Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Carrying A Torch

Now here are two impressive torch songs from the early seventies for ya. As far as I know, Maki Asakawa's back catalogue is currently out of print, resulting in steep prices on the second-hand market. So it would be very much appreciated if some cool reissue label took on the complete oeuvre of this fine jazz and blues singer (1942-2010) from the land of the rising sun pronto.

Maki Asakawa - Yo Ga Aketara
Maki Asakawa - Gin House Blues

Friday, November 25, 2011

Easy Does It

Feeling quite mellow today, so it seems apt to present an easygoing six pack for the weekend. Be cool, calm, and collected y'all. "Well I'm easy, hey, I'm simple like a fool ..." Word.

Boz Scaggs - I'm Easy
Green On Red - Easy Way Out
Ted Lucas - It's So Easy (When You Know What You're Doing)
Billy Joe Shaver - Ride Me Down Easy
Sonny Stitt - Easy Does It
Ron Davies - It Ain't Easy

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Another Time, Another Place

This just in from the news desk: Leonard Cohen's new album, amusingly titled Old Ideas, is scheduled for a late January release. It's the Canadian veteran's first studio effort in eight long years. And here's a promising, solemn taster. "Show me the place for my head is bent and low, show me the place where you want your slave to go..."

Leonard Cohen - Show Me The Place

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Lady In The North

"She was courted by nine gentlemen, and a ploughboy-lad from Yarrow..." A truly great take on an ancient Scottish border ballad by the wonderful Shelagh McDonald, an early seventies folkie who was lost and found and lost again.

Shelagh McDonald - Dowie Dens Of Yarrow

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Viva Tropicalismo

Slowly but surely the temperature's dropping, and me no like at all. So to warm the heart a wee bit, let's hear it for a few tropical, steaming choice cuts from late sixties and early seventies Brazil. Take courage everybody, and don't forget to shake those marácas of fire regularly.

Gal Costa - Mamãe, Coragem
O Bando - E Assim Falava Mefistófeles
Os Mutantes - A Minha Menina
Caetano Veloso - Alegria, Alegria
Gilberto Gil - Bat Macumba
Lula Côrtes - Marácas De Fogo

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Two Earthquakes

Always on the lookout for that elusive holy ghost of music, we're tuning in to Jerez flamenco city tonight. Let's chase the spirit with Terremoto the father (1934-1981) and Terremoto the son (1969-2010) respectively, and see if the earth moves a bit.

Terremoto De Jerez - Ni Testigos Ni Abogados
Fernando Terremoto - Viento De Levante

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lolie Dresses Slowly

I know I plugged Howe Gelb's recent collaboration with a band of authentic gitano flamenco cats from Spain here before, but as I just can't get enough of Alegrías, here's one more lovely track. "Eso no te pega..." One for the slowly but surely approaching end-of-year lists for sure.

Howe Gelb & A Band Of Gypsies - The Ballad Of Lole Y Manuel

Saturday, November 12, 2011

On My Side

Continuing our time theme for a bit, here are six mighty fine bands from the past you just may not have heard of yet - or am I underestimating you now? "But as sure as you're living, you know the time is now..." Wise words in troubled times.

Spur - Time Is Now
Fifty Foot Hose - If Not This Time
Chambers Brothers - Time Has Come Today
Wake Ooloo - Time To Go
Polvo - Time Isn't On My Side
Laughing Hyenas - Hard Time Blues

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Legend Of Time

Flamenco with a sitar? Well, why not. Based on a poem by García Lorca, Nana Del Caballo Grande comes from Camaróns groundbreaking La Leyenda Del Tiempo ('79), the first ever flamenco-fusion album. As infamous as it was influential, and often called the Sgt. Pepper of the genre, its hasj-scented, electrified experiments caused hardcore aficionados to return it to the shops in droves. Since then, opinions have mellowed considerably.

El Camarón De La Isla - Nana Del Caballo Grande

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Nashville To Nantes

Here's one of those rare pleasant surprises from the email inbox. Forest Mountain Hymnal is the project of Rebecca and Jonathan Moody, a couple of Nashville-ites currently residing in the French town of Nantes. Their Fitcher's Bird is a spooky but très jolie folksong in two distinct parts. "Where do you come from..."

Forest Mountain Hymnal - Fitcher's Bird

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Take Me Home

"River, you keep flowing, like you know just where you're going..." Presenting a Sunday six pack about them always magical waterways. "But river, will you ever take me home..."

David Allan Coe - River
Meg Baird - River Song
Cell - Cross The River
Fear Itself - Underground River
Versus - River
Augustus Pablo - East Of The River Nile (original version)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Dark-Night Songs

"She warbled and keened at an extreme pitch of emotion unattainable by the young, and the verses of the songs went on and on toward a receding conclusion. They were dark-night songs. Knocked-up girls got stabbed or shot or hit in the head, and then buried in the cold ground or thrown into the black deep river. Pretty Polly. Little Omie Wise. Go down, go down, you Knoxville Girl. Sometimes reproduction did not even factor into the narrative. The man snuffed the girl out because he could not own her, a killing offense if the girl's opinions ran counter to his urges. In the ballads, love and murder and possession fit tight against one another as an outgrown wedding band on a swollen finger..."

That's from Nightwoods, Charles Frazier's new novel, which I happen to be reading at the moment. Good to see that someone knows his classics well. Guy's a mean writer, too, so do snap it up. In the meantime, here's a little soundtrack.

Bill Cornett - Pretty Polly
G.B. Grayson - Ommie Wise
Louvin Brothers - Knoxville Girl

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Same Old Same Old

It may be the same old rock alright, but I like it. Featuring one Jimmy Page on guitar. As the saying goes: hats off to Harper.

Roy Harper - The Same Old Rock