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Monday, 19 February 2018

Out of the Ether

It was only last October when I picked up my first Turin Brakes record namely their debut The Optimist LP.
A band who had  up until then pretty much passed me by but a record I quite enjoyed.
I was therefore pleasantly surprised and delighted to pick up their second album 2003's Ether Song for 50p in the Red Cross charity shop in Lochgilphead.
A slight change of direction in that it is more electronic than its acoustic predecessor . Still pretty good though.
Totally coincidentally I have opted for the two tracks which feature on a sticky on the front of the jewel case which I have just noticed.. Great minds and all that.

Turin Brakes - Long Distance

Turin Brakes - Pain Killer (Summer Rain)

Sunday, 18 February 2018

A Sunday Single #7

I am reliably informed that Mrs CC's sister was The Cure fan of the family, so presumably this is one of hers.

In Between Days was released in 1985 and was the first single from the album  The Head on the Door.
It only reached number 15 in the charts but hung around for 10 weeks.
Interestingly although they released some great singles they only troubled the Top 10 on 2 occasions with The Love Cats peaking  at number 7 and Lullaby at number 5.
I suspect all but the most ardent Cure fans if quizzed wouldn't come up with Lullaby being their biggest hit and would probably also be surprised that Boy's Don't Cry only reached 22.

There is debate as to the spacing and title of the song but In Between Days seems to be the one most quoted.

The Cure - In Between Days

The Cure - The Exploding Boy

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Covered By Cash - The Devil's Right Hand

The Man in Black is back! After 5 straight defeats on the bounce Johnny finally gets another win this time over Gordon Lightfoot with If You Could Read My Mind.
That takes the scores back to Cash 8 The Rest 8. This one could go right to the wire.

I was struggling a bit for material and then my mind turned to the Unearthed compilation.I don't own it but fortunately I know a man who does so thank you George.
This week Johnny is up against Steve Earle  with The Devil's Right Hand.
I've gone for the live version from Shut Up and Die Like an Aviator as opposed to the studio version on Copperhead Road. a) because I think it's better and b) it is less hassle to rip from the CD as opposed to vinyl.
It's another tough call this week as it is a song and subject matter that are right up Johnny's street.Two slightly different version and I am giving it to Steve as he gives it slightly more oomph.

Others, of course may chose to disagree

Johnny Cash - Devil's Right Hand

Steve Earle & the Dukes -The Devil's Right Hand

Friday, 16 February 2018

Ooh -La- La! New to Me

After leaving Oban on our way back from Ballachulish  we stopped off in the small Argyll town of Lochgilphead which I hadn't been in for over 30 years.
The main street is pretty much the same albeit  somewhat rundown. On the plus side for me that means more charity shops.
One was Mary's Meals - a Scottish charity set up to provide meals to school children in the world's poorer communities, originally primarily on Malawi which has historic links with Scotland.
Following a very quick visit I came away with the above Uncut compilation Ooh -La -La! Rock'n' Roll in the Spirit of the Faces.
I was familiar with half the artists which sealed the 50p deal .However equally excitingly I was looking forward to exploring those I was unfamiliar with. These two most caught my attention after an initial listen.

500 Miles to  Memphis are a country punk band from Cincinnati who have produced four studio albums since 2005.This song is from their 2007 album on Deep Elm records the wonderfully named Sunshine in a Shot  Glass.
The Wrinkle Neck Mules from Richmond,Virginia have 6 albums and an EP to their name.This is from their 2007 album The Wicks Have Met on the ever wonderful German label Blue Rose.

I shall shortly revisit this CD and feature two of the bands that I had heard before.

Thursday, 15 February 2018


A slice of Alt Country today from Kathleen Edwards with her album Voyageur .You will note that I have opted for Alt Country as opposed to Americana mainly because Ms Edwards is in fact Canadian.
It is her fourth album  which was released in 2012 and co-produced with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver fame.
She's not the most prolific of artists as this was only her 4th album since her debut in 2003.

I've always been a bit ambivalent about her as although she is clearly talented I saw her early in her career where she made what I considered to be derogatory comments about the artist who had been on stage before her the great Ray Wylie Hubbard. I'll put it down to the immaturity of youth.

