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Thursday 31 March 2016

From Airdrie to Greenock

From Airdrie to Greenock - could it have the same impact as kevinpat's already semi-legendary Hoboken to Athens trilogy here ?
It maybe could if the music was off the same quality to that from the Park Lane Archives posted by the already legendary Vinyl Villain to mark his 1000th post.

One of the bands featured are Whiteout from  the Scottish town of Greenock.
This had me digging out their 1995 album Bite It on the Silvertone label. As I commented at  JC's place I really thought that they could go places.Sadly it didn't happen.
Clearly influenced by The Teenage Fanclub they play some great jingly jangly pop music.
I was interested to read that they released a second album (1998's Big Wow) One to look out for I feel.

Whiteout - Thirty Eight

Whiteout - Altogether

Wednesday 30 March 2016

Miss America Alights in Airdrie

Miss America was the hit single (#37)  from Satellites the third and final album by Airdrie band The Big Dish released in 1991.
It does sound a bit like the 80's hit Airdrie that wee bit too late.
They were active from 1983 to 1991 with the obligatory reunion in 2012.
The main man on vocals and guitar was Steven Lindsay. On this album he is joined by Brian McFie on guitars and Craig Armstrong on keyboards with programming and production by Warne Livesey.

Somewhat coincidentally we are now 25 Years on.

The Big Dish - Miss America

The Big Dish - 25 Years

Tuesday 29 March 2016

Kinky Tuesday

We are heading off to London in the Swinging Sixties and to Muswell Hill in particular to touch base with The Kinks.
Ray and Dave Davies, Mick Avory and Pete Quaife were one of the best ever singles bands to come out of the UK and here are two fine examples.
David Watts was the b-side to 1967's Autumn Almanac peaking at number 3. It was faithfully covered in 1978 by The Jam a band who were obviously heavily influenced by the Davies brothers.
Somewhat surprisingly Victoria only reached number 33 in January 1970 two places higher than The Fall managed with their cover in 1988
I am assuming that you are all familiar with the cover versions.

The Kinks - David Watts

The Kinks - Victoria

Monday 28 March 2016

Bluegrass Monday #3

Recently Steve Earle was featured playing Reggae. Today he turns his hand to Bluegrass
In 1999 he teamed up with Bluegrass legends The Del McCoury Band to release the Grammy nominated album The Mountain.
Whereas it was musically a marriage made in heaven it looks as though there may well have been personality clashes. It is hard to think that Steve and the conservative clean cut Del shared the same political views.
Indeed Del's criticism of Steve's on stage profanity led to the somewhat cryptic comments thrown in at the end of Until The Day I Die on his 2000 follow up album Transcendental Blues.

More Bluegrass and no profanity next Monday.

Steve Earle and the Del McCoury Band - Carry Brown

Steve Earle - Until The Day I Die

Sunday 27 March 2016

Some Sunday Soul

Otis Clay died on 8th January 2016 at the age of 73.
His death was somewhat overshadowed by the death of David Bowie two days later.
However in our small corner Drew, Darcy and Marie all took the time to post tributes to mark his passing.

At the time I commented somewhere that my recently acquired Back to the River compilation not only featured Otis Clay but also Otis Redding and Clay Hammond.
So here are Otis Clay, Otis and Clay

Otis Clay - That's How It Is (When You're in Love)

Otis Redding - Free Me (Take 1)

Clay Hammond - Take Your Time

Saturday 26 March 2016

Celtic Connections 2016

We've made it! 2016
So that is two or three songs from all the Sunday Herald Celtic Connections CDs from 2007 -2016.
There haven't been huge numbers tuning in to this series but for those  that have I hope you found something to enjoy

Two artists today who have gone on to form successful solo careers after leaving bands
Rhiannon Giddens was lead singer, violin and banjo player in Carolina Chocolate Drops prior to going solo.
This track is from her 2015 album Tomorrow is my Turn.
Jason Isbell is no stranger to this blog both as a solo artist and as a Drive-By Trucker. He just seems to get better and better as this song from his album Something More Than Free demonstrates.

