Saturday, June 28, 2008

Another Blast From The Past

After many years of concerts (most of them early in my adult life), I do not get to see them very often. But I have seen almost everyone I have wanted to see, with a few exceptions here and there. Some are dead, some bands have broken up and will never again perform. And yet, every now and then, an opportunity arises to see someone I have never seen comes along.

Tonight, I will be doing just that by taking the Aussies visiting us to see The Steve Miller Band, with Joe Cocker as the opening act. So for this weekend's ABFTP, here is a taste of what I hope I am in store for, this evening.

Joe Cocker made his mark redoing other people's songs and when I think about it, I am not altogether sure why. He doesn't have the best voice, he isn't particularly great looking. But in spite of these often perceived handicaps, his musical support has always seemed to carry him through to some pretty successful hit songs and albums.

Here are a couple of my favorites.

Written by former Traffic member Dave Mason, this song was also covered by Grand Funk Railroad. This one is entitled, Feelin' Alright:

Written by songwriter Wayne Carson Thompson and originally made a hit by a band called the Box Tops, this next one propelled Cocker into the number seven position on the US charts. You might recognize Leon Russell in this video as the keyboard player. (It also contains some outstanding brass arrangements.) Here is The Letter:

Steve Miller grew up with a lot of musical influences around him. Being taught his first chords by a man names Les Paul, his music evolved into part blues, part jazz, and part rock and roll. He is truly one of the most versatile rock artists, I have ever heard.

Since there is no possible way I could cover every possible hit song, so I am not going to try. But after much thought, time, and consideration, here are a few of my favorites.

First up is one of his earlier tunes that blended the late sixties sound with an excellent jazzy blues mix. This one is called Living In The USA:

Next up is a folksy little tune that shows his Texas roots. Even my good friend Mustang will like this one. Here is Dance, Dance, Dance:

His first big hit was a tune called The Joker, which was probably my least favorite. But his second #1 hit is a real rock favorite that still can be heard on classical rock stations everywhere. It's a very 70s kind of sound, here is Rockin Me:

Finally, one of my very favorite SMB songs was one that was included on the Fly Like An Eagle LP, but was greatly overlooked and overshadowed by the several other hits from that release. Here is Serenade:


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