Montag, 29. Mai 2023

Pharoah Sanders – Tauhid (1967)

"Tauhid" is a jazz album by saxophonist Pharoah Sanders. It was the second album released under his name, and his first album on the Impulse! label. It was recorded on November 15, 1966 at Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, four days after the concert heard on the John Coltrane album "Offering: Live at Temple University", and was released in 1967, after the death of Coltrane, with whom Sanders had played since 1965. The album marks guitarist Sonny Sharrock's first appearance on a record, as well as one of pianist Dave Burrell's earliest recordings.

In the album liner notes, Sanders wrote: "I don't really see the horn anymore. I'm trying to see myself. And similarly, as to the sounds I get, it's not that I'm trying to scream on my horn, I'm just trying to put all my feelings into the horn. And when you do that, the notes go away... Why [do] I want clusters [of notes]? So that I [can] get more feeling, more of me, into every note I play. You see, everything you do has to mean something, has to be more than just notes. That's behind everything I do – trying to get more ways of getting feeling out."

Gary Giddins referred to Tauhid as "the first and best of Pharoah Sanders's Impulse albums." Chris May, writing for All About Jazz, called Tauhid "arguably the finest statement in [Sanders'] astral oeuvre," and states that "Of all Sanders' Impulse! albums... Tauhid has the best sound." In his review for AllMusic, Al Campbell notes that "Sanders' tenor appearance doesn't saturate the atmosphere on this session; far from it. Sanders is content to patiently let the moods of these three pieces develop..."


"Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt" – 16:12
"Japan" – 3:22
"Medley: Aum/Venus/Capricorn Rising" – 14:46

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 27. Mai 2023

VA - La Nueva Cancion Chilena (2000)

"La Nueva Canción Chilena" is a compilation album featuring various artist of the Nueva Canción Chilena movement. Sadly some songs sound like they´ve been ripped off a cassette - but the songs are great!

The Nueva canción ("new song") movement was originally developed in Latin America during the 1960s. It has been associated with the rise of leftist social movements in this region and influenced by historical events such as the Cuban Revolution. Lyrically, nueva canción artists gave special attention to politically-charged messages that had a strong relationship with these series of events, while musically, it strove for a renewal of traditional Latin and South American Folk Music expressions (such as Andean Folk Music).

Chile has been commonly named as the birthplace of nueva canción, with artists such as Inti-Illimani, Víctor Jara, Violeta Parra, and Quilapayún leading the movement during the 1960s. The success of nueva canción in Chile helped propagating the movement to other Latin American countries, such as Argentina (where it was known as nuevo cancionero and was notoriously represented by Mercedes Sosa), Uruguay (led by artists such as Alfredo Zitarrosa and Daniel Viglietti) and Cuba (known as Nueva trova and including artists such as Silvio Rodríguez, Pablo Milanés and Noel Nicola) among other South and Central American countries, as well as spreading to Spain.

The Latin American nueva canción trend, along with its popular acclaim in the region, saw a notable decline during the 1970s, with the rise to power of increasingly oppressive military juntas in Chile and Argentina, which would be responsible for the death or long-term forced exile of several musicians connected to the movement. Many nueva canción artists who took refuge for several years in other countries would nevertheless continue their work for the following decades, while doing so at a more diminished pace and relatively lower popular reception.


1 Violeta Parra– La Carta 2:49
2 Victor Jara– Plegaria a un Labrador 3:09
3 Patricio Manns– Arriba en la Cordillera 3:37
4 Rolando Alarcon– Mocito Que Vas Remando 1:57
5 Quilapayún– La Muralla 4:37
6 Inti Illimani– Carta al Che 3:46
7 Payo Grondona– Il Bosco 2:41
8 Kiko Alvarez– Mano Nortina 2:02
9 Osvaldo Rodríguez*– Valparaíso 3:14
10 Rolando Alarcon– Si Somos Americanos 4:58
11 Quilapayún– Canción Final, Cantata Santa Maria de Iquique 3:19
12 Angel Parra– Canción de Amor 2:47
13 Violeta Parra– Violeta Ausente 2:19
14 Tito Fernández– Señora Mercedes 2:14
15 Victor Jara– El Aparecido 2:15
16 Patricio Manns– Estación Terminal 3:06
17 Tito Fernández– La Casa Nueva 3:54
18 Angel Parra– Cuando Amanece el Día 3:11

(320 kbps, cover art included)

"...hören Sie mal rot!" - Arbeiterlieder-Festival Essen 1970

This album is a collection of labour songs recorded at the "Arbeiterliederfestival 1970" in Essen, originally released on "Pläne" in the 70s.

It features classic songs like "Der rote Wedding", "Brüder, zur Sonne, zur Freiheit", "Gaslied", "Einheitsfrontlied" and "Die Internationale" in recordings by artists like Hanns Dieter Hüsch, Dieter Süverkrüp, Dietrich Kittner, Franz-Josef Degenhardt and Lerryn.

(192 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 25. Mai 2023

Paul Dessau - Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig – In Memoriam Bertolt Brecht, Bach Variations (1967)

Paul Dessau was a German composer and conductor, born 19 December 1894 in Hamburg, Germany, died 28 June 1979 in Königs Wusterhausen near Berlin, Germany. 

He is best known for his collaborations with Bertolt Brecht such as "Mother Courage". Banned by the Nazis he fled to Paris and eventually Hollywood. He returned to the GDR in 1948 and became very successful, composing a new National Antherm for the country and winning the National Award three times. He wrote many pieces for children which were preformed frequently in schools. He is buried next to Brecht and Eisler in Berlin.

This is a release in the Philips Modern Music Series.


Side 1:
In Memoriam Bertolt Brecht
A1 Lamento
A2 Marcia: Der Krieg Soll Verflucht Sein
A3 Epitaph

Side 2:
B Bach Variations For Large Orchestra

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Paul Robeson - 1957 - Chants De La Liberté

The singer, actor, athlete and activist Paul Robeson dies at the age of 79 on January 23, 1976.

Robeson’s physical strength, size and grace made him one of the elite sports figures of his generation, but his stature in other fields—music, theater, politics, human rights— eventually overshadowed his athletic greatness. On stage and screen, his unique voice earned him universal artistic acclaim, but when he raised it in support of Civil Rights and social justice, his voice often aroused violent controversy.

Paul LeRoy Bustill Robeson was born in Princeton, New Jersey, on April 9, 1898, the son of a father born into slavery and a mother raised as a vocal abolitionist. Robeson’s academic and athletic achievements earned him a scholarship to Rutgers University in 1915, where he became not only a four-sport letterman and two-time All American football star, but a member of Phi Beta Kappa and class valedictorian—all of this while being only the third African-American student in school history. Robeson moved to Harlem after graduation, where he worked his way through Columbia University Law School as an actor and professional football player. By 1923, Robeson had passed the New York bar and earned critical raves on the London and Broadway stage. The lure of a promising career in law proved less compelling for Robeson than a career in the theater.

