I’ve been hunting down records for years now and am stunned at the endless supply of amazing and sometimes forgotten music that’s still out there. You need to hear this stuff!
So allow me to share with you some old and new gems from my milk crates. The only thing that I ask from you is that you leave your musical prejudices behind and read on with an open ear.
Since the weather’s finally been getting warm and summerish, it’s only fitting to break out some records that compliment a trip to the cottage, beach or even a nice chill BBQ.
More Creedence Gold, a Creedence Clearwater Revival Best of record. I pulled this out during our Mothers Day brunch, and it went over well with family, breakfast sausages & home made waffles. The record was released in 1973 on the Fantasy Label and contains a total of 14 tracks. If you haven’t bothered checking out CCR, I’d suggest you do because there’s a genuine warmth and positive vibe to the music that sticks to you and forces a smile or a foot tap on even the grouchiest of grouchsters. Some of the standout tracks on this compilation are “Hey Tonight” which opens up side one, “Run Through the Jungle” and a really earthy take on Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I put a Spell On You”.
In fact, most of this record could easily slip into the background of any episode of True Blood (back when it was good…I stopped watching after the Werewolves joined the all out monster party) and to me that’s a good sign because the world needs happier vampire slaying music (no offence to Wesley Snipes & the Blade soundtrack).
I dig CCR and so should you. Admit it, your iPod is getting tired of it’s regular playlist. Throw in some swamp rock courtesy of John Fogerty and the boys and recognize why these guys made it into Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.
Now something in the same vein for the new school cats. A friend of mine mentioned a band by the name of the Alabama Shakes; she said that she saw them in concert and they put on a great show. So, of course I kept my ears open for them and then by chance caught them performing on Saturday Night Live. I was hooked! The raw rhythm and blues feel that they pounded out immediately caught my attention. I picked up their debut album, Boys & Girls, and was very happy with the album as a whole. The single “Hold On’ is an instant classic, but when you delve into the rest of the album you’ll find some other stellar tracks. The lead singer-guitarist, Brittany Howard, has been compared to Janis Joplin and Otis Redding, but regardless- if you’re into some great weekend music this album is a soulful winner. If you’re also looking to start a record collection, the good thing about the newer vinyl releases like this one is that you’ll find some great incentives to buy like an added MP3 download, as well as bonus material. When I purchased this Alabama Shakes album, it included a bonus 7” record as well and all for under $25.
If you don’t want to spend too much on your records, hit up your local record store and scan the dollar bins; that’s were I found the CCR record. Turntables can also be found at most stores that carry music or electronics, but check around because some are better than others. Better yet, ask your parents or family members, someone’s bound to still have one hiding away waiting to be reborn.
Have a great weekend, stay in the sun, avoid vampires and checkout some rhythm & blues / roots rock while your doing it.