Search This Blog

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Off Message

On Monday's featured Rough Trade Country 1 album The Gourds do a cover of Snoop Dogg's Gin and Juice.
Bitches here and hoes there it is so misogynist that it almost sounds like a Donald Trump speech.
Thankfully on this occasion no guns feature.
Makes you long for the old days with the Grand Masters Flash and Melle Mel before the blatant sexism and the obsession with gangstas.

Don't don't do it.

Grand Master Flash & the Furious Five - The Message

Grand master Melle Mel & the Furious Five - White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Belated Four Candles

For some inexplicable reason I failed to notice and commemorate that Charity Chic Music turned four on 25th November.
Better late than never I suppose
So much music and words has flowed under the bridge in that period with many comments (mostly positive!) and many new friendships formed .

To belatedly celebrate this auspicious occasion (and because I am four days late)  four songs involving the number four.Hell, I've even managed to track down some Four Tops.

Gang of Four - To Hell With Poverty

The Four Brothers -Makorokoto

The Clash - Four Horsemen

Four Tops - Reach Out, I'll Be There

And for those of you outside the UK who have no idea as to the four candles reference

Monday, 28 November 2016

Rough Trade Goes Country

For those of you who like your Country to be a wee bit more left field than men with hats and Taylor Swift look no further than  the Rough Trade Shops Country 1 compilation from 2003.

It is from this record that I took The Dream Syndicate's Dylan cover  which I featured on Saturday
An excellent selection of artists and songs
You would expect me to like it given that I have albums by more than half of the artists featured on the shelves
As Howe Gelb states in the sleevenotes - a lot of them were done in that peculiar time in the 80's when it was still possible to fall between the cracks and not be pigeon holed

Today I give you some dark gothic country from Tarnation, a band that I never saw twice and featuring the unique and wonderful voice of Paula Frazer together with Violent Femmes a band that not many would describe as Country but who make a splendid racket.

Tarnation - Lonely Lights

Violent Femmes - Country Death Song

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Sssome Sssunday Sssoul

You will all be familiar with the Northern Soul classic The Snake by Al Wilson. It has graced these pages before.
Most folk, myself included, only really know him from this song so I thought I would explore a bit further.
His given name was Allen LaMar Wilson which to me is far more impressive that merely Al. It would have also fitted neatly into my Friday Three Name series
He died in 2008 at the age of 68 having released 6 albums between 1968 and 1979 with two compilations in the 2000's.
The Snake was first released in 1968 to limited acclaim and featured on his debut album Searching for the Dolphins. it was subsequently re-released in 1975 reaching number 41 in the UK singles chart.
Surprisingly to me many of his songs appear to be ballads.
Here are a couple of the more up tempo numbers from that first album.

Al Wilson - Do What You Gotta Do

Al Wilson - Who Could Be Lovin' You (Other than Me)

Sod it , I know I've posted it before but it's so good that you are getting it again.

Al Wilson - The Snake

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Dylan Covered - Blind Willie McTell

Last week's offering Gates of Eden produced an interesting gender split with all the gents who voted going for Bob and the ladies voting for Julie Felix.
More gents voted (hardly surprising really given the demographics of the readership) so the series is now tied again at Bob 3 Cover Artists 3.
This week for me the cover version totally blows Bob away.
I have previously featured The Dream Syndicate's version of Blind Willie McTell when writing a post on the great Bluesman.
At the time I mentioned that I did not have the Dylan version and Marie of Vintage Spins fame very kindly obliged.
It is pretty good but not a patch on the version by Steve Wynn and his chums.
Others may choose to disagree.

