portrait of this blog's author - by Stephen Blackman 2008

Monday, July 29, 2013

New Boots for Lyle!

Lyle Lovett - Mashantucket CT 2013

Now I love me some Lyle Lovett and have never known him do any wrong,  . . . . musically speaking of course . . . . .  so the text here at Big O is fascinating in that it explores his lack of 'hits' and making it big. . . like his peers at the time Dwight Yoakam and kdlang. Well, for me he is right up there amongst the true stars and despite most folks having to reference his acting and his marriage to Julia Roberts, that has meant little to me as I adore his music from the first album on day one and have religiously bought everything since upon it's release and encourage you fellow planet dwelling music lovers to do the same. You won't regret it and he won't steer you wrong  . . . except maybe when it comes to wearing ten gallon hats!

That's this month people!?

If nothing else it made me wanna download it in order I find out where'n the heck is Mashantucket, CT when it's at home!?!?!?!!!!!! [so CT will be Connecticut and this is from the Foxwoods Theatre Mashantucket and that was named after a tribe of Pequot tribe so I figure that is just above New York to us limeys

Famous for his dry as Buzzard Gulch Arkansas sense of humour here's one liner

"Rosemary Clooney once came up to me in the lobby of the Four Seasons in San Francisco. This was back in the late eighties. She said, “I like your music.” Oh, man, that makes you feel good. It makes you want to try so much harder. It makes you want to never let Rosemary Clooney down. Ever. Makes you want to make sure that she’s right."

 Works fer me Lyle!

Happy Trails and Country Mewsic - this is a DOOZIE!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

JJ CALE - TULSA 1975 (R.I.P. 1938-2013)

 Sad to note the death of JJ Cale, a major songwriter and fascinating guitarist (did anyone really register what he DID with that early box!? It was a 'Harmony' which I have a few of . . but that's another story - see below) with the so laidback he's horizontal reputation. 'Naturally' I bought when it came out over here and was never off the turntable and 'Clyde' for some reason remained a favourite and always made me smile and never fails to still. Later the good Captain (Beefheart! Pay attention at the back!) covering 'It's the Same Old Blues' was a favourite and of course it didn't take me long to check the connection with JJ. 'After Midnight' & 'Cocaine' became Clapton classics and I'm sure the publicity did JJ a heap of good but for me I preferred the Cale originals . . . . .

Here's a doozie of a set from Big O . . . who say
US singer-songwriter JJ Cale has died of heart attack at the age of 74. An announcement on his website said he had passed away at a hospital in La Jolla, California, on July 26, 2013. Born in Oklahoma, Cale helped create the Tulsa Sound, which combined blues, rockabilly, and country. He became famous in 1970, when Eric Clapton covered his song After Midnight. In 1977 Clapton also popularised Cale’s 'Cocaine'. Born in 1938, John Weldon Cale adopted the name JJ Cale to avoid being confused with John Cale of the Velvet Underground. Building up on the success of 'After Midnight', he recorded Naturally - the first of his 14 studio albums. The BBC also reported that Cale pioneered the use of drum machines, and was famous for his personal laid-back singing style.

JJ Cale - 'Raisin’ Cain’s' - Live at Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa, OK

With Eric at his Crossroads Festival when JJ was in his sixties . . . . .
. . . . . . . and chug a lugging like a good 'un!


JJ's Harmony H162

 From Harmony Databases

The Harmony afficionado may have noticed the Harmony inspiration on JJ Cale "Troubadour" LP cover. But there is more. On many of his most well known albums, JJ Cale used a "fifty dollar Harmony" in studio. This guitar, born as a Harmony H162, had been "a bit modified"- check by yourself on the images 

"My favorite guitar is this old fifty dollar Harmony, now backless for easier access to the electronics. Originally it was a round hole acoustic, but I've added five pickups for making records and playing concerts. Four of the pickups are Gibson, two of which are low impedance for recording direct. The other bar type pickup came from a Sears Silvertone guitar, it was manufactured by Danelectro. The guitar has three high impedance outs and one low."

