Friday, December 13, 2013

Something fresh and new from Noel McKoy..featuring on this deep-house track with Subscope

Something fresh and new from Noel McKoy..
..featuring on this deep-house track with Subscope

                              McKoy's new album 'Cut From the Same Cloth' available on iTunes now 

‘an old school flavour with a new school approach’

The album features the talents of
General Levy, Vanessa Simon, Terri Walker, Marlon Cotton and Braydz.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

P-Square...Africa's biggest R and B act ..cool new video for "Personally"..dedicated to Michael Jackson

HOT new video from Africa's biggest R and B act P-Square for their track 'Personally'. Identical twin brothers Paul and Peter Okoye make up P-Square and they have a growing UK fan base due to radio plays and the expanding support for Afrobeat acts over there.

The videos already had over 7 million hits purely from  the power of their fans

Marty's review: this cool and HOT new video is dedicated to Michael Jackson and P-Square have recreated some of MJ's moves in their dance routine that match the Afrobeat rhythms and Hip Hop vocals of the track "Personally". The track is an infectious number that will have you dancing along with the video.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

McKoy ‘Cut From The Same Cloth’ Album out 3rd Nov 2013 soulful grooves, melodies and jazz

Noel McKoy is the genuine godfather of British soul - a singer-songwriter with a voice like honey backed up by his talented family. When the McKoy family – south London born siblings Cornell, Junette, lead singer Noel, and Robin - burst on to the British soul scene in 1989, they created a legacy for serious soul fans throughout the next decade and beyond. McKoy’s critically acclaimed debut album, “Family”, delivered a number of street-soul classics and their hit singles I'm Lucky and Family remain a hit with analogue, digital and underground music connoisseurs of all ages.

With a two-decade-plus career that has already encompassed reggae (The Albions), rock (Impact) and acid jazz (The James Taylor Quartet) plus a prestigious BBC 2 Jazz Award, Noel McKoy is releasing his first album in 20 years with his band ‘McKoy’ which includes his three siblings: Cornell, Robin and Junette.

Cut From The Same Cloth is the eagerly awaited album from McKoy. It is combination of grooves, melodies and jazz from McKoy’s parent’s collection, along with hints of 70's, 80's and 90's influence. The band likes to call it ‘spiritual social soul’ which they coined in the creation of their last release. Though it’s been 20 years since then, the band made a conscious decision to make an album with ‘an old school flavour with a new school approach’.  The album features the talents of General Levy, Vanessa Simon, Terri Walker, Marlon Cotton and Braydz.

preview on YouTube here: http://youtu.be/AJvBerEjBaI

Noel McKoy recorded three albums with the James Taylor Quartet and toured 10 times around the world. He has worked with some of the most talented artists in the industry including Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Martha High, Atlantic Star, Terry Callier, Cliff Richard, Lenny Henry, Jessie J, Paloma Faith and none other than Stevie Wonder. Noel says: “I met Stevie after one of his gigs at the 02 a couple of years ago. He then invited me to have a jam with him and this was one of the highlights of my career. We jammed for quite a bit and laughed all night together.”

Career highlights:

·         Met & jammed with Stevie Wonder @ his O2 performance
·         Previous project won Jazz Album in the BBC 2 Jazz Awards
·         Performed with Guy Barker’s jazz band @ the Olympics with Junior Giscombe& Natalie Williams
·         UK/European tour this September
·         Performing with Sunburst at the Jazz Cafe in November

Marty's review"Cut From the Same Cloth" combines elements of 70's soul and funk with rhythm and blues, jazz, reggae, hip hop and rap that come together in this album that just shines with soulful grooves. Of the 13 tracks on the album, 10 are orginals co-written by Noel McKoy. There also covers of the Isley Brothers' "Highways" and a funky, electric soul version of Stevie Wonder's "Living For the City". Noel McKoy's lead vocals are reminiscent of Marvin Gaye and Donny Hathaway, whilst his siblings provide backing vocals of soaring harmonies mixed with hip hop and rap. The musicianship is superb with jazz guitar, both acoustic and electric, tight rhythm section, piano, clarinet and even some strings to create a wide sound. It will have you swaying, dancing and possibly making love with your favourite person (!). My favourite tracks are "Highways", "Natural Collie" and "I've Changed".

