Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Sunday Jazz – Clare Teal

The brilliant Clare Teal has just released what might just be her best album yet, titled “Hey Ho” the album pays tribute some some great British Songwriters both old and new.

Her torch song conversions of Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars and Moloko’s Sing It Back will doubtless grab the attention, but most impressive is the Tom Jones classic It’s Not Unusual transformed into a summery bossa nova.

“Chasing Cars” – Clare Teal

“Hey Ho” has been conceived and compiled thoughtfully, with a dash of inspirational boldness, to celebrate great British song writing, dusting the numbers with the lightest of jazz touches in the process.

How Noel Coward or Ivor Novello, let alone W. B. Yeats (present courtesy of Herbert Hughes’ setting of his poem, “Down by the Sally Gardens”) would have felt rubbing shoulders with Annie Lennox, Snow Patrol or Moloko is anybody’s guess.

All that matters is that here, Teal and her collaborators have identified the common threads that
run through some of their most lovedsongs and come up with a musical tapestry that does them all proud.

To buy the music of Clare Teal click HERE.

This is from the “Get Happy” album.


May 15, 2011 Posted by | Cover Stories, Jazz Vocal, New Music, New Releases, Video | | 2 Comments

Cover Story – The Persuaders

Here is a cover version of Tony Hatch’s famous theme tune by Roisin Murphy.

“The Persuaders” – Roisin Murphy

This is a collaboration with an act called The Bullitts  and appears to be part of an album coming out later this year featuring various artists (Murphy,Tori Amos, Mos Def) interpreting themes in this way. There’s a “video” or, as they call it, a Flixtape to go with this track (and the others so far).

Original Source :

May 5, 2011 Posted by | Cover Stories, New Music, New News, New Releases, Television | , , , | Leave a comment

New Music – Lulu & The Lampshades

First thing this is NOT the Marie Lawrie Lulu as in “and The Luvvers”

However stay with me if you were worried that there hadn’t been a quirky folk-pop group for ages, one where they sing songs about Cherry Coke and pedal bikes and play them on a variety of make-shift instruments, then fear not: this Lulu and her Lampshades are here to save the day.

Their music is so cheery they could use it to advertise fun. They perform alongside dancing lampshades, hence their name. And their new single, Feet to the Sky, recalls the theme to 60s kids TV puppet show Camberwick Green, so if you’re not in the mood for jolly and jaunty, you should probably alight here.

But it would appear to be to a lot of people’s taste, although that could be down to simple masochism: the YouTube video for their song You’re Gonna Miss Me, now known as “Cups” (see below) eaturing two members in a kitchen, wearing pyjamas and singing the song while beating out its rhythm on empty plastic cartons, has gone mega.

Now some of you will have remembered this video from a previous post, now the rest of the world is catching up!!

They started life when they formed a pretend group comprising Luisa on GarageBand and Heloise on “air-glockenspiel”. Eventually they drafted in Jemma, the one who has been compared with Patti Smith and knows about chords and notes and stuff, and Dan, who makes strange facial expressions as he bashes things, not always drums.

Now they’re laying waste to venues the length and breadth of, well, Camden, mainly, stomping their feet and clapping their hands and generally smiling and being, ugh, IN A GOOD MOOD as they tout their winsome wares.

Sometimes their music is jazzy and swingy with shades of the Puppini Sisters. Other times it isn’t. Often it reminds us that there is nothing remotely new under the sun: about 25 years ago, there was a micro-movement in London of young acts who would incorporate elements of folk, skiffle and bluegrass, groups with names like the Shillelagh Sisters, the Boothill Foot Tappers and one called Pogue Mahone, who later shortened it to the Pogues. The latter were fronted by a gentleman by the name of Shane MacGowan. He didn’t smile much or clap his hands, although he would regularly smash household objects over people’s heads. Still does, apparently.

The buzz: “This is a work of genius, joyous and brilliantly recorded. Lulu and the Lampshades are probably the best pop-folk act out there.”

The truth: Genius is probably stretching it. And joyous? Well, that’s a matter of perspective. But they’re certainly a pop-folk act.

Most likely to: Carry on performing even during a power cut.

Least likely to: Bite the ear off an audience member.

What to buy: Feet to the Sky is released by Voga Parochia on 26 October.

File next to: Boothill Foot Tappers, Kate Nash, Peggy Sue, Melody Melodica & Me.

Source in part from

They have a new four track EP out titled “Cold Water” which features a new recorded version of the now famous “Cups” song.

