Monday, September 18, 2017

Come On In Here





















Mr. Young originally decided not to release Hitchhiker because he felt these David Briggs-produced, single night acoustic '76 recordings sounded too stoned somehow for his liking. The majority of this strong collection of songs, featuring such classics as Campaigner and Powderfinger, would eventually find its way to later albums of course, but to hear this stripped-down, mellow and intimate session after all these years is truly a joy.
Neil Young - Hawaii

Friday, September 15, 2017

Time Hurts

















Just got the sad news that Grant Hart has passed away. Hüsker Dü's legendary singing drummer was only 56, way way too young. Miss him.
Hüsker Dü - Sorry Somehow
Hüsker Dü - Pink Turns To Blue
Grant Hart - 2541

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Meet Me Here





















"A falcon presses up against a birch tree in a thin white dress..." Bit late to the party, as this one came out last January already. Expertly produced by Iron & Wine's Sam Beam, Tift Merritt's Stitch Of The World is simply too strong to be overlooked though.
Tift Merritt - Proclamation Bones

Monday, September 11, 2017

So Far Away





















Back with some killer psych from 1969 by Brazil's Os Brazões, who rose to fame as tropicália star Gal Costa's backing band. For some reason they only managed to make one sole album, which is well worth tracking down.
Os Brazões - Tão Longe De Mim

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Castle Made Of Sand





















"Me pongo mirando al mar, veo como las olas unas vienen y otras van..." Moving in a southwesterly direction for some rest & recreation. First up: a flying visit to Jerez de la Frontera flamenco city, to attend the jubilee edition of the famous Buleria festival. Back in a week or two, hasta luego!
El Camarón De La Isla -  Como Castillo De Arena

Monday, August 21, 2017

On My Own





















The bearded one returns with an album that harks back to his earlier lofi efforts, and that's a good thing if you ask me. Welcome back, old buddy.
Iron & Wine - Bitter Truth

Friday, August 18, 2017

Kiss Your Boy





















Gillian Welch must be struggling with one of her frequent writer's blocks, as it's up to her trusted sidekick David Rawlings to deliver the goods again. Which he does with verve, backed by a rootsy full band and Welch helping out on percussion and background vocals. If you're in need of a delicious and diverse collection of Americana, look no further.
David Rawlings - Cumberland Gap

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Head 'Em Up


















This one's for the freaks: a lavish 5 cd box full of bluegrass treasure, brought to you by Richard Weize, a guy who used to work for the acclaimed Bear Family reissue label. They contain all the songs legendary bluegrass maestro Bill Monroe recorded for the Decca label between 1950 and '51, including numerous outtakes. Flowers are blooming indeed.
Bill Monroe - The First Whippoorwill (take 7)
Bill Monroe - Rawhide (take 6)

Monday, August 14, 2017

Just Like Jack The Ripper





















An intriguing, trippy take on a stone cold Dead classic. Settle down easy, why don't you.
Dead Rider - Ramble On Rose

Friday, August 11, 2017

Played The Part





















Probably my fave ever Lou Reed cover. What's yours, my amigos da musica?
Cowboy Junkies - Sweet Jane

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

For All Time













Just got the sad news that Glen Campbell has passed away. The legendary country singer, who started his musical career as a session player with the famous Wrecking Crew, made his best work with songwriter and producer Jimmy Webb. He was 81. Miss him.
Glen Campbell - Wichita Lineman
Glen Campbell - Where's The Playground, Susie

Monday, August 7, 2017

Smiled Down On Me





















Gone the clouds, as this is the reissue of the year as far as I'm concerned. Trust me on this: you really need this 1972 Britfolk masterpiece by Lal & Mike Waterson in your lives. Featuring Richard Thompson, Martin Carthy, Maddy Prior and Dave Mattacks amongst others, Bright Phoebus was rather misunderstood by the tradfolk mafia when it came out and soon faded into obscurity, but slowly but surely turned into a holy grail of sorts over the years. Now it's finally here in remastered glory on Domino records, coupled with a fine fine bonus disc with demos from '71. Don't miss out.
Lal & Mike Waterson - Bright Phoebus
Lal & Mike Waterson -  One Of These Days ('71 demo)

Friday, August 4, 2017

On My Side




















Neil's immortal Down By The River like you never heard it before. This is some seriously funky psychedelic stuff, brothers and sisters... Find it on a new compilation packed with goodies called Function Underground: The Black and Brown American Rock Sound 1969-1974.
Purple Snow - Down By The River

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Better Watch Out

















The Boys Next Door, precursors to the mighty Birthday Party, take on a Gene Vincent rockabilly gem. Instant mayhem of course. Like to hear the original, too? Thought so.
Boys Next Door - Cat Man
Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps - Cat Man

