Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Finding New Music, a follow up

That recent trip to my local music store netted me some top shelf tunes. I went in without a clue about what to buy other than wanting something old, something new, something Jazz, something Rock, and of course something Blues. Pearl Jam and The Chili Peppers took care of something new. Pink Floyd and Neil Young nailed the something old category. And Just because I had heard one good tune on a Jazz hour one Sunday, I picked up Wes Montgomery's "Smokin at the Half Note". Whoah Dude! The man rocks. A live recording at some smoky honky tonk in NYC back in 1965. The first tune set those fine hairs on end. Wes can really strum. And the boys backing him up are no slouches. Wes on guitar. Wynton on piano. Paul on Standup Bass. And Jimmy Cobb - drums. Quality stuff.

As a young lad pumping gas at Clark's "Tank n Tummy" on 109 in Sanbornville, NH in the 60's, I discovered the joy of musical discovery. That is, I learned to take chances on music just because the title sounded good, the band sounded cool, or even the album cover looked spiffy. We sold 8 tracks in a rack in the office along side the Tom's snack display. The music van would stop by every week to re-stock the rack. Besides 8 tracks, the music guy also had thousands of albums overflowing inside that magical van. He would sell me any album I wanted for $1.50. Besides the predictable We Five, The Hollies, Beatles, Stones,Paul Revere and the Raiders, I also discovered The Grateful Dead, Buffalo Springfield, Frank Zappa, Genesis, John Mayall, The Yardbirds, and many other bands that didn't make it into the top 40. Probably my three most eye opening albums found were the first Led Zepplin album, Tull's "This Was" and Cream's "Disraeli Gears". And I got them all for a buck fifty a pop. I was in pig heaven. Didn't save much money those two summers.

Anyway, I learned to take chances on music. My rule was if I liked one song on the album, it was worth a buck fifty. And If I didn't, oh well. I was only out a buck fifty. And though it sometimes drives my wife crazy, I carry this rule of picking music with me to this day. Even with prices for CD's in the $15 dollar range, I don't care. You can't find new music if you don't look.