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Saturday 30 November 2013

When the Levee Breaks

The version of When the Levee Breaks by Kristin Hersh on the Your Ghost CD single is attributed to Page, Plant, Jones, Bonham and  Minnie.
This is somewhat strange as it was first recorded by Minnie and her husband Kansas Joe McCoy in 1929.
This song was written following the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and on my Ladies of the Blues No. 4 CD, purchased in a French hypermarche, it is attributed to Minnie and Joe McCoy.
I have a hunch that the blog police will take umbrage at the the third post (which would be a bit rich as it is not their song in the first place!) so hopefully you will forgive me if I attribute it to El Zee.

By the way has anyone read Paradoxical Undressing by Kristin Hersh? I keep meaning to take it out the library but it looks a wee bitty intense.

Kristin Hersh - When the Levee Breaks

Memphis Minnie & Kansas Joe - When the Levee Breaks

El Zee - When the Levee Breaks

Friday 29 November 2013

Reggae's Expanding with Sly and Robbie

There have been a couple of passing references on the blogosphere recently to the Tom Tom Club the side project of Talking Head's husband and wife team of Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth.
All of which is a good enough excuse, as if an excuse was needed, to play the genius that is Genius of Love.
This track pays homage to a number of their heroes including Smokey Robinson, Kurtis Blow, Bob Marley and of course Sly and Robbie the legendary  Jamaican rhythm section and production duo.
The list of artists they have worked with is truly amazing.
Here are Messrs  Dunbar and Shakespeare with one of their own efforts purchased for 99p from Woollies in Campbeltown.

Tom Tom Club - Genius of Love

Sly and Robbie - Boops (Here to Go)

Thursday 28 November 2013

It's A Family Affair 1

First up in this occasional series of relatives who have had musical success in their own right are two female country singers who I didn't know were related until I watched Country at the BBC last Friday night.

Loretta Lynn, the Coalminer's Daughter, hardly needs an introduction.One of the undisputed stars of country music performing from 1960 to date.
Singer of the fantastic Don't Come Home a Drinkin' (with Lovin' on Your Mind)
However the track featured is the title track from her 2004 album produced by Jack White which she recorded at the tender age of 72

What I was unaware of  until last week is that she is the older sister (by 19 years) of Crystal Gayle

She also had a stellar career but not in the same league, I would argue, as her big Sis.
Most famous for her 1977 country-pop crossover hit Don't it Make My Brown Eyes Blue
Voted as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world in 1983.

Loretta Lynn - Van Lear Rose

Crystal Gayle - Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Budos Gold

It's time for some Staten Island based, heavily bearded instrumental funk courtesy of the Budos Band.

From the mighty Daptone Records stable they take inspiration from African music,psychedelic rock and doom metal (whatever that may be).
They range from around 10 to 12 members led by the splendidly named Jared Tankel on baritone saxophone.
Their imaginatively named albums are the Budos Band, Budos Band II and Budos Band III along with an EP  somewhat surprisingly entitled the Budos Band EP
All recorded in the Daptone House of Soul studio in Brooklyn, New York
Apparently, they have played on every continent with the exception of Antarctica.
Perhaps it's just as well as their funky music would almost certainly melt the polar ice cap!

The Budos Band - Up From the South

The Budos Band - Budos Rising

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Bloodshot Tuesday 17

Bloodshot Tuesday 13 - 2 hits; Bloodshot Tuesday 16 - 194 hits and counting.
Such are the vagaries of the blogger's world.
This week's offering is from Ha Ha Tonka , a band from West Plains, Missouri with their excellently named 2007 album Buckle in the Bible Belt (BS145)
Purchased in Missing Records, Glasgow for two pounds.

One quote on the Bloodshot website claims their music owes as much to Paul Simon as Big Star.
I prefer the quote that states "Ha Ha Tonka combines the rustic twang of the Ozark region with Southern rock riffs and a flair for inventive, melodic songwriting."
They put me a wee bit in mind of the Drive-By Truckers
It will be interesting to see whether this one is in the BS13 camp or the BS16 camp or more probably somewhere in the middle

Ha Ha Tonka - St Nick on the Fourth in a Fervor

Ha Ha Tonka - Bully in the Pulpit

Monday 25 November 2013

Charity Chic Music - One Today!

