The weekend is here, I’m late with the five songs so this one can be an evening edition, songs for your Friday night rather than for your Friday – it’s been a great week, mostly. Lots of good podcast stuff happening, gathering interviews, lining up a few more, interviewing and editing…all very good. And then that shock news last night about Chris Cornell. I didn’t love everything he did – his material (esp solo) was patchy but the good stuff was great. Here’s a few songs to help get you through…well, they might really bum you out actually, a few mopey ones here, but I love them; a bit of depressing, downbeat music always cheers me up, oddly enough…
1. John Martyn, Small Hours
This (the whole album) was my introduction to John Martyn. I found a lot to love after this – before and after – but I still go back to this record. And this song. Well, almost everything else stops while this is on. Certainly, nearly everything else feels completely and utterly insignificant. Fill your cup with whatever it is you need to drink in and down a goblet of this while you’re at it. Just beautiful.
2. Drive-By Truckers, Daddy Needs A Drink
Speaking of filling your cup – this is a Friday 5pm Go-To track for me. Or if this isn’t then almost anything else by the Truckers will do. But this is just a beaut. That’s some songwriting right there.
3. Bob Dylan, Went To See The Gypsy
I’ve always had a thing for New Morning, just a great album – and lovely-strange in places. Warm, inviting but also just a tiny bit weird. And this week I’ve been playing more Dylan than I might normally – because I’ve been reading this great book of poems, with a strong Dylan influence/theme. Also this song is about the time Dylan went to meet Elvis Presley (“The Gypsy”).
4. Paul Buchanan, Wedding Party
I bought the CD yesterday at the library book-sale – $1 – for the car. I’ve loved the record across the last few years, I think about it often, remembering the time I played phone-tag with him for a week and then eventually a wonderful interview. This album is so special. Hadn’t listened to it for a while. Timing is…everything. I drank a bottle of red to this last night. It was perfect.
5. Chris Cornell, When I’m Down
I always loved Euphoria Morning, from its time of release to this day. Some of Cornell’s best work. I was a fan of Temple of the Dog and Soundgarden, I doubt it’s aged that well but I loved the first Audioslave album at the time. One or two songs from it always worked when Cornell played live. I saw him four times – once with Soundgarden, once with Audiosalve and twice solo, acoustic. Those acoustic shows were amazing – so, so good. His voice just astounding. Both times this song was a highlight. Just as it’s always a highlight on the record. It was the first thing I reached for when I heard the news of his passing. It was the first thing I thought of – I’d made the guess, reading through the language (“died suddenly” – always the big clue) that it was suicide. Didn’t help having that confirmed this morning. Strange end to an otherwise happy, fulfilling week; productive without feeling over-worked. That’s how I like it.
Here’s a bonus John Martyn song. Just about as good as it gets.