Search This Blog

Friday, 28 February 2014

Leith Walk Record Shops

Last Friday morning I had a meeting in the Scottish Government offices in Leith.
When  it finished rather than rushing back to work I decided to meander up Leith Walk  and visited a few charity shops making a few purchases.
Half way up the walk I stumbled across the splendid Elvis Shakespeare record and book shop where some purchases were duly made.
Then I had a quick pint in the Windsor Buffet before checking out Vinyl Villians (no relation to the great man I assume) where for a couple of quid I purchased Boyfriends and Love a compilation of Girl Groups of the 60's.It includes such gems as the Shangri-Las, the Shirelles, Dixie Cups and a few lesser known artists.
It was good to see some independent record shops still on the go. Unfortunately they are few and far between these days.I know that I am preaching to the converted but they desperately need our support.
As a generation we were spoilt for choice but they are increasingly becoming as rare as hen's teeth.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Bands I've Seen in Helensburgh - Part 2

                                                Nae food, nae weans, Nadine!

Nadine head festival 

"The critically-acclaimed Nadine, from St Louis, Missouri, headline a mini rock festival in the unlikely setting of Helensburgh on Sunday. 
Nadine's appearance at the town's Clyde Bar venue is another coup for local DJ/promoter Paul Shields whose Stateside Sounds aims to showcase the best of contemporary American music. 
The band - Steve Rauner, Adam Reichman, Todd Schnitzer and Ann Tkach - are visiting Europe to promote their third album, Lit Up From The Inside. Their sound has been described as Tom Petty, Neil Young, Otis Redding and The Rolling Stones all rolled into one
Other acts on the bill include Scott Macdonald, Freeloader, Haven and Dave Nicol."

And we were there - Gogs, Donno and me! Not sure as to the exact date sometime in December 2000 I think.
No overnight this time being a Sunday with work the next day and I  drew the short straw and was driving.

Adam Reichman came across as a top bloke. We had a drink and a chat with him and later saw him doing a solo gig in Glasgow a couple of years later.
The names Freeloader and Scott McDonald have put me in mind for a new series - Tartan Texans -- Scottish acts influenced by Americana. More later
I can remember nothing about the other two support act save that a violinist called Milla who has appeared with the Silencers played  with one of them.

Thus endeth the Helensburgh adventures.
Oh and a spotters badge for Ernie Goggins for working out  that Nadine were the band who would be featuring.

Nadine - Closer

Nadine - So That I Don't Miss You

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Birthday Boys

Johnny Cash was born on this day in 1932
George of Jim McLean's rabbit fame was born on this day in 1963.
One of these great gentlemen is being celebrated in music today and he was married to June as opposed to Jo.
Here two Scottish acts pay homage  to the great man and then a band named in his honour takes centre stage.
First up is a track from Scottish Indie favourites Sons and Daughters from their Love the Cup 2003 EP.
Then we have Kirkaldy's  finest, the late great Jackie Leven with the title track from an album recorded in Beirut in 2005.
I had to look up what Elegy meant.Apparently it is from the Greek and is a funeral song or lament for the dead. Michael Gove would obviously not be pleased. I would undoubtedly have known that had I not gone to a state school and rather my education had consisted of healthy doses of the Classics, rugby and brutality.

Finally we have the wonderful and wonderfully named Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash. Johnny had given them permission to use the name and his son John Carter Cash even produces a couple of tracks on their 2001 album Walk Alone.

