Thursday, 31 December 2015
A last minute change of plan when it dawned on me that today was actually Hogmanay - the last day of the year.
My original planned post has been re-scheduled until 2016 and instead you are getting a couple of rocky numbers courtesy of Chris Devotion and The Expectations to help you see out the year and see in the bells.
A Happy New Year to you all and I wish you and yours a happy, healthy and prosperous 2016
Chris Devotion and the Expectations - Looking For Another Girl
Chris Devotion and the Expectations - Don't You Call On Me
Wednesday, 30 December 2015
Being a Social Worker is probably just about the shittiest job on the planet. A totally thankless task with shortages of staff and resources, drowning in red tape and safe in the knowledge that you will carry the can should anything go pear-shaped.
Songs in praise of Social Workers are I imagine pretty rare indeed so let's hear James Allan pay homage to Geraldine.
For good measure he also takes a pop at absent fathers.
If you like your music gritty and real look no further than Glasvegas
Glasvegas - Geraldine
Glasvegas - Daddy's Gone
Tuesday, 29 December 2015
For a long time I was under the impression that I had Equally Cursed and Blessed by Catatonia. Turns out I hadn't and had probably turned down opportunities to purchase it due to this misconception on my part.
However, I'm glad to say that this situation was recently rectified and it now proudly takes it's place on the CC shelves.
A bit darker that it's predecessor International Velvet particularly on these two tracks.
Cerys is keen to get out of that London and who can blame her particularly as it sucks the life out of you and can probably leave you Dazed, Beautiful and Bruised.
Catatonia - Londinium
Catatonia - Dazed, Beautiful and Bruised
Monday, 28 December 2015
After the Christmas festivities we return to the fourth installment of the Stranraer America Series.
This week's offering is from the short lived and poorly named Nashville band Farmer Not So John.
Receiver from 1998 would appear to be their second and final album following on from their 1997 eponymous debut album.
They are one of the two bands in this series whom I had vaguely heard of but had no music from.
At first I wasn't too sure but they sounded much better second time around. Could be a grower.
The main men appear to be Mark Linebaugh and Richard McLaurin. The album is produced by Tucker Martine who would become one of the go to Americana producers.
Other than that I know nothing.
Farmer Not So John -Rise Above The Wreckage
Farmer Not So John - For You I Will Pretend
Sunday, 27 December 2015
We finish 2015 with some Soul from deepest darkest Paisley courtesy of Paolo Nutini.
Wee Paolo has always been a bit of a musical chameleon dabbling in pop, rock and reggae.
On his third album Caustic Love it is pretty much exclusively Soul including many of his own compositions.
Puts me in mind of Terence Trent D'Arby in places without the arrogance.
It features a couple of covers including Let Me Down Easy. Drew featured the Betty Lavette original the other day
When they come to write the History of Scottish Soul I would imagine that it will be a pretty thin volume. Wee Paolo certainly merits a mention alongside the likes of The Average White Band and Emili Sande
More Soul in 2016
Paolo Nutini - Scream (Funk Up My Life)
Paolo Nutini - Let Me Down Easy
Saturday, 26 December 2015
Seconds out, round two!
It's Boxing Day and we are celebrating it in the usual manner by running about like blue bottomed flies wining and dining both sides of the family
Mrs CC, who was born the day after the baby Jesus, is celebrating her birthday today and hopefully we will get time later in the week to go for a drink or a meal to celebrate it properly.
In the meantime here are a couple of songs from Joni Mitchell's Blue, one of her favourites, including a sneaky Christmas number.
Happy birthday xx
Joni Mitchell - River
Joni Mitchell - A Case of You
Friday, 25 December 2015
If the family, the food, Downton Abbey are all getting too much for you and you have sneaked into a quiet corner with a glass for a quick browse please raise it and join with me in wishing Shane MacGowan a happy 58th Birthday.
