Friday, December 30, 2016

Light Up My Life

And here's our last tune of the year: a lovely reading of an old Waylon favorite. Bonnie Will Oldham and Mimi Parker from Low provide the fitting backing vocals. Oh, and a happy new year to you all, dear readers. Let's make 2017 a good one. Cheers!

Mark Kozelek - Amanda

Monday, December 26, 2016

Tower Of Song

The golden sings of 2016? Look no further, my amigos da musica. You want it darker? Shine on.

1. Heron Oblivion - Heron Oblivion
Heron Oblivion - The Desert
2. David Bowie - Blackstar
3. Hiss Golden Messenger - Heart Like A Levee/Vestapol
4. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree
5. Leonard Cohen - You Want It Darker
6. Brent Cobb - Shine On Rainy Day
Brent Cobb - Black Crow
7. Cian Nugent - Night Fiction
8. William Tyler - Modern Country
9. Ryley Walker - Golden Sings That Have Been Sung
10. Kikagaku Moyo - House In The Tall Grass
Kikagaku Moyo - Trad

Friday, December 23, 2016

They Shine

I do realize that christmas is just a kiss away and 2017 just around the corner and yes you just can't wait to see the famous FTSOTS end of year list... But please be patient, folks. Come snow or come shine, let's observe some other faves first.

This years must-reads:
Josh Rosenthal - The Record Store Of The Mind
Bob Mehr - Trouble Boys: The True Story Of The Replacements

This year's blazing (re-) issues:
Bonnie Prince Billy - Pond Scum
Bonnie Prince Billy - When Thy Song Flows Through Me
Tim Buckley - Lady, Give Me Your Key
Tim Buckley - Marigold
Terry Allen - Juarez
Terry Allen - Dogwood
Bunny Wailer - Solomonic Singles 1: Tread Along 1969-1976
The Wailers - Arabs Oil Weapon
Jack Rose - Opium Musick
Jack Rose - Linden Ave Stomp
various artists - Cosmic American Music
Jeff Cowell - Not Down This Low

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Trump Card

"He's got dollar signs in both his eyes..." Blaze Foley, bless his soul, saw what was coming.

Blaze Foley - Oval Room

Monday, December 19, 2016

We'll Be Free

And while we're talking free jazz: isn't it about time this way out, Africa-oriented spiritual jazz exercition from the seventies by electric Miles sideman Mtume finally got released on cd? Cherry on top?

Mtume - Cabral

Friday, December 16, 2016

This Swings

Extremely powerful free jazz from '71, courtesy of the somewhat forgotten Joe McPhee. His Nation Time is a stone cold classic which you should own for the way cool and somehow vaguely threatening album cover alone.

Joe McPhee - Shakey Jake

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Heart Of Gold

Cool stuff from the email inbox - and trust me, that doesn't happen very often. The young Spanish threesome of Peltier, hailing from the fair town of Valladolid, took my fancy immediately though. Indians at heart, their name is taken from the Native American activist Leonard Peltier, 'to honor him and all the Indian tribes'. If desert rock à la Calexico is your thing, lend them your ears.

Peltier - The Blue Story Of Son's Goldminer

Monday, December 12, 2016

Good Company

Takoma picking never goes out of style, and Daniel Bachman just happens to be one of its finest exponents. So do yourselves a favor and check out his self-titled, seventh album on the always adventurous Three Lobed label.

Daniel Bachman - Wine And Peanuts

Friday, December 9, 2016

Wings On Your Back

Nice find for sure: an album of long lost recordings, even including a couple of songs never heard before, by the late great warbler Tim Buckley. A bit lofi maybe, but Lady, Give Me Your Key makes me a happy camper just the same.

Tim Buckley - She's Back Again

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Lightning In My Pocket

Always a pleasure to sample some early miss Raitt. Cool slide a specialty. So without futher ado...

Bonnie Raitt - Women Be Wise
Bonnie Raitt - Under The Falling Sky
Bonnie Raitt - Write Me A Few Of Your Lines/Kokomo Blues

Monday, December 5, 2016

Silvery Moon

Presenting a gem from a much-recommended album about the life and times of the immortal Pablo Picasso, through the eyes of class singer Diego El Cigala. A flamenco treat.

Diego El Cigala - Luna De Plata (Gitana)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

On My Mind

Bonnie Billy and the Bells go country in an uplifting live medley, recorded in ye olde Oxford town. Hiya, Merle...

Trembling Bells & Bonnie Prince Billy - Bottom/No God/Bottle

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

To Them Hills And Gone

A heartbreaking trio of covers, performed live by the mighty duo of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. Enjoy, my amigos da musica.

