Search This Blog

Sunday 30 March 2014

Single Song Sunday Returns

A while back I briefly attempted to start a regular feature called "Single Song Sunday" which, as the name suggests, featured different versions of the same song. It petered out almost immediately, but losing an hour in the UK today because of the clocks going forward has prompted me to revive it in order to ask the age-old question: "Who knows where the time goes?".

As you will all know, Sandy Denny wrote the song, and nobody will ever do a better version than the one she did with Fairport Convention on "Unhalfbricking" - her voice and Richard Thompson's guitar are an unmatchable combination. But there have been some valiant attempts, not least by Sandy herself. Here are two, the first with the Strawbs in 1967, before she joined Fairport, and the second from a solo session for the BBC from 1973.

"Who Knows Where The Time Goes" (1967) - Sandy Denny & The Strawbs

"Who Knows Where The Time Goes" (1973) - Sandy Denny

Of the others, it is worth mentioning the Judy Collins version, which came out before any of Sandy's versions were released (her sessions with the Strawbs were not released until the 1970s when both of them were established artists). I also like the 10,000 Maniacs attempt. I'm not so sure about Nina Simone though - normally I'm a fan but I find this a bit meandering to be honest.

 "Who Knows Where The Time Goes" - Judy Collins

"Who Knows Where The Time Goes" - Nina Simone

"Who Knows Where The Time Goes" - 10,000 Maniacs

"Who Knows Where The Time Goes" - Charlie Louvin

"Who Knows Where The Time Goes" - Kate Rusby

Her old sparring partner doesn't make a bad job of it either.

Friday 28 March 2014

Krafka Korner

I am pleased to be able to report the return to action of an old favourite. Leslie Krafka's debut album, "The White Cat Sessions", came out in 2011. She has kept us waiting longer than we would have wanted for the follow-up but with "on-ward", due out on 3 May on Smallz Records, she has finally delivered. And it has been worth the wait.

Looking back at what I laughably called my review of Leslie's first album, I concluded it was "a bloody good record". I have become no more articulate over the years, so will just say that this time around the same is true with knobs on. That those knobs are being twiddled by legendary Texas producer and pedal steel dude Lloyd Maines is a good start, but it is the quality of Leslie's songs and singing that make the record stand out. Here's an example.

"Wine, Women and Song" - Leslie Krafka

One of the other highlights of the new album is her gender-bending cover of "Drunken Poet's Dream", the Hayes Carll/ Ray Wylie Hubbard co-write which both perform with aplomb but with slightly different words. Leslie does the Hubbard version, which marks her out as a woman of taste and refinement (no matter what the words say).

If you are thinking that Ray Wylie Hubbard and Hayes Carll seem an unlikely writing team, have a listen to these two songs and think again. The protagonists are surely sons of the same redneck mother.

"Up Against The Wall, Redneck Mother" - Jerry Jeff Walker

"She Left Me For Jesus" - Hayes Carll

Thursday 27 March 2014

Come And Get It

Here are two superb slices of smooth Seventies soul to warm up a chilly Thursday evening.

"Come On With It" - Lew Kirton

"Get To Me" - Luther Ingram

Lew Kirton is close to being an unintentionally humorous name, but doesn't quite work. Lou Rawls, on the other hand - Ha!

Sunday 23 March 2014

Spice Up Your Sunday

That's right, folks! We're going to spice up your Sunday with Righteous Richie.

"Gideon Boot" - Richie Spice

"Yap Yap" - Richie Spice

Now I can't imagine ever being to name my favourite singing Richie, not even on a night down the pub when conversation is even closer than usual to drying up completely, but if I was I would be hard pressed to choose between Mr Spice and Mr Havens...

With this fellow trailling in some way behind.

Wednesday 19 March 2014

The Sounds Of Sardinia

I was back in Paris briefly earlier in the week. It was a bit of a disappointing trip music-wise. Two of my favourite haunts - Crocodisc by the Sorbonne and the shop specialising in the music of the French-speaking Caribbean near Gare du Nord - were both closed, and I did not have time to get up to the African record shops round Chateau Rouge.

I did, however, discover a shop with a pleasingly eclectic international selection near Place de la Contrescarpe. There I picked up "Raighinas" by Marina Pittau, the finest - OK, the only - example of Sardinian folk music I have ever heard. Listen for yourselves. I am sure you will appreciate in particular the fine work on what we politely call these days the jaw harp on "Ballu Sardu".

"Goccius De Santa Luxia" - Marina Pittau

"Ballu Sardu" - Marina Pittau

How about a bit of Sardinian reggae to round things off?

Monday 17 March 2014

Incarceration, American Style

Here are some songs about American Houses of Correction.

"Birmingham Jail" - Warren Storm

"Tupelo County Jail" - Robbie Fulks & Joy Lynn White

"Deer Island Prison" - Bob Martin

You will have been expecting something from Johnny Cash, but maybe not this one.

"Starkville City Jail" - Johnny Cash

And certainly not this one.

"Pinball Prison Blues" - Mudgrass

Wednesday 12 March 2014


You know, because.

"Silk Pyjamas" - Thomas Dolby

"Doctor Worm" - They Might Be Giants


Saturday 8 March 2014

Cumbia, My Lord, Cumbia

A little Mexican cumbia on Saturday night for you, courtesy of Los Angeles Azules.

"Cumbia Candelosa" - Los Angeles Azules

"Piensalo Bien" - Los Angeles Azules

As the Spanish speakers and users of Google Translate among you will know, Los Angeles Azules would be called in English The Blue Angels. Roy Orbison knows one of them.

"Blue Angel" - Roy Orbison

You would also know that "Piensalo Bien" means, roughly, "Well, think about it". Robert Earl Keen expresses a similar sentiment in this track from his excellent album "Gringo Honeymoon". In the title track he honeymoons in... Mexico, of course! We don't just throw this together, you know.

"Think It Over One Time" - Robert Earl Keen

Tuesday 4 March 2014

Heavy, Heavy Monster Sounds

I don't often respond to requests, as often the requests are to stop playing that rubbish. But when my friend Emily - a woman of impeccable taste - asked for these first two, I couldn't say no. The third one is by way of a bonus.

"Frankenstein Walk" - Gene "Bowlegs" Miller

"Freak-N-Stein" - Blue Magic

"Look Out, There's A Monster Coming" - The Bonzo Dog Band

Saturday 1 March 2014

Messrs F

My old mate Mister F - who pops up intermittently in these pages - is celebrating a birthday ending in 5 tomorrow. Real name John, he became known as F at school to distinguish him from all the other Johns. The "Mister" was added later to indicate seniority. Here are some more Johns who could rightly style themselves Mister F is they wished to do so.

"Almost Saturday Night" - John Fogerty

"Underpass" - John Foxx

"Chestwig Obsessional Vol 4" - Johnny "Conical" Field

"Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)" - John Fred & The Playboys

"Daydreamer" - John Fullbright

"Angela Jones" - Johnny Ferguson

Happy birthday, Johnny!