Billy Bragg Calls On Younger Generations To Do “Woody’s Work”

Billy Bragg delivers the keynote address at the Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City, Missouri on February 18th

Billy Bragg’s speech to the American Folk Alliance, February 18th;

Written By Lynne Margolis February 20, 2017

Few artists epitomize the folk-music tradition like Great Britain’s Billy Bragg. A passionate, well-informed, unflinching crusader for human rights, he has turned into one of the world’s leading voices speaking out against injustice on every front. He’s also a fine singer-songwriter, witty storyteller and engaging speaker; whether his forum is a concert stage, a political rally, a gathering of union representatives or a conference of fellow folkies, he never fails to inspire.

Bragg’s appreciation for folk icon Woody Guthrie led Guthrie’s daughter Nora task him with turning her father’s unpublished words into songs, thereby allowing them to fulfill their potential and carry on the folk tradition of building on what came before. He enlisted Wilco to help; together, they made the Grammy-winning ‘Mermaid Avenue album and started a trend of artists crafting songs from Woody’s and others’ words. (Even Bob Dylan has done it, via ‘Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes’.)

As tirelessly as Bragg works to uphold the folk traditions embodied by Guthrie, he continues to explore and expand on other musical traditions (as well writing beautifully crafted love songs on occasion). Inspired by Lead Belly’s “Rock Island Line,” Bragg and fellow singer-songwriter Joe Henry recorded a collection of songs in rail stations across America and released them as 2016’s ‘Shine A Light: Field Recordings from the Great American Railroad’. He sang some of those songs — and discussed the unromantic state of America’s railroad system — during a performance at Sunday afternoon’s open-to-the-public Kansas City Folk Festival, held at Kansas City’s Westin Crown Center as part of the 29th Annual Folk Alliance International Conference.

But on Saturday, Bragg addressed conference-goers, including Nora Guthrie, as the five-day gathering’s keynote speaker, joking about the hotel restaurant naming a burger for him before delivering a masterful, no-holds-barred oratory that left his audience cheering. And vowing to fight the power with their own words and music.

 Here’s the text of his Febuary 18th, 2017 speech.

“I’d like to thank the Folk Alliance International for inviting me here, as this year’s named beefburger honoree. I realized this close to Kansas, being named after something with beef in it is as good as a knighthood back home. I ate one yesterday, and I don’t think I’ll need to eat anything for the rest of the week. Which is great.

It’s great to be back in Kansas City. The last time I was here was such a long time ago, that I was opening for A Flock of Seagulls. [Laughter.] And everybody in this room had dark hair, and it was slicked up. But those times have changed.

It’s very timely that the Folk Alliance should call upon the issue of Forbidden Folk to be this year’ theme. Not just in your country, but in my country, also, with the Brexit referendum. Right across Europe, in the coming months, far-right anti-immigrant parties will be attempting to wrestle their way into liberal democracy. And it’s a powerful thing.

We were at Glastonbury festival — which is kind of like this but with mud, and less beefburgers — and it was shocking. I mean, not only just for someone — I had run a stage called the Left Field, and I had some young political songwriters there, and we literally woke up that morning and we’d left the European Union and the prime minister had resigned. And I mean, these are kids who’ve, as songwriters, had never been though a transition of a prime minister.

He’d been prime minister since 2010. I mean one of them … was in tears. He had six songs that mentioned David Cameron by name. [Laughter.] I told him not to worry because Boris Johnson also worked fine, and he’ll probably be prime minister by the end of weekend.

It didn’t happen.

Life comes at us fast. Really fast. Who knows what 45 is gonna say this afternoon down in Florida? Jesus Christ. Get your pens at the ready.

But I [rumbled] off to find myself a cup of coffee at Glastonbury, back through the markets there. They’re my favorite coffee stand, and there were some guys there, must have been in their late 20s, and they were — like the rest of us — in shock. And they said to me, “What we gonna do, Bill?” And I said “We?” because this is something that’s not gonna happen to me. It’s not gonna be my possibility to go to Europe that’s disappearing, my opportunity to work in Europe, my future that’s being rolled over here. It’s the younger generation. It’s their future. They’re gonna be the first generation, in my country, to grow up poorer than their parents.

It’s been a few difficult years that we’ve all lived through. But I think the time has come to hear from that generation, and that’s why I’m here today. I’m here to kick ass and take names. Fortunately, most of you are wearing your names on the front of your shirts, mates, so don’t give me no lip, all right? [Laughter.]

But I want to say something straight out the back. In my experience, music cannot change the world. The only people — in the wonderful exchange of ideas that we engage in as artists, the only people with the power to change the world are the audience. Not us.

