Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lost Gem: "Don't Cross the River" - America (1972)


"She feels like leavin' and she don't know why."
~ America ~


America was a folk rock band with gorgeous three-part harmony. An acoustical trio from military families...Gerry BeckleyDewey Bunnell  and Dan Peek...fit together like brand new Legos.

The music was tight and warm and had found an audience...so when America released their 2nd album..."Homecoming" (1972)...like their first record, it soon went platinum.

It was to be their last platinum studio album.

Fans and critics alike recognize "Homecoming" as the band's finest moment...leading off with the driving "alligator lizards in the air" song..."Ventura Highway".

Dan Peek, Dewey Bunnell, Gerry Beckley

Filled with flashes of country rock mixed with Kalifornia kool...America had their metaphorical..."Dark Side Of The Moon".

Lost Gem:--> "Don't Cross the River"...Even though added to their Greatest Hits package...this country-tinged beauty seems to always get lost in the shuffle somehow.  

Written and performed by Dan Peek (with his Randy Meisner'esque falsetto)...the wonderful note choices are powdered sugar to the ear. And, of course, Gerry and Dewey add their nailed-shut harmonies.

Have you heard this gem?


There's a little girl out lyin' on her own
She's got a broken heart
She's not the kind to take you down for long
She knows and plays it smart

And if she's comin' she's showed no mark
She's heard no whistle blowin' from the dark
She feels like leavin' and she don't know why
Without no bridges she's trapped, so I sigh

Don't cross the river if you can't swim the tide
Don't try denyin' livin' on the other side
All your life
You were on your own

If you want you can ride my train
And soon forget the reason that you're leaving
You'll lose yourself and then sometime
Maybe even save yourself some grievin'
Don't cross the river if you can't swim the tide
Don't try denyin' livin' on the other side
Don't cross the river if you can't swim the tide
Don't try denyin' livin' on the other side.


Good stuff!

Casey Chambers
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lost Gem: "Little Lilly" - Widespread Panic (2001)


"Round and round and round she goes like Shirley's curlies at the movie show."
~ Widespread Panic ~ 


Widespread Panic is a wonderful jam band in the tradition of the Dead and Phish. Allman Bros quickly come to mind, as well.

Hailing from Athens, Georgia...this jam-rock jewel is especially enjoyable live...sweating like a chain-gang on a horse with no name.

However, Widespread Panic make some pretty excellent studio albums too.

"Don't Tell The Band" (2001) is a sweet treat...filled with tight songs that hit that smooth groove button.  Deadly and satisfying...and often. 

Lost Gem:--> "Little Lilly"...is classic Widespread Panic that finds its slide-glide early and sticks it to your ears.

Have you heard this gem?


Oh, Lilly likes Beatles songs
The words are off, but they don't feel that wrong
She came in through the bedroom
window like a blue girl
Like a blue girl, like a blue girl

No, never has she tried too hard
Lord, her whispered words could mend broken hearts
Her sundress shines through a hurricane
Making all boys squeal like swine before pearls

Hey, Little Lilly,
Don't believe everything you see
Hey, Little Lilly,
Don't believe everything you see

'Round and 'round and 'round she goes
Like a sweetheart's girls at the movie show
Lilly leans back in the very last row
The lights go low, and the show goes on

Even schoolgirls like her way
Oh, marry the preacher, make little angels some day
Silent as a child when the first snows fall
Perfect player in anyone's own little world

Hey, Little Lilly,
Don't believe everything you see
Hey, Little Lilly,
Don't believe everything you see

'Round and 'round and 'round she goes
Like Shirley's curlies at the movie show
Lilly leans back in the very last row
And the light goes low, the show goes on

Lilly likes Beatles songs
The words are off, but they don't feel that wrong
She came in through the bedroom
window like a blue girl
Like a blue girl, like a blue girl

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Lost Gem: "Warrior" - Wishbone Ash (1972)


"Tomorrow the plow
becomes the sword.

