Weekly Recommended Listens: February 2017: Week 4: Sixties Rock: Twangy Guitars Concluded

Here’s our weekly recommended music posting! We’re continuing our 2017 look at Sixties Rock by finishing out our February spotlight on Twangy Guitar players and early sixties instrumental rock.

And this week I’ve got a couple of what I’d describe as “digging deeper for music gems” artists and various artist albums. The bands and artists spotlighted this week are less well-known than the twangy guitar players whose music we’ve listened to in the previous three weeks of this month. And some of the suggested albums are various artist collections. So the music is fun but I’m going to eliminate the Brief Artist Bios section for this week. If you want to know more about the band/artists discussed you can check out a number of cool rock encyclopedia books at the library or click on one of the links in the References section.

So here are our five music sections for this week:

I. Freegal Music Recommendations Of The Week

II. CD Music Recommendations Of The Week

III. Videos Of This Weeks’ Artists/Groups

IV. Wild Card Print Book Recommendation Of The Week (a print book that focuses on a musician, musicians, songwriters or other musical genres, styles etc. from any musical era)

V. References (for those who’d like to know a bit more about the artists of the week).

And here are our recommendations of the week!

I. Freegal Music Recommendations Of The Week:

1. Surfin’ With The Astronauts by The Astronauts:


This album contains the Astronauts only hit, the instrumental Baja, and a number of other fun party songs including: Surfer’s Stomp, Susie-Q, Pipeline and Surfin’ USA. And for this listener’s proverbial money – this guitar-centric group has a slightly more mellow sound than some of the other rock instrumentalists of the era.

So if you’re looking for a mellow listen for the weekend – this is the album for you!

Here’s a link to the album:


2. Raunchy! Vol. 2: Rockin’ Into the Sixties

by various artists:


Just a quick FYI note, the title of this album is actually misspelled within the Freegal Music Catalog! They left out the “n” in the word raunchy. So if you search for this album by copying and pasting the title, instead of clicking on the link below, you’ll have to take out the “n” and type the title in as “Rauchy! Vol. 2: Rockin’ Into the Sixties! (We’ve asked Freegal to fix the typo but that may take a while…)

Now on to the album! This is an album  full of fun songs! It includes songs by some super well-known players including Duane Eddy, Sandy Nelson, The Ventures and the Shadows, and a number of artists that are less well known in the U.S., but that recorded some really cool songs nevertheless, including: Rock organic-centric tunes like Gonzon by James Booker, which also features a neat flute solo, Big Guitar by the Owen Bradley Quintet, the Jazzy Topsy II by Cozy Cole, Guitar Boogie Shuffle by The Virtues, Bongo Rock by Preston Epps, Rockin’ Crickets  by Hot Toddys, The Enchanted Sea by The Islanders and Teensville by Chet Atkins.

This is a really great collection of early sixties rock instrumentals with a few pop instrumental hits of the era thrown in too. The album contains more than 40 songs and I liked it so much upon listening to it – that I bought a copy of it! Highly recommend – in fact, I’d say if you only listen to one album I’ve suggested this week – let this be the one!

Here’s the link to stream the album:

3. Space Hunters In The Wild West by Spacemen:


In looking for information on this group online – I found only one reference that indicated they are a modern group from Sweden! But they play classic American guitar-centric instrumental tunes as if they just stepped out of 1962!

As the title of the album would lead one to suspect, most of the songs on this album have a western theme. Here are a selection of song titles: Western Express, Brave Buffalos, Smiling Poney, Lonesome Cowboy and Country Woman.

The guitar playing on this album is bright, shiny and upbeat -fast-paced songs do indeed predominate – check it out!

Here’s the link:

Freegal Notes:
To access Freegal Music from a desktop or laptop simply click on the following link:

The Freegal Music Catalog homepage will display —

it looks like this:


The Freegal Music app can be found in your app store and it looks like this:


Freegal Wild Card Pick Of The Week:

Cold Spring Harbor

by Billy Joel: 


This is Billy Joel’s first album from 1971!

And Joel is pretty popular, so I’m not going to say much about this album — except to note that if you’d like to listen to Billy Joel’s seventies albums in sequence and hear how his music has evolved over the years you can – they are all in the Freegal Music Catalog ready for you to stream!

