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Monday, 31 October 2022

Wicked Game


 2022 Charity Shop Purchases #65  -Chris Isaak - Wicked Game

Until a couple of weeks ago I had no albums by Chris Isaak. With the purchase of Wicked Game as the final choice in my Ballater 4 for a pound selections I now have two. Like Corporation buses - none for ages then two come along at once

It is perhaps fortuitous that Beyond the Sun came first as it would probably have been sacrilegious to feature it so soon after the death of Jerry Lee Lewis.

Wicked Games from 1991 on the WEA label is a compilation on the back of the success of the title song following it featuring on the David Lynch film Wild at Heart and also as the theme to Twin Peaks. It originally featured on his 1989 album Heart Shaped World,

His cover of Blue Hotel was originally on his eponymous 1987 second album but was not commercially successful.It was subseqently re-released following the success of Wicked Game reaching number 17 in the UK Singles chart .

For those of you who like the music but not the voice on Wicked Game I'm throwing in the instrumental.

Chris Isaak - Wicked Game

Chris Isaak - Blue Hotel

Chris Isaak - Wicked Game (Instrumental)

Sunday, 30 October 2022

Jerry Lee RIP


By now, I would imagine, you will have all heard about the death of Jerry Lee Lewis the last of the Sun rock'n'roll legends.

Ernie and Walter were quicker of the mark than me and posted fine tributes on Friday when news of his death at the age of 87 broke. As an aside who in the 50s or 60s , given his lifestyle, would have put any money on him reaching such a ripe old age? Walter's post highlights a few of JLLs foibles including his marriage to his 13 year old cousin seemingly not uncommon in the rural South.

Obviously musically he was best known as a rock'n'roller but he could also seemlessly switch to honky tonk country piano playing.

Here are his takes on a couple of Country standards from his excellent Best of the Country Music Hall of Fame Hits album.

Rest easy Killer.

Jerry Lee Lewis - Heartaches By The Number

Jerry Lee Lewis - Oh, Lonesome Me

Saturday, 29 October 2022

Townes Covered - Tecumseh Valley


It probably wont come as a surprise but the first round went to Townes with the original version of Flyin' Shoes 

Initially it looked like it was going to be a whitewash with the first 6 votes going to Mr Van Zandt. However there was a late rally for Rumer who swept up the last two votes. Most of those who voted for Townes were also complimentary of Sarah Joyce

An early lead then for TVZ. However, I suspect that this week will be a little bit closer and which maybe  will even result in the cover winning.

I suspect that more folk will be familiar with the cover by Nanci Griffith than the original. Nancy's version is taken from her 1993 covers album Other Voices, Other Rooms. The only version I have by Townes is a 1973 live version which features on his Live at the Old Quarter, Houston, Texas album.

Live versions of songs can be very much a hit or a miss but here I feel that Townes totally nails it.

Others of course may choose to differ

Townes Van Zandt - Tecumseh Valley

Nanci Griffith - Tecumseh Valley

You may or may not be pleased but I have taken the necessary steps to make this a first to 10 series!

Friday, 28 October 2022

Remember Me


 2022 Charity Shop Purchases #64 - Otis Redding - Remember Me

I am at a loss to understand why anyone would hand an Otis Redding CD into a charity shop or indeed anything from the Stax label for that matter. Their loss, my gain.

Remember Me is from 1990 so obviously a posthumous album...The fairly detailed booklet that accompanies the CD tells me that it is made up of a mix of fully developed tracks almost ready for issue,outtakes of released records,and ideas still waiting to be worked up into final form.The unreleased masters were assembled from the Stax/Volt library of tapes purchased by Fantasy Records in 1977.

Given the proximity to Halloween I thought it fitting to feature the opening track Trick or Treat. Most of the other 18 tracks would have been equally worthy.
For the second song I've gone for Take 1 of Try a Little Tenderness.Most other artists would kill to record something of such quality but obviously it wasn't quite good enough for Otis or Stax. It took another two takes before they were satisfied.

