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Wednesday 31 January 2018

Some More Midweek Treats

I couldn't resist a further dip into the pick'n' mix  selection that is the Treats sampler from Seattle's Barsuk Records.
It is from 2002 as Brian kindly informs us. He also features The Long Winters  so we don't have to.

This time around I thought I would concentrate on artists that I was less familiar with. I was familiar with the name Death Cab For Cutie (kindda hard not to be with a name like that) but not with the music.
If it all as good as A Movie Script Ending then some more exploration is clearly required.
I also plumped for a band I have never heard of All-Time Quarterback. Turns out that this is a side project of DCFC main man Ben Gibbard featuring some songs that didn't seem right for his main band.

Sadly on this occasion John Vanderslice, The Prom, Sunset Valley and the awfully named Kind of Like Spitting all failed to miss the cut

Death Cab For Cutie - A Movie Script Ending

All -Time Quarterback - Plans Get Complex

Tuesday 30 January 2018

Guilty Pleasures Rise Again

I stumbled across a CD entitled Guilty Pleasures Rise Again in the darkest recesses of the shelves the other day.
On the premise that there is in fact no such thing as a guilty pleasure I ran my eye over the tracks and a couple of songs jumped to my attention.
 These involve artists and/or songs which have featured elsewhere around these parts recently.
I quite liked S-S-S-Single Bed by Fox on it's release in 1976 and still do now. Jamie at For Malcontents Only wrote a fascinating article on the band not so long ago

And hardly surprisingly Kim Carnes was the number one in Rol's top 10 Bette Davis Songs.
It is of course impossible to listen to this song without your mind wandering to Birkenhead's finest

Fox - S-S-S-Single Bed

Kim Carnes - Bette Davis Eyes

Half Man Half Biscuit -Dickie Davies Eyes (Peel Session)

Monday 29 January 2018


At Saturday night 's Celtic Connections concert Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer covered Lithium. More of which later. It also features on their album Not Dark Yet.
All of which had me reaching for the original which I haven't played in a long while.

Our retired neighbours through the wall like to entertain often and loudly as was the case on Sunday afternoon. As a gesture of neighbourly goodwill I left the album playing at a reasonable volume as I went for a shower.

I like it, I'm not going to crack.

Nirvana - Lithium

Nirvana - Polly

Sunday 28 January 2018

A Sunday Single #4

The last of the four singles recently purchased in my local Charity shop and it is a cracker.
Ghost Town by the Specials in a 2 Tone sleeve for 50p. I may not get a better bargain this year.
Released on 12th June 1981 it spent 3 weeks at number 1 and a total of 10 weeks in the UK Top 40

I have a lot of admiration for the Specials but embarrassingly precious few records. Only The Peel Sessions EP and In the Studio by The Special A.K.A (if that counts) and the occasional track on compilations. Something I clearly need to rectify.
Talking of the Specials isn't it great to see Scott from the ever wonderful Spools Paradise back posting?

I revisited the charity shop recently but the good ones have now going and they are left with Cliff Richard and the likes.There are precious few vinyl singles in the Muso room although a job lot belonging to Mrs CC and her sister appeared when her mum moved house.
Depending on the quality and the condition of these records I will continue with this series meantime  and keep my eye out for some more bargains.

The Specials - Ghost Town

The Specials - Why?

The Specials -Friday Night, Saturday Morning

Saturday 27 January 2018

Covered By Cash - Solitary Man

Johnny was comprehensively routed last week by Roberta Flack with her definitive version of First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.
From a seemingly unassailable position The Man in Black's lead has been severely clawed back after three straight defeats in a row to make the score now Cash 7 The Rest 6.

Can he stop the rot this week?
This week we have Solitary Man the title track to American III up against the original from Neil Diamond another veteran artist who had his career resurrected by Rick Rubin. Just received the sad news that Neil has reluctantly retired having being diagnosed with Parkinsons.My mum had that and it is not pleasant.

