Get me out of here
Buy books
  • Saint Dominic's Flashback: Van Morrison's Classic Album, Forty Years On
    Saint Dominic's Flashback: Van Morrison's Classic Album, Forty Years On
Previous Journal Entries

"The cords of all link back...strandentwining cable...

"Hello...put me on to Edenville... aleph, alpha: nought, nought, one"


New music isn't everything

Taking a break from being sniffy about 2014's new releases, I'm knocked out by the first vinyl outing for Lucinda Williams' 1998 classic Car Wheels On A Gravel Road.

I find I don't make enough time regularly to listen to the really great records. And this one definitely is great. Strong songs, spot-on arrangements and sympathetic playing, and Lucinda in consistently wonderful voice.

I could single out virtually any of the songs on it, but take a listen to the spare lyricism and lazy erotic charge of the opener, 'Right In Time'.

Well done to Music On Vinyl for a clear and solid pressing: every home should have one.


First half of 2014

Hmmm... not feeling like a vintage year so far.

My top five of this year's releases so far are:

  • Wussy Attica!
  • The Hold Steady Teeth Dreams
  • Two Wings A Wake
  • Steve Gunn & Mike Cooper Cantos De Lisboa
  • Beck Morning Phase

All splendid and well worth listening to, but I'd have trouble coming with another five at this point. I think Neil Young's A Letter Home will be up there with them, but I haven't yet got my hands on a vinyl copy.

So far as gigs have gone, The Hold Steady are on top, with Powder Blue and Michael Chapman in joint second...but, again I just haven't been to as many as I would usually have at the 6 month point.

Buck up, 2014.


Cantos de Lisboa

At least some of this is great...

A slightly qualified recommendation, after a couple of days getting to know this new release from the great Steve Gunn and veteran Brit bluesman Mike Cooper.

It's an improvised two-guitar-plus-occasional-vocal set, with some inspired moments of gorgeously intertwined tones and textures. The opening track 'Saudade Do Santos-o-Vehlo', which you can hear below, is particularly strong:  a lovely melange of twangs and harmonics and picking. Classically apposite warm weather listening, I'd say - which is what (for a day or two at least) the UK needs just now...

Some of the other tracks are less immediately accessible and will need more listening, but there's certainly enough going on to justify the effort.



Most enthusiastic Lab in a music video

Not sure if the Oscars have that category yet, but as and when they do, this lad's a shoo-in...

A lovely song, too. (May have mentioned that already.)


Sometimes only a fiddle will do

And when that is the case, Ross Couper is a man you can rely on. I first happened upon him playing a pub session in Stornoway, then saw him with the remarkable Shetland troupe Fullsceilidh Spelemannslag. He put out a lovely EP with guitarist Tom Oakes a couple of years ago and here's a track from it.

Page 1 ... 2 3 4 5 6 ... 45 Next 5 Entries »