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Thursday 31 December 2020

Things Can Only Get Better

 

It's my last post of 2020.The year when everything has gone to pieces.

Can I take the opportunity to wish you all a happy and socially distanced New Year. I'll raise a glass from the safety of my living room.

Surely things can only get better.

Hopefully the only way is up given that the Oxford vacinne is now available

It would be good to get the chance to see  some of you personally next year and even better if it was at a gig. Here's hoping.

George Jones -Things Have Gone to Pieces

D-REAM -Things Can Only Get Better

Yazz - The Only Way Is Up

Wednesday 30 December 2020

Busy Lockdown Ladies

 



One of the few positive things about lockdown is that some artists who were hitherto not very prolific have been more productive when it comes to releasing music. Whether this is because they have more time on their hands or whether they are trying to generate some much needed income I'm not sure.Probably a bit of both.

One artist who particularly stands out is Gillian Welch. She had only released five albums from 1996 to 2019 . This year has seen her releasing four new records. Firstly there was All the Good Times attributed to Gillian and her partner Dave Rawlings a collection of acousic covers recorded at home on a reel to reel tape recorder.

This was swiftly followed by  Boots No 2 :The Lost Songs a further 48 archived songs from the vaults released over 3 volumes. 


Whereas Lucinda Williams has released an album every couple of years since the turn of the century her releases in the 80's and 90's were rarer than hen's teeth.

She has excelled herself in 2020. In addition to her album Good Souls Better Angels she has undertaken a new adventure Lu's Jukebox a 6 episode series of themed songs with an occassional Lu-rarity or new song.

To date 4 have crossed my radar:

Bob's Back Pages: A Night of Bob Dylan Songs

Funny How Time Slip's Away: A Night of 60's Country Classics

Runnin' Down a Dream: A Tribute to Tom Petty

Southern Soul:From Memphis to Muscle Shoals and more

I'm eagerly awaiting the final two instalments

Gillian Welch - Valley of Tears

Lucinda Williams -Funny How Time Slips Away

Tuesday 29 December 2020

Another Best of 2020 List


 Another best of 2020 list.

This time round it is a list of albums that I have -ahem * aquired* These are ten I would have/may have purchased had finances allowed.

This time round they are in alphabetical order as opposed to rank

Arbouretum - Let It All In (Thrill Jockey) - An eclectic mix of folk, blues, Americana and 70’s psychedelia from the Baltimore band

Bob Dylan - Rogh and Rowdy Ways (Columbia) - his 39th studio album and his first since 2012. One I'll definitely get round to buying

Bobbie Gentry - The Delta Sweete(Deluxe Edition)(UMC -Virgin International ) - a deluxe re-issue of  her conceptual second album from 1968 based on modern life in the Deep South

Bruce Springsteen - Letter to You (Columbia) - It's a tough act to follow  Western Stars but the Boss gives it a good go with his old muckers from the E Street Band along for the ride

Eileen Rose - Muscle Shoals (Continantal Song City)  -I've picked up a couple of her Americana albums in charity shops and they are ok. This one steps up a gear and as her website says is her most accomplished record to date

Jonathan Wison - Dixie Blur (Bella Union) - his fourth studio album. - a little bit country, a little bit rock'n'roll (the lineofbestfit)

Kris Drever - Where the World is Thin(Reveal). I've all the previous albums by Orkney folk artist Kris Drever. I wasn't sure at first but a definite grower with Scapa Flow 1919 and Westlin' Winds the stand out tracks

Steve Earle & the Dukes - Ghosts of West Virginia (New West) It's been a while since I've picked up on a new Steve Earle album but this angry and powerful concept album saluting coal mining communities and marking a 2010 explosion that left 29 miners dead is a return to form

Various Artists - Strum & Thrum:The American Jangle Underground 1983-1987(Captured Tracks) The inaugural release in a new Captured Tracks compilation series surveys a generation of college-rock bands that drew sustenance from the chiming guitars of R.E.M. and the Byrds.(Pitchfork)Would definitely have been purchased had I not been late to the party.Not a duff track on it.

Waxahatchee - St Cloud (Merge). Her 5th album and the most Americana to date which of course is no bad thing The Robster's record of the year. High praise indeed

Arbouretum - A Prism in Reverse

Bob Dylan - I Contain Multitudes



Monday 28 December 2020

Fandabidozi

 


I hope that you all managed to have a good Christmas and that Santa was good to you 

I got my first Teenage Fanclub albums on vinyl to accompany the CD versions. I also have next year's Endless Arcade on order.

