Monday, August 12, 2019

All The Time





















Holiday break starts... today! Sorry folks, just can't stay. No worries, I'll leave you with a good old six pack of fine fine tunes, with steady artwork as usual by Tinca. Back before you know it, my amigos da musica.
Johnny Daye - Stay Baby Stay
The Impressions - Stay Close To Me
Funkadelic - I'll Stay
Dennis Brown - Stay At Home
The Rockets - Won't You Say You Stay
Spiritualized - Stay With Me

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Real Life





















The dynamic instrumental duo of guitarist Che Chen and percussionist Rick Brown are back with a bang. Having first appeared on our radar with the blistering Wood/Metal/Plastic/Pattern/Rhythm/Rock album back in 2016, the avant-blues New Yorkers now up the ante with the hypnotic I Was Real. The groovin' track below was named for a Japanese guitarist they both dig by the way.
75 Dollar Bill - Tetuzi Akiyama

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Let Him In













Just got the sad news that David Berman no longer walks among us. The singer of the Silver Jews and recently of Purple Mountains was only 52. He was a fine fine songwriter and poet, and a great guy with a troubled soul. Miss him.
Silver Jews - Rebel Jew

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Real Good Time





















Stoked to see Patti Smith and her band tonight in the tiny Catalan village of Sant Feliu de Guíxols. To get in the mood, let's enjoy the first known recording (from 1966) by her faithful guitar player, the ubercool Nuggets compiler Lenny Kaye, in the guise of Link Cromwell.
Link Cromwell & The Zoo - Crazy Like A Fox

Monday, August 5, 2019

Doggone Long





















Here at last: ole Hank's complete recordings from his appearances on the Health & Happiness radio show back in 1949. With the Hillbilly Shakespeare and his Drifting Cowboys in their prime and a masterfully restored sound quality, this is a no-brainer of course.
Hank Williams - I'm A Long Gone Daddy

Friday, August 2, 2019

Some Frippery





















The thought of Nick Cave merrily humming along to Pink Floyd, Yes and ELP as a youngster sure made me chuckle. Can't remember him singing their praise when wreaking havoc with postpunk enfants terribles The Birthday Party... He confessed as much in a recent issue of his Red Hand Files though, while also heaping praise upon Robert Fripp's King Crimson, the prog band St. Nick names as a big influence on his own Grinderman project.
King Crimson - Starless
Grinderman - Super Heathen Child (feat. Robert Fripp)

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Strange Brew





















If you, like me, can't get enough of electric Miles, here's yet another piece of the puzzle. Recorded live in Rotterdam for a radio broadcast back in '69, The Lost Quintet precedes the release of the revolutionary Bitches Brew. Backing the man with the horn are Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette. And fun was clearly had by all. Run that voodoo down...
Miles Davis - Bitches Brew (live '69)

Monday, July 29, 2019

Take My Fear





















The second collaboration between Iron & Wine and Calexico sounds more like a Sam Beam solo record with the guys from Tucson in the role of backing band supreme. Impeccably played and all of course, but Years To Burn lacks that certain je ne sais quoi that characterizes Calexico's best stuff.
Calexico/Iron & Wine - What Heaven's Left

Friday, July 26, 2019

Got A New Rose






















The ideal long hot summer soundtrack comes choogling in from Portland, Oregon in the form of the Rose City Band. Cosmic American with a whiff of kraut here and there, and a lovely spaced-out guitar sound with echoes of the one and only Jerry G. Splendid record, get it here.
Rose City Band - Me And Willie

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Silent Way draft





















Got a lovely mood piece by avant-pickers Alan Licht and Loren Mazzacane-Connors for you today. Because on the right day, their jazz-inspired Hoffman Estates project from '98, masterminded by Jim O'Rourke, can be all you need.
Alan Licht & Loren Mazzacane-Connors - Sad At Times

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Bye Poppa













Just got the sad news that New Orleans funk legend Arthur Lanon 'Art' Neville passed away yesterday.  The keyboard player they called Poppa Funk, co-founder of both the Meters and the Neville Brothers, was 81. Miss him.
The Meters - Liar
The Neville Brothers - Fire On The Bayou

Monday, July 22, 2019

Treat Me This Way





















Shame about that preposterous title, but there's no denying this is indeed a solid compilation of rare early country blues. If you've never enjoyed the mighty Two Poor Boys, the wonderfully named Papa Eggshell, or the razorsharp Mississippi Matilda, to name but a few obscure names presented here, you'd be a fool not to pick this one up pronto.
Mississippi Matilda - Hard Working Mama

Friday, July 19, 2019

Speak Slow





















"In the distance we now hold on to you..." Fans of British freakfolkers supreme Tunng will love this cool collection of non-album ditties. I know I do.
Tunng - Clump

