Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Fun With Downloads: Oh Lord, Stuck In...
Okay -- this one's a masterpiece. Seriously.
From 1969, please enjoy the late great Al Wilson and his absolutely astonishing version of "Lodi." You can -- and should -- download it HERE post-haste.
That's the Creedence/John Fogerty song, of course. For this remake, Wilson and producer Johnny Rivers replaced the original's rueful melancholy with something approaching desperation, with an appropriately kickass blues/soul backing track to match. It's a great performance all around, but what really sells it are the blistering dual lead/slide guitars, which seemed to literally jump out of my car radio speakers the first time I heard the record on the old WMCA-AM in New York City.
The track has never appeared in stereo, and it was never even on an album until the expanded reissue of an earlier Wilson LP pictured above (from 2008). I've been trying to find out who played the aforementioned guitars for years -- e-mails to Rivers' website have been totally unavailing -- and to my chagrin the CD has no musician credits for the damn thing.
Given that it was recorded in L.A., my guess is that one of the players is either Ry Cooder or Canned Heat's Alan Wilson (no relation to the singer), who were to my knowledge the only hotshit slide guys doing session work in those days. It's also conceivable that it was Jackson Browne collaborator Jesse Ed Davis (of "Doctor My Eyes" fame), who I believe may have been working in town around then, and I'm also told that the late Jerry Cole (who played rhythm on the original "Mr. Tambourine Man") played slide on sessions from time to time.
As I've said before, this is a mystery I promise to solve before I die. In the meantime, enjoy a truly fabulous record -- as always, if the authorization has expired before you get to it, just e-mail me and I'll shoot you the mp3.