Let’s not take it upon ourselves and feel failures if we haven’t brought down capitalism by the end of the weekend. It doesn’t work like that. But we know, having said that — having said that, we know that music has an incredible power, because we have ourselves been moved by it. But it’s intangible.

I don’t know if any of you are familiar with the concept of intangible cultural heritage. Has this made any connections here in the United States of America? It’s a UNESCO program where they talk about things that aren’t made of brick and stuff like that. I’ll give you, briefly, the UNESCO definition of intangible cultural heritage because I think it applies to all of us in this room.

“Intangible cultural heritage means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills, as well the instruments, objects, artifacts and cultural spaces associated therewith that communities, groups and in some cases, individuals, recognize as part of their cultural heritage. This intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly re-created by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history. And it provides them with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity.”

I would argue that’s also the definition of folk music and why all of us are here this weekend. [Applause.]

But despite that intangibility, I’m gonna talk just briefly from my own personal experience. All I can tell you as fact is how music has had an effect on my life. The first political activism I ever got engaged with was Rock Against Racism in Britain in 1978. I was a little snotty punk rocker.

A different form of folk music — just faster. And with fewer harmonies. But better drugs. Allegedly. [Laughter.]

The Clash were playing. They were my band, a political band; they were a huge inspiration to me. Also, I was an active opponent of the National Front, a right-wing, anti-immigrant, racist party that came third in the general Greater London elections for the councils. They were a genuine threat on the streets. So we marched through the streets of London to Victoria Park in Hackney.

The Clash were added late to the bill. The guy at the top of the bill that day was a guy named Tom Robinson. And he had a great song at the time called “(Sing If You’re) Glad To Be Gay.” Today, that sounds like a great idea. Back then, being gay, you could get your head kicked in, just for the possibility that you might be gay. It was an incredibly brave song to sing. And when he began singing that song that day, all these geezers standing around me and my little gang of mates started kissing each other on the lips.

Now, I was a 19-year old working class lad; I had never met an out gay man. And I was taken aback by this. We’d marched in just in front of a banner that said “Gays against the Nazis,” and we were still standing under it. And my first thought was like, “Why are these gays here? This is about black people. Surely. You know. What’s it gotta do with them?”

It didn’t take very long that afternoon for the penny to drop to realize that the fascists were against anybody who was in any way different. Even us little punks; they were against us just for being different. And I came away that afternoon understanding that my generation were gonna define themselves in opposition to discrimination of all kinds, just as the previous generation defined itself in opposition to Vietnam and the generation before that against nuclear weapons, in my country.

It was very, very important to me. At the time, I was working in an office. The atmosphere in the office — there was a lot of casual racism, sexism, homophobia. I never said anything about it because I was like the office junior. I just sat there and kind of let it bounce around, and tried not to be embarrassed. But after that day in the park, I realized I really should start standing up, because that’s what my generation were gonna do. We were gonna be that generation.

And so when I went back into work Monday morning, I started to stand up for what I believed in. And the music on that day changed my perspective. And it changed my perspective on the political situation, on my situation, on my work situation. The world was still the same, you know, the trains still ran, my mum still made liver and bacon on Sunday night when I’d come home from the event, but really, my world had gone through a considerable change.

A few years later, I was involved with the miners’ strike in England, in 1984. I was playing solo by then. I was solo, spiky, one-man Clash kinda guy. Tré, tré radical. And because I was mobile, I was able to go up north into the coalfields themselves and do gigs actually in the mining villages where the confrontations were happening.

The first one I did, I went up there, and there was a very old guy by the name of Jock Purdon; he’d been a miner, and he was a songwriter. And he sat onstage with his finger in his ear; he was opening for me. And his songs were more radical than anything I had in my bag. And I sat watching him, and I thought, “God, how am I gonna follow this? [He’s] really showing me up here.”

He came offstage, and in the dressing room, we talked about some of his songs. And he talked about the struggle, the miners’ struggle; he talked about anti-racism, he talked about friends of his who’d gone off and volunteered for the Spanish Civil War.

And he made it absolutely explicit to me that by coming and doing this gig for the miners, I was joining that tradition. No matter what song I was gonna play up there, no matter what type of guitar I was playing, no matter what genre I thought I was, I was now joining that tradition. He made me realize that I was joining that tradition.

Years later, I was at the Vancouver Folk Festival with Pete Seeger. I rather foolishly volunteered to take part in a Woody Guthrie workshop, thinking to myself, “I know a couple of Woody Guthrie songs. It’ll be easy. How hard can it be?”

When I get there, the other three participants in the workshop were Seeger, Arlo Guthrie and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. [Laughter.] Yup.

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Bill Monroe: 1950 – 1951 Complete Decca Recordings

Rhythm Bomb Records is set to release a new, five CD set of Bill Monroe recordings featuring everything he cut for Decca in 1950 and 1951 including sessions with Jimmy Martin and Carter Stanley as lead vocalist, with all the alternate takes captured in the studio.

The box set, Bill Monroe & The Bluegrass Boys – Castle Studio 1950-1951, Complete Sessions, is packaged as a 78 rpm album, with extensive notes from Dick Spottswood, a revised discography by Neil Rosenberg, and remembrances from Blue Grass Boys fiddler Charlie Smith who started with Munroe a few years after these sessions were cut.

A full track listing is shown on the Rhythm Bomb web site.

Only 1000 of these box sets will be produced, selling for 79.99 € (roughly $85 US), and releasing on February 24. Pre-orders are available now online.

Information from Bluegrass Today.

 CD One: 1. Blue Grass Ramble (instrumental) (take 1) 2. Blue Grass Ramble (instrumental) (take 2) 3. Blue Grass Ramble (instrumental) (take 3) OP 1950 4. New Mule Skinner Blues (take 1) 5. New Mule Skinner Blues (take 2, false start) 6. New Mule Skinner Blues (take 3) OP 1950 7. New Mule Skinner Blues (take 4) 8. My Little Georgia Rose (take 1) 9. My Little Georgia Rose (take 2, false start) 10. My Little Georgia Rose (take 3) 11. My Little Georgia Rose (take 4, fasle start) 12. My Little Georgia Rose (take 5) OP 1950 13. Memories Of You (take 1) 14. Memories Of You (take 2) 15. Memories Of You (take 3, false start) 16. Memories Of You (take 4) OP 1950 17. I’m On My Way To The Old Home (take 1) 18. I’m On My Way To The Old Home (take 2) OP 1952 19. Alabama Waltz (take 1) 20. Alabama Waltz (take 2, false start) 21. Alabama Waltz (take 3, false start) 22. Alabama Waltz (take 4) 23. Alabama Waltz (take 5) 24. Alabama Waltz (take 6, false start) 25. Alabama Waltz (take 7, false start) 26. Alabama Waltz (take 8) OP 1950 27. I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome (take 1) 28. I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome (take 2) 29. I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome (take 3) 30. I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome (take 4) 31. I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome (take 5) 32. I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome (take 6) OP 1950 33. I’ll Meet You In Church Sunday Morning (take 1, false start) 34. I’ll Meet You In Church Sunday Morning (take 2) 35. I’ll Meet You In Church Sunday Morning (take 3) OP 1951 36. I’ll Meet You In Church Sunday Morning (take 4) 37. Boat Of Love (take 1) 38. Boat Of Love (take 2, false start) 39. Boat Of Love (take 3) 40. Boat Of Love (take 4) OP 1950

CD Two: 1. The Old Fiddler (take 1, breakdown) 2. The Old Fiddler (take 2, breakdown) 3. The Old Fiddler (take 3, breakdown) 4. The Old Fiddler (take 4) 5. The Old Fiddler (take 5, false start) 6. The Old Fiddler (take 6) 7. The Old Fiddler (take 7) 8. The Old Fiddler (take 8) OP 1950 9. Uncle Pen (false start) 10. Uncle Pen (take 2) OP 1951 11. When The Golden Leaves Begin To Fall (take 1) 12. When The Golden Leaves Begin To Fall (take 2) 13. When The Golden Leaves Begin To Fall (take 3, breakdown) 14. When The Golden Leaves Begin To Fall (take 4) OP 1951 15. Lord Protect My Soul (take 1, false start) 16. Lord Protect My Soul (take 2) 17. Lord Protect My Soul (take 3, false start) 18. Lord Protect My Soul (take 4) 19. Lord Protect My Soul (take 5) 20. Lord Protect My Soul (take 6) OP 1951 21. River Of Death (take 1/2, breakdown) 22. River Of Death (take 3, false start) 23. River Of Death (take 4, breakdown) 24. River Of Death (take 5) OP 1951 25. Letter From My Darlin’ (take 1) OP 1952 26. On The Old Kentucky Shore (take 1) 27. On The Old Kentucky Shore (take 2/3, breakdown) 28. On The Old Kentucky Shore (take 4) 29. On The Old Kentucky Shore (take 5) OP 1951 30. Raw Hide (instrumental) (take 1, breakdown) 31. Raw Hide (instrumental) (take 2) 32. Raw Hide (instrumental) (take 3, false start) 33. Raw Hide (instrumental) (take 4) 34. Raw Hide (instrumental) (take 5) 35. Raw Hide (instrumental) (take 6) OP 1952

CD Three: 1. Poison Love (take 1, breakdown) 2. Poison Love (take 2, breakdown) 3. Poison Love (take 3, breakdown) 4. Poison Love (take 4, breakdown) 5. Poison Love (take 5, breakdown) 6. Poison Love (take 6, breakdown) 7. Poison Love (take 7, false start) 8. Poison Love (take 8) 9. Poison Love (take 9, breakdown) 10. Poison Love (take 10, breakdown) 11. Poison Love (take 11 false start, 2 breakdowns) 12. Poison Love (take 12 false start, breakdown) 13. Poison Love (take 13, false start) OP 1951 14. Kentucky Waltz (take 1) 15. Kentucky Waltz (take 2) 16. Kentucky Waltz (take 3) OP 1951 17. Prisoner’s Song (take 1, false start) 18. Prisoner’s Song (take 2) OP 1951 19. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (take 1) 20. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (take 2) 21. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (take 3, breakdown) 22. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (take 4) OP 1951 23. Angels Rock Me To Sleep (take 1) 24. Angels Rock Me To Sleep (take 2, false start) 25. Angels Rock Me To Sleep (take 3, false start) 26. Angels Rock Me To Sleep (take 4) 27. Angels Rock Me To Sleep (take 5, breakdown) 28. Angels Rock Me To Sleep (take 6) OP 1951 29. Brakeman’s Blues (take 1, breakdown) 30. Brakeman’s Blues (take 2, false start) 31. Brakeman’s Blues (take 3) OP 1951 32. Travelin’ Blues (take 1) 33. Travelin’ Blues (take 2 false start, breakdown) 34. Travelin’ Blues (take 3) 35. Travelin’ Blues (take 4, breakdown) 36. Travelin’ Blues (take 5) OP 1951

CD Four: 1. When The Cactus Is In Bloom (take 1, breakdown) 2. When The Cactus Is In Bloom (take 2) 3. Sailor’s Plea (take 1) 4. Sailor’s Plea (take 2) 5. Sailor’s Plea (take 3, breakdown) 6. Sailor’s Plea (take 4) OP 1952 7. Sailor’s Plea (take 5, breakdown) 8. Sailor’s Plea (take 6) 9. My Carolina Sunshine Girl (take 1, breakdown) 10. My Carolina Sunshine Girl (take 2, breakdown) 11. My Carolina Sunshine Girl (take 3) 12. My Carolina Sunshine Girl (take 4, breakdown) 13. My Carolina Sunshine Girl (take 5) OP 1989 14. Ben Dewberry’s Final Run (take 1) 15. Ben Dewberry’s Final Run (take 2, breakdown) 16. Ben Dewberry’s Final Run (take 3) OP 1989 17. Peach Pickin’ Time In Georgia (take 1, 2 false starts) 18. Peach Pickin’ Time In Georgia (take 2, false start, breakdown) 19. Peach Pickin’ Time In Georgia (take 3,false start) OP 1964 20. Those Gambler’s Blues (take 1, breakdown) 21. Those Gambler’s Blues (take 2, false start, breakdown) 22. Those Gambler’s Blues (take 3, false start) OP 1989 23. Highway Of Sorrow (take 1, false start, breakdown) 24. Highway Of Sorrow (take 2) 25. Highway Of Sorrow (take 3) OP 1951 26. Rotation Blues (take 1) 27. Rotation Blues (take 2) 28. Rotation Blues (take 3, breakdown) 29. Rotation Blues (take 4, breakdown) 30. Rotation Blues (take 5) 31. Rotation Blues (take 6, breakdown) 32. Rotation Blues (take 7, breakdown) 33. Rotation Blues (take 8, breakdown) 34. Rotation Blues (take 9) OP 1951

CD Five: 1. Lonesome Truck Driver’s Blues (take 1, breakdown) 2. Lonesome Truck Driver’s Blues (take 2) 3. Lonesome Truck Driver’s Blues (take 3, breakdown) 4. Lonesome Truck Driver’s Blues (take 4) OP 1951 5. Sugar Coated Love (take 1) 6. Sugar Coated Love (take 2, breakdown) 7. Sugar Coated Love (take 3) 8. Sugar Coated Love (take 4) 9. Sugar Coated Love (take 5) OP 1951 10. Cabin Of Love (take 1) 11. Cabin Of Love (take 2) 12. Cabin Of Love (take 3) 13. Cabin Of Love (take 4) OP 1953 14. You’re Drifting Away (take 1) 15. You’re Drifting Away (take 2) 16. You’re Drifting Away (take 3) OP 1953 17. Get Down On Your Knees And Pray (take 1) 18. Get Down On Your Knees And Pray (take 2, breakdown) 19. Get Down On Your Knees And Pray (take 3) 20. Get Down On Your Knees And Pray (take E1) 21. Get Down On Your Knees And Pray (take E2) 22. Get Down On Your Knees And Pray (take E3) 23. Get Down On Your Knees And Pray (take 3, master) OP 1951 24. Christmas Time’s A-Coming (take 1, false start & breakdown) 25. Christmas Time’s A-Coming (take 2, breakdown) 26. Christmas Time’s A-Coming (take 3, breakdown) 27. Christmas Time’s A-Coming (take 4) 28. Christmas Time’s A-Coming (take 5, breakdown) 29. Christmas Time’s A-Coming (take 6) OP 1951 30. The First Whippoorwill (take 1) 31. The First Whippoorwill (take 2, false start) 32. The First Whippoorwill (take 3, breakdown) 33. The First Whippoorwill (take 4, breakdown) 34. The First Whippoorwill (take 5, breakdown) 35. The First Whippoorwill (take 6) 36. The First Whippoorwill (take 7) OP 1951 OP 2017, except where noted

 

 

 

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St. Paul & The Broken Bones – UK Gigs

St. PaulSt. Paul & The Broken Bones – one of the most exciting soul and R&B bands to come out of the USA in recent times are playing a short tour in the UK in late January and early February.

The band conists of Paul Janeway (lead vocals the best new blue eyed soul vocalist I have heard in years – remanistant of Al Green), Jesse Phillips (bass, guitar), Browan Lollar (guitars), Andrew Lee (drums), Al Gamble (keyboards), and Allen Branstetter (trumpet) are joined by Jason Mingledorff (saxophone, clarinet, flute), and Chad Fisher (trombone).

They toured extensively last year in the U.S. and Europe behind their debut album, and they will bring their ‘take-no-prisoners show’ to the UK. Last year they opened for the Rolling Stones in Atlanta and Buffalo.

Click here to see them on BBC Two’s ‘Later With Jools Holland’ in October last year.

UK tour dates are:

29th January O2 ABC Glasgow
30th January O2 Ritz Manchester
31st January   Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
2nd February  Trinity, Bristol
3rd February   O2 Forum, Kentish Town, London

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Off The Record Presents: Joe Bussard

Published on 13th January 2017 ‘‘Off The Record Presents’ made this freat short film of the record collector’s version of the pilgrimage to Mecca – to Joe Bussard’s wonderful basement! Joe is the owner of one of the finest collections of pre-war country, blues, and jazz records in the world, Joe Bussard has been one of the most famed and accessible names in the 78rpm world for generations.

Posted in 78rpm, Americana, Blues, Film -TV, Gospel, Jazz, Rare Records, Roots, Website, You Tube | Leave a comment

Best Box Sets of 2016

Some fantasic releases this year that would make the list much too long – including the  Otis Redding at the Whiskey A Go-Go in 1966 and a number of multi CD bootleg box sets by bands such as The Doors, which have still to be nabbed. One of two of the box sets included here have an imprint of 2015 – which only found their way onto the shevele here in Bedford this year. But nevermind eh?45257000

Downhome Blues – Detroit Special
Wienerworld
3 CD set of stupendous and rare 1950s blues from Detroit featuring the likes of Eddie Burns, Bobo Jenkins, John Lee Hooker; Baby Boy Warren. Excellent booklet written by Mike Rowe. This is how blues reissues should always be!

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Taste
I’ll Remember
Polydor
Four disc set featuring LP’s Taste’ and ‘On The Boards’ plus live material, alternate takes and early sessions cut in Belfast by Rory Gallagher’s first band 1966 – 1968. Great booklet stuffed with rare photo’s and memorabilia.

 

BCD17339a_285x255Slim Harpo
Buzzin’ The Blues – The Complete Slim Harpo
Bear Family
Brilliant five CD set of tough 1960s Louisiana swamp blues from Slim Harpo released by the box set specialsts Bear Family with wonderful memorabilia and 104 page book.

 

Cnvhj3_XEAAQJ4JLed Zeppelin
The Complete BBC Sessions
Atlantic
Compiled and produced by Jimmy Page – a wonderful 3CD set of the band’s BBC broadcasts on Top Gear, In Concert, One Night Stand. Wonderfully annotated booklet, with session notes by Dave Lewis

 

 

71x018otb7l-_sl1500_Bob Dylan
1965 – 1966 The Best Of The Cutting Edge The Bootleg Series Volume 12
CBS
Two CD set culled from the 6 CD mega box set featuring alternate takes, out-takes, rarities from ‘Bringing It All Back Home’, ‘Highway 61’, ‘Blond On Blond’ era. Stunning booklet, photos, rare releases,  and umissable memorabilia.

71mtfq-ll-_sl1200_Van Morrison
Its Too Late To Stop Now Volumes 2, 3, 4 & DVD
Sony Legacy
3CDs and one DVD of Van The Man at the peak of his powers at The Troubador Santa Monica Civic, and London’s Rainbow plus DVD of Rainbow set all from 1973. Caledonia soul at its best. Booklet could have been better – but the music is brilliant.

 

 

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Jethro Tull
Stand Up
Chrysalis
The ‘elevated edition’ is the one to get with the ‘pop up’ characters of the band. The full 1969 second album by the band, live concert, DVD (audio and video), interviews, excellent booklet.

bb-box_tenkaiB.B. King
The Complete RPM & Kent Records
PVine (Japan)
Seventeen CD’s (count ’em) of material from the early 1950s through to the mid 1960s by the King Of The Blues. A real mix of albums, 45s, BB playing gospel, tons of alternate takes, out-takes, studio chat, promo adverts plus fantastic vinyl album book, booklet and packaging.

81p2yrqs9el-_sl1200_Zappa and The Mothers of Invention
Meat Light
Zappa Records
Zappa collectors will already have drooled over this! Full, complete, vinyl and original sequenced sides from Uncle Meat 1969 sessions plus sides ‘from the vault’, different mixes and sides ‘kluged’ by FZ himself. Lots of session details in the booklet.

Posted in 45 rpm, 78rpm, Americana, Blues, Books, Compact Disc, DVD, Rare Records, Rhythm & Blues, Rock, Rock & Roll, Roots, Soul, Vinyl, Website | Leave a comment

Billy Bragg & Joe Henry – ‘Shine A Light’ Great Americana!

Out this coming week! Billy Bragg and Joe Henry have recorded what you can expect to be an award winning Americana album ‘Shine A Light’.

Here’s the poop! In March 2016 Billy and Henry, (who produced Billy’s last album ‘Tooth & Nail’ and who has produced Solomon Burke, Aaron Neville, Bonnie Rait and others) guitars in hand, boarded a Los Angeles bound train at Chicago’s Union Station looking to reconnect with the culture of American railroad travel and the music it inspired.

Winding along 2,728 miles of track over four days, the latter day Woody Guthrie’s recorded classic American railroad songs such as Lead Belly’s ‘Midnight Special’, the Memphis Jug Band’s ‘KC Moan’,Hank Williams’ ‘Lonesome Whistle’ and Woody’s ‘Hobo’s Lullaby’ in waiting rooms and at trackside while the train paused to pick up passengers in stops such as El Paso, Fort Worth, Pine Bluff, St. Louis and onto Chicago Grand Union Station.

These are great field recordings and the set is well worth checking out.

Read the review in The Guardian by clicking here.

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Led Zeppelin – Complete BBC Sessions Out In September

Cnvhj3_XEAAQJ4JAlmost two decades on from the release of Led Zeppelin’s acclaimed ‘BBC Sessions’ album, a new expanded and remastered version has been announced.

An update on the original album – which collated live BBC recordings from 1969 to 1971 – the new collection has been remastered with supervision by Jimmy Page and boasts eight unreleased BBC recordings on a third disc including three rescued tracks from a much-fabled “lost” 1969 session.

Set for release via Atlantic/Swan Song on 16th September, the album also comes complete with extensive session-by-session liner notes penned by Led Zeppelin authority and editor of the Zeppelin magazine Tight But Loose –  Dave Lewis.

The album will be available in four different formats – Deluxe Edition 3CD, Deluxe Edition 5 vinyl, Digital Download and a Super Deluxe Box Set.

The box set will come with the following:

– Remastered album. 2 CDs, each in a replica sleeve.
– Unreleased audio on CD in a separate card sleeve.
– Remastered album on 180-gram vinyl.
– Unreleased audio on 180-gram vinyl.
– High-def audio download card of all content at 96kHz/24 bit.
– 48-page book filled with photos of the band, the recording locations, BBC memorabilia, and session information.
– High-quality print of the original album cover, the first 20,000 of which will be individually numbered.

