Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Scotious - Midnight Train

This is one (actually two) of my favourite tracks from MacIDOL.com. Scotious is an acousticly orientated Love music. In the sense that this Mann's fingers Love to play, and his daughter Ruth, has that lilting effortless voice that you'll love from the first. Together they put me in mind of early Rickie Lee Jones, and the instrumental 'Worlds Apart" is a breath of fresh air on a hot summer night. Enjoy
Midnight Train
Half a Hurricane HiFi
Worlds Apart

'Midnight Train' was once known as 'I am Out', and is lofi with a Hifi in the Jamroom, below. 'Worlds Apart' also has a Hifi available there, while 'Half a Hurricane' is Hifi already (6.6MB)
Get em now before you have to buy them, and then go and demand a CD full.

Scotious' Jamroom

If you're looking for Jingles for your new Podcast then check out Royalty Free Jingles where Scott has a great selection of beautifully played and mastered made to order samples, which come in at 60 second or 30 second formats in AIFF, WAV, or MP3

Monday, January 30, 2006

Trainsongs 1 - The MacIdol Station

There is a new variation on the MP3 Blog over at Shake Your Fist Train Song Appeal. So 'hear' are the first batch from MacIDOL.com

Fosco's Jamroom contains his excellent harmonica instrumental which has more power and energy than any number of them new fangled Diesel Locomotives. This one won't stop. Give a listen to Last Train Out.

Frogmorton's Jamroom is the home of Boston Folk Singer Matt Griffin, and here is his wonderful neo-folk cowpunk ballad about the The Boston and Maine of his youth.

Gravy Train is part of the excellent "Risen and Proved" song cycle now happening in B&Massa's Jamroom

And in aka Gumbo's Jamroom a couple of train related tracks from yours truly, in a good old fashioned Rockin' Stylee:
Caught The Train
Three Men Does

Check Out the Jamrooms, send a message if you're moved to, hell, go see a gig. Even if it means crossing an Ocean or two to do it ...

Trainsong 2 Down By The Station

A few more songs for the Shake Your Fist Train song Appeal

Blue Train Johnny Cash (released on Sun in 1961)
Down By The Station Slim Gaillard 1947
Railroad Bill Lonnie Donegan 1956

Slumbering 2

Hot on the heels of Saturdays' slumbering post Boston songsmith 'Me and Boris The Bull' has released a new song, Slumbering

He says, "This is a piece i've been playing for a while now and have wanted to put down. I really like the word "slumbering" and the images that come along with it. The direction of the piece and the namesake of it go out to MacIdol's own Slumbering. It's not about her, by any means, but rather how her wonderful music and voice always convince me to revisit how I create my own music, especially my own voice, which I have never been very keen on. To her, this tune is dedicated! thanks, Slumbering!
"Also, this song was influenced by MacIdol members Maggie Osterberg and Paul Brazier, whose unique stylings come out of places that I not only don't consider, but that I didn't even know existed. Thanks to you two!

"The greatest thing, by far, about this community is the influence people have on each other for the sake of creating art and music. Encouraging, inspiring, and communicating ideas for the birth of new, fresh, and unforeseen ideas. I love it. i hope you enjoy the song."

Check out Me and Boris The Bulls' Jamroom

Saturday, January 28, 2006

From A Coffin - slumbering

I first heard the etheric music of slumbering when she won 3rd place in Last years MacIdol.com Song Competition. Only she was Mirienne, then. Now with a name change and some tidying of the slumbering music page I realised that all this time I was listening to the LoFi version of October, her competiton entry, when there was a glorious HiFi to be heard.

Now with her album "Dark Lullabies" half finished, here is a perfect example of her beautifully layered and enthralling music. And I do mean enthralling. Like bondage (for those of you who dabble) it's enticing, scary and mesmerising. There's no getting away from this one.
From A Coffin HiFi
From A Coffin LoFi

And a couple more now the taste is in your mouth ...

A Pool Of Tears
Ven Aqui

Friday, January 27, 2006

Solomon Linda - a $16 million recording.

