Donnerstag, 4. Juni 2020

Nina Simone - Nina Simone Sings The Blues (1967)

"Nina Simone Sings the Blues", issued in 1967, was her RCA label debut, and was a brave departure from the material she had been recording for Phillips. Indeed, her final album for that label, "High Priestess of Soul", featured the singer, pianist, and songwriter fronting a virtual orchestra. Here, Simone is backed by a pair of guitarists (Eric Gale and Rudy Stevenson), bassist (Bob Bushnell), drummer (Bernard "Pretty" Purdie), organist (Ernie Hayes), and harmonica player who doubled on saxophone (Buddy Lucas). Simone handled the piano chores. The song selection is key here. Because for all intents and purposes this is perhaps the rawest record Simone ever cut.

It opens with the sultry, nocturnal, slow-burning original "Do I Move You," which doesn't beg the question but demands an answer: "Do I move you?/Are you willin'?/Do I groove you?/Is it thrillin'?/Do I soothe you?/Tell the truth now?/Do I move you?/Are you loose now?/The answer better be yeah...It pleases me...." As the guitarists slip and slide around her husky vocal, a harmonica wails in the space between, and Simone's piano is the authority, hard and purposely slow. The other tune in that vein, "In the Dark," is equally tense and unnerving; the band sounds as if it's literally sitting around as she plays and sings. There are a number of Simone signature tunes on this set, including "I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl," "Backlash Blues," and her singular, hallmark, definitive reading of "My Man's Gone Now" from "Porgy and Bess". 

Other notable tracks are the raucous, sexual roadhouse blues of "Buck," written by Simone's then husband Andy Stroud, and the woolly gospel blues of "Real Real," with the Hammond B-3 soaring around her vocal. The cover of Buddy Johnson's "Since I Fell for You" literally drips with ache and want. Simone also reprised her earlier performance of "House of the Rising Sun" (released on a 1962 Colpix live platter called "At the Village Gate"). It has more authority in this setting as a barrelhouse blues; it's fast, loud, proud, and wailing with harmonica and B-3 leading the charge. The original set closes with the slow yet sassy "Blues for Mama," ending with the same sexy strut the album began with, giving it the feel of a Möbius strip. "Nina Simone Sings the Blues" is a hallmark recording that endures; it deserves to be called a classic.


A1 Do I Move You 2:41
A2 Day And Night 2:34
A3 In The Dark 2:53
A4 Real Real 2:17
A5 My Man's Gone Now 4:13
A6 Backlash Blues 2:14
B1 I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl 2:27
B2 Buck 2:00
B3 Since I Fell For You 2:44
B4 The House Of The Rising Sun 3:55
B5 Blues For Mama 3:52

Bonus Tracks:
Do I Move You (Second Version)
Whatever I Am

Nina Simone - Nina Simone Sings The Blues (1967)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 3. Juni 2020

Eric Dolphy with Booker Little - Far Cry (1962)

"Far Cry" is a jazz album by musician Eric Dolphy with trumpeter Booker Little, originally released in 1962 on New Jazz, a subsidiary of the Prestige label. Featuring their co-led quintet, it is one of the few studio recordings of their partnership. It is also one of the earliest appearances of bassist Ron Carter on record (following Carter's appearance on cello on Dolphy's "Out There" several months earlier). Dolphy took part in Ornette Coleman's "Free Jazz" session before recording this album on the same day.

The entire first side presents a suite to Charlie Parker. "Mrs. Parker of K.C. (Bird's Mother)" and "Ode to Charlie Parker," both composed by pianist Jaki Byard, are respectively dedicated to Addie, Charlie Parker's mother, and a tribute to Parker. "Far Cry," composed by Dolphy, is also a tribute to Parker (the melody is identical to "Out There"), while "Miss Ann" is a musical portrait of a girl whom Dolphy knew at the time. Pianist Mal Waldron, who would be in Dolphy's touring band during 1961, composed the tribute to Billie Holiday "Left Alone." The album also includes two standards among the originals, "Tenderly" and "It's Magic." Little only appears on "Miss Ann" during side two, and "Tenderly" is Dolphy unaccompanied on alto saxophone.