I think that the rot may have well and truly been stopped this week. It's Johnny for me by a distance. He gives the song some gravitas.

Others, of course, may choose to disagree but they would be wrong there

Johnny Cash -Solitary Man

Neil Diamond - Solitary Man

Friday 26 January 2018

Celtic Connections - Allison Moorer and Shelby Lynne

The first of this years two Celtic Connections concerts tomorrow night at Glasgow's City Halls and I'm fair excited about it.
Americana royalty in the shape of sisters Allison Moorer and Shelby Lynne showcasing their recently released collaborative record Not Dark Yet (primarily covers with one original song). It is not on the shelves yet but I suspect that will be remedied in the not to distant future.
There is solo stuff from both of them there which regularly get dusted down.
We saw Allison a couple of years ago and she was excellent. It will be our first sighting of Shelby.

As  if that wasn't enough as an added bonus the producer of their album some boy called Teddy Thompson will be the support act!
Full match report to follow.

Allison Moorer - The One That Got Away (Got Away With My Heart)

Shelby Lynne - Breakfast in Bed

Teddy Thompson - Looking For a Girl

Thursday 25 January 2018

Always Different, Always The Same

A guest contribution from George

The Fall were a bloody brilliant band. Or maybe I should say they were a series of bloody brilliant bands given the line-up changes.  “If it’s Mark E Smith and your granny on bongos, it’s the Fall”, but I never got to hear that particular version of the band, although it would have been great to see my Nanna, who would outsmoke Mark E Smith, on stage with her packs of Silk Cut and a glass of sherry, on the bongos whilst Smith had his back turned to the audience.

Repetitive Fall

The records kept coming, for almost 40 years, at times great (The Unutterable, Your Future Our Clutter) and at times a bit less so, but that run of albums from Live At The Witch Trials, in 1979, to The Infotainment Scan in 1993 rarely had a duff track on them. And you couldn’t ask for much more from a band. For me it's the music, the lyrics are always secondary, which is just as well given that at best only half the time  can I make out what the hell Mark E Smith is shouting about. And even when I can make it out, say on Garden (Perverted by Language), I've no idea what the hell it's about. And sometimes, when I'm lucky, it can always make me smile,
 "Make joke records, hang out with Gary Bushell,
Join round table. "I like your single yer great!""
on C'n'C-S Mithering (Grotesque).
 But it's the music, always that relentless relentless relentless repetition, on O.F.Y.C Showcase (Your Future Our Clutter), or Pacifying Joint (Fall Heads Roll), or No Bulbs, a song it is impossible and it should be illegal to not PLAY LOUD,  or, or, or,...Repetition (77-Early Years-79), it's always the music for me.

Early and Amusing Fall

You don’t have to like the personnel to like the music, which was just as well really, but I suppose there comes a point when the person’s actions go too far for us to listen to the records anymore. Maybe. After all, I suspect I’m not the only one who still plays Phil Spector-produced records; R.L.Burnside killed someone in a dice game. And Mark E Smith seemed to have some nasty violent habits, and hold some distasteful views, but that’s not going to stop me playing Live At The Witch Trials and shouting along to Mother Sister, blasting out The Lay Of The Land, the first Fall song I ever heard, almost shiver with pleasure as Cyber Insekt vibrates the walls. Mark E Smith didn’t mean anything to me, I never met him, never wanted to, I didn’t even want to go see the band in concert after about 2007,  but I always wanted to buy his records.

"I can make out some lyrics but what the hell is this all about" Fall

Always different, always the same

David Johansen & the Harry Smiths

I doubt that anyone who witnessed the excesses of the New York Dolls in the early 70's would have put much money on David Johansen still being around in the year 2000 far less releasing an album of raw Blues songs.
The first of two albums inspired by the release of The Anthology of American Folk Music a compilation of 1920's and 30's songs assembled by the musicologist Harry Smith hence the band name.
In the interim he had a number of jazz and lounge albums under the name of Buster Poindexter

From this
New York Dolls - Who Are The Mystery Girls?

To this
David Johansen & the Harry Smiths - Somebody Buy Me a Drink

The sound of a man getting old gracefully or should that be disgracefully?

Wednesday 24 January 2018

Mark E Smith RIP

A news flash has just come up on my phone advising as to the sad but probably not entirely unexpected death of Mark E Smith.
Other bigger fans than  me will no doubt post poignant and eloquent tributes and  I suspect that the blogsphere and social media may well go into meltdown.
In the meantime I'll leave you with a couple of numbers from the Groupe

Rest easy Mark

The Fall - Totally Wired

The Fall -Spoilt Victorian Child

Midweek Treats

Some midweek Treats for you today courtesy of Seattle record label Barsuk.
Now as everyone knows barsuk is the Russian word for badger as in Tim Barsuk. However the label is not if fact named after our black and white furry friends but after the black Labrador belonging to the labels owners hence the cute cover. Glad we got that sorted.
Founded in 1998 they have a pretty impressive stable of artists

Here are three of the better known ones. Nada Surf (from the 2002 album Let  Go), Rilo Kiley (from 2001's Takeoffs and Landings ) and Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter (with the title track from 2002's Reckless Burning).

I've tried unsuccessfully to burn this sampler a few times before This time I struck lucky.

Nada Surf - Inside Of Love

Rilo Kiley - Pictures of Success

Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter - Reckless Burning

Tuesday 23 January 2018

The Greatest White Liar

I can't remember whether it was by accident or by design but I once witnessed an absolutely incendiary concert at King Tuts by Nic Armstrong and his band the Thieves.
It was 60's throwback stuff with more than a passing nod to the blues and it was absolutely superb.
I eagerly awaiting the arrival of his debut album The Greatest White Liar which was released in April 2004 on One Little Indian records.
I must admit to being a tad disappointed when I heard it. Not because it is a bad album but because it came nowhere near  to the live experience.
Then I saw them again in the Barfly and sadly that gig was not a patch on the first time round.
We went our separate ways thereafter.Originally from Newcastle they are now based in Austin, Texas.

I guess it was just one of those special nights that you get from time to time.

Nic Armstrong - I Can't Stand It

Nic Armstrong - Down Home Girl

Monday 22 January 2018

A Load of Trish

Rubies in the Lawn a 1999 album by Austin based singer/songwriter Trish Murphy was one of those random charity shop purchases.
Her take on These Boots Are Made For Walking featured in the early days of the blog.
Probably more rock than Americana  but certainly with country influences.
It is the middle one of the five albums she released between 1991 and 2005.
Featuring today as it was randomly plucked from the shelves over the weekend for the first listen in a while.
Nothing else to report.

Trish Murphy - Johnny Too Blue

Trish Murphy - Somewhere Else

Sunday 21 January 2018

A Sunday Single # 3

Block Buster! by Sweet was released on 13th January 1973 when I was 12. I can remember dancing to it at my primary school disco.
It was brilliant then and is still brilliant now 44 years later.
It was their only UK number 1 single but they did manage to hit the number 2 spot on at least 5 occasions one of which being the equally brilliant Ballroom Blitz.
A Chinn and Chapman number - obviously
The b-side Need a Lot of  Lovin' shows their slightly rockier side that they had before Glam Rock and which they subsequently reverted back to when the glitter and flares were all gone

We just haven't got a clue what to do.

There is confusion as to whether or not lead singer Brian Connelly was the half brother of Taggart star Mark McManus or whether he was fostered by the McManus family. Both sadly succumbed to alcohol in the end.

Sweet - Block Buster!

