Saturday, May 11, 2019


Well I made a right pig's ear of that, didn't I? Did all my jiggery-pokery and pressed send, only to realise buddies KKafa and J.David had already put out on that day. So I pulled back in for an edit/revision, aka delaying tactics.  48 hours grace and re-press send. And it's in the same bloody place........... More complicated than it looks, this blogging, innit?

So, mis amigos, amends necessitates (yet) another toothsome foursome for your delectations.

The late, great Gregg Allman probably needs little introduction here. Indeed, it wasn't so long I was bemoaning his passing, and I still find myself reaching back into his back catalogue, and that of the he and his sibling entitled band, when in need of spiritual succour. Like me, do you find there is little more uplifting than a slice of melancholia? Strange but true. This song, 'Rolling Stone', is from his later days, having put the band on another temporary hold, and finding himself back in the critical good books, the days of his "disgrace" long distant. (Did you see where I pulled that link from, btw. Hold that thought.) The voice still as searching a beacon as when I first encountered him, back in ages ago, this LP, 'Low Country', as memorable as 1973's 'Laid Back'. The song a plaintive lament, most of his are, to the plight of a man, left by a woman, for a change she being the rolling stone. Obligatory THE Rolling Stones reference, erstwhile alumnus in the Allman Brothers Band, Chuck Leavell has been main keyboards man for the Stones since 1982.

Well, that thought from above didn't need holding that long, did it? I am surprised this theme hasn't yet overtly picked up on the onetime de rigeur bible of the counter-culture, but time to remedy that. It is funny to think that Dr Hook, later doyens of a smooth cocktail cowboy kitsch, were, at the time of this song, about as raggedy-assed hippie country redneck longhairs as you could find. I don't think they ever actually did make, as the song is called, 'The Cover of the Rolling Stone'. But, OMG, I loved them and their songs, often penned, as was this, by the 'Playboy' cartoonist Shel Silverstein. Here's a BBC TV appearance they did at their dumbest. And that's good dumbest. Dennis LaCorriere, their more usual singer, is still on the road, billed often as Dr Hook, his eye-patched side-kick Ray Sawyer and he having fallen out aeons ago, and whom is, anyway, now deceased, with a tour this summer to celebrate 50 years since 'Sylvia's Mother'. I am thinking of going. (Or was: get well soon, Dennis.) RS reference: How many times were the Rolling Stones on the cover of Rolling Stone? Who better to tell?

Brother Jack McDuff, alleluia, now there is one righteous dude we don't seem to hear enough of. Prominent in the more soulful area of bebop, with the hammond organ his instrument of choice, he would have fitted into the later acid-jazz scene of the 90s like a silk sock in an alligator-hide and cuban-heeled chelsea boot. Indeed, George Benson, who, with similar jazz leanings, arguably and eventually did, was given his first break with McDuff. I have always revelled in the sound of the hammond; Emerson, Lake and Palmer were my first love, my brother in law then tipping me off to the delights of Jimmy Smith. But McDuff seemed more effortless than either of these titans, and is one to whom I return more often. Any RS link here has proved more problematic than I thought, assuming any number of crossovers in covered material, not necessarily the whole band, but within Keith's many and varied works on the side. But, by leaving no stone unturned (groan!), here's a song done by McDuff, a Ray Charles standard also covered by Bill Wyman project, Willie & the Poor Boys.


Finally, one you most certainly may have missed, unless you traipse through the less worn corridors of niche musical combos. One might be the Alabama 3, rightly revered for this, their claim to fame with Tony Soprano and his mob. But, into near 25 years of existence, not only have they never stopped performing and putting out new material, so there has been time for the odd side-project. O'Connell and Love is one such, featuring Larry Love aka Rob Spragg aka Robert Love, their elegantly wasted frontman, in a (slightly) more laidback guise, alongside Brendan O'Connell, a longtime friend, with whom Love's nominally earlier solo album had also been written. Think beer-soaked saloons and  maudlin whisky bars, punters alternately weeping into drinks and dancing on tables.  Sharing a title with the quite different piece in the companion to this post, 'Love is Like a Rolling Stone' just says it how it is. The title's enough. A RS link? Forgive the contrivance, but, if we invoke up again the voice of Alabama, I am sure 3 of the featured stories would be enough to spike some interest.

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