Song Of The Day - 25 Mar 2009: Rosewood Bitters

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Mar 29 2009, 1h31

Michael Stanley / Rosewood Bitters / Michael Stanley (1) / ? 1972

I take a short break from posting the MUS1030 Music Journals to give a shout out to Michael Stanley, who turned 61 on Wednesday. Happy Birthday to the hometown hero!



For his birthday last year, I chose a selection from Silk, the group he was with before he struck out on his own. This selection comes from the next album he appeared on, which was his first solo album. It was one of only nine released by the obscure, short-lived, corporate-funded, weed-fuelled Tumbleweed label. For a long time this was a very difficult album to obtain, but you can easily get it on CD via his website now.

Tumbleweed's founders were in L.A. when they decided to form a new label in 1970, but started up in Denver in an effort to find a new scene apart from the stale late-60s hippie scene of southern California, and also because they were terrified of the over-hyped "Big One" earthquake mania that gripped the region in those days. The oil money of corporate Gulf+Western led the label to craft lavish productions of small numbers of recordings that had rather little promotion; more focused on the art rather than the business. The money also allowed Tumbleweed to be one big lavish stoned party house!

Though Michael is from Cleveland, label co-founder and longtime friend (and future Eagles producer) Bill Szymczyk brought him out to Denver to record this in the lavish Tumbleweed mansion with session help from Joe Walsh, Todd Rundgren, and Rick Derringer.

"Rosewood Bitters" is a song that's a permanent entry in the Michael Stanley canon, even through the Michael Stanley Band years. It's a contemporary westcoast-influenced melodic bit of 70s AOR with good slide guitar from Joe Walsh. Joe even recorded his own version of the song for The Confessor in the mid-80s.

\m/ (ò_ó) \m/

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