Today we have some very interesting comebacks from two greatest rock’n’roll scenes in the world. True Sons of Thunder, a Memphis super-garage-group is back with the new record, and so are the legendary trio from Detroit, Demolition Doll Rods. Mr. Quintron and Miss Pussycat from New Orleans also have a new record and so does the super-trio Fuzz with Ty Segall, Charles Moothart and Chad Ubovich. We also check out new singles for Outacontroller, Gyasi and Harp Explosion. We introduce Tyler Keith and The Apostles for the first time at the show. Great archival material is also out, by Red Lights (a Jeffrey Lee Pierce band) and the lost album by The Last.
Dead Moon – Fire in the Western World;
Outtacotroller – Loose Lips;
True Sons of Thunder – Killin’ It;
True Sons of Thunder – Crawlin;
Wolfmanhattan Project – Braid of Smoke;
Danny and The Darleans (Live in CLE);
Demolition Doll Rods – Bitch Kickin’;
Quintron and Miss Pussycat – Teenagers Don’t Know Shit;
A Burning Bus – Irrational front;
Tyler Keith & The Apostles – Vaya Con Dios;
Tyler Keith & The Apostles – Fire In The Western World;
Harp Explosion – It’s gonna be a long night;
The Schizophonics – Show Me Your Eyes;
Hayvanlar Alemi – Referendum Day;
Fuzz – Nothing People;
Gyasi – Walk On;
Gyasi – Colorful;
Red Lights – Kisses for my president;
The Last – The Other Side;
The Last – Difference.
Today’s show is an episode in our Rock’n’roll Anthems series. Previously we featured Louie Louie, I Fought The Law, Tobacco Road, Train Kept A-Rollinâ€™, Money (Thatâ€™s What I Want). Today we go the way back to the late nineteenth century when a railroad worker John Hardy committed a murder and got hanged afterwards. The story and the event went into a legend and into a song. The song eventually made it to the records in the twenties and quite a few rock musicians found the story exciting enough to include it into their repertoire. Most notably, my favorite version of Gun Club. As it usually happens in folk traditions, they are not always historically accurate. There was also another character John Henry, who was a a steel driver who apparently defeated a steam powered hammer. For whatever reason, musically and lyrically, some musicians of the past mixed the two different characters and song and elements of one went into another. So, today, we explore these two stories and the impact they had on rock’n’roll. Most recently, Danny Kroha recorded the legend of John Henry on his new lp, so the two characters still continue to keep our attention.
Clarence Ashley – Old John Hardy;
Wild Billy Childish – John Hardy;
Gun Club – John Hardy;
Jeffrey Lee Pierce – John Henry;
George Thorogood And The Destroyers – John Hardy;
Manfred Mann – John Hardy;
Uncle Tupelo – John Hardy;
Johnny Cash – The Legend Of John Henry’s Hammer;
Lead Belly – John Hardy;
Buell Kazee – John Hardy;
Ernest V. Stoneman – John Hardy;
Mississippi Fred McDowell – John Henry;
Roger McGuinn – John Hardy;
Roger McGuinn – John Henry;
Tom T. Hall – More About John Henry;
The Sir Douglas Quintet – Story Of John Hardy;
Van Morrison – John Henry;
Danny Kroha – John Henry.
Last year a surprisingly uncharacteristic album came from Lydia Lunch. She and her collaborator, guitarist Cypress Grove recorded a mighty fine, moody, rock’n’roll album called appropriately A Fistful of Desert Blues. Rarely does a record title fit the sound so well. It’s a western desert blues record that can stand next to any Gun Club record and live up to it.
In fact there is a song by Jeffrey Lee Pierce on it called St. Mark’s Place. Cypress Grove had an earlier collaboration with Pierce on the Ramblin’ Jeffrey Lee record in 1992. Although, Lydia’s and Cypress’ version of St. Mark’s Place is well known from the We Are Only Riders tribute to Pierce, it serves well on the Fistful of Desert Blues album to remind us where the whole thing originated from.
While We Are Only Riders is a wonderful album, it maybe lacks some focus with so many musicians trying to find their way to express their admiration for Jefferey Lee’s work, A Fistful of Blues overcomes that problem easily by delivering plenty of originals. And there’s a cool variety to keep your attention. From dark and moody ramble of the opener Sandpit to the rocking Jericho.
Another cool cover worth mentioning is Mark Lanegan’s Revolver which fits perfectly as one of the focal points of this album. Cool reinterpretation of Van Morrison’s TB Sheets with Walter Daniels on harp makes a wonderful closer and makes you moan for more.
Today we review some parts of the blooming and booming new San Francisco rock’n’roll scene, lead by Ty Segall who has a new album out there called Twins. We also check out the wonderful cajuns from Switzerland, Mama Rosin, who made a new album in New York City with Jon Spencer and also have another ad-hoc project called Les FrÃ¨res Souchet. Talking about the Francophone stuff, we have a new single for Perpignan’s Jack of Heart and including their potent cover of Gun Club’s For The Love of Ivy recorded live in Cleveland. We close the show with Amy Lavere and Shannon McNally with their new tour rehearsal tapes and with Lucy Kaplansky’s cover of The Beatles tune I’m Looking Through You.
