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Friday, 31 January 2020

Belle and Sebastian Write About Love

You know the drill by now. Wall to wall country with the occassional Belle and Sebastian record thrown in for good measure
Belle and Sebastian Write About Love their 8th album from 2018 becomes the third album of theirs in as many months to cross the CC threshhold as well as the Legal Man single.

I don't think I can count it in my chronological charity shop purchases for 2010  as it was acquired by Mrs CC.
Their later albums  are appearing more frequently in charity shops  these days. Probably because when compared to their early ones they are not that good.
Certainly this one falls into that category.
The best thing about it is probably the song titles - Calculating Bimbo  and The Ghost of Rockschool.
These two just about pass muster. The first one appears to feature the actress Carey Mulligan

Belle & Sebastian -Write About Love

Belle & Sebastian -Read the Blessed Pages

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Celtic Connections - Kacy and Clayton

Our third and final Celtic Connections outing for this year tonight as we are off to see Canadian cousins Kacy and Clayton at the CCA.
They first came to me attention when their song A Lifeboat appeared on a Mojo compilation leading me to purchase their 2017 album The Siren's Song which was released on the New West label
I've still to get round to picking up their latest Carrying On from October  last year but I suspect it will only be a matter of time.

They are to be supported by Avocet a musical trio based in Glasgow.
To save me the trouble of cutting and pasting here is the official Celtic Connections blurb complete with helpful map.Only £15.40 - fellow Canadian Ron Sexsmith take note.

It remains my intention to provide a brief review of these three concerts

Kacy & Clayton -A Lifeboat

Kacy & Clayton - The Siren's Song

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Soul Covers - Stevie Wonder does The Beatles

George writes:

There are 5 albums on the shelves that call themselves an anthology:

  1. The Immediate Record Company pop anthology
  2. The dust blows forward (an anthology)
  3. Anthology
  4. The American song-poem anthology. Do they know the difference between bigwood and brush?
  5. Anthology

(just look at the splendid selection of albums in that advert)

One of those anthologies is a triple-LP set released in the 1970s, that I purchased from Chalmers &Joy record shop in Gellatly Street, Dundee. I was convinced it had today’s cover version on it, said song being in the time-frame covered by the collection.  Imagine my surprise, as I read and re-read the track listing to see it was absent. “For Once In My Life”? Yes. “My Cherie Amour”? Yes. “I Was Made To Love Her”? Oh Yes. “Signed Sealed Delivered I’m Yours”? Yup. Today’s song?. It is, though, on the Signed Delivered & Delivered album. . Unlike the inspiration of this series it comes under the soul genre, not country

(Yes,  I still have the booklet)

The original song, 50% of the UK’s first ever double-A side, features the music of a  bass guitar, acoustic guitar, tambourine, drums, and a harmonium. I was slightly disappointed that the last instrument was not played by Ivor Cutler.

Mr Wonder’s isn’t the only soul version of this song, but Maxine Brown’s 1966 version is a smooth bland copy, there’s a drawn-out, string-heavy version by Valerie Simpson with a vocal suggestive of a poor poor poor imitation of what she thought Donny Hathaway might have made of it, and Chaka Khan’s discofied version is simply dreadful. Well, the 31 seconds I listened to, and as Mr McCartney himself wrote “life is very short, and there’s no ti-i-ime for fussing and fighting listening to this bollocks ever again”. But Stevland’s 1970 version is tremendous, there’s real feeling in his vocal, and, of course, his version is the one I like the most. By far.

I could find no portuguese-language version, but I did unearth Brazilian band Day By Day’s 1972 version, but it’s not sung in portuguese. I also found a version that heavily features the bongos. And there was one that I hoped would be a sort of prog-folk version but after a minute or so of promising mindless meandering it just became a straight copy. And neither country or soul, so banned under the rules.

Before I forget, looking at the 5 albums listed at the top, the first was a cheap compilation purchased in a FOPP record shop somewhere, the second is a Captain Beefheart career-spanning double-CD compilation I bought on ebay solely to get my hands on the song Hard Workin’ Man, the third is a Hoodoo Gurus double CD compilation, the fourth is a tremendous album where people in the USA write lyrics to a song then post them off to someone who will provide the music, and the last is the Stevie Wonder compilation of his 1961-1970 work, released by Motown in the 1970s in no way to cash in on Mr Wonder’s successes of the mid-1970s (of which motown had little control but still made a bob or two from)
Possibly another one next week.

