Thursday, 30 June 2016
Roots music is a term sometimes used to describe music that draws from various American musical traditions including country, blues and folk -in short just about half of my record collection then.
Rounder Records founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1970 but now working out of Nashville and the self proclaimed premier indie label in America was one of the original labels supporting this kind of music and is still one of the most important
A couple of tracks today - one Americana and one folk from a compilation called Sinner's Prayer.
The album includes the likes of Solomon Burke, Alison Krauss, Kelly Joe Phelps, Madeleine Peyroux and Irma Thomas so a pretty broad church then.
The title track is from Slaid Cleaves one of the first Americana artists I saw in Glasgow in the mid 90's when Tom Hamilton's Death and Taxes promotions put on some great gigs.
To my knowledge I have never seen the other featured act Cherish the Ladies
Slaid Cleaves - Sinner's Prayer
Cherish The Ladies - Betsy Belle and Mary Gray
Wednesday, 29 June 2016
I was recently thinking about songs about Vietnam. I think this was following on from the death of Mohammad Ali.
Anyway the first one that immediately sprung to mind was Vietnam by the great Jimmy Cliff.
Whilst not directly attacking the war it is definitely an anti-war song and highlights the impact war has on families.
Due to abject laziness on my part I have not scoured the shelves for other songs namechecking Vietnam.
Rather I have opted for another Jimmy Cliff number.
However, when you see what it is I am not anticipating too many objections.
Jimmy Cliff - Vietnam
Jimmy Cliff - Many Rivers to Cross
Tuesday, 28 June 2016
I suspect many of us have still got the Blues following on from last Thursday's debacle.
So here is the great Elmore James - the king of the electric slide guitar with Dust My Broom which again I strongly suspect like many Blues songs may well be a euphemism.
It seem that he did not even realise that he was being recorded as he had merely gone to the Trumpet Studios in Jackson on 5th August 1951 to help out on a Sonny Boy Williamson session.
He only had a brief recording career dying from a heart attack in 1963 but he was a significant influence on the likes of Jeff Beck, Peter Green John Mayall and Brian Jones.
Also from a session in New York in May 1960 here is the suddenly prophetic The Sky is Crying.
Elmore James - Dust My Broom ( I Believe My Time Ain't Long)
Elmore James - The Sky is Crying
Monday, 27 June 2016
Something Fierce by Erin K Hill is yet another totally random charity shop purchase of which I know next to nothing.
I gave it a spin in the car the other day and was thinking pleasant enough but hardly earth shattering until track 3 I'll Be Driving came on and completely blew me away.I was going to say stopped me in my tracks but that would be dangerous whilst driving.
Track 6 Losing Sleep is not too shabby either.
I've not been able to find out that much about her other than she is from Richmond Virginia and pitched up North Ayrshire to work in a charity in 2001.
The album is from 2006 and appears to be the only thing she has put out which is a bit of a pity.
Erin K Hill - I'll Be Driving
Erin K Hill - Losing Sleep
Sunday, 26 June 2016
So until some new stuff appears on the shelves we will just have to re-visit some old favourites.
And where better to kick off than by calling on our old friends in Germany Trikont and the fantastic compilation Cheatin' Soul and the Southern Dream of Freedom.
A sister compilation to the Dirty Laundry country- soul set focusing on the classic Southern soul tradition of cheating songs.
Plenty to choose from then and Trikont serve up 23 crackers.
They are all worthy of selection but you are only getting two
Let's kick off with the great Doris Duke with If She's Your Wife (Who Am I) one of the many "other woman" songs featured
We follow this with Clarence Carter defending his territory on What Was I Supposed to Do.
More Soul next Sunday
Doris Duke - If She's Your Wife (Who Am I)
Clarence Carter - What Was I Supposed to Do
Saturday, 25 June 2016
The screen door slams
Mary's dress waves
Like a vision she dances across the porch
As the radio plays
Roy Orbison singing for the lonely
Hey that's me and I want you only
Bruce Springsteen has recently been namechecked but this week it is his turn to do the namechecking.
The above is the opening lines of Thunder Road and none other than the Big O is featuring on Mary's radio.
Given the lyrics there can only really be one choice of song.
This is for all you Airdrieonians out there - you know who you are.
More namechecking next week
A recently posted Julian Cope song featured both Barry Manilow and Duran Duran -- hmmm ...
Friday, 24 June 2016
Another artist who made the crossover from Rock'n'Roll to Country was the Queen of Rockabilly herself Miss Wanda Jackson.
