In times like these, music is exactly what we need. The songs collected here span the divides that separate country from folk and rock; organized religions from new-age cults; and sacred songs of devotion from wasted secular blues. Major label releases by well-known seekers are represented alongside recordings of Christian youth groups and outsiders’ self-financed vanity projects. Regardless of whether you worship Jesus, Shiva, or some bearded hippie guy in a robe, these songs will lift you out of the darkness and take you OM. words / m dawson

Exactly What I Need: Songs That Are Sacred, And Songs That Might As Well Be

Fred Walker – Exactly What I Need
Genesis – The Love Of God
The Center Family – To Taste His Love
Allan Townsend and Rick Betts – Jesus Is On The Way
John Fahey – Jaya Shiva Shankara
Larry Groce – Look Up From Your Troubles
Marlin Greene – Fields Of Clover
Pat Quinn – Make It Burn
Soul Purpose – Christian Be Strong
Joey Garone – Spring
Michael O’Gara – Keep Me From Going Under
The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost – Vache Ecrasse
Jerry Glen Ward – Only Darkness
Billy Blackwood – Amen Chorus
Charlie D and Milo – Om Sweet Om

Previously: All Roads Lead To Red: A Pedal Steel Mixtape / Tribute


Pastoral acoustic guitar, sylvan flute: both ornament a gentle song lamenting the government’s displacement of the singer and his “old dad” in order to erect a new highway through their homestead. Before Phil Lynott was leading Thin Lizzy through the thundering “The Boys are Back in Town”, “Jailbreak” and other machismo-laced hard rock anthems, he was lead vocalist on this 1969 song as part of an Irish group called Skid Row (not to be confused with the 80s hair band of the same name).

The track, “New Faces, Old Places”, is found on a one-off single paired with Gary Moore’s upbeat blues shuffle “Misdemeanor Dream Felicity”. Moore was also in Skid Row at the time, and would later join Lynott in Thin Lizzy for a spell. A charming relic of the late 60s, “New Faces” was written by band founder Brendan “Brush” Shields and falls nicely into the earnest, incense-infused, ‘hippie vibe’ of artists such as Donovan and the Incredible String Band.

Barely 20 years old at the time of recording, Lynott was already comfortable in his vocal approach, if perhaps a bit more tentative than the Lizzy years. With Skid Row, the youth and vulnerability in his voice help carry the tune, conveying the powerlessness, innocence and sadness of Lynott’s situation — the breaking of family ties and the eradication of old ways before the tide of progress. And while Lynott would go on to write and sing a few mellow and sensitive songs of his own during the Lizzy years, he never got quite this folky again. As such, “New Faces” stands apart as an enjoyable incongruity in a long career that’s now remembered more (if not always justly) for swagger than subtlety. words / r caldwell

Skid Row / Phil Lynott :: New Faces, Old Places


Eggs Over Easy represent a distinctly American branch of the pub rock tree, a group of singer/songwriters who banded together to create a raw, punchy style of rock & roll and ended up playing a year-long residency in London at the infamous Tally Ho, which helped inspired Nick Lowe, the Stiff Records gang, and the punk rock movement which followed pub rock’s flare up.

The whole story is traced remarkably on Yep Roc’s Good ‘N’ Cheap: The Eggs Over Easy Storywhich collects the band’s entire recorded output, including remastered versions of the 1972 debut Good ‘N’ Cheap, produced by Link Wray in dusty Tucson, Arizona, the band’s second album Fear of Frying and previously unheard London sessions recorded by Animals bassist and Jimi Hendrix manager Chas Chandler.

Rolling from rustic country funk to revved up rock & roll, the Eggs are well represented by the set as roots rock forebears. AD caught up with founding members Austin “Audie” De Lone and Jack O’Hara (the set is dedicated to late Egg Brien Hopkins) to discuss the band’s formation and playing no-frills jams in front of prog and glam rock fans.

Good ‘N’ Cheap :: Don’t Let Nobody

Aquarium Drunkard: Eggs Over Easy are considered pub rock pioneers. When did you first hear that term and what did you think of it?

Jack O’Hara: I never heard it until years after we left London. To me, it didn’t mean much. But in the many years that have passed, I can see the significance of it…We came back to the States and went about our business and had no real idea about the impact that particular moment had.

Austin De Lone: We probably first heard of it somewhere mid-’70s…at that point we knew our buddies Nick Lowe and Brinsley Schwarz and Bees Make Honey had this groovy scene going [in London] and that there were a lot of places to play. When we started, we played at one club, the Tally Ho, and that was ground zero for pub rock pretty much. From then, a bunch of others bands and pubs jumped on and that’s when it became a real scene.


Our weekly two hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, can be heard twice every Friday – Noon EST with an encore broadcast at Midnight EST.

