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Monday 31 March 2014

Muscle Shoals

                                              FAME Studios  603 East Avalon Avenue

                                         The Muscle Shoals Sound Studios 3614 Jackson Highway
I finally got round to watching the Storyville film Muscle Shoals which was recently on BBC4 and boy what a film
The only down side being the obligatory contribution by Bono - there must be something in the BBC Charter  which means that he requires to talk bollocks over every music documentary.
Those of you who have read any of my Southern Soul Sunday posts will have heard me wittering on about FAME (Florence Alabama Musical Enterprises) studios run by the legendary Rick Hall and featuring the likes of Arthur Alexander, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Frankin, Candi Staton and Etta James.
There then followed a schism with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section version 2 (aka The Swampers) breaking away to form the rival Muscle Shoals Sound Studio where the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and  Elkie Brooks (a 27 Leggies favourite) amongst others have recorded.
So it was  not all soul that originated from there and here is the proof with the first track coming out of FAME and the second from the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.

It is pretty staggering that a small town of around 12000 people on the banks of the Tennessee River in Alabama has been the birthplace of much of the best music  produced in the 60s and 70s (and the Osmonds).
One crucial factor was probably the mix of black and white musicians at a time when Alabama under George Wallace was one of the most racially segregated states in America.

I want to go to Muscle Shoals, although I suspect I may be slightly disappointed.

The Osmonds -One Bad Apple

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Freebird (original muscle Shoals version)

Sunday 30 March 2014

Southern Soul Sunday 26

It is time to feature the second Arthur in this series in the shape of Mr Conley as opposed to Mr Alexander
Born in Mcintosh County, Georgia in 1946 Arthur Lee Conley died in Ruurlo in Holland in 2003 at the tender age of 57.
He is best known for his 1967 song Sweet Soul Music co-written with Otis Redding
An earlier song from 1965 I'm a Lonely Stranger also co-written with Otis features in Volume 4 of the magnificent Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures - Taken from the Vaults on the ever fabulous Kent label
Described as "melancholic, haunting and slightly unnerving -all that a Deep Soul record should be "
Sanctified Soul is another stonking compilation on the Kent label
Here Arthur's contribution You Don't Have to See Me   produced by Otis but written by Chris Harris and Roosevelt Grier is more of a soul ballad.

Terrific stuff.

Arthur Comley -I'm a Lonely Stranger

Arthur Comley -You Don't Have to See Me

Saturday 29 March 2014

I Want to See The Bright Lights Tonight

I feel a bit like 1001 Songs/40 Year Itch in that today's featured album  Richard and Linda Thompson's I Want to See The Bright Lights Tonight was released in 1974 some 40 years ago.
This was the first of three albums they issued as a couple the others being Hokey Pokey and Pour Down Like Silver both released in 1975 all on the Island label before Richard temporarily left the music business to concentrate on his Sufi religion.
They got back together in 1978 for First Light and then Sunnyvista culminating in 1982's album Shoot Out the Lights.
Their relationship was always somewhat stormy and at the end were only a couple professionally
According to Linda "even in the best days of our marriage Richard and I didn't communicate with each other tremendously well.I think that the reason that the music was good was that we tended to save it for work"
And here is the proof

Richard & Linda Thompson - Withered and Died

Richard & Linda Thompson - I Want to See The Bright Lights Tonight

CCM has just notched up it's 50,000th page view so a big thank you to all those who have stopped by

Friday 28 March 2014

Tartan Texans - Attic Lights

A series on Scottish acts who have (in my opinion) been influenced, however tenuously, by Americana/Alt Country/call it what you will.

Attic Lights are a Glasgow band founded in 2005.They have a Teenage Fanclub and Beach Boys feel about them and are described as indie pop or power pop - but I think there is a bit of an Americana in there as well.
They have had two album Friday Night Lights on Island in 2008 and Super Deluxe on Elefant in 2013.
When Minder was re-launched on Channel Five  in  2009 they recorded I Could Be So Good For You. I've never heard it but I'm willing to put my mortgage on it being better than the Dennis Waterman original.

These two tracks are taken from their self titled 2005 debut EP

Described in Americana UK  as "excellent Beach Boys power pop vocal harmonies " and by The Big Issue as "an infectious blend of swirling guitars and catchy choruses"
That's good enough for me.