Monday, July 31, 2017

Punjab Calling




















Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan will always be the brightest star of the devotional music of the sufis called qawwali. Fascinating to say the least. "Ali is the one who gives dignity to those who do not have anyone to protect their dignity..."
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Ali Maula Ali Maula Ali Dam Dam

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

I Like It





















Because you all need the blues according to Jessie Mae in your lives. Trust me, my amigos da musica.
Jessie Mae Hemphill - Feelin' Good

Monday, July 24, 2017

From On High





















Halfway in What A Long Strange Trip It's Been, Dennis McNally's absorbing and very extensive Grateful Dead biography, so high time to celebrate for a bit. Here's the Dead working in mysterious ways during an intense acoustic set at Harpur College back in 1970. Glorious gospel. Hey now!
Grateful Dead - Cold Jordan (live '70)

Friday, July 21, 2017

Hot Heads





















It's one of 'em summers alright. Even the geraniums are wilting on the balcony, no matter how much water you give them. City definitely red hot, too hot... So how about a boiling, sweaty six pack for your listening pleasure, my amigos da musica? Hot time artwork as usual by the mighty Tinca.
The Soul Lifters - Hot, Funky And Sweaty
The Explosions - Stepping Hot
The Samurai - Fresh Hot Breeze Of Summer
Lee 'Scratch' Perry - City Too Hot
Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band - Hot Head
William Harris - Hot Time Blues

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Back Roads





















Johnny Darrell was one of the first ones to take on Willin', Lowell George's immortal ode to the truck drivin' way of life. Did a good job, too. That silvery guitar? The great Clarence White of course.
Johnny Darrell - Willin'

Monday, July 17, 2017

Nothing Like A Sucker





















Ann Arbor rock monster Big Chief was destined for greatness. They had the heavy wahwah grunge down pat, the Motor City funk in their pockets. Swagger and jive in spades, and some fine fine songs, too. I saw 'em live once in Amsterdam's Milky Way, where they used part of the Kiss firework display after befriending the pyrotechnics guy of the arena rockers in a red light district dive the night before. Good times, good show. Alas, they broke up in the mid-nineties, utterly frustrated with the music biz. Shame that.
Big Chief - Drive It Off
Big Chief - One Born Every Minute (Doc's Theme)
Big Chief - Fresh Vines
Big Chief - Map Of Your Failure

Friday, July 14, 2017

Go Round





















Time for some true American primitive guitar, recently released. Once a student of legendary picker Robbie Basho, Richard Osborn wasn't able to play his instrument of choice for 15 years as he hurt his hand in two separate accidents. Here's proof he hasn't lost his touch.
Richard Osborn - Still I Will Be Merry

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Miracle Workers





















Been awhile since we enjoyed a steaming six pack from the garage, so here goes. Fuzz guitars and tambourines, razor sharp organs and snotty vocals... What more could one possibly want? Sixties punk never goes outta style.
We The People - In The Past
Velvet Illusions - Velvet Illusions
New Fugitives - That's Queer
The Cryan' Shames - Ben Franklin's Almanac
The Brogues - I Ain't No Miracle Worker
Bohemian Vendetta - Enough

Monday, July 10, 2017

Ports Unknown





















A progfolk gem from one of the rarest records ever. Perry Leopold self-released his Experiment In Metaphysics album in a run of 300 copies in 1970 and managed to give most of them away from a Philadelphia street corner. Sail into the night...
Perry Leopold - The U.S.S. Commercial

Friday, July 7, 2017

From The Beaten Track





















The reincarnation of Nick Drake? Nah, but this young Windy City-based Brit in exile sure gets close sometimes. Tastefully arranged pastoral English folk with some seriously good picking in full-on Jansch/Renbourne mode. Enjoy the sounds of winter in high summer, my amigos da musica.
James Elkington - Make It Up

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Fingertips





















Back in the days, it was quite a surprise to hear the ruthless Sheffield electro postpunks of Cabaret Voltaire covering L.A. sixties punkers the Seeds. But they sure did an original and refreshing job.
The Seeds - No Escape
Cabaret Voltaire - No Escape

Monday, July 3, 2017

Moo!

