Charlie Parker's influence permeates this 1960 session. Beyond the obvious acknowledgment on song titles ("Mrs. Parker of K.C. ['Bird's Mother']" and "Ode to Charlie Parker"), his restless spirit is utilized as a guiding light for breaking bebop molds. "Far Cry" finds multi-reedist Eric Dolphy in a transitional phase, relinquishing Parker's governing universal impact and diving into the next controversial phase that critics began calling "anti-jazz." On this date Booker Little's lyrical trumpet and Jackie Byard's confident grasp of multiple piano styles (though both steeped in hard bop) were sympathetic to the burgeoning "avant-garde" approach that Dolphy displays, albeit sparingly, on this session. "Far Cry" contains the initial performance of Dolphy's future jazz classic "Miss Ann," along with his first recorded solo alto sax performance on "Tenderly," in which Dolphy bridges the gap between the solo saxophone performances of Coleman Hawkins and Anthony Braxton.


Side 1:
"Mrs. Parker of K.C. (Bird's Mother)" (Jaki Byard) – 8:03
"Ode to Charlie Parker" (Byard) – 8:42
"Far Cry" (Eric Dolphy) – 3:55 

Side 2:
"Miss Ann" (Dolphy) – 4:17
"Left Alone" (Billie Holiday, Mal Waldron) – 6:41
"Tenderly" (Walter Gross, Jack Lawrence) – 4:20
"It's Magic" (Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn) – 5:40

(320 kbsp, cover art included)

Dienstag, 2. Juni 2020

Linton Kwesi Johnson - Bass Culture (1980)

I remember at the time of its release that many reviewers considered "Bass Culture" a slight disappointment because it didn't reach the highs of "Forces of Victory". Granted, following up a record as great as "Forces of Victory" is no easy task, but all these years later I wonder what were people thinking. 

"Bass Culture" is tremendous, another successful collaboration between Johnson and Bovell with songs that are, at times, even more confrontational (e.g., "Inglan is a Bitch") than anything he had previously recorded. I will admit that the Dub Band sounds better on "Forces of Victory", but Johnson is hitting his stride at the time of this release and experimenting with song structure and lyrics a little more (i.e., not everything is explicitly political here). Still, I defy anyone to come up with a reason to not own this record. An extra added bonus is John Kpiaye's great guitar playing.


Bass Culture 6:04
Street 66 3:43
Reggae Fi Peach 2:40
Di Black Petty Booshwah 3:34
Inglan Is A Bitch 5:25
Loraine 4:07
Reggae Sounds 3:10
Two Sides Of Silence 2:12

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 1. Juni 2020

The Staple Singers - Be Altitude: Respect Yourself (1972)

One of the most powerful vocal groups of the '60s and '70, the Staple Singers embraced an impressive stylistic diversity while always staying true to their roots in gospel harmonies. 

Led by Roebuck "Pops" Staples, the quartet first rose to stardom in the gospel music community before detouring into folk and a socially conscious gospel and R&B hybrid, then enjoying their greatest success with a handful of soul music hits for Stax Records in the '70s. Throughout their evolution, the constants in their work were the rich blend of their vocals, delivered with a churchy mix of joy and restraint, Roebuck's subtle but emphatic guitar textures, and in the Stax era, the glorious lead vocals of Mavis Staples. 

The compilation "The Best of the Vee-Jay Years" is a superb overview of their early gospel sides, 1965's "Freedom Highway" marks the point where their gospel and folk leanings merged with a growing political consciousness, 1972's "Be Altitude: Respect Yourself" was the high point of their hitmaking years at Stax, and 1984's "Turning Point" was an impressive late-career effort that included an excellent cover of Talking Heads' "Slippery People."

"Be Altitude: Respect Yourself" was The Staples' finest single album, containing three Top Ten R&B hits, "Respect Yourself," "I'll Take You There," and "This World." The first two also were pop Top 20s, "I'll Take You There" going all the way to number one.

This World 3:39
Respect Yourself 4:54
Name The Missing Word 4:03
I'll Take You There 4:47
This Old Town (People In This Town) 4:42
We The People 3:50
Are You Sure 4:27
Who Do You Think You Are? (Jesus Christ The Super Star) 4:10
I'm Just Another Soldier 3:50
Who 3:18

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Hanns Eisler - Deutsche Sinfonie (NOVA, 1988)

Deutsche Sinfonie, Op. 50, is a composition for soloists, chorus and orchestra by Hanns Eisler. Despite the title, it is considered to be more in the style of a cantata than a symphony.

