Monday 31 March 2014

Keep On Talking

Another classic piece of soul from Muscle Shoals, and the writing partnership of Dann Penn and Spooner Oldham. This is the only single that James Barnett ever recorded but what a single. Released in 1966 produced by Rich Hall and released on the Fame Recording Co label.

James Barnett - Keep On Talking

Sunday 30 March 2014

Mellow Sunday


Gorgeous and slightly less heartbreaking without the vocals.

Spiritualized - Broken Heart (Instrumental) (Japanese Version)

Saturday 29 March 2014

The Duplettes

I have been getting more stuff through for review recently than before which is strange as that is not what the blog is all about and I have never sought out stuff from people. I do feel guilty that most of the time I don't give the stuff a chance maybe click on the email and as soon as I see the words "Hey Bill" I click delete, or "we just love your blog how about featuring these guys who we think will be the next One Direction". Sometimes I do get round to following the soundcloud links and more often than not it is not the sort of thing that would fit here.

One sure fire way to get me to click on the link is to have "ettes" at the end of your name. Last week a guy called Jim sent me an email which started

"Hi Drew

We are an acoustic duo called the Duplettes from East London playing a mixture of Soul and Americana"

This did pique my interest somewhat, not only had he gotten my name right and therefore had read at least something on the blog but he had "ettes" in his duo's name and dropped in the word Soul. The mixture of Soul and Amercana also intrigued me, was I going to get covers of Grandaddy or Lampchop in a soul styling or  I've Been Loving You Too Long ala Ryan Adams. So I clicked on the link and was quite pleasantly surprised, lovely, soulful  vocals backed by acoustic guitar. Just the thing for a Monday morning when procrastinating.

I decided to delve further, listening to the rest of the forthcoming ep and then a visit to their website where the Soul/Americana thing fell into place with a rather good rendition of my favourite Kings of Leon track.

The ep is to be released on 8th April and can be streamed here  and if you like what you hear you can pre-order it from here . Below is the cover of A Beautiful War.

Friday 28 March 2014

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

What with being away this week and having loads on I haven't as promised selected any more Guerilla tracks to stumble down memory lane to.

But here is a track that the good people at Piccadilly Records sent to me last weekend and has taken up residence on the turntable. I was going to wait until the weather was a bit warmer but I think that you will all want to either buy the 12" or pop over to Juno's website and buy the download. It is a stonking piece of life affirming happy house but without the cheese.

Have a good weekend people

And by the way the visuals are nothing to do with me, the soundcloud link is broken and this the only other source I could find was this  as I have yet to rip the vinyl to the laptop.

Thursday 27 March 2014

He Was A Friend Of Mine

The Organ Grinder's Monkey is the latest project from Meursault. The idea was to crowd source the money for the band to go to SXSW by offering to record an album half of which would be Meursault originals and the others covers all suggested by those who had pledged to the cause.

The results are quite astounding There are covers from bands such as Guided By Voices and Wreckless Eric and the re-recordings especially that of One Day This'll All Be Fields are well worth having also. This album is more than just a off the cuff recording to fund a trip but something that is well worth owning in it's own right and something that Neil and everybody else involved in the project should be immensely proud of.

The track posted is not available for download but if you like what you hear go here and buy the album. It's worth it. Trust me.

Meursault - He Was A Friend Of Mine

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Mary's Gun

I'm over in Belfast for a couple of days my third favourite city in the UK after Glasgow and Manchester. I actually look forward to going over the water for work, it was better when Head was still open as it wasn't far from where I stay and was open pretty late so I could waste a bit of time digging through the crates that were scattered up the back of the shop. Now it's the Guinness I look forward to.

Mary's Gun was the second single released by Novella, back in 2012. It was recorded in The Horrors studio and produced by Joshua Third. I'm sure that I read somewhere that it was based upon a story about Mary Weiss, lead vocalist with The Shangri-Las and her habit of carrying a firearm upon her person. That maybe utter nonsense as I can't find any verification for it anywhere but I'm sure I read it somewhere. Anyway, it's a rather good piece of Jesus And The Mary Chain/My Bloody Valentine influenced indie.

