We’re in a golden age for music lovers.
As a long time record collector, I can remember having a very long “want list” of records I knew to exist, but had never seen – never mind heard!
But technology caused things to change very quickly. First there was the CD boom of the 90s that made it economically viable for record labels to reissue long lost cult favorites. Soon you could by CDs by obscure groups, classic albums with bonus cuts and boxed sets with tons of previously unreleased cuts and alternate takes.
Next came peer to peer file sharing and blog sites that posted full albums “in the cloud” for download. The treasure trove of bootlegs available on the internet is incomprehensible. And now we have YouTube, Spotify, Pandora and other streaming services that put the entire history of recorded music at our fingertips – mostly for free!
There’s hardly any artist’s repertoire that can’t be found with a little persistence. The SotW would be impossible – or at least a whole lot less interesting – if it weren’t for these advancements.
So then, what does all of this have to do with today’s SotW? Well, today I’m featuring a song by Rising Sons.
Rising Sons was a band formed in LA in the mid-60s. The band included Taj Mahal and a very young Ry Cooder (only 16 when the band was founded) in addition to Gary Marker, Jesse Lee Kincaid and Kevin Kelley. (Kelley replaced original drummer Ed Cassidy who went on to later fame with Spirit.)
The band played gigs all around LA and attracted kudos from a who’s who of record business stars. This led them to a signing by Columbia Records who quickly sent them into the studio to record. They laid down about 20 tracks of American roots music (blues, folk and country) and several originals penned by Kincaid. Columbia was unhappy with the results and never released the album. The band broke up in 1966 and the tapes languished in the Columbia vaults until 1992 when the album was finally released during the aforementioned CD boom.
Have a listen to their take on Charley Patton’s “Poor Me” retitled by Rising Sons as “By And By (Poor Me).”
This isn’t the most rockin’ cut on the album, but to my ear it’s the one that shines the brightest light on the early work of Mahal and Cooder. It has some very tasteful guitar interplay and a nice country-blues vocal by Mahal.
Thank goodness that this record was finally released so we can all hear and enjoy these early recordings.
Enjoy… until next week.