Finally the traditional song this week from Boreas  (blurb) an enchanting musical union between Scotland and Norway.Hardly surprising then that this song is about fishing in the North Sea

Something different next Saturday once I think of something

Rhiannon Giddens - Shake Sugaree

Jason Isbell - 24 Frames

Boreas - North Sea Holes

Friday 25 March 2016

A Smart, Sexy, Lip-smacking Bowl of Mind Candy

I picked up Nancy & Lee the other day in a thrift shop in Ballantrae for three quid. From 1968 and still in excellent condition.
Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood must constitute one of pop music's original odd couples.
He described in the Guardian as the wayward guru of  cowboy psychedelia and she described by All Music as a bright-eyed girl-child
It shouldn't have worked but it did their partnership again described by All Music as a smart, sexy, lip-smacking bowl of mind candy a description I though worthy of stealing for this posts' title

Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood - Summer Wine

Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood - Some Velvet Morning

Thursday 24 March 2016


Whilst filing away Bashed Out my recently acquired and excellent This is the Kit album I stumbled upon Tanita Tikaram's album Ancient Heart which I was unaware that we had.
It is her debut album from 1988 and is the one with the hits. Whilst I vaguely recognise the cover even if you had offered me a vast sum of money I would have been hard pushed to tell you it's name

It would appear that she has had another 8 albums plus a best of but I suspect that she is only really remembered for these two songs.
It seems that she was born in Germany and is from Fijian stock.

Not to be confused with Martika's Kitchen

Tanita Tikaram - Good Tradition

Tanita Tikaram - Twist In My Sobriety

Wednesday 23 March 2016

Ballads of a Love Sick Yankee

I'm not quite sure how I first came across Jonny Kaplan. I may have seen him live, heard him on a compilation or  via the internet or the radio.

Whatever I have a copy of his 1999 debut album California Hearts which has been gathering dust on the Americana shelves without having been played in a while.
That was until a week of so ago when I dusted it down and I have been playing it pretty much continuously ever since.

A lovely mix of America, power pop and Gram Parsons influences.
He is still active touring with  his band as Jonny Kaplan and the Lazy Stars

Jonny Kaplan - Ballad of a Lovesick Yankee

Jonny Kaplan - Pocket Fulla' Nickels

Tuesday 22 March 2016

The Good, The Bad & The Queen

It's indie rock supergroup today as The Good , The Bad & The Queen  feature.

An album was released in 2007 and there is a debate as to who it is attributed to. Depending on what you read it a solo album by Damon Albarn produced by Danger Mouse, or a studio album released by Damon Albarn, Tony Allen, Paul Simonon and Simon Tong.
Daman Albarn is adamant that the band itself is unnamed and that The Good, The Bad & The Queen is the name of the album only
Pretentious twaddle if you ask me.
A supergroup indeed with Mr Albarn ex Blur, Mr Tong ex Verve, Mr Allen an Afrobeat drummer described by Brian Eno as perhaps the greatest drummer who has ever lived and Mr Simonon the world's coolest bass player formerly of The Only Band That Matters ( © Swiss Adam)

The Good, The Band & The Queen - Kingdom of Doom

The Good, The Band & the Queen - Behind The Sun

Monday 21 March 2016

Bluegrass Monday #2

Last week's offering was reasonably well received so as threatened I am going to subject you to a series or more realistically a mini- series albeit it one that will get a bit spurious pretty quickly.

But today there is a bona fide Bluegrass selection for you. So bona fide indeed that it calls itself Blue Grass Favorites.
it is a 1963 album from San Diego group The Scottsville Squirrel Barkers.
Re-released on Demon Records in 1998  primarily I suspect because the teenage mandolin player on the left of the above picture is none other that Chris Hillman of Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers fame
Bernie Leadon of the Eagles also cut his teeth with this band but does not appear on this particular album

You don't get more Bluegrassy than this.
More next Monday

The Scottsville Squirrel Barkers - The Willow Tree

The Scottsville Squirrel Barkers - Walking Cane

The Scottsville Squirrel Barkers - Crown Junction Breakdown

Sunday 20 March 2016

Some Sunday Soul of America

A couple of years ago I caught the documentary Soul of America about the life of Charles Bradley and was on line ordering his album Victim of Love before the final credits had finished rolling.

