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Thursday 31 March 2022

So You Think You're In Love


I was busy working through the vinyl beginning with H as part of my database compilation when I stumbled across a 12 inch single by Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians that I'd forgotten that I had.

So You Think You're in Love is a song taken from the 1991 Perspex Island album on Go! Discs and apparently reached number 1 on US Modern Rock Tracks Chart - whatever that is.Oh and if you think that you can hear the dulcet tones of Michael Stype you are quite correct as he and Peter Buck both appear on the record.

It is the only thing that I have by him and the Egyptians in  a physical format with everything else I have featuring the Venus 3.
I'm putting this "find" down as a good omen for when I go to see him for the first time on May Mono. I think that I may have mentioned that before!

Wednesday 30 March 2022



2022 Charity Shop Purchases #21 - Natalie Merchant - Ophelia

Following the recent Motherland incident I took the precaution of  cataloguing  the Natalie Merchant CDs even though I am still only up to H a part of the larger plan. This proved to be very fortuitous as I was able to ascertain that the copy of Ophelia ,her second solo album from 1998 on Elektra, was a burn and it was therefore duly replaced by the CD on the shelves of the Sense charity shop in St Andrews

Her website advises that she experimented with string arrangements , horns and collaborated with a wide array of musicians.It helpfully lists them so I don't have to. It was self produced and she  treated the recording as a series of workshops, where she would invite various musicians she had met over the years into her home studio to collaborate and record. While Ophelia is not a concept record in the traditional sense, the name of the album and the title track are a literary reference to Shakespeare's Ophelia

The album was released just prior to her collaborating  with Billy Bragg and Wilco on Mermaid Avenue putting previously unreleased Woody Guthrie songs to music. She was also heavily championed by Andy Kershaw around this time.

To me there are certain similarities with Laura Marling albeit she is probably more consistently folky

Natalie Merchant - Kind & Generous

Natalie Merchant - Thick as Thieves

Tuesday 29 March 2022



 2022 Charity Shop Purchases #20 - Beth Orton - Daybreaker

A quick visit to St Andrews yielded a couple of solid if hardly spectacular purchases.

Like Laura Marling who featured recently Beth Orton is  one of those  artists that I probably would never consider buying anything new by but would always pick up anything by either second hand or via a charity shop.

Daybreaker her third album from 2002 is the third album that she released on Heavenly and her fourth in total. It joins Trailer Park and Central Reservation on the shelves as well as the Pass in TIme compilation. I also have a CD single of Concrete Sky which is a song of this album. I think that with the exception of Traier Park that they have all been charity purchases.

It sees Beth moving from her folkier roots to a more mainstream sound and it's fair to say that it received mixed reviews. Pitchfork says that it is the  third in a series of progressively bland and unadventurous releases whereas Allmusic feels that it sacrifices immediacy for uniformity of mood and emotional tenor, and although it's perhaps her most consistent and mature work to date, it's also her least engaging, never matching the dizzying heights of her previous efforts. 

The BBC make comparisons to Dido FFS but they later redeem themselves with referencecs to Tracy Thorn

After a first listen I'm fairly ambivalent .It is not as bad as some of the comments above but not a patch on its two predecessors. A commentator on Allmusic fairly accurately sums it up as she appears torn between being an electronic diva and a pure acoustic singer-songwriter.

As examples here are the title track with clear Chemical Brothers influences and  the singery songwritery God Song with guest appearances by Emmylou Harris and Ryan Adams (who she was romantically invovled with at the time).

Further listens will determine whether it is a keeper.

Beth Orton - Daybreaker

Beth Orton - God Song

Monday 28 March 2022

Young America


Young America by The Poems is one of those albums that is the stuff of legend

The album was originally released on CD back in 2006 and I can remember Drew  contacting Bobby Bluebell (who appears on the album) on Twitter on  a number of occassions to ask if and when the album was coming out on vinyl.

Finally LNFG stepped up to the plate and have recently released it on vinyl as part of their Past Night Form Glasgow side project

Rough Trade writes Originally released on CD in 2006. (Has it really been 15 years?) The Poems were Robert Hodgens (the Bluebells), Bobby Paterson, Adrian Barry, Kerry Polwart (Karine's wee sister), RossMcFarlane and Andy May.

The album also features guest contributions from the likes of Isabel Campbell, Norman Blake and Justin Currie.

Alarm magazine is complimentary comparing them to the Go-Betweens. I can also hear shades of Motorcycle Boy in places.