Sweet - Need a Lot of Lovin'

Saturday 20 January 2018

Covered By Cash -The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

A resounding victory for Hank Williams last week with I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry.
So whereas Johnny looked like he was cruising to an easy victory the last couple of weeks have seen him being pegged back and it is now Cash 7 The Rest 5.
If it goes to the wire I'll hopefully have just about enough material for 19 songs (or more if you count draws)
Happy to receive any contributions Ernie Goggins and Ramone666 have already kindly obliged.

Now I know that Ewan MacColl wrote The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face but today you are getting Roberta Flack because a) I don't have Ewan's version to hand and b) Roberta  owns it..
Probably a trickier proposition than last week
I'm going for Roberta but only just. It's a real tough one.I suspect that Johnny would have beat Euan pretty convincingly.

Others, of course, may choose to disagree and I suspect that some of you will

Johnny Cash - The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

Roberta Flack - The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

Friday 19 January 2018

Au Revoir Mesdames et Monsieurs

For the last month or so I have seen my daily viewing figures increase by about ten fold. The vast majority of these "new " viewers appear to come from France and they all appear to be coming from the same referring URL.
I suspect that something is afoot particularly when a few random posts seem to suddenly generate a large number of viewers for reasons that are beyond me. 5000 plus hits for Conway Twitty for example.

They seem to have disappeared as quickly as they came and although it made my figures look pretty impressive I can't say that I'm sorry. I'm happy to be back on an even keel with a rough idea as to who is lurking out there.
All of this is a pity for our French friends as they are now likely to miss a couple of songs from my favourite countrymen of theirs.
Sadly Nevski only appear to have released one EP from as far back as March 2015. It is however a cracker and you should pop over to Bandcamp and do the needful preferably before Brexit kick in.

Nevski - En Anglettere

Nevski - Le Jardin

Thursday 18 January 2018

Sir Andy Flurry

It's been pretty grim up here for the last few days with the weather taking a turn for the worse.
Plenty of the old white stuff about resulting in the roads grinding to a halt.
On Tuesday night it took me over 3 hours to travel the 18 miles from Wishaw to home.
So on Wednesday I resorted to public transport.
I got the train to Wishaw or at least that was  the plan. Wishaw is on the Lanark line which is Glasgow -Bellshill -Motherwell -  Wishaw - Carluke - Lanark with the occasional other stop inbetween.
I got on at Glasgow and things were going swimmingly until Motherwell when there was an announcement that because the train was running late there would be no further stops until Lanark.
So I had to get off and get a bus. I have contacted Scotrail looking for them to reimburse my £2.30 bus fare.
Maybe I should have stayed on til Lanark and noised up Drew!

When Fred Eaglesmith has finished clearing the roads of Cumberland County maybe he'll jump onto Sir Andy Flurry above and sort out the M74

Fleet Foxes - White Winter Hymnal

Fred Eaglesmith - Cumberland County

Wednesday 17 January 2018

If We Can't Trust The Doctors

About a dozen or so years ago I went to see  Detroit based Americana/Southern Gothic band Blanche play at the Barfly in Clyde Street, Glasgow.
They, and the lead singer Dan John Miller in particular, were totally obnoxious treating their audience with total disdain.
Which is all a bit of a pity given that their 2004 debut album If We Can't Trust The Doctors on Loose Records is actually rather good .I was reminded of this record as I have just filed The Bottle Rockets next door to it.
Here are a couple of songs from said album including a cover of The Gun Club's Jack on Fire from the classic Fire of Love.

Blanche - Who's To Say

Blanche - Jack on Fire

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Lonely Boy

I've just finished reading Last Train to Memphis the first  volume of the Elvis Presley biographies by Peter Guralnick. I've got the second volume Careless Love, Stewart Cosgrove's Memphis 68 and Iain Banks Raw Spirit: Story of a perfect Dram  still to read.

I thought I would start with something less taxing Lonely Boy the memoirs of former Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones lent to me by my brother.
It is a pretty easy and entertaining read - the usual sex and drugs and rock'n'roll cliches with some childhood abuse and neglect, voyeurism and thieving thrown in for good measure.Amusing and toe curling on occasions and he is brutally honest as to his foibles.
 He has come out the other end and is now sober and a successful radio presenter in Los Angeles with his Jonesy's Jukebox show.

It spurred me into featuring something from Never Mind the Bollocks which I have been meaning to do for a while.There are two copies on the shelves- one of which probably used to belong to my brother.

Sex Pistols - No Feelings

Sex Pistols - Anarchy in the UK

Monday 15 January 2018

Tango With Lions

I seem somehow to have found myself on the mailing list of Inner Ear records from Greece.
They send me lots of stuff to listen to but unfortunately no free downloads these days.
Most of it is not really my cup of tea. I'm not a huge fan of Greek psych rock.
However every now and then something catches my eye and more importantly my ear
The splendidly named  Tango With Lions featuring the dulcet tones of Katrina Patachristou are about to release The Light their first album in 5 years  on 19th January and available to pre- order on Bandcamp
If the rest of it is as good as this I may well be chucking a few Euros in their direction.

The only other one of their artists I have explored further is My Drunken Haze whose eponymous album, and currently their only one, was released in November 2014 and  again is rather good..Also available on Bandcamp

My Drunken Haze - Carol Wait

My Drunken Haze -Endless Fairytale

Sunday 14 January 2018

A Sunday Single #2

This second recently acquired single is one which will please Walter who I know is a big fan.
Entering the UK singles  chart on 8th December 1973 Pool Hall Richard by The Faces remained there for  11 weeks peaking at number 8.
All Music critic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine, described the song as unremarkable. He's wrong there it is a terrific tune. From when Rod was good.
The B side is a credible live cover of the Temptations song I Wish It Would Rain.

My copy (as was the case with Kim Wilde) has a plain paper sleeve as opposed to the picture sleeve featured above.Ronnie Laine appears on the sleeve but does not appear on the record as he had left the band before it was recorded and released as a single.

Another one next Sunday.

The Faces - Pool Hall Richard

The Faces - I Wish it Would Rain

Saturday 13 January 2018

Covered by Cash - I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry

When Swiss Adam and C cast their votes for Bruce Springsteen then you know that Johnny is in serious trouble.
And so it proved. Only a vote by George prevented a total landslide for The Boss with the original of Highway Patrolman.
The scores therefore are now Cash 7 The Rest 4.
The Man in Black has probably covered dozens of Hank Williams songs over the years and indeed I have a few.
I've opted for his version of I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry on America IV: The Man Comes Around where he is accompanied by Nick Cave. I suppose you could argue that 2 against 1 is hardly fair but let's face it you probably would need haunners if you were up against the Hillbilly Shakespeare.

I think that the tag team just about shade it. Others, of course may choose to disagree.

Johnny Cash (with Nick Cave) - I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry

Hank Williams -I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry

Friday 12 January 2018

Let The Side Show Begin

Apologies to anyone tuning in and expecting to hear Barry Biggs.
Side Show was a 2010 album by Scottish/Canadian super folk group The Burns Unit.
I got it out the library shortly after it's release and it has always been an ambition to replace it with a physical copy.
It was never quite top of my wish list and always fairly expensive. I played it just after New Year and checked the price to find it was pretty reasonable and swooped.
The collective consisted of Emma Pollock, Future Pilot A.K.A., King Creosote, Kim Edgar, Karine Polwart, Mattie Fouls, Michael Johnston and MC Soom T who had originally met at Burnsong a Scottish songwriting retreat
They played a few gigs and festivals but only ever recorded the one album.
KC and KP take the lead on the first track featured and Soom T on the second.

