Archive for June, 2014


Five years ago, Jesus Canneloni, the wonderful and wild sax player of the german polit rock band Schröder Roadshow, died. To remember Jesus and his far-out sax sound, we like to post this Schroeder Roadshow gem.

With their anarchistic slogans and subversiv statements, their great live shows and their sarcastic humor Schröder Roadshow were a very important part of the german polit rock subculture. Schroeder Roadshow was – besides Ton Steine Scherben – the german political rock band in the seventies and eighties of the last century.
This album was released in 1983 and never re-released on cd.
 
1983 – that was the year a lot of us took part in the great peace happenings all around Europe, we were part of the “human chain” and die-in´s against atomic weapons. And the more ironical and sassy approach of the Roadshow was a very welcome antidote to the sometimes unbearable affected and whining mood in the west german left wing political scene of these days. Thanks a lot for this and all the great gigs!
 
 
(192 kbps, front cover included)
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Its lowly budget status notwithstanding, Joan Baez “In San Francisco” is, in fact, a crucial addition to any collection – albeit one that even completists are unlikely to play more than once or twice.

It comprises the album-length session that the then unknown teenager recorded in June 1958, as she later recalled. “I… was still in high school [when] two guys approached me and said ‘hey little girl, would you like to make a record?’ They were rogues, but I didn’t know that. [So] off we went to San Francisco [where] I recorded everything I knew on a gigantic borrowed Gibson guitar.”

A dozen songs ranged from recent hit songs like “La Bamba”, “Young Blood” and Harry Belafonte’s “Island In The Sun”, to folk club standards “Oh Freedom” and “I Gave My Love A Cherry”, and it must be confessed, no matter how beautiful Baez’s voice was, the material lets it down almost every time. True, her version of “Dark As A Dungeon” was fine, and she obviously retained enough affection for “Scarlet Ribbons” to include it aboard her “Rare, Live and Classic” box set. Otherwise, however, “Joan Baez in San Francisco” is little more than a curio from the very dawn of her career, a demo tape that failed in its stated purpose of landing her a record deal, and which should have been archived accordingly. But it resurfaced in 1964, once Baez’s fame was assured and, while she did succeed in getting an injunction against it at the time, it has continued resurfacing ever since.
 

Joan Baez – In San Francisco (1964)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Ennio Morricone is well known in the film music business for his westerns and mafia film scores. But in his enormous output one can also find gems in many other genres. Sacco and Vanzetti was a film by Italian director Giuliano Montaldo about the execution of two apparent political agitators in the 1920s. With this film Morricone found a wonderful opportunity for blending his masterful melodramatic themes with a vocal performance of enormous magnitude: that of Joan Baez.

Baez, also a socially active voice in the early sixties (at those times in good company with the likes of Bob Dylan and Simon and Garfunkel), complemented Morricone’s main theme in such a way that it has transcended the borders of film music and has become an immortal ballad for freedom and liberty for all. Her three part ballad is heartwrenchingly beautiful and poignant, even thirty years later. The lyrics are based on the texts of the liberties and rights of the individual in the USA (“give me your tired and your poor” refers to the inscription at the base of the statue of liberty). Morricone underscores her vocal performances almost in counterpoint but does not distract from the effectiveness of Baez’s vocals.

Morricone did not employ a large orchestra; his usual orchestra for Italian movies in the seventies varied from 25 players to about 55 players. Here, the sheer simplicity of thematics, combined with an extremely effective orchestration, clearly shows an optimal effect of dramatic scoring, as the music lives on far beyond the reach of the film itself. The hopelessness for Sacco and Vanzetti is wonderfully depicted by heavily melancholic strings and woodwinds and Morricone’s innovativity even reaches as far as creating a theme for the electric chair, consisting of a synthesizerlike sound, resonating and undulating with a chilling intensity. (In previous themes there is some reference to this sound, as if looking forward to an ominous ending.) The Here’s To You finale again repeats some of the finest moments of thematical material, accompanied by Baez’s unique vocal talents. If anyone does not know this particular piece, this is certainly the chance to hear Morricone at his very best! Although Ennio Morricone has done some remarkable things with vocal performers, this collaboration with Joan Baez is one of his most successful endeavors. A modern masterpiece of film scoring!

