Samstag, 30. April 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

Freitag, 29. April 2016

Duke Reid´s Treasure Chest (Treasure Isle Rocksteady)

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

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

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

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

Donnerstag, 28. April 2016

Leadbelly - Easy Rider (1999)

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

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

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

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

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

Montag, 25. April 2016

Force Of Music - Freedom Fighters Dub

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

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

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

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

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

Montag, 11. April 2016

King Stitt - Reggae Fire Beat (Jamaican Gold)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sonntag, 10. April 2016

Tom Rush - Tom Rush (1965)

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

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

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

Donnerstag, 7. April 2016

Pete Seeger - The Rainbow Quest (1960)

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

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

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

Josh White - Blues And ... (1956)

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

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


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

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

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

Howlin´ Wolf - Howlin´ Wolf (Chess, 1962)

In the history of the blues, there has never been anyone quite like the Howlin' Wolf. Six foot three and close to 300 pounds in his salad days, the Wolf was the primal force of the music spun out to its ultimate conclusion. A Robert Johnson may have possessed more lyrical insight, a Muddy Waters more dignity, and a B.B. King certainly more technical expertise, but no one could match him for the singular ability to rock the house down to the foundation while simultaneously scaring its patrons out of its wits.

Howlin' Wolf's second album brings together some of the blues great's best singles from the late '50s and early '60s. It is a collection of six singles previously released by the Chess label from 1960 through 1962. Because of the illustration on its sleeve (by Don Bronstein), the album is often called "The Rockin' Chair Album", a nickname even added to the cover on some reissue pressings of the LP.

The so-called "Rockin' Chair Album" represents the cream of Wolf's Chicago blues work. Those tracks afforded classic status are many, including "Spoonful," "The Red Rooster," "Wang Dang Doodle," "Back Door Man," "Shake for Me," and "Who's Been Talking?" Also featuring the fine work of Chess house producer and bassist Willie Dixon and guitarist Hubert Sumlin, this album qualifies as one of pinnacles of early electric blues, and is an essential album for any quality blues collection.


Shake For Me/The Red Rooster/You'll Be Mine/Who's Been Talkin'/Wang-Dang-Doodle/Little Baby//Spoonful/Going Down Slow/Down In The Bottom/Back Door Man/Howlin' For My Baby/Tell Me

Howlin´ Wolf - same (Chess, 1962)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 3. April 2016

The Clancy Brothers - Come Fill Your Glass With Us (Tradition,1959)

The Clancy Brothers are a family of singing Irish expatriates who have been important figures in re-popularizing their native music in North America and are still among the most internationally renowned Irish folk bands. Some even credit the band as important figures in starting the folk revival of the '50s and '60s.

The second album from the Clancys and Makem is among their most notable efforts, helping launch the group to international success. As indicated by the title, "Come Fill Your Glass with Us" is a virtual soundtrack of Irish pub life, perfectly evoking the hard-drinking, late-night atmosphere; songs include such traditional classics as "Whisky You're the Devil," "Finnegan's Wake," "The Parting Glass" and "A Jug of Punch."


Side One:
Whisky You're the Devil
The Maid of the Sweet Brown Knowe
The Moonshiner
Bold Thady Quill
Rosin the Bow
Finnigan's Wake
The Real Old Mountain Dew
Side Two:
Courting in the Kitchen
Mick McGuire
A Jug of Punch
Johnny McEldoo
Cruiscin Lan
The Parting Glass
Sleeve notes:
" A group of workmen were tearing down a very old distillery in the south of Ireland. It had not been used for fifty years and was full of birds' nests. When they reached the vat where the whisky had been stored, they found a small metal pipe leading from it and going into the ground. It had been well hidden. They dug down following it one foot underground till it ended in a small hollow under a tree two hundred yards from the distillery. No one could explain it.
The facts end here, but they suggest strange stories of men long ago stealing to that hollow at night and draining off the whisky out of sight of the distillery.
There is no one to tell of the nights of drinking and song that came out of that pipe, But I'm sure some of the Irish drinking songs on this record were sung, as some of them are much older than that distillery.
Drinking and singing have been enjoyed by men everywhere and always. As islands were discovered and jungles penetrated, all new found peoples had songs of some kind and had found a way of making intoxicating drink. If you hear a lot of singing from your neighbor's home at midnight, you just know there is drinking going on.
In Ireland people would gather in the pubs on fair days and market days when their business of the day had ended, to "wet their whistle" and hear n song. A travelling piper, fiddler, singer or fluter would provide sweet music for pennies and a farmer could learn a new song or two.
My grandmother kept one of these pubs and learned quite a few of the songs, one of them being "Whisky You're the Devil," which I have not heard elsewhere.
Another one of her songs was "Portlairge," which is a local Gaelic song, and all the place names mentioned are within twenty miles of her pub. The words translate as follows:
— 1 —
I was the day in Waterford.
Fol dow, fol dee, fol the dad I lum.
There was wine and pints on the table.
Fol dow . . .
There was the full of the house of women there,
Fol dow . . .
And myself drinking their health.
— 2 —
A woman from Rath came to visit me,
And three of them from Tipperary.
Their people weren't satisfied.
They were only half satisfied.
— 3 —
I'll set out from Carrick in the rooming,
And take a nice girl with me.
Off we'll go thro' "The Gap,"
And northwards to Tipperary.
Like Tom and Liam and I, Tommy Makem learned most of his songs from his family, particularly from his mother, Mrs. Sarah Makem, who still lives in County Armagh, Ireland and sings on Tradition's THE LARK IN THE MORNING, TLP 1004. When Tommy sings "Bold Thady Quill," he is singing about a champion hurler from County Cork, whom I understand is still alive.
The song "Finnigan's Wake" gave the title to the famous novel by James Joyce, who was interested in Tim Finnigan's resurrection from the dead by having whisky (water of life) poured on him during a fight at the wake.
The Gaelic chorus of "Cruiscin Lan" (My Little Full Jug) means:
Love of my heart, my little jug, Bright health, my darling.
Most of these songs tell their own story. They are not merely curiosity pieces or antiques; they are still very much alive and are as popular as the drink that inspired them.