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Friday, 31 January 2014

Compare and Contrast

Mrs CC came in the other day with a charity shop purchase The Essential Eddy Grant CD.
This led me to getting out my vinyl copy of Eddy Grant -All the Hits for a quick compare and contrast.
The track lists for these compilations are virtually identical with two crucial exceptions.

The CD includes his great 1988 single Gimme Hope Jo'anna a joyous song but one with a message strongly attacking apartheid. Number 1 in Germany apparently.
I suspect my vinyl version was issued before this song was released.
More surprisingly the CD version does not include 1982's Electric Avenue.
Two good reasons to retain both formats and an excellent excuse to post the two aforementioned tracks.

Eddy Grant - Gimme Hope Jo'anna

Eddy Grant - Electric Avenue

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Gary Don't Need His Eyes to See

Gary Gilmore became the first person in ten years to be executed in the United States on 17th January 1976 when he was executed by firing squad in the state of Utah for having committed two murders.
Gilmore's story was told over several hundred pages in Norman Mailer's Pulitzer prize winning The Executioner's Song from 1979 - a book everyone should read.

TV Smith from The Adverts chose to tell the story in 2 minutes and 17 seconds focussing on Gilmore's wish that his eyes be donated to science after his execution and the imaginary impact of same.
Branded the "sickest and cleverest record to come out of new wave" which is really saying something.
The One Chord Wonders' finest moment.

The Adverts - Gary Gilmore's Eyes

The Adverts - One Chord Wonders

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Pete Seeger

Anyone who made their way on to the blacklist during the McCarthy witch trials is worthy of a place on CCM.
A particularly unsavoury period in America's history-it puts one in mind of North Korea
An educator and environmentalist and a man of integrity who stuck resolutely to his principles over the years.
Someone prepared to go to the barriers to fight the good fight.
We could do with a few more like him today.
Rest easy Pete

Pete Seeger - If I Had a Hammer

The Byrds- Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season)

The Blues Collection - Blind Boy Fuller

No Blues Collection worth it's salt would be complete without a smattering of blind performers.
So here is the first, but not the last. Fulton Allen (1907- 1941)  better known to all as Blind Boy Fuller.

Operating out of Durham, North Carolina he wasn't born blind, but due to illness he began to lose his sight in his mid-teens and was totally blind by 1928.
His lack of sight led to him seeking employment as a musician.
Now I realize that there has been a dearth of washboards on CCM recently so here from New York on the 25th of July 1935 is Blind Boy Fuller on vocals and guitar, Blind Gary Davis on guitar and the presumably sighted Bull City Red on washboard on Baby You Gotta Change Your Mind.
I've absolutely no idea what a Shimmy is but I'm reasonably confident that I was shaking mine along to this fine song from 15th December 1937 where Blind Boy is accompanied by Floyd Council on guitar.

Both tracks are nearly 80 years old but are still incredibly powerful and well worth a listen.

Blind Boy Fuller - Baby You Gotta Change Your Mind

Blind Boy Fuller - Shake That Shimmy

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Soft Country Rock

Following the demise of Buffalo Springfield in 1968 Richie Furay and Jim Messina set up Poco along with Rusty Young, Randy Meisner and George Grantham.
It was an ever changing line up and by 1976, and today's featured Rose of Cimarron, only Rusty and George were left from the original line up together with Timothy B Schmidt and Paul Cotton who performs the vocals on this the title track of the album.
Rusty finally hung up his spurs in 2013 and Timothy B went on to perform with The Eagles the daddies of soft Country Rock.
You will either love or hate this track and indeed the genre- there is no middle ground.

Poco - Rose of Cimarron

Monday, 27 January 2014

Embrace Greeks Bearing Gifts

This popped into my in-box the other day.
Yuri's Accident are a band from Ionnina in Greece who are now based in London where the various members are pursuing their professional careers.
Their blurb claims that "Their sound is being based on a firm rhythm section and disciplined but abstract guitar patterns, their songs talk about common and not so common daily stories, sensitive to the burdens of the contemporary Greek turmoil." So there you go!
This single can be accessed via Soundcloud and Bandcamp and for those of you into this sort of thing there is a link to a video directed by Greek composer/director Kid Flicks (not his real name I suspect!)

