Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I Am A Young Fellow - well I *was*...

Down below, in my Longdancer post, I mentioned that I played with a folk-rock band called Crannog. Well, after I left they recorded an album and a single - middling-to-good MOR folk/country/rock with a distinct Irish bent.

Kevin McCabe - vocals, guitar, mandolin
Maureen Carter - vocals, guitar
Barry Wickens - violin, guitar, mandolin, vocals
Brian Harrison - bass guitar, vocals
Bob Critchley - drums

The band borrowed heavily from Planxty, Bothy Band, the usual suspects including General Humber (Mo sang Bogey's Bonnie Belle - I suspect Robin Dransfield learned it from her - and I sang Martin accapella).

Kevin is a builder.
Maureen got religion.
Barry joined Cockney Rebel and still tours with them.
Brian - I think - went off to work with Dave Stewart.
Bob was in the National Theatre Of Brent for a while.

Crannog - Crannog


A quick thankyou & cross-reference

Following my Area Code 615 and Mac Gayden posts I was contacted by Cal Harmony who runs a few excellent blogs. He has links to a couple of Barefoot Jerry albums over at Cals Country Corner - if you download, tell him Witchseason sent ya.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Who's The Fool Now?

This is the first album by General Humbert, an Irish folk band of the late '70s. There were lots of them around, some better than others, but this particular one was the recording debut of Mary Black - one of the greatest female voices to come out of Ireland (along with the Ni Dhomhnaill sisters, of course).

More details to follow but I have't got time right now...

General Humber - General Humbert

01 - The Flogging Reel & Father Kelly & The Bucks Of Oranmore
02 - Bogey's Bonnie Belle
03 - Uir Chnoc Chein Mnic Chainte & Christy Tynan's
04 - Crazy Man Michael
05 - Napoleon's Retreat
06 - Martin (Who's The Fool Now)
07 - The Kid On The Mountain & The Foxhunter's Jig & The Fox Chase (reel)
08 - The Bold Princess Royal
09 - The Lonesome Boatman
10 - The Cock's Crow In The Morning & The Hag That Reared Me & Coppers And Brass
11 - Aonach Mhalla
12 - Bagpipe Solo


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Old Cherokee Up The Saint John River

Two bootlegs from Quicksilver Messenger Service.

Quicksilver Messenger Service - Maiden Of The Cancer Moon

The first is my rip of a double vinyl album called 'Maiden Of The Cancer Moon' that I bought from Steve Burgess in the English Weather shop in Crouch End (aka Terrapin Trucking), recorded at the Fillmore East in June 1968. It's pretty damn good - and I love the way 'Who Do You love' starts off just like Happy Trails but then goes off in a totally different direction when the soloing starts.

01 - Back Door Man
02 - Codine
03 - Mona / Maiden Of The Cancer Moon / Mona
04 - Gold & Silver
05 - Smokestack Lightning
06 - Light Your Windows
07 - Dino's Song
08 - The Fool
09 - Who Do You Love
10 - Mona / Maiden Of The Cancer Moon / Mona


Quicksilver Messenger Service - Live at the Fillmore 1967

I don't know where I got these tracks from - maybe it was from Bit Torrent? Anyway they are nowhere near as good quality as the vinyl album but they're also a year and a half earlier, apparently recorded at the Fillmore West on 5th February 1967.

01 - Suzie Q
02 - I Hear You Knockin'
03 - Dandelion
04 - Gold And Silver
05 - You Don't Love Me
06 - Codeine
07 - Instrumental
08 - Smokestack Lightning
09 - Dino's Song
10 - Walking Blues
11 - Driving Wheel
12 - Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You
13 - Hey Mama
14 - Hoochie Coochie Man
15 - All Night Worker
16 - Stand By Me
17 - Pride Of Man


Five Corpulent Porpoises

Marc Volman and Howard Kaylan were - and still are, as far as I know, the brains behind The Turtles, who made some of the most sublime pop singles of the 60s (Happy Together, Elenore, etc.), and when that band broke up they joined Frank Zappa to provide vocals and humour for many of the late period Mothers albums (including most of the funniest bits on the Fillmore album). They also sang backing vocals - and thereby provided one of the key aspects - on most of T Rex's hits.

