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Friday 30 November 2018

Simply Thrilled

I'm Simply Thrilled to be catching up with JC and Walter  tonight and hopefully a few others as well.
It promises to be a great night and I am looking forward in particular to JC spinning some discs or more likely pressing a few buttons.
The list of  Scottish artists who could feature is almost endless and from the track lists from previous nights I suspect we are in for a treat.
I'm sure there will be a few bangers blasting out and I for one would not be disappointed if these two beauties featured.
Match report to follow

Altered Images - Dead Pop Stars

The Bluebells - Young at Heart

Thursday 29 November 2018

Y'all Caught?

John Hiatt is a name that has crossed my radar many times but I am not really  that familiar with his music.
All I know is that he appears on the brilliant Flaco Jimenez album Partners with Across the Borderline a song he wrote with Ry Cooder. I recently discovered that he was part of  the "super group" Little Village who someone gave me a CD from. He also appeared here in July with a good song called Crossing Muddy Waters from a 2000 Uncut compilation.

Sounds then  like someone I need to know about and hear more of. Picking up Y'all Caught? The One's That Got Away 1979-1985 in a charity shop in Stranraer seemed a good place to start. Apparently a Best of from 5 albums he released on MCA and Geffen during this period..

I have to admit that I was majorly disappointed when I got round to playing it as it  is very much AOR.
One part country, one part Blues, two parts Huey Lewis & the News.

I may have caught it but I am going to throw it back again.

John Hiatt - She Said The Same Things To Me

John Hiatt - It Hasn't Happened Yet

Wednesday 28 November 2018

Crowns and Coronets # 8 - Country Queens

This is a series which could run and run until I get bored with it given that there is so much material out there to choose from.
This week I am focusing on Country Queens and you are getting three in chronological order from the oldest to the most recent.

The best of the three also happens to be the oldest. From 2000 and from her debut album Not the Tremblin' Kind on Spit & Polish part of the Glasgow Shoe Shine label Laura Cantrell is the Queen of the Coast.

From 2011 and from the album of the same name Eilen Jewel is the Queen of the Minor Key.

Finally the title song from the 2017 album pictured above  Outlaw country singer Nikki Lane is the Highway Queen.

Something completely different next week.

Laura Cantrell - Queen of the Coast

Eilen Jewell - Queen of the Minor Key

Nikki Lane - Highway Queen

Tuesday 27 November 2018

Sir Lucas and the Moon

Zoë Bestel first crossed my radar with the release of Transience on the Last Night from Glasgow label. A thing of beauty both musically and aesthetically. I also had the pleasure of seeing her playing the album in it's entirety at the Hug & Pint.

She comes from Whauphill in Galloway which is one of my favourite places in the world. So perhaps it was no surprise to stumble upon her previous album Sir Lucas and the Moon in the Cat Protection League in nearby Stranraer where I liberated it for 50p.
She is only about 20 and this album was released in 2014 suggesting that she was a bit of a child prodigy.
Not quite Kate Bush and The Man With The Child in His Eyes but not far of it.

The CD comes signed and dedicated but unfortunately not to me but to Evelyn, Ronan and Lana who Zoë advises are absolute lovelies.
I think the album cover picture was taken in the Bookshop in Wigton.

Monday 26 November 2018

Monday's Long Song

Today's band 75 Dollar Bill were first drawn to my attention by The Swede so apologies Sir if I've stepped on  your toes.
It was he who first featured their 2016 album Wood/Metal/Plastic/Pattern/Rhythm/Rock on Thin Wrist Records  which contains today's track I'm Not Trying to Wake Up.
It also features on the latest Mojo compilation Black Mountain Sides which is well worth your time.

Described accurately by Mojo as a droning powerplay out of a simple loping blues,suggesting a Gnawan ritual enacted by Junior Kimbrough.
Take a quarter of an hour out of your busy schedule to get in the zone

75 Dollar Bill -I'm Not Trying To Wake Up

Sunday 25 November 2018

12 Years a Slave

It looks as though I could potentially have another accidental series on my hands with Soundtracks of Films I've Never Seen
Last week The Big Lebowski this time round 12 Years a Slave bought at the same time in a charity shop in Blairgowrie.

