Monday, 26 July 2021

Hiss Hitss

Over the weekend I was listening to "Quietly Blowing It", the new album by Hiss Golden Messenger. It's excellent. If you haven't bought it already you should go and do so now.

Hiss Messengerness is possibly my favourite artist to emerge over the last ten years or so - he's certainly up there. I first became aware of him through 2011's "Poor Moon" and first got to see him the following year in a pub basement supporting Michael Chapman. Since then I've been lucky enough to see him a few more times both solo and with a band, and I've picked up every album as well.

Here are a few golden oldies for you, in chronological order. The first is from "Country Hai East Cotton" (2009), the others from "Poor Moon" and "Haw" (2013).

"O Nathaniel" - Hiss Golden Messenger

"Blue Country Mystic" - Hiss Golden Messenger

"The Serpent Is Kind (Compared To Man)" - Hiss Golden Messenger

The second time I saw Hiss Golden Messenger it was just M.C. Taylor again, this time on a double bill with William Tyler. When he announced that for an encore he would be doing a song by Gary Stewart (one of my all-time heroes as long-serving readers might recall) and that Mr Tyler would be helping out I felt I had a take a sneaky video. With apologies for the quality, here it is. 

And here he is the first time I saw him. I had forgotten that I had taken this video until I went to find the other one. The picture quality is a bit better is this one but the sound quality is worse, so apologies again.

Friday, 23 July 2021

Donny Reggae

Today's post goes out especially to our old friend George. He's a big Osmonds fan and doesn't mind who knows it. I considered featuring a couple of their singles but then realised he has probably got them all already, so here are a couple of Mandatory Reggae Versions instead.

"One Bad Apple" - Barry Biggs

"Love Me For A Reason" - The Fabulous Five 

Thursday, 22 July 2021

Proper Music

Even surfers of the zeitgeist and epicures of the exotic need to switch off sometimes. As much as I enjoy the rich stew of Patagonian funk and Uzbek prog that we serve up every week, sometimes I need to cleanse my palate with some good old-fashioned tunes I can tap my toes to.   

Ladies and gentleman, please give a big jazz hand to Ms Liza Minnelli. Both tracks come from her 1973 LP "The Singer" on which she interprets in her own unique way the works of Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Donny Hathaway and... er... Hurricane Smith.

"Dancing In The Moonlight" - Liza Minnelli

"Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me" - Liza Minnelli

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Do You Know The Way To São Tomé?

Something a bit special for you today, folks. Some vintage pop tunes from São Tomé and Principe.

Being the sophisticated bunch you are, you don't need me to tell you that the beautiful island nation of São Tomé and Principe can be found off the west coast of Africa (opposite Gabon to be precise) or that it was formerly a Portuguese colony.

What you may not know is that it is home to some fantastic music. To be fair, I did not know that either until I listened to "Léve-Léve", a brilliant compilation of music made in the islands during the 1970s and 1980s. The album was released last year by Bongo Joe records and is available on Bandcamp etc.

"Tólá Muandgi" - Sum Alvarinho

"Zimbabwe" - Africa Negra

"Cladênço Padê Cluço" - Tiny Das Neves 

Sunday, 18 July 2021

Single Song Sunday

It has been ages since we last had a Single Song Sunday, and I feel the need to try to make it up to you. You may say it's too late. And you'd be right.

Carole King took her singer-songwriter standard to number one in the Billboard charts 50 years ago this month, which gives us all the excuse we need. Not that an excuse is really required to feature some of these cracking cover versions.

We kick off with Carole's original then swiftly follow it up with three great soul versions from 1972, including the Isley Brothers' ten minute psychodrama. Almost as long is the extended mix of the Quartz and Dina Carroll version which made the UK top ten thirty years ago. I should've got the single version. In this case, less is more.

At that point in proceedings Mr Ray Conniff and friends step in to liven things up, before introducing our international guests - one each from Finland, Germany and Cambodia. The event culminates, as always, in the Mandatory Reggae Version.

"It's Too Late" - Carole King

"It's Too Late" - Billy Paul

"It's Too Late" - Denise LaSalle

"It's Too Late" - The Isley Brothers

"It's Too Late" - Quartz (featuring Dina Carroll)

"It's Too Late" - Ray Conniff

"Jotain En Enää Saa" - Kisu

"Es Ist Spät, Zu Spät Für Uns" - Daliah Lavi

"Huos Haenuy Bong" - Poev Vannary 

"It's Too Late" - The Chosen Few

Friday, 16 July 2021

Crazy Yama

Today's offering has been taken down from the weird but wonderful shelf and dusted off for your delectation and delight. Its "Le Monde Fabuleux Des Yamasuki", a 1971 French concept album featuring heavy drums, an actual Japanese judo master who shouts a lot and a female choir chanting real or pretend Japanese lyrics. That old chestnut.

The genius behind the album, Daniel Vangarde, has many other claims to fame. One of the tracks from the album, "Aie a Mwana" became a minor hit for Bananarama in 1981. His son is one half of Daft Punk. And he wrote and produced the two classics featured in the videos. He's one hell of a dude.

"Yama Yama" - The Yamasuki Singers

"Yamasuki" - The Yamasuki Singers

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

The Dog/Gun Dilemma

In today's episode of Trenchtown Eastenders, Dr Alimantado wants to acquire a gun but Nicodemus tries to talk him out of it.

"Gimme Mi Gun" - Dr. Alimantado

"Dog Better Than Gun" - Nicodemus