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Saturday 30 April 2016
Last Saturday I played the Cramps and invited suggestions for a new Saturday series. The only suggestion forthcoming was from the Robster who suggested more Cramps.
So for one week only here they are again with a couple of tracks from their live album Smell of Female recorded at The Peppermint lounge, New York City on February 25th and 26th 1983.
As well as Lux and Ivy the line-up is completed by Kid Congo Powers on guitar and Nick Knox on drums
I remembered that this was on 45rpm but knowing The Cramps I suspect it would have sounded pretty good at 33rpm.
Something different perhaps next Saturday
The Cramps - Thee Most Exhalted Potentate of Love
The Cramps - You've Got Good Taste
Friday 29 April 2016
In close proximity to The Black Keys in the Blues/Rock'n'Roll section of the shelves is Testament - The Complete Slash Recordings by The Blasters
52 rocking songs of American Music by the boys from blue collar Downey, California
Fronted by brothers Phil and Dave Alvin on vocals and guitar and ably supported by John Bazz on bass and Bill Bateman on drums.
As youngsters the Alvin Brothers learnt their trade by hanging out at LA Blues Clubs such as the Ashgrove (immortalised in the Dave Alvin album of the same name) watching the likes of T-Bone Walker and Big Joe Turner
They did the original of Marie Marie which was a huge UK hit for Shaking Stevens.
I saw them at the Renfrew Ferry playing one of the best shows I have ever attended
So here is some American music
The Blasters - American Music
The Blasters - Fool's Paradise
Thursday 28 April 2016
The Black Keys finally take their long awaited bow on CCM
From 2003 Thickfreakness is the second album from Akron, Ohio duo Dan Auberach and Patrick Cairney
It is on the Fat Possum label so you know that you are going to get some deep raw Blues and that it is going to be good.
Mostly recorded in a 14 hour session in Patrick Cairney's basement using an early 80's Tacam 388 8-track recorder primarily because they had already spent the advance they received from Fat Possum on rent,
The Black Keys - Set You Free
The Black Keys -Have Love Will Travel
Wednesday 27 April 2016
Wilco and I parted company shortly after Summerteeth and the Mermaid Avenue albums. It wasn't an acrimonious split we just slowly drifted apart.
I never really paid that much attention to their future work. Reading descriptions of them as the American Radiohead probably didn't help.
Like many of you, I suspect, I recently downloaded the free copy of the Star Wars album. I haven't gotten round to listening to it yet. I went looking for it the other day and was pleasantly surprised to find that I also had a download of 2002's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
I thought from a chronological point of view I should listen to it first.
It is the one where having been dumped by Reprise after a free download it was subsequently released by Nonesuch bizarrely another Warners company and the one which went on to be their best seller.
It is also the last of their albums featuring the late great Jay Bennett after tensions between him and Jeff Tweedy and Jim O'Rourke.
It probably just predates the Radiohead era although there are some ominous Clangers type noises here and there
All in all not bad at all.
Star Wars will follow in due course
Wilco -I Am Trying To Break Your Heart
Wilco -Ashes of American Flags
Tuesday 26 April 2016
We are off to Dundee today to catch up with Danny Wilson - no not the dodgy Rangers centre half but the sophisti- pop (no, me neither) trio of Ged Grimes and brothers Gary and Kit Clark.
According to the usual font of all knowledge the loosely affiliated sophisti-pop movement was big in the late 80's and included such acts as Deacon Blue and Swing out Sister. So there you go.
Danny Wilson had a big hit with Mary's Prayer and then a couple of years later a reasonable hit with The Second Summer of Love
Gary Clark went on to make a name for himself as a songwriter and producer, Kit Clark went on to play with the Swiss Family Orbison and Ged Grimes got a gig as bassist for Simple Minds.
There have of course been the obligatory reunions
Danny Wilson - Mary's Prayer
Danny Wilson - A Girl I Used to Know
Monday 25 April 2016
We are off to Austin this week for some Bloodshot Bluegrass from The Meat Purveyors.
The songs featured are from their 1997 debut album Sweet in the Pants. There is also a bit of yodelling thrown in for good measure.
