Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Friday Fun – The Kind Scotsman

The Kind Scotsman
One afternoon a Scotsman was riding in his limousine when he saw two men along the roadside eating grass.
Disturbed, he ordered his driver to stop and he got out to investigate.
He asked one man, “Why are you eating grass?”

“We don’t have any money for food,” the poor man replied. “We have to eat grass.”
“Well, then, you can come with me to my house and I’ll feed you,” the Scotsman said.
“But sir, I have a wife and two children with me. They are over there, under that tree.”
“Bring them along,” the Scotsman replied.
Turning to the other poor man he stated, “You come with us, also.”
The second man, in a pitiful voice, then said, “But sir, I also have a wife and SIX children with me!”
“Bring them all, as well,” the Scotsman answered.
They all entered the car, which was no easy task, even for a car as large as the limousine was.
Once under way, one of the poor fellows turned to the Scotsman and said, “Sir, you are too kind… Thank you for taking all of us with you.”

The Scotsman replied, “Glad to do it, you’ll really love my place, the grass is almost a foot high”

“The Grass Is Always Greener (On The Other Side Of The Fence) – Ella Washington

To buy the music of Ella Washington click HERE

April 30, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Humour, Old Music, R&B, Soul | , | Leave a comment

Bettye LaVette – The British Rock Songbook

Bettye LaVette brings some British Rock  home to its American R&B roots on her latest CD, due late May,“INTERPRETATIONS: THE BRITISH ROCK SONGBOOK”.

The album is a 13-song ride through classic rock including tracks originally recorded by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd among others, before concluding right where the very idea for the album started via her show-stopping rendition of The Who’s “Love Reign O’er Me” from the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors, which appears here as a bonus track.

The above performance brought her together with Stevens (the event’s producer) and Mathes (its musical director) and was a perfect living example of her extraordinary ability as an interpreter of song, she doesn’t merely mold a piece of music to suit her tastes; she is a conjurer of deep, emotional truths:

“Bettye LaVette punched a hole right through her version of Pete Townshend’s ‘Love Reign O’er Me,’ letting all the song’s emotion pour out in a way that its creators never conceived,” observed the New York Daily News. Townshend himself came up to Bettye after her performance, took her hands into his and said, “You made me weep.”

Throughout the album her performances are a revelation of the link and ties between British rock ‘n’ roll and the American blues and R&B, which when combined, catalyzed popular music. That Lennon, McCartney, and so many others who crossed the Atlantic in their wake, were deeply influenced by American music is no great secret.

From :-
The Beatles’ pre-psychedelic Rubber Soul classic “The Word” takes on an almost religious fervor, while Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed” is transformed from a majestic pop song into a stark, almost desperate expression of devotion. Profound alienation becomes intense longing on Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here,” and the wistful naiveté of The Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin” matures into a deep and unshakeable lament. Bettye inhabits these songs, revitalizes them and exposes the humanity that makes these 13 tracks not just pop songs, but enduring works of art.

Such mastery hardly comes as a surprise to at least one legend featured here. Elton John (whose “Talking Old Soldiers” appeared on The Scene Of The Crime) offers this endorsement of Bettye’s impassioned take on “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”:

“Bettye LaVette has always been a wonderful singer – I have been a huge fan for many years. To my delight and surprise she recorded an amazing version of ‘Talking Old Soldiers’ – a song that nobody else has covered – and made it her own.

“Now she has recorded ‘Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me’ and has done exactly the same – but this time with a much more familiar song. I am truly touched by her picking these songs and can only hope that this album brings more attention to this incredible artist.”

1. The Word (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)
2. No Time To Live (James Capaldi/Stephen Winwood)
3. Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (Bennie Benjamin/Gloria Caldwell/Sol Marcus)
4. All My Love (John Baldwin/Robert Plant)
5. Isn’t It A Pity (George Harrison)
6. Wish You Were Here (David Gilmour/Roger Waters)
7. It Don’t Come Easy (Richard Starkey)
8. Maybe I’m Amazed (Paul McCartney)
9. Salt Of The Earth (Michael Jagger/Keith Richards)
10. Nights In White Satin (David Hayward)
11. Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad (Eric Clapton/Bobby Whitlock)
12. Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me (Elton John/Bernard Taupin)
13. Love Reign O’er Me (Pete Townshend)

All My Love” – Bettye LaVette

To buy the music of Bettye LaVette click HERE

April 29, 2010 Posted by | New Music, New News, New Releases, R&B, Soul, The Who | , , | Leave a comment

Wednesday Words – Picture This

“All I want is a photo in my wallet.
A small remembrance of something more solid.
All I want is a picture of you.”