“Cups” – Lulu & The Lampshades

To buy the music of Lulu & The Lampshades click HERE

May 4, 2011 Posted by | Folk, New Music, Video | | 2 Comments

New Release – Alexi Murdoch


Alexi Murdoch is a singer-songwriter born in London and raised in Scotland, Greece and France, now living in Berlin.

Murdoch moved to the United States in 1998 to study at Duke University, before moving to Los Angeles, California to be with a girlfriend. He first gained notice when an influential Los Angeles DJ, Nic Harcourt, began playing his music on the radio station KCRW.

It led to much interest from the LA’s music industry, which Murdoch largely ignored, turning down advances from record labels and opting to release his music independently.

Murdoch’s first album, Time Without Consequence, was released on June 6, 2006 on his own label, Zero Summer though the record was distributed nationally through Sony BMG.

The album became one of the most licensed albums of the decade, receiving placements on dozens of films and television shows. “Orange Sky” appeared in The O.C.,  House, Prison Break, Ugly Betty, Dirty Sexy Money, Ladder 49, and in promotions for Oscar nominated foreign film, Paradise Now, Southland and a Honda commercial plus many more.

It was the brilliant “Orange Sky” that caught my attention originally via an appearance on Rachel Fuller’s webcasts “In The Attic” aired during The Who’s 2006 tour.

In the spring of 2009, Murdoch embarked on a rare U.S. headlining tour, during which he distributed  an early version of what would become his next album Towards the Sun in a limited edition packaged in a hand-printed, cardboard sleeve.

Several of these new songs quickly appeared on the internet. Later, the song “Through the Dark” was used in the final scene and end credits of actor Ben Affleck’s directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone, as well as the television series “The Vampire Diaries”.

Several other Towards the Sun songs were used on the soundtrack to Oscar winner Sam Mendes’ 2009 film Away We Go which had a screenplay by the writers Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida. There was an album tied to the film release which contained a mix of songs from Time Without Consequence and Towards the Sun alongside single songs by The Stranglers, Bob Dylan, George Harrison and the Velvet Underground.

This month we have finally seen the official release of  “Towards The Sun” and has certainly not disappointed!

The whole album is a delight and anyone who loves the music of Nick Drake should find this album a real pleasure.

To buy the music of Alexi Murdoch click HERE

May 3, 2011 Posted by | New Music, New Releases, Old Music, Video | | 2 Comments

New Release – Fleet Foxes

It was 3 months ago today that I brought you news of the new Fleet Foxes album “Helplessness Blues” (see HERE) finally today the album hits the shelves and despite it being a Bank Holiday I ventured out to my not so local and not so friendly HMV store to make the purchase.

I was raised up believing I was somehow unique
Like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes, unique in each way you can see
And now after some thinking, I’d say I’d rather be
A functioning cog in some great machinery serving something beyond me

But I don’t, I don’t know what that will be
I’ll get back to you someday soon you will see

What’s my name, what’s my station, oh, just tell me what I should do
I don’t need to be kind to the armies of night that would do such injustice to you
Or bow down and be grateful and say “sure, take all that you see”
To the men who move only in dimly-lit halls and determine my future for me

And I don’t, I don’t know who to believe
I’ll get back to you someday soon you will see

If I know only one thing, it’s that everything that I see
Of the world outside is so inconceivable often I barely can speak
Yeah I’m tongue-tied and dizzy and I can’t keep it to myself
What good is it to sing helplessness blues, why should I wait for anyone else?

And I know, I know you will keep me on the shelf
I’ll come back to you someday soon myself

If I had an orchard, I’d work till I’m raw
If I had an orchard, I’d work till I’m sore
And you would wait tables and soon run the store

Gold hair in the sunlight, my light in the dawn
If I had an orchard, I’d work till I’m sore
If I had an orchard, I’d work till I’m sore
Someday I’ll be like the man on the screen

As I type this blog I am listening to the album through for only the second time, however, there is no doubt that it could be a challenging though ultimately greatly rewarding experience for many.

Uncut have it as their album of the month and describe it as being “as passionately desolate as anything on Joy Division’s “Closer”” though not industrial sounding there is a degree of truth in this comparison if you get beyond the music and into the lyrics.

The Herald suggests that compared to their debut this album “less accessible, more thoughtful and restrained, with more rumination and structural elusiveness in the band’s trademark choir-vocals and earnestly strummed guitars” well they would wouldn’t they!

