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Wednesday, 29 March 2023

The Debra Haul - Wild Things Run Fast


2023 Charity Shop Purchases #37 - Joni Mitchell - Wild Things Run Fast

Another artist to have more than one album in the Debra Haul is Joni Mitchell.

Wild Things Run Fast is her 11th studio album from 1982 on the Geffen label and represents a departure from Jazz to a more accessable 80's pop sound. Indeed it's predecessor the obviously Jazz influenced Mingus is one that I struggle to listen to. 

She claims that the album is inspired by hearing music from the likes of Steely Dan, Talking Heads and the Police at a disco in the Caribbean in 1981. It was reasonably well received with reviews in the 3 and 4 out of five region.

A review on Amazon states that Wild Things Run Fast is such an underrated album in the Joni Mitchell catalogue. It rocks, it swings, it grooves, and more importantly the songwriting is still there. Rolling Stone magazine mentions that the word love gets a mention 57 times! With the exception of the first song the songs all pitch in at two to three minutes and all are pretty accessable 

AllMusic feel that Mitchell achieved more of a balance between her pop abilities and her jazz aspirations, meanwhile rediscovering a more direct, emotional lyric approach. The result was her best album since the mid-'70s. Somewhat worryingly, however, is that I have seen the frightening term jazz fusion mentioned in places!

There were actually a further two Joni albums in the Haul  (Mrs CC is abig fan) - the live Shadows and Light from 1980 and Dreamland (the essential career retrospective personally selected by Joni) from 1980. I am not planning to feature them for now as that would be overkill but I reserve the right to feature them in future along with a CD of music from the film Jean de Florette.

This therefore concludes the first Debra Haul. The second much shorter haul will be along shortly

Joni Mitchell - Wild Things Run Fast

Joni Mitchell - Underneath the Streetlight

Tuesday, 28 March 2023

The Debra Haul - Redwood Cathedral


2023 Charity Shop Purchases #36 -Dick Gaughan - Redwood Cathedral

We are fast approaching the end of the first Debra Haul and are now on the second albums of some of those already featured.
Dick Gaughan has already featured with his 2001 album Outlaws and Dreamers. Today is the turn of its 1998 predecessor Redwood Cathedral which is also on the Greentrax label.

In the sleevenotes Dick states that while he writes songs he regards himself primarily as an interpreter of songs and that the album is primarily a collection of songs writtern by highly skilled songwriters  and are well crafted songs which he loves and which he loves singing and exploring.Indeed of the 12 songs on the album only two are written by him

AllMusic writes that Gaughan's weathered brogue is enough to make a song memorable and that it is  clear that Gaughan has a gift for phrasing that puts the listener at ease.

As with Outlaws and Dreamers the album is a mix of folk standards and protest songs and these two incorporate both. 

Thomas Muir of Huntershill is written by Adam McNaughton in praise of the great revolutionary whose life stradled the 18th/19th centuries and who took part in the American and French revolutions before returning to Scotland and being instrumental in the agitation leading to the Weaver's Revolt.

Turn!, Turn!, Turn! (To Everything There is a Season) Pete Seeger's famous development of a theme from the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes surely needs no further introduction.

Dick Gaughan - Thomas Muir of Huntershill

Dick Gaughan -Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season)

Monday, 27 March 2023

The Debra Haul -London Calling


2023 Charity Shop Purchases #35  - The Clash - London Calling

I know what you are all thinking - surely he already has London Calling by the Clash?

Don't be silly - of course I have it. I got it on vinyl when it first came out and it is now worth a good few bob. Not that I would ever sell it of course.

I didn't have it on CD though. Well that's not strictly true. The picture above is one of the gifts I was presented with when I retired in July 2021. It does include a copy of the  CD behind the frame and the  perspex. Obviously I've never going to dismantle it just to get  access to the CD.

It is one I have been keeping an eye out for in charity shops for a while and so it was a no-brainer to include it as part of the haul.

