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Album : Graham Parker And The Rumour – Howlin’ Wind

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This wasn’t my first GP record (Squeezing Out Sparks was) but after discovering his music I went on a Parker binge. I could be writing (and I will) about a half dozen of his records but I had to start somewhere. Howlin Wind is as good a place as any for his music.

It’s hard to talk about Graham Parker without talking about his great band , The Rumour. This is a band that has played together and are as tight as you can get. Along with Parker they craft some very cool music from their influences, R & B, rock n roll, soul etc. Similar to the early E Streeters and Bruce, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes and the Band. I guess the best way to give you an idea is let the music do the talking (good thinking CB) and talking it does on this record.

‘White Honey ‘ opens the album and its a real good feel on what GP is all about. ‘Red Hot Gypsy Blood’ is another highlight. It has stayed with me for a long time. It starts out in ballad land and ends up with Graham and the band building it into soulful groove.  The whole record has a permanence. You get a range from the softer stylings of ‘Between You An Me ‘ to the punchy, tough more street side of ‘Lady Doctor’. The title track is another highlight for me. Reggae beat with some cool guitar licks, great lyrics (“swing time is here children”) and delivery by Parker. ‘Back To Schooldays’ (covered by Dave Edmunds) another Parker gem. ‘Soul Shoes’ just gets me going with a Stones’ vibe. GP sings all these with passion.

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Why not end the record with a very cool song. ‘Don’t ask Me Questions’. When I first heard it I thought “what the hell is this?”. It grew on me. This is the unique kind of song he writes. Reggae, rock with very cool lyrics and guitar. One of those songs that came out of left field for me. It just has that GP stamp. Take all those musical influences and makes his own kind of music.

I like everything about Graham Parker and the Rumour . Parker writes some great songs but first and foremost he’s a rocker. I think all the good ones start from that base. I dig this album big time, maybe you will too or already have. Not a one trick pony. Parker’s songs have got into me. I’ve been listening to him for years and I pull his music out a lot. Seeing him and the band live just sealed the deal.

 

34 comments on “Album : Graham Parker And The Rumour – Howlin’ Wind

  1. hotfox63
    December 29, 2019

    I think we already talked about this one, CB. Excellent album though I actually prefer “Heat Treatment” overall. I was really excited about this guy in the 70ths. This little English dude who looked like a denim lounge lizard was a must.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 29, 2019

      ‘Heat Treatment’ and ‘Stick To Me’ are right up there also. Him and the Rumor were a powerhouse combo and yeah he had the cool stage presence. He’s grown gracefully with his music. Talented guy.

      Like

      • hotfox63
        December 30, 2019

        I saw Graham Parker and the Rumour back in the days in the “Marquee” in London. They put on a great live show. “Heat Treatment” is my favorite but I dig all his stuff from 1976 through 1979, after “Squeezing Out Sparks” things started to change a bit but he still made some good records later.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        December 30, 2019

        It would be nice to jump back in time and catch that show again. I was fortunate to see him in a small venue and it was a killer show. There was always something about his shows that felt you were in on something that wasn’t being done any where else.
        His later records are full of good material. I’m sure you and I will pull a few out in the future. ‘Get Started Start A Fire’ comes to mind

        Liked by 1 person

      • hotfox63
        December 31, 2019

        Yep, “Get Started Start A Fire” is a great song from “Mona Lisa’s Sister”. If you look at the cover of the album you notice how clever this man is, it’s a hidden self-portait of Graham Parker. A definite take off of the theory Leonardo hid his face in the Mona Lisa. Best wishes to you CB!

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        December 31, 2019

        Good stuff Fox. I’ll get over to your takes in a bit. Later.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Aphoristical
    December 29, 2019

    I live Squeezing out Sparks but haven’t played the others for a while- thanks for the reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 29, 2019

      I bought ‘Sparks’ and Ian Hunters ‘Never Alone With A Schizophrenic’ (fantastic album) on the same day. How about that for a useless CB fact.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aphoristical
        December 29, 2019

        I’ve never heard Ian Hunter’s solo stuff – recommended?

