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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy Hogmanay

Last Hogmanay I posted The Colours by The Men They Couldn't Hang.
It struck me when considering today's post that TMTCH are probably the perfect band to play today even although they are not Scottish.
Rightly best known for their version of The Green Fields of France (the only song to have appeared twice on CCM so far) they are not a one trick pony and have produced some great records.
Indeed, Night of a Thousand Candles is just outside the Top 10 albums of all time and will be 30 years old in 2015. One of my New Year's resolutions should really be to get round to finishing that series.
Their next two albums How Green is the Valley and Waiting for Bonaparte were not too shabby either

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015.

The Men They Couldn't Hang - Ironmasters

The Men They Couldn't Hang - Ghosts of Cable Street

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

They Survived the St Andrews Bargain Bin Cull ... Just #3

To the best of my knowledge  Other Eras ...Such as Witchcraft from 1997 on A&M Records is the only album ever released by Old Hickory.
I have been able to find out next to nothing about them other than they were a 5 piece American band
One of the few reviews I could find describes them as Alternative Indie Rock and Post Grunge and goes on to state:
The band serves up their pop with a fuzzy, other-worldly, feedback-laden buzz that is anything but bubblegum. The result is fairly psychedelic--infectious pop hooks woven around some seriously spacey guitar layers, a combination that hasn't been this well-explored since the arrival of the Flaming Lips. From the Replacements-esque "Spur Eye" to "Settle Down" and "Broken," which are clearly influenced by Pavement, Old Hickory cranks them out with just the right balance of sonic grit and winning pop sensibility. Bose

For me I can see some comparisons to the heavier end of Americana such as Wilco and in particular Centro-matic.
Not bad at all.One more to go

Old Hickory - Drain the Lake

Old Hickory - Diamonds or Coffeecake

Monday, 29 December 2014

One Down, One to Go

I saw Richard Thompson play a spellbinding set in  the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall shortly after the death of Denis Thatcher.
He made some comment about Mr T's demise to which a wag from the crowd loudly retorted "one down, one to go" to thunderous applause.

Not only is he one of the greatest guitarists of his generation (Richard, not Denis) he is also a very underestimated songwriter as these two songs clearly demonstrate.

Taken from Action Packed -The Best of the Capitol Years purchased in Bordeaux in an extremely hungover state with George in attendance

Richard Thompson - I Feel So Good

Richard Thompson - Beeswing

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Some Sunday Soul

It is Sunday today isn't it?
At this time of the year you can loose all track as to what day of the week it is.

So IF it is Sunday it must be Sunday Soul.
Ike Turner was a drug addled wife beater and control freak. Tina Turner sang Simply the Best.
However, together they made some great music.

No apologies for selecting their most famous tune Nutbush City Limits as nothing else they ever did surpassed it. Sweet Rhode Island Red came pretty close however

Ike and Tina Turner - Nutbush City Limits

Ike and Tina Turner -Sweet Rhode Island Red

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Saturday Lucky Dip

I've never really got The Kings of Leon
I got their debut album Youth and Young Manhood when it came out but haven't listened to it in ages.
Also I've never felt a pressing desire to obtain anything else of theirs even when I come across it cheap in Charity Shops.
Therefore I can only assume that Red Hot and Regal - Kings of Leon -Roots , Friends and Influences  a Mojo Compilation from July 2009 was acquired when the magazine was purchased for some holiday reading.

The Followhill Brothers and cousin Matthew were good clean living and God fearing boys before the vices of Sex, Drugs and Rock'n' Roll gradually reeled then in.
Given that their father was a United Pentecostal Church preacher it is save to assume that they were exposed to a bit of country gospel such as the first number.

Friends featured include The Kills, Jason Lytle, Dan Auerbach and My Morning Jacket. I've gone for The Cribs whom I'm not familiar with but this is a mighty fine record.

