue Misses, which is where I first heard The Beat Of Black Wings, and other great deep cuts.
    12. Cat Stevens, Lady D’Arbanville . . . Written about a former girlfriend, actress Patti D’Arbanville, it appeared on the interestingly titled 1970 album Mona Bone Jakon – a name Stevens coined for his, er, penis.
    13. Murray McLauchlan, Train Song . . . From the Canadian singer-songwriter’s 1976 album Boulevard. Such great stuff, MM’s work, as a trip through an excellent 2-CD career retrospective, Songs From The Street, also available online, reveals, if you don’t have or know the individual albums.
    14. Bruce Cockburn, Justice . . . What’s been done in the name of, you name it, religion, peace, civilization itself, etc. Lyric “list’ songs like these are usually effective, John Lennon’s God being a prime example, although obviously the music has to be compelling enough to prompt people to listen. It’s from 1981’s Inner City Front album, with Cockburn concluding that ‘everybody loves to see justice done . . . on somebody else.” Murray McLauchlan contributes backing vocals on the album.
    15. The Clash, Ghetto Defendant . . . Terrific, different, partially spoken word track, easily my favorite on the Combat Rock album, featuring vocal contribution from Beat Generation writer/poet Allen Ginsberg.
    16. The Specials, Gangsters . . . First Specials song I ever heard, as I recall on Toronto TV station City’s The New Music show, during my late 1970s college days. It was a single, a terrific track and I was hooked, prompting my younger brother’s classic reaction – ‘what’s happened to you?’ – as I dug deep into The Specials, The Selecter, Madness and so on. Love my siblings but he was, to quote Mott The Hoople’s David Bowie-penned hit All The Young Dudes, still ‘back at home with his Beatles and his Stones . . . ” I was, too, but that didn’t preclude expanding horizons.
    17. Flash And The Pan, Captain Beware . . . From Lights In The Night, the second Flash And The Pan album, released in 1980. I read where some critic said the synthesized vocals get tiring. Uh, the synthesized vocals are a big part of the point of Flash And The Pan.
    18. Blondie, Dragonfly . . . Interesting sci-fi-themed mini-epic from The Hunter, the band’s 1982 album. It was a relative failure commercially and critically, particularly in comparison to hit albums Parallel Lines, Eat To The Beat and Autoamerican that preceded it. I don’t have The Hunter, having given up on Blondie by then, but I did along the way pick up a two-disc compilation of hits and album tracks issued years later. It’s called The Platinum Collection, which is how I became familiar with Dragonfly.
    19. The Doors, Orange County Suite . . . Originally a piano-only piece written in 1969 by Jim Morrison, about his partner Pamela, it was later dressed up with added instrumentation by surviving members of The Doors after Morrison’s death. The reworked track, which retains the spare approach of the original, was released on the band’s 1997 box set and on an expanded 2006 re-release of the L.A. Woman album. All versions are available online, at least on YouTube.
    20. Bad Company, Abandoned And Alone . . . It sounds like Paul Rodgers singing on this one from 1995’s Company Of Strangers album, but it isn’t. It’s Robert Hart, who replaced the previous Rodgers replacement, Brian Howe. Bad Co. had lots of commercial success with Howe singing, but I didn’t like the overproduced 1980s sound of those years, corporate rock it’s derisively called, and could only tolerate one song, the title cut from the Holy Water album. But while Paul Rodgers is without doubt THE Bad Company singer, and has been back at the mic since 2008 as the band continues to tour, Hart was a fine replacement, certainly much better than Howe was to my ears, and Company Of Strangers is a good album harkening back to the original Bad Company sound. Hart sang on one more album, the 1996 record Stories Told & Untold. That hybrid of new material and reworkings of Bad Co. classics like Can’t Get Enough wasn’t as good as Company Of Strangers as, perhaps strangely, Hart started sounding like Howe on the new material amid a baffling, to me, return to the studio slick gunk production. That was that, and Hart moved on to other projects, becoming become lead singer of the latest incarnation of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band in 2011.