Tremendous stuff

Thursday, 27 October 2022

The Atlantic Recordings


 2022 Charity Shop Purchases #63 - Loudon Wainwright III - The Atlantic Recordings.

Apologies to those of you who saw the post title before the picture and thought that you were in for some stonking 60's American Soul.

Instead you are getting The Atlantic Sessions from 1999 on Rhino which is essentially a CD containing Loudon Wainwright III's first two albums namely  the imaginatively named  1970's Loudon Wainwright III and the equally imaginative 1971 album Album II

LW3 (as I think I will call him) and I have a somewhat checkered history. I loved some of his songs which Andy Kershaw used to feature on his radio show. However, when it comes to the physical product I have not been too fortunate.

I've had a live album So Damn Happy for years and it's a bit meh. Last year in Kingussie I picked up One Man Guy a best of from 1982-1986 which I wrote about here. I ended up sending it back.

After a first listen to The Atlantic Recordings again I'm not entirely convinced. There is quite a lot of chaff but the occasional ear of wheat which means that I think it deserves some further attention.
After an initial listen these two from the first album were the ones which stood out.most.

Wednesday, 26 October 2022

North Country Boy


 2022 Charity Shop Purchases #62 -The Charlatans - North Country Boy (CD Single)

When leaving Carrbridge rather than going down the A9 we decided to take a more picturesque and much longer route home.It was a beautiful day and the drive over the Cairngorms to Tomintoul was spectacular. From there we drove to Ballatar (via a diversion) and hit the Highland Hospice shop.

The CDs were 4 for a pound and one that I picked up was the CD single of North Country Boy by the Charlatans from 1997 on the Beggars Banquet label.

I already had a copy on the Melting Point compilation but hey it was 25p and included two other tracks.

It was a song from their 5th album Tellin'Stories from the same years. A few years back I picked up what I thought was Tellin' Stories only to find that the CD within the box was in fact The Charlatans. Full story here

The singe reached number 4 in the UK charts albeit in was only in the charts for 5 weeks around the time that they were at their commercial peak. Better late than never I suppose.

The Charlatans -North Country Boy

The Charlatans - Area 51

The Charlatans - Don't Need a Gun

Tuesday, 25 October 2022

What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?


 2022 Charity Shop Purchases #61 - The Vaccines - What Do You Expect From the Vaccines?

The answer to the question posed in the post title was that I wasn't entirely sure.

I had obviously heard the name and knew that they are a pretty popular band. However I could not have told you the name of any of their songs or albums something which is not uncommon for me  for most "popular" records released this millennium.

I thought that this was a fairly recent album so I was pretty surprised to find out that it was released as far back as 2001 and that they have released another four albums since. Most of this will not come as a surprise to the few long suffering souls who persist in reading this blog.

It turns out that despite some initial trepidation it is actually a pretty good album.Others also clearly thought so as it was the best selling debut album of 2011.

Wiki make comparisons to the Ramones, the Jesus & Mary Chain and the Strokes. I can see where they are coming from with the Strokes but I'm not too sure about the other two

Not everyone is impressed with Allmusic giving it 2/5 and the Guardian 3/5. No 5s but Mojo, Q ,Uncut and the Daily Telegraph that cultural icon give it 4/5.

I'll go with the Guardian rather than the Telegraph.

The final Kingussie contribution

The Vaccines - A Lack of Understanding

The Vaccines - Nørgaard

Monday, 24 October 2022

The Story


 2022 Charity Shop Purchases #60 - Brandi Carlile - The Story

A second trip to the Kingussie Community Bookshop led to a couple more purchases.

I was familiar with the name Brandi Carlile but not the music. I've always assumed that she was pretty much mainstream country and my first listen to The Story, her second album from 2007 on Columbia, seemed to confirm that.
My initial impression was that it was pleasantly nice if slightly bland. However, after a couple of listens I have changed my mind somewhat. It is a definite grower with one or two belters on it

The album is produced by one of the Americana go to producers T-Bone Burnett. More recently Brandi has been a member of the supergroup The Highwomen alongside Natalia Hemby, Maren Morris and Amanda Shires

The album was subsequently re-recorded as Cover Stories in 2017 to raise funds for War Child UK and featiring the likes of Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Margo Price and Pearl Jam.

