music clip of the day

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Tag: Bruce Springsteen

Sunday, January 5th

five takes

“If I Had My Way I’d Tear The Building Down,” AKA “If I Had My Way,” “Samson and Delilah”

Blind Willie Johnson, recording, 1927

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Reverend Gary Davis, live (TV show)

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Peter Paul & Mary, live (TV show)

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Grateful Dead, live, New York (Radio City Music Hall), 1980

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Bruce Springsteen, live, Italy (Verona), 2006

Monday, December 30th

five takes

“Burning Love” (D. Linde)

Arthur Alexander, recording, 1972


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Elvis Presley, live, Greensboro, N.C., 1972


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Elvis Presley, recording, 1972


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Bruce Springstein, live, Italy (Florence), 2012


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The Korean Black Eyes, recording, 1974


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lagniappe

art beat

Weegee (AKA Arthur Fellig, 1899-1968)

weegee_09

Monday, September 23rd

only rock ’n’ roll

Here’s something from the show I saw the other night.

Savages, “She Will,” live, Chicago (Metro), 9/16/13


In the hope-I-die-before-I-get-old department, it occurred to me, as I was driving home from this show, that I’ve been doing variations on this particular theme—going out into the dark night to hear live music—for at least, uh, let’s see, yeah, it must be at least forty-five years, since it was 1968, when I was fifteen, that my brother Don and I, after seeing the Velvet Underground at Chicago’s Kinetic Playground, were arrested and taken to the police station. The charge? Curfew.

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lagniappe

musical thoughts

The best music, you can seek some shelter in it momentarily, but it’s essentially there to provide you something to face the world with.

—Bruce Springsteen

Monday, 12/24/12

passings

Inez Andrews, gospel singer, April 14, 1929-December 19, 2012

Today, remembering her, we revisit some favorite clips.

*****

6/6/10

Fierce, insistent, soaring—this voice, which I first heard over 30 years ago, still gives me chills.

Inez Andrews

With the Andrewettes, “Let the Church Roll On,” live (TV broadcast), 1964

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With Rev. James Cleveland & the Metro Mass Choir, “We Are Soldiers in the Army,” live, 1981

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“A Stranger in the City,” “He Lives In Me,” “Lord, Don’t Move The Mountain,” “Mary Don’t You Weep,” live, Chicago (Apostolic Church of God), 1988

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lagniappe

The Caravans’ star then was Inez, whom they called the High Priestess. She looks the part. A coffee-colored woman with high Indian cheekbones and an intense, almost drugged stare, she can sing higher natural notes than anyone on the road. Tina [Albertina Walker] said, ‘The rest of us sang awhile, but the folks really wanted to hear Inez whistle.’

—Anthony Heilbut, The Gospel Sound: Good News and Bad Times (6th ed. 2002)

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Determination is important. You’ve got to be determined to live what you sing as well as sing what you sing. God understands the . . . difficulty that we go through for the truth. The Bible says your determination will be rewarded because God sees it when no one else does.

Inez Andrews

*****

7/15/12

five takes

“Mary Don’t You Weep” (AKA “O [or Oh] Mary Don’t You Weep”)

The Caravans (feat. Inez Andrews), 1958

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The Swan Silvertones (feat. Claude Jeter), 1959

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Claude Jeter & Shirley Caesar, 1969

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The Caravans (feat. Inez Andrews), c. 2006

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Bruce Springsteen, 2005

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New York Times obituary (12/21/12)

Inez Andrews, whose soaring, wide-ranging voice — from contralto croon to soul-wrenching wail — made her a pillar of gospel music, died on Wednesday at her home in Chicago. She was 83.

The cause was cancer, said her son Richard Gibbs.

“She was the last great female vocalist of gospel’s golden age,” said Anthony Heilbut, author of “The Gospel Sound: Good News and Bad Times” (1971), a history of that era, from the mid-1940s to the early ’60s. Ms. Andrews was known as the “High Priestess,” Mr. Heilbut said, ranking among the likes of Mahalia Jackson, Marion Williams, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Clara Ward.

Ms. Andrews came to national attention in 1958 with the Caravans, the Chicago gospel group led by Albertina Walker that also nurtured such stars as Shirley Caesar, the Rev. James Cleveland and Bessie Griffin. That year she was the lead singer for what became two of the Caravans’ biggest hits.

One was “I’m Not Tired Yet,” an up-tempo shout song in which she belted out, “I’ve been running for Jesus a long time/No, I’m not tired yet.”

The other was “Mary Don’t You Weep” — a rearrangement, by her, of the old spiritual into a rip-roaring sermonette. It was the Caravans’ first big hit and helped make them one of the nation’s most popular gospel groups. Ms. Andrews was the lead singer on other hits like “Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand,” “He Won’t Deny Me” and her own composition, “I’m Willing to Wait.”

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Ms. Andrews began her career with two groups in Birmingham, Ala., her hometown: Carter’s Choral Ensemble and the Original Gospel Harmonettes. By the mid-1950s, the Harmonettes were one of the nation’s top gospel groups, with Ms. Andrews the understudy for the group’s lead singer, Dorothy Love Coates. It was Ms. Coates who recommended Ms. Andrews to the Caravans.

In 1962 Ms. Andrews left the Caravans to start her own group, Inez Andrews and the Andrewettes. They toured the country performing songs like “It’s in My Heart” and her composition “(Lord I Wonder) What Will Tomorrow Bring?” But by 1967 she was touring as a soloist, and in 1973 she recorded her biggest hit, “Lord Don’t Move the Mountain.”

“Lord don’t move the mountain/Give me the strength to climb,” she sang.

