Looking back over the studio log book, I see it’s been a while since we’ve had a Way Back Studios pop quiz, so sharpen up your number two pencils, take your protein pills, and put your thinking helmets on. In fact, why don’t we do a warm-up question first? Ready? Here we go: Who co-wrote roughly half of the Derek and the Dominoes album? The answer: Bobby Whitlock. The reason I ask is, I was going to put a set together based on Bobby’s solo version of “Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad” from his album Rock Your Sox Off. It has a completely different feel and tempo than the Dominoes version and someday I swear, I’ll play that for you. But while I was listening to the album, I came across another song. A song with a funky little guitar riff that sent me off in a completely different direction. See, I knew there was another song with a guitar part that would mix nicely with the song in question. But what was it? And no, that’s not the pop-quiz question. I’ll get to that in a minute. So I went looking for that song that was in my head. I pulled one album after another. It wasn’t on Jesse Winchester’s Let The Rough Side Drag. So I tried Ry Cooder’s Into The Purple Valley. But again, no. Then I thought maybe it’s on Willie Niles’ debut album, the one Robert Hilburn described as “the kind of rare collection that reawakens you to the inspiring qualities of rock’n’roll”. But it wasn’t there either. But that led me to a song on Mink DeVille’s debut album. And then I took a left turn to a Paul Simon track that sounds like something from Graceland but wasn’t recorded until six or seven years later. Well, I never did find the song I was looking for but we’ll hear something from all those other albums, along with one each from Arlo Guthrie and Steve Earle. But before we do that, let’s get back to the pop quiz. Name the songwriter whose compositions were recorded by John Denver, Steppenwolf, and Three Dog Night. No? How about the songwriter covered by Ringo Starr, Elvis Presley, and The Kingston Trio? Turns out, it’s the same answer for both questions. The late great Hoyt Axton. And somewhere in today’s batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl, we’ll hear one of his songs. The question you gotta ask yourself is, which one is it?
|Steve Earle||San Antonio Girl|
|Mink DeVille||Spanish Stroll|
|Willie Nile||It’s All Over|
|Ry Cooder||On a Monday|
|Arlo Guthrie||Lightening Bar Blues|
|Bobby Whitlock||Sweet Mother’s Fun|
|Jesse Winchester||Step by Step|
That’s Jesse Winchester’s “Step by Step” from his album Let The Rough Side Drag. Before that, a rare one from Paul Simon called “Thelma.” That’s from his box set covering the years1964 to 1993. And if I’m reading the credits right on that, Paul doesn’t even play on the track. Andrian Belew is one of the guitarists playing along with several guys from the Rhythm of the Saints sessions. In the middle of the set, the answer to the last question I asked before we got started. From his album Hobo’s Lullabye, Arlo Guthrie with a cover version of the late Hoyt Axton’s “Lightning Bar Blues.” Among the many great players on Hobo’s Lullabye is Ry Cooder who we heard earlier doing the Huddie Ledbetter composition, “On a Monday.” Leadbelly, as he was better known, was a man with a legendary temper which is one of the reasons he kept landing in prison. At the top of the set, a guy who did a little time of his own. Steve Earle with his band The Dukes from the album Exit 0, we heard “San Antonio Girl.” After that, two great songs from two great debut albums: Mink DeVille’s “Spanish Stroll” and Willie Nile’s “It All Over.” Now the song that got me started on that set was Bobby Whitlock’s “Sweet Mother’s Fun.” Something about the guitar part just caught my ear and wouldn’t let go. That’s from his solo album Rock Your Sox Off which was on the Capricorn label which explains why it also features Les Dudek (who recorded with The Allman Brothers) two guys from Sea Level and three from Grinderswitch. One big happy family down there in Macon, Georgia. Well, like Hoyt Axton, I don’t need no diamond ring, I don’t need no Cadillac car, all I want is a nice beverage to enjoy here in the Way Back Studios. I’m Bill Fitzhugh. Thanks for listening. If you want the the set lists or the show commentaries, they’re on my website. We’ve got some fun photos on the Facebook page, and we keep multiple sets of books over on Amazon. So if you’re in the mood for some fiction, drop by and check it out. I’ll be back next time with another batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl and I hope you can join us, right here in the Deep Tracks.