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60's Fans - New CDs by Old-Timers


JohnO

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Just thought I'd mention several excellent new releases by old rockers who are still plying their craft, in spite of the lack of sales and/or interest by the mainstream.....

(1) Eric Burdon - The Soul of A Man - This just came out last week; it's mostly an album of blues covers by Eric, versus last year's (or late 2004's) excellent "My Secret Life". The latter was mostly new originals by Eric, and the album was in Van Morrison-ish folk/rock vein. On the new one, EB covers Howlin' Wolf, Fred McDowell, Eric Bibb, and several others. Mojo has given it a 4 star rating (out of 5), and the NY Post 4 stars out of 4. Personally, I've been shocked by these last 2 releases of Eric's....the last time I saw him live, it appeared that his pipes were shot - not so! His singing is better than ever on both of his last 2 albums.

(2) Bob Mosley - True Blue - on the German Taxim label. Bob is Moby Grape's bassist and arguably their best singer as well. He used to be a soul shouter par excellance, but the years have taken their toll on the strength of his voice (also living on the streets in San Diego and Santa Cruz for the better part of 15 years during the 80's-90's....he's been diagnosed as paranoid/schizophrenic, although not to the extent of the late Skip Spence). Bob got married a couple of years ago, and has since settled down. The Grape occasionally reunites (their last show in 2001). This new Bob album is his first recording since The Melvilles/Legendary Grape of 1990 (finally released on CD in '03)...a new batch of originals, blues/R&B oriented, with a small band (Bob on guitar/bass, Dale Ockerman of the Doobie Bros. on keys, James Preston of Sons of Champlin on drums). Bob's voice, while weaker than in the past, has aged like fine whiskey, and gotten more expressive. A great batch of new tunes, as well as remakes of the Grape's "Never" and "Lazy Me". This man can flat out sing!

(3) Sal Valentino - Come Out Tonight (on Fat Pete Records, not yet released) - I got an advance copy of this from its producer, my friend Freddie Krc, who was Jerry Jeff Walker's drummer for 20+ years, in addition to being the front man for The Shakin' Apostles and Freddie Steady Five. Sal V. was the Beau Brummels' lead singer (remember "Laugh Laugh" and "Just A Little" - their Top 40 hits in '64 or '65) and was also in Stoneground in the 70's. What I just said about Mr. Mosley also goes for Sal. His singing has been described as "Gene Pitney filtered through Bob Dylan". This is Sal's first studio recording in over 25 years, although he's been playing with his band in the Sacramento area for years, and played SF's Bay Pop festival a couple of times in recent years (lastly in 2000, with the "Cuban Heels", doing Beau Brummels songs). On the new LP, Sal does songs by Jimmy Silva (great, great SF area songwriter who died a couple of years ago), Peter Case/Bill Lloyd, Keith Sykes, and Freddie Krc, as well as some originals and a low key acoustic cover of "Folsom Prison Blues". It's mostly folk/rock with some electric 12 string jangle tossed in. Sal's voice is instantly recognizable and very distinctive. Hopefully, this CD will be released shortly and be widely available. Sal's got a web site.

All three are excellent albums. Eric B's can be found in most stores; Bob M's probably has to be ordered via Taxim's web site; Sal's will be available vis Fat Pete Records, once it's released.

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(3) Sal Valentino - Come Out Tonight (on Fat Pete Records, not yet released) - I got an advance copy of this from its producer, my friend Freddie Krc, who was Jerry Jeff Walker's drummer for 20+ years, in addition to being the front man for The Shakin' Apostles and Freddie Steady Five. On the new LP, Sal does songs by Jimmy Silva (great, great SF area songwriter who died a couple of years ago)

Cool to hear, JohnO. Freddie Krc also was in The Explosives, who released a nifty, litle known power pop gem called "A Girl Like You" (just re-released on their KA-BOOM! cd a few years back).

And Jimmy Silva...YES. One of the greats, and one who is sorely missed. For sheer Badfinger-esque power pop splendor, it's hard to beat his HEIDI disc. One of my favorites, for sure. The Smithereens also recorded one of Jimmy's songs ("Hand of Glory") on their ESPECIALLY FOR YOU disc. Sadly, he died very young (from complications involving chicken pox, of all things) on Christmas Day in the '90s.

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John B. - Freddie and Cam King just reunited The Explosives, along with Ronnie Barnett of the Muffs on bass (replacing Walt Collie), and they played their first show on 9/24 at SXSW, backing up wild man Roky Erickson. It was Roky's first show in over 20 years with a band. The Explosives played with Roky extensively in the 80's, cutting one live LP with him ("Casting The Runes").

Freddie's latest band The Freddie Steady 5 also released a new CD late last year - "Freddie Steady Go!", featuring 15-16 covers of classic Texas 50's and 60's rock & roll ("Woolly Bully", "You're Gonna Miss Me", "She's About A Mover", "I Fought The Law", "Not Fade Away", "96 Tears"....a very cool CD and a great listen. Available thru Fat Pete Records.

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