Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together

•November 10, 2015 • Leave a Comment


Well friends today we heard the sad news that Allen Toussaint has passed. Seems he suffered a heart attack just after coming off stage. I can’t say as it would be what he wanted but having shied away from the limelight for most of his career he’d taken to the road late on and finally got back some of the love he gave. I’m glad to have seen him live a few times, his piano playing was wonderful, his voice more functional than those that usually sang his songs but his warmth came through on stage. Still, it’s for his songwriting and production he’ll be best remembered, an embarrassment of riches voiced by an all star cast of New Orleans musicians. His songs are clean and simple but full of greatness, lyrically, melodically and sonically they have those extra touches of magic that lift them above so much else that was a little generic and make the best of them eternal.

This here is a remarkable film if you care to devote the time to it, featuring three generations of New Orleans Piano players. Tuts Washington is about the least well known and kind of a cantankerous ol’ coot, Fess is a genius, always a joy to hear him play and Toussaint, as ever, the calm gentle guiding prescence. I had the pleasure of attending a screening some twenty odd years ago now at which he gave a short introductory speech and hung around after to shake hands and answer questions. An inspiritaion and an absolute gentleman.



•November 5, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Happy birthday Gram




“It’s like opening your eyes underwater”

•November 4, 2015 • Leave a Comment


Two Pitchfork articles in one day. But this is the one that made me cry.



Hard To Be Human

•November 4, 2015 • Leave a Comment


A nice Pitchfork piece on ‘ the ol’ alt-country switcheroo’.



I Hate People

•October 21, 2015 • Leave a Comment

’bout sums it up right there. Moment I laid on this I knew I was gonna love it and what with Hallowe’en comin’ up an everything a little undead syncopation might be just the necessary to shake off some of that stress. Still, callin’ yerself Reverend Elvis & The Undead Syncopators sets the bar pretty damn high and inevitably they fall short of glory, they call it ‘death country’ and there’s a fair size hunka rockabilly and punk in there too. It’s a little like a lo-fi, low rent, half assed Slim Cessna type of deal. I ain’t makin no promises ’bout it but there’s fun to be had here if’n you don’t get too demanding – they got a lot more stuff on bandcamp, lot of it for free if you want, this here’s the new record and the title track is kind of a gem.

I know, we been gone. It’s ‘cos we hate people. And summer. Or something. Depending on how drunk I gets, there may be more – y’all know how we love us some Hallowe’en and Christmas nonsense. – Over on the facebooks we got a just about daily post of a spooky tune the next week or so – go sign up for notifications on that thing.

here’s yesterday’s one great old clips from ‘The Creature From The Haunted Sea’. That is one crappy monster suit right there, could be a good/easy to make costume though…



Happy Birthday Miss Bobbie Gentry

•July 27, 2015 • Leave a Comment


71, or maybe 73 today and hopefully still hiding out happily in L.A. someplace, though why anyone would even want to go to L.A. is kinda a mystery to us.

Bear Rock ‘n’ Roll

•June 10, 2015 • Leave a Comment


Like the bear on the cover here it seems we’ve woken from hibernation a little on the tetchy side. ‘Let The Good Times Roll’ my lily white ass! What types of lazy old cliché bullshit is that? First track, title track, chugs in like it’s ‘Summertime Blues’ and I keep thinking it’s gonna turn into Jet Boy/Jet Girl but it never quite cuts loose. Second tune ‘Bossy’ was around as a free download last year and is more uptempo, it reminds me somehow of when The Fall play rockabilly, next cliché in line – ‘It’s All Over But The Shouting’. Right off the bat, it’s fair to say, I’m in a pretty bad mood with this record ‘cos it seems on the surface to have retreated from the promise of his last one. Takes a few listens though, leastways with my worn ears and thick skull. JD walks himself a mighty fine line. A lot of young bands who take on rockabilly seem to focus on the primitive energy of it, mix it in with some punk rock and douse the whole thing in tired old imagery. They just can’t stop with all the the hiccuppin’ and hollerin’ y’know? Now, we don’t mind a little of that now and then but this is somehow less in your face while still being pretty rockin’. He ain’t doing no karaoke revival pastiche thing here neither. Or he’s doing it so damn well it don’t matter. Deeply indebted to the 50’s but drawing on a much wider, deeper pool of sounds than straight up retro or punkabilly type acts it slowly reveals itself as really good album, the playing sounds relaxed and natural. Lean back and let her sink in, there are lovely little touches of sound all over the record, the sci-fi organ intro and honking sax on highlight ‘Mother Of Lies’, the delicate, perfect piano and bells on ballad ‘Building Bridges’ and the great handclaps on ‘Head Over Heels’. Which leads us handily to this new video what they done…

mmm hmmm. Rollerskates. We never did get along with rollerskates so good. Getting along good with this record now though. JD and the boys is about to kick off a short UK tour playing venues without any need for skates – here’s the record …



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