folk . americana . blues . r&b . rock&roll


Genre pick of the week Cover of The Innocents by Weyes Blood.
The Innocents is the name of the second album by southeastern Pennsylvania’s Natalie Mering, who performs as Weyes Blood. Its ten songs confront us with a vocalist of rare choral purity; lyrics so emotionally unflinching that they could pierce stone; music rooted in American and British folk, then pulled and stretched at its fringes, like a sweater that’s just begun to unravel.

As you sift through her words, you’ll feel something, and you’ll associate those feeling with past experiences that may cause you to associate them with something more, something that affects your own emotional state. The Innocents is akin to the most primal form of expression: elements laid bare, deeply connected to the past, and miles away from anything else you’re likely to hear in music today.

“Weyes Blood isn’t making anachronistic music, but rather blending psychedelic synthesizers, rock drums, and vocal layering effects to produce something that only could have been made today.” – Fader

“Drawing from the androgynous folk-rock vocals so characteristic of early ’60s and ’70s outsider folk singers like Vashti Bunyan and Sibylle Baier, Weyes Blood’s Natalie Mering never hesitates to dive head-first into complex and mature arrangements.” – Fader

“…her quavering alto, which floats above an intriguing mix of conventional instrumentation and electronics, tape collages, and delay effects to create a compelling update of '70s psyche-folk.” – Nylon

"Hang On" finds Mering released from these ghostly gates—its her most pronounced track to date, and one that more directly recalls her 1960s British folk touchstones.” – Pitchfork

“Singing at once with vulnerability and strength through an austere, multi-layered warble, Mering searches for truth and light while facing the end of something.”– Pitchfork

“Hang On,” its first single, sounds like a tweaked and adrift version of ’60s folk music.”– Stereogum

The Cramps

Blue Fix

    The Cramps’ “Blues Fix” first came out in 1992 as a side project to “Look Mom No Head!” – sort of the single from the album, plus three. It came out then on newfangled CD, so here’s your chance to get a vinyl fix of the “Blues Fix”, all big 10 inches of it.

    ‘So what you got here big boy? Well, first up is ‘Hard Workin’ Man’, originally released on MCA Records in 1978 as part of Jack Nitzsche’s soundtrack to Blue Collar, which had Harvey Keitel playing alongside Richard Pryor. The record featured Ry Cooder on slide guitar and Captain Beefheart growled a mean vocal. Jack was a good friend of Ivy and Lux, with a shared passion for records. This has to be the latest original they covered on record.

    It was the Cramps who introduced me to the delights of Lightning Slim’s ‘It’s Mighty Crazy’, originally issued on Excello 2131 in November 1957, if you must know. Of course you must, as like the rest of us record freaks you just keep on rubbing at that same old stuff: catalogue numbers, matrix numbers, dates, the colour of the label, the thickness of the wax, even what’s inside the groove. A svelte take here from our band.

    Walter Brown got his Jelly Roll rocks off on Zip 4686 in 1958 and is definitely not to be confused with the blues shouter of the same name who fronted the Jay McShann Orchestra. Our Walter made this singular outing in his search for fame and poverty and put a lot of energy into both sides of his 45. This tune is the more insistent, and the Cramps do that restless-breathless-energetic thing so well on their take.

    The EP closes with ‘Shombalor’, originally issued by Sheriff & the Ravels on Vee-Jay 306 in December 1958, just in time for Christmas. Sheesh, who buys their loved one this to play under the mistletoe? (You’ve guessed.) The record was produced by Aki Aleong, who might have also owned up to writing “Of all the animals in the world, I’d rather be a bear”. But then again, as Sheriff sings it with such panache and conviction, maybe they are his finely tuned lyrics. Whatever, Lux eats the song like only Lux could eat a song.’ – Roger Armstrong

    The story of The Leisure Society began in Burton-Upon-Trent when Nick Hemming picked up a guitar and formed a band with Shane Meadows, Paddy Considine and Rich Eaton. Following a year of demos and increasingly bizarre gigs, Shane and Paddy were drawn towards careers in film, leaving Nick to pursue a life of making music. After serving time with Burton's best known exports The Telescopes (latterly Unisex), Nick contributed scores to some of Shane's movies, including A Room For Romeo Brass and Dead Man's Shoes, under a new moniker, 'The Leisure Society'.
    Then in 2005 he moved to South London where he bunked up in singer Christian Hardy's postage stamp bedroom. One thing inevitably led to another and soon Nick started shyly presenting his compositions in the wee hours of the morning, picking up a ukulele, mandolin, banjo or guitar and pouring out songs that were wistful, romantic, poetic and drenched in longing. Hemming was dismissive, Hardy was transfixed. Thus The Leisure Society was reborn, a new band in which Christian tinkled the ivories, twiddled the knobs and sung all the notes Nick couldn't reach.
    Nick joined the ranks of two Brighton folk ensembles, Sons Of Noel and Adrian and Shoreline, both members of a newly formed Willkommen Collective. It was from this rich pool of talent that Nick and Christian found band members to realise their ever-expanding vision of The Leisure Society. Simple ukuleles and close harmony were joined by lush orchestral chamber pieces with vast rhythm sections and choirs. Nick brought home a sitar, Christian brought home a pedal steel, Nick brought home a flute player, Christian brought home a drummer. And so on. And now they have produced a collection of 30 or so songs, 11 of which are presented on their first limited release, "The Sleeper".