    21. The Rolling Stones, I Got The Blues . . . Billy Preston, a regular session player on Stones albums in the early 1970s who also toured with the band, contributes a fine organ solo on this late night lament to a lost lover, from the Sticky Fingers album.
    22. The Notting Hillbillies, Will You Miss Me . . . From the wonderful one-off 1990 country rock, bluesy album Missing . . . Presumed Having A Good Time. And the band, led by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, indeed does have a blast on a low-key album of covers, traditional songs and some originals.

So Old It’s New set list for Saturday, April 22, 2023 – on air 7-9 am ET

I’m going fairly deep for Saturday, drawing from a wonderful compilation series  called I’m A Freak, Baby – A Journey Through The British Heavy Psych and Hard Rock Underground Scene 1968-72. I’m digging into the first 3-CD compilation that was released in 2016 and I was turned on to by a fellow music aficionado friend. There’s since been two more releases, in 2019 and 2021, expanding the palate to 1973 and I intend to get to those songs eventually, individually or collectively, as I’ve done piecemeal since first release. There’s 154 songs, total, over the series so far. It’s great stuff from which I’m drawing half of this set, the rest being my usual classic rock deep cuts and otherwise fare. My track-by-track tales follow this bare-bones list.

  1. Rory Gallagher, Bullfrog Blues (from Live In Europe)
  2. Wicked Lady, I’m A Freak
  3. The Gun, Race With The Devil
  4. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Rapid Transit
  5. Iron Claw, Skullcrusher
  6. The Move, Brontosaurus
  7. Third World War, Ascension Day
  8. Chicken Shack, Going Down
  9. BTO, Amelia Earhart
  10. Bachman and Turner, Moonlight Rider
  11. Skid Row (Ireland), Go, I’m Never Gonna Let You
  12. Bare Sole, Flash
  13. The Open Mind, Cast A Spell
  14. Stack Waddy, Bring It To Jerome
  15. Writing On The Wall, Bogeyman
  16. Barnabus, Apocalypse
  17. The Who, Under My Thumb
  18. Aerosmith, 3 Mile Smile
  19. The Tragically Hip, An Inch An Hour
  20. Midnight Oil, Best Of Both Worlds
  21. Romantics, A Night Like This
  22. Dave Edmunds, Almost Saturday Night
  23. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, Betty Lou’s Gettin’ Out Tonight
  24. Ian Hunter, Overnight Angels
  25. The Deviants, I’m Coming HomeMy track-by-track tales:

     

    1. Rory Gallagher, Bullfrog Blues (from Live In Europe) . . . From Irish guitar legend Gallagher’s first live album, recorded and released in 1972, culled from shows throughout Europe in February and March of that year. Guitarist The Edge of U2, according to Live In Europe’s 1999 expanded re-release liner notes, was inspired by the album to learn the instrument and play in a band. I often think of Rory Gallagher as I do The J. Geils Band. I like their studio stuff, but they’re arguably best heard live and thankfully both artists have multiple live albums available.
    2. Wicked Lady, I’m A Freak . . . First of a bunch of songs, comprising half my set today, of relative obscurities from the British hard rock and psychedelic scene released between 1968-72. I’m A Freak, from 1972, is a Motorhead-like propulsive track recorded three years before there was a Motorhead, and serves as a sort of title track for a compilation I’m drawing from for the show. A 3-CD set released in 2016, it’s called I’m A Freak, Baby . . . A Journey Through The British Heavy Psych and Hard Rock Underground scene 1968-72. It’s a terrific compilation I was directed to around the time it came out by a music aficionado friend who sent me a succinct message on Facebook: ‘You have to get this!” So I got it. I liked it. I still like it. So much so that since then, I’ve purchased the sequels – I’m A Freak Baby 2 and 3, released in 2019 and 2021, respectively, as further journeys through that underground scene, this time covering 1968-73 although for this show I’ve selected material only from the first compilation.Off the top I said ‘relative obscurities’ because the compilations are relative to one’s depth of musical knowledge of such bands. Most of them were unknown to me when I bought the first compilation, but all three comps are spiced with material from very well known acts like Deep Purple (and some of its family tree bands, like Episode Six and Warhorse), early, bluesy Fleetwood Mac, The Yardbirds and Uriah Heep and maybe some slightly less widely known to the masses bands like The Move (out of which Electric Light Orchestra formed), Groundhogs, Atomic Rooster, Budgie and Love Sculpture, among others. I’ve delved into individual tracks from the compilations over time, but this is the first show where I’m devoting a large portion of my set to those releases, and I imagine I’ll be doing another, similar show again at some point given the volume of material – 154 songs – available. Deep cuts, indeed.
