My name is Jamie and I’m a member of Roon’s Customer Success and Support Team. I also help out with alpha testing our new features, metadata development, and assisting our customers with getting the best possible experience when enjoying Roon. And now, I get to talk to all of you about music. Which is pretty sweet for me because aside from my family there isn’t anything that means as much to me as music. Like many of my colleagues at Roon I’m enamored with all kinds of music and I’ve been privileged to work in the music industry for many years. I was the kid who bought 7-inch singles with his lunch money and later grew up to do live music production, work as a recording engineer, record store clerk, music writer, radio DJ, sound archivist, tape restoration engineer, and compilation producer. The common thread that runs through all those roles is that they provided me with the opportunity to connect with people through a shared love of music.
One of the things I enjoy most about spending my day with Roon is the way it fosters the rediscovery of music that has moved and inspired me throughout my life. The best parts of my workday are when Roon Radio brings that well-loved but somewhat orphaned song back into my orbit unexpectedly. What always surprises me is the journey that these songs seem to have taken in their absence. They bristle with new energy, gleam with a new coat of paint, or exude some elusive quality that has made them glow a bit brighter. The real explanation for their evolution is that we have changed. Our attention to sonic detail, discernment, taste, and music listening education has grown such that these songs seem to take on a new life. I’ve had no shortage of these moments and I’d like to lay a few of them on you.
Wilson Pickett – Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You. My CD copy of Rhino Records’ The Very Best of Wilson Pickett disappeared without a trace from my music shelf years ago and spirited away this track. Wilson took on every song that he recorded at 110%; what that means is that the songs that weren’t hits still smoke. On this one, Pickett is paired with a Gamble & Huff studio hit-squad that churns out just the right amount of grit. The fat, fuzzy, overdrive on the rhythm guitar part in the chorus was a new detail I had missed before.
Quicksilver Messenger Service – Mona. I had a dear friend who grew up just south of San Francisco in the late 60s and hitchhiked to the Fillmore West to see shows as a teenager. He told me that Quicksilver Messenger Service was one of the heaviest San-Fran groups he saw live, even heavier than The Grateful Dead. At some point, I ran into a used copy of their Happy Trails album. It showcased a few epic live Bo Diddley workouts that cemented my friend’s observations. Recently when I bumped into this song the beat had become even more tribal and propulsive. Bo’s primitive rhythmic chop is psychedelicized with driving lead guitar from John Cipollina while a second tremolo guitar part pushes the pulse of the song in and out of syncopation. Hearing it again after all these years was a revelation.
Reuben Wilson – Hold On, I’m Comin. There were a few serious Hammond organ cats at work for Blue Note Records in the 1960s. Reuban was never as highly regarded as Jimmy Smith, John Patton, or Larry Young but he could cook too. This supercharged version of Sam & Dave’s Hold On, I’m Comin really gets things boiling. Wilson roots right down in the grove on this one and carries everyone along with him. Lee Morgan and George Coleman blow like they were raised at Stax, Grant Green leans into R&B riffs you could hammer nails with, and Idris Muhammad swings it all kinds of funky on the kit. This cut feels like it was custom-made for playlists.
New music discoveries are exciting but there’s something equally special about these rediscoveries – at least we think so. Tell us about your experiences! Which songs have Roon ushered back into your life and library after a long absence? Pick two or three of them and share the qualities that you noticed this time around in the Roon Rediscoveries thread on our Roon Community forum.
We’ll curate your selections for inclusion in our upcoming TIDAL and Qobuz playlists and publish your song comments on our Music Blog next month. Roon has always been about discovery and exploration. The thing that drives those two catalysts is connections and nothing connects a community quite like music. So, let’s talk music!