Archive for Steve Miller Band

Chili time again!

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , on October 29, 2011 by 30daysout

Editor’s note: This is a repost of a previous entry – kinda like a warmed up bowl of chili. 

We have done this post a few times but with cold, chilly weather gripping most of the country it seems like staying home and makin’ a big pot o’ chili is a good idea.  And with football season in full swing, it is especially timely.

The classic recipe, supplied by the good folks who brew Texas’ Lone Star Beer, is available above (click the picture for a larger version).  It’s pretty simple, but here is another recipe from the Austin newspaper that is a multi-meat extravaganza.  Just for fun (and, depending where you live, for ridicule) here are some chili recipes from the Food Network. One of the recipes has spaghetti!

On that last link above, you will notice of course that some of these chili recipes contain a healthy helping of beans.  As a native Texan, it is my duty to remind you that our state’s fine lawmakers some years ago passed a law outlawing the use of beans in chili.  I can’t tell you exactly when and, ah, … OK, I just made up that last part.

Just put in the damn beans if that’s what blows up your skirt.  But don’t blame me if that’s also what blows out your skirt.  Either way, keep a window open – no matter how cold it may be outside.

More stuff about chili, with a few more tunes, here.

MP3: “The Chili Song” by Gary P. Nunn

MP3: “Snow (Hey Oh)” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

MP3: “National Chili Anthem” by Isaac Peyton Sweat

MP3: “Cold As Ice” (live) by Foreigner

MP3: “The Old Country Waltz” by Neil Young

MP3: “Chili Con Conga” by Cab Calloway

MP3: “You Bring The Heat, I’ll Bring The Meat” by Jonny Z and Bobby Rivera

MP3: “Crusty Rolls and Chili” by the Duhks

MP3: “Cold Cold Heart” by Hank Williams

MP3: “Millie Make Some Chili” by Steve Goodman

MP3: “White Winter Hymnal” by Fleet Foxes

MP3: “Hot Chili” by the Steve Miller Band

100 Years Out: Robert Johnson

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , , on May 6, 2011 by 30daysout

In the dim early part of the last century, a bluesman named Robert Johnson claimed he sold his soul to the devil, as if to explain his otherworldly skills in writing, singing and playing the blues. If that really happened, right now Robert Johnson is burning in hell while we’re still talking and writing about him, and listening to his music. It means that Robert Johnson beat the devil.

Sunday will mark the 100th birthday of this mysterious figure. In this age of instant tweets and non-stop media, it’s almost impossible to know as little about an entertainer as we do about Robert Johnson. We do know that between 1932 until his death in 1938, Johnson was constantly on the move, playing juke joints and roadhouses across the South. He occasionally played gigs in places like Chicago and St. Louis, and the 42 songs we know him by today were cut during two epic sessions in San Antonio and Dallas.

The two things that have survived over the years are of course the legend of Robert Johnson and the devil, and the music. Robert Johnson’s music is terrifying in its stark realism, and the dark heart of his greatest songs form the foundation of rock and roll. No need to run down the list of artists influenced by Robert Johnson – you can hear it below.

MP3: “Me and the Devil Blues” by Robert Johnson

MP3: “If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day” by Robert Johnson

MP3: “Come On In My Kitchen” by Robert Johnson

MP3: “Preachin’ Blues (Up Jumped The Devil)” by Robert Johnson

MP3: “Last Fair Gone Down” by Eric Clapton

MP3: “Ramblin’ On My Mind” (live) by Lucinda Williams

MP3: “They’re Red Hot” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

MP3: “Hellhound On My Trail” by Fleetwood Mac

MP3: “Traveling Riverside Blues” by Led Zeppelin

MP3: “Crossroads” by Cyndi Lauper w/Johnny Lang

MP3: “(I Believe I’ll) Dust My Broom” by Todd Rundgren

MP3: “Love In Vain” by the Rolling Stones

MP3: “Sweet Home Chicago” by the Steve Miller Band

MP3: “Stop Breaking Down” by the White Stripes

MP3: “Crossroads” by Cream

On The Trail of the Hellhound – 30 Days Out post from 2008

Fixin’ up some chili

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , on January 2, 2011 by 30daysout

Here come those weird days of winter, after the holidays and before the Super Bowl, where we promptly forget about our New Year’s resolutions and do just about anything to stay warm and interested.  If you live in a part of the country where it’s cold – and that’s pretty much any place except Texas or Florida – you may want to give some thought to cookin’ up a big pot o’ chili.

A number of regions lay claim to creating the humble bowl of red, but the story I’ve heard most often is that the spicy meat concoction was created by the chili queens of 1880s-era San Antonio who came up with the recipe we still use and enhance to this day.   And of course, different cooks will put different ingredients in their versions of chili.

The big argument is whether or not to add beans to chili.  Now most enlightened thinkers say no, beans take up space that more meat could better occupy.  My in-laws, who live up in New York state, swear up and down that true chili has beans in it but what do they know – they consider grilled weenies real barbecue.  I suppose you can put anything you want in chili – including turkey, pork, duck, even beans – as long as you can find someone to eat it.  Count me out! (I saw a TV movie one time, I think it had Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson in it, and although the title escapes me I will never forget what one character said: “I’d have to kill somebody who put lima beans in my chili.”  Or something like that.)

