Friday, November 30, 2018

Moyo Rising





















Going to see the mighty Kikagaku Moyo tonight at Sala Upload here in town. Can't wait to hear what these young psychedelic longhairs from Tokyo will come up with. Would be extremely nice though if they played this fine ditty...
Kikagaku Moyo - Green Sugar

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Monday, November 26, 2018

To The Center





















Levon's daughter Amy's new album opens with a composition especially written for her by Hiss Golden Messenger's MC Taylor. Works a treat: this is rich and soulful Americana at its finest. And speaking of Hiss: I didn't buy their Devotion boxset of old albums as I owned 'em already, but had to shell out for the outtakes disc Virgo Fool of course. Some delightful tunes there for the completists among us, like this sweet ode to Karen Dalton. "Long hair, sitting in the sun, you were so young, so full of devastation..."
Amy Helm - This Too Shall Light
Hiss Golden Messenger - Karen's Blues

Friday, November 23, 2018

One Night





















And the excellent Studio One reggae compilations on the Soul Jazz label, they just keep on coming. The most recent one is filled to the brim with that smooth and soulful sub-genre called lovers rock. The big names are there of course - Sugar Minott, Horace Andy, the Heptones - but the more obscure acts really make things interesting. Cue the Minstrels, who just can't control their emotions...
The Minstrels - Yours Until Tomorrow

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Keep Me Here





















So far I pretty much liked everything Meg Baird came up with a lot, be it her work with neo-folkies Espers, her acoustic solo output, or her role as the singing drummer in Heron Oblivion. Not so sure  about her new collaboration with harpist Mary Lattimore yet though. Too ethereal perhaps? Too vague? Here's hoping it's a grower.
Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore - Painter Of Tygers

Monday, November 19, 2018

Tryin' To Be So Quiet

















From the aptly but rather unimaginatively titled Live 1962-1966 - Rare Performances From The Copyright Collections, here's a delicate Visions, recorded live in Belfast back in '66. If this doesn't keep you up past the dawn I don't know what will.
Bob Dylan - Visions Of Johanna (Live Belfast '66)

Friday, November 16, 2018

Little Bit Of Promise





















With Joe Ely and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock was part of the wonderful but commercially disastrous Flatlanders triumvirate in the early seventies. After they broke up all desillusioned, it apparently took the buddhist of the band a couple of years to recover before he finally got around to record his first solo album. The aptly named West Texas Waltzes And Dust-Blown Tractor Tunes, released in 1978, was well worth the wait though. "So I left home to ramble..."
Butch Hancock - I Grew To Be A Stranger

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Good News Indeed





















South Africa calling.  It's 1973 and Abdullah 'Dollar Brand' Ibrahim and Johnny Dyani are freshening up a Xhosa traditional. All in fine style of course.
Dollar Brand Duo - Ntsikana's Bell

Monday, November 12, 2018

Can't You Never See





















Always was a sucker for ye olde Child Ballads, so this Smithsonian Folkways collection hit the spot just perfectly. To lift but a corner of the veil, here's the mighty E.C. Ball taking on Child Ballad 274. "I've traveled this wide world over, ten thousand miles or more, eyes and nose on a cabbage head I never saw before..."
The Blue Ridge Buddies with E.C. And Orna Ball - Three Nights Drunk

Friday, November 9, 2018

Grey With Years





















His recent marriage and the resulting domestic bliss are probably the reason our Will isn't as prolific nowadays as he used to be. And even his new Songs Of Love And Horror isn't really new in a way, as it finds him mainly looking back acoustically on his own oeuvre. It's always nice to hear the bonnie lad though, especially on this lovely a capella cover of an old Richard & Linda Thompson tune. For further reading: here's an interesting recent profile in Rolling Stone magazine.
Will Oldham - Strange Affair

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Rambling Quest





















Fiddle, banjo, acoustic guitar and heavenly harmonies: welcome to the world of Anna Krippenstapel and Heather Summers, playing together as The Other Years. Their lovely self-titled first album reminds me of a rootsier version of First Aid Kit, and is one of the debuts of the year for sure. And although their own material is very strong, this inspired cover of a Michael Hurley song, an old favourite of mine, caught my fancy especially. File under folk with a capital F.
The Other Years - Wildegeeses

Monday, November 5, 2018

Recorded Facts





















Another Bootleg Series collection, another copious treasure trove. The versions that ended up on Blood On The Tracks may remain the cream of the crop, but it's fascinating to follow how Dylan got there, to be able to track his creative process up close, false starts and all, for what would turn out to be one of his tour de force albums. I haven't even begun to properly digest it all of course, but this delicate, unfinished first stab at Idiot Wind, with just guitar and bass, caught my fancy immediately.
Bob Dylan - Idiot Wind (Take 1)

Friday, November 2, 2018

Silent Shouts



"Reading tea leaves and scanning stars..." Esteemed prophet David Tibet's been busy again, and this choice cut from the new Current 93 album The Light Is Leaving Us All sure sounds nice and spooky all over again. Chirp chirp...
Current 93 - Bright Dead Star