I got the 2018 super deluxe editions of 1995's Grand Prix and 1997's Songs From Northern Britain the versions which come with the free single

In addition I got a couple of books John Cooper Clarke's auto biography I Wanna Be Yours and Cassius X by Stuart Cosgrove. Oh, and a bottle of Laphroaig.

So all in all a pretty good haul.

Here are a track from each of the Fannies albums and something from the Bard of Salford

Teenage Fanclub - Sparky's Dream

Teenage Fanclub - Your love is the Place Where I Come From

John Cooper Clarke - Twat


Sunday 27 December 2020

Val's Vinyl

 


How do you follow The Nolans?

Well how about a 12 inch single of Happy Birthday by Stevie Wonder all 8 minutes 20 seconds of it? A Special Limited Edition no less on the Motown label.One that would also not have been out of place yesterday.

A song originally from his terrific 1980 album Hotter Than July which reached number two in the UK singles chart.Written to highlight the ultimately successful campaign to make the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr a national holiday but one which has been hi-jacked for everyone's birthdays.

I couldn't bring myself to play or feature the 8 minute 42 second b-side Happy Birthday (Sing-a -Long).You can have too much of a good thing.

Stevie Wonder - Happy Birthday (12 inch version)



Saturday 26 December 2020

Boxing Day Birthday Greetings

 


Hope you all had a good day yesterday.

Regular readers will know that today is Mrs CC's birthday - the day after the baby Jesus as she used to say to the nephews when they were smaller than us.

Like everyone else it has been a difficult year with Covid. Add in deaths and illness and it has been pretty grim.

Therefore we are taking the opportunity to relax today with a champagne breakfast, some music, a few more drinks and old films on the telly.

So please raise a glass to Mrs CC. Thank you for putting up with me for another year.

As it's her birthday she gets to pick the songs.

George Harrison - My Sweet Lord

John Lennon - Mind Games

Thursday 24 December 2020

And So This Is Christmas

 


Isn't it funny that whereas Christmas is always on the same day every year it somehow always creeps up on you and takes you by surprise.

This will obviously be a Christmas like no other  in a year like no other. It can be hard to get into the festive spirit although some folk gallantly tried by putting up their trees and deckies in early November. Any thing to lift the spirits.

Although if you want your spirits lifted you should look no further than Phil Spector and his Christmas Gift for You.

If you could bottle this we could just about get through the rest of the pandemic and the Brexit debacle.

On behalf of CCM can I wish you and yours as Merry a Christmas as you can

The Ronettes - Sleigh Ride

The Crystals - Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer


Wednesday 23 December 2020

My Albums of the Year - Part Two

 


I'm used to short posts with a couple of lines so I struggled to do this in a oner.

Therefore numbers 10 to 6 yesterday and 5 to 1 today

5 - Archipelago EPs (Olive Grove)


I'm slightly cheating here as this is not an album but rather a collection of 6 artists over three pieces of vinyl  showing off some of the talent in the Olive Grove stable. 

Sold individually and then as a package. I bought the package this year hence the inclusion

The first disc features Vol 1 Jared Celose and Vol 2 Chrissy Barnacle. The second features Vol 3 Pocket Knife and Vol 4 Moonshop

The final one is my favourite  with Circle Meets Dot ( namely A Wesley Chung and Jo Mango) on Vol 5 and the pick of the bunch the brilliant Henry and Fleetwood on Vol 6

4 -  Mt Doubt - Doubtlands (LNFG)


The 3rd album by Edinburgh band Mt Doubt who previously graced the  wonderful Scottish Fiction label.

Described accuratley as brooding by Netsounds it features the songwriting skills  and baritone voice of Leo Bagery An Eco Vinyl in Die Cut Sleeve with interchangeable artwork. Each copy is unique  and well worth having.

3- Drive - By Truckers - The Unraveling (ATO)


I was a big fan of the DBTs in the first decade of the millennium picking up most of their albums on New West and seeing them live a couple of times. I slowly drifted away around the time Jason Isbell left and they became more hard rock.

However they are back with a vengeance with an album full of fury about the state of America – from school shootings to caged kids. (The Guardian)

Patterson Hood states Things are so crazy right now, you never know what’s gonna happen next. You just know it’s gonna be ridiculous and shitty. Welcome to Trump's America. 21st Century USA

 2- Rose City Band - Summerlong (Thrill Jockey)



From the despair of The Unraveling to a gorgeous thing of beauty. The second outing by Ripley Johnston's side project Rose City Band.

Folk Radio states that  with Summerlong he has proved that even in the dark days there is always hope for rebirth close at hand.

Psychedelia with a Laurel Canyon twist and just the thing for when lockdown was sunny and bearable. In any other year this would have been number one.

