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Thursday 29 February 2024

Leap Year


Since I retired I can just about remember which day of the week it is. But don't ask me what the date is as I wont have a clue.

However I am aware that given this is a leap year that today is Thursday 29th February. Commiserations to the poor sods who are still working and have to work an extra day.

I believe it is a day that traditionally women  ask men to marry them. So congratulations if that's the case for you.

I'll do a post with Leap songs I thought, but it turned  out to be harder than I anticipated. I managed two songs and two bands.

You should all be familiar with the two acts performing the songs but maybe less so with the acts with Leap in their name. Some of you I am sure will be familiar with the Scottish Indie band Randolph's Leap named after a scenic beauty spot on the River Findhorn. You will probably be less familiar with the Manchester Band The Great Leap Forward. I know I was.

Stay tuned for a similar post in four years time

The Dave Clark Five - Look Before You Leap

Billy Bragg -Waiting For the Great Leap Forwards

Randolph's Leap - Up In Smoke

The Great Leap Forwards - My Grandfather's Cluck

Wednesday 28 February 2024

Brothers, Sisters ... 20



It's the final countdown! The last entry in a score of Brothers and Sisters groups. This week it is disco funk versus Americana roots.

First up it is the Jackson Sisters. You can come out from behind the couch as it is NOT Janet and LaToya! Rather it is the far more talented Gennie, Pat, Jacqueline, Rae and Lynn. The sisters were originally from Compton but who were based in Detroit for their career which lasted from 1971 to 1977. They released one album during this period which is pictured above.

The Wood Brothers are an American roots band consisting of brothers Chris (upright bass) and Oliver Wood (acoustic and electric guitar) along with multi instrumentalist Jano Rix. I appear to have a download of their 2019 album Live at the Fillmore but have absolutely no recollection of having downloaded it or listened to it  until now.

The Wood Brothers seem very earnest and good at what they do but clearly there can only be one winner this week. Get down on it!

A good way to conclude this series although a small codicil may appear next week.

Jackson Sisters - I Believe in Miracles

Jackson Sisters - Where Your Love Is Gone

Wood Brothers - One More Day

Wood Brothers - Snake Eyes (Live)

Tuesday 27 February 2024

Keep on Truckin’ 5

This may or may not appear on time today due to on-going technical problems. Could be expensive given the amount that mechanics charge and as for parts ....

Hopefully we manage to  to this week’s trucks on the road in time. We are pulling out all the stops.

We are starting up in Canada this week with Fred Eaglesmith with a song from Falling Stars and Broken Hearts. (You would be correct in assuming that he is a Country artist).  Fred proclaims that he wants to buy your truck (assuming it is in working order). He’s a big lad so best not to argue …. or haggle.

Stephen Pastel is far too nice a man to argue or indeed haggle. He knows his modes of transport though which he demonstrates as the Pastels sing of Truck, Train, Tractor from their album Up for a Bit With The Pastels from 1987. A Monorail is obviously his transport mode of choice.

Hopefully a band with a name like the Bottle Rockets will have the sense to ensure that there is a designated Truck Drivin’ Man who ideally is prepared to give it all he can.

Hopefully the mechanics will ensure that we are ticking along nicely and back on the road again for next week

Fred Eaglesmith - I Wanna Buy Your Truck

The Pastels - Truck, Train, Tractor

The Bottle Rockets - Truck Drivin' Man (Give It All I Can)

Monday 26 February 2024

Jesus This is Iggy


2024 Charity Shop Purchases #14 - American  Caesar

There are still a couple from my Auchterarder Folk Haul to feature but I thought that I would  mix things up a bit.

My next successful charity foray was to Oxfam in Troon* where I picked up my first ever Iggy Pop CD namely American Caesar from 1993. In case you are wondering why on earth it has taking him so long to get something by Iggy wonder no more as I have The Idiot (1977), Lust for Life (1977) and Blah Blah Blah (1986) on vinyl. And of course Raw Power by The Stooges.