Principally composed between 1935 and 1947, but not completed until 1957, it is an eleven-movement setting of poems by Bertolt Brecht, drawn mainly from Brecht's Songs, Poems and Choruses of 1934, and by Ignazio Silone, adapted by Eisler.

It was premiered in its full form at the German State Opera, East Berlin, on 24 April 1959. Brecht had died in 1956.

Eisler's theme was the advance of Nazism in Germany. Yet the composer encountered difficulties in both reception and performance of the work throughout its long period of composition and development. When the first two movements (at this stage subtitled An Anti-Hitler Symphony) won a prize at the 15th Festival of the International Society for Contemporary Music, gaining a promised performance of them at the 1937 Paris World Exhibition, the Nazi regime persuaded the French government to have the performance cancelled.

Here´s the "Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin" recording, conducted by Max Pommer and released in 1988 on the NOVA label.

Hanns Eisler - Deutsche Sinfonie (NOVA, 1988)
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson – Winter In America (1974)

Gil Scott-Heron was at his most righteous and provocative on this album.

The title cut was a moving, angry summation of the social injustices Scott-Heron felt had led the nation to a particularly dangerous period, while "The Bottle" was a great treatise on the dangers of alcohol abuse.

He also offered his thoughts on Nixon's legacy with "The H2O Gate Blues," a classic oral narrative.

Brian Jackson's capable keyboard, acoustic piano and arranging talents helped make this a first-rate release, one of several the duo issued during the 1970s.

The album title Winter in America was intended to represent Scott-Heron's use of the season of winter as a metaphor and concept of his view of the issues facing society during his time. The title was also meant to represent the urban sociological themes featured on the album, which had surfaced on most of Scott-Heron's previous work. Scott-Heron referred to the title as the "overall atmosphere of the album", as well as the metaphor for the overall theme of the album. Winter was conceived amid social, economic and political issues in the United States during the early 1970s, including stagflation, the 1973 oil crisis that had great effect during the winter, the 1973 stock market crash, the Watergate scandal, and urban decay. He further elaborated on the social concept of winter and Afrocentricism, as it relates to living during times such as these and how the title reflects on the time itself, in the original LP liner notes:

01. Peace Go With You, Brother
02. Rivers Of My Fathers
03. A Very Precious Time
04. Back Home
05. The Bottle
06. Song For Bobby Smith
07. Your Daddy Loves You
08. H2Ogate Blues
09. Peace Go With You, Brother
10. Winter In America (Live)
11. Song For Bobby Smith (Alternate)
12. Your Daddy Loves You (Live)
13. The Bottle / Guan Guanco (Live)

Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson - Winter In America (1974)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Sonntag, 31. Mai 2020

John Cale - Mercenaries (Ready For War) / Rosegarden Funeral Of Sores (Single, 1980)

Originally posted in March 2014:
On all channels threatening news about Russia´s military intervention in Crimea... Hope there is a chance to de-escalete the situation. Maybe John Cale´s "Mercenaries (Ready For War)" is the fitting single for this dangerous situation. 

Back in January 1980, with a nightmare awakening in Afghanistan, Thatcher getting comfortable at Downing Street, Reagan waiting to be inaugurated, and decades of mercenary-assisted bloodshed in Africa, John Cale released a topical single that he'd been playing live for a year or so. A rocking little ditty with prescient and sinister artwork, "Mercenaries (Ready for War)" was a studio recording of the lead-off track of the previous month's live LP of new material, Sabotage/Live.
The sleeve lists "Mercenaries" as being the same live version from the Sabotage album but it is actually a studio version exclusive to this single. It has not been re released since the master tapes have been lost!       

