Monday, 6 April 2020

The Long Goodbye: Part 7

Our tour of the European Union has been on hold for a while - think of it as the aural equivalent of a 14 days quarantine period - but we're back with a bang. You are in for a very special treat today.

One of my favourite new(ish) artists has very graciously accepted my offer to guest host the blog on this leg of the journey. So, without any further ado, let's hand the controls over to her:

"I am delighted to welcome you on a musical tour of Denmark. 

Let me introduce myself properly: I am Asthmatic Harp, a Danish singer-songwriter based in Glasgow. My new indie-folk single Bird of Paradise had its premiere here on the blog just a couple of weeks ago. 

I can’t give you a tour of Denmark without first mentioning the composer Carl Nielsen. In Denmark many of his songs have become an integral part of the national heritage. During my years singing in the Children's Choir of the Royal Danish Academy of Music it was always the Carl Nielsen songs that seemed to bring out the most tears in the audiences' eyes.  

My personal favourite is called 'Som en Rejselysten Flåde'. The flow of the melody reminds me of salty, wind swept summer days by the sea. 

Som en Rejselysten Flåde” - The Children's Choir of the Royal Danish Academy of Music

Moving on, here's Denmark’s Grandmother of Electronic Music: Else Marie Pade. A real pioneer! Start by listening to ‘Lyd og Lys’ (Sound and Light).  

"Lyd og Lys" - Else Marie Pade

Efterklang is one of my favourite Danish bands. The art-rock ensemble produces music that is both intimate and magnificently orchestral at the same time. I am sure that you will soon be listening to ‘Modern Drift’ on repeat.

"Modern Drift" - Efterklang

I wouldn't want to let you miss out on a good old classic from the Danish Peace & Love era. ‘Herfra Hvor Vi Står’ is a song by the duo Skousen & Ingemann. They are the real deal! 

"Herfra Hvor Vi Står" - Skousen & Ingemann

Kim Larsen was a real darling in Danish pop/rock music known for his big mouth and catchy tunes. One of his most famous songs is ‘Midt on Natten’.

"Midt on Natten" - Kim Larsen

Finally, I wanted to introduce you to a relatively new artist crush on the Danish music scene. Listen to Katinka and her track: ‘Vi Er Ikke Kønne Nok Til At Danse’ (We are not pretty enough to be dancing)." 

"Vi Er Ikke Konne Nok Til At Danse" - Katinka

Ernie here. Many thanks to Asthmatic Harp for that excellent, eclectic selection. Even more thanks are due because she has kindly shared her brand new video, released just yesterday. It's a lovely cover of My Brightest Diamond's "I Have Never Loved Someone The Way I Love You". The best way you can show your appreciation is to head over to her website and buy stuff. Now!!!

I chose the other videos myself. I mention that because I feel I should take full responsibility for Dr. Phil.

We'll be back soon with Estonia, for which the redoubtable George has played a blinder. In the meantime, if any members of Hanoi Rocks or Lordi want to help out when we get to Finland, please get in touch.

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Which Roy?

Some U Roy for you today. Not to be confused with I Roy. Or with He Roy, She Roy, We Roy or They Roy for that matter.

But before we get to Good Old U, make sure you tune in on Monday. We have something special lined up for you.

"Stick Together" - U Roy

"Love In The Arena" - U Roy

From Roy, U to Roy O.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

There's Afous Loose...

I mentioned at the weekend that I had bagged a couple of fantastic albums from the Sahel Sound label. Today you are getting a selection from the second one.

Afous d'Afous - so good they named them twice - hail from southern Algeria. Their album "Tenere" came out in 2017 and it's... well, see for yourselves.

"Nak Amahah" - Afous d'Afous

"Tarhanine Tegla" - Afous d'Afous

Elderly Caledonian readers may recognise the title of today's post as a reference to the old standard "Hoots Mon" by Lord Rockingham's XI. Unfortunately I can't find a video of them performing it live, but we have something just as good instead. First, though, a word from our sponsor.

Monday, 30 March 2020

Mellow Monday

Some soothing sounds for you this morning. 

Will Beeley is a Texan singer-songwriter who made a couple of albums in the 1970s and then had to focus on making a living and raising a family. He was rediscovered a few years back by the good folks at the Tompkins Square label, who reissued his old albums and got him back in the studio for first time in forty years. 

The new album, "Highways And Heart Attacks", came out last year and is well worth checking out. But my favourite is 1979's "Passing Dream", which both of today's selections come from. I have been listening to "Sailin' With You" a lot recently. I think its better for me than watching the news too much.

"Sailin' With You" - Will Beeley

"Rainy Sundays" - Will Beeley

There's obviously something in the water in Texas that produces that sort of sound.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Tuareg Tuesday

I have mentioned here before the excellent Sahel Sounds label, whose mission to promote the music of the Sahel region (obviously).

For those of you who don't know where that is, Wikipedia describes it snappily as "the ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition in Africa between the Sahara to the north and the Sudanian Savanna to the south".

Anyway, earlier this week Sahel Sounds had a one day sale over on Bandcamp, and I took advantage of it to grab a couple of excellent albums. We're featuring the first one today, the second will follow soon.

The first album is "Anou Malane" by the extravagantly named Abdallah Ag Oumbadougou from Niger. Made in 1995, it is apparently one of the first studio recordings of Tuareg guitar music. And, I would venture to say, still one of the best.

"Ifitalane" - Abdallah Ag Oumbadougou

"Anou Malane" - Abdallah Ag Oumbadougou

Turning to sadder news, the great Bob Andy died yesterday aged 75. I was lucky enough to see him perform a few years back. Probably best known in the UK as one half of Bob & Marcia, he was also a founder member of The Paragons and wrote many hits like "Too Experienced" and "Feel Like Jumping" as well as having a solo career. RIP Mr Andy.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Home Entertainment

It sounds like most of us are in some form of lockdown. I hope you and yours are all staying safe and well. Try to stay positive and remember - being at home doesn't have to be boring. Just ask Eddie, Floyd, Good Time Charlie and Nick.

"We're Staying Home Tonight" - Eddie Cantor

"Rockin' At Home" - Floyd Dixon

"I Do My Swingin' At Home" - Charlie Rich

"Let's Stay In And Make Love" - Nick Lowe

It's not all positive though. I was very saddened to hear of the death yesterday of the great Manu Dibango, who we featured here just a few weeks back. RIP Mr Dibango.

Monday, 23 March 2020

Gettin' Diggy Liggy Wit It

Before we get to today's post, a request for assistance. We will be resuming our tour of Europe next week with a visit to Denmark, and I have high hopes that it will be a special one. After that we will be going to Estonia, and I'm struggling a bit to compile a decent playlist. If anyone out there has any suggestions they would be very gratefully received.

But for now, some Cajun fiddling for you.

"Diggy Liggy Lo" - Doug & Rusty Kershaw

"Cajun Joe" - Doug & Rusty Kershaw