Friday, 20 May 2022

The Miniature Monarch

I can't tell you much about today's featured artiste I'm afraid. The CD from which I have taken the tracks is a Japanese release so the sleeve notes are no help to me at all, and his Wikipedia entry runs to a grand total of five lines.  

What I can tell you is that Little Royal (real name Royal Torrence) had an intermittent recording career that lasted from the mid 1960s to the mid 1980s and was known as "James Brown's little brother" due to some perceived physical and musical similarities and an unproven rumour that they were half-brothers. 

Royal's biggest hit was "Jealous" which made the top 20 of the Billboard soul charts in 1972, off the back of which he was able to record his one and only album which went by the same name. 

The reissue I have also includes a lot of bonus tracks, including today's second selection which was a 1973 B-side. The CD is hard to get hold of in physical form, at least outside Japan, but if you are willing to deal with the tax-dodging devils you can download it for £6.50. 

"Jealous" - Little Royal

"(I Want To Be Free) Don't Want Nobody Standing Over Me" - Little Royal

Here is a rare clip of Little Royal singing and strutting his stuff while wearing what appears to be Norwich City's 1986-87 kit. He is sounding great but sartorially is upstaged by the host's man bag and crocheted tank top.

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Rich In Regensburg

I first heard Rich Hopkins & Luminarios ten years ago when their epic track "Friend Of The Shooter" was featured on one of those Uncut cover CDs. I was sufficiently enthused to buy the album that it comes from ("Buried Treasures") and its successor, 2014's "Tombstone", but never got round to exploring further.

That was until I found a copy of their live album "3000 Germans Can't Be Wrong" in the second-hand racks recently. It was recorded in Regensburg way back in 1998 and is one of many records they have released on the always reliable Blue Rose Records over the last thirty years. Very good it is too.

"Soul Leacher" - Rich Hopkins & Luminarios

"Dirt Town" -  Rich Hopkins & Luminarios

Here are Rich's Uncle Lightning and Auntie Linda for you.

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Single Song Sunday

Our long-running but highly infrequent series returns with a song by Beatles Band. Although there have now been over 50 episodes this is only the second time we have featured one of their songs. The other was "I Want To Hold Your Hand" back in 2014. That post prompted Charity Chic to share an amusing anecdote about a greyhound track; let's hope for a similar response to this one.

This time round it is "Blackbird", which was never a single but seems to have become one of the Beatles' more enduring tunes. We kick things off with the original and a 1971 cover by Dion, which was perhaps his way of thanking them for putting him on the cover of Sgt. Pepper. 

Next comes some bluegrass and a Brouhaha, an overwrought Over The Rhine and a Spanish soft rock rendition from the 1970s by Laredo, where the streets come from.

The next three covers are grouped together in the soul section, if you define "soul" very broadly. Two of them are live recordings, the first by the magnificent Bettye Lavette and the second by Sylvester. Yes, the "Mighty Real" Sylvester. I know, I was surprised too.

And of course we finish, as always, with the Mandatory Reggae Version. The Paragons do the honours on this occasion.

"Blackbird" - The Beatles

"Blackbird" - Dion

"Blackbird" - Mary McCaslin

"Blackbird" - Kelly Brouhaha

"Blackbird" - Over The Rhine

"Mirlo" - Laredo

"Blackbird" - Anderson.Paak

"Blackbird" - Bettye Lavette

"Blackbird" - Sylvester

"Blackbird Singing" - The Paragons 

Saturday, 14 May 2022

Boom Shaka Laka

Not a proper post today but it is Eurovision tonight which means I have the excuse to share with you once more the most moving interpretative dance routine there has ever been.  

 
And then there is this one, where Derek Smalls conducts for a man in a penguin suit...   
 

Friday, 13 May 2022

And Loud Flows The Don

Don Covay, who sadly left us back in 2015, had a long and distinguished career as a soul singer and songwriter starting way back in the 1950s. In my humble opinion he was at his peak as a performer in the early 1970s. To support my case here is a track each from two great albums from that period, "Different Strokes For Different Folks" (1972) and the very modestly titled "Super Dude 1" (1973).

"Sweet Thang" - Don Covay

"Somebody's Been Enjoying My Home" - Don Covay

Don had a few hits in his own right over the years but had much more commercial success as a songwriter. Here are just some of his tunes. 

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

A Little Me Time

Before we get to the post that I had already prepared for today I want to give another quick plug to Ghost Woman. Last week I mentioned their self-titled new album that comes out on 1 July, and on Monday I went to see them on the first date of their short UK tour. Many thanks to John at Force Field PR for sorting out the ticket.

They are a very good live band, a fair bit heavier than on the record. The guitarist had a Crazy Horse T-shirt on which gives you the general idea. Its a shame the sound wasn't a bit better, although in an odd way the muddy mix quite suited them. They are playing in Leeds, Glasgow, Liverpool and Brighton over the next week or so. If you get the chance, pop along.

Now back to our scheduled programme.

While I was on Bandcamp last Friday I decided to do whatever you call the Bandcamp equivalent of googling yourself. I discovered three tracks called "Goggins". One of them is a very tedious instrumental so I have spared you that, but here are the other two. Many apologies for Cousin David's language.

"Goggins" - Pain

"Goggins" - Akira The Don & David Goggins

At the risk of sounding like a diva, I'm not convinced they have done me justice.  

Monday, 9 May 2022

More Sounds Of The Sahel

It was Bandcamp Friday last week and, as usual, the excellent Sahel Sounds label made everything in their back catalogue available to download on a 'name your own price' basis. 

Given the consistently high quality of the records they put out that really is an extraordinary bargain, and one of which I have taken full advantage. I have now got pretty much everything they have issued.

Among the albums I picked up on Friday was "Waande Kadde" by Amadou Binta Konté and Tidiane Thiam, recorded live in Northern Senegal and featuring guitar, hoddu (a traditional stringed instrument) and some enthusiastic locals. It is a very hypnotic sound, none more so than on today's selection. 