"Mercenaries are usless, disunited, unfaithful
They have nothing more to keep them in a battle
Other than a meager wage
Which is just about enough to make them wanna kill for you
But never enough to make them wanna die for ya

I’m just another soldier boy
I’m just another soldier boy
Looking for work
Looking for work
Looking for work

My rifle is my friend
My rifle is my friend
I clean my rifle everyday
I clean my rifle everyday

That’s why my rifle is my friend

Ready for war, ready for war
Ready for war, ready for war
Ready for war, ready for war
Ready for war, ready for war

Did some work in Zaire, the jolly old Belgian Congo
Went back to Geneva to get paid
Back there in Geneva, that’s were the money grows
That’s were the money grows, that’s were the money flows

They didn’t wanna pay me
They didn’t wanna pay me, but they did
Try to separate me from my money
is try to separate me from my life

Ready for war, ready for war
Ready for war, ready for war
Ready for war, ready for war
Ready for war, ready for war

Let’s go to Moscow, let’s go to Moscow
Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go to Moscow
Fight a backdoor to the Kremlin
Push it down and walk on in

5000 feet and closing
Target visibility one nine
4000 feet and closing
Target visibility two six
3000 feet and closing
Target visibility seven nine
2000 feet and closing
Visibility one ten
1000 feet and closing
Visibility seven four
500 feet and closing
Target visibility zero!

Ready for war, ready for war
You better be ready for war
Ready for war, ready for war
Are you ready for war
Ready for war, ready for war"

John Cale - Mercenaries / Rosegarden Funeral Of Sores (Single)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mercedes Sosa - Disco De Oro aka Gracias A La Vida (1975)

The driving force behind the nueva canción movement, singer Mercedes Sosa was born and raised in Tucumán, Argentina, beginning her performing career at age 15 after taking top honors in a radio station amateur competition. A rich, expressive vocalist and a gifted interpreter, Sosa was dubbed "the voice of the silent majority" for her choice of overtly political material, and alongside artists including Violeta Parra and Atahualpa Yupanqui, she spearheaded the rise of the so-called "nueva canción" movement, which heralded the emergence of protest music across Argentina and Chile during the '60s.
The movement was crippled in 1973 by the CIA-sponsored coup which ousted democratically elected Chilean President Salvador Allende; with her repertoire of songs championing human rights and democracy, Sosa was viewed as a serious threat by the military regime which assumed power, and in 1975 she was arrested during a live performance which also resulted in the incarceration of many audience members.

Death threats forced her to leave Argentina in 1979, and she remained in exile for three years, finally returning with a triumphant comeback performance in February 1982. Sosa recorded prolifically in the years to follow. In fall 2000, Sosa won a Grammy for Best Folk Album for Misa Criolla at the first annual Latin Grammy Awards, and again in 2003 and 2006 for Acústico and Corazón Libre, respectively. On October 4, 2009, after receiving multiple Grammy nominations for the album, Cantora, Mercedes Sosa passed away after a long battle with kidney disease. President Kilcher ordered three days of national mourning in her beloved Buenos Aires, culminating in a public funeral procession from the National Congress building to La Chacarita cemetery.   

This compilation was released as "Disco De Oro" in 1975 and re-released in 1995 as "Gracias A La Vida".


1Si Se Calla El Cantor
2Canción Para Mi América
3Duerme Negrito
5Te Recuerdo Amanda
6Gracias A la Vida
7La Chacarera Del 55
8El Jardin de la Republica
9Canción Del Derrumbe Indio
10Zamba Para No Morir
11Canción Con Todos
12Alfonsina y El Mar

Mercedes Sosa - Disco Del Oro aka Gracias A La Vida (1975)       
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Gil Scott-Heron - Free Will (1972)

Gil Scott-Heron's third album is split down the middle, the first side being a purely musical experience with a full band (including flutist Hubert Laws and drummer Pretty Purdie), the second functioning more as a live rap session with collaborator Brian Jackson on flute and a few friends on percussion.

For side one, although he's overly tentative on the ballad "The Middle of Your Day," Scott-Heron excels on the title track and the third song, "The Get Out of the Ghetto Blues," one of his best, best-known performances. The second side is more of an impromptu performance, with Scott-Heron often explaining his tracks by way of introduction ("No Knock" referred to a new police policy whereby knocking was no longer required before entering a house, "And Then He Wrote Meditations" being Scott-Heron's tribute to John Coltrane).

His first exploration of pure music-making, "Free Will" functions as one of Scott-Heron's most visceral performance, displaying a maturing artist who still draws on the raw feeling of his youth.

