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Wednesday 30 April 2014

Wrecking Ball

Emmylou's 1985 album Wrecking Ball has been featuring recently on the radio as a re-issue is currently on the go with the usual marketing gimmicks which are associated with such occasions.
Emmylou was revered as a country institution when this, her 18th studio album, was released when she was 48.
However rather than playing it safe Emmylou,who has always been willing to experiment, opted for something different from the norm with an album produced by Daniel Lanois  with mainly covers of songs by the likes of Steve Earle, Neil Young and Lucinda Williams all of whom appear on the album.
Although it was critically acclaimed winning the 1996 Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Recording it is fair to say that it did not go down well with some of the purists amongst her country fans.
Indeed when I went to see her performing this at Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall a few members of the audience actually walked out.
Country's answer to the Bob Dylan 1966 Manchester Free Trade Hall concert and the cries of "Judas" when he went electric!
A great album and one well worth revisiting or checking out if you are not familiar with it.

Here are a couple of tracks - one written by Emmylou, Lanois and Dave Olney followed by a cover of a Gillian Welch song from her Revival album.

Emmylou Harris - Deeper Well

Emmylou Harris - Orphan Girl

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Talent Show

I bought a Billy Talent album in a charity shop in Hamilton the other day.
Now there is a school of thought which says that I am too old for this sort of stuff but this is not a view that  I  subscribe to.
Billy Talent is not a person. They are a band, and a Canadian band at that.
I've seen them described as melodious punk which to some might seem an oxymoron. They are also loud.
They started out as Pezz until a legal wrangle led them to changing their name to Billy Talent.
This is their first album as Billy Talent from 2003.It was followed up by Billy Talent II, then Billy Talent III and the more adventurously named Dead Silence.
It is loud and fairly relentless and intense but it is none the worse for that.
Oh, and did I mention it's loud?

Billy Talent - Living in the Shadows

Billy Talent - Line & Sinker

Monday 28 April 2014

Tartan Texans - Roddy Hart

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

This weeks artist is Roddy Hart whom I first encountered supporting Rosanne Cash at Celtic Connections.
He had previously supported Kris Kristofferson who was so impressed that he collaborated on Roddy's 2007 debut album Bookends from which these two tracks are taken.
Although he is essentially a singer songwriter I think you can hear the country influence on these songs.
I've heard him on the radio waxing lyrical about the Laurel Canyon Sound and some of that has probably worn off in his music.
The second track puts me in mind a bit of Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah and also has a Dylanesque feel to it.
Hardly surprising then that he recorded an EP of Dylan covers with Gemma Hayes who has previously featured on these pages.

He is now recording with a band as Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire who have a more rockier feel than his earlier solo work
He also presents a show on Thursday nights on BBC Radio Scotland with an impressive eclectic renge of music.

Sunday 27 April 2014

Southern Soul Sunday 30

We are back to an album again this week as opposed to an individual artist.
And to another Mojo freebie  at that this time from May 2005.
Another compilation CD free with a magazine that you wouldn't hesitate paying good money for.
Many of the artists featured  have already graced this series so we will go with two who haven't.
James Milton Campbell Jr was better known as Little Milton. His music crossed that often artificial barrier between blues and soul.
You won't be disappointed to note,therefore, that he will also feature in the Blues Collection series once randomly selected.
Richard Dunbar and Jimmy Diggs recorded as The Knight Brothers with this magnificent song from 1965 being their most successful hit.
This is a good wee starter album and well worth picking up from a charity shop were many Mojo and Uncut albums ultimately end up

Little Milton - We're Gonna Make It

The Knight Brothers - Temptation 'Bout To Get Me

Saturday 26 April 2014

When Phil Met Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Marky

What happened when the slightly deranged genius that was Phil Spector met the slightly deranged geniuses that were the Ramones?
1980's End of the Century that's what!
Spector had long expressed an interest in producing the Ramones and finally got the chance on this their 5th studio album.
Their previous four albums had been made on a shoestring  and with relatively poor production.
Not a chance of either of these facts occurring when The Wall of Sound Man was behind the desk.
Hardly surprisingly there was a  degree of tension at times between the band and the producer.During one recording session Spector allegedly held Dee Dee at gunpoint forcing him to repeatedly play a riff. A portent, perhaps, of things to come.
The end result was a more commercial and poppy sound than the punkier stuff that had gone before as you would expect with the hand of Spector involved.
It received mixed reviews with many welcoming this change of direction with others not quite so happy.
I'm in the former camp - I think it is a great album with many great songs including the two featured.
As with all Ramones albums it did not trouble the upper echelons of the charts peaking at number 14 in Britain and 44 in the States.

