Samstag, 30. April 2016

Pete Seeger - Children´s Concert At Town Hall (1963)

There have been no shortage of memorable live albums by Pete Seeger across the decades - and, in fact, the Carnegie Hall concert from this same era has tended to eclipse a lot of the other performance documents of Seeger's work from the '60s. But this album has a special charm, showing Seeger directing his appeal at a younger audience which he treats with surprising sophistication - perhaps some of what he says is aimed at parents in the audience, but the mere fact that he enunciates such political sentiments in this setting could not have been lost on the young ones.

In other words, this was an album that one could grow up on, and it sold well enough on vinyl across the decades so that was absolutely the case with many thousands of kindred spirits of the next generation. Musically, Seeger is in excellent voice as he carries us through a mix of lighter political fare - and some topical and consciousness-raising songs aimed specifically at kids, and the kid in all of us - and children's songs such as "Skip to My Lou" and "I've Been Working on the Railroad."

He doesn't do "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," but he does close with "This Land Is Your Land," and includes a few songs he learned from Leadbelly (and mentions him as well - clearly a nod to the parents in the audience). The sound is excellent, state-of-the-art in its time and still crisp and vivid.          

Tracklist:                           
1Applause0:18
2Little Birdie3:01
3Henry My Son3:52
4Here's To Cheshire—Here's To Cheese (Froggy)6:27
5Oh Shenandoah1:41
6Skip To My Lou2:16
7Git Along, Little Dogies2:43
8Didn' Ol' John Cross The Water On His Knees2:47
9Fifteen Miles On The Erie Canal2:26
10I've Been Working On The Railroad1:53
11Riding In My Car1:22
12Put Your Finger In The Air2:18
13The Foolish Frog8:35
14Ilka's Bedouin Tune1:31
15Frere Jacques1:58
16Fisherman's Song0:59
17It Could Be A Wonderful World2:27
18Abiyoyo5:55
19Let Everyone Clap Hands Like Me2:00
20Michael Row The Boat Ashore2:04
21Ha, Ha Thisaway0:43
22De Grey Goose3:26
23Be Kind To Your Parents1:10
24Applause0:31
25This Land Is Your Land1:31
26Applause0:30

Pete Seeger - Children´s Concert At Town Hall (1963)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 29. April 2016

Duke Reid´s Treasure Chest (Treasure Isle Rocksteady)

Duke Reid (born Arthur S. Reid ca. 1915, Jamaica, died in 1974) was one of the initial producers in Kingston who developed Jamaican music. He started in the early 1960s with ska productions, developed the rock steady style and took part in the early days of reggae music.

This is the original, 41-track, double CD collection, with all the classic rock steady hits by the great groups (Melodians, Paragons) and singers (Alton Ellis, Phyllis Dillon). Digitally re-mastered, "Duke Reid's Treasure Chest" is a collection that truly showcases the label's greatness, and captures the magic of Treasure Isle rock steady. Pure soul magic from start to finish.

"Duke Reid's Treasure Chest" provides quite a proficient overview of the formative years of reggae. It compiles tunes from the vaults of his Treasure Isle label, perhaps second only to Studio One in terms of success and influence.

Duke Reid´s Treasure Chest CD 1
Duke Reid´s Treasure Chest CD 2
(192 kbsp)

Donnerstag, 28. April 2016

Leadbelly - Easy Rider (1999)

Huddie Ledbetter, known as Leadbelly, was a unique figure in the American popular music of the 20th century. Ultimately, he was best remembered for a body of songs that he discovered, adapted, or wrote, including "Goodnight, Irene," "Rock Island Line," "The Midnight Special," and "Cotton Fields."

But he was also an early example of a folksinger whose background had brought him into direct contact with the oral tradition by which folk music was handed down, a tradition that, by the early years of the century, already included elements of commercial popular music.

Because he was an African-American, he is sometimes viewed as a blues singer, but blues (a musical form he actually predated) was only one of the styles that informed his music. He was a profound influence on folk performers of the 1940s such as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, who in turn influenced the folk revival and the development of rock music from the 1960s onward, which makes his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, early in the hall's existence, wholly appropriate.

Tracklist
01Fannin Street
02I've A Pretty Flowers
03Easy Rider
04Bull Cow
05Dekalb Blues
06New York City
07Mother's Blues
08Tell Me Baby
09Sweet Mary Blues
10Bourgeois Blues
11My Friend Blind Lemon
12Good Morning Blues
13Gallis Pole
14Outskirts Of Town
15Grasshoppers In My Pillow
16Scottsboro Blues
17Sail On Little Girl, Sail On
18Don't You Love You Daddy No More
19Where Did You Sleep Last Night
20How Long
21Looky Looky Yonder

Leadbelly - Easy Rider
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 25. April 2016

Force Of Music - Freedom Fighters Dub

Although the Royals' lineup had shifted on a number of occasions, in the mid-'70s a more dramatic cleft occurred, forcing Roy Cousins to take stock. While he mulled his next move, the singer/producer kept his group's name alive with the release of "Pick Up the Pieces", a stunning compilation of the Royals' best recent work, with a second set, "Ten Years After", following in 1978.

Thanks to DJ Lloyd Coxsone, who set the London scene shaking with dubs of "Ten Years After"'s songs, Cousins struck a deal with United Artists. The label, via their Ballistic imprint, released both "Pick Up the Pieces" and Ten Years After, as well as "Freedom Fighter Dub", whose ten versions were drawn evenly from both vocal albums. "Freedom Fighter" itself was credited to Force of Music, a moniker that encompassed just about every name musician then on the scene. The Royals never used one studio exclusively, and even the dub set was divvied up, with various tracks mixed down by Errol Thompson, Ernest Hoo Kim, and Scientist.