Thursday 27 March 2014

Badly Worn Hat

One of my (many) pet hates is people who wear hats whilst driving cars or even worse when indoors.
So step forward The Edge, Jamiroquai and Badly Drawn Boy.
Not only do they have hats as accessories they also appear to have ridiculous names - there is a connection there somewhere.
Thankfully there is no Jamiroquai on the CC shelves although U2  and Blandly Sung Boy appear to have slipped in under my radar.
Mrs CC and Nick Hornby  are both BDB fans. I've tried but I just don't get it.
I've just given Have You Fed the Fish? a listen. Pleasant enough but nothing to write home about. Can't see me listening to it again anytime soon.
These two are probably the pick of the tracks for me.

Badly Drawn Boy -You Were Right

Badly Drawn Boy - Using Our Feet

Wednesday 26 March 2014

I Was Born on Coercion Street

Coercion Street on Black and Tan records in 2004 was the only record ever released by Ernie Payne
The link to his website pretty much details all there is to know about Ernie.Although as he put it "anything you want to know about me is in the music".
He is one of those artists who plodded away over the years and enjoyed a modicum of success in their later years.
Genres are often not always helpful and you can hear elements of blues, soul and gospel in his work.
I first heard of him through the Andy Kershaw show and rushed out and got Coercion Street pretty much as soon as he began to feature .This may have been around the time that Andy was being gradually pushed out of the BBC with his programme being moved to late Sunday night on Radio 3 leading to me for one having to tune in to Radio 3 for the first time ever and leading to  regular Radio 3 listeners hearing stuff I would imagine they had never encountered before or since.
I saw Ernie play  to about 50 folk in a backroom of Laurie's bar in King Street, Glasgow and he was spell binding.
I didn't realise until I came to do this piece that he sadly passed on in 2007

Ernie Payne - Coercion Street

Ernie Payne - Curse of Hamm

Tuesday 25 March 2014

On the Eighth Day Machine Just Got Upset

Breaking Glass was an album by Hazel O'Connor from 1980.
It was also a film starring Hazel and Phil Daniels.  It was apparently co-produced by Dodi Fayed who famously died in a car crash with Diana Spencer in 1997.
I don't recall having seen the film but by all accounts it was pretty dreadful.
The same, however, cannot be said for the album of the same name which is pretty good and which went platinum reaching number 5 in the UK charts and spawned these two top ten singles.
The famous sax solo on Will You? is by Wesley Magoogan who very sadly lost all the fingers on one of his hands a few years later in a woodwork accident.
Hazel O'Connor is from Coventry and is a vegetarian.

Hazel O'Connor - Eighth Day

Hazel O'Connor - Will You?

Monday 24 March 2014

The Blues Collection - Carey & Lurrie Bell

Father and son Bluesmen Carey and Lurrie Bell are new names to me.
Carey is the daddy. Born in 1936 in Macon, Mississippi he was a harmonica player dying in Chicago in 2007 aged 70 .
Son Lurrie was born in 1958 in Chicago and is a blues guitarist
Both have had solo careers as well as recording together and with other assorted artists.
Although they  both write their own songs the two I have selected are both covers and were recorded in Chicago in  1998.
Lurrie takes the lead vocals on Albert King's Cadillac Assembly Line and is joined by assorted Bells - Steve,  Tyson and James with Pete Allen on guitar as the only non-Bell
On Muddy Watters' Sail On Carey assumes the lead vocals and is joined by Lurrie,Steve, Tyson and James. No room for Pete Allan on this one!
Whereas it is pretty hard to find fault with these numbers I find myself yearning for some of the earlier Bluesmen who may have been less technically efficient but who oozed raw passion and energy.

