Friday, July 31, 2020

Fleetwood Mac - Live and Rare, Volume 1 (1967-1968)

As I wrote yesterday, legendary guitarist Peter Green died just a few days ago. To further commemorate his passing, I have some more music to post from the time he led Fleetwood Mac.

Be warned that this album isn't for everyone. It contains interesting rare songs performed live that didn't fit anywhere else in my music collection. All of them are officially unreleased. But generally speaking, these songs come from audience bootlegs, so the sound quality isn't up to my usual standards. Some are rougher than others. That said, all of them pass my listenability test, or I wouldn't bother including them.

It's truly remarkable how many different songs Fleetwood Mac performed in concert back in their Peter Green-led years. All of these, I believe, never appeared on any official albums, and most of them only show up on one or a couple of different bootlegged concerts. (There are even more that I wish I could have included, but the sound quality was too poor, or they didn't get bootlegged at all.)

In some cases here, these songs happened to be the best from some fairly bad sounding bootlegs. For instance, there might have been a bootleg where the vocals were recorded badly, but an instrumental from it sounds just fine. The first three songs are all like that. They come from 1967, a year of no decent sounding Fleetwood Mac bootlegs, but for some reason these songs stood out in terms of sounding listenable.

I'll follow this with a second and final "Live and Rare" volume. I have to admit that there are some instrumentals on them with names that I can't identify. It could be they were just blues jams that never had a name in the first place. In such cases, I came up with my own name, using the town they were performed in. There's only one such case here, the song I call "Windsor Improv."

The last song, "All Over Again (I've Got a Mind to Give Up Living)," is kind of a bonus track. I have a different version on "Live and Rare, Volume 2." This one is from 1969, so it doesn't fit with the other songs here from 1967 and 1968. But Peter Green's slow blues guitar playing on "All Over Again" is always amazing, so I want to have every decent sounding version the band did in my collection. Thus, I've stuck one on here, instead of having two versions on "Volume 2."

Finally, thanks to my musical associate MZ for his assistance with this album. He helped me find some of the rare versions here, and also used his sound editing skills to make them more listenable.

01 Evil Woman Blues (Fleetwood Mac)
02 Windsor Improv [Instrumental] (Fleetwood Mac)
03 I'm Goin' Home (Fleetwood Mac)
04 Bleeding Heart [Edit] (Fleetwood Mac)
05 Don't Know Which Way to Go (Fleetwood Mac)
06 The Sky Is Crying (Fleetwood Mac)
07 Too Late to Cry (Fleetwood Mac)
08 Crossroads (Fleetwood Mac)
09 Call It Stormy Monday (Fleetwood Mac)
10 All Over Again [I've Got a Mind to Give Up Living] (Fleetwood Mac)

Good photos of Fleetwood Mac from 1967 or 1968 are very rare, and I've used just about all of the decent ones I could find. Since Peter Green died recently, and he was the leader of the band back then, I decided to honor him by featuring him on this cover. I don't know when or where this photo is from exactly, but I'm guessing it's from around 1968.

Norah Jones - Home Concerts 6, New York City, 6-12-2020 to 6-22-2020

Here's the next in a long series of Norah Jones home concerts. She continues to play about four songs a week in this format. May she keep it up forever! ;)

There's not much to say for this one. If you liked the previous five home concert albums of hers I've posted, you'll like this one too. The sound is perfectly good except for one thing: for many of these songs, the vocals are rather low in the mix. She's on piano for this, and I'm guessing that she kept her face too far from the microphone. But that's just a minor blemish.

Most of the songs are from her most recent album, or previous albums. But there's one very off the wall cover: "Song of the Highest Tower." This was first done by the Cut Worms in 2018. As usual, Jones makes the song her own.

By the way, I want to keep posting more of Jones's home concerts, and I will, but I've run into a snag. While I was on vacation earlier this month (July 10th), she gave a mini-concert that I missed. Instead of posting her performance on her YouTube channel, as usual, she gave a concert for "Amazon Live." She played four songs: "To Live," "Flame Twin," "I'm Alive," and "It's Gonna Be." Unfortunately, it seems Amazon only had this up for a few days, and it has since disappeared. If you have a recording of this show, please let me know so I can keep posting without having a big gap.

This album is 45 minutes long.

