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Tuesday, 31 August 2021

Atlantic R&B Volume 5

 


I picked up Atlantic R&B Volume 1 1947 -1952 a few years ago and the plan was to get round to picking up the other seven volumes.
For years nothing happened but the pace has been stepped up significantly over  the last few months with me acquiring Volumes 3 and 4 in a Charity shop in late April/early May.

Now on my recent visit to Missing Records I came away with Volumes 5 to 8 for a tenner. So now I'm keeping my eyes peeled for Volume 2 to complete the set.

Volume 5 covers the period 1961- 1965 and features the likes of Solomon Burke, Otis Redding, Joe Tex and Don Covay. All legends who have graced these pages before.
I've decided to feature some of the ladies today.Barbara Lewis and Doris Troy make their debuts whereas Esther Phillips has appeared here before as Little Esther Phillips as part of my Little & Large series.






Monday, 30 August 2021

The Hanging Stars

 


The Hanging Stars  described on their Bandcamp page  as providing Cosmic Country from London Town recently came to my attention when someone on Twitter compared them to The Rockingbirds and Cosmic Rough Riders.
Their website goes further Blending folk pastoralism with swampy 60s Americana, The Hanging Stars sound like the missing link between the California desert sun and the grey skies of London Town.

Given those descriptions further exploration was clearly required. It turns out that they have released three albums to date Over The Silvery Lake (2016), Songs For Somewhere Else (2018) and A New Kind of Sky (2020)

All are excellent and well worth having. Loose Records are releasing their 4th album in 2022 although I haven't managed to find out its name yet. They seem to have started touring again but sadly not yet north of the border. Should they ever come to Glasgow I can guarantee that you will find me in the audience.

Here are a couple from the debut album to whet your appetite



Sunday, 29 August 2021

No Depression #34 = Patty Loveless

 




No Depression - The Bi-monthly Journal of Alt- Country
#34 -  July -August 2001

The third issue of No Depression on the shelves is the first to cause me some hard work as I know very little about Patty Loveless. I had always assumed that she was more mainstream country. This belief was reinforced as I could find nothing on the Americana shelves but a couple of tracks on the mainstream Country shelves on compilations called Women in Country and O Sister Where Art Thou.

On reading the main article Down From the Mountain her inclusion becomes clearer and the sub -title Patty Loveless ventures deep into the valley of her homegrown soul
Mountain Soul  was released in June 21 In an effort to control her own destiny, rather than be controlled by country radio, Loveless made an abrupt move away from commercial, country/pop and made a stone-cold Bluegrass album in 2001. Mountain Soul was released to numerous critical accolades and sold decently despite a lack of radio support. 
It's not one that I am familiar with but the track The Boys Are Back in Town features on one of the compilations. Not to be confused with Thin Lizzy

Similarly I know very little about the other artists namechecked on the front cover namely Robert Earl Keen, Rhonda Vincent and Scott Miller. Of these the only one who rang a vague bell was Scott Miller who I have a couple of tracks by by him and his band the Commonwealth. and also stuff from the band the V-Roys of which he was a member.As a public service I acquired a copy of his 2017 album Ladies Auxiliary so named as all the musicians who accompany him are women. The things I do for you.

We are back on safer ground next time round.





Saturday, 28 August 2021

Seen at King Tuts - Jonathan Richman

 




Jonathan Richman

Friday 26th July 1996         £7.00           Ticket Number 00255

It was very considerate of the legend that is Jonathan Richman to mark the occassion of my 35th birthday  by playing King Tuts that evening. It was even more special given that it was the only time I ever seen him live.

I was there with a few pals and it is safe to say that the drinks were flowing so recollections are fairly blurry. One thing  that I'm sure happened given the time of year was that That Summer Feeling featured. I know that I was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar was given an airing  as one of my pals requested it. It is a song that I first heard on the Andy Kershaw show and one which I have on minidisc somewhere.
Both these tracks feature on his fourth album I, Jonathan from 1992 on the Rounder label. There was a vinyl re-issue last year which I have still to get but intend to do so.