Ramones - Do You Remember Rock'n'Roll Radio?

Ramones - Baby,I Love You

Friday 25 April 2014

A Belated Easter Offering

Given the title of this album by Austin's psychedelic rock band The 13th Floor Elevators this post should probably have featured last week -so apologies.
A few years ago I got an unwanted Christmas present namely The Division Bell by Pink Floyd. So I did what any sensible person would do and took it to Echo in Byres Road where I exchanged it for the 1967 masterpiece that is Easter Everywhere by the 13th Floor Elevators. I got a socket set from the same person the following year which was equally useless!
If you didn't know this was from 1967 I'm pretty sure that if you took an educated guess that you wouldn't be far away.
I think it is reasonable to assume that industrial quantities of drugs were consumed during the production of this album.
Certainly drugs ultimately played a part in the demise of the band. That and Roky Erickson's psychiatric problems which were probably drug induced in part
Thankfully, Roky is now out of institutional care and is making music again.

As Ray Wylie Hubbard sings on "Screw You, We're from Texas " " no band was cooler that the 13th Floor Elevators"
Another post inspired by the excellent Psychoraag.

The 13th Floor Elevators - Slip Inside This House

The 13th Floor Elevators - I've Got Levitation

Thursday 24 April 2014

Sticky Soul Fingers

The British music magazine Mojo often does track by track covers of classic albums.
Whereas this can be quite interesting with the occasional gem here and there they seldom come close to the original.
One notable exception is Sticky Soul Fingers from January 2012 which is a soul interpretation of the classic 1971 Rolling Stones album Sticky Fingers.
Although the same tracks are covered it is obviously completely different and it  is also absolutely tremendous.
It is one of those rare freebee albums that you would consider worthy of a purchase in its own right.

It features such artists as Black Joe Lewis  & the Honeybears, Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens and Ren Harvieu.
I've opted for Alice Russell's interpretation of Brown Suger and the mighty Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings version of Wild Horses.
I've a CD with sixteen versions of Wild Horses downloaded from somewhere a few years ago.
Unfortunately this version does not feature. Thankfully neither does Susan Boyle's version!

Alice Russell - Brown Sugar

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - Wild Horses

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Some More Early Blondie

Earlier this year I mentioned that I had a notion to play some early Blondie
I duly posted Denis and Rid Her to Shreds.
However what I had in mind were the two tracks on the b-side of Denis.
My good friend Cods commenting as Mr G. Ovanhill advised that he had this single and that it was indeed one of his prize possessions.
He is currently travelling and was last heard of visiting George and Jo
Before he left he very kindly lent me the single for safe keeping whilst he was away.
So these tracks are for him to show that I am taking good care of it and that I haven't sold it on e-Bay ... yet!

Blondie - Contact in Red Square

Blondie - Kung Fu Girls

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Any Chimp Can Play Human For a Day

Rilo Kiley were probably one of the first bands that I discovered completely via music blogs.
On the strength of that I quickly acquired The Execution of All Things (2002), More Adventurous (2004) and their major label debut on Warner Brothers Under the Blacklight (2007)
Rilo Kiley consisted of former child TV star Jenny Lewis on vocals, Blake Sennett on acoustic guitar, Pierre de Reeder on bass and Jason Boesel on drums
 Jenny Lewis had  also released the fantastic Rabbit Fur Coat with the Watson Twins in 2006 and followed this up in 2008 with a solo album  Acid Tongue.
She is now recording as Jenny and Johnny with boyfriend Jonathan Rice.
These two magnificent tracks are taken from More Adventurous which I consider to be their best album.
The last two times I have listened to Morton Through Midnight on BBC Radio Scotland, Tom Morton has played Portions for Foxes which planted the seed for this post.
So thank you sir!