Charity Chic Music celebrates it's first birthday today!
It is kind of hard now to imagine life without it.
It has proved to be a great stress buster in a year in which there has been a lot of family illness.
It has also led to a lot of CDs and records I haven't listened to for ages being dusted down and played and  to me buying more music than I have done for a good few years defying the myth that home taping is killing music!
Thanks to Mrs CC for all her support and encouragement although I suspect she is secretly glad to see me sloping of to the muso room to do my stuff!

Without boring you with statistics, and taking on board Dirk's suspicion as to the veracity of Bloggers statistics, I will simply say that the equivalent of the population of Airdrie (that is the town as opposed to the football team Drew) have viewed pages over the year.
More interestingly the views have come from every conceiveable country on the planet .Hello to my recently arrived new friends in Poland and Malaysia!

Thanks to all the bloggers featured on the right, and of course to Luca, for their support, comments (mostly kind) and the occasional link or MP3.
You all appear to be like minded individuals with excellent musical tastes. Indeed, I rarely venture much further for my daily musical fix these days.
I've never had the pleasure of meeting any of you, with the exception of George, but I have taken the liberty of considering you as true friends.

Here's to the next year and beyond!

The Tune Weavers - Happy Happy Birthday Baby

Kathy Young & the Innocents - Happy Birthday Blues

apologies if these appear on your screen as Altered Images songs - technical gremlins

Sunday 24 November 2013

Southern Soul Sunday 8

Seeing as how it is Sunday it is surely time for the Reverend Al Green from Forest City, Arkansas with the title song from the simply magnificent Kent 3 CD Box Set - Take Me to the River: A Southern Soul Story 1961-1977
75 songs and not a dud amongst  them
Written by the Reverend and Teenie Hodges it was first released on the Al Green Explores Your Mind LP on Hi and was not originally released as a single.
Hi stablemate Syl Johnson put it out as a single and had a huge hit.

It was subsequently introduced to a new generation by the Talking Heads on 1984's Stop Making Sense -surely one of the best live records of all time.
Not Southern Soul but what the heck!

Al Green - Take Me To The River

Talking Heads - Take Me To The River

Saturday 23 November 2013

99 and a Half Just Won't Do

On his last Gospel Sunday post George featured the fabulously named and fabulously talented Dorothy Love Coates and the Original Gospel Harmonettes.
The second song he featured sounded familiar and I knew I had a version of it somewhere (see comments)
I originally thought of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings as I was fairly certain they had recorded a version.
But no, the version I have is from the Detroit Cobras from their 2003 EP on Rough Trade " Seven Easy Pieces".
Given there are only 7 tracks on this record you are only getting one.
But do not despair as they will feature again particularly as I have just discovered that their 2004 album "Baby" released on Rough Trade in the UK was on Bloodshot in the US!
So keep tuning in on Tuesdays.
Featuring the dulcet tones of Rachel Nagy.

Detroit Cobras - 99 and a half Just Won't Do

And here is Wilson Picket with a different song with the similar name

Wilson Pickett -Ninety Nine and a Half (Won't Do)

Friday 22 November 2013

Hippy Trippy

The first four albums by electronic duo Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory sit proudly on the shelves in the CC household.
Somewhat controversially, both Mrs CC and I rate 2008's Seventh Tree as their best album although I'm sure that others will disagree.
Compared to their other albums it is less electronic and has a more ethereal and hippy trippy feel.
There is something about it that puts me in mind of the music which features in the 1973 cult film The Wickerman, much of which was shot in Galloway the hidden treasure on the South West of Scotland

Purchased in Oxfam, Byres Rd , Glasgow to replace the previous burn from the library

Goldfrapp - Little Bird

Goldfrapp - Happiness

Thursday 21 November 2013

It's A Family Affair

A couple of recent purchases have got me thinking about doing an occasional series entitled It's a Family Affair

Each post would feature a couple of tracks from family members who have released records in their own right and not as the Bloggs Brothers or the Such and Such Sisters.
I've jotted down a few without really trying and I will get round to it sometime.
It does however give me an opportunity to play this tremendous piece of funk from 1971 by Sly and the Family Stone- an opportunity, I'm sure you will all agree - that is too good to pass up

All together - It's a Family Affair...........

Sly & the Family Stone -Family Affair

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Hippity Hop

I feel I may be encroaching into Vinyl Villian territory with this post about 80's Scottish indie band Hipsway.
I'm sure JC could give you their history chapter and verse in his usual elegant style.

A certain on- line encyclopedia tells me they consisted of Grahame Skinner who I know has featured on the VV's pages in various guises, Johnny McElhone who went on to form Texas, Pim Jones and Harry Travers.

