Category Archives: John Legend


Hello All,

Well I’ve got another triptych treat for you here today!

A friend recently asked me to create roughly four hours worth of appropriate tunes for an event she was helping to plan and present. Unfortunately, at the last minute she couldn’t use them. However–despite being put together on some short-notice and the fact that the majority of my albums are still packed up in boxes from a recent move–what I got left holding are what I consider to be some real dope MixTapes with a nice and easy forward groove going for them.

And that’s exactly what I’d like to share with you all.

Hopefully they’ll help you bend your knees, bop your head, and swivel your hips a bit on through this whole supposed “…in like a lion and out like a lamb…showers/flowers…” business we’ve been going through.


On The Good Blood


A Mouthful Of Pennies Presents: 

On The Good Blood (vol. 1)



On The Good Blood (vol. 2)



On The Good Blood (vol. 3)



On The Good Blood VOL 1


A Mouthful Of Pennies Presents: On The Good Blood (vol. 1)


  •       Real Life Dreams On – Bernie Worrell
  •       I Can’t Get Next To You – Al Green
  •       Flute Thing – The Blues Project
  •       Love Having You Around – Stevie Wonder
  •       Brand New Orleans – Prince
  •       Corinne Corrina – Joe Turner
  •       Swegbe and Pako – Fela Kuti
  •       Going Down On Love (demo) – John Lennon
  •       Going Down Slow – Aretha Franklin
  •       Do Your Duty – Candi Staton
  •       It’s Your Thing – Lou Donaldson
  •       River Deep Mountain High – Bobby Doyle
  •       For You – Prince
  •       Listen – Imani Coppola
  •       Mama Get Yourself Together – Baby Huey and the Babysitters
  •       I’m In Love With You – Christopher Ellis (Cojie of Mighty Crown remix)
  •       Village Soul – Lennie Hibbert (Cojie of Mighty Crown remix remix)
  •       Warning Of Dub – Lee “Scratch” Perry
  •       Don’t Brag, Don’t Boast – Clancy Eccles
  •       Do Unto Others – Pee Wee Crayton
  •       Chops And Thangs – Beat Konducta [Madlib]


On The Good Blood VOL 2


A Mouthful Of Pennies Presents: On The Good Blood (vol. 2)


  •       Norwegian Wood – Count Basie
  •       Sir Greendown – Janelle Monáe
  •       Root Down – Jimmy Smith
  •       Behind the Scenes: Jazz – J.Period & Q-Tip
  •       “Let’s Do It” – Billie Holiday
  •       Bags’ Groove – Milt Jackson
  •       Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay – Peggy Lee
  •       I’m Shakin’ – Jack White
  •       Get Out Of My Life, Woman – Joe Williams
  •       Mixed-Up, Shook-Up Girl – Patty & the Emblems
  •       Hit Or Miss – Bo Diddley
  •       Mystic Brew – Ronnie Foster
  •       Medley: Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End/Here Comes The Sun/Come Together – Booker T. & The MG’s
  •       A Light In The Attic – Shel Silverstein
  •       Shakara – Fela Kuti
  •       Priority – Mos Def
  •       Viceroy’s Row – Elvis Costello & The Roots
  •       Armagideon Time (A.M.O.P. remix) – Willie Williams
  •       Lock Down – Cypress Hill



On The Good Blood VOL. 3


A Mouthful Of Pennies Presents: On The Good Blood (vol. 3)


  •       Treat – Santana
  •       Suite V Electric Overture – Janelle Monáe
  •       Every Now and Then – The Shotgun Wedding Quintet
  •       You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks – Funkadelic
  •       In Time – Sly & The Family Stone
  •       Watching The Detectives – Elvis Costello
  •       Come The Meantimes – Elvis Costello & The Roots
  •       Jah Jah Me No Born Yah – Cornell Campbell
  •       Everything Is Everything – Booker T. Jones
  •       I Am the Walrus – Bud Shank
  •       Groovin – Willie Mitchell
  •       Fred Berry – Baby Elephant (Bernie Worrell, Prince Paul, Newkirk)
  •       Spinning Wheel – Peggy Lee
  •       Compared To What – John Legend & The Roots
  •       Security Of The First World – Public Enemy
  •       That’s The Way Love Is – Marvin Gaye
  •       Let Me Roll It – Paul McCartney & Wings
  •       You Gotta Move – Sam Cooke
  •       Born To Love You – Rose Royce
  •       “Broaden Our Minds” – The Joker (Jack Nicholson)
  •       Soulful Dress – Sugar Pie DeSanto
  •       Maggie’s Farm – Linda Gayle
  •       Medley: Because / You Never Give Me Your Money – Booker T. & The MG’s
  •       Call On Me (A.M.O.P. edit) – Big Brother And The Holding Company (feat. Janis Joplin)

—————————ROLL CALL————————  —   — –    –      –

Bernie Worrell

Al Green

The Blues Project

Stevie Wonder


Joe Turner

Fela Kuti

John Lennon

Aretha Franklin

Candi Staton

Lou Donaldson

Bobby Doyle

Imani Coppola

Baby Huey and the Babysitters

Christopher Ellis

Cojie of Mighty Crown

Lennie Hibbert

Lee “Scratch” Perry

Clancy Eccles

Pee Wee Crayton

Beat Konducta [Madlib]

Count Basie

Janelle Monáe

Jimmy Smith

J. Period

Billie Holiday (with Mister Downbeat)