I thought that I had featured most of the 19 songs on the album here over the year but it turns out that to date only 8 have featured with Four Horsemen being the only one to have appeared twice.

Three more then for you today.. Don't worry George I'll get around to the other 8 in due course

The Clash - Jimmy Jazz

The Clash - The Right Profile

The Clash -Death or Glory

Sunday, 26 March 2023

The Debra Haul - By Request


2023 Charity Shop Purchases #34 - Eric Bogle - By Request 

Eric Bogle is a Scottish folk singer and songwriter who emigrated to Australia in 1961

By Request is a compilation album from 2001 on the Greentrax label.He  has recorded over 14 albums, most of the early ones are now deleted. This compilation contains songs from those early albums that have been requested by his audiences.15 of his most popular tunes and could be considered as his Greatest Hits.
There are a few novelty songs on the album alongside some more political ones.

Eric Bogle is responsible for writing two of the greatest anti war songs of all time which record the atrocities of the 1914 to 1918 war.

No Man's Land was written in 1976 and is also known as The Green Fields of France or Willie McBride. Bogle writes that it's a song that was written about the cemetries in Flanders and Northern France. In 1976 my wife and i went to three or four of these military cemeteries and saw  all the young soldiers buried there.
Although there were a few soldiers called Willie McBride  Bogle had no particular soldier in mind when writing this song. It is about the futility of war and the tragic waste of young lives - a musical accompaniment to Wilfred Owen's Anthem for Doomed Youth if you will.
It has been covered by dozens of artists but my favourite version is by The Men They Couldn't Hang which remains one of my favourite ever songs.

His secod great song is And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda which is particularly poignant to Australians gived the disasterous Gallipoli campaign. Again this song has been covered by countless artists with my favouite being the version by the Pogues.

Even if he never writes another song his place in history is assured

Saturday, 25 March 2023

The Debra Haul - Futurama


2023 Charity Shop Purchases #33 - Be-Bop Deluxe - Futurama

Be - Bop Deluxe is a fantastic name for a band and it is a name that I am familiar with. However I was not familiar with their music so the Debra Haul seemed an ideal opportunity to give them a listen.

I had a vague notion that they were a Glam Rock band. Boy was I wrong there! They are - wait for it - Prog! I suppose in retrospect that the cover should have been a giveaway.

Futurama is from 1975 on Harvest (another giveaway)  and was their second album.Allmusic gives it 2/5 and Q Magazine 3/5. Both are being overly generous. Hardly surprisingly it did not trouble the album charts 

The Rough Guide to Rock describes the album as Top-heavy with massed guitars and melodic ideas pursued on a whim and just as quickly abandoned, it nevertheless contained two of the most perfect pop singles never to make the charts – 'Maid in Heaven' and 'Sister Seagull'.

I am not sure what the author of that quote was smoking but it is clearly a right load of old bobbins.

At least that gives me an idea as to what two tracks to feature without having to listen to the album 

For the benefit of doubt, it will not a a keeper.

Be-Bop Deluxe - Maid in Heaven

Be- Bop Deluxe - Sister Seagull

Friday, 24 March 2023

Talkin' Bout a Revolution


After a couple of great guest posts from George and Khayem I'm afraid it's back to me this week with a bit of a mini rant.

The French Government  has put their pension age up from 62 to 64 and Les Punters are not happy about it and are out on the streets. Their pension is on average 50% higher than the British state pension (albeit 30 years is enough to benefit from a full pension in the UK compared to 43 in France)  The  current age you can draw your pension here is 66 increasing to 67 by 2028 and 68 by 2046. They are clearly working on the theory that more folk will die before they get what they should be entitled to having paid national insurance contributions over the years.

So while the French are on the streets what are we doing about it? Sweet FA as per usual is the answer to that question.. Moaning about it certainly, but no one is Talkin' Bout a Revolution apart from Tracy Chapman.