1 - The Isolation Sessions -(Last Night From Glasgow)


The Isolation Sessions was conceived on 17th March 2020 as a chance for Last Night From Glasgow artists to engage in a creative project and raise money for venues and record stores affected by the Covid-19 lockdown. Incredibly, by 22nd April, twenty three artists has recorded each other's songs for this unique snapshot of unprecedented times.

The  first pressing run of The Isolation Sessions led to LNFG  donating  over £3,000 stock to independent record stores and £3,000 to support local venues and events. Since then a re-issue and associated products have led to further donations for example all proceeds during November were donated to McChuills a Glasgow bar and venue.

Not only a fantastic cause but fantastic music Here is a rundown of the tracks courtesy of snackmag


Rose City Band - Reno Shuffle

Drive - By Truckers - 21st Century USA


Tuesday 22 December 2020

My Albums of the Year - Part One

 


It's that time of the year when lists of albums of the year are drawn up.

There aren't as  many as I thought I had and there are a couple of older albums Alice Clark (1972) and Mark W Georgsson - Faces and Places (2017)  which would have probably featured if I wasn't concentrating on records from 2020. 

Similarly two records from  2019 which I only picked up this year Cloth -Cloth and Savage Mansion -Revision Ballads  should perhaps also be included. They would both be somewhere in the middle 

Here then  is the countdown from 10 to 6  with part two featuring tomorrow

10  Carla J Easton - Weirdo (Olive Grove)


I swithered about this one. Indeed I swithered so much I missed the original batch and had to wait for the second pressing. The reason for swithering.was after initially enjoying 2018's Impossible Stuff I have not really felt the urge to revisit it any time recently.
Weirdo is certainly more poppy and Carla seems to be having a great time.Guest appearances from Honeyblood and Solareye
Monorail describe the music as  dreamy, lush and inescapable.with the song Get Lost consisting of almost 3 minutes of deliciously sugary escapism. Carly Rae Jepsen with a dash of New Order.

9 - The Close Lobsters - Post Neo Anti (Last Night From Glasgow)


The most arresting cover of the year.
The Big Take Over Show writes that they deliver  a full-course sonic smorgasbord of jangle pop, indie rock, and post-punk. 
Their first album since 1989 Side 1 contains newly recordesd songs with Side 2 containg a couple of tracks from 2014 and a couple from 2016

8 - The Bluebells - Sisters (Past Nights From Glasgow)



A re-issue of the classic 1984 album by Glasgow legends The Bluebells on Past Nights From Glasgow a new label from the LNFG stable with a mission to  repackage , remaster and re-issue much loved, occasionally maligned or outright ignored classic albums from our past.

It includes an updated version of the opening track Everybody's Somebody's Fool plus two new bonus tracks produced by Elvis Costello Oh, and two of the great pop songs of our times Young at Heart and Cath

7 - Phoebe Bridgers - Punisher (Dead Oceans)


Her second solo album after Stranger in the Alps described by Pitchfork as being candid, multi-dimensional, slyly psychedelic, and full of heart.  Deeply personal in nature it explores topics like disassociation  and fragmenting relationships.A few more listens and I suspect it would be higher

6  - Martha Ffion -Nights to Forget (Lost Map)



A terrific pop record from Irish born but Glasgow based Claire Mackay aka Martha Ffion , her follow up to her SAY nominated debut Sunday Best. A collection of personal reflections on loss, letting go, looking forward and the futility of nostalgia

Numbers 5 to 1 tomorrow

The Bluebells - Cath

Martha Ffion - After The Fact



Monday 21 December 2020

The Godfather

 


I watched The Godfather the other evening and what a terrific film it is.
Second only in Mafia films to Goodfellas - a statement which may well spark some debate.

Goodfellas of course has a frozen pizza named after it  and is the 2nd most popular brand in the UK and the number 1 in it's home country Ireland

I was going to say that there wasn't a Godfathers Pizza but I see that there is a  franchise with 453 locations on the US. Anyway I digress.

I found myself singing  I put horses heads in peoples bed's  from I Am The Mob by Catatonia and it got me thinking about what else I could come up with.

Here are the results. Any takers?






Sunday 20 December 2020

Val's Vinyl

 


A bit of a dilemma this week as Val's Vinyl contains not one but two albums by The Nolans.I'm not quite sure what came over me says Val

Which to choose? As you can see from the picture above I've gone for their 1980 album Making Waves on the Epic label, the other album being the 1982 follow up Portrait. Featuring the classic line up of Bernie (RIP), Maureen, Coleen and Linda

It was a close call but how can you ignore an album which went gold  and which reached number 2 in Sweden and Ireland and number 1  in New Zealand and Japan. Unbelievably it sold over 5 million copies  with over 100,000 in the UK and  over 550,000 in Japan.

