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Wednesday, 18 September 2019

State of the Union - Nevada

George writes:
Yes, it’s a Vivid Dancer Damselfly, the official state insect of Nevada.

Las Vegas is in Nevada. It is ca. 270 miles from the major Californian city of Los Angeles. Reno is also in Nevada, and is ca. 220 miles from San Francisco, and only 130 miles from Sacramento (state capital of California). Is it only  a coincidence that these two major gambling cities are as close as they can be to major populations in the neighbouring state of California?

There will be none of the following, either too obvious, simply not good, or both:

Cocteau Twins, Elvis Presley, INXS, Tony Christie, but you can have the german-language version of that one:

Roberto Blanco is a schlager singer, which I think is the german version of the cheesy pop music in Portugal called pimba.

 And the first good song will be about Reno, by “new country” band Southern Pacific, I hear shades of Little Feat in this:

More on Reno: there’s a song by Mimi and Richard FariƱa called Reno Nevada. Mimi has a quite well known sister, Joan. Joan Baez. Their mother was Scottish. 

More on Reno: there’s a Bruce Springsteen song called Reno, which is listenable.

Las Vegas. Charisma Carpenter is from Las Vegas. I recognised the name, she was Cordelia in Buffy The Vampire Slayer (of which I have watched every single episode, and did so whilst in a long-term relationship, let me tell you that!). 

(Thelma Catherine Ryan, born in Ely, Nevada. She was very famous in the late 60s early 70s. She was……..?)

I almost listened to a whole Billy Joel song for today’s piece, I lasted for 53 seconds of Stop In Nevada. Then I stopped. And here’s a 1981 song by Nico, with that instantly recognisable droning vocal you either love or hate. It has a Gang Of Four post-punk feel to it, minus angry male shouty vocal:
The official state artefact is the Tule Duck Decoy. This is not as crap as it might sound. In 1924 archeologists discovered a pile of artefacts that thankfully had not destroyed by miners during the latters’ work, amongst which were 2 000 year-old duck decoys made of reed. 
The miners were not mining gold or silver but bat shit, 250 tons of it.
That’s Nevada, where it is against state law to make public intoxication on offense.

And strangely enough, given its association with gambling, Nevada has no state lottery.
Another one next week

CC writes;
From his brilliant 1990 album
Jonathan Goes Country here is Mr Richman

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Woody, Eric, Alan, Leslie and Derek

It was George, of course, who started it. Isn't it always?
He made some fairly disparaging remarks about Sweet Virginia a song by the tartan teeny pop sensations The Bay City Rollers.
As one who has owned up to having been such a fan that she often dressed head to toe in tartan Alyson was quick to spring to their defence

Fairly even stevens then until the bold Mr Goggins stepped forward. It appears that Ernie is such a big fan that he has even gone as far as amassing tribute songs about Prestonpans' finest.
Trying desperately to regain some credibility he throws in the names Nick Lowe and Yo La Tango but by then the damage is done so let's here it for  Tartan Horde.

While most of the above is admittedly fairly tongue in cheek I remain of the opinion that Shang-a- Lang is a stonking pop song.
To quote Alyson there just isn't enough Roller goodness around here

Tartan Horde - Rollers Show

Bay City Rollers - Shang-a-Lang

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Vintage Country Vinyl -Ferlin Husky (Again)

You could be forgiven for thinking that the name of this Ferlin Huskey album is Star of the Grand Ole Opry.
You would be wrong there - if you read the small print it is in fact Easy Livin’. 
Ferlin was the first artist to appear in the rehash of this series and here he is making a return a couple of months later
Not much to add from the last time round so I'll quote some blurb from the album sleeve

He never permits himself to give acommonplace rendition of even the simplest compositions or routines.His approach and conception of any piece of music is inventive,creative, original

Judge for yourself
I'm putting him down as one of the better ones in the series

Ferlin Husky -Heart of Stone

Ferlin Husky - Never Again

Friday, 13 September 2019

Broken Chanter

As mentioned yesterday we went to the album launch of Broken Chanter at Glasgow's CCA a week ago today
It was the first time I'd been to the CCA since it was done up and I was pretty impressed. A nice wee theatre styled room for the music which was seated which greatly pleased Mrs CC.

The support act were Cambridge based Mammouth Penguins who I quite enjoyed.

The Broken Chanter set was the album in it's entirity with a couple of Kid Canevral songs stuck in the middle for good measure.
The album  (an Olive Grove /Last Night from Glasgow co-production) is very good indeed.Atmospheric indie folk with a smattering of Gaelic here and there.
A tight band consisting of David McGregor (aka Broken Chanter) on vocals/guitar , Gav Prentice on bass,Audrey Tait on drums, Kim Carnie on keyboards and Jill O'Sullivan on violin and vocals.

McGregor is a great front man - full of patter and interaction with the audience.
I've a couple of  their songs here and there but am not all that familiar with his former band Kid Canaveral. I'm going to make it my business to track down more of their music.
I also remember that Jill O'Sullivan had performed as part of the band Sparrow and the Workshop  a few years ago who were also well worth a listen.