Tracy Chapman is followed by Arrested Development who in 1992 provide some historical context

Finally this week's Reggae Revolutionaries  offering from Ernie is Revolution Souljah from  the Dominican reggae star Nasio. Here is more information about  him than you could possibly need.

The Revolution is drawing to a close but may limp along for another couple of weeks.

Tracy Chapman - Talkin' Bout a Revolution

Arrested Development - Revolution

Nasio - Revolution Souljah

Thursday, 23 March 2023

The Debra Haul -The Boy Who Didn't Fall


2023 Charity Shop Purchases #32 - JJ Gilmour - The Boy Who Didn't Fall

I think that it is fair to say that this is probably the most obscure CD within the Debra Haul

JJ Gilmour is best known as a member of the Scottish band The Silencers who have briefly featured on these pages before here  After seven years as part of the band he left to pursue a solo career. He was also briefly the frontman of boyband East 17 for a few months in 1996

From 2009 on the P.A.L. label The Boy Who Didn't Fall was his second solo album and was recorded with the team behind Wet Wet Wet's biggest hits. After leaving the band he was living and working in Jersey where he befriended golfer Ian Woosnam who helped to fund his solo career He also wrote a musical Dancing Shoes based of the life of the great footballer George Best.

Please don't let the references to East 17 and Wet Wet Wet (or Ian Woosnam for that matter) put you off as this is in fact a perfectly pleasant folky singer-songwriter album. It puts me in mind a little bit of Boo Hewerdine which let's face it is no bad thing

I think that the title song may well be autobiographical.

JJ Gilmour -All About Me

JJ Gilmour - The Boy Who Didn't Fall

Wednesday, 22 March 2023

The Debra Haul - The Heat


2023 Charity Shop Purchases #31 - Jesse Malin - The Heat

From one folky JM - Joni Mitchell to this week's slice of Americana from  another radically different JM - Jesse Malin

Once described by Entertainment Weekly as the Springsteen of Avenue D  New York's Jesse Mailin  specializes in gritty, street-level tunes about people struggling through life’s mean twists.According to Pop Matters Jesse has voice  which can summon an amazing range of emotion. At times he’s full of impotent rage, and elsewhere he channels the swagger of John Travolta’s Danny Zuko from Grease. But through it all Malin’s voice sounds earthy, pained, and genuine.

The Heat is his second album from 2004 on Artemis in the US and One Little Indian in the UK. I was pleased to find it as it now joins 2002's The Fine Art of Self Destruction and 2007's Glitter in the Gutter on the shelves
I saw him at King Tuts around the time his debut album was released and again more recently in 2018 when he was supporting (and absolutely blowing away) Chuck Prophet at Cottiers .As I wrote in a previous post he is a great story teller and song writer and given his character has probably lived half of his songs.
You should go and see him if you ever get the chance.You will not regret it.

Tuesday, 21 March 2023

The Debra Haul - Turbulent Indigo


2023 Charity Shop Purchases #30 - Joni Mitchell - Turbulent Indigo

After a short break we return to the Debra Haul where we are about a half of the way through the first tranche.
Mrs CC is a big fan of Joni Mitchell and we have a good few of her albums (mostly the early classics) on the shelves. I will always take the opportunity to fill in the gaps and as part of the haul we came away with four Joni CDs. One is live and another is a career retrospective (aka Best Of) and I am in two minds as to whether these two will feature.

Lets start then with one of the two others. Turbulent Indigo is her 15th studio album from 1994 and is on the Reprise label. It is one I had never heard of far less heard. Apparently it takes it's inspiration from Vincent Van Gogh as you can probably see from Joni's self- portrait on the cover.
It seems that the album was critically well received with Rolling Stone calling it her best album since the mid-70s. They may well be right. I am not familiar with anything after 1979's Mingus (her 10th) with the exception of 2000's Both Sides Now (her 17th). The other studio album  also comes from that period.

It appears to have been critically  reasonably well received with All Music giving it 3/5 and writing that  The low-key music and restrained vocals stand in contrast to the lyrics -- over and over, Mitchell's imagery refers to guns and violence. Turbulent Indigo provides a disturbing view of modern life made all the more compelling by its calm presentation.

