Saturday, September 4, 2010

Cover of the Whenever 87

Cover of the Week has seemingly settled into Cover of the Month. CoTW was suggested to no be Cover of the Whenever, which seems accurate and nicely non-committal. I am going to try to get a bit of the rhythm back, but summer has been filled with sun and fun, travel, cycling, and G&Ts. Sometimes, and other projects. I even worked! By the way, the new Buffalo Tom record is being warmly received by those who have heard it and it should be out in February. Not sure why these things still take so long.

This week's (month's) cover does not feature the usual semi-related essay. It is the writing part that takes the most time for these posts. I do have a few notes from over the summer that I will write about soon, for those of you who like to read these.

Too many of these posts have been tributes to recently deceased musicians. And so it is with this one.

Since adolescence, I have been a casual fan of Little Feat. The band was always one of those groups that my friends' older siblings knew about. You could see their album logos meticulously sketched on Meade denim loose-leaf binders in junior high. The vibe surrounding them was similar to that of the southern rock bands I dug. However, they were different. I couldn't articulate then that it was a New Orleans influence -- Toussaint; Meters; Longhair; et. al. But I knew that it was different than the full tilt boogie from the other acts I was used to.

But I did not buy a lot of records. I enjoyed them whenever they were on the radio, or in friends' rec room turntables. But my appreciation grew over the years. So it was a thrill to be able to play with Paul Barrere at a few of the Hot Stove Cool Music events. Never mind his role in rock & roll history; he is just a tremendously soulful player (and singer). And he is a great guy to hang out with.

I never got to meet Feat drummer, Richie Hayward. Like many others, I was sad to hear of his passing this summer.

This is just one of those favorite old classic rock covers I have chosen to do. We got to sing harmonies on this with Paul (with him taking the Lowell George lead). I love this simple song. Buffalo Tom used to collect trucker tapes for our long van rides. They were received with a mixture of irony (Red Sovine) and genuine love of some classic country songs like "White Line fever" and "Six Days on the Road," which made me feel a sort of false kinship with the men that drove the big rigs. That whole thing about truckers knowing the best place to eat? Don't believe that myth. That must have vanished with Rt. 66 into the ghost world of Americana.

Willin' mp3


Lawrence said...

Bill, that's fantastic. I've been listening to a lot of 'Americana' type music these days, Gene Clark, Micah P. Hinson, Uncle Tupelo, etc so this really hits the spot.I love when you're in country mode 'Best Kept Secret' is one of my faves.
Good to have you back, keep on truckin'.

Paul Daddario said...

There is a strong connection between Alternative Rock and Roll, as we new it before the mid nineties, and alt-country, "Americana" also, when used as the term that conjures up off center pop and folk music centered around less than urban 20th century America.

A trend that appears relevant to this blog post and your cotw blog in general, is how bands usually throw an obligatory acoustic track onto their albums. Why an acoustic track and not a drum solo, or piano track? nope- acoustic- and that pulls at our americana folk connection- bridging the gap of rock and roll to american classic story songs of old.

This song is great and the lyrics are fantastic. Such a rebel trucker song steeped in the authentic practice and lore of those who possess CDL's. It must have been tough for Little Feat as well, I mean, they had to split up a paycheck 14 or 15 ways!

I have to say, you really put together the background vocals seamlessly here. Such a great job. Can't wait for the new Buffalo Tom album.

johny said...

great cover, Bill
love that song

Randy Reichardt said...

.: Nice work, Bill. I like the guitar work on this CoTW, some sweet strumming. I was also a casual fan of Little Feat. The song that stands out in my mind is Front Page News, which a friend suggested to me in the late 70s/early 80s.

I remember the Red Sovine ads that ran a couple decades back. Haven't seen or heard his name mentioned for a long time.