Thursday

Spider John Koerner & Willie Murphy

Running, Jumping, Standing Still - 1967

While Dylan and the Band were holed up in basement of Big Pink brewing up their response to the summer of psychedelia, Spider John Koerner was doing much of the same back in Minneapolis, and with arguably better results. Instead of eschewing any and all drippy hippie elements like his Woodstock counterparts, Spider John and barrelhouse pianist Willie Murphy carefully plucked and weaved curious harmonies, bizarre instrumentation, clever production and the finer elements of the technicolor scene into an LP that remained firmly rooted in the brilliant folk songwriting with which he'd made his name as one third of Koerner, Ray & Glover. Produced by the same Mohawk production team responsible for Dr. John's magnificent Gris-Gris LP, Running, Jumping, Standing Still is an absolute rarity; an album of incredible depth and ingenuity that has remained far enough off the radar to detract hordes of imitators, and in turn, has managed to age more elegantly than most anything of its time. Standouts include the title track and "Magazine Lady", a couple of the album's finer examples of the duo's penchant for loose grooves and patchwork time shifts, as well as the pillowy leadoff track "Good Night." An album as satisfying on its first spin as its twentieth.

20 comments:

wibbler said...

Well theres a blast from the past!. I went to see Spider John play in Doncaster (in England) in a local club in 1964 or 1965 I guess - gives you a clue how old I am - and I don't think I've heard of him since. I don't listen much to blues these days, but I suppose I might give this one a hearing for old times' sake :)

Anonymous said...

It looks like a gem, thanks!

whiteray said...

Oh, wow! These fellas were a little before my time, but I've enjoyed catching up over the years. Great album. Thanks so much!

ge said...

absorute crassic!!
amazon review we wrote:
Every since high school, & that's over 40 years, we've enjoyed this record. Producer Mohawk & the boys capture one of the coolest recorded ambiences of last century (Dr. John's 'GrisGris' also comes to mind; also another inspired Mohawk production: 'the Moray Eels Eat the Holy Modal Rounders') with Koerner's beat/farmboy/outdoorsy postBeat writing & delivery plus perfect cheap electric guitar thrashing setting the mood...not forgetting great cigar puffin' rinkytink piano [what a relic must have been used!] of Willie.

This album is richly redolently suggestive of beer bars basements backwoods
riverbanks romance
broken hearts & clicking heels, hounddogs rainbows, holidays & silk hose...

Anonymous said...

Thanks again JR! I love everything you put up here. You've gotten me into so many great albums that I wouldn't have ever heard otherwise. Thanks for sharing!!

Mark said...

I remember seeing this advertised in the pages of every rock and roll magazine I bought when I was in jr. high and wishing I could hear it. Now, 40 years later, here's my chance. Thanks for posting this, and for your evocative comments.

Anonymous said...

I'm stymied. I can never get fastupload or fileinsanity or any of those things to work. I keep getting something like the Capta file (?) is wrong. or I'm consistently asked to re-submit numbers. If it isn't Rapidshare, or Megaupload, or Badongo, it won't work. What's the secret? -- smitty123

JR Heat Warp said...

Hey Smmitty- Massmirror is a tempermental beast. I never bother with anything other than zshare or badongo myself, so my advice would be to stick with those when they're available. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Thanks already, and thanks again. If this album is half as good as Koerner, Ray and Glover's "One Foot In The Groove", I'm gonna love it!

Horzel

Cursed Rabbit said...

Another awesome post...thanks man!!

Anonymous said...

i'll try (excellent souvenir of Nicky Hopkins !)
merci
lilac

D in TX said...

Hey JR - this is GREATNESS! Been on it for about a week now and it keeps gettin better. Took a couple spins but THEN WOW - so much goin on - blues, jazz, classical, folk, pop - so good - thanks for this. I've gotta be on the 30th spin and still going!!! Thanks SPIDER AND WILLIE - where ever you are!

taro nombei said...

I remember seeing this around way back in the day.
Looking forward to finally hearing it.
Much appreciated.
TN

Anonymous said...

really great, a lost gem. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Great post, great blog; many thanks. -- Murf

Anonymous said...

Bought this album (Yes, as a 33!) when it first came out...still own it. 'Friends and Lovers' remains one of the most haunting and elegant pieces any musician has every composed, in my humble opinion. Wish I could hear them perform this tune in person...

And, if you like Willie Murphy--and also like Bonnie Raitt--check out Bonnie's version of the old Buffalo Springfield number, Bluebird. When you hear the wonderful back-up group, Willie and the Bumblebees singing behind Bonnie, that's (I believe) Willie singing the bass-line. Always makes me smile when I hear it.

Anonymous said...

I was lucky enough to see the band for two nights in 1969. Like Basement tapes there was a certain level of drunken amiability to the shows, with bad jokes and discussion among the band as to what to play next.

A few more songs by the band were found on his self-released "Music is Just a Bunch of Notes".

fromzero said...

hot damn! it always slays me to know how much o this great music has been happening, that i don't know anything about! thankee Jr heat warpie, and all you big hearted music bloggers, chrisgoesrock and many others, to get us introduced to much of this buried in the sands o time music.
my amp's at full tilt

dustraman said...

hello, seems i'm late??? i've been hunting for this record (in vain); now i stumbled upon your blog & it seems ther's no link anymore....... you said you could be kindly asked for a re-up, so here i am beggin' ya PLEASE~!!!

thanx in advance,
dustraman

JR Heat Warp said...

Give this link a shot Dustraman. sharebee.com/bd2a7771

Enjoy, JR