Saturday, 30 April 2011

Rock 'n' Rolio with JD Smith

Carnival Saloon patrons who are in London next weekend could do a lot worse than heading to the Moustache Bar in Dalston on Saturday for Rock 'n' Rolio, a great night of old-school R&B and rockabilly. The extra draw will be special set by slide guitar bluesman JD Smith.

Here's a track from JD's first album A Jukebox Riot that also features Imelda May.

MP3: JD Smith w/ Imelda May - Moonlight/Starlight

Buy A Jukebox Riot at Amazon

For a taster of the other delights you might hear at Rock 'n' Rolio, their latest mix is bursting with fantastic sounds (Marvin Rainwater's Boo Hoo is a hoot).

Rock 'n' Rolio is on Saturday 7 May at Moustache Bar, 58 Stoke Newington Road, Dalston, N16 7XB from 9pm-2am. It's always FREE entry, with happy hour until 10.30pm.

Related Links
Rock 'n' Rolio Facebook group
Rock 'n' Rolio on Mixcloud - loads of other top mixes
JD Smith on Facebook

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Carlene Carter & Dave Edmunds - Baby Ride Easy

If you're a listener to the Word Magazine's podcast you'll have heard an excellent recent episode featuring Nick Lowe. One of the highlights was Nick recalling his former Rockpile bandmate Dave Edmunds' animosity towards Keith Richards when the Stones' axeman joined them on stage in New York in 1978.

This reminded me that I have a solitary track in my collection featuring Dave Edmunds and it's an absolute corker.

MP3: Carlene Carter w/ Dave Edmunds - Baby Ride Easy

Buy Two Sides to Every Woman/Musical Shapes at Amazon

The song was the only single from Carlene Carter's 1980 album Musical Shapes. She was already living in England having married Nick Lowe the previous year and Rockpile formed the core of her backing band on the record.

I think the reason I love the song so much is that it's full of such classic Americana imagery - chuck wagons, truck drivers, diner coffee and even the White House. But it's appeal also lies in the fact that the bloke singing is an irritable Welshman.

It's also a reminder that Nick Lowe is a member of that most august group of men - Johnny Cash's Ex-Son-Laws, a club that includes Rodney Crowell (married to Rosanne), Marty Stuart (married to Cindy) and Howie Epstein (also married to Carlene).

Do let me know what you think of the song. I don't know Carlene Carter's music too well (nor Rockpile's actually) so if you have recommendations please leave a comment below.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Dylan in China: The First Song

You probably know that Bob Dylan played his first ever gig in China last night in front of 5,000 fans at the Worker’s Gymnasium in Beijing. You also probably know that the Chinese government only granted Bob permission to play if he stuck to an approved set list (The Times They Are A-Changin' seems to have been vetoed).

In my experience Bob puts some thought into what song he starts a gig with so I was particularly intrigued to see what he played first in Beijing.

He kicked off with Gonna Change My Way of Thinking, a fairly obscure track from his first Christian album Slow Train Coming, and one he'd previously only played 64 times before*, mostly during his Born Again phase in the late 70s and early 80s. A deliberate choice then.

MP3: Bob Dylan - Gonna Change My Way of Thinking

Buy Slow Train Coming at Amazon

Although the Communist censors put the kibosh on his early protest classics it's still interesting that they did approve a song that mentioins Jesus, God and a "kingdom called Heaven". And Gonna Change My of Thinking does contain lyrics that can be interepretd as anti-establishment. It starts:

Gonna change my way of thinking
Make myself a different set of rules
Gonna change my way of thinking
Make myself a different set of rules
Gonna put my good foot forward
And stop being influenced by fools

So much oppression
Can’t keep track of it no more
So much oppression
Can’t keep track of it no more
Sons becoming husbands to their mothers
And old men turning young daughters into whores

Here's the full set list from Beijing.

Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
Beyond Here Lies Nothin'
Tangled Up In Blue
Honest With Me
Simple Twist Of Fate
Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
Love Sick
Rollin' And Tumblin'
A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
Highway 61 Revisited
Spirit On The Water
Thunder On The Mountain
Ballad Of A Thin Man
Like A Rolling Stone
All Along The Watchtower

Bob's got another concert in China tomorrow before he heads to Vietnam. Let's see if the set list changes.

*By comparison, according to Bob Dylan's website he's played Like A Rolling Stone more than 1800 times.

Related Links
Bob Dylan - official site
Expecting Rain - hundreds of Dylan-related links

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

More Back Chat from Kitty Wells

A few weeks ago I posted a couple of Kitty Wells' answer songs. I've since found another.

(I'll Always Be Your) Fraulein is a reply to Bobby Helms' massive 1957 hit Fraulein and simply tells the story from the girlfriend's perspective. Here's the pair.

MP3: Bobby Helms - Fraulein

Buy Behind The Legend Of The Original Radio Stars at Amazon

MP3: Kitty Wells - (I'll Always Be Your) Fraulein

Buy The Complete Kitty Wells at Amazon (a bargain!)

Another exciting discovery today is a trio of Bear Family compilations called And the Answer Is: Great Answer Discs from the '50s and '60s.

The All Music Guide review of the records is quite amusing: "The music here is for fetishists and collectors... but for any country or pop music fan with an interest in the arcane and unusual, And The Answer Is is a very enjoyable series." So, in a nutshell, tailor-made to my taste! I'll definitely be investigating further.

Related Posts
Kitty Wells Answers Back - honky tonk angels and back street affairs
King of the Road, Queen of the House - another pair of classic answer songs

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens

I love songs about chickens. For evidence of that statement I refer you to the 'More Chicken Songs at Carnival Saloon' links at the bottom of this post.

Why am I so fond of chicken songs? Partly because they're unusual creatures to immortalise in song and partly because there are such a surprising number of them that there's a real thrill in tracking them down.

So you can imagine both my delight and disappointment when I discovered a 20-track compilation on Viper Records called Ain't Nobody Here But These Chickens: American Chicken Songs From the 1920s - 1950s.

I'd heard very few of the songs on the album so immediately bought it. It was like the compiler had read my mind. The downside of course, having discovered this motherlode of chicken songs, is I'm worried I'll never find a juicy chicken nugget ever again.

I've not listened to the record enough times to say which track's my favourite but this one by Memphis Minnie is certainly a stand-out with its combination of sauciness and sass that marks all the best poultry tunes.

MP3: Memphis Minnie - If You See My Rooster

Buy Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens at Amazon

I was unfamiliar with the Viper label before buying this record but their website reveals a catalogue of similarly brilliant compilations including songs about money, cats and even the jungle.

Finally, a fun bonus track. Here are the Muppets performing the compilation's title track:

More Chicken Songs at Carnival Saloon
Chicken Songs For The Soul
Chicken: Anyone For Seconds?
Clucking Brilliant
Thighs, Wings, Legs & Breasts
Chicken Songs For Colonel Sanders

Related Links
The Viper Label
Related Posts with Thumbnails



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