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

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

1. New Barbarians (Ron Wood, Keith Richards and friends), Am I Grooving You (live)
2. John Mayall, Gimme Some Of That Gumbo
3. Robin Trower, Victims Of The Fury
4. UFO, Queen Of The Deep
5. Pat Benatar, My Clone Sleeps Alone
6. Budgie, Parents
7. Dio, Don’t Talk To Strangers
8. Black Sabbath, End Of The Beginning
9. Bad Company, Evil Wind
10. Jeff Beck, Let Me Love You
11. ZZ Top, Snappy Kakkie
12. Stevie Wonder, Another Star
13. Joe Jackson, Blaze Of Glory
14. Jethro Tull, Occasional Demons
15. Little Feat, I Do What The Telephone Tells Me To Do
16. Santana, Every Step Of The Way (live, from Lotus)

My track-by-track tales:

1. New Barbarians (Ron Wood, Keith Richards and famous musician friends), Am I Grooving You (live) . . . A song I first heard on Wood’s debut solo record, 1974’s I’ve Got My Own Album To Do, first recorded in 1967 by American soul singer Freddie Scott. The New Barbarians were comprised of Wood, Richards, saxophonist and Rolling Stones session player/touring member Bobby Keys, renowned bassist Stanley Clarke, keyboardist Ian McLagan of Faces fame, who also played with the Stones on their 1978 tour of the United States, and drummer Joseph (Ziggy/Zigaboo) Modeliste of funk band The Meters. They toured the US in 1979 in support of Wood’s then new album Gimme Some Neck. They also stopped in Oshawa, Ontario for the Keith Richards/New Barbarians/Rolling Stones show I still can barely believe I somehow managed to get tickets to, proceeds to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB). It was Richards’ sentence for his 1978 conviction on drug charges resulting from an arrest in Toronto in 1977 around the time the Stones were in the city leading up to their famous club shows at the El Mocambo. That resulted in one vinyl side of the live album Love You Live and, more recently, a full-blown (and mind-blowing) 2-CD release of the shows, El Mocambo 1977, issued in 2022.

This live version is from New Barbarians: Live In Maryland – Buried Alive, a document of the tour that was released in a 2-CD package in 2006. Am I Grooving You was c0-written by Bert Berns (aka Bert Russell; he was born Bert Russell Berns) and Jeff Barry, hitmakers extraordinaire with a long list they either wrote or co-wrote with others. From Berns: Twist and Shout, Piece Of My Heart, Here Comes The Night, Hang On Sloopy, Cry To Me and Everybody Needs Somebody To Love. From Barry: Do Wah Diddy Diddy, Da Doo Ron Ron, River Deep-Mountain High, Leader Of The Pack, Sugar Sugar and I Honestly Love You. Berns wasn’t with us long. He had a history of cardiac trouble after his heart was damaged by a childhood bout with rheumatic fever and died of heart failure in 1967, age 38. He was the subject of the 2016 film Bang! The Bert Berns Story.

2. John Mayall, Gimme Some Of That Gumbo . . . Now age 90, the blues legend announced his retirement from touring in 2021, but left open the possibility of doing shows close to his California home. He’s released new studio albums, consistently, every two or three years, the most recent being The Sun Is Shining Down in 2022. This funky, bluesy number, featuring some fine lead guitar work from Rocky Athas, no longer in the band but who was with Mayall when I saw him at the 2011 Kitchener Blues Festival, is from the 2016 album Talk About That.

3. Robin Trower, Victims Of The Fury . . . Spooky title track from Trower’s 1980 album, the last to feature the guitarist’s classic trio of himself, bassist/soulful singer James Dewar and drummer Bill Lordan.

4. UFO, Queen Of The Deep . . . From 1974’s Phenomenon album, the third UFO album and first to feature guitarist Michael Schenker as the band moved to a more straightforward hard rock sound from their earlier space rock, psychedelic approach.

5. Pat Benatar, My Clone Sleeps Alone . . . From her first, and still for my money best album, the 1979 debut release In The Heat Of The Night. Benatar hit it really big a year later with the Hit Me With Your Best Shot single from the Crimes Of Passion album, a good record, but I still prefer the first one.

6. Budgie, Parents . . . And we enter the hard rock/metal portion of the show with this 10-minute piece from the Welsh band that never achieved widespread commercial success but was influential. Among Budgie’s disciples are Iron Maiden and Metallica, who covered Breadfan, a hellacious riff rocker I’ve played before on the show, on the Garage, Inc. covers album.

