One of my favorite blues songs is Boz Scagg’s “Loan Me a Dime.” My favorite version – and there are many fine ones – is the one he recorded with the Allman Brothers in Muscle Shoals in 1969.
A decade later, I played along with the song a hundred times on my Strat in my Mill Valley basement studio . At each drop of the needle, I waited patiently for the vocal to end, so I could I could play along with Duane’s passionate but nuanced solo. Among the finest blues guitarists ever, Duane had that rare combination of flash and reserve I so admire. And this song is arguably one of his best solos.
Many, many years have passed. Now, when I play this same cut in my Seattle basement studio, I listen carefully to Boz’s heartfelt vocal. When Duane comes in, I often find myself starting the song over. Maybe it’s that I’ve heard the lead so many times, that it no longer holds my attention so closely. Perhaps it’s that I hardly touch that old Strat of mine anymore. I’m much more about my acoustics. Or maybe it’s because I understand more clearly what the singer means when he says, “Somebody loan me a dime. I’ve got to call my old time used-to-be.”
I wrote this song a few years ago after hearing that the son of high school friend of mine taken his own life. I couldn’t get the thought out of my mind. I woke up from a dream several weeks later with this song ringing in my head. Click on the picture below:
I wrote this song. The music came out of a dream that woke me up at 4 AM. In the dream, someone I loved wouldn’t return my call. She was on the run in some way, in a car “inside the rain.” She felt like she had done something wrong and wouldn’t come home.
Humming the tune I went down to my basement and played it in the key I heard in the dream. I only had the melody of the verse and the opening few lines. I added the chorus over the next few days and the other verses by the end of a month.
This video was done soon after I wrote it. The song brought me back to songwriting after decades of rarely touching a guitar.