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Thursday 31 May 2018

Hey World

Michael Franti and his Spearhead chums are pretty patient guys for All Rebel Rockers.
Firstly they have been stuck inside my hot car for the last few days where they have witnessed instances of queue jumping.
Finally back inside and just when I'm ready to pull the trigger I get engrossed in Springwatch.

Finally here they are with a couple of tracks from 2008's All Rebel Rockers which sees Sly and Robbie at the production desk alongside Michael and Matt Wallace
Again some suitable music for these hot sticky nights.
Two songs with the same title but radically different

Michael Franti & Spearhead - Hey World (Remote Control Version)

Michael Franti & Spearhead - Hey World (Don't Give Up Version)

Wednesday 30 May 2018

Paris in the Spring

What's the score with the weather? 18 inches of snow at the end of February followed by a  Highland heat wave.
I would be worried had Donald Trump not reassured me that climate change was just a myth perpetuated by the Chinese.

Onto the music.I was putting Shuggie Otis back on the Soul shelves the other day when I noticed that The Best of Mica Paris was it's immediate neighbour. This coupled with a mention of her name in the paper the other day led to it's third airing since it's purchase at a record library sale for 20p a few years back.
And it's just the thing for these hot sultry nights. Some nice relaxed easy listening  gentle soul by the UK's Anita Baker (according to the blurb on the inner sleeve).

Here's a couple from her 1989 debut album So Good. I thought that Like Dreamers Do was her big hit but no, Her debut single My One Temptation was the only one to trouble the top 10 peaking at 7

Mica Paris - My One Temptation

Mica Paris -So Good

Tuesday 29 May 2018

Static Union

I picked up Turn Out the Lights/Accelerator a CD single by the young Glasgow band Static Union shortly after it's release for Record Shop Day 2017.
I've been putting off posting it in the hope that there was an album on the horizon but I can see no indication that one is imminently forthcoming.I can wait no longer.
These two and a further three are available from Bandcamp a couple of quid will get you their entire output to date.

Some indie rock and jangly guitars from yet another exciting young Scottish band
The band consists of Sean McGarvey (vocals/guitar), James Harker (guitar/synth), Liam Adams (bass), Cameron “Kangus” Angus (drums) all in their late teens or early twenties..
Oh to be young again!

Static Union - Turn Out The Lights

Static Union - Accelerator

Monday 28 May 2018


Spurred on by Drew posting John Coltrane Stereo Blues and a recommendation from the Swede I am now the proud owner of Medicine Show by The Dream Syndicate an album originally released in 1984.
There are a few Steve Wynn's on the shelves but this is the first by the band. I suspect that it wont be the last.

It gives me an opportunity to compare and contrast the band's version of the slightly sinister Merrittville with an acoustic version by Steve Wynn recorded in Hilversum, Holland and one of his three tracks on Song Circle 2002 where he appears with the late Robert Fisher, Walter Salas-Humara and Deanna Varagona.

The Dream Syndicate -Merrittville

Steve Wynn - Merrittville

Sunday 27 May 2018

Some Sanctified Soul

When it comes to putting out great Soul compilations there is no-one better out there than Kent.
I have a good few although obviously not enough.
If pushed I would have to say that my favourite is Sanctified Soul a collection of 26 songs from the Atlantic label and its subsidiaries Atco and Cotillion
The blurb on the back of the CD states
In the 60's rhythm and blues music broke out of the churches and went into the night clubs,on to the radio and permeated throughout black America's soul

There is not a duff track on this album. I've featured it before and no doubt will feature it again. Indeed all 26 tracks would be fit to grace these pages.
Here are tracks by James Carr and Fern Kinney which haven't featured before and one by Don Covay which has but which is too good not to feature again.

Buy this record

James Carr -I'll Put it to You

Fern Kinney - Your Love's Not Reliable

Don Covay & the Goodtimers - I Stole Some Love

Saturday 26 May 2018

Slim Pickings - Chapter 2

Today sees the last of my Holiday Haul - if you can call two Uncut compilations and one which is going back a haul.
The imaginatively titled Playlist from March 2006 has a lot more to offer than the one featured last week.Over half of the tracks warranted an outing but as is my want these days I'm going for two acts who haven't graced these pages with their presence before.

Two Gallants are Adam Stephens and Tyson Vogel a drum and guitar duo from San Francisco.
Steady Rollin' is a pleasant little ditty from their album What the Toll Tells on the Saddle Creek label

I shot my wife today
Dropped her body in the Frisco Bay

Gentlemen, please don’t try this at home.

