MP3: Grant Green :: Ease Back (The Meters)
MP3: Grant Green :: Ease Back (The Meters)
MP3: Dirty Gold :: California Sunrise
(Diversions, a recurring feature on Aquarium Drunkard, catches up with our favorite artists as they wax on subjects other than recording and performing.)
One cannot overstate the power of regionalism. Growing up in Georgia, in a rather musical household, I assumed the music of Eddie Hinton was as well known as, say, that of Sam & Dave. It wasn’t until I began to discover this music for myself, years later, that I realized this was far from the case. If you caught our review of the latest Drive-By Truckers LP, Go-Go Boots, you may recall I discussed the looming presence Hinton casts over the album both implicitly (they cover a couple of Hinton’s tracks) and in overall tone. Below, DBT’s Patterson Hood pays tribute to Hinton’s story and artistry.
First things first, I could spend the next several hundred words trying to describe the songs and voice of Eddie Hinton, but let’s cut through the BS and listen for ourselves.
“Hey, you wanna hear somebody moan? I ain’t got no home” – (‘Hard Luck Guy’ by Eddie Hinton)
Eddie Hinton was born in 1944 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and died in 1995 living at his mother’s house in Birmingham. He spent most of his life living in Northern Alabama including his most productive years in my hometown of Muscle Shoals. He often worked with my father, David Hood, who is a bass player and was part of The Muscle Shoals Sound Rhythm Section. They played together on records by Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Boz Scaggs and The Staple Singers among many others. My Dad also played on most of Eddie’s solo albums. They were friends and I have vivid memories of Eddie coming over to the house when I was a little boy. He was handsome with a nice smile and was more comfortable interacting with a little kid than most of my parent’s friends from that era. Later on when I would hear stories of Eddie’s ‘problems’ I always had difficulty placing the tales I would hear along side the memories I had.
Likewise, in his later years he was known to be an inconsistent live performer, often given to ‘too much drink’ with disastrous results; but on the night I got to see him play (in Sheffield, Alabama at Calico’s) he was really good, driving the band with his almost trance-like rhythm and groove and soaring to the stars with the razors and gravel of his vocal delivery.
Eddie moved to Muscle Shoals during its heyday as a recording spot for classic soul records and was quickly considered (along with Duane Allman) to be a session guitarist of the top tier. Legendary Atlantic Records Producer Jerry Wexler, who had coined the phrase ‘Rhythm and Blues’ while an editor at Billboard Magazine, immediately recognized the ‘genius’ of Eddie Hinton and predicted a long and successful career ahead of him. During this era, Bob Dylan came to record there and was captivated by Eddie for his artistry and intelligence. Eddie co-wrote (with Donnie Fritts) “Breakfast in Bed” which became a hit record for Dusty Springfield and later by UB40 and Chrissie Hynde.
I’ve been catching up on Ethan Miller’s blog, Silver Currant, over the past couple of months. Sporadically updated, Miller, who fronts Howlin’ Rain, presents a treasure trove of homemade psych compilations (and more) geared toward the obscure and out of print. All very much worth checking out if that sort of thing does it for you (as it should).
Amongst the various digital download booty there is a link Ethan shared for a Howlin’ Rain joint called Three From A Phantom Saloon, described as an “unreleased haunted acoustic EP from the vaults.” Whereas Howlin’ Rain’s strength is based in the power of their live show, these renderings tap into the promise Ethan made back in 2006, describing Howlin’ Rain as music to “sing along with while drinking whiskey in the bathtub, on a Saturday night, with your dog.”
Elsewhere: Rock Salt and Nails: A Country Voodoo Mixtape. This is a mix Ethan put together a few years back made up of some choice sides with even better commentary regarding his track selections.
MP3: Howlin’ Rain :: In Sand and Dirt (acoustic)
MP3: Howlin’ Rain :: Called Lightning, Pt 2 (acoustic)
MP3: Howlin’ Rain :: Nomads (acoustic)
An inherited copy, on wax, of Ray Charles’ Live In Concert has been in my regular rotation for years. Last month I read (via the LA Times) that the classic set was finally seeing a CD release. The following bit further grabbed my attention: “The original 12-song LP, which peaked at No. 80 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart in 1965, will be fleshed out with seven bonus tracks, including his rendition that night of “Georgia on My Mind,” which was left off the album.” Also, for those of you wondering, there is no planned vinyl reissue at this time according the folks at Concord Music.
We have several copies of the set to giveaway to AD readers. If interested, leave your name, a valid contact in the email field, and your favorite Ray Charles recording, live or otherwise, below in the comments. Winners chosen and notified by next Friday.
Our weekly two hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 26 (SIRIUS), and channel 43 (XM), can now be heard twice, every Friday – Noon EST with an encore broadcast at Midnight EST.
SIRIUS 188: Jean Michel Bernard – Generique Stephane ++ Family Portrait – Other Side ++ Kurt Vile – Hunchback ++ Akron/Family – So it Goes ++ Grizzly Bear – Cheerleader ++ The Morning Benders – All Day Daylight ++ Cass McCombs – Dreams Come True Girl ++ Tunde Adebimpe :: Unknown Legend ++ Devendra Banhart – Bad Girl ++ Bon Iver – Stacks ++ Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues ++ Futurebirds – Wild Heart ++ Benoit Pioulard – Shouting Distance ++ Neutral Milk Hotel – Engine ++ Megafaun – The Fade ++ Cotton Jones – Gone The Bells (Demo) ++ The Interns – Smother ++ My Morning Jacket – Steam Engine ++ The Soft Boys – I Wanna Destroy You ++ Lower Dens – A Dog’s Dick ++ Fugazi – Caustic Acrostic ++ Sonic Youth – Teenage Riot ++ The Replacements – I WIll Dare ++ The Replacements – Androgynous ++ The Replacements – Sixteen Blue ++ The Replacements – Answering Machine ++ Big Star – September Gurls ++ R.E.M. – All The Right Friends (IRS Years) ++ The Vaselines – Dum-Dum ++ Orange Juice – Falling And Laughing ++ The Modern Lovers – She Cracked ++ Harlem – South of France ++ The Almighty Defenders – Bow Down And Die
*You can listen, for free, online with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.
File under awesome. 1973 no-frills, no bullshit, cock rock. This is Zipper—Fred Cole and company’s sicko American twist on Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.
MP3: Zipper :: Bullets
Speaking of western Africa…here’s a set I’ve been sitting on since December—Psychedelic Aliens, Psycho African Beat. A funky, early 70s, Ghanaian psych-soul collection culled from a mish-mash of tracks destined to labor in indefinite obscurity prior to the entry of the Academy Records gang. Released at the tail end of 2010, the collection gathers up eight tracks sounding something like a garage-rock inflected Meters as filtered through Fela’s transistor radio. Dig.