Is That Me?

by The Uninvited

~ How many times can you record one song?

To the rest of the world they were from San Francisco, but to folks who lived in Northern California and knew their way around a map, they were actually from Santa Rosa. The Uninvited were one of those fringe bands you hear on the radio once or twice in your life and would play to sold-out club crowds all over the country but somehow would hit a ceiling of about a few hundred fans in any given market.

We’ll talk later about how many times we’ve seen these guys live, but for now just chill with this song of wistful regret that they’ve managed to record about five different times. The best version is the one that was on the last independent album before they got signed to a big label (Tragically Hip); it’s the one with the acoustic guitar higher in the mix and with Bill’s harmony vocals over the outro. This one here is from their self-titled major-label debut, that didn’t make a major dent in the music world largely because the record company didn’t seem to give a shit.

Checking out while we’re still young? Sure, the first time I saw these guys over 20 years ago…

Incidentally, Celtic-rockers The Young Dubliners recorded a pretty solid cover of the song, too, with a fiddle in the mix

Take It To The Limit

by The Eagles

~ Wide open western highway landscapes ~

Certain songs transport you to a specific time and others transport you to a specific place. The latter are especially effective when the place is as timeless as those enormous landscapes of the American West. Whether you’re cruising I-40 west of Albuquerque or I-70 west of Grand Junction, those enormous plateaus, mesas, and buttes are magnificent to behold and truly stunning.

The soaring chords of this classic Eagles tune were tailor made for cruising those western landscapes. You can get off the interstates too, just like Lightning McQueen figured out by the end of the first Cars movie. You can get on Route 66, or cruise the reservation roads to Four Corners, or take the Million Dollar Highway from Durango to Silverton to Ouray.  It really doesn’t matter, as long as you’ve got a mile-wide sky in front of you, tree-covered peaks on two sides and dust covered peaks on the other two, and the Eagles blasting through the speaker with the top down

Stop Kickin’ My Heart Around

by The Black Crowes

~ The groove you can’t hum along ~

Think about all those great Crowes tunes.  Now hum one of them.  Easy, right?  You can hum & air guitar the opening of Twice as Hard or Remedy, or the main riff from Sting Me or the chords from Sister Luck or the underlying riff in Conspiracy.  Now do this one.

You can’t.  You’re not even close.

This one is 4 minutes of straight up slide guitar riffing with a pissed-off Chris Robinson over the top telling someone to fuck all the way off.  You can sing along with this one real easily.  It’s a great shout-along song and gets a huge live chorus from the audience belting back at the stage.  But it’s a very rare Black Crowes tune that you can’t hum along with the riff, because it just isn’t there.