Gil Scott-Heron - Free Will (1972)
(192 kbps, front cover inlcuded)

Checkpoint Charlie – Grüß Gott mit hellem Klang (1970)

Checkpoint Charlie were a German politico-prog-rock meets theatre outfit mostly active during the 1970's and early 1980's. Colleagues of "Floh De Cologne" and "Ton Steine Scherben", but with a very different approach, Checkpoint Charlie were much more angst and proto-punk in a way. Their debut LP is well-known as one of the most challengingly angry records of Krautrock. After that they refined their style along similar lines to Oktober on their next 3 albums.    

"Grüß Gott mit hellem Klang" was their debut, released in 1970, later reissued in the 1980s and the 1990s with 300 copies each.
The front cover gives the name as "Checkpoint Charlie", while the back cover says "Checkpoint Charly" and the labels have "Checkpointcharlie" (see included album art).

Geschichte von Herrn Müller I
Geschichte von Herrn Müller II
Das arme Waisenkind

Checkpoint Charlie – Grüß Gott mit hellem Klang (1970)
(ca. 192 kbps, cover art included)

Ostzonensuppenwürfelmachenkrebs - Leichte Teile, Kleiner Rock

Having formed in 1986, the band with that absurd sounding name – borrowed from the headline of a German tabloid ("East German Stock Cubes Give You Cancer") – released their “Für Zuhause” LP on L´AGE D´OR in 1990 which still is considered as one of the most important German releases of the 90’s.

On their first two releases, the formation around singer, songwriter and guitarist Carsten Hellberg sang in English, then they stopped singing altogether, and in the end in German. The usual process of finding the right language and its implementation as regards the lyrics likewise applied to the music of this band – affectionately also known as the SuWüs (short for "Suppenwürfel"). At the beginning it was something like offbeat, non-classifiable folk core rock (from A as in Amon Düül to Z as in Zappa, there seemed to be a bit of everything in it) which, despite the vast range of styles, depicted incredible homogeneity.

On their last triumphant release, “Leichte Teile, kleiner Rock” (1998), the SuWüs discover groove and continue to impress with their intellectual and also very private lyrics without coming across as smart-arses. It’s so easy: regaining speech. Organizing the vocals and instrumentation more compactly. Formulating more succinctly. Bringing on an indie prog rock smasher as if one were half nuts, and picking up anything from King Crimson to Built to Spill or whatever you happen to find along the way. History speaks.


Von Haus aus allein 4:01
Scheint gut 4:34
Respekt vor dem eigenen Hau 4:25
Leonard 1:05
Traumgestalter 2:44
Drei 3:39
Wort auf 3:44
Andere Baustelle, ähnlicher Auftrag 3:54
Geschichte spricht 4:09
10 Doch 2:58
11 Anfang im Ende 4:54

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Eric Burdon - Declares "War" (1970)

The debut effort by Eric Burdon and War was an erratic effort that hinted at more potential than it actually delivered. Three of the five tunes are meandering blues-jazz-psychedelic jams, two of which, "Tobacco Road" and "Blues for Memphis Slim," chug along for nearly 15 minutes. 

These showcase the then-unknown War's funky fusion, and Burdon's still-impressive vocals, but suffer from a lack of focus and substance. "Spill the Wine," on the other hand, is inarguably the greatest moment of the Burdon-fronted lineup. Not only was this goofy funk, shaggy-dog story one of the most truly inspired off-the-wall hit singles of all time, it was War's first smash -- and Eric Burdon's last. The odd closing track, a short piece of avant-garde sentimentality called "You're No Stranger," was deleted from re-releases of this album for years.

Side 1:
  1. "The Vision of Rassan" - 7:40
    1. "Dedication"" – 2:33
    2. "Roll on Kirk" – 5:07
  2. "Tobacco Road" - 13:44
    1. "Tobacco Road" (John D. Loudermilk) – 3:47
    2. "I Have a Dream" – 6:39
    3. "Tobacco Road" (Loudermilk) – 3:58

Side 2:

  1. "Spill the Wine" – 4:38
  2. "Blues for Memphis Slim" - 13:30 (individual times not accurate)
    1. "Birth" – 1:31
    2. "Mother Earth" (Peter Chatman) – 2:46
    3. "Mr. Charlie" – 3:05
    4. "Danish Pastry" – 3:18
    5. "Mother Earth" (Chatman) – 2:28
  3. "You're No Stranger" (Thomas C Carter) – 1:55

Eric Burdon - Declares "War" (1970)
(320 kbsp, cover art included)

Freitag, 29. Mai 2020

VA - A canção política (1998)

Music has a unique power. But why and how can music develop such an energy that public articulation of protest is almost unthinkable without it?

