I’m All Yours [Featuring Lowell George] (Stoned Turtle 006)
Nightingale / I Fall To Pieces / Silver Threads & Golden Needles / Love Has No Pride / Rock Me On The Water / I Can’t Help If I’m Still In Love With You / It Doesn’t Matter Anymore / Dark End Of The Street / I Believe In You / Crazy Arms / Long Long Time / You’re No Good – Recorded live at The Record Plant, Sausalito, CA on November 18th 1973
Heartache / Sailin’ Shoes / Willin’ – WHFS – FM Studios, Bethesda, Maryland.
A show to promote Linda’s most recent & first album for Asylum records [ Home of The Eagles ] since moving from her home at Capitol & after a 2 year absence from the music world. “Don’t Cry Now” was a strong album taking songs written by JD Souther, Don Henley & Glenn Frey, Randy Newman & Neil Young. Due to Linda’s interpretations of these songs & the hard work put in to promoting it thee album would stay in the charts for more than a year, selling more than 300,000 copies before the end of 1974 – becoming her largest selling album to date and would win her her first gold record award.
The show is from an excellent FM broadcast with a little interference from the reception of the radio. The set is also missing the two final tracks; Steel Guitar Rag & Break My Mind. Linda’s Band tonight would include a crack team of Rock / Country musicians including Bob Warford (Guitar), Andrew Gold (Guitar), Doug Hayward (Bass Guitar), John Boylan (Piano & Guitar), Jimmy Hodder (Drums) and Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter (Steel Guitar). The tape starts with a little chatter about Linda worrying about spilling coffee on herself, swearing and then wondering aloud if she’s on the air. Someone confirms that she is to which she replies “Thanks for the tip .. ” after a brief pause the band launch straight in to “Nightingale” the Carole King & Davis Palmer written track that isn’t actually on “Don’t Cry Now” ( Strangly enough for an artist with that album to promote .. )
Linda really rips in to this with gusto. Snatches of Carole King’s singing style are evident in there & it features a burning guitar solo in the middle of it all. Linda worries about her headphones, obviously not used to wearing them for a live engagement. “I Fall To Pieces” follows. A slower paced slice of americana country with John Boylan stepping on to the piano. Written by Hank Cochran & Harlan Howard this doesn’t appear on the album either but obviousley Linda want’s to break the audience in quietly by playing tracks they might recognise initially. “Silver Threads & Golden Needles” follows after a break for the band to tune up & get in to gear.
It’s also time for a station announcement from the presenter – a concert that he describes as being like living in a fish bowl. “Silver Threads .. ” written by Jack Rhodes & Dick Renolds originally appearing on Linda’s “Hand Sown, Home Grown” her first solo album after leaving the Stone Poneys in 1969 & then re-recorded for the “Don’t Cry Now” album eventually reaching the top 20 in 1974. This is a return to the pace of the first track & features some stunning country rock work under Linda’s all so powerful vocals – it’s just a shame it’s so short. With hardly a breath taken the band are straight in to “Love Has No Pride” the first track proper from “Don’t Cry Now” written by Eric Kaz & Libby Titus. A slower, heart string pulling track that linda pulls out the stops for & again, songs her lungs out.
“Rock Me On The Water” from her eponymous 1972 album & written By Jackson Browne is testament to the fact that, although Linda had her own voice to sing with, then the songs she was given usually retained the fingerprints of the author. This is Brown by numbers essentially but Linda wrings it out once again to her perfection. Once the track finishes there’s a gap for studio chatter while the band relax. Linda points out that one of the monitors she’s using has stopped working while the presenter ribs her about the fact that everything that she says is being recorded. Linda’s obviously not too bothered about that and continues to give out instructions to the band on the following song.