01 To Live (Norah Jones)
02 Hurts to Be Alone (Norah Jones)
03 Heartbroken Day After (Norah Jones)
04 I'm Alive (Norah Jones)
05 What Am I to You (Norah Jones)
06 After the Fall (Norah Jones)
07 Stumble on My Way (Norah Jones)
08 talk (Norah Jones)
09 Song of the Highest Tower (Norah Jones)
10 talk (Norah Jones)
11 Those Sweet Words (Norah Jones)
12 Thinking about You (Norah Jones)
13 talk (Norah Jones)

For the album cover, I took a screenshot from the first home concert here.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Fleetwood Mac - BBC Sessions, Volume 4: 1969

First off, sadly, I have to report that Peter Green died a few days ago, on July 25, 2020, of natural causes. He was 73 years old. He was a true musical giant in my opinion, one of the greatest lead guitar players of all time. He will be missed, even though most of his musical reputation rests on his years with Fleetwood Mac, from 1967 to 1970.

I had been preparing some new and/or revised albums from the years Fleetwood Mac was led by Peter Green, but I hadn't gotten around to posting them yet, mostly because making revisions to existing albums is a pain in the rear. But I wanted to do something to commemorate Green's death, so here we go.

This album is part of a revision of all of Fleetwood Mac's BBC material. Previously, I had posted six albums of that, all but the last one taking place during the band's Peter Green years. I found better sounding versions of many songs for all six albums, so you should redownload them all due to that alone. But also, around what had been Volume 4, I found some new songs, enough to split the album into two. This is the first half of that. There are four newly discovered songs here (songs 1, 2, 11, and 12), plus one moved from Volume 3 (the third song). What had been Volume 4 was an unusually long album to begin with, so after all the changes there was enough to split the album in two. The rest of what had been on Volume 4 became Volume 5 (plus one more new song). Since there already had been a Volume 5, as well as a Volume 6, those have been renamed Volumes 6 and 7 respectively.

Confusing, I know. The bottom line is you now have more music than before. If you redownload all seven BBC volumes, it'll all straighten out for you. Here's the link to Volume 5, since that's the other half of the split. I trust you can search for the others on your own:

With that thorny issue out of the way, now let me address the actual music on this album. Only four of the 12 songs on it are officially released. However, I think you'll find there's very little sound quality difference between those and the rest. All of the BBC performances come from just two sessions, and probably the released and unreleased versions ultimately come from the same recorded versions.

There are four songs not from the BBC. Two of these ("San-Ho-Zay" and the "Blue Suede Shoes" medley) come from a Dutch radio show. The other two ("Like It This Way" and "All Over Again [I've Got a Mind to Give Up Living]") come from a Finnish radio show. I'm not a stickler that all songs on a BBC compilation have to actually come from the BBC - I figure other radio or TV show appearances are fair game as well. By the way, every version Fleetwood Mac did of "All Over Again" is awesome, thanks to Green's soulful lead guitar playing. This is a relatively short version (and the more soloing the better for that song), but it's still one of the best, due to the excellent sound quality.

There's nothing wrong sonically with the bonus track, "Albatross." The only reason it's a bonus track is because I have another version of the band playing the song on an earlier album in this BBC series. There are remarkably few instances of the band playing the same song twice on the BBC, so any duplicates are downgraded to bonus tracks.

01 Can't Believe You Wanna Leave (Fleetwood Mac)
02 San-Ho-Zay [Instrumental] (Fleetwood Mac)
03 Blue Suede Shoes - Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On - Blue Suede Shoes (Fleetwood Mac)
04 Blues with a Feeling (Fleetwood Mac)
05 Tallahassee Lassie (Fleetwood Mac)
06 Early Morning Come (Fleetwood Mac)
07 Heavenly (Fleetwood Mac)
08 Man of the World (Fleetwood Mac)
09 Jumping at Shadows (Fleetwood Mac)
10 Linda [Edit] (Fleetwood Mac)
11 Like It This Way [Edit] (Fleetwood Mac)
12 All Over Again [I've Got a Mind to Give Up Living] (Fleetwood Mac)

Albatross [Instrumental] (Fleetwood Mac)

I'm not sure exactly when or where the cover art photo is from. But given their appearance, and especially the inclusion of Danny Kirwan (who joined in 1968), I think it's likely it's from 1969.

Manfred Mann - Ha Ha Said the Clown - Non-Album Tracks (1967)

I've got tons of albums from different bands to post, but Manfred Mann is on a fast track, so here's the next stray tracks album from them.

