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Friday 24 September 2021

Hokey Pokey


2021 Charity Shop Purchases 61 -Richard & Linda Thompson - Hokey Pokey

From April 1985 on the Island label Hokey Pokey is the second album by Richard & Linda Thompson and rather neatly fills the gap in the shelves between 1974's classic I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight and 1975's Pour Down Like Silver from a time when they were as prolific as Mr Thompson's previous band Fairport Convention were in 1969.

Maybe not though as the albums were written and recorded prior to the Thompson's living in a Sufti commune in London. A period which was covered in his autobiography Beeswing which I recently featured 

All the above makes finding this for a pound in a St Andrews charity shop even more pleasurable.
Not quite in the same league as Bright Lights but lets face it very few records are. A mixture of folk and rock  with some light hearted songs and some more mournful ballads. Here are one of each.

Nothing to see here for the next couple of weeks as we are off on our travels - again! Hopefully I'll return with some more goodies.

Thursday 23 September 2021



2021 Charity Shop Purchases 60 -The Be Good Tanyas - Chinatown

For the second time in as many months Bluegrass band The Be Good Tanyas grace these pages having previously featured as one of the Bands of Canada. I would imaging that their further inclusion will please at least one reader

The band consisting of Frazey Ford, Samantha Parton and Trish Klein only ever released three albums. I've had their 2001 debut Blue Horse since it came out having seen them at Glasgow's sadly lamented St Andrews in the Square around then. I'm not altogether sure why I never got  round to acquiring the other two.

From 2003 on the Netwerk label Chintown is their second album.The album consists of a number of original compositions from Ford and Parton, their take on some traditional songs and a couple of covers.Whereas their original material is good I've opted for the covers. It is the first time that I've heard their version of Townes Van Zandt's Waiting Around to Die and I'm quite taken by it. The other cover Midnight Moonlight from American Bluegrass singer Peter Rowan.

Only 2006's Hello Love to go

The Be Good Tanyas - Waiting Around to Die

The Be Good Tanyas -Midnight Moonlight

Wednesday 22 September 2021

The Secret Sun


2021 Charity Shop Purchases 59 -Jesse Harris & the Ferdinandos - The Secret Sun

Such was the paucity of decent music in the St Andrews charity shops that I for a couple of random punts one of which was The Secret Sun a 2003 album on the Verve label by Jesse Harris and the Ferdinandos.

A band I knew absolutely nothing about but a sticker on the  front advised that he was the no 1 songwriter in the country according to The New Yorker and was described as impeccable by Mojo plus the cover looked vaguely Americana.

Turns out I was wrong. Some research when I got home advises that he is an American singer-songwriter, producer and guitarist who has worked with the likes of Melanie Gardot, Norah Jones and Madelaine Peyroux with Wiki describing his music as a blend of folk,rock,jazz and world rhythms. That's a good few bases covered then

The songs are not bad but maybe a wee bit generic and bland. Allmusic makes comparisons to Josh Rouse (which I don't get) and more accurately describes the album as having a a contemplative Sunday afternoon feel.

The jury is out as to whether it is a keeper although these songs do sound  a little better second time round.

Jesse Harris & the Ferdinandos -All My Life

Jesse Harris & the Ferdinandos -You Were on my Mind

Tuesday 21 September 2021

The Budos Band III


2021 Charity Shop Purchases 58  -The Budos Band - The Budos Band III

I've long been an admirer of Daptone Records from Brooklyn, New York the label who gave us Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings.

In addition to a few of the late great Sharon's records I picked up a sampler called Daptone Gold which features a number of the artists from their stable. One of the acts which weighed in with a few tracks were Staten Island Afro  beat funkers The Budos Band.

I was pleasantly surprised to see a copy of their 3rd album the imiginatively titled Budos Band III  from 2010 in a St Andrews charity shop and naturally I swooped.

There are 10 instrumentalists on this record led by  Jared Tankel on baritone saxophone. They were also involved in providing back up to other artists on the label including the late Charles Bradley whose 2013 album Victim of Love is an absolute must have.

The review by AllMusic feels  that while they fit the Daptone label's groove-centric aesthetic, III reveals a new direction, offering the view that they are also something other. This 11-song set, recorded in 48 hours, offers a darker, more spacious tinge. Elements of psychedelic, Middle Eastern, and even Latin sounds have entered their mix, without sacrificing their dance party cachet. 

If you are in the mood it can be consumed in a single sitting. It is also one that you can dip in and out of.

The Budos Band - Black Venom

The Budos Band - Nature's Wrath

Monday 20 September 2021

All That Is Now


2021 Charity Shop Purchases 57 -All That Is Now - Uncut Compilation

He's back! Albeit briefly

The Music Room now has additional insulation and a new carpet and everything is now back in place. I'm pretty chuffed and can now begin to relax again.