SIRIUS 439: Jean Michel Bernard – Générique Stephane ++ Quincy Jones – Hummin’ ++ Harare – Give ++ Jingo – Keep Holding On (pt. 1) ++ Dwight Sykes – Bye ++ Alton Memela – The Things We Do In Soweto ++ Gene Boyd – Thought Of You Today ++ The Montgomery Express – The Montgomery Express ++ The 4th Coming – Cruising Down The Street ++ Trinidad & Tobago Steel Band – Do Your Thing ++ Lafayette Afro-Rock Band – Hihache ++ Juan Pablo Torres – Son A Propulsion ++ Arthur Russell – Make 1, 2 ++ Les Loups Noirs – Pile Ou Face ++ The Shades Of Black – Mystery Of Black, Pt. I ++ Fela Kuti – This Is Sad ++ Tony Sarfo & The Funky Afrosibi – I Beg ++ JD and The Evil’s Dynamite Band – Everglades Part 2 ++ Amral’s Trinidad Cavaliers – It Sure Is Funky ++ Dungen – Franks Kaktus ++ Gloria Ann Taylor – How Can You Say It ++ Unique Madoo – Call Me Nobody Else ++ Gil Scott-Heron – Message To The Messengers ++ Can – I Want More ++ Faust – It’s A Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl (AD Edit) ++ Symphonic Four – Who Do You Think You’re Fooling Part II ++ Mulatu Astatke – Mulatu ++ Dutch Rhythm And Steel Show Band – Down By The River ++ Serge Gainsbourg – Des Laids Des Dubs ++ Trinidad Steel Drummers – Cissy Strut ++ Mosco Tiles Fonclaire Steel Orchestra – Black Man’s Cry ++ Jake Wade & The Soul Searchers – Searchin’ For Soul ++ Bembeya Jazz National – Petit Sekou ++ The Dirtbombs – Got To Give It Up ++ Sweet Breeze – Good Thing ++ Grant Green – Down Here On The Ground

*You can listen, for free, online with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.

james booker

Spiders on keys, indeed. I’m heading to Zurich in the morning to catch a train to the jazz festival in Montreux, Switzerland — something akin to a pilgrimage to mecca. I was first hipped to James Booker sixteen years ago via a live solo recording from the early 70s. And that was it — there was no turning back, I had to hear it all. Prior to the omnipotence of the Internet, much of Booker’s life outside of the recordings themselves was a mystery comprised of hearsay, exaggeration and half-truths. In fact, much of what I initially cribbed concerning the late Booker’s life was thanks to excerpts from the excellent (now back in print) Dr. John biography “Under a Hoodoo Moon.” Wild/fascinating tales that only stoked the Booker mythology.

I featured the following 1978 live recording (recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival) back in October of 2005 as part of the original Live Upload Series. I’m re-upping it here. I’ve collected a number of live documents from this New Orleans piano master, and Live at Montreux is by far my favorite. Pearls on black velvet, the set is essential listening for Booker acolytes and New Orleans piano disciples alike. Very raw arrangements with Booker backed by a loose electric pick-up band that just swings.

Download / tracklisting after the jump. . .


Lagniappe (la·gniappe) noun ˈlan-ˌyap,’ – 1. An extra or unexpected gift or benefit. 2. Something given or obtained as a gratuity or bonus.

From recording in the living room of John and Yoko’s Manhattan apartment, to songs purloined while traveling through Argentina and recorded back home in Paris, this installment of the Lagniappe Sessions catches up with musical co-conspirators Adan & Xavi. The pair’s new lp, Y Los Imanes, is out now via Everloving Records and they’ll be gigging stateside July 9th in Chicago and LA, July 13th. The artists in their own words, below.

Adan & Xavi :: Woman (John Lennon)

“Woman” is classic John Lennon, and it’s hard to cover such a great song. But, as we were promoting our album in March 2016, we were kindly hosted by Sean Ono Lennon in Yoko and John’s first apartment in New York. We spent a week there, among old guitars and pianos, and since our record is a collection of ballads about love and women, we felt it was the right song, in the right place, to cover. We always have a couple of mics in our traveling bags, so we started recording the song in their living room with the piano, guitar and percussion giving it an intimate vibe. And then we finished it off in Paris.

Adan & Xavi :: Cancion Para Mi Muerte (Sui Generis)

We discovered “Canción Para Mi Muerte” during travel in Buenos Aires. A guy at a show gave us a CD with Argentinean bands, and we listened to it in the plane flying back to Paris. It’s a song from the 70s, and very popular in Argentina. We always wanted to do a cover of it, so it’s done. We can now die in peace!