Four top 20 singles with the two featured below both  peaking at number 9.

Tempting as it is to keep them I feel that I have an obligation to share the love.

Anyone on the mood for dancing, romancing?

The Nolans - Gonna Pull Myself Together

The Nolans - Attention To Me



Saturday 19 December 2020

Painted From Memory

 


2020 Charity Shop Purchases  74 - Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach - Painted From Memory

The final offering from my pre-lockdown haul is Painted From Memory a 1998 collaboration between Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach on Mercury Records.

Written on the back of their 1996 song God Give Me Strength commissioned for the film Grace of My Heart it was Elvis' first album in 2 years  (between All This Useless Beauty and When I Was Cruel) and Burt's first in 21 years.
 They are co-credited with the lyrics  with Elvis doing the singing and Burt tickling the ivories.

Defined pretty accurately by Wiki as baroque pop it also has a bit of a jazz feel to it. I'm not selling it too you am I?
It seems that Elvis had always been a fan of Burt so presumably he jumped at the change to collborate with him.

It is pleasant enough but the songs just wash over you rather than grab you.It's Elvis so it is a keeper.
File under easy listening.
I’m off to listen to Blood and Chocolate



That's probably it for the 2020 charity purchases unless I hit the charity shops between Christmas and New Year (update 6.24 pm - that's clearly not now going to happen)

Friday 18 December 2020

A Non- Seasonal Sampler

 


Regular readers will know that I am in the habit of featuring a Bloodshot Records Sampler from your favourite Chicago insurgent Country label for your pleasure around this time of the year.

That was the case from 2015 to 2018 when they produced one towards the end of the year and then things changed

I managed to miss the Winter 2019sampler released in association with Classic Rock magazine probably because it was first  released on 30th December 2018.

There was no end of year sampler for 2020 perhaps not surprisingly considering everything that has been going down this year. They did however produce a Spring 2020 one again  in association with Classic Rock. I picked it up at the time but tradition demanded that I save it until now.

Here are a trio of tracks to whet your appetite before you toddle off to the Bloodshot Bandcamp page and pick up the two samplers above on a pay what you want basis.

Think of it as my Christmas present to you

ROOKIE - Hold on Tight

Sarah Shook & the Disarmers - Devil May Care

Freakwater - Sway

Thursday 17 December 2020

The Trials of Van Occupanther


 

Recent references to The Trials of Van Occupanther  in a posting by the Great Gog at JC's place and my featuring of it from the compilation White Winter Hymnals had me popping across to Discogs for the first time this year to pick up a copy.

The second album from 2006 by the Denton, Texas band Midlake on the Bella Union label it seems already to have acquired semi-legendary status.

There are comparisons to the Laurel Canyon sound and to the likes of Fleetwood Mac,Peter Hammill, The Blue Nile, Radiohead and Grandaddy.

I'm glad I didn't read all that beforehand as with the  exception of Laurel Canyon and Grandaddy that would have probably put me off.

The Guardian states that  the songwriting is rich, delivering an almost hallucinatory mix of pianos, horns, guitars and painfully wistful reminisces. This could well end up one of 2006's best.

Pitchfork praised Roscoe but little else. Bella Union on the other hand lists a number oif admirers and suggests that it's influence has perhaps been felt in the breakthrough of many a band or singer at one with the stuff of beards, bucolic yearning and blissful West Coast harmonies, from Fleet Foxes to Band of Horses, The Low Anthem, Jonathan Wilson, Matthew E White and beyond.

Heady stuff. For what it's worth I like it and I'm glad I took the plunge

Midlake - Roscoe

Midlake - In This Camp

Wednesday 16 December 2020

Rifferama

 


 2020 Charity Shop Purchases 73 - Thrum - Rifferama

I've lost count of the times that I've bought a CD in a Charity Shop not being sure whether I already had it or not. In a good few cases it was already on the shelves.

However this is a first. I picked up Rifferama a 1994 album by Thrum on the Fire label in the full knowledge that I already had it. I  knew that I had bought a copy from discogs a couple of years ago I was so surpised and excited to see a copy that I felt obliged to buy it. You can't have enough of a good thing.

SonicHits point out that with comparisons to Lone Justice and once described as like Janis Joplin fronting Teenage Fanclub much of the strength of Thrum's guitar-driven sound is built around Monica Queen's luxurious voice with Johnny Smillie's arrangements and guitar playing integral to achieving the complete sound.

A spendid racket.

