Currently Listening to Jacob Banks THE BOY WHO CRIED FREEDOM

I absolutely hate the fact that some musicians are only releasing their music in streaming MP3 compressed format. It is such a disservice to a musician and music lovers not to have that music on Gatekeeper free, high-quality, well mastered full range CD. It’s a crime, especially with a singer of the strength of Jacob Banks. Go ahead and discover him like I did, courtesy of MP3 or streaming, but hold out for a full range CD to buy.

Some standouts from this musician…

MONSTER 2.0 his single from 2015 PARADOX release.

And the five songs on his latest from 2017 THE BOY WHO CRIED FREEDOM. Includes the sterling CHAINSMOKING and the smokey PART TIME LOVE. A top notch singer deserving of a top notch mastered CD.

Until then, sample him here:

The Paradox [Explicit]

Another great discovery of 2017.

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Currently Listening to Rag N Bone Man’ s HUMAN

So I’m listening to the album HUMAN, which is a phenomenal album, the calling card of a towering Negro voice, that happens to be coming out of a 32 year old, 6’5, Anglo Saxon Britisher named Rory Graham.

It’s am amazing, soulful album, complete with hymns pulled from the land of dixie and cotton and blood. But it is that delivery that really elevates this album. A familiar delivery that comes to me the third listen through, it is the King of Soul I hear, the late, great Solomon Burke even to the pacing and phrasing, and the unbelievable power.

Rory Graham is channeling the great Solomon Burke, but with enough of his own spin to make it not mimicry, but I would like to think homage. Toss in some of the storytelling chops of Nick Cave (Burke himself was a fantastic storyteller) with just enough pop sensability to galvanize the younger, indie crowd, and you have an album deserving of its praise.

A new musical discovery for me, as 2017 winds to a close. And well worth seeking out if you haven’t heard of him.

And make some time to become aquainted with the source of such abundant soul, the source for all of us… the lengthy discography of the late, great, Solomon Burke.

Human

Rating Carolina CD Review : Carolina Chocolate Drops LEAVING EDEN

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Picture is copyright Jim Brock Photography

With 2013 still early in its run, an early contender for my favorite CD of the year is Carolina Chocolate Drops LEAVING EDEN (and yes I know it came out in 2012). It has been a while since I was so thoroughly in love with a CD from first song to last (Terry Callier’s opus SPEAK YOUR PEACE comes to mind, and that is high praise indeed).

I like their 2006 debut cd, DONA GOT A RAMBLIN MIND, but I don’t love it. The same can be said for their 2009 concert CD entitled CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS & JOE THOMPSON. However their latest LEAVING EDEN is another story. It is an album that is not only listenable from first song to last, it is immediately re-listenable. An album that can be on rotation in your cd player often without wearing out its welcome; no small feat in this day and age of too much, too fast, too poorly done.

What really endears me to this CD is how these young children of the Diaspora, these four children of the atom, of the early 21st century, are so thoroughly channeling and keeping alive this quintessential music of the early 20th century. What endears is how these young men and women of the race: Human, of the ethnic group: Nubian/Black, of the Nation: American and of the tribe: Artist; are creating music that incorporates the width and breath of all of the above.

LEAVING EDEN is at once joyous and jubilant and haunting and innovative, and sublime. The spirit of Robert Johnson moves strongly here, and well. ‘Howls in the bones of her face’ to borrow from Dylan, the cd LEAVING EDEN howls in the bones of your face.

Not only do I have a new favorite CD, I have a new favorite band. And luckily they are touring this year so if coming to a city anywhere close to you I highly recommend checking them out in person. I had the chance to see them in concert last year and missed it. I won’t miss them this year, and if you are smart neither will you.

Their touring schedule is here.

And their CD LEAVING EDEN? In an age of digital and Itunes do CDs still have a place? That appears to be the question of the moment. My answer? When they are this good, hell yeah CDs have a place. Owning just an mp3 sample would just be a crime. This is a work of art in the listening, and should be a work of art in the displaying. Grade: A+.