“I Can’t Help It If I’m Still In Love With You” is steeped with country rock mannerisms & Jeff Baxter brings out the steel guitar. Written by Hank Williams Sr. this rendition is very true to it’s roots & bear’s all the hallmarks of it’s era. Linda acknowledges the writer of the the next track & also the gent that made it famous “This is a Buddy Holly song that was actually written by Paul Anka” – “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” is markedly different to the Buddy Holly version. Slowing it down to a strolling pace and adding a strong amount of bass, it’s a stunning change of direction for the track. Written by Dann Penn & Chips Moman “Dark End of The Street” was first sung by Linda on her final Capitol album “Heart Like A Wheel”. It has been extensively covered over time but Linda’s is a fantastic version.
Sparsely accompanied by bar piano, slide & acoustic piano, bass and a lightly tapped drum it flows as easily as water cumulating in a rockish Allman style ending as the band psyche themselves in to a heavyish rock groove. The Following “I Believe In You” is a highlight of the set. A cover of Neil Young’s song from “After The Goldrush” it’s obviously a track that Linda has a real affection for when she wails it with a real soul and heart. Certainly as comparable with the original if not bettering it with Jimmy Hodder allowing himself a few loose drum fills and Baxter’s slide guitar working dividends.
“Crazy Arms” the country standard that Linda covered on the self titled 1969 album. This Ray Price cover keeps the speed of the set at an even flow and keeps Linda’s lungs going as she hits the high notes at the end. “Long Long Time” Linda’s first solo hit from “Silk Purse” quite rightly won her a grammy for her vocal performance and tonight she shows the chops that got her that award. Winging from a forlorn whisper to a crashing wave of a voice.
“You’re No Good” finishes off this part of the set. Written by Clint Ballard Jr. Linda’s version wouldn’t see release until 1975. After a little more warming up and banter between Ronstadt & the band the band crash in to this Carole King styled track. Played in a heavy rock style to Linda’s oft – country styling it’s a heavy, crunching rocker, wigged out solo and screamed vocals compete that fold to an accapella style towards the end. The band hardly have time to finish before the tape finishes but it doesn’t sound clipped & is a great end to this gig.
The Following bonus tracks were recorded as a Lowell George session with Linda & John Starling in tow. recorded at WHFS-FM Studio, Bethesda, MD on March 19th 1974.
Recorded under the shadow of the failure of Little Feats 1973 album “Dixie Chicken” and the bands dissolution while Lowell tried his hand with session work. “Heartache” was a co-write with Ivan Ulz & would be recorded for Lowell’s only solo album “Thanks, I’ll Eat It Here” but not released until the CD version some years later and with Valerie Carter taking Linda’s place. It’s a brief tune lasting under 2 minutes but Linda spins her sweet-as-honey vocals around Lowell’s and it features only Lowell’s delicate guitar picking as instrumentation.
For “Sailin’ Shoes” Lowell’s stuck for a song to sing while in steel guitar. Linda suggests “Heartache” ( The tape is possibly out of order here? ) but Lowell decides to stick with one from his band and pulls this out instead. On record it’s a bar room stomp with a chorus of a cast of thousands here it’s just Lowell & Linda, guitar & leg slaps. A great and intimate version with Linda wailing to the tops & replicating the harmonies perfectly.
The final song to this set is another Little Feat track “Willin'” the song that apparently got Lowell kicked out of Frank Zappa’s Mothers Of Invention for either being just too good or because Lowell had written a song about drugs. The truth, I suppose, we’ll never know. On record a fuller band effort but here rendered with 3 musicians Lowell, Linda & John Starling from “progressive bluegrass” band “The Seldom Scene”. Linda has given up her seat to John and has decided to to squat upon the floor while the threesome flow in to Lowell’s haunting but good natured ode to carrying on. Lowell is obviously happy to be playing this track as you can hear the smile in his voice. Once the performance finishes Linda lets out an excited squeal which seems to be the perfect note to end on.
This Stoned Turtle CD is very good bootleg fare featuring era-correct photos throughout it’s 8 page booklet including a photo with Linda & Lowell together. The track listing on the back is clear enough to read without straining the eye too.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)