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Friday, 29 October 2010

Forgotten album Friday #16 - Iris deMent The Way I should

I am note sure how familiar you will be with Iris DeMent and I think her albums might be a wee bit of an acquired taste, no matter she is an excellent songwriter and performer who got great acclaim for her first two albums Infamous Angel and the Grammy nominated My Life, both of which are pretty firmly in the Country end of Americana.

Both of those albums I would highly recommend.

For her third album Iris went for a bigger sound and moved slightly away from her focus on personal relationships and living in a small town and its values to look outwards dealing with big issues like corporate greed, Vietnam, child abuse and poverty. The album is much bigger in its sound as well with an almost rock feel and pace to the album at times.

The key track on this album is without doubt the superb Wasteland of The Free which is a protest  song up there with the very best of them where Iris sears through her damming indictment of businessmen, politicians and the negative influences on youth. John Jennings who you may know through his work with mary Chapin Carpenter is on outstanding form omn this track. Another cracker is the title track which features nice guitar work from Mark Knopfler.

Elsewhere Iris does not lose her touch of connecting with simple emotional songs and her quiet personal faith on songs like When My Morning Comes Around and I'll Take My Sorrow Straight.

A highly recommended lp.

Key tracks:

When My Morning Comes Around
Theres a Wall In Washington
Wasteland of the Free
The Way I Should
Walkin Home

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Happy Xmas From The Indigo Girls!!


New Springsteen 7" Single - Save My Love / Because The Night

Well the good news is that a limited edition 7" single is to be released to support local record stores. Looks like a US only release though so that is the bad news!

If you are in the States and have access to a good local record store the date of release is 26 November, nice artwork...

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Celtic Connections 2011

An outstanding programme of live muisc again for January 2011. Including Justin Currie, Love and Money, A Dylan 70th tribute night, Marty Stuart, Teddy Thompson.....

Check the link here:


Monday, 18 October 2010

New Kim Richey Video - Wreck YOur Wheels

From her excellent album of the same name:

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Bowie Song to be murdered

 I am still reeling from the news that the karaoke TV contenders are set to murder the classic Bowie song Heroes. That's my Christmas ruined.

Thanks a lot Simon Cowell.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Forgotten Album Friday #15 - Whiskeytown Pneumonia

Ryan Adams can be a musical genius and his work with his first band Whiskeytown is well worth seeking out. Pneumonia was recorded in 1998 but was not released until 2001 due to some legal hoo ha with the record label and possibly some of the band members. The album is more of a solo Ryan Adams album although he has said in a number of interviews that the album would never be released if he had anything to do with it. Fortunately it was released and seems to have softened his views on the album in recent times.

While Pneumonia may not achieve the classic status of the band's best album Strangers Almanac (1996), it comes close.  The songs bounce from the horn-laden "The Ballad of Carol Lynn" to the orchestral sound of "Under Your Breath," a song that would be equally at home on Adams' solo album, Heartbreaker.

The album is produced by Ethan Johns, who produced the early Ryan Solo albums amongst many other things and as you would expect he gives this album a much more polished sound that the earlier Whiskeytown albums.

Essential tracks:
Under Your Breath
The Balld of Carol Lynn
Jacksonville Skyline
Reason To Lie

Thursday, 14 October 2010

History Post #1 The River Bruce Springsteen

The River was released 30 years ago this week (the date varied across the globe). The album was of course pre internet and pre MTV so it was preceding by a huge marketing campaign in the music press (NME, Melody Maker etc.).  Accordingly I think this is one of the first lp's I was actively anxious about the release coming.

It is funny thinking back now when I got the lp I literally did not know what to expect. I was amazed and transfixed at the packaging with its mix of straightforward and slightly surreal packaging. I soon realised that this was deliberate, a mix of the exuberant, the dark, the object you yearned for. Just like the album. An exuberant track followed by something much more dark, hope and yearning followed just as quickly by despair.

Spot the difference on my Vinyl copy:

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Tom Petty Damn The Torpedoes - Deluxe Re-issue

On November 9 in North America and November 15 in the rest of the world an expanded and remastered Deluxe Edition of Damn The Torpedoes will be released! The deluxe edition features previously unreleased tracks from the Damn The Torpedoes sessions and will be available with a choice of four formats (1) on two-CDs, (2) on one audiophile quality Blu-ray disc, (3) on 2 180-gram vinyl LPs and (4) as an iTunes LP.

All formats of the Deluxe Edition will come with nine additional bonus tracks not included on the original album. Seven of these tracks are previously unreleased including two studio tracks from the original Damn The Torpedoes sessions: “Nowhere” and “Surrender.”

The never-before-heard “Nowhere” was thought to have been lost in 1979 when the tape boxes were being moved daily to avoid the possibility that court bailiffs would claim them as part of Petty’s assets in the lawsuit at the time. The original 1979 recording of “Surrender” is also included on the bonus disc. “Surrender” was a mainstay of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ concert setlists for many years although this original studio version recorded for Damn The Torpedoes, which includes Stan Lynch on drums, never saw the light of day until now.

Also included on the bonus disc is the original demo for the B-side “Casa Dega” and an alternate take of “Refugee” as well as a trio of live performances at London’s Hammersmith Odeon (March 6, 1980), including “Don’t Do Me Like That.”
Digitally remastered from the original analog master tapes, all formats of Damn The Torpedoes – Deluxe Edition also feature liner notes by noted rock journalist/author David Fricke, rare photos, and lyrics to each track.
The vinyl and Blu-ray versions of the Deluxe Edition also include a free download of the entire album in one of three high quality digital formats.