For the avoidance of doubt, I would like to point out that while today is the start of the working week and "Guilly" goes on for over 18 minutes this is a coincidence and not in any way a breach of any other bloggers' copyright.

"Guilly" -  Amadou Binta Konté & Tidiane Thiam

One of the other albums I acquired on Friday was "Agadez", the new album by the excellent Etran de L'Air. We featured the lead-off single "Toubouk Ine Chihoussay" on here last year, don't be surprised if some of the other tracks pop up in future.

What do you get if you put "Agadez" and Mr Konté's first name together? Why, this, of course.

Friday, 6 May 2022

A Funky Feijoada

Some vintage Brazilian psychedelic soul for you today. Both tracks can be found on an excellent compilation called "Soul Braza" that came out about ten years ago on the No Smoke label - assuming you can find the record itself that is, as it seems to be out of stock everywhere.

"Vou Procurar O Meu Lugar" - Tony e Frankye

"Eclipse Total" - Ely

As far as I know Ely has no connection to the charming Fenland city of the same name, unlike Andrew Eldritch of The Sisters of Mercy who was born there 63 years ago next week. Happy impending birthday Mr E!

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

T For Texas

The Oxford American is a literary magazine based in Little Rock and dedicated to writing from the Southern USA. Once a year it has a music issue which is accompanied by a CD.

How one of those CDs ended up in the Buddhist bookshop in Bethnal Green I don't know, but that's where I found it. This particular CD is devoted to music from Texas and dates from 2014. Whoever compiled it did a great job. There are tunes on there from the 1930s to the 2010s and while it is heavy on country they also squeeze blues, soul, gospel, jazz, Tex-Mex and Western Swing into the mix.

You would recognise many of the acts on the CD - Willie, Waylon, Buddy, Janis, Guy Clark and Bob Wills just for starters - but they have avoided any of the obvious song choices. There are a few less familiar names as well. Here are three of them.

"I Done It" - Moon Mullican

"Fools's Blues" - J.T. "Funny Paper" Smith

"El Gustito" - Rick Trevino

Here are two more Texans for you, selected for the remarkable musical similarities between them.

Monday, 2 May 2022

The Ghosts Of My Life

I have a couple of upcoming albums I was sent by the nice people in Promoland that I want to alert you to, but in a reversal of the usual format I'm doing it through the videos. The mp3s are strictly padding. 

The first of the new albums is by Ghostkeeper, new to me although they have been making records for over ten years now. They are from Alberta and according to the press release theirs is a sound that "traverses a wide spectrum of influences, including African psychedelia, traditional Metis music, 70’s freak-folk traditions, and proto-punk guitar based bands like Television".  

I don't really know what any of that means but I like the record. It is called "Multidimensional Culture", its out on 27 May and is available for pre-order on Bandcamp.

Next up is Ghost Woman (you may spot a theme developing). Their self-titled debut album does not come out until 1 July but again it can be preordered on Bandcamp. There is a bit of a Byrds/ Jefferson Airplane vibe to this one that I like a lot. They kick off a European tour tonight in Amsterdam - you can find all the dates on Songkick

Both the videos features songs that are on their respective albums. As for the mp3s, well we have some crazed Japanese psychsters and some old hippies from Birmingham for you. Enjoy.

"Water Door Yellow Gate" - Ghost

"Hearts And Flowers" - The Ghost

Friday, 29 April 2022

Whitney K-Mart

Those of you who read Uncut may have seen the short article about Whitney K in the latest edition. A track from his new record "Hard To Be A God" is also included on the cover CD.

If that piqued your interest in Mr K then you will want to know that, in an act of astonishing generosity, he is currently making his entire back catalogue up to and including last year's "Two Years" album available on Bandcamp for a mere 11 Canadian dollars. Yes, that's "11 (eleven)", as they put it on the football results when an unfeasibly large number of goals have been scored.

The back catalogue comprises three studio/ home recorded albums, one live album and assorted mini-albums and singles. Its not all gold by any means, but there is enough of the glittery stuff to make this a big old bargain. I have snapped it up, and here to prove it is a track each from "Mixtape" (2015) and "When The Party's Over" (2017).

"Some Fella" - Whitney K

"The Weekend" - Whitney K

To round things off for the week (and the month) here's another Whitney and another Mr K. We'll dedicate the first video to Mrs K (no relation) who had a special day yesterday and whose young man included another version of the same song in a mixtape of his own for her. 

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

The Georgetown Groove

I am in the early stages of planning a musical tour of South America as a belated follow up to the tour of the EU we did in 2020. It will be a while yet because there are quite a few gaps to fill first. While I have loads of options to choose from for countries such as Brazil, Colombia and Peru the opposite is true for the likes of Paraguay and Surinam.

Research has started, though, which is how I discovered a truly fantastic Guyanese album that is too good to hold back and more than deserving of a post of its own. 

It is called "Fighting For Survival" and it was released in 1981 by the Yoruba Singers, a Guyanese band that formed in 1971 and are still going strong. The blurb describes their sound as "a heavy mix of calypso, jazzy funk, reggae and afrobeat", which sounds right to me. You can pick up a digital copy of the album on Bandcamp for the scandalously cheap sum of $7, and I strongly encourage you to do so. 

Here are a couple of tracks to whet your appetite, although any two of the others would have done the trick just as well.

"Frustration" - Yoruba Singers

"Me, Selwyn and Buddy Clyde" - Yoruba Singers

And here are the lads (and lass) in 2014. 


A sad story. If only the long grass hadn't gone blabbing its mouth off things might have turned out very differently. Its no better than that whispering grass.
 

Monday, 25 April 2022

Satisfaction Guaranteed

On Friday we featured tracks from a couple of Mike Brooks albums that were reissued by Burning Sounds a few years ago. Mike was one of a number of less well known reggae performers from the 1970s and 1980s included in that series of reissues. One of the others was Well Pleased And Satisfied - essentially a gentleman called Jerry Baxter backed by the Revolutionaries.

I had never heard of Well Pleased And Satisfied (or WPS as I'm going to call them to save on typing) until I picked up a copy of the excellent "Can't Stop The Dread" compilation on the Doctor Bird label recently. That includes some 12" remixes of WPS singles, which I enjoyed so much I decided to track down more of their stuff. I'm glad I did.

The reissue includes two WPS albums on one CD, "Give Thanks & Praise" (1978) and "Love Train" (1979). Together they left me feeling both WP and S, which is all you can ask for really. Here is one track from each album.

"Chat Chat" - Well Pleased And Satisfied

"West Man Rock" - Well Pleased And Satisfied

The "Love Train" of the second album is nothing to do with the O'Jays hit of the same name, but the level of S provided is worthy of their Philly friends Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes.

Friday, 22 April 2022

The Good Brooks

Mike Brooks is one of those reggae stalwarts who are highly respected by the fans but whose name mean little or nothing to the wider public. He has been active as a singer, producer and occasional label owner since the early 1970s, first in Jamaica and latterly in the UK.

Mike is still going strong. His latest single, "I'm A Superstar", came out a couple of months ago and he is sounding as good as ever. The new single does not seem to be on Bandcamp but plenty of his other recordings are including "Mother Earth" which came out last year. 

Back in 2017 the Burning Sounds label reissued what are probably Mike's two best known albums in the old 'two albums on one CD' format - "What A Gathering" (1976) and "One Love" (1983). It is worth tracking down if you can. Here is a track from each to whet your appetite.

"What A Gathering" - Mike Brooks

"Lovers Street" - Mike Brooks

Ten years ago Mike released a single addressed to the UK's then Prime Minister. That one was pretty dreadful and we have an even worse one now, meaning sadly that Mike's message is even more relevant now.

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

In The Land Of Grey And Skink

On Monday we promised you a guest post by George and here he is, with his unique take on current affairs.

No tales of goats today, but instead, reptiles and amphibians. The latest cat to join our ranks, and the smallest, lives at the farm. She is not very big, so she only catches very small creatures, such as butterflies and grasshoppers. And what I initially thought were very small snakes. But on rescuing them, I noticed feet on them.  

So not snakes, but skinks, and the species native to these parts is Chalcides bedriagai, commonly known as Bedriaga's skink.  They are only found in Iberia, and hardly at all in northern Spain. And hardly at all in and around our farm (nowhere near northern Spain)

Told you it looks like a snake. And having wanted to shoehorn skink into these pages I then set about looking for relevant music. There’s a band called The Skinks. They sound a bit like Iron Maiden meets The Sweet, and not in a good way. And there is  a song called Skink Song. I bought the album, "Far And Familiar", by Colamo.

"Skink Song" - Colamo

And I would not want to waste the opportunity to give you a relevant prog track, and joy of joy King Crimson provide that, referencing a shingleback skink in the track "Neurotica":

"Neurotica" - King Crimson

The shingleback has a blue tongue. It is found in Australia.

And back to Iberia, and the accordionist Pascuala Ilabaca, from Girona. I have no idea if she has an interest in skinks, but I have an interest in her. That sounds a bit pervy. What I mean is she performing at the nearby World Music Festival in July, and if the song below is anything to by, this could be a very good thing:

 

What about the amphibians mentioned at the top? After a few days of much needed rain here a couple of weeks ago, it seemed to stir the local amphibians into action. On consecutive days my partner found a toad and then a frog swimming about in one of our wells. 

I was not unduly concerned about there being frog or toad pee in the water (we don’t drink the water) but nevertheless the hoppers were scooped out and relocated to the bottom of the farm. Look, it could have been worse, we could have flown them to Rwanda.

And why the Bedriaga’s skink? It is named after the famous Russian herpetologist Jacques von Bedriaga (not a very Russian-sounding name, is it?)

And there it ends. I'm still puzzling over why George mentions that these skinks aren't common in Northern Spain when he doesn't live in Northern Spain. And is the whole thing meant to be an elaborate allegory about Russians being where they shouldn't be? 

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. What passes for normal service round here will resume on Friday.

Monday, 18 April 2022

And The Winner Is...

On Friday I set you a little quiz, asking you to identify the link between Red Lorry Yellow Lorry and Clint Eastwood's "I Talk To The Trees". The correct answer was "Paint Your Wagon", as it is the name of both the film in which Clint sings and the Lorries' second album.   

The stalwart George was the only person to enter the quiz and he didn't know the answer, but he went to the effort of finding a couple of other fairly tortuous links so he's getting the prize anyway. The prize is getting a post dedicated to him, and this is it.

When I contacted George to tell him the good news I took the liberty of asking whether he would be willing to grace these pages with one of his distinctive guest posts. I'm delighted to say he has agreed to do so just as soon as the burdensome task of goat herding allows. Its a tough and sometimes lonely life.

By extraordinary coincidence, today music selections start with a tale of a man called George and his goat. The second song title is the English equivalent of Duque das Cabras, which is how the awestruck Portuguese villagers refer to our George, while the video tells the absolutely true story of how he met his other half.

"My Little Goat And Me" - George Formby

"Goatlord" - Goat  

Friday, 15 April 2022

Keep On Truckin'

Leeds in the late 1970s and early 1980s was a hotbed of post-punk and gothic rock. Well we call it that now. At the time my late grandmother called it a dreadful racket, because there were no proper tunes and it was all just bang, bang, bang.  

One of the many bands to emerge from the fetid swamps of the Leeds scene were Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, who had a string of hits on the NME indie charts between 1982 and 1989. I can't claim to have been one of their most devoted fans but they had their moments. Here are two of them.

"Walking On Your Hands" - Red Lorry Yellow Lorry

"Hollow Eyes" - Red Lorry Yellow Lorry

Special prize for the first person to identify the link to the video.


In unrelated news, earlier in the week we went to the delayed launch party for Bas Jan's "Baby U Know" album, which I have raved about here before. It was an excellent show and if you get the chance to see them I would recommend it. And you should buy the album of course.

 

Happy Easter, folks. Go easy on the eggs.

Wednesday, 13 April 2022

The Franco 5

We were in Poland on Monday, but we have traveled in a south-westerly direction to Italy - specifically Naples, where we find two men called Francesco, or Franco for short. Although both of them are locals they have surnames that suggest they are from elsewhere in Italy, Romano and Calabrese. It is most confusing.

Back in the mid 1960s they decided to form a singing duo by the name of Franco IV e Franco I. I don't know which Franco was which or what happened to Francos II and III, if they ever existed. Again, it is most confusing.

Anyway they had a big hit in 1968 with "Ho Scritto T'Amo Sulla Sabbia" ("I Wrote I Love You In The Sand"), after which they made a few more records before Franco R gave it all up to study the science of radiation protection. Here are two of the few more, both from 1970.

"Appuntamento Ore 9" - Franco IV e Franco I

"Oggi è Nato Il Redentor" - Franco IV e Franco I

And with that it is time to say goodnight to Napoli.

Monday, 11 April 2022

With Love From Łódź

What better way to start the week that with a funky 1970s Polish radio orchestra. That's a rhetorical question, so don't bother writing in asking for something else because you won't get it.

A couple of years ago some bright spark decided to have a rummage around in the Polish Radio archives in Łódź, where they rediscovered the forgotten works of Henryk Debich and the Orkiestra Polskiego Radia i TV w Łodzi. Wowed by what they heard they have started to share it with a grateful world.

The series of reissues started with "City 1978", a compilation of Henryk and the gang's recordings from that year. Some are proper funky, others are more in the smooth style of Barry White - what you might perhaps call the Łódź Unlimited Orchestra. Here are a couple from their funkier side.

"Z Pustego w Próżne" - Henryk Debich & Orkiestra Polskiego Radia i TV w Łodzi

"Obsydian" - Henryk Debich & Orkiestra Polskiego Radia i TV w Łodzi

On the subject of Barry White and Love Unlimited Orchestra...  

Friday, 8 April 2022

Furry Friday

The Psychedelic Furs' self-titled debut album came out 42 years ago last month. I loved it then and I love it now.  

Sometimes that is all there is to say. Have a good weekend.

"Pulse" - The Psychedelic Furs

"We Love You" -  The Psychedelic Furs

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

An Afternoon With Josephine

Last Sunday afternoon I went to see Josephine Foster at hipster hangout Cafe Oto in Dalston. The concert started at 2.30pm and very civilized it was too - have a nice cup of coffee, stroke my imaginary beard while listening to some pleasant sounds and be home in plenty of time for tea.

Josephine has a voice that is probably best described as distinctive. It took me a long time to acquire the taste, and I still have the odd twinge of buyers' remorse when she is at her warbliest, but in the right setting it can be a thing of beauty.

Here is the title track from 2012's "Blood Rushing" - one of the highlight's of Sunday's set - and a track from 2018's "Faithful Fairy Harmony". Both of those albums and many more are available from her Bandcamp site.

"Blood Rushing" - Josephine Foster

"Challenger" - Josephine Foster

Monday, 4 April 2022

Mighty Diamonds RIP

We lost two members of the Mighty Diamonds last week. Lead singer Donald 'Tabby' Shaw was killed in a drive-by shooting on Tuesday, and then on Friday Fitzroy 'Bunny' Simpson lost a long battle with diabetes. This leaves Lloyd 'Judge' Ferguson as the only surviving member, and all of a sudden one of the great vocal trios is reduced down to one. 

My introduction to the Mighty Diamonds was their sublime version of The Stylistics' "Country Living", which remains one of my all time favourite summer sounds. Here it is with a couple of other tracks that are sadly all too appropriate. RIP Mr Shaw. RIP Mr Simpson.

"Country Living" - Mighty Diamonds

"Why Me Black Brother Why?" - Mighty Diamonds

"Babylon Is Dangerous" - Mighty Diamonds

Inexplicably there are virtually no clips of Mighty Diamonds on YouTube, but I did manage to find this live set from 2018.

Friday, 1 April 2022

A Bit Of Africa In Antwerp

Next up from the bargain bins of Belgium is "The King Is Among Us", the 2003 album by Belgian Afrobeat Association.

Apart from the limited information on the CD itself I have been able to find out very little about them. They are/were based in Antwerp, there are/were over 20 of them plus a guest piccolo player, and this appears to be the only album of which the Internet is aware. It's not bad, if a bit jazzy at times, and I imagine they are/were a decent live act.

"Babalu Aye" -  Belgian Afrobeat Association

"Afroporn" -  Belgian Afrobeat Association

Also based in Belgium are the predominantly Tuareg group Kel Assouf. I was lucky enough to see them live six years ago while on a work trip to Brussels and they were excellent. So here's something from that very gig to take you into the weekend. 

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

TC Time

Well, Wallonia turned out to be very nice indeed, with unexpectedly good weather to go with the expectedly good food and beer. I would particularly recommend a visit to scenic Dinant if you are in the area. 

I didn't pick up much Belgian music because CDs are rather pricy there, with most new ones being €18-20 or more. But some scouring of the discount racks and second-hand shops of Namur unearthed a couple of bargains. 

One of these was a best of TC Matic, one of Belgium's leading post-punk-funk ensembles. They were active between 1980 and 1986 and had very limited commercial success at the time, with only their debut single "Oh La La La" bothering the Belgian charts at all. The band developed a bit of a reputation in other parts of Europe though, and hung out with the likes of PiL and Simple Minds, and I think their better stuff has stood the test of time pretty well.   

"Putain Putain" - TC Matic

"Middle Class And Blue Eyes" - TC Matic

Apart from the scenery, the other thing that the town of Dinant is best know for is being the birthplace of one Adolphe Sax. You can visit his childhood home and admire the many giant saxophone sculptures that adorn the town. In tribute to Mr Sax, here is the thing that on its own justified his life's work.

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Muluqen Magic

Just a quick one today as I'm getting myself ready for my first overseas work trip in two years starting early tomorrow. Back in the time of The Great Before I would have considered three days work in Brussels to be fairly routine, but now its a source of great excitement.

I'll leave you with the random combination of some solid slabs of 1970s Ethiopian soul courtesy of the mighty Muluqen Mellesse and some videos from the vibrant 1980s Belgian scene. I'm staying on in Belgium for a few days to do some sightseeing down south in Wallonia, and hopefully will return with some local musical treats for you all. See you in a week or so.

"Alagegnhwatem" - Muluqen Messesse

"Yemendjar Shega" - Muluqen Messesse

Sunday, 20 March 2022

Single Song Sunday

It is a bit of a scaled down Single Song Sunday today. Please don't think that shows lack of enthusiasm or dedication on my part. It is just that, compared to the sort of song we normally feature in this slot, there are not that many versions of this one knocking about.

"My Rainbow Valley" was first released by Robert Knight in 1967, but the most successful version is the one by Love Affair that went to No. 5 in the UK the following year. Maybe it was dropping the "My" that did the trick. Having previously taken their cover version of Robert's "Everlasting Love" to the top of the UK charts, they obviously decided to stick with a winning formula.

What else is there? Why, a jangly 1980s version, a 1969 Icelandic cover which is a pretty straight copy of the Love Affair arrangement, and of course the Mandatory Reggae Version. There is also a less than brilliant 1980s version from Finland in the videos.  

"My Rainbow Valley" - Robert Knight

"Rainbow Valley" - Love Affair

"My Rainbow Valley" - Dolly Mixture

"Í Draumalandi" - Björgvin Halldórsson

"Rainbow Valley" - The Heptones

Friday, 18 March 2022

Freak Folk Friday

A track from "II" by Espers came up on the old random shuffle the other day and it prompted me to listen to the whole album for the first time in years. I had forgotten how good it is. Don't make the same mistake, folks.

"Moon Occults The Sun" - Espers

"Dead King" - Espers

Wednesday, 16 March 2022

Tig Time

Some old timey R 'n B for you today from Jimmy Tig & The Rounders. 

Jimmy Tig (James Tigner Jr as his dear old Mum knew him) was a singer, drummer and bandleader who was born in Atlanta in 1938 and sadly died there just under 70 years later. Keeping it in the family, after his own recording career ended in 1970 he started producing and writing for his son Eric, who apparently had a single out on Hi Records when he was a mere seven years old. 

Although they never had much commercial success, The Rounders were obviously a good training ground for up and coming performers as the members included Bobby Purify and Mighty Sam McClain at one point or another.

"Smalltown Girl" - Jimmy Tig & The Rounders

"Foolish Lover" - Jimmy Tig & The Rounders

I could not find any video clips of either Tig Senior or Junior, so here's the Mighty Sam McClain instead.

Monday, 14 March 2022

X-Rayted

Another Monday, another reggae compilation. I might have to make this the last one otherwise it might turn into a "feature" and I don't need the stress that goes with that. 

Anyway this time out it is "X-Ray Music", a dub compilation released on the Blood and Fire label in 1999. I found the CD in a 50p box with no sleeve and no track listing on the CD itself, but when I saw the Blood and Fire logo I knew it would be a good buy. And so it proved.

Many of the big names are there - Tubby, Jammy, Scientist and Scratch - but I have chosen a couple of lesser lights for your enlightenment and entertainment today.

"Moses Dub" - JoJo Hookim

"Cool This Dub" - Phillip Smart

Back when the tracks on "X-Ray Music" were recorded Jammy was a mere Prince. He has long since been crowned a king, rightly so, and he has a new album out this Friday. It is called "King Jammy Destroys The Virus With Dub" and it comprises new takes on old tracks. I was sent a couple of them in my capacity as international tastemaker and I'm very pleased to report he is sounding as good as ever. 

You can order a copy of the album here and elsewhere, and the video for lead track "Closed Border Dub" premieres on YouTube on Friday to coincide with the album release. And here is an hour-long documentary about the great man from 2006 to help keep you occupied while you are waiting:

Friday, 11 March 2022

Outlaw Country

I was rooting around in the "10 CDs for £5" box in my local second-hand record shop the other week when I came across "Tenderheart" by Sam Outlaw. Subsequent research revealed it made No. 3 in the UK country charts when it came out in 2017, but it had passed me by at the time (as had the fact there is a UK country chart to be honest). Be that as it may, I gave it a go. 

Mr Outlaw - not his birth name, you will be surprised to learn - hails from Southern California and describes his style as "SoCal country". It's not traditional country by any means and there is a definite California soft rock vibe in places - one track even uses the phrase "peaceful easy feeling" - but its a lot closer to the real thing than the vast majority of the drivel they try to pass off as country these days. 

Here's a couple of my favourite tracks on "Tenderheart". You can find it and all of Sam's other releases on Bandcamp should you be so inclined.

"She's Playing Hard To Get (Rid Of)" - Sam Outlaw

"Look At You Now" - Sam Outlaw

 Now here's a proper outlaw for you.

Wednesday, 9 March 2022

Empty Rooms

I had been really looking forward to the weekend just past. Me and my friend Mr F had tickets to see Wyndow (the duo featuring ex-Trembling Bells singer Lavinia Blackwall) on Saturday and the launch for the new Bas Jan album, with support from Yama Warashi,on Monday. 

I have plugged Wyndow and Bas Jan's current albums here previously - click on their names to find them on Bandcamp. Yama Warsahi also has a new album coming out at the end of May. It is called "Crispy Moon" - the moon is a recurring theme in her album titles - and you can pre-order it from Bandcamp (and pick up her back catalogue while you're there). She was a new name to me but I like what I've heard so far.

In an attempt to entice you shell out your hard-earned cash on one or more albums, here is a track from each of their previous albums. These are Bas Jan's "Yes I Jan" and Yama's "Boiled Moon", both from 2018 and, as Wyndow have no earlier album's, Lavinia Blackwall's  2020 solo album "Muggington Lane End".

