Led Zeppelin, The Song Remains The Same: Expanded Reissue. This beats the pants off the original double LP. Some of the tracks that appeared on that LP are different takes, and the unreleased stuff is superb. Jimmy Page wanks all over the place, but it’s wanking of the first order. I can see why people pegged them as devil worshippers. Jimmy’s guitar playing sounds way more like Satan than anything Charlie Daniels ever dug up in Georgia.
You might think that a geek like me is listening to the new Star Trek sound track or some obscure folk singer, but I am stranger than any geek you’ve ever met. I’m listening to Tom Waits.
I just downloaded Tom Waits new live album, Glitter and Doom Live (Anti 2009). Recorded from performances across the U.S. and Europe during the 2008 tour, it is Waits at his best.
Why Tom Waits? (And if you don’t know Tom, you are missing out. For the more main stream of you out there, he did the “tango” version of “Roxanne” in Moulin Rouge and “A Little Bit of Poison” for Shrek.) Because, there is nobody else who takes the most hedonistic parts of rock, old time blues and weirdness, twists them together, and produces a style that defies classification and makes you want to hobo across America with a guitar or move to New Orleans and sing about all your ex-lovers on street corner.
For a Second Time
(June 16, 2009)
Label: Cedar Creek Music
Well, today’s convoluted music news is that Daddy’s gonna be a daddy for a second time with For a Second Time, and if you understand what I’m talking about, then God love ya and log onto ReverbNation.com/DaddyTheBand PDQ because time’s running out to get your copy of this baby with the name-your-own-price option.
That’s right, the CD hits the streets on June 16 and Daddy’s letting you set the price (plus S&H) until June 6, all in time for Father’s Day.
I first heard about Daddy from Jeff Roberts, owner of the very independent Sounds Better Records in Myrtle Beach, S.C. “You need to know about Daddy,” he told me, “You start out with two solid singer/songwriters who are at different ends of the playing field and the place where they meet is completely different… it’s like two and two equal five … and they rock!”
He was right, so I did a story about their live Myrtle Beach performance courtesy of South By Southeast [Alternatives NewsMagazine, vol. XXV, No. 2, issue Aug. 28-Sept. 11, 2008] and later blogged about their first CD, a live recording titled Daddy At the Women’s Club.
For the uninitiated, Daddy, which made its official debut at this year’s SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas, is made up of five super talented players. Founders and touring duo Tommy Womack and Will Kimbrough deliver rockin’ guitar licks and write some of the wildest songs around. They first worked together in the bis-quits on John Prine’s Oh-Boy! label.We’re talking early 90s. Will was the 2005 Americana Music Association Instrumentalist of the year and Tommy has twice received the Nashville Scene Best Song award.
The rest of Daddy includes monster talents Dave Jacques on bass (John Prine, Emmylou Harris), John Deaderick playing keys (Dixie Chicks, Michael McDonald, Patty Griffin), and Paul Griffith on percussion (John Prine, Todd Snider).
After listening to this bluesy-country group for the last three days, I’m happy to report that the band’s latest offering has been worth the wait. For a Second Time is a ten-track recording that’s classic Daddy – schizophrenic rants that morph into crystal clear observations of life. This little slice of roots-rock Americana with its gospel overtones and rockabilly undertones gets better with each listen.
Here’s how Tommy describes the opening track, “Nobody From Nowhere:” Will and I wrote this one together with acoustic guitars in my house. I love how the tunes came from that and flowed to a place that sounds like the bayou coastline looks, with flashes of Memphis. You can dance to it. It fuses and Motown and the Allman Brothers like probably never before.”
“Early To Bed, Early To Rise,” is another written and performed by Womack. He says, “It’s a tough song for tough times. I play the part of the curmudgeon commencement speaker who needs to put the fear of God into the young, fresh hearts and minds of this country. Warren Zevon meets Crazy Horse.”
Next up (and the only track not written by one or both) is folk classic, “The Ballad of Martin Luther King,” which comes from singer/songwriter Mike Millius, who reportedly wrote it the same night Dr. King was assassinated.
Track four is “Wash & Fold,” written by Will Kimbrough. Tommy calls it “Will’s tune of love in a laundromat.” The backstory is that it was inspired after bringing some gamey “tour-filthy” laundry to a city laundry and being subjected to utter rudeness after choosing wash-and-fold instead of springing for wash-and-press.
“He Ain’t Right,” track seven features Tommy’s lyrics, Will’s music. Basically, it’s Kimbrough singing Womack’s story.
The melancholy album closer, “Redemption Is a Mother’s Only Son,” was written by Kimbrough and Jeff Finlin, another talented American singer/songwriter traveling under the radar.
Daddy At the Women’s Club
Genre: Roots Rock
Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack, who are the backbone of Daddy, may be flying under the radar of the mainstream public, but alternative and roots fans know them well. Kimbrough was the 2005 American Music Association Instrumentalist of the Year. Womack has twice won the Nashville Scene Best Song Award.
