In 1977 The Sex Pistols were invited to perform on Saturday Night Live but had to bail because of problems getting the proper travel paperwork so Elvis Costello and the Attractions were booked as a last minute replacement. Elvis wanted to play “Radio Radio” but since he really wasn’t an established name in America at that time his record company insisted Elvis play a tune available to US audiences. Elvis agreed but then changed his mind about 30 seconds into the live television performance creating a classic SNL moment when he stopped the song “Less than Zero” and kicked into this one instead.
So when I’m picking these Matt Tracks every week I’m really at the mercy of what videos we have in our library. Granted, that library is a goldmine for music, but sometimes that isn’t enough and I have to go looking for certain videos/tunes and ask the artist to send them in so I can share with you…..this tune is one of those times. I had heard good things about Kingston’s Miss Emily but it wasn’t until I caught her on the main stage at Ottawa Blues Fest this year that I really got it. Think Janis Joplin, think Alicia Keys; great songs and a HUGE voice.
Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff are one of the most successful songwriting and production duos of all time. They pioneered the “Philadelphia Soul” sound and in the 60’s and 70’s wrote countless hits for people like Dusty Springfield, Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes, The Jacksons and The O’Jays. The song “Now That We’ve Found Love” originally performed by the O’Jays in 1978 later became a hit when re-worked by the late great Heavy D for his 1991 album Peaceful Journey. One of the most underrated MC’s of all time Heavy D passed away Nov. 8, 2011. He was 44.
When Elvis Presley broke out of Sun Records and Memphis in the 50’s with his rockabilly vibed rock and roll there were many artists who were doing a similar thing but it didn’t quite catch on. Canada’s own Ronnie Hawkins was actually quite an influence on Elvis early on and was renowned among other musicians, but he never had a break out hit. Memphis born Johnny Burnette eventually abandoned rockabilly and did had a massive pop hit with “Your Sixteen” shortly before passing away at the young age of 30, but the beginnings of his short musical career was all rockabilly and sounded a lot like “Lonesome Train”. 60 years later he has played a role in the newest Black Keys album who cite his sound as an influence for their latest: El Camino.
This is another example of an artist I chased down to get a video from so I could introduce you to them. From Corner Brook Newfoundland-Sherman Downey and the Ambiguous Case have the potential to be a break out band right now with the surge of roots and folk tinged music like Mumford & Sons and the Civil Wars making a ton of noise. Banjo, accordion, mandolin, and sometimes a kazoo this is a great live band who will be touring Australia over the new few weeks with a sound that falls somewhere nicely between Paul Simon and Hank Williams. Sherman is making yodeling cool again. Ps…..his band is now called The Silver Lining but his first album was under the name The Ambiguous Case.
Thanks for listening