Over the next twenty years, Robeson established himself as one of the most important musical and dramatic performers of his day. The role of Joe and the song “Ol’ Man River” in Show Boat were written for Robeson’s famous bass voice; Robeson originated the title role in Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones; and he became the first African American to play Othello on Broadway. By the late 1940s, Robeson’s international artistic reputation was well established, but it was rivaled by his reputation as a political activist. Racism generally, and the horror of racial lynching particularly, were Robeson’s greatest concerns. If his outspoken views on segregation didn’t win him enough enemies in the United States, his openly leftist leanings certainly did. Robeson traveled repeatedly to the Soviet Union beginning in the 1930s—a history that led to the unconstitutional seizure of his passport and to his blacklisting following an appearance before the Joseph McCarthy’s House Un-American Activities Committee in 1950. When asked during those hearings why he did not simply move to the USSR, Robeson offered a typically powerful response: “Because my father was a slave, and my people died to build this country, and I am going to stay right here and have a part of it just like you.”


A1 La Varsovienne
A2 La Petite Fille Morte
A3 Tchi Lai
B1 Liberté
B2 Une Forteresse
B3 Les Quatre Fleuves

Paul Robeson - 1957 - Chants De La Liberté
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 17. Mai 2023

Raimon – El Recital De Madrid (1976)

Ramon Pelegero Sanchis, who takes the stage name of Raimon (Valencian pronunciation: [rajˈmon]), is a Spanish singer. He performs in the musical style of Nova Cançó, and in the Catalan language.

In 1959, he composed his emblematic song 'Al vent'. He came into contact with the 'nova cançó catalana' ('new Catalan songwriters'), a group also comprising Lluís Llach and Joan Manuel Serrat.

In 1975, while Franco ailed, Raimon sang at the Palau dels Esports de Barcelona, where he debuted one of his classics, "Jo vinc d'un silenci".

The following year, during the optimism preceding democratic rule, he sang in the sports pavilion of Real Madrid on April 1. This was originally to be the first of four concerts, but the final three were cancelled. The performance was captured on a double album, "El recital de Madrid". 


1 La Nit
2 Só Qui Sò
3 Qui Ja Ho Sap Tot
4 El País Basc
5 Al Vent
6 Sobre La Por
7 Sobre La Pau
8 T'Adones, Amic
9 T'He Conegut Sempre Igual
10 Inici De Càntic En El Temple
11 Jo Vinc D'Un Silenci
12 Quatre Rius De Sang
13 Es Veu
14 18 De Maig A La "Villa"
15 Indesinenter
16 La Muntanya Es Fa Vella
17 Quan Jo Vaig Nàixer
18 Cançó Del Remordiment
19 D'Un Temps, D'Un País
20 Diguem No (O Ahir)
21 Sobra La Por

22 Diguem No

Raimon – El Recital De Madrid (1976)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Oscar Chávez - Canciones de la Guerra Civil y Resistencia Española - España 1936-1939-1975 (1975)

It was 80 years ago  – July 18, 1936 – that Spanish Gen. Francisco Franco launched his military rebellion against the left-wing Popular Front government and resulted in a bloody civil conflict which tore Spain apart and left half-a-million people dead and caused nearly that many to flee their homeland altogether.
Óscar Chávez (born 20 March 1935 in Mexico City) is a Mexican singer, songwriter and actor. He was the main exponent of the Nueva Trova in Mexico in the sixties and seventies. He studied theatre at the UNAM and has produced and acted in several plays and movies and telenovelas in Mexico. He has achieved international fame performing his music, with such songs as Por Tí and Macondo achieving status of standards in most of Latin America, but also recording many Mexican folk songs. He is also noted for his strong social commitment as well as for the left wing ideas expressed in his lyrics. His impressive discography spans four decades.

This is a collection of songs referring to the Spanish Civil War and the resistance against the Franco regime.

01. La hierba de los caminos
02. Que será (son del fascismo)
03. Los dos gallos
04. El tren blindado (El 5º Regimiento)
05. Ya se fue el verano
06. Si me quieres escribir
07. Sin pan
08. El caballero cristiano
09. En el Pozo María Luisa
10. Los cuatro generales
11. Ay Carmela
12. Españoles
13. Canción de Grimau
14. Adiós con el corazón
15. Dende o tronco
16. Canción de soldados
17. Coplas del tiempo
18. Vuela, paloma
19. Pueblo de España
20. A la huelga
21. La cigarrera
22. En España las flores

Oscar Chávez  - Canciones de la Guerra Civil y Resistencia Española  - España 1936-1939-1975 (1975)
(128 kbps, small front cover included)

Raimon - A Victor Jara (1974)

Born in Xátiva (Valencia) in 1940, his full name is Raimon Peleguero Sanchís. In 1959, he composed his emblematic song 'Al vent'. He came into contact with the 'nova cançó catalana' ('new Catalan songwriters'), a group also comprising Lluís Llach and Joan Manuel Serrat. Towards the end of 1979, his album 'Quan l'aigua es queixa' hit the market, the result of various years of labour. An anthology of his work 'La Integral Raimon' was presented in November 1993. In June 2006, he returned to the legendary Parisian venue Olympia where he had performed 40 years earlier, to offer a recital in which he revisited some of his old songs and unveiled new compositions.

In 1974 the album "A Victor Jara" was released, collaborating with a number of avant-garde French musicians like Michel Portal. It includes some settings of Ausias March (No em pren així, Lo jorn ha por), Joan Roís de Corella (Si en lo mal temps), Joan Timoneda (So qui so) and Pere Quart (Una vaca amb un vedellet en braços). Raimon's originals were T'he conegut sempre igual, a song about secrecy written as a result of his fortuitous encounter with the persecuted Gregori López i Raimundo; Molt lluny, a nostalgic revisitation of adolescence; Morir en aquesta vida, a rejection of suicide which contains a literal citation of Mayakovsky; Amb tots els petits vicis, about being in one's thirties; and the sober love song Com un puny. It was dedicated to Victor Jara, Chilean singer assassinated by the Pinochet government in September 1973.


T'he Conegut Sempre Igual 2:28
Molt Lluny 2:06
Só Qui Só 2:00
Una Vaca Amb Un Vedellet En Braços 1:51
No Em Pren Aixi 2:40
Lo Jorn Ha Por 3:29
Amanda 2:49
Morir En Aquesta Vida 1:43
Si En Lo Mal Temps 1:09
Amb Tots Els Petits Vicis 3:01
Com Un Puny 3:08

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 12. Mai 2023

Víctor Jara - 1974 - Manifiesto - Chile September 1973 (Canciones Póstumas)

Victor Jara was not, unlike thousands of other Chileans, one of General Pinochet’s ‘disappeared’. Indeed, Jara’s body — once the dictator’s secret police had finished with him — actually turned up, dumped outside Santiago’s Metropolitan Cemetery. He had been killed a few days after the assassination of President Allende by the Pinochet-led junta; Jara’s ‘crime’ had been one of visibility.

