Best Version

Garnet Mimms was a soul singer of distinction, best known for the original version of “Cry Baby” that Janis Joplin covered. This is my fave of his. The singing is great beginning to end but it’s not even the best thing about it, which is the beat. It rides and it’s funky at the same time, with a big assist from the unknown-to-me rhythm guitar player. He cuts The Drifters by a mile.

Soul Party Hits

Best song by this band. Multi-percussion fell out of fashion in rock and in soul too, if you count rap as soul. I mean, there are rap songs with lots of percussion but they are few, and punk pretty much wiped out the woodblocks, cowbells and timbales not to mention congas and bongos. It didn’t die altogether, Talking Heads come to mind, but lying dormant there are unexplored possibilities.

When we were 14-15 we used to sing and bang anywhere and anytime. We had this song down, harmonies and cross-rhythms on the money. No selfies in those days; too bad.

Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives

25 years ago I had a pair girlfriends, back-to-back, named Debbie, whom, in retrospect, I refer to as the “Deb-aucle.”

I guess the best way to describe the sensitivities of Debbie I, would be this little tale. I liked this woman, who was quite pretty, and who never seemed to feel acknowledged. So, I wrote a couplet for her that read:

“She is not the Deb you taunt,
That would not be fair.
She is just the Deb you want,
She’s so “Deb-o-nair.”

My beloved’s response to this epithet? “What in the hell is that supposed to mean?”

Well, Debbie I was a Top 40 girl of the highest order, although when we went together–and ashamedly I admit I endured a year with her–Debbie was seriously into country music. And, the worst shit in my view: Reba McIntire and Toby Keith and those kind of flag waving Jesus loving knuckleheads.

But, during that time, Marty Stuart released his album, This One’s Gonna Hurt You, and I bought that album and have kind of followed the fine guitarist (who began his career as a teenage guitar player with Lester Flatt’s band) and a guy I just liked.

Marty is now on tour supporting his latest album, Way Out West, and his band was set to play a wonderful little 400-seat venue called The Freight and Salvage in Berkeley. This is not a little dump either, but a cool downtown non-profit community supported venue that is modern, has wonderful sound, and killer acoustics.

So, I hit my friends and musicians Steve Gibson and Stephen Clayton up and we toddled off to see Marty and his band Monday night, and all I can say is they were one of the two best live bands I have ever seen.

This statement is kind of bombastic, going back to 1968, and including seeing acts like Pink Floyd, Cream, Derek and the Dominoes, The Who,  Jimi Hendrix and Buffalo Springfield and so on. But a lot of bands, and a lot of great ones over the past 50 years.

From, however, the first note by Marty, Kenny Vaughn (guitar), Harry Stinson (drums) and Chris Scruggs (bass, and yep, Earl’s grandson, and a guy who can play every instrument on the stage) came out of the blocks smoking, and just got hotter and tighter with a set that featured new stuff from the new album, old stuff (Running Down a Dream) and a monster cover of Charlie Christian’s, Bennie Goodman’s, and Jame’s Mundy’s Airmail Special, of which I looked for a YouTube link, but none exists.

So, I went for this clip from David Letterman which gives an idea of just how tight the band is and how exceptional their players are.

One of the “oldies” the band played was Marty Robbins incredible El Paso, a song I loved from first listen in 1959. When guitar player Grady Martin was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Stuart and his band were asked to play, and since Martin played the melodic moving part in the song, El Paso was what they performed. The band did cover it Monday, and I did find a link.

BTW, I said one of the two best bands I have ever seen. The other? George Clinton and Parliment (with Bootsie, Bernie, et al).

Hey There, Little Stranger

Gimme Danger is finally out in a medium we can easily watch.

I streamed it for $4.99 last night on Amazon. In the beginning of the movie, it says “Amazon Studios” so this might be the only place it’s currently available.

Was it as good as advertised? Abso. Fucking. Lutely.

If anyone wants to watch it and talk about some rock ‘n’ roll, I’m here.

Since No One Else Is Posting Anyway. . .

Here’s another Primal Scream.

Condensed Wiki story of this band, for those who care or not:

1) The singer was the drummer for Jesus & Mary Chain.

2) They did all kinds of critically acclaimed experimental stuff early on.

3) Eventually, they decided to do a simple, straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll album, Riot City Blues, where both the songs I posted live. It was critically meh, with some severe pans.

4) This song was their biggest hit single in England. I don’t think it’s as good as the other one, but it’s good enough that I’m gonna buy the album. Will report back later if necessary. The video is easy to watch, if nothing else.

Everything Changes, Nothing Changes

The most surprising aspect of our Spotify subscription is that Diane is crazy for it. She is admittedly not a music junkie like any of us here at the Remnants, in fact I asked what artists she followed and she promptly replied, “none.”

She just likes listening to playlists with high energy stuff she can work out to, and soul and funk from any era she can bop to while driving her car. But, I was surprised when she sent me a link to a song the other day, and I could not help but think of the song as analogous to other generations of horny post pubescent music junkies.

The first instance of song where boys are pleading for sex I could think of was the wonderful Good Golly Miss Molly by the one and only Little Richard, who was certainly clear about the whole sex/music thing in the fifties. This was at a time when saying words like “panties” were verboten on screen, for example, as shown in this clip from the Otto Preminger’s 1959 film, Anatomy of a Murder.

This clip of Richard, covering his tune, released in 1958, a year before Anatomy of a Murder came out, speaks for itself with respect to lyrical content, but this  clip was so perfect, as it is Richard live, playing for Muhammad Ali’s 50th birthday. And, well I have been thinking a lot about the loss of the great Ali as well as that of Prince, recently, and what a huge loss to our planet their spirits is.

The 60’s were not much better, and though this is indeed my favorite song by the Beach Boys, it is so lily-white in the Pat Boone’s cover of Little Richard’s Tutti Fruitti, sense, it makes my skin crawl. But, Brian Wilson could only hint at a time when “making love” still was kind of like Laurence Olivier suggesting the wooing of Joan Fontaine in Rebecca meant sweet talk behind a potted plant.

Here is the Beach Boys supporting that in the middle class white world very little changed over the 20 or so years between Rebecca and Don’t Worry Baby (which included that awful Boone shit in the middle of the time span). By the way, I love the song, but is this the worst “video” ever?

But, 50 years after Don’t Worry Baby, reality has struck and the world has simultaneously gone to hell in a hand basket, as witnessed by this song, by Strip Johnny, that popped up on Diane’s “Discover Weekly.” She heard it and  just had to share with me.

Truth is, I really like this last song a lot! Not as much as Little Richard, though. At least not just yet.