Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Bryan MacLean - Kathleen

Ex-Love guitarist and handsome chap, Bryan, like Gram, was a posh white boy slumming it to make rock and roll.

This track is taken from the If you believe in album.

Bryan MacLean - Kathleen

Official site

Monday, November 29, 2004

lucinda williams - i envy the wind

I've had this post kicking around for two weeks or so, waiting for inspiration to strike, but I'm really at a loss.
Essence and Car Wheels are both permanent residents on my mp3player, I haven't really had a chance to get into the 'new' one yet, but when this track started as I got off the tube on a cold, dark night walking home in the rain, it was as comforting as hot bath and a stiff drink.
lucinda williams - i envy the wind

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Nic Jones - Courting is a Pleasure

This is about as close to traditional folk as my interest goes. Nic Jones' album Penguin Eggs is a stripped down set of beautifully played an sang songs about desire - of other people, of home, of other places (particularly America and Canada). Kathleen Williams put this in her best albums in the Guardian a few months ago, giving the final top 100 a rather skewed view of the album's status.

Nic Jones - Courting is a Pleasure

Official site

Thursday, November 25, 2004

the czars - bright black eyes

Like a half-remembered conversation the morning after when the taste of someone else's smoke on your clothes and a thick coat of fur on your tongue reminds you of what you wanted to say, what you could have said and the rubbish that you came out with instead. I heard this song and I thought of you (how's about that for drama). I know what I'll be doing for karaoke in the future - file with the jumpsuit Elvis numbers.

The Czars - Bright Black Eyes

more mp3s on their official site

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Tim Buckley - Phantasmagoria in Two

Even the best songs in the world won't make the memory of Tim Buckley as husband and father any better. It is a beautiful song though.

Tim Buckley - Phantasmagoria in Two

Official site

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Lonesome Sisters - Gods Golden Key

These girls were the first entries on this blog and where it all began. Now we've got a few more visitors stopping by, I think it's about time they made another appearance. This particular post is for our friends at songs:illinois in line with their current gospel feel.

The Lonesome Sisters play sparse and soulful tunes and their CD with Riley Baugus (available from tin halo music) is an absolute joy - I recommend you get your hands on a copy.

This song is the opener on the album and almost enough to convert a girl.
Vocal harmonies, 50's Gibsons and double bass - what more can you ask for?

The Lonesome Sisters - God's Golden Key

And if you like this, there's more here.

Monday, November 22, 2004

John Martyn - Back To Stay

Taken from the patchy 1967 debut London Conversation, this is the standout track that gets me every time. Always described as being "a bear of a man", in interviews John Martyn comes over as forceful and brutish, reading his biography doesn't help much either. This song cuts all the crap and makes an admission of weakness and vunerablity that is very touching.

John Martyn - Back To Stay

Official site

Sunday, November 21, 2004

HAL - don't worry 'bout the wind

An amazing single from April this year - this time without the mouseclicks.

Like Plush's three-quarters blind eyes, it is a perfect 7" single, and hopefully the rest of their material is as strong. They seem to be pacing themselves though - this was out in April, they've recorded the album, but it's nowhere to be seen and their second single is just about to be recorded.
Come on lads - pull your fingers out!

HAL - Worry 'bout the wind

official site

Friday, November 19, 2004

No Excuses... Nick Cave at Keeping C86 Alive

Just on the off chance that there is anyone out there who has yet to enjoy Nick Cave's cadaverous and heartbreaking growl, go over to Keeping C86 Alive and have a listen to 'Into My Arms' pronto.
Go on, treat yourself.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

I earn an embarrassing amount of money for a borderline Marxist

So said Steve Earle last night.
Went to see him at the Irish Centre, a venue so full of red velvet it's like a cross between a working man's club and Twin Peaks on acid. Interesting demographic in the audience too - not many girls, lots of men in Harley Davidson T-shirts. Are these people my peers now? Anyway, the gig did exactly what it said on the tin and a good rockin' time was had by all.

Big surprise of the night was the support - Allison Moorer, who played an absolutely stunning version of 'Isn't It A Pity?' by your friends and mine, Galaxie 500, in response to the recent election result. I don't know anything about Moorer, but having looked her up today, the record company has her as a soft-focus, lip-glossed country dollybird, a million miles away from the woman on stage last night. Anyone out there have any words of wisdom on where to start with her back catalogue?

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

van morrison - domino

Whilst His Band & Street Choir is not the best Van album by miles, it does have the ability to put a smile on your face. We can break out into into the mystic another time...

Van Morrison - domino

Monday, November 15, 2004

matt deighton - pure English honey

As part of Mother Earth, Matt Deighton was focussing his band on the acid part of acid jazz. He also covered for Noel in Oasis on a European tour, but don't hold that against him. This is taken from his solo album Villager, and offers a far more pastoral take on life. Pitching somewhere between Van Morrison (music) and Nick Drake (subject matter), Matt provides a little light relief from Monday.
Matt Deighton - pure English Honey

more info

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Rave On – One for Our Dad

Scrunch your eyes up, imagine Buddy with a bit more curly hair and you’ve got a fair idea of what our Dad used to look like. I’ve been thinking a lot about him recently. What a bloke. A proper liberal with a nice line in quiet rebellion, he has something to teach us all - and I don’t just mean book-binding (one of his many talents). Pa Lonesome is a man so patient that he once listened to Henry’s Dream all the way through waiting for the song to start. And so placid that he once taught the local 7 year old ruffians how to use the saws they were hacking away at my front wall with.
So here’s a song for our Dad, Buddy Holly fan and all round good guy.

Buddy Holly - Raining In My Heart

Friday, November 12, 2004

Autumn compilation

Got bandwidth? check the rather good autumn mix over at -
G. A. Carafelli: 08 November 2004, it's a big file, so don't go attempting this on dial-up. Found via the catbirdseat blog, which I don't seem to be able to link to at the moment.

Bars & Guitars - Norfolk and Western

Get yourself over to Bars & Guitars, listed over there on the left just as Bars for some reason, anyway the Norfolk and Western tracks are hitting all the right buttons this morning, bit of banjo, tamborine and yes, a pedal steel. Like Mojave 3, a soothing end to the week.

Must fight the temptation to get one, cannot afford to give in to the inner Gram.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

fried out broken girl - I can relate

What's this? A tune on lonesome that doesn't feature steel guitar?
What a mistake-ah to make-ah.

But this is definitely a song to be lonesome to... a beautiful brass opening, gorgeous piano refrain and near-whispered vocals. Eric Matthews (ex-Cardinal) has crafted a melancholy gem here and coolly delivers it without breaking a sweat on his arched brow.

My lovely brother (and fellow host of this blog) put this on a life-saving lonesome tape back in 1996, when I was studying here , a long way from home and counting down the days until Christmas. It reminds me of a long bus journey back to Oslo, looking out at monochrome landscapes, feeling sad in every sense and secretly revelling in it all.

Go and have a listen. I defy you not to swoon.
eric matthews - fried out broken girl

Saturday, November 06, 2004

gillian welch - wichita

Having annoyed my wife by singing this all morning, I thought I post it.

This is from one of the many live sets I seem to have cluttering up my hard drive - the Strawberry Festival back in 1997.

Gillian Welch - Wichita