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Thursday 31 December 2015

Seeing The Year Out With a Bang

A last minute change of plan when it dawned on me that today was actually Hogmanay - the last day of the year.
My original planned post has been re-scheduled until 2016 and instead you are getting a couple of rocky numbers courtesy of Chris Devotion and The Expectations to help you see out the year and see in the bells.

A Happy New Year to you all and I wish you and yours a happy, healthy and prosperous 2016

Chris Devotion and the Expectations - Looking For Another Girl

Chris Devotion and the Expectations - Don't You Call On Me

Wednesday 30 December 2015

When Your Sparkle Evades Your Soul

Being a Social Worker is probably just about the shittiest job on the planet. A totally thankless task with shortages of staff and resources, drowning in red tape and safe in the knowledge that you will carry the can should anything go pear-shaped.
Songs in praise of Social Workers are I imagine pretty rare indeed so let's hear James Allan pay homage to Geraldine.
For good measure he also takes a pop at absent fathers.
If you like your music gritty and real look no further than Glasvegas

Glasvegas - Geraldine

Glasvegas - Daddy's Gone

Tuesday 29 December 2015

Equally Cursed and Blessed

For a long time I was under the impression that I had Equally Cursed and Blessed by Catatonia. Turns out I hadn't and had probably turned down opportunities to purchase it due to this misconception on my part.

However, I'm glad to say that this situation was recently rectified and it now proudly takes it's place on the CC shelves.
A bit darker that it's predecessor International Velvet particularly on these two tracks.
Cerys is keen to get out of that London and who can blame her particularly as it  sucks the life out of you and can probably leave you Dazed, Beautiful and Bruised.

Catatonia - Londinium

Catatonia - Dazed, Beautiful and Bruised

Monday 28 December 2015

The Return of Stranraer Americana - Farmer Not So John

After the Christmas festivities we return to the fourth installment of the Stranraer America Series.
This week's offering is from the short lived and poorly named Nashville band Farmer Not So John.

Receiver from 1998 would appear to be their second and final album following on from their 1997 eponymous debut album.
They are one of the two bands in this series whom I had vaguely heard of but had no music from.
At first I wasn't too sure but they sounded much better second time around. Could be a grower.

The main men appear to be Mark Linebaugh and Richard McLaurin. The album is produced by Tucker Martine who would become one of the go to Americana producers.
Other than that I know nothing.

Farmer Not So John -Rise Above The Wreckage

Farmer Not So John - For You I Will Pretend

Sunday 27 December 2015

Some Sunday Soul

We finish 2015 with some Soul from deepest darkest Paisley courtesy of Paolo Nutini.
Wee Paolo has always been a bit of a musical chameleon dabbling in pop, rock and reggae.
On his third album Caustic Love it is pretty much exclusively Soul including many of his own compositions.

Puts me in mind of Terence Trent D'Arby in places without the arrogance.
It features a couple of covers including Let Me Down EasyDrew featured the Betty Lavette original the other day

When they come to write the History of Scottish Soul I would imagine that it will be a pretty thin volume. Wee Paolo certainly merits a mention alongside the likes of The Average White Band and Emili Sande 

More Soul in 2016

Paolo Nutini - Scream (Funk Up My Life)

Paolo Nutini - Let Me Down Easy

Saturday 26 December 2015

Boxing Day Blue

Seconds out, round two!

It's Boxing Day and we are celebrating it in the usual manner by running about like blue bottomed flies wining and dining both sides of the family
Mrs CC, who was born the day after the baby Jesus, is celebrating her birthday today and hopefully we will get time later in the week to go for a drink or a meal to celebrate it properly.
In the meantime here are a couple of songs from Joni Mitchell's Blue, one of her favourites, including a sneaky Christmas number.
Happy birthday xx

Joni Mitchell - River

Joni Mitchell - A Case of You

Friday 25 December 2015

Happy Shane's Day

If the family, the food, Downton Abbey are all getting too much for you and you have sneaked into a quiet corner with a glass for a quick browse please raise it and join with me in wishing Shane MacGowan a happy 58th Birthday.

