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Saturday, 31 December 2016

That Was The Year That Was

It is generally agreed that all in all 2016 was a pretty grim year.
I have touched on it here and no doubt it will be remarked upon elsewhere today.

However rather that wallow in misery I feel that the situation calls for some jingly jangly pop music from a bunch of young upstarts from East Kilbride.
From 1983 and their debut album High Land, Hard Rain here are the Boy Wonders themselves Aztec Camera.

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017.
See you on the other side.

Aztec Camera - Oblivious

Aztec Camera -Walk Out To Winter

Friday, 30 December 2016

Friday Three Names - Justin Townes Earle

I think I've just about got my days back on track but with New Year rapidly approaching this may well be a temporary phenomenon.
With Steve Earle as his dad and named after Townes Van Zandt it was perhaps inevitable that Justin Townes Earle would grow up to be a musician and also as a person with major addiction issues.

I saw in playing guitar for his dad when he was in his early years. Steve commented that he was addicted to golf which was considerably more expensive than cocaine. That soon changed.
However, thankfully like his dad he eventually got his act together and has been clean since 2010
A song from his Harlem River  Blues album for you followed by Memphis in the Rain from his 2012 album Nothing's Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now - taken from the Bloodshot 15 sampler which you can pick up for a small donation from Bloodshot.
This was his last record on Bloodshot with his latest two albums Single Mothers and Absent Fathers appearing on Vagrant Records in the US and Loose in the UK. A theme going on there I feel.

Justin Townes Earle - Christchurch Woman

Justin Townes Earle - Memphis in the Rain

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Hey Fellas Lauren Bacall

I had nothing lined up to post today. That was quickly resolved when I woke up yesterday with a burning desire to put on Combat Rock.
The 5th studio album from 1982  and the last one with the classic line up of Joe, Mick, Paul and Topper.
Their best selling album and the one that cracked it for them in America
Side one contains the four singles - Know Your Rights, Should I Stay or Should I Go, Rock the Casbah and Straight to Hell.
Here are the other two tracks which are equally as good.Paul Simonon and Kosmo Vinyl on vocals on the second

The last time I'll feature them this year George - promise!

The Clash - Car Jamming

The Clash - Red Angel Dragnet

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Dylan Covered - Boots of Spanish Leather

A resounding victory last time round for Bob with Knockin' on Heaven's Door. A lot of love out there for Warren Zevon but not enough to stop him getting comprehensively thrashed by the biggest margin so far in this series.
The score is now even again at Bob 5 Cover Artists 5
Who will take the lead as we head for the home straight?
We are going back to 1964 and Bob's third studio album The Times They Are A-Changin' when he was still essentially an out and out folkie.
His version of Boots of Spanish Leather is up against the version by country star Nanci Griffith from her 1993 Other Voices Other Rooms collection. Bob must have approved as he plays harmonica on the record.
It's Dylan for me by a distance this week.
Others may choose to disagree.

Bob Dylan - Boots of Spanish Leather

Nanci Griffith - Boots of Spanish Leather

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Enough Already

2016 has been a truly terrible year.
Brexit. Trump, Aleppo and the loss of so many that provided the music of our youth.

On hearing of the death of Rick Parfitt I commented that hopefully he was the last of the class of 2016.
Sadly it was not to be

Status Quo - Down Down

George Michael - Careless Whisper

Monday, 26 December 2016

Bring Me Sunshine

It is Mrs CC's birthday today - the day after Shane Macgowan and the baby Jesus.
Shane has a few years on her in the race for the bus pass.

We normally spend her birthday running around after about 14 folk from both sides of the family fetching and carrying, feeding them and keeping them topped up with drink.
This year we have decided to have the day to ourselves.
A long lie, a champagne breakfast, crappy films  and hopefully a chance to listen to some new music.

I doubt it will be sunny but it always seems that bit sunnier when Eric and Ernie are strutting their stuff

Happy birthday

Carly Simon - You Are My Sunshine

Stevie Wonder - You Are The Sunshine of My Life

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Happy Shane's Day

Shane Macgown 59 today.Now in his 60th year and rapidly heading for his bus pass.Who would have funk it.
I'm not expecting much traffic today.
But if you have popped in briefly to escape the wife/husband, kids, Call the Midwife, food, washing up, family arguments, etc, etc I hope this perks you up a bit and helps to recharge the batteries (although you will probably need them for that pressie which came without them).

