Of course you realize in a good BBQ cook-off sometimes it pays to be last to the judges. Yea, yea, yea… Finally after being pummeled by the competition (and maybe I’m officially disqualified) I release the RFTS ’07 Summer Mix… But a couple of notes first.
This year’s mix features some sentimental favorites, new favorites, a tight rockin’ rhythm and blues sound, some jams, an instrumental, and songs that are fitting to my times.
The theme is live music and in actuality my Jammer mix of earlier this year was a trial run of sorts. Summer is the right time for concert tours, free music in the park, and independent musicians peddling their wears on public street corners all across America. So this disc in essence is a salute to the best that summer has to offer – live music. Enjoy and Happy Memorial Day!
Reach for the Stars 2007 Summer Mix:
1) Thing Called Love (Live), Bonnie Raitt from Road Tested. I prefer Bonnie Raitt’s live music to her recorded music where she comes alive with varying melodies and riffs. She’s in her element on stage! “Are you ready…” for my summer mix? It’s a mix of love.
2) Pride and Joy (Live), Stevie Ray Vaughn from Live at Carnegie Hall. One of the best guitarists of all time and one of the best live albums of all times. It makes the cut for the three women in my life. Ahh…
3) Lay Down Sally (Live), Eric Clapton from Crossroads 2 (Live in the Seventies). At his peak Mr. Clapton is absolutely polished. This song calls for a hot fire, cold beverages, and a lounge chair under a shady tree. I have several shade trees at LAN and we’ll crank this one up when the family gets here in a few weeks.
4) Whiskey River (Live), Willie Nelson from Willie Nelson’s Greatest Hits (& Some that Will Be). My Dad went through a Willie phase. I recall one summer visiting him Willie was almost exclusively what he was listening to. My Dad is also partial to Jack Daniels. So this one’s for him – I’m placing ice in a glass now Dad and there’s two 2-inch thick ribeyes sitting in the fridge for your impending trip to the Lou.
5) Try A Little Tenderness (Live at the Monterey International Pop Festival), Otis Redding from Dreams to Remember: The Otis Redding Anthology. “Dedicated to all the mini-skirts.” Women, pork butt, blue haired old ladies in the left lane – just try a little tenderness. It also works when you have to rub aloe on sun burns.
6) Scenes From an Italian Restaurant (Live unreleased version), Billy Joel from The Complete Hits Collection: 1973-1997 Limited Edition. You can drink wine any time of the year but a little chilled white with a freshly grilled swordfish steak goes right nice on the patio in July.
7) Some Kind of Wonderful (Live), Grand Funk Railroad from Caught in the Act. I couldn’t bypass this tune for this mix. This one defines summer. Can’t you picture your significant other walking out of the ocean towards you on your last beach vacation and thinking “wow you’re somthin’ alright!”?
8) What’d I Say (Live), Ray Charles from 20 Best Blues. I think this song was recorded with an audience in a studio but it still makes the cut as a live tune given its version and improv. I placed this one on the mix as an interlude track but the more I listen to the CD the more this one is becoming a focal point.
9) Cortez the Killer (Live), Dave Matthews Band with Warren Haynes from The Central Park Concert. DMB makes the summer mix for the first time and I can’t say enough about how I appreciate Panovec for giving me this gift. Every concert has a lighter burner (now cell phones). This tune isn’t a ballad by any stretch as Warren Haynes absolutely cooks but I like the change of tempo and it works with the theme.
10) Caravan (Live), Van Morrison from Van Morrison at the Movies: Soundtrack Hits. My all-time favorite Van Morrison track and a live version to boot! “Turn up the radio,” sings Morrison. That’s what summer is all about!
11) Living in the U.S.A. (Live), Steve Miller Band from Steve Miller Live! I wore out this album, actually it was a cassette tape, driving back and forth from Auburn to the original Lazy Acres. I would also listen to the tape while cutting grass on the farm. I can feel the heat and humidity (and smell the BBQ) of North Alabama every time I hear this tune.
12) Oye Coma Va (Live in South America), Santana from Sacred Fire: Santana Live in South America. I recall listening to Santana’s music on WSHE in South Florida as a kid. “She’s Only Rock ‘N Roll” was the tagline and this tune brings back memories of being with friends at the beach, lobstering, out on the Bay, or just goofin’ off. Cheers to all my Florida buddies!
13) Tears of Joy (Album Version), Robert Randolph & the Family Band from Live at the Wetlands. Robert Randolph has become a new favorite. I enjoy his style and regret missing his set in Charlottesville last summer. I do recall him sitting in with DMB however and it was amazing! A great way to end the mix especially if you hit repeat.
There you have it. Only thirteen tracks, but 59 seconds shy of 80 minutes of unadulterated summer music.
Happy Memorial Day! Thanks to all of those working hard to keep us free and safe!