Novella - Mary's Gun

Tuesday 25 March 2014

Ain't No Need

Here is an absolutely great piece of early R&B from Honey Brown. I can found out absolutely bugger all about Ms Brown and I suspect that that may not be her real name anyway. The label says that Club 51 records were based in the Windy City, so Ms Brown may have been from the Illinois area but that is pure speculation.

I bought this single a few years ago, as I liked the label and I hadn't heard that much from Chicago that I didn't like,
well apart from Chicago and I don't even know if they are from the city and don't really care anyway. But this 45 was one of my better spur of the moment decisions.

Honey Brown - Ain't No Need

Monday 24 March 2014

Oh My Soul

Words cannot describe just how utterly wonderful this record is so I won't even bother. Just give it a listen, you will not be disappointed.

Swordsmen - Oh My Soul

Sunday 23 March 2014

Mellow Sunday

Five One. Five fucking One!!! That was not expected.

Sometimes you need something a bit spiritual and if that is the case it's best to seek out the Reverend.

Al Green - How Can You Mend A Broken Heart

Friday 21 March 2014

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

After last week's blast from the heady days of progressive house I think that we should stick with my favourite genre of dance music today and maybe for the next couple of weeks.

Today's track was the first single from Charlie May and Duncan Forbes better known as Spooky which was released in 1992 on that most proggy of prog house labels Guerilla. Between 1992 and the following year William Orbit's label released some absolute belters of track in fact I think that we could have a wee Guerilla series on Fridays.

Tonight I will mostly be praying to the gods of football that Airdrie can get another victory tomorrow and move us further away from the relegation zone.

Have a good weekend people.

Spooky - Land Of Oz (Poppyfield mix)

Thursday 20 March 2014

Voodoo Woman

This came out a couple of years ago in a run of only 300 7" singles pressed on rather lovely white vinyl. Prior to this she released a single on Acid Jazz and she was the featured vocalist on Take Care of My Love by Nick Pride & The Pimptones which I was going to feature soon.

This is another of those singles that I found hiding in the boxes at the weekend.

Jess Roberts - Voodoo Woman

Wednesday 19 March 2014

Little Girl

This R&B stormer from 1960 is another one of the singles that I ripped on Sunday. I don't know much about this record or Sugar Boy Williams but it is thought that he was from the New York area, as Herald records who put out the single was an N.Y.C. label.  It is an absolute top notch single but pretty hard to get hold of in the original, mines was a repro that I got a few years ago.

Sugar Boy Williams - Little Girl.

Tuesday 18 March 2014

Midnight Express

I'm in the mood for a bit of frenetic raw guitar driven instrumental Rockabilly with a bit of mad sax blowing thrown in for good measure. Another track from the double cd that just keeps giving, "Killer Rhythms & Red Hot Beats".

The Dawnbeats hailed from Columbus Ohio and the single Midnight Express was released on the local Amp label, I'm guessing some time around the mid 50s. Clocking in at 01:59, it's brief and to the point. Magic stuff!

The Dawnbeats - Midnight Express.

Monday 17 March 2014

The Sweetest Thing This Side Of Heaven

I spent a rather pleasant Saturday afternoon trying to put my boxes of soul 7" singles in some sort of order. This was after a visit to Darcy's bit where he mentioned that he had just completed this task. I failed in my task and ended up just playing random singles. I did manage to put the Reggae/Rock n Roll/Garage box in order but that only holds around 100 and is only 3/4 full.

Anyway, while searching through the boxes I found quite a few 45s that I had yet to rip to the hard drive and so spent a further relaxing afternoon yesterday uploading tracks to iTunes.

Here is one of the singles that I found. "The Sweetest Thing This Side Of Heaven" is a rather lovely soul ballad. Written, produced and the first single released on Van McCoy's Vando label in 1967.