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

World Of Mystery





















After quite a long absence due to marital bliss and parenthood, Mr. Deadpan strikes again. And although not as firmly focused as his 2013 tour de force Dream River, the twenty short and sweet stream of conciousness tracks collected here certainly don't disappoint. The track below has him at his most tender, crooning about the woman of his dreams. But being Bill C, he just can't help himself and has to add a wacky detail concerning Willie Nelson's guitar.
Bill Callahan - What Comes After Certainty

Monday, July 15, 2019

Holy Grace





















Lovely story in last week's Guardian about a veteran ice-cream man from Eastbourne and the changing of the times. Made me think of this gruff beauty.
Kevin Coyne - Eastbourne Ladies

Friday, July 12, 2019

Bob's Yr Uncle





















"Well uncle Pen played the fiddle, Lord, how it would ring? You could hear it talk, you could hear it sing..." Presenting a six pack to go about uncles, with extravagant art by the all-seeing Tinca.
Bill Monroe - Uncle Pen
Pearls Before Swine - Uncle John
Brian Eno - Third Uncle
Screaming Trees - Uncle Anesthesia
Bad Livers - Uncle Lucius
Drive-By Truckers - Uncle Frank

And let's go all out with a familiar trio of bonus tracks, just because we can...
Uncle Walt's Band - High Hill
Uncles - Settler's Song
Unkle - Bloodstain

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

So Uncanny





















The Dead fronted by a female version of Damo Suzuki? Trippy SF spacerock collective Dire Wolves pulls it off on Spacetime Rider, the price track of their new Grow Towards The Light album. 3, 2, 1... and we have lift off.
Dire Wolves - Spacetime Rider

Monday, July 8, 2019

Without Her





















Two delightful (and very different) modern takes on an old ballad from the Ozark mountains by way of Scotland. Find them on two brand new, high quality folk albums by kindred souls Jake Xerxes Fussell (Out Of Sight) and House and Land (Across The Field).
Jake Xerxes Fussell - The Rainbow Willow
House and Land - Rainbow 'Mid Life's Willows

Friday, July 5, 2019

Moody Sky





















Hurrah once more for the good folk over at Light in the Attic, who recently saw fit to re-release Sachiko Kanenobu's only solo album Misora from 1972. A delicate Japfolk classic I can't get enough of at the moment.
Sachiko Kanenobu - Sora Wa Fukigen

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Burning Hell





















Floyd Batts didn't need no accompaniment to sing the blues. No sir. Recorded in '59 by songhunter Alan Lomax at the notorious Louisiana prison called Parchman Farm.
Floyd Batts - Dangerous Blues

Monday, July 1, 2019

Come On In





















Nederbeat, always a treat. The charming Condors are in girl trouble, the Rodys stay optimistic, while the Zipps do a Dylan, complete with flute. "And remember, let bygones be bygones..."
The Condors - It Was A Lie
The Rodys - Looking For Something Better
Zipps - Hipsterism

Friday, June 21, 2019

Hasta Pronto





















Jerez meets Seville, or: Jesús Méndez lends his voice to the delicate pickings of Dani de Morón. Simply irresistable. I'll be away from my desk for a week or so, traveling south to sunny Andalucía, home of flamenco. Back before you know it, my amigos da musica.
Dani de Morón con Jesús Méndez - Tientos

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Living Is A Joke





















Always heartwarming: the unmistakable, languid London drawl of the one and only Peter Perrett. "I'm gonna sleep on a bed of nails, never to wake up..." Bonus points for that lovely gypsy violin.
Peter Perrett - Believe In Nothing

Monday, June 17, 2019

Your History





















New Pressure Sounds ahoy. Most of the fine fine tracks on this righteous helping of roots and dub were showcased before on Blood & Fire's classic Jesus Dread and King Tubby's Prophecy Of Dub collections. In case you missed out on these, Walls Of Jerusalem is a most irie alternative.
Yabby You - Go To School Jah Jah Children

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Good Times





















Early seventies live Neil? Just can't be beat, be it solo, with the Horse, or with the Stray Gators, as is the case here. Choice cut from Tuscaloosa '72: a sharp version of Lookout Joe, dedicated to the soldiers who were coming home from 'Nam at the time. "Glory Hallelujah! Will I lay my burden down?" That fancy Flying V of his never sounded so good.
Neil Young & The Stray Gators - Lookout Joe