The echoing-in-the-ether of "Smoke Pipe Dub," the militant sound of "Pagan Front Dub," and the melody laced "Free Nambia Dub" each highlight the diversity of the approaches within. "Tribute to Lloyd Coxsone in Dub" is just exuberant, a fitting homage to the man who helped make it all happen; Cousins gratefully dedicated the album to him. The bulk of the vocal tracks were stunning versions of classic riddims, most arranged in roots reggae style, with only a few falling into rockers territory. The dubs invariably toughened them up, although "Promised Land"'s cheery atmosphere still shines through on "Fresh Cow Milk Dub," while the sweet melody of "Freedom Fighters" bubbles to the surface of "Free Namibia Dub" The vocal sets cemented the Royals' vocal reputation in stone, this dub set did the same for Cousins' productions.

Tracklist:                           
A1Blood For Freedom Dub2:46
A2Free Namibia Dub3:06
A3Black Prince And Princess Dub2:57
A4Quake Heart Dub3:03
A5Pieces Of Dub3:33
B1Smoke Pipe Dub2:54
B2Pagan Front Dub3:41
B3Tribute To Lloyd Coxone Dub3:47
B4Fresh Cow Milk Dub3:51
B5Meet The People Dub3:42

Force Of Music - Freedom Fighters Dub
(192 kbps, cover art included, track 10 is missing!)

Sonntag, 24. April 2016

Geoff & Maria Muldaur ‎– Sweet Potatoes

In the midst of leaving the Jim Kweskin Jug Band and beginning the juggernaut that would be the solo career of Maria Muldaur, the happily singing and swinging couple made several sides which made expert use of a loose-knit group of players who had grown into masters of the folk revival arts.

At times the choice of material on this album is unfortunately lazy; "Havana Moon" was a song that not even Chuck Berry himself could complete without boredom setting in, and the efforts here don't pay off much better. At the same time, the players here really don't need much more than the most basic framework from which to jump off and they are hard at it, pushing the music forward with a sense of purpose that inevitably helped it earn its hard-fought respectability. As a whole, "Sweet Potatoes" is something of a masterwork, rich and revealing, possessing the contagious enthusiasm of young musicians finding a personal voice in the rich traditions of the past as well as the relaxed sophistication that develops when these players are no longer novices.

The Geoff and Maria Muldaur combination, when it was working, was also very special, a challenging partnership that also was something of an inviting nucleus to the players with the talent to be drawn into the fold. This album contains some of the better playing of harmonica man Paul Butterfield, removed from the hyper-drive excess of his blues bands. "Kneein' Me" and "Cordelia" are among the song highlights. - Eugene Chadbourne

Tracklist:                           
1Blue Railroad Train3:00
2Havana Moon4:52
3Lazy Bones4:50
4Cordelia3:55
5Dardanella4:30
6I'm Rich5:11
7Sweet Potatoes2:03
8Kneein' Me3:18
9Lover Man ( Oh Where Can You Be )4:07
10Hard Time Killin' Floor4:55

Geoff & Maria Muldaur ‎– Sweet Potatoes
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 16. April 2016

Bob Dylan - Folk Rogue 1964 - 1965

This CD is one to grab for several reasons. First of all, Newport shows are essential both to any serious Dylan collection, as well as to any music historian. This set compares the sublime acoustic folk '64 show to the infamous 'Electric' '65 show that forever changed the face of folk, rock, and folk-rock music. The entire CD is soundboard recordings, and this is the best sounding Newport recordings ever. The filler material is of fascinating historical importance as well. The two missing songs from the newly discovered Hollywood Bowl show (with Levon Helm and Robbie Robertson) are also included. Finally, the aesthetics are nice, the venue information is complete, and the period photos are vibrant.
--Craig Pinkerton, bobsboots.com

In the span of exactly 365 days, from his July 26, 1964, appearance at the famed Newport Folk Festival to his return on July 25, 1965, Bob Dylan rocketed from folk luminary to lightning rod. After first abandoning the protest themes of his classic early anthems to focus on more poetic, personal subjects, Dylan next forsook the rigid traditions of roots music to go electric, drawing on the spirit of rock & roll to forge a revolutionary and controversial sound all his own. The must-have bootleg release "Folk Rogue 1964-1965" contains both Newport sets in their entirety, and the contrast is extraordinary: while the 1964 audience treats sublime, introspective songs like "It Ain't Me, Babe" and "All I Really Want to Do" with reverence and awe, the 1965 crowd seems poised on the brink of anarchy, and regardless of whether the catalyst was the elemental ferocity of the music, the inadequate sound system, or the brevity of the three-song set, the tension is palpable, and it elevates Dylan and his band to remarkable heights. Adding a pair of songs from Dylan's September 3, 1965, show at Los Angeles' Hollywood Bowl for good measure, "Folk Rogue 1964-1965" remains the definitive single-disc presentation of this landmark material. Soundboard-quality fidelity and tasteful packaging complete an essential collection, although Dandelion's two-disc "From Newport to the Ancient Empty Streets in LA" adds the Hollywood Bowl show in its entirety while subtracting "It Ain't Me Babe" from the 1964 Newport appearance, so comparison shopping is recommended.  - allmusic.com