I haven't been able to glean much information on Nobody's Darlin' other that it is from 1969 and is on Vocalion (Simulated Stereo Records) an off shoot of Decca.
It doesn't appear on the discography on Iffypedia so I not sure whether it is kosher or perhaps a compilation.
She released a lot off country stuff around then
It seems she recorded some in German, Dutch and Japanese which would make interesting listening.
She that graduated to gospel prior to returning to her Rockabilly roots.
More Vintage Country Vinyl next Saturday - regrettably not in German, Dutch or Japanese
Wanda Jackson - Lovin' Country Style
Wanda Jackson - Nobody's Darlin' But Mine
Thursday, 23 June 2016
What a bloody mess!
A referendum called by David Cameron worried that the Tories were losing votes to UKIP has led to the pretty strong possibility that Britain will vote to leave the EU to become an isolated backwater and economic basket case.
Yet that does not appear to be concerning the politicians taking part in the most mean spirited, vitriolic and down right nasty contest I have witnessed in my lifetime.
Two sides trying to out do each other in the xenophobia, racist and bigotry stakes.
For that is what it appears to be all about.
Getting rid of the immigrants. Yes those people who work in our hospitals and care homes, who pick, cook and serve the food we all consume and who help to keep this country going being vilified by right wing reactionaries.
For what it is worth I think it will be a narrow vote to remain in the EU.*
The worrying thing is that almost half the country will have voted Brexit.
Coupled with the rise of the far right in mainland Europe and Donald Trump the world is a scary place - probably the scariest it has been since 1939.
God help us all.
The Special AKA - Racist Friend
* Got that wrong!
Wednesday, 22 June 2016
Our friends at Olive Grove Records have very kindly made Attack of the Glam Soul Cheerleaders (Parts 1&2) available on Bandcamp.
I believe you can pick it up free gratis and for nothing but I'm not going to post a download here as you should visit the Bandcamp link and download it from there leaving a suitable donation.
Ette are an experimental pop project, featuring Carla J Easton, the lead singer of Glasgow girl pop outfit TeenCanteen, and Joe Kane from psyche outfit Dr Cosmos Tapelab.
Attack Of The Glam Soul Cheerleaders (parts 1 & 2) is taken from Ette's debut album, 'Homemade Lemonade', which will be released on digital platforms and on pink bubblegum vinyl on 22 July 2016.
The above is lifted directly from Bandcamp and is pretty much all you need to know other than it is very good..
The Swede posted this yesterday but it deserves to be heard twice
Tuesday, 21 June 2016
Can it really be 20 years since Irvine Welsh's great bookTrainspotting was released as a film?
I was reading an article in the Sunday Herald magazine (well it was either that or one on Michael Gove) which argued that it changed cinema for good
As the article says Trainspotting can be grim but it's ridiculously good fun
I wouldn't apply the former to the fantastic soundtrack but the latter certainly applies.
No Lust for Life , Born Slippy, Perfect Day or Temptation for you today but rather a couple that didn't get the same exposure.
Trainspotting 2 is in the pipeline and due for release in January 2017. I'm not so sure it is a good idea but am looking forward to the soundtrack
Sleeper - Atomic
Iggy Pop - Nightclubbing
Monday, 20 June 2016
From 1994 Auotgeddon is Julian Cope's diatribe against the car culture targeting them as a metaphor for environmental destruction.
Typical fayre then for the Arch Druid to get his teeth into.
The cover photo is of a garage in a village near Betws-y-Coed in Wales which Julian passed following a cancelled tour to Ireland due to illness and he saw this old garage calling to me. An Autogeddon sign if ever there was one
Mark Chapman as most of you will be aware is the man who murdered John Lennon
In Autogeddon we're burning.
Julian Cope - Autogeddon Blues
Julian Cope - Don't Call Me Mark Chapman
Sunday, 19 June 2016
Today we pay tribute to the legendary Memphis producer and songwriter Chips Moman who died on 13th June one day after his 79th birthday.
Born Lincoln Wayne Moman in La Grange, Georgia where he died in a hospice after suffering from a disease of the lungs.
What a talent
His production credits include From Elvis in Memphis recorded at his Memphis studio American Sound Studio which he founded after falling out with Jim Stewart at Fame in Muscle Shoals.
Also an accomplished songwriter. Here are two absolute classics which he wrote with Dan Penn.