Album launch party 4th October @ The Bedford in Balham

Friday, November 1, 2013

"Experience This" new album release by Tayo Irvine Hendrix..soul funk meets world sounds

Tayo Irvine Hendrix has music running through her veins. Since being given a drum at three years old, Tayo has developed a love of music and a sound of her own that is perfectly encapsulated by her forthcoming album ‘EXPERIENCE this’.

 EXPERIENCE this’ is a collection of songs that takes each listener on a journey. The album showcases Tayo’s stunning and powerful voice as well as a wide range of musical influences. Alongside the blues and soul elements, Tayo’s work as a healer has also helped to shape the sound, bringing mantras to the mainstream and creating an accessible sound.

Throughout her thirty years in the music industry, Tayo has had the honour of working with some incredible musicians and this album once again saw Tayo bring together a stellar team.  As well as the first class musicians with whom Tayo collaborated for the record, the album is mixed by Blake Eiseman, the man responsible for Pink’s debut album and known for his work with the likes of UsherJanet Jackson and Aretha Franklin.

Tayo Irvine Hendrix is a drummer, percussionist, vocalist, songwriter and composer, a true creative who was undoubtedly destined for the musical world. Her famous name aside, Tayo’s music is, as suggested by the album’s title, an experience.
The first single released from the album was the blues infused ‘Crazy Dayze’; released on September 9th, it is available for download now.

Praise for Tayo Irvine Hendrix:

Her music is, indeed, an experience and quite a special one” – Music News

“Tayo Irvine Hendrix has a sound of her own” – AAA Music

Marty's reviewTayo Irvine Hendrix' new album has an apt title.."Experience This". And it is a must listen to experience at that. Tayo's many talents shine on this debut release as she confronts love, life and all that goes with it on an 11 track collection of finely produced tracks that will keep you hitting the replay button more than once. A mostly upbeat recording that combines soul, funk, jazz, African rhythms, blues, pop, dance and even a few Indian beats make this album a unique experience that will not disappoint. Tayo's clear, sultry and sometimes sexy vocals are supported by a tight rhythm section with a touch a brass, acoustic guitar and flute. Whilst the general feel of the album is in the funky/jazz/soul vein, there is also the spiritual ballad "Calling All Angels" and the new age sound of "Om Namah Shivaya" with Indian rhythms and beautiful chanting. The song lyrics show Tayo's confident and positive outlook on life and are written from the heart. My favourite tracks are "I Am Rama", "Calling All Angels" and "History". Tayo Irvine Hendrix defies musical genres and is an experience you won't forget.

For more information and to keep up with Tayo’s journey please visit:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/TayoHendrix

Experience the album at iTunes here:


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Lou Reed (1942 - 2013) NYC Man ... A Special Tribute to a Genius, Master and Legend

Lewis Allan "Lou" Reed (March 2, 1942 – October 27, 2013) was an American rock musician and songwriter. After being guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter of The Velvet Underground, his solo career spanned several decades. The Velvet Underground were a commercial failure in the late 1960s, but the group has gained a considerable cult following in the years since its demise and has gone on to become one of the most widely cited and influential bands of the era – hence Brian Eno's famous quote that while the Velvet Underground's debut album only sold 30,000 copies, "everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band."

After his departure from the group, Reed began a solo career in 1972. He had a hit the following year with "Walk on the Wild Side", but subsequently lacked the mainstream commercial success its chart status seemed to indicate. In 1975, Reed released a double album of feedback loops, Metal Machine Music, upon which he later commented, "No one is supposed to be able to do a thing like that and survive." Reed was known for his distinctive deadpan voice, poetic lyrics and for pioneering and coining the term ostrich guitar tuning.........for more, see the full Lou Reed story at Wikipedia here

His death and tributes

In May 2013, Reed underwent a liver transplant in Cleveland. Afterwards he claimed on his website to be "bigger and stronger" than ever. On October 27, 2013, Reed died at the age of 71 from liver disease at his home in Southampton, New York, on Long Island. His physician Charles Miller noted that Reed "was fighting right up to the very end. He was doing his Tai Chi exercises within an hour of his death, trying to keep strong and keep fighting."

