from The Fantastic Carmela Sings Latin American Folklore (1969)
Here Spanish guitarist and ‘rebel artist’ Paco Ibáñez accompanies Carmela (Carmen Didia) on a Venezuelan folk song by Tino Carrasco. Quench your thirst for all sounds Venezuelan (including Carrasco) at the encyclopedic blog Venezuela en Ritmo—”siempre imitada, nunca igualada.”
There was thundersnow last night in New York. Spring is evidently not quite here. To commemorate the late coming, we have the meditative banjo raga ‘Winterland Doldrums.’
Described on the LP jacket as “Occult Improvisational Compositions For 5-String Banjo And Percussion,” this album deserves a listen by even the most devout of banjo haters. This is NOT Deliverance (not that I have a bone to pick with hillbilly music). Rather, this is classical music of the highest order. What John Fahey coaxed from six strings, Stavis conjures with five.
Get yer banjo on at Flash Strap, a one-stop shop for the illuminating and the exotic.
The man behind the music of Hair, MacDermot gets seriously funky on this album, which later served as the soundtrack to French filmmaker Martine Barrat’s 1973 film about Yves St Laurent, Woman is Sweeter.
Killer soul track from an out-of-print LP on Ike Turner’s Pompeii label. That is some crunchy guitar…and listen to that funky shuffle on the drums. Damn. And of course… no one growls and screams like Tina.
“You got what you wanted… now you don’t want what you got”
I’m reading Patti Smith’s beautiful book Just Kids and can’t put it down. A love story that rivals the best of them. Tonight I read this passage about Patti and Robert Mapplethorpe’s trip to Coney Island in 1969:
The pier was swept away in a big storm in the eighties but Nathan’s, which was Robert’s favorite place, remained. Normally we only had money for one hot dog and a Coke. He would eat most of the dog and I most of the sauerkraut. But that day we had enough money for two of everything. We walked across the beach to say hello to the ocean, and I sang him the song “Coney Island Baby” by the Excellents. He wrote our names in the sand.
We were just ourselves that day, without a care. It was our good fortune that this moment in time was frozen in a box camera. It was our first real New York portrait. Who we were. Only weeks before we had been at the bottom, but our blue star, as Robert called it, was rising. We boarded the F train for the long ride back, returned to our little room, and cleared off the bed, happy to be together.
Jan Hendin and Ellen Lorraine LeFevre formed their short-lived duo in Detroit in the late 60s. They recorded this album in London (using Ginger Baker’s guitar on some tracks!) and then split before much happened — Lorraine wanted out.
Jan ended up in a religious cult in California and took her own life in 1992. As for Lorraine, she now performs and gives guitar lessons at Butler’s Coffee in Palmdale, California, under the name Elayna.
It’s Country Sunday on yer darling daily. So here we are with a melancholy ditty from Lee Hazlewood and Ann Margret. On this album Ann Margret plays the lady to Lee’s cowboy, but Lee’s probably better known for his collaboration with another lady in the 60s — Nancy Sinatra (‘These Boots Are Made For Walkin’)
This particular tune resonates with me because I once took a Greyhound from Atlanta to New York City, in the dead of winter, at night. Foolish move. The night bus stops in Richmond, Virginia, around 4 in the morning. “Everyone up! Everyone out!” they say.
And all the tired people gather their belongings to wait out those dull hours of the morning before the bus departs several hours later, shuffling into the station where the ghosts of other passengers look at you, bleary eyed, from their plastic chairs, and the few shriveled, oily hot dogs on rotation at the snack bar stink up the stale air.
Heard this tune recently in a bar and had to ask what it was. It’s a Peter Frampton-penned Humble Pie tune, and Frampton has some very nice guitar work towards the end. No talking guitar here though — sorry everyone. Kind of reminds me of Roy Harper though… check him out here.
The bar was the lovely little Williamsburg wine bar Pinkerton — yes it’s named after the Weezer album, and yes they have a fantastic happy hour special.
The quality leaves something to be desired but this track is so smoking it’s worth every grainy minute. Like someone dragged the Allman Brothers down to Studio One for a couple weeks and put Jackie Mittoo in charge. This whole album is one stop shopping for groovy dance music. Get it.