Saturday, July 31, 2021

Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren - Sunday Mornings with Reina del Cid, Volume 9 (2020)

This is another album of Reina del Cid and Toni Lindgren doing their usual good stuff, coming up with a new cover version most every Sunday morning, year after year. With this album we're well in the year 2020, but I still have two and a half more albums of songs to get to before I'm caught up to the present day (as I write this in July 2021).

There's not much else to say, I think. Hopefully you've listened to some of the previous albums of theirs I've posted here already, so you already know about their low-key charm. As usual, there's a nice mix of famous songs like "Don't Dream It's Over" and "Landslide" mixed with lesser known ones, such as "How Mountain Girls Can Love" and "Goldmine."

Here's a list of the original artists for each song:

01 You've Got a Friend in Me - Randy Newman
02 The Gambler - Kenny Rogers
03 It's My Lazy Day - Smiley Burnette
04 Old Home Place - Dillards
05 How Mountain Girls Can Love - Stanley Brothers
06 Tennessee Whiskey - Chris Stapleton
07 Don't Dream It's Over - Crowded House
08 Landslide - Fleetwood Mac
09 Crazy Love - Van Morrison
10 Deal - Grateful Dead
11 Goldmine - I Draw Slow
12 Mama Tried - Merle Haggard
13 Don't Think Twice, It's All Right - Bob Dylan
14 The Weakness in Me - Joan Armatrading

Here's the usual song list:

01 You've Got a Friend in Me (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
02 The Gambler (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
03 It's My Lazy Day (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
04 Old Home Place (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
05 How Mountain Girls Can Love (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
06 Tennessee Whiskey (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
07 Don't Dream It's Over (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
08 Landslide (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
09 Crazy Love (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
10 Deal (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
11 Goldmine (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
12 Mama Tried (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
13 Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
14 The Weakness in Me (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)

This album is 44 minutes long.

For the cover photo, I took a screenshot of one of the YouTube videos of the songs featured here. In this case, they performed "The Gambler" at a busy street corner in Las Vegas, since that kind of fit the theme of the song. (By the way, as a result of the location, the sound quality on this one song is a bit rougher than the others on the album.)

Friday, July 30, 2021

Bonnie Raitt - Coming Home - Non-Album Tracks (1999-2004)

Here's another in a series of stray tracks albums for Bonnie Raitt. I plan to keep posting these until I get caught up to the present day.

Raitt has always been fond of doing songs outside her studio albums, often in collaboration with other musicians, and since she hit it big with her "Nick of Time" album in 1989, she's been in high demand.  About half of the songs here are collaborations with others. She's done many more, but I'm only including the ones where she prominently sings, and not just adds guitar. Additionally, some of the songs are from tribute albums or movie soundtracks. Everything is officially released except for "Never Make Your Move Too Soon." And that one was recorded for BBC radio, so it sounds as good as all the rest.

The two bonus tracks are unreleased. They're only bonus tracks because the sound quality isn't as good as the rest.

The album is 44 minutes long, not including the two bons songs.

01 A Stor Mo Chroi (Chieftans with Bonnie Raitt)
02 It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (Bonnie Raitt)
03 I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues [Edit] (Tony Bennett & Bonnie Raitt)
04 Can Love Stand the Test (Bonnie Raitt & Don Henley)
05 It's a Blessing (Maria Muldaur & Bonnie Raitt)
06 Never Make Your Move Too Soon (Bonnie Raitt)
07 Devil Got My Woman (Bonnie Raitt)
08 Do I Ever Cross Your Mind (Ray Charles & Bonnie Raitt)
09 La Brisa Azul (Bonnie Raitt with Pablo Menendez & Rey Guerra)
10 Coming Home (Bonnie Raitt)
11 Will the Sun Ever Shine Again (Bonnie Raitt)

I Believe I’m in Love with You (Bonnie Raitt & Padlock)
I Can't Stop Wanting You (Paul Brady & Bonnie Raitt)

The cover art photo comes from a 2002 concert.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Robert Plant - Acoustic in Europe - Non-Album Acoustic Tracks (1993)

Robert Plant has often dabbled with acoustic music. The general vibe of the 1970 Led Zeppelin album "Led Zeppelin III" is a good early example. However, he never really put out an all-acoustic album. (The 1994 Robert Plant and Jimmy Page album "No Quarter: Unledded" has an acoustic-ish feel at times, but it's more of an attempt to redo Led Zeppelin songs with either orchestra backings and/or non-Western music styles.) 