The Pogues - Dirty Old Town

The Pogues - If I Should Fall From Grace With God

Saturday, 24 December 2016

A Christmas Gift From Phil

It's Christmas Eve so that can only mean one thing.
It's time for a Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector with his amazing wall of sound.Everybody's favourite Christmas album and rightly so.
Released on 22nd November 1963 the day that President John F.Kennedy was assassinated (thank's for that Drew!)

Phil is doubtless sitting in his prison cell toting up the royalties in the unlikely event he will ever get out - he will by 88 before he is eligible for parole

Meantime wishing you and yours a very merry and peaceful Christmas from Charity Chic Music.

Take it away Darlene ......... 

Darlene Love - (Christmas) Baby Please Come Home

The Crystals - Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Friday, 23 December 2016

Merry Christmas From Motown

Soul on a Friday - bet that threw you!
Well it is Christmas and we are just about reaching that time of year when one day merges into another and no-one knows which day is which.
I picked up a battered copy of Merry Christmas From Motown earlier in the year and have waited until now to give it a spin.
There are a few hisses and scratches suggesting that it has been played at Christmas parties very year since it was released in 1968. I don't think it had been cleaned since then either.
Three songs each from The Temptations, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Diana Ross and the Supremes and Stevie Wonder feature on the record.
These two have scrubbed up better than most.

Smokey Robinson & the Miracles -Christmas Everyday

Diana Ross & the Supremes - Silver Bells

Thursday, 22 December 2016

A Christmas Chain ... of sorts

The highlight of the blogging year has been The Chain over at A History of Dubious Taste
Every Wednesday our host Jez posts a song  and you have to guess what the next one in the chain will be.
As well as a couple of serious suggestions great fun is had by suggesting something spurious or obscure,an extremely tenuous link,  a song you want to get out there or fairly often the worse song that you can possibly think off.
Given the title of the blog nothing is out of bounds.Where else will you hear Rupert Holmes and Barbara Dickson  alongside The Wedding Present and Spanky Wilson?

Jez works miracles to churn out between 20 and thirty songs every week, together with a couple of videos and some hilarious and beautifully written commentary.

As a Christmas bonus to compliment  his usual masterpiece I am linking three songs with a Christmas connection..
We start with Low's version of the oft recorded Blue Christmas.
This seamlessly leads us to All I Ever Get For Christmas is Blue.
Then the video and my attempt at  humour courtesy of  Better Off Dead

Low - Blue Chrismas

Over The Rhine - All I Ever Get For Christmas is Blue

This Chain malarkey is harder than it looks - I think I'll leave it to the expert

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Some More Festive Cheer

My mission this week is to post a festive song that George will actually get to the end off.
I may well have succeeded with my first offering  Spending Every Christmas Day With My Boy.
A Christmas single last year and a song that appears on Homemade Lemonade by Ette one of my favourite albums of this year.
I think I read somewhere that Carla Easton wrote this about her cat.
I wonder if Jason Ringenberg is thinking about his cat. Given that he also goes by the name of Farmer Jason given his children's records it could well be a farmyard animal. A donkey may be appropriate given the time of year.

Ette - Spending Every Christmas Day With My Boy

Jason Ringenberg -Merry Christmas My Darling

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Merry Christmas From The Beach Boys

I'm not sure whether it is actually surfing weather at this time of the year in California. One thing is for sure, however, it will be a dammed site hotter than it is here
Sadly not the original The Beach Boys Christmas Album from 1964 but a compilation from 1990 entitled The Beach Boys Christmas Songs. The original was released following on from the success of Phil Spector's A Christmas Gift To You from 1963
Christmas Songs contains the same songs as the original but in a different order and I suspect it is not an official Beach Boys recording.It is certainly not listed in their discography.
Good tunes though

The Beach Boyd - We Three Kings of Orient Are

The Beach Boys -I'll Be Home For Christmas

Monday, 19 December 2016

A Christmas Record from Ze

Originally released in 1981 A Christmas Record from Ze Records is considered to be one of the first alternative Christmas albums and is the album that gave us Christmas Wrapping by the Waitresses 
A revised edition Ze Christmas Record Reloaded 2004 was issued in on CD format in, yes you've guessed it, 2004.
This was available last year  as a free download if you signed up to Ze records newsletter. I don't know whether this offer still stands.
I took advantage it it and here are a couple of tracks. A version of Silent Night which hopefully will be better received than that by Baby Washington and Kid Creole himself going under his Sunday name of August Darnell.