I seem to remember that a particular favourite of mine The Morning of Our Lives featured as an encore.As the band behind him was not the Modern Lovers I suspect that the references to Leroy and Asa and D. Sharpe were updated to reflect the band members on stage.




Friday, 27 August 2021

Beeswing

 


I've just finished the book Beeswing ( and not Beeswax as I inadvertantly called it before) by Richard Thomson and an excellent read it is too.
As the sub-title Fairport,Folk Rock and Finding My Voice 1967 -75 suggests it focusses on his early life and the early part of his career. Although it doesn't directly say so it also suggests that there may well be a sequel somewhere down the line.
As Waterstones put it it  vividly captures the life of one of Britain's most significant artists during a heady period of creative intensity, in a world on the cusp of change.
I have fairly recently featured Fairport Convention and one of the albums he recorded with his then wife Linda as part of a Folk Monday series.

This time round I will feature the man himself. The book includes recollections of dreams and also the lyrics of some songs which feature in the book so you are getting a couple of them.

There is also an amusing anecdote where Richard and colleagues are in an American airport where they overhear the folk in the next booth  being derogatory about the length of their hair and their dress sense. Richard recognises them as Buck Owens and his Buckaroos who he had albums by. He then goes up to them saying how he admires their work, asking for their autographs and making them feel distinctly uncomfortable!

Recommended

Richard Thomson - Turning of the Tide

Richard Thomson - Beeswing

Buck Owens & his Buckaroos - Waitin' in Your Welfare Line


Thursday, 26 August 2021

Bands of Canada

 


The final instalment of this mini-series sees us concentrating on the Bands of Canada.
Fans of Rush, Nickleback, Barenaked Ladies, Bachman- Turner Overdrive and the Band can look away now.
We do however start with one of the bands featured in the OLM Top 10 namely Arcade Fire. I have their first three albums but I must admit that it has been a wee while since I have listened to any of them. For me Keep the Car Running from Neon Bible is probably the pick of the bunch.

Great Lake Swimmers were a band I saw in Glasgow's Admiral Bar when we went primarily to see the support act Will Johnson. I was impressed enough to pick up their 2007 album Ongiara 

The Cash Brothers were an act that I have seen in both Glasgow and Austin. How Was Tomorrow featured on my 50 Americana Albums to hear Before You Die However this time round I have gone for a song from the 2003 follow up album A Brand New Light on the Zoe label.

Finally, George would never forgive me if I didn't feature something by the Be Good Tanyas





Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Charlie Watts RIP

 


We are sadly having one of those periods where some of the icons of popular music are dropping like flies.

Nanci Griffith, Don Everly and now Charlie Watts the suit wearing, jazz loving drummer of the Rolling Stones who has sadly died a  couple of months after his 80th birthday just after pulling out of a tour due to ill health.

A quote on the BBC website from an interview Charlie gave to the San Diego Tribune in 1991 I don't know what showbiz is and I've never watched MTV. There are people who just play instruments, and I'm pleased to know that I'm one of them.

And a couple of quotes from The Guardian  firstly from Robbie Robertson Charlie’s drumming is powerful and unique. His approach is entirely his own and helped shape the sound of rock’n’roll  and Joan Jett the most elegant and dignified drummer in rock’n’roll. He played exactly what was needed – no more – no less. He is one of a kind.

And the best of them all from Charlie to Mick Jagger don't ever call me your drummer again. You're my f*cking singer

Having been behind the sticks since 1963  he was the man who kept the Glimmer Twins in check. It is very difficult to imagine the Rolling Stones without him. Maybe it is time to call it a day lads.

Rest easy Charlie

Rolling Stones -Gimme Shelter

Rolling Stones - Honky Tonk Woman

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Going Going Gone

 


Last week I got involved in an interesting and entertaining discussion on Twitter as to the merits of various Dwight Yoakam albums.

The general consensus was that the first four albums were pretty much untouchable with an arguement for including 1993's This Time in the list of the Essential must haves. My ICA  over at JCs place confirms this school of thought.
If you don't have them  a) why not? and b) you can rectify that via the Original Album Series which I bought despite having the first four on vinyl and This Time on CD.

