Hullo. February is well under way now. Won’t be long until Spring bursts forth with all its new beginnings and positivity. Speaking of new beginnings, I issued a clarion call on the dedicated facebook page (link up there) to anyone who would like to submit a track and a bit of blather to the playlist. The offer still stands, if you want a piece of the action just drop me a line with your track choice and a paragraph or two and I’ll squeeze it onto a forthcoming playlist. Anything goes, so get going!
My very good friend, bandmate and designer of the logo for long forgotten supermarket chain ‘Fine Fare’ Paul D’Cruz is still very much part of our well worn furniture. This week he’s gone for a track which is accompanied a video one could describe as ‘rum’.
Ok, help me make it through the night..
Track 1. Funky Funky Way of Makin’ Love by The Soul Brothers Six.
And what better way to make it through than with this slab of seventies soul. The original Soul Brothers were just that, the five Armstrong siblings starting out as The Soul Brothers Five before John Ellison, best known for writing the song ‘Some Kind of Wonderful.’ joined prompting a name-change. By the time this 1972 single was released only Ellison remained, the original Armstrong brothers leaving after being unceremoniously dropped by Atlantic records.
Track 2. 32 Bit Chip by Prince Jammy.
Our next selection comes from a member of dub’s royal family, Lloyd James (aka Prince Jammy, aka King Jammy) who began his career as an apprentice mixer under the late great King Tubby before striking out on his own as one of the leaders of eighties dancehall. This track comes from his 1986 LP ‘Computerised Dub’, an album choc full of ruff digital rhythms.
Track 3. Easy by Son Lux.
****PAULO’S PICK OF THE WEEK****
This week, our number one selecter has gone all dark and that. This track taken from the 2013 LP ‘Lanterns’ is an ode to self destruction delivered with sufficient post rock dread but also has touches of lightness alluded to in the tracks title. As mentioned above, the video is a bit on the saucy side so heads up if you’ve any chilblains or nosey bosses peering over your shoulder.
Track 4. Opening by Bruce Langhorne.
Folk Musician Langhorne was prominent on the Greenwich village scene and worked as a session guitarist with a veritable who’s who of the famed folk revival movement. He was also the inspiration for Dylan’s classic ‘Mr Tambourine Man’, christened so as he used to play a large Turkish frame drum in performances and recordings. Langhorne also performed on the record providing the electric guitar counter melody as well as lead on ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’, ‘Outlaw Blues’, ‘Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream’ and ‘Maggie’s Farm’. This track comes from the score he provided for Peter Fonda’s 1971 western ‘The Hired Hand’ and combines sitar, fiddle, and banjo to wonderfully atmospheric effect.
Track 5. Abandoned Mansion by Dr.Dog.
I believe this is the third outing on the playlist for this weeks cover stars and it certainly won’t be the last, their nine LP’s to date are bursting with hidden treasures that deserve to be widely shared. This is the title track from the latest of those nine albums released unexpectedly in November just gone and it’s as good a place as any to start your Dr.Dog journey. I envy your exploration into a back catalogue brimming with superb autumnal, folk-influenced rock. No vid unfortunately..
Track 6. Wantin’ Ain’t Gettin’ by Esmé Patterson.
I’d like to convince you that this playlist has some kind of flow to it, that I take the time to choose tracks that seamlessly melt into one another with themes and thought. If I was trying to be clever about it I’d say that this next selection was picked out especially to compliment the previous track, a female country perspective on a common theme of love gone wrong. In reality, it’s more a case of throwing ten tunes together simply because I like how they sound, and that’s it. It’s a happy accident that this lovely song fits so well with the Dr.Dog track that preceded it. You can’t say I’m not honest.
Track 7. I Want A Break Thru by The Hykkers.
Another of our frequent visits to the soundway lable next. This is from Nigerian psychsters The Hykkers, a band who were Lagos’ answer to the fab four before civil war ripped their country apart in the late sixties. When the hostilities ceased, they returned to their homeland a changed band, politically charged and entrenched in the Afrobeat sound. This is the b-side to their 1972 single ‘Deiyo Deiyo (Akpunlunwobi)’.
Track 8. Dickie Betts by Dean Ween Group.
Michael ‘Mickey’ Melchiondo Jr., better known as Dean Ween, is half of the experimental duo Ween and this is the lead track from his side project’s debut LP released last year. An instrumental jam that owes a massive debt to The Allman Brothers, it’s tremendous fun and tailor made for driving should you want to pretend you’re Jeremy Clarkson for five minutes.
Track 9. All We Have Broken Shines by Brightblack Morning Light.
This gorgeous slice of Freak folk comes from this now defunct Alabaman duo’s sophomore LP released in 2006. The video I’ve selected is fan made and although it’s quite a simple concept, captures the essence of the song perfectly.
Track 10. Am I Blue by Dinah Washington.
We go way back for this weeks Soul slowie closer. This track was featured on Ms. Washington’s 1954 LP ‘After Hours with Miss ‘D” and is her interpretation of a song written by Harry Akst and Grant Clarke in 1929. Both Eddie Cochrane and Cher have also released versions but their takes don’t come close to the Queen of the Blues.
That’s yer lot for this week. Don’t forget that open invitation to get involved with NL. Above all else it lightens my load a little. It’s hard work coming up with new sounds and twisting my limited vocabulary every week you know. Help a brother out!
Sithee next week where no doubt I’ll have to do this whole bloody business on my own again. As usual. Cuh.
Until then, don’t leave me this way.