Manfred Mann didn't release a studio album at all in 1967. I think this was a big mistake, and must have cost the band popularity and credibility. Recall that 1967 was a time of rapidly and drastically changing musical trends. You had to keep up or be left behind. (Some bands, like the Dave Clark Five, Herman's Hermits, and the Searchers, fell way behind around 1967.) As it so happens, Manfred Mann had enough new material for not one but two new studio albums in 1967, and they had hit singles then as well, so their lack of an album that year is even more of a mystery.

I have some songs recorded in 1967 on the last stray tracks album I posted here ("Semi-Detached Suburban Mr. James"), and more on the next album in this series. But all of the songs on this album date from 1967. I have it in rough chronological order by recording date, from January to August 1967.

The big hit song this time around is "Ha Ha Said the Clown." It was a Top 5 song in Britain, and hit Number 1 in some European countries, but it didn't chart at all in the US. Although it's a nice song, it's also a lightweight one, and fare badly with a lot of masterpieces coming out in 1967. Songs like this one help explain why the band got the reputation as a poppy singles band.

Happily, the album has more substance. True, some of the other songs are in the same vein as "Clown," but the band was still showing off its rhythm and blues and/or jazzy chops, as well as dabbling with psychedelic sounds. Six of the songs here were released as A- or B-sides. Two more come from BBC sessions, and for both of those I edited to songs to remove the BBC DJ's talking over the intros. Another song only came out as an album bonus track years later.

That leaves three songs that still remain officially unreleased: "Golden Flower," "She Once Was My Love," and "Rainbow Eyes." This is puzzling to me, because I think they sound just as good as any of the other songs on the album. Luckily, all three come from a bootleg with sterling sound quality, so they sound exactly as good as the released tracks. The song "She Once Was My Love" was a rather messed up take, with the song breaking down and then restarting more than once, as well as having some vocal flubs. But I edited it to make it sound coherent and mistake-free.

This album is fairly short at 35 minutes, but that was how long such albums typically were in those days. By luck, the last song ends with a bit of a reprise of the first song. It's brief and a bit subtle, but it's there.

01 Ha Ha Said the Clown (Manfred Mann)
02 I Love You (Manfred Mann)
03 Feeling So Good (Manfred Mann)
04 The Nitty Gritty [Edit] (Manfred Mann)
05 Golden Flower (Manfred Mann)
06 She Once Was My Love [Edit] (Manfred Mann)
07 Sweet Pea [Instrumental] (Manfred Mann)
08 One Way (Manfred Mann)
09 Rainbow Eyes (Manfred Mann)
10 Hound Dog [Edit] (Manfred Mann)
11 So Long, Dad (Manfred Mann)
12 Funniest Gig (Manfred Mann)

For the cover art, I chose from one of several different versions of the "Ha Ha Said the Clown" single. I made a few changes. For instance, I removed the title of the B-side, which was written right below the title of the A-side. I also moved the location of the record company logo.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Chrissie Hynde with James Walbourne - Dylan Lockdown (2020)

UPDATE: The link for this album has been removed, because all the songs here, plus one more, has been officially released as the album "Standing in the Doorway: Chrissie Hynde Sings Bob Dylan."
So what has Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders been up to since the coronavirus lockdown began? She's made a couple of recorded appearances, but they've been short and unremarkable. But she's taken a different approach: together with Jame Walbourne, who has been lead guitarist for the Pretenders since 2008, she's done a series of Bob Dylan covers. Instead of the common acoustic approach during the lockdown, she's worked up full band versions of each song, then released then on the Internet once a week.

Her Dylan versions are excellent. What I particularly like is that she's generally selected less covered songs, including a couple of downright obscure ones. She also picked some of my all-time Dylan favorites, especially "Blind Willie McTell." There are only eight songs, but it totals up to 46 minutes, which is an ideal album length.

I've been collecting her Dylan songs each week. I was going to wait longer before posting, because I didn't know how many covers she'd do. But with this week's song, she mentioned it was the last song of the Dylan series.

If you're at all a Chrissie Hynde/Pretenders fan, or a Bob Dylan fan, you should give this a listen. Lots of artists have officially released albums consisting entirely of Dylan covers. For whatever reason, Hynde decided to release this de facto new studio album on the Internet for free.

01 In the Summertime (Chrissie Hynde with James Walbourne)
02 You're a Big Girl Now (Chrissie Hynde with James Walbourne)
03 Standing in the Doorway (Chrissie Hynde with James Walbourne)
04 Sweetheart like You (Chrissie Hynde with James Walbourne)
05 Blind Willie McTell (Chrissie Hynde with James Walbourne)
06 Love Minus Zero-No Limit (Chrissie Hynde with James Walbourne)
07 Don't Fall Apart on Me Tonight (Chrissie Hynde with James Walbourne)
08 Tomorrow Is a Long Time (Chrissie Hynde with James Walbourne)

I was planning on making my own cover art for this album, as usual. But when Googling for a picture of Chrissie Hynde and James Walbourne together, I stumbled across some album art a person named spunky2018 made for the Dylan lockdown series. So even though I found some pictures of them together, I've used this one instead. I like how spunky2018 made it in the style of an old Dylan album.