The “lost” session dates b781799ack to March 1969 and features three songs: ‘You Shook Me’, ‘I Can’t Quit You Baby’ and the only recorded performance of ‘Sunshine Woman’. After the BBC lost or erased the master tapes, the version of the session included comes from a fan’s radio recording.

Also on the third disc are two unreleased versions of ‘Communication Breakdown’ and ‘What Is And What Should Never Be’ that showcase the band’s astounding musical development over a two-year period.

The CD track listing is as follows:

Disc One
1. You Shook Me
2. I Can’t Quit You Baby
3. Communication Breakdown
4. Dazed And Confused
5. The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair
6. What Is And What Should Never Be
7. Communication Breakdown
8. Travelling Riverside Blues
9. Whole Lotta Love
10. Somethin’ Else
11. Communication Breakdown
12. I Can’t Quit You Baby
13. You Shook Me
14. How Many More Times

Disc Two
1. Immigrant Song
2. Heartbreaker
3. Since I’ve Been Loving You
4. Black Dog
5. Dazed And Confused
6. Stairway To Heaven
7. Going To California
8. That’s The Way
9. Whole Lotta Love (Medley: Boogie Chillun/Fixin’ To Die/That’s Alright Mama/A Mess of Blues)
10. Thank You

Disc Three
1. Communication Breakdown *
2. What Is And What Should Never Be *
3. Dazed And Confused *
4. White Summer
5. What Is And What Should Never Be *
6. Communication Breakdown *
7. I Can’t Quit You Baby *
8. You Shook Me *
9. Sunshine Woman *

*previously unreleased

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Trailer For Eat That Question – Frank Zappa In His Own Words

Thorsten Schütte’s film is a sharply edited and energetic celebration of Frank Zappa through his public persona, allowing us to witness his shifting relationship with audiences.

Utilising potent TV interviews and many forgotten performances from his 30-year career, we are immersed into the musician’s world while experiencing two distinct facets of his complex character.

At once Zappa was both a charismatic composer who reveled in the joy of performing and, in the next moment, a fiercely intelligent and brutally honest interviewee whose convictions only got stronger as his career ascended.

Zappa was uncompromising as he led the charge against music censorship in the ’90s and even went on to embrace the role of quasi-cultural ambassador in the Czech Republic.

His music and ideas are vital, and they cut across generations, while his goal of freeing the listener from conformity still resonates today.

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Coming soon: Down Home Blues Detroit Box Set

45257000Due for release in July this year ‘Down Home Blues Detroit’ (Wienerworld WNRCD5095) is arguably the definitive collection of blues music from Detroit-based musicians from the late 1940s to the early 1960s. Detroit although a smaller city, was akin to Chicago in the history of the blues.

Like Chicago southern blacks migrated to find work and found themselves in new urban surroundings. Amongst the many migrants were blues musicians who took with them their delta blues sounds – which developed into a more aggressive feel influenced by their new urban surroundings.

The set will feature  21 artists who were influential in developing the Detroit blues scene, including John Lee Hooker, Bobo Jenkins, Sam Kelly, Eddie Kirkland, Little Sonny, Detroit Count, Eddie Burns, Baby Boy Warren and many more – see track list below.

The set will be packaged in a ‘deluxe digipak’ with an outer slip case and features 82 rare tracks, all digitally remastered, with unissued recordings and others which have not been available for decades

The set includes a 48 page book featuring an essay on the origins of Detroit music by renowned blues researcher and historian Mike Rowe, complete with rare photos, track listing and full sessionography

Among the artists featured are blues artists who encompassed small combo group recordings and solo artists. Some artists made many commercial recordings and others who cut just one session. And there also unissued recordings – from unearthed rare acetate discs. See track list below.

