Saturday, October 24, 2009

Do like a fireman when a house is burning down!

I'm sick.

Nothing too major, just a very persistent bug. Something I like to think of as a 'swine-cold'.

In short, I'm not dying, I just feel like I am.

Thank God for the extra-large bottle of orange flavored, codeine-laden, cough syrup the doctor gave me. Ya know, the stuff really doesn't taste half-bad if ya add some club soda, a little cracked ice, and a couple of slices of lime.

I'm tempted to offer-up Chris Kenner's, Sick and Tired....but instead I think I'll post something a bit more...infectious.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Don't ya let that man get away...


I finally find a less than hammered copy of one of the greatest two-siders ever....and two days later I find a copy which sounds slightly better. Of course, I buy both.

Usually the choice is easy, I keep the better sounding copy and trade/sell the other.

But ya know, I kind of like the slightly worn sound of the less good copy. So, I'm unsure what to do.

Anyway, here's my 'second' [very very pretty] copy.....

Cover your ears children.....distortion is bad for ya......mama sez so

Monday, October 19, 2009

He should be pulling rabbits out of hats...

This one of my recent finds at the record convention in Austin. It's one of 10 or so singles Carol Fran put out on the Port/Roulette labels between 1964 and 1967.

Fran has had quite a life. You can read about it here. The piece is by Jeff Hannusch.

There's a very nice collection of Fran's stuff around. It's split with sides by Betty LaVette and called, Bluesoul Belles: The Complete Calla, Port and Roulette Recordings 1964-1967.

It's very rare that any of these old soul artists are still alive, even rarer that they own the rights to their work....but on the off-chance that Fran or LaVette get anything from sales of the comp, I would like to suggest that you go buy a copy. Both artists more than deserve some money for their work, they sure as hell never got any in the day.

Hope ya enjoy

Friday, October 16, 2009

My heart keeps wanting you....

This is one of four sides on the Alon label produced by Eddie Bo...all of which were recorded with Skip Easterling.

Martin Lawrie, over at Soul Generation, says this record is, "impossibly hard to find"....and I'll take his word for it, but ya know things do change and previously unknown copies do sometimes start to appear once the word gets out. So, perhaps a teensie weensie reality check is in order.

That said, this recording isn't heard that often, and should be played more often than it is. It's not only one of Bo's most beautiful compositions, it's also one of his better productions....and Easterling's performance is nothing short of sublime.

It essentially follows the same formula that makes the other Bo/Easterling ballad on Alon, The Grass Is Always Greener, such a jaw-dropper.


[Ugh, I just realized that the label is very difficult to read, the song is...Just One More Time, by Skip Easterling]

Correction: There are more than two Eddie Bo produced 45's on the Alon Label. I forgot about a 45 by David Reynolds, Cry Cry Cry/Tears In My Eyes. Martin Lawrie doesn't list it in his usually very complete discography. It's a rare item.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Always, a part of me..

What an amazing recording.....written by the fabulous Earl King, sung by the greatest singer New Orleans ever spawned, Johnny Adams....and as if that wasn't enough, Wardell Querzerque is on board to make everything sound just right.

Too bad I don't own a better copy.

But then, I'm very partial to this one. I suppose you could say it has sentimental value.

Or perhaps it's just that I like my deep soul to sound like it's coming to me from a great something ya hear faintly through your window in the middle of the night....just a bit ghostly.

Or maybe it's that pops and crackles simply don't matter when it comes to certain records...and you'd be a stone-cold fool to nit-pick rather than just sit back and listen.


Ya see, I think of records as something much more than a collection of static sound my mind, they're alive, changing over time...the pops and crackles becoming one with the grooves.....each copy, an individual, to be loved or not.

This is the first single I ever bought. I remember seeing it in the store and thinking...gee, I could own that for $3.00.

Hope ya enjoy

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

If you ever think about me...

This is Bobby Marchan's first record after leaving Huey Smith & the Clowns. It's also one of the more bizarre singles to ever hit the charts.....No.1 on the R&B charts in 1960.

Part 1 is basically a straight-up cover of the original version recorded by Big Jay McNeely's band, for whom it was a huge hit in 1959.

Part 2 is where things get strange. Here, Marchan proceeds to 'murder' the original as clearly and as cleanly as the confession states.

In short, the song becomes a murder ballad and everything you thought you knew, suddenly falls to ashes.

Once the refrain "if you ever think about me" shows itself to be the unspoken words of the dead sweetheart echoing in Marchan's head, the specter of psychosis retroactively blankets the entire song.

The ease with which Marchan subverts the original while barely changing a note is deceptively simple. It's truly a mind-f*ck of a very high order.

Just so you can judge for yourself, I'm also including a copy of the original version by Big Jay McNeely, even though I don't actually own the record [it's well worth a listen].


Monday, October 12, 2009

I'm gonna give a party in my backyard...

Yeah you right...ain't near enough dancing goin' on.

Here's one of Robert Parker's series of singles based on his Barefootin' theme.

I should point out that Parker's Barefootin' LP on Nola records is fairly easy to find and includes many of his hits, that is if ya don't feel like messing with the 45's. I'm pretty sure I paid less than $10 for my copy.


The man who left, was doggin' me around...

I had fair luck at the record convention, picked up a few things I was looking for, found a few others I didn't know I was looking for....had two records given to me outright [which was sweet]. Also did some horse-trading with a dear friend.

All in all, ended up with 30+ new 45's.

Here's one of my finds...a strange/haunting single which took me awhile to suss out.

A few years before Jean Knight [real name, Jean Caliste] recorded Mr. Big Stuff with Wardell Querzerque, she made a couple of demo's. Huey Meaux heard them and signed Knight to his Jet Stream label which issued 3[?] singles, none of which got much attention.

Now, on the surface, this is one of those Meaux produced singles, but actually it's more, and less, than that....

These are the original demo's that Knight recorded at Cosimo's. Meaux simply had them pressed to vinyl and released in unaltered form.

So, what ya hear is Knight's first time in the studio, the session done on the cheap....

What strikes me most [besides the creepy organ parts] is how nervous/scared she sounds...miles and miles apart from the struttin' soul sister she became.

Some of this difference is due to the choice in material, but still, I think it's hard to deny the vulnerability Knight shows here. It's almost shocking.


Friday, October 9, 2009

So many people fall in love just for fun...

I'm heading out for Austin Tx in a few hours...gonna visit with friends and spend some serious time digging through the piles of vinyl at the Austin Record Convention. Should be a blast.

My short list is rather small...but of course, there are hundreds of singles I'm likely to snatch if they cross my path.

Here's a record which until recently was on my must-find list. One of my better trading partners coughed it up in exchange for my second copy of Oliver Morgan's, Who Shot the La La.

It's Diamond Joe's second single and arguably one of Allen Toussaint's strangest productions.

Yep, that's an autoharp.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Just me and you...

Here ya of the many 'It's Your Thing' influenced songs which followed in the wake of the Isley Brothers hit single.

Just so happens this one is by Albert Washington...which in my little world, makes it special.

FYI...the collection, Albert Washington: Blues and Soul Man, is highly recommended. It includes a 6 plus minute long extended version of this song. A recording which in a perfect world would have been released as Parts 1&2/A&B sides of the single.