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Sunday 24 September 2023

An A-Z of American Cities -X,Y and Z

We have finally reached the end of our epic journey and we are rewarded with a couple of tricky ones 

Marc, who has made a number of useful contributions to this series, pointed out that there is a city called Xenia in Ohio. 

I found two dreadful songs Xenia, Ohio by The Kiss That Took a Trip and Xenia, Ohio April 3rd 1974 by Cloudwarmer .I'm not prepared to sully these pages with them but they are available here and here if you are the masochist type

We are on firmer ground for Y with three songs. Rol wrongly assumed that I had Youngtown  a song by Bruce Springsteen from the Ghost of Tom Joad scheduled but I had completely overlooked it . Youngstown is the 11th biggest city in the state of Ohio with a population of just over 60K..As befits the Boss and this particular album Youngstown appears to be a blue collar Rust Belt city with a history of steel production

It is a relatively short hop from Ohio to Michigan and the city of Ypsilanti the home of East Michigan University. Understandably its name is often shortened to Ypsi. It has a population of  around 20k and was originally a  trading post on the Huron River from 1809. The associated song is For the Widows in Paradise, For the Fatherless in Ypsilanti  from the album Sufjan Stevens presents Greetings from Michegan - The Great Lake State. My copy is from an Uncut compilation Across the Great Divide - Music Inspired By the Band.

We are now heading South West to the state of Arizona and the city of Yuma. It has a population of  c95K and is known for its weather extremes. Of any populated place in the contiguous United States, Yuma is the driest, the sunniest, and the least humid, has the lowest frequency of precipitation, and has the highest number of sunny days per year 3.10 to Yuma was a 2007 Western action drama film staring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. I was all set to feature a song of that name by Frankie Lane until Ernie reminded me about the Sandy Denny version.

We are on to Z now and I had really hoped to include Zip City a song by the Drive-By Truckers from their Southern Rock Opera opus. However Zip City in Alabama is only a small unincorporated community in Lauderdale County. Even World Population Review does not award it City status so you will have to make do with a picture instead.

Worry not, however, as we do have a Z. There is a city called Zion in Lake County, Illinois which has a population of around 25K.It was founded in 1901 by John Alexander Dowie a Scots/Australian evangelical minister and faith hero. As Ernie pointed out in an e-mail there are hundreds of songs with the word Zion in the title to choose from. I've gone for Gates of Zion by The Mighty Diamonds.

Thanks to all those that contributed with suggestions. I hope you've enjoyed this series and found it educational and have discovered some new songs. I know I have.

Bruce Springsteen - Youngstown

 Sufjan Stevens -For the Widows in Paradise, For the Fatherless in Ypsilanti

Sandy Denny - 3.10 to Yuma

The Mighty Diamonds - Gates of Zion

There will be nothing to see here for a couple weeks as we are off for our tradition Autumn Highland Clearance of Charity Shops

Saturday 23 September 2023

Saturday Shuffle 23


Are you ready Steve? Uh-huhAndy? YeahMick? OkayAlright fellas, let's go!

Yes this week The Sweet kick us off with the magnificent The Ballroom Blitz  from 1973 and still as fresh as a daisy. Amazingly it never reached number one and peaked at number two. One for John Medd I think.

The Unraveling from 2020 on ATO records represented a return to form by the Drive-By Truckers. For me it is easily their best album for at least 10 years. On it Patterson Hood vents his spleen at the state of Donald Trump's America. For an American album it is pretty left leaning and political in nature and it is none the worse for that. Here Patterson is telling you what you can do with your Thoughts and Prayers.

I'm not sure as to the politics of Little Richard but he was certainly subversive. From 1955 middle America did not know what had hit it with the release of his first single Tutti Frutti


Wednesday 20 September 2023

Same Title, Different Song - Stop


I must admit that I am not particularly enjoying this series so it is probably best that I bring it to a premature conclusion. Today's song choice therefore seems rather apt.

Here they come in the order that they now appear in on Google Drive.

Wiki has Lizz Wright down as a jazz and gospel singer although she somehow managed to make an appearance in the Alternative Country bible No Depression Stop is taken from Dreaming Wide Awake her second album from 2005.

