Search This Blog

Sunday 31 December 2017

That Was The Year That Was

Well that's 2017 just about over.
As always the last day of the year is a time for reflection with regards to the last 12 months and also a time to look forward.
2017 saw the loss of both  my mum and her partner. There were also losses of extended family members and friends on Mrs CC's side of the family.
On a less personal note the political shambles on both sides of the Atlantic continues to give cause for concern. Certainly not a good time to be poor, disabled, in a minority or disadvantaged in any way.
At least the NHS in Scotland is not yet being systematically dismantled as is the case south of the border.

On a more positive note I got to meet my new twin nephews Oscar and Magnus for the first time.
And there is always the Glasgow Bloggers Convention in May to look  fondly back on. Let's do it again sometime.

As you can see I am feeling somewhat melancholy and these two songs which I put on recently seem to hit the spot.

Wishing you and yours a healthy, happy and prosperous 2018.
See you on the other side

Lau - Ghosts

Kelly Hogan - I'll Go To My Grave Loving You

Saturday 30 December 2017

Covered By Cash - Rowboat

After a brief break for the festive period the Covered by Cash series returns.
Last time round Johnny covered Tom Russell's Veteran's Day. Some felt it too close to call but Johnny eventually won out by four votes to two ( five to two if you count Shaggy the dog)
The score is now Cash 6 The Rest 3.

I had wanted to compare and contrast  the respective versions of the Beck song Rowboat. Trouble was I couldn't source a copy of the Beck version. Fortunately Ramone666 from the ever wonderful For the Sake of the Song duly obliged.
Then I hit a further problem in that for some reason I was unable to download Unchained the second in the American Recordings series and I therefore had to go and downoad a further copy of Johnny's version
I'd never heard the Beck original which is from his 1994 album Stereopathetic Soulmanure album before.
For me the Man in Black's version is far superior.

Others, of course, may choose to disagree

Johnny Cash - Rowboat

Beck - Rowboat

Friday 29 December 2017

Barrence Redeems Himself

In the  run up to Christmas I briefly contemplated posting Papa Barrence's Christmas by Barrence Whitfield and the Savages  from the 2017 Bloodshot Records Sampler. In the end I decided against it as it is bloody awful.
Just a temporary blip from the big man I'm sure.
As proof here are Incarceration Casserole from the 2015 Sampler and The Claw from 2016.

Yet another artist who was first brought to my attention via the Andy Kershaw radio show. For me he was as much of an influence, if not more, than Peel.

Barrence Whitfield & the Savages - Incarceration Casserole

Barrence Whitfield & the Savages - The Claw

Thursday 28 December 2017

Honky Tonk Maniac From Mars

All Over Creation is a 2002 album by Jason Ringenberg erstwhile frontman of legendary Jason and the Scorchers.
Released in the States on the Yep Roc label and in the UK on Spit & Polish a division of Shoeshine Records which was rum by Frances McDonald of Teenage Fanclub fame.
It is an artist of collaborations with other artists. On the first track he is joined by Hamell on Trial on lead acoustic guitar.
On the latter song well known to Scorchers fans he is joined by co-author  Steve Earle.

Jason Ringenberg (with Hamell on Trial) - Honky Tonk Mania From Mars

Jason Ringenberg (with Steve Earle) - Bible And a Gun

Wednesday 27 December 2017

My Record(s) of the Year

As I have previously mentioned I have not bought much new music this year but from those purchases that I have made my best record of 2017 is undoubtedly  Returned From Sea by Sister John on the Last Night From Glasgow label
They also were responsible for my gig of the year as well

A close second is There Are No Saints an album by Siobhan Wilson on Song by Toad. I am looking forward to catching her at Celtic Connections in February.

For me 2017 has been dominated by female artists and honourable mentions should  also be made for Annie Booth with An Unforgiving Light, . Nadine Shah with Holiday Destination , Holly Macve with Golden Eagle and Courtney Marie Andrews with Honest Life.

