More importantly, do people like you?

You’ll have gathered I’m on a bit of a roll at the moment.

A combination of being out in the wilds and not having any marking/planning/other nonsense to attend to has meant that I’ve been able to loll about and roll around in all manner of vices and playful indulgences – I’ve read, eaten, drunk and walked to a degree that frankly no sane doctor would advise.  It has also meant that I’ve got both the time and the disposition to behave like a proper Blogger (although I suspect this may just be encouraging me to go further and sillier than has previously been the case. So, anyway…

Krar Music

Having plugged the Likembe Blog a couple of days ago, I felt like I wanted to talk about a record I downloaded there which is something of a burner. It’s by an Eritrean musician called Bereket Mengisteab, released in the 1980s, of whom I know nothing. The version made available on Likembe is from a cassette copy which is a bit ropey in places (including a charming Mark E Smith- style two second interlude, where some clumsy ninny has pressed the Record button by mistake) but which I’m certain has long since disappeared from shelves.

Bereket Mengisteab apparently has a long and respected career behind him and is I believe still with us. There is a decent interview / life story of him available here which forms the basis of everything I know about the man (the part about him putting his recording career to one side and fighting for the Eritrean Liberation Front in the war of independence was an eyebrow raiser…).

I wanted to write about the record itself, Lebey, but aside from enjoying his exotic runs up and down the …er… fretboard (almost certainly not right) I realised I simply don’t have the vocabulary or the understanding of the music to make a decent stab at describing it.

The issue is that non-Western music uses a whole different bunch of fundamentals that non-musicians and general record-buying saps simply don’t understand. Much too difficult for the likes of me… But what I can say is that it’s a weird, colourful sound that has me snared and which you’d be well advised to go and download yourself (here, as you’re asking, it’s an old post but the links are still active).

The crux of the sound is that he uses an Ethiopian (or Eritrean, I’m not 100% clear of the nuances) instrument called a Krar, which is a bit like a lyre but more adaptable and has a crisp clear sound that just about survives being electrified. It sounds psychedelic.

Did a bit more googling and came across this wonderful bunch of London exiles, calling themselves the Krar Collective and doing a session for KEXP. Not only does it involve a krar being played lustily through speakers, but also (rather wonderfully) through a wah-wah pedal. Watch all of this but especially the first two songs:

 

(The costumes and in particular the truly cosmic capes deserve a mention. I’m also rather taken by stand-in singer Beli Nigussie, partly by her bird-like vocals but also by her mysterious, exuberantly erotic dancing…)

Now, go pay a visit to Likembe…

Over an ocean away…

My pal, Coleser, has recently hatched a plan for myself and a couple of other like-minded souls to go to the Sea Change festival in Totnes. He’s chosen well as he knows that of recent I’ve come to the conclusion that my days accompanying him to Green Man and End of the Road may well be over. Much too old and too soft these days. The lure of the damp sod, the open air stage and the beer tent no longer sufficient recompense for the dubious pleasures of uncomfortable nights, listening to the rain lashing the canvas and the sound of drunken oafs stumbling over guy ropes. Sea Change is a town festival, however, and as such provides simple luxuries like beds, roofs and comfy pubs. This pleases me immensely and I’m beginning to look forward to the weekend.

Headliners for Sea Change include Jane Weaver, Hookworms and the mythical Damo Suzuki. I’m also becoming quite keen to see this pair:

Group Listening

Paul Jones I do not know but he is apparently a long term, college friend of Stephen Black, whom as Sweet Baboo, I’ve followed for a while and indeed written about him, (here in fact). Over the course of a few years, I’ve seen Black playing bass behind Gruff Rhys, Euros Childs, Cate le Bon and H Hawkline more times than I care to remember (including a good few at Green Man) and also doing his own Sweet Baboo set at the Prince Albert in Stroud.

This Group Listening record that came out earlier this year is different again, though. Clarinet and Piano: Selected Works, Vol 1 sounds like the discouraging title of a John Cage or Brian Eno record, doesn’t it? Not that far off, to be honest. It is indeed a collection of ambient pieces, mostly covers, played in bewitchingly straight fashion on said clarinet and piano.

