Thursday, April 19, 2012

Suites and Medleys: Sailing Shoes/ Hey Julia/ Sneaking Sally Through the Alley

Robert Palmer: Sailing Shoes/ Hey Julia/ Sneaking Sally Through the Alley


Robert Palmer isn’t that unusual a name. So, when I first heard Addicted to Love, I wanted to know if this was the same Robert Palmer I was thinking of. After all, he didn’t sound all that much like the Robert Palmer I knew. But, they are indeed the same person. I was thinking of the Robert Palmer who opened his debut album with an amazing medley of a Little Feat cover, Sailing Shoes, and two originals, Hey Julia and Sneaking Sally Through the Alley. What an introduction! The whole thing is a blast of funky New Orleans-inspired swamp boogie, and the three songs are distinct, but Palmer stitches them together seamlessly. He had to rearrange Sailing Shoes to do it, changing it from the slow burner Little Feat performed, into a funky groove. Little Feat never performed the song this way, but that’s most of them backing Palmer on the track.

Side Note: I know of at least one other famous Robert Palmer. The other was a pop music critic for the New York Times when I was young. “Pop music critic” is a term that doesn’t really do the man justice. He could write intelligently about an amazing variety of musical genres, and was one of the first to introduce me to world music. Palmer was one of the first people who inspired me to want to write about music. He was an authority on the blues, and his book Deep Blues is required reading on the subject.

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