Thursday, January 30, 2014

It's Free

Presenting a slice of pure pop for now people by the New Mendicants, a fresh combo - or should that be indie super group? - featuring Scud Mountain Boy Joe Pernice and TFC's Norman Blake. Out as we speak.

The New Mendicants - Sarasota

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pass The Syrup

In the early nineties, the Swirlies were one of the better indie bands around. Did you know there are pancakes, and there are clean pancakes? Take your pick below.

Swirlies - Pancake
Swirlies - Pancake Cleaner

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Him Or Me

What's it gonna be? Flashback to 1973. In the small African country of Benin, the Orchestre Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou is recording its first album. Hot stuff, shake it up.

Orchestre Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou - Ou Ce'st Lui Ou C'est Moi

Friday, January 24, 2014

Still Smiles

C.O.B. stands for Clive's Original Band, as we're talking a project around former Incredible String Band alumnus Clive Palmer here. Which means freakfolk from the early seventies, when an album could still be called Moyshe McStiff And The Tartan Lancers Of The Sacred Heart without anyone batting an eye. The oh so biblical Lion Of Judah, which is preceded by a short instrumental intro called Sheba's Return, never fails to bring a smile to my face. Bonus points for that cool harmonium sound.

C.O.B. - Sheba's Return/Lion Of Judah

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Roses There Are Many

This one got plenty of praise from the folk and Americana crowd in the 2013 end-of-year lists, and with good reason. Mitchell and Hamer may not be in league with Gillian Welch and David Rawlings (yet), but the duo's seven takes on ye olde Child ballads are a joy to behold. Here's Child #39, which all you Fairport fans out there will surely recognize.

Anaïs Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer - Tam Lin

Monday, January 20, 2014

Lost His Mind

The esteemed Charity Chic recently alerted me to Giant Sand doing a lovely cover of Johnny Thunders' immortal You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory, so it's time to up the ante a wee bit. Here's Howe Gelb and crew taking on a well-known Sabs riff monster, and in a wonderful desert lounge stylee at that. Boom!

Giant Sand - Iron Man

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Home From Pearl Harbour

Gun Club legend Jeffrey Lee Pierce goes way out with an obscure - and decidedly weird - Willie Blackwell oldie. Anyone got the original to share perhaps? Much obliged in advance.

Jeffrey Lee Pierce - Junior's Got A Jap Girl For Christmas (Live Slovenia '94)

And while we're at it, here are two tracks from the Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project, where the unfinished songs Pierce left behind were revived by the likes of Nick Cave, Debbie Harry, and David Eugene Edwards. Not all that glitters is gold in this undertaking, but mssrs. Lanegan and Harvey definitely managed to do Jeffrey's fiery heritage justice.

Mark Lanegan - Constant Waiting
Mick Harvey - Sonny Boy

Stop press: found it already, with faithful reader Holly coming to the rescue. Thanks a mil! Slightly different - and strange - title, totally different lyrics, but this must be the one alright...

Willie Blackwell - Junior's A Jap Girl's Christmas For His Santa Claus

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Weak Heart Drop

High time for some more heavy duty reggae around here, rootsmen. Clean hands and a pure heart? That's the way to go. Check out this massive ten pack of boss sounds why don't you, and set your heart free.

Prince Far I - Clean Hands Pure Heart
Cornell Campbell - I Heart Is Clean
Ronnie Davis - No Weak Heart
Dennis Brown - Set Your Heart Free
Earl Zero - City Of The Weak Heart
Johnny Osbourne - Purify Your Heart
Bunny Wailer - Blackheart Man
Junior Delgado - Blackman's Heart
Shaumark & Robinson - Weak Heart A Go Feel It
Big Youth - Lightning Flash (Weak Heart Drop)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Stronger Than Dirt

The new year has hardly begun, but the first interesting album is already upon us. Check out Black Dirt Oak, a loose freefolk collective featuring that always wonderful picker Steve Gunn. If banjo-driven krautrock mantras from the Appalachian mountains even remotely sound like your cup of tea, their Wawayanda Patent is the one to get alright.

Black Dirt Oak - The Drowned Lands

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Put The Whammy On Me

Oh yes, it's the wham of that Memphis man, folks... If you like your instrumentals hot, Lonnie Mack is hard to beat. Slow cookin' time...

Lonnie Mack - Down And Out

Friday, January 10, 2014

Made You Turn

A couple of nights ago in New York City's famous Carnegie Hall, Dinosaur Sr. finally played a version of the Bert Jansch classic Needle Of Death, a song said to have subconciously inspired Neil's own Ambulance Blues once upon a time. Shame he didn't pull out that gem as well, but one can't have it all I guess. Anyway, here goes, with many thanks to the taper of course.

Neil Young - Needle Of Death (Live)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Let's Go Uptown

Just bought tix to see the wonderful Hiss Golden Messenger on their upcoming Euro tour, and on a double bill with Scotland's folk pride Alasdair Roberts at that. That rules! Tunes, you ask? Ok ok, here's a trio of  beauties from HGM mastermind MC Taylor's former band already. Remember the Court & Spark? "I've got a wind in my hair, but I don't care..." That's the spirit.

The Court & Spark - We Were All Uptown Rulers
The Court & Spark - Denver Annie
The Court & Spark - Rooster Mountain

Monday, January 6, 2014

Cosmic Dancer

Bought just too late to be included in my list of 2013 faves, but Cian Nugent's all-but-instrumental beauty Born With The Caul sure deserves a spot in there. Nugent is an Irish picker known to be a John Fahey acolyte, who has broadened his horizon considerably now that he plays with a full band. Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd are rather obvious influences on his delicate yet fluid style, but I spy traces of Richard Thompson, Robby Krieger, and even Funkadelic's Eddie Hazel too. The over 23 minutes long epic Houses Of Parliament is the obvious highlight, but way too long to showcase here, so you have to make do with pastoral opener Grass Above My Head. Can't wait to see these guys live.

Cian Nugent & The Cosmos - Grass Above My Head

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Rainbow, Too

Dig this soulful cover of an early Bob Marley gem, straight out of the legendary Studio One. The one they call Pipe is better known as one of the guys from the Wailing Souls. Bonus: a cool melodica.

Winston 'Pipe' Matthews - Sun Is Shining

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Still Fairly Sound

"We received our education in the cities of the nation..." Willie's original - about his wild adventures on the road with drummer Paul English - sounds mighty fine, but there's no denying that Sir Doug really really nails it. Way to go, guys.

Willie Nelson - Me And Paul
Doug Sahm - Me And Paul