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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.