I bought it on spec having not heard any of the songs but having read and heard universal praise and I'm really glad I did as it is an absolute belter. You should do so too.

The Poems -Sometimes, Somewhere, Someone Shoul Say Something

Sunday 27 March 2022

No Depression #56 -Vic Chesnutt


No Depression - The Bi-monthly Journal of Alt- Country

#56 -   March to April  2005

The cover star article starts with the words Vic Chesnutt has defined himself with music that can't be defined.
Well thanks a lot.That is going to make things doubly difficult given that I don't know much about Vic and have only managed to track down three songs by him from various compliations.

One is taken from a New Music from New West sampler and is a song called Virginia from the 2005 album Ghetto Bells which is handy as this is the album featured in the article.
I'll let New West give you the blurb so that I don't have to 
Ghetto Bells matches the poetic power of Vic Chesnutt’s words with some of the most elegantly simpatico backing he’s ever been blessed with, including jazz icon Bill Frisell on guitars, legendary writer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist Van Dyke Parks on piano, accordion and organ, Don Heffington of Lone Justice and the Jayhawks on drums and percussion, classically trained session-man Dominic Genova on double bass, Tina Chesnutt on electric bass and Liz Durrett on exquisite backing vocals. At the time, Vic Chesnutt had released a dozen albums in 15 years. Ghetto Bells has a powerful resonance that reveals itself slowly.
Pitchfork are less complimentary 
Vic Chesnutt can do a lot with a somber dirge. The 11 tracks on his 12th album plod soddenly, leaden of pace and bleak of atmosphere. Drawn-out running times and a uniform midtempo crawl can test the patience of even a devoted listener, so it's a testament to Chesnutt's intricate and intelligent songwriting that Ghetto Bells is listenable at all.
Despite that they give the album a credible 7.5/10.

He provided producer John Chelow with around 50 demos .Chelow selected 11 that he expected might work together to capture what he wanted to evoke - namely night time.

In addition to Virginia I tracked down Stay Inside from an Uncut compilation Only Love Can Break Your Heart and Danny Carlisle from the Rough Trade Singer Songwriter 1 compilation.

Vic was in a wheelchair and quadraplegic from the neck down following a drink driving accident .He could still play guitar but only basic chords.Sadly he died on Christmas Day 2009 following an overdose of muscle relaxants. He was 45.

For the One from the Top I've gone for Canadian singer songwriter Kathleen Edwards with 12 Belleview from the same Uncut compilation.

Saturday 26 March 2022

Seen at King Tuts - The Montrose Avenue


The Montrose Avenue

Wednesday 25th February 1998       £4.00                   Ticket No  00134

i was aware that I had a copy of the CD single of Where Do I Stand? but quite surprised to discover that I had a digital copy of  She's Looking For Me and a CD copy of their album Thirty Days Out which my filing system tells me was purchased in a Paisley charity shop a good few years later.

Not from the Angus town of Montrose but from Wokingham in Berkshire  The Montrose Avenue (don't forget the The) were very briefly an indie rock/pop band.

They were signed to Columbia.  She's Looking For Me was released in 1997 and reached  the dizzy heights of  number 118 in the UK singles charts.Where Do I Stand? was released in March 1998 and was their only top 40 hit peaking at 38 . I suspect that hearing it on the radio enticed me to go and see them. The ticket price of £4.00 probably helped.

The album was released on 12th October 1998  and reached 102 in the charts. They were more  popular in Japan where it reached number 69 . They never released another album and disbanded in 1999.

I've just given the album a listen and it is perfectly pleasant but nothing startling. For me Where Do I Stand? is the obvious stand out and puts me in mind of the Gin Blossoms.

I have no recollection of or nothing by Ether.

The Montrose Avenue -Where Do I Stand?

The Montrose Avenue -She's Looking For Me

The Montrose Avenue - Thirty Days Out

Friday 25 March 2022

Fairport Friday - What We Did On Our Holidays


Now this is more like it. Fairport Convention's second album What We Did on Our Holidays was released in January 1969 and was the first of three absolute classic albums released by the band in that calendar year. Has any other band ever had a year like that?

The personnel was the same as the debut album with one crucial difference. Judy Dybie had left the band and was replaced by Sandy Denny. Not that Judy was bad but Sandy with her singing takes the band to a whole different level, or even stratosphere.Also, it was an out and out folk rock album as opposed to the musical hotchpotch on the first one.  I'm not sure that it is  crucial but it was also the first of their albums on the Island label..

