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

Monday, August 31, 2020

There's a new Folk On Foot festival gig today and the listing is here


Now they crowdfund to set this up but I this to just say that it seems more slapdash then the last day of the Front Room Festival II which featured over 8 hours of music all day and this one is notable the absence of the big hitters like Richard Thompson, Kathryn Tickell, Frank Turner, O'Hooley and Tidow or Chris Wood or even the variety of the last session with this session featuring five separate appearances by Simpson Cutting Kerr which seemed a tad odd almost as if they couldn't fill slots. 

Still at least Johhny Flynn and Eliza Carthy showed up again. Of course there is Peggy Seeger and her children from Ewan MacColl, so called, who is the senior folk presence here but I am afraid I never cared for her thin and reedy voice. and Julie Fowlis is the only remaining heavy hitter that I could spot

Still enjoy and if you feel it , contribute to the age for Tee Shirts and so on




Nice set from 'Anon' over at the Voodoo Wagon this morning and a band you don't get so many ROIOs of these days. Verve were Wigan born in 1990 by lead vocalist Richard Ashcroft, guitarist Nick McCabe, bass guitarist Simon Jones and drummer Peter Salisbury. They survived the curse of writing an anthemic song 'Bitter Sweet Symphony' capturing the zeitgeist but managed to follow it up with a second totemic song with 'The Drugs Don't Work' . . . . . . .which they don't! They survived for nearly twenty years proving they were more than a one hit wonder and Richard Ashcroft remains a 'guru' figure for many

The Verve - Rock Am Ring 2009 - Voodoo Wagon

The Verve - Rock Am Ring Festival
Nürnberg, Germany
June 7, 2008

digital radio source @320 (extraordinary sound)

Track List:

01 Intro
02 This Is Music
03 Space And Time
04 Sonnet
05 Life's An Ocean
06 Weeping Willow
07 Sit And Wonder
08 The Rolling People
09 The Drugs Don't Work
10 Lucky Man
11 Bitter Sweet Symphony
12 Love Is Noise

recorded by Steven Bladt

Voodoo Wagon says Back From The Dead...
Originally posted October 24, 2009

Check this action . . . . . . . . . . 


Big O has linked a nice set from Talking Heads in their prime with their best line up (check the back cover) and a gig used on the live album 'The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads' from the Remain In Light tour in 1980 worth checking out if the quality of the live album is anything to go by (it is!) again it reckons this is a soundboard  although I'm not sure the audience is awful clear and quite loud.  Sounds like a good audience recording to me. It is Live at Wollman Rink, Central Park, NYC, New York; August 27, 1980. and is rated fairly to very good . . . . . . 

If you can bear to ignore the tirades of filth and racist nastiness of the dire comments section give this a whirl. (its not difficult just ignore the Trumpton trolls!) download this set now!

Talking Heads - Central Park 1980

Sunday, August 30, 2020


Emily launches her latest album (A Dark Murmuration of Words) on 4th Sept and is having two listening parties that day; one at 9.00am (UK time) and another in the evening at 8.00pm (UK time). Join her there with a coffee or even a glass of bubbly!

I believe it is Emily's most sophisticated and thoughtful intellectual album to date and she is a mercurial artist difficult to pin down. She has won awards in Americana sections of recent USA award shows and released joint collaborative work (Frank Turner, Red Clay Halo and Waterson family youngster Marry - A Window To Other Ways) as well was celebrating the work of women who have gone before (Sister Rosetta Tharpe - 'Sweet Kinda Blue') her themes invariably evokes aspects of finding a home in this world and can be amongst the most moving lyrically and musically I have ever heard (Dear River, Almanac etc).

Emily Barker & The Red Clay HaloVena PortaeFrank TurnerAustin LucasApplewood RoadMarry Waterson

Emily says (on her Facebook page)

My album is out in 5 DAYS!
I’m throwing not one but two listening parties via

on release day (4th Sept)!
The first is at 9am BST with coffee for the Aussies and early risers, the 2nd at 8pm BST with bubbles and band members.
Hope you can join me!


Listening Party details from Emily Barker.com

Friday, August 28, 2020

John Prine

Just because . . . . . . . . . . we miss him. Something sorely for sure and I have trouble listening to his work too much still but this is such excellent quality from the House of Strombo

This befits a damp Friday here . . . . . enjoy

The Strombo show producers said at the time:

The great songwriter, John Prine setting up and performing and in my living room. His latest record, The Tree of Forgiveness is out of this world. 
The Strombo Show presents John Prine in an intimate performance from the House Of Strombo. SETLIST: 0:56 Crazy Bone 6:36 Far From Me 12:22 Speed Of Sound And Loneliness 18:40 Sam Stone 26:00 Summer's End 30:04 Ramblin' Fever (Merle Haggard Cover) 33:13 Christmas In Prison 38:24 When I Get To Heaven Get John’s new album The Tree of Forgiveness here - Get John’s new album The Tree of Forgiveness here - http://smarturl.it/treeofforgiveness

Rest easy Handsome Johnny!