Rilo Kiley - It's A Hit

Rilo Kiley - Portions for Foxes

Monday 21 April 2014

The Blues Collection - Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee

From The Beginner's Guide to American Roots - "The blind harmonica player Sonny Terry and the guitarist Brownie McGhee  began their  long working relationship in 1942. They never liked each other much and bickered even on stage. But musically they were perfectly matched and their partneship endured until the mid 1970's"
Pretty much says it all really
Saunders Terrell (1911 -1986) aka Sonny Terry and Walter Brown McGhee (1915 -1996)  aka Brownie McGhee first met when working with Blind Boy Fuller.
I have a vague motion of seeing some black and white footage in a documentary of them playing in somewhere like Halifax or Huddersfield in the 1960s.
And  er that's about it.

Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee - I'm A Stranger Here

Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee - Doggin' My Heart Around

Sunday 20 April 2014

Southern Soul Sunday 29

Twenty nine weeks in and we finally get round to the Queen of Soul Miss Aretha Franklin.
In 1967 Atlantic producer Jerry Wexler took Aretha Franklin to Muscle Shoals for a session  at FAME Studios which was to lead to her greatest album the masterpiece that is  I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You).
The title track. a version of the Ronnie Shannon song, was duly recorded and then the smelly stuff hit the fan.
Some alcohol had been taken and one of the horn players made a remark to Aretha leading to her and her husband Ted White retiring to the Florence Hotel.
After more alcohol was taken Rick Hall the owner of FAME decided to go to the hotel to patch things up.However it ended up in fisticuffs between White and Hall with Aretha and her entourage getting the first plane back to New Your the following morning.
Another session was subsequently arranged by Wexler in New York with the Muscle Shoals musicians being flown in.
This was probably the catalyst for the subsequent schism and the forming of the rival Muscle Shoals Sound studio.
Back to Aretha and Dan Penn recalls that his song Do Right Woman Do Right Man written with Chips Moman had been totally transformed by Aretha and her sisters by the time they got to New York to record it.
Terrific stuff

Aretha Franklin - I Never Loves a Man (The Way I Love You)

Aretha Franklin - Do Right Woman, Do Right Man (removed by the blog police)

Saturday 19 April 2014


I am currently reading Psychoraag by Suhayl Saadi described by one critic as a cross between Trainspotting and Salman Rushdie's Midnight Children.
It is the story of  Scots Asian DJ Raf's final  graveyard shift from midnight to 6 (man!) on the last night on air of Glasgow's Radio Chaandi.
Raj is musing about his life and life in general, He is also musing as to why it is described as a graveyard shift when all the graveyards are  closed during these hours!
I'm only one hour into his six hour shift so far but it is an interesting read.
Also interestingly the book gives a full playlist and discography of all the music that Raj plays on the show.
Although this includes bands such as the Kinks , Primal Scream and Kula Shaker it is mainly Asian artists most of whom are unfamiliar to me.
The first two tracks however are tracks one and two from Asian Dub Foundation's tremendous 1998 album Rafi's Revenge which sits proudly on the CCM shelves
And here they are

Asian Dub Foundation - Naxalite

Asian Dub Foundation - Buzzin'

Friday 18 April 2014

A Rocking Septuagenarian

George  and Walter both posted tracks on Tuesday to commemorative the 70th birthday of Sir Dave Edmunds.
Coincidentally, or otherwise, I recently purchased his 1979 album on Swan Song  Records  Repeat When Necessary and thought this was as good a time as any to play a couple of tracks from it.
He is joined by the Rockpile boys - Nick Lowe, Terry Williams and Billy Bremner ( the guitarist as opposed to the late red haired Scottish footballer who could cause a fight in an empty room).
I have featured his versions of Elvis Costello's Girls Talk and Graham Parker's Crawling from the Wreckage.

