Week 9 - Fri 26 Feb
Welcome to the RPM Record Club Seven Day Soundtrack, week ending Friday 26th February. Time for more musical balm with a listen to what has impressed RPMers this week......over to......
"This week, I thought it had to be my favourite genre from my twenties - so its soul. Keep safe and well everyone. We will be getting some freedom back soon.........."
"Just 3 random favourites......."
"Hi RPMers.......Hope you're all well and have had a good week. Here’s my 3 of the week......"
"Hi RPMers........hope you're all well and enjoying the onset of Spring. Good luck to Tim and Jackie with their move, hope it all goes well." (Thanks John. Tim)
Charlotte Sometimes by The Cure - "It's great being able to get Sky Arts on Freesat TV. At the weekend Sal and I watched two hours of The Cure's Hyde Park concert from a couple of years ago. But...... they didn't play 'Charlotte Sometimes', my favourite Cure track, so here it is."
Procession from the Wicker Man Soundtrack - "After getting slightly 'Pagan' a couple of weeks back, I thought I'd offer a bit more of the same. This is from a different source; a wonderful orange vinyl LP of the 'The Wicker Man' soundtrack purchased many years ago from Sounds Of The Universe in Soho - a record shop you must visit when you're in the capital!"
The Future Won't Be Long by Spirogyra - "Spirogyra were a highly imaginative Prog/Folk band who released three (now extremely rare) albums in the early seventies. Although they were formed in Bolton, they were sometimes associated with the Canterbury scene (!?!).This is the opening track from their awesome debut LP 'St. Radiguns'. I was introduced to this LP by a college friend way back in 1974 and even then it was very hard to find. A remastered CD came out in 1990 (which I purchased) but the LP version was becoming even more rare and collectable, sending prices well into three figures. Luckily, a few years ago I found a really nice copy at a car boot sale for two pounds!! By the way, this also ties in with Alan's recent theme of bands with the same name. The other band in this case is the similarly named Spyro Gyra, an eighties jazz fusion band. Also fitting Alan's theme are the two Nirvanas; the sixties Anglo/Greek psyche/prog duo and the nineties U.S. grunge band."
"Great stuff last week - my particular thanks to Philip for putting me on to the "Amour" album which arrived today and which I'll be playing over the weekend and to Jean for the Beatles video which I'd never seen before.
Here are my tracks for this week. I am really going to miss you, Tim, my friend and I therefore wanted to include a track this week that you might like - I usually only pick to please myself but hopefully the Folk Rock track will do it for you. Very best wishes to you both for your new life up north." (Thanks Tony...Steeleye is a good choice. Tim.)
Rogues In A Nation by Steeleye Span - "I still have the carefully looked after album (the cover still squeaks when I open it - it's still SO shiny!) and saw Steeleye Span perform it at the Guildhall, Plymouth when they toured "Parcel Of Rogues" in 1973 supported by Horslips. I'm not a folkie at heart but over the years there have been artists, bands and individual songs of that persuasion that really float my boat. Hope you like it as much as I enjoyed hearing 'Robbery with Violins" recently, Tim."
Queen Bitch by David Bowie (with Mick Ronson) - "Has anybody selected this before? Would it matter if they had? I think not."
See My Friends by The Kinks - "Long gone are the days when pop stars stopped their guitars falling around their ankles using a piece of string.......and a pity I didn't ever get the chance to see the whole band - just Ray - but that certainly wasn't a disappointment by any means."
"I've promised (or should that be threatened?) on several occasions to pick some organ based groovers but the problem with that is I love so many of the ones in my vinyl collection that narrowing it down was a real problem. So, I've just gone with three of around half a dozen that sprang to mind... and a pretty 'jazzy' trio they are too!!!
All three feature that Hammond B3/Lesley sound that became a dominant feature in the mid sixties thanks to Jimmys Smith and McGriff and Jack McDuff's pioneering work in the fifties. Early converts here in the UK were Georgie Fame, Graham Bond and Brian Auger, quickly followed by Ian McLagan, Keith Emerson and Vincent Crane to name just three. Only one of those made the cut, although it's possible I could probably do a whole article about the B3er's at some time. So, first up, one of the best white soul vocalists, a guitar player par excellence and no mean 'organ grinder' either........As usual, stay safe............. and keep the music flowing."
Giving To You by Traffic (beeside to 'Paper Sun' 7" single, released 19th May 1967. Island Records) - "The top side was written by Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi whilst their respective groups (Spencer Davis Group and Deep Feeling) were on a package tour together. Capaldi woke at 3.30am in his Newcastle boarding house bedroom with a tune and some of the lyrics running through his head. Unable to finish the song he went to Steve's room where there was an old upright piano and, together, they finished the song. Winwood was already frustrated with the SDG's lack of real progress, witness the 'Autumn 66' albums inclusion of several r&b, soul and jazz standards, and had been looking for a new outlet. He and Capaldi decided to form a new group and poached Chris Wood from Deep Feeling along with former Helion, and current SDG roadie Dave Mason to complete the line up. The top side, featuring the 'de rigour' sitar as lead instrument, was a number 5 charter here ( number 4 in Canada and a lowly 70 in the US) and may well have fared even better if the vocally similar 'A Whiter Shade of Pale' had been released at a slightly different time. Tucked away on the beeside is this great jazzy instrumental, with just the shortest vocal intro by Steve, which the band would re-record at two different sessions but would never quite match the brevity of the original version presented here. Steve had peppered the SDG recordings with organ instrumentals (check out 'On the Green Light' for a real cracker) but, over the years, he would drift away from his excellent guitar work to concentrate more on the Hammond without, unfortunately, bettering his mid to late sixties cannon."
Forbidden Fruit. Part One by Graham Bond with Magick (Taken from 'We put our Magick on you' album, released Oct 1971. UK Vertigo label, this from US Mercury issue) - Where to start with Bond? A story which deserves to be made into a film surely? Briefly (well, almost), an orphan born in Essex, Bond became interested in music at school and, by his early twenties, he was playing saxophone in the Goudie Charles Quintet and, later, the Don Rendell Quintet before becoming an early member of the legendary Alexis Korner Blues Incorporated. Poaching Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker from that band, Bond moved from piano to Hammond (and sax, sometimes at the same time!) and initially added Donny's finest guitarist John McLaughlin before replacing him with Dick Heckstall-Smith for the famed 'Organisation' mid sixties line up. That band's prodigious drug use and huge ego clashes saw it split several times before Bond formed Initiation and then Magick as his own drug use brought about an interest in the occult and, unfortunately, deepening mental problems. There were sessions in the US for Dr John and Harvey Mandel before his return to the UK in 1970 saw him record two albums with Magick, before further splits, line ups and 'guest' appearances for former band members became the norm. His life ended tragically on 8th May 1974 (just 24 hours after telling the NME he was 'clean' and happy) under a tube train at Finsbury Park following further bouts of mental instability, 'Forbidden Fruit' is, perhaps, the best track on the patchy 'We put....' album and features probably Bonds strongest vocals (yeah, I know their supposed to be instrumentals!!) along with some excellent sax soloing too. Just a pity there ain't a 'mega-remix' of Parts 1 and 2 out there as the two parts open and close the album........ and be sure to check out the 'magic' sleeve on the video."
Soul Roach by Merl Saunders and Friends (taken from 'Fire Up' album released 1st May 1973, Fantasy label, textured sleeve) - "Merl's friends on this album include Tom Fogerty on rhythm guitar, Jerry Garcia (lead guitar) and Bill Kreutzmann (drums) from the Grateful Dead. This is a really good album, especially if you like your music 'funky' in a 70's style (something which doesn't occupy a large percentage in my collection I must admit). However, seeing the album offered for around a pound, coupled with Garcia's name on the cover aroused a modicum of interest, which was rewarded as soon as the needle dropped on to the opening track, a rather splendid version (and perhaps the best I've heard) of JJ Cales 'After Midnight'! My selection for this week ('Soul Roach') was first issued as a single by the Merl Saunders Trio and Orchestra in 1965 but here, after a big band style intro, Saunders and Garcia treat us to a super slinky outing which over the years they have revisited, sometimes stretching the tune out to over 20 minutes! The whole album is a delight and if you get a chance, check out the album's closing track, Doc Pomus's much covered composition, 'Lonely Avenue', first recorded in 1956 by Ray Charles..... a real treat."
"Hi Guys, For a reason obvious to all… Just one selection this week!
The title track from what is possibly my all time favourite album ever! (And all the rest too!)
Tim & Jackie you will be missed greatly." (Thanks Piers, we'll miss you all as well. Tim.)
"Yay! The tedium is broken! Honestly, I never thought getting the lawnmower and scarifier out could be so exciting!
Lots of excellent selections again last week, and so a few comments if I may:
1. Thanks to Jayne for reminding me that a new Welch and Rawlings album is imminent. It's on my radar along with new ones by Israel Nash and Valerie June.
2. Alan: I will never be able to listen to Joe Cocker again without cracking up.
3. Tony: Your comments on George Benson reminded me that his career path paralleled that of a musician of a previous generation- ie. from much respected jazz man to much loved pop singer... so I'll start with him, and a song that we all know.
Best wishes to everybody, and I hope your move goes smoothly Tim." (Thanks Philip. Tim.)
(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66 by The Nat King Cole Trio - "Another person featured in Nick Tosches' "Unsung Heroes" book, which is not to be confused with the illiterately titled "Unknown Legends of Rock'n'Roll" by some hack who didn't appreciate that you can't be a legend if you're unknown."
The Ballad of Cat Ballou performed by Nat king Cole - "Here he is again, with Stubby Kaye singing the title song of a 1965 movie. Rather amazingly, the American Film Institution in 2008 in its' celebration of "100 years of Cinema" named "Cat Ballou" as one of the top 10 Westerns of all time. Come on AFI! Entertaining and amusing it may be, but one of the best Westerns ever? I hardly think so. It's not one of the best Comedies either, but if they'd said one of the best Comedy Westerns they might have had a leg to stand on."