That said, in the early 1990s, acoustic music trended strongly, due mostly to the "MTV Unplugged" TV show. When Plant released his 1993 album "Fate of Nations," he wasn't entirely unaffected by this trend. He never did an entire all-acoustic concert then (or at any other time, as far as I can tell). However, he did perform songs in acoustic style from time to time, especially during short radio station appearances while on a tour of Europe that summer. This album collects a bunch of his acoustic performances from that tour, while trying hard to not include any song more than once. Additionally, he did some acoustic songs around that time on singles or later as bonus tracks, and I've added those as well. The result, in my opinion, is the best collection of Plant in acoustic mode in 1993 that you're likely to find on the Internet.

In the early 1990s, Plant rediscovered his love for folk rock music from the West Coast of the US in the late 1960s. He also was increasingly reconciling himself with his Led Zeppelin legacy, which would result in reuniting with his fellow Led Zeppelin leader Jimmy Page for the "Unledded" album and tour the next year. So the songs here are a mix of covers of some 1960s West Coast songs he loved, Led Zeppelin songs, and new songs Plant did. (The classic blues song "Hoochie Coochie Man" doesn't obviously fit into those categories at first, but it is a song Led Zeppelin occasionally did in concert.)

The first four songs here, plus the second to last one, are the only officially released ones, from singles or bonus tracks. I generally tried to avoid including any song more than once, as mentioned above, but I made two exceptions: for the Moby Grape cover "8:05" and for the Led Zeppelin classic "Whole Lotta Love." In the first case, Plant did an acoustic version for a non-album single released only in Britain, as well as an acoustic version done in concert. I thought they were different enough for both to merit inclusion. Similarly with "Whole Lotta Love," he did an acoustic version for a B-side as well as a concert version. In that song's case, the two versions are even more different from each other, because the B-side version was done in collaboration with guitarist Rainer Ptacek (who unfortunately died young), and Ptacek added a very interesting dimension to that version, in my opinion.

One other song worth mentioning is the version of "Stairway to Heaven" that ends this album. It's the only song here from 1994, and it's a collaboration with Jimmy Page. From what I understand, Plant and Page were very tired of this song by the 1990s, because it's a great song but it also is arguably one of the most overplayed songs of all time. As a result, they never played the song during the 1990s collaboration, with this one exception. This recording was done for a Japanese TV show, apparently due to a special request from their Japanese hosts. I like this performance a lot since it's done in a unique acoustic style, with just Plant singing and Page on a solo acoustic guitar. The downside is that the studio version of the song is about seven minutes long, and this one is only three minutes long. They did most of the acoustic first part of the song, but skipped the hard rock build up and soloing, going straight to the last line. Still, half of this classic song done in this style is better than none at all.

This album is 54 minutes long.

01 Great Spirit [Acoustic Version] (Robert Plant)
02 Dark Moon [Acoustic Version] (Robert Plant)
03 8-05 [Studio Version] (Robert Plant)
04 21 Years (Robert Plant)
05 talk (Robert Plant)
06 Whole Lotta Love (Robert Plant)
07 29 Palms (Robert Plant)
08 I Believe (Robert Plant)
09 Hoochie Coochie Man (Robert Plant)
10 Thank You (Robert Plant)
11 8-05 (Robert Plant)
12 If I Were a Carpenter (Robert Plant)
13 Going to California (Robert Plant)
14 talk (Robert Plant)
15 Bluebird (Robert Plant)
16 Whole Lotta Love [Acoustic Version] (Robert Plant & Rainer Ptacek)
17 Stairway to Heaven (Robert Plant & Jimmy Page)

It's been a few years since I put this album together for myself, and it was that long since I found the cover art photo. I don't remember where it's from exactly, but I'm pretty sure it dates to 1993.

Keb Mo - Memphis Bar and Grill, Richmond, VA, 6-21-1995

Having just returned from a long vacation, when I got back I searched the Internet for good music that has popped up while I was gone. One thing I came across was this bootleg concert. It's been around for years, apparently, but it was new to me. 

I think Keb Mo is very talented, but I'm frustrated with most of his albums. I feel what makes his music special is when he plays the blues, especially acoustic blues, yet on his albums he often tends to go for a generic "adult contemporary" poppy sound. That wasn't the case for his debut album, 1994's "Keb Mo," which is one of his best. This is a solo acoustic concert from when he was promoting that album and was heavily into his blues mode. 

Not surprisingly, he played nearly every song from that album. But the concert is twice as long as the album (an hour and twenty minutes), so he played many other songs too. Generally, that means some bluesy covers, as well as originals that would appear on later albums he did. There's one song I'm unsure of, but for some reason it has the title "First Class Ticket." If anyone knows if that's the real name of that song, or what the real name is, please let me know. 