Lurrie Bell -Cadillac Assembly Line

Carey Bell -Sail On

Sunday 23 March 2014

Southern Soul Sunday 25

Was Jamesetta Hawkins (Etta James to you and me) Blues or Soul?
Was she Southern Soul, Northern Soul or just Soul?
She is featuring here today primarily in recognition of the recording of her 8th album Tell Mama (1968) at the FAME studios in Muscle Shoals produced by Rick Hall and on the Cadet label.
Whilst it contains such superb songs as the title track and I Would Rather Go Blind the stand out track for me is her version of Almost Persuaded
Almost Persuaded was written in 1966 by Glen Sutton and Billy Shirrell and has been recorded by a number of musical  legends including George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Charlie Rich, Lefty Frizzell, Bill Haley and Louis Armstrong.
It has also been covered by Beth Rowley and this version has previously featured on CMM.
However I would argue that Etta's is THE definitive version.
I had a Best of which did not include this and therefore acquired another one which did.
Who needs videos or You Tube - just shut your eyes and Etta will take you there
Also from 1968  recorded at FAME and again produced by Rick Hall is an interesting version of Sonny Bono's I Got You Babe

Etta James -Almost Persuaded

Etta James - I Got You Babe

Saturday 22 March 2014

Beginner's Guide to Folk Music


Mrs CC came back from her recent St Andrew's trip with a number of CD's including a 3CD collection - The Beginner's Guide to Folk Music
It is on the Nascante label and is part of a series - I also have The Beginner's Guide to American Roots.
The 3 CDs have different themes in the case of the Folk collection there is an English Folk CD, a Celtic folk CD and an American Folk CD.
So it is only fair that we select one song from each of these three genres and we shall do so in the same order as the CDs
The English section includes the Waterstons, Kate Rusby, Richard Thomson, Billy Bragg, Eliza Carthy and Ewan MacColl (who I thought was Scottish but was born in Salford) - so you are getting Fairport Convention
The Celtic CD is a combination of Irish - the likes of Sinead O'Connor, Sharon Shannon, Clannad and Scottish - John Martyn, Capercaillie and the mighty Dick Gaughan who features here
The American contingent includes Pete Seeger, Odetta ,Lead Belly, Doc Watson and the one and only Woody Guthrie singing what many people feel should be the American national anthem.
You should already be familiar with many of the artists and tracks and probably have a few of them in your collection.
If not, it is a good place to start.

Fairport Convention - Tam Lin

Dick Gaughan - Thomas Muir of Huntershill

Woody Guthrie - This Land Is Your Land

Friday 21 March 2014

She's no Duffer

In the mid 00's Britain was blessed with the advent of three genuinely world class blue eyed soul singers in the shape of Adele, Amy Winehouse and Duffy.
Adele went on to world domination, Amy succumbed to her demons, but what became of Aimee Ann Duffy?
From Bangor in Wales Duffy had been performing since 2003 prior to her "overnight " success in 2008 with Rockferry that year's best selling album in the UK going on to sell over 7 million copies worldwide.
These two tracks are taken from this album.
There was then a follow up album in 2010 Endlessly (pictured) and since them virtually nothing.
Reports are mixed as to whether she has taken a break from music or is working on her third album.
Hopefully the latter as she can bang out a tune and it would be good to hear some more stuff from her.
So if you are reading this Duffy, please extract the digit!

Duffy - Warwick Avenue

Duffy - Syrup & Honey

Thursday 20 March 2014

Tartan Texans - The Felsons

A series on Scottish acts who have (in my opinion) been influenced, however tenuously, by Americana/Alt Country/call it what you will.

I've always had a soft spot for the Felsons. In an ideal world they would have had  the success they deserved but we all know that the music business doesn't work that way.
Another band I've seen on numerous occasions sometimes headlining but more often that not supporting including at Hopetoun House in South Queensferry  when they were lower down the bill than Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris and Little Feat. Dean Owens was palpably excited to be sharing the same stage with Emmylou.
These two songs are taken from 1996's One Step Ahead of the Posse with Deano on vocals,Kev McGuire on upright bass, Keith Burns on drums and Colin Macfarlane on guitars and pedal steel.

By 1997's Lasso The Moon Colin McFarlane had been replaced by Calais Brown
My research for this post led me to replacing my burn of 1998's Glad with the real thing - so obviously the internet is killing music.
They folded when Dean Owens went solo. He has featured on CCM before and may well feature again as part of this series

Wednesday 19 March 2014

Feelin' Perky

Rockabilly ......................................  on a Wednesday??
Well  I know we had Twangy Tuesday  from Walter but I suspect that  some of you just can't until
Swiss Adam's Friday slot.

