Montag, 26. Juni 2023

Monday's Long Song


While I was looking for something else in the internet I found out that George Benson covered Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit more than 50 years ago. It was one the first albums he made for his new record label CTI Records. On this album he covered various songs by Mamas And Papas and Michel Legrand. The reviews was disappointed by the jazz guitarist and the road he took to included Spanish elements into his music. I always had an affection to Benson because he was one of those guitar players who could play without overstatement like rock musicians often do. Throughout the last decades I always find a way back to him and his moody tunes.

George Benson - White Rabbit

Montag, 19. Juni 2023

Monday's Long Song


Yesterday Adam posted a mix of songs he reviewed the albums for Ban Ban Ton Ton blog. I have to admit that most of the artists were new to but and all worth to listen. But one band sticks out. Konformer is a three piece band from Nuremberg, Germany celebrating classic krautrock joining with dark sounds and the robotic of Kombynat Robotron (another recommendable band). Read Adam's the superb review here.

Sonntag, 18. Juni 2023

Eat Your Man


Almost 20 years ago Nelly Furtado appeared on the scene and brought us a sound mixed with folk, pop and a bit of latin. Later she turned more and more into a club sound and now she's back with a new song from her upcoming album. It is a collaboration with Australian DJ and producer Dom Dolla and it works very well. Dolla brought dance music and rave side to Furtado, which she hasn't explored before. Catchy lyrics, pounding basslines, swirling synths and more makes this to a club classic. And it reminds me to Azealia Banks 212 what could be a compliment.

Samstag, 17. Juni 2023

Inside Outside


Last week Kate Stables and her four piece band This Is The Kit returned with her new album Careful Of Your Keepers and offered an album that will accompany me during the summer. It is handmade music somewhere between folk, indie-pop and alternative. In the center is Stables expressive voice and the folky sound is added with flugelhorn and some sythns. Gruff Rhys produced this album that impressed me with it's simply beauty and well arranged songs. 

Mittwoch, 14. Juni 2023

Love Scenes


Last week Heavenly Records released the second compilation of Balearic Breakfast curated by Colleen 'Cosmo' Murphy. For me a bit better than volume one. Just because it is full of smooth grooves, great voices and spending me the atmosphere of sitting in Ibiza with a cool cocktail in my hand and watching the sun go down. If you need to dive into this sound there would be no better song than Love Scenes by Hard Feelings. It is a sound Roisin Murphy could made but I think Amy Douglas sung this song with her powerful and dramatic voice over of danceable beat. A perfect sound for the summer.

Montag, 12. Juni 2023

Monday's Long Song


Last week Dream The Dream a compilation of early UK Techno, House and backbeat curated by Richard Sen was released. The only band I knew on this sampler was Strontium 90, a short lived band in the late 70s formed by former member of French progressive band Gong N`Mike Howlett. Together with Sting and Stewart Copeland it was the pre-Police. Listening to this song I think it has nothing in common with those band because the rhythm based sound, the lyrics and the tribal led structures were untypical for them. Further investigations for this band brought me always back to the same result. It is a song that I can't get out of my mind and if anyone has more information about the band I was happy when you let me know. Have a good summer week.

Strontium 90 - Rave On The Congo

Sonntag, 11. Juni 2023

The Friends We Lost


Last night I watched the Champions League final between Manchester City and Internationale Milan. To my delight, although I am not a City supporter, the Italian team lost, because it would annoy me if a style of play that is only out to destroy were victorious. During the game I had to think several times of one of the best players in the Premier League from the past 30 years. Eric Cantona played for Manchester United in the early 90s and it was always great to see him play. After his professional career ended, he turned to acting and made his mark in several French films. Now he's back with a debut single that was released last week. A self-penned ballad with guitar, piano and strings. A tribute to people important to him who are no longer with us. I didn't expect Cantona to follow in the footsteps of Nick Cave. Chapeau.

Samstag, 10. Juni 2023



On yesterday's post I mentioned Shel Silverstein, an American author, poet and songwriter. He got known by writing the lyrics of some songs by Dr. Hook but also for his work for children's books and poems. Silverstein's poems and stories were often characterised by a mixture of fantasy, humour, irony and a certain melancholy. He had the ability to pack profound messages into simple words while stimulating the imagination and creativity of his readers. In my younger days I liked to translate his lyrics that brought me  closer to another language. 