For the two songs I have chosen today Josephine was covered by Anderson East with the Indigo Girls covering Cannonball which is fitting as they provide backing vocals on the original version.

Sunday, 23 October 2022

Albums on both CD and Vinyl - Graceland


A song called Graceland has appeared here before. Not the title track from this album but a song from the band The Bible written by another great songwriter Bow Hewerdine.

Mr Simon himself has only made a couple of fleeting appearances here. Once was with his best solo song Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard  in the It's a Family Affair  series when he appeared alongside his son Harper.

The other time was when alongside Art Garfunkel he wiped the floor with their version of Bridge Over Troubled Water when compared with Johnny Cash's version in the Covered by Cash series

It was controversial on its release in 1986 as it broke the cultural boycott against South Africa's abhorrent apartheid regime 
Simon's counter argument was what was unusual about Graceland is that it was on the surface apolitical, but what it represented was the essence of the anti-apartheid in that it was a collaboration between blacks and whites to make music that people everywhere enjoyed. It was completely the opposite from what the apartheid regime said, which is that one group of people were inferior. Here, there were no inferiors or superiors, just an acknowledgement of everybody's work as a musician. It was a powerful statement.

You pays your money you takes your choice. 16 million people opted to purchase the album, one of the first to be referred to as World music.. My vinyl copy is second hand. I'm not sure where the CD version came from but I think it was part of an inherited CD collection.Therefore although I have two copies I have never contributed to its sales!

Saturday, 22 October 2022

Townes Covered - Flyin' Shoes


Long suffering readers may recall my previous compare and contrast series namely Dylan Covered, Springsteen Covered and Covered by Cash.

During my holidays I had some time on my hands to think of a couple of potential others .One that I came up with was covers of songs by the genius that was the late great Townes Van Zandt. I think this one will be a first to 5 as I'm not sure I have enough material for a first to 10. Indeed I hope I have enough for a first to 5!

Let's start with Flyin' Shoes In the red corner we have Townes with his versionfrom the album of the same name from 1989 on the Tomato label.

In the blue corner it is Rumer with her version from her covers album Boys Dont Cry from 2012 on Warner Brothers

I'm also throwing in a version by Lyle Lovett from his Step Inside This House album of Texan songs but he is not part of today's equation as he may feature later on in the series.

Townes v Rumer -  Who is it to be? Two excellent and beautifully sung versions but for me Rumer's is perhaps a wee bit too polished.

It's Townes for me. Others, of course, may choose to differ

Townes Van Zandt - Flyin' Shoes

Rumer - Flyin' Shoes

Lyle Lovett - Flyin' Shoes

Friday, 21 October 2022

Hanging Stars Live


London's The Hanging Stars describe themselves as  masters of a captivating meld of blissful psychedelic folk and harmony-laden cosmic country,

The last time that I posted about them I wrote:  Should they ever come to Glasgow I can guarantee that you will find me in the audience. Well the good news is that they are playing in Stereo tonight and I will be there . Hopefully I can pick up a copy of their latest album Hollow Heart which I currently only have digitally.

Their three previous albums are all available on their Bandcamp page and they are all worth having.

Unfortunately Dropkick and Starry Skies are playing at the Glad Cafe on the same evening. I would have been at that had the Hanging Stars not been playing. Fortunately I've seen them both before and as they are reasonably local - Dropkick (Edinburgh) and Starry Skies (Glasgow) I would imagine that I will have many more opportunities to see them again.

A match report at a later date

The Hanging Stars -Ava

Dropkick - A Matter of Time

Starry Skies - I Want You to Know

Thursday, 20 October 2022

Little Love Affairs


 2022 Charity Shop Purchases #59 - Nanci Griffith - Little Love Affairs

Prior to our recent visit to Granton -on- Spey there were 8 CDs by the late great Nanci Griffith on the Country shelves.

