Montag, 29. Februar 2016

Reinhard Mey - Starportrait (1977)

The German liedermacher Reinhard Mey rose to prominence in France and Germany as one of the most well-known and beloved singer/songwriters of his generation. He was born in Berlin on December 21, 1942, and learned how to play the piano and guitar at an early age. His first foray onto the stage came when he joined a skiffle group, Les Trois Affamés. His group was invited to play a liedermacher festival at Burg Waldeck in 1965, and the gig eventually led to Les Trois Affamés' first record deal. Mey released his first solo album in 1967, and he dropped out of university in order to pursue music. It was a career that would span well over four decades; Mey released over 20 albums in the 40 years following his debut, gaining audiences throughout Germany, France, and Holland.

Mey writes both sensitive and humorous songs, with subject matter taken mostly from his everyday life and surroundings. His themes include life on the road, his hobbies (e.g., flying), childhood memories, his family life and surroundings, and occasionally politics. Many of his songs are humorous and demonstrate Mey's extraordinary linguistic versatility. Mey's songs are characterized most by their expressiveness of language and their penetrating melodies.
Mey's politics tend to be moderate to left-leaning. He speaks out in particular for freedom and non-violence, and not only in his songs (for example, he participated in a demonstration at the beginning of 2003 against the coming war in Iraq). Strongly influenced by the French chanson, Mey's political songs were relatively scarce among his works at the beginning, but they have increased in quantity over time, such that there is usually at least one song on each new album that concerns itself with politics. His 2004 album, Nanga Parbat, for example, includes "Alles OK in Guantanamo Bay", a song critical of the U.S. detention facility on the island of Cuba.

The compilation "Starportrait" was released in 1977 as a double album, featuring recordings from 1968 to 1975.

 Tracklist, LP 1:
1.Ich wollte wie Orpheus singen2:19
2.Die drei Musketiere2:15
3.Rouge ou noir2:55
4.Das Lied von der Spieluhr3:35
5.Trilogie auf Frau Pohl5:19
6.Ich denk' es war ein gutes Jahr3:46
7.Irgendwann, irgendwo2:19
8.Aus meinem Tagebuch3:00
9.Du, meine Freundin2:52
10.Ich bin aus jenem Holze geschnitzt3:10
11.Der Mörder ist immer der Gärtner4:49
12.Komm, gieß' mein Glas noch einmal ein4:10

Tracklist, LP 2:
1.Annabelle, ach Annabelle4:03
2.Schade, daß Du gehen mußt4:22
3.Die heiße Schlacht am kalten Büffet3:16
4.Mann aus Alemannia5:30
5.Herbstgewitter über Dächern3:13
6.Gute Nacht, Freunde2:51
7.Über den Wolken3:45
8.Wie vor Jahr und Tag4:36
9.Ich bin Klempner von Beruf3:25
10.Es gibt keine Maikäfer mehr4:12
11.Wie ein Baum, den man fällt3:43
12.Es schneit in meinen Gedanken3:33

Reinhard Mey - Starportrait (1977)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 23. Februar 2016

The Vietnam Veterans - The Days Of Pearly Spencer (1988)

Thanks to a friend bringing back "The Vietnam Veterans" to my attention (by the way, greetings to all pudels out there!), here´s another band that was really on heavy rotation on my record player through the 80s and 90s.

"The Vietnam Veterans" were a six-person french band, playing a very unique and fantastic psychedelic music style.

"Souls must have been sold for a performance like this", the "Bucketfull Of Brains" magazine once wrote about the Veterans great live album called "Green Peas".

The Vietnam Veterans - The Days Of Pearly Spencer
192 kbps

Sonntag, 21. Februar 2016

The Victoria Kings - The Mighty Kings of Benga

Benga is the king of Kenyan dance music and the Victoria Kings (along with Shirati Jazz) are the foremost exponents of the style.

