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This sort of music always amuses me

Never heard of the bloke before so maybe I’m being unkind. This could just be album filler.

It’s fine. Well played. Good musicians. And yet, umm, there’s nowt there. In many ways it’s like Georgia Satellites. But it’s missing that one thing that GS has. Which is, well, you know. Well, perhaps you don’t – but I think one expression of it would be that this is a group of good musicians playing. GS – often enough – is a band. The difference being that a band has that something more. It’s, umm, an organism.

Here’s Delbert again with Bonnie Raitt.

Excellent musicians and musicianship. And yet, well. Long thought this about Raitt too. She nails a couple of John Prine songs and she’s a very talented musician. But not, perhaps, a band leader – that thing is lacking. That whatever the heck it is.

The other way around. Jagger can’t sing, can’t really hold a note. On the other hand, that thing?

11 thoughts on “This sort of music always amuses me”

  1. Dearme, why did I feel like playing along with that?

    Can you check out Jelly Roll Morton, Chick Webb, Jimmy Lunceford, Fletcher Henderson, and of course all the pop stuff like the King of Swing and the Count and the Duke for seminal examples of great bandleaders?

  2. Roll the Dice. None of the musos ever met each other during recording.

    Bonnie Raitt. Terrific live, terrific in studio. Very shortlisted for best female guitarist. Her politics suck but that’s immaterial. Not a band leader [citation needed].

    Talking about immaterial, despite excellent top notch production the Satellites suffered from the problem that prevents so many talented musicians from making it, namely shit material.

  3. Re Bonnie Raitt as band ‘leader’ – Disagree. I’ve see her live several times over almost 30 years. The only individual player I’ve seen who had a tighter, more put-together live band was J. J. Cale.



  4. llamas – yes – and Delbert is as tight as a nut. The guitar is constantly and intentionally behind the beat and it needs a top-notch rhythm section to prevent that from dragging. The problem on that Bonnie Rait track is the harmonica: it’s a universal feature of blues harp players that they don’t know when to shut up (ie most of the time). On the other hand, it’s the funky percussive hammond that makes the track: shame that he’s out of shot.

  5. @ The Meissen Bison – when I saw J.J. Cale, he was fronting a huge band – 4 guitars, bass, harmonica, mandolin, drums, 2 keyboards and 2 saxes – and they didn’t miss a single beat, not one. Every number was like the final take. Bonnie Raitt was only fronting 4 or 5, but had a comparable outcome. Contrast that with ‘the greatest rock and roll band in the world’, which often comes across as ‘five musicians in roughly the same zip code’.

    For the closest in the modern era to the ‘Wrecking Crew’ for a backing band without flaws, suggest the recordings ‘Live from Daryl’s House’, available on the Tubes of You. The sessions with Billy Gibbons are exceptionally-fine.



  6. Some of the best musicians ever were really only suited to be supporting musicians. Studio contractors, lead guitarists, you name it, if they lack that . . . something, as you phrase it . . . they’re not going to be the face of the band.

    I give you . . . Ry Cooder. Wonderful music. Wonderful musician. But you keep waiting for the lead personality to wander out on stage.

    (Bonnie Rait, on the other hand – seen her many times, she rocks.)

  7. It was Dennis The Peasant (here, as Dennis of the Many Names) who once pointed out that Cooder was always going to be the sideman. For that very reason.

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