The Maddox Brothers and Rose - When God Dips His Love in my Heart

The Cribs - Girls Like Mystery

Friday, 26 December 2014

God Only Knows What I'd Be Without You

The Beach Boys could be said to be somewhat unseasonal Christmas fayre (in the Northern Hemisphere at least).
However they are one of Mrs CC's favourites and as it is her birthday (she was born the day after the Baby Jesus as she never tires of telling the nephews) these are for her even if the songs are older than she is!
We shall celebrate in the traditional way by wining and dining both sides of the family

The Beach Boys - God Only Knows

The Beach Boys - I Just Wasn't Made for these Times

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Happy Shane's Day

It's Christmas Day and indeed Shane Patrick Lysaght MacGowan's birthday

What are you doing reading this when you could be-

Preparing dinner/arguing with relatives/ looking for batteries for devices which came without them/ listening to the Queen's speech/ tidying up/ watching rubbish on telly/ falling asleep watching rubbish on telly/drinking profusely?

But then again .........

The Pogues - Fiesta

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

The Calm Before The Storm

It is Christmas Eve.
Off work until January 5th.
Time to relax with a glass in hand prior to a couple of hectic days.
And what better way than to sit and watch the greatest Christmas film of all time It's a Wonderful Life and to listen to the greatest Christmas album of all time Phil Spector's A Christmas Gift for You.

Merry Christmas to you and yours and I hope that Santa is good to you

The Ronettes - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

The Crystals - Santa Claus is Comin' to Town

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Variations on a Christmas Theme

It is an interesting state of affairs when a song by Low can be said to be cheerier that from what has gone before.
If You Were Born Today (Song for the Little Baby Jesus) is perhaps not the most cheery song in the world but compared to yesterday's Johnny Cash offerings it is positively uplifting.

We stay on the indie theme and indeed the birthday theme with something much more cheery altogether from Saint Etienne with I was Born on Christmas Day.

The cheeriest of cheery Christmas songs tomorrow

Tune into Sexy Loser for Dirk's Christmas Mix

Low - If You Were Born Today (Song for the Little Baby Jesus)

Saint Etienne - I Was Born on Christmas Day

Monday, 22 December 2014

The Man in Black and The Man Upstairs

The Christmas Collection by Johnny Cash is not for the faint hearted.
Recorded in 2003 during his wilderness years there are no references to Santa Claus, commercialism, consumerism or people enjoying themselves.
Oh no - rather it is all hymns and homilies delivered with the fervour of a true believer.
However, even non- believers cannot fail to be inspired by the majesty of the Man in Black.

This first song is just crying out to be covered by The Handsome Family.
And if you or the family are moaning about what you need to get in for Christmas or if the kids have a list for Santa as long as your arm the second "song" may give you food for thought.

Remember in Country music land Christmas is not a time for enjoying yourself!

Johnny Cash -Ringing the Bells for Jim

Johnny Cash - Christmas as I Knew it

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Some Sunday Christmas Soul

As it is the Sunday before Christmas it is perhaps time for some Christmas Soul and who better to kick is off than the Reverend himself.
It has to be said, however, that The Christmas Album, is probably not Al Green's finest half hour. Nevertheless he enthusiastically embraces his subject as one would expect from a man of the cloth.

I've stopped short of providing you with two of Al's seasonal offerings.
Rather, for the second choice we have something better altogether and something I suspect will feature/have featured at Drew's place.
It's Johnny and Jon with Christmas from Vietnam from 1966 in my case taken from the fabulous Kent album A Soldier's Sad Song -Vietnam through the eyes of Black America 1966-73

Al Green - Silent Night

Johnny and Jon - Christmas in Vietnam

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Saturday Christmas Lucky Dip

Time to raid the Christmas CDs for this week's Saturday Lucky Dip.
Mrs CC came home the other week with a couple of compilation CDs including Home for the Holidays.
A pleasant piece of easy listening.
Whilst some of the usual suspects feature - including Santa Baby and The Most Wonderful Time of the Year -  there are also some new ones to these ears including these splendid offerings from Louis Armstrong  and Lou Rawls.
Neither have featured to my knowledge on the Smooth Radio Christmas station which Mrs CC appears to have been playing from around about October.

