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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Steve Earle

Posted by Amoebite, March 20, 2018 12:35pm | Post a Comment

Steve Earle What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

Outlaw country artist Steve Earle doesn't hide his influences. Before his recent in-store performance at Amoeba Hollywood Earle did some record shopping and picked up a couple of Waylon Jennings albums, including 1973's Honky Tonk Heroes. "My new record, So You Wannabe an Outlaw, is sort of, shamelessly and unapologetically patterned after this Waylon Jennings record," he told us. "It was country acts figuring out that rock acts got to do things they didn't get to do," he explained. "They got to make records the way they wanted to." Earle also grabbed another Jennings record, Dreaming My Dreams. "I was actually kind of around, got to go to some of the sessions, and hang out a little bit," he recounted, talking of producer Jack Clement and his "little empire he'd built up" in Nashville. But it wasn't all country for Earle, who had a very diverse collection of LPs and shared some interesting anecdotes about his relationship with each one in this What's In My Bag? episode.

Steve Earle has made in his mark in the folk, country, and rock scenes over the past three decades as a songwriter and producer. He is the author of a memoir, a play, a novel, and a collection of short stories. Earle has also appeared as an actor on a long list of films and TV shows, including 30 Rock, Treme, and The Wire. He began his career as a staff songwriter in Nashville before going on to record his debut EP, Pink & Black, in 1982. Earle's debut full-length, Guitar Town, appeared in 1986 and was an instant success, with both the title track and single "Goodbye's All We've Got Left" reaching the Billboard Top 10.

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Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue

Posted by Whitmore, August 17, 2009 11:27pm | Post a Comment

So I use to run this illegal bar, a speakeasy, and the specialty of the house was your traditional Vodka or Gin martini -- straight up, a couple of olives or a tiny pickled onion or a sliver of a lemon peel, no frills but a damn, damn good martini and never, ever a frigging apple pomegranate fusion monstrosity.
 
(H. L. Mencken once said the martini was "the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet," and I’d like to keep it that way. And since I’m on the subject... a martini should be stirred not shaken. Sorry Mr. Bond, but all you are ordering up is some weakass drink, watered down by melting shards of ice. Once and for all, a martini should be stirred, never shaken and served in a painfully cold glass.)
 
Anyway, the best part of the night was always after hours, around 4 or 4:30 in the morning. At that hour it was always quiet, I was relaxed, the patrons were relaxed, folks just sat around -- the trouble of the day or week was behind them, the stress of trying to get laid had more or less strayed, at least momentarily, though sex springs eternal and with the new dawn you knew at least one fresh scheme would soon ascend, prospectively. The soul, body and mind, conceivably worn to the bone, inevitably found a re-energized oomph in a good drunken conversation over one last martini. I loved the pretension almost as much as I loved that time of the day. And the perfect music to play at that hour was always, always Miles DavisKind of Blue.
 
Well, 50 years ago today, August 17, 1959, Kind of Blue was released on Columbia Records, in both mono and stereo, catalogue number CL-1355. The recording sessions took place earlier in the year in New York City, on March 2 and April 22, and featured soon to be legends all: Miles Davis on trumpet, pianists Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly, and John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley on saxophones, with drummer Jimmy Cobb and bassist Paul Chambers.
 
So cool, so beautiful, so perfect, contemplative, sleek and sophisticated. Kind of Blue soars into uncharted space; five decades ago it stretched the boundaries and the very definition of jazz. Davis’, along with arranger Gil Evans’ modal experimentations abandoned the traditional song concept of chord changes to support a melody in favor of musical scales, re-inventing improvisation and a sound that would dominate the form of jazz for rest of the century. And though exact numbers have never quite been formulated, Kind of Blue has been cited as the best-selling jazz record of all time. On October 7, 2008, it was certified quadruple platinum. But beyond numbers, Kind of Blue is regarded by many critics as the greatest jazz album of all time and Miles Davis's masterpiece.