Monday, 20 March 2023

The Dream Syndicate at the Hug and Pint


The third and most recent concert that I have to feed back from is The Dream Syndicate at the Hug and Pint on Saturday 11th March. Whereas The Bluebells and Robyn Hitchcock were both excellent this one was the best of the lot.

The basement of the Hug and Pint pub is a tiny venue with a capacity of around 120 although it seemed that there were about double than that. I got there relatively early grabbed a pint and set up base camp pretty near the front .I didn't move from that spot for about three hours and probably would have struggled to even if I wanted to as we were packed in like sardines.It was also extremely hot and  I felt that I was sweating pure alcohol after two nights on the lash in Broughty Ferry.

There was a Paisley Underground feel to the show with support coming from Matt Piucci and Steve Roback of Rain Parade.  Also Vicki Peterson from the Bangles was replacing Jason Victor on guitar for this tour and did a fantastic job. On the subject of Paisley Underground  given that they were in Glasgow for two nights Steve Wynn told an amusing story of a pilgrimage to nearby Paisley. I  think it is fair to say that they were suitably underwhelmed.

I managed to find a setlist for this one which shows that they featured songs from across their long and illustrious career along with covers of songs by Rain Parade and the Bangles  in a similar vein to the 3 x4 album.

I think it is fair to say that they gave it absolutely everything and left nothing out there.A stunning display of musicianship.

I could be wrong but I think that Steve said that this was the first time that the Dream Syndicate had toured  the UK and they seemed genuinely thrilled to be here. I saw him play with the Miracle 3 in Edinburgh a good few years ago and solo as part of a Song Circle at King Tuts in 2002.I also saw the Miracle 3 at an unforgettable near empty Continental Club in Austin early on a Saturday afternoon. I mentioned the last one to Steve as I was getting my copy of Ultraviolet Battle Hymns and True Confessions signed and he said that it was one of the best shows he had ever played,

A truly unforgettable evening. For something much  more in-depth and informative can I refer you to Mike at Manic Pop Thrills who was fortunate enough to see them play on five occasions during this tour. Lucky bloke.

The Dream Syndicate - That's What You Always Say

The Dream Syndicate - Put Some Miles On

Sunday, 19 March 2023

Robyn Hitchcock at Mono

The second of my belated and brief feedback posts from recent concerts I have attended - I hesitate to say reviews.

Robyn Hitchcock  at Mono on 1st March was a concert which was rescheduled from 3rd May last year to promote his most recent album Shufflemania! It was only the second time I have seen a live gig at Mono the other being Attila the Stockbroker many moons ago.

Before I get to the music a few observations.

Robyn Hitchcock is very tall and he also bears a passing resemblance to David McCluskey of the Bluebells who featured yesterday
He is a terrific guitarist and is also completely bonkers. There were many entertaining and amusing  anecdotes. An example - his cat Tubby flying a bi-plane to Tokyo to deliver some hair gel to Bryan Ferry.
This was also his last show as a sexagenarian.

I've not been able to find a set list but I know that Queen of Eyes, Madonna of the Wasps, I Wanna Destroy You and Ole Tarantula all featured with  Brenda's Iron Sledge as the finale.
Naturally there were a number of songs from Shufflemania! which leads me to another anecdote. Robyn mentioned that he watched the various series of the TV series Shetland during lockdown. He commented that Dougie Henshall who plays the lead character DI Jimmy Perez was very quiet and brooding and spent a lot of time staring into space. He then looked him up on line and discovered that he was a Scorpio which apparently explains everything!

It was a terrific show and I hope to catch him again in the future although uber fan The Swede has pointed out that he is unlikely to tour again until 2025

Saturday, 18 March 2023

The Bluebells at Oran Mor


I've been that busy posting the Debra Haul and various series that I have neglected to feedback on various concerts I have attended in the last couple of months.