Gillian Welch & David Rawlings - Snowing On Raton (live Berkeley '96)
Gillian Welch & David Rawlings - I'll Go On Downtown (live Berkeley '96)
Gillian Welch & David Rawlings - Albequerque (live Hickory '97)

Monday, November 28, 2016

Concept Of I

Neville O'Riley Livingston, better known as Bunny Wailer, is the only surviving member of the original Wailers, a dubious honor indeed. Not as well known by the public at large compared to Marley and Tosh, he's a reggae legend just the same. Cue a new collection of superb old singles released on his own Solomonic label, with songs that prove every inch as good as the material that ended up on his much lauded debut Blackheart Man, and that's saying something. There's a second volume out, too, but I haven't heard that one yet alas. Soon come.

Bunny Wailer - Amagideon

Friday, November 25, 2016

Togo To Go

A new compilation on the Hot Casa label, chock-a-bloc with steaming seventies afro soul from Togo? That's a no-brainer of course. Consider yourselves warned.

Aimé Orchis Mathey - Tralala Vo Dou

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Upon My Knees

Thanks to the good people over at nyctaper, you can now enjoy a solid recent show by Hiss Golden Messenger, who are currently on tour promoting their wonderful Heart Like A Levee album. Special treat: a rather obscure Faces cover. Dig in.

Hiss Golden Messenger - Flags And Banners (live)
The Faces - Flags And Banners

Monday, November 21, 2016

Feelin' Alright

Caught Ryley Walker yesterday night at the intimate Sidecar club here in Barcelona and very good it was, too. Hypnotizing tunes galore, upright bass a special treat. Young Mr. Walker isn't done touring Europe just yet, so I'd strongly suggest to go see him if he's somewhere in your area. Well worth it.

Ryley Walker - Summer Dress

Friday, November 18, 2016

Take Pity

"Yes on me, it's poor me, you must have pity on poor me..." Or: it's six pack time again, my amics del pobre, and strictly in a blues stylee at that. Come in please, heaven awaits.

Charley Patton - Poor Me
Floyd Council - Poor And Ain't Got A Dime
Smith & Harper - Poor Girl
Big Joe Williams - Providence Help The Poor People
The Cousins & Virginia DeMoss - Poor Mourner
John Fahey - Poor Boy

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Bye Leon, Bye Mose

Obituary time again alas, as two fine American musicians no longer walk among us. A couple days ago, I was informed that Leon Russell had died. The flamboyant southern swamp rocker was 74. And I just got the sad news that the incomparable Mose Allison has passed away as well. The influential jazz/blues pianist and singer died yesterday at 89. Miss 'em both.

Leon Russell - Of Thee I Sing
Leon Russell - Out In The Woods
Mose Allison - New Parchman
Mose Allison - Look Here

Monday, November 14, 2016

Mind And Skin

Healing time again, as the original losing loser - and Dinosaur Jr and Sebadoh stalwart of course - is back in solo mode after quite a long hiatus with a short ep on the Joyful Noise label. Nothing new under the sun really, but the songs are strong and that's what counts in the end. Hey hey...

Lou Barlow - Anniversary Song

Friday, November 11, 2016

So Long, Ladies' Man

Just got the sad news that Leonard Cohen has passed away at 82. The Canadian singer/songwriter and poet was one of the true greats. I still remember the wonderful night I saw him perform here in Barcelona back in 2009 as if it were yesterday. Sweet as apples dipped in honey. Miss him.

Leonard Cohen - Memories

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Turn Around

This merry little tune from 1977, written by Band bass player Rick Danko with Louisiana cult hero Bobby Charles, echoes my current sentiments exactly. Or to quote the famous Catalan politician Josep Tarradellas: ja sóc aquí!

Rick Danko - What A Town

Monday, November 7, 2016

Diamond I Have Found

When he comes around, the Tulsa wizard always makes my day.

J.J. Cale - Wish I Had Not Said That

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Muy Gitano

Taking a trip to the attractive Andalucian city of Lebrija to enjoy that fine gypsy singer Curro Malena por fandangos. On guitar we find the masterful Moraíto as the connection from nearby Jerez de la Frontera. ¡Ay!

Curro Malena - Fandangos

Monday, October 31, 2016

Out Of The Game

Greetings from sunny Barcelona, and thanks a mil for all your kind wishes, friends. Settling in nicely here, but as our internet connection is still sketchy at best it'll be a while before normal business will be resumed. Please bear with me. In the meantime, here's a fine fine dirge from the new record by happy Len.

