069: Catherine Russell, ‘New Speedway Boogie’

Posted by jeff on Feb 20, 2016 in Rock, Song Of the week, Vocalists

This week’s SoTW shouldn’t have even made it to our turntable. The song is a toss-off by The Grateful Dead, a band more successful in leading acid-drenched mobs on long, aimless trips than in providing fodder for covers. The singer is a first-timer backup singer steeped in string jazz-blues from the 1920-30s, not exactly a favorite of mine. The band features a banjo and trombone. Need I continue?

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Catherine (Cat) Russell. She’s a musically pedigreed NYer whose father was Louis Armstrong’s long-time musical director, and whose mother holds degrees from both Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music. Cat has sung backing vocals for the likes of David Bowie, Jackson Browne, Steely Dan, Levon Helm, Madonna, Diana Ross, and Paul Simon.

Her debut album, “Cat” (2006), like its successors “Sentimental Streak” (2008) and “Inside This Heart of Mine” (2010), is steeped in Fats Waller-era tunes, where the line between blues and jazz wasn’t yet drawn. My friend JE likes that stuff. My friend EM likes that stuff. Guess what? JM doesn’t, not ordinarily. But this Cat Russell is just full of surprises. There’s not a bad note, not a bad decision, not a single boring passage. She’s refreshing, charming, sexy, wry and tasteful.

Cat with Satchmo

She charms all her material, nary a dud song in the bunch. She even takes Darn that Dream, a song I’ve encountered only about 300 cloying versions of, and makes it swing.

Her phrasing is reminiscent of Billie Holiday, but where Lady Day pulled phrases way beyond the beat out of pain or world-weariness or a drug cloud, Cat does so with a twinkle in her eye, for the calculated effect of dramatic irony. But if the material is often 1920s, and the frame of reference 1950s, the particular song here quintessential 1960s, the sound here is sparkling fresh.

Lots of Cat’s music is available on YouTube. But what I find so surprising is how much my listening pleasure is enhanced by the terrific sound of her recordings. I’m surprised to hear myself saying that. In my anal, obsessive pursuit of musical minutiae, I often avail myself of “The Penguin Guide” to jazz, to classical music. They like writing things like, “The Strinenphfuffen AC-327 microphone is unfortunately placed several millimeters above the 1926 Gringenhofger instrument’s D-string, flaunting the more respectful tradition of a restrained approach. The playing, however, is faultless and the music as perspicacious as is usually found in Count Wxyzerhofsky’s middle period.” But here on “Cat”, what can I tell you? I actually revel in the sound itself. The videos made in the studio are fun to watch, but I greatly prefer the glow of the higher-quality recordings.

This stands in marked contrast to The Grateful Dead’s studio incompetence. I guess if they were sober enough to find the studio, they were too straight to play. “Workingman’s Dead” is one of only two or three exceptions, an album I’ve known and loved since its release in 1970. Its success is in its tight, acoustic, close-harmony sound, much influenced by Crosby, Stills and Young, in great songs such as ‘Uncle John’s Band’ and ‘High Time’. To tell you the truth, I’d skip over ‘New Speedway Boogie‘ as often as I’d listen to it. I always had the impression that Jerry Garcia didn’t choose to write the song in a modal mode; he was just too stoned to change chords. I always dismissed the lyrics as typical Robert Hunter psychedelic babble. Till Cat Russell kicked the song in the butt and made me listen.

The song describes the infamous Altamont Free Concert, which took place in December 1969, a few months after Woodstock, at the Altamont Raceway. The Dead organized the gig, which was supposed to be Woodstock West. But while the Rolling Stones were singing ‘Sympathy for the Devil’, an innocent listener was beaten to death by Hell’s Angels, who were inexplicably and bizarrely hired to ‘keep order’, an oxymoron if there ever was one. The beating took place right under Jagger’s nose, was captured on film, and together with the Kent State shootings put an end to the Age of Aquarius. Here’s a nice video of The Dead singing ‘New Speedway Boogie’ live, a pretty typically spacey performance.

Hunter’s lyrics, as usual, defy simple explication, but now that I look at them, they make a whole lot of sense. And they certainly do reflect The Dead’s disillusionment –and ours – with what went down at that racetrack. They organized the festival, and never got to play.

