Sunday, November 4, 2007

Van the Man

Louie, November 2007
In honor of Itunes just recently adding Van Morrison's catalog to its virtual world of musical goodies, I thought I'd offer a few Van oddities. The guy is certainly prolific which is a nice way of saying there's a lot of mediocre stuff out there. But still, he has some seriously amazing pipes and more important, he knows how to use them. A real treasure in a big world of soul singers. Never content to settle for just one style, Morrison has explored everything from traditional Irish ballads, to spoken word, to soul, pop, rock and roll and even country.

My favorite time to listen to Van is on Sunday mornings, with the windows open and the stereo turned up loud. Now if that don't get your seventh day started, you might as well stay in bed. Think about that as we're gifted that extra hour of sleep tonight. That's my reminder that if you didn't set your clocks back Sunday morning, you'll be an hour early for the next six months.

I digress. Today, I offer a trio of unusual covers for your listening pleasure.

The first is his version of the country ballad, Til' I Gain Control Again. And for you grown-ups, a very young Van's version of Dylan's It's All Over Now, Baby Blue. He makes it sound like a whole different song. And last but not least, a classic of a classic, his take of Leadbelly's Goodnight Irene, a song recorded for his Skiffle Sessions CD. The other dude on this is Lonnie Donegan.

One thing about Morrison you'll really get from these recordings is that the guy always has the best session guys playing backup. Take a listen and hear for yourself.

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