I suspect not many of us thought we would ever say that.He seems to be looking better as he gets older.

The Pogues - Sally MacLennane

The Pogues - A Pair of Brown Eyes

Thursday 24 December 2015

Christmas Eve

It's Christmas Eve which can only mean two things.
It's a Wonderful Life and Phil Spector's A Christmas Gift to You

I shall raise a glass and wish you and yours a happy and peaceful Christmas

The Ronettes - Sleigh Ride

Darlene Love - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

No apologies for yet another Darlene Love posting!

Wednesday 23 December 2015

Bah Humbug, No That's Too Strong

If you thought that purchasing Mojo's Festive 15 in October represented  forward planning how's about picking up Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses in a bargain bin in February with the sole intention of saving it for this week?

On the Ze label it was released in 1981 but first charted in the UK singles charts for 4 weeks in 1982 peaking at number 45.
I must admit that I thought it had much more chart success given the fact that it features fairly consistently on the radio at this time of year.

The b-side is a truly awful  instrumental number. So here is a slightly less awful instrumental number.

The Waitresses - Christmas Wrapping

R.E.M -Deck The Halls

Sign up to Ze records newsletter here and get a free download of their Christmas album whilst stocks last

Tuesday 22 December 2015

More Cheery Americana Christmas Songs

Some further Americana Fesitive Fayre for you today.

We start with the legend that is Steve Earle from his 1997 album  El Corazon with Christmas in Washington a modern day American history lesson.
Mr Earle is followed by Sufjan Stevens from his 2006 Songs for Christmas bemoaning the fact that That Was the Worst Christmas Ever.

Something slightly more festive tomorrow and altogether more cheery

Steve Earle - Christmas in Washington

Sufjan Stevens - That Was the Worst Christmas Ever

Monday 21 December 2015

An Americana Christmas

Over the last few months my interest in Americana music appears to have been rekindled and to celebrate that fact I am offering up a couple of Americana posts with a festive theme

We start with Terry Allen from Lubbock, Texas the birthplace of Buddy Holly with a song from his 1999 album Salivation where he is celebrating X-mas on the Isthmus of Panama .
Terry is followed by the ever cheerful Mary Gauthier who takes things one step further by celebrating Christmas in Paradise.

More non- traditional Festive fayre tomorrow

Terry Allen - X-mas on the Isthmus

Mary Gauthier - Christmas in Paradise

Sunday 20 December 2015

Some Festive Sunday Soul

We are sticking with yesterday's Mojo Festive Fifteen compilation and pictures of Elves today with three rather splendid soul offerings.

Ain't No Chimneys in the Projects by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings has been about for a while but makes it's first album appearance (I think) on their recent It's a Holiday Soul Party.
Sharon is followed by Joe Tex in is inimitable style advocating that a woman is not just for Christmas.
Finally Irma Thomas shows of her Gospel roots with a magnificent version of Oh Holy Night

Sharon Jones & the Dap- Kings - Ain't No Chimneys in the Projects

Joe Tex - I'll Make Every Day Christmas

Irma Thomas - Oh Holy Night

Saturday 19 December 2015

Saturday Festive Lucky Dip

Whist on holiday on Skye in October I  picked up a Mojo compilation from January 2011  called Mojo's Festive 15 -An Alternative Christmas celebration.
How's that for forward planning?
So a couple from that for you today as my first festive offerings.
I'm slowly coming round to the music of Richard Hawley and here he gives us a lovely rendition of Silent Night.
He is followed by country chanteuse Mary Chapin Carpenter with a slightly less traditional number Christmas Time in the City.

I am retiring the Saturday Lucky Dip series as it was becoming a bit of a chore after about a year and a half - a pretty good innings as I'm sure you'll agree.

So NO random nonsense next Saturday.

