Our friend Chris Liebig, who has a blog where he says shockingly sane things about school, has been recommending our blog as well as gently nudging us to post things on a more regular basis in January. Knowing that Chris is a fan of Van Morrison, we wanted to thank him for his encouragement with our favorite Van vocal, “Linden Arden Stole the Highlights.” It’s a strange song off his unjustly overlooked Veedon Fleece about some Irish guy in San Francisco who gets pushed around and ends up going ballistic, or something like that. Van sings the hell out of it.
We’ve also been meaning to say something about two of our favorites who crossed the wide river this past year, Etta James and Levon Helm. We can’t get enough of her live version of “I’d Rather Go Blind.”
Levon, of course, was the drummer and sometime singer for The Band, who brought the heartbroken, rebellious, noble sound of the South to a band of Northerners. He could make the drum communicate like few rock drummers. His last couple albums really packed a punch.