Described by Stephen Thomas Eriewine as a grungy detour and by Mark Demming of AllMusic as an overlooked masterpiece it's great fun

The front cover includes an in-built sign which reads Parental Warning:This is an Iggy Pop record. Sure there is the occasional sweary word and numerous references to sex and drugs but it is hard to get offended by them. As the sign points out it is Iggy Pop after all.

I couldn't let this post go by without including Iggy's take on Louie Louie.

Iggy Pop - Mixin' The Colours

Iggy Pop - Louie Louie

* Oxfam Troon CDs 99p

* Oxfam's Glasgow CDs £2.99

Sunday 25 February 2024



2024 Charity Shop Purchases #13 - Fairport Convention - Rosie

It became clear in the Chest, Heart & Stroke charity shop in Auchterarder that someone was pruning back their folk collection.

I wasn't about to turndown Rosie by Fairport Convention. From 1973 on the Island label Rosie was the band's eighth album since their debut in 1968 and it is clear that it came after the "good ones" My copy is the 2004 Remastered Deluxe version with live versions of 5 out of the 10 tracks included

It´s the successor to "Babbacombe Lee" from 1971 with several line-up changes. Simon Nicol had left the band and former Fotheringay members  Sandy Denny's husband Trevor Lucas (vocals, acoustic guitar) and Jerry Donahue (guitar) had joined. Simon Nicol was the last remaining member from the original line-up which meant that the line-up on Rosie didn´t feature a single original members of the band. The album was produced by new member Trevor Lucas.

Richard Thompson and Sandy  Denny did however contribute guitar and backing vocals respectively to the title track.

AllMusic gives it 2.5/5 with a user rating of 3.5/5. I think that I would go with the former. A couple of good songs here and there but not a patch on some of their earlier classics. At times it sounds like a different band which in reality is what it actually is.

I'm not convinced that this one is a keeper.

Fairport Convention - Rosie

Fairport Convention - My Girl

Saturday 24 February 2024

Saturday Shuffle 43


War, huh, yeah
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing uhh

Wise words indeed from Edwin Starr. Perhaps someone could remind Messrs Putin and Netanyahu. Also, I wouldn't put money on the Tories trying to broker their way to a war (the Falklands again perhaps?) to give them more time to plunder the country's coffers prior to getting kicked out.

There are times when I think that side 3 of Live Rust from which this version of Cinnamon Girl is taken, is the greatest slab of live music ever. Scratch that I don't think it is, it is!

Are Seven Days Too Long? or can you hold out for the next edition of Saturday Shuffle?

Friday 23 February 2024

The Rum Shack baby


Monday Barbara Dickson at the Royal Concert Hall, Saturday Savage Mansion at the Rum Shack. That's how I rock

It was the first time I had been to the Rum Shack on Glasgow's South Side. It is an impressively large venue and much less claustrophobic than the likes of the Glad Cafe and the Hug and Pint. The only downside was the price of the drinks.£4.75 for a can of Red Stripe and £6.20 for a pint of Bitter & Twisted. Well it is in Strathbungo which is Hipster central. Lots of man buns on display, far more that at Barbara Dickson!

The concert was primarily  to launch The  Shakes the new album by Savage Mansion on the Pictish Trail's Lost Map label.

First up was Northern Irish singer Martha Ffion who also coincidentally happens to be married to Craig Angus the frontman of Savage Mansion. I have her previous album Nights to Forget  here and so was keen to hear her performing songs from her newish album The Wringer. I was not disappointed.

The second act consisted of about a dozen ridiculously young musicians known collectively as Mallet Space. They seemed to be enjoying themselves but I'm afraid their music did nothing for this old fogey.

Finally the main act Savage Mansion came on with a set that heavily featured The Shakes. As I wrote here they put me in mind of Pavement which let's face it is no bad thing.

All in all it was a good night particularly as Mrs CC dropped me off and picked me up. I made good use of my Christmas money by picking up both The Wringer and The Shakes which after a first listen seem to be   well worth having.. Here are the title tracks from both.

Martha Ffion - The Wringer

Savage Mansion - The Shakes

Thursday 22 February 2024

Songs by Bands I Don’t Like 5 - A Guest Series


For the final time George writes:

The premise of the series is that even bands we really do not like have at least one passably good song. Well, obviously not The Pet Shop Boys, they are just absolute bobbins, totally and utterly,  and inexplicably popular.

The first group today do not feature anywhere on the shelves, but if I had not stopped collecting the History of Rock LPs at volume 25 (The Beatles were vol. 26) I would have four Eagles songs (on vol. 30). The songs I have heard from the first two albums, allegedly country rock, leave me cold. And those ballady things from later era are truly terrible. But, in best contrarian fashion, I inexplicably like this song, it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure kind of song for me:

The Eagles - New Kid in Town

It’s on one of my Downloads series of cds. Unlike the next group!

And unlike all bar 1 of the 9 previous artistes (the Beatles, my brother has all their proper studio albums) I have actually listened to three of this band’s albums. Many many years ago, in 1984, a college friend loaned me a plethora of his albums, which included Wall Of Voodoo, the B52s, The Fall, and two albums by The Clash. (On my way back to return them, my friend Euan and I were almost mugged in the streets of Dundee, but I avoided physical harm by yielding the 8 cans of sweetheart stout I also had with me, so Rakesh’s albums were saved).So that’s the first album and Give ‘em Enough Rope heard all the way through. The third album I actually have, bought on a record-shopping day, money burning a hole in my pocket, and it only cost £5 from FOPP. 

The Clash - London Calling

Purchased because of the song, album played once. I also have Rock The Casbah, bought on its release.  Many people who read these pages are big fans of the band. Mr CC certainly is, and I’ve seen that presentation display of London Calling in his own Music Room.

So there you have it. Ten songs in all that I  do like and can easily listen to, all done by Bands That I Don’t Like.

CC writes:

Thanks George - I think you have just about managed to annoy everyone. A magnificent effort!

It's all about opinions!

It would be a boring world if we were all the same.

Wednesday 21 February 2024

Brothers ,Sisters ..... 19


It's the penultimate week of this series and we have the Battle of the Cs  or if you prefer Canada versus the USA.

In the Canadian corner we have from Toronto  David and Andrew collectively known as the Cash Brothers who didn't record and sing together  until they were in their 30s. It maybe took them that amount of time to grow their hair that long.

I first came across them at SXSW in Austin around 2001 when they were promoting their album How Was Tomorrow and subsequently picking up the 2003 follow up A Brand New Light two excellent slabs of Canadian Americana.

Andrew went on to become  a New Democratic Party MP in  the Canadian Parliament from 2011-2015.

I know nothing about the Caulfield Sisters. Wiki tells me that they are an indie rock/shoegaze trio from Brooklyn consisting of Cindy Wheeler, Mary Catherine Guidera and Kristin Mueller who have been on the go from 2000. During that time they have released three albums and it seems that they are not averse to a Smiths cover.

Never mind the Smiths any act who release a song paying homage to the Boss'  greatest album are always going to get my vote.

You will be glad to hear that it will be the final instalment next Wednesday. 

Cash Brothers - Raceway

Cash Brothers - Nebraska

Caulfield Sisters -Mosquito

Caulfield Sisters - Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want

Tuesday 20 February 2024

Keep on Truckin' 4


Let's start this week's offerings with a non -country number. From as far back as 2016 here is HiFi Sean with the aptly named Truck featuring Fred Schneider of B52's fame on vocal. It could well be an electric truck.

From the days when electric trucks were things from science fiction here is an Americana track with a difference. The difference? It is by a British Americana band (if that makes sense) The Rockingbirds from their excellent self-titled album from even further back in 1992.

I thought I  was all out of Truckstop songs until Rol kindly stepped up to the plate with the suggestion of Truckstop Queen by Rachel Sweet. I reckon that Rachel was far too young and nice to ever hang around at truckstops.

No more Truckstop songs I'm afraid unless anyone else can come up with one but I reckon I have enough material for another couple of posts before I run out of diesel.