Make us stronger in our danger."
~ Wishbone Ash ~



"Argus" (1972) is considered by many to be
Wishbone Ash's must own tour de force.

Andy Powell and Ted Turner were creating honey with harmony twin lead guitars. Groundbreaking stuff at the time. And backed up with fierce bass and drums.


Wishbone Ash were a healthy blend of hard rock and prog...played with insane confidence and perfection. Simply magic.

Lost Gem:--> "Warrior"...is filled with images of timeless mystical battles yet to be met. The loud/soft changes are perfect with an unforgettable chant fade-out.

Have you heard this gem?


I'm leaving to search for something new,
Leaving everything I ever knew.
A hundred years in the sunshine
Hasn't taught me all there is to know.

In the valley, we will gather there,
Helpless in our surrender.
Tomorrow the plow becomes the sword
Make us stronger in our danger.

Time will pass away,
Time will guard our secret.
I'll return again
To fight another day.

I'd have to be a warrior
A slave I couldn't be
A soldier and a conqueror,
Fighting to be free.
(Repeat)


Good stuff!

Casey Chambers
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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lost Gem: "Money Don't Matter 2 Night" - Prince (1991)


"That's when U find out
that U're better off

makin' sure your soul's alright."

--> Prince <--


Even as well known as this Minnesota maestro, Prince, may be...I still see him as an under-appreciated artist.

Skilled as a musician, multi-instrumentalist, arranger, composer, songwriter, record producer...Prince knows what he wants and he simply does it.

The 1991, "Diamonds and Pearls", is one of several must own albums. And not a bad introduction for anyone wanting to snatch a piece of the cape from...The Prince.
"Money Don't Matter 2 Night"...is a thoughtful, sweetly sad, laid-back observation on the flashes of quick opportunites often lost.
A scale for what you want vs what you need.
All wrapped in that wonderful 70's Philly soul. So familiar and yet...so fresh. And all so relevant today.

Have you heard this gem?


One more card and it's 22
Unlucky 4 him again
He never had respect 4 money it's true
That's why he never wins
That's why he never ever has enough 2 treat his lady right
He just pushes her away in a huff
And says ?“Money don't matter 2night?

Money don't matter 2night
It sure didn't matter yesterday
Just when U think U've got more than enough
That's when it all up and flies away
That's when U find out that U're better off
Makin' sure your soul's alright
Cuz money didn't matter yesterday
And it sure don't matter 2night

Look, here's a cool investment
They're tellin' him he just can't lose
So he goes out and tries 2 find a partner
But all he finds are users (Users)
All he finds are snakes in every color
Every nationality and size
Seems like the only thing that he can do is just roll his eyes

And say that money don't matter 2night (Don't matter)
It sure didn't matter yesterday
Just when U think U've got more than enough
That's when it all up and flies away (No, no, no, no)
That's when U find out that U're better off
Makin' sure your soul's alright (Soul's alright)
Cuz money didn't matter yesterday (Don't matter)
And it sure don't matter 2night

Ooh-wee-ooh, don't matter
Well it don't matter 2night, no

Hey now, maybe we can find a good reason 2 send a child off 2 war
So what if we're controllin' all the oil
Is it worth a child dying 4? (Is it worth it?)
If long life is what we all live 4 then long life will come 2 pass
Anything is better than the picture of the child in a cloud of gas
And U think U got it bad

Money don't matter 2night (No, don't matter)
It sure didn't matter yesterday (Yesterday, ooh)
Just when U think U've got more than enough
That's when it all up and flies away (Flies away, flies away)
That's when U find out that U're better off
Makin' sure your soul's alright (Make certain that your soul's alright)
Cuz money didn't matter yesterday
It sure don't matter 2night

Money don't matter 2night
It sure didn't matter yesterday (Yesterday, yesterday)
Just when U think U've got more than enough
That's when it all up and flies away (Flies away, flies away)
That's when U find out that U're better off
Makin' sure your soul's alright
Money didn't matter yesterday
And it sure don't matter 2night.