Not as I thought initially a documentary about the great Dundee United manager Jim McLean and his habit of signing young players on prohibitively long contracts.
Rather it is a 2013 adaptation of the 1853 slave memoir  Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup directed by Steve McQueen.
Whereas the soundtrack is probably not quite my cup of tea it includes some pretty well known contributors including John Legend, Alabama Shakes, Alicia Keys and Laura Mvula.
I've gone for two of the above.

Alabama Shakes - Driva Man

Alicia Keys - Queen of the Field (Patsey's Song)

Saturday 24 November 2018

Memphis v Nashville 5

A victory for the Indigo Girls with Nashville last week partly on their own merits put also partly as a protest vote against Marc Cohen and the ubiquitous Walking in Memphis.
That means that we are back to all square with the score now being Memphis 2 Nashville 2.

I originally said it would be the first to 5 but I'm going to try and string it out to first to 10.This may depend of whether I have enough material particularly from the Nashville camp.

This week we go from mainstream AOR to something a lot more left field.

This week in the Memphis corner we have the mighty Pixies with Letter to Memphis from their wonderful Trompe Le Monde.
Black Francis and the gang are up against Mojo Nixon and Jello Biafra with Let's Go Burn Ole Nashville Down. A song from their album Prairie Home Invasion although I have it from the glorious Cowpunks compilation
A trickier one this week but I am going for Mojo and Jello as they are having fun whereas  the Pixies are far too earnest and serious for my liking. Others, of course, may choose to disagree.

Next week some songs courtesy of the Original Surfer of the Zeitgeist.

Pixies - Letter to Memphis

Mojo Nixon & Jello Biafra - Let's Go Burn Ole Nashville Down

Friday 23 November 2018

Lee Brilleaux - Rock'n' Roll Gentleman

If you ever visit Granton-on -Spey in the Cairngorms you should make a point of popping into the bookshop. It is run by a lovely lady who is 68 and who knocked a couple of quid of the price of our purchases as she thought that the books were dusty!

I came away with Lee Brilleaux -Rock'n'Roll Gentleman a crowd funded book by Zoe Howe.
It is an excellent read about the sadly all too short life of the  legendary Dr Feelgood frontman  and bon viveur who came into the world as Lee Collinson.
Sadly he died in 1994 at the age of 41 at home in Leigh on Sea.. He died from lymphoma. Smoking and eating large amount of red meat can contribute to this two things he did in abundance.Twenty years of hard drinking probably didn't help much either.

He did however leave an impressive legacy of r&b/ pub rock music none of which I currently had until I picked up Dr Feelgood Live at the BBC in Glasgow's Love Music record shop recently.
It features songs from  three sessions between March 74 to September 75 when Wilko Johnston was still the lead guitarist with the band
These two tracks were recorded at the Paris Theatre, London on 14th September 1975

I recommend both the book and the record.

Dr Feelgood - Going Back Home

Dr Feelgood - Roxette

Thursday 22 November 2018

New Gods

I played New Gods by Withered Hand over the weekend for the first time in ages.I'd forgotten what an absolutely brilliant album it is.
Withered Hand is the stage name of Dan Willson from London but now based in Edinburgh.
He had an interesting background in that he grew up as  Jehovah's Witness and did not begin his musical career until his wife bought him an acoustic guitar for his 30th birthday.
He was a member of the Fence Collective and has performed with Neil Pennycock of Mersault and Eugene Kelly who appears on the album.

I saw him a couple of years back at Celtic Connections alongside James Yorkson and Pictish Trail.

New Gods is his second album following on from 2009's Good News. I was surprised that is from as far back as 2014. A follow up would be most welcome,

Withered Hand - Black Tambourine

Withered Hand - New Gods

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Crowns & Coronets #7

The first band I ever saw in concert were Queen at the Glasgow Apollo in December 1975. Technically I suppose you could say that the support act Mr Big were the first band that I saw but they don't fit in to this series and I have no material by them.
The only Queen album I have and the only one you need is Sheer Heart Attack

I never  got to see  Prince but Mrs CC did at Hampden Park in Glasgow in June 1992
So today we have Queen singing about  a Queen and Prince singing about Prince.