Thursday, August 27, 2020



Couldn't find anyone posting new music this morning so will have to resort to art . . . .  ha ha ha ha

This is the wonderful George Herriman who created one of the most avant garde cartoons of all time that I loved as a student. ‘Krazy Kat’ featured here. He remains topical because he used policemen as the butt of the joke and they where often coming to a violent end and the cop was always after Krazy Kat and his feelings for Ignatz Mouse and fighting. The three main characters all have indeterminate and often interchangeable genders (sic). The cop was the baddie and Krazy Kat was always trying to outsmart him. ‘Krazy Kat’ featured in daily newspapers and barely spoke recognisable English, which made me laugh even more.
Herriman in 1922

Now, wait for it, Herriman always wore a hat for a reason and, hiding in plain sight as it were, he hid the fact that he was black! Just let that sink in a moment . . . . it was in fact quite obvious once you gazed upon him and because nobody would have hired a black cartoonist at that time, he merely said if it came up that he was white which is what he had put on his birth certificate. Friends notably called him ‘the Greek’! (sic) and he was often described as ‘French, Irish and even Turkish’!? He always wore a hat because he feared his hair was too ‘kinky’ too ‘frizzy’ he thought it would give him away! Let THAT sink in a moment. Never mind the colour of his skin. (He was quite light skinned despite neither parent being white) He worried his frizzy Afro nappy hair would let everyone know he was black! So he always wore a hat. For all of his professional life no-one ever suspected and he became highly successful with his weirdest brand of totally bonkers unique humour. Only after he died did anyone question it and it came out (of course) that he had been black all along!

I LOVE George Herriman!

Wednesday, August 26, 2020



Hah! John Berger was an early influence from his wonderful pictorial exploration 'Ways of Seeing' and I went on to read 'G' as a pretentious art student wandering the corridors of Banbury School of Art clutching my talisman. The programme profile later on broadcast posthumously was profoundly moving and he was and still is still a hero to me. Artist, poet, author, critic, journalist (in that order IMO) and yes, does this constitute an 'art blog'? Hope so! 

Tuesday, August 25, 2020


+ + + + +
Justin Townes Earle, an acclaimed US songwriter and son of Steve Earle, has died on August 20, in news confirmed on the artist’s Facebook page on Sunday night (August 23). “It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of the passing of our son, husband, father and friend Justin,” the post read. “So many of you have relied on his music and lyrics over the years and we hope that his music will continue to guide you on your journeys. You will be missed dearly.”
Named for his father’s friend and idol Townes Van Zandt, Earle, 38, battled addiction throughout his life. He released eight albums across the course of his career, which saw him honored twice at the Americana Music awards including for his best-known song, Harlem River Blues. Earle left behind his wife and young daughter. No cause of death was confirmed. - theguardian.com
+ + + + +

Big O have re-posted a set from 2009. Our collective thoughts go out to his Dad, Steve, the rest of the family and all his friends and colleagues 

Some wonderful Richard Thompson posted over at the only ROIO sites really worth visiting on a daily basis, the redoubtable Floppy Boot Stomp and Voodoo Wagon thanks to frequent friend and fine postmaster, Jobe! They seem to be dedicated to someone but modesty forbids  . . . . . (ahem)

(& Linda)

Both (all?) worth checking for Thompson fans and people who just want to listen to our best living guitarist singer songwriter bar NONE

Really fantastic collections in the rarities double consisting largely of live recordings of classic Thompson compositions for their respective years and finishing at 2000 only twenty years ago so if you don't get it now you never will! Hah!
If you have any doubts listen to the live version of You Can't Win from Washington in 1988 the solo alone will blow your socks off! One of the most blistering solos on guitar Richard ever committed and a savage inditement of the 21st century condition . . . . . . . feels autobiographical to me too!

Have at it, you know it makes sense . . . . . . . 

Of course you will have bought his latest EP!

it's a wee belter!

Richard Thompson - Bloody Noses - Bandcamp

Sunday, August 23, 2020

GUITARS . . . . . . . . 

I guess Ry Cooder set the standard for collections of weird guitars (sic) but others managed to set the scene and pick up some really odd stuff . . . . . . how about this as once owned by Smashing Pumpkins singer songwriter and sole survivor Billy Corgan.

Yup that's an eight string bass . . . . .a Hagstrom H-8 bass in Cherry!?

Hagstrom H8/F800 Bass 

For Keith


on what would have been his 74th birthday!