The Petersens - Home Concerts 1, Branson, MO, 4-7-2020 to 7-17-2020

I was looking for something on YouTube the other day and stumbled across the Petersens. I liked them enough to post this album. One way they came up was because they've performed with the Reina del Cid and Toni Lundgren duo. If you like that duo, this is very much in the same vein. Technically, the Petersens are considered bluegrass, but I generally am not a fan of bluegrass yet I'm a fan of this. It's more like they play roots music in the folk, country, singer-songwriter type genres, with some bluegrass touches, such as banjo, mandolin, and fiddle.

The Petersens are very much a family band. As far as I can tell, the band consists of a mother, son, three daughters, plus one non-family member. So you get a fuller sound than Reina del Cid and Toni Lundgren, though they generally play the same kind of songs. The Petersens are based in Branson, Missouri, which is kind of a country music entertainment mecca, and seem to spend most of their time playing concerts there. But they've put up some home concert videos during the coronavirus lockdown, with some of them getting millions of hits. I'm sure there are oodles of family bands playing music like this all over the US and beyond, but the Petersens stand out due to their talent.

As I write this, they've done three home concerts of 20 to 30 minutes each that have been posted on YouTube, plus various single songs posted there as well. This album gathers one of the home concerts and all of the stray single songs into an album that hopefully sounds like one coherent concert. I plan on posting another album by them that consists of the other two home concerts combined. I've arranged things so that both albums end up being between 45 and 50 minutes long.

I have to admit that I'm not a fan of most gospel music. The Petersens are a Christian band and play a fair number of gospel/religious songs. But because I'm not a fan of that kind of stuff, I left off a few songs of that type. None of the songs on this album are gospel songs. Here's what you get instead, by the original artists:

01 When You Say Nothing at All - Keith Whitley / Alison Krauss
02 If I Needed You - Townes Van Zandt / Emmylou Harris & Don Williams
03 You Can't Make Old Friends - Kenny Rogers
05 Southern Nights - Glen Campbell
07 Amarillo by Morning - George Strait
09 She's Got You - Patsy Cline
11 Swallowtail Jig [Instrumental] - Irish traditional
13 Moments - Petersens original
15 Take Me Home, Country Roads - John Denver
16 I Feel the Blues Moving In - Del McCoury
17 Carolina in My Mind - James Taylor
18 Landslide - Fleetwood Mac

As you can see, most of the songs are classic hits, especially country classics. The Petersens do occasionally write their own songs, but only one of them appears on this album. I have a couple more originals on the other album of theirs I plan on posting. I've found their originals generally hold up to the high standards of the covers they do.

Here's the usual song list:

01 When You Say Nothing at All (Petersens)
02 If I Needed You (Petersens)
03 You Can't Make Old Friends (Petersens)
04 talk (Petersens)
05 Southern Nights (Petersens)
06 talk (Petersens)
07 Amarillo by Morning (Petersens)
08 talk (Petersens)
09 She's Got You (Petersens)
10 talk (Petersens)
11 Swallowtail Jig [Instrumental] (Petersens)
12 talk (Petersens)
13 Moments (Petersens)
14 talk (Petersens)
15 Take Me Home, Country Roads (Petersens)
16 I Feel the Blues Moving In (Petersens)
17 Carolina in My Mind (Petersens)
18 Landslide (Petersens)

Although there the Petersens have six members in their band, the cover art photo only shows three of them, the three daughters. I watched their video of "Landslide," and I thought it looked really nice with the flowers in their hair and the river in the background, so I took a screenshot of that. For the cover art of the other album I plan on posting, I'll include the other band members as well.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips - Folk on Foot - Home Concert, Montclair, NJ, 5-25-2020

I've posted a couple of Richard Thompson 2020 home concerts. He did another one in early July that's especially nice. But before I post that one, I want to post this earlier one.

I hesitated to post it, because the actual concert for the ("Folk on Foot" festival) was rather short, at only 24 minutes. But I've managed to find a few more songs he did here and there around the same time, increasing the length to 32 minutes (if you don't count the bonus track). That's still pretty short, but enough to post as an album.