Sandy also wrote the opening track Fotheringay which was to become the name of the band she set up with boyfriend Trevor Lucas when she left the band in 1970. Note to myself - one for the must have list.

Fotheringay Castle was where Mary Queen of Scots was executed and is the name of a street, and formerly a pub, on Glasgow's southside in the vicinity of the Battle of Langside

What we Did was the favourite album of all time of CCM favourite the late great Neal Casal.If it was good enough for Neal it is good enough for me.

Like George I'm not sharing Meet on the Ledge not because I'm contrary, like him, but because there are plenty of other good songs to choose from.

Another classic from 1969 next Friday? I think so.

Fairport Convention -Fotheringay

Fairport Convention - She Moves Through the Fair

Monday 21 March 2022

Thunder Road


Last Monday when I featured Thunder and Fire by Jason & the Scorchers Alyson and Walter both got awfy excited when they saw the title thinking that it may have been the return of one of my compare and contrast series. Rol quite rightly pointed out that Thunder and Lightning would be more appropriate.

Anyway I had a look in the music file to see what there was in the Thunder file (there were plenty with Fire). Not much was the answer. There is some stuff by Johnny Thunders and also the Fabulous Thunderbirds. As far as songs were concerned there was Thunder on the Mountain by Bob Dylan which featured earlier this month and another three plus a couple about thunderstorms.

And obviously there was Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen. I'm not sure why it didn't feature in my Springsteen Covered series particularly as I have two covers.Maybe it because they are not on the same planet never mind ballpark as the Boss.

Bruce Springsteen - Thunder Road

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band - Thunder Road(Live New Jersey 19/09/78)

Greg Kihn - Thunder Road

Frank Turner - Thunder Road

Sunday 20 March 2022

No Depression #55 - Mary Gauthier


No Depression - The Bi-monthly Journal of Alt- Country

#55 -   January to February   2005

I did a bit of a double take when I saw that we have now reached 2005 in this series. We are now much nearer the end than the beginning.

The cover star for this issue is singer songwriter Mary Gauthier primarily because  her fourth studio album Mercy Now was due for release on 15th February. It was her first mainstream album and on the Lost Highway label, so no surprise there. Not bad for someone aged 42 who spent her 16th birthday in a detox unit and her 18th in jail. Her many and varied life experiences provide the ammunition for some great songs.

I don't have Mercy Now. The extent of my Mary Gauthier collection is her second Drag Queens and Limousines from 1999 one of my 50 Americana albums to hear before you die and her third Filth and Fire from 2002. I also saw her live twice during that period.

I was familiar with the title track and also I Drink a version of which is included on Drag Queens and which is the one attached below It is often thought that this song is autobiographical but she says that she wrote it with a male character in mind. The album is produced by Gurf Morlix who also produced Lucinda Williams and it not hard to see certain similarities between the two of them and their songs.
One each from the aforementioned three albums
For the One from the Top I'm sticking with the letter G and The Gourds although I don't have any albums by them. This song of one of two of theirs which feature on the awesome Awsome - A Munich Records Compilation from 2001. Somewhat confusingly Munich Records is actually a Dutch label!.

Saturday 19 March 2022

Seen at King Tuts : Townes Van Zandt


Townes Van Zandt 

Sunday 11th December  1994       £7.50                   Ticket No  00041

For the second week in a row a grizzly Country veteran albeit this one was held in the highest of regard by the Alternative Country set.

I feel privileged to have seen Townes Van Zandt live twice before his death on 1st January 1997 at the age of 52. The first time was the one above at King Tuts with the second being a year or so later at the County Hotel, Perth

It is fair to say that my pals and I were in an advanced state of excitement  for getting to see an actual living legened championed by Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris and anyone else you care to mention.The peak of his recording career was the late 60's and the 70s but due to his complicated financial situation he was a prolific live act as it constituted his main form of income.

He had actually released at album No Deeper Blue in 1994 which was his first studio album for seven years and I would imagine that one of the purposes of the tour was to promote it. Sadly it was to be be the last one released prior to his death. As is the way of things there were a good few releases and re-releases thereafter.

From memory he was in good form with all the classics getting an outing. During his lifetime he probably earned more from others recording of the likes of Pancho and Lefty, Tecumseh Valley and Kathleen than from his own original versions. It was great to hear them being sung by him though.