Tributes were paid to Reed on Twitter, including Iggy Pop, Miley Cyrus, Samuel L. Jackson, Lenny Kravitz, Ricky Gervais, Ryan Adams, Elijah Wood, and many others. David Bowie posted a comment on his Facebook page saying that Reed "was a master". Rock band Pearl Jam dedicated their song "Man of the Hour" to Reed at their show in Baltimore and then covered the Velvet Underground's "I'm Waiting for the Man".

John Cale, his Velvet Underground bandmate, posted on his Facebook: "The world has lost a fine songwriter and poet…I've lost my 'school-yard buddy'". Later, Universal Music revealed Cale's full statement on Reed's death:
"The news I feared the most, pales in comparison to the lump in my throat and the hollow in my stomach. Two kids have a chance meeting and 47 years later we fight and love the same way - losing either one is incomprehensible. No replacement value, no digital or virtual fill ... broken now, for all time. Unlike so many with similar stories - we have the best of our fury laid out on vinyl, for the world to catch a glimpse. The laughs we shared just a few weeks ago, will forever remind me of all that was good between us."

Former Velvet Underground drummer Mo Tucker responded by saying that Reed was "generous, encouraging and thoughtful. Working with him sometimes could be trying to some people, but never to me. I guess we learned from each other. We all learned from each other. Reed became an important influence to numerous singers and songwriters, including British musician Morrissey: He had been there all of my life. He will always be pressed to my heart. Thank God for those, like Lou, who move within their own laws, otherwise imagine how dull the world would be.

Others from outside the music industry also paid their respects, including the Vatican and Salman Rushdie, who wrote, "My friend Lou Reed came to the end of his song. So very sad. But hey, Lou, you'll always take a walk on the wild side. Always a perfect day."

The ultimate tribute is listening to his music and this 31 track collection covers almost his entire career.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Jimi Hendrix Experience Radio One...live, raw and rockin'

The year was 1967, and Hendrix's career had just blasted off in the UK, when The Jimi Hendrix Experience (Hendrix, Noel Redding, and Mitch Mitchell) came together for several recording sessions for BBC Radio. You will find a number of Hendrix's most memorable songs in this collection, but they differ from the versions most fans are familiar with. Alongside these more familiar tracks are a number of very interesting covers and blues-oriented recordings, a few of which could and should be considered true rarities.

What comes across most from this set is not only how polished and tight a band they really were, but how they also poured their hearts and energy into the music. Be it live concert or in a recording studio, the Experience had few peers. The album RADIO ONE is proof positive that over the airwaves of the usually staid BBC, the Jimi Hendrix Experience was equally as fiery and "untameable".

1. Stone Free
2. Radio One Theme
3. Day Tripper
4. Killing Floor
5. Love Or Confusion
6. Drivin' South
7. Catfish Blues
8. Wait Until Tomorrow
9. Hear My Train A Comin'
10. Hound Dog
11. Fire
12. Hoochie Koochie Man
13. Purple Haze
14. Spanish Castle Magic
15. Hey Joe
16. Foxy Lady
17. Burning Of The Midnight Lamp


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Nelson Freitas..new single release "Something Good"....World Music meets Hip Hop and House

Nelson Freitas is a singer, writer and producer who, from his roots in Cape Verde via the Netherlands, has enjoyed commercial success across Europe with 3 albums, a host of singles and several years touring.  His YouTube currently stands at 24,444 subscribers & 5,830,905 views which highlights his commercial appeal.

A journey which started as a break-dancer, then became the front man of the infamous group Quatro. With a passion for Hip-Hop, R&B and House music, Nelson took the challenge to go it alone and concentrate on his solo work by blending all these influences into one. After touring for 2 years he released “My life” album in 2010. With hits such as Rebound Chick, Saia Branka, Nha Primere Amor and selling over 90.000 copies, the critics now realized that Nelson in his own right was here to stay.

His 3rd album “Elevate” was released earlier this year with collaborations with artists and producers of different ethnics like Angola, Cape Verde, Congo, Holland and Morocco which has helped forge a fresh and new worldly sound. The journey continues..

