Monthly Archives: December 2012

Junior Parker – Love Ain’t Nothin’ But A Business Goin’ On / 1971

junior parker

Love Ain’t Nothin’ But A Business Goin’ On
1. Love Ain’t Nothin’ But A Business Goin’ On
2. Outside Man
3. Darling Depend On Me
4. Taxman
5. River’s Invitation
6. (i Wonder) Where Our Love Has Gone
7. Just To Hold My Hand
8. You Know I Love You
9. Lady Madonna
10. Tomorrow Never Knows

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Herman Parker Jr. was born at the heart of the blues in Clarksdale, Mississippi in 1932. He died tragically young, from a brain tumour in 1971. In between, he produced some of the most soulful
blues of the ’50s and ’60s. Mentored by Sonny Boy Williamson and Howlin’ Wolf and talent-spotted by Ike Turner, Parker started out as Little Junior who, with The Blue Flames cut the riotous
Feelin’ Good and the eerie Mystery Train for Sun Records. Parker’s downhome late-’50s sides for Duke brought him success but when he moved away from hard blues he lost his audience. As a result,
most scholars tend to write off Parker’s later, more soulful sound. This is a shame as his final recordings contain some of the most warm-heated sunshine soul of the period. Cratediggers rate
this album (alt. titled Outside Man in its Capitol incarnation) because of Sonny Lester’s clear production, and in-the-pocket groove from Jimmy McGriff’s soul-jazz combo and Parker’s three

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“Taxman” mp3


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CAINS & ABELS – My Life Is Easy – 2012

cains and abels

“Run Run Run”
“Stay Home Tonight”
“My Life Is Easy”
“Why Are You Lying To Me?”
“You Know Which One”
“Where Did You Go?”
“Grow Me Home”


Although they’ve been compared to certain lovesick folksingers, Cains & Abels lack any of the helplessness so often present in the classic folk-rock oeuvre. David Sampson writes songs that are indeed heartbroken—for lack of money, love, communication—but they’re also hopeful and aware of their own strength. Sampson has a powerful voice that glides over layered guitar riffs and spare drum beats, much like a sermon or a plea. The songs themselves present that opposition. They can be quiet and introspective, while the next moment booming and bursting with universal themes. Their new album, My Life Is Easy, is out now on Whistler Records, as is a limited edition, Record Store Day 7″



My Life Is Easy mp3

my life is easy



art farmer

Look on the back of any jazz record from the ’50s onward and the odds are pretty good that Art Farmer is on it. In 1945, Farmer blazed a trail the minute he set foot in Los Angeles: he improvised like a demon yet still managed to be melodic on trumpet and flugelhorn. Farmer’s playing enlivened the bands of Benny Carter, Lionel Hampton, and Quincy Jones. In New York, he worked with Horace Silver, Gerry Mulligan, and Benny Golsen, among countless others. He led his own groups from the early ’60s on and released dozens of superb solo albums, but continued to drop in on friends’ sessions. His sound was so appealing that even during the dark ’70s, he had major label deals. What was his secret? Whatever it was, Farmer carried it to the grave in 1999 but we can still search for the answers in his music.


Throughout the mid 1950s, Farmer performed with drummer Art Blakey, tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins and pianist Thelonious Monk. In 1956, Art performed with Horace Silver as well as leading a quartet called Farmer�s Market with tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley and drummer Elvin Jones. After two years with Silver, Art performed in a small group led by baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan.

mau mau


Mau Mau mp3


Crosby, Stills And Nash – Long Time Gone / 1969 single

crosby-stills-and-nash-long-time-gone-atlantic-2  Long Time Gone mp3

long time gone

It’s been a long time comin’
It’s goin’ to be a Long Time Gone
And it appears to be a long
appears to be a long
appears to be a long
time, yes, a long, long, long ,long time before the dawn

Turn, turn any corner
Hear, you must hear what the people say
You know there’s something that’s goin’ on around here
the surely, surely, surely won’t stand the light of day
And it appears to be a long
appears to be a long
appears to be a long
time, yes, a long, long, long ,long time before the dawn

Speak out, you got to speak out against the madness
you got to speak your mind
if you dare
But don’t no don’t now try to get yourself elected
If you do you had better cut your hair
‘Cause it appears to be a long
appears to be a long
appears to be a long
Time, such a long long long long time before the dawn

It’s been a long time comin’
It’s goin’ to be a long time gone
But you know
The darkest hour is always
Always just before the dawn
And it appears to be a long, appears to be a long
appears to be a long
Time  before the dawn


“Long Time Gone” was a response to the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.


Lost Lander – DRRT / 2012

lost lander drrt

Cue Lost Lander, a Portland based alt-rock group with a penchant for straightforward, subtlely hooky song writing. The band’s incorporation of a wide range of instrumentation in their debut DRRT runs alongside a constant variation in structure and provides a pleasant, if not wholly original, perspective. The band shows off a certain flare for alternative fused with indie rock and a bit of blues, but certainly isn’t afraid to try their hands at a great many other styles. Whistles, strings, percussive quirks and string sections meld fluidly to create unique textures that push the band well beyond the realm of “good”.

lost lander 2012

A heady mix of indie chamber folk and Shearwater/early Peter Gabriel-inspired AOR pop, “Your Name Is a Fire” and, to a lesser extent, “Belly of the Bird/Valentina” introduce subtle percussive and creative yet unobtrusive electronic elements into the mix, wrapping Sheehy’s impressionistic words in a light rain of synths and late-night handclaps that makes the songs sound weightier than they actually are. In fact, much of DRRT feels that way at first, but multiple spins do a great deal of good in revealing the many complexities that reside within Sheehy and Knopf’s first outing under the Lost Lander moniker. “Cold Feet”


The Artwoods – Art Gallery / 1965

Art Gallery 1

The Artwoods’ only album was an enjoyable mixture of club-oriented soul, R&B, and jazz with a strong organ spice, although it found them falling seriously behind their contemporaries in the British R&B scene in a crucial respect. Art Gallery album Not one of the dozen tracks was a group original, and their vocal and interpretive ability was not so strong as to make that shortfall an irrelevance.


