music friday: ashley mcbryde

Asked on a music group on Facebook to post something about a new-to-me album I'd been listening to, I chose Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville, which came out a few months ago. McBryde had self-released some music, going back to 2006, but she didn't make her major-label debut until 2018, and Lindeville is only her third such album (she turns 40 this year).  It's aptly named ... McBryde is joined by several guests, such that "Presents" is appropriate. Here are a couple of songs from the album.

Caylee Hammack and Pillbox Patti join in for "Brenda Put Your Bra On":

"Gospel Night at the Strip Club" with Benjy Davis:

And, from 2019, here's Miranda Lambert and an all-star group of singers including McBryde with a remake of Elvin Bishop's "Fooled Around and Fell in Love":


music friday: david crosby

My favorite Byrds song was "Eight Miles High", and Crosby was still with the band at the time ... he received a songwriter's credit, although he may not have added much. There was a version the band preferred that wasn't used by the record label, but it became available long after the fact:

Here's the official version, with drums by Sina:

"Helplessly Hoping" by Crosby, Stills & Nash (written by Stills) was one of the only songs I ever sang on stage. Three of us played an acoustic set as an opening act for a metal band ... don't ask. "Helplessly Hoping" was one of our songs, and while my job mostly was to play bass while my friends sang real purty, "Helplessly Hoping" needed a third for harmonies. So there I was. Problem is, when I sing that song to myself, I end up doing the lead, and I kept coming in on the wrong note when we were together. So, even though we didn't have a bass in our version, as we began, I found my first harmony note on my bass and played it very quietly over and over until the singing began, at which point I sang the note from the bass and was able to continue with that harmony part of the rest of the song. (I didn't play that bass note after that.)

I saw CSN&Y once in 1974, and saw CS&N once in 1984 after a Giants game ... they played at second base.

"Love Work Out" was far and away my favorite song by Crosby & Nash. As I said on Facebook, "They are thankful for Danny Kortchmar and David Lindley on this track, as am I."

Finally, here is Grace Slick and Jefferson Airplane doing right by one of Crosby's songs, "Triad":


music friday: jeff beck

OK, The Beatles were everyone's favorite band back then, but we all had second-favorites, and my second-favorites were The Yardbirds. In retrospect, they weren't a great band ... they always had great guitarists, Jim McCarty was an underrated drummer, but, as Robert Christgau said, "A more than OK band, sure, but not much as songwriters, which matters matters matters". Still, there's a reason they were my favorites back in the day, and Jeff Beck had a lot to do with that.

"I Ain't Done Wrong"

I don't know what you young'uns think about 60s music ... you might think the psychedelic bands had a crazy sound, and you wouldn't necessarily be wrong. But in 1965, there wasn't a whole lot on the radio that sounded like what Jeff Beck was doing with The Yardbirds.

"I'm a Man"

The Yardbirds' recorded history is as messy as any British band. We all know about the different versions of Beatles albums, but The Yardbirds take the proverbial cake. In the U.K., they released Five Live Yardbirds in 1964 ... that's when Eric Clapton was the guitarist. It wasn't released in the States. In 1965, they released two albums in the U.S. that were cobbled together ... there were no U.K. releases that year ... For Your Love had Clapton on most cuts, Beck on three cuts (and Beck was pictured on the album cover). Having a Rave Up with the Yardbirds is the one I played the most ... Side One had Beck and included several singles, Side Two had selected cuts from Five Live with Clapton. In 1966, they released their only U.K. studio album, called variously Yardbirds and Roger the Engineer. It was released in the U.S. as Over Under Sideways Down, missing two tracks. This was the last Yardbirds' album with Jeff Beck.

"What Do You Want"

Jimmy Page then joined the band, and for a brief moment, he and Beck were together. In '66, they released "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago", a psychedelic single. And they appeared in the 1966 Antonioni film Blow-Up":

Beck left the band. In 1967, they released the album Little Games in the U.S. but not in the U.K. There was a quasi-legal live album in 1968, and then the band broke up, Page fulfilled contractual obligations with "The New Yardbirds", who eventually became Led Zeppelin.