To start with I am going as far back as Friday 3rd February when I saw the Bluebells at Oran Mor. I was accompanied by my pal Pete so this necessitated a pint in Tennents in Byres Road beforehand meaning that we missed much of the set by support act Cowboy Mouth.

One of the good things about writing this so far after the fact is that setlists for the concert are readily available and help to jog the memory.

This confirms that they kicked off with a number of tracks from their new album The Bluebells in the 21st Century available on LNFG  I've still to receive my copy but was familiar with some of the songs having listened to their Quay Sessions for BBC Scotland on BBC Sounds. They were well received by the crowd with Ken McCluskey leading an audience discussion on  Scottish Junior football when introducing Stonehouse Violets and listing a number of clubs from Ayrshire and Lanarkshire. This went down well in Glasgow but I'm not sure it would work elsewhere.

The familiar old singles gradually became to appear whipping the crowd into a frenzy  culminating with the storming encore of Young at Heart which was being filmed on the camera phones of half the audience many of whom were simultaneously jumping up and down.

All in all a very good night despite Oran Mor being one of my least favourite venues. A solid 8 out of 10.

The Bluebells - Everybody's Somebody's Fool

The Bluebells - I'm Falling

Friday, 17 March 2023

These Songs Are Revolting


Khayem very kindly sent me a number of songs by Julian Cope which are relevant to this series. When I wrote back to thank him I somewhat cheekily suggested that he might wish to submit a guest post and I am delighted to say that he has obliged.

Take it away Khayem

These Songs Are Revolting

It’ll come as no surprise to those who visit my Dubhed blog that I love the music of Julian Cope unreservedly. Yes, at times this can be a testing relationship, often within the space of a single album, but he always comes through in the end. 

One thing that you can also depend on the Arch Drude for is a rousing revolution song, so when Charity Chic featured Psychedelic Revolution a while back, I knew that his beloved readers (well, one at least, me) would be hungry for more. And Julian Cope can deliver…and then some. After all, he named two albums Psychedelic Revolution and Revolutionary Suicide and (kind of) an EP with the 45-minute ‘endurothon’ that is Rave-o-lution.

So, here are possibly more Julian Cope ‘revolution’ songs than you could ever ask (or wish) for, spanning 2008 to 2018. In 2020, he opted instead for a Self Civil War but it’s a fair bet with the current state of the UK and the incumbent Tory government that another revolution song is around the corner…

MP3s for the first two songs only, YouTube links for the rest as the later albums are still readily available to buy digitally from Julian Cope’s Head Heritage site. All highly recorded, of course.

Come The Revolution (Black Sheep, 2008)

Preaching Revolution (The Unruly Imagination, 2009)

Revolutionary Man & Psychedelic Revolution (Psychedelic Revolution, 2012) (the title track features Lucy Brownhills on vocals and is different from the Trip Advizer EP & album version that CC recently posted) 

Rave-O-Lution (EP, 2013) 

Revolutionary Suicide, Mexican Revolution Blues & Russian Revolution Blues (all from Revolutionary Suicide, 2013)

That Don't Make A Revolution (Skellington 3, 2018)

U Know!

In honour of Ernie, I’ve also included a mandatory reggae version. Unfortunately, the Arch Drude has yet to release Skankington so I had to look elsewhere. I could have picked Lee 'Scratch’ Perry, Keith Hudson, Dennis Brown or Big Sherman, all great.

In the end, I went for my favourite Peaky Blinder Benjamin Zephaniah and the title track of his 2017 album, featuring Matt Damon!

CC writes:
Thanks very much for this Khayem.
If we ever get round to having a revolution Julian Cope would be just the man to lead it supported ably by Benjamin Zephaniah and of course your magnificent soundtrack!

Sunday, 12 March 2023

Kent Compilations - The Goldway Story Volume 2


I would say that Goldwax is probably my most favourite Soul label. Indeed a quick search of the Blog reveals that they have appeared here on a number of occasions.

It is just as well that I did that very thing as I was all set to feature The Goldway Story Volume 1  today only to find it had appeared here in November last year ending with the words "I can feel a Kent Compilation series coming on!"

So here is the next best thing - Volume 2 . As the Ace website says 

This compilation, with its mixture of classics and rarities, follows on from the highly successful first volume Kent released a couple of years ago. If anything it contains more of the ballad wizardry that has made the Goldwax name such a fabled one.

The label was  from Memphis (2445 Chelsea Avenue to be precise ) and was founded by the magnificently named Quinton ClaunchA number of the more famous artists on  the label  including the mighty James Carr, O.V. Wright, Spencer Wiggins and The Ovations have featured before on my Southern Soul Sunday series.which  started in 2013 and which  reached 50 posts before I  called it a day.Spencer Wiggins was the second act to feature and James Carr the final one about a year later.

No James today but Spencer and OV Wright both make an appearance along with Barbara Perry. I managed to find the following info about Barbara on the MD Records website:

“Goldwax” records was founded by Quinton Claunch and Rudolph V. “Doc” Russell on August 11th, 1964 in Memphis, Tennessee and was distributed by Amy-Mala-Bell before being sold in 1970. Barbara Perry, who was born in 1943, started out as a singer with “The Teen Town Singers” before recording for “Fernwood” records, then “Goldwax” records in the late 1960’s, though many of her recordings remained unreleased at the time. 

I wasn't aware until now that in addition to the 2 Volumes of the Goldwax Story on the shelves, Ace also offer a 3rd volume which I must get at some stage. There are also 3 Volumes of The Complete Goldwax Singles and a Goldwax Northern Soul compilation. All very tempting but I suspect that there would be a fair bit of duplication.

Spencer Wiggins - I Never Loved a Woman (The Way I Love You)

O.V. Wright with the Keys - There Goes My Used To Be

Barbara Perry - Say You Need It

I'm just back from a few days away and I am away again tomorrow so nothing to see here until a fantastic guest post on Friday.

Also 10 weeks in it also seems an opportune time to bring this series to a halt as both I and the audience seem to have run out of steam. I reserve the right to re-introduce it at a later stage if need be.

Saturday, 11 March 2023

The Debra Haul - Enjoy Every Sandwich


2023 Charity Shop Purchases #29 - Various - Enjoy Every Sandwich  - The Songs of Warren Zevon

Who would have thought that on a CD containing songs by the likes of Bob Dylan, Bruce  Springsteen and the Pixies that two of the best numbers would come from Don Henley and Billy Bob Thornton? Not me, that's for sure.

From October 2004 and on the Artemis label,  as you can probably work out it is a tribute album to the great Warren Zevon who passed away at the age of 56 in September 2003 from Mesothelioma which sounds like a particularly nasty form of cancer.

The title comes from an interview with Warren on the David  Letterman Show on 30th October 2002. When Letterman asked him  if his approach to life and music had changed since he was diagnosed with terminal cancer Warren replied:

You put more value on every minute...You know I always kinda thought I did that. I really always enjoyed myself. But it’s more valuable now. You’re reminded to enjoy every sandwich and every minute

Sadly by that time it was probably too late for Lawyers, Guns and Money.

Don Henley - Searching For a Heart

Billy Bob Thornton - The Wind

Jill Sobule - Don't Let Us Get Sick

Friday, 10 March 2023

A Real Revolution - 1974


George writes


I got in touch with CC a while ago, and cheekily suggested a final piece for his Revolution series. At the time of writing I don’t know if it will actually be the last in the series, we shall see (as CC is overly fond of saying). Instead of getting songs with “revolution” in the title, you’re going to get two songs that actually signalled the start of a real-life revolution.