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Beatles...Rockin' Blues Vol.1...alternative and unreleased outtakes

This compilation was originally released as The River Rhine Tapes. I have just remixed it slightly and taken out a couple of tracks. These are mainly alternative takes, different mixes and outtakes that were not included on their official studio albums. They show the group in a more relaxed mood and what they could do when they were just jamming and having a bit of fun. If you are a Beatles fan you can pick out the differences between the official releases and these versions. Most tracks have a rock and blues feel to them hence the title. Hope you enjoy this other side of The Beatles.

  1. Two of us
  2. I Dig A Pony
  3. I Got A Feeling
  4. Don't Let Me Down
  5. I Me Mine waltz
  6. Let It Be
  7. For You Blue
  8. One After 909
  9. The Long and Winding Road
  10. Get Back
  11. Oh Darling
  12. Across the Universe
  13. Dig It
  14. Mailman Bring Me No More Blues
  15. Good Rockin' Tonite
  16. Twenty Flight Rock
  17. Her Majesty
  18. Suzy Parker
  19. Mean Mr Mustard
  20. All Things Must Pass
  21. The Walk
  22. River Rhine
  23. Billy Beatle Boogie

Friday, October 18, 2013

Shakka 'Just Want To See You' Released 11th November from "Tribe" EP .. essential listening

This man is, in my opinion, undefinable. His sounds are a cross between soul, rhythm and blues, hip hop, rap, dub reggae and world music. Whatever style of music you are into, you must listen to Shakka. He breaks down all barriers and will have you dancing, jumping, grooving and however else you listen to music. Whichever way, you will enjoy life even more because of Shakka. Drop everything and listen NOW!

You can stream at Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/iamshakka/sets/tribe

I'm delighted to present you with the new video from Shakka, for the track 'Just Want To See You'. Shot on the rooftops of Shakka's hometown of London, this video provides the visual for the 3rd single off the Tribe EP

These are a few details about Shakka from his website  http://iamshakka.com/  .......

Shakka was born from Dominican parents, cocooned in the multicultural busy bustle of Grove (Notting Hill), and marinated in Dub Reggar, Hip-Hop, Motown and Garage. Shakespeare looked at music as the food of love, so it’s safe to say Shakka has been cooking since his time with pacifiers.

His father, a guitarist and producer of the Reggae band “The Foreigners Crew”, made sure he was immersed into music as a child. So he played keys and ended up singing a few songs for the band.

After studying Music Production and Theory, Classical Piano, Percussion and Vocals at CYM (Centre for Young Musicians), working closely with fellow rapper Incisive, he released his first EP entitled Foolishness Vol.1, and The Shakka Crown Affair, his widely received Concept Mixtape taking influence from The Thomas Crown Affair, where he experiments with Hip-Hop, Jazz, Indie Rock, and Electronic music.

...and some career highlights to date:
  • Shakka shot to fame as a YouTube sensation with his Shakkapellas (over 1 millions views in total)
  • Featured on Wretch 32’s Blackout earlier this year (reached #6 in charts)
  • Various tour dates with Wretch 32, Basement Jaxx and Rudimental in Autumn
  • Two MOBO nominations (2013) – Best Newcomer and Best Song
  • Played BBC introducing stage at Glastonbury this year and Spin was on R1 and 1xtra Introducing Playlists
  • Starred at the National Theatre in a play called ‘Home’
  • TV performances include The Wright Stuff, Graham Norton, Sunday Brunch and CBBC. Channel 4 Random Acts confirmed for later this year
  • Other collaborations include; Angel, Delilah, Show n Prove, Etta Bond.
for more on Shakka visit here:

Monday, October 7, 2013

Chuck Berry ‎– America's Hottest Wax...Rare and Unreleased tracks 1955-1963

1: Rock and Roll Music..unreleased demo version, 1-57
2: Childhood Sweetheart..unissued alternate take, 7-59
3: 21..unreleased, 5-57
4: Let Me Sleep Woman..unreleased,12-59
5: Do You Love Me...unreleased, 2-58
6: 21 Blues..unreleased, 5-57
7: One O'Clock Jump..unreleased, 7-59
8: Reelin' & Rockin'..unissued alternate take, 2-58
9: Sweet Little 16..unissued alternate take, 2-58
10: Brown Eyed Handsome Man..unissued alternate version, 8-63
11: Say You'll Be Mine..unreleased,12-59
12: I've Changed..unreleased, 12-55
13: 13 Question Method..unreleased alternate version, 8-57
14: How High The Moon..unreleased, 8-57

This collection of alternative and unreleased tracks from one of the originators of rock and roll will please any Chuck Berry or Rock and Roll fan. With a selection of blues, rock and roll and rhythm and blues, it will have you "reelin' and rockin" all over again.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

I Feel Free...Ultimate Cream

Cream were a 1960s British rock supergroup power trio consisting of bassist/singer Jack Bruce, drummer Ginger Baker, and guitarist/singer Eric Clapton. Their sound was characterised by a hybrid of blues rock, hard rock and psychedelic rock, combining the psychedelia-themed lyrics, Eric Clapton's blues guitar playing and vocals, Jack Bruce's voice and prominent bass playing and Ginger Baker's jazz-influenced drumming.

The group's third album, Wheels of Fire, was the world's first platinum-selling double album. Cream are widely regarded as being the world's first successful supergroup. In their career, they sold over 15 million albums worldwide. Cream's music included songs based on traditional blues such as "Crossroads" and "Spoonful", and modern blues such as "Born Under a Bad Sign", as well as more eccentric songs such as "Strange Brew", "Tales of Brave Ulysses" and "Toad".

Cream's biggest hits were "I Feel Free" (UK, number 11), "Sunshine of Your Love" (US, number 5), "White Room" (US, number 6), "Crossroads" (US, number 28), and "Badge" (UK, number 18). Cream made a significant impact on the popular music of the time, and, along with Jimi Hendrix, and Terry Kath of Chicago, popularised the use of the wah-wah pedal. They provided a heavy yet technically proficient musical theme that foreshadowed and influenced the emergence of British bands such as The Jeff Beck Group in the late 1960s. The band's live performances influenced progressive rock acts such as Rush.

Cream were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. They were included in both Rolling Stone and VH1's lists of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". They were also ranked number 16 on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock".

This 23 track compilation gathers all their hits plus a few rarities. A must for your collection.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

UK Soul Legend Noel McKoy..new single release exclusive

Mckoy ‘Makin Love’ (out 24th Nov 2013)

With a two-decade-plus career that has already encompassed reggae (The Albions), rock (Impact) and acid jazz (The James Taylor Quartet) plus a prestigious BBC 2 Jazz Award, one of UK soul’s legendary figures, Noel McKoy, is releasing his first album in 20 years with his band ‘McKoy’ which includes his three siblings: Cornell, Robin and Junette.

McKoy are a family affair, lead by Noel Mckoy. Though it’s been 20 years since their last release, the band made a conscious decision to make an album with ‘an old school flavour with a new school approach’.  The album features the talents of General Levy, Vanessa Simon, Terri Walker, Marlon Cotton and Braydz. ‘Makin Love’ is the first single to be released from the album and is due out on 24th November.

Noel McKoy is perhaps best known for his work as lead vocalist with Acid Jazz Legends James Taylor Quartet recording three albums and touring 10 times around the world with the band. Since then he has worked with some of the most talented artists in the industry including Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Martha High, Atlantic Star, Terry Callier, Cliff Richard, Lenny Henry, Jessie J, Paloma Faith and none other than Stevie Wonder.

check out Mckoy – Makin Love exclusive video here:

  • Makin' Love is the first release from the ‘Cut From The Same Cloth’ album (out 3rd Nov)
  • Met & jammed with Stevie Wonder @ his O2 performance
  • Noel performed with the Guy Barker jazz band for the Olympics celebration with Junior Giscombe and Natalie Williams in July 2013
  • Noel will be guesting with Joey Negroys band Sunburst at the Jazz Cafe in November
  • UK/European tour this September   
  • Previous project won Jazz Album in the BBC 2 Jazz Awards (Best Album)

2001 was the year Noel picked up best Jazz album for his vocal and writing work on Jean Toussaint’s “A street below the Underground” Album for the BBC Radio 2 Jazz awards.

