Monday, July 16, 2018

Whaddya mean you don't know The Montereys

Drummer Ben Clark is the rhythmic force behind The Montereys heavy-funk classic Get Down for NGC.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Exploring the hidden world of 70s Croatian jazz funk

The previously unknown recordings of Davor Rocco's Spektar Combo & Grupa Hej were uncovered by Black Pearl.

Nat Birchall salutes John Coltrane with new Jazzman single

Check out the Nat Birchall Quintet's update of Billy Gault's Mode For Trane off their new single with art by Emma Davis

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Pearl Charles, Blind Matty, Fascinator @ The Rec Room, Saturday

Check out the hilarious Pearl Charles interview with Noah Rubin following her performance of Behind Closed Doors. 

B-Side Wins Again: Mohjah

The synth-enhanced flipside of Mohjah's Jovert (Breakaway) single from 1984 is the soca/disco fiya. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Mel Davis gem "Just Another Smile" gets 45 reissue

Colemine's archival subsidiary Remind recently recirculated the tough-to-find San Fran stormer on Golden State. 

One For The Weekend: Joe Chambers

The spiritual jazz gem "Medina" is off the Joe Chambers-led album "The Almoravid" on Muse from 1974. 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Tony Joe White's raw new Bad Mouthin' album due September 28th

Check out the swampy-sweet title track off Tony Joe White's forthcoming Bad Mouthin' album below.

Tony Joe White’s music is as primal as a lizard’s backbone. It echoes from the magnolia groves and bayous of his Louisiana childhood, and looms into the present every time he unleashes the molasses and tanned-leather combination of his guitar and voice. The legendary songwriter’s new blues-based album, Bad Mouthin’, which arrives September 28, comes straight from the swamps with its blend of classics and five White originals, including two of the first songs he wrote—just before penning his breakthrough hits “Polk Salad Annie” and “A Rainy Night in Georgia” in 1967.

“When and where I grew up, blues was just about the only music I heard and truly loved,” says White, who’s 75 and, if anything, an even more visceral performer than in his youth. “I’ve always thought of myself as a blues musician, bottom line, because the blues is real, and I like to keep everything I do as real as it gets. So, I thought it was time to make a blues record that sounds the way I always loved the music.”

And that’s down-to-the-bone raw. Over the course of Bad Mouthin’ s 12 songs, White conjures a world of meaning that transcends the lyrics of classics like Jimmy Reed’s “Big Boss Man,” Lightnin’ Hopkins’ “Awful Dreams,” and Charley Patton’s “Down the Dirt Road Blues,” using his deep river of a voice and the dark, spartan tones of his guitar to evoke the mystical South—a place where ghosts roam among abandoned pecan groves covered in Spanish moss and, indeed, the Devil might be encountered at a moonlit crossroads.

That White—who has penned hits and cuts for a compendium of fellow legends from Elvis Presley (“Poke Salad Annie”) to Brook Benton (“A Rainy Night in Georgia”) to Dusty Springfield (“Willie and Laura Mae Jones”) to Eric Clapton (“Did Somebody Make a Fool Out of You”) to Tina Tuner (“Steamy Windows”) to Willie Nelson (“Problem Child”) to Kenny Chesney (also “Steamy Windows”) to Robert Cray (who recorded White’s “Don’t Steal My Love” and “Aspen, Colorado” just last year)—would now craft a blues album after more than 50 years establishing himself as a heroic figure spanning the rock, country, R&B, and Americana genres is an incredible testament to his versatility as well as to his roots.

Pre-order Bad Mouthin' on white vinyl right here.
Mostly, Bad Mouthin’ features White accompanied solely by his road-worn 1965 Fender Stratocaster, the guitar he’s favored for his entire career. That’s all he needs to conjure the same kind of simmering emotional magic that John Lee Hooker distilled into his historic solo recordings—just one man and one guitar essentially defining what it means to be human in a story as simple and yet as profound as a Zen koan.

Five of Bad Mouthin’s stories, “Stockholm Blues,” “Rich Woman Blues,” “Cool Town Woman,” “Sundown Blues” and the title track, are plucked from his own past. When he sings “Bad Mouthin’,” about an abusive lover, White’s voice rings with the weariness of a man pushed to his limits. And in “Sundown Blues,” his spare lyrics capture the essence of a lonely heart over a slow smoky shuffle reminiscent of Hooker’s famed lowdown boogie beat.

On both of those tunes—which are early, rediscovered compositions that White first recorded for a local label in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1966—and two others, drummer Bryan Owings backs White. Owings is White’s frequent accompanist on tour, in the two-man band format that White enjoys. Owings has also performed and recorded with Emmylou Harris, Justin Townes Earle, Wanda Jackson, and many others. The duo are joined by bassist Steve Forrest on two numbers. And the album was produced by Jody White and engineered by Ryan McFadden.

Their recording strategy was unconventional. White moved a hodgepodge of gear from his home to his barn, where two former horse stalls became their studio. “The cement-floor saddle room with unfinished wood paneling had a window unit air conditioning box that had to be turned off for recording,” says McFadden. “The next stall over had a dirt floor covered with glued composite board. Tony cancelled the first session, saying he couldn’t sing in there because of the chemical smell of the glue. When I went back, Tony had filled the stalls with bowls of coffee grounds, cups of rice, dryer sheets, and decorative brooms made of bound twigs that were drenched in a cinnamon scent, sold at grocery stores around Halloween.” After that, each song was cut live in one or two takes. The approach perfectly captured the laidback open sound and sliding chords with thumb-plucked low-string lines that defines White’s blues-drenched guitar style. Since White plays good and loud, they put his 1951 Fender Deluxe amplifier in the back of his Land Rover, so its bawling tones wouldn’t interfere with the vocals and percussion tracks.

White, who was born in 1943 as the youngest of seven children on a cotton farm about 20 miles from the nearest town, Oak Grove, Louisiana, says the foundation of his music “comes from hearing blues singers play guitar with maybe just a harmonica or stomping their feet for accompaniment.” Adding a drummer, he cut his teeth playing school dances and then moved on to nightclubs along the Texas and Louisiana “crawfish circuit” of rough and tumble watering holes. And then the hits started happening, with “Polk Salad Annie” reaching number eight on the pop charts in 1968. Two years later, Brook Benton’s recording of “A Rainy Night in Georgia” topped the soul charts, and it’s been a wild ride since: decades of touring and recording marked by hit songs and collaborations with the likes of Eric Clapton, Jerry Lee Lewis and Mark Knopfler.

“If there’s anything like a line connecting everything that I’ve done, I would say it’s realness,” says White. “Even my songs that are sweet little love ballads—those are all real, inspired by real love and real life. Being real, being focused on what’s really going on around you, is something I learned early in my life.”

He pauses and laughs. “When you’re a little kid growing up down in the swamps, and you step on a cottonmouth … that’s real.”

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

UK-based jazz mag Straight No Chaser issue #99 due July 16

Here's the scoop from Straight No Chaser HQ...
It was in the summer of 1988, three decades ago, that Straight No Chaser – the magazine of World Jazz Jive was launched. Back then, the venture was a “designer fanzine” and in many respects that definition still holds true. The magazine evolved as a hub for a global community of music devotees committed to exploring diverse cultures of the African diaspora. From Sun Ra to Jeff Mills, Straight No Chaser explored ‘Intergalactic Sounds: Ancient To Future’ but in 2007, with the arrival of the internet, we were forced to call it a day.

However, 10 years down the line, a fresh, bold jazz influenced, nu-generation have emerged and it felt right to pick up where we left off with #SNC98. Over 130+ pages, this issue – #SNC99 (out July 16th) – connects with band-leaders Cassie Kinoshi (SEED Ensemble), Tenderlonious (22a), Femi Koleoso (Ezra Collective) and keys whiz Joe Armon-Jones.

Also in the mix are a host of spirited individuals like Nat Birchall (left), Midori Takada, Nabihah Iqbal, and Ben LeMar Gay. The London-Lagos-Accra connection is explored alongside Durban’s Qgom scene. On the indie label tip there’s Gondwana, Jazz re:freshed, Detroit Love and On the Corner.

For the crate diggers there’s Motown’s Black Forum + nuff reviews. #SNC98 sold out in under three weeks and though we’ve printed more mags there’s no room for complacency when it comes to getting your copy. You can pre-order Straight No Chaser #99 right now, right here.

Whaddya mean you don't know Shina Williams

Nigerian bandleader Shina Williams just had his sought-after 1984 album African Dances reissued by Mr. Bongo. 

Montreal's NOBRO join Darlene Shrugg & Biblical @ Lee's Palace, July 27

Listen to "The Kids Are Back" off NOBRO's forthcoming Sick Hustle album.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

M. Ward, Nellie McKay @ The Mod Club, Wednesday

Watch M. Ward tour Hollywood in Elvis Presley's Rolls Royce and a trailer for Eugene Jarecki's new film "The King."

Listen to Ty Segall & White Fence's new single Body Behaviour

"Body Behaviour" is off Ty Segall & White Fence's forthcoming Joy album out July 20th – check it out below. 

Alternative French footy anthems: Ann Sorel

 Here's a sweet soundtrack for today's much-anticipated World Cup semi-finals match between France and Belgium.

Donnie Fritts records tribute to pal Arthur Alexander

Donnie Fritts has called his salute to fellow Florence, Alabama legend "June" which was Arthur Alexander's nickname – short for Junior.

Donnie Fritts writes...
"I'm proud to announce my new record. It's called June, and it's a tribute to my friend, the late, great Muscle Shoals R&B legend, Arthur Alexander.

"Over four evenings in 2017, me and my friends John Paul White, David Hood, Ben Tanner & Reed Watson gathered at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio to lay down basic tracks and bring this vision to life – a tribute to my friend and my hero.

"These ten tracks are mostly Arthur's songs, some we co-wrote, and they chronicle our relationship and songwriting partnership. June opens with the title track, a song I wrote shortly after Arthur's death in 1993. It was such an honor to do this album, and I hope it means as much to you as it does to me and my family.

"June will be released locally on July 27 (with an album release show in Florence, Alabama at 116 E Mobile) and worldwide on August 31. The first single, our version of the 1962 hit "You Better Move On", is available right now on streaming services. If you preorder a copy of the album, I'll sign it for you. Just click right here." It's also available as a download right here.

Check out Donnie's own version of "Rainbow Road" (off 1974's Prone To Lean album) which Arthur Alexander turned into his signature tune.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Happy Birthday Frank Wright

Remembering free-blowing tenor titan Frank Wright on his day with an overlooked swinger from 1982.

Courtney Barnett @ Danforth Music Hall, Tuesday

Here's Courtney's recent appearance on the German TV program Aspekte. 

B-Side Wins Again: DOOMSTARKS

Check out Madlib's remix of the MF Doom & Ghostface Killah collabo "Victory Laps" on Nature Sounds. 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Omnivore issues rare Gene Clark recordings from 1967

The Gene Clark demos collection "Sings For You" is out now. Read all about it. 

Here's the scoop from Omnivore...
Gene Clark’s musical legacy is most certainly assured as a singer, songwriter and member of some exclusive company as an inductee to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a founder of The Byrds, and collaborator in groups such as Dillard & Clark, Gene Clark and the Gosdin Brothers, McGuinn Clark & Hillman and later as the duet partner of Carla Olson (The Textones).

His songs have been covered by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Iain Matthews, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, The Rose Garden, and Chris & Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes among many others. As well documented as Clark’s career has been, there have been remarkable discoveries over the years (see Omnivore’s Here Tonight: The White Light Demos for example), but now the Holy Grail of Clark’s post-Byrds career is finally about to see the light of day:

 “For longtime Gene Clark fans and aficionados, the tracks on this remarkable archival CD are the stuff of legend. Since word first spread in the 1980s about the discovery of these 1967 recordings on a rare acetate in Liberty Records’ vaults, fans have come to regard Gene Clark Sings For You as nothing less than the Holy Grail of the singer/songwriter’s extraordinary body of work. Shrouded in mystery and the subject of much speculation and conjecture, few have ever had the opportunity to hear these forgotten gems from one of Gene Clark’s most prolifically creative periods. Until now.”   John Einarson author of Mr. Tambourine Man: The Life And Legacy Of The Byrds’ Gene Clark

In addition to the 8 tracks from the Gene Clark Sings For You acetate, recorded in 1967 after he famously left The Byrds, there are an additional 5 previously unknown tracks from a further 1967 acetate given to the band, The Rose Garden, for recording consideration. This new compilation also includes a previously unissued demo rescued from a tape in the collection of John Noreen, member of The Rose Garden. This demo of the song “Till Today” is Clark running through the song for the band who would cut it on their only album, the 1968 self-titled effort on Atco Records (also being reissued and expanded at the same time as Gene Clark Sings For You).

Released with the full approval and cooperation with both the Estate of Gene Clark and the band, The Rose Garden, Gene Clark Sings For You is produced for release by Grammy®-winner, Cheryl Pawelski with restoration and mastering by Grammy-winner, Michael Graves. Liner notes by John Einarson, author of Mr. Tambourine Man: The Life And Legacy Of The Byrds’ Gene Clark (Backbeat Books) and previously unseen photos. Check out the tracks "Big City Girl" and "Doctor Doctor" below.

7:30 MODE

Femi Kuti & Positive Force @ The Opera House, Wednesday

Check out Femi Kuti's recent performance on Later... with Jools Holland and the Felabration Festival 2017.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Catl @ Toronto Island Marina's Upper Deck, tonight

Your last chance to catch the whumpin' Catl in Toronto this summer will be this evening at the Upper Deck... and it's free!    Photo: Walter Sobczak

Friday, July 6, 2018

Cody Dickinson's Hill Country Revue release HCR III

Preview "Gave Me The Blues" and "We Don't Stop" from HCR III below while you can. 