Bob Dylan - Blind Willie McTell

The Dream Syndicate - Blind Willie McTell

Friday, 25 November 2016

Friday Three Names - John Lee Hooker

A few ground rules which I should really have got out of the way at the beginning of this series.
The artist requires to have three separate real, actual and bona fide  names so:

  • No Little, Big , Blind, Reverend or Sister  which rules out many but not all Blues  and Gospel stars.Don't worry though I have plans for another series whereby some of them will be included
  • No initials - so no O.V Wright, k.d lang , K.T Tunstall or indeed Mark E Smith
  • No nicknames - so no Bobby "Blue" Bland or Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and thankfully no Badly Drawn Boy
As previously stated this may well result in a number of country artists featuring.
But not exclusively and today the Blues sneak in courtesy of John Lee Hooker - a man who needs no introduction or indeed preamble so you are not getting one.
We'll let the music do the talking

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Some More Dodgy Arithmetic

Some more dodgy arithmetic for you today.
Not the 31 songs as it looks at first glance but a selection of music from Nick Hornby's selection of essays 31 songs.
31 songs is a blogger's delight. Essays on 31 songs that are important to Hornsby for a variety of reasons.
It gives us an excuse to mutter "how in God's name did he include that? " and indeed "what kind of idiot would omit .... "
Back to the arithmetic - the CD includes 13 of the songs included in the book.
Sadly neither Bob Dylan or Aimee Mann feature but thankfully neither do Santana and Nelly Furtado

I've previously featured the Teenage Fanclub and Paul Westeberg tracks. This time round it's Mark Mulcahy and Ian Dury.
Let's face it at the moment  we all need some Reasons to be Cheerful

Mark Mulcahy - Hey Self Defeator

Ian Dury & the Blockheads - Reasons to be Cheerful Part 3

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Don't Turn Away

1 in 4 of us will experience mental health problems at some stage in our life and many of us will know some who has, or has had mental health problems. But mental health remains a significant barrier to achieving a mentally flourishing Lanarkshire, preventing people seeking support, hindering recovery and limiting opportunity. It's not us and them - we all have mental health. It's I and we!!

To launch the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film festival Soundsational & Pat O'Neil came together to create an amazing version of Don't Turn Away, a song that Pat wrote several years ago about mental health stigma & recovery. The sell out event in September, was a huge success with the audience being deeply moved by the performance.

Soundsational & Pat performed at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in October & have since collaborated to record 'Don't turn away' to stimulate passion and commitment for mental health, to encourage people to join the Lanarkshire Movement for Change and create a Sigma Free Lanarkshire.

Soundsational were founded in 2010 by musician Tommy Chambers, as a not for profit community arts organisation , using the arts to bring people together & encourage community cohesion & social inclusion...Along the way becoming the heart and soul of community arts in Lanarkshire and giving a voice to the community.

Pat is a Lanarkshire based singer/ songwriter who has selflessly given the Lanarkshire Recovery Network his time over the last eight years, bringing his amazing qualities, facilitating stories of recovery to be penned.

Don't Turn Away, which will be officially launched early December & will then be available to download.

Click on the link for a preview of Don't Turn Away, recorded at Glasgow Concert Hall last month.

Thanks to Soundsational Community Choir, Pat O'Neill & Lanarkshire Recovery Network.

Come join the movement for change!!!

Please share and support!!


14 Songs

It strikes me that when artists who have had an illustrious career but whose star is gradually fading that they have two final items to be ticked off their bucket list.
The first is to appear on the Sunday afternoon slot at Glastonbury and the second is to have an album produced by Rick Rubin.

So step forward Neil Diamond with 12 Songs his twenty sixth studio album from 2005 and no doubt inspired by the career reviving success that Johnny Cash enjoyed following The American Recordings series.

Although the album is called 12 Songs and the 12 songs are indeed rather good you should seek out the version with the bonus two songs as they are absolutely fantastic particularly the version of Delirious Love featuring Brian Wilson.

Inspired by  Alyson's contribution toThe Chain #29 and the subsequent comments.
Neil Diamond rocks

Neil Diamond - Men are So Easy

Neil Diamond (with Brian Wilson) - Delirious Love

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Talking with the Taxman about Poetry

Like many others I posted Help Save the Youth of America following the cataclysmic events of 8th November.
This resulted in me giving Talking with the Taxman about Poetry  (the difficult third album - pay no more that £4.49) a listen in its entirety for the first time in ages.
Now thirty years old for goodness sake.
The production sounds a wee bit tinny but if you've come here for production you've come to the wong place.
However, if it's raw energy and passion you are after then Billy is your man
Levi Stubbs' Tears would have featured in my Namechecked series had I any Four Tops records which I don't.