From an interview, the modified guitar had seen a lot of use, and was damaged (!) during a plane trip. He said he still had it, somewhere in a closet...... ... ... ...
Rest in Peace JJ

Friday, July 26, 2013

Here's a song for a Summer's day!. . . .
The delicious Eliza Carthy and The Wayward Band at this years Southwell Folk Festival

Doing a favourite song of mine 'Willow Tree' arranged a la Eliza's album 'Anglicana'

I adore Ms Carthy and indeed would stoop to kiss the hem of her garment were e'er we to meet, she inherits the musicianship of her father and mother (Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson) and has a post punk folk sensibilty that lends her astonishing voice compositional skills that are at once unique and to be treasured - in short a style all her very own. She is like her folks, in shorter, a wonderment!

Check her back catalogue ASAP! !

Thursday, July 25, 2013


a second night of Dylan at the Pavillon de Paris

another set from this fascinating pre-Street Legal pre- Live At Budokan and for me this set from the 5th has the edge tho' both are pretty good with a tampering on the equalizer........

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bippitty BOBitty BOO!

More of His Bobness from Big O . . . Big Band from Paris France 1978

Second night in Paris 1978
Live at the Pavillon de Paris, Paris, France; July 4, 1978.
Big O says for some context - 
"Now you know why Dylan was looking sideways on the cover of Street Legal. He was cautiously looking ahead. The following year, he would launch his full-scale missionary album, Slow Train Coming. But before that, the ground was being prepared with this 1978 World Tour.
The faithful were many. Dylan camped for six nights at Earls Court in London to satisfy all his English fans. When he crossed the English Channel, he spent another five nights at Paris’ Pavillon de Paris. And just as he did in England, Dylan played his hits with a twist. Tangled Up In Blue is given a different melody as is Maggie’s Farm with a thrusting horn section. He was no longer screaming as he did with the Band in ‘74. Clearly, his voice was trembling at this point from the strain it had suffered. But this is still a voice to reckon with. A voice of authority. A voice that wouldn’t let up. One that still had dimension and subtlety. One that still had a mission.
When compared to the official Bob Dylan At Budokan, the audience recording is so much livelier. What’s unusual as well is the great sound quality for an audience recording. The taper is well positioned and the people around him are quiet so you get up-close to the stage with hardly any echo and a very authentic you-are-there sound.
Originally shared in 2005 by Charlespoet. Re-tracking, clean-up and artwork by JTT (JackTomThumb) in 2007. Thanks to the taper, Charlespoet, JTT, ErikSnow, horzalito and everyone who kept this alive on the net."
 Lookit that tracklisting!

Bob Dylan - guitar, harp, vocal
Billy Cross - lead guitar
Ian Wallace - drums
Alan Pasqua - keyboards
Jerry Scheff - bass, vocal
Steven Soles - rhythm guitar, vocal
David Mansfield - pedal steel, violin, mandolin, dobro
Steve Douglas - saxophone, flute, recorder
Bobbye Hall - percussion
Background vocal - Helena Springs, Jo Ann Harris, Caroline Dennis

Monday, July 22, 2013


A fine fine band we saw a lot way back at the time of Reading Festival when we met Sparticus R stalking through the crowd like some hallucination in his own right and an introduction to African Feel Good Music par excellence - pals went too to see them at TOTP when we knew JS was just some weird creepy guy. . . .  Lets strike a doobie and get into the music! Woyaya!

We are going
Heaven knows where we are going
We will know we're there
We will get there
Heaven knows how we will get there
We know we will
It will be hard we know
And the road will be muddy and rough
But we'll get there
Heaven knows how we will get there
We know we will
We are going
Heaven knows where we are going
We will know we're there

The musician and author Spartacus R., one of the founding members of the acclaimed 70s band Osibisa,  passed away on 30 July 2010 after battling cancer. He was 61.
Born Roy Bedeau in Aruba, West Indies, Spartacus moved to London with his family at the age of 12.   His musical career began in earnest in 1969 as a founder member of Osibisa, where he played bass guitar, percussion and vocals.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Mo' Prine from BB!