There are a number of artists that I have listened to and enjoyed but sadly have not had the funds to purchase anything by although that might change for a couple when I get round to spending my Christmas money.
In no particular order a shout out to Molly Burch, Sarah Shook & the Disarmers, Girl Ray, Blue Rose Code, Conor Oberst, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Divisionists,Mt Doubt, Neon Waltz, Spinning Coin and Static Union.(without trying that is 17 featured acts for 2017!)

A good number of Scottish artists in that list confirming that Scottish music is in good hands

Tuesday 26 December 2017

Boxing Day Birthday Baleout

Hope you managed to survive the festivities.
It is Mrs CC's  birthday today (the day after the baby Jesus)

The plan is to not leave the house and to do absolutely nothing.
A few drinks (probably starting at breakfast ), some good food and some rubbish telly.
It's been a hard year with one thing and another and Mrs CC deserves to chillax and enjoy her day.
Here are a couple of her favourite tunes.
Happy birthday xx

Electric Light Orchestra - Mr. Blue Sky

George Harrison -My Sweet Lord

Monday 25 December 2017

Happy Shane's Day

Jimmy Buffet, Merry Clayton, Joe Louis Walker and Annie Lennox were all born on Christmas Day.
However it is unlikely that any of them will grace these pages on Christmas Day.
That is because it is also Shane MacGowan's 60th birthday
Christmas is all about traditions and on the times I have posted on this day Shane has featured.
This will continue.

Hope your day is not too stressful and that you find a quick 5 minutes to give Shane a listen

Shane MacGowan - Song With No Name

Shane MacGowan - Aisling

Sunday 24 December 2017

My Christmas Gift to You

It's Christmas Eve so that can only mean one thing.
It's time for A Christmas Gift to You From Phil Spector still by a country mile the greatest Christmas album of all time..
It wasn't an immediate hit. The fact that it was released on 22nd November 1963 the day John F Kennedy was assassinated probably didn't help.
Darlene Love was 22 when this came out. I was born on her 20th birthday.

Can I take this opportunity to wish all of you and your families a very Merry Christmas.
Eat, drink and be merry.

The Ronettes - Frosty The Snowman

Darlene Love - Winter Wonderland

Saturday 23 December 2017

Low Christmas

The 1999 EP Christmas by Low is a record that has appeared here on previous Christmases and one which my workmates have never forgiven me for putting on one year during Christmas nibbles  instead of Maria Carey. Some people just have no taste.

Given that it  has features before most of the excellent originals such as Just like Christmas and Blue 
Christmas have graced these pages before I've decided to give you their take on two old favourites. They will both be familiar to you particularly Silent Night which has been recorded on at least 733 different occasions.
It has featured here before on four occasions by Al Green, Baby Washington. Richard Hawley and Lisi so only 728 to go.
Warning there may be up to a further 10 on the shelves!

Low -The Little Drummer Boy

Low - Silent Night

Johnny Cash will return next Saturday

Friday 22 December 2017

Snow Angels

Snow Angels is a 2006 Christmas album (their second) from Ohio based Americana band Over The Rhine.
Initially released independently and then put out by the Great Speckled Dog label.
My copy is a download which I got free  from Noise Trade or some such place.

I featured the stand out track All I Ever Get For Christmas is Blue last Christmas (as Wham once sang) so this year you are getting their own particular spin on two traditional numbers

Their greatest song is not a Christmas number but entering into the spirit of the season of goodwill I am giving it to you as a wee additional stocking filler

Over The Rhine -Little Town

Over The Rhine - One Olive Jingle

Thursday 21 December 2017

Rumer Sings Bacharach at Christmas

I picked up this as a CD single recently for a quid.
I  assumed that it was a title of the single  was  also that of  an album of the same name but apparently not.
It seems to be pretty sought after  -6 quid plus on Amazon and 8 on Discogs

The first song Some Lovers is the Christmas one and features the man himself. It is a  Burt Bacharach and Steven Sater number  and is the title song of the musical of the same name.
Confession time now - although obviously very familiar with  the song Alfie I was totally unaware that it was a Bacharach and David song until now.And also a better version than Cilla!
Lovely stuff

