rushton---Dylan had Daniel Lanois produce his Time Out of Mind album, and the sound was a turgid, muddy mess. Thankfully Bob has been doing it himself lately, and the sound of his last few albums is much better. Not audiophile, but much better than average for these days. By the way, a great album of his from the early 70's, Planet Waves, has just been released on LP and SACD by Mobile Fidelity. The original LP on Asylum had a very organic, unproduced sound quality, recorded with The Band in a couple of days. Good album, hope MF did it right.
There was an interview somewhere with Bob's guitarist on the Time Out of Mind album, Duke Robillard. He was thrilled to work with Bob, but had a terrible time with producer Daniel Lanois. Duke was brought in after the recording of the album was already underway, Dylan being unhappy with Lanois' guitar playing (he was producing and playing). Lanois and Robillard butted heads constantly throughout the recording, much of Duke's guitar parts being left on the mixing room floor. Dylan had been listening to Buddy Holly in preparation for the album, but Lanois had a different vision for the album. Duke's a great player---that's why Dylan wanted him. Too bad Lanois didn't just let him play. Though Time Out of Mind won Bob a Grammy, I hate the production, which for me does not well serve the music. But then, I'm not a fan of Lanois' sound.
@tomic601, I just received notice from Revolution Hall that tickets for the Hiatt/Douglas show are on sale. Not too bad, $45 I think. No mention yet of a cancellation, though the Oregon Governor is implementing some measures.
I saw Jerry at Revolution when he toured in support of his last album, and his music that night was in the "Progressive Bluegrass" style (yes, there is such a thing), rather than Traditional. The Progressive strain has a lot of Jazz elements---no vocals, lots of soloing. I myself prefer Traditional, but I'll take Jerry Douglas---my favorite living musician (with Ry Cooder a very close second)---any way I can get him!
reubent---Did you get to see The Dwight Twilley Band live? OMG, the ultimate melding of Elvis and The Beatles! Lead guitarist Bill Pitcock IV (R.I.P.) was really great, getting just about the best guitar tone I’ve ever heard out of a Gibson ES335 plugged into a pair of blackface Fender Deluxe Reverb amps with an MXR digital delay between them, creating the slap-back echo heard on Sun Records Rockabilly recordings. "Trying To Find My Baby" on Twilley Don't Mind just KILLS me! Really rockin’ group of Tulsa boys!!
@noromance, can’t do weed, makes me paranoid (ever since a dose of bad acid). Alcohol dulls the pain a little, but not much. In my 20’s and 30’s codeine worked somewhat, but now makes me sick to my stomach. But these all treat the pain, not address the cause. Luckily for ya’ll, the cluster is fairly rare.
I LOVE Self Portrait! I did when it was released, amused (and not surprised) that the Rolling Stone-type reviewers didn't get it. I was surprised by Dylan's literalness in the album title, literalness not something he's prone to. I find it to provide a fascinating look into his influences and tastes. Full of great songs, musicians, and singing. Some of it is heartfelt, some slyly tongue-in-cheek (The Boxer?!).
Oh man, I love Planet Waves, one of my favorite Dylans. Live in the studio, with very little electronic effects (reverb in particular---the recording is very "dry"). After the album was done in early '74, they hit road for a two-month tour, their first together since '66 (The Band at the time known as The Hawks).
shadorne---I read Tom say that Steve came up with ideas that never occurred to him, ideas resulting from his technical training and experience, which Tom and The Heartbreakers don’t share with him . There’s an old saw amongst musicians, that one’s limitations determine one’s style. There’s some truth to that. There’s another, particularly amongst drummers, that drummers with advanced technique tend to sound alike, with no identifiable style of their own, only their technique. That I’m not so sure about, though Steve and Kenny Aronoff (University of Illinois training and degrees, Mellencamp’s original drummer) do sound alike. One guy with somewhat less technique but absolutely no style is Max Weinberg, Springsteen’s drummer. Boring.
