Category Archives: X – CAN'T PIDGEONHOLE IT

Stuff that doesn’t fit in any other category

J.D. McPherson and Jimmy Sutton with Alex Hall, Camden England, 2012

The final installment of fillums fillumed on that wonderful night when we went to see the J.D. and the Jimmy… and the Alex…



Liam O’Flynn, Dark and Slender Boy

My true opinion, culturally snobbish, judgemental, exclusive as it is, is that if you don’t respond to this music emotionally, then you must be dead; and actually, this is so heartfelt and true and expressive of the human condition, that even the DEAD would awake to listen to it.

I actually went looking for a copy of Rakish Paddy, by Finbar Furey, which I know from a Nonsuch Lp from the 70s or late 60s, but found this instead. Well it’ll do… it’ll do.

J.D McPherson Camden 2012 with Jimmy Smith and Alex Hall

One of the best Gig’s I’ve ever been to…

And I’ve been to a few!

A while back you may know, I reviewed a cd called ‘Signs and Signifiers’, largely written by J.D. McPherson, with Bass and drums by Jimmy Sutton and Alex Hall respectively. Well finally I got to go and see them play at a pub in Camden London. Made for 300 people it was holding 500 as they took to stage, a fabulous night had by all, and thanks to Corkey the Cool Cat and Dicky for taking me to see them play… it was fantastic.

Here are two films made that night, more to come…


In the wake of the R&B speedboat

Suddenly, what’s happened to me…

Recently I’ve beaten new musical paths and find myself away from the Reggae (for that read Jamaican) road that I was on, buying Mento which is on the outskirts of town and US R&B, which is a short flight away.

Normally what happens as I follow the ‘Reggae’ route, is that one ‘thing’ leads to another, one producer, one Studio, one label artwork, one whatever…. but I’ve ended up on a back road as far as Jamaican music goes and really need a new jumping off point…

One of my problems is that I have a very varied taste for Jamaican music and listen (and therefore collect some originals) from the early 50s through to the Mid 80s, with even a few tunes from right up to the last few years thrown in for seasoning. This has meant that I havn’t concentrated on any one label/producer/genre/ or era and somehow, this in turn, has conspired to mire my listening and collectdom in the potholes of said back routes to a musical nowhere’sville ….

So for a while I buy a few (expensive) Pama singles, then (expensive) Mento 78s (which I am still), some original (expensive) Rocksteady, I’m not picking up on anything that’s leading me elsewhere and I’m feeling a little bereft, losing my religion, it’s like I’m spurning the affections of my best friend, one I’ve had for a decade or more.

What should I do, is it a problem, do you have a suggested new turning to take me back to the interstate, the airport and thence to the tropical paradise once again? Or should I leave Jamaica somewhat in the wake of the R&B speedboat and indulge my desire to purchase only Atlantic 78s, mainly those with Joe Turner, Thurston Harris, Clyde McPhatter and Ray Charles on?

SWEET SOUL MUSIC – Peter Guralnick

Within the first hundred pages, you’ll know stuff you won’t have heard elsewhere…

I’m not going to witter on, this will  be a pithy review, terse, to the point, direct, an easy read; much like this wonderful book that has been around since the 1980s and tells the story of Southern Soul Music.

Beggining with the R&B roots of ‘Soul’ (though, really it don’t take a genius, to work out they is the same damn thang), he takes us through a fairly linear exploration of the major figures, Sam Cooke’s gospel beginnings and secular sexuality, the usurping of Black music and it’s repackage as Rock ‘n Roll, Ray Charles and the genius that he was… and the story of Solomon Burke; telling an amazing tale of how he once played to a giant crowd of Klu Klux Klan members by ‘accident’, which will have you heaving, in laughter and relief as the Sheriff escorts him to the county line!

He leads you through the story of Stax, the Muscle Shoals phenomenon, the growth of the South as exporter of Soul music in general, James Brown’s career, the incredible rise of Otis Redding, Jerry Wexler and Atlantic’s dominance of the R&B market, the crossover of Soul to the ‘White’ audience, and with all tell tale of those names never heard of before who were pivotal in the development of Black music in the United States in the 50s, and 60s.

If you knew (like me) bugger all about ‘Soul’ music before reading it, you might consider yourself more than a little illuminated by the time you get to the end of the tale.

Read it and love it.