A righteous pot of chili ought to contain some sort of beef, chiles (or chili powder) and maybe some tomato sauce if you roll that way.  For years I have used the recipe you see at the top of this post (click to enlarge it), supplied on a handy post card by the Lone Star Brewing Company of San Antonio, Texas.  I am fairly sure you can buy everything the recipe requires pretty much any place in the country; if you can’t find coarse ground beef you can always slap in a pound or two of hamburger.  My daughter went off to college and now she’s on some kind of anti-beef kick; now when she’s home I gotta use ground turkey in my chili.  That works, too.

The Terlingua Chili Championship - you've been warned.

Years ago I got this book, A Bowl of Red, by Texas writer Frank X. Tolbert and that’s supposed to be the bible of chili heads nationwide.   I kind of think this guy was full of bull (or Lone Star beer) when he wrote this book, because he even sings the praises of chili made at Chasen’s restaurant in Beverly Hills for movie stars, and he talks about how great some brands of canned chili are.  Well, I am partial to Wolf Brand in a can – but with no beans!

Anyway, the followers of this Tolbert fellow (he died a while back) still operate some kind of International Chili Appreciation Society and stage cookoffs in a place called Terlingua, along the Texas-Mexico border in the middle of freakin’ nowhere.  I never was a follower of organized religion, so I really don’t know what these chili heads stand for but like those beans, you are quite welcome to explore on your own.

Chili is of course the national dish of Texas, and when you are in Austin there is one great place to get some chili.  It’s called the Texas Chili Parlor, and it’s located on Lavaca Street near the Capitol.  They have all kinds of chili and other stuff (their enchiladas are pretty tasty) and they’ll even put beans in your bowl for you while looking the other way.  If you order their super-hot XXXX chili, before they serve it you have to sign a release saying you won’t hold them responsible for a heart attack or any catastrophes in your underwear.

I like the chili over at Shady Grove too, that’s a pretty nice place.  San Antonio has a bunch of great places to get chili (try La Paloma or Casa Rio on the Riverwalk) and in Houston, well, the best chili I’ve had here is at my house.  Check out the recipe above and play some of these tunes.  Enjoy your chili, with or without beans (remember to open a window), and here’s hoping it keeps you warm this winter!

MP3: “The Chili Song” by Gary P. Nunn

MP3: “Dublin Blues” by Guy Clark

MP3: “Good Texan” by the Vaughan Brothers

MP3: “What I Like About Texas” by Jerry Jeff Walker

MP3: “National Chili Anthem” by Isaac Peyton Sweat

MP3: “The Old Country Waltz” by Neil Young

MP3: “You Bring The Heat, I’ll Bring The Meat” by Jonny Z and Bobby Rivera

MP3: “Millie Make Some Chili” by Steve Goodman

MP3: “Hot Chili” by the Steve Miller Band

Required reading:

The Saga of Terlingua and Texas Chili – from the Dallas Morning News

Frank X. Tolbert’s original Texas chili recipe

Chili Appreciation Society Inc.

Chili info at the Tabasco website

Famous Chili Recipes

Lost Classics! Chuck Berry

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , on November 28, 2009 by 30daysout

We all know Chuck Berry as that duck-walking, guitar-slinging rocker from the late 1950s-early 1960s, the guy who wrote and recorded classics like “Maybelline,” “Johnny B. Goode,” “Roll Over Beethoven” and many, many more.  Berry did all of these for Chess Records, the seminal Chicago blues and rock label that was also home to Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf.

But many people know little about Berry’s excursion away from Chess in the late 1960s: by 1966 Chuck wasn’t cranking out top-selling records any more.  Berry thought if he left the small Chess label and signed with a bigger label, more money would be spent on getting his records onto the radio and back atop the charts.  So in ’66 he signed with Mercury Records, much to Berry’s disappointment.

The more corporate label had ideas about making Chuck Berry more “relevant” to audiences starting to dig the crazy sounds coming out of San Francisco.  Berry, on the other hand, wanted to make records like he did in the early 1960s.  So it was a constant battle for Chuck Berry – with producers, with label bigwigs – and the four years he spent at Mercury were mostly aimless.

In 1967, Berry released a couple of live albums for Mercury, the second of which was Live at the Fillmore Auditorium.  He was backed by the Steve Miller Blues Band, which would later become the Steve Miller Band and earn a number of its own hits in the 1970s.  Looking back, this album isn’t bad – it focuses on the slow blues that was popular at the time and which Chuck Berry played in the first place.

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Lost Classics! Boz Scaggs

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , on July 2, 2008 by 30daysout

Despite what you may have heard, William Royce Scaggs is not a native Texan, nor was he born with the nickname “Boz.”  He was born in Ohio but his traveling salesman father moved the family to Texas, where a school chum nicknamed him “Bosley.”  You see where it goes from there.

And where Boz went from there was to college, to blues bands, to London, and finally to the Steve Miller Band in the late 1960s.  After recording two albums with Miller (and a solo LP in 1965) Boz Scaggs set out on his own.  His self-titled album on Atlantic Records in 1969 featured the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section out of Alabama.

The absolute highlight of the album is “Loan Me A Dime,” a lazy-building blues that features some nifty guitar work from a kid who was not really born in Georgia – Duane “Skydog” Allman.  The song clocks in at 12 and a half minutes, but when you glide on that intoxicating, swirling guitar into the song’s climax the ride seems deliriously short.  You simply can’t listen to this just once.

MP3: “Loan Me A Dime”

Boz Scaggs official website