Freitag, 30. Oktober 2015

Mutter - Hauptsache Musik

In the late 1980s, a new musical scene was emerging in Hamburg compromising a number of bands that sung in German but that had no record deals (with the exception of "Die Antwort"). To remedy this situation and to give the new style a platform, the record label "L'age d'or" (French for "Golden Age") was established in October 1988 by Carol von Rautenkranz and Pascal Fuhlbrügge. They signed contracts with many bands and published numerous albums. A great deal of the albums were produced by Chris von Rautenkranz, Carol's brother, in the legendary Soundgarden recording studio in Hamburg. Another label that influenced the emerging genre was Alfred Hilsberg's "What's so funny about?" which published the first albums by Blumfeld, Die Erde, Cpt. Kirk and Mutter.

Soon, however, the Hamburger Schule was not restricted to Hamburg anymore. In particular, a local scene of Germanophone bands had developed in the small town of Bad Salzuflen in Eastern Westphalia, which was centered around the label Fast Weltweit. Founders were Frank Werner, Frank Spilker ("Die Sterne"), Michael Girke, Bernadette La Hengst ("Die Braut haut ins Auge"), and Jochen Distelmeyer (then "Bienenjäger", now "Blumfeld"). They got in contact with the Hamburg scene through Bernd Begemann who was a native of Bad Salzuflen but moved to Hamburg where he established his band "Die Antwort". This led to various gigs in Hamburg for bands from the "Fast Weltweit" label, eventually causing many other artists to move to Hamburg.Another first-generation Hamburger Schule band, "Die Regierung", was not from Hamburg, but rather from Essen.

Here´s Mutter - Hauptsache Musik with favourites like "Ihr seid alle schön" ("You all are beautiful") and "Die Erde wird der schönste Platz im All" ("Earth will become the most beautiful place in the universe"):

Mutter - Hauptsache Musik
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Donnerstag, 29. Oktober 2015

Die Regierung - So drauf

“So drauf” was the third release by Die Regierung and, with its uniformity and variation, in conjunction with musical maturity, it surpasses any initial ambitious expectations. The clear-cut production enhances the unique, very tangible charisma of this record that can best be described as neo-folk and new German singer/songwriter rock.

“So drauf” hits the listener straight in the ear and heart: "Ich glaub, ich will Dich lieber loswerden!" ("I think I get better rid of you!"). Security in insecurity, clear-headedness in dreaminess, love is sorrow. P
This is personal, romantic realistic rock music with German lyrics and an idiom of its own. That is what some highbrow newspaper would probably write in its review.

We voted for this Regierung (which equates to “The Government” in English). A classic!

1Da draußen3:40
2Dieses Zimmer4:09
3So drauf3:52
4Lange nicht mehr da2:39
5Komm zusammen3:47
6Es ist hier3:34
7Du hast 'ne Welt1:45
9Ich lieb Dich später2:55
10Frau aufm Flur3:46
11Ich erinner mich3:58
12Wir kommen5:37
13So drauf (Lebenslangdraufmix)11:24

Die Regierung - So drauf
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 27. Oktober 2015

Clifton Chenier, Mance Lipscomb, Lightning Hopkins - Live! At The 1966 Berkeley Blues Festival (1966)

In 1966, Chris Strachwitz, the force behind Arhoolie Records, brought these amazing Texas-Louisiana legends to an appreciative West Coast audience. Chenier, the father of modern zydeco, plays red-hot accordion with some drum support, while bluesman Hopkins is cool and witty, twanging and sliding on his electric guitar. But the most amazing performance is by the transcendent Texas songster Mance Lipscomb, the oldest musician of the three. His thumb thumps the bass line on his acoustic guitar, while his index and middle fingers pick out syncopated phrases. On "Take Your Arms From Around My Neck, Sugar Babe," he seethes with irony and veiled malice.

Recorded live on KAL radio in Berkeley, CA on April 15, 1966, this presents roughly equal shares of material from Mance Lipscomb, Clifton Chenier, and Lightnin' Hopkins, performing at the 1966 Berkeley Blues Festival. The sound is not state-of-the-art, but decent considering the vintage. The material is not going to surprise anyone familiar with the artists, which is good news if you're in love with their music and want typical excerpts of their sets, but bad news if you think you might have enough of them and you're considering whether to investigate further. Lipscomb does good-natured, rhythmic country blues, both of his own composition and otherwise, covering "When the Saints Go Marching In," "I Ain't Got Nobody," and "The Sinking of the Titanic," which has slide guitar and is perhaps the most interesting of his songs on the CD. Chenier's performance might be of the greatest historical interest of the three artists on this disc, since it was his first appearance before a "a mostly young, white, relatively sophisticated concert audience," as Chris Strachwitz writes in the liner notes. It's just him, his accordion, and drummer Francis Clay, mostly on original tunes, as well as zydeco arrangements of Slim Harpo's "Baby Scratch My Back" and Ray Charles' "What'd I Say?." Clay also plays drums as the sole other musician on Lightnin' Hopkins' portion which, with its electric guitar, has a nice, mild electric R&B-rock feel.  Half of this album was previously available on Arhoolie LP 1030, but 11 of the 23 songs on the CD were previously unreleased.