“Picture This” – Blondie

All I want is a room with a view.
A sight worth seeing, a vision of you.
All I want is a room with a view, oh…
I will give you my finest hour, the one I spent watching you shower.
I will give you my finest hour, oh, yeah.

All I want is a photo in my wallet.
A small remembrance of something more solid.
All I want is a picture of you.
Picture this – a day in December.
Picture this – freezing cold weather.
You got clouds on your lids and you’d be on the skids if it weren’t for your job at the garage.
If you could only,
Picture this – a sky full of thunder.
Picture this – my telephone number.
One and one is what I’m telling you, oh, yeah.
All I want is 20/20 vision.
A total portrait with no omissions.
All I want is a vision of you, oh…
If you can,
Picture this – a day in December.
Picture this – freezing cold weather.
You got clouds on your lids and you’d be on the skids if it weren’t for your job at the garage.
If you could only,
Picture this – a sky full of thunder.
Picture this – my telephone number.
One and one is what I’m telling you.
Get a pocket computer, try to do what ya used to do, yeah.

To buy the music of Blondie click HERE

April 28, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Fiona, Mrs D, Old Music | | Leave a comment

Melody Gardot

Melody Gardot was the star performer on Later….with Jools at the weekend. I first came across her via her proper debut album “Worrisome Heart” which gained a re-release in 2008.

“My One and Only Thrill ” was her second formal release which first hit the shops in April 2009 via Verve Records. 

The key single was “Baby I’m a Fool” and this was one of the songs chosen for the recent Later…….with Jools Holland appearance which had been scheduled to promote a relaunch of the album.

All tracks are original, except “Over the Rainbow” (originally sung by Judy Garland in 1939’s The Wizard of Oz), which is included as a tribute to her grandmother which you can listen to below.

“Over The Rainbow” – Melody Gardot

It features string arrangements by Vince Mendoza, who, along with producer Larry Klein, is known for his works with Joni Mitchell. The album received three Grammy Award nominations: Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) for the titular track (Vince Mendoza), Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical (Helik Hadar & Al Schmitt) and Producer of the Year, Non-Classical (Larry Klein). The album has sold over 500,000 copies to date.

This is her earlier debut on Jools Holland from 2008

To buy the music of Melody Gardot click HERE

April 27, 2010 Posted by | Jazz Vocal, New Music, Video | | 1 Comment

New Music – Sara Jackson-Holman

Sara Jackson-Holman, a Portland Oregon native, was raised in the quiet town of Bend, Oregon.

With her voice smoky and warm, she sings of the things that fill her head: dreams, the sea and sky and trees, belonging and loneliness and love, longing and forgetting and remembering.

 Her songs are haunted by the unexpected fusion of the classically influenced piano, wistful strings, strange harmonies, and pop bent. She fell in love with music at exactly the moment her seven-year-old fingers touched the keys of her family’s tired and old spinet piano, and was inspired by composers such as Chopin, Scarlatti, Beethoven, Soler, Schumann, and Bach, and their passion and ability to connect with their audience generation after generation.

Performing at countless recitals and competitions, she became a fine classical pianist. From an early age, Jackson-Holman was also in love with reading, beautiful words, good literature, metaphors, and poetry. And ever since she could speak, she loved to sing.

In the March of 2008, she began to reconcile her love of piano, poetry, singing, and pop music, and became fascinated with this medium of communication that so happily married her favorite passions.

May 2010 finally sees the release of her debut album “When You Dream” from which the track below is taken.

