There are some new albums out this week with some Memphis connections. One from a long time Memphian and one from a man who has recorded here a few times at Ardent.
Stevie Ray’s brother Jimmie Vaughn has a new album that came out this past Tuesday. It’s called Jimmie Vaughn Plays Blues, Ballads and Favorites. He has some pretty interesting songs on it like some old Johnny Ace and Jimmy Reed songs. He also has a good version of “Gimme Me Some Lovin” an old Little Richard song and a good blues version of Willie Nelson’s “Funny How Time Slips Away.” This one is definitely worth a listen if you like soulful blues.
Then there is a new album by the winner of Celebrity Apprentice 3 and true survivor of many health challenges, Bret Michaels. His album is called Custom Built and while it may be…it is built from leftovers and odds-and-ends from previous albums. There are four new songs on this one “Riding Against the Wind,” a cover of Sublime’s “What I Got,” “Wasted Time,” “Lie to Me,” and “Nothing to Lose.” With the emphasis on the latter cut, with two versions, one solo the other a duet with Miley Cyrus.
I didn’t really care for Bret when he was doing the Rock of Love reality series. You did see a little bit of what he was like but kind of a boring show to me. I did see a different side of him when he was on Celebrity Apprentice; he came across as a hard rocker but one with some compassion and dignity. I think everyone was pulling for him with his recent health problems and his will to survive. I was impressed with his appearance on the American Idol finale. “Riding Against the Wind,” which is the theme for the new reality TV series Bret Michaels: Life as I Know It.
That brings us to the Killer’s latest release The Essential Sun Records Country Hits by Jerry Lee Lewis. Jerry Lee is known for his Rock and Roll hits like “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On” and “Great Balls of Fire,” but he also recorded a lot of straight country songs for Sun as well. From the ’60s to the ’80s he charted more than 60 country songs. Lewis has said his strongest musical influences are Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams, you can hear that with his version of Rodgers’ “Waiting for a Train” and Williams’ “I Could Never Be Ashamed of You.” There is also a great version of “I Forgot to Remember to Forget” on this one.
Now the really bad one that came out this week is from John Phillips called Many Mamas, Many Papas a double-disc collection of unreleased material by the songwriter and his “re-formed” legendary band. The members he ended up with included himself, Scott Mackenzie (“San Francisco Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair”), Spanky McFarlane (of Spanky and Our Gang) and his daughter Mackenzie (named after Scott by the way). The first (studio disc) is pretty good with a good cover of the Moody Blues “Go Now” and three originals. Then a second (live disc) was added and it is terrible.
I read the review on AllMusic.com, the last time I did that they had killed off Artimus Pyle of Lynyrd Skynyrd. This time in the review it said “…Phillips had the idea to re-form the Mamas and the Papas, and contacted former Papa Denny Doherty, who signed on; he also employed actress/daughter Mackenzie in the role vacated by her mother, ex-wife Michele Phillips…” Hello? Doesn’t everyone know that Michele is not Mackenzie’s mother? I don’t understand how this keeps happening. Mackenzie’s mother is Suzy January (aka Suzy Adams), an east coast socialite. This reminds me of a trivia book I once read that had the question “What did Elvis name his Nashville mansion and why?” There answer was “Graceland after his mother Grace.” Need I say Graceland is in Memphis and Elvis’ mother was named Gladys?
Why doesn’t anyone check these stories out before it is printed or published on the internet?
By the way I did get a very nice email from Kerri Hampton-Pyle thanking me for pointing out her husband was still alive and well.
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Other stories by Mitch McCracken:
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse box office sales going down faster than BP stock
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is playing on over 4,416 screens
Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer, Artimus Pyle not dead yet
Chadam stars Memphis actress Jordan Van Vranken
Elvis Presley also on KWEM Radio, Rock and Roll’s best kept secret
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