Freshly Played #23: Machineri

Another in the series of music from my collection is long overdue. This time I’ve chosen a local band who hail from Cape Town.

Personally I think South African music especially the rock and alternative kind, rates up there with the best in the world, if not better. We’ve produced some incredible artists who don’t always get the recognition they deserve.

Machineri was formed in 2008 by vocalist Sannie Fox who also writes and plays guitar. Andre Geldenhuys on guitars and Daniel Huxham on drums complete the trio. They play a bluesy kind of rock, with Sannie reminding me of Janis Joplin. Their influences range from John Lee Hooker, Led Zeppelin and The Black Keys to none other than Jimi Hendrix.

Big Bad Machine



Hail Cale

J.J. Cale passed away at the age of 74 at the start of this past weekend (26 July 2013), but I wanted to first find a fitting video to post before paying tribute to the songwriting legend.

And here it is, a set from 1979 recorded at Paradise Studios in Los Angeles:

Cale never sang a hit song himself, but wrote some of the most memorable songs which other great artists such as Eric Clapton, Jerry Garcia and Lynyrd Skynyrd covered successfully. Who can forget After Midnight and Cocaine? He was an accomplished instrumentalist, the guitar being his weapon of choice.

It’s said that Neil Young once remarked that the two best electric guitarists he’d ever heard were Jimi Hendrix and Cale. Absolutely!

Pluck in peace, Master Cale, we will miss you.

Freshly Played #21: Rare Earth

Written and recorded in 1960 by John D. Loudermilk as a folk song, Tobacco Road failed to make any impression until 1964 when it became a hit for The Nashville Teens. Since then it has been performed by tons of different artists who adapted it to cross various musical genres such as blues, country, punk rock and even metal.

Loudermilk was not a commercially successful singer and had more success writing for others like Eddie Cochran, The Everly Brothers, Chet Atkins, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and Marianne Faithfull. I’m not sure how many of you remember Sunglasses which was a hit for Tracey Ullman?

While Tobacco Road has been performed by the likes of Jefferson Airplane, David Lee Roth, Lou Rawls, Status Quo, Blues Creation and even Jimi Hendrix, my favorite version is by Rare Earth.

Rare Earth was the first successful all-White band to be signed by Motown. The band has gone through an amazing 30 different members since formation in 1960.

Tobacco Road


Interestingly while the lyrics of the song has been adapted by different artists, the opening line has been variously sung as:

  • I was born in a bunk
  • I was born in a dump
  • I was born in a trunk

Freshly Played #20: Pearl Jam

Yep, Pearl Jam again. This time, it’s a song with a curious history… and great guitar riffs at the beginning and end.

As I’ve mentioned previously, guitar riffs drive me wild. The riffs at the beginning and end has a striking resemblance to Jimi Hendrix/Stevie Ray Vaughn’s rendition of Little Wing.

Yellow Ledbetter never featured on any of Pearl Jam’s studio albums. It was an outtake from their debut album 10, and was released as a B-side on the released single Jeremy. It did however feature on a B-sides and Rarities album, and their Greatest Hits album.

And it seems that nobody really knows precisely, the lyrics to the song. Lead singer Eddie Vedder is known to change the lyrics at nearly every live performance. Vedder once jokingly replied in response to a question from a live audience, “Wait…you mean there’s lyrics?”

Not surprisingly this lyrical ambiguity has stirred up some ingenuity in elucidation by others – the famous misheard lyrics videos. Catch a load of this:

Freshly Played #9: Stevie Ray Vaughan

Another in my series on great guitar riffs…

Little Wing

The original song was written by none other than the legendary Jimi Hendrix. It has been covered by guitar playing greats such as Eric Clapton, the Allman Brothers Band, Def Leppard, Santana, John Mayer, and Pearl Jam, among many others. However, my personal favorite cover is the instrumental version by another legend who has sadly also passed on – Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Watch, listen and be moved with this live YouTube version:


The Original by Hendrix