I suspect not many of us thought we would ever say that.He seems to be looking better as he gets older.
The Pogues - Sally MacLennane
The Pogues - A Pair of Brown Eyes
Thursday, 24 December 2015
It's Christmas Eve which can only mean two things.
It's a Wonderful Life and Phil Spector's A Christmas Gift to You
I shall raise a glass and wish you and yours a happy and peaceful Christmas
The Ronettes - Sleigh Ride
Darlene Love - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
No apologies for yet another Darlene Love posting!
Wednesday, 23 December 2015
If you thought that purchasing Mojo's Festive 15 in October represented forward planning how's about picking up Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses in a bargain bin in February with the sole intention of saving it for this week?
On the Ze label it was released in 1981 but first charted in the UK singles charts for 4 weeks in 1982 peaking at number 45.
I must admit that I thought it had much more chart success given the fact that it features fairly consistently on the radio at this time of year.
The b-side is a truly awful instrumental number. So here is a slightly less awful instrumental number.
The Waitresses - Christmas Wrapping
R.E.M -Deck The Halls
Sign up to Ze records newsletter here and get a free download of their Christmas album whilst stocks last
Tuesday, 22 December 2015
Some further Americana Fesitive Fayre for you today.
We start with the legend that is Steve Earle from his 1997 album El Corazon with Christmas in Washington a modern day American history lesson.
Mr Earle is followed by Sufjan Stevens from his 2006 Songs for Christmas bemoaning the fact that That Was the Worst Christmas Ever.
Something slightly more festive tomorrow and altogether more cheery
Steve Earle - Christmas in Washington
Sufjan Stevens - That Was the Worst Christmas Ever
Monday, 21 December 2015
Over the last few months my interest in Americana music appears to have been rekindled and to celebrate that fact I am offering up a couple of Americana posts with a festive theme
We start with Terry Allen from Lubbock, Texas the birthplace of Buddy Holly with a song from his 1999 album Salivation where he is celebrating X-mas on the Isthmus of Panama .
Terry is followed by the ever cheerful Mary Gauthier who takes things one step further by celebrating Christmas in Paradise.
More non- traditional Festive fayre tomorrow
Terry Allen - X-mas on the Isthmus
Mary Gauthier - Christmas in Paradise
Sunday, 20 December 2015
We are sticking with yesterday's Mojo Festive Fifteen compilation and pictures of Elves today with three rather splendid soul offerings.
Ain't No Chimneys in the Projects by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings has been about for a while but makes it's first album appearance (I think) on their recent It's a Holiday Soul Party.
Sharon is followed by Joe Tex in is inimitable style advocating that a woman is not just for Christmas.
Finally Irma Thomas shows of her Gospel roots with a magnificent version of Oh Holy Night
Sharon Jones & the Dap- Kings - Ain't No Chimneys in the Projects
Joe Tex - I'll Make Every Day Christmas
Irma Thomas - Oh Holy Night
Saturday, 19 December 2015
Whist on holiday on Skye in October I picked up a Mojo compilation from January 2011 called Mojo's Festive 15 -An Alternative Christmas celebration.
How's that for forward planning?
So a couple from that for you today as my first festive offerings.
I'm slowly coming round to the music of Richard Hawley and here he gives us a lovely rendition of Silent Night.
He is followed by country chanteuse Mary Chapin Carpenter with a slightly less traditional number Christmas Time in the City.
I am retiring the Saturday Lucky Dip series as it was becoming a bit of a chore after about a year and a half - a pretty good innings as I'm sure you'll agree.
So NO random nonsense next Saturday.
Richard Hawley - Silent Night
Mary Chapin Carpenter - Christmas Time in the City
Friday, 18 December 2015
Some pub rock from Austin Texas for you today from 2005 as Elizabeth McQueen and the Firebrands play tributes to their pub rock favourites on Happy Doing What We're Doing
This record has featured previously on CCM when covers of records by Graham Parker & the Rumour and Dr Feelgood got an airing.