    2xLP Info: Full Time Hobby 10th anniversary repress. Pacific blue vinyl. Limited to 300 copies.

    Guitars, hip hop beats and traditional folk arrangements.

    As one third of The Monks Kitchen, Luca Nieri wears many hats. He can typically be found behind the drums, or noodling on a Spanish guitar, or plucking a bass or contributing anything from eerie melodica lines to banjo, bar room piano or blues harp.

    Featuring his own compositions and several cover versions, including Bert Jansch, Davey Graham and John Frusciante.

    Nieri also finds time to be a member of Colorama, sessioning with Emma Trica and Fabienne Delsol, as well as co-producing the forthcoming John Stammers album.

    Tunng's second LP, has been eagerly awaited round these parts and they haven't let us down. Twelve more expertly crafted wonky folk songs that have been trussed up in harp strings, super-charged with electronic pulses and spliced with a sampler. Truly they embrace all the good things on offer to open minded musicians, quasi-traditional songs laced with meditative accoustic lines and a pulsing mechanic undercurrent. Tunng deftly unite numerous eccentric elements without causing chaos, plodding melodically through a fairy lit magical underground.


    Ltd CD Info: Special 'indie shops' only edition including two bonus tracks in a black slip case.

    Ltd LP Info: Full Time Hobby 10th anniversary repress. Gold vinyl. Limited to 300 copies.

    Third LP from one of the most accessible of the new-folksters, and the third in as many years, which is nicely pop for such a raggle-taggle genre. And whilst this is still as pitter-pattery, electronic glitch meets acoustic meandery as before, now expanded to a sextet, this record is the band's most coherent statement yet. It's still a long way from mainstream, but the melodies are slightly more concise, the personalities behind them a little more in focus. With dulcimers, harps, clarinet and melodica blending nicely with guitars and electronics, and not one week song to interrupt the flow, this is the perfect companion for those Indian-summer nights. It's mellow gold.


    Ltd CD Info: This CD includes two bonus tracks and is exclusive to independent stores.

    Ltd LP Info: Full Time Hobby 10th anniversary repress. Vanilla vinyl. Limited to 300 copies.

    Like all good parables Jane Weaver’s sixth solo album, a concept album called ‘The Silver Globe’, is as multifaceted as it is beguiling. Part coming of age / part cautionary tale and part romantic paeon, this twelve track synth ridden post-apocalyptic prog pop opus is based on tightly embroidered, non-linear recurring themes and inspired by esoteric stories, cosmic imagery and refiltered past experiences.

    Written from the optimistic vantage of a long-standing female independent artist, in an desperately evolving industry, Jane’s latest set of self penned pop abstractions combine mechanical rock / recycled European cinema / empyrean vocalisations and an arsenal of rescued vintage synths to create a futurist narrative backdrop of a allegorical post apocalyptic landscape.

    ‘The Silver Globe’ features collaborations with David Holmes, Australian space rockers Cybotron, Damon Gough (Badly Drawn Boy), Suzanne Ciani and Andy Votel, as well as a recycled chunk of an 80s Hawkwind track.


    Philippa says: The Manchester-based singer-songwriter returns with a wonderful self-produced album that augments her previously folk-tinted sound with krautrock, space rock, cosmic disco, Eastern European cinematica and Moog-pop. Seductive and beguiling, 'The Silver Globe' is Weaver's most accomplished album to date!

    Whyte Horses


    What happens when you put an obscure Mancunian music chronologist on a three month sojourn in the heart of the Italian countryside with some battered analogue recording gear, some cheap guitars and a female vocalist and friend to explore themes of the human condition and daydreams of fantasy with one piece of decoration: a poster of their favourite band Os Mutantes looming large on the wall, offering some company and direction during this time of solitude? The answer is a new group of seismic psychedelic proportions. May we present Whyte Horses.

    Inspired by the nomadic travels of cult folk artist Mark Fry and outsider Krautrock groups, strange sounds began to emanate from deep within a dilapidated cottage, deep in the Frosinone mountains range with no access to the outside world.

    Panoramic views baring an uncanny resemblance to Alejandro Jodorowsky's epic pseudo-western ‘El Topo’ began to filter the songwriting, as hazy instrumentals evolved into mutant pop sketches, blurring seventies MOR sensibilities, obscure imagery and everyday thoughts. The result is other-worldly, classically of another time and space. Triumphant yet melancholy, a colour-sound of psychedelic dream pop, fearless and tender at the same time.