Sons and Daughters - Johnny Cash

Jackie Leven - Elegy for Johnny Cash

Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash - Truckstop in La Grange

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Life is Still Sweet

During a recent sojourn to Edinburgh (or Embra as us Weegies know it as) I purchased , amongst other things, a copy of New York band  White Hassle's 2005 album Your Language.
This is on Fargo and an attached blurb on Fargo albums compares them to The Modern Lovers, The Rolling Stones, Beck,Jon Spencer and Speedball Baby.
I can see the connection with the Modern Lovers and Beck but not with the Stones and Jon Spencer and I have absolutely no idea who Speedball Baby are.
My purchase was on the basis that I have had a copy of their 2000 EP Life is Still Sweet pretty much since it came out and it is I feel rather good.
However, it would appear that not everyone seems to think so as I discovered whilst doing some "research" on the band i.e. using the most commonly used search engine and on line dictionary.
It seem like a certain Steven Wells in the NME described Life is Still Sweet as "skiffle" but "not totally shit". I don't know about you, but that would, on it's own, be enough to make me go out and buy it.
Another critic mentions that turntables pop up here and there on the record, however they don't really do justice to the songs.
Someone else describes the title song as uplifting and a crowd favourite.
Ah, the joy of music -it's all about opinions!
See what you think.

White Hassle - Life is Still Sweet

White Hassle - Watertank

Monday, 24 February 2014

The Blues Collection - Johnny Copeland

When I saw that this week's song selections came from the 80's my first thought was great at last a living Bluesman.
Regrettably, however Johnny Copeland died in 1997 at the tender age of 60 following complications after heart surgery.
He did though leave a great legacy of music particularly from his records on the Rounder label in the 80s and early 90s.
He was on the go when the Blues enjoyed something of a renaissance  playing with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble and getting a Grammy in 1987 for the best traditional blues album for Showdown! recorded with Albert Collins and Robert Cray.
His daughter Shemekia Copeland is also a successful Blues singer and so the legacy lives on.
Go Johnny go!

Johnny Copeland - Texas Party

Johnny Copeland - Copeland Special

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Southern Soul Sunday 21

Something slightly different this week folks in that we are focussing on an album rather than a particular artist.
The good people from London's Casual Records who had previously delivered the two great compilations Country Got Soul volumes 1 and 2  pitched up at the studio in Dan Penn's house in Nashville  between 31st January and 11th February 2004 and recorded Testifying by The Country Soul Revue.
This features the likes of Dan Penn, Tony Joe White , Larry Jon Wilson, Billy Swann, Bonnie Bramlett, Reggie Young, David Hood, Spooner Oldham, etc a veritable who's who of the great and the good of Southern Country and Soul
The first song features Donnie Fritts who , the sleevenotes tell us " has a voice like a cup of sausage gravy: warm and bumpy"
The second song is a gorgeous number featuring George Soule perhaps better known as a songwriter but possessing a wonderful voice.Ernie Goggins from the great 27 Leggies recently did an interesting post featuring Mr Soule. Soule by name, Soul by nature.
This album really is the best of both worlds - a wonderful mishmash of two of my favourite types of music .
Again as the sleevenotes would have it " for every ounce of Webb Pierce, there's a pound of Ray Charles"
Listen and weep.

The Country Soul Review (ft Donnie Fritts) - Sumpin' Funky Going On

The Country Soul Review (ft George Soule) - I'm Only Human

Saturday, 22 February 2014

All the Cops in the Donut Shops

The ever amusing Dick Van Dyke made a reference to the Bangles in a comment on one of Drew's recent posts on Across the Kitchen Table.
This got me to singing one of my favourite lines in pop music "All the Cops in the Donut Shops" from Walk Like an Egyptian which I often sing, albeit under my breath obviously, whenever I see a rotund member of the law enforcement agencies.
In Britain the word "donut" is spelt "doughnut" and the favourite shop of choice for the cops to purchase this delicacy often accompanied by a sausage roll or beefy bake is Greggs the Bakers.

Being a red blooded male Dickie was extolling the virtues of Susannah Hoffs. However my abiding memory of the one and only time I saw them at Glasgow's QMU was the impressive muscles on the arms of the drummer Debi Peterson!

The Bangles - Walk Like An Egyptian

The Bangles -Going Down to Liverpool

Friday, 21 February 2014

The Thin White Duke of Westminster?