Ok so his record 'only' sold 100,000 copies in 30's and 40's South Africa (it did keep selling) but for these Zulu singers it was stardom on a huge scale. It was a passport to dances and parties and who knows what else for years. Of course there were no royalties, because things weren't done that way in the record industry then. (Now?) It got about though. Because their recording of Mbube was heard by Pete Seeger who was enthralled by the sound and rewrote it as Wimoweh. Then it became "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" for The Tokens in 1961 - coincidentally the year that Solomon died smiling but penniless in Africa. Apparently he heard their version before he left.
It's amazing what the publishing industry did about the royalties. All $16 million of them. Read the whole sorry saga at 3rd Ear then get yourself over to Keep the Coffee Comin and get in the queue to hear it. I played it almost 40 times tonight reading the history. Thanks for posting it Kat. And thanks to Rob Andrews who told me the story in the first place.

(I'm surprised there were 100,000 gramaphones in black South Africa during the war years, but I guess a lot of those records just plum wore out.)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

General Johnson/The Showmen

I remember "Give Me Just a Little More Time" by Chairmen of the Board. I was five. It is that good a record. Their first single after General Norman Johnson left The Showmen. Whose first single was another awesome record, It Will Stand (1961). A true R'n'R Classic. They were working with Allan Toussaint I believe, which must have helped, but Norman Johnson has a wonderful voice. He went solo after Chairmen, and kind of stepped out of the bustle of the music business into the Carolina Beach Scene, where those old Showmen tracks were still widely played. Especially It Will Stand and our selection for tonight, 39-21-46 (1963). Forty six, everybody goes. Whoah! Yes. Well done the folks at Minit Records. Was it a marketing ploy or were they drunk? You can hear that "39-21-46" doesn't rhyme with "Ooh you got me going Apedy Ape" and apparently it is really "39-21-40 Shape" which is perhaps even more tumultuous for our shattered nerves.

For the completists amongst you , there is The Showmen Discography and the Chairmen Of The Board Discography though my copy of 39 etc is on Imperial 070, another later pressing.

Our next track doesn't seem to have General Johnson on lead and I have no idea whether he is on the record at all, but it is still great. Action from 1968 shows the gang moving effortlessly into Soul Dance heaven.

Don't Walk Away, on the other hand shows The General in fine voice from 1987. The sea air must be doing him some good.

You can get more info and another mp3 over at LivinBlues

Don't Walk Away

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

And The Damn Fools Keep Yellin'

If you ever get a chance, go and see Dick Gaughan. A troubadour in the songs, stories, jokes, and Heart tradition. He does have a penchant for protest songs, and says he only really writes his own songs when he's got something to vent.

Oh and apologies to all you American readers. Because of his outspokeness (and his loud voice) he can only get a visa for the States when there isn't a war on. So hardly ever. You can always come here and see him.

I was looking for a song that suited my mood after writing the last post about Wildfire Jo and Iraq - this hits the spot.
A Pete Seeger song recorded by Dick on his 1996 album Sail On

Knee Deep In The Big Muddy

The Angels Are With Us.

I'm not particularly political. But sometimes ...

On the radio ages ago I heard John Pilger talking about his new book, Tell Me No Lies. A collection of other peoples Investigative Journalism. Classics of the genre. Like the guy who hitched to Hiroshima and broke the news of what an Atomic Bomb actually did to people, while everyone else was at an event held by the American Forces Media machine.

It's the stuff we weren't meant to find out.

What caught my ear that day was Pilger talking about how modern newspaper industry was actually working against this kind of journalism. He talked about a Blog that was written from occupied Iraq, and said that this was where the truth would be found in the future. People reporting what they see, and what they know.

The blog was Jo Wilding's Wildfire Jo and after that radio program I spent three days reading her blog. Some of it makes me furious, and some of it breaks my heart. But I couldn't stop. It was very familiar.

Years ago, I spent a few months up in NWFP - the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan - wandering about, talking, clowning around, drinking Kowar, sweet green tea, and doing whatever turned up. I juggled for kids and adults, for bus queues in Chitral, and played guitar for the Swat Police, well the off-duty ones. (I remember doing Sittin On Top Of The World, and Woody Guthrie's I Ain't Got No Home - realising halfway through the line about "everywhere I go the police make it hard!"). Being such a harmless novelty I got to go places I wouldn't have dared, ordinarily, and started to think that I was much safer than I really was. You just take it as it comes.