In the meantime Keep on Truckin'

HiFi Sean (ft Fred Schneider) - Truck

The Rockingbirds - Time Drives The Truck

Rachel Sweet - Truckstop Queen

Monday 19 February 2024

Silver Disc - 25 Years of Ace


2024 Charity Shop Purchases #12 - Various Artists - Silver Disc -25 Years of Ace 1975 -2000

If you have any interest in music at all you should really make yourself familiar with Ace Records the leading reissue record company in the UK.

For the uninitiated Ace Records Ltd. is a British record label founded in 1978. Initially the company only gained permission from the similarly named label based in Mississippi to use the name in the UK, but eventually also acquired the rights to publish their recordings

This is helpful for this particular CD  released in 2000 as it means that it contains 26 tracks  - one a year for the period 1950 to 1975   track details here

I was aware that I already had this but correctly thought it was a burn. My database couldn't help me out as I haven't yet got round to cataloguing all the compilations. Well worth a punt for 50p.

The vast majority of the tracks would be worthy of inclusion but I will ration myself to one from the 50s, one from the 60s and one from the 70s. Don't say I'm not good to you

The Swan Silvertones - Trouble In My Way

Mary Love - Lay This Burden Down

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Travelin' Band

Sunday 18 February 2024

The Cat Crept In


2024 Charity Shop Purchases #11 - Cat Stevens - The Very Best Of

I had the occasional song by Cat Stevens here and there but no albums.
It therefore made sense to fork out 50p  in the Chest, Heart and Stroke charity shop in Auchterarder for The Very Best of Cat Stevens a 2003 compilation on the Universal label.

24 songs and I would estimate that I was previously familiar with about half of them including the three featured below. For some reason my CD Burner decided not to record this CD so I had to obtain the tracks by various routes

I was aware that The First Cut Is the Deepest was first recorded by P.P. Arnold rather than Rod Stewart but it was only when I got this CD that I discovered that it was Cat who wrote it.

As many of you will be aware he converted to Islam in the late 70's and became known as Yusuf Islam or just Yusuf. I suspected that Cat Stevens was not actually his birth name and the Internet tells me that it was Steven Demetre Georgiou. He also answered to Steve Adams.

Saturday 17 February 2024

Saturday Shuffle 42


Beta Band songs - none for ages then two posts come along at once. Hot on the heels from Monday's Heroes to Zeros post  along come the Fence Collective legends once more with To You Alone a stand alone single from January 2000. The NME made it their "Single of the Week", and would later select it as one of the 50 greatest singles of 2000 in their end-of-year awards.

Next up is our cover star Julian H Cope with a song which no doubt will  please Khayem.        

From 1991 Beautiful Love was the first single released to support the album Peggy Suicide. It has appeared on these pages once before on a post about his brilliant compilation Floored Genius

Finally we have another genius in the shape of Robbie Fulks. Here he gives his interpretation of Tears at the Grand Ol' Opry as part of the 2004 Bloodshot Records compilation Hard Headed Woman: A Celebration of Wanda Jackson.

More genuises and maybe some  hard headed women next Saturday

The Beta Band -To You Alone

Julian Cope - Beautiful Love

Robbie Fulks -Tears at the Grand 'Ol Opry

Friday 16 February 2024

Farewell Barbara


On Monday night at Mrs CC's request we went to see Barbara Dickson in Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall.

I must admit I was quite apprehensive fearing a night of songs from Musicals such as Evita, Chess and Blood Brothers. Fortunately my fears were allayed with only a very good version of Another Suitcase in Another Hall featuring.

Rather she was more concerned with emphasising her traditional Folk roots with references to friends and mentors such as Gerry Rafferty, Rab Noakes , Average White Band and Archie Fisher. She also threw in songs by Bob Dylan, the Beatles  and George Harrison for good measure.

The encore in particular was outstanding with Barbara singing the Eriksay Love Song acapella before the band joined in followed by Mrs CC's favourite Caravan Song. 