Today’s show is dedicated to Nick Curran who we recently lost after two years of battle with throat cancer.
The Fall – Jerusalem;
The Modern Minds – Theresa’s World;
Nick Curran – Shot Down;
Nick Curran & The Lowlifes – The Lowlife;
Apache – Heaven Can Wait;
Ty Segall – The Hill;
Thee Oh Sees – Flood’s New Light;
Mikal Cronin – Get Along;
Rat Columns – Death Is Leaving Me;
Jack of Heart – Oscar Wilde;
Jack of Heart – For The Love of Ivy (live in CLE);
King Tuff – Screaming Skull;
Mama Rosin – Parait qu’y a pas l’Temps;
Les FrÃ¨res Souchet – Umido E Denso;
Rosanne Cash – I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party;
Lucy Kaplansky – I’m Looking Through You;
Amy Lavere And Shannon McNally – Good Old Time
May 8 marks hundred years of birth of the famous bluesman Robert Johnson. At least officially, as the exact date of his birth is unknown. But, the man’s influence on rock’n’roll and all other blues related music genres is impossible to measure. The majority of Johnson’s music was recorded between 1936 and 1937, long before rock’n’roll really had its name. But in 1961 his music was reissued on an LP and the young rockers embraced Johnson as a great precursor of their music. Black blues musicians of the 50s, like Howlin’ Wolf and Dinah Washington were a link, as they were playing Robert Johnson’s songs even before the 1961 LP. British rockers like Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones followed and brought Johnson’s music to the masses. Still, two of my favorite Johnson’s rock’n’roll covers belong to the 80s underground era: Rainer Ptacek’s version of If I Had Possession Over The Judgment Day and Gun Club’s Preachin’ The Blues. But indisputable strength of Johnson’s quality as a songwriter and guitar player is not the only link to the rock’n’roll. His entire short life is filled with mysticism, charisma and myth that also became an essential fabric for a decent rock’n’roll biography. Today, we pay a tribute to that.
Beck – Last Fair Deal Gone Down;
Robert Johnson – If I Had Possession Over Judgment Day;
Rainer and Das Combo – (If I Had) Possession Over Judgement Day;
Gun Club – Preaching The Blues;
Robert Johnson – Preachin’ The Blues;
Robert Johnson – Terraplane Blues;
Canned Heat – Terraplane Blues;
Some Girls – Malted Milk.ogg
Robert Johnson – Malted Milk;
Robert Johnson – Walking Blues;
Hindu Love Gods – Walkin’ Blues;
Cream – Crossroads;
Robert Johnson – Crossroads Blues;
Robert Johnson – Kindhearted Woman Blues;
Muddy Waters – Kind Hearted Woman;
Lucinda Williams – Ramblin’ On My Mind;
Robert Johnson – Ramblin’ On My Mind;
Robert Johnson – Love In Vain Blues;
The Rolling Stones – Love in Vain;
Robert Johnson – Last Fair Deal Gone Down.
(Written for the old site.) SST in the eighties was home for every punk-rocker in USA. And they aslo grew their special breed of longhair punkers who drew their influences not only from early punk, but also from hard rock and psychedelia. One of the most notable bands of that breed were the Screaming Trees. Three chubby guys and a babe magnet Mark Lanegan gave us a little bit of fresh air when they in late eighties made great three albums for SST. That part of their career is also wonderfully compiled on Anthology: SST Years.
But then came 1991, Nirvana and grunge… Of course, Screaming Trees were a perfect grunge band already and CBS signed them and they really hit it big with Sweet Oblivion in 1992. Paradoxically, Sweet Oblivion was lyrically their weakest album up to date. Moreover, Lanegan started his deep exploration on more traditional forms like country and blues and decided to start a parallel career as a solo artist.
Actually, in 1990. came out firt Lanegan’s album entitled The Winding Street, but his career really started to overshadow Screaming Trees when he came up with Whiskey for the Holy Ghost in 1994. That was a delicious album full of bluesy bar atmosphere.
Like after a big hungover, his album I’ll Take Care of You came out in 1999. Here we find Lanegan performing his favorite standards like Little Sadie. You can find there many cool songwriters, Fred Neil, Tim Hardin, Bobby Blue Blend and Buck Owens. The nicest surprize is a wonderful bluesy cover of Carry Home, which was originally done by a death punk band The Gun Club.
Just now, Lanegan came up with a new album, and a new hairdo and he’s more than welcome. Album is entiled Field Songs, and represents Mark in a new light. It all looks like Lanegan got influenced by gypsy music, and there’s much of that nomadic feel in his new songs. However, the list of guest musicians is quite interesting… Except for his old buddy Mike Johnson (ex Dinosaur JR), also Duffy (ex Guns’n’Roses) delivers some quite impressive drum attacks, Ben Shepherd of Soundgarden also shows she can play some serious guitar. Duffy is also now a part of Mark’s new touring band, so god help us… Anyway, great low key records and a nice bluesy break in usually jolly good atmosphere of The Little Lighthouse.
One Whiskey Website