It was also agreed that whereas his 6th album Gone from 1995 had a few good songs that it was from here on in that things gradually when down hill, gradually at first and then with increasing speed. I persevered until 2000 but have nothing by him from there on in. The 1999 cover of Queen's Crazy Little Thing Called Love may well have been the straw that broke the camel's back
I borrowed 21st Century Hits :Best of 2000 -2012 from the record library which merely confirmed the correctness of my decision.

Here are a couple of the better tracks from Gone.




Monday, 23 August 2021

Don Everly RIP

 




A message popped up on the Whats App group chat on Sunday morning which read Don Everly RIP.

I had to confess that I thought that he had died a few years ago. Phil Everly died in 2015 just before his 75th birthday. Don lasted a few years longer dying at his home in Nashville aged 84.

One of the best, if not the best, harmony groups The Everly Brothers were an act that took me a while to get into. I suspect that may have been because they were an act that your parents liked and that you were more likely to hear their songs on Radio 2 or Smooth FM than anywhere else and more often than not with Wake Up Little Susie

As you get older these prejudices gradually fade and I ended up acquiring a cheap and cheerful Best Of double LP in a charity shop and appreciating what talent they had. More recently here and here I have featured the EP Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds Sing the Everly Brothers.

Although the pair had an onstage breakup in 1973 that resulted in a decade-long estrangement, Phil later said that their relationship had survived the tumultuous period despite  Don being a Democrat and Phil a Republican

Rest easy Don

The Everly Brothers - Take a Message to Mary

The Everly Brothers - Brand New Heartache

The Everly Brothers - Let It Be Me

Sunday, 22 August 2021

No Depression #33 - Lucinda Williams

 


No Depression - The Bi-monthly Journal of Alt- Country
#33 - May - June 2001

For a number of years I subscribed to No Depression magazine. For this series I shall go through them chronologically with a few words and a couple of songs by the cover artist and a song from one of the other artists featured at the top of page.

The cover star of this issue is Lucinda Williams who is quite possibly my favourite female Country singer .It is a toss up between her and Emmylou Harris both of whom have a dozen or so albums on the shelves.

The article by Silas House is entitled Happy Woman Blues which is also the name of her second album.It also implies that at the time of writing that she was in a good place which is not always the case. Not that you would necessarily guess that from the music!

She has a reputation for sometimes  being a  bit difficult. Andy Kershaw in his book recalls visiting her for an interview and hearing pots and pans being thrown about. The  article describes  her as a country boy's dream a smart-as-hellwoman driving a cool truck. Throw in a fascination for snake handlers and the fact that she has taken up reading the bible and you have quite a character on your hands. It's that duality thing again - religion and questioning.

All of which takes us to her 2001 album Essence (her 6th studio album and the follow up to Car Wheels on a Gravel Road) which was released in June, hence the lead article. Described variously as halting and spare  and as containing wilful intimacy and best still as an emotional mess of a masterpiece.

I've been fortunate enough to see Lucinda on four or five occassions including once in Austin when she was supporting Willie Nelson. My pal Goggs and I were there to see Lucinda.

I only saw singer -songwriter Greg Trooper once in Laurie's Bar in Glasgow in 2006 when he put on a good show. Sadly he died in 2017 aged just 61. He appeared on my first Burnt Offerings post along side the recently featured Edith Frost.

Lucinda Williams - Lonely Girls

Lucinda Williams - Blue

Lucinda Williams -Get Right With God

Greg Trooper - Lucky That Way

Saturday, 21 August 2021

Seen at King Tuts - Pernice Brothers

 


Pernice Brothers

16th September 2001    £7.50         Ticket Number 00010

A new Saturday series where I delve into my ticket tin and randomly pick a ticket from an act seen at King Tuts. Then I will write a few words about the artist alongside anything I can recall about the concert although more often than not I suspect that will be very little.

I'm pretty sure that prior to this I had seen Joe Pernice at a gig put on by my pal Tom Hamilton who ran Death and Taxes promotions. His shows were my introduction to many an Americana act.