From 'The Rock 'n' Roll Circus'

Keith sings . . . . . I've said before how spruced I was to hear Keith Speak and how well spoken he was, this reveals it, nice voice too. Not Roger strength or Pete's high harmony but not a bad voice

Keith's last time . . . . . . . .

Saturday, August 22, 2020


Blasts from the past . . . . . . . 

On average, in 2011, someone bought a copy of Adele's 21 every eight seconds.

John Cale - Live Paradiso 2004

This from Floppy Boot Stomp and if you didn't get this first time around 
five years ago you really REALLY should!

Rebooted by request... 
Originally posted June 6, 2015
 John Cale - Live Paradiso
December 9, 2004
Amsterdam, Netherlands
FM Source @256 

Check their research on the tracklist:
Set List:
01. Sold Motel (BlackAcetate, 2005)
02. Ghost Story (Vintage Violence, 1970)
03. Amsterdam (Vintage Violence, 1970)
04. Things (HoboSapiens, 2003)
05. Mercenaries (Ready For War) (Sabotage/Live, 1979)
06. A Dream (Songs for Drella, 1990)
07. Hedda Gabler (Animal Justice, 1977)
08. Hallelujah (I’m Your Fan, 1992)
09. E Is Missing (5 Tracks, 2003)
10. Ship of Fools (Fear, 1974)
11. Set Me Free (Walking on Locusts, 1996)
12. Dancing Undercover (Walking on Locusts, 1996)
13. Zen (HoboSapiens, 2003)
14. Hanky Panky Nohow (Paris 1919, 1973)
15. Cordoba (Wrong Way Up, 1990)
16. Style It Takes (Songs for Drella, 1990)
17. Heartbreak Hotel (Slow Dazzle, 1975)
18. Paris 1919 (Paris 1919, 1973)
19. Thoughtless Kind (Music for a New Society, 1982)
20. (I Keep A) Close Watch (Helen of Troy, 1975)

John Cale - Live at The Paradiso - Dec 2004 - Floppy Boot Stomp

Friday, August 21, 2020


I had been thinking about posting another new series of things, images etc, that share the date of the year of my birth as I kept seeing items that made me smile so here goes nuffin' . . . . . . . . 

Elmore James, Sonny Boy Williamson, Earl Phillips & Little Walter (1953, Chicago)

Going down the road feeling good . . . . . . . . 

I'm A Little Teapot!

Random Thoughts for the Day

"Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of skeptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time."

In 1958, Russell elaborated on the analogy:
'I ought to call myself an agnostic; but, for all practical purposes, I am an atheist. I do not think the existence of the Christian God any more probable than the existence of the Gods of Olympus or Valhalla. To take another illustration: nobody can prove that there is not between the Earth and Mars a china teapot revolving in an elliptical orbit, but nobody thinks this sufficiently likely to be taken into account in practice. I think the Christian God just as unlikely.'

Bertrand Russell

Thursday, August 20, 2020


I find myself in need of a doctor this morning!

Dr John 

Personnel: Dr. John: piano, vocals, guitar; 
Hermann V. Ernest III: drums. backing vocals; 
Smiley Ricks: percussion, backing vocals;
Robert Broom, Jr.: guitar, backing vocals; 
David Barard: electric bass, backing vocals; 
Charlie Miller: trumpet, flugelhorn, backing vocals; 
Alvin "Red" Tyler: tenor saxophone, backing vocals; 
Ronnie Cuber: baritone saxophone, backing vocals.

'Iko Iko' 
Montreal Jazz Festival 1995

Wednesday, August 19, 2020


An Occasional Series


Jean Seberg was an actor and starred in films like Jean-Luc Godard’sBreathless' (À Bout de Souffleshe was actively interested in the civil rights movement and became involved with groups like the Black Panther Party.
with Jean-Paul Belmondo in À Bout de Souffle

filming Bernard Shaw's St Joan

 As a result of her activities, the FBI targeted her for 'neutralisation'  under the FBI’s COINTELPRO program. During this time, Seberg was stalked and harassed on a daily basis by FBI agents, repeated break-ins of her apartments were made by the FBI, she was wiretapped, she was blacklisted by Hollywood due to FBI pressure, and the FBI began circulating fraudulent and defamatory articles about her through the American press (falsely claiming that Seberg, a married white woman, was having an affair with a Black Panther Party leader. Seberg, who was pregnant at the time, was put under such public duress that she went into premature labour and her child died two days later resulting in Seberg slipping into a fierce depression). 
The eventual outcome of years of constant intimidation and harassment, which had long-term effects on Seberg’s mental health and well-being, was Seberg’s suicide.

just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you

 (The FBI admitted to its campaign against Seberg in 1979 weeks after her death.)