Charles has had a hard and troubled life working in a series of dead end jobs and having been homeless on occasions.He has also performed over the years under the name Black Velvet as a James Brown impersonator.He now sits proudly next to James on the Soul shelves.
He was "discovered" by Gabriel Roth co-founder of Daptone Records leading to his debut album No Time For Dreaming being released in 2011 when he was in his early 60's
Victim of Love is the 2013 follow up. On both albums the musical accompaniment is courtesy of fellow Daptone artists The Menahan Street Band.

A bit like Fat Possum with Blues artists Daptone have a knack of finding some great Soul artists who have, probably due to life's circumstances, remained hidden and have belatedly introduced them to a wider audience.
And we thank them for that

More Soul next Sunday

Charles Bradley - Confusion

Charles Bradley - Crying in the Chapel

Saturday 19 March 2016

Celtic Connections 2015

The penultimate offering as we reach 2015 and another veritable mixed bag for you to hopefully enjoy.

Let's start in Timbuktu with a terrific song from desert punk/blues band Songhoy Blues.
They were forced from Timbukto to Bamako  the capital of Mali due to the civil conflict there and the introduction of Sharia law. They have since built an international following .Hardly surprising really given the quality of songs such as Soubour

Somewhere nearer to Glasgow than Timbuktu is the probably safer (except on Saturday nights) and less exotic (always) town of Penicuik, Midlothian perhaps most famous for a double glazing company with the same name. It is also the home of folk singer Siobhan Miller who's 2015 album Flight of Time on Vertical Records features and is produced by James Grant of Love and Money fame

Finally an Americana artist whose work I need to explore in some more detail. Here is Patty Griffin with a song from her 7th album American Kid recorded as a tribute to her late father.

The final installment next week

Songhoy Blues - Soubour

Siobhan Miller - Drowning Out The Sorrows

Patty Griffin - That Kind of Lonely

Friday 18 March 2016

I Wanna Play Football For The Coach

Whenever I think of Coney Island, which I must admit is not all that often, it puts me in mind of one of two things.
Firstly the 1979 film The Warriors when the gang of the same name are trying to get back to their home turf of Coney Island when every other gang in New York is out to get them.
When I am in a more mellow frame of mind my thoughts turn to the song Coney Island Baby by Lou Reed and the fact that Lou just wanna plays football for the coach but not football as we Brits know it I suspect.

But remember that the city is a funny place, something like a circus or a sewer. Back to The Warriors again!

Lou Reed -Coney Island Baby

lou Reed - How Do You Think It Feels

Thursday 17 March 2016

More Power to Yer Elbow

Last of the latest batch of holiday Charity Shop purchases.

Elbow are one of the many, many well known and popular bands who have completely passed me by over the years.
I saw The Seldom Seen Kid and thought I would pick it up to see what all the fuss was about.
Despite it selling over a million copies and winning the Mercury Music Prize in 2008 to be quite honest I'm still wondering.
Pleasant enough but a wee bit bland for my tastes ( yes George I can hear you shouting "that's rich from the man who posted Sade!")
Can't see me buying any more of their stuff any time soon.
However they seem like a nice bunch of  blokes and whenever I hear Guy Garvey on 6 Music he comes across as a genuine music fan

Elbow - Starlings

Elbow - Grounds for Divorce

Wednesday 16 March 2016

Reggae Fans Look Away Now

If Elvis Costello can put out a Country album what is to stop Steve Earle having a go at a reggae classic?
Here he is teaming up with Knoxville alt country band The V-roys with a couple of versions of The Slickers classic track Johnny Too Bad which I believe has also been covered by John Martyn.

And here's  the proof

I think Steve just about shades it
Not as good as The Slickers or Jimmy Cliff obviously but probably slightly better than UB40.

It could be worse Dwight Yoakam's Crazy Little Thing Called Love is on the shelves and has still to feature!

