Sunday, 31 January 2016

Princes Among Men

Today - six self-styled princes. And who is to say they are wrong.

"Cool Runnings" - Prince Mohammed

"Thu Thu Ka Paul" - Prince Paul Morgan

"Ride With The Rasses" - Prince Lincoln Thompson & The Royal Rasses

"Koumbéré Koumbéré" - Prince Taco

"Jah Dread" - Prince Jazzbo

"I Wish It Was A Lie" - Prince Phillip Mitchell

Speaking of princes of men, his hit single might have been suspect but in every other respect this gentleman fitted the bill. RIP Terry Wogan.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Finnish Folk Friday

Don't be misled by the title, folks, this is not the start of a new series. It can't be - I only own one Finnish folk album. Fortunately it's a good one. It is "Kokko", the 1996 album by Värttinä, who are still going strong today after over thirty years. Here goes.

"Iro" - Värttinä

"Kokko" - Värttinä

When it comes to Finnish rock, it is either Lordi or this lot really. I think I'll stick with the folk stuff.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Hey Jó!

I had an excellent time in Lisbon last week and have returned with a potentially intriguing musical mix. No pimba I am afraid, George - most of the record shops I visited were a bit too snooty to stock it - but I do have some kizomba, some sertanejo, a compilation of early Laurel Aitken singles and B-sides (which I know will be excellent) and a compilation of Portuguese rock from the early 1980s (which I suspect will be dreadful). Add to that tatty old singles by the likes of Fatima Ferreira, Orchestra Spettacolo Raoul Casadei and Fischer-Z and we have something for everyone I am sure.

As you would imagine there is a lot of Brazilian music available in Lisbon. And in Farringdon as it happens. It must have been fate that led me to wander into a charity shop there this morning and alight immediately on a Brazilian reggae album - "Força" by Andread Jó. Here are the title track and the dub version of that old standard ""Platônico Ou Pode Ser...".

"Força" - Andread Jó

"Platônico Ou Pode Ser... (Dub Version)" - Andread Jó

Fischer Z were bigger on the Continent than they ever were over here. If Wikipedia is to be believed, this was a number one in Portugal in 1981.

Friday, 15 January 2016

A Rag Bag Of Riches

I am off to Lisbon tomorrow for a week's break, where I intend to spend the time avoiding salted cod and scouring the second-hand record shops for that Portuguese schlager stuff that George so enjoys. To tide you over, here are some of the posts you might have got next week had I been here.

We start with a track from the self-titled debut album by Dori Freeman. It does not come out until February but those nice people at Hearth PR sent me an advance copy. It is very good indeed, and if you are a fan of any form of country music you should check it out.

March sees the release of the new album by the mighty Pierce Turner, "Love Can't Always Be Articulate". I pledged some dosh to help him make the album and in exchange he sent me some goodies. They arrived today and include a copy of his limited edition mini-album of a few years back, "Catch A Wave". We give you the title track, which most of you will spot is a Beach Boys cover.

Tracks 3 and 4 come from a bumper selection of CDs from the boxes outside a rather ramshackle second-hand shop I found between Old Street and the Barbican the other day. They were 50p a pop and definitely justify another visit. The Daykil Chosan Group are from Gambia; Asha Bhosle is of course the Queen of Bollywood.

Finally we mark a sad passing. Understandably a lot of attention has been paid to the sad deaths of David Bowie and Lemmy, but we also lost a soul legend last week. RIP Otis Clay.

"Any Wonder" - Dori Freeman

"Catch A Wave" - Pierce Turner

"Kaira" - Daykil Chosan Group

"Dum Maro Dum" - Asha Bhosle

"You Hurt Me For The Last Time" - Otis Clay

"I Can Take You To Heaven Tonight" - Otis Clay

Mr Clay was also responsible for the original - and considerably better - version of this:

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Who's The Dede?

A treat for you today - a couple of tracks from Ghanaian high-life great Amakye "Iron Boy" Dede. Both are taken from "Adukuro Mu Nsuo" album, which came out last year and would have had a good chance of being on my top ten albums of the year list had I got round to compiling one.

Last weekend Amakye Dede was involved in a road accident in which his manager very sadly died. As of Friday Mr Dede himself was still in hospital recovering. Get well soon, Sir.

"Bra Ma Yen Ni Agoro" - Amakye Dede

"Ma Akoma Retwen Wo" - Amakye Dede

If you are wondering how to pronounce his name, phonetically it is pretty similar to this:

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

The Underdogs

"The Underdogs" is the literal translation of Los De Abajo, the Mexican band who first became known outside Mexico when David Byrne signed them to his Luaka Bop label in the late 1990s. Their music contains what Dana might call all kinds of everything (don't panic, that is not a clue to the identity of today's YouTube clip).

"La Sonidera" - Los De Abajo

"Si Existe Ese Lugar" - Los De Abajo

"La Sonidera" comes from their album "LDA V The Lunatics" which also contains a rather natty version of this old favourite. They even managed to get Neville Staples to join them.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Single Song Sunday

For our first post of 2016 we revive our Single Song Sunday series. And instead of the usual soul or country standard, we have chosen some MOR niceness from a former Beatle to kick things off.

The original "Let 'Em In" by Wings was released forty years ago and got to No. 2 in the UK. Billy Paul had a Top 30 hit with it the following year. Those are the best known versions and the pick of the bunch. Best of the rest is probably the Mandatory Reggae Version, courtesy of Shinehead, not least because he name-checks barely remembered 1990s reggae artists such as Ninjaman and Tonto Irie, and because it features the rarely heard "reggae kazoo".

The Brazilian version by Skank is a bit of a cheat, as it is really only one verse tagged on to the end of a different song. I thought about excluding them on those grounds but in the end decided that it would be in keeping with the message of the song to let 'em in.

"Let 'Em In" - Wings

"Let 'Em In" - Billy Paul

"Let 'Em In" - Lee Ann Womack

"Let 'Em In" - Dr. John

"Let Them In" - Shinehead

"Let 'Em In" - Patti Austin

"Let 'Em In" - Justus Köhncke

"Pacato Cidadão/ Let 'Em In" - Skank

This is something I found trawling through YouTube. I've never heard of The Bros. Landreth before but if this is anything to go by they may be worth checking out.