The most excellent BB Chronicles blog has posted more John Prine this month and whilst I have the John Peel sessions from the Auntie Beeb, BB has also posted a couple of others I didn't have incluing this set fro  2000 so the first post op for throat cancer that I have heard and as John hisself says whilst it didn't improve his singing at least it hasn't made it any worse!?!!
Although I say I have the Peel sessions, one thing that will appeal to downloaders such as meself is BB offers them in both FLAC and MP3 formats so some of his offering are in fine, fine, super, duper quality (that a technical term like 'lossless' is it? ED) that I hadn't found in FLAC format.
Thanks Dude!

Enjoy! I did . . . . .

Friday, July 19, 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Given that I will always post Big's references to

Bob Dylan

  True Confessions for Carol 
here is a treat whilst still struggling with that 'thin' sound they keep mentioning of the period...this is a VAST improvement on other versions the Swappers vaults have of this bootleg of the period of Bobby and the Australian trip with the Tom Petty band.
I have to share and possibly slander, ruin and paraphrase one of my favourite Dylan stories come from this period. Choosing Petty's band was a stroke of genius and came we believe as a sudden thought and activated via a phone call to Tom....'Hey Tommy Boy, fancy touring Oz?' "Wot, see what it's like down under, your Bobness? When do we leave?" is how it went in my universe (the Swapperverse? ED)
There schedules didn't allow for much of a rehearsal period allegedly and they managed a cursory 6 weeks, deciding the tour set list and running through a few classics and Bobby finally gave them all a straight forward list that they could all cover successfully and comfortably. 
It wasn't until the first gig according to Tom that they realised what they were up against with His Bobness' legendary bloodymindedness or attempts to make things more exciting. Bob is said to have stepped up to the mike on that first concert and told the guys something along the lines of "Like a Rolling Stone in D! 2, 3, 4.........." a number they hadn't rehearsed and in a key that was less than usual. Apparently doing this throughout the tour and changing key at whim. They pulled it off and matched him note for loose note . . .a testament to how professional Tom and his band were . . .I'll try n find the proper Tom Petty version of this story but I LOVE it! Apocryphal maybe but Petty swears it's true . . . .maybe something to do with the song selection which was nothing if not ... er, eclectic. The set list here includes 'Justine' [By Harris and Terry], 'That Lucky Ole Sun' (Gillespie and Smith),
'I forgot more than you’ll ever know' (Cecil Null),  country classic 'I’m Moving On' A Hank Snow song fer Pete's sake! and 'Lonesome Town' (Baker Knight). What's not to enjoy?!

This is what Big O say

Thanks to original uploader Roberts who noted: “This is a speed corrected version of the commercial bootleg True Confessions for Carol - and also a close EAC match to speed corrected version of bootleg Lonesome Town LB-838. Has unfortunately a premature cut in Ballad, then straight to Petty’s set. Soundboard and a great listen soundwise, the same “thin” sound which dominates many recordings from this period.”
While the speed correction is welcomed, CaptainAcid made the extra effort of fixing the phase of the tracks; and sharing the tracks at HungerCity. Thanks to CaptainAcid; Claus for the speed correction; Roberts and everyone who shared this on the net.

And Bob's Boots says
It has now been discovered that the initial venue listing of Sydney, Australia February 24, 1986 is indeed correct and that the Lonesome Town and True Confessions For Carol discs DO contain the COMPLETE show and are NOT compiled from various sources.
This set has been previously released as Lonesome Town on the Japanese Watchtower label. However, Rattlesnake has corrected the problems that were evident on that release. The sound is more upfront and dynamic, and the mix (which was at times muddy, with distant vocals on Lonesome Town) is now perfect. To my ears, the tape speed problems are also absent. It’s a full step up in quality from an already fine soundboard to an astounding one. It’s a great performance, with Dylan rocking and rolling throughout. The vocals are powerful and commanding on every song. He’s even quite talkative between numbers!… This is a must have disc, and comes very highly recommended.
All Bob Dylan mentions here in the blog are in tribute to Stephen Blackman Dylanologist and fan par excellence

