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Archive for Singersongwriterism

ESTHER OFARIM “Gnostic Serenade” (1972)

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Fairly certain my dad has played me some of Esther’s Hebrew music before but her English stuff is news to me. Luckily, Emmett at Art Decade dropped this jewel on us a month or so ago. “Gnostic Serenade” is a pretty awesome Tom Rush song but I think Esther’s version is superior (maybe it’s a Tom Rush thing? I really like “No Regrets” but the original isn’t my favorite), really super incredible.

This record was produced by Bob Johnston, who was a pretty big wheel for someone who seems to have been more of a Eurovision contender than a legit threat to Joni Mitchell or Joan Baez or Judee Sill in America, but what do I know?

KATE & ANNA McGARRIGLE “Avant le Guerre” (1980)

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CZESLAW NIEMEN “Steppe Ringsumher/Stiep da Stiep Krugom” (1973)

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Click image to download

Czeslaw Niemen was a Polish rock singer who made a bunch of jazz fusion records with people like Jan Hammer in the late ’70s. I don’t know anything about that, but his late ’60s/early ’70s pre-fusion stuff is pretty good.

This gospely jam comes from an album of Russian songs he did for release in West Germany: piano, male chorus, acoustic guitar, incredible. Like a Polish Band or something?

BILLY JOEL “All You Wanna Do is Dance” (1976)

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Click to download

I am resistant to Billy Joel’s charms.

BUT. My friend Jason put together a massive batch of killers to play at my wedding and he included this frisky nugget, which I am loving.

For the same money I’ll take Paul Simon’s ’70s stuff over Billy Joel any day but man oh man “All You Wanna Do is Dance” has won me over…


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Click to download

Sorry for the hiatus, a wedding and the hullabaloo surrounding same saps the urge to blog even in my half-assed style…

I’m no Loudon Wainwright specialist, and most of what I’ve head heretofore as struck me as too twee by half. But “Lullaby” was recently brought to my attention and I can’t stop listening to it. Look up “Seventies singer/songwriter” in the OED and this song will be there, just perfect.