Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Ring Rang A Dong Time

I'm heading off on my travels in a couple of days, back towards the end of the month. I'm looking forward to the trip - work in Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, and a couple of long weekends in Penang and Sarawak, with a visit to the Rainforest World Music Festival likely to be a highlight of the latter.

As usual, I'll leave you with a selection of tracks that were first featured here back in the pre-zeitgeist era of 2009. They aren't quite as exotic as some of the earlier selections but that is because the dredging is nearly done now. There are a few dodgy things that I couldn't bring myself to inflict on you twice - and I say that knowing that "Finnish Whistler" made the cut - but not much else.

See you soon, folks.

"Yho! Yho!" - Winston 'Mankunku' Nkosi

"She Don't Love Nobody" - Nick Lowe

"Cuckoo" - The Monks

"Strawberry Blonde" - Ron Sexsmith

"Fools" - Diane Birch

"Finnish Whistler" - Roger Whittaker

Monday, 3 July 2017

Mazhar and Moussa

A couple of slices of sunny, funky pop for you today. One from Turkey, one from Cote d'Ivoire, because that's how we do things round here.

"Bis Istersek" - Mazhar Fuat Özkan

"Black & White" - Moussa Doumbia

Which leads us inevitably to Greyhound. Those are some enormous microphones.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Jimmy Lafave R.I.P.

Some sad news to report. I found out a couple of days ago that the great Texan troubadour Jimmy Lafave died of cancer in late May.

I was lucky enough to see him play in London a couple of times three of four years back. He was very personable and he and his band knew how to put on a great show.


But the unforgettable thing about Jimmy was his incredible, emotive voice. There are very few singers, if any, who can more reliably bring a lump to my throat. R.I.P. Jimmy. It's not dark yet, but it's getting there.

"Home Once Again" - Jimmy Lafave

"I'll Remember You" - Jimmy Lafave

"Not Dark Yet" - Jimmy Lafave

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

For Goodness - Zakes

Later than intended due to unexplained Blogger problems, a couple of tunes from Durban-born songwriter, producer and performer Zakes Bantwini (or Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bantwini, as his friends call him).

Both are taken from his 2013 album, the extravagantly named "The Fake Book & Real Book: My Music Bible". Most of the album is a bit too mellow for my taste, but I like these two tracks - especially the "conscious soul" of "Marikana", about the massacre of striking mine workers by police in South Africa the previous year.

"Marikana" - Zakes Bantwini

"Ifumaya" - Zakes Bantwini (featuring J Martins)

Those of you who noticed the appallingly contrived title to this post will have worked out what is coming next, but possibly not which version. I can't find a single clip on YouTube of the Swinging Blue Jeans performing their signature tune live, so you are getting this instead.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Up Our Ali

To ease you into Saturday evening, here's a couple of tracks from smooth Pakistani popster, Ali Haider. Both are from his 2004 album "Tera Naam Liya To?". The first appears to have nicked a riff off George Michael's "Faith" while the second sounds like he has roped in Tom Petty or someone of that ilk, but don't let that put you off.

"Dildaar" - Ali Haider

"Hum Tumhein Bhool Ke" - Ali Haider

And as a bonus treat, here is Ali way back in 1998 looking remarkably fresh-faced performing his biggest hit.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

I've Got Good Genes

I regret to inform you that, while my brief visit to Kazakhstan has left me culturally enriched, it has also left me musically bereft. I have returned empty handed.

Never mind. Let's distract ourselves with some top notch tunes from assorted men called Gene.

"My Soul Is Black" - Gene Williams

"My Baby's Missing" - Gene Faith

"Rollin' Danny" - Gene Vincent

"Sign On The Dotted Line" - Gene Latter

"To Be A Lover" - Gene Chandler

"Pick The Wildwood Flower" - Gene Watson

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Songs of Strength and Stability

That Theresa May, eh? Blimey! Right now I bet she wishes she could go back to her carefree youth when the only thing she had to worry about was whether the farmer would catch her and her friends naughtily running through his wheat fields.

"Wheatfield Lady" - John Stewart

"Madman Running Through The Fields" - Dantalion's Chariot

"Fox On The Run" - Manfred Mann

Speaking of strong and stable government, I'm off to Kazakhstan in a couple of days and their President Nazarbayev seems to have cracked it as he is currently in the 26th year of his benign and wise reign. I'll be back in a week or so hopefully laden down with electric dombra freakout CDs to share with you. In the meantime, here's a word from Mrs May's nemesis.