Friday, 17 November 2017

Big in Bulawayo

What with Zimbabwe being in the news at the moment, I thought I would dig out a few oldies but goodies from the Harare Hit Parade of yesteryear.

"First Aid" - Safirio Madzikatire & Sea Cottage Sisters

"Ekhaya" - Jobs Combination

"Manheru Changamire" - Hallelujah Chicken Run Band

While Mugabe's departure - if that is what it turns out to be - is long overdue, it is hard to think of a military takeover as being a good thing in itself. Unless, perhaps, you are a Liberal Reactionary like Charity Chic. On which subject, that crazed despot has insisted that I bring you a bit of Lulu, so here she is. The title seemed suitable for a military coup.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

What Have We Got? Two Lous

Well, four Lous actually, and a Lew thrown in for good measure.

"Love Is A Hurting Thing" - Lou Rawls

"Understand Each Other" - Lou Ragland

"She's Not Mama's Little Girl Anymore" - Lou Roberts

"Why Must Our Eyes Always Be Turned Backwards" - Lou Bond

"Come On With It" - Lew Kirton

And here is another Lou attempting, less successfully, to do the soul thing.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Da Doo Ronnie Ronnie

This will be the last post from me for a week or so. I'm off to Germany in the morning for a few days' work followed by a weekend mooching round Berlin.

Bearing in mind the somewhat lukewarm response last time we featured some German popular music on here, I have decided to spare you that - although you know as well as I do it is just deferring the inevitable. Instead, here are six soulful Ronnies to keep you company while I'm gone.

"Put Your Tears Away" - Ronnie Jones

"A Wednesday In Your Garden" - Ronnie Dyson

"I'd Much Rather Be With The Girls" - Ronnie Spector

"Guess I'll Never Understand (The Workings Of Your Mind)" - Ronnie Walker

"Se Algeum Chorou" - Ronnie Von

"A Million Miles to Paradise" - Ronnie Cook & The Superbs

And here's another excellent Ronnie as an extra special treat.

Friday, 3 November 2017

The Taxman Cometh

A couple of selections tonight from "Confessions of an I.R.S. Groupie", a 1988 compilation from - obviously - I.R.S. Records. Judging by this album, the former home of REM and The Go-Go's had started to go off the boil quite badly by 1988. There is an awful lot of dodgy heavy metal, dull jazz-rock instrumentals and an attempt at blue-eyed soul that might have been OK had it not been for the dreadful production values that blighted nearly all soul music in the 1980s.

But it is not all bad. Here are couple of tracks from two bands I had never previously heard of. Reckless Sleepers is clearly "inspired by" Tom Petty, but is none the worse for that; and I do like The Balancing Act (although I could have done without the guitar solo).

"If We Never Meet Again" - Reckless Sleepers

"Can You Get To That?" - The Balancing Act

The only actual hit on the album is this one, which I've always had a bit of a soft spot for, although for the life of me I couldn't tell you why.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

The Baobab Boys Are Back!

Had an excellent night out last night, watching the current line-up of Senegal's legendary Orchestra Baobab bopping away in Camden. It was good to see many of the original members still involved, and showing the youngsters a thing or two. Coming after the - possibly even better - Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou gig a few months back, this is clearly a vintage year for veteran West African orchestras.

At the other end of the age and experience scale, I also enjoyed seeing Girl Ray while on my travels in Eindhoven last week. Their debut album, "Earl Grey" - see what they did there? - is recently out and well worth a listen.

Here's a couple of golden oldies from the golden oldies, and a video clip from the bright young things.

"Kelen Ati Len" - Orchestra Baobab

"Jirim" - Orchestra Baobab

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Fats Domino R.I.P.

I have returned from the Netherlands with a few choice additions to my CD collection. Most promising of all is "Rare Dutch Folk: 43 Lost Classics from the Golden Age of Nederfolk 1967-1987". Experience suggests that not all will prove to be "classics", and choosing to include 43 tracks rather than the more conventional 40 might seem like an attempt at spurious authenticity. But I am sure overall it will be a delight.

Before we get round to that, though, here is a belated and woefully inadequate tribute to the late, great Fats Domino.

"Goin' Back Home" - Fats Domino

"Along The Navajo Trail" - Fats Domino

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Nearly in the Natherlands

Tomorrow morning I head off for five days in the Netherlands - mostly work, but I am hoping to catch up with an old pal or two while I'm there. Here are a couple of Dutch crackers to get me - and hopefully you - in the right frame of mind. 'Inkpot' in particular is rather splendid.

"Inkpot" - Shocking Blue

"Silver Girls" - Penny Wise

Regular readers will already have guessed what is coming next.