Tracklist:

  1. It Ain't Me Babe *
  2. All I Really Want To Do
  3. To Ramona
  4. Mr Tambourine Man
  5. Chimes Of Freedom
  6. Don't Think Twice **
  7. All I Really Wanna Do *(afternoon workshop)
  8. Maggie's Farm
  9. Like A Rolling Stone
  10. Phantom Engineer
  11. Tombstone Blues ***
  12. It Ain't Me Babe ***
  13. We Want Bobby
  14. It's All Over Now Baby Blue
  15. Mr Tambourine Man
Newport Folk Festival, RI July 25, 1965 Except:
* Newport Folk Festival, RI July 26, 1964
** Newcastle, UK City Hall May 6, 1965
*** Hollywood Bowl, LA, CA September 3, 1965


Bob Dylan - Folk Rogue 1964 - 1965
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Bobby Darin - The Bobby Darin Story (1961)

 
Released in the early '60s, here's the first part of Darin's career told by the vocalist himself in a 12-song greatest-hits collection that really works. The narration inserts still function well after all these years, making you realize that this was originally a vinyl album, as Darin negotiates from rock & roller to finger-snapping lounge lizard. This album focuses on his early days with ATCO records in the late 50's and early 60's. Not all the cuts are the ones that were released as singles, and it's interesting to hear the unfamiliar cuts of familiar songs. :~ Cub Koda

Tracks:
01. Splish Splash
02. Early In The Morning
03. Queen Of The Hop
04. Plain Jane
05. Dream Lover
06. Mack The Knife
07. Beyond The Sea
08. Clementine
09. Bill Bailey
10. Artificial Flowers
11. Somebody To Love
12. Lazy River


This is an early compilation album transferred intact to CD. Between numbers, Bobby Darin comments on the impact and import of each song (including a charmingly anachronistic, "If you don't turn this over, I'm liable to run into the label," followed by a resounding crash).
The Bobby Darin Story includes his early hits, "Splish Splash" and "Queen of the Hop" as well as the iconic "Mack The Knife." Everything about this CD screams "musty old record album in the basement" including the label which advises us that this recording is in stereo. Wowee.
Unremastered and rather reedy recordings of most of the songs made me wish I had the original LP, with the cracks, hisses and pops they so rightfully deserve. No Information Age smoothness here. This album, er, CD is a real chestnut, full of artifacts from a vanished time.
The tumult of the Sixties is reflected in the widely varying musical styles on this recording. Bobby Darin spent much of his career finding his own unique voice, veering between bubblegum At The Hop pop and derivative Tin Pan Alley toss-offs until he passed magnificently "Beyond The Sea."
Darin's tragically brief life and stellar career are well remembered on this curio shop recording. And Bobby's commentary makes it all come to life.:~ Amazon Customer Comment

Bobby Darin - The Bobby Darin Story (1961)
(ca. 192 kbps, cover art included)

Buffy Sainte-Marie - Little Wheel Spin and Spin (1966)

Buffy Sainte-Marie took some tentative steps toward a more contemporary sound here, with contributions from supporting musicians such as Bruce Langhorne, Patrick Sky, Eric Weissberg, and Felix Pappalardi, all of whom were noted New York folk and folk-rock players.

It's an interesting collection of songs, not among either her best or worst work, including some covers of traditional ballads amidst a mostly original program. It was one of those originals, "My Country 'Tis of Thy People You're Dying," that caught the most attention and remains her most protest-oriented composition.

Tracklist:

A1Little Wheel Spin And Spin2:26
A2House Carpenter3:43
A3Waly, Waly3:45
A4Rolling Log Blues3:28
A5My Country 'Tis Of Thy People You're Dying6:43
A6Men Of The Field1:55
B1Timeless Love2:40
B2Sir Patrick Spens5:10
B3Poor Man's Daughter2:55
B4Lady Margaret1:40
B5Sometimes When I Get To Thinkin'3:35
B6Winter Boy2:10

Buffy Sainte-Marie - Little Wheel Spin and Spin (1966)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger - The Jacobite Rebellions (1962)

From the sleeve notes:

"AFTER CENTURIES OF CONFLICT, THE KINGDOMS OF ENGLAND AND Scotland had been brought together in 1603 when the Stuart King James VI of Scotland became James I of England. Although united in the person of their ruler the two states retained quite different governments and institutions. They remained separate until the Act of Union in 1707 established a single government for the 'United Kingdom'. By this time the Stuart dynasty had been deposed in the so-called 'Glorious Revolution' of 1688, when the Roman Catholic James II (VII of Scotland) was replaced by the Dutch ruler William of Orange, who had married James' elder daughter Mary. This had been a victory for the powerful landowning and commercial classes which had been rapidly increasing in strength during the preceding century. They were strongly Protestant in religion and they were, moreover, determined to restrict the power of the monarchy permanently.

Scotland benefited materially from the Union with England. Its trade and manufacturing industry increased enormously and, thanks to the superiority of Scottish education over anything, existing south of the Border in the eighteenth century, Scottish businessmen, inventors and intellectual leaders figured amongst the giants of the Industrial Revolution. Adam Smith, the economist; James Watt, inventor of the improved steam engine; and Macadam and Telford, the famous road builders, were amongst the most outstanding.
 