Adan & Xavi :: Seabird (Alessi Brothers)

“Seabird” is not the most famous song of the Alessi Brothers, but it’s one of our favorites, and we wanted to pay tribute to its great nostalgic melody. On the original song you can hear the rhythm machine that we replaced here by a real drum, giving it some organic fills. We recorded the basic track live, and added some pedal steel guitar to give the song a flying vibe…

Lagniappe Sessions Archives / imagery via d norsen


Our weekly two hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, can be heard twice every Friday – Noon EST with an encore broadcast at Midnight EST.

SIRIUS 438: Jean-Michel Bernard – Générique Stéphane ++ Sun Ra – Springtime Is Here ++ Harlem River Drive – Idle Hands ++ Nina Simone – Be My Husband (Live, 1987)  ++ Little Stevie Wonder – Soul Bongo ++ Red Garrison – Taboo ++ Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated – Early In The Morning ++ Quincy Jones – Hikky-Burr (Take 2) ++ The Headhunters – God Make Me Funky ++ Funkadelic – Music For My Mother ++ Crazy Elephant – Dark Part of My Mind ++ Jr. And His Soulettes – Thing, Do The Creep ++ The Pyramids – Aomawa ++ Sun Ra – We’re Living In the Space Age ++ Augustus Pablo – AP Special ++ Suang Santi – Dub Fai Kui Gun (Turn Off The Light, Let’s Talk) ++ The Velvet Underground – Sister Ray (AD edit) ++ Rob Jo Star Band – I Call On One’s Muse ++ Faust – It’s A Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl ++ Can – Mother Sky ++ Abdou El Omari – Fatine ++ Serge Gainsbourg – Melody ++ Odetta – Hit Or Miss ++ Henri Salvador – Pauvre Jesus-Christ ++ Vincent Gallo – I Wrote This Song For The Girl Paris Hilton ++ Can – I Want More ++ United 8 – Ain’t It Good ++ 6ix – I’m Just Like You ++ Gene Boyd – Thought Of You Today (Edit)

*You can listen, for free, online with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.


Last summer, we teased the release of Tucson avant-roots combo Ohioan’s Empty/Every MT, and upon its release last month, our initial hopes for the record were strongly confirmed: it’s the strongest and most developed work from songwriter O Ryne Warner (formerly of Castanets) yet. Blending diverse influences, from Malian blues to post rock to languid country rock, Warner creates a singular world within the record, but one that draws heavily from his desert surroundings, incorporating a sense of the heat and sand into the record’s grooves.

Ohioan :: Like Survival Like

It is, in an overarching sense, a protest record, centered around ecological concerns, its title drawing connective threads between the mines of his native Ohio and those in his adopted home in the Sonoran. Warner puts forward the idea of an “Appalachian Desert,” projecting that “mountaintop removal and mining will level the forests of Appalachia, turning once lush land into an arid desert-scape not unlike parts of the American West and North Africa.” But its protests exist on a personal level too, and Warner often rails against existential attacks intertwined with environmental ones: “Stay true human” he intones on the mantric “Pissing at Will,” and he invokes the nature of survival, dwelling on a “mother’s love for an ugly child” on the languid western ballad “Like Survival Like.” On the droning “Birth Control,” he incorporates elements of counter culture past, singing “Like a true nature’s child, he were born to be wild,” subverting a big rock & roll riff into something quixotic and maybe even ironic.

It’s a record that sounds as vast as its concept. Featuring contributions from Susan Alcorn, Arrington De Dionyso, and Tara Jane ONeil, Warner recalls Tuareg blues on album opener “Bad Altitude,” opening with a spectral banjo riff before spiny guitars lock into place, pulling and tugging against the songs thumping rhythm. On “Workman’s Comp” the band swirls psychedelically before easing into a driving, heavy-limbed strut and harmonized lead guitars. On the album closer “Whats Not Blood,” he sings over swooning pedal steel and an acoustic guitar, crafting a ghostly sound, spooky and lovely.

Warner and company have made a special record with Empty/Every MT, a weird, electrifying one, and in a year that’s often felt apocalyptic — if not simply fraught — it sounds vital and necessary. “There’s beauty in my anger,” Warner sings. He’s quite right. words / j woodbury


Welcome to the fourth episode of Aquarium Drunkard’s Transmissions podcast, our recurring series of in-depth conversations and unexpected sounds.. On this week’s episode, we’re splitting our time with two unique artists.

Up first is Idris Ackamoor, leader of the intergalactic combo the Pyramids, whose new album We Be All Africans is a potent mix of soul, funk, world music, and spiritual jazz. Next, we hop in the van with singer/songwriter Eleanor Friedberger. As one-half of Fiery Furnaces, she created some of the most challenging and complex music of the 2000s, but on her latest album New View, she continues to ease into the confident, ’70s-inspired melodicism that has defined her solo albums, inspired in part by her move to upstate New York.

Transmissions Podcast :: Idris Ackamoor & the Pyramids / Eleanor Friedberger

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