What I do know is that The Honeythief is a tremendous song.
Those of you of a Caledonian persuasion and a certain vintage (i.e. George, Drew, Scott and indeed JC) may also recognise Tinder from a McEwan's lager advert - the music being considerably better than the beer!
A recent purchase in North Berwick

Hipsway - The Honeythief

Hipsway - Tinder

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Bloodshot Tuesday 16

The Pine Valley Cosmonauts are a bunch of late 20th Century folk dedicated to playing the music of Country Music's rebels, innovators and survivors.
Formed in 1994 and based in Chicago they are led, somewhat inevitably  by Jonboy Langford.
Here on BS029 from 1998 they Salute the Majesty of Bob Wills.

Some facts about Bob Will courtesy of the PVCs

  • He once rode fifty miles on horse back to hear Bessie Smith sing the blues
  • He was the first man to use drums on the Grand ole Opry and was ready to pack up and go home if they wouldn't let him
  • When asked what he thought about rock'n' roll he replied that he has been rockin' since 1928
  • He never hollored on demand
The PVCs are joined by a number of guests on this album and I have chosen two not necessarily associated with the Bloodshot stable.
AND, as an added bonus, I have included the King of Western Swing himself with perhaps his most famous song.

Monday 18 November 2013

Slip Jigs and Reels

I blame Andy Kershaw personally.
After years of purposefully avoiding folk music he gradually reeled (see what I did there? ) me in by playing the likes of Martin Simpson, Martin Carthy , Richard & Linda Thompson and Steve Tilston.
From then it was on to Proper records and the rest is history.
There are still some songs I struggle with but they pale into insignificance when compered with such magnificence  as The Split Jigs and Reels which has also been covered by Fairport Convention
Take a bow Mr Tilston.

Steve Tilston - The Split Jigs and Reels

Sunday 17 November 2013

Southern Soul Sunday 7

You wouldn't necessarily know it from this picture but Dann Penn (resplendent in dungarees) and Spooner Oldham are hugely influential figures in the history of Southern Soul Music.
As both writers and performers they were key figures in the Muscle Shoals Sound coming out of the Fame studios in Alabama in the 60's.
And what songs they  wrote -Sweet Inspiration, Cry Like a Baby, Out Left Field, I Met Her in Church and so it goes on.
As featured last week Dan Penn was also the writer with Chips Moman of Dark End of the Street.
Oh, and I nearly forgot I'm Your Puppet their song made famous by James and Bobby Purify.
These two songs are taken from Moments From this Theatre their live album from 1998.
I saw them doing all these songs at the Arches in Glasgow a few years later and they were simply awesome.
Taken from the Proper American website this quote from John Aizlewood puts it better than I ever could:

Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham - The Dark End of the Street

Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham - I'm Your Puppet

Saturday 16 November 2013

Cerys -Solo Mission

6 Radio DJ and former "I'm a Nonentity" participant  Cerys Matthews has previously graced these pages in duets with Space and Tom
Here she goes solo with a couple of weather related songs from the rather fabulous Never Said Goodbye - Rough Trade (2006) which I bought a couple of weeks ago in Oxfam at Clarkston Toll, Glasgow.
I was convinced that the second song was a cover but no it was written by Cerys and Gruff Rhys
And then it came to me - it reminds me of Pleasant Valley Sunday which has also featured here
She may yet appear as part of Catatonia.

Cerys Matthews - The Endless Rain

Cerys Matthews - Morning Sunshine

Friday 15 November 2013

Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn

I'm sure that Drew, Swiss Adam and a host of other bloggers must have posted this at some point in the past.
But I 'm sure you will all welcome hearing again Wonder Mike, Master Gee and Big Bank Hank performing 14.32 minutes of pure unadulterated genius.
From 1979 the first global Rap song and still fresh as a daisy.
It may be the old git in me but I prefer my rap from the days before the Gangstas with their guns, bling, ho's and bitches got involved

I said a hip hop a hippie a hippie
To the hip hip hop, a you don't stop
The rockin' till the bang man woogie say up jumped the boogie to the rhythm of the boogie the beat

Sugarhill Gang - Rapper's Delight

Thursday 14 November 2013

Come On Arlene

The husband and wife team of Big Steve Pulford and Stephanie Arlene were a fine example of British Americana
Their 2002 album Stuck on Love was released on Loose Records who have a reputation for great Americana .
You should be able to pick up one of their compilation albums fairly cheaply and you will not be disappointed.
Here is the utterly gorgeous Lonely Won't Leave Me Alone

The Arlenes -Lonely Won't Leave me Alone

Wednesday 13 November 2013

Ode to Joy

The great Bettye LaVette has been producing terrific music for half a century starting at the tender age of 16.
Despite having produced fine  songs since the 60s it was not until 2005 with the Joe Henry produced I've Got My Own Hell to Raise that she achieved a well deserved degree of recognition.
She crosses the soul and country boundary in a series of covers none better than this Lucinda William's cover

Not only do they have black leather jackets in common they have both come up with cracking versions of this song which originally featured on the 1998 masterpiece Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.


