It’s hard to figure out why Danny O’Keefe didn’t become a major star. He came along at the one of the most fertile periods in history for singer/songwriters, and less promising performers made it bigger than he did. In addition, “Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues” is one of those literate, confessional, coffeehouse tunes that were adored by literate, confessional, coffeehouse people back in the day. The words are sad enough (“Got my pills to ease the pain/Can’t find a thing to ease the rain”) but that little bit of harmonica and the record’s generally languid pace really makes you feel the weight Good Time Charlie is carrying in his heart.
One day several years ago, on a rainy morning, I was driving to a job I hated when this song came on. It made me want to get out of the car and stand there in the rain, looking up into the sky until I drowned.
But in a good way.
(Signpost 70006, chart peak #9, November 4, 1972)