Nor bad for a 76 year old. A solid seven out of ten and we were both glad that we made the effort to go.

Where else would the Beta Band and Barbara Dickson both feature in the same week?

Next gig - Savage Mansion!

Barbara Dickson - Caravan Song

Barbara Dickson - Rigs O' Rye

                                                                       From 2007

Thursday 15 February 2024

Songs by Bands I Don’t Like 4 - A Guest Series


George writes:

Yes, more songs I like by bands that I particularly dislike. Or “bands that I  particularly dislike but did buy a single once” in the case of these popsters from Aberdeen and Sunderland. The 12 inch single is in the music room, unplayed for nearly 40 years, but on listening to it again, well, it’s not a bad pop song at all, and does not suffer too much from the insufferable Ms Lennox’s vocal histrionics. Parts of the song have a Depeche Mode sound, and maybe less of a typical Eurythmics feel? It has been described thusly:a "fascinating song" that is "somewhat constrained" by the Eurythmics' practice of writing songs using few notes”  (from wikipedia). I think I bought a Thompson Twins 12 inch at about the same time I got this one.

Eurythmics - 1984

I just cannot fathom why they were so popular.  Nor the Thompson Twins. 

I used to have a single by this next lot, but shot it with my brother’s air rifle over 40 years ago. Mr Weller  writes a clever lyric, but the music was terrible, as was his delivery. Still, at least they weren’t the Style Council, Jesus wept they really were rubbish. The single I had? “News of the world”, but that’s not what you’re getting, it’s this, a far superior song. And that opening line of finishing your pint and picking up your cigarettes, memorable:

The Jam - The Eton Rifles

A true contrarian would have chosen David Watts.

CC writes

The Jam - David Watts

Wednesday 14 February 2024

Brothers, Sisters .... 18


We're nearly there! Only two more to go after this week's artists. It is Country all the way today.

We will start with the sisters. The Lonesome Sisters are an American acoustic duo consisting of Sarah Hawker an Appalachian singer who plays guitar. clawhammer banjo and harmonica and Debra Clifford on guitar and fiddle. On these tracks they are joined by banjo and fiddle player Riley Baugus.

The Boston Globe describes them as delivering crystalline harmonies and mournful tunes

Long suffering readers of this blog will probably be familiar with the Americana band the Pernice Brothers who were formed by Joe Pernice in 1998 following the breakup of his former band The Scud Mountain Boys. Since them they have delivered 8 albums 4 of which are on the shelves. If I was to recommend just one I  would go for their 1998 debut The World Won't End one of my 50 Americana Albums You Should Hear Before You Die

They are a band I have seen a couple of times as well as seeing Joe playing solo and therefore they will get my vote this week.

Next week features the only band (to my knowledge) who I have music by and who have had a member or parliament within their number.

The Lonesome Sisters - Go Home

The Lonesome Sisters - Rain and Snow

Pernice Brothers - Working Girls (Sunlight Shines)

Pernice Brothers - The Weakest Shade of Blue

Tuesday 13 February 2024

Keep on Truckin' 3


As has been mentioned before the majority of truck songs are from the Country genre.

There have been a few suggestions for non- country songs in the comments section .JC has suggested a few including Dumper Truck Racing by Scottish Indie darlings Ballboy. Given that they have a song called I Lost You, But I Found Country Music I suspect that they may well be closet Country fans.

I'm not sure that the same could be said about Big Black one of Khayem's suggestions with the song The Sound of Independent Trucking. It may not be Country but it is a splendid racket.

When it comes to Truckstops I'm afraid it is Country all the way. Here are Country Rock band Little Feat with Truck Stop Girl.

More Truck Songs next week but I think I'm all out of Truck Stops

Ballboy - Dumper Truck Racing

Big Black - The Power of Independent Trucking

Little Feat - Truck Stop Girl

I've been having some problems with Khayem's files so I have taken the liberty of sourcing another version of the Big Black song

Monday 12 February 2024

Heroes to Zeros


2024 Charity Shop Purchases #10  - The Beta Band - Heroes To Zeros

My first Charity Shop purchase from Stirling. I have bought records from there before but in the Europa record shop rather than the plethora of charity shops outside the Thistle Centre.

