Montag, 29. Mai 2017

Lightnin´ Hopkins - Same (Smithsonian / Folkways 1959)

Originally released as "The Roots of Lightnin' Hopkins", Smithsonian/Folkways' "Lightnin' Hopkins" was recorded in 1959. Upon its initial release, it was a pivotal part of the blues revival and helped re-spark interest in Hopkins. Before it was recorded, the bluesman had disappeared from sight; after a great deal of searching, Sam Charters found Hopkins in a rented one-room apartment in Houston. 

Persuading Lightnin' with a bottle of gin, Charters convinced Hopkins to record ten songs in that room, using only one microphone. The resulting record was one of the greatest albums in Hopkins' catalog, a skeletal record that is absolutely naked in its loneliness and haunting in its despair. These unvarnished performances arguably capture the essence of Lightnin' Hopkins better than any of his other recordings, and it is certainly one of the landmarks of the late-'50s/early-'60s blues revival.                 


01. Penitentiary Blues       
02. Bad Luck and Trouble       
03. Come Go Home With Me       
04. Trouble Stay 'Way from My Door    
05. See That My Grave Is Kept Clean      
06. Going Back to Florida      
07. Reminiscenses of Blind Lemon      
08. Fan It      
09. Tell Me, Baby      
10. She's Mine 

(320 kbps, cover art included)

VA – Paul Oliver – Conversation With The Blues - A Documentary of Fields Recordings (1965)

"Conversation With The Blues" is a documentary selection of recordings made in the field by Paul Oliver during the summer of 1960.

In the summer of 1960 Paul Oliver came to the United States with the aid of a State Department grant and BBC field recorder with the idea, as he writes of “putting on tape the conversation and music of blues artists in the country and the cities, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes. Some of the blues singers were famous, or had been, whilst others were unknown and destined to remain so. … The blues singers of the Mississippi Delta or East Texas Piney woods may have sung and played in different styles from those currently working in Chicago or Detroit but between them was a common bond of feeling and expression which lay at the root of the blues.” Oliver began his trip in the east hitting Detroit, Chicago, Memphis and St. Louis before joining forces with collector Chris Stratwichz who would found Arhoolie records, and researcher Mack McCormick. The trio, and Oliver’s wife Valerie, traveled through Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas where they record the Black Ace, Alex Moore, K.C. Douglas, Buster Pickens, Lil Son Jackson, Mance Lipscomb, Sam Chatmon and others. "Far from inhibiting the speakers the BBC field recorder excited genius interest as a piece of equipment and encouraged many a blues singer to summon his memories and address his observations with clarity and confidence." On his return to England Oliver produced BBC radio-documentaries on his experiences and compiled the conversations he had with blues singers in his groundbreaking book, Conversation with the Blues.

01 So Much Good Feeling (spoken with own piano) – Boogie Woogie Red 03:11
02 A Little Different (spoken) – Willie Thomas 00:27
03 Kill That Nigger Dead – James Butch Cage & Willie Thomas 02:03
04 The Onliest Way (spoken) – Lil’ Son Jackson 00:22
05 My Father’s Style – So It Rocked On (spoken, with guitar) – J.B. Lenoir 01:01
06 Move To Kansas City – J.B. Lenoir 00:27
07 When She Come Back (spoken) – Otis Spann 01:13
08 Poor Country Boy – Otis Spann 02:55
09 Ain’t No Easy Thing (spoken) – Lightnin’ Hopkins 01:10
10 Evil Heart Blues – Mance Lipscomb 02:02
11 A Roughneck (spoken) – Blind Arvella Grey 01:26
12 West Helena Blues – Roosevelt Sykes 01:45
13 Days Of Nineteen-Hundred (spoken) – Will Shade 01:13
14 Newport News Blues – Will Shade 02:30
15 Chock House Days (spoken) – Whistling Alex Moore 01:12
16 Come And Get Me – Whistling Alex Moore 01:05
17 Move Back For What (spoken) – Brother John Sellers 00:51
18 I Been Down So Long – J.B. Lenoir 02:35
19 Santa Fe Blues – Jasper Love 00:00
20 Somewhere Down The Line (spoken) – John Lee Hooker 00:11
21 I Hope One Day My Luck WIll Change – Robert Curtis Smith 01:26
22 Only Places They Can Go (spoken) – Otis Spann 01:00
23 People Calls Me Lucky – Oits Spann 01:42
24 What Have I Committed (spoken) – Henry Townsend 00:46
25 ‘Tween Midnight And Day – James Butch Cage 03:16
26 Walking Basses (spoken) – Little Brother Montgomery 00:29
27 Dud Low Joe (piano solo) – Little Brother Montgomery 01:47
28 It’s A Barrelhouse Blues (spoken) – Little Brother Montgomery 00:37
29 Vicksburg Blues – Little Brother Montgomery 03:12
30 They Beat Me To Chicago (spoken) – Little Brother Montgomery 00:15
31 They All Called Him ‘Pork Chops’ (spoken) – Roosevelt Sykes 00:56
32 Forty-Four Blues – Roosevelt Sykes 02:07
33 Doctor Clayton And Me (spoken) – Robert Junior Lockwood & Sunnyland Slim 00:20
34 Take A Little Walk With Me – Robert Junior Lockwood & Sunnyland Slim 02:20
35 To Have The Blues Within (spoken) – Edwin Buster Pickens 00:58
36 Blues In The Bottle – Mance Lipscomb 03:00