Somewhat inexplicably neither Home for the Holidays nor Smooth Radio has opted to feature The Sensational Alex Harvey Band with There's No Lights on the Christmas Tree Mother,They're Burning Big Louie Tonight which is criminally negligent of them.
This comes courtesy of Big Rock Candy Mountain a less than prolific blog but one that comes into it's own at this time of year.

Louis Armstrong with the Commanders - Cool Yule

Low Rawls - Christmas Is

Sensational Alex Harvey Band - There's No Lights on the Christmas Tree Mother

More random nonsense of a non Christmas variety next Saturday

Friday, 19 December 2014

Friday Night is Hillbilly Night

Friday night is Hillbilly Night on CCM courtesy of BR5-49.

An American and indeed talented equivalent to East 17 in that they also were named after a post code or zip code as our cousins across the pond would have it.
Little Ramona is taken from their eponymous 1996 debut with Hillbilly Thang being taken from their great mini album Live at Robert's - Roberts being Robert's Western World, 416 Broadway, Nashville if you are ever in the hood.

I saw them play The Renfrew Ferry and they were absolutely terrific.
As is often the way the band has undergone various personnel changes over the years even losing their hyphen in the process

BR5-49 -Little Ramona (Gone Hillbilly Nuts)

BR5-49 -Hillbilly Thang

Thursday, 18 December 2014

The Skids - Side 2

I've finished In a Big Country the biography of Stuart Adamson by Allan Glen.

It is ok as biographies go with the careers of the Skids and Big Country recorded in chronological order and a decent discography.
Disappointingly none of the members of either band were willing to participate in the book and the material is gleaned namely from the music press and local newspapers.

I suspect that the book will not tell fans of the bands much more that the already know although until I read the book I was unaware that Richard Jobson had been briefly married to Mariella Frostrup

As the book points out it was no surprise that a member of the Skids went on to have a successful career in music. It was a bit of a surprise at the time however that it was Adamson as opposed to Jobson.
Jobson and his enormous ego went off to do TV and film gradually disappearing up his own backside.
He did write some great tunes though!

Skids -Scared to Dance

Skids -Working for the Yankee Dollar

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

They Survived the St Andrews Bargain Bin Cull ... Just #2

Those of you who survived the Spinto Band have probably opened this post with a degree of trepidation.
I would argue that this week's offering is considerably better- others may choose to disagree.

This week's CD saved from the bin is The Things We Do by Angela McCluskey on Manhatten Records from 2004.
Apparently she is Scottish but is based in Hollywood, California where she is married to composer Paul Cantelon.
She also is a member of the folk rock group The Wild Colonials.
I would describe her music as Amy Winehouse lite  - pleasant enough but obviously not in the same league.

Angela McCluskey - It's Been Done

Angela McCluskey - Love is Stronger Than Death

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Fender Stratocaster

Tom Morton on his Radio Scotland show Morton Through Midnight played Fender Stratocaster by Jonathan Richman the other night.
I thought to myself I think I may have that somewhere and do you know what I was right.
It is on his eponymous album on Special Delivery Records from 1989.

Drew used the word gusto in one of his recent posts.
This serves as a cue for a CCM first - some poetry from the great man (that's Jonathan not Drew!)
Amusing, but I don't expect that many will play it more than once.Quite topical given all the gluttony we are about to subject ourselves to.
Being Jonathan, he placed it as the first track on side 2 as opposed to the last.

Jonathan Richman - Fender Stratocaster

Jonathan Richman - Action Packed

Jonathan Richman - I Eat with Gusto, Damn! You Bet

Monday, 15 December 2014

These Boots are Made for Singing

Victoria Christina Hesketh better known as Little Boots shot to fame with her 2009 album Hands.
I acquired a copy  a few months ago in a charity shop and have just got round to giving it a listen.
It is a pleasant piece of light electronic pop which reached number 5 in the UK albums charts.