Boisterous, bouncy bass-led guitar dance music (with the fast-jumping bass line contrasted against high-pitched guitar lines and upper-register falsetto voices), the benga beat is one of East Africa's most contagious. It's sparkling, zingy influence can be felt in the musical styles of many of Kenya's neighbouring countries. The Victoria Kings hail from Suna in the hills of South Nyanza towards the border with Tanzania. "The Mighty Kings Of Benga" features songs from the golden age of benga in the late '70s and early '80s. All were originally released as singles (by the band's own Oula Record Company) and all became African top sellers. This album brings the sound of benga from the shores of Lake Victoria to a living room near you.

Victoria Kings - Mighty Kings Of Benga
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Montag, 15. Februar 2016

The Twinkle Brothers - Miss Labba Labba

It seems as though the Twinkle Brothers have been around since the beginning of time, or at least the beginning of reggae.
Led by Norman Grant, the Twinkles began in the early '60s as a trio featuring Grant and his two brothers singing in the slick trio style similar to that of the Melodians and the Mighty Diamonds. In the early '70s, the group hooked up with the influential producer and arranger Bunny Lee, a union that produced a number of reggae hits including "We Can Do It Too" and "Miss Laba Laba." In 1975, the Twinkles released their best and most widely known record, Rasta Pon Top, a rasta-infused, roots-heavy demi-masterpiece that included soul and gospel vocal stylings within the deep grooves.

Although hardcore reggae audiences were the principal fans of the Twinkle Brothers, Grant and company were consistently releasing chart-topping records. As much as this brought great success to the band, it also created a significant amount of friction, as Grant began seeing himself more as a solo act and less as a member of a trio.

The album Miss Labba Labba was released in 1977 on the Roots Music International label.

A1Miss Labba Labba3:21
A2It's Not What You Know4:46
A3Different Strokes3:21
A4Feeling Irie3:14
A5Too Late3:45
B1There Is No Peace3:10
B2Self Praise3:08
B3Jah Army3:28
B4Love, Sweet Love3:14
B5Down Came The Rain4:48
B6Do Your Own Thing3:56

The Twinkle Brothers - Miss Labba Labba
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 14. Februar 2016

VA - Raunchy Business - Hot Nuts & Lollypops

Blues, of course, was expressive of many aspects of African-American life, and a remarkably high proportion of blues on records is about sex. The impression given by these bawdy songs is one of an optimistic sexuality, charged at times with a challenging aggressiveness which hints at their function in black music.

The integrity of these artists and their mark on the development of the blues is indisputable. At the same time, these songs reveal their own personal way of expressing some of the more primal and explicit of human emotions. Above all, this collection is fraught with good humor and, in final analysis, great fun!

This sex-based set of early blues-oriented recordings has 19 double entendre songs and a humorous (and quite profane) "alternate" version of Lucille Bogan's "Shave 'Em Dry" that still could not be played on the radio. Among the performers are Lil Johnson, Lonnie Johnson, Barrel House Annie, Bo Carter and Buddy Moss. With titles such as "Sam The Hot Dog Man," "The Best Jockey In Town," "If It Don't Fit, Don't Force It," "Banana In Your Fruit Basket" and "You Got To Give Me Some Of It", the subject matter is easy to figure out.

From almost the beginning of recorded music, songs have had some kind of sexual content. Compared to today where little is left to the imagination, this artists make clever use of double-entendres to tell their stories.
For example, there's Lil Johnson's "My Stove's in Good Condition" in which she asks someone to "stick your match right in the hole." In Bo Carter's "My Pencil Won't Write No More" he complains that when he tries to write his pencil is "drooping."  For those who want something a little less subtle there's Lucille Bogan's previously unreleased version of "Shave 'Em Dry." Lucille Bogan was as raunchy as any contemporary rapper way back in 1935! If you thought gangsta rap started the use of graphic language in music - think again. There are lines in this track that would make Ice Cube blush (well, almost). In one of the track's tamer verses she says, "I'm going to turn back my mattress and let you oil my springs/I want you to grind me daddy till the bells do ring." If that's too much for you, there's her very different "clean" version. It's so different that you'll swear it was sung by a different person (who knows, it might be!).