VA – Paul Oliver – Conversation With The Blues A Documentary of Fields Recordings (1965)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 27. Mai 2017

VA - Listen To The Banned

This collection of wittily salacious songs encompasses familiar personalities (Mae West), longtime musical legends (Cliff Edwards, George Formby, Sophie Tucker, Gertrude Lawrence), and less well-known figures such as Billy Cotton & His Band, Randolph Sutton, and Art Fowler, doing songs that could be considered risqué. The only problem with that notion is that Formby, in particular, is so guileless and offhanded that the censorable nature of "With My Little Ukulele in My Hand" is mostly in the mind of the listener; not so Mae West's "A Guy What Takes His Time," which is an excellent and supremely suggestive musical piece by the actress/singer.

What makes this collection different from the various risqué blues collections familiar to American blues and nostalgia buffs is that most of what's here is British in origin (such as "All Poshed Up With My Daisies in My Hand" by Charlie Higgins), and comes from a music hall tradition that, today, seems rather remote. Of course, ASV is a nostalgia label, and the fact that the British dance bands of the era felt they could and should do material such as "She Was Only a Postman's Daughter, But...." will be a pleasant revelation, but the material will mostly still seem tame (and least in tone) next to the risqué blues of the period. In this company, Jimmie Rodgers' "What's It" is as raunchy as it gets. The sound is fairly good -- little of the contents have been totally restored, so listeners do get source and surface noise, but nothing to interfere with the listening, and the annotation is reasonably thorough; there's obviously precious little extant information on some of the artists represented.              


 1. I've Gone And Lost My Little Yo-Yo - Billy Cotton And His Band
2. With My Little Ukelele In My Hand - George Formby And His Ukelele
3. A Guy What Takes His Time - Mae West
4. She Was Only A Postmaster's Daughter, But... - Durium Dance Band
5. Nellie, The Nudist Queen - Ross And Sargent
6. My Private Affair - Dawn Davis
7. What's It? - Jimmie Rodgers
8. He Hadn't Up Till Yesterday - Sophie Tucker
9. Winnie The Worm - Ronald Frankau
10. I'm A Bear In A Lady's Boudoir - Cliff Edwards
11. Everyone's Got Sex Appeal For Someone - Ronald Frankau And Monte Crick
12. All Poshed Up With My Daisies In My Hand - Charlie Higgins
13. Pu-leeze! Mister Hemingway! - Elsie Carlisle
14. Let's All be Fairies - Durium Dance Band
15. I'm Going To Give It To Mary With Love - Cliff Edwards
16. The Physician - Gertrude Lawrence
17. No Wonder She's A Blushing Bride - Art Fowler And His Ukelele
18. Flora McDonald - Douglas Byng
19. Or Anything Else I've Got! - Randolph Sutton
20. And So Does He - Dawn Davis

VA - Listen To The Banned
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 26. Mai 2017

Odetta‎ – One Grain Of Sand (1963)

Odetta comes from an old school of black American song interpreters, often overlooked after the 50s-early 60s folk scene when the pigeon-holeing of the day seemed to find no room to accommodate anything other than traditional song (blues, worksongs, gospel), protest and singer-songwriter fare. Odetta was instead in a line of black artists, which included Paul Robeson, Jackie Washington, Harry Belafonte, Leon Bibb (Eric’s father) and many others, whose repertoire was drawn from the breadth of commercial and folk song.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1930, Odetta had voice and classical music training as a youngster. She appeared in the 1949 Los Angeles production of Finian’s Rainbow and a year later in the San Francisco run of Guys And Dolls before being drawn into the emerging folk scene of the early 1950s. Her début album “The Tin Angel” was released in 1954 and over the next decade she established herself as one of the folk scene’s most authoritative voices.

