Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Best of 2010 Part 7

Well we are at the end of this series. I hope you enjoyed this survey of some of the year's best. Let's finish with the sort of disc that doesn't usually work and that is a veteran performer who teams up with young hipsters and makes something contemporary. Gil Scott-Heron is not a typical music veteran and his latest "I'm New Here" is shockingly good. If you don't have any of his records this could be a good start but you would be better off picking up a copy of "Pieces of A Man", it is one of the best records with a message of all time. He has made many other great tracks during his 30 year career as well and I think that "I'm New Here" will not be an afterthought when he is finished. His reading Robert Johnson's "Me And the Devil" is bone chilling.

"It must-a be that old evil spirit, so deep down in the ground
You may bury my body, down by the highway side"

Hip beats thump over cello loops and are thrown under the wheels of dark, dangerous poetry. This is not a happy record. It has the scars of junkies and the stench of sewers and the fear of a world gone wrong. But is so real that you may need to leave the lights on and hold on to your teddy bear at night.

" if you see the vulture coming
Flying circles in your mind
Remember there is no escaping
For he will follow close behind"

It is Robert Johnson back with us in 2010

1 comment:

  1. I haven't seen this one on anyone's "best of" list. Really great and sadly overlooked. We also got to see him here this past summer. He had border hassles, so his band held the fort for the first set, but those few of us who crowded underneath the jazzfest stage overhang to avoid the rain were treated to a really great performance when he arrived. He hasn't mellowed at all after 40 years. The smile is always there, he's funny as hell, but the music has always had an undercurrent of anger and menace. Great choice! - Andrew