Howard Tate was one of those soul singers who enjoyed a late renaissance following some fairly grim personal tragedies  Prior to that  he had a string of hit singles in the late 60s. Stop was one of these released on Verve Records in 1967.

I was going to post Stop by Sam Moore until I realised that it was the same song as Howards!

Americana singer songwriter Lily Hiatt is the daughter of John Hiatt .Her mother completed suicide when Lily was a baby which perhaps understandably led to Lily having drug and alcohol issues. Thankfully she now appears to be on the straight and narrow and has released a couple of excellent albums recently including 2021's Lately from where Stop is taken.

Finally I have saved the best for last. Another female singer with a famous singing father. Here is Sam Brown daughter of Joe with the title track of her 1988 album Stop! I suppose you could say that the exclamation mark means it is not technically the same title (I'm getting in before anyone else does) but that would be picking at straws. Anyway, it's my ball! 

I'm sure there are loads more out there

Lizz Wright - Stop

Howard Tate - Stop

Lily Hiatt - Stop

Sam Brown - Stop!

Apologies if you are having any issues with any of these songs. My systems have been tidied up and now seem to be a bit more fussy!

Tuesday 19 September 2023

It Began With an N


George was briefly in the country.

I'm sure that he would tell you that  he was here primarily to see his mum and to celebrate our pal Euan's 60th. I suspect though that the highlight of his trip was actually  his visit to the Music Room.

He headed to the Americana section and pulled out a couple of CDs for a listen. The first was by St Louis band Nadine, one off the two bands that I have seen in Helensburgh.. I'm not 100% sure which of  their CDs he selected as they have been put neatly back on the shelves. I know it was not their first one the brilliant Downtown, Saturday and I think it may well have been their 3rd and I think final one Back to My Senses rather than the second Lit Up From the Inside. On that basis I have gone for a song from that album Sleep Next to You a sentiment you  certainly would not want to attach to today's cover star Mad Nads.

The second CD selected was Boxer by The National. It is one of three I have which are all charity purchases. I was a bit late to the party as I didn't pick up on them until relatively recently. I will certainly pick up any more that I see. I feel that Squalor Victoria is a more appropriate song choice for Ms Dories

Nadine -Sleep Next to You

The National -Squalor Victoria

Monday 18 September 2023

James King and the Lonewolves


There used to be a coach operator in Galloway called James King . Whenever I saw one of their buses I would shout out and the Lonewolves  much to the annoyance of Mrs CC.

James King and the Lonewolves were one of those legendary bands who achieved cult status.  I suspect that more people have heard of them than have heard them and I know that I pretty much fit into the former category. However I've got the odd track downloaded here or there so I thought that I would give them another listen. I was pretty impressed. 

Discogs give a brief potted history  highlighting that they only ever released  two albums (one a live one)  and four singles/EPs and describing their music as Indie or Garage Rock

The album Lost Songs of the Confederacy was well received getting a mark of 9/10  from Louder than War who helpfully provide much more information than I ever could.  I suspect that I have little or no chance of ever tracking it down so I will have to live in hope that  one day they cross the radar of Past Night From Glasgow

James King & the Lonewolves -Texas Lullaby

James King & the Lonewolves -Ready to Fall

Sunday 17 September 2023

An A to Z of American Cities - W


Much as I would have liked to feature Wichita by The Jayhawks or even Wichita Skyline by Shawn Colvin I knew that my life would be in danger from Rol had I not opted for Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell. That means that the three Glen Campbell/Jimmy Webb big hitters have all featured (the others obviously being Galveston and By The Time I Get to Phoenix). There was no way that any of them could have been  left out.

Wichita as I'm sure you are all aware is the most populous city in the state of Kansas with just under 400K residents .It is obviously most famous for the song but one of the Earp brothers once ran a brothel there.

Again it was a tough choice when it came to Washington DC the capital city of the United States. The District of Columbia is on the east bank of the Potomac River and borders Virginia and Maryland. Although it is the nation's capital its population of  670K makes it only the 23rd largest city in the US. Christmas in Washington by Steve Earle was the front runner to feature for a while until I remembered about Washington Bullets by The Clash from Sandinista.