From 2004 on the Regal label Heroes to Zeros is the third and final album from the Beta Band. It joins their 1999 debut The Beta Band and the CD of The Three EPs on the shelves. Hot Shots II remains the missing link.

What can you say? It's the Beta Band and is what you would expect from them. Critically received with a Metacritic rating of 74/100 and an inclusion in the 2005 version of the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Any of the 12 songs would be worthy of inclusion today but here are the two singles from the album.

A good find.

The Beta Band - Assessment

The Beta Band - Out-Side

Sunday 11 February 2024

Shazam Sunday 10


I pretty quickly recognised the first tune as being by Blur. From the brief snippet it took a quick Shazam to confirm that it was in fact Coffee and TV from their 6th album 1999's 13. Clearly one that I should listen to more often. Indeed, I could probably say that for every Blur album.

It was the second single from the album peaking at number 11 in the singles chart. It was written by guitarist Graham Coxon who sang lead vocals rather than Damian Albarn. I'm afraid I have no details of where I Shazamed this from.

I know where I got Silk by Wolf Alice from. It is from a scene from the Scottish soap opera River City where the gangster Lenny Murdoch shoots sleazy lawyer Alistair Campbell Bannerman. I appreciate that this will mean nothing to 99.9% of the audience. This song has been seen  6.6 million  times on You Tube. I only looked at it when preparing this post.

That's the Shazam files exhausted for now. I shall return with a further batch in due course.

Blur -Coffee and TV

Wolf Alice - Silk

Saturday 10 February 2024

Saturday Shuffle 41


Count yourselves very fortunate today, The first song that popped up on the shuffle for today was Mississippi Queen by Mountain. Quite what it was doing on the MP3 I have no idea. Part of a compilation perhaps? Anyway the good news was that I couldn't find it on the hard drive and I was not inclined to try and track it down.

Therefore the first song today is from our cover star the late great Bettye Swann. She was active in the field from 1964 to 1980 before becoming a Jehovah's Witness. Sadly she died last January aged 79. Tell it Like it Is was probably her most famous song.

I have the next band filed as The Chesaterslicks. That actually should read The Cheater Slicks who are a three man garage pop band founded in Boston in 1987. This song is one of two by them from the compilation. 21st Century Rockabilly: Volume Two.

Finally the act who benefitted from Mountain's exclusion are L'il Cap'n Travis an Austin band who I discovers on one of my trips to SXSW at the beginning of the century

Bettye Swan - Tell it Like It Is

The Cheater Slicks -You're Untrue

L'il Cap'n Travis - I Don't Wanna Go Out Tonite

Friday 9 February 2024

Must I Paint You a Picture?


2024 Charity Shop Purchases #9 - Billy Bragg -Must I Paint You a Picture? - The Essential Billy Bragg

With the exception of the 10 track limited edition 3rd bonus CD I must have about 90% of the 40 tracks on the first two CDs. So why buy it?

There are a number of reasons:

  • Why not?
  • 50 songs by Billy Bragg for a penny less than 3 quid
  • I have most of the early stuff on vinyl so it is good to have them on CD as well
  • It is also good to have all the songs conveniently in the one place
  • You can never have enough Billy Bragg.
  • And most importantly to annoy my pal Pete who recently forked out about 15 quid for something very similar.
The Bard of Barking is like marmite you either like him or you don't. I do .Ok so maybe he doesn't have the greatest voice in the world but he makes up for it with his songs and his passion.

I think it is only fair to give you one song from each of the three discs and which I don't think have featured here before.