CC writes
No possibly about it - there is another one in the can.
Thankfully George did not share Stevie's version of Blowin' in the Wind

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

There Stands The Glass

I was looking through some old posts when I stumbled across a post featuring Van Morrison's version of Things Have Gone to Pieces from his country album Pay the Devil.
I then put it up against George Jones' version which obviously blew it away

Van's album also features There Stands the Glass which was first made famous by Webb Pierce.
Webb's version is pretty good as well but neither come remotely close to matching the magnificence of the version by the late great Ted Hawkins.
Another artist who had Andy Kershaw to thank for his 15 minutes of fame in the UK

I thought I had a version by George Jones but apparently not. Maybe too close to home

Van Morrison - There Stands the Glass

Webb Pierce - There Stands the Glass

Ted Hawkins - There Stands the Glass

Monday, 27 January 2020

Sorry Ron

I was quite excited to read that Canadian singer songwriter Ron Sexsmith is coming to Glasgow  and is playing at Cottiers Theatre on 8th June 2020.
When the tickets went on sale I duly clicked on and was all set to purchase until I saw the prices  -£38.50 or £50.65.
Maybe that's the going rate these days  but keen as I am to seeing him I'm afraid I'm not prepared to pay those prices.

It could be worse I suppose. It is £71.50 to see Van Morrison at the Kelvingrove Bandstand in the open air  in Raintown.

So sorry Ron I won't be getting in line as I couldn't believe it when I saw it

Ron Sexsmith - Get in Line

Ron Sexsmith - Believe It When I See It

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Roaming Roots Revue

We are off to the Concert Hall again tonight for  the annual Roaming Roots Revue concert.
This year the Roaming Roots Review presents: Born to Run:70th Birthday Tribute to Bruce Springsteen.
As usual it will be hosted by Roddy Hart and his band the Lonesome Fire.
I think the drill goes along the line of guest artists joining them singing a cover of one of the Boss' songs plus one of their own.

Roddy will be joined by Lisa Hannigan, Ryan Bingham, Craig Finn of The Hold Steady, The Rails,Karine Polwart , Jonathan Wilson and Phil Campbell the frontman of The Temperance Movement.
A pretty promising line up as I'm sure you'll agree . Match report to follow.

Wonder if there will be anything off Western Stars?

Bruce Springsteen - Western Stars

Jonathan Wilson - There's a Light

The Hold Steady - Sequestered in Memphis

Saturday, 25 January 2020

50 Americana Albums You Should Hear Before You Die - How Was Tomorrow

The act with the unenviable task of following Sweetheart of the Rodeo are The Cash Brothers with their  2001 album How Was Tomorrow on the Zoe/Rounder label.
No relation to the great man and not even The Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash.
Rather they are the  brothers Andrew and Peter Cash from Toronto, Ontario.
How Was Tomorrow is effectively an update and re-release of their 1999 debut album Raceway and follows on from 2000's Phonebooth Tornado

I'm pretty sure that I saw  then around that time but the  late 90's/early 00's are rapidly becoming a bit of a blur.Bad news given that the majority of the albums in this series are from around then.

Nebraska is, for me, the pick of the songs and one that I offered up as a contribution to George's State of the Union  series (stay tuned  for news on the George front).Any song that pays homage to the Boss' finest 40 minutes 50 seconds is fine by me.
The opening number Raceway is none too shabby either.

Followed up by A Brand New Night in 2003 and Skydiggers/Cash Brothers in 2006 and nothing since.
The last one was following a series of collaborative shows played by the two bands, Peter Cash having been a member of both with Andrew being a frequent collaborator.

Andrew Cash released a number of solo albums and  was  a New Democratic Party MP in  the Canadian Parliament from 2011-2015.

The Cash Brothers - Nebraska

The Cash Brothers - Raceway

Friday, 24 January 2020

I Burn But I Am Not Consumed

I'm sure that Trump's Impeachment Trial will go along party lines but we've got to hope that a little of the mud sticks.

If nothing else it gives an opportunity to post I Burn But I'm Not Consumed - Karine Polwart's powerful,poetic and dramatic statement in respect of  the Trump presidency.