There was only one song about West Memphis that came to mind and it is yet another by Lucinda Williams. I haven't counted but I suspect that she has had more songs than any other artist in this series. West Memphis is the largest city in Crittenden County, Arkansas with a population of 26K. It is located directly across the Mississippi River from Memphis, Tennessee.

Not content with plugging shamelessly for Wichita Rol also offered up Wichita Falls by American Aquarium. Wichita Falls is the seat of governance in Wichita County in Texas and has a population of 104K. I tracked down an acoustic version of the song. I'm not sure whether this version is the one that Rol had in mind but it is rather good. I  used to have a Butch Hancock song which contained the lines climbing the walls in Wichita Falls. If anyone recognises this please can they put me out of my misery.

Waco is the 22nd most populous city in Texas with a population of around 138K and is conveniently situated halfway between Austin and Dallas. Were it not a made up name it would be most famous as the home of the Waco Brothers. However it is most famous for the Waco Siege of  1993 which resulted in the death of 4 ATF Agents and 82 Branch Davidians - here On a lighter note Waco is on the Brazos River which is helpful for the song below by Billy Walker

Finally to make up for the paucity of songs next week I am offering up a 6th city. Some of you may have worked out from the picture that the city in question is Wabash a city in Indiana with a population of 10666 as at the 2010 census. In addition to the fictional train made famous by Lonnie Donegan and many others Wabash claims to be the first electrically lighted city in the world from as far back as 31st March 1880.

We conclude this series next week with the letters X,Y and Z. As things currently stand I have no X's, two Y's and one tenuous and one very dubious Z.

Glen Campbell - Wichita Lineman

The Clash - Washington Bullets

 Lucinda Williams - West Memphis

American Aquarium - Wichita Falls

Billy Walker - Cross the Brazos at Waco

Lonnie Donegan - Wabash Canonball

Saturday 16 September 2023

Saturday Shuffle 22


A bit of a mixed bag this week with Soul, Psychedelia and  Country.

Let's start with soul and our cover star the wonderful Bettye Swan. I'm pleased to report that she is still going strong at the age of 78 after a career from 1964 to 1980. Her husband and manager George Barton died in 1980 and Bettye subsequently changed her name to Betty Barton, became a Jehovah's Witness and a teacher in the Las Vegas Area.

You could say that that Time to Say Goodbye was a fitting end to her musical career. The song is the final track on the quite glorious Sanctified Soul compilation on Ace Records. You need this album in your life.

Next up are the Zombies with Maybe After He's Gone  a track from their Psychedelic masterpiece 1968's Odessey and Oracle.

Finally we are off to East Nashville for yet another compilation from 2006 called The Other Side: Music from East Nashville here. Mostly local obscure acts but there are a few names that Americana fans may recognise. Chely Wright is a country singer and LGBT activist who is best known for her song Single White Female. According to the blurb on this song she has taken a more contemplative turn with a spare and lovely recording  of Wish Me Away

Bettye Swan - Time to Say Goodbye

The Zombies - Maybe After He's Gone

Chely Wright - Wish Me Away

Friday 15 September 2023

Last Rays of a Dying Sun


 Rain Parade first shot to prominence as part of the Paisley Underground scene in California in the mid 80's. They have previously featured here and here as part of the 3X4 album where they and fellow Paisley Underground acts The Dream Syndicate, The Bangles and The Three O'Clock covered each others songs.

They were originally on the go from 1981-1986 and then 1988 prior to resuming touring in 2012.Despite their relative longevity they have only ever released three studio albums Emergency Third Rail Power Trip (1983), Crashing Dream (1985) and some 38 years later Last Rays of a Dying Sun this year on the Flat Iron label.

I saw Matt Puicci and Steven Roback of the band doing an acoustic set as support to The Dream Syndicate  at the Hug and Pint in March and very good they were too.

I subsequently tracked down the album. It has been reasonably well received with a rating of 69/100 on the Metacritic aggregator, 3.5.5 on AllMusic and 3/5 on The Arts Desk.. It's only had a couple of listens so far but I like what I hear.

