Seemingly Jean Ritchie, godmother of Appalachian music, died this week, aged 92. A photograph in which she appears has been on my mind lately – it’s a striking, enigmatic image featuring herself and Seamus Ennis, taken in Ireland in 1952. I’ve licensed it as a cover image for my book on the history of uilleann piping, but it just never occurred to me that she was still with us. No longer.
In the midst of researching something else in 1970 Melody Makers, I’ve just chanced upon an advert for the above. The fare on offer: The Tony Williams Lifetime (with John McLaughlin), Blodwyn Pig and DLT. I wonder if anyone left truly satisfied?
Another week, another Mahavishnu Orchestra tribute band, you say? Perhaps so. Still, these people strike me as entering the fray and immediately raising the bar.
And Being John McLaughlin does indeed seem to be their name. Although, obviously, they’re not. Recorded at The Royal Room (no idea what continent, guessing its North America) May 14 2015
Tristan Gianola – Guitar Alicia Dejoie – Violin Chuck Deardorf – Bass Ryan Burns – Keys John Bishop – Drums*
(* also guessing it’s not the popular Liverpool funnyman)
Evbery time I hear the Chuka Umuna I think of him – that surname sounds a Geordie saying ‘home-owner’.
This fascinating film has just been posted on youtube. It’s 9 mins or so documenting a Sri Chinmoy parade and concert in New York – on March 8 1975 (the November 75 attribution is incorrect: McLaughlin had moved on from Chinmoy by then).
A rare opportunity to see Mahavishnu & Devadip doing their thing on the back of a float and, from 4:50 on, a rare opportunity to hear the singing voice of the Mahavishnu.
Having just returned from a splendid (much better than I expected, given the man’s recent health traumas) Wilko Johnson show, I thought I’d share this recent clip of… Wishbone Ash.
Here they are two days ago, near the end of what I understand was a monumentally brutal tour (logistically). But they still have ‘The Power’ – a beautiful track from their best album in recent years, IMO, Power Of Eternity.
I’m looking forward to seeing them in Paris in two weeks, on two of three shows in a bijou theatre filming a new DVD. Should be fun.
Yet another pleasing example of how maleable Mahavishnu music is…
Were Aussie daytime shows always this good in the 1980s? Actually, thinking about it: no, they weren’t…
Just announced at Ba Da Bing records: a lovingly assembled and remastered collection of all the known recordings of the late Jackson Frank – a man who made but one LP and one single in his lifetime (both in 1965), but influenced a lot of people. 67 tracks, 33 unreleased – plus the sample remastering of one of the LP tracks available to compare/contrast via the page/link below sounds fantastic. Interest declared: I supplied notes (as requested, a slight update of my previous notes for a Sanctuary 2CD set) and three unreleased tracks. Well done to the guys at Ba Da Bing for such a painstaking job!
Full info here:
I may need to make a payment of a few thousand pounds by an Escrow mechanism in a month or two (nothing dodgy but too complicated to explain here). Has anyone here used a UK-based or reputable net-based Escrow account service eg Transpact?
I’m hoping for personal recommendations. Take it as read that no other alternative financial mechanism will work in this particular instance
‘Gosh Toto, we’re not in Chelsea anymore…’
First: be brilliant.
Second: use this tuning, CGCDGA.
I’ve used it for about 20 years, with others, and though, as MC says, it imposes limitations, it allows some very beautiful chords to be found and some melodic invention that would be very difficult otherwise. You can also play very simple-sounding classic rock style music with it (within limited keys, of course) – there are some monstrous ‘big’ Kossoff-esque chords to be found as well as lots of sensuous Joni-esque ones.
I’ve said it before round here: I’m a huge fan of Wookalily. A fabulous live act with one album (out recently) under their belt and deserving of great things. But it’s a crowded marketplace. Which means I doff my cap at Wook-Adele for creating a promo video from a budget of zero. Here it is…
My pal Trevor ‘Legsyboy’ Leeden, one of the legendary taste-makers of the Antipodes, forwarded me this video. I thought the AW might enjoy it. (And stick around till the end.)
