Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Jimmy Witherspoon- I Don't Know

Know it's over.

Guitarist Al Viola died last week. He was 87. He's perhaps best known for his work with Sinatra. That gig brought him opportunities to play many additional dates, including this 1962 session backing Jimmy Witherspoon. Sinatra's longtime pianist Bill Miller, who died last year, is also heard here. David Axelrod, currently fashionable among turntablists, produced. This Willie Mabon standard embodies Witherspoon's style- it's a sublime combination of gritty blues and formal sophistication. The song is available on this excellent compilation and on a straight reissue. The unfortunate artwork of Hey, Mrs. Jones is emblematic of those times.

I've previously suggested that 2007 will be a breakthrough year for Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Audiences at the SXSW and Wakarusa festivals will be able to request the band's funky cover of "Mystery Train." It's sounds a bit like Garth Hudson and Bonnie Bramlett jamming with the Allman Brothers. Here's a video and MP3 of the song.

Kansas City Click: Brett Dennen is at the Grand Emporium. I conducted a goofy interview with the young singer-songwriter here. I haven't seen him perform; I hope to attend tonight.

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