A beautiful version of Paul Simon’s “American Tune,” featuring Simon teaming up with Rhiannon Giddens. Two of my favorite performers on stage together at the Newport Folk Festival earlier this month. Just glorious.
Here’s another piece from the Boogie Knights 40th-anniversary concert last weekend at Shore Leave 42. This is our riff on “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” John Scheeler’s mic isn’t as loud as it should be, but I still like this for the harmonies and my percussion work…..
Here’s another piece from the 1986 Prince’s Trust concert. This one didn’t make the cut for the VHS tape of the concert that I wore out back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. What annoys me is that the tape did include two different versions of Paul Young’s “Every Time You Go Away” for no compellingly good reason (the second had George Michael duetting with Young), but didn’t include this or a bunch of other songs. Bastards.
Anyhow, here’s Howard Jones doing one of his hits, “No One is to Blame,” complete with (as expected) great piano work by keyboard master Jones, as well as (less expected, but in character) a superb Mark Knopfler guitar solo. Note also the great percussion work by Ray Cooper…..
From the Prince’s Trust Gala Concert 1986, a VHS tape I pretty much wore out during my college years, here’s Paul McCartney leading a stellar version of “Get Back” for which he’s joined on vocals by Tina Turner, Paul Young, and Bryan Adams, with Mark Knopfler and Eric Clapton providing great guitar solos, and Elton John on piano, Ray Cooper on percussion, Howard Jones on keyboards, and Phil Collins on drums. Yeah.
It doesn’t get much better than this……
A song that should always be on the list of covers that surpass the original — as great as Tommy James and the Shondells’ original is, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts totally made the song their own in 1981, to the point where it’s more considered a Joan Jett song than a Tommy James song…..
A song that was a huge hit when I was in college, by a duo who pretty much epitomized “college radio” in the late 1980s alongside REM and 10,000 Maniacs and others. Here’s Indigo Girls with “Closer to Fine.” (I actually performed this song with two fellow Fordham students at a concert thingie we did on campus — I played the tin whistle bit.)
At Yankee Stadium, roughly halfway through the game, the grounds crew comes out and sweeps down the infield dirt to smooth it out. Some time in the 1990s, they started doing it to “The Macarena,” and the grounds crew would do that dance as part of the cleaning routine. After a while, it was replaced by the Village People’s “YMCA,” and they’d pause in their cleaning to do the arm gestures to match the four letters when the song got to that refrain.
It amuses me that an organization as conservative as the New York Yankees (true of pretty much every baseball team, really, but the Yanks especially are proud of their “corporate” image) has the grounds crew dancing 81 times a year to a song about dudes using the YMCA to pick up other dudes.
Anyhow, here’s the Village People and their signature song…..
Here’s RuPaul being fabulous as ever in “Sissy that Walk.” “And if I fly, or if I fall / At least I can say I gave it all.” That’s what it’s all about…
Since we came to Ohio for Fanboy Expo Columbus, it seems fitting to do the Low Anthem song “To Ohio.”
I love this song by The Who, but this is my favorite version of it, from a 1994 concert Roger Daltrey did at Carnegie Hall for his 50th birthday. Backed by his band and the Julliard Orchestra, this version of the great “5:15” ends with dueling brass riffs between saxophone great David Sanborn and one of the Julliard students, a brilliant trumpet player named Martin.