Thursday, 31 July 2014

Throwback Thursday - Massive Attack's Live With Me

In this new feature on the blog I [Peter N] will be featuring an old favourite tune of mine that I'd hope finds new listeners in you the reader. In my top 10 songs ever is this Massive Attack classic 'Live With Me'.

For me the track has everything I want in a song. Stunning vocals from Jazz legend Terry Callier. It's a wonderful, engrossing and engaging love song that draws you and your emotions into the depths of the track.

If you've never heard this song here's the original .......

Here's a version of the song which appeared on Terry Callier's album 'Hidden Conversations' from 2009. It's a more subtle version of the track but stunning none the less.

I could listen to this song all day. Massive Attack have on their soundcloud page this alternative take on the track ......

The first time I heard 'Live With Me' was live in Dublin performed by The Twilight Singers. The song ended up on the album by The Gutter Twins featuring them haunting vocals from Mark Lanegan. Here's The Gutter Twins from the Bowery Ballroom on Valentine's night in 2006 which I was at ......

Any thoughts on the new feature? Agree with my assessment of the song? Comment and share away ....

Monday, 28 July 2014

Folk 2une of the Week: Anais Mitchell - He Did

Ok so I'm back blogging again. Yeah the dodgy teacher who set this site up way back when. I got re-inspired by the movie 'Begin Again' and well there's a nice buzz to write about music and to share some treasures like this song 'He Did' from Anais Mitchell. It's an incredibly moving tale of a child's love for a father.

Anais has a new album which she explains on her website .... "the record (called “xoa”) will be in limited release this fall ~ i made it mainly for YOU beautiful people in response to requests from y’all over the years ~ it’s got a few new & previously unrecorded songs, a few from hadestown that were sung by other artists on the record, and a few from my back catalogue!"

I'll be front and centre in Whelans on November 6th when Anais Mitchell takes to the stage. Details are here:

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Album Review Los Paddys de las Pampas - "Come Home"

Come Home is the debut album from Ennis based band Los Paddys de las Pampas, the intriguing and eclectic purveyors of an exciting fusion of Irish and South American traditional music with a hint of French flare thrown into the mix.

Ashamedly, I raise my hand and admit that to say my knowledge of traditional Irish music is limited would be somewhat of an understatement. However, my knowledge of South American traditional music is even more sparse...if at all present. Thankfully for me this tremendously  interesting collection of songs comes wonderfully packaged with a booklet detailing the history of the songs as well as an explanation of the less well known instruments used throughout the recording.

While not always entirely to my taste, the album has a wonderful organic feel that flows wonderfully as though it were a recording of a session being recorded in the corner of a pub. There are moments one style yields to another as though the two cultures are cautiously introducing themselves to each other, and more moments where both styles blend together shyly and then at times with the a passionate familiarity of old friends excitedly being reunited. Among the highlights of the record are the short instrumental pieces that are used as examples of 3 different South American instruments and the 4 original songs. In particular the album's second track The Fall of Man, a prime example of what these folk do best, an up tempo seamless blend of an Irish jig with with plenty of South American Flavour. However, my favourite moment is the album's penultimate track My Friend Ger. A charming little waltz reminiscent of  work of The Furey's.

My one complaint about the album is there are a few moments when the vocal performances seem to lack the same drive and passion that is evident in the instrumentation. At times the vocals seem either lost among the excitement or just don't seem to sit quite right among everything else that is happening.  

Having seen these guys play several times I can say that the record does not fully capture the power of Los Paddys de las Pampas...this is not entirely an indictment of the quality of the record, as I rarely hear a trad recording that contains the same energy as a live performance. All in all it is a bloody good debut record from a band that strikes me as having a huge amount of potential. I am looking forward to hearing more original music from these talented folks. Well worth taking a few listens to, and more than worth going to see live if you find yourself with the opportunity.


For more information check out: 

Los Paddys will be giving a preview to the new video for The Fall of Man with a gig in Brandon's Bar in Ennis this Friday, July 18th. The filming of which subsequently lead to this incredible headline...

In the meantime, here is a video for the album's opening track A New Song For The Morning

Monday, 14 July 2014

Album Review "Rumble Shake" - Crow Black Chicken

Crow Black Chicken are amongst the formost purveyors of blues rock in Ireland. Made up of Christy O'Hanlon (Vocals, Guitar), Stephen McGrath (Bass) and Gev Barrett (Drums, backing vocals), the trio deliver a blistering, powerful performance from show to show and this comes across in their latest offering Rumble Shake.

Rumble Shake is Crow Black Chicken's second album, following on from their 2012 debut Electric Soup. Their new album combines a mix of electric laden melodies, over powerful drums and bass. The gritty vocals lift the music, into something that feels inspired and brilliant in its rawness. There is no attempt here to disguse the deep and persistant earthiness, that comes through in each song. This is blues carried through on heavy amplification. The songs are fantastic and if there's a level of polish missing, it's because it's not needed. From the epic sounding Priest Hunter to the fan favourite Sit With Satan, this is an album that shows off the best, of one of Ireland's rising lights.  Recorded in Westland studios, the album also features a song written by and with an appearance from Texas blues legend Ray Wylie Hubbard.

This is a band that I found people either love or hate. They are simply brilliant at what they do, but what they do isn't to the taste of everyone. The focus on the deep, dirty, pounding blues-driven rock of the American Southern States, is a sound that you can either take or you can't. To wander into a Crow Black Chicken gig, to watch heads shaking and feet flying is a great experience. Make no mistake, you're not going to hear a deeply introspective, epiphany provoking collection of songs here. This is pure balls out electric blues, by one of the best Irlsh bands to have grabbed this genre by the throat. If this is your thing, then you can't do better than to give Rumble Shake a listen.


Review by Denis O'Gorman

Crow Black Chicken are a band that never stops playing live. By their own account, they are always on tour. At the time of writing, the band are currently on a Europe wide tour to promote Rumble Shake. Based in Cork, Crow Black Chicken will be playing a series of dates across Ireland in August included a performance at Electric Picnic on August 29th.

You can check out their recently completed video for the song Rumble Shake here

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