Friday, January 1, 2016


It’s 1:30 PM MST (I’m still out of town) and I’m sitting here looking out the window at a frozen wasteland. It was -11 degrees when I woke up this morning and the weather report said it felt like -24 degrees. (It kinda felt like hell to me-I hate to be cold.) Currently, the temperature is a whopping 5 degrees. I almost feel like breaking in a chorus of “We’re having a heat wave’; almost, but not quite.

Besides contemplating ‘what was I thinking; coming to this frozen place at this frozen time of year, I have also been contemplating the year that was 2015. My first impression was to make a list of the good and bad that came about in my life during this year that is almost over, but I have decided against that. We all have good and bad happening to us all of the time. The choice is ours, which we make more of. I’m choosing to make more of the good, and hoping to be a tad bit more optimistic in 2016. It’s in my nature to be positive and look for the good in everything, but I’ve found that this past year, I’ve let myself slip into a more negative attitude, and I don’t like it.

Here’s my wish and prayer for any of you who stop by my place on this first day of 2016. May you look for the good in yourself and in others. May you silence the negative voices in your own head (since many of you are writers, I know you have and listen to those voices – ‘way to often’). May you experience good health or a return to good health whichever may apply. May you enjoy prosperity of Spirit. May you have a true desire to be in some type of service to others; be it simple or complex. May you find joy in all that you do; from the simple mundane things, to the most spectacular. May you find and feel genuine love in your life.

Now that I have those words out of my head, let’s get on with BATTLE OF THE BANDS, shall we?

A few months ago I learned that Allen Toussaint had passed away. I immediately thought of his song ‘Woman Get Out of My Life’, not sure why, but maybe it was one of my less ‘positive days’. Anyway, when I checked YouTube I found that this one had been covered by just about EVERYBODY. So, I decided this would make for a great BATTLE, but then…a chicken crossed my path, and I immediately became distracted. I’m like that sometime.

Next we came up to Christmas and I wanted to use traditional Christmas songs (after all, it’s only two BATTLES a year when that seems appropriate to me). Well, it’s the first day of 2016 and time to finally honor Allen and his contribution to music.

I went with two versions that I like. Both have a very distinctive sound to their band. Also, both are live versions and not necessarily a superior quality video, but I think they are on equal footing in that respect.

First, let’s hear from Mr. Leon Russell;

Next, Mr. Jim Morrison and the Doors:

OK, you guys know the routine. Leave me a comment with your vote and the reason for your choice. When you’ve finished up here, head on over to the site of Mr. BOTB himself and see what he has posted for you. Stephen will also provide an up to date link for all of the participants. You can find him HERE. Please try to vote at every site.

I’ll be back on the 7th with my vote and the final tally. I DO intend to get around to all of the posted BATTLES, but probably won’t really get to start until after January 3rd, as I’ll be on the road traveling home. Please be patient with me.

So, until the 7th or I make a comment for you…Happy Trails!


  1. I appreciate your opening thoughts. I'm starting off the year with sickness picked up back East I guess--probably from being around kids, but it's worth it if that's the case. Every January I seem to pick up a tad of sickness that I eventually get over so I'm sure this year will be the same. Just that the way I feel is a nuisance to driving cross country.

    "Get Out of My Life, Woman" is a song that I was previously only familiar with in a version that if I recall correctly appeared on an album by Iron Butterfly. The versions here are new to me.

    I am a Leon fan, but right now his version is rubbing me the wrong way. The instrumental part is great, but I think his vocals sound like the way I'm feeling--throat irritation and nagging cough.

    I've always enjoyed the Doors but their version kind of lopes and lags and doesn't much get anywhere. Good, but not good enough.

    Give my vote to Leon. He puts some punch into the song and I direly need that punch to get me back on the road this morning so I can get back home and get back to normal, whatever normal might be.

    Have a fantastic year ahead.


  2. Loved your opening remarks. I survived an intense election this year and the psycho was not reelected, so my 2016 is looking really good this morning.

    I'm not a particular fan of this song, but I think I like Leon's the best of the two.

    Happy New Year, my friend.

  3. Got germs from being home at christmas at my sea, ugg lol hopefully that is the worst of 2016 for me. #1 gets my vote!

  4. Loved your opening remarks! What a nice prayer you had for all of us. Beautiful! Happy New Year to you. May it be filled with tons of love, joy and laughter!
    As for the battle, I've always been a Doors fan but I so much more enjoyed Leon's version of this song so please give my vote to Leon Russell.

    Michele at Angels Bark

  5. I was kind of disappointed The Butterfield Blues Band's version wasn't here. That's the one I know the best, and that's the yardstick I'll use here...

    I didn't like Leon Russell's version until I heard The Doors try it. Leon gets my vote.


    FAE, I know you're a huge Leon fan, so I'll be shocked to my toes if he doesn't get your vote.

    Me? I'm not really crazy about Leon. He just always sounds too ragged and unprofessional to me. I guess there's an appeal to that for some folks. And sometimes for me, too (think: old country Blues), but Leon just ain't my glass of I.P.A.

    I like a lot of THE DOORS stuffs, and I think Jim is a far better singer than Leon is. But I read all the comments before playing either of these recordings and the comments convinced me that I was going to dislike The Doors version for some reason(s).