Something about this title and description made every fibre of my body scream Can’t Be Arsed when I came across it, but a little common sense and open-mindedness has yielded to me a light and beautiful treat that I could easily have missed. I am not clear how many of the tracks are originals and how many are covers, but a brief scan yields songs by Eno, Euros Childs, Dieter Roedelius and a gorgeous cover of Maryan which I really think you should hear

 

I’ve spoken before (at length) about my love of Robert Wyatt and I’m not generally keen on people piggy-backing on the great man’s genius, but here I’m willing to give them a pass. The pair manage to take a meandering, joy-filled, free-spirited original and give me something new. They constrain it a little, painting it in bluer, more directionless tones. Black talks in this interview about “a deep yearning… a positive sadness” about the interpretations and you can hear it here. Childs’ “The Dog” is another uneven triumph.

There’s also something very refreshing about dense, industrial, abstract krautrock compositions transcribed into lighter, more human tones by Jones and Black. You hear this very clearly in the Eno track, “Julie With”, not a song I knew previously. There’s a beautiful video released to go with it too, all bridges and channels, mundane blues and greys:

 

The richness of a slow summer…

I want you to know, we just had to grow

We’re currently tightly clasped to the fleshy bosom of the Welsh countryside, taking a summer sabbatical – walking, chatting, quaffing cider (and a liberal selection from the Roger Stirling book of ill-advised cocktails) and generally getting our shit together in the country. I’m reminded of last summer when we did pretty much the same thing (without the Gibsons) and I spent the week listening to Dr Strangely Strange (you can recap here). Well this year, here we are again, same remote cottage, same liberal intentions, but now I find myself a year on and venturing still further afield on the CD player – pretty much cutting myself adrift to be honest.

As I become more and more of a middle-aged eccentric I find myself listening to the Byrds and the Kinks less, and embracing stranger and more colourful things. If, as Mark Twain once said, a gentleman is someone who can play the Incredible String Band (but doesn’t) I’m finding myself less and less inclined to describe myself as such.

In short, I’m listening to the String Band again and, fuck it, I think I’m a fan.

The Incredible String Band

In the Strangely Strange post, I talked about shelling out a whole £4.99 (outrageous!) on The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter and the ensuing hysterical drive to convince myself that it wasn’t the stupidest record I’d ever heard. (Not entirely successful, it bears repeating…).

Having seen Joe Boyd talking about ISB at Green Man one year, though, and his going on to say that of all the artists he was involved with at the time (google the list, it’s impressive), the String Band were the ones he felt were the most talented and were going to make it biggest, well… it went some way towards rehabilitating Mike Heron and Robin Williamson.

(Robin Hitchcock’s accompanying version of “Chinese White” was also instrumental).

I’ve revisited them a whole bunch more in recent years, in particular the two records they released before HBD, the second of which (5000 Spirits or the Layers of an Onion – I know…) I’ve spent much of this last week imbibing, before being whisked away to the Welsh hills. A brief look through various reviews of all of their albums reveals that the String Band reputation still rests upon the third and fourth records, so I’ve obviously got some work to do. For the moment, however, I’ll stick with 5000 Spirits, (maybe next year’s getting-it-together-in-the-country post…)

Originally an Edinburgh threesome with Clive Palmer departing for Afghanistan after the eponymous first record, the remaining duo went on something of a hiatus as Williamson too took off for North Africa (Heron was apparently unaware of his plans until they walked out of the final recording sessions). Fortunately for fans of daft, fey folk, he returned a year later, arms laden with exotic stringed devices and a head full of Arabic chord changes, and reconnected with Heron.

Most of this I’m relaying from the first half of a book I’ve just finished called “You Know What You Could Be” jointly written by Mike Heron and a bloke called Andrew Greig, which is a lovely book. (The second half, written by Greig, tells of a young devotee of the String Band whose own band didn’t quite make it, although along the way they met Williamson and Heron; were bought breakfast by Joe Boyd and drank with Dr Strangely Strange. It’s a great read…)

The new duo’s second record is a more ambitious affair than the first. To be honest, “ambitious” is something of an understatement – “eccentric”, “weird” or even (a personal favourite) “bat-shit crazy” would be better. Williamson was keen to dip into his satchel of stringed things, incorporating Moroccan gimbris, Indian sitars, Arabic ouds and adapted mandolins into a bag of already idiosyncratic songs. The distinctive drone that opens first track “Chinese White”, for instance, is a bowed gimbri – a sound most record-buying Brits of the time would have been unfamiliar with and must have given it a genuinely strange timbre which endures even in these days of post-modern deviation. Heron had not been idle in the months that passed either, contributing some of the stronger, more focused efforts on the record – “Chinese White”, “Hedgehog Song” and “Painting Box” are all his.

