Monday, May 29, 2017

You Just Don't Know

Finally managed to dig up a copy of the illusive Jacobites debut here in town. And thankfully, it appears that Sudden and Kusworth's brand of ramshackle rock & roll has aged rather well. Ever so charming.
Jacobites - Silver Street

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Trapped No More

Just got the sad news that brother Gregg Allman passed away yesterday. The Southern rock pioneer was 69. A soulful singer and organist, he was one of the founders of the legendary Allman Brothers Band back in '69. Their Live At The Fillmore East ('71) may just be my fave live album ever. Miss him.
The Allman Brothers Band - One Way Out (live '71)

Friday, May 26, 2017


A classic Cuban oldie courtesy of the great Compay Segundo, whom you may know as one of the Buena Vista SC guys. "As I loved you Macusa, nobody will ever love you, nobody..." A song based on a true story, as a girl called Macusa was indeed the singer's lost childhood love.
Compay Segundo - Macusa

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Swan Song

Now here's a surprise: the tiny Bang! label just released In My Room, the final recordings ('91-'93) of the legendary Gun Club. A mix of originals and covers, this is clearly for completists only, though it's always a pleasure to hear ole Jeffrey wail of course. Hidden gem: a lovely ballad with steel guitar called Not Supposed To Be That Way. "Dream a dream or two..."
The Gun Club - Not Supposed To Be That Way

Monday, May 22, 2017

Rest Is History

From Rich Cohen's enjoyable book The Sun & The Moon & The Rolling Stones: "When Watts was fourteen, he heard Walkin' Shoes by the Gerry Mulligan Quartet. The drumming - Chico Hamilton playing with brushes - spurred him into action. He tore the strings off an old banjo and taught himself to play the snare. To fill out the sound, he banged pots and pans. His parents bought him a drum set that Christmas..."
The Gerry Mulligan Quartet - Walkin' Shoes

Friday, May 19, 2017

Bathing In The Creek

Hell, this is pretty damn good indeed... A Canadian from Saskatchewan, they say brother Colter Wall is only in his early twenties, but does he sound like a spring chicken? No sir, far from it. Got a mighty voice, and a repertoire that harkens back to such greats as Kris Kristofferson and Townes van Zandt. Not afraid to show his influences, he covers the latter twice on his thankfully sparsely produced second album. But it's his remarkably strong self-penned material that proves he's very much his own man already. For those of you interested: Mr. Wall will soon be touring Europe for a bit, though sadly not in my neck of the woods.
Colter Wall - Kate McCannon

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Not Quite Dead

Let's stay in Dead territory for a while longer, focusing on on 1972 this time. Although it saw no studio release, deadheads everywhere still considered it a remarkably good year. The wonderful Europe '72 live set was a no-brainer of course, and then there were strong solo albums by Jerry Garcia (Garcia), Bob Weir (Ace), and Mickey Hart (Rolling Thunder) to enjoy. The better songs on these would later ease into the Dead's live repertoire, as was the case with the trio of tracks below. Hey now!
Jerry Garcia - Loser
Bob Weir - Looks Like Rain
Mickey Hart - The Pump Song

Monday, May 15, 2017

Deal Come Round

Finally available in official glory: the Dead's legendary Cornell '77 show, and in top notch Betty Board quality at that. This one's been hailed by some respectable deadheads as the finest gig they ever played, and while that's debatable of course, it sure is full of genuine American beauty. Excepting the lamentable fake-funk of Dancing In The Streets and an overblown Estimated Prophet, everything just grooves and grooves like it should. Hey now!
The Grateful Dead - Deal (Live Cornell '77)

Friday, May 12, 2017

Just A Seeker

Let's stay in Louisville a while longer to visit  Will 'Bonnie Prince Billy' Oldham, who has just cooked up a fresh batch of Merle Haggard covers. No surprise there, as he regards the late country legend as one of his 'forever heroes'. Sadly, for the second time in a row here's a Bonnie Billy album that doesn't really do it for me. It's not bad mind, and the arrangements - with saxes and flutes no less - are quite adventurous, but in the end it just made me want to give my trusted Hag records another spin.
Bonnie Prince Billy - I Am What I Am

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Endless Sea

A warm and much-needed refuge in turbulent times, or: that new self-titled Joan Shelley album sure is sweet. In a remarkably understated Jeff Tweedy production, the singer and songwriter from Louisville proves a worthy successor to such legendary lady vocalists from the other side of the pond as Sandy Denny, Linda Thompson et al. One more surefire contender for the end of year lists.
Joan Shelley - If The Storms Never Came

Monday, May 8, 2017

Keep Me Worried

"I done more for you than your mama did..." A fine fine blues from 1937 by the wonderfully named Black Ace, who played a mean bottleneck, too.
Black Ace - You Gonna Need My Help Some Day

Friday, May 5, 2017

Gravel In My Pockets

And here's old Rory, legendary blues guitarist from the Emerald Isle, with a lovely acoustic track. Find it on the mighty Deuce from '71.
Rory Gallagher - Don't Know Where I'm Going

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Hare Om

This just in from the reissue front: The Ecstatic Music Of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda, a compilation on the Luaka Bop imprint which focuses on the time Trane's widow - a fine jazz musician in her own right by the way - was part of a California ashram. More raga-flavoured than jazzy, her ecstatic music is probably an acquired taste for most listeners.
Alice Coltrane - Om Shanti

Monday, May 1, 2017

English Rules

With labelmates like Joy Division, A Certain Ratio, and Section 25, the relatively unknown X.O.DUS was definitely the odd one out in the early days of the legendary Factory label. Which doesn't mean one should underestimate their English Black Boys, a tasty morsel of Manchester roots reggae produced by Dennis 'Blackbeard' Bovell. "Now they talk about repatriation..."
X.O.DUS - English Black Boys

Friday, April 28, 2017

Full Of Lead

Luckiest man alive? Just rediscovered 1968, the second solo effort by former Slint axe hero of sorts David Pajo. A forgotten gem for sure. Have a taste.
Pajo - Cyclone Eye

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

How It Used To Be

"Paralyzed by the emptiness..." Erin Osmon's biography of Jason Molina - he of Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co fame of course - is a fascinating and insightful read, but it sure is a sad and uneasy one, too. No wonder, as it's the story of a prolific artist with a capital A slowly but surely giving in to his ghosts, culminating in his tragic death at only 39 years of age. On the up side, Riding With The Ghost (out on May 15) provides an excellent opportunity to revisit Sparky's impressive back catalogue. Here's one prime example.
Songs: Ohia - Blue Factory Flame

Monday, April 24, 2017

Eggs In Your Head

"Uh-oh, I don’t like those snake eggs..." Make way for the good doctor from New Orleans, casting his customary voodoo spells. Spooky!
Dr. John - Zu Zu Mamou

Friday, April 21, 2017

Justice Is Fair

The Left Reverend McD bares it all on this delicious and outrageous slice of early seventies soul. "She's a nigga in jeans, she's an outlaw, she don't wear a bra... she's a whitey in jeans, she's an outlaw and she don't wear a bra..." With thanks to Dylan's whole mid-sixties oeuvre of course, and She Belongs To Me in particular.
Eugene McDaniels - Outlaw

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wake Up!

Heavy rock riffing over wild afrobeat rhythms? Quite a combination, but believe me, it works a treat. Chase the voodoo down with Marcos Garcia & co on the eponymous debut of Here Lies Man, out as we speak in a sleeve to die for on the cool RidingEasy Records. Hombre, I can't wait to see these guys live.
Here Lies Man - When I Come To

Monday, April 17, 2017

Find A Key

John Prine once did some recording in the legendary Sun Studios of Sam Phillips in Memphis, Tennessee. The resulting Pink Cadillac mostly gets a lot of flak for some reason or other, but I've always had a weak spot for it. Not a perfect record by far, but you can't go wrong with the two tasty songs below for instance.
John Prine - Automobile
John Prine - Down By The Side Of The Road

Friday, April 14, 2017

Reaching Back

As Dylan told writer Bill Flanagan in a recent interview: "My voice cracking here and there wouldn’t bother me, bum notes or wrong chords would bother me more. On September Of My Years, I didn’t fix anything. (...) My voice cracking here or there just might mean it was recorded too early in the day, but it doesn’t hurt the overall effect, it wouldn’t bother me." Just happens to be my favourite song on the Nobel laureate's new Triplicate collection of crooners.
Bob Dylan - September Of My Years

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Just The Same

Transmogrified folk/blues koans, as the enthusiastic liner notes aptly call 'em, anyone? Thought so. Mr. Fussell's remarkable What In The Natural World possesses a certain old-timey warmth one doesn't encounter too often nowadays, and that's a joy to behold. Playing this album is akin to visiting a good friend you haven't seen in a long long time. Out now on the always reliable Paradise Of Bachelors imprint, and a surefire contender for many an end-of-year list.
Jake Xerxes Fussell - Have You Ever Seen Peaches Growing On A Sweet Potato Vine?