Classic Rock writes its gilded vocal harmonies and gently chiming guitars are uppermost as the band move through subtle variants of form and texture. That's good enough for me

Rain Parade -Couldn't Stand to be Alone

Rain Parade -Other Side of You

Thursday 14 September 2023

I Think I'm Gradually Learning


A couple of days ago I found myself singing Gradually Learning a song by the British Americana band The Rockingbirds. Later on that day I went to the gym and the first song which  appeared when I fired up the MP3 player was - yes you've guessed it - Gradually Learning by The Walkingbirds.

Now us Bloggers learn not to ignore such things. It was clearly a sign that it was due for another feature on these pages.

I have the 12 inch single which first came out on the Heavenly label in 1992 when it also appeared on their self - titled  debut album. Another single from the album was Jonathan, Jonathan which is a tribute to a certain Mr Richman. The song In Tall Buildings was not a single but probably deserved to be.

Initially they were on the go from 1990 to 1995. They then reformed for the Heavenly Records 18th Anniversary show in 2008 and have popped up intermittently ever since with their last album being released in 2019 .Lead singer Alan Tyler has also pursued a solo career.

It's always good to have Bobbie Gentry whispering in your ear again

The Rockingbirds -Gradually Learning

The Rockingbirds - Jonathan, Jonathan

The Rockingbirds -In Tall Buildings

Wednesday 13 September 2023

Same Title , Different Song - Tomorrow


Two more of these until I come up with something else.

Tomorrow apparently was a South Korean TV series on Netflix. I haven't seen it but I suspect George has.

There must be hundreds of songs with the word Tomorrow in the title. I'm sure you could all effortlessly rattle off a dozen or so in short older. Songs which only have the word Tomorrow in the title is slightly harder. I've five for you today. No doubt some others will be offered up in the comments.

I think that we will start with a Malaysian singer- songwriter , guitarist and ukulele player. Yes for some reason I have a song called Tomorrow by Zee Avi on the hard drive.

Tomorrow is  also the b-side of the single This Thing Called Love by a band called The Webs  from Galveston. It is from 1968 on London Records.

I suspect many of you will remember Duffy a Welsh blue eyed soul singer who was everywhere in the late naughties with the albums Rockferry (2008) and Endlessly (2010) . No sooner had she appeared she was gone. Tomorrow was the b-side to the single Mercy in 2009.

Some funk next from 1965 courtesy of the Radiants . They were a band who included Maurice and Mac who went on to do their own thing.

Finally we are off to Edinburgh and the band Dropkick. Tomorrow is track 8 from their 2020 album The Scenic Route which I have on the shelves. You should pop over to Bandcamp and get it too.

Final instalment next week.

Zee Avi - Tomorrow

The Webs - Tomorrow

Duffy - Tomorrow

The Radiants - Tomorrow

Dropkick -Tomorrow

Tuesday 12 September 2023

You Gotta Sin To Get Saved


2023 Charity Shop Purchases #75 - Maria McKee - You Gotta Sin To Be Saved

Maria McKee is hardly the most prolific artist in the world. She has only released 7 studio albums since 1989. Up until now I only had her eponymous debut album along with burns/downloads of Late December and La Vita Nuova.

Therefore I was quite pleased to pick up her second album 1993's You Gotta Sin to Get Saved on Geffen  recently from a charity shop in Troon.

Allmusic writes:You Gotta Sin to Get Saved evokes the country-rock vibe of the early '70s without sounding like a studied replica. McKee sings a dynamic mix of originals and covers with genuine conviction, making You Gotta Sin to Get Saved an album that demands repeated plays.

Produced by George Drakoulias of Jayhawks fame ( Mark Olson and Gary Louris make an appearance) there are a variety of genres. It's slightly bonkers but not the full on bonkers of some of her later works.

Maria McKee - I Forgive You

Maria McKee - Why Wasn't I More Grateful (When Life Was Sweet)

Monday 11 September 2023



2023 Charity Shop Purchases #74 - Songhoy Blues  - Résistance 

My third African purchase in around six weeks and my second one from Mali after Tinariwen. I'll be giving Ernie a run for his money shortly

The band Songhoy Blues consisting of Aliou Toure, Garba Toure, Oumar Toure (all unrelated ) and Nathanael Dembele hail from Timbuktu with the band being formed in Bamako after they were forced to leave their homes during civil conflict.