It seems that she has now left the music business opening a coffee shop in the Ottowa suburb of Stittsville.
Something which stumped me in one of Rol's  excellent Saturday Snapshot conundrums.

My last Oban purchase - we are of to Lochgilphead next

Kathleen Edwards -Sidecar

Kathleen Edwards - For The Record

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Celtic Connections Review - Siobhan Wilson

Photos © Rhiannon Law
I'm on a roll now. The second Celtic Connections concert this year was Siobhan Wilson at the lovely Macintosh church near Partick Thistle's ground in the north west of Glasgow. I decided to forego the beer as Portaloos in February are not an enticing proposition
Support was provided by an acoustic set from Jamie Sutherland who is a member of  the band Broken Records. Some pleasant singer song writer stuff.
Then Siobhan came on with her guitarist Matt and a string quartet as as she would have it a Demi Octet.

Showing no nerves, despite the large (and impeccably well behaved crowd) she flitted from guitar to piano playing her album There Are No Saints (on Song by Toad records) in it's entirety and it order.
It was absolutely mesmerizing. What a voice she has whether singing in English or French. The only track which didn't really work  for me was the"experimental"  instrumental Dystopian Bach.
In the comments section on my previous post JC commented that he tends to avoid the Mackintosh church given its acoustics. I'm happy to report that from our position there was absolutely no issues. Both her voice and the music were crystal clear and you could here a pin drop.
When introducing her band she mentioned that she was at school with the guitarist Matt who mentioned that they were bullied for being different.I take a degree of pleasure in them living the dream and touring the world while the bully's remain in their little local bubble.
She then moved onto some older numbers and to a couple of encores including a version of Richard Thompson's Beeswing

She advised that she was entering the studio the next day to start the recording of her next album. I've already pledged  for my copy via Kickstarter and suggest you do to as she is a true talent.

Siobhan Wilson - Dear God

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Celtic Connection Review -Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer

Photograph: Wattie Cheung for the Guardian

Better late than never - I did say I would review this concert. Any later and we would be into next years's schedule.

The night started with a minor gripe. The tickets said first band on stage at 8pm (Celtic Connection gig times are usually pretty sharp). We got in at 7.40 to find that we had missed the first song of Teddy Thompson's set.
Where we were sat we were interrupted by others in the same situation which detracted slightly from Teddy's set. However he was excellent.Easily the best support act I've seen at Celtic Connections and worthy of a highlight show . And he played a few numbers from Bela my favourite album of his.

Shelby and Allison are both great singers in their own right. They freely acknowledged that they have had little experience of performing together as a duet and had little opportunity to rehearse. Consequently some songs worked better than others although they got better as the night went out with some standout songs.
An example as to the lack of rehearsal time was Lithium when they forgot the words to the second verse and had to borrow a phone from the wings.It was all quite naturally done and quite amusing as opposed to awkward.
Lithium is probably the one of their covers which doesn't really work although they gave it far more welly than on the album version.
The covers of I'm Looking for Blue Eyes, Into My Arms and Silver Wings were all excellent.
The finished with some of their old solo numbers some being about their home state Alabama and seemed more at ease then.
They are planning to get together to to a follow up album with more of their own songs and will only get better.
So all in all a pretty good night.
A shout out for Mrs CC who had excruciating toothache. It was touch and go as to whether we would make it but she rallied round like the trooper she is and enjoyed her night.

Here is a more professional review from the Gruniad

Teddy Thompson - The One I Can't Have

Shelby lynne & Allison Moorer - I'm Looking for Blue Eyes

Monday, 12 February 2018

More Lushious Sounds

You may be surprised to see Lush reappearing so quickly after their recent debut post. However I received a request from SWC from the ever  wonderful The Sound of Being Ok asking whether I would post the other two songs from the single. Who am I to deny the great man?

Look out for one of their albums appearing on their countdown of The Best Britpop Albums in the World ... Ever  with a beautifully written and highly amusing  anecdote by one of the Triumvirate tenuously linked to the tracks on offer

Lush - Heavenly

Lush -Plums and Oranges

I hit the 500,000 page views stat last week. I would have been more excited had it not been for the bot invasion of the last month or so.
The 7500 plus comments is a much more significant statistic!