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From a seductive, bluesy sound — often singing behind the beat — Ms. Andrews could burst into an impassioned, raspy cry.

“Even in songs of rejoicing, her voice has a somber undertone,” Jon Pareles wrote in The New York Times in 1990, “and when she takes on supplicating songs like the midtempo ‘Lord I’ve Tried’ or the glacial minor-key blues of ‘Stand by Me’ — both of which rise, verse by verse, to a near-scream — Ms. Andrews can sound desperate, on the verge of hysteria. Hers is a gospel of terror, and of the relief faith provides.”

Saturday, 9/29/12

 favorites*

The other night my son Alex took me—this was my Christmas present—to see this guy at a small concert hall on the north side of Chicago (Old Town School of Folk Music). We’d last seen him together 20 years ago, in 1992, at a little club not far from where we live (FitzGerald’s). Alex wasn’t even five years old. It was an early evening set, part of a big Fourth of July festival. The night was stormy. The power went out. He played by candlelight.

 Alejandro Escovedo, singer, songwriter, guitarist, bandleader

“Anchor” (A. Escovedo & C. Prophet)
Live, Austin, Tx., 2010

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“Always a Friend” (A. Escovedo & C. Prophet)
Live (with Bruce Springsteen), Asbury Park, N.J., 2010

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“Tender Heart” & “Street Songs” (A. Escovedo & C. Prophet)
Live, Austin, Tx., 2010

(Originally posted 1/16/12.)

*Happy (25th) Birthday, Alex!

Sunday, 7/15/12

 five takes

“Mary Don’t You Weep” (AKA “O Mary Don’t You Weep”)

The Caravans (feat. Inez Andrews), 1958

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The Swan Silvertones (feat. Claude Jeter), 1959

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Claude Jeter & Shirley Caesar, 1969

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The Caravans (feat. Inez Andrews), c. 2006

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Bruce Springsteen, 2005

Friday, 5/4/12

three takes

“Dream Baby Dream” (A. Vega [Suicide])

Neneh Cherry & The Thing, The Cherry Thing, 6/12

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Bruce Springsteen, live (encore), 2005

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Suicide (long version), 1980

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lagniappe

random thoughts

Who says sports are frivolous? Baseball offers a veritable Ph.D. program in life’s hardest lessons. Good fortune is fleeting. Nothing can be taken for granted—ever. No matter how smooth the sailing, the shoals of despair are never far away. Yesterday, going into the bottom of the ninth, the Cubs were beating the Reds 3-0. Exit starter Ryan Dempster; enter closer Carlos Marmol. He gives up a walk. Then another. The next batter reaches on an error. Then there’s a line drive. The next batter? He walks, too. By the time Marmol crawls back to the dugout, the bases are loaded, there are no outs, and two runs are in. If nothing else, the pain would have come and gone more swiftly if the Reds had finished things right there. But they don’t. They add just one more run, tying the game. The Cubs come to bat. Nothing. The Reds score again and, finally, it’s over. Reds 4, Cubs 3. No tale from Greek mythology could have made the point more emphatically: fate is pitiless.

Monday, 1/16/12

The other night my son Alex took me—this was my Christmas present—to see this guy at a small concert hall on the north side of Chicago (Old Town School of Folk Music). We’d last seen him together 20 years ago, in 1992, at a little club not far from where we live (FitzGerald’s). Alex wasn’t even five years old. It was an early evening set, part of a big Fourth of July festival. The night was stormy. The power went out. He played by candlelight.

 Alejandro Escovedo (1951-), singer, songwriter, guitarist, bandleader

“Anchor” (A. Escovedo & C. Prophet)
Live, Austin, Tx., 2010

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“Always a Friend” (A. Escovedo & C. Prophet)
Live (with Bruce Springsteen), Asbury Park, N.J., 2010

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“Tender Heart” & “Street Songs” (A. Escovedo & C. Prophet)
Live, Austin, Tx., 2010

Wednesday, 9/9/09

Here’s Jim Dickinson—the great Memphis-and-Mississippi-based piano player, session musician (Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Ry Cooder, et al.), record producer (John Hiatt, Albert King, the Replacements, et al.), father of Luther and Cody Dickinson (of the Grammy-nominated North Mississippi Allstars)—who died last month (8/15) at the age of 67. In this clip, he’s listening, with the Rolling Stones, to a playback of “Wild Horses” (Sticky Fingers [1971]), on which he played piano. Somehow it seems appropriate to remember Dickinson with a clip in which you hardly see him (he’s the guy sitting next to Keith [:53]). So many of the finest session musicians and record producers work their magic this way: listening to the music, you hardly notice them; but take them away and the music would be a whole other color—as different as blue and green.

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Here Dickinson talks about a session he produced (Boister):

— “They managed to overcome their educations real well.”

— “They’re all capable of soloing ad nauseam.”

— “You can feel them feeling it.”

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Not only did Dickinson play piano and produce records; he also, now and then, wrote songs. Here are two takes on a song he wrote with Ry Cooder and John Hiatt, “Across the Borderline.”

Bob Dylan and Tom Petty, live, Buffalo, 1986

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Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen, and Bonnie Raitt, live, Los Angeles, 1990

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lagniappe

Some of the records I’ve done, really obscure things, will be the ones that somebody will tell you saved their lives. You’ll meet a weird guy in Amsterdam who’ll say ‘I had the gun in my mouth until I heard that record.’ So you never know, you just never know.”—Jim Dickinson

As a producer, it really is all about taste. And I’m not the greatest piano player in the world, but I’ve got damn good taste. I’ll sit down and go taste with anybody.”—Jim Dickinson

“I’m just dead, I’m not gone.”—Jim Dickinson

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