Featuring two  legendary  showmen who sadly are no longer with us

Queen - Killer Queen

Prince - My Name is Prince

Tuesday 20 November 2018

Allo Darlin'

The 2010 eponymous album on the Fortuna Pop! label  by the London based twee pop band Allo Darlin' stuck out like a sore thumb compared to most of the dross on the shelves in Barnardos in Stranraer.
A diamond in the rough.
Featuring the dulcet tones of Elizabeth  Morris  they were a  band I know who were a firm favourite of Drew and not surprisingly Brian and a good few others I suspect.
I've a digital copy of their final single  Hymn on the 45 from 2006 but this is the first of their three albums that I have managed to acquire. I shall endeavour to track down the other two.
Obvious comparisons to the likes of Camera Obscura which let's face it is no bad thing.

I'm putting this one down as a find.

Allo Darlin' - Dreaming

Allo Darlin' - Heartbeat Chilli

Monday 19 November 2018

Monday's Long Song

Mrs CC came in a couple of months ago with Some Other Sucker's Parade the fifth studio album from Del Amitri from 1997. Absolutely dreadful, Shockingly bad. It was swiftly dispatched back from whence it came.

She redeemed herself a few weeks later by returning with What Is Love For the 2007 debut solo album by their front man Justin Currie.
It is pretty good with the absolute standout track being the last one on the album No, Surrender.
Coming from the West of Scotland you listen to a song with that title with more than a little degree of trepidation.
I needn't have worried as the knuckle draggers get it in the neck along with everyone else.

A musical equivalent of a Drew rant. Take it away Justin ....

Justin Currie - No, Surrender

Sunday 18 November 2018

The Big Lebowski

Confession time and it's one which is likely to make me loose the small degree of credibility that I currently have left.
I've never seen The Big Lebowski! Sorry Dude.
I'm not quite sure how this has happened given that I enjoy the films of the Coen Brothers.

Now that's out the way it's onto the music.Mrs CC selected the Original Soundtrack in a charity shop in Blairgowrie and I thoroughly  approve of her choice.
It is somewhat eccentric, eclectic and left field, descriptions which, I imagine, may also apply to the film.

Produced by the Coens and T-Bone Burnett. it contains classical music,opera, Captain Beefheart and Kenny Rogers murdering a soul classic. It  does as one review suggests contain some skipables.
I'm going for another couple of covers. The Gypsy Kings first with a somewhat unique Latin slant on Hotel California.
Walter featured Townes Van Zandt's cover of the Stones' Dead Flowers about a month or so ago.I'm featuring it again here as for me it is the standout track on the album.

Gypsy Kings - Hotel California

Townes Van Zandt - Dead Flowers

Saturday 17 November 2018

Memphis v Nashville 4

As things stand it is now Memphis 2 Nashville 1 following Chuck Berry's Memphis, Tennessee defeating Steve Earle's South Nashville Blues. Steve  started strongly but Chuck's greater experience gradually came to the for.
This week we are going slightly more MOR for what I expect may be another close contest.
If you were to ask 100 people to name a Marc Cohn song chances are if they had heard of him at all they would all plump for Walking in Memphis. Very much a one-hit wonder. I picked up his eponymous album in a charity shop and all the other tunes are pretty forgettable.

The Indigo Girls on the other hand have never had a hit of that scale but have produced a consistent body of work over the years including Nashville a song from their 1992 Rites of Passage album.

I'm going for Nashville this week as although Walking in Memphis is a good song  it is a bit too ubiquitous for my taste.
Others, of course, may choose to disagree

Marc Cohn - Walking in Memphis

The Indigo Girls - Nashville

Friday 16 November 2018

The Sundays on a Friday

The Sundays are one of those bands who probably would never have crossed by radar without this blogging malarky.
I can honestly say that I had never heard of them til some of my comrades featured them although Summertime which I subsequently picked up as a CD single seemed vaguely familiar.

Purchasing Blind their second album from 1992 in a Dunblane charity shop now means that I have the set when it comes to their albums as I had previously acquired Static and Silence their third one and then Reading, Writing &Arithmetic their first one all from charity shops.