Sam-The Hot Dog Man - Lil Johnson
My Stove's in Good Condition - Lil Johnson
Wipe It Off - Lonnie Johnson
Best Jockey in Town - Lonnie Johnson
Shave 'Em Dry, No. 1 - Lucille Bogan
Shave 'Em Dry, No. 2 - Lucille Bogan
He's Just My Size - Little Mae Kirkman
If It Don't Fit (Don't Force It) - Barrel Huse Annie
Furniture Man Blues, Pt. 1 - Lonnie Johnson
Furniture Man Blues, Pt. 2 - Lonnie Johnson
My Pencil Won't Write No More - Bo Carter
Banana in Your Fruit Basket - Bo Carter
Get 'Em from the Peanut Man (Hot Nuts) - Lil Johnson
Get 'Em from the Peanut Man (The New Hot Nuts) - Lil Johnson
Driving That Thing - Mississippi Sheiks
Bed Spring Poker - Mississippi Sheiks
Lollypop - Hunter and Jenkins
Meat Cuttin' Blues - Hunter and Jenkins
You Got to Give Me Some of It - Buddy Moss
Butcher Shop Blues - Buddy Moss

VA - Raunchy Business - Hot Nuts & Lollypops
(192 kbps, front & back cover included)

VA - Savoy Blues 'N' Boogie

Savoy compiled these solid blues and boogie woogie sides, including tracks by Tiny Bradshaw, Gatemouth Moore, and others.

While these tracks are available elsewhere, "Blues N' Boogie" is still a nice budget-priced introduction to some raw, postwar sounds. A fince colletion of hard rockin´ early R´n´B!!!

1. Man Eater - Big Jay McNeely & His Blue Jays
2. Double Faced Deacon - Tommy Brown
3. Did You Ever Love A Woman - Gatemouth Moore
4. I Want To Rock - Little Miss Sharecropper
5. Bookie's Blues - H-Bomb Ferguson
6. The Rainy Day Blues - Sonny Wilson
7. Airplane Blues - Helen Humes
8. You're The Greatest - Dallas Bartley
9. My Good Pott - Doc Pomus
10. Fine Brown Frame - Milton Buggs
11. Take The Hands Off The Clock - Tiny Bradshaw & His Orchestra
12. I Know What It's All About - Dallas Bartley & His Band
13. I'm Still In Love With You - Melvin Moore
14. Married Woman's Boogie - Billy Wright
15. My New Chick - Doc Pomus Listen Listen
16. I Ain't Mad At You Pretty Baby - Gatemouth Moore
17. V-8 Baby - Tommy Brown
18. Helen's Advice - Helen Humes

VA - Savoy Blues´N´Boogie
(192 kbps, small front cover included)

Donnerstag, 11. Februar 2016

Patti Smith - Exodus

This bootleg features excerpts from Patti Smith's performance at the Pavillion de Paris on 26 March 1978, with some material from TV shows also included.

All but the last 5 tracks were recorded live in Paris in 1978 - the performance is fair to good. The next track is from "The Today Show" in 1978, with Patti sounding worn out, and the last four tracks are from "The Mike Douglas Show" in 1976, with an excellent performance. It contains the same tracks as the superior "Fighters by Day, Lovers by Night", with the space between the songs silenced. The cover has a photograph of some sort of castle or rock formation, black and white on the front and smaller and full colour inside and on the back. The back cover mentions the following: "digital remixed and remastered recording which was originally realised by a member of the audience; produced by Raul Lavi, reprocessed by Cindy Wilde, picture by Robert M.Laue, artwork by R. Lavi. 1994 CDM digital audio".

Patti Smith: vocals
Richard Sohl: piano
Ivan Kral: guitar, bass
Lenny Kaye: lead guitar
Jay Dee Daugherty: drums

  1. Because The Night3:18
  2. Gloria7:00
  3. Set Me Free3:36
  4. Ask The Angels2:56
  5. High On Rebellion3:27
  6. 25Th Floor5:29
  7. Till Victory3:13
  8. Free Money3:43
  9. I Was Working Real Hard2:11
  10. Keith Richards Blues1:34
  11. I Was Working Real Hard (Reprise)2:25
  12. Ask The Angels (Words And Music)3:04

Patti Smith - Exodus
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Country Joe & The Fish - CJ Fish

Country Joe and the Fish went through a personnel change for their fifth album, "CJ Fish", adding Greg Dewey, Doug Metzner, and Mark Kapner in place of David Cohen and "Chicken" Hirsh. They retained, however, their primary composers Barry Melton and Country Joe MacDonald, keeping the sound and style of the original band.