Mrs CC is a bigger Nanci fan than me but I was not about to miss an opportunity to add this one particularly for 50p.

Little Love Affairs was her 6th studio album from 1988 on the RCA label. It followed on from Lone Star State of Mind which was probably the one which shot her to fame

William Ruhlmann on Allmusic writes  that this  was the crucial release in her attempt to achieve success as a Nashville-based country artist, and in that context it was a failure. But it was also an artistic success, containing 11 well-written and well-performed songs in the reflective style that the singer/songwriter had established previously.. It gets a credable 4.5/5

I think that was probably Nanci in a nutshell. To me, she always seemed to have one foot on Music Row with the other cowboy boot in the Americana camp.

There are still a good few out there for me to get my hands on.

Nanci Griffith - Anyone Can Be Somebody's Fool

Nanci Griffith - Never Mind

Wednesday, 19 October 2022

Sounding a Mosaic


 2022 Charity Shop Purchases #58 - Bedouin Soundclash

Like many of my Blogging chums I am a fan of North African music and in particular the stuff released by the label Sahel Sounds  which is usually available on a name your price basis on Bandcamp Fridays

Therefore I was quite excited to see the words Bedouin Soundclash on the cover of a CD in the Highland Hospice charity shop in Granton-on- Spey. However a quick internet check informed me that they were not North African at all but Canadian.

The information from Wiki read Bedouin Soundclash is a Canadian band based in Toronto and consisting of vocalist and guitarist Jay Malinowski, bass player Eon Sinclair and drummer Chuck Treece. Their sound has been described as a combination of reggae and ska. Bedouin Soundclash was formed in 2001, and has released five studio albums, most recently in 2019.

New to me but surely worth a punt for 50p. It turns out that Sounding a Mosaic was their second album from 2004 released on the Stomp label.

After an initial listen I'm not entirely convinced. It is pleasant enough but not startling. Also the singer's voice reminds me of someone but I can't put my finger on. I've got a nasty feeling that it is someone that I dislike.Someone put me out my misery please!

The jury is out but it is not being jettisoned just yet.

Here are the two of the three singles from the album.

Bedouin Soundclash - When The Night Feels My Song

Bedouin Soundclash - Shelter

Tuesday, 18 October 2022

Early Elton


 2022 Charity Shop Purchases #57 - Elton John -  Greatest Hits 1970 -2002

We took a day trip from Carrbridge to Nairn on the Cromarty Firth. Despite having been there on about half a dozen times in the past it was the first time that we actually made it to the beach for a walk.

Needless to say we also hit the charity shops. Slim pickings I'm afraid. Two vinyl Vintage Country albums which I'm not sure that I can bring myself to foist upon you and the above CD.

A double CD with 17 tracks on each CD. I suspect that I will very rarely play the second CD if at all. CD 1 is a different story - there are some tremendous songs on it and Candle in the Wind.
It was hard to limit myself to three but you can have too much off a good thing.

Benny and the Jets remains my favourite song by him.John Medd also featured it recently which lead to an interesting trail of comments.

Take it away Reg

Monday, 17 October 2022




 2022 Charity Shop Purchases #56 - Matthew Sweet - Girlfriend

Up until now I had three albums by Matthew Sweet - Altered Beast, 100% Fun and In Reverse.

Whenever I have posted any of them here there has invariably been a comment that I really needed to get Girlfriend his 3rd album from 1991 on the Zoo label. Therefore I was pretty chuffed to see a copy of it on the shelves in the Kingussie Community Bookshop.

And do you know what, the commentators were all bang on. It is an absolute belter and easily the pick of the bunch of the holiday purchases I have posted so far. It will be interesting to see whether any of the others come close to matching it .

Lead guitar duties are shared between Matthew, Robert Quine and Richard Lloyd of Television fame. Lloyd Cole also pops up on rhythm guitar on  a couple of songs.

