Wednesday, 19 January 2022

From Townes To Townes

According to my extensive records I've never featured Townes Van Zandt on here up to now. I'm not sure why - certainly not lack of appreciation, maybe I just thought other people had it covered. That Charity Chic is guaranteed to play him at least once a year, for example.  

I really ought to put it right, especially seeing as I managed to pick up a 4 CD box set comprising his first seven LPs and highlights from "Live at the Old Quarter, Houston, Texas" for a mere £5 last year in a large barn near Preston that was full of bits and bobs. 

You'll all be familiar with the "hits", so here are couple of lesser known gems - one each from his 1972 albums "High, Low And In Between" and "The Late Great Townes Van Zandt".

"You Are Not Needed Now" - Townes Van Zandt

"Silver Ships Of Andilar" - Townes Van Zandt  

And here he is with a few of his fans.

Monday, 17 January 2022

All Downhill From Here

27Leggies is thirteen years old today.

Over the next few years you may find that I am frequently surly and uncommunicative. If that happens it will be your fault because you just don't understand and it's not fair. 

Until then, though, let's make a noise!

"Teenage Warning" - Angelic Upstarts

"Teenage Wasteland" - Ezra Furman

"Typically Teenage" - Milk 'N Cookies

"We Teenagers Know What We Want" - Amos Milburn

Friday, 14 January 2022

A Yellow Kind Of Fellow

The mighty King Yellowman celebrates his 66th birthday tomorrow. Only 600 more years to go until the Birthday of the Beast. Also celebrating his birthday this week is the equally great Johnny Clarke, who turned 67 on Wednesday just gone. To mark the occasions here's one track each from His Yellowness and Clarky.

"Lost Mi Love" - Yellowman

"Rockers Time Now" - Johnny Clarke

I should clarify for the benefit of any confused readers from Northern Ireland that we are talking about this Yellowman...

 .

and not the sweet treat you can get at the Lammas Fair in Ballycastle.

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

What If?

The mention of Colosseum in Monday's post prompted me to dig out my albums by their fellow titans of the late 60s - early 70s prog/jazz/blues scene, If. 

Here is one track apiece from their first two albums, the imaginatively titled "If" and "If 2". You'll never guess what their next two albums were called.

"Raise The Level Of Your Conscious Mind" - If

"Your City Is Falling" - If

If were very popular when they first burst onto the scene, but over time their fans began to lose interest in them.  Like that Roger Whittaker, for example.


PS Yesterday I received a request from a Portuguese goat herder of our acquaintance to give you some "Gentle Giant play the songs of Jimmy Shand". I'm unable to oblige, unfortunately, but it gives me an excuse to share the greatest mash-up known to man. Jimmy, Fiddy, take it away!

Monday, 10 January 2022

Wild And Crazy Guys

We start the week with a new music alert. Long-standing readers may recall me raving about an outfit called Bandius Companion a couple of years back. Well, the gang is back with a new EP that came out just before Xmas, "21 Know As The Shape Of Accordion".

I am not quite sure how to describe their unique style - possibly Ennio Morricone goes prog? My particular favourite track on the new EP is "Until The Sand Comes To Eyes", which sounds like Colosseum if you replaced the singer with an accordion player.

The Bandius Brothers don't yet have any promos of the new record for me to share, but I recommend you head over to their Bandcamp page and check it out. 

I tried to think of something suitable to pair Bandius Companion with and eventually settled on one of the landmarks of Brazilian psychedelia, "Paêbirú", the 1975 album by Lula Côrtes and Zé Ramalho. Here goes.

"Nas Paredes Da Pedra Encantada" - Lula Côrtes & Zé Ramalho

"Pedra Templo Animal" - Lula Côrtes & Zé Ramalho

To round things off, here is a clip of Colosseum back before they added the accordion player.

Saturday, 8 January 2022

Bettye's Blues

Before we start, a quick service announcement. Microsoft Edge and/or Box.com are playing silly buggers, with the former blocking any attempt to download files from the latter. There doesn't seem to be a problem with other browsers, and I don't know whether it is just me or a more general problem, but hopefully normal service will resume soon.

Now back to our scheduled programming. Have you noticed how many 'proper' soul singers seem to be able to defy the laws of tide and time and keep getting better with age? William Bell and Mavis Staples are a couple of examples, as is the great Bettye Lavette.

Bettye was already in her mid 50s when she started her comeback with her 2003 album "A Woman Like Me". Nearly 20 years later she is still going strong and she will celebrate her 76th birthday at the end of the month. Today's tracks come from 2015's "Worthy". Bettye is; we are not.

"Step Away" - Bettye Lavette

"Undamned" - Bettye Lavette

Here's the great lady sounding magnificent a mere three months ago.  

Thursday, 6 January 2022

Pan-O-Rama

I went to my first gig of the year last night - Ebony Steel Band play Kraftwerk, since you ask.

The band, who are multiple winners of the steel band competition at the Notting Hill Carnival, were belatedly promoting their album "Pan Machine". The album was released in 2019 and came about after the band were pestered into covering Kraftwerk by some intolerable hipster or other. It is available from all the usual outlets.

My colleague Mr F and I weren't quite sure what to expect, and were a bit worried it might be a novelty that wore off after the first couple of tunes. I am pleased to report we were wrong. The band were excellent, and not being a Kraftwerk buff I did not recognise most of the songs so was able to enjoy them on their own considerable merits.   

 Here is a track from "Pan Machine", followed by a history lesson on the origins of pan music from the great Lord Kitchener.

"Kometenmelodie 2" - Ebony Steel Band

"Tribute To Spree" - Lord Kitchener

There are many other weird and wonderful steel band cover versions out there in YouTubeLand. Like this one for example.