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Friday, 31 July 2015

Scribbled in Chalk

Truth is a story scribbled in chalk just an hour before the flood

It is a wee while since Karine Polwart one of the finest contemporary Scottish folk artists has appeared on CCM.
Today we feature Scribbled in Chalk her second album from back in 2006 and her follow up to 2005's Faultlines which won three awards at the BBC Folk Awards including Best Album.
She releases music through Hegri Music , hegri being the Gaelic for heron her favourite bird and the subject of the song Follow the Heron which was originally recorded in 2002 for the Malinky album Three Ravens.

She has a Masters degree in Philosophical Inquiry which is often reflected in her song writing  and in her politics where she is a member of the Scottish Green Party and a strong advocate for Scottish independence.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

The Blues Collection - Big Joe Turner

After a frankly unacceptable delay we finally have the return of the Blues Collection.
And who better to feature than a giant in every sense of the word Big Joe Turner
A native of Kansas City he was active from the 1920s to the 1980s and is of course best remembered for Shake, Rattle and Roll.
The Blues Collection songs from an album called Roll 'Em date from 1938 to1940
Goin' Away Blues was recorded on 30th December 1938 in New York with Big Joe being accompanied by his regular pianist Pete Johnson.
Joe Turner's Blues (always good to sing a song about yourself ) again recorded in New York this time on 15th October 1940. On this occasion he is accompanied by Benny Carter and his All Star Orchestra.
As the sleevenotes say these songs are stamped with the Joe Turner trademark : warm, buoyant, big-voiced and big-hearted

Big Joe Turner - Goin' Away Blues

Big Joe Turner - Joe Turner Blues

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Good Old Gemma Ray

I wasn't familiar with Gemma Ray until recently and then it was only through fellow bloggers George at the now sadly defunct Jim McLean's Rabbit and The Robster from Is This The Life posting some of her songs.
So I was standing at the counter of Oxfam in Byres Road, Glasgow  the other day with a Soul Stirrers CD in my hand when I caught The Leader on a shelf from the corner of my eye.
That name rings a bell I thought - I'm having that.Such is the power of the blog
The Leader dates back to 2008 and is her debut album. The Robster in his far more formative post featured Hard Shoulder which is probably the best song on the album but these two are,I would argue, not too shabby either.
She was born in Basildon and raised in Billericay but perhaps more sensibly now resides in Berlin.
Thanks for pointing me in her direction chaps.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Baez Sings Dylan

The world and his wife have covered Bob Dylan songs over the years.
Surely, however, few have more entitlement to do so than Joan Baez.
Baez was already an established star when she first met Dylan in 1961 in Greenwich Village and apparently he did not make an immediate impression.
However as their paths increasingly crossed they became involved in an on/off relationship documented here

Joan Baez - Forever Young

Joan Baez - Simple Twist of Fate

Their relationship also features in the great D.A.Pennebaker documentary Don't Look Back covering Dylan's 1965 tour of the UK.
Here Bob and Joan get stuck into a bit of Hank Williams

Monday, 27 July 2015

Song Circle 2002

Sometime during 2002 I attended a concert at King Tuts billed as Song Circle 2002
It was essentially three Americana luminaries performing acoustic versions of some of their greatest songs
The three men in question were
Robert Fisher of Willard Grant Conspiracy
Steve Wynn of Dream Syndicate and The Miracle 3 fame and
Walter Salas -Humara the main man from The Silos.
There was a limited edition of 1000 CDs to accompany the tour - mine is number 332
Deanna Varagona also features on the album but as she did not appear to King Tuts (and as her songs are the weakest on the album) she is not featuring today.