As I said I only saw him twice but for a number of years there was an annual quickly sold out tribute concert at Glasgow's Riverside Club where artists including Dean Owens would pay homage by covering his songs. Such is the legend of the man.

I can feel a Townes Songs Covered series coming along!

Townes Van Zandt - Kathleen

Townes Van Zandt - Delta Momma Blues

Townes Van Zandt - Waiting Around to Die

Townes Van Zandt -Loretta

Friday 18 March 2022

Fairport Friday


Someone, and apologies I can't remember who, recently commented on a blog that the first five albums by Fairport Convention were available for a reasonable price as one of those Five Classic Albums CD boxsets. Given that the only physical thing I had by them was the the CD compilation The History of Fairport Convention that was enough for me to press the trigger. It is also the next five Fridays sorted!

The self -titled first album was released in June 1968 on the Polydor label with a line up of Judy Dybie, Ian MacDonald (aka Iain Matthews), Richard Thompson,Simon Nicol, Ashley Hutchins and Martin Lambie

It is not the electric traditional folk for which the band rightly became famous for. George in his Second is Better than First series on these pages compared it less that favourably against it's immediate successor What We Did On Our Holidays. His comment that its  lack of consistency in musical style makes it almost a compilation album of different genres is fairly accurate but I have a considerably higher opinion of their cover version of Joni Mitchell's Chelsea Morning than he does.

It is the only album on which Judy Dybie, who died age 71 in July 2020, sings (and knits) on. Her replacement in the band made a considerable impression as we shall discover next week.

None of the songs from this album appear on The History of Fairport Convention. Now whether that is a statement as to their quality or because the compilation is on Island I shall leave for you to decide

Fairport Convention - I Don't Know Where I Stand

Fairport Convention - Jack O'Diamonds

Thursday 17 March 2022

Cowboy Song


I got Cowboy Song the biography of Philip Lynott, by Graeme Thompson, out the library recently. It is the first one authorised by the Lynott Estate and is an easy but interesting read. I'm not quite sure as to why I got it out as I have never been a particularly huge fan of him or Thin Lizzy. This is probably because they became prominent in the late 70's when there were two main musical groups at school the greatcoat wearing hippies/heavy metal fans who occupied the common room and the part time punks who congregated on a small bridge near the school hall. I was in the latter group.

In many ways it is a pretty typical story much of which is well  known. The band had been on the go for a while with little commercial success until their management persuaded them to record Whiskey in the Jar which they had been mucking around  with in the studio and the rest is history. It became a bit of a mill stone around their necks and they rarely if ever played it live.

They built up a reputation as a great live band  but failed to break through to the Premier League. Then there was a gradual and later rapid decline due to Lynott's increasing heroin addiction leading to his death on 4th January 1986 at the age of 36. The shift in peoples listening habits to New Wave then New Romantics probably didn't help either.

I knew that Crackerjack legend Leslie Crowther was his father-in -law for a while but the book threw up a few things that I was unaware of. I didn't know that he was referred to as Philip as opposed to Phil or that he has a couple of poetry books published. I was also unaware that he was not in fact Irish having been born to his single parent mother in Birmingham. He was subsequently brought up by his gran Sarah in the Crumlin area of Dublin (where Mrs CC's gran also stayed) from the age of eight. He was lucky as his two siblings were given up for adoption.

The only thing I have by him is the CD  Wild One - The Very Best of Thin Lizzy. I shall spare you the ubiquitous Whiskey in the Jar and The Boys are Back in Town.

For a much more detailed review of the book this is by Barney Hoskins in The Guardian

Thin Lizzy - Jailbreak

Thin Lizzy - Don't Believe a Word

Thin Lizzy -Sarah

Wednesday 16 March 2022



Around about Christmas 18/New Year 19 I picked up a vinyl copy of Jamboree in the Oxfam Charity Shop at Clarkston Toll on the Southern most extremities of Glasgow.It is from 1986 and is the second album by Athens, Georgia band Guadalcanal Diary and it is on the Elektra label.

The name was vaguely familiar thanks to our dear friend Brian. Also,  A couple of their songs  featured on the now legendary Hoboken to Athens compilation CDs by kevinpat which some of you may have been fortunate enough to get a copy of.

As is the way of these things it got a couple of plays and was filed away on the shelves. I've just completed the Gs on the database and this one  was near the end alphabetically. I dusted it down and gave it a listen and was pretty much blown away.