This turn round it is the turn of Rockpile with the Nick Lowe penned When I Write the Book and Squeeze with Annie, Get Your Gun.
I didn't have Squeeze down as a pub rock act but Elizabeth assures me that they started out on that scene although she acknowledges that they are more poppy than some of their rootier brothers
Elizabeth McQueen & the Firebrands - When I Write The Book
Elizabeth McQueen & the Firebrands - Annie Get Your Gun
Thursday, 17 December 2015
For the first nine tracks on 2002's Wait For Me on Tone-Cool Records singer and guitarist Susan Tedeschi churns out some rather pleasant bluesy ballads occasionally accompanied on guitar by her husband Derek Trucks - they often play together as the Tedeschi Trucks Band.
However the highlights of the album are the last two - track 10 I Fell in Love and Track 11 - Blues on a Holiday - well worth waiting for.
I suspect that I may have acquired this during a phase of listening to the Paul Jones Rhythm and Blues Show on Radio 2
Susan Tedeschi - I Fell in Love
Susan Tedeschi - Blues on a Holiday
Wednesday, 16 December 2015
So said Mike Harding of the new acoustic and folk scenes.
Stuart Maconie in his excellent book - The People's Songs - the Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records affectionately describes folk music as containing a surprising number of tales concerning people being murdered down by the river,having their maidenhood taken by inconstant lovers and unfaithful knights, going on whaling expeditions,seeing sudden apparitions of drowned lovers, being robbed by good-time girls in the middle of the night, and prospecting for gold.
You will be delighted to note that all of the above feature in the music of Steeleye Span. You will also be happy to hear that gritty ballads of industrial labour, sea shanties and work songs appear on their 21st album from 2009 Cogs, Wheels and Lovers.
Featuring the dulcet tones of Maddy Prior
Steeleye Span - Creeping Jane
Steeleye Span - The Machiner's Song
Tuesday, 15 December 2015
The Texas Tornados have appeared briefly before on CCM in the dim and distant past as part of the Mexican Monday series.
It is about time they appeared again.
I could wax lyrical about them but I think that listing the band members should suffice - legends one and all
Doug Sahm, Augie Meyers, Freddie Fender and the mighty Flaco Jiminez
Oh, and in answer to Swiss Adam's query I managed to squeeze twelve Monday's out the series plus a New Mexican Monday.
Texas Tornados - Who Were You Thinkin' Of
Texas Tornados - (Is Anyone Going To) San Antone
Monday, 14 December 2015
Brian I hope you are sitting down - there is now a Lambchop album on the CC shelves!
Yes 2002's Is a Woman is the third of the Stranraer Eight to be liberated from the Marie Curie shop.
Described at the usual reference place as a combination of austere arrangements and minimalist instrumentation.
I must admit I am still not totally convinced but it is getting slightly better each time I play it and My Blue Wave is achingly beautiful.
Maybe it's just me but I find it a tad pretentious in places and I feel that Kurt Wagner is trying to be too clever on occasions.
Mrs CC on the other hand thinks it is the pick of the bunch.
I could perhaps yet be converted.
Lambchop - My Blue Wave
Lambchop - Autumn's Vicar
Sunday, 13 December 2015
For every horrendous Soul cover of a Jimmy Webb classic (Smokey) there is also a truly astonishing and ground breaking masterpiece,
From Hot Buttered Soul his second studio album from 1969 on the Stax label here is the mighty Isaac Hayes accompanied by The Bar-Keys with his version of By The Time I Get to Phoenix.
Given that is 18 minutes and 42 seconds long you will forgive me if I don't feature a second track.
Besides, who could follow this?
More Soul next Sunday
Isaac Hayes - By The Time I Get to Phoenix
Saturday, 12 December 2015
Shock horror - CCM dips it's toes in 21st Century waters today with a Mojo compilation from May this year entitled Modern Life is Rubbish and subtitled Mojo presents 15 tracks of everyday British angst.
