I’m drinking Leinenkugels and listening to Gatemouth Brown on Pandora after just listening to Keb Mo sing Suitcase. Brown’s song is Somebody Else. Both great songs.
I’ve lately been listening to three types of music depending on my mood and what I’m doing at the time. I have come to like the blues more than I ever have. I’ve loved the blues for decades, since I was in college when I discovered the blues. I’m not sure that I knew that the blues existed before I went off to college in Madison in the 1960s when everything was in ferment and the old bluesmen from the Delta and elsewhere in the south were being rediscovered during the folk revival of that era. Recently for some reason, maybe because over the last decade I’ve often lived the blues, I feel them more. I tend to prefer blues that are more folky and jazzy, slower, even laid back. I actually dislike the more heavy, rock oriented blues (like Walter Trout who I am listening to now or like George Thorogood).
Secondly, I have been listening to a lot of jazz vocalists or vocalists doing the Great American Songbook. The best CD I’ve purchase over the last few years is Volume V of Rod Stewart’s Great American Songbook series of CDs. Volume III is also great. I’ve also enjoyed Diana Krall, Madeleine Peyroux, Melody Gardot, Kat Edmonson, and others. Another of the best CDs over the last few years is From Paris to Rio by Karrin Allyson, one song of which is Plaisir D’Amour, a song that I can listen to endlessly. And how about Etta James doing At Last?
Taste is a strange thing. As I mentioned, I adore Plaisir D’Amour, so much that I had to play it for my daughter and one of her friends. We were in my car, they were in the back seat, I started the song, and pumped up the volume. They didn’t react at all. They weren’t impressed and I ended up feeling a bit embarrassed.
A few months later, my daughter drove up from the great state of Nebraska to spend a few days visiting. She had heard a CD by Natalie Maines (ex of the Dixie Chicks) that she liked so well that she bought a copy for me and copies for some of her friends. I was not impressed with the CD. It did nothing for me.
Is there such as thing as good taste? Or bad taste? I trust my daughter’s taste but she is not moved by songs I love and vice versa. I think there may be educated taste and non-educated taste, but is educated taste necessarily any better than non-educated taste? I don’t know. There only conclusion that I feel competent to state is that people’s tastes are different (duh!).
Back to the third type of music – afro-cuban music in all its various forms: son, salsa, bolero, merengue, bachata, township music from South Africa, the proto-bluesmen from Mali. One great CD is Eric Bibb and Habib Koite teaming up on Brothers From Bamako, a mix of a folksy American blues with Malian music.
This is the stuff I’ve been listening to lately. Throw in a bit of Mozart and Beethoven, a smattering of jazz (Errol Garner on the piano), some contemporary singer-songwriters (Amos Lee), bits of Opera (O Mio Babinno Caro), and you’ve got my CD collection. Did I forget to mention a bit of Americana and country. How about Dwight Yoakam and Buck Owens doing The Streets Of Bakersfield? Johnny Cash? The Nashville Bluegrass Band?
Well, I’m running out of words. Still drinking beer, still listening to the blues on Pandora. Night all.