Another very good night out. Thanks to all those involved in putting it togther

Kid Canaveral - First We Take Dumbarton

Sparrow & the Workshop - Into the Wild

Things are pretty hectic here at the moment for one reason or another (but in good way) so expect a slightly reduced service on these pages for the next few weeks.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

The Ponderosa Aces

I had the pleasure of bumping in to JC at Broken Chanter's album launch on Friday (more of which later).
As he mentioned recently on his blog he and his good lady are heading to Barcelona this weekend where they are hooking up with Jonny the Friendly Lawyer and his good lady.

I asked him to give JTFL my regards and to advise as to when The Ponderose Aces were likely to appear again on this side of the pond.Sadly JC advised me that they are no more. He then very kindly gave my his copy of their album No Particular Way which is a splendid example of Outlaw honky tonk music.
The story of how Jonny became an Ace is the stuff of blogging legend and can be found here

Hope that the international hook up on neutral territory goes well folks as I'm sure it will. I look forward to hearing the stories.

The Ponderosa Aces -If You Think I've Got a Drinking Problem

The Ponderosa Aces - Raising Hell in Honky Tonks

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

State of the Union - Virginia

George writes:
James Drury (Jr.) - The Virginian

Does anyone out there (is there anyone reading these pages apart Charity Chic and myself????) remember that 1960s cowboy programme The Virginian? It sticks in my mind because in England it was broadcast at ten past eight at night. And that marked my bedtime. (Now that I am older I can stay up later). So I can recall that The Virginian wore black, and that Doug McClure was in it. Mr McClure went on to greater things in the films The Land That Time Forgot and then The People That Time Forget. Here’s the theme tune, play it (older readers), it will be familiar to you

And from The Virginian to…………..The Virginian

Neko Case played a concert in Lisbon in June, but I did not attend.

Doug McClure, not Neko Case, and not The Virgininian.

It has been said that the Bay City Rollers have not featured in the pages of CCM often enough, so here’s a first. On their 1977 album It’s A Game is song called Sweet Virginia. Having read the lyrics I am not sure if Virginia is used as a name or the state; having listened to the song all the way through, and a live version I have made the ruling it’s not good enough for inclusion anyway. It was not too difficult a decision to make. That song is certainly not a cracker, but this song by Cracker is (a cracker), and in a first on the series it is not about a city or town, but a river, the James River (named by British colonists after King James VI) which is entirely in the state of Virginia (and thus the rules of the series are adhered to). From the Gentleman’s Blues album. Camper Van Beethoven cover this song, which is not that surprising given that Cracker man David Lowery is also a Camper Van Beethoven man.

And before you ask, Virginia Plain is excluded, it has nothing to do with the state. Similarly that T. Rex song about Virginia Waters, which actually is meant to be about Virginia Water, which is in Surrey (England). It is the most expensive place to buy a house in the entire United Kingdom bar a few boroughs in London.

The state motto of Virginia (Brian, are you reading this?) is sic semper tyrannis which in effect but not literally means that tyrants will always be overthrown.  
That’s Virginia, home to Foamhenge (yes, a polystyrene replica of those strangely unimpressive stones in Wiltshire, England)
That’s Virginia, home to the largest office building in the world

And Virginia was the birthplace for Alvin Pleasant Delaney Carter, his wife Sarah and sister-in-law Maybelle, and also to some other quite well-known people (Mr. G. Washington, Mr. T. Jefferson, Shirley Maclaine and her brother, Mr. S. Earle, Arthur Ashe, and some others).

And the official bat of Virginia is the Virginia big-eared bat

Christ, he’s got bigger ears than me! (not quite! - Ed)

14 more to go.

CC writes:
Not sure if this Vic Chestnutt song has anything to do with the state

Vic Chestnutt - Virginia

Not sure if this is the same as the Bay City Rollers number

Rolling Stones - Sweet Virginia

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Remember You're a Woomble

Roddy Woomble is perhaps best known as the front man of the indie band Idlewild.
However in the mid to late 2000's be began to turn to folk music, took to wearing tweed, moved to the Isle of Mull, wrote a column for the Sunday Herald and curated the Ballads of the Book a collabaritive project between Scottish writers and musicians.
In short he was the prototype hipster.
Wiki lists 2011's The Impossible Song and Other Songs as his third solo album. However the alleged second one 2008's Before the Ruin is attributed to Drever, McCusker and Woomble the Drever in question being Kris and the McCusker John.

Some of you may recognize the wonderful artwork on the cover. It is by Mairi Hedderwick who wrote and illustrated the Katie Morag children's books and who also produces and illustrates an annual Hebridean Diary which Mrs CC faithfully purchases.

Recorded at An Tobar arts centre on Mull.

Roddy Woomble - A New Day Has Begun

Roddy Woomble - Roll Along