By the way, 14 years before the release of his first album using the name "Keb Mo," he put out an album under his birth name, Kevin Moore. This was before he really got into the blues, and the style was different, I understand. Interestingly, two of the songs here come from that album, "Rainmaker" and "Anybody Seen My Girl." He put a different version of the latter song on his 1994 album, and redid the first one on another album as well.

The sound quality of this show is excellent, and has to be a soundboard. If you like the sound of his 1994 album, you could almost thing of this as a super-sized all-acoustic version. As I usually do, I put the banter between songs on their own tracks. In a few cases, I removed some boring bits between songs, pretty much all guitar tuning or a DJ talking during encore breaks. Other than that, I didn't change anything.

01 talk (Keb Mo)
02 Grandma's Hands (Keb Mo)
03 Kind Hearted Woman Blues (Keb Mo)
04 Angelina (Keb Mo)
05 talk (Keb Mo)
06 Death Letter (Keb Mo)
07 talk (Keb Mo)
08 Love Blues (Keb Mo)
09 Tell Everybody I Know (Keb Mo)
10 Dirty, Low Down and Bad (Keb Mo)
11 talk (Keb Mo)
12 Am I Wrong (Keb Mo)
13 talk (Keb Mo)
14 Rainmaker (Keb Mo)
15 City Boy (Keb Mo)
16 She Just Wants to Dance (Keb Mo)
17 talk (Keb Mo)
18 Anybody Seen My Girl (Keb Mo)
19 talk (Keb Mo)
20 Perpetual Blues Machine (Keb Mo)
21 talk (Keb Mo)
22 Every Morning (Keb Mo)
23 talk (Keb Mo)
24 Victims of Comfort (Keb Mo)
25 talk (Keb Mo)
26 Take It Away (Keb Mo)
27 talk (Keb Mo)
28 First Class Ticket (Keb Mo)
29 talk (Keb Mo)
30 America, the Beautiful (Keb Mo)
31 talk (Keb Mo)

I couldn't find a cover art photo for the exact concert in question. But at least this one comes from a concert in Chicago held the same month, June 1995.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Morgan James - Quarantunes, Volume 5 (2020)

I'm still on vacation, but I should be back home in less than a week. I haven't had as much time to post things to this blog as I'd expected. Right now, I'm going to post a Morgan James album, even though I did one a few posts back, because it's a rare case of something where I already have an album cover made. 

Also, I've posted a bunch of her albums, so I don't think I need to explain things. This is just like virtually all of her other albums I've posted, with her doing all cover songs in a strictly acoustic format. 

As usual with her, she does songs from a wide range of time periods and styles. (All the songs are here in the order she originally recorded them. Note on this album, there's e a Kay Perry song followed by one from Irving Berlin!) 

Here's a list of the original artists for each song:

01 I Won't Back Down - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
02 Missing You - John Waite
03 When You're Gone - Cranberries
04 I'll Stand by You - Pretenders
05 Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight - James Taylor
06 Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year - Frank Loesser
07 Eleanor Rigby - Beatles
08 Every Time You Go Away - Paul Young
09 Your Song - Elton John
10 Wide Awake - Katy Perry
11 What'll I Do - Irving Berlin
12 I Remember You - Johnny Mercer
13 Nowhere to Run - Martha & the Vandellas
14 Don't Get Around Much Anymore - Duke Ellington
15 Out of Touch - Hall and Oates

And here's the usual song list:

01 I Won't Back Down (Morgan James)
02 Missing You (Morgan James)
03 When You're Gone (Morgan James)
04 I'll Stand by You (Morgan James)
05 Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight (Morgan James)
06 Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year (Morgan James)
07 Eleanor Rigby (Morgan James)
08 Every Time You Go Away (Morgan James)
09 Your Song (Morgan James)
10 Wide Awake (Morgan James)
11 What'll I Do (Morgan James)
12 I Remember You (Morgan James)
13 Nowhere to Run (Morgan James)
14 Don't Get Around Much Anymore (Morgan James)
15 Out of Touch (Morgan James)

As with the other albums in this series, the cover art is a screenshot taken from one of the YouTube videos of the songs included. I forget which one, though..

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Steve Winwood - Acoustic - Non-Album Tracks (1994-2020)

Here's a personal update: I'm still on my long vacation, and still having very full days acting like a tourist. Yesterday, I switched from having very full days acting like a typical tourist in the big cities along the upper East Coast to chilling out in rural Vermont with a much more relaxed vacation pace. Nearly all the remainder of my vacation will be in the countryside. That means I should be able to post more often, knock on wood. 