You can buy cds here:

Leaving Eden

And Don’t fail to also check out the following essential CDs:

Speak Your Peace

The Complete Recordings (The Centennial Collection)

And for more Carolina Chocolate Drops albums go here:

CDs available

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Picture is copyright Jim Brock Photography

WEDNESDAYS WORDS

WEDNESDAYS WORDS is a new weekly installment that ranks the most interesting, intriguing books of the week (old, new, reissues, digital, etc). Contributors represent a variety of genres and sources. Each book includes Title and publisher blurb.

Robert S. Duncanson, 19th century Black romantic painter (The Sigma Pi Phi series)
Parks, James Dallas.
ROBERT S. DUNCANSON: 19th Century Black Romantic Painter.
Washington, DC: Associated Publishers, Inc., A Division of the Association For The Study of Afro-American Life and History, Inc., 1980.
x, 60 pp., 25 b&w illus., chronol., catalogue of works. Appendices include letters from Duncanson and note from Mrs. Ruth E. Showes, “A Relative”; letter concerning Duncanson’s illness from his wife Phoebe. 8vo (24 cm.), cloth.

When the Death-Bat Flies: The Detective Stories of Norvell Page

When the Death-Bat Flies: The Detective Stories of Norvell Page- Best known for his Spider pulp stories, scribe Norvell Page was a master mystery writer as well. This 800-page book collects over 30 of Page’s detective stories from the pages of DETECTIVE TALES, THE SPIDER, DETECTIVE FICTION WEEKLY and STRANGE DETECTIVE MYSTERIES, most of which have never been reprinted before. Includes an all-new introduction by Will Murray.

Dead Dolls Don’t Talk / Hunt the Killer / Too Hold to Hold

Three short thrillers that offer variations on the theme of the innocent person caught up in murderous events. Dead Dolls Don t Talk (1959) allows a juror to find out what it s like to be on the other side of the law. Hunt the Killer (1951) is the story of a man just out from prison who is newly framed for a killing he didn t commit. And Too Hot to Hold (1959) is a case of mistaken identity that escalates when greed takes the place of common sense.


City of Corpses: The Weird Mysteries of Ken Carter

“Reading Page is like grabbing a live electrical wire. . . . Once you take hold, you can’t let go until the story comes to an end. Page paced his stories at one speed only-runaway locomotive.

“When it comes to writing grab-your-throat and hurtle-you-along at a hundred miles an hour fiction, there’s nobody better.”

—Robert Weinberg, from his introduction

From the author of The Spider, here are seven tales of weird mystery and strange crime. Follow Ken Carter as he unravels seven strange cases.

Bonus: Also included is a 1935 article by Norvell Page explaining his approach to writing.

With an introduction by Robert Weinberg.

Cover art by Walter M. Baumhofer.

Stories include:

Hell’s Music
City of Corpses
Statues of Horror
Gallows Ghost
The Devil’s Hoof
The Sinister Embrace
Satan’s Sideshow
“How I Write” by Norvell Page

Hank & Muddy


In steamy Shreveport, Louisiana, two musical legends-in-the-making come together: a whiskey-soaked country singer named Hank Williams and blues artist Muddy Waters. What they’ve got in common over several hectic days of drinking, singing and whoring is an interest in staying alive despite local mobsters, bent cops, and a truckload of Ku Klux Klansmen. Then there’s the bankrobber’s daughter.


The Spider VS. The Empire State: The Complete Black Police Trilogy [Paperback]
Norvell Page – THEY SAID IT COULDN’T HAPPEN HERE. THEN THEY SAID ONE MAN COULDN’T STOP IT! Richard Wentworth spent his vigilante career as The Spider always in the shadows. Now evil acted in broad daylight. The Party of Justice swept into office, rewriting the laws of New York state overnight to benefit their criminal backers and make slaves of its people. This American Reichstag gave itself sweeping powers and raised a private army to exert its malevolent will. How could The Spider hope to stop a criminal conspiracy as big as the state itself? This time The Master of Men would go beyond taking the lives of evildoers… by bringing Hope to the tyrannized citizens of the Empire State! The “Black Police Trilogy” is author Norvell Page’s classic pulp fiction Nazi allegory from 1938. Originally published in three consecutive months of The Spider Magazine, the novels “The City That Paid To Die”, “The Spider at Bay”, and “Scourge of the Black Legions” are collected in book form for the first time! The Spider VS. The Empire State: The Complete Black Police Trilogy


The WEDNESDAYS WORDS column is a new blog feature, appearing (you guessed it!) every Wednesday. Come back next week to see which books make the list!