What can one say? The man is a genius – like Martin Carthy, it’s astounding that such a repository of vintage magic can be found for £10-15 or thereabouts in modest venues at regular intervals. Do yourself a favour and check him out – not only a wonderful musician and singer but a great entertainer.
Tour details here:
The 1975 album ‘Rock’n’Roll Scars’ by Ariel has just been reissued in typically deluxe, expanded form nby Aztec Records.
‘Who are Ariel?’ you ask.
Featuring singer/writer/guitarist Mike Rudd, who is an Australian rock legend to this day, they were his second significant band. The previous one, Spectrum – an exquisitely brilliant, distinctive, langourous progressive band – I’ve posted about before at the old place. Bill Putt, he of the outrageous moustache, followed Mike from Spectrum into Ariel, who would be more ‘immediate’, though still inevitably quirky.
Ariel’s 1975 LP ‘Rock’n’Roll scars was, most unusually for an Aussie record of the period, recorded at Abbey Road, with Geoff Emerick engineering, and sounds magnificent – especially in this new remastering by Gil Matthews. It was also released in Britain, on Harvest.
Mike had a concept album idea which was rejected at late notice (it’s on disc 2 in demo and live forms on the reissue) so much of the content of ‘Rock’n’Roll Scars’ would be songs he had previously recorded on Australia-only releases by Spectrum and by Spectrum spin-off band Indelible Murtceps. Yet here, with Ariel’s tighter, funkier style and the fabulous Abbey Road production (and yes, some of it sounds » Continue Reading.
This is the second Help-me-I’m-not-from-London posts I’ve made in a week. But where better to come that the Afterword Directory?
Can anyone recommend a recording studio (of the non Abbey Road-esque budget type) within reasonable distance of Putney in London? I have a very busy jet-setting friend, who’s keen to put a guitar part on a track for me, and he has a couple of days free-ish in Putney in late March. I feel sure we can sort it out…
I have a friend visiting London with the above nights free and hoping to see some live music. She’s asked me for suggestions. I don’t live in London so, having checked the itineraries of a handful of folk/blues type artists I know (none of whom are in town those nights), I can’t go any further – I just don’t know any welcoming, reasonably-priced club-level venues in order to be able to search from that angle. My friends not an AW-esque music connoisseur but so nothing really obscure or demanding – just something/somewhere that might be fun…
Colin H on Quintessence
I see a yawning chasm marked ‘Features’ that needs to be populated. Here’s a piece I wrote on Quintessence which appeared last year in ‘Record Collector’…
Some bands struggle for years for attention, but not Quintessence. Within weeks of forming, in April 1969, they were a word of mouth sensation. Chris Blackwell and Muff Winwood of Island Records dropped into a rehearsal with a chequebook and an artistic-freedom guarantee. Sorted. Quintessence were huge on the European live scene for three years and, in retrospect, were the last great hurrah of ‘the sixties’. By mid 1972, after four albums and two singles, the original six members had split in two – recording one more album each, as Quintessence and Kala respectively, before all involved slipped into obscurity as swiftly as they had appeared.
Quintessence, like Hawkwind, Marc Bolan and the Third Ear Band, were a product of London’s Ladbroke Grove scene, but few were locals.
Ron ‘Raja Ram’ Rothfield, an Australian conservatoire and jazz trained flautist, had met American bassist Richard ‘Shambhu Babaji’ Vaughan in Greece, both moving to London in 1968. Phil ‘Shiva’ Jones, also Australian, had recorded downunder as Phil Jones & » Continue Reading.
Hello everyone, great to have the AW back – HUGE thanks and congrats to all those who grafted under the bonnet for the past few months doing technical things and weilding a kind of magic about which I have no conception whatsoever.
But speaking of weilding magic, isn’t it about time we reintroduced the Mahavishnu Orchestra around here? I mean, half a day in to the new regime and there’s not one single MO posting!?!
Here is a fabulous recently discovered 1973 TV highlights thing filmed at Seattle in March 1973. (Go on Leedsboy – it’s not even 20 minutes of your time!)