Trying To Get To You

Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Fine Morning For Brother Ray

I recently got a wonderful Ray Charles show from 1979 - a taping of Austin City Limits. It's a typical Ray show, sublimely mixing jazz, country and blues into his own special brew. Ray didn't think care much for musical barriers, and you can hear it in this music. Whether covering Johnny Cash ("Busted") or Johnny Nash ("I Can See Clearly Now"), performing a song from Oklahoma ("Oh What A Beautiful Morning"), or playing a song beloved by Texans, all Ray cared about was whether there was a great song there or not. That's a lesson to continually learn from.

Download: "Oh What A Beautiful Morning" - 10/23/79, Austin, TX
Download: "Georgia On My Mind" - 10/23/79, Austin, TX
Download: "Busted" - 10/23/79, Austin, TX
Download: "Born To Lose" - 10/23/79, Austin, TX
Download: "I Can See Clearly Now" - 10/23/79, Austin, TX
Download: "Deep In The Heart Of Texas" - 10/23/79, Austin, TX


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting. That version of "I Can See Clearly Now" is absolutely stellar.

It's fair to say that Ray Charles epitomizes what "soul" is all about, far more than a simple musical "genre.


Also read the postings on John Lennon and Jerry Garcia, and I think it'd be worthwhile to open a dialogue about Jeff Buckley.

My original perception of him was that he was yet another emo shoe-gazer, one whose legacy benefited far more than it should have from an early passing.

But I've been listening to his catalog a lot lately, and it's hard to imagine an alt-rock artist being more soulful than Buckley with "Forget Her" (on the "Grace" Legacy Edition).

Put simply, Buckley lives up to the hype... He was an extraordinary talent.

Ben Lazar said...

Well KG, you're reading my mind, because I've made several attempts at starting a Buckley blog entry. However, it was coming out pretty negatively, as I've always shared your original assessment of him, and never moved beyond it, despite many tries.

To me, Buckley was narcissism incarnate - a very talented singer who reeked of sincerity, as opposed to authenticity, who was always more about "look at how great I am" then he was about communicating anything really interesting. I always found him incredibly precious, and if he had any sort of sense of humor, it was lost upon me. I know what I'm writing is sacrilege to many, but I've just never gotten what the big fuss was all about.

Anonymous said...

He had an amazing voice, no question about it. I'm not sure why it started to hit me differently, but I really think "Forget Her" is the key to seeing Buckley in a different light.

I hadn't heard him in awhile, then heard that track on XM while driving. It blew me away, and I went back and listened some more.

I can totally see why you'd use "precious" to describe him, but I really haven't found myself wanting for a sense of humor from the guy.

I've just been really, really enjoying listening to his work, particularly the two "Legacy" releases (Sin-E and Grace).

Anonymous said...

this post just made my whole sunday. i was desperately in need of Ray and just couldn't pinpoint it. you did it for me. thanks!

Unknown said...

Would you be so kind as to make the Ray Charles track "Busted" available again for a while?

I love this song but haven't been able to get this version anywhere. It seems they re-recorded it but the newer version doesn't have half the soul of this one.

Thanks : )