Friday, 24 March 2017
Recently I've been going through a stage of listening to compilation CD's on my way to and from work.
One day last week I got stuck in some major roadworks on the A725 at the Shawhead Flyover near Coatbridge.
For just over 10 minutes this song (on a CD of downloads from George) made the interminable journey a lot more bearable.
Burn baby burn! Disco inferno!
The Trammps - Disco Inferno
Thursday, 23 March 2017
A guest contribution from George our Portuguese Canine Flatulence Correspondent
Have you ever been woken by the smell of a dog’s fart? No? Well, I have. I’m lying there, slowly aware of this all encompassing smell, it’s clinging to the sheets and duvet, MAN ALIVE what have those dogs been eating????? (offal, rice, chicken fat, the occasional cat shit, as you ask).
I was relating this to a friend here, but did not know the Portuguese for fart, so I had to say “there was a bad smell from the bottom of the dog” (há um cheiro muito mau de rabo do cão – this was as close as I could get, but I learnt that I could have said “houve um peido do cão com o muito cheiro”)
I have no idea if today’s featured artists have written a song about the above topic. Track 6 from the album Stranded Downtown by The Twist Connection could be, but I doubt it. And of course, you’re not getting track 6 but track 2, Nite Shift. The album is available on Bandcamp for about 5 euros. There is a connection to the previously featured A Jigsaw, both bands are from Coimbra (a city about half-way between Lisbon and Porto), A Jigsaw seemed to have helped produce Stranded Downtown, but there are no musical similarities, The Twist Connection have a sort of post-punk / garage sound. Having played today’s track you might think my description is lacking.
Now buy the album.
And on this day in 1944 one Tony McPhee was born, founding member of late 60s/70s british blues-rock band The Groundhogs. This song was number one...............in the Lebanon
Enjoy the music.
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
Week 11 and now officially more than a third of the way through the series.
We start this week with a Canadian who sports a fine beard and a fine band.
Cam Penner started out with his band The Gravel Road although they are now billed as Cam Penner and Jon Wood.
Rye Whiskey is taken from his/their 3rd album from 2005 Felt Like a Saturday Night when they were still billed as Cam Penner & the Gravel Road and is a splendid slice of Americana.
Cam Penner & the Gravel Road - Rye Whiskey
Elvis Perkins is an American folk rock artist and is the son of actor Anthony Perkins (of Psycho fame) and photographer Berry Berenson
While You Were Sleeping is the opening tack from his first (of three) album(s) Ash Wednesday which was released in 2007.
He becomes the third Elvis to feature on these pages.
After that brief hiatus we return to the the theme of alcohol with the psychobilly trio The Reverend Horton Heat a band fronted by Jim Heath
Liquor, Beer & Wine is one of their more restrained numbers and is taken from their third album from 1994 Liquour in the Front
The band describe their music as couuntry-fed punkabilly and this song neatly fits that bill
The dozenth dose of assorted nonsense next Wednesday if you can bear it
Tuesday, 21 March 2017
One of the albums from my recent windfall which is getting kept is Legend by Bob Marley and the Wailers.
One that I suspect that I had at one stage - on cassette at the very least.
14 songs that you will all be familiar with and every one a classic in it's own way
Ranked at number 46 in Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and one which has sold a staggering estimated 25 million copies.
This song, originally from Uprising is rather special and also gives me an excuse to feature this duet taken from 2003's Cash Unearthed.
Three absolute musical legends and all sadly no longer with us
Bob Marley & the Wailers - Redemption Song
Johnny Cash (with Joe Strummer) - Redemption Song
Monday, 20 March 2017
Bands with the same name as football teams? Most will come up with St Etienne and at a push The Kaiser Chiefs.
But what of the only Serbian and ex-Yugoslav team ever to have won the European Cup (in 1991) Red Star Belgrade?
From Chapel Hill, North Carolina Red Star Belgrade were an alt country trio founded by one time rock critic Bill Curry
Four albums to their name they have graced both the Loose and Blue Rose labels.
The second song is taken from Down to the Promised Land - 5 Years of Bloodshot Records. The fact that it will severely annoy fans of AC/DC is a welcome bonus.