Friday, June 14, 2019

Rolled Back My Sleeve





















He's spoiling us... When the poet laureate of rock & roll is involved, overkill never comes into it, and a grand total of ten Rolling Thunder '75 gigs in pristine sound quality is always welcome. For dedicated Bobcats who have already worn out these shows in bootleg form however, the rehearsals and rarities presented here are the real treat of course. Take a wonderful interpretation of the Irish folk ballad Easy And Slow for instance, from the Seacrest Motel rehearsals. Or how about a slow-burning, drastically rewritten If You See Her, Say Hello from the S.I.R. rehearsals? "She might be in Babylon..." Right on.
Bob Dylan - Easy And Slow
Bob Dylan - If You See Her, Say Hello

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Curtain Fell





















Finally a new solo effort by Taylor Ramsey, who released the impressive A Long Dream About Swimming Across The Sea back in 2007. Was it worth the long wait, caused by his day job in Band of Horses, you ask? Not really. Ramsey sure does a pleasant Neil Young lite here, but overall, For The Morning lacks the necessary bite.
Tyler Ramsey - Breaking A Heart

Monday, June 10, 2019

Take Your Time





















Why this '71 Texas groover by Sir Doug sidekick Augie Meyer(s) never got the cd reissue treatment so far is perplexing to say the least. Something to do with businessmen and rights owners maybe? Whatever the case, all hail the Western Head Music Co, my amigos da musica.
Augie Meyer - Slow Times Coming

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Picture Of You





















Overlooked this Glands debut when it came out in 1996 for some reason, but I'm really enjoying last years reissue as we speak. Comparable with bands as Pavement or Yo La Tengo, this combo from Athens, Georgia must have been enamoured of the bands in New Zealand's famous Flying Nun roster as well. Their ode to pretty Merrina caught my fancy especially.
The Glands - Pretty Merrina

Monday, June 3, 2019

Be Careful


















"He's recording in his book, what you say and what you do..." Warning: the gospel according to Brother Sidney Harris and The Sacred Four may not be suitable for the paranoid among you.
The Sacred Four - Somebody's Watching You
Brother Sidney Harris - He Got His Eyes On You

Saturday, June 1, 2019

That That Is Forever
















"You're gonna wake up one morning as the sun greets the dawn, you're gonna find that I'm gone..." Just got the sad news that Roger Kynard 'Roky' Erickson no longer walks among us. The singer of Texas garage legends the 13th Floor Elevators was 71. You're gonna miss him.
13th Floor Elevators - You Don't Know (How Young You Are)
Roky Erickson - I Have Always Been Here Before
Roky Erickson - Never Say Goodbye

Friday, May 31, 2019

Lonesome Town





















A short but sweet tale of women and woe by obscure folkie Bob Frank. "And to this day it seems to me that I'm the only one, who has a pleasant memory of a girl in Washington..."
Bob Frank - Waitsburg

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Do Your Thing





















Out there jazz fusion from a 1970 ballet score by Lloyd McNeill, a one time student of the great Eric Dolphy. Which means lotsa flute and electric piano, but do pay attention to drummer Robert Gravatt in particular, as he really is the driving force here.
Lloyd McNeill Quartet - Home Rule

Monday, May 27, 2019

Close Watch





















Don't miss the Sunwatchers on the remainder of their European tour, my amigos da musica. I caught the tight Brooklyn combo yesterday night here in town and their channeling of Ornette and the krauts by way of Sonic Youth and the Minutemen was mighty impressive indeed. Cosmic skronk you gotta watch.
Sunwatchers - Beautiful Crystals

Saturday, May 25, 2019

All That You've Got





















Please pay attention, all you Americana lovers out there. Coming to you from Beattyville, Kentucky, here's Ian Noe. I caught young Ian opening for Colter Wall some time back and was rather impressed. His debut album impresses me even more. With its tasteful, sparse instrumentation and meticulous songcraft, Between The Country will be a sure contender for many an end of year list.
Ian Noe - If Today Doesn't Do Me In

Friday, May 24, 2019

Rode On Ahead





















78 candles to blow out today today for the poet laureate of rock & roll. Many happy returns, Bob! In feverish anticipacion of next June's Rolling Thunder extravaganza - a Marty Scorcese Netflix documentary and a huge live '75 box set - we're celebrating things with a steaming soundboard recording of Isis from the Revue's stint in Lowell, a town in Massachusetts known for its motto 'art is the handmaid of human good'.
Bob Dylan - Isis (live Lowell '75)

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Voice Woes



















Please welcome John McGrath, an Irish solo guitarist residing in London. Not only capable of channeling Britfolk greats as Bert Jansch, John Renbourn or Michael Chapman, he can also pick like John Fahey and his fellow American primitives, as the hypnotic track below clearly shows. His all-instrumental Wake And Whisper is out the first of June on the Crooked Stem imprint.
John McGrath - Woes Of The Turtle

