The Sunday Six

Celebrating music with six random songs at a time

It’s an overcast and rainy weekend in my neck of the woods (central New Jersey), but this shall not take away any of the fun to present another eclectic set of six tunes, especially given The Sunday Six is hitting a mini-milestone today with its 20th installment. Plus, if the weather is a mixed bag in your area as well, it’s a perfect opportunity to listen to some music. And in case conditions are perfect to be outdoors, just take the music with you! 🙂

Dave Holland/Grave Walker

Kicking us off today is some brand new funky jazz by an old hand: Dave Holland, an English double bassist, composer and bandleader who has been active for five decades. Holland started out teaching himself how to play the ukulele as a four-year old, followed by the guitar and the bass. At the age of 15, he quit school, initially wanting to play pop before discovering jazz. Holland subsequently received a full-time scholarship for London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama. By age 20, he was a busy student and musician, who frequently performed at London’s premier jazz venue Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. In 1968, Miles Davis saw Holland and invited him to join his band to replace Ron Carter. For the next two years, he worked with Davis and appeared on the albums In a Silent Way and Bitches’ Brew. His first record as a bandleader, Conference of the Birds by Dave Holland Quartet, appeared in 1973. In addition to Davis, Holland has worked with numerous other jazz artists, such as Thelonious Monk, Anthony Braxton, Stan Getz and John Abercrombie. According to his website, Holland’s “playing can be heard on hundreds of recordings, with more than thirty as a leader under his own name.” This brings me to Grave Walker, the great funky opener of Holland’s new album Another Land, which came out on Friday (May 28), featuring guitarist Kevin Eubanks and drummer Obed Calvaire. Groovy and great sound, baby!

Sam & Dave/Hold On, I’m Coming

Let’s keep on groovin’ and jump back 55 years to March 1966. That’s when Stax recording artists Sam & Dave released their new single Hold On, I’m Comin’. Co-written by the songwriting team of Isaac Hayes and David Porter, this gem became the soul duo’s first no. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart. It also was the title track of Sam & Dave’s debut studio album, which was released the following month. According to Wikipedia, Steve Cropper, lead guitarist of Stax house band Booker T. and the M.G.s, said the song’s title came out of a verbal exchange between Porter who was in the restroom at the Stax studio and an impatient Hayes who yelled for Porter to return to their writing session. When Porter responded, “Hold On, I’m Comin’,” they both thought this would make for a great song title and completed the tune within an hour. It’s amazing what bathroom breaks can do!

Squeeze/Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)

Pulling Mussels (From the Shell) may be one of only a handful of Squeeze songs I’ve heard but, hey, you don’t have to be an expert about a band to recognize a great power pop tune. When I came across the song in the process of researching this post, it was an easy decision to include. Co-written by Squeeze rhythm guitarist and vocalist Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook, the band’s lead guitarist and keyboarder, Pulling Mussels (From the Shell) is from their third studio album Argybargy released in February 1980. It also appeared separately as a single in April that year. To my big surprise, the tune only climbed to no. 44 in the UK and didn’t chart in the U.S. at all. BTW, Squeeze, which were initially founded by Difford and Tilbrook in March 1974, are still around, though they had some breaks in-between. The current incarnation has been active since 2007, released three new albums to date, and still includes Difford and Tilbrook.

Deep Purple/Pictures of Home

It’s time to push the pedal to the heavy metal coz why not? In this context, I couldn’t think of a better choice than Deep Purple, my all-time favorite hard rock band. The combination of Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar and Jon Lord’s roaring Hammond B3 still excites me. Pictures of Home is a track from Deep Purple’s sixth studio album Machine Head that came out in March 1972 and is their Mount Rushmore, in my view. Just about everything about this song is cool: The intro by Ian Paice, who is a beast of a drummer; the great main guitar riff by Ritchie Blackmore; Jon Lord’s sweet B3 work; Ian Gillan who was at the top of game as a lead vocalist; and let’s not forget about Roger Glover’s pumping bass and his neat short solo starting at about 3:40 minutes. Like all other tracks on the album, Pictures of Home was credited to all members of the band.

Mariah Carey featuring Trey Lorenz/I’ll Be There

Mariah Carey? Yep, you read that right! Have I lost my mind? I hope that’s not the case. Before causing too much confusion here, I generally don’t listen to Mariah Carey. However, together with Christina Aguilera, I believe she’s one of the strongest female contemporary vocalists. Then there’s I’ll Be There, a tune I loved from the moment I heard it first from The Jackson 5 as part of a Motown box set. It must have been in the early ’80s. Credited to Berry Gordy, producer Hal Davis, Bob West and Willie Hutch, I’ll Be There was released in late August 1970 as the lead single of the Jackson 5’s third studio album ingeniously titled Third Album that appeared two weeks later. Carey’s cover, which I think is even more compelling than the original, was included on her MTV Unplugged EP from June 1992. Apart from Carey’s strong rendition of Michael Jackson’s part, I’d like to call out R&B singer Trey Lorenz who does an amazing job singing Jermaine Jackson’s lines. It’s really the outstanding vocal performance that convinced me to feature this rendition.

3 Doors Down/It’s Not My Time

Just in case that previous tune shocked you, or perhaps did the opposite thing and put you in a sleepy mood, let’s finish this installment on a rock note: It’s Not My Time by 3 Doors Down. Formed in 1996 in Escatawpa, Miss., they broke through internationally with their first single Kryptonite from January 2000. Originally, that song had been recorded as a demo for a local Mississippi radio station. From there, it was picked up by other radio stations and became popular, topping Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and eventually reaching no. 3 on the Hot 100. Subsequently, 3 Doors Down signed with Republic Records and recorded their debut album The Better Life. Appearing in February 2000, it continued the band’s remarkable streak of success, climbing to no. 7 on the Billboard 200, charting in many other countries, and becoming their best-selling album that only the in the U.S. sold more than 5 million copies. It’s Not My Time is from 3 Doors Down’s eponymous fourth studio album from May 2008. Like all other songs on the record, the tune is credited to four of the band’s members at the time: Brad Arnold (lead vocals), Matt Roberts (lead guitar, backing vocals), Chris Henderson (rhythm guitar, backing vocals) and Todd Harrell (bass). Greg Upchurch (drums) completed their line-up. 3 Doors Down are still active, with Arnold, Henderson and Upchurch remaining part of the current formation.

Sources: Wikipedia; Dave Holland website; YouTube

28 thoughts on “The Sunday Six”

      1. Possibly it could have been a hit in the UK where they might have been pretty popular. The same album, Argybargy, also had another single called Another Nail in My Heart on it, which might be even better.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yep. In the US they had to call themselves UK Squeeze, for legal reasons I guess. But the copy that I had just said regular Squeeze because it was a Canadian import. Lol

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Squeeze is a great band – never understood why they weren’t bigger in US. I think the only song I ever heard on the radio was Tempted. But the whole Singles – 45s and Under album is great

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Agree the Mariah Carey cover is pretty good – mainly I think because she keeps her vocal histrionics under control for the most part imho

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My first encounter with “Hold on I’m comin'” was 21 years ago on the album “Riding With The King” by Eric Clapton & B. B. King. I like this song in all variations.

    Well, people may say everything about Mariah Carey. Me too. But don’t underestimate her! For example I like her song “Hero” and “I’ll be there” is a sweet memory when I discovered music on MTV.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have watched two live versions on YouTube. One was made at home and the another one was a live broadcast – I can’t explain why but I prefer the rough one during the live broadcast while she only sang and played with her guitar.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I like all of them except that last one, a little too “commercial” for my taste. I also am a big fan of Mariah Carey. I loved her “I’ll be There” cover with Lorenz’ accompaniment until he “hot-dogged” it towards the end and tried to outsing Mariah. Sorry, kid, it’s going to take more than hitting a couple of high notes to do that.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Grave Walker kicked it off great. It sounds like something that should be in a Quentin Tarantino movie… it’s awesome!
    Love Squeeze at any time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Max. That Dave Holland album is definitely outside my core wheelhouse but it was that cool groove that pulled me in, especially on the tune I highlighted. “Pulling Mussels (From a Shell)” is a catchy tune and I still don’t understand why this didn’t even chart in the US. “Tempted,” which I think is their other better known song, did (at no. 49). It’s a nice tune as well, though I think I prefer Mussels.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had a few Squeeze albums growing up and they should have been much larger than what they were over here…great stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The one I was stuck on was called Piccadilly…it was on East Side Story…I had the tape and wore it out in my car.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes…I first noticed them when that album came out and there was a writeup in Rolling Stone…some saying they were the next Beatles…which didn’t help their cause.

        Liked by 1 person

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