Monday, April 10, 2017

Electrical Resistance

Ferocious punk rock packed in what's no doubt the coolest album cover of the year. And of course I couldn't resist buying the accompanying t-shirt, why even ask? The Ohms are one more side project of Ethan Miller, the bearded omnivore from Oakland who already made waves with Comets On Fire and the excellent Heron Oblivion. Turn it way up if you dare.
Feral Ohms - God Of Nicaragua

Friday, April 7, 2017

Listening Wind Pt. 2

"Cold winds blow, the rains they fall..." Yup, it's tough out there. As promised, here's a second stormy six pack for your listening pleasure. Lovely artwork once again by Tinca. Enjoy and take care, my amigos da musica.
Tim Hardin - Part Of The Wind
Loudest Whisper - Cold Winds Blow
Moby Grape - Bitter Wind
Freddie North - Cuss The Wind
Jun Kamibuko - Go Through The Wind
Alabama Thunder Pussy - Second Wind

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

In Bloom

On his fine new ep Night Talks, Mark Kozelek sings a rickety duet with the one and only Kath Bloom, cult artist par excellence. Intriguing to say the least.
Mark Kozelek with Kath Bloom - Pretty Little Flowers

Monday, April 3, 2017

Bothered All The Time

Great blues find: the late sixties recordings of Hayes McMullan, a guy who once played with the legendary Charley Patton. Powerful stuff.
Hayes McMullan - Look-A Here Woman Blues
Hayes McMullan - Kansas City Blues

Friday, March 31, 2017

Blow My Horn

Now here's a great initiative: Hiss Golden Messenger just offered a fine - and free - recording of one of their recent live shows via their Bandcamp page. Live at the Parish, Austin TX was lovingly curated by the Dick of Durham's finest: their trusted soundman Warren Parker. Keep 'em coming, good buddies!
Hiss Golden Messenger - Like A Mirror Loves A Hammer (live Austin '16)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Listening Wind

"Watch the sun's fading ember, hear the wind as she cries..." Presenting a stormy six pack for your listening pleasure. Artwork by the inimitable Tinca; buy some of her stuff why don't you. And stay tuned for part 2. Soon, soon.
Don Covay & The Goodtimers - It's In The Wind
United Travel Service - Wind And Stone
Amon Düül II - Wie Der Wind Am Ende Einer Strasse
Shelagh McDonald - Waiting For The Wind To Rise
Gene Clark - Hear The Wind
King Crimson - I Talk To The Wind

Friday, March 24, 2017

Capital F

It just happens to be funky friday today, my amigos da musica. High time to get down with the infectuous You Got To Be A Man by Franks Williams and his Rocketeers. It's the soulful year of 1967 and behind the mic there's the James Brown inspired Little Beaver, pride of Forrest City, Arkansas. "You don't have to be an angel to know right from wrong..."
Frank William's Rocketeers - You Got To Be A Man

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Find A Way

Seemingly out of the blue, the always impeccable Light in the Attic label decided to re-release three albums by Erasmo Carlos, a Brazilian star not very well known outside his native country. Of these, you really need Carlos, Erasmo... from 1971, a bona fide tropicália masterpiece. All over the place, and that sure is a recommendation.
Erasmo Carlos - É Preciso Dar Um Jeito, Meu Amigo

Monday, March 20, 2017

That's Right!

Look what the cat dragged in... The Real Kids are back, and they've just announced a European tour, too. To refresh the memory a bit: their leader John Felice co-founded the Modern Lovers with Jonathan Richman back in 1973. He soon went his own way however, releasing the classic eponymous Real Kids debut in the magical year of '77. Now I'm not much of a nostalgia nerd, but these semi-legendary Boston protopunks  I just gotta see live. Come to think about it, I think I'm falling in love again...
The Real Kids - All Kindsa Girls
The Real Kids - Taxi Boys

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Moon Went Down

Just got the sad news that Chuck Berry has passed away. The legendary rock & roller, who could play a guitar just like ringing a bell, was 90 years old. Miss him.
Chuck Berry - Around And Around

Friday, March 17, 2017

Sweat Of Your Brow

The good people at Pressure Sounds - still the finest roots reggae reissue label around - really leave no Jamaican stone unturned. Their latest adventure is all about the mighty singer, bass player and label boss Lloyd Parks, who was part of such legendary outfits from the island as the Techniques, Skin Flesh and Bones, the Professionals and the We The People Band. Time A Go Dread collects 22 irie tracks from the golden seventies, with not a dud between 'em. Don't forget to turn up that bass, my brethren.

Lloyd Parks - Time A Go Dread
Lloyd Parks - Strike

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Nothing But A Man

Here's Memphis master Furry Lewis saluting a legendary steel driving man: easily one of the finest interpretations of the famous traditional called John Henry around.

Furry Lewis - John Henry (The Steel Driving Man) Part 1

Monday, March 13, 2017

Leave Your Doubts

Although the aptly titled Notes Of Blue indeed seems just a tiny bit more bluesy than their usual fare, there's nothing new under the sun on Son Volt's latest outing really. Which is a good thing of course, as the material is remarkably strong this time around and Jay Farrar's patent sad voice shines just like back in the days. A compulsory buy for all you country rockers and Americana aficionados out there.

Son Volt - Promise The World

Friday, March 10, 2017

In His Tiny Hands

You like strings? Now that's a coincidence. Warning: pop genius at work.

Scott Walker - The Girls From The Streets
Scott Walker - Plastic Palace People

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Golden Gunn

Good news: master picker Steve Gunn has just announced an extensive European solo tour. Starting in chilly England this April, he'll slowly wind his way down south to end up deep in the heart of sunny Portugal a month or so later. Barcelona is on the itinerary as well, so I'll be sure to buy me a ticket.

Steve Gunn - Water Wheel
Steve Gunn - Wildwood

Monday, March 6, 2017

Restless Dream

The Feelies never released anything subpar, and their brand new In Between is no exception to that rule. What joy, yet another album by Halendon's finest to treasure. Chew on this if you please: the Feelies may just be the coolest combo on the planet.

The Feelies - When To Go

Friday, March 3, 2017

Same Again

I kid you not: ye olde arch druid Julian Cope, famous for his intake of all things psychedelic, has discovered the joys of booze all of a sudden. The result: a highly amusing new mini album, called Drunken Songs as it bloody well should. "And in the morning, we won't remember a thing..." You just got to love the guy. Cheers!

Julian Cope - Drink Me Under The Table

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Von Harmonia

The hypnotic soundscapes of Mind Over Mirrors have gotten a remarkable load of good press lately. Even the Financial Times (I didn't even know they employed a rock critic) sang the praise of their recently released Undying Color album. Not bad for a harmonium-based psychedelic drone record without any guitars, huh? I'm not so sure it's my cup of tea yet really, but it definitely sounds original. Check it out.

Mind Over Mirrors - Splintering

Monday, February 27, 2017

Howard & Henry

Or Elvis and T Bone, anno 1985. Still goes down a treat.

The Coward Brothers - The People's Limousine
The Coward Brothers - They'll Never Take Her Love From Me

Friday, February 24, 2017

Movin' & Groovin'

And funk is the preacher. 'Nuff said. An absolute classic from the early eighties. Take it away, James.

James Blood Ulmer - Jazz Is The Teacher

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Look At Her Run

This one goes out to someone special. "Layin' 'round doing nothing like all my friends, play it cool, don't get angry, count up to ten..." Per molts anys, amic.

Chuck Berry - Sweet Little Sixteen
The Heptones - Only Sixteen
Buzzcocks - Sixteen Again

Monday, February 20, 2017

From The Crystal Ship

More sounds from the land of the rising sun? Why not indeed. Here's a lovely dreamscape by psychmasters Suishou No Fune. Are they still going?

Suishou No Fune - Your Tears Drop From The Sky

Friday, February 17, 2017

Oh! Kikagaku

Sitars go wild in Tokyo tonight. Been enjoying last year's acclaimed House In The Tall Grass by Kikagaku Moyo so much I just had to look for more of their stuff. Cue Forest Of Lost Children, the second effort by these über-heads from Japan. A heavier affair for sure, but just as trippy and hypnotizing. I really need to see these guys live.

Kikagaku Moyo - Streets Of Calcutta

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Like A Dream

Went digging here in town recently and stumbled upon this flamenco beauty by Fernanda and Bernarda, legendary singing gitano sisters from the fair town of Utrera. Deep stuff: ¡Lo Puro!

Fernanda De Utrera - Fandangos
Fernanda y Bernarda De Utrera - Bulerías Cané

Monday, February 13, 2017

Piano In Play

This just in from the newsdesk: the mighty Howe Gelb is coming to town this March. And with a piano trio at that, having - temporarily? - disbanded Giant Sand, his desert-rocking band of choice since the mid-eighties. I'm guessing he'll play a lot of songs from his jazzy and intimate Future Standards album, and that's cool with me. Can't wait.

Howe Gelb - Mad Man At Large

Friday, February 10, 2017

So Alone

"With all the dreams I own..." Presenting a lonely six pack for your listening pleasure. Artwork - as usual with this kind of thing - by the mighty Tinca. Enjoy, my amigos da musica.

Moon Mullican - I'll Sail My Ship Alone
Esther Phillips - Living Alone (We're Gonna Make It)
The Bush - To Die Alone
Marijata - I Walk Alone
Johnny Thunders - Leave Me Alone
Colin Newman - Alone

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Greetings From Morón

Straight from the frontier, straight from the heart.

Son De La Frontera - Bulería Del Corazón