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Time once again to open the vault door and see what’s in there. Stuff that I posted on at some time in the past that deserves to be heard…

Founded in the beach town of Westerly, Rhode Island, Roomful of Blues have been a New England institution since nineteen hundred and 67 AD. Founded by the great Duke Robillard, they have gone through any number of members including Ronnie Earl, himself somewhat of an institution.

They still play around all the time and the little lady and I saw them not too long prior to the great fucking plague. There is always a good time to be had at a Roomful show and if they come your way, put on your best dancing shoes, grab your partner, and head on down. And Turn it On! Turn it Up!

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Wikipedia: The Crusaders were an American jazz group that were successful from the 1960s to the 1990s. The group were known as the Jazz Crusaders from their formation in 1960 until shortening their name in 1971. They were comfortable playing a wide assortment of genres, from straight-ahead jazz, to urban R&B, to R&B-based jazz, to even blues.

Larry Carlton was a member of the band some time in the Seventies and his solo on “Spiral” is not only one of my favorites of his but one of my favorites ever. Nobody can take complex stuff and make it sound as exciting as he can.

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Here’s some of what I said about Kirsty McColl when I first posted this tune: “McColl sang on recordings produced by her then-husband Steve Lillywhite, most notably “Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues.” (Lillywhite is a producer of some renown having worked with everyone from U2 to the Stones to Simple Minds to the Pogues.)

Kirsty was the daughter of folkie Ewan MacColl and – including the tunes mentioned above – became a fairly popular backup singer. She also toured with the Pogues and was somewhat of a better-known name in the UK than in the States.

In the year 2000 she released an album called Tropical Brainstorm which got some play in these parts, especially a song she co-wrote called “In These Shoes?” The album’s got a nice Latin flavor and this song is just plain fun. (And it should come as zero surprise that Bette Midler covered it.)

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There was once a band that came out of the Great White North. They were the Hawks when they hung out with Ronnie Hawkins. They got so tight they decided – after adding an American singer – to strike out on their own.

They then hooked up with a guy named Zimmerman, did some other stuff and – yadda, yadda, yadda – were rechristened The Band. They could – and did – play pretty much anything from rockabilly to R&B to blues and practically invented Americana.

This is our nice young Canadian neighbors nailing a Holland-Dozier-Holland tune which they called “Don’t Do It.” This is live from the now-defunct Academy of Music where I saw a few shows back in the day.

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How can you not love the Jesus of Cool, Nick Lowe, a guy who not only somehow wound up producing Elvis Costello’s classic early albums but also put out some pretty good shit himself? Oh yeah and he was also a member of rockpile with Dave Edmunds.

As my favorite blogger said some five years ago – “The very first record that Stiff ever released (in 1976) was Lowe’s great tune, “So it Goes.” More power pop here, kids. I couldn’t possibly love this song more, words and music:

All day discussions with the Russians
But they still went ahead
And vetoed the plan
Now up jumped the U.S. representative
He’s the one with the tired eyes
747 for the midnight condition
Flyin’ back from a peace keepin’ mission

And so it goes and so it goes
And so it goes and so it goes
But where it’s goin’ no one knows

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Let’s end this trip down memory lane with a nice slide-heavy blues from Tull spinoff, Blodwyn Pig. This is from back when everybody and his cousin had a blues band. A Head Rings Out is a terrific album if you don’t know it.

This is “Dear Jill.”

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