I was befriended by a Mujaheddin group from Badhakshan, possibly for the entertainment value, and spent many hours walking around with a 14 year old Afghani guy trying to learn a few words of Afghani. It was weird to think of him as one of a fighting team resisting the Russians. Summer and winter up in the Hindu Kush. The Mujaheddin left Afghanistan so they didn't have to fight each other after the Russians left, and were refugees in Pakistan. They laughed and joked and did what work they could, and met up in the evenings to eat. Hard times. Normal folks.

The thing is that everything Jo Wilding is writing about is real. From the descriptions of people surviving, trying to live lives in the chaos, to getting on a bus of medical supplies in the hope that this will help it get into a city under seige. Doing it because there really isn't anything better to do. And someone asked her to help.

John Pilger chose the post of April 12th 2004 to represent what has really been going on in Iraq. He called it "the best and bravest eyewitness journalism".

Read it and weep.

Who was that masked man?

Well, of course, the first was Lee Van Cleef, but did you get the second one.

Kenneth Williams in Carry On Cowboy, of course.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

International Underground

Darn it - I'm late.

here is your link to the latest MacIDOL Podcast, beautifully produced and authored by Maggie Osterberg, featuring songs, stories and "a masterclass in recording the Kazoo" by the awesome Sp3ccylad

International Underground Podcast

Listen and bathe in the humour of The Man from Huddersfield, and his notorious Pop sensibilities. Get an ear full.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Signifying Monkey

Well, well. I didn't expect this post to take so long. A couple of versions of the same song - another that sounds similar, a bit of googling and some late nights, later ... a couple of glasses of wine, maybe. Definitely.

The first was Signifying Monkey by Smokey Joe Baugh which came out on Sun 228 in 1955 - 50 years ago ferchrisake. A shuffling story of a smartass monkey winding up the King of the Jungle (Mr Lion). Wonderful drummer and walking boogie beat, and it turns out the guy is white. Who knew? Smokey Joe Baugh is a blond, white kid from Arkansas. and then his Bio says that he and band mate Paul Burlison (what of the Rock'n'Roll Trio?) (Yes) played with Howlin' Wolf. Pardon. As we were talking about over at Music You Won't Hear ...

OK. in the words of Paul Burlison ... "I was playin’ with a guy named Shelby Follin in a country band over at KWM (radio) in West Memphis, Arkansas. That’s where I met Chester Burnett – Howlin’ Wolf. He was playin’ on the same station, late in the afternoon. One day, Wolf came in and was standin’ outside the glass window, lookin’ in while we were doin’ our show. Shelby was singin’ this country song that kind of had a little bluesy feel to it, so I put a couple of blues licks on it. Wolf nodded at me, gave me a thumbs-up sign. So when I came out the studio that day he says, “You want to play the blues with me today?” He came on right after us, and I’d been listening to him all the way home every evening. I said, “Yeah, I’d love to!”

So Spooky Joe Baugh was standing there. He had a song out on Sun Records called “Signifying Monkey.” Had a gravelly voice like Louis Armstrong and he says, “Well, then, you go back in there and play the guitar and I’m goin’ in there and play the piano,” and Wolf just says, “Well, c’mon, then.”

... and Smokey Joe sounds so Black that he gets invited up to play The Apollo Theatre in Harlem. That's a make or break crowd, according to the story of The Ravens first show there. A tough crowd. Jimmy Ricks was nervous as hell (until they heard him sing of course). I can just imagine the scene if blond Smokey Joe turned up there ... or can I ... maybe I can't. But hang on why the invite in the first place ... on the strength of a decent single out of Memphis? Well. It turns out that the Signifying Monkey is Archetypal in Afro-American culture. A Trickster. So Smokey Joe Baugh wasn't the first to record the story. Since that's what it is - a kind of hip morality tale. A Sufic lesson on life in the fast lane. One of many oral tradition stories and songs - check out the collection Yo' Mama for more info.

My favourite academic resource, though, is Shittalking, as you'll understand.

There are earlier versions of this song(see the pics at Vocal Group Harmony) as I was saying, and if anyone has copies I'd love to hear them. In the meantime check out Get Your Ass In The Water and Chuck Berry's 1962 version, Jo Jo Gunne.
But wait - that other song label in the picture is of the other song I wanted to talk about. 'The Monkey and The Baboon' is another Toast, another Hip Morality Tale (definitely not tail). Dr John's version he learned from Georges Landry, being from his exellent album Creole Moon.

So along side each other check out the following:

The Signifying Monkey MP3
Jo Jo Gunne Mp3
Monkey & Baboon Mp3

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Have Guitar ...

