Saturday, January 28, 2012
40 Years Ago This Month: Nils Lofgren, Leo Kottke & Malo
Nils Lofgren and band mates hit power pop perfection with the single "White Lies" but it only received heavy airplay in the Washington D.C. area. Even with an "A" rating from Robert Christagu, 1 +1 , released in January of 1972, did not sell. C'est dommage! At 20, Lofgren had already played guitar and piano on After The Gold Rush and with Crazy Horse on their debut. After Grin broke up, years before touring worth Springsteen, Lofgren recorded a self-titled album in 1975 that will always stand out as a personal favorite.
BTW, I planned to post a song from this album. I know I used to have "Lost A Number" on a now-deceased IPod. In the digital age we can lose songs as easily as a sock in the dryer.
Fingerpickin' guitarist Leo Kottke gets funky all by himself on this opening track from his January 1972 release Greenhouse, my introduction to this brilliant musician. "The Song of The Swamp", "Louise" and the buoyant "Spanish Entomologist" reveal the exuberant talent of this Athens GA native.
Carlos Santana's brother Jorge was one of the guitarists in the 12-piece San Francisco band Malo. You'll hear more brass than on any Santana album, often used to great effect. "Suavecito", which has become something of an anthem for American Chicanos, hit the Top 20 in 1972. Maybe it's because I was growing up in Malo's hometown then, but this song transports me to a spot on the Marina Green beneath dozens of flying kites.
Members of the Rolling Stones jamming with Ry Cooder may sound like a great way to spend your time and money but it's really nothing more than a curiosity.