•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…
•January 28, 2017 • Leave a Comment
well friends, before we see off the last wet couple days of January and ride on out into the thunderstorm of shit that’s noisily darkenin’ the horizon for 2017, a last glance back over the shoulder at 2016 – It’s a full year already since I done that mix for the good night train folks, fully four years since I done the last one of these – where does the damn time go? I guess we could say it’s been pretty quiet one agin up here on Hickey mountain. Still, Brother Randy has really started to make some solid progress on his Jumpin’ with Stagger Lee night, y’all should be keepin’ an eye to that. Maybe I’ll do a mix of some actual old records some time, that’s what we’re ‘sposed to be all about around here right? Or get Brandy and Pearl to do another something for you who knows, shit – Pearl got time on her hands. Meantime here’s some favourites from last year for y’all, some of ’em popped up a bunch on them year end lists in December, some of them not so much. Whatever. If we wanna get all picky and such the Charlie Parr one seems to have had a couple releases in different territories but it ain’t the exact date, it’s the quality. Or something. Finally got to see him play this year – I’d advise you do too if you get the chance. Lotta chirrupin’ bugs on this one thanks to that mighty Black Angel Drifter record. Whole thing kicks off with a double whammy from Kid Congo and Slim Cessna who closed off the year with some shows together and a super cool poster, check it out, if’n that can’t raise a smile from you then I don’t know what. 2016 was a rough year, and the new one looks even grimmer, but we’re still here just about ain’t we? It may not be much, but there was some good new records on the jukebox.
click the title to download, stream her at the top there. you wanna beer? lets us have some beers, come on.
Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds – La Araña [La Araña Es La Vida]
Slim Cessna’s Auto Club – Commandment 2 [The Commandments According To]
Andre Williams – What Now? [I Wanna Go Back To Detroit City]
The James Hunter Six – This Is Where We Came In [Hold On!]
Margo Price – Hurtin’ (On the Bottle) [Midwest Farmer’s Daughter]
Handsome Family – Back in my Day [Unseen]
Freakwater – Velveteen Matador [Scheherazade]
Hayes Carll – Good While It Lasted [Lovers And Leavers]
Allen Toussaint – Hey Little Girl [American Tunes]
Black Angel Drifter – Lead On Take it Away [Black Angel Drifter]
Case/Lang/Veirs – Georgia Stars [Case/Lang/Veirs]
Mekons – Fear and Beer [Existentialism]
Robbie Fulks – America is a Hard Religion [Upland Stories]
William Tyler – Kingdom of Jones [Modern Country]
Willie Nelson – It Ain’t Necessarily So [Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin]
Charlie Parr – Remember Me If I Forget [Stumpjumper]
Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra – Devil Wears a Blue Tie [Something Blue]
Howe Gelb – May You Never Fall In Love [Future Standards]
Charlie Hunter – (Looks Like) Somebody Got Ahead of Schedule on Their Medication [Everybody Has A Plan Until They Get Punched In The Mouth]
•January 8, 2017 • Leave a Comment
Remember the King’s day, and keep it holy. know what I’m a sayin? Ain’t that a beautiful thing there? Velvet Elvis Jesus. Dang. I’m sure one time we was on about what Velvets song Elvis woulda sung, can’t find the old post but it was about how he’d done ‘Proud Mary’ or something, so I tucked that on the bottom there, some Elvis Vegas, some Elvis Gospel, some Comeback Special, some Elvis toast and top of the pile here the lovely ‘Crawfish’ from his best movie ‘King Creole’, Halleloo, praise the lord and pass the biscuits please.
•December 19, 2016 • Leave a Comment
I put on my TV earlier and seen James Bond getting out of a car and walking through a second line funeral that it seems no one showed up for. “Relax, Jim. Mister Big Wants to see you”. It’s Professor Longhair’s birthday. He’d be 98, probably. Here’s a couple things I learned, or noticed, today for y’all about Tipitina’s the famous club on Tchoupitoulas named after one of his most famous songs. Not that they was secret or anything, just I didn’t know. First, I was always under the impression it opened in his honour, or was maybe renamed, after his death. But the club opened in ’77 and right there over the stage is his portrait and dates 1918 – 1980, so there’s that. Second is about that bust of his bald head in the doorway, everyone used to rub the head of for luck. That’s the work of Coco Robicheaux who I knew was a musician, never knew he was an artist too. So, not only is his name fun to say, he made that. I’ll be. Anyway, now you know these things too and here’s a pretty cool clip of fess talkin’ and playin ‘Tipitina’.
•December 17, 2016 • Leave a Comment
Here friends, a sweet little song for the lonely this christmas from the always thoughtful Howe Gelb. It’s in the laid back piano trio mode of his recent ‘Future Standards’ record. Now, because it’s that time of year and the human mind is a strange thing there’s the just vaguest glitter of the season across that record, an occasional echo of Vince Guaraldi’s music for ‘Peanuts’ which has become tied with tinsel and memory to Christmas even in it’s not specifically festive moments. Check the opening bars of ‘Relevant’ for a little ‘Linus and Lucy’ on the roof. The mind and memory are strange and wonderful things and it’s no stretch to say he’s dived right in and messed about in that puddle on this record, how the results play out is still unclear. The title makes a bold claim and damn if he don’t look pretty darn smug on the cover, twistin’ a fistful of those damn Arizona turquoise rings. Still, with Howe things ain’t always what they seem of course, for what I guess is his first post Giant Sand record he’s gone back to the structures and lyrical approaches of great American Songbook type material and paired it up with an intimate, almost rehearsal room type vibe. It’s typically loose and has the feel of songs being sketched out for bigger, brighter voices to sing in front of tighter, more dynamic big band arrangements. Much as he can’t help being Howe and you half expect a bunch of static-y TV dialogue or bird song to wash through the background at any point it ain’t to say he can’t pull this future standard thing off. The duets with Lonna Kelly recall moments from ‘Tucson’ when he seemed to do just that, you may have your own selections from his songbook you think match up. ‘May You Never Fall In Love’ is maybe the most succesful on the records own terms… “This is an attempt at writing a batch of tunes that could last through the ages with the relative structure of what has become known as “standards”. The likes of Cole Porter and Hoagy Carmichael done up by Frank Sinatra or Billie Holiday,” suggests Howe. “Julie London had a lot to do with it.”
Still, just the one tune for you to check out there on the bandcamp but you can listen to the whole of his glorious gospel choir collaboration ‘Sno Angel Like You reissued this year with a whole live record too. It’s a beautiful thing and offers a clear pointer, if such a thing were needed, to how old Giant Sand songs might be reinterpreted in different musical setting and for very different voices, so maybe one day we’ll be getting some fuller, less casual versions of them future standards. Who knows? rounding out here we got a picture of Howe on the right there getting some santa goin’ on the beard front, and a near 30 year old christmas tune from Giant Sand. It ain’t nearly a standard to be fair friends but at least it has an insane and random ending.
•December 16, 2016 • Leave a Comment
Well friends, gettin’ into the home stretch here, last minute panic buying and so on. Here’s another old christmas mix in case the ‘Christmas Cracker‘ one wore out its welcome already. There’s a couple of upbeat and/or more modern moments on it but for the most part we’re on the gentle, relaxin, crackly old records side of things here. Sippin’ on a little something and watching the fire burn y’know? Slidin’ on off into a soporific reverie on the couch in front of ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ or The Wizard Of Oz. As for the name there well, I said it before, an I say it again – it ain’t what you think. We didn’t really steal Christmas, and we didn’t never have to spend no Christmas day in jail neither. This is just about this thing that happened one year. We’d been drinkin’, as is the, erm, seasonal thing to do right? Christmas cheer, in the spirit of the holidays and so on. Anyways, we thought it’d be a real festive type of idea if the christmas tree from a certain local business premises accompanied the pair of us on to the next bar and shared in our celebrations with us. Snuck out from work for a quick one kinda, Now, being as we’d been drinkin’ for the best part of the afternoon already and ain’t usually the brightest bulbs on the tree there to begin with we didn’t reckon on the lights on the tree being plugged in. I guess we thought they just glowed with christmas magic, goodwill to mankind or some such thing, and so in short order all three of us collapsed in a tangled pile, baubles shootin’ this way an that without getting more than a few feet into our high speed getaway. I think it’s fair to say that some of those present failed to quite see the funny side of the situation.
stream up the top, or click here to slip her in yer pocket while Randy distracts the clerk, you dig?
intro, feat Julian Koster and his singing saw – Silver Bells
Rev. J.M. Gates – Did You Spend Christmas Day In Jail?
Amos Milburn – Let’s Make Christmas Merry, Baby
Bumble Bee Slim – Christmas and No Santa Claus
Lowell Fulson – Christmas Party Shuffle
Rev. Edward W. Clayborn – The Wrong Way To Celebrate Christmas
Capt. Elmo McKenzie & The Roosters – Home On Christmas Day
The Harlem Children’s Chorus – Black Christmas
Thurl Ravenscroft, MGM Studio Orch & Chorus – You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch
Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds – Black Santa
Johnny Dowd – Jingle Bells
J.D. McPherson – Twinkle Little Christmas Lights
Lyle Lovett – The Girl With The Holiday Smile
Aretha Franklin – Over The Rainbow
The Andrews Sisters – I’d Like To Hitch A Ride With Santa Claus
The Dalhart Imperials – Old Man Spivey’s Egg Nog
Jack White Christmas – Christmas Time Will Soon Be Over
C.W. Stoneking – On A Christmas Day
Lightnin’ Hopkins – Santa
Carla Thomas – All I Want For Christmas Is You
Jimmy Smith – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Booker T. & The M.G.s – Winter Snow
Imagene Peise – Silent Night
Spiritualized – Silent Night
Julian Koster – Silent Night