“Come Back To Me” – Sara Jackson-Holman

April 26, 2010 Posted by | Jazz Vocal, New Music | | Leave a comment

Sunday Sounds – Percy Mayfield

A masterful songwriter whose touching blues ballad “Please Send Me Someone to Love,” a multi-layered universal lament, was a number one R&B hit in 1950, Percy Mayfield had the world by the tail until a horrific 1952 auto wreck left him facially disfigured. That didn’t stop the poet laureate of the blues from writing in a prolific fashion, though. As Ray Charles’ favorite scribe during the ’60s, he handed the Genius such gems as “Hit the Road Jack” and “At the Club.”

Art Rupe’s Specialty logo signed Mayfield in 1950 and he scored a solid string of R&B smashes over the next couple of years. the aforementioned “Please Send Me Someone to Love” and its equally potent flip “Strange Things Happening” were followed in the charts by “Lost Love,” “What a Fool I Was,” “Prayin’ for Your Return,” “Cry Baby,” and “Big Question,” cementing Mayfield’s reputation as a blues balladeer of the highest order.

Even though his touring was drastically curtailed after the accident, Mayfield hung in there as a Specialty artist through 1954, switching to Chess in 1955-1956 and Imperial in 1959. Charles proved thankful enough for Mayfield’s songwriting genius to sign him to his Tangerine logo in 1962; over the next five years, the singer waxed a series of inexorably classy outings, many with Brother Ray’s band (notably “My Jug and I” in 1964 and “Give Me Time to Explain” the next year). It’s a rare veteran blues artist indeed who hasn’t taken a whack at one or more Mayfield copyrights. Mayfield himself persisted into the ’70s, scoring minor chart items for RCA and Atlantic while performing on a limited basis until his 1984 death. ~ Bill Dahl, All Music Guide

“Please Send Me Someone To Love” – Percy Mayfield

Heaven please send to all mankind,
Understanding and peace of mind.
But, if it’s not asking too much
Please send me someone to love.

Show all the world how to get along,
Peace will enter when hate is gone.
But, if it’s not asking too much,
Please send me someone to love.

I lay awake night and ponder world troubles.
My answer is always the same.
That unless men put an end to all of this,
Hate will put the world in a flame, (oh) what a shame.
Just because I’m in misery.
I’m not begging for no sympathy.
But if it’s not asking too much,
Just send me someone to love.

Heaven please send to all mankind,
Understanding and peace of mind.
But if it’s not asking too much,
Please send me someone to love.

Learn to love me or leave me, either one you wanna do
Learn to love me or leave me, either one you wanna do
Because strange things are happenin’, babe, an’ somethin’ might happen to you

If you know you don’t love me, why don’t you let me be?
If you know you don’t love me, why don’t you let me be?
Because it’s better to be without you, then to live on in misery


Midnight find me cryin’, daylight find me cryin’, too
Midnight find me cryin’, daylight find me cryin’, too
You better change your ways pretty baby or somethin’ might happen to you

To buy the music of Percy Mayfield click HERE

April 25, 2010 Posted by | Jazz Vocal, Old Music | | Leave a comment

Saturday Soul – JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound

“One of the hottest US soul acts right now” MOJO Magazine

In his 1970 Playboy Interview, Ray Charles described soul as “people who do things from the heart.” In performance and on record, it is undeniable that JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound are 100% soul. Like Otis Redding fronting the Stooges, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound get crowds twisting and writhing on the floor, something that’s been sorely missing from live music.

Brooks erupts with heart and raw emotion, harnessing the Uptown Sound’s post-punk reimagining of JB’s moves and MG’s grooves to unleash pure and uncompromising soul music ranging from sweaty on-the-one workouts, dance-punk booty shakers, garage rock thump humps, and aching R&B ballads without a missed step in between. JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound are not just another throwback group; they came to be during an age of war, envisioning an aggressive dance music with lyrics that dig deeper and hit harder than the usual “baby, baby” fare.

Born in the great melting pot of Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood in 2007, guitarist Billy Bungeroth, drummer Kevin Marks, and bassist Ben Taylor (Beat Down Sound/September Sessions soundtrack) joined forces with the Lowdown Horns to lay a ferocious foundation for the soulful shouts of Mr. JC Brooks.