One For The Weekend: The Mad Plaids

Check the Mad Plaids' instro ripper "Blood Rare" on Golden Crest. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Chills preview forthcoming Snow Bound album with two new songs

Listen to "Complex" and "Lord Of All I Survey" off The Chills' Snow Bound album out September 14 on Fire.

Happy Birthday Shirley Collins!

Cheers to the amazing Shirley Collins who's still going strong at 83! 

B-Side Wins Again: Orchestre Abass

For some reason, Togo's Orchestre Abass hid the party rockin' Haka Dunia on the flip of Operation Bye Bye in 1972. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy 75th Birthday Fred Wesley!

Cheers to composer/arranger and trombone great Fred Wesley on his day. 

Listen to Mary Margaret O'Hara at London's Dominion Theatre in 1989

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Bombino @ Lee's Palace, July 3

Here's Bombino performing Adounia Idagh (This Life) off his new album Deran. 

Iggy Pop reveals another side with Underworld

"I'll See Big" is off the new Underworld & Iggy Pop collabo Teatime Dub Encounters. 

Monday, July 2, 2018

Happy Birthday Ahmad Jamal

Celebrating the 88th birthday of jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal with two stellar performances overseen by Richard Evans.

R.I.P. Roy Carr, 1945-2018

Sadly, UK music journalist and historian Roy Carr who helped compile many great NME tapes passed away July 1. 

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Happy Canada Day!

Celebrating Canada Day with Jenny Rock singing Walking The Dog en Français!

Whaddya mean you don't know Sonny Boy Holmes

Sonny Boy Holmes cut 4 sides for John Dolphin that were issued as two 78s in 1952 and then vanished. 

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Happy Birthday Andrew Hill

Remembering pianist/composer Andrew Hill on his day with a couple of gems which Blue Note initially shelved.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Happy Birthday Vivien Goldman!

Cheers to musician, journalist and educator Vivien Goldman on her day – here are a few clips worth checking. 

Watch Kamasi Washington's video for Street Fighter Mas

Kamasi Washington's new album Heaven and Earth is out now as a 4 LP set with a bonus 5th LP containing an extra 35+ minutes of music.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Happy Birthday Lloyd Maines!

Celebrating the birthday of Lubbock legend Lloyd Maines with a 1980 clip performing Fingernails with Joe Ely. 

Fishin' musician Chris Coole combines obsessions for The Road To The River

Lonesome Ace Stringband picker deluxe Chris Coole has recorded some tunes about fishing for a good cause.

Here's Chris Coole's statement about his new project
"I wanted to let you know about a new project that is very special to me. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a bit of a nut for fishing. It's something I've done my whole life, and there's always been a connection between music and fishing to me. Over the years, on several different albums, I've recorded music that has in one way or another been inspired by fishing and the places I fish. I've always wanted to put them all together in one place, and add some newer ones that I hadn't had the chance to record...the result is Road to the River - A Collection of 14 Tunes and Songs Inspired by the Fishing Passion.

"The album features 9 previously recorded tracks, and 5 brand new ones, and is a benefit for the Elk River Alliance (ERA). Based in Fernie BC, the ERA is a community-based water group that aims to connect people to the Elk River ensuring it is drinkable, fishable and swimmable for future generations. 100% of the profits from this album will go directly to the ERA. Fernie has become a home away from home for me when I'm on the road and there's nothing I like more than fishing in the Elk River and its tributaries. I know some of the folks who work with the ERA and I respect their dedication and inclusive approach to protecting the water in a way that serves the whole community (not just, but including, fisherpeople).

"You can read more about the project, hear the album, and hopefully order a copy (or download) off the website: This is the only place to get it, and once again, all the money from your order goes directly to the ERA. If you know have any friends that you think might be interested in supporting this project, please forward this email along.

"I think this collection is some of my best work. I'm joined by some amazing musicians such as Andrew Collins, Ben Winship, John Showman, Chris Quinn, Erynn Marshall, Arnie Naiman, Brian Wicklund, Max Heineman, Burke Carrol, Brian Kobayakawa, and Andrew Downing, just to name a few. I hope you'll take the time to check it out!" – Chris Coole

For more information about Chris Coole and his upcoming gigs, go to Check out "Deer River" below, of which Chris says "The Deer River (as it is locally known) flows into Belmont Lake, and is where I like to be in May when the pickerel (walleye) season begins."

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Happy Birthday Jeffrey Lee Pierce

Remembering the late great Jeffrey Lee Pierce on his day with a memorable performance at The Haçienda in 1983. 

Langhorne Slim, Jeremie Albino @ The Velvet Underground, Wednesday

Langhorne Slim will be playing songs from Lost At Last, Vol. 1 tonight. Watch a couple of recent performances below.

Jeremie Albino