They made a number of albums on their own as Flo & Eddie (a shortened version of The Florescent Leech And Eddie, which was the name they used with Frank Zappa), but this is the only one I own. It's part live, part studio, part sexist & racist and part innoffensive, partly hilarious and partly pop, and wholly enjoyable. This album changes hands for upwards of $60 on Amazon!


Flo & Eddie - Illegal, Immoral And Fattening

01 - Illegal, Immoral And Fattening
02 - Rebecca
03 - Kama Sutra Time
04 - The Sanzini Brothers Return (including The Tibetan Memory Trick)
05 - Livin in The Jungle
06 - Cheap
07 - The Kung Fu Killer
08 - Eddie Are You Kidding (including The Pop Star Massage Unit)
09 - Let Me Make Love To You
10 - There's No Business Like Show Business


Sunday, October 08, 2006

Better Than A Medicine For Healing

From the MusicWeb encyclopedia of popular music:

AREA CODE 615 were a country-rock group formed in Nashville '69, named after local telephone code: Charlie McCoy (b 28 March '41), harmonica, vocals; Mac Gayden, guitar, vocals; Weldon Myrick, steel; Kenny Buttrey, drums; Bobby Thompson, banjo, guitar; Wayne Moss, guitar; Buddy Spicher, fiddle; Norbert Putnam, bass; Ken Lauber, keyboards. Ace session men capitalized on media focus on Nashville after Bob Dylan's LP Nashville Skyline, on which long-time Dylan sidemen McCoy and Buttrey played. First LP Area Code 615 predictably faultless in execution; Lauber replaced by David Briggs on next LP Trip In The Country '70, incl. 'Stone Fox Chase': harmonica instrumental became theme for BBC-TV's Old Grey Whistle Test through '70s. Most members returned to more lucrative session playing; Gayden went solo; Moss formed Barefoot Jerry (several LPs '70s on which many of the others have played, incl. Gayden on debut Southern Delight '71). Putnam and Briggs are producers in Nashville.

From AllMusic.com

The first Area Code 615 album is a legendary record recorded by a legendary group of musicians. Area Code 615 was, as the name implies, the location of Cinderella Studios in Nashville (Madison, to be exact). The session players who recorded there are some of the greatest unsung heroes in popular music: Weldon Myrick (pedal steel), Bobby Thompson (banjo), Buddy Spicher (fiddle), Mac Gayden and Wayne Moss (lead guitar), Charlie McCoy (harp), Ken Buttrey (drums), David Briggs (piano), and Norman Putnam (bass). These players performed miracles on hundreds of records, including those by Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, the Beau Brummels, Ian & Sylvia, and countless others. This, their "group" debut, is a timeless excursion into all forms of music. The record contains a lot (for then) of contemporary covers, such as an awe-inspiring version of "Hey Jude" that, in some ways, builds in intensity as much as the Beatles' version. It's soul, rock, and country at its finest, and ironically sounds as though it was a possible blueprint for Joe Cocker/Leon Russell's Mad Dogs & Englishmen project. Aside from the general power and groove, all of the solos are spectacular, especially Charlie McCoy and Mac Gayden's performances on "Nashville 9 - NY 1." Gayden is particularly impressive, often sounding like a visiting Eric Clapton in 1969. It's that good. Buttrey and Putnam, though, are the real stars here, laying down the most solid, knee-deep funk and soul that you will ever hear. Absolutely awesome. Friends, this is one stone gas.

