Uncle Tom- Children’s Sing Along

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This was a dollar I think.  I could not imagine it would be any more.  I also think it was the semi-offensive name of the singer that made me buy this. I also think I thought the cover was funny enough. First off, what is going on with the cover? It looks like Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer is freaked out by Mouse Santa and his sleigh pulled by crickets. And despite the somewhat Chrsitmas theme, there are no Christmas songs on this album. And who is this by? The cover credits the somewhat off color Uncle Tom while the album lists the Cricketeers. The singer on the album identifies himself as Scotty McGregor. So again, who is this?

Well, the album is a collection of kids songs. I actually listened to this.  I was planning on posting this during Christmas, but as noted above, no Christmas songs killed this idea.  However, upon listening, I ran across this collection of popular New Year’s tunes including “Auld Lang Syne”.  The rest of the songs are really just kids song.  None are really what I would call radical, even by kid’s song standards.DSCN3630

So here this is for your New Years celebration.  Don’t mind that they are calling this “The Birthday Song”.  Enjoy.

By the way, this album is definitely Meh.

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VA- Brute Force Steel Bands of Antigua

DSCN3623This was $5 less 20%.  A bit pricey for my normal range .  You should know by now that I like steel drum albums.

As the Internet is down at my place, I have to do this post on the road.  I started it at Cecil’s but lousy WIFI made me go back to the Maple Leaf Pub.DSCN3624

So as a result, I am not saying much about this album other than it is pretty good.  The recording is poor.  The music is good.  Unlike most steel drum albums I buy, this one has tracks that have vocals which is cool.

For samples, I went with “Hold Em Joe” and “Saturday Night”  both of which seem to be steel band staples.  Both have vocals.

 

Meh.  Although I really like the vocal aspect, the recording is poor and not worth the $5 less 20% I paid for it.DSCN3623

 

Hawkwind-Masters of The Universe

DSCN3643Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, Hawkwind, and the Rocking Vicars is dead.  He died of cancer.  He was 70 years old.

lem

 

Rolling Stone Article

Obit from the Guardian

When I lived in Denmark (2004), I was walking down the street to work when I walked past a tour bus loading up.  There was some one with black hair and tight pants bending over to get something.  When I started to check this person out, it popped up and as soon as I saw the mole,  I knew it was Lemmy.   Motorhead had played the night before. So I walked the rest of the walk in the cold Copenhagen air trying to get the image of Lemmy’s ass out of my head.dc34be86a797e0218676abdae83e284d

My friend Sam just asked me what Motorhead album I was going to post.  After I gave him a glaring look, he said he should have known better than to ask as he knew I was a Hawkwind fan.images6

Every obit mentions Motorhead but many of them do not mention Hawkwind.  Some mention a sentence.  Not only did Lemmy learn to play his style of bass in Hawkwind, he played in what is considered by all to be the classic Hawkwind lineup.  He played on their best four albums (Dorime Fasol Latido, Hall of the Mountain Grill, Warriors on the Edge of Time, and the live Space Ritual).  He also sang on their biggest single, “Silver Machine”.

 

This album was a quick compilation of some Hawkwind tracks from other albums. With “Masters of the Universe”, Brainstorm”, and “Sonic Attack”, it is a ok album for what it was trying to accomplish.DSCN3644

In tribute to Lemmy’s passing, here is a song he wrote and sung with Hawkwind, “Lost Johnny” from the heavy Hall of the Mountain Grill.

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Lou Christie- Lightnin’ Strikes

DSCN3158This was $3.192.  Internet is down at the house so I am out doing this at the Maple Leaf Pub.  I was a bit surprised they let me back in after Thursday night.lou-christie-534ed8142643e5.97246148One of the reasons I bought this, believe it or not, is the backing singers. For Christie’s earlier work, he used the Tammy’s, a female vocal group consisting of the sisters Gretchen and Cathy Owens and Linda Jones. They had a cult hit with “Egyptian Shumba”. However, around 1965, Christie started using a different vocal group, The Outlaws made up of Bernadette Carroll, Denise Ferri, and Peggy Santiglia.    I thought the Tammys sang on “Trapeze” but it turns out it was the Outlaws. I know that the Outlaws sang on “Lightin’ Strikes”.

Lou Christie Webpage

Lou with the Tammy's
Lou with the Tammy’s

Somehow, I picture an old school rumble between the Tammys and The Outlaws in the recording studio. The nice, sweet Tammy’s from Pleasantville, PA and the rough and tough Outlaws from New Jersey. It kind of writes itself. Either way, I am pretty positive that this is the Outlaws on this record, not the Tammy’s.

Lou with the Outlaws
Lou with the Outlaws

Regardless, this album is heavy on female vocals which are well executed on this. Christie’s vocals have a pretty good range from low to falsetto. I originally thought this was Frankie Valli when I first heard the title track. Because I like to point out this kind of thing, Christi is still alive today. Sadly, Lemmy is not.  He passed away two hours ago.DSCN3159

As a sample, here is “You’ve Got Your Troubles” which features the Outlaws on vocals and “Since I Fell For You” which is just Lou.  I really liked the last track last week.  I am sort of ambiguant (or however you spell it) about it this week.