The real increase in the prosperity of Scotland as a result of this important contribution to the processes of industrialisation was, however, unevenly spread. It was concentrated in the Lowlands and in particular in Glasgow, which was rapidly becoming a large commercial centre. The Highlands were scarcely affected by it. In this extensive mountainous area an ancient feudal system based on subsistence farming remained dominant. The clans which maintained it were cut off from both the material developments and currents of thought of the outside world. Personal loyalty was highly valued; the old religion of Roman Catholicism was still strongly entrenched; and with it affection for the exiled 'King across the water' and a romantic attachment to the 'auld alliance" with France against England. In view of this dour resistance to all the forces of innovation which were beginning to transform England and the Lowlands in the eighteenth century, it was natural that the Stuarts should look to the Highlands as their main hope for a revival of their fortunes.
 
James II had gone into exile in France, where he died in 1701. His son James, the 'Old Pretender', inherited the claim to the thrones of England and Scotland, and it was in support of him that the Jacobite Risings occurred. The Act of Settlement of 1701 had ensured that the crown would pass to the Protestant House of Hanover. This happened in 1714, and the first Rising was thus timed to take advantage of the unpopularity of George I. But as it was inadequately planned and badly led, the Rising of 1715 never presented a serious challenge to the new regime. Apart from an abortive expedition in 1719, thirty years passed before the Stuarts made their next and final bid to recover power.
 
On the 25th July 1745, the 25 year old Prince Charles Edward Stuart, the 'Young Pretender', set foot on the Scottish mainland. Less than a month later he raised the standard of his father at Glenfinnan, and the clansmen began to rally to him. By a daring march on Edinburgh the Jacobites captured the city and repulsed an effort to dislodge them at the Battle of Prestonpans. The Prince then led his army southwards towards London, hoping that support would come to him from the inhabitants of the northern English counties. He was disappointed. Although he reached the River Trent just south of Derby on 4th December, he received an extremely cool welcome from the towns and countryside through which he passed. And his clansmen became increasingly disgruntled the further they moved from their native glens.
 
Meanwhile, the government had been desperately raising an army, and although hampered by incredibly bad communications a force was now ready to take the field under the generalship of the Duke of Cumberland.
 
The Prince was forced to retreat, and his forces fell back into Scotland and then into the Highlands, Cumberland pursued them towards the inevitable engagement. This took place on the morning of 16th April 1746, when the clansmen were mown down by the superior armaments of the government forces on Culloden Moor.
 
The Battle of Culloden marked the extinction of the last Jacobite hope of recovering the British crown, and Prince Charles spent many hunted weeks as a fugitive before he managed narrowly to escape to France. But it marked more than that — it was also the end of an ancient social order. The government determined that there should never be another rising in the Highlands, and Cumberland earned himself the nickname of 'The Butcher' by ruthlessly carrying out the policy of breaking the clan system. Estates of the leading Jacobites were confiscated, and the wearing of the tartan prohibited. Even more important, the feudal powers of the clan chieftains, with their own law courts and the right of claiming military service from their tenants, were abolished.
 
These measures were effective. Law and order was imposed on the Highlands. Roads, bridges and harbours were built and improved. The introduction of English practices of land ownership led in time to the establishment of large estates as deer parks, and resulted in large scale depopulation. By 1759 Pitt was able to remove the ban on tartan wearing and to recruit regiments of Highlanders to assist in the conquest of Canada. In 1784, the government felt able to restore most of the forfeited estates to their original owners. Meanwhile, the whole country had begun to show signs of the rapid acceleration in the processes of industrialisation which brought greater prosperity to the nation. Industrial and commercial success in the eighteenth century did more than Cumberland's troops to cement the political foundations of Hanoverian Britain.
 
With the pacification of the Highlands, the Stuart cause was dead. But like many lost causes, that of the Jacobites has retained its attraction and its power to move the spirit. More than most, the Jacobite cause, though lost, has been won in the persistent appeal of the songs which it evoked. These songs recall a social order which has long since passed away under the wheels of the locomotive, the arterial road, the factory, and the hydroelectric power station. They recall the bravery of men who died for a cause in which they believed. And above all, they recall the loyalty felt towards the young prince who, with grace and charm, came to lead the clansmen in his fathers' cause; and who, though doomed to failure, won the hearts and devotion of men and women in his own generation and in those which have followed. - ANGUS BUCHANAN"
 
"In the Jacobite songs every battle became a cry against oppression, and every leader wears the aspect of Ideal courage, boldness and strength, without blemish. The songs are glorious. Through them the Jacobites have won their rebellions, for the songs exist In posterity, moving us who are so far removed from the events, the causes, and the feelings, of the Fifteen and the Forty-Five; who live In other countries and pursue other destinies. As Ewan MacColl writes: "To a world which has become familiar with the concept of genocide, which has known fascism and two world wars, the Jacobite rebellions appear as no more than cases of mild unrest. They have grown dusty in history's lumber room along with all the other lost causes. The Stuart cause is forgotten and nothing, remains of it except the songs. "And what songs they are'. Witty, tender, proud, bitter, ribald, delicate, passionate; the songs of a people with a great zest and appetite for life; the songs of a people who are essentially optimistic and who, oddly enough, succeed In combining sympathy for a declining royal house with the most republican sentiments." - RALPH KNIGHT

Tracklist:
A1Ye Jacobites By Name
A2Such A Parcel Of Rogues In A Nation
A3Will Ye Go To Sheriffmuir
A4Wae's Me For Prince Charlie
A5Charlie He's My Darling
A6The Haughs Of Cromdale
A7The Bonnie Moorhen
A8Johnnie Cope
B1Cam Ye O'er Frae France
B2There's Three Brave, Loyal Fellows
B3This Is No My Ain House
B4The Piper O' Dundee
B5Donald MacGillavry
B6MacLean's Welcome
B7Will Ye No Come Back Again


Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger - The Jacobite Rebellions (1962)
(ca. 250 kbps, cover art incuded)

Ella Fitzgerald - Ella At Juan-Les Pins (1964)

Ella at Juan-les-Pins is a 1964 live album by Ella Fitzgerald, accompianed by a quartet led by Roy Eldridge on trumpet with the pianist Tommy Flanagan, Gus Johnson on drums and Bill Yancey on bass. Val Valentin was the recording engineer, Cover photo by Jean-Pierre Leloir. The original 1964 album featured 12 songs, highlights of two concerts Fitzgerald performed on the 28 and 29 of July 1964 at the Fifth 'Festival Mondial du Jazz Antibes' in Juan-les-Pins, France. Ella is in fine voice, sounding very aggressive at times, as her voice leaps and growls. The listener also gets to hear Ella improvise a musical tribute to the crickets who are also in fine voice throughout the performance. It is
one of the forgotten live LPs from the career of vocal jazz's most impressive live artists.

Ella Fitzgerald does give the appreciative crowd the show they're looking for; whereas most vocalists have treated songs like "Them There Eyes" and "Perdido" as features for their playful side, Fitzgerald simply rips them apart with twisting, turning wordplay, breakneck tempos the band can hardly keep up with, and scats no listener can digest the first or second time through. She wrings all the selfish joi de vivre from "The Lady Is a Tramp" (addressing herself), then, with barely a pause, moves into a carefully paced "Summertime." Two recent crossovers, Barbra Streisand's "People" and the Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love," serve as pleasant stopgap items between the real show, and Fitzgerald reprises her legend-making rendition of "Mack the Knife" from "Ella in Berlin", describing the entire sorted Brecht-to-Darin-to-Armstrong history of the song while never losing her sense of swing. Throughout, she never fails to energize or charm her audience.   

Ella Fitzgerald - Ella At Juan-Les Pins (1964)   
(256 kbps, cover art included)  

Dienstag, 12. April 2016

William S. Burroughs - Dead City Radio (1990)

The elder statesman of literature's Beat Generation - and, by extension, of the American underground culture - few figures outside of the musical sphere exerted a greater influence over rock & roll than novelist William S. Burroughs. A provocative, controversial figure famed for his unique cut-up prose aesthetic, Burroughs lived the rock lifestyle years before the music itself was even created; the ultimate outsider, he existed on the dark fringes of society in a haze of drugs, guns, and violence, remaining a patron saint of hipsterdom until his dying day. Ultimately, Burroughs' hold on the popular culture was extraordinary: few artists failed to credit him as an inspiration, and while bands like Steely Dan and the Soft Machine adopted their names from his turns-of-phrase, younger artists like Kurt Cobain and the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy lined up to offer musical support for his occasional excursions into spoken word performing.

One of the best Burroughs recordings, "Dead City Radio" features the writer reading five previously unreleased pieces, along with selections from several of his books. The acerbic Burroughs wit is at its finest on many of these selections, and he even takes a shot at singing on one track. Musical contributors to this project include Sonic Youth, Donald Fagen, Lenny Pickett, Cheryl Hardwick, Chris Stein, and John Cale.

(320 kbps, front cover included)

Montag, 11. April 2016

King Stitt - Reggae Fire Beat (Jamaican Gold)

Born Winston Cooper, King Stitt was one of the early DJs on the reggae scene. Spotted by Count Machuki at a dance, Stitt was asked to try his hand at DJing because of his spectacular dance moves.

Born with facial disfigurement, Stitt used it as a gimmick, taking advantage of the islanders' love for Westerns and calling himself the Ugly, after Sergio Leone's "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly". Initially, people went to his shows to find out if he really was ugly or not. After a time, he came into his own as a DJ without needing the gimmick, using ideas taken from radio DJs in Miami and New Orleans that came over the broadcasts to Jamaica.

He began working with Coxsone Dodd, and then moved on to Clancy Eccles, with whom he produced a number of works that met with success in both Jamaica and the U.K.- "Fire Corner," "Herbman Shuffle," and "Van Cleef" (because Lee Van Cleef was the "ugly one" in the movie). Now, he works at Coxsone's Studio One from time to time.

"Reggae Fire Beat" is a superb collection of tracks produced by Clancy Eccles in the first reggae era at the end of the sixties into the early seventies featuring the distinctive voice of one Winston Spark aka The Ugly One aka King Stitt.
Tracklist:

01 - King Alpha (The Beginning)
02 - Dance Beat 1
03 - Jump For Joy
04 - Soul Language
05 - Herbsman Shuffle
06 - Lick It Back
07 - Lee Van Cleef
08 - On The Street
09 - Vigorton Two
10 - Oh Yeah
11 - Fire Corner
12 - I For I
13 - In The City
14 - Rub A Dub
15 - Sounds Of The 70's
16 - Christmas Tree
17 - King Of Kings
18 - Queen Omega (The End)

King Stitt - Reggae Fire Beat (Jamaican Gold)
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Sonntag, 10. April 2016

Tom Paxton - The Complete Tom Paxton (Vinyl, 1971)

Tom Paxton proved to be one of the most durable of the singer/songwriters to emerge from the Greenwich Village folk revival scene of the early '60s. In some ways, he had more in common with the late-'50s generation of folksingers such as Dave Van Ronk (who was 16 months his senior) and even older performers than with the new crop of singer/songwriters with whom he tended to be associated, such as Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs (both of whom were several years his junior). But like Dylan and Ochs, and unlike Van Ronk, Paxton was a songwriter caught up in the left-wing political movements of the time and inspired to compose topical and protest songs. In general, his tended to be more lighthearted than theirs (the musical satirist Tom Lehrer was at least as much of an influence on him as Woody Guthrie), though he could be just as witty and just as harshly critical of his opponents. Like such mentors as Pete Seeger, and unlike Dylan, he never cared to make much of a transition to the mainstream, never picked up an electric guitar and tried to play rock & roll.

