[ Saturday, April 22, 2006 ]
Anglos got soul
After listening to James Hunter's fine new album PEOPLE GONNA TALK, and particularly after reading our brother David Cantwell's fine profile over at his mighty website Living In Stereo (read the entry here
and then venture around the rest of the site), I got to thinking about another underappreciated white purveyor of rootsy country-soul, namely the singer/songwriter/session pianist Geraint Watkins. Watkins' records, while even a level of obscurity beneath his biggest advocate (and regular employer) Nick Lowe, are much like Lowe's recent work (or James Hunter's) in their nuanced, rich approach to the many stylistic crossroads between country, R&B and pop styles. He's a fine singer, with a voice somewhere between Fats Domino and Charlie Rich, and his songs are like Ghosts of Cashbox Past, instantly recalling bygone years without being stuck in the this-is-all-very-serious rut that makes so many "roots" albums feel like a graduate seminar. As a piano player, he's good enough to be employed not only by Lowe, but also by two guys you might have heard of named Paul McCartney and Van Morrison, themselves not unaware of the musical terrain Watkins maps regularly.
Anyway, here's four from Watkins, two from each of his recent records, the deliciously titled WATKINS BOLD AS LOVE and DIAL 'W' FOR WATKINS. I don't include here any of his earlier work, either the zydeo band Balham Alligators, or the rare 1979 release by Geraint Watkins and the Dominators, a little roots-rock masterpiece of which I have only a cassette copy and - attention please - of which I would be most interested in obtaining a disc copy.
Okay, Geraint, sing it one time for the broken-hearted..."My Happy Day""Don't Stop""The Whole Night Through""Only A Rose"
On the box right now: Bruce Springsteten, WE SHALL OVERCOME.
Dove With Claws [8:11 AM]
[ Tuesday, April 18, 2006 ]
New release round-up
Today, there's only one new release I feel like spotlighting, but it is a motherfucker
. The Drive-By Truckers are possibly the best rock and roll band in the world at the moment, fiery purveyors of exorcisms both spiritual and physical, all wrapped in the three-guitar fury and expert songcraft of their triple-headed front line. Their new album, A BLESSING AND A CURSE, finds them stepping back a bit from the socio-historical scope of their previous two records, but these more personal songs are no less powerful. In fact, as a band - and as vocalists - they've never sounded better. I've chosen three songs, one from each front-man: "Gravity's Gone" is street survivor Mike Cooley, "Daylight" is from pop-rock angel Jason Isbell, and "Aftermath USA" from the group's fearless leader, Patterson Hood. I think, taken together, they make a pretty good case that the Truckers are the best in the business.
On the third day, The Faces rose again..."Gravity's Gone""Aftermath U.S.A.""Daylight"
On the box right now: Drive-By Truckers, A BLESSING AND A CURSE.
Dove With Claws [3:30 PM]
[ Sunday, April 16, 2006 ]
Tonight I'm gonna rock ya
Sometimes, on cold rainy days like the two that just passed in Madison, there's nothing I like to listen to more than loud, stoopid rock and roll. Here are three such examples, with unashamedly shameful gender politics, loud fucking power chords, and plenty of opportunities to throw up the devil horns.Kiss - "Rocket Ride"Motorhead - "Eat The Rich"Nazareth - "Hair Of The Dog"
On the box right now: Bruce Springsteen, WE SHALL OVERCOME. God bless Internet leaks. And, don't worry, I'm still gonna buy it...
Dove With Claws [8:38 PM]