Saturday, June 25th, 2011

I got a sudden jones to hear I Want You Back by the Jackson Five and went to YouTube to find a video, because while listening to the Jackson Five is always a treat, watching them while they’re singing raises the enjoyment level by an order of magnitude.

A quick search of YouTube turned up plenty of pretty low-quality videos that were still lots of fun, but what was almost more enjoyable was finding all the other performers who’ve covered this fun song. The one I had the most fun watching over and over was UK artist KT Tunstall performing live in front of a crowd at Jools Holland’s Hootenanny in 2005.

She begins, after an introduction, by laying down a beat for a digital gadget that records her first slapping the face of her guitar a couple times, then overlaying that with a quick brush of the strings, then a clap and snap of her fingers. With the beat backing her on a loop she rips into the melody, whanging on her guitar like she’s playing for her life. Her voice is rich and smoky, and in this particular recording reminds me an awful lot of Bonnie Raitt. Watching this video, I had to keep reminding myself that she was making all that music all by herself. It’s an amazing performance.

I don’t know KT Tunstall’s work except for Suddenly I See, a song I ran across by chance on Pandora, and meant to follow up on but never did. Her name must have stuck in the depths of my brain cell, though, and when I saw it in the search for I Want You Back I couldn’t help but click on it. Glad I did.

I Want You Back | 6:18 pm CST
Category: entertainment, music, play | Tags:
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