America is one of my favorite bands. Here they are in their early years with Dewey Bunnell fronting the vocals. He’s accompanied by Gerry Beckley, Dan Peek, and one of my favorite drummers Willie Leacox playing “Tin Man.” The song is off the album “Holiday”, the first of several records to be produced by George Martin.
It’s really unfortunate for Neil Diamond that he passed up this song, written by his roadie Larry Williams. The Bellamy Brothers were smart to record it and make their single (it charted #1 in the US, UK, Canada, Austria, Switzerland and Germany that year). It’s just a great pop tune played by some great players.
Chris Spedding didn’t write this song. The Ted Mulry Gang did. But I chose to post this performance instead because visually and musically it’s a really interesting mashup of several decades, which is particularly interesting because Spedding was known as a versatile session guitarist who could play any style of rock and roll and therefore this crossover of different genres is all too fitting.
Notice how Spedding is wearing a pink 50′s Rockabilly style suit a la Elvis, playing in front of a crowd of screaming girls reminiscent of the Beatles in the 1960′s, and playing on a massive steel frame with his band segregated across it, characteristic of the stadium rock that the 1970′s would carry into the 1980′s. It’s rock music served four different ways.
Throughout the seventies Joe played drums and the keyboard in touring bands for CSNY, The Eagles, and the Stills-Young band, but here is with the title track off his second solo album, “Plantation Harbor.”
I watched Daryl Hall play this song with Nick on his show “Live at Daryl’s House” and loved it.
Here are some songs that I have been practicing lately on my electronic drum kit.
I Don’t Want to Lose You by Hall and Oates (Drums: Roger Pope)
Age of Empires by Dan Griffin (Drums: Howie Beck)
The Fix by Minus the Bear (Drums: Erin Tate)
Line ‘Em Up by James Taylor (Drums: Steve Jordan | Percussion: Luis Conte)
I love when well known songwriters who have been playing with the same band members for years occasionally or just once release an album with other musicians backing them. It always tells a story about the music and band members.
In this case, Stephen Stills and Neil Young of Buffalo Springfield had recorded this album “Long May You Run” with Graham Nash and David Crosby as a sort of CSNY reunion album after they had all been working on their own songs for a while. But Crosby and Nash left to record “Whistling Down the Wire” so Stills and Young apparently scrapped their vocals on it (thankfully the four of them reunited).
Despite the loss, the album is strong and interesting in it’s own way. On the album we get a snapshot of the 1970′s as the arrangements and production are ingrained into both their songwriting and sound. This is primarily due to the session musicians who give their songs a feel that they’re not typically known for.
For instance, in “Midnight on the Bay” you’ll hear classic Neil songwriting incorporating some great harmonies, particularly toward the end where rhythmic backup vocals chanting the chorus lay a foundation for the driving percussion of the bongo and Sills’ fluttering guitar work.
Pretty much as 80′s as it gets.