 " But you'd better hurry up and choose which of those
bills you want before they all disappear”

Can't find the version I thought of and maybe I dreamed it up but here's another account by Tom of what it's like playing with Bobby in 1986
“Hey, what would you think of doing a tour? I’ve got a tour of Australia [1986] I want to do, and what would you guys think of doing that?” And we’d all been huge Dylan fans, and we were very intrigued by the idea of playing with Bob. So off we went. And that went on for two years. We’d do part of it and then more would get added on, and then more would get added on. We really did the world with Bob Dylan.

If you’re going to play with Bob, it’s a little like playing with a jazz artist. They improvise. And in those days he would improvise. Or maybe he’d do a song jut with Benmont [Tench, Heartbreakers keyboardist] . He’d throw out an obscure song, like an Inkspots song. And none of us knew it, except for Benmont. [Laughs]

He had a lot of material. Some nights we’d do a different show. Every night we’d do something we hadn’t done. It wasn’t like I had never heard anyone say how hard it is to play with Bob because he’s so erratic. But he wasn’t. He was professional. He knew what the show was going to be, and we usually knew what the show was going to be."

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Phew! It's a scorcher!

Listen when the UK gets in the high twenties this Northern boy starts to malfunction but this going over 30 degrees is plain unnatural and I melted days ago into a damp patch on the asphalt!

What to do? Need some sunny Bluegrass dobro mandolin and Hickory Wind of course . . . . .

This in from Big O - 'The Curly Hillman Band' - breathtaking quality and a sterling silver set through and through
The heartland core sound of The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas,  the Desert Rose Band, Dillard & Clark and aw, heck The Eagles. This is a priceless set from these "tough old boys from California"

If that's a tad too rarified a USA taste for ya here's a visit in from the wonderful band I have banged on about before the Yorkshire based, born and bred 'Wilful Missing'. Two songs from the Minster Recording Studio with the added bonus it looks really cool, literally, inside what is a church! St. Bartholomew’s Church in Armley no less

Two songs acoustically done here the wonderful 'Powerful Pill' from the most excellent album 'Molehills out of Mountains' and a run out for a new song which, as they say may end up on their new album sounding nothing like this, 'Hell Upon The Waves'. Simply scintillating stuff. I for one hope it doesn't change THAT much, if AT ALL! Both stand as testament to these most excellent multi-instrumentalists and the haunting voice of Sam Kipling.

I take this opportunity to wish their drummer Ruth all the very best of health and best wishes for her maternity leave!

Powerful Pill

Hell Upon The Waves

Treat yourself and pour a mint julep or even a glass of Sarsaparilla and turn them up!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

 Stones Vs. Beatles contd. 

Following a weeks quiet in memory of my dear friend Stephen Blackman, who passed away last year on the 4th July, I thought I would catch up some Big O posts at least and as irony would have it the Groobin' Stooves have been busy at both Glasto and the re-play (re-pay? ED No we didn't pay the first time!) of the Hyde Park concert. Irony because it was Stephen who rekindled my interest in the Stones and we deconstructed the many many classic songs like Midnight Rambler in particular and found as many different versions as we could ( I have some more than 50!) Also 'Sympathy for The Devil' and Jean-Luc Godard's film (of course!) One Plus One. Both agreeing the Stones really left us behind when Mick Taylor left, no offence Ronnie really but you're scarcely as good a player as Keef and that's saying something, you don't really need TWO smashed rhythm guitarists do you!? What Stephen's encouragement did do was make me revisit the early albums - all of them! December's Children anyone? I bought the first album when it came out and still have it in MONO! (Young folks won't know what you're talking about!) Between the Buttons? So I found all the early albums with all those classic R'n'B covers and Chuck Berry imitations . . . you know it! Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass)?
'Cool Calm and Collected' anyone?!
'Miss Amanda Jones'?
'Everybody Needs Somebody to Love'?
et al and on and on . . . . . .
50 bootlegs and counting........