Richard Hawley - Silent Night

Mary Chapin Carpenter - Christmas Time in the City

Friday 18 December 2015

Pub Rock Crosses The Pond

Some pub rock from Austin Texas for you today from 2005 as Elizabeth McQueen and the Firebrands play tributes to their pub rock favourites on Happy Doing What We're Doing

This record has featured previously on CCM when covers of records by Graham Parker & the Rumour and Dr Feelgood got an airing.
This turn round it is the turn of Rockpile with the Nick Lowe penned When I Write the Book and Squeeze with Annie, Get Your Gun.
I didn't have Squeeze down as a pub rock act but Elizabeth assures me that they started out on that scene although she acknowledges that they are more poppy than some of their rootier brothers

Elizabeth McQueen & the Firebrands - When I Write The Book

Elizabeth McQueen & the Firebrands - Annie Get Your Gun

Thursday 17 December 2015


For the first nine tracks on 2002's Wait For Me on Tone-Cool Records  singer and guitarist Susan Tedeschi churns out some rather pleasant bluesy ballads occasionally accompanied on guitar by her husband Derek Trucks - they often play together as the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

However the highlights of the album are the last two - track 10 I Fell in Love and Track 11 - Blues on a Holiday - well worth waiting for.

I suspect that I may have acquired this during a phase of listening to the Paul Jones Rhythm and Blues Show on Radio 2

Susan Tedeschi - I Fell in Love

Susan Tedeschi - Blues on a Holiday

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Too Many Songs About Love and Not Enough About Whaling

So said Mike Harding of the new acoustic and folk scenes.
Stuart Maconie in his excellent book - The People's Songs - the Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records affectionately describes folk music as containing a surprising number of tales concerning people being murdered down by the river,having their maidenhood taken by inconstant lovers and unfaithful knights, going on whaling expeditions,seeing sudden apparitions of drowned lovers, being robbed by good-time girls in the middle of the night, and prospecting for gold.

You will be delighted to note that all of the above feature in the music of Steeleye Span. You will also be happy to hear that gritty ballads of industrial labour, sea shanties and work songs appear on their 21st album from 2009 Cogs, Wheels and Lovers.
Featuring the dulcet tones of Maddy Prior

Steeleye Span - Creeping Jane

Steeleye Span - The Machiner's Song

Tuesday 15 December 2015

Texas Tornados

The Texas Tornados have appeared briefly before on CCM in the dim and distant past as part of the Mexican Monday series.
It is about time they appeared again.
I could wax lyrical about them but I think that listing the band members should suffice - legends one and all

Doug Sahm, Augie Meyers, Freddie Fender and the mighty Flaco Jiminez

Oh, and in answer to Swiss Adam's query I managed to squeeze twelve Monday's out the series plus a New Mexican Monday.

Texas Tornados - Who Were You Thinkin' Of

Texas Tornados - (Is Anyone Going To) San Antone

Monday 14 December 2015

Stranraer Americana - Lambchop

Brian I hope you are sitting down - there is now a Lambchop album on the CC shelves!
Yes 2002's Is a Woman is the third of the Stranraer Eight to be liberated from the Marie Curie shop.

Described at the usual reference place as a combination of austere arrangements and minimalist instrumentation.
I must admit I am still not totally convinced but it is getting slightly better each time I play it and My Blue Wave is achingly beautiful.
Maybe it's just me but I find it a tad pretentious in places and I feel that  Kurt Wagner is trying to be too clever on occasions.
Mrs CC on the other hand thinks it is the pick of the bunch.

I could perhaps yet be converted.

Lambchop - My Blue Wave

Lambchop - Autumn's Vicar

Sunday 13 December 2015

Some Sunday Soul

For every horrendous Soul cover of a Jimmy Webb classic (Smokey) there is also a truly astonishing and ground breaking masterpiece,
From Hot Buttered Soul his second studio album from 1969 on the Stax label here is the mighty Isaac Hayes accompanied by The Bar-Keys with his version of By The Time I Get to Phoenix.

Given that  is 18 minutes and 42 seconds long you will forgive me if I don't feature a second track.
Besides, who could follow this?

More Soul next Sunday

Isaac Hayes - By The Time I Get to Phoenix

Saturday 12 December 2015

Saturday Lucky Dip

Shock horror - CCM dips it's toes in 21st Century waters today with a Mojo compilation from May this year entitled Modern Life is Rubbish and subtitled Mojo presents 15 tracks of everyday British angst.