Karine has form in this department given that Cover Your Eyes the first song on her 2012 album Traces takes the Donald to task for the environmental damage caused to the sand dunes following the construction of his golf course on the Menie Estate at Balmedie in Aberdeenshire.

I Burn But I am Not Consumed is written from the perspective of his mother Mary Anne Macleod who was born on the Isle of Lewis with the title being the motto of the Clan Macleod.

And you, you are a broken boy , and you want more and more and more.

Available on her 2018 album Laws of Motion which she released in conjunction with her brother Steven Polwart and friend Inge Thomson which you can get from here

Karine Polwart - I Burn But I am Not Consumed

Karine Polwart - Cover Your Eyes

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Journey to the Dark Heart of 60's Pop

A wee change from the wall to wall country that I appear to be have been subjecting you to recently.
Paint it Black is a Mojo compilation from March 2016 which I picked up towards the end of last year in a charity shop. I meant to feature it at the time but it looks as though I forgot

It's got a fairly decent track list  with a number of acts that you will recognise and a few that you probably wont.
As far as I can ascertain most of the acts are British but I'm starting with a cult band from Austin, Texas namely the 13th Floor Elevators with a spot of psychedelia.

This is followed by Down Down by  The Silence from an album called Rare Mod. Before you get too excited Jez it is NOT a cover of the Quo classic.

Finally we have the Lloyd Alexander Real Estate which I have chosen for their name as much as anything else.

More country soon

The 13th Floor Elevators - Reverberation (Doubt)

The Silence - Down Down

The Lloyd Alexander Real Estate -Whatcha Gonna Do (When Your Baby Leaves You)

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Country Covers - Steve Earle does Boney M

He's back!
George writes

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, also we wept at our remembrance of Zion.

So here’s the rules: the song itself must be hugely famous, certainly in the UK, but the cover version need not be famous at all. The cover version must belong to one of two genres, country or soul, and these are my definitions of those genres, so country can be americana, and soul can include disco, for example.  Also, the cover version cannot be the same genre as the famous version, so you will not be getting a famous song from the King of Soul subsequently made even more famous by the Queen of Soul. Finally, the cover version must be good. That’s good according to me. So there will be no deliberately terrible covers, although one or two readers, if I ever get that many above and beyond myself and Charity Chic himself, might not for some inexplicable reason like what I post. 

And this is not all my own idea, it came to me thanks to the rather ridiculous country cover of a very very very famous song posted by Ernie Goggins at my favourite second favourite blog 27Leggies. Ernie said that there were a whole host of country-music versions of songs of  The Beatles. He’s not wrong there. 

O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that repays thee as thou hast served us.”

Today’s song is not a Beatles song. It was, though, exceptionally famous in 1978 Britain, “performed” by a sensational pop outfit who sold over one hundred millions records, who were, I suspect, loathed (musically not personally) by millions of youth and hipsters. It was, though, purchased in its millions, just over two million sold in the UK alone. Probably a wee while later an earlier version of this song was broadcast, this time actually performed by the group whose name appears on the record, and some of the aforementioned youth and hipsters suddenly declared that they had liked the original all along. I was not one of these youth (I was never hip, of course). 

(Bobby Farrell, of Boney M.)

It was only on hearing today’s cover version that I realised that this is indeed a wonderful and moving song. I’m still not a huge fan of Boney M’s version - maybe it’s that lingering sneer at them from an early age, at their cheesiness, maybe it’s those steel drums (man alive do I not like that sound) - or that by The Melodians.

But Steve Earle delivers a heartfelt, stripped-down version on his comeback-from-oblivion album Train a’coming, which is easily my favourite of his albums. There’s something in Mr Earle’s  delivery that really makes me feel that he was one of those exiled from his homeland, wondering how shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land.

Some might say that this is not a country record, but remember it’s MY definition of country ie includes americana, so it counts. And it’s my blog!

Want to hear the song sung in Portuguese? “Junto as rios da Babilônia...lá nos sentamos…”

You’re welcome! And yes, that is Brasilian Portuguese. Singer Milton Donazeti has his own YouTube channel.

OK, here’s the famous version

And I absolutely take back my sneering, this is a brilliant pop song, well-produced, well sung, and just look at Bobby Farrell’s one-armed chicken dance (the two-armed version has been perfected by Charity Chic himself, (Lies - Ed) I can personally attest to that). But I’m still not a fan of steel drums…..

