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Wednesday, 30 November 2022



2022 Charity Shop Purchases #78 - R.E.M. = Accelarate

It is relatively easy to pick up R.E.M. albums from Out of Time onwards  cheaply in charity shops and I have been doing that very thing over the last two or three years.

Of the 15 studio albums there were only two missing from the shelves - the second last one Accelerate (March 2008. Warner Brothers) and the final one Collapse Into Now (March 2011, Warner Brothers.

I've seen Accelerate in the wild numerous times but was always under the impression that I had it. Here is where the spreadsheet came in handy as on my last visit to Newton Stewart it confirmed that I actually didn't and it was therefore duly purchased..

When it comes to all things R.E.M. I generally find it best to refer to The Robster and in particular to his Albums of R.E.M ranked post. He rates it higher that you might expect at number 7 out of 15 giving it a score of 7.9/10.

He writes I love R.E.M. most when they rock out. ... 'Accelerate' was a record they needed to make to reassure fans they still had it in them. It’s also short and to-the-point.(34 minutes 39 seconds) Interestingly it also scores 79 out of 100 on Metacritic

He is right it totally rocks and is much better than I thought it would be and has me wishing that I should have picked it up much earlier.

I'm in no particular hurry to get Collapse Into Nothing but if I see it cheap I will pick it up for the sake of completeness if nothing else.

R.E.M. - Living Well is the Best Revenge

R.E.M. -Supernatural Superserious

Tuesday, 29 November 2022

The Bright Light


2022 Charity Shop Purchases #77 - Tanya Donelly - The Bright Light  (CD Single)

The final instalment of the Ballantrae haul and the third featuring the dulcet tones of Tanya Donelly.

Other than checking that there was a disc inside it and the correct one at that I hadn't really looked at this in any great detail until it came to playing it. It is in fact a CD single of the song The Bright Light taken from her 1997 debut solo album Lovesongs for Underdogs. As with all her stuff featured here both came out on the 4AD label.

As was the way of things back then two separate CD singles were released with different B-sides as it were.(I'm sure you know what I mean) The one below is attributed as CD1 and you can see what the other tracks are below to save me typing them twice (although what I have just typed is probably longer!).

CD 2 released on the same day (November 24th 1997 if you are interested) has Life on Sirus as track 2 and Moon Over Boston as track 3.  feels that the theme for the album  seems to be about continuously being in the wrong relationship or the wrong situation. Those commenting on The Bright Light seem to be under the impression that it is about being abducted by aliens. You pay your money you take your choice but there seems to be a bit of a space theme on CD2.

My best ever Ballantrae haul of 8 albums and 1 CD single , 7 of which as things stand are keepers.

Tanya Donelly - The Bright Light

Tanya Donelly - Bury Me Heart

Tanya Donelly - How Can You Sleep

Monday, 28 November 2022

Contains Multitudes


It is only on an occasional basis that I pick up a copy of Uncut or Mojo these days. I always find those containing new music quite interesting and they sometimes throw up acts worth following up.

I picked up Contains Multitudes along with Octobers copy of Uncut.Curiously it is catalogued as Uncut 202212. They always seem to attribute them to a month or so in the future. But I digress.

It is so named as the lead article was around the latest  British leg of Bob Dylan's Neverending tour and as you are all aware I Contain Multitudes is the first track on his most recent album release the excellent Rough and Rowdy Ways. But I digress again.

The purpose was to explore some new music and here are three which stood out. Weyes Blood is a name which pops up here and there from time to time and it is clearly an act that I require to explore further. I say act but rather it is actually a nom de plume for singer songwriter Natalie Mering. Grapevine is taken from her latest album And in the Darkness , Hearts Aglow on the Subpop label Khayem posted a much more informative post about this a few weeks back.

I am familiar with the next act  namely Americana star Caitlin Rose. I have a couple of her albums Own Side Now from 2010 and The Stand- In from 2013.. It appears that she has released nothing since until now  with CAZIMI, on Names Records from where Nobody's Sweetheart is taken.

