Thursday, January 29, 2009

John Martyn RIP

So soon after Davy Graham's passing just a few weeks ago, it is with great regret and a tear that I heard of John Martyn's death on my way home from work this evening. Although I never saw him play live, he was and remains responsible for some of my favorite music. Like Graham, I found his interviews and lifestory intimidating, a bear of a man with very human failings and a wilful streak a mile wide. Again I'm just posting the first thing I heard him play on the radio - but this really was just the start point, he was 18 and had many more amazing albums ahead of him.

Listen: John Martyn - Back To Stay

Buy it

Friday, January 23, 2009

Eilen Jewell - Letters from Sinners and Strangers

Now then, why wasn’t this girl all over everyone's end of year lists? I'm coming in with a very late 'honourable mention' here – Eilen Jewell's 'Letters from Sinners and Strangers' is a cracker.

I first heard Eilen's Boundary County over at the ever-reliable songs:illinois and was smitten enough to seek this out last year, before spending most of autumn dancing round the kitchen to it. These are barbed and wry songs a-plenty, wrapped up in a swooning vocal and enough old-timey musicianship to seduce you into thinking they’re honey sweet. Oh no. Recommended.

And in a year where my resolutions are to a) get back on line and b) get into gin-based cocktails, let's start here, shall we?

Listen: Eilen Jewell – High Shelf Booze

Listen: Eilen Jewell – In The End


Monday, January 12, 2009

John Paul Keith and the One Four Fives - New Album

There's a new album from John Paul Keith and his ever trusty One Four Fives called Spills and Thrills. It's full of stripped down 50's/early 60's style rock and roll that manages to stay the right side of pastiche using joie de vivre and some fantastic playing. All the talk of recession seems to have simplified my music tastes of late - this and James Hunter have soundtracked my return to work. Dig the twang.

Listen: John Paul Keith and the One Four Fives - Rock and Roll Will Break Your Heart


Buy the single - Lookin' for a thrill 7"!

Buy the album

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Littlejoy - Brand New Start

I hope you all had a good break - the longest Christmas/New Year break in twenty years for most people apparently. I thought we'd start with this from Littlejoy. Apparently someone in the Strokes is involved with this rather lovely album featuring a healthy amount of ukulele and other acoustic instruments, but don't let that put you off. The album is peppered with moments of real inspiration and yes, joy. As good a way to start the year as any.

Listen: Little Joy - Brand New Start