Lisi - My Silent Night

August Darnell - Christmas on Riverside Drive

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Some Sunday Christmas Soul

I can hold out no longer - it is now time for some festive tunes
And let's start with some soul and some  fairly traditional fayre from Baby Washington ( born Justine but sometimes credited as Jeanette).
From The Sue Singles on the Kent label and available from our friends at Ace here from Christmas 1966 is Sue 149 and what I suspect was probably  a double A side.
The last of her Sue singles.
She went on to have something of a renaissance on the Northern Soul scene in the early 70's.

More Christmas type stuff for the rest of the week I'm afraid.

Baby Washington - White Christmas

Baby Washington - Silent Night

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Dylan Covered - Knockin' On Heaven's Door

What's going on? Two weeks ago The Swede votes against Bob and last week Alyson votes for Bob!
The world is going mad!
A very close call last week with the Tom Robinson Band narrowly shading it with their version of I Shall Be Released. Therefore the score is now Bob 4  Cover Versions 5 
Another tough one this week with  two versions  of the oft covered Knockin' on Heaven's Door.No Eric Clapton or Guns 'n' Roses you'll be glad to know.
We have Mr Zimmerman's original from the soundtrack of the 1973 film Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid versus the version by Warren Zevon from his 2003 album The Wind which is especially poignant given that he knew that he was dying when he recorded it.
Call me a sentimental old fool but it is Warren for me this week hands down.
Other more heart hearted folk may choose to differ! Can Bob draw level?

A break next Saturday for Christmas stuff. Back in between Christmas and New Year

Bob Dylan - Knockin' On Heaven's Door

Warren Zevon - Knockin' on Heaven's Door

Friday, 16 December 2016

Friday Three Names - Tony Joe White

I didn't have to look too far for inspiration for this week's featured artist given that Tony Joe White sits right next door to last week's William Elliott Whitmore on the Americana shelves.
He is probably best known as a songwriter. He is the man who wrote Rainy Night in Georgia for goodness sake along with Willie and Laura Mae Jones which is on Dusty in Memphis and Steamy Windows made famous by Tina Turner
He is not a bad singer either and is probably the founder of the swamp rock sub genre where country meets soul meets blues.
The Swamp Fox has done pretty well for the son of a cotton farmer from Oak Grove Louisiana.

Tony Joe White - Rainy Night in Georgia

Tony Joe White - Did Somebody Make a Fool Out of YOu

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Such a Strong Persuader

My reference on yesterday's Steve Forbert post got me thinking about Echo  and other lost record shops of Glasgow.
Echo is the forgotten name on the list and was indeed two shops adjacent to each other on Byres Road in Glasgow's West End.
A place where I spent a lot of time and indeed a lot of money (although the records were generally cheap) over a number of years
Strong Persuader by Robert Cray is another purchase from there. Or should it be The Robert Cray Band as written on the spine and on the label? I've opted for the latter.
His fifth studio album from 1986 it was critically acclaimed and was the one that saw him/them and bluesy soul briefly entering the mainstream.
But then again it was probably just another notch on his guitar.

The Robert Cray Band - Smoking Gun

The Robert Cray Band - Right Next Door (Because of Me)

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

The Next Bob Dylan?

Steve Forbert is one of those artists who divides opinion. On starting out he was often compared to Bob Dylan (probably because he plays the harmonica on occasions) and has also survived comparisons with Bruce Springsteen.
I am in the pro camp and indeed there are four of his vinyl albums on the shelves all picked up I suspect in the sadly missed Echo Records on Glasgow's Byres Road. Having said that it is a wee while since any have had an airing.
He is still touring and regularly appears on the Renfrew Ferry
He predates Americana  so is probably best described as folk.
Here are the first and last songs from his 1978 debut Alive on Arrival on Nemperor Records

Steve Forbert - Goin' Down to Laurel

Steve Forbert - You Cannot Win If You Do Not Play

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

A Salutary Lesson on Quitting While Ahead

For the record like any sensible person I abhor all bloodsports including cock fighting. I also happen to think that gambling is a bit of a mug's game.
With this in mind today I gave you the tale of  Gallo Del Ceilo a salutary lesson in quitting while ahead.

From the 1995 album Letter to Laredo by the legendary Texan born in Lubbock the same town as Buddy Holly,  a Flatlander and support act to The Clash Mr Joe Ely.
A change in direction from his previous honky tonk and Americana this largely acoustic album has a Tex Mex feel about it with Dutch guitarist Teye featuring heavily on acoustic flamenco guitar.

Joe Ely - Gallo Del Cielo

Joe Ely - Letter to Laredo

Monday, 12 December 2016

Geography Lessons with Alejandro

Some geography lessons from Alejandro Escovedo for you today.
It is a wee while since we have featured the great man and to the best of my knowledge this is the  first time that songs from his 2006 album The Boxing Mirror have graced these pages.