Monday, May 20, 2019

Come On In





















Hey now, yet another Dave's Picks has hit the shelves. Installment #30 takes us back to the legendary Fillmore East of January 1970, just a few months before the masterful Workingman's Dead was released. Makes for essential listening of course. Need proof? Dig this crisp take on Robert Hunter's intriguing fable of the dire wolf. "An easy chorus, and you can even sing with it, it's fun..."
Grateful Dead - Dire Wolf (live New York City '70)

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Way Back When





















Just happily found out that David Berman will be making a comeback soon. The bearded Silver Jews singer officially retired from the music world back in 2009, but behold, under the name of Purple Mountains he has risen. The first sign of life from a forthcoming album, the lushly orchestrated All My Happiness Is Gone, certainly sounds interesting enough.
Purple Mountains - All My Happiness Is Gone

Some prime Joos, you ask? There you go.
Silver Jews - Rebel Jew
Silver Jews - Random Rules
Silver Jews - Friday Night Fever

Friday, May 17, 2019

Hot Stuff





















Bobby Kalphat was just about the only guy who could give melodica master Augustus Pablo a run for his money. Producer Phil Pratt deliriously dubs him to the top here.
Bobby Kalphat & The Sunshot All Stars - Collie Collie

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Suffer Some





















Joaquín Jiménez Fernández, the flamenco vocalist better known as Salmonete de Jerez, started singing when he was 7, made one album when he was seventeen, only to disappear from the scene for fourty years. Long time no see indeed, but come back he did, his weathered voice accompanied by Domingo Rubichi on guitar, and the results are impressive to say the least.
Salmonete - Tanto Me Hiciste Sufrir

Monday, May 13, 2019

Wondrous Fair





















Miss Waters goes all out on a centuries-old traditional folk song. Haunting as hell throughout and getting weirder by the minute, this is a masterly performance in a free jazz style. Phew. Even the incomparable John Jacob Niles, who set it to music back in 1941, or the mighty Nina Simone didn't manage to scale such dizzying heights.
Patty Waters - Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair
Nina Simone - Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair
John Jacob Niles - Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair

Friday, May 10, 2019

Good Question That





















With special thanks to Tinca for ten exquisite illustrations, we're gonna end our questioning mini series with an exclamation mark. Groep 1850 was a combo of longhairs from the Hague, Holland, who recorded this tour de force in 1969. As far as far out psychedelic farfisa freakouts go, it's the real deal alright.
Groep 1850 - ?!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Funky Scene





















The Tulsa master's last will and testament. Curated by his widow and his manager, this collection of laid back leftovers is as warm, as groovy, and as seemingly effortless as any Cale album. Wish he could have stayed around a little longer.
J.J. Cale - Lights Down Low

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Back To Frisco





















Still got a craving for that early American punk sound? In that case, head over to the esteemed Jonderblog and help yourselves to a fine fine compilation of '76-'78 Bay Area groups. Their neighbours in LA had the zines, the labels, the venues and a sympathetic radio station and got more exposure that way, but San Francisco's scene sure was vital in its own right.
The Avengers - I Believe In Me
The Offs - Zero Degrees

Monday, May 6, 2019

Dead And Gone





















The Dead woeing their audience in acoustic mode. Two complete unplugged sets here, recorded during their October series of shows in San Francisco's famous Warfield theatre back in 1980. Fingerlicking good sound quality, too. These are high times for deadheads everywhere, as there's a new volume of Dave's Picks on the way as well, in the form of a classic Fillmore East gig from 1970. Hey now!
Grateful Dead - I've Been All Around This World (live '80)
Grateful Dead - Jack-A-Roe (live '80)

Friday, May 3, 2019

Good Question That





















Sixties-influenced pop bliss from the Flying Nun stable, by an Auckland band cleverly named after the first known European to reach New Zealand: Dutch seafarer and explorer Abel Tasman. "Run that one by me again..." Indeed.
Able Tasmans - What Was That Thing?

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

She Went Away





















"Lady Luck looks down on me with a frown..." First up: a bad-luck story if ever there was one from 1965 by Gene Savage, the 'only man alive without a horoscope'. Over the top sad. Meanwhile Billy Rufus, on a fine Hank-inspired honky tonker from '67, ain't exactly a happy camper either. Locked his keys in his house and stands out in the rain, and that's not even half of it. Find both on a most excellent compilation called The Beginning Of The End - The Existential Psychodrama In Country Music.
Gene Savage- I Started At The Bottom And Worked My Way On Down
Billy Rufus - Low Down Blues

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Monday, April 29, 2019

Meow Again





















A new collection of hypnotic guitar instrumentals from the man who currently runs a cool performance space in Philly called Jerry's On Front. Forsyth's visions are as always clearly inspired by the mighty Television, which is definitely a plus in my book. Go cat go.
Chris Forsyth - New Paranoid Cat