SONG OF THE DAY Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – Portrait of a Man

Definitely one of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins more tender moments, Portrait of a Man is the title track from an album of rarities and obscurities. This collection also includes classics like I Put a Spell on You (this being the original version), Heart Attack & Vine, Mountain Jive and Armpit No. 6.  

I just love way this song can almost drive you to tears as the opening line painfully declares,  “I am painting in oil, a portrait of a man, Who has taken all the heart aches, And all the pain he can stand” …I love Screamin’ Jay Hawkins in all his many guises, but this song captures the broken woes of a pained man with passion, dignity and glorious expression and for that it is truly moving.. Check it out above.

..The LP Blog is taking a day off tomorrow, see you in a couple of days x

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SONG OF THE DAY Sly 5th Ave – No Diggity (feat. Sydney Driver)

Going by the name of Sly5thAve, Sylvester Uzoma Onyejiaka is a multi-instrumentalist, arranger and producer  who lives, works and creates in Brooklyn.  Also a member of funk project Igbo, Ghost Note, Strawberry Jam and Quantic’s live band, Sly’s latest project sees him paying tribute to Dr. Dre.  Due in mid November, The Invisible Man is a record consisting of 23 orchestral arrangements of Dr. Dre’s major hop-hop tracks where, applying his deep understanding of soul and jazz, Sly’s selections explores his new and old favourites.

This recording is the result of a concert assembled by Sly5thAve, Eric Coleman (Mochilla) and Kentyah Fraser who brought in Playing For Change, the non-profit music charity  which was dedicated to building a music school in Compton.  Taking place at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, some of L.A.’s finest musicians performed at the “Cali-Love” show which was attended by Dr. Dre–who took to the stage to congratulate Sly5thAve’s arrangements.

No Diggity has been wonderfully reconstructed with slick orchestral layering and a very funky rhythm section.  Check it out above and pre-order the album from here

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SONG OF THE DAY Gene Ski – Six Foot Down

To be greeted by a bass line as sweet as this, how could you not want to hear what the rest of this track has to offer?..and what an offering it is with its ever-so-cheery, upbeat melody and wonderfully contrasting, more sombre vocal hook that exclaiming, “O’well’a when I die I hope it’s six foot down,  and they cover me over with heavy ground”. 

Today’s little rock’n’roll/rockabilly treat was recorded by Gene Ski & The Troubadours in 1966 and written by Ski himself who originally put this little 45 out on the US label, Sara.

Chicago’s Numero group have just featured Gene Ski’s Six Foot Down in a brand new compilation entitled Driftless Dreamers In Cuca Country, Vol. 1.  The collection consists of 16 tracks, generating an interesting mix of country, rock’n’roll, folk-roots and rockabilly.  So if you find yourself partial to any of the above, this worth checking out.

Listen above and find the rest of the album here.

Posted in Country, Folk, Folk roots, Numero Group, rock n roll, Rockabilly | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY The Buttertones – Madame Supreme

Today’s song is supreme by name and totally supreme by nature!!!

LA’s cinematic retro-rockers TheButtertones are a mighty force to be reckoned with!  Their furious relentless energy is a defining feature and if you just so happen to find yourself drawn into their powerful magnetic orbit, you’d better hold on tight and prepare yourself for one crazy ride!  One of my favourite discoveries in recent years, The Buttertones have been one of my favourite finds for me ever since I stumbled upon them in 2015.

Today the band have shared Madame Supreme, one of two previously unreleased songs from the Midnight in a Moonless Dream Recording sessions.  This track will appear exclusively on Limited Edition White Label 7″ Vinyl with only 500 numbered copies available while the B-Side features a dark but faithful cover of The Walker Brothers classic Shut Out 

Madame Supreme punches, kicks and screams out with furious energy whilst Richard Arazia’s contrasting baritone vocals adds a sublime layer of pure velvety softness.  Check it out above and order your copy from here. 

Posted in Alternative, cinematic, garage, Garage Rock, Innovative leisure, LA, rock n roll | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY Don Curtis – Man of Dakota

I’ve just caught this song on a radio show, but there was no track listing so I’ve been trying to work out what is was by the lyrics..I’m not even going to tell you how I translated the line ‘Man of Dakota’’s a wonder, but I got there in the end!

Curt Nordlander, a.k.a Don Curtis, was a Swedish musician and artist also known as the the white Indian because of his lifelong interest in Indian culture.  Using his acquired knowledge in this field, this topic was often the subject of his lyrics and today’s song is one of those examples.. Many years later Curtis even set up an Indian camp in Sälen that he and friends had stated 1998!

Man of Dakota was released in 1970 via his own GP label…it’s a quirky, catchy little number! Check it out above..

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SONG OF THE DAY Richard Swift – Broken finger blues

Richard Swift was a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer who worked with the Black Keys, the Shins and many others.  Earlier this year his untimely death took him from this world at the age of just 41 and it is believed that his alcohol addiction was the cause….why did I not discover him sooner?