 Africa Express, a group of American and European musicians and producers led by Damon Albarn , visited Bamako to record an album of collaborations with the band auditioning successfully. This ensured international recognition which many similar bands were not privy to. This also led to trips to the US and slots on the festival circuit in the UK and the obligatory appearance on Later with Jools Holland. 

From 2017 and on the Transgressive label Résistance  is the second of their three albums to date and was recorded in London.. As you might expect they were championed by The Guardian who write that their original influences were desert blues and traditional Songhai styles, but here these are transformed by tight, attacking riffs, jangling funk guitar work and the addition of brass and keyboards. Iggy Pop and London Grime MC Elf  Kid both make an appearance on the album as does The Children's Choir of the Lycee Francais Charles de Gaulle, London

Despite all that there are still some pretty good tunes on the album.

Songhoy Blues - Badji

Songhoy Blues -Dabari

Sunday 10 September 2023

An A to Z of American Cities - U and V


We are now getting to the tricky bits. I only had one U and one V before Marc and Rol stepped in to help me 

The picture above is the U that I had. Union City is an Almeda County, California rather than the Rust Belt as you would probably imagine. Incorporated in 1959 by combining the communities of Alvorado and Decoto and has a population of 72K. Oh, and the song by Blondie is Union City Blue and NOT Union City Blues as the Robster was keen to point out in a previous post.

In last week's comments Marc advised that there a city in  the Mohawk Valley  in New York State called Utica. It has a population of 65K and is part of the Rust Belt. Marc did not have any songs in mind but after a fair bit of searching I managed to dig up a song called Utica by a band called Over Time. I'm afraid I have no further information than that to add.

We are back to California for the first of the Vs and we welcome back Lucinda Williams who is no stranger to this series. She has a song called Ventura on her 2003 album World Without Tears. Tom Petty also references the road Ventura Boulevard on Free Fallin' . Ventura is actually officially named San Buenaventura and is the county seat of Ventura County and has a population of  110K.

Time for Rol to step up to the plate. One of his suggestions was Vacaville yet another Californian city. It is on the edge of the Sacramento Valley with a population of 102K making it the third largest city in Solano County. Vacaville is also the name of a song by a band called Tullycraft who are, as Rol pointed out, firm favourites of our dear friend Brian.

Finally Rol points us in the direction of Virginia Beach with a great song from Johnny Dowd. Virginia Beach is an independent city in the South East coast of Virginia with a population of  just under 450K making it today's largest city. Although mostly suburban in nature it is the largest city in Virginia.

Next week we are on much firmer ground as we look at cities beginning with W.

Blondie - Union City Blue

Over Time - Utica

Lucinda Williams - Ventura

Tullycraft - Vacaville

Johnny Dowd - Virginia Beach

Saturday 9 September 2023

Saturday Shuffle 21


The Saturday Shuffle comes of age today with its 21st instalment. Hopefully you all know the drill by now - three songs chosen at random from my Gym MP3 player. It is not getting much action at the gym at the moment as it seems that I have pulled a muscle on my upper arm. Before that it was my knee. I am officially falling apart.

We start today with a song you may well recognise but not necessarily by the artist below. Fortune Teller was a song written by Allen Toussaint under the pseudonym Naomi Neville. It has been covered by many artists most notably by the Rolling Stones, the Who and the Hollies. It was first recorded by Benny Spellman. Today's version is by Tony Jackson with the Vibrations off Jon Savage's 1965 The Year the Sixties Ignited compilation.

Tony and the gang are followed by Thornliebank's finest Bis with Eurodisco. If you look up bouncy in the dictionary it will probably read Bis. They first appeared around  1994  and more recently have enjoyed a renaissance courtesy of Last Night From Glasgow. Perhaps unsurprisingly they are big in Japan.

We conclude this week with The Pointer Sisters from 1984 and the classic disco number Jump (For My Love) . Not to be confused with Jump by Van Halen. It's much better.

More assorted nonsense next Saturday

Friday 8 September 2023

What's Following Me?


2023 Charity Shop Purchases #73 - Eleanor McEvoy

Apologies for the brief break in transmission. We were away for a few day (yes Rol again!) and I  didn't quite get around to scheduling posts in my absence. On the plus side it may have encouraged some of the bots to bugger off back to Singapore.