Steve Earle & the V-roys - Johnny Too Bad (Sunshine Mix)

Steve Earle & the V-roys - Johnny Too Bad (Jamaican Hillbilly Mix)

The V-roys - Straight Highway

Tuesday 15 March 2016

Neither Washington Nor Moscow But International Socialism

These days we rightly bemoan the lack of bands prepared to wear their political hearts on their sleeves and to protest against austerity,racism, xenophodia and the widening chasm between the haves and the have-nots.

It was different in the 80's with the likes of Billy Bragg, the Council Collective, Dick Gaughan and the Redskins singing their piece.
In America Steve Earle is still protesting as are The Last Internationale.
Sadly, off the top of my head I can't think of any current  British artists willing to put their heads above the barricades.
A sign of the times

What we need are more bands not afraid to use an exclamation mark or two!

Redskins - Go Get Organized!

Redskins - Lean On Me!

Monday 14 March 2016

Bluegrass Monday

Some Bluegrass to kick start your week courtesy of Jim & Jenny and the Pinetops from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
One More In Cabin from 2002 is their third album (on Overcoat in the US and Loose in the UK) and the title track is an absolute belter.
They write their own songs rather than resort to the old standards.
None of the others are in the same league as One More but I have gone for their hillbilly version of the Greyfriars Bobby story proving as the sleevenotes highlight that in Country music you can sing a sad song in a joyous way.

I'm contemplating a series.

Jim & Jennie and the Pinetops - One More in the Cabin

Jim & Jennie and the Pinetops - The Miller and the Hound

Sunday 13 March 2016

Some Sunday Sade Soul

Without consciously trying I appear to have acquired Sade's entire catalogue due to my charity shop forays.
The final  piece in the jigsaw was 1998' s Love Is Stronger Than Pride
It is the notoriously difficult third album and to me it is probably the weakest of the bunch.

It starts off promisingly but thereafter fades pretty badly sounding suspiciously like Muzak on occasions.
There had been a three year gap from 1985's Promise and it sold in the region of 300,000 half as many as it's predecessor. By the time the follow up the much better Love Deluxe was released  in 1992 she had certainly lost the attention of the mainstream.
Still the album was recorded in France and the Bahamas so I am sure that the band enjoyed themselves.

More Soul of the non Sade variety next Sunday.

Sade - Love Is Stronger Than Pride

Sade - Paradise

Saturday 12 March 2016

Celtic Connections 2014

2014 - we're nearly there
A bit of a mixed bag for you today.

We start with the 2010's answer to Simon and Garfunkel - from Eagle Rock, California Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan known collectively as The Milk Carton Kids as Pattengale and Ryan doesn't trip lightly off the tongue.
Some lovely harmonies here on Hope of a Lifetime from The Ash and Clay.

Georgia Ruth Williams singer and harpist from Aberystwyth first came to my attention via The Robster's brilliant Welsh Wednesday series. This is from Week of Pines the winner of the Welsh Music Prize for 2013.

For the traditional spot we have the band who vie with Runrig as the best known Scottish traditional band Capercaillie.
They are obviously much better than Runrig,
From Taynuilt, Argyll they were formed by Donald Shaw who coincidentally is also the Artistic Director of Celtic Connections. They are fronted by his wife the lovely Karen Matheson.
This song translates as The Spinning Song and you can imagine it being sung by the weavers as their looms
weave the Harris Tweed

2015 - next Saturday

The Milk Carton Kids - Hope of a Lifetime

Georgia Ruth - Mapping

Capercaillie- Abu Chuibhl'

Friday 11 March 2016

The Blues Collection - Little Richard

The final Stranraer contribution to The Blues Collection is Little Richard with Long Tall Sally.
Like Chuck Berry who I have previously featured in this series you could argue that he is more rock'n'roll.
Also in the last track featured here there is more than a wee bit  of Southern Soul.