Blind is probably their least accessible offering and is somewhat dark and melancholy. It may well be a grower but at the moment I feel that if this was the first one I had encountered I wouldn't have bothered with the rest. Which would have been a shame.

The Sundays - What Do You Think?

The Sundays - Blood on My Hands

Thursday 15 November 2018

Is it Only 'Cause You're Lonely

Finally getting round to listening to and featuring an Uncut compilation I picked up recently in Fort William.
Uncut Presents from June 2004.
I was initially drawn in by the list of artists including a number of Americana artists who have graced these pages before.
However there were no real standouts. The best track is probably Tonight We Ride by Tom Russell but I have featured that before.
So here are Earth, Wind and Fire who have appeared once before getting Dirty and Grant-Lee Phillips who somewhat surprisingly hasn't but who provides the Mona Lisa reference.

A fairly unexciting Thursday post there!

Earth, Wind & Fire - Dirty

Grant- Lee Phillips - Mona Lisa

Wednesday 14 November 2018

Crowns and Coronets # 6 - Another Guest Contribution

A guest contribution a couple of weeks ago from Germany and now one from Portugal. Chances are we will not be allowed such continental collaboration after Brexit which would be disappointing.
Then again  maybe no jazz fusion or prog rock. Mmmmm!
Take it away George...

Two wildly different tracks today in CCs king and queen series, one prog rock and one from South Africa. 
 By now I have lost at least 80% of readers by using the words  “prog rock”. Look, it could be worse, 
 I could have written “one of today’s tracks is smooth jazz” . The first group features Mr Toyah Wilcox
 (oops, there goes another 7% of readers)  and to shed the remaining 13% I should add that the album
 this track is taken from has been reviewed with those dreaded words “jazz fusion” (see how I didn’t make
 a maths teachers joke by saying “the remaining 15 %”?).  The album is Larks’ Tongues In Aspic, and the 
track is the last track on the album, and is called Larks’ Tongues In Aspic, part two.

King Crimson - Larks' Tongues in Aspic part 2

So that’s 7 and a half minutes of your life listening to King Crimson  that was very well spent. Given that
 there’s now no one reading these words it looks like I’m talking to myself. “Tremendous track, that one,
George.”  “You’re not wrong there, George.”
The Mahotella Queens’ track is from the album Izibani Zomgqashiyo. According to the notes on the back
of the album this means “the lights of Mgqashiyo, and surely everyone knows that Mgqashiyo is an" African
 kind of beat which will never die”. I should have started this article with the Mahotella Queens,   because
 no-one has made it this far down (as the actress said the bishop).

The Mahotella Queens - Xola Mama

Thanks to my very good friend CC for hosting this, it led to me playing two albums that have not had an 
airing for a long time.

Tuesday 13 November 2018

These Days of Ours

I picked up These Days of Ours a 5 track EP by India Bourne from 2011 for 50p in a charity shop in Forres.
It was a pretty random purchase. Pretty random rather than totally random as I figured from the cover that it may well be folky and ethereal - and so it proved. Also Forres is right beside the Findhorn Foundation who sometimes put on music and are very much left field so I thought she may have played there or this was donated by someone who lives there.

So who is India Bourne? Well my research tells me that she is from South Devon but now resident in South London and that she plays piano and cello and is a member of  Ben Howard's band having known him from childhood.
This was her debut record. I can't see any evidence of a follow up.

India Bourne -In His Arms

India Bourne - These Days Of Ours

Monday 12 November 2018

Monday's Long Song

I had something lined up for today but it has been usurped by a recent purchase from a Stranraer charity shop as part of a three for a pound package.
From 1999 and on Peter Gabriel's Real World label Volume 2: Release as the name suggests was the second album from Afro Celt Sound System.
They are a group who fuse dance music with traditional Irish and West African music in a similar vein to what fellow Real Word artist Martyn Bennett did with traditional Scottish music.

The title track Release is the first one on the album and the collective are joined on this one by Sinead O'Connor or Shuhada Davitt as she is now known following her recent conversion to Islam.

Afro Celt Sound System - Release

Sunday 11 November 2018

What Passing Bells For These Who Die As Cattle?

Today marks the centenary of the Armistice between the Allies and the Germans at Le Francport near Compiègne in France at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
The war that was meant to end all wars saw the death of between 15 to 19 million people - 9 to 11 million of them military personnel.

