Week 49 - Fri 3 Dec

Welcome to the RPM Record Club Seven Day Soundtrack, week ending Friday 3rd December 2021. It's your musical medication time, a booster of positive sounds to maintain continued immunity to all those bad vibes circulating out there. Lie back and relax; over to....

Alan -

"Three tracks this week where 'folk' is stretched to almost breaking point, and all with an avian theme. Folk rock, according to most commentators, began with the Byrds and their version of Dylans 'Mr Tambourine Man'. However, Dylan himself had recorded the quickly deleted 'Mixed Up Confusion' 1962 debut single with very similar backing to that which he would revisit around three years later with the 'Bringing/Highway/Blonde' trilogy of classics. Mention should be made, of course, of the effect of the Beatles jangly 'Hard Day's Night' soundtrack and the Searchers run of fine singles from late 1963 through to early 1965 on the Byrds, Turtles, We Five etc too. Flying (ooops!!) under the radar, 1963 saw Judy Henske release her 'High Flying Bird' LP which prominently featured electric instruments, but it was probably the Byrds, however, who unleashed many of the differing facets 'folk' would transmogrify into thanks their own trilogy of 'experimental' albums in 'Fifth Dimension', 'Younger Than Yesterday' and 'Notorious Byrd Brothers'. These saw the band incorporating electronic music, raga, psychedelia, country and jazz into their recordings. Using those albums as a touchstone of sorts, here's three tracks which take those influences and expand on their roots."

Bluebird by Buffalo Springfield - (Long version first released on US only 'Buffalo Springfield' compilation issued November 1973. Atco label.) "Issued as an edited single of just over two minutes in June 1967, plus a 4 minute version on the contemporaneous 'Buffalo Springfield Again' album, this nine minute 'full' version shows just how incendiary the band must have been when they were regularly playing LA's Sunset Strip clubs where the song could extend to over twenty minutes. Even this 'finished' version was the subject of overdubs and editing of a ten minute plus version where a 'raga' section was replaced by a brief interlude of Stills singing solo over a banjo interlude. So, one track featuring eastern influences, some of the 'heaviest' guitar duelling of the period, country banjo and folk rock, all topped off with Still's fine vocals. Whew!! "


High Flying Bird by Jefferson Airplane - (Originally released on 'Early Flight' compilation February 1974. RCA label. This from 'Live at the Monterey Festival' released 1990. Thunderbolt label)

"Here's a fiery version of Henske's debut album track and single which the Airplane had initially recorded for their 1966 debut album. Inexplicably, RCA had consigned the track to the vaults for almost ten years despite it being at least on a par with virtually all the tracks on the released album. The album featured original vocalist Signe Anderson and, despite several Marty Balin compositions, was definitely more 'folk' than 'rock' with few of the legendary soloing for which the band would become famous. There had been other covers by Steve Stills as part of the Au Go Go Singers in 1964, Carolyn Hester on her excellent 1965 'Live at the Town Hall' album and, later, H.P. Lovecraft (on HP 2) and Ritchie Havens on his 'Mixed Bag' LP. By the time of the Monterey Festival in June 1967, Grace Slick had settled into the Airplane, having joined in October 1966, and this song had become one of the focal points of the band's sets. There's great three part lead vocals from Grace, founder Marty Balin and Paul Kantner and real fire in the guitar breaks from Jorma Kaukanen. Most of the videos for the track cut off the very final few seconds so I've selected '....Bird' and the set's following song ('Today') where the cameramans apparent fixation with Grace totally ignores Marty Balin on his set solo highlight."


Three Ravens by Jerry Yester and Judy Henske - (From 'Farewell Aldebaran' album released June 1969. Straight label. This from Omnivore label reissue 2013)

