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Friday 20 September 2013


Back in 1986 John Peel and Andy Kershaw in an advanced state of excitement introduced The Bhundu Boys to an unexpecting  British public and it was like an electric shock.
From Zimbabwe, though somewhat bizarrely based in Hawick in the Scottish Borders, they introduced us all to the Jit jive.
Their classic 1986 album  Shabini on Disc Afrique is nothing short of a masterpiece.
I am posting the first track Baba Munini Francis - about an unfaithful woman and a mystery "uncle"
In truth I could have played any of the 10 tracks as they are all equally good.
It is a record that no discerning person should be without and I fully expect you all to have begged, stole, borrowed or purchased a copy by the time I return from my holidays in two weeks.

Bhundu Boys - Baba Munini Francis

Thursday 19 September 2013

Short Sharp Shocked

Back in the day I quite liked Michelle Shocked.
I've got her first couple of albums The Texas Campfire Tapes and Short Sharp Shocked and I particularly like this song from the latter.
I saw her at Glasgow Barrowlands and also somewhere in Sheffield.
On doing my research to see what she is up to  these days I see that she is now a born again Christian and has been speaking out against homosexuality and same sex marriage which is somewhat sad and disappointing.

Michelle Shocked - Memories of East Texas

Wednesday 18 September 2013

An Original Girl Band

I spent an hour of my life, which I will never get back, wandering around Rutherglen Town Centre this morning whilst my car got fixed.
I am now roadworthy but considerably poorer.
On a more positive note I purchased the Best of the Shangri -Las for 99p from the PDSA.
A mixture of wheat and chaff from one of the original girl bands
Here is an ear of wheat for your listening pleasure

Shangri-Las - Sophisticated Boom Boom

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Bloodshot Tuesday 9

I have a theory that back in the late 60's /early 70's whilst on tour in Toronto that Link Wray or Dick Dale made the acquaintance of a certain Mrs Good.
This would certainly go some way to explaining the music of the Good brothers Dallas and Travis who make an impressive racket as the mainstays of the Sadies.
This is from one of their earlier albums 2001's Tremendous Efforts (BS 070)

They will feature again as part of Jon Langford and his Sadies fitting perhaps as they consider themselves to be honorary Mekons
They moved from Bloodhot to Yep Roc(another great label ) and then to Outside Music.
As well as Langford they have collaborated with a number of Bloodshot worthies such as Andre Williams and Neko Case.
They sing some good songs but I must admit I prefer their instrumentals

The Sadies - Empty the Chamber.

Monday 16 September 2013

Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival

October is the month for the ever growing and ever brilliant SMAFF  brochure here
For those of you in Scotland a chance to check some things out - for those of you further afield details of some of the good work that is going on to help reduce the stigma of mental health.
Rod Jones from Idlewild and Emma Pollock, formerly of the Delgados, have long been supporters and participants of the festival
In 2010 they founded The Fruit Tree Foundation and released an album First Edition in partnership with The Mental Health Foundation.
They are joined by such luminaries as James Graham, Scott Hutchison, Jill O'Sullivan, Karine Polwart, Jenny Reeve, Alasdair Roberts and James Yorkston - the creme de la creme of the Scottish Indie scene.
You should buy this record as a) it is excellent and b) it is for a good cause.
Here are a couple of tracks to whet your appetite

The Fruit Tree Foundation - Favourite Son

The Fruit Tree Foundation - Beware Beware

Sunday 15 September 2013

Sunday Southern Soul Showcase

Obviously what you need on a soggy saturated Sunday is a superb Sunday Southern Soul Showcase -stonking and sensational.
Good use of alliteration I feel.
From the always fantastic Kent label the sumptuous southern soul from Shelby Singleton's SSS International group of labels (yet more alliteration). From the music's golden age 1967-1970.
First up is the title track from George Perkins and the Silver Stars. Billed as part 1. I've never heard part 2 but it would need to go some to equal this
Then also from 1969 it's Doris Allen with the totally stunning A Shell of a Woman.
It doesn't get much better than this

George Perkins & the Silver Stars - Cryin' in the Streets Part 1

Doris Allen - A Shell of a Woman

Saturday 14 September 2013


Posting the Blasters led me to look out Dave Alvin's tremendous 2004 album on Yep Roc "Ashgrove!
I know I said he would feature further down the line - but after listening to this it had to be now

The title song is autobiographical and tells the story of how Dave and Phil used to sneak in to the Ashgrove club as youngsters  to see such Blues legends as Big Joe Turner and Lightnin' Hopkins
In the song Dave bemoans the fact  that all the Blues legends are now gone. Judging by this song and the other 10 on the album the genre is  still pretty safe in his hands.
A seriously underrated artist -check him out if you haven't done so already