The front cover is a photograph of actress Tuesday Weld.The album was originally called Nothing Lasts but was changed following objections from her.

So far Evangelene is the stand out track for me. That may well change.

Sunday, 16 October 2022

Albums on both CD and Vinyl - Waking Hours


After a short hiatus the return of the Sunday series on albums on two formats

Del Amitri were/are one of those Scottish bands who shot to prominence in the late 80s/early 90's  alongide the likes of Deacon Blue, Danny Wilson and Hue & Cry

Waking Hours from 1989 on A&M is their second album and the only one of theirs that I have. There are also a couple of solo albums by lead singer Justin Currie
Interestingly their 1985 epoymous debut album was well received by fans of alernative music with Stephen Schnee describing them as the bastard sons of XTC and Elvis Costello. Many of the admirers of the album were not too impressed with Waking Hours accusing the band of selling out and/or jumping on a bandwagon.

My second ever post on this blog in November 2012 was about in incident in the now former Halt Bar in Glasgow's Woodlands Road when Justin unsuccessfully tried to push in front of me at the bar. He is still doing the rounds of Glasgow pubs; I saw him in Wintergills last year

I've always thought that Nothing Ever Happens is a great song with great lyrics particularly  while angry from Manchester writes to complain about all the repeats on TV and while American businessmen snap up Van Goghs for the price of a hospital wing.

Plus la change

Saturday, 15 October 2022

Rhythm' N Reggae


 2022 Charity Shop Purchases #55 - Various Artists - Rhythm 'N Reggae

Something nice and pink for you today. As the album cover might suggest some Reggae lite to gently smooth you into the weekend.

None of that nasty dub. Oh no . None of your Roys - sorry U - and I -.No references to Jah either.

Well what would you expect from an album from K-Tel picked up for a pound in Kingussie. Somewhat strangely there were actually two copies of this album up for grabs.

Toots & the Maytals, Jimmy Cliff and even Steel Pulse sneak in but I've gone for the ladies today.

Flie under Lovers Rock.

Susan Cadogan - Hurt So Good

Barbara Jones - Just When I Needed You Most

Friday, 14 October 2022

Vintage Country Vinyl - Bobby Bare


2022 Charity Shop Purchases #54 - Bobby Bare

A two for one for you today with a 2022 Charity Shop Purchase AND the return of Vintage Country Vinyl.

The last vinyl album I bought by Bobby Bare sadly snapped in half as I was gently manipulating it in an effort to alleviate a slight warp before I had the chance to play it.
Thankfully this was not the case with As Is, a 1981 album on Columbia, which I picked up for a pound in the Kingussie Community Bookshop.

The album was produced by Rodney Crowell and features covers of songs by Willie Nelson, Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt amongst others .Summer Wages, a song by Canadian singer songwriter Ian Tyson is probably the pick of the bunch 
On the back cover of the album Bobby effortlessly makes double denim look cool.

I cant find out much more about this album other than on the basis of 9 User ratings AllMusic gives it a rating of 4.5/5. I'm not sure that I would go that high but it is well worth a pound.

Bobby Bare -New Cut Road

Bobby Bare - Summer Wages

Thursday, 13 October 2022

Slade Smashes!


2022 Charity Shop Purchases #53 - Slade -Slade Smashes!

After an excellent week in Salachy we took the picturesque Spean Bridge to Newtonmore  road en route to Carrbridge our second week destination.

Sadly the Highland Hospice charity shop in Newtonmore has now closed. Undetered we progressed to the next town Kingussie which has an excellent Community Shop  and Bookshop.

Some home baking and homemade jam was duly purchased with Mrs CC buying some poetry books. I hit the small CD and LP section  where I struck lucky.

I picked up a vinyl copy of Slade Smashes a compilation of their hits released by Polydor in 1980 for a couple of quid. For its age it is in pretty  good condition. The sleeve had come apart in one corner but the record was fine with a few snap, crackles and pops which you would expect for an album of that vintage.