It has a slightly heavier feel than some of it's predecessors. Produced by John Cale  who also plays guitars and keyboard it also features Jon Dee Graham on guitar.
I think it may well be the last of his albums that I acquired upon release.

I don't think I need to tell anyone that Arizona is a south western American State. Sacramento and Polk on the other hand required more detailed investigation and is an intersection  of two streets in San Francisco

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Some Sunday Hypthenated Soul

I felt a wee bit guilty the other week omitting Gil Scott-Heron from my Friday Three Name Series because of the use of a hyphen.
However the rules is the rules and you got fellow poet Linton Kwesi Johnson instead

So I thought I would make amends and sneak in some Gil today.His work spans soul, jazz and blues with liberal use of the spoken word with an argument that he was a prototype rapper.
Like Linton he was also a bit of a political activist as these songs will testify.

As I am Scottish, I feel obliged to pass on the bit of trivia that I suspect everyone knows by now - his father was the first black player to play football for Glasgow Celtic.

I suspect next week's soul offering may have a tinge of Christmas about it.

Gil Scott-Heron - The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Gil Scott-Heron - Johannesburg

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Dylan Covered -I Shall be Released

A fairly resounding victory last week for the Mojave 3 with their version of Girl From The North Country.
Even the Swede voted against Bob giving us a running total of Bob 4 Cover Artists 4 - this could go all the way to the wire.

This week I Shall be Released a song that Bob has recorded many times with this version coming from his Greatest Hits Volume 2.
Being a classic protest song many other versions have been recorded. I am going for the first one I heard and which still remains my favourite. The Tom Robinson Band with their version recorded on 16th  August 1977 the day that Elvis Presley died.
It is TRB for me, others may choose to disagree (a wee bit of poetry there for you).

Irrespective of the result we are back next week as it is now officially first to 10.

Bob Dylan - I Shall be Released

Tom Robinson Band - I Shall be Released

Friday, 9 December 2016

Friday Three Names - William Elliott Whitmore

We are back to Country this week , or is it blues or perhaps even folk?

I saw Iowan William Elliott Whitmore support Ray Wylie Hubbard at Glasgow's ABC2 a number of years ago - so six names for the price of two
I was introduced to him by a couple of lads from my local  who put three of his albums my way.
These are taken from the middle one of these in date order 2005's Ashes to Dust.
He puts me in mind a wee bit of Ramsay Midwood and his songs have a gothic feel with a pre-occupation of death that The Handsome Family would be proud of.

William Elliott Whitmore - Diggin' My Grave

William Elliott Whitmore -The Buzzards Won't Cry

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Fire Inside My Soul

I know that you are all incredibly busy people but can I ask that you take 8 minutes and 36 seconds out of your hectic schedule and listen to Fire Inside My Soul by Ian McNabb.
If it does not lift your spirits then I am afraid there is no hope for you.
Anything that rhymes the Beatles with the Flying Burritos is pretty special.
The first track from the second solo album by The Icicle Works front man the concept album Head Like a Rock from 1994.
You don't need me to tell you that the musical accompaniment comes from Crazy Horse.
Well it couldn't be anyone else, could it?

Ian McNabb - Fire Inside My Soul

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Another Charity Shop faux pas to report today  along reasonably similar lines to the recent Bliss incident although this time the crime is somewhat more heinous.

I'm getting in my excuses early. I was flushed with success after having picked up Buffalo Tom, Grinderman and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
There is a very slight similarity in the album covers (or then again maybe not)

Yes, I'm afraid it's true. Instead of coming away with the debut album of the critically acclaimed   North London band Wolf Alice instead I had in my hand the debut album of Australian hard rock band Wolfmother.
A mistake I did not realise until I was at the other side of the till.
I've not got to the end of it but as you would expect it is pretty awful.
I shall either dispense with it from whence it came or pass on to one of my less discerning pals (one has paid over 50 quid to see Rush whereas another has taken his kids to see the Michael Schenker Group)
Me, I'm off to the opticians

Tuesday, 6 December 2016


When I recently posted The Boatman's Call by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds I commented that you rarely, if ever, see Nick Cave albums on the shelves in charity shops. All this changed last week when I picked by the eponymous debut album by his side project Grinderman.
If The Boatman's Call was at the mellow end of the spectrum Grinderman is as far removed as it is possible to be.
A splendid combination of scuzzy blues and noise terrorism.A band whose name describes their music perfectly.
Not for the faint hearted.
Released in 2007 Grinderman 2 followed three years later. The band made a brief re-appearance in 2013 so number 3 may well follow.