There are drummers with technique who have/had a lot of style, starting with the incomparable Earl Palmer (New Orleans drummer credited with creating, single-handedly, Rock ’n’ Roll drumming---Little Richard, etc.), as well as Levon Helm (The Band), Roger Hawkins (Muscle Shoals studios---all those great Jerry Wexler-produced Atlantic recordings of Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, etc., Traffic), Hal Blaine (L.A. studios---a LOT of 1960’s hit singles, including those of The Beach Boys, Phil Spector, Simon & Garfunkel, even Sinatra), Jim Gordon (Joe Cocker, Derek & The Dominoes, L.A. studios), and Jim Keltner (Ry Cooder, George Harrison, Traveling Wilburys, studios), and Steve Gadd (Eric Clapton, Paul Simon---including his great part in "50 Ways To leave Your lover").
Then there is Ringo Starr, a drummer with very limited technical ability, but a LOT of style. Charlie Watts too.
Great album reubent, their last with original organist Matthew Fisher. Matthew came up with the great quote from J.S. Bach in his "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" organ part. After he left PH, guitarist Robin Trower became the featured musician, to the detriment of the group imo. Matt put out a couple of real fine albums himself, though few bought them. I have them on LP, and like them a lot. Worth looking for, they oughta be real cheap!
shadorne, stoked you like it! I’ve been following Chris for years, both solo (some albums on Sugar Hill) and in The Desert Rose Band (a great group, with not only Chris, but also Herb Pedersen and Telecaster master John Jorgenson of The Hellecasters). Chris and Herb have done a few albums as partners too. Love ’em!
Thanks slaw, Millennium has it on reorder, should be back in stock in a coupla days. I believe I’ll get it on LP, even if it was recorded and/or mastered digitally. LP’s are just a more substantial experience! I did buy the latest Rodney Crowell CD, which I'll give a listen to in the morning.
I know what you mean, reubent. Prine is a fine songwriter, and a singer with his own identifiable style and sound, rough as it is. But he, like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Bob Dylan, is really difficult to sing harmony with. His phrasing is just so unpredictable and erratic, that staying in synch with him is impossible!
If you're lucky, John's pal Iris Dement may appear with him as a guest. They often share the stage with each other.
Wow boxer12, I’m surprised to hear "Love And Theft" was issued on LP by Columbia back when it was a new release in 2001. I don’t remember my Sony Distribution (they had Columbia Records) salesperson (I would say salesman, he it was a she ;-) mentioning the album was available on LP when she took my pre-release order at Tower Records. But Tower had long since gotten rid of their LP racks, and besides, the majors sold LP’s to stores as a one-way buy---no LP returns by stores allowed, even if defective. Once a store bought an LP, they owned it. Tower buyers were prohibited by Sacramento from ordering LP’s for their store.
Cool @tomic601. That Tony Rice Unit lineup did an earlier album, Still Inside, also on Rounder Records. Rounder was for years about the best label in the world imo, with an incredible roster of artists. NRBQ, one of my favorite bands when guitarist/songwriter/singer Al Anderson was a member, made a lot of albums that came on the label. Dave Edmunds, Nick Lowe, and Costello were all huge NRBQ fans.
I jammed with Tony Rice Unit bassist Todd Phillips last in 2012, I believe it was. He was playing his 18th Century German upright, so I know exactly what it's suppose to sound like when reproduced (assuming the recording engineer did his job well). More recently Todd has been on the road with Joan Baez.
Todd played a Fender Precision bass when we were kids in San Jose, and started going up to Marin in '71 to study mandolin with David Grisman (partly a result of the effect The Band's brown album had on all of us). Dave told him there were a lot of good mandolin players around, but a shortage of standup bass players (Dan Hicks had one in his band). Todd took Dave's advice, and ended up working with him!
Oh man, reubent, Marty is SO great, and His Fabulous Superlatives one of the very best bands in the world. I first saw and heard guitarist Kenny Vaughan (who has a solo album) live with Lucinda Williams, and he's a fantastic player. Drummer Harry Stinson is one of the best working right now, and a real good harmony singer as well.
No reubent, I'll look Butch (and Buick 6) up. I saw her last night (Monday) on Seth Meyer's show, singing with Steve Earle. I don't know if that was her band or his, but they were real good, including the drummer, whom I loved. Lucinda didn't look or sound so hot, I'm afraid. It's a tricky thing, finding the right key for a male/female duet. It's gotta be low enough for the male's range, but high enough for her's. Last night the song's key was a little too low for her voice, I believe. And my gaud she looked bad! Like a hardcore alcoholic, sitting down at the end of the bar, drinking alone. She's put on a buncha weight, her face was puffy, and she had on waaaay yonder too much eye makeup. I still love her, though!
