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Monday, 20 November 2017

Langford Turns Sixty

The legend that is Jon Langford turned 60 in October. I read about it at the time but have not got round to posting about it until now. Better late than never I suppose
From Newport in Wales he has been resident in Chicago for many years where he has been a  stalwart of Bloodshot Records and the Godfathers of insurgent country music.
I would be here until after Christmas were I to list all his collaborations and bands he has been been involved with so for now I'll settle for The Mekons, The Three Johns, The Waco Brothers and The Pine Valley Cosmonauts.
Here he is in some of his various guises.

Jon Langford - Nashville Radio

Sally Timms & Jon Langford - I Picked Up The Pieces

Jonboy Langford & the Pine Valley Cosmonauts - Give my Love to Rose

PS- apologies to anyone who appears to have dropped off my blog list.
I inadvertently deleted it and have tried to rebuild it. I suspect I may have missed out a couple who were on previously.
Please let me know if I've missed anyone.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

A Brace of Barbaras

The second Motown compilation recently acquired in my local charity shop is Tamla Motown: Big Hits & Hard to Find Classics Vol 4.
Fantastic stuff. Maybe not quite as good as Connoisseurs but then again that compilation sets the bar pretty high.
Again I could have posted any of the 20 songs as they are all equally good but I have decided to go for a brace of Barbaras
Barbara Randolph have a brief stint with the Platters prior to joining Motown where she released two singles on the subsidiary Soul Records label. This is the first one I Got a Feeling which was also an album track on the Four Tops On Top album.

Barbara McNair
The second  Barbara, McNair was known primarily as an actress and cabaret  singer (she was Sidney Poitier's wife in They Call Me Mr Tibbs!)
She recorded two albums with Motown with her unreleased Baby A Go Go being a huge hit on the UK Northern Soul scene

Barbara Randolph - I Got a Feeling

Barbara McNair - Steal Away Tonight

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Covered By Cash -Bird On The Wire

My prediction for a unanimous victory for Johnny over Depeche Mode with his version of Personal Jesus very nearly came true. There was only one naysayer (you know who you are!) although many were at  pains to say it was a close call with two terrific versions.
For the first time Johnny takes the lead with the score now being Cash 3 The Rest 2.

This week I am again predicting a rousing victory for Johnny. Although Bird on The Wire from his 1969 album Songs From a Room is considered as one of Leonard Cohen's signature tunes it is nowhere as good as the version by The Man in Black on American Recordings the first in the Rick Rubin  produced series from 1994.and the one which set the bar pretty high. Johnny , like many, calls it Bird on A Wire.

Johnny totally bosses it. Other's of course, may choose to disagree.
Next week's offering will be on the Sunday for reasons that will become clearer nearer the time.

Johnny Cash - Bird On a Wire

Leonard Cohen - Bird On The Wire

Friday, 17 November 2017

True Faith

The most recent edition of Mojo has really come up trumps with their monthly cover Cd.
Entitled True Faith it consists of 15  tracks of soul-stirring gospel, country and blues.(here)

A fair proportion of gospel giants feature and I reserve the right to revisit this at a later date and feature some of them probably on the Sunday slot.
Initially I have been grabbed by the two songs below
The first track is a rehearsal version of Slow Train by Bob Dylan which features horns. A terrific version available on Trouble No More: The Bootleg Series Vol 13 (1979 -1981)
I only have Volume 4 Bob Dylan Live 1966 : The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert.
I should probably  get more.

I've not heard much stuff by Odetta but what I have heard has been top quality. This traditional gospel song from 1960 is no exception

Bob Dylan - Slow Train (Rehearsal)

Odetta - Go Tell It On The Mountain

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Bridges Not Walls

As the British Government debates the EU Withdrawal Bill I can't get Billy Bragg's new single Full English Brexit out of my head.
I first heard it when Walter posted it a couple of weeks ago and I immediately ordered up Bridges Not Walls - a CD featuring Billy's last 6 singles.
Powerful songs of protest but sadly too few are listening. Buy it and don't be one of them
A country which voted to Leave after having been told a pack of lies and fed xenophobic hatred by a bunch of public school boys reenacting a playground spat.
Truly an Accident Waiting to Happen

Billy Bragg - Accident Waiting to Happen

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Don't Believe The Hype

The Strokes were one of those bands who emerged surfing a sea of hype.
In 2001 in the run up to their debut album Is This It they were all over the mainstream press and media as well as the music press
It was met with 4 or 5 star reviews and entered the charts at number 2. Unbelievably in 2009 NME ranked it as best record of the 2000's.
I had a burn of it on the shelves and recently spent 50p to upgrade it.I think I probably enjoyed it much more at the time than I do now.
Maybe an age thing or perhaps like similar hyped bands The Fratellis and Razorlight their music does not appear to have lasted the tests of time.
Still it was probably worth the 50p for Last Nite if nothing else.

The Strokes - Last Night

The Strokes - New York City Cops

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

She's The One That Keeps The Dream Alive

Us bloggers are occasionally guilty of ignoring an artist's greatest hits and focusing on some of their lesser known numbers.
I'm as guilty as the next man or woman given that I have featured Cornershop on more than one occasion but never with their biggest hit and their only number 1 Brimful of Asha.
A song based on the history of Indian film culture namechecking Asha Boshle a playback singer in countless Hindi films.
It originally only reached number 60 in the UK charts in 1997 before reaching number one in February 1998 with a remixed version by Norman Cook.
I've had the album version from When I Was Born for the 7th Time since it's 1997 release picking up the above CD single version some years later.

Cornershop - Brimful of Asha

Cornershop - Brimful of Asha (Norman Cook Remix Single Version)