The son of peasants from southern Chile, Jara was a multi-talented man who had worked in theatre before fully turning his attentions to songwriting. Taking as his theme an earthy socialism, his career strove to put music at the heart of political change. ‘My guitar is a worker/Singing and smelling of spring,’ he sings in ‘Manifiesto’, written and recorded in 1973, the year of his death. ‘It is not for killers.’

Compiled from several recording sessions held between 1968 and 1973, "Manifiesto" was originally brought out in 1974. 

Jara’s songs have aged well. With minimal ornamentation (some percussion here, some panpipes there), his voice conceals in its light tenor a conviction and humanity that is undiminished through time or language. While his songs are very much of their time and place, they are unlike much politically orientated music in their vivacity and emotion. Jara may place an overt faith and optimism in the people, but there is nothing formulaic or hectoring here. Rather, there is an intimacy that characterizes songs for both individuals and crowd. 

When Joan Turner Jara was exiled from Chile with her two daughters, she was carrying the last recordings of Victor, including his musical testament "Manifiesto", that gives the name to this album, released in 1974 in England by Logo Records, Transatlantic, XTRA 1143. This album probably is the strangest of all "original" Victor Jara releases, since Joan reads the English translation of some of the songs - before, after or overdubbung the original tunes.

Here´s the original 1974 version of this album, which was re-released with some changes in the following years, until Warner released a "final" version in 2001.


01. Te Recuerdo Amanda (2:29,  includes reading theme translated by Joan Jara, during performance of the song by Victor Jara
02. Canto Libre (4:53)
03. Aqui Me Quedo (3:00,  Joan introduces the topic)
04. Angelita Huenuman (4:02)
05. Ni Chicha Ni Limona (3:21)
06. La Plegaria A Un Labrador (3:50, Joan introduces the topic)
07. Introduction to "Cuando Voy Al Trabajo", translated by Joan Jara
08. Cuando Voy Al Trabajo (4:33)
09. El Derecho A Vivir En Paz (4:31)
10. Introduction to "Vientos Del Pueblo", translated by Joan Jara
11. Vientos Del Pueblo (3:09)
12. Manifiesto (5;45)
13. Reading "Manifiesto" translated by Joan Jara
14. La Partida (3:27) Instrumental
15. Chile Stadium (Estadio Chile) (3:52, reading English singer's posthumous text by the poet Adrian Mitchell

All lyrics are sung in Spanish. Joan Jara, Victor Jara's widow, translated the Spanish lyrics of tracks 1, 6, 8, 11 and 12 and recorded them. These are dubbed onto the start of the respective tracks.

(224 kbps, cover art included)

Pablo Neruda - Grupo Tolderia - Canto General

Pablo Neruda (July 12, 1904 – September 23, 1973) was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean writer and politician Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. Neruda assumed his pen name as a teenager, partly because it was in vogue, partly to hide his poetry from his father, a rigid man who wanted his son to have a "practical" occupation. Neruda's pen name was derived from Czech writer and poet Jan Neruda; Pablo is thought to be from Paul Verlaine. With his works translated into many languages, Pablo Neruda is considered one of the greatest and most influential poets of the 20th century.

Neruda was accomplished in a variety of styles ranging from erotically charged love poems like his collection Twenty Poems of Love and a Song of Despair, surrealist poems, historical epics, and overtly political manifestos. In 1971 Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature, a controversial award because of his political activism. Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez once called him "the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language."

On July 15, 1945, at Pacaembu Stadium in São Paulo, Brazil, he read to 100,000 people in honor of Communist revolutionary leader Luís Carlos Prestes. When Neruda returned to Chile after his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Salvador Allende invited him to read at the Estadio Nacional before 70,000 people.

During his lifetime, Neruda occupied many diplomatic posts and served a stint as a senator for the Chilean Communist Party. When Conservative Chilean President González Videla outlawed communism in Chile, a warrant was issued for Neruda's arrest. Friends hid him for months in a house basement in the Chilean port of Valparaíso. Later, Neruda escaped into exile through a mountain pass near Maihue Lake into Argentina. Years later, Neruda was a close collaborator to socialist President Salvador Allende.

Neruda was hospitalized with cancer at the time of the Chilean coup d'état led by Augusto Pinochet. Three days after being hospitalized, Neruda died of heart failure - this is what the official documents are saying. Already a legend in life, Neruda's death reverberated around the world. Pinochet had denied permission to transform Neruda's funeral into a public event. However, thousands of grieving Chileans disobeyed the curfew and crowded the streets. Neruda's funeral became the first public protest against the Chilean military dictatorship.

Although official documents say Neruda died from complications relating to his prostate cancer, the timing of his death just days after the coup that deposed and killed his friend President Salvador Allende has led many to question the authenticity of these documents.

In 2011, Manuel Araya, a friend and former driver for the late poet, came forward claiming that Neruda was murdered. He said he believes Neruda was poisoned while being treated at the Clinica Santa María and that he was not in grave health at the time. Former President Eduardo Frei Montalva also died under suspicious circumstances at that Santiago hospital in 1982. He is believed to have been poisoned by the dictatorship’s forces during a routine surgery.
Araya’s statements led to an investigation instigated by Eduardo Contreras, a lawyer for the PC, and the exhumation of the poet’s remains from his Isla Negra home in April. So far, the only results released by the investigative team indicate that the poet did indeed have prostate cancer, but they have not yet ruled out poisoning as a possible cause of death.
On the anniversary of his death the nobel prize winning poet is anything but forgotten as the investigation into his possible murder continues.

Grupo Tolderia - Canto General
(128 kbps, cover art included)

Georges Brassens - In Great Britain (1973)

"France's most popular singer in concert, Cardiff 1973".

Georges Brassens (22 October 1921 – 29 October 1981) was a French singer-songwriter and poet.
He wrote and sang, with his guitar, more than a hundred of his poems, as well as texts from many others such as Victor Hugo, Paul Verlaine, or Louis Aragon. In 1967, he received the Grand Prix de Poésie of the Académie française.

Between 1952 and 1976, he recorded fourteen albums that include several popular French songs such as Les copains d'abord, Chanson pour l'Auvergnat, La mauvaise réputation, and Mourir pour des idées. Most of his texts are black humour-tinged and often anarchist-minded.

This album was recorded on October 23rd, 1973 at the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff.


