Here are the various updates from the past in case this is your first visit...

 

AL'S NEWSLETTER 4/28/01

The release date of the boxed set RARE & WELL DONE has been moved to September 25th. This is good and bad news. The bad news is it won't be out in August as originally planned. The good news is SONY is giving me the time I need to deliver you a totally killer package. The RARE CD contains all unreleased tracks from 1964-2001. Demos, leftovers from old albums, great covers of Ray Charles, XTC, Big Joe Williams and an outtake from the Crime Story TV series are just some of the 18 goodies on that CD. The WELL DONE CD contains 15 of the most-requested tracks of Alficionados everywhere. I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know, Season Of The Witch, New York City, I Got A Woman, This Diamond Ring (Al's version!) and Flute Thing are just some of the old favorites that will be remastered properly for the first time. The unreleased Bloomfield/Kooper Fillmore East concert will be released in February alongside a newly re-mastered Super Session CD with many new photos from the actual recording sessions. I'm really trying to give my supporters what they want within the restrictions and realities I have to work under. If these CDs sell well, I can see SONY loosening up and perhaps releasing some expanded solo albums. It's all up to you guys. I promise you RARE & WELL DONE will make even the most cynical fan happy. I'll be in Detroit May 17th & 18th (click on the LIVE icon) Hope to see all you Michiganers (Meshuganahs if you're Jewish) at the FREE show at Wayne State.

Thass'all for now. Thanks for logging on & tuning in
- Al Kooper


AL'S NEWSLETTER 7/28/01

Well things are really moving along with the box set "Rare & Well Done." The advance CDs are going out to the press, the artwork is just finishing, and a special promo CD has been created. I am happy finally to publish the track listings:

RARE contains 18 unreleased tracks from 1964-2001 and Al's rare first single from 1965.

RARE

1. I CAN'T QUIT HER (new studio version)
2. SOMETHING GOING ON (original demo 1964)
3. AUTUMN SONG
4. I CANT STAND THE RAIN
5. BABY PLEASE DON'T GO (live 1971)
6. I LET LOVE SLIP THROUGH MY FINGERS
7. THE EARTHQUAKE OF YOUR LOVE
8. BULGARYA (instrumental out take from Rekooperation)
9. NUTHIN' I WOULDN'T DO FOR A WOMAN LIKE YOU
10. NEW YORK'S MY HOME (Al's first single 1965)
11. MAKING PLANS FOR NIGEL (XTC cover)
12. I BELIEVE TO MY SOUL (w/Mick Taylor)
13. WENT TO SEE THE GYPSY (out take from New Morning)
14. RACMANINNOFF'S BIRTHDAY
15. HEY JUDE (instrumental rehearsal tape 1969)
16. LIVING IN MY OWN RELIGION
17. THE BIG CHASE (instrumental out take from Crime Story)
18. THEY JUST DON'T MAKE EM LIKE THAT ANYMORE
19. A DRIVE THROUGH THE OLD NEIGHBORHOOD

Well Done contains Al's most popular tracks and a few rare and live ones all remastered under Al's supervision for the first time ever

WELL DONE

1. I CANT KEEP FROM CRYIN' (live '94 w/The Blues Project)
2. I LOVE YOU MORE THAN YOU'll EVER KNOW (w/BS&T 1968)
3. THIS DIAMOND RING (Al's version 1975)
4. ALBERT'S SHUFFLE (w/Mike Bloomfield 1968)
5. BURY MY BODY (w/Shuggie Otis 1969)
6. SEASON OF THE WITCH (w/Stephen Stills 1968)
7. NEW YORK CITY (YOU'RE A WOMAN)
8. I CAN'T QUIT HER (live 1994)
9. I STAND ALONE
10. FLUTE THING (w/The Blues Project 1966)
11. YOU NEVER KNOW WHO YOUR FRIENDS ARE
12. I GOT A WOMAN
13. BRAND NEW DAY
14. LOVE THEME FROM THE LANDLORD

There is a full-color 28 page booklet enclosed with lotsa photos and quotes from many old & new friends including: Steve Winwood, Tom Petty, George Winston, Gene Simmons, Billy Gibbons, Brian Wilson, Andy Partridge, BB King, and the late John Lee Hooker to name a few. Each track is as fully annotated as available information allows with little descriptions by yours truly. There are. in addition, wonderful liner notes by rock critic Jaan Uhelszki. As of now, this is due in stores and on-line on September 18, 2001. Also being sent out in advance is a promo CD only with 37 excerpts of tracks I have played on, produced or written. Some of the artists included are Bob Dylan, JayZ, Beastie Boys, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Tubes, Lulu, BB King, The Staple Singers, The Rolling Stones, Donny Hathaway, The Who, Nils Lofgren, Lorraine Ellison, Dion, Gene Pitney, Trisha Yearwood, Ten Years After & Kenny Lattimore. Looks like a collectors item right outa the box.

Obviously, I'm very excited. This has been two years in the making and as far as my fans are concerned, this is the best I can do in releasing what I think you would enjoy. SONY has been helpful and cooperative in making this release be just the way I envisioned it.

I'm off to Norway August 1 for the first time ever to play at the Notodden Blues Festival along with my Boston/Berklee band The Funky Faculty. We will also be performing selected dates the week before the release of the CD. See the LIVE section of the website for details. Have a great summer!!!

 

Al Kooper


AL'S NEWSLETTER 1/28/02

The first thing is that I lost a dear friend this morning. Andy Kulberg, bassplayer/flautist of The Blues Project passed away today. He was amazingly talented, one of the sweetest people I ever met, and the bearer of a wonderful sense of humor. I wrote "Flute Thing" specifically for him to play in 1965, the year we met. We have been close ever since. After The Blues Project, he founded the band Sea Train and then ran a successful music scoring agency for the rest of his life. He lived to play good music and he sho nuff did that. He was originally from Buffalo, New York and lived in Fairfax, California for at least the last twenty years. He died of lymphoma. In the end, his body was not able to manufacture blood properly. The doctors gave him notice a week ago and he died peacefully at home, surrounded by friends & family.

After handily surviving the removal of a benign brain tumor myself on November 12th, a protracted, painful recovery ensued until about last week. There are now moments of pain throughout the day but no intense pain as in the first six weeks. Now it's just a question of building back my strength and endurance. I was extremely saddened that I was not able to visit Andy this last week but I have to gain my own strength back slowly but surely. Andy & I joked on the phone last week that with my brain surgery, his lymphoma and Danny Kalb's recent heart attack we are finally, truly, The Blues Project. While Danny & I recover, we will truly miss our blues brother; the likes of which we will never see again. Amen......

At this point, all the audio is finished on the "lost" Fillmore East 1968 Kooper-Bloomfield CD. I am putting together the artwork and notes as you read this. I am also trying to add more bonus tracks to the remastered Super Session CD by remixing some original tracks sans horns. Over the years I have gotten many requests for this so I'm trying my best. The artwork and notes for that CD are also currently being dealt with. I'm guessing simultaneous April-May releases at this point.

I am also endeavoring to sell a live CD from last summer's Norway appearance on the website here with perhaps some long-sleeved black shirts from the Soul Of A Man CD as well. This will probably take a few months to get together. Have patience.

I am currently obsessed with my recently purchased Apple I-Pod, which is a cigarette pack-sized MP3 player that holds over a thousand songs and sounds GREAT. Perhaps a listing here of the 1000 songs on it in the future - who knows how long this recovery will take?

Finally, thanks to everyone for the emailed get well wishes - they certainly helped my temperament in those painful days of the recent past. I am happy and proud to have such wonderful fans and supporters. God bless you all!

 - - - - - -

MEDICAL STORIES FROM THE CHAIR AND BED  12/04/01

So, as I creep towards my sixties. I begin to reap the medical monkeys that creep along with age. About two years ago, I lost a blast of vision in one eye from some syndrome I could never pronounce. It involves the flow of blood to the optic nerve and causes a permanent vision loss that they say cannot get worse. Nine months later I got it in the other eye as well, and it took about 2/3 of my sight. I've adjusted pretty well to it but lost my ability to drive the car at all and read for long periods of time. While getting an exploratory MRI scan to check said eyes a coupla years ago , a new enemy was sighted - a benign brain tumor - walnut size. The doctor said we should have a look-see twice a year to monitor any progress. After three looks , it began to grow again. The surgeon suggested going on in and pulling it out. I agreed. Surgery was quietly set for November 12th, 2001. I was not particularly frightened because a) it was not malignant b) I have a great surgeon.

These are rather long procedures however - mine was from 7:30 AM to 4 PM. Eight and a half rather bloody hours I am told in retrospect. Today is two weeks after said cut. I was released from the hospital Wednesday after said cutting Monday. It is a slow, painful, uncomfortable recovery so far. However, there is no cancer. I blocked out the rest of 2001 so I am resting in comparative work peace. Two days before the operation, I was fired from my monthly column at EQ magazine. Did they know something I didn't, perhaps? Lovely timing, nonetheless. 2001 has been quite a year for loss - me Mum, me dog Daisy, 9-11-01, and my six-year column at EQ Magazine. Also the release of my box set RARE & WELL DONE on 9/18, which was quickly buried in the rubble of the war.

2002 holds a few possibilities in there. A full recovery would be a great start in January. A local gig in February to celebrate my 58th year surviving this rock stuff. In March we are trying to re-release SUPER SESSION with two bonus tracks and some excellent mastering. A live album with Bloomfield, lost for thirty-several years, was discovered while researching the RARE album. It has been repaired , edited, and mixed an mastered. It's from the Fillmore East in 1968 with a guest appearance by Johnny Winter. We are trying to release both of them at the same time in April or May. Keep your eye here for more news on them. Have happy holidays and we'll talk again in the New Year.

Al Kooper


UPDATE  MARCH 8TH 2002

Well, there's always good news and bad news. First the good: I hired a booking agent for the first time in decades and I have pledged to get out there and rock. I avoided serious touring since the mid-seventies, so that it didn't work out that playing gigs supported me. I always wanted to play for the sheer joy of it. Now I miss it so much, I am raring to go. But STILL for the joy of it. My songs have been taking care of me and that affords me the chance to go out and play more often. First on the bill are festivals in Seattle & Portland the first week in July w/ The Rekooperators.. (See the LIVE section here for gig details as soon as they're ready). Chicago and NY are lined up for May. So expect to see me sweatin' away on a stage near you this summer.

I'm having difficulty with the booklets on the two Bloomfield projects I'm working on, so they have slowed down. As of now, don't know when they'll be out. I really miss writing the monthly column I churned out for EQ magazine for the last six years. Not only did they pull the plug on that, but their book division nixed the book we were planning of all those columns collected under one cover. Must have been something I wrote. Hope I can get back in print soon - it was a great release and I know I made a lot of people in the industry chuckle a bit.

And speaking of people in the industry, the manufacturing of CDs that cannot be duplicated for anything is the stupidest, greediest , and most insulting thing the record companies have done to the consumer yet. Hopefully, artists with bigger followings than mine will ask their fans to boycott purchasing these insults. The record companies, trying to end Napster-like websites, are ENCOURAGING them by this brainless move. Glad I left that end of the biz in '89!!!!!

My health is 99% back and I can't wait to get out there and show you how much fun it is to play with The Rekooperators and The Funky Faculty. Keep writing in, your mail is half the reason I'm 99% back!

Al


UPDATE  JUNE 4TH 2002

Hello again, gang! Some great highlights since the last update:

Being on the cover for the first time of one of my fave mags GOLDMINE. It's the June 14th issue on sale June 3rd. There's some errors in the interview, but nobody's perfect - least of all, me.

 

 

Playing on the bill with the omnipotent Joey DeFrancesco at The Bottom Line on May 3rd.

Seeing my fans & friends in Chicago after seven long years on May 18th. The most email I've EVER gotten from one gig. Thank you all!

Attending the late Andy Kulberg's memorial in Fairfax, CA on April 28th. Seeing old friends, playing with musicians I never or rarely played with before (David Grisman, Bannana, Mark Naftalin, Norton Buffalo) and of course paying tribute to my dear departed Blues Project brother.

Update on the remastered SUPER SESSION: This will include four bonus tracks; an outtake from the actual sessions, a live outtake, new remixes of Season Of The Witch and Albert's Shuffle without horns. Many fans have asked for this over the years, so here it is.

The Lost Fillmore East Kooper/Bloomfield Concert CD featuring Johnny Winter on one amazing track, will be released, along with the remastered SUPER SESSION, the second week in January, 2003.

And after years of anticipation and failed attempts, Allen Bloomfield and myself have reached an agreement with SONY Legacy to produce a way overdue Mike Bloomfield box set. Between Michael's brother and I, we hope to compile the best of Michael's playing along with rare photos and sensitive writing about this sadly overlooked guitar monster from the ''60's & '70's. Proposed release date? Fall 2003.

The Rekooperators are looking forward to seeing all their old & new friends in Seattle & Portland July 4th-6th. All concerts are basically FREE, so be independent on Independence Day weekend and come rock with us! Details if you click LIVE at the top of this page.

Have a wonderful summer - take care of yourselves and drop in here from time to time for updates and laughs!

Al Kooper
June 4th, 2002


UPDATE  JULY 9, 2002

Well, I just returned home from my July 4th week on the road. It was great to see fans in Seattle & Portland. I got home at noon on the 8th and slept from 1PM to 5PM. Then again from 9:30 PM to 2 AM. It's now 6 AM and I'm rarin' 2 go again. What a wacky life.

People have been emailing about difficulty in purchasing my book BACKSTAGE PASSES AND BACKSTABBING BASTARDS. I've also gotten a great deal of enquiries about the availability of the CDs REKOOPERATION, SOUL OF A MAN and DO, WHAT NOW by Jimmy Vivino & The Rekooperators. I have tried in vain to get some answers from the companies that put these items out and now I think it's probably best if I plug you all into these companies directly. Don't be afraid to email them, in fact, I believe it will help both of us if every one of you sends an email asking how you can purchase these now-seemingly-out-of-print items.

For the book, the email address is bnirkind@watsonguptill.com
For the CDS, the address is musmasters@aol.com

Your solicitation should be To Whom It May Concern - and your content should include where you tried to purchase these items and how long you've been unable to get them. I think if we work together, it may be possible to end these inconveniences to both of us. Thanks for your interest and help.

In August, I begin work scoring an as-yet unnamed documentary. On September 14th, we hope to see all our Detroit friends at the Arts Festival that evening. I am attending the NAMM convention (National Association of Music Merchandisers) July 18th-21st in Nashville, TN and seeing all my old friends as well. On the way home on July 21st, I will stop in New Bedford MA to play the blues festival with The Funky Faculty.

It's been a brutal summer so far in the East, but we're not flooding or hosting out of control fires, so I guess I cant complain too loudly.

Have a great summer and be careful -

RIP
John Frankenheimer
Timothy White
John Entwhistle
Rosemary Clooney
&
Ray Brown


NOVEMBER 1ST UPDATE

Vis a vis last month's political diatribe, the response was reassuring. Only two negative replies (one from the UK) and scores of supporters. As usual, since then, George Dubya is telegraphing his intents by months, so I'm sure Saddam is readying for our inevitable "attack." What incredible insensitivity to lives and stabilization. I can't believe Congress just pushed it through. So much for voting....But - I digress - let's talk about personal appearances. 

I have a new plan.

For the past six months, I have dueled with two separate booking agents trying to get out onstage more often; to places that friends e-mail about that are hoping to see me perform. I had been booking myself up to then with obvious limitations, but my attempts to have an agent further my ambitions were VERY disappointing and actually cost me a Fall & Winter schedule so far. The opposite of what I was looking for.

So I wanna try something that's never been done. I want you folks to help me. Pick a venue nearby you enjoy hearing live music in. Either call or visit and find out who the person is who books the talent there. Ideally, it must hold between 300 - 600 people. A smaller or larger venue messes with the economics, trust me for that. Tell them that you and your friends would love to come see me play there and that I book myself and give that person my e-mail address. This way, I can get to where I'm wanted (one agent said practically no one wanted to hire me) with the help of those who really enjoy the music and have unfinancial motives. If it works, what could be better ? If it doesn't, I'll continue my seemingly hopeless search for chemistry with a booking agent. Needless to say, if you're a worldwide booking agent and you're reading this and you think you can help, I'm all eyes. 

Coming up: a remastered Super Session CD with four bonus tracks; a "lost" Fillmore East concert with Mike Bloomfield and I from 1968. Both released by SONY-Legacy on January 15th, 2003. A track on a Canadian Beatles tribute CD ("Eleanor Rigby"), a track on a George Harrison tribute CD (Koch) ("Don't Bother Me") release dates unknown at press time. A sit-in with the band Yo La Tengo one night the first week in December at Maxwell's in Hoboken, NJ. A solo show in NYC in early February as a nod to me 59th birthday (yikes!!!!) Gonna pitch a bitch in 2004 for the big 6-0.

Gone by: a great spontaneous sit-in with Little Feat here in Boston last month. Old friends, great music. 

Have a great Thanksgiving and pray for every one's survival at the hands of people who should be incarcerated, not "elected." Notice the similarities between Saddam's recent election and George Dubya's ridiculous Florida debacle two years ago?

Let's get bookin !!!!!

Al Kooper 11/1/02


UPDATE: DECEMBER 18TH, 2002

Well here we are a week before Xmas...... George Bush and pals still  threatening the world; Trent Lott slipping and showing his true self and having the NERVE to appear on the Black Entertainment Network. Allow me to  talk a little closer to home:

I want to thank all of you who sent in venue suggestions over the last  six weeks. They were duly noted and through a connection with old pal Chuck  Prophet, I finally have hooked up with human booking agents. So now it's just  a matter of time before we get to your town! Already in the works - a belated return to Japan in June for three shows in Tokyo and one in Osaka. Haven't  been since 1978 and can't wait to go CD shopping there as well!

I've upgraded my home studio to 5.1 surround-sound mixing capability and  am currently mixing SUPER SESSION and CHILD IS FATHER TO THE MAN in  surround-sound for release on SONY SACD. No release date has been set and  that gives me the time to do as good a job as I possibly can. The engineering  on the master tapes is wonderful. Hats off to Fred Catero, Bob Berault & Roy  Hallee for amazing 1967-1968 use of technology.

Hope to see my northern CA fans on January 8th at the Sweetwater Saloon  in Mill Valley for a solo show. It's been a few years, but it's always great  to get back and perform in the SF area, especially on Elvis' birthday. Watch out for Alvis!

Have a wonderful holiday season (maybe turn off the TV news and don't buy  the paper for a few days) and thanks to all of you for your gracious emails  and your support of this website. Elliott Randall (Webmaster) & I will try  and make it even better in 2003. Til then...

All the best

Al Kooper


UPDATE - FEBRUARY 5,2003

As I sit here observing my 59th birthday today, I thought it would be expedient to update the website. Finally according to SONY, the re-mastered SUPER SESSION, and the LOST CONCERT TAPES / FILLMORE EAST will be instore on March 4th. Sorry for the delays, but I don't know what causes them. The first reviews are starting to come out and the critics seem to agree with me about the quality of Bloomfield's performances on both CDs. I hope all of you enjoy them as much as I did getting them out to you.

There is talk of a Japanese tour June 15th to 23rd this year. With new booking agents, I am trying to get out to see all of you, but evidently it is a slow arduous process putting these gigs together. I am trying my best however. The economy is not on our side at the moment, as you all know. Last weekend I was interviewed for an upcoming Discovery Channel show called THE TEMPLES OF ROCK. Should be onscreen in the fall/winter. I will advise when I know more.

I have been in my basement studio working away on 5.1 SurroundSound SACD mixes of CHILD IS FATHER TO THE MAN & SUPER SESSION. This is very rough work because the source tapes are extremely primitive in sound options. I am using the latest technology to make them sound as robust as possible, but it is taking an incredible amount of time and effort. SONY has thankfully removed any deadlines.

I'd like to recommend Joan Osborne's latest album. It is all cover tunes and the combination of Joan and producer John Leventhal is quite magical. The arrangements and performances are about as good as you can get and the sonic quality is wonderful. I'd love to hear that album in 5.1 !!! Some good news - SOUL OF A MAN (2 disc live at the Bottom Line 1994), REKOOPERATION (Hammond B3 instrumental album w guests) & DO, WHAT NOW? (Jimmy Vivino & The Rekooperators) all out of print for quite awhile now, will be available through an upcoming link on the website in the next month or so. If you use the link, an additional discount will be subtracted from your purchase. We are just getting the mechanics of that together with the label they are on, MUSICMASTERS.

In addition, I am slowly concluding the red tape with Billboard Books and my autobiography BACKSTAGE PASSES & BACKSTABBING BASTARDS will soon be in my ownership again. Instead of attempting to resell it, I think I shall publish it myself and make it availabler on the site here and at live shows. EVERY copy will be signed and individually printed. I will also try and update the book to 2003 as well. All this will take some time, however, but should be worth it in the end.

In terms of finding my older albums on CD, they do exist, just not in the USA. There are import sites suggested in the intro to the solo album part of the website under WORDS. Hope this helps you get that dog-eared vinyl replaced!

There are TV shows, Broadway plays, filmscores, documentaries, and all sorts of madness being discussed lately. If you're a regular attendee here, you'll be the first to know about all of it.

Once again, thank you all for your wonderful emails and interest in me at the dawn of my old age. If we live through the Bush administration, this should be a great decade for all of us.

God bless,

Al Kooper


UPDATE - MARCH 4TH 2003

So, like I imagine a few of you reading this did as well, I sauntered into the record store this morning to see what was what. What I found was what was not. For no reason I can put my finger on, the most delayed albums of my career waltzed to an April 8th release. Admittedly, there is a shakeup going on at SONY, so I guess as I've often pointed out: "Murphy's Law follows ME like a stalker!" I apologize to everyone who made that record store journey today, but as you all know, this is not under my control at all. If it was, you'd have been in possession of those CDs in January, when they first assured me they would be released. There's really nothing else I can say except "I'm sorry..."

The in person crusade is moving along slowly but surely. I have accepted new gigs in Florida, Maryland, Syracuse and had to turn down a tempting tour in Italy cause of scheduling conflicts. Please check the LIVE section of the website in the next few weeks as a little momentum has begun in personal appearances. The economics of the road prevent me from always having a band with me. Over the last few years I have compensated by putting together a strong solo show that has lately played to extremely receptive audiences from coast to coast. The success of these shows assures the various clubowners and promoters that you will come out to enjoy the SOLO music and makes it easier next time for them to confidently afford the band. So what I'm saying is: the solo shows have become as strong as the band shows; they're just different. It gives me the chance to explain what inspired each song or where they came from, and indulge my latent ambition to become a "sit-down comic."

My dear friend, actor Peter Riegert (LOCAL HERO, THE MASK, TRAFFIC, CROSSING DELANCY, ANIMAL HOUSE) has begun shooting a documentary on moi that he is directing. Guaranteed to pull no punches, it will explore all the goods and bads of the music industry that have passed b4 my eyes in the last six decades. (It's frightening to realize I turned pro in 1958!!!) We're shooting it leisurely, in our spare time, and when it's done, THEN we'll decide how to exhibit it to the public.

Having a cold snow hell winter here in the northeast, exacerbated by what looks like the forthcoming World Armageddon. I ordered my radiation suit but they don't have any dog models for BeBe !!!! As I said before, cross your fingers that SONY will deliver the remastered SUPER SESSION and The Lost Concert 12/13/68 on April 8th. That's really all we can do 4 now......

AL KOOPER


UPDATE - APRIL 1, 2003

Well, these are scary times. Whether you support the war or not, you can't turn a blind eye towards the condition of the economy and the potential war debt in dollars and lives. It looks to me like it's entirely possible we will recapitulate the crash of 1929. When the stocks meet the same fate as the WTC, when airlines are forced to stop flying, when gas prices are out-of-reach, when grocery stores are depleted and cant afford to restock, and that green paper becomes virtually worthless. How does one raise the national debt to astronomical heights and still promise to lower taxes? This eludes me completely. When the rich are no longer rich (unless they've got a coveted war supply contract or an oil well or ten)) and MOST are poor....then perhaps we can start all over again and reinvent ourselves image-wise and sociologically. It wasn't that long ago, that we at least had the sympathy and understanding of the world after 9/11. It sure ain't like that NOW. I shudder to think what will happen when North Korea rears it's nuclear head. 
Ya gotta admit, it's potentially getting to be a day-to-day existence....

A P R I L F O O L !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Colin Powell says George W was just kidding and we're pulling out of Iraq today and sending all our troops home. Sean Penn is taking over Rumsfield's job and ............okay okay - just diggin for a smile!!!

In spite of the world condition, I am moving ahead with plans to make Kooper fans happy as best I can. Within a month or two, one will be able to purchase at a reasonable fee on this website, copies of the CDs, SOUL OF A MAN, REKOOPERATION, and the rare Rekooprators album - DO WHAT, NOW. These have been out of print for years now, but we will soon work out a deal with the record company MUSICMASTERS, so that you can purchase signed copies right here!!! Also for sale will be black long-sleeved T shirts (XL - one size fits Al!) with the cover of the REKOOPERATION CD on the front , also signed!! We are about six weeks away from all this. Next up after that hopefully will be the book BACKSTAGE PASSES & BACKSTABBING BASTARDS sadly out of print for the last year. The book should be up & running in about six months, signed and available ONLY on this website.

I am praying that everything stays calm with North Korea so I can play my Japanese Tour in mid-June. Since it has been announced, I have received wonderful emails from Japanese and Korean(!) fans and I sure don't wanna disappoint a single one.

The Super Session and The Lost Fillmore Concert CDs will be out in a week (April 8th) and the advance reviews have been great so far. So we're doing what we can here. 

I'm currently working on scoring the film THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS, an independent feature directed by friend/actor Peter Riegert (Local Hero, Animal House, Traffic, Crossing Delancy) in his feature-directing debut. The film stars Peter, Eli Wallach, Rita Moreno, Isabella Rossellini, Eric Bogosian and Dominic Chianese. It's a serio/comedy about mid-life crisis and we hope it will be released in early 2004.

LATE FLASH: Backstage Passes & Backstabbing Bastards, now out-of-print, for sale at BAMM.com for below Ebay prices. Act quickly, I suspect and good luck!

So, keep your chins up out there, say a prayer for America, and we hope to see all our friends in Lake Worth, Florida and Annapolis, Maryland this month. Always check the LIVE section of this website to see where we're playing in the near future. Thanks to all of you for your supportive emails and good feelings!

God bless ya!

Al Kooper


UPDATE - MAY 20, 2003

Hi out there ! Been very busy the last six weeks. Have finished an eye-opening 5.1 Surround SACD mix of SUPER SESSION. This has got to be the finest way to listen to music if it is prepared correctly. So many people are doing it in the digital domain and losing the sonics of the sixties, as it were. I was working with engineer Steve Rosenthal who prepared the recent multi-CD Stones re-releases that came out a few months ago. Steve also engineered most of the REKOOPERATION CD and Jimmy Vivino's solo album DO WHAT NOW which I produced. We worked in the analogue domain to match the tones of the original tapes first recorded in 1968. Next up is a Surround version of BS&T's CHILD IS FATHER TO THE MAN, with the additional assistance of original producer John Simon. That will be remixed in late July. Don't know release dates yet. Stay tuned here however for those details. I am hoping they will additionally allow me 2 remix the first three Skynyrd albums and the first Tubes album in this format.

The Funky Faculty and I are now preparing for our Japanese tour. I leave for Tokyo on June 11th for a few days of press prior to the kickoff date of June 15th. I am so excited to return to the only country, that sees fit to release my entire catalogue on CD and will RE-release it in minpaks just for the occasion of the upcoming tour! To score any of these imports, log onto www.redtrumpet.com - I know they'll have em when they are released June 4th. Pre-orders are being taken as well. In the comments section of the order form, tell em you're from Al's website and they'll tack an extra discount on as well!

In July we'll be appearing in NYC & Syracuse July 16th and 19th respectively. See the LIVE section of the website for details. In August, I'll be in my home studio scoring actor Peter Riegert's directorial debut, which just finished shooting this week. Currently untitled, watch this space for details.

Every Friday night on the Letterman show, Paul Shaffer sings my song I LOVE YOU MORE THAN YOU'LL EVER KNOW, and aux-collapses onstage James Brown style during the fade. Each week, a special guest trots out and places a cape around Paul, JB-style, comforting him towards offstage. Cape holders in the past year have included Donald Trump, Nathan Lane, Solomon Burke, Bill Murray, George Pataki, James Brown himself (!) Don Rickles and many others. It usually happens after Dave has interviewed the headline guest. The band goes into the song, they cut to commercial and then return to the cape-antics after the commercial. Then during the NBA play-offs, when a few teams were in the 4th quarter throes of an inescapable loss, the strains of I CANT KEEP FROM CRYIN SOMETIMES, came wailin' outa the TV speaker. I am extremely flattered by all this unsolicited TV coverage although in disbelief as well. Thanks to those behind the scenes, who see fit to play my music!

Well, I have a rare few days off to rekooprate and away I go. Thanks for logging on...

See ya next month!

Al Kooper


UPDATE - June, 2003

This is Al's diary of his Japanese tour . The full text can be found here.


UPDATE AUG 1, 2003

I have finally completed mixing the 5.1 Surround Sound SACD mixes of Super Session and Child Is Father To The Man. I'm guessing March 2004 as the release date. I worked at Magic Shop Studios in SoHo in NYC. It was a great team of engineers: Steve Rosenthal & Matt Boynton, who helmed that massive Rolling Stones SACD re-release of over 20 albums plus the latest Sam Cooke re-releases pitched in with their dynamic engineering skills to make these 1967-recorded tapes sound incredible! I still have to master both albums with Bob Ludwig probably in December.

I am very sold on 5.1 Surround Sound. Instead of an 180 degree stereo field, now we have 360 degrees PLUS height! This means at least double the amount of room to allow breathing space for each instrument & voice. Most people handling this new medium work entirely in the digital realm. Steve, Matt & I lovingly coaxed the warm sounds out of a custom NEVE analogue console and then directly into the Sonoma SACD system. Also. as a fan, I am quite annoyed with most 5.1 mixes. They just sound like glorified stereo mixes - no one is having any fun or taking any chances with their mixes. Not the case here. Both these CDs were approached with their original bravado will be great demonstrators of SACD 5.1 Surround systems. So have patience and it will be rewarded in March (hopefully).

This month I am buried down the basement scoring Peter Riegerts indie-film directorial debut as yet un-named. Peter and I have been good friends since about 1975 and this is a great chance to work together. Peter has acted in some wonderful films over the years (Animal House, Crossing Delancey, Local Hero, Traffic, The Sopranos and the last episode of Seinfeld to name a scant few) and is enjoying his new role immensely. I haven't done any scoring work in awhile, so I'm having a GREAT time.

Plans are FINALLY afoot for the release of a proper solo album of new songs ( a first since 1976's Act Like Nothing's Wrong!) So far, it will be released in Japan in April or May, but other offers are coming in and it may be world-wide by then. Entitled SONGS FROM THE BASEMENT, it is the best of over 130 unreleased tracks that are hiding down there. Many are one-man band demos turned masters. At least three are with The Funky Faculty playing back up, and one collaboration with Jimmy Vivino on a Beatles cover. I am very proud of the songwriting on this album and hope all of you will enjoy it.

I think I am going to take most of December through March off from the road to avoid the usual winter hassles and finish the new album and the older remasterings. As I approach the big 6-0, I am constantly inspired by Muddy Waters and BB King, who played out their later years for all to enjoy. With the recent addition of The Mongrel Agency for booking, I am able to get out to see all of you in person with more frequency than ever before. This is a good thing. Enjoy the rest of the summer - play the lotteries or turn in Saddam Hussein and make millions.....


Peace & love

Al Kooper


UPDATE SEPTEMBER 8 2003

I don't even know where to start in the tales of movie scoring.
Okay - I'll start here.
I work on Apple computers using Digital Performer 4.1

I do all my scoring in my home studio. The movie was sent to me on a 120 gig hard drive, so I decided to put all the scoring files on that external disk because my two internal 80 gig disks were nearly full. Miraculously, in 10 days I had my first draft of the entire score. I would work in 4 hour shifts, then sleep two hours, work four hours, sleep two hours, work four hours, eat something, sleep, work, etc. I get real focused on projects like this. So imagine my dismay, when the external disk crashed taking the movie AND the entire score to Byte Heaven. I think in retrospect, that when those two 80 gig disks got near full, they started to act a little crazy and that's what caused the crash. At any rate, I lost everything. I had to wait a week to get a new copy of the film so I took out my two 80s and put in two new blank 160 gig disks. I also updated my system from 9.2 to OS X 10.2.6. I lost the use of much plug-in software, but I enjoy the included plug-ins on Digital Performer and felt I could do just fine with just them. When the movie arrived, I dove back to work and in another ten days I was done; this time with TWO sets of backups. Now they put the music in the film, see how it sits, and then make final corrections and send them to me. I think I get about 6 weeks off before I have to deal with it again. As of today, the film is called THE SALESMAN and they are gearing it up ro make the festival circuit of 2004. So lets all cross our fingers.

My lawyers are in the final stages of closing the deal with SONY-Japan for my new solo album, and then I will go fulltime into getting that one all finished and ready for release. The 5.1 Surround versions of SUPER SESSION and CHILD IS FATHER TO THE MAN go with me to Bob Ludwig's Gateway Mastering facility in mid-October and I imagine they will be scheduled after that. Stay tuned.

A rare West Coast swing this month: McCabes in Santa Monica on 9/26 and the San Francisco Blues Festival you know where on 9/28.October has some technical work and private Berklee shows. November has first time shows in Westchester, NY, Vienna, VA and Bryn Mawr, PA. Check the LIVE section here for details. I usually sign whatever you bring after all my shows, so come on down and say hello.

Webmaster Elliott Randall & I are getting a bunch of rare photos together to go up here soon. Just about all the recorded original Al lyrics are up on the site under WORDS. They are in chronological order at the moment. We are always trying to make the site current and fun and hope you are enjoying it.

In the future, Allen Bloomfield & I will begin work soon on the Mike Blomfield box set (3 discs-some waiting). I am trying to decide playing-wise, what to do about my 60th birthday. Gotta make THAT decision pretty soon.

Thanks again for your interest and emails and talk to ya next month!!


Al Kooper


UPDATE - OCTOBER 9, 2003

Backatcha!! Last month's California trip was kind of a yin yang thang. McCabes in LA was a great show and it was nice to meet so many fans after the show. The San Francisco Blues Festival was strange and is covered in the Diaries section under WORDS. Elliott Randall (webmaster) and I finally got all the photos up. Look under - you guessed it - PHOTOS. Hope you enjoy some of these perverse cameos from the past. 

October is something of an inside month. I did get to sit in with my current fave band two nights ago - The Black Keys at the Paradise Club in Boston. Their first album, THE BIG COME UP is one of the best first albums I've ever heard. Due to a death in the family I was unable to attend the Audio Engineering Society convention in NYC. I will soon be on my way in mid October to master the 5.1 Surround mixes of SUPER SESSION & CHILD IS FATHER TO THE MAN with the esteemed Bob Ludwig in Portland Maine. Still no release scheduled, natch. After that The Funky Faculty and I play the annual Berklee fund raising Gala, this year at The Downtown Sheraton Hotel in Boston. This is how we got together originally, so now we superstitiously play each year so that we stay together. This is our sixth year. 

I've also joined the ranks of homeowners who are remodeling their master baths. This is something I don't recommend to people who live in houses originally constructed before 1900. Every ripped out particle reveals a new, expensive headache. We started September 1, and we are hopelessly far from the light at the end of the tunnel. No lawsuits YET. Bebe walks us twice a day.The contracts for the Japanese solo album are STILL being negotiated by the various lawyers on both sides. Can you say 2005?

I am looking forward to November stops in Westchester, NY, Vienna, VA & Bryn Mawr, PA. Remember to bring what you need signed to each show and afterwards it shall be done. Well I must let the carpenters in now, so enjoy the autumn weather and we'll speak next month.

Al Kooper

ON THE TURNTABLE OCTOBER 2003

1) The Big Come Up - Black Keys
2) North - Elvis Costello
3) Dance With My Father - Luther Vandross
4). The Best of Jackie Mittoo
5) The Best of Redbone (curiously refreshing)
6) Pet Sounds - Beach Boys - 5.1 Surround Sound version
7) Producers Choice - Emmylou Harris - 5.1 Surround Sound
8) OLDIE OF THE MONTH***** If Loving You Is Wrong - Luther Ingram
9) Memphis - Kirk Whalum
10) Polaris - North Mississippi All Stars


UPDATE - NOVEMBER 4TH, 2003

Hi - welcome back to the outa Site! This month we're gonna start reprinting the columns I used to write for the Pro Audio magazine EQ. I received a lot of email requests for this so I'm happy to oblige. We'll add a new column each month with the original date it was published on it. Hope you enjoy them. They'll be under the WORDS banner under OLD COLUMNS.

In November we come upon the last three gigs of 2003. The Little Theater in White Plains, NY on the 15th, will be the last gig of the year with the Funky Faculty. November 20th will be a solo gig at The Barns Of Wolf Trap in Vienna VA - just outside of DC. The 22nd will be the last gig of the year, solo again, at The Point in Bryn Mawr, PA. I usually don't gig that much in the winter, so if you're of a mind, come on down, As usual I'll be signing whatever you foist on me after each show. Remember, I draw the line at silicon.

Still no release date for the 5.1 Surround versions of Super Session & Child Is Father To The Man. They will be hybrid SACDs featuring:

1) a 5.1 Surround Sound mix
2. An SACD 2 track remaster
3) The original mix newly remastered

I wouldn't buy it if I didn't have an SACD compatible player, so check and see if your CD or DVD player can handle it. If they can, you're in for quite a ride. If you are just about to purchase a DVD player, make sure it can play back SACD and DVD audio. I noticed one model at $249 list, so it's not so bad. Surround Sound is amazing.

We have our first meeting at SONY on the Mike Bloomfield box set on November
17th. We are trying to have bonus DVDs in the original released sets. Looks like 2005 for that one.

I am hoping the folks at Universal will let me do surround mixes of the three Skynyrd albums I originally mixed & produced. The current regime has never let me put my hands on them so I doubt it, but it don't hurt to ask. What a weird business. Glad I'm mostly retired from all that political crap.

Since it's getting quiet around here, there probably wont be an update in December. In late January there will be a 60th birthday gig in Boston and possibly one in NYC the first week of February. Details in January or in the LIVE section of the site. This summer already has festivals booked in Italy & Belgium, so keep posted. Have wonderful holidays this season and thanks so much for all your emails!

Al Kooper

 

ON THE TURNTABLE NOVEMBER 20O3

1. Damian Rice - Volcano
2. Betty Lavette - The Stealer
3. Elvis Costello - North CD
4. ZZ Top - New Box Set
5. Shelby Lynne - Identity Crisis
6. Joss Stone - The Soul Sessions
7. Soundtrack - Igby Goes Down
8. ***Oldie Of The Month*** Sara Smile - Hall & Oates
9. Various Artists - Cellarful of Motown (UK compilation)
10.Kirk Franklin - Lookin Out For Me 


UPDATE - JANUARY 1ST - 2004

Well, here I sit in disbelief. Primarily that I've lived this long, and secondly, that I will be sixty years of age in 36 days. Happily, I have been blessed with my second grandchild, Chloe Miranda, on December 11th. Otherwise, the world I live in makes no sense to me.

My New Year's resolutions are prayers.

Prayers that we get out of Iraq as quickly as possible in order to save the lives of our soldiers/children, the climate of normalcy for the people of Iraq, and the economy of the US workingman.

I believe it's now possible that 50 years from now, they will look back historically at this time period and call it the beginning of the decline of the once-super powered United States. A U.S. that clearly pioneered stockpiling weapons of mass destruction itself, but felt it had the right to dictate who else could and could not. A U.S. that felt it had the right to demand of other countries how to run their airline security, when it's internal policing was one of the worst examples exemplified by 9/11. 

It looks as if the Democrats are committing candidate suicide, so I steel myself for four more years of madness and then I'll be a senior citizen and no longer a danger to anyone (not that I am now.) So forgive me if you're a Bushhead and at least let me speak my first amendment rights and don't waste your time sending me hate mail. The only ironic thing comparatively, is that, in retrospect, Bill Clinton was brought to the brink of impeachment for screwing just one person.

I guess it's a different century now.

Let us also bemoan the passing of The Bottom Line Club in NYC. The most comfortable place to hear myriad musics in Manhattan has been done in by an institute of alleged higher learning, NYU, the BL's landlord. Thirty years of great listening gone bye bye in 2004. Those that know will miss it.

At the last moment, the staff of Joe's Pub has indulged my fantasy of playing ON my birthday in New York City. On February 5th, as I actually turn 60, I will play a solo set at 7 PM ($30) and the Rekooperators will join me at 9:15 ($35) for a second show. A cozy, pleasant room, alas only 150 partygoers can fit per show. Forewarned is foretold. Hope to see ya there. The Boston show on January 31st has 1200 seats, my current band, The Funky Faculty, my first post-fame band ; a re-united Frankie & Johnny, and possibly a special guest or two. My favorite activity is playing live. I hope to see as many of you as possible in 2004. We're workin on it as I type.

I also promise that we will begin to knock the lazyman chip off my shoulder in 2004 and sell things onsite. We have recently uncovered sealed "SOUL OF A MAN" boxsets, and a bunch of 50th birthday longsleeve black tshirts all XL. On the front is the cover of the REKOOPERATION album and the back has the line-up of the 1994 three February shows at The Bottom Line. The book is in the works, but it will take quite awhile to redesign, update and print it. Perhaps early 2005.

God bless you all and Happy New Year

Al Kooper


ON THE iPOD IN DECEMBER
1. Ron Isley & Burt Bachrach duet album
2. Ruben Studdard debut album
3. Michael McDonald Motown album
4. Jimi Hendrix - "Red House"
5. Otis Redding - "White Christmas"
6. Staple Singers - "Last Month Of The Year"
7. The Best of Sam & Dave
8. Joss Stone - "The Soul Sessions"
9. Bettye Lavette - "Souvenirs" album****
10. Percy Mayfield "My Jug & I" LP (soon to be on CD!)

 

UPDATE - FEBRUARY 7TH 2004

Well, first off, thanks to all those who sent birthday emails. I actually got more of those than the mailing list ones from the virus. I don't think the virus actually works on Apple Computers, so I've shone it on so far.

So, lets see - the birthday gig in Boston: sick as a dog from a lingering cold. Now I don't really get sick per se; the last time was at the gig for my 50th birthday. Is that weird or what? Wonder what would have happened if I hadn't scheduled birthday gigs this year. Some clown would have thrown me a surprise party (my worst fear) That's why I schedule gigs on all my birthdays so that cant happen. Anyhoo, sick a s a dog. I played a half-hour solo set, then had an amazing blind pianist from The Perkins School For The Blind who eventually graduated Berklee with honors, Tony Debloise (sp). He played two incredible solo numbers and then we took a short intermission. I returned with The Funky Faculty and we played a bunch, then brought special guest Peter Wolf up onstage for "Growing Pains" from his last album and "Wait-Stop A Minute" one of my fave JGeils numbers. People seemed to enjoy it and I was pleased I could even walk at that point. A few days rest and then off to NYC for the actual birthday shows on Feb 5th. Could not shake that cold So a solo set for a great audience, and then a rare Rekooperators set for the noisy, yell stuff out crowd. We played Like A Rolling Stone for the first time ever, and did rare versions of Downtime, Alberts Shuffle & Mississippi Kid. At one point I had to leave the stage I was coughing so hard. Jeeeez !!!.

I'm still coughing as I write this. My only solace is knowing that many in the area. had this cold, a two-weeker..

In terms of the 5.1 Surround versions of SUPER SESSION & CHILD IS FATHER TO THE MAN, it looks like a late spring/early summer release right now. The "new" Japanese solo album is incredibly embroiled in silly paperwork which may delay it til next summer if they don't clear it up soon. Based on email I get from you, I want you all to understand that I don't select what CDs come out in the USA. It is NEVER my decision. Needless to say, if it was up to me, it would be like Japan in the US - all my CDs would be re-released. So I hope you all understand that.

This week I'm gonna start listening to the Bloomfield material and start picking tracks for the box set. Thass a lotta listening !!!!!!!!!!  I guess it's a different century now.

In March, I'm lecturing at Harvard Law School(!), playing at Camden College in Cherry Hill, NJ with the Rekoops, and possibly playing solo at Club Helsinki in Great Barrington, MA. I try to stay off the road in the winter.

