It has been over a year since Fine Tuning’s last Old, New, Borrowed and Blue set dropped. My apologies for withholding for so long.

The old track, from 1970, is “The Man” by the British prog rock band, Patto. The group, which is the namesake of lead singer, Mike Patto, released three albums between 1970 and 1972 (a fourth album recorded in 1973 was released in 1995), but I only came across the band in the past year. It amazes me how much music is out there in the rabbit holes of time still waiting to be discovered. I am glad I ventured down this particular rabbit hole.  Patto’s self-titled debut album is particularly strong and “The Man” leads the way. This track needs to be played loud. It is groovy, silky and, if you stick around until after the trippy xylophone solo, ferocious, all at once.

The new song is “Hope Is Big” by Deer Tick. The band released two albums simultaneously in 2017 with the inspired titles of Deer Tick Vol. 1 and Deer Tick Vol. 2. “Hope Is Big” is from the first record which is comprised completely of acoustic tracks. I caught the band live in support of the records and can report that Deer Tick has the tallest fans of any band in the world. I go about 5’10” and was one of the shortest people in the room — even the women towered over me. Deer Tick fans are also some of the most inebriated I’ve experienced; perhaps being incredibly tall leads one to drink to excess?  Not sure. But one drunken Goliath passed out cold and fell into me stiff, like a tree that had been felled by a chainsaw. His companion revived him with a slap to the face and a nonchalance suggesting she had seen this happen before. But I digress: “Hope Is Big” is a sweet little tune, the sweetness of which in typical Deer Tick fashion is undermined by the song’s message, as expressed in the second chorus: “Hope is big, but we’re always gonna lose.” Here’s a plugged-in version of the song from the studio. Slide guitar has replaced the piano on the album version.

Truth be told, I had planned for the borrowed track to be Built To Spill’s 20-minute cover of Neil Young’s “Cortez The Killer.” And that is certainly worth checking out in audio form here. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a clean video of it. But I did came across this version by the Dave Matthews Band with Warren Haynes of Gov’t Mule and formerly The Allman Brothers Band on guitar. A worthy substitute, methinks.

The blue tune is “I Go To Bars And Get Drunk” by Elise Davis from her debut record The Token. Not that you would, but don’t expect to be uplifted by this one. It fits the bill for a blue tune rather nicely.

Well, there you have it.  Hopefully it will take me less than a year to put together the next Old, New, Borrowed and Blue post!