Or, as the New Yorker editors would have it, reëngagement. I swear, that’s too stuck up even for me.
Anyway, just to liven up the rebooting of pannaceaeae, I thought I’d share some more music. This time around I’m featuring a couple of husky-voiced sirens.
First up is Jo-Ann Kelly, a woefully underrated blues musician of the 1960s and 70s. She was there when the Rolling Stones were digging on Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, when the original Fleetwood Mac was creating the British Blues revival, when Stefan Grossman and Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison were unearthing their touchstones: Mississippi John Hurt, Son House, Fred McDowell, and others. Like her countrywoman, the soul-inflected Dusty Springfield (“Son of a Preacher Man”), Jo-Ann Kelly had a wonderfully evocative alto coupled with the intelligence and sensitivity to make her songs immediate and tactile.
Jo-Ann Kelly • Key to the Highway: Rare and Unissued Recordings 1968-1974 (1999)• “Put a Record On” (1974)
I chose this song for more than one reason. First and most important, it’s beautiful and great. Second, I want it to represent my return to blogdom from short lived and self-imposed exile.
Katell Keineg • Jet (1997) • “Olé, Conquistador”
This is from the Brittany-Born, Welsh-raised, Dublin-residing songstress’ second album. I was mesmerized by her debut, Ô Seasons Ô Castles (1994) and saw her perform live sometime between that album and Jet. The opening act was the corset-wearing, cello-playing trio Rasputina, but that’s not important because they were relatively humdrum. Ms. Keineg on the other hand, was spellbinding, even though she occasionally played her guitar so stridently and rhythmically as to snap strings. The song I chose isn’t my favorite of hers, but it has been on my mind this past week, so I thought I’d give it and me some release. Besides, it’s got thunderstorm sounds, and I’m a sucker for thunderstorms.