Finally if you have a spare 15 minutes you could do a lot worse than listening to Hypertension from the prolific Aussies King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizzard

Weyes Blood - Grapevine

Caitlin Rose -Nobody's Sweetheart

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard - Hypertension

Sunday, 27 November 2022

Albums on both CD and Vinyl - The Singular Adventures of the Style Council


I wouldn't say that I have ever been a huge fan of The Jam, The Style Council or Paul Weller's solo work. Nevertheless I have acquired at least a couple albums of all three iterations mostly via charity shops.
In the case of The Style Council I have Home and Abroad on Vinyl and Cafe Bleu on CD as well as this one on both formats.
I  wasn't entirely sure as to the provenance of either version. I have just had a look at the vinyl copy and it seems that it came from Eastwood District Libraries who periodically sold off some of their stock. It has seen better days with a wee bit of wear and tear which was not uncommon for library vinyl and needed a good clean.
I think the CD copy came from my brother and sister -in -law when I inherited their CDs after they went digital.The CD contains 16 tracks , 2 more than rthe vinyl

I have only featured the band on a couple of occasions before with five of the songs on the album making an appearance (i.e all the better ones!). Here are another three. although I was pretty sure that Have You Ever Had it Blue had featured before. Apparently not. Maybe I baulked at the 12 inch version.

This series has dragged on a bit but is slowly petering out. It will be gone by Christmas

Saturday, 26 November 2022

Townea Covered - Delta Momma Blues


There were only two votes last week for the Be Good Tanyas with their version of Waiting Around to Die. However everyone who voted for Townes were very complimentary about their cover. The scores were Townes 5  BGTs 2.

Therefore Townes is still on track for a whitewash with the current scores of the door reading  Townes 4 The Rest 0. Can  fellow Texan troubadour Steve Earle do anything to stop the landslide?

Steve was always going to be a shoe in to feature here for a variety of reasons. Here are just three:

  • His 13th studio album from 2009 is called Townes and pays tribute to his friend and mentor
  • He named his late son and fellow musician Justin Townes Earle after the great man
  • He once stated that " Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world and I'll stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that"
Any of the 15 tracks on the album (plus the additional 11 on the 2 CD version) would have been worthy of inclusion
After a great deal of thought I've gone for Delta Momma Blues which is the title track of an album which Townes released on 1989 on the Tomato label and one of the first of his records which I picked up from Echo records on Glasgow's Byres Road

Even although Steve throws some banjo (or is it mandola?) into the equation it is still Townes for me and not just for sentimental reasons.

Others, of course, may choose to differ

Friday, 25 November 2022

Ten Years of This


Charity Chic Music is 10 years old today. A decade of drivel.

I totally missed the 9th anniversary so I've had this one in the diary pretty much since then.

What can I say? For the most part it has been a hugely positive experience. Over 3400 posts and (allegedly) over 1.3 million views/hits. But far, far more important than that nearly 15000 comments (14000 from George!)

In the main those that have commented are part of our little community in a small dusty corner of the internet where we share a love for similar  and mostly non mainstream music. A place to escape Ed Sheerin, Adele and all the bland nonsense out there.

And then there are the laughs and the nonsense, the discovery of new musical heroes and the rediscovery of some old ones. Recommendations from friends and even the occasional download or a CD received through the post from someone whose tastes you trust.

I have been fortunate enough to have met up with a dozen or so of the fellow bloggers on my sidebar either at gigs or in pubs or at the Glasgow and Edinburgh bloggers conventions. To a man and woman they have been a joy to be with and all now seem like old friends. Hopefully I will have the pleasure of meeting them again, and maybe others for the first time, in the future.

Where were we? Ah yes music. Here are 10 songs. Not a Top 10 (that's Rol's department) but 10 songs with ten in the title to commemorate this anniversary. Hopefully you will all find at least one that you like.

Stay tuned for more drivel.

Gary Stewart - Ten Years of This

The Vapors - News at Ten

Henry & Fleetwood - Powers of Ten

Bullnose Jackson - Big Ten Inch

Michael Head & the Red Elastic Band - The Ten

XTC -Ten Feet Tall

The Robins -Ten Days in Jail

Son Volt - Ten Second News

UB40 - 1 in 10

Jim White -10 Miles to Go on a 9 Mile Road

Thursday, 24 November 2022

Wilko Johnson RIP


We are having a bit of a run at the moment of great musicians passing on.

Sadly the latest is the great Wilko Johnson who has died at the age of 75. He was one of the greatest and most original guitarists of his generation and a truly unique character to boot

A member of the brilliant Dr Feelgood line up of the mid to late 70s with the late Lee Brilleaux on vocals, John B Sparks on bass and The Big Figure (John Martin) on drums. Together they released three seminal albums Down by the Jetty (1975), Malpractice (1976) and Sneakin' Suspicion (1977) with Wilko's trademark guitar all over them.