Strange to see that young upstart and Brit award winner David Bowie weighing in to the Scottish referendum debate.
He usually leaves the politics to lesser talented egotistical self publicizing tossers like Sting and Bono (God's representative on Earth).
Obviously not a Rebel Rebel, resistant to Changes and reluctant to be a Hero!
Maybe he is feeling left out in the baubles stakes and wishes to join his chums Sir Mick and Sir Elton. Perhaps Noel Gallagher inadvertently gave the game away by  referring to him as Sir David Bowie.
We should be told!
All the above ramblings are really just a spurious excuse to share two criminally neglected songs from the great Aladdin Sane
I'd forgotten just how good this album is.

David Bowie -Drive-In Saturday

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Bands I've Seen in Helensburgh -Part 1

This will be a short lived series as the grand total of bands I have seen in Helensburgh is two!
Both Americana bands, both of which had a single female name.
First up were Jolene in the Clyde Bar on the 12th of November 1999 for the grand total of £5. The bar was a boring dark green back then as opposed to the multi- coloured version pictured above
As it was a Friday night my pal Gogs and I decided to make a night of it and pushed the boat out and stayed in a B&B.
Helensburgh is on the coast about 25 miles from Glasgow and is quite close to the Faslane Navy base which hosts Britain's nuclear arsenal strategically placed within spitting distance of Scotland's largest city .
Jolene were  a 5 piece from North Carolina consisting of John Crooke on vocals and guitar,Dave Burris on guitar, Mike Kenerley on drums, Rodney Lanier on  keyboards and Mike Mitschele on bass.
Sadly, Rodney Lanier passed away in 2011.
The band must have Scottish connections as their second album from which these tracks are taken on Sire from 1998 is called In The Gloaming.
Shortly afterwards they moved to Germany's Blue Rose label and I am also the proud owner of 2000's Antic Ocean
Part 2 next week - h'aud me back I hear you cry!

Jolene - Pensacola

Jolene -Clear Bottle Down

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Bobbie Gentry Whispering in My Ear Again

"Sunday Morning  turning on my deck again
Bobbie Gentry whispering in my ear again"
The first two lines of the previously featured Gradually Learning by The Rockingbirds
Amazingly Bobbie Gentry will be 70 in July.
A country girl from Mississippi she shot to fame with the fantastic Ode to Billy Joe way back in 1967.
A great story song which does not give all the answers but leaves the listener wondering and requiring to use his or her own imagination.
Unusually, for that time,she was a female country artist who composed and sang her own material.
She wrote several other extremely good songs including 1970's Fancy which contrary to what the lyrics would initially suggest she felt was her strongest statement for woman's lib.I would imagine that this song was quite controversial when it was first released.
Her duet album with Glen Campbell was one of the few albums that my folks owned. I thought the cover was pretty glamorous back then but I'm not sure whether it has withstood the sands of time

A true talent  but sadly one who only really shone for 3 or 4 years leaving a legacy of great songs.

Bobbie Gentry - Ode to Billy Joe

Bobbie Gentry - Fancy

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane?

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Or as The Flaming Lips would have it "Is it getting Heavy?"

Although Wayne Coyne and chums had been on the go since 1983 it was only really from 1999's The Soft Bulletin that they achieved a certain degree of mainstream prominence and critical acclaim.
This song is taken from that album which I purchased from Woolies in Leek for a couple of quid.

 In March 2009  their most famous song Do You Realize?? was announced as the official rock song of Oklahoma. I heard it played at a funeral recently and it was particularly moving.
Chris Mills is an Americana singer/songwriter and hails from Chicago as opposed to Oklahoma.
He covers Waiting for a Superman on his 2003's Covers EP Tell it Like it Isn't.

Interestingly (or perhaps not) both artists appear to have enjoyed more success in Europe than in their homeland.