The music is perfectly pleasant with a slight 80's feel to it which I suspect would not be out of place over at JC's place

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Southern Soul Sunday 17

This week's featured artist is Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien from West Hampstead, London.
An unusual moniker for a Southern Soul artist I hear you say.
She was however better known as Dusty Springfield and her 1969 album Dusty in Memphis is undisputedly on of the greatest Soul records of all time.
On Atlantic, it was produced by Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd and Arif Mardin with the Memphis Cats as her band and The Sweet Inspirations as her backing singers.
The most famous song from this album was Son of a Preacher Man which may feature at a later date.
However the two songs featured today are
Track 1 Just a Little Lovin' written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Well and the title of the tribute album by Shelby Lynne which has previously featured on CCM here  and
Track 6 Breakfast in Bed by the great Eddie Hinton here and Donnie Fritts who shall shortly feature.

This album was undoubtedly the pinnacle of her career but she had a tremendous voice and produced some great great songs.
Sadly she died of breast cancer in 1999 at the age of only 59.
A true legend.

Dusty Springfield - Just a Little Lovin'

Dusty Springfield - Breakfast in Bed

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Trouble in Mind

The two tracks featured today are the first and last songs on Trouble in Mind  a 2008 album by Houston's Hayes Carll.
The first one is co-written by Ray Wylie Hubbard who has also performed it.
The second , which was the Americana Music Association Song of the Year in 2008,  would perhaps not be out of place on Jim McLean's rabbit's Gospel Sunday.But then again, maybe not.

Trouble in Mind is the follow up to the equally splendid Little Rock from 2005 both of which I would thoroughly recommend.
This particular jury is, however, still out on the strangely named KMAG YOYO from 2011 which thanks to the power of the internet I have just discovered is a US Army acronym for Kiss My Ass Guys You're On Your Own.

Hayes Carll - Drunken Poet's Dream

Hayes Carll - She Left Me Fo rJesus

Friday, 24 January 2014

A Girl Named Sue

I appear to have got myself somewhat stuck in the deep South this week.
It is all down to me digging out my copy of It Came From Memphis for the Jim Dickinson contribution on Wednesday.
It is a tremendous compilation which was released by Union Square Music in 2005 to accompany a festival which took place at the Barbican in London.
It was a wee while since I listened to it and I had not really picked up on the splendidly suggestive Sue by Bobby Rush before.
Born Emmitt Ellis Jr  and from Jackson, Mississippi his music is that typical Southern  crossover blend of soul  and blues.
Not to be confused with Bobby Crush the Opportunity Knocks winning pianist.

Bobby Rush - Sue

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Here's Barrence!

Barrence is a Boston based, internationally followed; Rockabilly, Roots, Jump Blues, Funk and Soul  singer in the vocal decimals of Little Richard and James Brown. You won't just have a good time, You will have a Kick Ass Good Time!

So says his website - and who am I to argue.
I've just stumbled across Dig Thy Savage Soul released in September 2013 the first Barrence Whitfield and the Savages album for 8 long years.AND it's on Bloodshot too!
I was going to say it is worth the wait but that is really too long a period to be deprived of his energy and enthusiasm.
He used to be championed by Andy Kershaw and I have a few of his songs on mini disc from back in the day when I used to record Kershaw, Mark Lamarr's Shake Rattle and Roll and the Paul Jones show.
Lots of good stuff gathering dust in a cupboard somewhere -must get round to transferring it sometime. Another long term project.

