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Thursday, 24 May 2018

Great Expectations .. Sadly Dashed

I really enjoyed Tasmin Archer's version of Costello's Deep Dark Truthful Mirror which I posted a couple of weeks ago.
As I mentioned at the time the only other thing of hers I was familiar with was the number 1 single Sleeping Satellite. So when I saw her album Great Expectations in the Cat Protection League in Stranraer I thought I would take a pop.
I nearly didn't bother as the three women behind the counter had gone into a 10 minute collective meltdown trying to code a badge that the customer before me had bought.
Now I wish I hadn't bothered waiting.. She has a fine voice but the album is as bland and anodyne as you are ever likely to hear. It is almost Sheerinesque in it's blandness.
Here is the hit and one of the other three singles from the album which briefly troubled the outer reaches of the charts.

It's going back. Still a few cats got a meal out of it so it is not all bad.

However I wouldn't mind hearing the rest of her Costello covers EP - namely the title track Shipbuilding, New Amsterdam and All Grown Up as well as Deep Dark Truthful Mirror as I think she could be good with the right songs and the right production.

Tasmin Archer - Sleeping Satellite

Tasmin Archer - Arienne

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Buffalo Neil

Recent references to Ohio a song recorded by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and to Crazy Horse had me thinking about Neil Young in an earlier incarnation as a member of Buffalo Springfield.
Here are a couple of his compositions from 1967's Buffalo Springfield Again (the second of their three albums) where he is joined by Stephen Stills, Richie Furay, Bruce Palmer and Dewey Martin.
That line up sounds like a super group but that was to come later.

Mr Soul was one which periodically  has re-appeared during Shakey's long and illustrious career as indeed has On the Way Home.

Buffalo Springfield - Mr Soul

Buffalo Springfield - On The Way Home

Tuesday, 22 May 2018


I'm pleased to report that The Gracious Losers were absolutely brilliant when we saw them at the Glad Cafe a couple of weeks ago.
The support act  Glasgow based Country singer Lynnie Carson was also very good.
There were at least nine members of the Gracious Losers on stage with no room for the piano player having to make do with playing off stage and in with the audience.
Chatting to Ian the head honcho from LNFG he pointed out that the three members of Thrum - singer Monica Queen, guitarist Johnny Smillie and drummer Gary Johnston were part of the entourage.

I was not familiar with the name (but had heard Monica before ) so some further exploration was required.
They are from the musical hotspot that is Bellshill (Teenage Fanclub, BMX Bandits, etc,etc ..) and were on the go from 1992 to 1995 reforming on 2011.
I acquired a copy of their 1994 album Rifferama on the Fire Records label which also features Dave McGowan on bass.
It is impressive stuff with a country rock influence.
There was a cut out album review tucked into the sleeve in my copy bought from Discogs (don't  you love it when things like that happens?) which bemoans the fact that their music sounds like Crazy Horse.That's a plus in my book.
It also states that Thrum's unique selling point is Monica Queen's plaintive, occasionally soaring vocal
My new found friend who had taken the trouble to cut out and keep the article has quite rightly written after this just like Maria McKee.
I trus this has whetted your appetite.

Thrum - Rifferama

Thrum - Won't Be Long

Monday, 21 May 2018

Things Have Gone to Pieces

One of the albums I took for the car on our recent trip was the one above - Pay the Devil a 2006 album by Van Morrison on the Lost Highway label.It contains 12 covers of Country standards and three originals.

I bought in on e-Bay  only to receive a burnt copy something which was not highlighted  on the site when I bought it.
It really annoyed me at the time and if I'm honest  it still rankles now.
There are lots of sleekit people out there hiding behind a screen.

Anyway the reason for today's post is that one of the covers is Things Have Gone to Pieces yet another brilliant song written by Leon Payne.
The Grumpy Irishman's version is not bad but pales into insignificance when compared to that of George Jones.
I know that George appeared here only recently but I make no apology for featuring him again.

Van sings the song. George lives the song.

Van Morrison - Things Have Gone to Pieces

George Jones - Things Have Gone To Pieces

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Givin' It Back

Something fairly stunning for you today.
From the 1971 album Givin' it Back by The Isley Brothers . An album so called after a number of rock stars playing their songs they decided to return the compliment by featuring songs by the likes of Bob Dylan, James Taylor and Stephen Stills.
And then there is this  slab of social commentary weighing in at 9 minutes and 13 seconds starting with Neil Young's Ohio and morphing into Jimi Hendrix' Machine Gun.

You will not hear anything better today

The Isley Brothers - Ohio/ Machine Gun

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Slim Pickings

He's back! But with slim pickings I'm afraid.
A couple of reasons.
The glorious weather necessitated sitting outside seaside bars in Portpatrick rather than trawling the charity shops of Stranraer. When we did on the one cloudy day there was not much on offer.
However you know that I don't like to come away empty handed.
Two Uncut compilations were acquired in the Dumfries and Galloway Mental Health Association shop for 50p plus a 50p donation.
So Real is from June 2013 and has no real standout tracks. So I've gone for one old favourite and one new to me.
The old favourite is the great man himself Robyn Hitchcock with the radio edit of Be Still a song from his Love From London album on Yep Roc.
The new to me is by Marnie Stein a New York  singer songwriter and guitarist and is taken from the wonderfully titled The Chronicles of Marnia  album on the equally wonderfully titled Kill Rock Stars record label.

Slim Pickings 2 next Saturday.

Robyn Hitchcock - Be Still (Radio Edit)

Marnie Stein - Noonan

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Some Memphis Soul

Last Sunday's slab of soul from Irma Thomas out of New Orleans was well received.
Therefore you are getting some more today albeit we are moving up river to Memphis where we are meeting up with Ann Peebles.
Ann produced a number of soul albums in the 70's for the great Hi Records label which at the time was run by Willie Mitchell
Give Me Some Credit is from 1969 and was her second single written by band leader Oliver Sain from her native St Louis who she was performing with she signed for Hi
 99 Lbs   from 1971 was written by Hi's leading songwriter Don Bryant who she subsequently married in 1974.
Along with DJ Bernard Miller they are both credited with 1973's I Can't Stand the Rain which was her most commercial hit charting on both the American R&B and pop charts and also the lower reaches of the UK charts

Ann Peebles - Give Me Some Credit

Ann Peebles - 99lbs

Ann Peebles - I Can't Stand The Rain

Nothing to see here for a few days as I am off replenishing the batteries and hopefully the music