She had previously been a member of the all girl band Dead Disco.
She followed up Hands with an EP  Illuminations in 2009 and the album Nocturnes in 2013 which only reached number 45.

At the time of Hands coming out she was touted as the next big thing - however that honour seems to have gone to Ellie Goulding instead.
That's pop music for you.

Little Boots - Stuck on Repeat

Little Boots -Hearts Collide

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Some Sunday Soul

This week's featured artist is Erma Vernice Franklin (1938 -2002).
Best known for Piece of My Heart later memorably covered  by Janis Joplin.
She was perhaps overshadowed by young sister Aretha for whom along with their other sister Carolyn she often sang backing vocals for including  on Aretha's signature tune Respect.

She was however an excellent singer in her own right as these two songs from the early 60s clearly demonstrate.
An excellent soul voice with a touch of jazz which sometimes verged towards easy listening. Certainly easy on the ears and much under rated.

Her father the Reverend C.L.Franklin could also belt out a good tune although not  quite as easy on the ear as those of his daughters.

Erma Franklin - Ev'rytime We Say Goodbye

Erma Franklin - Love is Blind

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Saturday Lucky Dip Live

For quite possibly one week only Saturday Lucky Dip goes live with a couple of noise terrorists courtesy of Uncut - May 2001.

First up is Mark E Smith with one of the many manifestations of The Fall  from The Fall live in Cambridge 1988.
This is followed by Jello Biafra and the boys with Holidays in Cambodia recorded live in the Elite Club, San Francisco on 20th March 1982. Taken from Dead Kennedys Live! From the San Francisco Bay Area.
I'm not a huge fan of live tracks but these two are absolute belters.

If the Fall track appears as The Poets- When the Revolution Comes and the DK's even more bizzarely as Funky Woman by Maceo please do not adjust your sets- it is just a quirk of my burning software.

More random nonsense next Saturday

The Fall - Hit the North (Live)

The Dead Kennedys -Holidays in Cambodia (Live)

Friday, 12 December 2014

Some Sound Advice from Loretta

With the Christmas Party season now upon us it is time for some wise words from The Coal Miner's Daughter Ms Loretta Lynn.
She then follows this up with a salutary warning for any woman with the nerve to have designs on her man.

The moral of the story is clear - you wouldn't take a broken pay packet home to Loretta!

And no, I have no idea who Hank is!

Loretta Lynn - Don't Come Home a Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind)

Loretta Lynn - You Ain't Woman Enough

Thursday, 11 December 2014

A Stray Cats Single of Sorts - The Race is On

The final single in the box and technically not really a Stray Cats single.
This cover of The Race is On a song made famous by the great George Jones features on Dave Edmunds Twangin' album.
He was producing the Stray Cats at this time so got them along to assist him.
Released as a single it charted in the UK singles charts on 20th June 1981 peaking at number 34 and was on the charts for just 6 weeks.
The song was written by George Jones and Don Rollins and has also been covered by Jack Jones , country band Sawyer Brown, the Grateful Dead and Alvin and the Chipmonks!
I suspect that George and Dave's versions are the only ones worthy of a listen.

The b-side (I'm Gonna Start) Living Again if it Kills Me is written by Dave, Nick Lowe and Nick's then wife Carlene Carter 

Dave Edmunds with The Stray Cats - The Race is On

Dave Edmunds- (I'm Gonna Start) Living Again if it Kills Me

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

They Survived the St Andrews Bargain Bin Cull ... Just #1

Mrs CC returned from a trip to St Andrews with her mother armed with 10 CDs purchased for 50p a piece from a bargain bin in Oxfam.
They were chosen primarily because of the name or the cover.
Five were so godamm awful that they were rapidly dispatched from whence they came.
It has to be said that none of the other five are classics but after much consideration they were retained and added to the CC shelves.
The Rembrandts have previously featured which leaves four more to subject you to.
First up is Moonwink by The Spinto Band (chosen because of the cover I suspect).
From Wilmington, Delaware this is their seventh studio album released on Park the Van Records in 2008.

