folk . americana . blues . rock&roll


Genre pick of the week Cover of A Broke Moon Rises: Music For Four Acoustic Guitars By Papa M by Papa M.

Papa M

A Broke Moon Rises: Music For Four Acoustic Guitars By Papa M

    Late 2016’s ‘Highway Songs’ brought Papa M back to us, after many years of silence and several harrowing dances with death for his Id-ego/host body, David Pajo. Now, two years on down the road, we’re all here again to witness ‘A Broke Moon Rises’.

    ‘Highway Songs’ was a necessarily cathartic experience in all phases. Afterwards, with no tour dates forthcoming (partially due to lousy clubs and their lack of wheelchair-accessible stage doors), it felt good just to play for fun again, like being in the practice space instead of the psych ward - a much healthier change of pace than some might guess. David blew it out; all the different styles he’s played in over the years, from folk-blues to metal, electronic, pop, Bollywood... all of it. When the spasms subsided, however, a back-to-roots sediment remained in the bottom of the bowl, which he read as a motive for a new Papa M album done with all acoustic instruments. That’s how there’s nothing electric about ‘A Broke Moon Rises’. Even the drums are acoustic.

    The five songs of ‘A Broke Moon Rises’ find David focusing his technique in unknown directions, to find out what he can do with them. When that happens, he finds himself on the very spot where Papa M music becomes alive. As the quietly funereal march of the opening track resonates with a spare drum beat, we are completely transfixed into the open spaces around the guitars.

    David’s been engineering and mixing his records for years, so the sensation of his sound-thoughts doesn’t entirely surprise us, even in their latest, acoustic anointment. Layers of guitars curl and unfurl, falling away from the centre with feathery softness. Slide figures cut through the progressions with a rusty glide. Arpeggiations flicker with light, leading into a change that’ll break on ones ear like a small revelation. Even the sound of Papa M playing in the room, leaning forward or untouching the strings, provides textural byplay in created space. ‘A Broke Moon Rises’ is meditative in the most active sense, with the unquiet mind leaping from place to place in a static, spartan theatre. All of which action makes hypnotic music, perfect for listening.

    The album’s title is based upon his son’s observation of a half-moon one evening (when his son was 29) and it helped infuse the record with an essential feeling, which draws to a decidedly tasty conclusion with David taking on an Arvo Pärt piece. After years of fascination with the music, listening in passivity, he finally decided to do something about understanding it by playing it himself. If you’re wondering, that’s the key to ‘A Broke Moon Rises’.

    Born and raised in Philadelphia, gospel singer, songwriter, arranger, pianist, band leader and producer Calvin Carr (now a Minister of the Gospel) possessed excellent ears for music at a very young age. The sounds of music that shaped his life were the sounds of his early church singing experience. He began playing the piano at the age of 9, continued his work in music throughout high school, composing, singing in different churches, learned how to executive produce and ended up working for the TCS Music Company under the direction of its founder Mr. Tony Carter, displaying the talents of Philadelphia’s local artists such as Gabriel Hardeman Delegation, The Young Delegation, Little Sammy & The Flying Cloud Jrs., Gwen Carter, The Collins Sisters, Brockington Singers…
    In 1978 Calvin released the now scarce and relatively unknown “Without Christ” 45 on the TCS “Philadelphia United Records“ subsidiary. Taking the rhythms of disco, tonality of soul and energy of gospel, Calvin cooked up a seriously spiritual blast of raw dance floor energy. 


    Patrick says: Eyes closed and hands in the air, this gospel killer has spirit fingers written all over it...Church MFs!

    Cosmic Invention

    Help Your Satori Mind

      In 1996, Masaki Batoh, who’d spent the previous decade recording, playing and living in a hippie communal environment with the heavy chamber folk outfit Ghost, formed a new unit to play in a different manner. He’d just finished making an incredible new Ghost album - ‘Lama Rabi Rabi’ - but making music with Ghost was an intense and spiritual endeavor; for a change, Batoh wanted simply to enjoy, with a free and open mind, the playing of the kind of music that he and his musical friends had grown up with; the 70s sounds of British, American and Japanese rock. ‘Help Your Satori Mind’ is a result of things they just naturally jammed on during a couple of sessions. It’s totally out of Ghost’s world.