       1. Stop Time - Mance Lipscomb
2. I Ain't Got Nobody - Mance Lipscomb
3. Downtown Blues - Mance Lipscomb
4. Shake, Shake, Mama - Mance Lipscomb
5. The Sinking Of The Titanic (God Moves On The Water) - Mance Lipscomb
6. Take Your Arms From Around My Neck, Sugar Babe - Mance Lipscomb
7. When The Saints Go Marching In - Mance Lipscomb
8. Intro & Louisiana Shuffle - Clifton Chenier
9. French Zydeco - Clifton Chenier
10. Clifton's After Hours - Clifton Chenier
11. Scratch My Back - Clifton Chenier
12. Everybody Calls Me Crazy - Clifton Chenier
13. What'd I Say? - Clifton Chenier
14. Old Country Waltz - Clifton Chenier
15. Louisiana Rock - Clifton Chenier
16. Clifton's Boogie Woogie - Clifton Chenier
17. If You Don't Want Me - Lightning Hopkins
18. I Feel So Good - Lightning Hopkins
19. Last Night - Lightning Hopkins
20. Goin' To Louisiana (Mojo Hand) - Lightning Hopkins
21. Black Cadillac - Lightning Hopkins
22. Short Haired Woman - Lightning Hopkins
23. Lightning's Boogie - Lightning Hopkins

(320 kbps, cover art included) 

Montag, 26. Oktober 2015

Brothers Four - Greenfields

"Washington state's Brothers Four mined much the same territory as other commercial folk bands of the revival in the late '50s, such as the Kingston Trio.
The formula was similar -- good harmonies, simple instrumentation, and good songs that more or less fell under the folk banner. Most of the ten tracks here are very familiar -- the title cut, "If I Had a Hammer," "Rock Island Line," and others. It's certainly pleasant in a nostalgic way, but hardly likely to get any pulses beating faster. Like other bands, they were the white-bread face of folk, relatively bland and making sure there was no threatening edge in their music.
What that boils down to is that it's fun, but unless you're avid about the period, it's unlikely to be played often -- once might be quite ample for many. But it's hard not to be moved just a little by their update of the old jug band favorite "Walk Right In." And given the budget price, it might be worth the investment for those odd times when you want a stroll down the byways of American folk nostalgia."   -      

Brothers Four - Greenfields    
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Sonntag, 18. Oktober 2015

Slapp Happy‎ – Acnalbasac Noom (1973)

The history of this album is a bit complicated. Originally titled "Casablanca Moon", it was recorded for Polydor in 1973, but scrapped when the group signed with Virgin; their first Virgin release was an entirely re-recorded version of the same material, although it was entitled "Slapp Happy" when released.

To compound the confusion, the Virgin version was retitled "Casablanca Moon" when it was reissued on CD in 1993 (on a single-disc release that also included their 1974 Virgin album "Desperate Straights").

"Acnalbasac Noom" is the original, 1973 recording of the "Casablanca Moon" material, and not a mere archival curiosity; it's quite worthy on its own merits. The group's songwriting had improved since their debut, and Krause's German chanteuse-influenced vocals found catchier, more rock-oriented settings. The lyrics are witty and oddball without being pretentious. Tracks like "Mr. Rainbow" recall Yoko Ono's early-'70s song-oriented material, with an important difference: Krause's vocals are much better than Ono's, while just as distinctive. "The Secret," with its almost girl-group-worthy catchiness, and "Charlie 'n Charlie," with its nifty surfish guitar riff, even sound like potential commercial singles. The four bonus tracks include the delightful 1982 single "Everybody's Slimmin'," with its immortal opening line, "Listen my children and you will hear/You can shed weight and still drink beer."    

1Casablanca Moon
2Me And Paravati
3Mr Rainbow
5The Drum
6A Little Something
7The Secret
9Half-Way There
10Charlie 'N Charlie
11Slow Moon's Rose
12Everybody's Slimmin'
13Blue Eyed William

Slapp Happy‎ – Acnalbasac Noom (1973)     
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 16. Oktober 2015

David Peel & The Lower East Side - Have A Marijuana

David Peel was, and still is, a street musician and political activist from the Lower East Side of New York City. With a collection of friends who became his bandmates and who were eponymously called the Lower East Side, he recorded two groundbreaking albums of social reflections, urban tales, and hippie mythology for Elektra Records.

The first, entitled "Have a Marijuana", was released in 1968. The second, "The American Revolution", was released in 1970. Both were just exactly as you would think they would be from their album titles: Musical Counterculture Manifestos Presented With Guitars and Grins. Fugs parallels are hard to avoid in his pre-punk erratic jug band fashion.