Other than that I know no more. The singer is either guitarist Nick Krill or bassist Thomas Hughes.
Whoever it is his voice is a somewhat curious combination of Alex Kapranos from Franz Ferdinand and Mika.

The Spinto Band - Vivian, Don't

The Spinto Band - Pumpkins & Paisley

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

The Pride of Dunfermline

I have just started reading In a Big Country a biography of Stuart Adamson by Alan Glen.

He was part of the two biggest bands ever to have come out of Dunfermline namely the Skids and Big Country.
Nazareth, Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson and Barbara Dickson are probably the only other artists of note to originate from this Fife town which was once the ancient capital of Scotland.

I've got as far as the Skids section and I must admit that I prefer them to Big  Country.
The book had me reaching for a four track EP released by Virgin in 1983 which could be said to be a mini Best of.
Side 1 today with the mighty Into the Valley, still blasted from the tannoy at Dunfermline FC  home games, followed by the not quite so mighty but still pretty impressive  Masquerade.

Side 2 to follow in due course.

Skids - Into The Valley

Skids - Masquerade

Monday, 8 December 2014

The Blues Collection - Bessie Smith

It has been a wee while since The Blues Collection has featured on CCM. It has been  even longer since a female artiste has featured  probably as far back as  Koko Taylor about a year ago.

So it gives me great pleasure to feature The Empress of the Blues herself the great Bessie Smith.
Born in either 1892 or 1894 (accounts vary) in Chattanooga, Tennessee she died in 1937 following a car accident near Clarksdale.

Hugely popular in the 1920s and the 1930s as a Blues singer and as a major influence on the burgeoning jazz movement she generated a degree of controversy due to her bisexuality and relationship with fellow singer Gertrude Saunders.

The two songs featured are from the 1920's and the quality of recording is pretty impressive given their vintage.
From 25th August 1928 and recorded in New York we  start with Me and My Gin.
This is followed  by Kitchen Man again recorded in New York, this time on 8th May 1929, a song brimming with innuendos, double entendres and euphemisms.

Bessie Smith - Me and my Gin

Bessie Smith - Kitchen Man

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Some Sunday Soul

Whilst doing my "research" for last week's Little Anthony post I looked out my copies of Volumes 1 to 6 of the Talcum Soul series.
The first of the series is subtitled The Sounds of Stateside and track one is the Northern Soul classic Seven Days Too Long by Chuck Woods from 1966 written by JR Bailey and Vernon Harrell.

Now I know next to nothing about Chuck Woods but I suspect that from the song, the picture and the  blurb above he could fairly accurately be described as a Young Soul Rebel.
And the fact that Seven Days Too Long was covered by Dexys suggests that he could well have been one of the ones that Kevin Rowland was Searching For.

Chuck Woods - Seven Days Too Long

Dexys Midnight Runners - Seven Days Too Long

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Saturday Lucky Dip

It looks as though the Red Hot and Cool compilation gracing the CCM shelves came free with Red magazine.
It is billed as 10 -chilled out tracks -the perfect soundtrack to a Sunday morning.
Now Sunday as you all know equals soul so you are getting this on Saturday.
It features the likes of Moby, Groove Armada, Kinobe and Jon Hopkins - pleasant enough but not really my cup of tea.
It also has The Facts of Life by Black Box Recorder which is not too shabby.
My idea of chill out music is probably more some Southern Soul or a wee bit of murder and misery courtesy of a country song or two.
Somewhat bizarrely  The Ballad of Cable Hogue by Calexico is on the CD and rather neatly fits that bill.

