yesterday’s album a day was a collection of studio tracks by the blind bluesman singer/guitarist snooks eaglin.
he sang a little bit like ray charles and played a mean blues guitar, but not so bluesy that it would bore non-blues fans.
his music is very listenable and makes little demands on the listener besides to be entertained.
in particular, the songs i listened to were not purely the blues. there was a lot of new orleans influence in them, too. there were also a couple of instrumentals of just snooks playing his guitar solo that were very fun and even sweet. the closing song i heard, an electrified and hopping version of ‘i’ll see you in my dreams’ which melted into ‘mr sandman’ at the end, was very nice. it made me relax.
i’m not sure of the name of the album i heard – i’m sure it’s some compilation of stuff that was repackaged from his black top records recordings.
the songs were:
i went to the mardi gras
when it rains it pours
pretty girls everywhere
kiss of fire
it’s your thing
west side baby
out of nowhere
that same old train
swanee river rock
i’ll see you in my dreams/mr sandman
i couldn’t find any of the songs i listened to on youtube, so here instead is a video of the pickless master playing ‘red beans’ with george porter jr.
it’s a shame more people don’t know who danny gatton was. maybe they still will some day. often the great ones go undiscovered and unappreciated for some time. he’s been gone since 1994.
today’s album a day was danny gatton’s unfinished business.
he was one hell of a guitarist. he combined many styles. not quite jazz, not quite blues, not quite country and not quite rockabilly, he was a true virtuoso.
listening to this disc was an easy joy. i found myself dissapointed it was over at the end of the last track.
the album opened with the jazz standard ‘cherokee’, by ray noble. it’s a song i’ve played myself a hundred times on the sax. it’s not my favorite jazz standard, and the tone here bordered on smooth jazz at first, but gatton’s guitar work is so intricate and inspiring i got over my inclination to dislike it. and besides, it quickly become something great after the standard opening melody.
it just gets better from there.
the album is all instrumental. it’s totally a danny gatton show and, except for two tracks, other instruments are hardly even featured. you don’t miss them. his guitar work was brilliant. just check him out.
below is danny playing ‘sleepwalk’ live. the studio track of this classic was on this disc, too.