A1 Dans L'Eau De La Claire Fontaine 2:15
A2 Les Sabots D'Helène 3:10
A3 Saturne 3:15
A4 Le Vieux Léon 3:55
A5 La Chasse Aux Papillons 2:50
A6 Bonhomme 2:45
B1 La Non-Demande En Mariage 4:25
B2 La Mauvaise Réputation 2:50
B3 Chanson Pour L'Auvergnat 3:15
B4 Le Gorille 3:55
B5 Les Copains D'Abord 2:55

Georges Brassens - In Great Britain (1973)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Chicago - The Blues - Today! Vol. 2

Otis Rush, Jimmy Cotton, and Homesick James Williamson are all from Mississippi, and each of them has found a place for himself in Chicago through his music, if you’re good, with a style of your own, there’s a Chicago blues business waiting to pick you up. Otis Rush is one of the best of the young Chicago bluesmen. He works steadily, seven nights a week at a lounge on the West Side. At the club, Curley’s, there isn’t much of a crowd on week nights; so he lets somebody from the neighborhood work the first set and he sits at a side table with two or three friends. It’s dark in the club and the band works on a high bandstand under dim red fluorescent lights. The crowd at Curley’s is younger, and they’ve been away from the blues for a while; so Otis can reach out into the area where the blues and jazz intermingle. “I was born in Philadelphia, Mississippi, but I left when I was fifteen...” He plays left-handed, looking down at his fingers on a solo. “It was the winter when I first came up and it was cold, but I had a sister living here; so I stayed with her.” He’s only 31 and he looks younger. “As a kid I just liked the looks of the guitar, but I didn’t play. I started after I got up here and got a little older and heard Muddy and Buddy Guy and T-Bone Walker...” Otis has always been an exciting singer, and he has matured into a brilliant, inventive guitar player. The rest of the band is even younger, and they move from the blues of Otis’ “I Can’t Quit You Baby” to the hard edged blues-jazz of “Rock” with an easy familiarity—except for the alto man, “Sax” Crowder, a thin, quiet musician from the 1939 Earl Hines Band. His jazz has always been the blues, and his blues style has always been jazz. This is the new, young, “tough,” Chicago blues—”tough” the South Side term for the newest, the most exciting.

With Jimmy Cotton the sound is closer to the country style. He’s been Muddy Waters harp man since 1957, and Muddy doesn’t stray far from the first band sound he developed in the mid-1940’s. At Pepper’s Lounge, where the band usually works when it’s in town, you can get down close to the bandstand and hear Jimmy sing. Muddy usually sits at one of the tables and lets Jimmy or Otis Spann do most of the playing. The Chicago harmonica—”harp”—style is one of the distinctive sounds of the Chicago blues, the instrument played differently than it was in the South. Jimmy, like Junior Wells and Little Walter Jacobs and Big Walter Horton, holds it against a cheap amplifier mike, cupping both the microphone and the harp in his hands. He’s in his early 30’s, and despite ten or so years away from the South there’s still some of the easy country enthusiasm in his exuberant singing—and even some of the country concerns in his blues about the outskirts of Helena, Arkansas, about bad cotton crops, and about new cars and ungrateful women.
Homesick James has been up from Mississippi longer, since 1947, but he has as much of the down home sound as Jimmy. His style comes partly from his cousin, Elmore James—Homesick worked with him on and off before Elmore’s death in the mid 1950’s—and partly from his own country background. The sound is as distinctive to Chicago as Jimmy’s harp. It’s the electrified “slide” style that Muddy and Elmore developed out of the Mississippi “bottleneck” playing. You put a metal bearing ring or a piece of metal pipe on the little finger of your left hand and you can work the strings to get almost any kind of sound. Homesick works at most of the South Side clubs, but he’s had a steady factory job ever since he got to Chicago; so he usually plays only on Friday and Saturday in one of the small clubs. The sound of the blues has changed on the South Side, but there’s still some of the sound of Mississippi music around the corner in a neighborhood bar, or in a lounge near the El tracks—the loneliness and the insecurity of the country music intensified, driven into a new creative excitement, in the slums of the northern city.

Chicago - The Blues - Today! Vol. 2
(192 kbps, ca. 62 MB)

Notes from the original release of "Chicago/The Blues/Today Vol. 2":

“Sweet Home Chicago”...up from Meridian, Mississippi, up from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, from Jackson, from Selma, Memphis, Helena, Brownsville, Bessemer, a rooming house on S. Indiana, to a run down hotel on West Roosevelt, to a folding bed in a sister’s apartment on S. Lake Park. If you’re colored it’s better in Chicago than it is in Mississippi—unless you’re aggressive or talented or lucky not much better, but enough so that you get on the Greyhound bus in Jackson or Tupelo with some food in a shoe box and your clothes in a paper suitcase, or you sit up for a gritty night in a railroad coach, or you get a ride with somebody who’s got a battered car. Jobs? There aren’t many, and what there are don’t offer much more than you could have gotten back in the South. Someplace to stay? The rooms are small and dirty and you live poor and cramped until you can get a steady job and move into something better.

Sometimes—if you’ve come up from a cotton farm, or from a slow back country town—everything seems changed. the buildings along Indiana or Prairie in the south ‘30s, or on the streets going east to the lake, have a heavy, imposing look—stone and brick, with names carved into the top stone arch, “Doris,” “Paloma,” “Linda,” “Windermere,” but the stones are black with soot and the names are grimy and weathered. In the entrance hallways a broken light bulb dangles from the ceiling, and the names are scrawled on the walls beside the battered mail boxes. Beside most of the names a note like, “Third floor rear ring 2 times.” There isn’t enough money to rent a whole apartment; so a five room apartment becomes four rooms for four families with a kitchen for everybody to share. Along the inside hallways the doors have been wearily dragged shut with wires and hooks and cheap padlocks, but on most of them are old scratches and broken hasps, the marks of thieves who hang around in the dark hallways and back entrances of the buildings. But some things haven’t changed as much. Climbing up the stairs to somebody’s apartment you can hear the voices from the rooms around you. Children crying, women calling to each other, somebody singing, an abrupt argument... and you can hear music. Somebody’s always playing a radio or a phonograph and most of the time the music has the raw, insistent sound of the Chicago blues.

The blues is still the same emotional expression that it is in Mississippi, but in Chicago, like a lot of other things, the blues has changed. It isn’t only that the sound is different, that the clubs have to have three or four piece bands instead of one or two men with guitars, that the instruments have all been electrified to be heard over the noise of the crowded barrooms where the men work. The old style was less determined, less relentless, it was concerned with country towns and country roads and country cabins. It was “country” blues. If you grew up out along one of the rivers of the delta, or back on a one lane dirt road, there was a least the sun and the afternoon wind and the streams to fish in and the fall mornings when you could hunt in overgrown fields; so the music was gentler, sometimes almost warm and easy in its worries with love and loneliness. But there isn’t much sun in the South Side streets, and the apartment houses are overcrowded, and the winters are bitter and the spring comes late; so the music is harder, with some of the city’s mean ferocity.

Camberwell Now - The Ghost Trade (1986)

After the demise of the legendary U.K. avant-rock group This Heat in 1982, drummer and vocalist Charles Hayward joined forces with Trefor Goronwy and Stephen Rickard to record quieter, subdued song-based music. As atmospheric and deliberate, yet without the hard beats and cutting angles of his former group, Camberwell Now is as challenging, experimental, and brilliantly realized, and features more than an echo of the This Heat sound.

