Thursday, November 17, 2016

Music Break

Now that the election is over a week in the past, I can turn my attention back to music for a bit.  The first number, Crossfire, comes from In Step, the fourth and last album by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble.  It was written by his band-mates Tommy Shannon (bass), Chris Layton (drums) and Reese Wynans (keyboards), along with Bill Carter and Ruth Ellsworth.  The track includes Joe Sublett on sax and Darrell Leonard on trumpet, the two collectively known as the Texicali Horns.  Sadly, after releasing Family Style with his brother Jimmy, Vaughan would die in a helicopter crash after performing at a show in Wisconsin in 1990.

Another song which includes organ and horns, and comes from a man named Steve, is Roll With It, from the album of the same name, by Steve Winwood.  After starting out with the Spencer Davis Group during his teen years, Winwood also played in bands such as Traffic and Blind Faith.

In 1968, John Fred and his Playboy Band released Judy In Disguise.  Soon afterwards, it was covered by a band with a confusingly similar name, Gary Lewis and the Playboys.  This video of the original version shows two trumpet players, a guitarist, a bassist, a man playing a tambourine, and John Fred himself, but the song also includes a piano, strings, drums and some sound effects.

Another song I remember from way back is Rock & Roll Music, by The Archies, a fictional cartoon group who in reality consisted of lead singer Ron Dante and assorted studio musicians and backing vocalists.  Jeff Barry, who wrote the song, contributes the bass cameo vocals.

To finish, I must include a song by Leon Russell, who passed away earlier this week.  During his very long musical career, Russell was a songwriter, session musician, and singer.  During the early 1970's, one of the first rock and roll songs I listened to was Tight Rope.  The song's B-side was This Masquerade, which was covered by George Benson, for whom it became a Top-10 hit.

2016 continues to be a sad year for musicians.  Besides Russell, we also recently lost Leonard Cohen, whose Hallelujah has been covered by numerous artists.

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