Ethereal jazz and slow grooves throughout, this is Vox Scapo. Set it to cruise control and take in a free and easy summer soundscape as August begins to wane. Our fifth collaboration with Portland, OR based record collectors Sam Huff and Colton Tong.
In 1951, Hank Williams — one of the finest songwriters the USA has ever produced — shilled shamelessly for Mother’s Best, a Northern Alabama flour company. And thank the good lord he did. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have this treasure trove of radio broadcasts, miraculously preserved on acetate, a collection of 142 time capsule performances that can be counted among Williams’ best.
Many of these recordings have been released in smaller sized sets over the past several years, but this 15-disc box presents every last note available, from such well-loved favorites as “Cold Cold Heart,” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” to rarities like “Lonely Tombs” and “Cherokee Boogie.” Williams’ voice cuts through the decades like a freshly sharpened blade.
The gospel material sprinkled throughout is particularly strong — though who knows what listeners tuning in thought of the hallucinatory, Book of Revelations imagery of “I Dreamed That the Great Judgement Morning” or the terrifying Grim Reaper vibes of “The Pale Horse and His Rider.” We also get to hear tunes from Audrey Williams, Don Helms and Big Bill Lister, “the world’s tallest singing cowboy,” not to mention all the between-song banter — Hank even offers to personally refund any dissatisfied Mother’s Best customers. What a nice guy. A deep dive into this indispensable material will leave you with a new appreciation of Williams’ art … and probably a hankering for a mess of fresh-baked corn biscuits. words / t wilcox
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 443: Jean Michel Bernard – Générique Stephane ++ Pot Party – Mike Curb & Bob Summers ++ I’m Five Years Ahead of My Time – The Third Bardo ++ Just Let Go – The Seeds ++ Candle Light – Benny Soebardja & Lizard ++ Mr. Moonshine – Fat Mattress ++ Stoned Woman – Ten Years After ++ Hole In His Hand – Doug Jerebine ++ Abba Zabba – Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band ++ Snowblind – Judy Henske & Jerry Yester ++ Becky and Joe – Joey Levine ++ Not The Lovin’ Kind – Buffy St. Claire ++ The Real Thing – Russell Morris ++ Lindy Lou – Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs ++ The Young World – Mike Curb & Bob Summers ++ Primative – The Groupies ++ Love Loves To Love Love – Lulu ++ Friday’s Child – Lee Hazlewood ++ It Is As It Must Be – Man ++ Stella By Starlight – Jorge Dalto ++ Avenida Atlantica – Rieber Hovde, Howard Roberts, Ed Thigpen ++ Suspense – Hornets ++ The Juggler – Fox ++ Fly Away – Barrabas ++ Ataraxia Part I – Passport ++ September 13 – Deodato ++ Time To Get It Together – Marvin Gaye ++ Are You There – America ++ Solar Flares – Sven Libaek and His Orchestra ++ Jeffy’s Song- Geoff Tyus ++ Come Running To Me – Herbie Hancock ++ Attic Thoughts – Bo Hannson ++ Südwind – Thirsty Moon
*You can listen, for free, online with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.
In this Big Star worshiping world (a church of which I’m a card-carrying member), Eric Carmen’s seminal power pop work with the Raspberries simply doesn’t get the respect it deserves. But that’s another story. Several years before the formation of that group, Eric Carmen and some future ‘berries laid down one of the greatest Who-influenced American 45 of the 1960s.
Cyrus Erie was formed in Cleveland in 1967, with Eric Carmen joining later in the year after being turned down as a member of (other huge local band) The Choir. Guitarist Wally Bryson (fresh out of the Choir, himself) joined Cyrus Erie, and the band quickly became a local phenomenon, covering the likes of the Who and Small Faces in addition to their originals.