Thrum - Lullaby II

Thrum - Nowhere To Run

Thrum - So Glad

Tuesday 15 December 2020

Don't Let It Get You Down

 



 2020 Charity Shop Purchases 72 - Echo & the Bunnymen - Don't Let it Get You Down (CD single)

I'm getting near the end of my most recent haul and it's time to feature the only CD single .

Don't Let It Get You Down  on the London label was the third single by Echo & the Bunnymen from their 1997 comeback album Evergreen. Coincidentally I picked up the first one Nothing Lasts Forever in Ballantrae with featured back in May 2017

Again from the era when there were two CD singles released with different extra tracks. Both versions contained two live songs from the band's 1997 Glastonbury appearance .

In this case we have The Back of Love a song from the Porcupine album and Over the Wall from Heaven Up Here  an album picked up in the same shop and featured  here a couple of months ago

Don't Let It Get You Down - a song title for these times.

Echo & the Bunnymen - Don't Let It Get You Down

Echo & the Bunnymen -The Back of Love (Live)

Echo & the Bunnymen - Over the Wall (Live)

Monday 14 December 2020

Charley Pride RIP

 


2020 continues to go from bad to worse as Covid-19 takes another musical legend.Sadly Charley Pride has passed on at the age of 86

Charley Pride was a professional baseball player but more importantly he was the first African -American artist to become a Country superstar. Initally when his records were submitted to radio stations there was a deliberate omission of photographs. In 1966 at his first large show few of the 10,000 country fans who came to the show knew Pride was black, and only discovered the fact when he walked onto the stage, at which point the applause trickled off to silence. "I knew I'd have to get it over with sooner or later," Pride later remembered. "I told the audience: 'Friends, I realize it's a little unique, me coming out here—with a permanent suntan—to sing country and western to you. But that's the way it is. (Wiki)

Talent always outs and in 1967 he became the first black performer to appear at the Grand Ole Opry and by 1971  he was the Country Music Association's entertainer of the year and the best male vocalist in 1971 and 1972

One of the albums of his that I have is called The Incomparable Charley Pride. Ain't that the truth.

Rest easy Charley

Charley Pride -Roll On Mississippi

Charley Pride - Was It Worth Losing You

Charley Pride - Is Anone Going To San Antone

Charley Pride - Crystal Chandeliers

Sunday 13 December 2020

Val's Vinyl


 Tapestry the 1971 album on A&M by Carole King is one of the best selling albums of all time having sold over 25 million copies world wide.

One belonged to my trendy and glamorous Aunt Jean and other belonged to Val. Most of Val's vinyl is in pretty good condition but I would describe her copy as much loved. However, I feel that the snaps,crackles and pops merely add to the attraction.

Carole King was one of the best songwriters of her, or indeed any generation. Probably best known for her Brill Building songs co-written with her first husband Gerry Goffin. She could hold a tune too.

The condition of the album influenced the songs I selected but in reality all 12 are of a similar high standard.

King wrote the music for It's Too Late with Toni  Stern the lyrics and it was one which reached number one on the Billboard singles chart. It has been covered by Gloria Estefan a version which I thankfully haven't heard.

Will You Love Me Tomorrow (not Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow as you would think) was co-written with Gerry Goffin.Another number 1 this time in  1960 for the Shirelles the fist song by an all black girl group to claim that accolade.

It has been covered by around 50 acts. Here are the Shirelles and two covers from my hard drive all titled Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow. I'll leave it to Ernie to come up with the Mandatory Reggae Version

Carole King - It's Too Late

Carole King - Will You Love Me Tomorrow

The Shirelles - Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow

Roberta Flack - Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow

Amy Winehouse - Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow

Saturday 12 December 2020

50 Americana Albums to Hear Before You Die - A Man Under the Influence

 




The final album in this series and it is a cracker.

Ladies and gentlemen I give you Alejandro Escovedo voted in 1998 by No Depression magazine as Artist of the Decade with his 2001 album A Man Under the Influence on the Bloodshot label, the label which has easily had the most featured albums in this series.

Let's look at the plaudits

Billboard  - the best studio performance Escovedo has ever produced

Pitchforkit's well-played, well-written, solid music from a certified veteran. 

Allmusic Quite simply,Escovedo has never sung better than he does on this set, running the emotional spectrum from plaintive longing to swaggering contempt and never sounding less than convincing at any stop along the way.  Each of this album's 11 songs is worth hearing, and the cumulative effect is nothing less than stunning

Bloodshot  this album stands as one of cornerstone achievements of a singer and songwriter not lacking in achievements.