Robert Fisher - Notes From The Waiting Room

Steve Wynn - Merrittville

Walter Salas-Humara - Susan Across The Ocean

Sunday, 26 July 2015


No Sunday Soul today as to quote The Robster you are getting a self -congratulatory birthday post.
54 today
Rather than go for the obvious birthday tunes or who I share a birthday with I have decided on something slightly different this year.
Being a saddo I keep alphabetical lists of my CDs and vinyl and I thought that a track from number 54 from each list would be in order.
Somewhat fortuitously I have come up with two absolute crackers.
On the CD front number 54 is #1 Record by Big Star. It is actually the two in one CD with Radio City but as they are two separate records I have catalogued them seperately.
In the vinyl list number 54 is as Swiss Adam would have it The Only Band who Matter from The Story of the Clash - Volume 1
A close shave as had I been one year older you would have got Hero by Clarence Clemons!

To keep on the numbers theme I've gone for two ages I will obviously never see again.

Soul will return next Sunday

Big Star -Thirteen

The Clash - The Magnificent Seven

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Saturday Lucky Dip

It's a wee while since The Blues Collection has featured on CCM.
So to keep you going until the next installment here is Let's Move - A Heavy Blues Collection from Mojo December 2012.
15 uproarious tracks from legends such as John Lee Hooker,Muddy Waters and BB King through to the Fat Possum posse of R.L Burnside and Junior Kimbrough.
What to choose? A tough call indeed.
I figure the legends will probably feature elsewhere and R.L has already graced these pages with the song on the compilation Goin' Down South.
So let's go for Hound Dog & the Houserockets followed by T-Model Ford & Gravelroad.

I also feel it is kind of obligatory to feature the title track from the great Lightnin' Hopkins.
More random nonsense next Saturday

Hound Dog Taylor & the Houserockets - Give Me Back My Wig

T-Model Ford & Gravelroad - How Many More Years

Lightnin' Hopkins - Let's Move

Friday, 24 July 2015


Kate Bush is an artist who divides opinion. There are those who think that she is the absolute bees knees (Robster take a bow) and those who find her voice annoying.
Me, I am somewhere in the middle.
I think that she has recorded some fine songs, the two below being particularly good examples
I also admire the fact that she is prepared to take risks and to try new things rather than churn out the same old same old.
She is also somewhat reclusive and doesn't play the media's game or dance to their tune. Somewhat strangely this has not worked against her and she rarely gets bad press as the hype in  the run up to her 22 night residency in the Hammersmith Apollo in 2014 which sold out in 15 minutes demonstrated.

Obviously very hard to dislike.

Kate Bush - Army Dreamers

Kate Bush - Babooshka

Thursday, 23 July 2015

The Return of the Drunk Ventriloquist

Today we feature Dallas band The Deathray Davies with a couple of tracks from their 2000 album The Return of the Drunk Ventriloquist on Idol records.
They appear to be still on the go although their fifth and last album was released way back in 2005.
Ventriloquist was their second: - be warned I also have their third The Day of the Ray

The main man appears to be John Dufilho who is the singer and who writes the songs.
Although from Dallas I am pretty sure that they have links with the Texas college town of Denton where Slobberbone and Centromatic hail from. Indeed the ubiquitous Will Johnson of Centromatic and South San Gabriel fame makes a brief appearance on the album.
Saw them live a couple of times and they were pretty bouncy.

The Deathray Davies - Square

The Deathray Davies - I Put Opium in the Food

Wednesday, 22 July 2015


Glasgow's Siobhan Wilson has a new EP out called Say It's True
To promote this EP there is a free download available at Bandcamp
This follows on from her previous album Glorified Demons which came complete with a lovely hand made cover.
She has featured on Radio Scotland a number of times and those of you in the UK can access her session on the Vic Galloway show here
She briefly dabbled with the moniker Ella the Bird before reverting back to her own name.
Well worth checking out.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

From Westwood to Hollywood

A couple of nights a week I drive through East Kilbride travelling from work to visit my mother.
As I pass by signs for Westwood I often find myself thinking of Aztec Camera and singing snatches of Somewhere in my Heart and other ditties.
I was a bit surprised and indeed somewhat bewildered to find that The Boy Wonders have not yet featured on CCM so time to put that right.
Also whilst driving through East Kilbride I am often struck as to how accurate a description High Land, Hard Rain is of the town's topography and meteorological conditions.