Rumer - Some Lovers

Rumer - Alfie

Wednesday 20 December 2017

Let The Festivities Begin

Hope I don't peak too early but here is the start of my festive offerings.
We start with albums from two great Glasgow labels.
From Olive Us to Olive You  is a compilation from artists on the Olive Grove Records label. Available  on Bandcamp from as little as 50p for a digital copy and £5 for a physical copy with all proceeds going to cdhuk.
Foolish not to.
Radiophonic Tuckshop is the baby of Joe Kane who writes and produces all the songs. The Winter Garden Playtest is available from Last Night From Glasgow here

This year yet again at work I have declined to participate in the Secret Santa earning me the moniker of the Grinch. A badge I wear with pride.
Bah humbug!

Jo Mango -As a Child I Awoke

Radiophonic Tuckshop - Secret Santa

Tuesday 19 December 2017

Hiss Hiss Hooray

Initially  I was  wondering whether it was too early to feature Heart like a Levee an album by Hiss Golden Messenger from October 2016  on the Merge label one of my purchases with last year's Christmas money.
However given that he has subsequently released Vestapul and Hallelujah Anyhow and a live album Parker's Picks Volume 1 I think that I am ok.Clearly going through a somewhat prolific patch.
When I say he as opposed to them that is because the band  consists of North Carolinian M.C.Taylor and a number of guest musicians.
Another artist making their CCM debut.

Hiss Golden Messenger - Biloxi

Hiss Golden Messenger - Heart Like a Levee

Monday 18 December 2017

Island Life

Ten or so minutes of Grace Jones to ease you gently in to that last frantic week before Christmas.
From 1995 and not surprisingly on the Island label the compilation Island Life is a great summary of the first nine years of her musical career.
Throw in Nipple to the Bottle which is available on the cassette version and Warm Leatherette and arguably you've got pretty much all the Grace Jones you will ever need. A rash statement that will probably come back to haunt me.

I usually avoid a best of the year list as finances dictate that I only ever purchase a relatively small number of new records per year. However from what I have heard and what I have read (I do enjoy reading other people's lists) 2017 has been a particularly good year.

Grace Jones - La Vie En Rose

Grace Jones - My Jamaican Guy

Sunday 17 December 2017

Some Sunday Fulks Music

It has been too long since  the great Robbie Fulks has graced these pages.
Here are a  couple of songs from his debut album Country Love Songs. From way back in 1996 it was the 11th record on the Bloodshot catalogue.
My copy seems to have initially belonged to Birmingham libraries.
Robbie is still going strong and has churned out a further dozen albums  mostly on Bloodshot with Geffen and Yep Roc also on the list.
He received a Grammy nomination for his latest album 2016's Upland Stories.

Robbie Fulks - Rock Bottom, Pop.1

Robbie Fulks - Papa Was a Steel-Headed Man

Saturday 16 December 2017

Covered by Cash -Veteran's Day

He's back! Clear daylight again between Johnny and the rest with a pretty convincing win over Tom Waits with their respective versions of Down There by The Train. While Johnny's music is loved by everyone the same it would appear cannot by said for Mr Waits
It's now Cash 5 The Rest 3 - he's half way there (and living on a prayer).
Today's comparison comes once again courtesy of our good friend Ernie Goggins. Fresh from seeing the great Tom Russell in concert for the umpteenth time he has offered up two versions of Veteran's Day.

Tom's original is from 1990 and features on his album Poor Man's Dream. Johnny's version features on later versions of his album Boom Chicka Boom also originally released in 1990. It also appears on 2008's Wounded Heart of America where a number of singers pay their own homage to Tom.