Thursday 8 February 2024

Songs by Bands I Don’t Like 3 - A Guest Series


George writes:

(That’s the interior of the Caird Hall in Dundee)

Another first for these pages. Actually, two firsts, but for different reasons. The first first, a band even more despised by Mr CC than last week’s, and a group much disliked by me. And that’s despite queueing for 4 hours in 1980 to pay £4 for a ticket to see them at the Caird Hall. For what turned out to be quite a tedious concert. But much loved by some of my schoolfriends, some of whom have formed a Genesis tribute band. I first heard this group  nearly 50 years ago, the older brother was a fan and bought the 1973 Live album, and Stuart and I listened to it. He was a fan then, but I was not persuaded,  and it certainly did not fit in musically with the glam singles or Annie’s Song I was buying at that time.  But I can listen to this tune quite easily, there’s none of the tedious Gabriel-era vibe of that Live album about it, just a simple pop song, one that I probably heard in the venue you see above::

Genesis - Turn it On

And the second first is an appreciation of a song by one of Mr CC’s favourite artistes. Not Townes, he’s an artist whose music I don’t dislike, just don’t like enough to buy an album. He has tried to convince with me Townes, but to no avail. And he really has tried with Mr Springsteen, with Nebraska, for example, but the one song that I genuinely liked on first hearing, and that was  on or about it’s release is this:

Bruce Springsteen - The River

It’s got a bit of a Neil Young-ish introduction and feel to it. I remember being so impressed that I have on occasion been tempted to buy the album. But the shelves remain bare of any of Mr Springtseen’s output.

CC writes:

You will get no argument from me about Genesis.

The Boss on the other hand - you are just being contrary!

Wednesday 7 February 2024

Brothers, Sisters .... 17


It is Zimbabwe versus the United States this week.

The Four Brothers (who are not brothers) were formed as far back as 1977 when Zimbabwe was still Rhodesia. They play jingly jangly pop music with songs sung in the Shona language.

Along side the likes of Thomas Mapfumo & the Blacks Unlimited and The Bhundu Boys they were championed in the UK by John Peel and Andy Kershaw and they released a number of albums on the Cooking Vinyl label. 

Sadly three of the founding members died between 1997 and 2002 with  Frank Sibanda who had replaced Edward Matiyasi passing away in 2010.

The Rogers Sisters were an Indie band from Brooklyn who were active from 1999 to 2007 releasing three albums during that period. They consisted of sisters Laura and Jennifer Rogers and multi instrumentalist/vocalist Miyuki Furtado.

They play some bouncy and feisty indie rock but having just listed to the album Makorokoto by the Brothers there is only one winner for me this week.

Three to go

The Four Brothers - Makorokoto

The Four Brothers - Uchandifunga

The Rogers Sisters - Never Learnt to Cry

The Rogers Sisters - Calculator

Tuesday 6 February 2024

Keep on Truckin' 2


Refreshed from our truckstop we are now back on the road.

Now there have been suggestions that this series will be pretty much exclusively Country. There will certainly be a LOT of Country but some other genres will sneak in here and there.

Had he lived long enough Marc Bolan may well have tried his hand at Country. I think that he would have made a reasonable stab at it. In the meantime we will have to make do with some Glam Truckin'  with Truck On (Tyke).

Khayem offered up a few suggestions in the comments last week. He was so determined that some be included that he sent me a playlist. Here is some Soul Truckin' courtesy of the Tom Moulton Mix of our title track Keep on Truckin' by Eddie Kendricks. It's a long 'un

County lovers worry not as it is Truckstop time. We have got as far as La Grange courtesy of a lift from the Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash. We will rest up for a few days prior to getting back on the road next week.

Eddie Kendricks - Keep on Truckin' (A Tom Moulton Mix)

T-Rex - Truck On (Tyke)

Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash - Truckstop in La Grange

Monday 5 February 2024

Celtic Connections 2024


Regular readers (or should that be reader?) will know that we usually attend some shows at the annual Celtic Connections festival  and that I provide some brief feedback.

This year we attended three shows. We limited ourselves to shows at the Royal Concert Hall due to good parking and easy access for Mrs CC's mum.