Anyway back to Barrence - his real name is Barry White but let's face it there is only room for one Walrus of Love!
Think I can get away with posting this as it is freely available to download on the Bloodshot Soundcloud

Play it loud!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

It's A Family Affair 5

For this week's offering we head to the swamp lands of Mississippi to touch base with the Dickinson Family.
Jim Dickinson (1941-2009) was a legendary record producer. He could also play and sing a little fronting the Memphis band Mud Boy and the Neutrons.
He worked with such varied luminaries as Bob Dylan, Big Star,Ry Cooder, The Cramps and the Rolling Stones and produced many many bands including Green on Red,Big Star, Willy de Ville and The Replacements

Jim's boys Luther and Cody, together with Chris Chew are the North Mississippi Allstars with whom Jim is pictured above.
Luther is also involved with the Black Crowes whereas Cody's side project The Hill Country Revue have previously graced these pages here

Jim Dickinson - Down in Mississippi

North Mississippi Allstars - Snake Drive

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Kris and Rita

Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge were married from 1973 to 1980.
During this period they recorded 3 albums together as Kris and Rita - Full Moon (1973), Breakaway (1974) and Natural Act (1980)
I picked up Full Moon  the other day in reasonable condition for a pound.Somewhat surprisingly the songs are not all their own compositions
First up is a song by Rod Parish with the second from the pen of Stephen Bruton who also features of the album.
They are no Gram and Emmylou but their music is not unpleasant

Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge - I Heard the Bluebirds Sing

Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge - After The Fact

Monday, 20 January 2014

The 7.39

There was a recent BBC Drama called The 7.39 about two commuters (Sheridan Smith and David Morrissey) striking up an acquaintance on a commuter train (the 7.39) which in turn leads to a "steamy affair" to use the tabloids parlance.
Given the strange way my mind is wired it immediately put me in mind of Excuse Me a track from Wreckless Eric's 1980 album Big Smash.
Now my copy of Big Smash is a single album but when doing my research it seems that it was a double album with the other half comprising of a compilation of older material - strange that.
Mr Goulden  is now happily married to Americana artist Amy Rigby, living in Catskill New York State and still  happily going strong.
He really is an Eccentric National Treasure and joins such other ENT's as Robyn Hitchcock, Julian Cope and Ian Dury in gracing the pages of CCM. I can feel a series coming on!

Wreckless Eric -Excuse Me

Wreckless Eric -Can I Be Your Hero?

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Southern Soul Sunday 16

The gentleman in the rather fetching jacket is none other than Mr Wilson Pickett (1941 -2006)
Although he moved to Detroit at the age of 15 he was born in the unfortunately named Prattville, Alabama so he counts for the purpose of this series
Also much of his best work originated from Stax studios in Memphis and Fame studios in Muscle Shoals.
You will be familiar with both of these tracks on a similar theme
The first was one of several collaborations with Steve Cropper of Booker T and the MGs fame
The second is written with the mighty Bobby Womack
You will be relieved to note that I have not included his versions of Hey Jude and Sugar Sugar
He had a bit of a penchant for guns, alcohol and drugs   but that didn't stand in the way of a long and fruitful career and a legacy of great songs (the two omitted songs withstanding)

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Hello, This Is Joni

Panic not, you are not getting the awful "Hello This is Joannie (The Telephone Answering Machine Song).

No rather you are getting the music of Roberta Joan Anderson of whom Mrs CC is rather fond.
As you have probably sussed from the picture she is better known as Joni Mitchell ,CC (that is Order of Canada as opposed to Charity Chic).
I am in the good books this week by returning from the library with a 10 CD Box Set of her Studio Albums 1968 -1979.Obviously I would never download them as that would be illegal.
They range from the very good such as Blue and and Ladies of the Canyon to truly awful  experimental  jazz albums such as Mingus.
In true CC (that is Charity Chic not Order of Canada) fashion you are getting two songs from her 1969 album Clouds previously purchased in a charity shop in Newton Stewart along with her 2000 album Both Sides Now with the above self portrait on the cover
This album and the song Both Sides Now apparently featured in that dreadful rom- com Love Actually and the guy in the shop advised that they had been donated by a woman who had seen the film ,bought the records and subsequently didn't fancy them.Her loss, our gain.