Here´s "Have A Marijuana" to celebrate his wonderful, far out gig here in town some years ago:

David Peel & The Lower East Side - Have A Marijuana
(192 kbps, front cover included)


"At first, second and third listen the debut record by New York street musician and John Lennon protégé David Peel seems pretty ridiculous. Recorded live on the streets of New York, the production is patchy, yielding more of a "recorded live in someone's bathroom" vibe than anything else. Then there's the lyrics, all of which are juvenile, dated and delivered in an erratic Tiny Tim-meets-Cheech & Chong style. But somewhere around the fourth or fifth listen Peel and his merry band of misfits begin to grow on you. By the six or seventh spin songs like "I Do My Bawling in the Bathroom" and "I Like Marijuana," with their dumber than dumb choruses and out of tune folk-rock progressions, actually become charming. Perhaps it's because Peel, a marginal figure born to be a cultural relic, is a much more interesting, exciting and entertaining '60s icon than all the overblown, bloated characters like David Crosby and Grace Slick. Unlike them, Peel never came in from off the streets. In fact, he can still be found singing these songs in New York's Tompkins Square Park to this day. And while that's mildly pathetic, it's also heartening. When he sings about smoking some grass and getting harassed by lame cops (the topic of just about every track) you tend to believe him."

Egon Erwin Kisch - Erinnerungen an den rasenden Reporter

PhotobucketOn March 31, 1948, Egon Erwin Kisch, a german-speaking Czech journalist and novelist, died in Prague, Czech Republic.

Egon Erwin Kisch was "der rasende Reporter" ("the raging reporter"), a journalist whose interest in marginalized parts of society and the world outside Europe endeared him to a large number of readers. He became a figurehead in the fight against fascism. Later generations of journalists regarded his documentaries as exemplary and pioneering. He is admired to this day for the high literary quality of his journalitic work.

Kisch was born into a German-speaking Jewish family in Prague, at that time part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and began his journalistic career as a reporter for a local German language newspaper in 1906. His early work is characterised by an interest in crime and the lives of the poor of Prague, taking Jan Neruda, Emile Zola and Charles Dickens's Sketches by Boz as his models. He deserted from the army in World War I in October 1918 as the war came to an end and played a leading role in the left-wing revolution in Vienna in November of that year. Although the revolution failed, in 1919, Kisch joined the Communist party, a political allegiance he maintained for the rest of his life.
Between 1921 and 1930 Kisch, though a citizen of Czechoslovakia, lived primarily in Berlin, where his work found a new and appreciative audience. In books of collected journalism such as "Der rasende Reporter" (1924), he cultivated the image of a witty, gritty, daring reporter always on the move, a cigarette clamped doggedly between his lips. His work and his public persona found an echo in the artistic movement of "Neue Sachlichkeit", a major strand in the culture of the Weimar Republic.
On February 28 1933, the day after the Reichstag Fire, Kisch was one of many prominent opponents of Nazism to be arrested. He was briefly imprisoned in Spandau, but as a Czechoslovakian citizen, was expelled from Germany. His works were banned and burnt in Germany, but he continued to write for the Czech and émigré German press, bearing witness to the horrors of the Nazi takeover.
In 1937 and 1938, Kisch took part in Spanish Civil War. He travelled across the country speaking in the Republican cause and his reports from the front line were widely published.

Following the "Munich Agreement" of 1938 and the subsequent Nazi occupation of Bohemia six months later, Kisch was unable to return to the country of his birth. Once war broke out, Paris, which he had made his main home since 1933, also became too dangerous for an outspoken Jewish communist whose native land no longer existed. In late 1939, Kisch and his wife Gisela, sailed for New York where, once again, he was initially denied entry. He eventually landed at Ellis Island on December 28, but as he only had a transit visa moved onto Mexico in 1940.
He remained in Mexico for the next five years, one of a circle of European communist refugees, notable among them Anna Seghers and Ludwig Renn.

Kisch died two years after his return to Prague, shortly after the Communist party seized complete power. There are contradictory reports of his attitude - as a German-speaking Jew - to the party in this period as it began to develop the anti-semitism which culminated in the "Prague Trials" of 1952 and supported the expulsion of most of Czechoslovakia's ethnic Germans.
To remember his great work, here is "Erinnerungen an den rasenden Reporter", a wonderful feature in german language about Egon Erwin Kisch.

Egon Erwin Kisch - Erinnerungen an den rasenden Reporter
(192 kbps, front cover included)

David Peel & the Lower East Side - The American Revolution (1970, vinyl rip)

PhotobucketDavid Peel was, and still is, a street musician and political activist from the Lower East Side of New York City. With a collection of friends who became his bandmates and who were eponymously called the Lower East Side, he recorded two groundbreaking albums of social reflections, urban tales, and hippie mythology for Elektra Records.

The first, entitled "Have a Marijuana", was released in 1968. The second, "The American Revolution", was released in 1970. Both were just exactly as you would think they would be from their album titles: Musical Counterculture Manifestos Presented With Guitars and Grins.

The politically charged David Peel & the Lower East Side directly contrasted their 1968 acoustic live debut, "Have a Marijuana" (recorded in New York City's Washington Square Park), with 1970's "American Revolution", an amplified studio outing. The real similarity between the two remains Peel's no-holds-barred, in-your-face attitude and staunchly liberal espousing.