I’m a great one for exotica, as you’ll have guessed by now, but I gather one of the String Band’s genuine achievements was to have gained something of a mastery over these odd things and used them to convey a woody legitimacy to their weirdness. In an age of hippies shamelessly dressing up their pop songs with sitars and Indian sounds, the String Band could actually play and when in doubt brought in others who could. (The “Soma” credited on the liner notes of 5000 Spirits was actually professor of South Asian music, Nazir Jairazbhoy. The ubiquitous Danny Thompson was another contributor.)

I guess the thing you have to get over to really enjoy this record is the inherent silliness of much of it – the lyrics are sometimes ridiculous, the vocals often innovative (alright, stupid), and let’s be honest their look has not aged that well, has it?

Here’s a clip of Williamson and Heron pretty much nailing all of the above on the Julie Felix show in 1968, playing “The Half-Remarkable Question” (no sniggering at the back) and “Painting Box”

 

If you managed all ten minutes of the video, you’ll have seen both the “stoned” and the “immaculate” of the String Band, by turns faintly ridiculous then elegantly brilliant, the daftness and the deftness of it all.

I’m a bit of a fool for the compulsive eclecticism and oddness of the String Band, but I also love the way the pair of them simply cannot help themselves, decorating their songs with more and more elaborate musical swirls, even to the point of an ill-advised obscuring of their original (often very simple) idea.

At my most florid, I like to think of the Incredible String Band as having something of the medieval acolyte about them – countless hours spent illuminating holy texts with impressive and at times reckless embellishments that few will ever see or appreciate. (But if Williamson and Heron have taught me anything, it’s that some ideas are best not actually expressed, or at least privately, after a couple of drinks…)

I do have a Lucky Seven collection of must have ISB recordings to enjoy, but being out in the wilds, this will have to wait… Enjoy the YouTube clips in the meantime…

Try it, play it secretly, pour yourself a drink (or whatever) and embrace a little daft/deft eccentricity. God knows we deserve it at times.

Summer’s here and oh, the time is right…

The summer hols are with us! It’s that time where habitually-beleaguered teachers can be seen strolling ostentatiously through town, whistling jaunty tunes and looking indecently chipper; appearing in bars, dusting off their cycling shorts and baking their own bread. In short, catching up on “life”…

And so it is over at PP Penthouse Suite too.

Although… you’d think there might be a little more activity over here – a web-based spring-clean, perhaps; a few more gig reviews; an in-depth Incredible String Band retrospective – but, well, no. What there is is a substantial stepping up of music consumption, but sadly possibly even less dodgy writing about it.

To be honest, my over-stretched car stereo has struggled to keep up with the pace this week, as I flutter from one thing to another. In the last few days, I reckon we’ve had a dose of each of the following:

  • some goofy seventies funk from Somalia
  • a fair bit of the Barr Brothers (after Thekla)
  • further Somali incursions
  • a Josephine Foster record sung in Spanish (mostly too hard for me)
  • the first Incredible String Band album (because I’m reading a Mike Heron book)
  • some disappointingly leaden psychedelia
  • Dragnet (because… well… c’mon I don’t have to do this, do I…?)

I’ll tell you, I’m struggling to keep up with myself. But anyway, here we go…

And now, I’m back on to this irresistible Somali collection obtained from the kind folk at eMusic and courtesy of New York label Ostinato Records:

 

The basic premise of the whole record is that during the seventies and eighties, there was a brief period of enormous musical fun (as testified above) which was eventually silenced as the regime became more and more repressive, and the artists were driven into exile (or far worse). This is, of course, a horribly familiar tale that I’ve made reference to before in posts about Ethiopia and Cambodia, and I’m sure there are more.

I’ve got nothing factual of my own to add about the record but there’s a pretty good article about the Sweet as Broken Dates collection from the BBC, here.

It’s a gorgeous record though, full of exotic r’n’b, led by squiggly organ lines, over-confident brass sections and unlikely bluebeat rhythm sections, that I really can’t recommend highly enough. Lyrics are of course completely unintelligible to most, but I read somewhere that a lot of songs of the time were necessarily sycophantic odes towards the Barre regime, and as such best swiftly passed over. I’d love to find out more about the Waaberi band, but I’m given to understand that it was something of an all-star collective of session players formed on the spot with the main purpose of performing current hits and singing the praises of President Barre.