It is so strange being 60 that I cannot even put it into words properly. 
Have a great month !!!!

Al Kooper

On The iPod in JANUARY:
1. Prototype - OutKast
2. When You Really Love Someone - Alicia Keys
3. MoreThan A Woman - Angie Stone
4. Back In Baby's Arms - Allen Toussaint
5. God's Radar - Dixie Hummingbirds
6. You're Not The Only One - Robert Palmer (RIP)
7. I Spy - Guster
8. Cant Take My Eyes Off You - North Mississippi All Stars
9. 23rd Chromosome - The Honeydogs
10. Sorry 2004 - Ruben Studdard


UPDATE - MARCH 10TH, 2004

Gonna come in like a lamb, and hopefully, go out like lion. We are in the final stages of setting up shop on the website and our initial offerings will be:

a) autographed copies of "SOUL OF A MAN". the 1995 double live album that has been out-of-print almost since its release! Don't know how many we can get or exactly what they will cost yet, but I'm guessing less than half of what they are charging on Ebay! AND each one will be autographed....

b) black heavy duty long sleeve T shirts with the cover of "REKOOPERATION" on the front (16 various Al photos in his various stages of development over the years) These are the only official Al shirts in existence at the moment. all XLs; one size fits Al

Payment will be through Pay-Pal© and should be easy for all. We are just checking the shipping options and that is what is holding us up at the moment. Then it goes to our website commander, Elliott Randall, and he will make it fit in nicey nice on the site ASAP. We hope to be up by April Fools Day (heh heh)

Now I am one who has been extremely fickle about merchandising over the years, but the great thing about this site is I get to hear right from your emails, EXACTLY what you want and when it is possible for me to impart that to you, I promise I will. So much of my previous work is tied up in other people's hands, that it is usually impossible for me to make your requests happen, i.e. release certain albums in the USA. Whenever I can personally honor your requests, I promise I will. 

While I have your eyes for a moment, let me address a common request. People ask to mail various items to me in self-addressed envelopes, so that I can sign them and send them back. The volume of these requests is amazingly flattering, but makes it impossible to fulfill. I am not able to drive at this point in my life, and if I honored all the latter requests, I would be commuting to the post office daily. To compensate as best I can, I sign whatever you bring (drawing the line at silicone) at the conclusion of most concerts. So if there is something you want signed, bring it along when you come to see me live and I will do that for you, no problemo. Occasionally, at summer festivals, they make it impossible for me to do that, so keep that in mind. But for instance, this month in Blackwood, NJ and Great Barrington, MA I will be signing away after each show!

While I'm at it, let me also remind you about things on the site you may not have crossed paths with. Under WORDS on the homepage is a plethora of collected writing: My old columns from EQ magazine, various diaries from on the road goings-on, the lyrics from the original songs from every album I ever released, a selected discography of what has been released and recorded by Al the artist, writer, producer, and sideman, my favorite 100 produced recordings, and some silly things like 15 places I've lived over the years, etc. and that's just under WORDS! There are quite a few amusing, amazing photos from an almost 50 year career under dare I say.... PHOTOS. So, when you can't make up your mind between Kerry, Bush or Nader, log on and amuse yourselves for awhile in a world where it ain't that easy to find amusement.

Once again, thanks to all of you for making this site exist and for keeping it existing. Don't be afraid to write in (alfonts@aol.com) and speak your mind, make requests and get expensive/inexpensive bets resolved. I am so lucky at this point in my life to have such wonderful friends like you. Remember, the average age of a person that comes to my concerts is...............deceased.

See the rest of you next month!!!!

Al Kooper

ON THE iPOD IN FEBRUARY
Some favorite new bands:
1. Ollabelle - debut album just out !!!! Gospel, Americana, blues, etc. Great singing & playing! On tour now..
2. Hella - amazing two-man instrumental band from Sacramento. Their roots are extremely Captain Beefheartian. This group is not for everyone, but I love it.
Just listening to:
3. Allen Toussaint box set on Rhino Handmade
4. Percy Mayfield box set on Rhino Handmade
5. The Fruit Bats
6. Kathleen Edwards
7. Keep It Simple - Keb Mo
8. old Gap Band trax
9. "Taylor" - Jack Johnson
10. "I Wonder" - Adrian Belew


 

UPDATE - MAY 17 - 2004

First off, thanks to those who emailed to inquire about my actual existence when there was no update for over 2 months. It's nice to know that SOMEONE is paying attention out there. 

I apologize to one and all, but if you've ever remodeled a part of your home, than I don't have to explain another word.

Second off, the 5.1 SACD Surround Sound versions of SUPER SESSION and CHILD IS FATHER TO THE MAN are completed and ready for release. There are many difficulties in the world of Surround nowadays. The latest is thus:
SONY wants to release a hybrid disc with a:
1) two track remastered stereo version plus a
2) two track remastered SACD stereo version plus
3) a 5.1 SACD Surround Sound version.

Music publishers are balking about this and demanding to be paid three times the normal royalties because of the three "versions" This has put our babies on hold until all this greediness gets sorted out. Its COMPLETELY out of my hands when these masters will be released. When I know for sure, I will post that info up here ASAP. Soooo, no need to ask about that anymore, okay ?

Our online store is moving along at a better pace now. What I did not know in the last update was how complicated and massive this transformation is. All 87(!) pages of the website must be altered link-wise; new art work is needed; shopping carts must be added; photos of merchandise must be shot; etc. etc. etc. Elliott Randall has his hands full with this as he does have other clients as well. Friends of mine Chris Lewis and John Park are assisting Elliott in an effort to get this done ASAP. Just trust that we're doing the best we can.

The summer gigs are slowly coming in. I'll try and add what I can to the LIVE section when we publish this. I'll probably be at the Consumer Audio Convention at the New York Hilton May 20-23 to demo the 5.1's in the SONY listening rooms. August 8th I'll be solo in Portland ME and July 13th I'll be solo in Rochester NY. I'll be at the NAMM convention in Gnashville, TN July 22-25. All other confirmed dates are in the LIVE section now.

If there's anything left of NYC after the Republican Convention, The Rekooperators will play a tribute to Mike Bloomfield on September 12th at BB Kings Club. One show only and we're workin on Washington DC and Annapolis for October. My thanks to Brad & Chris at the Mongrel Agency for all their help.

Well, that wraps it up for now. There were even requests for what I've been listening to:

Additions to Al's iPod for April-May

I would never hear all this wonderful music if it wasn't for the iTunes Music Store online. It has my highest regard.........

So Fine - Mario Winans
You Dont Call Me No More - Eddie Hinton
New Lamont Dozier CD
Saturnia - Roger Kellaway
Strollin On The Waterfront - Cool John Ferguson
Salt - Lizz Wright
When Ya Get Back - Jon Cleary
Tenderness- Kristine
I'm Still Here - Verical Horizon
Welcome to the Jungle - Hella
All The Things She Said -t.A.T.u
Cant Stop Thinkin About Mixmas - Umiversal Honey
Getaway Car - Audioslave
Daylight - Jump Little Children
Sunday Kinda Love - Renee Olstead & Chris Botti
Joseito - David Torres
This Magnificent Bird Will Rise - Deerhoof
I'm Beginning To See The Light - Lyle Ritz (on uke)
Let Me Put Love On Your Mind - Con Funk Shun
They Need To Belong - The Canton Spirituals


UPDATE - JULY 13 - 2004

I'm sitting in a hotelroom in Rochester, NY it's 6:30 AM. I'm going on the radio at 7:30 for a few hours in "drive time" to promote my show at the Montage Grill tonight. Aint life grand???

There's good news and bad news. The good news is that my dear friend Elliott Randall, our webmaster here, has found renewed interest in his musical skills in the UK and is producing, playing on sessions and having the time of his life over there. The bad news is, he's cutting back on his webmaster chores and we must replace the founder of our site, who has agreed to advise and consult however. Filling in for Elliott will be the esteemed John Park, aided and abetted by my assistant Christopher Lewis. The transition, a rough one, has slowed us down, temporarily, but we are closing in on an eventual smooth sail/sale. Future plans include the much talked about online store and sound-streaming....

The big buzz this month is the Blonde on Blonde gig in Gnashville on July 22. (see LIVE) In a coupla days we will hit the Canadian shores for our first Canadian visit in almost thirty years (also see LIVE)

I have decided to cut my CD buying by 90%. i-Tunes has become my alternative. First off, I'm through supporting record companies that treat me (as a producer) like a plumber that's come to fix the toilet. They are not gonna get as rich on my dollar a song as they are on my $17.98 an album. On i-tunes you can hear 30 seconds preview of EVERY track. So I listen to each track on an album I'm interested in and only d/l the tracks I like, which is usally 6-8 per album. That way I get the album I want with zero filler for six to eight bucks. Thats more like it ! Their complete albums are usually $10 anyways. Other than my hard drive, no storage problems - no more shelves to build. If Steve Jobs started a record company that JUST did downloads, he would/could pay the artist 75% and keep the rest which is a lot better than the 15-20% the recod companies have been paying artists for over 50 years when they actually do pay the artists. I'dn even come outa retirement and be presiodent of that record company!

Have a great summer out there. Hope to see ya on my journeys. Next update soon as we get the site stable again. Thanks Elliott - we love ya!!!

AL KOOPER

ADDITIONS TO THE iPOD June-July 2004
Short Stacks 2:47 The Ditty Bops
Walking As Two 6:23 Little Feat
Sirens 3:12 Lisbeth Scott
Shovel 3:44 Lisbeth Scott
Remedy 3:50 Tarralyn Ramsey
Just Like You 4:12 Anthony Evans
Shortwave 1:13 Fastball
Love Stop 2:59 Robert Palmer
Hackensack 3:00 Fountains of Wayne
Rainy Day 2:42 Shuggie Otis
Drawing a Line in the Sand 2:57 Brandtson
Someday One Day 4:32 Christina Milian
Springville 5:16 Conshafter
Gentle Hum 4:36 The Finn Brothers
Homecoming King (Live Version) 3:52 Guster
Wake Me Up on Time 3:22 The O.C. Supertones
Simply 4:14 Pillar
The Peacocks 5:39 Stan Getz
I'm Goin' to Live the Life I Sing About It My Song 4:24 Mahalia Jackson
Letter Read 3:44 Rachael Yamagata
Eleanor Rigby 3:19 Arthur Fiedler and The Boston Pops
A Day in the Life 4:44 Jeff Beck
Gettin' in Over My Head 4:27 Brian Wilson
Don't Let Her Know She's an Angel 4:17 Brian Wilson
Fairy Tale 5:27 Brian Wilson
Make a Wish 3:49 Brian Wilson
Thank You 4:36 Chronic Future
Shell Shocked 4:35 Chronic Future
Play Around It 5:04 Fourplay
Never Say Goodbye 3:51 JoJo
Vaseline Machine Gun 3:09 Leo Kottke
Groovy Gravy 8:14 Quincy Jones
Things You'll Never Know 4:18 Sweetback
I'm a Wheel 2:34 Wilco
Muzzle of Bees 4:52 Wilco
Gimme a Minute 4:26 Little Menace
For Worse or for Better 3:57 Little Menace
Black Coffee 5:32 Ray Charles
Doodlin' 5:54 Ray Charles
Meet Me by the Water 3:58 Rachael Yamagata
Singin' in the Rain 4:07 Jamie Cullum
I Said (Paradise Reprise) 4:17 Dwight Yoakam
Kitty Wu 4:36 Jaga Jazzist
Day 3:07 Jaga Jazzist
The Stix 7:02 Jaga Jazzist
Is It You? (Duet) 4:33 Shelley Campbell
Dance Dance Dance 2:00 Wilson Phillips
Bottles and Cans 3:54 Angie Stone
Mad Issues 4:49 Angie Stone
How I Feel 4:41 Brandy
Belle 3:05 Al Berard
Writing It Down 4:37 Uncle Kracker
Quatre Parishe 2:14 Dr. John
I'm Goin' Home 2:21 Dr. John
Goin' Up Yonder / Get Ready 4:42 Generation J
I Give You My All 2:50 Generation J
Intercessory Prayer 4:54 Generation J


UPDATE AUGUST 4, 2004

Well, my July Canadian tour of 2004 will be remembered for many a year.

I started out by plane from Boston to Rochester in one of those teeny 37-seaters that barely qualifies as a jet. Not one of my favorite modes of travel. A four-hour delay began my most recent campaign. I was going a day early to do some press for the clubowner and lost a big TV show appearance because of the delay. Got there, had dinner and retired early to prepare for a 7 a.m. appearance on a drive-time radio talk show with Weez, the King of Rochester morning radio.

Now I am an early riser, so this was no big deal. But I found it utterly bizarre that the show was catered at 8:45 AM by a full-on Italian eatery serving nothing resembling breakfast; but rather a pasta-filled lunch with veal parm, fettucine alfredo, chocolate cake, Cokes, etc. As a diabetic, I made out the best I could, but the rest of the crew was in heaven. Here it is not even 9 AM and the garlic is flowing like nearby Niagra Falls. Then it was back to the hotel around 10:30 for a well-deserved nap.

At 1 PM I headed over to the Montage Grill to make sure all the rented gear was in order for my solo appearance there that night. After a lengthy soundcheck, it was back to the hotel again for two hours of NOT sitting backstage, twiddling one's thumbs. I got back to the venue five minutes before showtime (my favorite modus operandi) and set about my two-hour musical journey. As luck would have it, I had a guy about ten feet to my right who insisted on yelling things out every few seconds. I asked him nicely to cease and desist, as there is much narration in my solo show; stories behind the songs, etc. He acted as if he didn't understand English. I offered to buy him $20 worth of drinks at any bar BUT this one and that quieted him down about 50%, fortunately, but he still dogged me throughout my hour-long attempts at entertaining others.

After doing the best I could under the circumstances, I retired to a makeshift dressingroom for 15 minutes to prepare for my usual apres-show signing meet-and-greet. After completion I returned to the hotel for packing & sleeping.

In the ayem, I arrived at the airport for a flight to Detroit, where the promoter of two of my Canadian shows was to pick me up and take me through Canadian customs to a hotel in Windsor, Ontario. When I went to check in for said flight, I was told that the computers for Northwest Airlines were down throughout the entire Northeastern corridor and all flights were cancelled. The earliest they could get me onboard was 7:15 p.m. It was now 11:30 a.m. in Rochester. I quickly called the hotel I had just checked out of and booked a dayroom until 5:30 PM. I was much luckier than my compatriots and band members in Boston who were attempting to join me in Detroit. They were similarly delayed, but unlike myself, were bumped every two hours until their plane finally took off at approximately 8p.m.!

When I finally landed in Detroit, I was actually met and taken through customs to a seedy motel comparatively in the middle of nowhere compared to where the gig was. It was one of those jobbies where you park your car in front of your room. I had no car, however. I was stranded on some comparatively super-highway, which reminded me of Syosset, Long Island's sunrise Highway, transplanted to urban Windsor, Ontario.

Bill Graham set a new standard for concert promoters back in 1966 with his Fillmore East & West set-ups. Musicians were treated like artists and dressing rooms and road accomodations were regal (see "The Last Waltz"). When Graham died suddenly, his standards primarily died with him and things went back to the way they were before him. In order to save money, we are put into places by current promoters (not all; but many) we would never stay in if we were paying for them ourselves. The promoter absolves himself of even considering what this might do to one's spirit in preparation to play a concert on the road because the promoter is not also rooming there.

I am diabetic and 60 years old. I had to walk a-mile-and-a-half, roundtrip. so I could get breakfast at McDonalds when I woke up, as that was all that was available at that hour. It was 85 degrees and it did not put me in the best mood to deal with the remainder of the day. My band, by the way, had arrived at midnight at the motel, also not in a great mood after their airline travails.

We were scheduled to play at 6:30 that next evening. The gates were scheduled to open at 6 PM. I love playing for people walking through gates and finding their seats. We arrived at the venue at 4:30 PM. I had spent the last two weeks trying to confirm my equipment rider with the promoter. His wife was in charge of said equipment and with all due respect to her, she knew nothing about what makes musical gear work. In 2001, I permanently lost 2/3 of my sight. I pretty much play by touch now. When I play far from home, the promoter is obligated to supply the keyboard gear that I need to perform my show. I need specific items with no substitutions because I am dealing with touch familiarity. To make a long story short, the promoter for my first two Canadian festivals was not knowledgable enough to rent or locate a stock Hammond B-3 organ, a Triton synthesizer (arguably the most popular out there), and a few other items. I called the company (KORG) that makes the Triton and they helped the promoter get one for the shows a week before I arrived. The promoter knew three days before the show that he could not deliver an organ specified in the contract and just neglected to inform me of that.

At 4:30 PM I sat down at said organ and was unable to play it. In fact, the organ he supplied was listed in my rider as an example of what was NOT acceptable! We had come all this way, waited for delayed flights, slept in sleazy motels because we love to play music. Contrary to poular belief, I don't play concerts for a living - I do it when I want to because of the joy it brings me. I asked to see the promoter immediately and sat there fuming for 90 minutes(!) until he showed up. I was told he was in a meeting on the premises and could not be disturbed. At 6 PM he walked into what he called my dressing room -- an air-conditioned trailer with nothing in it, no chairs, no water, no hangers -- an empty room. Typical of his anti-Bill Graham regard for the musician. He apologized graciously, paid me for the gig, and asked me if I would play the next night. I told him I did not trust him to provide the correct organ, and after the last two nights' accomodations, I was not looking forward to the college dorm rooms (!!!!!!) into which he had booked us. We agreed that he would announce that I was unable to play due to equipment problems and that people could get an immedaite refund if they asked.

In the newspaper the next day, he claimed he offered me more money to play the next night. I truly believe money is the only context in which the man can think. The next morning we also read in the paper that our third and last appearance (in Toronto)would not take place because the entire Toronto Blues Festival had been cancelled that morning. I had three festivals booked in Canada and played not a single note -- no fault of mine. I got hate mail for a few days from people who had travelled great distances to see me play and were told the equipment wasn't up to my standards and I had walked out. When I was completely sighted, I would make the best of all situations and get up and play anyway. In Canada, I realized those carefree days were over and for the first time in 46 years of playing professionally, I had to cancel a gig because of equipment. I felt worst of all for the audience and my band, who had travelled many miles to have fun.

I have amended my contract & rider now so that the importance of the equipment rider is apparent and if they want me to perform they now know what it takes to take care of buisness. I apologize to everyone who came to see me perform and I sincerely hope that incidents like the above can be avoided in the future. I certainly, will do my best to see that they are . Playing music is the #1 joy in my life - how ironic is it that (some) people that hire me to do that are the ones that prevent me from doing it?

I pray that the above were isolated incidents and I can get on to the next town and share that joy with all of you out there as soon as possible !!!!

Al Kooper

iPod additions for July

Galaxy 2:53 Lonesome Brothers
Little City 2:34 Lonesome Brothers
I Aim Low 2:17 Lonesome Brothers
Section 12 (Hold Me Now) 4:30 The Polyphonic Spree
It's Over Now 5:11 Ricky Fanté
Time Will Reveal 4:20 Boyz II Men
You Make Me Feel Brand New 5:23 Boyz II Men
Warsaw Concerto 7:57 Frank Chacksfield
Loving Is Better Than Leaving 4:15 George Benson
Good Things 3:43 Rival Schools
River Bed Blues 3:00 Woody Herman
Making Memories of Us 4:06 The Cherry Bombs
Ship to Shore 3:50 Chris De Burgh
God Is Good 3:54 Deitrick Haddon
The Joker 3:31 Fatboy Slim
There Is Nothing Left 3:34 Frayne
Frayne's Soul Lounge, Pt. 1 3:58 Frayne
Tell Me a Lie 4:20 Griffin House
Waste Another Day 4:08 Griffin House
Fields In Glass (Radio Mix) 3:31 The High Dials
The Beat of Black Wings 5:22 Joni Mitchell
After the Gold Rush 4:01 k.d. lang
The Valley 5:30 k.d. lang
Lady Grinning Soul 4:10 Lucia Micarelli
Tell Me Something 4:41 Novecento
Everything Is Everything 3:01 Phoenix
Bliss 4:03 San Ilya
You Burn 3:04 The Swift
Never too Much 5:03 Paul Jackson, Jr.
Forever, for Always, for Love 5:53 Lalah Hathaway


UPDATE - SEPTEMBER 7, 2004

Hi again !! We are re-organizing and restructuring the website under the aegis of our new Webmaster John Park. After six years we are finally bidding farewell to our original Webmaster and designer, Elliott Randall. Because he is also a great friend, El willcontinue to advise and suggest, so we are lucky to have the best of both worlds.

We are, as usual, closing in on opening “Al’s Big Deal”, our online shoppe. We vow, from the bottom of our bytes, that it will be open in 2004. Other items we are working on are message boards, and a link to the iTunes Music Store, my second home nowadays.

The Rekooperators are gearing up to play the 2004 section of the Mike Bloomfield Tribute Tour. As of now we will be at BB Kings in NYC on September 12th, The Barns At Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA on November 6th, and The Rams Head in Annapolis, MD on November 7th. With a little luck, commemorative T shirts will be on sale at each show.

I have a mid-west swing performing solo in October :
The Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland OH on October 6th,
Fitgeralds in Berwyn, IL on October 7th,
The Tenny Street Roadhouse outside Detroit MI on October 9th,
and we are trying to get a place in Minneapolis, MN on October 10th.
A few days later, I am going to Nashville to play on Frank Black’s next solo album.

So it is turning into a busy Autumn, and keeping my mind off the poltical Armageddon possibilities. If you missed this elsewhere on the site, I have a new radio show on Radio Caroline in England. It’s called Obscuritiva and features yours truly playing favorites from my massive collection of obscure recordings. The first show will be broadcast on September 16th, 2004 sometime between 4 PM and 7 PM EST. Go to www.radiocaroline.co.uk and click on Listen Live. There's a broadband stream as well as a good Abacast stream for dial up.

I have also begun recording myself reading my out-of-print book “Backstage Passes & Backstabbing Bastards” and hope to release it as an audiobook in 2005. Actually easier than trying to get it back in print.

I have finally finalized my record deal with SONY-Japan, and hope to get a brand new solo album, “Songs From The Basement” , out there in 2005. There is actually interest in England and the USA for this as well, and we hope to close deals there ASAP. I am extremely proud of this album and cant wait for all of you to have the opportunity to hear it. It is promarily recorded in my basement studio, and covers the best of my writing and recordings over the past twenty years. I have not had a proper solo album released since 1975’s "Act Like Nothing’s Wrong", so you can imagine how thrilled I will be when this is finally available.

Okay then, that is this month’s news and I’m always happy to hear from all of you. We are also going to put up a mailing list signup and I urge you all to sign in so you can be notified of all the fun first.

God bless you all and thanks for your constant support

Al Kooper

iPOD ADDITIONS - AUGUST

ENTIRE ALBUMS

Are You With Me? -Paul Thorn
Genius Loves Company -Ray Charles
Dial W for Watkins -Geraint Watkins
Home Once Again - Live In Detroit -Twinkie Clark
The Soul Lounge/The Vibe Collection -Various
Have A Little Faith -Mavis Staples
Adobe -Tony Malaby

SINGLE TRACKS

The Nearness Of You -Al Jarreau
I’m Beginning To See The Light -Al Jarreau
Bri’s Dance -Joey Calderazzo
Emily -Paul Desmond
Golden -A Girl Called Eddy
Close My Eyes -Incognito
Sugar -Julia Fordham
Now I Understand -Lisa Loeb
All My Yesterdays -McCoy Tyner
Cant Quit You Baby -Michael Powers
Pink Lemonade -Unbunny
Hidden In You -Watermark
Holy Roar -Watermark
Within -William Joseph
Alan Corday -Chick Corea
Eleanor Rigby -Chick Corea
Anything You Want -Richard Rogers
Dream Lover -Richard Rogers
It’s Only Divine Right -New Pornographers
Whats Life Like -Raphael Saadiq
Save Me -Jem
I Cant Let Go Now -Michael McDonald
The Drifter -David Poe
Aint No Sunshine -Horace Andy
Cheating Man -Anthony David
Sleepwalking Ballad -Apostles of Hustle
Baby You’re In Luck -Apostles of Hustle
Bad Times -Bionic
It’s All In The Game -Keith Jarrett
If -R Kelly
When I Think About You- R Kelly
All Night Long -Shades Of Soul
Enjoy Yourself -Shades Of Soul
I Thought You Should Know -Steve Earle
Probably -timewellspent
Blue Eyes -Cary Brothers
Stardust -Nat King Cole
Alone Together -Chet Baker
Fallen -Mya
Dont Wait Too Long -Madeleine Peyroux
Sit Right Down & Write Myself A Letter -Madeleine Peyroux
Crazy He Calls Me -Aretha Franklin

 


 

UPDATE  - SEPTEMBER 27th, 2004

    
    Here we are, six weeks away from choosing our next President. I see you reaching for the keyboard to get out of here, but I’m not a Democrat, and I’m not a Republican.  I’m merely an American in the throes of the worst predicament I’ve ever been in facing Election Day.
     Bush has not left us in a great place after his four years:  We are in a war with questionable motives. Our sons and daughters have fallen at least a thousand-fold, and we never hear the accrued casualty reports of the Iraquis themselves. Every day gets worse instead of better (daily car bombings and ambushes undetected and undeterred by the world’s greatest fighting force hopelessly out of it’s environmrnt).   There really doesn't seem any way out of there with a positive spin on it for the country we invaded against the wishes of The United Nations and most of the world.
     The econony of our own country is heading for dire straits - jobs are really hard to come by andbuisnesses old and new are going under daily. As a senior, I pray daily that Medicare and Social Security survives for the sake of my peers; that older folks can afford to deal with American medical expenses for the ravages of time. And I wonder why our government is still decades away from socializing medicine. Rumors of the draft starting back up soon with far less exemptions than last time doesn’t make me feel like “War is over if you want it.”
     John Kerry doesn’t look like a knight in shining armor to me.  In fact, we’ve seen what Bush does and, if we are realists, it doesn't seem to make half of us sleep better at night.  Kerry arrives with a huge question mark - his campaigning so far has not reduced the size of that question mark, either. That he was allegedly a war hero is only a rejoinder to Bush’s non-existent war record. It won't really help him in office. I understand why many of my peers are out there now performing anti-Bush concerts, but if Kerry is elected I wonder what they will be playing four years from now.
     General Clark was the only candidate I felt made any sense. He was far more experienced than either of these manufactured choices, and he seemed more real and down to earth. I was not surprised when he slipped out of our grasp. We are a country that stamps out manufactured everythings; even Presidents. I don't see any difference in the concept between Kerry, Bush, Brittney or Hanson. That's what this country manufactures and you buy it or just shut up and tolerate it.
     I have travelled the world over in my sixty years and untill recently, always felt that this was the greatest place one could live. Now, I truly wonder.  The last time the world was in a condition like this, weather far more severe than Ivan or Jeanne encompassed the globe and washed away all the corruption and lunacy in180 days time.

     Where is the New Millennium Noah when we really  need him?

     If you’re young, I feel for you. The 60’s were a turbulent time, but it was safe to live on these shores. We had Viet Nam; similar in many ways to Iraq. We put our tails between our legs and backed out of there years and many deaths after we should have. Sound familiar ??

     If it weren’t for music, I dont know how I would make it through all this. Music is my Prozac; my mood elevator.  Until last year, I felt abandoned by new music. Everything on the radio was manufactured, Remember, that’s how they do it in the United States. But I logged on to the iTunes Music Store and auditioned the excerpts from every new release on Tuesdays when they come out. I could not do this at the local record shop or at amazon.com. Not with the ease and totality I can at iTunes. A dollar a song seems reasonable to me. $9.99 for most albums seems reasonable to me as well. I can also craft an album of my choosing in that I can just select the tracks that reach me and not buy the others, So in that way an album can cost from $4- $7. But most of all, I hear young people making unmanufactured, vital music. I haven’t heard that in decades. Now I know it’s always been there, but I was kept from it. I’m back to listening to music everyday  now and enjoying it. Names I never would have gleaned from publicity or radio play or MTV dot my playlists all the time: Hella, Deerhoof, Madeleine Peyroux,  Unbunny,  Ollabelle, Fruit Bats, Mike Sanchez and countless others are delighting me daily in this time of insanity.

     I dont know what the outcome of the election will be. I don't mean who gets elected, I mean the fate of the World in the next four years. I dont know if I will be able to afford to take a band on the road or whether a record company will still be interested in putting my new music out.  But while I’m waiting for The New Noah, thank the Lord there is a steady stream of challenging music to ease my troubled mind. Here’ some now...

                                                              Al Kooper

 

iPOD ADDITIONS  - SEPTEMBER 2004

It's All Gone     5:21     The Robert Cray Band
Love Scene (Vertigo)     6:17     The 12 Cellist of the Berlin Philharmonic
Man With a Plan     5:36     Assembly of Dust
Satin Doll     6:12     Buddy DeFranco
God Give Me Strength-live     4:41     Elvis Costello
Even If     3:25     Girlyman
Reach Out, I'll Be There     3:42     Michael McDonald
Circle of Friends     4:49     The Rowan Brothers
I Know     4:08     Sarah Hudson
It's All About You     4:55     Smokie Norful
Can't Nobody (Radio Mix)     3:24     Smokie Norful
I Want to Know You (In the Secret)     4:09     Sonicflood
I Could Sing of Your Love Forever     3:34     Sonicflood
Exhibit of the Year     2:38     Down to Earth Approach
Peace Piece     6:43     Bill Evans
Enough About You      3:26     Endochine
Separate Reality     6:58     Gov't Mule
Don't Cry Baby     3:18     Madeleine Peyroux
Lonesome Road     3:11     Madeleine Peyroux
Weary Blues     3:40     Madeleine Peyroux
I'll Look Around     4:48     Madeleine Peyroux
Careless Love     3:51     Madeleine Peyroux
Trouble     4:01     Ray LaMontagne
Adagio for Strings, Op. 11     5:34     London Voices & Terry Edwards
Kodo     3:43     The Yoshida Brothers
Evening Calm     4:25     The Yoshida Brothers
For What It's Worth     3:58     Keb' Mo'
The Times They Are A-Changin'     4:11     Keb' Mo'
People Got to Be Free     3:45     Keb' Mo'
Get Together     4:00     Keb' Mo'
Imagine     4:54     Keb' Mo'
More Fun In the Swamp     5:46     Adrian Legg
Chanson d'amour     3:32     André Rieu
Nothing Clings Like Ivy     4:16     Elvis Costello & The Imposters
The Judgement     3:52     Elvis Costello & The Imposters
Heart Shaped Bruise     4:07     Elvis Costello & The Imposters
I Will Walk With You     3:03     John Fogerty
Sugar-Sugar (In My Life)     3:30     John Fogerty
Yummy     4:06     Kevin Tihista's Red Terror
Hypnotic Love     5:06     Maysa
She     5:26     Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Old Time's Sake     3:57     Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
In Tanqueray     3:39     Ski Johnson
You Only Disappear     3:44     Tom McRae
Walking 2 Hawaii     4:24     Tom McRae
Karaoke Soul     3:48     Tom McRae
Midnight Rider     3:02     Willie Nelson
Twice Upon a Time     3:41     The Zinedines
Tilt Ya Head Back     4:13     Nelly & Christina Aguilera
Can U Handle It?     5:45     Usher
Burn (Radio Mix)     4:16     Usher
100 Years     4:04     Five for Fighting
I'm a Mess     3:10     Nick Lowe
Think It Over     3:57     Allison Moorer
Dummy Discards a Heart     2:39     Deerhoof
Hallelujah (Club Mix)     6:27     Happy Mondays
Such Great Heights     4:26     The Postal Service
Friday's Dust     3:35     Doves
Inside Straight     3:23     The Cannonball Adderley Quintet
Come Around     4:58     Marc Broussard
Wax     5:20     subthunk


 

 

UPDATE - OCTOBER 26, 2004

I cannot believe the amount of email I got from folks curious about my opinion of:
a) Bob Dylan's book, Chronicles
b) Brian Wilson's SMILE album
c) Brian Wilson's SMILE tour

Well, you asked for it - so here goes:

Being nearly blind and not having much reading endurance, I have not put much of a dent in Bob's book. I did naturally go to pages 137 &139 to make sure he didnt savage me in print and was relieved to see that he figures I am the "white Ike Turner." I hope that people realize he is talking about music and not the treatment of women!

As far as I can see, the person narrating this book is a person I have not met up with before. This could be the "real" Bob Dylan or it could be another character, like Renaldo, that Bob has created. That's up to the reader to ascertain, I guess. It's a pretty smooth read so far, but I' m still in the Village scrounging around The Gaslight w/Dave Van Ronk. So far, so good.

The Brian Wilson situation is a bit more complex.

First let' s deal with the newly-recorded album of SMILE. The negatives are obvious - we are missing the vintage sound of the Beach Boy blend and the studio crew that worked on Pet Sounds. Songs we have gotten used to are changed in various ways: Good Vibrations, Heroes & Villians, Surf' s Up, Vegetables & Wind Chimes, primarily. After listening to the album twice, I searched my collection for stereo versions of the latter and inserted them in my computer in place of the new versions. All transitions between songs were undisturbed by this transfer, and it makes it more listenable for a guy like me. Try doing that if you' re having familiararity problems. After that fix, I really understood the concept a lot better and began to enjoy SMILE for what it was. History shows that it was a one-off. It certainly doesnt resemble Pet Sounds at all on any level. It's not better or worse,it's more like apples versus brocolli. The problem is it's being virtually unheard for 37 years and yet massively discussed. The missing masterpiece ? Who could live up to a reputation like that ? Also the inevitable comparisons to Pet Sounds disappointed many. Thats why I'm saying that they are not comparable; two different animals (pets) Once that is ascertained, then SMILE begins to get the genesis of a fair chance from the listener.


The live SMILE tour is another thing entirely.

It opens with a casual, kind of hangin'-around-the-lamppost acoustic look at portions of Brian's catalogue. Very enjoyable for me-almost every choice a singalong. Then, the full band enters and the scope flares out to 70mm widescreen. It is a marvelous, impressive band; full of passion and creativity and deep respect for the music they are reproducing.
An intermission takes place and I went backstage to say hello to Brian. I am introduced to him and he says "Oh, yeah - I remember you!" I remind him how David Anderle brought me to his house two weeks before Pet Sounds was released and how he played it twice for me. "Well, to be honest, Al - I maybe dont remember that incident," he replies, with sincerity and confusion co-mingling in his words. Satisfied, I beat a hasty retreat and congratulated various bandmembers on their performaces so far.

The second half opened with the entire SMILE performance and it was masterful this night in Boston Town. I understood it, my way, for the first time. It was more like the soundtrack to a Broadway show than it was comparable to a pop album like Pet Sounds. With that light bulb on, I really got into it. The bandmembers were obviously enjoying themselves up there and thats always something good to see & hear.

For me, their performance of Surf's Up was the highlight of that set. What an amazing composition that is. Leonard Bernstein was right.

After Smile, they all left the stage and came back for an encore, but I had to leave than as I had an early plane to Tennessee just a few hours later. I was filled with the joy of the live Wilson experience for days afterward. This was my second show since Brian started performing solo again.

Hope this answers everyone's questions & curiousities.

Now for the Kooper News:

A miracle has happened. A record company in the United States pursued me and wants to put my long shelved solo album out. Howard Gabriel of Red Ink Distribution is helping me get my particular “SMILE”album released in the spring. The last proper solo album I made was ACT LIKE NOTHING'S WRONG in 1975. So I guess, 30 years is enough time to wait before a proper follow-up! I have 140(!) tracks in the can, and I have selected what I think are the best 15 or 16 for this April-May release. The album will be called I AM WHERE I WANNA BE and I am hard at work finishing it up now. We are also endeavoring to release a live solo show DVD and an audiobook of BACKSTAGE PASSES & BACKSTABBING BASTARDS at approximately the same time. KooperKill, so to speak.

John Park and Christopher Lewis are helping me expand the website and I think/hope you will enjoy all the changes as they slowly unveil themselves to you.

Radio Caroline has taken my DJ show Obscurativa on a monthly basis. The best thing to do is go to www.radiocaroline.co.uk where you can get details on all broadcast platforms. Obscurativa will play live between 10:30pm and 11:30pm UK time, or 5:30pm and 6:30pm NY time on Thursday November 11th and December 23rd same time. None of the shows are archived I'm afraid, as they don't have that facility on their website, so mark your calendars and check out my favorite obscure music on the dates and times above.

It was great to see all the fans in Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago last month and I am looking foward to Virginia, Maryland and Philadelphia this month. Click on LIVE for details.
Thanks to all of you for being aboard.

Vote what you think is right and God help us all

Al Kooper

iPOD ADDITIONS FOR OCTOBER

SMiLE THE SMILE ALBUM - BRIAN WILSON

Tenderly Tenderly 4:20 Soulstice
Steppin' Out Steppin' Out (BBC Sessions) 3:36 Cream
So What So What 3:54 Elek Bacsik
Once Upon a Time - The Battle of Life and Death Once Upon a Time: The Battle of Life and Death 2:24 Good Charlotte
Right to Be Wrong Right to Be Wrong 4:40 Joss Stone
You Had Me You Had Me 3:59 Joss Stone
Snakes and Ladders Snakes and Ladders 3:35 Joss Stone
Exodus Exodus 3:48 Slide Hampton
Power Power 3:55 Smokie Norful
Power Ice Cream Man 4:28 Tony Joe White
The Lengths The Lengths 4:54 The Black Keys
Keep Me Keep Me 2:52 The Black Keys
Mink Coat at the Bus Stop Mink Coat At the Bus Stop 4:50 Rickie Lee Jones
Satisfied Mind Satisfied Mind 3:15 Ben Harper & The Blind Boys of Alabama
Moody's Mood for Love Moody's Mood for Love 4:00 Queen Latifah
I'm Still Here I'm Still Here 4:39 Albertina Walker
Carbon Monoxide Carbon Monoxide 3:09 Cake
Chronicle Chronicle 4:43 Cast Iron Filter
When You Walk Into the Shining Light When You Walk Into the Shining Light 1:33 Cast Iron Filter
Stringtown Stringtown 2:28 Cast Iron Filter
To Sir With Love To Sir With Love 4:25 Chaka Khan & London Symphony
Redwing Redwing 4:14 HEM
Magic Bracelets Magic Bracelets 3:40 Hothouse Flowers
Kewpie Station Kewpie Station 2:14 Kaki King
I Found Somebody I Found Somebody 4:46 Sera
I'm the Girl You Need I'm the Girl You Need 4:05 Sera
Big As the Sky Big As the Sky 3:40 A.M. Sixty
Discotheque CVB Discotheque CVB 5:58 Camper Van Beethoven
Hey Brother Hey Brother 2:44 Camper Van Beethoven
I'm Nowhere and You're Everything I'm Nowhere and You're Everything 5:54 Chris Thile
Jessamyn's Reel Jessamyn's Reel 1:54 Chris Thile
The Believer The Believer 2:35 Chris Thile
Waltz for Dewayne Pomeroy Waltz for Dewayne Pomeroy 3:03 Chris Thile
A Hundred Days A Hundred Days 3:50 From Satellite
The Mountain Winds Call Your Name The Mountain Winds Call Your Name 2:33 George Winston
Rhapsody in Blue Rhapsody in Blue 16:29 Leonard Bernstein
Crush Crush 4:13 MaiMou
Exit Wound Exit Wound 4:38 MaiMou
Spill Me Spill Me 4:22 MaiMou
My Cold Flame My Cold Flame 4:14 MaiMou
Thought Trains Thought Trains 6:38 Mike Holober & The Gotham Jazz Orchestra
Form x Mood Form x Mood 6:34 Mike Holober & The Gotham Jazz Orchestra
Shake 'Em On Down Shake 'Em On Down (Live) 5:14 North Mississippi Allstars
Never In All My Days Never In All My Days (Live) 4:18 North Mississippi Allstars
Boomer's Story Boomer's Story 4:37 (Live) North Mississippi Allstars
Friend of Mine Friend of Mine (Live) 3:42 North Mississippi Allstars
Going Down South Going Down South (Live) 3:01 North Mississippi Allstars
Non Photo-Blue Non Photo-Blue 3:43 Pinback
Disappear Disappear 3:50 Recover
Slower Slower 4:13 Recover
I Belong to You I Belong to You 3:52 Toni Braxton
Deux Arabesques: I. Andante con moto Deux Arabesques: I. Andante con moto 3:54 Zoltán Kocsis
Sweet Home Alabama Sweet Home Alabama 4:00 B.A.M.A.
Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye 3:46 Bettye Swann
Little Things Mean a Lot Little Things Mean a Lot 3:43 Bettye Swann
Ain't That Peculiar Ain't That Peculiar 2:55 Bettye Swann
Words Words 2:37 Bettye Swann
Angel of the Morning Angel of the Morning 2:48 Bettye Swann
Walk Humbly, Son Walk Humbly, Son 2:51 Eddie from Ohio
Clear and Present Danger Clear and Present Danger 4:39 Eddie from Ohio
Arapaho Arapaho 3:33 The Gourds
Futures Futures 4:00 Jimmy Eat World
Work Work 3:23 Jimmy Eat World
Bayou Bayou 4:54 Jimmy Smith
Brothers Brothers 4:42 The Neville Brothers
Rivers of Babylon Rivers of Babylon 4:05 The Neville Brothers
I Don't Care I Don't Care 4:38 Shivaree
Chicago Stand Up Chicago Stand Up 4:32 Traye D
Ginger Bread Boy Ginger Bread Boy 5:49 Ximo Tebar
You Don't Know What Love Is You Don't Know What Love Is 7:30 Ximo Tebar
Song for Your Tears Song for Your Tears 4:37 Javier
Feel Us Shaking Feel Us Shaking 4:44 The Samples
Standing In the Shadows of Love Standing In the Shadows of Love 3:59 Daryl Hall & John Oates
Everything Your Heart Desires You Are Everything 3:54 Daryl Hall & John Oates

Tennessee Waltz Tennessee Waltz 4:05 Leonard Cohen
There for You There for You 4:36 Leonard Cohen
You're All I Need to Get By You're All I Need to Get By 3:34 Michael McDonald
Tuesday Heartbreak Tuesday Heartbreak 3:23 Michael McDonald
Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart) Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart) 3:51 Michael McDonald
The Tracks of My Tears The Tracks of My Tears 3:37 Michael McDonald
Baby I'm for Real Baby I'm for Real 3:44 Michael McDonald
Place Place 8:20 Aaron Choulai
You Don't Know What Love Is You Don't Know What Love Is 6:27 Aaron Choulai
Be Near Be Near 3:43 Aloha
You've Escaped You've Escaped 3:26 Aloha
Water Your Hands Water Your Hands 5:11 Aloha
Boys In the Bathtub Boys In the Bathtub 3:38 Aloha
Get On It Get On It 3:03 American Minor

___________________________________________________

UPDATE - DECEMBER 26 2004

 

End of the year, Xmas, freezing, snow, great deserts, disappointing holiday new releases. Holed up in the basement workin on my new album and audiobook.

Played my neighbors party the other night as a favor in a trio with Tom and Larry from the Funky Faculty on bass & drums respectively. Played an early set of standards on piano (Laura, Autumn Leaves, Blue Monk, My Blue Heaven, etc) with the trio. We were invisible. Than later on I strapped on my 1962 Jazzmaster guitar and rocked out with Little Wing, Cant Keep From Crying, Black Snake Moan, Good Rockin Tonight, Mississippi Kid, Made In The Shade, Procul Harum's Whiskey Train, Don't Be Cruel and closed out with Green Onions. There's a set I'd like to play in public, but not for a high ticket price or ANY ticket price for that matter. Kinda like the party...it was a lotta fun. Now don't go thinkin' that I play parties and send me emails about your party - I barely leave the house and these folks are literally next door !!!

Finishing up the recording on my album and now there's just a few bass fixes and then background vocals and then mixing. Now trying to decide whether to go South to Gnashville for backing vocals and then on to Charlotte to mix with Bill Szymczyk or do it all in NYC with pals on backing vocals and mix with Steve Rosenthal at The Magic Shop. Thats where I did the surround 5.1 mixes that may never come out at this rate. Hope to be done by March 1st and on the street by May 15th. The tentative lineup of the solo album THIS month I AM WHERE I WANNA BE is:

Am I Wrong - cover of the great Keb Mo song

How My Ever Gonna Get Over You - recorded as an instrumental on the '94 REKOOPERATION CD - re-recorded here with lyrics

Going Going Gone - new song co-written with Dan Penn I have been performing live for a few years to great reactions

Test Drive - new song with burning guitar by Buzzy Feiten

Imaginary Lover - new song; not the old ARS hit of the same title

Green Onions (Live in Norway) luckily captured on tape in 2001

My Hands Are Tied - a Stones-ish original ballad done up right

Got My Ion Hue - a song by former Dire Straights guitarist Hal Lindes

Tell Me The Truth - a new song dedicated to Rick Danko & Richartd Manuel.

