With a slew of albums waiting to be heard we thought we’d introduce an occasional column which captures the best of the rest, a brief nod to what’s rocking the joint at Blabber’n’Smoke in the hope that those wise enough to know follow the crumbs to the gingerbread cottage.
Ledfoot. Gothic Blues Volume One. Ledfoot is Tim Scott McConnell , one time member of the Havelinas. He looks a mean dude with mean tattoos and he plays a mean guitar. Just him and some spellbinding acoustic playing with bottleneck and slide well to the fore McConnell conjures up a spooky and indeed gothic blues sound that mines the same territory as Jeffrey Lee Pierce and John Campbell. Standout song is The Cold Light of Day where one can imagine that he does have a hellhound on his trail. website
Homespun Remedies. Great Depression. From Dallas Homespun Remedy are a low key collective of pickers and singers whose sound recalls the harmonies of CSN&Y and the easy going country rock of the mid seventies. With banjo, pedal steel, mandolin and accordion all featured it’s a sweet melange of what I suppose is now traditional music given that the seventies are around 40 years ago. Pleasant enough with their best shot being Empty Pockets which has a touch of the Walkabouts to it. Website
Angela Perley & The Howlin’ Moons. Fireside. This is an EP, apparently the third in a series. Five songs all of which are immensely gratifying. The opening I Like You Fine has a huge sound with organ and soaring guitar combining to lift the spirits. She then betters this on the boogie belter that is Come On Home. Be Bad is turbo charged with the band barrelling along while Weeping Coyote captures in its five and a half minutes all that is best about a tight Americana rock band with superb organ and guitar licks and solos flying out of the speakers. The one ballad Fireside still packs muscle while portraying Perry’s more sensitive side. Best of all however is her voice which recalls Maria Muldaur in her heyday. website
Bob Livingston. Gypsy Alibi. From Buddy Holly’s hometown, Lubbock, Bob Livingston is a fine singer songwriter who was involved in the legendary Lost Gonzo Band who helped revolutionise Texas country music back in the seventies. Here he delivers here a fine set of 12 songs (plus a bonus) that veer from Western swing to rockabilly and honky tonk. There’s plenty here to delight fans of any of these genres with all of the songs well played and well written. Our favourite is Country Western Swing that has a great fat fiddle and steel guitar sound. The bonus song is a live rendition of Holly’s Not Fade Away recorded in Bangladesh with tabla accompaniment. Still gonzo after all those years then. website