I've been an admirer of Irish folk singer/songwriter Eleanor McEvoy ever since hearing her version of Mother's Little Helper which in turn led me to her album Life Must Be Tough. I subsequently picked up a few more of her albums and we saw her life in Glasgow's Glad Café as part of a Southside Festival.

It has been a few years since I grabbed one of her records and she has slipped off my radar a little. I spotted What's Following Me ? her second album from 1996  on the Columbia label (she signed to Columbia on the back of the success of her song A Woman's Heart) a couple of weeks ago and quickly snapped it up.

It is described by Wiki asstep forward—a more seamless, more mature glimpse of romantic angst through the eyes of a survivor. McEvoy is an adroit melodist, but she's an even more adroit lyricist who has become a standout in the '90s singer-songwriter field.  So there you go.

So far I'm not entirely convinced but I need to listen to it properly rather than in dribs and drabs. 

Something interesting (to me at any rate) is the price sticker on the front of the jewel case: 15 Marks from Abgestaubt , Alte Hattinger Str.17 44789 Bochum. That alone probably guarantees it keeper status.

Eleanor McEvoy - What's Following Me?

Eleanor McEvoy - Biochemistry

Tuesday 5 September 2023

Studio One Women


After listening to yesterdays  In My Life post I left the USB Stick running on the hi-fi. The next thing that popped up alphabetically was another Various Artists compilation namely Studio One Women 2  on Soul Jazz Records.

I'll let Juno do the heavy lifting by giving you the tracklist and the following review:

Compiling a slew of tracks that are either impossible to find or which have never been issued, the legendary Jamaican label Studio One have put together a fresh selection of all the best songs recorded by its women artists over the years. Harkening all the way back to the early '60s and through to the '80s, this boundless, romantic blossom of lovers' bass and vox charts both covering and original hits from the likes of Marcia Griffiths, Rita Marley and Hortense Ellis.

No offence to Rita and Hortense but Marcia is the only one of the three to feature today with the song Melody Life The others may well make an appearance in due course when I return for trip two 

This time round Marica is joined by Jamaica's First Lady of Jazz Myma Hague with New World and by Jay TeesJamaican duo of two Berry sisters: Janet Rose Berry and Theresa Andrea Berry. They made around half a dozen of songs for producer Clement "Coxsone" Dodd, late 70's and early 80's .Here they give us a song from 1980 Buck Town Corner.

Terrific stuff.

Marcia Griffiths - Melody Line

Myma Hague - New World

Jay Tees - Buck Town Corner

Nothing to see here for a couple of days - back shortly

Monday 4 September 2023

In My Life


On last weeks More  Devil Women post I shared a song by Nadia Reid off a compilation CD In My Life (Mojo Presents the New Singer Songwriters) from August 2020.

To my annoyance I couldn't find the CD  but fortunately I have burned a copy of it. When I played the burn I was even more annoyed as there are some very good songs on it.
In addition to Nadia  Waxahatchee,  Phoebe Bridges, Sufjan Stevens, Ren Harvieu, Bright Eyes, This is the Kit and Emily Barker have all appeared here before.

That still leaves seven to choose from. Let's start with the opening act Sophie Allison who is better known by her stage name Soccer Mommy. Bloodstream is the opening song from her 2020 album Color Theory on the Loma Vista label.

Angel Olsen is an artist that many of you are probably familiar with. Whole New Mess is the title track from her 2020 album on the Jagiaguwar label written following the collapse of a romantic relationship.

I was familiar with the two artists above even if only vaguely aware as to their music. However, my final choice Anjimile is a new name to me. The internet tells me that Anjimile Chithambo is an American folk singer from Boston. Their first album Giver Taker was released on the Father/Daughters label in 2020. Now signed to 4AD the follow up album The King is due shortly.

I'm away for a further look to see if I can find the CD!

Angel Olsen - Whole New Mess

Anjimile - Maker

Sunday 3 September 2023

An A to Z of American Cities - T


A bumper seven cities for you this week to make up for the paucity from now on in with the exception of W. I've had these cities scheduled for a couple of weeks so apologies if you have suggested a city in the comments and it has not been included.