Good grief, confessing to liking Boney M, time to play Trout Mask Replica to restore some street cred…...(fat chance - Ed)

Another cover version next week.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Don't Come The Cowboy With Me Sonny Jim!

My third charity shop acquisition of the year, and the first on vinyl was the 12 inch single of Don't Come the Cowboy With Me Sonny Jim! by the late great Kirsty MacColl on the Virgin label
Acquisition note as opposed to purchase as it didn't cost me anything. It was a pound but I didn't have any change. I was all set to pay by card but the chap I had been chatting to over the vinyl box insisted on paying in a lovely act of random kindness.

Released in 1989 it is off the Kite album which is one that I don't have meaning this is the first time that I have owned it in a physical format, which is nice.

Since acquiring my my laptop anything I rip from my USB turntable is downloaded in the WAV format. I have been unable to work out how to convert to MP3 to save space.If anyone is aware of any free software for this please let me know.
I've managed to find an MP3 version of the second song which was written by Anna McGarrigle and Philippe Tatarchef.
The final song which Kirsty wrote with Gavin Povey is rather lovely.

Kirsty MacColl -Don't Come the Cowboy With Me Sonny Jim !

Kirsty MacColl - Complainte Pour Ste Catherine

Kirsty MacColl - Other People's Hearts

Monday, 20 January 2020


First gig of the year tonight and the first of three Celtic Connections concerts we are scheduled to attend this year.
We are off to see Iris DeMent at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall supported by Pieta Brown

I'm looking forward to seeing Iris given that she is not the most prolific of artists having only released 6 albums since 1992 although she often appears on other artists records
I've only got two off them  1993's My Life and 1996's The Way I Should and below is the opening song from each.

I'm not familiar with Pieta Brown but given that she has collaborated with the likes of Calexico and The Wood Brothers it will be good to rectify that.

Iris DeMent - Sweet is the Melody

Iris DeMent - When My Morning Comes Around

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Walk a Mile in My Shoes

When " researching" my recent Roxy Music post I noted that Bryan Ferry has covered Walk a Mile in My Shoes the terrific song written by Joe South.
Joe had a hit with it in 1970 and it was subsequently covered by Elvis Presley much to Joe's bank manager's delight I suspect.

It has also been covered by Jerry Lee Lewis and Otis Clay among others.
However the version that I am most familiar with comes from the mighty Willie Hightower.

Checking the hard drive I also have a version by Earl Grant courtesy of our friends over at Funky16 Corners

Willie Hightower -Walk a Mile in My Shoes

Earl Grant - Walk a Mile in my Shoes

Saturday, 18 January 2020

50 Americana Albums You Should Hear Before You Die - Sweetheart of the Rodeo

From a relatively obscure choice last week to one this week which is probably responsibe for starting the whole genre or sub genre. Also one which would almost certainly find a place in my all time top ten.

From 1968 Sweetheart of the Rodeo was the sixth album by The Byrds. Crucially it is the only one of their albums where Gram Parsons was part of the band. Or was he? Chris Hillman is adamant that he was only a salaried sideman as that was the only way that they could get him to turn up.
Nevertheless he is credited on the album as being a member alongside Hillman, Roger McGuinn and drummer Kevin Kelly.
It is no coincidence that the two tracks I have chosen to share today feature him on lead vocals.
You're Still on My Mind is one of the songs that I want played at my funeral, and Hickory Wind is just sublime.

Wiki states that  The Byrds' move away from rock and pop towards country music elicited a great deal of resistance and hostility from the ultra-conservative Nashville country music establishment who viewed the Byrds as a group of long-haired hippies attempting to subvert country music.
I would argue that they actually enhanced country music as opposed to subverting it and gave it the kick up the arse it so desperately needed.

Without this there may not have been many, if any, albums on the Americana shelves so I for one owe them a debt of gratitude. And if you have got this far so should you.

I have The Definitive Collection which contains 25 tracks by the band.Somewhat criminally only one track from this album, You Ain't Going Nowhere. There are not 24 Byrds songs better than the other 10 on Sweetheart. I, obviously, would argue that there are none!