The son of a Jersey funk diva set adrift by the disco era, he’s renowned for his take-no-prisoners stage style, giving you no other option than to get up and move! JC Brooks is determined to become the next in a long line of classic Chicago Soul singers; Sam Cooke, Curtis Mayfield, Donny Hathaway, Syl Johnson – JC has learned from them all, and he’s got no illusions about what it takes to become a classic.

Since leaving audiences awestruck on the Numero Group’s critically acclaimed Eccentric Soul Revue tour in 2009, they keep pushing forward, following up their explosive debut Beat of Our Own Drum (Vampisoul/Rabbit Factory) with the relentless new Get It Together single (featuring a stomping cover of Wilco’s “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart”).

“Get It Together” – JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound

Featured prominently on MOJO Magazine May 2010 “Heavy Soul” CD, they’ve collaborated with greats like Syl Johnson, Tortoise’s Dan Bitney, lost soul legend Renaldo Domino, and the Impressions’ Nate Evans, cut live sessions for influential indie stations WFMU and KDHX, racked up rave reviews throughout Europe, and been lauded by the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, TimeOut, and Chicago Sun-Times. Armed with a full slate of North American and European dates, these intense young soul stirrers are bringing it to your door, ready to tour, score, and not be ignored.

JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound are for the people remaining awake through a great revolution… for people who want to move and not just sit tight… for soul people! Guaranteed to make you dance by any means necessary, JC Brooks is the new sound of Chicago

“Baltimore Is The New Brooklyn” – JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound

To buy the music of JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound click HERE

April 24, 2010 Posted by | New Music, New Releases, R&B, Soul, Video | | Leave a comment

Blast From The Past – Them Changes

George Allen Miles, Jr. (September 5, 1947 – February 26, 2008), known as Buddy Miles, was an American rock and funk drummer, most known as a member of Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys from 1969 through to January 1970.

In 1969 an extremely busy Hendrix would somehow find time to produce the first two albums released by Buddy Miles’ own band, Buddy Miles Express – Expressway To Your Skull and Electric Church. There was obvious public curiosity as to whether the name of the band “Buddy Miles Express” was influenced by Hendrix’s act, “The Jimi Hendrix Experience”.

Soon after the release of the groundbreaking Electric Ladyland album, Noel Redding (original Experience bass player) and Mitch Mitchell (the Experience drummer) had both parted company with Hendrix, not least because of constant wrangling between Hendrix’s manager (Michael Jeffery) and his producer (Alan Douglas), both vying for control of his career. Everyone wanted a piece of Hendrix’s success.

As Buddy Miles explained: “Jimi was not happy. He felt powerless. He couldn’t do what he wanted to do. Hendrix’s solution to the problem was to found a short-lived band called Band of Gypsys, and Miles was brought in to join him. One of the notable features for his audience at the time was the fact that all of the players were black. This was a first for Hendrix as an international recording star – although he had, of course, played with the Isley Brothers in his early days – and this choice reflected a move toward reconnecting with his soul roots. It also had the effect of re-associating rock with its African American roots. Originally it was a solo lp , but in the last ten years or so additional cuts from the concerts were released on a three piece cassette box. The band was based in New York City where Hendrix was spending the majority of his time. Hendrix, who was tangled in legal litigation concerning contracts he had signed prior to his becoming internationally recognized, was required to release a record to the Capitol Records label as part of the agreement in court. This fact led to the live recording of his collaboration with Buddy Miles and Billy Cox.

Band Of Gypsies

However during a follow up performance a month later, Hendrix had a minor, drug-related meltdown on stage which has also been speculated to have been an act of sabotage on the part of a very frustrated manager Michael Jeffery, who was not a fan of the Band of Gypsys all-black line-up and strong R&B roots. Miles had this to say about the incident years later:

“Jeffery slipped [Jimi] two half-tabs of acid on stage as he went on … [Jimi] just freaked out. I told Jeffery he was an out-and-out complete idiot and a fucking asshole to boot. One of the biggest reasons why Jimi is dead is because of that guy.” Miles and Jeffery already had a strained relationship, as Jeffery was always uncomfortable with Hendrix and Miles’ close friendship. After this performance at Madison Square Garden in January 1970, Jeffery fired Buddy Miles and the Band of Gypsys was no more.

