Category: Country Rock

John Stewart “California Bloodlines”

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Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#310 in the Series) is John Stewart, California Bloodlines By 1969 , John Stewart was 29 years old and had packed in a fair bit of living. He co-founded The Cumberland 3 , released three albums with them and moved on to become a member of  The Kingston Trio , releasing numerous discs and playing hundreds of live shows . Fast forward to 1968 and we find him recording an album with his wife Buffy Ford and , just for good measure , he also managed to write a little song you may have heard of , “Daydream Believer” , a smash hit for The Monkees in ’67. For most people that would be...

Steve Earle and the Dukes “Shut Up and Die Like an Aviator”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#297 in the Series, and #21 in the Live, Saturday Night Series) is Steve Earle and the Dukes, Shut Up and Die Like an Aviator. Steve Earle kicked off his career with two “4-Star”- country-rock, Americana, singer-songwriter styled albums. Then he decided to change his band and resurfaced with a bit of a harder sound.  That sound was evident on Copperhead Road and also on The Hard Way.  This live album was released from recordings of that tour. I loved those first two albums and was quite glad that a good chunk of them are represented here. We needed some good live versions of “Guitar Town, Someday, Good Ol’ Boy (Gettin’ Tough), I Ain’t...

Poco “Pickin’ Up the Pieces”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day is the debut album from Poco, Pickin’ Up The Pieces.   It must be nice to be known as a band that helped establish a new genre of music. Why isn’t this band in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Their omission is a real tragedy.  Some things just don’t make sense.  Someday I hope, they surely deserve it. Poco laid their plan.. right there.. in the lyrics in the title cut. Call it a Mission Statement: ‘Well, there’s a little bit of magic In the music we’re playin’ So let’s begin We’ll bring you back down home where the folks are happy Sittin pickin’ and a-grinnin’ Casually, you and me We’ll...

The Flying Burrito Brothers “The Gilded Palace of Sin”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#216 in the Series) is The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Gilded Palace of Sin. I was looking at the track listing. I was trying to figure out which songs to mention first. It’s nearly an impossibility to determine one over another. This album is that good.  It should go down in the history of American music as one a ground breaking piece of music. It’s that good. I’ve loved the solo work that Gram Parson did after leaving the band.  The work here that he created along with Chris Hillman, “Sneaky” Pete Kleinow and Chris Ethridge is unmatched in the world of Americana or country-rock. ‘Christine’s Tune (aka She’s a Devil in Disguise),...

Marshall Tucker Band “Where We All Belong”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#211 in the Series) is Marshall Tucker Band, Where We All Belong. I’ve been thinking about featuring Marshall Tucker for a little while now.  Today I started listening to some of their old music and I learned something.  I’d forgotten how good these guys really are.  I liked but didn’t love most of their biggest hits. (There’s an upset, huh) Some of the songs on this album however are simply outstanding.  Not to mention that they were a little different than your typical 70s southern rock or country rock act.  They had just a little bit of jazz in their stretched out tunes which also included a reed player. Give a listen especially...

Loggins and Messina “On Stage”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#185 in the Series and) is Loggins and Messina, On Stage. Loggins and Messina was a VERY good 70s band that history has not treated as well as it should. Why, my guess is that Kenny Loggins solo success, especially in the soundtrack realm, has had the most to do with it. Plus I don’t think their largest hit, ‘Your Momma Don’t Dance,’ was a very good representation of their sound. As good as it was, I always like others better.  But do you ever hear Loggins and Messina on classic rock stations, hardly. Not even great stations like WXRT play them nearly as much as they used to, if at all.  I’d...

Steve Earle “Guitar Town”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#182 in the Series) is Steve Earle, Guitar Town. His first and still my favorite. I saw him at the Park West shortly after his second album; Exit 0 was released. But I always liked this one. The Chicago market was onto Steve Earle pretty early thanks to WXRT.  They played this album from day one, If not earlier.  What’s a great thing about Steve Earle too is that he’s never forgotten that. He’s repaid the favor to them many times over.   They were not the only help he had here.  Steve Dahl was onto him early as well. “Guitar Town,” plus “My Old Friend the Blues” and “Someday” were some of the...

Waylon Jennings “I’ve Always Been Crazy”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#176 in the Series) is Waylon Jennings, I’ve Always Been Crazy. Waylon Jennings always put out cool albums!  This one was one of the coolest. I’ve Always Been Crazy was one of his strongest efforts from beginning to end. This album actually rocked quite a bit. Yeah, there were a few ballads, but the title cut, “Don’t You Think This Outlaw Thing’s Done Got Out of Hand,” “A Long Time Ago” all rolled along pretty good. “A Long Time Ago” was co-written with the great Shel Silverstein. Silverstein was long known for his cartoon work and even wrote A Boy Named Sue.  He also wrote another song on the album called “Whistlers and...

Atlanta Rhythm Section "Red Tape"

Today’s “Cool Album of the Day” is Atlanta Rhythm Section, “Red Tape.” Kind of a forgotten band here. Atlanta Rhythm Section was all over the radio in the late 70’s early 80’s. ‘Red Tape” was a little before that. This album was released in 1976. Some of the best tracks were ‘Jukin/San Antonio Rose, Free Spirit’ and especially ‘Mixed Emotions.’ Recorded in Doraville, Georgia and released on Polygram, “Red Tape” peaked at #146 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts while the only single to chart, ‘Free Spirit’ reached #85. Track listing “Jukin’/San Antonio Rose” (Buie, Nix, Wills) – 3:43 “Mixed Emotions” (Buie, Cobb, Nix) – 3:20 “Shanghaied” (Buie, Cobb, Nix) – 2:14 “Police! Police!” (Buie, Cobb, Nix) – 3:11 “Beautiful...

Heartsfield "The Wonder of it All"

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (A Milestone! #100 in The Series…hold the applause please, thank you, thank you.) is Heartsfield, The Wonder Of It All. Today we are going to celebrate the music of Heartsfield. Well anyone that knows me knew that a Heartsfield album was coming sooner or later. I decided awhile back to make it entry #100. Heartsfield was one of, if not the main reason for my love of music and for me making a career in music for what were many years and coming from many different angles. The members remain some of my closest friends for well over 30 some years now. They’ve been a major influence to much of the music I did, and...

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