Walter has also mentioned Dave Edmunds in his excellent What Happened to Pub Rock series and he may well have posted these tracks.
If so, I'm sure that he would have no objection to them being featured again.
Oh, and I have maybe been a bit previous about Dave's knighthood but I'm sure it is only a matter of time.

Dave Edmunds - Girls Talk

Dave Edmunds -Crawling From The Wreckage

Thursday 17 April 2014

Hit The Jackpot

I first came across Jackpot on Awesome " a compilation of American bands on a Dutch label named after a German town"-namely Munich Records.
I was so impressed that I immediately tracked down their 2001 album weightless

Jackpot are from " the small wooded mountain town" of Placerville, California
Awesome describes their music as "lazy,listless and yet so energetic with it's smalltown boredom and yearning for something more. Swaying,catchy, poppy and delicious"
In 2001 the band consisted of Rusty Miller  - guitar vocals and fabulous song writing, Sheldon Cooney on bass and Dave Brockman on drums.

More tracks from Awesome at a later date I suspect.
In the meantime forget your finals and let's get naked.

Jackpot - La La Land

Jackpot - Bottlecapwindchimes

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Some Puerto Rican Girls Just Dyin' to Meet You

Like most folks  my  Stones collection is centred around their four great albums from 1968 to 1972 - Beggar's Banquet, Let it Bleed, Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street.
However in my mid to late teens I was pally with a guy who was pretty much obsessed with the Stones and I grew to be quite fond of the likes of Black and Blue, Some Girls, Emotional Rescue and Tattoo You.

I recently acquired a copy of Some Girls and have been happily reliving this period.
Miss You has something of  a disco feel to it.
Far Away Eyes on the other hand is just a great country song.
I must get round to re-exploring those others mentioned above.

You will forgive me if I don't mention the band's name on the attached tracks for obvious reasons.

Miss You

Far Away Eyes

Tuesday 15 April 2014

En Vogue

Francoise Hardy - oh la la.
The epitome of 60's chic - French style.
Actress, singer and popular cultural icon and if you believe the picture racing car driver although I suspect it may be from her 1966 film Grand Prix.
She has been recording music from 1961 to date.
Today's two tracks are taken from an excellent compilation The Vogue Years which features a whopping fifty of her songs recorded between 1962 and 1967.
The first is Dans le Monde Entier which reached number 16 in the UK charts in 1965 with the English version All Over the World.
The second La Maison ou j'ai Grande from 1966 is the French version of an Italian song Il Ragazzo della via Gluck (The Boy from Gluck Street) which has also been recorded in English as Tar and Cement, in Swedish  as Lycklisa Gatan and in German as Immer am Sontag.
Tres continental n'est pas?

Francoise Hardy - Dans le Monde Entier

Francoise Hardy - La maison Ou J'ai Grandi

Monday 14 April 2014

Tartan Texans -Alan Eaglesham & FreeLoader

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

This week's featured artists are Alan Eaglesham and FreeLoader.
Not to be confused with the Freeloaders an electronic band, Freeloader from Watton, Norfolk who play 60's and 70's stuff, Freeloader a northern band with a southern sound or acid jazz band Freddie and the Freeloaders.
I've very little gen on Alan Eaglesham and FreeLoader .
I've seen them live a couple of times and have their 1999 album Turn of the Century on SO Purple Records

The band consisted of 
Alan Eaglesham - vocals, acoustic and rhythm guitars, harmonica and keyboards
Brian McGonigal - Electric and Acoustic guitar
Stuart Allison - Bass Guitar
Mark Cassidy -Drums and Percussion

I played the album recently  for the first time in ages and was pleasantly surprised as to how good it is
The tracks I have selected have a shade of early REM to them (particularly the title track) but there is definitely also a country feel to them.
A good re-discovery.