It is always good to start with a Twofer and the picture above gives it away slightly. Tampa to Tulsa is a song off the excellent Rainy Day Music album by The Jayhawks. The distance from Tampa, Florida (population just under 400K) and Tulsa, Oklahoma (413K) is some 1240 miles or 1996km and would take approximately 18 hours. So Tampa is not quite Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa.

Tupelo, Mississippi has a population of just under 40K and was subject to a severe storm  in 1936 which killed  over 230 people. Fortunately Tupelo's most famous son  the infant Elvis Presley was not one of them.. Assorted versions of Tupelo Honey have featured here relatively recently so I am resorting to Plan B (and a pretty good one it is) namely Tupelo by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

R.E.M. make their second appearance in two days to sing about Texarkana from their Out of Time album. Texarkana is actually a twin city with one part in Texas (36K) and the other part in Arkansas (29K). I've just sussed that the clue is in the name!

Taneytown is a city in Carroll County, Maryland  with a population of just 7234 at the 2020 census. From the pictures I have seen it looks like a pretty wee place  so maybe it is not the same place that Steve Earle is singing about on his El Corazon album!

Tallahassee next but not Tallahassee Lassie or Bing Crosby's Tallahassee. No something more obscure referencing the capital city  of the state of Florida with a population just over 200k. Keeping Tallahassee Green is a song by a band called The Shallows which appears on the 2001 Americana compilation on Loose Records - New Sounds of the Old West Volume 3.

Toledo was the name of the much missed cinema about half a mile from our house which is now a block of flats. It is also a city and the county seat of Lucas county in Ohio with a population of 270K making it the 4th most populous in the State. Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach join forces on Toledo a song from their collaborative album Painted From Memory.

Next week I am doubling up U and V. Otherwise it would be a very short post!

The Jayhawks - Tampa to Tulsa

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Tupelo

R.E.M. - Texarkana

Steve Earle - Taneytown

The Shallows - Keeping Tallahassee Green

Elvis Costello with Burt Bacharach - Toledo

Saturday 2 September 2023

Saturday Shuffle 20


We are starting off this week  in Central America on a horticultural mission with R.E.M. That sounds like a clue from Rol's Saturday Snapshots doesn't it? I know you will all be over there tackling his cryptic clues rather than here. I know I will.

The more clever among you that the clue in bold refers to The Flowers of Guatemala the first song on side two of 1986's Lifes Rich Pageant.

As well as cryptic clues and anagrams Rol provides pictures of the act in question. I wonder how many of you recognise the handsome couple above? They are none other than Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs who joined forces for Under the Covers  a series of covers albums here

You're My Favorite Waste of Time was a song written and originally released by Marshall Henshaw and subsequently covered by Better Middler. In the UK Owen Paul reached number 3 in the singles charts in 1986 with his version My Favourite Waste of Time. Sadly I don't have a copy of that one so I can't share it with you.

I didn't want to put you off your cornflakes by posting a picture of Mark E Smith. Cruiser's Creek by the mighty Fall is a 1985 single written during the recording sessions for their album This Nation's Saving Grace.

We celebrate our 21st next Saturday

R.E.M. - The Flowers of Guatemala

Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs - You're My Favorite Waste of Time

The Fall - Cruiser's Creek

Friday 1 September 2023

Panic in Detroit


Detroit 67

When it came to D in my A-Z of American Cities I did not include Detroit.

However when I heard the Detroit Emeralds on the radio the other day It go me thinking about bands with Detroit in their name.

In addition to the Emeralds there are the Detroit Spinners and also the Detroit Cobras so a song from all 3 is in order. Had I included D in the A-Z series the song I would have selected would have been Panic in Detroit by David Bowie

I believe that Detroit is very run down these days partly because the motor industry for which it was famous has  now long gone. It was also the home of the Motown label and is also infamous for the riots in 1967 as part of the Civil Rights movement . Stuart Cosgrove covers these in his excellent book  Detroit 67: The Year That Changed Soul see here

Detroit Emeralds - Feel the Need in Me

Detroit Spinners - Working My Way Back to You

Detroit Cobras - Shout Bama Lama

David Bowie - Panic in Detroit