On its second album, the Nashville professional musician supergroup Area Code 615 took the opportunity to stretch out and try some really far-out things. While still nominally country, this has more in common with the freewheeling psychedelic rock and sunshine pop of 1970 than what was coming out of Nashville. Given the fuzz tones, light funk vamps, trippy interludes, and random outbursts of heavy guitars, it's little wonder that Area Code 615 was appealing to hippies, not rednecks, but even among those hippies the group was a cult item; a two-night stint at the Fillmore West did not spur the band's debut into greater record sales, and A Trip in the Country didn't even chart. Perhaps that's because they didn't cover any obvious material here. Where the first record had three Beatles tunes and numbers by Dylan and Otis Redding, this relies on new songs and a couple of bluegrass and folk songs that sound unrecognizable; Bill Monroe's "Scotland" has its boundaries blown wide open, and the result is a serious head trip. But perhaps the best-known item here is "Stone Fox Chase," whose stuttering refrain -- performed by harmonica player extraordinaire Charlie McCoy -- became the theme song for the BBC's fantastic music program The Old Grey Whistle Test. That tune also illustrates the nature of this band: It's a musician's band, the work of exceptional players whose skills are best appreciated by other players. That doesn't mean there isn't some extraordinary playing here, since there is (although the debut is a better place to just hear the band play, since this relies more on the structure than the solo), but only fellow musicians will find this more than a semi-interesting period piece.

Area Code 615 & A Trip In The Country - Area Code 615

Southern Comfort
I've Been Loving You
Hey Jude
Nashville 9 - NY 1
Lady Madonna
Medley: Crazy Arms/Get Back
Why Ask Why
Lil' Maggie
Classical Gas
Just Like a Woman

Always the Same
Stone Fox Chase
Russian Red
Gray Suit Men
Katy Hill
Welephant Walk
Devil Weed and Me


Skyboat & Hymn To The Seeker - Mac Gayden

Mac Gayden made some solo albums after leaving Area Code 615, these are the 2nd and 3rd. They're great, full of lovely guitar work and soulful songs.

01 - Morning Glory
02 - Gettysburg
03 - Southwind
04 - Everlasting Love
05 - Freedom Drum
06 - Don't Look Back
07 - It's All Right
08 - Sweet Serenity
09 - Appalacian Fever
10 - Waterboy
11 - Diamond Mandala

01 - Rejoyce The Dawn
02 - Steppin' Stone
03 - Someone Whispered
04 - Standing In The Background
05 - Life Is Just A Pantomime
06 - Here We Meet Again
07 - To Our Ancesters
08 - Colours Of The Rainbow
09 - The Minstrel Is Free At Last
10 - Hymn To The Seeker
11 - If I Could I'd Set You Free


Monday, October 02, 2006

Please leave me a comment if you download...

...because it's nice to feel appreciated ;-)

Today, a few odds & sods that I like. A bit of a mixed bag! Download them individually, or get the whole lot here http://rapidshare.de/files/35186364/oddsends1.zip.html.

Biljo - Clodagh Rogers

I just think this is a great pop song, one of the lost classics from the late 60s.


Jealousy - The Boothill Foot Tappers

Along with the Pogues and The Men They Couldn't Hang, one of the best of the punk folk/skiffle bands of the mid-80s. I worked with them a lot at the Robey.


Bye Bye Baby - The Bay City Rollers

Yes, really! It's wonderful, just like 'pop' music should be.


Star Trekkin' - The Firm

One of the few comedy records that stands repeated listening to.


Arfur Daley - The Firm

Same again.


Heart Of Mine - Hi-Fi

Ian Matthews teamed up with David Surkamp of Pavlov's Dog and made an ep and an lp. This is the only decent track on either of them - but it *is* a cracker.


The Gaol Song - Peter's Private Army

I know absolutely nothing about this single. It's fantastic though, mid-80s folk-rock of the highest caliber. Does anyone know anything about it?


Romeo - Mr Big

Another great pop song. Nuff said.


Gerdundula - Status Quo

This is the best of many versions IMO, from the b-side of an old single (can't remember which one)