The Burns Unit -Since We've Fallen Out

The Burns Unit - Send Them Kids to War

Thursday 11 January 2018

She Came from Greece, She had a Thirst for Knowledge

I was quite surprised to discover that Pulp have only appeared on these pages once before and that was with Help the Aged from a compilation album.
Although 1995's Different Class  which I took from the shelves and played in the car this week was the album which shot them to fame it was in fact their 5th album with the band having been on the go from as far back as 1978.
I sometimes think that Different Class can be seen as the Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret for the 90's.
Both albums having a number of brilliantly written slightly seedy and sordid  songs and three cracking singles - in Soft Cell's case Tainted Love, Bedsitter and Saw Hello, Wave Goodbye whereas Different Class has the two below and Sorted for E's & Whizz.

Pulp - Common People

Pulp - Disco 2000

Wednesday 10 January 2018

Not So Loud

Some time just before Christmas I featured The Handsome Family with 1000 Dollar Car taken from the 2017  Bloodshot Records Sampler.
In the comments Gram Lynch mentioned that the original of the song was by St Louis band The Bottle Rockets.
This led George to track down their 2011 album Not So Loud -An Acoustic Evening With The Bottle Rockets which he kindly shared with me.
Here then is their version which to these ears is not quite as good as the Handsomes.
To keep the numbers theme going here is another track from their album Smokin' 100's Alone. I've no idea in this context what a 100 is - a make of cigarette I assume.

The Bottle Rockets -1000 Dollar Car

The Bottle Rockets - Smokin' 100's Alone

Tuesday 9 January 2018

Rankin' Full Stop

It's about time that Ska revival band The Beat graced these pages once more.
Their debut single  from 1979 Tears of a Clown/Rankin' Full Stop is on the mighty 2 Tone label and reached number 6 in the UK singles chart.
Thereafter they set up their own label Go- Feet which predominantly featured their own records and also  singles by The Mood Elevators  and Pato & Roger and a couple of singles and an album by Cedric Myton & the Congos

Sadly still on the go on the retro circuit with two competing versions featuring former band members.
Let's remember them as they were.

The Beat -Rankin' Full Stop

The Beat - Too Nice To Talk To

Monday 8 January 2018

Green On Red - Dirk Brian Swede

My Chuck Prophet post the other day awoke some brain cells from their festive slumber - particularly those of the gentlemen named above.
They all got quite excited at the thought of  Green on Red and in particular their 1985 album Gas Food Lodging and in Dirk's case the opening track That's What Dreams.

My copy is a second hand one from  Missing Records which was a bargain at £1.99 and I was fortunate enough to see them play at King Tuts on 4th September 2006.

When you google Gas Food Lodging  the first  reference is to a 1992 film about a waitress trying to find romance while raising two daughters in a trailer park.
Something wrong there surely but I wouldn't be surprised if it took it's name from the  classic album by a brilliant band.

Green on Red -That's What Dreams

Green on Red - Easy Way Out

Sunday 7 January 2018

A Sunday Single

A New Year - a new series.
Popped into my local charity shop yesterday and someone had handed in a pile of singles in reasonable  condition and at 50 p a pop. So I picked up a few which I will feature over the next few weeks.

First up is Kids in America  the debut single from Kim Wilde on the RAK label.Released on 26th January 1981 it reached number 2 in the UK singles charts during a 13 week stint.
The first of her 25 singles in the top 50 and along with You Keep Me Hangin' On  her biggest hit. Sadly for her she never quite made the top spot.

She is now a horticulturalist (winning a gold award at the Chelsea Flower Show) and a TV and radio presenter. She is also still making music with a tour scheduled for later on this year.

Kim Wilde - Kids in America

Kim Wilde - Tuning In Tuning On

Saturday 6 January 2018

Covered by Cash - Highway Patrolman

A reasonably comfortable win last week for Johnny over Beck with his version of Rowboat but also an acknowledgement that the original was pretty tasty also.
That takes the score to Cash 7 The Rest 3.

