36 CommentsBattle of the Bands (BOTB), Blogfests, Music, Rockchick Ramblings

Greetings from sunny California!

It’s time for another edition of Battle of the Bands

Battle of the Bands, #BOTB AMERICAN WOMAN

BATTLE OF THE BANDS (BOTB), hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands. is where you listen to different recordings of the same song and vote for the one you like best. Two “Battles” per month, on the 1st and 15th. Votes will be tallied and posted the following week. (See below for further details.)

I chose this song in honour of the great Burton Cummings, whose fabulous one-man show we attended last week and also because I’m currently in America. 
Burton Cummings | American Woman | Battle of the Bands
Burton Cummings, Oct. 26, 2016


[reference only – please do not vote on this one]

American Woman” is a song by the Canadian rock band The Guess Who (principal composers Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman), from their sixth studio album of the same name, released in January 1970. The single and its B side, “No Sugar Tonight“, both reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song’s lyrics have been the matter of some debate, often interpreted as an attack on U.S. politics (especially the draft). Jim Kale, the group’s bassist and the song’s co-author, explained his take on the lyrics:

“The popular misconception was that it was a chauvinistic tune, which was anything but the case. The fact was, we came from a very strait-laced, conservative, laid-back place (Winnipeg, Manitoba), and all of a sudden, there we were in Chicago, Detroit, New York – all these horrendously large places with their big city problems. After that one particularly grinding tour, it was just a real treat to go home and see the girls we had grown up with. Also, the Vietnam War was going on, and that was terribly unpopular. We didn’t have a draft system in Canada, and we were grateful for that. A lot of people called it anti-American, but it wasn’t really. We weren’t anti-anything.”

The foregoing serves as background information only.
Now, on to the actual contest……


Leonard Albert LennyKravitz (born May 26, 1964 in Manhatten, NY) is an American singer, songwriter, actor and record producer, whose “retro” style incorporates elements of rock, blues, soul, r&b, funk, jazz, reggae, rock, pop and ballads. In addition to singing lead and backing vocals, Kravitz often plays all of the instruments himself when recording.

He won the Grammy for Best Male Rock VocalPerformance four years in a row from 1999 to 2002, breaking the record for most wins in that category as well as setting the record for most consecutive wins in one category by a male.

His cover version of “American Woman” won him another Grammy in 2000 and helped The Guess Who’s song reach a new audience. It originally came from the soundtrack of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and was added to his 1998 album, “5” as a bonus track in 1999.




Devil’s Train is a hard rock/metal band based in Germany, with members from Greece, Germany and Scandinavia. Originally formed as a side-project, the band has now recorded two albums and is working on a third. “American Woman” is the last track from their self-titled debut, released in 2012.


Please state your preference in comments below and why you chose it.
Voting remains open until 11:59 pm EDT Nov. 6th,
after which I will count the votes, add mine and publish the results.

Speaking of voting, since I’m in the thick of all the election hoopla, just a little reminder, America.
The whole world is watching!

American Woman, Battle of the Bands | Get out and vote!

These are the other BOTB regulars and semi-regulars.
Please cruise on by their sites and, if they have a post up, vote on their selections as well:
[Check back – there’s no set posting time]

Angels Bark / Cherdo On The Flipside Curious as a Cathy / DC Relief BOTB / DiscConnectedJ.A. Scott / Janie Junebug Righting & Editing  / Jingle Jangle Jungle / Mike’s Ramblings / Pedestrian WriterQuiet Laughter / Sound of One Hand Typing / HOST: StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands / Tossing It Out Your Daily Dose

As always, “Sharing is Caring”Spread this musical joy all over your social networks.
Hashtag is #BOTB

Until next time.



♫♪♫♪♫ Rockchick Rapture!


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Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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  1. I hope I’m not too late! This was surprisingly tough. Both contenders did a right good job for a song that seems to lament the likes of, well, me. Ha! In the footprints of the great Guess Who, I think Lenny Kravitz was just a closer fit 😉 I hope you’re enjoying California. It does have it’s good points.