Presenting three cool songs with a bovine signature for your listening pleasure. Don't ask why. Just is.
The Suburbs - Cows
Melvins - Cow
Daniel Johnston - Walking The Cow

Friday, June 30, 2017

Diamond Sundrop





















Exploding crystal bubbles on the dreams of my tomorrows? Right on! Here's the lady barber, with a groovy track from a recent reissue on the always wonderful Light in the Attic label. Don't miss out.
Lynn Castle - The Forest

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Kiss It





















After a lengthy study hiatus, losing his trademark beard in the process, Robin Pecknold finally returns with his Foxes for their third album, and an ambitious one it is, too. The trademark heavenly vocal harmonies remain, but musically there's quite a difference: most of the tracks restlessly keeps shifting shape, in ingeniously orchestrated arrangements. Progfolk indeed. I guess Crack-Up will keep us all busy for quite a while.
Fleet Foxes - Naiads, Cassadies

Monday, June 26, 2017

Très Belle





















A French chansonnier, doing it the Americana way? Check out Baptiste W. Hamon from Paris. The first track is an intriguing duet with the one and only Bonnie Prince Billy, while the second one movingly pays homage to his all-time idol. Got good taste, this mac.
Baptiste W. Hamon - Comme La Vie Est Belle
Baptiste W. Hamon - Van Zandt

Friday, June 23, 2017

Don't You Know





















Two giants of British folk guitar take on an Anne Briggs composition. "Tomorrow comes like yesterday..." Warm and lovely.
Bert Jansch & John Renbourn  - The Time Has Come

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Copy Of Zoso





















I've never been much of a hard rock enthusiast, but early Monster Magnet remains a guilty pleasure, their Spine Of God album from '91 first and formost. Maybe because David Wyndorfs brainchild was so over the top and drugged out it almost defied belief? 'Swings like god's own dick' was their motto at the time: an accurate observation if ever there was one.
Monster Magnet - Nod Scene

Monday, June 19, 2017

Tanta Ilusión





















In need of some duende in this hot weather, amigos? That's muy bien, as we've got a trio of fine examples of classic gypsy flamenco puro for you today. ¡Al cante!
Rafael Farina - A Pedirme Una Limosna
Manuel Jiménez Rejano - Cuando Escribo Mis Poemas
Ramon El Portugues - Porque Sabes Escribir

Friday, June 16, 2017

Roaming Gigolo





















At the end of this month, the renowned Tompkins Square label will re-release two rare albums by Will (a.k.a. William C.) Beeley. The folky Gallivantin' from '71 originally came out as a private press of 200 copies only, while the more countryrock-orientated Passing Dream ('79) was issued in small numbers on the tiny Malaco label. Incidentially, this was also the recording debut of future Dylan sideman Larry Campbell. Both, needless to say, are interesting to say the least. Cream on the cake dept: next year will see a brand new album by the long haul trucker from New Mexico.
Will Beeley - Gallivanter
Will Beeley - Standin' At The Station

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Did The Moonwalk



















Mark Kozelek collaborates with Justin 'Jesu' Broadrick to tackle the late Wacko Jacko. As usual, he pulls no punches. Weirdest song of the year?
Jesu/Sun Kil Moon - He's Bad

Monday, June 12, 2017

Too Late





















Finally got the reissue treatment: the Possum's long lost collaboration with Roy Acuff's long-time backing band the Smoky Mountain Boys. Cool country from the early seventies.
George Jones & The Smoky Mountain Boys - The Great Judgement Morning

Friday, June 9, 2017

Spinning Our Wheels





















Tried this one on for size because Hiss Golden Messenger's MC Taylor recommended it via his Instagram account, and Mike's a man of taste alright. And I'm glad I did, as Big Bad Luv is as honest an Americana record as they come.
John Moreland - No Glory In Regret

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Let's Just Be Glad





















A legendary singer/songwriter is coming to our fair town and we've got our tickets. Might be one of the last opportunities to see Kris Kristofferson (80) live in concert, as the former army helicopter pilot, Nashville janitor, outlaw country icon, and Hollywood actor has been suffering from Lyme disease and memory loss for some time now. His motto should be anyone's really: 'tell the truth, sing with passion, work with laughter, love with heart, 'cause that's all that matters in the end...' Here's hoping he'll play this old chestnut.
Kris Kristofferson - For The Good Times

Monday, June 5, 2017

Hand To Mouth





















"And some days you see the dustcloud, as it rolls across the sky..." A true gem from the still way underrated British folkrocker Michael Chapman. Run to your local record emporium to buy Wrecked Again ('71) together with Rainmaker ('69) and Fully Qualified Survivor ('70) for starters, and you'll probably find yourself digging deeper into his oeuvre in no time.
Michael Chapman - Fennario

Friday, June 2, 2017

Dig It





















The more or less forgotten altist Byard Lancaster honours Trane. In the process, he digs way deep.
Byard Lancaster - John's Children