Satisfctory Record.  I really planned a different direction for this post but no net limits me to this.

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The Mexicali Brass- Michelle

DSCN3619This was a dollar I believe.  You can’t go wrong with a good looking female on your cover.

This was released in 1966 by the Mexicali Brass band, Crown Records’ (a budget label) response to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.  Note that The Beatles’ “Michelle” is the only new song on the album.  The rest are from the public domain to cut costs.  I am assuming Chet Baker is not on this or they would have plastered his name on the cover like the  Brass album I posted earlier. Overall the songs are pretty good. Songs such as “Sorrento”, “Estrellita” and “Senorita” add to the album’s mood. I found this album to be okay.DSCN3620

For a sample, I went with the title track, “Michelle”.

Satisfactory record.

 

VA- Chicago/The Blues / Today!

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Well, back to this grind.  This was $5.  I got it at a Record Show.  That is the only place I can find blues music. Not a whole lot of it at Half Price Books.

James Cotton
James Cotton

James Cotton’s Webpage

Now that the holidays are over, I am relieved I am listening to normal records again.  The Christmas records were starting to wear thin.  I am not really looking forward to writing this again, but meh, what can you do.

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Otis Rush

Otis Rush’s Webpage

From the migration from Mississippi to the open market at Maxwell Street, the Chicago Blues started rock and roll.  This urban style influenced music and artists from the USA and England.  Also, this record is by Vanguard so you know it is going to be good.

Encyclopedia of Chicago- The Blues

Homesick James
Homesick James

Homesick James Discography

This record does not disappoint.   It contains cuts from three Mississippi transplants, The Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet. The Otis Rush Blues Band, amd Homesick James and his Dusters featuring blues legend Willie Dixon on bass.  The numbers are all pretty good.  The Jimmy Cotton tracks have harmonica.  Pretty good and diverse guitar work from Otis Rush and James Williamson.DSCN3633For samples, I wanted to go with The Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet’s “Rocket 88” to highlight the harmonica and Otis Rush’s “I Can’t Quit You Baby”.  It is the version on this record that Led Zepplin copied.  To be complete, I am going to throw in Homesick James with “So Mean To Me”.

Top Rated Album

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Andy Williams- The Andy Williams Christmas Album

DSCN3600Happy Christmas everybody.  This was a dollar.  I almost overlooked this and did not play it this month.  That would be a shame.  This was probably the best overall Christmas record I posted. Nelson Muntz would be happy.

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There are a lot of swinging numbers on this.  For samples, I went with “Jingle Bells and “The Little Drummer Boy”.

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Well this is the last of the Christmas records for better or for worse.  Not looking forward to having to write posts again.  I will be glad to listen to different records again as opposed to all Christmas ones.

 

VA- A Country Christmas

DSCN3598This was $3.00.  I don’t like it when labels lump folk music on country compilations.  The inclusion of Burl Ives and The New Christy Minstrels is evidence of this.  Otherwise, there are some good moments on the album with Marty Robbins, Tammy Wynette, and Ray Price.

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For a sample I went with this rolling number from country singer Stonewall Jackson.  Here is “Blue Christmas”. My favorite song on the record, however, is Tammy Wynette doing a song I posted last month, “Count Your Blessings”.  It really isn’t Christmas, per se, but here it is as well.  I think it is the best track on the record.

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VA- On This Christmas Night

DSCN3596This was $3.00.  It is a compilation from mostly religious and inspirational singers.  None of the songs are Christmas staples so that is pretty cool.

Saw the new Star Wars The Force Awakens today.  It was pretty good.  I admit, I tried my hardest not to like it.  There were some real cool parts in it. There were still same corny parts but not as many as the last three movies. I still felt the character introductions were too long but not as long and drawn out as the last three movies. The people in the audience who clapped at the key parts in the movie did not help.  I felt they demeaned us all as human beings.  Also, I saw it in a crowded theater.  Normally, I like to wait until I can see it during a “Lee Harvey” matinee (during the day and by myself).  However, my coworker has seen it and I am pretty sure he wants to talk about it.

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I went with “Santa’s Reindeer Ride” from Amy Grant which is one of the albums few secular moments. So there you go, free Christmas MP3 and movie review.  What more could you people ask for?

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Living Strings and Living Voices- The Most Beautiful Sounds of Christmas

DSCN3594This was a dollar.  It is selections either by choir or string sections.  It was remarkably better than I thought it would be when I bought it. It was released in 1978 from previously recorded material.Johnny Douglas Colour0001

This was arranged and conducted by Johnny Douglas, a London based bandleader.  He is a key contributor to easy listening music.  He also composed the music to the TV cartoon GI Joe.  You know the one, “Greatest American Hero”.DSCN3595

Submitted for a sample is the first medley on the album consisting of “Jingle Bells”, “Rudolph”, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, “Silver Bells” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”.  I thought it was a snappy number.