Charity Chic - my favourite album by one of my favourite artists

But hey don't listen to them. Give it listen and judge for yourself. If you are not convinced then there is no hope for you. In your letter to Santa tell him it's available from discogs from as little as £2.35

An artist I've seen a few times . Twice in Austin when his Continental Club Sunday night concerts after SXSW where his version of I Wanna Be Your Dog with Chuck Prophet is the stuff of legends  and twice in Glasgow. The first time in Glasgow was at King Tuts in November. This tiny man with a fur hat came in through the front door. I have never seen anyone looking so cold in my life


This concludes my 50 Americana Albums to Hear Before You Die series. I hope you've enjoyed it and enjoyed listening to old favourites or discovering new ones.If you are interested in playlists from this series drop me a line.

Who knows I may return with another  50.Maybe Americana Albums  but maybe Country but they are on the blue shelves so they count to Hear Before You Die series in due course

Alejandro Escovedo - Wave

Alejandro Escovedo -Rosalie

Alejandro Escovedo - Wedding Day



Friday 11 December 2020

Grace


 2020 Charity Shop Purchases 71 - Jeff Buckley - Grace

I was obviously aware of the album Grace by Jeff Buckley but was only familiar with his excellent  version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.Therefore , I thought that I should pick up a copy to see what all the fuss was about.

His only studio album from 1994 it regularly features on the lists of greatest albums although when it was originally released it had poor sales and mixed reviews.

After an initial listen or two I'm still not quite sure about it. Although not that convinced I can see that it has something about it and that is one that may become a grower or one that I will suddenly “get" one day. I shall persevere.

Obvious comparisons with a rockier Nick Drake (another artist who died far too young) and to John Martyn but worryingly I can't get Freddy Mercury out my head. For me the noisier bits don't quite work.

As you will all be familiar with Hallelujah  I have opted for another couple of tracks

Thisdayinmusic.com state that he was born with a voice to die for an unfortunate  turn of phrase given his early demise at the age of 30 after accidentally drowning in Wolf River Harbor a channel of the Mississippi.

Jeff Buckley - Eternal Life

Jeff Buckley - Forget Her


Thursday 10 December 2020

We Will Reign

 


After yesterday's debacle we need something to cleanse the palate.

And what better that We Will Reign the 2014 debut album on Epic Records by the left wing Brooklyn agitators The Last Internationale. I gave it it's first listen in ages following downloading some live tracks and was blown away.

A band who were brought to my attention by my late pal Harry who saw them supporting Robert Plant in Glasgow.

The Last Internationale are Delia Paz on vocals and Edgey Pires on guitar wth Brian Wilk who has played with Black Sabbath and Rage Against the Machine guesting on drums.

The cover of Sam Cooke's A Change is Gonna Come is not on the album but I thought I would share it with you as it is something very special indeed.

The Last Internationale - We Will Reign

The Last Internationale - Wanted Man

The Last Internationale - A Change is Gonna Come

Wednesday 9 December 2020

See This Through and Leave


2020 Charity Shop Purchases 70 - The Cooper Temple Clause - See This Through and Leave
 

This one was a mistake. I confused them with The Temperance Movement who I was interested to hear after seeing their former frontman Phil Campbell at Celtic Connections

The Cooper Temple Clause were from Wokingham and Wiki describes them as post-hardcore/new prog/space rock  (you can see where this is going).

See This Through and Leave was their debut album from 2002 on Morning Records. Thankfully they only released another two before splitting up in 2007

See This Through and Leave ? Sorry I never made it to the end of the first track. To make matters worse there is a bonus disc.

Let's Kill Music? They give it a bloody good try.

Absolutely dreadful and unlistenable (if that is a word). It's going back. I will not subject you to more than one "song"

The Cooper Temple Clause - Let's Kill Music

Tuesday 8 December 2020

The Dodgy Album

 


2020 Charity Shop Purchases 69 - Dodgy - The Dodgy Album

I'll get in before anyone else. What do you mean THE Dodgy album.Surely half the albums in your collection are dodgy.

Right, now that's out of the way let's proceed. From 1993 on A&M  this was the debut album by lower league Britpop band Dodgy. Subtitled Dodgy and the merry motley youths of the musical uprising.

This is the first I have of them other than the occasional track on Britpop compilations.They are probably best know for the song Staying Out for the Summer. It's not on this album but I've dug it out anyway. cos that's  the kind of guy I am

Dodgy are/were Nigel Clark - bass/lead vocals, Andy Miller - guitars, backing vocals and Matthew Priest - drums,percussion and backing vocals. Simon Rogers also pitches in on Hammond organ.

I say are/were as they were active from 1990- 2002 prior to the obligatory reunion in 2007.