I've featured the words of Wilfred Owen and the music of Eric Bogle before on this date and I make no apology for featuring them again.They sum up the futility and the carnage better than I ever could.

And in the morning we will remember them.

The Men They Couldn't Hang - The Green Fields of France (No Man's Land)

The Pogues - The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

Saturday 10 November 2018

Memphis v Nashville 3

We have been away for a few days so this post was written in advance. At the time of writing (Sunday the 4th) Carl and Pearl Butler had a commanding lead over Robbie Fulks and Linda Gail Lewis which if it still stands makes it  Memphis 1 Nashville 1 

This week we have Chuck Berry v Steve Earle.
You will all be familiar with the song  Memphis,Tennessee .Sadly  I don't have the version by the Silicon Teens mentioned by Dirk so you will have to settle for the original.

South Nashville Blues from Steve Earle's 1996 album I Feel Alright is somewhat autobiographical from his years lost to drug addiction prior to a spell in prison. Not one I suspect that is mentioned by the Nashville Tourist Board.

I'm going for Mr Earle in this instance. Who knows if the Silicon Teens had been available it may have been another story.
Others, as always may choose to disagree.

Chuck Berry - Memphis, Tennessee

Steve Earle - South Nashville Blues

Friday 9 November 2018

Impossibly Lovely

I am on record somewhere on these pages indicating that it took me long time to get  Sheffield singer and former Pulp member Richard Hawley.
I knew that I should but it took a copy of Coles Corner courtesy of my brother for me to finally come to my senses.
Seeing it in the charity shop in Auchterarder I took the opportunity to upgrade.
It has one of those wee annoying stickers which you can never get off which contains a number of tributes

One of the great records of recent years -the Guardian
One of this year's finest albums - the Times
Genius - Mojo
A considerable talent - Q Greatest Albums of 2005.

But I think that I will go for the one from the Word's 10 Best Albums of 2005 Impossibly lovely

Richard Hawley - Coles Corner

Richard Hawley -Born Under a Bad Sign

Thursday 8 November 2018


I recently picked up Mini by the Wedding Present recently in a charity shop in the Perthshire town of  Aucherarder.
From January 1996 on the Cooking Vinyl label Mini is a 6 track EP weighing in at 19 minutes and 20 seconds.
In the Wedding Present discography it sit's between 1994's Watusi album and 1996's Saturnalia.
The boy Gedge is joined by Darren Belk on bass and Simon Smith on drums with Jayne Lockey providing additional vocals.

Allmusic gives it 3 out of 5 which is probably just about right. For me there is no particular stand out track so I have gone fairly randomly with track 3 Go, Man, Go and track 6 Sports Car.

The Wedding Present - Go, Man, Go

The Wedding Present - Sports Car

Wednesday 7 November 2018

Crowns and Coronets # 5

More Earls and Dukes this week as we go down the Southern Soul route.

Firstly in the Earl corner we have an artist that I am not very familiar with in the shape of Earl Gaines.
I probably should be more familiar given that he was active from 1954 until his death in 2009 aged 74 and has been described as the best R&B singer from Nashville.
This one is taken from a cheap and cheerful but excellent Southern Soul compilation Warm and Tender Love 

Doris Duke features on the same album but this one is taken from the Swamp Dogg produced album I'm a Loser which I have on a Kent double CD along with A Legend in Her Own Time. I'm pleased to report that Doris is still going strong at the age of 74

I think we'll move on from Earls and Dukes next week.

Earl Gaines - I'll Take Care of You

Doris Duke -I Can't Do Without You

Tuesday 6 November 2018

Pageant Material

I was quite impressed to see the brilliant Same Trailer Different Park by Kacey Musgraves in a charity shop in Dunblane. One that is currently on the shelves.
A few minutes later I came across the 2015 follow up Pageant Material.
It contains songs with the same clever lyrics covering the minutia of life in small town Mid-America far from the more cosmopolitan large coastal cities. The kind of places where people actually vote for Trump.

The lyrics are excellent but for me the songs are a bit more sugary and mainstream than those on it's predecessor. Still well worth a pound though
She is now married to fellow country singer Ruston Kelly although she should probably retain her maiden name rather than go by the moniker Kacey Kelly!

