Sunday, January 13, 2019

TCCDM Dig and Flip: "John Prine: In Spite of Himself" (2015)

"John Prine: In Spite of Himself"...Eddie Huffman (2015)
212 pages

I've come to believe that the secret to true happiness lies somewhere farther away from an old pawnshop and maybe a little closer to a 4-minute spin on a tilt-a-whirl.  Anyway, finding this John Prine biography to read was right up my alley. And this one is pretty good for what it is.  The book takes the reader from John Prine's discovery in Chicago while delivering the neighborhood mail and walks us through each of his recordings from his amazing self-titled debut (1971) to "Standard Songs For Average People." (2007)  Also from his struggle with the record company to his own successful "Oh Boy" record label.  And his scary battle with cancer.  There are plenty of name-drops and funny Prine-isms and you will fall in love with John Prine if you haven't already.  But what the book is sorely lacking is some actual deep one-on-one conversations with the man.  Look I enjoyed Eddie Huffman's book offering.  But what I hunger for is a true John Prine memoir where JP really opens the gate.  I spoke with John Prine after he performed at the Wichita Orpheum back when I was in college.  It was my first interview and it was short...but I'll never forget it.  Here's John Prine.

"When I Get To Heaven" - John Prine / "The Tree Of Forgiveness" (2018)

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Friday, January 11, 2019

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" (1969)

"Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" - Bob Seger System (1969)

This isn't the "Old Time Rock and Roll" Bob Seger.  Huh-uh.  Not yet, anyway.  This is the experimental Bob.  The risk-taking Seeg.  And he doesn't disappoint.  The lost gem killer "2 + 2 = ?" is on here.  Plus the classic title track.  But there's plenty of goodness to go around.  There's some psych flavor sprinkled throughout and a bit of tasty fuzz-g.  Plus there is an enjoyable ethereal presence on a song or two.  And it all works.  Bob Seger hadn't yet fallen into that comfortable sweet spot trap he would later ride to the bank.  On this, his 1969 debut album, the 'ramblin' gamblin' man' is true to his name...taking chances and letting chips fall.   And for me, the entire listen was a head-nodding surprise.  For whatever reason, this album has been a hard one for me to pick up.  But last month I stumbled on a nice clean copy...a 70s record club reissue...for a good price and I've spun it many times since.  Don't sleep on this one, you might be surprised.

"Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" (back)

Capitol label

"Gone" - Bob Seger System / "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" (1969)

A1  "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" 2:20
A2  "Tales of Lucy Blue" 2:23
A3  "Ivory" 2:25
A4  "Gone" 3:25
A5  "Down Home" 3:10
A6  "Train Man" 4:05
B1  "White Wall" 5:15
B2  "Black Eyed Girl" 6:30
B3  "2 + 2 = ?" 2:47
B4  "Doctor Fine" 1:05
B5  "Last Song (Love Needs to Be Loved)" 3:02

Bob Seger – vocals, guitar, piano, organ
Dan Honaker – bass, vocals
Pep Perrine – drums, vocals
Bob Schultz – organ on "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man"
Michael Erlewine – blues harp on "Down Home"
Glenn Frey – b-vocals/acoustic guitar on "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man"
Penny Lawyer – b-vocals

Good stuff.


Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Horse Head Has An Idea:..."The Sadist" (1963)


"The Sadist" (1963) one of those forgotten b/w B-movies that sort of slipped through the cracks.  It stars cheeseball Arch Hall Jr. who has a bit of that Michael J. Pollard look goin' on...but without any of the charm and talent.  Yet he has a quirkiness that draws me in.  The story is based on the infamous Charles Starkweather murder spree.  It's all very low budget, filmed in a junkyard out in the desert, but the movie takes place in 'real-time' which adds an interesting sense of urgency.  Sure, Arch Hall, Jr. is annoying as hell, and you can almost see him overthinking his lines and expressions...but it's one of those black and white cheapies that's fun to watch anyway.

"The Sadist" (1963)

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Thursday, January 3, 2019

I Went...SIRIUS...All The Way Home

(a short jaunt)

"First Names" - Lee Michaels / "Space And First Takes" (1972)

This is a great late night driving song.  Long churning jams with intent just suck me right in.  The added psych trippage hitting the sweet spot is bonus.  And along with Lee Michaels is Drake Levin (Paul Revere and the Raiders) bending strings as well.  Surprised, I am!  The jam carries you along until your car becomes one with the highway.  Killer deep cut!

"Comin' Back To Me" - "Jefferson Airplane / "Surrealistic Pillow" (1967)

This might not be Marty Balin's best song...but it certainly is my favorite.  Beautifully sad. And it haunts like hell.  The song always wants to take me somewhere...and sometimes I let it.

"A Day In The Life" - Jeff Beck / "Live at Montreux Jazz" (2001)

I'm a snob when it comes to hearing Beatle covers.  It's a hard bitch for many to scratch.  But occasionally, someone gets it right.  Jeff Beck plays this Lennon classic like he's holding John's head in his lap.  Beck is taking care of him with tribute and respect. And what I had first expected to be just another throwaway song to add to the “covers” pile..became a gift to everyone who ever loved him.  Wow!


Good stuff.

Casey Chambers