Obviously Do Right Woman is always associated with Aretha Franklin but I got a DMCA notice the last time I played her so here are Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham instead.
I've a CD with 19 versions of Dark End of the Street. It includes Dan and Spooner's version and THE definitive version by James Carr. They have both featured before so here is the next best thing The Flying Burrito Brothers featuring the golden tonsils of Gram Parsons.
Rest easy Chips
Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham - Do Right Woman, Do Right Man
The Flying Burrito Brothers - Dark End Of The Street
Saturday, 18 June 2016
The vast majority of namecheck songs are pretty complimentary to the person being name checked.
I'm not sure whether that could be said about Steve Earle by Lydia Loveless
Apparently it is fictional
Here is what Music Times has to say
After a few shows, a few propositions for a duet performance, and one leaked cell phone number, Loveless penned "Steve Earle" as a humorous tale about her biggest fan. Reactions from the Steve Earle camp have been mixed, with some close to the real Earle telling Loveless it "hit the nail right on the head," and Earle's (now ex-) wife, country singer Allison Moorer, expressing her irritation via Twitter. Loveless hopes to explain the whole story to Earle someday.
Allegedly it is about a stalker who looks like Steve Earle.With that beard Steve could probably pass as a stalker
It is from the 2012 Bloodshot Album Indestructible Machine which also includes Jesus Was a Wino so perhaps she was looking to draw some attention to herself
Unperturbed here is a namecheck song by Steve Earle but with a difference as no-one is named. Ft. Worth Blues from El Corazon is his tribute to the previously namechecked Townes Van Zandt.
Something less complicated next week.
Lydia Loveless - Steve Earle
Steve Earle - Ft. Worth Blues
Friday, 17 June 2016
In the late 60's Jerry Lee Lewis resurrected his career by switching from Rock'n' Roll to Country.
In 1969 he recorded two albums of classic country songs in four sessions over two days as a way to fulfil his contractual obligation to his record label Smash.
Slightly better than Metal Machine Music I'm sure you'll agree
The pictured album above which is the one on the CC shelves is a compilation of the best of Volumes One and Two and is from 1981.
His move to Country was a huge success and it is interesting and indeed entertaining to hear his take on the standards with his trademark ivory tinkling thrown in for good measure
More VCV next Friday but not from JLL.
Jerry Lee Lewis - I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
Jerry Lee Lewis - It Makes No Difference Now
Thursday, 16 June 2016
You'll be glad to know it's time for more from my brother.
No that picture which looks like a mug shot is not of him. It is in fact Martin James Boorer better known as Boz Boorer with a couple of tracks from his 2012 album Some of the Parts
Boz was a member of The Polecats but is probably best known as co-writer, guitarist and musical director and general wing man with Morrissey
As it is my brother's we will go for the rockabilly options.
However the album is a mixed bag with country (with an appearance by James Maker), jazz, bossanova (or Bozanova) and a pretty ropey version of Sunday Morning Coming Down.
I probably like half of them including these two
Tokyo Calling is a song he recorded for a charity album following the tsunami in 2011
About Dr Jazz Boz recalls Kirsty MacColl phoned me and asked if I had any songs suitable for Brian Setzer
Friend of the stars and probably an acquaintance of George given he has a studio in Portugal
Boz Boorer - Tokyo Calling
Boz Boorer - Dr Jazz
Wednesday, 15 June 2016
The weather here has returned to a degree of normality
Haven't had to put the heating back on yet but the short sleeved shirts have been replaced by long sleeved ones and the sandals have been put to one side.
It is not quite Howlin' a Gale yet but that song by Howe Gelb from his 2006 album 'Sno Angel Like You has been floating around my head for a few days
Howe has jettisoned his erstwhile colleagues and near shelf neighbours Giant Sand and is joined by a gospel choir.
I'd forgotten how strange an album it is.
I once offered to buy Howe a pint. He politely declined. Such is the rock 'n' roll lifestlye
Howe Gelb - Howlin' A Gale
Howe Gelb - Robes of Bible Black
Tuesday, 14 June 2016
I am familiar with Most of the Time thanks to a beautiful version by Roddy Hart and Gemma Hayes. It puts me in mind of Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter
I knew it was a Bob Dylan song as it is from their The Dylan EP.
However I was not familiar with Bob's version probably as it is from his 1989 album Oh Mercy which I have never knowingly listened to.
I am of course familiar with his version of the other song I have chosen to feature from the EP.
A bit of a Celtic combination with Roddy from Scotland and Gemma from Ireland.