Dave Alvin - Ashgrove

Friday 13 September 2013

American Music

The Blasters concert at Glasgow's Renfrew Ferry (yup a real boat on the River Clyde) is up there amongst the best concerts I've ever seen
From Downey, a blue collar suburb of Los Angeles they formed in 1979 with the main protagonists being brothers Dave and Phil Alvin.
I could wax lyrical as to how good they are but rather you should go out and purchase "American Music" on Hightone Records or if you are feeling flush the magnificent Testament - The Complete Slash Recordings  - a phenomenal 52 tracks on 2 CDs on Rhino.
You will have heard cover versions of these two songs written by Dave Alvin.
He has had a long and varied solo career and his solo stuff will feature on CCM further down the line.
Phil Alvin is now a maths teacher

Blasters - Marie Marie

Blasters - Long White Cadillac

Thursday 12 September 2013

If I'd Stayed with you in Colorado

The only other act I ever saw at the County Hotel , Perth was Cathryn Craig.
Her self titled album from 1997 was released by Perth's very own Goldrush Records.
Goldrush was a great record shop but I'm not sure if it is still there - I hope so!

A couple of years later I saw Cathryn again at Blackfriars in Glasgow.
My pals and I got chatting to her at the end of the gig and mentioned (in a very polite way) that we were a wee bit disappointed that she hadn't played Colarado.
She promptly pulled up a chair, got out her guitar and exclusively played it for the three of us!

Cathryn Craig - Colorado

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Play Loretta Townes

" Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world and I'll stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that"
Steve Earle

Mr Earle was such a fan of his mentor that he named his eldest boy after him. Justin Townes Earle has gone on to a successful musical career.
I had the privilege of seeing Townes live twice before his death on New Year's day 1997.
The first time was at Glasgow's King Tuts Wah Wah Hut and the second was at the County Hotel in Perth.
My pal and I decided to make a night of it and booked into the hotel. Imagine our excitement when we learned that Townes was staying in a room down the corridor.
One beer led to another leading to my pal "accosting "Townes with the demand that he "play Loretta Townes, play Loretta."
To his credit he duly obliged but being somewhat traumatised he forgot the words!
Still a total genius though

Townes Van Zandt - Loretta

Tuesday 10 September 2013

Bloodshot Tuesday 8

Split Lip Rayfield are potentially the only band I have in my collection which features a one string bass built from the gas tank of a 1978 Mercury Grand Marquis.

From Wichita, Kansas the line up on the album featured 2001's   Never Make It Home (BS068) is Kirk Rundstrom on Guitar and vocals, Wayne Gottstine on mandolin and harmonica, Eric Mardis on banjo and Jeff Eaton on the said gas tank bass.
Sadly Kirk Rundstron died from esophageal cancer in 2007. The rest of the band, however, are still performing
A pleasant mixture of bluegrass and cow punk.

Split Lip Rayfield - Movin' to Virginia

Monday 9 September 2013

Leap of Faith

Randolph's Leap is a point on the River Findhorn where it squeezes through narrow rocks and  where legend has it that an ancient chief known as Randolph chased some boy called Comyn who jumped to the other side and ran back to his castle.As old Randolph was the winner in this skirmish the name eventually changed from Comyn's Leap to Randolph's Leap so there you go
Randolph's Leap are also an 8 piece Glasgow based folk/pop band who have just signed to Johnny Lynch (aka The Pictish Trail)'s new label Lost Map..
In the meantime they have just released Real Anymore on Olive Grove records.
This is from their self released Introducing.. Randolph's Leap.
There are obvious comparisons with Belle and Sebastian which let's face it is no bad thing

Randolph's Leap - Squeamish

Sunday 8 September 2013

Gosh - It's Josh

I've long been a fan of Josh Ritter the Americana singer songwriter from Moscow, Idaho.
I've had his 2002 album The Golden Age of Radio for a number of years and recently acquired The Animal Years from 2006
Very good they are too and there are a couple of others in his back catalogue which I have my eye on.
He was briefly married to Dawn Landes, a fellow Americana artist who may well feature at a later date.
He is huge in Ireland apparently
According to Stephen King, The Animal Years was the best album of 2006 and here are a couple of tracks to support this assertion.
Not sure what happened to that horse though!

Josh Ritter - Girl in the War

Josh Ritter - Wolves

Saturday 7 September 2013

Hard Luck Guy

"To this day, I still play all his records with great enjoyment, He remains unique, a white boy who truly sang and played in the spirit of the great black soul artists he venerated. With Eddie it wasn't imitation, it was totally created, with a fire and a fury that was as real as Otis Redding's and Wilson Pickett's"
Jerry Wexler

Great white soul voices? Rod Stewart? Steve Winwood?
Pah! Ladies and gentlemen I give you THE great white soul voice the late great  Hard Luck Guy himself
Mr Eddie Hinton.
Listen and weep Rod!