Featuring Jo Walstom on vocals, Cherilyn diMond on upright bass, Bill Anderson on guitar and vocals, Pete Styles on mandolin and assorted fiddlers
They also released a Madonna Trilogy as a single (Like a Virgin, Lucky Star and Burning Up) which appeared on my Bloodshot Tuesday series
More bluegrass of a more traditional nature next Monday
The Meat Purveyors - 100 Miles
The Meat Purveyors - Lady Muleskinner
Sunday 24 April 2016
Marvin Gaye had been scheduled to appear here today
However, I'm sure that even Marvin would be happy to temporarily give way to Prince
Like a few others who have posted tributes I was never really his greatest fan. I was probably slightly too old and mostly into other types of music at the time.
But like everyone else I would like to acknowledge his genius, his musicianship (witness the guitar playing on this clip from The Swede) and his influence on many who followed.
Nothing more to say really - everything that needs to be said has already been said
Prince - My Name is Prince
Prince -Raspberry Beret (12" Version)
Saturday 23 April 2016
I am between Saturday series at the moment. Any suggestions welcomed. Nothing too strenuous mind as it is the weekend after all.
In the interim here are the Cramps no strangers to strenuous music with some of their unique punky psychobilly.
Featuring the husband and wife team of Poison Ivy and the sadly departed Lux Interior
Surfin' Bird - what an absolutely splendid racket
The Cramps - Human Fly
The Cramps - Surfin' Bird
Friday 22 April 2016
Some Masonic music for you today and not a flute in sight.
Where the Humans Eat is the 2004 debut album from New York's Willie Mason.
It featured in the very early days of CCM way back in December 2013 so it is probably long overdue a further airing.
I've not heard anything else by him but he does not appear to be the most prolific artist in the world. Only three more albums (one with Brendan Benson) and a handful of EPs
It is pretty good stuff and you may well be familiar with Oxygen which was a moderately successful single reaching the dizzy heights of number 38 in the UK Singles chart.
Willie Mason - Gotta Keep Movin
Willie Mason - Oxygen
Thursday 21 April 2016
I do not profess to being an authority on The Wedding Present. I don't even own George Best for heaven's sake.
They are yet another band that I am discovering later in life thanks to my esteemed colleagues within the blogging fraternity.
Until recently the only physical example of their work I had was the 1998 12 inch version of Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now?
The acoustic version of Give my Love to Kevin is not nearly as good as the version on George Best but I am including it as my roomie at work is called Kevin. He has the misfortune to look a wee bit like David Cameron and therefore is fairly regularly verbally abused by total strangers.
The Wedding Present - Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now?
The Wedding Present - Give My Love to Kevin (Acoustic Version)
Wednesday 20 April 2016
Complete Surrender by Slowclub was the best record of 2014.
It is not up for debate as it is a fact.
Thanks are due to Drew for bringing it to my attention
Slowclub are Sheffield duo Rebecca Taylor and Charles Watson and this was their third album.
Many of you will already have this. After listening to these two tracks I suspect that the rest of you will follow suit by the end of the week
Slowclub - Tears of Joy
Slowclub - Suffering You, Suffering Me
Tuesday 19 April 2016
Chan Marshall aka Cat Power is held in high regard in this small corner of the blogosphere.
The only record of her's I have is her 5th album from 2000 and the one that gave her a degree of international prominence namely The Covers Record.
The cover above is a sculpture by Joan Giordano from 1978.
It is a collection of mainly covers (there is one of her own songs In This Hole) featuring her voice and some fairly sparse instrumentation.
I've gone for the obvious choices I suppose with her take on the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan.
I suspect that I should explore her work in more detail and that The Greatest is probably as good a place as any to start.
Cat Power - (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
Cat Power - Paths of Victory
Monday 18 April 2016
Some hardcore bluegrass for you today courtesy of Arizona Smoke Review and their Best of Bluegrass which I got at a Library CD sale
Brothers Pete and Bill Zorn are joined by Phil Beer and Paul Downes. No vocals just relentless banjos,fiddles and mandolins,
For your listening pleasure here is the Duelling Banjos suite - a suite as opposed to a medley as it includes a bit of Bach.