After falling out with Brilleaux he set up his own bands The Solid Senders and the Wilko Johnson Band. He also appeared on the album Laughter by Ian Dury and the Blockheads and on the album Going Back Home with Roger Daltrey.

He was the subject of two excellent documentary films by Julian Temple namely Oil City Confidential and The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson which you should be able to access on You Tube. They are both essential viewing./

One of the many tributes on Twitter is from Billy Bragg who wrote Wilko Johnson was a precursor of punk. His guitar playing was angry and angular, but his presence - twitchy, confrontational, out of control - was something we'd never beheld before in UK pop. Rotten, Strummer and Weller learned a lot from his edgy demeanour. He does it right RIP

A true one-off. The world will be a poorer place with his passing.

Rest easy Wilko.

Dr Feelgood - Roxette

Dr Feelgood - Back in the Night

Dr Feelgood - Sneakin' Suspicion

Wilko Johnson & Roger Daltrey - Going Back Home

Wednesday, 23 November 2022



2022 Charity Shop Purchases #76 - Algiers - Algiers

The name Algiers rang a slight bell and as it was in among those in BRICC in Ballantrae that I was hoovering  up I decided to take a punt after a little bit of heeing and hawing given I wasn't familiar with their music.

It turns out that the are an American- English post punk band based in Atlanta who according to Wiki play dystopian soul due to its somber mood, afrofolk inspired vocal approach, and heavy emphasis on atonal textures

Algiers is their 2015 self titled debut album from 2015 on the Matador label. They have since released a further two albums The Underside of Power in 2017 and There is No Year in 2020.A record called Shook is scheduled for release in February next year.

Back to the debut album and Thom Jurek from Allmusic waxes lyrically thus Algiers, both band and album, offer musical and topical intensity alternately malevolent and passionate in searching and affirming truth, human and otherworldly. All of these seemingly disparate historical musical elements are distilled in such a startling manner, they carve something new from the fragments. This is a stunning debut.

I can sum it up much more succinctly - it is a right load of old tosh. It's a racket but unfortunately not a splendid racket.

A second listen hasn't persuaded me.It's going back

Algiers - Remains

Algiers - But She Was Not Flying

Tuesday, 22 November 2022



2022 Charity Shop Purchases #75 - Belly -Star

This weeks Ballantrae Tanya Donelly and/or Kristin Hersh contribution is Star the 1993 debut album on 4AD by Tanya's third major band Belly who are making their debut on these pages.

Following on from Throwing Muses and Breeders they lasted from 1991 -1996 not forgetting the obligatory comeback from 2016 onwards.

Stars, as well as Tanya on guitar and vocals also features brothers Chris (drums) and Thomas (guitar/organ) Gorman and Fred Abong on bass.

The album sruck gold in the US selling over 500,000 copies with the albam and band receiving two Grammy nominations in 1994.

Wiki writes that along with alternative rock and jangle pop the songs on Star also dig into haunting avant folk rock with Tanya credited with pushing dream pop's boundaries by trimming away its pretentions but keeping its trancy harmonies. So there you have it, it was certainly critically well received.

Will either of the step-sisters feature next week? Stay tuned to find out

Belly -Slow Dog

Belly - Feed the Tree

Monday, 21 November 2022

Tenement Kid


I didn't have any intention of buying the book Tenement Kid by Bobby Gillespie  but was happy to see it in the library. It comes in at just over 400 pages and is very well written. It is much better than I thought it would be.

He spent his first few years in a tenement in Springburn in North Glasgow prior to moving to Mount Florida in the South as part of the slum clearances. I found this part of the book particularly interesting. I was brought up relatively near to Mount Florida and subsequently had a flat there for a number of years so I was familiar with many of the local references such as Gloria's Record Bar and the Toledo Cinema.

Bobby is just over a month older than me (I like to think that I've aged better) and therefore I enjoyed the references to the Glasgow music scene at that time. The Apollo obviously but also Tiffanys, Rooftops and pubs such as the Burns Howff  and the Doune Castle.

Gillespie and Alan McGhee both went to Kings Park Secondary with McGhee the year above and bonded over their love of music so it was probably inevitable that Primal Scream ended up on Creation.

Before that he was a roadie for Altered Images , a bassist with The Wake and the drummer of The Jesus and Mary Chain on  the Psychocandy album.