Another Nadine featuring today. Not the Americana combo but rather Geordie chanteuse Nadine Shah with Stealing Cars from her recent album Fast Food
Many of my favourite artists of the last couple of years have been female singers or bands and here is another.
Julie Campbell aka Lonelady with Bunkerpop from her Hinterland album.

And finally some Weegies who almost inevitably shone brightly but briefly.
The Amazing Snakeheads were surely the bastard love children of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band.

More random nonsense next Saturday

Nadine Shah - Stealing Cars

Lonelady - Bunkerpop

The Amazing Snakeheads - Where Is My Knife

Friday 11 December 2015

And I Need You More Than Want You ...

By way of an apology for subjecting you to the abomination that was Smokey Robinson's version of Wichita Lineman I give you Glenn Campbell singing three absolute classic Jimmy Webb songs.

Surely one of the greatest musical partnerships in history with them working on over a hundred song together - not all as good as these I'll wager but surely all better than Smokey's
I have a live Glen Campbell where Wichita Lineman and Galveston appear as part of a medley. The record should probably be sub titled Glen Campbell - The Cocaine Years and as it also features Amazing Grace and Mull of Kintyre it is probably best avoided.

Listen and weep Smokey

Glen Campbell -Wichita Lineman

Glen Campbell - By The Time I Get to Phoenix

Glen Campbell - Galveston

Thursday 10 December 2015

The Broken Down Comforter Collection

The Broken Down Comforter Collection by Grandaddy is a 1999 CD containing tracks from the mini album A Pretty Mess by this One Band and the EP Machines Are Not She
Described pretty accurateley by the NME as patchy but with gems hidden on here iridescent enough to render the collection essential.

It has lain gathering dust on the Americana shelves for a good few years until Drew's recent posting of one of their songs had me dusting it down and giving it a spin.
From these two gems perhaps it should be refiled in the Indie section in closer proximity to The Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev

Grandaddy - Wretched Songs

Grandaddy - For The Dishwasher

Wednesday 9 December 2015

Funky Days Are Back Again

Good to Be on the Road Back Home Again the Cornershop song featuring Paula Frazer of Tarnation fame was one of the songs on This is Radio Strummer compilation.
Probably the best thing on it but I chose not to post it as it has featured here before.

It did however prompt me to look out When I Was Born for the 7th Time their 1997 album and the one which gave them mainstream success on the back of the number one single Brimful of Asha.
There are also a number of other excellent songs on the album including the two below
Thereafter they slipped back into relative obscurity but Tjinder Singh, Ben Ayres and the rest of the gang continue to produce interesting and challenging music.

More power to their elbows.

Cornershop - Sleep On The Left Side

Cornershop - Funky Days Are Back Again

Tuesday 8 December 2015

Let's Have a Party

I was playing the Columbia Rockabilly compilation Volume I the other day when The Collins Kids popped up with Party their version of the Jessie Mae Robinson song more commonly known as Let's Have a Party.

This had me looking out the definitive version by the Queen of Rockabilly herself Wanda Jackson. This in turn took me in the direction of Bloodshot's compilation Hard-Headed Woman:A Celebration of Wanda Jackson. Here Wayne Hancock does the honours.

The Collins Kids -Party

Wanda Jackson - Let's Have a Party

Wayne Hancock - Let's Have a Party

Monday 7 December 2015

Stranraer Americana - Nadine

The second installment in this series - eagerly awaited by George, Rol  and The Swede. Hopefully they will not be disappointed.

Like No Depression I thought that I had Back to My Senses by Nadine their debut album from 1997 on Glitterhouse the excellent German label.
Again it turns out that I hadn't and it now joins 1999's Downtown, Saturday and 2001's Lit Up From the Inside on the shelves.
The band consisted of Adam Reichmann, Todd Schnitzer, Steve Rauner and Bill Reyland.
One of only two bands I've ever seen in Helensburgh here  and here
Antic Ocean by Jolene, the other Helensburgh band, was also on the Stranraer shelves but I knew I had it.