Of course thanks to the film Deliverance it is impossible to think of Duelling Banjos without thinking of in-breeding and mutilation
There is 55 minutes of music on the Arizona Smoke Review including Foggy Mountain Breakdown,Auld Lang Syne, The Orange Blossom Special , a Sailor's Hornpipe and the Battle of New Orleans.
Not sure if it's bluegrass but here is Johnny Horton with the definitive version of The Battle of New Orleans
Arizona Smoke Review - Duelling Banjos
Johnny Horton - The Battle of New Orleans
Sunday 17 April 2016
Drew's recent posting of a couple of excellent Kim Weston numbers had me reaching for her Greatest Hits & Rare Classics CD
Drew lamented that Berry Gordy appeared to not know what to do with such a talent other than have her dueting with Marvin Gaye.
This could have perhaps been because, as alluded to in Stuart Cosgrove's Detroit 67 book, that Diana Ross saw her talent as a threat and used her sway over Gordy to ensure that she was marginalised.
Not that you could ever imagine Miss Ross doing such a thing!
A true talent and still going strong aged 76
More soul next Sunday
Kim Weston - Helpless
Kim Weston - Love Me All The Way
Saturday 16 April 2016
It's a little known fact but Charity Chic Music is actually huge within the peanut growing community.
One of the fraternity, we shall call him George as that is his name, has requested a peanut song to commemorate the start of planting this year's crop
It is probably more of a challenge than a request and one which I pretty much failed dismally.
I couldn't immediately find anything on the shelves so had to resort to cheating.
Here is Little Joe Cook and the Thrillers with their 1957 hit Peanuts
59p saw me acquire a digital version by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
Thereafter I gave up. I think I may hand over the challenge to Rol of My Top Ten fame.
If he can do a top 10 on toast he can surely come up with one on peanuts or failing that nuts in general.
A final thought. I wonder whether if like fellow peanut farmer Jimmy Carter, George enjoys a bit of Repetition?
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons - Peanuts
The Fall - Repetition
Friday 15 April 2016
Last July I posted a couple of Richard Hawley songs I had from compilations and owned up to not knowing much about him and not really seeing what all the fuss was about. A barrage of commenters took me to task and urged me to give him a good listening to.
They were right and I was wrong.
I've gotten hold of a copy of Coles Corner and what a terrific record it is.
I can hear touches of Orbison and Sinatra in there - easy listening for the 21st Century indeed.
Praise the Lord, I've seen the light!
Richard Hawley - Darlin' Wait For Me
Richard Hawley -Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Feet
Thursday 14 April 2016
A bit of a lazy post today as I am a bit tired and out of sorts
Rather than take a record/CD from the shelves, listen to it , decide what tracks I want to feature and then rip them I have raided the My Music folder of the PC for a "here's one I prepared earlier" I have also foregone my meticulous research.
Queen of the Minor Key was a 2011 album by Eilen Jewell out of Boise, Idaho which I borrowed and burnt from the library.
I haven't listened to it recently and have selected two track pretty much at random without giving them a listen..A bit of a semi random shuffle as it were.
I hope that you, and indeed I, enjoy them.
Eilen Jewell - Queen of the Minor Key
Eilen Jewell - Santa Fe
Wednesday 13 April 2016
My recent post on Whiteout highlighted that they were significantly influenced by Teenage Fanclub
A search of previous posts sees me attributing the same accolade to fellow Scottish bands Attic Lights and Vera Cruise
The same search also reveals that shockingly only two songs from the Fannies have previously featured one from a compilation from songs featured in Nick Hornsby's book 31 Songs and the other in a feature on Alan McGhee's Creation Stories books,
So none of their albums have featured in their own right.
I'm featuring Thirteen named after the song by Big Star who where a huge influence on TFC.
Their fourth it received scathing reviews on its release in 1993. It is not as good as its predecessor Bandwagonesque nor its successors Grand Prix and Songs from Northern Britain.
However it is not a bad album at all, it just suffers when compared to the greatness of the three mentioned above.
I have a bit of a soft spot for it as it was the first of their albums I bought. Plus any album with a Mitre football on the cover is ok in my book
Teenage Fanclub -Norman 3
Teenage Fanclub - Fear of Flying
Tuesday 12 April 2016
When I posted a cover of Folsom Prison Blues by Leads Yorkshire's Original Death Punks the Mekons a month or so back I commented that I was shocked that they had not featured before.
