My cousin Paul is the god of mix tapes and playlists. He put together hours of great stuff for my recent birthday party, and then posted a condensed version on his blog, Tasting Notes.
If I can figure out how to embed the list here, I will. Meanwhile, it’s well worth a click.
I thought I’d comment on each song, just so he knows I’m listening.
King Bee Well, okay. I certainly was one at my party Saturday night. Slim Harpo uses his high nasal buzz just right.
Greenback Dollar I’m not sure that I don’t give a damn about money, but I do understand a whaling song and a good guitar, I’ll give you that. And I did used to play this for Paul when he was about 9 and I was about 14.
One Note Samba Love me them sambas. Suddenly I’m poolside on Mad Men.
Hang On, Little Tomato Never heard it before now, but it must hearken back to our childhood somehow.
Barcelona One of my favorite cities in the world. Now with a touch of Woody Allen.
Sailing Whoa. Shades of my wedding to Nicki (Noah’s mom) in 1980 in Pensacola. It’s a beautiful song.
I Wanna Be Seduced Don’t we all? (Written by my good friend and co-harmonizer Gary Tigerman.)
The Sandman, The Brakeman Folk music was a big part of my childhood, and this is right there. Glad it’s coming back.
Little Red Rooster Did a lot of Stones songs as lead singer my high school band The Niche. And a lot of blues since. Perfect!
Sénégal Fast Food Paul Simon introduced us all to World Music, but my wife Patricia really got me into it. One of our first dates was a World Music concert hosted by Tom Schnabel of KCRW. I knew then I was in love.
My Babe Blues harp is fun to listen to, but even more fun to play. Little Walter is one of the classic greats.
Richard Cory Simon and Garfunkel were my inspiration and my idols, and they were still amazing at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Concert, where they sent chills through the audience. This takes me right back to my freshman year of college.
Djangology I took a class in the History of Jazz at UCLA and it opened my eyes and ears forever. Thank you, Paul Tanner, wherever you are, for showing us the wonders of Django Reinhardt.
It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry The Bob. What more need we say?
Dunmore Lassies I got to play with a professional Irish band at my brother Jeff’s 50th birthday party. I’ve always loved Celtic music. That night, though, is seared into my memory. I was awestruck.
Jolie Louise Powerful song by Daniel Lanois. Just learned to play it a few weeks ago!
Aganju I love Bebel Gilberto. Lots of inherited talent running in those lovely Brazilian veins. Did you know she was performing with daddy at Carnegie Hall at age nine?
Darling Patricia She is. The love of my life, the mother of my younger son, and the planner of my party. Talented, brilliant, centered, genuine, beautiful. I’m so lucky to have her in my life.
Soul Kitchen Cooking has been a big part of my life and of my history with Paul. If not gourmet dinners, then furry black puppies. (Ask him.) The Doors knew how to cook, too.
I Put My Trust in You We end it where we began. With the blues the way they should be played. But John Lee Hooker bemoans the trust he put in his friends. I’m thrilled to have trusted mine.
Paul, thank you for your friendship, your creativity and your passion. You rock.