To win, simply tell us what three God Street Wine songs are truly most musically challenging and captivating — ones that can go head-to-head with the best from other improv-influenced rock bands.
HT faves God Street Wine return to the Gramercy for three shows this August.
Hey Jude was the B-Side to the 1968 single Revolution by The Beatles. This single was the Beatles first release on the Apple label. Originally titled Hey Jules, the song was written by Paul McCartney in reference to John Lennon’s son Julian. One of my favorite online Beatles resources is Alan W. Pollack’s site, click here to read all the musical (and other) information you would ever want to know about Hey Jude.
Video from the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise January 2009:
READ ON for more nine more covers of Hey Jude…
“Okay, friends, break out your Steely Dan decoder rings. Starting with the release of their debut album Can’t Buy A Thrill back in 1972, no group has trafficked in more oblique, head-scratching, and just plain weird lyrics than Steely Dan. Case in point: Have you ever seen a squonk’s tears?, an enigmatic line from “Any Major Dude Will Tell You” off the Pretzel Logic LP.’
What on earth is a squonk? As they used to say on the old Laugh-In television show, “Look that up in your Funk & Wagnalls!” Actually, don’t both bother, because the word squonk is not found in any dictionary.
It turns out that squonk is a piece of jabberwocky, a completely made-up word referring to a mysterious animal, that due to its abject homeliness, spends most of its time crying. Credit for coining squonk goes to William T. Cox, who introduced the word in his oddly named book Fearsom Critters of the Lumberwoods, with a Few Desert and Mountain Beasts. To quote from Mr. Cox’s volume: “The squonk is of a very retiring disposition, generally traveling about at twilight and dusk. Because of its misfitting skin, which is covered with warts and moles, it is always unhappy; in fact, it is said, by people who are best able to judge, to be the most morbid of beasts.”
Two years after Steely Dan introduced listeners to the mythical squonk in “Any Major Dude Will Tell You”, Genesis included the song “Squonk” on their A Trick of the Tail album, wherein Phil Collins sang: Stop your tears from falling / The trail they leave is very clear for all to see at night.
God Street Wine: The earliest recording on the Live Music Archive of God Street Wine performing this cover dates back to 1990. So when GSW played it last Friday, it was a good 20 years since that night at The Wetlands. Resident GSW expert ScottyB pointed me in the direction of the performance below from 1994. Man, the way they perform the intro makes it sound more like The Grateful Dead than Steely Dan. Source: 9-16-1994[audio:https://glidemag.wpengine.com/hiddentrack/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/gswdude.mp3]
READ ON for the scoop on the rest of this week’s contestants…
I woke up this morning wondering if what I’d experienced over the last two weeks was real or just a dream like the eighth season of Dallas. Just as quickly as the God Street Wine reunion came, it’s over – for now – as the NYC-based quintet finished the four show run with a scorcher at Irving Plaza this past Saturday evening. These four shows were the rare case of reality living up to the lofty expectations thrust upon this reunion after nine long years of silence from the GSW camp.
[All pictures by Mike Wren]
Friday’s lack of jams was remedied by an improv-filled first set featuring lengthy versions of Driving West, Hellfire and Imogene which showed off the band’s impressive non-verbal communication that comes from playing hundreds of shows together during the ’90s. While last weekend’s minor-key Hellfire jam was on the dark and dirty side, the Irving version went the other direction: a major-key round of improv filled with light and beautiful melodies – a butter jam if you will. Both guitarists got equal time to shine during this most memorable jam of the run. The tight rhythm section of Dan Pifer (bass) and Tom “Tomo” Osander (drums) propelled their band mates to glory in the Hellfire jam like offensive linemen clearing the way for the star running backs.
Irving Plaza, NYC
July 17, 2010
Set One: Nightingale, Driving West, Better than You, Hellfire, The Ballroom -> 6:15, Feather, Straight Line, Imogene
Set Two: Good Dream, Snake Eyes, Princess Henrietta, Strange as it Seems, Tina’s Town -> Cheap Utah Blues -> Deep Drag, Diana, Borderline
Encore1: Ticket to Ride, Sweet Little Angel
Encore2: Other Shore -> Into The Sea
Seven sets into the action God Street Wine were still dusting off old songs they hadn’t played yet. Lots of lines hit home in the reggae-tinged Ballroom including “the dancing on the floor has begun,” “so many years have gone by since I looked into your eyes” and “I feel so old” – all of which received huge applause from the attentive crowd. Two of the first-time in ’10 tunes on this night were Feather and Diana off the quintet’s self-titled 1997 release. Feather, an anthemic rocker, was equal parts Tom Petty and Black Crowes and stood out on a night filled with stand outs. Diana also had that rootsy sound typical of songs on the self-titled LP and shined thanks to gorgeous harmonies, Jon Bevo’s electric piano work and Maxwell’s slide work.
When listening to some of GSW’s later material like Diana and Feather and comparing it to the early material such as the prog workout Deep Drag, it was crazy to hear how much the group’s sound had changed in just about seven years. You can only imagine how many different phases of evolution the band’s music would’ve gone through had the original lineup been able to stick together through the ’00s. Yet, this weekend wasn’t about focusing on what might’ve been and was more about enjoying what was.
READ ON for more on God Street Wine at Irving Plaza…
Wait, what year is it? God Street Wine and Ray’s Music Exchange were playing on the same night last week? We round out our look at the week that was with Boston’s world/jazz/fusion collective Club D’Elf and we lead off with Reid Genauer & The Assembly of Dust. Enjoy.
[Thanks to belexes for this week’s photo]
And we continue to take all the selected tracks, normalize them, create some simple fades and put it into one easy to download MP3 for you.
Taper Z-Man often shows up in this weekly feature, but the tapes are normally from down south. I guess Z-Man had some business to attend to in New York, so this show by Reid Genauer & The Assembly of Dust got taped. Jason Crosby, who opened the show, joined AOD for the majority of their set supplying fiddle and keyboards. The audio selection is from the encore which features one of AOD’s newest tunes and an old Strangefolk classic. Reid and the gang next play Friday July 23rd in North Conway, NH with The Brew supporting. Hey speaking of reunions, what do you say Reid?[audio:https://glidemag.wpengine.com/hiddentrack/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/aodsauce.mp3]
READ ON for tracks from Club D’Elf, GSW and Ray’s Music Exchange…