A two-disc live set recorded at New York's Bitter End nightclub in June 1970, "The Complete Tom Paxton" is pretty close to definitive when it comes to the range of the folksinger's interests at the time. It's all here, from the pointed satire of "Talking Vietnam Pot Luck Blues" and "Wish I Had a Troubador" and the more subtle but no less biting social commentary of "Clarissa Jones" and "Jimmy Newman," all the way to the touching children's song "Jennifer's Rabbit" (Paxton would not go deeply into children's music for some years yet) and the romantic tenderness of "My Lady's a Wild Flying Dove" and the closing "The Last Thing on My Mind."

The arrangements range from solo acoustic performances (most of the album, actually) to a handful of songs with a semi-electric, drummer-less band. Paxton's banter throughout is light and humorous, and there's an appealing, easygoing feel to the album that makes its epic length seem considerably shorter.

Tracklist:

A1 Clarissa Jones
A2 Introduction
A3 The Things I Notice Now
A4 Jennifer's Rabbit; I Give You The Morning
A5 Intro To "The Marvellous Toy"
A6 The Marvellous Toy
A7 Leaving London
B1 Angie
B2 All Night Long
B3 Bayonet Rap
B4 Talking Vietnam Pot Luck Blues
B5 Jimmy Newman
B6 Outward Bound
C1 Morning Again
C2 Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound
C3 My Lady's A Wild Flying Dove
C4 Now That I've Taken My Life
C5 About The Children
C6 Ballad Of Spiro Agnew
C7 Mr. Blue
C8 Wish I Had A Troubadour
D1 Ev'ry Time (When We Are Gone)
D2 Cindy's Crying: Hooker
D3 Intro To Musicians
D4 Ramblin' Boy
D5 The Last Thing On My Mind

Tom Paxton - The Complete Tom Paxton (Vinyl, 1971)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Tom Rush - Tom Rush (1965)

With his warm and slightly world-weary baritone voice, solid acoustic guitar playing, and gifted if hardly prolific songwriting skills, Tom Rush was one of the finest and most unsung performers to come out of the '60s urban folk revival. Born February 8, 1941 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Rush began his performing career in 1961 while attending Harvard University (where he majored in English literature), and he soon became a regular on the east coast folk circuit. A careful, unhurried songwriter, he was also a fine song interpreter, and had a knack for finding just the right song from new songwriters, being the first to introduce work from then-new songwriters like Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Murray McLauchlan, William Hawkins, and David Wiffen, among others, and found ways to breathe new life into any number of traditional folk, country, and blues numbers, as well. In a five-decade career that has been steady and consistent but hardly lived out in the public spotlight, Rush has recorded a little less than 20 albums, several of them live sets - a spare output given the length of his recording career, but it is a sturdy legacy by anyone's measure, with at least one of his compositions, the resigned and bittersweet "No Regrets" from 1968, standing as an acknowledged classic in the folk field.

It's unfortunate that Tom Rush's third album has such a strong reputation among rock listeners - not that it doesn't deserve it, but it sort of distracts them from this album, which was as natural a fit for rock listeners as any folk album of its era. Rush's album is filled with a hard, bluesy brand of folk music that's hard on the acoustic guitar strings and not much easier on his voice; he sings stuff like "Long John" and "If Your Man Gets Busted" with a deep, throaty baritone that's only a little less raw than John Hammond's was while doing his work of the same era. Rush had the misfortune to be equated with Bob Dylan, but he had a more easygoing and accessible personality that comes out on numbers here such as Woody Guthrie's "Do-Re-Mi" and Kokomo Arnold's "Milkcow Blues," which are thoroughly enjoyable and quietly (but totally) beguiling. Additionally, he isn't such a purist that he felt above covering a Leiber & Stoller number such as "When She Wants Good Lovin'."

Tom Rush - Tom Rush (1965)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Eric Andersen - 'Bout Changes 'n' Things Take 2 (1967)

 
Eric Andersen has maintained a career as a folk-based singer/songwriter since the 1960s. In contrast to such peers as Tom Paxton and Phil Ochs, Andersen's writing has had a romantic/philosophical/poetic bent for the most part, rather than a socially conscious one, though one of his best-known songs, "Thirsty Boots," has as its background the Freedom Rides of the early '60s.