If you’re a publisher, writer, or other creative representative looking to submit items for WEDNESDAYS WORDS, just leave a comment on this post with your email/contact info, comments don’t get posted they come right to me, and I’ll reach out to you with the snail mail details.

And as far as readers, if you see items on WEDNESDAYS WORDS you’re considering purchasing then, if you are able and would like to support this blog, please utilize the attached links.

Your helpful purchases through those links, generates much appreciated pennies to keep this blog running. Your feedback and support… just way cool, and way appreciated. Thanks!

Sponsored by Ebay Store: Deals of the Day!

Album of the Day: TASSILI by the band TINARIWEN.

In an age of bits and bytes I still like having the CD (still bits & bytes, but more of them :)). The physical item, the liner notes, the process, Plus MP3 is not the music, it is an approximation of the music. A compression of the music. A whole generation raised on the lie of music, rather than its truth.

Something the NO APOLOGIES podcast said about kids raised on their mp3 downloads and American Idol, realizing when they go to a real concert, that till then… they had never actually heard music before.

Today’s recommended CD is TASSILI by the band TINARIWEN.

Tassili:Price the CD Here


“Just as it took a bitter, misguided war to kick-start the Summer of Love, Tinariwen was born out of refugee camps in North Africa in the early 1980s during a prolonged period of unrest.

This band of genuine nomads turned rebel fighters might never have made it out of the desert and onto the world stage if French band Lo’Jo hadn’t caught Tinariwen performing at a festival in Mali in 1998 (eight years after it had returned to its homeland from exile) and invited the musicians on tour. Since then, championed by the likes of Robert Plant and Carlos Santana, the band has received numerous awards and accolades, and stands at the forefront of desert blues.

Not bad for a band that didn’t acquire its first acoustic guitar until 1979, and for years after would perform for free for anyone who had a blank cassette and was willing to record the performance to share with others — basically YouTube without the Internet.

Tinariwen — which means “empty spaces” or “deserts” in its Tuareg tongue — has grown into an ever-evolving collective with a handful of core members, which helps its sound stay fresh. On its fifth studio release, “Tassili,” the band expands its horizons further with guest artists Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone (TV on the Radio), Nels Cline (Wilco) and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. All are musicians at the top of their creative game.”
—-By K. D. Kelly Amazon Reviewer

A new old bluesman ditty

I get reflective sometimes on Friday, sometimes I even get creative. Hence the following work in progress ditty I came up with. It’s pretty much done to a soft folksy, bluesy wail. Some forced rhymes in there, but it get’s the job done. 🙂 Enjoy…

And how did you fall
yeahhhh
so uh
far from grace
and what did you lose
yeahhh
In this
final race

—from The Last Bluesman

So this old blues man, that I knew by sight
he prayed every day,
and his roof caved in one night
killing his wife Betsy
the light of his life.

And this old man prayed
for his child to grow well
but following sin
she went spiraling through
the gates of hell

And this old man prayed
for his health to hold
but the doctor told
cancer would keep him
from getting that old

And still he prayed
to the good of god

and that belief in god
I couldn’t see how, he could give
givin the tragedies
through which he was, tasked to live

So I asked him straight out
in the house in which he boarded
“how keep you faith,
when it isn’t rewarded?”

And he looked at me
as if I
told a joke
He pulled on the cigarette
and uh
had a good smoke

then he said to me
with a
voice past late

“little boy blue,
how else
be it faith?”

—HT

Top 5 Music Podcasts! Spring 2012!!!!

Conventional/mainstream radio and discussion of music in the US is utter garbage. So to get a handle on what’s good out there takes a bit of digging, takes a bit of hunting for perspectives from the fans and true lovers of music, rather than the soulless money grubbing suits.

I’ve done the hunting, so you can do the enjoying. Hands down, below are the five best Music Podcasts…. IN THE WORLD!!