Keep It 2 Yourself - new song with a haunting Richard Thompson kinda groove

Get Ready - Kooperized version of the old Temptations hit

Eleanor Rigby - kind of a slow ZZ Top arrangement works well

Childish Love - new song- a tribute to the band Free

Inside Information - another Kooper-Dan Penn song

Just 4 A Thrill - one for Ray Charles

Comin Back In A Cadillac (Live In Norway) new song with a nod to Eddie Hinton. Very Memphis and 10 minutes long!!! (like the old daze)

Comin' out to California January 11th to the MacWorld convention in San Francisco. Then playing three gigs in SF, San Diego and LA (see the LIVE section of the website) before traipsing to Anaheim for the annual NAMM convention. Somewhere in there a chance to see my son, daughter-in-law and the grandkids!!!

Hope everyone's holidays will be wonderful . It's a privilege to have you all as friends and fans.....


UPDATE - JANUARY 27, 2005

It’s been amazing out there since the last update.

Tsunamis, Inaugurations, record-breaking blizzards in the East, record-breaking flooding in the West, and more downward turns in Iraq have shaped this into a January to remember, albeit, tragically.

I surfed the weather changes by leaving Boston on January 11th; days before the Big Blizzard. I arrived in California, just as the rains abated. It was incredible luck.

I went to the MacWorld Convention in San Francisco with Roy Blumenfeld, Blues Project drummer-emeritus.

I played a sold out West Coast Tour that began in Mill Valley at The Sweetwater Saloon. The audience was wonderful and that spiked me into playing an above average solo show. Than it was on to San Diego, to play in a 300 seat church (sponsored by an organization called Acoustic San Diego - good people!!) to another great crowd. I had not appeared in that city in many years and I sure was happy to see every pew filled. Then on to LA and McCabes Guitar Shop, a comparatively smaller, intimate venue that’s always fun to play. It was here that I got really comfortable, and played the best, albeit, longest solo show I have ever played. A great audience seems to be a key ingredient in such a recipe. I guess I have had a few loud, inebriated, onlookers lately and that is a bump in the road to a great show - it causes loss of focus and distraction. Also, flash cameras make it tough for me with my eye condition. We announce no flash at the start of every show, usually to no avail. I hate turning down people who want to take shots after the show as well. On this trip, I think I have solved that problem. If it’s a posed photo, I just shut my eyes - with my shades on, it’s usually not evident and everyone’s happy.

The night after McCabes, I hosted a gathering in Hollywood for my Southern California phonebook in an attempt to see as many old friends as possible on my annual sojourn. It was a low-key affair and a success at it’s goal. Keb Mo, producer/painter David Anderle, members of Little Feat and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, studio maven Chris Stone, super engineer Ed Cherney (Stones, Bonnie Raitt, Dylan) Dave Alvin, and many close friends attended and a good time was had by all.

Next up was a trip to Anaheim for a few days to attend the NAMM Convention. This is where people who manufacture musical instruments, related equipment and software all show their Spring line to dealers and various other interested parties (like me).

On the first day, I ran into Lisa Roy, a publicist I knew from my Nashville days. She was repping Keyboard Magazine’s 30th Anniversary party that night and asked if I would play. “If I can rehearse with whomever I’m playing with, I will..” I replied vulnerably, after playing three sidemanless solo shows with no B3 organ in sight. She told me I could rehearse at 4 PM and I was there and they were there and lo.... it was good. When I got there at showtime, she said I was going on AFTER Joey De Francesco, the greatest organist that ever lived. I assured her that if I committed suicide it would be more creative than her way and that I would only go on BEFORE him...preferably WAY before him. After they asked the King’s permission (we’re friends, actually) they said I could go on first. I played “Green Onions” and got the hell outa Dodge, but not before standing in the audience watching Joey annihilate another unwilling audience. I am just not worthy when that guy is in the room. FYI, he made a great CD with the late Danny Gatton called “Relentless.” Get it while ya can.

This was sort of a sad year for NAMM-goers like myself. On an up note, it was the largest one they’d ever displayed. In four days, I was not able to see everything there. On a down note for attendees, there were too many of us to navigate as freely as we had been able to in the past. The evenings, were usually fun-filled nights of amazing people-watching at the bar in the Anaheim Hilton. That was impossible as the influx of new faces jammed the bar like New Years Eve in Times Square, overflowing into the lobby, where someone decided it was a great idea to have bands playing non-stop on three stages from dinnertime to well after midnight. If you were staying at that hotel and not attending the Convention, you must have thought someone put acid in your breakfast orange juice. It reminded me of The New Orleans Jazz Fest in early May every year. It used to be a carefree wonderful musical experience until too many attended and made it completely uncomfortable & unwieldy. I will attend Anaheim again but it’s strictly business now; the fun’s gone.

My flight back to Boston was delayed two days by snow and I holed up in a hotel in Hollywood and caught up on the sleep I lost at NAMM. I threaded the needle on the flight back, taking the redeye and arriving just as the next foot of snow began falling.

So here I am, holed-up in the house, desperately trying to get my next radio show done on time and getting ready to mix my album in New York City in mid-February. I hope the bad stuff mentioned in the Update intro did not affect anyone personally reading this, it’s hard enough out there as it is.

Keep on keepin’ on, gang - and thanks for being here

Al Kooper

PS - no new downloads 'til next UPDATE, when hopefully, there will be a bunch...

AL'S TOP 50 TRACKS FOR 2004

Nobody is releasing any decent new product in December so I thought I'd pick out my faves for 2004. I'm not doing this in ANY way like a critic, but more like the music fan that I am, Included are the dates & times I downloaded each song from the iTunes Music Store ( iTunes includes that for some reason). Now remember I like jazz, gospel and folky stuff as well as pop & r&b, so this batch is pretty eclectic. Downloading the entire kaboodle would be a great Xmas present to oneself. Lord knows I did it...

#1
Flaw
Flaw 4:56 Todd Rundgren 4/6/04 1:47 PM
As good as anything Todd's ever done with a surprise chorus

#2
Pink Lemonade
Pink Lemonade 4:24 Unbunny 8/11/04 9:36 AM
Best Neil Young soundalike with a Beatle type melody. Good name, too.

#3
Red Eyeliner
Red Eyeliner 3:37 P. Hux 11/23/04 6:22 AM
Great production & songwriting. A true fave of the year

#4
Save Me
Save Me 3:33 Jem 8/21/04 7:58 PM
One of those tracks that sneaks up & hooks ya

#5
Shortwave
Shortwave 1:13 Fastball 6/9/04 10:07 AM
Short, sweet & Beatle-esque; and yet still original

#6
So Fine
So Fine 3:23 Mario Winans 4/22/04 10:59 AM
What a great groove! I probably played this one the most frequently

#7
Crush
Crush 4:13 MaiMou 10/13/04 2:33 AM
A very original artist-love the double entendre of first line of the song

#8
I'm a WheelI'm a Wheel 2:34 Wilco 6/23/04 4:18 AM
When they're good, they are great !!!

#9
Better Get a Broom!
Better Get a Broom! 4:20 Hella 2/8/04 3:57 AM
2 man band from Sacramento ; so talented -musicians cant help but like this

#10
Mercury
Mercury 3:31 Kathleen Edwards 2/8/04 3:13 AM
Gave me chills on the first listen

#11
Museum of Idiots
Museum of Idiots 3:02 They Might Be Giants 12/11/04 5:30 AM
The first BS&T-influenced TMBG's production

#12
I'm Nowhere and You're Everything
I'm Nowhere & You're Everything 5:54 Chris Thile 10/12/04 3:50 PM
How strange is this track? Solo disc from lead singer of Nickel Creek

#13
Don't Wait Too LongDon't Wait Too Long 3:12 Madeleine Peyroux 8/31/04 6:39 AM
Who knew someone could sing like Billie Holliday today ? Great organist too

#14
Your Body Is a Wonderland
Your Body Is a Wonderland 4:10 John Mayer 3/18/04 11:46 PM
Shows white folks can groove when they have to

#15
The Nearness of You
The Nearness of You 3:43 Al Jarreau 8/3/04 6:13 AM
Al Green aint the only guy who sings sex

#16
Sugar
Sugar 4:34 Julia Fordham 8/10/04 5:34 PM
Very catchy for a lady with a masculine voice

#17
She Has No Time
She Has No Time 5:46 Keane 5/25/04 10:31 AM
The BeeGees, Queen - these guys are into it all

#18
Vaseline Machine Gun
Vaseline Machine Gun 3:09 Leo Kottke 6/22/04 6:43 PM
Leo gets better with age...lovely title as well

#19
I Thought You Should Know
I Thought You Should Know 3:46 Steve Earle 8/25/04 6:56 AM
I'm jealous of guys that always have great songs up their sleeves

#20
Leave (Get Out)
Leave (Get Out) 4:06 JoJo 5/9/04 5:18 AM
Another catchy hook with a rare reverse sentiment

#21
Love On Me
Love On Me 3:53 Paul Thorn 8/11/04 3:06 AM
No filler at all on this guys album. An unusual occurence. Great production.

#22
All the Things She Said
All the Things She Said 3:34 t.A.T.u. 5/8/04 11:22 PM
A most Abba-like concept for 2004

#23
Exit Wound
Exit Wound 4:38 MaiMou 10/13/04 2:34 AM
A second track from a great new artist

#24
Hackensack
Hackensack 3:00 Fountains of Wayne 6/15/04 1:03 AM
Hometown adjacent hymn. Great New Jersey record

#25
Seaweed
Seaweed 3:42 Fruit Bats 2/8/04 3:06 AM
Fresh sounding band with cult musician following

#26
Biblical Violence
Biblical Violence 3:03 Hella 2/8/04 3:55 AM
My muso-friends are back exploding all over de place

#27
This Magnificent Bird Will Rise
This Magnificent Bird Will Rise 3:32 Deerhoof 3/18/04 11:59 PM
Owing a bit to The Who & The Little Drummer Boy, this is quite a strange track

#28
Our Prayer / Gee
Our Prayer / Gee 2:09 Brian Wilson 9/28/04 6:06 AM
Smile though your heart is breakin...........

#29
Heroes and Villains
Heroes & Villians 3:41 Geraint Watkins 8/25/04 5:28 AM
What if Louis Prima had done a Beach Boy cover album ???

#30
Don't Cry Baby
Don't Cry Baby 3:18 Madeleine Peyroux 9/14/04 8:26 AM
I'd love to write a song for this voice

#31
Strollin' by the Waterfront
Strollin' On the Waterfront 4:40 Cool John Ferguson 3/23/04 8:36 PM
I am seduced by the unabashed urban charm of this track

#32
Mink Coat At the Bus Stop
Mink Coat At the Bus Stop 4:50 Rickie Lee Jones 9/28/04 8:15 PM
Do a whole album like this and have her play the blues circuit. $$$$$

#33
Can't Stop Thinking About Christmas
Can't Stop Thinking About Xmas 3:37 Universal Honey5/4/04 6:39 PM
This is a plain old guilty pleasure well done on all counts

#34
A Hundred and Ten in The Shade
A Hundred and Ten In the Shade 4:18 John Fogerty 11/11/04 7:35 PM
Nowadays, he's still got it every now & then

#35
Kewpie Station
Kewpie Station 2:14 Kaki King 10/12/04 7:43 AM
She gets amazing sounds out of an acoustic guitar

#36
In the Waiting Line
In the Waiting Line 4:32 Zero 7 4/16/04 5:51 AM
I had no idea what they were up to, but I'm getting there

#37
Alan Corday
Alan Corday 7:08 The Chick Corea Elektric Band 8/17/04 6:35 AM
If you are a soloist, your dream is to be backed up by Chick's comping

#38
For the Love of You
For the Love of You 5:14 Frayne 7/30/04 5:07 PM
A new r&b trio with a great sound

#39
Flutterby
I Can't Make Me 3:57 Butterfly Boucher 5/25/04 10:38 AM
With a name like that, I'm surprised there's no song about killing your parents

#40
I Know
I Know 4:08 Sarah Hudson 9/7/04 3:47 PM
Daughter of a Hudson Brother, she's got legit talent here & Aunt Goldie Hawn

#41
Just a Kid
Just a Kid 2:51 Wilco 11/12/04 2:35 AM
They're back and they're ....still great!

#42
Man Like Me
Man Like Me 2:56 Robert Downey Jr. 11/23/04 6:27 AM
He can act, do drugs and time, and now this too - truly multitalented

#43
Short Stacks
Short Stacks 2:47 The Ditty Bops 5/29/04 11:32 PM
A track with it's own unique vibe-something to be said for nowadays

#44
Kitty Wu
Kitty Wu 4:36 Jaga Jazzist 6/29/04 3:02 PM
I had no idea what they were up to, but I'm getting there

#45
Walking 2 Hawaii
Walking 2 Hawaii 4:24 Tom McRae 9/21/04 10:32 PM
A fresh commercial bid that not enough people have heard yet

#46
Making Memories of Us
Making Memories of Us 4:06 The Notorious Cherry Bombs 7/30/04 4:07 PM
A country supergroup with a decent ballad

#47
I'm Just Crazy About You
I'm Just Crazy About You 2:20 Geraint Watkins 8/25/04 5:31 AM
This is a nutcase track, but Iike this keyboard player, I must be a nutcase too

#48
Bri's Dance
Bri's Dance 4:32 Joey Calderazzo 8/3/04 6:44 AM
Get outta da way-4 1/2 minutes of heads-up, hands-down piano playing

#49
Non Photo-Blue
Non Photo-Blue 3:43 Pinback 10/13/04 3:06 AM
Wish the vocal was louder in the mix, but I'll roll along anyhoo

#50
The One With the Wurlitzer
The One With the Wurlitzer 2:43 American Football 11/2/04 5:24 AM
Don't let your trumpet-player friends/bandmates hear this

 

UPDATE - MARCH 8th, 2005

First off, I apologize for the mishaps at Radio Caroline. Weather actually prevented them from getting my pre-recorded Obsurativa show to the station (a boat at sea!!) on time and it will be aired (so they say) on March 10th at 6PM EST. www.radiocaroline.co.uk


With the passing of Ray Charles AND Jimmy Smith, the cornerstones of my musical foundations begin to buckle. With each loss, I feel more and more abandoned out here. When we lost Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, Otis Spann & Jimmy Reed, I was younger and more separated age-wise, and it didn't affect me the way these losses do. I feel like I am in the same numerical pantheon now, and it increases my will to live and carry on the traditions that have flowed through my blood and permeated my very heart and soul.


I spent the last three weeks completing the musical part of my new album, “I AM WHERE I WANNA BE.”As I get older, the tasks become more physically demanding, i.e. mixing and mastering. The hours are long and the workload intense, but when one sees the light at the end of the tunnel, the sprint becomes completely focused as the finish line nears.


In this particular case the rewards are much greater. My last solo album was a scant thirty years ago. Yes, of course, other albums have been released since then, but they have been greatest hits, duet albums with Mike Bloomfield, live greatest hits, instrumental albums, etc. A solo album is very special to me and to be able to produce one’s own in the bowels of one’s own basement is perhaps the ultimate musical masturbatory gesture. But this was a gesture I never thought I would get the chance to make and release to the world. To get a record deal at sixty is a bona fide miracle in THIS day & age and I thank God for that. I really thought I might never have the chance to express myself in this way again in this life. To me the success of an album is not based on sales or critical acclaim. If it all worked out the way I initially heard it in my head and puts a smile on my face when it is completed, than that is what success is made up of for me. In terms of sales and critical acclaim, I wear my mantra as a winter coat (“If you don't expect anything, you’re never disappointed”) and keep sufficiently warm in these cold times.


There are others my age who concoct planned assaults on the masses (Carlos Santana, Aerosmith) and in my opinion, compromise what it is musically that they actually do. I picked the music I loved years ago and set about learning to play and sing it as best I could. That style of music has by and large become an endangered species nowadays and is exempt from most media except the performing stage. Miraculously, at sixty-one, I am still learning how to better myself in my traditional idiom and feel far from burned out. This upcoming collection has been brewing in my brain for thirty years. I had 150 songs to choose from, and I suspect this makes the best collection of songs I have ever been able to assemble on one album. As usual, there are cover tunes, but the original compositions are probably some of the best I have ever written and I’m hoping you will enjoy them. In my own little world I think of this collection as “Child is Grandfather to the Man.”


Each individual live performance is still special to me because it is the battleground of my art and I strive to win each battle nightly. Playing live has become my favorite thing in life and I shall continue, like my heroes, to play there until they carry me off this twisted planet. The next few months, however, the stage shall remain barren while I tighten the screws on my forthcoming release. This winter will be spent getting the artwork together for the album and doing interviews and sending out promo copies in advance of the proposed June 28th release. We are attempting to put together a concentrated Fall Tour to promote said album as well. One of my oldest and dearest friends, David Anderle, has done a wonderful painting of me that will grace the back cover. The liner notes will be written by one of my early heroes, whom I shall reveal in the future when they become actual reality.


To increase the synergy, PBS has sold a Rekooperators broadcast done in 2003 out of Hartford, CT to Kultur Video, a distributor of various odd video items and so the first video-for-sale of an Al-helmed concert will be for sale in a few months. Needless to say, I will impart more details when they are in stone. I toil on finishing my audio book in a concentrated effort to further increase the synergy.

iTunes Music Store is almost back to normal and I enclose my faves from February forthwith. I hope you enjoy them.
As always, thanks for your wonderful e-mails and support and we shall meet again next month----

iPod Additions - February 2005

Laura 3:00 Charlie Parker
The Sidewinder 3:48 Quincy Jones & His Orchestra
Bulldozers and Dirt 4:29 Drive By Truckers
Girl Done Gone 3:57 Graham Coxon
Fool for You 3:53 John Hammond
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood (Stereo) 2:47 Nina Simone
I'll Be Good to You 4:29 Vanessa Williams & James Williams
Walk a Mile In My Shoes 3:20 Willie Hightower
Back Road Into Town 3:49 Willie Hightower
You Used Me 3:08 Willie Hightower
Time Has Brought About a Change 3:03 Willie Hightower
It's Too Late 2:48 Willie Hightower
Punk (DJN) 5:27 Avishai Cohen
Remembering 5:12 Avishai Cohen
Love Thang 3:55 BeBe Winans
Goin' Down Slow 4:04 Champion Jack Dupree
Crooked Crown 3:31 Open Hand
53 More Things to Do In Zero Gravity 4:41 Perpetual Groove
All This Everything, Pt. 2 5:12 Perpetual Groove
Soul Eyes 5:16 Rich Thompson, Clay Jenkins & Jeff Campbell
Heart 4:02 No Other Love
Staple It Together 3:16 Jack Johnson
Old Time Sake 4:59 Kathleen Edwards
One Day 4:00 Polly Paulusma
Everything Changed 3:19 Aqualung
Seen It All Before 4:15 Amos Lee
Dreamin' 2:54 Amos Lee
Soul Suckers 2:49 Amos Lee
Colors 2:40 Amos Lee

Dark End of the Street (The Clarksdale Sessions) 3:06 Elvis Costello
Better 4:13 Israel Houghton & New Breed
Deep Song 3:54 Kurt Rosenwinkel
It Makes No Difference 5:26 Solomon Burke
Wealth Won't Save Your Soul 3:59 Solomon Burke

 

 

UPDATE - MARCH 8th, 2005

With the passing of Ray Charles AND Jimmy Smith, the cornerstones of my musical foundations begin to buckle. With each loss, I feel more and more abandoned out here. When we lost Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, Otis Spann & Jimmy Reed, I was younger and more separated age-wise, and it didn't affect me the way these losses do. I feel like I am in the same numerical pantheon now, and it increases my will to live and carry on the traditions that have flowed through my blood and permeated my very heart and soul.

I spent the last three weeks completing the musical part of my new album, “I AM WHERE I WANNA BE.” As I get older, the tasks become more physically demanding, i.e. mixing and mastering. The hours are long and the workload intense, but when one sees the light at the end of the tunnel, the sprint becomes completely focused as the finish line nears.

In this particular case the rewards are much greater. My last solo album was a scant thirty years ago. Yes, of course, other albums have been released since then, but they have been greatest hits, duet albums with Mike Bloomfield, live greatest hits, instrumental albums, etc. A solo album is very special to me and to be able to produce one’s own in the bowels of one’s own basement is perhaps the ultimate musical masturbatory gesture. But this was a gesture I never thought I would get the chance to make and release to the world. To get a record deal at sixty is a bona fide miracle in THIS day & age and I thank God for that. I really thought I might never have the chance to express myself in this way again in this life. To me the success of an album is not based on sales or critical acclaim. If it all worked out the way I initially heard it in my head and puts a smile on my face when it is completed, than that is what success is made up of for me. In terms of sales and critical acclaim, I wear my mantra as a winter coat (“If you don't expect anything, you’re never disappointed”) and keep sufficiently warm in these cold times.

There are others my age who concoct planned assaults on the masses (Carlos Santana, Aerosmith) and in my opinion, compromise what it is musically that they actually do. I picked the music I loved years ago and set about learning to play and sing it as best I could. That style of music has by and large become an endangered species nowadays and is exempt from most media except the performing stage. Miraculously, at sixty-one, I am still learning how to better myself in my traditional idiom and feel far from burned out. This upcoming collection has been brewing in my brain for thirty years. I had 150 songs to choose from, and I suspect this makes the best collection of songs I have ever been able to assemble on one album. As usual, there are cover tunes, but the original compositions are probably some of the best I have ever written and I’m hoping you will enjoy them. In my own little world I think of this collection as “Child is Grandfather to the Man.”

Each individual live performance is still special to me because it is the battleground of my art and I strive to win each battle nightly. Playing live has become my favorite thing in life and I shall continue, like my heroes, to play there until they carry me off this twisted planet. The next few months, however, the stage shall remain barren while I tighten the screws on my forthcoming release. This winter will be spent getting the artwork together for the album and doing interviews and sending out promo copies in advance of the proposed June 28th release. We are attempting to put together a concentrated Fall Tour to promote said album as well. One of my oldest and dearest friends, David Anderle, has done a wonderful painting of me that will grace the back cover. The liner notes will be written by one of my early heroes, whom I shall reveal in the future when they become actual reality.

To increase the synergy, PBS has sold a Rekooperators broadcast done in 2003 out of Hartford, CT to Kultur Video, a distributor of various odd video items and so the first video-for-sale of an Al-helmed concert will be for sale in a few months. Needless to say, I will impart more details when they are in stone. I toil on finishing my audio book in a concentrated effort to further increase the synergy.

iTunes Music Store is almost back to normal and I enclose my faves from February forthwith. I hope you enjoy them.
As always, thanks for your wonderful e-mails and support and we shall meet again next month----

Laura 3:00 Charlie Parker
The Sidewinder 3:48 Quincy Jones & His Orchestra
Bulldozers and Dirt 4:29 Drive By Truckers
Girl Done Gone 3:57 Graham Coxon
Fool for You 3:53 John Hammond
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood (Stereo) 2:47 Nina Simone
I'll Be Good to You 4:29 Vanessa Williams & James Williams
Walk a Mile In My Shoes 3:20 Willie Hightower
Back Road Into Town 3:49 Willie Hightower
You Used Me 3:08 Willie Hightower
Time Has Brought About a Change 3:03 Willie Hightower
It's Too Late 2:48 Willie Hightower
Punk (DJN) 5:27 Avishai Cohen
Remembering 5:12 Avishai Cohen
Love Thang 3:55 BeBe Winans
Goin' Down Slow 4:04 Champion Jack Dupree
Crooked Crown 3:31 Open Hand
53 More Things to Do In Zero Gravity 4:41 Perpetual Groove
All This Everything, Pt. 2 5:12 Perpetual Groove
Soul Eyes 5:16 Rich Thompson, Clay Jenkins & Jeff Campbell
Heart 4:02 No Other Love
Staple It Together 3:16 Jack Johnson
Old Time Sake 4:59 Kathleen Edwards
One Day 4:00 Polly Paulusma
Everything Changed 3:19 Aqualung
Seen It All Before 4:15 Amos Lee
Dreamin' 2:54 Amos Lee
Soul Suckers 2:49 Amos Lee
Colors 2:40 Amos Lee
Dark End of the Street (The Clarksdale Sessions) 3:06 Elvis Costello Better 4:13 Israel Houghton & New Breed
Deep Song 3:54 Kurt Rosenwinkel
It Makes No Difference 5:26 Solomon Burke
Wealth Won't Save Your Soul 3:59 Solomon Burke

 

UPDATE - APRIL 1st, 2005

Well, believe it or don’t, my album is NOT coming out.
When the record company heard the masters, they turned it down AND left me with all the bills, as well !!!!
april fool !!!

The mastering is all finished. The line-up has changed and the title has changed for the third time. It is now called “Black Coffee” and guess what’s on the cover???

The release date has been pushed back two weeks as well. It will now be released July 12th. I am honored to announce that the liner notes have been written by Andrew Loog Oldham, discoverer, manager & producer of The Rolling Stones from 1963-1967. His liner notes for their early albums are still revered today by those in the know.

The final content & sequence is:
# Title author accompaniment

1) My Hands Are Tied (Al Kooper) w/The Funky Faculty
2) Am I Wrong (Keb Mo)
3) How My Ever Gonna Get Over U (Al Kooper) w/The Funky Faculty
4) Going Going Gone (Al Kooper-Dan Penn) w/The Funky Faculty
5) Keep It ToYourself (Al Kooper)
6) Get Ready (Smokey Robinson)
7) Imaginary Lover (Al Kooper-Sandy Stewart)
8) Green Onions (Cropper-Jones-Jackson-Steinberg) Live w/The Funky Faculty
9) Another Man’s Prize (Al Kooper)
10) Childish Love (Al Kooper)
11) Got My Ion Hue (Hal Lindes) w/The Funky Faculty
12) Just For A Thrill (Don Raye-Lil Armstrong) w/The Funky Faculty
13) Comin’ Back In A Cadillac (Al Kooper) Live w/The Funky Faculty
14) (I Want You To) Tell Me The Truth (Al Kooper) w/The Funky Faculty
********************************

The back cover is a painting recently done of me by David Anderle. Many years ago, David did an amazing portrait of Brian Wilson, who he worked for at the time. It was not that widely circulated, but came back into view recently on the Showtime /DVD documentary about the making of “SMILE.” Needless to say, I am flattered to have been painted by Mr. Anderle.
I am just trying to finish the packaging as I write this, and then will go through video footage for the electronic press kit. Than, onto an onslaught of interviews for magazines with long lead times for their July issues. I have just finished heavy work for the Greil Marcus book “Like A Rolling Stone” a backstage look at the making of, and a four hour, two night presentation of a Dylan documentary by Martin Scorsese. For that reason, I am ducking all Dylan interviews for at least six months because I am burned out talking about that subject for awhile. Well, there’s always Skynyrd, aint there, mate ???

From The Chicago-Sun Times, March 30th 2005, written by the latter half of film-mavens Ebert & Roeper:

 

____________________________

Best song ever picks me up when I'm feelin' blue

March 30, 2005

BY RICHARD ROEPER SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

Maybe it was during the Grammy Awards, when an all-star band jammed to this song onstage, reminding us of a time when you had to play an instrument to be considered a musician. Maybe it was when I was at P.J. Clarke's on State Street on the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day, and green-clad revelers of all ages started dancing when the song came on the jukebox. I didn't see a man who danced with his wife, but I did see a girl who wasn't born when the song was released -- and she was singing along with every word, as if it had been her homecoming theme.

Maybe it was when I heard the song as the theme for a NASCAR video game.

Maybe it was when Hilary and Hailey Duff appeared at an event at the W Hotel City Center on Adams a couple of weeks ago, and the crowd went wild when DJ AM incorporated the song's famous opening riff into his mix.

Maybe it was when the song popped up during a screening of the upcoming Matthew McConaughey-Penelope Cruz movie "Sahara" -- just the latest of many, many, many films to use this tune on the soundtrack.

Maybe it was all those factors, building to a crescendo.

All I know is that somewhere along the way, it hit me.

"Sweet Home Alabama" is the greatest rock and roll song of all time.

Some Lynyrd Skynyrd purists will tell you that "Sweet Home Alabama" isn't even the greatest Skynyrd song of all time, that the honors should go to "Tuesday's Gone" or some lesser-known album cut. (But probably not the overrated "Freebird.") Still, no Lynyrd Skynyrd song, and few rock songs from any band, have cut such a wide and lasting swath through the popular culture, while somehow retaining power and freshness.

'Big wheels keep on turnin' '

When I hear the first notes of "Stairway to Heaven" or "Smoke on the Water," I lunge for the radio dial. Enough is enough. When I hear the first notes of "Sweet Home Alabama," well, I turn it up.

The opening guitar lick is one of the most recognizable and electrifying intros in the history of popular music, right up there with the first notes of "Ohio," "Layla," "Baba O'Reilly" and "Revolution."

The lead vocals are muscular and clear and unapologetic.

Everybody knows the first line: "Big wheels keep on turnin.' " Not everybody knows the second line ("Carry me home to see my kin"), but it doesn't matter, you can keep singing anyway and catch up with "And I think it's a sin, yeah."

The chorus is just about perfect. You cannot and should not resist singing along with it.

The guitar work is killer.

The chick-singer background work is heavenly.

The lyrics matter. Yes, they're a bit incendiary. The founding members of Lynyrd Skynyrd were from Florida, and they embraced the Confederate flag as a stage prop. "Sweet Home Alabama" was written in part as a response to Neil Young's "Southern Man," and it includes a line seemingly sympathetic to Gov. George Wallace. But Ronnie Van Zant and his bandmates in Skynyrd also recorded "The Ballad of Curtis Lowe," an important song that embraced black music and spoke of the young Van Zant's rebellion against institutional racism.

It's everywhere

Taken as a whole and in the context of the times, "Sweet Home Alabama" is not in any way a racist song. Neil Young understood that, and so did Jimmy Carter, a liberal who welcomed the band's support.

Enough with the defense. If I'm casting my vote for the song with the best message about tolerance and peace and love, I could come up with countless better selections, from "Turn! Turn! Turn!" by the Byrds to "What's Going On?" by Marvin Gaye.

But we're talking pure rock. And as piece of pure rock, "Sweet Home Alabama" kicks ass.

It's also a pop culture touchstone, more so now than 30 years ago. "Sweet Home Alabama" has been featured in "Forrest Gump," "The Girl Next Door" and "To Die For," among other films. Of course there's also the movie "Sweet Home Alabama," with a cover version from Jewel.

In "Con Air," when the inmates take over the plane and party to the sounds of "Alabama," Steve Buscemi's Garland Greene character makes the immortal observation: "Define irony: a bunch of idiots dancing around on a plane to a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash."

Then there's the scene in "8 Mile" when Eminem's B-Rabbit customizes the lyrics to reflect the sad state of his own life: "Cuz I live at home in a trailer/Mom I'm comin' home to you!"

Over the last five decades, there have been enough great rock and roll songs to make an iPod cry. Rolling Stone magazine recently listed its top 500, with Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" at the top. I could list 100 stronger contenders, from "Won't Get Fooled Again" to "Smells Like Teen Spirit" to "Hey Jude" to "November Rain" -- but none surpasses "Sweet Home Alabama."

Turn it up.
**************************************

It’s kinda wonderful to read such accolades thirty two years after you originally produced a record, signed a band, had a record company. These are the things that feel better to me than the politically-suspect Grammies and Halls of Fames. When your peers applaud your work in print, you can hide in the house and break out in a big genuine grin for fifteen seconds. No red carpets, rented tuxes, botox or phony smiles. Just pure private momentary delight. That is the way I prefer to appreciate my accomplishments. Your emails are pretty wonderful too. Someone in their twenties who had discovered my music and related heavily to it, sent me a birthday greeting this year. Within its context, he picked his favorite moments and spelled them out to me - here is one of say, ten, from his note:

“Thank you for the song "Turn My Head Towards Home".
Probably one of your lesser-acknowledged works, it's
really a piece of song-writing and producing
perfection. The verses are calm, but pregnant with
energy; and it's sheer ecstasy when the choruses give
birth to a tumult of strings and feathery background
vocalists. Melodically, it's a real treat too -- and
the strings sound nearly tortured, playing off it in
the brief bridge. And who wouldn't be won over by the
sped-up voice adding harmony to the line Made a Happy
Boy?”

When I was recording that song, I electronically sped up my voice so that it was an octave higher than usual and just plunked it in on the latter line. So my regular voice sang : “You took the misery....” and then the little chipmunk voice joined it on “...made a happy boy..”
In the entire four plus minute song, that was the only words that were sped up. When I mixed it, I made it subtle, and I truly doubted, thirty years ago, that anyone would ever hear it. So you can imagine how wonderful it was for me to have someone who wasn’t even born when I recorded that, to discover every nook and cranny of the song.

For me, that's better than any gold record or mantel-grabbing statuette. You guys are the best !!!!!

Here’s some tasty fare from iTunes in March. Jamie O’Neal’s track is fer sure the song of the month, Great lyrics: “Tryin’ to find a good man is -like tryin’ to find Atlantis.” Hard to beat, John Davis conjures up the essence of Brian Wilson quite convincingly on the two included tracks.
Lovely production as well. Maxwell has become the Jimmy Scott of r&b/soul nowadays and Queens of The Stone Age somehow rocked my particular little world for two tracks as well. Al Green’s back and so are The Wallflowers. Many wonderful moments below. All heartily suggested by yours truly. See ya back here next month and on the radio May 5th at 6 PM New York time on www.radiocaroline.co.uk
under Listen Live.

Bye for now

Al Kooper

 

 

iPOD DOWNLOADS FOR MARCH 2005

Trying to Find Atlantis 3:29 Jamie O'Neal
Sure Boy 3:58 Rahsaan Patterson
Drive Away (Jim Scott Studio Version) 3:26 Gratitude
Morning Rain 3:29 The Hazy Janes
I Hear Your Voice 3:20 John Davis
Stained Glass Window 2:34 John Davis
Coffee Shop Song 3:57 Sarah Sharp
Sascha 3:08 Jolie Holland
How Do You Say Goodbye? 5:19 Engineers
You Are So Beautiful 3:36 Al Green
Real Love 5:23 Al Green
Another Day 3:21 Al Green
Perfect to Me 4:10 Al Green
Oldman 5:09 John Butler Trio
Baby Won't You Please Come Home 8:25 Miles Davis
One Good Man 5:21 Lou Ann Barton
New York City 1064 (A Letter Home) 3:55 Shawn Amos
Getting Over 3:29 Shawn Amos
Be Blessed (Radio Edit) 4:10 Yolanda Adams
Mass Destruction 3:44 Faithless
Dreamsville 5:01 Pat Martino
Kentucky Avenue 4:49 Tom Waits
This Woman's Work 4:02 Maxwell
In My Head 4:01 Queens of the Stone Age
Someone's In the Wolf 7:15 Queens of the Stone Age
Story of My Life 4:36 Frankie J
How to Deal 3:50 Frankie J
You and Me 3:17 Lifehouse
Telescope Eyes 3:34 Eisley
Like Sonny (Alternate Take 5) 8:24 John Coltrane
40 Stories 4:28 Dishwalla
Collide 4:47 Dishwalla
Southern Comfort 5:48 Shooter Jennings
One of These Days 4:50 Doves
What Did I Get Myself Into 3:05 Kyle Riabko
In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning 3:13 Ben Webster
Spain 4:03 Chick Corea (solo; acoustic))
Cherry 3:26 Count Basie & The Mills Brothers
All of Me 2:35 Duke Ellington
Never Enough 4:26 Groove Theory
Afternoon In Paris 9:58 John Lewis
Fifty Second Street Theme 3:27 Kenny Drew
Just Like a City 3:14 The Love Scene
The Night We Called It a Day 4:19 Milt Jackson & John Coltrane
Temptation 4:56 Moby
My Favorite Things 2:35 Paul Smith
Show and Tell 5:58 Peabo Bryson
Angry Monk 6:34 Tony Furtado
Only You (And You Alone) 2:33 IIIrd Tyme Out
Bridge Over Troubled Water 3:10 The Whitstein Brothers
Issues 4:01 N2U
Luc's Lantern 6:32 William Parker
Black Coffee (Single Version) 3:06 Peggy Lee
All the King's Horses 3:50 Aretha Franklin
I'll Never Forget 2:59 The Dixie Hummingbirds
The Battle Of New Orleans 2:29 Johnny Horton
I Say A Little Prayer 3:34 Diana King
I Will 8:08 Beatle Jazz
Missing 4:43 Beck
Two for Bleu 5:39 Charlie Hunter
Rhythm Music Rides Again 6:01 Charlie Hunter
We're Much Preferred Customers 5:46 The Dissociatives
Somewhere Down the Barrel 4:39 The Dissociatives
Horror With Eyeballs 4:45 The Dissociatives
The Well 6:34 Micah Stampley
Shell 4:28 Susie Suh
Only So Much Oil In the Ground 3:48 Tower of Power
Beautiful Side of Somewhere 4:01 The Wallflowers
Tit for Tat 3:49 World Leader Pretend
***********************************************

UPDATE MAY 11th 2005

MAYDAY !!!! MAYDAY !!!!! HELP !!!!!!!!

We are opening our webstore any moment and we need customers immediately or we shall be forced to close our doors within moments. Just kidding. As soon as we’re open, you will know from the homepage; there will be a STORE tab on the immediate right of the LIVE tab. Click on that light blue tab and you will be whisked to AL’S BIG DEAL SHOPPE - the modest world of Koopershopping.

For sale at first we have three items:
a) the elusive, long- out-of-print double CD: SOUL OF A MAN - my live CDs from 1995. All copies will be autographed, brand-spanking new and much cheaper than what can be found elsewhere in internet-land. These are a limitted quantity and will be sold on a first-come first served basis
b) the equally elusive never-been-for-sale Rekooperation long-sleeve T shirts from the original 3-day gig that spawned SOUL OF A MAN February 3rd-5th 1994. These are all XL (one size fits Al) and once they’re gone, they are extinct. For details on each item, click on each photo on the site’s homepage
c) An experimental item - a wonderful bracelet custom made for me by jewelry designer/phographer Susan Monosson is offered in the store handmade for each customer. Known as The Al Kooper Silver Soul Bracelet, This sterling silver original, can rock with the best of them. These are for men only and come in three sizes.

Because we are just starting up, there may be bugs, If you have ANY problems please email christopher@alsbigdeal.com and he will endeavor to right every wrong. Hopefully, we’ll get the hang of it ASAP and everyone will be happy with their new merch.

As soon as my new album BLACK COFFEE is available, it will also be for sale at AL’S BIG DEAL SHOPPE. We hope you enjoy our modest merchandise and we are open to suggestion about how we can make the store better for you. We are not able to sell any of the Japanese catalologue CDs of my past albums, but they are easily available from www.redtrumpet.com - www.nycd-online.com - or www.amazon.com.
The initial reaction by critics and DJs has been incredible. Nobody was really expecting this album to ever exist (including me) or for it to have turned out as sonically wonderful as it is. With extras like liner notes by Andrew Loog Oldham (discoverer, manager & producer of The Rolling Stones), a deep, stark painting by a&r man /producer /painter David Anderle, and two amazing live from Norway tracks included, this may be my best solo album ever. Backed up brazenly by my academically-articulate band, The Funky Faculty, my new tunes are done to perfection and eagerly awaiting to be in every fan’s CD player.
The current release date is July 12th and it looks firm so far. I am beginning the interview process at the moment with No Depression magazine, Goldmine, Boston Magazine, and a few others next week. We will set up a collection of reviews and write-ups in the WORDS section of the website as soon as it is appropriate.

Included below are my April downloads from iTunes. A rare entire album download was necessitated by Marcus Miller’s new collection Silver Rain. A few great new bands like Shimmer, Weather and Bottle of Justus will make your month rock musically verbosely. Favorite track of the month is “Things The Grandchildren Should Know” by The Eels, which turned out to be an eerily (or should that be eelily ?) accurate description of Grampa yours truly.
Taste the downloads, shop yer brains out and have an amazing May. Speak to you again next month. Don’t forget my June radio show on the 2nd on Radio Caroline at 6PM Eastern time US-www.radiocaroline.co.uk

The gig we were hoping for has just been confirmed! July 13th at BB Kings in New York City. This is the day after BLACK COFFEE is released and The Funky Faculty and myself will play two hours of caffeine madness with new tunes from the CD making their live debuts. Click LIVE on the website for more details -

Al Kooper

 

APRIL DOWLOADS ON iTUNES

God's Radar 4:07 The Dixie Hummingbirds
Bruce Lee 5:23 Marcus Miller featuring Gerald Albright
La Villette 5:54 Marcus Miller featuring Lalah Hathaway
Frankenstein 6:33 Marcus Miller featuring Kirk Whalum
Boogie On Reggae Woman 5:02 Marcus Miller featuring Kirk Whalum
Sophisticated Lady 5:23 Marcus Miller
Power of Soul 6:53 Marcus Miller
The Money's Clean 3:35 Acetate
I'm In Hell 3:58 Acetate
Spirit In the Sky 3:05 The Blind Boys of Alabama
Presence of the Lord 5:03 The Blind Boys of Alabama
Demons 4:30 The Blind Boys of Alabama
Monkey Gone to Heaven 2:57 Pixies
Sally, Go 'Round the Roses 2:49 Alannah Myles
Joann, You'll Be Happy Soon 3:28 Andrew Morgan
Easy 3:26 Bottle of Justus
Picture 4:06 Bottle of Justus
Rest Stop 2:49 Bottle of Justus
Shallow 3:34 Porcupine Tree
Purify Me 4:09 India Arie
Perfidia (Perfidy) 3:02 Kronos Quartet
Don't Trip On Your Way Out 3:58 Shimmer
Here I Am 3:47 Shimmer
Like a Feather 3:39 Shimmer
Charred Resentment the Same 4:19 South San Gabriel
A Postcard from the Island 4:50 Tony Williamson
Calling Up My Bad Side 2:55 Weather
Short & Sweet 3:09 Weather
Vienna 4:33 The King's Singers
Look At Me 4:55 Tramaine Hawkins
Highway 5:21 Tramaine Hawkins
Call Me 3:24 Tramaine Hawkins
Fuga 5:26 Gary Burton, James Williams, Julian Lage, Luques Curtis & Vadim Neselovskyi
A Dance for Most of You 5:54 Gary Burton, James Williams, Julian Lage, Luques Curtis & Vadim Neselovskyi
Prelude for Vibes 6:02 Gary Burton, James Williams, Julian Lage, Luques Curtis & Vadim Neselovskyi
'Ques Sez 7:07 Gary Burton, James Williams, Julian Lage, Luques Curtis & Vadim Neselovskyi
Safari 5:06 808 Funk
Something to Be 4:30 Rob Thomas
Fallin' to Pieces 4:11 Rob Thomas
One of Us 3:31 Cheryl "Pepsi" Riley
Blue 3:09 The Jayhawks
You Don't Love Me 4:36 Dawn Penn
Snowball 5:44 The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
From a Whisper to a Scream 4:24 Esther Phillips
Doesn't Get Much Better 3:31 Kyle Riabko
Devil 3:07 Kyle Riabko
Keep Hope Alive 3:44 Pee Wee Callins
I Choose Love 4:15 Pee Wee Callins
Free 3:46 Pee Wee Callins
Black Is Black 3:14 Los Straitjackets & Raul Malo
Green Onions 7:49 Jon Lord with The Hoochie Coochie Men
Like It Used to Be 3:39 Amerie
I'm On My Way Great God 4:48 Bobby Darin
Things the Grandchildren Should Know 5:22 Eels
Secret Heart 3:49 Feist
Paris 4:34 Hiroshima
Carwash 4:40 Howling Diablos
Shine Dub 3:31 10 Ft. Ganja Plant & John Brown's Body
Full Control 4:16 John Brown's Body
Alive 4:12 Kainos
Just Kiss Me 6:42 Marcia Ball
Half an Hour 4:14 Mint Condition
Forever In Your Eyes (7" Album Edit) 4:08 Mint Condition
Your Smile 3:57 Angela & Rene
The Wayward Wind 3:21 Patsy Cline
Life Is Just a Matter of Time 4:11 Solomon Burke


UPDATE - JUNE 3RD - 2005

Thanks to all who initially plundered our brand new webstore. From the email we've gotten, everyone seems pleased. If you are ordering from outside the USA, please inquire about shipping individually before placing your order by requesting the rates for whatever pieces you are ordering at alsbigdeal@alkooper.com

The bracelets are doing well, but won't be up there much longer so if you have any interest, please move fast. Due to many requests, we will have a woman's version up there within the next month, also for a short time. The new album will be for sale starting July 12th. All copies of Black Coffee will be autographed when purchased from the website. Cost will be $14.95 plus shipping and handling. Due to restrictions, all Japanese orders cannot be shipped until July 27th. For those in the know, it will also be available on iTunes July 12th to be downloaded at probably a cheaper rate, albeit without the sharp packaging and snazzy booklet with Andrew Loog Oldham’s liner notes.