Bettye LaVette - Joy

Lucinda Williams - Joy

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Bloodshot Tuesday 15

Bloodshot celebrated their 100th catalogue release by producing a compilation "Making Singles Drinking Doubles" (BS100)  a play on words on the great Gary Stewart song " She's Acting Single (I'm Drinking Doubles)"

A splendid compilation of 18 songs with many of the artists who have previously graced Bloodshot Tuesday featuring.
A band who have not featured yet are The Meat Purveyors and here you are getting three for the price of one with their Madonna Trilogy (BS046) a 1999 single with a limited edition of 500
Hailing from Austin Texas, the Meat Purveyors consisted of Jo Watson- Vocals, Charilyn diMond -upright bass and vocals, Bill Anderson - guitar and vocals and Pete Stiles - mandolin.


The Meat Purveyors - The Madonna Trilogy

Monday 11 November 2013

Come On Sharleen

There are a few Texas CD's gracing the shelves in CCM mansions.
I think they are alright but I can't say I play them all that often. You are always guaranteed to find a Texas CD in any West of Scotland charity shop.
I have always liked Sharleen Spiteri - in any interview or article she comes across as level headed and down to earth and not as pretentious as many of her musical colleagues.
My pals and I once had a chat with her and the Jayhawks when they played in the Garage in Glasgow and she joined them on stage to sing Blue.
Her solo album Melody is pretty good, the follow up The Movie Songbook is best avoided.

This is for George who does not have any Sharleen in his collection to help aid his recovery

Sharleen Spiteri - All The Times I Cried

Sharleen Spiteri - Francoise

Sunday 10 November 2013

Southern Soul Sunday 6

There are those out there who think that James Carr is possibly the greatest Soul singer of all time. I would go as far as probably or, if provoked, definitely.
What is not in dispute is that he recorded the definitive version of Dan Penn and Chip Newman's Dark End of the Street.
I've got a CD with 19 versions of this I downloaded from somewhere a couple of years ago including Frank Black, the Afghan Whigs and Richard and Linda Thompson.All interesting but not in James' league.
His version of OB McClinton's Forgetting You IS ,in my opinion, the best Soul song of all time.
Sadly James suffered badly from  mental health problems.
In his autobiography Andy Kershaw tells a sad tale of whilst in Memphis looking up James in the telephone book on a whim and going to visit him only to find him a shadow of his former self.

A true genius
If you do not have any James Carr you must rectify that immediately

James Carr -The Dark End of the Street

James Carr - Forgetting You

Saturday 9 November 2013

Dig Nick's Mood

On 1998's Dig My Mood on Demon Records,  pub rock and new wave legend Sir Nick Lowe comes across all jazzy and melancholy.
A certain on line encyclopedia informs me that his middle name is Drain and this album will leave you emotionally drained - but in a good way.
Failed Christian is written by Paul McCartney's ex Wingman Henry McCulloch who is unlikely to get a gig on Jim McLean's Rabbit's Gospel Sunday any time soon.
The other track puts you in mind of those old gits who would never give you you're ball back and who would "accidentally" puncture it with a rake.
Song writing and delivery of the highest quality

Nick Lowe - Failed Christian

Nick Lowe -Man That I've Become

Friday 8 November 2013

There's Whisky in the Jar-o

The last time I was in Dublin, around 3 years ago, I spent a very pleasant afternoon sampling Guinness with my brothers-in-law in few of Dublin's fine pubs prior to ending up in the pub beside the statue of Philip Parris Lynott -a son of Crumlin.
Here are a couple of versions of his most famous song one from the Lizzy themselves and one from Hazeldine an Americana band from Albuquerque.