By 1963, when she released ONE GRAIN OF SAND, Odetta was a formidable cultural presence (check out her “live” work on the just-released DVD of Festival, taken from the early 60s Newport Folk Festivals). “One Grain Of Sand” finds her singing and playing guitar with accompaniment by Bill Lee (Spike Lee’s father, who also was responsible for the music in his son’s movie Mo’ Better Blues) on string bass. She covers everything from Leadbelly’s Midnight Special to Woody Guthrie’s Rambling Round Your City and American folk ballads such as Come All Ye Fair And Tender Ladies. It’s the contrasts that always surprise: the haunting traditional She Moved Through The Fair positioned next to the singing cowboy classic Cool Water (a song written by the Sons Of The Pioneers’ Bob Nolan). Also, worth checking out is Bill Lee’s excellent bass playing on the title song, interweaving with, and supporting, Odetta’s moving, slightly distracted vocal. -  John Crosby

By the time the independent folk label Vanguard Records got around to releasing its sixth Odetta album, One Grain of Sand, in 1963, the singer had already decamped to RCA Victor and released her major-label debut, Sometimes I Feel Like Cryin', in 1962. But One Grain of Sand is not just a collection of outtakes assembled to fulfill a contract and take revenge on a departed artist. It finds Odetta accompanying herself as usual on acoustic guitar and joined by Bill Lee on string bass, putting her inimitable stamp on a good set of traditional folk songs along with numbers associated with Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, and Pete Seeger. She also brings in spirituals, blues, and even country on a cover of "Cool Water." But, given her distinctive vocal approach, every song from every genre becomes an Odetta song, with her contralto finding unusual depths of feeling in even the lighter fare. It might be argued that, in the early '60s, partially because of record company machinations, Odetta had a glut of LPs in release. But when even a minor one displays such quality, it's hard to complain.                

A1Sail Away Ladies2:37
A2Moses, Moses2:55
A3Midnight Special3:22
A5Cotton Fields3:23
A6Roll On, Buddy3:04
A7Ain't No Grave2:02
B1Special Delivery Blues2:36
B2Rambling Round Your City4:02
B3Boll Weevil2:13
B4Come All Ye Fair And Tender Ladies3:23
B5She Moved Through The Fair3:00
B6Cool Water3:03
B7One Grain Of Sand2:06

Odetta – One Grain Of Sand (1963)          
(320 kbps, cover art included)                  

Mittwoch, 24. Mai 2017

VA - Rhythm And Blues - No. 1 Chart Hits 1949-1955

During the first half of the 1950’s, before the children of the white middle class began to question the musical tastes and listening habits of their parents, before the Haleys and the Presleys got a chance to upset established rules, Black artists were busy opening doors.

Nothing reflects this transitional moment better than the charts of the African-American community, where the seeds of this insurgency were planted. The best-sellers of that time, and more particularly the Number One rhythm & blues hits, clearly depict a movement that took the swing-infused rhythms of the immediate postwar era right up to the threshold of rock and soul.


Part I - Swing & Ballads
01Percy MayfieldPlease Send Me Someone To Love2:53
02Joe LigginsPink Champagne3:01
03Ruth BrownTeardrops From My Eyes2:53
04Ivory Joe HunterI Almost Lost My Mind3:11
05The Four BlazesMary Jo2:34
06The PlattersOnly You (And You Alone)2:38
07Little Esther & Mel WalkerCupid's Boogie2:34
08Peppermint HarrisI Got Loaded2:27
09Roy BrownHard Luck Blues3:00
10Joe MorrisAny Time, Any Place, Anywhere3:04
11Louis JordanBlue Light Boogie - Parts 1 & 25:09
12Johnny AcePledging My Love2:45