In terms of song selection, most of these are fairly obscure choices from his extensive catalog. I believe only three of them ("Keep Your Distance," "If I Could Live My Life Again," and "I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight") are repeats from the other three 2020 home concerts of his that I've posted already. And no more songs are repeats from the early July 2020 show mentioned above that I'll be posting soon.

The sound quality is very good in general. The only exception is the bonus track, "Jack O' Diamonds." That is one of the extras, generally done for various benefit concerts or Internet shows. Unfortunately, "Jack O' Diamonds" was badly recorded, with the vocals way down low and way too much reverb.

01 The Sun Never Shines on the Poor (Richard Thompson)
02 talk (Richard Thompson)
03 Sloth (Richard Thompson)
04 talk (Richard Thompson)
05 Stony Ground (Richard Thompson)
06 talk (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
07 Keep Your Distance (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
08 talk (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
09 She Never Could Resist a Winding Road (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
10 talk (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
11 I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)
12 One Door Opens (Richard Thompson)
13 talk (Richard Thompson)
14 If I Could Live My Life Again (Richard Thompson)
15 A Heart Needs a Home (Richard Thompson with Zara Phillips)

Jack O' Diamonds (Richard Thompson)

The cover art photo is a screenshot from the exact concert in question. I wanted to use a photo of both Thompson and Zara Phillips, but they were too far apart for a good picture.

Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren - Sunday Mornings with Reina del Cid, Volume 2 (2016-2017)

A few weeks ago, I posted the first of many albums I plan on posting featuring acoustic cover versions by Reina del Cid and Toni Lindgren. Don't feel bad if you've never heard of them. I hadn't until last month, and they're not that well known. But Reina del Cid is a talented songwriter (check out her original albums) and together they do really nice, mellow versions of great songs from a wide variety of genres.

As with the last album I posted, most of these songs are fairly well known, but they also have some unexpected choices that work out well. For instance, if you look at their general roots rock vibe, you wouldn't expect a Beyonce song, but they play one here. Ditto with a Prince song. They also do a song by David Rawlings, who I'd never heard of before. So it's a good mix of the familiar and less familiar.

Note that the first album I posted in this series dealt with the years 2013 to 2015, and this one deals with 2016 to 2017. In fact, there was only one song from 2015 on the previous album, and there is over a year and a half gap between the last song on that album and the first one here. Partially, that's because they did some original songs during that time for their weekly YouTube releases, which don't fit the covers format here. But it also seems they suspended their weekly releases for a while. Happily, since they've resumed in 2016, they've been doing it consistently all the way until the present day (as I write this in mid-2020).

I've included the song "Rollin' in My Sweet Baby's Arms" only as a bonus track. Originally, it was the third track (all the songs are posted in the chronological order they were released on YouTube). But I demoted it after giving the album another listen because the song isn't mixed well, It's especially noticeable that the vocals are too low in the mix.

Here is a list of the original artists for each song:

01 Jambalaya (On the Bayou) - Hank Williams
02 Tennessee Waltz - Patti Page
03 English Tea - Paul McCartney
04 I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You - Colin Hay
05 XO - Beyonce
06 Mountain Dew - traditional
07 Doctor My Eyes - Jackson Browne
08 I Will Always Love You - Dolly Parton / Whitney Houston
09 Step into Christmas - Elton John
10 When You Were Mine - Prince
11 Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You - Bob Dylan
12 Ruby - David Rawlings

Rollin' in My Sweet Baby's Arms - traditional

Here is the usual song list:

01 Jambalaya (On the Bayou) (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
02 Tennessee Waltz (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
03 English Tea (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
04 I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
05 XO (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
06 Mountain Dew (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
07 Doctor My Eyes (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
08 I Will Always Love You (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
09 Step into Christmas (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
10 When You Were Mine (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
11 Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
12 Ruby (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)

Rollin' in My Sweet Baby's Arms (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)

The cover photo comes from a YouTube video recorded in Las Vegas in 2017. Fittingly for the location, they did the song "The Gambler." Unfortunately, I felt I couldn't include this version due to the poor sound quality, thanks to it being recorded in a crowded location. It was almost the only one I had to completely reject due to sound quality issues. But don't worry, because they did another version later that was recorded much better, so that appears on a later album in this series.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Larkin Poe - Yet Even Still More Tip O' the Hat - Various Cover Versions (2020)

I am so very, very glad to post this album. I've been steadily collecting Larkin Poe's "Tip O' the Hat" video performances since the start of 2020, waiting for enough to make up an album that's about 45 minutes in length, and I finally have enough.