Singer/songwriter Howie Beck is yet another Canadian artist. Without me actually trying there has been a reasonable Canuk precence here over the last few days.This one is from his eponymous 2006 album on the Ever label.

I was originally tempted to pick up this album because it has a cover of Tempted by Richard Thompson. It is ok but merely serves to highlight how effortlessly brilliant Squeeze often were.

Two Gallants - Steady Rollin'

Howie Beck - Don't Be Afraid

Richard Thompson - Tempted

Friday 25 May 2018

Laurel Canyon Revisited

I picked up the latest Mojo at Asda in Girvan for some holiday reading. The accompanying CD The Mojo Machine Turns You On 2018 features 15 tracks about half of which for me pass muster.

There were a couple which have a Laurel Canyon feel about them and as I am a fan of music from that area and era I thought that these were the ones that I should share with you good people.

First up is Jonathan Wilson. Details of his new album Rare Birds have been popping up in my in-box but I have been by and large ignoring them as he looks a bit of a hippy and he also has associations with Father John Misty who somewhat annoys me. Pretty irrational granted but there you go.
However on the basis of the wonderful There's a  Light I may have to ditch my prejudices and dig a little deeper.
The other number with shades of Californian country rock comes from Canadian cousins Kacy Anderson and Clayton Linthicum who given Clayton's surname sensibly record under their first names,This track is taken from their album The Siren's Song produced by the great Jeff Tweedy.Again more exploration is required.


Jonathan Wilson - There's a Light

Kacy & Clayton - A Lifeboat

Thursday 24 May 2018

Great Expectations .. Sadly Dashed

I really enjoyed Tasmin Archer's version of Costello's Deep Dark Truthful Mirror which I posted a couple of weeks ago.
As I mentioned at the time the only other thing of hers I was familiar with was the number 1 single Sleeping Satellite. So when I saw her album Great Expectations in the Cat Protection League in Stranraer I thought I would take a pop.
I nearly didn't bother as the three women behind the counter had gone into a 10 minute collective meltdown trying to code a badge that the customer before me had bought.
Now I wish I hadn't bothered waiting.. She has a fine voice but the album is as bland and anodyne as you are ever likely to hear. It is almost Sheerinesque in it's blandness.
Here is the hit and one of the other three singles from the album which briefly troubled the outer reaches of the charts.

It's going back. Still a few cats got a meal out of it so it is not all bad.

However I wouldn't mind hearing the rest of her Costello covers EP - namely the title track Shipbuilding, New Amsterdam and All Grown Up as well as Deep Dark Truthful Mirror as I think she could be good with the right songs and the right production.

Tasmin Archer - Sleeping Satellite

Tasmin Archer - Arienne

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Buffalo Neil

Recent references to Ohio a song recorded by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and to Crazy Horse had me thinking about Neil Young in an earlier incarnation as a member of Buffalo Springfield.
Here are a couple of his compositions from 1967's Buffalo Springfield Again (the second of their three albums) where he is joined by Stephen Stills, Richie Furay, Bruce Palmer and Dewey Martin.
That line up sounds like a super group but that was to come later.

Mr Soul was one which periodically  has re-appeared during Shakey's long and illustrious career as indeed has On the Way Home.

Buffalo Springfield - Mr Soul

Buffalo Springfield - On The Way Home

Tuesday 22 May 2018


I'm pleased to report that The Gracious Losers were absolutely brilliant when we saw them at the Glad Cafe a couple of weeks ago.
The support act  Glasgow based Country singer Lynnie Carson was also very good.
There were at least nine members of the Gracious Losers on stage with no room for the piano player having to make do with playing off stage and in with the audience.
Chatting to Ian the head honcho from LNFG he pointed out that the three members of Thrum - singer Monica Queen, guitarist Johnny Smillie and drummer Gary Johnston were part of the entourage.

I was not familiar with the name (but had heard Monica before ) so some further exploration was required.
They are from the musical hotspot that is Bellshill (Teenage Fanclub, BMX Bandits, etc,etc ..) and were on the go from 1992 to 1995 reforming on 2011.
I acquired a copy of their 1994 album Rifferama on the Fire Records label which also features Dave McGowan on bass.
It is impressive stuff with a country rock influence.
There was a cut out album review tucked into the sleeve in my copy bought from Discogs (don't  you love it when things like that happens?) which bemoans the fact that their music sounds like Crazy Horse.That's a plus in my book.
It also states that Thrum's unique selling point is Monica Queen's plaintive, occasionally soaring vocal
My new found friend who had taken the trouble to cut out and keep the article has quite rightly written after this just like Maria McKee.
I trus this has whetted your appetite.

