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July 22, 2011 / John Sieger

Do Right

Click: Do Right

From Semi-Twang’s Wages Of Sin CD, a song that goes almost as far back as When My Angel Smiles. We’re talking late ’70s. A list of things that were right about music in the ’70s is much shorter than one listing the many egregious wrongs. Especially on the rock side of things, it kind of went off the tracks for about ten years. Saving my soul in that dismal era were Al Green, heir to Otis Redding’s crown, Bob Marley and the Wailers, who popularized reggae, the newest and stickiest music of the time, and a few rogue artists who apparently hadn’t gotten the word that excess in the pursuit of attention was no crime. One of those artists was Ry Cooder. His Bop Till You Drop and Chicken Skin Music albums got my full attention. He was frighteningly good, a master of slide guitar and American blues and folk idioms. He sang with a wry (pun intended) humor and when I saw him live I was so blown away, I knew I had to get serious or hang it up. I was knocked out of my socks by him and  the wonderful greasy band he toured with. It it included Flaco Jimenez who later on recorded I Found Out. Long story short, I decided not to get an accounting degree and stayed with music. At the time, the one thing Cooder didn’t do was write. That has since changed, but it’s funny to think that guy who didn’t write songs would inspire someone else to. I’m not alone… a lot of people, Keith Richards included, give Cooder credit for changing the way The Rolling Stones wrote. Richards hung out and jammed with him and went on to write some of their most memorable songs, including Honky Tonk Women, Gimme Shelter, Brown Sugar, Start Me Up and Tumbling Dice, just to name a few, in the open G tuning Cooder showed him. This song is in dropped D tuning and at the time, I thought I was getting pretty close to Ry Cooder’s vibe.

© 2011 John Sieger

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