I bought Blue Suede Shoes a Carl Perkins compilation on the Dynamic label in a charity shop in Peebles recently.
If you ever see this DO NOT BUY IT!
I should have read the small print - original artists re-recordings. What it doesn't say is that these re-recordings were made under water with a towel wrapped round the mike -abysmal sound quality.
Some are live recordings from what I can only assume was Carl's chicken in a basket era. Not his finest hour.

However salvation was at hand in that a few weeks later in Edinburgh I picked up Columbia Rockabilly Volumes 1 and 2.
These two fine fine tracks are taken from volume 2 which was originally packaged as Whistle Bait.
Hot blooded and sharp-boned as the album cover rightly says.

Carl Perkins - Jive After Five

Carl Perkins - Pink Pedal Pushers

Tuesday 18 March 2014

Cops and Robbers

                              apologies for picture quality - tried 2 or 3 and this is the best of a bad bunch

About a month ago I very nearly purchased Police and Thieves by Junior Murvin in Glasgow's Missing Records for 4 quid.
After a bit of swithering I decided against it which was somewhat fortuitous as I picked up a copy for a quid in a Paisley charity shop on Thursday.
I put it on in the car on the way home but had to take it off as Mrs CC, who was driving, felt that she was being hypnotised!
Must be the Lee Scratch Perry production.
Sadly Junior died at the beginning of December at the age of 67.(Seems funny calling someone aged 67 Junior!)
He was obviously best known for Police and Thieves which of course was subsequently covered by the Clash.
CCM has been up and running for about 16 months now and somewhat criminally The Clash have yet to feature.
Time to rectify that anomaly.

Junior Murvin - Roots Train

Junior Murvin - Police and Thieves

The Clash - Police and Thieves

Monday 17 March 2014

Shadow and Jimmy

For the last few days Shadow and Jimmy by Was (Not Was) has been floating around my head.
I have learnt by now not to ignore such things and realize that this is a subliminal message indicating that this song requires to be shared with you good people.
The two main men are Don Was (Don Fagenson) and David Was (David Weiss) - so not brothers but rather chums from school days.
From the 1998 album What Up, Dog?
This album provided their two most famous songs - Walk the Dinosaur and Spy in the House of Love.
However it is Shadow and Jimmy co-written by David Was and Elvis Costello that you are getting today.
And, as an added bonus, if that is the right turn of phrase, you are getting what must be every parent's second worst nightmare, second only to "Dad, I'm a Genesis fan"
Happy to welcome any further "second only to Dad,... " suggestions.

Was (Not Was) - Shadow and Jimmy

Was (Not Was) - Dad, I'm in Jail

Sunday 16 March 2014

Southern Soul Sunday 24

The response to last week's Arthur Alexander post was somewhat disappointing.
I can only assume that this was because you were all already aware as to his brilliance and therefore didn't need any further reminding.
A quick check of  the archives reveals that few if any groups have featured on Southern Soul Sunday so it is time to put that right.
The Ovations were a band who were signed to the previously featured Goldwax record label out of Memphis, Tennessee
These songs feature their original line up of Elvin Lee Jones, Nathaniel "Pedro" Lewis and the great Louis Williams on vocals.
Williams has a superb voice and is not dissimilar to the mighty Sam Cook. These early Goldwax recordings almost have a doo wop feel to them particularly on the first track from 1965 written by Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham.
The second track is self penned by the band and is again from 1965.
The line up changed over the years with only Louis Williams remaining at the end of the 9 singles recorded for Goldwax.
They reformed for MGM at the start of the 70's with a line up which included members of the Nightingales.
There were one off releases on XL and Chess prior to a final release for Dan Greer's Beale Street label in the 80s

The Ovations - I'm Living Good

The Ovations -It's Wonderful to be in Love

Saturday 15 March 2014

More Myles on the Clock

Just over a year ago I featured a post about a Heather Myles track from a Demon Records compilation.
At the time I confessed to knowing next to nothing about her. Ernie Goggins from 27 Leggies very kindly filled me in with some information about her and shared an mp3 of a duet she had performed with the mighty Merle Haggard.
Fast forward to last Thursday and I stumbled across a fantastic record shop Play it Again Records hidden up Ruthven Lane in Glasgow's West End which I had never visited before.
There for £2.50 I purchased a Kelly Willis album (more later) and two of the five studio albums Heather has released 1995's Untamed on Demon and 1998's Highways and Honky Tonks on Rounder  which is featured today.

