Sunday, 21 September 2014

Single Song Sunday

I used to think "Dark End of the Street" was one of those indestructible songs that could survive any assault upon it and emerge with its dignity intact. I had to qualify that view slightly when I heard the Diamanda Galas version, but as a general rule it remains true that it is a song that can make average performers sound better.

The other general rule - and one that needs no qualification - is that the best version is, and will always that be, that by James Carr. But don't let that lead you to turn up your nose at the other eight below, as they are all genuinely good in their own right. Clarence Carter's reworking is probably my second favourite, and Gary Stewart takes you down the street and into the honky-tonk with his. And of course we have the obligatory reggae version, this time courtesy of Mr. Pat Kelly.

"The Dark End Of The Street" - James Carr

"
Dark End Of The Street" - The Flying Burrito Brothers

"
Dark End Of The Street (Live)" - Richard & Linda Thompson

"
The Dark End Of The Street" - Joe Tex

"
Dark End Of The Street" - Pat Kelly

"
Dark End Of The Street" - Gary Stewart

"
Dark End Of The Street" - Artie White

"Making Love (At The Dark End Of The Street)" - Clarence Carter

 

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Massive in Maputo

There is much talk of independence today. That is not surprising, as next June it will be 40 years since the good people of Mozambique shook off the colonial yoke of Portugal and became a free nation.

To mark the occasion, here are a couple of tracks from an excellent compilation called "Tales of Mozambique". If you think the Rosalia Mboa track sounds a bit like the Tsonga disco that we treat you to every now and then, it is possible there is a good reason. There are a lot of Tsonga folk in southern Mozambique. Whether Rosalia is one of them I don't know, but she may at least have been influenced by their music.

"Umunghani Ma Wani" - Rosalia Mboa

"
A Beleza Da Repriga" - Alexandre Langa

If you type "Mozambique music" into YouTube, you quickly come across the works of one Anita Macuácua. I have never heard of her before, but this one is quite jolly.


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Farlowe!!!

Some vintage blue-eyed soul courtesy of Islington's own Chris Farlowe. A couple of B-sides from 1966 and 1967 respectively. You know, for the kids.

"Headlines" - Chris Farlowe

"
What Have I Been Doing" - Chris Farlowe


Sunday, 14 September 2014

Queen Karine of Nineveh

Here at 27 Leggies we are remaining strictly neutral as regards the impending referendum on Scottish independence. Plans have been made to move my Proclaimers and Jimmy Shand albums into the "World Music" section of my collection in the event of a "yes" vote, but that is simply a precautionary measure.

I had thought about doing a Scottish special based on my ten most listened to Scottish acts according to my Last.fm stats. It turns out most of them are either ones that I have featured here plenty of times before (like Frankie Miller and the Incredible String Band) and/or pretty well known (like The Blue Nile). But there one name on there that may not be familiar to some of you, and that is the marvellous Karine Polwart. If the Scots do vote for independence and then decide they no longer want the Queen as head of state, she wouldn't be a bad replacement.

"Follow The Heron" - Karine Polwart
 

"The Sun's Comin' Over The Hill" - Karine Polwart

Whatever the outcome of the referendum, I worry about what the future holds for Gallagher and Lyle. It appears there is one in each camp (either that or they are both "don't know"s).



Saturday, 13 September 2014

Apres Le Guerra

I went to a gig last night that managed to be both very good and a bit disappointing at the same time. Billed as a "performance" John Cale and Liam Young, the gimmick was the use of drones (the flying ones) as part of the act.

All the advance billing went on about it being an "experiment in sound" and that sort of thing, so we went along expecting the drones to be an integral part of the performance, transmitting or distorting the sound in some way. In fact they were just for decorative purposes. John Cale and his band played a normal set while the drones drifted prettily but irrelevantly overhead.

That said, judging it purely as a normal gig, it was great. I don't think Mr Cale is capable of being anything other than interesting, and he certainly delivered his part of the evening's entertainment, a 15 minutes long Hi-NRG version of "Sister Ray" being a particular highlight.

Having got that off my chest, let's turn to today's music. It comes from the Dominican Republic, courtesy of Juan Luis Guerra. Very jolly it is too.

"La Bilirrubina" - Juan Luis Guerra y 440

"
El Costo De La Vida" - Juan Luis Guerra y 440

As it happens, Mr Guerra can also teach John Cale a thing or two about how to integrate modern forms of transportation into your live act effectively.


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

From Malaco Via Malmo

I had a bit of a disappointment when I was in Malmo at the weekend. I found an excellent second-hand record and comics shop just off Lille Torg which had some boxes of intriguing Swedish vinyl albums from the 1970s and 1980s going for about £1.50 a go. Rather than lug them around with me while sightseeing I decided I would pop back there at 4.30pm to snaffle a few. It was only when I returned that I discovered that pretty much all the shops in Malmo shut at 4pm on Saturday and don't reopen until Monday. So they are all still there, calling me back.

I did not return completely empty-handed though, because on my first (and, as it transpired, only) visit to the shop I picked up a CD. Titled "Malaco Soul Brothers Volume 1", it is a collection of tracks recorded for the Malaco label in the earl1970s by Chuck Brooks and Joe Wilson. Very good it is too. Here is one from each of the lads.

"You Can't Be In Two Places At One Time" - Chuck Brooks

"Sour Love, Bitter Sweet" - Joe Wilson

One of the albums I had been eyeing up was by Svenne & Lotta. Possibly a narrow escape. Love Svenne's outfit though. And hair. And "dancing".


Friday, 5 September 2014

Hurdy Gurdy Honky Tonky

I am off to Malmo in the morning to have a look around, then on Monday I'm heading over the bridge to Copenhagen for a couple of days work. I don't know if they have any honky-tonks in Malmo, but if they do that is where I'll be tomorrow night.

"Honky Tonkin'" - Gary Stewart

"Honky Tonk Man" - Johnny Horton

"Honky Tonk Women Love Redneck Men" - Jerry Jaye

"Honky Tonk Song" - Webb Pierce

"Honky Tonk Stardust Cowboy" - Jonathan Edwards

Come to think of it, this lot were from Sweden, weren't they? Maybe it will be a quiet night in after all.