The series got me thinking about the country we (Jo and I that is) call home, and its 1974 revolution, when it cast off the darkness of Salazar and the Estado Novo regime. I have only just found out how significant the Eurovision Song Contest of 1974 was, in particular a song that garnished the fewest votes in that contest, Paulo de Carvalho’s entry “e depois do adeus”. THIS is the song that signified the start of the revolution, broadcast at 10.55pm on April 24, it was the alert for soldiers to get ready for the coup. Why this song? It was well-known in the country, and there had to be a way of communicating to all involved when to get ready, so what better way than via the radio, of an innocuous but famous song.


(José Calvário, the name you see on that clip, wrote the song)

The actual signal to move was given by the second song, “Grândola, vila morena” by Zeca Afonso. Why not just get someone to broadcast “Gràndola” to start the revolution? Because Zeca was banned from the radio, so the act of airing one of his songs would have alerted the authorities of Estado Novo that Big Trouble Was Afoot! So, at 12.55 in the morning of April 25, 1974, this song went out:

(This starts quietly)

“Grândola” is the song most associated with the 1974 revolution, its lyric of equality and friendship in the dusty Alentejano town of Grândola probably has more meaning for the revolution than the sad end-of-a-relationship ballad  “e depois”. 

There’s some footage of the revolution and its immediate aftermath on Youtube, where you can see some of the citizens of Lisbon mingling with the soldiers around the Largo de Carmo where President Caetano was holed up (in the headquarters of the GNR). The square has changed very little over the years, and you can sit there enjoying a glass of white wine from the kiosk at a very very reasonable price.

Zeca Alfonso and Paulo de Carvalho both have entries in wiki, both worthy of a read and musical follow-ups.

CC writes:

Thanks George - some history and culture at this place for a change. 

Rather than leave this post to the end of the series (which I suspect is drawing ever closer) I thought that we could earnestly discuss it over a beer or two tonight rather than the usual nonsense we normally do!

We could learn something from the Portuguese

 I suspect that even Ernie would struggle to source some reggae from Portugal although he could well prove me wrong. In the meantime here is the next of his Reggae Revolutionaries

Little Harry - Revolution

Thursday, 9 March 2023

The Debra Haul - Born on Flag Day


2023 Charity Shop Purchases #28 Deer Tick - Born on Flag Day

This week's Americana offering from the Debra Haul comes courtesy of Deer Tick with their 2009 second album Born on Flag Day released on Partisan in the US and Fargo in Europe.

I was familiar with the band having bought their 4th album Divine Providence from 2011 on the back of their song Main Street featuring on an Uncut compilation

Born on Flag Day was critically acclaimed with Rolling Stone proclaiming it as the Country-Rock breakthrough of the year. They hail from Providence,Rhode Island with John Joseph McCauley III being the lead vocalist and songwriter and the only ever present from the bands inception in 2004 to date

I don't think it is as strong as Divine Providence but it is  still a solid slab of Americana

Deer Tick - Easy

Deer Tick - Smith Hill

Along with a couple of pals I am off to Broughty Ferry today for a couple of nights to catch up with George who is home for a week or so.It should be fun.

Wednesday, 8 March 2023

The Debra Haul - Unplugged in New York



2023 Charity Shop Purchases #27 Nirvana - MTV Unplugged in New York

Back in the 90's Unplugged albums were a thing for a while with artists performing acoustic albums of their best known songs on MTV with them subsequently appearing on CD.

There are a couple on the shelves already namely Neil Young and 10000 Maniacs. Given that Nirvana were probably the biggest band on the planet when this was released in 1994 on DVG and that it was the first thing by the band released (6 months) after Kurt Cobain's death it is hardly surprising that it has sold 6.8 million copies.

14 tracks  with 4 songs off Nevermind, 1 from Bleach, 3 from Meat Puppets II  and 3 from In Utero  along with 3 covers. Being somewhat obtuse I am going to feature the covers. 

Kurt was a huge fan of Bellshill band The Vaselines and regularly appeared wearing T-Shirts of them and here they feature the Vaselines' Jesus Doesn't Want Me For a Sunbeam. Hopefully it made them a good few bob.