Aztec Camera - Somewhere in My Heart

Aztec Camera - The Boy Wonders

Monday, 20 July 2015

Vagabond Ways

How about a wee bit of Marianne Faithfull to ease you into the working week? Yup, thought so
Vagabond Ways from 1999 is produced by Mark Howard with a little bit of Daniel Lanois thrown in for good measure and also features Pink Floyd's Roger Walters
Whereas I'm sure that the title track is not autobiographical in does capture some of the bohemianism, decadence and hedonism for which Marianne is renowned.
For me the pick of the album is probably her interpretation of Leonard Cohen's Tower of Song which would even make old Laughing Len crack a smile.

For some reason Box has decided to re- christen the title track as Vegebond Ways

Marianne Faithfull - Vagabond Ways

Marianne Faithfull - Tower of Song

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Some Sunday Soul

Roberta Flack has graced the pages of CCM before in the illustrious company of Donny Hathaway.
Here she is appearing in her own right.
You can't post Roberta without featuring her killer version of Ewan MacColl's The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. It won her a Grammy as Record of the Year in 1973 and I suspect that Kirsty's da would be rightly proud of that. She followed that up with Record of the Year in 1974 with Killing Me Softly With His Song.
Good though that is I have opted for her take on Carole King and Gerry Goffin's Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.
Apropos of nothing, her middle name is Cleopatra.

More Soul next Sunday

Roberta Flack - The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

Roberta Flack - Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Saturday Lucky Dip

Uncut's September 2002's Radio Radio compilation is an absolute belter - 18 cracking tracks plus Gary Numan.
Being Uncut there is a large slice of Americana - 6 tracks to be precise. Don't panic as much as I love Americana I will only subject you to one of them today although I reserve the right to return to the others at a later date.
The one selected is from one of my all time heroes Alejandro Escovedo.It is from one of the few albums of his that I don't have By The Hand of The Father -Songs& Stories from an Original Theaterwork
The wonderful female Spanish vocals are from the recently featured Rosie Flores.

This is followed by something a wee bit different- a wonderful instrumental from Frank Zappa which caught my imagination.
In addition to the Americana we will save the Scottish pop royalty in the shape of Roddy Frame and Teenage Fanclub for a later date.

More random nonsense next Saturday

Alejandro Escovedo - Ballad of the Sun and the Moon

Frank Zappa - Peaches En Regalia

Friday, 17 July 2015

Love & Mercy

Mrs CC and I went to see Love & Mercy the Brian Wilson biopic the other night and very good it was too.
It concentrates on two periods in his life the recording of Pet Sounds and Good Vibrations and the 80's when Brian was a recluse post mental breakdown and under the care and exploitation of Dr Eugene Landy.

The 80's Wilson is played by John Cusack who is pretty good. However, Paul Dano who plays the 60's Wilson is an absolute revelation in terms of his  acting, his physical similarity to Wilson and for his singing prowess.
Directed by Bill Pohlad the screenwriting is by Oren Moverman who co-wrote the 2007 Bob Dylan portrait I'm Not There.
It is well worth seeing if you get the chance.Certainly much much better than your average biopic

Brian Wilson - Heroes and Villians

Brian Wilson - Vega-Tables

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Summer Chill

Protection by Massive Attack is a fairly recent addition to the CCM shelves and is full of cool,sexy stuff which is just the thing for a sultry summer evening.
Of course given that this is one that I've prepared earlier it will probably  be chucking it down by the time you come to play and read this.
On this their second album released in 1994 following on from Blue Lines - 3d, Daddy G and Tricky are joined on this first  reggae tinged song by one of their regular collaborators the mighty Horace Andy.
On the second track the great Tracy Thorn makes a guest appearance.