Billy Bragg - Ideology

Billy Bragg - Levi Stubbs' Tears

Monday, 21 November 2016

Some Cheerful Tunes to Start Your Week .... Not

Sometimes when you are looking for inspiration for a post it can come from fairly obvious places.
George commented on my recent Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers post that Elijah put him in mind of The Handsome Family.
This got me thinking that the husband and wife pairing of Brett and Rennie Sparks were due an airing.
Wiki describes there music as a blend of traditional country, bluegrass and murder ballads and that is good enough for me.
The first song featured The Sad Milkman is taken from their 2000 album In The Air on Carrot Top/lLoose Records.
The second is their contribution to Down to the Promised Land  the compilation album from the same year celebrating the first five years of Bloodshot Records.

Your week can only get more cheerful!

The Handsome Family - The Sad Milkman

The Handsome Family -I Hear a Sweet Voice Calling

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Sharon Jones RIP

 I learnt of the sad passing of Sharon Jones  over at Drew's place yesterday.
She was only 60 ( no age at all these days) and sadly she finally lost her brave and spirited battle against pancreatic cancer.
A true talent and one who will be sadly missed.
Thought go out to her family and friends and all at Daptone.
2016 can't end quickly enough.

Rest easy Sharon

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings -Nobody's Baby

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings - Better Things

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Dylan Covered - Gates of Eden

A fair amount of indifference last week which is a pity as there were two belting versions of Every Grain of Sand.
The unanimous verdict was that Emmylou Harris' version was the better so after week 5 it is Bob 2 Cover Artists 3
Another tough one this week.
I bough Flowers a 1967 album by US born and British based folkie Julie Felix in Forres whilst on my holidays. It contains two excellent Dylan covers Gates of Eden and Chimes of Freedom
I've chosen Gates of Eden as I have previously featured Bob singing Chimes.
Julie is up against Bob's version from 1965's Bringing It All Back Home when he was in the middle of his most famous purple patch and for me this week Mr Dylan just shades it but it was a close call.

As per usual, others may choose to disagree

Bob Dylan -Gates of Eden

Julie Felix - Gates of Eden

Friday, 18 November 2016

Friday Three Names - Ray Wylie Hubbard

Ray Wylie and his boy

I did warn you that Country artists were going to feature writ large in this series.
I recently featured Texan singer songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard in my Namedropping series and that re-planted the seed for  this series - everything is connected don't you know.

Ray Wylie has released a shed load of albums - 16 at the last count. I own two 2003's Growl and 2005's Delirium Tremolos  both on the Rounder/ Philo label and it is only fair that I feature a song from each album.
Given recent events I'll spare you Screw You, Were From Texas.
I saw him playing at the ABC2 in Glasgow where he was supported by another three named artist who shall make an appearance at some stage.
Another three names next week.

Ray Wylie Hubbard - The Knives of Spain

Ray Wylie Hubbard - Dallas After Midnight

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Architecture and Morality

I have a rule of thumb that states that it is ok for me to feature  a relatively new album if the artist has subsequently released a newer one.
Therefore given that C Duncan has recently released The Midnight Sun I figure I can feature a couple of songs from his 2015 debut Architect.
Famously written, performed , recorded and produced in his Glasgow flat for something like 50 quid and one of the nominations for the 2015 Mercury Music prize (losing out to Benjamin Clemintine's At least For Now)
C stands for Christopher and he is the son of two classical musicians.
Now pop off and get both his albums if you haven't already done so. You won't regret it.

C Duncan - He Believes in Miracles

C Duncan - Garden

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Uh - Oh

The vast majority of the albums released by the Talking Heads can be found on the shelves in either vinyl or CD format or in some cases both.
However I only own one of David Byrne's solo albums or collaborations and that is Uh-Oh his third solo record from 1992.