Here is the Damn The Torpedoes Deluxe Edition bonus disc tracklist:

1. Nowhere (previously unreleased)

2. Surrender (previously unreleased)

3. Casa Dega/B-side

4. It’s Rainin’ Again/B-side

5. Shadow Of A Doubt (A Complex Kid)/Live - Hammersmith Odeon 1980 (previously unreleased)

6. Don’t Do Me Like That/Live - Hammersmith Odeon 1980 (previously unreleased)

7. Somethin’ Else/Live - Hammersmith Odeon 1980 (previously unreleased)

8. Casa Dega (Demo, previously unreleased)

9. Refugee (Alternate Take, previously unreleased)

wee film clip here:

Frazey Ford Cover his Bobness on Radio Scotland Anothyer Country Show

I think this is a great version of the Bob / Emmylou classic One More Cup of Coffee:

Friday, 8 October 2010

New Dar Williams cd Features Gary Louris, Mary Chapin Carpenter

I dont have much details but here is the amazon blurb:

This October, acclaimed singer-songwriter Dar Williams returns with reinterpretations of her most cherished songs on a definitive double CD release spanning her entire career from 1993 s The Honesty Room through 2008 s Promised Land. This unique two-disc set is comprised of all new acoustic recordings of her most loved songs featuring such luminaries of the folk scene as Mary Chapin Carpenter, Patty Larkin, Gary Louris (of the Jayhawks; Gary also produced the album) and Sara and Sean Watkins (of Nickel Creek), and a greatest hits compilation featuring all the best songs from her nine-album career. This exciting release offers a unique new take on Dar s music, with the two full length discs providing great value for fans new and old.

Disc: 1

1. Calling The Moon

2. If I Wrote You (feat. Gary Louris)

3. Spring Street (feat. Gary Louris)

4. I'll Miss You (feat. Gary Louris)

5. The Christians And The Pagans (feat. Sara and Sean Watkins)

6. What Do You Hear In These Sounds (feat. Gary Louris)

7. The One Who Knows (feat. Mary Chapin Carpenter)

8. The Babysitter's Here

9. As Cool As I Am (feat. Gary Louris)

10. You Rise And Meet The Day (feat. Gary Louris)

11. Iowa (feat. Gary Louris, Sara and Sean Watkins, Motherlode & Mary Chapin Carpenter)

12. When I Was A Boy (feat. Patty Larkin)

Disc: 2

1. It's Alright

2. Are You Out There

3. As Cool As I Am

4. If I Wrote You

5. February

6. The Mercy Of The Fallen

7. The Easy Way

8. The One Who Knows

9. Teen For God

10. After All

11. Book Of Love

12. The Beauty Of The Rain

13. The Babysitter's Here

14. Better Things

15. Spring Street

16. The Ocean

17. Closer To Me

18. Empire

19. End Of Summer

20. When I Was A Boy

Forgotten album Friday #14 Steve Forbert - The Streets of This Town

This album was released in 1988 by which time Steve's career seemed in a bit of a hiatus and he had not had a release for about 6years. As a result this fine album was pretty much overlooked on its release which is a great shame as it contains some of his finest work.

I don't know much about the band that play on the album but the production is by Gary W Tallent and he had obviously picked up a few tips while working on the Springsteen sessions as the album sounds fantastic and the sometimes fairly sparse sound of Forbert is fleshed out with a fuller band sound. Tallent does not opt for dropping in fellow E Street Band members on the record and I think that is a good thing. Only two cameos - Nils Lofgren plays guitar on Wait A Little Longer and former E Streeter Ernest "Boom" Carter adds a bit of percussion to Don't Tell Me.

From the wonderfully  optimistic opener "Running On Love", to the rockin' urgency of "Don't Tell Me (I Know)", the nostalgia of "I Blinked Once", to the bleak border tale of "Mexico", to the pop sounds of "On The Streets Of This Town" and "Perfect Stranger", to the perfectly-placed penultimate cut "Wait A Little Longer", to the nice closer "Search Your Heart" -- this is Forbert's finest hour, from start to finish. 

Key tracks

Running On Love
On The Streets of This Town
Wait A Little Longer

BBC4 Songwriters Circle - Boo Hewerdine and Justin Currie Tonight 10:15

This looks like being a great programme:


Justin Currie, Chris Difford and Boo Hewerdine are the featured artists as BBC Four combines great singer-songwriters for unique concerts celebrating the craft of the song.

Filmed at Bush Hall on Uxbridge Road in west London, these concerts see three singer-songwriters perform their classic songs in turn, while helping each other out musically with harmonies and the odd guitar part. The artists only meet an hour or two before going on stage and, in between performance, take viewers inside their work, chattng about their songs, their history and background.

The three songwriters - Justin Currie, formerly of Del Amitri, who wrote hits including Nothing Ever Happens; Chris Difford, who mixes his solo work with Squeeze hits such as Up the Junction; and Boo Hewerdine, formerly of The Bible and perhaps best known for writing Patience of Angels for Eddie Reader - compare notes on songwriting, life after Top of the Pops and the male menopause.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Springsteen World Exclusive!! (possibly)

Listen in to the tremendous Ricky Ross Another Country Radio Show on BBC Radio Scotland this Friday Oct 8th at 8.00pm for what may well be a WORLD EXCLUSIVE first listen of the full track Save My Love from the forthcoming boxset.

You really did hear it first here....


As always though pleasemake sure you visit the brilliant backstreets.com pages for up to date news. And buy from there too if you can (and as I have done often)

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Better Things First Listen


BBC Radio2 has given Bruce and Ray Davies' "Better Things" a spin, and you can hear it online now.


— just click "Listen now," and advance to the 1:24:35 mark.