The group was soon scooped up by Epic records who tried to squeeze a more commercial and polished sound (the “a” side of this single, ‘Sparrow”, is OK but not the MONSTER “Get The Message” is). One can only imagine how first-rate this group must have been live, and it’s clear these formative years paid off as The Raspberries later maintained a raw edge, yet were still tight as the cracking snare drum that we hear in “Get The Message”.
Note: It’s perfectly acceptable to play this song a dozen times in a row at maximum volume; in fact, it’s kind of impossible not to. words / d see
Just returned from Pickathon, the 18th annual “indie roots” celebration out in Happy Valley, Oregon. Held on Pendarvis Farm, this year’s happening was, once again, fantastic, maintaining the feel of a jovial party in the forest more than the clustered and claustrophobic feel common at most outdoor festivals.
In between hosting music/interview sessions in the Lucky Barn and DJing on the Woods stage, I caught some exceptional music. Highlights: Wilco songwriter Jeff Tweedy cracking Trump jokes (and jokes about his Trump jokes later in the woods), organist Cory Henry blending the B3 soul of Booker T. Jones with the force of prime Parliament/Funkadelic on the Woods stage, Mount Moriah’s fiery “Revolution Blues” cover, Sir Richard Bishop’s discussion of “non theoretical” guitar playing, My Bubba inviting the legendary Michael Hurley to the stage, the blackened hardcore of VHÖL on the Treeline stage, and fantastic sets by Open Mike Eagle, Ultimate Painting, Kevin Morby, Julia Holter, Protomartyr, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Mac Demarco, and dozens more.
As the jolly Captain Trips once mused: ‘All goods things in all good time’. As such, Heads around the world tuned in and took notice when the GarciaLive series made it’s roaring return with the back to back flashbacks, volumes six and seven. Both elegantly recorded by Betty Cantor-Jackson (aka Betty Boards) they capture Jerry Garcia in two polarizing side groups just a scant 3 years apart.
Volume 6 lands in the pivotal year of 1973. Having graduated from small venues to cavernous impersonal arenas to appease their rapidly growing fanbase, the Grateful Dead are road warriors to the most ragged extreme. In sharp contrast, here we find Garcia and his musical co-conspirator Merl Saunders posting up at a 200 capacity suburban Bay Area club. Recorded at the Lion’s Share, intimacy and freedom were on the menu that night while outfitting themselves with a wrecking crew of a rhythm section, John Kahn on bass and Bill Vitt on drums. Never one to ease right in, Garcia cuts right to the chase sending the group into overdrive with JJ Cale’s “After Midnight” as the group’s spirited songbook unfolds throughout the evening with jazzy show tunes (“My Funny Valentine”) to Motown staples (“I Second that Emotion” and “How Sweet It Is”). Just a few short days later the same ad hoc group took the stage at the famed Berkeley watering hole, Keystone, to record their epic double lp, Live at Keystone. As such, this new set adds an additional 3 hours to the party that (seemingly) never wants to end.
Always a pleasure to wake up to a new song from Nashville’s Lambchop, particularly an 18-minute plus epic like “The Hustle,” the first single in advance of the group’s forthcoming For Love Often Turns Us Still — FLOTUS, for short — which comes out November 4th on the esteemed Merge Records.
Evoking the minimalism of early electronic music, “The Hustle” pulses with warm reeds and horns, stately piano, and the low vocals of group leader Kurt Wagner. “I don’t want to leave you ever,” Wagner sings just before the drums break in, propulsive and methodical. “And that’s a long, long time.”
“I suspect that those who truly love to create—to document each twist and turn and joy and disappointment and fallout and fuckup—will do so in defiance of the shifting tides,” writes Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner of the forthcoming LP, noting that the new record “gives me hope for the future. Hope that we won’t become jaded and unimpressed, swallowed by our own listlessness and unmoved by the world.”
For more than 30 years, the music of Lambchop has rewarded that hope in listeners, and FLOTUS promises to be another testament to the group’s signature brand of brave, honest creativity. words / j woodbury