Installment three to follow.

Nadine - Back To My Senses

Nadine - Sleep Next To You

Sunday 6 December 2015

Some Sunday Soul

I recently picked up Motown 50 - Yesterday,Today, Forever a Motown top 50 or in my case a top 26 given that CD 1 was missing.
CD 3 also contains a bonus (and I use this word loosely) of ten Motown cover versions.

Stevie Wonder can do very little wrong with the possible exception of I Just Called to Say I Love You. On this CD he does a passable version of The Door's Light My Fire.
Unfortunately the same cannot be said of Smokey Robinson & the Miracles who murder Jimmy Webb's classic Wichita Lineman.
I must look out and post the classic Glen Campbell version

More Soul next Sunday

Stevie Wonder - Light My Fire

Smokey Robinson & the Miracles - Wichita Lineman

Saturday 5 December 2015

Saturday Lucky Dip

A totally non-random choice this week.
Following on from yesterday's Joe Strummer post today we have an Uncut compilation  This is Radio Strummer which has 15 tracks from his World Service Radio Show.
A British Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour if you will.

Somewhat strangely no reggae features. There is a some good stuff on show however and from Niafunke in  Mali we have Afel Bocoum sandwiched between two legends hailing from Mississippi - Bo Diddley out of McComb and Elvis out of Tupelo.

More nonsense (probably of a more random nature) next Saturday

Bo Diddley - Nursery Rhyme

Afel Bocoum - Jeeny

Elvis Presley - Lawdy Miss Clawdy

Friday 4 December 2015

It's Strummer Time

This miserable weather we've been having  has had me reaching for some World Music - that is music from the world of Joe Strummer
Global  a Go-Go is a 2001 album by Joe and the Mescaleros  on the Hellcat label out of  Holland.
I saw him around this time at Glasgow's Barrowland and a flyer within the CD sleeve advises me  that it was on Sunday 18th November.
It's almost 13 years since the singer from the Only Band that Matters was taken from us but his music is still as vibrant as ever.
For much more authoritative stuff on Joe and the Clash can I point you in the direction of the 65 posts by Swiss Adam
Wonder if the bloke from New Zealand ever found his mushy peas

Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros - Global A Go-Go

Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros - Bhindi Bhagee

Thursday 3 December 2015

Keep on Running

Tory grandee Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the International Association of Athletics Federations, has up until the last few days been trousering 100 grand a year for an ambassadorial role with Nike.

Eugene, Oregon , Nike's hometown also known as Track Town, is awarded the 2021 World Athletics Championship on a nod and a wink here

Alberto Salazar athletics coach employed by Nike as part of the Oregon Project at the centre of allegations of doping.

Just saying.

The Spencer Davis Group - Keep on Running

Belle and Sebastian - The Stars of Track and Field

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Sounds Familiar?

I was listening to and thoroughly enjoying Gran Turismo by The Cardigans at the weekend when track 8 My Favourite Game came on.
My immediate thought was that it reminded me of Garbage (the band that is!) But which song?
After digging out my Garbage album and giving it a quick spin I have come to the conclusion two thirds Supervixen and one third Stupid Girl.

Nina Persson and Shirley Manson two glamorous and talented singers but only one has ever played with Goodbye Mr McKenzie!

Gran Turismo 1998. Garbage 1995

The Cardigans -My Favourite Game

Garbage - Supervixen

Garbage - Stupid Girl

Tuesday 1 December 2015

Joan Armourplating

Like most of you, I suspect, I am most familiar with Joan Armatrading via her singles from the early 80's - All the Way from America, I'm Lucky, Drop the Pilot , etc. Some pretty good  poppy stuff.

I picked up The Collection in Whithorn recently which features her stuff from the mid 70's up until she became a household name
It does contain a few like All the Way From America, Willow and Love and Affection which I recognize.
However, I was presently surprised as to the broader range of some of the others  I was unaware of which have more of a blues and soul feel to them.
Here are a couple of examples

Joan Armatrading - Like Fire

Joan Armatrading - Turn Out the Light