The Flaming Lips - Waitin' For a Superman

Chris Mills - Waitin' For a Superman

Monday, 17 February 2014

A Full Head of Steam

Back in the day, or 1989 to be precise, I obtained a 10 track sampler album  from Parlophone entitled A Full Head of Steam  promoting some albums which were shortly to be released.
It contained tracks from artists I was familiar with, Marc Almond and New Model Army for example, and a few I had never heard of including Crazyhead, Wild Weekend and The Neighbourhood .
One band I had never heard of was Bliss with the quite magnificent I Walk Alone featuring the haunting vocals of Rachel Morrison.
This led me to purchasing their album Loveprayer which is not bad but does not contain anything else remotely close to I Walk Alone.
The second featured track is from quite possibly the biggest band to ever come out of Bathgate - Goodbye Mr McKenzie.
They had a modest hit with The Rattler and included a certain Shirley Manson amongst their number who subsequently went on to greater things as a member of Garbage.

Bliss - I Walk Alone

Goodbye Mr McKenzie - Candlestick Park

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Southern Soul Sunday 20

Is Bettye LaVette .who was born in Michigan, Southern or Northern Soul, or just Soul, and does it make a difference?
I'm not really sure. All I know is that she is excellent and that she is featuring  in the SSS series  due to her links with the  Atlantic and Atco labels and her connections with the music coming out of Memphis and Muscle Shoals in the late 60's/early 70's
Plus her picture is on the cover of Southern Soul Showcase - proof if  proof were needed!

She released the first song He Made a Woman out of Me at least twice in 1969 and 1970 and it is probably her best known song.
Somehow I don't think that the Joe Henry mentioned in the song is the record producer of that name responsible for her great 2005 masterpiece I've Got My On Hell to Raise previously featured here but you never know.
The second song is from 1969 and features on the great Trikon compilation Dirty Laundry -The Soul of a Black Country.
I'm happy to say that she is still going strong and that she continues to deliver music of a high standard similar to those tracks featured today.

Bettye LaVette - He Made a Woman Out of Me

Bettye LaVette - What Condition my Condition is in

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Jah Wobble - Memoirs of a Geezer

I've just finished reading Jah Wobble's autobiography -Memoirs of a Geezer.
It is funny and entertaining in places with some amusing anecdotes - my favourite being when he met Natacha Atlas' mum and went to shake hands with her and she bit him on the arm!
However in places he doesn't come across as a particularly pleasant person.
He portrays himself as a bit of an East End hard man come jack-the-lad (or geezer if you will) handy with his fists and single minded and not prepared to take any bullshit from anyone.
How much of this is genuine and how much is in there to help the book sell I'm not sure.
I particularly dislike how he is condescending and down right nasty about many of the folk he has worked with over the years.
He is particularly disparaging about Keith Levine,  for instance, and yet is back working with him a couple of years after the book is published.
I am only really familiar with his work with PIL and his two hit albums with the Invaders of the Heart; Rising above Bedlam (1991) and Take Me to God (1994) from which these tracks are taken.
I am aware that  he has released loads more albums since and I may get around to checking some of  them out sometime although after reading this book I would be less inclined to than before.

The music of his that I have is very good though and the concert I saw him play at Glasgow's Garage on 15th August 1994 remains one of the best I have ever seen

Jah Wobble's Invaders of the Heart - Visions of You

Jah Wobble's Invaders of the Heart - I Love Everybody

Friday, 14 February 2014

If You See Me Walkin' Down the Street

You will all be familiar with the Burt Bacharach and Hal David classic Walk On By originally recorded by the great Dionne Warwick.
Well you're not getting that! Instead you are getting two alternative versions which are equally magnificent in their own particular ways.
First up is the mighty Issac Hayes from 1969 with the first (of four tracks) from Hot Buttered Soul. It weighs in at 12 minutes and 4 seconds a mere bagatelle when compared to the 18 minute 40 second version of By The Time I Get to Phoenix recently featured on Walter's brilliant A Few Good Times in My Life.
Follow that I hear you say - well I'll give it a go.
From 1978 here is the version where the Stranglers get their organs out resulting in this peaking at number 21 in the UK singles chart