    3. The Gun, Race With The Devil . . . Heavy, primal, propulsive hard rock from 1968 with a nod at the start to Cream’s hit White Room, released around the same time. Judas Priest recorded this song by The Gun during sessions for Priest’s 1978 album Stained Class, and it appeared as a bonus track on the expanded 2001 re-release of Priest’s 1977 album Sin After Sin.
    4. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Rapid Transit . . . I’d say Neil and Crazy Horse, mostly used when he’s in a heavy rock mood wanting to make lots of noise, fits with the I’m A Freak stuff. Rapid Transit is from 1981’s Re-ac-tor record, which most critics dismissed but, well, whatever. It’s great. Who else do you know who can get nine-plus minutes of magnificent distortion mayhem out of seven words – Got mashed potatoes, ain’t got no T-bone’ – as Neil and Crazy Horse do on T-Bone, which I’ve played before from the album, and no doubt will again sometime.
    5. Iron Claw, Skullcrusher . . . Doom-ish rock from 1970 that, yeah, crushes it. Iron Claw were Black Sabbath obsessives/soundalikes from Scotland but perhaps followed their heroes a bit too closely. According to the I’m A Freak compilation liner notes, Iron Claw sent Sabbath a demo of their first album in hopes of getting some promotional support but instead, Sabbath management made veiled threats of possible legal action. Good song, Skullcrusher, but I can see Sabbath’s point. To my knowledge, no lawsuits resulted, Iron Claw disbanded by 1971, briefly reformed in 2010 and released an album in 2011 before splitting again. Their early 1970s sessions didn’t yield an album at that time but tapes of 16 songs recorded between 1970 and 1974 were released on CD in 2009 after an earlier bootleg of the recordings was issued by a German label in 1996.
    6. The Move, Brontosaurus . . . Heavy rock from Looking On, the third Move album, released in 1970. It was the first with singer and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Lynne, who later formed Electric Light Orchestra with Move co-founder Roy Wood, who handles lead vocals on this one. The duo was recording the first ELO album, which came out in 1971, at the same time as Looking On, and elements of the early ELO sound are evident in Brontosaurus.
    1. Third World War, Ascension Day . . . Hard rock blues and apparently a big influence on early punk, from the band’s 1971 self-titled debut. Always interesting to me are the roots and branches of musical groups and Third World War is no different. Thunderclap Newman bassist Jim Avery was in the band and also appearing on various tracks on the debut album were English keyboardist/singer Tony Ashton, perhaps best known for his collaborations with various members of Deep Purple, and Rolling Stones sidemen Jim Price (trumpet and trombone) and Bobby Keys (saxophone).
    2. Chicken Shack, Going Down . . . Who hasn’t covered Don Nix’s Going Down? It’s as ubiquitous as the much-covered Bonnie Dobson-penned tune Morning Dew. Not that this is a bad thing – they’re both great songs. And this is another good version, from Chicken Shack’s 1972 album Imagination Lady, via the I’m A Freak Baby compilation. By this point, the lady in the Shack, Christine (Perfect) McVie had long since left to join Fleetwood Mac and Chicken Shack was down to a harder-rocking trio of guitarist/singer Stan Webb, drummer Paul Hancox and bassist John Glascock. Glascock later joined Jethro Tull and played on the studio albums Too Old To Rock ‘n’ Roll: Too Young To Die, Songs From The Wood, Heavy Horses and some of 1979’s Stormwatch. Glascock, who had a congenital heart valve defect exacerbated by his party lifestyle, died in 1979 at age 28.
