Oh Happy Day
OK, I know what you're thinking. What's a review of a gospel CD doing in a bike mag?
Well, first off, this isn't your usual gospel CD - a fact that is quickly dispelled by the album's opening song. "I Believe" is a rompin' stompin' mother of a track featuring former kid guitar whiz Johnny Lang and the Fisk Jubilee Singers. It's also proof that the roots of rock and roll lay in the blues, and the blues, of course, were born from gospel music. Blind Faith's "Presence of the Lord" takes on an altogether different presence thanks to an amped up rendition by 3 Doors Down featuring the legendary Soul Children of Chicago. It's a great cover, even if it follows the original almost too closely. Other good stuff on the CD include a riveting duet with Al Green and current gospel sensation Heather Hadley trading verses on the Impressions'"People Get Ready", Rocker Joss Stone and Buick Audra performing "This Little Light of Mine", and Aaron Neville with the Mt. Zion Mass Choir on the Sam Cooke classic "A Change is Gonna Come". As an alternative to sittin' in church Sunday morning, take this CD on a ride and get some religion. It'll put a smile on your face. Just don't go tellin' the preacher we said so.
Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More
1969 was an interesting year for counter culture. Harley merged with AMF, a company that was certainly counter to Harley's culture. The movie Easy Rider debuted in June, featuring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper as two counter culture bikers. And the biggest event, Woodstock, took place that August in upstate New York. Now, thanks to Rhino Records, the soundtrack to the Oscar-winning film has now been re-mastered. They've also added liner notes and rare photos, all in a "bagger-friendly" cardboard foldout package. But what really makes this a biker essential is the music. And it's amazing how well it's held up over the past 40 years. The Who's "We're Not Gonna Take It", Santana's "Soul Sacrifice", Joe Cocker's "With a Little Help From My Friends", and of course Jimi's interpretation of the "Star Spangled Banner" are all epic performances, forever burned into our collective music consciousness. Crank up Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young's "Wooden Ships" at maximum volume on your next ride and see if it doesn't impart a little nostalgic extra sensory overload in your brain. Rhino has also released a comprehensive six CD Woodstock box set containing an additional 38 previously-unreleased tracks from the festival, including (at last) some performances by Creedence Clearwater Revival. The incident at the Stones' Altamont performance was proof that bikers and rock festivals weren't always the best combination, but there's no denying the music here is good stuff for motorcylin' - even if you don't own a tie dye shirt.