Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Music Break

This type of post has recently been preempted by tributes to musicians who have gone off to join the band in the sky, but I've still found a few songs worth presenting.  Since my attention has recently been turned toward Jefferson Airplane, due to the passing of two of their original members, my first offering comes from this group.  During their performance at Woodstock, lead guitarist Jorma Kaukonen took a rare turn at lead vocals with Uncle Sam Blues, which does not appear on any of their studio albums.  The video also shows bassist Jack Casady, drummer Spencer Dryden, rhythm guitarist Paul Kantner, vocalist Marty Balin as he shakes some maracas, and vocalist Grace Slick as she stands next to a piano played by guest musician Nicky Hopkins.  Kaukonen wears a swastika on a necklace, not because of any neo-nazi leanings, but as a salute to his Finnish heritage, the symbol once being used by the Finnish air force.

The self-titled 1970 debut solo album of Stephen Stills includes Go Back Home, which features Eric Clapton on the guitar solo.  I think that the wah-wah guitar was played by Stills himself.  According to Wiki, Calvin Samuel played bass and John Barbata (then of the Turtles and later of Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship) played drums.  Backing vocalists included Rita Coolidge, David Crosby, John Sebastian and Cass Elliott.

The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band hails from Indiana, and includes John "The Reverend" Peyton on lead vocals and guitar, his wife Breezy Peyton on washboard and backing vocals, and Ben "Bird Dog" Bussell on drums and plastic bucket.  Their most recent album So Delicious starts off with Let's Jump A Train.

The Brothers Johnson, led by guitarist/vocalist George Johnson and bassist/vocalist Louis Johnson, had a top-ten hit during in 1976 with I'll Be Good To You, and soon afterwards came out with Get The Funk Out Ma Face.  They were often joined by their guitarist cousin Alex Weir, who also was a touring musician with Talking Heads.

By joining the Talking Heads' expanded stage lineup, Weir replaced guitarist Adrian Belew, who had previously recorded and toured with Frank Zappa.  In this live performance of Zappa's Broken Hearts Are For Assholes, Belew plays rhythm guitar and sings harmony vocals.  Drummer Terry Bozzio and bassist Patrick O'Hearn also contribute vocals, O'Hearn's being spoken.  Bozzio and O'Hearn would later form Missing Persons, with Bozzio's wife Dale (vocals), fellow Zappa alumnus Warren Cuccurulo (guitar), and Chuck Wild (keyboards).

That last one was definitely not for the easily offended.

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