No hyperbole here. 🙂

VINYL, LIVE, LOCAL– Vinyl, Live & Local is hosted by Josh Gellman on Thursday’s from 3-8PM. The show always includes music from vinyl records, live recordings, and local artists. Featuring a range of music from Funk, Latin, Jazz, Indie, Classics, and a few surprises. It’s gonna be a party!! – This is an absolutely wonderful podcast of nothing but great music cuts. Radio as it should be, but unfortunately isn’t. Hosted by Josh Gellman, the show appears to have gone dark, but use the feed and for right now you can access the back shows, and I HIGHLY recommend it. If anyone has the inside scoop on this program let me know if it will be coming back. It’s that good.

CBC RADIO 3– The home of Independent Canadian Music – CBC Radio 3 is a weekly hour of 100% Canadian music from new and emerging artists. It’s one of the most popular podcasts in the country, playing the best in new rock, pop, singer-songwriters, hip hop, and electronica. Updated Fridays.
300+ episodes in and this Podcast/indie Radio Show is going strong. Wonderful selection of music, a nice range of feels, and moods. Great music to listen to while creating, for those artists and writers out there. I’ve only listened to a few of the shows so far, but my clear favorite is episode #311, their International Women’s Day Special. Lot’s of lovely music.

THE ZRO HOURI’m depressingly out of the loop when it comes to what the kids are listening to. But mostly because I don’t like the garbage the mainstream is pumping out. This hiphop show comes from the performers however, and as such, so far, I’ve found it a lot more listen-able. Show has gone on hiatus, but there’s a huge archive of shows to catch up on, and hopefully it will return so keeping it on the feed for a bit.

GILLESPETERSON WORLDWIDE– And the sceptered isle, not to be outdone, Gilles Peterson of the BBC, keeps our eyes on the prize with this podcast coverage and discussion of the once and future music, the greatest music that was, and will be again.

This royal throne of kings, this sceptered isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,–
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.
—William Shakespeare, “King Richard II”, Act 2 scene 1

IZATRINI– The website leaves much to be desired, but man the music on this monthly podcast is —- glorious. I don’t consider myself a dancer, but even I can’t help bumping into furniture in my house when this is playing. 🙂 What higher recommendation do you need? As long as they don’t start doing that annoying crap some reggae stations do, of interrupting the music while it’s playing, continually cutting the sound in and out so they can make comments. I HATE THAT! But luckily this show DOES NOT do that, so it’s a big recommend.

And wrapping it up, here are today’s recommended CDs:

Mysterious Traveller– “Weather Report’s greatest album – Following their previous breakthrough album ( “SWEETNIGHTER”), which established the “Weather Report sound”, “MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER” (1974) contains a number of interesting compositions that give the recording the feeling (if not the formal unity) of a “suite”, an extended journey through varying musical landscapes. Even more than in prior albums, individual improvisation is eschewed in favor of an “orchestral” and textural approach, an aspect of style distinguishing Weather Report from the Mahavishnu Orchestra ( the other great fusion band of the era”–Ian K.Hughes@Amazon
-Considering the original CD is selling for 3 figures, this import CD is a bargain at under $14.

Concrete Love – Julia Fordham“Fourteen years and six albums into her recording career, British thrush Julia Fordham hasn’t quite earned the following one might have forecast for her when she arrived with a bit of fanfare in the late ’80s. That said, she’s persevered long enough to have garnered the admiration of a core of devotees and more than a few notable musicians, including this collection’s guests, India Arie and Joe Henry. That Fordham has become something of a singer’s singer is not surprising given the cool intelligence of her phrasing and the versatility of her husky-to-piercing range, which recalls trilling ’70s singer-songwriters Minnie Riperton”—Steven Stolder@Amazon.com

 

Well that’s all for this installment. If you dug this post, and my selections, do three things:

 

1/if you’re a fellow blogger press ‘like’ on this post, that’s always helpful and

2/ definitely leave a comment and let me know if you dig the selections or tell me if I’m on crack, and left out your favorite music podcast and

3/ Support this blog by purchasing today’s item of the day via the link above. Each purchase gives this blog 2 cents to keep kicking.

 

Enough shilling, thanks for supporting. And in the immortal words of a wiser man than I… Peace, Love, and Soul!