Monday, May 28, 2012

My Gifts to You, Part Two

Well, last week, I celebrated some personal milestones as well as a happy reunion, by sharing some of the all time favorites of mine which have come to me from others' collections. At the time, I also meant to mention that the same happy week had brought the news that I am, for the first time, a Great-Uncle, as my niece and her husband have welcomed their first child.

As promised, here is part two of "my gifts to you", this time featuring three  classics from the mind of Rodd Keith. I assume that these tracks have circulated somewhat, but also believe that they are largely unheard by the larger song-poem loving community. All three of these are certainly good enough that they should have been anthologized by now. Again I'll mention that since these were sent through e-mail and/or via the mail on CD, I don't have the b-sides or label scans for these three tracks.

First up, a true "lost classic" from the Preview years, a soulful, deeply felt vocal and musical setting from Rodd, of a first rate lyric, in the song "Someday". I truly believe this one to be compilation-worthy, well above many of the tracks that have been chosen for CD release over the years. It's got one of my favorite Rodd vocals, nice understated drumming, wonderful backing vocals, and a nice band sound. I could absolutely see this being an actual '60's hit and a beloved "oldie", if only such things could happen to the best of the song-poem world:

Next up, we take a trip over to Film City, for a ride with The Swinging Strings, courtesy of Rod Rogers, with the happily ridiculous title "Give Me an X-Ray Picture of Your Heart". Rodd really sells the story song, and genuinely soars on a really nice bridge. That section, about "Dr. Brown", despite the goofy lyrics, is just lovely, and Rodd's vocal never indicates for a moment that he's singing lyrics which are anything less than classic.

Finally, back to Preview, for one of the earliest releases on that label (number 1002), in which Rodd shows more than a bit of his Film City style. But what else could have possibly been called for a song called "Down The Mississippi-Ippy-Yi"? Here we have another story song, taking us all the way from a wedding to a 50th anniversary, with a riverboat tying both occasions together. To me, this sounds unlike any other Rodd Keith record, with the scratching guitar, the smile so apparent in his vocal, the minimalist backing, and the big finish, which to me is worth the price of admission, both for Rodd's ending vocal, and for the guitar, which sounds very much to me like a lift from Les Paul's arrangement of "How High the Moon".

I know that at least one of these tracks came to me from my friend Michael in New York, and deep thanks again go to him. Unfortunately, after all these years, I've lost track of exactly where the other two tracks came from. Many thanks to whoever provided me with them, and for the many years of enjoyment I've had with them. I hope you enjoy them just as much.


Anonymous said...

Love "Someday", that's always been one of my faves also! The Cowtown single also! I may have label scans of both of these (in fact all of these recent posts), I'll try and send them to you asap (if I can find 'em!)a

Stu Shea said...

"Down the Mississippi" is genius.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on being a great-uncle!