Sunday, 11 February 2018

A Sunday Single #6

Japan were a band that I always thought were ok but not  one that I ever got round to purchasing anything by.They and their fans were maybe a wee bit to arty for me.
Not so Mrs CC who is the owner of their 1982 single Nightporter.
Not as well known as their bigger hits Ghosts and I Second That Emotion  it was in the singles charts for 9 weeks but only reached  as high as number 29.
It originally appeared as a track on on the 1980 album Gentlemen Take Polaroids with the single being a remixed and edited version.

Japan - Nightporter

Japan - Ain't That Peculiar

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Covered By Cash - If You Could Read My Mind

There are more twists and turns in this series than a twisty and turny thing.
Last week was the clash of the Titans - Johnny and Joe Strummer up against Bob Marley with Redemption Song.
A lot of love for JC and JS but in the end a narrow victory for Bob by 8 votes to 6 .
The score is therefore now Cash 7 The Rest 8 and it is the first time that Johnny has been behind since week 3.
That may well change as we feature something from American V - A Hundred Highways from 2006 but with songs recorded during the period September 2002 right up to 21st August 2003 shortly before his death on 12th September 2003.
Now the original of If You Could Read My Mind by Canadian singer- songwriter Gordon Lightfoot is a mighty fine song but I defy any of you to listen to Johnny's version and not have a lump in your throat or even a little bubble.
So it is Johnny for me all day long. The heartless among you may choose to disagree.

Johnny Cash -If You Could Read My Mind

Gordon Lightfoot - If You Could Read My Mind

Friday, 9 February 2018

No Longer a Smog Free Zone

I'm happy to report that the muso room is no longer a Smog free zone thanks to the acquisition of Cold Blooded Old Times a 1999 CD single on the Domino label by Bill Callahan in his Smog guise.
I've been meaning to get some of his stuff for a while so it was a pleasant surprise to find this in an Oban charity shop.

I wasn't aware that this had appeared on the Hi Fidelity sound track although it did sound vaguely familiar.
Described by AV Music as almost too sad to listen to.
With lyrics like The type of memories that turn your bones to glass you can see why.

The second track featured takes a wee while to get going but it is well worth persevering with.
I think I need more Smog in my life.

Smog - Cold Blooded Old Times

Smog - I Break Horses

Thursday, 8 February 2018


The first of the Oban purchases is the Blondie-esque Ladykillers probably the best known single by Brit pop band Lush.
From 1996 on the 4AD label it reached number 22 in the UK charts and 18 in the US Modern Rock charts.

As was the way then there were two different versions of the CD single . Mine is disc 2 which in addition to the title track features Heavenly, Carmen and Plums & Oranges
It also appeared on the 1996 album Lovelife.

Another Oban purchase tomorrow.


Lush - Ladykillers

Lush - Carmen

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Driving Through Glencoe with Carly Simon

On Sunday we drove up to Ballachullsh for an overnight a Christmas present from my brother and sister-in-law.
The weather was pretty stunning for this time of year and the views were pretty spectacular as you will see if you click on this link of us driving through Glencoe with Carly Simon

Apologies that my technical limitations don't allow a simple press play.
The weather on Monday was pretty reasonable and we drove home via Oban and Lochgilphead where there were some charity shop purchases.
Stay tuned.

Carly Simon - My One and Only Love

Carly Simon - You're So Vain

And for Brian

Carly Simon - In the Still of the Night

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Through The Trees

I read somewhere recently that a deluxe 20th Anniversary version of Through the Trees by The Handsome Family is shortly to be released.
20 year anniversary versions of American albums? Who would have thunk it? God, that makes me feel old

The Handsome Family are one of these American bands who are at least as popular, if not more so on this side of the Pond..
They are constantly visiting these shores and have a tour coming up in March
If you haven't seen them it is one to tick off your bucket list. I've seen them a couple of times and they don't disappoint. The music may be dark but Brett and Renee's patter is always highly entertaining

The Handsome Family - Weightless Again

The Handsome Family - Cathedrals

Monday, 5 February 2018

It Came From Memphis

I'm currently reading and enjoying Memphis 68 by Stuart Cosgrove and I will probably write something about it upon completion.
It had me reaching for It Comes From Memphis - The Legendary Sounds of Memphis
A compilation including artists who featured at the Barbican It Came From Memphis Festival in 2005.
Curated by Robert Gordon  who is the author of the book of the same name , one which should probably be added to the list.
The city which spawned Elvis, Sun and Stax it is a wonderful mixture of blues, soul, country, rock 'n' roll and more modern stuff such as The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and the North Mississippi Allstars.