Swift was a remarkably prolific and multi-talented musician, releasing multiple solo albums and EPs as well as being a member of the Shins from 2011 to 2016; the touring bassist for the Black Keys in 2014; and drummer for the Arcs. He produced recordings by Sharon Van Etten, Damien Jurado, Foxygen, Guster, the Mynabirds and Pure Bathing Culture, among others.

Richard Swift believed in and sought real beauty. And so, even at its most caustic and sardonic, his masterpiece album,  The Hex is beautiful. Conceived in pieces over the last several years and completed just the month before his passing, The Hex is the grand statement Swift acolytes have been a-wishin-and-a-hopin’ for all these years.

Released last month this album featured Broken Finger Blues, a gloriously soulful tune written a few years back after he broke his finger. The story behind the song (as stated by Swift himself goes: “A year and a half ago i broke my finger.  Never got it back.  This is a song I made a few days after getting the cast taken off.”

Check it out above and order The Hex from here. 

Posted in Indie, Indie Rock, Singer-songwriter | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY Lightnin’ Hopkins – Awful Dream

If ever an awful dream could be a bearable prospect, it would have to  include today’s track!  Play me this song and dreams can throw whatever horrors they please at me…

Known as one of the best guitarists of all time and ranking at 71 of the Rolling Stone magazine’s greatest guitarists of all time, Lightnin’ Hopkins played country blues with a distinct fingerstyle technique.  Often incorporating the parts of bass, rhythm, lead and percussion all at the same time, he often used the body of his guitar to add rhythm.

The musicologist Robert ‘Mack’ McCormick once described Hopkins as “the embodiment of the jazz-and-poetry spirit, representing its ancient form in the single creator whose words and music are one act” …you can’t really put it better than that now can you!

Awful Dreams appears on Hopkins’ 1962 record, Mojo Hand….Check it out above.

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SONG OF THE DAY Television – Mars

“It was worth waiting fifteen years” (David Fricke of Rolling Stone)

After coming together in 1973, New York’s Television  subsequently parted and went their separate ways 5 years later after the release of second album, Adventure.  The reasons for their disbanding a combination of clashes between band member’s fuelled by their independent and strongly held artistic visions, along with Richard Lloyd’s drug abuse.   After parting, both Lloyd and Verlaine pursued solo careers, while Ficca became the drummer for the new wave band The Waitresses.

Fourteen years later in 1992, Television reformed and in a time where Grunge was rising and dominating the sound waves, their eponymous third album was still very much rooted in an alternative, New Wave sound.

Taken from this album comes Mars, an edgy little number with a sultry, smokey-tinged melody and slightly deranged vocals..and if these aren’t the perfect ingredients for a hearty little listen, I don’t know what is! Check it out above…

Posted in Alternative Rock, new wave | Tagged , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY Black Blood & The Chocolate Pickles ‎– Mississippi Mud

I love it when music pieces together like a mysterious jigsaw puzzle and today I discovered the origin of a sample that had been used in a song I’d featured a couple of years ago.

Danny Lover & Wes Murray released a song called Chunk in August 2016 and what hooked me into this track in the first place was its dark melody and shifting beat.  Today, by sheer accident, I stumbled upon original source to the rhythm and melody behind Danny Lover’s composition and discovered it came from a track called Mississippi Mud.  

Released in 1970 by an artist going by the name of Black Blood & The Chocolate Pickles, there is not much else known about this song other than it has been re-issued by the Tuff City label in New York; that and if you were ever lucky enough to come across the original 45, it’s currently fetching over £200!  Black Blood’s real name was Dr Valerian E. Smith and he was a songwriter and producer from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Acquiring his passion for music from his parents, Smith spent a significant amount of time as a musician and playwright, authoring countless musical compositions as well as writing, directing and producing many stage productions and musicals.  Mississippi Mud is a one very haunting, funk-based dirge which I am so chuffed I accidentally found! Check it out above and if your liking this, its worth giving the B-side a listen here. 

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SONG OF THE DAY Nick Cave – Ramblin’ Mind

Founding member of The Gun Club, Jeffrey Lee Pierce died in 1996 at the age of only 38.  Years later in 2006 British musician Cypress grove unearthed an old cassette with a label that read “JLP songs.”  Grove soon discovered that this tape was the long-forgotten product of a songwriting session between himself and Jeffrey Lee Pierce and, whilst the quality of the tape was too poor for commercial release and some were just fragments, Grove was struck by the strength of these songs and was determined that people should have the opportunity to hear his lost songs.

Working with a handful of Pierce’s friends, peers and admirers, Grove helped to oversee new recordings of these songs as well as several other lesser-known Pierce compositions and out of this compiled a new album entitled, We Are Only Riders (The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project).  Grove enlisted an all-star cast for these recordings including Nick Cave, Deborah Harry, Mark Lanegan, the Raveonettes, Dave Alvin, Kid Congo Powers, the Sadies, Lydia Lunch and Isobel Campbell.  Nick Cave’s version of Ramblin’ Mind is a real treat, wonderfully dark and ominous, but then I would expect nothing else! Listen above.

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