Friday BBQ Spotify 6/7/13
There’s probably some of you out there that think I roll out of bed every Friday morning chock-full of music themes just spilling out of my head, perfectly context-sensitive and date-centric for whatever week of the year is at hand. Oh, if that were only true. (Remember, I’m the one who forgot Mother’s Day last month.) No, it’s much more likely that since the other Mark (the “Tex” in Tex Howard) and I will have just completed a weekly day-long Smokeathon the previous day, I’ll literally be prodded out of bed by my wife an hour or so later than I normally get up, while my brain is manifesting the equivalent of an empty CT scan. My birthday’s only a month away though, and since this one’s a round number (and a significant one, I guess; aren’t they ALL significant?), I’m starting to feel nostalgic, so I figured I’ll go with the sequence today of favorite old Cream songs that I’ve been hinting at for a while. For those of you under 30, Cream was THE quintessential rock group of the late ’60′s. Widely regarded as the first successful supergroup, they were run and done after only three years together, although guitarist Eric Clapton has certainly had a legendary solo career ever since. Jack Bruce may have had the best blues-rock voice ever, and I think Ginger Baker is the best drummer I’ve ever seen or heard. Not reliant on stadium light shows and sound-trick extravaganzas, Ginger was (and still is) one of those drummers who makes you stop and say “How did he just do that?” This list of cuts is certainly not conclusive, and several of the “big” hits aren’t on there, but these are my favorites. And I still couldn’t keep the number under ten. They’ll serve you well while you’re barbecuing in the back yard, and annoying your neighbors with smoke and loud hippie music.
But I thought I’d also do something I’ve been thinking about for a while, and start a thing today that will be occasional and not certain, but hopefully often enough that I’ll call it Twofer Friday, where I’ll post a list specific to a new or relatively obscure artist and just focus on them. Today’s musician is City and Colour, an innovative Canadian singer-songwriter who thought his real name of Dallas Green wouldn’t work as a marquee, so he just changed the words and kept their meaning intact. I featured his song We Found Each Other in the Dark on a Friday BBQ Spotify a few weeks ago, and he’s just released a new collection titled The Hurry and The Harm. If I had to compare him to another well-known artist, I might say that he’s a little James Taylor mixed in with some Neil Young, but with a voice that is mesmerizing. A bit of folk, with a little light country mixed in, Canadian-style. If I could sing like this, I’d drop everything and just travel the world, amazing everyone with the splendor of my gift. But since that’s not gonna happen, let’s enjoy it together. If he walked up to your group’s campfire with his guitar and started playing, all the women would magnetize to the front row like honey. (Have you seen HIS wife?) There are more cuts on the album, but these are my ten favorites. The whole collection is worthy. I expect to hear The Way It Used to Be on a quirky Quentin Tarantino western soundtrack any day. Maybe not the typical barbecue music, but hey, it’s 2013 people. Barbecue music in the back yard is no longer just Toby Keith or Blue Oyster Cult blasting to high heaven. It’s whatever makes you feel good. And when your friends see that, they’ll feel good just being around you. And isn’t that the way it should be? Have a wonderful weekend everyone. And feel good being you.