Leonard Cohen - Leaving The Table

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Home To Stay

Public service announcement: you'll have to do without me for a while, folks. For The Sake Of The Song will soon be hosted out of new headquarters, as we're finally moving back to my beloved Barcelona next week. Exile is over, high time for new beginnings. I'll check in as soon as everything's connected once again in the ciudad condal, promise. Meanwhile, here's the one and only starsailor, and he's spot on as usual.

Tim Buckley - Coming Home To You (Peel version)

Thursday, October 13, 2016


This just in: rather surprisingly, the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2016 was awarded today to Bob Dylan, 'for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition'. He is the first songwriter to have won the prize. Not bad for 'just a song and dance man'...

Bob Dylan - Changing Of The Guards

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Care for a trademark Helios Creed guitar assault from back in '82? Alien doom and gloom in overdrive.

Chrome - Armageddon

Monday, October 10, 2016

Solid Rock

Really liked this Dylan tribute cd which came with the July issue of Mojo magazine, but totally forgot to provide you with one of its tracks. So belatedly, here goes, with a delicate interpretation courtesy of the talented Kevin Morby.

Kevin Morby - Temporary Like Achilles

Friday, October 7, 2016

Tough All Over

Just in case you weren't in the know already: there's a new Hiss Golden Messenger album out. And as expected, Heart Like A Levee is another sure-fire winner. Loose and funky, honest and true. Country got soul indeed. Exceptionally well sequenced, too, which seems to be quite a rarity these days. Do try to find the deluxe version, which gives you a splendid extra disc of intimate hotel room recordings called Vestapol.

Hiss Golden Messenger - Biloxi
Hiss Golden Messenger - Blackeyed Boy

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Old Friends

Hola, mi amigos da musica. You probably guessed it already: it's six pack time again, so sit back and enjoy the ride. Original artwork as usual by my good friend Tinca. Why isn't she famous yet?

The Kinks - See My Friends
It's All Meat - Make Some Use Of Your Friends
Gregg Allman - All My Friends
Peter Hammill - Just Good Friends
Buzzcocks - Friends Of Mine
Palma Violets - Best Of Friends

Monday, October 3, 2016

Coming Home

Hi de hi campers! Back with a charming portion of jazzy proto-ska from the Island. Simply irresistible.

Azie Lawrence - Jamaica Blues

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Into My Soul

I'll be away from my desk for a couple of days, but I'll leave you with some gospel truth. Take it away, reverends...

Rev. J.C. Burnett - Jesus Of Nazareth, King Of The Jews
Rev. Johnny Blakey - Jesus Was Here On Business
Rev. Charlie Jackson - Wrapped Up And Tangled Up In Jesus

Monday, September 26, 2016

Alegría Time

High time for some flamenco puro again, so let's put the spotlight on José Valencia, a fine fine singer from the fair town of Lebrija. Muy gitano!

José Valencia - Bulerías (Del Pañolito)

Friday, September 23, 2016

Calling Me Last Night

It's six pack time again, folks. This time, you got to lift - or throw - ev'ry voice and sing! You know you want to. Artwork as usual by the lovely Tinca.

The Radiants -Voice Your Choice
The Bees - Voices Green And Purple
Anita Carter - Voice Of The Bayou
Nick Drake - Voice From The Mountain
Buddy Boy Hawkins - Voice Throwing Blues
Shooby Taylor - Lift Ev'ry Voice And Sing

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Love Is A Rose

If I need soothing music, I often turn to the works of Jack Rose, the acoustic picker who died way too young back in 2009. For some reason or other, I found that his modern take on John Fahey's American Primitivism works a treat aboard airplanes, and especially when you're leaving a place you don't really want to say goodbye to. Renowned underground labels of love VHF and Three Lobed will soon make sure six of his albums are back in print, including the mighty Opium Musick from 2003, which happens to be my fave. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Jack Rose - Yaman Blues

Monday, September 19, 2016

Come Home Now

"All the things we love, we lose..." Now here's a heavy trip definitely worth taking. Personal misery often brings out the best in artists, and that's certainly the case with Nick Cave and his new album Skeleton Tree, an eulogy of sorts for his lost son. Over inventive dark soundscapes courtesy of trusted sidekick Warren Ellis, Saint Nick solemnly recites his stream of conciousness-like lyrics, as though he is too beaten to lift his voice and really sing. Phew.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Anthrocene

Friday, September 16, 2016

Yes Way!