18/01/24 - Opening Concert 5/10

A tale of two halves. A short opening set was a few  numbers by the Danish instrumental group Dreamers Circus and some songs by the wonderful Rachel Sermanni. Unfortunately I missed a couple of songs as I had to leave the auditorium with a coughing fit.

The main show features mandolin player Chris Thile (of Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers fame) and the Scottish Symphony Orchestra. We were unaware that this was to be the European premiere  of his musical theatre piece ATTENTION!  It was not our kind of thing at all and I would say that was the case for about 60% of the audience. The other 40% gave him a standing ovation.

23/01/24 - The Good Lovelies/Josie Duncan 7/10

The Good Lovelies are  a Juno Award-winning ensemble comprising Ontario, Canada natives Kerri Ough, Sue Passmore, and Caroline Marie Brooks who have been on the go for 17 years. They could probably be described as mainstream Country comparable to the early Dixie Chicks. Their harmonies were faultless, musicianship and they seemed really nice folk who were genuinely glad to be there. However they were a wee bit too bland (in a nice way) for me.

I much preferred the opening act Gaelic singer Josie Duncan and her band. I would go and see them again.

02/02/24 - The Transatlantic Sessions 8/10

We saved the best for last. The Transatlantic Sessions is a Celtic Connections institution. Led by Jerry  Douglas and Ali Bain with a band of about a dozen brilliant traditional musicians including the likes of Phil Cunningham and John McCusker. They are joined by guest singers including Kim Carnie and Carlene Carter. The level of musicianship was exceptional. It is the first time we have managed to get tickets for this and hopefully it won't be the last.

Rachel Sermanni - Ferryman

Carlene Carter - I Fell in Love

Sunday 4 February 2024

Shazam Sunday 9


I'm not sure whether this actually technically counts as Shazaming. Let me explain.

A few days ago we went to the pictures to see the rites of passage film The Holdovers starring Paul Giammati. It was pretty good if a bit formulaic. It had an interesting soundtrack and on more than one occasion I felt the urge to reach for my phone and the Shazam app.

However, as I am sure you are all aware, the use of phones in a cinema is frowned upon and if you are perceived to be recording something you can get into serious trouble.

Therefore, I waited until I got  home and took advantage of the services offered by Mr Google to identify who was singing what As you can see there has been a soundtrack album released and I was quite taken with the two tracks which bookend the film.

I have Damien Jurado's 1999 debut album Rehearsals for Departure  and saw him live around then. Thereafter he slipped off my radar. This song Silver Joy is rather lovely.

Labi Siffre is rightly best known for the songs It Must Be Love and Something Inside So Strong. I would argue that Crying, Laughing, Loving, Lying should be up there too.

All a bit mellow so I will end with the Allman Brothers and the version of In Memory of Elizabeth Reed from their At Fillmore East, 1971 album which is slightly more raunchy.

Damien Jurado -Silver Joy

Labi Siffre -Crying, Laughing, Loving, Lying

Allman Brothers - In Memory of Elizabeth Reed (At Fillmore East, 1971)

Saturday 3 February 2024

Saturday Shuffle 40


I finally seem to have recovered from the dreaded lurgy and am slowly getting back to my usual regime. This means that the gym MP3 player is now being used for its intended purpose of drowning out the awful canned music as well as for this series. In the highly unlikely event that any of the three songs below were to feature on the in-house system I would be a happy gym bunny.

How could you not build up a sweat exercising along to Dave Edmunds and the Stray Cats blasting out their take on the George Jones classic The Race is On?

David Byrne wouldn't need the sauna to build up a sweat if he turned up wearing his big suit. I never got round to seeing Stop Making Sense at the pictures when it was recently re-released. I have the album, the extended CD and saw it first time round and that's enough for me.

I'm a Boy proudly proclaims Roger Daltrey so there should be no dilemma as to which changing room to use. The Who classic is yet another one taken from the brilliant compilation Jon Savage's 1966 - The Year the Decade Exploded.

Psycho KillerQu'est-ce que c'est?

Dave Edmunds with the Stray Cats - The Race is On

Talking Heads - Stop Making Sense

The Who - I'm a Boy