I'm not sure (i.e can't be bothered looking out the list) who is featuring next week but they have a pretty tough act to follow

The Byrds - You're Still On My Mind

The Byrds - Hickory Wind

Friday, 17 January 2020

The Days of Wine and Roses

I've been an admirer of Steve Wynn's music since the early 00's when I picked up Here Come the Miracles (2001) and Static Transmission recorded with the Miracle Three (2003)
I saw him play one of the best sets I've ever seen at the Continental Club in Austin on a sunny Saturday afternoon  and subsequently saw him play somewhere on the Cowgate in Edinburgh.
I also saw him live and acoustic at King Tuts in 2002 as part of Song Circle with Walter Salas-Humara and Robert Fisher.

More recently I've started to explore his work as part of The Dream Syndicate.
I started off with 1984's Medicine Show as it featured Merritville which I had acoustically and John Coltraine Stereo Blues which came to my attention via Drew
The Dream Syndicate were on the go from 1981- 1989 prior to Steve going solo but reformed in 2012.
I picked up last year's These Times which is excellent reaching the dizzy heights of number 3 in my albums of the year.

I'm continuing to jump about time wise in that my latest acquisition from the band  is their first full length album from 1982 The Days of Wine and Roses
Joining Steve are Karl Precoda on guitar, Kendra Smith on bass and occasional vocals and Dennis Duck on drums .
A bit raw in places but still some excellent guitar work and raw energy. You can hear some Lou Read and Dylan influences but it puts me more in mind of The Gun Club.

Blender magazine have rated it number 99 in their 100 Greatest Indie-Rock Albums Ever

There are a few others out there still to explore

The Dream Syndicate - Definitely Clean

The Dream Syndicate - That's What You Always Say

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Roxy Roxy

Roxy Music have only ever appeared once previously on these pages and that was as far back as June 15 with a post about their debut album

They are another of those acts who started off good and gradually got worse as their career progressed. Maybe not as badly as Rod Stewart, Simple Minds or UB40 but you get the picture
Arguably, by the time they got to Dance Away the damage was done  with Jealous Guy and Avalon being the final nails in the coffin.

Some of their early singles were not too bad though.
Here is Do the Strand which confusingly comes from For Your Pleasure as opposed to Stranded.
From 1975 Love is the Drug which peaked at number 2 in the UK singles chart was their highest ranking single until  the aforementioned Jealous Guy made number 1 on the back of the death of John Lennon.

It's a tough one as to whether the original is better than the cover version by Grace Jones. I think that The Lounge Lizard  just shades  it over The Disco Diva.
How about you?

Roxy Music - Do the Strand

Roxy Music - Love is the Drug

Grace Jones - Love is the Drug

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Crazy For You

No, not Madonna

My second charity shop purchase of 2020 is Crazy For You by Best Coast purchased in Barnardos on Glasgow's Great Western Road for a pound.
I'm wondering whether I will have the wherewithall, inclination and ability to post all this year's charity shop purchases chronilogically. We'll see how it goes.

This one was also a bit of a punt but less of a punt than Lucette given that their name rang a vague bell. It also has a summery looking cover which subliminally drew me in given the foul weather outside.

Crazy For You was their 2010 debut album and was released on the Mexican Summer label.
Best Coast are from California and are songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Bethany Cosentiono and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno.
Apparently Bethany is a former child actor and the album was released with a large degree of hype which is probably how it initially crossed my radar.
They were described in the Gruniard as like a lo-fi 60s garage rock and surfing band fronted by a girl group singer. That's good enough for me.

They remind me of some one but I'm not sure who.I'm quite liking it.

To date Crazy For You is the only album on the shelves to have attended a football match at Firhill

Best Coast - Goodbye

Best Coast - When I'm With You

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Odessey and Oracle

Confession time - I didn't know Rod Argent was in The Zombies! I'll get my coat
I knew that Colin Blunstone was and that they had a song called She's Not There but only because a version appeared on the  Moonflower album by Santana.

So clearly some homework required. Recently I have become vaguely aware that Odessey and Oracle their second studio album from 1968 is considered their masterpiece and has attained a degree of cult status.
Therefore I acquired a copy to see what the fuss is all about.
It is no No Other another album that has achieved cult status but it is rather good.

Released slap bang in the middle of the Flower Power revolution it is no surprise that it is somewhat psychedelic in nature. The cover alone is a giveaway.
I can also hear shades of Pet Sounds and there are a few nods towards the folk scene.

