DOWNHOME MUSIC is where it's at. Clarence Carter. J.J. Cale. Tom T. Hall. They all sound laid back to me, and they are artists who can be extremely addictive.
Like immersion baptisms. See, someone ducks your head underwater and the water gets up your nozzle and you try to get out of it but the preacher won't let you so you give in and eventually you are drowning for your sins. But you come back for more. You steal an automobile and you're right back there next Sunday afternoon standing with the rest of the congregation on the banks of Honey's Pond. You are there because it has become a home for you – you feel secure in the hands of the Lord.
Tony Joe White would know what I'm talking about. All his songs sound the same. But when you hear that gruff voice of his pouring out of the radio talking 'bout the gator gettin' your granny you kind of slide back and scratch your stomach and your eyelids go ping! Tony Joe White has that much power.
Here's a noteworthy comment, I received based on my assessment of Alex Chilton/Big Star's 3rd/Sister Lover
I don't have much to add seeing as how I wasn't there at the time.
As producer of Singer Not the Song, I am not sure what you mean by well-crafted. I'm glad you think it is a gem, but it was extracted more than crafted. At this particular point in time, Alex was wholly disinterested in craft. Although I would have been delighted to be a part of a collaborative work of greatness, Alex was only marginally interested in the recording process, the only thing that seemed to be of interest to him was that I might somehow be able to make a record with him that would allow him to leave Memphis. That did happen. The unpleasantness he displayed in the studio was only a hint of how much of a dick he would be in the years to come.
I found Chris Bell to be a far more engaged person, both as a musician and a human being. If anyone should have continued Big Star it should have been Chris, whose vision created the band, focused the songs on the first album, and infused the songs on Radio City (some of which were cowritten by him but uncredited) with a pop/rock sensibility that Chilton never was able to capture on subsequent work.
Growing up in Memphis back in '67, I used to get tired of hearing the Box Top's ‘The Letter’ (#1 hit in the world that year) on the radio every second because DJs felt obligated to reduntantly remind listeners that here, at last, was a hometown band that had hit the Big Time. (In The eyes of Nehru-clad visionaries, Memphis's Sun rockabilly and Stax soul – the untamed past – were irrelevant to the expectations for a bright Sgt. Pepper future.)
Fame's a brief candle though, and soon the Box Tops were inserted in the annals of anthropop history. That is, until '72 when their ex-vocalist Alex Chilton began making racket with Big Star, a name not meant as a cynical reference to the Box Tops' instant stardom but simply referring to Memphis' Big Star supermarket chain, where as a teen I used to buy Hit Parader (which printed the lyrics to all the Box Tops' hits).
Much has been written about Big Star's initial lack of success. True, #1 Record and Radio City are infectious pop LPs, but they're also rather uneven, their best moments on singles (i.e. ‘When My Baby's Beside Me’, ‘September Gurls’). As for Alex Chilton, his cultism is worth examining, not only because his recent works, the Singer Not The Song EP and ‘Bangkok’ 45, are well-crafted gems, but also because he's still out there fighting for fresh sounds (despite a disbanded Big Star, whose influence is heard in the music of Sneakers/Chris Stamey and Memphis Scruffs).
available for viewing....
Greatest Hit !!!
and he, yes,
Left the Building.....
Before we all rush
towards Elvis' 75th (!!!)
let us recall
what took place