If you haven't listened to any of these "Tip O' the Hat" albums, what are you waiting for? They're great. I'm a big fan of acoustic music, and it's fun hearing these sisters do acoustic versions of what are often full band songs, even including hard rockers like "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath or "Carry On Wayward Son" by Kansas.

Like the previous albums in this series, most of the songs are classic hits, but there are a few unexxpected choices, such as "Highland Wedding" or "Stealin'." Once again, I'm impressed by their musical tastes.

This is the list of the original artists that made each song famous:

01 Stealin' - traditional / Grateful Dead
02 Sharp Dressed Man - ZZ Top
03 Highland Wedding [Instrumental] - Steve Morse
04 Ramblin' Man - Allman Brothers Band
05 Iron Man - Black Sabbath
06 Kokomo Blues - Mississippi Fred McDowell
07 Southern Cross - Crosby, Stills and Nash
08 Ballad of Curtis Loew - Lynyrd Skynyrd
09 Man of Constant Sorrow - traditional / Stanley Brothers
10 Rocky Mountain Way - Joe Walsh
11 Nights in White Satin - Moody Blues
12 Carry On Wayward Son - Kansas
13 The Dance - Garth Brooks
14 Bell Bottom Blues - Derek & the Dominos
15 Lean on Me - Bill Withers

As an aside, when this album series started, I named the first one "Tip O' the Hat," then the second one "More Tip O' the Hat," then "Still More Tip O' the Hat." Things kind of got out of control with "Yet Still More Tip O' the Hat" and this one, "Yet Even Still More Tip O' the Hat." I'm having silly fun with the increasingly long-winded titles. If you have any suggestions on what I should name the next one, please let me know.

Here's the usual song list:

01 Stealin' (Larkin Poe)
02 Sharp Dressed Man (Larkin Poe)
03 Highland Wedding [Instrumental] (Larkin Poe & Mike Seal)
04 Ramblin' Man (Larkin Poe)
05 Iron Man (Larkin Poe)
06 Kokomo Blues (Larkin Poe)
07 Southern Cross (Larkin Poe)
08 Ballad of Curtis Loew (Larkin Poe)
09 Man of Constant Sorrow (Larkin Poe)
10 Rocky Mountain Way (Larkin Poe)
11 Nights in White Satin (Larkin Poe)
12 Carry On Wayward Son (Larkin Poe)
13 The Dance (Larkin Poe)
14 Bell Bottom Blues (Larkin Poe)
15 Lean on Me (Larkin Poe)

For the cover art, I used a photo of Larkin Poe at a Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles in January 2020. Rebecca is on the left (with the darker hair) and Megan is on the right.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Manfred Mann - Semi-Detached Suburban Mr. James - Non-Album Tracks (1966-1967)

Here's the next in my series of albums that gather all the good songs the 1960s versions of Manfred Mann ever did.

The one big hit here is "Semi-Detached Suburban Mr. James." In my opinion, it's a good example of what makes 1960s music great: excellent melody, interesting lyrics, and a solid performance. It's the only A-side. Remarkably, only three more songs were released in the 1960s. Another, "Wang Dang Doodle," is a BBC performance (with the BBC DJ's annoying talking over the start of the song removed). Five more were only released decades later as bonus tracks.

Remarkably, two more, "Seasons in the Sun" and "I Want to Be Wanted," still remain unreleased. However, there's a bootleg of some Manfred Mann studio sessions in the late 1960s, and it has excellent sound, just as good as the released stuff. These songs come from that, so there's no sound quality problem. (And I'll draw more from them on following albums.) Note that "Seasons in the Sun" was a massive hit for Terry Jacks in 1973, hitting number one in the US, Britain, and many other countries. A lot of people (including me) found that hit annoying because it was overly maudlin and sappy. But note this version predates the hit by many years (the original was done in French in 1961), and isn't nearly as problematic. In fact, it sounds a bit underproduced. I'm guessing it has remained unreleased because they never quite finished the recording.

I did some research to figure out the month each song was recorded, and then ordered them as chronologically as I could. The first songs are from June 1966, and the last three are from January 1967. Some of the songs going back to June 1966 were finally released as bonus tracks to the "Up the Junction" soundtrack, but this is a bad fit, since that album came out in 1968. There really should have been a proper Manfred Mann studio album in 1967, but there wasn't.

The album is on the short side, at 34 minutes, but it's a solid set of songs.

