Saturday, January 27, 2007


What happened is I got a 45 rpm record in the mail that I'd been waiting for. Two Saturday's ago I was driving about in the Corrolla and listening to the "Fool's Paradise" radio program on WFMU, hosted by Rex Doane. Lots of rarities and B-sides of great old R&R and R&B. The last song on the program blew my socks off and Rex said it was Bobby Peterson, whom I'd never heard of. When I got home, I emailed Rex to ask what the song was called and where I could find it. Here's what he replied:

I played a 45 called "Every Now And Then" by Bobby Peterson on the
Atlantic label. His earlier, rowdier material on the V-Tone label was
anthologized on the Relic label, but I don't think "Every Now And Then"
had been reissued anywhere (though it shouldn't be a hard 45 to find).

Hope that helps,


It did, Rex! It did! Because in fact it was easy to find. On eBay for $8. Yesterday, I got it in the mail carefully and lovingly packaged by a Canadian eBay seller. I quickly opened it and placed it upon the turntable. Here's what I heard:

Every Now and Then - Bobby Peterson

The wonderfully subdued horns on that song reminded me how difficult it is to use a saxaphone properly in rock music. So often the shrill Late Night with David Letterman-ism can grab hold and choke a song straight to death. But one beautiful day in 1970, "about 30 miles west of Minneapolis on Lake between ping pong and a wood-frame garage," the great A.C. Reed laid down some beautiful toot alongside Bonnie Raitt's spectacular version of the Bud Johnson number "Since I Fell For You." From her first album, 1971.

Since I Fell For You - Bonnie Raitt

Yesterday - or last night, as it were - I saw M. Ward at Town Hall. Before the show I wandered the corridors of the Hall and was struck by the many framed album covers from great recordings made there, from Nina Simone to Thelonius Monk to Charles Mingus. My expectations for a favorite indie folkster were relatively modest considering that history. Therefore I was unprepared for just how truly amazing Matt Ward is live. The sound at Town Hall was pure audiophile black velvet desertscape blue, pristine as a 5 a.m. mountain top. Every note was inside your brain pan, framed, matted, hung in a Town Hall of the mind. What struck me was Ward's fabulous guitar style, how full of flamenco it is, Spanish blues in a drop-D tuning and forceful, fierce and then suddenly sweet on a trembling high note. His voice was so controlled and intense, glasses propped casually on his jet black hair like Cat Stevens, his styling so organic and not at all a direct copy of the the album, with no accompaniment, it was immediately evident that M. Ward is, as a pinky-ringed Vegas producer might declare, a "singular talent." He had the audience in a complete spell for two hours.

An immediate thought was that Kalefa Sanneh's review of Ward's last show in NYC was simply bitchy bile by the uber-populist who tried to shove reggaeton down our throats for a full year. ANYway, Ward: his version of Poison Cup, if it were laid down on vinyl or CD in a proposed album called M. Ward at Town Hall, would send your speakers to paroxysms of ecstacy. We've posted this here before, but ... encore!:

Poison Cup - M. Ward

It all happened ... yesterday.


Ellis D. Trails said...

Great review. I really enjoyed it. We need more of this on the forum at

Stop by and say hello.

Anonymous said...

SOMEone has a crush on Bonnie Raitt..

Prof. Drew LeDrew said...

Re shrill David Letterman-isms (for which thanks), you may be interested in perusing this: -- if you haven't already.