One that I think will impress Mr Medd

Dodgy - Lovebirds

Dodgy - Stand By Yourself

Dodgy - Staying Out for the Summer


Monday 7 December 2020

Heavenly Rockingbirds

 


There was an interesting article by Teddy Jamieson in Saturday's Herald Magazine on 30 years of Heavenly Records. The article is on the back of the release of a book by Robin Turner called Believe in Magic:Heavenly Recordings The First 30 Years.

Jamieson picks our a personal 6 of the best. Along with the likes of Saint Etienne, Dot Allison and the Manics he selects Gradually Learning a song by The Rockingbirds from 1992

I have the 12 inch of this record and  featured it in the early days of CCM. I was not aware that it was on Heavenly.

This led me to giving the self-titled  album  a long overdue listen and thoroughly enjoyed it. The last few bars of Jonathan Jonathan should give a clue as to who it is about

The Rockingbirds - Gradually Learning

The Rockingbirds - Jonathan Johnathan

The Rockingbirds - Tall Buildings


Sunday 6 December 2020

Val's Vinyl

 


This week Val goes Motown or rather Pickwick (by arrangement with Motown Records)

As you can see from the album cover above Vol 1. Motown Monster Hits features a number of household names albeit it only has nine tracks.

The problem is that the quality isn't very good . Not sure if it is the music or the production and recording. Given the pedigree of the acts I suspect the latter.

From 1976 it is available on Discogs from £1.73. It is probably the sort of album that I would swither about picking up in a charity shop and certainly wouldn't pay more than a couple of quid for.

Despite the stellar cast I'm not sure that it's a keeper

Marvin Gaye - Your Unchanging Love

Four Tops - Loving You is Sweeter Than Ever

Jr. Walker & the All Stars - Shoot Your Shot


Saturday 5 December 2020

50 Americana Albums to Hear Before You Die - Cathryn Craig

 


The penultimate song in this series and I suspect that  again there will be those saying trhat it is not Americana. I beg to differ

Cathryn Craig may well be from Richmond, Virginia but her first three records between 1995 and 2001 were released by Goldrush Records from Perth, Perth and Kinross. There was also a record shop with that name in Perth run by a guy called Barclay and I very much suspect that the two were connected.

I have the middle of the three the eponymous one above from 1997. If you don't have it firstly give yourself a slap and secondly head to Discogs where it is going for 50p.

From 2002 she has been performing as part of a duet wth Brian Willoughby and they are still going strong.

I saw her twice during her solo years once in the County Hotel, Perth and once in Blackfriars in Glasgow.I've told the following story and featured the song it is about twice here  before and make no apologies for doing so again

When I went with a couple of pals to see Cathryn Craig play in Blackfriars in Glasgow at the end of the show we expressed some polite disappointment that she hadn't sung Colorado. She got out her guitar, sat down and played it for the three of us. Quality

Ok George, so it's Country , but to me it certainly merits inclusion in this series.

There will be no debate or arguement about next week's  final act. An artist who in 1998 No Depression magazine (which I used to subscibe to) named as the Artist of the Decade


Cathryn Craig - Talk to You

Cathryn Craig - Colorado

Cathryn Craig - Love Coming Down on Me

Friday 4 December 2020

The Best of 2009

 



2020 Charity Shop Purchases 68 - Various : Uncut - The Best of 2009.

We sre nearing that time of the year when folk start to compile their best of lists for the year. As CCM is often a bit behind the times I give you The Best of 2009.

I'm a bit of a sucker for these if only to see how many I recognise. In this case I am probably familiar with around half of the acts  but only have physical  music by the Super Furry Animals.
I thought I might look at featuring tracks from those new to me artists but this largely proved to be unfruitful.

So first and second up two acts that I have copies of records by.. The Felice Brothers always appear to be a bit of an enigma to me. Any track of theirs I hear I like yet when I got a copy of their Favorite Waitress album I was largely disappointed. This selection from Yonder Stands the Clock however is rather good.

I got Oh,My God,Charlie Darwin by rhe Low Anthem from the record library when there was such a thing. I played it a couple of times and stored it away. I don't particularly recall To Ohio but I probably should.

I have nothing by Tinariwen and that requires to change. Perhaps Imidiwan:Companions would be a good start. I need some North African desert blues in my life!





Thursday 3 December 2020

Stay Positive


2020 Charity Shop Purchases 67 - The Hold Steady = Stay Positive 

The more sad   eagle -eyed among you may be thinking "what's going on here? He only featured Stay Positive the 4th album by The Hold Steady from 2008 on Vagrant/Rough Trade as recently as February  last year. Why so soon again?"