There are obvious comparisons with their Athens neighbours R.E.M. but that is no bad thing given that  it would be R.E.M in their more jangly IRS period. Allmusic states that  this is an excellent, if sometimes bewildering album very much worth hearing.. I concur.

Guadalcanal Diary - Pray For Rain

Guadalcanal Diary - Michael Rockerfeller

Tuesday 15 March 2022

Bowling Green


I was listening to Sounds of Goodbye by The Gosdin Brothers over the weekend and what a tremendous record it is. One of the tracks (track 18 to be precise) was the song Bowling Green.
It struck me that I had played this song fairly recently as there is a version on The Virginian the debut album by Neko Case and her Boyfriends.
Further exploration told me that it was in fact a song by The Everly Brothers and a copy of the original was duly tracked down.

Somewhat disappointedly it is not a song about the surface on which lawn bowls are played and which are not uncommon in most towns and villages in the UK - that is those that haven't yet been sold for housing.
Rather it is a song about Bowling Green a city in Kentucky  with a population in the 70,000s  and which houses the assembly plant for Chevrolet Corvettes. It is also the home of Western Kentucky University whose bowling green is featured below

I have a Blues record by Bowling Green John Cephas & Harmonica Phil Wiggins who I once saw playing at Glasgow's CCA. The record does not have a song about Bowling Green but does feature one about Richmond which is a mere 129 miles away - a  hop, skip and a jump in US terms.

Monday 14 March 2022

Thunder and Fire


That's the latest batch of charity purchases exhausted so it is back to another one picked up at the recent record fair at Phillies.

Thunder and Fire from 1989 and on the A&M label is an album by Country Rockers Jason and the Scorchers and is the second one of theirs I have picked up from that source Lost and Found being the other one back in 2019.
Despite playing shows with Bob Dylan to promote the album it wasn't a commercial success. Indeed despite releasing a number of decent albums they never really made that jump. The band subsequently broke up after this album prior to reforming in the mid 90s.

I think that Bible and a Gun, which was co-written with Steve Earle, may jump slightly in places so be way of compensation I'm throwing in the version from Jason Ringenberg's 2002 solo album All Over Creation.
I've seen Jason performing solo on a couple of occasions but sadly I have never seen the Scorchers

Jason & the Scorchers -When the Angels Cry

Jason & the Scorchers -Bible and a Gun

Jason Ringenberg (with Steve Earle) - Bible and a Gun

Sunday 13 March 2022

No Depression #54 - Iris DeMent


No Depression - The Bi-monthly Journal of Alt- Country

#54 -   November to December  2004

October 2004 saw the release of  Lifeline the 4th album by Iris DeMent following a gap of 8 years due to writers block. The timing of the release  explains why she is the cover star and the subject of the main article in this issue of No Depression.

Disclaimer - I don't have and have not heard this album. My Iris DeMent collection consists of her first three records - Infamous Angel (1992), My Life (1994) and The Way I Should (1996). It  looks like the writers block may have been a recurring theme given that she has subsequently only released a further two albums Sing the Delta (2012) and  The Trackless Woods (2015 -  where Iris sings the lyrics of translated poems by Anna Akhmatova).

It seems that Lifeline is primarily a series of traditional Protestant gospel songs which she would have been familiar with given her Pentacostal background.
We went to see Iris at Celtic Connections in 2020 and while I enjoyed it I was not familiar with the majority of the songs.
Folk Radio UK wrote that she gave  a profoundly satisfying performance at the crossroads of country, folk and gospel, playing intricate melodies and singing in an edgy, versatile voice that sounds alluringly rooted in the past.

As I am not familiar with Lifeline I have opted to feature a song from each of the first three albums in the order that they were released

She declined to play a concert on 21st March 2003 the day the US commenced war on Iraq which irritated right wing commentators no end. It was not her first controversy with the right. Florida Republican senator John Grant (no, not that one!) took great offence to Wasteland of the Free  being played on the Tampa public radio station and led a successful campaign to eliminate the station's primary source of funding.WMNF raised the necessary funds to keep the station on air with Iris performing a benefit concert. State funding has since been restored. All of this means that I now hold her in even higher esteem than before.

For my One from the Top I am going for the great Robyn Hitchcock whom I'm looking forward to seeing live for the first time in May and which I am looking forward to immensely.