A couple of atmospheric guitar work outs in the mellow vein for you today.

Maggie Osterberg has broken her recent silence with a Spaghetti Western influenced Pasta Westa MP3
Check out more of her excellent exploratory Guitar Grooves at her MacIDOL.com Music PageMaggie Osterberg

Mrs Klein Gives Birth to a Giraffe MP3 is a Funky Reggae Trip of a Track by Paul Brazier and is perfect for this time of night. It deserves a different picture, though.... I'll tell you tomorrow who they are (feel free to guess though ;~)

Friday, January 20, 2006

Wilson Pickett

Wilson Picket passed away. I heard about it from Soul Shower who says "No tribute is great enough"
This photo is a favourite for me, and catches these two guys in their prime. (Posted today at SFGate.com)

Aquarium Drunkard and Reverend Frost and of course Moistworks are also here for your Redemption.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

GarageBand World

Apple just released their new World Music loops and instruments Jam Pack, and iLife 06 which included GarageBand 3 recording software. Living close to the Regent Street Apple Store in London allowed iFingers to get to the front of the queue, metaphorically speaking, and then the muse took over, and at 6am the next morning he posted "World Jam", a wonderful groove of instruments and voices taking us the long way home. Check it out.

World Jam MP3

David Jones regularly comes up with great Electronica compositions, but when the conversation turned to World Music in anticipation of the new Apple Jam Pack it came up that he was also a fan of Kora Music (known as Ngoni in Mali), and here is his collaboration with musician Harald Loquenz whose www.kora-music.com is a goldmine of information on this West African stringed instrument. Yours for the asking.
Allah l'a ke MP3
David Jones

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Up in the Attic

I posted about The Swallows a few weeks ago and turned up some curious info on their recording sessions via Marv Goldberg's articles whence it seems that while on leave from the Marines Junior Denby was brought in to King's recording studio in Cincinatti. Henry Glover of King Records liked the Charles Brown style of Junior Denby. More about Charles Brown in a later post. In October 1952 he recorded a bunch of songs given him by Henry Glover with an unknown vocal group. My favourite, 'Trust Me' is written by Tomy Edwards (famous for his hit "It's All In The Game"). Junior Denby was surprised to find these tracks released as by The Swallows a few months later and the odd situation where records where coming out with tracks by completely different groups probably contributed to the groups break-up.

So I had to go up in the Attic and check. Here are the two sides of King 4656 so you can hear it for yourself:

Pleading Blues - The Swallows

Trust me - The Swallows

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Katmandrews - your mind's a treasure

Rob Andrews just announced this collaboration with Katchoolik. Rob has a great ability to step into a character for a song, write lyrics, and come up a unique and catchy story. Over Katchooliks great guitar based track, by turns funky and rockin', have a listen to Pirates Of Katmandrews. EDIT Now in their collaboration Jamroom Katmandrews where you can stream the track Hifi or Lofi.

Hear more from Rob at Rob Andrews Music page. There is also Katchoolik's page to plunder!

"all souls top side for life's little lessons
quiet strength thrives in the rhythm of your heart
spendin time wisely between birth n death
tryin to figure out just who you really are

your mind's a treasure closest to the heavens as you'll get
your mind's a treasure one i hope you don't forget"

Monday, January 09, 2006

Round And Round

Sorry - there was a broken link in the last post here it is again so they both work, now.

Round And Round (Yas Yas Yas) - The Sweet Violet Boys

More Western Swing

I meant to post these ages ago as a folow up to my previous post, but with illness and holidays, I'm just getting back into my comfy chair now, and well ... hear you go. The First is a Tune Deke and The Boys would thrive on. Tex Williams from 1950 and originally out on Capitol - it was co-written by Buddy Ebsen (better known as Jed Clampett The Beverly Hillbilly).

The song itself is a Nifty Riverboat Gambling Tale.
Wild Card - Tex Williams

There ought to be a compilation for YasYasYas records. I can think of about four in the Attic here, and they are all entertaining, The Sweet Violet Boys, recorded in 1937 is no exception. Aparently they were known as The Prairie Ramblers on their less risqué songs!
Round And Round (Yas Yas Yas) - The Sweet Violet Boys 1937 aka The Prairie Ramblers

Both tracks are from the aforementioned Properbox 83 - Stompin' Singers and Western Swingers.