Isaac Hayes - Walk On By

The Stranglers - Walk On By

Thursday, 13 February 2014

The Blues Collection -Eddie Boyd

It's been a wee while since we have delved into the Blues Collection.
This time around it is the turn of  pianist Edward Riley Boyd (1914 -1994) born in Stovall's Plantation near Clarksdale, Mississippi.
As with many of his compatriots he moved first to Memphis and then on to Chicago to work in the factories there.
These two songs are from his Chicago period - I Got the Blues from 1951 and 24 Hours from 1953.
He wrote both these songs and I am familiar with other versions but I'm not sure by whom.
Like Champion Jack Dupree he got a bit fed up of the racial discrimination in the States and moved to Europe first to Belgium and then to Finland where he died in 1994.
He toured and recorded with Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac and John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers.
Gaun yerself Uncle Ed!

Eddie Boyd - I Got the Blues

Eddie Boyd - 24 Hours

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

The Swiss Family Orbison

According to Haven, their record label,The Swiss Family Orbison "are an inspiring five piece from Dundee, Scotland, who create a powerful atmosphere of raw undiluted passion"
And when you hear these two tracks from their eponymous album from 1997  I'm sure you'll agree.
I bought this in Peebles on Monday for 99p and have yet to get beyond the first two tracks  both of which are absolutely terrific.
They consisted of Kit Clark, of Danny Wilson fame on lead vocals and keyboard, Keith Matheson on guitar and songwriting duties with Kit, Gregor Philp on guitar, Colin Davidson on bass and Dougie Vipond of Deacon Blue and BBC Scotland fame on drums.
Certainly a lot more ballsy than either Danny Wilson or Deacon Blue and I think this has to be put down as a total find!

The Swiss Family Orbison - I'm in Love

The Swiss Family Orbison - Candle Lane

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Eliza Lynn

I know next to nothing about Eliza Lynn except that her 2009 album Haven is very good.
A pot luck purchase by Mrs CC and an excellent one at that.
According to Harp magazine she "sings with a big, room-filling voice [and] wields her guitar and banjo against a sensual, sassy backdrop of jazz-flavored blues, old-time country folk and soul" which let's face it is no bad thing.
She would appear to have had two previous albums Frisky or Fair from 2006 and Weary Wake Up from 2007.
I can't find any references to her stuff after 2009 which is a shame.

I suspect that she is one of those many artists who although good just didn't get that lucky break.Alternatively it could be because she is hard to pin down to one particular genre e.g. blues or country.

No relation to Loretta Lynn to my knowledge.

Eliza Lynn - Rush of the Fall

Eliza Lynn - Pulling of Tides

Monday, 10 February 2014

I Remember How The Darkness Doubled

Undoubtedly one of the most iconic albums and album covers of it's generation.
Marquee Moon was Television's debut album released in 1977 slap bang in the middle of the punk revolution.
At the time of one and two cord, two to three minute records, the title track weighs in at a mighty 10 minutes 40 seconds about the same length of one of those pompous prog rock tracks favoured by Jim McLean's rabbit!
I've yet to come across anyone into punk who doesn't like this record. I suspect I may just have set myself up for a fall with that statement.
Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd have an element of musical ability that most bands at the time could only dream about.
I bought this in Echo in Byres Road, Glasgow along with Definitely Maybe by Oasis after an afternoon's drinking session - only one of these two is a classic which has stood the test of time and they are not from Manchester!
Relentless - but in a good way.

Television - Marquee Moon

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Southern Soul Sunday 19

                                                                  Nice Gregs!

Whilst doing my "research" for this week's post I revisited Southern Soul Showcase - Cryin' in the Streets which has previously featured here as the precursor to Southern Soul Sunday and boy I'm glad I did.
Ladies and gentlemen I give you Mr Laten John Adams (1932 -1998) from New Orleans, Louisiana  better known to music fans as Johnny Adams
First up is his 1968 smash Reconsider Me  released on Shelby Singleton's SSS International Records label out of Memphis.
Now if you think that's good, and let's face it there is something seriously wrong with you if you don't, just wait until you hear the second track.
I Want to Walk Through This Life With You. Simply majestic, Total Quality. Nothing more to say.