    3. BTO, Amelia Earhart . . . Extended soft-rock ode to the American aviation pioneer, who disappeared over the Pacific Ocean while attempting a circumnavigational flight of the earth in 1937. The song is on the 1979 album Rock ‘n’ Roll Nights, the second, after 1978’s Street Action, by the band after the departure of guitarist/songwriter/singer/producer Randy Bachman. That resulted in a trademark agreement with Bachman, requiring the band to release the two albums remaining on its existing record contract as BTO, not Bachman-Turner Overdrive. The albums featured former April Wine member Jim Clench, who sings Amelia Earhart, on bass with singer/bassist C.F. (Fred) Turner moving to guitar in tandem with Blair Thornton. I prefer the heavier sound of Street Action, a deliberate move by the remaining members, who chafed at Bachman’s mostly mellow direction on the previous album Freeways to the extent that Turner said it should have been a Bachman solo record. So it’s interesting that they then did a ballad like Amelia Earhart but by that point, unlike on Street Action, outside songwriters like the team of Jim Vallance and Bryan Adams were brought in and it was becoming a latter-day Aerosmith, or a failed attempt at that hit-making level of success. I do like the song Amelia Earhart, perhaps because her story fuels fascination. But while the albums have their moments, they weren’t widely accepted by critics or customers, and, not surprisingly given the loss of such a key member as Randy Bachman, they sold poorly. But I’m a completist, with some bands, anyway, and one is sometimes rewarded with interesting discoveries and even hidden gems.
    4. Bachman and Turner, Moonlight Rider . . . Essentially BTO without the Overdrive, again due to contractual and legal issues that resulted when so-called classic era BTO members Rob Bachman and Blair Thornton sued to prevent Randy Bachman and Fred Turner from recording and touring as BTO. Which is interesting, given what happened earlier and as described above, when Randy Bachman left after the Freeways album and Turner was still in, er, BTO although that scenario seemed mutually amicable. Ah, naming rights issues in rock. In any event, Randy Bachman was working on a solo album, thought Turner’s vocals fit a tune, sent it to him, things clicked and the result was the Bachman & Turner album released in 2010. It features songs Turner had written between 2002 and 2004, including Moonlight Rider, some Bachman tunes and some co-writes. I was late to the Bachman and Turner album but I like it. It mostly harkens back to early 1970s BTO in terms of heaviness and most of the songs have a nice groove, like this well put-together tune that features some nice soloing by Bachman and Turner’s distinctive, gruff and gritty vocals.
    5. Skid Row (Ireland), Go, I’m Never Gonna Let You . . . Back to I’m A Freak, Baby we go. This isn’t the Skid Row once fronted by Canadian-born singer Sebastian Bach. That Skid Row is still around, two or three singers moved on from Bach as the lineup changes in music tend to spin. I was never into that Skid Row, although I remember the Slave To The Grind album. This Skid Row was formed in Dublin in 1967 with future Thin Lizzy frontman/bassist Phil Lynott as lead singer although the band didn’t record any material with Lynott, at least nothing that’s available. Later, another future Thin Lizzy member, guitarist Gary Moore, joined the group, after Lynott left. Moore was on board for two albums, 1970’s Skid and 1971’s 34 Hours, so named for the amount of time it took to record. 34 Hours included this near nine-minute epic featuring some fine soloing and shredding by Moore, who then went on to Thin Lizzy, with Lynott, for stints in 1973-74 and 1977-79. Skid, without Moore, hit the, er, skids.
