Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

2010 Top 30 New and Old #24

C.W. Stoneking’s album, ‘Jungle Blues’ was inspired in part by Stoneking’s amazing experience as a survivor of a shipwreck off Africa’s West Coast.

For the uninitiated, the first shock on listening to this is discovering that it was recorded in 2008, and not some eighty years earlier. The second is that the artist is, in fact, a young Australian and not a grizzled Delta bluesman holed up in some southern swamp.

Perfectly capturing various musical styles and moods of the twenties and thirties without the slightest hint of pastiche – field holler, calypso, blues, voodoo and folk are all brilliantly represented as illustrayed by this my favourite track from the album.

“Jungle Lullaby” – C.W. Stoneking

To buy the music of C.W. Stoneking click HERE

To view a previous post on C.W. Stoneking click HERE

2010 saw us lose many great musical artists amongst which was the highly influential Alex Chilton who passed away on the 17th March.

Alex and his group Big Star were never rewarded with the level of commercial success they deserved but are often named as a key influence by so many mainstream bands and artists.

Released in 1974, Radio City was recorded during 1973 at Memphis’ Ardent Studios. Though not a commercial success at the time, it is now recognized as a milestone album in the history of power pop music.

Critically acclaimed upon its release, the record sold poorly, partly due to a lack of promotion and the distribution problems of the band’s struggling record label, Ardent Records.

The album included “September Gurls” and “Back of a Car”, which remain among the most famous Big Star songs; both the Searchers and the Bangles have covered “September Gurls”.

“September Gurls” – Big Star

To buy the music of Big Star click HERE

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December 7, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Blues, New Music, Old Music, Video | , , , , | Leave a comment

Jungle Blues

C.W. Stoneking has perhaps released one of the most original “retro” albums in a long time, originally released in 2008 it has recently been relaunched after it went out of print.

I know that sounds like a major contradiction but somehow it captures the mood of the album which is a must for fans of Tom Waits.

Though he is only thirty-four he sounds twice that age and on Jungle Blues he takes a stride deeper into the Dr John habited delta bayou than he instigated on his debut album King Hokum, the cover of which depicts him in a mash up of styles….much like his music!

Although Australian, Jungle Blues reflects his experiences in Trinidad, West Africa and New Orleans, as much the soundtrack to Steamboat Willie and the steam rising off the mosquito-infested swamps. It’s intoxicating hearing this man with the voice of a weary tramp (Tom Waits fans please note) and a backing band of voodoo marionettes working their black magic.  

“Real” blues fans may find trouble with the lack of authenticity, Australia remains a long way from the Mississippi Delta and swamplands and to some listeners his attempts to replicate a bygone era may quickly slip into cliché and pastiche.

Bluesmen are nothing without a verifiable history of the down on luck lifestyle, no-hope, down and out blues., ask Mr Clapton who produced the best music of his career when things weren’t so rosy in his garden.

Notwithstanding the above  listening to the sinister calypso ‘Love Me Or Die’, the carnivale jazz of the title track and the grainy samba of ‘Brave Son Of America’ helps to address the authenticity issues and if you close your eyes and forget the videos you can be transported right back to the cotton fields and beyond.

It’s been pouring with rain here in Ballater for the last 48 hours so the title at least of this track is somewhat appropriate.

“Household Blues” – C.W. Stoneking

Hmm mm mmm…
Ahhh…
All across this bad-luck land, a story keeps botherin’ me,
concernin the woman and the man, and this inequality,
Men goes out drinkin all night long
Come in and think it ain’t nothin wrong
I’m bound to bust and it ain’t no lie,
And that’s why you hear me cry….
Said I got them Housebound Blues,
Got them housebound blues,
You ask what’s the matter, what’s the matter with me,
I’m gonna tell you partner so it’s plain to see,
I’m so tired,
Lord it’s more than one woman can bear,
Washin’ dishes, changin diapers, sweepin the floor,
While you puttin on your clothes, walkin out that door,
Housebound Blues,
While you out singin, drinkin your booze,
You bring some money, think you done alright,
Lay down snorin, keep me up all night.
Oh I tell you Willie I had enough of you,
I had it up to here. You just a big pain in my butt.
Housebound Blues,
Oh, got them Housebound Blues
Now that’s it Willie. I had it, I had it up to here. It’s over,
Oh, got them Housebound Blues

‘Jungle Blues’. Inspired in part by Stoneking’s amazing experience as a survivor of a shipwreck off Africa’s West Coast. ‘Jungle Blues’ is once again available on King Hokum Records/Shock.

For more information click HERE

Visit the official website HERE

To buy the music of C.W. Stoneking click HERE

Bonus Track:- Here is his cover version of The Beatles “Maggie Mae” from the recent MOJO Special Edition “Let It Be Revisited”

“Maggie Mae” – C.W. Stoneking

September 9, 2010 Posted by | Blues, New Music, Video | , , | 5 Comments

   

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