Cameron Blake “Fear Not” (Independent 2107)

This is a very thoughtful and in some respects mystical album from Cameron Blake a classically trained music scholar now resident in Michigan. The album consists of twelve songs all written by Blake who is also the co-producer here. The tracks cover a wide subject range and lyrics are clever and sensitive. The album kicks off with the title track Fear Not featuring Blake on piano with viola, cello and upright bass accompaniment and strings. A love song of sorts the song is finished with choir backing the classical training of the artist clearly coming through. Continue reading “Cameron Blake “Fear Not” (Independent 2107)”

The Nickajack Men “Can’t take it anymore” – Listen

Can’t take it anymore is the latest single from Glaswegian quintet The Nickajack Men. In case you’re wondering, Nickajack is an area of the rugged Appalachian foothills in eastern Tennessee and northeastern Alabama, which in Civil war times remained loyal to the Union, and was decidedly anti-slavery. Good folks, then.  The band, however, formed in 2014 and have spent the subsequent time building their live reputation. This heavily melodic track builds from a light folk opening to a noisome blend of the deeply funky with the assured swagger of Southern Rock.

Jacob Thomas Jr. “Whiskey Roller Coaster” – Listen

Whiskey Roller Coaster is the first single from Jacob Thomas Jr.’s upcoming album “Electric Sex” which comes out in February next year, a rock-infused, alt-country journey that finds Thomas reflecting on his favorite vice. Thomas describes this first single as “That moment when you wake up hungover and tell yourself that you won’t drink again. Then five o’clock rolls around and a little voice inside your head says ‘what’s one beer and a shot going to hurt?’ Somehow five o’clock turns into 3am, the bars are closing, and you’re too drunk to drive so you just sleep in your car behind the bar and you repeat that cycle for like… 10 years. Well, that’s ‘Whiskey Roller Coaster.’” Don’t drink whiskey on an actual roller coaster either would be our advice.

Jim White returns with waffles, triangles and Jesus!

And who doesn’t love waffles, polygons and kind men? Jim White will be releasing his new sixth solo studio album “Waffles, Triangles & Jesus” (which sounds like an episode title from the new Star Trek series) on 10th November on Loose in the UK, described as “a mind-bending joy ride of sonic influences featuring a bevy of his hometown Athens’ roots musicians, plus west coast indie darlings Dead Rock West, and rock and roll maverick Holly Golightly.” Line of Best Fit have got a track from it over there but in the meantime, here are his live dates where you can catch him round the UK next month. Continue reading “Jim White returns with waffles, triangles and Jesus!”

Pick of the Political Pops: Compay Segundo “Guantanamera”

Down in the bunker we are, of course, shielded form the worst effects of inclement weather, plagues of locust and snotty folk spreading their horrible germs. This is how we filter our world. That said we like to keep up with current affairs and given that the architect of our bunker was a Gaudi devotee we are feeling the situation in the as yet/possibly to be announced People’s Republic of Catalonia. “Let’s have something Spanish this week” one wag commented on his way to our fulsomely stocked bar. Ignoring the fact that in Barcelona they speak Catalan and not Spanish we, of one accord, suggest this. We are also ignoring the fact that it’s actually a Cuban tune rather than Spanish . That’s two fails. And, in a spectacular fail all of its own it was originally written as a love song not the nationalist/revolutionary anthem that it has become. Lucky for us the bunker impenetrable to all dissent and we just do as we please. The best thing is that this has been an ‘easy listening’ hit in, amongst other places, the USA and was once memorably covered by the great protest singer Pete Seeger. Here then is an earworm for you that you’re not going to get rid of anytime soon:

The Travelling Band “Sails” (Sideways Saloon Records, 2017)

First off, it’s nice to have a vinyl release to review. Vinyl has a warmer sound and a better tonal range than CDs or downloads, so it’s nice to hear a band making the most of the format. It’s a good quality pressing too and on white vinyl – very stylish. Of course, it doesn’t matter how stylish or upmarket the format is – it’s the music that matters and Mancunian rockers, The Travelling Band, serve up an extremely good selection of music on this album. Continue reading “The Travelling Band “Sails” (Sideways Saloon Records, 2017)”

Interview: Buford Pope

He’s the dude they call Buford Pope. The King of Scandicana, cooler than a dip in a fjord, he’s everything you’d want in roots rock.  Earle, Dylan, Springsteen, Cash, this ain’t no hipster chic or wannabe genre come lately – he’s butch, tough and rough.  Pope makes ‘chopping logs’ country and is more a  V8 stick shift kinda guy. Praise be to that!  Continue reading “Interview: Buford Pope”

Wilco to reissue first two albums

News from RS this afternoon on two absolute classics, Passenger Side still makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and how many songs from this year can you say that about? (“Galway Girl” notwithstanding of course). They report: “Wilco will reissue their first two albums, A.M. and Being There, on December 1st via Rhino. The new editions will feature an array of bonus tracks, including alternate takes, unreleased songs and live recordings. Continue reading “Wilco to reissue first two albums”