Another Nadine featuring today. Not the Americana combo but rather Geordie chanteuse Nadine Shah with Stealing Cars from her recent album Fast Food
Many of my favourite artists of the last couple of years have been female singers or bands and here is another.
Julie Campbell aka Lonelady with Bunkerpop from her Hinterland album.
And finally some Weegies who almost inevitably shone brightly but briefly.
The Amazing Snakeheads were surely the bastard love children of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band.
More random nonsense next Saturday
Nadine Shah - Stealing Cars
Lonelady - Bunkerpop
The Amazing Snakeheads - Where Is My Knife
Friday, 11 December 2015
By way of an apology for subjecting you to the abomination that was Smokey Robinson's version of Wichita Lineman I give you Glenn Campbell singing three absolute classic Jimmy Webb songs.
Surely one of the greatest musical partnerships in history with them working on over a hundred song together - not all as good as these I'll wager but surely all better than Smokey's
I have a live Glen Campbell where Wichita Lineman and Galveston appear as part of a medley. The record should probably be sub titled Glen Campbell - The Cocaine Years and as it also features Amazing Grace and Mull of Kintyre it is probably best avoided.
Listen and weep Smokey
Glen Campbell -Wichita Lineman
Glen Campbell - By The Time I Get to Phoenix
Glen Campbell - Galveston
Thursday, 10 December 2015
The Broken Down Comforter Collection by Grandaddy is a 1999 CD containing tracks from the mini album A Pretty Mess by this One Band and the EP Machines Are Not She
Described pretty accurateley by the NME as patchy but with gems hidden on here iridescent enough to render the collection essential.
It has lain gathering dust on the Americana shelves for a good few years until Drew's recent posting of one of their songs had me dusting it down and giving it a spin.
From these two gems perhaps it should be refiled in the Indie section in closer proximity to The Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev
Grandaddy - Wretched Songs
Grandaddy - For The Dishwasher
Wednesday, 9 December 2015
Good to Be on the Road Back Home Again the Cornershop song featuring Paula Frazer of Tarnation fame was one of the songs on This is Radio Strummer compilation.
Probably the best thing on it but I chose not to post it as it has featured here before.
It did however prompt me to look out When I Was Born for the 7th Time their 1997 album and the one which gave them mainstream success on the back of the number one single Brimful of Asha.
There are also a number of other excellent songs on the album including the two below
Thereafter they slipped back into relative obscurity but Tjinder Singh, Ben Ayres and the rest of the gang continue to produce interesting and challenging music.
More power to their elbows.
Cornershop - Sleep On The Left Side
Cornershop - Funky Days Are Back Again
Tuesday, 8 December 2015
I was playing the Columbia Rockabilly compilation Volume I the other day when The Collins Kids popped up with Party their version of the Jessie Mae Robinson song more commonly known as Let's Have a Party.
This had me looking out the definitive version by the Queen of Rockabilly herself Wanda Jackson. This in turn took me in the direction of Bloodshot's compilation Hard-Headed Woman:A Celebration of Wanda Jackson. Here Wayne Hancock does the honours.
The Collins Kids -Party
Wanda Jackson - Let's Have a Party
Wayne Hancock - Let's Have a Party
Monday, 7 December 2015
The second installment in this series - eagerly awaited by George, Rol and The Swede. Hopefully they will not be disappointed.
Like No Depression I thought that I had Back to My Senses by Nadine their debut album from 1997 on Glitterhouse the excellent German label.
Again it turns out that I hadn't and it now joins 1999's Downtown, Saturday and 2001's Lit Up From the Inside on the shelves.
The band consisted of Adam Reichmann, Todd Schnitzer, Steve Rauner and Bill Reyland.
One of only two bands I've ever seen in Helensburgh here and here
Antic Ocean by Jolene, the other Helensburgh band, was also on the Stranraer shelves but I knew I had it.
