A bit of a hasty one, because I’ve got a lot going on right now, but having set myself up as a blogger, I ought to blog.

For now, posting Radio Minidisk 2, which should play okay from a click here …

It’s a sort of Africa’n’Western mix, which I put together when minidisk promised to rule the world and I had a lot of records passing through – late 90s, I guess.

Track 1 is See You Later, featuring Lemmy Special – that’s him on penny whistle, I think, in dialogue with a sax, with a nice drum’n’bass shuffle going on behind them. Excuse the ‘I thinks’ in this. Normally, there is a reasonable amount of research in these Online & Off columns but the Radio Minidisk ones amount to an evening round at mine, with the top off a bottle of whisky, except you don’t get the whisky.

Track 2 is Guilty by Connie Lush, a British blues belter who, as this shows, is sometimes very good.

Track 3 – Red House by Booker T with John Lee Hooker.

Track 4 – Littlest Birds by the Be Good Tanyas, a collection of country girls who have all been involved in other interesting collaborations.

5 – 900 Nights by She-haw, a 1990s Philadelphia country duo called Beth Case and Amy Pickard.

6 – Thaba Bosiu by Sipho Mabuse –African jazz is worth checking out even if you are so-so about American and British jazz. I find the discords in this just perfect.

7 – Rosie by She-haw. I don’t know where I picked up the She-haw samples but I liked this so much, hearing it again, I bought an album – and made a note to try to find their take on Ghost Riders In The Sky, which everyone goes on about.

8 – You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man), which is Tina Turner covering, I believe, a Loretta Lynn song. I was delighted when I came across a tape called Tina Turner Sings Country, going for about a fiver on Llandudno Pier, back when you could still charge a fiver for a cassette tape. In fact, she recorded a fair amount of country, it turns out. This tape was made up of tracks laid down at Ike’s home studio, when they were still together, and the quality of production and recording is not good, but Tina made a slicker album,in 1974, still available on CD, called Tina Turns The Country On. Must find it.

9 – Go Away Little Boy, by Maria McKee, who had some success for a while with a punkabilly outfit called Lone Justice.

10 – I’m Leavin’ features saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith, formerly a Bluesbreaker, and guitarist Tony McPhee, from Humberston, Lincs., who played with a long-running British blues outfit called The Groundhogs, who had a nice dirty sound.

11 – Rag Rag Rag is a country funk-up by Jeff Finlin. Good grown-up voice.

12 – Siyavuya features the later-majestic Miriam Makeba in a 1950s incarnation as a doo-wopper, in a band called The Skylarks.

13 – A Cowboy’s Wild Song is a rare unashamed example of the western side of country & western, from Skip Gorman, who got into this stuff as a student in the 1970s and has made a career out of reviving it.

14 – Stolen Car is sung by Patty Griffin but I think it’s a Springsteen song?

15 – Tomorrow Night is also Patty Griffin.

16 – All Smiles Tonight is stone country from Martina McBride.

17 – So Lonesome I Could Cry is one of several essential tracks by the Cowboy Junkies, who are absolutely perfect when they find the perfect song for themselves but, the one time I saw them live, spent too much time applying exactly the same tricks to the wrong material.

18 – Tunji’s Song is by Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath, an African band put together, I think, by a white South African in London.

19 – Five Dollar Bill is by Corb Lund, who is Canadian, like a lot of the best contemporary country talent.

20 – Time To Switch To Whiskey is Corb Lund with one of the best drinking songs ever.

21 – Wait Awhile is Winston’s Jive Mix-up: I know no more.

That’s it for now


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