Saturday, April 30, 2005

Hello There (again)

I have no idea why Cheap Trick decided to re-record IN COLOR. The story I hear most often is that they weren't happy with Tom Werman's production job. The band said it was too smooth and radio-friendly. OK. If they Cheap Trick was so unhappy with Werman, why did they have him produce their next two studio albums, HEAVEN TONIGHT & DREAM POLICE? Radio was very friendy to those records. The other story is that enjoyed working with Steve Albini so much that they just started recording and ended up doing the whole record over again. That's a better (and believable) story, I just wish they had redone ALL SHOOK UP instead. That was a botched production job.

I like the original IN COLOR, I wore the cassette out when I was a 16-year-old with a new driver's license and that's the version I still play. I've listened to this new version less than a dozen times. It sounds good but it doesn't sound right.

In defense of Cheap Trick, they did not try to sell the new version of IN COLOR. Good for them. I've only ever heard about it being traded or given away (Hi Perry!). The band can do whatever they want, if re-recording IN COLOR makes them happy then I have no reason to complain.

BTW, "Southern Girls" is still my favorite Cheap Trick song. And I bet Nielsen's tip o'the hat to the Yardbirds sounds terrific live.

Rain Taps On The Window Pane

Friday, April 29, 2005

The Day The Rain Came Down

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Hasil Adkins burial fund

Tell everyone you know to go to

There's an address up there to send contributions for a proper burial. Make sure people know that any little bit will help and that they don't need to send a lot of money. Haze didn't have enough money for a proper burial and they'll put him in a pauper's grave with the convicts and the bums. He doesn't belong there. He was a good man. God bless him.

Spring Rain

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Look At The Sun

Even though Felt are from the same town I’ve lived in for 15 years, I’d never heard of them until Akarma Records re-issued their only LP a few years ago. I knew they were from Alabama but not from right down the road. I’ve never seen an original copy of the LP that Nasco Records (Nasco released records by Whalefeathers and The Electric Toilet too!) released in 1971.

Felt were a bunch of students at Grissom High School here in Huntsville in the early 70’s. Trick McKaha was a few years behind the band and remembers hearing them mentioned a few times but never knew any of the guys in the band. I did meet a teacher that had some of the band in her class and said that they were nice kids. Both of them have vague memories of the band playing a show at the school.

The music is pretty much standard early seventies guitar rock. "Look At The Sun" is my favorite from the record and I like "Now She's Gone" too. If you like that one, you'll like the whole record.

Felt’s leader did a Christian solo LP for a local label in 1974 and it’s pretty good. I’ve only seen one copy and I doubt it’ll ever get reissued. There may have been a second solo LP in 1978. And I’m pretty sure that Felt’s Stan Lee did not move to Los Angeles and start the Dickies , no matter what and every other Felt article I’ve ever read online says.

No more hot dogs

Hasil Adkins 1937-2005

Rock-a-billy artist Hasil Adkins dies

MADISON, W.Va. - Rock-a-billy artist Hasil Adkins, a one-man band whose screaming vocals and freestyle approach to rhythm landed a cult following, has died.

He was 67.

Adkins' body was found yesterday at his Madison home, where he lived alone. The cause of death has not been determined but it does not appear suspicious.

Guitar, harmonica, drums, foot-rhythm instruments -- Adkins played them all.

Known to his fans as The Haze, Adkins struggled for decades to get noticed. In a 2002 interview, he said he mailed out thousands of tapes and records over a 30-year period while fishing for a record deal.

Adkins was the original star of Norton Records, a label built around the primal recordings he produced beginning in the Eisenhower era.

Adkins claimed to have written more than seven-thousand songs. He first emerged in the 1950s, only to disappear again. European fans kept the rock-a-billy rage alive, and when the Cramps did an early 1980s remake of "She Said," Adkins' records suddenly became hot again.

His other hits included "Poultry in Motion," "Chicken Walk," "The Hunch," "Chocolate Milk Honeymoon," and "Boo Boo The Cat."

Sunday, April 24, 2005

?ris, uoy t'now niaga ti od od, lotipaC

Travis Wammack started playing guitar when he was eight and first record came out when he was twelve. He was discovered playing on a street corner by Eddie Bond and started opening up shows for Warren Smith & Carl Perkins. Soon he was backing up Charlie Feathers on drums.