"CJ Fish" is not as strong as their other albums, but it does have a few highlights. The content is typical Country Joe and the Fish: more love, less war, and the tunes are only a little fresher than the ideas. On their previous release "Here We Are Again", they experimented with various styles. On "CJ Fish", they tried to recapture the sound of their previous success, but they "went back to the well" only to find there wasn't much there.

Most of the lyrics are thoughtful and bright; many are in rhyme as many of that time were. The overall timbre is interesting, being both joyful and sobering at the same time. Some bright spots in the material are "Hey Bobby," "She's a Bird," and "Hang On," which are delightfully Country Joe. Overall it's not a bad album and no Country Joe and the Fish collection is complete without it.                

A1Sing Sing Sing3:02
A2She's A Bird4:34
A4Hang On4:08
A5The Baby Song2:50
A6Hey Bobby2:09
B1Silver And Gold2:47
B2Rockin' Round The World4:54
B3The Love Machine5:49
B4The Return Of Sweet Lorraine3:48
B5Hand Of Man2:50

Country Joe & The Fish - CJ Fish
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 7. Februar 2016

Peter, Paul & Mary - same (1962)

Peter, Paul and Mary were part of the 1960s folk revival, but they can trace their roots and inspiration back to music and events from the late '40s, and the founding of the Weavers.

The debut album by Peter, Paul & Mary is still one of the best albums to come out of the 1960s folk music revival, a beautifully harmonized collection of the best songs that the group knew, stirring in its sensibilities and its haunting melodies, crossing between folk, children's songs, and even gospel ("If I Had My Way"), and light-hearted just where it needed to be, with the song "Lemon Tree," which became their first hit single, and earnest where it had to be, particularly on "If I Had a Hammer." Ironically, the trio's version of the latter song, which Pete Seeger and Lee Hayes had written in the early days of the Weavers' history, helped push popular folk music in a more political direction at the time, but it was another song in their repertory, Seeger's "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," that also helped indirectly jump start that movement. The group had performed it in Boston at a concert attended by the Kingston Trio, who immediately returned to New York and cut their own version, which charted as a single early in 1962. Other highlights include "It's Raining" and "500 Miles." Peter, Paul & Mary, which hit the top spot on the album charts as part of a 185-week run, is the purest of the trio's albums, laced with innocent good spirits and an optimism that remains infectious even 40 years later.

Early In The Morning
500 Miles
This Train
It's Raining
If I Had My Way
Cruel War
Lemon Tree
If I Had A Hammer
Autumn To May
Where Have All The Flowers Gone

Peter, Paul & Mary - same (1962)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 4. Februar 2016

The Kingston Trio - Sold Out (1960)

"Sold Out" is an album by American folk music group The Kingston Trio, released in 1960. It was their third LP to reach #1, stayed there for twelve weeks, and received an RIAA gold certification the same year. "El Matador" b/w "Home From the Hill" was its lead-off single, though it just made the Top 40. "Sold Out" remained in the Top 40 for 54 weeks, longer than any other Trio album.

The version of "Raspberries, Strawberries" included is a remake of the Trio's follow-up single to "Tom Dooley." Two songs recorded during the Sold Out sessions were not released until The Kingston Trio: The Capitol Years anthology - "Home From the Hill" and "The World's Last Authentic Playboys". The latter was re-recorded on the Whiskeyhill Singers' debut album.

Though the packaging might seem to imply that this is a live album, the 12 tracks are definitely studio cuts - meaning that, as always, the very slick and studied Kingston Trio sound is intact. The majority of those songs are spirited and up-tempo, such as the classic "El Matador" and the banjo-driven "Don't Cry Katie," though the collection does boast some fine balladry on "The Mountains of Mourne" and "Raspberries, Strawberries," which is included in its second version, and is notable for its slower tempo and slightly different lyrics. Most of the tracks haven't turned up on too many compilations over the years. "Sold Out" is solid, pleasant listening, though not particularly challenging in any sense.    