It is the first album by Slade that I've ever had although I probably had a couple of singles back in the 70s.I saw them play at the Glasgow Apollo when they had moved on from Glam to Heavy Metal. Not sure why given it is a genre that I have no time for.

 I'm glad to say that Noddy, Dave, Jim and Don are still with us even if they are all not necessarily talking to each other

The album sleeve states that a Slade revival may be just the antidote to the 80's depression. 2022 anyone?

Slade - Cum on Feel the Noize

Slade - Everyday

Wednesday, 12 October 2022

Suburban Hymns


 2022 Charity Shop Purchases #52 - Various -Suburban Hymns - The Best of Indie

A couple of days after our first visit to Broadford we made a further visit to the Co-op to get some provisions and petrol.

We popped into the charity shop on the off chance that someone had handed in some treasure over that period. Sadly this wasn't the case with the CDs looking identical to a a couple of days previously.

I stumbled upon Suburban Hymns - The Best of Indie a 2000 compilation on Crimson/Demon which I had obviously overlooked previously

18 tracks of the usual suspects with thankfully no Oasis. Mostly Brit pop  with the likes of the Wedding Present and Inspiral Carpets thrown in for good measure. I suspect most of you will be familiar with most of the acts although Midget, 60ft Dolls and Gigolo Aunts were new to me. 

By my calculations I have albums by seven of the acts and songs by nine of the bands have graced these pages before.

Time to add another three.

I would say it is pretty bog standard and of its time. Sounds of the Suburbs it certainly ain't

Monaco - What Do You Want From Me?

The Farm - Groovy Train

Supergrass - Going Out

Tuesday, 11 October 2022



 2022 Charity Shop Purchases #51 - The Connells - '74 -'75 (CD Single)

The second CD single purchased in Broadford was ' 74 - '75 by The Connells from 1994 on TVT Records.

The band's name struck a very dim bell in the darkest recesses of my mind which was enough for me to press the trigger. Having said that if anyone asked (which fortunately no-one did) I would have been hard pushed to to them anything about them.

It turns out that they are a jangle pop band from Raleigh, North Carolina. It also seems that '74 -'75 is their most successful song particularly in Europe  where it was a number 1 in Norway and Sweden and reaching the top 10 in 11 European countries.It peaked at number 14 in the UK. They even opened for Def Leopard 's European tour.

Don't let that last sentence put you off. It is actually a pretty good song.  The version on the single is taken from their 1993 album Ring... Logan Street appears as a bonus track on the European version.

They don't appear anywhere on my hard drive although Crown a song from their 1998 album Still Life appears on Volume 5 of the Blue Rose Collection. Their appearance on that great German Americana label may be responsible for the dim bell above

The Connells - '74 - '75

The Connells - Logan Street

The Connells - Fun & Games (Live)

The Connells - New Boy (Live)

Monday, 10 October 2022



 2022 Charity Shop Purchases #50 - Beck - Sissyneck (CD Single)

He's back and armed with goodies.

The first week of our holiday saw us heading to Salachy a hamlet near Kyle of Lochalsh where we stayed in a cottage right on the lochside with spectacular views.

On the way up Fort William was the only place with charity shop potential. Unfortunately the three charity shops there yielded nothing. There are no charity shops in the Kyle to my knowledge.Fortunately there is a Blythswood shop in Broadford which is just 6 miles or so over the Skye bridge.

Slim pickings but I was determined not to leave empty handed. I've had the album Odelay  by Beck probably since it was released in 1996. I haven't listened to it in ages and if I was asked to name some songs from it I would only ones I would be able to recall would be Devil's Haircut and maybe at a push Where It's At.

I certainly wouldn't have been able to  come up with Sissyneck although it did strike a vague bell when I played it as did The New Pollution (this version being a remix by Mickey P The third track Feather in Your Cap taken from the Suburbia soundtrack was new to me.

Nothing startling but definitely a keeper

Beck - Sissyneck

Beck - The New Pollution (Remix by Mickey P)

Beck - Feather in Your Cap