Red Star Belgrade - Saddest Girl
Red Star Belgrade - Highway to Hell
Sunday, 19 March 2017
In this digital age my brother-in law and sister -in- law decided to disposed of their CDs.
I got first dibs.
There were about a hundred or so mostly mainstream and a fair number of best ofs. About three quarters have now been forwarded to the charity shop with a few keepers and a few we are still swithering about.
One that is a switherer (if there is such a word) is/are The Animals - it would be a keeper but for the dreaded this album contains tracks that are re-recorded. As Half Man Half Biscuit would have it - it's on the Hallmark label, that's sure to be good.
Featuring today not because of alphabetical reasons but because We Gotta Get Out of this Place recently featured on a retro TV cop drama and has ear wormed it's way into my head.
1.00 pm - Tracks have now been replaced with better versions
The Animals - Gotta Get out of This Place
The Animals - Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Saturday, 18 March 2017
The Boss bounces back.After a 6-3 defeat in week 1 Bruce weighs in with a 6-3 victory over the Band with Atlantic City with JC somewhat cruelly offering a no score draw.
The scores are now even The Boss 1 The Rest 1
Fairly recently after reading his autobiography I posted a couple of songs from his 1973 debut album Greetings From Asbury Park N.J. Little did I realize that I would be visiting it again so soon.
However as fate would have it Wednesday's Burnt Offerings 10 threw up a fairly rare and fairly interesting cover - David Bowie's 1974 version of It's Hard Being a Saint in the City.
Pretty much the first thing that Springsteen ever recorded and it shows as it is pretty rough round the edges.
Probably not the best thing that The Thin White Duke has ever recorded either but for me it is the stronger version by a distance.
As always, others may choose to disagree
Bruce Springsteen - It's Hard to be a Saint in the City
David Bowie - It's Hard to be a Saint in the City
Friday, 17 March 2017
I had a compilation CD on in the car the other day when Cowboy Junkies and their version of the Hank William's classic I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry popped up.
It reminded me that I am one of the few bloggers out there who has yet to extol the virtues of The Trinity Sessions. So here goes,
Their second album with the band recording onto a single microphone in Toronto's Church of the Holy Trinity it is now rightly regarded as a bona fide classic.
So this Friday night sit down with the tipple of your choice and for just over 10 minutes let the vocals of Margo Timmins and the sparse musical accompaniment of the band just wash over you.
Cowboy Junkies -I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
Cowboy Junkies - Walkin' After Midnight
Thursday, 16 March 2017
It's been too cheerful round these parts for too long now. Time then to wallow in some misery in the company of Rex Hobart and the Misery Boys.
Their 2002 album Your Favorite Fool (dang American spelling!) is on Bloodshot Records and is produced by Pete Anderson so you just know it is going to be good.
They featured on my Bloodshot Tuesday series in the early days of the blog to considerable indifference.
Well overdue another airing.
Strangely first time round I never featured the duet with Kelly Hogan, the woman with the finest voice in country. Time to right that wrong.
Rex Hobart & the Misery Boys - Gotta Get Back to Forgetting You
Rex Hobart & the Misery Boys with Kelly Hogan - Golden Ring
Wednesday, 15 March 2017
That's us up to double figures now and nearly a third of the way through this series. Thank goodness for that, I hear you cry.
The first act have featured before but not in their own right so therefore meet the criteria.
The Watson Twins (Leigh and Chandra) were born in Tulsa, Oklahoma raised in Loiusville, Kentucky and now stay in Los Angeles.
They have appeared her before with songs from Rabbit Fur Coat their collaboration with Jenny Lewis and I once saw them perform with her.
They have also had a number of records in their own right and Shoot the Lights Out is taken from their 2006 album Southern Manners
The Watson Twins - Shoot The Lights out
The Concretes are an eight piece indie band from Stockholm, Sweden fronted by Maria Eriksson.
They have a number of very good songs in their own right but the one on BO10 is a cover of the Rolling Stones number Miss You a track from their 2004 single Say Something New.
They also did a cover version of Take That's Back For Good which I've not heard but which I suspect will be better than the original.
The Concretes - Miss You
We started in Los Angeles, popped over to Stockholm and finish this week's odyssey in County Durham.
