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Sunday, 21 July 2019

Vintage Country Vinyl - Hawkshaw Hawkins

I think that 16 Greatest Hits of Hawkshaw Hawkins might well be the pick of the recent Country vinyl haul.
Born Harold Frankiin Hawkins in Huntington, West Virginia  on 22nd December 1921.
He died aged 43 on 5th March 1953 in the same plane crash as Cowbow Copas, Patsy Cline and Patsy's manager Randy Hughes.
He was married to fellow country singer Jean Shepard.

More Hawkshaw facts. He got his first guitar by trading five rabbits for it. (I don't know whether they were dead or alive)
Because of his height of six feet, five inches and his outgoing personality, he was nick-named "Eleven Yards of Personality"

More of the same next Sunday.

Hawkshaw Hawkins - I'm Slowly Dying of a Broken Heart

Hawkshaw Hawkins - Lonesome 7-7203

Saturday, 20 July 2019

More Sweet Saturday Sounds

Last Saturday Rachel Sweet, this Saturday Matthew Sweet.
In the absence of a new Saturday series a couple of Sweet Treats to keep you going.

From 1995 on the Zoo Entertainment label 100% Fun is Matthew Sweet's 5th album and one of the two of his that I own, the other being 1999's In Reverse. I'm told that Girlfriend is the one to get.
Described as alt rock although Mr Sweet is widely considered to be  the king of powerpop.
Apparently the album is best known for the single Sick of Myself.I prefer the two tracks below myself.

We are off on holiday for a few days tomorrow so there will be a reduced service  round these parts with regular series only until we get back (hopefully armed with new material).

Matthew Sweet - We're The Same

Matthew Sweet - Everything Changes

Friday, 19 July 2019


My i-pod Classic is a bit gubbed these days. It works ok on the docking station but the on/lock switch is broken and for a while I was having problems getting it to work properly  when I was on the move.
These problems now seem to have been resolved and I have taken it for playing at work for the quieter summer days.
One song on the shuffle stopped me in my tracks the other day.
It was a song called You'd Rather Run from an album called Autumn Fallin' by someone called Jaymay.
Further investigation was clearly required and any pretence of work was swiftly abandoned.

The internet tells me that this was the debut album by Jaymay which was released in November 2007 on the Heavenly label.
Jaymay is the stage name of American singer songwriter Jamie Seerman.
All the information I need to track down a copy. Fortunately it appears to be easily and cheaply available on Discogs.

Jaymay - You'd Rather Run

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Some Alvin ... But No Stardust

It has been a wee while since the legend that is Dave Alvin has graced these pages. Time to put that right.

I had dug out a live album by Dave Alvin and the Guilty Men called Out in California  but sadly the recording quality was pretty poor.
There is of course always a plan B.
Here are a couple of tracks from what I consider to be his masterpiece, 2004's Ashgrove, on the ever reliable Yep Roc label out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. If, God forbid, you only have room in your life for one Dave Alvin album this should be the one.

The first number would not be out of place in  Rol's epic Radio Songs series.
The second song is about his father's dementia. It is amazing how someone can write and sing such a beautiful song about such an awful condition.

Dave Alvin - Nine Volt Heart

Dave Alvin - The Man in the Bed

Shockingly low viewing figures as of 7pm.
Only 5 views so far. Philistines!

George has suggested that a video of Alvin Stardust may help.
I have my doubts but  here goes:

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

State of the Union - Rhode Island

George writes:
I have a feeling this will be the most challenging state yet. We shall see. Of course you all know that Sonic Youth could have provided a song here, but it’s that crappy filler, track 2 side 3, on Daydream Nation, sandwiched by Hey Joni and Candle.  Given that The Throwing Muses all hail from Rhode Island you might have thought that would yield one song from their at times tedious  varied output. But no.