Joni Mitchell - Chelsea Morning

Joni Mitchell -That Song About The Midway

Friday, 17 January 2014

The Blues Collection - Jimmy Witherspoon

                                                                 Jimmy Jimmy

As I have previously mentioned I recently purchased 22 CDs from a series called the Blues Collection from my local charity shop.
I went in last week and there were a further 17  on display which I duly purchased!
My research tells me there are 90 in the series plus 3 Christmas CDs so I am nearly half way there!! A long term project I feel.

This is one of the new 17, chosen at random - Ain't Nobody's Business by Jimmy Witherspoon (1920 -1997) - someone whom I had not previously heard off.
A friend of mine is fond of saying that "The Blues is a broad church" a phrase which I suspect you may hear repeated as this series progresses.
It looks as those Jimmy started off  preaching from the pulpit as a jump blues singer prior to wandering off down the jazz aisle.

Indeed the 2 songs featured as from his performance at the Monterey Jazz Festival on 2nd October 1959 the first being a Big Bill Broonzy song and the second one of his own.
I'm not the world's biggest jazz fan and some of the other songs on the record are a bit twiddly for my taste.
However, these two are rather good.
Take it away Spoon

Jimmy Witherspoon - When I Been Drinkin'

Jimmy Witherspoon -No Rollin' Blues

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Desert Noir

It is time for a little slice of desert noir courtesy of Giant Sand.
Operating out of Tuscon, Arizona there have been many members over the years with the constant main man being Howe Gelb - a kind of American The Fall if you will.
Here on 1986's Ballad of a Thin Line Man he is joined  by Scott Garber on bass, Tom Larkins on drums and his then wife Paula Jean Brown on vocals and guitar (another Fall comparison).
John Convertino and Joey Burns of Calexico fame feature later on in the Giant Sand story.
You are getting one of Howe's own compositions plus a quite magnificent version of the Johnny Thunders classic.

I once offered to buy Howe a pint in the 13th Note in Glasgow which he politely declined - such is the rock 'n' roll lifestyle

Giant Sand - Thin Line Man

Giant Sand - You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

This Time

This Time, Dwight Yoakam's fifth album from 1993 is, in my opinion, his last truly great album.
However it is not a patch on the first four which I shall now namecheck in chronological order:

 Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc, Etc (1986)
 Hillbilly Deluxe (1987)
 Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room (1988)  
  If There Was a Way (1990)

During this period he was quite possibly the greatest act on the planet.
Sadly after This Time it all began to go down hill - gradually at first then pretty rapidly
There would be the occasional good song here and there but the law of diminishing returns was kicking in.
He was spending more time on films and on being Sharon Stone's beau and , God forbid, on promoting his food brand Bakersfield Biscuits.
It got to the stage when he had as many if not more covers and greatest hits albums than studio albums.
A shocking waste of talent.


I can't believe that you don't already own his first five albums. But if not, why don't you spend what's left of your Christmas money on them.
You can get all five in a box set on the Original Album Series for just over a tenner -a total steal

Dwight Yoakam -A Thousand Miles From Nowhere

Dwight Yoakam -Two Doors Down


Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Sweet Gene Vincent

   Sweet Gene Vincent
               Let the blue cats roll tonight
                            At the sock hop ball in the union hall
                  Where the bop is their delight

Everybody should be familiar with Ian Dury's tribute to Gene Vincent from his seminal 1977 album New Boots and Panties - an absolute classic.

The other day I heard a fantastic live version  (Brixton Academy, December 22 1990)  which manages, even better that the studio album, to skilfully juxtaposition (© Pseud's Corner)  the almost spoken intro and then the moment when the band kicks in. I think what does it on the live album is the pregnant pause which seems to go on for ever even although everyone knows what's coming next.