Thrum - Rifferama

Thrum - Won't Be Long

Monday 21 May 2018

Things Have Gone to Pieces

One of the albums I took for the car on our recent trip was the one above - Pay the Devil a 2006 album by Van Morrison on the Lost Highway label.It contains 12 covers of Country standards and three originals.

I bought in on e-Bay  only to receive a burnt copy something which was not highlighted  on the site when I bought it.
It really annoyed me at the time and if I'm honest  it still rankles now.
There are lots of sleekit people out there hiding behind a screen.

Anyway the reason for today's post is that one of the covers is Things Have Gone to Pieces yet another brilliant song written by Leon Payne.
The Grumpy Irishman's version is not bad but pales into insignificance when compared to that of George Jones.
I know that George appeared here only recently but I make no apology for featuring him again.

Van sings the song. George lives the song.

Van Morrison - Things Have Gone to Pieces

George Jones - Things Have Gone To Pieces

Sunday 20 May 2018

Givin' It Back

Something fairly stunning for you today.
From the 1971 album Givin' it Back by The Isley Brothers . An album so called after a number of rock stars playing their songs they decided to return the compliment by featuring songs by the likes of Bob Dylan, James Taylor and Stephen Stills.
And then there is this  slab of social commentary weighing in at 9 minutes and 13 seconds starting with Neil Young's Ohio and morphing into Jimi Hendrix' Machine Gun.

You will not hear anything better today

The Isley Brothers - Ohio/ Machine Gun

Saturday 19 May 2018

Slim Pickings

He's back! But with slim pickings I'm afraid.
A couple of reasons.
The glorious weather necessitated sitting outside seaside bars in Portpatrick rather than trawling the charity shops of Stranraer. When we did on the one cloudy day there was not much on offer.
However you know that I don't like to come away empty handed.
Two Uncut compilations were acquired in the Dumfries and Galloway Mental Health Association shop for 50p plus a 50p donation.
So Real is from June 2013 and has no real standout tracks. So I've gone for one old favourite and one new to me.
The old favourite is the great man himself Robyn Hitchcock with the radio edit of Be Still a song from his Love From London album on Yep Roc.
The new to me is by Marnie Stein a New York  singer songwriter and guitarist and is taken from the wonderfully titled The Chronicles of Marnia  album on the equally wonderfully titled Kill Rock Stars record label.

Slim Pickings 2 next Saturday.

Robyn Hitchcock - Be Still (Radio Edit)

Marnie Stein - Noonan

Sunday 13 May 2018

Some Memphis Soul

Last Sunday's slab of soul from Irma Thomas out of New Orleans was well received.
Therefore you are getting some more today albeit we are moving up river to Memphis where we are meeting up with Ann Peebles.
Ann produced a number of soul albums in the 70's for the great Hi Records label which at the time was run by Willie Mitchell
Give Me Some Credit is from 1969 and was her second single written by band leader Oliver Sain from her native St Louis who she was performing with she signed for Hi
 99 Lbs   from 1971 was written by Hi's leading songwriter Don Bryant who she subsequently married in 1974.
Along with DJ Bernard Miller they are both credited with 1973's I Can't Stand the Rain which was her most commercial hit charting on both the American R&B and pop charts and also the lower reaches of the UK charts

Ann Peebles - Give Me Some Credit

Ann Peebles - 99lbs

Ann Peebles - I Can't Stand The Rain

Nothing to see here for a few days as I am off replenishing the batteries and hopefully the music

Saturday 12 May 2018

The Blues Collection -B.B. King

The second of the  three Blues Collection CDs which Mrs CC recently acquired for me is by B.B. King and is imaginatively entitled The King of the Blues - do you see what they did there?
Number 2 in the series after John Lee Hooker at number 1 so they were getting a number of the big hitters out the way when the series was still fresh.
I must admit that I find the majority of the tracks on the CD to be a bit disappointing given the vast range of material and performances available out there.
If it was your first introduction to the great man you might not go back for a second bite of the cherry.
A lot of it is at the jazz noodley end of the spectrum which is not really for me and there is an unhealthy dose of misogyny which I suppose is of it's time.
It is however partly redeemed by a couple of numbers where he and his trusty guitar Lucille actually get down to playing the Blues

B.B. King - The Letter

B.B King - Recession Blues

Friday 11 May 2018

The Gracious Losers

We are off to see The Gracious Losers  tonight in the Glad Cafe in Shawlands as part of the Southside Fringe Festival.
They are yet another band from the Last Night From Glasgow stable and this event also launches their second single Moonlight Parade.
They are a 9 piece band led by Jonathan Lilley who also is part of Sister John and also feature members who have played with Thrum, God Help the Girl and the Parsonage. In short a Glasgow super collaborative.

