Tag: blues

Despite its status as a generic surname, “Smith” seems to be an indicator of supreme quality in the world of music. Patti Smith, Elliott Smith, The Smiths… having said that, I bet that if I included Smith in my own band name, I’d instantaneously ruin the streak.

What on earth can I say about Patti Smith that hasn’t been said in a far more intelligent manner elsewhere? Not much, unfortunately! Patti Smith is, of course, a music powerhouse, and while I’d like to know more about her, it will be abundantly clear that I know nothing if I continue to write. As such, allow me to introduce this rather wild and randy blues track from her second album: just let it play and ignore the drivel I have written!

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I am a sucker for stop-motion animation; there’s something inherently charming about seeing physical, normally inanimate objects come to life. Now it seems that Wagons have had the good grace to attach a corking bit of dirty blues rock to some stop-motion animation, so I am now, obviously, drooling uncontrollably.

Wagons are an Australian outfit playing mostly rock and Americana and good gosh they are fantastic. Just go and listen to the song below, and know that there is a small Australian tour coming up quite soon that your ears would most definitely benefit from attending.

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Even if you live in the middle of a bubbling cesspit of grime and filth, putting on some classic blues will make the joint feel like the classiest lounge in the world. It really is the best way to kick back after a hard day on the job, whatever that job may be. Guaranteed to put you at ease! You know, unless you hate blues. BEGONE.

Anyway, allow me to welcome back the queen (well, one of them) of blues: Julie London. She’s featured on here before, where I made a note to buy an EP or two. Well, I’ve done just that, and it was totally worth it: I’m having trouble typing this post on account of how gosh darned chilled out I am.

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I’d like to think that I know enough about music to recognise the 12 bar blues pattern. Everyone who listens to music has probably heard it at some point: between it and the four-chord progression, you’re looking at the basis for quite a large collection of tunes. The trick is to take those oft-repeated structures and make them hella interesting, to which Graveyard Train has done with this song. And rather admirably!

A spirited, dark country twang mixed with some quietly gruff singing and simple lyrics makes this song compulsively listenable. Man, look at me throwing all these fancy words around! All you really need to know is that it is totally rad and that you should totally listen to it right now.

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I did prognosticate that Ms. Bulley would feature again sometime on either/or. Turns out, I was right. Totally called it. Never mind that I write all the content!

So, why did I make such a bold assertion? Because Ms. Bulley’s music is accessible and deeply charming, and such qualities deserve equally nice things written about them. Here is a new song from Katie that continues to evoke these fine qualities, but does so with an extra, blues-flavoured, peppy twist tossed in. Guaranteed to get your feet a’shufflin’!

Should you find yourself digging the tune, you could do worse than to chip in a buck or two in Katie’s direction to get her album released. I would consider it quite rad, and we all know that I am a certified beacon for what is cool and what is not.

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Ok yes, I will admit that my interest was piqued about this group due to Dhani Harrison’s involvement (son of my favourite Beatle, George), but I will also admit that nothing that Dhani has been involved with has been particularly pleasant to listen to. For me, at least. So, I was coloured with a nice shade of scepticism before hearing what his latest efforts have borne, which are substantially more entertaining.

Harrison made comparisons to the Traveling Wilburys, and I can see why: with Ben Harper and Joseph Arthur as founding members, and a style rooted in bluesy folk, they’ve got the makings of quite a fine super group. The music feels a bit peppier and more unique than what the Wilburys released back in the day, so bring on more!

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Sometimes, just sometimes, you need a song to slap you in the face, tell you ‘that was a warm-up’, then proceed to pummel your face in, while you sit there, completely blown away in awe of the experience. Funnily enough, that happens to describe this very tune!

Kings of Lowertown and their dirty blues/roots style have featured here before, and for good reason: they’re brilliant. Mississippi Flood feels very much like a ZZ Top tune (there’s more than a passing resemblance to La Grange in the guitar riff), and it should be a very good reminder of what real rock sounds like, not the namby, mincing crap that gets played today!

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Man, I totally forgot about this group. I saw them ages ago, performing on Spicks and Specks (an Australian TV music show that has been responsible for many a post on this site). They performed a rather delightful a cappella version of Metallica’s Enter Sandman, which I thought to be pretty awesome! I then promptly forgot about them, until yesterday’s post reintroduced me to them by way of related videos. Oh YouTube, you are so good.

So here they are, with a song that’s more up their musical alley (that alley being blues and jazz from the ’50s and ’60s). My sources inform me that they’ll be launching an album quite soon: bring it on, I say! For now, enjoy this gorgeous live rendition of one of their original songs.

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So, the other day I stumbled on Cuckoo Records, and went completely nuts over Cissie Redgwick. It seems this label is a bit of a repository for all this fresh, but retro-styled swing and jazz. I… I may have found a new home. Y’all just gonna have to put up with it!

Anyway, without further ado, allow me to introduce Little Violet. Sultry in tone, but rather bitingly sung, and with a thumping beat behind it. All I can really do is say “mmmmmm”, while snapping my thumbs in time. Preferably in a hazy bar somewhere.

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Man, what a crazy day. Australia got a new (old) prime minister, and in Texas, Senator Wendy Davis was put through a Herculean wringer with a 13 hour filibuster (an amazing feat from an amazing woman). Though according to mainstream American cable news networks, nothing much happened at all today, so I guess it depends on where you get your news from. Hopefully, not from a music blog co-run by an Australian lad.

Anyway, it seems that we need a bit of respite from this day of action-packed news, so here’s some classic blues. Published in 1935, this song has been covered to death by many artists (including the Beatles). This one by the Platters comes to us via Ewan McGregor (yeah, that Ewan McGregor), and is just the thing to end a tumultuous day.

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Red Sails In the Sunset by The Platters on Grooveshark