Installment three to follow.
Nadine - Back To My Senses
Nadine - Sleep Next To You
Sunday, 6 December 2015
I recently picked up Motown 50 - Yesterday,Today, Forever a Motown top 50 or in my case a top 26 given that CD 1 was missing.
CD 3 also contains a bonus (and I use this word loosely) of ten Motown cover versions.
Stevie Wonder can do very little wrong with the possible exception of I Just Called to Say I Love You. On this CD he does a passable version of The Door's Light My Fire.
Unfortunately the same cannot be said of Smokey Robinson & the Miracles who murder Jimmy Webb's classic Wichita Lineman.
I must look out and post the classic Glen Campbell version
More Soul next Sunday
Stevie Wonder - Light My Fire
Smokey Robinson & the Miracles - Wichita Lineman
Saturday, 5 December 2015
A totally non-random choice this week.
Following on from yesterday's Joe Strummer post today we have an Uncut compilation This is Radio Strummer which has 15 tracks from his World Service Radio Show.
A British Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour if you will.
Somewhat strangely no reggae features. There is a some good stuff on show however and from Niafunke in Mali we have Afel Bocoum sandwiched between two legends hailing from Mississippi - Bo Diddley out of McComb and Elvis out of Tupelo.
Bo Diddley - Nursery Rhyme
Afel Bocoum - Jeeny
Elvis Presley - Lawdy Miss Clawdy
Friday, 4 December 2015
This miserable weather we've been having has had me reaching for some World Music - that is music from the world of Joe Strummer
Global a Go-Go is a 2001 album by Joe and the Mescaleros on the Hellcat label out of Holland.
I saw him around this time at Glasgow's Barrowland and a flyer within the CD sleeve advises me that it was on Sunday 18th November.
It's almost 13 years since the singer from the Only Band that Matters was taken from us but his music is still as vibrant as ever.
For much more authoritative stuff on Joe and the Clash can I point you in the direction of the 65 posts by Swiss Adam
Wonder if the bloke from New Zealand ever found his mushy peas
Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros - Global A Go-Go
Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros - Bhindi Bhagee
Thursday, 3 December 2015
Tory grandee Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the International Association of Athletics Federations, has up until the last few days been trousering 100 grand a year for an ambassadorial role with Nike.
Eugene, Oregon , Nike's hometown also known as Track Town, is awarded the 2021 World Athletics Championship on a nod and a wink here
Alberto Salazar athletics coach employed by Nike as part of the Oregon Project at the centre of allegations of doping.
The Spencer Davis Group - Keep on Running
Belle and Sebastian - The Stars of Track and Field
Wednesday, 2 December 2015
I was listening to and thoroughly enjoying Gran Turismo by The Cardigans at the weekend when track 8 My Favourite Game came on.
My immediate thought was that it reminded me of Garbage (the band that is!) But which song?
After digging out my Garbage album and giving it a quick spin I have come to the conclusion two thirds Supervixen and one third Stupid Girl.
Nina Persson and Shirley Manson two glamorous and talented singers but only one has ever played with Goodbye Mr McKenzie!
Gran Turismo 1998. Garbage 1995
The Cardigans -My Favourite Game
Garbage - Supervixen
Garbage - Stupid Girl
Tuesday, 1 December 2015
Like most of you, I suspect, I am most familiar with Joan Armatrading via her singles from the early 80's - All the Way from America, I'm Lucky, Drop the Pilot , etc. Some pretty good poppy stuff.
I picked up The Collection in Whithorn recently which features her stuff from the mid 70's up until she became a household name
It does contain a few like All the Way From America, Willow and Love and Affection which I recognize.
However, I was presently surprised as to the broader range of some of the others I was unaware of which have more of a blues and soul feel to them.
Here are a couple of examples
Joan Armatrading - Like Fire
Joan Armatrading - Turn Out the Light