    1. You got here in time! 🙂 Lenny does it again. I was actually surprised that an American artist would cover this song. At the time, it was pretty controversial. I’ve always loved California’s sunshine and scenery. Today, for the first time this trip, I went into San Diego (from the suburbs) and saw the sights again, perhaps for the last time. (Hope not! My ties here are strong, even though my parents are both gone now.) Thanks for dropping in.

  2. I love this song and it will always be the Guess Who for me but in this battle I go for the watered down version of Lenny Kravitz. The other one was just a bit too heavy metal for me.

  3. I’m casting a surprised vote for Devil’s Train. I think you know I’m not big into hard rock music, but Lenny’s version sounded thin to me. This sort of song has a Go Big Or Go Home element to it. And Devil’s Train brought it!

  4. Guilty pleasure: LENNY KRAVITZ

    Okay, I know he’s gone Hollywood (I volunteer as tribute!) and he’s splittin’ his drawers hither and yon, but that’s my choice, ha ha.

  5. Okay, Deb, here is my vote. I listened to both. I am going to go with Lenny Kravitz’s version. His version has a better flow in spreads sereneness. Devil Train is also good but it was confusing to me.
    So my vote for Lenny.
    Shalom aleichem,

  6. Howdy, DEBBIE ~
    “I’m ba-aaa-ck.” But don’t worry, this time I am in NON-RANT MODE. ;o)

    I have those URL / Links I promised to find for you.

    Here’s one:
    Because the YouTube video I used in that post of Warren Zevon at the Burrito King is now deleted, I found the same video on someone else’s YT channel for you:

    And here’s another:

    And for good measure, here’s a third Warren Zevon-related link:

    I’m sorry you weren’t with us yet for that particular BOTB installment.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    1. Loved the Zevon material! He must have been really young in that Burrito Bros. clip. I would have picked Warren in your BOTB. Have you ever considered publishing your autobiography, Stephen? That was an interesting read. Thanks again for sharing those posts.

  7. DEBBIE ~
    California’s a huge state (bigger than some countries on this globe). If you’re anywhere near Los Angeles, you’re near where I was born and raised. If you’re closer to San FranCrisco, then you’re closer to where I live now — in Nevada.

    Back when ‘AMERICAN WOMAN’ was a big AM Top 40 hit (1970), I was only a kid, having just moved to “Dogtown”, California, that Summer. And ‘AMERICAN WOMAN’ was my VERY FAVORITE SONG. As I got older, my musical tastes changed, and I’m just not a fan of it any more. Not for any political / ideological reasons, but strictly for musical reasons.

    I’m sorry, but Jim Kale is a liar. I’d have more respect for him if he stood by the truth, even if it caused a backlash. Anyone with one lick of sense and two brain cells to rub together knows that ‘AMERICAN WOMAN’ was generally an anti-American song. Certainly it opposed our foreign policy and militaristic endeavors. What other anti-American sentiments it may have been expressing, I can’t state with certainty, but the foreign policy and militaristic mindset can’t be questioned by anyone “with ears to hear”.

    Is that why I don’t care for the song now? Hell NO! I get a grade of A+ in “Anti-US Government Sentiment”. (And because I HATE the United States Government, that is the primary reason I cast my early ballot for Donald Trump. I’m sick and tired of the USA fucking up the world and killing innocent people in foreign lands while enriching the International Bankers every step of the way!!! It’s time for a non-politician, non-Democrat, non-Republican, non-Status Quo CHANGE!!!)

    I honestly agree with the anti-American sentiment expressed in ‘AMERICAN WOMAN’. It’s too bad Jim Kale doesn’t have the balls to stick by it. Now, lacking the courage of his convictions, he wants to walk-it-back. Shame on him!

    As for the Battle… I thought Lenny “The Artist Formerly Known as ‘Prince'” Kravitz sounded sparse and kind of weak. But DEVIL’S TRAIN was more dense and antagonistic. If you’re going to attack the USA, you damn-sure better be BOLD and CONFIDENT about it — and DEVIL’S TRAIN was. Good for them! Kudos.

    (Time To Emasculate The Elite Global Oligarchy!)

    ~ Stephen
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    1. Good rant, Stephen! 😀 I suspect Jim Kale was trying to sugarcoat the whole issue. BTW, I’m in a suburb of San Diego, called Santee. That’s a vote for the dense, antagonistic Devil’s Train. Rock on! Good luck with the election.

