The Swan Silvertones. I’m here to tell you, few gospel groups in that genre’s impressive history can top their Vee-Jay label material. The great Reverend Claude Jeter’s tenor-to-falsetto sweeps point toward Al Green; Louis Johnson’s gravelled gizzard suggests a less refined Bobby Blue Bland; Paul Owens could have been a doo-wop star. In fact, the Swans had no qualms about blending doo-wop and barbershop ingredients into their holy testifying. Case in point?
Those three leads, backed only by a baritone and a bass singer (William Connor, the latter, is so aggressive at times that he reminds me of the instrumental bass passages on the first two Velvet Underground albums), a strummed guitar, and very occasionally some percussion. But they were a band.
Did I mention that they can lay claim to belonging among the first rockers? It’s a wonder this spiritually hungry number wasn’t secularized somehow:
Unfortunately, the Swans’ Vee-Jay recording aren’t that easy to find. For now, here’s a Spotified album I can’t speak to the source of, but…it’s the stuff:
It’s enough to make a committed agnostic like myself cry holy unto some lord.
Can’t Get Enough Division:
Tapper Zukie: Man Ah Warrior
The Best of the Best of Fela Kuti
Got Enough Division:
For Stones fans of a certain age (mine), Mick Jagger carries no mystique. As much as I love the old monkey, I came of age watching him dance, mug, and clothe himself as he does herein:
Yes, I was among the 89,000 who saw The Stones rock the Superdome (their openers, The Wild Tchoupitoulas and George Thorogood, slew them). We were thousands of yards back, but I got to peep this on the Enormo-Screen (or was there one?):
Jagger is many things to me, and this is not damning, but he is not cool.
2 thoughts on “Silver Tones (April 11th, 2018, Columbia, MO)”
Kid, precious kid, you had to see Mick in ’65 when he and the world were younger and he seemed pretty cool. Not cool enough to be a Swan Silvertone (nice piece on them!) but the SS didn’t play my city.
Phil I think he creates all the excitement in Peter Tosh’s version of ‘Walk and Don’t Look Back’. It would just be a mellow, forgettable cover version without him. It’s ultimate Mick Jagger!