He is brutally honest and takes no prisoners, himself included. His was a totally hedonistic lifestyle with shedloads of drugs. I'm not that comfortable with his glamourisation of drugs particularly when they have taken the lives of people he knew including Primal Scream member Robert "Throb" Young

The final part of the book concentrates in some detail on the birth of the Acid House movement and finishes with the release of Screamadelica in 1991. Both of these passed me by at the time but I have subsequntly picked up the album.

The book is well worth a read

The Jesus and Mary Chain - Just Like Honey

Primal Scream - Velocity Girl

Primal Scream - Movin' On Up

Sunday, 20 November 2022

Albums on both CD and Vinyl - Little Creatures

I was a wee bit late to the party when it came to Talking Heads. I think that the first album of theirs that I acquired was the live album The Name of This Band is Talking Heads which some friends gave me for my 21st birthday in 1982.

I was subsequently blown away by 1984's Stop Making Sense - both the album and the film. Around then I picked up their debut album 77 at a record fair and I got 1985's Little Creatures and 1986's True Stories on vinyl when they came out.

I then picked up Speaking in Tongues on CD . It was only recently that I got round to picking up More Songs about Buildings and Food and Remain in Light. I've only Fear of Music to get as I am in no rush to acquire Naked. Having said that  if I saw it cheap in a charity shop ...

I'm not sure how or when I acquired the CD copy of Little Creatures but I know it was long after I got the LP. Whereas their first four albums are probably the most critically acclaimed there is no doubt that Little Creatures was their most commercially successful album. This is probably on the back of the success of Stop Making Sense and also the single the ubiquitous Road to Nowhere. Don't worry,I shall spare you that today.

Talking Heads - And She Was

Talking Heads -Stay Up Late

Talking Heads -Television Man

Saturday, 19 November 2022

Townes Covered - Waiting Around to Die


It seems that the sub-par Lee Hazlewood vocals (© Ernie Goggins) of Stuart Staples were a big hit with the ladies and of course JC

After a slow start, when it looked as though Townes was going to romp it,  Tindersticks put up a belated fight with their version of Kathleen to make the final score Townes 6 Tindersticks 3.

On the overall table Townes is still on course for a whitewash with a lead over his competitors of 3 to 0.

Up until now all the cover versions have been fairly faithful  to those of Townes. This week we are trying something different with the Canadian Americana band  The Be Good Tanyas coming up  with a stripped back (if Townes can be stripped back!), banjo driven version of  Waiting Around to Die. This is taken from their  second album Chinatown  which was released in 2003 on the Nettwerk label.

Excellent though it is my vote is  once more going to Townes for his sadly all too prophethic original. Others,of course, may choose to differ.

The Be Good Tanyas - Waiting Around to Die

Townes Van Zandt - Waiting Around To Die

Friday, 18 November 2022

The Forgotten Arm


2022 Charity Shop Purchases #74 Aimee Mann  - The Forgotten Arm

While maybe not as difficult to spell as Kristin Hersh you still have to have your wits about your wits about you when it comes to writing down the name Aimee Mann.

The blurb on the back of the CD cover reads Aimee Mann's records have revealed much of the secrets of the dark soul. But never before has she told a tale so lonely and sad or created characters so compelled and compelling as those in The Forgotten Arm.

Yes that's right it is the dreaded concept album. But don't let that put you off. I have listened to it on a couple of occasions blissfully unaware of that fact and enjoyed it. Having said that, it is not necessarily an easy listen
It is apparently about two characters who meet at the Virginia State Fair who go on the run, as you do. Rather than solving their problems they end up with more. As the  album cover  and title suggests  there are also references to boxing thrown in for good measure as do addiction issues which are a recurring theme in her work. Aimee has had her own trauma and PTSD issues which she speaks about openly in this interesting Guardian article

The Forgotten Arm is her 5th album and was released in 2005 on SuperEgo Records and is produced by Joe Henry. Over the years I have now acquired five Aimee albums either via the record library (when that was still a thing) or from charity shops. It is the first for a while to come my way.

As with any concept album it is sometime difficult to highlight one or two tracks in isolation and there is certainly nothing on this album that you would mark down as singles material
I've chosen two tracks which would not necessarly be out of place in JC's occasional Some Songs Make Great Short Stories series

Aimee Mann -Going Through the Motions

Aimee Mann -I was Thinking I Could Clean Up for Christmas

Thursday, 17 November 2022

First Band on the Moon


2022 Charity Shop Purchases #73 - The Cardigans - First Band on the Moon

After yesterday's assault on the senses I was in the mood for something more pleasant. And who better to provide the goods than the Cardigans those Swedish purveyors of faultless pop songs?

I picked up Life their second album from 1995 and Gran Turismo their fourth from a St Andrews charity shop way back in 2015. I'd picked up nothing by them since until our recent visit to Ballantrae.

First Band on the Moon from 1996 on the Stockholm Mercury label was their third album neatly plugging the gap between the two above, That is now half of their total output on the shelves with Nina Persson also making a further appearance with A Camp

Lovefool was a world wide hit  single (number one in New Zealand no less!)  probably partly in part due to to its appearance on the soundtrack of the film Romeo and Juliet. Its success raised their profile outside Sweden with the album selling in the region of 2.5 million copies worldwide. It also  received a solid 8 out of 10 from most of the critics.

Nothing startling just very pleasant pop tunes for cardigan wearing season.

The Cardigans - Been It

The Cardigans - Lovefool

Wednesday, 16 November 2022

Total System Failure


2022 Charity Shop Purchases #72 - Juliana Hatfield - Juliana's Pony: Total System Failure

This one confused me a little. It says Juliana's Pony on the front cover but on the spine that is preceded by Juliana Hatfield.
I was familiar with the name Juliana Hatfield as I have the 1993 album Become What You Are  by The Juliana Hatfield Three so I decided to take a punt

It turns out that it is indeed a Juliana Hatfield album released on the same day (16th of May 2000 on Zoe Records) as Beautiful Creature. Juliana's Pony consisted of JH on guitar and vocals, Zaphan Courtney on drums and Mickey Welsh  on bass and backing vocals.

Now there was a time when I might have quite liked this record. Now I find it pretty juvenile and an attack on my aural senses. Maybe I'm getting old or maybe it is just mince. Both Allmusic and The Encyclopedia of Popular Music give it 2 out of 5 with Metacritic scoring it at 35 out of 100 - so maybe not just me then.

If the jewel case is to be believed it appears that the original owner forked out £12.99 for this!

It's going back

I'm now a wee bit scared of going back and listening to The Julianna Hatfield Three!

Tuesday, 15 November 2022

Learn to Sing Like a Star


2022 Charity Shop Purchases #71 - Kristin Hersh - Learn to Sing Lke a Star

Last week Tanya Donelly and this week her step-sister and fellow Throwing Muses member Kristin Hersh. Both from the same charity shop in Ballantrae. What are the odds that they were handed in by the same person? Pretty short I would have thought.

Learn to Sing Like a Star is her seventh solo album from 2007 released on Yep Roc in the US and on 4AD in the UK.

It is the first of hers that I have had or heard since picking up  the CD single of Your Ghost and her 1994 debut Hips and Makers when they came out in 1994.

I think Learn to Sing Like a Star is one which will benifit from  a few listens. I am picking up many more highlights on my second listen than I did first time round.

Shawn Badgley from the Austin Chronicle said of the album it has thehe full Hersh experience, encompassing as it does all of her back-catalog iterations, from the knife-throwing thrills of the Throwing Muses' precise power pop to the cutting melancholia of her Hips and Makers-era balladry.

On the second listen I jotted down a short list of four songs from the album to feature today. Here are two of them.

I've still to pluck up the courage to take her autobiography out from the library.

Kristin Hersh - Under the Gun

Kristin Hersh - Vertigo

Monday, 14 November 2022

Pigeon Post


The other day George commented that their rescue pigeon Walter was nodding along to This Flight Tonight on my recent post on the death of Dan McCafferty. I think that Dan would approve.

This got me looking to see if I had any pigeon songs out there and it turns out that I do.

I have two versions of Clay Pigeons, one by John Prine and the other by Blaze Foley. Mr Prine has appeared here several times before so I'm going for Mr Foley. He is making his debut on these pages albeit Lucinda William's tribute to him Drunken Angel has had an airing.

Pigeons by Bill Callahan is as bonkers as any other Bill Callahan song and is taken from his Gold Record album.

Everything But the Girl are complaining about Pigeons in the Attic Room which is better than bats I suppose.

Finally we have the band Lieutenant Pigeon with a song that surely need no introduction.

Which ones will Walter be nodding along to?