Until now I didn't think  I've ever heard either version although it does sound vaguely familiar. Perhaps he sang it when I saw him live. After an initial listen it's a tough one as they are pretty much of a muchness. Maybe Tom slightly shades it for me.
Others of course may choose to disagree

Johnny Cash - Veteran's Day

Tom Russell - Veteran's Day

Friday 15 December 2017

Some Friday Orkney Folk

Let's end the week with some folk from the Orkney Islands.
Here is Kris Drever with Harvest Gypsies from his 2006 solo debut album Blackwater and a live version of the title track Steel & Stone (Black Water) recorded in Glasgow's Old Fruitmarket in January 2008.Given the date I assume it was a Celtic Connections concert..
As well as a solo artist Mr Drever is a member of Lau  and has released records with Fine Friday, Eammon Coyne, Boo Hewerdine and as part of the folk  super trio  of Drever, (John) McCusker and (Roddy) Woomble.

One of the few artists whose dad (fellow folk singer Ivan) has also appeared on these pages.

Kris Drever - Harvest Gypsies

Kris Drever - Steel & Stone (Black Water) (live)

Thursday 14 December 2017

Icky Thump

On Icky Thump the 6th and final  studio album by The White Stripes, they  mash up northern English vernacular with the title (meaning what the heck) and the cover where Jack and Meg appear as a Pearly king and queen part of the Cockney culture of London.
The music is also the usual mash of garage rock and scuzzy blues and whatever else takes Jack's  fancy in this case Scottish folk music,trumpets and bagpipes.
The theme according to Jack is about feeling positive about being alive, taking deep breaths and just being really happy and who are we to argue
It's hard to believe that this is now 10 years old and indeed that the first of their albums was released in 1999.
With this purchase that's me now got all 6 of their studio albums something that makes me rather happy. What can I say, I'm easily pleased.

The White Stripes - You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You're Told)

The White Stripes - Catch Hell Blues

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Frankly, Mr Shankly

In the five and a bit years that CCM has been on the go I have never posted anything by The Smiths.
A couple of covers here and there but nothing by the  band.
It may well be because up until Saturday when I picked up The Queen is Dead I didn't have anything by them.
A statement which could well get me drummed out the  Brownies.
So not a huge fan as you can probably gather although the album is not bad at all.
From 1986 when Morrissey was slightly less of a right wing reactionary twat than he is now.

Time for a quote from the great man. No, not Morrissey but Bill Shankly

The socialism I believe in is everybody working for the same goal and everybody having a share in the
 rewards. That's how I see football, that's how I see life."

That's how you do it Moz

The Smiths - Frankly, Mr Shankly

The Smiths - There is a Light That Never Goes Out

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Pretty in Black

Now this is much more like it.
I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon Pretty in Black the 2005 second album by the Danish dynamic duo The  Raveonettes  among the usual dross which makes up a charity shop CD selection.
I've opted for the two singles from the album Love in a Trashcan and  Ode to L.A.
If the vocalist on the latter sounds familiar that is because it is the legend that is Ronnie Spector. Moe Tucker of Velvet Underground fame is on drums and percussion.
Which goes to show that they are held in high regard by those that know.

There are a couple of interesting covers among the bonus tracks which I will get round to featuring in due course.

The Raveonettes - Love in a Trashcan

The Raveonettes - Ode to L.A.

Monday 11 December 2017

A Glittering Prize But No Crustaceans

I am still somewhat hungover after the Last of the Summer Wine Christmas Curry so I have neither the inclination or the energy to come up with some songs about crustaceans so sorry George and C
I may have a go later if I can come up with any songs. Suggestions welcomed.

Now you may or may not believe me but I wasn't hungover or indeed drunk earlier on the Saturday when  I picked up Glittering Prize 81/92 as part of a mini haul from a local charity shop.
It is a strange one in that it covers a period 81/82 when Simple Minds  were good and 83/92 when they weren't
If you really need to have a Simple Minds compilation then Celebration is the one to have.
Here are a couple of tracks that just about pass muster.

Sunday 10 December 2017

Rock Lobster

You can hardly turn on the telly these days without witnessing a "celebrity" or two off on a travelogue or as I like to call it a jolly on the licence payer's expense.
There is always someone off to Kathmandu, the frozen North or the source of the Amazon.
Poor Julie Walters drew the short straw and got great coastal train journeys of the United Kingdom. On ITV so a poor man's Michael Portillo.
Unfortunately for Julie she didn't get to fraternize with tigers, polar bears or camels. No, the closest she got was lobsters and, in the highlight of the programme for me, this popped up as the background music.