Grinderman - Depth Charge Ethel

Grinderman - Honey Bee (Let's Fly to Mars)

Chapeau to Tam Cowan from BBC Radio Scotland's Off the Ball for highlighting the similarity between Boaby the Barman and Nick Cave

Monday, 5 December 2016

( big red letter day)

Buffalo Tom are a band that have only just penetrated my radar
One of their songs Summer popped up on Urbanwear a  recent holiday compilation purchase and I know that they are held in high regard by some of my esteemed blogging colleagues including the Robster and JC

I had noticed their 1993 album (Big Red Letter Day) in a charity shop near my mum's care home but did not have the time or the change to purchase it. I returned the next week more in hope than expectation and it was still there and duly purchased together with The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and a further tow who will feature over the next couple of days.
It is a bit of a find - excellent stuff. The first song Sodajerk puts me in mind of R.E.M., no bad thing.
Further exploration required.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Some Sunday Rediscovered Soul

There is a fascinating back story behind Howard Tate's 2003 album  the aptly named Rediscovered.
Popular in the 60's he gave up the music industry after having being ripped of by promoters and music companies.
He subsequently lost a daughter in a house fire, lost his wife, lost his house and perhaps understandably turned to drink and drugs  and ended up living on the streets for 10 years.
With that background he should really be a country singer.

On this album he is reunited with his former producer and songwriter Jerry Ragovy who writes or co-writes (one with Elvis Costello)11 of the 12 songs on the album the 12th song being a version of Kiss by Prince.
He first came to my attention courtesy of Andy Kershaw's radio show.
Thanks Andy.

Howard Tate - Mama Was Right

Howard Tate - Get it While You Can

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Dylan Covered - Girl From The North Country

For a while last week it looked like it was going to be a close thing and then Bob gradually pulled away.
There was however a general recognition that they were two great versions of Blind Willie McTell - three if you count the version offered in the comments by The Swede
So the score is now Bob 4 Cover Artists 3.
Another cracker for you today with Girl From the North Country from the nearest Bob came to a country album Nashville Skyline.
I was originally going to offer up Rosanne Cash's version against that of her dad and Mr Dylan, it is one I have previously posted.
However when listening to a CD  from my Burnt Offerings collection (number 17 seeing as how you asked) which are basically songs I burnt from the internet a few years ago I stumbled on this magnificent version by the Mojave 3.
This has caused me a bit of a dilemma as it may well be the better version. However I cannot bring myself to voting against anything featuring both Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash.
Others of course may choose to disagree.
For those of you considering voting tactically for Bob to bring this series to a conclusion sorry to disappoint you. I have been persuaded by George and the Swede to make it first to 10

Bob Dylan with Johnny Cash - Girl From The North Country

Mojave 3 - Girl From the North Country

Friday, 2 December 2016

Friday Three Names - Linton Kwesi Johnson

Sticking with some non-Country selections I was all set to give you Gil Scott- Heron today until I noticed the dreaded hyphen. Carry on like that and you could well be getting Cheryl Fernandez-Versini for goodness sake.
So it was back to the drawing board but not for long given a fairly obvious candidate was staring us in the face.
Step forward the mighty UK based but Jamaican born dub post Linton Kwesi Johnson (Kwesi being a Ghanaian name for a boy who was born on a Sunday).
Bass Culture and Forces of Victory came out at the time of Two Tone and Rock Against Racism and subsequently were embraced by a wider audience than may have previously been  the case.
His political poetry dealing with the experiences of being African- Caribbean in Britain clearly struck a cord.

Linton Kwesi Johnson - Sonny's Lettah (Anti-Sus Poem)

Linton Kwesi Johnson -Inglan is a Bitch

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Fever to Tell

On the way to visit my mum last weekend I briefly popped into a local charity shop which opens on a Sunday and came away with a couple of finds
One of which was Fever to Tell the 2003 debut album by New York band Yeah Yeah Yeahs consisting of Karen O on vocals, Nick Zinner on guitar and keyboards and Brian Chase on drums.

The annoying sticker on the front tells me that Yeah Yeah Yeahs are taking over the world and that this is the best debut since The Stokes "Is This It" or The Vines"Highly Evolved"
I don't know about you but I  only vaguely remember The Vines

I have their debut EP and a burn of 2009's It's Blitz! and this fits neatly in the middle.
These two tracks are probably the pick of the bunch for me although the sticky highlights Date with the Night and Pin.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Y Control