Part II - Blues & Rock
13The DominoesHave Mercy Baby2:22
14B.B. KingYou Upset Me Baby3:00
15Lowell FulsonBlue Shadows2:48
16Little WalterMy Babe2:39
17Hank BallardWork With Me Annie2:48
18The DriftersHoney Love2:24
19Eddie BoydFive Long Years2:40
20The "5" RoyalesBaby Don't Do It2:44
21Joe TurnerHoney Hush2:41
22Jimmy Nelson "T" 99 Blues3:06
23Willie MabonI Don't Know3:08
24Etta JamesThe Wallflower2:48

VA - Rhythm And Blues - No. 1 Chart Hits 1949-1955
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 23. Mai 2017

VA - Madchester - The Manchester Story '88 - '91

Madchester is a music and cultural scene that developed in the Manchester area of the United Kingdom in the late 1980s, in which artists merged alternative rock with acid house culture and other sources, including psychedelia and 1960s pop. The label was popularised by the British music press in the early 1990s, and included groups such as Happy Mondays, the Stone Roses, the Inspiral Carpets, Northside, 808 State, James and The Charlatans, amongst others.
The rave-influenced scene is widely seen as heavily influenced by drugs, especially ecstasy (MDMA). At that time, the Haçienda nightclub, co-owned by members of New Order, was a major catalyst for the distinctive musical ethos in the city that was called the Second Summer of Love.

The Beechwood label's 16-track "Manchester Story '88-'91: Madchester" presents a pretty faithful re-telling of the Factory-led Brit-pop explosion that consumed college radio in the late '80s early '90s.

Usually relegated to late-night appearances on MTV's 120 Minutes, bands like New Fast Automatic Daffodils, Happy Mondays, Stone Roses, Charlatans UK, 808 State, and New Order nevertheless found a way to break out internationally, influencing the myriad of shapes that alternative rock would assume in the coming years.

Though there are many holes in the story (where are Blur, Ride, Primal Scream or the Manic Street Preachers?) presented here, the inclusion of various remixes, original 12" versions, and extended mixes keeps things interesting, and the songs themselves are all top-notch, resulting in a formidable gateway drug for anybody looking to immerse themselves in genre.        

Fear won't prevail. We will continue to enjoy our love for life, freedom & joy.


1Happy MondaysW.F.L. (The Vince Clark Mix)6:10
2The Stone RosesElephant Stone4:47
3The CharlatansIndian Rope4:30
4Northside Shall We Take A Trip4:20
5Inspiral CarpetsJoe3:21
6New Fast Automatic DaffodilsBig6:04
7New OrderTrue Faith (Original 12" Mix)5:13
8Paris AngelsPerfume (Loved Up)4:10
9MC Tunes Versus 808 StateTunes Splits The Atom (Original Rap)3:09
10Happy MondaysStep On (Stuff It In Mix)5:45
11JamesCome Home (Extended Flood Mix)6:07
12The Mock TurtlesCan You Dig It?4:08
13The CharlatansThen4:10
14New OrderBizarre Love Triangle (Original 12" Mix)6:42
15808 StatePacific State (Origin)4:27
16The Stone RosesFools Gold4:15

VA - Madchester - The Manchester Story '88 - '91  
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 22. Mai 2017

Ras Michael & The Sons of Negus - Kibir-Am-Lak - Glory To God

Originally released in 1977, this album continues the tradition pioneered by The Sons of Negus, Count Ossie and The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari.

The album opens with the churchical hymn chant of "New Name", with its piano intro and eerie phased guitar. Robbie Shakespeare's bass is a huge underpinning boom, grounding the tune and merging with thudding Binghi drums.

"If You Only Knew" is a more calming chant, but again, is clearly derived from hymnal form and structure.

The heaviest, most aggressive track here is the aural purge of "Bablyon" AKA "Free up Jah People", with its lyric about Jah conspiring to bomb the world in vengeance for man's corruption - it's not a peacable, reflective lyric, but it does full justice to the hammer like bass drop in this tune. At times, Nyabinghi drumming can sound lethargic and soporific, but this work is energetic, inspired and inventive, a complex undertow of taut sound.

