Song Of The Day 8/11/2015: Booker T. with Drive-By Truckers & Neil Young – “Hey Ya!”

Quarterly Covers Report – Booker T. Jones, of course – of course, he said in italics – was chairman of one of the greatest instrumental groups of all time, Booker T. & the MG’s. He may still be depending upon their status. Patterson Hood is in Drive-By Truckers, but his father David was a bass player in the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section in Alabama. Both the MG’s and the Rhythm Section enjoyed extended relationships with Stax and Atlantic Records, so obviously Booker T. and David were known to each other, and presumably Booker T.’s known Patterson since he was a wee pup.

Then there’s Neil Young, who invents cars and personal stereo players, and is also a musician of some note. Booker T. & the MG’s served as Young’s backup band for a tour in the early ’90s and for Neil’s 2002 album Are You Passionate? Patterson’s Truckers also did a song called “Ronnie and Neil,” one of the greatest-ever rock songs about rock music, about the supposed feud (that actually wasn’t) between Neil Young and Lynyrd Skynyrd vis-à-visSouthern Man” and “Sweet Home Alabama.”

As they all do, these three larger-than-life forces got together to record a hip hop song. Well, they all got together to record Booker T.’s instrumental album Potato Hole. Actually, Neil recorded his parts in San Francisco; the rest of them were in Georgia, and possibly L.A. And they didn’t record just any hip hop song: They recorded OutKast’s “Hey Ya!”, which is just as much a ’90s indie-rock song as it is a hip hop song. Furthermore, I’m not 100% sure Neil is playing on this track. According to my notes Young played on nine of the ten songs on Potato Hole, but I can’t determine exactly what nine they were. However, I think you’ll agree with me that the guitar solo near the halfway mark in this piece sounds an awful lot like Neil. Also note Booker T.’s manic, staccato organ performance, which sounds like a sputtering conversation.

Finally, I’ve provided you with the version of this track from Spotify, and I’m sure Neil isn’t exactly thrilled about that. Or would be if he knew. So keep it quiet.

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