      Along with Batoh were fellow Ghosts Fuji on congos and Michio Kurihara (a modern psychedelic rock guitar god previously in White Heaven and eventually joining with Damon and Naomi). Also invited were notoriously crazy drummer virtuoso Futoshi Okano from Osaka’s heavy rock trio Subvert Blaze, bassist Chiyo Kamekawa from Yura Yura Teikoku and organist / pianist Jun Koto from Kakashi. Together, they were Cosmic Invention.

      The sound of Cosmic Invention was equal parts exploratory and explosive, accessing classical modes of psychedelic and progressive rock and roll music. These guys were so powerful when they played together, Batoh eventually recruited them to form most of the line up for Ghost’s second US tour, in 1997, after ‘Lama Rabi Rabi’ was released. As Ghost, from coast to coast, they pushed American audiences up against the wall with the enormity of their sound. That, though, was the end of their group partnership together; Cosmic Invention was a one-time excursion into this music. Today, The Silence combine elements of Ghost and Cosmic Invention into their eclectic ongoing experience.  Originally, ‘Help Your Satori Mind’ was released by The Now Sound, who’d previously issued two Batoh solo records, both of which became available on Drag City (as ‘Collected Works’) following the collapse of The Now Sound, not too terribly long after the Cosmic Invention release. So, this record has been kind of forgotten for some time, which isn’t the fate that was meant for it. It is the kind of item to be unearthed in a sarcophagus many years later - and at 20 years and counting, now is a good time. This marks ‘Help Your Satori Mind’s first appearance on LP, the vinyl giving new dimension to their multi-hued, raw rock performances. It’s the first appearance of the aptly-titled ‘Long Jamming’, which wasn’t included on the original release. It’s also the first appearance of images of the band, taken while deeply in the albummaking spirit.

      Julee Cruise

      The Voice Of Love

        25 years after its initial release, Julee Cruise’s sophomore album The Voice of Love is being issued for the first time on vinyl as a deluxe 2xLP, and returning to print on CD.

        In 1992, after the release of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, David Lynch, Angelo Badalamenti, and Julee Cruise returned to the studio with new compositions as well as the intent to craft previously instrumental score-based material from Fire Walk With Me and Wild at Heart into Julee Cruise songs. The result was 1993’s final studio album The Voice of Love, a gorgeous ethereal album, which like her debut “Floating Into The Night” had a dreamlike, cinematic feel to it.

        “In the studio, David would always say ‘[sing] like an angel, like an angel…” Cruise remembers.

        Robbie Fulks & Linda Gail Lewis

        Wild! Wild! Wild!

          Wild! Wild! Wild!, the new collaboration between Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Robbie Fulks and rock-and-roll royalty Linda Gail Lewis, gleefully lives up to its title. It's Americana music that's as butt- shakin' as Beale Street, deep-rooted as the Grand Ole Opry, and hip as a trip to The Strip. Subversive as it is reverential, the album jumps the genre tracks of nitty-gritty rock-and-roll, country-and-western, rockabilly, jump swing, and gospel, landing in a strange slice of spacetime - call it 1954 - when all these were One (and Linda was seven). obbie Fulks, the record's producer, is "one of the most observant and wry songwriters of the past two decades" ( Rolling Stone). Ground-zero Louisiana- born rocker Linda Gail Lewis is the younger sister and frequent performing partner of Jerry Lee Lewis, whose piano innovations she carries forward.

          Jason Isbell

          Sirens Of The Ditch: Deluxe Edition

            The debut album from accomplished guitarist and songwriter Jason Isbell, formerly of Drive By Truckers, is reissued with four unreleased tracks from the original recording sessions. The addition of those extra songs finds ‘Sirens Of The Ditch’ clocking in at 15 total tracks.