The Devil walked into Linebaugh's on a rainy Nashville night
While the lost souls sat and sipped their soup in the sickly yellow neon light.
And the Devil, he looked around the room, then got down on his knees.
He says, "Is there one among you scum who'll roll the dice with me?"
Red, he just strums his guitar, pretending not to hear.
And Eddie, he just looks away and takes another sip of beer.

Vince, he says, "Not me, I'll pass, I've had my share of Hell,"
And kept scribbling on a napkin, some song he was sure would sell.
Ronnie just kept whisperin' low to the snuff queen who clutched at his sleeve,
And somebody coughed -- and the Devil scoffed -- and turned on his heel to leave.
"Hold on," says a voice from the back of the room. "'fore you walk out that door.
If you're lookin' for some action, friend, well, I've rolled some dice before."

And there stood Billy Markham, he'd been on the scene for years,
Singin' all them raunchy songs that the town didn't want to hear.
He'd been cut and bled a thousand times, and his eyes were wise and sad,
And all his songs were the songs of the street, and all his luck was bad.
"I know you," says Billy Markhan, "from many a dark and funky place,
But you always spoke in a different voice and wore a different face.
While me, I've gambled here on Music Row with hustlers and with whores,
And, Hell, I ain't afraid to roll them devilish dice of yours."

"Well, then, get down," says the Devil, "just as if you was gonna pray,
And take these dice in your luckless hand and I'll tell you how this game is played.
You get one roll -- and you bet your soul -- and if you roll thirteen you win,
And all the joys of flesh and gold are yours to touch and spend.
But if that thirteen don't come up, then kiss your ass goodbye
And will your useless bones to God, 'cause your goddamn soul is mine!"

"Thirteen?" says Billy Markham. "Hell, I've played in tougher games.
I've loved ambitious women and I've rode on wheelless trains.
So gimme room, you stinkin' fiend, and let it all unwind.
Nobody's ever rolled a thirteen yet, but this just might be the time."

Then Billy Markham, he takes the dice, and the dice feel as heavy as stones.
"They should, they should," the Devil says, "'cause they're carved from Jesus' bones."
And Billy Markham turns the dice and the dice, they have no spots.
"I'm sorry," says the Devil, "but they're the only dice I got."

"Well, shit," says Billy Markham. "Now, I really don't mean to bitch,
But I never thought I'd stake my roll in a sucker's game like this."

"Well, then, walk off," says the Devil. "Nobody's tied you down."

"Walk off where?" says Billy Markham. "It's the only game in town.
But I just wanna say 'fore I make my play, that if I should chance to lose,
I will this guitar to some would-be star who'll play some honest blues,
Who ain't afraid to sing the words like damn or shit or fuck
And who ain't afraid to put his ass on the stage where he makes his bucks.
But if he plays this guitar safe, and sings some sugary lies,
I'll haunt him till we meet in Hell -- now, gimme them fuckin' dice."

And Billy Markham shakes the dice and yells, "Come on, thirteen!"
And the dice, they roll -- and they come up blank. "You lose!" the Devil screams.

"But I really must say 'fore we go our way that I really do like your style.
Of all the fools I've played and beat, you're the first one who lost with a smile."

"Well, I'll tell you somethin'," Billy Markham says. "Those odds weren't too damn bad.
In fourteen years on Music Row, that's the best damn chance I've had."

Then, arm in arm, Billy Markham and the Devil walk out through Linebaugh's door,
Leavin' Billy's old beat-up guitar there on the floor.
And if you go into Linebaugh's now, you can see it there today
Hangin' from a nail on the wall of peelin' gray
Billy Markham's old guitar . . .

That nobody dares to play.

Silversteen wrote also the lyrics for Johnny Cash's classic A Boy Named Sue and years later he wrote a sequel to that song called The Father Of A Boy Named Sue which is the same story but from the point of the view of the father. Another example of his humor. 

I found a version of this song but I couldn't find out who sung and recorded this. Anyway, this is how it could sound.

Freitag, 9. Juni 2023



I am not the one that was close to country music during my lifetime but there is one band, except Gram Parson and Emmylyou Harris, that opened my ears for this kind of music. Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show appeared at a time, when casual music of the big bands turned me into boredom. With their soulful rock, pop, folk and country sound were my little heroes in the mid 70s before punk happened and pub rock wasn't gone. I loved their sound and songs, especially because of the lyrics. Sylvia's Mother is probably the most emotional song about a love gone by. Shel Silverstein wrote the lyrics for a guy who tried helpless to convince his former girlfriend not to part. This music is surely not for everyone but for me a place to come back and enjoy. In particular that I was lucky enough to see them live in 1976 on a festival in Roskilde, Denmark when they returned after a fabulous gig to encore with no clothes on. Ace.

