My latest track of the day is Willow Tree by Bruce Soord. I first heard it on a sample from Kscope, a UK record label specializing in “post-progressive sounds”. It’s an excellent sampler, with every track being worth listening to. Usually with sampler albums, I tend to have one or two favorites, and then the other tracks I tend to discard and not listen to again, but this one I’m still listening to all tracks.
The stand out track for me though is Willow Tree by Bruce Soord. Until this sampler from Kscope I’d never heard of Bruce Soord. He’s the lead singer with Pineapple Thief, who I’ve heard of, but they’re not a band I’ve listened to.
I’ve just downloaded the album from Kscope, and on first listen it sounds brilliant! There’s a neat review of the album on the Proglodytes website, here’s the link
And here’s Willow Tree by Bruce Soord, my Track of the Day
Wassail by Big Big Train is today’s Track of the Day. “Why Wassail?” I hear you say. Well….
I listen to WNKU during my drive back home from work and every Thursday, they have a feature called Five o’clock Tails, when Molly Wellman talks to the host about various cocktails. It’s one of my favorite features, particularly when she talks about the history of the cocktail. This last Thursday, she talked about Wassail,a hot mulled punch, and the tradition of Wassailing. Being from England, I’m quite familiar with the Wassailing tradition and now I’m living here in Cincinnati, it was cool to hear about this whilst driving home through Ohio!
Although I love living in Cincinnati, every now and again I miss England, when I do I tend to listen to Big Big Train. I’ve heard their music described as “English Pastoral” which is a pretty accurate description.
Their Big Big Train EP was released last year and, in addition to Wassail, includes a couple of other fine studio tracks, Lost Rivers of London and Mudlarks, together with a live version of Master James of St George, from their 2009 album, The Underfall Yard.
Here’s their promo video for Wassail
And I have ever told you…
Well unfortunately, I haven’t seen Big Big Train live, I had tickets for one of their few live performances last year, but I was this side of the Atlantic and the gig was the other side!
Treetop Flyers – 31 Years is today’s Track of the Day. It’s taken from their forthcoming second album, Palomino onLoose Records, and it’s a classic.
I’m a big fan of Treetop Flyers, their Mountain Moves album is one of my favorite albums of all time. I’ve seen them live four times now and each time they’ve been superb. It’s been quite a while since I’ve anticipated the release of a new album as much I have Treetop Flyers‘ next album, so roll on March 11th, when Palomino is released.
Today’s Track of the Day, I Wanna Be A Dawg, comes from Dawg Yawp’sTwo Hearted EP. I’ve been hearing quite a lot of Dawg Yawp on WNKU and I’ve been meaning to buy their EP for some time now.
I first saw them at the Sayler Park Sustains festival last June, when they performed a great set. They had me from the start, when they did a brilliant cover of White Winter Hymnal by the Fleet Foxes, one of my favorite bands. The rest of the set stood up well to that opener, which is no mean feat.
Here they are performing I Wanna Be A Dawg at the WNKU studios
So there you have it, I Wanna Be A Dawg by Dawg Yawp, Track of the Day for 01/18/16. Not bad hey? And best of all their from Cincinnati!
And, have I ever told you…Yes, I’ve seen The Besnard Lakes live. I saw them at the Midpoint Music Festival, here in Cincinnati last year. They played on the Saturday afternoon, and for me were the highlight of the day.
Guesthouse by David Wax Museum is my latest Track of the Day. Like so much of the new music I’ve bought this year, I heard it first on WNKU. And have I ever told you…
Yes, I’ve seen David Wax Museum live! In fact I mentioned them in my last post, I don’t just throw these posts together you know!
I saw them back in 2013 supporting the Carolina Chocolate Drops at the City Varieties Music Hall in Leeds. I don’t remember much about the gig, but I did buy their Knock Knock Get Up album from their merchandise store, so they must have been good!
I’d not heard anything from the band since then until a couple of weeks ago, I heard Guesthouse on WNKU during my drive to work. I wasn’t immediately hooked, but having heard it a few times now, I love it! It’s from the album of the say name, which is now on my wishlist…
So Guesthouse by David Wax Museumis my latest Track of the Day, and here’s a live performance of Guesthouse:
And here’s some links to get hold of the albums from Amazon:
We all know about getting from A to B, but how about Y to Z, the Y being York and the Z being Zydeco. Now there’s not an obvious connection between York and Zydeco, but stick with me, as I take you from York to Zydeco.
The tale ends with my most recent addition to my vinyl collection, Boogalusa Boogie by [easyazon_link identifier=”B0000001HJ” locale=”US” tag=”tonnewmus-20″]Clifton Chenier[/easyazon_link]. This is the only Zydeco album to earn a five star review from Rolling Stone, who described it as “Indispensable: a record that must be included in any comprehensive collection.”
So how did this Englishman, living in Cincinnati, come to discover Clifton Chenier? Well the clue is on the record sleeve itself. Take a look in the bottom-left hand corner and you’ll see the word Arhoolie. Now until about a year ago, I’d never heard of Arhoolie Records, when browsing through my Facebook feed, I saw a link from Dom Flemons to an article in the Oxford American, which appeared in the winter 2014 Southern Music Issue devoted to Texas.