Eddie Hinton - Hard Luck Guy

Eddie Hinton - I Can't Be Me

Friday 6 September 2013

Famous Belgians

                                                       Marouane Fellaini or Macy Gray?

 I am about to watch  the Scotland v Belgium football international with a fair degree of trepidation.
Gone are the days you could struggle to name 5 famous Belgians ( a famously patronising British game - apologies to our chums across the channel)
Eddie Merckx
Jean Claude Van Damme
Tin Tin (fictional - does not count)
Hercule Poirot (likewise)
Le Mannequin Pis (statue)
And of course Plastic Bertrand!

Now it's really easy Felliani, Kompany, Hazard, Benteke, Lukaku - to name but 5
They are a team on the up and up and I fear the worst - I'm sure you'll get your revenge for the parlour game above although we did ok against England and beat Croatia away.

On the subject of Plastic Bertrand , Pascal Dutrembles a French friend of my friend Donno had the keyboard player from Plastic Bertrand's band playing the music at his wedding last year.
Friend of the stars!

Plastic Bertrand - Ca Plane Pour Moi

Thursday 5 September 2013

Monkee Business

The cover of Daydream Believer on a recent post here got my thinking of The Monkees the original manufactured boy band set up to cash in on the fame of the Beatles.
Mikey Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and the late Davie Jones started in a TV series about an imaginary band but quickly became the real thing and amazingly successful they were too outselling both the Beatles and the Stones at their peak in 1967.
It may well be sacrilege to some  but I much prefer them to the Beatles! Anyone else agree?
Michael Nesmith went on to have a reasonably successful career as a songwriter in the Americana genre
First up is Pleasant Valley Sunday - I have an excellent cover version by the Wedding Present somewhere.
The second song is for Luca and all other Italian followers of this blog

On the subject of manufactured boy bands I can't see One Direction featuring in too many blogs in 45 years time.

The Monkees - Pleasant Valley Sunday

The Monkees - Tema Dei Monkees

Wednesday 4 September 2013

Go Flo

I'm sure that most of you, or the British readers at any rate, will be familiar with   the rise and rise  of Florence and the Machine.
Their debut album Lungs released in 2009 has sold a phenomenal 3 million copies worldwide with the 2011 follow up Ceremonials heading in a similar direction.
This is one of their earlier songs, and in my opinion their best , and shows that Ms Welch's Lungs are indeed in fine fettle.
Purchased for £1.50 at the weekend to replace my library burn
She's got the love but it looks as though her hands need a good wash!

Florence & the Machine - Dog Days are Over

Tuesday 3 September 2013

Bloodshot Tuesday 7

This week on Bloodshot Tuesday it is time for Bloodshot stalward and the king of pedal steel and hawaiian guitar Mr Jon Rauhose.
From Phoenix, Arizona  he previously featured as a member of the Grevious Angels on
Bloodshot Tuesday 2

This is from his 2002 album Jon Rauhouse's Steel Guitar Air Show (BS093) where he is joined by Calexico and numerous Bloodshot honchos
And it gets even better as Jon Rauhouse's Steel Guitar Rodeo will feature at a later date.
Don't say I'm not good to you!
Bob Wills meets Glen Miller - indeed!

Jon Rauhouse -Who's the Baddie? Says Alan Laddie

Monday 2 September 2013

For One Week Only - The Return of Mexican Monday

On hearing the sad news that Linda Rondstadt has Parkinsons I decided to resurrect Mexican Monday for one week only.
She joins a long list of people including Mohammad Ali, Michael J Fox and my mother who have this horrible and debilitating disease.
A song from her Mas Canciones album from 1991 would have previously featured on Mexican Monday had I the vinyl converter technology at the time.
The definitive version of Carmelita has already appeared but it is always good to hear another version
I never knew until Friday., courtesy of Ricky Ross on BBC Radio Scotland's tremendous Another Country programme that Linda and James Taylor had provided backing vocals on both Harvest and Harvest Moon.
Every day's a school day
There are no songs featured from the Living in the USA album but the roller skating image is the one I always associate with LR

Linda Rondstadt - El Crucifijo De Piedra

Linda Rondstadt - Carmelita

Neil Young - Harvest Moon

Sunday 1 September 2013

Say It Again

Like most of you I suspect,  I have been enjoying the Political Protest songs feature on The New Vinyl Villian

I thought that I would offer one of my own from the mighty Edwin Starr given that I purchased his Essential Collection yesterday
Written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong in 1969,War quickly became a rallying song for all those who opposed the war in Vietnam.
It is also,sadly,  still pretty topical given what is about to kick off in Syria.
I defy you to last the rest of the day without shouting out loud at least once "War - huh, good god  What is it good for ... Absolutely Nothing  ... Say it Again"
If you've got kids  feel free to get them involved too!

Edwin Starr -War