Tag Archives: Pokey LaFarge

Third Man Records – My first visit

I was in Nashville a couple of weeks ago, so I decided to pay Third Man Records a visit.

IMG_0991 IMG_0992






One hour later and one hundred bucks lighter I left with these gems.

I got three singles from their Sun Records reissues collection:

Elvis Presley – My Happiness

Elvis Presley - My Happiness






This is “the 7” Sun Records Reissue version of the Grammy Nominated Record Store Day Exclusive 10-inch facsimile of Elvis Presley’s first ever recording from 1953″. Later that day I toured the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, where I saw the original acetate record on display. Apparently Jack White paid $300,000 at an auction for this.

Elvis Presley - My Happiness - Original Record






Johnny Cash – Got Rhythm/I Walk the Line

Johnny Cash - Get Rhythm

Johnny Cash - I Walk the Line






I didn’t realize until checking out the notes on the Third Man Records website, that I Walk the Line was a B-side.

Jerry Lee Lewis – Great Balls of Fire

Jerry Lee Lewis - Great Balls of Fire






Great Balls of Fire, need I say more?

These next five are part of their Tamla Records reissues collection.

The Supremes – Buttered Popcorn/Who’s Loving You

Supremes - Buttered Popcorn Supremes - Who's Loving You






Apparently this is the only Supremes track to feature Florence Ballard as the sole lead singer. Being a Stephen King fan I have to mention that Florence Ballard is one of the deceased artists who perform in the town Rock and Roll Heaven in his short story, You Know They Got a Hell of a Band.

The Miracles – Way Over There/(You Can) Depend on Me

The Miracles - Depend on Me The Miracles - Way Over There






Way Over There is the first record on which William (Bill) Robinson was solely credited with the songwriting credits. Who is William Robinson, well you may know him better as Smokey Robinson!

Marvin Gaye – Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide/Never Let You Go

Marvin Gaye - Never Let You Go

Marvin Gaye - Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide






This was Marvin Gaye‘s first single.

The Swinging Tigers – Snake Walk (Part One)/Snake Walk (Part Two)

The Swinging Tigers - Snake Walk - Part One The Swinging Tigers - Snake Walk - Part Two






Ever heard of these?, no me neither!

The Satintones – Going to the Hop/Motor City

The Satintones - Going to the Hop

The Satintones - Motor City






Apparently the Satintones were the first group to be signed to the Motown label.

These singles were amongst the first nine released on the Tamla Record label, guess who’s going to be buying the other four pretty soon!? Before I move on, I’ve got to mention this wicked website I’ve just come across called Motown Junkies on which the author is reviewing every single Motown release, both A and B sides.

As well as these reissues, I got a few records from Third Man Records Blue Series collection. These singles are by singers and bands who have been invited to record tracks the the Third Man Studio and to be produced by Jack White.

The songs are then, as soon as possible, made available on 7” vinyl . The cover photos are taken in Third Man Records “blue room” photo studio/live venue.Some acts that play the performance space, the Blue Room, record directly to vinyl through a 1950’s lathe. And get this, that 1950’s lathe once belonged to King Records, the Cincinnati label that was home to James Brown.

Here are the Blue Series records I purchased:

Brittany Howard and Ruby Amanfu – I Wonder/When My Man Comes Home








Being an Alabama Shakes fan, as soon as I saw the name Brittany Howard, this was a must buy. I have to admit to having never heard of Ruby Amanfu, but having listened to the single, I’ll be finding some more of her releases. The B-side, When My Man Comes Home, was originally recorded by Memphis Minnie, who composed When the Levee Breaks, which was covered by Led Zeppelin on their classic fourth album.

Beck – I Just Started Hating Someone Today/Blue Randy








I picked this up as I’ve been hearing quite a lot of Beck‘s latest stuff on my local radio station, WNKU, here in Cincinnati, plus I’ve got no Beck releases in my collection at all. This record’s pretty cool, as it’s got Jack White on backing vocals on I Just Started Hating Someone Today.

Seasick Steve – Write Me a Few Lines\Levee Camp Blues 







Big Seasick Steve fan here, so this was a must! The Third Man Records write up on this single describes Seasick Steve as a ‘”proper festival headliner in the UK/Europe”. Having seen him a couple of times at Glastonbury Festival, I can certainly vouch for that! Both of these are from the “legendary” Mississippi Fred McDowell catalog. Now I’ have to admit I’ve never heard of him, so I think some research is required, on both him and Memphis Minnie. I mentioned Ruby Amanfu earlier, well she provides some fine backing vocals on Write Me a Few Lines.

Pokey LaFarge – Chittlin’ Cookin’ Time in Cheatham County/Pack It Up








I’m a huge Pokey LaFarge fan, having seen him half a dozen times now both here in the USA and back in England, so this was another “must buy” selection.

Smoke Fairies – Gastown/River Song

Smoke Fairies - Gas Town

Smoke Fairies - River Song






I picked this single for no other reason than they were British! Plus, the B-side, River Song, is a character from Doctor Who!

I got one single from the Third Man Live collection

Alabama Shakes – Be Mine/You Ain’t Alone

Alabama Shakes - Be Mine

Alabama Shakes - You Ain't Alone






Again, another in the “must buy” category. And talking of seeing bands live, Alabama Shakes are one amazing live band. I saw them in Atlanta, at the Shaky Knees festival in 2014, and they were incredible.

My final selection is one of Third Man Records latest signings and it’s

Margo Price – Hurtin’ on the Bottle/Desperate and Depressed







I saw Margo and the Price Tags supporting Pokey LaFarge last December, just over the river at the Southgate House Revival in Newport, Kentucky, now that was one amazing night!