Both have previously featured on these pages in their own right
Roddy Hart & Gemma Hayes - Most of the Time
Roddy Hart & Gemma Hayes -It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
Monday, 13 June 2016
Lost in the Dream by The War on Drugs sits next to Wall of Voodoo on the indie/pop shelves so got dusted down for a listen recently.
Initially I was not too sure of this record thinking it was a tad pretentious in places. The jury is still out although it seem to be be getting better every time I play it - which is not too often if I'm honest.
I'm not sure of the rationale behind their moniker but if ever there was a song championing the war on drugs it was surely Just Say No from the cast of Grange Hill
You'd be mugs to take drugs - just say no!
The War on Drugs - Under the Pressure
The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream
Sunday, 12 June 2016
I've neither the time nor the inclination to dig deep this week.
So what you are getting, somewhat lazily, are two stone wall disco classics.
Songs to put you in mind of your youth and long hot summers and in my case to remember Scott's terrific Disco Friday series on the sadly lamented Spools Paradise blog.
Enjoy if you're out there Scott and strut your funky stuff
Earth, Wind and Fire - Boogie Wonderland
Tavares - More Than a Woman
Saturday, 11 June 2016
Television man is crazy saying were juvenile delinquent wrecks
Oh man I need TV when I got T-Rex
Some brief respite from the relentless Americana this week as we go Glam
You will all recognize the above lyrics penned by the mighty David Bowie from All The Young Dudes which was a number 3 hit for Mott the Hoople way back in 1972
We then step forward a year with T-Rex and Truck on (Tyke) which only reached the dizzy heights of number 12.
As an added bonus playing these two albums has thrown up another couple of namecheck references so look out for them in due course
Someone else will be namechecked next Saturday
Friday, 10 June 2016
This album was always going to feature - just not perhaps so early.
However, I haven't had time to listen to and select the tracks from the one I had in mind so Johnny jumps the queue
Recorded live in San Quentin State Prison on 24th February 1969 it was released on 4th June with the concert being recorded for Granada Television
It is a follow up to his At Folsom Prison album from the previous year
It includes the first ever performance of San Quentin which as you can imagine sent his captive audience completely wild
Yet another example of why Johnny was such a great man taking the time to visit and perform in prisons and treating the in-mates as fellow human beings with no preceptions or prejudices.
People today could learn a lot from him
Bought in Carlisle
Johnny Cash - San Quentin
Johnny Cash - Starkville City Jail
Thursday, 9 June 2016
Whilst reading Jez' recent radio themed post Mexican Radio by Wall of Voodoo immediately popped into my head.
Trouble is I have previously posted this way back in April 2013 as part of my Mexican Monday series.
No problem then I'll just look out the album Call of the West and select a couple of tracks for your listening pleasure.
One major drawback however. The album is totally rank
So on the basis that only one man and two dogs were following my blog back then and because it allows me to sing "wish I was in Tiajuana , Eating barbequed iguana" here it is again.
Also included is the album's title track which is the best of a bad lot.
In case you are wondering where you have heard the vocalist before it is Stan Ridgway of Camouflage fame.
That is Stanard Ridgway as opposed to Stanley Ridgway by the way.
Wall of Voodoo - Mexican Radio
Wall of Voodoo - Call of the West
Wednesday, 8 June 2016
Is it now officially summer?
It seems that way in Glasgow where it has been scorching .
When better then to feature an album called Springtime
On Saturday I posted a song from this album from Louisville band Freakwater to commemorate the passing of that town's most famous citizen.
Playing the album again had me thinking that A) it would not have been out of place on my recent Bluegrass Monday series and B) it was too good not to share a couple more tracks with you.
Featuring the wonderful harmonies of Janet Bean and Catherine Irwin it is from 1998 and was released on the Thrill Jockey label
The have just released Scheherazade their first album in nine years on the Bloodshot label which seems a natural home for them.
Scheherazade was a legendary queen and the story teller of One Thousand and One Nights (I didn't know that, I had to look it up).
Freakwater - Picture in my Mind
Freakwater - Twisted Wire
Tuesday, 7 June 2016
The weather in Glasgow has been pretty good for the last week or so.
Now I drafted this post a few days ago so it may well be snowing by now.
It got me thinking about sounds of the summer and a new candidate must surely be Wanderlust by Kid Wave one of , if not the, best albums of 2015. Thanks to Drew for bringing it to my attention.
