Cortez The Killer
Bob Burnett: A quick post from the quiet waterways of Sarasota, Florida. A day just after Christmas that started with bright sunshine and more warmth than I've felt in a few days--as well as the discovery of a new cover version of Neil Young's Cortez The Killer. Kim wrote about Built to Spill's version a few days ago so the song is fresh on my mind. This time Cortez was by an artist I'm not familiar with--The Dave Rawlings Machine. (editors note: further digging led me to link him with Gillian Welch) I was walking about with my iPhone on the WFMU stream app (a godsend--if you have an iPhone download the free app immediately) and suddenly was drawn to an interesting acoustic guitar piece with faint connections to the original Cortez but not enough for me to pull it down completely. Then came the lyrics and I knew I was there. This is one of those things I've only heard once but was captured. I look forward to hearing the whole album on the strength of the one song I heard. The song has long been one that is an immersion for me to listen to. It originally was released on Neil Young & Crazy Horse's Zuma album. There's something about the song in totality that brings about a higher sense of creative energy; don't ask me to explain that in rational terms, it just does. Put it in the same catagory with: Cinnamon Girl, A Love Supreme, Pale Blue Eyes, 1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be), Poeme Electronique, New Dawn Fades...etc. Anyway....I'm being run out of the coffee shop where I'm typing this. I'll report back later on the Dave Rawlings Machine when I have a better grasp.
Reporting back on Dave Rawlings Machine. My old radio pal Greg Moebius sent a facebook message out saying A Friend of a Friend is his favorite album of the year. That's a pretty heavy commitment from one of central Ohio's radio exec/old time music/mountain bike riding legends. I found a nice review from Paste online that lays out the details much better than I could do. Dave Rawlings has been Gillian Welch's back-up for years. I have several of her albums and obviously haven't paid attention enough because Dave slipped right past me. Oh, I heard his playing but...oh well...you know how that works. Can't catch 'em all. Glad I found it when I did.