Tuesday, November 28, 2006

On the Road...Again and Again


Back by popular demand (well, I'm assuming that Whisky Prajer's request speaks for all of Canada, or at least, for Ontario so I'll say back by Canadian demand), here's a short list of some of the road music that eased the miles on my last run to Pittsburgh.

Billy Bragg: Brewing Up with Billy Bragg. Brought this older cd along specifically to hear The Saturday Boy again, a song that Isoglossia had mentioned a while back as one of his favorites. Ah yes, nothing like grammar school self-delusional love to get one's old memories front-loaded to play:

We dreamed of her and compared our dreams
But that was all that I ever tasted
She lied to me with her body you see
I lied to myself 'bout the chances I'd wasted.
"

Faster paced blues, especially solid guitar work always makes the trip enjoyable. Along on the ride with me were:
Jimmy Rogers w/ Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters (a live recording going back to 1993): I love Mr. Rogers, who is unfortunately not in our house any longer (One of my all time favorite blues albums is his Blue Bird). This particular recording finds two great blues guitarists of two quite different styles playing off of each other for over an hour's worth of scorching fun.

I'd brought 2 of John Mayall's older recordings with me as well, The Turning Point and Jazz Blues Fusion. The former sounded a bit dated, so I just listened to a few of the cuts, "Room to Move", of course, and "Saw Mill Gulch Road". The latter was my introduction eons ago to the late trumpeter, Blue Mitchell (whose cd, The Thing to Do, was also played, somewhere up in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Jazz Blues Fusion is a mess of a great time. Along with Mr. Mitchell, Clifford Solomon on saxes, and Freddy Robinson on a very lively guitar gives one a great reason to listen to each and every cut. Mr. Mayall's voice is his usual high and dry out-of-key then in-key ranting self. Fortunately, there are enough fine musicians waiting for their solos such that Mr. Mayall sings a few verses and then he steps back to let the pros do what they do so very well.

Along for the trip was the recent Metheny/Mehldau release by Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau. Simply gorgeous...but not the type of music to listen to when one is driving alone. I ended up listening to it when I pulled into Pittsburgh and had 3 hours to kill. It put me into a zone where clouds seemed to fly through the car windows and rain water washed over my feet. Luckily, I was parked for these effects.

But on the road?

The old reliables:
Suba's Tributo: How a Serb ended up in Brazil as one of the top recording producers is both an interesting story and an enchanting tale of ambition and love of music. A tragedy that he died at 38, a very talented and inventive musician and producer.
The Iguanas' Plastic Silver 9 Volt Heart: As usual, these guys do it all. R & R. Los Lobos-like Hispanic ballads, long jazzy interludes and all with a solid drumbeat pushing you forward.
Tony Allen's Lagos No Shaking: The drummer for the late Fela Kuti has put out a few albums of his own. This is one of his best. As usual, there is a gang of folks to help him out and keep the spirits high. As one chorus goes, "Don't morose your face!". And this cd will most certainly not let you do that.

Stanton Moore's III, Medeski, Martin & Wood with John Scofield on Out Louder, Viktor Krauss' Far From Enough (with Bill Frissell, Jerry Douglas, & Steve Jordan), Kathleen Edwards' Back to Me, and Wynton Kelly Trio w/ Wes Montgomery recorded live, Smokin' at the Half Note rounded out the other cd's that made this trip enjoyable.

Last and definitely part of the mix (this cd, for some reason, sounds best descending mountains. It's a juggernaut) was Ozomatli's Street Signs. Blasting "(Who Discovered) America?" is hard to top when you're entering Pittsburgh driving downhill on 376-East.

And a final note.
While waiting in Pittsburgh, I had a chance to start reading the most excellent short story collection written by a certain Darrell Reimer. I didn't get a chance to finish it in Pittsburgh since I re-read most of the stories twice, before moving on to the next story. With a bit more time on hand, I'll be finishing it this week. If you folks have enjoyed reading his alter-ego's blog, you will enjoy his book. I encourage you all to buy it.

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Comments:
Thank you for yet another plug, DV (the cheque is in the mail). This musical theme of yours is a thought- and even post-provoking concept. I think I've got some posting to do.
 
i can't think and drive and listen.
i loved music but prfer seeing
buzz
 
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