Always for Stephen Blackman!
The Rolling Stones Glastonbury 2013 - Complete Soundboard
The Rolling Stones - Hyde Park 2013

I didn't go, I work for a living and am not rich . . . . . . . .

stayed at home and watch it on the tellybox
If you didn't, download it here and save a bootfull o' cash
First time around...........happier times . . . . . . well, cheaper

For Stephen............honey, it's not one of those

Oh and they posted a early classic Neil Young bootleg known as the rare Gatecrasher concert.........

Check this period piece of history . . . .

Good to fair audience recording and tweeked a bit......worth having and in answer to 'James' at Big O who posted that Young hadn't done "anything for the past two decades" and that he stopped listening because he realised why should he "care about Neil when Neil has stopped caring about us" then I suggest you check out Stills Crosby and Nash output for the past two decades and compare. Seems extraordinary to me........
Juss sayin'

Stay loose . . . . . . . . . .

Saturday, July 06, 2013

6th July 2013

For Stephen - Fairspear Natural Burial Ground, Leafield, Oxfordshire

Rest in Peace Stephen Blackman 1957 - 2013

Stevie B

Found this on my old PC and I was completely unaware Stephen was shooting this {not that this is difficult!} during a rare visit for me and a bit of a shopping spree in London. We got back to his flat just off Oxford Street and had a chat and a coffee.......happier times

Miss you Stevie B - going to pay our respects at the graveside today . . . . . . . love to all his many many friends and colleagues and especially his daughter Catalina & father Alan Blackman xxx

photographs by Stephen Blackman 2008

Friday, July 05, 2013

Stephen Blackman update . . . .

 Stevie B

 Here's a fun coincidence that Stephen would have appreciated. Life long Bob Dylan fan, we went to see Dylan at The Roundhouse - April 26th 2009 - with his oldest friend Robert Hollier and then main squeeze Stacey Fox ( I have been playing Dylan all morning along with Feist, Elvis Costello, Van Morrison, Lucinda Williams, The Stones and Thea Gilmore who we all went to see as well!)

He would have been fascinated by this story and we would prolly had to tie him down to stop him bidding on it!

We miss you Stevie, every day!
Taking a shot of local Oxford legend photographer Paddy Summerfield

Bob Dylan's 'Newport Electric' guitar going to auction

added: 4 Jul 2013 // by: Music-News.com Newsdesk 
The guitar that broke the hearts of many of Bob Dylan's fans and ushered him into the electric phase of his career will be put up for auction.

The current owner, Dawn Peterson, has owned the instrument for almost fifty years and recently found out that it was worth in the area of $50,000 while appearing on TV's History Detectives.

The road hasn't been totally clear for Peterson who had to deal with Dylan claiming that the instrument was still his after the program aired. An undisclosed agreement has been struck.

The Fender Stratocaster was used on Sunday, July 25, 1965 during Dylan's appearance at the Newport Folk Festival. He had decided the previous day to perform an electric set after festival organizer made disparaging remarks about the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and their use of electric instruments. Dylan quickly assembled a band that included Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield, Jerome Arnold, Sam Lay and Barry Goldberg and rehearsed on Saturday night.

When the band hit the stage with an electric version of Maggie's Farm, there was a smattering of boos that went to full crescendo during his second song, Like a Rolling Stone. Some say the booing was unhappy folk fans who were upset with the change in Bob's style while others, including Pete Seeger, said it was because the sound system was distorting.

The guitar owner has not determined how she will auction the guitar. She will also be putting up items found in the guitar case including handwritten lyrics for a part of Just Like a Woman and the song Medicine Sunday.

Stevie B - no-one could resist that laugh, having afternoon tea with his friends Paddy Summerfield and Peter Collett

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Stephen Blackman 1957 - 2012

For My Friend

Stephen Blackman - 28th January 1957 - 4th July 2012