Monthly Archives: August 2008

The ABCs of DE, Vol. 6

Mention Dave Edmunds’ 1983 album “Information,” and that may bring to mind two things: Jeff Lynne, who wrote one song for it and produced two songs on it, and that synthesizers were used.

Dig deeper into the grooves on this album, though, and you’ll find some more traditional Dave Edmunds sounds. Dave covers tunes by NRBQ and Otis Blackwell.

He also covers this early tune from a Boston bar band that scored a record deal with its incendiary stage show, which featured sizzling originals and old R&B and blues tunes. Peter Wolf and Seth Justman wrote “Wait” for the J. Geils Band’s first album, way back in 1970. It was the first cut on that album.

“Wait,” Dave Edmunds, from “Information,” 1983. (The album link is to an import two-fer CD also featuring “D.E. 7th,” his 1982 album.)

All of this is a sneaky way of hepping you to the latest post over at our other blog, The Midnight Tracker, where we’re serving up Side 1 of “Information.” This tune is the fourth cut on that side.


Filed under August 2008, Sounds

This is how you open a show

When the who’s who of Catholics in our corner of Wisconsin gathered at the cathedral in downtown Green Bay yesterday afternoon, they got a little surprise. They found out their new bishop, David Ricken, is a different breed of cat.

As he started the sermon at his installation ceremony, Ricken thought back to the last time he moved to a new place as bishop. As he drove to Cheyenne, Wyoming, from Colorado, he wondered what the folks there listened to. He flipped the radio dial, going from Mozart to this country classic, written and recorded first by Terry Fell in 1954:

“Truck Drivin’ Man,” Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, from “Hot Licks, Cold Steel & Truckers’ Favorites,” 1972. Out of print, even the 1990 CD re-release.

The new bishop did a little more than reminisce. He started singing “Truck Drivin’ Man” at this most formal, traditional and reverent ceremony. It broke the place up.

He wasn’t done, though. He said his move to Green Bay reminded him of another tune.

“Drop Kick Me, Jesus,” Bobby Bare, 1976, originally released on “The Winner and Other Losers” and available on “The Essential Bobby Bare,” a 1997 CD release.

The new bishop sang that, too. It broke the place up again. Appropriate for Green Bay, ya think?

Noting that a song with the lyrics “Drop kick me, Jesus/Through the goal posts of life” carried “a certain profundity,” the new bishop went on to more spiritual matters, of course.

But you’d think those songs — in that setting — will be remembered far longer than anything he had to say after that.


Filed under August 2008, Sounds

A welcome blast from the past

If you wonder where your guide has been lately, I’ve been playing outside.

Playing outside so much that I’ve had little time to listen to tunes. Time enough, really, to check the e-mail and get on with the day.

Today’s e-mail delivers the welcome news that AC/DC is streaming the first single off its new album. “Rock ‘N’ Roll Train” isn’t an instant classic, nor does it break any new ground, but it’ll fit in nicely alongside all those AC/DC tunes you already know.

Phil Rudd’s drumming drives the whole thing … like a locomotive, of course. And, yes, Angus Young can still play like no one else and Brian Johnson’s delightfully shredded voice remains.

“Rock ‘N’ Roll Train” is off the new album “Black Ice,” which will be released Oct. 20. If you don’t want to buy it from a certain retail giant with whom AC/DC has an exclusive distribution deal, you can order it from the band’s online store, too.

When it comes to AC/DC, I was late to the party. I didn’t start digging them until the early ’90s. However, I had a chance to see them live in Madison, Wisconsin, several years ago, and I was blown away. It went right to the short list of the best shows I’ve seen.

So go listen to the stream, then enjoy this. It’s a cut from the AC/DC album I found in my dad’s collection. That story is here:

“Shake A Leg,” AC/DC, from “Back in Black,” 1980.

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Filed under August 2008, Sounds

I got the fever, too

Our pal Kevin over at Got the Fever is out with a fine post on one of his obscure faves, the sizzling Latin group Cecilia Noel and the Wild Clams.

That got my attention because Noel is married to one of my obscure faves, Colin Hay. That’s right, the guy who was the lead singer in Men at Work back in the ’80s.

Lest you think I’m wallowing in nostalgia, let me assure you that Colin Hay is a terrific solo artist these days. I had a chance to meet him briefly after he (and Noel) played a wonderful show at our local casino lounge a couple of years ago, and he is gracious and good-natured.

Hay still plays some of the Men at Work tunes, going acoustic with some, tweaking others and doing it all with a smile. Some of his newer tunes are just as good. (That reminds me. I still haven’t gotten around to getting the album he released last year, “Are You Lookin’ At Me?”)

Here, then, is the best of both worlds, one of those old Men at Work tunes redone energetically by Hay, Noel and the Wild Clams.

“Down Under,” Colin Hay with Cecilia Noel and the Wild Clams, from “Man @ Work,” 2003.

Here’s a video of Hay and Noel doing another wild version of that tune.


Filed under August 2008, Sounds

Wade in the water with me

Sometimes, teenagers surprise you. Other times, they do exactly what you think they’ll do.

Yesterday, I mentioned to our 13-year-old that I would be washing the car this afternoon. Evan said he’d like to help.

So when I got started this afternoon, there was no Evan. No surprise.

By the time the windows were done inside and out, Janet popped out the door and said, “It looks nice!”

Evan joined her at the door, and I asked him, “You gonna help?”

A big, crooked smile crossed his face and he started rolling up his sweats. (Sweats? In 80-degree weather? Don’t ask.)

13-year-old + hose + water + Dad = hilarity ensues.

Evan washed the wheel covers. Then he started spraying water in the air, giving himself a (much-needed) shower.

Then he started spraying Dad, the centerpiece of his nefarious plot all along. As I knew it would be.

Classic, just like this.

“Wade in the Water,” the Ramsey Lewis Trio, 1966, from “Chess Classics,” a CD that came with the August 2005 issue of Mojo magazine. Also available on “20th Century Masters — The Millenium Collection: The Best of Ramsey Lewis,” a 2002 CD release.

The perfect vibe for a lazy, sunny late-summer afternoon.


Filed under August 2007, Sounds