A couple of quotes from the album cover:
"Tammy Wynette meets Buddy Holly in this by-God in-your-face, turbo charged country assault" Chet Flippo , Billboard
"With a twang reminiscent of Buck Owens and the punch of a Texas outlaw the production on this record will send you two-stepping truck stop to truck stop, head over heels"
It does pretty much what it says on the tin.
I will also take this opportunity to share the duet that Ernie first shared with me all those months ago.

Heather Myles - Broken Heart for Sale

Heather Myles & Merle Haggard - No One is Gonna Love You Better

Friday 14 March 2014

Bring it All Home

We went to Paisley yesterday  to see Bring it All Home an exhibition in Paisley Museum featuring the music of Paisley Buddie Gerry Rafferty and the artwork of his fellow Buddie John Byrne.
And very good it was too - it gives the story of Gerry's career covering his work with the Humblebums
 ( with Billy Connelly),  Stealers Wheel and his work as a solo artist.Worth checking out if you are in the Paisley area any time up to the 18th of May.
Painted guitars, gold discs and original copies of lyrics all on display  together with many examples of John Byrne's great art work - splendid stuff!
I discovered that he had produced Letter from America by the Proclaimers something I was previously unaware of.
Mrs CC was quite taken with a couple of enthusiastic elderly musos who were obviously well impressed judging by such comments as " a genius, much better than Lennon and McCartney!"
And as an added bonus a quick trawl of the plethora of Paisley charity shops yielded a copy of Police and Thieves by Junior Murvin.
So a good day all round

Gerry Rafferty - Whatever's Written in Your Heart

Gerry Rafferty - Stealin' Time

Thursday 13 March 2014

Tartan Texans - Scott MacDonald

A series on Scottish acts who have (in my opinion) been influenced, however tenuously, by Americana/Alt Country/call it what you will.

Today's artist Scott MacDonald featured on the bill when Nadine played Helensburgh which inspired me to come up with this series
I think Scott hails from Eaglesham which is a small village on the South side of Glasgow. It is pretty much now a commuter satellite for Glasgow and East Kilbride but still features some of the quaint village traditions such as the whole pub stopping and staring at you when you walk in and then taking umbrage because you are sitting in Auld Jock's seat even though he has been dead for 15 years.

Anyway these tracks are from a 1999 single Burn Baby Burn - not the Hudson Ford version I hasten to add..
I don't go to as many gigs as I used to and it is years since I saw Scott perform

I was pleased to read from his website that he is still going strong and that he has released a number of albums including one with the great Martin Stephenson.
I must look him up again one day

Wednesday 12 March 2014

How Dare You!

I saw 10cc at the Apollo in Glasgow in 1976. I went with two school chums and it was the second concert I'd ever been to. The internet advises that the support may have been Chas and Dave but if so I have managed to expunge them from my memory.
My first concert was Queen also at the Apollo supported by Mr Big who were therefore the first band I ever saw live!
I've no idea what my third concert was - it is a bit of a blank until I reached about 17 when you had a wider choice of licensed venues.
Anyway I digress
10cc where always a pretty arty band although some might describe them more as pretentious
They had a number of pretty good singles including the first track posted below and one truly awful one in I'm Not in Love.
In addition to the singles their albums also often contained some pretty strange stuff as the second track demonstrates
Both taken from the 1976 album How Dare You!

10cc - I'm Mandy Fly Me

10cc - I Wanna Rule The World

Tuesday 11 March 2014

The Blues Collection - Big Maceo

It's Big Mac time on The Blues Collection or rather Big Maceo time.
Born Major Merriweather in Atlanta,  Georgia in 1905 pianist  Big Maceo headed North like many of his contemporaries initially to Detroit and then on to Chicago.
There he hooked up with guitarist Tampa Red who joins him in the first track featured recorded in Chicago on 24th June 1941.
Sadly Big Maceo suffered a stroke in 1946 which resulted in paralysis to his right side.
Remarkably he continued to perform and record quality music as the second track recorded in Detroit in 1950 clearly demonstrates.
Big Maceo died from a heart attack in 1953

Big Maceo - County Jail Blues

Big Maceo - Without You My life Don't Mean a Thing

PS - Germany have just recorded their 2000th page view and Italy their 1000th - so thanks to Dirk, Walter, Luca and all  their fellow countrymen and women!