  8. Debbie, I always liked The Guess Who and this song is a fabulous one, too. Lenny Kravitz gets my vote. He just pulls this song off awesomely well. Although Devil Train has a similar vibe of the original their vocals sounded a bit flat to my ears and I just really couldn’t get into their version. I did early voting and went with Trump. I think he offers the most hope for America & her people. Obama administration has drained our country and Hillary wants to do more of the same. Enough is enough. It’s time to Make America Great Again. 😉

  9. First of all, I am a BIG Guess Who fan. Grew up listening to Life In The Bloodstream and Sour Suite on the 8-track, lol! Cannot say as I ever cared all that much for Lenny’s version. Of course, I’m more of a No Time guy than an AW fan anyway. But I’ll give this vote to the biker dudes. Definitely enjoyed it more.

  10. After sitting through Lenny Kravitz’s version, I thought that if I didn’t like Devil’s Train’s version I was just going to abstain. Fortunately I liked theirs, so they get my vote.

  11. I Loved Devil’s Train and I thought they did a rockin’ good job! Going to have to check them out some more. In the meantime, please give them my vote.

    Great battle!


  12. The Devil’s Train really surprised me. I thought for sure I would hate it, but it wasn’t half bad. I’m alway leery when I hear of a hard rock group because they usually shout more than sing. But I didn’t feel that way with this group.
    However, I’m most familiar with this song by Lenny. He performs it the best and makes it his own. Lenny gets my vote.

  13. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

    Are you being transformed into a California girl? 🙂 I hope everything is going according to plan and that you remain in “up time” mode – good enough spirits to complete the mission.

    “Shakin’ All Over,” recorded in the mid 60s by the original lineup of Guess Who? (Chad Allan & the Expressions), remains my favorite song by them and is on my list of The Most Exciting Records Ever Made. The band’s 1970 single “American Woman” is not on my sort list of favorites and I quickly got tired of hearing it on the radio during its peak of popularity. For decades I appreciated the refreshing update of the song recorded by one man band Lenny K and preferred it to the original.

    For this Battle of the Bands I tried not to watch the videos to avoid being influenced by them. I cheated and glanced at the screen every few seconds and was annoyed by the literal interpretations of both directors. Hiring sexy models to parade in front of the camera in music videos is a tired cliche. It was already getting old thirty years ago when I was making videos. Both versions would have been better with a more abstract conceptual treatment that left more to the imagination. Based on the sound alone, I am voting for the German metal band Devil’s Train because, in my world, metal always trumps (oops!) rock, and because I was getting tired of the Kravitz version just as I grew weary of the Guess Who? version years ago. Give my vote to DT, dear friend Debbie, and thank you very much for the morning rock concert. Stay safe out there on the left coast and please stay in touch with me!

    1. Hi, Shady; California was my second home for many years, so I guess that might qualify me as a “California girl”. 🙂 I sure do enjoy the warmth and sunshine! Things have been more or less settled here and I’ll be heading home on Nov. 9. The original Guess Who didn’t have Burton Cummings and for me, he embodies the spirit of the band better than anyone else. Plus, he has that fabulous voice. Chad Allen was okay, but mediocre by comparison, in my opinion. Good song, though! I had a hunch you would pick Devil’s Train. 🙂 That’s one for the European badasses.

  14. Oh, I like both versions here! Such a great song….by my favorite band. You know I’m a major Guess Who fan so I was psyched when I saw your song choice for this battle. And what a battle it is! This is a tough one, but I’m going to give my vote to Lenny Kravitz. I liked the music just a tad better. (Loved the bikes in the Devil’s Train video 🙂 )

    Hope your stay in California is peaceful for you. Enjoy the sunshine!
    And thanks for your Get Out and Vote message! So important. And yep, the whole world is watching. I just hope we all make the correct decision. I know I did — I voted early. The early voting turnout is breaking all kinds of records. I went on the first day of early voting and couldn’t believe the line! Keep your fingers crossed for us! 🙂


    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Hi, Michele; Sorry for the late response. Yes, I’m happy to be wearing flip flops again. It’s been fairly mild back home, though. Lenny gets another vote. Tomorrow is election day and I imagine it will be bedlam. Good that you went early!