Only fitting then that I feature them again.
A couple of tracks from Fear and Whiskey their fourth studio album from 1985 which has been described in some quarters as the first alternative country album
It was shortly after this time that both Jon Langford and Sally Timms left Leeds for Chicago finding a new spiritual home with Bloodshot Records
These two songs were recorded at Lion Studios in Leeds on the same day with Tom Greenlaugh on vocals, Ken Lite on bass, Jon Langford on guitar and Susie Honeyman on the fiddle
Mekons - Chivalry
Mekons - Darkness and Doubt
Monday 11 April 2016
Week 5 and I am going to alternate from the traditional to the modern.
Like yesterday's offering some of the genre edges have been slightly blurred as we feature Vancouver band The Be Good Tanyas.
Surely they are Americana or perhaps even folk I hear you cry.
In my defense these two tracks prominently feature banjos (there you go kevinpat and George) and I am on record as stating that some of these posts may be somewhat tenious and spurious.
Taken from their 2000 debut Blue Horse
What cannot be argued about is the quality of the music,
More bluegrass (of sorts) next Monday
The Be Good Tanyas - Lakes of Pontchartrain
The Be Good Tanyas - Oh, Susanna
Sunday 10 April 2016
A few years ago I purchased Atlantic R&B Volume 1 1947-1952.
The plan was to gradually acquire all 8 volumes preferably in chronological order but for various reasons this never materialised.
A loan of Volume 3 1955 -1957 merely confirms that I should really get this project back on track.
Back when R&B was R&B rather than what is marketed under that title these days.
These years in particular see the metamorphosizing of blues and jazz into what would begin to be recognized as what we now call Soul
There are still some out and out blues on here such as Joe Turner, some jazz numbers by Ray Charles and some doo- wop style stuff such as The Cardinals and the Coasters
Then you get the acts that are beginning to push the boundaries - some of the Ray Charles numbers, LaVern Baker, Chuck Willis and Clyde McPhatter
Here are two of those
More soul next Sunday
Ray Charles - A Fool For You
Chuck Willis - It's Too Late
Saturday 9 April 2016
If you are in the Seattle area please keep an eye out for Brian Be prepared to administer first aid, call 911 or put him in the recovery position as there is not one but TWO Lambchop albums on the CC shelves!
Yup I have now acquired Nixon for the grand total of 75p.
I must be honest if it been more than a quid I would probably not have bothered as I still remain to be convinced. Mrs CC quite likes them though.
I think that I slightly prefer Is a Woman
The first song reminds me of something but I can't quite put my finger on it.
That Curtis Mayfield was a busy boy. Not content with penning all those hits for Major Lance here he joins forces with Kurt Wagner to come up with The Book I Haven't Read.
I suspect that is the Stranraer Americana seam well and truly mined .... but you just never know!
Lambchop - Up With The People
Lambchop - The Book I Haven't Read
Friday 8 April 2016
I was babysitting for my nephew last weekend and raided my brother's CDs
That can only mean one thing - the return of Friday Night Rockabilly or Friday Night 21st Century Rockabilly Volume 2 to be precise.
A CD containing 21 tracks all by artists I have never heard of which came free with Vintage Rock magazine in July/August 2015.All the artists appear to have come from the Western Star Records stable between 2003 and 2015
As in any such compilation some good stuff and some fillers.
The pick of the bunch for me are Jack Rabbit Slim and The Hicksville Bombers so that is who you are getting
Jack Rabbit Slim - Devil Doll
The Hicksville Bombers - Real Rockin' Party
Thursday 7 April 2016
On Friday I played a video clip of Dawn Landes' version of I Won't Back Down the hidden track from Fireproof a 2008 album by her on the Fargo label.
I think it is only fair to share a couple of tracks from the actual album with you .The hidden track is probably the most accessible of the songs on what is a wee bit of a strange record and one I'm never quite sure what to make of.
It is the middle one of her five albums to date.
She has worked with Sufjan Stevens, was briefly married to fellow musician Josh Ritter and plays the glockenspiel with the band Hem. She is also a member of all -girl trio The Bandana Splits.