Tracklist

A1 Hopes Of Freedom
A2 The Ballad Of Sacco & Vanzetti – Part 1
A3 In Prison
A4 The Ballad Of Sacco & Vanzetti – Part 2
A5 Sacco And His Son
B1 The Ballad Of Sacco & Vanzetti – Part 3
B2 Freedom In Hope
B3 To Die Is A Duty
B4 The Electric Chair
B5 Here’s To You

Joan Baez & Ennio Morricone – Sacco And Vanzetti (OST)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

At various times “Deutsche Sinfonie” for soloists, chorus & orchestra, Op. 50 has variously been dubbed a “concentration camp symphony” or an “anti-Hitler symphony.” This provocative work for chorus, soloists, and orchestra by Hans Eisler is in 11 sections, and was mostly written from 1935 through 1957. Eight movements have words by Bertold Brecht, and the eighth movement also contains portions from Ignazio Silone’s novel “Bread and Wine” (1936). The Deutsche Sinfonie’s history can also be viewed as biographical of the composer’s tumultuous life.

The first movement is a “Präludium (Prelude)” which introduces the BACH motif in simple counterpoint, along with other central images of the work. Movement 2 is titled “An die Kämpfer in den Konzentrationslagern” (To the fighters in the concentration camps) and is a passacaglia based again on the BACH motif with 12-tone writing in the upper registers. The text praises the unshakeable courage of comrades in the camps: An “Etude für Orchester” follows with hints of military rhythms, and canonic lines. Eisler stated that his objectives in this work were to “convey grief without sentimentality, and struggle without the use of militaristic music.” The 4th movement, “Erinnerung (Potsdam) [Remembrance (Potsdam)]” describes the grim scene of an anti-war protest, brilliantly portrayed in the music. The fifth movement, dramatically punctuated with luminous orchestration, is titled “In Sonnenburg” (which ironically means “Sun City”). The text here concerns a concentration camp in which both prisoners and guards went hungry. The “Intermezzo für Orchester” follows. The seventh movement is “Begräbnis des Hetzers im Zinksarg (Burial of the Troublemaker in a Zinc Coffin)”. The trouble-maker in this case asked for enough to eat, a dry place to live, that his children be fed, and that he be paid his exact wages. The chorus first enters in a forte chorus in Classical style on the words “Denn er war ein Hetzer. Begrabt ihn! Begrabt ihn! (Because he was a troublemaker. Bury him! Bury him!).” And at the end, in dramatic minor harmonies punctuated in triplet rhythm by the instruments, the chorus states that “wer sich solidarisch erklärt mit allen Unterdrückten, der soll von nun an bis in die Ewigkeit in das Zink kommen wie dieser da”(whoever proclaims his solidarity with all who are oppressed – from now on throughout eternity he will be put into a zinc box like this one). In contrast to the previous movements, the 8th movement, a “Bauernkantate (Peasant Cantata)” in 4 sections, describes everyday experiences which give rise to the realizations that inform humanist impulses. The third movement is a stroke of expressive genius, entitled “Flüstergespräche (Melodram) [Dialogue in whispers].” It is a conversation in theatrical whispers about trials that are forever delayed. The whispering by two voices is heard in front of a subdued, ethereal humming chorus and sustaining orchestra playing 12-tone material, to stunning effect. The last section of Movement 8 is a “Bauernliedchen,” a peasant’s little song of encouragement and resistance. The 9th Movement, “Arbeiterkantate” (A Worker’s Cantata), describes in the first person the gradual realization of society’s inherent class struggle. Falling rain is used throughout as a metaphor describing social and natural consequences, the class-enemy trying to convince people that the rain can fall upward to the clouds (by false democracy, by maintaining fear and false enemies, etc.). Movement 10 is an “Allegro for Orchestra” which intrically varies the BACH motif. The final Movement 11 is an “Epilogue” extracted from Eisler’s work “Bilder aus der Kriegsfibel (Pictures from the Primer on War)” and is a plea to save children from the literal cold and the coldness of man’s previous acts.

Hanns Eisler – Deutsche Sinfonie (Gewandhausorchester Leipzig)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

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Starting in the 1940s, Folkways made significant blues recordings, particularly of important artists who might not have had the easiest time getting or keeping contracts with more commercial labels, but still had something to say artistically.
This 26-track compilation assembles material recorded between the 1940s and 1990s that showed up on various Folkways releases. Unfortunately, the liner notes don’t name the exact dates of all the recordings, but certainly the substantial majority of them predate 1970. These recordings were targeted toward a somewhat scholarly folk revival audience, and some might find them a little folky and gentle. Electric instruments barely appear at all (with the notable exception of the early Chambers Brothers cut “Oh Baby, You Don’t Have to Go”), and there’s little that’s as rough as the average prewar Delta blues track.

Yet overall, it’s a good compilation of many major and minor mid-20th century blues performers and styles. The bigger names include Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee (whose “Old Jabo,” with drums, almost verges on Bo Diddley-styled rock & roll), Reverend Gary Davis (represented by a 1957 version of his famous “Candy Man”), Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon (performing together), Lightnin’ Hopkins, Leadbelly, Roosevelt Sykes, Son House, Champion Jack Dupree, Elizabeth Cotten, Lonnie Johnson, and Josh White. While acoustic guitar blues (including a field recording of K.C. Douglas’ “Mercury Blues,” later covered by Steve Miller) gets a fair amount of airtime, so do boogie piano, a cappella singing (Vera Hall), and some actual Delta blues (Son House, from a 1942 field recording).

VA  – Classic Blues From Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Unique, maverick and massively respected, On-U Sound is undoubtedly one of the UK’s most important independent labels.

Contributing a strikingly diverse soundtrack to chaotic post-punk, post-colonial Britain, On-U has become a by-word for experimentalism, spewing forth incredible, far-fetched, sometimes completely baffling tunes, never straying far from the cutting edge.

Primarily associated with the sound of ‘dub’, the label’s heritage is far broader, with many of its artists having backgrounds in punk & post-punk, industrial, hip-hop and funk where the cross-pollination of punk experimentation and Jamaican dub has mapped out the innovative, culturally exciting territory the label has covered over the years.

Since 1981, with label boss and producer Adrian Sherwood at the helm, On-U Sound has released over 100 albums and singles and has launched the careers and/or inspired an endless list of artists.
The label’s influence upon a younger generation of musicians, not to mention the ambient/techno style in general, has proved enormous, helping to fuse dub with both the independent rock and post-punk scenes

Tracklist:

1. Deadly Headley 35 Years From Alpha
2. Deadly Headley Head Charge
3. Bim Sherman/Deadly Headley Without A Love Like Yours
4. Bim Sherman/Deadly Headley – Little Dove
5. Deadly Headley Two From Alpha
6. Deadly Headley Headley’s Meadly
7. Deadly Headley/Singers & Players – Revolution Part 5
8. New Age Steppers Some Love Dub
9. New Age Steppers 5 Dog Race / Tribute
10. Lol Coxhill/New Age Steppers – 5 Dog Race Part 3
11. Bim Sherman Accross The Red Sea
12. Bim Sherman Awake The Slum
13. Bim Sherman You Are The One
14. Bim Sherman Golden Morning Star
15. Bim Sherman Sit And Wonder

VA – Reggae Archive Vol. 2 (On-U Sound)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Kalyi Jag (Black Fire) is a group formed in Budapest in 1978 by young Gypsies from Szatmár county. They play authentic Gypsy music, sung in Romany and Hungarian. Kalyi Jag consists of: Gusztáv Varga – voice, guitar Ágnes Künstler – voice József Balogh – voice, tambura, guitar, spoon József Nagy – water can, oral bass.

They are recognised as one of the foremost Gypsy folk ensembles in Eastern Europe today.

This is one of their early LPs released on Hungaroton Records in 1989 and features guitar, jug, whistle, oral bass, water can etc..

Tracklist:

1. Parne gada szi pe late (2:07)
2. Lungoj o drom angla mande (2:42)
3. Muri klaca kocsakenca (2:14)
4. Lina (5:09)
5. Aj, Dévale Koj Odi (3:53)
6. Pánzs kolompiri ande tigalya (2:26)
7. Ustyen Opre, Romále (3:05)
8. Le csurara mol na pena (3:26)
9. Kerkoj aba muro jilo (2:50)
10. Anta, romnyej, mure roulya (3:07)
11. Szájbőgő improvizáció (2:04)
12. Szar Csiriklyi (4:37)
13. Beng hhuklyasz ande roulyi (1:38)
14. Sápä szärátä ás mänká (3:01)
15. Kutyka téle, ko lahhikao kopácsi (2:13)
16. Csorro Joka (2:43)
17. Könyörgés (3:10)

01 She has a white dress on
02 I have still a long way to go
03 My trousers are buttoned all along
04 Lina
05 Oh, my God, who is there
06 There are five potatoes in the pot
07 Get up, Gypsies
08 Shieve-makers do not drink wine
09 My Heart Is Heavy
10 Give, woman, my stick to me
11 Oral bass improvisations
12 Like birds
13 The devil has hidden in my stick
14 I would eat salten onions
15 Over there under a little tree
16 Poor Joska
17 Song for Mercy

Kalyi Jag – Lungoj O Drom Angla Mande
(192 kbps, front cover included)

This compilation explores pioneers of the first wave of the folk movement in America – women that ignited the modern folk revival and were key influences on modern icons Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Judy Collins and all who followed in their footsteps. Odetta, a true pioneer of the women’s movement, was a huge influence on the young Bob Dylan and played a key role in Janis Joplin’s development.