"A canção política" is a fine compilation of "Música popular brasileira" with a political perspective of freedom in politics, music, and lifestyle.


01 - Elis Regina - O Bêbado E A Equilibrista
(João Bosco - Aldir Blanc)
02 - Gilberto Gil - Não Chore Mais
(B. Vicent - vs: Gilberto Gil)
03 - Gonzaguinha - É
04 - Sérgio Ricardo - Calabouço
(Sérgio Ricardo)
05 - Gilberto Gil - Nos Barracos Da Cidade
(Liminha - Gilberto Gil)
06 - Chico Buarque - O Que Será (À flor da pele)
(Chico Buarque)
07 - Maria Bethânia - Carcará
(João do Vale - José Candido)
08 - Elis Regina - Como Nossos Pais
09 - Sérgio Ricardo - Antonio Das Mortes
(Sérgio Ricardo - Glauber Rocha)
10 - Chico Buarque - Gota D'Água
(Chico Buarque)

VA - A canção política (1998)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 28. Mai 2020

The Bush Chemists - Dub Outernational (1996)

Formed in 1993 as an offshoot project to Centry, the dub/reggae outfit the Bush Chemists has issued several albums and EPs since 1996's, including Dub Outernational, Money Run Tings, Dubs From Zion Valley, In Dub: Light Up Your Chalice, and Dub Fire Blazing. Part of the U.K. roots and dub scene, the band often works from member Dougie Wardrop's home studio -- combining modern sounds with more authentic reggae sounds. A prolific recording outfit, the Chemists released Raw Raw Dub on Roir Records in 2005.

"Dub Outernational" is the first domestic U.S. release from U.K. dub specialists Bush Chemists. The entire album was recorded in member Dougie Wardrop's attic, and the music could be best described as a combination of futuristic sounds with a classic reggae production. Essentially a compilation of remixed favorites from past releases (they've done albums for the Conscious Sounds, Universal Egg, and Centry labels over the years), "Dub Outernational" is appealing to both the newcomer and the longtime fan. Each track slides into the next, almost playing like a continuous hour-long composition -- "Show Them the Way" is a work of spirituality, while "Dub Exploitation," "Roots, Rock, Reggae," and the title track are all slinky, liquid-sounding dubs.


1 Dub Exploitation 3:20
2 Got To Be Conscious 4:00
3 Show Them The Way 3:45
4 Give Thanks & Praise 3:39
5 Let Us Know Dub 3:28
6 Teaching Of Love 3:56
7 Survival Dub 3:39
8 Armagideon Dub 3:47
9 Cultural Dub 3:51
10 Dub Outernational 3:43
11 Searching Dub 3:47
12 Watchful Dub 3:59
13 Pure & Clean 4:30
14 Roots, Rock, Reggae 3:54
15 Righteous Dub 3:44

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 27. Mai 2020

Theodore Bikel - Sings Jewish Folk Songs (1958)

A talented folksinger and actor, Theodore Bikel carved out his place in the modern entertainment industry as a renaissance man. For over 50 years, Bikel left his mark on film, the stage, and the arts, from his supporting role in The African Queen in 1951 to his appearance at the 1960 Newport Folk Festival to his appointment to the National Council for the Arts in 1977. Although he was born in Austria, he lived in Israel, England, and the United States and spoke five languages. Bikel recorded for Elektra, Columbia, and Reprise, published Folksongs & Footnotes, and served as a vice president of the American Jewish Congress.               