Find your way with a soulful six pack, my amigos da musica. You know you can... Cool artwork to make you feel that way once more by Tinca.

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - Way Over There
Aretha Franklin - Ain't No Way
Otis Clay - Got To Find A Way
Moses Dillard & Tex-Town Display - I've Got To Find A Way (To Hide My Hurt)
Annette Peacock - One Way
Blackalicious - Make You Feel That Way

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Old And Young

A relaxed early roots gem from '72 for all you top cats out there. The band is an early incarnation of future reggae superstars Black Uhuru, the song a Curtis Mayfield original (so never mind the credits on the lovely label pictured above). What more can one possibly want?

Uhuru (The Sound Of Freedom) - Folk Song

Monday, September 12, 2016

Be Elsewhere

Kenny Anderson a.k.a. King Creosote is at it again. Good news, I'd say. Just sample the gorgeous lush track that opens Astronaut Meets Appleman to hear why. From Scotland with love, indeed.

King Creosote - You Just Want

Friday, September 9, 2016

Rough & Tough

Just got the sad news that Cecil Bustamente Campbell, better known as Prince Buster, passed away yesterday. The legendary ska pioneer from Orange Street, Kingston was 78. Miss him.

Prince Buster - Judge Dread
Prince Buster - Al Capone

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Super Dream

While waiting for the new Bad Seeds album, which won't be long now, let's turn to one of Cave's old side projects. This Barry Adamson remix of one of my fave Grinderman songs (warning: rich imagery alert) always goes down a treat. Give it to me...

Grinderman - Palaces Of Montezuma (remix)

Monday, September 5, 2016

Gotta Get Away

Got a righteous reggae gem for you today, courtesy of that fine singer from Saint Ann called Willie - but a bit confusingly sometimes also Willi - Williams, he of Armagideon Time fame.

Willie Williams - Jah Righteous Plan/Version

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Double Trouble

"The trouble is there's trouble, the trouble is that nobody cares..." As promised, here's another six pack to go for troubled times. Fine art as usual by the mighty Tinca. Enjoy!

Judy Roderick - Someone To Talk My Troubles To
Scott Adams - Trouble
Alex Chilton - Trouble Don't Last
Sneaky Feelings - The Trouble With Kay
Johnny Clarke - Don't Trouble Trouble
Dan Auerbach - Trouble Weighs A Ton

Monday, August 29, 2016

All That Jazz

Just got the sad news that Rudy Van Gelder passed away last week. The brilliant recording engineer was 91. RvG helped shape a ton of legendary jazz albums for illustrious labels as Blue Note, Prestige, and Impulse. Here's a swinging six pack in his honour. Miss him.

Miles Davis - If I Were A Bell
John Coltrane - Witches Pit
Kenny Drew - Groovin' The Blues
Dexter Gordon - I Was Doing All Right
Eric Dolphy - Something Sweet, Something Tender
Sonny Clark - Eric Walks

Friday, August 26, 2016

Sad Bay

In 1972 former tropicalismo forerunner Caetano Veloso was living in exile in London, where the Brazilian recorded his mighty Transa album. Here's one of the highlights: Triste Bahia, which although based on a 17th century poem by Gregório De Mattos, was foremost a fitting depiction of the sad state of the country the singer temporarily had to leave behind.

Caetano Veloso - Triste Bahia

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Dream Job

A true talent, young Mr. Walker both ups the ante and changes his sound every time he releases a new record, and we gladly grow with him. Cue the remarkably organic-sounding Golden Sings That Have Been Sung, the fourth offering from the singer/songwriter and picker from Rockford, Illinois. Simply hypnotizing.

Ryley Walker - The Great And Undecided

Monday, August 22, 2016

Burning Lives

Almost pastoral splendour from Ethan Miller and his boys. That's the same dude currently making waves with the mighty Heron Oblivion by the way, so beware. Stoner prog? Why not indeed. Hold your head high...

Comets On Fire - Jaybird

Friday, August 19, 2016

Every Day

Presenting a six pack for troubled times. Oh, lawdy... Indeed. Fine fine art once again by Tinca. Do stay tuned for part 2 if you please.

Vera Hall - Trouble So Hard
Otis Rush - Double Trouble
Nina Simone - Trouble In Mind
The Mothers Of Invention - Trouble Every Day
Little Feat - Trouble
Dr. Alimantado - One Trouble

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Que Locura

Travelling to Jerez to meet Juan Moneo, the deep flamenco singer who's better known as El Torta. On guitar? The legendary Moraíto of course. Un, dos, tres, eh...

El Torta - Compás Borbóreo