Although Peel's earlier effort hinted at the band's proto-punk and garage rock leanings, the aggressive electric bashing that accompanies "Lower East Side," "Hey, Mr. Draft Board," and "Girls, Girls, Girls" allows them to bring that restless spirit to complete fruition. While Peel's work has been considered as little more than a hippie novelty, the sheer range of his topical lyrics is often a direct reflection of the then-current anti-establishment movement. His music deals candidly with their attitudes regarding Vietnam ("I Want to Kill You"), the repression of local law enforcement ("Oink, Oink, Oink"), hypocritical drug laws ("Legalize Marijuana"), sex ("Girls, Girls, Girls"), and even more contemplative esoteric concepts ("God").

David Peel & the Lower East Side - The American Revolution (1970, vinyl rip)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Woody Guthrie - Songs to Grow on for Mother and Child (1956)

Some of the last songs written and recorded by Woody Guthrie were his children's songs.
Their strength, shown in "Songs to Grow on for Mother and Child", is an unusually strong identification with actually being a child, in all its simplicity and charm, along with the ability to win over listeners. Good examples here are "Rattle My Rattle" and "I Want My Milk." Guthrie is an acquired sonic taste worth acquiring. Ages 3-5.

1Grassy Grass Grass (Grow, Grow, Grow)1:35
2Swimmy Swim1:53
3Little Sugar (Little Saka Sugar)1:22
4Rattle My Rattle1:11
5I Want My Milk (I Want It Now)2:17
7One Day Old1:33
8Wash-y Wash Wash (Warshy Little Tootsy)1:34
9I'll Eat You, I'll Drink You1:40
10Make A Blobble2:05
11Who's My Pretty Baby (Hey Pretty Baby)1:43
12I'll Write And I'll Draw2:27
13Why, Oh Why3:27
14Pick It Up1:51
15Pretty And Shiny-O1:28
16Needle Sing2:15
18Goodnight Little Arlo (Goodnight Little Darlin')3:16

Woody Guthrie - Songs to Grow on for Mother and Child (1956)
(Ca. 145 kbps, cover art included)

Hanns Dieter Hüsch - Live im Unterhaus (1973)

Hanns Dieter Hüsch grew up in the Niederrhein-Area near the Netherlands and had to suffer of 'pes adductus' until he was 11 years old. Because he could not play with other children, he became a loner and began to write. When he was 22, Hüsch began to study in Mainz, "but I did not study, I wrote cabaret pieces". In 1949 Hüsch married Marianne and they had a daughter named Anna. At the time, they did not earn enough money to feed the young family, and Hüsch moved to Stuttgart, where he obtained employment at the local radio station. He worked under the direction of Guy Walter as author, songwriter and radio commentator.
 In 1955 Hanns Dieter Hüsch started his first cabaret ensemble, 'Arche nova', which became famous in southern Germany and Switzerland.
From 1965 on, Hüsch released phonograph records with literary cabaret pieces, chansons and poems - he sold more than 50 albums until his death. In 1967 he joined the left-wing German student movement and performed on Burg Waldeck. But some elements of the student movement did not like Hüsch's non-violent attitude. They heckled his performances from June 1968 until August 1969 and "it was just as if your comrades told you that you are not good enough for the fight and that you have to give it up", said Hüsch. He was disappointed and hurt by their actions against his art, decided not to perform in Germany for years, and moved to Switzerland.

In 1972 he returned to German cabaret stages and subsequently became one of the most productive and successful representatives of literary cabaret in Germany, with more than 200 performances every year. In 1985 his wife died, and Hüsch wrote his most successful programme ever: "Und sie bewegt mich doch"/"And yet she moves me". In 1988 Hüsch left Mainz and went to Cologne, where he met his second wife Christiane. In 1996 Hüsch contracted lung cancer, caused by his cigarette smoking, but survived. Until the end of 2000, he toured with his farewell programme "Wir sehen uns wieder" ("We will meet again") in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In 2001, a stroke ended his plan to play King Lear at the Staatstheater Dresden. Complications resulting from the stroke and cancer confined him to his home in Windeck near Cologne, where he was nursed by Christiane. Hanns Dieter Hüsch died 6 months after his 80th birthday.

It is said that more than 3.5 million people have seen Hanns Dieter Hüsch's live performances from 1947 to 2000. He received the Bundesverdienstkreuz and, twice, the German Cabaret award "Deutscher Kleinkunstpreis"; he also received honorary citizenship of Moers and Mainz, the North Rhine-Westphalia culture prize, the 1995 Kassel Literary Prize, and the culture prize of Rhineland-Palatinate, as well as other honors.

