Emerging from the projecthole I’ve been in, at least a little, with an odd post…
Vacuuming today, wearing ear protectors with built-in headphones, playing the “mix tape” 6GB of my favorite 380-or-so songs (on a Sansa Fuze). I don’t much dance, and I don’t have much rhythm…but one tune got me going, at least a little. Not necessarily dancing, but moving at least.
You can see the title above (“Some days you gotta dance” if it’s too much work to look), but not the backstory.
To wit: I knew the version I was listening to was James Taylor’s cover, from his Covers album–but I didn’t know what it was a cover of. And with the tight Tower-of-Power-style horns absolutely driving the song, I assumed he was covering some black group, possibly mid-60s, possibly Oakland, certainly with horns.
So I finally checked today. And, sure enough, it’s
urban blues–woops, country? Really? First recorded by Keith Urban, best known from a Dixie Chicks recording? From the ’90s?
Taylor comes by it honestly: Look at Youtube and you’ll find a Crossroads episode with Taylor and the Dixie Chicks, which begins with that song, Taylor singing lead. (Apparently Keith Urban played guitar on the Chicks recording: everything connects to everything.)
And, you know, now that I’ve listened to the Dixie Chicks version(s) (the recorded one and the Crossroads one) and Keith Urban’s version…
Damned if I still don’t think this is a horns-driven urban pop song from the ’60s or ’70s. There’s just an edge to that version that the guitar-driven versions don’t have. (Also: Urban rushes the song.)
I’d point you to the James Taylor version, but the ones I see on Youtube are live versions without the tight full horns. They’re OK, but not the same.
Update next day: I don’t know genres for s**t and I’m not particularly up on recent music. Could be late ’50s rockabilly but with an infusion of more recent horn sections. Or not. In any case, to me, Taylor’s version (a) isn’t country and (b) is superior. Nothing against good country, to be sure.