The very first post on this blog was a mixtape that I made to celebrate the new blog. The plan always was to make some mixtapes and post on the blog every now and then, but it seems that this hasn't happened. Anyhow, with no further wait, here it finally is.
Crystal Canyon Volume II
(Heartworn Highways, 2009)
1. Ry Cooder - Boomer's Story
2. The Faces - Ooh La La
3. The Black Crowes - Good Friday
4. John Martyn - Over the Hill
5. Gene Clark - From A Silver Phial
6. John Prine - Angel From Montgomery
7. Todd Rundgren - Couldn't I Just Tell You
8. The Band - Whispering Pines
9. Grateful Dead - Operator
10. The Rolling Stones - Play With Fire
11. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Louisiana Rain
The mixtape is sadly only available to the folks that have Spotify. There may be some changes to that later, but alas for now that's the way it is. To listen click here: Crystal Canyon Volume II
A little about the songs:
Ry Cooder is a guy I have been neglecting for a long long time, but lately I've been listening to a lot of his stuff. This album, Boomer's Story (Reprise, 1972), stands out as a favourite for me. Great classic americana stuff.
Next up we have a bunch of talented, drunken englishmen. The fantastic and underrated band The Faces. Probably most famous for being the starting ground for both Rod Stewart and Ron Wood but the sadly overlooked Ronnie Lane was the real soul of the band. Check out this album, Ooh La La (Warner Bros., 1973), and also all of his solo records. And of course his former band, The Small Faces.
Then we move some years forward to a band that are clearly in debt to The Faces and almost all other acts on this mixtape. The Black Crowes, one of my absolute favourite bands. The way they borrow stuff from classic sixties and seventies rock but also the way they pay tribute to these acts by playing covers and praising them in interviews. Also, they really stand their ground as a band of their own of course. Their recently relased album Before The Frost.. ..Until The Freeze is really outstanding, more on that later. This song is from their album Three Snakes and One Charm (È, 1996).
John Martyn's "Over The Hill" is a song that I got from the solo acoustic album Brothers From a Feather from the Robinson brothers of The Black Crowes. A fantastic song from a great English folk singer/songwriter. The song is taken from the brilliant album Solid Air (Island, 1973).
Gene Clark, oh where should I begin. Maybe the best of all the songwriters in The Byrds. A truly fantastic songwriter and soulful singer. This song is from his masterpiece No Other (Asylum, 1974), one of my all time favourite albums.
The song "Angel From Montgomery" is just one of my favourites from John Prine's debut album John Prine (Atlantic, 1971). Equal parts Dylan and Kristofferson is maybe the best way to explain this outstanding songwriter.
Todd Rundgren, well what can I say. A truly great artist with a very eclectic output. When he is at his best like he was on the album Something/Anything? (Bearsville, 1972) it's pure genius.
The Band are long time favourites of mine, you can't go wrong with them. Either you want some rockers or some achingly beautiful ballads they've got them. A great example of the latter here from the album The Band (Capitol, 1969)
Then were off to say hello to my absolute favourite band, good ol' Greatful Dead. A great song from the fantastic album American Beauty (Warner Bros., 1970). The last song that the late great Ron "Pigpen" McKernan wrote and recorded with Grateful Dead.
The Rolling Stones always played with fire, here they are also singing about it. A great song from the album Out Of Our Heads (ABCKO, 1965)
To close the ball we have the great Tom Petty and his sidekicks The Heartbreakers. Even though they are most known for their rocking stuff they never strayed far from their southern roots. So here they are singing about the "Louisiana Rain" from the great album Damn The Torpedoes (MCA, 1979).