Monday 10 March 2014

Counter Culture [2002]

Rough Trade Counter Culture [2002] purchased in a Leith Charity Shop. 41 tracks for 50p which according to my maths  calculator equates to 1.22 pence per track.
Now there is some absolute rubbish on this compilation and frankly 1.22 pence is daylight robbery for some of the fare on display.
Some folk seem to be of the impression that sticking some random electronically generated bits of noise together with or without some utter gibberish constitutes music whereas it clearly does not.
However it is not all doom and gloom. There are probably just over a dozen reasonably good songs on here which still constitutes pretty good value.
If I can be bothered (and it is a big if) I'm contemplating something that I'm not sure I've ever done before namely recording the half decent stuff onto another CD and dispatching this one from whence it came. Not sure as to the legality of that but there you go.
Here are two of the better tracks.
First up is the magnificent Johnny Dowd with a typically intense song railing against the immorality of capital punishment.
I once saw Johnny play in the Barfly in Glasgow and he was so intense that my pal Big Pete had to retire upstairs to the bar (that's his excuse anyway).
Johnny is followed by Manda Rin and the boys with an excellent song recorded around the twilight of their career. Bis were Big in Japan and are quite possibly the best band ever to have come out of Thornliebank!

Johnny Dowd - Judgement Day

Bis - Shack Up

Sunday 9 March 2014

Southern Soul Sunday 23

Welcome to CCM where last week's SSS post  featuring Denise LaSalle generated more hits and interest than a recent post on David Bowie!
Hopefully this week's post featuring the mighty Arthur Alexander will generate similar interest.
Born in Sheffield (in Alabama as opposed  to South Yorkshire) in 1940 Arthur sadly died from a heart attack in 1993 aged just 53.
You should all be familiar with his self penned 1961 smash You Better Move On the song that effectively launched the FAME studio in Muscle Shoals to international prominence.Subsequently covered by the Beatles, Rolling Stones and myriad others.
Indeed Arthur is allegedly the only artist to have been covered by the Beatles, Stones and Bob Dylan.(I'm sure that some of you will tell me different).
The first song featured here is also relatively well known - 1962's Go Home Girl subsequently covered by Ry Cooder on his Bop Til You Drop album
The second song is from 1968 and is another self penned number taken from the brilliant Trikont compilation Dirty Laundry - the Soul of Black Country.
Arthur was one of those artists who effortlessly straddled the artificial border between country and soul working and recording with the likes of Dan Penn,  Spooner Oldham and Donnie Fritts.
He fell out of favour, as many soul artists did, in the mid 70's and was working as a bus driver prior to a short lived comeback.

Arthur Alexander - Go Home Girl

Arthur Alexander - Love's Where Life Begins

Saturday 8 March 2014

The First Two Times I Saw The Jayhawks

I have seen the Jayhawks on numerous occasions over the years.
However, the first time I saw them was at Glasgow's King Tut's Wah Wah Hut on Thursday 25th November 1993 (ticket number 00251  £6.50)

I was there with Gogs, Donno and Donno's girlfriend (now his ex wife).
We were in an advanced state of excitement and many beers were consumed.
Those of you who know King Tuts will know it is mainly standing with a few seats at the back.
As you would expect we were down the front. Donnos' girlfriend wanted to go up the back, we declined to accompany her and she went home in the huff.
After a truly fabulous concert and far too many beers we resolved that we would go and see  them the following night wherever they were playing.
I went back to Donno's and crashed out.
The next morning we woke with sore heads and still hungover  decided to find out where they were playing. This took some doing as it was in the days before mobile phones and t'internet.
We found out that they were playing in Whelan's that night - in Dublin! and decided to go.
Gogs had gone off to work so we phoned citing a family emergency and that he was required to return home immediately.
We then set off for Stranraer to catch the ferry to Larne and drove down to Dublin arriving about 7.30 pm. We checked into a hotel and then headed for Whelans