Sunday 13 April 2014

Southern Soul Sunday 28

We've had two Arthurs featured recently on SSS so it is only fair that we have a second Bettye - in this case Ms Swann as opposed to Ms LaVette.
She was born Betty Jean Chapman in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1944 and is thankfully still with us.
Her first hit was in 1965 with Don't Wait to Long  and then she had a number of other hits in the mid 60's on the Capitol label including 1967 with Make Me Yours
Her Capitol recordings were re-released as an anthology entitled Bettye Swann on the Honest Jon label in 2004
There is a collection of her Money Recordings on Kent from 2001 and her Complete Atlantic Sessions on Rhino from 2014.
You should make it your business to own at least one of these records.
Plus, as Scott on the ever excellent Spools Paradise has pointed out, it is excellent music for a hangover!

Bettye Swann -Just Because You Can't be Mine

Bettye Swann - Time To Say Goodbye

Saturday 12 April 2014

Something's Cookin'

I've joined some illustrious company, including many of those featured on the right hand side bar by contributing a mix to the excellent Cooking Up a Quiet Storm
Thanks to Mark for his patience and perseverance.

Deep Fried Mars Bar

It is a mellow mix featuring a number of Scottish acts.
Check it out.
Meantime here is a sampler of one of the tracks as a wee bonus

Emily Smith - Sweet Lover of Mine

The Majestic Silver Strings

Yesterday Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band.
Today Buddy Miller's Majestic Silver Strings..
Did you see what I did there? This blog isn't  just thrown together you know.
Buddy Miller is a guitarist extraordinaire, a producer and one of the elder statesmen of the Alternative Country scene.
His 2011 album on New West ,The Majestic Silver Strings,  sees him joined by fellow guitarists Marc Ribot, Bill Frisell and Greg Leisz with guest vocals being provided by Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin, Lee Ann Womack, Emmylou Harris, Ann McGarry and his missus Julie.
It features covers of some country classics and a few originals and is not always an easy listen as like all good country albums it can be a bit intense and melancholy in places  albeit with some really excellent guitar work.
Here is Buddy's take on Tex Owen's Cattle Call followed by Return to Me featuring a particularly stunning Lee Ann Womack vocal performance.

Buddy Miller - Cattle Call

Buddy Miller (with Lee Ann Womack) - Return to Me

Friday 11 April 2014

Friday Night is AOR Night

Friday night is AOR night on Charity Chic Music courtesy of Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band.
Or as the tax dodging on line encyclopedia would have it Heartland Rock.
I recently purchased Against the Wind  released on Capitol in 1980.
It seems that I was not the only one as it was his one and only number 1 in the American Billboard 200 selling 5 million plus in the US alone.
In my defence I got it for a pound.
The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section feature on a good few of the tracks but not on the two I have selected. Here it is the Silver Bullet Band who do the honours.
These are by far the two rockiest tracks on the album.
Indeed I would argue that, in parts, the first one would not be out of place in Swiss Adam's rockabilly series.
Others of course may beg to differ.
Take it away Bob.

Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band -The Horizontal Bop

Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band - Betty Lou's Gettin' Out Tonight

Thursday 10 April 2014

El Presidente

El Presidente were formed in 2002 by Dante Gizzi formerly of the Glasgow band Gun best known for their cover of Cameo's Word Up.
Towards the end of 2005 it looked as though they were going to make the big time following an acclaimed performance at T in the Park releasing their debut album, performing a Christmas show at the Barrowlands  and featuring in the Edinburgh  Hogmanay celebrations. However, it was not to be.
Their debut album, and indeed their only album, the self titled El Presidente  released in October 2005 on Sony reached no 57 in Britain and 59 in France but was a number one in Japan in 2006.
Obviously the world, with the honourable exception of Japan, was not quite ready for a glam rock revival. More's the pity.

El Presidente - Without You

El Presidente - Rocket

Wednesday 9 April 2014


Secret Combination by Randy Crawford is a recent pound purchase from Oxfam.
From 1981 it enjoyed considerably more success in the UK than in her native US peaking at number 2 and staying in the album charts for an impressive 60 weeks.
Indeed she has never had a solo hit in the Billboard Hot 100.
Veronica "Randy" Crawford started out as a jazz singer but has a voice made for singing soul.
Her career began in 1972 and I am pleased to report that she is still going strong.
Here is her magnificent version of Tony Joe White's Rainy Night in Georgia from Secret Combination.
And as an added bonus , from her disco phase, here she is with the Crusaders from 1979 with Street Life, this version being taken from the soundtrack to Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown
We will brush over her work with ex-Genesis man Steve Hackett.
One day she'll fly away.

