Monthly Archives: March 2007

Why, it’s a Wilbury twist!

News item: Rhino is going to re-release both of the Traveling Wilburys’ albums in June.

According to Billboard, Volumes 1 and 3 will be put out as a CD/DVD package with extra tracks, a documentary and music videos, or as a vinyl set, or as a digital bundle.

A while back, I learned both albums were long out of print. That was a bit of a surprise. After all, I recall buying Vol. 3 not all that long … oh, yeah … 17 years ago.

Ordinarily, I like stuff by Jeff Lynne and George Harrison more so than stuff by Tom Petty and Bob Dylan, but I like most everything on this one.

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I have only Vol. 3, so here’s something from that.

“The Devil’s Been Busy,” the Traveling Wilburys, from “Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 3,” 1990.

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Filed under March 2007, Sounds

Wildlife and the wild life

It’s been an interesting few days.

– We’re driving up to have hamburgers at a little country tavern on Sunday, and we almost run over a pheasant that is in no hurry to get out of the middle of the road.

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– I’ve lived in Wisconsin almost all my life, and only Sunday did I eat muskie for the first time. It is excellent, especially coated in light pancake batter. (The muskie we ate was caught up north near Three Lakes, Wisconsin, as was the muskie above.)

– On Monday, I drove my dad up north to Tomahawk, Wisconsin, so he could attend his cousin’s funeral. Babe is survived by her 98-year-old sister Verlie. They were believed to be the oldest surviving set of identical twins in Wisconsin. Interesting to learn that, and to be in a room with 100 or so people to whom you are distantly related, knowing none of them.

– Before we left, we drove out into the sticks southeast of Tomahawk, getting a look at the land on which my great-grandfather settled when he and his brother moved to Wisconsin from Minnesota around 1870. Nothing there now. It was blown away in a tornado on a September afternoon in 1924.

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– On Monday night, I headed out to our local casino to see Junior Brown play that hybrid guit-steel guitar in a free show in the lounge. It was the second time I’ve seen him. He’s right up there among the best players I’ve ever seen. Some of the others: Steve Stevens, Angus Young, Marty Stuart and Ace Frehley. (Ace may not be a great guitarist, but he was much better than I expected.)

I have no Junior Brown for you, so go see him if he comes to your town.

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– On Tuesday night, we headed back out to the casino to see Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo. We had not seen them before, and it was excellent. I’m not a huge fan, but they’re worth seeing.

Yeah, they play all the hits, but they have a couple of jump blues tunes and some acoustic takes on a couple of their hits that are especially good. That such a big voice comes out of such a tiny person, and that it’s still so strong after almost 30 years, is remarkable.

They’re out on tour through the end of this week, playing casinos and tweaking some things before heading out for their summer shows, which start up in mid-May.

I have no Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo for you, either, so go see them if they come to your town.

So, yah hey, there you have it. A slice of life from Wisconsin. There must be some music for that. Oh, yeah. Here you go. A cover of a Kinks tune by the legendary Happy Schnapps Combo.

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“You Really Got Me,” the Happy Schnapps Combo, from “100 Proof,” 1991.

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Filed under March 2007, Sounds

Sleepy Sunday, Vol. 4

Today’s selection has been around the block a few times since Walter Jacobs and Lonnie Carter — the Mississippi Sheiks — wrote it and recorded in 1930.

It’s been a bluegrass tune, covered by Bill Monroe and Don McLean.

It’s been electric blues, covered by Howlin’ Wolf and the Grateful Dead.

Today, it’s rocking country blues, with the great Sleepy LaBeef giving his big baritone quite a workout.

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“Sittin’ On Top Of The World,” Sleepy LaBeef, from “Strange Things Happening,” 1994.

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Filed under March 2007, Sounds

Echoes in the wind, indeed

Last week, the fine folks at Echoes in the Wind delivered an excellent post on one of my faves from way back, Lou Ann Barton. She’s a Texas blues/rock/country singer with a scorching voice.

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That post featured a full vinyl rip of her seemingly-out-of-print 1982 album, “Old Enough.”

There must have been a review of “Old Enough” in Rolling Stone back then. I can’t think of any other way I would have learned about it or heard it.

Lou Ann toured with Bob Dylan last summer, but she hasn’t recorded much since “Old Enough” — just three more albums by my count.

One of those albums is something special, though.

In 1990, Lou Ann got together in Austin with singer-pianist Marcia Ball (another of my faves), singer Angela Strehli and bass player-producer Sarah Brown for “Dreams Come True,” on which they rocked, rolled and sang the blues. Everyone was great.

The liner notes quote Linda Ronstadt, having heard “Forbidden Tones,” Lou Ann’s 1986 release on the indie label Spindletop Records, as saying “this woman scares me to death.”

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So here’s a cut from “Dreams Come True” that’s pure Lou Ann: A cover of Etta James’ “Good Rockin’ Daddy.”

Here’s another: “Bad Thing,” written by Sarah Brown.

Both are from “Dreams Come True” on Antone’s Records, 1990.

Listen to more Lou Ann at her MySpace page.

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Filed under March 2007, Sounds

My inner 9-year-old is buzzed

News item: Columbia Pictures is planning to make a movie based on “The Green Hornet.”

Exciting news for someone who loved “The Green Hornet” when it aired on ABC in 1966 and 1967.

Hope it happens. Not a good track record so far, though. At least two other big studios have tried and failed. The gent who’s producing this time is responsible for the “Fast and the Furious” and the “XXX” films. You be the judge on that.

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That’s Van Williams on the left. He played Britt Reid, a crusading newspaper editor who was the Green Hornet. For a kid who loved superheroes and newspapers, that was a great combination.

That’s Bruce Lee on the right. You know who he is. He played Kato.

You know the theme music, too. That’s Al Hirt on the trumpet.

Last month, the fine folks at Check the Cool Wax posted “The Horn Meets The Hornet,” an album full “popular TV themes of intrigue” by Al Hirt. He also covers/interprets the themes from “Batman,” “The Monkees” and “Get Smart.” You be the judge on that, too.

A couple of links to the zipped full-album download are here, after you scroll down to Feb. 8.

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“Green Hornet Theme,” Al Hirt, from “The Horn Meets The Hornet,” 1966.

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Filed under March 2007, Sounds like bull to me