Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

John Martyn – Heaven and Earth

The late great John Martyn has just had his final recording released in the form of the album “Heaven and Earth”.

The nine songs on the album, which includes a version of the Phil Collins song “Can’t Turn Back The Years” featuring Collins himself, were never planned as being the next Martyn release as his hope had been to work and record with jazz musician Pharoah Saunders, sadly this was never to be.

Instead it has been left to long time friend and producer Jim Tullio, and Gary Pollitt as a co-producer to put Martyn’s “last musical testament in order”, assembling the posthumous album from an assortment of the singer-songwriter’s vocal and guitar takes. “John was a genius,” Tullio said. “He made music more naturally than anyone I’ve ever met, as effortlessly as the way you and I speak.”

Martyn’s connection to Collins came out of their experiences with divorce. Thirty years ago, both were reeling from the ends of their first marriages; Martyn even “crashed” at Collins’s home, and the former Genesis drummer produced Martyn’s 1981 album Glorious Fool. “John wanted to do one of Phil’s songs to repay him,” Tullio said. Before his death, Martyn had begun work on “Can’t Turn Back the Years”, taken from Collins’s 1993 solo album, Both Sides. “After John passed, I spoke with Phil and he really wanted to sing on the track,” Tullio said. “[Phil] said he had always wanted John to record one of his songs. You can hear the emotion in their voices.”

Despite the kudos of the above the heart of the album—felt on tracks like “Gambler” and “Bad Company”—beats in Martyn’s intuitive, idiosyncratic sense of the blues, filtered through his earthy feel for roots- and jazz-inspired songwriting and his raw voice.

“Bad Company” (not the song of the same name by the band of the same name) is in fact my favourite track on the album and would be suited to the treatment like that of Maggie Bell brings to R&B.


Fans of the great man won’t be disappointed with the album but will as always miss what still might have been as ‘Heaven and Earth’ may not have the memorable strength of earlier work but it does allow Martyn’s voice to slide and slur and giggle along the simple melody with especially on the title track’s declaration of love that does recall so many of his powerful romantic declarations: ‘I’ll move heaven and earth just to be with you’ and the sax slurs its groove too.

To buy the album click HERE


May 31, 2011 Posted by | Cover Stories, New Music, New Releases, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Cover Story – Andrea Corr with Tinseltown In The Rain

There are some songs which just aren’t meant to be covered and this is one of them!

This is a track, and the lead single, from her album of cover versions titled “Lifelines” released on 30th May 2011.

Amazon UK is quoted as saying “Produced by John Reynolds and featuring co-production on several tracks by Brian Eno, `Lifelines’ is a personally curated collection of songs that have resonated throughout Andrea’s life and includes stunning versions of songs by a range of artists from Velvet Underground, Kirsty McColl, Harry Nilsson to Ron Sexsmith, Nick Drake and The Blue Nile. Expansive yet intimate, grown-up yet powerfully vulnerable, the primary instrument on the album is the voice and `Lifelines’ see’s Andrea at her most diverse, pushing the vocals and extending her range far beyond her previous recordings.”

Her choice of songs is excellent and you cannot question her bravery for taking them on……but why?

Well you heard why from the woman herself.

The Velvet Underground’s “Pale Blue Eyes” as so brilliantly covered previously by Paul Quinn and Edwyn Collins doesn’t fair much better.

If the album introduces a whole new audience to a selection of great songs why should we really complain, go buy the originals but if you wish you can buy her album by clicking HERE

May 30, 2011 Posted by | Cover Stories, New Releases, Video | , , , , | 2 Comments

Blues Monday – Eden Brent

Eden Brent’s piano playing and singing style ranges from a melancholic whisper to a full-blown juke joint holler. She’s simultaneously confident and confiding, ably blending an earthy meld of jazz, blues, soul, and pop as she huskily invites listeners into her lazy, lush world.

One critic has described her as Bessie Smith meets Diana Krall meets Janis Joplin all of which is something she can’t aspire to, however, she is in herself a pianist and vocalist with, if you excuse the expression. some balls.

