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Saturday 18 May 2024

Saturday Shuffle 53


The shuffle this week has thrown up songs from two great compilations and one from a great band celebrating 40 years in the business.

The first song up is Feed the Flame  from Ted Taylor taken from the magnificent Kent  compilation Sanctified Soul. A good few of the 26 tracks have appeared on these pages but this is the first time round for Ted. He has however appeared here before in the Oklahoma post from George's great State of the Union series.

Another great compilation is Viva Americana featuring 16 new and exclusive tracks released by London's Boka label in 1998 one of the many Americana albums I bought in Salvation Sounds in the Shawlands Arcade. Today it is The Derailers who are suffering from Painful Days & Sleepless Nights.

Finally the only one of today's acts who I have seen live and a band who are celebrating a significant anniversary. From as far back as 1985 (gulp!) and taken from the album Night of a Thousand Candles here are the mighty The Men They Couldn't Hang  with the equally mighty Ironmasters.

More mighty shuffling next Saturday.

Ted Taylor - Feed The Flame

The Derailers - Painful Days & Sleepless Nights

The Men They Couldn't Hang - Ironmasters

Friday 17 May 2024

Ten Pence Specials - Waylon Jennings


2024 Charity Shop Purchases #28 - Waylon Jennings - The Taker /Tulsa

I would have been a fool to turn down a Waylon Jennings. CD for 10p. Indeed anyone would be a fool to turn down a Waylon Jennings CD for 10p 

It is not a two albums on one CD, as I initially thought, but a studio album originally released on RCA Nashville  in 1971.The CD version is from Sony BMG Music Entertainment from 1971.

The Taker written by Kris Kristofferson and Shel Silverstein was a top 5 single with the album reaching #12 on the Billboard Country Charts. It is one four songs written by  Kristofferson which appear on the record.

It is not a bad album but is not a patch on the other one of his that I have 1966's Leavin' Town. Still in is still well worth 10p of anyone's money.

Waylon Jennings - The Taker

Waylon Jennings - Lovin' Her Was Easier ( Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again)

There is a note on the CD sleeve that states  FBI Anti-Piracy Warning: Unauthorised copying is punishable under federal law. You have been warned!


Thursday 16 May 2024

Inside Over Here


2024 Charity Shop Purchases #27  -Rozi Plain  -Inside Over Here 

Another 50p Folk CD purchase but one which is radically different from yesterday's offering by Cara Dillon.

It was our dear friend The Swede who first brought Rozi Plain to my attention leading me to purchase her2015 album Friends. Therefore when I saw her 2008 debut Inside Over Here for 50p in a St Andrews charity shop I naturally pounced. It is on the Fence label and given its history and local proximity to St Andrews I was fairly chuffed to nab it.

It was subsequently re-released on Lost Map Records the label run be ex Fence Collective  member Johnny Lynch (aka The Pictish Trail). On their website Johnny rants about the record in his inimitable style 

Here is a lo-fi, naturalistic collection of home-spun recordings that marks the arrival of a unique new voice in British alt-folk. These ten songs capture the burnt haze of endless summers, ebbing and flowing woozily, washing like the tide over your feet. 

Rozi’s ethereal, breathy vocal takes centre stage, harmonising over itself, without need for reverbs or studio frills. Clarinet, saxophone, accordion, banjo, soft percussion and drums each play a supporting role, but often the voice is accompanied only by itself and a guitar. Songs practically inhabit the rooms within which they were recorded, bouncing around the four walls; they sway back and forth with the crackling hiss of tape and creak of floorboards on opening track ‘Let’s Go’; they jauntily click, purr and whistle on the banjo­led ‘Knives and Forks’; they slide and squeak over acoustic guitar strings on ‘Foot Out’. 

There is no way I can compete with that!

Rozi Plain - Foot Out

Rozi Plain - Knives and Forks

Wednesday 15 May 2024

After The Morning


2024 Charity Shop Purchases #26 - Cara Dillon - After the Morning

Had I not lost my enthusiasm for the recent Home Nations series the next entry could well have been the Folk Home Nations.

Had that been the case the Northern Ireland representative would have been Cara Dillon. Many years ago I picked up her 2003 album Sweet Liberty in the (sadly missed) Record Library and subsequently burnt it. 

I was reminded of this when I saw the 2006 follow up After the Morning in a Charity Shop for 50p and thought it would be foolish not to pick it up. I find it interesting that both albums are on the Rough Trade label one I wouldn't necessarily associate with Folk Music.

This is her third album (she is now up to 7 studio and 1 live ones)  and is produced by her husband Sam Lakeman. They write the majority of the songs with a couple of traditional numbers thrown in for good measure.