So here’s Cat Russell’s take on the song. The band is comprised of a mandolin, a stand-up knock-down bass, and a tambourine. Oh, and one fine, fine singer.

Recommended Listening:

Cat Russell on record (can you still say that?):

Just Because You Can

We The People

My Man’s an Undertaker

Inside This Heart of Mine

Long, Strong and Consecutive

Close Your Eyes

New Speedway Boogie (live)

‘New Speedway Boogie’ — Music Jerry Garcia, Lyrics Robert Hunter

Please don’t dominate the rap, jack, if you’ve got nothing new to say.
If you please, don’t back up the track; this train’s got to run today.
I spent a little time on the mountain, I spent a little time on the hill.
I heard someone say “Better run away”, others say “better stand still”.

Now I don’t know, but I been told it’s hard to run with the weight of gold.
Other hand I have heard it said, it’s just as hard with the weight of lead.

Who can deny, who can deny, it’s not just a change in style?
One step done and another begun and I wonder how many miles.
I spent a little time on the mountain, I spent a little time on the hill.
Things went down we don’t understand, but I think in time we will.
Now, I don’t know but I was told in the heat of the sun a man died of cold.
Keep on coming or stand and wait, with the sun so dark and the hour so late.
You can’t overlook the lack, jack, of any other highway to ride.
It’s got no signs or dividing lines and very few rules to guide.

I spent a little time on the mountain, I spent a little time on the hill.
I saw things getting out of hand, I guess they always will.
Now I don’t know but I been told
If the horse don’t pull you got to carry the load.
I don’t know whose back’s that strong, maybe find out before too long.

One way or another, one way or another,
One way or another, this darkness got to give.

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029: Eva Cassidy, ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’

Posted by jeff on Jul 15, 2015 in Song Of the week, Vocalists

I made a discovery this week, and I’d like to share it with you – you can learn something about life from music. If you choose to quote or reprint that pearl of wisdom, please make sure you give me due credit for having coined it.

But, like all truisms, it is in fact true. You see, there’s this song we all know, “Over the Rainbow”. There are a number of remarkable things about it.

For one, in their list of Songs of the Century, the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts ranked it Number One, surpassing both ‘My Way’ and ‘Ballad of the Green Berets’. Not bad. Secondly, the musical database I know and love and live inside, AllMusic (God bless their souls), lists over 4000 renditions of the song. Thirdly, by my accounting, it is the runaway record holder for Most Artists’ Signature Song. By my accounting, and I probably missed a couple, ‘Over the Rainbow’ is/was considered to be My Signature Song by no less than Judy Garland, The United States Army, Art Pepper, Livingston Taylor, Willie Nelson, Rufus Wainwright, Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole, “American Idol” television show contestants, and Eva Cassidy.

If you’ll bear with me, I’d like to share with you why I chose Eva’s version as our Song of The Week. Hands-down.

‘Over the Rainbow’ was of course written for the movie “The Wizard of Oz” in 1938, and sung by Judy Garland. Judy Garland’s Dorothy sings Over the Rainbow 20 minutes into the movie after unsuccessfully trying to get her aunt and uncle to listen to her regarding an unpleasant incident involving her dog Toto and the nasty spinster Miss Gulch, whom Toto bit after she struck him with a rake. Now, that’s heavy stuff, but I’m not sure it’s a seminal enough event to inspire the #1 song of the century.

The brilliant 1998 documentary film “An Empire of Their Own”, based upon Neal Gabler’s book, presents the song, very convincingly in my eyes, as an emblem of the fears of Jews in America of what Hitler was might do to the family they had left behind. Sounds far-fetched? The song was written by Harold Arlen (music), E.Y. (Edgar) Harburg (lyrics). As kids, they were named Chaim Arlook and Yipsel Harburg. Look at original movie version of the song, think 1938, remember where Harold and Yip’s families were, and you tell me what was on their minds when their heads hit the pillow at night.

The American fighting troops in WWII adopted it as ‘their song’, but I don’t have any recordings of that to share with you. Fortunately, perhaps.

Art Pepper (1925-1982) was a white alto saxophonist who led a life tormented by his heroin addiction, as harrowingly described in his autobiography, Straight Life. He certainly went through a lot of pain, which he expressed through his rendition of the song. I’ve read the book, I’ve listened to over a dozen albums carefully, and I admire his playing, but he doesn’t grab me viscerally. I don’t warm up to him. I don’t want to say that he brought his addiction on himself, and shouldn’t be pitied for it. Well, maybe I do. I have boundless admiration and affection for Bill Evans, a contemporary of his, also a white junkie. But I don’t pity him. If the junk informs the music, fine. But I want to listen to the music, not the junk.

Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole (you can call him Iz) also brought a whole pile of tsuris on himself. He was a 350 kilogram (that’s 770 pounds, Virginia) ukulele-strumming Hawaiian tenor whose version was a big hit a few years ago. Before you watch the clip (8 million hits on YouTube), I should warn you that he sings part of the song topless. That’s ok, he’s male (I think he is–it’s a bit hard to tell at that weight). Even though he botches the lyrics throughout, you do get to see both a Photoshopped rainbow (to illustrate the lyrics, in case you didn’t understand them) and shots of a local shindig scattering all the ashes (it’s a big urn) of the 38-year old into the Wakiki surf. What can I tell you? Not my cup of tea.

Livingston Taylor is James’ younger brother. Liv looks like him, sounds like him, wrote some songs that are indistinguishable from James’, went through similar psychiatric issues. But if you listen to this version, and I’ve heard a couple of others at least as bad, I think you’ll see just where the watershed line lies—Liv’s version is hokey where it should be heartfelt, has lightness at the core where James’ would invest the same material with the heaviness of uranium. Think of his ‘Oh, Susannah’, for example.

Willie Nelson’s a great performer, but he’s not a life-changer.

Rufus Wainwright is the ultra-gay son of singers Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle. I really enjoy some of his extravagant music. But his version of ‘Over the Rainbow’ as part of his tribute to Judy Garland – sorry, I find it just too self-conscious and affected. And in this song he hasn’t yet come on stage in black fishnet stockings (yes, he really does). But this straightforward version works better—it starts just him accompanied on piano by his mother. But then, I knew it, these extravagants just can’t resist it, the cloying violins come in, and then towards the end the song explodes in a diarrhea of kitsch, kettledrums and harps and kitchen sinks. You live by your excesses, you die by your excesses.

But then there’s Eva Cassidy, born in 1963. She did some singing and recording around her native Washington, D.C. But her career never took off, hampered by her acute shyness and her unwillingness to be marketed by record companies in the niche of folk or blues or pop or jazz or R&B or gospel. She sang them all. You know, ‘music’.

She recorded 3 albums—one by herself for a rinky-dink label, one collaboration with the king of DC go-go (including her studio version of the song, with a synthesizer accompanying her and her acoustic guitar), and ‘Live at Blues Alley’.

I don’t know why the live album doesn’t contain ‘Over the Rainbow’ – her live version is from the show at which the album was recorded – but someone luckily had a hand-held camcorder at the show, and here is the result you should listen to and watch. The former is a bit cleaner technically. But the latter has an affective strength you don’t come across every day.

This is what interpretive music should be. It’s all about the experience of the song. Eva Cassidy had incredible chops, technical vocal prowess. But she holds back. She restrains herself, because she’s too dignified to score cheap points out of mawkishness. And she plays a lovely guitar, and the phrasing couldn’t be better, and God bless, thanks for this clip.

In 1993, Cassidy had a mole removed from her back, and was told it was malignant. In January, 1996, she recorded the show at Blues Alley. In July, during a promotional event for the album, she felt an ache in her hips, which she attributed to her day job, painting murals at elementary schools while perched atop a stepladder. A few weeks later, she learned that the melanoma had spread to her lungs and bones. In four months, she was dead, unknown outside local D.C. circles.

But that’s not the end of the story.

Three years after that, a British DJ started playing ‘Over the Rainbow’. By Christmas, 2000, her compilation CD ‘Songbird’ was platinum in England and a hit throughout Europe. The black-and-white video became the most requested video ever shown on Top Of The Pops 2. “There’s an undeniable emotional appeal in hearing an artist who you know died in obscurity singing a song about hope and a mystical world beyond everyday life”, wrote “The Guardian“.

Only a year later did she start to catch on in the US. Eventually, everything she ever recorded, including all the demos, was released. In 2005, Eva Cassidy was the 5th best-selling artist on Amazon. Her songs have appeared in numerous movies, a book of interviews with her friends and family has sold 100,000 copies, her life story has been adapted to a musical, a bio-flick is in the works.

My enthusiasm over Eva Cassidy’s ‘Over the Rainbow’ cannot be attributed to her personal story, tear-jerking as it is. I think her tear-jerking personal story informed her with an understanding and passion that she, with her great talent, could invest in a song that was a proper vehicle. That’s the necessary condition for a great performance.

See, I told you so. You really can learn something about life from music.

Somewhere, over the rainbow, way up high.
There’s a land that I heard of Once in a lullaby.
Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue.
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.
Someday I’ll wish upon a star and wake up where the clouds are far Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops, Away above the chimney tops.
That’s where you’ll find me.
Somewhere, over the rainbow, bluebirds fly. Birds fly over the rainbow,
Why then – oh, why can’t I?
If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow,
Why, oh, why can’t I?

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217: Amy Winehouse, ‘Back to Black’

Posted by jeff on Jun 26, 2015 in Rock, Song Of the week, Vocalists

ae69a33960419cf9796bf37b692be13bAmy Winehouse, ‘Back to Black’ (live, 2007)
Amy Winehouse, ‘Back to Black’ (original, official video)

It’s not enochlophobia (fear of crowds) that I suffer from (hey, I was at Woodstock, and I’ve performed the priestly blessing at the Western Wall), but rather an allergy to That Which The Masses Adulate. Call it acute snobbery.

Why ‘suffer’? Because I’m conflicted. On the one hand, I want to be cool, which means being hip, which means being au courant, which means listening to the music that in-the-know young folk are listening to. On the other, if everyone’s chasing it, I’m going in the other direction.

When the movie “Hard Day’s Night” was released, I wouldn’t go see it for the first month because the theater was full of screaming girls. I wanted to see and hear my Beatles. To hear all the overtones of the first chord. To chuckle knowingly to myself every time Paul said “Actually, we’re just good friends”, to nod sagaciously when George quips “You don’t see many of these nowadays, do you?” Those teenie twerpettes wouldn’t get the jokes, and I wasn’t going to strain to hear them over their grunts and squeaks and groans and moans. Quiet chuckle, that’s me. Still is. When McCartney or Simon comes to town to play the stadia, you’ll find me at home sipping tea and listening to their original recordings from 40 years ago. With headphones.

Foto-KOSBZJA4But there’s a catch here. “50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t be Wrong” was the title of his second collection of greatest hits (1959). If you think there’s no truth in that, check out Young Elvis. I think most people think of Elvis like this. I think of Elvis like this. It was a great piece of advertising, and the cover has become iconic, spawning imitations from Rod Stewart to Bon Jovi. We could discuss ad nauseum here the dialectic of popularity vs sincerity, as I did most nights in the dorm of my freshman year in college.

But more interesting is the fact that the RCA copywriters snatched the Elvis meme from Sophie Tucker. Who’s Sophie Tucker? Find that out yourself, Virginia, but in 1927 she had a hit as big as her bazooms with ‘Fifty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong’. And what’s a ‘meme’ you may ask (as I did)? It’s an “idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture”. As opposed to a snowclone, which is a “neologism for a type of cliché and phrasal template, a multi-use, customizable, instantly recognizable, time-worn, quoted or misquoted phrase or sentence that can be used in an entirely open array of different variants (‘grey is the new black’)”.  I promise to report back to you on the difference between your meme and your snowclone. As soon as I figure it out.

Which brings us right to Amy Winehouse (1983-2011). She achieved stardom at the ripe young age of 20, recorded two albums, a slew of bonus tracks (gosh I long for the days of orderly discographies) and piles of live performance videos; and died at 27 from rampant indulgence in every addiction known to modern womankind. She was over-the-edge provocative from the git-go, but adulated. With/despite her filthy mouth, her retro beehive hairdo, her outlandish attire, she became a lifestyle model. The media coddled her. The half a billion grandchildren of the fifty million Elvis fans embraced her, even as they were booing her for being too drunk to finish her stage performance.

What made her so popular? Her mouth? Her hair? Her boobs? The screaming, teeming masses kept me away for ten years. But now that the noise has died down enough for me to give a listen, I can tell you why. It was her voice and her songs. Her very impressive and serious musicianship. Her very fine talent.

I won’t pretend to have mastered her extensive library of bootlegs and outtakes, and I’m sure I have absolutely nothing to add about Amy to those who followed her career in real-time. But not surprisingly, some of my old codger friends are latecomers and (now that the shouting has died down) impressed and interested. So these few observations are for them.

Her two albums are fine, polished, cheeky, fun. But for our Song of The Week we’re going with a live version of the title track of her second album, “Back to Black”, from the 2007 Glastonbury festival. And here’s the whole concert, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

ronnieWhat do we have here? Well, the opening riff is ripped from The Supremes’ ‘Baby Love’. (I had the privilege of seeing Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention perform this song in concert, but that’s something wholly other.)  The beehive hairdo is usually attributed to The Supremes’ darker colleagues The Ronettes. Here’s their ‘Be My Baby’. The influence on Amy is pretty obvious. What might be less so are the facts that a) Brian Wilson called this the greatest pop record ever made (Phil Spector, of course); b) young Cher sang backup on the original recording; c) lead singer Ronnie Bennett became Mrs Spector; The Rolling Stones opened for Les Ronettes on their the latter’s 1964 UK tour; and the girls opened for The Beatles on their 1966 US tour.

But by Amy’s time, the sultry chick singer was backed not by two chicklettes, but by two very well-endowed, very suggestive male singer/dancers. One wonders what all was written into their contract. She’s backed as well by a very fine, versatile band, playing her whole amalgam of styles, drawing generously from Motown, blue-eyed soul, and of course Dinah Washington.

Amy’s debt to Dinah is great and openly acknowledged. Here’s Amy explaining just how great the influence is, not only in vocal styling, but in style, in attitude, in the way they both perceive and describe the world. But Amy is no cheap imitatress. Check out the lovely segue from the Motown Funk Brothers beat to the lovely jazz groove at 2:30. We’re talking giants on the shoulders of giants.

amy-winehouseAmy’s relatively small repertoire includes lots of ‘covers’. But they’re neither derivative nor fillers. They’re homages to fine, pre-worn materials that she makes her own. Check out her ‘Our Day Will Come’ and Ruby and the Romantics’ original; or her ragged, reggaed ‘Cupid’ version of Sam Cooke’s original; or her ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, cf The Shirelles’ original (written of course by Carole King, her first #1 hit, subject of SoTW 182); her version of the Teddy Bears’ ‘To Know Him is to Love Him’ (Phil Spector’s very first hit); or her lovely, respectful treatment of James Moody’s jazz classic ‘Moody’s Mood for Love’ (here’s King Pleasure’s original version; it’s been covered by such luminaries as Van Morrison and Kurt Elling).

Amy’s great originals (‘Tears Dry on Their Own’, ‘You Know I’m No Good’, ‘Rehab’, ‘Stronger Than Me’) draw upon numerous rich traditions. But make no mistake. Covers, self-penned, Amy Winehouse was an original.

What lessons can we draw from Amy’s legacy? Yes, her membership in the 27 club (Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain) is indeed tragic. And her self-destructive exhibitionism is pornographically riveting. But the music is real, and solid, and lasting. The generation Xers and Yers would be enriched by listening to her forebears. And us baby boomers, albeit belatedly, should avail ourselves of this fine, very serious and very talented vocal artist.

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009: Barbra Streisand, ‘Lover Come Back to Me’

Posted by jeff on Jun 17, 2015 in Song Of the week, Vocalists

Barbra Streisand on The Ed Sullivan Show, 1962, ‘My Coloring Book’ and ‘Lover Come Back to Me’

Barbra Streisand on The Ed Sullivan Show, 1962, ‘My Coloring Book’ and ‘Lover Come Back to Me’

This week we’re going to look at the tragically short career of one of the finest vocal stylists in the history of popular music.

Barbra Streisand was born in 1942, and earned a reputation as a “crazy” in high school, where she was friends with Neil Diamond and Bobby Fischer. At 18 she was already singing in night clubs, at 19 she was appearing regularly as a curiosity on The Tonight Show, at 20 she landed a ‘small but star-making’ role in a Broadway musical. She had recorded two Top 10 albums for Columbia before her 21st birthday.

No one recognized it at the time, but she had contracted an artistically fatal disease.

She was born homely. Her mother told her she wasn’t pretty enough to be an entertainer, and urged her to learn typing. Her young persona confronted that image directly—joking about her very large nose, her Brooklyn demeanor, her awkward deportment, her horrifying empire-waist dresses.

At 22 she left her nightclub career for the starring role in a smash Broadway musical hit. She played the role of a talented loser, became a megastar, and turned herself into a loser of a talent. The Broadway show launched her to the peak of her profession, perhaps the most successful singer/actress in the past couple of generations. From that point on, it has been a long slide down the slippery slope of inflated ego and glitz posing as guts.

Yawn. If you loved Yentl, please close this immediately and go watch it. If you think ‘People’ is a moving song, press Escape real fast and go listen to it. In my very humble opinion, they’re mawkish, embarrassing pablum.

In Funny Girl, she this number, ‘I’m the Greatest Star’. A tour de force of kosher ham. It’s very funny–because it’s ironic. Because she presents herself as the ugly duckling ludicrously pretending to be A Star. But within a very short time, she started coming on with the décolletage and poils and filmed through a misty haze–it ain’t funny, girl.

If you’re still here, I guess you’re with me in that persecuted minority who wish The Queen would put on some clothes, cover her bodice, and stop trying to convince us that she’s glamorous. She can consort with all the Ryan O’Neals and Robert Redfords in the world, and she’s still going to be that liddle Yiddle from Flatbush. But I’ll betcha there are very few among us here, the non-BS fans, the heretics, who have really given her a fair break as a serious artist.

With then-husband Elliot Gould

Gasp. He called her an artist???

Yup. Her first two albums, “The Barbra Streisand Album” and “The Second Barbra Streisand Album,” are as unpretentious as their titles. They come from that 1962 loft down in the Village, when she was married to Elliot Gould. The singing is genuinely ballsy, overflowing with young and innocent love for the world, whether it’s newfound independence or the most purely broken heart a young girl could have. Her voice is the pure heady optimism of Kennedy-era optimism. The songs, many of them standards from the 1940s, are dead-on examples of the political and sexual awakening of the 1962 New Frontier – post-beatnik hip, cynical and funny, intense and emotionally committed. Her signature song was ‘Happy Days Are Here Again’, the theme song of FDR’s 1932 campaign, eventually the buoyant and optimistic theme song of the Democratic Party. Except that Babs gives it a somber treatment, at a deliberate tempo, with harrowing, gut-wrenching commitment.

We’ve always known she had the greatest chops this side of La Scala before they were sacrificed on the altar of auto-adulation. She can still flit in one breath from a Gorgeous George Gorilla Press to the butterfly caress of a brain surgeon. But in these two albums she’s funny and clever and impassioned, and, for me, utterly convincing. She moves me.

Then she became a star.

She performed two songs on The Ed Sullivan Show in December, 1962. One is a pretty fine ballad, ‘My Coloring Book’.

With then-president Jack Kennedy

But the song we’ve chosen for our Song of The Week is Sigmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein II’s standard ‘Lover, Come Back to Me.’ This recording was made two months before the release of her first album, a year before the second. It’s over the top, it’s extravagantly demonstrative, and I love it.

The structure is standard, AABABA, with the verse culminating in some variant of the name of the song. Listen to just that, the imperative: “Lover, come back to me”. She sings it four times. Follow how it grows from a polite request to an ardent plea to an unveiled threat to a cavewoman’s club over the poor guy’s noggin. And that grounch at the end, when she’s dragging him back into the home cave by his hair. This ain’t glitz. This is fine, inventive, honest vocal artistry. No worrying about at what angle the camera is going to catch her schnozz. Just her and that absentee lover.

She’s 20 years old when she sings this.

It seems the ugly duckling is a whole lot more interesting than the swan.


If you enjoyed this post, you may also like:

029: Eva Cassidy, ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’

045: Julie London, ‘Bye Bye, Blackbird’

080: Tim Ries w. Norah Jones, ‘Wild Horses’

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