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Sunday, 19 February 2017

Some Definitive Impressions

Definitive Impressions is one of those career spanning anthologies that the great Kent Soul label specialises in.
Twenty eight songs and everyone a cracker from the Doo Wop of 1961 through to 1968 and featuring the seamless and indeed peerless harmonies of  Curtis Mayfield, Sam Gooden and Fred Cash.
It was a bit of a dilemma in deciding what to choose but in the end I went for the two  most obvious ones on the basis that you can't improve upon perfection.
You will not hear two better songs today or possibly for the rest of the week.
As the album sleeve says defining moments in 60's Soul from Chicago's greatest group

The Impressions - Keep On Pushing

The Impressions - People Get Ready

Saturday, 18 February 2017


I very nearly bought New Adventures in Hi-Fi by R.E.M. in my local charity shop the other day but I wasn't sure if I had it or not. Turns out I  don't so I'll pick it up next time I'm in if it's still there.
This got me checking and confirmed what I thought. I actually own more post Out of Time/Automatic For The People  R.E.M. albums than pre ones. I suspect that  this is because they are more readily available in charity shops.
The only pre ones I own are Reckoning and the 1991 Best Of from the IRS years.
This is clearly wrong as it is an established fact that their early stuff is much better that their later offerings. Here is some proof.

For all things R.E.M. can I point you in the direction of The Robster

R.E.M. -Radio Free Europe

R.E.M. - I Believe

Friday, 17 February 2017


We have featured Americana here many times before (too many ......  that's enough of that - Ed) and Americana from Canada and Britain. Today it is the turn of Sweden
First Aid Kit comprises of sisters Klara (vocals and guitar) and Johanna (vocals/keyboard/autoharp) Söderberg 
They started out in  their native Sweden since 2007  shooting to international fame in 2008 with their You Tube version of Fleet Foxes - Tiger Mountain Peasant Song

This led to a record deal (first with Wichita and then Columbia) and they have since gone on to record three albums the middle one of which from 2012 is The Lion's Roar

Here is the title track from that album together with This Old Routine.

First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar

First Aid Kit - This Old Routine

I was going to give you the brilliant Emmylou but I have featured that before
They are older than their years

Thursday, 16 February 2017


Another one that is down to The Swede. Just to let you know sir that when my bank manager comes calling I shall be forwarding him/her in you general direction.

Rozi Plain is originally from Winchester where she was born as Rosalind Leydon. She also regularly plays with This is the Kit another act that The Swede first brought to my attention.
She has released three albums on Lost Map the record label from the Isle of Eigg founded by The Pictish Trail.
Here is a song from her excellent 2015 album Friends followed by a track from a Lost Map sampler which you can pick up on Bandcamp for nothing although I would suggest a small donation as small independent labels need all the support they can get.

Rozi Plain - Tap to The Chest

Rozi Plain - See my Boat (Alexis Taylor Remix)

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Burn Offerings 6

First the bad news - there has been an incremental reduction in interest for the Burnt Offerings posts over the previous five weeks.
Now the really bad news - there are 32 in the series and  I plan to continue until the bitter end.

You will all be familiar with the first song this week but not perhaps with the singer. Petra Haden is an American singer and violinist who has been a member of That Dog, Tito and Tarantula and The Decemberists.
I shall spare you her acapella version of Journey's Don't Stop Believing

Petra Haden - God Only Knows

A.C. Newman is a Canadian singer/songwriter who as well as performing sol plays with The New Pornographers.
His name is Allan Carl Newman and chose  "A.C." for his solo career because "it sounded like a pseudonym, but it's not a pseudonym." So now you know. Miracle Drug is the first song on his 2004 debut solo album The Slow Wonder.

Today's final choice is a bit of a mystery. I can't find any references anywhere to The Eric Hinshaw Band leading me to suspect that I have totally the wrong name. If anyone can help me out I would be eternally grateful.
All I can say is that they are more classic Country than Americana and he almost certainly wears a hat.

Volume 7 next week whether you like it or not

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Robert Fisher RIP

The Swede  passed on to me the very sad news of the death of Robert Fisher who had been suffering from cancer.
I'm sure he will post his own tribute but I felt that  I should also mark Robert's passing
Although he  occasionally sang solo  as seen below  with a number from the Song Circle 2002 acoustic album he recorded with Steve Wynn, Deanna Varagona and Walter Salas- Humara he is best remembered as the front man of Americana band Willard Grant Conspiracy
Founded in 1995 in Boston they have released a number of albums on labels such as Glitterhouse, Rykodisc and Loose with 10 studio albums and 4 live albums to  their name.
Sometimes I thought that his music was a wee bit bleak even for me but there is no denying that he had a fine voice and that he was a very good songwriter.
Rest easy big man.

Robert Fisher - Closing Time

Willard Grant Conspiracy - Soft Hand

Monday, 13 February 2017

Don't Try This At Home

Wilco last Monday and Billy Bragg & Wilco on Friday. So logically (or perhaps lazily) I thought it time for a solo outing from the Bard of Barking.
When writing the Protest Song post I had in my head lyrics from a Billy Bragg song which mentions Woody Guthrie and old Joe Hill. However, I can't for the life of me remember which one. Feel free to put my out my agony.(A Steve Earle song as it turns out - see FBCB's comment below)
This led to me scouring the Bragg section and thinking that it was a long time since I had played 1991's Don't Try This at Home.
I put it on the car on the way to work and was immediately stuck by Everywhere  his version of a song by Sid Griffin and the recently departed Greg Trooper  I've obviously heard it a number of times before but this is the first time it has grabbed me.
On the other hand Tank Park Salute, his tribute to his late father, gets me every time.

Billy Bragg - Everywhere

Billy Bragg - Tank Park Salute