We had a fantastic night at Høvleriet in Haugesund last night. We want to come back, what a venue and what an atmosphere! Thank you.
– Ida Jenshus (on her webpage)
Ida Jenshus has recently released her third album, Someone to love. The album is a departure from the country on her two previous records, into a more airy sounding country/rock/songwriter style. The obvious comparison is Emmylou Harris’ collaboration with super-producer Daniel Lanois, but I can also hear Kathleen Edwards and Mary Gauthier in the quiet stuff, and Lucinda Williams in her more uptempo stuff. I like the direction she’s taken. I like the first two records but I think her concerts have showed a truer Ida Jenshus, and finally it is reflected in her recorded work.
The wonderful Tender Leaves:
We saw Ida Jenshus with a great group of musicians at Høvleriet in Haugesund last friday, there she dedicated a very fine version of Tender Leaves to Chip Taylor. An artist that Jenshus has worked with lately and have played with on several occasions. Chip Taylor is the man who wrote Wild Thing and Angel of the morning.
It was a lovely show that varied from tender moments into full blown guitar jams, never dull and, man, what a great group she’s touring with! The audience clearly liked what they heard, quiet listening and attentive, and it was great to see this many people coming out to see Ida Jenshus. Country flavoured music isn’t always the biggest audience puller.
Last night I saw I Was A King(IWAK) for the fourth time. It is a fantastic band and they just keeps getting better. They still sound a bit like a Teenage Fanclub and Byrds mix, and that’s a good thing.
The New album is a fine mix of powerpop, guitar walls and great song writing. The guitars are “byrdsy” jangly and this time they flirt even more with the American side of indie-americana-pop. So you see, they’re kinda hard to describe. But they sound terrific!
IWAK has gotten together with two fantastic popmusic masters this time, Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub vocalist, yes him!) and Robyn Hitchcock (Power-pop godfather, The Soft Boys member and solo artist extraordinaire), what a dream-team!
When i first read about it I really couldn’t believe it, it’s a match made in heaven.
IWAK once wrote a fine song called “Norman Bleik” (on the second album, 2009), about one of their inspirations, just as Norman Blake once wrote a song about one of his own heroes Neil Young, called “Neil Jung”. Fun fact.
The result of this collaboration is IWAK’s best album, a fully realised record with great songs. It sounds so big and it is full of air, but it’s not pretentious at all. They sound more mature and more pop. The Playing is better than ever and the songwriting is spectacular, I realy love this album (You guessed that, eh?) and it is a quintessential pop album. A love letter to music, no less.
Best on the album: Frozen Disease, Superhero and Leave
Best live in Haugesund: Food Wheels and A Million Signs (with The One I love snippet as intro!)
I Was A King gave us a lesson in harmony induced pop music in Haugesund last night. I’ve never heard them better. Normally they’re not very talkative with the audience, but this night was a bit different. Anne Lise Frøkedal had several fammily members in the audience and the atmosphere was very friendly. Of course there were no sing-alongs, but it was a fun and relaxed interaction.
“When I’m on stage, I’m trying to do one thing: bring people joy. Just like church does. People don’t go to church to find trouble, they go there to lose it.”
– James Brown
“Our whole thing was based on James Brown. We listened to Live at the Apollo endlessly on acid. We would listen to that in the van in the early days of 8-tracks on the way to the gigs to get us up for the gig. If you played in a band in Detroit in the days before The MC5, everybody did ‘Please, Please, Please’ and ‘I Go Crazy.’ These were standards. We modeled The MC5’s performance on those records. Everything we did was on a gut level about sweat and energy. It was anti-refinement. That’s what we were consciously going for.”
– Wayne Cramer, MC5
October 24, 1962
31:31 (Original LP), 40:47 (CD reissue)
King, Solid Smoke, Polydor
James Brown (original), Harry Weinger (Polydor reissues)
One of the best live albums in music history, James Brown – Live at the Apollo was recorded on this day 50 years ago.
My favourite moment: The whole horn infused “Think” that borrows heavily from jazz legend Charlie Parker in the way Brown scats over the band with the crowd participating enthusiastically. Not remotely like the studioversions and terribly good!
“I volunteered for the Army on my birthday They draft the white trash , ´round here anyway I done two tours of duty in Vietnam And I came home with a brand new plan…”
“”This record is definitely going to keep me off the Grand Ole Opry. I think we’ve made a real rock ‘n roll album. People that only know me from Guitar Town might be freaked out a bit, although anyone who also followed Exit O and the live thing won’t be taken aback at all. Sonically, the rhythm section’s a lot tougher.” – Steve Earle (to Spectator)
Copperhead Road is an American alternative country/country rock album released in 1988 by Steve Earle. Often referred to as Earle’s first “rock record”, Earle himself calls it the world’s first blend ofheavy metal and bluegrass, while in their January 26, 1989 review of the album Rolling Stone suggested the style be known as “power twang”. (read more at Wikipedia)
October 17, 1988
April 29, 2008 (Deluxe)
Heartland rock, Alt-Country, Country rock, Americana
Uni Records (USA/Canada)
Steve Earle, Tony Brown
Official video for the song Copperhead Road
The songs on the album are a mix of personal/love songs and political/story-songs. The title track is about a road used for drug/alcohol traffic through generations, the song “Snake Oil” compares then president Ronald Reagan to a traveling con man. The title track and “Johnny Come Lately” ( with The Pogues) both describe the experiences of returning veterans.