The first single will be “My Hands Are Tied.”An edited singles version weill be sent to radio and iTunes early. It will NOT be for sale in stores.

On July 7th, my radio show on Radio Caroline, barring unforeseen difficulties, will consist of a two hour special on the making of the new album, Black Coffee. Demos and cover versions will be unveiled, and it’ll be a great way to be introduced to the album prior to it’s actual release . That’s July 7th - www.radiocaroline.co.uk and click on Listen Live at 6PM EST. By July 12th, the lyrics will be uploaded to the LYRICS section of the website (under WORDS)

The New York Times will be running a profile piece, either July3rd or 10th, in the Arts Section in it’s Sunday Edition. The piece was written by Peter Applebome. On July 12th, starting at about 1PM, there will be a short interview on CNN Headline News that will run all day from that point on. There will be upcoming stories in Goldmine, No Depression and Boston Magazine (natch!) so keep your eyes open for those. MOJO will run a record review two issues from now. Andrew Oldham writes an appreciation of the I Stand Alone in the latest Uncut Magazine (UK). I will be on Dave Marsh’s radio show Sunday July 10th at 10 AM-12noon. My performance with the Funky Faculty at BB King’s July 13th in NYC will be recorded and aired later on. Details will follow in a future Update.


We are doing our best to get out there and I’d like to thank Howard Gabriel and Mark Pucci for their over-the-top assistance in attaining these goals.
I am flying to Tokyo on June 17th for a week to do TV radio and press interviews in advance of the Japanese July 27th release date.
There will be no live shows during that week. Hope to bump into many of my Japanese fans while I’m plundering Tower Records in my spare time !!! Inspired by The Yoshida Brothers and Agatsuma, I am also hoping to purchase a shamisen (three-stringed fretless Japanese instrument) to add to my playing arsenal. It would sound incredible alongside my mandolin. BTW, there is quite a bit of mandolin on the new album. It’s become a large part of the 2005 Kooper sound.
May was a buoyant month for downloads on iTunes. Two entire albums got downloaded which is rare for me. Nikka Costa’s new album has some great arrangements and singing. Her late dad, Don Costa, did the arrangements on cover versions of my songs by Keely Smith and Tommy Sands back in the early sixties!

-Al Kooper


iTUNES DOWNLOADS / MAY 2005

Eternal Songs Entire Album Agatsuma
Can’tneverdidnothin’Entire Album Nikka Costa
Love Dream 4:31 Bobby Valentino
My Angel (Never Leave You) 4:45 Bobby Valentino
I Have a Ghost, Now What? 7:34 Jaga Jazzist
Mikado 6:05 Jaga Jazzist
True Love Ways ((Stereo)) 2:50 Buddy Holly
Walk, Don't Run 3:19 Johnny Smith
Dr. King, the Peaceful Warrior 2:32 Archie Shepp
Hey, Little Suzie (The Cause of All That) 3:43 Billy Gilman
Angkor Wat 6:25 The Gil Evans Orchestra
Barry's Tune 3:43 The Gil Evans Orchestra
Shine 3:42 Jim Boggia
Shine It All Around 4:05 Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation
Fruits of My Labor (Live) 5:04 Lucinda Williams
Blue (Live) 4:22 Lucinda Williams
Are You Down (Live) 6:29 Lucinda Williams
Those Three Days (Live) 5:02 Lucinda Williams
Silence 3:26 Kate Earl
No One Else's Problem 2:39 Kevin Devine
Superstition 3:23 Old School Freight Train
That Goose On My Grave 3:48 Quantic Soul Orchestra
When Did You Leave Heaven? 2:53 Renée Fleming & Bill Frisell
Where Love Goes 3:42 The Robot Ate Me
Money's Too Tight to Mention 3:35 Ten from Ten
Hey! 2:51 Thunderbolt Patterson w/ Ross the Boss
King of the Road 2:38 Thunderbolt Patterson w/ Ross the Boss
I'll Make It Alright 3:07 The Beautiful Zion Choir
What Would You Do 3:39 The Rance Allen Group
We Are All On Drugs 3:34 Weezer
They Sold Me Out 3:13 Van Morrison
Just Like Greta 6:27 Van Morrison
Do You Right 3:37 Kyle Riabko
Giant Steps 5:13 Cadillac Jones
Into You 5:04 Kem
Blackberry Wine 3:27 Kenny "Blue Boss" Wayne
Walking the Long Miles Home 4:01 Richard Thompson
Mr. Rebound 3:30 Richard Thompson
Song for You 4:26 Rick Braun
Clap Your Hands 4:16 RiZen
He Knows 7:30 RiZen
Replacement Driver 4:55 Saxon Shore
Spare Tissue 5:24 Ulu
Rollin' 3:51 Ulu
Slow Walk 2:41 Sil Austin
Out of Exile 4:48 Audioslave
Be Yourself 4:41 Audioslave
Libertango 4:12 Astor Piazzolla
Mr. Fats 8:04 Dave Brubeck Quartet
I Want You Back (Z-Trip Remix) 4:37 Jackson 5
That's What's Goin' Down 3:20 Jeremy Gregory
Alive 4:04 Daniel Lemma
Higher Ground (Single Version) 3:54 Daniel Lemma
Laura 2:56 George Shearing
Middle 3:25 Intangible
Winter Song 3:55 Intangible
Take Me Home 4:02 Jeff Golub
Death Came a Knockin' (Travelin' Shoes) 3:22 Ruthie Foster
Black Coffee 5:02 The Swingin' Swamis


UPDATE JULY 21st 2005

Sorry for the delay, gang, but swamped is swamped. My Japanese trip yielded over 25 interviews in five days, plus purchase of a shamisen (japanese instrument), and the confirming of a short Japanese tour October 5th-9th. Along those lines, I have just engaged a wonderful booking agency Concerted Efforts to get me back out there where I belong to bring Black Coffee to every nook and cranny they can find. We are just gearing up as I write this and I am excited with the prospect of returning to the road with a vengeance AND Black Coffee.

Thank you all for your e-mail support and criticisms of the new album. This really helps me a great deal to understand my audience and get music you will enjoy out to you consistently. If you’re bashful, don't be - al@alkooper.com

MP Media, our publicists, had a banner July highlighted by the July 3rd Sunday New York Times piece in the Arts Section by Peter Applebome. It was also picked up by the International Herald Tribune and run all over the world. Next up was a four minute CNN Headline News interview that ran release day July 12th at 1:24, 2:24 & 3:24 EDT nationally. A four star review in MOJO is due any day now with a feature in an upcoming issue as well. Rolling Stone’s review will be in the August 12th issue. There are/were so many others too numerous to mention, but we still need our web site foot soldiers!! If you like the CD, please tell people you think might enjoy it - that is the best publicity in the world.
We had an amazing gig and CD release party at BB Kings on July 13th. The Funky Faculty made many new friends as they soulfully assessed much of the repertoire from Black Coffee. A special treat was the addition of the backup singers from the album, Curtis King, Jr., Catherine Russell, & Sherryl Marshall making a rare onstage showing for the first time in eleven years !!! In attendance was liner notes writer Andrew Loog Oldham, musician/thespian/deejay Little Steven, producer Russ Titelman, and songwriter/producer and Al mentor, Jerry Ragavoy. A memorable evening.
The Rekooperators will be making a rare appearance September 3rd at The Lowell Music Festival in MA. This will be our Mike Bloomfield Tribute show featuring Jimmy Vivino emulating his mentor. Don't expect any Black Coffee or BS&T songs at this performance. See www.alkooper and click on LIVE for details.

On September 26th & 27th, PBS will broadcast Martin Scorsese’s long awaited four hour Bob Dylan documentary. It will be screened in two 2 hour parts, one each night. Although I have not seen Part 2 yet, many insiders have have sent e-mails saying how much they enjoyed my on-screen participation in Part 2. In a rare marketing coup, the DVD will be available everywhere on September 20th, nearly a full week before it’s debut broadcast. Only Dylan could pull something like this off! On August 30th, the soundtrack album, a two-disc affair with 26 unreleased tracks on it, will be released with liner notes by that new literary tag team Andrew Loog Oldham and Al Kooper. This is the most exciting Dylan album in decades. If you are a fan from the early years through Blonde on Blonde, you MUST have these CDs! Incredible out takes and alternate takes from Highway 61 and Blonde on Blonde plus a track from the infamous “electric” Newport Folk Festival performance forty years ago this summer. Start saving your money - the DVD and the CDs are must-haves, in my twisted opinion. Soooooo, to wrap up, keep an eye on the LIVE section of the web site to see the various incoming new live gigs coming up. The lyrics to Black Coffee are up on the lyrics page under WORDS and we will soon have all the reviews from the various publications onsite under WORDS as soon as a few more key ones are made available to us.

Here are the June downloads from iTunes that perked my ears up. My favorite track for two months has been “Calling Up My Bad Side” by a new band from Tacoma WA called Weather. Great production by Evan Brubaker.

Have a great summer, see a lotta festivals, swim a lot, and don’t forget your daily dose of Black Coffee, no matter what the temperature is !!!
And remember, if everyone in Boston gave one dime, then one starving child could get one ticket to The Rolling Stone’s concert in Fenway Park (Thanks Sal & Tony)Al Kooper

 

iTUNES DOWNLOADS FOR JUNE 2005

Overcome 5:22 Better Than Ezra
Porcelain (VooDoo Mix) 4:51 Better Than Ezra
Susan Scorned 5:02 Bill Lloyd
Fool (If You Think It's Over) 4:04 Chris Rea
Harlem Nocturne 7:48 Danny Gatton & Tom Principato
Let's Get Quiet 3:42 Her Space Holiday
Boogie #427 1:59 Kevin McKendree
Just Before Sunrise 3:14 Kevin McKendree
Lie to Me 3:25 Powter
Runaway Soul 3:59 Ruthie Foster
Woke Up This Mornin' 3:55 Ruthie Foster
Home 4:14 Ruthie Foster
Give You My Love 4:29 Ruthie Foster
Black Coffee 3:06 Ella Fitzgerald, Gordon Jenkins & Quincy Jones
Georgia On My Mind 3:46 Oscar Peterson
I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good 5:08 The Oscar Peterson Trio
The Long Way Home 3:26 29th Street Saxophone Quartet
Free Yourself 4:38 29th Street Saxophone Quartet
Look 4:18 Beth Nielsen Chapman
Time for Goodbye 4:19 Courtney Jaye
A House Is Not a Home 4:11 Ella Fitzgerald
Grooveyard 4:47 Frank Morgan
Little Waltz 5:07 Frank Morgan
Goodbye 4:41 Frank Morgan
Bring It On 5:35 Gomez
All Coming Back 3:17 Sarah Blasko
Lone 2:02 Swag
Different Girls 3:09 Swag
She's Deceiving 3:02 Swag
Brown World 4:40 Harry Connick, Jr.
Valentine's Day 5:14 Harry Connick, Jr.
You Ought to Be Ashamed 3:10 Bobby "Blue" Bland
This Dear City 2:58 Amanda Thorpe
Camellia (Remastered) 2:47 Hall & Oates
Sara Smile (Remastered) 3:06 Hall & Oates
One On One (Remastered) 4:17 Hall & Oates
Hit the Ground 3:30 Lizz Wright
Old Man 3:39 Lizz Wright
Give Praise 4:16 Luciano
I Don't Wanna Shine 3:17 The Orange Peels
Get Out 5:40 Bargain Music
Ooh Child 3:33 Freddie McGregor
Pretty Baby 4:54 Eric Benét
Jump 3:37 Paul Anka
While This River Flows (While This River Flows) 2:51 Without Gravity
Beautiful Son 4:53 Without Gravity
Simply Beautiful 4:11 Queen Latifah
You Sold the Farm 2:31 The Dreadful Yawns
Hit and Run 4:10 The Vanity Project
That's All, That's All 3:42 The Vanity Project
Moonbeam 5:12 Willy Porter
Glow 3:59 Willy Porter
Bridge Over Troubled Water 3:24 Jimmy London
In Paradise 3:02 Jackie Edwards & Julian Judy Mowatt
Gotta Get Back to You 5:11 Down To The Bone
Tiburon 6:35 Down To The Bone
See the Sun 6:06 Dido
Darker Than Blue 2:59 Lloyd Charmers
The Russian 5:36 The Bees
The Hustler 3:03 Jeff Klein
Ball and Chain 3:39 Anthony Hamilton
September 3:47 Ernest Ranglin
Every Road I'm On 3:38 Go Jimmy Go
Why You Cry 3:24 Go Jimmy Go
Why Does It Take 3:34 Jamie Jones
Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word 4:53 Jimmy Scott
I'm Through With Love 2:33 Jimmy Scott
Stones Throw 2:46 Little Barrie
Ask Yourself 4:48 Raheem DeVaughn
Constantly (Radio Edit) 5:41 The AARC Mass Choir
Sweet Sucker 6:01 Rhoda Scott
Sometimes a River 5:20 The String Cheese Incident
Back to the Island 5:54 Toots & Maytals
Pink Shoes 3:33 Fred Frith & Thomas Bloch

_____________________________________________

UPDATE - AUGUST 23RD 2005

Well, it’s been released six weeks now and Black Coffee chugs along. I believe it’s out all over the world by this time. The reviews are the thing with this one. It seems more critics than ever before have understood what it is I’m trying to do with a solo album. After years of either not being reviewed, or being grossly misunderstood, this is a pleasant turn. My email input from you has also been extraordinary - so many thank you's and supportive notes; it’s almost a tearjerker.
However, the cold realities of the record business immediately temper all of the above. While sales are higher than my usual retail greeting, they probably won’t generate the kind of bravado necessary to keep Black Coffee in the public eye long enough to generate the kind of bravado necessary to put Black Coffee on the charts or any other such archiving. We certainly have done everything we can do:
Our publicists, MP Media continue doing an amazing job generating articles, reviews and Al on CNN Headline News. The sad part is that artists in my peer group and popularity percentage nowadays are routinely shut out of national television and national press. So reaching out nationally is something we cannot count on wielding in our communications arsenal. And that makes a big difference; in fact, that makes all the difference. There are many potential fans out there who will go through this release period without even knowing that music like ours exists.
I am gearing up to do as many personal appearances as I can this fall; but promoters are tough as well. Because of rising fuel costs it becomes even more expensive to take The Funky Faculty with me on the road. A promoter has got to really believe in us and really promote a show to afford hiring me plus band.
I just wanted all of you faithful to understand what we are up against out there. In the time I have left on this planet I wanna spread the music I play and love as far as I can. I am so thankful to have Steve Vai’s Favored Nations record company behind me. They are the nicest people I have ever worked with in the music business. We are all doing the best we can - that's what I want you all to know. In many ways we ARE succeeding. So many folks have been truly reached by this record - people who truly understand and relate to the lyrics of “Going Going Gone,” people who drop what they’re doing and groove hard to “Green Onions,” and people who involuntarily surrender a tear or two in response to “How My Ever Gonna Get Over You,” “(I Want You To) Tell Me The Truth,” or “Just For A Thrill.”
So, I’m not complaining at all - I’m just explaining. I’m very proud of this album and I’m deliriously happy that so many of you felt so good after listening to it.
In a few weeks, we will release an iTunes exclusive EP with four unreleased tracks on it. It is called “Beatle-Ized” and that's what I was when I created it. There are two covers and two originals. The covers are Lennon & McCartney’s Eleanor Rigby (done like a slow ZZ Top drawl) and George Harrison’s Don’t Bother Me ( done as a ballad!) The originals are strongly Beatles-influenced Al songs from over the years. One is called “Secret Love” and the other is called “Lies In The Back Of Her Head.” I chose these four because they have absolutely nothing to do with Black Coffee, but in their own way, are just as much fun to enjoy, especially if you’re a Beatle fan. Hoping for an end of September release, details will follow here as they are known.

On the horizon is the August 30th release of the Dylan soundtrack to the Scorsese documentary NO DIRECTION HOME. There is much participation musically by yours truly plus liner notes by Andrew Oldham and myself. On September 3rd The Rekooperators play The Lowell, MA Music Festival (see LIVE) with our Mike Bloomfield tribute show. There will be no Black Coffee or BS&T ditties here, but a bombastic sea of blues from the strings of the great Jimmy Vivino’s guitar - a man Allen Bloomfield calls “the greatest living interpreter of my brothers music.” THAT oughta git it. On September 8th The Funky Faculty pull into downtown Springfield, MA for the City Block Festival (see LIVE) and a great deal of musical Black Coffee will be dispensed on that evening..
On September 23rd, Al and the FF make their debut at The Rams Head in Annapolis, MD. Get your tix early for this one. On September 25th, we move on to West Virginia to tape the famous Mountain Stage radio program. We hope to see our fans there as we don’t often get to that area. On September 20th, Paramount releases the Martin Scorsese Dylan documentary NO DIRECTION HOME in stores on DVD. There are a few amusing Kooper moments in Part Two and the whole rest of it is a monumental feat worth purchasing or watching and taping on PBS September 26th and 27th. I believe I will also be at the premiere at The Ziegfield Theater in NYC on September 19th.

Below are the July downloads from iTunes. There were two amazing albums where i downloaded the entire CDs: one was Illinoise by Sufjan Stevens; a unique, original work that harkens back to Brian Wilson’s SMILE structurally (not musically), and Toto Bona Lokua; a collection of amazing African singing by three masters of the genre. I recommend both of these in their entirety although they are not listed below. “Hold You Down” by rap group Alchemist samples “Love Theme from The Landlord” a ‘70’s era Al tune; the same song Jay-Z sampled two years ago. The Bobby Purify songs are from a new album produced by the great Dan Penn. So many new faces as usual with wonderful new music. Thank heaven for spawning grounds like iTUNES. Enjoy, enjoy - I’ll be back here in mid-October after my Japanese tour.

Al Kooper

 

JULY 2005 DOWNLOADS FROM iTUNES

Broken Record 4:03 Adam Saul-Bloch
The Young Monk 2:23 Bill Frisell
Good Old People 5:25 Bill Frisell
Those Around You 3:14 Intangible
Do It Right 3:17 Jim Stärk
Steady On 4:47 Point Of Grace
Burn It Up 3:51 R. Kelly
Edge of the World 3:01 Sam Phillips
World Waits for You 4:08 Son Volt
World Waits for You (Reprise) 1:56 Son Volt
I'll Be Your Shelter (In the Time of Storm) 5:01 Terry Evans
Quicksand 3:19 Adrian Belew
Face to Face 3:03 Adrian Belew
Vuelo 5:56 Dave Weckl Band
I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know 3:34 Carmen McRae
Your Boy Al 0:47 Alchemist
Hold You Down 3:58 Alchemist
Anything You Want 3:44 Owny Rutledge
Lest traces du crime 3:10 Jean-Claude Petit & Lokua Kanza
Tema de Maria 5:08 Astor Piazzolla
Forever Changed 4:11 Bobby Purify
I Hate to See You Go 3:33 Bobby Purify
Testimony of a Fool 3:23 Bobby Purify
Dark End of the Street 3:53 Frank Black
Eye of the Beholder 7:40 Jeremy Pelt
Fughetta, Op. 113 2:31 Marco Tamayo
Little Blue Cart Blues 3:19 Jason Green
Puhurin Poika 2:33 Kaiku
Waiting On a Train 3:19 Kathleen Mock
France Chance 4:25 Kenny Brown
Walkin' Chains 7:22 Terry Evans
Tonight It's Goin' Down 4:37 Babyface
Black Mamba 2:46 The Academy Is
Love Me Like a River 3:34 Anders Holst
Verrazano Bridge 3:56 Anders Holst
Inside My Head 4:51 Big Dume
Hit the Floor 3:53 Big Dume
Vanity 3:21 Big Dume
I Lost You 3:44 Big Dume
Circles 3:56 Bob Mould
I Wanna Be Loved 2:45 Dinah Washington
Sallie's Theme 3:49 Don Ellis & Eddie Harris
I'll Be Faithful (Previously Unissued Stereo Version) 3:01 Dusty Springfield
Judie's Theme 4:40 Eddie Harris
Moonglow & Theme from "Picnic" 2:52 Esther Phillips
Please Send Me Someone to Love 5:55 Esther Phillips
Release Me 4:49 Esther Phillips
On the Mend 4:27 Eye To Eye
Silent Life 3:12 The Fruit Bats
Canyon Girl 2:41 The Fruit Bats
The Wind Blew My Heart Away 2:43 The Fruit Bats
No Tears 4:53 Gamma
Late One Evening 3:04 Jack McDuff & Jimmy Witherspoon
Good Rockin' Tonight 2:17 Jack McDuff & Jimmy Witherspoon
Hootie Blues 4:31 Jay McShann
My Chile 4:11 Jay McShann
Hot Biscuits 3:29 Jay McShann
'Fore Day Rider 4:20 Jay McShann
Daddling 4:39 Jay McShann
I Want a Little Girl 6:27 Jay McShann
Cherry Red 4:28 Jay McShann
I Got to Find My Baby 3:14 Scott Ainslie
Messiah 2:50 MoZella
You're My Girl (I Don't Want to Discuss It) 4:33 Rod Stewart
Take Me Home, Country Roads 3:22 Toots & The Maytals
Sexual Healing 3:10 Jimmy Riley
Love Has Found Its Way 4:31 Dennis Brown
*******************************

UPDATE - OCTOBER 21, 2005

Okay. Sorry for the delay - So much to tell - so little time.


Ten days before we left to tour Japan and two days before a contracted weekend of work, the bassist for The Funky Faculty quit. He quit in a way designed for us to lose all those gigs, so I would say it was unprofessional AND malicious. He certainly had time to leave properly and with respect but he chose the latter. He claimed I was disrespectful to him because I never confirmed gigs properly. I wonder what he thought my motive for doing THAT was - so I wouldn’t know whether he would show up or not ? I guess we all saw it coming, but he committed what is considered the worst faux pas in the land of the professional musician. He canceled two days before a road trip and let us know by just not showing up for the only rehearsal we had for that road trip AND forJapan. When I discussed this with one of my mentors, he said:


“If you play in a band and are married to the singer, and your divorce becomes final on Thursday and you move your stuff out on Friday, you STILL show up for the gig on Saturday. That's what professionalism is all about!”


That's what I thought, too. He asked in an e-mail that I never write or speak to him again. THAT was a wasted piece of digital missive.


At the rehearsal he was a no-show for, the rest of us sussed out what was happening and bonded even closer together. I have learned in my life that if the bass player in a band leaves, the drummer is the one who should choose the next bassist. I pass this info along to the younger musician readers - it’s a wise move.
So our drummer, Larry Finn was put in charge of saving Japan and finding someone who wanted to play with us AND could get the next weekend free. Larry began his frantic search on Friday. On Sunday, a week before our scheduled Japan departure, he called me at 11 PM screaming: “I actually got an amazing bass player and he’s excited about it !!!!” I called up this lad and we had a great chat.


On Monday morning I got him a CD of all the songs we would play in Japan. On Wednesday evening we were miraculously able to schedule a short rehearsal and he had already learned the whole show perfectly.The band immediately sounded funkier than it had ever sounded, but in a good way. Through the guiding hands of God, we had lost a bassist, a bit of money, but we had saved the Japan tour, AND made the band into something much more cohesive. So, in the end, although he will not allow me to direct this to him personally, I would like to thank the departed bassplayer for unknowingly helping our band by unceremoniously and unprofessionally walking out on us. We never saw it coming - the betterment of the band, that is.

Allow me to introduce the latest and youngest member of The Funky Faculty. His name is Jesse Williams, aged 32, and he is also a music teacher making him eligible to join The Funky Faculty. He had most recently played in Duke Robilard’s much acclaimed band for many years and toured extensively with them.
The fit, personality-wise, is amazing. It’s as if he had been in the band from the start. All the guys instantly loved him as a person and most assuredly as the great musician he obviously is. Things have already begun to change in the band. Certain songs have already made smooth groove transitions and I would say we’ll have us a brand new sounding band by the Spring. The transition gigs will be great fun (as in our Japanese tour) in the meanwhile and no loss to any audience. Jesse played brilliantly in Japan, and stole the show the last night. Can’t ask for more now, can I ?

The week of September 26th was a big one for me. On Monday the 26th, I appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition radio show usually tuned into by millions. The next night, I appeared on PBS’s Part Two of Martin Scorsese’s Bob Dylan documentary NO DIRECTION HOME. My emailbox was packed all week with congrats. It certainly helped me deal with the short bass player crisis. The week before, I attended the official premiere of said documentary at The Zeigfield Theater In New York City. This is something I wouldn't normally do, but my publicist threatened my life, so I really had no choice. This was also the first (and probably last) time I strolled the legendary red carpet; got to chat with Jim Jarmusch, Elvis Costello, Suze Rotolo, Bill Flanagan, Jesse Dylan and many others - so I actually had a great time. Free popcorn too!


On Spectropop, an online discussion group of fifties and sixties music aficionados that I often log onto, a member discussing my appearance in the film, wondered if Ronnie Milsap and I had ever been observed in the same room at the same time. He felt the resemblance was uncanny. I guess the two of us will just accept that, because neither of our fields of visions can confirm or deny it. In olden days, when I could grin as thin, I saw my twin as BJ Thomas.


But I digress - MOJO magazine, after giving BLACK COFFEE four stars in their September issue, actually ran a story about me in the October issue with Led Zep on the cover. Thanks lads !!! And a major breakthrough - The 1969 album I produced for the Boston band Appaloosa, long out-of-print, is actually back for sale. www.ccmusic.com are the exclusive culprits, If you are one of the many who has inquired about this lost puppy over the years, I’m happy to announce it’s back. A mere $11.95 plus s/h, will take you right back to your college days and music you just can't hear today.


The new improved Funky Faculty will be at The Academy of Music in Northampton, MA on November 5th. Opening the show will be the great Jesse Winchester. 8 PM - no waiting -Come on down !


If Al goes well, iTunes will “release” my EP BEATLE-IZED! on November 8th. That means if you’re an iTunes’er and ONLY if you are, you can download these four new tracks that worship the Fab Four. This EP will not be pressed or released in any other format. Maybe it’ll be November 9th, because iTunes has been notoriously late in getting the new releases up on Tuesdays.
Below are my iTunes adds for August and September. Talk to ya again around Thanksgiving. Meanwhile Happy Halloween and stuff in a pillow if you’re dressing as Al Kooper, Ronnie Milsap or Jeff Lynne.

Al Kooper

iTUNES ADDITIONS FOR AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2005

"The Runners Four" **** (ENTIRE ALBUM!!!)**** -Deerhoof
Deerhoof's best album yet. Not for everyone. Kinda Blondie meets The Who meets Devo. This is my current favorite at the moment . Most listened to tracks - “Scream Team” “Lightning Rod, Run,” & “O’Malley Former Underdog.” but they’re all interesting. All 20 tracks!!! See this band when they come to your town.


Laugh, I Nearly Died 4:53 The Rolling Stones
Back of My Hand 3:32 The Rolling Stones
So Good 3:59 Antonio Neal
Life Worth Living 4:13 Antonio Neal
Big Shoe 6:18 Danny Barnes
The Bright Side 3:43 Eels
Almost Honest 3:34 Josh Kelley
Don't Let Love Get Away 4:35 Marilyn Scott
Feels Just Like It Should 4:32 Jamiroquai
Bad Day 3:53 Daniel Powter
Give Me Life 3:35 Daniel Powter
I Put Myself Together 8:01 Charles Brown
Angels Unaware 4:25 Carrie Newcomer
Man of God 4:27 Eliza Gilkyson
When In Rome 4:15 Nickel Creek
Somebody More Like You 3:01 Nickel Creek
Eveline 3:11 Nickel Creek
Helena 4:45 Nickel Creek
Why Should the Fire Die? 2:50 Nickel Creek
Liebster Jesu, Wir Sind Hier, BWV 731 2:55 Peter Hurford
Birdland 5:33 Quincy Jones
Don't You Think It's Time 4:29 Southern Bitch
Cross Cut Saw 3:56 Duwayne Burnside
Bad Bad Pain 7:46 Duwayne Burnside
Stop the Music (Featuring Scribe) 5:09 P Money & Scribe
I'll Take My Chances 3:47 The Click Five
Promise 3:46 Trapt
Pardon My Rags 2:45 Keith Jarrett
Blacktop Train 4:46 Ellis Paul
Say Yes 4:28 Floetry
Now You're Gone (More Than I Can Feel) 4:51 Floetry
My Other 4:26 Kepler
Hey Girl (Remix) 3:52 Michael McDonald
In the Garden (live) 3:51 Susan Tedeschi
It Hurt So Bad (live) 6:01 Susan Tedeschi
Misery In My Heart 3:04 Ray Charles
Do You Believe In Love 3:46 Craig David
Take 'Em Off 4:09 Craig David
When a Guitar Plays the Blues 6:37 Roy Buchanan
Make It Rain 6:59 Michael Burks
Orchestra Pit 4:51 Leo Kottke & Mike Gordon
Domination 3:37 Cannonball Adderley
Cyclops 4:40 Cannonball Adderley
You Help Me Write This Song 4:04 Ron Isley
Do You Want To 3:35 Franz Ferdinand
In the Dark 2:55 American Princes
Salt In Game 3:41 Criteria
The Queen of Maybe 5:06 Daiquiro
Alright By Me 3:11 Delbert McClinton
Mr. Ambulance Driver 4:23 The Flaming Lips
Didn't Hear That from Me 3:28 Josh Kelley
Long Before the Sun 3:28 Scott Krippayne
Nothin' But the Devil 4:00 Paul Thorn
Things Left Undone 3:52 Paul Thorn
Even Heroes Die 4:13 Paul Thorn
Lost John 2:03 Etta Baker & Taj Mahal
All Cried Out 4:35 Allure & 112
Love’s Mystery 3:56 Avila Brothers
Corrina, Corrina 4:22 GeLove 5:24 Ben Taylor
Work to Do 4:51 Dorinda Clark-Cole
12:08 AM 5:50 Euge Groove
Love to Smoke Your Weed 2:16 Honky
I Like the Way You Have Fun 3:18 Honky
A Change of Face 4:58 Steve Kuhn
Jesus Walked the Water 3:47 Beverly "Guitar" Watkins
Love 5:24 Ben Taylor
Think a Man Would Know 4:55 Ben Taylor
Work Song 3:58 Billy Eckstine & Quincy Jones
Devil In Disguise 3:15 Danielia Cotton
Jesus Can Fix It 4:20 Shirley Caesar
Complicated Sorrow 4:28 Drums & Tuba
Alone 3:39 Prom Kings
Red Dust 3:31 Calexico & Iron and Wine
Burn That Broken Bed 5:06 Calexico & Iron and Wine
Trinkets 4:59 Bonnie Raitt
I Don't Want Anything to Change 4:26 Bonnie Raitt
My Father's Gun (alternate take) 6:20 Elton John
Come Pick Me Up 5:14 Ryan Adams
Sugar Blue 3:44 Jeff Finlin
No Words 4:48 Charlie Wilson
Cry No More 5:16 Charlie Wilson
Who Invented the Wheel 3:26 Trisha Yearwood
Hold Me Now 4:12 Wayne Wonder
Drive 4:26 Ziggy Marley
Slave to Love 4:22 Elan Atias
Breakfast In Bed 3:20 Nicole Kea
Wild Horses 5:15 Faultline & Joseph Arthur
Amarillo Barbados 4:14 Bill Frisell
Is It Sweet? 5:08 Bill Frisell
Are You Beautiful                  2:56 Chris Pierce
When I’m With You                  3:41 Chris Pierce
Two Sides of the River (Extended Version) 5:54 Dar Williams/Soulive
House Is Not a Home (Radio Edit) 3:54 Deborah Cox
Ton Sur Ton 5:57 Marc Johnson
Apareceu 6:00 Marc Johnson
Reason to Survive 5:57 Rance Allen & Mizells
If 6:58 Oregon
Doff 6:35 Oregon
Choice of Colors 3:53 Gladys Knight
I'm So Proud 4:58 The Isley Brothers
I've Been Trying 5:02 Phil Collins
Winter In Manhattan 4:23 Christine Lavin
Downtown 3:37 Cole Guerra
Pass You By 4:59 Earth, Wind & Fire
To You 4:37 Earth, Wind & Fire
The Way You Move 4:36 Earth, Wind & Fire
Pure Gold 4:40 Earth, Wind & Fire
Ya Ya 4:52 Jerry Douglas
Swing Blues #1 3:34 Jerry Douglas
Let Your Light Shine 4:26 R.Kelly
From the Start 3:05 Ryan Cabrera
Shelter In the Rain 4:19 Stevie Wonder
Perfect Lie 4:33 Sheryl Crow
When God Made Me 4:05 Neil Young
I Hope (Katrina Charity Version) 5:04 Dixie Chicks
How Am I Different 4:28 Bettye LaVette
I Wish I Was in New Orleans 4:53 Tom Waits
Bonus Track 3:11 Alex Bugnon
Soul Lounge 6:37 Bona Fide
Runaway (stereo) 2:17 Del Shannon
A Ship Called Love 3:08 Eric Bibb
I'll Never Lose You 3:40 Eric Bibb
Turning World 4:11 Eric Bibb
The Way You Are 3:11 Eric Bibb
Grass River 3:24 Jon Nicholson
Hero 5:44 Jon Nicholson
Please 3:59 Toni Braxton
I Wanna Be (Your Baby) 3:50 Toni Braxton
Easy Living 4:08 Howard Roberts
End Titles & Cast (From "Bad Day At Black Rock") 1:01 Andre Previn

 

UPDATE - NOVEMBER 24TH, 2005

It’s Thanksgiving again, but I’m harboring the most uneasy Thanksgiving thoughts I have ever had. Let’s take a moment and think about New Orleans and the transplanted people of Louisiana.


Here in Boston, it’s getting cold. In some ways, winter is here. I live in allegedly the most powerful country in the world. Today, our leader is gonna sit down with his family and eat a sumptuous feast. In nearby towns in Texas, transplanted New Orleans people have just been told their government subsidies have expired and they must find new places to live with no government help. Their former existence is already being auctioned off to various real estate barons to cash in on Katrina’s destruction. Unreal! There’s a house or two on my block (not mine) that have plaques on them proclaiming their historical signigance in the scheme of Boston things. Lord, if a CITY could have a plaque on it in this country, wouldn’t it be New Orleans ?? If a hurricane whupped DC like New Orleans, ya think it would still be in the same condition it was months ago ??? Ya think they’d say that the Lincoln or Washington Memorial shouldn’t even bother being rebuilt? That The White House will have to wait for FEMA to allocate a reconstruction budget? DAMN!!!! The birthplace of jazz, Cajun music, the home of Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Neville Brothers, The Meters, and most of all, the contingency of downright poor people who were able to survive and be supported by their fellow men & women are being totally ignored by the most powerful nation in the World while we spend billions in Iraq to “destroy terrorism” once & for all - right in front of all our faces.


As you would expect, donations have fallen off because time has moved on, and frankly, I don’t know where to send my money right now to save the city and all it’s displaced occupants. It’s the end of the year. A charitable donation can help out the donor as well as the recipient in this income-taxed crazed country. And I am sick about supporting he most powerful country in the world, ie; while New Orleans rots in front of our faces and our kids get shipped off to the abbatoirs of Iraq so that the wealthy Barons who TRULY run our country can fatten their oil stashes. If ya ask me, THEY are the weapons of mass destruction nowadays. Somebody who knows and reads this, please tell us a safe place to send our donations, so that the Crescent City and it’s displaced denizens are not freezing to death in a matter of months. I will update my website with that info. I hope you all have happier Thanksgivings than my whirling brain will allow me to have.

MUSIC is one of the few sidekicks that can get me through the tougher and insaner times of my life. In that spirit, may I present the music I have learned about in the last two months for your perusal, and then, hopefully, your listening salvation ??? Highlights this month are Kevin Gordon who has earned a master’s degree in Keith Richardian guitar styles; Von Frickle, an instrumental group from Illinois, who keep the spirit of Frank Zappa and The Dixie Dregs alive and fresh in our ears and Dwele, who could turn out to be the next Stevie Wonder. Enjoy yourselves. Next month- Al’s 50 best of 2005

OCTOBER-NOVEMBER iTUNES DOWNLOADS

Blue Star 3:13 Benny Carter
Tell Me You'll Wait for Me 5:35 Dr. John
Weekend Love 3:45 Dwele
Somekinda 5:14 Dwele & Antwan Gardner
Wake the Baby 3:57 Dwele & Boney James
A Pimp's Dream 4:34 Dwele
All I Want Is You 4:39 Gerald Levert
El Viti 4:04 Gerald Wilson Orchestra
Cry 4:06 James Blunt
You're Beautiful 3:33 James Blunt
Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word 4:53 Jimmy Scott
Why 4:36 Kirk Franklin & Stevie Wonder
Soul Lament 2:42 Kenny Burrell
Casino Road 4:20 Kevin Gordon
Find My Way 3:15 Kevin Gordon
Watching the Sun Go Down 3:58 Kevin Gordon
Make It Good 3:12 Kevin Gordon
Something Heavy 4:48 Kevin Gordon
24 Diamonds 4:22 Kevin Gordon
Greenwood Girls 4:57 Kevin Gordon
Sailin' Shoes (live) 6:19 Little Feat
A Man Needs a Woman 3:12 Z.Z. Hill
Stuck On You (stereo) 2:18 Elvis Presley
Are You Lonesome Tonight (stereo) 3:06 Elvis Presley
Bounce 3:20 George Huff
Djoloren 8:38 Roswell Rudd & The Mongolian Buryat Band
Behind the Mountains 2:56 Roswell Rudd, etc.
Blue Mongol 5:19 Roswell Rudd, etc.
The Leopard 5:02 Roswell Rudd, etc.
Follow 6:48 Susan Tedeschi
Evidence 3:43 Susan Tedeschi
I Can Deal With That 3:39 Dee Edwards
Coming Home 4:08 Johnny Van Zant
I Don't Know Why 2:48 Stevie Wonder
Nangaraba 4:32 Amadou & Mariam
Topsy 5:25 Lee Konitz
Giant Steps 5:27 Lee Konitz
Distant Light 4:02 Alex Lloyd
Free 3:51 Faded Me
Don't Blame the Man 3:06 Lou Pride
You Were Never Mine 3:53 Lou Pride
All Wound Up 4:40 Shady Grady
La Grange 9:18 G3
Tune for Tony 5:20 David Garfield
When I 4:51 Lisa Shaw
Tennessee Pride 3:08 Pinetop Seven
June 4:44 Pinetop Seven
Power 3:55 Smokie Norful
Power (Reprise) 1:09 Smokie Norful
The Plan 3:31 Matt Mays & Torpedo
II B.S. (Edit) 4:49 Charles Mingus
Just a Ride (Fatboy Slim Remix) 4:31 Jem
They (Acoustic) 3:15 Jem
Come Together 3:03 Agents of the Sun
Lover Of Love (Album Version) 3:17 Allen Toussaint
Every Day I Have to Cry 2:43 Arthur Alexander
Proud 4:19 Heather Small
Start The Car (Album Version) 5:06 Jude Cole
3 Cool Cats 2:57 Ry Cooder
It's Just Work for Me 5:54 Ry Cooder
In My Town 5:40 Ry Cooder
Poor Man's Shangri-La 5:25 Ry Cooder
Clair de lune 5:12 Francois-Joël Thiollier
Theme from "Mission Impossible" 3:58 Sly & Robbie
Mission Impossible (Album Version) 3:38 Jimmy Smith
Alone 4:24 Tommy Sims
What Christmas Means to Me 2:29 Stevie Wonder
I've Got a Life 4:06 Eurythmics
I Saved the World Today 4:26 Eurythmics
Waves 4:15 Marjorie Fair
Was It Just Another Love Affair 3:52 Eurythmics
Black Mask 3:35 The (International) Noise Conspiracy
Slaughter On Tenth Avenue 4:57 Conley Graves Trio
True Colors (Acoustic) 4:09 Cyndi Lauper
1000 Bulbs 3:58 Four Day Hombre
Koroto 4:51 Issa Bagayogo
Gnele 4:11 Issa Bagayogo
Refractions 4:52 Jimmy Smith
White Christmas (Album Version) 2:50 Marcus Johnson
I Will Follow 4:34 The Mob
Midnight 3:45 Novatone
Perfect 5:01 Novatone
Easy As You Love 5:51 Novatone
Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye 3:48 Peter Gallagher
Cubano Chant 4:13 Ray Bryant
Lonesome Traveler 3:12 Ray Bryant
Lover Man 8:52 Sonny Rollins & Coleman Hawkins
See No Evil (Remastered LP Version) 3:58 Television
Calling You 5:01 Jean Jeanrenaud & Paul McCandless
(You'll Be) Satisfied 3:53 Johnny Ray Allen
Didn't I 3:28 Darondo
Hosanna 5:07 Kirk Franklin
It's All Right 2:52 Wynton Kelly Trio
Room 1023 4:11 Ben Jelen
Butcher's Son 3:20 Bertine Zetlitz
The Ghost of You 4:00 Michael Learns to Rock
Box of Cassettes 3:54 Minmae
Kablam! 4:28 Von Frickle
Cranium Controller 3:25 Von Frickle
Shapeshifter 4:03 Von Frickle
Terra Firma Exodus 6:43 Von Frickle
Protoplasmic Squid Eater 3:20 Von Frickle
Harlem Nocturne 4:30 Illinois Jacquet
Hoppin' John 4:39 Cannonball Adderley
My Mother Told Me 2:57 Nat King Cole Trio
Colors (live) 2:39 Amos Lee
Seen It All Before (live) 4:16 Amos Lee
Arms of a Woman (live) 3:29 Amos Lee
Seasons of Love (New Version) 3:36 Anthem
Dedication 3:26 By Divine Right
Clapsoy 4:49 Gak Sato
Luxurious (Remix featuring Slim Thug) 4:24 Gwen Stefani
Gravity 5:49 John Mayer Trio
Post Humous (Live At The Mackie) 5:08 Morcheeba
Zenah 5:29 Nasser Kilad

_____________________________________

UPDATE - DECEMBER 16, 2005

Well, I have been pushed to the breaking point. I cannot contain my anger anymore. I have supported iTunes for two years now; especially monthly in this very space. I have watched it begin to unravel; management has let things slip to a level where I, as a loyal, paying customer, have been locked out .

Tuesday is supposed to be NEW RELEASE day. It is everywhere else in the industry. But iTunes can rarely post all the new releases by Tuesday. There is a page that has the new releases for the current week (all catagories in one list) plus the last three weeks as well in vertical columns. When they couldn’t publish on time, they would shift the columns so that the listings for December 6th, the week before, would now temporarily occupy the space for December 13th, the current week until they could post the real ones two or three days later. Do they think that regular customers don’t notice deceptions like that ? The problem is obviously understaffing: not enough people to meet the deadline ontime. It is now 4 AM on December 15th. I STILL cannot access the new releases supposedly running on December 13th, because when I click on the Store, it says:


“iTunes cannot connect to the Music Store. Make sure your internet connection is intact and try again.”


How insulting!!!!
My internet connection IS intact. It’s obvious they’ve shut off access to the store ‘cause they don't wanna pay more people to have it ready to be open. And should you want to communicate with iTunes to complain ? There is no way to send them an email to complain and get a reply. Even as an industry insider, with friends working at Apple, I can find no way into iTunes. It’s VERY hush-hush. So this is the ONLY way I can vent my displeasure - in public - cause there is no other choice.
There is no attempt to upgrade information to the consumer, If I find a band I like and know nothing about, iTunes ain't gonna help me know anything about that band. It’s come to the point where the listings are starting to get sloppy - i.e. - a hiphop group categorized as “country,” etc. I’ve had two releases on iTunes as an artist, and when they were initially listed, there were many info errors in the listings. It took a week to get them corrected. That’s an important week where the listing is unreachable for someone interested in downloading. So now, I cant even get IN THE STORE at all and they suggest the reason is I dont know how to hook up my signal path properly. G-R-R-R-R !!!!