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        December 29, 2019

        Oh yeah. The album I noted will be coming up in the next bit for a take. The E Street Band is all over it. Check out ‘Just Another Night’ off of it. If you like straight a head rock (which I think you do) and the Mott sound you’ll dig it. It has ‘Cleveland Rocks’ which you might have heard.
        (I have to get to your takes. I missed commenting on POH. I’ll be over later)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. hanspostcard
    December 29, 2019

    Love those early Graham Parker albums- I got into him after hearing him compared to Elvis -same with Joe Jackson.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 29, 2019

      I hear you on that hans. He had something going on that I still dig today. I remember Springsteen saying he was one of the best live shows, something like that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • hanspostcard
        December 29, 2019

        I have to admit I need to play catch up on Graham I don’t think I’ve heard any of his albums in the past two decades.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        December 29, 2019

        He still makes real good music hans, more acoustic but his songwriting is always worth a listen. Sprinkles in humor here and there. I still need to catch up on some of his later work but like fine wine it’s just waiting for me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • hanspostcard
        December 29, 2019

        I will have to catch up on him. Seems like he doesn’t get much publicity anymore.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        December 29, 2019

        Under the radar like most the people I listen to

        Liked by 1 person

      • hanspostcard
        December 30, 2019

        I guess he is no longer the young and upcoming guy- the rock press moves on… same with another favorite John Hiatt.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        December 30, 2019

        I’ll be getting to JH soon. Another first class talent.He doesnt have a bad song.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. christiansmusicmusings
    December 29, 2019

    Excellent choice that’s right up my alley, CB – and a reminder I should really listen to Graham Parker far more than I’ve to date!

    On this album, I really like the combination of rock and soul. Also dig the reggae groove of Don’t Ask Me Questions. Very cool!

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 29, 2019

      Yes the album is a treasure of that stuff you mentioned. GP and the Rumor like the Boss and the E Street guys and the others i mentioned , learned their trade playing live in the clubs and always brought that feel to the shows. I listen to this album regular and yeah that reggae groove is very cool. Love his attitude in the song plus the music is tight with the horns helping out. Doesn’t get any better for me. Go grab those first few albums, Fox mentioned ‘Heat Treatment’. Its real good also.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. J.
    December 30, 2019

    This is good… and a timely reminder that I need to listen to Parker. I’ve been too busy with other stuff to delve into this stuff… need to sort that pronto.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 30, 2019

      He has a pretty good library. The first few albums with the Rumor are staple with me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        January 7, 2020

        I had added them to the streaming service, but hadn’t delved in. I’ll get to them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        January 7, 2020

        Thom over at Immortal Jukebox has a couple real good pieces on GP and the Rumour.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Jim S.
    December 30, 2019

    I spent some quality time listening to GP just a little while ago on Spotify. I don’t think I listened to this album as such but probably heard a few as I was listening to the compilation. “Don’t Ask Me Questions” – great tune. He was in Boston, I think, last year. CB should come down and we’ll go see him next time.

    Like

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 30, 2019

      Doc you would have ate him up in the day. Him and the Rumor were special. I think the Boss (CB you have to check this Parker guy and his band out) was the one that turned me onto him. Great players all in the band. That E Street, Jukes, Geils thing going on. It’s a date to see him.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thom Hickey
    December 31, 2019

    Thanks CB. Well, this was a landmark record for me. Went to see him and rumour countess times and was never disappointed. Whole thing stands up to this day.

    Thom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      December 31, 2019

      I knew we both were in the GP and The Rumour club. I was just fortunate he swung my way a couple times. “Stand up” is correct. I’ll have to revisit your Parker takes.
      Later Thom

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thom Hickey
        January 1, 2020

        Thanks CB. More GP here as 2020 progresses (and he’s still excellent in concert). Thom

        Liked by 1 person

  8. 1537
    January 3, 2020

    Sparks is my favourite one but ‘Hey Lord’ is my favourite Parker track by far – I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. catchgroove
    January 12, 2020

    Love this album. Thanks for the reminder. It will get played today.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: A Six-pack of Graham Parker – Music Enthusiast

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