The group is driven along by a tight melodic sound; Hayward's beautiful, intellectual lyrics are more present than on the two previous mini albums that pre-date this 1986 release. Electronics and tape-loops create a rich textural backing, that on the closing title track culminates in a syncopated Krautrock groove that is elating, while the lyrical chant is a dark rumination on the flaws of Western society. "The Ghost Trade" contains some of Charles Hayward's more profound lyrical work.  

Arriving in 1986, The Ghost Trade, the group’s sole full-length LP, was what existed at the confluence of live performance and studio experimentation. Similar to This Heat’s process, the group spent two years in Cold Storage experimenting with the studio and assembling finished songs from vast quantities of tapes.

The tracks that eventually formed The Ghost Trade were songs forged in the bleak beauty of Thatcher’s London. “To me, the sounds invoked humanity trapped behind and inside a world constructed of glass, steel, and concrete, frozen inside the textures like prisoners of the twilight zone, humanity haunting a landscape it had made for itself,” says Hayward.


Working Nights 7:41
Sitcom 4:40
Wheat Futures 6:11
Speculative Fiction 6:09
Green Lantern 3:11
The Ghost Trade 11:11
Camberwell Now - The Ghost Trade (1986)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Bob Dylan - Songs For Bonnie - Minnesota Hotel Tape (1961)

The sound quality is excellent. Very clear, very clean, very enjoyable. The liner notes claim this release is in 'superior sound quality'... it is... it's great! Nice early black and white pictures, and a classy layout. The set also contains a lovely fold out booklet with a bit of a story behind the tapes. It's well written and informative. The title, of course, reflects that the tunes were recorded in Bonnie Beecher's apartment.

This was actually the first bootleg ever produced. It was released on a 2 LP set in 1969, and went by the title 'Great White Wonder'. One of the most famous bootlegs of all time. This is the first bootleg ever to be produced in the rock-and-roll era. Great White Wonder was originally released in the United States in July of 1969. There was little on this piece to identify it to the world. It came out in a blank white gatefold cover, with blank white labels. The only identifying mark whatsoever is the matrix number: GF 001/2/3/4. (gwa 1Aa version 1). The name 'Great White Wonder' probably actually began as a joke when retailers needed to come up with a name for this blank white album. The term quickly became synonymous with Dylan in the bootleg world however, and has since been used many, many times to refer to either the man or his work.

"Songs For Bonnie"
source: "Minnesota Hotel Tape" 1961
Recorded in Bonnie Beecher's apartment.
Superb sound quality, but a couple of noticeable
glitches are present on the original.

01 Candy Man (Rev. Gary Davis arr. of trad. song)
02 Baby Please Don't Go (Big Joe Williams)
03 Hard Times In New York Town (adapted)
04 Stealin' (Memphis Jug Band arr. of trad. song)
05 Poor Lazarus (Traditional)
06 I Ain't Got No Home (Woody Guthrie)
07 It's Hard To Be Blind (adapted)
08 Dink's Song (John & Alan Lomax arr. of trad. song)
09 Man Of Constant Sorrow (Dylan arr. of trad. song)
10 Naomi Wise (Traditional)
11 Wade In The Water (Traditional)
12 I Was Young When I Left Home (adapted)
13 In The Evening (Leroy Carr)
14 Baby Let Me Follow You Down (E.Von Schmidt)
15 Sally Gal (adapted)
16 Gospel Plow (Traditional)
17 Long John (Traditional)
18 Cocaine Blues (Rev. Gary Davis arr. of trad. song)
19 VD Blues (Woody Guthrie)
20 VD Waltz (Woody Guthrie)
21 VD City (Woody Guthrie)
22 VD Gunner's Blues (Woody Guthrie)
23 See My Grave's Kept Clean (Lemon Jefferson)
24 Ramblin' Round (Woody Guthrie)
25 Black Cross (Lord Buckley arr. of Joseph S. Newman)

Bob Dylan - Songs For Bonnie - Minnesota Hotel Tape (1961)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 9. Mai 2023

Chicago - The Blues - Today! Vol. 1

In 1966, when the recordings in this set first came out, blues wasn’t quite as well understood or appreciated outside the black community as it is today. In fact, it’s safe to say that these recordings opened the door wide and helped change American music forever.

Although some jazz fans had been hip to blues since the first 78rpm records started coming out in the 1920s, all but a few of them saw the music as a sort of degenerate cousin of jazz, which was, to them, more important musically. Of course, any jazz musician with a brain would have told you that blues is one of the most important components of jazz, but that wasn’t understood by white fans at that point.

Then along came the folk revival, first in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and then the second one in the early 1960s. The first folk revival had some blues in it, especially from Lead Belly, who had been introduced to folk circles by John and Alan Lomax, and from Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, who had taken their East Coast blues to New York and were doing well in show business circles. Later, Big Bill Broonzy showed up and was fond of telling credulous young white folks how lucky they were to have met him, since he was the last living Bluesman. Josh White, too, was on the scene, although he had severely diluted the power of his early recordings and was now a fairly bland folk singer. The interest in these few bluesmen caused a resurgence in interest in the country blues performers, and record collectors began to seek out long-forgotten recordings, which they began to reissue on lps.

Seeking out these recordings drew collectors to the South, where they encountered a whole different way of life in black communities and, eventually, began to suspect that some of the men who’d made these recordings were still around. As the subsequent rediscovery of Mississippi John Hurt, Bukka White, Son House, and Skip James, among others, proved, they were right. But what they didn’t do was consider that the country blues had grown, migrated to the cities, mutated, and flourished there. Because a large number of them were cultural snobs, they never bothered to look at the big picture, pieces of which were right underneath their noses. Chuck Berry, for instance, was considered a pompadour-wearing, teen culture-exploiting, showboating rock and roller. They not only didn’t flip his records over to find things like “Deep Deep Feeling” and his other blues recordings, they never listened to the A-sides. They ignored radio blues hits like Buster Brown’s 1960 “Fannie Mae” and Tommy Tucker’s 1964 “High Heel Sneakers,” because they were too pure to listen to the radio. What little they did know about contemporary blues they sought to re-shape into their own image: contemporary bluesmen did appear at the Newport Folk Festival, but only under compromised circumstances. There’s the famous story about Lightnin’ Hopkins arriving in a limousine wearing a sharkskin suit and changing into dungarees, saying “Gotta give the people what they want.” And when Muddy Waters, one of the greatest electric guitarists of all time, played Newport, he had to play acoustic guitar.What was really weird was that things were completely different in Europe. In England, Alexis Korner was a huge fan of these people’s work, and tried to play it in his act, while arranging for visits by the likes of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, which subsequently gave birth to European tours by the American Folk Blues Festival, which combined old-time country and contemporary electric blues artists into one package. Korner also encouraged younger British players’ interest in the music, famously introducing Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to Brian Jones and starting the Rolling Stones in the process. The Stones then turned around and recorded songs by these bluesmen and slapped them onto the albums which had their hits on them. Eventually, Americans caught on. They had help from their countrymen, too: in Chicago, where it was impossible to ignore the blues scene, since it was on the radio, on posters tacked to telephone poles, and all over the black clubs, fans like Michael Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield, Nick Gravenites, Elvin Bishop, and Norman Dayron sought out the music and eventually wound up playing it as peers with the full support of the blues community there. Most of them coalesced into the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, which was the even more authentic version of such British outfits as Korner’s Blues Incorporated and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. The Butterfield Band’s appearance at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival blew everything apart. They were white blues revivalists like Dave Van Ronk or John Hammond, Jr., but they had a rhythm section, Jerome Arnold and Sam Lay, who were veterans of Howlin’ Wolf’s band and didn’t see any contradiction between playing with Butterfield’s boys or their former employer, although, if the truth be known, what with Butterfield’s new Elektra Records contract, the pay was better. (The band then further confused the hard-core inflexible folkies by backing up Bob Dylan later in the day for his first-ever electric appearance.)