In the middle of moving everything out and the work being completed we visited Crail in the East Neuk of Fife for a few days. I hit the charity shops of St Andrews. I've said it before but for a University town there are always lean pickings maybe because students nowadays are all streaming.

One I did pick up was All That is Now an Uncut compilation from November 2013 as the track list looked pretty tasty. Of course when I got back home I discovered that I already had it. It has featured here before as part of my Saturday Lucky Dip series but there are enough good songs to merit another post.

Jonathan Wilson - Moses Pain

Deer Tick - The Dream's in the Ditch

Songdog - St Lucy's Day

Thursday 16 September 2021

I'm Going to a Gig!


If things go according to plan tonight I will be attending my first gig since I saw King Creosote in the Concert Hall back on 12th March 2020.

The Teenage Fanclub concert at the Barrowlands was initially scheduled for 5th November 2020. It was then put back to 5th April 2021 so hopefully it is third time lucky. It's been a wee while since I last saw them.

Presumably the original tour was scheduled to promote their most recent album Endless Arcade which was belatedly released on 30th April 2021. It is the first album without Gerry Love  and the first to include Euros Child.

It's fair to say that reviews have been mixed. It's no Songs From Northern Britain but it has gradually grown on me with each listen. Unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to listen to it in the run up to the concert as the music room is still out of action. The flooring has been upgraded with the carpet scheduled to be fitted tomorrow.

I recently finally picked up a copy of Howdy! but again haven't yet been able to give it a proper listen.

Here's a track from Endless Arcade and one from Howdy! to keep both you and me going.

Teenage Fanclub - Warm Embrace

Teenage Fanclub - I Need Direction

Sunday 12 September 2021

No Depression #35 - Gillian Welch


No Depression - The Bi-monthly Journal of Alt- Country
#35 -  September - October  2001

Whereas I was struggling to find something to say about the last cover star Patty Lawless I'm not anticipating any such problem when it comes to Gillian Welch.

The main article centres on the her 3rd album Time (The Relevator) released on 31st July 2001 on the Alcony label. The album is on the shelves but they are currently still horizontal as opposed to vertical and in considerable disarray. I have, however, managed to retrieve a copy of Elvis Presley Blues on the hard drive from an Uncut compilation.

The article by Grant Alden starts with the line Gillian Welch leaves much unspoken,trusting her music.An accurate comment as she is very much from the less is more school. Her voice and Dave Rawling's acoustic guitar are enough. When I saw them play at a sold out Barrowlands you could have heard a pin drop.

As mentioned above this was her third album For a while she was not the most prolific of artists releasing only 5 albums between 1996 and  2011 whilst achieving wider prominence via her contribution to the O Brother, Where Art Thou? compilation.

She was much more prolific during lockdown with Boots No 1 The Official Revival Bootleg , Boots No 2 The Lost Songs Vols 1-3 and All the Good Times.

I have songs by all the artists listed at the top of the cover. The least well known is probably Amy Allison despite being the writer of The Whiskey Makes You Sweeter which was recorded by Laura Cantrell. When things are up and running I can feel a series of artists called Amy  coming your way.

Hopefully I'll be back properly soon

Thursday 2 September 2021



There will be a vastly reduced service here over the next few weeks due to holidays and the fact that the music room is being refloored and carpeted.

This has required moving around 1300 hundred CDs, over 500 albums and my hi-fi all of which has been quite an ordeal and which has made me pretty twitchy. It then all has to go back once the floor has been sorted. Hopefully this will make the room much warmer and more comfortable that it currently is.

Prior to any further upheaval I'm off to a Real Ale weekend with my pals to steady my nerves. I may appear intermittently during September but hopefully will be back up and running properly in early October.
Wish me luck.

Wednesday 1 September 2021

Fables of the Reconstruction


Another visit to Missing Records, another R.E.M. CD on  the IRS label for a pound.
This time round it was Fables of the Reconstruction their 3rd album from 1985. By my Reckoning (did you see what I did there?) that leaves only one of the five, namely their debut Murmur, to acquire. 
There are also still a couple of their albums from the 2000's to get but these don't really count as they are not essential.

Produced by Joe Boyd, whose previous productions include Fairport Convention and Nick Drake among others, apparently it is a  concept album with Southern Gothic themes and characters.

Given 8.4/10 and their 5th best  by The Robster who mentions that it is the band's least favourite record.As an aside it is interesting, but probably not surprising, to note that The Robster has the 5 IRS albums as his top 5 R.E.M. albums

I haven't had a chance to give it a proper listen yet for reasons that will become clearer shortly so I have opted for the three singles from the album, the first two of which I am more familiar with as they also appear on the Eponymous compilation album

I think that this was one which I had on cassette which long ago ended up as landfill.