LikembeBest thing of all, is that as a result of all this, I’ve come across a cracking Blog called Likembe that I heartily recommend you all visit. I’ve recently hooked a bunch of beautiful, energetic Somali and Ethiopian records that the good gentlefolk there have made available in the best spirit of the Blogosphere. God bless them!

Fill your boots and tell ‘em I sent you…

I was already claimed by the song that I heard…

There are few things better (and here I’m including fine wine, suitcases of cash and the love and respect of your fellow man) than a chum unexpectedly telling you he has a ticket for a gig with your name on it.

Yee-haw!

And thus was a humdrum Thursday transformed into something just a little bit special when my mate Adam texted me the news that a ticket for previously unknown-to-me act the Barr Brothers did indeed literally have my name written on it (in a metaphorical sense).

At Thekla too… a blessed and fortunate man, for sure.

The Barr Brothers, Thekla

I’d heard of the Barr Brothers without actually being moved to search them out at any point. And I probably did have time to do a bit of pre-gig research but, in the spirit of the day, I spurned the opportunity and took the DExEu line, breezing into the hall without notes, grinning stupidly at other punters as they struggled beneath the weight of their prep. This approach continues to work well for many but has also served me well in the past – the Lemon Twigs and Meilyr Jones spring to mind. Expectation levels were moving towards unrealistically high levels.

Thekla has apparently had something of a refurb recently, and the old tub was indeed looking grand, resplendent in a fresh coat of black paint, pipework looking ever more random, the floor triumphantly unstickied. I love Thekla, unfeasibly and with some heart (the head says “Fleece” but the heart, well, it wants what it wants); and it’s always gratifying when a band (usually American) is also a little bit giddy at the prospect of playing on a… you know … boat.

The little thinking I had done about the evening had me envisioning the Barr Brothers as some sort of goodtime bluegrass boys – beards, booze and banjos – but now I’ve done a little googling, I see little could be further from the truth. Brad and Andrew Barr are proper brothers and are in fact Montreal-based. No banjos, no beards, a mug of coffee, as it turned out. Brad writes and leads the songs, Andrew provides light and wristy accompaniment on drums. A bassist and a deliciously skilful pedal steel guitarist join them on stage, plus today a two-man brass section, but the third member of the band is actually harpist Sarah Pagé who apparently no longer tours (which was a shame) but is still active in the songwriting and recording.

Opening songs were strong and a little rough around the edges with some wonderful keening touches from that pedal steel player (Brett Lanier, as you’re asking – he was great, although on a tight leash most of the time – once or twice I thought he was on the point of going off all Sweetheart of the Rodeo, but regrettably kept his discipline). A good few of the songs featured some tough old Jason Molina-style break-outs on guitar from Brad Barr which became full-on howling feature points (all of it accompanied by furious eyebrow work). He also did this weird thing with loose strings on his guitar, conjuring them high and coaxing odd layers of sound from them like a Theremin – I’d not seen anything like it before – and by the end there was some backward guitar looping too (go figure…).

Barring a lengthy blues work out that overstayed its welcome at the two-minute mark, the rest of the set was by turns tight and sloppy, blunt and incisive, and buzzed with a zesty melancholy. It was really very good and I felt moved in a feckless act of heady flamboyance to buy both the CDs available at the merch stall (their 2nd and 3rd records, Sleeping Operator and Queens of the Breakers). I may still grow to love them but right now they sound a little over-produced and currently have been tossed carelessly on the back seat of the car, some Somali goofiness having usurped their place in the stereo (I probably need to sort this).

The live recordings, though, are much harsher and all the better for it, I reckon.

These were my favourites:

Look Before It Changes (some gorgeous Midlake-style electronics from Lanier here)

Come in the Water (apologies for the yelping ninny in the audience who “joins in” whilst Barr does his own nifty wah-wah pedal work)

Song That I Heard

A lovely night, all the better for its unexpectedness…

Make you mine, long, long time, today-ee!

I’m a little embarrassed to say this, but inexplicably it’s taken until now for me to notice the feral pleasures of the Monks. I’m not quite sure how this has (not) happened. For a self-proclaimed garage punk, psych fan with more Nuggets-style compilations than is strictly necessary to have to admit this, is more than a little uncomfortable…

But now we’re there, let’s enjoy ourselves, eh?