"Startlingly original albums come along very rarely whereas 'classic' albums seem to proliferate, mainly thanks to global sales figures or a perceived leap forward by a band or artist. The Beatles 'Sgt Peppers....' was the result of almost five years of progressive experimentation in the studio and followed the probably even more experimental 'Revolver'. Jimi Hendrix's debut, superb as it is, was a radical update of the previous two decades of 'electric' blues taken to new heights thanks to the alleged prodigious use of LSD by Jimi at that time. Led Zep's debut was released almost six months after the equally excellent (if not even better) 'Truth' album by Jeff Beck who was unlucky enough to be hospitalised during his promotional US tour for the album, leaving the stage empty for the Zep to step into the limelight (I know..... I couldn't let it lie!!). And so on........... But, to return to my opening remarks re 'originality', whilst the Beatles were in EMI's Studio 2 finishing the recording of 'Sgt Peppers....' in early to mid 1967, beavering away in Studio 3, and producing a debut album unlike any other released up to that date, were Pink Floyd who were soon to issue 'A Piper at the Gates of Dawn', a totally unique offering. Exactly a year earlier, the Velvet Underground and Nico were recording their debut in New York, again a truly original release with absolutely no predecessors. Amongst the few other albums with apparently no precedent was Jerry and Judy's 'Farewell Aldebaran'. As already mentioned, Judy had recorded several albums and hubby Jerry had been a member of the Modern Folk Quartet, Lovin' Spoonful(!) and produced albums for Tim Buckley but this was their debut as a duo so I'm taking the liberty of including it here. Henske describes the album as " written when she had a high fever.....an extraordinary group of literate song-poems setting oblique commentary on their life and her past against evocations of the fate of a fallen knight, a mare’s connection with the man who had stolen her, and the biography of a ship named Charity which yearned for a safe harbour." Recorded at Pat Boone's studio (whose 'Departure' album Jerry was producing) the album features such luminaries as David Lindley, Paul Beaver (on early synths), famed drum and bass session musicians Eddie Hoh and Joe Osbourne and, on back up vocals, Tim Buckley's lyricist Larry Beckett. Released in small quantities in Spring 1969 on Frank Zappa's eclectic Straight label, the album generated warm, if puzzled reviews but proved difficult for any curious would-be purchasers to track down. In the UK the album remained unreleased until 2013 but that did not stop Peel from playing the album in its entirety at the time on his Top Gear show and here's the track that he featured on many subsequent shows."


"To quote Slade at this festive time of year: "So here it is..........." yep, not only Christmas, but also the long awaited 'super virus'!!! Tory MP's (from our region!) are on TV saying that their freedoms are being eroded by the reintroduction of mask wearing in shops and on public transport. Next time I see George Freeman go past our house on the Dereham to Swaffham express on his way to LIDL I'll donate £50 to the Tory Party Benevolent Fund for Underpaid MP's!!

Rant over

Stay safe, as always, and keep the marvelous toons flowing!

(Quick note to Tony: Keep your eye open for the 'With Buddah in Mind' comp with the unreleased 'spoken verse' intro to 'Remember Walkin' In The Sand', courtesy of producer Shadow Morton.)"

Piers -

"Wotcha! It has been a great week; a free workshop and concert from Martin Simpson, Gigspanner at the Wells Maltings and vegan chocolate bars, remaindered for 50p at the local shop, which is now a Morrisons!

For reasons far too convoluted for me to bother to explain, I found myself listening to the ‘Blackgaze’ band MØL’s album ‘Diorama’. Apparently MØL are the world’s leading exponent in this genre!!! Although new to me, that’s right, you got it; it's a combination of ‘Black Metal’ and ‘Shoe Gaze’!

When I hear the words ‘Black Metal and Cutting Edge’ put together, understandably, I think 'Dangerous', I think ‘Wrist Slash’ 'Nihilism' and 'Suicide'! I expect a doom laden, soundtrack for images of vast rolling, spinning, Icebergs, falling through black, starless skies, into erupting seas of magma as ‘Blazing Continents Collide’. But then there is that other element, 'Shoe Gaze'.

When I hear 'Shoe Gaze' I think.... Kiwi? Cherry Blossom? Meltonian? Dasco???

OK, I realise that I am, in all probability, not young, or groovy enough to understand…. but… The title track might conceivably have be used in a local museum to enliven a 'Diorama' of suburban life in Denmark, in the 1970s!

Moving swiftly along, and well away from that drear musical interlude - I have been blown away by the way that Juçara Marçal’s career has developed. Following a trajectory quite the opposite of most performers… her sound has grown more, and more experimental as she has gained greater maturity, and wider popularity."

Oranian by Metá Metá (with Juçara Marçal) -


"And the title track of her latest album…"

Delta Estácio Blues by Juçara Marçal -


"When you've some time, check out the whole album for a sonic treat…"


Floating Points Movement One by Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra - "I have been a huge fan of Alice Coltrane ever since I first heard her work in the very early 1970s. The saxophonist that carried her melodies was Pharoah Saunders. A man who has maintained his position, truly at the cutting edge of ‘Modern’ music, for the last half a century. This is from his latest release, Promises, recorded with the LSO."


