The Sunday Six

Celebrating music with six random tracks at a time

Happy Sunday! I always look forward to putting together this weekly recurring feature, which allows me to explore music from different styles and decades without any limits, except keeping it to six tracks I dig. Are you ready to accompany me on another excursion? Hop on and let’s go!

Mose Allison/Crespuscular Air

Today our journey begins in November 1957 with Local Color, the sophomore album by Mose Allison. Shoutout to Bruce from Vinyl Connection whose recent post about the American jazz and blues pianist inspired me to include him in a Sunday Six. According to Wikipedia, Allison has been called “one of the finest songwriters in 20th-century blues.” Let’s just put it this way: Pete Townshend felt Allison’s Young Man Blues was good enough to be featured on The Who’s Live at Leeds album released in February 1970. John Mayall was one of the dozens of artists who recorded Allison’s Parchman Farm for his 1966 debut album with the Blues Breakers, Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton. Allison’s music has also influenced many other artists, such as Jimi Hendrix, J. J. Cale, the Yardbirds, The Rolling Stones and Tom Waits. Here’s Crespuscular Air, a mellow jazz instrumental composed by Allison and included on the above-mentioned Local Color – the same record that featured Parchman Farm.

Steve Earle/Goodbye

Our next stop takes us to February 1995, which saw the release of Steve Earle’s fifth studio album Train a Comin’. I’m still relatively new to Earle but have quickly come to appreciate his music, which over the decades has included country, country rock, rock, blues and folk. Train a Comin’, while not a commercial or chart success, was an important album for Earle who had overcome his drug addiction in the fall of 1994. The bluegrass, acoustic-oriented album was his first in five years and marked a departure from the more rock-oriented predecessor The Hard Way he had recorded with his backing band The Dukes. Goodbye, penned by Earle, is one of nine original tunes on Train a Comin’, which also includes four covers.

Boz Scaggs/Georgia

For this next pick, let’s go back to February 1976. While I’ve known the name Boz Scaggs for many years, mainly because of his ’70s hits Lowdown and Lido Shuffle, I’ve yet to explore his music catalog. Scaggs started his career in 1959 in high school as vocalist in Steve Miller’s first band The Marksmen. The two musicians continued to play together in a few other groups, including Steve Miller Band. After staying with the group for the first two albums, Scaggs secured a recording deal for himself and focused on his solo career. Georgia, a smooth groovy song written by Scaggs, is included on his seventh solo album Silk Degrees, which is best known for the aforementioned Lowdown and Lido Shuffle. Now 78 years, Scaggs still appears to be active and has released 19 solo albums to date.

Clarence Clemons & Jackson Browne/You’re a Friend of Mine

Are you ready for some ’80s music? Yes, You’re a Friend of Mine definitely can’t deny the period during which it was recorded, but it’s such an upbeat song – I love it! It brought together dynamite saxophone player Clarence Clemons and legendary singer-songwriter Jackson Browne. Co-written by Narada Michael Walden and Jeffrey Cohen, the tune was released in October 1985 as the lead single of Clemons’ solo debut album Hero, which came out in November of the same year. By that time Clemons had best been known as the saxophonist of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, which “The Big Man” had joined in the early ’70s. Sadly, Clemons who also appeared in several movies and on TV died of complications from a stroke in June 2011 at the age of 69. Man, what an amazing sax player. He could also sing!

The Jimi Hendrix Experience/Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

All right, time to jump back to the ’60s and some psychedelic rock by an artist who I trust needs no introduction: Jimi Hendrix. Voodoo Child (Slight Return), written by Hendrix, was included on Electric Ladyland, the third and final album by The Jimi Hendrix Experience released in October 1968. The tune also appeared separately as a single, first in the U.S. at the time of the album and subsequently in the UK in October 1970, one month after Hendrix had passed away in London at the age of 27. Prominent American guitarist Joe Satriani has called Voodoo Child “the greatest piece of electric guitar work ever recorded.” Regardless of whether one agrees with the bold statement, it’s a hell of a song. Stevie Ray Vaughan, one of my favorite electric blues guitarists, included an excellent cover on his 1983 sophomore album Couldn’t Stand the Weather.