In 1964, Chet Atkins chose not to release one of the greatest records EVER - "Scratchy" - because it scared him. I don't know if he listened to the B-side but I'm sure it would have scared him too. Wammack's producer, Roland Janes, let him be creative in the studio including using a playing through a drive-in movie speaker and a homemade fuzzbox made out of a tape recorder.

Wammack recorded a few more great songs but there were no hits. He became a session musician in Muscle Shoals Alabama, recording with Clarence Carter, Aretha Franklin, Bobbie Gentry, Lou Rawls, and the Osmond Brothers. Later on, Wammack spent 10 years leading Little Richard's backup band.

Travis Wammack is playing at the Ponderosa Stomp later this week. If you want to hear where I got the idea for this post, listen to this great interview with Wammack on WFMU.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

I'll meet you on that other shore

Emma Daniels and Mother Sally Jones were Atlanta street corner preachers that recorded as The Two Gospel Keys. In 1946 they recorded this catchy song in New York City.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Gittin' A Little Hipper

A few years ago, I pulled a copy of James Brown's HANDFUL OF SOUL album out of the dollar box at a flea market. The guy that was with me looked at it and said "Why would you want an album of James Brown instrumentals?" Because James Brown instrumentals are great! "The King" was on that LP and it's one of my top 10 JB songs ever!

By the way, if I'm ever in a coma, play this loud and watch my feet. If they don't start moving then go ahead and unplug me.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

No More Mr. Nice Guy

This record came up today and I thought I'd post some stuff from it. Is it any good? Listen and decide for yourself. I think it would've worked better if he hadn't dressed up in leather and stuff, just kept wearing sweaters and golf shirts.

That is Ritchie Blackmore playing guitar on "Smoke On The Water". & Dweezil Zappa is on there too.

BTW, I didn't buy this record. The guy behind the counter knocked a few bucks off the DATAPANIK IN THE YEAR ZERO box set if I agreed to take the promo copy so he wouldn't have to hear it again.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I live in Louisiana...

I've been busy getting a legal education, painting paintings and drawing drawings, and basically having a natural ball, so I apologize for not making it over here as much as I'd like. So here's a post. Since Jazz Fest is coming up, I thought I'd post some actual good Louisiana music of the kind you won't hear if you come to Jazz Fest.

C.C. Adcock, "Beaux's Bounce"
...great Bo cover. This guy is probably playing the Fest, but probably with some projexct that reins in his natural gift for going crazy.

The Interlopers, "Track 3"
I don't know the title of this. It's from an as-yet-unreleased cd. They don't know I put it here.

Amos Milburn, "Chicken Shack Boogie"
Still might be the best record ever cut in Louisiana. You've probably heard it but if not GET IT. Like Glenn Gould, Milburn mutters as he bangs the keys off the piano. If I ever have a funeral, somebody please play this.

There ought to be some John Fred here; he passed on this week. I'll look around and see what I can find.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Lemonaide and I were walking

I found the Kak LP in a box of records that I guy dropped off at Sunburst Records. He just dumped them in front of the store and told Jay he didn’t have time to sell them and he didn’t want them to go into the trash. So Jay was giving them away and I grabbed this one.

Kak was formed in 1968 by Dehner Patten and Gary Lee Yoder, two Davis California guitarists. The pair had previously played in The Oxford Circle. Kak played shows around California and recorded their one LP for Epic. The record is very good and I think it’s better than some of the psychedelic records that were popular in 1968. Some of the songs had hit potential. The label did not push the record and it flopped.

The records failure led to Kak to breaking up. Gary Lee Yoder did a solo 45 and then joined Paul Whaley, his old drummer in the Oxford Circle, in Blue Cheer for one album.

Gary Lee Yoder still plays guitar in Davis. Dehner Patten is living in Portland, Oregon and playing in bands there.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Coming around that curve

A 1937 side by a Jubilee quartet from Spartanburg, South Carolina. Now you know everything I know about this record. The rockin' starts about 40 seconds in.

Friday, April 15, 2005

The Premiers (re-)Post

Since they're are a few more eyes looking at this, I'm going to post my first bit again. I never got anything the first time. Somebody has got to know something about this record!

A couple days before Christmas, I went to Sunburst Records to pick up some Dusty Springfield CDs for my wife. Jay had a 3 huge stacks of 45's that he was giving away. Somebody brought them in to sell and Jay didn't offer them enough money so they left all of the records at the store cause they didn't feel like carrying the box back home. This was one of the first records I looked at and I knew it was gonna be a good stack of records. It was a nice clean 45 with a bright pink label. It just looked good.

