The Sunday Six

Celebrating music with six random tracks at a time

It’s Sunday morning, at least in my neck of the woods in lovely central New Jersey where you can always run into a confused deer and spot the occasional fox. Or watch the squirrels chasing after one another. And did I mention Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny and that other guy many of you aren’t fond of (though 100 million fans can’t be wrong!) are Jersey boys, as is Walter Trout (at least originally)? Okay, this is starting to sound like a silly ad for the Garden State, so let’s move on to the business of the day: Six tunes of music of the past and the present.

Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio/Don’t Worry ‘Bout What I Do

Speaking of the present, let’s start today’s musical journey with some groovy organ jazz by Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, an act I’ve previously featured. Founded in 2015, the trio includes self-taught Hammond B-3 organist Delvon Lamarr, guitarist Jimmy James and drummer Dan Weiss. From their website: Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio—or as it is sometimes referred to, DLO3—specialize in the lost art of “feel good music.” The ingredients of this intoxicating cocktail include a big helping of the 1960s organ jazz stylings of Jimmy Smith and Baby Face Willette; a pinch of the snappy soul strut of Booker T. & The M.G.’s and The Meters; and sprinkles Motown, Stax Records, blues, and cosmic Jimi Hendrix-style guitar. It’s a soul-jazz concoction that goes straight to your heart and head makes your body break out in a sweat – in other words, it’s some pretty cool shit! Don’t Worry ‘Bout What I Do is an upfront single that was released on January 6, 2022, from DLO3’s upcoming fourth studio album Cold As Weiss scheduled for February 11 – my kind of music!

The Fabulous Thunderbirds/Wrap It Up

Let’s keep groovin’ and movin’ and slightly pick up the speed. This next tune takes us back to 1986 and a tasty tune by The Fabulous Thunderbirds: Wrap It Up. Isaac Hayes and David Porter wrote that song for Stax soul duo Sam & Dave who included it on their fourth studio record I Thank You from 1968. The Thunderbirds did a beautiful job with it, recording it for Tuff Enuff, their fifth studio album that appeared in January 1986. If I see this correctly, it became one of the Texas blues rock-oriented band’s most successful singles, reaching no. 50 in the U.S. on the Billboard Hot 100. The Fabulous Thunderbirds, who were founded in 1974, remain active. Their current line-up includes original member Kim Wilson (vocals, harmonica), along with Johnny Moeller (guitar), Kevin Anker (keyboards), Steve Gomes (bass) and Nico Leophonte (drums).

The Merry-Go-Round/Live

Time for a dose of ’60s psychedelic rock. Frankly, I don’t recall how The Merry-Go-Round ended up on my list of earmarked tunes for a Sunday Six installment. I can confirm I wasn’t flying eight miles high on some controlled substance! I suspect it must have been a listening suggestion by my streaming music provider. Anyway, The Merry-Go-Round were a short-lived American band from Los Angeles formed in the summer of 1966 by singer-songwriter Emitt Rhodes, along with his friends Gary Kato (lead guitar), Bill Rinehart (bass) and Joel Larson (drums). Inspired by contemporaries like The Beatles, The Byrds and The Left Banke, The Merry-Go-Round only released one eponymous album in November 1967. It barely made the Billboard 200, reaching no. 190. After various subsequent non-charting singles and an attempt to record a sophomore record, the group disbanded in 1969. Here’s Live, their first and most successful single from 1967, which peaked at no. 63 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song also was the opener of the album. Nice tune!

Fastball/The Way

Probably, this has happened to you as well. Suddenly out of nowhere, you recall a great tune you hadn’t heard in years. That’s exactly what prompted this next pick by Fastball and their January 1998 hit The Way. It probably saved the American alternative rock band’s career after their first single and debut album had gone nowhere. Fueled by The Way and a second tune, Out of My Head, Fastball’s sophomore album All the Pain Money Can Buy went Plantium within six months of its March 1998 release. It also yielded two Grammy and one MTV award nomination. Written by group member Tony Scalzo (vocals, bass, keyboards, guitar), The Way was inspired by a story he had read about an elderly Texas couple who had gone missing and eventually were found dead in their car hundreds of miles away from their original destination. The song’s great cinematic story-telling would make a good episode for The Twilight Zone. Fastball are still around in their original line-up, which in addition to Scalzi includes Miles Zuniga (vocals, guitar) and Joey Shuffield (drums, percussion). Sadly, as is all too common in the tough music business, the band never managed to come anywhere close to replicating the success of their second album. And, based on sampling songs from some of their other records, it wasn’t because of lack of decent music!