No matter - any excuse to  play Little Richard is to be warmly embraced

I won't bore you with a potted biography as he surely needs no introduction.
What would I give to have seen him perform live in his prime

Little Richard - Lucille

Little Richard - She's Got It

Little Richard - Send Me Some Loving

Thursday 10 March 2016

That's The Way The Girls Are From Texas

I had what I considered to be an interesting post lined up for you today until technical gremlins got in the way.
Undettered I shall press on.
I first encountered the song Girls from Texas on the world's greatest living accordionist Flaco Jiminez's album Partners where it is sung by Ry Cooder.
Here is where the gremlins kicked in as my PC refused to rip the album
You will therefore have to make do with the You Tube version instead

On hearing this it has all the ingredients of a classic country number.

Imagine my surprise therefore when on Disc 3 of my recently acquired box set Back to the River More Southern Soul Stories 1961 -1978 there featured is the original version by Jimmy Lewis
He co-wrote it with Clifford Chambers and Jimmy Holiday and it was a single on the Minit label in 1967

For me in this instance it is a case of Country 1 Southern Soul 0

Jimmy Lewis - The Girls From Texas (extended version)

Wednesday 9 March 2016

Gabba Gabba Hey

Us bloggers can spend hours analysing songs and bands to the nth degree.
Indeed we can bore for our respective countries and are probably best avoided at parties.

Sometimes however it is better to remember that less is often more and that some of the best music is the most simple

ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR ............................

Ramones -I Wanna Be Sedated

Ramones -Teenage Lobotomy

Ramones - Rockaway Beach

Tuesday 8 March 2016

The Evil Weed

Old Crow Medicine Show featured on the Celtic Connections 2013 compilation with We Don't Grow Tobacco
This got me thinking about other songs about tobacco. There are plenty out there and I suppose I could have done a Top 10 but I will leave that to the experts such as  Rol
However another two immediately sprung to mind. Robbie Fulk's Cigarette State which I have on a great Americana compilation New Highway and Tobacco Road a debut posting from Steve Young.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Old Crow Medicine Show - We Don't Grow Tobacco

Robbie Fulks - Cigarette State

Steve Young - Tobacco Road

Monday 7 March 2016

Don't Take Any Wooden Nickels

At Mrs CC's insistence I picked up Daisies of the Galaxy by Eels the other week.
There are three Eels records on the shelves. Mrs CC quite likes them I don't really

I freely accept that there is no logical or rational reason for not particularly like them.
There are worse bands on the shelves and some of their songs are pretty good - the second one below for instance
They just annoy me particularly the lead singer Mark Oliver Everett who insists on being known as E.
I saw a documentary about him and he appears to be up his own backside.
Also, I couldn't go Susan's House

I'm sure we all have bands which we don't get. or is it just me?

Don't Take Any Wooden Nickels is a favourite phrase of Mrs CC and one inherited from her late father who was a banker when it was a noble profession unlike the self serving obscenity it is today.

Eels - Wooden Nickels

Eels - Mr E's Beautiful Blues

Sunday 6 March 2016

Some Sunday Soul

I picked up Ruby Turner's 1986 debut album Women Hold Up Half The Sky on Jive Records  in Oxfam in Troon the other week
Pleasant enough stuff primarily covers.
For your listening pleasure today her takes on a couple of classics from The Staples Singers and Alice Cooper.
Born in Jamaica she moved to Birmingham at the age of nine.
Big in Britain and New Zealand she had a number 1 in the US R&B Charts in 1988 with It's Gonna Be Alright.
She now appears regularly with Jools Holland's Big Band
I expect that I gave a similar blurb the last time I posted some of her stuff when I got her Best Of but I'm afraid I know no more.

More Soul next Sunday

Ruby Turner - If You're Ready (Come Go With Me)

Ruby Turner - Only Women Bleed

Saturday 5 March 2016

Celtic Connections 2013

2013 this week - we are fairly rattling through the years.
Celtic Connections is well known for it's Transatlantic Sessions featuring musicians from both side of the Pond.
So that's what we will do today.
Let's start with 50's throwback JD McPherson (a Scottish name if ever I heard one) from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma with the magnificent North Side Gal from his Rounder Records debut album Signs and Signifiers.

Good old fashioned rock'n'roll is followed up with some Bluegrass gospel courtesy of Vancouver band The Be Good Tanyas
I saw some of Frazey Ford's solo stuff this year and I must admit that I was a tad disappointed. The BGTs however never fail to impress.