Steve Earle and Pogues recording Johnny Come Lately:
“The fact that you didn’t intend to release it makes it the most intimate record you’ll ever do. This is an absolutely legitimate piece of art.” Steven Van Zandt
“I felt that it was my best writing. I felt I was getting better as a writer. I was learning things. I was certainly taking a hard look at everything around me.” Bruce Springsteen
I really love this album. I did not buy it in 1982 I got it a few years later, I listened to it at the record store when it was released, but it didn’t impress me. I couldn’t connect to it musically or lyrically. It is not an album that imidiately catches your attention, it needs to be listened to, properly.
When I did that I became very impressed!
Some facts (from Wikipedia):
September 30, 1982
Mostly January 3, 1982 at Springsteen’s Colts Neck, New Jersey bedroom
Americana, folk rock, folk
Nebraska is the sixth studio album by Bruce Springsteen, released in 1982 on Columbia Records.
Sparsely-recorded on a cassette-tape Portastudio, the tracks on Nebraska were originally intended as demos of songs to be recorded with the E Street Band. However, Springsteen ultimately decided to release the demos themselves. Nebraska remains one of the most highly-regarded albums in his catalogue. The songs on Nebraska deal with ordinary, blue collar characters who face a challenge or a turning point in their lives. Unlike his previous albums, very little salvation and grace is present within the songs.
Initially, Springsteen recorded demos for the album at his home with a 4-track cassette recorder. The demos were sparse, using only acoustic guitar, electric guitar (“Open All Night”), harmonica, mandolin, glockenspiel, tambourine, organ and Springsteen’s voice.
Springsteen then recorded the album in a studio with the E Street Band. However, he and the producers and engineers working with him felt that a raw, haunted folk essence present on the home tapes was lacking in the band treatments, and so they ultimately decided to release the demo version as the final album. Complications with mastering of the tapes ensued because of low recording volume, but the problem was overcome with sophisticated noise reduction techniques.
Springsteen fans have long speculated whether Springsteen’s full-band recording of the album, nicknamed Electric Nebraska, will ever surface. In a 2006 interview, manager Jon Landau said it was unlikely and that “the right version of Nebraska came out”. But in a 2010 interview with Rolling Stone, E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg praised the full band recording of the album as “killing.”
“There is an adage in the record business that a recording artist’s demos of new songs often come off better than the more polished versions later worked up in a studio. But Bruce Springsteen was the first person to act on that theory, when he opted to release the demo versions of his latest songs, recorded with only acoustic or electric guitar, harmonica, and vocals, as his sixth album, Nebraska. It was really the content that dictated the approach, however. Nebraska‘s ten songs marked a departure forSpringsteen, even as they took him farther down a road he had been traveling previously. Gradually, his songs had become darker and more pessimistic, and those on Nebraska marked a new low. They also found him branching out into better developed stories…”
Promo poster for Nebraska in 1982
Literary worth is established with the title tune, in which Springsteen’s Charlie Starkweather becomes the first mass murderer in the history of socially relevant singer-songwriting to entertain a revealing thought–wants his pretty baby to sit in his lap when he gets the chair. Good thing he didn’t turn that one into a rousing rocker, wouldn’t you say, though (Hüsker Dü please note) I grant that some hardcore atonality might also produce the appropriate alienation effect. But the music is a problem here–unlike, er, Dylan, or Robert Johnson, or Johnny Shines or Si Kahn or Kevin Coyne, Springsteen isn’t imaginative enough vocally or melodically to enrich these bitter tales of late capitalism with nothing but a guitar, a harmonica, and a few brave arrangements. Still, this is a conceptual coup, especially since it’s selling. What better way to set right the misleading premise that rock and roll equals liberation? A-
Nebraska is an acoustic triumph, a basic folk album on which Springsteen has stripped his art down to the core. It’s as harrowing as Darkness on the Edge of Town, but more measured. Every small touch speaks volumes: the delicacy of the acoustic guitars, the blurred sting of the electric guitars, the spare, grim images. He’s now telling simple stories in the language of a deferential common man, peppering his sentences with “sir’s.” “My name is Joe Roberts,” he sings. “I work for the state.”
“Now judge I had debts no honest man could pay
The bank was holdin’ my mortgage and they were gonna take my house away
Now I ain’t sayin’ that makes me an innocent man
But it was more ‘n all this that put that gun in my hand”
Bruce Springsteen would try to recreate Nebraska in 1995 when he released The Ghost of Tom Joad, an album that is very similar musically and lyrically. As much as I love The Ghost of Tom Joad, it was impossible to recreate the “accident” that happened on this simple casette demo, recorded in a New Jersey bedroom in January 1982.