            ‘Sirens Of The Ditch’’s mystical quality can be partially attributed to the FAME recording studio (Aretha Franklin, Duane Allman, Otis Redding) in Isbell’s hometown of Muscle Shoals, AL, where the album was recorded.

            Co-produced by Isbell and Patterson Hood (Drive By Truckers), ‘Sirens Of The Ditch’ features Isbell singing lead vocals and playing guitar throughout, joined by Shonna Tucker (formerly of Drive By Truckers) on bass and Brad Morgan (Drive By Truckers) on drums. Several musicians pop in for cameos including Spooner Oldham and David Hood (Patterson’s father) on ‘Down In A Hole’, John Neff (formerly of Drive By Truckers) on ‘Dress Blues’ and Patterson himself guests on ‘Shotgun Wedding’.

            “A strong debut, full of the kind of confident, charismatic songwriting that just can’t be taught.” - Pitckfork


            2xLP Info: Double LP format pressed on 180 gram vinyl with
            digital download code included.

            In the 1980s, Abidjan's Jess Sah Bi & Peter One became one of the most popular musical acts in not just the Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire), but broader West Africa, eventually performing with a full band to stadium-sized audiences at home and throughout Benin, Guinea, Mali and Togo. Although they'd been popular radio and television performers for several years prior, the catalyst for Jess and Peter achieving this new level of stardom was their debut album, Our Garden Needs Its Flowers, recorded and released in 1985.

            In contrast with the heaving funk, disco and reggae sounds of the day, Our Garden Needs Its Flowers was a lush fusion of traditional Ivorian village songs and American and English country and folk-rock music. Jess and Peter sang in French, English and Gouro, delivering beautifully harmonized meditations on social injustice and inequality, calls for unity across the African continent, an end to apartheid in South Africa and the odd song for the ladies, all set against lush guitar riffs, rustic harmonica and rollicking feel-good rhythms. Surprisingly, it's the first time the album has been re-released in a high-fidelity, legally licensed form. Jess and Peter had shared experiences of loving and drawing inspiration from the traditional and ceremonial songs they remembered their mothers singing in their respective hometowns of Barata and Ono. In addition, hearing imported country and folk-rock music over the radio in the early ‘70s was a lightbulb moment for both of them. Jess recalls DJs playing Kenny Rogers, Don Williams and Dolly Parton on the radio in the morning, while Peter notes the significant presence Simon & Garfunkel, Cat Stevens, Crosby, Stills & Nash and Creedence Clearwater Revival had in his listening life.

            Country music and folk-rock weren’t very popular with the general public. But interest was bubbling up within the growing student population, who connected with the protest sentiments expressed by many English and American artists of the era and loved the sound as well. “It’s very nice music, with very nice harmonies, and it’s different from what you hear every day,” Peter says. “The language was a big barrier though. You had to learn English to understand the songs, and the students were the ones learning English.” Having access to education along with their awareness of growing social and political inequality and injustice made students the perfect audience for folk music in Ivory Coast

            Stella Sommer

            13 Kinds Of Happiness

              Affairs Of The Heart could not be more excited to welcome Stella Sommer to their roster of incredible talent. Stella is the first German artist to be signed to the label. No stranger to her German audience she is the singer, songwriter and lyricist in DIE HEITERKEIT. Stella will no doubt win over international crowds soon with her remarkable voice, idiosyncratic yet immediately appealing approach to songwriting and lyrics and unrivaled charm. 

              Uncut - 8/10 review Sept 2018 - "Enchanting solo set".


              LP includes MP3 Download Code.

              Various Artists

              Ahbe Casabe : Exotic Blues & Rhythm Vol. 2

                Subtitled “Blues & Rhythm, Popcorn, Exotica & Tittyshakers” this is the reissue of the second release in the Exotic Blues & Rhythm series. Released ages ago in an edition of 500 copies it sold out in next to no time and is a sought after collector’s item by now. We now reissue this title as a limited editon of 700 copies - all on CLEAR vinyl. Guaranteed to go fast!

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                10" LP Info: 10” (Clear Vinyl).

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