Before long, people were wondering what they’d missed. And they had missed something: by the time the impetus started by the Stones and Butterfield got things rolling, the heyday of Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Sonny Boy Williamson in Chicago was behind them. Other great performers, most notably Elmore James and Little Walter, were dead. A new generation, just as was happening in rock and roll, was taking the stage in Chicago, and the blues was entering another era.
Enter Sam Charters. Now, here was a name that was hardly unknown to the knowledgeable folkie. Charters knew blues, and had done numerous reissues of 78s on lp which formed the backbone of many blues fans’ libraries, the songs themselves entering performers’ repertoires. In fact, Charters knew blues well enough to know that it was still a living, breathing, changing art-form. Like a very few other scholars, most notably Charles Keil, whose book Urban Blues, published in 1966, was researched at just the right time, he was right there with an open mind. He was in the clubs. He talked to the musicians. He kept track of the changes. Now, at the time these recordings were first issued, Vanguard Records was one of the preeminent folk labels in the country, but it, too, wasn’t overly rigid. Unlike some, it was ready to accept “commercial” folk music, and, as a result, actually placed some stuff on the pop charts. Further, it was documenting the Newport Folk Festival, and had a sense of what was in the air. So when the idea of recording actual, contemporary, not to mention popular blues music came to them from a respected personage like Charters, they gave him the green light.

It was a canny move: if this project succeeded, they could sign some of the artists to contracts and have a jump-start on the rest of the mainstream music industry. Some of the younger blues artists were having trouble finding record labels at that point, and in fact Vanguard’s strategy paid off with the signing of Junior Wells and Buddy Guy, two of the biggest stars on the scene, as well as Charlie Musselwhite, who was a sideman on one of the tracks here. But that came later. First came the three lps which form this set, and they were a risk. Virtually nobody outside of Chicago had ever heard of these people with the possible exception of former Muddy Waters pianist Otis Spann, who had a reputation with jazz fans. The music would have to speak for itself. It did: Chicago/The Blues/Today! sent shockwaves through the young audience which was discovering the blues through the evangelism of the British performers. It was the third part of the title—Today!—which grabbed your attention, along with the grim picture of the train-tracks and tenements on the cover. In compiling this set, Charters had even trumped the Brits, going straight to the source and nailing it. It came at just the right time: soul music was sapping the popularity of blues at its base, and younger black listeners were turning off of it, the heavily soul-inflected work of Buddy Guy and Junior Wells notwithstanding. Suddenly these performers were in greater demand than ever before both at home and abroad, and they were flabbergasted at the response they got from an audience they’d never even known was interested.

The aftermath of Chicago/The Blues/Today! was astonishing. Journalists and scholars went to Chicago to check out the scene, many of them clutching Keil’s book, with its detailed map of clubs. Agents, at first timidly, then with mounting enthusiasm, booked the performers who were willing to leave Chicago into folk festivals, rock festivals, and, finally, blues festivals, where they could spread the news that the blues was alive and well. Some of these people toured the world, while others graciously played host to international visitors in Chicago. Virtually all of these artists got recording deals with labels which treated them better than they’d ever been treated, and saw their albums sell in quantities they’d never anticipated. It also served notice to the world that not only was the blues alive and vital, but that the older guys were still around, and made it possible for Muddy Waters to form his last great young band with black and white players, grab a major-label deal, and buy a home in Woodstock, New York. It caused young lawyers to help Willie Dixon regain control of his songs, and, even more importantly, the royalties they brought him. It took youngsters like Otis Rush and Magic Sam onto the stages of blues festivals where they played to tens of thousands of fans who applauded them riotously. And, at long last, it established contemporary blues, not as some degenerate offshoot or sub-section of another music, but as a vital part of the American cultural landscape. The music on these discs is no longer the blues Today!, but it is a vital documentation, recorded without thought of commercialism or marketing strategy, of a cusp in this essential American music. It will also, I bet, draw in new listeners, kick their asses and take names, and leave them astonished and happy. —Ed Ward

Chicago - The Blues - Today! Vol. 1
(192 kbps, ca. 63 MB)

Marianne Pousseur & Kaat De Windt - Eisler & Brecht – War & Exile (1996)

From the bandcamp website: 

"These are the emotions for the present; more than ever, this music has something to say to us today. We have seized upon the most pressing of current realities. How can one talk about historical exiles when everyday people flee their lands with their few belongings and take to the road...But this is also an artistic event; a recording of exceptional coherence, a thousand miles from the cabaret and classicism that is the vogue. Sub Rosa is particularly proud to offer at this hour a release concerned with the resistance and dignity of those who do not always find themselves on the side of the mighty."

Recorded in November 1994.


1 Spruch 1939 1:32
2 Winterspruch 0:44
3 Der Sohn 1:45
4 Vom Sprengen Des Gartens 1:28
5 Der Kirschdieb 1:13
6 Frühling 1:01
7 Ostersonntag 1:20
8 Auf Der Flucht 0:59
9 Der Pflaumenbaum 1:34
10 Hotelzimmer 1942 1:49
11 Auf Den Kleinen Radioapparat 1:13
12 Die Heimkehr 1:34
13 Panzerschlacht 0:52
14 Deutsches Lied 1937 "Marie, Weine Nicht" 1:33
15 Ballade Von Der "Judenhure" Marie Sanders 2:33
16 Über Den Selbstmord 1:51
17 Und Es Sind Die Finsteren Zeiten 0:32
18 Elegie 1939 3:06
19 An Die Nachgeborenen I 2:10
20 An Die Nachgeborenen II 1:17
21 Mutter Beimlen 0:58
22 Als Ich Dich In Meinem Leib Trug 1:33
23 Mein Sohn, Was Immer Auch Aus Dir Werde 2:48
24 Ich Hab Dich Ausgetragen 1:17
25 Als Ich Dich Gebar 1:32
26 Elegie I 2:18
27 Elegie II 2:45

(320 kbps, cover art included)

The Futures - The Greetings Of Peace (1980)

The Futures was a vocal Philly soul quintet, formed in the late `60s in Philadelphia. They released three albums before disbanding.