Only fitting that we finish off with the skinny white sailor himself

Monday, 13 January 2014

Play It Again Sam

Sam Brown I here you cry! Sam Brown!
Daughter of Joe, middle of the road crooner and Jools Holland collaborator.
Big in the early 80's briefly then a session singer career.

But wait  - I stumbled across this track on a compilation CD of tracks from Demon Records and was completely blown away.
From Box, her 1997 record on Demon, here is the absolutely fantastic I Forgive You.
Described by one critic as "one of the most impressive albums by a British female vocalist this decade" and clearly one which I shall have to look out for.
It first I thought it was Maria McKee which was a pretty good shout as she co-wrote this.

Sam Brown - I Forgive You

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Southern Soul Sunday 15

This week's featured artist is George Jackson (1945 -2013) from Indianola, Mississippi, Soul singer and writer of such songs as One Bad Apple and The Only Way is Up.
The two songs featured here are taken from the tremendous Kent boxset The Fame Studios Story 1961- 1973 Home of the Muscle Shoals Sound.
As well as featuring a stellar cast of Southern Soul legends there are also songs from Bobbie Gentry and somewhat bizarely The Osmonds!

Not to be confused with George Jackson the Black Panther Leader and Soledad Brother shot and killed during an escape bid from San Quentin and the subject of a song by Bob Dylan.
Also, not to be confused with the character from the sorely missed British soap opera Brookside who was wrongly convicted for a warehouse robbery leading to a campaign to have him released culminating in the release of Free George Jackson by a band called Blazin' Saddles - eat your heart out  Dylan!

George Jackson - Find 'Em, Fool 'Em and Forget 'Em

George Jackson - Double Lovin'

Saturday, 11 January 2014

It's a Family Affair 4

This time around it is the turn of the Carter Cash dynasty featuring Johnny and June and two step daughters/step sisters.
The most famous couple in Country music history had both been married before and both had daughters from their previous relationships.

Rosanne Cash is the oldest of the four girls that Johnny had with his first wife Vivienne Liberto.
She has been releasing records off and on from 1979.
This track is taken from her acclaimed 2009 album The List
When she was travelling on the road with her father in 1973 he made her a list of 100 Essential Country Songs that as she puts it "had informed him and would eventually inform me"
This Bob Dylan song featured on Nashville Skyline with Johnny dueting.

Carlene Carter is the elder daughter of June Carter and her first husband country singer Carl Smith
Carlene has been married four times including to Nick Lowe who is the producer of her 1980 album Musical Shapes from which this duet with Dave Edmunds is taken.

Indeed if you threw in Carl Smith, Nick Lowe, Rosanne's former husband Rodney Crowell and  June's relatives from The Carter Family you would have yourself a veritable Country Family Tree.
A project for another day!

Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash - Jackson

Rosanne Cash -Girl From The North Country

Carlene Carter (with Dave Edmunds) - Baby Ride Easy

Friday, 10 January 2014

Early Blondie

I had a notion to play some early Blondie and went looking for Plastic Letters - but to no avail.
I was pretty sure I had it: I definitely did at one stage. I shall look out for a replacement copy on my travels.  I got it after Parallel Lines even though it pre- dates it  - i.e after they became famous.
I can think of other such examples - purchasing Bleach by Nirvana after Nevermind for instance
I watched an interesting  documentary about Blondie recently graphically illustrating how they imploded.
They were pretty much the perfect pop band for a while and early doors before the hits started rolling out there was a degree of raw energy in their songs.
Red eye shadow! Green mascara indeed!

Blondie -Denis

Blondie -Rip Her to Shreds

Thursday, 9 January 2014

The Blues Collection - Champion Jack Dupree

Some of the folk in the Blues Collection I've heard of, some I've never heard of and some like Champion Jack Dupree are somewhere in the middle - I've vaguely heard of but am not too familiar with their stuff.

William Thomas Dupree (1910 -1992) as the picture would suggest was a blues pianist.
He had an itinerant lifestyle travelling throughout the States before moving to Europe in 1960 living in Switzerland, England, Sweden and Germany where he died in Hanover.
The album focuses on an early part of his career from 1940 to 1945
The sleevenotes advise that although relatively young he had experienced much by then and that he observes life with a wordly eye.
There are songs about chain gangs, jail ,drug addiction and of course bad whiskey and bad woman.
It seemed he lived the life expressed in the songs.
The first track was recorded in Chicago on 27th November 1941 and the second in New York in 1945.

Tinkle those ivories Champ!

Champion Jack Dupree - All Alone Blues

Champion Jack Dupree - Bad Whiskey and Bad Women

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Singing in the Rain

It seems like it's been raining here forever with no sign of stopping.
No need therefore to Save it for a Rainy Day.
Think I'll join with the Jayhawks in Waiting for the Sun.

Rainy Day Music by the Jayhawks
Production by Ethan Johns
Executive Production by Rick Rubin
What more do you need when you are stuck inside on a rainy day?

The Jayhawks - Save it for a Rainy Day

The Jayhawks - Waiting for the Sun (Live)

Tuesday, 7 January 2014


Ongiara is a 2007 album from the Canadian band  Great Lake Swimmers
According to a certain online encyclopedia it is also the name of the ferry which transported them to Toronto Island where they recorded the demo of the album.
More impressively it is the original name for the Niagara Falls -the name is said to have originated from the Iroquois word Onguiaahra and the local tribe ofIroquois inhabitants known as the Ongiaras.

I saw them play in the Admiral Bar in Glasgow when we went along to see Will Johnson who was the support act.
They were very good. There are obvious similarities to The Fleet Foxes who were coming to the fore around this time.

The magnificent CD cover of an eagle (or maybe sea eagle?) can best be viewed when fully folded out

Great Lake Swimmers - Your Rocky Spine

Great Lake Swimmers - Backstage With The Modern Dancers

Monday, 6 January 2014

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band

I'm not a huge fan of live albums.
However one of my favourites is The Sensational Alex Harvey Band Live at the Hammersmith Odeon on 24th May 1975.
I had this on pre-recorded cassette and when the chance arose to purchase it on vinyl for a pound it was too good an opportunity to pass up.
Alex Harvey was quite simply a Scottish musical legend. He was the epitome of the Scottish word gallus all swagger and poise and with a slight air of menace.
SAHB consisted of Alex on vocals, Hugh McKenna on keyboards, Ted McKenna on drums, Chris Glen on bass and the clown faced Zal Cleminson on guitar.
Sadly Alex died on the 4th of February 1982 a day before his 47th birthday from a massive heart attack whilst waiting for a ferry at Zeebrugge.
SAHB are probably best remembered for The Boston Tea Party and their stonking version of Delilah.
However they had many other great tunes including this - Side 2, Track 1 of Live.

Sensational Alex Harvey Band -Give My Compliments to the Chef

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Southern Soul Sunday 14

Irma Lee, the Rose of New Orleans was born in Ponchatoula , Louisiana in 1941 and is better known to you and I by her married name Irma Thomas.
These two tracks are taken from Time is on My Side an excellent Kent compilation of some of her great songs from the Minit and Imperial labels between 1962 and 1966.
Time is on My Side was of course subsequently covered by the Rollling Stones. Apparently Irma was less than impressed with their version and had an aversion to performing the song on stage except in response to persistent requests.
She subsequently recorded for Chess in 1967/68 before moving to a variety of smaller labels prior to opening the Lion's Den Club in New Orleans where she cooks as well as sings!
I'm glad to report that she is still going strong.

Irma Thomas - Time Is On My Side

Irma Thomas - You Don't Miss a Good Thing (Until It's Gone)

Saturday, 4 January 2014

All You Kids that Just Sit and Whine

All you kids that just sit and whine
You should have been there back in '79
You say we're giving you a real hard time
You boys are really breaking my heart
Spurs beat Arsenal, what a game
The blood was running in the drains
Intercity took the trains
And really took the place apart
That was the year Nan Harris died
And Charlie Jones committed suicide
The world we knew busted open wide
In the winter of '79

These two songs from Power in the Darkness the debut album from the Tom Robinson Band in 1978  could arguably  have been written yesterday.
With the rise in the number of soup kitchens and food banks and with the increase in the popularity of the odious UKIP leading to xenophobic and  knee jerk reaction politics from the Mail, Express and the other political parties it looks like we may once again be entering a dark place.
However as Tom puts it in the sleevenotes "if music can ease even a tiny fraction of the prejudice and intolerance in this world, then it is worth trying"
Sadly we do not appear to be getting the songs or artists highlighting this as we did back then.

As Serious Drinking were want to say "The Revolution starts at closing time" although regrettably a pint of beer now costs considerably more than 10 bob.

Tom Robinson Band - The Winter of '79

Tom Robinson Band - Power in the Darkness

Friday, 3 January 2014

Child Ballads

No sorry to disappoint you not a collection of lullabies  but  rather songs adapted from the traditional versions collected by Sir Francis James Child and published in The English and Scottish Popular Ballads (1882-1898).
Being folk songs they tend to be about murder, betrayal, cuckolding and such things.
Anais Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer released a terrific album Child Ballads in 2013 with versions of seven of these songs, one of which is featured here.
Child's ballads have been covered by many folk artists over the years as demonstrated in this terrifically informative post from Cover Lay Down here

Anais Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer - Willie of Winsbury

Thursday, 2 January 2014

The Blues Collection - Willie Dixon

Following on from Koko Taylor here is the first of the other 21 artists featured in my recent Blues Collection acquisitions and just the thing to blow those New Year cobwebs away.
Willie Dixon (1915-1992)  sang, played the double bass and guitar but was perhaps more famous as a producer and arranger and in particular a songwriter.
And what songs! I Just Want to Make Love to You, Hoochie Coochie Man, Spoonful, You Can't Judge a Book by It's Cover - songs that went on to be hits for the likes of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter and Bo Diddley
On the first song from 1955 Willie is doing the singing as well as playing the bass.
On the second from 1961 Howlin' Wolf does the vocal honours with Willie once more contributing on bass. This song was covered by a band in the 60's the name of whom is on the tip of my tongue and which will eventually come to me!
Willie rightly began to get a bit pee'd off being ripped off by other musicians and not receiving the copyright, royalties and recognition he deserved and he successfully sued Led Zeppelin for plagiarism.
Go on yourself Willie and rest easy

Willie Dixon - Pain in My Heart

Howlin' Wolf - Little Red Rooster

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year

On this New Year's Day can I join with Mr Prophet is wishing you all a Happy New Year and all the best for 2014.

Chuck Prophet - New Year's Day

I know that New Year can be a difficult time for some particularly those who have lost a loved one.
It can be a time for reflecting and looking back as well as a time for looking forward.

In this vein, and in what I suspect may become an annual tradition, CCM is going to take this opportunity to pay tribute to two iconic figures who both died on the 1st of January albeit 44 years apart.

Hank Williams, the Hillbilly Shakespeare, died on 1st January 1953. Incredibly, he was aged just 29.
Fortunately he was pretty prolific and has left us with a legacy of  astonishing songs which have stood the test of time.
Undisputedly one of the greatest singer songwriters to have ever graced this planet.

Another flawed and troubled genius Townes Van Zandt died  44 years later on 1st January 1997 aged 52.
Although he never enjoyed commercial success he has always been held in high regard by other artists many of whom have recorded his songs.
In Glasgow there used to be an annual event whereby local artists would gather and pay tribute to Townes with versions of his songs.

Hank and Townes - I shall be raising a glass to your memory

Hank Williams -My Son Calls Another Man Daddy

Townes Van Zandt - To Live's To Fly