Dec 102008
 

Regular readers will notice the appearance of ads in the past few days. I had hoped to avoid shilling out our space here, but though my expenses are small, they do add up. As you navigate the new look, I’d love some feedback in the comments. Are these ads a necessary evil, or are they annoying enough that you will visit the blog less? If you find them annoying though, you’ll note in the sidebar that if you sponsor the blog for a month, the ads go bye-bye.

The business out of the way, it’s time for December’s album! I’ll admit I was somewhat disappointed to see in the recent poll that this was the least popular feature we do here, but in my mind it is also what gives this blog a unique character among the litany of cover blogs you see on your right. So it’s not going anywhere. Who knows, it may just introduce you to a new favorite. This month’s is the Stones’ Beggars Banquet. A blues-rock classic, with several well-known songs and a classic album cover.

Gail Swanson – Sympathy for the Devil
The hellfire apocalypse of this Stones classic is stripped down to an acoustic grove, with plenty of Swanson’s soulful riffing. And is that a Jethro Tull-esq flute solo? Sweet. [Buy]

Odetta – No Expectations
A lot of good covers of this one, but we’ll feature a blues legend who just passed away last week. An inspiration from everyone from Bob Dylan to Rosa Parks, she found her voice in songs of hope and freedom during the 50’s and 60’s and kept growing strong through the 90’s, when she received a National Medal of the Arts from President Clinton. Listening to this song, you can see why. [Buy]

Dr. Sin – Dear Doctor
This South American metal group released a whole album of songs about doctors, yelling about everyone from Dr. Robert to Dr. Feelgood. They show a surprising adeptness at a bluesy folk sound here though, even (gasp) harmonizing. [Buy]

Barry Goldberg – Parachute Woman
Straight up electric blues that sounds straight outta Chicago, the crunchy guitar chugs along with some nice organ solos. Who needs words when you can say it all in the music? [Buy]

Gerald Collier – Jigsaw Puzzle
Slide guitar doesn’t just need to be for sappy country. It whirls and wails behind every line here, embellishing the driving rhythm. [Buy]

Rage Against the Machine – Street Fighting Man
Hard distortion and aggressive drumming, it’s all one would expect from the Rage. [Buy]

Rude Dog – Prodigal Son (Rev. Robert Wilkins)
It’s not a Stones original, but Mr. Dog gives it as good a treatment as Mick and Keith did, hopping along while making heavy use of that little scraper instrument everyone used in kindergarten. I miss that thing. [Buy]

Johnny Winter – Stray Cat Blues
Guitar god Johnny Winter never leaves anything out when he’s rocking, and he goes all out here in this cut from his ’74 classic Saints & Sinners full of pedophilia goodness. Blues rock at its most badass. [Buy]

The Radiators – Factory Girl
Some New Orleans funk here from a classic bayou jam band. True to jam tradition, it’s a live one, and go here to hear it in the context of a longer medley that includes “Quinn the Eskimo,” “Lonesome Whistle Blow” and “Mountain Jam.” [Buy]

Dandy Livingstone – Salt of the Earth
Reggae straight out of Kingston, Dandy’s not afraid to let the strings and steel drum shine, serving the vocals (both his and the chorus’) instead of distracting from them. I’m surprised McCain didn’t use this one to introduce Joe the Plumber. One of the best of the bunch. [Buy]

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