Good stuff!

Casey

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lost Gem: "Cathedral" - Crosby, Stills & Nash (1977)


"Open up the gates of the church and let me out of here!"
--> CSN <--


"CSN" (1977) was David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash's last..."must own" album.

It is solid in every way. Well-written songs with glorious free-waving harmony. (No studio soft-soap tricks, friends.)

This was also their first studio record since the epic classic..."Deja Vu" (1970)...and the guys lay down the gauntlet daring anyone fill their shoes.

Lost Gem--"Cathedral"...is a cornered badger written by Nash...recalling an acid trip that turned south while visiting the legendary Winchester Cathedral.

Quiet piano leads into thrilling harmonies and pounding keys. The HOF trio unleash vocals with an urgency that understands all to well that familiar panic from a misguided acid voyage.

Have you heard this gem?


Six o' clock
In the morning, I feel pretty good
So I dropped into the luxury of the Lords
Fighting dragons and crossing swords
With the people against the hordes
Who came to conquer.

Seven o'clock
In the morning, here it comes
I taste the warning and I am so amazed
I'm here today, seeing things so clear this way
In the car and on my way
To Stonehenge.

I'm flying in Winchester cathedral
Sunlight pouring through the break of day.
Stumbled through the door and into the chamber;
There's a lady setting flowers on a table covered lace
And a cleaner in the distance finds a cobweb on a face
And a feeling deep inside of me tells me
This can't be the place

I'm flying in Winchester cathedral.
All religion has to have its day
Expressions on the face of the Saviour
Made me say
I can't stay.

Open up the gates of the church and let me out of here!
Too many people have lied in the name of Christ
For anyone to heed the call.
So many people have died in the name of Christ
That I can't believe it all.

And now I'm standing on the grave of a soldier that died in 1799
And the day he died it was a birthday
And I noticed it was mine.
And my head didn't know just who I was
And I went spinning back in time.
And I am high upon the altar
High upon the altar, high.

I'm flying in Winchester cathedral,
It's hard enough to drink the wine.
The air inside just hangs in delusion,
But given time,
I'll be fine.

Good stuff!

Casey Chambers
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lost Gem: "Hot Summer Nights" - Walter Egan (1978)


"We shared our hopes, our dreams and our goals...
And the fundamental roll."
~ Walter Egan ~


In 1978, Walter Egan released..."Not Shy"...an album filled with that cool feel-good California sound and best known for the single..."Magnet & Steel".

Every song had a catchy hook and was made for windows rolled down summer cruising.

But let's face it...it didn't hurt to have good friends like Lindsey Buckingham producing the record. And sweetheart Stevie Nicks adding her gorgeous vocals to his songs.  Even Mick Fleetwood got in on the act banging the skins.

Lost Gem:--> "Hot Summer Nights"...is a feeling good cruise tune.  Ah...pleasures of the summer of our youth.  Nothin' complicated and everything possible.  (This is the original version).

Have you heard this gem?


There was a time, not too far gone
When I was changed by just a song
On the radio, in my car
The pounding electric guitar
Then the time came to make our stand
We started up a four-piece band
And the heat felt like spotlights
In the heart of a hot summer night, yeah
Hot summer nights
Hot summer nights

Return with me to when times were best
We were friends that could pass any test
We shared our hopes, our dreams, and our goals
And the fundamental roll
As we sang in the hot, dark rooms
Happy just to play our tunes
We felt good when we did it right
We felt good on a hot summer night, yeah
Hot summer nights
Hot summer nights, yeah

So it lives, and it always will
Those songs we sung are in us still
Ringing out with all their might
In the heart of a hot summer night, yeah
Hot summer nights
Hot summer nights, yeah.


Walter Egan Official Site

Good stuff!
Casey Chambers
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