WARMER MIXTAPES #1502 | by Hayden E. Gilbert [Hayden Gilbert]/(Hayden Gilbert And The Ruckus) of CognaC

Photo by Alex Newman

1. C2C | Down The Road
This song has so much soul and I’m obsessed with the Blues-Electronic vibe that C2C is able to capture. There are other artists out there that strive to do this, but this song has a certain kind of authenticity to Old School Blues, but is so damn Modern. Blues and Roots Music has really taken a back seat in Mainstream Music today, and it's really sad, because none of the Music today, including my own, would exist without these genres. Blues is the OG of Modern Day Music. I hear C2C’s Down The Road and I know they appreciate it and give credit where credit is due.

2. The Gories | Feral
I’m influenced by the Blues, because everyone has them and everyone can relate to them. The poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich get ‘em. Garage Rock took that sentiment and no one has done it better than The Gories. Obviously, Jack White, The Black Keys, and Gary Clark, Jr. - we are all influenced by the Robert Johnsons and Blind Lemons, but The Gories were the first to take Blues and Punk and Soul and turn Garage into something all its own. Feral is a template of simple yet powerful mastery of the Old and New. Boogie-clanging scratchy electrics and primal pounds under passionate vocals. They were from Detroit like The White Stripes. There’s something about other Midwest cities that breeds a different kind of Blues. Different than Chicago. It's not as clean and I dig it.

3. The Mars Volta | Goliath
I can't really pick my favorite Mars Volta song, but this one would have to be one of them. I’ve seen them live 3 or 4 times now, and I admire their energy. Having all these insanely talented musicians playing this bastardized Jazz-infused Metal with the imagery of aliens and paranormal activity gets me for some reason. I think the musicianship in Goliath is to be envied.

4. Melody Gardot | Les Etoiles
I took French for 6 years when I was younger, but, to be honest, I have no idea what Gardot’s beautiful angelic voice is saying half the time, so I’m glad she translates in the second verse. I play this song when I walk around Cleveland at night and can't sleep. The Lounge-type vibe keeps me looking at the stars, and I think about how any problems I have are so miniscule compared to the vast Universe out there… And sometimes I actually trick myself into believing that. But, when I don’t, I at least have this beautiful tune.

5. Noir D├ęsir | Le Grand Incendie
Speaking of French…The attitude in this song is palpable and visceral. I think it stems from the vocals being spoken rather than sung over that soulful harmonica and guitar. Their album Des Visages Des Figures came out in 2001. When I first heard it around 13 or so, it changed the way I thought about Music. It can threaten the listener one moment and make the listener feel safe and sound the next. I try to do that with my stuff.

6. Funkadelic | Maggot Brain
The guitar in this song has got to me one of the most emotionally and fulfilling sounds I have heard in my short life thus far here on Planet Earth. I make a point to see these guys once a year to keep my mind right, and, even though some members have changed, they never disappoint. George Clinton yelled at me once online while I was listening to this song, because I said my mom remembered seeing him on stage in a diaper (I was 12 and apparently he wasn’t the one with the diaper). I’ve met him a few times. Great guy and a true inspiration. But nothing compares to Eddie Hazel’s guitar playing on this track. I used to do a live version of this song when I was working with my band, Hayden Gilbert And The Ruckus. That story about George telling Eddie to play like he found out his mother died but then find out she’s still alive doesn’t impress me as much as the fact that the solo was recorded in one take. My head goes to all kinds of places when I hear or play this song.

7. Nina Simone | Feeling Good (Cy Grant Cover)
I think this is one of the most covered songs vocally and still nobody gets mad about it. It’s a very short song but a powerful one. Nina Simone’s voice has a way of commanding a listener to stop and listen. Nobody who does any version of it can top it. But, to me, there’s a sadness in the vocal. Especially at the end when she belts out and I’m feeling good. It's almost like she was trying to convince herself. That’s Blues. That’s Soul.

8. Blakroc | Ain’t Nothing Like You (Hoochie Coo) (feat. Jim Jones, Mos Def)
I have to give some love to my hometown, Akron, Ohio. The Black Keys really represent Rubber City and I am very inspired by them overall. But I’m also a huge Hip Hop fan. Blakroc with Mos Def (one of my favorite lyricists), Dan Auerbach doing backup vocal gives me the Spirit, man! I like how Patrick Carney was inspired by Hip Hop beats and fuzzes it with Blues. This song shows me how important collaboration is and how much gold you can spin when you think outside of the box and just play.

9. Stevie Wonder | Knocks Me Off My Feet
It just gets to me. It cuts into me. The truth in Stevie’s lyrics... When you want to tell somebody you love them or whatever, but you think it's old or won't have the impact you want it to. Those three little words not being able to come anywhere near to the sentiment you have for someone. When I was nearing the end of my time at Oberlin College, I was messing around on one of the pianos with a buddy of mine in a Conservatory practice room. Singing, trying to play this song. Mr. Wonder was in town to play a show for the new Jazz building there. I turn around once I was all done and this large man with glasses is standing in the doorway smiling big and guided by the arm. He said he dug it. But based on the way he started playing that piano, I could tell he was like let me show this young blood how its really done!

10. Jimi Hendrix And Gypsy Sun & Rainbows | Jam Back At The House (Live At Woodstock)
I saved my personal favorite for last. I was in Florida for a family vacation when I was 12 years old. My dad and I walked in to this small Music shop and I’m walking down the aisle thinking about how much I hated playing trumpet or something (I was in a band and I never got the hang of brass). I don’t know what it was, but I saw this skinny black guy on a cover of a CD in a red velvet coat and a green background behind him, and in purple letters it said Jimi Hendrix Experience - Side One and Band Of Gypsies - Side Two. I knew I needed to check out this cat, so I got the album and put it in the car CD player, but my dad was messing around with the Stereo and the CD didn’t play from the beginning. It played the last song and it was Jam Back At The House. I never looked back. Jimi is the reason I got into guitar and that day I begged for a cheap electric and tiny amplifier and my dad bet me that I wouldn’t play it for longer than a month. My first two and a half years with that thing, all I did was study Hendrix riffs and play 5 to 8 hours a day. Two and a half years! Then I discovered like, girls or something, so the hours changed, but, if it were not for genius Jimi, I wouldn’t have even started. Jimi will always be the best guitar player of all time. Period. Full stop.