I can't believe it has never featured before but that appears to be the case. Neither equally strangely has Planet Claire.
Rest assured I've given myself a severe talking to

The B-52's -Rock Lobster

The B-52's - Planet Claire

Saturday 9 December 2017

Covered By Cash -Down There By The Train

A unanimous victory last week for Simon and Garfunkel  with Bridge Over Troubled Water. That is unanimous among those that chose to vote. A good few were not that enamoured with either track and felt that Johnny would have had a much better chance with The Boxer or even better The Sound of Silence. I am inclined to agree.
The first defeat for a while sees the score now sitting at Cash 4 The Rest 3.

Today I was going to feature Rowboat but couldn't source a copy of the Beck original which I only heard for the first time via You Tube last week. If anyone could oblige I would be grateful.
Plan B sees Johnny up against Tom Waits with Down There By The Train with his version from the original American Recordings record.
Silk versus gravel.
 I struggle with Tom Waits (although this is one of his better numbers) so for me there can only be one winner and that's The Man in Black.
Others, of course, may choose to disagree

Johnny Cash - Down There By The Train

Tom Waits - Down There By The Train

Friday 8 December 2017

A Grand Don't Come For Free

Way back in 1973 Gram Parsons informed us that a decent wedding would set you back $1000.
That is of course assuming that the bride doesn't do a runner (or has she popped her  clogs?)
Whatever it results in the groom and his pals going on a bender of such magnitude that it's lucky they survived.
Don't you just love country music?

Step forward to 2017 and Brett Sparks is bemoaning the fact that these days 1000 dollars won't even buy you a decent second hand car.

Inflation, eh?

Gram Parson - $1000 Dollar Wedding

Evan Dando & Julianna Hatfield - $1000 Dollar Wedding

The Handsome Family -$1000 Dollar Car

Thursday 7 December 2017

All You Need is Love

Alyson over at What's It All About? recently featured the  60's American psychedelic band Love zoning in on Forever Changes and the song Alone Again Or.

I commented that I have only featured them once before and that was around 5 years ago in the very early days of  CCM. Therefore they are probably well overdue another spin.
Their first three albums are on the shelves albeit  Da Capo is a burn. We shall feature them in chronological order.
The first album Love from 1966 has touches of psychedelia but also its fair share of folk and garage numbers. I picked up the 2001 issue in a charity shop with all the songs in both mono and stereo.We will stick with mono today.
The second album Da Capo is also from 1966 but by them the drugs had well and truly kicked in. You want proof? The entire second side of the album is a 19 minute jam called Revelation.
1967 saw the release of what ultimately came to be seen as their masterpiece Forever Changes. It failed to achieve commercial success at the time but regularly appears in the higher echelons in lists of the Greatest Albums of all time.
It certainly won't be another 5 years before they feature again.

Love - Signed D.C. (Mono mix)

Love - Seven & Seven Is

Love - A House is Not a Motel

Wednesday 6 December 2017

Reggae Fever

Some reggae fever for you today to help ease that chill in your bones.
From the Handsworth area of Birmingham I was pretty sure that I had featured Steel Pulse before but apparently not although Ku Klux Klan has appeared from a Mojo Made in Britain Compilation.
The only album of theirs that I have is from 1984 and is one of the Island Masters Reggae Greats series that you used to be able to pick up for a couple of quid.
I also have the Black Uhuru one. I  should keep my eye out for more to add to my meagre reggae section.

Steel Pulse - Reggae Fever

Steel Pulse - Handsworth Revolution

Tuesday 5 December 2017

100.000 Books and 3 Records - part 3

The  final installment of this short series sees your intrepid author clutching his records but staring longingly at The Whisky Distilleries of  the United Kingdom by Alfred Barnard which sadly at £40 was somewhat out of my price range.
The final album, the one in the middle  of the previous pictures which was puzzling The Swede , is Songs From a Room the 2nd studio album by Leonard Cohen from 1969.
Confession time - it was bought primarily because Bird on a Wire, which I wanted to feature in the Johnny Cash series, is somewhat strangely not included on the Best of Leonard Cohen which until now was the only one of his on the shelves.
Rather than paying 99p for a download I figured it was probably worth  forking out three quid more and coming away with this album.
It is ok but if I were to score the three albums which I acquired it would come a distant third.It shall now be filed away as will this mini series.

