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Mar 4, 2020

Oh, sinner man, where you gonna run to? To the rock? To the river? To the sea? Well, wherever you run, you'll still be starring in a Strong Songs analysis of one of Nina Simone's greatest recordings.

Yes, it's time for Strong Songs' first-ever analysis of a live recording, as Kirk digs in to legendary pianist/vocalist Nina Simone's 1965 interpretation of the traditional spiritual song "Sinnerman." It's time for some syncopated piano, popless grooves, band crash-landings, hand-clap breakdowns, hip hop samples, and one spectacular vocal cadenza.

Artist: Nina Simone

Album: Pastel Blues (1965)

Written by: Traditional, arr. Nina Simone

Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify

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ALSO FEATURED:

  • "I Put a Spell On You" and "Feeling Good" as performed by Nina Simone on I Put a Spell On You, 1965
  • "Strange Fruit" as performed by Simone on Pastel Blues, 1965
  • "Sinner Man" arranged by Les Baxter for his orchestra
  • "Oh, Timbaland" by Timbaland from Shock Value, 2007
  • "Get By" by Talib Kweli from Quality, 2002
  • Audio from John McTiernan's underrated 1999 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair
  • Audio from Liz Garbus' excellent 2015 documentary What Happened, Miss Simone?

OUTRO SOLOIST: Rob Reich

This episode's outro soloist is the wonderful bay area pianist/accordionist Rob Reich. Rob performs all over the place with a bunch of different groups, and is a total pleasure to see play. He's got a bunch of albums you can check out and contributes to an array of interesting projects (Live silent-film scores! Circus music!) and experiments. Find more at his website, http://www.robreich.com/.

'GRAM BY 'GRAM

If you're interested in occasional music and Portland-related photos and videos, as well as teases for upcoming Strong Songs episodes, follow Kirk on Instagram @kirk_hamilton. https://www.instagram.com/kirk_hamilton/

NEWSLETTER/MAILING LIST

Sign up for Kirk's mailing list to start getting monthly-ish newsletters with music recommendations, links, news, and extra thoughts on new Strong Songs episodes: https://kirkhamilton.substack.com/subscribe

STRONG PLAYLISTS

You can find playlists containing every Strong Song as well as all of Kirk's weekly music picks from his other podcast, Kotaku Splitscreen, on both Spotify and Apple Music.

SUPPORT STRONG SONGS ON PATREON!

A huge thank-you to all of Strong Songs's Patreon patrons! If you want to support Kirk making the show, do so here: https://Patreon.com/StrongSongs

MARCH 2020 WHOLE-NOTE PATRONS

AccessViolation
andrew walters
CALEB ROTACH
Chad Barnard
Craig J Covell
Dan Apczynski
Dave Florey
Glenn
Jared Norris
Mark Schechter
Merlin Mann
Ryan Torvik

MARCH 2020 HALF-NOTE PATRONS

AJ Schuster
Alex Singer
Alexander Polson
Amanda Furlotti
Andre Bremer
Andrew Baker
Andrew Lee
Arjun Sharma
Bill Thornton
brant brantphillip
Brett Douville
Brian Amoebas
Brooke Wilford
Chas Lednicky
Chris Brown
Christer Lindqvist
Cyrus N. White
Darryl Stewart
David Stroud
Earl Lozada
Eero Wahlstedt
Elliot Jay O'Neill
Emily Williams
FlSHBONES
Forrest Chang
Gavin Doig
Jacob Dye
Jaehoon Jeong
James Johnson
Jeffrey Olson
Jennifer Bush
Jeremy Dawson
John and Sharon Stenglein
Jon O’Keefe
joujou
Juan Carlos Montemayor Elosua
Jules Bailey
Justin Liew
Justin McElroy
Kate Albury
Kevin Morrell
Kevin Pennyfeather
Leigh Sales
Mark Steen
Markus Koester
Matt Gaskell
Max Schechter
Melanie Stivers
Michael Blackwell
Miriam Juskowicz
Mueller
Nate from Kalamazoo
Nicholas Schechter
Richard Toller
Robbie Ferrero
Sam Fenn
samuel gardner
Shane DeLeon
SP
Tanner Morton
Tom Clewer
Tom Lauer
Toni Isaacson