Meanwhile, Beck began a solo career that continued until his death this week, releasing 14 albums on his own and several others in groups. His first solo recording came back in 1966, with a "supergroup" of Page and future Led Zeppelin member John Paul Jones, keyboardist Nicky Hopkins, and Keith Moon on drums. It later became the B-side to Beck's first single:

"Beck's Bolero"

That track turned up on Beck's solo album debut, Truth, which was another album I played all the time. His band featured Rod Stewart, Ron Wood, and Micky Waller. I loved that record, but for any number of reasons (songwriters matter?) I quit listening to Beck after that. I always knew he was around, was always impressed by his immense command and creativity of his instrument, always happy to check him out on live YouTube videos. But I never bought another of his albums.


music friday: 29 singers

So, what is this list?

Joan Baez, Chuck Berry, Bono, Roger Daltrey, Bob Dylan, Billie Eilish, Marianne Faithfull, Rob Halford, Emmylou Harris, Debbie Harry, Levon Helm, Chrissie Hynde, Etta James, Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Youssou N'Dour, Willie Nelson, Stevie Nicks, Robert Plant, Prince, Bonnie Raitt, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart, Joe Strummer, Corin Tucker, Muddy Waters, Neil Young.

To start the new year, Rolling Stone gave us their list of the 200 Best Singers of All Time. The above 29 singers are the people on that RS list that I have seen live. A few selections follow.

Chuck Berry, backed by the Steve Miller Blues Band at the Fillmore Auditorium, was my first rock concert (1967). It was recorded for a live album:

The first time we saw Patti Smith was at a club in San Francisco in February of 1976. It was simulcast on local FM channel KSAN:

The fourth and fifth times we saw Bruce Springsteen came at Winterland in December of 1978 (it was the last month before Bill Graham closed down the old hall). The first of those two shows was also broadcast on KSAN:

Our first Prince show was at a small club in March of 1981, the Dirty Minds tour. Here's a few minutes of a show he played a week before we saw him:

And here is a clip from the last song from the last concert I attended, last March:


music friday

Another edition of What Was I Listening To? I'm going back 16 years, to December 30, 2006. Here are four songs I listened to that morning:

First, Taj Mahal with a Goffin/King song made popular by The Monkees:

Next, Madeleine Peyroux covering Bob Dylan:

Bruce Springsteen covering himself:

Finally, some mellow folkie shit:


music friday: killers three

Why do I have the trailer for a crappy Bonnie and Clyde ripoff? It's not because of the involvement of Dick Clark, although he was quite involved indeed: co-writer, co-producer, co-star. No, it's because Merle Haggard played a sheriff in the movie (spoiler alert: can you believe it, Dick Clark kills Hag in the picture!) Haggard is all over the soundtrack, which features a song he had only recently recorded, a song that became one of his most famous tunes: "Mama Tried".

The song has been covered by a large number of artists, including the Grateful Dead, who played it over 300 times live, including at Woodstock:


music friday

Another peek at my past courtesy of Last.fm, here are ten of the songs I listened to on this date in 2016:

The Rolling Stones, "Citadel".

B.B. King, "Nobody Loves Me But My Mother".

The Mamas and the Papas, "I Saw Her Again".

The Velvet Underground, "Pale Blue Eyes".

Jimi Hendrix, "Spanish Castle Magic".

Joni Mitchell, "The Fiddle and the Drum".

The Beatles, "Yesterday".

Bonnie Raitt, "Right Down the Line".

Oscar Peterson Trio, "I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good".

Donovan, "Josie".


music friday: christine mcvie

Saw Fleetwood Mac twice, once in the Peter Green pre-Christine days, and once in 1975 when they were touring behind the Fleetwood Mac album. Here is that setlist, minus a Buckingham-Nicks song that isn't on Spotify. McVie songs are "Over My Head", "Say You Love Me", "Why", and "World Turning".

Here's a version of "World Turning" from 1975: