Hero Worship

Hero Worship

Artists are also music fans like the rest of us, often paying tribute to the musicians who inspired them. Jim and Greg share their favorite examples of Hero Worship in music – songs that name-check great artists from the history of rock and roll.

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Hero Worship

Without a doubt, musicians influence one another. Sometimes in subtle ways with a borrowed riff or lyric. Sometimes by overtly name-checking another artist. This week, we look at those obvious examples of Hero Worship - songs written about another musican. Think of Bob Dylan’s Song to Woody, or David Bowie’s Song For Bob Dylan. Jim and Greg picked some tracks from their musical heroes, that mention other musical heroes.

Jim

  • The Replacements, Alex Chilton
  • Television Personalities, I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives
  • Cheap Trick, Surrender
  • Robyn Hitchcock, I Saw Nick Drake

Greg

  • Van Morrison, Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile)
  • The Hold Steady, Constructive Summer
  • Frank Black, I Heard Ramona Sing
  • Stevie Wonder, Sir Duke

Blue & Lonesome The Rolling Stones

Blue & Lonesome

The Rolling Stones have been a band for more than half a cenutry, releasing 25 albums and still sell out stadiums around the world. While the group’s popularity has seemingly never waned, some have argued their musical creaitivty fizzled out long ago. Jim had thought that the last good Stones album was 1978’s Some Girls, however he absolutely loves their latest record Blue & Lonesome. Jim can hear the passion and heart in this album full of covers of songs by some of their Chicago blues heroes, including Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf and Memphis Slim. He gives it an enthusiastic Buy It. Greg also went into this review with a bit of skepticism, but ended up loving it as well. He points out that Mick Jagger in particular found his love of music again on this record, and is really a gifted blues musician and harmonica player. Greg gives Blue & Lonesome a definitive Buy It.

Jim

This week, Jim pays tribute to Sharon Jones, a huge figure in the neo-soul revival, who died November 18 after a battle with cancer. With her powerful voice and electric stage presence, Jones was, according to Jim, the true inheritor of the legacy of fellow Augusta, Georgia native James Brown. She moved to Brooklyn where she ended up teaming up with The Dap-Kings, the finest soul / R&B backing band since Stax. Their 2013 song Stranger to My Happiness exemplifies her bravery against her illness. Ostensibly a love song, the lyrics also find Jones reckoning with mortality. She didn’t wear a wig after losing her hair from chemotherapy, refusing to pretend to be anything she wasn’t. You can see that in a powerful video Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings recorded for Stranger to My Happiness, which is Jim’s Desert Island Jukebox pick of the week.

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