David Bowie is slightly better known as is his song The Man Who Sold the World.Not as good as the version by Lulu but hey you can't have everything.

Finally they do a credible copy of Leadbelly's Where Did You Sleep Last Night.

On a related theme I was at a record fair where there was a vinyl copy of Bleach going for £100. I don't know if mine is the same pressing but given I bought it in Echo for a couple of quid I'm tempted to find out!

Nirvana -Jesus Doesn't Want Me For a Sunbeam

Nirvana - The Man Who Sold the World

Nirvana - Where Did You Sleep Last Night

Tuesday, 7 March 2023

The Debra Haul - Front Parlour Ballads


 2023 Charity Shop Purchases #26 - Richard Thompson - Front Parlour Ballads

I'm quite chuffed with this one .Up until now the only solo stuff by Richard Thompson I had was the compilation album Action Packed -the Best of the Capitol Years and a burn of Mock Tudor

From 2005 and on the Cooking Vinyl label Front Parlour Ballads is his 12th studio album.Described accurately by Pitchfork thus Largely acoustic album mixes lush folk beauty and cruel knife- twisting lyrics and that there is  much to love amidst Thompson's proverbial light and shade, gorgeous guitar work and gallows humour.

It was literally a homemade album with Thompson largely recording it in his home studio supposedly with a view to testing out some new recording gear.. He was not expecting to sell many copies but it was critically acclaimed and sold well in both the UK and the US.

The opening track Let it Blow is up there with some of the best solo songs that he has recorded. This one is going down as a find.

Richard Thompson - Let it Blow

Richard Thompson - How Does Your Garden Grow?

Monday, 6 March 2023

The Debra Haul - Working on a Dream


 2023 Charity Shop Purchases #25 - Bruce Springsteen - Working on a Dream

The vast majority of the Debra Haul are new to me CDs  There is also one CD to accompany a vinyl album and three which are replacing burns.

One of those replacing a burn is Working on a Dream the 16th (of 21) studio album by Bruce Springsteen from 2009 and as always on the Columbia label. 

It has to be said that it is probably not one of his better ones .It is one of the four from 2007  to 2019 (between We Shall Overcome - The Seeger Sessions and Western Skies) which I would contend are probably the poorest of his lengthy and distinguished career. Many critics would appear to agree with me although it has a credable  aggregate score of 72/100 on Metacritic helped in no small measure by a 5/5 score on Rolling Stone

I quite like the title track but other than that it is a bit meh and Springsteen by numbers. But hey it is the Boss so I was not about to pass it by. By my reckoning that still leaves High Hopes as the only studio album that I don't have in any format.

Bruce Springsteen - Working on a Dream

Bruce Springsteen - Queen of the Supermarket

Sunday, 5 March 2023

Kent Compilations - When a Man Cries


On the Ace website Ady Croadell writes Deep Southern Soul Ballads are not a marketing man's dream. It's hard to get upbeat about a downbeat subject. I beg to differ, When a Man Cries -the deep soul of Scepter/Wond and Musicor/vDynamo is a fantastic album and one I can very easily get upbeat to.

Ace/Kent have got picking obscure songs from relatively obscure labels which are true diamonds and fully deserving of a wider audience down to a fine art.
As the back of the CD says - predominantly Southern, male ballads from four big independent 60s R&B labels. Unsurprisingly varied styles but always of the deepest quality.

As is the case with pretty much all of the Kent Compilations I could have picked any of the 27 tracks on the CD and I suspect that most of you would not be  disappointed Here are the three I have chosen today. Tomorrow it could well have been three others.

It made sense to start with the title track which is from Joe Wilson from 1971 and on the Dynamo label.
Joe is followed by The Masquerades with Let's Face Facts which is from 1967 and on the Wand label. A version of this song by James Carr appears on A Soldier's Sad Story which featured last week

Finally, despite the album's title some ladies get to cry too.Here is the great Judy Clay  with  He's the Kind of Guy  on Scepter and from 1966.

Terrific stuff.