Ooh! My Soul

Ooh! My Soul

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Little Richard: “Ooh! My Soul” Play this track

This Little Richard screamer is a killer and always will be. Can you imagine what teenagers’ parents must’ve thought if they heard their little ones grooving to this monstrous recording in the ‘50s? I’m so glad this record exists. —Rock Stamberg

Blues Saraceno: “Cat’s Squirrel” Play this track

When I was looking to sign my first artist at Guitar Recordings there was no check list at hand. But I knew when I heard the demo tape of 16-year-old Blues Saraceno, that he was the one. What he brought with him as a musician checked all the boxes. He is a master of phrasing, tone, dynamics, and melody. This song, recorded on Fresh Cream would be a harbinger of things to come, as the first “band” he ever played with included Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. Side note, at 1:37 I overdub four notes to climax the solo. These are the only four notes I have on a professional recording. I had asked Blues to play a Jeff Beck technique of slide guitar past the neck and over the pickups. He rolled tape and asked me to show him what I had in mind. A moment later he said, “You’re on the record.” —John Stix

Andrew Gold: “Lonely Boy” Play this track

Remember this? I didn’t, either, until I heard it again recently via a CD compilation celebrating the hit records Peter Asher has produced through the years. A notable hit in the spring of 1976, it remains a damn catchy tune that isn’t hampered by the record production techniques of its day. A pleasant surprise. —RS

Orleans: “Half Moon” Play this track

I would have bet the house that Orleans would become a major band. Masterful songwriting, wonderful singing, and tight funky rockin’ live performances should have done the trick. They had hits instead. They were big but I thought they would get bigger. John and Johanna Hall wrote this song for Janis Joplin. It’s on her Pearl album. It’s also one of my favorite rhythm guitar parts. I was lucky enough to have John Hall show me how to play it correctly. —JS

James Hetfield & The News: “Hip To Be The Sandman” Play this track

Who knew that James Hetfield and Huey Lewis would be such compatible songwriting partners? —JS

This is insane. —RS

George Harrison: “Any Road” Play this track

What a fabulous song. And George’s guitar leads throughout are marvelous and crisp. —RS

I never heard this tune before Rock suggested it for NHT. Now it’s one of my go-to songs for any mixed tape. —JS

The Black Crowes: “Hard To Handle” Play this track

Like The Stones, Faces, and Delaney & Bonnie before them, The Black Crowes channel that funky dirty rock ‘n roll / blues swagger to a tee. And their records hold up nicely. Like this one. —RS

They nailed it. This is rock and soul at its best. —JS

Glenn Tilbrook: “Voodoo Child’” Play this track

First, I love Squeeze and most of Difford & Tilbrook’s respective solo records. But this isn’t on any of those rather, it’s from a live video from YouTube. There are several performances of this amazing musical feat available there, but this is the one, we believe. Jimi Hendrix done acoustically. Hardcore. And it works. —RS

Little Feat: “High Roller (Outtake)” Play this track

As much as I love Little Feat’s proper albums, I also love their outtakes and alternate recordings. Like this one. —RS

So different and so right. I would have been happy if they released this on Time Loves a Hero, and I love the original. —JS

B.B. King: “B. B. King Talks Vibrato and Phrasing” Play this track

Yes, I’m a lucky sonofabitch because I got to talk shop with B. B. King. —JS

B.B. King: “Whole Lotta Love (Live)” Play this track

He was the master of blues vocals and guitar. But have you ever noticed he doesn’t play chords or rhythm parts? Everything that defines B. B. King is here, the conviction of the vocal and the simple clarity and dynamics of the guitar. Check out that solo cadenza. —JS

Johnny Gale: “I’m Tore Down” Play this track

Here’s another one from my Guitar Recordings label. Tore Down is a blues classic and Clapton got an A for his version on From the Cradle. Johnny Gale gets an A+ for this swinging take on the Gale Force album. JG’s playing reminds me of EC’s energy from the Beano era. No gadgets, just a pair of hands, a guitar (in this case a Stratocaster) and an amp. No question about it, this guy deserves wider recognition. —JS

Red Hot Chili Peppers: “Factory Of Faith” Play this track

What funk? I find this RHCP track to be irresistible. From 2010’s underrated I’m With You album.—RS

Dave Edmunds: “Sweet Little Lisa” Play this track

Rockpile? Why, yes. -RS

Nobody rolls rock like Dave Edmunds. And nobody plays chicken pickin’ guitar like Albert Lee. This is among my top favorite guitar bits and solos. —JS

The Rolling Stones: “Slipping Away” Play this track

This is the kind of song Mick and Keith used to write. It’s a real tune with real sections, not a riff with words. What’s more, it’s Keith’s song … although the other Stones – especially Charlie Watts – supply the heart. And there’s a lot of heart here. From 1989’s Steel Wheels album. A real treat. -RS

Steve Morse: “Picture This” Play this track

Steve agreed to play classical guitar for a party I threw for Guitar for the Practicing Musician Magazine. This song floored me. When it became obvious he was not going to record it for one of his records, I asked him if I could include it on Guitar’s Practicing Musicians Vol 2. He graciously recorded it for me. It is one of my proudest moments running the label that I was at least partially responsible for you hearing this song. Look up the word “beautiful’ in Websters and this is what you see (hear). —JS

Mark Knopfler: “Why Worry” Play this track

How is it Mark Knopfler can take one of his most beautiful Dire Straits songs and make it even more alluring by stripping it down instrumentally? I dunno but he’s done it right here. Dreamlike. -RS

In the land of focused calm and beauty following Picture This, I can think of no other song that should follow it and continue with this mood. —JS