Thanks fellas, I'll look for both. I agree loomis, Brooker is one of the better UK singers. He, Van Morrison, little Stevie Winwood, Steve Marriott, Paul Jones (Manfred Mann), and Paul Rodgers come to mind. All obviously indebted first and foremost to Ray Charles, as too are so many US singers. Brooker is sort of the British Richard Manuel (The Band, of course), not only singing similarly (though Manuel is very, very special to me, as he is to Eric Clapton), but playing piano in the same style---block chords, rather than laced with gratuitous arpeggios ala Elton John and Billy Joel (blech).
I loved Procol Harum's first three albums at the time of their release, and still do. Then organist Matthew Fisher left the group, and their style and sound changed dramatically. The fourth album---Home---was not at all to my liking, Robin Trower’s rather clichéd white-boy Blues style of guitar playing coming far too center stage for me. I saw them live in 1970, and they struck me as just another British Blues-Rock band, a genre I find dreadfully boring. It was a shame, because the Matthew Fisher-era PH was a unique, magnificently Baroque-ish musical group. I wrote PH off, never desiring to hear another of their albums.
Had Trower left by the time of Grand Hotel? I’ll look it up. Perhaps his departure for a solo career returned PH to their former glory. Art Dudley often mentions Grand Hotel in his reviews, and now with reubent’s endorsement---my musical taste aligns with his---I believe I need to hear the album.
Yes, shadorne, Joe Cocker---I knew I was leaving out somebody! You possess musical wisdom to an unusual degree, my man, and your words, with which I agree 100%, were a pleasure to read. "Playing for the song" is the musicianship I crave, listen for in others, and employ myself. It sounds unimpressive to many, not "obvious" enough---too subtle. It takes a certain level of maturity and self-confidence to play with taste and economy (as your "it can be frightening to leave space" line acknowledges), and is what separates the men from the boys.
I first witnessed it in a drummer when I saw and heard Dewey Martin (Buffalo Springfield) live in 1969. Mitch Mitchell, Keith Moon, and Ginger Baker were my standard at the time, and it was a shock to learn there was another, very different, approach to playing drums. I had to learn how to play all over again, this time with a completely different objective---musicality, not empty virtuosity and self-congratulatory displays of pointless technique.
tostadosunidos---It was in ’69 I saw and heard Dewey live. Buffalo Springfield in parenthesis was to identify Dewey as the drummer in that group, not to say I saw them in ’69. The group in ’69 was named The New Buffalo, and Dewey was the only remaining original member. Neil Young was working on his first album, Stephen Stills on the first C,S,& Nash, and Richie Furay was starting Poco (along with late-Buffalo Springfield bassist Jim Messina).
In The New Buffalo playing bass and singing harmony was Randy Fuller, Bobby’s brother. My teen combo got the gig opening for them at a local San Jose High School, with the proviso Dewey---who traveled with only a snare drum, bass drum pedal, and stick bag---could use my drumset. Oh, okay ;-).
For an excellent example of playing in the less-is-more style, give a listen to Levon Helm in "Chest Fever" on Music From Big Pink. Hear how in the bridge he switches from playing the snare drum backbeat on 2 and 4 (in the verses) to playing all four beats on the snare drum? At least, that’s what you THINK he’s doing; listen again, and you’ll notice that by playing the 1, 2, and 3 on snare, he has lead you to assume he will also play the 4 (as Charlie Watts does all throughout "Satisfaction). He instead rests (doesn’t play) the fourth beat on snare drum, playing his bass drum on that beat instead. It sounds SO cool! Most drummers would play the 4 on snare drum, then crash a cymbal on the downbeat (the 1 of the next bar), which results in the release of tension, ala Keith Moon. Levon, by instead leaving out the 4 on snare and not crashing on the 1, CREATES tension. Brilliant! Music From Big Pink is full of that kind of playing---very, very rare in Rock ’n’ Roll. That’s why everyone from Ringo, to Jim Keltner, to Richie Hayward (Little feat), to songwriters like Nick Lowe and John Hiatt, consider Levon amongst the handful of best drummers in R & R’s history.