Blaze Foley - Clay Pigeons

Bill Callahan - Pigeons

Everything But The Girl - Pigeons in the Attic Room

Lieutenant Pigeon - Mouldy Old Dough

Sunday, 13 November 2022

Albums on both CD and Vinyl - Pontiac


This one has jumped the queue a little.
I've had a vinyl  copy of Pontiac  (on MCA) the 1987 second album by country/jazz/swing singer Lyle Lovett for years.
Then the other day Mrs CC came in from a jaunt to Troon with the CD version.

Rather than giving you a potted history of Mr Lovett's career I shall refer you to his contribution to my No Depression series.

Fortunately Pontiac appeared prior to his jazz/swing phase when he was one of the early Americana pioneers.

Probably the most well known song on Pontiac is If I Had a Boat  which first crossed my radar on the 1988 New Horizons 2 compilation album which is well worth having. After all that you are not getting that song as it has appeared here before on more than one occasion!

Instead here are three more songs from the former Mr Julia Roberts.

Saturday, 12 November 2022

Townes Covered - Kathleen


Emmylou took an early lead last week with her version of Pancho and Lefty. Then there was an avalanche of votes for Townes giving a score of Emmylou 2 Townes 6 . I must admit that I was quite surprised with that as I had it down as one of the few that may give TVZ a run for his money.

After three weeks and one draw the overall score is now Townes 2 The Rest 0.Perhaps Ernie will be right and maybe it will be a whitewash for Townes.

Then again maybe Tindersticks will triumph with their lovely  and slightly jazzy version of KathleenJC was so keen that this one feature that he sent me a copy just in case I didn't have it. Now being the Blogmaster and a very busy man he doesn't comment always daily but periodically you get a series of comments at once when he has some down time. Therefore I shall take the liberty of awarding his vote to Tindersticks.

It was a pleasant coincidence rather than anything clever that I chose a picture of Townes playing a violin on this ocassion.

My vote is going to Townes thus negating the proxy JC vote. Others, of course, may choose to differ.

Townes Van Zandt - Kathleen

Tindersticks - Kathleen

Friday, 11 November 2022

American Thighs


2022 Charity Shop Purchases #70 -Veruca Salt - American Thighs

Well I'm sure that post title succeeded in grabbing your attention. It is the name of the 1994 debut album by Chicago grunge band Veruca Salt on the Minty Fresh label

The band consisted of singer and guitarist Nina GordonLouise Post also on vocals and guitar, Steve Lack on bass and Jim Shapiro on drums.

The name was vaguely familiar to me but I wasn't familiar with their music .The album was critically well received in particular the single Seether becoming  a hit on college and alternative radio and subsequently on MTV.

AllMusic gave the album 4 out of 5 describing it as a pure pop album masquerading as the next big thing

Nina Gordon left the band in 1998 but they continued with various personnel until  2012. Then after a brief break  the band reformed with the members listed above and are still going strong.

I'm beginning to wonder if my familiarity with the name Veruca Salt is more to do with the stuck up child who meets a rather messy end in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Veruca Salt - All Hail Me

Veruca Salt - Seether

Thursday, 10 November 2022

Dan McCafferty RIP


Before the Skids and then Big Country the biggest band to have come out of Dunfermline were Nazareth.

They were a soft hard rock band (if that makes sense)  and similar to the likes of Bad Company and Free. A hard rock band who could also trouble the singles chart. Indeed in 1973 their first three singles Broken Down Angel, Bad Bad Boy and This Flight Tonight reached numbers 9,10 and 11 respectively. My White Bicycle reached number 14 in 1975 but this about as high as they got. Their first three albums also reached similar heights

Sadly Dan McCafferty the band's charismatic lead singer has died at the age of 76. He appeared on all Nazareth albums up to 2014 and toured with them for 45 years.

A couple of my hairier friends (then not now) saw him play live in Irvine and Dundee and said that the band put on a terrific show. As well as hairy guys Dan was popular with the ladies given his Bolanesque good looks.

Rest easy Dan

Nazareth - Broken Down Angel

Nazareth - This Flight Tonight

Wednesday, 9 November 2022

Whiskey Tango Ghosts


 2022 Charity Shop Purchases #69 - Tanya Donelly - Whiskey Tango Ghosts.

Sometimes (but not often) the charity shop stars align and you find yourself in the right place at the right time.
Such was the case recently on my latest vist to BRICC in Ballantrae. On the top of the CD piles there were a few interest and unusual ones and not the usual fayre that you become accustomed to. It looked to me as if they had all been handed in by the same person and relatively recently at that given that the CDs were all still there and still in their correct boxes. Naturally I swooped.