More random nonsense next Saturday

Black Box Recorder - The Facts of Life

Calexico -Ballad of Cable Hague

Friday, 5 December 2014

Les Johnson and Me

Had I owned 15 Hands by Les Johnson and Me when the Tartan Texans series was on the go it would most certainly have been included.
Available on Holy Smokes Records it features the rich baritone of Kenny McDonald a well -kent face on the Glasgow Americana music scene  and has been described as somewhere between Jim Reeves, Johnny Cash and Tennessee Ernie Ford with a distinctly Glaswegian twang.
There is backing from the Shiverin' Sheiks and other Glasgow musical luminaries.
Dear Marvin is a fantastically off beat duet with Katie McArthur sharing the vocals.
It also puts me in mind of the Bloodshot act of Rex Hobart and the Misery Boys and also The Hacienda Brothers which is no bad thing.
All twelve songs written by Kenny. Pretty impressive given that he only wrote his first song at the tender age of 46.

Les Johnson and Me will be appearing at Stereo in Glasgow on 11th December 2014 as part of the Holy Smokes volume 4 night.

Thoroughly recommended.

Les Johnson and Me - Fifteen Hands

Les Johnson and Me -Dear Marvin

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Stray Cat Singles -(She's) Sexy and Seventeen

The fourth single in the Stray Cats box and something of a return to form.
From Rant and Rave With the Stray Cats their third album (She's) Sexy and Seventeen was their fifth of six singles to chart entering the UK singles chart on 6th August 1983 remaining in the charts for 9 weeks and peaking at number 29.
Both the single and the  b-side Lookin' Better Every Beer were penned by Brian Setzer.

It was a bigger success in the States reaching number 5  following on from Rock this Town and Stray Cat Strut which were both released in 1982 considerably later than  from when they were hits in the UK.

One more to go.

Stray Cats - (She's) Sexy and Seventeen

Stray Cats - Lookin' Better Every Beer

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Going Back to Houston to Get Me Some Pants

Odelay from 1996 is Beck's 5th studio album and the one that I would argue is his best - others may choose to disagree.
It is certainly his most  commercially successful and  most critically acclaimed.
It's got a little bit of everything on it - hip hop,rap, country, blues, jazz and psychadilia.
And some truly bizare lyrics
This list from Paste Magazine gives a flavour of his lyrics over the years - a bit Dylanesque I feel or bonkers depending on your point of view.

I've had a Devils haircut in my mind for the last few days which inspired me to post this
I hadn't listened to this in ages but had a good sing-a-long to it in the car today on the way back from work

Beck -Devils Haircut

Beck - Where's It At

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

I'm Tense and Nervous and I Can't Relax

Why a big suit?

I'm in a bit of a quandary today.
Part of me wants to state that Stop Making Sense by  Talking Heads is one of the top 10 albums of all time.
However, given that it is taken from the concert movie featuring the band live on stage it probably constitutes a sort of greatest hits and therefore probably does not make the criteria that is normally used when making such lists.
I am tempted to replace it in the top 10 with 77 but realistically that would make the long list as opposed to the short list.

Nevertheless Stop Making Sense is absolutely terrific. I saw the film at the GFT (Glasgow Film Theatre) along with The Ramones' Rock'n'Roll High School. It is probably the only music DVD that I have ever watched on more than half a dozen occasions.

Ce que j'ai fais, ce soir la
Ce qu'elle a dit, ce soir la
Realisant mon espoir
Je me lance, vers la gloire ... OK

Talking Heads -Psycho Killer

Talking Heads - Burning Down The House

Monday, 1 December 2014

My Drunken Haze

This picture is guaranteed to hack off all of us in the Northern Hemisphere who are currently experiencing the colds of winter.
It features a Greek Band My Drunken Haze who have just released their self titled debut album on Inner Ear Records
According to the blurb it is an album starring the character of a woman in search of love, longing, separation and redemption, set against a backdrop of daydreaming, drugs and the hot sand of a summer beach.  
Vocals by the wonderfully named ethereal singer Matina Sous Peau

Beats a Glasgow  winter!

My Drunken Haze - Yellow Balloon