A pleasant discovery

The Zombies - A Rose for Emily

The Zombies - Time of the Season

Monday, 13 January 2020


Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene

I'm begging of you please don't take my man

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
Please don't take him just because you can

It would take an incredibly brave woman to steal Dolly's man and an incredibly stupid man to jump ship.
I didn't know that I had so many versions but none are a patch on Dolly's.
Apologies for the lack of a Mandatory Reggae version but I'm sure that Ernie can oblige

And some non Dolly Parton Jolene

Sunday, 12 January 2020

First Charity Shop Purchase of 2020

My local charity shop is currently doing 3 CDs for a pound. However on my first visit of the year I only saw one that interested me which resulted in the price rising to 50p.

I knew absolutely nothing about Lucette or the 2019 album Delexue Hotel Room on the Thirty Tigers label
However  the blurb on the back sleeve was enough to make me take a punt
Firstly it is produced by Sturgill Simpson
Lucette, who's name is actually Lauren Gillis, the blurb states is an Indie-Pop artist from Edmonton,AB Canada- her sophomore album Deluxe Hotel Room is a step away from the Americana sound of her previous record Black is the Color, produced by Dave Cobb, with more R&B,pop and soul influences

That was enough for me to pounce.
A terrific find as it is very good indeed. Don't be put of by the term R&B , this review by Americana Highways sums it up pretty accurately.

I'm off to track down Black is the Color

Lucette - Deluxe Hotel Room

Saturday, 11 January 2020

50 Americana Albums You Should Hear Before You Die - One Step Ahead of the Posse

This is one that I suspect very few of you will be familiar with.
The Felsons were a band from the Americana hotspot that is Livingston, West Lothian, sunny Scotland.
They started off in the mid 90's and are probably the band that I have seen most times live (either them or the Radio Sweethearts) as they seemed to support virtually every act I saw during that period.

They were led by Dean Owens who went on to enjoy a solo career and is still going strong. Deano was accompanied by Kevin Maguire on bass,  Colin Macfarlane then Calais Brown on guitar and Keith Burns on drums.
They only ever released three records - their debut One Step Ahead of the Posse, Lasso the Moon a mini-album from 1997 and Glad from 1999.

Allmusic descibes One Step Ahead of the Posse as an enjoyable, straightforward country outing that ably reprised the duo’s live shows.
There are probably better albums and acts on the shelves which could have featured rather than this in the series but this one means a lot to me personally and it is one  that I look back on with fondness.
Glad is a bit more poppy. Lasso the Moon is not dissimilar to One Step but being a mini-album it is precluded from this series.

It reminds me of a night when I was watching them at King Tuts and the guy standing next to me asked what I thought of them. "Very good " I replied, which was just as well as he then informed me that he was Dean Owens' dad.

We are back on more familiar territory next week

The Felsons - I Ain't Been Anywhere Yet

The Felsons -Shine Like The Road After The Rain

Friday, 10 January 2020

Wojtek the Bear

Wojtek the Bear was a bear who was adopted by the Polish army  and who was subsequently enlisted and promoted to a colonel.
It is a fascinating story which can be read here.
Wojtek lived out his later days in Edinburgh Zoo prior to shuffling off to bear heaven in 1963 at the age of 21.
The fact that he ended up in Scotland and entered Scottish folk lore may go a way to explaining why  four young men from the West of Scotland decided to christen their indie pop band Wotjtek the Bear.

They released their debut album A Talent For Being Unreasonable on the excellent Scottish Fiction label in May 2018 and it is well worth checking out
The price is certainly not unreasonable.

This was followed up fairly recently by the EP Old Names for New Shapes which is also very good and available here

You know what to do. In the meantime here is Postcode to whet your appetite.

Wojtek the Bear - Postcode

Thursday, 9 January 2020

The Blues Collection - Texas Blues

Texas Blues is number 78 in the Blues Collection series and is one of the few compilations of various artists as opposed to concentrating on  the one artist.