Here's one of each:

Cara Dillon - Here's a Health

Cara Dillon - The Snows They Melt the Soonest

Tuesday 14 May 2024

Haud the Bus -A Guest Post


JC writes:

Haud the Bus.

I couldn’t let this series go without drawing attention the vehicle that has just left the depot and is picking up some passengers. Probably best of we start with the driver.

The Frank and Walters - Happy Busman

The indie-poppers from Cork enjoyed a modicum of success in the early 90s and still have something

of the cult status about them all these decades later. Their two initial EP 

came out on the Dublin-based Setanta Records, the positive reaction to which led to Go! Discs dangling a contract with the

promise that Edwyn Collins would produce the debut album. Happy Busman was the lead-off single,

reaching #49 in March 1992.

Approaching the next stop, another denizen from the city of Cork wishes to get on board.

The Fatima Mansions - Only Losers Take the Bus

The late and great Cathal Coughlan formed The Fatima Mansions after the break-up of Microdisney.

His new band was named after a notorious housing estate in Dublin. Cathal was pretty pissed off.

with a lot of people in high places in the late 80s, and this was his response to Thatcher’s statement

that if a man finds himself a passenger on a bus having attained the age of 26, he can count himself a

failure in life.

Haud the bus a minute, please. One of Cathal’s best friends in the pop business wants to hop on.

Luke Haines - Ivor on the Bus

The hits with The Auteurs and Black Box Recorder may just be a distant memory, but the solo

material remains an absolute joy. This can be found on the magnificently titled Setting The Dogs On

The Post Punk Postman. Here’s how a contemporary review described this one:-

“….the most experimental track on the album. An ode to Scottish poet and humorist Ivor Cutler, it

features cosmic tinkling, sound panning between speakers and an interview snippet with the subject

matter while Haines odes a man with “a wheezing harmonium and an old age pensioner pass.” It’s

almost as winningly eccentric as its focus of attention”

And finally, as if to prove that bus songs tend to be written by those who are a tad on the eccentric

side, here’s the Bard of Boston.

Jonathan Richman - You're Crazy For Taking the Bus

One of the many enjoyable songs that can be found on the 1990 album, Jonathan Goes Country.

CC writes

Many thanks  for this Jim. Just as we were about to give up four corkers came along at once!

Monday 13 May 2024

Camera Obscura at Barrowland


Camera Obscura at  Barrowland on Saturday night was quite possibly the hottest concert that I have ever been to and that was with me wearing shorts and a tee shirt (green and blue were avoided given that Celtic and Rangers had played earlier that day!)

It was the final show in their short UK tour to launch Look to the East, Look to the West their first album in 11 years and the first since the death keyboard player Carey Lander in 2015. Donna Maciocia has now taken up this role as a permanent member of the band.

I haven't acquired the new album yet but I liked what I heard on Saturday and it will be on the shelves following my next trip into town. 

It was the first gig that I have been to when the band were introduced onto the stage by Pat Nevin The Partick Thistle mascot Kingsley also made an appearance much to the chagrin of Airdrie fan Drew given that Thistle had beaten Airdrie the previous evening in the play offs. Unfortunately we didn't bump into each other which is perhaps not surprising given it was a sell out crowd.

Their songs are great when a trumpet and percussion  are involved.

 The new songs were well received but inevitably the biggest cheers were for the songs that the audience were more familiar with.  I feature three in November when the tickets first came out. Here are two more you might be familiar with plus Big Love from the new album.

All in all an excellent evening. Get your ticket for Seattle Brian!

Camera Obscura - Eighties Fan

Camera Obscura - Country Mile

Camera Obscura -Big Love

Sunday 12 May 2024

Sunday Highway Songs 6


It's week 6 on the Highway and as yet there is no sign of flagging.

We start with the Highway Queen herself Outlaw Country singer Nikki Lane. Or at least the title song of her third album from 2017 on New West Records.

We follow Highway Queen with Kings Highway by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. This thing isn't just thrown together you know. The song is taken from their album Into the Great Wide Open. There is another Highway link in that we always associate this album with where we stayed on our honeymoon in Skye which we christened Tom Petty Highway

Finally for this week we have Steve Young with Alabama Highway .I saw him back in 1995 at King Tuts and there can't have been more than 30 or 40 folk in the audience. By way of compensation today's picture is of Alabama Highway Patrol vehicles in action..

We will hit more Highways next Sunday.

Nikki Lane - Highway Queen

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Kings Highway

Steve Young - Alabama Highway