Okay, I’ve gone a little overboard, again, as usual, but did I ever have fun doing it. My good friend Mary over at Jingle Jangle Jungle dared us to come up with songs with destinations in the title. Here are eleven (count ’em, 11) of them.
- Muddy Waters, “Kansas City” I was going to use Wilbert Harrison’s version from 1959, but I like this one so much better. Featuring the great band Muddy assembled in the mid-Seventies: Bob Margolin (first solo) and Lonnie “Guitar Jr.” Johnson (second solo), guitars; Jerry Portnoy, harmonica; “Pinetop” Perkins, piano and vocal; Calvin Jones, bass; and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, drums.
- Sting, “Englishman in New York” From his 1987 album …Nothing Like The Sun, with Branford Marsalis on soprano sax. The elderly gentleman in the video is Quentin Crisp, author of 1968’s The Naked Civil Servant.
- JJ Cale, “New Orleans” From his 1990 album Travel-Log, one of my favorite albums of all time.
- Bireli Lagrene, “Senegal” Gypsy jazz guitarist Lagrene is best known for his ability to play almost like the amazing Django Reinhardt, but he recorded Foreign Affairs in 1990 to show he had an electric side. The album has faded into obscurity, but as one of the people who bought it (twice, as a matter of fact, on cassette and CD), I can tell you it’s amazing and “Senegal” is one reason.
- The Ides Of March, “LA Goodbye” Did very well as a single in the Chicago area (the Ides are from west suburban Berwyn), but virtually nowhere else, in 1971.
- Tony Bennett, “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” A classic by Mr. Bennett, who is most emphatically not joined by Lady Gaga on this recording.
- Redbone, “Witch Queen of New Orleans” Do you realize it was only recently that I learned it was Redbone who did this one? Great song, and I know that’s two songs about New Orleans…
- “Scotland The Brave” Not sure what pipe band did this one, but it’s a classic tune and one that every piper needs to know how to play. I’m serious, it’s in the rules.
- Murray Head, “One Night In Bangkok” From the 1984 concept album Chess, written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus of ABBA, with lyrics by Tim Rice. This is the only good song from it, as far as I can tell.
- Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, Johnny Winter, Robert Cray, Hubert Sumlin, and others, “Sweet Home Chicago” Someone would have my head if I didn’t include this one.
- The Amboy Dukes, “Journey To The Center Of The Mind” Not all destinations are external, after all. Sixteen-year-old Ted Nugent plays the guitar on this one.
If you think of any that you would have added, let me know and I’ll add them. And that, at long last, is Monday’s Music Moves Me for June 19, 2017.