Randy Crawford -Rainy Night in Georgia

Crusaders - Street Life

Tuesday 8 April 2014

Barricades and Brickwalls

My recent musings on Australian music had me reaching for the Alt Country shelves (as opposed to Americana in this instance) where I dusted down Barricades and Brickwalls Kasey Chambers' second album from 2001.
It is a bit of a family affair in that it is produced by her brother Nash and her dad Bill also features on guitar.
You are getting the title track plus a song which I thought was a Hank William's cover but is in fact a Kasey composition but done in a Hank stylee.
She has been fairly prolific over the years producing 8 albums to date , two of which were with her ex-husband Shane Nicholson.
The only other one I have is her 1999 debut The Captain,
Playing this, for the first time in ages has reminded me that I really ought to get some more of her stuff.
Welcome to Country - Aussie style

Kasey Chambers- Barricades and Brick Walls

Kasey Chambers - A Little Bit Lonesome

Monday 7 April 2014

Some Foxy Music

Allie Fox is a  character played by Harrison Ford in a 1986 film called The Mosquito Coast
Allie Fox is also the name of a British singer songwriter and acoustic guitarist who released an album entitled Diving for Pearls on the Scottish record label Vixen in 2000
Described in Q  somewhat pretentiously as "a high conceit, marvellously executed"  by Mojo as " a beautiful debut album" and by Bob Harris as " a really nice album"
It is a good find and an interesting blend of folk, blues and country
There is talk on the Vixen website of a follow up album Wayland's Blues but I'm not sure whether it ever saw the light of day.
If not that is rather a shame.
Still it was a pound well spent for what Whispering Bob so expertly puts it  - a really nice album

Allie Fox - Backstreet Girl

Allie Fox - I Was Wrong

Sunday 6 April 2014

Southern Soul Sunday 27

This week the featured artist on Southern Soul Sunday is the late great Mr Bobby Blue Bland.
And unlike Travis there was nothing bland about his music!
Born in Rosemark Tennessee, Bobby died last June at the age of 83 leaving a tremendous legacy of music stretching from 1952 up to 2003.
His music was a mixture of gospel, blues and soul and all the better for it .
He is probably  best known for the tracks I Pity the Fool and That's the Way Love Is.
The two tracks featured today are from the 2005 album on the German Trikont label Cheatin' Soul and the Southern Dream of Freedom
According to the sleevenotes Bobby's trademark is "The Squall"  a throaty and erotically suggestive gargle!
The first song Rockin' in the Same Old Boat was a single in 1968 on the Duke label and is about the encounter of two abandoned lovers,
The second I Wouldn't Treat a Dog is taken from his 1974 album Dreamer on Dunhill Records.

Bobby Blue Bland - Rockin' in the Same old Boat

Bobby Blue Bland - I Wouldn't Treat a Dog

Bobby also featured in the very first Southern Soul Sunday shortly after his death

Saturday 5 April 2014

Before Travis Were Bland

Younger readers of this blog (if there is such a phenomenon) will be surprised to read that there was a time when Travis were not always totally bland.
Although there was the occasional portent of what was to come the majority of the tracks on their 1997 debut album Good Feeling on the Independiente label were perfectly acceptable indie rock/pop tunes as the two tunes below demonstrate. I even went as far as to acquire the CD single of the first track.
(There are not too many tracks in my collection with the word Happy in the title as I found out a few years ago when I went to make Mrs CC a Happy compilation. Plenty of sad songs in the soul and country sections though)

After that I'm afraid it all began to go down hill rapidly. They ended up selling shed loads of records and Fran Healy took to wearing a hat indoors.
My brother knows a guy who was in the band but got binned shortly before they made the big time.
Understandably, perhaps, he is a tad bitter (the guy that is as opposed to my brother)

It is reassuring to note, however, that Travis remain absolutely huge in Hungary

Travis - Happy

Travis -All I Want to do is Rock

Friday 4 April 2014

The Blues Collection -Frank Frost

It's Friday and its Blues night on CCM  courtesy of Frank Frost almost certainly the only artist ever to have appeared on both Sun Records and Fat Possum Records

Frank Ottis Frost was born in Arkansas in 1936 and died in Arkansas in 1999 aged 63.
He started out as a guitarist but after an injury to his hand he turned his attention to the piano and in particular to the harmonica.
He soon caught the attention of Sam Phillips and was signed to Sun Records  were he released Hey Boss Man in 1962. The two songs featured here are from this era.
He then moved to Jewel Records where Scotty Moore was his producer.
In the 70's he became involved with a trio The Jelly Roll Kings with Sam Carr on drums and Big Jack Johnson on guitar.They released stuff on the Earwig Music Company  reuniting in the 90's to record on Fat Possum where he became acquainted with the likes of T-Model Ford and Junior Kimborough.
Given this company it is hardly surprising that years of cigarettes and alcohol finally took their toll leading to a fatal cardiac arrest.
Frank Frost - he was ice cool!

Frank Frost - Jelly Roll King

Frank Frost - My Back Scratcher

Thursday 3 April 2014

Tartan Texans - The Sunshine Delay

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

This week's featured artists are Edinburgh band The Sunshine Delay - another band I saw on numerous occasions in the early 90's mostly in a  supporting capacity.
I'm pleased to report from their website that they still appear to be going strong in  and around the Edinburgh area
The current line up is 
Paula McKee – vocals and acoustic guitar
David McKee – vocals and bass
Iain Barbour – guitars
Brendan O’Brien – drums 

According to their website their first album was Outrageous Expectations from 2004 followed by Keep it Together in 2011 and a live EP Love is in 2013.
However I have a self titled album from 2001 from which these tracks are taken and a single Country Crush from 2002.
I presume that these were self produced and sold primarily at their gigs.
If I remember correctly they were also friends of Karen Miller who does the excellent Americana podcast

Wednesday 2 April 2014

Sleepy Australians

I don't really have too many records by Australian artists. Nick Cave, The Go- Betweens, The Saints and Kasey Chambers immediately spring to mind but I'm sure I can come up with others if I try.
I bought Lovers a 2003 record by The Sleepy Jackson for 99p the other day.
I thought I had vaguely heard of them but perhaps I was getting confused with erstwhile Belle and Sebastian honcho Stevie Jackson as in the brilliantly named " I Cant Get No Stevie Jackson".
However it turns out to have been a good call as the album is not bad at all with an interesting variety of songs.
The Australian connection? Turns out that they are from Perth, Western Australia and are named after their former drummer who was narcoleptic.
Luke Steele appears to be the songwriter and the main man with a number of his family members making an appearance.
Worth checking out.

The Sleepy Jackson - Vampire Racecourse

The Sleepy Jackson - Come to This

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Prine Covered

John Prine is one of these artists that I had heard of as opposed to actually having heard until we acquired free tickets to see him at Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall a couple of years ago.
He was extremely late coming on stage and the audience were becoming increasingly restless.
When he eventually did come on he was extremely apologetic and produced a concert of absolutely awesome brilliance.
This led me to exploring his back catalogue in some detail.
He is a fantastic songwriter and it turns out I was already familiar with many of his songs including Angel from Montgomery, Sam Stone and Speed of the Sound of Loneliness.
Here are two covers of the latter.
First up are Alabama 3 from their excellent debut album Exile on Coldharbour Lane from before Woke Up This Morning became the Sopranos theme song and they began to rest on their laurels  becoming increasingly complacent and lazy.
Next up is Nanci Griffith an artist who for some reason is absolutely massive in Glasgow selling out on the many occasions she appears.

Alabama 3 - Speed of the Sound of Loneliness

Nanci Griffith -Speed of the Sound of Loneliness