Time will tell if this album reaches “epic” or “classic” status but until then if you appreciate “Pet Sounds” Beach Boys with a pinch of baroque pop and free jazz give it a go as it might just be the soundtrack to the Summer of 2011.

To buy the music of Fleet Foxes click HERE

May 2, 2011 Posted by | New Music, New Releases, Uncategorized, Video | | Leave a comment

Friday Folk (A Day Late) – Roddy Woomble

Roddy Woomble, not to be confused with any womble, is the lead singer of Scottish rock band, Idlewild and is also a solo contemporary folk musician.

To date, Woomble has released six full-length studio albums with Idlewild, and two solo albums, My Secret is My Silence and The Impossible Song & Other Songs the latter being released last month.

Regarding the album’s overall aesthetic, Woomble states: “My first two solo albums were much more low-key than this one and they were far more rooted in traditional Scottish folk. This record is a real change – it’s more eclectic while still being part of that folk scene.”

The album’s artwork is by author and illustrator Mairi Hedderwick, noted for her series of children’s books featuring Katie Morag.

“A New Day Has Begun” – Roddy Woomble

In the spring of 2008, Woomble moved to the Isle of Mull with his wife, Ailidh Lennon. Woomble notes: “We moved to Mull for the space, for the environment, but it’s actually been the people that have been so important. My wife has family there. At first I knew no one at all, but the songs I’ve written have definitely been shaped by the people I’ve met. Sometimes I think it’s odd how these songs came together quite quickly, then I think, well maybe it’s not been quick at all, maybe it’s taken me 34 years to get here and I just didn’t realise it.”

The album was recorded over four months at Mull’s local arts centre, An Tobar, with Woomble enlisting thirteen musicians to assist in recording. Former Idlewild bassist Gavin Fox appears throughout the album, alongside other noteable musicians, including Phil Cunningham, Lau’s Aidan O’Rourke and Michael Marra.

To buy the music of Roddy Woomble click HERE

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

Vintage Trouble

Every now and then there is a performance on Later….with Jools which catches the eye/ear, the latest being the 22nd April performance by Vintage Trouble.

Vintage Trouble are a Los Angeles based primitive soul band and the brainchild of Ty Taylor (vocal) and Nalle Colt (guitar). Combining their love for original soul and rhythm & blues, the two set up a basic home studio in Venice Beach and started crafting the beginnings of Vintage Trouble. Already a friend of both, Rick Barrio Dill (bass) came along and added his shared bass influences and energy into the newly formed project. To make the band complete, Richard Danielson (drums) was recruited not long after to add the authentic and edgy take that was needed on the drums.

With these collective energies and inputs in place, a new kind of soul band had been born with unlimited creativity and force. The foursome then moved to commune, create and rehearse in Laurel Canyon.

Within two weeks of rehearsals in early 2010, the group quickly began playing local shows and late night speakeasies. Led by timeless vocal tone and presence, small tweed amps, and a mission to move as many people as possible, the band quickly gained a reputation as a high energy and truly mesmerizing live act whose performances feel like down-home revivals with an uptown edge.

Sticking to their roots of mid-century original soul music and recording techniques, the band used a three-day recording session with full takes and no-frills to turn out 12 new songs a mere two months into the project.

With singles like “Gracefully”, “Nancy Lee”, “Still & Always Will” and “Blues Hand Me Down”, the resulting sound brings you back to the days of vinyl records, sweaty juke joints, and the feel and essence of the original soul movement. Vintage Trouble.


It is obvious that more than just me were hooked with their performance on Jools as the band instantly sky rocketed to the 6th most trending topic of the day on Twitter Worlds Wide, becoming the #13 best selling digital album on iTunes, #5 all around best selling digital album on Amazon UK (beating out Rihanna and the current Glee (TV series) albums), #2 best selling digital rock album on Amazon UK, and #1 best selling R&B digital album on Amazon UK!

“You Better Believe It” – Vintage Trouble

They are slated to head out on tour with Brian May (guitar player of legendary rock band Queen (band)) and Kerry Ellis starting in early May 2011.

To buy the music of Vintage Trouble click HERE

April 24, 2011 Posted by | Blues, New Music, New Releases, Television, Video | | Leave a comment

New Music – Little Miss Higgins

Somewhat amazingly it has taken until the recent relaunch of her fourth album from April 2010 for the music of Little Miss Higgins to catch my radar.