I don't know anything about this record other than the information that's on the label. Big Top records was based in New York City but The Premiers don't sound like a New York band. I think the A-side was "Oogsy-Moo" which is a cover of a Jessie Hill song. Naturally enough, this sounds like a New Orleans R&B band. But the other side of the record is a rockabilly instrumental called "Locomotive".
This song was written by somebody named Dale Kahrr. I can't find any information about him either. What's going on? Does anybody know anything about this record?

Update: I just checked the Rockin' Country Style website and it looks like the Premiers record came out sometime between April of '62 and March of '63. Nothing about The Premiers or Dale Kahrr though.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Bye-Bye Johnny

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Johnny Johnson Dies

Johnnie Johnson, a rock 'n' roll pioneer who teamed with Chuck Berry for hits like "Roll Over Beethoven" and "No Particular Place to Go," died Wednesday. He was 80.

Johnson died at his St. Louis home. The cause of death was not immediately known, said publicist Margo Lewis. He had been hospitalized a month ago with pneumonia and was on dialysis for a kidney ailment, said John May, a friend and fellow musician.

Though he was never a household name, Johnson and Berry's long collaboration helped define early rock 'n' roll. Johnson often composed the music on piano, then Berry converted it to guitar and wrote the lyrics. In fact, Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" was a tribute to Johnson.

After he and Berry parted ways, Johnson performed with Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, John Lee Hooker and Bo Diddley, among others. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 in the "sidemen" category.

"He left the indelible imprint of his sound," May said. "He was able to transition through any musical style because he just loved to play music."

Berry was on a plane returning from a visit to Europe on Wednesday and unavailable for comment, a spokeswoman said.

Johnson was born in Fairmont, W.Va., and began playing piano at 4. He moved to Chicago after World War II, where he played jazz and blues in clubs. He moved to St. Louis in the early 1950s, forming his own R&B band, the Johnnie Johnson Trio.

When a band member became ill on New Year's Eve 1952, Johnson hired Berry to fill in.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

These Are The Unrequited Loves

For a change here's some relatively new music.

The Unrequited Loves have been playing together in Tampa, Florida for a couple years now. This is the first release from the band and I like it a lot. I hear bits of the Flamin Groovies, Mudhoney and Eleventh Dream Day. If nothing else these guys got good taste.

They just did a tour of the southeast as the Unrequited Lyres, backing up the legendary Mono Man from Boston's Lyres. I wish I'd seen that.

The first CD is still available and there's a new one coming soon. Get 'em both!

Sunday, April 10, 2005

R.I.P. Wally Tax

Wally Tax overleden

De zanger en entertainer Wally Tax is in zijn huis in Amsterdam overleden. Tax is 57 jaar oud geworden. Het is nog onbekend waaraan hij is gestorven. Dat meldt het NOS-journaal op haar website.

In 1959, op 11-jarige leeftijd, start Wally Tax zijn muzikale carrière in de schoolband Jimmy Revon & The Outsiders. In 1966 breken de Outsiders door naar het grote publiek met single 'Lying all the time'. Tax groeit in die tijd uit tot een idool. Zijn lange haar trekt veelvuldig de aandacht in de media.

In 1969 gaan de Outsiders uit elkaar en gaat Tax verder met de groep Tax Free. Het debuutalbum wordt in de Verenigde Staten uitstekend ontvangen. Ze ontvangen zelfs een Billboardaward. In de jaren zeventig gaat Tax verder als soloartiest. Hij schrijft onder meer het numer 'It's raining in my heart', de eerste hit van Lee Towers.

In de jaren tachtig verliest Tax zijn vriendin Laurie Langenbach, die komt te overlijden aan kanker. Deze periode wordt zijnleven steeds meer beheerst door drugsverslaving, alcoholisme en belastingproblemen. Na nog enkele solo-optredens stemt Tax in 1996 in met een reünietour van de Outsiders. De tour wordt een succes.

Enkele weken geleden trad Tax voor het laatst op, in de Amsterdamse poptempel Paradiso.