Kacey Musgraves - Dime Store Cowgirl

Kacey Musgraves - Biscuits

Monday 5 November 2018

Monday's Long Song

Released in 1977 when 3 minute songs were the norm Marquee Moon by Television was a 10 minute epic

A band who had been prominent on the New York scene and no strangers to CBGBs where they shared the stage with the likes of Blondie, Patti Smith and the Ramones.

Given the Punk revolution which swept the UK in 1977 this song should have stuck out like a sore thumb. I mean only Prog Rock bands were churning out 10 minute epics in those days.

And yet, and yet, it seemed to fit in just swimmingly and subsequently influenced many others.

Television - Marquee Moon

Sunday 4 November 2018

Sisters of Soul

I picked up Sisters of Soul a cheap and cheerful compilation in a Nairn charity shop
Twenty  mostly well known tracks by various female Soul artists.
Many of these artists grace the shelves and many of the artists and a few of the songs have featured here before.

However there are a few I didn't have which made a pound a fair investment.
The First Cut is the Deepest is of course most well known courtesy of the Rod Stewart version from 1977 but P.P. Arnold was the first to release it in 1967.
 Until now I was unaware that it was written by Yusef Islam the artist previously known as Cat Stevens.

Sisters Beverley, Shirley and Valorie are better known collectively as The Jones Girls.Exponents of Philly Soul they enjoyed a degree of success and popularity in the late 70s/early 80's including Nights Over Egypt a single from 1981

P.P. Arnold - The First Cut is the Deepest

The Jones Girls -Nights Over Egypt

Saturday 3 November 2018

Memphis v Nashville 2

A fairly comfortable win for the Colorblind James Experience and Memphis last week meaning that The Birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll has a 1-0 lead over Music City.

Who will win this week where we have a couple of Country male and female duos up against each other one pretty established the other less so.

In the Memphis corner we have the duo of  Robbie Fulks and Linda Gail Lewis from their recent album on Bloodshot  Records -Wild! Wild! Wild!. This one came to me third hand via Jez and George. Thanks guys.
As you may be aware Linda Gail is the younger sister of the Killer himself Jerry Lee Lewis.

In the Nashville corner are husband and wife Carl and Pearl Butler who performed as a duo from 1961 up to Pearl's death in 1988 with their take  on a song written by Dwayne Warwick the brilliant Sundown in Nashville. It has been covered by many others but none of the other versions are as good as this.
More thanks to George again.  I have it somewhere but I knew he could track it down more quicly from his extensive Carl and Pearl collection.

It's Mr & Mrs Butler for me this week. Others, of course may choose to differ

Each evening at sundown in Nashville they sweep broken dreams of the street

Robbie Fulks & Linda Gail Lewis - Memphis Never Falls From Style

Carl & Pearl Butler - Sundown in Nashville

Friday 2 November 2018

From the Cradle Bars Comes a Beckoning Voice

I picked up the Best of Siouxsie and the Banshees from a charity shop in Blairgowrie. From 2002 it replaces my vinyl copy of the 1981 compilation Once Upon a Time: The Singles which has gone missing somewhere along the way.

This means that I am very familiar with about half of those on the Best Of and not really familiar with the rest. I'll be honest and say that none of the one's I am unfamiliar with automatically jump out.
The early singles are all terrific though.

I'm not really one to single out drummers but Budgie's contribution to Spellbound is absolutely top drawer.In fact I'll go as far as saying it is spellbinding!

Siouxsie & the Banshees - Hong Kong Garden

Siouxsie & the Banshees - Spellbound

Thursday 1 November 2018

November Twilight

A potential monthly series in the offing following the purchase of  two albums on the one CD by Julie London in a Nairn charity shop.
The second album is called Your Number Please but it is the first Calendar Girl which gives the monthly option as it contains a song for every month of the year plus one called The Thirteenth Month thrown in for good measure. It was originally released as far back as 1956 on the Liberty label.
It may well depend on my ability to separately source the twelve monthly pictures or more realistically whether I actually remember to feature it on the 1st of the month.

We will see how it goes.