And here are the songs on Cold Spring Harbor:

1. She’s Got a Way
2. You Can Make Me Free
3. Everybody Loves You Now
4. Why Judy Why
5. Falling of the Rain
6. Turn Around
7. You Look so Good to Me
8. Tomorrow Is Today
9. Nocturne
10. Got to Begin Again

Here’s the link to stream the album:


III. Compact Discs Recommendations:
As with the Freegal music recommendations for this week – the CD recommendation is a various artists collection of early sixties rock instrumentals with a few pop instrumentals thrown in for good measure.

Complete Pop Instrumental Hits of the Sixties, Vol. 1: 1960


This three disc set is part of a series and includes more than 80 songs including songs by: The Bill Black Combo, Bill Haley, Chet Atkins, Nat King Cole, The Ernie Fields Orchestra,The Champs, The Fireballs, Duane Eddy and many more!

Here’s a link to the request page:

Wild Card CD Picks Of The Week:

Since I’ve only suggested one CD, for those who like CDs, I’m going to suggest two wild cards picks for this week: Scorched by Mark Anthony Turnage, who plays both Jazz and Classical music, and, a great folk music, various artist collection titled Live at the Caffé Lena.

1. Scorched by Mark Anthony Turnage:


Here is the entire stellular review of this LP from the AllMusic site, written by Rick Anderson:

Commissioned by the Society of Friends and Patrons of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and recorded at its premiere performance in September of 2002, Scorched is an extended suite of large-scale reconceptions of guitarist John Scofield’s jazz compositions, scored for big band, symphony orchestra, and guitar trio. English composer Mark-Anthony Turnage has been working in the borderland between jazz and classical music since his early days at the feet of Gunther Schuller, and his orchestral elaborations on Scofield’s original themes are surprisingly insightful and exciting. Scofield himself leads the trio, which also includes the legendary drummer Peter Erskine and electric bassist John Patitucci. Turnage avoids the standard classical-jazz crossover error of trying to make an ensemble this large actually swing; instead, he creates interest with dense but agile harmonic movement and crisp rhythmic change-ups; when Scofield and his crew take over periodically in a more standard jazz idiom, the effect is one of bracing contrast. The big-band-and-orchestra generally alternates with the trio rather than plays alongside it, but there are some thrilling moments of interplay, such as at the end of “Fat Lip 2” and the brilliant “Make Me 2.” Scofield’s solo playing on the contemplative “Cadenza” is another particular treat. Very highly recommended.

Here’s a link to the request page:


2. Live at Caffe Lena: Music From America’s Legendary Coffee House 1967-2013 by various artists:


The Caffe Lena is located in Saratoga Springs, New York and was on the New York City area folk musicians tour circuit in the early 1960s. In fact, one of the first places Bob Dylan played, after he relocated from Minnesota to New York City in 1960, was the Caffe Lena. Folk artists both well-known, emerging and just great solid players and songwriters you never hear on the radio have played there over the years including the previously mentioned Dylan, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, David Bromberg and many, many others.

I was fortunate enough to see Bill Staines there a number of years ago when the “Lena” of Caffe Lena, founder and manager Lena Spencer was still alive, she was quite nice and it was great fun – it felt almost like sitting in my living room with friends listening to another friend play folk music!

Here’s a description of the album: Live At Caffé Lena: Unreleased performances by Dave Van Ronk, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Kate McGarrigle, Rick Danko, Anais Mitchell, Sleepy John Estes, Arlo Guthrie, Sarah Lee Guthrie, and more.

Nestled in the quaint upstate town of Saratoga Springs, New York is Caffè Lena, the oldest continuously operating folk music coffeehouse in the US. Opened by Lena Spencer in 1960, this tiny room has played host to influential artists across diverse genres of music; traditional folk, blues, singer-songwriters, jazz and bluegrass. Luckily, many performances were caught on tape through the years, offering the listener a thrilling seat inside this hallowed venue. ‘Live At Caffè Lena’, a 3-CD box set, the result of years of investigative research, contains 47 tracks, all released for the very first time, alongside previously unpublished photographs. Images include selections from the archive of esteemed photographer Joe Alper, who captured many iconic, intimate portraits from the folk era of the 1960s.