Dawn Landes - Bodyguard
Dawn Landes - I Don't Need No Man
Wednesday 6 April 2016
Glam rockers Mott the Hoople have featured before back in the early days of CCM and it is about time they featured again
Although they were on the go from 1969 to 1980 with the obligatory reunions they peaked during the early 70's with the classic line up around 1974 pictured above of Dale "Buffin" Griffin , Ariel Bender, Morgan Fisher, Overend Watts and Ian Hunter.
Sadly drummer Buffin finally lost his child like dreams dying in January this year at the age of 67
Mick Ronson got briefly involved and when he and Hunter left in 1975 they renamed themselves Mott but were never the same again.
They did leave us with some cracking songs though
Looking at the title of the second song I really should have played this 12 days ago
Mott the Hoople -All The Way From Memphis
Mott the Hoople - Ballad of Mott (March 26 1972, Zurich))
Tuesday 5 April 2016
I popped into a local charity shop the other day to hand in some books and came away with Trust an album by Duluth, Minnesota band Low from 2002.
And what a truly mesmerizing and atmospheric album it is too. I have a couple of their other albums together with the Christmas EP but I think this one may well be the best of the lot.
From the era when husband and wife Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker were accompanied by bassist Zak Sally.
I hope that this picture is from that area - if not as Mr Loaf was fond of saying two out of three ain't bad
I've heard them described as slowcore or lo-fi. Bloody fantastic would be my description
Low - (That's How You Sing) Amazing Grace
Monday 4 April 2016
Four weeks in and we pay homage to the man attributed as creating Bluegrass mandolinist Mr Bill Monroe.
The genre takes his name from his band The Blue Grass Boys who in turn take their name from their home state of Kentucky.
From 1946 to 1948 Monroe led what became known as the classic bluegrass band - fiddler Chubby Wise, bassist Howard Watts, guitarist/vocalist Lester Flatt and banjoist Earl Scruggs.
You may recognize the latter two names who may well feature again later in this series.
You will also be familiar with the second song which was a big hit for a certain Elvis Presley and which has been covered by a myriad of others.
Taken from an excellent compilation Columbia Country Classics - The Golden Age Volume 1
More Bluegrass next Monday
Bill Monroe & his Bluegrass Boys - Molly and Tenbrooks
Bill Monroe & his Bluegrass Boys - Blue Moon of Kentucky
Sunday 3 April 2016
I thought that I had previously posted Northern Soul favourite Major Lance but I was wrong there.
He first came to my attention as a featured artist on the Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show on 6 Music one Saturday evening when there was nothing on the telly.
This led me to acquiring a Best of featuring his stuff on the Okeh label pretty pronto.
Out of Chicago he has the voice and I suspect the moves. The songs come from the golden pen of Curtis Mayfield, the production is by Carl Davis with the arrangements by Johnny Pate.
Major Lance - Delilah
Major Lance -Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um
As a bonus how many of you remember the Gospel Sunday slot on Jim McLean's Rabbit?
George forwarded me this outstanding clip which I felt compelled to share with you
Saturday 2 April 2016
A further visit to Stranraer yielded another couple of slices of Americana.
Wagon was a name mooted by The Swede when he was trying to guess what was coming next in the recent series.
At the time the name didn't mean much to me but I subsequently discovered that I have at least a couple of their tracks on various Americana compilations (of which I have many)
Therefore when I saw Beauty Angel Queen going for 75p it was a bit of a no brainer. The fact that it was on the mighty Glitterhouse label sealed the deal.
From St Louis I don't know much about them other than that they appear to have at least two other albums No Kinder Room and Anniversary
The final slice (for now at least) next Saturday
Wagon - Everything She Owns
Wagon - Still Amazed
Friday 1 April 2016
Free Fallin' by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers was my recent holiday earworm - especially the line in the above post title - it's been rolling round my head ever since.
To keep it company here is fellow Full Moon Fever number I Won't Back Down
If I knew how to edit MP3's when it comes to hidden tracks you would also be getting the Dawn Landes version.
Until then you will have to make do with the You Tube version
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Free Fallin'
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - I Won't Back Down