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    Monday
    Jul252011

    Highway 61 - visited

     

    I've been travelling around the mid-West, from St. Louis to Dallas and now Minnesota...just northeast of St. Paul. I have a gig here today but when I drove here from the airport, I crossed Highway 61. Its significance wasn't lost on me. "Route 22" was my song and I had forgotten about Dylan's. Until now.

    US Highway 61 runs along the Mississippi River from Tulane Street in New Orleans, through Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin and ends near the Canadian border in Wyoming, Minnesota. It was a major route for poor southerners to take north to find work in the early to mid 20th century. The "Blues Highway" went through Memphis and St. Louis. In Clarksdale, MS, it crosses US 49...the famed mythological "Crossroads" where Robert Johnson is said to have sold his soul to the devil to become such a good guitar player.

    But Dylan's song resonates today. Rocking, crazy (with the siren and Mike Bloomfield's manic slide) and biblical (Dylan's father and grandfathers' names were Abraham) its lyrics sing so well, so perfectly that hip hoppers should go to school on it.

    I'm just a sucker for nostalgic places and US 61 even in suburban St Paul makes a connection with me.

    Oh God said to Abraham, “Kill me a son”
    Abe says, “Man, you must be puttin’ me on”
    God say, “No.” Abe say, “What?”
    God say, “You can do what you want Abe, but
    The next time you see me comin’ you better run”
    Well Abe says, “Where do you want this killin’ done?”
    God says, “Out on Highway 61”

     

     

    Friday
    Apr012011

    The Greatest Play in Baseball

    Opening day and I am in LA, light years from my Yankees (who beat the Tigers). I have to resist the urge to start rooting for the Dodgers or Angels as that's all that is on when you you want to watch a game.So this comes by me and even though it is 34 years ago, it make the team seem a little more human. I missed this because at the time, I was performing on Amtrak and was on the train for weeks at a time. But the bigger question that is asked here is...Would this happen now? Would the entire grandstands spontaneously begin to sing "God Bless America?" I hope so.

    Thursday
    Mar032011

    "The Prostate Blues" Recorded Live at the Towne Crier

    Recorded 2-6-11, Super Bowl Sunday afternoon. We filled the place.

    and I know...I spelt  "laparascopic" wrong.

    Here is a post from after the surgery.

    That's Dave Webster on guitar, Benny Harrison on keys, Tony Mercadante on bass and Andrew Caturano on drums,

    Thanks to Steve Hoffman and Doug Abdelnour for the video.

    Friday
    Nov122010

    Recording Chuck Rainey

    Producer David Ackerman just sent this slideshow of Chuck Rainey. The first picture is of Crazy Joe Renda and Chuck in the control room of North Lake Sound during the recording of Chuck's solo record. My body English tells the story. Renda was always taking the spotlight while the heavy lifters were in the background (even though I still love him.)

    LOOK at Chuck's discography!

    Chuck and David took me to Caribou Ranch in Nederland, CO, to finish the LP. That was Chicago's hot studio in the Rockies. Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney had been in the week before to record "Ebony and Ivory."

    Recording basic tracks at North Lake Sound, 1982, Chuck with Dom Romao on percussion. Notice SM57 near Chuck. That was a talkback mike that picked up neck-slap noise that he fell in love with. We ended up recording the entire LP that way (remember LP's?)

     

    Outside the studio at 8200 feet in Nederland CO.

     

     

    Saturday
    Jul102010

    Homecoming PResent

    Nothing like a front page story to boost your post-op morale. This was written six weeks ago when the YouTube of the song was really moving. Ken Valenti did a pretty good job, I thought. No links to the song in the paper or online, though.

    For those who might have missed it, "Route 22":