•April 16, 2017 • Leave a Comment
I still don’t know entirely what to think about this lil’ venture here but it seems we been remiss about not sharing it with you. It may well be stupid, possibly even slightly offensive some ways but don’t take it too serious and let it bring a smile. Still, we always had a weakness for this type of thing. Hayseed Dixie, Nouvelle Vague, Senor Coconut – genre re-imaginings of familiar, generally alt-rock/pop type hits, y’know the sort of thing. In this case a bunch of loosely ‘Brit pop’ or ‘independent’ tunes done up in country style or thereabouts. The title’s a treat, the name of the band so ‘does what it says on the tin’ I just don’t know what to think about that. By now you’ll probably have decided if this is something you’re prepared to give any of your attention or not. What can I tell you ’bout it? The songs they’ve picked are generally strong enough to stand up to a beating but the new arrangements are more imaginative than a simple shift of tempo and instrumentation. They do a decent job of pushing the original versions firmly into the background, although I don’t think we’ve discovered any definitive new readings here. As it goes with these things some work better than others – Happy Monday’s ‘Wrote For Luck’ is a success, the Mary Chain’s ‘Blues From a Gun’ makes a good country tune although I always thought a rockin’ country-soul Elvis version with the Vegas period Hot Band would be a killer and this don’t quite match those imagined heights. The Mariachi brass on ‘Made Of Stone’ is a nice touch and elsewhere there’s a lot of pretty sweet organ on the record. In the midpoint head to head Blur and Oasis fair so-so. My own feelings to the side a moment, I reckon Oasis probably wrote a tune or two that’d work as country songs, ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Star’ don’t appear to be one of them though. Then again you’d think Teenage Fanclub’s ‘Star Sign’ would be a gift and yet, maybe because it’s too close, it doesn’t work so well. On the other hand, possibly the most obscure tune of the bunch Moose’s ‘This River Never Will Run Dry’ was always a country song from the point the band tried an only partly successful shift from indie art rock to americana, and it works great. So, I think, does the closing ‘Big’ despite being a fairly abstract open ended groove piece in it’s original form – nice going there boys.
I put my pain in a jar and it will be full tomorrow
•April 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment
Friends, how’s yer weekend going? As a little seasonal gift here’s an easter show from back when me ‘n’ Randy used to do the sunday Gospel radio show. Them Gospel shows are about the least listened to of the stuff we put up on the mixcloud so I ain’t put many of ’em there, like folks are scared they’ll catch Jesus or something. Funny ‘cos the Christmas ones is among the most popular. Y’all think eating that chocolate egg is going to make you see the easter bunny? No. Course you don’t. Calm yourselves, have a listen, this is beautiful, and very human, music.
click on the title there fer the download, or have a lissen on the mixcloud. happy easter y’all.
The Five Blind Boys of Alabama ft Clarence Fountain – Must Jesus Bear The Cross Alone
The Radio Four – Blood Done Signed My Name
Arizona Dranes – Crucifixion
Tommy Collins – Jesus keep me nearer the cross
Carl Smith with the Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle – Blood That Stained the Old Rugged Cross
Gillian Welch – By The Mark
The Abyssinian Baptist Gospel Choir – You’ve Got To Bear The Consequence
Swan Silvertones – At The Cross
Sam Cooke With The Soul Stirrers – Touch The Hem Of His Garment
Johnny Cash – Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord)
•April 2, 2017 • Leave a Comment
Good Morning to you all. How’s it be friends? Check this out for beauty, lovely old clip here from 1978 in which the St. James Missionary Baptist Church of Canton sing Wade In the Water. It don’t get a whole lot better than this.
•March 29, 2017 • Leave a Comment
Just a little something to shine a light today, sweet little film about Willie Nelson and his guitar ‘Trigger’ that gave him that unique sound of his. One day in the not so distant future friends Willie will be gone. Not like he ain’t left a few recordings behind but I feel we should make the most of his playing while we can y’know?
•March 19, 2017 • Leave a Comment
Friends, here we got something. more than 20 mins of Rev Gary Davis playing and singing. Don’t believe I ever seen such a thing, don’t suppose I expected it even existed. Sounds silly now but I guess he always seemed a faded figure from a world that’s gone. Man was born all the way back in the late 1800’s y’know? Anyway, turns out the ol’ Reverend walked the earth just about long enough to share it with me an’ Randy finally shuffling off to his reward in 1972. How d’you like them apples? This clip is from 1967, it’s good quality too a mix of spiritual and secular numbers. Not all that much in terms of visual drama it’s kinda like a magical photo that comes to life and plays some tunes for you. Who doesn’t want that right?
•March 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment
So, it’s the anniversary of Lightnin’ Hopkins’ birth and that seems as good an excuse as any to put up this great clip of him talking and playing again and put some of his tunes on, shuffle about the house some.
•February 8, 2017 • Leave a Comment
Our beloved Morton Valence are back, and they need you to put yer hand in your pocket to get their new record out. Kickstarter clip up top here tells you all about it. They took a little break from being Morton Valence last year for the wonderful Black Angel Drifter record, pushing their southern gothic tendencies all the way out there to rather glorious effect. Their last album as MV had a picture of the Queen of England on the front and was called ‘Another Country’ a double whammy that comes with extra loaded meaning considering the fracturing of our national identity in the couple of years since then. Her Majesty joined a stream of cover stars, old Joe Stalin, The Rebel Flag, the band as Bonnie and Clyde, that have pulled off a reasonable balance of contentious ambiguity. This time out though it’s clear there ain’t to be no messin around – Morton Valence are proud europeans and despondent remainers – having toyed with American imagery and successfully blended country music with English kitchen sink lyricism into their own ‘Urban Country’ style, this album is all about celebrating their european identity. ‘Europa’ has a cover with a vaguely krautrock feel depicting a Citroën car (Kraftwerk’s Autobahn can be seen on the shelf behind them in the clip) inside are versions of European songs, sung in the appropriate languages. From the sound of the clip the music has got a bit angrier and more rock ‘n’ roll too. Go on, chip in, you know it makes sense.
Down at the bottom here is a nice live show from the time of that last record…