"Booma Yeah" is partially chanted in Amharic. The opening blessing from Ras Michael is a recital and a meditation, reminding the listener of the origin of the drum in Africa. That heartbeat he reminds, is echoed in The Sons of Negus. After the orthodox opening, this track veers into Hamilton Bohannon / Tony Allen afro funk - it works beautifully, with Shakespeare's agile bass and the taut Binghi percussion. It sounds similar to Hamilton Bohannon's long deleted 45 "South African Man" with it's hypnotic keyboard and drum structure.

"Over the Mountain" speaks of nature as a holy place of Jah spirit.


1New Name5:02
2Wicked Men4:45
4Zion Land4:05
5If You Only Knew7:25
7Booma Yeah5:39
8Over The Mountain4:41

(256 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 19. Mai 2017

Ijahman Levi‎ – Are We A Warrior (1979)

The title track and "Moulding" are two of reggae's most haunting meditations ever.


A1Are We A Warrior
A3The Church
B1Miss Beverly
B2Two Sides Of Love

Ijahman Levi‎ – Are We A Warrior (1979)
(192 kbps, cover art included)        

Mittwoch, 17. Mai 2017

Roosevelt Sykes - The Honey Dripper, Vol. 2 - 1944 - 1950

Next time someone voices the goofball opinion that blues is simply too depressing to embrace, sit 'em down and expose 'em to a heady dose of Roosevelt Sykes. If he doesn't change their minds, nothing will. There was absolutely nothing downbeat about this roly-poly, effervescent pianist (nicknamed "Honeydripper" for his youthful prowess around the girls), whose lengthy career spanned the pre-war and postwar eras with no interruption whatsoever. Sykes' romping boogies and hilariously risqué lyrics (his double-entendre gems included "Dirty Mother for You," "Ice Cream Freezer," and "Peeping Tom") characterize his monumental contributions to the blues idiom. He was a pioneering piano pounder responsible for the seminal pieces "44 Blues," "Driving Wheel," and "Night Time Is the Right Time."

Sykes began playing while growing up in Helena. At age 15, he hit the road, developing his rowdy barrelhouse style around the blues-fertile St. Louis area. Sykes began recording in 1929 for OKeh and was signed to four different labels the next year under four different names (he was variously billed as Dobby Bragg, Willie Kelly, and Easy Papa Johnson)! Sykes joined Decca Records in 1935, where his popularity blossomed. After relocating to Chicago, Sykes inked a pact with Bluebird in 1943 and recorded prolifically for the RCA subsidiary with his combo, the Honeydrippers, scoring a pair of R&B hits in 1945 (covers of Cecil Gant's "I Wonder" and Joe Liggins' "The Honeydripper"). The following year, he scored one more national chart item for the parent Victor logo, the lowdown blues "Sunny Road." He also often toured and recorded with singer St. Louis Jimmy Oden, the originator of the classic "Going Down Slow."

In 1951, Sykes joined Chicago's United Records, cutting more fine sides over the next couple of years. A pair of Dave Bartholomew-produced 1955 dates for Imperial in New Orleans included a rollicking version of "Sweet Home Chicago" that presaged all the covers that would surface later on. A slew of albums for Bluesville, Folkways, Crown, and Delmark kept Sykes on the shelves during the '60s (a time when European tours began to take up quite a bit of the pianist's itinerary). He settled in New Orleans during the late '60s, where he remained a local treasure until his death.
Precious few pianists could boast the thundering boogie prowess of Roosevelt Sykes, and even fewer could chase away the blues with his blues as the rotund cigar-chomping 88s ace did.    

Roosevelt Sykes - The Honey Dripper, Vol. 2 - 1944 - 1950
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 16. Mai 2017

Melanie - Born To Be (1968)

"Born to Be", Melanie Safka's 1968 debut, is an intriguing curate's egg. Neither Melanie, nor her producer-husband Peter Schekeryk, seem sure exactly where her strengths lie, so she is cast in a number of roles: Piaf-imitating chanteuse ("In the Hour"), soul-searching, angst-heavy troubadour ("Momma Momma"), giggling novelty figure ("Animal Crackers") and children's entertainer ("Christopher Robin Is Saying His Prayers").

Stranger still, half the time the experiment works; the small ensemble, led by her own enthusiastic (if thoroughly inexpert) guitar playing creates an arty, coffeehouse ambience in which Melanie's idiot-savant act flourishes. But the less said about her attack at "Merry Christmas" the better.    