‘Live At Caffè Lena’ documents an important folk universe that was and is still happening in upstate New York, a story heretofore largely untold. The release of this collection comes at an auspicious time in light of renewed interest in the New York folk scene of the 60s as depicted in the forthcoming Coen Brothers film, ‘Inside Llewyn Davis.’ The film is loosely based on Dave Van Ronk’s 2005 memoir ‘The Mayor of Macdougal Street.’ Van Ronk, a Caffè Lena regular, served as a mentor to many artists, some who would go on to eclipse his fame. His 1974 recording of “Gaslight Rag “featured on the box set references the Gaslight Café, a famed Greenwich Village venue that along with Caffè Lena was a catalyst for the folk music revival.

Caffè Lena embodied the spirit of the folk boom, the era and its artistry, building a reputation as a hotbed of creativity and connection. It was also a safe haven and nurturing space for artists, its atmosphere cultivated personally by Lena Spencer herself. She would graciously house wayward artists, sometimes for months at a time. But she was not merely a host. She championed artists, from Bob Dylan as early as 1961 all the way through the 80s until her passing. Her passion for identifying and promoting talent is evident throughout this 3-CD set. That Caffè Lena is still open for business tonight is a testament to her legacy.

‘Live At Caffè Lena’ is an important visual and audio document – 40+ years of our collective music history unearthed from dozens of “lost” tapes – night after night, show after show, through the decades – captured on tape in a tiny room in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Here’s a link to the request page:

IV: Videos Of This Weeks’ Artists/Groups:

The Astronauts live in 2012 playing Baja

And a link to a “video” which features a photo of the group in their heyday accompanied by the original recording of Baja:

Santo and Johnny – Sleepwalk 

Dave “The Baby” Cortez – The Happy Organ 

V. Wild Card Print Book Recommendation Of The Week:

women-in-rock-front-cover women-in-rock-back-cover

The Rolling Stone Book of Women in Rock: Trouble Girls

by Barbara O’Dair:

Granted this book was published in 1997, so you won’t find women who’ve gome up in teh rock world in the last twenty years discussed within its pages; however, it is a great read if you want to know about women in rock from the days of Rockabilly to the 1990s — for those eras this book offers a solid look at women in rock.

And here’s the official description of the book:

An impressive collection of 56 essays by 44 female writers about the role of women in popular music. Divided into six sections, the book opens with “The Pioneers of Rock & Roll: Blues, Jazz, Gospel, Rhythm & Blues, and Country” and features such artists as Billie Holiday, Mahalia Jackson, and Patsy Cline. Subsequent chapters cover solo artists and girl groups of the ’50s and ’60s; the ladies of rock in the ’60s and ’70s; and the pop singers and punksters of the ’70s. Sarah McLachlan, Bjork, Madonna, Salt-n-Pepa, k.d. lang, Janet Jackson, and Selena are just a few of the “Divas and B-Girls” spotlighted in another chapter. The volume wraps up with “Oh You Pretty Things!: Toward the Millennium” and includes the Go-Go’s, Ani DiFranco, performance artist Laurie Anderson, and Riot Grrls like Bikini Kill. O’Dair and her troupe of well-credentialed writers have produced a comprehensive, well-written, and visually appealing volume that has an excellent index, bibliography, and discographies with each chapter.

A must-have for libraries wanting vibrant, accessible material that will appeal to adolescent readers, especially women. Review by John Lawson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA

Here’s a link to the request page:

VI. References :

General References: 

Santelli, Robert. Sixties Rock: A Listener’s Guide. Contemporary Books. Chicago. 1985.

Whitburn, Joel. The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. Billboard Books. New York. 2009.

Artist/Group References:

The Astronauts: Biography by Richie Unterberger


Caffe Lena “Good Folk Since 1960” – Official Website:


Billy Joel: Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine


Mark-Anthony Turnage: Biography by Allen Schrott

Santo & Johnny: Biography by Jason Ankeny

Have a great day!
Linda, SSCL

P.S. If you have any questions about how to download or stream free music through the Freegal Music service to a desktop or laptop computer or how to download and use the Freegal Music app let us know! Drop by the library or give us a call at: 607-936-3713

*You must have a library card at a Southern Tier Library System member library to enjoy the Freegal Music Service. Your card can be from any library in the system, and the system includes all public libraries in Steuben, Chemung, Yates, Schuyler and Allegheny Counties and including our own Southeast Steuben Count Library in Corning, New York. Library cards are free and at our library you can obtain one by visiting the Circulation Desk and presenting staff with a form of ID that features both your name and your current address.

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