The Future first signed with Kenny Gamble in 1970, after their first record "Breaking Up" was a small hit on the local Philadelphian label Amjo. They cut the ballad "Love Is Here" on Kenny´s Gamble label prior to moving to Buddah, and then back to P.I.R. in 1978.

I'm So Proud Of You Woman4:13
Why Must It End4:53
We're Gonna Make It Somehow4:42
Mr. Bojangles4:48
Feels Just Like The First Time4:37

The Futures - The Greetings Of Peace (1980)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 6. Mai 2023

Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick - But Two Came By (Fontana, 1968)

"Ship in distress" is a song that begins this fourth album from Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick. The song concerns the story of a crew of a ship that is out of food for days. The crew draw lots to see who shall serve as food for the rest of the crew. It is the frightening story of the one member of the crew that is chosen. I will not spoil the ending of the story here. But it is one of eleven interesting traditional English folk songs on this wonderful album, recorded in 1968.

Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick continue their bold and virtuosic transformation of traditional songs and melodies on this set, adding a memorable treatment of Sidney Carter’s Lord of the Dance.

Fans of Fairport Convention or Steeleye Span will find the clean, stripped down, spirited performances here a revelation: The beautiful, original "Lord of the Dance" (which transforms the Shaker hymn "Simple Gifts" into something wonderful in its own right), a delightfully ominous reading of "The White Hare," a lively "Banks of Sweet Primroses" (which, in various forms, became part of the repertories of numerous folk-rock revival bands), and, most impressive of all, a dazzling rendition of "Jack Orion." 

Carthy's voice (featured acapella on the beautiful "Creeping Jane" and the ominous "Lord Lankin") is a very fine instrument, he gets a surprisingly rich sound from his single guitar, and Swarbrick's violin is all the support he really needs. And lest anyone doubt that this record was done during England's flower-power era, check out the acoustic psychedelic-folk version of Leon Rosselson's "Brass Band Music."


Side 1
Ship in Distress (Roud 807) (2.28)
Banks of Sweet Primroses (Roud 586; G/D 8:1841) (2.52)
Jack Orion (Roud 145; Child 67) (4.03)
Matt Hyland (Roud 2880) (4.45)
White Hare (Roud 1110; TYG 79) (2.47)
Lord of the Dance (2.40)

Side 2
Poor Murdered Woman (Roud 1064) (2.48)
Creeping Jane (Roud 1012; Laws Q23) (3.47)
Streets of Forbes (Roud 20764) (3.20)
Long Lankin (Roud 6; Child 93; G/D 2:187; Henry H735) (5.40)
Brass Band Music (3.32)

All tracks trad. arr. Martin Carthy except
Track 3 trad. adapt. A.L. Lloyd;
Track 6 Sydney Carter;
Track 11 Leon Rosselson

Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick - But Two Came By (1968)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Eric Von Schmidt - The Folk Blues Of Eric Von Schmidt (1963)

Painter, illustrator, singer/songwriter, and folksinger Eric Von Schmidt was a spearhead of the folk revival that swept through Cambridge, Massachusett's Harvard Square in the early '60s. When he wasn't hosting late-night jam sessions at his apartment/studio, Von Schmidt was performing Leadbelly-influenced songs in coffeehouses and inspiring several generations of folk-rooted singer/songwriters.    

As the third generation of painters in his family, Von Schmidt was the son of famed illustrator Harold Von Schmidt, best known for his serial Tugboat Annie. Von Schmidt was the first in his family to become involved with music. Although his mother read music and played piano at Christmas, his father and brother were unable to carry a tune. Determined that their children be given a grounding in music, Von Schmidt's parents purchased a collection of records including tunes by Johnny Noble & His Royal Hawaiians, Burl Ives, Segovia, Fred Waring & His Pennsylvanians, Hoagy Carmichael, and Duke Ellington.

Von Schmidt stumbled onto folk music by chance when he heard a live broadcast by Leadbelly on radio station WNYC. The theme song was "Goodnight Irene." "I was going out with a girl called Irene, " Von Schmidt explained in 1992. "I thought, 'Boy, there's a song that I've got to learn.'"
Leadbelly's performance inspired Von Schmidt to teach himself to play guitar. In addition to learning songs from the records that he bought at a local store, he learned songs from the few music books that he could find. Much to his surprise, Von Schmidt found other high-school students in awe of folk music. Together they would travel to New York, where they would sit around playing their guitars and banjos in taverns. Among the first New York-based folksingers who Von Schmidt befriended were Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Tom Paley. At Elliott's invitation, Von Schmidt made his radio debut on a program hosted by Oscar Brand, playing "Pretty Polly" on a banjo.

Von Schmidt continued his musical education while serving in the Army. During the two years that he was stationed in Washington D.C., he searched for songs in the archives of the Folklore Department of the Library of Congress. After being discharged and spending two years studying art in Italy via a Fulbright Scholarship, Von Schmidt went to Harvard Square. Around the corner from his apartment and studio was Tulla's Coffee Grinder, a coffeehouse that served as the center of the early folk music movement.

Although the folk scene was initially relaxed and strictly amateur, things began to change around 1958 when Joan Baez made her debut appearances. The folk music craze spread quickly and new clubs opened, including Club 47 in Harvard Square and the Unicorn in Boston. One of the first folk artists to be recorded, Von Schmidt released his debut album in 1962.

An early friend and supporter of Bob Dylan, Von Schmidt was mentioned on Dylan's debut album as the source of the song "Baby, Let Me Follow You Down, " which Von Schmidt had recorded as "Baby, Let Me Lay It on You." In 1963, Von Schmidt traveled to England with Dylan and Rolf Cohn, recording an album with Dylan appearing as "Blind Boy Grunt." Von Schmidt's debut album, "Folk Blues", rests on the floor in the cover photograph of Dylan's 1965 "Bringing It All Back Home" album. Von Schmidt's original song "Joshua Gone Barbados" was recorded by Dylan and the Band during their Basement Tapes sessions and was included on the bootleg album "The Genuine Basement Tapes, Vol. 5".

The folk scene was still going strong when Von Schmidt, who had been divorced from his first wife, left for Florida in 1970. After meeting the woman who would become his second wife, he relocated to Henniker, New Hampshire. He continued to record albums until the late '70s. Although he released an album with the Cruel Family on Philo in 1977, the label was experiencing severe problems and failed to promote the recording. The album was never included in the label's catalog. Baby, Let Me Lay It on You, a book about the Boston/Cambridge folk years that Von Schmidt co-wrote with folksinger and record producer Jim Rooney, was originally published in 1979; the book was later reissued by the University of Massachusetts. For much of the 1980s and early '90s, Von Schmidt concentrated on his artwork. His illustrations were featured on numerous record albums and exhibited in several galleries and museums.
After meeting guitarist and vocalist Linda Clifford, Von Schmidt began performing again. In 1995, he recorded Baby, "Let Me Lay It on You" -- his first album in 18 years. In addition to 15 new songs, the album featured reworkings of "Joshua Gone Barbados" and the title track. Eric Von Schmidt died at age 75 on February 2, 2007 in Fairfield, Connecticut, after having suffered a stroke in August of the preceding year.  