The time, my friends, is ripe for someone else to come along and sweep me off my feet, and take me away from iTunes. XM & Sirius are courting me, but if I go there, no artist gets paid if I record off the radio.
That doesn’t sit right in my moral cavity. I can't go the free download way for the same reason, but I understand why people go there. The record companies have become dead holes for sales or reality. After being robbed by them for decades, I’m enjoying their panic and gross errors in judgement for all the world to see this time. The analogy of The Prez saying we went to war because he got bad info from the CIA, is very similar to what the record companies are doing - they both employ apologetic words that smell funny. We knew that info was bad four years ago. How come HE didn’t? And why doesn’t our so-called esteemed leader know that the enemy in Iraq is picking off our troops 3 or 4 at a time everyday in a way that can’t be stopped by democracy, the greatest military force in the world, or the Iraqis themselves. We are out of our understanding of how to deal with enemies we can't just drop bombs on. We couldn’t win in Viet Nam, and it’s patently obvious we can't even take care of the Katrina victims in our OWN country, because we’re pouring billions into the misinformed war that is making the oil barons amazingly richer.
And now, when I try to escape from all this with a little music, I am told I can’t log on AT ALL for half a day so far. Bush and iTunes have started to have similar approval ratings, except Bush is trying to do something about it.

Happy holiday of your choice and in the coming year, let us, as a nation, try and express our feelings more aggresively to those in charge, so that hopefully, domestic homelessness caused by casualties of summer are not frozen dead in the streets in winter, because there’s no money left to house them cause Iraq needs democracy. Sounds unreal, doesn’t it ? And poor people have to move to India instead of a major US city to get a job from the OEA - Outsource Employment Agency. Right now, I’m thankful I dont have comparatively long to live, but it breaks my heart to think of the legacy my grandchildren will have to deal with after I’m gone. Remember when America looked forward to the summer ??? Let’s take care of ourselves FIRST, before we go out into the rest of the world to help people based on misinformation (passed bucks, as they say) And someone who knows how to start a petition to Steve Jobs, please start one and I’ll gladly sign.

 

UPDATE - FEBRUARY 8th, 2006

First, I would like to thank all those who sent in birthday greetings. It’s nice to be remembered, even if you are sixty two years old.

For those who asked, I am not introducing Lynyrd Skynyrd at the RRHOF show. As a matter of fact, I was not invited to attend as well. So much for that.

Vis-à-vis, music at the Super Bowl.
The pre-game (Stevie Wonder, Aretha, Aaron Neville, etc.) was one of the most embarrassing mixes I have ever heard go out over the air. I am aware that its a less than ideal venue for music, but to bury the voices of these great singers; to have a Motown tribute with barely any bass and drums is ludicrous. The Rolling Stones mix was exemplary comparatively. I know it’s a much smaller band, but they had to put a huge stage in place in a short time and well.......the old men rocked! In this day & age, there’s hardly an excuse for the disrespect the others received
aurally.

Staying right on last month’s Update topic, iTunes just took another leap over the crevice. Without choosing the latest update, you are unable to download anything from the store. And when you download that update,you can no longer download into places you could before from iTunes; preventing you from dealing outside iTunes with your PURCHASED selections. They have now become as greedy and sickening as the record companies themselves. They have eliminated choices from their functioning repertoire. You MUST download their new update or you are shutout from purchasing. I now must agree with all those I have defended iTunes against - it’s over. They’ve crossed the line more than once and I am in search of a new digital store to shop in ASAP. There are rumors that Google is preparing to open such a store. If so - I’m THERE!!!

I must apologize profusely to my San Francisco fans for canceling my engagement there the day of the show. The venue inexplicably would not allow me to sound check, and at the risk of putting on a bad show beyond my control, I canceled the show. There are a few complicated bits in the show that MUST be worked out beforehand and It was a difficult choice in that it was sold out and I felt really bad about that part. But the canceled sound check was actually the last straw in an ongoing communication problem with the venue. They would take MONTHS to return phone calls or e-mails, nearly causing a cancellation in an effort to merely just confirm the booking. No signed contract. No deposit. The sad part was that they denied doing this, not even apologizing. I play these shows because I enjoy them. If you take the enjoyment out for me, than all that’s left is the money and they don’t pay me enough to leave the house just for that. So I am searching for a new venue in the Bay area and hopefully I can make up for not appearing this month. Again - my sincerest apologies to all those that supported me and please know that it does not go unappreciated or taken for granted.

I have gotten many e-mail queries about the ongoing production on the Mike Bloomfield box set. It is still in the works. I have found new areas to check for unreleased material and going through that material has slowed the process down. I will not suggest a release date, but I am doing my best to make this as compleat a package as I can, and that unfortunately, takes time. I am gambling that the wait will be worth the weight.

A rare album I produced in the Sixties, APPALOOSA, is now available on CD at www.ccmusic.com. They never sent me one so I cant vouch for the quality of mastering, but I can for it’s existence.

A first - a live DVD of The Rekooperators from about 2000, will be for sale on February 28th through Kultur Video. It is a PBS special than ran sometime that year. For details see http://www.kultur.com/page/kultur/PROD/new_releases/D3137
We will attempt to sell this on our webstore ASAP.

I am taking this month off travelling-wise, to bring my health up
a notch or two, and catch up on voluminous paperwork. Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone - a great time to listen to Steve Earle’s great song - “Valentine’s Day.” See ya next month with the lions and the lambs.

Al Kooper

AL KOOPER’S FIFTY TOP TRAX 2005


Every year I pick my top 50 faves. Except for #1, they’re only in a best listening order; programmed like a radio show. Choosing an order based on quality is foolish here. They’re all fun to have around in my opinion. But out of a thousand downloads, they are the best !!

1. Calling Up My Bad Side - (Campbell, Sean/Weather)
Weather
Produced by Evan Brubaker
My favorite all around track of the year, Really stayed with me. Walkin’ around singin’ this all da time Kudos to producer Evan Brubaker

2. Everything Changed - (Hales, Matt)
Aqualung
Produced by James Copperthwaite
One of the Brian Wilson influenced crowd. A unique track with a lot of originality as well. Pleasant on the ears.

3. Protoplasmic Squid Eater - (Fehr)
Von Frickle
Just when the words Zappa, ELO & Dixie Dregs start to escape the vocabulary, here comes this Illinois instrumental band thats not afraid of time signatures, keys or tempo changes. Frank woulda liked this song‘s title as well.

4. Scream Team - (Deerhoof)
Deerhoof
Not for everyone but this is my current favorite band. This is from their new, best album. Kinda The Who meets Bjork meets Cocteau Twins

5. Stained Glass Window - (Davis, J/Superdrag)
John Davis
Produced by R.S. Fields, John Davis
More Brian Wilson in a next generation way. Very well performed and arranged. A nod to producer RS Fields.

6. Start the Car (Album Version) - (Cole, J.)
Jude Cole
Produced by Jude Cole and James Newton Howard
A guilty pleasure. A great pop record. Rockin with great production. Could actually be a Top 40 guy......but I wouldn’t know, I dont listen to commercial radio

7. Those Three Days - (Williams, Lucinda)
Lucinda Williams
Produced by Taras Prodaniuk and Lucinda Williams
From her live album. Great performance of a great song. Love those lyrics.

8. Keep Hope Alive - (C. Callins, T. Callins, M. Ripoli)
Pee Wee Callins
Produced by Todd Callins
Modern r&b gospel with more accent on the r&b. Makes ya sing along and the way things are going today, this is quite an appropriate anthem.

9. Shine It All Around - ( Adams, Justin/Dreamer, Clive/Plant, Robert/Baggot, John/Tyson, Skin)
Robert Plant and the Strange Sensations
Finally, a non-Zep track from Robert that stands on its own. Good band too. New career legs, I’d say

10. Proud - (Vettese, Peter John/Small, Heather)
Heather Small
Produced by Peter John Vettese and Ollie Marland
Maybe a modern version of “Oh Happy Day” at least the first 90 seconds. Nice singer, appropriate production, good song. A totally out of nowhere track. What have YOU done today to make you feel proud?

11. I'll Be Your Shelter (In the Time of Storm) - (Hampton, Carl Jackson, Raymond/Banks, Homer)
Terry Evans
Produced by Phil Bloch and Terry Evans
Used to be one of Ry Cooder’s backup singers. Made a few albums and disappeared for awhile . Welcome back Terry - you’ll always make that now-extinct 60’s deep soul sound. Could be Ry on slide as well.

12. Watching The Sun Go Down - (Gordon, K.)
Kevin Gordon
Produced by Kevin Gordon and Joe McMahan
A man with a degree in Keith Richardian guitarsound. His entire album reeks of that. I Hope Keith hears this - he’ll know he can die happy now.

13. Death Came a Knockin' (Travelin' Shoes) - (Traditional) Ruthie Foster
Produced by Lloyd Maines
I would come outa retirement to produce this voice. Great singer.
Anytime Ruthie - just send an email !!!!

14. Swing It Around - (Stanley, J./Davis, S./Costa, Nikka)
Nikka Costa
Produced by Justin Stanley and Nikka Costa
After a so-so first album, Nikka blew the doors out with her 2005 release. Coulda used ANY track but I like the intro and the Family Stone-ness of this one. A sadly-overlooked rockin’ album

15. Sure Boy - ( Patterson, Rahsaan/Hunt, Van)
Rahsaan Patterson
Produced by Jamey Jaz , Les Pierce , Soulshock , Karlin , Rahsaan Patterson
Modern r&b with no rapping. Nice chords and great singing. Easy on the ears.

16. Alone - (Sims, Tommy)
Tommy Sims
Stayin’ in the Memphis citylimits, Tommy tips his tophat to Willie Mitchell, Al Green and the studio crew at Royal Recorders. This puts a smile on my face in a scant 60 seconds.

17. You Helped Me Write This Song
Ron Isley
First you take that VOICE and SINCERITY and ya got yourself a from-the-soul lovesong here. Dont get much better than this

18. Drive - (The Cars)
Ziggy Marley
Produced by Ziggy Marley (for the 50 First Dates Soundtrack)
The Cars in Trenchtown?? Who would-a thought? Works quite well actually - nice vocals by Royal Ziggy.

19. Don't Trip On Your Way Out - (Shimmer)
Shimmer
Produced by Evan Brubaker and Troy Glessner
I love when somebody grew up on The Faces and DOES something about it. Great track. Cant wait for this band’s next album.

20. Cry Sometimes - (Thiele, Bob/Earl, Kate)
Kate Earl
Produced by Tony Berg
A sure top-ten if this had come from Norah Jones. I’ll wait while the world catches up to Kate Earl. Great piano trio backup

21. Power - (Caldwell, Cedric/Caldwell, Victor/Norful, Smokie ) Smokie Norful
Produced by George Duke , Percy Bady , Cedric Caldwell , Tommy Sims , Myron Butler
More Gospel r&b also with more than a nod to Sly. I cannot sit still when this comes on. Groove-a-licious

22. Where I Came From - (Gerald Toto)
Gerald Toto, Lokua Kanza & Richard Bona
Just in case one forgets how magnificent and wide-ranging African music is, The Crosby Stills and Nash of Kenya pontificate.

23. Tribe - (Porter, Willy/Mir, Brian/Meixner, Matt/Phillips, Glen)
Willy Porter
Produced by Willy Porter and Ben Misch
I found Willy on iTunes although he’s been around for awhile, he had escaped my radar. A massive acoustic guitarist, singer-songwriter, this Wisconsin native can make your jaw drop live. So here’s a track from his latest live album, “High Wire.” That’s just him,solo-no overdubs!

24. Eveline - (Thile, Chris/Watkins, Sara)
Nickle Creek
Produced by Tony Berg and Eric Valentine
No it’s not NickleBACK!!!!! This is a great band with great writing. Chris Thile fears no chord change and plays great mandolin. If they opened for the Dixie Chicks, they could steal the show (musically)

25. The Avalanche - (Stevens, S.)
Sufjan Stevens
Produced by Sufjan Stevens
This is Brian Wilson-esque structure but it dont sound anything like the BBs. This is a unique, clever up & comer with a great album (Illonoise) which this track is from, Very satisfying creatively....

26. Wild Horses - ( Jagger, Mick/Richards, Keith )
Faultline & Joseph Arthur
Produced by Joseph Arthur, Faultline, Jacob Golden
Smacks of the 80’s, but flawlessly done; great backup vocal arrangement. Not an easy track to cover, but
good earcandy, nonetheless...

27. A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left - (Bird, A.)
Andrew Bird
Produced by Andrew Bird and David Boucher
I could do without the first minute of this, but then it’s so nice to hear fresh music, non-emulative.. There are WAY too many tracks today born of U2. This aint one of ‘em

28. I Hear Your Voice - (Davis, John Superdrag) John Davis
Produced by R.S. Field , John Davis
This is so close to Brian Wilson, it’s nearly legally actionable, but if you’re like me and you love Brian, you’ll love this. He aint that easy to imitate musically in the first place - remember that.....

29. Boxcar Racer - (Harris, Stephen/Reynolds, Luke)
Blue Merle
Produced by Tim Lauer, Stephen Harris
Catchy, mandolin-y, and happy. Cheers me up sometimes. I dont mind that the words are pensive; the track’s got a great bounce

30. I’ve Got A Life - (Lennox, Annie/Stewart, David A.)
Eurythmics
Produced by The Eurythmics and Adam Williams
They just won’t go away. I mistakenly wrote them off and they bent my ear with this current single. Annie does keep getting better & better.

31. Just Like Greta - (Morrison, Van)
Van Morrison
Produced by Van Morrison
The people that like my music relate to the lyrics. I relate to this song. No matter what, he’s ALWAYS got one or two goodies up his sleeve each album - sometimes many more. I’m a lifelong fan

32. In My Head - ( Lanegan, Mark/Freese, Josh/Homme, Josh/Johannes, Alain/VanLeeuwen, Troy/Castillo, Joey)
Queens of the Stone Age
Produced by Joe Barresi , Josh Homme
They didnt get me with the first album. This one’s tasty though, from the 2005 second album. Pretty melodic for The Stone Age. Saw a live video of them - they’re a lotta fun live.

33. Black Mask - ( Strõmberg, Lars/International Noise Conspiracy/Lyxzén, Dennis/Dahlberg, Ludwig/Johansson, Ing)
The (International) Noise Conspiracy
Produced by Rick Rubin
What a great life producer Rick Rubinmust have. In between Johnny Cash and Neil Diamond, he produced THIS?????? I’m a little jealous

34. Easy As You Love - (Novatone)
Novatone
Produced by Barrett Jones, Martin Feveyear
SOMEBODY in this band likes The Zombies. I’m not quite sure which one it is yet. The ending aint very Zombie-esque AT ALL however

35. Almost Honest - ( Firstman, Joe/Kelley, Josh)
Josh Kelley
Produced by Matrix , Jim Scott , Joe Firstman , Matt Wallace , Rick Parker
Here comes a whiteboy sincere song. Pretty real. I bought it.

36. Easy
Bottle of Justus
This is radio pocket commercial music but I enjoyed it more than once. Don’t think it caught on but its all there anyways if ya like.

37. Soul Suckers - (Lee, A.)
Amos Lee
Produced by Barrie Maguire, Lee Alexander
Great new white soul singer on his Blue Note debut. Opened for Dylan and played on the Today Show. As good live as on the record

38. Man Of God - (Gilkyson, Eliza)
Eliza Gilkyson
Produced by Mark Hallman
She’s from a strong musical family featuring brother/guitarist Tony, and 50’s hot composer/dad Terry. Here’s a topical swat at American politics that reeks of vintage Dylan. The real thing in 2005

39. The Young Monk - (Traditional) Bill Frisell
Produced by Lee Townsend
Bill, who rarely disappoints, sounds like he’s employing an ethnic Asian stringed instrument of some sort to carry this over. It’s workin, Bill !!!

40 Spain - (Corea, Chick)
Chick Corea- solo/live
I stopped playing acoustic piano many years ago. It’s a formidable physical opponent for me and I’m too old for that now. But there are others who were ALWAYS up to the physical and intellectual challenge and here’s one of my favorites live with no studio chicanery

41. Forever Changed - (Lindsey, "Bucky"/Penn, Dan/Whitsett, Carson)
Bobby Purify
Produced by Dan Penn
A great voice brought back by soulmeister Dan Penn.
Uhhhh - this ain’t LOVE. It’s Southern love......

42. Who Invented the Wheel - (Smith, Anthony/Wiseman, Craig/Terry, Bobby)
Trisha Yearwood
Produced by Garth Fundis
Trisha’s a great one. I played on her first album and watched her talent continuosly bloom. This is a good country lyric. And ya gotta love the producer’s name.

43. Trying to Find Atlantis - (Waters, Chris/Turner, Zach)
Jamie O'Neal
Produced by Keith Stegall, Rivers Rutherford, Jamie O’Neal
Every year there’s at least one guilty pleasure and this is one of this years. It’s a country track fer chrissakes!!! Great lyric especially for the Sex In The City crowd. Jamie sings: “A girl tryin to find the perfect man is/ like tryin’ to find Atlantis.........”.

44. Things the Grandchildren Should Know - (Everett, Mark Olive) The Eels
Produced by Mark Oliver Everett
This was eerie. To me, the lyric describes me EXACTLY. I don’t know these people at all so it’s comforting to know there are others as whack as I am. Appropriately, simply done. Just the right temperature

45. Love Me Like a River - (Bystrom/Hoist, Anders)
Anders Holst
Produced by Alar Suurna , Mervyn Warren , Anders Holst
At first I just fell for the arrangement & orchestration, so what’s wrong with THAT???

46. No One Left To Lie To - (Castro, T./Bowe, K.)
Tommy Castro
Produced by Tommy Castro, Kevin Bowe, Steve Spirn, and Gordon Brislawn
The blue-eyed bluesman pushes through the ranks and sticks out with this well-done ballad. Ya got me, Tommy - nicely done. Shoulda been nominated for SOME blues award.....

47. Why Does It Take - (Jones, Jamie/Pennock, Jason/Neuble, Monty) Jamie Jones
Produced by Martin Kember, Monty Neuble
Modern R&B in a slowish groove, but not THAT slow. Jamie does some Al Green and we’re all there. Very well done and a great listen.

48.Hosanna - (Franklin, K.)
Kirk Franklin
Produced by Kirk Franklin, Sanchez Harley, Bobby Sparks, and Chris Godbey
Kirk Franklin is the foremost exponent of Andrae Crouch in the black gospel field. Andrae is a big influence on me so I support Kirk’s funk. Here’s some of that fuh ya right now. If you like this, don’t miss the masterpiece from a few years ago “(You Keep On) Lookin Out For Me”

49. Just Say So
Bettye LaVette
Produced by Joe Henry
She made a ripple in the 60’s (a good one too) now she;s older wiser and could scare Mavis Staples with that voice. A great track; very intimate and I just love that voice. We’ll be playing on the same bill in Denmark this summer. Can’t wait

50. Carwash
Howling Diablos
Produced by Tino Gross
If ya dont get to hear enough Howling Wolf, Captain Beefheart or old Canned Heat, just slip this on. It’s da real thing in it’s own way. Glad this crossed my path - like an old black cat...

If ya download EVERY TRACK
What a great Xmas present to yourself
and it’s less than fifty bucks.
Cheaper than filling the tank of your SUV nowadays

 

UPDATE MARCH 23, 2006

As I sat on the couch watching The Rock and Roll Hall Of Shame VH1 debacle, I noted the highlights:


      Frank Infante, guitarist for Blondie,thanked everyone, but lamented that he wasn’t allowed to perform, this night of nights. He looked into Debbie Harry’s eyes and said “Please ????Pretty please ?.....” Debbie wallked over to him and kissed him on the cheek: “No!” she said, pointing to stage left. “You can see my band is set up there ready to go...” and mentioned their names. Frank smiled and said “Your band?? I’m sorry, I thought they were inducting Blondie...”
      The show opened with a tribute to the late Wilson Pickett. King Solomon Burke sat on his usual throne, recognizable to most all, but a female vocalist was introduced so softly in the mix, that she could not and no labeling under her singing helped the situation. I still don’t know who it was.
      Black Sabbath, a band that influenced me not at all (different genres) were introduced wonderfully by James Hetfield of Metallica. Sabbath chose not to perform, and Metallica played Sabbath hits. Sad....
      Kid Rock’s intro of Lynyrd Skynyrd might as well have been delivered by a parking attendant. You all know that I live by the mantra “If you don’t expect anything, you’re never disappointed..” I had previously watched two separate Skynyrd “rockumentaries” on VH (very hateful) 1  that failed to mention my name at all. Friends had offered that my name doesn’t fit into the VH1 mentality - I thankfully accept that. When Ronnie Van Zant’s widow approached the microphone to thank those that helped her late husband in his formative stages, she gave the nod to his parents and Tom Dowd. I shook my head and smiled. A rather sardonic grin, however.

On the performing front, we have been hired to play The Russian River Blues Fest outside San Francisco on June 17th. This will afford me the opportunity to play out West backed by a band for the first time since the 80’s. The Funky Faculty will be in tow and we are trying to secure bookings at the same time in LA and Orange County. West Coasters, cross your fingers...we are trying. Just in case you read the update but don’t make it to the LIVE section of the website, here is what’s coming your way up to date:
w/ The Funky Faculty unless otherwise noted:

FAIRFIELD, CT STAGE ONE (SOLO) 3/25/06
VIENNA, VA THE BARNS AT WOLFTRAP 4/6/06
FORLI, ITALY NAIMA CLUB 4/29/06
CITTANOVA, ITALY TEATRO GENTILE 5/1/06
BERGEN, NRWY BERGEN MUSIC FEST 5/3/06
COPENHAGEN, DK AMAGER BIO 5/5/06
ODENSE, DK ODENSE INTERNATIONAL BLUES 5/6/06
NEWMARKET, NH THE STONE CHURCH (SOLO) 5/21/06
GUERNEVILLE CA RUSSIAN RIVER BLUESFEST 6/17/06
ISOLA URI, ITALY TOWN SQUARE 7/13/06
PISTOLA, ITALY PISTOLA BLUES FESTIVAL 7/14/06
ARBATAX ITALY ROCCE,ROSSE & BLUESFEST 7/16/06

I have begun work on the follow-up to the Black Coffee album. I still have much material from the past to sift through, but I am also attempting to co-write with some great ones as well. Meanwhile, I’m down the basement in the studio in my spare time, bangin’ em out. No release date is set yet.

We have an offer to republish "Backstage Passes and Backstabbing Bastards" that is currently being negotiated. Again, cross your fingers....

I am searching for an iTunes replacement but alas there is none I can find as of yet. They continue their screwups without informing the clientele, the latest of which is changing the listing in your creditcard billing from the logical iTunes to Apple Computer Software. GRRRR!!!!
However, below is listed some great music I suggest you download somehow.......Pick of this update is UK group Field Music - the whole album ROCKS! Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise is the barband I want at my local bar......Maxeen, descended from Police listens, sound fresh as a daisy in a Police-less world. Check em out

AL’S DOWNLOADS JANUARY, FEBRUARY & MARCH 2006

Juicebox     The Strokes
Heart In a Cage    The Strokes
Vision of Division  The Strokes
Peg o' My Heart   Jerry Murad's Harmonicats
On the Alamo    Jerry Murad's Harmonicats
Harbor Lights    Jerry Murad's Harmonicats
Do I Move You (Version II)    Nina Simone
Open My Heart    Yolanda Adams
To Be a Cat     Michelle Shocked
Wish Upon a Star    Michelle Shocked
Confess    V
Here, There and Everywhere    Memphis All-Stars
What He Done for Me    The Violinaires
Anytime Soon    Tommy Castro
Hide and Seek    Imogen Heap
Arrival    Carsick
All Satellites    Frankel
Vacation, Asphyxia, Vacation    The Ladies
Empathy On a Stick    The Ladies
Non-threatening    The Ladies
Nice Chaps, Buddy    The Ladies
And Them     The Ladies
Love Is    Latrice
Lessons  Learned    Latrice
WWII    Three Fantastic
Etude de Pop    Three Fantastic
I Have a Plan    Three Fantastic
Set Me Free    Myron Butler & Levi
Always     Take My Hand
Am I Reaching You Now    Train
All I Hear     Train
The Only Thing I Care About    Eels
Poor Side of Town     Eels
I'm Going to Stop Pretending That I Didn't Break Your Heart    Eels
Forget Yourself     Agnes Chan, Andy Vargas & J.R. Richards
Feel (w/Horns)    Chicago
Oh Me, Oh My    Imogen Heap
Candlelight    Imogen Heap
If I Should Lose You     Nina Simone
Friend of Mine (Radio Edit)     Kelly Price, R. Kelly & Ronald Isley
Faith     Shawn Mullins
Don't Be That Way     Tony Monaco
The Lily of the West (Instrumental)     P.G. Six
Circle of Love     Sisaundra Lewis
The Getaway (Lonesome Train)     Ray Davies
Girl I Wanna Lay You Down (Intrnlnl Version)     ALO & Jack Johnson
Can't Work It - Heavy Handed Mix     Lime
Betcha By Golly Wow     Maysa
Ocean Song     Metal Hearts
Custard Pie     Eric Gales
How Sweet It Is     Cissy Houston
We Can Win     Edgar Winter
Can You Be True?     Elvis Costello
Fireflies     Rhett Miller & Rachael Yamagata
I Can't Do This (Shane Wilson Remix)     Plumb
Blush (Only You)     Plumb
Bittersweet     Plumb
Manic     Plumb
Can't Let Go     Anthony Hamilton
My Joy (Live Version)     Leela James
Other Side Of The World     Kt Tunstall
Another Place To Fall     Kt Tunstall
Universe & U     Kt Tunstall
No Place to Fall     The Little Willies
Roll On     The Little Willies
Max-O-Man     Fourplay
If Only The Moon Were Up     Field Music
Tell Me Keep Me     Field Music
Pieces     Field Music
Luck is a Fine Thing     Field Music
Shorter Shorter     Field Music
It's Not the Only Way To Feel Happy     Field Music
17     Field Music
Like When You Meet Someone Else     Field Music
You Can Decide     Field Music
Got To Get The Nerve     Field Music
Got To Write a Letter     Field Music
You're So Pretty...     Field Music
You're Not Supposed To     Field Music
Trying to Sit Out     Field Music
I'm Tired     Field Music
Careless Lies     Clear Static
Winter Moon     Art Pepper
When the Sun Comes Out     Art Pepper
Twist     Benny Greb
Drum 'n' Voice     Benny Greb
Grebfruit     Benny Greb
Work It Out     Roachford
I Am One of God's Children     June Davis
It Can Be Beautiful (Sometimes)     World Party
Love Make a Fool of Me     Al Anderson
Do What You Feel     Braxton Brothers
Fineline      Hey! Brontosaurus
Mollena     James Hunter
Providence     JD Duvall
Venture      Lanterna
Inkblot 11     Larry Carlton
Naked Truth     Larry Carlton
Back to the Well     Lee Roy Parnell
Saving Grace      Lee Roy Parnell
Cool Breeze      Lee Roy Parnell
The Light Is Still On     The Tennessee Boltsmokers
Smoking Gun     The Tennessee Boltsmokers
Blue In Green (Take 3)     The Bill Evans Trio
Time Remembered     Bill Evans & Stan Getz
The World Is Going to Hell      Burns Out Bright
Optimistic Nihilistic     Burns Out Bright
Why Don't You Play the Organ, Man     Memphis Black
Time To Discover    Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise
Baby     Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise
Shake It Off     Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise
Bellybone     Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise
For The Night     Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise
Ride     Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise
Freedom's a Stranger      Scott Miller & the Commonweath
Summer's Coming      Sean Watkins
Home Cooking     Tony Allen
Ohoopee River Bottomland      Larry Jon Wilson
Sinner's Algebra      ActionReaction
Middle Man     Berry
Small Town Talk [Single Version]      Bobby Charles
Don't Treat Me Dis Way      Bunny Rugs
Chain Lightning     Marian McPartland & Steely Dan
Soleil (Le mix de changement)     Maxeen
Take the Weight Off      Maxeen
Please      Maxeen
Love Goes a Long Way     Maxeen
Good Enough     Maxeen
White Flag     Maxeen
Lead Not Follow     Maxeen
Sweet Brother Malcolm     Richard Ashcroft
Kitty Jay    Seth Lakeman

UPDATE - MAY 16 2006


     Sorry for the delay. Lost a lot of friends in this time period. Gene Pitney, Little Buster, Phil Walden, Mike Kovins (head of KORG-USA), to name but a few. I am now at the age where a compulsory daily swing through the obits is not unusual. I used to be amused when I observed my parents at it, but it’s not humorous anymore.
     Our tour through Italy and Scandanavia went quite well. We were in little coastal towns in Italy. The food far outweighed the hotels and the band as well. Norway and Denmark had better hotels.  In Italy, something new happened. The audience started applauding for apparently no reason in the middle of a song. Not for a solo or a lyric, just all of a suddewn for no apparent reason. That was strange. In Scandanavia, they clapped for a really long time after each song. In retrospect, we would call it The Clap Tour, with a different meaning than it might have had in the sixties.
     Well we actually won an award. Black Coffee was named the Comeback Album Of The Year at the Memphis Blues Awards on May 11th. I can’t actually remember the last award I won, so it’s a rare thing. Thanks to everyone who voted for us; I’m very flattered. It was nice to see Black Coffee appreciated as I thought it might be the best album I ever made and none of my other solo albums ever won anything. Now I’m gearing up to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award on September 22nd at The Berklee Performance Center alongside people like Afrika Bambata and engineer Bruce Swedien for audio achievements. They don’t give these awards to young people, ya know. Just to folks who get up every morning and scan the obits for names of friends.
     Coming up is a very rare appearance in Northern California with my band behind me. It’s been at least twenty years since I’ve walked out onstage backed by my own band. The Funky Faculty and I will play The Russian River Bluesfest in Guernevere on June 17th at 3 PM opening for The Chicago Blues Reunion. If you can be there I recommend it.  We go back to Italy in July for three probable sweat-soaked festivals and so far we have a quiet August. I am currently bailing water out of the basement from the Boston flooding. Not fun.
     Have a great time in the good weather and we’ll talk soon.

Al Kooper

DOWNLOADS FOR APRIL-MAY 2006


      Irma Thomas’s new album is quite listenable. Have always loved the Yoshida Brothers! Slowly fell for Daniel Powter’s album. Some great tracks available from bluesman Mel Brown.
      Politics are strange: The Dixie Chicks got lambasted for practically nothing while Pink & Neil Young walk brazen & free. Gives ya a little more respect for the timing of The Dixie Chix; not to mention that previously forgotten First Amendment....

 

Canon      Yoshida Brothers
TsugaruJinku       Yoshida Brothers
Tsugaru Jongara Bushi       Yoshida Brothers
Blackbir / Word of Mouth       Jaco Big Band
When Can We Do This Again       Z.Z. Hill
Minority (Take 3)       The Cannonball Adderley Quintet
Hound Dog       Albert King
That's All Right       Albert King
Don't Be Cruel       Albert King
Magic Carpet       Chick Corea
The Slide       Chick Corea
Flamenco       Chick Corea
Africa Unite       Monty Alexander
How Do You?       Palace Lounge
Teresa       Pieces of a Dream
God Help Me       Rebecca St. James
I Need You       Rebecca St. James
The Way That I See You       The Squirts
Golden       The Squirts
Freedom Jazz Dance       Taylor Eigsti
Song 6       Daniel Powter
Free Loop       Daniel Powter
Suspect       Daniel Powter
Jimmy Gets High       Daniel Powter
Styrofoam       Daniel Powter
Hollywood       Daniel Powter
Lost On the Stoop       Daniel Powter
Take a Ride       The Isley Brothers
Al Fresco (9)       Bazaar
Grafton       Donny McCaslin
Someone to Love       Erin Boheme
I Can't Wait       Kieran Kane, Kevin Welch & Fats Kaplin
The Grinning Song       Larry Goldings
I Like Your Sister       Mel Waiters
Open the Door (Alternate)       Otis Redding
Dear Mr. President (Featuring Indigo Girls)       Pink & Indigo Girls
Can't Get You Out of My Mind       Sonya Kitchell
Let Me Go       Sonya Kitchell
Tinted Glass       Sonya Kitchell
Smash       Calexico
Lucky Dime       Calexico
I Want to Be Loved       Cassandra Wilson
Liar Liar       Alexz Johnson
Over-Rated       Alexz Johnson
Payola Blues       Albert Lee
(I'm a) Road Runner       Albert Lee
Your Eyes       Aloha
Mary Lou (Bonus track)       Big Joe Williams
It Rained All Night       Block
Sweet Potato Pie       Block
Color of Heaven       Block
Credo       Glory of Byzance
Back Against the Wall       Euphoria
Forever Dust       Euphoria
All My Lovin'       Nicole Booth
New Blood       Sai Ghose Quartet
Who's Cryin Now       Saving Jane
Soul Barrio Pt. 2       Sugarman Three
Spain       Tito Puente
Canadian Sunset       Wes Montgomery
Fried Pies (Take 1)       Wes Montgomery
Billy's Jeans Xaver       Fischer Trio
Waiting In Vain       Marie Carmen Koppel
Louie Louie       Toots & The Maytals
Sad to Know (You're Leaving)       Gregory Isaacs
Surfin'       Ernest Ranglin
54-46 Was My Number       Ernest Ranglin
None Shall Escape the Judgement       Ernest Ranglin
Don't Turn Around       Aswad
Roots Rocking       Aswad
World a Reggae       Ini Kamoze
Walls of Jericho       ALO
Hey Man       Ben Allison
Midnight Shift       Buddy Holly
I Won't Tell You       The Heroes
Quietly       The Heroes
Let Me Down Easy (Live)       Little Milton
I See the Rain       Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs
And Your Bird Can Sing       Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs
Ruby Mae       Mel Brown and The Homewreckers
Snap       Mel Brown and The Homewreckers
Billy Jean       Mel Brown and The Homewreckers
Goin Down Slow       Mel Brown and The Homewreckers
Trying to Sit Out       Field Music
Breakfast Song       Field Music
Feeding the Birds       Field Music
Test Your Reaction       Field Music
There's Been an Accident       Twilight Singers
The O of Adore       Tom Verlaine
"No One Else"       Amel Larrieux
Dear Mr. President       Pink featuring Indigo Girls
In the Middle of It All       Irma Thomas
Flowers       Irma Thomas
I Count the Tears       Irma Thomas
Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor       Irma Thomas
I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free       Irma Thomas
If You Knew How Much       Irma Thomas
Another Man Done Gone       Irma Thomas
Till I Can't Take It Anymore       Irma Thomas
These Honey Dos       Irma Thomas
Another Lonely Heart       Irma Thomas
Soul of a Man       Irma Thomas
Stone Survivor       Irma Thomas
Shelter In the Rain       Irma Thomas
Don't Be Too Long       Jacob Luttrell
Without You       Jacob Luttrell
If You Talk In Your Sleep (Long Version)       Little Milton
Let Rhythms Flow       Resurrectors
I'm Not Really Here       Tim Arnold
Ebony       Project Soul
How Can You Live In the Northeast?       Paul Simon
Everything About It Is a Love Song       Paul Simon
Satisfied       Ashley Monroe
When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again       Wiley Walker
Strange Man       Dorothy Love Coates
What He Done for Me       The Violinaires
For All We Know       Flip Phillips
God Blessed Our Love       Al Green
I Gotta Be More (Take Me Higher)       Al Green
Redemption       Andy Timmons
I Don't Know Why (I Love You)       The Brand New Heavies
Schopska Pesen       Bulgarian State Television Female Choir
Goin' On       The Flaming Lips
The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song       The Flaming Lips
Return to Freedom       Holly Stell
Perfect Shades of Blue (Remix)       Holly Stell
Phoenix       Cibelle
Goin' Down the Road       Clubheads
My Heaven Beneath the Stars       David Lasley
You Won't See Me       Dennis Brown
Stranger In Town       Pat Metheny Group
Preludes for Piano, Book I: La Fille aux cheveux de lin       Paul Jacobs

 

UPDATE JULY 10th 2006

Photo: Al Kooper

Vince Welnick - 1975

Farewells to Billy Preston & Vince Welnick. I got to work extensively with Vince when I produced the first Tubes album in 1975. Thats probably sonically the best record I ever made. Vince was an amazing keyboardist, right outa the box. He had no ego but still could play whatever was required of him with ease. Musically speaking, thats a deep complex album with wonderful keyboard parts throughout. I think we played four handed piano on portions of White Punks On Dope. Vince later became more widely known in the fatal keyboard chair of The Grateful Dead. I was amazed to find that Billy Preston was younger than me considering the amazing body of work he left behind. Love the various video clips of him from the Shindig TV show in the sixties, especially the Howling Wolf one.

Tomorrow I am off for the second half of our Italian tour which includes Sardinia and Milan. All diets will be suspended for one week! The food is magnificent and overshadows practically everything else except the scenery. Flying and driving-wise this is a particulary brutal schedule for the old man, but the Funky Faculty comforts me. They leadeth me beside still waters and keep me laughing in the most trying moments. If you get a chance, catch the homemade video of our last Eurotour at the top of this page. My first attempt at film editing.....

Looks like we’ll be back at BB Kings at the end of September and the annual solo January westcoast swing is expanding this year, hopefully to Seattle, Portland, Denver, Arizona and New Mexico. Work begins on the followup to Black Coffee with a few surprises I hope you will enjoy. The good/bad news is that my son turns forty in 2007. Now THAT'S wonderful and frightening at the same time.

In closing, in the press release for the Chicago Blues Reunion featuring Nick Gravenites, Harvey Mandel, Sam Lay, Barry Goldberg and Tracy Nelson, it proudly exclaims how Goldberg played organ behind Dylan at Newport in ‘65. Barry actually tagged along with Bloomfield to Newport and Mike offered Barry’s services to Dylan as PIANIST. Dylan asked if that was okay with me and of course it was. Bloomfield asked if Barry could sit in on a few tracks on Super Session and I assented to that as well, even including some photos of Barry in the packaging. So my payment back for all that is every city The Chicago Blues Reunion plays in, Goldberg gets newspaper credit for playing organ with Dylan at Newport in 1965. I’ve never said I co-wrote My Imagination with Gerry Goffin for Gladys Knight or that I played organ in The Electric Flag, so if ya get a minute, when the CBR comes to your town, write a letter to the editor and tell ‘em they should print the truth at least about rock n roll !!!

Have a great summer and stay cool

Al Kooper

Photo: David Gahr

Sound check, Newport '65 - Where's Barry Goldberg???

 

SUMMER DOWNLOADS FROM JUNE 2006

Chili Peppers just get better & better. Below are my faves from the new album. Don Caballero is not for everyone - drummers & guitarists will be the most appreciative. Five Horse Johnson play a great blues groove. Soulsister bring back the essence of Hall & Oates if you miss that. Ya wanna hear Joe Pesci sing? Try Secret Love by Joey DeFranesco at a terrifying tempo.Twinkie Clark is the Queen Of The Hammond Organ and any other keyboard her hands pass over. I’m not worthy!!!!!! With a name as screwy as Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Brought Low are the closest I’ve heard to the original band . India Arie is back with a Don Henley cover and The Heavy Blinkers do theBrian Wilson thang . Corrine Bailey Rae drops an impresssuve debut album - Lotta good stuff this month - Holdovers I can't stop singing: “How We Operate” by Gomez and “If OnlyThe Moon Were Up” by Field Music

 

See the World	  Gomez
Shackles (Praise You) Singers
Chasing Cars Snow Patrol
Hump de Bump Red Hot Chili Peppers
Hey Red Hot Chili Peppers
21st Century Red Hot Chili Peppers
Torture Me Red Hot Chili Peppers
Death of a Martian Red Hot Chili Peppers
Tell Me Baby Red Hot Chili Peppers
Just Perfect Tracy Bonham
It's Easier On Me Rosey
Afrihouse Sao Paulo Underground
Would U Lie? Tony Rich
Who Are You? World Party
Blind Love Dave Alvin
Sure We Had Knives Around Don Caballero
I Agree.....No!.....I Disagree Don Caballero
Moving Forward Hoobastank
Don't Tell Me Hoobastank
Come True The iOs
Blues Dues Joe Pass
The 11th Hour Marc Wagnon, Percy Jones & Tunnels
Steady As She Goes The Raconteurs
Mayday Mayday Takota
Suspicion (She Knows Me Too Well) Van Hunt
Innermost Door Anjani
Nu Nu Avishai Cohen
Into the Ocean (Calling You) Evermore
3 Hearts Five Horse Johnson
Ragged Company Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
Treat Me Right Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
In the Morning The Heavy Blinkers
Filtered Light The Heavy Blinkers
Gentle Strength The Heavy Blinkers
Let Go (Rock Soul Remix) Kierra Kiki Sheard
Reverie Yolanda Kondonassis
Four Seasons: Winter: II. Largo Yolanda Kondonassis
Since I Fell for You Coleman Hawkins
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes Coleman Hawkins
Fire Back About Your New Baby's Sex Don Caballero
I Quit The Bottle Rockets
By Your Side Donavon Frankenreiter
That's All Right Mose Allison
I Won't Let Go Till You Bless Me Rev. Robert Lowe
Today Zero 7
Starlight The Wailin' Jennys
Mama's Room Under the Influence of Giants
Take Five Deborah Henson-Conant
Swingin’ Shepherd Blues Deborah Henson-Conant
The Way to Your Heart Soulsister
Bye Bye Soulsister
Stay Strays Don't Sleep
Open Doors Waking Ashland
Out the Door Who Made Who
A Mighty Fortess / I Tried Him Twinkie Clark
My Trust Is In You Twinkie Clark
In Your Presence Twinkie Clark
L Vic Juris & John Etheridge
Split Personality Skatalites
Can't Get Over You Da'Ville
The First of Me Hoobastank
Call Me Frenchy Lisa Papineau
A Better Life The Brought Low
Dear Ohio The Brought Low
What Would Jesus Do? Chris Thomas King
Monsters Danielle Evin
Don't Wait Dashboard Confessional
In a Big Country Dashboard Confessional
Stolen Dashboard Confessional
Drifter DecembeRadio
Midnight Dream Hacienda Brothers
The Heart of the Matter India.Arie
Secret Love Joey DeFrancesco
Little Black Angels Jonah Smith
Killing Time Jonah Smith
Till It Happens to You Corinne Bailey Rae
I'd Like To Corinne Bailey Rae
Choux Pastry Heart Corinne Bailey Rae
Fred & Cessi 2 Guitar Viols
Swanee River Boogie Dr. John

 

UPDATE AUGUST 28TH 2006


R.I.P. Bruce Gary and Ed Thrasher


I borrowed the new Dylan “Encyclopedia” from a friend who must have money to burn, and was quite disappointed in the inaccuracies and lack of proper encyclopedic journalism in author Michael Gray’s tough to please stance.
I always thought an encyclopedia was a haven for true facts reported in an unopinionated manner. Neither is so in this Dylan rip-off. Ironically, the Encyclopedia Britannica hired me in 2000 to write the Bob Dylan entry, and I must honestly say, that it is reported in a factual, concise, unopinionated manner. Having spent much more time with the subject matter in-person than Mr. Gray (if only he wrote that way) I am always sensitive to factual errors. And Mr. Gray, as far as I can recall (of course) never interviewed me for his masterwork.
Instead of dwelling on his critical slaps in the face, I will point out the errors I found in the first few paragraphs: He has me performing with the Blues Project at Monterey Pop which I did not as I had just quit the band. He has me moving to the West Coast to form BS&T, which any fan could tell you was eventually formed in New York. And when are these morons gonna learn that if you cover someone’s song, your main intention is not to compete with the original version ? If this was the case, than no one would ever sing a Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Al Green or for that matter, Bob Dylan song....except Michael Bolton!
He repeats other errors that have been made consistently
(claims Blond on Blonde was cut in TWO separate trips to Nashville, it was actually one ten day stay in the winter) And when you tell these alleged journalists the truth, they deny it and back it up with studio paperwork which they obviously have no idea how to translate. If I was there and he wasn’t, who would YOU think was telling the ACTUAL true story ??????
At any rate, as a piece of factual research, it sucks. 60% of the entries are gossipy padding and frankly, his microscope is boring and inaccurate. Other than that, I loved it. My dear friend writer Andy McLenon suggests Oliver Trager’s Dylan Encyclopedia published by Billboard, who took BACKSTAGE PASSES & BACKSTABBING BASTARDS out of print. So hurry if you want Trager’s less expensive, allegedly more accurate tome.