Given my current reading material I have decided to stick with soul on this occasion. Syl Johnson makes his debut on these pages whilst William Bell appears for only the second time..

Syl Johnson - Anyway The Wind Blows

William Bell - You Don't Miss Your Water

Sunday, 4 February 2018

A Sunday Single # 5

The first of the job lot belonging to Mrs CC and one of the best of the bunch if not the best. Mrs CC claims it was one of hers.
The title track from Absolute Beginners the film by Julian Temple based on the book by Colin MacInnes.
As well as Bowie the film features fellow musicians Ray Davies, Sade and Patsy Kensit.
Both Steve Nieve and Rick Wakeman provide keyboards on the single.

The film pretty much bombed but the single was a resounding success reaching number 2 in the UK  singles chart following its release on 3rd March 1986
You are only getting the A-side as the B-side Absolute Beginners (Dub Mix) kept sticking. Consider yourselves fortunate

David Bowie - Absolute Beginners

We are off to Ballachulish for an overnight so there is every chance we may hit the charity shops of Fort William and/or Oban. Stay tuned.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Covered by Cash - Redemption Song

Well I didn't see last week's result coming. Seems that I was the only one. A resounding victory for Neil Diamond and his single version of Solitary Man.
Which means that for the fourth successive week that the Man in Black has been defeated and that therefore the scores are now even at Cash 7 The Rest 7

Maybe this week's selection will stop the rot.  But then again maybe not. Yet again Johnny calls for haunners and he is ably assisted by Joe Strummer when up against Bob Marley with  their respective versions of Redemption Song.
Their version didn't make the American Recordings series ,which shows the depth and quality of the songs on offer, but made an appearance on the 2003 Unearthed box set.
I featured the two versions before last March  but didn't put them to the vote on that occasion.

This time I'm making you choose and it is a really tough call. Three absolute legends all of who are sadly no longer with us.
For me this is probably the toughest yet but I am going for Bob but only just.
Others, of course, may choose to disagree.

Johnny Cash (with Joe Strummer) - Redemption Song

Bob Marley & the Wailers - Redemption Song

Friday, 2 February 2018

Celtic Connections - Siobhan Wilson

Whereas last week's Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer gig was pretty much a mutual decision this week's is down to me.
We are off tomorrow night to the Mackintosh Church  in Maryhill to see Siobhan Wilson.
Her album There Are No Saints on the Song by Toad record label was one of the highlights of last year and I jumped at the chance to see her live.
Classically trained she comes form Elgin originally but has stayed in France for a few years meeting she is bilingual and able to produce great songs in both languages.
Today's song is a free download from her 2012 EP Glorified Demons which  is available on Bandcamp.
Sadly I was not quick enough of the mark to buy a physical copy which came with a home made cover that is modelled above.
The match report from the concert will follow in due course

Siobhan Wilson - Laugh and Die

Thursday, 1 February 2018

The Gilded Palace of Sin

I'm having a serious problem in getting my head round the fact that The Gilded Palace of Sin  the debut album by The  Flying Burrito Brothers has never appeared on these pages before. Quite frankly I remain to be totally convinced that this is indeed the case.

Released in 1969 it is one of the two landmark albums from this era featuring Gram Parsons (the other being The Byrds with Sweetheart of the Rodeo from the year before) which changed the face of country music.
Without them I seriously doubt whether I would ever have  ended up with the vast majority of  the 500 plus Americana albums that grace the shelves today.  Indeed  it is likely that many of the acts  would probably not  even have existed .
Featuring the classic line up of Gram Parsons, Chris Hillman, Chris Ethridge and Sneaky Pete Kleinow..
Let's face it even if the music was rubbish, which of course it isn't, you would buy it for the cover alone with the band sporting some magnificent Nudie suits

Not a commercial hit at the time it's influence has since been  universally acknowledged.

The Flying Burrito Brothers - Juanita

The Flying Burrito Brothers - Hot Burrito No. 1