Leonard Cohen - The Old Revolution

Leonard Cohen -The Partisan

Monday 4 December 2017

Peel Sessions - The Mighty Wah

I could well be wrong but I think that in addition to The Specials the only other  physical Strange Fruit Peel Sessions EP I have is by The Mighty Wah
Transmitted on 17th September 1984 with the catalogue number SFPS035 it is one of the ones with the bronze special metallic limited edition sleeves.
What to say about The Mighty Wah?More often than not there is an exclamation mark after the name but strangely not in this instance.
Along with Wah!, Wah!Heat, Shambeko!,JF Wah! and Wah! The Mongrel it is one of the many aliases showing off the talents of one Peter James Wylie.
In the late 70's when Liverpool was the  musical place to be he started out as part of the Crucial Three with fellow local legends Ian McCulloch and Julian Cope.

This Peel Session was recorded on or around the same time as the album A Word To The Wise Guy and contains a take on their most famous song The Story of the Blues Pt 1.

Some Peel Sessions from album compilations or other sources may appear at a later date

The Mighty Wah - Basement Blues;The Story of the Blues (Peel Session)

The Mighty Wah - Yuh Learn (Peel Session)

Sunday 3 December 2017

Country Death Songs

The other day when I featured the Violent Femmes I mentioned that I had first come across their song Country Death Song on the Rough Trade Country 1 compilation.
This naturally led to me dusting it down and giving it a listen.
My acquisition of Hallowed Ground means that I now have just under half the albums featured on the front cover (7 I think) and albums by 22 out of the 40  featured artists.
I short a snapshot of where my musical tastes were in the late 90's/early 00's.

I've featured many of the artists and a good few of the artists before but it is too rich a seam not go go back and mine again.
A further three for you today including a  quite wonderful cover by Freakwater of Dwight Yoakam's South of Cincinnati 

Whiskeytown - Houses on the Hill

Green On Red - Hair of the Dog

Freakwater - South of Cincinnati

Saturday 2 December 2017

Covered by Cash -Bridge over Troubled Water

As I type this  it is 5 apiece from JC and NC  last Sunday with their  respective versions of The Mercy Seat.
Spence is prone to a late night post so I may wake up to a winner.
However I am conscious that this one caused some of you a degree of consternation as both versions are so good (there was event an abstention!) Therefore a draw was probably a fair result and the scores remain Cash 4 The Rest 2

This week's may be slightly easier. Johnny ably assisted by Fiona Apple is up against Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel with Bridge Over Troubled Water
The baritone tones of Johnny versus the falsetto of Art.
Although Johnny could recite the phonebook and sound brilliant it seems to my that by the time American IV:The Man Comes Around was released in 2002 his voice was starting to weaken slightly as his health gradually worsened
This week it is Simon & Garfunkel for me on the basis that you can't improve on perfection.

Others, of course, may choose to disagree and I'm sure some will

Johnny Cash - Bridge Over Troubled Water

Simon and Garfunkel -Bridge Over Troubled Water

Friday 1 December 2017


I picked by The Crane Wife a 2006 album by The Decemberists a couple of months ago and it seems too good an opportunity not to feature it today.
I wasn't particularly impressed first time round but it sounded slightly better second time around so maybe it is a grower.At the moment I remain to be convinced that it is a keeper.
The album was inspired by a Japanese folk tale. I'll let Wiki tell the story so I don't have to
Produced by the ubiquitous Tucker Martine

The Crane Wife 3 is the first track on the album with The Crane Wife 1& 2 being track 9. This annoys me far more than it ought to.

The Decemberists -The Crane Wife 3

The Decemberists - Sons & Daughters