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Thursday 23 May 2024

Kojak Variety


2024 Charity Shop Purchases # 31 - Elvis Costello - Kojak Variety

For years I was a huge Elvis Costello fan. I have his first dozen albums from 1977's My Aim is True up to 1991's Mighty Like a Rose often buying the later ones on release. I also have a few compilations and a couple of later Charity Shop purchases. I rarely listen to any of them now

I was aware of 1995's Kojak Variety but never felt the urge to acquire it until I saw it in Oxfam in Helensburgh. As the small print in the top right hand corner of the sleeve states it is a covers compilation of Rhythm & Blues Popular Ballads

Now some Covers Compilations work and some don't. Elvis has one of each. The Country Covers album Almost Blue divides opinions but I am a big fan. Kojak Variety not so much.

I hope George is sitting down as I give you his takes on the Louvin Brothers classic Must You Throw Dirt in My Face and James Carr's Pouring Water on a Drowning Man.

You can't improve on perfection!   

Elvis Costello - Must You Throw Dirt in My Face

Elvis Costello - Pouring Water on a Drowning Man

Wednesday 22 May 2024

Even Serpents Shine


2024 Charity Shop Purchases # 30 - The Only Ones - Even Serpents Shine

I like to post my Charity Shop purchases chronologically but sometimes there are exceptions. For example if I pick up a couple by the same band I like to stagger them a little. In the case of Monday's Helensburgh post I wanted  to get it out there while it was still fresh in my mind. Old age does not come itself after all.

Therefore it jumped the queue in front of one I got in Cupar as we returned home from St Andrews. One, in fact, that I am pretty chuffed with and which I suspect will be one of my best charity acquisitions this year.

From 1979 Even Serpents Shine on the Columbia album was the second album by The Only Ones. Although I have had the eponymous 1978 debut album on vinyl for years I think this may well be the first time that I have ever heard this album.

I am however familiar with a few of the tracks as they feature on The Only Ones Peel Sessions CD which I persuaded my dear old Mum to pick up from Virgin Records for my Christmas in 1989.

Here are two which feature on both.

A find!

The Only Ones - From Here To Eternity

The Only Ones - Miles From Nowhere

Tuesday 21 May 2024

On Your Bike - Brian


It's Transport Tuesday once again but from this week our choice to transport has changed from buses to bikes.

I gave some advanced warning and a couple of suggestions have come trickling in including these ones from our dear friend Brian

Brian's first suggestion was a very  simple one namely Bicycle by Mark Olson and Gary Louris from their 2008 album Ready for the Flood. I have this album by the two Jayhawks but I hadn't listened to it for a while and  it was not on the hard drive and so was not on my initial list

Brian then goes for a band who were a pseudonym for XTC in the late 80's. Yes, here are none other than the Dukes of Stratosphear with Bike Ride to the Moon.

It wouldn't be Brian if he didn't include some jingly jangly pop from the Bay Area. Here than are Chime School with Get a Bike.

Finally we have the one that I found hardest to source. The Claim were an English indie rock/pop band from Kent who were active between 1985 and 1992. From 1990, on the Caff Corporation label, Mike the Bike was the b-side to Birth of a Teenager and features Vic Templar.

Thanks for these Brian you may now dismount. Ernie it's time to get those bicycle clips on and saddle up!

Marc Olson &n Gary Louris - Bicycle

The Dukes of Stratosphear - Bike Ride to the

Chime School - Get a Bike

The Claim - Mike the Bike

Monday 20 May 2024

On the Buses -Charity Shop Excursions - Helensburgh


2024 Charity Shop Purchases #29 - Kim Richey - Kim Richey

When I got my bus pass in July 2021 one of the things I planned to do was to set off on day trips exploring nearby towns and cities and incorporating visits to charity shops in search of booty.

It was not until July 2022 that I actually did just that heading off to Prestwick and Kilmarnock . Since then nothing until last week.

Mrs CC has gently being prompting me to get my ass into gear and last week I headed along the north Clyde coast to the town of Helensburgh It is only a journey of about 35 miles but the bus takes around a hour and a half. It meanders through west Glasgow areas such as Whiteinch and Scoutstoun before finally reaching Clydebank, Thereafter the bus goes under the Erskine Bridge to Old Kilpatrick and Bowling then onto Dumbarton before finally arriving in Helensburgh.

It is a pleasant and relatively affluent coastal town with plenty of charity shops (about half a dozen) . After having my packed lunch by the sea the weather picked up and I hit the charity shops  ending up with three CDs. I resisted the temptation of going for a pint as I didn't trust my bladder to behave for an hour and a half on a rickety bus with no toilet.

One of my purchases was the self titled debut album by Kim Richey from 1995 on PolyGram. She is a great songwriter who does songs on the cusp between Americana and Mainstream Country. We saw her at the Glad Cafe a few years ago with support from Carla Easton  and she put on a good show.

I intend to make my next trip sooner rather than later.

Kim Richey -From Where I Stand

Kim Richey -Just My Luck

Sunday 19 May 2024

Sunday Highway Songs 7


Although the picture refers to The Blues Highway we are starting off this week with some Americana courtesy of The V-Roys albeit in starts with a nice Blues Riff.

I'm not sure if Highway 61 is straight but the one that the V-Roys are singing about  certainly is.

We now come to one of the first songs that immediately sprung to mind  when I first thought about this series. It was second only to Lost Highway. From as far back as 1965 here is the title track from what I consider to be Bob Dylan's greatest album Highway 61 Revisited. Caution - Genius at Work.

How do you follow that? The answer is you don't although Nanci Griffith has a decent stab with Gulf Coast Highway.

Fortunately these highways tend to be long which is just as well as there are still quite a few miles left in this series

The V-Roys - Straight Highway

Bob Dylan -Highway 61 Revisited

Nanci Griffiths - Gulf Coast Highway

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!