Chill out and enjoy

Massive Attack - Spying Glass

Massive Attack - Better Things

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Separate Limousines

A work colleague recently paid 90 quid for a ticket to see Fleetwood Mac at the Hyrdro in Glasgow.90 quid!!More money than sense.
Still I'm sure that he enjoyed himself.
He would have enjoyed himself far more however had it been the original Fleetwood Mac featuring the mighty Peter Green on guitar playing some splendid Blues as opposed to the tosh they come up with these days.
Re the current incarnation I am reminded of a line from a Loudon Wainwright III song about the members of Fleetwood Mac attending a reunion concert in separate limousines. Something sadly I suspect was true

Fleetwood Mac - Rattle Snake Shake

Fleetwood Mac - Black Magic Woman

Many of you will be aware that George from Jim McLean's Rabbit has decided to hang up his boots so please pop over to his place to say your goodbyes

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Jay Bennett

In my recent post on Anna Fermin's Trigger Gospel I mentioned that their album Oh, The Stories We Told had been co-produced by Jay Bennett
In the comments section Brian posted a generous tribute saying that if his voice had been a little better he could have been a giant. And I think he is right.
I do not have any of Jay's solo stuff apart from the occasional song downloaded here or there.
So I've been listening to Wilco and in particular Being There where he is credited with guitar, piano,organs,harmonca,lap steel,drums,accordian and vocals.
He left Wilco in 2001 following a spat with Jeff Tweedy over the production and engineering of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
Maybe it's just me but I feel that Wilco were never the same band after his departure and I fairly rapidly lost interest in them.
In 2009 Jay needed surgery for a hip replacement operation but could not afford  to proceed due to some clause in his health insurance.
Tragically he died in his sleep on 24th May 2009 at the age of 45.The coroner ruled that his death was due to an accidental overdose of the painkiller Fentanyl.
A true talent

Wilco - Misunderstood

Wilco -Say You Miss Me

Monday, 13 July 2015

And If You Know the History

These songs are for our friend Erik who is currently witnessing his history being expunged in a manner worthy of North Korea

Dwight Yoakam - South of Cincinnati

Steve Earle - Ben McCulloch

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Some Sunday Disco Soul

What with my Southern Soul series followed by the more generic Some Sunday Soul I have just about exhausted my soul collection.
So unless there are any new purchases there will be a degree of revisiting some of the artists who have previously featured.
As a stopgap today we feature some disco soul which would not have been out of place on Scott's excellent Disco Friday series.
Here are Kathie, Debbie, Kim and Joni Sledge who are collectively know of course as Sister Sledge.
They came up with some fantastic records aided and abetted by the musicianship and production genius of those Chic chaps Bernard Edwards and Nile Rogers.
A quartet from 1971 to 1989 when Kathie left to pursue a solo career they are still going strong as a trio

These will get you moving

Sister Sledge - Lost in Music

Sister Sledge - He's The Greatest Dancer

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Saturday Lucky Dip

I'm only guessing but I suspect that given the free CD from Uncut July 2003 is entitled Only Love Can Break Your Heart that the magazine contained a 30 page article about Neil Young.
He does not feature on the CD which features 17 Classic Tracks by the Best of Today's Singer Songwriters.

Usually when I play these prior to posting one or two tracks jump out. Not so today in that they are all pretty much much of a muchness.
Therefore I'll go for artists who have not featured before so that's Ryan Adams ,Caitlin Cary and Jesse Malin out of the equation.
I realize that many of you will be gutted that I have omitted the Daniel Lanois and Bono track but you have to be cruel to be kind.
So we are going for another Canadian Kathleen Edwards with a song from her 2003 album Failer.
 I saw her do a set at Antoines in Austin at SXSW. Good songs but my main memories are of her swearing a lot and being pretty nasty about the preceding act the great Ray Wylie Hubbard.
She is followed by Willard Grant Conspiracy from their 2003 album Regard the End featuring the wonderful (baritone?) voice of Robert Fisher

