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Friday Playlist: Instrumental Songs

March 26, 2019

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Playlist where members of the Times-Tribune staff submit their music picks based on a theme. We were thinking of doing a surf rock theme to honor Dick Dale, but that seemed a little narrow for everyones’ tastes. So instead we went with Instrumental Songs. Enjoy: Widespread Panic - Disco Chad Sebring Just saw them them over the weekend and they played this as an opener. Jack Nitzsche - The Lonely Surfer Ed Pikulski I decided to stick with the surf song theme in honor of the late Dick Dale and select a classic surf instrumental by a quiet legend who worked with The Wrecking Crew (Google them) The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Beach Boys, Monkees, Phil Spector, Ry Cooder, Graham Parker and countless others. T.Rex - Bang a Gong (Get It On) Patrice Wilding This (mostly) instrumental version of sultry dance hit by the inimitable Marc Bolan misses his honey-drip vocals and saucy lyrics, but it still gets its groove on. The American Dollar - Anything You Synthesize Jon O’Connell Instrumental music consumed most of my 2017. I discovered a lot of great music, so this week’s theme was tough. The American Dollar, and this track in particular, still sticks out and I still go back and listen as needed. Young-Holt Unlimited - Soulful Strut John Cole The whole thing is just so dang smoooooooth. Junior Brown - Sugarfoot Rag John Cole Junior goes out there and back on this. I especially like the Hendrix quote at the close. Floyd Cramer - Last Date John Cole A simple, lovely melody showcasing Cramer’s trademark piano style. The Chieftains with Ry Cooder - Dunmore Lassies Pat McKenna Instrumental in honor Dale, St. Paddy’s Day and tribute to Dunmore girls basketball wrapped into one. John Mayall - Milkman Strut Jim Haggerty This jaunty tune displays Mayall’s often overlooked keyboard skills. It’s a huge departure from his heavier, bluesier material. Bill Justis - Raunchy Jim Haggerty This is the first monster rock ‘n’ roll instrumental, recorded in 1957. The next year George Harrison played it at an audition to get into the Quarrymen,  later the Beatles. Air - La Femme D’argent Ted Baird So many songs I could pick for this theme, but I decided to go with this. Currently it’s one of my two-year-old son’s top jams, so it’s been getting a lot of play in my house lately Korla Pandit - Miserlou Ted Baird I came across this a few years ago when looking for Dick Dale’s version, which has probably become the most well know version. Henry Mancini - Baby Elephant Walk Borys Krawczeniuk I heard this song as a kid and absolutely fell in love with it. Every now and then, I still pull it up. It’s so damn cute. Deodato - Also Sprach Zarathustra Borys Krawczeniuk This playlist is just stacked with great music. Maybe because I’m a jazz fan, I notice more. This one hit #2 in 1973 and never reached #1 only because of Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly.” Great jazz funk from a Brazilian who otherwise produced a lot of mediocre smooth jazz. Quincy Jones - Soul Bossa Nova Borys Krawczeniuk Just listen Booker T. & The MGs - Green Onions Borys Krawczeniuk This may be THE instant-dance song of all time with some of the greatest musicians ever assembled in one group, including Booker T. Jones, Al Jackson Jr., Donald “Duck” Dunn and Steve Cropper. Gustav Holst - Jupiter Caitlin Heaney West Holst’s “The Planets” is a remarkable feat (see also: “Mars”), and “Jupiter’s” grand, beautiful melody is befitting of its namesake. I’ve enjoyed performing it, I love listening to it, and I will never tire of it. Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet - Exit from Vince Lombardi High School Joe Healey I’ve been a fan of these guys for a long time, with their short, twangy surfy tracks. They’re known mostly for their song, “Having An Average Weekend,” which was used at the theme to Canadian sketch comedy show, “The Kids in the Hall.”  The fine track I selected is from one of their studio albums, “Dim the Lights, Chill the Ham” from 1991. I’ve always considered them a surf rock band, but they rejected that moniker with a track called, “We’re Not a F***ing Surf Band.” But later they released a box set called “Oh, I Guess We Are A F***ing Surf Band After All.”

 

Luiz Bonfa - Batucada Jim Lockwood Percussive guitar chops Jefferson Airplane - Embryonic Journey Jim Lockwood Jorma

 

Mason Williams - Classical Gas Jim Lockwood It’s a gas