I am slowly getting the followup to Black Coffee in order, planning-wise. We should return to the studio February-April, and with some luck, be done in May. I was fortunate enough to collaborate with the legendary lyricist Gerry Goffin on a new song, and I am excited to include that. There’s a song I wrote in 1970, that seems amazingly timely today lyrically that I’d love to include, and various covers that I hope you will enjoy. Gig-wise, after January, I hibernate 'til winters end and so the album will get done and so will, hopefully, the legendary undone Bloomfield Boxset. My book still remains out of print, and FYI, I don't make a penny on those inflated Ebay sales! If you haven't read it, your true best bet of reading it inexpensively is a library rental - I believe that's still free
I am frankly embarrassed by the bootleg BS&T show that is making the rounds. Really bad sound and not a particularly great night for the lads. Unfortunately it is the only known live recording of the original band. However, the included interview with Jim Fielder from 1968, sure makes Steve Katz & Bobby Colomby’s claims to have started the band even more ridiculous than they already are.
Interesting forthcoming gigs are the Milestone Awards event at The Berklee Performance Center in Boston on 9/22, Al & The Funky Faculty at BB Kings in NYC on 9/24, A rare one-off rockabilly trio show, with nothin but 50’s songs at The Turning Point in upstate NY on 10/14, and a radio show taping of that at The Living Room on the Lower East Side in NYC on 10/15, The Tribute To Dylan Show at Lincoln Center on 11/9 with 20 acts each doing one song and we aint sayin’ which ones.
In January, I am playing my annual west coast solo tour. At the moment it includes: Harlows in Sacramento on 1/6, The Throckmorton Theater in Mill Valley on 1/10, Acoustic Music SanDiego you-know-where on 1/12, McCabes in Santa Monica on 1/14, The Triple Door in Seattle on 1/17, and The Aladdin Theater in Portland, OR on 1/21. I am trying to add an AZ and CO date as well. Cross your fingers. Show times & tix details eventually turn up at the LIVE button on the homepage.

So enjoy the last vestiges of summer and the beauteous beginnings of autumn and then I will post again right here.

Al Kooper

JULY-AUGUST DOWNLOADS 2006

Tribal Stomp  	Burning Sky
Streets Paved With Gold (Radio Edit) Celloman
Easy Going Henning Pertiet & Michael Maass
I Sure Would Jess Klein
Blues Etude Joe Pass, Oscar Peterson & Ray Brown
Waiting On the World to Change John Mayer
Lowazo Kanda Bongo Man
Yonde Love Me Kanda Bongo Man
Gold Tooth Kelly Joe Phelps
Move With You Pork Tornado
Nellie Jean The Slip
Through the Wire The Soul Providers
Winter Games The Chris Walden Big Band
When You Wish Upon a Star The Chris Walden Big Band
Breaux Bridge Rag Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
Street Talk Dan Siegel
My Way Los Lonely Boys
Born to Please Sound Team
Back In Town Sound Team
Your Eyes Are Liars Sound Team
Savane Ali Farka Touré
Go Away from My Window Linda Ronstadt with Ann Savoy
Dead Funny Archie Bronson Outfit
Silence Randall Bramblett
Somebody Like Me Randall Bramblett
So Sad Raul Malo
Feels Like Home Raul Malo
Run to Me Raul Malo
Spin the Wink The Velvet Teen
Whatever You Want Vienna Teng
Charlene (Live from Atlanta) Anthony Hamilton
Dream the Fall Ollabelle
At This Moment Arthur Prysock
Rainy Night In Georgia Arthur Prysock
Freedom Never Cries Five for Fighting
Sweet Baby Kwabena Kwabena
Can't Find My Woman McHouston Baker
Sassy Mae Memphis Slim
Troubles, Troubles, Troubles Otis Rush
You're My All Day Steady Robert Pete Williams
Meaningless Love Under the Influence of Giants
Goodnight and Go (Live Lounge in Toronto) Imogen Heap
Next to You Albert Lennard & Ty Ardis
Soft Shoulder Kaki King
Keeping Up Arthur Russell
Bluebird Anthony Gomes
Easy Barenaked Ladies
The Californian Bob Schneider
My Love's Leavin' Fourplay featuring Michael McDonald
Death of Me Tony Lucca
4th of July Joanna
Seven Angels On a Bicycle Carrie Rodriguez
You Need Love Don Rich
When We All Get to Heaven Donald Vails Choraleers
Cost of Livin' Guitar Shorty
Silver & Gold Kirk Franklin
Smile Again Kirk Franklin & The Family
N2U Outkast featuring Khujo Goodie
Idlewild Blue (Don'tchu Worry 'Bout Me) OutKast
Throw Me a Rope KT Tunstall
At the Moon ActionReaction
Napua Amy Hanaiali'i
Uluhua Wale Au Amy Hanaiali'i
Bridge Over Troubled Waters Candi Staton
Love Lifted Me Candi Staton
Golden Hearts Conrad Ford
Come On In My Kitchen Crooked Still
Ain't No Grave Crooked Still
The Moon Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
When Did You Stop Loving Me? Jeb Loy Nichols
Two Sides to Love Goat
Mr. High & Mighty Gov't Mule
So Weak, So Strong Gov't Mule
Love for Sale Herb Ellis & Joe Pass
Take Him (You Can Have My Man) Jean Knight
Capetown Lee Ritenour
Lust Toward Survival Of the Opera
America Razorlight
Please Don't Stop Richard Bona
Brain Novocaine... Rose Hill Drive
The Dress Looks Nice On You S ufjan Stevens
Cantina Senese Tommy Emmanuel cgp
Gameshow Rag/Cannonball Rag Tommy Emmanuel cgp
Please No More Cate Brothers
Sally Goodin George Winston
Lowlands Away Rufus Wainwright & Kate McGariggle
A Cut So Deep John Brannen w/Lucinda Williams

 

SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER DOWNLOADS


So much great music. Lewis Taylor, Robin Thicke, ScrapoMatic, The Feeling, and Silk are my favorite new names. There’s some great obscire Stax-Volt and Motown tracks, and a smattering of jazz, folk  & classical. Dig in and treat yourself to some wonderful aural Xmas presents / Al

 

Empty 5:17        Ray LaMontagne
Three More Days 3:36 Ray LaMontagne
You Can Bring Me Flowers 4:12 Ray LaMontagne
Cold Sweat 5:19 Albert King
Your Precious Love 3:38 Cassandre McKinley
Girl In the War 4:24 Josh Ritter
Not Giving Up 3:30 Omnisoul
To Barney Kessell 2:00 Pete Townshend
When I Die I'll Live Again 3:32 Rev. Gary Davis
Waltz 2:45 Matt Baldwin
If These Walls Could Speak 2:57 Wynona Carr
Loro 3:33 Pinback
Piece of Clay (1995 The Master Version) 5:11 Marvin Gaye
Oh Happy Day 6:37 Ramsey Lewis
Nicotine 4:06 Ani Difranco
Sights of Brightness 5:41 Eastern Arts Project
Next to Me 4:15 The Subdudes
Jewel of the Summertime 3:53 Audioslave
Brother 3:52 Dark New Day
The Plan 3:40 Low
Why, Oh Why 1:46 Marlena Shaw
Martina (Les Enfants Qui Pleurent) 6:05 Michel Legrand
George Street Blues 4:25 Scrapper Blackwell
Never Wanna Leave 7:11 Governor
Be Anything (But Mine) 2:52 Betty Everett
Sweet Dan 4:17 Betty Everett
Happy Endings 3:57 Betty Everett
You're the One 3:28 The Black Keys
Used to Be My Girl (Main Edit) 4:13 Brian McKnight
You're an Angel, and I'm Gonna Cry 2:57 Chris Thile
I'm Yours If You Want Me 3:49 Chris Thile
Every Waking Moment 3:51 Citizen Cope
Tender Days 5:38 Deanna Bogart
Kid Stuff 4:52 Dr. Duke Tumatoe
Mountains O' Things 3:49 The Duhks
Heaven's My Home 4:02 The Duhks
Who Will Take My Place 3:39 The Duhks
Oh No Not Susan 3:07 Electric Light Orchestra
Broken 4:19 Everclear
I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You) 4:51 John Mayer
Flosse 3:09 F.S. Blumm
Hide Me 4:22 Grandadbob
Come With Me 3:43 Grandadbob
Little Funky Thang 3:28 Gregor Hilden
Honesty 2:43 King's X
Mudd 4:42 King's X
Are You Serious 4:12 L.V. Johnson
I Just Can't Get Over You 4:12 L.V. Johnson
All Her Crooked Ways 4:03 Simon Dawes
Sleep Talking 8:55 Ornette Coleman
Roses On My Grave 3:17 Papa Roach
Hurley 3:55 Pinback
You and Me 2:18 Plain White T's
Cry Me a River 5:03 Red Holloway & Plas Johnson
Serenade In Blue 6:49 Red Holloway & Plas Johnson
Lost Child 3:07 Rhonda Smith
Sunshine 4:10 Rhonda Smith
Louisiana 2005 3:18 Bob Forrest
Sayin' It and Doin' It 4:13 Bobby Byrd
Back from the Dead 3:27 Bobby Byrd
I Got It 4:38 Bobby Byrd
I Got It (track) 4:38 Bobby Byrd
Try It Again 5:14 Bobby Byrd
Godspell 3:29 The Cardigans
Sisters 4:06 The Changes
Modern Love 3:32 The Changes
About My Imagination 5:04 Fred Martin & The Levite Camp
Don't You Want to Be There 5:29 Fred Martin & The Levite Camp
Crossroads / Until I Found the Lord 5:53Fred Martin & The LeviteCamp
These Are They 4:08 Fred Martin & The Levite Camp
Turn Back the Hands of Time 3:11 George Faith
Please Stay 7:10 George Faith
Love and Affection 5:57 George Faith
Spain 2:53 Jake Shimabukuro
While My Guitar Gently Weeps 4:07 Jake Shimabukuro
Thankful 4:04 Jonny Lang
My Love Remains 3:51 Jonny Lang
On My Feet Again 4:24 Jonny Lang
Punish Me 3:35 Margie Joseph
Sweeter Tomorrow 3:16 Margie Joseph
Pack the Ermines, Mary 3:52 The Microscopic Septet
Boo Boo Coming 5:34 The Microscopic Septet
I Can't Stand the Rain 3:46 Miki Howard
Just Don't Wanna Be Lonely 3:50 Miki Howard
On Patrol 4:09 Monique Klemann
Don't Speak 4:15 Monique Klemann
See Line Woman (Stereo) 2:37 Nina Simone
Wonder About Me 3:21 Porter Block
Dirty Feelin' 5:23 Shirley Brown
Um Good 4:48 Smokie Norful
Blue Monk 6:39 Abbey Lincoln
Her Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles (Live) 4:12 Captain Beefheart
All I Am 3:24 George Benson & Al Jarreau
Told You So 4:08 The Guggenheim Grotto
Tough Kid 3:23 Honeycut
Wild As I Wanna Be 2:54 Deathray
Millionaire (Album Version) 4:14 Solomon Burke
Poison Pushy 4:17 Stanton Moore
Maple Plank 6:29 Stanton Moore
Nowhere Man 3:14 Nickel Creek
The Nitty Gritty (Single) 3:01 Gladys Knight & The Pips
Soldier Jane 3:58 Beck
Nothing I Can Do 3:25 Ben Taylor
Miss Sun 5:31 Boz Scaggs
You Got Me Smilin' Again 6:31 Charles Earland
Wrong Side 3:07 Edwin
All That I'm Living For 3:48 Evanescence
Good Enough 5:31 Evanescence
Sewn 5:59 The Feeling
Helicopter 3:20 The Feeling
When I Return 4:08 The Feeling
You Don't Love Me 4:47 George Winston
City of Angels (To the City of Lights) 4:12 Mighty Mo Rogers
Monster 2:43 Meg & Dia
Bring Me Along 3:32 Pepper
Old Time Problem 3:36 Pepper
Sober Hands 4:34 The Receiver
Goliath 3:29 The Receiver
Got 2 Be Down 4:35 Robin Thicke
Teach U a Lesson 4:29 Robin Thicke
Ask Myself 3:47 Robin Thicke
Would That Make U Love Me 3:36 Robin Thicke
Later 3:55 Ryan Scott
Riding a Cloud 3:25 Ryan Scott
So Much Love 3:17 Scrapomatic
Lotus 4:22 Scrapomatic
Ain't Got the Smile 2:51 Scrapomatic
Unstick 3:56 Bitch
Two Girls Strong 1:44 Bitch
The Otherside 3:33 Breaks Co-Op
Where Are You Now 4:43 Cassandra Reed
Rejoice (Clap Your Hands) 4:34 Chanté Moore & Kenny Lattimore
I Can't Stand the Rain 2:59 Dale Ann Bradley
Pass Me Not 4:19 Dale Ann Bradley
Dream On (Live) 3:54 Kelly Sweet
The Young Idealists 2:43 Lloyd Cole
Damon's Marker 3:30 Michael Bassett
Live With Me 4:00 The Twilight Singers
Our Story 3:50 Ruben Studdard
Adore 4:19 Silk
A Night to Remember 3:33 Silk
Son of a Ramblin' Man 2:45 Vince Gill
Desperado 2:28 Me First And The Gimme Gimmes
Jolene 1:47 Me First And The Gimme Gimmes
Stop Playin' 3:47 Anthony David
I'm All Right 3:27 Madeleine Peyroux
Smile 3:57 Madeleine Peyroux
Drive My Car 2:44 The Donnas
In Particular 6:05 Blonde Redhead
Seven Days Ago 4:49 Allen Kwela
Thank You 4:02 Allou April, Carla Diamond
Castle and Cathedral 3:04 Denison Witmer/Rosie Thomas
Two Bugs In a Rug 5:51 Earl Hooker
The Lord's Prayer 3:18 Gladys Knight & The Saints Unified Voices
I Wonder As I Wander 4:14 Gladys Knight 
Atlantis 3:54 Heine Totland
Out of Nowhere 3:50 Heine Totland
Tar Baby Napalm 3:38 The Honeydogs
Rattling My Tin Cup 4:04 The Honeydogs
The Firing Squad Reloads 2:51 The Honeydogs
Devil's Advocate 3:36 The Honeydogs
Heads or Tales 4:41 The Honeydogs
Blues for Castro 3:30 The Honeydogs
Die In Love 3:23 IV Thieves
Good Rain 4:06 Solveig Slettahjell Slow Motion Quintet
Do Lord 1:59 Solveig Slettahjell
Proud to Be Part of These Days 3:08 Tingsek
Love Me to Death 4:05 Albert King
Fortune Teller 3:36 Eddie Kendricks
You Got It 3:32 Eddie Kendricks
If You a Viper 4:19 Erin McKeown
Wine and Roses 4:22 Jeremy Kay
Heard Ya Talkin' 3:07 Jeremy Kay
Let's Hope Nobody Finds Us 4:42 Lewis Taylor
Track (Acoustic) 2:20 Lewis Taylor
Down In the Valley 2:49 Bill Brickey
Je t’aime 3:06 Patrick Artero
Where Are You Now 4:43 Sophia
So Long 3:44 The Teeth
Lua 6:45 Karim Baggili
American Girl (Remastered) 3:20 Matthew Sweet
We Got a Hit 1:18 The Who
We Got a Hit (Extended Version) 3:04 The Who
You're As Right As Rain 4:33 Lori Jenaire
Don't Need to Know 4:10 Lori Jenaire
Only You (Radio Mix) 3:00 Karl Frierson
I Will 4:27 Judie Tzuke

UPDATE   NOVEMBER 1ST 2006

I apologize for the delay in updating and the size of the download list , but a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. Things have been busy here at El Rancho Kooper. Lotsa gigs and pre planning for 2008’s 50th Anniversary in The Music Biz. Trying to do everything possible to commemorate this amazing statistic in that I’m still alive and gigging after my particular long, strange trip. Conrats and condolensces to Roberto Dylan for # 1 on the charts and #100 on Broadway. I enjoyed most of The Who’s album as well. Heard the live show was great. Sorry I missed it.

The foundation of my musical genesis was based on three guitarists  that backed up top rockabilly singers in the 50’s - Scotty Moore (Elvis) James Burton (Rick Nelson) and Cliff Gallup (Gene Vincent). Studying their playing was the hardest homework I had in highschool. Without that background, I know my musicianship would have faltered at an early age. It was a strong foundation that led to other genres, but as a sonic basecamp, it was peerless.  My next door neighbors have a big Xmas Party every year, and about three years ago, I started volunteering my services as the live band. I used the bassist & drummer from The Funky Faculty and played a repertoire of all the rockabilly music I grew up on. It was the most musical fun I had experienced in decades, So after three performances in three years, I started booking THAT show in clubs. At first, my fingers ACHED because I hadn’t played the guitar so much in years. But now, hopefully, they’re getting used to it. So, if you love rockabilly, and wanna hear the best tunes, famous and obscure both, come see us if we get to a location near you, As I said, its the most fun I’ve had playing music in quite awhile. The next show is November 18th at Stage One in Fairfield, CT. Click the LIVE button at the top of this page for upcoming
live shows.

Way past deadline, I have finished two tracks for various upcoming tribute albums. One is for a Fred Neil  collection and the other is a tribute to Rick Nelson. If they are accepted so far after deadline, I will be a happy man. We’ll see this week.

My January westcoast solo tour has expanded in 2007 to now include Seattle (Triple Door) Denver (Swallow Hill) and Portland OR (Aladdin Theater) in addition to Sacramento, Mill Valley and Santa Monica. These are all solo shows and with good turnouts I hope to add the new locations anually.The next update will be AFTER these shows, so we’ll see how they turn out in the next installment.

Happy Thanksgiving and various other December Holidays to all of you, and thanks so much for supporting my career by visiting this location over the years....

Al Kooper

 

TOP FIFTY TRACKS - 2006

This is primarily overlooked indie music with a few exceptions. Other than #1, not in any order of preference; rather in an order best designed to listen to, as if on a radio show. A mighty combination of, in my opinion only, the best music of 2006. For less than fifty bucks on iTunes, one could have a self-bought, bountiful happy audio holiday. As Bob Dylan says “You won’t regret it ! Take your shoes off.....”

1. If Only The Moon Were Up 3:02 Field Music

Hailing from the UK North East scene, Field Music add something more cerebral.. Comprising Andrew Moore plus song writing brothers Peter and David Brewis, and an ever-shifting crew of local luminaries, Field Music are sort of the next generation’s XTC. Without a doubt, the track I could not stop listening to in 2006.

2. How We Operate 5:28 Gomez

More UK wonderfullness. Something from each album would reach out and always grab me over the years. This is easily their best track so far. Did not hurt being added to the soundtrack of “Grey’s Anatomy!”

3. His Majesty Rides 3:41 Josh Rouse

Nebraska-bred Rouse, on his 7th album, comfortably adds a sense of humor to this track musically, and it works quite well. Sounds like a tale of road sel-pity lyrically.

4. Meaningless Love 5:19 Under the Influence of Giants

The current quintessential LA pop band delivered a powerful debut in 2006. This track is my fave,but there are many more onboard.

5.Brother 3:52 Dark New Day

Indie-band North Carolina runaways, these lads have an authorative sound on this track. Great production and good playing & singing.

6. Pass Out 3:44 Frankel

Great lyrics, the usual great production (jon brion), nothing really missing!

7. All Her Crooked Ways 4:03 Simon Dawes

Love the drum & bass part the most. Very interesting song construction. An ear cookie, I’d say

8. So Long 3:44 The Teeth

Up at the top of my favorites list this year. Could’ve been mastered better to deal with the various dynamics (too soft/too loud) A completely unique listen in a world where that is hard to come by.

9. Wonder About Me 3:21 Porter Block

They say part of this album was programmed on Apple’s Garage Band budget program. This NY duo has a great deal of promise and knows what to dig up from where the hooks are buried.

10. Can't Get You Out of My Mind 4:09 Sonya Kitchell

Thank heaven there are some people who realize that musicians playing together at the same time means so much more than machines..Sonya knows where to go with this and belts out a memorable ballad for all time.

11. Out the Door 3:04 Who Made Who

It took a trio from Denmark to sound the most like The Doors since Morrison gave it up in Paris eons ago. Really the only thing missing is Manzarek’s organ. He should join THIS band. Now THAT would be somethin !!!!!!!!

12.The Way to Your Heart 3:47 Soulsister

This is humorous. I downloaded this from iTunes because it had a retro kinda Hall & Oates ‘80’s sound which sounded pretty fresh today, Now as I do research for these notes, I find out these are two Belgian guys who kinda look like Hall & Oates and this track was a hit in Belgium in 1986!!! What does it really matter ???? Good music is good music - have a retro listen to what this country’s music teaches folks around the world. Suggested for Hall & Oates lawyers as a good listen, too!!!!

13. Sewn 5:59 The Feeling

UK youngsters tear it up with this single track that charted big in the UK. Slower Americans are being prosleytized as you read this.

14. Crazy 3:01 Gnarls Barkley

Probably the record of the year for mos’ folks. Made history by being the first UK #1 with NO sales (unreleased but unparalleled unternet downloads & demand) Following album was a disappointment comparatively, but these lads ARE contenders.

15.Sittin On The Job 2:33 Tamia

The way music is today, it’s quite refreshing to hear a catchy lyric, one guitar, a bass, and hanclaps, surrounding an upbeat, intimate vocal.
A great change of pace in a cluttered, mathematical r&b landscape.

16. Hump de Bump 3:33 Red Hot Chili Peppers

The maniacs are loose again with a great double album and world tour. This puts as big a smile on my face as when I saw my photo in Anthony Kiedis’ autobiography. Keep up the jams, dudes!

17. Proud to Be Part of These Days 3:08 Tingsek

A 26 year old whitey from Sweden jumps squarely into the R&B sweepstakes and lands easily on both feet. If this gets promoted properly, he could be a self-composing Robert Palmer with the unlikely name of Magnus Tingsek..

18. Rejoice (Clap Your Hands) 4:34 Chanté Moore & Kenny Lattimore

These two soul-singing refugees hide out in church for an albums worth of uplifting, coherent modern gospel carrying-on. This track sticks out

19. Confess 5:35 V

Over here in soul land, this Philly-based/drenched singer knows the past, present & possibly the futire of soul music. This catchy track is slick but it do stick.

20. Can't Let Go 3:52 Anthony Hamilton

This is my #1 favorite soul track of 2006. I walk around singin’ this song, even when I don’t wanna be doin’ dat. He’s thrown his cap in the ring to be the next Al Green. Stay tuned

21.Thankful 4:04 Jonny Lang

Well if thats Jonny singing along with the obvious Michael McDonald interjections, than he can put his guitar down anytime he want to. A complete R&B/gospel album is never betrayed by white folks singing or playing. This is a great crossover for Lang. Hope he stays here. There’s already way too many Allman Brother s wanna-be’s. And what’s fair is fair

22.Next to Me 4:15 The Subdudes

Suddudes always deliver THAT track on every album. This is the one on the latest. Katrina was kind to keep these kids around! This is another one of those you unconciously walk around singing. Highly soulful and surely suggested by Al

23. Death of Me 2:59 Tony Lucca

Out of the LA mire emeges this lad; covered with recent road dust and this standout track. A study in what is great about simplicity in most departments, this song easily cuts through to the bone.

24.Work It Out 4:18 Roachford

Been following this band for decades. A UK cult soulband, they manage to always deliver something on each album. This is a nod to early Stevie Wonder done tastefully . God bless em for surviving all this time.

25. Only You (Radio Mix) 3:00 Karl Frierson

Here’s an African-American based in Germany doin’ the deep soul thang in good stead. Soul singers be poppin up all over the world nowadays. And this has that slowsex groove. Daddy likes that

26. So Much Love 3:17 Scrapomatic

Great name; great band ! This duo, Mike Mattisson (vcls)& Paul Olsen (gtr), orginally from Minnesota, resettled in Brooklyn and havent ever looked back. Mattisson has been singing lead in Derek Trucks Band (Latest CD “Songlines”) But when this streamlined duo hits the stage its a whole other thing. Olsen is an amazing blues guitarist, while Mattisson reminds one of Tom Waits textured vocals. Check em out!!!

27. Not Giving Up 3:30 Omnisoul

Formed recently at their local University of Delaware, these guys rock hard with the lead vocals of Derek Fuhrman. It’s that Top 40 sound that maintains musical integrity, What’s not to like?

28. Mr. High & Mighty 5:33 Gov't Mule

I’m a huge fan of the band Free, and Warren Haynes has taken a big Free chunk here and done it up right. The GMule albums improve with each one and this is easily their best. Great vocal, song & guitar solo (just like Free!!!)

29. Ain't Got the Smile 2:51 Scrapomatic

Holy Batcave !!! Its Scrapomatic again !!! What can I say ? They deserve it, In a world of white, mis-played blues music, these guys give me a sun at the end of the tunnel.

30. Three More Days 3:36 Ray LaMontagne

Mr. M broke out last year with the track “Trouble” His sophomore album was not plagued with the usual sophomoric blunders. Here’s one of twelve reasons why.

31. The First of Me 5:24 Hoobastank

A guilty pleasure. I am such a sucker for yodeling singers. A great song, well-sung and a great arrangement & production. Love this track ! Extremely pop-addicting

32. There's Been an Accident 5:17 Twilight Singers

Greg Dulli has taken off his Afghan Whigs and started wearing Twilight Singers in his head. Fueled in Nawlins in Katrina’s wake, this album screams to be heard. This track borrows Strawberry Fields stringsounds and a coupla ELO moments. Wethinks, Greg’s on the right track here.

33. Damon’s Marker 3:30 Michael Bassett

If you’re in in my age range, you might remember the first time you heard Jeff Buckley’s dad, Tim and how that voice amazed you. Here’s the next generation of the male soprano. WOW!

34. Girl I Wanna Lay You Down 3:39 ALO & Jack Johnson

You KNOW who JJ is. The Animal Liberation Orchestra is West Coast-based and through its various members brings genre-bending knowledge. This is a
lovely chemistry and a good idea. And maybe the first time someone rhymed
pasta with rasta in a song lyric.....

35. Til It Happens To You 4:38 Corinne Bailey Rae

Well, we’ve had Madeleine Peyroux to praise, mis-spell & misprobounce for a few years now. Here’s a UK gal thats easier on the tongue and the ears to challange Peyroux’s best new female singer crown...

36. Don't Be Too Long 3:08 Jacob Luttrell

If a potential rockstar can survive having been one of Clay Aiken’s backup singers and growing up in Fresno, CA, then, in some ways, the worst is over. Jacob’s got a nice r&b, jazzy thing going on and with a little luck, he can roam around the top 20 for a few years. This is a good track for makin’ the little woman comfortable.

37. I Ain't That Easy to Lose 3:40 Bettye Swann

Technically this is not a new track. However, it remained unreleased untill 2006 which makes it Kooper-eligible for this list. God bless somebody with ears for the album “Atlantic Unearthed: Soul Sisters.” One of my fave albums of this year. This track, which, of course, iTunes in it’s infancy provides no info for, sounds 70’s vintage: It’s a GREAT song with a GREATER arrangement and a perfect vocal by this soul momma who stalked the 60’s and 70’s, If you like soul music from then - don’t miss this a second time!

38. Nu Nu 5:14 Avishai Cohen

If you liked “Spain” by Chick Corea, you will like this bit of jazz by the upcoming Israeli bassist and his quartet. Lotta good piano playing as well....

39. Take No Rogues 3:55 Seth Lakeman

This has a great acoustic world feel and is in the rare 6/4 time signature. Very hypnotic and very well done

40. Satisfied 2:51 Ashley Monroe

This is as country as I’ll get nowadays. The young Ms. Monroe fuses blues in there and sings with the best of ‘em already. Very listenable track.

41. Out of the Rain 3:21 The Duhks

Modern bluegrass group from Winnipeg. Lead singers first original song. My first song was not nearly as good as this. Great musicianship from a promising
combo to watch

42. Come On In My Kitchen 4:59 Crooked Still

Modern bluegrass group from Somerville, MA where I reside. They
have a cello in the group which is odd but so is the cellist ! Local kids make good...

43. Bridge Over Troubled Water 5:20 Singers

I cant find anything out about this group with such an un-Google-able name. This is a nice arrangement of the 60’s standard and a capella
as well, hence the “Singers.”

44. Filtered Light 2:59 The Heavy Blinkers

Heavy Brian Wilson influence Part One. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. Better than being Clay Aiken-influenced. mate...

45. Let's Hope Nobody Finds Us 4:42 Lewis Taylor

Heavy Brian Wilson influence Part Two. Nicely done, Lewis. Let’s hope the title doesnt come true

46. Nicotine 4:06 Ani Difranco

Ani’s righteous take on smoke and obsession with a bonus bass solo. Ya dont hear many of THOSE nowadays. Upright as well, babe

47. Blush (Only You) 3:49 Plumb

If my given name was Tiffany Lee, I wouldn’t call myself Plumb. Yeah, she was in a band from Atlanta called Plumb, but that must be over cause they dont show others in pix or videos. She’s got a great sound as a vocalist and the songs are catchy, although this one’s the catchiest. Could-a, should-a, would-a - sooo -next time, we hope, Tiffany !!!

48. Oh Me, Oh My 5:05 Imogen Heap

I believe this is from Imogen’s past and it came out AFTER her hit.
I like the bounce of this track and it sho aint got nothin to be ashamed of here.

49. In the Middle of It All 4:45 Irma Thomas

Irma’s been around as long as one can, but children, this is POWERFUL stuff, well-played and produced as well. The direction she’s going in on her new album is so smart and close to her vocal talents, that you should dig deep and support her career decision. You won’t regret it and hopefully either will Irma.

50. Spain 2:53 Jake Shimabukuro

I always like to close with a solo ukelele track, especially one written by Chick Corea. Get outta here !!!! Only an extremely talented, obsessed, Shimabukuro would attempt this on a four-stringed instrument. An amazing, exquisite musical feat/treat.


UPDATE - MARCH 20, 2007

Many thought I had taken ill. Many thought I was too busy to type out an update. Here is the God’s-honest truth:

I took ill and had to cancel half my January tour. After my show in San Diego, I lost my voice and got the flu. It left me marooned in LA for a few days as I could not fly with the earache I had. Dangerous to the hearing in case you did not know that.

When I finally got home, I still had a cough that remained untill the end of Febriary. As far as the ill part goes, I played my first full show in Nashville on March 16th with no problems or consequences.

My long-time assistant Christopher Lewis moved on in his quest for musical divinity with my blessings. However, that left me without use of my webstore or website as Chris was the “webman”. I have been searching for a replacement, and Chris was kind enough to update the LIVE site when he had time, but the homepage was not in his new timeframe. I apologize to all you paypal-ers out there who are grumbling or waiting patiently. As soon as possible your orders will be filled, with hopefully, a little bonus thrown in.

And now, lets get up-to-date !!!!!

The shows I DID play in January were all sold out and they all went quite well. I was really feeling on a roll, till my voice flu out the window. With the exception of Denver, all those dates will ne made up in May. Click on the LIVE section for details.

As of today, I am in deep rehearsal with The Funky Faculty for my next album due in 2008. In retrospect, I felt that Black Coffee was the best album I had ever made and the reviews were certainly the best I had ever gotten. I never have high expectations because I am a realist - I have had my day. I cant stop playing and writing music, or performing live for that matter. I don’t really know how to attain a larger audience other than my small but mighty cult-following, so I dont really put any effort in that direction other than constantly trying to improve my skills and release the best music I can. Attempting to follow BLACK COFFEE is an intimidating task. I do have a new song I wrote with the legendary Gerry Goffin, that is quite wonderful and a great start. The cover versions are some of the best arrangements I’ve written in awhile, so we’re moving along quite well. Keep your fingers crossed! There is an offer on the table to re-publish my book, so as the lawyers wrangle out a deal, I am trying to bring it up to date from 1997-2007. We will attempt to get THAT out in 2008 as well. There is a documentary in the works as well. I am starting to get insanely busy trying to bring all these projects to fruition in 2008 to celebrate my 50th professional year in the music biz. We will attempt to record from mid-April to early May.

It has become increasingly frustrating to peruse and download new releases from iTunes. There is a page on there that categorically lists the current new releases along with the last three weeks last releases. Apple has become extremely lax in getting that page to be current. Now I have a good excuse for keeping my page current, but Apple ??? It’s the largest seller of online music - whats the problem ?
The worst thing is that they deny it’s even happening. There really is no intent on their part to keep the consumer notified of any problems. If ANYBODY else that sold downloaded music had a new release category that was as thorough as Apple’s, I’d be long gone. On March 4th, the listing was dated February 20th. Today, March 19th, it’s dated March 6th. It seems they just don’t care and there is NEVER an explanation except for denial when you actually can confront them.
What a shame....

The rockabilly Alvis live show that XM recorded in NY in November will be broadcast on Channel #50, (The Loft) as follows:
ALL TIMES ARE EDT
Tues -March 20- 11PM
Wed. -March 21- 3 AM
Sunday March 25th- 6PM
Tues. -March 27th- 11PM
Wed- March 28th-3AM

This is a trio I put together strictly for fun to play the music I grew up listening to. If you like this genre, you might really like this....

Okay.
I am sooooo outa here now.
I’m fine.
I’ve missed doing the UPDATES and I hope I can get monthly again thereby not showing how pregnant I look.

Fondly,

Al Kooper

SUGGESTED DOWNLOADS - JANUARY - FEBRUARY


There are two outstanding albums this time. AFRICAN SPIRIT by the Soweto Gospel Choir and JOLLITY by Pugwash. They are both extremely listenable. Also Elisabeth Withers , Crush Luther, and Ry Cooder have multi-listings that are pretty great.

I Turn My Camera On Spoon
My Generation (Instrumental) The Who
My Generation (stereo) The Who
Living Proof Kelis
Dirty Second Hands Switchfoot
I Trust You to Kill Me Rocco Deluca and The Burden
Heart of Mine The Peter Malick Group feat. Norah Jones
Deceptively Yours The Peter Malick Group feat. Norah Jones
One More Mile to Go Otis Spann
After a While Otis Spann
Cold Hearted Wind Ron Sexsmith
All In Good Time Ron Sexsmith
Snow Angel Ron Sexsmith
On My Word of Honor B.B. King
Shape of Things Black Stone Cherry
Oh Happy Day Aaron Neville
Mary Don't You Weep Aaron Neville
I Believe Aaron Neville
Singin' You a Prayer Aaron Neville
Amazing Grace Aaron Neville
Cancer My Chemical Romance
JOLLITY (Entire Album)*** Pugwash
I Know What Love's All About Anthony Hamilton
Struggle Ringside
Push Ya Sound Basscamp
There Is So Much More Brett Dennen
Born Lonesome Cadillac Sky
Homesick Angel Cadillac Sky
Whither the Invisible Birds? Deerhoof
+81 Deerhoof
Matchbook Seeks Maniac Deerhoof
The Scenic Route Matt Wilson, Terell Stafford, Dennis Irwin
Burn the Liars The Earlies
Tall Cotton Eric Bibb
In My Father's House (live) Eric Bibb
Sometimes I Wonder Jill Scott & Darius Rucker
The Ungrateful Dead Hella
Torn Between Two Lovers Lenny Williams
Memories (Stereo) Marvin Gaye
Wet and Rusting Menomena
Cold Rain and Snow Peter Rowan & Tony Rice
Taste Rob Crow
Up Rob Crow
Floating By The Red Button
Illegal (featuring Carlos Santana) Shakira
Awaiting Elemental Meltdown Six Parts Seven
Murasakizakura / Purple Cherry Blossom TENBI
Twilight TENBI
Michibiki / Leading TENBI
Let the Bad Times Roll Paul Westerberg
Mornings Eleven The Magic Numbers
Be Thankful for What You've Got Walter Beasley
I Remember You Art Garfunkel
Voice (Instrumental) Avishai Cohen
Balkan (Instrumental) Avishai Cohen
Chicago, City of Shoulders Andy Davis
Somebody Elisabeth Withers
Be With You Elisabeth Withers
Get Your Shoes On Elisabeth Withers
Simple Things Elisabeth Withers
It Can Happen Elisabeth Withers
All the Way Down Etta James
Damn Your Eyes Etta James
All These People Harry Connick, Jr.
God Knows I'm Trying The Rounders
My Getaway The Rounders
Through No Fault of My Own The Rounders
It's Not Over Secondhand Serenade
AFRICAN SPIRIT (Entire Album) Soweto Gospel Choir
The Book Tin Hat
Could It Be I'm Falling In Love Vesta
Ordinary The Alternate Routes
I Can I Will I Do Barenaked Ladies
Stardust Lou Donaldson
Circle In the Sand Rickie Lee Jones
The Hole The Soul of John Black
Swamp Thang The Soul of John Black
Are You Alright? Lucinda Williams
Rescue Lucinda Williams
In My Songs Gerald Levert
I'm a Criminal Paul Reddick & The Sidemen
Témoin Brad Shepik
When We Were Golden Crush Luther
Slowdance Anywhere I Go Crush Luther
City Girl Crush Luther
Trouble Crush Luther
All Too Soon Crush Luther
You Are Too Beautiful Elvin Jones
Get Right Church Martha Scanlan
Video (Main) India.Arie
Your Love Is So Doggone Good Esther Phillips
Roll and Tumble Blues Furry Lewis
Blues Around My Bed Furry Lewis
Be Careful With a Fool Johnny Winter
Time for Me to Fly Jonas Brothers
Gravedigger's Blues Last Train Home
Who Can I Turn to (When Nobody Needs Me) Marvin Gaye
I Found Out Nathaniel Mayer
Star Dance Abdullah Ibrahim
African Market Abdullah Ibrahim
Earth Bird Abdullah Ibrahim
101 Albert Hammond Jr.
Morning Star Borne
Upside Down Borne
Never Be Lonely The Feeling
Carried Away 2 Lewis Taylor
Keep Right On Lewis Taylor
Send Me an Angel 2 Lewis Taylor
Farmgirl Ry Cooder
Cardboard Avenue Ry Cooder
Sundown Town Ry Cooder
Spam Man MRP

UPDATE - APRIL 20th, 2007

A first is in the works.
I never get awards or inductions and don’t really expect them, actually. I am very proud of my resume and can’t believe it myself when I update it and read it at length - can’t believe that I did ALL that stuff in my short stay on Earth. (I can’t believe my son just turned forty and that I have 2 great grandchildren. But, I digresss.........)

As part of the 40th anniversary of The Monterey Pop Festival, The Hollywood Rock Walk Of Fame is inducting Otis Redding, Michelle Phillips (sole survivor of The Mamas & The Pappas) and ME ! (sole survivor of Al Kooper !) on May 11th, 2007 at 12 noon. It takes place right outside The Guitar Center on Sunset Blvd, in Hollyweird. It’s the whole schmear - hands in the cement, etc. I am amazingly surprised because, as I said, this sort of thing has not been a part of my career before and it’s quite humbling. If this is your part of the geography, please come down and join in the free festivities. Also, that night I am starting a two-night stand at McCabes in Santa Monica playing solo.
What a bizarre day/night May 11th is gonna be !!!

In a week The Funky Faculty and I head into the recording studio after much rehearsing of new material to begin recording the next untitled album. There will be two sessions in Nashville w/ studio musician friends in the near future to finish the recording and then overdubs in my home studio. There is no release date as of yet but it will be out sometime in 2008. Actual physical copies will be available but in much shorter supply than before. The record company has made the timely decision to not service stores on the street which is a costly investment compared to selling online exclusively; i.e. Amazon, my website, their website and iTunes. Soooo, hard copies WILL be available, but in shorter supply than before. I will make the booklet available on this site for those interested in who did what.

Because of the prioritizing being done in advance of the 50th anniversary celebration (album, documentary, autobiography, tour, live concert on-line etc.) and a recent shakeup in the executive infrastructure at SONY-Legacy, The Mike Bloomfield boxset once again gets delayed; but a man can only do so much. I will see that it is given the proper care and dedication and time as soon as there is some, IF the record company still has it in their upcoming schedule. Three years ago, I did amazing 5.1 remixes of Super Session & Child Is Father To The Man and they STILL remain unreleased so there is just so much I can do.

I am also trying to get SONY to put a special iTunes set out for 2008, with 50 unreleased remastered tracks from my unreleased-on-CD solo albums in the USA. I suspect THAT will be in danger as well.

Tomorrow John Mayall and I co-headline a rockin’ show at The Egg
concert hall in Albany at 8 PM (4/21). Haven’t seen John in a few decades, so I’m really looking forward to it. Coupla old blokes havin’ an old fashioned blow....

Getting to Seattle & Portland for solo one man shows on May 16th and 19th respectively. Hope a lotta old friends come out of the woodwork for those. A good chance to hear some new stuff from the upcoming album. Hopefully, I will return here right after what I’m calling The Mae West Tour.

Al Kooper

SUGGESTED DOWNLOADS - March/April

Standouts of the month would be new albums by Fountains of Wayne and Wooden Stars

Song for My Brother Avishai Cohen
Yagla Avishai Cohen & The International Vamp Band 6:15
Something to Believe In Aqualung 3:38
Black Hole Aqualung 5:04
Christenings Blackfield 4:37
Plasticities Andrew Bird 4:24
Do It Alice Smith 4:05
Alright Elliott Yamin 3:11
Smilin' Jones Bill Frisell 5:02
Twenty Years Bill Frisell 3:15
What Were We Thinking Joss Stone 4:24
Tell Me 'Bout It Joss Stone 2:49
Mandolin Rain Bruce Hornsby & Ricky Skaggs 6:09
Ragamuffin Girlfriend Chapter 11 4:23
Pandora (With Segue 1) Madina Lake 3:24
Learnt My Lesson Well Kaiser Chiefs 3:53
Only You (Imogen Heap Mix) Joshua Radin 2:33
Godson Song Bill Frisell 4:38
Pleased to Meet You Bill Frisell 4:12
In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning Sara Lazarus 3:40
Would You Stay Dave Coffin 2:20
Someone to Love Fountains Of Wayne 3:52
Yolanda Hayes Fountains Of Wayne 4:00
Fire In the Canyon Fountains Of Wayne 2:47
This Better Be Good Fountains Of Wayne 3:03
Revolving Dora Fountains Of Wayne 2:41
Michael and Heather At the Baggage Claim Fountains Of Wayne 3:41
Hotel Majestic Fountains Of Wayne 3:28
New Routine Fountains Of Wayne 4:13
Seatbacks and Traytables Fountains Of Wayne 3:30
Hallelujah Claire Bradley 4:01
Holding On The Beauty Room 4:42
Don't You Know The Beauty Room 2:47
Fortress The Beauty Room 4:09
Jump, Jump J Moss featuring Kierra KiKi Sheard 4:13
Super Fusion Unit Jeff Lorber 3:51
Radio Tonic (Tommy Largo Remix) Neil Bainbridge 4:11
The Messenger Kiku Collins 4:44
He Said, She Said Terry Cummings 4:44
Love Takes Time Terry Cummings 3:40
Feeling You Terry Cummings 3:59
Orphans The Wooden Stars 2:59
Pretty Girl The Wooden Stars 3:58
Blackouts The Wooden Stars 4:26
Microphones The Wooden Stars 3:44
Gold Dust The Wooden Stars 5:19
Boating Accident The Wooden Stars 6:18
Clouds The Wooden Stars 5:42
Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be) Billie Holiday 3:15
Blood (Junior Vasquez Mix) Casey Stratton 3:17

SUGGESTED DOWNLOADS - April/May

 

I Do The Jerk Ryan Shaw
Looking For A Love Ryan Shaw
Do The 45 Ryan Shaw
Water's Edge 1997
Amarillo Sky McBride and The Hay Ride
Up In Smoke Colin Hay
I Feel It All Feist
The Water Feist
Sea Lion Woman Feist
Already In Jon McLaughlin
Indiana Jon McLaughlin
Leaving Tonight Ne-Yo featuring Jennifer Hudson
Shine ALO (Animal Liberation Orchestra)
When To Quit Ari Hest
The Break-In Ari Hest
I've Got You Ari Hest
Saint Acute
You Want It? Take It! It's Yours! Acute
Djin Djin (Featuring Alicia Keys and Branford Marsalis) Angelique Kidjo
Pearls (Featuring Carlos Santana and Josh Groban) Angelique Kidjo
Into The Sun Great Northern
Home Great Northern
My Baby's Gone Joan Armatrading
Baby Blue Eyes Joan Armatrading
Supawoman Kimberley Locke
Three For Dizzy Roland Kirk/Jack McDuff
Walken Wilco
The Words U Said The Anointed Pace Sisters
Rescue The Anointed Pace Sisters
Rescue (Reprise) The Anointed Pace Sisters
God's World The Anointed Pace Sisters

 

UPDATE - MAY 28TH, 2007

So there I am beingt schooled how to put my hands in cement properly at the Guitar Center in Hollyweird on May 11th 2007. I am being inducted into the Rock Walk Of Fame along with Michelle Phillips and Otis Redding. I had a lovely chat with Reddings widow and sister. They are wonderful, down-to-earth folks from Macon, GA. Michelle was a little late and we never knew each other very well, so we had a short, awkward conversation. I arrived with my son and daughter-in-law Brian & Jackie, and my dear friend Evil Wilhelm (don’t ask!) Our driver, sent by the RockWalk, unbeknownst to us, spoke no English, so he just ignored us when we addressed him.
Once I got there, a comepletely surreal feeling came over me and I basically followed the dots and just walked right through the whole thing like I was on another planet. It was certainly not my average day back in Somerville, MA. When it was over, I had to rush back and change hotels so I could get to soundcheck on time for that evening’s performance at McCabes in Santa Monica. It was one of those days.
I was a little jumpy that my tour-opening solo show that night might not be up to par as I felt a wee bit under-rehearsed and also that show was to be attended by royalty - songwriters Gerry Goffin & Jerry Leiber were to be in attendance. I actually was nervous ! Before I went on, Gerry Goffin came to visit in the dressingroom and said that Leiber had not felt well that afternoon and probably would not attend. That took a little pressure off. Ten minutes later, Leiber showed but no one told me as I was onstage. Everything fell into place and I got comfortable and the show was going well. My plan had been to introduce Leiber to the audience and try and coax him onstage to tell the story behind the song “I, Who Have Nothing” - he’s a wonderful speaker and it’s a very interesting story. Thinking he was absent, I told the story as I knew it and sang his song which I am covering on my next album. I had no idea he was there and relaxed into it. Goffin told me later he left gruffly after the show saying “That’s not how it happened at all !” If I’d have known he was there, we ALL could’ve heard the REAL story. Ya just can’t win.