I'm afraid I can remember very little if anything about this concert. I suspect that I was in attendance with my pal Goggs. It looks as though I was keen to see them given the ticket is number 10 (I was obviously even keener to see the Walkabouts  ticket number 6). Joe may have been slagged off for wearing a particularly bright jumper but that may well have been one of the other times I saw them. I saw them again at King Tuts on 12th August 2003 by which time the  cost of the ticket had risen to £8.00.

From the date of the concert it looks as though they were promoting their second album The World Won't End released by Pious/Southpaw  (on license from Ashmount Records ) on June 19th 2001. The close proximity probably reflects the fact that they were one of those Americana acts who appeared to enjoy more popularity on this side of the pond than  from their homeland

I shall feature a track from that album (which has appeared here a couple of times before) and also  a couple from their 1998 debut Overcome by Happiness on Sub Pop/Rykodisc which would have featured. I recall Monkey Suit being a particular favourite of me and my pals.  A track from that album appears on a Loose compilation which describes them as Northampton, Massachusetts' answer to Teenage Fanclub.Another explanation perhaps as to why they were so popular in Glasgow.

Pernice Brothers - Endless Supply

Pernice Brothers - Overcome By Happiness

Pernice Brothers - Monkey Suit



Friday, 20 August 2021

20 Mothers

 


It's been a wee while since the Arch Druid has graced these pages so here is Julian Cope with a couple of songs from his 12th solo album 20 Mothers from 1995 on the Echo label.
Described by the man himself as an album of love songs and devotional songs ranging from pagan rock'n'roll through to sci-fi pop to bubblegum trance music. In short just your average Julian Cope album then.
I was minded to post something by him after a recent rummage through my ticket tin revealed that I have seen him not once but twice at Glasgow's Barrowland. He always puts on a good show. Rol's Saturday Snapshot's Triple Word Score was also an inspiration

Wheelbarrow Man an expression of pure unmitigated joy was written after Cope had spoken to his estranged brother for the first time in years.We haven't spoken since mind you.
Try, Try, Try  the only single on the album was written about his mother who has shown little, if any, interest in his career.

The album cover is a photo by Jill Furmanovsky and perhaps not surpringly is a pictue of 20 mothers. If you are wondering who they all are wonder no more

Oh and if you are wondering who is left holding the babies wonder no more



Julian Cope -Wheebarrow Man

Julian Cope - Try Try Try



Thursday, 19 August 2021

Ladies of Canada



There is an impressive list of major Canadian female singers - Joni Mitchell, Alanis Morrissette, Celine Dion, Peaches, Carly Rae Jespen, Shania Twain, Sarah McLachlan and k.d.lang to name but a few

Of these only Joni and k.d have graced these pages and I would be very surprised if any of the otheres ever do.As you may expect I have gone for some more relatively obscure artists who are more in keeping with this blog.

I've had The Reminder a 2007 album by Feist for years. However she had completely slipped off my radar until she recently turned up her as part of Broken Social Scene under her full name Lesley Feist.It was good to reaquaint myself with this one

Carolyn Mark is a Canadian singer based in Chicago who has performed as part of The Corn Sisters alongside Neko Case (who many folk think is Canadian but who isn't) The song below is taken from a Bloodshot compilation Hard Headed Woman: A Celebration of Wanda Jackson.

Oh Susanna was the stage name of Massachusetts born but Vancouver raised Suzie Ungerleider. This is the title track of her 2001 album Sleepy Little Sailor on Hot Records.After years recording as Oh Susanna this year she released an album called My Name is Suzie Ungerleider.She is the only artist featured today that I have seen live.

I don't have any albums by Lindi Ortega and  don't know why that is the case. I'm pretty sure that I've had 2013's Tin Star in my hand at one stage but never pulled the trigger.

Bands of Canada next week.





 

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

The Blues Collection - Lowell Fulson

 

2021 Charity Shop Purchases 56 - Lowell Fulson - West Coast Blues
The Blues Collection (No 22)

I'm sure that there are those of you who had hoped that after the 4 recent Oxfam purchases that things had gone quiet on the Blues Collection front.

Well I'm sorry to disappoint you but there has been another purchase! There were maybe about a dozen from the collection on the shelves of the Battlefield Rd charity shop. I didn't have my wallet to check the details (after purchasing some doublers I've taken to carrying a list with the numbers of those I don't have). However I was pretty sure that I had all those on display with the exception of number 22 Lowell Fulson with West Coast Blues so I took a punt which proved correct.

Recorded between 1955 and 1963 it contains a style of Blues that I find much preferrable to the 80's songs by John Mayall's Bluesbreakers my most recent previous purchase.

According to Wiki that after T-Bone Walker Lowell was the most important figure in West Coast Blues in the 40s and 50s. He died in 1999 at the age of 77. Pretty much all of the songs on the CD are his own compositions. For the three I've gone for the first is from 1957 and the other two from 1960. Even older than me!

The 61st Blues Collection CD on the shelves

Lowell Fulson - Someday Baby

Lowell Fulson - Have You Changed Your Mind?

Lowell Fulson -I Want to Know


Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Modes of Transport

 



2021 Charity Shop Purchases 55 - Astid - Modes of Transport

This week's Astrid contribution Modes of Transport sees us upgrading from a CD single to a CD EP
From 2000, and as with their other releases on the Fantastic Plastic label, it sits between their 1999 debut album Strange Weather Lately and 2001's Play Dead. The title track of the EP (with Tangle and Tussle on the B-side) was a Single of the Week on Radio 1's Simon Mayo show. Despite that it didn't trouble the charts and see them alphabetically adjascent to Rick Astley.

This one is produced by Tony Doogan as opposed to Edwyn Collins. That's pretty much all the information I have I'm afraid. There are now 3 CD sihgles/EPs on the shelves but no albums hopefully something that will be rectified in due course.







Monday, 16 August 2021

Nanci Griffith RIP

 


It was really sad to read over the weekend of the death of Texan Country superstar Nanci Griffith. 68 is no age at all.

Mrs CC is a bigger fan than me and has always wanted to see her play live.Sadly that's not to be. Nanci has a fanatical following in Glasgow with her concerts selling out immediately.

There are over half a dozen Nanci albums on the shelves. I've selected probably her best known song to start  Lone Star State of Mind. This is followed by a lovely version of the Townes Van Zandt classic Tecumseh Valley where she is joined by Arlo Guthrie.We finish with the now poignant and prophetic Across the Great Divide.

Rest easy Nancy

Nanci Griffith - Lone Star State of Mind

Nanci Griffith - Tecumseh Valley

Nanci Griffith - Across the Great Divide


Sunday, 15 August 2021

No Depression #32 - Billy Joe Shaver

 








No Depression - The Bi-monthly Journal of Alt- Country
#32 - March -April 2001

For a number of years I subscribed to No Depression magazine. For this series I shall go through them chronologically with a few words and a couple of songs by the cover artist and a song from one of the other artists featured at the top of page

We start with Billy Joe Shaver a man who lost two fingers in a sawmill accident  and who taught himself how to play guitar without them.
He was on the periphary of the Outlaw movement with a number of better known artists recording his songs
With the increase in the popularity of alt-Country he enjoyed a return to the limelight  recording as Shaver from 1998 album Victory which highlighted his Christian faith followed by 1999's Electric Shaver and 2001's The Earth Rolls On which the lead article concentrates on.
During this period he lost his mother and his wife and also his song Eddie ,who featured on some of these albums, following a drug overdose.
Billy Joe had his demons  but managed to quit drink and drugs for a period  with help from his faith.
Sadly when I saw him in Glasgow's Arches a couple of years later he was totally off his face.
He died in October 2020 at the age of 81.

The other artist I have selected is the band Willard Grant Conspiracy with a song from the compilation Loose - New Sounds of the Old West -volume two. In the sleevenotes Angie Says is described as the sort of pop epic that could be described as Phil Spector meets Nick Cave at a Tindersticks show.






Saturday, 14 August 2021

Seen at King Tuts - The Walkabouts

 


The Walkabouts

7th June 1996    £5.00         Ticket Number 00006

First in a new Saturday series where I delve into my ticket tin and randomly pick a ticket from an act seen at King Tuts. Then I will write a few words about the artist alongside anything I can recall about the concert although more often than not I suspect that will be very little.

The Walkabouts were an American band from Seattle who were active from 1984 - 2015 and who recorded on Subpop and Glitterhouse among other labels. The core members were vocalist Carla Torgerson and songwriter Chris Eckman. They released around about a dozen albums, for of which are on at the shelves. Two were bought at the time including Satisfied Mind, the greatest covers album, of all time and one of the 50 Americana albums you should here before you die. The other two were charity shop jobs.

I think this was probably the only time that I ever saw them live. I'm afraid that I can remember very little about the concert other than my pal Bill giving Carla a peck on the cheek at the end of the show. I also think that they may have ended the show with their cover of Charlie Rich's Feel Like Going Home

The music I've chosen is from the 1994 CD single Good Luck Morning including a great live version of Findlay's Motel  from The Paradso, Amsterdam on June 13th1993. I'm pretty sure that both of these songs would have featured on the night.

Another random King Tuts gig next Saturday

The Walkabouts - Good Luck Morning

The Walkabouts - Findlay's Motel (live at the Paradiso)

Friday, 13 August 2021

Elementary My Dear Watson

 





Apropos of nothing when I was watching the football the other night the phrase "elementary my dear Watson" popped into my head. This in turn led me to thinking what artists with the name Watson I had music by and whether there was a post in there somewhere. Yes, the football was that good.

It turns out that there were a few and some are featured below.
Let's start with Helen Watson with her version of the Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham classic Out of Left Field which can be found on her1997 album Somersault on Fledg'ling Records which is well worth having.

I saw Dale Watson play in a bar in Austin once. There were only about a dozen folk in the bar with about half watching him. Then an update on some development in the Gulf War came on the telly leading to everyone watching it. Dale subsequently abandoned his show.

The Watson Twins (Chandra and Leigh) are probably best known for appearing with Jenny Lewis on the Rabbit Fur Coat album. They have however recorded in their own right including this  song from their 2005 album Southern Manners

Let's go funky with Johnny "Guitar" Watson.

It's only fair that old Sherlock gets a nod as well as his sidekick Watson so we end with some Bluesy Gospel Soul courtesy of The Holmes Brothers. 











Thursday, 12 August 2021

Get Happy!!

 


The other day while my laptop was taking an eternity to warm up I gave Get Happy!! by Elvis Costello and the Attractions its first airing in the longest while.

From 1980 on F-Beat it was Elvis' 4th album and his third with the Attractions. I think it may well have been the first of his albums that I ever bought but obviously I have long since acquired its predecessors.

It was a bit of a change in direction (the first of many) being heavily influenced by R&B,Ska and Soul.It was critically well received and if often quoted as various people's favourite Elvis album. Not me though, that would by Blood and Chocolate

It was produced by Nick Lowe with the artwork by Barney Bubbles. Unusually for the time it contained 20 tracks, 10 on each side. Somewhat confusingly the record sleeve does not match what's on the actual record as the sides are reversed so although Motel Matches is listed on the cover as being on Side 1 it is actually on Side 2 with the opposite applying to Man Called Uncle.
I'm not playing so you are getting them in the order on the cover.

Elvis Costello & the Attractions - Motel Matches

Elvis Costello & the Attractions - Man Called Uncle

Wednesday, 11 August 2021

Redground

 


2021 Charity Shop Purchases 54 - Astid - Redground (CD Single)

While waiting to get a puncture repaired we popped into the Kinder Handel charity shop on Glasgow's Battlefield Road for a browse.
They had hundereds of CDs and some pretty expensive vinyl. Despite the numbers on display I was hard pressed to come away with anything but fear not I persevered.