We return to Caledonia for the traditional offering. Maeve MacKinnon is a Glasgow lass but sings primarily in Gaelic

2014 next Saturday

JD McPherson - North Side Gal

The Be Good Tanyas - In My Time of Dying

Maeve MacKinnon - Fionnghuala

Friday 4 March 2016

The Blues Collection - Jimmy Reed

On Saturday we featured charismatic Scottish Trade Union leader Jimmy Reid, today it is the turn of charismatic Mississippi bluesman Jimmy Reed.
If I was a fan of Jesus and Mary Chain which I'm not (cue much being taken to task) Jim Reid would perhaps also have featured.

Mathis James Reed was born in Dunleith, Mississippi in 1925 dying in Oakland, California in 1976 at the ripe old age (for a bluesman) of 50.
Like many of his contemporaries he enjoyed a drink or ten. He also had epilepsy wrongly diagnosed as the DT's on account of his lifestyle.
Fortunately his lifestyle did not stop him producing some tremendous music. His electric blues would have a significant influence on the up and coming rock'n'roll movement and he could also verge towards Southern Soul when the mood took him.
These are perhaps his two most famous songs recorded in Chicago in 1957 and
both featuring the great Eddie Taylor on guitar.

Terrific stuff.

Jimmy Reed -Honest I Do

Jimmy Reed - Baby, What You Want Me To Do?

Thursday 3 March 2016

Just Another Diamond Day

In the days before unwashed dreadlocks, dogs on string and folk called Swampy Vashti Bunyan was your original New Age traveller.
She and her boyfriend travelled from London to the Outer Hebrides in a horse drawn caravan to join a commune.
She subsequently met producer Joe Boyd and recorded her travelling songs with members of Fairport Convention and The Incredible String Band as Just Another Diamond Day which was released in 1970.
It sold miserably and she gave up the music business and carried on with her hippy lifestyle.
She subsequently attracted a cult following with the album fetching up to $2000 at auction

She returned to the music industry in 2002 and has released a further two albums as well as participating in a number of collaborations.
It is a bit of an acquired taste and abit of a struggle to sit through all 18 songs on the CD in one sitting, Fortunately the majority of them are very short.
Probably better listened to round a campfire in the woods after consuming illicit substances.

Vashti Bunyan - Diamond Day

Vashti Bunyan - Timothy Grub

I'm expecting mixed reviews!

Wednesday 2 March 2016

The Sundays on a Wednesday

The Sundays are yet another band that I  was blissfully unaware of until I made the virtual acquaintance of some of the fine people featured on the right hand sidebar. In this instance I think ScottBrian and The Robster were the main protagonists.
I'm told that their 1990 debut Reading, Writing and Arithmetic is the one to have and it is on the ever lengthening list.
However, today we are featuring their third and at the moment final album Static & Silence from 1997 as this is the one I stumbled across in a Stranraer charity shop.

The Sundays - Cry

The Sundays - Another Flavour

Tuesday 1 March 2016

The Gospel According to Boo and Tony

As I mentioned  in my Percy Sledge post I recently visited a record shop in the small East Lothian town of Dunbar.
Pulling into the main street with a view to exploring the charity shops I was beside myself with excitement to notice that there was also an imaginatively named Record Shop.
I got chatting to the guy behind the counter as I was handing over my cash and he said that they had been open for just over a year and are doing ok. There is apparently also another one Wall of Noise in the neighbouring town of Haddington.
Greatly encouraging stuff and hopefully we will get back to the day when every small town has a record shop again
Alongside Percy in the bargain bin were two singles by 80's band The Bible. I was heading towards the counter when I noticed their 1986 debut album Walking the Ghost Back Home on which they featured and decided to upgrade.
I wasn't too familiar with their work but I have a copy of a Boo Hewerdine album together with stuff he has written for Eddi Reader and Heidi Talbot.In The Bible he is joined by Tony Shepherd on keyboards, drums and percussion
It is of it's time but at four quid I'm putting it down as a find.

The Bible - Graceland

The Bible - Mahalia