We saw another terrific concert. At one stage after they had finished we cornered Gary Louris and Marc Perlman to regale them of our adventures. They a) were mightily impressed or  b) thought we were crazy (delete where appropriate).
We staggered out of Whelans and bumped into some folk going to see Maria McKee and decided to join them making it 3 gigs in 2 nights.
We stayed on Saturday and took it relatively easy going to a couple of pubs one of which featured a bog standard Steely Dan tribute band who may or may not have been called Reeling in the Years.
Remember Donno's girlfriend ? She hadn't seen him since storming out of King Tuts on Thursday and was expecting him for Sunday dinner. She got a shock to find out he was in Dublin.
Fast forward a few years and the Jayhawks are playing in the Garage in Glasgow  two days before Donno's wedding. Cue one very nervous wife to be!

The Jayhawks - Wichita

The Jayhawks - Nevada, California

Maria McKee -Has He Got a Friend For Me?

Friday 7 March 2014

Cum on Feel the Noisettes

The Noisettes have been on my long list of acts to post for a wee while.
Drew's recent post of the fantastic Never Forget You caused them to be promoted fairly rapidly to the front of the queue.
The two tracks featured are from their 2007 debut album What's The Time Mr Wolf ? which can be purchased ridiculously cheaply.Slightly rawer but a bit rockier and less poppy than  the  follow up Wild Young Hearts
Tracks 2 and 3 were going to feature but after playing it the other night you are now getting tracks 1 and 4.
At the time they were a trio consisting of Dan Smith, Jamie Morrison and the talented and charismatic Shingai Shoniwa                                                    
Mr Morrison soon moved on leaving them performing as a duo.
I was sure that I had seen them back in the day and a rummage through my ticket tin confirms that this was indeed the case on Thursday 8th February 2007 in King Tuts before they  briefly took off
They are still on the go having released their 3rd album Contact in 2012.

Play loud!

Noisettes - Don't Give Up

Noisettes - Sister Rosetta (Capture the Spirit)

Thursday 6 March 2014

King Curt

I stumbled upon these two tracks whilst cleaning out my Box folder.
I uploaded them ages ago but Curtis is a Northern Soul sort of a guy and therefore it didn't seem appropriate to feature him on the Sunday slot
Then I thought two lots of soul in the same week is  maybe too much for some . However, on reflection, it is Curtis and  is far too good not to share and even those not into soul will surely bow to his greatness.

Freddies Dead is from the  soundtrack to the 1972 blaxploitation film Superfly  written by  Curtis and was a million seller.
New World Order is from the 1997 album of the same name.This was his first album since being paralyzed from the waist down after some stage lighting fell on him in 1990.
It is incredibly moving in a similar way to Warren Zevon's The Wind but both would be great  great albums irrespective of the back stories.
Sadly his health continued to decline and he passed on in 1999 at the tender age of 57.

A true great and quite rightly a double inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as both a solo artist and as a member of The Impressions

Curtis Mayfield - Freddie's Dead

Curtis Mayfield -New World Order

Wednesday 5 March 2014

There's more ........ Beyond Words

8 Artists, 16 Tracks, 50p in a Charity Shop in Leith - There's more... Beyond Words a 1995 compilation of artists on the A&M label seemed to be worthy of a punt.
3 of the artists I was familiar with - Del Amitri, John Hiatt and Kevin Montgomery.
The other 5 were new names to me - Jackopierce, Jann Arden, The Caulfields, Jan Johnston and The Innocent Mission.
To be perfectly honest there is nothing particularly earth shattering on this compilation and certainly nothing to make me  rush out and pursue any of these artists in any more details.
The picks of the bunch are probably:
The Caulfields  who were an alternative rock band from Newark,Delaware and who recorded two albums on A&M - the album featured being Whirligig.
Jan Johnston  an English singer who appears to have had a reasonable career collaborating with some of the world's top trance music DJs (whatever that may mean).
Her album Naked But For The Lilies on which this track features I suspect precedes this phase of her career.

It's always good fun however having a lucky dip - you just never know!

The Caulfields - Fragile

Jan Johnston - Wild Child

Tuesday 4 March 2014

Can You Dig It?