    As Waylon used to sing: "WRONG!"

    That great bass line and Densmore's drumming... WTH? How come people aren't groovin' to that? I damn sure was! I could have used a bit more of Ray's organ riffs, but Robbie threw in some cool licks. Yeah, Jim's vocal was maybe a shade too lazy, but I still like everything about his voice better'n I do anything about Leon's.



    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

  7. I have to give it to the Doors. I love the back beat with the drums and his voice always grabs me. I love what you wrote at the opening and agree so let's hope we can change the thinking ways and bring in the optimism! I felt like my year was a rousing....meh.

  8. Happy 2016, Fae... be safe in your travels. I also, loved your posted sentiments. I'm giving it my best shot too.

    Gosh, I hate to say I've never been a Leon fan - so many votes here for him. This is a new song to me too.

    That said, I am a Doors fan - it's not a priority, mind you, but the 'blues' flavor hits home. I liked the instrumental better too... the guitar wails along with him. Ha!

    My vote goes to Jim & the Doors.

  9. You have brought out some strong sentiments with this one, apparently.

    Consider my vote to be the OPPOSITE of StMcC's.

    The Doors have a repetitive and simplistic style about almost everything they do. Or should I say "doo?" The Doors generally stink, while Leon's musicianship is absolutely fantastic... always.

    Leon's voice may not be that of an angel, but his version is way better'n that devil Morrison's.

    I really appreciated your opening comments!

  10. I love the battle here as a rribute to Allen. I don't think this is Leon's best. It is not the Doors best, but I like their version better.

  11. Leon Russell brought it home. I just didnt care for The Doors version (and it really pains me to say that because I really love Jim Morrison and The Doors)

  12. Life is ultimately what we make it, sometimes by choice or lack of choices. Wholeheartedly, I agree that we will all experience good and bad events; likewise we can chose to make them better or worse by how we respond. Great message and a lovely way to start the year! Hugs for that.

    Leon Russell is one of a kind and he could pull my vote on many songs - but mighty Morrison and The Doors get my one little vote today.

    FAE, 2016 is upon us and let's give it all we got and have a great year, come what may! Happy New Year!

  13. Leon Russell gets my vote, although I'm not a big Leon fan, he seems to capture the flavor of the message better. Jim seems to be half hearted in his attempt, and some of his other songs are much better. Happy New Year! I sure hope this year is better.

  14. I was fairly sure I'd be voting Doors on this one... But, alas, no. Leon did it better, for me.

    Beautiful blessing for 2016, FAE. Right back at you! Yes, a positive outlook is indeed a choice, and I'm glad you're focusing on the good. 2016 will be a GREAT year :)
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

  15. Okay, get the pitchforks ready... I HATE the doors. But I was fair, and made it 2:22 in before I pulled the plug. Gimme Leon.

  16. Your wish and prayer was so damn good it felt like a toast. I only wish I had a beer to raise at the end of it. Cheers to that, and the same to you!

    Neither of us is particularly fond of those scratchy vocals Leon has going on. Some love it, some don't, we're the latter. I really liked the Doors version, though (and my cohort just liked it a little), so we each vote for Door #2.

  17. You home yet? So sorry I missed you when we were freezing together. I ended up having to catch a much later flight to get all the stores done. Ugh! Next month (or should I say last week this month) should be a lot less work. But, who knows. I am appreciating the cold here (50 degrees) and no snow. Fun to visit, don't want to live in it. I'm still defrosting my fingers, lol.

    Thanks for the well wishes and hearty sentiments. Must be the cold talking :) I'm sure my 2016 is going to be much better than 2015.

    Well, not a fan of this song, but love love the Doors, so they get my vote.

    Drive safe!!

  18. Seems like I haven't been all that crazy about Leon Russell when you've "used" him in battles past. So, I looked at the contenders here expecting to vote The Doors and suffer through Leon Russell.

    If there is one thing I can count on in BoTB it is surprises. I really liked Leon Russell. He really rocked that song. The Doors were bland in comparison. So, shocker!!!! My vote is for Leon Russell.

    That was a great blog opener. It's so easy to allow the negatives to weigh you down. Lord knows I've dumped some negatives out there into blogland, but I'm always thankful when I do because you guys always help me to cope and provide perspective. Otherwise, I'd just wallow here and... well, that's NEVER good.

    As you say, we always get good and bad. The choice is our attitude!

  19. Thank you for those beautiful New Year wishes/hopes/dreams.

    Although it was a treat to see The Doors in the video, Morrison was already looking pretty stoned out and their version seemed... unemotional.

    Leon... right from the first few notes I was hooked. I love his gravely voice and how he can manipulate it. My vote goes to him!

    Happy New Year to you!

  20. Surprisingly enough, I like the Leon Russell version much better than the Doors. The sound is much fuller.
    Thanks for the well wishes. Despite my r.a.n.t. series, I do try to look on the more positive side of things.

  21. HNY! I go for the Jim Morrison and the Doors. And I hope you are thawing out. I could send you some heat from Oz!

  22. Wow! How lazy! No BOTB Results post?
    You're not exactly setting a good example for the others here, FAE!

    ~ D-FensDogG

  23. I noticed there is no BOTB challenge for today. Hope all is well with you.