Thursday, 29 October 2015

Sickly Sisters

Last week I dedicated a post to my friend Stephanie, who was laid low with the lurgy. She is fully recovered, I am pleased to report, but now her big sister Pam is in the wars, suffering from what I understand doctors call "b*gg*red up foot syndrome". I believe this is a genuine affliction, rather than a slightly needy example of sibling rivalry, and we will treat it accordingly.

So today's post is dedicated to my dear friend Pam. The first selection is self-explanatory, the others take you gradually through the various stages of recovery. I hope you are soon back on your feet, literally and metaphorically.

"Sister Pam" - Ranking Joe

"Sitting And Watching" - Dennis Brown

"Queen Of The Hop" - Bobby Darin

"Walk Slow" - Little Willie John

"Run Around Girl" - John McLean

Actually, I missed out the stumbling stage. Let's put that right.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Some Velvet Evening

Sunday night found me and Mister F at the Barbican for an evening celebrating the songs of Lee Hazlewood. After a slightly slow start, things got better and better. Caitlin Rose and Josh T. Pearson (in the picture) were the star turns, with Gemma Ray and Kathryn Williams not far behind. It is probably best to draw a discreet veil over the bloke from Travis's ill-advised attempt at "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'".

Here are a few choice morsels from the great man himself.

"Ten Or Eleven Towns Ago" - Lee Hazlewood

"You Look Like A Lady" - Lee Hazlewood

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Port Harcourt Happenings

I was in Paris last week and took my usual stroll up to the district around Chateau Rouge metro to visit the African record shops, Most of the stock is understandably from Francophone Africa - and I have goodies from places like Cameroon and Cote d'Ivoire to share with you - but one shop had the "Nigeria Gold" series prominently on display.

And quite right too, if Volume 7 is anything to go by. It is the most recent volume - I could claim that this was further evidence of my zeitgeist-surfing tendencies but as these compilations are the Nigerian equivalent of the "Now!" albums that might be pushing it. The album is jam-packed with things that my good friend DJ Frizzie could turn to when needing a guaranteed floor-filler. "Jacuzzi" has barely left my own turntable since I bought the album.

"Jacuzzi" - Wizboyy featuring Ice Prince

"Nek-Unek" - Davido featuring MC Galaxy

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Medical Matters

My friend Stephanie is feeling poorly at the moment. She thinks it is just the flu but you can't be too careful, so I thought I would round up a few medical practitioners to see if they can help. Dr Handy's dandy candy may be worth a try but I would implore her to steer well clear of Dr. Kitch, as no good can come of it. For that matter, even though she is a very virtuous woman, I am not entirely sure she could safely be left alone with Doc Sausage either.

"Unitone Skank" - Dr. Alimantado

"Dr. Handy's Dandy Candy" - Jim Ford

"Dr. Kitch" - Lord Kitchener

"Ilhe Chinyenre" - Dr. Sir Warrior and his Oriental Brothers International

"Rag Mop" - Doc Sausage

Monday, 19 October 2015

Hello Darlings

I had a great night out with Tippa Irie and friends at the Jazz Cafe last night. The great man topped the bill, ably supported by Peter Spence and Sandra Cross. We have something from each of them.

The surprise of the night was Miss Aliya, an extremely talented 14 year old from Birmingham. We all agreed that she appeared to be channelling Jean Adebambo even before she did a lovely version of Jean's "Paradise". I don't have any of her recordings - I am not sure there are any yet - so have added the original instead.

"Girl Of My Best Friend" - Peter Spence & Tippa Irie

"Listen DJ" - Sandra Cross

"Paradise" - Jean Adebambo

Monday, 12 October 2015

Leapin' In Liepāja

I am slowly working my way through assorted unlistened to CDs I have gathered on my travels this year in the hope of reducing the backlog before the pending pile collapses under its own weight. Today's tracks are from one I picked up in Riga back in May, which gives you an idea of how far behind I am. "Sviests V" is a compilation of Latvian folk music. It is not all  to my taste, but I like these two. The first is mean and moody, the second as jolly as can be. Tumsa, tumsa baby!!!

"Saules Deja" - Vējam Kabatā

"Tumša Tumša Tā Eglīte" - Otava Yo

I doubt very much whether Otava Yo is related to Ethiopian rapper Teddy Yo, but let's pretend he (or she, or conceivably they) is. That gives me all the excuse I need to dig this one out.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Jean's On

A real treat for you today - both sides of a single released in 1968 on Calla Records by Jean Wells. "What Have I Got To Lose" was the A-side, but I love them both.

"What Have I Got To Lose" - Jean Wells

"Broomstick Horse Cowboy" - Jean Wells

I have been able to find out precisely nothing about Jean. I can tell you that the record was produced by Clyde Otis, who made his name co-writing and producing hits for Brook Benton. Including this little number, which was improved immeasurably when the Welsh Elvis got hold of it. And asked Shakey to join her.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Single Song Sunday

I don't quite know how or when, but over the years I appear to have acquired 14 different versions of "Make It With You". Here are ten of them, starting with the original by Bread and ending with a Spanish language version by MC Blvd. The filling in the sandwich - bread metaphor! - is mostly soul, but there is a bit of jazz from Rahsaan Roland Kirk and the Mandatory Reggae Version courtesy of Little Roy.

"Make It With You" - Bread

"Make It With You" - Dusty Springfield

"Make It With You" - Teddy Pendergrass

"Make It With You" - Earth, Wind & Fire

"Make It With You" - The Whispers

"Make It With You" - Marc Cohn & India Arie

"Make It With You" - Rahsaan Roland KIrk

"Make It With You" - Little Roy

"Make It With You" - Ralfi Pagan

"Quiero Hacerte El Amor" - MC Blvd

Spare a thought tonight for Brendan Rodgers, who has just discovered that the directors of Liverpool F.C. have decided that there are not going to make it with him. Let's see if his Auntie Clodagh can help cheer him up.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Friend Of The Stars

Whenever I have to go over to Brussels for work I try to build in time to nip down to the Matonge district to check out the Congolese record shops. I was in one such emporium last week when this very dapper gent strolled in and introduced himself as Nkumu Mohamed from Groupe Bonyoma Djokisa. This is the photo taken to mark the occasion - I will leave you to ponder who is who.

Groupe Bonyoma Djokisa are a vocal trio who perform traditional music of the Congo, which bears only limited resemblance to the rumba sound which is the main Congolese musical export. You won't hear much guitar on their album "Petit A Petit (Mokongo Ya Nyama)", and on many tracks the only instruments are drums. It's good stuff though.

"Kota Pengele" - Groupe Bonyoma Djokisa 

"Festival" - Groupe Bonyoma Djokisa