Feelin’ Good

27 04 2010

This tune is simply a classic. Written by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse for the 1964 musical The Roar of the Greasepaint—the Smell of the Crowd it has been covered and/or sampled by countless artist. The most notable version though has got to be Nina Simone’s from her 1965 album I Put Spell On You. Below is a student produced music video for that epic song.

There are so many others that I cannot include them all here but there is a list of just a few below. Each artist’s name is actually a link to their unique version. Have a listen and see how each puts their own personal touch on this timeless hit. There are quite a few cool versions here. My favorites are probably Coltrane, Traffic and Jean DuShon, with My Brightest Diamond and Joe Bonamassa coming in close second… but the others are excellent as well. Too close for me to make the call. Go ahead and judge for yourself:

John Coltrane

Gilbert Price


Sammy Davis Jr

Bobby Darin

Freda Payne

Joe Sample & Randy Crawford

Jean DuShon

Joe Bonamassa

George Micheal

My Brightest Diamond


*For a complete list of artists and some more info about “Feelin’ Good” click HERE.

Valentine’s Day

14 02 2010

This one’s for the Lady GG…

This is one of her favorites. It’s Bobby Darin doing his classic version “Beyond the Sea’. Originally written by Charles Trenet and  Jack Lawrence in 1946 (with French Lyrics). However, their version was titled “Le Mer”. This live footage of Darin is from 1960 and is really vintage. Great song off a great album… to be enjoyed with your Valentine.

Le Bon Tempe Roule!

8 02 2010

With the Saints winning the big game last night, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to show off some of my NOLA favs. New Orleans is without a doubt one of my all-time favorite cities. The culture there is overwhelmingly lush, combining so many amazing elements. Everything is just so cool and unique to the city whether it’s the food, architecture, attitude or music. There’s a short list below of some of my favorite acts to see while in the Big Easy. Mardi Gras is right around the corner and Jazz Fest is coming up this spring so there are many opportunities to see them. The great thing is, you usually don’t have to wait until then as they often play around town on any given night in NOLA. Le Bon Tempe Roule…

The Meters

Rebirth Brass Band

Walter “Wolfman” Washington… with Galactic as his backing band

Lou Donaldson

The Neville Bro’s

Please feel free to add anyone I may have left out via comment. Also, below are a few links to some of NOLA best spots and events. You have to get down there to experience it for yourself…


Jazz Fest

Mardi Gras



Howlin’ Wolf

Maple Leaf

Snug Harbor

Blue Nile


Le Bon Tempe Roule

Rock and Bowl

Other Links:

Directory of NOLA bands

NOLA Music Calendar


Rain, Rain… Go Away

25 01 2010

It poured all morning in NYC. Total deluge. I went out to walk the pup and came back completely soaked regardless of how “prepared” I was. It made me think of some of my favorite rain tunes. Sorry, Doors fans there is NO “Riders on the Storm”. It’s just seems a little tired.

First, there’s Led Zeppelin’s “The Rain Song”. I really like the richness of the studio version. It includes all of Jimmy Page’s guitar parts and both John Paul Jones’ bass and Mello-Tron work. But if you want it LIVE (albeit a little stripped down)… here it is. It’s not the Song Remains the Same footage (here) as I thought it was a little too campy with all the extra medieval Robert Plant sequences. I just can’t take that stuff seriously.

Next, is Traffic’s “Rainmaker”. It seems like nobody knows this one but I like it… a lot. I used to work in an industry where rain would equal a day off.  This was my anthem as I used to play it  to summon the rain gods when I wanted to go home early.

Finally, this is blues great Freddie King’s version of “Ain’t No Sunshine”. It’s a Bill Withers tune and for the record: nobody does it like Bill. His is definitely the best one but I am reserving it for another post about the man. That said, I will add one nice anecdote: When Withers first came to the recording session for Ain’t No Sunshine, he didn’t even realize he was coming to work. He thought he was just the songwriter on the gig. You know… hang out, watch the artist, give notes. Then he gets there and they want him to sing and play guitar. What humility! The guy ends up producing a hit that has spanned decades and been covered a crazy amount of times. Just wait for the Bill Withers post, it’s got some great stuff in it.

*alright, alright… I caved: Riders on the Storm


14 01 2010

I can’t stop singing this song lately. I love the original by Bobby Hebb. He wrote it in November of 1963 the day after JFK was assassinated, coincidentally the same day his brother was killed. Bobby said later that he was “basically looking for a brighter day”. It’s really cool to listen to it in that context. The song has been covered about 100 times but Bobby’s is by far the best. The melody is really catchy so sorry in advance if you’re whistling this one all day.

If you are interested in other versions, there are tons. Everyone’s done it from Marvin Gaye to Wes Montgomery, Cher to The Four Tops, Ella Fitzgerald to Stevie Wonder, Jose Feliciano to  James Brown, even Jamirquai. The Godfather of Soul’s is actually a really good one. This live performance is amazing. It’s James with the JB’s doing his thing and doing it well. Look at him go…

I feel as though I have to post this one from Boney M too. Not because it’s a great version but simply for the fact that Bobby Farrell (you’ll know who he is when you watch) is totally nuts in this performance. This guy was brought into the group simply for his moves. It’s all great to watch but you have to hang in there to see the really good stuff. I certainly don’t want to spoil it but, I will say there’s a cane involved and it’s definitely worth the wait. If you have a disco itch that needs scratching, this may be the cure.

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