Tony -

"Here's my list of 3 for the week. Thank you Philip for alerting me last time to the fact that Plant and Krauss have released a follow-up album which I will definitely be adding to my collection soon I hope. All the best to my RPM friends as always."

River by Joni Mitchell - "Here we go - the usual Christmas music has started and I'd just like to propose that this track is more appropriate to the moment than anything else this year (and last year for that matter). Joni may have been bemoaning yet another lost love when she wrote it but if I had a frozen river (and more to the point if I could ice skate) then I would definitely like to head out of town before the seasonal madness really begins. Please don't buy a dying conifer this year."


A Certain Girl performed by Ernie K-Doe - "I'm dipping back into the vaults of the Minit label again this week with a song written by Allen Toussaint but credited to his pen name of Naomi Neville and later recorded by the Yardbirds (a weak version) and Warren Zevon (as good, if not better, than the original). Ernie didn't scale the same heights as "Mother-in-Law" with this number but still very listenable."


New Kind Of Love by Willie Harper - "Here's another from the Minit (Alon) label. Apart from referencing Willie in the sleeve notes as a backing singer (probably for the preceding track) and noted for convincing Allen Toussaint to persevere recording "Mother-In-Law" with Ernie K-Doe when he had almost given up there is not much information available on him which is a pity. He was a member and lead singer of the Del-Royals and you can find "Always Naggin/I Fell in Love With You" both penned by him and performed by the group on Youtube, if you're interested in listening to more."


Philip -

"Greetings and good health to all RPMers as always. I have received this week the new Jason Isbell album, "Georgia Blue," the proceeds from which are to be donated to civil rights groups such as Black Lives Matter (and voter registration drives perhaps?). Mr. Isbell is one of the good guys. I have been listening to this and, inspired by Piers' choices last week, to Elmore James and then covers of his material, hence this week's selections. Best regards."

Midnight Train To Georgia performed by Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit, featuring Brittney Spencer and John Paul White - "I think this is the best track on the album, and it holds up well against Gladys Knight's original."


Shake Your Money Maker performed by Fleetwood Mac - "...featuring Jeremy Spencer on vocals and slide guitar."


One Way Out performed by The Allman Brothers Band - "Bet you guessed that would be next! Duane's slide break turns up the heat."


Nina -

"Hi Folks. Hugely enjoyed all your choices last week, a marvelous musical mixture!

Another week, another 3 from me.."

Far From Home by The Levellers - "From MTV, 1991 I think. Stompy dancing by a fire on the beach, hitching, busking.. ahh takes me back!"


The Rat by The Walkmen - "Raw..visceral..genius!"


In Spite of the Weather by Michael Price & Bill Ryder-Jones - "Take care, everyone."


John -

"Hi RPMers, Hope you're all keeping safe and warm. Here are my three for this week..."

Wonderful Life by The Paraorchestra featuring Brett Anderson - "This was one of nine songs by The Paraorchestra featured in a programme on Sky Arts last Friday night called 'Death Songbook'.... beautiful. Most of the other eight songs are on YouTube and are well worth checking out."


Stay With The Reggae by Bunny Wailer - "Opening track from his 1985 LP 'Marketplace'. No prizes for working out who is being referred to here....!"


Raconteur Troubadour by Gentle Giant - "From the very wonderful 'Octopus' LP from 1972."


Dave -

"Hi RPMers, hope you all had a good week . Enjoying your picks . Here’s some of my favs this week."

Anywhere by Beth Orton (Two Lone Swordsman remix) -


The Outdoor Type by The Lemon Heads -


With Care From Someone by Dillard and Clark -


Jayne -

"My selections this week are shaped by artistes and/or songs that stood out in my aural landscape this week. Sending good wishes to all RPMers."

Never Any Good by Martin Simpson -


We Picked Apples In A Graveyard Freshly Mown by The Unthanks -


Tim -

"An event filled week this week: had the fair in town with the Tea Cups ride (yeah, pretty old school) right outside our front door, had high winds courtesy of storm Arwen followed by snow, visited Castle Howard decorated beautifully for Christmas with a Narnia inspired theme and last Saturday was Jimi Hendrix's birthday, of course...here's three tunes to reflect the week."

Sevens / Michael Kennedy's Reel / The Cup of Tea Reel performed by Liz Carroll with Steve Cooney - "My favourite fiddle player makes amazingly light work of these reels....such drive!"


And I'm claiming a bonus track this week....

Little Wing performed by The Corrs (from Unpluugged) - "...proving Hendrix was obviously Irish."


'Til Next Time...