In my Springsteen Covered series the Man in Black was soundly thrashed by the Boss for his version of Johnny 99. There were comments at the time that had I featured Highway Patrolman that it would have been a lot closer.
Time  then to put that to the test. I agree that it is miles better than his take on Johnny 99 but anyone, even the great man himself, would be pushed to better any of the songs on Nebraska and here he falls just short.

Others, of course may choose to disagree.

Johnny Cash - Highway Patrolman

Bruce Springsteen - Highway Patrolman

Friday 5 January 2018

Some Torch Song Psychadelia?

No me neither - A description from Wiki describing the music of Gemma Ray. They also use the terms noir-pop, sideways blues and gothic folk. I clearly have to get out more.

Of her seven albums I only have the first one The Leader from 2008. I featured it before and it was interesting to see if the same songs jumped out at me this time. Yes and no is the answer.
Track 5 Rise of the Runts caught my attention as it did the last time along with Hard Shoulder. But I was also taken with On Your Own.

A post a day means I am probably going to be re-visiting old material more often and I'm not sure whether I will be able to maintain my enthusiasm and motivation but we'll see how it goes.

Gemma Ray - Hard Shoulder

Gemma Ray - On Your Own

Thursday 4 January 2018

Homemade Blood

There are a few great artists out there who I am at a loss to explain why I have so few of their records.
Matthew Sweet is one  such artist who  immediately springs to mind and Chuck Prophet is another.
I only have two of his solo records and four in all if  you count Green on Red. I've probably seen  him more times than that.
1997's Homemade Blood is the last thing of his that I have. So criminally nothing from the last 20 years then although anything of his I have heard during that period has been never short of excellent.
A possible New Year's resolution in there I feel.

Chuck Prophet - Credit

Chuck Prophet - Whole Lot More

Wednesday 3 January 2018

Rick Hall R.I.P.

2018 is only a couple of days old and sadly we have the first musical casualty in the shape of the legendary Rick Hall who died on 2nd January at the age of 85
The man who was the owner and proprietor of FAME Studios which put the small Alabama town of Muscle Shoals on the musical map and which produced some of the great Southern Soul records of all time.

If you don't already have it you should make it your business to acquire The Fame Studio Story 1961-1973 - Home of the Muscle Shoals Sound on Ace.
You should also get hold of Peter Guralnick's book Sweet Soul Music:Rhythm & Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom and Muscle Shoals the brilliant documentary from 2013

A true legend. Rest easy Rick

Clyde McPhatter -A Shot of Rhythm & Blues

Etta James - Tell Mama

Mitty Collier -Take Me Just As I Am

Tuesday 2 January 2018

The First Record Played in 2018

The first record to (gently) shatter the New Year tranquility at CCM HQ was Songs from Northern Britain the 6th studio album by Teenage Fanclub released in 1997. 21 years ago so you can argue that it has come of age.

It wasn't that well received by the critics at the time but what do they know. For me it's up there and depending on my mood sometimes their best.An argument for the pub I feel.
No hangover to report on New Year's Day but if I had this would have been the perfect remedy..

The band members share the songwriting credits but on this album, as indeed on others, I find myself graduating to the songs by Gerard Love.Another pub argument topic

Teenage Fanclub - Ain't That Enough

Teenage Fanclub - Take The Long Way Round

Monday 1 January 2018

New Year's Day's Homage

Happy New Year to you all. Let's hope it is a good one (without any fear).
The more long suffering among you will know the drill by now.
New Years Day is the day when CCM pays homage to two absolute musical giants who both happened to die on this day.
They have both influenced many other artist and indeed my record collection.
Hank Williams died on New Years Day in 1953 aged just 29.But what a legacy of music he left behind.
Obviously I never got to see Hank but was fortunate enough to see the late great Townes Van Zandt who died on 1st  January 1997 aged 52 twice.

Again it is traditional to state that it will  obviously be downhill now on these pages for the rest of the year.

Hank Williams -Your Cheatin' Heart

Townes Van Zandt - Flying Shoes