This unusual disc consisted of the exact same songs that Eric Andersen had released on his previous album, the almost identically titled "'Bout Changes and Things", in 1966. The difference was that now the songs were given fuller folk-rock band arrangements (and also presented in a different order).
Commercially, this was a hard proposition to pull off; essentially it was giving listeners the option of repurchasing an entire album that they might have already had if they were hip to Andersen. Probably the thinking was that the more modern band backup would expand his pop/rock audience by reaching people who'd never heard Andersen before, but in the end he remained about as much of a cult figure as he was before the plan was hatched.
The folk-rock backing grafted onto the songs was mild and tentative, and did not fully develop the material as much as it could or should have. For that reason, most Andersen fans prefer the original, acoustic folk version of "Bout Changes and Things". Which isn't to say that "Bout Changes and Things Take 2" is bad; if these were the only versions of the tunes in circulation, they'd still hold up for the most part. The early Andersen favorites "Violets of Dawn," "Close the Door Lightly," and "Thirsty Boots" are all here, and sometimes the production has a decent early New York Dylanesque folk-rock vibe, as on "The Hustler" and "The Girl I Love."

Tracklist:

  1.  "Close the Door Lightly" – 3:49
  2. "That's All Right Mama" (Arthur Crudup) – 2:56
  3. "Blind Fiddler" – 4:49
  4. "The Hustler" – 4:51
  5. "Thirsty Boots" – 5:14
  6. "My Land is a Good Land" – 3:00
  7. "Hey Babe, Have You Been Cheatin'" – 3:36
  8. "Cross Your Mind" – 5:17
  9. "Champion at Keeping Them Rolling" (Ewan MacColl) – 4:30
  10. "I Shall Go Unbounded" – 4:28
  11. "Violets of Dawn" – 4:12
  12. "The Girl I Love" – 3:36
Eric Andersen - `Bout Changes ´n´ Things Take 2 (1967)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 7. April 2016

Ute Lemper - Sings Kurt Weill (1988)


Ute Lemper is a multifaceted singer/actress closely associated with the Berlin cabaret style of songs and the music of Kurt Weill.

"Ute Lemper Sings Kurt Weill, Volumes 1 and 2" released in 1988 and 1993, plus the third album of Weill's two most important song cycles in German, "The Seven Deadly Sins" ("Die sieben Todsunden") and "Mahagonny Songspiel" released in 1990 unequivocally established Ms. Lemper as the leading Kurt Weill interpreter since Lotte Lenya, Weill's wife and the singer for whom many of his vocal pieces were written. These three disks, sample pieces from most major Weill works written in German, including his most famous musical play, "The Threepenny Opera" ("Die Dreigroschenoper").

The first disc has fourteen tracks with three from "Der Silbersee" with lyrics by Kaiser, three from "Die Dreigroschenoper" with lyrics by Bertolt Brecht, two from "Berliner Requiem" with lyrics by Brecht, two from "Mahagonny" with lyrics by Brecht, "Je ne t'aime pas" with French lyrics by Magre, and three from "One Touch of Venus" with English lyrics by S.J. Perelman and Ogden Nash.

The album is done with the backing of the RIAS Berlin Sinfonietta, conducted by John Mauceri who seems to get just the right tone of sleaze out of his ensemble to match the tone of the composition and lyrics by Weill and his various librettists, especially Berthold Brecht.

Lemper is a vocalist in that great European femme fatale tradition of Lenya, Piaf, and Dietrich and certainly to my lights the leading interpreter today of Weill's songs plus works by other European composers for the musical and cabaret (See her album `City of Strangers'). Compared to even some of the greatest contemporary American female vocalists on the stage such as Streisand and Minelli, both Yanks have their strength, but they can't or don't try to achieve the same depth of feeling behind the European `Weltschmertz' you hear from Lemper and her forerunners. The closest may be Minelli's performance as Sally Bowles in `Cabaret', but even there, she can't seem to hide her American innocence.

Of the three albums, the first of the three, "Ute Lemper Sings Kurt Weill" may be the best introduction, as it includes two of Weill's best English songs, "I'm a Stranger Here Myself" and "Speak Low".

Tracks Vol. I:*01. Fennimores Lied
*02. Cäsars Tod
*03. Die Moritat von Mackie Messer
*04. Salomon Song
*05. Die ballade Von  der sexuellen Hörigkeit
*06. Zu Potsdam Unter Den Eichen
*07. Nanna's Lied
*08. Lied des Lotterieagenten
*09. Alabama Song
*10. Denn Wie Man Sich Bettet
*11. Je Ne T'aime Pas
*12. I'm a Stranger Here Myself
*13. Westwind
*14. Speak Low

Ute Lemper - Sings Kurt Weill (1988)
(192 kbps, cover inluded)

Pete Seeger - The Rainbow Quest (1960)


Pete Seeger fills the first half of his 1960 studio album "The Rainbow Desig" with three medleys, playing and singing a chorus or so of 17 different songs in 15 minutes, as if just getting down the basics of the tunes to remember them and perhaps perform them more fully later. Toward the end of this set, he gets a bit more serious and organized, beginning with an original composition "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," a philosophical ballad with the chorus (gently sung), "When will you ever learn?" What he wants his listeners to learn, it becomes apparent, is to avoid war, particularly nuclear war, as he follows with a Japanese poem to that effect before ending the medley section of the album with a poem by early 20th century labor organizer and songwriter Joe Hill.

Seeger begins the album's second half with another lovely original, "Oh, Had I a Golden Thread," which expresses his desire to bind the world together. A trio of songs about the need for peace follows, all of them written by his half-sister Peggy Seeger and/or her husband, Ewan MacColl. The most affecting of these is "The Dove," which finds Seeger putting down his banjo temporarily and playing a melody on the flute. Another call to brotherhood ("To Everyone in All the World") is followed by a marching song from the Montgomery bus boycott ("We Are Moving on to Victory"), and the album concludes with the elegiac "When I'm Dead and Buried" (aka "Don't You Weep After Me"). Although the collection is something of a miscellany, it contains some excellent Seeger songs, typically mixing his love for old folk tunes with his commitment to progressive political causes such as nuclear disarmament and Civil Rights.