I don't really like the term world music but David Byrne was one of the first artists to dabble in the music from countries which hitherto  did not have widespread exposure to the record buying public of the US and the major Western European countries.
He is not afraid to experiment with sampling either or to explore a more ambient sound.
In short a bit of a musical pioneer.
Uh- Oh has a bit of a Latin feel to it with a brass section predominantly featuring.

We Scots like to claim him as one of our own being born in Dumbarton prior to moving to Canada as a 2 year old and subsequently to Maryland in the States.

David Byrne - Girls on my Mind

David Byrne - Hanging Upside Down

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Mellow as Opposed to Thrashy

Nick Cave is one of those artists, like Neil Young, who can do both mellow and thrashy..
Mrs CC only  really likes the mellow stuff. Me, I can do both mellow and thrashy

There are only 4 Nick Cave albums on the shelves (there clearly should be more)  The Boatman's Call and Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus acquired by Mrs CC and The Best of and Let Love In acquired by yours truly.

The Boatman's Call is very much at the mellow end of the spectrum.. Whereas the music is mellow, the lyrics are not always so
I make no apologies for featuring the two best known songs on the album.

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Into My Arms

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - (Are You) The One That I've Been Waiting For?

Monday, 14 November 2016

Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers

In the latest edition of The Chain at Jez' place in the comments I make reference to the Original Harmony Ridge Creekdipper or Creepdippers as I originally inadvertently typed
They were a band consisting of former Jayhawk Mark Olson, his missus Victoria Williams (credited on the album I have as Mavis Allbright) and Mike "Razz" Russell

The album is Pacific Coast Rambler their second album from 1998 and one I got signed by all the band members when I went to see them  at King Tuts.
It was a bit of  a strange evening as I recall. Due to health issues being experienced by Victoria Williams the audience were asked not to smoke this being in the days before smoking bans. Fair enough I suppose.
Now I could have got this wrong given the mists of time  and my failing memory but I think we were also asked to sit on the floor as opposed to standing and the lights remained on during the show.

With the exception of Give My Heart to You which is an absolute belter I feel that the album is a wee bit disappointing

Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers - Give My Heart To You

Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers - Elijah

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Some Devotional Sunday Soul

Two or three years ago I went through a very brief phase of exploring new soul music by predominantly female artists
I dabbled with the likes of Lianne La Havas, Delilah , Josephine and Laura Mvula to name but four.
Another one was Jessie Ware and I got her 2012 debut album Devotion via the library.
Pleasant enough but nothing startling.
I liked it well enough to burn it and probably played it a couple of times.
Hadn't played it for ages until I  dusted it down this week with a view to featuring it.
I quite enjoyed it particularly these two tracks

Jessie Ware - Wildest Moments

Jessie Ware - No To Love

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Dylan Covered - Every Grain of Sand

Apologies for the poor fayre I served up last week. The Swede pretty accurately described it as a no score draw. There has to be a winner I'm afraid and Townes narrowly won the penalty shoot out
That makes in Bob 2 Cover Artists 2
I'm debating whether to make it first to 5 or first to 10 the winner. I think I could just about rustle up 19 songs if necessary
To make up for last week this week you are getting two absolute crackers.
Every Grain of Sand was the best thing on Bob's 1981 album Shot of Love. But is it as good as the version by Emmylou Harris on the masterpiece that is Wrecking Ball?
Not for me I'm afraid.
So Emmylou is this week's winner.
As always others may choose to disagree

Bob Dylan - Every Grain of Sand

Emmylou Harris - Every Grain of Sand

Friday, 11 November 2016

Friday Three Names - Larry Jon Wilson

Well after much threatening and a few false dawns it is finally here - my artists with three names series.

Larry Jon Wilson was not a name I was thinking about when this series was first mooted. However he makes an appearance in both Country Got Soul Volumes 1 and 2 so I thought he should feature.

Spoiler alert - more than one Country artist will feature in this series
Larry Jon was from Georgia and died in 2010 aged 69. He had a smattering of albums in the mid 70's and apparently he his best known for Through the Eyes of Little Children and I Betcha Heaven's on a Dirt Road.

