Monday, January 15, 2018

Bring The Goose





















When the Swede over at the always interesting Unthought Of, Though, Somehow blog hailed Richard Dawson's latest as his musical highlight of last year, I just had to check it out. And his description - 'claustrophobic medieval avant-garde folk-noir' - sure proved spot-on, as Peasant is a record you don't hear every day to say the least. If Robert Wyatt fronting a lo-fi Incredible String Band in some godforsaken British bog sounds even remotely like your thing, don't hesitate. Uneasy listening guaranteed.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Heavy Nuggets





















Caution: wild trip ahead, with a triple dose of goodies from the first three volumes of the Brown Acid series. Yet another younger brother of Lenny Kaye's famed Nuggets compilation, although the bands are much more obscure here and the songs way heavier. Recorded after Altamont ended the hippie dream once and for all, these slabs of proto stoner rock provide the ideal soundtrack to the post-Aquarian comedown. Find your copies on the mindblowing Riding Easy label: editions four and five have dropped as well in the meantime.
Raw Meat - Stand By Girl
Crossfield - Take It!
First State Bank - Before You Leave

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Home Again





















Yet another straggler from last year's bounty. Jason Isbell's The Nashville Sound came first in the always twang-heavy reader's poll of No Depression magazine recently, and for a good reason. The former Drive-By Trucker's sixth album is yet another solid batch of articulate white man's blues, and we can't have enough of that now can we?
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - Hope The High Road

Monday, January 8, 2018

Radio Mali





















A fine straggler from last year by Oumou SangarĂ©, whose nickname 'the songbird of Wassoulou' makes a lot of sense. My current fave of Mogoya is the very funky Fadjamou, probably because it features afrobeat legend Tony Allen (of Fela Kuti's band fame of course) on drums.
Oumou Sangaré - Fadjamou

Friday, January 5, 2018

Slack It For Awhile





















I recall Tia Blake appearing on my radar through a thorough feature on the always inspiring Aquarium Drunkard some years back, which told the remarkable story of an unknown singer from Pinehurst, North Carolina who recorded a breathtaking folk album in early seventies Paris. Since then, Tia's Folksongs & Ballads has never been far from the stereo at FTSOTS headquarters. Here's a fine example of her style.
Tia Blake - Hangman

Did Hangman ring a bell somehow? Could very well be. Maybe not because of the first recorded version from 1920 by one Bentley Ball, but if you've got some Leadbelly, Charlie Poole and/or Zep in your collection, as you should, chances are you've heard Child Ballad 95 before.
Bentley Ball - Gallows Tree
Leadbelly - The Gallis Pole
Charlie Poole & The North Carlina Ramblers - Hangman, Hangman, Slack The Rope
Led Zeppelin - Gallows Pole

Stop press: with reader Marie coming to the rescue, we now have a fine version by Odetta, too. And I found I had yet another wonderful take on it, courtesy of John Jacob Niles, the 'Dean of American Balladeers'. Enjoy!
Odetta - Gallows Tree (Gallows Pole)
John Jacob Niles - The Maid Freed From The Gallows

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Tips His Hat





















Reinhard Kleist, who drew an amazing graphic novel about Johnny Cash a few years back, now points his surrealist pencil at Nick Cave, and the results are nothing short of breathtaking. Kleist dives deep into Cave's murky universe, starting down under with the Boys Next Door, and moving from rainy London to icy Berlin with the Birthday Party and the Bad Seeds. The ending sees St. Nick in his trusted Jag, hightailing it from the fabled crossroads all the way to Geneva with none other than Robert Johnson riding shotgun. You need this, it's a hallucinatory Rinky Dink Special, with a little umbrella too.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Jangling Jack

Monday, January 1, 2018

Amarillo Highway





















A good way to start the new year. I mean, guitar instrumentals ringing like fresh prairie winds, interspersed with krautrocky synth interludes from weirdsville? Cue Greetings From Amarillo, a lovely tribute to the Texas Panhandle by young Hayden Pedigo, a gifted picker who names Robbie Basho as his fave guitarist. Comes with the compliments of the great Terry Allen, too. Hypnotizing little record this.
Hayden Pedigo - Greetings From Amarillo