1. Schallplatte A-Seite 25:05
A1Hüsch Über Hüsch
A3Wie Ich Die Frieda Kennenlernte
A4Ich Schäm' Mich So
A5Von Windeln Verweht
A6Die Großen Leeren Plätze
A7Ich Möcht' Ein Clown Sein
1. Schallplatte B-Seite 25:46
B1Geistige Leute
B2Und Samstags Zu Beethoven
B4Holland & Norderney
2. Schallplatte A-Seite 24:55
C1Frieda Und Der Wilde Westen
C3Humanistisches Gymnasium
2. Schallplatte B-Seite 25:55
D1Silvester (Fortsetzung)
D2Die Prüfung
D5Sinn Des Lebens

Hanns Dieter Hüsch - Live im Unterhaus (1973)
(128 kbps, front cover included)

Hanns Eisler - Kammermusik - Chamber Music (Berlin Classics)

Berlin Classics' "Hanns Eisler: Kammermusik" represents a gathering of chamber music from 1920 to 1947, recorded between 1965 and 1973 as part of a comprehensive recording of all of Eisler's music as undertaken by the East German Eterna label.

It ranges from the pithy, discordant but tonally concluded Scherzo for string trio of 1920 to the elegant and witty music Eisler composed for Charlie Chaplin's film "The Circus", a commission interrupted by Eisler's enforced departure from the United States courtesy of the House of Un-American Activities Committee. It also includes some lieder; Eisler's deliciously funny cycle "Newspaper Clippings" (1925-1927), sung with character and an innate understanding of Second Vienna School songcraft by soprano Roswitha Trexler. Eisler deliberately picked texts out of the daily newspaper in direct retaliation to the conservative, symbolist poets - such as Stefan George - favored by Eisler's colleagues in the Second Vienna School. As these texts are drawn from non-standard literary sources, it would have been wonderful if Berlin Classics could have included them -- even in German only - in the booklet, but they do not. Ditto for the deliberately silly Christian Morgenstern text used in Eisler's "Palmström", really not so much a formal song setting as an experimental twelve-tone composition with an added part for voice.

Among the purely instrumental pieces heard here are another string trio; a sonata for flute, oboe, and harp; a violin and piano sonata; a nonet; and the aforementioned Circus. Of these, the last-named work is decidedly the most ingratiating and immediate, but the others begin to grow on one as well. Even though Eisler's language in some of these pieces is technically atonal, he utilizes gestures and sequences that sound familiar and some passages can even be described as "catchy." The Eterna Eisler recording project had the support of the East German government - Eisler was considered a cultural figurehead in that regime, even though when he lived there, they provided Eisler little opportunity to work - and no expenses were spared in this project. The performances here are all top-drawer and the 1960s- and '70s-era recordings don't sound in the least dated.
All of these pieces included here also appear on the Hanns Eisler six-CD box set on Berlin Classics of his instrumental music, though not on the same disc, nor in the same sequence. If six CDs are simply too much and one only desires a sample of Eisler's chamber music, this is an excellent choice.

 Hanns Eisler - Kammermusik - Chamber Music (Berlin Classics)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 14. Oktober 2015

Allen Ginsberg - Howl And Other Poems (1959)

Allen Ginsberg wrote his epic poem “Howl” in mid-‘50s San Francisco and Berkeley, and the rest is literary history. The work, first read in public in 1955 and published in 1956 before emerging victorious in a 1957 court ruling that it was not obscene, has been hailed as one of the most important poems of the 20th century, and it inspired a wave of Beat poetry.

Fantasy Records became the unofficial audio home of the movement, documenting not only Ginsberg but several other poets of the day.

Allen Ginsberg´s poetry broke so many social taboos that copies were impounded as obscene, and the publisher, poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, was arrested. The court case that followed found for Ginsberg and his publisher, and the publicity made both the poet and the book famous. Ginsberg went on from this beginning to become a cultural icon of sixties radicalism. This works seminal place in the culture is indicated in Czeslaw Milosz's poetic tribute to Ginsberg: "Your blasphemous howl still resounds in a neon desert where the human tribe wanders, sentenced to unreality".

The "Howl and Other Poems" vinyl LP was first released in 1959, repackaged for the burgeoning hippie generation in 1969, and remained in print until 1985, when the company ran out of vinyl LPs. In 1998 there was a cd reissue.

1. Howl
2. Footnote to Howl
3. A Supermarket in California
4. Transcription of Organ Music
5. America
6. In the Back of the Real
7. Strange New Cottage in Berkeley
8. Europe! Europe!
9. Kaddish (part 1)
10. The Sunflower Sutra

Allen Ginsberg - Howl And Other Poems (1959)
(128 kbps, small front cover included)

Montag, 12. Oktober 2015

Billie Holiday - Billie Holiday Sings (1952)

"Billie Holiday Sings" is an album made by jazz singer Billie Holiday, released in the United States by Clef Records in 1952. It was reissued in 1956 by Clef Records with four extra tracks recorded at the sessions, and renamed Solitude.

Billie Holiday's first recordings for Norman Granz' Clef Records present a vocalist truly at the top of her craft, although she would begin a rapid decline soon thereafter. This 1952 recording (originally issued as a 10" LP, "Billie Holiday Sings") places Holiday in front of small piano and tenor saxophone-led groups including jazz luminaries such as Oscar Peterson and Charlie Shavers, where her gentle phrasing sets the tone for the sessions, evoking lazy evenings and dreamy afternoons. The alcoholism and heroin use that would be her downfall by the end of this decade seems to be almost unfathomable during these recordings since Holiday is in as fine a voice as her work in the '30s, and the musical environment seems ideal for these slow torch songs.

