Here’s Day 53
I share music with friends of mine just about every day in some way or another. And that’s how I came by today’s pick courtesy of my good friend Danny Van Dyke.
What I love about Danny is he’s17 years older than me so he tends to reach back a little further sometimes and dig out old gems that I’m not as familiar with. The band Kansas was still active in the ’80s when I was a teenager, but their heyday was definitely in the mid to late ’70s when I was just a young kid listening to my dad’s Buck Owens, George Jones and Merle Haggard records. There weren’t any Kansas records in our household, and while I’m familiar with their bigger hits, I had not ever listened to their Live At The Whisky album until tonight. The music was recorded during a live performance in 1992 at the Whisky-A-Go-Go in Los Angeles, while some of the vocals were overdubbed later due to the fact that Steve Walsh was struggling with substance abuse at the time of the original live takes.
Don’t let that stop you. It’s an interesting album that catches a powerful live act still rocking at a time when many classic rock acts were running out of steam. It’s your bonus pick of the day.
— Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb
CHUCK’S ALBUM OF THE DAY
Why I Love It
I was pretty familiar with INXS by the time this album was released a few months after I graduated from high school. I had known and loved the band’s songs since I was in junior high, but this record was something different and even cooler. It’s another example of a great band in its prime firing on every cylinder to make a true masterpiece. From the word go, that’s how I felt about this record. I love the versatility of the songs, from the rocking opener, “Guns in the Sky,” to the beautiful ballad, “Never Tear Us Apart.” While this album saddens me to think of the death of lead singer Michael Hutchence at 37 years old, it also keeps his legacy alive. You still hear some of the singles on the radio today, which is a testament of the album’s greatness.
“Guns in the Sky,” “New Sensation” and “Never Tear Us Apart”
Kendall on Chuck’s Album of the Day
It sounds like an insult to a band to say that the thing you remember best about their album is the cover. That’s Kick by INXS for me. You can mention the name, and I’ll immediately picture the cover in my mind; but I struggle to recall the songs by the titles until I pull them back up. That’s not fair to this band because this is really a great record, and it was a blockbuster at the time of its release. It was good to hear it again, and maybe this time the titles will stick.
KENDALL’S ALBUM OF THE DAY
Why I Love It
I knew Del McCoury’s voice pretty well prior to his 1999 release with Steve Earle titled The Mountain, but that was the first Del McCoury Band record I ever bought.
It was so good that I bought his next one, too — Del And The Boys (without Steve Earle) I saw Del with Steve at The Station Inn in Nashville shortly after The Mountain was released, and each of them also performed as separate acts that night — Steve solo and Del with his band. They played several songs that night without Steve, and I loved what they did.
One of my favorite records of all-time is Del (and the Boys) covering Richard Thompson’s “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” which is on this record. It’s the rare cover that’s on par with the original recording, and I still pull up both versions to this day. But there’s plenty of other things to love about this album including, of course, the incredible musicianship of his sons Rob and Ronnie. It’s one of my favorite bluegrass records from beginning to end.
“1952 Vincent Black Lightning,” “Count Me Out” and “Recovering Pharisee”
Chuck on Kendall’s Album of the Day
If you are not a huge fan of bluegrass music, this album might change your mind. From the opening fiddle, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable record with some insanely good musicianship. There are few cover songs that I like as much as the originals, but the version of Richard Thompson’s “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” to open this album is spectacular.