One downside though is that I'm working from a tablet/light laptop that has my music collection on it but doesn't have Photoshop, so I can't make any album covers at the moment. Thus, I'll be posting albums here without album covers until I get home (about two weeks from now), unless it happens to be a case where I'd made an album cover already. Then I'll make the missing album covers when I get back home. However, if anyone wants to make an album cover, I could use that instead and update the post fairly quickly with that. In this particular case, some of the songs come from YouTube videos of Steve Winwood playing a guitar in front of a home fireplace, so that would make for a great cover.

Anyway, on to the music. It's likely you know Steve Winwood from his long career, first with the Spencer Davis Group, then Traffic, then Blind Faith, then a solo career. There are times he's done some acoustic-based music, such as with the Traffic album "John Barleycorn Must Die," but he's never put out an all-acoustic album, and his solo acoustic performances have been very rare. I've gathered up all the ones I could find, stretching from 1994 to 2020. That's a wide range of time, but it all fits together well in my opinion, since his voice and his style hasn't changed much over those years. 

All of the songs are officially unreleased on record, though the third through fifth songs come from an official DVD. Also, two songs, the sixth and seventh ones, were put out by Winwood on his website, The rest generally come from in-person radio station appearances, so the sound quality is very high throughout. 

Two of the songs are covers: "What's Going On" and "Now the Green Blade Riseth." The rest generally are his best known songs from all phases of his career, including songs he originally did with the Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, and Blind Faith. A couple of the songs feature him on keyboards, but most are him on acoustic guitar. One song, "Higher Love," is a duet between him and his daughter Lilly Winwood, who has a fine voice.

This album is only 36 minutes long, but it's a gem all the way through, in my opinion. If anyone knows of other acoustic versions he's done that I've missed, please let me know and I'll add them in.

01 We're Gonna Make It (Steve Winwood)
02 While You See a Chance (Steve Winwood)
03 [Roamin' thro' the Gloamin' With] 40,000 Headmen (Steve Winwood)
04 Dear Mr. Fantasy (Steve Winwood)
05 Gimme Some Lovin' (Steve Winwood)
06 Can't Find My Way Home (Steve Winwood)
07 John Barleycorn (Steve Winwood)
08 Higher Love (Steve Winwood & Lilly Winwood)
09 Back in the High Life Again (Steve Winwood)
10 What's Going On (Steve Winwood)
11 Can't Find My Way Home (Steve Winwood)
12 Now the Green Blade Riseth (Steve Winwood)

The cover here was made by PJ of the Albums I Wish Existed blog. The pic is a screenshot taken from a YouTube video Winwood did a few years ago.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Morgan James - Quarantunes, Volume 4 (2020)

A couple of weeks ago, I posted that I was going on a vacation lasting longer than a month. I'm about two weeks into that vacation, and I'm happy to say that I'm having a very good time. In fact, it's been such a busy time that I've barely had any time to get on the Internet, much less work on this blog. But finally I managed to find an hour to post another album. This particular album was chosen because I knew I had already made the album cover art and I could do it quickly. Although I'll still be traveling for the next three weeks or so, I think things will slow down some as I move into more of a relaxing mode instead of sightseeing mode, so I hope I'll have time to make some other posts. 

Since I have limited spare time during this vacation, I'll try to keep my comments brief. Luckily, this is an album where I don't think I have to say much. If you know the previous albums I've posted by Morgan James, you should know the drill by now. These are more acoustic cover versions by a great female singer.

Here are the original artists that made the songs famous:

01 Lights - Journey
02 All by Myself - Eric Carmen
03 Message in a Bottle - Police
04 The Way It Is - Bruce Hornsby
05 Owner of a Lonely Heart - Yes
06 Don't Stop - Fleetwood Mac
07 When Can I See You - Babyface
08 Missing - Everything but the Girl
09 Ain't Misbehavin' - Fats Waller
10 Across the Universe - Beatles
11 Goodbye for Now - Stephen Sondheim
12 Miss You Much - Janet Jackson
13 I Can't Get Next to You - Temptations
14 Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel

And here's the usual song list:

01 Lights (Morgan James)
02 All by Myself (Morgan James)
03 Message in a Bottle (Morgan James)
04 The Way It Is (Morgan James)
05 Owner of a Lonely Heart (Morgan James)
06 Don't Stop (Morgan James)
07 When Can I See You (Morgan James)
08 Missing (Morgan James)
09 Ain't Misbehavin' (Morgan James)
10 Across the Universe (Morgan James)
11 Goodbye for Now (Morgan James)
12 Miss You Much (Morgan James)
13 I Can't Get Next to You (Morgan James)
14 Bridge Over Troubled Water (Morgan James)

As with the other albums in this Quarantunes series, the album cover uses a screenshot I took from one of the videos of one of the songs here (but I forget which song exactly).