7. Dio, Don’t Talk To Strangers . . . The late Ronnie James Dio was a fantastic singer and while I like his work with his namesake band, I prefer his stuff fronting Rainbow and Black Sabbath during the time he was with those groups. Perhaps it’s because, while Dio the band had lots of fine guitarists, in Rainbow and Sabbath, Dio the singer was working with all-time great guitarist/songwriters Ritchie Blackmore and Tony Iommi. Still, as mentioned I do like Dio the band and this is a good song if you’re into hard rock/metal, from a solid record, Dio’s debut release, 1983’s Holy Diver.

8. Black Sabbath, End Of The Beginning . . . Speaking of Sabbath, a doom metal track from 13, the final studio album by the group, released in 2013 which, according to bassist Geezer Butler, is part of the reason for the album title, apparently suggested by singer Ozzy Osbourne. Also according to Butler, the band was being pressured by the record company for a 13-song album but in the end just eight songs made the standard edition although my deluxe 2-CD version has 11 tracks. The original lineup – Ozzy, Butler, guitarist Tony Iommi and drummer Bill Ward – had previously reunited for a concert that resulted in the 1998 live album Reuion, which featured two new studio songs including the hit single Psycho Man. But 13 wasn’t a full reunion as Ward did not participate, citing contractual issues. Brad Wilk of Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave fame handled the drumsticks in Ward’s place.

The song title reminds me of Winston Churchill’s famous line, one of my favorites of his many, after the British victory over the Germans at El Alamein in North Africa in November, 1942 as the tide of World War II turned in favor of the Allies: “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” What an orator Churchill was.

9. Bad Company, Evil Wind . . . Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy was the big hit on the 1979 album Desolation Angels, and it’s a good one along with the other single, Gone Gone Gone, but the release is full of great songs, this being one of them. “That was full of Paul’s (singer Rodgers) tumbleweed across the plains imagery,” drummer Simon Kirke is quoted as saying in the liner notes booklet to The “Original” Bad Company Anthology. “I think Paul was a cowboy or one of those bounty hunters in another life.”

10. Jeff Beck, Let Me Love You . . . The Truth is, the album from which this comes is ridiculously good.

11. ZZ Top, Snappy Kakkie . . . If you played this funky groove tune to casual, hits-oriented listeners and asked them to identify the band, I wonder whether they could. And it’s OK if they couldn’t. We’re all into what we’re into, as deeply as we want to be. But that’s what of course makes great bands and albums and shows the value of listening to deep cuts. From the Tejas album, 1976.

12. Stevie Wonder, Another Star . . . I was spinning Wonder’s Songs In The Key Of Life the other day and was ‘oh yeah’ on this one, remembering it, having not heard it in a while. I’m playing the full 8:28 album version, which was cut down to five minutes and change for single release. The Latin-influenced exercise in rhythm was the fourth of five singles released from the album. I Wish, Isn’t She Lovely, Sir Duke and As were the others. Another Star made No. 32 on the US Billboard chart, No. 29 in the UK, No. 51 in Canada and No. 2 on Billboard’s dance/disco list.

13. Joe Jackson, Blaze Of Glory . . . Title track to JJ’s 1989 album. Despite being full of good songs, like this one, it had just one single that charted to any great degree. That was Nineteen Forever, which made the top 20 in the USA. Another good one, Down To London, managed to make, wait for it, No. 126 in Australia, despite much critical acclaim both for the song and album. No wonder Jackson was disappointed; he thought the record represented some of his finest work and I agree, but then I’m a huge fan.

14. Jethro Tull, Occasional Demons . . . Good rocker from the 1993 release Catfish Rising, one of my favorite later period (30 years ago now!) Tull albums.

15. Little Feat, I Do What The Telephone Tells Me To Do . . . Prescient, perhaps, given the ubiquity of people and their (smart)phones although this song, from 2003’s latter-day Kickin’ It At The Barn album, is more about actually calling on a phone or waiting for it to ring than, say, walking, head down and oblivious, texting or scrolling and risking bumping into people or something worse, say at a crosswalk. “Head’s up!” I have been known to say, sometimes to a ‘thank you’ response, other times drawing a dirty look. Anyway . . . Little Feat is still around, with original member and keyboard player Bill Payne still in the band as are longtime stalwarts Sam Clayton (congas, percussion, vocals) and bassist Kenny Gradney, both of whom have been in the lineup since 1972. And they’ve just released a new album. It’s called Sam’s Place, Clayton does most of the singing and is well-suited to the mostly blues covers like Got My Mojo Working and Long Distance Call, which features Bonnie Raitt on co-lead vocals with Clayton.

16. Santana, Every Step Of The Way (live, from Lotus) . . . Intoxicating instrumental that saw studio release as a nine-minute cut on 1972’s Caravanserai, whose 10 tracks included seven instrumentals as Santana moved in a jazz fusion direction. The Lotus version runs 11 minutes, 30 seconds featuring typically fiery fretwork from Carlos Santana along with the usual Santana band brew of bongos, congas and maracas.

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