Bikel was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1924, but his family fled to Palestine in 1938, where they became British subjects. Bikel wanted to study language and become a teacher, so he worked at a communal farm to help pay expenses. Drawn to the theater, however, he left the farm in 1943 to study at the Hamimah Theater in Tel Aviv. Later, Bikel and four other actors formed the Tel Aviv Chamber Theater. In 1946, he left Israel to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. While in England, he also began to take a serious interest in folk music and learn the guitar. In 1947, Bikel's acting skills were noticed by Sir Laurence Olivier, leading to a part in the London production of A Streetcar Named Desire.
By the early '50s, Bikel began to play Russian officers and German sailors in English and American films and in 1955, he moved to New York City. The move also coincided with the beginning of a career in folk music. He signed with Elektra Records in the mid-'50s and recorded Israeli Folk Songs in 1955. He became a co-founder of the Newport Folk Festival and performed at the event in 1960. Bikel's repertoire proved uniquely eclectic, including songs from Russia, Eastern Europe, and Israel. He played hundreds of dates in United States, from the Rainbow & Stars in New York to the Boarding House in San Francisco, and traveled broadly, performing in New Zealand, Australia, and throughout Europe.
  Over the next 40 years, Bikel continued his dual career in film and folk music. He received parts in The Russians Are Coming in 1966, See You in the Morning in 1989, and Shadow Conspiracy in 1997. He recorded "Songs of the Earth" for Elektra in 1967, "A New Day" on Reprise in 1970, and "A Taste of Passover" for Rounder in 1998. Bikel also involved himself in a number of political activities. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed Bikel to the National Council for the Arts, a position he retained until 1982. He also served with the Associated Actors and Artistes of America, Americans for the Arts, and the American Jewish Congress. In 1992, Bikel received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Hartford.

A1Der Rebe Elimelech
A2De Yontevdike Teyg
A3Sha Shtil
A4Di Ban
A5Kum AherDo Filozof
A6Di Mezinke
A7A Sundenyu
A8Achtsig Er Un Zibetsik Zi
B1Di Name Iz Gegangen
B3Mu Asapru
B4Lomir Zich Iberbeten
B6A Chazn Oyf Shabes

Theodore Bikel - Sings Jewish Folk Songs (1958)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Ilse Scheer - Lieder und Gedichte von Bertolt Brecht

With a big thank you to Berni from Austria we present you a recording of Brecht songs and poems by the great austrian theatre actress and director Ilse Scheer.

Scheer was one of the founders of the legendary "Komödianten" in Vienna, Austria. She went to Berlin at the beginning of the 70s and together with Otto Zonschitz founded the "Theatermanufaktur" at the Hallesches Ufer. She died in the year 2007 in Berlin.

This excellent production was released in 1971 on the german Pläne label. The music was composed by Hanns Eisler, Ilse Scheer was accompanied by Rudolf Stodola.


01. Gegen Verführung
02. Als ich vor Jahren…
03. Lied des Händlers
04. Ich sehe dies System…
05. Die Ballade vom Wasserrad
06. Schwierigkeit des Regierens
07. Bittet den Anstreicher…
08. Die Hoffenden
09. Wiegenlied
10. Gegen die Objektiven
11. Über die Gewalt
12. An die Nachgeborenen
13. Ja, wenn die Kinder Kinder blieben
14. Die Verbesserung des Regimes
15. Die Geschäfte des Kapitalismus
16. Ein Pferd klagt an
17. Wenn die Untat kommt
18. Die Sendlinge
19. Mein Bruder war ein Flieger
20. General, dein Tank
21. Im Gefängnis zu singen
22. Lob der Dialektik
23. Aber als er zur Wand ging…
24. An die Gleichgeschalteten
25. Der Wolf ist zum Huhn gekommen (Musik:Peter Fischer)
26. Gleichnis des Buddha vom brennenden Haus
27. Solidaritätslied

Ilse Scheer - Lieder und Gedichte von Bertolt Brecht
(192 kbps, front cover included)
Thank you, Berni!

João Gilberto ‎– João Gilberto (1961)

João Gilberto Prado Pereira de Oliveira, known as João Gilberto (Portuguese: [10 June 1931 – 6 July 2019), was a Brazilian singer, songwriter, and guitarist, who was a pioneer of the musical genre of bossa nova in the late 1950s. Around the world he was often called "father of bossa nova"; in his native Brazil, he was referred to as "O Mito" ("The Legend").