Their early records today stand up well against the work of more successful groups such as the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds or ironically, the Birds, who included Art’s younger brother Ron. But at the time they came out, despite appearances on programs like Ready, Steady, Go! their singles never seemed to connect with the record-buying public. In live performance, on the other hand, it was a different matter. They had a virtuoso lineup, Lord’s piano and organ sound was a great complement to Wood’s singing, Griffith’s guitar work was tastefully flashy, and Keef Hartley was animated as well as powerful, with a big sound on the drums. Club audiences always knew they were good for a great show and the band loved playing live. Ultimately, in fact, the group’s success in touring and their love of playing live may have hurt them.

Artwoods - Back

Things Get Better mp3


Minnie Driver – Everything I’ve Got in My Pocket / 2010

minnie driver

This is a wonderful album! Why didn’t we hear about this CD when it came out? It’s chock-full of lovely songs, and Ms. Driver’s voice and singing style are just beautiful. This CD reminds me of Sarah McLachlan’s album, “Surfacing,” and is equally as good. The songs “Invisible Girl,” and “Down,” are particularly memorable, as is her cover of Bruce Springsteen’s, “Hungry Heart.”
I enjoy her acting, very much, but, I hope Ms. Driver will also continue to pursue the musical side of her career, as well. EVERYONE should hear this!


Yes, Minnie Driver can act, write songs and sing. Get over it. She sounds like an earthier Norah Jones or a wispier, less bent Neko Case. The title track is genuinely effervescent and lyrically intriguing; “Fast As You Can” is a smoky alt country anthem, and her take on Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart” is worthwhile.



Deeper Water ” mp3


The Chamber Brothers – Time Has Come Today / 1967 single


It’s the echo effect on the drumming and the repeated shout ‘Time’ that leads into a fuzz solo and wilder reverberations swirling around in the magical background. Then the screaming. Then the manic laughter. Electronic screeching and the machine-gun drumming, fading in and out, rising to a crescendo and looped back to the wail of ‘Now the time has come’ before leading into the apocalyptic line ‘And my soul has been psycedelicised’ – the use and power of that word at that time! – then it slows painfully to its groaned end, and we put down our mock-mics, exhausted by our vicarious vinyl trip.


Upon learning of their new song, Columbia president Clive Davis asked for it to be recorded by a white group, something the band was vehemently against.

chambers brothers  Time Has Come Today mp3

chambers brothers time

Nina Simone – Pastel Blues / 1965

nina simone sinnerman


1. Be My Husband 3:23
2. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out 2:39
3. End of the Line 2:55
4. Trouble in Mind 2:41
5. Tell Me More and More and Then Some 3:08
6. Chilly Winds Don’t Blow 4:01
7. Ain’t No Use 3:01
8. Strange Fruit 3:29
9. Sinnerman 10:19

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Five stars, definitely. Recorded in 1964 and 1965 during Nina Simone’s classic New York days, Nina takes on the blues and wins. Opening with ‘Be My Husband’ recently revived by Anthony and the Johnsons, showing Nina wrestling with all the complexities that can appear even in the most mundane human relationships. Followed by a rousing version of Bessie Smith’s ‘Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out’. Another highlight must be ‘Strange Fruit’ , the well known standard about Klu Klux Klan lynching, and made famous by Billie Holiday, and covered magnificently. Goodness knows this track has been treated to some poor covers , so a relief to hear that its harrowing potency was kept well by Nina Simone. ‘Tell Me More and More and Them Some’ ( another Billie Holiday number) is chilling and brooding , with some spectacular vocals and keyboards. The release ends with a rousing version of ‘ Sinnerman’, confrontational edgy Gospel, ten minutes . The CD really is awesome and far too short at just under thirty six minutes ( with nine tracks) , but the amount of emotional energy that Nina just poured into the blues is demonstrated well.

pastel blues 22


Sinnerman mp3




m83 – Hurry Up We’re Dreaming / 2011

m83 hurry up we're dreaming

For epic impact, everyone knows they don’t come much more stadium-sized than M83. Three years since his heart-bursting ‘Saturdays = Youth’, he drops the increasingly ambitious ‘Hurry Up We’re Dreaming!’, hauling Zola Jesus on stage for a cameo role on one of 22 tracks split over 2CDs. Since his last effort M83 mainman Anthony Gonzalez has moved from his native France to LA and cites it as having a big influence on his new sound. And there’s definitely something of an American ebullience to these tracks, a self-congratulatory, iMaxed high-5 grandiosity which could happily soundtrack the “reveal” of a particularly heart-wrenching episode of TV’s Secret Millionaire or a wide angled montage scene from X-Factor.


With these soft spoken words on the simply-titled opening track–“Intro”– M83 mastermind Anthony Gonzalez introduces us to his sixth record and first double disc album, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.

m83 CS437399-01B-BIG

Soon, My Friend mp3