More random nonsense next Saturday

Kathleen Edwards - 12 Bellevue

Willard Grant Conspiracy - Beyond The Shore

Friday, 10 July 2015

Covered by SAHB

Although Alex Harvey has written many a fine song The Sensational Alex Harvey Band are probably best known for their cover of Delilah.
Delilah is not their only cover song. Indeed their 1976 album The Penthouse Tapes consists almost entirely of covers.
And here are their takes on two early 70's classics
I would argue that their version of Schools Out is as good as, if not better, than the Alice Cooper original.
Their version of Crazy Horses is however nowhere near the magnificence of The Osmonds

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - School's Out

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Crazy Horses

For those of you too young to remember them here they are originals

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Deena and Deanna

About a year ago George posted a song by Deena from her album Rock River which I think had turned up in his in-box.
On the strength of that track I went out and purchased the album debunking the myth that blogging is killing music.
I'm happy to report that it is pretty damn good.
Dena is Deena Shoshkes from Hoboken, New Jersey who is/was the frontwoman of a band called The Cucumbers.
The art work above is by Lila Shoshkes who I am guessing may be a relative.
As it is relatively new (2014) you should go out and buy it and I am therefore only posting one track.

Not to be confused with Deanna from Nick Cave's Tender Prey album who is a different person altogether.

Deena - My Own Advice

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Deanna

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Wonderful World Beautiful People

It's summer and how better to celebrate that fact than by playing some wonderful reggae from the equally wonderful Jimmy Cliff.
I've had a Best of for a while but I wasn't about to pass up the opportunity of purchasing another one (The Messenger - The Very Best of Reggae's Original Soul Star since you ask) for 49p particularly when it yielded seven songs not on my previous compilation including these two absolute stonkers.

This is the sound of the summer

Jimmy Cliff - Wonderful World, Beautiful People

Jimmy Cliff - Sufferin' In The Land

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Anna Fermin's Trigger Gospel

Anna Fermin was born in the Phillipines but grew up in Kenosha, Winsconsin.
Upon moving to Chicago to attend Art school she formed the band Trigger Gospel with the name taken from a Western paperback.
They were active from 1997 to 2003 reappearing in 2007  with Anna resurfacing again in 2012 with a more poppy music as opposed to her country/Americana roots.
These two songs are the first and last songs from their 2003 album on the Undertow label Oh.The Stories We Told.
It is a wee while since I have played this and to be honest with the exception of these two tracks none particularly jumped out at me
You will recognize the second one as it is Steve Earle cover.
The album is produced by the band and the late Jay Bennett of Wilco fame

Anna Fermin's Trigger Gospel -Are You Gonna Miss Me Too

Anna Fermin's Trigger Gospel - Down The Road

Monday, 6 July 2015

Hawley Mackerel

I really should like Richard Hawley much more than I actually do.
He has an impeccable pedigree, I mean to say he was a member of Longpigs and Pulp for goodness sake.
He writes good songs, is a fine musician and has a strong and distinct voice which puts me in mind of the likes of Scott Walker and Marc Almond.
He also strikes me as a thoroughly decent bloke.
However there is something about his music which I just don't get.
I have tried and will persevere in the expectation that someday it will click.
I don't have any of his albums but think if I saw one cheap in a charity shop I would take a punt as I think it's not him, it's me!

Richard Hawley - Coming Home

Richard Hawley - Hotel Room

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Some Sunday Soul

As a special prize for George for guessing today we feature Jill Scott.
I only have her debut album Who is Jill Scott ? Words and Sounds Vol 1 from 2000 purchased in that neo- soul hotspot Newton Stewart in rural Galloway.
Even although the album went platinum I have never felt the desire to seek out volumes 2 and 3 or indeed her other two albums.
It is really not my sort of thing at all.A Long Walk is pretty good but I can take or leave the rest. Some of the songs are pretty raunchy but I will spare you them in case you choke your cornflakes.
Can't really see me taking this one down off the shelf again any time soon.