Back in the eighties, Kimbrough was the frontman for Will & the Bushmen. About the same time, Womack was part of Government Cheese. They would go on to earn kudos as the post-punk Bis-quits. Together they bring cynicism, humor and needle-sharp song lyrics together with guitar mastery and rockin’ licks. This 14-track CD was recorded live in Frankfort, Ky. and the energy is through the roof. Daddy ranges from a gospel sound on “Glory Be” to the NPR humor of “I Miss Ronald Reagan” to full-on rock ‘n’ roll with “Nightmare.” Also playing on the CD are Dave Jacques on bass, John Deaderick on keyboard (who also handles engineer chores) and drummer Paul Griffiths.
Blues Lights For Yours and Mine
Label: Soundview Records
It’s hard to pigeonhole this CD. It’s both contemporary and traditional; kinda funky and kinda country. Whatever, it is, it’s the blues and I like it. The 11-track disc features a mix of covers and originals. The opening track is a fast paced original tune titled “Basement With the Blue Light.”
Right out of the gate, the musician hits us with a voice you’re either going to love or hate. Coen’s gravelly voice is ideal for “Jack of Diamonds” and the original “Accelerated Woman.” My favorite track is probably “Mambo Jumbo,” another original by Coen.
The Charleston musician is a regular on the blues circuit. In fact, he’s playing at the Lowcountry Blues Bash going on in Charleston as this goes to press. He’s also one of the contributors to “The Blues,” Martin Scorsese’s PBS television series.
The CD was mixed and recorded by Chris Wimberley at Nightsound Studio in Carrboro, N.C. in Dec. 2007. Davis Coen handles guitar and vocals; drummer is Joe Izzo; Trevor Coen plays electric bass and piano; Adrian Duke also plays piano; Ben Palmer is on doghouse bass; and Lance Ashley is playing organ.
I was lucky enough to catch the raw vocals and saxophone of Pat Pepin live at the 2008 National Women In Blues Festival in Wilmington, N.C. last Sept. She blew the roof off the room. Pepin is the daughter of a trucker; she grew up in Maine, one of five kids in a small home with no running water. Her music swells with the hardship and humor of her life.
The 13-track CD includes five originals and eight covers, including a somewhat subdued version of “I’d Rather Go Blind,” penned by Ellington Jordan and Billy Foster and still associated with Etta James. She does a super job with the E. G. Kight-Richard Fleming tune, “A Woman Can Tell.” Originals “Year of the Blues” and “Personal Ad Blues” showcase her ever-present sense of humor. Guitar work by Steve Jones and piano/organ by Bob Colwell.
Jeff Roberts and Seth Funderburk have once again put together a show that’s sure to appeal to alternative music aficionados, adults who still don’t play well with others, and other seekers of truth, insight and wit. On Sept. 13, South By Southeast is bringing Nashville “undersiders” Tommy Womack and Will Kimbrough to the historic Train Depot in Myrtle Beach. Get your tickets now, because – though these guys may be flying under the radar of the mainstream public – alternative buffs know them well.
Singer/songwriter Tommy Womack has become something of a alternative country hero. The Village Voice said of him, “Think Spalding Gray if he’d grown up in Kentucky with a guitar and a vinyl copy of Black and Blue.” He has earned kudos from media outlets and bloggers around the country. Touring now in support of his fifth solo CD, There I Said It, Womack reveals a wicked, sometimes dark, sense of humor in tracks like “Too Much Month At the End of the Xanax” and “Alpha Male and the Canine Mystery Band.”
In addition, the talented writer is releasing his second book, “The Lavender Boys & Elsie,” which is a fictional collection of letters documenting the Civil War’s only all-gay Confederate regiment and other craziness. His 1995 autobiographical memoir of life on the road, “Cheese Chronicles: The True Story of a Rock & Roll Band You Never Heard Of” has become nothing short of a cult classic.
The other half of the duo, Will Kimbrough, is also no stranger to cynicism and humor. His newest offering is Americanitis, which demonstrates not only a healthy social conscience, but also the Mobile native’s impressive songwriting talent. Named American Music Association Instrumentalist of the Year, Kimbrough is also a sought-after guitarist.
Together, Kimbrough and Womack are the backbone of Daddy, a two- to five-piece band that delivers guitar mastery and rockin’ licks along with tongue in cheek tunes like “I Miss Ronald Reagan.” This will be the first time I’ve seen these guys, and I can’t wait.
If you’ve never been to a South By Southeast music feast, you’re missing out on a unique experience. Where else does your $25 ticket ($20 if you’re a member) get you a night of fantastically never off-the-shelf music, free dinner, free wine and free beer? And chocolate chip cookies?
South By Southeast is a nonprofit organization devoted to showcasing top quality musicians whose talents have either not yet been noticed or are generally ignored by the national media.
For reservations, call Jeff Roberts at Sounds Better Records at 843-497-3643. Better yet, stop by the store at 9904 N. Kings Hwy in Hidden Village in Myrtle Beach, SC. (There will be an opening act – don’t know who yet – starting at 7 p.m. Tommy Womack and Will Kimbrough will go on about 8 o’clock.) Photo: L-R, Will Kimbrough, Tommy Womack. Photo by Russ Riddle.