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

Friday, December 29, 2017

What Love?





















It's that time of year again, my amigos da musica, so hallelujah, here we go. FTSOTS presents the ten push and pulls of the year, not forgetting the finest reads around. Always a pleasure. Winning artwork - 'his dreams of music', yes sir - comme d'habitude by Tinca. Dig in and crack up.

1. Jake Xerxes Fussell - What In The Natural World
Jake Xerxes Fussell - Pinnacle Mountain Silver Mine
2. Colter Wall - s/t
Colter Wall - You Look To Yours
3. Joan Shelley - s/t
Joan Shelley - The Push And Pull
4. Fleet Foxes - Crack-Up
5. The Feelies - In Between
6. The Weather Station - s/t
7. Hiss Golden Messenger - Hallelujah Anyhow
8. Here Lies Man - s/t
9. Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile - Lotta Sea Lice
10. John Moreland - Big Bad Love

Flamenco dept:
Luis Moneo - Mi Cante, Mi Palabra

Top books on music:
1. Erin Osmon - Jason Molina: Riding With The Ghost
2. Clinton Heylin - Trouble In Mind: Bob Dylan's Gospel Years
3. Reinhard Kleist - Nick Cave: Mercy On Me
4. Allan Jones - Can't Stand Up For Falling Down: Rock'n'Roll War Stories

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Crowed For Me





















Our famous end-of-year list is nearly ready, but patience please, let's put the old stuff to the test first. 'Cause hell yeah, 2017 sure was a great year for reissues and compilations of all kinds. Here's the top of the iceberg, already starting to melt. Suitcase of Songs artwork by the wonderful Tinca. It's flashback time, my amigos da musica...

1. Lal & Mike Waterson - Bright Phoebus
Lal & Mike Waterson - The Scarecrow
2. Bob Dylan - Trouble No More: The Bootleg Series Vol. 13
3. Neil Young - Hitchhiker
4. v/a - Even A Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese Folk & Rock '69 - '73
Ryo Kagawa - Zeni No Kouryouryoku Ni Tsuite
5. Erasmo Carlos - Carlos, Erasmo...
6. Lynn Castle - Rose Colored Corner
7. Grateful Dead - Cornell '77 & Dave's Picks Vol. 24: Live In Berkeley '72
8. Lloyd Parks - Time A Go Dread
LLoyd Parks - Shake Up Yu Dread
9. v/a - Warfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmares
10. Alice Coltrane - The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda

Monday, December 25, 2017

Too Hot





















After cool cool sets covering Lloyd Parks and producer Bunny Lee, this here's the third much recommended roots reggae compilation of 2017. Coxsone Dodd's legendary Studio One is where it's at on Black Man's Pride. You can't possibly go wrong with this wicked selection of big names (Alton Ellis, Horace Andy, Sugar Minott) and obscure outsiders. Of the latter category, here are the rather marvellous Classics. Seen?
The Classics - Got To Be Cool

Friday, December 22, 2017

Underneath My Fingers





















Don't really find myself listening to a lot of so-called indie rock anymore, but this here heartwarming collection of duets calls for an exception. The combination of ace songs, relaxed vibes, and a pleasant air of unpretentiousness sets this Aussie/US combination far apart from the pack. The Neil & the Horse flavoured track below, written by Courtney Barnett's partner Jen Cloher, just happens to be my current fave.
Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile - Fear Is Like A Forest