A1Crow Jane
A2Gulf Coast Blues
A3Brave Wolfe
A4Junco Partner
A5De Kalb Blues
B1Champagne Don't Hurt Me. Baby
B2Buffalo Skinners
B3Jack O' Diamonds
B4He Was A Friend Of Mine
B5Cocoa Beach Blues
B6Down On Me

Eric Von Schmidt - The Folk Blues Of Eric Von Schmidt (1963)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Joshua White & His Carolinians - Chaing Gang (1940)

Most blues enthusiasts think of Josh White as a folk revival artist. It's true that the second half of his music career found him based in New York playing to the coffeehouse and cabaret set and hanging out with Burl Ives, Woody Guthrie, and fellow transplanted blues artists Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. When I saw him in Chicago in the 1960s his shirt was unbuttoned to his waist à la Harry Belafonte and his repertoire consisted of folk revival standards such as "Scarlet Ribbons." He was a show business personality — a star renowned for his sexual magnetism and his dramatic vocal presentations. What many people don't know is that Josh White was a major figure in the Piedmont blues tradition. The first part of his career saw him as apprentice and lead boy to some of the greatest blues and religious artists ever, including Willie Walker, Blind Blake, Blind Joe Taggart (with whom he recorded), and allegedly even Blind Lemon Jefferson. On his own, he recorded both blues and religious songs, including a classic version of "Blood Red River." A fine guitar technician with an appealing voice, he became progressively more sophisticated in his presentation. Like many other Carolinians and Virginians who moved north to urban areas, he took up city ways, remaining a fine musician if no longer a down-home artist. Like several other canny blues players, he used his roots music to broaden and enhance his life experience, and his talent was such that he could choose the musical idiom that was most lucrative at the time.
- Barry Lee Pearson, AMG

"Chain Gang" was a set of four 78rpm records recorded June 4, 1940 in New York City and released in the same year by Columbia with the follwing tracks:

- Chain Gang Boun'
- Nine Foot Shovel

- Trouble
- Goin' Home Boys

- Cryin' Who Cryin' You (part 1)
- Cryin' Who Cryin' You (part 2)

- Told My Cap'n
- Jerry

"Chain Gang" was produced for Columbia records in 1940, under the sponsorship of John Hammond, and within the next year Josh would become ubiquitous in the leftist folk music world. He was singing on Alan Lomax’s CBS radio programs, and acting as accompanist and sometimes vocalist for the Almanac Singers, the loose-knit group of agit-prop folkies centered around Pete Seeger, Lee Hayes, Fred Hellerman, and often Woody Guthrie. Featuring a vocal group called the Carolinians that included White's brother Bill and future civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, "Chain Gang" moved White's music further in the direction of pointed social commentary.

From the liner notes:
"Columbia Records proudly presents what is perhaps the most genuine folk music of our Negro laments of the chain gang sung by Joshua White and his Carolinians"

(192 kbps, front cover included)

Chumbawamba - An Anti War Single (Jacob's Ladder)

"Jacob's Ladder (Not in My Name)" is a song by the English rock band Chumbawamba. An earlier version of the song, criticizing Winston Churchill, was included on their 2002 studio album "Readymades", but in response to the incipient Iraq War, the group rewrote the song as a broader criticism of war. It has been described as an anti-war song, and incorporates folk influences as well as sampling, for example
a vocal sample from Harry Cox, courtesy of the English Fold Dance and Song Society.

The song was released as a CD single and as a free download on the group's website in December 2002; it was later included on a re-release of "Readymades". Following its release, it was featured in multiple collections of anti-war songs, and the group performed it at a January 2003 protest in Washington, DC.

The song was released on December 16, 2002, as a CD single, with two additional tracks: the original, "albumesque" version of the song, and a B-side titled "Round 'em Up and Throw 'Em In". On January 18, 2003, the group performed the song on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition, in advance of an anti-war rally in Washington, DC, at which they were also slated to perform. It was also made available as a free download on the group's website,; on the site, they labeled the song "an anti-war MP3". The song was also featured as a B-side to their 2003 promotional single, a Flaming Lips remix of "Tubthumping".

In March 2003, Salon promoted the song download as part of its "Anti-war sampler" playlist. The May 2003 charity compilation "Peace Not War" also featured the track. The original version of the song was included on the 2008 Putumayo compilation "Euro Groove" and was part of the set list of their 2007 live compilation "Get On with It"; the live version swapped out the original's sampling for live elements.

The photograph on the front is of Pete Seeger, anti-Vietnam protest singer (photographer unknown).


Jacob's Ladder (Not in My Name)
Jacob's Ladder (Albumesque)
Round 'em Up And Throw 'em In

(192 kbps, front cover included)

Donnerstag, 4. Mai 2023

The Residents – The Third Reich 'N' Roll (1976)

Technically the third album from the group, though released as a follow-up to "Meet the Residents", this 40-minute assault on the music of the '60s follows Picasso's dictum of all artists killing their (aesthetic) fathers. 

Two side-long medleys of songs both classic ("Papa's Got a Brand New Bag") and obscure ("Telstar") are destroyed, deconstructed, mangled, spat on, spit out, ground up, and injected with gleeful humor. If there's any concept here, it's that the brain-numbing catchiness of pop music was fascism in disguise, keeping teenyboppers docile while selling them rebellion, hence the cover art of a gestapo-uniformed Dick Clark holding a carrot. 

Whether it's only much-suppressed love for these songs (as they went on to return again and again to the themes and artists examined here, including James Brown, "Land of 1000 Dances," and "Double Shot"), it's up to the listener to decide. Mostly any fan of the group will spend many hours trying to decode all the songs here, all the time with a smile on their face. (Officially, there are 29 songs, but there could be more).

The album generated some controversy due to its cover art and Nazi imagery (promotional photos featured the Residents dressed as giant swastikas and wearing oversized swastika glasses). A window display in Berkeley was met with protests and threats of violence, and the album with its original cover (featuring American Bandstand host Dick Clark dressed in a Nazi uniform clutching a carrot) is still banned in Germany. Regardless, it is considered one of the group's masterworks along with most of their material from the 1970s.

1 Swastikas On Parade
2 Hitler Was A Vegetarian

Bonus Tracks:
3 Satisfaction
4 Loser ≅ Weed
5 Beyond The Valley Of A Day In The Life
6 Flying

(320 kbps, cover art included)