Over the past 20 years Noel is known in the teaching arena for the work he does with young people which involves vocal exercises, empowering and mentoring.  

Along with a whole host of successful projects in recent years, one of which leading Noel to Jam with Stevie Wonder Noel has reformed Mckoy with his siblings and they are back in a big way with album ‘Cut From The Same Cloth’ and the lead single ‘Makin Love’ released on Mckadelic Records


Album launch party 4th October @ The Bedford in Balham

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

FISHDOCTOR...New Surf Inspired Tracks 'Atlantic' & 'Seasons'..Beachy tunes from Brooklyn dudes

Fresh catch of the day, Fishdoctor, are riding high on their surf inspired tunes! Treat your ears to their sweet, jangly sounds with these free downloads of their latest tracks:

Warning: Their songs emit mellow vibes of joy and may induce head bobbing and hip swaying!

Fishdoctor embraces a certain depth of intimacy with their new video for “Atlantic” that perfectly matches the strumming highs and crooning voices of the song. Eyes will happily get lost in this wistful journey of a song. The video is a compilation of a band members’ family home video footage from the 1940’s. A majority of the shots were filmed at the beaches of Long Island, NY where most of the band grew up. The mix of intricate intensities of the song allows the video to build into an evocative nostalgia overload.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Boz Scaggs...first album 1969..Muscle Shoals plus Duane Allman

Muscle Shoals plus Duane Allman plus Boz....a classic 

Combining the same rhythm section that propelled the great Atlantic soul singers like Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding with the legendary lead guitarist Duane Allman just as he was forming his great band, former Steve Miller Band guitarist and aspiring singer Boz Scaggs released his debut solo album in 1969.

"Boz Scaggs" is another candidate for the greatest overlooked, unjustly forgotten album of the classic rock era. It wasn't overlooked in its own day. Back when FM radio was "free form" and could play 10 minute-long cuts, the amazing "Loan Me a Dime," a delicately soulful blues wail that evolves into a monstrous Allman guitar workout, was a staple, especially at night. But the whole album is as good as that climactic moment. "I'll Be Long Gone," is an emotional inspiration, "Look What I Got" has the emotional directness of The Band and "Sweet Release" is heavenly soul. The album is sequenced beautifully and it is almost flawless.

Boz Scaggs was born Royce Scaggs, June 8, 1944, in Ohio. Scaggs moved to Plano, Texas at an early age. His interest in music was sparked by his childhood friendship with Steve Miller. They were budding young artists that both attended St. Mark's Preparatory School in Dallas. It was Miller who taught Scaggs the fundamentals of guitar playing and gave him the encouragement to sing.

1. I'm Easy
2. I'll Be Long Gone
3. Another Day (Another Letter)
4. Now You're Gone
5. Finding Her
6. Look What I Got
7. Waiting For A Train
8. Loan Me A Dime
9. Sweet Release

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Jukeboxes...a short history and guide...part one

"Cheap bars playing lively jazz and blues music were called "jook-joints", and therefore an instrument out of which music emitted was, defacto, a "jook-box"..

I found this article in a Collectors magazine and thought it was interesting and very appropriate for this blog. For those of us who are old enough to remember the original jukeboxes, they were a great source of entertainment and kept us amused for many a night. It wasn't only the music that was pumping out of them but the physical appearance also made them an iconic and cultural part of our lives. Thankfully they have survived over the years, with a few modern technological improvements and modifications, and are now collectible items.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Doors...Morrison Hotel

The next-to-last Doors album, recorded prior to Jim Morrison's still mystery-shrouded death in a Parisian bathtub, Morrison Hotel eschewed much of the band's previous penchant for baroque musical, poetic, and philosophical pretensions (this was, after all, the back-to-roots era of the Beatles' Let It Be, the Stones' Let It Bleed, and Dylan's Nashville Skyline). Instead, the Doors circa 1970 wisely seeped themselves in a bluesy, no-frills approach that might have hinted at creative exhaustion in a lesser band. Instead, the Doors of "Roadhouse Blues" and "Peace Frog" reinvented themselves into arguably one of the greatest bar bands ever, with Morrison's well-documented demons frolicking in a welcome new ambience. "Waiting for the Sun" and "Ship of Fools" may hearken back to the band's cabalistic and Kurt Weill leanings, respectively, but framed in an edgier, more effective way. --Jerry McCulley (Amazon review)