Another Scottish band today - this time power pop combo The Diggers
Alan Moffat and Chris Miezites, Kirkcaldy school chums, moved to Glasgow where they met up with John Eslick and Hank Ross and formed The Diggers
After seeing them play at T in the Park Alan McGhee signed them to his Creation record label where they released their one and only album Mount Everest in 1997.
The tracks featured here are taken from the 1996 single Nobody's Fool.
I think I probably saw them at King Tuts around that time, but I couldn't swear to it.
They are not, as people often assume, named after the Edinburgh pub The Athletic Arms known to one and all as The Diggers but rather from the tale of the Diggers from the World Turned Upside Down , the Leon Rosselson song featured on the majestic Between the Wars EP by Billy Bragg.

From a well known on - line dictionary
The Diggers were a group of Protestant English agrarian socialists, begun by Gerrard Winstanley as True Levellers in 1649, who became known as Diggers,because of their attempts to farm on common land.
Their original name came from their belief in economic equality based upon a specific passage in the Book of Acts The Diggers tried (by "leveling" real property) to reform the existing social order with an agrarian lifestyle based on their ideas for the creation of small egalitarian rural communities.

Every day's a school day (unless your name is George).

Monday 3 March 2014

Tartan Texans - The Radio Sweethearts

A series on Scottish acts who have (in my opinion) been influenced, however tenuously, by Americana/Alt Country/call it what you will.

The first act to feature are the Radio Sweethearts
Now if you ever saw an Americana act in Glasgow in the 90's the chances are that the Radio Sweethearts were the support act.
I must have seen them at least a dozen times mostly at King Tuts.
The tracks featured today are taken from a single purchased in the short lived record section of the short lived John Smiths bookshop on Byres Road just by Hillhead subway.
They also released an album New Memories in 1996 on St Roch's Records with some lovely needlepoint on the cover by Susan and John Miller

They had a couple of reasonably famous members (in the small pond that is Scotland) in their ranks
Francis McDonald who was also in Teenage Fanclub was on drums. He went on to form Shoeshine Records, more of whom later, which the Radio Sweethearts also graced.
John McCusker was on fiddle - he of Battlefield Band, Phil and Ally , Mark Knopfler Band and a host of others fame.
Brian Taylor was on guitar and Martin Hayward on bass
The vocals are by John Miller who in his day job was a Scotrail ticket collector. He hails from Lanark, so perhaps is an acquaintance of Drew?

I look back on these tracks and band with a large degree on fondness

Radio Sweethearts - Heading on Down the Highway

Radio Sweethearts - Every Other Song

Sunday 2 March 2014

Southern Soul Sunday 22

Somewhat sadly, Denise LaSalle is best known in the UK for My Toot Toot which reached no 6 in the charts in 1985.
She does however have a large following in the States as a blues and soul singer.
Born in 1939 in Humphreys County, Mississippi as Ora Denise Allen she is thankfully still very much with us and still going strong
She has recorded a shed load of records over the years signing for the great Malaco label in the early 80's where she recorded a number of critically acclaimed records
The first song, the somewhat raunchy A  Lady in the Street, comes from this period being a single from 1983
The second song is an earlier number from 1971 shortly after she returned South from a number of years in Chicago.On the Westbound label it is produced by Willie Mitchell and is an early example of the Hi/Royal studio sound.
If you are ever in Jackson, Tennessee feel free to pop in to the Blues Legend restaurant she runs with her husband and say hello

Denise LaSalle - A Lady in the Street

Denise LaSalle - Breaking Up Somebody's Home

Saturday 1 March 2014

Dee C The Day

The brilliant and hilarious story of Dick Van Dyke's trip to Amsterdam to see The Style Council has recently featured on the New Vinyl Villain here and here and had me in stitches.
 The vision of Dickie descending from the balcony  had me reaching for my 12 inch single of See the Day by Diane Catherine Sealy  aka Dee C Lee.
I was shocked and stunned to find out that the former Wham backing singer and  erstwhile Mrs Weller is actually older than me.
To me, and also Dickie I'm sure , she will be Forever Young as someone once sang.
See the Day reached number 3 in the UK charts in 1985 earning Dee (or should that be Dee C?) a silver disc.
I was appalled to read that this was subsequently  covered by Girls Aloud although thankfully I've never had the misfortune of hearing that particular version to my knowledge. There should be a law against that type of thing.

Dee C.Lee - See The Day

The Council Quartet - The Paris Match