A1I Only Have Eyes For You2:57
A2You Turned The Tables On Me3:29
A3Blue Moon3:31
B1These Foolish Things3:38
B2Easy To Love3:01
B3You Go To My Head2:56
B4East Of The Sun2:54

Billie Holiday - Billie Holiday Sings (1952)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 10. Oktober 2015

Paul Graetz - Heimweh nach Berlin

In the late 1920s, Berlin was the world´s third-largest city and a metropolis of culture and science with a vibrantly diverse population comprised of immigrants and native Berliners. In the aftermath of the Nazi regime´s rise to power in 1933 and the terror of the 1938 November Pogroms, an appalling number of men and women who had contributed to the diversity of Berlin´s cultural and social landscapes were persecuted and driven into exile - many others were deported and murdered.
As the "most quintessential of Berlin´s comedians", Paul Graetz was among the most popular German cabaret performers in the years before 1933.

Graetz, who was a Jewish artist and had warned against the threat posed by the Nazis, fled Germany after the Reichstag fire.

After working in London as an actor, he emigrated to New York and then to Hollywood, where he died in 1937, "heartbroken at the loss of his native Berlin", as a fellow-artist reported.

Paul Graetz - Heimweh nach Berlin
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Semer Reloaded

Semer Reloaded - Live Recording für ein musikalisches Denkmal

Maybe this project finds your interest and your support:

"A Golden Age of Jewish music almost forgotten - the songs captured in 30s' Berlin by Hirsch Lewin on his Semer label. “Semer Reloaded” brought this amazing music back to life with critically acclaimed concerts throughout Europe in 2012-15. Now it is our dream to record this music live in concert so that, 70 years after the Holocaust, the legacy of the Semer label can be passed on to present and future generations.    
CD cover

From Artistic Director, Alan Bern:

We're asking for your help to cover the basic costs of the recording of “Semer Reloaded." With your support we can bring Hirsch Lewin's Semer Label and the legacy of Jewish musicians in Berlin in the 1920s-30s back to life, 70 years after the end of the Holocaust, with fresh interpretations, re-workings and arrangements of originals, to be recorded live by a world-class ensemble of artists based in Berlin and New York, such as Grammy winner Lorin Sklamberg, Daniel Kahn, Sasha Lurje and others.

It's an almost incredible story. Berlin in the 1920s was home to a true Golden Age of Jewish music and musicians. Then, in the 1930s, even as the Nazis came to power and brutally repressed Jews and Jewish culture, Hirsch Lewin's Semer label recorded dozens of Jewish artists for posterity, before they were silenced by the Holocaust. On November 9, 1938, SA hordes destroyed Hirsch's Hebraica/Judaica shop in Berlin's Scheunenviertel district, including 4,500 records and about 250 metal plates and the Semer label was shut down. For decades, the recordings were lost and virtually forgotten, until they were heroically recovered and restored by musicologist Rainer E. Lotz. In 2012, the Berlin Jewish Museum commissioned me (Alan) to create a concert of new arrangements of the archival recordings. To realize the project, I put together a great band that unites senior pioneers of Jewish music like Lorin Sklamberg and Paul Brody with the new generation of amazing performers such as Daniel Kahn, Sasha Lurje, Mark Kovnatskiy and others. The result is Semer Reloaded.

With your support, we can present this incredible music not only as an archive of 80-year-old recordings or for a few lucky concert audiences, but as living music for the whole world through a state-of-the-art album release with great sound quality. We've got a strong a supporter in the Gorki theatre in Berlin, which has agreed to host our recording sessions live in concert. We'll team up with London-based music producer Ben Mandelson, and Berlin-based Piranha Records will take on the task of producing a high-quality recording as well as publishing and distributing it. Only 80 seats will be available for the concerts on on the 3rd and 4th November: by contributing only 30 EUR to the campaign you can witness the recording first-hand!"

You will find more information via

And here is a report about Semer Reloaded from "3sat" that shows some insights, musical performances and the musicians involved in Semer Reloaded - Alan Bern, Paul Brody, Mark Kovnatskiy, Martin Lillich, Sasha Lurje, Fabian Schnedler and Lorin Sklamberg:

Donnerstag, 8. Oktober 2015

Ian & Sylvia - So Much For Dreaming (1967)

From 1967, “So Much For Dreaming” was the sixth of seven albums that Ian and Sylvia issued on Vanguard Records during the sixties, and came a year or so after they had established their position as key folk-rock artists with their oft-covered songs like ‘Four Strong Winds’ and ‘Early Morning Rain’. The Canadian pair were married by this point, but had started as a singing duo on the Toronto folk club circuit in 1959. After some help and prompting from Pete Seeger, in 1962 they relocated to New York where they were spotted at Gerde's Folk City by Albert Grossman who pointed them towards Vanguard. After an initial album of mostly traditional folk songs, the pair hit their stride with their own songs, and gradually began to add extra instrumentation that helped then define the New York folk-rock sound that became so influential around the world. On this album they are augmented by drummer Alvin Rogers, Fender bassist Robert Bushnell and guitarist David Rae, the latter being briefly a member of Fairport Convention during 1972.

