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Monday 30 May 2022

Gone For A Burton

One of my favourite albums of 2020 was "I Can Go With You" by Sam Burton. I plugged it at the time it came out and am doing so again now because I have been listening to it quite a bit recently. It seems to suit my current mood.

"I Can Go With You" came out on the esteemed Tompkins Square label and you can pick up a digital copy from their Bandcamp site. 

The Tompkins Square blurb says that Sam's sound recalls Roy Orbison, which is correct, but for me some of the arrangements are also slightly reminiscent of Nick Drake and there is a touch of John Denver on some of his vocals. Don't let that last reference put you off.  

If you look carefully while you are on Bandcamp you can also find some of Sam's earlier self-produced recordings on the Chthonic Records site. This one is probably the pick of the bunch, but as they are all name your own price why not snap up the others as well?

"I Can Go With You" - Sam Burton

"I Am No Moon" - Sam Burton

There are a couple of videos out there in YouTubeland as well, although I strongly suspect that this is not the same Sam Burton...

Friday 27 May 2022

Real Real Gomm

Some of our older readers may remember Mr Ian Gomm. You know, was a member of Brinsley Schwarz, topped the prestigious NME best rhythm guitarist poll in 1971, co-wrote "Cruel To Be Kind", put out a few solo albums, was last heard of about ten years ago when he teamed up with Jeb Loy Nichols for an album, that sort of thing.

Ian had a Top 20 hit in the States way back in 1979 with "Hold On". That single was taken from his album "Summer Holiday". Here are a couple of other tracks from the same album.

"Airplane" - Ian Gomm

"That's The Way I Rock 'n Roll" - Ian Gomm

At this point regulars will be asking themselves whether they're going to get the Van Morrison song that was appallingly punned on in the post title or the other "Summer Holiday". Fortunately for you lucky people its the former, plus Ian with his hit.

Tuesday 24 May 2022

Cathal Coughlan RIP

I was very saddened to hear the news yesterday that Cathal Coughlan has left us after a long illness. Microdisney are one of my all-time favourite bands and I was lucky enough to see them live in 1987 when they were promoting the brilliant "Crooked Mile" album and again during their brief reunion in 2018. The Fatima Mansions and his solo work were none too shabby either.

RIP Mr Coughlan. Long about now he's heading home...

"Long About Now" - The Fatima Mansions

"Everybody Is Dead" - Microdisney  

"Past" - Microdisney

"Goodbye Sadness" - Cathal Coughlan

Monday 23 May 2022

An Absence Of Abyssinians

Last night I was meant to be seeing the mighty Abyssinians in concert at the Jazz Cafe in Camden, but on Saturday morning we got the news that the concert has been postponed for what is now the fourth time. 

The previous postponements were all lockdown related but on this occasion it was because the UK government failed to process their visas in time. This is evidently happening a lot to artists from the Caribbean and Africa at the moment, to the extent that you suspect that it is not just down to good old-fashioned incompetence.

Anyway, as a consolation for me and a treat for you, here are the lads in action.

"Declaration Of Rights" - The Abyssinians

"Praise Him/ Dub" - The Abyssinians

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