I am looking forward to a return visit to the Glad Cafe. It is probably the nearest music venue to our house but we have only been once before to see Eleanor McEvoy.

From the little I have heard  they have a rootsy country feel about them and I am eagerly awaiting the release of their debut album The Last of the Gracious Losers which is scheduled for the end of August.

Here is the debut single Where the River Meets the Sea.

Thursday 10 May 2018

Elizabeth McQueen & the FireBrands

Austin based band Elizabeth McQueen & the FireBrands have featured on these pages a couple of times before with tracks from their pub rock tribute album Happy Doing What We're Doing
It is quite interesting to hear an American band paying tribute to the likes of Graham Parker, Rockpile, Dr Feelgood and Eggs Over Easy. Oh, and yet another female  fronted act covering Elvis with a version of Almost Blue.

On the back of that one I sought out their previous and debut album from 2004 The Fresh Up Club. A touch of pub rock here and there but more of a honky- tonk feel to it with the main subjects being heartbreak and regret.
I would put this one down as pretty average with a couple of reasonable songs in the one's posted below. The second one is co-written by  the great Robbie Fulks who knows his country music.

Elizabeth McQueen & the FireBrands - Lyin'

Elizabeth McQueen & the FireBrands - You Shouldn't Have

Wednesday 9 May 2018

Marry Me

No, that's not an offer. I'm already spoken for thank you very much.
Rather my trawl of the deeper recesses of my hard drive has come up with a copy of Marry Me the 2007 debut album by St.  Vincent another one that I didn't know I had.
I didn't know until now that she had been a member of The Polyphonic Spree but when you hear some of her songs it's not hard to imagine. Also you can see why David Byrne picked her as a co-pilot.

This is because she is a bit quirky. I'm still not sure if she is quirky in a good way (a la Bjork) or in a bad way (a la any number of acts) It may take a few listens before I decide whether she graduates to the shelves.

Views anyone?

St. Vincent -Landmines

St. Vincent - What Me Worry

Tuesday 8 May 2018

Thank You Elvis

I couldn't resist another dip into the collection of Elvis Costello song's covered by female artists which I found on my hard drive entitled Girls Talk.
The first track featured on it  is a version of Stranger in the House by Rachel Sweet. An artist who was also on Stiff (see yesterday's post) which goes to show that I don't just throw this stuff together.

We them move seamlessly into a compare and contrast with Rachel up against George Jones ( with some help from the man himself) from his My Very Special Guests album.

And as George states at the end of their number - thank you Elvis

Rachel Sweet - Stranger in the House

George Jones (with Elvis Costello) -Stranger in the House

Monday 7 May 2018

If It Ain't Stiff ....

Three songs from the compilation album If It Ain't Stiff ... released in 2001 and as the title suggests A Stiff Records collection.
Two I thought had appeared before (albeit one in a different version) but apparently not and one I know hasn't featured as someone recently pointed out it is by a band who have yet to feature on these pages

Is Vic There? by Department S was  first released by Demon Records in 1980. Stiff followed this up with their own release featuring the French version which is what you are getting today.It puts me in mind of Bill Wyman's Je Suis Un Rockstar!

Theatre of Hate were a band fronted by Kirk Brandon before he went on to Spear of Destiny. A band probably only remembered for  the great Do You Believe in the Westworld?

I have never featured Dr Feelgood before. Sorry about that. The reason? I don't currently have any of their records. Shocking but there you are. Here is a live version of Milk & Alcohol written by Nick Lowe and John Mayo the guy who replaced Wilco Johnson in the band and the man responsible for the classic guitar riff.

Department S - Is Vic There ( French Version)

Theatre of Hate -Do You Believe in the Westworld?

Dr Feelgood - Milk & Alcohol (Live)

Sunday 6 May 2018

The Soul Queen of New Orleans

It's been a wee while since we have had some Soul on these pages so who better to feature today than the Soul Queen of New Orleans herself Ms Irma Thomas.
Two songs taken from the above album from the ever wonderful Kent label which features 24 of her songs from 1962 to 1966 which originally featured on the Imperial or the  Minit label..
Irma thankfully is  still going strong at the age of 77 and was still recording on the Rounder label right up to 2008 so a long and illustrious career.