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Du Paradis



"Halfway to heaven with paradise waitin'..." Presenting an ambrosial six pack for your listening pleasure. Heavenly artwork comme d'habitude by Tinca. Just groove me, my amigos da musica.
Charlie Parker - Bird Of Paradise
The Cookies - In Paradise
John Prine - Paradise
Doug Sahm - Groovers Paradise
Nick Lowe - Halfway To Paradise
The Saints - See You In Paradise

Special bonus track:
The Monochrome Set - Ici Les Enfants

Monday, May 29, 2017

You Just Don't Know





















Finally managed to dig up a copy of the elusive Jacobites debut here in town. And thankfully, it appears that Sudden and Kusworth's brand of ramshackle rock & roll has aged rather well. Ever so charming.
Jacobites - Silver Street

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Trapped No More















Just got the sad news that brother Gregg Allman passed away yesterday. The Southern rock pioneer was 69. A soulful singer and organist, he was one of the founders of the legendary Allman Brothers Band back in '69. Their Live At The Fillmore East ('71) may just be my fave live album ever. Miss him.
The Allman Brothers Band - One Way Out (live '71)

Friday, May 26, 2017

Nadie


















A classic Cuban oldie courtesy of the great Compay Segundo, whom you may know as one of the Buena Vista SC guys. "As I loved you Macusa, nobody will ever love you, nobody..." A song based on a true story, as a girl called Macusa was indeed the singer's lost childhood love.
Compay Segundo - Macusa

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Swan Song





















Now here's a surprise: the tiny Bang! label just released In My Room, the final recordings ('91-'93) of the legendary Gun Club. A mix of originals and covers, this is clearly for completists only, though it's always a pleasure to hear ole Jeffrey wail of course. Hidden gem: a lovely ballad with steel guitar called Not Supposed To Be That Way. "Dream a dream or two..."
The Gun Club - Not Supposed To Be That Way

Monday, May 22, 2017

Rest Is History



















From Rich Cohen's enjoyable book The Sun & The Moon & The Rolling Stones: "When Watts was fourteen, he heard Walkin' Shoes by the Gerry Mulligan Quartet. The drumming - Chico Hamilton playing with brushes - spurred him into action. He tore the strings off an old banjo and taught himself to play the snare. To fill out the sound, he banged pots and pans. His parents bought him a drum set that Christmas..."
The Gerry Mulligan Quartet - Walkin' Shoes

Friday, May 19, 2017

Bathing In The Creek





















Hell, this is pretty damn good indeed... A Canadian from Saskatchewan, they say brother Colter Wall is only in his early twenties, but does he sound like a spring chicken? No sir, far from it. Got a mighty voice, and a repertoire that harkens back to such greats as Kris Kristofferson and Townes van Zandt. Not afraid to show his influences, he covers the latter twice on his thankfully sparsely produced second album. But it's his remarkably strong self-penned material that proves he's very much his own man already. For those of you interested: Mr. Wall will soon be touring Europe for a bit, though sadly not in my neck of the woods.
Colter Wall - Kate McCannon

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Not Quite Dead





















Let's stay in Dead territory for a while longer, focusing on on 1972 this time. Although it saw no studio release, deadheads everywhere still considered it a remarkably good year. The wonderful Europe '72 live set was a no-brainer of course, and then there were strong solo albums by Jerry Garcia (Garcia), Bob Weir (Ace), and Mickey Hart (Rolling Thunder) to enjoy. The better songs on these would later ease into the Dead's live repertoire, as was the case with the trio of tracks below. Hey now!
Jerry Garcia - Loser
Bob Weir - Looks Like Rain
Mickey Hart - The Pump Song

Monday, May 15, 2017

Deal Come Round



















Finally available in official glory: the Dead's legendary Cornell '77 show, and in top notch Betty Board quality at that. This one's been hailed by some respectable deadheads as the finest gig they ever played, and while that's debatable of course, it sure is full of genuine American beauty. Excepting the lamentable fake-funk of Dancing In The Streets and an overblown Estimated Prophet, everything just grooves and grooves like it should. Hey now!
The Grateful Dead - Deal (Live Cornell '77)

Friday, May 12, 2017

Just A Seeker





















Let's stay in Louisville a while longer to visit  Will 'Bonnie Prince Billy' Oldham, who has just cooked up a fresh batch of Merle Haggard covers. No surprise there, as he regards the late country legend as one of his 'forever heroes'. Sadly, for the second time in a row here's a Bonnie Billy album that doesn't really do it for me. It's not bad mind, and the arrangements - with saxes and flutes no less - are quite adventurous, but in the end it just made me want to give my trusted Hag records another spin.
Bonnie Prince Billy - I Am What I Am