All the shows went well on the entire tour averaging about 2 1/2 hours onstage with no intermissions. I guess I was on a roll. It was great to play Seattle and Portland because I had never done solo shows there before. The audiences were wonderful, but there’s no American cheese in the Northwest for a common Easterner.
I’m back home now gearing up for the next set of problems that present themselves in my quest to stage amazing 2008 presentations
in celebration of my 50th year in professional music. I’m deep into working on the next as yet untitled album, and planning live shows.
The book contract is nearly signed, so have patience, and dont buy those $100 Ebay copies. The library is actually a sane, inexpensive way to read the book until the next edition is most likely published in 2008. There’s a good chance I might join the cast of Levon Helm’s show in Central Park (NYC) on June 28th. Stay tuned for details. Well, I’m off back down the basement to the studio to sing some background vocals now. Speak with you again next month.

Al Kooper

 

L-R:
Michelle Phillips, Otis Redding's daughter, Karla, Big Al, and Zelma, Otis Redding's widow. Didn't want you to mix up Michelle Phillips and Karla Redding.

EMAIL FROM THE AUDIENCES

Hello Al,

Just wanted to drop you a note of appreciation for the show you did
in Portland last Saturday night. I enjoyed it immensely and my wife became an instant fan. I am an amateur guitar player and was struck by your unique style. I always thought of you as a keyboardist but your guitar work was great. The finale when you went into the audience is a moment I'll never forget! Thanks for coming to Portland; I hope to catch your show again sometime.
Best wishes!

Kirk Lesher
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Dear Mr. Kooper,

It was great meeting you, albeit briefly, at McCabe's last week (you signed my LPs of "I Stand Alone" and "You Never Really Know Who Your Friends Are"). Although you aren't much older than I (and I look about 20 years older than you), you've been a real important figure in my life since my teens. Indeed, I wrote my one and only fan letter to you in 1969 when I was 16. And those autographs I got from you last week were the first and only autographs I've ever asked for.

You seemed tired -- totally understandable after a long show with no break -- or I would have told you all this in person. But maybe not. Sometimes it's hard to express appreciation like that in a brief conversation. Besides, I'm sure you get stuff like that all the time. But I didn't want to let this chance go by without telling you how much you've meant to me for a long, long time.

Thanks for everything.

Frank Thompson
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Hey Al…just a note to say Sue & I caught your show in Portland. It was totally great, we loved it. Musically complelling and highly amusing all in one package. You funky for an old white dude…dug the arrangment of Blue Suede Shoes and your guitar playing in general (nice Jazzmaster). Going Going Gone is a great song…we couldn't hang for the meet & greet, unfortunately. I hope all is well with you and we can cross paths sometime before too long.
BTW, I picked up a copy of the DVD, it's killer.
Take care out there on the road.
Mark Spangler
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Hello,


I’m not sure if you noticed two people under 40 in the audience at McCabe’s. Well I just happen to be one of them, I am 16 and and by the way my name is Ariel True.
I have a question, I play the acoustic guitar but am thinking about also getting an electric, I really like the sound of yours, what kind is it?
I remember during the show you were talking about how remarkable it was that your teenage neighbor does not like rap. I am not a fan of rap either, see there is some hope for the future. All I listen to is stuff from the 60’s and 70’s. That must have been an amazing time, I have always felt that I don’t belong with my generation.
Anyway I really enjoyed your concert and am still in shock that this might actually be your email address, I mean people are not exactly approachable these days.
I really hope to hear back from you,
A music expeditionary,
Ariel
P.S. you’re a funny guy
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Welcome to Portland.
The songs and arrangements and dialogue
were superb. I'd never seen you solo
before and I was not disappointed. Bravo.

The last song, I Can't Quit Her, (Rare & Well Done Disc 1 arrangement)
was moving. After two and half hours of playing I don't know how you can do it ...
no wait, yes, I think I do in fact. Inspiration. Muse.

Coming through the audience at the end reminded me of
going to shule (something I rarely do anymore) as a kid and watching the cantor and rabbi carry the Torah through the congregation and everyone reaching to touch it.

Looking forward to the next album.
Stay healthy, you are a treasure in a musical world gone awry.

Sincerely,
Andy Brown
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>From: Bill picha
>Sent: May 20, 2007 3:57 AM
>Subject: Al Kooper
>
>Hi Ernie,
>
> Well, we got home an hour ago---long concert [2 and a half hours he played, without a break!]
> We heard him do a song from his BLUES PROJECT days and 2 off the Blood Sweat and Tears debut LP [one was the finale and he wowed all of us by going wireless, still singing, off stage, around the corner and out into the audience, all the time not losing the beat!]
> He did a slowed-down version of "Blue Suede Shoes" that knocked me for a loop...he opened with a slowed-down version of "Hi-Heel Sneakers" that was also memorable for it's guitar work as well as his bluesy vocal.
> Excellent showman....a historian, too, but with a humor about it all that belies the fact that he does not take himself too seriously.
> Oh, yeah: he signed stuff for the crowd after the show including my CD "Super Session" [I showed him the emails he and I had exchanged so he'd know who I was and he said 'I didn't lie' a reference to 'if you come to my show, I'll sign Super Session for you' which is essentially what his email said to me].
> As his web site says, Al is not the guy to sell cds and t-shirts at his shows and sure enough, there were no goodies to buy BUT, Music Millenium [the store I am always telling you about] hosted this event and gave every ticket holder a poster for Al to sign. The poster is very 60's and printed on thick-paper.
> So, Janet got him to sign her poster for you [he did not personalize it 'to Ernie' and when Janet was asking him to sign it for 'our friend Ernie,' Al told her that he just signs his name].
>
> So....you'll be getting that in the mail next week.
>
> Bill and Janet
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Hey Al!


I saw you at the Seattle show at the Triple Door on the 16th. I had convinced my best friend to come with me and his wife wanted to tag along too. He's a serious autograph hound and he spent a lot of quality time to get a near mint copy of Act Like Nothing's Wrong. I bet he didn't even know that's your favorite album. Anyway he had never heard of Jerry Miller either who now lives back in this area and about a month and a half ago through one of Jerry's friends I was able to get wind of a very small gig, The album my friend brought to that gig for Jerry to sign was the Grape Jam LP with you and Bloomfield on it. I then mentioned you were coming to town and it might be worth checking out as well.
I must admit I was a bit disappointed when I saw it was going to be solo. I thought you'd have your smokin' kickass band with you. Little did I know it was going to be more of a 'Storytellers' type of experience. Can you see any member of today's so called pop groups trying to pull that off? To use a stupid baseball analogy, you hit it out of the park. The wall between artist and audience was completely broken down. I felt like I was in your home studio being shown all your recording gadgets like dude check this out!! Even the fact I can write you directly blows my ass away. And it's all so civilized!
Even though I don't really play an instrument myself, I can tell you are a musician's musician. I got my first decent AM radio on my 11th birthday and I was immediately drawn to the Top 40 stations. When I was 12 I bought the single of 13 Questions by Sea Train because I dug the futuristic lyrics and the electric violin solo through a wah wah was too cool. To this day I've never heard that again on a top 40 hit.


My friend whom I told about the show is a collector of vintage music DVDs and he's got a box set of the Monterey Pop Festival. That flute song by the Blues Project blew us away and wasn't that a REAL young Elvin Bishop playing with you? I can see why you're sometimes called the Forrest Gump of '60s and '70s music. For me, you don't need any more bona fides than playing on Rainy Day Women. That's why when you say Dylan will outlast Keith Richards I don't doubt it anymore. At least Bob didn't try to snort his dad's ashes lol. I know that was just a joke.... I hope.


I'll have to see about getting that ReKooperator's DVD - Great name!!! I dunno, listening to musicians such as yourself to me is like listening to rennaisance music while we are stuck in an endless loop of musical dark ages. I love it that Paul Shaffer gave you that tribute for such a long period of time. He must have been a fan of yours from WAY BACK. Anyway thanks for a really enjoyable 2 and a half hours the other night and you might finally be making some real money, but never lose the fire that enables you to walk into any party, strap on that guitar or sit down at that keyboard and become Mr. Excitement all over again.


Your friend,
Loren
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Dear Al,


I just came from your performance tonight. What a special, funny, relaxed artist you are on stage.
When I was 20, I bought one of your records with Mike Bloomfield and I played it until it wore out.
Those were years of much experimentation with mind-altering substances, that my granddaughter
knows nothing about hopefully.


Thank you for a great evening of candor, warmth, and love. I am just a few years younger than you
and can so relate to your stories of "things that are no longer made."


Be well, and I hope to have the pleasure of listening to your amazing skill again some time. I hope
to purchase your CD, Black Coffee at my neighborhood music store in the next week.


Cheers,
Victoria
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what an awesome show... haven't stopped talking about it for three days... thanks Al...

loved your live performance (and story) of Going Going Gone... can't wait for your new record to become available.

a big fan- d

David Hale
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hi al. just got home from the show at mccabes. you were GREAT. the sound was so clear tonight, there were some soulful moments that were really wonderful. you were funny as always, and the show felt really good tonight. would LOVE to see you with the Faculty here in l.a.
best regards,
jay marks
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Back when I was working at Hollywood Sporting Goods, on Hollywood Boulevard, the Tubes did an in-store at the Peaches down the street. Fee came in his platform heels, as Quay Lewd. They blew in from KMET, signed some albums, and then were gone. I didn't see the band again until later that evening, at the Roxy. Al Kooper produced that record, the Tubes' debut, with not only "White Punks On Dope", but "What Do You Want From Life" and "Boy Crazy". Would it be stretching to call it a masterpiece? I don't think so. Today Al Kooper was inducted into Hollywood's RockWalk, in front of Guitar Center, on Hollywood Boulevard. Felice goes to every induction, Guitar Center's CEO is on the board of the foundation she runs. She gets a check just before the inductees put their hands in concrete. I've never been. But today I went, to hang with Al, to have a good time. There were more VIPs than attendees. Not that you'd know this if you watch a squib on TV, there was a ton of media. But the real action was with the friends and hangers-on, about 175, who'd come to recall the Summer of Love. Well, not really. Rather an event that occurred that same summer, a bit further down the coast, the Monterey Pop Festival. Jim Ladd was the master of ceremonies. He introduced the local councilman, who'd bizarred me earlier. Who was the dude in work boots? And jeans and a denim work shirt? It's like he'd just came from Griffith Park, putting out the fire, and that's what they were talking about, saving our city, thanking the police and firemen. Not that anybody would have thanked these same personages forty years earlier, they were the enemy. But now they're us, or our younger brothers and sisters. First inductee was Otis Redding. You should have heard Jim wax rhapsodic about Otis. About being not only a great artist, but a great businessman. Owning his own copyrights, putting out his own records, investing in real estate. And the bucks must still be coming in, since one of his grandkids was sporting a Louis Vuitton tote bag. Listening to Zelma Redding was like watching an old newsreel. She was THERE! Otis got home from Monterey at three in the morning and wanted to talk about achieving his goal. Otis may have composed his classic sitting on the dock in Marin, but he was a Georgia boy, he had roots, maybe that's why his music was so great. And then Lou Adler strode up to the dais. Lou... He was the Sergey Brin of his day. A benevolent businessman. Without Lou, there's not only no Monterey Pop Festival, but no Mamas & Papas. Lou was cool in his leather sneakers, striped jacket and cap. He wouldn't be this young if he lived in New York, but this beachhound and Lakers fan is as much a part of the California sound, the California ETHOS, as Brian Wilson. Hearing him talk about the festival, about Al Kooper being the stage manager and Michelle Philips being in charge of advertising, one recalled the birth of this business, before it was run by conglomerates focused on the bottom line. Hell, the acts at Monterey played for FREE! Maybe that's why the business was such a juggernaut back then. In an age when the labels keep the music locked up and acts look to their handlers before making any decisions, spontaneity and soul have been eviscerated, and we're the worse for it.Michelle had a bit of stage fright. She was moved by the induction of her old act. Or maybe she was just freaked out that she was the only member left, still reeling with the passing of Denny just a few months back. Thank god the music lives on, because it seems like most rockers die before their time. But Al Kooper still survives. A bit worse for wear, but his attitude and skills remain. Stunningly, for such a loquacious guy, Al found it hard to speak too. He said it was great to finally be recognized, that he never got any awards. Blondie and Patti Smith might be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but the man who played the organ on what is considered to be the greatest single of the rock era is not. And they played some of Al's compositions, as well as records he performed on and produced. The body of work was staggering. I loved hearing "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know", but it was his productions that stuck with me. After the gig was over, Lonn asked me to sit in on the interview, which is done for posterity after every RockWalk induction.Lonn asked about Bobby Colomby, and "The Modern Adventures Of Plato, Diogenes And Freud". I wanted to know about "Free Bird". Did Al KNOW that it was gonna be one of the two most famous songs of the rock era? Of course not. Well then how about "Sweet Home Alabama". When I heard it during the ceremony I was reminded how one can never burn out on the track, how it's truly a classic. Turns out the first album was done. But Al got a call from the band. They had a new song, they wanted to record it NOW! Well, the album was being pressed, but if they would come up to Atlanta and demo it for him... Al heard it in rehearsal and cut it immediately, capturing the spark, BEFORE THE FIRST ALBUM WAS RELEASED!! And I'm talking to Al about being a producer. Wasn't the producer a key element of a record's success? Al smiled and said I'd answered my own question, without the producer, you had...Lynyrd Skynyrd's fourth album. Oh, Al wanted it to be good, he was rooting for them. But without him... And what did he add? The missing parts. The old musicians talk in code. But they can communicate, with other musicians. Those that are left. Hell, the guys in Badfinger who killed themselves mentioned Al's old manager in their suicide notes. Not that that's any satisfaction for monies Al's never gotten. But Al's got the stories. Cutting the horn parts in "You Can't Always Get What You Want". Getting Stephen Stills in to complement Mike Bloomfield on "Super Session". And I'm thinking how I'm eating this up, how I'm living the life of my dreams. But most people just don't care anymore. We've outlived our era. They're lining up for "American Idol", I see them on Fairfax every Sunday night, but genuine stars, legends, creators, they're now ignored. There was a pulse once. When Felice took the mic and recounted her trip to Monterey in a friend's Ford, tears came to my eyes. It's the music that links us. We remember, we understand, it not only makes us us, it keeps us together. --

Bob Lefsetz
Visit the archive: http://lefsetz.com/
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UPDATE - AUGUST 10TH, 2007

Sorry for the delay. I am buried deep in the making of my next album.
Looks like it's gonna be called "White Chocolate." What else could follow "Black Coffee ?" Highlights include two new songs co-authored with one of the world's greatest lyricists, Gerry Goffin. We have now become good friends and I am sure there will be many more collabs in the future. There is a track that I wrote 16 years ago; a tribute to Stax/Volt Records. I have tried for years to have Booker T & The MGs play back-up on this track. Finally guitarist Steve Cropper and bassist Duck Dunn said they were in when they heard the demo with their names mentioned in the lyrics! The drummer had passed away many years ago, and Booker is REALLY hard to contact, so with the addition of Anton Fig (who originally replaced the late drummer in the MGs) and yours unruly, on keyboards we booked a session in NYC in early June. It went off perfectly with the Uptown Horns subbing for The Memphis Horns, who are their icons.
I'll leave it at that for now. As I get closer to completion, I will post all the titles and details. There is no firm release date yet other than sometime in 2008. After the honor of being inducted into the Rock Walk Of Fame, I NEVER expected the following:

Recording Innovator and Blues, Rock, Jazz and Pop Virtuoso Al Kooper Honored with Les Paul Award

Prestigious award presented by Mix Foundation recognizes creativity
in the use of recording technology

August 8, 2007 (Walnut Creek, CA) – Musician, producer and composer Al
Kooper will be presented with the prestigious Les Paul Award, sponsored by Gibson Guitar, at the 23rd Annual Technical Excellence & Creativity (TEC) Awards, to be held on October 6, 2007, at the New York Marriott Marquis.

Named for the legendary musician and inventor, the Les Paul Award was
established in 1991 to honor the lifetime achievements of those whose work has exemplified the creative use of recording technology. Al Kooper joins illustrious former honorees Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Steely Dan, Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen, Brian Wilson and other innovative artists and producers.

The 2007 recipient is being hailed as a musical innovator for over 40 years in blues, rock, jazz and pop. According to Hillel Resner, president of the Mix Foundation for Excellence in Audio, "Al Kooper has been a trailblazer in recording techniques. His work is always fresh and inventive and especially deserving of this year's Les Paul Award."

"Gibson Guitar is honored to present this year's Les Paul award to Al Kooper, a musician who epitomizes the spirit of rock 'n' roll," said Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar. "We celebrate his role in modern music and applaud him on his many talents which have entertained millions of fans for years."

Often referred to as the "Zelig" or "Forrest Gump" of Rock, Al Kooper has managed to turn up – and play a pivotal role– in some of rock's most historical moments. Kooper, who recently released a critically acclaimed solo album, "Black Coffee," shows no sign of slowing down after 49 years in the business. Well known for founding Blood, Sweat and Tears in the mid-sixties, Kooper's work as a producer and musician has made a lasting impact on the soundtrack of some of rock's greatest hits.

As a producer he is best known for discovering Lynyrd Skynyrd and producing their first three albums. He went on to play sessions with Jimi Hendrix, The Who and George Harrison, and teamed with guitarists Michael Bloomfield and Stephen Stills to record the top ten album "Super Session." He has produced albums for clients including The Tubes, Nils Lofgren, Ray Charles, B.B. King, The Staple Singers, Bob Dylan, Joe Ely, Green on Red and many others.

Author of Backstage Passes & Backstabbing Bastards, Kooper also scored
Hal Ashby's first film "The Landlord," John Waters's film "Cry Baby,"
Michael Mann's TV series "Crime Story" and Peter Riegert's recent directorial debut "King of the Corner."

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I guess you just wait until you're old and then if you're lucky, some people eventually review your life's work and "get it." This means a lot to me because I was selected by my peers; people who lead similar lives to mine; people in the same lines of work - technology maniacs! Not to mention being presented the award by it's namesake, my lifetime hero, the amazing 92 year old Les Paul. Looking forward to that night. In 1994 I MC'ed those awards and had a great time. Phil Spector won that year. I'll leave the obvious joke out here as I feel badly for his current situation. I wouldn't be here today without all the production nuggets I gleaned from that man.

BACK BEAT BOOKS will be publishing my updated autobiography "Backstage Passes & Backstabbing Bastards" in April of 2008. I know many of you have written in about trying to find a copy since it went out-of-print in 2002, and I am happy to announce this and hopefully kill some Ebay sales at over $150 a book !
And along those lines, "Soul Of A Man," a double live album that I heartily endorse, but that is extremely hard to purchase since it's 1995 debut, has fallen into my hands again. albeit as a second printing. The packaging & booklet are waaaay different looking than the original package, but all the music & info remain the same inside. To purchase this wonderful rarity or read about it, click on the STORE tab on the top of this page.

October 2nd, The Funky Faculty and I return to our favorite haunt, BB
Kings in NYC.

September 28th, I am back at The Sellersville Theater in Sellersville, PA to do a two-hour solo set. That's somewhere between Philly and Buyersville, (just kidding - but it's not that far from Philly.) Click on the LIVE tab on the top of this page for details.

Because of being so busy working on the album, I have temporarily
suspended downloading from iTunes untill I have more time to listen.
Hence no tips in this update.

Wish me luck and thank you all for being here with me

xxxoo Al

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UPDATE OCTOBER 28TH, 2007

Well I have a few moments to spare in my busiest of seasons. Other than background singers, all recording on “White Chocolate,” my next album is completed. It took from April to November, which is the longest I’ve ever taken on any of the solo recordings I‘ve done in my career. I think part of the reason is the arrangements are the most complex of any prior ones, and to bring them from my brain to fruition was a major task. The covers on the album are “Calling You,” the theme from the film “Baghdad Cafe ” - “I Who Have Nothing,” the Leiber-Stoller gem originally recorded by Ben E. King - “I Love You More Than Words Can Say” the Otis Redding classic ballad done here uptempo for the first time, “Susan” a wonderful song written by Fred Bliffert, who I produced decades ago under ther name Freddie Henry, a re-cover of “It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry,” on which I played keyboards on the Bob Dylan original, then sped up on a version on Super Session. Now it’s back to a slow shuffle, with a ‘40’s style horn arrangement included along with marauding mandolins, and a song I just heard on iTunes that bowled me over that I am still researching for authorship. It’s a gospel goodie however. All the rest of the total fourteen tracks are originals and probably some of my best songwriting ever. I suspect if you enjoyed “Black Coffee” you will be delighted by this one. Once again, no release date set, but with luck, it should be totally done by December 1st (mixing,mastering, and artwork in November).

The Funky Faculty and I have just returned from our first tour of the Czech Republic and I am proud to say it was a resounding success. During one show, one of my favorite singers & harp players sat in for two numbers - the former lead singer of Manfred Mann, the great Paul Jones. He sang and played harp on his composition “Sonny Boy Williamson” (which I have been playing live for decades), and then contributed some blistering harpwork to our live arrangement of “I Wish You Would.” A memorable evening. Coming up is our Japanese tour in early December. If all this isn’t enough, I am writing the update to my book which will be out in April if I can write fast enough. There is talk of a British-Irish-Scottish-Welsh jaunt in April and a Spanish stroll in late May. I hope to get out to Northern California in January for my annual solo tour.

October 6th I was honored by the Mix Foundation with the Les Paul Award, presented to me by the man himself. This was a great moment in my life - Les Paul was one of my early idols and we got along infamously at the awards ceremony in New York City.

 


I am making preparations to enter the studio in New York on November 10th to begin mixing “White Chocolate.” The next update may be awhile, but hang in there and know that I am working my way back to you.

Happy Thanksgiving

Al Kooper

 

iTUNES PIX FROM THE LAST FEW MONTHS

How Strange 5:50 Damien Dempsey
Village Natural 4:34 Donny McCaslin
South Bixel 5:49 Eldar
I Remember When 4:34 Eldar
Terre 4:34 Manou Gallo
Sally Ann 1:24 Sean Hayes
Love's Got a Lot to Answer For 3:02 Nick Lowe
The Other Side of the Coin 2:47 Nick Lowe
Pearls On a String 2:23 Ryan Adams
These Girls 2:50 Ryan Adams
You're the One I Want 3:16 Chris & Thomas
Every Wall You Own 2:31 Chris Bathgate
Appalachia 3:33 David Davidson
Island in the Sun 3:20 Weezer
I Can't Keep from Cryin' Sometimes 4:56 Mario Biondi
Indian Lady 8:07 The Don Ellis Orchestra
Pulse 4:42 Ben Jelen
Short of the World 5:10 Ben Jelen
Wreckage 3:30 Ben Jelen
Born Lonesome 4:57 Cadillac Sky
Homesick Angel 5:44 Cadillac Sky
Last Train 3:22 Arlo Guthrie
Darkest Hour 4:16 Arlo Guthrie
I've Got to Use My Imagination 4:05 Joan Osborne
Booklet - Joan Osborne - Breakfast in Bed Joan Osborne
Coming Up 3:46 Paul McCartney
Juicebox 3:14 The Section Quartet
Black Hole Sun 4:49 The Section Quartet
That's Not What She Said to Me 2:40 Jeb Loy Nichols
Lonely Woman 4:04 Chris Connor
I'm Gonna Go Fishin' 2:51 Chris Connor
God Bless the Child 3:01 Chris Connor
Lullabies 2:48 Brandi Shearer
Heaven 2:37 Brandi Shearer
Get Your Things 2:33 Brandi Shearer
Blue Harvest 3:33 Pinback
How We Breathe 4:07 Pinback
Barnes 4:16 Pinback
Running On Sunshine 4:54 Jesus Jackson
Ain't Nothing Wrong With That 3:30 Robert Randolph
Again & Again 2:45 The Bird And The Bee
Morning Bell - ITunes Exclusive Track 9:19 Chris Potter
Are You Lonely for Me Baby 3:57 Andrew Strong
Ain't Nothing You Can Do (Long Version) 6:03 Andrew Strong
Same Old Me 5:05 Andrew Strong
All the Way Down 5:17 Oakley Hall
EpistroFunk 7:20 Oz Noy
Evidence 4:36 Oz Noy
I Will Rise Up/Ain't No More Cane 7:15 Lyle Lovett
One of the Brightest Stars 3:11 James Blunt
Alone and I 6:29 Herbie Hancock
Left Behind 3:26 Jeremy Fisher
Summertime 3:21 Jesca Hoop
Yesterday 5:49 Lee Morgan
Lovesong of the Buzzard 4:26 Iron & Wine
Hana 3:42 Joni Mitchell
Don't Cry Baby 2:53 Queen Latifah
What Love Has Joined Together 3:40 Queen Latifah
How Long (Betcha' Got a Chick On the Side) 5:42 Queen Latifah
Moonglow 4:16 Tony Bennett
Unity Village 3:42 Pat Metheny
Plantlife 4:10 Autolux
Walk You Home 4:00 Super Furry Animals
Living Darfur 4:12 Mattafix
This Land Is Your Land 4:31 Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
Game for Fools 4:13 Jamie Lidell
Royalty 3:32 The Beautiful Girls
My Girl Josephine 4:09 Taj Mahal & The New Orleans Social Club
I'm In Love Again / All By Myself 3:23 Bonnie Raitt & Jon Cleary
Walking to New Orleans 3:15 Neil Young
Love Is Blind 4:15 Annie Lennox
Through the Glass Darkly 3:29 Annie Lennox
Slow Funk 6:29 Buddy Rich
1 4:08 Carol Bui
2 3:02 Carol Bui
Ain't Got You 4:22 Kevin Michael
Black Coffee 2:45 Sonny Criss
Lord, You've Been Good to Me 3:16 Andraé Crouch
Alright 4:37 Ledisi
Maria 3:53 ALO
Hold On 3:30 The Ingrams
Hard to Handle 4:10 Gov't Mule
All My Life 4:46 Barefoot Natives
Press My Way Through 5:12 Neal Roberson
I'm a Ram 7:43 Gov't Mule
Vexed 2:39 Say Anything
Plea 4:32 Say Anything
Retarded In Love 3:08 Say Anything

 

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These songs are in no order based on merit or quality but rather as if being played intelligently on a radio show or podcast. They are all easily downloadable preferably paid for. These are great artists giving you the best music IMHO of 2007. For $50 you can give yourself an amazing Xmas present if your taste resembles mine in any way shape or form. Otherwise check ‘em out and take the ones that YOU really like. There should be quite a few!!

AL’S 2007 TOP 50

1. CHICAGO, CITY OF SHOULDERS/Andy Davis 3:22
A very fresh composition & sound from this newcomer. Doesn’t really get old very quickly either.

2. BLACK DOG/ Pugwash 3:11
Not the Zep tune, in fact, more Beatle-esque, actually. These Irish lads, led by Thomas Walsh, have a few albums under their beltsand are revered by many musicians cross the pond.

3. GET YOUR THINGS/Brandi Shearer 2:33
Produced by Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Madeleine Peyroux), this singular Oregonian, now living in SF, immediately catches your ear with all around originality.

4. I FOUND OUT/ Nathaniel Mayer 4:04
John Lennon is smiling down on this primitive r&b cover that somehow still contains all his sentiment. Unexpected vocal performance and musical camradarie.....

5. I’LL REMEMBER YOU/Soweto Gospel Choir 5:10
Slow soothing African gospel music sung in English. A Sunday
morning stunner!

6. I’M A CRIMINAL/Paul Reddick & The Sidemen 5:56
This almost-twenty year-old Canadian aggregation spits out nasty, rootsy, modern blues played just as I like it. Something tells me it will be just like YOU like it as well.

7. GAME FOR FOOLS/Jamie Lidell 4:13
This twenty-something UK lad has his hand on a soul/electronica live show that has been slaying audiences all over Europe and South America. Here, he settles into a minimalist ballad that convincingly wins you over with THAT VOICE.

8. HOLDING ON/The Beauty Room 4:42
Sort of a foil to Gnarls Barkley, with a whiter thread that smacks of Steely Dan/Beach Boy influences. This is a well-made track that works it’s way into your heart and won’t leave.

9. HOME/Great Northern 3:48
A great foil to the above track, these two bands understand each other and should tour together. THAT would get me outta the house.

10. UPSIDE DOWN/Borne 4:16
Together four years, these Aussies fronted by lead singer Cameron Tapp take a top 40 sound and bring more musical depth to it than US groups usually do currently. I think of this for now as a guilty pleasure, but a pleasure nonetheless.

11. THAT’S NOT WHAT SHE SAID TO ME /Jeb Loy Nichols 2:40
In less than three minutes, Jeb spins out a yarn that everyone can understand. That, my friends, is classic songwriting.

12. DARKEST HOUR/Arlo Guthrie 4:16
I thought Arlo’s best years were behind him at some gal’s restaurant. I was soooo wrong. His latest live album contains many spellbinders such as this one. And while none of them are comedic, some may bring a warm smile.

13. I’M A RAM/Government Mule 7:43
The last thing we all expected in time for the holiday season was a reggae album from the Mule. Toots of the Maytals sings at least one and Warren Haynes is no slouch on the above Al Greeen chestnut trenchtowned up the wazoo for almost eight minutes.

14. I KNOW WHAT LOVE’S ABOUT/Anthony Hamilton 4:32
I would say Hamilton is the current contender in the Al Green Replacement Race. Ahead by two furlongs, at the moment....here’s why.

15, DO I/Alice Smith 4:05
The debut album that surrounds this 70’s style oldsoul track made a lot of noise this year. This Washington DC/Augusta GA native sounds like she’s still deciding what direction to go in. I hope it’s this one...

16. SIMPLE THINGS/Elisabeth Withers 3:51
This woman’s experience pours right out of her mouth instantly. From Joliet, IL to starring in the B’way musical THE COLOR PURPLE, to signing with Blue Note Records, her career seems assured for now. This is a great track ane and the rest of her album is no slouch either

17. TWILIGHT/Tenbi 4:42
I have a weakness for japanese music especially as played on the traditional shamisen instrument. I have added Tenbi’s name to a list of favorites including Agatsuma & The Yoshida Brothers. This is a well produced track taking the shamisen into modern times.

18. RUNNING ON SUNSHINE/Jesus Jackson 4:54
I guess being played on “Grey’s Anatomy” is one of the best kick-off’s a tune can get nowadays. This is a well produced track that tightropes
the black/white balancing act.

19. IN MY SONGS/Gerald Levert 5:06
Child was father to the man but alas, father Eddie has out-lived son Gerald. One of G's last trax here with his dad's OJay sound all over it. A tragic loss.....

20. MACHINE’S NIGHT OUT/One Trick Pony - 4:19
A trio of two lassies & a lad from LA screams of musicianship on this track. Part of a califonia collective of various musicians, they stick right out and I suspect they have more than one trick up their hoof.

21. OUT OF THE RAIN/Jessi Colter feat. Tony Joe White
A complete surprise for me. I have always enjoyed the original version by Tony Joe, so I’m pleased this duet has his heavy influence and signature guitar playing. Kudos to the widow Jennings.

22. SUMMERTIME/Jesca Hoop 3:21
Not the standard but a multi-sectioned pop original, that has some great hooks in it. A blast of fresh, humid air from a former Mormon who worked for Tom Waits as a nanny. Got it ? Get it.....

23. STRUGGLE/Ringside 3:55
Modern sounding but owes a lot to The Doors. Two guys from California - one, the actor Balthazar Getty. The video will attract closet pyromaniacs.

24. WHITHER THE INVISIBLE BIRDS/Deerhoof 2:11
Who’da thought one of my fave bands would go into Bjork territory ?
Not that there’s anything wrong with that and of course, they do it so well. A stunner.

25. RAGAMUFFIN GIRLFRIEND/Chapter 11 4:23
A reggae-rap masterpiece. This will have you up & dancing in no time and you’ll be unconsciously singing it at work the next day. Looks like Latin guys from Long Beach/Redondo in the video.

26. THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND/Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings 4:31
This Brooklyn based soul band tackles an r&b version of Woody Guthrie for what I believe is the first time. A great arrangement and the irony of the lyric in their hands makes this track a standout of 2007.

27. WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO/Perry Philips 3:42
Born in the Bahamas, discovered in Toronto, and currently living in Germany this multi-national knows how to do the ballad. A refreshing honest performance by a natural man.

28. MY BABY’S GONE/Joan Armatrading 3:36
This classic folkster drops her fragile guard and takes on the r&b world fearlessly and shamelessly. The result is down to earth wall-shakin’ good !!

29. THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN/Nick Lowe 2:47
This 70’s popster, formely known as the Jesus of Cool, steps into a self-written number that would do Johnny Mathis proud if he had the nerve nowadays. A wonderfully relaxed composition and performance.

30. BABY IS A BUTTERFLY/Joan Osborne 3:55
From Joan’s recent album of mostly soul covers. She slipped a few originals in and to her credit, one can’t tell the newbies from the oldies. We recently dined in NYC, and I was very impressed with her personality and professionalism. Keep on keepin’ on.....

31. SWAMP THANG/The Soul of John Black 2:47
One of those groove records that gets inside your body & mind and will NOT let go. John Black under various monikers, played and composed for MILES DAVIS, did session work for Eminem instrumentally, and came up through the ranks the way one should.

32. SPAM MAN/MRP 3:36
This track ain’t for everyone. Guitarists, drummers and dancers should download ASAP. The rest can take a curious listen before they dare drop their 99 cents. Al’s buyin’ it first time around. An instrumental that goes deep into the basics.

33. HE SAID, SHE SAID/Terry Cummings 4:44
What hasn’t this guy done ? A major record-holder for his 18 years of play in the NBA, an ordained minister since age 16, and a great musician, singer & writer. This is a class A soul ballad - Throw me the ball, Terry !!!

34. COULD IT BE I’M FALLING IN LOVE/Vesta 4:46
Borrowing heavily from The Spinners original, Vesta does a fine vocal
but I’m afraid the bassplayer steals the show. iTunes, as usual, provides no credits. Email me if ya know who it is. I need 2 know !!!

35. LOVE’S GOT A LOT 2 ANSWER 4/Nick Lowe 3:02
Making his second appearance in this years list, Nick just does what he does best. Great writing, singing & production. You GO, guy !!

36. GET RIGHT CHURCH Martha Scanlan 4:24
Usually one of this generation’s bluegrass staples, she drops the grass here and sounds more like the Staples Singers. A great genre-widening blues track for Martha. Hats off to the group Ollabelle for tasty sidemaning.

37. IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE (live)/Eric Bibb 5:18
This bluesman has integrated his backing group seamlessly into the inner groove of his live performances. So he’s just showing that off for all of us here and what a pleasure ! Great track, great groove !

38. STILL IN LOVE/Kirk Franklin 5:19
Blasting through the gospel ranks in the last few years, fueled in the backbone by the spirit and style of Andrae Crouch, it now seems Kirk has soundly stepped into Andrae’s place in the pantheon. “Put on your rollerskates!” he instructs at the start of this self-penned track.
I don’t need ‘em, Kirk. I can roll with ya just like this....

39. TIME/Keite Young 4:28
Shoved in between Prince & Sly, this lad is pushing his way into his own thing. Give him some room & some time and then watch out.

40. THE MESSENGER/Kiku Collins 4:44
Trumpeters of the female variety in jazz are few & far between. This woman throws gender down the drain with performances like dis.
Soothing on the soul on Sunday mornin,’ this ain’t no Fed Ex; it is hand delivered right to your heart

41. BLUE HARVEST/Pinback 3:33
It infuriates me that this band continually buries the lead vocals in guitar infested groove tracks. But I put up with it ‘cause I have no choice. Hey Rob Crow!! Toin it up (the vocal, that is!)

42. CIRCLE IN THE SAND/Rickie Lee Jones 3:29
This jumped out of her latest album. I dont think she’s approached this groove before, but it suits her just fine. Play this for your friends

43. JUICEBOX/The Section Quartet 3:14
Yeah, it’s a cover and it’s an instrumental but it really has a life of it’s own. These four are the string section of note for session work and they are tight as an.....oil drum ???( is that OK, Mr. President ??)

44. BOATING ACCIDENT/Wooden Stars 6:18
This is probably the weirdest one this year and it gets excessively so occasionally in its over six minute journey, but it certainly has it's moments and they make it worth your while.

45. COLD HEARTED WIND/Ron Sexsmith 3:40
He’s been around for over ten years now and sits on the cusp of large recognition and continually narrowly avoids it. Hang in there, Ron. They’ll come back eventually and rediscover gems like this one.

46. NEVER BE LONELY/The Feeling 3:32
For my taste, the tastiest Top 40 track of the year and therefore a guilty pleasure. This is a great band and I’m sticking with them. Can’t wait for the next album.

47. TIME FOR ME TO FLY/The Jonas Bros. 3:05
Yeah, I know. They’re a kid band. It’s a top 40 record aimed at pre teens. But what the hell ? It’s a great record anyway. Jackson 5 meets Green Day ????

48. YOUR DOG’S ABOUT TO KILL MY CAT/Ms. Jody 4:52
Every once in awhile along comes a lyric like this. Probably more prevalent in the 1920’s but just as humorous now. Blues with a peeling.

49. WOULD YOU STAY/Dave Coffin 2:20
There’s been a plethora of acoustic guitar-singer-songwriter trios lately with good songs and great tight arrangements. Here is yet another. Easy on the ears. Hope he doesn’t dive down to his last name.

50. AINT NOTHIN’ WRONG WITH THAT/Robert Randolph 3:20
Certainly lives up to the title. This guy gets better each album and his live following seems to increase geometrically. Aint nothin’ wrong with that or this.

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NEWS RELEASE - October 10th, 2008

Well, better late than never. If you click on the store logo at the top of this page, you will find you can now pre-order a copy of my soon-to-be-released new CD "White Chocolate!" This is a pre-order for the actual CD, not a digital download.And as a bonus for ordering early, we are including a special download card so you can additionally download SEVEN bonus demo tracks, for a grand total of 22 tracks - plus each CD is autographed. There is a booklet included with all the credits and info you would wanna know about each track.

Lyrics will be posted under the WORDS logo at the top of this page under Lyrics. I dont know what else I can do but I'm still thinkin'.

Please send an email if you have time and lemme know what you think when and if you get your copy around October 21st.

On October 28th I am being honored by being inducted into The Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville. If you're in the area, come on down and party with us. Tix are for sale at www.musicianshalloffame.com - should be an amazing night.

My westcoast-almost-annual solo tour is all set for January 2009. Dates are January 7th at The Throckmorton Theater in Mill Valley, CA. January 9th at AcousticMusic/San Diego, January 11th at McCabes in Santa Monica, CA, a break to attend the NAMM show in Anaheim, CA January 14-17, and finishing up at The Triple Door in Seattle, WA on January 18th.

My 65th birthday show will be at BB Kings in NYC on February 7th. Special guests and possibly, a lot of slow movin' folks will abound. Tix are on sale NOW.

It's quite a buncha stuff to have your own record label. It's expensive, there's a ton of paperwork and time that has to be tendered and I thought I named it well as A MINOR RECORD COMPANY (as opposed to A MAJOR RECORD COMPANY) Most people think it refers to an A minor chord so I'm settin' the record/CD straight here.

Below are the usual song download suggestions from August until this week. There are some GREAT tracks for your listening pleasure.

We are selling a bunch of autographed books at the webstore, so if you haven't gotten your copy, come on down.

Until next time this is old Al wishing you all good listening until next time.