01 Eastern Street (Manfred Mann)
02 I Wanna Be Rich (Manfred Mann)
03 Let It Be Me (Manfred Mann)
04 Miss JD [Instrumental] (Manfred Mann)
05 Wang Dang Doodle [Edit] (Manfred Mann)
06 Mohair Sam (Manfred Mann)
07 Lovebird (Manfred Mann)
08 Semi-Detached Suburban Mr. James (Manfred Mann)
09 Seasons in the Sun (Manfred Mann)
10 All I Wanna Do (Manfred Mann)
11 I Want to Be Wanted (Manfred Mann)
12 Brown and Porter's [Meat Exporters] (Manfred Mann)

The album cover art is based on the cover for the "Semi-Detached Suburban Mr. James" single. Except that had the name of the B-side filling the upper right of the cover. I didn't want that, so I removed it, then stretched the A-side name and the band's name sideways to fill up that space. Also, the only color on the original was the pink around the band's name, and I thought that looked a bit boring. So I added some blue and green tinting to the band photo.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Grace Potter - Twilight Hour, Volume 1 - Home Concert, Topanga, CA, 4-27-2020

Some musicians have used the coronavirus pandemic lockdown time to take an extended vacation, or otherwise relax. Whereas others have been busy, and actually found new fans through their home concerts. Grace Potter definitely falls into the second category. I'd never heard of her until recently, and she's not super famous. But she's been doing a weekly home concert since early in the lockdown time period, and that came to my attention, since I've been very interested in home concerts in general lately.

She's put out albums since 2004, but they haven't done that well. I think a big problem has been the production. I read some user reviews at, and many had the same complaint, that the music was too slick and overproduced, sucking the life out of it. In my opinion, the home concert format is the ideal cure for that problem. For her weekly shows, she does the occasional song all by herself, but more are done with a band. However, it's a very limited band, often just a drummer and a guitarist, while she alternates between keyboards and guitar. So there's no possible way the music can be slick and/or overproduced.

I must say, I'm really impressed by her talent. Clearly, she has an impressive voice. But she also is a very capable songwriter, and she is talented on the guitar and keyboards as well. She's the real deal.

She also has great taste in music. I plan on posting a whole bunch of her home concerts here. For most of them, a majority of the songs she does are covers. But for this concert, she mostly does originals. The exceptions are: "House of the Rising Sun" (made famous by the Animals), "Black Hole Sun" (by Soundgarden), and "As the World Falls Down" (by David Bowie). Note that the last two songs were recorded on the exact same day, but were done separately, for the home concert series "In My Room."

If you haven't heard of Grace Potter before, I recommend you check her out.

01 Gumbo Moon (Grace Potter)
02 The House of the Rising Sun (Grace Potter)
03 Black Hole Sun (Grace Potter)
04 Here's to the Meantime (Grace Potter)
05 Falling or Flying (Grace Potter)
06 Apologies (Grace Potter)
07 Medicine (Grace Potter)
08 As the World Falls Down (Grace Potter)
09 Paris [Ooh La La] (Grace Potter)
10 Shout It Out (Grace Potter)
11 Release (Grace Potter)

For many of her home concerts, she's created her own promotional art, drawing it on a chalkboard in her house. This is one such example. I'm impressed by her drawing talent as well as her musical talent. I didn't know a simple chalkboard drawing could look that good.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren - Sunday Mornings with Reina del Cid, Volume 1 (2013-2015)

So the other day I was searching for something on YouTube, and I came across a home concert by a musical act I'd never heard of, Reina del Cid. Since I've been posting a lot of home concerts here, I clicked on it to see if it was up my alley, and I discovered that it definitely was. So much so that I began looking for more music by the same artist, and now I'm starting to post some of that.

It turns out that Reina del Cid is the stage name of the singer-songwriter Rachelle Cordova. She's 32 years old as I write this, and has released four albums since 2012. Although her music is billed just under her Reina del Cid name, virtually everything she's done has been in partnership with Toni Lindgren, who is an excellent lead guitarist, and well as backing vocalist. I don't know why they're not officially billed as a duo, but I'm adding Lindgren to the artist name here, since I consider her guitar playing kind of the "secret sauce" that takes their performances to the next level.