Apologies for the background noise, although the vinyl looks near mint it does have quite a bit of surface noise.

Chris Bartley - The Sweetest Thing This Side Of Heaven

Sunday 16 March 2014

Mellow Sunday

I have a sore head.

Eighteenth parties ain't what they used to be! Why would you have a party without girls? Apparently "they just cause fights and waste your night".

Jesus, I despair for the youth of this nation and we are allowing them to vote later this year!

Roddy Frame - Inside Out (Live Paisley Abbey)

Friday 14 March 2014

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

A lovely throbby, squidgy progressive monster is the order of the day and a track that I thought that I had posted previously before in one form or another but apparently not.

Sugar Daddy was the seventh release on Weatherall's Sabres of Paradise imprint. Secret Knowledge consisted of veteran rock journalist, producer dj and party animal Kris Needs ably assisted by vocalist Wonder Schnedier. They also released a belter of a track as Delta Lady on Hard Hands.

When trying to decide which mix to post I found two copies of the remix 12" which was a bit of a surprise. In the end I have chosen the Disco Evangelists remix, the Out Of Our Brains On The 5.15 mix, a reference to The Who and Quadrophenia, not sure that too many mods embraced progressive house, none of the ones I knew did.

I will mostly be feeling old this weekend, as my nephew celebrates his 18th birthday!!! I remember babysitting him the morning after the general election in 1997 and thinking we will discuss this glorious day in years to come my boy. oh the optimism. It is ironic on another level as the most I get out of him these days is the odd grunt and unintelligible phrase.

Have a good weekend people.

Secret Knowledge - Sugar Daddy (Out Of Our Brains on the 5.15 mix)

Thursday 13 March 2014

Why Not a Single?

I have felt the need to purchase a Kings of Leon album although there are a few things that I have liked over the years which have fortunately been released as 7" singles which makes the fact that the latest track which received much airplay on 6Music and which has gotten under my skin, Beautiful War incredibly frustrating. I may have to by the album!

Here is an earlier track by the Followill brothers and their cousin which I enjoyed immensely and was released as a 7".

Kings of Leon - The Bucket

Wednesday 12 March 2014

I Found You

Here is probably my favourite song from an album that was on heavy rotation on the turntable during the second half of 2012.

Let's hope that this good weather holds out until the weekend and I can get out on the scooter for the first time this year. I used to sneer at fair weather scooterists when I had no alternative but to ride it in all weathers but fuck that,  I'm too old to spend all day drying out and heating up.

Alabama Shakes - I Found You 

Tuesday 11 March 2014

I Wish I Had A Wooden Heart

Something a bit funky for a Tuesday.

I Wish I Had A Wooden Heart has absolutely nothing to do with Elvis Presley and a dreadful film about the capers of GI's in Germany in the 1950s. It is the lead track from a sampler for the "David Holmes Presents The Free Association" album.

The Free Association was a Holmes side project which included the musicians Stephen Hilton, Sean Reveron and Pati Yang. They released two albums and three singles including a rather good cover of Rodriquez' Sugarman.

The Free Association - I Wish I Had A Wooden Heart

Monday 10 March 2014

In The Same Old Way (I Still Love You)

In The Same Old Way is a track that I have been trying to get on vinyl for quite a few years but any time I have bid on it I have lost out in the last couple of minutes. Recently I have seen a couple of promo copies going for £82 and £85 but when money's tight it's quite hard to justify that kind of money on a single. So when a few weeks ago I saw a listing on ebay for pressing your own tunes onto a 7" single this Scotty Williams track was the first that came into my head quickly followed by Indian Giver by the Chantelles.

The single duly arrived and I have to say that the quality of the sound is very good to these ears although I can't compare it to the original single, it will do (barely) until I can justify the price of an original.

And since then I have had a further single pressed with Jean 1, the track from the White Label Stolen Voices project on, which should have been a single in any case.

I still get shivers and goosebumps when I hear this song. it is just so damned good.

Scotty Williams - In The Same Old Way (I Still Love You)

Sunday 9 March 2014

Mellow Sunday

Here is something that dropped into my inbox the other day which I thought was very good and perfect for a mellow Sunday. I know bugger all about Dead Crow Pirates as the email with the soundcloud link attached said very little apart from "best listened to at night with headphones and a cup of tea" It works equally as well with a cup of tea on a Sunday morning. Oh and they are a collective from Birmingham.

The whole ep can be purchased here 

Thanks Doug

Friday 7 March 2014

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

As far as I'm aware Jamie xx hasn't released anything for a while,  don't think that he has remixed much recently either. Anyway here is a track that he released back in 2011 on Numbers as a single and  I banged on about to anyone who would listen, not that many did. I really like the steel drums and the twisted vocal sample. It's probably not the right time of the year for this kind of track but it kind of lifts the gloom for me.

I'm going out for a few pints with the Vinyl Villain tonight. It's been a while so I'm sure that there will be much pish talked.

Have a good weekend people.

Jamie xx - Far Nearer

Thursday 6 March 2014

Bring It On Home To Me

The Sam Cook penned  Bring It On Home To Me must be in my top hundred songs of all time but not the Cook version but the version by Ted Hawkins. L has been known to give it laldy after a couple of shandies on occasion usually followed by The Wild Rover to the tune of Ghost Riders In The Sky then it usually descends into songs about heather and bonnie braes at which point I tend to either zone out or leave the room.

Last Saturday night I was listening to It's Too Late To Stop Now, the first track on the third side is Van Morrison's rendition of the song which I had sort of forgotten about, I played it four times on the bounce before listening to the rest of the album which is up there with the best live albums ever released. I think that on the recordings that make up this double album Morrison has been captured at the peak of his powers. It is scary to think that it was forty one years ago . If you have never heard this album go out and buy it. If you have any interest in Van Morrison at all you will love it, it's difficult to pick out favourite tracks as the whole thing is wonderful put if I was pushed I would have to include the afore mentioned  Sam Cook cover, Saint Dominic's Preview and the sublime Cyprus Avenue.

I think at the moment I prefer the Northern Irishman's take on Bring It On Home To Me but I do have a lot of memories that could be soundtracked with the Ted Hawkins version.

Grumpy Irishman - Bring It On Home To Me (Live)

Wednesday 5 March 2014

It Was A Good Day

You know it's true what they say about money not being able to buy happiness no matter what a certain credit card company would have you believe.

I had one such moment last week. It has been quite a dispiriting and dismal experience being an Airdrie supporter so far this season , defeat after humiliating defeat in a stadium nearly empty and getting emptier each home game. It has been difficult to be positive.  When Willie is nearly ready to leave early you know things are bad. It must have been hellish for Max going to school on a Monday. It is bad enough for him that he doesn't support either of the bigots in Scottish football or Motherwell but with the sustained humpings we were getting it must have been nigh on unbearable.

But over the past six or seven weeks things have been on the up. The team have been playing with more confidence and looking more like a team rather than a bunch of individuals who come together on a Saturday to be humiliated to an ever dwindling audience.

And on Saturday we had one of those days which makes everything worthwhile we soundly thrashed a team that were five places above us in the league. On the way into the game I would have settled for a draw but thought that our unbeaten  spell was coming to an end.  But from the whistle each member of the team  showed a commitment that had been severely lacking over the past year or so. After getting a player sent off Ayr tried every dirty trick in the book to get the better of us but for once they didn't succeed, for once the decisions of the referee went our way and for one of the very few times in the past couple of years we were triumphant.

What made the occasion one to really cherish was the fact that three generations of my family were present as well as Stiff , Willie and their father who have been going for ever. I know that most of you will be thinking so what? But it really was one of those moments that gives you a natural high and the smiles on everyone's faces as we left New Broomfield was priceless. Normal service may well resume in the coming weeks and we could be fighting relegation at the end of the season but on Saturday we all had that euphoric feeling that really is impossible to buy but if you could bottle and sell would make you extremely wealthy.

Hurry On Boys really has nothing to do with this but it is one of those tunes that has that  kind of euphoric feel to it and the Skids are a band that I have always associated with the football although they are from Dunfermline.

The Skids - Hurry On Boys

Tuesday 4 March 2014

Our Troubles End Tonight

I bought the Lucky Jim album Our Troubles End Tonight on a whim. I was wandering around Fopp on Rose Street in Edinburgh one lunchtime in 2004, probably just to get me out of the office at lunch time. It was one of those days that I was in for nothing in particular,  back then and if I'm truthful even now I'm very loathed to leave a record shop without purchasing something. It seems to me to be a bit of a waste of time if you don't at least have something to take home after all that effort of browsing the shelves.

Anyway, I'm not quite sure why I bought this album, it was a new release and Fopp used to have a rack of these with complimentary reviews written next to them which very rarely correlated with the music that you ended up listening to. I do remember when I listened to the album back at my desk in the office I was rather taken a back as it was nothing like I expected to be. It was all acoustic guitar and sounded like a throwback to a time when John Martyn was still a bit of a folkie and his pal Nick Drake was still alive. It's an album full of stuff that certainly sign posted it's influnces , "You're Lovely To Me"  is a kind of lightweight Dylan type thing  which was later picked up and used to sell bread. You could imagine Scott Walker recording  Leah and their is an excruciatingly limp hippy dippy track  Lesbia.  But all told not an unpleasant listen and a cd that I haveplayed more than a couple of times over the years. But certainly not the the sort of thing you would associate with Damien Harris' Skint label which released the album.

The album is certainly worth a listen. I feel sorry for Gordon Grahame as James Blunt has built a successful career and shifted millions of records on a vastly inferior version of this kind of thing.

By far my favourite track is the duet with Heather Banks on The Honeymooners which has echoes of Leonard Cohen and Lee Hazelwood but brings to mind Past, Present and Future by the Shangri-Las to me for some reason.

Lucky Jim - The Honeymooners

Monday 3 March 2014

I Don't Know

Justine "Baby" Washington is probably best know for her 1963 hit "That's How Heartaches Are Made". Today's track "I Don't Know" was released in 1969 however my copy comes from the 10 x 7" rather handsome Cotillion box set that came out for last year's Record Shop Day also included in the set are singles by Moses Smith and Walter Jackson and seven other Cotillion artists.

Baby Washington - I Don't Know

Sunday 2 March 2014

Mellow Sunday

This blog is not well know for it's high end culture in fact that is most definitely the first time that that phrase has been used around here. But today you are in for a shock as I post a tune (if that's what you call it, according to wiki it's a movement) that is so far out of my comfort zone that it is practically in another galaxy.

The first time I heard this astoundingly beautiful and moving  piece of music was on Sunday the 09th January 2005.  The reason I know this is not due to my amazing memory but as a result of consulting the BBC website, as that is the day that the eight discs of one time SAS trooper now incredibly rich author of appalling fiction Andy McNabb was on Desert Island Discs. I listened to McNabb with more than a little cynicism as I had read, Bravo Two Zero,  The One That Got Away and Michel Asher's book which purports to tell the true story behind the fuck-up but all this is by the by. When The Swan came over the airwaves it stopped me in my tracks and nearly took my breath away (you want cliches worse than that read McNabb's books). When it was finished I made a note of the name and searched the internet for it. Apparently the author's fifth! wife plays it on the cello.

I am not going to bullshit you about me knowing anything about Le cygne if you want to know more go here. I just think as I said above that it is one of the most beautiful and emotional pieces of music I've ever heard.

See Me See Culture!

Yo-Yo Ma - The Swan