The Kingston Trio - Sold Out (1960)
(256 kbps, cover art inluded)

The Weavers - On Tour (1957, vinyl rip)

A sleeve note claims this album, like its predecessor, "The Weavers at Carnegie Hall", was "recorded on location at Carnegie Hall, Christmas 1955," but other sources suggest it was drawn from subsequent shows.

Wherever the recordings were made, the album is a worthy successor to its landmark predecessor, leading off with "Tzena, Tzena, Tzena," a spirited early hit not included on the first live album.

The set is divided into four parts, "songs that never fade," "tall tales," "history and geography," and "of peace and good will," and the selections range from traditional folk songs of various countries to originals like Lee Hays' "Wasn't That a Time." Not as historic as "The Weavers at Carnegie Hall", "The Weavers on Tour" is at times just as enjoyable.

Tzena, Tzena
On Top Of Old Smoky
Drill Ye Tarriers, Drill
Over The Hills
The Frozen Logger
The Boll Weevil
Talking Blues
I Don't Want To Get Adjusted
So Long, It's Been Good To Know You
Michael, Row The Boat Ashore
The Wreck Of The "John B"
Two Brothers (The Blue And The Grey)
Wasn't That A Time
Go Tell It On The Mountain
Poor Little Jesus
Mi Y'Malel
Santa Claus Is Coming (It's Almost Day)
We Wish You A Merry Christmas

The Weavers - On Tour (1957, vinyl rip)
(320 kbps, cover included)

The Weavers - The Reunion at Carnegie Hall, 1963, Pt. 2

Image"So this is the final Weavers record," writes Vanguard Records head Maynard Solomon in his liner notes to the second album (mostly) culled from the group's May 2-3, 1963, stand at Carnegie Hall, performances at which Ronnie Gilbert, Lee Hays, and Fred Hellerman were joined by all four occupants of the tenor position: original member Pete Seeger; his replacement, Erik Darling; then-current member Frank Hamilton; and his replacement, Bernie Krause.

The album doesn't spell out who's singing when, but it's not hard to tell that Seeger is present on old favorites like "The Frozen Logger," "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine," and "Rock Island Line." The Weavers made a lot of live albums, and a lot of them at Carnegie Hall (this was the fourth), so they can be difficult to tell apart, even when you're listening to one. Happily, they all share the qualities of humor, passion, and good singing. And though the Weavers broke up more than a year before this album was released, it wasn't their final record, not even their final record to be recorded live at Carnegie Hall.

(192 kbps, cover art included)

The Kingston Trio - ...From The Hungry I (1959)

The Kingston Trio's self-titled debut album, recorded in early 1958, had been successful in capturing their range, but not the excitement or the good humor that the group generated on-stage. Their second LP, recorded live at the "Hungry I" in San Francisco on August 15 and 16, 1958, just a few days after the debut LP's release, captured a better picture of their total act, distilling down a major chunk of their live act to vinyl.

Dave Guard, Nick Reynolds, and Bob Shane obviously are all having a great time, and they're in top form musically, which brings the crowd (and the rest of us) along. Among the established parts of their current and future recorded repertoire represented here are "Zombie Jamboree" (identified as "the song that killed calypso") and "The Merry Minuet," interspersed with suitable live material, including "They Call the Wind Maria," featuring Shane in a breathtakingly beautiful take on the song from Paint Your Wagon.

The recording was about as fine as any live music document of this period - the microphone placement seems almost miraculous in terms of capturing the voices, guitars, banjo, bass, and bongos, plus the crowd reactions, and the only flaw (not perceived as such at the time) was that the show was recorded only in mono, which would eventually doom the album to deletion after more than a decade.

There have since been other live recordings by the group unearthed from this period, and within a year they would record a concert in stereo, but "...From the "Hungry I" is still the album by which most original fans first came to take in their sound, especially as its release coincided with the rise to the top of the charts of the single "Tom Dooley." 

The Kingsto Trio - ...From The Hungry I (1959)
(256 kbps, cover art included