    6. Bare Sole, Flash . . . Bare Sole was well thought of enough that they earned opening act slots for The Small Faces, The Move, Status Quo and Family. Or, maybe those band picked them because they didn’t want to risk being upstaged and thought Bare Sole wasn’t good enough to do so. Trust me, some bands want to be pushed, others don’t. In any event, Bare Sole’s manager took this sort of ever-ascending track, it’s decent enough, to Decca Records, who turned it down. Well, Decca turned down The Beatles too, so Bare Sole has that feather in its cap. I think one of the issues with some of these bands is their names. I’m serious. Call the band Flash and the song Bare Sole, maybe. Look down the list, past this tune. Writing On The Wall, band name; song name, Bogeyman. Wouldn’t the reverse be better, more memorable? Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome, Bogeyman! Same with Barnabus (band name) and Apocalypse (song). Wouldn’t Apocalpyse be a more memorable name for a band? But who knows what possible duplication/legal issues may be involved.
    7. The Open Mind, Cast A Spell . . . A short, shade over two-minute psychedelic trip from 1969 that, when I first heard it, nagged at my brain because it’s derivative of something but I just couldn’t place what. Then it occurred to me that it sounds sort of like Cream, but also, maybe strangely, especially the chorus “it’s all in the mind” like some songs by hard rock Aussie band Wolfmother, which didn’t exist until 2004. Which means Wolfmother, which is derivative of bands like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer, may have given Cast A Spell a listen or two. Cast A Spell was the B-side to Magic Potion, which if you’re old enough, it’ll start and you may think, oh yeah, I remember that song. It’s a heavy, driving rocker with an insistent riff including some wah-wah guitar pedal work. Why the powers behind the I’m A Freak Baby, series didn’t put it on the compilations as well is beyond me. But, it’s available on YouTube, at least.
    8. Stack Waddy, Bring It To Jerome . . . Killer cover – or as the Freak compilation liner notes suggest – untutored assault – on the Bo Diddley tune. It’s infectious, menacing. Lead singer John Knail (no word on whether that’s a stage name) seems to come in sideways off the guitar riff, sort of how I’d describe Ozzy Osbourne on some early Black Sabbath records, a voice suddenly appearing, from some dark elsewhere, although Knail sounds more like AC/DC’s Bon Scott, actually. Anyway, he, er, nails the vocal. The band was known for cover tunes. This one’s from their first, self-titled album, released in 1971 after they had caught the attention of noted British DJ John Peel, who signed them to his short-lived Dandelion Records label. The debut includes another Diddley tune, Roadrunner, plus Susie Q and Muddy Waters’ Rolling Stone. Stack Waddy recorded one more album, Peel again serving as executive producer, named it Bugger Off! And then did exactly that, buggered off, although they have reunited now and then, most recently in 2007. Peel did the liner notes for the second album and related that the band did every song in a single live take, refusing to use overdubs or any studio tricks in order not to compromise their raw sound. Peel recalled that he made the mistake of asking for a second take of a song to which the band responded “Bugger off, Peel”, resulting in the album title. The band would likely have been bigger had they done more original material although George Thorogood has done well by covers and, oh, had Knail not relieved himself on the audience at a gig set up by Dandelion Records in an effort to impress the president of the label’s US distributor, Elektra. Knail, what were you thinking?
    9. Writing On The Wall, Bogeyman . . . The Scottish band starts this one with 40 seconds of Scotland The Brave on harmonica before ripping into an infectious, heavy riff. Accept used a similar intro idea for its 1986 song Fast As A Shark, using a snap, crackle and pop old vinyl recording of a traditional German tune before you hear the needle scratching the record as all speed metallic hell is unleashed. Bogeyman is from Writing On the Wall’s one and only album, The Power Of The Picts, released in 1969. John Peel, a man obviously of good taste given his support of previous entry Stack Waddy, was involved to some extent with Writing On The Wall. He recorded them for his BBC Radio sessions, but the band’s progress was stymied by eventual issues with its manager/record label owner, according to the I’m A Freak liner notes.