Al Kooper

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GREAT DOWNLOADS FROM AUGUST TO OCTOBER

Watch Your Step (90's version) 3:35 Bobby Parker
Green Onions (Live) 3:41 Booker T. & The MG's
Autumn Leaves (Live) 2:22 The Bird and the Bee
Love Is Dead 4:36 Kerli
Days Go On 3:15 Greg Laswell
Rich Girl 2:08 Me First And The Gimme Gimmes
The Boxer 2:49 Me First And The Gimme Gimmes
You've Got a Friend 2:35 Me First And The Gimme Gimmes
Mother and Child Reunion 2:11 Me First And The Gimme Gimmes
The Harder They Come 2:25 Me First And The Gimme Gimmes
Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me 3:49 Me First And The Gimme
Happy Jack 2:55 Southern Culture On the Skids
Slidin' Delta 2:02 Doc Watson
My Dear Old Southern Home 2:25 Doc Watson
Bright Sunny South 2:37 Doc Watson
Let the Church Roll On 2:58 Doc Watson
My Little Woman, You're So Sweet 2:22 Doc Watson
Watson's Blues 3:34 Doc Watson
Temporary Misery 3:19 Donna the Buffalo
Empty House 3:34 Paper Route
If I Needed You 3:19 Ricky Skaggs&Emmylou Harris
The Haunted Melody 4:32 Steve Howe Trio
Don't Need This Body 3:28 John Mellencamp
A Ride Back Home 3:13 John Mellencamp
So Natural to Love 3:34 Toby Lightman
Take My Hand 3:15 Toby Lightman
Different Lives 3:57 Ernie Halter
Over You 3:59 Jay Nash
Did You Know 3:15 Sarah Macintosh
Let's Do It Again (feat. Betty Wright) 4:19 Urban Mystic
Stairway to Heaven 6:17 The O'Jays
A Woman Alone With the Blues 3:18 Maria Muldaur
I'm Gonna Go Fishin' 2:22 Maria Muldaur
Louisiana Love Call 5:52 Maria Muldaur
Good Stuff 3:03 Eric Bibb, Rory Block & Maria Muldaur
Give a Little More 3:21 Eric Bibb, Rory Block & Maria Muldaur
Tenderly 3:27 The Johnny Smith Quintet
Moonlight in Vermont 3:16 The Johnny Smith Quintet
Up a Lazy River 2:50 Rickie Lee Jones
Smaller Rivers 2:41 Sam Prekop
You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb 3:09 Spoon
Every Little Bit Hurts 4:38 The Clash
Leavin Here 2:52 Pearl Jam
You've Got to Earn It (Single Version) 3:31 The Staple Singers
Baby Don't Do It (Live in Amsterdam, 2006) 3:26 James Hunter
The Beginning (A Simple Seed) 5:02 The Classic Crime
The Way That You Are 3:33 The Classic Crime
Mary's Got a Baby 4:02 Maxi Priest
To Wake the Eye 2:54 Sunfold
Hip Factor (feat. Rob Dixon) 4:54 Steve Allee Trio
The Heart of Saturday Night 4:04 Diana Krall
Love Me Like a River Does 4:06 Melody Gardot
Fannin Street 5:02 Tom Waits
One of Those Days 4:24 Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere
In My Head 3:38 Your Vegas
Everything You're Breathing For 3:47 The Parlor Mob
Parakeet 2:22 Faraquet
The Whole Thing Over 3:33 Faraquet
Yo-Yo 4:16 Faraquet
Black Keys 3:24 Andy Davis
Believable Doubt 3:58 Andy Davis
Earth & Venus 3:57 Andy Davis
Brown Eyes 4:10 Andy Davis
Let the Woman 3:23 Andy Davis
The Sound of Silence (Live) 5:30 Brooke Fraser
That's All Right (Second 'Sit-Down' Show) 3:08 Elvis Presley
Why Pretend 3:26 Mandi Perkins
God Bless the Child 4:56 Arne Domnérus
Free At Last 5:23 Rebecca Martin
After Midnight 3:46 Rebecca Martin
BACK TO BACHRACH (ALBUM) Steve Tyrell
Stick-To-It-Ive-Ness 5:34 Yellowjackets
Just In Time 4:32 Bill O'Connell
Soul Creek 3:35 Black Stone Cherry
Out Among the Stars 6:04 Darrell Scott
All the Lovely Ladies 5:07 Darrell Scott
Let the Night Move Slow 3:48 David McMillin
Bulk Eye 4:58 Don Caballero
Loudest Shop Vac In the World 8:56 Don Caballero
Desire 4:38 Phil Perry
Go Easy 4:00 David McMillin
Over the Rainbow 4:42 Ben Webster
You Are the Best Thing 3:51 Ray LaMontagne
Let My People Go 3:58 Darondo
Legs 3:45 Darondo
Didn't I 3:29 Darondo
True 4:49 Darondo
Watch It 4:50 Orgone
Who Knows Who? 3:36 Orgone
High Water Everythere 4:07 Joe Bonamassa
Couldn't Be Done 2:51 Tim Finn
Unsinkable 2:55 Tim Finn
Dead Flowers 3:37 Tim Finn
Won't Be Long 3:54 Eva Cassidy
Ain't Doin' Too Bad 3:46 Eva Cassidy
Shaggy Dog 2:44 Lightnin' Hopkins
Words 4:05 Anthony David & India Arie
You Don't Know Me (feat. Regina Spektor) 3:10 Ben Folds
Forever She'll Be My Surfer Girl 2:52 Brian Wilson
Beaut 3:31 Brooke Waggoner
Young Friend 3:20 Brooke Waggoner
Colorbloods 5:16 Brooke Waggoner
Walk Away 3:10 Sonya Kitchell
Down the Line 4:10 The Gutter Twins
Keep On 4:08 Scott Simons
A Little Something Nice (Radio Edit) 3:52 Little Beaver
Sure Thing (Radio Edit) 4:04 Little Beaver
Everybody Has Some Dues to Pay 2:20 Little Beaver
Love Brought Me Back 5:29 D.J. Rogers
Somewhere Down the Line 4:52 Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes
Woman Don't Go Astray 2:34 King Floyd
Cause You Love Me Baby 4:07 Deniece Williams
Girl of the North Country 3:45 Howard Tate
The Sea a Dream 4:32 Liz Durrett
Standing (Live) 4:36 Patty Griffin
Of Course 2:16 Rahim
Through a Window 3:06 Rahim
Dark Harbors 2:22 Rahim
The Good Life 2:42 The Week That Was
It's All Gone Quiet 3:24 The Week That Was
The Airport Line 3:56 The Week That Was
Yesterday's Paper 7:01 The Week That Was
Goin' Down 5:59 Gov't Mule
Crazy 3:39 Jem
Keep On Walking 4:12 Jem
Welcome to the Black Parade 5:11 My Chemical Romance
Ordinary 3:23 Wayne Brady
Can't Buy Me Love 3:21 Wayne Brady
Make Heaven Wait 3:55 Wayne Brady
Beautiful Ugly 3:18 Wayne Brady
Nobody's Fault But Mine 3:50 Beth Rowley
When the Rains Came 3:20 Beth Rowley
The Way I Feel 3:28 Matt Wertz
Red Meets Blue 3:52 Matt Wertz
Carolina 3:04 Matt Wertz
Marianne 3:05 Matt Wertz
Waiting 3:03 Matt Wertz
With You, Tonight 3:55 Matt Wertz
Summer Sun 2:30 Matt Wertz
Back In June 3:30 Matt Wertz
In Love With Another Man 4:10 Jazmine Sullivan
Call Me Guilty 3:24 Jazmine Sullivan
Time the Conqueror (ALBUM) Jackson Browne
The Father, the Son, and the Harlot's Ghost 4:28 Matt Duke
Rose 3:51 Matt Duke
He's a Dick 2:48 Golden Smog
Lost Love 3:02 Golden Smog
Acid Tongue 3:50 Jenny Lewis
I'm His Only Woman (feat. Fantasia) 4:18 Jennifer Hudson
Jesus Promised Me a Home Over There 4:25 Jennifer Hudson
Diddy Wah Diddy 4:37 Taj Mahal
Eaguru Guru 4:01 Deerhoof
Annie Use Your Telescope 3:08 Jack's Mannequin
Baby Goats 5:23 Will Bernard
Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans 2:48 "Take 6"



NEWS RELEASE - July 1st, 2008

Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum Announces 2008 Inductees

Nashville, TN − Grammy award winning guitarist, Peter Frampton and country music legend, George Jones announced today the names of those musicians who will be honored at the 2008 Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum Awards Show on October 28, 2008 at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville. The inductees include some of the most esteemed and influential musicians in recording history:

Booker T. and the MGs - Booker T. Jones (organ, piano), Steve Cropper (guitar), Al Jackson (drums) and Donald "Duck" Dunn (bass) Best remembered historically as the studio band for Stax-Volt Records during the 60s, Booker T. and the MGs created the "Memphis Sound" behind the hit recordings by Carla Thomas ("Gee Whiz"), Rufus Thomas ("Walkin' the Dog"), Otis Redding ("Dock of the Bay"), Sam and Dave, among others. The reputation as a band in their own right was established in 1962 with their instrumental hit "Green Onions." On their own Booker T. and the MGs had rhythm and blues hits with "Hip Hug-Her," "Groovin'," "Soul Limbo," and "Time Is Tight."

The Memphis Horns - Wayne Jackson (trumpet) and Andrew Love (tenor saxophone) Famous for their many appearances on Stax Records, they have been called "arguably the greatest soul horn section ever." The Memphis Horns appeared on nearly every recording for Stax − with Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, Rufus Thomas, Sam and Dave and others − as well as on other releases, including The Doobie Brothers' What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits, U2's Rattle and Hum as well as a few solo records.

Al Kooper - Best known for his striking organ riffs on "Like a Rolling Stone" and his performances with Bob Dylan in concert in the 60s. Kooper was a member of the Blues Project, and formed Blood, Sweat & Tears, culminating in the release of their first album, Child Is Father to the Man. He has played on hundreds of records, including performances with The Rolling Stones, George Harrison, B.B. King, The Who, Jimi Hendrix and innumerable others. He has released approximately 11 albums since 1968 including the best-selling "Super Session" featuring Mike Bloomfield and Stephen Stills. In addition, he discovered the band Lynyrd Skynyrd, and produced their first three albums, including the single, "Sweet Home Alabama" and the iconic "Free Bird".

The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section - Jimmy Johnson (guitar), Roger Hawkins (drums), David Hood (bass), and Barry Beckett (keyboards) Formed in 1967, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section is considered one of the finest studio rhythm sections in the world, playing sessions in New York, Nashville, and Muscle Shoals. They became world renown as the musicians, and or producers, on such classics as "Respect" by Aretha Franklin, "Mustang Sally" by Wilson Pickett, "Kodachrome" by Paul Simon, "I'll Take You There" by The Staple Singers, "Old Time Rock and Roll" by Bob Seger, and many others. They have played on over 500 LPs, garnering over 75 gold and platinum LPs.

The Crickets - Jerry Allison (J.I.) (drums), Joe B. Mauldin (bass), Sonny Curtis (guitar/lead vocal) Founded in 1957, the Crickets have influenced virtually every major rock performer in the United States and abroad − from Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan to the Rolling Stones and the Beatles (whose name was even Crickets-inspired). Their hits have included some of rock's historical classics, "That'll Be The day," Peggy Sue," "Oh Boy," "Not Fade Away," "Maybe Baby," "It's So Easy," "I Fought The Law" and "More Than I Can Say."

Billy Sherrill (Producer Award) − Record producer and arranger who has been regarded as the defining influence of the countrypolitan sound, Sherrill is famous for his association with a number of country artists including Tammy Wynette, Charlie Rich, Elvis Costello, George Jones, Johnny Paycheck, Tanya Tucker, Johnny Cash, Barbara Mandrell, David Allan Coe, Ray Conniff, Joe Stampley, Charlie Walker, Ray Charles and many others.

Inductees are nominated nationally by the Musicians Union who has a membership of over 90,000 as well as a stellar list of other music industry professionals. Last year's inductees included: The Nashville A-Team, The Blue Moon Boys, The Funk Brothers, The Memphis Boys, The Tennessee Two, and The Wrecking Crew. They were joined in their performances by recording artists Garth Brooks, Brenda Lee, George Jones, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Peter Frampton, B.J. Thomas, Rodney Crowell, Roger McGuinn, and many others.

Tickets are now on sale at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center's box office, 615-687-6400 and on their website www.nashvillesymphony.org. Tickets prices range from $50.00 - $200.00. For more information on the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum, call (615) 244-3263 or go to their website at www.musicianshalloffame.com.


UPDATE - July 8th, 2008

My sincerest apologies for taking so long to return to this space. I have been totally flummoxed by the changes in the music business and have been trying to come up with the methodology to reach as many listeners as possible to let them know that I am releasing what I consider to be my best work. By the time I finish solving this conundrum, it will probably be at least October, when I am coincidentally being inducted into The Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville. Seems like a great release date for said album counting on all the synergy that might be going on at that time. Why.....yes !!!

That's what I think I will do. So I apologize for jumping into all the excitement previously aired here; it's just normal after one tackles such an arduous task. But now a clear plan is formulating that I think is best for this project and so I ask you all to bear with me until October 21st, which now seems like the best release date. I could put the first single out a few weeks earlier, but hey - there are no more singles anymore, are there, REALLY? So I'll just make the package look a little better while we're all waiting, okay ? Thanks in advance.

If you're having any trouble at all buying stuff from my webstore, please take a moment and detail it in an email to support@nimbit.com and they should help you immediately and get your merch right to you. My apologies to those who have had any trouble recently.

We had a wonderful tour of Spain the last two weeks of May. The weather was pretty good, the food was amazing, and the audiences were even MORE amazing. What a pleasure to play for such into-it peoples. We will try and make this an annual, if possible.

The re-released book is selling quite nicely and some folks have sent really nice emails after reading it. It actually seems to be the best time in history for it to be out and I am glad Backbeat Books talked me into it. Autographed copies are available at the webstore here, for those interested.

I will be playing a "surprise" performance at the city of Chicago's tribute to the great Buddy Guy. Along with Jimmy Vaughn and others it should be a swell night, July 20th, 8 PM at Millennium Park - all admitted FREE! Pretty good deal !!!

Al Kooper


GREAT DOWNLOADS FROM MARCH TO JULY

Night Is the Day Turned Inside Out Beulah
Stoned, Pt. 1 Lewis Taylor
You Have Been Loved Sia
I Will See You Again Rhonda Vincent
Devil With the Blue Dress Bill Kirchen
One of These Mornings Charlie Musselwhite
My Baby's On Her Way Dorsey Burnette
I'll Be Doggone Dwight Twilley
Flute Thing Chip Shelton
Mes yeux sont fous Johnny Hallyday
Love the World You Find The Flaming Lips
BC Tal Wilkenfeld
Serendipity Tal Wilkenfeld
Your Love Made a U-Turn Tift Merritt
The Lord Is My Shepard Kings Of Harmony
Ain't Nobody's Business Carolyn Wonderland
End of the World Blessid Union of Souls
Shake (Yo Mama) North Mississippi Allstars
Come Go With Me North Mississippi Allstars
Money (That's What I Want) Richard Wylie & His Band
Soul Girl Jeanne & The Darlings
Sanctuary Miles Davis
Little Billy The Who
Le Domino Noir Overture Black Dyke Mills Band
Down In the Basement Toni Lynn Washington
Language Mike Stern
Apologize OneRepublic
Just a Little Lovin' Shelby Lynne
Anyone Who Had a Heart Shelby Lynne
The Look of Love Shelby Lynne
Breakfast In Bed Shelby Lynne
I Need Some Sleep Eels
Turn It Up Danny Weis
Cat's Meow Danny Weis
Inglewood Danny Weis
Oh Lately It's So Quiet Ok Go
You Belong to Me (feat. Michael McDonald) Chaka Khan
Back In the Day Chaka Khan
Castles Made of Sand Chaka Khan
That's the Way of the World Dwele
Just a Dream Freddy Cole
The Pretty Road Maria Schneider
BEFORE THE DAYLIGHT'S SHOT (ALBUM) Ashley Cleveland
Blessed & Highly Favored The Clark Sister
Name It Claim It The Clark Sisters
You Heard My Cry The Clark Sisters
I've Got an Angel The Clark Sisters
Take Me to the Mardi Gras Johnnie Taylor
Spain Quartet San Francisco
The Mooche Quartet San Francisco
My Favorite Things Turtle Island Quartet
Misunderstood Carolyn Wonderland
I Found the Lions Carolyn Wonderland
Bad Girl Blues Carolyn Wonderland
Throw My Love Carolyn Wonderland
The Farmer Song Carolyn Wonderland
Feed Me to the Lions Carolyn Wonderland
Tonight You Belong to Me The Bird And The Bee
Birthday The Bird And The Bee
Work Clothes The Subdudes
Biscuits and Butter Carrie Newcomer
For Emma Bon Iver
Beautiful KJ Denhert
Try Me Marc Broussard
Crutches Paul Thorn
Stavin' for Your Kisses Paul Thorn
Who Am I Signum
Rosanna (Live) Toto
Luke Solo (Live) Toto
Happiness Goldfrapp
The Secret Parade The Afters
THE ORCHARD (ALBUM) Lizz Wright
'78 China Forbes
Free Marcus Miller & Corinne Bailey Rae
Strum Marcus Miller
Got to Get Away Easy Star All-Stars
Get Onboard Eric Bibb
Deep In My Soul Eric Bibb
Soul Rock Ferras
Hollywood's Not America Ferras
Tiny Steps Elvis Costello
Pump It Up Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Hear Now! Gerald Veasley
There Is So Much More Brett Dennen
Traffic Alive In Wild Paint
Let Me Go The Chapin Sisters
I Like It The Teenage Prayers
Light at the End Rustic Overtones
Carnival Rustic Overtones
Home This Year Virginia Coalition
Santa Fe Virginia Coalition
The Last Goodbye James Morrison
Balloons Foals
Nine In the Afternoon Panic At the Disco
Nothing Else Dave Barnes
I Saw God Victor Wooten
Falling or Flying Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
From the Head to the Heart Was (Not Was)
High The Paul Thorn Band
That's a Lie The Paul Thorn Band
Many Rivers to Cross (Idol Gives Back Performance) Annie Lennox
Purpose Was Angry The Bloodsugars
Breakfast On the BQE The Bloodsugars
When Water Comes to Life Cloud Cult
Are You Reday For Love ('79 Radio Mix Version) Elton John/Thom Bell
California Girl Tristan Prettyman
Black Ours
The Bones of You Elbow
I'm Not Drowning Steve Winwood
Fine & Mellow Eilen Jewell
It's Easier Eli "Paperboy" Reed And The True Loves
Lady Soul The Temptations
Stoner Hill Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band
Same Ol' Story Cyndi Lauper
House of Hope Toni Childs
Boston Lalah Hathaway
I Don't Wanna Wait The Veronicas
Some Days Wheat
Slide Over Backwards Donna Summer
How Deep Is Your Love The Bird and the Bee
Rough Parade Blackstrap
Testify Danielia Cotton
Don't Forget the Sun The Explorers Club
Lost My Head The Explorers Club
Safe Distance The Explorers Club
Hold Me Tight The Explorers Club
Ana Eco Jenny Scheinman
If I Was Sick Guy Forsyth
Sounds of Impalement john5
On Your Own Lalah Hathaway
That Was Then Lalah Hathaway
Sometimes I Wanna Melou
The Re-Arranger Mates of State
Try Sharon Little
Soul On Fire Spiritualized
Leviathan, Bound Shearwater
The Milky Way Home Sonny Landreth
I Can't Ben Sollee
Lost Katy Perry
The Things I Do Teddy Thompson
Sweet and Low (Live at Sweetwater Studios) Augustana
I Pity the Fool Hucknall
What Dying Feels Like Rebecca Lynn Howard
Won't Let Me Go Amos Lee
Can I Get a Witness Edwin McCain
Good Times Edwin McCain
Let It Die Foo Fighters
If Ever Foo Fighters
Albertine Brooke Fraser
Epilogue Brooke Fraser
Twelfth of Never Dolly Parton with Keith Urban
Champion of the World (feat. Jimmy Buffett) Little Feat
The Weight (feat. Bela Fleck & Mike Utley) Little Feat
This Land Is Your Land Little Feat
Sailin' Shoes (feat. Emmylou Harris) Little Feat
Artichokes Maps & Atlases
Ted Zancha Maps & Atlases
Touch Me Snow & Voices
Don't Give Up Tarrus Riley Take Me Higher Tarrus Riley
Rain from the Skies Delroy Wilson
LAY IT DOWN ( ALBUM ) Al Green


UPDATE - July 8th, 2008

Well, happy holidays to all of you and lets hope Obama or anyone can deal with the state of affairs they will inherit January 20th. At least there were good post xmas sales!

I am starting up on my annual westcoast tour. Here are the details. It is, as usual, a one-man-solo outing; more of a singer-songwriter thang rather than a night of blues & r&b with a band. It does give me a chance to tell the stories behind the songs and do material I cannot do in the other context.

©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©©

AL KOOPER JANUARY ONE-MAN SOLO TOUR OF THE WEST

MILL VALLEY, CA - 142 THROCKMORTON THEATER- January 7th, 2009
http://www.142throckmortontheatre.com/event.php?eventid=927
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - BOOK PASSAGE BOOKSTORE 6:00 PM JANUARY 8
http://www.bookpassage.com/event_nextmonth.php
SAN DIEGO, CA - ACOUSTIC MUSIC/SAN DIEGO - January 9th, 2009
http://www.acousticmusicsandiego.com/January.html
SANTA MONICA, CA - MCCABES GUITAR SHOP- January 11, 2009
http://www.last.fm/event/814289
W. HOLLYWOOD, CA - BOOK SOUP BOOKSTORE- JANUARY 13TH, 2009
http://www.booksoup.com/Details.asp?ProductID=938
ANAHEIM, CA - THE NAMM SHOW - january 14-17,2009
http://www.namm.org/thenammshow
SEATTLE, WA - EXPERIENCE MUSIC PROJECT - 7:30-JANUARY 17TH
http://www.empsfm.org/calendar/index.asp?m=1&d=17&y=2009&eventID=439&CategoryID=37
SEATTLE, WA - TRIPLE DOOR - JANUARY 18TH, 2009
http://www.thetripledoor.net/event.aspx?eid=3839&venue=mainstage



Coming up in February is a digital download boxset from SONY called "50/50" It represents my 50th year in the biz with 50 remastered songs from my Columbia Records catalogue circa 1968−2006. There are 6 unreleased tracks included featuring demos, backing tracks, out−takes and live recordings. I feel as strong about this release as I do about the live album "Soul Of A Man." Many of these tracks have never been released in the US on CD, so this is their first digital appearance here and I have personally re−mastered the entire album. Nowadays, it's too much to ask to get these many tracks/CDs physically manufactured, but one of the reasons people still buy CDs is covered here. The enclosed "booklet" is interactive and contains many things real booklets can't do − there are scads of unreleased photos, musicians listed for all songs and a few short sentences about each track by yours truly. There are liner notes by James Isaacs & Bob Lefsetz. I think any true fan of the solo albums from that time period on Columbia will really enjoy this unexpected treat. Downloadable on i−Tunes February 17th.

Good Lord, and if that ain't enough, February 5th, I'll be 65 years old and still not retired (tired, perhaps). February 7th is the big celebration at BB Kings in NYC with a few old friends onboard. Tix are on sale NOW. One show only that night. And for New Englanders, my spin-off rockabilly trio is playing February 15th at my local restaurant, The Highland Kitchen in Somerville, MA. Great food and great retro music that night starting at 10 PM.

In April we are off on the White Chocolate Tour to Japan for four shows April 10−16th. Details forthcoming. I will do what I can from now on, and the latter is what I be doing at da moment. Coming up below are my fave tracks from 2008. This is some great music if that's what you're lookin' for.... so thanks for visiting and hope to see you soon..AK


AL'S FAVORITE 50 TRACKS OF 2008

These songs are in no order based on merit or quality but rather as if being played intelligently sequential on a radio show or podcast. They are all easily downloadable preferably paid for. These are great artists giving you the best music IMHO of 2008. For $50 you can give yourself an amazing Xmas present if your taste resembles mine in any way shape or form. Otherwise check 'em out and take the ones that YOU really like. There should be quite a few........ AK

1. Free (Feat. Corrine Bailey Rae) 5:01 Marcus Miller
This cover of Deniece Williams great original is easily my track of the year. GREAT arrangement and vocal, and who else but Marcus could seamlessly integrate a BASS solo ??

2. Yesterday's Paper 7:01 The Week That Was
One of the brothers in the band Field Music has his own band. What a talented family! Exploratory pop music just the way Al likes it.

3. Devil With the Blue Dress 3:23 Bill Kirchen
The 2008 answer to Mitch Ryder's brilliant 60's Motown cover is soooo in the pocket, it sounds like it could have been the original. The author will be delighted.

4. Parakeet 2:22 Faraquet
Great neo−modern guitar instrumental. Unless the band is good−looking, this is a guy tune. DC trio with barebones website....

5. Baby Don't Do It (Live in Amsterdam, 2006) 3:26 James Hunter
The english retro−soul star lays down a live vocal on a par with the late JB. I'm so impressed I may go 2 1/2 hours away in a coupla weeks to see 4 myself.....

6. Can I Get a Witness 4:19 Edwin McCain
This is the year of the cover tune and Edwin successfully resurrects this seminal Marvin tune with a great new groove for it.

7. 24/7 Love 4:06 Clarence Spady
From Scranton, PA comes a bluesboy with a great trad sound. Keep on doin' it, Clarence!

8. From the Head to the Heart 4:15 Was (Not Was)
They're back, and if this tune is any imdication, better than evah...

9. Throw My Love 3:19 Carolyn Wonderland
I've heard a few tracks from this California blues woman with a voice to reckon with. Watch out for her

10. Lost 4:16 Katy Perry
All the fuss over the Jill Sobule ripoff, when this one is the REAL contender. With the right second album, I think she could be more than a one hit wonder.

11. Touch Me 2:49 Snow & Voices
Always one of the more musically complex of the Doors catalogue and yet so poppy lyrically, this 2008 cover sounds right on time.

12. High Water Everythere 4:07 Joe Bonamassa
A perfect track for Joe, this seems to be about the Crescent City and Katrina, although with 2008's summer rain & wind, it could be about several places.

13. Leviathan, Bound 2:53 Shearwater
I hear The Band & Left Banke, right off the top of my head. Good influences and a nice composition well−arranged. A band to watch

14. Legs 3:45 Darondo
Newly discovered obscure 70's funk. Like finding an undiscovered Sly track, but chronologically the real thing !

15. Waiting for My Child (Live) 4:27 Mavis Staples
A spare down−to−earth diary of a recent night with Mavis. As soulful and real as it gets.

16. Revenge Is Sweeter (Than You Ever Were) 3:42 The Veronicas
Influential sister team that puts a little more musicality in white dance music. Well−produced.

17. Lay It Down (feat. Anthony Hamilton) 4:30 Al Green
Finally the album we were all waiting for. Just keep doing this, Al and we all will be happy and smiling.

18. Can't Stop Fallin' 3:47 The World's Fair
Top 40 with all the best ingredients. Sounds like a hit you'd wanna endorse and then enjoy. What could be better ? Watch this band

19. Slide Over Backwards 4:11 Donna Summer
This ain't the Donna Summer you remember This is is a screamin blues bitch with bite. Honey, I didn't know you had all this inside ya Thanks for lettin' it out !

20. It's Easier 4:04 Eli "Paperboy" Reed And The True Loves
Wow ! This got me right between the eyes. What a debut ! Recently grabbed from his small label, Eli's next will be on Virgin. Trust me - he ain't one.

21. We Don't Need It 5:03 Solomon Burke
This could be an anthem for us in the wake of the Bush-bequeathed recession. A perfect time for this great song. BTW, Solomon just keeps getting better & better.

22. Nothing Else 4:22 Dave Barnes
There are many singer-songwriters out there right now. A lot of them are pretty good, so one has got to be a little more than that to cut through it all. Meet Dave Barnes

23. Acid Tongue 3:50 Jenny Lewis
Speaking of new acts cutting through, This girl came screaming through with this unique song appropriately uniquely produced. This was the Gnarls Barkley of 2008... hopefully with a better followup

24. Who Knows Who? 3:36 Orgone
Led by veteran songstress Fanny Franklin this retro-soul band has REALLY done their homework. Sounds JUST like 1969 and that's pretty refreshing nowadays....

25. Sunshine 4:17 Terisa Griffin
Sounds like a disciple of D'Angelo (who pretty much disappeared) Well, here SHE is flyin' her freak flag high!

26. God Bless the Child 4:56 Arne Domnérus
The classic tune, the way it SHOULD be played unlike the BS&T lounge version.

27. Make Me Over 3:06 Keyshia Cole
Great record. Sounds like a left-over Mariah Carey lyric from when she was just hitched to Tommy Mottolla

28. Jesus Promised Me a Home Over There 4:25 Jennifer Hudson
Sometimes the iron E is just 2 much. This was tearkerker b4 her personal tragedies, now it is mostly unlistenable without tears.

29. The Father, the Son, and the Harlot's Ghost 4:28 Matt Duke
A good record, a good song, well played and arranged; not Top 40 but in the spirit of it. Will keep my ears on Matt

30. Let It Die 4:05 Foo Fighters
To be honest, I haven't listened til now. This one REALLY got me. I'm a sucker 4 dynamics and this has plenty of them. I'm an FFF now.

31. F-cking Boyfriend 3:15 The Bird And The Bee
Lowell Georges daughter and her pal keyboardist. What could be bad ? Actually some wonderfully diverse tracks in their output since they started. Good lyrics and I love the shock of swear words from unlikely sources.

32. Life As It Happens 3:18 The Pillbugs
With the Beatles as the foundation, these bugs spin a nice yarn. Well done, lads!

33. You Don't Know Me (feat. Regina Spektor) 3:10 Ben Folds
Ben Folds, fellow singer-songwriter, finally sounds like all his ducks are in place; a GREAT single and Regina was great choice as duet partner. Love the arrangement and the production

34. Oh Lately It's So Quiet 3:21 Ok Go
It doesn't matter that we have the same lawyer; if I hated it you wouldn't see it here. With horns added even if they're ALL trombones.

35. Hold Me Tight 3:18 The Explorers Club
The Brian Wilson Fan Club expands once again. Personally, I don't think there are many better influences for a pop band and these guys "get it."

36. The Things I Do 3:44 Teddy Thompson
I'm a big fan of dad Richard and so I'm rooting for Teddy. This is my favorite track he's done so far. More of a Jackson Brown sound then of his dad's, but good music is good music.

37. Of Course 2:16 Rahim
I'm a fan. I pretty much bought their current album. The guitars are pleasant sounding original parts, the lyrics are very up-to-date and they're from Long Island. Nothing wrong here.

38. Happy Jack 2:55 Southern Culture On the Skids
Ok - a Who cover with no electric guitars and a BANJO ???? Pulled off by these comparative rednecks to great effect.

39. Some Days 3:23 Wheat
I wanted to know more about this bamd but their website was too hip for an older fan like me to navigate. Great sounding track with cute mathematical background vocal parts.

40. Beaut 3:31 Brooke Waggoner
This gal is immensely talented and resides in Nashville. Sorry I missed her when I lived there. Love to catch her live here in Boston. This track is most representative of her current album.

41. The Sea a Dream 4:32 Liz Durrett
This is a totally unique track out of the southern indie world. People that like Queen AND folk music will not believe their luck. Nice thick backup vocals and interesting chord changes. Really caught my ear.

42. Purpose Was Angry 4:20 The Bloodsugars
I believe XTC (the band) is an influence here but I also hear the city of New York where they reside. Good music well played & sung.

43. What Dying Feels Like 4:22 Rebecca Lynn Howard
The hardest lyrics to write & rhyme are the ones that most resemble everyday conversation between two people. This is one of my faves this year lyrically, not that this gal cannot sing her ass off.

44 Welcome to the Black Parade 5:11 My Chemical Romance
This is a f---ing ANTHEM fer crying out loud ! Dynamnics, great mix, superb drumming (that you can always hear in the mix) I just really appreciate the work that went into this track....

45. Love Fell 3:47 Sharon Little
Sharon's talents ain't so little. I love soul ballads with a good hook This is a perfect example - "I didn't fall in love - love fell on me..."

46. Unsinkable 2:55 Tim Finn
Tim is proud and honored to fill in for the now absent Bee Gees and believe me he can do it. A great song , vocal & arrangement in a genre slowly dying.

47. Bluebird 3:12 Randall Goodgame
With a name like that he shoulda been a shortstop. But we're lucky he turned to music. A happy good morning track - goes good with coffee and the newspaper

48. Love Don't Live Here 3:53 Lady Antebellum
This track sits on the line of pop & country. This band could go either way. Let's root for pop - they're more needed there. Hope they find the map the early Eagles used

49. Pachuca Sunrise 3:39 Minus the Bear
Indie band with great taste and guitar sounds. This is a gentler track than indie normal. Love to listen to this

50. Diddy Wah Diddy 4:37 Taj Mahal
Taj remembers the Great Bo Did. His version is true to both of them. Great happy party music. He's still got it and probably always will. I was lucky to play on one of his early albums and share bills together in the 60's.


UPDATE - MARCH 15TH, 2009

Back again finally. Had a wonderful West Coast solo tour in early January. Played one of my best solo shows ever at the Throckmorton Theater in Mill Valley. Roy Blumenfeld, ex Blues Project drummer sat in on the encores. Always great to get back to Seattle as well. Gave a seated interview w/audience at the Hendrix Museum. McCabes in LA is always a great gig - old pals from LA show up out of the blue turning each set into a HIGH school reunion if ya know what I mean. And I hadn't been to the church at San Diego's Acoustic Music venue in quite awhile and was greeted warmly there. Thanks to promoter Carey Driscoll for taking good care of me as usual.

Celebrated my 65th birthday at BB Kings in NYC on February 7th, two days after my actual birthday. What a blast ! Danny Kalb, ex Blues Project leader-guitarist opened the show with his current trio augmented by yours truly. I will admit we played a few BP everghreens and Danny surprised us all with his newly shaved-head look, and his amazing acoustic-electric sound. Next up was my rockabilly trio - me on guitar, Jesse Williams on standup bass, and Mark Texieira on drums (the newest member of the Funky Faculty). It's quite a kick for me to get up onstage at this age and play the songs I learned music from when I was in my pre-teens. I will never forget how to play those intricate finger-pickings I studied in my room with my $40 Sears Roebuck electric, my scratchy 45's, and my old red phonograph. Any chance I get to ressurect that music, I will jump at.

Then we briefly reformed The Self-Righteous Brothers (Vivino & Kooper) to musically bemoan the relocation of Jimmy to California for the new Tonight Show. Backed by his current trio and a few guests from the Fab Faux, we whizzed through an oldies set. Allen Bloomfield, Michaels brother, presented Jimmy with the first off the presses Mike Bloomfield Gibson Les Paul model, and Jimmy wasted no time breaking it in right there onstage. The Brothers were followed by The Funky Faculty, who put the capper on this three hour plus party. Extremely memorable evening for me. I had already treated myself to the appropriate birthday present - a 65-inch Sharp LCD HD mofo TV with incredasound 5.1. Now I'll REALLY never come outa the house - just call me Blue-Ray Charles.

At the end of February, I had cataract surgery on my poor tired eyes and they are healing nicely as I type this. I have an appointment in two weeks and I think it has probably helped my sight a wee bit. Let's hope so. Right before my surgery I played a gig at my local restaurant/bar The Highland Kitchen in Somerville, MA. They just started having music on Sunday nights and I just couldn't resist having a blow with the rockabilly trio on February 15th. The smallest place I have played in years was packed with great listeners and dancers and we rocked out accordingly. Hope to do it again soon !

I am resting up and healing in March to prepare for our upcoming Japanese Tour in April:

Apr. 10th NAGOYA The Bottom Line
http://www.bottomline.co.jp
Apr. 11th OSAKA Big Cat
http://www.arm-live.com/bigcat/liveschedule.html
Apr. 14th & 15th TOKYO Shibuya O - East
http://www.shibuya-o.com/

More details in our next update. Meanwhile, if you have downloaded the 50/50 album from iTunes, please go back and leave a review - it helps sell the album, and in today's music business, we need ALL the help we can get !!!

Speak with you again in May hopefully

Al Kooper


JANUARY-FEBRUARY BEST iTUNES DOWNLOADS

Some good entire albums in this time period: Wendy Waldman, Cindy Bullens & Debra Holland form a new group out of some vibrant old-timers. Kinda like an early CS&N chickflick. Stringman Bela Fleck leaves the Flecktones at home for a trip to Africa in accompaniment of great African singers. Not for everyone, but pleasant on the ears in a whirled music way. A new young rip-snorting instrumental shred band plays with amazing taste and style on their latest effort. Check out Carving Desert Canyons by Scale The Summit - kinda like a Joe Satriani guyflick.

Many other goodies buried in here as well........ AK


Stringing Up Conkers 1:48 The Boy Least Likely To
Follow That Man 5:54 Boz Scaggs
I'll Be the One 5:30 Boz Scaggs
Sierra 5:21 Boz Scaggs
Lost It 5:53 Boz Scaggs
I'm Looking Through You 2:39 The Wallflowers
Untouched (Unplugged) 3:39 The Veronicas
Hold On (Change Is Comin') 4:21 Sounds of Blackness
Never Gonna Break My Faith 4:14 Aretha Franklin & Mary J. Blige
Quicksand 3:45 Ryan Leslie
Unbound ALBUM The Refugees
I'll Give You A Ring 3:11 The Novaks
Gunpowder 2:12 Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Heartbroken, In Disrepair 3:21 Dan Auerbach
Bless My Soul 1:56 Michael Johns
Don't Look Down (Acoustic) 3:23 Michael Johns
You Are Here 2:14 Michael Johns
Follow Me Down 4:28 Guy Davis
Dopplerton 4:35 Bibio
Nothing Like an Ocean 3:28 The Rankin Family
Make You Feel My Love (Live) 4:14 Adele
Conservation With the Moon 5:41 Peter Adams
Eyelids 3:37 Peter Adams
The Observatory 4:12 Peter Adams
Place No Wreath 3:54 Balsam Range
Gypsy Rose 4:57 Ben Kweller
Ragged Wood 5:09 Fleet Foxes
Sun it Rises 3:14 Fleet Foxes
Valentine 6:26 BM LINX
Remember Me This Way 4:27 Jordan Hill
Cello Song (feat. Jose Gonzalez) 3:54 The Books
Glory (1st Version) 3:53 The Acorn
Flood Pt. 2 (Original Demo - Nov. 2006) 3:25 The Acorn
Dents (My Old Kentuky Blog - Pendleton, IN) 4:29 The Acorn
Lua 5:53 Conor Oberst & Gillian Welch
I Can See Clearly Now 4:14 Holly Cole
I Call It Love 3:38 Anastacia
Absolutely Positively 4:21 Anastacia
Pilgimage 6:49 Dr. Lonnie Smith
Vision Accomplished 4:20 Pieces of a Dream
Uh-uh, Don't Look Down 4:33 Wendy And Lisa
Reaching One 4:11 Wendy And Lisa
I Will 3:38 Wendy And Lisa
All Nite 3:09 Wendy And Lisa
Carving Desert Canyons ALBUM Scale The Summit
Black John 4:09 Soul Of Black John
Last Forever 3:46 Soul Of John Black, The
Push Into the Night 3:58 Soul Of John Black, The
The Forest, Pt. 1 3:02 Southeast Engine
The Forest, Pt. 2 3:23 Southeast Engine
The Forest, Pt. 3 3:10 Southeast Engine
Stand In the Rain 3:19 Superchick
How Your Heart Is Wired 6:14 Bell X1
Throw Down Your Heart ALBUM Bela Fleck
In the Dark 2:57 Seth Walker
I Don't Dance 3:38 Seth Walker
What's Right Is Right 3:49 Taylor Hicks
Give It Time 4:11 Molly Jenson
Get It Right This Time 4:08 Four Star Riot
Forever Ain't Enough 4:23 J. Holiday
Chrysalis 3:29 The New Mastersounds
Idris 3:49 The New Mastersounds


UPDATE - APRIL 22nd, 2009

Well, back from a wonderful Japanese tour but severely jet-lagged. Not only is Tower Records still alive in Japan, but we got to play an in-store there in Tokyo !!! Not to mention shopping for two hours in the r&b/soul section uncovering MANY rarities. The Faculty had it's usual good time and we played some of our best sets there.

Upcoming is a stop at the Tupelo Music Hall in Londonderry, NH on May 30th, w/the Rockabilly Trio which is starting to expand into blues and 60's folk-rock. Definitely a show of vintage music if you enjoy that sort of thing ( and WE do !!)A fantasy I've always had will be coming true on July 25th in Albany at our favorite theater The Egg, where we will team up with DR. JOHN and his band. The two doctors have always wanted to play on the same bill and now it will finally happen. Get tix early I suspect. On July 31st we finally get to play close to Boston at The Showcase Live at Gillette Stadium with the Funky Faculty in tow. We hope all our Boston fans will come party with us as we finally get to play close to "home." On August 7th we take a bit of a drive to Lancaster, PA to rock out at Longs Park Amphitheatre, where the music is magic and the fried chicken is famous. That covers all bases, right ? So, if you are east-coasterly-based, come on out & see us this summer. I wish we were playing out more, but the recession is not doing much for us this summer....

I am going to ask all of you who have the inclination and have enjoyed either "Black Coffee," "White Chocolate" or "50/50," on iTunes, to post reviews on there and help us get the words out. Every little bit helps, and I know from your email that you are out there listening.

I am just starting to gather material for the next album which will be more blues-oriented than the past two have been. An even mixture of original & outside tunes will provide a bit more familiarity than usual with twisted arrangements of some songs you already know. No telling when it will be ready yet, but I am imposing no deadlines at first. When it's ready, you'll be the first to know.

All my eye surgeries turned out well, and I can see a wee bit better in my right eye as a result. I am so used to it all by now, that it doesn't inhibit me on any level. I have been a good adjuster in my old age so far.

Thanks for all your wonderful emails. They really keep me going despite cringing at the various news reports that leak in the house from newspapers and TV. I have become a fan of Fringe and Hells Kitchen, and am eagerly awaiting Season Two of True Blood. Thought Gran Torino and Frost/Nixon were the best of the cinema bunch lately. And right below us is Al's guide to the best of new music for the last coupla months.

See ya all as soon as I can get it together again on here

All my best.

Al Kooper



BEST iTUNES DOWNLOADS MARCH/APRIL

I am starting to dip into a bit of African music, so if you're not used to it, try it out and hear what you think. A really interesting new singer-songwriter based in Nashville jumped out at me recently and I downloaded her entire album - it was THAT good. See what you think of Sarah Siskind's new album "Say It Louder." Radio Moscow kinda brings an instrumental vibe close to early Zep on their new release. Steve Forbert, Neil Young, and Gomez return with some great new tracks. Jump in and see what YOU like. I love 'em all - AK

Running Out of Love 2:33 Candi Staton
A Change Gonna Come 3:36 Urban Mystic
Give a Little Bit 3:36 The Goo Goo Dolls
One Part, Two Part 3:42 Buddy & Julie Miller
Memphis Jane 6:14 Buddy & Julie Miller
Solitude 5:25 Marianne Faithfull
In Germany Before the War 4:07 Marianne Faithfull
The Phoenix 2:15 Marianne Faithfull & Sean Lennon
Blues Walk 6:43 Lou Donaldson
Goin' Way Blues (Alternate Take) 6:40 Jackie McLean
Ich Fumbus Grossen 4:21 Chicago Afrobeat Project
Nobody Likes a Prima Donna 4:54 Chicago Afrobeat Project
Poppin' 5:55 The City Champs
End of the Year 6:28 Other Lives
Moon 2:53 Malika Ayane
The Hard Way 4:07 Owsley
Ce n'est pas bon 3:50 Amadou & Mariam
Batoman 4:13 Amadou & Mariam
Mortal Warrior 3:35 Beep Beep
Granddaddy 2:26 Beep Beep
A Bower Scene 2:09 The Decemberists
June Carter Cat 2:56 The Drawing Room
Skeleton Key 2:17 The Drawing Room
The Garden of Even 2:21 The Drawing Room
Duke's Alley Rag 4:15 James Hill & Anne Davison
One More Lie to Love 4:26 James Hill & Anne Davison
Baby I'm Scared of You 5:32 Leela James
Who Will Comfort Me (Live) 4:59 Melody Gardot
Glass Paperweight 2:39 Winter Gloves
Mama Don't Want No Gun 4:18 Kokolo
Three for Dizzy (Instrumental) 5:14 Roland Kirk & Jack McDuff
Epiphany 4:00 Angel Taylor
Chai Tea Latte 3:48 Angel Taylor
Waterfall 4:42 Gavin DeGraw
Little Pieces 3:24 Gomez
Bone Tired 2:18 Gomez
Write Me a Raincheck 3:13 Steve Forbert
The Coo Coo Bird 3:33 Steve Forbert
She Ain't Drunk 4:12 Mel Waiters
Do Me 2:50 Jean Knight
If I Ever Needed Love (I Sure Do Need It Now) 2:21 Ruby Johnson
Brand New Day [Single Version] 3:45 The Staple Singers
My Main Man / There Is a God 5:12 The Staple Singers
City In the Sky (Single Version) 3:45 The Staple Singers
30-60-90 2:27 Willie Mitchell
Sock It to 'Em Soul Brother (Instrumental) 2:30 Bill Moss
It's a Miracle 5:21 Tyrone Davis
Can You Cure Me? 3:25 Brendan Milburn, & Valerie Vigoda
If You Had a Change of Mind 2:58 Tyrone Davis
A Habibi Ouajee T'Allel Allaiya 4:13 The Master Musicians of Jajouka
Touba 4:27 Issa Bagayogo
I'm a Big Girl Now (Take 4) 2:37 Mable John
If You Give Up What You Got (See What You Lost) 2:28 Mable John
It's Catching 2:38 Mable John
Be Warm to Me (Take 2) 2:58 Mable John
I Love You More Than Words Can Say (Take 1) 2:49 Mable John
Long Distance Call (Live At The Fillmore 1966) 7:10 Muddy Waters
Honey Bee [Live At The Fillmore 1966] 4:35 Muddy Waters
Raoul 4:42 Chico Hamilton
Rampart Street 2:09 Fastball
Winter Hill 5:19 Doves
Jetstream 5:31 Doves
Light a Candle 3:00 Neil Young
Off the Road 3:22 Neil Young
Love Walked In 4:26 Ray Charles
Fingers 3:52 Great Northern
Get a Job 4:08 James Taylor
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 2:22 Easy Star All-Stars
With a Little Help from My Friends 3:13 Easy Star All-Stars
Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds 4:33 Easy Star All-Stars
She's Leaving Home (feat. Kirsty Rock) 3:10 Easy Star All-Stars
A Day In the Life 5:52 Easy Star All-Stars
Getting Better 3:19 Easy Star All-Stars
Nothing to Prove 3:10 Jill Sobule
Hold On Me 3:20 Radio Moscow
Brain Cycles 3:23 Radio Moscow
Say It Louder **ENTIRE ALBUM** Sarah Siskind
Pay It Back 4:03 The Silent Years
On Our Way Home 4:07 The Silent Years
For Granted 4:04 Soulive
Mt. 4:25 Super Furry Animals
Sweet Honey Bee 6:56 Lee Morgan
Blues in My Heart 6:00 Sonny Criss
Late Night Lullaby 7:09 Houston Person
Girl, This Boy Loves You 2:52 The Newcomers
Too Little In Common to Be Lovers 3:32 The Newcomers




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