As you can probably gather, I enjoyed my visit to Third Man Records! So much so that I’ve now subscribed to their Vault series, watch this space….






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From Y to Z

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.”

Clifton Chenier - Boogalusa Boogie










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.

Pokey Lafarge Central Time poster










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.

American Originals





That still doesn’t explain, how I came across Dom Flemons. Well,the first time I saw him was as part of the Carolina Chocolate Drops at a concert in the City Varieties Music Hall in Leeds, England, during their [easyazon_link identifier=”B002U33GQU” locale=”US” tag=”tonnewmus-20″]Genuine Negro Jig[/easyazon_link] tour. . I’d got the tickets having heard the Carolina Chocolate Drops on one of my favorite radio shows, the Bob Harris Show. The concert itself was excellent and  the support on the night, David Wax Museum, was also superb.

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


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Midpoint Music Festival

Okay, I’m more than a little excited, I’ve just bought my ticket for the Midpoint Music Festival, being held on 25-27 September in Cincinnati. The reasons for the excitement, well firstly, one of my favorite live acts, Pokey LaFarge is appearing at Washington Park on the Sunday evening. This will be my fourth time seeing Pokey LaFarge, I first saw him in Leeds, England at Brudenell Social Club. As well as a brilliant performance from Pokey LaFarge, the night was memorable due to a great performance from the support band, Rob Heron and the Tea Pad Orchestra and also for me protecting my date, and future wife, from a group of drunken Yorkshiremen!

By the time we saw Pokey LaFarge the second time, we’d moved to Columbus, Georgia. We made a 100 mile trip to see him at a great venue, just outside Atlanta, called Eddie’s Attic. This was another great evening’s entertainment,and one which was thoroughly enjoyed by our two sons. The last time, we saw Pokey LaFarge was on his Central Time Tour,at Middletown, Ohio. By this time, we’d moved to Cincinnati, so this was virtually on our doorstep. Once again this was a great evening, featuring another favorite of mine, Dom Flemons, and a group that soon became favorites, The Tillers.









So needless to say I’m looking forward to seeing Pokey LaFarge!

My second reason for getting so stoked is that I finally get to see The Besnard Lakes, I’ve been dying to see The Besnard Lakes for a few years now. I’ve got a couple of their albums, The Besnard Lakes are the Dark Horse and The Besnard Lakes are the Roaring Night , and they’re both brilliant and I can’t wait to see them live. They’re appearing at Washington Park on Saturday afternoon.

The Besnard Lakes - are the Dark Horse











The Besnard Lakes - are the Roaring Night










These are just two reasons for getting my ticket to the Midpoint Music Festival and I’m sure you’ll be hearing alot more from me about it over the next few weeks!

And to finish with, how about some Pokey LaFarge, here’s the title track from his latest album, Something in the Water….


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Top Ten Gigs of 2014, Part Two

Following on from my last post, here’s Part Two of my Top Ten Gigs of 2014.

5 – Leo and Anto at the Red Light Cafe in Atlanta, Georgia. One of my favorite live bands is the Saw Doctors, who are currently taking a well earned break after 25 years of touring. 2013 must have been the first year for god knows how many that I hadn’t seen them live, so when I saw that Leo Moran and Antony Thistlethwaite, from the band, were appearing in Atlanta, I immediately purchased tickets.

The gig took place in a great little venue, ideal for the intimate acoustic set performed by Leo and Anto. They played a mixture of Saw Doctors songs, some off their own two albums and also a couple of Waterboys tracks, as Anto used to be a member of the Waterboys. There were so many great moments throughout the evening, but my own favorites were a rousing version of Clare Island and a great version of Fisherman’s Blues.

It may not have been a full blown Saw Doctors gig, but it certainly was a damned fine alternative. And I got my photo took with Leo and Anto! Wicked!
Tony & AntoTony & Leo       005

4 – Steve Hackett on his Genesis Revisited tour at the Atlanta Symphony Hall, Georgia. My all time favorite band is Genesis, and the chances of me seeing them again live are fairly remote, so this to me was my last chance of hearing some of the songs from the classic Genesis line up of Banks, Collins, Gabriel, Hackett and Rutherford, performed by one of it’s original members.

I’d seen Steve Hackett on his Genesis Revisited tour the previous year in Liverpool, and that was superb, but this set was even better. Every song received a standing ovation from the appreciative American crowd. There were a number of occasions throughout the gig when I, along with loads of other members of the audience, had tear-filled eyes listening to some of the classic Genesis back catalog. Of these, the epic Supper’s Ready was out of this world, it was simply stunning. If I never get to see Genesis again, this was a fine farewell!

001 (2) Steve Hackett 3


3. Pokey LaFarge‘s Central Time Tour at the Finkelman Auditorium, Miami University, Middletown Ohio. I’ve been lucky enough to see Pokey LaFarge a couple of times already, once on both sides of the Atlantic, in Leeds, Yorkshire and in Decatur, Georgia. On both occasions, they were both great gigs. This evening was no exception, the poster below shows the artists who performed throughout the evening, and there was not a duff performance amongst them. Dom Flemons did a superb job as Master of Ceremonies, as well as performing a few numbers of his album. The Loot Rock Gang were excellent, as were The Cajun Country Revival.

The Tillers were given the honor of being the main support act as they were a local Cincinnati band, and they were amazing! They had a lot of loyal support in the audience and they certainly did Cincinnati proud.

And needless to say Pokey Lafarge and his band were spot on once again! The Central Time Tour was a great idea and I certainly hope that it’s something that Pokey LaFarge will undertake again, if he does, I’ll be there!

Pokey Lafarge Central Time poster


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