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pink Floyd..The Piper At the Gates of Dawn..Classic Debut Album by the Masters of Psychedelic Rock

Before Pink Floyd became (deservedly) famous in the mid-70's for Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here, and later for The Wall, they were a different band--they were Syd Barrett's band. Instead of the epic, moody, atmospheric, trippy rock forged primarily by the synergy of Roger Waters and David Gilmour later on in Pink Floyd's existence, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn finds the band making music that is very much of its time (1967). The music that became known as "psychedelic" is loosely defined as music that combines creative sonic textures and surprising sounds with bizarre, often whimsical lyrics to either simulate or enhance a drug experience. With the Beatles just down the hall in Abbey Road Studios recording Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Pink Floyd (named after obscure American blues men Pink Anderson and Floyd Council) were on the cutting edge of the British psychedelic scene while recording The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. (Amazon review)

This debut still endures today as a classic of its genre, thanks to Syd Barrett's unique vision and inimitable songwriting.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

The British Beat Explosion, Rock ‘n Roll Island edited by Jennifer Wheatley...new book release

On September 2nd, Aurora Metro Books released "The British Beat Explosion, Rock ‘n Roll Island" (ISBN 9781906582470) edited by Jennifer Wheatley, with contributions from music journalists Zoë Howe and John Platt, club owner Gina Way, exhibition curator Michele Whitby and the musicians themselves .  The book is published in association with a new exhibition, music gigs and film to celebrate the legacy of Eel Pie Island as a seminal jazz and R&B music venue in the 1950s and 1960s (see www.eelpieislandmusic.com). The book has been hailed as ‘containing a treasure trove of contributions - interviews, photographs and more – from musicians, fans, critics and the original Eel Pie clubbers’ (Dmitry M. Epstein on the Let it Rock blog).

The British Beat Explosion narrates the story of this incredible venue which became a literal and metaphorical island of culture and free expression for generations of teenagers. The vision and inspiration of one local man – Arthur Chisnall – lay behind it all.  Chisnall, with astonishing prescience, recognized that the burgeoning new tribe of teenagers would need a cultural and social space of their own, where they could both revel in their own culture and be provided with advice and information on a range of issues affecting their work, education and well-being.  Chisnall took over the management of a hotel on the island and soon made it a Mecca for fans and cutting-edge jazz musicians alike, including Ken Colyer and George Melly.

What began as a jazz club developed into a magical arena for young people to come together, experiment, improvise and create a new kind of music – the ‘Thamesbeat’ R & B sound - one that has been exported from the Twickenham/Richmond area to the world at large. The British Beat explosion developed in South-West London and many of the rock legends of today took their first steps to global stardom on the island: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Brian May, David Bowie, Elton John, Ronnie Wood and David Gilmour to name but a few.  Rod Stewart recently recalled his career’s beginnings on the island on the BBC television program Imagine.  The musical legacy of the Island endures strongly, with contemporary bands such as The
Mystery Jets and The Carnabys consciously exhibiting the influence of the music and the scene.  The Eel Pie phenomenon stuttered and then ended in 1971, when the Hotel burned down, and all trace of the dilapidated Club disappeared, to be replaced by new townhouses.

Chisnall succeeded gloriously in carving out this space as a separate and precious world for its young clientele, and the book carries many glowing reminiscences to this effect.

The British Beat Explosion is packed with anecdotes and descriptions, ranging from the memories of fans to fascinating insights into how musicians discovered one another. The book is an invaluable piece of research into the genealogy and development of the myriad artists who are associated with The Island, an absorbing read for anybody with an interest in contemporary culture, and – if justice is served – will go some way towards ensuring that Eel Pie Island is enshrined in the pantheon of musical venues alongside such places as The Cavern and Ronnie Scott’s.