"Born to Be" was  Melanie's debut album, released on Buddah Records in 1968.
Following Melanie's success at the Woodstock Festival in 1969 Buddha repackaged and reissued the album as "My First Album."


A1In The Hour3:04
A2I'm Back In Town2:17
A3Bo Bo's Party3:58
A4Mr. Tambourine Man4:20
A5Momma Momma4:00
B1I Really Loved Harold4:05
B2Animal Crackers2:12
B3Cristopher Robin (Is Saying His Prayer)2:35
B4Close To It All3:22
B5Merry Christmas2:50

Melanie - Born To Be (1968)
(320 kbps, cover art included)          

Samstag, 13. Mai 2017

Pete Seeger - Wimoweh and other songs of freedom and protest (1968)

In 1961, Pete Seeger, long the flagship artist of the tiny independent Folkways Records label, signed to the major label Columbia Records. This did not, as it turned out, mean that he actually left Folkways, which retained the right to issue not only previously unreleased recordings dating from before the Columbia deal, but also new recordings if Columbia didn't deem them sufficiently commercial to constitute competition.

Nevertheless, Moses Asch, head of Folkways, couldn't have been very pleased at the development, and when Columbia issued its first Seeger album, a live LP called "Story Songs" in August 1961, Folkways countered the same month with its own live album, "Sing Out with Pete!", which turned out to be a cobbled-together set of tracks that had been left off earlier Seeger live collections.

In 1968, Folkways was in a flurry of releasing Seeger compilations (the others were "Pete Seeger Sings Woody Guthrie", "Pete Seeger Sings Leadbelly", and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?"), and this one takes eight of the 12 tracks from the "Sing Out with Pete!" album, re-sequences them, and adds a few other stray tracks ("Wasn't That a Time," "What a Friend We Have in Congress," and "Hymn to Nations"). The recordings also seem to have been re-edited and remixed, with some extra waves of applause overdubbed. Although it contains a couple of Seeger's greatest hits, "Wimoweh" and "If I Had a Hammer (Hammer Song)," as well as some interesting performances of spirituals, with such collaborators as Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Slim, and Willie Dixon thrown in, the album is still a hodgepodge. In fact, it's even more of a hodgepodge than the original version was seven years previously. 

The album features protest songs as well as old spirituals sung by legendary folk singer Pete Seeger. With Seeger's modern interpretations the folk process is truly at work, "making past experience meaningful for present-day life." Liner notes include background information on each of the tracks.

101 I'm On My Way to Canaan's Land       4:20
102 Wimoweh      2:48
103 Wasn't That a Time           2:59
104 Freiheit           3:06
105 Study War No More (Down By the Riverside) - Pete Seeger and Big Bill Broonzy 5:28
201 Hold On - Pete Seeger, Memphis Slim, and Willie Dixon 3:27
202 If I Had a Hammer (Hammer Song)           2:21
203 We are Soldiers in the Army           4:05
204 Mrs. McGrath           4:19
205 What a Friend We Have in Congress           1:58
206 Hymn to Nations (Beethoven, Ludwig v.: 9th Symphony)           2:06    

Pete Seeger - Wimoweh and other songs of freedom and protest (1968)
(192 kbps, cover art included)     

Freitag, 12. Mai 2017

Lucio Dalla - Come E' Profondo Il Mare (1977)

As the title of one of his most famous songs states, Lucio Dalla was born on March 4, 1943, and became one of the most important, as well as most popular, figures in Italian pop music of the second half of the 20th century. Dalla's career was a fascinating musical rollercoaster through several distinct periods. More than once he managed to enrapture and then enrage fans and critics with his sudden changes of musical direction, which were, as is often the case in Italy, invariably perceived as sheer ideological betrayals. Still, at the same time that he was alienating one audience, he was attracting a new and often bigger one. Typically unfazed by controversy, Dalla never let criticism get behind his perennial sad buffoon façade, and kept doing things his way, even at the risk of self-parody. By the early 21st century, Dalla had long become an untouchable icon of Italian pop culture as everybody's favorite mischievous uncle.            

His album Come è profondo il mare was released in 1977 by RCA Italiana. It was the first work in which Dalla wrote both the music and lyrics, after three albums in which the latter had been provided by poet Roberto Roversi.


