When Was The Last Time You Played This Album?

Bluegrass

Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris “All The Roadrunning”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#124 in the Series) is Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris, All the Roadrunning

What a special collaboration.  They don’t get much better than this.  Especially considering that these two musicians come from two different worlds.  I’ll have more on that though later.

Bringing Mark and Emmylou together was genius.  The only thing that angers me is that I missed the tour and I have a feeling that that was a one-off tour and will not come again.

This is Us is a really heartwarming track that follows a couple as they flip through their old photographs.  I think it’s my favorite of the bunch.

Other goodies, they begin with listening to Emmylou sing a duet on Belle Starr. Her voice remains as strong as when she sung in her Gram Parsons era.  Red Staggerwing rocks and rolls and tells us a good story.  All the Roadrunning has a nice warm feeling to it.

We get 12 tracks here.  I’d call this more of a Mark Knopfler album with Emmylou at his side than I would an actual full fledged duet project..  He writes ten of the songs and it’s his voice and, of course, guitar that stand out the most.  Emmylou does have for print on it as well as it tends to lead more to the country side of Mark’s leanings.  The band is pretty much all from the Knopfler stable as well.

The two of them released a live album and DVD right after the tour.  There you’ll find most of this album plus some Emmylou standards and also some Dire Straits tunes.  It’s a must get for real music lovers.  It’s titled Real Live Roadrunning.

I often think back to something I once heard Emmylou say. It was on the ‘Nitty Gritty Dirt Bands’ Will The Circle Be Unbroken II. I don’t know the exact words, but she said something about how music is meant to be played with family and friends on the front porch.  That ‘That’ is real music!  And sometimes we get to far away from the front porch and have to bring it back.  I surely like many types of music and much of it could never be played on the front porch.  But I completely understand what she means.

This 2006 release reached #16 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts.

Here’s Mark and Emmylou playing This is Us with Paul Shaffer’s band along with a couple more tracks.  One which is isn’t a song from the album but a nice surprise!   And it could be done on the front porch!!!

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David Grisman “Hot Dawg”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day is David Grisman, “Hot Dawg.”

What a wonderful sounding piece of music. Not really bluegrass, but pretty close. David calls his music, Dawg Music.

This was an album that I could listen to front to back day after day.

David, mandolin, was performing with a quintet during this period. Band members included, Tony Rice on guitar, Darol Anger on violin, Mike Marshall on violin and mandolin, and Tony Phillips on bass. All heavyweights!

Highlights include ’16…16, Dawg’s Bull,Minor Swing’ and ‘Neon Tetra.’ But listen to the whole album. You won’t be disappointed.

“Hot Dawg” reached #14 on the Billboard Jazz Charts early into 1979.

Here’s a live version of ‘Dawg’s Bull” from the old ‘Fridays’ show on ABC.


The Byrds “Sweethearts of the Rodeo”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day is the 1968 release by The Byrds, “Sweethearts of the Rodeo.”

Quite simply, a masterpiece. Was it the first country rock album? That’s debatable.

There has been so much written and discussed about this music that I’m not even going to try and invent an original idea.

Just listen to the music. I’d have loved to have heard Roger McGuinn and Gram Parsons stay together longer. But then Gram might not have gone on to to record two other great pieces of music (Gram Parsons and GP). And maybe he wouldn’t have gone on to discover (along with Chris Hillman) EmmyLou Harris.

Some of the classic songs here are Bob Dylan’s ‘You Aint Goin’ Nowhere, You’re Still On My Mind.’ Woodie Guthrie’s ‘Pretty Boy Floyd,’ and of course, GP’s ‘Hickory Wind.’


Old & In The Way “Old & In The Way”

Today’s Cool Album of the Days (#5 in the series. Yup, I just started this) is the self titles album by “Old and In The Way.”

Five great musicians getting together for some great pickin’ and singin.’ I guess you could call it bluegrass but there’s more than a hint of old fashioned mountain music thrown in.

For those of you not familiar with this project, “Old and In the Way” were Peter Rowan (guitar, vocals), David Grisman (mandolin, vocals), John Kahn(bass), Vassar Clements (fiddle) and Jerry Garcia (banjo, vocals.)

Can I name a stand out cut. No, not really since EVERY track is a must listen. There’s no filler on this classic. This live album was recorded and released in October, 1973.

There’s an interesting story
on how I first heard about this album. It was 1974. My sister and I
took a ride to the great Hegewish Records in Calumet City Illinois.

She went to pick up the Dead’s “From The Mars Hotel” album. When she proceded to check out, Joe the owner, seeing her purchase and then figuring she liked the Dead, gave her some promo 45s that were all Grateful Dead related. I remember it clearly to this day. They were in nice picture sleeve jackets. They were Robert Hunter’s Tiger Rose, a Keith and Donna Godchaux promo, Ned Lagin andPhil Lesh’s Seastones and then of course, Old and In the Way. How cool would it be to have those now!

I didn’t know much about bluegrass nor The Grateful Dead at the time.
I quickly became a fan of both.