"Wilderness" - Bas Jan

"Parallelogram" - Yama Warashi

"Troublemakers" - Lavinia Blackwall

Here's some more Yama for you. I disagree strongly will the ill-founded assertions of that Carl Carlton. She is no way a bad mama, Yama, quite the opposite in fact.

Monday, 7 March 2022

Extended Sounds To Start The Week

I am hoping the title of this post will be enough to put Swiss Adam and The Swede off the scent so they don't realise this is a blatant rip-off of their "Monday's Long Song" features.  

I have raved here before about the Sahel Sounds label and its fantastic catalogue of recordings from the Sahel region. One of the label's many highlights is the self-titled album by Super Onze. Recorded in Northern Mali in the early 1990s, it contains 47 minutes of "improvised praise for Yehia the Holy Man" (according to the description on Bandcamp). 

There are no song titles, it is just divided into Side A and Side B as on the original cassette release. I have picked Side B for no other reason than it is marginally the longer of the two, but really you should listen to the whole thing all the way through.

"Side B" - Super Onze

"Onze", as you polyglots know, is French for "eleven". Here's another Super XI.

Friday, 4 March 2022

Clay's Pipes

Some vintage Texan soul for you to round out the week, courtesy of the late Clay Hammond. Here we have both sides of a single he released in 1969. 

You find them both on a Kent compilation originally called "Taking His Time" which was later combined with some Z.Z. Hill tracks and renamed "Southern Soul Brothers". I think the later version of the compilation is still generally available.

"I'm Gonna Be Sweeter" - Clay Hammond

"The Good Side Of My Girl" - Clay Hammond

 And here's a little something from the other Southern Soul Brother

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

Splinters Of Sound

Some Yoko Ono for you today. Don't panic, its from the commercial end of her repertoire (or what passes for commercial for Yoko). Both tracks are from 1973's "Approximately Infinite Universe" album.

"Catman (The Rosies Are Coming)" - Yoko Ono

"I Felt Like Smashing My Face In A Clear Glass Window" - Yoko Ono

I wonder if Yoko smashing windows was one of the sounds of breaking glass that Nick Lowe liked? If they had met, fallen in love and married in some alternative infinite universe she might have been called Yoko Ono-Lowe or even just Yoko Lowe. It feels like a missed opportunity.

Just be grateful I dropped the bit about them going on honeymoon in the Caribbean so Nick could sing "Yoko Lowe" to the tune of "Kokomo".


Monday, 28 February 2022

A Pottinger Potpourri

I started off last week by badgering you all to go out and buy a reggae compilation album and I'm doing the same this week.

The album is called "Can't Stop The Dread" and it is a collection of 35 Sonia Pottinger productions from the mid to late 1970s, including some wicked 12" mixes. It was released in 2020 on Doctor Bird, Cherry Red's reggae subsidiary, and at £12 for the CD it is an absolute bargain. There are some even cheaper download versions out there as well. 

As with "Foundation Come Again" last week there is barely a duff track on there so I was spoilt for choice when deciding which tracks to share. I have opted to pass over the bigger names like I Roy, Delroy Wilson and Jackie Edwards - although you really need to check out the 12" version of Jackie's "Get Up" - and instead shine a light on some of the less well known artistes.

"Sufferer's Child" - Delroy Denton & The Silvertones

"King Of Kings" - Mind, Body & Soul

"Badness (No Pay)" - Ken Quatty

One of the many highlights is Delroy Wilson's version of The Chi-Lites' wonderful "There Will Never Be Any Peace (Until God Is Seated At The Conference Table)" - although even God would have has work cut out at the moment, sad to say. I could not find any clips of The Chi-Lites but the Blind Boys of Alabama aren't a bad substitute.

Friday, 25 February 2022

Donner Und Blitzen

Here's the Blitzen (Trapper). Both tracks come from their self-released 2004 album "Field Rexx".

"Asleep For Days" - Blitzen Trapper

"40 Stripes" - Blitzen Trapper

And here's the Donner. Well, sort of. I had intended to stick a live clip of Ral Donner here but there don't seem to be any on YouTube, so here are a few Donnas for you instead.

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

Today's Sounds Today

We mostly do oldies on here, but every now and then I try to point you in the direction of things that are shiny and new. That's what we'll be doing today. 

Some of these albums I bought, the others are just a few of the great freebies I get sent in my capacity as a tastemaker and surfer of the zeitgeist, Many thanks to all the lovely people out there in Promoland for keeping me in touch with what is going on in the world.

I had planned to use only the medium of video in this post, but one of the artists I want to tip you off to doesn't appear to have any videos out, so audio it will have to be. 

The gent in question is Kyle Morgan and his album is called "Younger At Most Everything". It comes out on Friday but you can pre-order it on Bandcamp now if you are too impatient to wait a whole two days. To paraphrase Donny & Marie Osmond, its a little bit country and a little bit chamber pop, and very good too.

"Deer In The Pines" - Kyle Morgan

On to the videos. We will start with the wonderful Erin Rae, whose new album "Lighten Up" came out a few weeks ago. You can download it for a bargain $7 on Bandcamp although I would encourage you to splash out on a physical copy. Sonically the album is more varied than her earlier records - there is even a track on which it sounds like she's being backed by Chicory Tip - but her voice is as pure and clean as ever.

I have been lucky enough to see Erin play in the Slaughtered Lamb pub in London, a venue where I have also seen Serafina Steer play with just her harp for accompaniment. She has now set the harp aside for a bit and formed a band, Bas Jan, who I'm off to see next month. Their new album "Baby U Know" is out now and is a cracker. It reminds me a bit of the Raincoats of yore. Needless to say you can find that on Bandcamp as well.

While you are on Bandcamp you should also check out "Multiverse" by Reptaliens, out now, and "Precious Things" by Allegra Krieger, out on 4 March but available for pre-order. Both of them are well worth a listen.

Last but not least is "Impermanence", the new album by the Sheffield-based post-rock powerhouse that is Gilmore Trail. It is not a style of music I normally listen to, to be honest, but I saw them play live last weekend and they were very good. Judging by the crowd's response, people who like this sort of thing like them a lot. Also on Bandcamp of course. 

Now take it away, YouTube!

Monday, 21 February 2022

Several Slices Of Toast

Over the last few days I have been listening almost continuously to a fantastic album that came out in 2013 but which I have only recently discovered.

The album is called "Foundation Come Again" and you can pick up a copy at the Dub Club label Bandcamp page. They got Tippa Lee, himself a top notch DJ back in the day, to round up all the old Jamaican toasters from the 1970s and 1980s he could find and record new material with them. A Buena Vista Social Club of the DJ scene if you like.

There are twenty tracks on the album and not a duff one amongst them. The line-up reads like a Who's Who of toasters with the likes of I Roy, King Stitt, Dillinger, Trinity and Prince Jazzbo pitching up and taking a turn. There are also a few names that were entirely new to me, like Robert Mystic. 

In "Ride Riddim" it also includes what I think may probably be the final recording of Errol Scorcher, who passed away in 2012. He has a special place in my heart as it was through him I discovered the Jamaican DJ sound. 

I was an impressionably teenager back in 1980 when I found the 12" of his classic "Roach In De Corner" on a market stall. Intrigued by the name I bought it, took it home and put it straight on the turntable. 

It was like nothing I had ever heard before and opened my mind to all sorts of magical sounds. I've played it here a couple of times before but you can't have too much of a good thing.

"Satta" - Robert Mystic

"Hear Me Now Star" - Papa Kojak 

"Ride Riddim" - Errol Scorcher

"Roach In De Corner" - Errol Scorcher

Here are a few more of the fellows who answered the "Foundation Come Again" call.

Friday, 18 February 2022

Solid Silva

Some mellow 1980s pop from Angola to round off the week, courtesy of Mário Rui Silva. 

If his name sounds familiar it may because I included a track of his in a post a couple of years ago containing highlights of  "Angola Saudade 60-70", a box set I acquired on a visit to Aviero (I believe stalwart reader George knows the shop). 

Or it could be because you have already picked up your copy of  "Stories From Another Time 1982-1988", a compilation of his 1980s work released last year on Time Capsule Records. If you haven't then you might want to head over to Bandcamp and do so now.

Today's selections both come from "Stories From Another Time". Take it away, Mário, but gently.

"Kazum-Zum-Zum" - Mário Rui Silva

"Mgeni" - Mário Rui Silva

Here's a clip of Mário live in London last year. Unfortunately I did not know at the time that this gig was taking place otherwise I would have been down there like a shot. Maybe next time.

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

The Ayes Have It

Yeah Yeah Noh, eh? Whatever happened to them?

All together now: "Never swallow spit off another person less you know them pretty well. Bias Binding!" 

"Bias Binding" - Yeah Yeah Noh

"Beware The Weakling Lines" - Yeah Yeah Noh

For those of you interested in the answer to my rhetorical question, this is what happened to them...

Monday, 14 February 2022

Mine Eyes Can See The Glory

I had cataract surgery last week. It is a bit of a rite of passage for us old farts. I have effectively been blind in one eye for the last twelve months so it is good to be able to see properly again.

Today's selection of songs start with where I was and end where I am now. This post is dedicated to all the lovely folks at Moorfields Eye Hospital for looking after me so well - especially the poor nurse who politely tolerated me making racing car noises while she wheeled me round to the recovery ward.

The Maripool track came out last year and I would encourage you to go to her Bandcamp page and buy a copy. While you're there why not also get her appropriately named EP "I See Everything I Know Nothing".

"Blindness" - Maripool

"Doctor My Eyes" - The Jackson 5

"I Saw The Light" - The Blind Boys of Alabama

"Triple Vision" - Doctors of Madness

Thursday, 10 February 2022

MIsery Time With The Maphises

Joe and Rose Lee Maphis a.k.a. Mr & Mrs Country Music were one of the finest husband and wife duos in country circles back in the 1950s and 1960s. Their best known song is probably "Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (and Loud, Loud Music)", subsequently covered by the Flying Burrito Brothers, Dwight Yoakum and many more.

Fortunately their own married life was much happier than the one that is depicted in today's songs, and they were together until Joe's death in 1986. Rose Lee outlived him by 35 years, sadly leaving us late last year at the age of 98.

Joe had a parallel career as a picker for hire, working with the likes of Merle Travis, Johnny Burnette and Ricky Nelson to name but a few. His distinctive double-necked guitar can be found in the Country Music Hall of Fame, where Rose Lee worked as a greeter for many years.

"The Parting Of The Ways" - Joe & Rose Lee Maphis

"Dream House For Sale" - Joe & Rose Lee Maphis

Tuesday, 8 February 2022

Licks From The Kiks

If you haven't yet caught up with Japanese psychsters (is there such a word?) Kikagaku Moyo then you had better get a move on. They have recently announced that they will be disbanding at the end of the year after a farewell tour.

We have one track from each of their two most recent albums for you - "House In The Tall Grass" (2016) and "Masana Temples" (2018). Both are available on Bandcamp, as is a collaboration with Ryley Walker from last year. You can pay what you like for that and you get two tracks both of which are over 18 minutes long. Ideal for all you Monday morning types.

"Green Sugar" - Kikagaku Moyo

"Nazo Nazo" - Kikagaku Moyo

We'll leave you with some groovy Japanese sounds from the 70s.

Sunday, 6 February 2022

Single Song Sunday

Its our first Single Song Sunday of the year and you can thank/blame (delete as applicable) Charity Chic for this one. A couple of weeks back he featured Gene Clark's version of the Gordon Lightfoot standard "If You Could Read My Mind" and a light bulb switched on in my head.

There are hundreds of versions out there but 90% of them sound pretty much the same and most of those that don't sound the same are fairly ropey. So I don't think this is one of the strongest entries in the series. But its OK.  

We start with my two favourite versions - the original and Johnny Cash - followed by a couple of country-tinged attempts, some supper club jazz from Salena Jones and then Viola Wills' disco version which was a minor hit in 1980. 

We then go on a brief European detour, calling in at Sweden and the Czech Republic, before returning to 1980 with a high school choir from Ontario (don't ask).

As is traditional we round things off with a Mandatory Reggae Version. Its barely even reggae to be honest, being a pretty straight cover of the Viola Wills version, but its the only one I could find. Pam Hall has made many fine records over the years but sadly this isn't one of them.

"If You Could Read My Mind" - Gordon Lightfoot

"If You Could Read My Mind" - Johnny Cash

"If You Could Read My Mind" - Jeannie C. Riley

"If You Could Read My Mind" - Jesse Dayton

"If You Could Read My Mind" - Salena Jones

"If You Could Read My Mind" - Viola Wills

"Tänk Om Du Kunde Läsa Mina Tankar" - Siw Malmkvist 

"Tím Víc Tě Mám Rád" - Karel Zich

"If You Could Read My Mind" - Mitchell District High School Glee Club

"If You Could Read My Mind" - Pam Hall

Friday, 4 February 2022

The Butterfly Of Love

Some melodic makossa for you today courtesy of Papillon and his pizza-based band. Papillon hails from Cameroon and you can learn more about him at the very informative Makossa Original blog.

Both today's selections come from the album "Moi Je L'Aime". According to the good folks at Makossa Original it came out in 1996, but I have also seen the release date given as 1998 and 2003 elsewhere. Take your pick.

"Ndolo Na Nika" - Papillon & Son Orchestre Pizza Dance

"Iyo" - Papillon & Son Orchestre Pizza Dance

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Visions Of Plenty

Since 2008 February has officially been 'Reggae Month' in Jamaica, which gives me the perfect excuse to play you a bit of reggae (not that I really need an excuse).

There is no better way to mark the occasion than with the great Dennis Brown, who were he still with us would have turned 65 yesterday. Both tracks come from his excellent 1978 album "Visions of Dennis Brown".

"Concrete Castle King" - Dennis Brown

"Milk And Honey" - Dennis Brown

For those of you who have the time and inclination, here is an hour of the Great Man live.

 

And to round things off here's Kate Campbell with the song I nicked the title of the post from.

Monday, 31 January 2022

A Bunch Of Dicks

Today's first selection is a song named after a corrupt US President sung by a group named after a criminal gang. In the second selection, Dick Gaughan relates a tale of incompetent and catastrophic leadership. The title of the third selection sort of speaks for itself.

Today's post is dedicated to the UK Government. Yes indeed! 

"Tricky Dick" - The Train Robbers

"Waist Deep In The Big Muddy" - Dick Gaughan

"No Clue" - Dick Aven

The Dick Aven track is on his album "It All Started In The Garden" which came out just over 12 months ago. You can nab a copy at his Bandcamp page, together with his brand new album "Spin So Long". 

And now, some more Dicks. 

Friday, 28 January 2022

Gil's Free Will

At the risk of stealing Charity Chic's schtick - try saying that without your teeth in - here is another of the 50p CDs I picked up in my local second-hand record shop the other week.

"Ghetto Style" is a 1990s compilation of early Gil Scott-Heron material which includes pretty much all of his second and third albums, "Pieces Of A Man" (1971) and "Free Will" (1972). I already have "Pieces Of A Man" - a truly exceptional record - but it was well worth the 50p to get "Free Will". Here are a couple of tracks from that. 

"Free Will" - Gil Scott-Heron

"Did You Hear What They Said?" - Gil Scott-Heron

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

The Calvin Collection

My local second-hand record shop had one of its occasional 10 CDs for £5 offers going when I popped in  last week, so obviously I came away with 10 CDs. A fair few of them were by acts I had never heard of but you have to take a punt at that price.

One of the unknowns were an outfit called Dub Narcotic Sound System whose 1995 EP "Industrial Breakdown" was nestling in a corner of the cardboard box. Some cursory research revealed that the Dubs (or the Narrotics?) were led by Calvin Johnson, former head honcho of Beat Happening. Here is one from each of his ensembles.  

"Run Silent Run Deep" - Dub Narcotic Sound System

"Sea Hunt" - Beat Happening

It transpires that Calvin was also involved in a band called The Go Team, but not this one (they didn't have the all-important "!").

Monday, 24 January 2022

It's Off To Work We Go

Today we have songs from four men each named after one of the Seven Dwarfs. Apologies to Grumpy, Sneezy and Dopey for not giving you each a song of your own, but I have spoken to Zoot and they assure me you are the three fellows they are singing about. That sounds a bit unlikely in Grumpy's case to be honest, but let's not get into that.

"Martha Hardin" - Sleepy John Estes

"Black Smoke" - Bashful Brother Oswald

"Door Mat Blues" - Doc Sausage & His Mad Lads

"Going Down To See Bessie" - Happy & Artie Traum

"Three Jolly Little Dwarfs" - Zoot

Friday, 21 January 2022

Turkish Titan Time

One of my favourite record labels is Turkofon, a German based label dedicated to reissuing vintage Turkish psych, prog and pop albums, mostly from the 1970s. Their Bandcamp site is an absolute treasure trove, and as if the quality wasn't enough to recommend them most of the albums are available to download for £3-4.

One of the shiniest jewels in their heavily bejeweled crown is "Nedir Ne Degildir?", the 1976 album by Edip Akbayram & Dostlar. Blast your ears off to these two tracks, then when you have reattached them go off and buy the album. And then lots of other albums as well.

"Mehmet Emmi" - Edip Akbayram & Dostlar

"Ayrilik" - Edip Akbayram & Dostlar

From Edip to Edison. This is what appears alphabetically on my iTunes after "Mehmet Emmi". Apparently its now causing a sensation on TikTok. I don't know what that means.  

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.