  1. "Come è profondo il mare" - 5:24
  2. "Treno a vela" - 3:27
  3. "Il cucciolo Alfredo" - 5:22
  4. "Corso Buenos Aires" - 4:38
  5. "Disperato erotico stomp" - 5:52
  6. "Quale allegria" - 4:30
  7. "...E non andar più via" - 3:25
  8. "Barcarola" - 3:50

Lucio Dalla - Come E' Profondo Il Mare (1977)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 11. Mai 2017

Tyrannosaurus Rex‎ - For The Lion And The Unicorn In The Oak Forests Of Faun

Its abysmal sound quality notwithstanding, "For the Lion and the Unicorn" is one of the earliest known live recordings of Tyrannosaurus Rex and, as such, stands among the most precious artifacts in the entire Marc Bolan catalog. One of the first shows to feature Bolan stepping out with an electric guitar, it sees the group already poised for the transition that would, a couple of years later, take the entire country by surprise. But still it captures precisely the same mystic magic that the duo was already renowned for, a world of elves and unicorns, Afghan women and Abyssinian seas, and Bolan's inimitable grasp of life through lyrics set to a churning sea of half-electric rumination.

Certainly the live appeal of the duo is not hard to see, even if it is a little difficult to discern - the sound quality is akin to standing outside the hall with a tin can pressed to the fire escape, and some of the subtler nuances of the music are certainly lost in the translation. But a powerful set drawing from all three Tyrannosaurus Rex LPs to date highlights the glory that was theirs for the taking, and if a better quality tape ever turns up, it would be the rival of any other live Bolan out there.      


1-1Unicorn / Hot Rod Mama3:32
1-2Afghan Woman1:49
1-4Mustang Ford3:01
1-5Stacey Grove2:04
1-6Salamanda Palaganda2:16
1-7Wind Quartets2:59
1-8One Inch Rock2:18
1-9Chariots Of Silk2:43
1-10Seal Of Seasons1:57
1-12Nijinsky Hind2:21
1-13Once Upon The Seas Of Abyssinia2:21
1-14Interstellar Overdrive0:28
1-15Do You Remember3:35
1-16The Wizard4:02
1-17Eastern Spell1:58
1-18Strange Orchestras2:12
1-19Misty Coast Of Albany2:45
1-20Evenings Of Damask2:27
1-21Pewter Suitor3:16
1-22Travelling Tragition1:49

Tracks 1 to 16 recorded at The Lyceum, London on 11.4.69; 17 & 18 at Broendby Club, Copenhagen in 1969; 19 at Café Au Gogo, New York on 16.8.69; and 20-22 at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London on 13.1.69.          

Tyrannosaurus Rex‎ - For The Lion And The Unicorn In The Oak Forests Of Faun 
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 10. Mai 2017

Ras Michael & The Sons Of Negus‎ - Love Thy Neighbour

You'll find Ras Michael albums in the reggae section, but what they really tend to be is Nyahbingi music - the kind that involves several different kinds of drums, call-and-response singing, and not necessarily any guitars or anything much resembling song structure. At its worst it sounds like spiritual self-indulgence, but at its best (such as the Rastafari Elders album on RAS) it can be deeply moving and uplifting.

"Love Thy Neighbour" is an interesting cross between pure Nyahbingi music and reggae; listen carefully and you'll hear those telltale guitar chops and bassline, and the production style is explicitly dubwise (guest producer Lee "Scratch" Perry's fingerprints are all over several tracks), but the most prominent instruments are the bass, funde, and repeater drums that characterize the Nyahbingi ensemble.

What's most interesting about the songs in this program are the frequency with which they refer to American country and gospel music - "Don't Sell Daddy No Whiskey" paraphrases an obscure country tearjerker from the 1940s, while bluegrass fans will recognize "Hear River Jordan" as an alternative version of the gospel classic "Walkin in Jerusalem Just Like John." The sound could be a bit better, but if you're looking for good trance music, you couldn't do much better than this.            


Don't Sell Daddy No Whiskey
Times Is Drawing Nigh
Hear River Jordan Roll
Wicked Got To Go
Little David
Perfect Love
London Bridge Has Fallen

Ras Michael & The Sons Of Negus‎ - Love Thy Neighbour   
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 9. Mai 2017

The Mizell Brothers - Sky High

The sibling duo of Larry and Alphonso "Fonce" Mizell revolutionized the sound and shape of jazz-funk - fusing the commercial sensibilities of Motown with the virtuoso musicianship of the Blue Note stable, the brothers (collaborating under their Sky High Productions aegis) produced a series of now-classic LPs of uncommon beauty and elegance, characterized by soaring horns, cosmic synths, celestial string arrangements and sublime rhythms. While jazz purists reviled their efforts, time has conclusively proven the Mizells' singular genius, and their records remain some of the most sampled and celebrated within contemporary hip-hop culture.

