Jules Larson wants it all!

So several days ago I began posting videos by Jules Larson, my latest favorite vocalist – and whoever is writing and arranging her songs, perhaps her, is also on the top of my list nowadays. I posted several in a row, and you might have thought I was done, BUT NO, here’s another! And OK, on this one I have to say some of the lyrics are just a little bitty bit predictable, but those lyrics end up going somewhere a bit unexpected, and overall, she is still remarkably refreshing and fantastic. Everything she does is gold.

Year of the Cat – Long Live Version

This is, to me, one of the greatest pop songs of all time, largely because I never get tired of it, and often find myself looking for it online – this is Al Stewart and Year of the Cat. It has engaging musical statements throughout.  And it has great lines, like this one:

She comes out of the sun
In a silk dress run-
-ning like a watercolor
In the rain

I love the wordplay of “sun” and “run”, and the imagery of how she is “running like a watercolor in the rain”. Great lyrics.

The first time I heard this song I didn’t know anything about Humphrey Bogart movies or Peter Lorre. Now I do, and if you’re curious, go watch Casablanca or The Maltese Falcon, and you’ll see them both, including Lorre “contemplating a crime”.

But one other observation about this song: in the original version, Stewart sings this line near the end:

You know one day you’re bound to leave her

I always hated that line, it sort of ruined the song for me. If you know you’re going to leave her, what are you doing with her in the first place? The guy’s a jerk! So while I always loved the music and most of the lyrics of Year of the Cat, I always hated that line.

So I find it interesting that in this version, Stewart changes the lyric:

You know one day you’re bound to lose her

Definitely an improvement! Now – the recorded version of this song is fantastic, but for the version with the modified lyric, here is Al Stewart performing it – live:

Jules Larson and Overnight Lows – I Got Up

It’s hard to find information about Jules Larson. But I’m starting to piece together some things, and she was apparently with a fantastic band called Overnight Lows for a while and did some great music. It seems she did this before going off on her own. This is a fun, upbeat, encouraging, and FUN piece they did, see below:

Jules Larson and You Know It’s True

So I was watching a re-run of Castle, a great TV drama about a fiction writer who shadows a beautiful police detective to glean ideas for his writing.  I was watching Episode 5, Season 3, titled “Anatomy of a Murder”, and at the very end of the show, a fun little song was playing in the background. I’d noticed it before when I’d watched this show earlier – like I mentioned, this was a re-run – but this time I decided to try to find out what that song was called and who was singing.

That search led me to a great website called “TuneFind.com” in which someone has posted exactly this sort of information – detailing the songs you hear in the background of different TV shows.  Looking for the Castle episode, I found this page:

Season 3 Episode 5 · Anatomy of a Murder

And there I learned that the song I was looking for was titled “You Know It’s True” and was performed by Jules Larson.

That was easy enough to find on YouTube, and WOW, I’m now a huge fan!

Stray Cats / Brian Setzer Orchestra: Rock This Town

I love Brian Setzer‘s spirit, energy, guitar work, and his brilliance in merging rockabilly with big band sounds, this is a taste of it. If you only have about 90 seconds or so, you can skip to the 3:30 mark and get a sense of what this is all about:

I finally got a chance to see the Brian Setzer Orchestra for their Christmas 2018 tour, and loved it so much I got 2019 tickets as soon as they were available, I had AWESOME seats.  But unfortunately the tour was cancelled – Brian was diagnosed with severe tinnitus. Hopefully he’ll recover – the original Stray Cats are just now releasing a new album so that’s a good sign. There’s no tour that I know of, but this is the age of COVID-19 and we’re still in the midst of the pandemic, so I wouldn’t expect one.  In the meantime, you can enjoy that video and many others – look for the Brian Setzer Orchestra, especially from their Christmas tours.