I left out one detail of Levon's remarkable playing in "Chest Fever". By not crashing on the downbeat (the 1) that introduces the next bar of the song, Levon has actually changed the construction of the song---from a bar-to-bar construct to a larger, longer viewpoint, that of the whole bridge. Very few drummers think in those terms, that of the construction of the song, and how their playing affects, determines even, that.
When a drummer emphasizes the "1" (by crashing on a cymbal as Keith Moon always does, or, as does John Bonham in so many LZ songs, by "burying" the bass drum beater into the bd head, preventing the head from ringing by not letting the beater bounce off the head), he does two things: First is bring the song to a screeching halt---stopping and starting again every four beats, back-and-forth. That creates a secondary effect, that of breaking up the song into little pieces---a bunch of 4-beat bars--- rather than the natural flow of the songwriter's chord progression, the whole song section (whether verse, chorus, or bridge/middle 8) as one. It is that kind of "small" playing that I find so common, so tedious, so pedestrian. Okay, I'm an elitist!
You’re SO right, tostadodunitos, Richard Manuel is a great drummer. Not in the technical sense, but musically. Levon Helm started the 1965 Bob Dylan world tour as the drummer in Dylan’s backing band for the tour, The Hawks. But he found the booing they encountered by the diehard Folk purists insufferable, and left the tour (and The Hawks), going down to the Gulf Coast to make a living working on an oil rig. When the tour ended in 1966, The Hawks relocated from The Chelsea Hotel in NYC to Saugerties in upstate New York, to be in close proximity to Dylan in nearby Woodstock. They found a house to rent (the infamous "Big Pink"), where they settled in and began recording what have come to be known as the Basement Tapes. When Capitol Records heard the recordings, they offered The Hawks their own contract. Hawks bassist Rick Danko gave Levon a call with the news, and Levon was on the next plane (;-).
Levon listened to the recordings, and Richard, who had played drums on many of the songs, became, as Levon states in his autobiography, his favorite drummer. That Richard is the drummer on some of the songs on The Band's 2nd, s/t ("brown") album, most people don't realize he's on about half the songs on that album, as well as a couple on their 1st, Music From Big Pink. The drumming of musicians whose primary instrument is other than drums is interesting, in that they are not playing the stock, "traditional" parts that primary-drummers have learned, but rather in a manner they find dictated by the song itself. Other non-drummers who play interesting, and sometimes great, drum parts include Stevie Wonder, Dave Edmunds, Andrew Gold, Paul McCartney, Emitt Rhodes (actually, Emitt was the drummer in The Palace Guard before he moved to guitar and piano in The Merry-Go-Round, and then his solo career) and, more recently, Marshall Crenshaw. Marshall’s drumming on his #447 album is really, really good!
I’ll go further, reubent. King Of America is my favorite of EC’s (in the same way that Full Moon Fever is my favorite Petty album). Nice full, warm acoustic rhythm guitar parts (giving it an Everly Brothers sound), a more relaxed, "Southern" feel than The Attractions provide him with (they have that somewhat rushed, "trying too hard" feel common to British bands). A lot of great American musicians play on the album: the incredible Jerry Scheff on bass, Earl Palmer, Jim Keltner, Ron Tutt, and Mickey Curry (all great) on drums, James Burton and T-Bone Wolk on guitar. Wow! And T Bone Burnett’s production is much better than that of Nick Lowe and others on EC’s other albums (Jeff Lynne's production on Petty's FMF is vastly superior to that of Petty's other albums). I have the U.K. F-Beat label pressing, which sounds great. Some of the now-out-of-print CD versions of the album contain bonus tracks.