Depending on your perspective, producers Larry and Fonce Mizell were either the best or the worst thing ever to happen to venerable jazz label Blue Note. Dispensing with the atonal abstractions of the free jazz era, during the 1970s the brothers steered the company's artists towards psychedelically funky grooves far closer to mainstream urban radio than anything Blue Note had ever dared try. Purists never recovered, but when successive generations far less concerned with tradition and the sanctity of jazz - a music that, it should be noted, for decades prided itself on its mutations and evolutions - rediscovered the Mizells' body of work years after the fact, they honored their cosmic and euphoric sound as the apotheosis of fusion. "Sky High" compiles a dozen of the Mizells' finest moments, 12 songs rivaling the best of funk's halcyon era - highlights include Donald Byrd's "Love's So Far Away," Bobbi Humphrey's "New York Times," Gary Bartz's "Music Is My Sanctuary," and Johnny Hammond's "Starborne."      


1Rance AllenPeace Of Mind
2Donald ByrdStreet Lady
3Johnny HammondShifting Gear
4Donald ByrdThink Twice
5Bobbi HumphreyNew York Times
6Johnny Hammond  Starborne
7Donald ByrdLove's So Far Away
8Gary BartzMusic Is My Sanctuary
9Bobbi HumphreyUno Esta
10Rance AllenTruth Is Marching On
11Donald ByrdChages (Makes You Want To Hustle)
12A Taste Of HoneyBoogie, Oogie, Oogie
The Mizell Brothers - Sky High   
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 6. Mai 2017

VA - Touch Me In The Morning (Trojan)

Aimed directly at lovers rock fans (everyone else wouldn't touch this in the morning or any other time of the day), this compilation features covers of 25 classic love songs performed by the cream of Jamaica's artists. Many of the originals were Motown hits, and you're sure to recognize every track here.

Stylistically, the covers range from early reggae to soulful lovers rock, and even on to the American-style pop that was briefly all the rage on the island. The artists read like a who's who list of Jamaican talent -- Dennis Brown, John Holt, Delroy Wilson, and many, many more. Although the songs may be considered by some as little more than lightweight pop, the performances suggest otherwise, and virtually every one of these tracks rings with sincere emotion. Bob & Marcia (aka Bob Andy and Marcia Griffiths) reach profound depths on "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" and Slim Smith is aquiver with vulnerability on "Everybody Needs Love," while the Jay Boys out-soul the Temptations on "I Can't Get Next to You." Lloyd Charmers exudes disbelief at his own good fortune on "Just My Imagination," and when Horace Andy sings "Ain't No Sunshine," you can feel the whole world darken. Every song included is of this same remarkable quality. Turn down the lights, turn up the stereo, and feel the passion.      


1Dennis BrownMy Girl
2The TamlinsSince I Lost My Baby
3Slim SmithEverybody Needs Love
4Delroy WilsonPut Yourself In My Place
5John HoltAlfie
6Chosen FewI Second That Emotion
7Bob & MarciaAin't Nothing Like The Real Thing
8Slim SmithLove And Affection (I'm Gonna Make You Love Me)
9Harry J All StarsMy Cherie Amour
10Delano StewartWherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)
11Bobby Blue Doggone Right
12Bob & MarciaOnion Song
13John HoltYester Me, Yester You, Yesterday
14AudreySomeday We'll Be Together
15The Jay BoysI Can't Get Next To You
16Chosen FewTears Of A Clown
17Lloyd CharmersJust My Imagination
18Joy WhiteMy Guy
19Horace AndyAin't No Sunshine
20Now GenerationBen
21John HoltHelp Me Make It Through The Night
22Lloyd CharmersSweet Harmony
23John HoltTouch Me In The Morning
24Lloyd CharmersKeep Getting It On
25Pat RhodenLiving For The City

VA - Touch Me In The Morning (Trojan)
(192 kbps, cover art included)