When she traveled from her hometown of Greenville to the Crescent City to record ‘Ain’t Got No Troubles,’ her sophomore album for Yellow Dog Records, she added 100 miles to the journey, eschewing the interstate for the meandering country highways that parallel the Mississippi River’s serpentine route.

That circuitous road trip, which ended at New Orleans’ Piety Street Studios (Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint, The Blind Boys of Alabama) was a quest to further broaden her sound: Working with bassist George Porter, Jr., she and Linden injected her gritty, rootsy music with spicy elements that earmark the unmistakable Crescent City sound.

Brent penned eight of the twelve tracks for her sparkling new album, the most she’s written for a single record to date. They exhibit a keen sense of clever wordplay — the juke joint jumper “In Love With Your Wallet” invokes the wry observations of fellow Mississippi muse Mose Allison, while the vaudeville throwback “My Man” is peppered with double entendre.

But there’s also considerable nuance: the sly tenderness of the intimate “If I Can’t”, the after-hours anguish of “Blues All Over,” and the soulful, heartbreaking ballad “Leave Me Alone.”

Brent modestly describes the album’s title track as her “tribute to the open, carefree lifestyle of her hometown along the Mississippi river,” but it’s much more than that: It’s a near-iconic blues song that has the singer finding ironic contentment in the things she lacks. No money, no friends, no man — and, therefore, no worries. It’s as pointed a summation of the blues aesthetic as you’re likely to hear. Or as another great songwriter once said, “When you ain’t got nothin’, you got nothin’ to lose.”


“Beyond My Broken Dreams” – Eden Brent


To buy the music of Eden Brent click HERE

May 30, 2011 Posted by | Blues, New Music, New Releases, Video | | Leave a comment

Gil Scott-Heron – RIP

With critical and commercial appeal still surrounding what now turns out to have been his last album “I’m New Here” it is particularily unfair that he should be taken from us.

On promoting the album he described himself as “eccentric, obnoxious, arrogant and selfish” and held the view that “if you have to pay for all the bad things you’ve donethen I have a big bill coming”.

Born on 1st April 1949 he had an absentee Jamaican father Gilbert who was the first black footballer to play for Glasgow Celtic back in 1958.

Living between his mother and his grandmother, as his mother struggled to bring him up alone, he developed an early skill in essay writing at school, his penchant for education resulted in his attendance at Lincoln University where he made his first forays into music.

It became obvious that he was as much an author as he was musician and even to this day his signature tune/essay remains a track from his first 1970 album “A New Black Poet – Small Talk at 25th and Lenox”

“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” – Gil Scott-Heron

You will not be able to stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip,
Skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John
Mitchell, General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be brought to you by the
Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie
Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.
The revolution will not make you look five pounds
thinner, because the revolution will not be televised, Brother.

There will be no pictures of you and Willie May
pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run,
or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance.
NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32
or report from 29 districts.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being
run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process.
There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy
Wilkens strolling through Watts in a Red, Black and
Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
For just the proper occasion.

Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville
Junction will no longer be so damned relevant, and
women will not care if Dick finally gets down with
Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people
will be in the street looking for a brighter day.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no highlights on the eleven o’clock
news and no pictures of hairy armed women
liberationists and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose.
The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb,
Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom
Jones, Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be right back after a message
bbout a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.
You will not have to worry about a dove in your
bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with Coke.
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.
The revolution will put you in the driver’s seat.

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,
will not be televised, will not be televised.
The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
The revolution will be live




The song was without doubt  the wake up call to black America to switch off the television and do something less passive instead.

Perhaps given that he lived to see a  US administration led by a black President who was actively pursuing as a priority the health of all it’s citizens he considered his work here was done.

Source (in part):-


To buy the music of Gil Scott-Heron click HERE 

May 29, 2011 Posted by | Blues, New News, Old Music, R&B, Video | | Leave a comment

Sunday Jazz – Stormy Weather

The weather during the past week has seen the greatest degree of wind I have seen since I last scoffed an Ashoka vindaloo, therefore it gives the ideal chance to post the great Sinatra’s version of  “Stormy Weather” one of many great songs written by  Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler.

