Wednesday’s back, which means it’s time for MFK!
We’ve all played the “M.F.K” game before — where you’re given three names and have to decide which one you want to put a ring on, which one you spend the night with and then sneak out before they wake up the next morning, and which one simply needs to be killed?
Well this is exactly the same, except with music. I give you three songs, and all you have to do is leave a comment below and tell tell me which one you LOVE, which one gets the drawls, and which one meets the reaper.
Of course, we’re always looking for reader submissions — so if there’s a track you heard and you kinda like it, or you seriously love it, or you absolutely HATE IT — find a YouTube and email me the link and I’ll post it up here as soon as I can.
This week is a little to the side of what we normally do around here — because this week we’re going to look past the main artist and see what their backing bands are up to.
Especially in this day and age of digital music and sampling, it’s not really that difficult for a songwriter or an artist to create music around their songs. Multi-instrumentalists like Prince, David Bowie, and Me’Shell Ndegeocello have released albums where they alone played all the different instruments and parts — giving them complete control over their own sound. But when you take those songs out on tour to play on a stage, what you need to do is assemble a band — and to me that’s where things start to get really interesting.
The industry is loaded with ace session players and veteran touring musicians who make their bones backing up the artists we love and helping expand the musical boundaries of their songs — and as many of you know, seeing an artist like Jay-Z, Erykah Badu, or Common live frequently means hearing entirely different versions of the songs you love, because they often let their touring bands improvise and stretch out with the material.
There are plenty of instances throughout history where people who got their start working as session musicians and tour players were able to branch out on their own and make their own careers. Keyboardist George Duke, bassist Bootsy Collins, and even Jimi Hendrix started their careers backing up other people. There was even a band formed completely of session players that used to play and write songs for other people that had a few hits of their own back in the day.
I have to admit, it was always one of my dreams to be one of these guys. How cool would it be if one week you were touring with an R&B group, and the next you were playing on a jazz album, while still having the freedom to have a rock band of your own? When I was a kid with a guitar, I always thought that was the perfect setup — and perhaps as part of that thought I used to spend a lot of time buying albums from the musicians that played for other people. Just one of my weird quirks, I guess — but it’s led me to some really interesting songs over the years, and this week I thought I’d share a few.
See which one you like best — and remember, even if you like the songs — you HAVE TO CHOOSE!
Divinity Roxx (Beyonce’s Bass Player) — Get Here
Andy Allo (Prince’s Guitarist) — Hooked
Jeff Bradshaw (Jill Scott’s Trombone player) — ‘Til Tomorrow