Three (3) Righteous Melodies

Finding musical gems is time consuming, and I often content myself by listening to my library of familiar recordings rather than delving into the vast collection of music available on iTunes. Here are a few fresh tracks which I have discovered lately and added to my playlist. “Fresh”, in this instance, is relative to my own experience, and can mean that a song is over 50 years old.

“Blue Moon of Kentucky”
Elvis Presley

“Blue Moon of Kentucky”, originally recorded by Bill Monroe, is the B-Side of Elvis’ 1954 breakout single on the Sun label. The A-Side was the hit song “That’s All Right”. The dawn of Elvis recordings is raw, punchy, and vibrant. The spontaneity of this single delivers a power that was entirely lost as Elvis’ music became over-produced and mainstreamed in the years that followed.

“Elvis Presely Blues”

Gillian Welsh

Gillian Welsh begins this vocal meditation with the words “I was thinking that night about Elvis, day that he died”. The song twists and turns on itself with rolling lyrical returns and diminished sevenths. Her work on this folksy track is beautiful. The song has been subsequently covered by both Joan Baez and Jimmy Buffet

“Dunu Kan”
Issa Bagayogo

Bagayogo weaves African motifs and funky electronic jazz into rich and complex melodies. The percussive elements of “Dunu Kan” produce a driving rhythm that is difficult to isolate from the snappy texture of the stringed section. His lyrics are entirely undecipherable, but the depths of his pitch and the rapid fire delivery of verse compliment the bursting instrumental composition.

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