The Lavender Faction were a band from the early 90's that never really made it and never actually produced an album.
However they seem to have developed a somewhat cult following with Jigsaw Records giving us an anthology Taking Down the Walls in 2014 which is available on Bandcamp and which is described as a sludgefest (which is good I think).
The lavender Faction - In My Mind
Volume 11 next week.
Tuesday, 14 March 2017
Alyson at the recently revamped What's It All About recently put up a post featuring Nancy Sinatra.
This lead to me looking out and listening to some of her stuff . I was going to do a post but never got round to it.
On Sunday morning Mrs CC put some Nancy on. This finally spurred me into action.
In addition to her solo stuff she also participated in a number of duets.
So here she is with her old man, with fellow Rat Packer and Little Old Wine Drinker Dean Martin and best of all with the great Lee Hazlewood.
Nancy and Frank Sinatra - Something Stupid
Nancy Sinatra and Dean Martin -Things
Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood - Did You Ever
Monday, 13 March 2017
Should I listen to an interview on the radio with Willie Rennie the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats or stick on Dig Thy Savage Soul by Barrence Whitfield & the Savages.
A decision that took me half a nano-second before opting for Barrence.
In reality there was only going to be one winner.
Not only is he the better singer he still has far more than the slither of credibility that Willie has and would I suspect be more fun on a night out.
Take it away Barrence!
This'll set you up for a Monday morning.
Barrence Whitfield & the Savages - My Baby Didn't Come Home
Barrence Whitfield & the Savages -Show Me Baby
Sunday, 12 March 2017
Yesterday's Band cover of Atlantic City saw me moving across to the Americana shelves to dust down Dirt Farmer the 2007 solo album by Levon Helm.
His first solo album since 1982 and one which saw him carving out a new niche and winning a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk album.
We will stay on the covers theme for a little while longer with his version of Steve Earle's The Mountain the title track from Steve's bluegrass album with the Del McCoury Band. Good bu not as good as the original. Fact.
Backing vocals from Buddy and Julie Miller.
Levon's daughter Amy provides the backing vocals to a great version of Calvary a song written by Byron Issacs. Until now I was unaware that he was the only non- Canadian member of the Band..
Sadly Levon left us in 2012 at the age of 71.
Levon Helm - The Mountain
Levon Helm - Calvary
Saturday, 11 March 2017
We are well and truly up and running now. It was a close run thing between Bruce and Everything But the Girl with Tougher Than The Rest for a while before the Hull husband and wife duo pulled away and ended up winning by a convincing margin of 6 to 3.
So it is The Boss 0 The Rest 1
Will it be honours even or will Bruce like the Gambling Commission be hanging on by the skin of his teeth following the first, and certainly not the last visit, to the magnificence that is the Nebraska LP
Bruce's Atlantic City is up against another voice which divides opinion the late, great Levon Helm of The Band.
Their version is available on their 1993 album Jericho but I have taken it from Uncut's Born to Run 2003 which will probably provide a number of tracks for this series.
A tougher call for me this week. I quite like the Ban's jingly jangly country/folk version but it's the Boss for me this time round
Others, of course, may choose to disagree
Bruce Springsteen - Atlantic City
The Band - Atlantic City
Friday, 10 March 2017
A (former) peanut farmer writes
At the end of last month I acquired a bit of money. I was also given a couple of packets of biscuits, some pretzels, a pair of gardening gloves and a man bag. This last item is the talk of the town. “Aqui está o homem ingles com a bolsa dele” they say as I walk into my local cafe for my abatanado. I never reply “Eu não nasci na Inglaterra”. I spent the money on some
records downloads. Why the windfall? You might have thought that my friend of over three decades might have mentioned something in his blog, along with maybe a reference to the birthday of Johnny Cash, Fats Domino, Sandie Shaw, Michael Bolton. He didn’t......
