Buried Treasure: Alison Krauss Sings “Can’t Find My Way Home”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

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When I was a kid I was obsessed with the movie 1969. Critically panned but, to a young man’s mind, critically flawless, it had Kiefer Sutherland, Robert Downey Jr., and Winona Ryder in it. They spend their time arguing with their parents, living in a van, and trying to decide what to do about the draft. It’s worth a look on Netflix, if you don’t mind ultra-cheesy endings.

It also had a great soundtrack (one of the first CDs I ever bought, actually): Jimi Hendrix’s incendiary version of “All Along the Watchtower.” Canned Heat’s flute-laden feel good anthem “Going Up The Country.” The spine-tingling, rebellious yell of the Animals’ “When I Was Young.” I even liked Jesse Colin Young’s somewhat sappy “Get Together” (later parodied by Nirvana on “Territorial Pissings”) and the Pretenders’ cover of “Windows of the World,” though it always sounded out of place (it was recorded in the late 80s).

But there were two tracks I was absolutely obsessed with. The Zombies’ sultry, organ-drenched “Time Of The Season” captured such a mood, one that I couldn’t define but wanted to feel all the time. To me, it would top the list of great make out songs. I put it on every mix tape I ever made for the next 10 years.

Then there was Blind Faith’s “Can’t Find My Way Home,” an acoustic ballad with a haunted, aching melody, and incredibly effective finger-picking provided by Mr. “Layla” himself, Eric Clapton. It can be taken as either a weary spiritual ballad, or a veiled reference to being blitzed off your face.

I was trying to learn how to play guitar at the time, and I would have given anything to be able to play like that. I still would.

Recently I found a great cover of “Can’t Find My Way Home” performed by bluegrass great Alison Krauss. Why don’t you tune in, drop out, and take a listen? The ending isn’t cheesy at all.

4 Comments

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  1. Evan, your cool, dude I am 55 so the era you write about was exquisitely mine. as a guitarist of 38 years prior to a disabling stroke at 49. The year 1969 was the most mind changing influential year of my musical life. Guitar was not just something I wanted to learn in 1967. But something I became irevokably addicted to from age 12 till my stroke in ’03. [much to the detriment of my college career, where i spent more time jamming than studying. Even to a landmark event where I put my 2- 12″ fender100 watt amp in my dorm window and blasted away at the humanities hall till the cops came by. I was meeting tonight at a local coffee house with a care receiver I visit now for my church group, when ‘cain’t find my way home came on the music system. I knew the melody line was something deeply implanted in my musical brain. But that’s not stevie winwood singing, “What gives?” So upon arriving home I had to search the web until I discovered your review of the film ‘1969’.So I’m assuming if I find the soundtrack Alison will be there…
    Thanks for the info and webpage!
    Billy

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