Hullo. June is bursting out all over, and so is your weekly slab of hand picked music of distinction. Once again, we have something for everyone, be it jazz fusion, acoustic introspection or continental psych-soul played on an item from the garden shed.
We had another good week last time with a healthy readership, no doubt helped by an increase in the amount of shares on soshul-meeja. Thanks to Paul Garner, Chris Wallace, Shaun Dowd and Elly Rooney for their support in spreading the love. You’ll all go to the expected place of afterlife in line with your beliefs.
PPOTW is quite lovely this week. An artist I’ve seen a number of times who has never not left me rapt. Thanks again to my very good friend, bandmate and understudy to John Barrowman.
Ok, let’s get fresh for the weekend…
Track 1. Take Yo’ Praise by Camille Yarbrough.
We begin with a tune everyone should be familiar with, but probably not in this, it’s original incarnation. When Norman Cook lifted the opening lines from this 1975 album track, he left behind the core funkiness of a wonderful piece of music. That’s not to the DJ’s detriment, I probably wouldn’t have been aware of the song had he not utilised his exemplary crate digging skills, but this is a beauty of a slow groove that needs to be just as famous as it’s benefactor. I’m all about that bass.
Track 2. La Voix Psyschedelique by Emmanuel Brun.
We stay in 1975 next and further proof that music wasn’t in the stasis that punk revisionists would have you believe. The musical saw isn’t the most celebrated of instruments, in fact it can be a bit of an annoyance in abundance, but former French fencing, judo, dumbbells and shooting champion Brun coaxes some wonderful, esoteric sounds from the cutting tool. Backed by a funky rhythm section and psych guitar, i’d be very surprised if fellow Gallic musicians, Air didn’t own a copy of this obscure LP.
Track 3. Baby, You’re My Everything by Little Jerry Williams.
Before he became cult R&B writer and producer Swamp Dogg, Jerry Williams was a fifties and sixties soul singer who had the tone of Jackie Wilson. That influence is none more evident than on this, his 1966 single which performed quite modestly in the U.S charts and was his first taste of success.
Track 4. Straight Shooter by The Mamas & The Papas.
This is the second track from their 1966 debut album and has a guitar riff that has Monkees written all over it. I reckon Dolenz would have made a cracking job of the vocal had Phillips offered it to the prefab four.
Track 5. Easy Ride by Relatively Clean Rivers.
After our brief time slip to ’66, we’re back in ’75, although this could have easily been recorded in the late sixties, such is the easy going country rock vibe. The stellar guitar work and languid vocal atmosphere conjure up images of a hazy, dry early evening in California.
Track 6. Not Any Longer by The Lijadu Sisters.
Afrobeat disco anyone? Taiwo and Kehinde Lijadu are identical twin sisters from Nigeria who adored Aretha Franklin and modeled themselves on The Pointer Sisters. They achieved modest success worldwide but were huge stars in their homeland in the seventies, releasing three albums before eventually retiring from the music business in the late eighties. They made a brief comeback a couple of years ago at a tribute concert for reclusive Nigerian genius, William Onyeabor.
Track 7. Soul Alphabet by Colleen.
French multi-instrumentalist and composer Cécile Schott is Colleen. This comes from her debut LP from last year, a collection of built up loops and beats which could easily be written off as another of those kids with tech acts, but as the title suggests, there’s soul here. The use of esoteric instruments such as the viola da gamba sets her apart from the pack.
Track 8. So I Can See The Stars… by Peter Vogelaar.
Something brand new next from Irish producer and bassist Pete Vogelaar. This slice of folktronica comes from his concept album, ‘The Science Of Summer’ released just last week.
Track 9. Love Has Left The Room by A Camp.
Our cover star, Nina Persson has featured in NL before with her band The Cardigans. Here we have her solo side project which, while not as well known, is definitely worth your time due to sumptuous songs such as this. She’s never sounded better than on this track which was a single release from her second A Camp album, 2009’s ‘Colonia’. Gorgeous strings and backing vocals lift the heartbreak lyric which could easily have been a late period hit for her Swedish compatriots, ABBA.