Saturday 12 March 2022

Seen at King Tut's - Steve Young


Steve Young

Friday 5th May 1995       £5.00                   Ticket No  00030

A couple of weeks after seeing last week's featured artist Kingmaker I found myself back at King Tuts on a Friday night for something completely different. This time round I was here to see grizzly Honky Tonk country artist Steve Young.

My ticket number says 30 but there can't have been much more if any in the audience.I suppose that Tuts is not a natural venue for veteran country singers.Nevertheless being the old pro that he was he performed as if it was a full house and put on a terrific show.

Widely seen as a pioneer of country rock and  alternative country he was part of the Outlaw movement in the mid 70s which saw the likes of Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson become international superstars. I have him in the Americana as opposed to mainstream Country section of the shelves.

Steve unfortunately never reached such dizzy heights. Indeed, he is probably better known as a songwriter rather than a singer with The Eagles covering his Seven Bridges Road and Hank Williams Jr  covering Montgomery in the Rain among others.

His first solo album from 1969 Rock, Salt and Nails featured the likes of Gram Parsons, Gene Clark and others from the Laurel Canyon scene. I have his 1975 album Honky Tonk Man on the Mountain Railroad label as well as 1991's Solo/Live on Watermelon in the States and Demon in the UK.

Sadly Steve died in March 2016 aged 73 having been in declining health since a head injury following a fall in October 2015

Steve Young -Seven Bridges Road

Steve Young - Montgomery in the Rain

Steve Young - Alabama Highway

Friday 11 March 2022



 2022 Charity Shop Purchases #19 - Kevin McDermott Orchestra - Bedazzled

I am pretty late to the table when it comes to the Kevin McDermott Orchestra. It was only in October 2019 that I got round to picking up a cope of their debut Mother Nature's Kitchen some 30  years after its original release.

I've now doubled my KMO collection by picking up the 1991 follow up Bedazzled with an even longer 31 years since its  release. Good things come to those that wait.
Mother Nature's Kitchen had been released on Island. However when Chris Blackwell sold his share in the label the KMO were one of the bands caught up in the crossfire.

Bassist Marco Rossi takes up the story on the excellent Kevin McDermott Timeline Lesser souls would have caved in, bared their throats and signed away the will to live.  Kevin McDermott, however, is made of considerably sterner stuff.  Against literally all the odds and some other hitherto undiscovered sods, the unreasonably brilliant Bedazzled(Thirteen Records, 1991) was released, revealing ensemble strengths which threw Jimi Hendrix, The Buzzcocks, The Who, The Byrds and the Small Faces into the equation.  This wasn’t Retro – this was BETTERO. A gently surreal 20 – minute video captures the band at this remove, Steadfastly moving sideways into an area outside fashion, above compartmentalisation and Beyond Belief.   

The vinyl format came  in a limited edition  numbered  sleeve and the band also signed the back  in silver pen.    The limited edition also came with a copy of the Suffocation Blues LP
.My CD has best wishes Kevin McDermott on it in silver pen as well. Not bad for 50p

There is also a short film based on the gently surreal day to day meanderings of a beekeeper in a band...with KMO soundtrack:

Thursday 10 March 2022



 2022 Charity Shop Purchases #18 - Natalie Merchant -Motherland

Given that the data base has not made it as far as M yet I had a doubler situation on my hands recently..
There are a few CDs by Natalie Merchant, the former frontwoman of New York band 10000 Maniacs on the shelves. They are a combination of burns and yer actual CDs. I knew that Motherland her third solo album from 2001 on the Elektra label was one of them. I was pretty sure that it was one of the actual CDs but not quite 100% sure.Given that it was only 50p and with encouragement from Mrs CC and the shop assistant I took the plunge.

So a doubler then but it will be recycled to charity and it  also gave me a push to give it a listen to and enjoy it for the first time in a while. Plus, I don't think that this particular album has featured here before.
Her solo stuff is more sparse and folky than her stuff with 10000 Maniacs but is none the worse for that..
The title track, featured below has since been covered by Joan Baez and Christy Moore, so definitely Folk then!

Wednesday 9 March 2022

The Hard Way

 2022 Charity Shop Purchases #17 - Steve Earle & the Dukes - The Hard Way

I've had The Hard Way the 4th album by Steve Earle and the Dukes from 1980 and a 12 inch of the track The Other Kind on vinyl from just about when they came out. I wouldn't say that it is one of his best ones given that it is poorly produced and there are not that many stand out tracks on it.Some folk buying it following the success of Copperhead Road probably came away disappointed. The debut Guitar Town is the must have from that period

I'd never seen it before on CD until I saw it in a Newton Mearns charity shop for 50p. Despite already having it . it seemed foolish not to. My spreadsheet has thrown up a potential new series - Albums I have on both vinyl and CD. I couldn't not add Mr Earle to the list.