The official Reina del Cid albums consist of her original songs, which are very good. I've been tracking those albums down and enjoying them. The music is in an acoustic mode. Sometimes there's bass and drums, plus other occasional instruments, but those are done acoustically as well, usually with a light touch. For the songs here, the vast majority are with just Reina del Cid on vocals and acoustic guitar, while Toni Lundgren plays lead on another acoustic guitar. I really enjoy their mellow sound. Reina del Cid's lead vocals don't wow with extraordinary range or timbre or anything like that, but there's a certain "je ne sais quoi" that I enjoy.

These two musicians have had a nice tradition going. Starting in 2013, they've been posting one video per week on YouTube, which they call "Sunday Mornings with Reina del Cid." Naturally, the videos come out every Sunday. They've played many originals over the years, but at a rate of one song per week, I don't think even Neil Young or Bruce Springsteen could keep up with new songs every single week. So they're mostly covers, and I've only collected the covers. If you want to hear the originals, very much in the same style, check out the studio albums (or look at the Reina del Cid YouTube page).

One thing I very much enjoy about this duo is their taste in music. They play songs by a wide variety of artists, so wide that after doing this since 2013, they rarely play more than one song by the same artist. They specialize in singer-songwriter-esque rock and folk, but they range all over the place, including country and bluegrass. I've discovered a bunch of excellent songs I'd previously missed due to their cover versions.

I plan on posting a whole series of albums that gathers up the covers from their "Sunday Mornings" YouTube page. Note that in recent years, Reina del Cid has created a Patreon webpage, which you can find here:

Some of the weekly videos are still posted for free on YouTube, while others are only available through the Patreon page, and you have to pay to get access to those. I don't want to play a part in ruining that revenue stream, so I'll only be posting the videos that are freely available on YouTube. The songs are in chronological order from when they were posted, which appears to almost always have been the same day they were performed.

I've tried to break things up so that each album is about 45 minutes long. That's the case for this ablum, give or take a minute or two.

Here are the original artists for each song:

01 Auld Lang Syne - traditional
02 Red Is the Rose - traditional
03 Tupelo Honey - Van Morrison
04 Who Put the Bomp [In the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp] - Barry Mann
05 I Shall Be Released - Bob Dylan
06 I'll Be There - Ray Price
07 Colours - Donovan
08 Angel from Montgomery - John Prine / Bonnie Raitt
09 Kodachrome - Paul Simon
10 Beyond the Sea - Bobby Darrin
11 21st of May - Nickel Creek
12 Ophelia - Band
13 Run Rudolph Run - Chuck Berry
14 Wild Mountain Thyme - traditional

Here's the usual song list:

01 Auld Lang Syne (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
02 Red Is the Rose (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
03 Tupelo Honey (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
04 Who Put the Bomp (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
05 I Shall Be Released (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
06 I'll Be There (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
07 Colours (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
08 Angel from Montgomery (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
09 Kodachrome (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
10 Beyond the Sea (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
11 21st of May (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
12 Ophelia (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
13 Run Rudolph Run (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)
14 Wild Mountain Thyme (Reina del Cid & Toni Lindgren)

The cover art is a screenshot from the video for "Tupelo Honey" included here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Imelda May - I'm Crying - Non-Album Tracks (2014-2016)

It's time for another Imelda May stray tracks album. This one deals with the years 2014 to 2016. If you like her past ones, you'll be sure to like this one too.

This album is unusual for this stray tracks series in that the vast majority of the songs are officially unreleased. Only three of the 12 songs were officially released. That said, the sound quality is still pretty good. Another six of the songs come from appearances on TV shows, and those all sound very good as well.

This time around, many of the songs are covers of classic songs in a wide variety of genres. She does a New Wave song ("Say Hello, Wave Goodbye"), a Motown song ("Get Ready"), a soul song ("You Send Me"), a British Invasion song ("You Really Got Me"), and many more. She even does a version of "Bein' Green," a song best known due to the version by Kermit the Frog!

01 Your Sister Can't Twist [But She Can Rock 'n' Roll] (Imelda May)
02 Tears of Clew Bay (Imelda May)
03 Baby What You Want Me to Do - Hit the Road, Jack - A Big Hunk o' Love (Imelda May & Jools Holland)
04 Top to Bottom Boogie (Jools Holland with Imelda May)
05 Every Night about This Time (Sinead O'Connor & Imelda May)
06 Get Ready (Smokey Robinson & Imelda May)
07 Say Hello, Wave Goodbye (Imelda May & Marc Almond)
08 Wayfaring Stranger (Lulu & Imelda May)
09 You Really Got Me (Imelda May)
10 I'm Crying (Imelda May)
11 Bein' Green (Imelda May)
12 You Send Me (Imelda May)

The cover is a promotional photo from 2014.