This album opens with the lilting Joni Mitchell song ‘The Circle Game’, that they had recorded even before Joni had. Continuing the contemporary approach, Ian's title track comes next and helps to set the tone and feel for the album, with the pair's floaty vocals overlapping each other as the track builds with additional orchestration from Trade Martin. More of Ian's songs follow, including ‘Wild Geese’ and ‘Summer Wages’ with the latter cautionary tale being one that he sang many times over the years. Sylvia's own songs here are the rhythmic ‘Hold Tight’ and the more reflective album closer ‘Grey Morning’. They come together with their co-arrangement of ‘Come All Ye Fair And Tender Ladies’ making it one of the best and most attractive examples of their ability to re-mould a song and make it their own. Another traditional song that they rearrange is ‘Cutty Wren’ that shows that they hadn't forgotten their roots and how they could bring a new twist to such a song, in this case with their interchanging vocal lines against some tinkling percussion. ‘Si Les Bateaux’ from Gilles Vignault and Robert Petway's ‘Catfish Blues’ are two more 'outside' songs, with Vignault's being a gentle French song constructed with differing sections, while Petway's is a funky blues sung effectively and commandingly by Sylvia on her own.

The album sold reasonably well, reaching #130 on Billboard, though their earlier albums “Northern Journey” and “Early Morning Rain” had fared better reaching up into the 70s. They were soon to make a move to MGM Records, but were not to really replicate the quality and accessibility of the Vanguard albums where they forged their most memorable work and cut their very best songs.  

A1Circle Game2:58
A2So Much For Dreaming3:00
A3Wild Geese3:54
A4Child Apart3:26
A5Summer Wages4:01
A6Hold Tight2:38
B1Cutty Wren2:55
B2Si Les Bateaux3:40
B3Catfish Blues3:33
B4Come All Ye Fair And Tender Ladies3:23
B5January Morning3:03
B6Grey Morning2:48

Ian & Sylvia - So Much For Dreaming (1967)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 7. Oktober 2015

John Lee Hooker - I´m John Lee Hooker (1959)

Winding through the literally hundreds of titles in John Lee Hooker's catalog is a daunting task for even the most seasoned and learned blues connoisseur. This is especially true when considering Hooker recorded under more than a dozen aliases for as many labels during the late '40s, '50s, and early '60s.

"I'm John Lee Hooker" was first issued in 1959 during his tenure with Vee Jay and is "the Hook" in his element as well as prime. Although many of these titles were initially cut for Los Angeles-based Modern Records in the early '50s, the recordings heard here are said to best reflect Hooker's often-emulated straight-ahead primitive Detroit and Chicago blues styles. The sessions comprising the12-track album are taken from six sessions spread over the course of four years (1955-1959). Hooker works both solo - accompanied only by his own percussive guitar and the solid backbeat of his foot rhythmically pulsating against plywood - as well as in several different small-combo settings. Unlike the diluted, pop-oriented blues that first came to prominence in the wake of the British Invasion of the early to mid-'60s, the music on this album is infinitely more authentic in presentation.

As the track list indicates, "I'm John Lee Hooker" includes many of his best-known and loved works. From right out of the gate comes the guttural ramble-tamble of "Dimples" in its best-known form. Indeed it can be directly traced to - and is likewise acknowledged by - notable purveyors of Brit rock such as Eric Burdon - who incorporated it into the earliest incarnation of the Animals, the Spencer Davis Group, as well as the decidedly more roots-influenced Duane Allman. Another of Hooker's widely covered signature tunes featured on this volume is "Boogie Chillun." This rendering is arguably the most recognizable in the plethora of versions that have seemingly appeared on every Hooker-related compilation available. Additionally, this version was prominently featured in The Blues Brothers movie as well as countless other films and adverts. Likewise, a seminal solo "Crawlin' King Snake" is included here. The tune became not only a staple of Hooker's, it was also prominently included on the Doors' "L.A. Woman" album and covered by notable bluesmen Albert King, B.B. King, and Big Joe Williams, whose version predates this one by several decades.

"I'm John Lee Hooker" is one of the great blues collections of the post-World War II era. Time has, if anything, only reinforced the significance of the album. It belongs in every blues enthusiast's collection without reservation.                

