FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

What I’m Listening to This Week

by JEFFREY ST. CLAIR

 

Some of you relics are waiting for the new Dylan cd, but here’s what I’m listening to while awaiting shipment of Face the Promise, the first Bob Seger record in more than a decade.
Freddie King: Hide Away (Rhino)

Eric Clapton stole nearly all of his best licks from the great Texas guitar slinger, Freddie King, who, if he hadn’t died so prematurely, might well have emerged as the King of the Kings.

Magic Sam: West Side Soul (Delmark)

Scarcely a week goes by without this venerable CD being forced into extended play on my Mac. Inexplicably neglected now, Magic Sam Maghett was the best blues guitarist of the 1960s. Indeed, he has few peers across the history of recorded music. Like Freddie King, Sam died young, leaving behind a tragically thin body of work. Rarely has the electric guitar been played with such tenderness.

Drive By Truckers: A Blessing and a Curse (New West)

Lynyrd Skynyrd pioneered the three guitar attack. The Truckers vaulted a step further with a three guitar, three voice assault. Inventors of the southern rock soap opera, DBT are Skynyrd with a social conscience and a darkly ribald sense of humor. “Aftermath USA,” indeed.

Patty Loveless: Mountain Soul (Sony)

The most versatile singer in country music. Loveless bucked Nashville by recording this suite of neo-bluegrass songs in one take without over-dubs. The result a record exuding a freshness and an immediacy that hasn’t been heard in country music in decades. Loveless comes from coal mining country in the mountains of Kentucky. Her father died of black lung disease. But you don’t need to know any of that background to well up with tears when she sings Darrell Scott’s song, “You’ll Never Leave Harlan County Again”:

“Where the sun comes up about 10 in the morning
And the sun goes down about 3 in the day
And you fill your cup with whatever bitter brew you’re drinking
And you spend your life digging coal from the bottom of your grave.”

Bob Seger: Beautiful Loser (EMI)

Seger was the first rock musician I interviewed. Back in 1975, I was 16 and he was on the cusp of becoming a huge arena rock star on the merits of Night Moves and Live Bullet, one of the best live rock albums. Seger was no newby, though. By 1975 he’d been touring the Midwest hard for nearly a decade, popular enough in the heartland, but relatively unknown in New York and LA. In the story I wrote on Seger for a local music rag, I called his music “Dirt Rock,” meaning it was gritty, true, rooted in place. Seger remains one of my favorite artists and Beautiful Loser one of my favorite albums.

JEFFREY ST. CLAIR’s music writings (as well as CPers Ron Jacobs, David Vest and Daniel Wolff) can be found in Serpents in the Garden. He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net.

 

 

Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Bernie and the Sandernistas: Field Notes From a Failed Revolution. He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net or on Twitter  @JSCCounterPunch

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

March 29, 2017
Jeffrey Sommers
Donald Trump and Steve Bannon: Real Threats More Serious Than Fake News Trafficked by Media
David Kowalski
Does Washington Want to Start a New War in the Balkans?
Patrick Cockburn
Bloodbath in West Mosul: Civilians Being Shot by Both ISIS and Iraqi Troops
Ron Forthofer
War and Propaganda
Matthew Stevenson
Letter From Phnom Penh
James Bovard
Peanuts Prove Congress is Incorrigible
Thomas Knapp
Presidential Golf Breaks: Good For America
Binoy Kampmark
Disaster as Joy: Cyclone Debbie Strikes
Peter Tatchell
Human Rights are Animal Rights!
George Wuerthner
Livestock Grazing vs. the Sage Grouse
Jesse Jackson
Trump Should Form a Bipartisan Coalition to Get Real Reforms
Thomas Mountain
Rwanda Indicts French Generals for 1994 Genocide
Clancy Sigal
President of Pain
Andrew Stewart
President Gina Raimondo?
Lawrence Wittner
Can Our Social Institutions Catch Up with Advances in Science and Technology?
March 28, 2017
Mike Whitney
Ending Syria’s Nightmare will Take Pressure From Below 
Mark Kernan
Memory Against Forgetting: the Resonance of Bloody Sunday
John McMurtry
Fake News: the Unravelling of US Empire From Within
Ron Jacobs
Mad Dog, Meet Eris, Queen of Strife
Michael J. Sainato
State Dept. Condemns Attacks on Russian Peaceful Protests, Ignores Those in America
Ted Rall
Five Things the Democrats Could Do to Save Their Party (But Probably Won’t)
Linn Washington Jr.
Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Hiring Practices: Privilege or Prejudice?
Philippe Marlière
Benoît Hamon, the Socialist Presidential Hopeful, is Good News for the French Left
Norman Pollack
Political Cannibalism: Eating America’s Vitals
Bruce Mastron
Obamacare? Trumpcare? Why Not Cubacare?
David Macaray
Hollywood Screen and TV Writers Call for Strike Vote
Christian Sorensen
We’ve Let Capitalism Kill the Planet
Rodolfo Acuna
What We Don’t Want to Know
Binoy Kampmark
The Futility of the Electronics Ban
Andrew Moss
Why ICE Raids Imperil Us All
March 27, 2017
Robert Hunziker
A Record-Setting Climate Going Bonkers
Frank Stricker
Why $15 an Hour Should be the Absolute Minimum Minimum Wage
Melvin Goodman
The Disappearance of Bipartisanship on the Intelligence Committees
Patrick Cockburn
ISIS’s Losses in Syria and Iraq Will Make It Difficult to Recruit
Russell Mokhiber
Single-Payer Bernie Morphs Into Public Option Dean
Gregory Barrett
Can Democracy Save Us?
Dave Lindorff
Budget Goes Military
John Heid
Disappeared on the Border: “Chase and Scatter” — to Death
Mark Weisbrot
The Troubling Financial Activities of an Ecuadorian Presidential Candidate
Robert Fisk
As ISIS’s Caliphate Shrinks, Syrian Anger Grows
Michael J. Sainato
Democratic Party Continues Shunning Popular Sanders Surrogates
Paul Bentley
Nazi Heritage: the Strange Saga of Chrystia Freeland’s Ukrainian Grandfather
Christopher Ketcham
Buddhism in the Storm
Thomas Barker
Platitudes in the Wake of London’s Terror Attack
Mike Hastie
Insane Truths: a Vietnam Vet on “Apocalypse Now, Redux”
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail