Rocking My Soul (Sans the Bosom of Abraham, Unfortunately)

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Never really been all that into soul music, but I've been hankering for a bit of Otis Redding for a while now. Seems like every time I hear another one of his songs for the first time, it hits me in that spot, you know? That man was berwilliant. I watched the beginning of a show the other night about Stax Records. It was good, but my attention wandered when I heard These Arms of Mine for the first time and I drifted off online, onto EBay to do a bit of fast fancy clicking, and before I knew it I was the proud almost-owner of The Definitive Soul Collection, a double CD. Noice :) Meloves secondhand stuff :)

Soul. I done got me some soul. Which segues me nicely into the other album I've done got me lately. This one arrived Monday and I've already spun it three or four times. It's kind of a commitment, a new album, isn't it? You have to get through those first few listens till you start developing a relationship with each song. The thing with the darling Mr Ray LaMontagne is that at least a couple of his songs stand out to me on first listen, and then they all just dig their roots in from there. And speaking of roots, and speaking of soul, he's kinda branched out in this album. The first track, You Are the Best Thing, sounds like something Stax might have released. There's bluegrassy-sounding stuff, there's a tribute to Meg White from the White Stripes :) And, of course, interspersed throughout is the aching bluesy depressive stuff I so love, that he does so well, with that honeyed voice gravelled with bits of chocolate. I would eat Ray LaMontagne if he would let me.

You Are The Best Thing is below, and underneath that I've chosen one of my favourite songs from Trouble, Shelter (although I have a hard time working out which is my favourite from that beautiful, romantic, aching album). Like Cyndi Lauper's friend Mawly says, do yourself a favour.

Speaking of branching out artistically, I was watching No Direction Home, the 300 million hour-long Scorsese directed movie about Bob Dylan and man, I was cheering that kid on as he was surly to the press. The pathetic, stupid questions they asked him. I would be surly as well, if I had to give press conferences. I would also be surly when the people who bought my music, or my words, or my art, or whatever, wanted to package me up into this little box and get me to churn out the same stuff every time to please them. To make you some kind of small thing that has their little niche, so everyone feels safe. No going electric, thanks very much. It upsets us poor consumers (even though, I have to say, I way prefer his acoustic folk stuff. Wonderful, amazing :) But artists are people, they're not just simply here to feed us what we want, medontreckon.

I reckon one of the great things about technological advances is how much freedom people have now to produce their own stuff, to carve their own niche, to not be dictated to by record companies, publishing companies, whatever companies. It's a good thing. I expect we will see more and more of it. The Franciscan way :) Moving to the side and doing it differently, while the beast lurches on, burping and smashing into stuff :)


  1. Hey Sue - not related to this Post - but check this site out -

    can of coke says you are rated "R" - just like me!!

  2. I really enjoyed shelter. Thanks dude!

  3. Mork - yes, thanks for that link. It was muchly funchly

    Erin - yeah, it's luvverly, isnt it? I'll stop raving on about him now :)


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