Strange Things Happening Every Day

Sister Rosetta Tharpe was playing guitar by age six and was one of the very few acts to have hits in the Gospel and R&B charts with the same record.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

"The most American of the English punk bands"

The Automatics were a second wave British punk band and some people dispute that they were a punk band at all since some of the band started out in pub rock bands. Did anybody ever say that about Joe Strummer? They hung out with Johnny Thunders, played at the Roxy with X-Ray Spex and got dropped because of bad behavior. That sorta stuff is punk, isn’t it?

Several of The Automatics shared a house with a guy that worked as a gopher at Phonogram Records. Steve Lillywhite was hoping to get into production and recorded some songs with his housemates. These recordings led to a deal with Island records and one of the songs was an alternate chart #1 hit in 1978. Island released an LP called WALKING WITH THE RADIO ON but then dropped them due to the band’s bad behavior and extremely high studio bills which were mostly caused by the bad behavior. They were replaced as Island's token punk band by a well behaved young quartet from Dublin.

The Automatics are still around, living in Los Angeles and playing shows. They finally got to release a second LP in 2002.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

"They took our song and everybody thinks it's their song"

Friendly Womack raised his 5 sons to be a gospel quintet. In 1953, The Womack Brothers talked their way into opening for The Soul Stirrers and impressed Sam Cooke so much that he helped the brothers spend the rest of the fifties touring the gospel circuit. In 1961, Sam Cooke was started his own label, SAR Records, and signed The Womack Brothers intending to groom them into an R&B crossover act. This was not what Friendly Womack had intended for his sons to do and he threw them out of the house.

Cooke made arrangements for the Womacks to move to Los Angeles and recorded "Yield Not to Temptation" which may have pleased Friendly but not the record buying public. That changed when the Womack Brothers recorded a secular record as The Valentinos. “Looking For A Love” was a top 10 hit in 1962 and again in 1974 when the J. Geils Band took it into the top 40 again. This success was followed by a tour with James Brown.

The third single, "Baby, Lots of Luck" was not a hit. Neither was the next song that Bobby Womack wrote until a popular new act from England redid it and had their first #1 single. Cooke thought it was a great idea: “"What happened next," says Womack, "was that the Stones was over here at Chess Records looking for songs. Our record had just come out and it was very big. The Stones heard it and said, 'Man, we got to cut that song.' Sam came to me and said 'Bobby, I got some good news and bad. The Rolling Stones want to cover your song.' And I said, 'Man, when these Pat Boones gonna stop?'"

"While Cooke understood Womack's response, he saw things from a different angle. Womack continues: "Sam said, 'Bobby, they'll do more for your career than you'll ever believe. This group is gonna be huge and the longer they live, the bigger they're gonna get. It's a new thing happening, man, and I can see it already.' So I just said, 'I don't want them to sing the song. Tell 'em to get their own song.' Sam says, 'Bobby, they sell tons of records. This is gonna be the first record that breaks for them in the States. You know what that means? You introduced 'em.'"

"Womack wasn't convinced. "I'm sayin', 'Oh man, I don't care about all that.' So Sam said 'Well, Bobby, I'm not gonna beg ya no more. I own the publishing. I'm gonna give them the song whether you want to or not.' They came out with 'It's All Over Now' so quick and I was laughin' because some of the words they thought we said, we didn't say. Mick said something totally different. I said, 'This is how a black person talk, the English sound different.' We were laughing, but I was still furious. They took our song and everybody thinks it's their song, never mind Sam talking about it's gonna make me a legend and all that. But I remember the first check I received, it was about $400,000. I been chasing 'em ever since tryin' to get 'em to do one of my songs." [Goldmine, 10-23-98]

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Maybe tomorrow she will have sorrow

The Blue Orchids were formed in 1979 by Una Baines & Martin Bramah who were founding members of the Fall. The Blue Orchids don't sound like The Fall. At times, they sound like Opal playing with The Neats.

In 1980, The Blue Orchids released 45 of "The Flood"/"Disney Boys" on Rough Trade records. This was followed by the band's first LP THE GREATEST HIT (MONEY MOUNTAIN) which I think is the band's best work. There was a fine Blue Orchids song on the NME's C-81 cassette. In 1982, the Blue Orchids did a tour of Europe as Nico's backup band. There was a 4-song EP on Rough Trade and then the band went on a long hiatus.

The first time I heard The Inspiral Carpets and some of the other Madchester bands, I thought that they sounded like the Blue Orchids. Martin Bramah must've noticed something too because restarted the Blue Orchids with a new set of musicians at around the same time. This lineup was not as good as the early 80's band.
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