In addition to being a singer she is also an actress and has appeared as Big Mama Thortnon in Hounddog and as James Brown's second wife.She also had the lead role in the TV adaptation of Alexander McCall Smith's great book The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency

Jill Scott - A Long Walk

Jill Scott - Gettin' in the Way

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Saturday Lucky Dip

Today's  selections from Uncut's June 2001 compilation have a Caledonian  feel about them.

We start with Paul Haig former front man of Joseph K and a huge favourite of The Vinyl Villian with a really interesting song Syncro Firefly from his 2001 album Cinematique 2 on the Rhythm of Life label.
I was only familiar with his earlier jingly jangly guitar period so this one took me totally by surprise, but in a good way.
Mr Haig is followed by Astrid with the simply gorgeous title track from their 2001 album Play Dead on Fantastic Plastic.
A Glasgow based band with strong connections to the Isle of Lewis they released three albums between 1999 and 2004.
Their lead singer Willie Campbell had mental health and alcohol problems and retreated back to Lewis. Thankfully he is now on the mend and is back recording music.
I saw a very interesting documentary about him on the BBC's Gaelic channel BBC Alba.

More random nonsense next Saturday

Paul Haig - Syncro Firefly

Astrid - Play Dead

Friday, 3 July 2015

Living in a Box

I appear to be having problems with my Box bandwidth in that it does not appear to be resetting at the end of the month.
I am currently using three e-mail addresses and have run out of space on two with the third about half full.
I know Darcy is having the same problem and others too I  suspect as it has been getting harder to download from a few of your sites recently.
Any ideas as to how to get around this?
I know  that The Robster uses Zippy Share but the ads annoy me and I suspect infiltrate my PC.
Other more radical options are actually paying for Box or using You Tube clips or continue to use Box but as streamimg only.
Any thoughts?

A Friday Rockabilly Riot

 A Friday Rockabilly Riot courtesy of Brian Setzer in turn courtesy of my brother.

He has abandoned his swing Orchestra and returned to his roots with 12 brand new songs on Rockabilly Riot ! All Original.
All new tunes but nothing that would sound out of place from his Stray Cats days.
Here he is  joined  not by Slim Jim Phantom and Lee Rocker but rather by The Riot Squad - Mark Winchester on bass, Kevin McKendrie on piano and Noah Levy on drums.

I note that he has been married three times and that the current Mrs Setzer is Julie Reiten a former singer with a band called The Dustbunnies.

Take it away boys.

Brian Setzer - Let's Shake

Brian Setzer - Rockabilly Blues

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Boxer Beat

Today we feature two great world champion boxers who are still with us and two singers who sadly aren't.

The Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran Samaneigo is widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time although Scotland's Ken Buchanan very nearly beat him He went  by the nickname of  Manos de Piedra (Hands of Stone)
Here the late Chris Gaffney  former Hacienda Brother and one of Dave Alvin's Guilty Men covers Tom Russell's  song The Eyes of Roberto Duran.

On Sentimental Hygiene the great Warren Zevon celebrates another world champ Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini and in particular his 1984 bout with Bobby Chacon

And just in case any of you JoBoxers fans feel short changed here are the boys from the Christmas TOTP 1983

Chris Gaffney - The Eyes of Roberto Duran

Warren Zevon - Boom Boom Mancini

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

A Girl Called Quinn

I briefly popped into my local charity shop on Saturday.
There were meagre pickings but I stumbled across a CD called Inbetween Worlds by Quinn from 2001.
Further investigation revealed that Quinn is Louise Quinn and I had a hunch (which proved correct) that she subsequently became part of Glasgow's A Band Called Quinn.

This was enough to make me part with my 49p  even generously donating my 1p change.
Turns out it is very pleasant lite electronica in a Goldfrapp stylee.
It is however early in her career and I suspect that her later stuff is a bit more polished. But hey there is nothing wrong with it at all and I am putting it down as a find

Quinn -Dreams I Had

Quinn - Autumn