Irma Thomas -I Done Gone Over It

Irma Thomas - Ruler of My Heart

Saturday 5 May 2018

Can it Really Be a Year?

l-r from the front - Walter,  JC,  me, Adam, Dirk, Brian, Colin, Aldo, Drew

It is the first weekend in May and the first anniversary of a truly momentous event in Glasgow.
Yes folks, it is indeed a year since the sun last shone.
And boy did it shine for the first meeting of the International Chancers Brigade as we have now been dubbed by Drew.
I think that my liver has just about recovered.
This is us in King Tut's on the Friday just after Adam joined us and just before I lost the ability to speak.

What a weekend it was and one which I hope will be repeated again with all those who made the trip and hopefully a few others.
To my shame I haven't managed to catch up with Drew or JC since but I have bumped into Aldo at gigs on a couple of occasions.

Here is a song for the brave souls who made it as far as Airdrie where the sun has yet to shine  and one for Dirk to remind him of the beer garden in Brel and also a big thank you to him for having the idea in the first place.

Until the next time

Roy Orbison -Only The Lonely

Bruce Springsteen - Girls in Their Summer Clothes

Friday 4 May 2018

The Curse of the Mekons

The Curse of the Mekons from 1991 is the last album from my recent reasonably impressive charity shop haul most of which appeared on these pages at the start of April.
This one didn't feature as the EP Millionaire made an appearance and I figured that the Mekons twice in the one week was probably too much excitement for most of you to take.
Here is a review by All Music which gives it 4.5 out of 5.Discogs gives it 4 out of 5 so it seems that it was critically well received. 
Co-mingling brilliant roots rock with an authoritative swagger as Stereogum would have it
I'm liking it as well.
As is my want I've gone for two songs which feature the dulcet tones of Sally Timms on lead vocals with a country feel on the first one which is the only cover song on the album

Mekons - Wild and Blue

Mekons - Secrets

Thursday 3 May 2018

Indoor Fireworks

Oh go on then.
Here is Elvis Costello with Indoor Fireworks which was originally going to feature yesterday but which was usurped by some female imposters.
Or is it The Costello Show or even The Costello Show featuring the Attractions and the  Confederates. or indeed The Costello Show featuring Elvis Costello all of which are alternative titles  for the artist on the 1986 album King of America from whence it came.

I've even taken the trouble to dig out Fireworks by Ette from the album Homemade Lemonade  which  was  originally intended to accompany it. Don't say I'm not good to you.

The Costello Show - Indoor Fireworks

Ette - Fireworks

Wednesday 2 May 2018

Girls Talk

I had an urge to post Indoor Fireworks by Elvis Costello after hearing it on the radio. I was trawling my files for an MP3 of Fireworks by Ette to accompany it when I stumbled across a folder entitled Girls Sing Costello.
I've no idea where it came from and if it actually an album but it is covers of 22 Elvis songs by female artists. So Elvis has been put on hold today for the tribute acts.

Let's start with Laura Cantrell and her version of Indoor Fireworks. Absolutely beautiful as you would expect.
Remember Tasmin Archer of Sleeping Satellite fame? Yup, but can you remember any other songs by her? Nope. Well here is her version of Deep Dark Truthful Mirror.
Psycho is not a Costello composition. It was written by Leon Payne and originally recorded in 1974 by country singer Jack Kittel.
Costello's memorable live version found it's way onto the bonus tracks of 1994's version of Almost Blue.
Today we feature a credible version by Sweden's A Camp.

Laura Cantrell - Indoor Fireworks

Tasmin Archer - Deep Dark Truthful Mirror

A Camp - Psycho

Tuesday 1 May 2018

May Day Mayhem

No, not a comment on our Prime Minister and the state of the country although it  could have  been given Brexit and the Windrush fiasco.
Rather, it is a return of a CCM tradition of playing some Imelda May on the 1st day of the month of May. Hardly original but there you go.
One from her 2008 album Love Tattoo when she shot to prominence after an appearance on the Jools Holland show.
This is followed up be her cover of Tainted Love from her next album from 2010 Mayhem.
She has fallen off my radar in recent years perhaps as a  result of a move from rockabilly, following her divorce from band member Darrell Higham , to a more soft rock and acoustic sound having received guidance from Bono no less for her latest album Life Love Flesh Blood.

Imelda May -Big Bad Handsome Man

Imelda May - Tainted Love