Saturday, 23 July 2016

Car Music 26

Joy - Ride Along!

Retro Joy

San Diego trio Joy's second release is a psychedelic trip back to now in the way these very good exponents of powerrock from long ago can regenerate today.

Third Evil Woman is a timewarped track to exemplify, both in title and freaked guitar work. I like opener I've Been Down with its 2 minutes and 42 seconds of loudness - slide guitar and what sounds like great organswirl blasts. Riffage gets a bluecheerish outing on fourth Going Down Slow, power in the thundering bass and drums; more psychedelia in the guitar wah-wah jam. Further great guitar work is on fifth Certified Blues. The longest track is closer Gypsy Mother's Son at 6 and 30 seconds, and this freaks out wonderfully, guitar and bass dancing together with pace.

The vocal is always in a distance, sometimes with distortion, sometimes bolstered by tight harmony, and that's fine enough, but if there was an aspect I'd like to see different it is here. Needs a gutsy frontsinger. That said, there is plenty of playing to fully engage anyone's heavy necessity.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Fernando Viciconte - back and current catalogue available

Highly Recommended

I have just bought and downloaded 5 albums that I didn't have, mostly Fernando's back catalogue. I have reviewed his most recent and previous that I have here: he is a singer-songwriter as passionate and self-effacing about his music and ideas as you'll ever find, much loved by the music community, and a wonderful artist to see live. His music is thoughtful, dark, political, introspective, raging and always honest about the emotions, thoughts and ideas, as well as musically superb. There is often a psychedelic aura to the folk core, but there is also punk and pop, as explored in my reviews.

click to read

The package deal advertised on Fernando's Facebook page and/or when you visit Domingo Records  is excellent value for digital downloads.

Monday, 11 July 2016

The O'Jays - Live From Daryl's House 2016

Daryl's Got So Much Soul He Should Go For An Afro...

As one of the O'Jays says and as this wonderful session demonstrates. I've been watching and listening to quite a few previous Live from Daryl's House recordings, and this recent one with the O'Jays is simply brilliant. Highly recommended. I have picked it up as an audio bootleg from out there somewhere, but of course it can be watched as a full 49 minutes video on YouTube.

Listened tonight as I inputted exam grade marks on the computer: soul and funk assessment!

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Rival Sons - Hollow Bones, album review

Bones Full of Rock

This fifth album by Southern California band Rival Sons is informed most by the superlative rock vocal of Jay Buchanan and the jagged guitar riffs of Scott Holiday, consummate old-school rock with occasional and signature soaring vocal choruses as well as more contemporary effects as on opener Hollow Bones Pt 1 where the electronic scratches scorch across the ending, competing with the Buchanan yell. And riffs are rife as on second Tied Up, a creepy edge included. Buchanan’s chops are generally chomping on rock’s gristle, for example sequel Hollow Bones Pt 2, though it gets heightened emotive injections in sixth Fade Out, and in the genuinely exquisite closing ballad All That I Want, reminding a little of Josh T Pearson in the songwriting.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Dantalian's Chariot [Zoot Money] - The Madman Running Through The Fields - 1967

Jettisoning R&B and jazz for psychedelia in order to appeal to an emerging audience keen on stoned-out sounds, Zoot formed Dantalian's Chariot with Andy Somers [later Summers] later of Police. This single is pretty far-out.

Ty Curtis - Blame Me, album review

Pop-Blues? Deal With It!

Here at SDAA Ty Curtis is a blues/soul/rock guitarist and singer-songwriter who has always appealed and pleased. A previous review and video clips can be found here in support of this, and the other albums I listen to all confirm the talent. This latest digital release is a fine contribution to his sustained output, a maturing perhaps in the vocal.

In my review of Water Under the Bridge I did refer to his ‘pop-blues’ sound and I recall a fan taking umbrage with the term on Curtis’ Facebook site where the review was posted, pleasingly. Always delighted for someone to respond, even if having the ‘ump, but I still think the ‘melodic’ element to his rockblues oeuvre is Curtis’ great strength. The opening three tracks on this latest are generic guitar rock [and pumped-up organ on second, title track Blame Me] and this is delivered with skill and punch. Good stuff, as ever.

