Bob Neuwirth, a staple of the Greenwich Movement of the Sixties,
wrote songs for Janis Joplin (Mercedes Benz) and many others,
produced albums for T-Bone Burnett, toured with Bob Dylan, but didn't release
a single album during the best years of his life.
Bob Neuwirth (Asylum, 1974 - Asylum, 1999) was largely neglected.
Rock and Roll,
Just Because I'm Here,
Legend in My Time,
Rock and Roll Rider,
We Had It All,
Back to the Front (Gold Castle, 1988 - Koch, 1998) was the album that
restarted his career, although it took a few years to appreciate.
The solemn, philosophical Eye On The Road is one of his masterpieces.
The mournful Annabelle Lee could have been on Dylan's
Johnny Cash could have written the sprightly, banjo-driven ditty
Heartaches sounds like classic Nashville music.
The tuneful Turn It Around, enhanced with a touch of flamenco, is
worthy of Gordon Lightfoot.
Among the pensive tunes, Venice Beach could be
Gambler-period Kenny Rogers.
and Akron is a depressed blues dirge in the great Woody Guthrie
tradition but would shine as well on a Bruce Springsteen album.
Few albums of that year were so impeccably played, sung and composed.
99 Monkeys (Gold Castle, 1990 - Koch, 1999) collects homemade songs,
that are as brilliant as understated.
Biding Her Time,
Life Is for the Living,
Dazzled by Diamonds,
Ancient Questions (War & Peace),
Winter in Berlin.
Look Up (Watermelon, 1996), that includes
Just Like You (co-written by Patti Smith),
was his first major statement.
I Don't Think Of Her,
What's Our Love Comin' To,
Beyond the Blues,
Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar,
Everybody's Got A Job To Do,
Sweet And Shiny,
Just Like You,
Save Me Jesus,
Gilbert Says Hello.
Last Day on Earth (Watermelon, 1994) is a collaboration with John Cale.
Who's In Charge?,
Short Of Time,
Angel Of Death,
Streets Come Alive,
Maps Of The World,
High And Mighty Road.
Havana Midnight (Diesel Motor, 1999)
is a collaboration with Cuban arranger/composer Jose` Maria Vitier,
but hardly a mere tribute to Cuban music. Vitier conducts a classical
ensemble and Neuwirth display his folk/blues singing technique.
The First Time,
Dead Man's Clothes,
Miracles / Milagros,
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