    10. Barnabus, Apocalypse . . . Heavy shit, as the saying goes. These guys were on the periphery of and rubbed shoulders with more successful outfits, opening for Hawkwind among others, and winning a stage in a contest, featuring Black Sabbath members Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi as judges, run by then hugely influential Brit weekly music magazine Melody Maker. But, while good and interesting, as all of the material on these very enjoyable Freak compilations is, that has to be at least a factor in why so many of these bands remained obscure, or never made it past one album or single: they were influenced by but perhaps too derivative of bands like Black Sabbath. This Barnabus song, for instance, is pretty much a dead ringer for Sabbath’s War Pigs, to my ears. I like it, but . . . So it becomes a case of, well why should I get into another Black Sabbath-type band when I already have Black Sabbath to listen to? It’s a common issue, obviously, to this day. It’s difficult to be original. That said, the beauty of the Freak comps is that they have introduced me to good music I’d otherwise likely never have heard. And in one case, with the band Stray who I’ve previously played on the show, it prompted deeper investigation to the point where I acquired a fine 2-CD Stray compilation that gets regular rotation on my players. And there’s other such bands that, wallet permitting, will no doubt repeat the pattern. Yes, I can listen online of course but as often stated, I’m still a physical product guy with stuff I like.
    11. The Who, Under My Thumb . . . When Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones were busted and jailed on drug charges in 1967, The Who rallied in support of their colleagues, releasing a cover of this Stones tune, coupled with The Last Time. The Who’s intention was to keep recording and releasing Jagger/Richards songs as long as the Stones’ songwriters were jailed, but they were quickly released before The Who had a chance to dig deeper into the Stones’ catalog. Good that the Stones were released, but it would have been interesting to hear what The Who next selected to cover, and how they’d have played it. I like The Who version of Under My Thumb, they’re a great band, it’s a great song, pretty difficult to mess up, really. The Who version was later reissued on the expanded 1998 re-release of the Odds & Sods album, a great compilation of previously shelved stuff that Who bassist John Entwistle put together for original release in 1974. It was, essentially, a new/old Who album, it filled a gap between Quadrophenia in 1973 and The Who By Numbers in 1975 and was so good that it made No. 10 on the UK charts and No. 15 in the US and left many people wondering why the band had held such great material back.But that’s true of so many great artists. Bob Dylan comes to mind. In 1991, Dylan released the first of his archival Bootleg series, a 3-CD set issued as Volumes 1-3 that followed by a few years the Biograph box set compilation which, Dylan ever the trend-setter, prompted the box set bonanza that really took off, commercially, via Eric Clapton’s Crossroads. Dylan is now up to Volume 17 in his bootleg series and it’s an amazing trip for Dylan fans through unreleased songs, different versions, different versions of albums, live stuff, etc. But in 1991, stuck in among the many songs on Volumes 1-3 was the mind-blowing Blind Willie McTell in honor of the blues legend, that Dylan had seemingly inexplicably left off his 1983 album Infidels. Infidels is one of my favorite Dylan albums, it’s a great record and as a creative person I have at least some inkling as to how such a mind works so maybe Dylan thought Blind Willie McTell might overwhelm Infidels and leave such great songs as Jokerman, I and I and so on, less appreciated. Hence, maybe his reasoning for holding it back. In any event, it eventually came out and, like many of the previously unreleased songs on The Who’s Odds & Sods, reveals the just damn goodness of these great artists, the depth of their creativity.
    12. Aerosmith, 3 Mile Smile . . . From the down, dirty, band is drugged and boozed out, in chaos and breaking up but they’re so good they still kick ass 1979 album Night In The Ruts. Zeppelin-ish which is interesting because Aerosmith’s so-called Toxic Twins of singer Steven Tyler and lead guitarist Joe Perry are often compared to, and indeed drew inspiration from, The Rolling Stones Glimmer Twins tandem of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. And Aerosmith is, obviously, Stones-like. But I think it was Perry, or someone around the band, or a rock critic, who once said that Aerosmith, at least early Aerosmith, is at least as much Zeppelin-ish as Stones-ish. I agree. Anyway, great track from a great album that critics dismissed but most Aero fans revere as the last great, kick butt, no outside writers or syrupy in pursuit of mainstream hits production, version of the band.