I think Phil may have been partial to the occasional Guinness but on this occasion he had whisky in his jar-o
I've gone for the two alternative spellings as per the albums

Thin Lizzy - Whisky in the Jar

Hazeldine - Whiskey in the Jar

Thursday 7 November 2013

Another Big 10 Incher

My second 10 inch single is from the Lonely Lover himself,  Gregory Isaacs and is the great Night Nurse from the album of the same name from 1982.
Somewhat criminally this was covered by Simple Red but don't let that put you off the original.
How can Mick Hucknall convincingly sing

Tell her it's a case of emergency
There's a patient by the name of Gregory

Sadly Gregory died from lung cancer on October 2010 and is now fraternising with the angels of a more celestial kind.

Gregory Isaacs - Night Nurse

Wednesday 6 November 2013

A Big 10 Incher

Bullmoose Jackson's carry-onesque (think I might have invented a new word) Big Ten Inch record  recently featured on Jim McLean's Rabbit  got me to thinking about the 10 inch singles (all two of them) which I own.
First up is Big Decision by That Petrol Emotion

My memory may be failing me but I think it may well have come free with the splendid album Babble.
That Petrol Emotion featured John and Damian O'Neill , two former Undertones us bloggers can wax lyrical about unlike Dirk's pen pal F****l S*****y

Like many of us out there the band would "rather cross the ocean than make a big decision"

That Petrol Emotion -Big Decision

Tuesday 5 November 2013

Bloodshot Tuesday 14

According to Blogger I have had only 2 views of my Bloodshot 13 post (thank you Jon and Sally!)
This trumped my previous low of 4 views for Wayne Hancock.
Am I disheartened? Yes
Will I stop subjecting you to Bloodshot Records? No!
Here is hopefully a more popular post. Let's face it it could hardly be less popular!
Neko Case is, after Ryan Adams, probably the best known of the artists who have featured in the Bloodshot stable

With her band The Boyfriends, Furnace Room Lullaby  (BS050) is the middle of her 3 albums on Bloodshot before she went on to bigger things. Here is a song with an apt title!
Hopefully this post will reach double figures!

Neko Case & her Boyfriends - Twist the Knife

Monday 4 November 2013

Sunshine on Leith

I haven't seen Sunshine on Leith the musical based on the music of The Proclaimers.
In the Scottish press it gets pretty good reviews described as a feel good film. A bit like Mama Mia except that it is good.
However, I struggle with Sunshine on Leith as a feel good song as I associate it with a friend's funeral where it was played.
Life With You on the other hand is a feelgood song

The Proclaimers -Sunshine on Leith

The Proclaimers - Life With You

Sunday 3 November 2013

Southern Soul Sunday 5

It was probably a good career move for Bessie Regina Norris to opt for the stage name Betty Wright.
Born in Miami she is best known for Clean Up Woman recorded when she was 17 and has been performing for close to three decades, starting as a child prodigy.
She probably had the bulk of her hits in the 70s on the Alston label although she has enjoyed a resurgence in the 2000s,
I have just discovered that she was part of the  production team for Joss Stone's Mind, Body and Soul album - every day is a school day!

Betty Wright - Clean Up Woman

Betty Wright - Let Me Be Your Lovemaker

Saturday 2 November 2013

Jake Head Boogie

Sam  Lightnin' Hopkins was judged by Rolling Stone magazine to be the 71st best guitar player of all time - the 70 who are better must be pretty tasty.
The Texan bluesman was recording from 1946 until shortly before his death in 1982 at the age of 69.
He was a friend and influence on fellow Texans Townes Van Zandt and Steve Earle and recorded with the 13th Floor Elevators.
It is estimated that he has recorded between 800 to 1000 songs during his long and illustrious career
Here are two from 1952 on the RPM label.purchased at a record library sale

Lightnin' Hopkins - Jake Head Boogie

Lightnin' Hopkins - Lonesome Dog Blues

Friday 1 November 2013


It was Ernie Goggins from the splendid 27 Leggies who first introduced me to country rocker Gary Stewart.

Born in 1944 Gary lived his life like it was a country song with a fondness for drink and drugs leading to his early death in 2003 at the age of 59.
I picked up a copy of his 1977 album Your Place or Mine in excellent condition in Oxfam in St Andrews from which  this track is taken.
A reassuring number of the tracks appear to revolve round drink.
Alas, the album does not include the fantastically titled She's Actin' Single (I'm Drinkin' Doubles) which featured in 1975's Out of Hand - which remains on the wish list
Friday night is Country night!

Gary Stewart - Broken Hearted People (Take Me to a Barroom)