    Laura says: Whyte Horses is the new project from Finders Keepers' Dom Thomas. 'Snowfalls' is a gorgeous psych pop gem, all swirling melodies, chiming guitars and girl vocals. 'Morning Clouds' on the flip is a darker affair with melancholic vocals an rumbling drums, but is equally lovely.

    For the traveling recording men of the late 1920s, Arkansas offered enticing pickings. The region was thronged with vigorous, idiosyncratic stringbands. This album carries the listener from the hillbilly music craze of the ’20s to the song-based country music of the late ’30s. Scarcely more than a decade, but a period, in music as in all American life, of galvanic change. This CD serves as the soundtrack album to the newly-released photograph book, “Making Pictures: Three for a Dime” by Maxine Payne. All of the photos in this package are from the same cache of photographs taken by the Massengil family in their mobile photo-booth trailer throughout rural Arkansas in the 1930s-1940s. CD Digipak with 32 page booklet/Liner notes by country music scholar Tony Russell/Newly remastered 24-bit audio transfers from the Music Memory archive/Features original 78 RPM recordings made between 1928-1937

    “It is indeed gratifying to know our program has made so many minds and hearts drift back to the earlier days when all was well, when the ‘hoss hair pullers’ of old were in due form and all parties concerned were in a receptive mood for tipping of the fantastic toe… My aggregation from this district claim that their music and songs are not suggestive of anything except good and wholesome exercise… So everybody come to the Arkansas Ozarks, where you can eat the best fruit in the world; where home-cured meat is found in the smokehouse and corn and hay in the barn; where you can juice your own cow, feed your own chickens, fish in the wonderful White River, meet these men of the Missouri Pacific and natives, and you will then say, ‘Yes, indeed, you have the most wonderful country in the world.’” — Henry Harlin Smith, March 1926 on Hot Springs radio station KTHS

    I first met Mark “Snowboy” Cotgrove in the early 1990s when I became his A&R man at Acid Jazz. Mark is an exceptional percussionist who led his band the Latin Section through a series of thrilling albums. I’d first heard of him a few years earlier when he released a version of ‘A Night In Tunisia’ on a new Ace Records subsidiary called BGP, so it is entirely appropriate that this compilation, a soundtrack to his club night in Soho, sees him back on that label.

    Madame Jojo’s in an outpost of old Soho where Snowboy wears his DJ hat, is where he runs his weekly club night, the Good Foot. In the past, this centralLondonarea was known for its bohemian nightlife and shady characters. Most of that has gone now, replaced by modern life’s big brands and identikit shops, but step down the velvet-lined stairwell into Jojo’s subterranean space and you’re into a lost world where the music played by Snowboy and his guests keeps an audience of enthusiastic dancers glued to the club’s sunken dancefloor.

    The Good Foot plays the best of 60s soul, R&B and latin with a touch of funk, and Snowboy always looks to find a perfect blend of classics and records that you are unlikely to have heard in a club before. Our compilation attempts to recreate the feeling of a night at the club, and features many of the tunes that have become signature plays there. Snowboy has been especially good at playing those previously unknown records that have been released on CD in recent years. These are represented by Etta James’ ‘Can’t Shake It’, the Contours’ ‘Do The See Saw’ and Luther Ingram’s outstanding ‘Oh Baby Don’t You Weep’. The 60s R&B sound is delivered by future Raelett Dorothy Berry with ‘I Say You’re Driving Me Crazy’, the Ikettes’ ‘Don’t Feel Sorry For Me’ and Little Willie John’s ‘Don’t Play With Love’. There’s storming mid-decade soul from Z.Z. Hill and James Carr, and the crossover into funk is handled by one of the night’s top anthems, Little Eva’s Motown medley ‘Get Ready/Uptight’. James Brown is represented by his mid-60s winner ‘Bring It Up’ and his production for the Brownettes’ ‘Baby, Don’t You Know’. There is a touch of latin from Mongo Santamaria and Hank Marr, and established classics such as Willis Jackson’s ‘Nuther’n Like Thuther’n’, the Dynamics’ mod favourite ‘Misery’ and the Shirelles’ ‘Boys’, one of the most visceral girl group records ever put to vinyl.

    RT @kernowking123: #vinyl choice of the week #1 is ‘Caribou Our Love' a very welcome return @caribouband @PiccadillyRecs
    Sat 25th - 4:30
    RT @ThePinkTeens: Just picked up a pretty nice re of Ned Doheny's 'Hard Candy' from @PiccadillyRecs so good
    Sat 25th - 4:29
    JUST IN: Various Artists - Roadside Edits Volume 1 / Eastbound |
    Sat 25th - 2:19
    NEW TO PRE-ORDER: Glenn Branca - The Ascension / Superior Viaduct |
    Sat 25th - 2:01
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