Milt Jackson

Peggy Lee

Jack White

Joe Williams

Patty and the Emblems

Bo Diddley

Ronnie Foster

Booker T. & The MG’s

Shel Silverstein

Mos Def (aka Yasiin Bey)

Elvis Costello & The Roots

Willie Williams

Cypress Hill (B-Real, Sen Dog, DJ Muggs)


The Shotgun Wedding Quintet


Sly & The Family Stone

Elvis Costello

Cornell Campbell

Booker T. Jones (w/ Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Kirk Douglass, & Owen Biddle)

Bud Shank

Willie Mitchell

Baby Elephant (Bernie Worrell, Prince Paul, Newkirk)

John Legend & The Roots

Public Enemy

Marvin Gaye

Paul McCartney & Wings

Sam Cooke

Rose Royce

The Joker (Jack Nicholson)

Bob Dylan

Sugar Pie DeSanto

Linda Gayle

Big Brother And The Holding Company (feat. Janis Joplin)


—————————–BOBBY CALERO———————————–   – —   –   –   –  –     –


Formed in the mid ’60’s by a group of friends that often performed at the same cafes in L.A. (or as the above poster states, “Eight high-octane musicians who met and jammed in the great peanut butter octopus that is Los Angeles”), Sweetwater serves as a perfect icon for the word Hippie. Integrated musically as well as racially, over the course of three albums they created a potpourri of sound that if it were released today would most likely fall under the rubric of “freak folk.” Sweetwater toured with The Doors for much of ’68 and ’69 and were the second act to perform at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, coming on after Richie Havens.

In December of ’69, while recording their sophomore album for Reprise Records—Just For You—twenty-year-old lead singer Nancy (Nansi) Nevins was in a serious car accident. As a result she suffered severe brain trauma and damaged her vocal cords, putting her in a coma for weeks and necessitating physical therapy for years (Howitt, n.d.). Although she had participated in much of the recording process she was unable to perform in support of the album, and the band simply lost momentum.

Compared To What” ——–———Click To Listen

Albert Moore (flute/vocals)

Nancy Nevins (vocals/guitar)

August Burns (cello)

Alan Malarowitz (drums)

Elpidio Cobian (conga drums)

Alex Del Zoppo (keyboards)

Fred Herrera (bass)

Like It? Buy It.

The track I bring you today is “Compared To What” off of 1970’s Just For You, with lead vocals handled by flute player Albert Moore (The one depicted in an authentic Amish hat). Sweetwater’s Baroque-folk-jazz fusion works perfectly for Gene McDaniels’ anti-war anthem; McDaniels being a little remembered soul singer who passed away earlier this year on July 29, 2011. Disenchanted with the United States, particularly the escalating conflict in Vietnam and the state of race relations in the late 1960s, McDaniels took a brief sojourn from the Nation. During this period, in 1967, Mcdaniels wrote “Compared to What.” This “scathing critique of social realities in the United States” (Neal, 2011) was initially recorded and released as the opening track on Roberta Flack’s 1969 debut album, First Take. More recently John Legend and The Roots recorded the song for their 2010 album of cover songs, “Wake Up!”

However, I prefer Sweetwater’s more frenetic interpretation. The song begins by dragging the groove along as the flute and cello weave in and out seamlessly, before it all bursts into a souladelic freak-out of a man in pursuit of authenticity. Despite how busy the music may seem at times, and the number of chefs in this kitchen, each ingredient comes across as perfectly measured. Sweetwater have altered Mcdaniels’ lyrics somewhat, which I have reproduced below:

Compared to What

Well, I love this life, this life I love

A-Hangin’ on, with push and shove

Possession it is my motivation

And it’s hangin’ up the God-damn nation

And it Looks like I always end up in a rut

You know I’m Tryin’ to make it real

— compared to what? baby!

The President, well he’s got his war

Folks don’t know what it’s for

No one gives us rhyme or reason

If you have one doubt, they call it treason

And it looks like I always end up in a rut

I’m tryin’ to make it real —Try!

I’m tryin’ to make it real —Try!

compared to what? baby!

The President, he’s got his war

Folks don’t know what it’s for

No one gives us rhyme or reason

Have one doubt, they call it treason

I say we’re chicken fat, all without one gut.

We keep Tryin’—Try!

We keep Tryin’—Try!

Tryin’ Tryin’ Try!

Tryin’ to make it real

Don’t care if we die

Tryin’ to make it real

Just  keep on tryin

John he’s dead and gone and

Martin he didn’t have long and

Old folks putting us on and

I have got to be me

I have got to be myself

I cant be no one else

I gotta be for real

I just gotta try to be real

Make me real

I gotta be for real

Tryin’ to make it real

Gotta make it real

So real

And here’s a video of John Legend and The Roots soulful, yet more restrained rendition:


Neal, M. A. (2003). Real, Compared to What: Anti-War Soul. Popmatters. Retrieved on

December 26th from

Getting Out Our Dreams and Sony Music Entertainment  (Creators). johnlegendVEVO

(Poster) (2010, Sep. 13). John Legend & The Roots – Compared To What (Live In

Studio) [Video] Retrieved from

Howitt, B. (n.d.) Sweet Water. Bernie’s Musical Views. Retrieved on December 26th


McDaniels, G. (1967). Compared to What [recorded by Sweetwater] On Just For You.

[CD] Reprise. (1970)/Collector’s Choice. (2005)