The reason is simple. The last time round it was a  copy which George had very kindly pushed in my direction. I was familiar with the name but not the music and was pretty impressed especially with the track Sequestered in Memphis.

Then I saw Craig Finn appear as past of the Roaming Roots Review tribute to Bruce Springsteen and was totally blown away.
Therefore it was pretty much a no -brainer to upgrade my  copy when I saw it during my last charity shop foray.
I've featured Sequestered in Memphis twice already here and although I am sorely tempted to post it again there are a number of other good songs such as the two below which deserve an outing.

Eyes now peeled for other albums by them

The title of the album is something we should all be aspiring to no matter how hard that currently is.


Wednesday 2 December 2020

Blue Moon

 


Rol featured the Cowboy Junkies  at the weekend in an excellent cryptic clue as part of his brilliant Saturday Snapshots series.

This lead to me pulling their masterpiece The Trinity Sessions from the shelves. The track Blue Moon Revisted (Song for Elvis) had me thinking of  the versions of that song that I have.

I don't go as far back as 1934 when the original was written by Rogers and Hart. It was originally a hit in 1949 for both Billy Eskstine and Mel Tormé 

The oldest version I've got is probably the one by Billie Holiday from 1952.

As the Cowboy Junkies alluded to it was subsequently covered by Elvis Presley.There are two versions on Sunrise the 1999 album featuring his Sun recordings from 1953 to 1955 .As I'm a generous person I'm giving you both.

Finally a more recent version from 2019 by Tenament and Temple the duo that are Johnny Smillie and Monica Queen

There are many more versions out there including three by The Marcels, Bobby Vinton and Sam Cooke in the film An American Werewolf in London. I don't have those

Cowboy Junkie - Blue Moon Revisited (Song For Elvis)

Billie Holiday - Blue Moon

Elvis Presley - Blue Moon

Elvis Presley - Blue Moon (Alt Take)

Tenament & Temple - Blue Moon

Nearly a Single Song Wednesday there Ernie




Tuesday 1 December 2020

Altered Beast

 


2020 Charity Shop Purchases 66 - Matther Sweet

Some power pop for you today as we feature Matthew Sweet with Altered Beast his 4th album from 1993  on the Zoo Entertainment label. The album cover comes in five different colours (yellow,blue, green, orange and purple). As the picture above suggests my copy came in blue.

The follow up to Girlfriend (which I've still to get) it was released to mixed reviews with a score of  4/5 from Allmusic and 3/5 from Rolling Stone.

Rolling Stone stated that it had inspiring moments, the problem is finding them. Allmusc felt that the album was all over the place and it takes a bit of time for all of it to make sense , but after a few listens it falls together.

That is somewhat reassuring as after being pretty chuffed to find it after a first listen I was not entirely convinced. It is certainly a bit of a curate's egg. I hold Mr Sweet in high regard so I shall persevere.

It joins it's successor 100% Fun  (1995) and 1999's In Reverse on the shelves.

Matthew Sweet - The Ugly Truth

Matthew Sweet - Do It Again


Monday 30 November 2020

Monday Long Song

 


Given that I don't have any prog rock and very little in the way of psychedelia on the shelves I don't often participate in this feature.

However the Mojo Almost Famous compilation which I featured on Friday contained a track which fits the criteria and which is worthy of inclusion.

From 1979 Funk You Up by The Sequence on Sugarhill was the first hip-hop  song to be released by a female rap band. It was the second single on the  Sugarhill label following on from the brilliant Rapper's Delight by the Sugarhill Gang.

The three rappers were Southern gals from South Carolina namely Cheryl "the Pearl" Cook, Gwendolyn "Blondy " Chisolm and Angela "Angie B" Brown the lead singer who later went on to record as Angie Stone. I have Black Diamond one of her CDs on the shelves bought for a fiver from Europa Records in Stirling. I must give it a listen.

The Sequence - Funk You Up

Sunday 29 November 2020

Val's Vinyl

 



We are out of the chill out zone and back on the dance floor this week with Sister Sledge.

Love Somebody Today from 1980 is the fourth studio album by the band joining their third We Are Family on the shelves.
On the Cotillion label (a division of Atlantic) it was written by the legends that are Nile Rogers and Bernard Edwards.One of the four albums that the Chic duo put out that year along with albums by Sheila B Devotion, Diana Ross and Chic themselves. Diana Ross got Upside Down and I'm Coming Out. It would have been good to see the sisters tackling those songs.

It is pleasant enough but gets a bit Jazz Funk in places and may have benefited from the tracks being a couple of minutes shorter.You would be knacked dancing to the first one in particular.

I guess you could say that the sisters reached their peak with We Are Family.