I came away with another Blues Collection CD and a CD single and EP by Astrid who were a Glasgow band with strong links to the Isle of Lewis and active from 1997 to 2004. See here for more blurb

Redground appears to be a 1999 single taken from their debut album Strange Weather Recently (ain't that a fact - we have been having torrential rain in Glasgow and indeed went into the shop to avoid yet another heavy shower). The lead track is produced by Edwyn Collins with the other two being produced by Kenny McDonald and it is on the Fantastic Plastic label.

Astrid - Redground

Astrid - Complain

Astrid - Weird Clouds


Tuesday, 10 August 2021

Canada Oh Canada

 


When I featured the Canadian band Destroyer on my recent Oh! You Pretty Things post in the comments section our dear friend Brian pointed out that  their front man Dan Bejar had also been a member of the band The New Pornographers.

This was a piece of information that I was totally oblivious too but it got me thinking about other Canadian artists. I shall leave out the obvious ones such as Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and Shania Twain.

Today I am going to feature some male Alt Country artist who hail from Canada. I've gone for that term as oposed to Americana for fairly obvious reasons.

Lets start with fellow New Pornographer A.C. Newman who also enjoyed a solo career and  who was also a member of two bands that I am not familiar with namely Superconductor and Zumpano.The initials A.C. refer to Allan Carl. The song Miracle Drug is the opening track from his 2004 debut solo album The Slow Wonder on Matador/Last Gang.

For the second act I'vegone for Toronto based Justin Rutledge  again with an opening track Too Sober to Sleep  from his debut album from the 2004 album No Never Alone on Six Shooter Records.

Fred Eaglesmith is a more established artist having released records since 1980 and having songs covered by the likes of Kasey Chambers and the Cowboy Junkies. The only album of his that I have is the wonderful Falling Stars and Broken Hearts from 2002 on A Major Label.

I shall return in due course with some female artists and bands from Canada.

A.C. Newman - Miracle Drug

Justin Rutledge - Too Sober to Sleep

Fred Eaglesmith - Cumberland County


Monday, 9 August 2021

Rose City Band

 


I got a few records for my birthday. Most of them were new or relatively new and so will feature here in due course.
One I got was Earth Trip the 3rd album by Rose City Band, the country-tinged side project of Ripley Johnson of Wooden Shjips and Moon Due fame on Thrill Jockey
I also took the opportunity to acquire his/their  self -titled first album from 2019 which I missed out on at the time. They now join the second album Summerlong on the shelves.

Given that the prolific Mr Johnson has released a further two in rapid succession I thought it would be in order to share something from the first one with you.
I'm happy to report that Earth Trip  is every bit as good as its predecessors and that it is ideal  relaxing and extremely laid back summer music.



Sunday, 8 August 2021

The Blues Collection - John Mayall

 


2021 Charity Shop Purchases 53 - John Mayall - New Bluesbreakers
The Blues Collection (No 8)

I have the album Bluesbreakers by John Mayall with Eric Clapton from 1965 and very good it is  too.
I'm less sure about the New Bluesbreakers from the Blues Collection  which was also released in 1997 by CharlyRecords as The Power of the Blues.

Mayall hit hard times and the bottle during the 70's but returned in the 80s with a new line up for the Bluesbreakers. This album features 8 songs recorded live in 1987 with Mayall being joined on guitar duties by Coco Montoya and Walter Trout.

Now I'm prepared to accept that they are all exceptional guitar players but the long solos and the total emphasis on the guitars is not really the kind of Blues that I enjoy. Similarities with the likes of Rory Gallagher and Joe Bonamassa.
Some of you will enjoy this sort of thing but it is not for me I'm afraid.

Still it means that there are now 60 CDs from the Blues Collection on the shelves. Two-thirds of the way there.

If I can get my act together there will be two new series commencing next weekend.


Saturday, 7 August 2021

Oh! You Pretty Things

 


As is my want when I am on holiday I picked up the latest Mojo magazine with the accompanying CD Oh! You Pretty Things billed as 15 tracks which explore the chamber pop legacy of Hunky Dory as it looked quite interesting.


However, after I couple of listens I must say that I am pretty underwhelmed which is disappointing as the artists listed by and large looked promising.

Never fear though, you can always rely on Aimee Mann to come up with the goods. Good For Me is taken from her 2017 album Mental Illness her 9th album and as things stand her last.Winner of the Grammy Award for Best Folk Album 2018.

I can't say that I am at all familiar with Destroyer  a band from Vancouver fronted by Dan Bejar. Crimson Tide a song from their 2020 album Have We Met has sufficiently intruiged me to try and find out more about them.

I've never really been a fan of John Grant and have nothing by him apart from the occassional download here and there but I must confess that I rather enjoyed The Cruise Room a song from his recently released album  Boy From Michegan

Maybe some of the others will grow on me.





Friday, 6 August 2021

From When Rod Was Good

 


It is generally accepted , round these parts at least , that anything by Rod Stewart from the Mercury Years (1969 - 1974) is worth having and that anything else is probably best avoided. Perhaps it is because on these albums he is accompanied by  members of The Faces.

My second Whithorn acquisition was the 4th of the 5 Mercury releases 1972's Never a Dull Moment which is in really good condition considering it has a fairly complicated three way gatefold and is just a year short of  the half century.

Only  An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down and Smiler required to complete the set. I also have the compilation Sing it Again Rod  and the  excellent double CD compilation Handbags and Gladrags which both cover this period.

I'm glad to say that this one made it home unscathed.

Rod Stewart - Lost Paraguayos

Rod Stewart - You Wear it Well

Thursday, 5 August 2021

Car Boot Calamity

 


I've a Car Boot Calamity to report. No, nothing to do with Car Boot Sales .I would need to get up far to early to pick up any decent vinyl from there.

When we were away for a few days we visited a pop  up shop in Whithorn. Mrs CC came away with a painting by the proprietor and I came away with two albums in good condition for 3 quid a piece. So far so good.

When we were leaving I packed them stacked flat on top of the suitcases in the boot. However, on arriving home I was mortified to discover that City to City by Gerry Rafferty had a big chunk out of the cover as the picture above shows. Fortunately the vinyl had escaped  being damaged by literally milliemetres. It looks as though at one of the stops on the way home the car boot has been shut on it. Nobody so far has claimed responsibility.

Gerry Rafferty - Right Down the Line

Gerry Rafferty - Stealin' Time

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Just an American Boy

 



2021 Charity Shop Purchases 52 - John Cougar - The Collection

In October last year Mrs CC came in with a couple of singles by John Couger namely Jack and Diane and Hurts So Good here

I have never knowingly heard anything else by him so I thought that a punt of 50p for a cheap and cheerful CD called the Collection in the BRICC shop in Ballantrae was in order.

Although the CD on Castle is from 1986  (probably on the the back of Jack and Diane) it seems to concentrate on the mid 70's when he was starting out and being billed as John Cougar as opposed to John Mellencamp or even John "Cougar " Mellencamp.

It's pretty basic stuff including a number of covers and what I would describe as Springsteen lite attempts at stadium anthems. Oh, and a bit of patriotism thrown in for good measure.

Mrs CC seems to like it otherwise it would not be a keeper

John Cougar -American Dream

John Cougar - American Son

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

The Boy With The Arab Strap

 




2021 Charity Shop Purchases 51  -Belle and Sebastian - The Boy With The Arab Strap

The Boy with the Arab Strap the third album by Glasgow band Belle and Sebastian from 1998 on the Jeepster label has an album and song title which would have graced Rol's excellent Snapshots #200 
Named after fellow Glasgow band Arab Strap, as opposed to the sexual device, and a title which did not go down well with Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton despite them being friends of the band.
The album cover is a photograph by Stuart Murdoch of fellow band member Chris Geddes.

For good measure I've also gone for another song with a musical namecheck for good measure. With lead vocals by Stevie Jackson as opposed to Stuart Murdoch the song Seymour Stein is a reference to the legendary founder of Sire Records home of the Talking Heads, Ramones and Madonna amongst others

I think that I now have all the essential B&S albums.