Two Blues legends in the shape of  T-Bone Walker and Blind Lemon Jefferson contribute a couple of songs each but the bulk of the acts are less well known and have less songs which were actually committed to vinyl.
It is only fair then that we feature a couple of the less well known.
The first ticks those boxes and another in the relatively rare section in that the artist was a woman. Here is Hattie Burleson on vocals on Sadie's Servant Room Blues recorded in Dallas in 1928. We are almost getting to the centenary of some of the songs in the Collection now

Black Boy Shine's real name was Harold Holiday who was a songer on pianist, who recorded for Vocalion in Fort Worth (1935), San Antonio, (1936) and Dallas,(1937) Gamblin' Jinx Blues is from his Dallas sessionon 15th June 1937

Hattie Burleson - Sadie's Servant Room Blues

Black Boy Shine - Gamblin' Jinx Blues

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

The Coin Continues to Spin

Permo is the 2017 debut album by Glasgow band Spinning Coin.
Produced by Edwyn Collins and released on Stephen Pastel's Geographical label so all the influence/legend boxes are well and truly ticked.

Some of the blurb on their Bandcamp page reads:

The fourteen songs on Permo trace all kinds of terrain, though the overarching story might be that of a group looking for escapism, somehow and anyhow, in the midst of a social and cultural climate that’s closing down possibilities for difference and community.

If they thought 2017 was bad ...

They have a new album Hyacinth scheduled for release on 21st February on Domino so are clearly on the up and up
Cal Donnelly has left the band and has been replaced by Rachel Taylor

Here are a couple from Permo followed by a video for one of the new ones Feel You More Than World Right Now. A brief tour is scheduled for March  to promote the new record.

Spinning Coin - Raining on Hope Street

Spinning Coin - Metronone River

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

A Mountain to Climb

The Diggers were a Scottish powerpop band who released one album on the Creation label in 1997.

I must have quite liked them as I have the CD single Nobody's Fool which I think I got at the time and another CD single Peace of Mind which I subsequently picked up in a charity shop in February 2017.

One of my last charity shop purchases of 2019 was their sole  album Mount Everest.
I now only need the CD single of O.K. Alright to own their entire catalogue. gives the album a score of 3.32 out of 5 from 34 ratings which is probably about right.
Perfectly pleasant and inoffensive jingly jangly guitar pop and well worth a pound or so of anybody's money.

The Diggers - Come On Easy

The Diggers - O.K. Alright

Monday, 6 January 2020

Independent Innovative Creative

Seeing as how the  Magnet New Music Sampler which I recently shared with you was met with considerable indifference here is another one for you

Independent Innovative Creative was a series of samplers  from Vital Sales and Marketing in the mid 00's. for promtional use only. Also marketed as the Chain With No Name.
I'm not quite sure how indiecreative 9 from 2006 came into my possession but it contains one or two which are worth a listen.

The first track is by The Holloways who I suspect will be no strangers to our good friend  Brian
This track is from their debut album So This is Great Britain? On the TVT label and produced by Langer and Winstanley.
They had five number one's in the UK Independent Singes Chart .This was not one of them

Clinic are an English rock band who record on the Domino label.
Havest was a single from 2006. Not sure if it is the same song as Harvest (Within You)  a song which features on their album Visitations but it probably is.

Finally we are off to Finland to catch up with ambient pop band Husky Rescue .The song  Diamonds in the Sky is track two on their second full length album Ghost is Not Real from 2006 on Catskills Records.

I wonder if there any others out there that I can subject you to.

The Holloways - What's The Difference

Clinic - Harvest

Husky Rescue - Diamonds in the Sky

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Legal Man

In between Christmas and New Year I had my last charity shop visit of the year.
I went to Clarkston Toll on Glasgow's South Side where there are a number of charity shops one of which is Oxfam.
It was tough but I resisted the temptation to buy a Huey Lewis and the News album for £5.99 or a Fall album for £100 (no, I haven't  missed out a decimal point).

I was however happy to fork out 50p for Legal Man a Belle and Sebastian single on Jeepster Records from May 2000.
It's nothing special although it apparantly reached as high as number 15 in the UK singles charts.
The title song features The Maisonettes.
Thankfully the second song on the single Judy is a Dick Slap is an instrumental,the first one they released
The final song Winter Wooskie is the last one to feature bass player Stuart David.

That is probably more information than you need

Sorry - forgot the songs!

Belle and Sebastian - Legal Man

Belle and Sebastian - Judy is a Dick Slap

Belle and Sebastian - Winter Wooskie

Saturday, 4 January 2020

50 Americana Albums You Should Hear Before You Die - Flyin' Shoes

Townes Van Zandt on the 1st of January and now on the 4th.
Such are the vagaries of  a randon number selection given that he could have popped up any time this year.

There are seven Townes album's on the shelves, four vinyl and three CDs. There is one live one, three original studio albums and three compilations/best ofs (a huge number of which have appeared since his passing on 1st January 1997).

I don't think that there is one classic album that stands out from all the others. It would be interesting to hear the views of others on this.
I've gone for Flyin' Shoes from 1978 on the Tomato label, one I picked up in the sadly long departed Echo record shop on Glasgow's Byres Road. I could be wrong but I think all the vinyl ones came from there.
His first album of original material in five years.
It includes what is probably my favourite song of his in Loretta. This gives me an excuse to once more repeat this story from when I saw him in the County Hotel, Perth. I'd previously seen him at King Tuts

A troubled genius and one of the last hard core troubadours and an artist who influenced many of the other artists who will appear in this series.

Another one next Saturday.

Townes Van Zandt - Loretta

Townes Van Zandt - Flyin' Shoes

Friday, 3 January 2020

Major New Series Alert

Us bloggers are always happy to borrow or to latch on to ideas from other bloggers. Or to plaigiarise or steal ideas if you are feeling less charitable.
So with an almighty nod to the Robster's 50 Songs to Take to my Grave series, I give you 50 Americana Albums You Should Hear Before You Die over the next 50 Saturdays

Most of you know that this is pretty much my music of choice. Also most if not all of the artists and many of the songs will have appeared on these pages before.

Here are the rules (such as they are) and the methodolgy.
There will only be one album per act permitted.If it was my top 50 this would not necessarily have been the case.
An act can only appear once although it is permissable for someone to appear as a solo act and as part of a band. This will happen on a couple of occasions.
No Best Ofs or compilations permitted.

One day in November I went through the Americana shelves and selected just over 50 albums for this series and after some soul searching narrowed the list to 50.
I then used a random number programme to allocate them a weekly slot so it is not  a countdown and the order does not mean that one is better than another.

It was also at a point of time. It may well have been different the week before or after. There will be no changes although this has left me with a moral dilema which I will share with you in due course.

It also means that No Other by Gene Clark will not feature as I only got it recently. It would certainly have been included  if I was drawing up the list today. But what to leave out?

Gene Clark - Lady of the North

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Magnetic Music

The other day I was looking in the darkest recesses of the shelves for a song by De Rosa for my Alasdair Gray post. I thought it was called Lanark but it turns out it is actually New Lanark which wouldn't have fitted the post.
Which is just as well as I couldn't find it anywhere although I'm sure I have it.
I then stumbled on a CD called Magnet New Music Sampler Volume 29 which looked interesting given that it features the likes of the Jayhawks, Jay Ferrar, Black Keys, The Pernice Brothers and The Legendary Shack*Shakers.
Prior to dispensing it back to whence it came I thought it meritted a spin. It contains nothing startling, some right old rubbish and one or two that required further exploration.

Chicago band Troubled Hubble actually get a Wiki page of their own albeit that it is pretty sparse. Given that the sampler is from 2003 I think it is safe to assume that Nancy is from their album Penturbia on Latest Flame Records

Chubby or The Chubbys has proven harder to pin down. It appears that So Gone is from the album Is It Time? on the Gigantic Music Group

Heth appears to be Heth Weinstein who released an album Clean on Rebel Ray Records.
He also recorded an album with his brother Jed as Heth & Jed called Between the In and the Out.

I shall now let them all slide back into obscurity

Troubled Hubble - Nancy

Chubby - So Gone

Heth - So Easy

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

New Year's Day Homage

Happy New Year to you and yours.
If you have been reading this nonsence for any length of time you should know the drill by now.

It is a long standing tradition on New Year's Day for CCM to pay homage to two of the greatest artists of all time who both died on this day.

Hank Williams died on the 1st of January 1953 aged just 29 and Townes Van Zandt in 1997 aged 52.

I've recently watched the recent episode of the  BBC Four - Country Music by Ken  Burns series (not the boy who played for Nottingham Forest  and Scotland George) which featured Hank and have a recently acquired biography on my to read list.
i will be bitterly disappointed if Townes does not feature prominently later on in the series.

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

Hope you have a good one.
I can now officially say that I will be retiring next year!

Hank Williams - I Saw The Light

Townes Van Zandt - Pancho and Lefty