Thursday, November 14, 2019

Red, Yellow or Orange: J Geils Band

purchase [Orange Driver ]

I'm guessing that there aren't too many of you who have heard of the J. Geils Band. I think you need to be of a certain age. Jay Giles passed away last year at the age of about 71. The man was originally a jazz trumpet player who later switched to guitar and went on to set up his own band - eventually naming it the J Geils Band. Although the band broke up in the 80s, they sporadically got together for reunion concerts after that.

The J Geils Band is classic blues - in fact it was originally named the J Geils Blues Band. Their first album brought them some notice with the song "Wait" - some nice blues "harp" from Richard Salwitz (aka Magic Dick) along side Geils' solid guitar and vocals from Peter Wolf.

Perhaps the band's next notable hit was Orange Driver, with essentially the same lineup and style: blues all the way.

Orange Driver's lyrics don't include many hints as to why the song carries the title it does. In fact, I challenge you to find any link to colors or fruit of the citrus variety in the words or the music. I couldn't. But that doesn't detract from the power of the song. Or the fact that it is named such that it fits our current theme.

If you're gonna listen to J Geils, you might also want to check out this one (Angel in Blue) from the 80s:

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