Pete Seeger - The Rainbow Quest (1960)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Josh White - Blues And ... (1956)


Josh White went through so many different phases and sounds in his career, that he was virtually a musical chameleon, adapting easily to whatever audiences expected of him in any given decade. Still, the "big band"-style blues embodied on these 1956-vintage recordings may surprise those who only know White from his acoustic sides cut during the folk revival of the later 1950s and early 1960s. His voice - still an excellent instrument in its own right two decades into his recording career - and acoustic guitar mesh nicely with a sextet consisting of Jack Fallon (bass), Phil Seamen (drums), Bertie King (alto sax), Fred Hartz (tenor sax), Benny Green (baritone sax), and Kenny Baker (trumpet), on "Kansas City Blues."

White gets to show off his skill as a slide guitarist on stripped-down pieces such as "Careless Love" - a nearly six-minute long acoustic blues showcase - and his vocal range on the lusty "Oh Lula," and gives a fresh take on "St. Louis Blues," White's guitar and Seamen's drums interweaving rhythmic patterns around his exuberant vocals.

Tracklist:

- How Long Blues
- Careless Love
- Oh, Lula
- St. Louis Blues
- Kansas City Blues

- I Had To Stoop To Conquer You
- I Know How To Do It
- Dink's Blues
- Mint Julep
- Good Morning Blues

Josh White - Blues And... (1956)
(256 kbps, front & back cover included)

Pete Seeger, Bernice Johnson Reagon & Rev. Frederick Douglass Kirkpatrick - Now (1968)

The figure of Pete Seeger towers over 20th and 21st century music. Revered as a songwriter, folklorist and activist his fingerprints are to be found over a vast array of folk and contemporary culture. Wise, kind, provocative, satirical and acerbic his commentaries and performances have lead to his blacklisting in one decade and to his exaltation by pop icons in another.

"Pete Seeger Now" is the venerable (if still under 50) folksinger's 1968 follow-up to his celebrated and controversial 1967 LP "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy and Other Love Songs", and in between, of course, Seeger was first censored from singing its title song, a metaphor for the American involvement in Vietnam, on network television in September 1967 shortly after the album's release, and then allowed to do so in February 1968. The photograph on the cover of "Pete Seeger Now" alludes to the song, as well as to another Seeger composition actually heard on this LP. The picture shows a hand thrust up from under water (like a drowning soldier in "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy") holding a redesigned American flag like the one Seeger describes in his song "The Torn Flag." The redesign deliberately includes new colors such as black, brown, and yellow, and similarly, Seeger shares the stage here (literally, this is a live recording) with African-American performers. The album cover also makes another point that is reflected in the performances on the album. "Pete Seeger Now", which seems to have come from a recently recorded concert and to have been rushed into release (hence the title), carries with it the sense of desperation felt by left-wing political activists like Seeger as well as Americans in general in 1968, as the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement seemed to be coming to a head in the crucible of a tumultuous and tragic presidential election. Seeger, who has always combined a stern ideological bent with a benevolent, inclusive approach, struggles to maintain his usual optimism here; that hand may be sticking up determinedly with its new flag on the cover, but the rest of the body is submerged. Just so, Seeger alternates some of his old singalong favorites ("Michael Row the Boat Ashore," "Water Is Wide") with new songs like "The Torn Flag" and "False from True" that reflect the difficult state of things, also performing a cover of the caustic "Talking Ben Tre," a song full of anger at what the U.S. was doing in Vietnam. Like many whites in the Civil Rights Movement in the late '60s, he acknowledges feeling a certain amount of guilt about the role of his ancestors in American history, even approvingly quoting Malcolm X at one point. He also, without any introduction on this recording, hands things over to the powerful singer of folk spirituals Bernice Johnson Reagon of the Freedom Singers, a sort of young Odetta, who begins her part of the disc with "Backlash Blues," a Langston Hughes poem set to music. Thereafter, Seeger alternates songs with Reagon until near the end of the LP, when he introduces the Rev. Frederick Douglass Kirkpatrick and James Collier from the Poor People's March and the Resurrection City encampment in Washington, D.C., who express righteous anger in "Everybody's Got a Right to Live" and "The Cities Are Burning." "Musicians are supposed to go around cheering up other people," Seeger had said earlier as an introduction to "False from True," "but who's gonna cheer up the musician?" After letting that sink in, he added, "Well, let me tell you, you do." But this answer is of course inadequate as well as being circular, which Seeger must realize. On "Pete Seeger Now", he is as impassioned as ever, but also clearly embittered and, seemingly, inclined to let the flag be carried forward by others, at least for a while.            

Tracks:

11. Adam The Inventor
12. Letter To Eve
13. Talking Ben Tre
14. Backlash Blues
15. He’s Long Gone
16. The Torn Flag
17. Michael Row The Boat Ashore
18. Taint But Me One
19. False From True
20. Cotton Nedded Pickin’ So Bad
21. Everybody’s Got a Right To Live
22. The Cities Are Burning
23. Water Is Wide (O Waly Waly)

Pete Seeger, Bernice Johnson Reagon & Rev. Frederick Douglass Kirkpatrick - Now (1968)
(256 kbps, front & back cover included)