I am not familiar with either of those but these two are pretty tasty.
Another three names next Friday

Larry Jon Wilson - Sheldon Church Yard

Larry Jon Wilson - Ohoopie River Bottomland

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Songs From The Battlefield

Great excitement at CCM HQ as a new Charity Shop opens in Glasgow's  Battlefield Road.
Battlefield is named after the Battle of Langside which took place on 13th May 1568 and involved Mary Queen of Scots and a few others
The above picture is of the monument commemorating this event.
I rented a flat on Battlefield Road for a couple of years and there was allegedly a brothel next door - but that's a story for another day.

It is just around the corner from my barbers (the charity shop!) so I popped in to hand in a couple of things and came away with If the Ocean Gets Rough the second album by Willy Mason from 2007.
I picked up his debut Where the Humans Eat a couple of years ago in nearby Cathcart and wonder if they were handed in by the same person.
Excellent stuff which puts me in mind of Ron Sexsmith and Richard Hawley in places

Willie Mason - Simple Town

Willie Mason - The End of The Race

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Armagideon Time

Most of what has to be said has already been said.
I heard Barrack Obama on the radio on my way home from work - the chasm between him and Trump in terms of statemanship, class, gravitas and ability makes the Grand Canyon resemble a pin prick.

First Brexit then Trump. I fear for France and Germany next and for the future
God help us all

The Clash - Armagideon Time

Billy Bragg -Help Save The Youth of America

Consequences Alter Cases

Fun Boy Three - a band with three names.
I stumbled across their second album 1983's Waiting whilst looking for something else, played it, liked it and thought I would share it with you.
As Wiki points out Fun Boy Three were a short lived but successful new wave(?) pop band (my exclamation mark
Consisting as you are all aware of three ex-Specials  namely Terry Hall, Neville Staple and Lynval Golding.
You may not be aware (I wasn't) that the album was produced by David Byrne

It's not included on the album but because I am a nice bloke and I like you I'm throwing in a blogger's favourite the Urdu version of Our Lips Are Sealed free gratis and for nothing.

Fun Boy Three -The Tunnel of Love

Fun Boy Three - Our Lips Are Sealed

Fun Boy Three - Our Lips Are Sealed (Urdu Version)

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

4th and Vine

Posting Tom Waits Heartattack and Vine yesterday had me scouring the shelves for How About I Be Me (And You Be You)? the 2012 album by Sinead O'Connor and the first track 4th and Vine which is a terrific pop song.
Despite her well documented troubles she is a fantastic singer and songwriter and there are some other belters on the album including The Wolf is Getting Married. She also does a good version of John Grant's Queen of Denmark
Here's hoping that she conquers her demons sooner rather than later.

Sinead O'Connor - 4th and Vine

Sinead O'Connor - The Wolf is Getting Married

Monday, 7 November 2016

Heartattack and Vine

Tom Waits - I don't get it. I  just don't know what it is.
It could be the jazz noodlings or perhaps his gruff voice although given that I like Jon Dee Graham, Johnny Dowd and latter day Bob Dylan I'm not sure that the latter applies.

Mrs CC is a fan however and came in the other day with Used Songs (1973-1980) and Mule Variations.
I've given Used Songs a listen and didn't feel the urge to turn it off or skip any tracks.
I acknowledge that it's probably pretty good but it is not for me.
Others, I'm sure, will choose to disagree.

Tom Waits - Heartattack and Vine

Tom Waits - Mr Siegal

Sunday, 6 November 2016

More Sunday Country Got Soul

Seconds out, round two
It is a return visit this week to Country Got Soul  - this time round it is Volume 2
I have just discovered there is also a 3rd volume out there somewhere.

This week it is time for a lady and someone who sounds like they could be a lady.
It also should perhaps be more realistically be billed as Country got Soul got Blues.

Let's start with the lady and it is Bonnie Bramlett on a solo mission without husband Delaney in tow.
In fact she had just divorced him when Your Kind of Kindness was taken from her 1975 album It's Time

Bonnie is followed by Shirl Milete with a Townes Van Zandt song Big Country Blues.
The only other male I am aware of called Shirley is Shirley Crabtree better known as the wrestler Big Daddy.

Two falls but no submissions!

