IGNORED OBSCURED RESTORED
Anyone that follows this blog has already heard that Cream bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce died today at the age of 71. I had the privilege to see him perform a few songs back in 2008. That performance inspired me to write a song of the week in August of 2008 that I’m re-posting today.
One of the things that I enjoy most about the “song of the week” is keeping my ear open for musical gems that have slipped by my attention. I discovered another one when I attended the Hippiefest at the Mountain Winery in July. Amongst a pleasant evening of light pop nostalgia acts – Badfinger, The Turtles, Jonathan Edwards — was one giant of serious rock, Jack Bruce.
Bruce, now 65, was a child prodigy, multi-instrumentalist, with training in both jazz and classical music. After working his way through the early 60s British blues fraternity (Alexis Korner, Graham Bond, John Mayall, etc.) he landed with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker in Cream.
At the Hippiefest, he opened his brief set with a solo, 12-string acoustic guitar version of “As You Said” from Cream’s 1968 album Wheels Of Fire. I must admit, this isn’t a song I ever really “heard” before. But Bruce’s performance was sublime! It really captured my attention.
The version included here is the original studio recording. It is driven by a simple open tuned guitar and cello pairing that sets the perfect mood to support its haunting lyrics. The soaring vocals may have been an influence on Jeff Buckley’s Grace.
I think you’ll enjoy this. Until next week…