The sleevenotes tell me that his first LP Heart and Soul is one of THE country soul sets of all time. I've yet to acquire it but I suspect that they may well be right.

Johnny Adams -Reconsider Me

Johnny Adams - I Want to Walk Through This life With You

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Saturday Night at the Old Barn Dance

As the  cover states on this mini album The Pine Valley Cosmonauts Barn Dance Favorites explores a forgotten history of Country Music in Chicago and the legacy of the National Barn Dance.
Thy are joined by a veteran fiddle player from that scene Johnny Frico and the album contains a recording of a German radio interview with him which is quite bizarre.
This was a limited edition CD on Bloodshot (BS115) and mine is number 175 out of 1500.
Given that I imagine this would be pretty hard to track down and purchase I'll give you 3 songs.
The vocals on the 2nd track are by Tracey Dear and those and the terrific yodelling on the 3rd are from the peerless Ms Kelly Hogan unless I am mistaken.
I have just noticed that my copy has been signed by Jon Langford!
Well worth $10 of anyone's money

                                                       It's Saturday - let's dance!

The Pine Valley Cosmonauts - Saturday Night at the Old Barn Dance

The Pine Valley Cosmonauts - Here, Rattler Here!

The Pine Valley Cosmonauts -I Want to be a Cowboy's Sweetheart

Friday, 7 February 2014

Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo

This is rather lovely.
From 2011's Almanac here are a couple of tracks from Australian native but London based  Emily Barker and her Red Clay Halo.
Emily is on vocals, guitars and assorted percussion and is joined by Gill Sandell mainly on accordion, Jo Silverston on cello (and musical saw!) and Anna Jenkins on violin.
Emily was previously with a band called Low Country and this is her 3rd of 4 albums with the Red Clay Halo.
Nostalgia from her previous album Despite the Snow was the theme to Wallander and Pause from Almanac was the theme to the acclaimed BBC drama The Shadow Line - so  a little theme is clearly  going on there!
Well worth checking out

Emily Barker & the Red Clay Halo -Openings

Emily Barker & the Red Clay Halo - Calendar

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Just Like Eurovision

Like most bloggers I take an active interest in my statistics particularly the page views from various countries.

For a number of months Ukraine have been vying with Japan and the Netherlands for 10th place in the all time page views.
However in a move akin to Eurovision , Portugal has sneaked up on the rails from absolutely nowhere to relegate our Ukrainian friends from 10th spot. However the Dutch had better look to their laurels or Ukraine could yet take them in a play off!
As if they don't have enough on their plate with their current political turmoil.
Let's hope that their problems are resolved soon and  that they can get back to a degree of normality.
By way of (scant) consolation here are a couple of songs for our blue and yellow cousins

The Ukrainians - What Difference Does it Make?

The Ukrainians - Chertez Richku, Cherez Hai

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Washboard Wednesday

                                              The Vipers with John Pilgrim on Washboard
Following a washboard featuring on a recently posted Blind Boy Fuller track I was challenged to come up with a Washboard Wednesday series.
I can't deliver a series as I don't have enough material so I suspect that this may be a one off although there may be the occasional future post if anything else pops up
The Vipers Skiffle Group, also known as the Vipers were fronted by Wally Whyton who went on to become a radio and TV presenter and were part of the Brittish skiffle revolution from the late 50's
They quickly found themselves in competition with that Tony Donegan bloke championed by Jim McLean's rabbit.
Hank Marvin, Jet Harris and Tony Meehan who went on to become The Drifters and then the Shadows were briefly Vipers.
The Vipers went the way of all things skiffle in the early 60's but left a legacy of terrific tunes

The Vipers -The Streamline Train

The Vipers - Pay Me My Money Down

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Celtic Connections Review

Mrs CC and I made it to three shows this year at  Celtic Connections all involving fairly established artists.
There are many more I would have liked to have seen but time, compromise and finance limited it to three.

