Tarmac Soul Volume 3

One year later and Tarmac Soul is back for another bigger, brasher, louder volume. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Tarmac Soul is my online diary of the road trip I did across America last summer with my friend, mate, amigo and co-captain Paulo.

Recently, I have updated the site to include an index that reveals all the Places (cities and states) and Spaces (attractions, sites, hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars, record shops, baseball parks, etc…) that we encountered throughout the entire trip.

You can visit the site and read about our adventures here.

Back to the mix. This is Volume 3 and it is a special one. I have seen Paulo several times in recent weeks and he continually says that he would love to be back out on the road. Well, so would I brother. So would I.

Compared to the first two volumes, Tarmac Soul 3 is much rockier, much funkier and a bit edgier. It needs, no it demands to be listened to at a volume of 11 (out of 10). And I dedicate it specially to Paulo. You are about to rock lad, so I salute you.

Track listing:
01. Dimension <> Wolfmother
02. TNT <> AC / DC
03. Tiger <> Cheeseburger
04. Somebody To Shove <> Soul Asylum
05. The  Decision <> The Young Knives
06. The Heinrich Maneuver <> Interpol
07. The Racing Rats <> Editors
08. Chips Ahoy! <> The Hold Steady
09. Burnin’ For You <> Blue Oyster Cult
10. Stop Draggin’ Around – Lenny Kravitz
11. Cholo <> Brown Brothers Of Soul
12. Pure Funk (Part II) <> Delrays
13. Trying To Make Ends Meet <> Earl English & The Apaches
14. Save Me <> Wanda Davis
15. Bad Luck Soul <> BB King
16. Shake, Rattle And Roll <> Big Joe Turner
17. My Train <> Merl Saunders
18. Misty <> Richard ‘Groove’ Holmes
19. Loud Minority (Club Mix) <> United Future Organisation
20. Double Shot (Of My Baby’s Love) <> The Swingin’ Medallions
21. Peach, Plum, Pear <> Straylight Run

Hammer the keyboard here to listen to the mix.

01. Dimension <> Wolfmother
Wolfmother kicks off this mix with the song ‘Dimension’. What a rocking tune. I like it. Paulo loves it.

The song comes from the album called ‘Wolfmother’ and it really gets the blood pumping. And the legs kicking. And the fists flying. And the head nodding. And…

The band hail from Australia and have managed to draw equal amounts of praise and criticism, since their first release in 2004.

Some might say, “how capably they strike a balance between meaty vintage metal and crisp, stoner-rock melodies”.

While others might say, “everything there is to say about them is best said by immediate reference to another band (possibly Led Zeppelin) and Wolfmother always come up short in the comparison”.

But I’m pretty sure that when the CD starts, you would hear Paulo say, “Lad, turn it up! That is fookin’ qualiteeeee”! And isn’t that really all that matters?

02. TNT <> AC/DC
AC / DC. Angus Young. Bon Scott. High Voltage. Blaring speakers. Air guitars. Scissor kicks. Nuff said.

03. Tiger <> Cheeseburger
This is, as Paulo would say, the “curve ball” in the mix. I have been racking my brains, trying to remember where this song came from and I keep coming up short. It must have been part of a free compilation that I picked up in a record shop somewhere. However, it’s origins are not really that important. What does matter is that this tune rocks. Solid.

04. Somebody To Shove <> Soul Asylum
Track four was a bargain. Possibly one of the best I ever had. ‘Somebody To Shove’ kicks off the double platinum 1992 release ‘Grave Dancers Union’ by Soul Asylum.

The song and the singles to follow were on the radio everywhere as I was finishing my time in college. Although I wasn’t thrilled with some of the more ‘Pop’ tunes like ‘Runaway Train’ the album is one that I have wanted to buy for years. I was just waiting for the right price.

I found it at the right price in The Record Connection in Ephrata PA. Only five dollar!

05. The Decision <> The Young Knives
This will forever be known to me as the album (‘Voices Of Animals And Men’) that I talked Paulo into buying in Grimey’s in Nashville the day after the Fourth of July when we both wanted to die.

He had his doubts but as I always tell him, “I won’t steer you wrong lad. I will only steer you strong.” Plus it was only a tenner. Now he loves the album. He loves the song. And he loves the band. Who knew that ten dollars could make a man so happy?

06. The Heinrich Maneuver <> Interpol
‘The Heinrich Maneuver’ comes from Interpol’s last album ‘Our Love To Admire’, released only six days after we stood in Grimey’s listening to it on their stereo. You couldn’t buy it yet. But the lads had it and were playing it.

After striking up a conversation with the dude in the shop, Paulo was rewarded with a free copy of the single. On vinyl!

Despite the dodgy artwork on the cover, the album is great and it got the ‘love’ on the stereo a couple of times during the trip.

07. The Racing Rats <> Editors
The Editors’ album ‘The Back Room’ is so good that we both bought a copy. Of course Paulo bought his first – the day it came out. But after a couple of listens, I couldn’t resist and bought my copy in Seattle.

It is impossible to say which track on the album is the standout. But this one got the blood pumping every single time that we heard it.

08. Chips Ahoy! <> The Hold Steady
I think that Paulo actually had this album before we left for the States. And he may have played it (but I can’t remember). However I acquired this song on a compilation I found in Target.

The store is known for trying to offer more upscale, trend-forward merchandise at a low cost. That is probably why we bought so many CDs in all the Targets we visited.

