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Tuesday 31 August 2021

Emergency Appeal

We interrupt our regular programming to launch an urgent appeal for your help. Over the weekend the world learnt that the much revered polymath Charity Chic has never heard anything by Robert Earl Keen. Your donations are desperately needed are rectify this truly appalling situation.

FurryBootsCityBoy has already got the ball rolling, and here is my small contribution to the cause. The first two tracks are from my favourite of Robert's albums, 1994's "Gringo Honeymoon", and the third from 2005's "What I Really Mean". 

The first video featuring Joe Ely's excellent take on what may be The Bobster's best known song, then there's a couple from the man himself a handful of years apart.

"Gringo Honeymoon" - Robert Earl Keen

"Dreadful Selfish Crime" - Robert Earl Keen

"Broken End Of Love" - Robert Earl Keen

Sunday 29 August 2021

Lee "Scratch" Perry RIP

OK God, you've made your point. Any chance you could give it a break for a bit now? 

RIP Mr Perry.

"I Am The Upsetter" - Lee "Scratch" Perry

"Dreadlocks In Moonlight" - Lee "Scratch" Perry

"City Too Hot" - Lee "Scratch" Perry

Friday 27 August 2021

More New Music/ New Moor Music

A couple of excellent new albums to tip you off to today. Neither album is actually out yet, but the first singles from each are, and we have the videos for them below.

First up is Natalie Jane Hill's "Solely" which comes out in late October. Natalie is from Austin by way of the Blue Ridge Mountains and she has made a gorgeous little record, with a sound that sets off her voice and songs perfectly. 

The nice man who sent the album to me compares her to early The Weather Station, but when I listen I hear something more like Jessica Pratt's first couple of records.

While you are waiting for "Solely" to become available, you can pick up "Azalea" - Natalie's first album - for a mere $7 on Bandcamp.

The second album to plug is called "Voices From The Empty Moor" which reworks songs performed by the great English folk singer Anne Briggs. The project is masterminded by bassist and arranger Devin Hoff and features a number of guests including Julia Holter and Sharon Van Etten. There is a ghostly, atmospheric feel that suits the songs very well. 

The Julia Holter track is featured in the video below, the Sharon Van Etten track is on the free CD given away with the latest Uncut. Pick of the bunch for me is Shannon Lay's version of "Living By the Water", but you'll have to wait until the album comes out on 21 September to hear that. You can preorder it on Bandcamp now though.

In the meantime here is Anne Briggs' original version and a track from Shannon's excellent 2017 album called - no coincidence surely? - "Living Water". You can get that on Bandcamp too. 

"Living By The Water" - Anne Briggs

"Caterpillar" - Shannon Lay

Wednesday 25 August 2021

Here's Joni!

As promised on Monday, we have some more Joni Haastrup magic for you. Today we are featuring his 1978 solo album "Wake Up Your Mind", available for the knockdown price of $5 on Bandcamp

In keeping with the times, it has much more of a funk and disco feel than his earlier work with MonoMono (including some excellent Silver Convention style backing vocals on "Do The Funkro"). 

"Do The Funkro" - Joni Haastrup

"Greetings" - Joni Haastrup

Of course, Joni was by no means the only artist jumping on the disco bandwagon in those days.  

In what can only be described in an abrupt change of tone, let's take this opportunity to pay tribute to a member of another famous singing siblings act who sadly left us a few days ago. RIP Don Everly.

Monday 23 August 2021

MonoMono Monday

Today's post is the first of two featuring the work of Joni Haastrup, one of the unsung heroes of the Nigerian afro-rock and funk scene of the 1970s and a man who in his time has played with the likes of Fela Kuti and Ginger Baker. 

On Wednesday we'll feature his 1978 solo album "Wake Up Your Mind", but first we have "Give The Beggar A Chance", the album he made in 1971 as the lead singer and keyboard player with MonoMono - not just because it came first chronologically but because "MonoMono Monday" works better as a title than "MonoMono Wednesday".

As well as being a fine piece of music, the title track of the album poses one of the great philosophical questions of our time: "What do you want from a leper who ain't got no hands to scratch his butt?".

"Give The Beggar A Chance" - MonoMono

"Kenimania" - MonoMono

Interesting fact: A few years after it was released, Mickie Most tried to buy the rights to "Kenimania" so he could rework it as the first single for a new band he was trying to promote as rivals to the Bay City Rollers. Joni wouldn't play ball, so Mickie had to use this instead:

Saturday 21 August 2021

Fusion At Its Finest

Take some reggae. Take some yodeling. Put them together and what do you get? Why, reggae yodeling of course!

"Yodel Reggae" - Leroy Gibbs

"Duddle Oley" - Dillinger

Here's more Dillinger, doing what he does better.

Thursday 19 August 2021

Anatolian Tales

I recently acquired "Remains of Anatolia", a sampler album released in 2000 by Kalan, a Turkish record label. The label is still going strong, but the same may not be true for all of the 16 artists that are featured on the album.

As with most samplers it is a bit of a mixed bag, but here are a couple of personal favourites. The Ulaş Özdemir track has a distinct Incredible String Band feel to it (well it does to me anyway).

