Thursday, 26 February 2015

Mike Waterson



Waterson brother, Mike, who died in 2011,  recorded just one solo album, titled simply, Mike Waterson. Released in 1977, the album is a tour de force of unaccompanied folk singing, the most amazing song being his take on the ancient balled, 'Tamlyn'.





One of my other favourites from the album is this tale of sheep rustling, ' The Brisk Lad'. I'll own up and admit I no longer have a copy of Mike Waterson, my cassette of the album being chewed up may years ago - must put this right soon as I can.




The Watersons: Travelling For A Living

In 1965 the BBC made a documentary about a young family of singers of traditional folk songs, The Watersons; directed by Derrick Knight, it's a must-see for anyone interested in the British 60's folk revival, there's wonderful period detail in many scenes. The Watersons went on to become folk legends, recording superb albums of ensemble singing that continue to astound today.

The Bonny Ship The Diamond


With friends Louis Killen and Anne Briggs


Hal-An-Tow


North Country Maid


Here's a full recording, from the same period, of their version of 'Thirty Foot Trailer', written by Ewan MacColl.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Oh, what the heck - It's Country TWOS Day!

It had to be done in the end.

I recently fell upon a fab Faron Young album on my travels: this one.


The Hillbilly Heartthrob, from Shreveport, Louisiana, had a wide ranging career, recording some honky tonk goodies, along with the more syrupy country-pop style that came in during the 60's. I expect most of us first heard of him when his song, 'It's Four In The Morning' was a hit in both the UK and the US in 1971. Here's another fine tune that you'll find on the album:

After The Fire Is Gone (1972)


I suppose things had to toughen a bit when all those slightly too sweetly produced Nashville hits started clogging up the country charts, so along came Waylon and Willie, Kris and Johnny, to put things right. Then, in the 80's, things really started to get rootsy once more; a prime example being Dwight Yoakam, who's second LP, Hillbilly Deluxe (1987), contains this sad beauty - one of my all time favourite country tunes.



Johnson's Love (1987)




Monday, 16 February 2015

Gratuitous Deep Purple Post


'Looking for trouble? I guess that's right. When I was young I was taught to fight.'

Whilst we are in the world of the early to mid-70's, how about taking some pleasure in this gem from DP's, Burn LP? Whilst the title track and, maybe, Blackmore's slightly overplayed (but still fab, of course) 'blooze' tune, 'Mistreated,' are much celebrated, the less well known 'Lay Down, Stay Down' really does deserve our attention. Dynamic, dramatic and containing a totally awesome and economical solo by The Man In Black. This was why Deep Purple meant more to me than any other group when I was a kid. Led Zep? Don't bother. I should mention that the title of this tune, whilst sounding a little sexist, is, in fact, a reference to the trials and tribulations of dog training; David Coverdale was having some trouble with his hound, Tawny Kitten, at the time.

I was feeling a bit shit this afternoon and this perked me up somewhat.

Lay Down, Stay Down (1974)

Youth Club Disco


No need for that pushing and shoving!

Yes, we're back after a few weeks off so that I could get my brogues resoled and buy a new tank-top from Eastville Market.


Let's not hang around, we'll get things going with a little bit of that reggae music this week, so here's a fella called Dandy Livingstone. Sharon and Tina did ask for 'Johnny Reggae' by The Piglets, which is a nice enough little 45 but there's something I don't like about that Jonathan King chap who produced it. Not sure what it is but I'm sure it'll all come out one day.

Suzanne Beware Of The Devil (1972)


I didn't see all of you dancing for that one but there's an Aztec Bar for the winner of tonight's dance competition, so put on your shuffling shoes. This one is a rocker by a bunch of lads from Colchester calling themselves The Plod. There will never be anything to beat this coming out of that particular part of the world, so enjoy it. They also call themselves The Mighty Plod and just plain Plod. Wish they'd make their minds up - hairy sods!

Neo City (1975)_


That's it for tonight, boys and girls. Remember, we'll soon be collecting subs for the trip to Weston, so remind your mums about it.









Sunday, 15 February 2015

Evensong



A few weeks ago, I had had it up to 'here' with just about everything and just had to get out of the house for a while. I need to stress the fault for this situation was all mine and I took a break for everyone else's sanity as much as mine. So, it's a Sunday evening, around 6pm, and it's bucketing down with the rain. I jump into the Bearmobile with absolutely no idea of where I'm headed and then a get a 'lightbulb moment' - go to church! 

As some of you may know, I'm not actually a regular church goer but I love old church architecture and even some of the ritual malarky, so why not head a few miles down the road to Llandaff Cathedral, the seat of the Church In Wales? Surely, I'll just make it in time for Evensong? Off I head towards Cardiff and reach the Cathedral at about 6.45pm, so I must be well in time. I find a parking spot in the lovely and very posh 'village' of Llandaff and wander down the hill to the cathedral only to find the whole place in utter darkness. I even try the door - it is Sunday, surely the place is open? Nope. Nothing is happening and nothing is scheduled. I simply cannot believe this state of affairs. A crazy, mixed-up nut like me cannot even find some official place to have an old pray on a Sunday night at the main church in Wales. Somewhat nonplussed, I head back up the hill in the pouring pop into the Spar where I purchase a newspaper and something that passes for a veggie pasty (with added baked beans!). I wander the main street munching on the pasty before finally ending up in The Butcher's Arms, a lovely pub directly opposite the cathedral. OK, I'm driving, but I do order one pint of bitter and that's my lot. This is probably immoral but I did it. I then spent a relaxing hour slowly supping my beer and reading the paper before heading home. I suppose it was kind of like going to church.



All that was very long way round of saying I'm going to be adding an Evensong post on Sundays every and then - if you can't get into a church, make up one of your own! The tunes I put here will not necessarily be spiritual but merely somehow suit my own concept of a songs to meet the needs a Sunday evening. I've been listening to Mark Lanegan's great covers album, Imitations (2013), tonight so our service will consist of a couple of tunes from said record.

Please stand for a song first made famous by Andy Williams.

Solitaire

Now we shall sing a song from a Bond film that was originally sung by Nancy Sinatra. Collection will be taken.

You Only Live Twice

Come again soon.



Sunday Service: Elton John


Mostly, I prefer a little straight ahead praise of one form or another for out little Sunday gatherings but I find a relationship with God (sorry to get a bit theological here) is far more complex than just 'praise The Lord, glory hallelujah!'; well, mine is, anyway. I class myself as someone who believes in the existence of a benign supreme being that most us know of as God but there are times I just don't know what I'm thinking when I try to think  about 'God'. There are many who would say I have far too little faith or that I'm actually a 'non-believer' in disguise; I could try and argue my case but those sorts will never listen.

I know, excuses, excuses: it's Sunday morning I'm nowhere near a church and have no intention of going near one today. I prefer them when there isn't a service (if the doors aren't barred to us sinners) and I can sit  and talk to God in my own way. Why all this rambling? I find that Elton's song, 'Dear God', from his underrated 1980 album, 21 at 33, sums up my feelings right now. XTC's song, 'Dear God', is another favourite but is a bit harsh for our Sunday meet ups; however, again, it sums up how we can all feel at times. I don't know if you are surprised to find Reg here at GUB but he's someone else I have a complex relationship with which I hope to get to soonish.

Music: Elton John
Words: Gary Osbourne

Dear God (1980)