Gilberto's first recordings were released in Brazil as two-song, 78-rpm singles between 1951 and 1959. In the 1960s Brazilian singles evolved to the "double compact" format, and Gilberto released some EPs in this new format, which carried four songs on a 45-rpm record. In 1956, he returned to Rio and struck up old acquaintances, most significantly with Antônio Carlos Jobim, who was by then working as a composer, producer, and arranger with Odeon Records. Jobim was impressed with Gilberto's new style of guitar playing and set about finding a suitable song to pitch the style to Odeon management.

"João Gilberto" is a bossa nova album by João Gilberto, originally released in Brazil as a vinyl LP in 1961.


A1Samba Da Minha Terra2:19
A2O Barquinho2:28
A3Bolinha De Papel1:15
A4Saudade De Bahia2:16
A5A Primeira Vez1:50
A6O Amor Em Paz2:19
B1Você E Eu2:28
B2Trenzinho (Trem De Ferro)1:48
B3Coisa Mais Linda2:48
B4Presente De Natal1:50
B6Este Seu Olhar2:11

João Gilberto ‎– João Gilberto (1961)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Jesse Fuller - Frisco Bound

`Frisco Bound' stems from two sessions held seven years apart. The first sixteen tracks were waxed in 1955 for the tiny Cavalier logo, while the remaining six, from a 1962 album on Harry Oster's Folklyric imprint, include his best-known song, the poignant rag-derived `San Francisco Bay Blues.'

“Jesse `Lone Cat' Fuller was a Bay Area folk & blues singer who died in 1976. In his long career he hoboed, acted in movies, sang on the street, shined shoes, and owned a hot dog stand at a movie studio. He's best remembered though as the author of `San Francisco Bay Blues,' and for his unusual performance as a one-man band playing blues, spirituals, children's songs, railroad songs, waltzes and jazz. He invented the ingenious `footdella' to play bass, set up washboards, cymbals, kazoos and harmonicas that, along with his 12-string, accompanied him in his one man show. All these are demonstrated on the reissue of 18 favorites plus four previously unreleased cuts from 1955 and six from 1962. It's an historic album full of his fun music and unique style.”
(Phil Hanson — Victory Review)


1. Leavin' Memphis, Frisco Bound
2. Got A Date At Half Past Eight
3. Hump In My Back
4. Flavor In My Cream
5. Finger Twister
6. I'm Going To Sit Down At The Welcome Tab
6. Just Like A Ship On The Deep Blue Sea
7. Cincinnati Bules
8. Just A Closer Walk With Thee
9. Motherless Children
10. Amazing Grace
11. Hark From The Tomb
12. As Long As I Can Feel The Spirit
14. Together Let Us Live
15. Memphis Boogie
16. Footdella Stomp
17. Crazy About A Woman
18. 99 Years
19. Stranger's Blues
20. Bill Bailey Won't You Please Come Home
21. Preacher Lowdown
22. San Francisco Bay Blues

Jesse Fuller - Frisco Bound
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 24. Mai 2020

Zupfgeigenhansel - Kein schöner Land (Musikant, 1983)

Zupfgeigenhansel was a German folk duo, one of the most successful groups to emerge on the German folk scene in the 1970s. It consisted of Erich Schmeckenbecher and Thomas Friz. The group was named after the collection of folk songs of the same name, which was published in 1909.

The group started playing in folk-clubs, mainly in southern Germany, in 1974. They then started appearing on the radio programme Liederladen of the Südwestfunk broadcasting station. They released their first album, Volkslieder I for the Pläne record company in 1976, and later in the year their second album, Volkslieder II. In 1978 they received the award of "Artists of the Year" in one of the categories of the German Phonoakademie. The texts of their folk songs reflect the stories of the "simple" people of the past century, whether about love, trouble, courage, pride, disdain of leaders and priests, or resistance to the military. They disbanded in 1985.

The album "Kein schöner Land" was recorded during July / September 1983 at Conny's Studio, Neunkirchen-Wolperath, and released on the Musikant label.

01. Neues Wanderlied
02. Nehmt Abschied
03. Fun wos lebt a jid
04. Gesang der Edellatscher.mp3
05. Zogen einst fünf wilde Schwäne
06. Muß i denn
07. Lügenlied
08. Nargaritkes
09. Lindenballade
10. Ein schönes Land
11. Dire-gelt (bonus track)
12. Tsen Brider (bonus track)

Zupfgeigenhansel - Kein schöner Land (Musikant 1983)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

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."