Miles continued to work with Hendrix during early and mid 1970 after the Jimi Hendrix Experience had failed to re-form to record. Miles would share recording studio drumming duties on songs “Room Full of Mirrors”, “Izabella”, “Ezy Ryder” and the first version of “Stepping Stone” (for which Mitchell played a final drum track). These songs have been released in several posthumous Hendrix albums.Ironically, the album Band of Gypsys — released in May 1970 — made the Top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic, and stayed in the US charts for over a year. Hendrix died in September 18, 1970, prompting the album to sell even better. There are now videos of Buddy and Randy Hansen covering several of Jimi’s songs on a major website.

Buddy Miles went on to produce other records under his own name. A song he had written and recorded with the Band of Gypsys, “Them Changes” was again recorded by Miles with his own band on a release soon after Hendrix’s passing on Mercury Records.

“Them Changes” – Buddy Miles

Miles’ former Band Of Gypsys sideman, Billy Cox, performed bass guitar on this track. By this time Miles had dropped the “Buddy Miles Express” act name and shortened it to just his own name. That band included bassist David Hull and guitarist Charlie Karp. The same band would release a live album entitled Live which again included his by now signature song, “Them Changes”.

Here however is a real nugget from the vaults Jimi Hendrix with Buddy Miles and the great “Them Changes”

To buy the music of Buddy Miles click HERE

To buy the music of Jimi Hendrix click HERE

April 24, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Old Music, R&B, Soul, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Friday Fun – How Worthy Will Your Vote Be

Click HERE to check how worthy your vote will be in the forthcoming General Election.

“Political World” – Bob Dylan

We live in a political world
Love don’t have any place
We’re living in times
Where men commit crimes
And crime don’t have any face.

We live in a political world
Icicles hanging down
Wedding bells ring
And angels sing
Clouds cover up the ground.

We live in a political world
Wisdom is thrown in jail
It rots in a cell
Is misguided as hell
Leaving no one to pick up a trail.

We live in a political world
Where mercy walks the plank
Life is in mirrors
Death disappears
Up the steps into the nearest bank.

We live in a political world
Where courage is a thing of the past
Houses are haunted
Children unwanted
The next day could be your last.

We live in a political world
The one we can see and feel
But there’s no one to check
It’s all a stacked deck
We all know for sure that it’s real.

We live in a political world
In the cities of lonesome fear
Little by little
You turn in the middle
But you’re never sure why you’re here.
We live in a political world
Under the microscope
You can travel anywhere
And hang yourself there
You always got more than enough rope.

We live in a political world
Turning and trashing about
As soon as you’re awake
You’re trained to take
What looks like the easy way out.

We live in a political world
Where peace is not welcome at all
It’s turned away from the door
To wonder some more
Or put up against the wall.

We live in a political world
Everything is hers and his
Climb into the frame
And shout God’s name
But you’re never sure what it is.

To buy the music of Bob Dylan click HERE

April 23, 2010 Posted by | Humour, Old Music | , , | Leave a comment

Friday Fun – Tiswas Compost Corner

Tiswas was a Saturday morning children’s British TV show which ran from 5 January 1974 to 3 April 1982 and was produced for the ITV network by ATV Network Limited.

It was created by ATV continuity announcer Peter Tomlinson (later to become a regular presenter on the show) following a test period in 1973 when he tried out a few competitions and daft stuff between the programmes. It had a fanatical following among students and parents and was for me the ideal hangover cure when taken with lashings of Irn Bru!

The word ’tiswas’ means a state of confusion or commotion, but the show’s name ‘officially’ stood for “Today Is Saturday, Watch And Smile

Compost Corner was one of the regular sketches originally built around Lenny Henry’s impersonation of David Bellamy.

Sally James

For obvious reasons Sally James was by far the main reason for watching the show, here she is in Compost Corner with Roger Daltrey and Kenney Jones from The Who, note how Roger stands proudly with his meat and two veg plain to see whilst Kenney obviously believes his smaller portion needs hiding!

Of course we can’t post without the Phantom Fan Flinger now can we, especially when it features a not too happy Annie Lennox then of The Tourists.

For more great Tiswas fun click HERE

April 23, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Humour, Interesting Fact, The Who, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

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