Odetta has to be considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th Century. No solo woman performer before Odetta had toured the world singing folk, blues, spirituals and protest songs – ultimately relaying the southern folk experience to a broader audience around the globe. Jean Ritchie is considered the mother of Appalachian folk music and was responsible for exposing her peers to a treasure trove of material passed down from her ancestors that have since become staples of the world-wide folk scene.

Bob Dylan was invited by Carolyn Hester to play harmonica on her first Columbia record which led to Dylan’s signing with the label. Barbara Dane raised the bar for all singers when she first burst onto the scene in the early 1950’s and a little lady from the Southern Appalachians named Etta Baker set the standard for folk guitarists everywhere.

Tracklis:
1. Sail Away Ladies – Odetta

2. Railroad Bill – Etta Baker
3. When I Was a Young Girl – Barbara Dane
4. Bashful Courtship, The – Jean Ritchie
5. Go ‘Way From My Window – Carolyn Hester
6. Midnight Special – Odetta
7. Goin’ Down the Road Feeling Bad – Etta Baker
8. Nine Hundred Miles – Barbara Dane
9. Old Grey Goose Is Dead, The – Jean Ritchie
10. Water Is Wide, The – Carolyn Hester
11. He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands – Odetta
12. John Henry – Etta Baker
13. Danville Girl, The – Barbara Dane
14. Blackest Crow, The – Jean Ritchie
15. House of the Rising Sun – Carolyn Hester
16. Take This Hammer – Odetta
17. One Dime Blues – Etta Baker
18. Ramblin’ – Barbara Dane
19. Wondrous Love – Jean Ritchie
20. Summertime – Carolyn Hester
 
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Here´s anther Richie Havens album, called “Cuts To The Chase”. Although this recording from the 90s doesn´t have the same resonance as his great 1960s LPs, Guitarist and composer Richie Havens keeps making thought-provoking, poignant and intensely personal music, with few (if any) romantic songs and frank discussions of issues without violent or sexist rhetoric.

This was Havens’ first solo release after some years of rest, and it contains only one original. But his covers of songs by Sting, Kris Kristofferson, Bob Lind and Marty Balin become his own memorable statements, while guitarist Billy Perry and guest guitarist Greg Chansky provide three new compositions. This album is a worthy vehicle for the 1990s.

Richie Havens – Cuts To The Chase
(192 kbps, front cover included)

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This two-hour, 36 track, musical journey down the Mississippi from the headwaters to the delta captures the power and diversity of American music in the late 20th century. The music, recorded between 1995 and 1997 in small towns and large cities along the river, reflects centuries of interaction and experimentation along America’s great waterway.

This album offers a landmark presentation of contemporary musicians who have forged their styles out of the rich musical heritage found along the banks of the Mississippi. The combination of musical diversity and striking continuity found in this remarkable region, which slices through the center of the United States, is reflected by a range of artists including Soul Asylum, John Hartford, Chippewa Nation, Babes in Toyland, and the Mississippi Mass Choir.

“River of Song” is the first of a stunning multimedia project (including a four-part PBS documentary, public-radio interviews, and book) on which an array of artists under the tutelage of director-curator Anthony Seeger give voice and share the lore of America’s great Mississippi River. The musical journey is parceled into quadrants: from the Northern headwaters, slicing through Twain’s heartland; snaking down into the Deep South; wending through Louisiana, where music is king; and culminating at its life-giving, life-taking mouth, the Gulf of Mexico. Prolonged visitation occurs in musical meccas Minneapolis, St. Louis, Memphis, and New Orleans, showcasing the abundant talent and distinct sound of each locale. River of Song celebrates not only the landscapes through which the water traverses but also the colorful cultures that have sprung from and thrive at her banks: Native American, Dutch, African-American, Cajun, and subcultures and hybrids of youth and religion, including indie-rock hipsters, heartland country rockers, Delta blues men, Mexican Dixieland jazz, and both black and white gospel musics from deep believers of faith. Much like driving the Natchez Trace, the journey is profoundly American – deeply affecting in providing not only a sense of the present but of our very roots.

River Of Song, pt. 1
River Of Song, pt. 2
(192 kbps)