Posts Tagged ‘How It Feels To Fly’

David Grissom How It Feels To FlyDavid Grissom – How it Feels to Fly

Last week I may have undersold David Grissom’s latest Album “How it Feels to Fly” Listening to it again last night I realized the songs were still growing on me. I still stand behind what I said about the instrumentals being my favourite tracks. There’s something about the vocal tracks that reminds me of when Eric Clapton or Dave Mason (the one from Traffic) decided they were going to become a bit more radio friendly and de-emphasise the guitar playing in favour of marketable songs. On the other hand that’s when they both began to have massive hits. There’s only one of Grissom’s songs I haven’t warmed up to at this point (“Overnight”), In light of this realization I’m adding the opening track “Bringing Sunday Morning to Saturday Night” to the playlist.

Tommy Castro - Devil You KnowTommy Castro and the Painkillers – The Devil You Know

Revisiting Tommy Castro and the Painkillers, I realized that one song just wasn’t enough, so I’ve included “Center of Attention”, a track I nearly pipped for the playlist the other day.  Maybe it was just the night that was in it, but last night I found myself thinking “The Devil You know” might be up in my top ten albums so far this year. Or at least just bubbling under

Johnny Winter True To The Blues

Johnny Winter – True to the Blues: The Johnny Winter Story

On to new business – sort of. I usually don’t go for retrospective compilations, but it’s been so long since I heard Johnny Winter play guitar I had to give a listen to “True to the Blues: The Johnny Winter Story”.  The title might put off some of the uninitiated who might enjoy this album – True to the blues rock would be more accurate. Yes, there is some straight up blues here, but there’s also a lot of blistering rock and roll. And I mean a lot – according to Spotify this collection runs over four hours. And no, I haven’t listened to it all since the release, but we used to listen to this guy quite a bit 30 or 40 years ago, and ranked him up Eric Clapton, Duane Allman and the other guitar legends of the time. If I have one complaint about this collection, it’s that someone seems to have edited out the cry of “ROCK AND ROLL” before either “Jumping Jack Flash” or “Johnny B Goode” (depending on whether you were listening to the album or the single from “Live Johnny Winter And…” released in 1971). Both tracks are on this compilation, and it’s very tempting to pick one, but I’m going to go for the nearly forgotten classic “Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo”, which has probably fallen through the gaps of modern radio playlists every bit as much as yer man has, but I concede that living in Ireland might give me a different perception of this than the folks back home have. Anyway, it’s on the What Am I Listening To 2014 playlist.

St Vincent St VincentSt. Vincent – St. Vincent

And now for something completely different. Don’t you know I’m going to give a listen to anyone who’s worked with erstwhile Talking Head David Byrne. St. Vincent’s
eponymous new album is left of center pop music, but still within the margins of getting radio play on “Birth in Reverse” and “Digital Witnesses”, and I am enjoying those as well as the rest of the album. But the one that seems to have really resonated with me on the first few listens is the ballad “Prince Johnny”, which is a lovely pop song with some intelligent and eccentric lyrics, so I put it on the playlist. After all the blues rock I’ve added lately I better find something to go with this song so it doesn’t feel all alone, lol.

 

David Grissom’sDavid Grissom How It Feels To Fly band is built around his big, gritty rhythm guitar sound and old-school lead work. The Rhythm section sounds full and meaty and the Hammond organ completes the sonic picture. For me, the best moments on his new album “How it Feels to Fly” come when the songs get out of the way and the band gets to stretch out in those 70’s style blues rock jams that bands like the Allman Brothers used to specialize in. And that should make a bit of sense, since David spent a bit of time as a member of that band back in the 90’s. There’s even a note-perfect version of their chestnut “Jessica” in with the four additional live tracks to prove that point.

In contrast, the new studio songs don’t always seem  to hit the same level of intensity the band achieves on the instrumentals. Some of the songs come close, such as “Bringin’ Sunday Mornin’ to Saturday Night”, which name checks a host of Soul, Blues jazz artists from the past,  “Georgia Girl” and “Never Came Easy to Me”, and they worked for me on early listening. When the song structures venture outside of that style, Such as with the title track, I find it takes me a few listens for the songs to get traction with me. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – some of my favourite music has grown on me rather than resonated with me on first listen.  At first I thought they might benefit from a different arrangement perhaps, such as happens with the mainly acoustic “Satisfied” which works quite well for me. However I don’t feel as strongly about that point now that I’ve heard them a few times.

I’ve picked two from this album for the contrast. “Way Jose” is one of those instrumentals I was raving about. “Gift of Desperation” is probably my favourite song on the album that strays from the Blues/rock song structure. I particularly like the interesting lyric hook – feeling gratitude where others might not. They’re both on the What Am I Listening To 2014 playlist.