First up is Tanya Donelly of Throwing Muses, Breeders and Belly fame with Whiskey Tango Ghosts her third solo album from 2004 on the 4AD label.Tanya has only appeared here on a couple of occasions most recently on an Uncut 4AD Compiltation which I picked up in Kilmarnock.

According to Wiki it marks a departure  from her previous pop work in favour of a country and folk-influenced sound. Clearly that is right up my street although I can't really hear the country bit.
It is probably wrong to try and shoe horn it into any particular genre although I  suspect that we are all guilty of that.

Whatever it is very pleasant and is worth a listen if you are looking for something mellow but with hidden depths.

Tanya Donelly - Whiskey Tango

Tanya Donelly - My Life as a Ghost

Tuesday, 8 November 2022

The Goldwax Story


I've got another impressive charity haul to subject you to. But first a brief interlude.

I completed cataloguing all the A to Z records and CDs a few months ago and didn't have the energy or the inclination to plough on with the compilations.

I've done the Americana ones and a few dribs and drabs. At the end of last week I made a start on the Soul ones. I'm  conscious that I haven't featured much soul recently with the exception of the occassional charity shop CD which has trickled in.

There are some absolute belters on the shelves and none more so than many of the Kent Soul compilations from the Ace label.

One which I chose to play while cataloguing is The Goldwax Story Volume 1 from 2001.Goldwax was a Memphis label  from the mid to late 60s which given its geography concentrated on Southern Soul. Many of their artists featured on my Southern Soul Sunday series as far back as 2014. There were some legendary performances from the likes of the great James Carr, the man with the finest voice in Soul ,and Spencer Wiggins.

Both have a couple of songs on this compilation but such is the strength in depth they are not featuring today. That's how good this album is. Listen and weep.

You will not hear three better songs today

The Ovations (featuring Louis Williams) - I'm Living Good

O.V. Wright with The Keys - That's How Strong My Love Is

Ben Atkins & the Second Hand - I've Been Loving You Too Long

I  can feel a Kent Compilation series coming on!

Monday, 7 November 2022

Mimi Parker RIP


I was browsing and checking out the blogs yesterday when I clicked on The Swede's place and read the sad news that Mimi Parker the drummer and singer with Low has sadly died.
She was in her mid 50's and had ovarian cancer.

Thoughts go out to her husband and fellow band member Alan Sparhawk, her family and all those who knew her and were close to her.
She leaves such a great legacy. Low are a terrific and innovative band and have given us some great songs and albums over the years. Sadly I never got to see them live.
Here is the piece from the Guardian announcing this sad news

Rest easy Mimi


Sunday, 6 November 2022

Albums on both CD and Vinyl - The Times They Are A-Changin'


I was pretty late getting into Bob Dylan. I was about 20 or 21 and working in the Royal Hotel, Ullapool where my roommate in the staff chalets had a tape of Highway 61 Revisited. 

That started it for me but it was a good few years before I started to pick up his back catalogue in earnest. One of the first was probably a CD copy of The Times They Are A-Changin' his third album from 1964 on the Columbia label.

The title track is a real tour de force detailing the huge generational shift that was underway and scaring the bejesus out of the older generations:

Come mothers and fathersThroughout the landAnd don't criticizeWhat you can't understandYour sons and your daughtersAre beyond your commandYour old road is rapidly agin'

The album shows a political awareness and highlights a number of injustices which had previously been overlooked or swept under the carpet.

Fast forward to 2019 and I am in the BHF shop in St Andrews and there is a vinyl copy of the 1964 original going for 99p. Even though I had the CD there was no way I was going to pass up on that.

Still going strong at the age of  81 his current UK tour is receiving rave reviews.He is an absolute genius. In centuries to come is name will be mentioned in the same breath as Mozart and Beethoven. You can't say that about Ed Sheeran.

Bob Dylan - The Times They Are A-Changin'

Bob Dylan - With God on our Side

Bob Dylan - The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll

Saturday, 5 November 2022

Townes Covered - Pancho and Lefty


A low scoring round last week when Tecumseh Valley was the song under the spotlight with Nanci Griffith as Townes' opponent.

Rol and I both plumped for Townes as did George and his goat. George was keen to throw Steve Earle into the equation again. Don't worry Mr Earle will come along in due course.

