Monday, January 4, 2010
Mose JONES - Get Right 1973
I've read that Mose Jones recommended to Al Kooper to choose Lynyrd Skynyrd for his label. Why did you do that and what were your relations with Lynyrd Skynyrd?
-This is true. Jimmy O'Neill and I both told Al that he should check this group out. Even then they were tight and powerful and looked like stars. We've remained friends with the guys over the years but, like all old friends, we don't see much of them anymore.
How did you meet them?
-We both played a club called "Funochio's" in Atlanta and very often the last set was a jam with members of both groups. Ronnie actually asked me to join at one point but I think he was just pissed off at his drummer at the time.
"Get Right" was released in 1973. When was it recorded?
-I believe most of it was done that year, also. We had put down most of the basic tracks using our original keyboardist, Clay Watkins and Al. When Steve returned from the war we got him in right away and he finished the tracking with us. We slipped off to do some shows and when we returned Al had done a bunch of overdubs on the record. Some of the parts were quite good but some others (mellotrons, stacking up background vocals) were things that we thought made the record sound awash and more pop than we liked. In retrospect, we were trying to define our sound at this time. Whereas Lynyrd Skynyrd had their sound and image totally together from day one, Al wanted to change our vibe to something less bluesy than our live show. In his book he's quoted as saying that "Mose Jones were my Beatles and Skynyrd was my Rolling Stones". Having done so much production work since Mose Jones, I have a new appreciation for what Al was trying to accomplish, Mose Jones "grew up" in public.
I don't understand well if it's now or in 1973 that you are critic with the production?
-A little of both, but now I understand why Al made some of the choices he made better than I did then.
It was recorded at studio One, in Doraville. Did you have relations with the Atlanta Rhythm Section?
-Yes, the Atlanta music scene was pretty tight in those days. Steve McRay and Randy Lewis co-wrote "Alien" which was a single for ARS, Steve plays on the track.
Were the tracks for "Get It Right" written for the disc or were it on your set-lists before?
-Barroom Sweeper and Julia's Beautiful Friend had been in our sets for some time. Jimmy and Al wrote "What kind Of Woman..." for the disc, and Kiwi Stumble Boogie" was one of Jimmy's for the disc. The cover songs were, for the most part, brought in by Al.
A surprising thing is that the 4 players were singers. One another thing that is not usual on this disc is that, the most often, it's not one of the writers of the song that sing the song. Why?
-Randy Lewis was our main vocalist and when Steve came along we had two lead singers with Jimmy and I mostly doing harmonies, then Jimmy got stronger on vocals and we had three lead singers. We tried to assign the song to the singer without regard for who wrote it. Just match the singer to the song.
The song you sing, "Ode To Drugan", is very beautiful. From where is this song and why did you chose to cover it?
-This was from an English folk duo whose name escapes me. Al thought I should sing one number and proposed this one. Honestly, the song is beautiful but totally out of context for a southern band. We never did this one live.
-If I'm ok, it's the only song you sing on disc. Why?
We had three superior vocalists and I was very content to be the drummer and shout out some harmonies.
Did you sing others on stage?
Lowell George plays slide on "Ole Man Trouble". How occurred that he plays on the LP?
-We met Lowell at Richard's, a legendary rock club in Atlanta. Al and Lowell played "Happy Birthday" to me on my 21st birthday in the Artist's lounge. We were tracking for Get Right and Al asked Lowell to come and put a slide part down to which he graciously agreed and created, for me, a highlight of that record and my musical life.
By Bryan Cole.(From a Live Interview)
Jimmy O'Neill- Guitar
Randy Lewis- Bass
Steve McRay- Keyboards
Bryan Cole- Drums
A1. Get Right
A2. Here We Go Again
A3. Kiwi Stumble Boogie
A4. Old Man Trouble
A5. What Kind of Woman Would Do That
B1. Barroom Sweeper
B2. It's a Whole Lot of Fun
B3. Ode to Drugan
B4. All That I've Got
B5. Julia's Beautiful Friend
B6. Get Right: Reprise