A2Hobo Blues
A3I'm So Excited
A4I Love You Honey
A5Boogie Chillun
A6Little Wheel
B1I'm In The Mood
B3Crawlin' King Snake
B4Every Night
B5Time Is Marching
B6Baby Lee

John Lee Hooker - I´m John Lee Hooker (1959)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 5. Oktober 2015

Die City Preachers - Folklore (1965)

The "City Preachers" was regarded as German´s first folk-rock group. They were the leading german folk group in the sixties and some of their members became later very sucessful in Germany as solo musicians like Udo Lindenberg and Inga Rumpf. They played a mixture of folk and protest songs, spirituals, blues, flamenco and bouzouki. Jewish and Balkan songs, but also early German-language "Protest Songs" were part of their repertoire.
John O´Brian Docker, founder of the band, on the Preachers: "The group was formed in October 1965. At that time I met a number of young artists, amateurs, and molded it into a solid group."
Some of the band members are still prominent in the music scene: For example John O´Brian Docker, Inga Rumpf, Sibylle Kynast, Dagmar Krause, Jean-Jacques Kravetz and Udo Lindenberg. More than 20 soloists participated in various formations of the band for a so-called 'modular' formation (everyone is a soloist and everyone plays with each).

In 1969 Inga Rumpft left the City Preachers to form the sucessful progressive rock band "Frumpy". This was the end of the City Preachers.
01. Sometimes I' in the mood
02. Apopse kanis bam
03. Come back baby
04. Porque Madalena
05. Toll the bell easy
06. Schlaf nur ruhig ein
07. Black brown and white
08. Alegrias por Ana Mary
09. Pick a bale of cotton
10. Ik hebbe se nich
11. Railroad Bill
12. Anula
13. Walking in the city
14. Gregor
15. Wenn die Soldaten
16. De sun vet arunter gayn

City Preachers - Folklore (1966)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Theodor W. Adorno & Hanns Eisler - Works For String Quartet (1996) (Leipziger Streichquartett)

On the album there are works for string quartet by Hans Eisler and Theador Adorno.

The Eisler works are from the 1920s and are interesting and show his great talent. The works by Adorno, particular his full string quartet are excellent. They are composed using the 12 tone technique and are beautiful, showing his debt to Alban Berg with whom he took composition lessons.

The full string quartet is as fine as any composition I have heard using the twelve tone system of composition.

01 - Hanns Eisler - String Quartet Op 75
02 - Hanns Eisler - Praeludium Und Fuge Ueber B-A-C-H For String Trio, Op 46
03 - Theodor W. Adorno - Six Studies For String Quartet
04 - Theodor W. Adorno - String Quartet
05 - Theodor W. Adorno - Two Pieces For

T. W. Adorno & H. Eisler - Works For String Quartet (1996)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 4. Oktober 2015

John Lee Hooker - Burning Hell (1958)

A 1958 recording that was inexplicably not issued in the United States until 1992, "Burning Hell" ranks among John Lee Hooker's most edgy and focused performances. A companion piece to "The Country Blues of John Lee Hooker", it finds Hooker singing country-blues, accompanied only by his own acoustic guitar - something he rarely did after traveling north from the Mississippi Delta.

Tackling several originals as well as tunes associated with Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Big Bill Broonzy, Hooker shows himself to be an excellent interpreter who could have held his own with Delta bluesmen of any era. Although his guitar playing is pretty raw even by blues standards, Hooker more than compensates with his powerful, resonant voice. Several tracks, including "Burnin' Hell" and "You Live Your Life and I'll Live Mine," are downright frightening in their intensity. Although Robert Jr. Lockwood is often identified as Robert Johnson's successor, this album would seem to indicate that John Lee Hooker is the most likely candidate to have a hellhound on his trail.               

A1Burning Hell
A2Graveyard Blues
A3Baby Please Don't Go
A4Jackson ,Tennessee
A5You Live Your Life And I'll Live Mine
A6Smokestack Lightnin'
B1How Can You Do It?
B2I Don't Want No Woman If Her Hair Ain't No Longer Than Mine
B3I Rolled And Turned And Cried The Whole Night Long
B4Blues For My Baby
B5Key To The Highway
B6Natchez Fire

John Lee Hooker - Burning Hell (1958)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 3. Oktober 2015

Chambers Brothers - Love, Peace and Happiness / Live At Bill Graham's Fillmore East (1969)

Love, Peace and Happiness is a double album by The Chambers Brothers, which was released in December 1969.
This album was released as a double-LP, which was composed of some live material recorded at Bill Graham's Fillmore East and some studio recordings.

The brothers seemed to really believe in the title track's message, and they earned style points by including white drummer Brian Keenan, making them one of the few racially mixed American bands. This album, originally released as a double LP, is half studio and half live. The studio sides reflect the message with titles such as "Have a Little Faith" and "To Love Somebody." But the brothers lose their way in covers of songs by the Bee Gees and Marvin Hamlisch, and the epic title track never coheres like "Time Has Come Today." The live sides are better, with stronger material, including "I Can't Turn You Loose" and "People Get Ready." The boys have some fun with the encore, a barbershop medley.      

A1Have A Little Faith
A2Let's Do It
A3To Love Somebody
A4If You Want Me To
A5Wake Up
B1Love Peace And Happiness (L + P = H In Three Movements)
C1Wade In The Water
C2Everybody Needs Somebody
C3I Can't Turn You Loose
D1People Get Ready
D2Bang Bang
D3You're So Fine
D4Medley - Undecided/Love,Love,Love

Chambers Brothers - Love, Peace and Happiness / Live At Bill Graham's Fillmore East (1969) 
(320 kbps, cover art included)