They are an Anglo Swedish combo recording on the Heavenly label.
As the i-tunes preview states they have classic pop sensibilities at their core with big easy melodies and fat guitar riffs
Rarely has a song called Gloom sounded so bouncy
Buy this album - you will not regret it
Kid Wave - Gloom
Kid Wave - Best Friend
Monday, 6 June 2016
A bit of end of 20th Century Power Pop for you today courtesy of Idle Jets and their 1999 album Atomic Fireball.
Up until now I though they were called Idlejets (all one word) but it seems that I was wrong there.
They are the baby of Tennessee based session guitarist Pat Buchanan who has worked with a number of bands including Cameo, Cyndi Lauper and Hall & Oates.
I saw him playing in some band at King Tuts - from his biography info on All Music it might well have been Jeff Finlin. I seem to remember him doing a veersion of Word Up much to the crowd's amusement
I can't for the life of me remember whether his band were the support act
Whatever he/they must have made some sort of impression on me as I came away with a signed copy of the albuim
Idle Jets - Penelope Wilde
Idle Jets - Atomic Fireball
Sunday, 5 June 2016
I've been featuring Soul just about every Sunday since October 2013 and the mine seam is pretty much exhausted.
Time then to hit the compilations section.
And we start with two standards from Ladies Night - disc 1 - don't ask
Hot Chocolate up first. My mum once asked me who I was listening to."Steve Earle" I replied. " Oh is that the bloke from Hot Chocolate? " she responded
Not even close and definitely no cigar.
Nope it is the recently sadly departed Mr Errol Brown. who was indeed The Real Thing (see what I did there?)
God only knows what will feature next Sunday.
Hot Chocolate -You Sexy Thing
Real Thing - You To Me Are Everything
Saturday, 4 June 2016
Sitting on the porch singing Townes Van Zandt
We play guitars to burn off the hours
Til we climb the fences at the edge of town and paint
Our names on the waters towers
This weeks lyrics namechecking the legend that is Townes Van Zandt come from a song called Me & Jiggs on the 2003 album Golden Age of Radio by a young Josh Ritter. A lovely homage to small town America.
As an added bonus listening to the album threw up another name which will feature in due course.
You should all be familiar with Townes and if not should make it your business to do so. I could write some stuff about him here but rather I will refer you to this excellent recent post from Jez of A History of Dubious Taste fame.
He does the work so we don't have to. The comments include a link to a time I met Townes in the County Hotel, Perth.
Somebody else will be namechecked nest Saturday.
Josh Ritter - Me & Jiggs
Townes Van Zandt - Delta Momma Blues
Friday, 3 June 2016
One of the recent vinyl purchases which inspired this series is Leavin' Town by Waylon Jennings.
Initially there was a fair degree of trepidation given that some of his output from his Outlaw period was pretty ropey, From the cover I guessed that this LP pre-dated that period and do you know what I was right
From 1966 it is his third album on the RCA Victor label and it is an absolute cracker.12 belting country crooners and it is over and done with in less than 30 minutes
Bobby Bare is quoted on the album cover describing Waylon as exciting, fresh and talented and on this offering it is difficult to argue with that
Waylon died on 2002. He had six kids, some with strange names including his boy Shooter who is also a country singer
More Vintage Country Vinyl shortly
Waylon Jennings - Anita, You're Dreaming
Waylon Jennings - Doesn't Anybody Know My Name
Thursday, 2 June 2016
With today's offering I think that is the holiday charity CD purchases just about exhausted.
From 2002 Beth Gibbons of Portishead fame teams up with former Talk Talk bassist Paul Webb (aka Rustin Man) to come up with Out of Season described as a folk album with jazz leanings.
I'd never heard it before and found it quite haunting if not quietly devastating (Uncut), bewitching (Esquire) or among the best albums ever made (Mojo)
Mrs CC on the other hand found it depressing
Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man - Spider Monkey
Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man - Funny Time of Year
Wednesday, 1 June 2016
If I've learn't anything from this blogging malarky it is that if you are going to post anything by Ash do it on a Wednesday so you can have a snappy post title.
Another holiday purchase was their Singles Collection Intergalactic Sonic 7's.19 tremendous songs and a 22 track bonus disc Cosmic Debris to boot. And all for a quid - a pretty good piece of business I feel.
The words a splendid racket are probably overused in this small corner of the blogosphere but in the case of Ash they are totally justified.
Ash - Goldfinger
Ash - Oh Yeah
Ash - Burn Baby Burn