Saturday, June 23, 2012

Levon Helm - an RS funeral report

...buried next to Rick, Montana night drive with

RICK DANKO "Stage Fright" (Live at Dylan's Cafe, 12-8-1987, Washington, D.C.) Rolling Stone... April 24, 2012

Tonight we were driving home from Kelly Canyon, a lovely night, crescent moon just popping up on the horizon. Deer dancing across the road in the meadow. And I had popped in this live CD in the stereo, a 2-disc set of Rick Danko, playing solo. The title of the disc is "Live At Dylan's Cafe." Recorded in late 1987, a lonley solo show in Washington, DC. (The titles pop up in my media player all are Japanese characters!)

Makes me lonesome for The Band, of course. Rick plays guitar really well, though, and being a bass player, the song tracks right along the bass lines. And in my head, getting into his head, I feel the rest of The Band. Maybe you will, too, when you listen to this sample track. As a band, no other band grabbed me so completely as The Band. Each part that each member played. I guess they were lucky, really. Lucky to have had that time, and that feeling. And some whole bunch of us got to hear it and experience it, or at least what we could by listening and watching them. And it makes me reflect on my Geezer pals, and any of my other fellow friends who are musicians and fans.

Hope you like the article. I like the quotes.

I like the picture of the funeral band.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Louis Armstrong Gems

I'm reading "Pops" by Terry Teachout, a biography of Louis Armstrong (Click for NY Times Review). As I go, I've been exploring the songs and other materials recommended by Teachout, and other items I came across on Youtube. Some of them have video, and some are just the music with a picture or two. Here are some of my favorites.

Weather Bird

One of Teachout's 30 Key recordings by Armstrong.

Ain't Misbehavin'

This is one of my favorites. He first did it in the 20's. Teachout talks about his friendship with Fats Waller, and how they worked together.

Black and Blue

Black and Blue was written by Fats Waller, and performed by Armstrong here in 1929. Teachout says the song was "commissioned" by New York gangster Dutch Shultz, who wanted a song to be sung by a black woman in a revue he was funding. It was supposed to be funny. Armstrong made it his own.

West End Blues

West End Blues is really something. One of the first of his classics. The first few seconds take your breath away.


Here's a video from 1933 of Armstrong doing "Dinah" (a Fats Waller tune) It really swings. Armstrong's singing, playing and overall presentation just blow me away. Dig it.

Mack the Knife

There are lots of these Armstrong gems on Youtube. In 1955, the "Allstars" played with Louis in London. Here they are playing Mack the Knife. The shots of the audience are worth the price of admission...


You Can't Take that Away From Me

Another one that really got me was Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald doing the "They Can't Take That
 Away From Me"