To this listener, it is in the sweet rhythmic guitar sequences that Curtis stamps his authority. Fourth I Can Say is an upbeat soulful song that builds melodically around its funky rhythms, solo stabs enlivening.  Next Heaven Save Me is a blues ballad that exudes its self-reflection with honest-sounding emotion – the organ swirls wrapping it in lamentation – and the guitar solos are poignant in their restraint. This is a longing, late-night narrative. Sixth Shake It Up continues the more melodic groove, some tight vocal harmonising in the chorus, and these three are a core for the sound I personally prefer – not to in any way negate the power of the rest. As with all good music, listening and response is as much about the mood in the hearing as that in the musician’s intention and creation: because the desire and engagement is there, from both merging parts.

There’s a reggae surge in seventh Urge and Temptation, and then with ninth Who Are You we are returned to another super-sweet ballad, vocal harmonies here with a West Coast softness. The mellowed guitar and organ, with Curtis’ vocal at its emotive best, combine to layer this with more of that honest-sounding feeling. Closer Never Get My Love has a simple but sweet-again descending chord sequence before the off-beat rhythm pulses above this, the pace quickened at the album’s end, suitably, with Carmelo Torres’ percussive riff adding extra quality.

This fine album can be downloaded here.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Zoot Money's Big Roll Band, Wild Women & Desperate Men, East Side Jazz Club

Zoot Money - The Bull's Head, London, 30th June, 2016, gig review

The Heat is 73 and Risin'

Zoot Money and his band of equally mature members gave a consummate performance to characterise the stonkin’ seventies [most of them] and I don’t mean the decade. Wow, these guys rocked, and such a cliché hits the big nail on the Bull’s Head.

Wordplay over, it was a privilege to see Zoot [to name a few musical liaisons: Alan Price; Alexis Korner; Alvin Lee; The Animals; Eddie Harris; Kevin Ayers; Kevin Coyne; Humble Pie; Long John Baldry; Spencer Davis; Thunderclap Newman] and at 73, soon to be 74, he absolutely thrilled with his energetic presentation of the blues and jazz, ranging widely from Ray Charles to Chuck Berry to Alexis Korner to a guy from Suffolk [which appealed to my friend and me, school mates from Ipswich] although the song attributed to him was actually written by a Scotsman, as Money tells us at its end, and instead it’s the next song that is by our Suffolk songwriter – it was hard to keep up, the songs and glorious solos pounding out were a whir of wonder.

Zoot is a gracious, generous band leader and clearly adores as well as enthuses as the band play their various parts. My musical education continues to expose me as the dunce, not knowing the history of the great players contributing – Al Kirtley, who Zoot acknowledged taught him how to play the piano, not that he will ever be as good [and reading Al Kirtley’s blog today he is as complimentary the other way, saying he couldn’t compete with Money’s organ playing prowess] guested on a number – and it was superb; Bobby Tench on guitar [Freddie King; Van Morrison; The Jeff Beck Group (as Bobby Gas); Ginger Baker; Humble Pie; Streetwalkers]; Nick Newall on saxophone and flute [The Kinks; Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band] and bassist Paul MacCullum who – I wasn’t going to mention but it was clearly a chair malfunction and nothing else – fell over during one number, quite dramatically, but kept playing, the pro’s pro. I’d appreciate some help on the other saxophonist [M Crescent…?] who played superb tenor solos. The guest drummer [Steve? Give me a break, I was having a great time] filled in brilliantly on the night, another one of the ‘Bournemouth’ boys from where so many hailed and/or played back in the day.

Highlights of the night were all the solos, including Money on keyboard [he really only played his Hammond the once, it seemed], but also and memorably Zoot’s singing: such a reverie of emotive R&B/blues, his voice rising and falling and screeching and growling and expressing every joyous emotion in the lyrics and playing. Stand out song was Wild Women and Desperate Men, written by Alexis Korner, and as Zoot tells us, Korner never played it live but he did now. Watch the video I will post after this, with MacCullam on bass.