Mittwoch, 7. Juni 2023

Nerve Up


From one of the deepest corners of my hard-drive I found a song I've almost forgotten. Nerve Up is the tiltle track of debut album with the same by Manchester's lo-fi artist Lonelady aka Julie Campbell. It's 13 years old and full of elements Manchester artists released during the 80s. Chobby guitar licks, brittle keyboards and a DIY-voice by Campbel associates with the post punk sound and sometimes it sounds like Gang Of Four play unplugged with a hyper PJ Harvey. Namedropping? Yes, but it sounds a bit like this and it is worth to be featured at this place.

It is not the first time Lonelady appeared on this pages. I recommended her second album from 2015 on my year end list back in 2015. Hinterland walks on the same road with drumcomputers and short guitar licks but a bit more soulful and funky.

Dienstag, 6. Juni 2023



There are some musicians who have to do a lot to disappoint me with a new single or album. My affection is too great not to forgive weaker songs. One of them is Dot Allison, whose voice always captures me. A few days ago she announced the release of her next solo album for the end of July and released the lead single Consciousology. It is once again a dreamy piece of pop music, enhanced by the guitar of her label mate Andy Bell. It looks like Dot is moving in the direction of established songwriters like Tim Hardin and Mercury Rev with her new songs. This is certainly not the wrong road to take.

Montag, 5. Juni 2023

Monday's Long Song

 Another new album that I didn't expected in this way was Psychedelic Science by Rude Audio and Welsh producer and DJ Dan Wainwright. A Weatherhall inspired homage to the Westcoast sound in dub. Never thought that I would hear Grateful Dead's classic Fire On The Mountain in a way they did. There aim was to create a massive dub lp and they did it very well. 

Sonntag, 4. Juni 2023

Harmonicas Are Shite


Last night, as every year, thousands of people flocked to our city to have a good time at a music night. 61 bands played at 39 locations from late afternoon until midnight. Most of the bands are local musicians who have been an integral part of the music night for years. Since this event has been going on for 25 years now and I have been to more than half of them, I decided not to participate and to move from location to location (especially since I live in the city centre and can hear many bands when I open the window). The first event was initiated years ago by a local blues guitarist who brought the idea of a Fete de la Musique from France. Local musicians play at different venues and the money raised goes to a social institution. I took part in the first events, but over the years the variety of musical styles has diminished and mostly only more or less good cover versions are played by the bands. 

That's why my brother and I decided to watch the Cup final instead. I also learned from him that Fila Brazillia have released a new album that summarises various phases of their development. Fila Brazillia is a project of Hull's Steve Cobby and always worth playing. Electronic music with lots of synthesizers characterise Cobby's sound, which is often able to create a sparse scenario with its redubbed rhythms.  

This beautiful compilation of his music is crowned with a new song. Toro De Fuego is a song for the summer with his it Latin/Balearic rhythms and great piano parts. 

Freitag, 2. Juni 2023



After a long season with many disappointments, coaching changes and games that should never have been lost, Stuttgart won the first game in the relegation against Hamburger Sportverein with 3 to 0. I have seen many games this season that have disappointed me and in which the team has not played up to its potential. That makes me all the happier that the first step towards staying in the league was taken after this game. Thank you, boys.

Nashville Ambient Ensemble is a project by composer and keyboardist Michael Hix and is on duty since a couple of years. Their sound could be described as Mark Peters with a massive pedal steel guitar. But this file doesn't work well because their sound is much different. Hix included guitars and piano, a bit of krautrock and sometimes vocals into his sound - but always with a big touch of cosmic spheres. Some might name this kind of music as simple background music that doesn't mind but for me it is a urban, organic kind of music that shows what country music could be if you free your mind.

Donnerstag, 1. Juni 2023



As of today, it is June, the meterological beginning of summer, and the weather is with us. For the first time in a row, it has been warm, sunny and pleasant to sit outside, meet with friends and spend wonderful evenings. For me, there is nothing better than enjoying this time of the year. I've been thinking about which songs make the start of the new season easy for me, but there are too many of them to rank. With this in mind, just a few songs that came to mind ad hoc and without completeness or ranking. A good start into the new season to all.