TRACKLISTING
CD One
1. Miss Lorraine
John Lee Hooker
2. Talkin’ Boogie
John Lee Hooker
3. Come Back Sugar Mama
L C Green
4. Little Machine
L C Green
5. Papa’s Boogie
Eddie Burns
6. My Special Friend Blues
Baby Boy Warren
7. Nervy Woman Blues
Baby Boy Warren
8. Making A Fool Out Of Me
Eddie Burns
9. Squeeze Me Baby
Eddie Burns
10. Democrat Blues (Democrat Man)
Bobo Jenkins
11. Bad Luck And Trouble
Bobo Jenkins
12. Lillie Mae (Version 1)
Calvin Frazier
13. Rockhouse
Calvin Frazier
14. Bus Driver
John Brim
15. When The Sun Is Shining
L C Green
16. Hold Me In Your Arms
L C Green
17. Rockin‘ Chair Boogie
Clarence Posey
18. Nelly Mae
Detroit Slim
19. Lonesome Cabin Blues
Baby Boy Warren
20. Don’t Want No Skinny Woman
Baby Boy Warren
21. Gangster Blues
Eddie Burns
22. Grievin’ Blues
Eddie Burns
23. Ramblin’ Around Blues
Sam Kelly
24. Now I’ll Have To Sing The Blues
Martee Bradley
25. Winter Time Is Comin‘
Martee Bradley
26. Taxi Driver Blues
Baby Boy Warren
27. Bad Lover Blues
Baby Boy Warren

CD Two
1. Graveyard Blues
John Lee Hooker
2. I Love To Boogie
John Lee Hooker
3. Little School Girl
L C Green
4. Remember Way Back
L C Green
5. Superstition
Eddie Burns
6. Biscuit Baking Woman
Eddie Burns
7. Forgive Me Darling
Baby Boy Warren
8. Please Don’t Think I’m Nosey
Baby Boy Warren
9. She Fool Me
Harvey Hill Jr
10. Boogie Woogie Woman
Harvey Hill Jr
11. Lilly Mae (Version 2)
Calvin Frazier
12. Dog Me Blues
Henry Smith
13. Baby Don’t You Want To Go
Bobo Jenkins
14. Ten Below Zero
Bobo Jenkins
15. I Got Lucky
Baby Boy Warren
16. Let’s Renew Our Love
Baby Boy Warren
17. Papa Doo
James Walton
18. Loving You Baby
Earl Chatman
19. Parrot Lounge
Detroit Count
20. Detroit Boogie
Detroit Count
21. Seasick And Waterbound
Bobo Jenkins
22. Pitch A Boogie Woogie
Big Jack Reynolds
23. Lilly Mae (Version 3)
Calvin Frazier
24. Mattie Mae
Baby Boy Warren
25. Santa Fe
Baby Boy Warren
26. Hastings Street After Hours
Little Sonny
27. Love You Pretty Baby
Little Sonny
28. Have Mercy On Me
John Lee Hooker

CD Three
1. Somebody Put Bad Luck On Me
Baby Boy Warren
2. Stop Breaking Down
Baby Boy Warren
3. Love Shock
Little Sonny
4. I’ll Love You Baby Until The Day I Die
Little Sonny
5. I’ll Move You Baby
Eddie Kirkland
6. Mercy Mercy
Eddie Kirkland
7. Miss Sadie Mae
John Lee Hooker
8. 609 Boogie
John Lee Hooker
9. Cat Squirrel
Doctor Ross
10. The Sunnyland
Doctor Ross
11. Nothing But Love
Bobo Jenkins
12. Tell Me Who
Bobo Jenkins
13. Orange Driver
Eddie Burns
14. Hard Hearted Woman
Eddie Burns
15. I Gotta Find My Baby
Little Sonny
16. Hear My Woman Calling
Little Sonny
17. Chuck-A-Luck (or Chicken)
Baby Boy Warren
18. Baby Boy Blues
Baby Boy Warren
19. Done Somebody Wrong
Eddie Kirkland
20. I Need You Baby
Eddie Kirkland
21. She’s My Baby
Bob Kelly
22. The Thing To Do
Eddie Burns
23. I Hear My Woman Callin‘ – Alternate
Little Sonny
24. Industrial Boogie
Doctor Ross
25. Thirty Two Twenty
Doctor Ross
26. Baby Don’t You Want Me To Go – Alternate
Bobo Jenkins
27. Ten Below Zero – Alternate
Bobo Jenkins

Posted in 78rpm, Blues, Compact Disc, Rare Records, Rhythm & Blues, Roots, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trailer: How They Got Over – Gospel Quartets

HOW THEY GOT OVER

A new feature length documentary about the African-American quartets who traveled the back roads of the Deep South in the 1930s and 40s creating a hard gospel sound and vigorous performing style that foreshadowed doo-wop, rhythm and blues, soul and Motown. With the Dixie Hummingbirds, Blinds Boys of Alabama and Mississippi, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Soul Stirrers, Fairfield Four, Sensational Nightingales, Mighty Clouds of Joy, Highway QCs and more.

HOW THEY GOT OVER Trailer from Robert Clem on Vimeo.

Posted in 45 rpm, 78rpm, Gospel, Rare Records, Rhythm & Blues, Roots, You Tube | Leave a comment