For your listening pleasure the aforementioned The Other Kind. This is followed by Billy Austin the first of three death penalty songs that Steve has written. There is a better version of  this on his 1991 live album  Shut Up and Die Like an Aviator. Described by the Dallas Observer as storytelling at its stark,bleakest best.

But there's twenty-seven men here
Mostly black
Brown and poor
Most of them are guilty
Who are you to say for sure?

Steve Earle & the Dukes - The Other Kind

Steve Earle & the Dukes - Billy Austin


Tuesday 8 March 2022

Modern Times


 2022 Charity Shop Purchases #16  - Bob Dylan - Modern Times

I think that I have mentioned in passing a couple of times that I am in the process of developing a database for my music. 
I've not gone down the Discogs route but rather have developed my own somewhat convoluted database both as a retirement project and to keep my limited IT skills intact.
I started by putting in new purchases and anything else by that artist and some random entries. I then decided that it would probably be better to start with A and record everything alphabetically. I'm now at D.

This has turned out to be quite handy as during a recent visit to a local charity shop there were two Bob Dylan CDs namely Modern Times  (2006) and Together Through Life (2009) Now I knew that I had both on the shelves but that one was a burn. The problem was  that I couldn't remember which one.
Fortunately I have been saving the most up to date version of the spreadsheet on Google Drive which means that I can access it from my phone

The spreadsheet was duly checked showing that Modern Times was in fact the burn. Modern Times was duly purchased.
Modern Times indeed.

Bob Dylan - Thunder on the Mountain

Bob Dylan - Rollin' and Tumblin'

Monday 7 March 2022

Younger Than Yesterday


2022 Charity Shop Purchases # 15 - The Byrds - Younger Than Yesterday

Following the lack of purchases during our recent wee break it was good to get back in the saddle courtesy of some local charity shops.

Younger than Yesterday is the fourth album by The Byrds. It is on the Columbia label and when you listen to it there is absolutely no surprise to find out that it was released in 1967.It is somewhat psychadelic in places  
Four of the original five Byrds feature on this one - Roger McGuinn, David Crosby, Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke. The one missing is the late, gtreat Gene Clark who had left to pursue a solo career..It sees the emergence of bassist Chris Hillman as a vocalist and songwriter of country orientated songs so a forerunner to the majestice Sweetheart of the Rodeo the second of their 1968 albums.

The title of the album is derived from the lyrics of the Bob Dylan song My Back Pages  a version of which is the only cover on the album. The opener So You Want to be a Rock'n'Roll Star penned by McGuinn and Hillman has agood natured pop at manufactured bands such as The Monkees. Only fair then that I feature these two

Sunday 6 March 2022

No Depression #53 - Willie Nelson


No Depression - The Bi-monthly Journal of Alt- Country

#53 -   September to October 2004

Gee ain't it funny that No Depression have chosen to feature veteran Country star Willie Nelson's 52nd studio album It Always Will Be as their cover feature. I suspect that it is primarily because it was his first to feature on their favourite Lost Highway label. He went on to release a further 5 albums on that label up to 2008 - a small dent in his career total of 97 studio albums. Perhaps unsurprisingly it is one of the about 94 that I don't have.

At the time of the album Willie was a sprightly 71, he will be 89 on 29th April  with an album A Beautiful Time scheduled to be released on that date. I've seen him once at SXSW in Austin in the early 00s. We were there primarily to see support act  Lucinda Williams and given that he took about an hour after her set before coming on we left after a few songs  as we had been on our feet watching music for about 12 hours.

One of the Outlaws from the 70s he has made a career  as an outsider despite being part of the mainstream if that makes sense.

The article states that his long time collaborator Paul English  was too frail to make it through a full show being replaced by his son Billy.He died in 2020 aged 87. I've gone for three of Willie's more famous tracks including the brilliant Me and Paul.

For my One from the Top selection I've gone for another living legend  the gospel and soul star Mavis Staples who is still out there performing at the age of  82. Here is the title track from her 2004 album Have a Little Faith on Alligator Records which features in this issue.