Whenever we rolled into a new town or city, it was straight to Target for all the necessities: 1) Gatorade, 2) cheap, quality CDs and 3) T-Shirts.

09. Burnin’ For You <> Blue Oyster Cult
Another song from another compilation (possibly bought in another Target). And another song that takes me back to my adolescent days listening to Classic Rock on the radio. A true highlight from the early 1980s.

10. Stop Draggin’ Around <> Lenny Kravitz
I picked up ‘Mama Said’ by Lenny Kravitz in the frenzy that was our two-plus hours in Silver Platters in Seattle. So many CDs, so little time (and money).

If we had started the trip on the west coast and found Silver Platters in the first few days when our bank accounts were full, I’m pretty sure that we would have: a) not made it past San Francisco, b) both had to get jobs, or c) both just moved to Seattle.

This CD only cost me three dollars and ‘Stop Draggin’ bridges the gap between the first part of this mix (Rock) and the second part (Funk) about as perfectly as you could ask for.

11. Cholo <> Brown Brothers Of Soul
This obscure slice of funk comes from the excellent compilation ‘Mo Mod Jazz’, which, would you believe, I bought in Grimey’s! It’s got tight drums, wailing sax and lots of greasy, grinding organ. A little bay-eauty.

12. Pure Funk (Part II) <> Delrays
‘Pure Funk (Part II)’ is one of the gems I discovered on ‘Florida Funk 1965-1973’. Credit for this CD must, once again, be given to Grimey’s in Nashville. Is there anything they don’t stock?

While Paulo was loitering around the shop, trying to hear ‘Our Love To Admire’ in it’s entirety, I went off in search of the Compilations section.

Funk compilations are always a bit tricky. They are hardly ever cheap and the good / great tracks are usually outnumbered by the bad / dodgy tracks. However, when I picked up this CD and read on the label that several tracks were sampled and featured on ‘Endtroducing’ by DJ Shadow it was a real stop the press! moment. If it is good enough for Shadow, then it is certainly good enough for me.

13. Trying To Make Ends Meet <> Earl English & The Apaches
This is just deep down and dirty funk. Nothing more nothing less.

I picked up this track from ‘Midwest Funk’ which is part of the same series as ‘Florida Funk’. It’s another compilation full of hard-to-find but great-to-get little nuggets from bands who originated somewhere close to the middle of nowhere.

14. Save Me <> Wanda Davis
Another track and another gem from ‘Midwest Funk’. I just can’t get enough of that funky stuff…

15. Bad Luck Soul <> BB King
BB King sings about ‘Bad Luck Soul’ on ‘Mo Mod Jazz’. I’m not really sure if this song is jazz. And I’m not really sure if Mods like BB King. But it sits well on the compilation and no one can sing or play the blues like BB.

16. Shake, Rattle And Roll <> Big Joe Turner
I spotted the special compilation titled ‘Atlantic 60th Anniversary’ in a Starbucks at an extremely inflated price. Despite the killer track listing, I decided to wait and try to find it second hand. And of course I did.

If you travel the country and visit enough record shops, you will find just about everything you are looking for.

Big Joe Turner was, well, big. He was 6’2″ and over 300 pounds in size. He is often referred to as an American Blues shouter. Yes, I wrote shouter, not singer. He is from Kansas City and was singing this song long before either Bill Haley or Elvis did.

17. My Train <> Merl Saunders
Another track from ‘Mo Mod Jazz’ that features one of the most prolific musicians to come from San Francisco.

Merl Suanders was a genius on the Hammond organ and worked with everyone from Miles Davis to the Grateful Dead during his career.

18. Misty <> Richard ‘Groove’ Holmes
I said it before and I’ll say it again. If you are driving down the motorway on a hot summer’s night with the windows rolled down and the wind hitting your face, then Richard Holme’s ‘Soul Message’ is the album you want on the stereo. Pure magic.

19. Loud Minority (Club Mix) <> United Future Organisation
This is a bit of the Acid Jazz that features heavily throughout the ‘Rebirth Of Cool’ series. I’m not sure if I found this CD up in Seattle or San Francisco but it is, like the name says, cool man. Real cool.

20. Double Shot (Of My Baby’s Love) <> The Swingin’ Medallions
By the time we hit the west coast, we needed a break from all of the CDs. That and the fact that we had both shipped most of them home to save on weight and precious space while packing / unpacking our bags. Our solution was Sirius Radio, the satellite stations that specialise in just about every genre of music you could possibly name (and a few that you probably couldn’t name).

Whenever we started ‘surfing’ channels, one that we always stopped at was the Garage station and, in particular, the show hosted by Little Steven (aka Steven Van Zandt of the E Street Band). He played a lot of 60s Garage that really appealed to the Rocker and the Mod in both Paulo and myself.

Somewhere in California I found ‘Spirit Of The 60s – Kicks’ in the second hand bin and scooped it up with both of my hands.

This song, by The Swingin’ Medallions, was their second single and the only real hit for the beach group out of South Carolina.

21. Peach, Plum, Pear <> Straylight Run
Another track that just seems to have appeared from nowhere. It really shows how much of a music gormandizer I am – I will take songs from anywhere and everywhere, any time and any place.

Straylight Run are a New York based group and ‘Peach, Plum, Pear’ is a nice little acoustic-y number that rounds this mix off nicely.

So there you have it – Tarmac Soul Volume 3. Thanks for reading / listening. See you out on the open road.

Kub

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