There are now on the shelves in The Music Room, in the legal downloads section, two albums of what I can only describe as Portuguese Americana. There’s also an album by a Portuguese indie band. Back to the Americana, and today’s artists, who are called A Jigsaw. I’m not sure how the native population get on with pronouncing their name as the letter “w” does not exist in the Portuguese alphabet. They also cannot pronounce the “i” in jigsaw as it should be said, such a sound does not exist in Portuguese. Portuguese Americana, unpronounceable name, doesn’t that just endear you to this lot already? And you haven’t heard any music yet. On the strength of one YouTube video I bought their latest album, No True Magic, and after the first 4 or so tracks I was impressed, not hugely, but on the lines of “this is not bad at all”. The music is low key, and has been described as something like Calexico meets Tom Waits. A fair description (thanks CC), musically but not vocally. I also think there’s a bit of The Walkabouts in there too. When track 6 came on it just blew me away. It’s bloody brilliant. So you’re not getting that one, you’ll have to buy the album (it’s on Bandcamp). This is the last track on No True Magic:
Buy the album. Then buy Like The Wolf, it’s even better. And then can someone please explain why I did not go and see the band when they played near-ish (40km) to our town last year? FFS it's not like I've got much else to do.
And finally. On this very day in 1950 Edward McKenna was born, usually called Ted. Brian Clough, though, would have called him Edward. He is a drummer (Ted McKenna, not Brian Clough) and has played with Gillan, The Michael Schenker Group, and much more famously, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band. There’s not nearly enough prog-flavoured rock on these pages, so here’s a track from the album Framed, a song about an alleged witch:
There used to be a very fine, knowledgable, idiosyncratic music blog that featured birthdays every day. Whatever happened to it?
Thursday, 9 March 2017
Wednesday, 8 March 2017
Count yourselves lucky. But for a late flurry of never before featured artists you may have been listening to Rocky Mountain Way by Joe Walsh today.
Having said that after listening to these three you may be pining for the semi-permanently stoned former Eagles front man.
Rather than Joe we start today with Imogen Heap probably the only artist ever to have collaborated with Nik Kershaw and Taylor Swift though thankfully not at the same time.
Here is Hide and Seek a single from her second album Speak For Yourself from 2005.Some folktronica in a Goldfrappesque stylee
Imogen Heap - Hide and Seek
Imogen is followed by Shivaree an American band fronted by the splendidly named Ambrosia Parsley.
Described at the usual place as Americana but to me they sound somewhat similar to Imogen.
Oh, No appears to be from their 1999 debut album I Oughtta Give You a Shot in the Head for Making Me Live in this Dump a title which trips easily off the tongue
Shivaree is also a noisy mock serenade performed by a group of people to celebrate a marriage or mock an unpopular person.
Shivaree - Oh, No
This week's most obscure act is Lucky Luke who appear to have been a Scottish folk band of whom I have been unable to find out very much at all except for this
Fear Eats the Soul is a single from a 2005 album Patrick the Survivor and puts me a bit in mind of some of the Fear and Whiskey era Mekons stuff. The title even sounds like a Mekons number
More assorted nonsense next Wednesday,
Tuesday, 7 March 2017
Golden Eagle the debut album by the recently featured Holly Macve was handed in on Saturday by our neighbour who had been given it by the postie when we weren't in thus saving me a trip to the sorting office.
Fist impressions from me are very positive although George who also bought it seems less enthusiastic.
We both agree however that Holly has obviously spend time listening to the brilliant Paula Frazer and Tarnation albeit Ms Macve's voice is not quite as strong as Ms Frazer's (few, if any, are)
This led me to digging out Gentle Creatures by said band for your listening pleasure.
Older readers, and by that I mean those of you who have been visiting these pages for a while, will remember that Tarnation are the only band that I've never seen twice - here and here
Tarnation - Two Wrongs Won't Make Things Right
Tarnation - Do You Fancy Me
Monday, 6 March 2017
RM Hubbert, more commonly known as Hubby, is a Scottish acoustic guitar player and occasional singer from the Chemikal Underground stable whose album Thirteen Lost and Found won the 2013 Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) award
Sadly Hubby suffers from mental health issues and is currently struggling to support himself and his work following a recent spell in hospital.
To help support him through this difficult period you are encouraged to visit Bandcamp here where you can purchase the above EP which was the best selling item on Bandcamp last week.