First up was Beth Neilsen Chapman at the City Halls.
Now she is an excellent songwriter, a good singer and musician and was full of energy and enthusiasm.
However I'm afraid she just didn't do it for me -perhaps a wee bitty too mainstream for my taste.
There was a young Northern Irish girl in her band Ruth Trimble who sang one of her own songs and is worth checking out.
The support act was Tom Hickox a pianist and singer in a Nick Cave/Scott Walker stylee. Mrs CC liked him; I didn't.

Second up and the best by far was Irish accordion maestro Sharon Shannon at the Mitchell Theatre who I was seeing for the second time, 20 years after I first saw her at King Tuts. She was absolutely tremendous and a 10 minute jam of The Galway Girl will remain long in the memory.
Support was by violinist Alasdair Fraser and cellist Natalie Hass both very capable musicians.

Finally it was the turn of Gretchen Peters again at the Mitchell. She was also very good. I had seen her at King Tuts back in 1997 and it was good to see her again.
Support was from budding Americana artist Anthony D'Amato who was easily the pick off the support acts.He has an album coming out shortly on New West which should be worth tracking down.

Now skint but happy.

Beth Neilsen Chapman - The Color of Roses

Sharon Shannon - Bungee Jumpers

Gretchen Peters - On a Bus to St. Cloud

Monday, 3 February 2014

Say Zuzu

Without a shadow of a doubt Say Zuzu sported the finest sets of sideburns (or sideboards as our American cousins would have it) I've ever seen on a band.
An Americana band  from Newmarket, New Hampshire they were on the go in the late 90s/early 00's
On Bull, from 1998, the membership was Jon Nolan on guitar and vocals, his brother James on bass, Cliff Murphy on guitar and vocals and Steve Ruhm on drums.
In the States they recorded on Broken White Records but in Europe they were signed to Blue Rose the great German Americana label.
They were one of those American bands who seemed to enjoy more success on this side of the pond.
Indeed, when I saw them play a set in Cheapo Records in Austin the audience was almost exclusively British, German and Dutch.
A certain on line source tells me they also enjoyed success in Italy due in no small part to the patronage of Paolo Caru an Italian rock critic

Say Zuzu - Pennsylvania

Say Zuzu - Time Was

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Southern Soul Sunday 18

Clarence Carter from Montgomery, Alabama started out as part of a duet with Calvin Scott imaginatively called Clarence and Calvin.
Unfortunately Calvin was seriously  injured in a car crash which led to Clarence pursuing a solo career.
He started off on Fame prior to moving to Atlantic but ended up returning to Fame.
Most of his songs were recorded out of the legendary Fame studios in Muscle Shoals.
He had his first  major hit with Slip Away in 1968 and married one of his backing singers in 1970 (Candi Staton no less!) divorcing in 1973.
He is perhaps best known for Patches with recently featured on Jim McLeans Rabbit so you are not getting it here.

He was making hit records right up to the mid 70's before the Disco revolution kicked in.
Clarence has just turned 78 and thankfully is still with us

Clarence Carter - Slip Away

Clarence Carter - Snatching it Back

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Make Way For a Lady

Can it really be 17 years since Cornershop's seminal album When I Was Born For the 7th Time was released?
Here on track 11 Messrs Ayers and Singh go all country on us with the help of Ms Paula Frazer erstwhile singer with Tarnation.
Now Tarnation and I have history which is briefly alluded to here
I am still in trauma but once I get out of therapy I shall tell the tale and hopefully it will be cathartic.
On my gradual road to recovery I have plucked up the courage to delve into Paula's debut solo album Indoor Universe and to meet her at the Love- Lies -Bleeding which is obviously not in Sheffield, or Edinburgh for that matter.

And just to clarify, I look nothing like Chris de Burgh!

Cornershop - Good to be on the Road Back Home Again

Paula Frazer - We Met by the Love-Lies-Bleeding