The article was called, “It’s got ahold of me” and features an interview by Dom Flemons with Chris Strachwitz, the founder of Arhoolie Records. It’s a fascinating read with some great tales of Chris Stratchwitz’s experiences as a field recorder. This led me to buy the documentary DVD, [easyazon_link identifier=”B00RWKN8XM” locale=”US” tag=”tonnewmus-20″]This Ain’t No Mouse Music[/easyazon_link];The Story of Chris Strachwitz and Arhoolie Records. One of the artists appearing on the DVD was Clifton Chenier, hence the interest in Boogalusa Boogie.
So that explains, how I got from Dom Flemons to Zydeco, via Chris Strachwitz and Arhoolie Records, but how did I first come across Dom Flemons. Well I’ve seen Dom Flemons a couple of times since moving to Cincinnati. Firstly I saw him acting as Master of Ceremonies on Pokey LaFarge’s Central Time Tour, which I caught at Middletown, Ohio. During the show he played some tracks off his [easyazon_link identifier=”B00KJFZXIK” locale=”US” tag=”tonnewmus-20″]Prospect Hill[/easyazon_link] album, one of my favorite albums of the last couple of years.
Most recently I saw Dom Flemons at the Cincinnati Music Hall as part of the [easyazon_link identifier=”B013SZFMCE” locale=”US” tag=”tonnewmus-20″]American Originals[/easyazon_link] concert, based primarily around of the music of Stephen Foster.
So, that’s taken the story back over the Atlantic to Leeds, England, where does York fit in? York is where this whole story starts, as that is where I met my lovely wife Tara, who goes to most of the gigs with me and who patiently indulges my love of music. The Carolina Chocolate Drops concert was one of our first gigs as a couple. We loved the Carolina Chocolate Drops that much that we included one of their songs on the CD we gave our wedding guests as a favor.
So there you have it, how I got from York to Zydeco and ended up with the Boogalusa Boogie by Clifton Chenier
Well that wasn’t a good start, three days into my Track of the Day feature and I didn’t post! But I’ve got a corker today, it’s Big Decisions by My Morning Jacketfrom their Waterfall album. I know next to nothing about this band I’m afraid, a quick look on Wikipedia reveals that they’re from Louisville, Kentucky. Their lead singer is Jim James, who appears on one of my favorite albums I’ve bought this year, The New Basement Tapes.
Also appearing on The New Basement Tapesis Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, one of my favorite bands. Their latest album, All Your Favorite Bands, is a classic, the title track being one of the best songs I’ve heard in years.
So to make up for there being no Track of the Day yesterday, I’m having two today, so I have not one corker, but two corkers!
My Track of the Day today is Return to the Moon by El Vy, another track which I first heard on WKNU. As a fan of The National, I’m a big fan of Matt Berninger’s vocals. I must admit I’ve never heard of Brent Knopf, the other half of El Vy, but I have to say I just love this track!
I have to confess that one of the reasons for liking this song so much is that it contains a couple of references to Cincinnati, my new home town!
Track of the Day, “what’s that all about?” I hear you say. Actually I didn’t hear anyone say anything, but it’s as good a way as any to introduce this new feature to my blog. Each day, when I remember (So not every day then!?) or until I get bored, I’m going to share a track on here. It might be a track I hear on the radio, on the TV, at the cinema or if all else fails, one from my music collection.
Talking of radio, since starting my new job a few months ago, I spend 90 minutes a day listening to WNKU and that’s one of my main sources of new music. They’ve recently started playing a track from a local band each hour, which is a great idea!
So, what’s today’s Track of the Day. Well this a track I’ve heard a couple of times on the radio this week, it’s called Times Square and it’s by a band called Destroyer. I’d never heard of them until hearing this. With a name like Destroyer, I’d expect their music to be heavy metal. I’m sure back in the day, over in the UK, in my long haired head-banging days, there was a NWOBHM band called Destroyer. “What’s NWOBHM?” I hear you say. (It’s that imaginary voice again!) NWOBHM stood for New Wave of British Heavy Metal, it was a term used by music journalists to bracket bands like Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, Saxon and their like.
Anyway, back to Times Square by Destroyer, the DNHM band. (DNHM = Definitely Not Heavy Metal). I’ve just been reading the blurb about Destroyer on the Merge Records label website and it turns out that Times Square was “deemed best new track” by Pitchfork, which is no mean recommendation. Also in that same blurb, there’s an extract from a review of Poison Season, the album from which Times Square is taken, in which reference is made to Al Stewart‘s Year of the Cat. Now there’s a song and Have I ever told you…
Yes, I’ve seen Al Stewart live! I saw him at Glastonbury Festival a few years ago, and he played Year of the Cat! Now that was a moment! I love that song, so here it is…
Meanwhile back on Times Square, take a look at this
Pretty neat or what?
So there you have it, Times Square by Destroyer, my first Track of the Day.