Here is Hubby with Jo Mango on a track from Wracklines an EP released in January 2015 to support the charity Creative Carbon Scotland another one you should probably have
RM Hubbert and Jo Mango - Sustain
Sunday, 5 March 2017
The other day I teased you somewhat by referring to but not featuring If You Don't Start Drinkin' (I'm Gonna Leave). Time to right that wrong
In addition to playing their own material George Thorogood and the Destroyers are not averse to putting their own particular spin on old Blues standards.
Here George gets his drinks in a slightly different order than the original by Amos Milburn. Hardly surprising perhaps given the circumstances.
George Thorogood & the Destroyers -If You Don't Start Drinkin' (I'm Gonna Leave)
George Thorogood & the Destroyers - One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer
Amos Milburn - One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer
Saturday, 4 March 2017
It's back! By popular demand the return of the interactive compare and contrast Covers series. This time round and again by popular demand (you know who you are!) the featured artist is Bruce Springsteen.
Like Dylan, the Boss has fans and those who can't stand him in equal measure so this could be fun. First to five or maybe even first to ten we'll see how we go.
Let's start with a fairly obvious one with Tougher than the Rest the biggest hit from Bruce's Tunnel of Love album from 1987.It's New Jersey versus Hull as the challengers are Everything But the Girl with their version from their 1992 Covers E.P.
Tunnel of Love for me is not one of his better albums and it is not one that I listen to all that often. For me the EBTG version is the superior one.
As before others may choose to differ
Bruce Springsteen - Tougher Than the Rest
Everything But The Girl - Tougher Than the Rest
Friday, 3 March 2017
Rice by Eliza Carthy was the first album which jumped out at me in Fort William on the trip that saw me coming away with albums by Pat Buchanan and Pete Yorn and is the one which I am struggling with the most.
I knew it would be folk - after all she is the daughter of folk royalty namely Martin Carthy and Norma Waterston.
Now, I like folk as much as the next man, perhaps even more but I find this to be a bit too full on traditional for my tastes. I feel that I may be required to instal a maypole in the middle of the Muso room.
It seems that it was originally released as part of a double album Red Rice with Red also later being issued separately. Red I read contains more of her eclectic poppy folk I am more familiar with and enjoy and would perhaps have been a better option had it been available.
I'm still considering whether this one is a keeper.
Eliza Carthy -Herring Song
Eliza Carthy - The Snow It Melts the Soonest
Thursday, 2 March 2017
Strange Love from Carter Wood on Monday and Strange Weather from Marianne Faithfull today - we are indeed living in strange times.
From 1987 on the Island label it is her first completed studio work following her 17 year battle with heroin addiction and perhaps fittingly it is an album of rock, blues and dark cabaret
Featuring today is Boulevard of Broken Dreams a song by Al Dubin and Harry Warren from 1933 which featured in the 1934 film Moulin Rouge.It is very continental sounding.
This is followed by a stripped down version of the song she had her biggest hit with the Rolling Stones classic As Tears Go By.
Garth Hudson on accordion and Dr John on piano are among those participating on the album.
Marianne Faithfull - Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Marianne Faithfull -As Tears Go By
Wednesday, 1 March 2017
This weeks Volume 8 sees us now a quarter of the way through the Burnt Offerings series.It'll be over before you know it.
Let's crack on with the first artist Josh Rouse one I am surprised hasn't featured before given there is stuff from him on the shelves.Originally from Nebraska he is now based in Spain. The featured song It Looks Like Love is taken from Subtitulo his sixth studio album released in 2006 on the Nettwerk Records label
Josh Rouse - It Looks Like Rouse
The next artist George Thorogood has with his band the Destroyers been on the go for what seems like forever playing high energy boogie blues and is another who features on the shelves. Homesick Boy is taken from their 1977 self titled debt album - the first of many
Who could fail to like the man who wrote If You Don't Start Drinkin' (I'm Gonna Leave)?
George Thorogood & the Destroyers - Homesick Boy
And finally the only one of this weeks acts who do not appear elsewhere in the Muso room New York indie rock band Stellastarr*
Here is the 2006 single Sweet Troubled Soul from the album Harmonies for the Haunted.
I don't know about you but I am hearing a little Psychedelic Furs, a little Franz Ferdinand and a whole lot of Ian McNabb.
Stellastarr* - Sweet Troubled Soul
More assorted nonsense next week