Shemekia Copeland/It’s 2 A.M.

Time to wrap up another Sunday Six with a real goodie. Since I recently witnessed part of a live gig of Shemekia Copeland and reviewed her new album Done Come Too Far, this great blues vocalist has been on my mind. Shemekia, the daughter of Texas blues guitarist Johnny Copeland, started to sing as a child and by the time she was 16 knew she wanted to pursue a music career. After high school graduation in 1997, Copeland signed with Chicago-based independent blues label Alligator Records and recorded her debut album Turn the Heat Up! It’s 2 A.M., written by Rick Vito, is the excellent opener of her sophomore album Wicked that came out in September 2000. I could totally picture The Rolling Stones play this song. Check it out!

And, of course, I won’t leave you without a Spotify playlist featuring the above songs.

Sources: Wikipedia; YouTube; Spotify

Advertisement

21 thoughts on “The Sunday Six”

  1. Again, I like this mix. Do you know that Jimi Hendrix passed away on this day 52 years ago? Although I’m not a fan of Hendrix I recently saw on TV a very interesting documentation about him and his music.

    As a great Springsteen fan I miss Clarence Clemons and it still moves me when I see or hear him playing the saxophone.

    Enjoy your Sunday! I hope the weather in the Garden State is better than here.

    Greetinx!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Sori. Admittedly, I missed the anniversary of Hendrix’s death – 52 years, that’s just crazy!

      Hendrix was an acquired taste for me. For the longest time, I only liked “Hey Joe.” Then I “discovered” “Purple Haze”, “Foxy Lady”, “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” and other tunes.

      I know you like Sting. Have you ever seen him do “Purple Haze”? In the early ’90s, I went to the music festival “Rock am Ring” (Nuerburgring). Sting was one of the headliners – great show.!Suddenly, he launnched into “Purple Haze”. I was absolutely floored.

      Here’s a clip, though not from that specific gig!

      Greatings from East Brunswick, NJ! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Love that Boz Scaggs album. It’s loaded with hits, each and every one a great song. Besides Lowdown and Lido Shuffle and Georgia , I especially like We’re All Alone and also What Can I Say. Too bad Jojo isn’t on this album cuz then it would have been like a greatest hits album practically

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You could have posted any songs…but Jimi Hendrix playing perhaps the greatest riff in rock history…steals the show. When he goes into the song it sounds like the world is coming to an end.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good mix of tunes, Christian. The first one is just the way I like to hear my jazz music. You may or may not know how much I love that Steve Earle album, but that song still makes me cry every time I hear it. Jimmy Hendrix hands down the best — ever! — electric guitar player. Shemekia sounds a LOT like Bonnie Raitt!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lisa, I did not know about your affection for that Steve Earle album – of course, the last thing I ever want to do is to make you cry!

      Obviously, I 100% agree about Jimmy – just one killer tune.

      Interesting observation about Shemekia. And now that I read it, you’re right! My first thought was the Stones. It would be a great tune for Bonnie to play. Can’t say enough good things about that lady, as I’m sure you’ve noticed! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, Christian. About the Shemekia song, it wasn’t so much the song itself as her voice. I’m thinking if Bonnie ever retires she could step right into her shoes πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I liked everything here. Death Cab for Cutie is a band whose music I’ve like when I heard them on the radio, no well enough to follow them. Mars Volta has been around for a while. That song sounds strangely non-prog to these ears. And I always like to hear a tune from “the last Beatle you’d expect to have a solo career.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ringo also was the first ex-Beatle out of the gate with a solo album after The Beatles had broken up, beating even Paul McCartney by 3 weeks! Granted “Sentimental Journey” was an all-covers album – still, as you said, not the band’s member you would have expected!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: