Search This Blog

Monday, 23 October 2017


At Friday's Annie Booth gig (more of which later) I dumped into a friend  Tom who I hadn't seen for years.
We got talking about mutual friends and when I asked after Harry Thomson he told me that he had died last year.
Anyone who has attended a concert in Glasgow in the last 30 yearts, particularly one with a Country connection, has probably been in Harry's company.
He had an artificial leg following a shipyard accident and walked with a stick leading to my pals and I dubbing him "the man with the stick" until I got to know him better.
He told a story of going through airport security. "You need to take of your shoe sir" the security officer requested."If I do son , the whole leg will have to come aff" was Harry's reply. Needless to say he was waved through.
Harry must have attended at least 100 concerts per year. When you met him he would rattle off an impressive list that he had attended since you had last met him.
His main love was Americana particularly music from Texas. His email address was harrytexas hence the picture above.
I had the pleasure of being in his company at the SXSW festival in Austin on a couple of occasions where he quickly acquired legendary status.There was a bar stool right in front of the stage at the Continental Club reserved for his exclusive use. He also took great pride in introducing folk from Austin he knew to other Austin residents they didn't know but he did.
I attended countless concerts with Harry mainly Americana although we also saw Toots & the Maytals and Joss Stone where I was the second oldest member of the audience and Harry the oldest.

We gradually lost touch as I attended less and less concerts although our paths would occasionally cross at Celtic Connections concert.
The last time I saw him was at an Allison Moorer concert at St Andrews in the Square which I attended with Mrs CC and her mum.
We were chatting outside to Harry and another guy at the end when Harry mentioned that he was going onto the club event at the Art School. Mrs CC, who was driving, offered him and the other guy a lift.
We dropped the other guy off at a hotel in the town centre."Who's your pal?" I asked Harry. "No idea" he replied "some guy from Aberdeen who was sitting next to me and we got talking"

I'm sorry I never found out about his death at the time and didn't get my opportunity to pay my respects.
I hope that this belated tribute to the most passionate person about live music I have ever met goes some way to making up for that.

Rosie Flores - West Texas Plains

Dave Alvin - West Texas Blues

Steve Wynn & the Miracle 3 - A Fond Farewell

Sunday, 22 October 2017


Some whimsical and flighty English folk music for your Sunday morning courtesy of Kirsty McGee and her 2002 debut album Honeysuckle.
Each year when on holiday we usually take the occasional punt on someone we have never heard of and this year Kirsty fell into that category.
The fact that the album features such luminaries as Clive Gregson and Boo Hewerdine probably helped.
On the Fellside Recordings label from Workington.
Pleasant stuff which you would be happy to stumble upon in a pub or folk club.
The album is available free to download on Bandcamp for those of you who are taken with this.

Kirsty McGee - Rich

Kirsty McGee - Wild Garlic

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Covered By Cash - I Won't Back Down

I'm not sure how long I'll persevere with the GIF!
Well that was an interesting start. An early lead from the Man in Black before Kris Kristofferson pulled away to administer a 10-3 whooping. To a man and woman, however, everyone acknowledged that they were two brilliant versions.
I would argue that this also applies to this week's compare and contrast when Johnny is up against the recently departed Tom Petty with his version of I Won't Back Down with Tom and the Heartbreakers providing the music and backing vocals.

Johhny's version is from American III : Solitary Man. The American Recordings series will feature fairly heavily over  the next few weeks.

Another very tough call this week.After having given both of them a listen I will go for Mr Cash  this week.A close call though.
Others, of course may choose to disagree.

Up above us on a cloud somewhere Tom Petty and Johnny Cash as sitting trying to work out what they are going to call their new duet!

Johnny Cash - I Won't Back Down

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - I Won't Back Down

Friday, 20 October 2017

Instant Garage

Like many of you, I suspect, I have been thoroughly enjoying the seemingly never ending stream of obscure Garage classics coming out of Drew's place recently.
Therefore I was quite excited to spot a Mojo compilation entitled Instant Garage again in the Highland Hospice shop in Dornoch.
An impressive 28 tracks. There is however a much wider interpretation of Garage than Drew would offer with artists such as MC5, New York Dolls, Kinks, Love, Jonathan Richman and the Ramones featuring. Not that I am complaining too much about any of the above you understand.
For the purpose of this post I thought I would go for some of the slightly more obscure artists who perhaps fit the Garage label more neatly.
So here are The Sonics (1965), Rocky & the Riddlers (1965) and She (1970)
It is highly likely that some of the other 25 tracks will make an appearance at some stage.

The Sonics -Psycho

Rocky & the Riddlers - Flash & Crash

She - Outta Reach

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Beach Boys

Pictured above is your humble author anxiously pacing the beach in Dornoch seeking inspiration for future posts.
Fortunately help was close at hand in the nearby Highland Hospice charity shop.
I came away with Uncut's Best of 2004 Reissues Volume 2.
Some excellent stuff on there including Willard Grant Conspiracy, the Go-Betweens, Gun Club and Pavement to name but a few
However I've gone for Bangkok a solo number from the great Alex Chilton.
From one great artist to another. Here is Eddie Hinton possibly the owner of the greatest white Soul voice. Actually, there is no possibly about it.

Alex Chilton - Bangkok

Eddie Hinton - Help Me To Make It (Power of a Woman's Love)

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

16 Horsepower

For once I didn't come across too much Americana during our trip up North. It has been a fertile hunting ground in the past but not this time.
I did manage to bag a couple though.
The name 16 Horsepower rang a bell in the deeper recesses of my mind when I picked up 2000's Secret South in Pitlochry but it was only later that I discovered that it was on the legendary (to me at least) German Glitterhouse label.
Sure enough back home I checked and I have a couple of their tracks on Glitterhouse compilations including one from this album.
They are out of Denver. David Eugene Edwards is the head honcho ably supported by Steve Taylor on guitar, Pascal Humbert on bass and Jean-Yves Tola on drums.
The album was recorded  and self produced in a cabin n the mountains around Denver and then mixed in Bath.

16 Horsepower - Clogger

16 Horsepower - Straw Foot

Tuesday, 17 October 2017


We are busy battening down the hatches (or hatchets as Mrs CC would have it) in preparation for Storm Ophelia which will hopefully have passed by the time you get round to reading this.
Downgraded from a hurricane it has unfortunately already reeked havoc in Ireland.
As you can imagine the media is in a total frenzy.
When we we in Giarloch it got a bit blowy and the power went out. People just got on with it.
Nothing I'm sure compared to what the Caribbean has recently had to endure

All of the above is really just an opportunity to post these two songs and to mention that there used to be a woman at my work called Ophelia.

The Band - Ophelia

Natalie Merchant - Ophelia