    13. The Tragically Hip, An Inch An Hour . . . Smokin’ track from one of my favorite Hip albums, the maybe dark but good because it is dark, 1994 album Day For Night. I haven’t played these Canadian boys in a long time, love ’em, especially their early stuff and up to about 2000 when as previously stated I think they either lost the ability to write compelling hooks, did so on purpose in pursuit of ‘art’, or became the late great Gord Downie’s backing band in his pursuit of the obscure. For those who suggest they’re Canada’s best ever band, again, I like loads of their stuff but, no. Ever hear of The Guess Who, just a for instance. Rush? Bands that actually people outside Canada know of? Not I guess that such things should matter, but, I think they do. It’s like a maybe good local artist in a city who nobody outside the city has ever heard of. You can talk management, promotion, this that as reasons why but bottom line, if you’re good enough, resonate enough, talent knows no boundaries and let’s be honest, in that sense the Hip, for whatever reason, was limited. Or limited themselves. In no way are they Canada’s best ever band, they were terrific but reality is their sales, even in Canada, were in sharp decline the latter part of their career because they were no longer releasing tunes with hooks that made you want to listen again. Anyway, enough rambling. My old pal 4C will appreciate me playing this one/The Hip.
    14. Midnight Oil, Best Of Both Worlds . . . From before Midnight Oil broke big outside Australia via the Diesel and Dust album, the Beds Are Burning and magnificent to me The Dead Heart singles. This one’s from 1984, three years before the worldwide breakthrough, kick ass metallic punk rock take no prisoners stuff from the Red Sails In The Sunset album. I well remember hearing in the mid-1980s about this ’emerging’ hard ass politically-fuelled band. Emerging to we North Americans, but they had already been kicking ass Down Under since 1978, my college days when I got into so much new stuff but somehow missed them. But, in fairness, that was pre-internet, you didn’t hear Midnight Oil on radio, and you didn’t come to things as quickly as we can now. In any event, Diesel and Dust came out, I finally got a Midnight Oil album, went back, and forward ever since, and been always rewarded.
    15. Romantics, A Night Like This . . . One of those, “this came up in the system while searching for something else, listened to it, cool, I like it, let’s play it”, songs. It’s often a fun way to fill out a set because there are obviously so many songs from which to choose. So, danger danger, lol, it’s the computer, AI, helping out which seems to be the current media-created bullshit fear. Hey, I’m a Battlestar Galactica fan; we create them, if they come for us, whatever, let’s see what happens. This is from the second Romantics album, National Breakout, released in 1980. They were coming off their hugely successful self-titled debut from earlier that year which featured the hit What I Like About You which seemed to be a much bigger hit than its actual chart placing, No. 49 on Billboard in the US. It probably did better in Canada, based on my recollections of hearing it in college days, but I can’t find any Canadian chart info.
    16. Dave Edmunds, Almost Saturday Night . . . Another that just came up via search but one can never get enough Dave Edmunds. And, soon, it will again be Saturday night. And yes, there’s quite a few ‘night’ songs in a Saturday morning show, but it’s of course intentional via my twisted mind.
    17. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, Betty Lou’s Gettin’ Out Tonight . . . She’s a bad babe, Betty Lou. The song is from, maybe surprisingly, Seger’s only No. 1. album, Against The Wind. It dislodged Pink Floyd’s The Wall from that summit way back then, 1980.
    18. Ian Hunter, Overnight Angels . . . Title cut from the former Mott The Hoople main vocal man’s 1977 album. I’ve always liked the album cover, Hunter in caricature black and white, in full cry. Two years later he broke big as a solo artist with the brilliant You’re Never Alone With A Schizophrenic album, a title some doctors castigated him for because, more accurately, it should be You’re Never Alone As A Schizophrenic but whatever, it’s a great album.
    19. The Deviants, I’m Coming Home . . . Spooky stuff, acknowledged by the band as Velvet Underground inspired. See ya Monday night! Take care all, thanks for listening and following.