28 March 2011
Jim Ford 'You Just-A' (Full Version)
Sly Stone called Jim Ford "the funkiest white man I know." He penned songs for a host of artists including Bobby Womack and The Temptations and in 1969 released an album called 'Harlan County' which sold poorly on original release. The wider public probably weren't ready for the experimental blend of country, soul, funk and Appalachian elements but the record has since been hailed as one of the greatest albums you've never heard. Two more albums for Paramount and Capitol were never released until Bear Family Entertainment did the world a favour in 2008 and put them out, along with a CD release of the Harlan County album with additional out-takes and bonus material.
25 March 2011
Tommy McLain 'Before I Grow Too Old'
Strong birthday resolution song alert. Tommy McLain is a Louisiana legend and this cut features on the excellent compilation called 'Another Saturday Night' which serves as a good introductory primer to the swamp pop/cajun sound. Check out the amazing and beautifully shot documentary film 'Promised Land: A Swamp Pop Journey' directed by Matt Wilkinson. It tracks the formation of a swamp pop supergroup featuring McLain, C.C. Adcock, Warren Storm and other legends of the genre.
24 March 2011
23 March 2011
El Gusano 'Work Your Hand To The Bone'
Tex-Mex psych and soul instrumental with weird mimimoog inflections and a super laidback feel. El Gusano's concept album 'Fantasia Del Barrio' was botched together during a few cerveza and bolgnese sandwich-fuelled days in the mid-seventies and has just recently been re-released by Heavy Light Records.
22 March 2011
21 March 2011
Al Green 'I'm A Ram'
With spring in the air, the fruits of the loins of countless rams now skipping merrily around the fields and the star sign of Aries coming about in fine style with the biggest full moon for 19 years the other night, this tune seems to fit quite snugly with the general vibes. The Rev Green gets next to each and everybody with a chunk of warm and horny soul. Baaaa!
17 March 2011
16 March 2011
The ideal torch song for a bout of man flu. Lead 'singer' Damo Suzuki's nonsensical ramblings kind of the echo the mild delirium you get in the grips of a fever, when even the thought of bright lights makes you wince and groan. Check out the rest of the album for underrated early CAN including the titanic 'Mothersky' and other soundtrack works for leftfield cinema of the late 60's and early 70's.
15 March 2011
14 March 2011
Black Merda 'Cynthy-Ruthy'
Got wind of this psychedelic rock and funk group via a really cooking compilation called 'Chain And Black Exhaust' - a collection of scratchy biker jams that is well worth hunting down. The line-up of Black Merda were, bar one, all Mississippi born but came of age in Detroit. That lineage is plastered all over 'Cynthy Ruthy' - a choppy, Band Of Gypsies-style growler, dripping in two stroke oil and brake fluid.
09 March 2011
Ten Years After 'Let The Sky Fall'
Just picked up a brilliant mix CD called 'Swamp Bait' yesterday by messrs Godsy & Zeus. If dirty, Southern bayou rock is your thing, get your skates on to secure a copy of it as there's only 200 for the world apparently. This song features on the mix, and despite being performed by white British rockers Ten Years After, fits right in with the fetid, murky feel of the CD. Check here for an earlier post featuring TYA performing a live blues.
07 March 2011
Jim Sullivan 'Plain As Your Eyes Can See'
Came across a recent re-issue of this 'lost' classic album the other day and took a completely uninformed punt on it when the sleeve sticker mentioned a blend of "Memphis swamp-soul, L.A. sunshine pop and Southern California country-rock all filtered through a '60s acid hippy vibe" and wasn't disappointed. In addition to some beautiful, heart-wrenched music, the album comes with extensive sleeve notes about the strange makings of the album (which features members of Phil Spector's famous Wrecking Crew in the backing band) and the very mysterious disappearance and death of Jim Sullivan in the New Mexico desert, which you can read about here. It's an intriguing story.
04 March 2011
Townes Van Zandt 'Black Widow Blues'
A rare outing for songwriting genius Townes Van Zandt with full rock backing. The sheer cinematic vividness of his lyrics, coupled with his heart torn delivery never fails to resonate. This one finds Van Zandt in an uncharacteristically bullish mode, with "the blues sown into my jacket sleeve."
01 March 2011
New Life 'New Life'
With spring more or less on its way here, and new life just waiting to burst from the ground, here's an aptly titled cosmic boogie instrumental from the obscure 'Space Oddities Vol. 2' compiled by Alexis Le Tan and Jess. It's not going to be everyone's cup of tea but the overt progginess and intergalactic pretensions are tempered by some neat guitar work.