Butterfly by Barry Gibb with Gillian Welch and David Rawlings - "This is the final track on Bazza's recent Nashville-made album, and I think it's the best. It is an early Gibb brothers song, and the harmonies work beautifully here. It is a fine album over-all, but some numbers don't quite work (eg. "Jive Talking" with Miranda Lambert and Jay Buchanan)."
"Best wishes to RPM collaborators. I trust you all are well and starting to spring forwards…My three this week are…"
"Hiya......Last week's selections were ace as ever. Folk on Foot is great & one of Tim's recommendations led me to listening to a Duncan Chisholm gig from Tobermory Arts Centre, Isle of Mull, in October 2020.
(Link here for later, Tim) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nnrvnn0inqg
Fab to read people's tributes to Tim and Jackie too. All the very best to the Chipping massive, here's some farewell-ish tracks.....(Thanks Nina, Tim)
Take care everyone & keep on keeping on. Cheers!"
Bon Voyage by Sparks - "A song about animals that didn't make it onto the ark; some of the lyrics are apt for departure."
Do You Realise by the Flaming Lips - "Ahh dreamy, wacky Wayne. Animal costumes as a funkier alternative to face masks...."
"This week, on the cusp of moving house, I’m remembering some of the personal highlights of promoting live music in Elsing, my rural Norfolk village home for the past 30 years. Having started to use the local village hall to stage live gigs for (my band) LongShoreDrift (https://sites.google.com/site/longshoredriftmusic/) around 13 years ago, it seemed a natural progression to "grow" the idea and book some other acts from the folk and acoustic music scene…..it meant I wouldn’t have to drive 15 miles to Norwich for a start……or further into Suffolk or even Cambridgeshire..........”
Smoke of Home by Megson – “I bought Megson’s Smoke of Home CD from John’s shop, Sounds Music. I can’t remember why I made the purchase….possibly a review in Folk Roots magazine…..but it was such a breath of acoustic music fresh air. It stayed in the CD player for months. I emailed Stu and Debbie and a deal was struck for them to come and perform in Elsing on Saturday 20th April 2013. Posters were stuck up, news paper listings submitted, emails fired off to as many people as we could think of and John also sold tickets through his shop. Come the night, all 80 tickets were sold and we had a full house…..which was brilliant! It was so heart-warming to see our little ol’ village hall resounding to Megson’s music and to see the audience enjoying the experience of live music up close in the heart of the rural Norfolk countryside. Stu and Debs played this number near the end of the evening and it's my favourite song of theirs.”
Squirrel Heads And Gravy performed by the Corn Potato String Band – “My friend Jonothan (ex Elsing-er) told us about this American old timey band who were playing a gig up on the North Norfolk Coast. He, Jackie and myself piled up there and had a great night of frenetic fiddle and banjo music by the appropriately old-timey-titled Corn Potato String Band, an ensemble we all thought would go down a storm at Elsing. In 2015, they returned to the UK to play more gigs, one of which was a night at Elsing village hall as part of my 4 x Folk (Four By Folk) month of September Saturday night folk music concerts. The 12th September had the hall filled again with an expectant audience and, after introducing the band, I retreated to the back of the hall to enjoy the show. They ripped through their first set of tunes, at the end of which, there was complete silence for about 5 seconds as the brains of the audience seemingly tried to assimilate the sheer mastery and fire of the performance, before, as they say, the "crowd went wild", applause and shouts breaking the spell. It’s a stand-out moment I will always remember. It's a strange coincidence that Piers pre-empted my choice with his Corn Potato String Band tune last week.”
Clear The Way by John Doyle – “The answer to how I decided who I would book to play at Elsing is simple; they were musicians I loved listening to. John Doyle is a good example of this. As recounted previously (in Week 10 of the Isolation Room), the first time I’d gone to see John (and Liz Carroll) I had travelled 360 miles to Peebles in the Scottish borders, so when he started playing solo gigs the obvious thing to do was find out who his UK agent was and book him……which is exactly what I did. The trip to the gig this time was 2 minutes down the road! His first visit to perform at Elsing was on Saturday 24th May 2014……..and what a very nice chap he proved to be. He gave a superb performance mixing songs and instrumental tunes and, as the audience was leaving, a guitarist acquaintance commented, “I can’t believe I’ve just watched John Doyle in your village hall”…….yep, it was brilliant, wasn’t it? We also fed and watered John after the show and put him up for the night……he was particularly impressed with Jackie’s home-made chutney which he said was just like his Granny’s, managing to polish off half a jar with his Tagine. Clear the Way is one of John’s strong Irish / American themed songs and shows what a superb accompanist he is.”
Bonus – The Coolaney Set performed by John Doyle - “Here’s a little bonus to show John’s instrumental side…….”
"See you all next time....broadcasting from The North.......
.......hope to see you further on up the road, so leaving you with this one......"