"Rapatma II" - Fuat Saka

"Yine Seyyah Oldum" - Ulaş Özdemir

Sticking with Turkish tunes here's Derya Yildirim & Grup Simşek, whose excellent new album "DOST 1" came out in June. You can snap it up for just €7 on Bandcamp. I have. I've also booked my tickets to go and see them live later in the year. 

Tuesday 17 August 2021

The Comeback Kids

I recently noticed that I have three albums called "Resurrection" and I thought to myself "That'll do". So here they are, two from soul legends and personal favourites and one from a 1960s garage band that got back together in 2017 after nearly 50 years to make a blues record.

Also in the collection is "Resurrect" by Eric Taylor. Many years ago Eric was married to Nanci Griffith and he wrote "Deadwood South Dakota", Nanci's version of which I featured in my previous post.

"No Deposit No Return" - Swamp Dogg

"Cousin Henry" - Bobby Womack

"Superstitious Blues" - The Druids of Stonehenge

"Louis Armstrong's Broken Heart" - Eric Taylor

Now feast your eyes and ears on these.

Sunday 15 August 2021

Nanci Griffith RIP

I was very saddened to hear that we lost the great Nanci Griffith on Friday. She has been one of my favourite singers for well over 30 years, and "Last of the True Believers" is one of my all time favourite albums. RIP Ms Griffith.

"Workin' In Corners" - Nanci Griffith

"The Wing & The Wheel" - Nanci Griffith

"Deadwood, South Dakota (live)" - Nanci Griffith

Monday 9 August 2021

A-Rutling We Will Go

Tomorrow morning I'm off to Stamford in Lincolnshire for a short break. While I'm there I plan to travel one stop down the train line to Oakham, the main town in the tiny county of Rutland. 

Rutland actually stopped being a county in 1974 - blame the conniving bastards at the Local Government Commission for England - but after 20 years of civil disobedience was subsequently reinstated in 1997.  

To show my solidarity with the plucky Rutlanders, here is a selection of music from 1974 to tide you over until I return. I thought about adding some songs from 1997, but why dilute the quality with all that modern rubbish?

And what of Stamford itself? Well, according to Wikipedia its famous citizens include Nicola Roberts of Girls Aloud and David Jackson, the saxophonist in the 'classic' line-up of Van Der Graaf Generator. So that's the videos taken care of. 

"Enario" - Ofo The Black Company

"Shoo-B-Doop And Cop Him" - Betty Davis

"The Drum" - Slapp Happy

"Sen Varsin" - Bülent Ortacgil 

"Blackbelt Jones" - B. Ragga

"Drinkin' Thing" - Gary Stewart

"Down Where The Drunkards Roll" - Richard & Linda Thompson

"Saturday Gigs" - Mott The Hoople

From something for everyone to some things that may be for nobody at all.  Even George might struggle to finish all 24 minutes of "A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers" (let alone all 3 minutes of "Beat Of My Drum").


If you need cheering up after that, here's a positive message for you all. Take care, see you next week.

Friday 6 August 2021

World Wide Webb

This Sunday marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Webb Pierce. Webb was the original King of Bling, famed for his Nudie suits, his guitar-shaped swimming pool and his Pontiac with steer horns on the front and guns for door handles.

He was also one of the best honky-tonk singers in the business, as we will demonstrate now. Happy birthday, Mr Pierce, wherever you are.

"There Stands The Glass" - Webb Pierce

"I Ain't Never" - Webb Pierce

"That's Me Without You" - Webb Pierce

Wednesday 4 August 2021

Hurry Up Harriott

I recently acquired an excellent Derrick Harriott reissue on Doctor Bird (Cherry Red's reggae reissues brand). It comprises two albums from 1975 - "Greatest Reggae Hits" and "Reggae Disco Rockers" - and lots of versions and other bonus tracks. 

Here are a couple of tracks from "Greatest Reggae Hits". The first is an original and the second a Billy Paul cover. The album, and a compilation as a whole, is an entertaining mix of originals, versions, cover versions and versions of cover versions. 

On "Reggae Disco Rockers" Derrick gives us his take on the two songs in the videos, proving yet again that there isn't any song from the 1970s that doesn't have a Mandatory Reggae Version.

"Face Dog" - Derrick Harriott

"Brown Baby" - Derrick Harriott

Monday 2 August 2021

Newness Abounds

One of the perks of doing this blog is that many nice people send me free music in the misguided belief that I have some influence with the music-buying public. I won't tell them if you don't. 

Over the last couple of months I have received a particularly good crop of new albums. We are going to feature six of them today - four audio, two video - and hope you will check them all out and maybe buy a few. 

I have neither the time nor the words to write an adequate review of each of them so, without further ado, let's get cracking. That zeitgeist isn't going to surf itself is it?

"Area 52 Truck Stop" - Sylvia Bullett (from "Area 52 Truck Stop")

"My Love Never Sleeps" - Ric Robertson (from "Carolina Child") 

"Boozing And Losing" - Turner Cody (from "Friends In High Places")

"Cue The Tears" - Dot Allison (from "Heart Shaped Scar")

The videos are "Maré" by Rodrigo Amarante (from "Drama") and "Hurt A Fly" by Squirrel Flower (from "Planets (i)". Enjoy.