I was afraid of that, reubent. When I saw and heard her singing with Steve Earle recently on TV, Lucinda was a mess, and sounded drunk. Which is a shame; I like the band sound she had developed since the time of the original SOW. The sound on that album is, as you characterized it, very thin and lightweight, far too "Poppy". Donald Lindley was just an okay drummer, and unfortunately tensioned his snare drum rather tight, giving it that piccolo snare drum sound that I despise (Chad Smith’s piccolo snare drum sound ruined for me the Dixie Chick’s fine Taking The Long Way album). And whoever mixed her s/t Rough Trade and SOW albums put that drum WAY too high in stew, imo. It doesn’t "sit" down in the music the way Jim Keltner’s snare does on the Essence album, for instance. And while Gurf Morlix was and is a fantastic guitarist, his playing on those two albums being great, I think the thicker, fuller sound of the guitars on more recent albums serves Lucinda’s voice and songs better than did Gurf’s Telecaster. She’s more a Blues singer than a Country one.
slaw, is the 2013 Lucinda s/t album on LP? I have an expanded and remastered CD version from 1998 on Koch Records with six bonus live tracks, and the original Rough Trade LP. I like the album enough to get a new LP if it’s been done real well.
reubent, love The Rose Of England album! I saw Nick live quite a few years ago with his cool little 3-piece band, and he had Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham open for him. Great show!
slaw, okay, now I get it---if you're writing about it, it's an LP! Red vinyl---my favorite LP color. Clear is pretty cool, too. Non-black LP's are sometimes noisy though. Let us know how the s/t vinyl sounds, ay?
reubent, Nick had Los Straitjackets touring with him recently, acting as his opening act and backing band. Their bass player is an old, old friend of mine (we met the first day of 7th grade, way back in September of 1962!), and we were playing together in a 3-piece band when LS offered him the job. Pretty cool band.
@slaw, Jim Lauderdale makes two kinds of albums: real good and great. ;-) He's an artist who straddles the line where Hard Country (as opposed to Rock Country as heard on mainstream radio) and Bluegrass intersect. I've seen him live upclose at little clubs around L.A. (last time at Pappy & Harriets Pioneertown Palace---how's THAT for a name?!---near Joshua Tree. The wonderful Rosie Flores joined him onstage for a few numbers), and he's the real deal. Great songwriter and singer, excellent taste in musicians to accompany him.
@boxer12, the Old & In The Way album is in fantastic sound quality, isn’t it?! It’s original release was on the audiophile label Acoustic Disc. I used it as audition material back in the ’70’s. T Bone Burnett’s Truth Decay on Takoma does too (be sure to get the version pressed by Chrysalis Records; the mastering engineer who did the version pressed by Allegiance cut off the ending of the song, after the false ending. Impatient! ;-).
Speaking of Desert Rose, Chris Hillman’s Sugar Hill Records albums are great musically and sonically, assuming you don’t mind Bluegrass. Chris and fellow Desert Rose Band member Herb Pedersen have done a bunch of albums together. And the lead guitarist of The Desert Rose Band---John Jorgenson---was in the instrumental guitar trio The Hellecasters. Like Los Straitjackets, but on a virtuoso level.
An entire LP side containing one song, and that song having the title "Revelation", vividly brings back that era (1966-68). Alotta trippin' goin' on. Just about everybody I knew owned the 1st and 2nd Love albums, and a lot of San Jose groups included at least one song from them in their live shows. Love member Bryan Maclean is the half-brother of Maria McKee from Lone Justice.
Ah yeah, the debut Butterfield album! That was a game-changer, having a huge effect on us suburban white teenage musicians, making the British blues-wannabe’s we had been listening to and learning from irrelevant and obsolete. Dylan had heard Mike Bloomfield’s guitar playing, and hired him for his next couple of albums, saying Mike was the best guitarist he had ever heard (as seen in the Scorcese documentary on Dylan, which is fantastic). I saw Bloomfield live only once, in The Electric Flag in 1968 (with the great Buddy Miles on drums). the doors had a real hard time following them on stage ;-), sounding rather anemic in comparison.
Ya ever hear what Sonny Boy Williamson told The Hawks (later The Band) when he jammed with them in ’65? He had just returned from a UK tour, where he had been backed by a lot of the British "Blues" bands. He told them "They (the British players) want to play the Blues in the worst way, and that’s just how they play it." Good one, Sonny Boy! He and The Hawks made plans to tour together, but Williamson dropped dead before it could happened. They instead became Dylan’s road band, touring with him 1965-6. I have two old friends/bandmates who saw them together at The San Jose Civic Auditorium in late ’65, which I now would kill to have been at. I wasn’t hip to Dylan yet; he seemed like a beatnik to me ;-), weird and kinda scary.