Little Miss Higgins  (aka Jolene Higgins) was born in Brooks, Alberta.

The blues, folk and jazz performer was however in fact raised in Independence, Kansas prior to moving back north. Now based in Saskatchewan the singer-songwriter strikes out in a wonderful, cultured style as she showcases her fine work on guitar as well as vocals.

Supported by her partner, Foy Taylor (guitar), Joey Lorer (upright bass), Joanna Miller (drums), Jimmie James McKee (trumpet) and others the music contains a great vibrancy as her and the band swing through a varied set of tunes including some splendid ones of a ragtime nature.

There is a rare live feel to the new album “Across The Plains”  the 1930s come to mind as she continually prompts and probes boundaries to produce a huge joyful sound.  


‘Glad Your Whiskey Fits Inside My Purse’ could just as easily come from America’s infamous prohibition era as the listener is taken on a whistle stop trip through that period in time.

“Glad Your Whiskey Fits Inside My Purse” – Little Miss Higgins

Her stage name, Little Miss Higgins suits the undeniably inflammatory mix of her blues and country music repertoire but the moniker was largely accidental. “When I moved to Saskatchewan in 2002 I started hanging out with this Greek guy,” she recalls “He started calling me Little Miss Higgins so I used it on poster for a gig I was doing and it just stuck.”

As a songwriter, she has been influenced by a range of artists from Memphis Minnie, Billie Holiday, Big Bill Broonzy to Joni Mitchell, Dolly Parton and Bob Dylan.

Her first two studio albums “Cobbler Shop Sessions” (2006) and “Junction City” (2007) superbly showcase Little Miss Higgins as a highly-developed songwriter as well as a remarkable country blues performer in a style gracefully highlighted by her partner, guitarist Foy Taylor and occasionally a handful of other roots musicians.

To her fan’s delight, there was the 2009 release “Little Miss Higgins Live: Two Nights In March”.  The album was recorded at Amigo’s Cantina in Saskatoon, and Engineered Air Theatre in Calgary.  The album features such favourite performance fare as “The Dirty Ol Tractor Song,” “Velvet Barley Bed,” “In The Middle Of Nowhere” and “I’m Gonna Bake My Biscuits.” As well as a couple of previously unreleased songs including “Snowin’ Today: A Lament For Louis Riel.”

“I’m Gonna Bake My Biscuits” (Live) – Little Miss Higgins

With her newest release, “Across The Plains” and partner Foy Taylor, Little Miss Higgins now enters international waters with a tour to the UK in the spring of 2011.

To buy the music of Little Miss Higgins click HERE 

April 21, 2011 Posted by | Blues, Folk, Jazz, New Music, Old Music, Video | | Leave a comment

Cover Story – John Legend and Adele

Adele’s second album “21” has rocketed her into the big time and is currently the biggest selling album in 2011 on both sides of the Atlantic, not bad for a wee girl who was mentored by Pete Townshend’s partner Rachel Fuller when she left music school.

Perhaps one of the biggest compliments she will have received is the great John Legend taking the time to record a cover of her “Rolling In The Deep” hit single.

There’s a fire starting in my heart,

Reaching a fever pitch and it’s bring me out the dark.

Finally I can see you crystal clear
Go ahead and sell me out and I’ll lay your ship bare.
See how I’ll leave, with every piece of you
Don’t underestimate the things that I will do.

There’s a fire starting in my heart,
Reaching a fever pitch and it’s bring me out the dark.

The scars of your love, remind me of us.
They keep me thinking that we almost had it all
The scars of your love, they leave me breathless
I can’t feeling

We could of had it all
Rolling in the deep
You had my heart inside your hand
And you played it to the beat

Baby I have no story to be told
But I’ve heard one of you and I’m gonna make your head burn,
Think of me in the depths of your despair
Making a home down there as mine sure won’t be shared

The scars of your love, remind you of us.
They keep me thinking that we almost had it all
The scars of your love, they leave me breathless
I can’t feeling

We could of had it all




To buy the music of Adele click HERE


To buy the music of John Legend click HERE

March 30, 2011 Posted by | Cover Stories, New Music, New Releases, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

New Music – The Vaccines

The Vaccines are a London-based indie rock band that formed in 2010. The band’s debut album, What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? was released through Columbia Records on 14 March 2011.

To buy the music of The Vaccines click HERE

March 23, 2011 Posted by | New Music, New Releases, Video | | Leave a comment

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