Then there is Little Rhody (the littlest state with the biggest heart) by Timmy May. Remember your sick bucket when you play that one. But Rhode Island is the title of this splendid song, from The LoveHowl, a soul-infused rock band:

Interesting facts about the state of Rhode Island. 1. It is not an island. 2. The state is not called Rhode Island. 3. Does my ignorance of the states of the USA know no bounds?

(Not from Rhode Island)

I did a search to see if I recognised any of Rhode Island’s famous people. Top of one of the lists (Eleven famous people from Rhode Island) was Viola Davis. She is not from Rhode Island. I did recognise two of the names, but of those one was not from Rhode Island. 

(He IS from the state, but who is he?)

Neither was Samuel Slater, Slater The  Traitor, from Rhode Island. He was from Derbyshire (England), moved to Rhode Island and kickstarted the American Industrial Revolution, using his knowledge of British textile technology.This was in the newly independent USA, hence his nickname.

(Samuel “Slater the Traitor” Slater)

Interesting Rhode Island? Well, the state shell is the quahog. Now that did sound interesting. It’s a clam. Maybe it’s very wealthy? Nope, about 20th using a “per person income” index. But it did give us the Newport Folk Festival. I knew that, and so did you. It also gave us the Newport Jazz Festival. I did not know that.

Now, as we all know, there are just NOT ENOUGH KAZOOS in popular music. Mark E Smith made a brave attempt to popularise their use in song on A New Face In Hell. And The Jolly Light Connection have given us this ramshackle song, with a plaintive and at times in tune vocal,  Walking Into Murals (In Rhode Island, during the festival) from the Golden Era Of Spoons album. And yes, I have the album now.

So that’s Rhode Island, properly known as the State of Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations. It’s a bit nondescript. Like Surrey (England).

Another next week.

CC writes
America's answer to the Isle of Whithorn, Also not an island.
I've avoided the obvious one by Ike and Tina Turner as I think that is about a chicken

Dale Hawkins -Poor Little Rhode Island

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

With a Fascist in the White House

Even by his own extraordinarily low standards Donald Trump has excelled himself with his latest series of racist tweets
If you or I or indeed  most government officials were to tweet something similar we would quite rightly be in danger of losing our jobs. The man clearly feels that he is above the law.
Shortly he will be joined by our very own blonde buffoon who also has previous when it comes to racism.

The post title is a line from a song called 2016 by Nadine Shah a singer and songwriter from Whithburn in South Tyneside on her  2017 album Holiday Destination  which received a nomination. for the 2018 Mercury Prize 
Sadly Nadine has personal experience of this dangerous and devisive rhetoric that Trump is spouting

“people were starting to say to me on social media: ‘Go back to where you come from’, and I was like: ‘What? Whitburn?’”

Nadine doesn't shy away with difficult subjects with the title track Holiday Destination tackling the Syrian refugee crisis. As she says she sings of things that are still going on but not front page news anymore

How You Gonna Sleep Tonight?
A question which I suspect probably won't trouble the current incumbent of the White House.

Holiday Destination is the only vinyl album I have which has music on three sides and nothing on the fourth side which is kind of strange.

Nadine Shah - 2016

Monday, 15 July 2019

A Splendid Racket - Weld

My research for this post consisted of listening to both discs of Weld on the commute to and from work  last week. All 16 tracks, all 121 minutes and 49 seconds.
A live album from 1991.Neil claims that he permanently damaged his hearing while mixing the album. I may have done the same while listening to it.
Neil Young at his thrashiest. Crazy Horse at their craziest. Look at those amps!!

There were about half a dozen classic songs in contention. After much deliberation I've gone for this one which at 14 minutes means it can double up as a Monday Long Song.

My abiding memory of this song was it being belted  out by me and three others  in a taxi late at night as we criss-crossed Edinburgh  to pick up a carry out after climbing some scaffolding but prior to getting a taxi to St Abbs and back (about an 80 mile round trip). Drink was involved.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse -Like a Hurricane