The Monks

(It’s actually a little worse than that. I bought Black Monk Time for a friend for Christmas a couple of years ago, but somehow never got around to listening to the awkward bugger until now…)

The Monks were five American ex-serviceman based in Germany who decided to stay on and settled in Hamburg in 1964. They eventually took the name “The Monks” and sported authentic Monk’s tonsures. The line-up was originally a standard, three guitars, electric organ and drums combo that mutated quite dramatically (according to the video coming up) when drummer Roger Johnston was forbidden to use cymbals and told instead to concentrate on his tom-toms, and rhythm guitarist Dave Day was told to throw away his guitar and given a mic-ed up banjo.

I gather from this point all bets were off, and the Monks went on to fashion a truly original and genuinely (for the times) shocking sound based on the brutal driving bass of Eddie Shaw, the fuzz guitar sound of Burger and the violent feedback that frequently came from Day’s wildly unpredictable electric banjo.

Get up to speed by watching this interview with guitarist and singer, Gary Burger.

 

Possibly the first of the aforementioned garage band compilations on which I wasted my paper round money as a stroppy youth was Pebbles 2, which as well as introducing an unsuspecting world to Randy Alvey & the Green Fuz (and a whole host of others), featured the oddest of liner notes by one “A. Seltzer”. Enthusiastically taking the mick out of the Lester Bangs school of 25-line sentences, breathlessly banged out in an explosion of keys and typewriter ribbon, it fascinated and defeated me in equal measures. One of the premises of the piece (apart from Mr Seltzer being promised a bottle of Old Catcher’s Mitt) was that all the bands on the record were the authentic sound of Youth but were boundessly “stewpid”, not even being good enough to make it onto Lenny Kaye’s Nuggets.

Those lines could well have been written with the Monks in mind (indeed it’s not surprising but a bit disappointing to learn that the Monks do feature on some of the amplified versions of the Nuggets series). The word “stewpid” is definitely the one that attaches itself to all of the Monks’ output, and not just because of the electric banjo and those rudimentary drum rumblings. As well as this, Larry Clark’s weird, horror-style keyboard stylings and the … erm… distinctive vocals of Burger, by turns squawking and then falsetto, made the Monks genuinely different. Honestly, my great favourites and previous markers of RnB “out-there-ness”, the Pretty Things, are really only skirting around the edges of the Monks’ rare, rash energy.

In fact the whole rawness of the music originated from a wholly different place than the South London R’n’B explosion of the times. As I’ve said, they were all American anyway, and the whole frames of reference for their US chums would more likely have been Dylan and the folk revival than Jimmy Reed or Bo Diddley.

Actually, having been away from the US for a while, living in self-imposed West German exile, a whole other sound developed, (unworried by Carnaby Street – those haircuts – or Ready Steady Go), that in all honesty didn’t owe too much to any contemporary.

In true punk fashion, the Monks recorded one great album and then split, disappearing back to the States and not resurfacing until their symbolic offspring, Mark E Smith, John Lydon, and a gaggle of US oiks started to discover them. Black Monk Time is widely available and as a reissue contains a good few bonus tracks which are OK, but don’t perhaps match the sheer, monochrome dumbness of the original twelve songs.

Fortunately, there are a good few YouTube clips showing them in their ragged, incoherent glory, shaved heads, monk costumes and all, my favourite being this one:

 

Lawks!

The the first track Black Monk Time, the incomparable “Monk Time”, opens in this fashion:

All right, my name’s Gary. Let’s go, it’s beat time, it’s hop time, it’s monk time now! You know we don’t like the army. What army? Who cares what army? Why do you kill all those kids over there in Vietnam? Mad Viet Cong. My brother died in Vietnam! James Bond, who was he? Stop it, stop it, I don’t like it! It’s too loud for my ears. Pussy galore’s comin’ down and we like it. We don’t like the atomic bomb. Stop it, stop it, I don’t like it … stop it!

Lawks!

To be fair, I’d like to think there’s a stylised meaninglessness in all this… In cold war times, where nothing made sense, maybe there seemed little point in soldiering on on the same terms… What’s the point in thinking hard, might as well be stewpid no?

And who’s to say in these miserable, post-truth, edge-of-the-cliff, Brexit times, when we’re governed by liars and simpletons, there might not still be a need for a little bit of Monk Time?