Bonnie Bramlett - Your Kind of Kindness

Shirl Milete -Big Country Blues

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Dylan Covered - Man Gave Names To All The Animals

Another unanimous victory last week for Bob although there was a lot of love out there for Robyn Hitchcock.
The scores on the doors are now Bob 2 Cover Artists 1.
The Swede took me gently to task last week for pitching two of all all time heroes in direct competition.
Well I'm going to do the same to myself this week as the cover artist is the late great Townes Van Zandt.

The selected song is Man Gave Names to all the Animals from Bob Dylan's 19th studio album and his first as a born again Christian 1979's Slow Train Coming.
As part of my research I played it for the first time in ages and thoroughly enjoyed it,

Somewhat controversially I am giving my vote to Townes this week despite the rather abrupt ending..Others may choose to disagree

Keep your animals save from fireworks tonight

Bob Dylan - Man Gave Names to all the Animals

Townes Van Zandt - Man Gave Names to all the Animals

Friday, 4 November 2016

Rockabilly Tribute to the Ramones

Last week The Clash this week The Ramones.
Although sadly The Rockabilly Tribute to the Ramones by Full Blown Cherry is not in the same league as This is Rockabilly Clash.
I can't even blame my brother as I got this off a blog somewhere.
Full Blown Cherry appear to be a tribute band given that one of their other albums is Rockabilly Tribute to AC/DC  - I think I'll spare you that.
A rockabilly version of Hayseed Dixie I suppose.
Swiss Adam commented that the Clash covers were done
 with love and well executed.
Not sure that this week's offerings will get the same praise.

Time to put this short lived Rockabilly series to bed for a short period - but it shall reappear at some stage.
Next Friday -artists with three names.

Full Blown Cherry - Blitzkrieg Bop

Full Blown Cherry - Teenage Lobotomy

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Fur and Gold

Picked up my first post-holiday purchase at the weekend with the acquisition of Fur and Gold the 2007 debut album of Bat for Lashes. 
And pretty good it is to for 49p. Nominated for the 2007 Mercury prize but lost out to the Klaxons (anyone remember them?)
It did however pick up the Vanguard Award from the American Society of Composers,Authors and Publishers - ASCAP to you and me.
Bat for Lashes is of course a nom de plume for London lass Natasha Khan.
Could be a Pseudonym Series in there somewhere

Bat For Lashes - Trophy

Bat For Lashes - What's a Girl to do?

Wednesday, 2 November 2016


So, is it just me who get's annoyed when people start sentences with the word So?
So, Peter Gabriel's fifth album produced by Daniel Lanois was called So
So, I don't have it it but I do have Shaking The Tree - Twelve Golden Greats
So, here are the best two songs he has ever made.
So, this is the nearest you will get to Genesis on these pages.
So, that's my credibility gone for a burton.
So, I'll get my coat.

Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill

Peter Gabriel - Games Without Frontiers

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

I am Brian Wilson

Well actually I am not, I am in fact Charity Chic
I got I am Brian Wilson - the genius behind the Beach Boys out of the library recently.
I must admit I was a tad disappointed. It is ghost written by Ben Greenman and it shows.
This  review by the Grauniad is probably pretty accurate.
 I recently saw the excellent biopic Love and Mercy, endorsed by Brian,  and feel that the book doesn't tell me much I don't already know.
It may have been different had I not seen the film.
It focusses bravely on his mental illness and also on the negative influences in his life namely his father and Dr Eugene Landy
Fortunately he appears to have come out the other end and is in a better place than he has been for a while.
It also touches on conflict with other members of the band especially his cousin  Mike Love which I suppose is where his book steps in.

Reading this gives me an opportunity to feature the 12 inch single Love and Mercy which I picked up from the bargain bin in the record shop in Dunbar.
From 1998 it unfortunately  is not that good. Mainly, I suspect because he was probably medicated to the eye balls given that the Executive Producer is Dr Eugene Landy.

Brian Wilson - Love and Mercy

Brian Wilson - One For The Boys

Brian Wilson - He Couldn't Get His Poor Old Body to Move