Track 10. Please Don’t Let Me Know by Don Covay.
The b side to his 1964 forty-five ‘Take This Hurt Off Me’, the follow up to his first hit single ‘Mercy, Mercy’ which featured a young Jimi Hendrix on guitar. This is a rocking little number which makes good use of Covay’s bluesy delivery.
Track 11. There Stands The Glass by Webb Pierce.
Pierce took over from Hank Williams after he was fired by The Grand Ole Opry and quickly became the number one country star after Hank’s subsequent death. He had a fistful of number ones including this from 1953. I first heard it as a cover by Half Man Half Biscuit on an Andy Kershaw session and it quickly became a favourite. Get me drunk and give me a guitar and I’ll do you a passable version, complete with honky tonk drawl..
Track 12. Listening Man by The Bees.
Few bands conjure up slow sunny afternoons like The Bees do. It’s there in the relaxed style, it’s there in the songwriting and instrumentation it’s even there in their name. Here they are with a single from their third album, 2007’s ‘Octopus’.
Track 13. I Made You/You Made Me by Owiny Sigoma Band.
A Kenyan/British fusion project who released their third LP last year, Owiny Sigoma have married African pop with electronica and their children make joyful noises such as this.
Track 14. Prelude, pt 2 by Miles Davis.
I was tempted to include Prelude, pt 1 in this weeks playlist, but as it runs to almost half an hour, I’ve gone for it’s little brother which clocks in at just under seven minutes. There’s precious little Miles on this save for the last minute or so, the track is dominated by the exemplary guitar work of Pete Cosey. I’ve posted the link to pt 1 below as pt2 is unavailable on ze net. Go on, you can handle it.
Track 15. With The Ink Of A Ghost by José Gonzalez.
****PAULO’S PICK OF THE WEEK ****
As I mentioned up the top there, I’ve seen José a few times now, and each time I’ve been gobsmacked by his performance. He’s one of those special artists that can hold a crowd in the palm of his hand with just a guitar and voice. Paul has specifically requested the below performance of this weeks PPOTW, and it illustrates perfectly why he is such a magnetic performer.
Track 16. Baby, You’re The One by Amy Allison.
I first heard this just a couple of weeks ago when They Might Be Giants’ John Linnell chose to play it on Tom Robinsons Saturday night show. What hit me is the nasal delivery of Allison, which at first I found slightly cloying but repeat listens reveals first class songwriting. From the ‘Be My Baby’ drums to that irresistible chorus, it’s fast become a new fave rave. No vid, unfortunately.
Track 17. In The Pocket by Hindal Butts.
A funky instrumental from 1967 next. Butts was a session drummer from Detroit who cut a few 45’s under his own name. This particular release is a Hammond heavy groove which is impossible to stay still to.
Track 18. Float On by Modest Mouse.
I’ve always had a soft spot for this song. When it pops up on the radio that infectious chorus stays with me for the rest of the day with it’s life affirming lyric. I don’t know much about MM, I’ve never really investigated further but I do love this.
Track 19. Me & Magdalena by The Monkees.
I’m still to hear the brand new Monkees LP which dropped last week but on the strength of this (penned by Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard) and the two other tracks I’ve heard, it’s going to be a treat. Mike takes the lead on this with some lovely harmonising from Mickey. Close to Nesmith’s solo output, it’s wistful, romantic and far better than anyone could expect from three fellers in their seventies.
Track 20. I Can’t Stand To See You Go by Joe Valentine.
Shutting up shop this week we have a 1967 b side that has shades of Otis, particularly in the use of those horns and the begging, pleading delivery of Valentine. Superb deep soul.
So, that’s another twenty gold soundz for your listening pleasure. Keep on sharing, it really boosts readership and gets these tunes the recognition I think they deserve. More music and flannel next week.
Until then, fly like an eagle.