Johnny Cash/Give My Love to Rose

Initially, I had planned to feature Johnny Cash’s incredible rendition of John Lennon’s In My Life, one of my all-time favorite Beatles songs from their second 1965 album Rubber Soul. Then I started listening from the beginning of American IV: The Man Comes Around, Cash’s studio record from November 2002, the last released during his lifetime. It was also the fourth in his “American” series, which were produced by Rick Rubin and marked a late-stage career resurgence for “The Man in Black.” When I got to Give My Love to Rose, I simply couldn’t resist picking this powerful tune over In My Life, as much as I love the latter. Written by Cash, the song has incredible story-telling, and it’s a tearjerker. Originally, he had composed and recorded the tune with the Tennessee Two at Sun Records in 1957. It first appeared that same year as the B-side of the single Home of the Blues. Cash’s sparse and vulnerable rendition on American IV won him a Grammy in 2003, just days before his 71st birthday. Cash passed away in September of the same year.

Led Zeppelin/Custard Pie

After this powerful tearjerker, I’d like to finish this post on a kickass ’70s rock note. On we go to Physical Graffiti, Led Zeppelin’s sixth double-LP studio release from February 1975. It combined eight new songs and some previously unreleased tracks the group had recorded during the sessions for the Led Zeppelin III, Led Zeppelin IV and Houses of the Holy albums. Here’s the opener Custard Pie, one of the new tunes, credited to Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Songfacts notes the song is based on various American blues recordings, including Blind Boy Fuller’s 1939 “I Want Some Of Your Pie” and Brown McGhee’s 1947 “Custard Pie Blues. An influence on this song is “Drop Down Mama,” a 1935 blues song by Sleepy John Estes with Hammie Nixon…[It also] includes a snippet from “Shake ’em On Down” by the blues musician Bukka White. In typical Zep fashion, you wouldn’t know any of this from looking at the credits, and I’m making this remark as a huge Led Zeppelin fan. I just wish they would have given credit to the artists whose work they apparently borrowed. It wouldn’t have diminished this great rocker by one iota, at least not in my eyes. The cool clavinet was played by John Paul Jones, while Plant provided some neat harmonica action. As usual, John Bonham’s drumming is outstanding. Dynamite tune all around!

Not to forget, here’s a Spotify playlist of the above picks:

Sources: Wikipedia; Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio website; Songfacts; YouTube; Spotify

23 thoughts on “The Sunday Six”

  1. Nice mix. It is often reported that here in my Viennese district you can see a fox but I hadn’t the occasion. But time will come…

    Hey, I like Jon Bon Jovi. I was a huge fan of his band before I discovered Bruce Springsteen. And I had the luck to see Southside Johnny live in Germany. (I traveled hours long from Vienna to Osnabrueck.)

    “American IV” is my favorite of the six American Recordings by Johnny Cash.

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      1. I know that lots of “well studied” hobby musician critics see Bon Jovi as a weak band but I saw Bon Jovi live 2011 in Vienna. Only to fulfill my teenage dream and they delivered a great 3-hour-live show! Unforgettable!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes. But until the concert it was not sure if Richie Sambora would be back from his rehab due to his alcohol problems. Bobby Bandiera, another New Jersey musician 😉 supported the band and he accompanied the full band in Europe. He was great.

        Last year I saw on YouTube the movie “Encore Nights” which someone filmed in a cinema. Phil X is doing a great job while John Shanks seems to be boring.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The only song I knew by Fabulous Thunderbirds is Tuff Enough. Which is fantastic. It was a really cool song for the 80s. This one sounds pretty all right too. I agree about The Way cuz it was one of the best hits of that 90s alternative era. I always loved it and I still do. I’m gonna listen to it next cuz I feel like hearing it again. Then I’m going to listen to that organ one. I bet it’s gonna be cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome Christian!
    I never heard of Merry Go Round and I LOVE it! Just learning about that song has made the day better. Ditto on The Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio

    love The Fabulous Thunderbirds and Fastball!

    This may be my favorite Sunday 6…
    I know you don’t do requests….but if you ever are short of a song one Sunday….try Marcy’s Playground Sex and Candy if you like it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Max, glad you liked my picks. The Merry-Go-Round tune was a random encounter I immediately dug.

      The “big discovery” for me was Fastball, and I’ve already scheduled another post on them. I imagine they should be right up your ally.

      I had never heard of Marcy Playground. That tune you called out sounds pretty cool!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m going to investigate Merry Go Round…that was a great find.
        Oh Fastball I love…my favorite by them is called Fire Escape….I do like The Way though a bunch.

        Marcy’s Playground I really liked…the reason I thought of them is I heard them around the same time as Fastball I believe.
        They have Sex and Candy of course and a song called Sherry Fraser I really get into….really dreamy song.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. From Fastballl I had only known “The Way”, which I really could see as a Twilight Zone plot, and “Out of My Head”.

        I can see why you dig “Fire Escape” – great power pop – not much unlike Badfinger. I actualy also could picture Tom Petty have done “Fire Escape”.

        I guess I have to check out Marcy’s Playground. It never ends, but when it comes to music, that’s a good thing! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The Way was an excellent written song…you are right…it would make a good show.
        Yep…you are right…Tom Petty would fit it perfectly.

        Oh we will never know all the cool songs out there….that is what makes it fun! So much music but so little time.

        Liked by 1 person

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