Who wants to join me in a spot of chanting?

Kicking the gong for you (phoria)

There’s a (banjo-toting) elephant in the room, I feel.

I think it’s time somebody, somewhere, said something about the Holy Modal Rounders – clearly someone’s got to tackle this thorny subject, and as nobody else seems to be covering the hippie bluegrass Greenwich Village scene these days, it may as well be this idiot.

Lucky Seven – the Holy Modal Rounders

In as much as anybody spares a thought for the Holy Modal Rounders these days, they’re generally thought of as Fabulous Furry Freak Brother types – daft, ridiculous and tiresome. If you know anything about the Rounders, it’s probably from hearing the novelty strains of “Bird Song” as Jack Nicholson falls in with Hopper and Fonda on the way to Mardi Gras – “Oh, I’ve got a helmet!” (Cue fond memories of seeing Easy Rider in an unlikely midnight showing at the old ABC cinema in Kings Square, Gloucester…)

 

That’s pretty much the Rounders post 1965 career, to be honest, a prolonged stoned, thumbing of the nose to The Man, making records that sound like they were a whole lot more fun to make than they are to actually listen to, the rest of the world playing the part of being the only straight guy at the Rounders’ own Acid Test. There’s quite a bunch of records like this that ran through the rest of the sixties and seventies and included a period working with the Fugs (imagine…).

But, and this is the point I’m getting to, thankfully there were a couple of releases before all this, which are substantially better. The first of these was recorded in the New Year snow as 1964 gingerly popped its little head out, at precisely the same time as, thousands of miles (and another world) away, yours truly was making his own even-less auspicious debut. Fifty four years on and The Holy Modal Rounders remains one of my very favourite records – it’s an infectious, intriguing, intransigent belter of a record, that charms and exasperates in equal measure.

In the early sixties, the Rounders were idiosyncratic Greenwich Village folkies Steve Weber and Peter Stampfel, brought together by a mutual girlfriend and a love of Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music. They hit it off straight away and started playing what Stampfel called “progressive old-timey” music based on their love of bluegrass, mountain music and psychedelics.

This first record is made up of lovingly produced trad arrs and “original” songs that “evolved in the usual way – hear song, forget song, try to remember song while adding your adding your own person wrinkles”. The “wrinkles” are of course what make the record so great. It’s a bunch of authentic voices from disappearing generations, passed through the fuzziest of lenses, all livelied up by a twinkling sense of mischief.

Each song is based around Weber’s country blues guitar picking and sparingly decorated with Stampfel’s banjo or fiddle playing. The vocals are pretty distinctive, gruff, harsh, often silly – an acquired taste for sure, but if you listen to the Harry Smith stuff, not so very different…

Men like Clarence Ashley and Uncle Dave Macon infused their songs with a sense of jeopardy, a chill even, which now gives them a certain supernatural life in a new century. The Rounders’ versions on the other hand, fooling around at a carefree distance of fifty years, are full of yippee-ish anarchy, fun (and fondness). Never too precious with the originals, Weber and Stampfel felt free to rewrite lines, add verses and “revolutionise” the content. Famously, in “Hesitation Blues” (a Charlie Poole song from the 20s) Stampfel worked in the first recorded use of the word “psychedelic” (alright, “pyscho-delic”).

I wouldn’t want to suggest that the Rounders treated their source stuff with derision, feeling at liberty to ridicule and spice it up, that’s really not the case – the songs are treated with the sort of teasing irreverence that you might reserve for a twinkly-eyed Nan. But some of the songs do manage to retain the haunting sound of the past to great effect – my favourite being, the poignant “Bound to Lose” (“Riverboat gambler’s born to lose…”). Beautiful, graceful music…

This being 1964, there’s no footage of Stampfel and Weber playing before the peyote broke all pretence of self-control, which is a real shame. So, I’ve done a Lucky Seven collection for you to judge for yourself, and if you do find yourself tempted to seek out a little more W&S quirkiness, tell ‘em I sent you:

Lucky Seven – The Holy Modal Rounders:

Bound to Lose; Euphoria; Hesitation Blues; Mr Spaceman; Low Down Dog; Uncle Joe (from the Live in 1965 record); The Cuckoo (+ Clarence Ashley’s original from the Harry Smith Anthology)

(Still sounds a load more “real” than Dylan to me…)

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