While both acknowledging it was close both Alison and C opted for Nanci as did Ernie who had confidently predicted a whitewash for Townes. Although he is at pains to say he would have gone for Townes had it been the version from Our Mother the Mountain as opposed to the live one that I put up.

Therefore we appear to have a draw on our hands meaning that the score remains 1- 0 to Townes

This week it is probably Townes' most famous song. Panco and Lefty which first appeared on his 1972 album The Late Great Townes Van Zandt. When you google it the first version that pops up is the one by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. I'm not having that! The definitive version is of course by Emmylou Harris from her Luxury Liner album in 1977.It has also  been covered by Delbert McClinton and inevitably by Steve Earle.

I shouldn't imagine that there will be many occasions in this series that my vote will not go to Townes but on this instance this gray Federale will be voting for Emmylou.

Others, of course, may choose to differ

Friday, 4 November 2022

He's a Rebel


 2022 Charity Shop Purchases #68 - Various Artists - He's a Rebel - The Girl Groups of the 60s

I know what you are thinking - why is he claiming this as a new charity shop purchase when he bought it in the Community Shop in Newton Stewart in 2019 and has previously featured disc 2 and disc 3 before?

There is in fact a simple explanation. The Newton Stewart purchase only contained 2 out of the 3 discs whereas the one recently purchased in Blairgowrie has all three.

I knew I had it but couldn't remember if it was a physical copy or a digital one. The spreadsheet wasn't a help as only a few compilations have been included so far

The Newton Stewart one has now gone back to charity. Now you may think that some poor sod is only getting 2 discs instead of three but they are actually getting 40 tracks. I bought it for that reason in the full knowledge that one disc was missing.

I've gone for three acts that weren't included when discs 2 and 3 were featured.

I'm starting with track1 , disc 1 with The Crystals singing the song that the disc is named after.They are followed by The Marvelettes with Beechwood 4-5789.

The Duke of Earl has featured here before so it is only fair that the Duchess of Earl also gets an airing with Bobbie Smith & the Dream Girls doing the honours.

The Crystals - He's a Rebel

The Marvelettes - Beechwood 4-5789

Bobbie Smith & the Dream Girls - The Duchess of Earl

Thursday, 3 November 2022

Hard Candy


 2022 Charity Shop Purchases #67 - Counting Crows - Hard Candy

Counting Crows were a band that I never really got possibly because I considered them to be more rock than Americana.

I've had their 1993 debut August and Everything for years and was quite surprised to see that I have never featured it here before.

Hard Candy, their fourth studio album from 2002 on Geffen, was purchased for 50p primarily because  one of the charity shops in Blairgowrie was about to close and the lady let us in for a quick browse and I felt obliged to purchase something.

The album starts off pretty promisingly with the first three tracks being quite good. It then morphs into what I would describe as pleasant and inoffensive blandness prior to a  fairly decent cover of The Byrds'  - You Ain't Going Nowhere as a bonus track at the end. The less said about their version of Big Yellow Taxi the better.

I was sorely tempted to include Up All Night (Frankie Miller Goes to Hollywood) but it is pretty poor and from the lyrics I'm not entirely sure that it is actually about the great man himself.

My pal Pete recently went to see them at Glasgow Academy and said that they put on a good show..

Given the good start and the  possibility that it could become a grower it is not being jettisoned just yet.

Counting Crows - Hard Candy

Counting Crows -Good Time

Wednesday, 2 November 2022



With the CDs now exceeding 2000 (not including burns and the majority of Various Artists/Compilations still be be counted) space is very much at a premium.

I am trying to be more discerning with the ones that I am bringing in and it is maybe time to consider a one in one out policy.

The thought of getting rid of any brings me out in hives but realistically there is a fair amount of dross on the shelves which I  never listen to.

I've made a start - albeit a very small one with 3 CDs from the rock/pop section going to charity( three new ones came in the other day from my most recent charity shop excursion!).  Had I got them more recently they would not be keepers. I'm getting slightly better at letting go.

There is maybe one song from each that I might listen to again but I have copied the entire albums onto the hard drive - just in case! They can go eventually when it gets clogged up. 

It's a big step! And so it is goodbye to Bachman Turner Overdrive - The Collection, Babybird - Ugly Beautiful and New Radicals - Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too. These were all charity shop purchases from 2013 and probably haven't been listened to since.. They have now been expunged.

Bachman Turner Overdrive - You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

Babybird - You're Gorgeous

New Radicals - You Get What You Give