Sunday, 26 March 2017

Sweet Mother

Today is Mothering Sunday (a.k.a. Mother's Day) here in the UK, so this is for all you marvellous mothers out there. Especially Old Mother Goggins, the cream of the crop.

"Sweet Mother" - Prince Nico Mbarga

"Singing A Song For My Mother" - Hamilton Bohannon

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Chilala Land

I spent 48 hours in Lusaka last week. Needless to say, I didn't get to see very much of the place, but the locals were lovely - including this fellow I met during a brief visit to a game reserve near the airport - and hopefully there will be chance to go back to Zambia again and have a proper look around.

I didn't have the chance to go searching for sounds in central Lusaka, but I did pop into the small music shop in the arcade across the road from where I was staying. They didn't have a great selection - mostly gospel and Western pop - but I managed to find a couple of CDs that looked worth a try.

The first was "Mukachita Shani", the 2012 album by Brian Chilala. I don't know much about Brian but, if the website is to be believed, he is a former protege of Zamrock pioneer Paul Ngozi, who has featured here before. Not that Paul's influence is particularly obvious on this album.

"Kuli Zii" - Brian Chilala

"Ulupwa" - Brian Chilala

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Chuck Berry RIP

There is not much point in me burbling on about Mr Berry and his extraordinary contribution to popular music, I'm not going to tell you anything you don't know already. So here's a handful of his marvellous tunes - five covers, one original. RIP Chuck.

"Brown Eyed Handsome Man" - Buddy Holly & The Crickets

"You Never Can Tell" - Emmylou Harris

"The Promised Land" - Johnnie Allen

"Johnny B. Goode" - Peter Tosh

"Maybellene" - Johnny Hallyday

"Tulane" - Chuck Berry

Thursday, 16 March 2017

A Question Of Toughness

On the face of it, Robert Wyatt may seem to be the odd one out. But it is him who provides our unifying theme: "If it's tough you want, then it's tough you got".

"Cry Tough" - Johnny Clarke

"Tired Of This Life I'm Living" - Tony Tuff

"I'm The Toughest" - Peter Tosh

"Team Spirit" - Robert Wyatt

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Large in Lusaka

Later today I'm off to Zambia for a few days' work. It will be my first visit, and I'm looking forward to it. I'm not going to be there long enough to get beyond Lusaka, but maybe there'll be a next time.

I don't have much Zambian music in my collection, so hopefully there will be a chance to put that right while I'm there. In the meantime, here are a couple of groovy tunes from the 'Zamrock' scene of the 1970s. The first one is particularly appropriate today.

"Sunday Morning" - Amanaz

"My Ancestors" - Chrissy 'Zebby' Tembo & Ngozi Family

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Who Was That Masked Man?

It shouldn't take you too long to work out the identity of today's mystery guest.

"Fish Tea" - Lone Ranger

"The Lone Ranger" - George Jones

"I Don't Want To Be A Lone Ranger" - Johnny 'Guitar' Watson

Monday, 6 March 2017

In Which The Facade Crumbles

Over the years I have been doing this blog, I have carefully cultivated an image of being a hip and happening guy with his finger on the pulse of whatever musical scene is about to burst forth - a surfer of the zeitgeist, if you will.

Sadly, I must reveal that has all been a facade. I am in fact a middle-aged man with an alarming weakness for Gilbert O'Sullivan. I went to see the Great Man last night on his 50th anniversary tour, and while not without the occasional moment of naffness - it was Gilbert, after all - he put on an excellent show. His leap onto the keyboard to conduct the communal singing on "Get Down" was surprisingly sprightly for a man of 70.

Here are a couple of personal early favourites of his, followed by a video of him performing his neglected 1980s funk standard, "So What". Herbie Hancock, eat your heart out.

"Houdini Said" - Gilbert O'Sullivan

"We Will" - Gilbert O'Sullivan