Ethel Waters first sang it at The Cotton Club night club in Harlem. It has since been covered by artists as diverse as Frank Sinatra, Clodagh Rodgers, and Reigning Sound. Leo Reisman‘s orchestra had the biggest hit on records (with Arlen himself as vocalist), although Ethel Waters recorded version also performed well.

The song tells of disappointment, as the lyrics, “Don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky” show someone pining for her man to return. The weather is a metaphor for the feelings of the singer; “stormy weather since my man and I ain’t together, keeps raining all the time.”

The original handwritten lyrics, along with a painting by Ted Koehler, were featured on the (US) Antiques Roadshow on 24 January 2011, where they were appraised for between $50,000 and $100,000. The lyrics show a number of crossings out and corrections.

Ethel Waters‘ recording of the song in 1933 was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003, and the Library of Congress honored the song by adding it to the National Recording Registry in 2004.


“Stormy Weather” – Frank Sinatra

Don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky, stormy weather
Since my gal and I ain’t together, keeps raining all the time
Life is bare, gloom and misery everywhere, stormy weather
Just can’t get my poor old self together
I’m weary all the time, the time
So weary all the time

When she went away the blues walked in and they met me
If she stays away, that old rocking chair’s gonna get me
All I do is pray the Lord above will let me
Walk in the sun once more

Can’t go on, everything I have is gone, stormy weather
Since my gal and I ain’t together
Keeps raining all the time
Keeps raining all the time

Can’t go on, everything I have is gone, stormy weather
Since my gal and I ain’t together
Keeps raining all the time, the time
Keeps raining all the time


To buy the music of Frank Sinatra click HERE


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May 29, 2011 Posted by | Jazz Vocal, Old Music, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday


May 28, 2011 Posted by | Photography, The Dugs | | Leave a comment

Friday Fun – Football

Dedicated to Mrs Giggs.

“Footballer’s Wife” – Amy McDonald

To buy the music of Amy MacDonald click HERE

May 27, 2011 Posted by | Footbal, Humour, Old Music | , , | Leave a comment

New News – Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney is set to release a covers albums in early 2012.

The Beatles man recorded the album in Los Angeles and has said it is comprised of covers from the “pre rock” era.

Speaking to Rolling Stone about the release, he said: “It’s my dad’s style of music. I’ve wanted
to do that kind of thing forever, since The Beatles days. But then Rod went mad on it. I thought, ‘I have to wait so it doesn’t look like I’m trying to do a Rod.'”

The album, which does not yet have a title, will feature a number of songs with jazz singer Diana Krall and McCartney has said each song is one “He admires” and that the album is “Get-home-from-work music.”

He said: “They’re just songs I admire. I’m trying to steer away from the obvious
ones. It’s get-home-from-work music. You put it on and get a glass of wine.”

McCartney has also said he is planning to record a “heavy rock album” after being inspired by the new Foo Fighters album ‘Wasting Light’. He added: “It sounds quite wacky, but it keeps it fresh. I love that, you get a crazy idea and go with it. You never know, I may run into a garage to make this other album.”


In the meantime remasters of his first two solo albums will be along soon.

May 26, 2011 Posted by | Cover Stories, Jazz Vocal, New News, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Cover Story – Bob Dylan

Artists covering Dylan songs can be considered almost the norm, however, it is less common for an artist to cover a Dylan album in its entirity.

Thea Gilmore has just done that and her end product “John Wesley Harding” has just been released.

Any perceived success will in part be due to Robbie McIntosh’s inspired  guitar  work throughout  peaking on while Gilmore’s take on “All Along the Watchtower”   which is pitched midway between Dylan’s and Hendrix’s.

“All Along The Watchtower” – Thea Gilmore

To buy the music of Thea Gilmore click HERE

May 25, 2011 Posted by | Cover Stories, New Music, New Releases, Video | , | Leave a comment

Bob Dylan – 70 Today

All I want to do…………….is thank you for the music.

Happy Birthday Bob.

May 24, 2011 Posted by | New News, Video | | Leave a comment

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