Where other reggae reissue labels slowly fade away or have just plain given up, the mighty Pressure Sounds refuses to knuckle under. What's more: it digs deeper still. Just when I thought the Scratch vaults were all but empty, here's High Plains Drifter, a wicked collection of pre-Black Ark Lee Perry productions of 45's only issued in Jamaica.
Revisited this cool sampler from Anyway Records yesterday. Yup, that's the tiny tiny Ohio label that gave the New Bomb Turks and Gaunt their first shots at punk rock stardom. But the lesser known names, such as Appalachian Death Ride, Greenhorn, and the rather wonderfully named Stupid Fuckin Hippie take care of lofi business just as well. And in case you were wondering, a bladdernut is not some painful medical condition, but some kind of plant, apparently.
In June '92, Bob Dylan recorded a couple of tracks with David Bromberg in Chicago's Acme Studios. Sadly, none of these were released, until Tell Tale Signs, the 8th installment in the Bootleg Series, gave us Miss The Mississippi and Duncan And Brady. Of at least eight other songs recorded at the Bromberg sessions that remain in the vaults, three rather lofi-sounding but fine tracks are circulating in collector's circles: two takes on Bromberg originals, and the beautiful traditional Polly Vaughn.
My original vinyl copy of the delightful Crazy Rhythms - on the legendary Stiff label - being all but worn out, I just had to replace it. And guess what: the fairly recent cd reissue on Bar/None and Domino comes with a download code for access to a couple of bonus tracks, two of which are pre-album demos recorded at Carla Bley's studio in the spring of '79. Here's the best one, with that trademark neurotic guitar work and hypnotic percussion already firmly in place.
The Feelies - The Boy With The Perpetual Nervousness (demo version)
Johnny Jenkins, once the boss of an up-and-coming Otis Redding in the Pinetoppers, makes an already classic Muddy Waters recording his own. Come on in, Johnny boy... Exquisite slide courtesy of the one and only brother Duane.
Since I noticed with satisfaction that a lot of readers really enjoy the flamenco stuff I post here, and not too many blogs feature it on a regular basis, here we go again with a hotblooded Spanish six pack. And in case you're interested in buying some cd's, here and here are two recommended online stores specialized in flamenco. ¡Vámonos, mi amigos da musica!
Fernando De La Morena con Moraíto - Vamonos Pá Sevilla
"If you're a greedhead you're going down... if you're a fat cat you're going down..." Dunno if you realised it yet, but Saint Julian has a new album out, and it's a double helping at that. Looks like the archdrude is seriously fed up and pissed at the mo, toting a machine gun and dedicating disc one to Che Guevara and disc two to Leila Khaled. Here's the heavy heavy title track, with main vocals by one Lucy Brownshill. "Gonna spike some fuckers tonite..." That's the spirit.
Kevin Ayers was a big admirer of Syd Barrett, and when he was about to record the catchy Singing A Song In The Morning, a.k.a. Religious Experience, he paid the Floyd eccentric a visit. Ayers invited him to add some of his trademark guitar magic, to which Barrett agreed, and on the 28th of November, 1969 the madcap duly appeared at Abbey Road studios.
Alas, the producers thought Barrett's contribution was too uncommercial for release (nonsense of course) and the song too long (quite right). Subsequently, the take was never officially released until the cd remaster of Ayers' first album away from Soft Machine, Joy Of A Toy, appeared a couple years back. Singing A Song In The Morning was eventually re-recorded and released as a single, with the religious experience bit erased. Take your pick below, ladies and gentlemen.
Kevin Ayers feat. Syd Barrett - Religious Experience (Singing A Song In The Morning)
Kevin Ayers - Singing A Song In The Morning (single version)
All hail the art of the Jamaican 12" disco mix, which basically meant that a song was extended with either a straight dub version or with a dj toasting over the riddim. Here's a few irie examples straight from the laboratory of the Mighty Two: legendary producer Joe Gibbs and his faithful engineer Erroll Thompson. Trinity is doing fine on the mic.
Junior Murvin & Trinity - Time Stiff/Time So Rough
Naggo Morris & Trinity - Su Su Pon Rasta/Stop Su Su Pon The Dread
"The desert raven, he has poetry..." I guess we'll be hearing a lot more of Jonathan Wilson in the near future. That 'new Laurel Canyon' sound of last year's ambitious Gentle Spirit debut sure hit the spot here. Retro? Nope. Just understandably influenced by past masters.
Musings on tunes I care about. The ones with that thin wild mercury sound, you know. And as I like a lot of different stuff, you can expect everything from pop, rock, punk, blues, soul, folk, reggae, country, world music, jazz and everything in between here. And a whole lot of Dylan of course...
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If you're an artist or label with any objection to your work being featured here, please drop me a line for direct removal: forthesakeofthesong(at)gmail(dot)com.
Twenty years of schooling and they put you on the day shift: