Gettin' a little Lustie

I thought I should get a post up so you all know I’m still alive here. The hotel where I’m staying in north Florida has a really slow Internet connection, so it’s difficult to upload anything while I’m there. I’ll be there again next week, and again I’ll try to post, but I can’t promise I’ll be able to.

I found the Chicago’s The Lusties last week while – slowly – moving around the Internet. I really dug the punk-pop (as opposed to pop-punk, which frequently sucks, as it says on their MySpace) sound of the band, sort of like Cheap Trick meets the Distillers.

The Lusties are a five-piece onslaught fronted by Ms. Edie Lustie, formerly of Austin, Texas. The band also features guitarists Larz Lustie and GT Lustie, bassist St. Michael “Gunther” Lustie, and CJ Lustie on drums. Yes, they’re one big Lustie family.

“Between us, we've probably drunk a beer that belonged to you,” according to a very brief band bio, “done a line that was intended for you, and slept with all your moms, girlfriends, boyfriends, fathers, wives, husbands, and daughters. We're not sorry. You probably had it coming.”

Earlier this month, The Lusties released their second full-length album, Cocks & Monsters. Their dotcom is down, so The Lusties are right now selling the disk through eBay. You can go there direct, or you can go to their MySpace and link to it through there. Either way, get the album. You need it.

High School Love.mp3
Soldier Boy (Shirelles cover).mp3
Break Her (live).mp3

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Duty Calls

Hey everyone -
I'm sure you've all heard about the onslaught of flooding left by Tropical Storm Fay as she lingered around the Florida area. Here in Miami we were particularly fortunate to have only seen a little rain and a little bit of wind.

Anyway, I'm called away on a work-related emergency trip to the harder hit areas in north Florida. I'm bringing my laptop, but I can't say that I'll have time for any serious posting. I will if I can, but I can't promise!

Stick with me and check back. At the very latest, I should resume posting by Sunday.

Be safe!

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“The Boxing Lesson are Narco-terrorists?”

A couple of days ago, I got an email that sounded too bizarre to be real. It was titled “The Boxing Lesson are Narco-terrorists? Free Jake Mitchell.”

Reading the message, I saw that Jake Mitchell, The Boxing Lessons’ drummer, is about to go to federal prison, charged under the Patriot Act for growing marijuana. He has apparently been branded a “narcoterrorist.”

“Narcoterrorist”? My understanding of narcoterrorism was that the term applied to drug traffickers influencing government policies through violence. The term seems also to have come into vogue lately to define groups who fund terrorism through sales of narcotics.

I don’t know the particulars of Jake Mitchell’s case, but a drummer for a rock band hardly seems like someone who would be funding the Taliban or trying to overthrow a government.

Here’s the post made on The Boxing Lesson’s MySpace blog, concerning the charges:
Jake Mitchell, the drummer for Austin's Boxing Lesson, was sentenced a couple of weeks ago to 60 months in federal prison on marijuana charges. What makes Mitchell's case particularly unsettling is that he was charged under the Patriot Act and has been branded a Narco-Terrorist. The band went public with the details today as Mitchell prepares to begin his sentence early next month, hoping to raise awareness of his case for the pending appeal and help support him and his family as they have lost everything. And the details only get more distressing.

According to the Boxing Lesson's publicist, Ryan Cano, Mitchell's wife is currently serving a six-month sentence as a conspirator for not turning her husband in. While Cano acknowledges that the operation Mitchell was running out of his house in 2006 was certainly much more elaborate than a simple case of his growing pot for personal use, the fact that he was charged, and sentenced, under Patriot Act laws that have essentially branded him a domestic terrorist seems particularly ludicrous and disheartening.
(Go here for the blog post and also to read a re-posting of the email I received.)

Again, I don’t know the specifics of Mitchell’s case, but on the surface, this seems utterly ridiculous and brought forth from a government strong-arming its citizens under the guise of patriotism. I can hardly believe the current administration would do something like that.

The Boxing Lesson is playing two shows in Austin, Texas, next week. Those will be Mitchell's last before he begins his sentence. They will be at Emo's August 27, and the Carousel Lounge on August 28. The band plans to continue with Kevin Sparks filling in on drums.

White Rabbit (Jefferson Airplane cover).mp3

To donate to Mitchell’s legal defense fund, contact The Boxing Lesson at freejakemitchell@gmail.com.

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STP for my birthday

I’m going out this evening to see the newly – and somewhat surprisingly, still - reunited Stone Temple Pilots. And on top of that today is my birthday (yes, I am officially a crusty old dude now) so the night holds some promise.

This will be my first time seeing STP. A friend saw them open for someone a long time ago and said they were great. Weiland was great as Velvet Revolver’s front man, so I expect STP to put on a good show as well. I’ve looked at the set lists for previous shows on this tour and they seem pretty consistent as far as what the band is playing: The expected mix of hits from their five studio albums. It looks like the band is allowing fans to pick the set list by registering on their Web site. I didn’t want to register, so if they play stuff I don’t want to hear, I have no one but myself to blame.

To get in the right frame of mind, I decided I should post some STP today. I hit up my collection and pulled one song from each CD. It was hard not to pick familiar songs, especially from the first three albums; it seems like they all got a lot of airplay. I also dug around a little and came up with a couple of things maybe you haven’t heard before including a demo from Mighty Joe Young (the band’s pre-Stone Temple Pilots name) and a so-so quality live recording from earlier this year.

Dead and Bloated.mp3 Core
Big Empty.mp3 Purple
Art School Girl.mp3 Tiny Music...Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop
No Way Out.mp3 No. 4
Bi-Polar Bear.mp3 Shangri-La Dee Da
Dancing Days (Led Zeppelin cover).mp3 Encomium: A Tribute To Led Zeppelin
Naked Sunday (demo).mp3 Mighty Joe Young (pre-STP, c. 1990)
Plush (acoustic version).mp3 Thank You (The Greatest Hits)
All in the Suit That You Wear (live).mp3 Rock on the Range; Columbus, Ohio, May 17, 2008

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Untitled Zeppelin post (take 5)

We’ve got today the Tropical Storm Fay edition of my temporarily recurring feature here at the Licorice Pizza: The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Sessions disks.

This is a particularly different group of recordings. While I was listening to these tracks, something came to light that I had not known before. Apparently, during the Houses of the Holy sessions in 1972, Page and Plant made some recordings with the Bombay Symphony Orchestra.

The first 18 tracks of today’s post are from those sessions, which were never officially released. The songs are heavy with tabla drums and sitars. When I listened to them for the first time, I thought someone had pranked me and those were actually outtakes from the No Quarter album. It turned out the recordings were never used because Page was unhappy with the results. He reportedly complained that the orchestra didn't keep time in the Western style and some of them drank a lot.

What is interesting about these takes is the markedly different version of “Friends.” A lot of the takes are just the orchestra noodling around, trying to get the song down. You can also hear a lot of back and forth in Hindi. But the introduction of an Indian symphony changes the song in a dramatic way.

Page and Plant also worked on a version of “Four Sticks” with the orchestra. There is a take here that includes Plant’s vocals.

Of the remaining tracks, the seven versions of “No Quarter” come from June 1972 sessions at Electric Lady studios in New York, where Zeppelin went to complete recording the Houses of the Holy album. Take a listen to track 26 and you can hear some slight differences from what would be the final version of the song.

“Walter’s Walk” was recorded May 1972 at Stargroves in England. It remained unreleased until 1982 when it was included on Coda. The date of Plant’s performance on the song is debatable, according to Dave Lewis’ The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin. Plant's tone in this track is far more reminiscent of In Through the Out Door than the rest of the material recorded during the Houses of the Holy era, Lewis says. He further suggests Plant's vocals may have been recorded at Jimmy Page's Sol Studios in 1982. It is quite possible that the song existed only as a basic backing track until Coda was assembled.

Again, because of the number of tracks and the amount of just tuning up and fooling around, I’ve posted just a few individual songs then made the entire disk available via the magic of zip.

Complete Track List:
1-11. Friends
12. Four Sticks
13-14. Friends
15. Friends.mp3
16. Four Sticks (Take 1)
17. Four Sticks (take 2).mp3
18. Four Sticks (Take 3)
19. Walter’s Walk.mp3
20-25. No Quarter
26. No Quarter.mp3

Unzip the whole thing here

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"These are some friends of mine" (Blogroll update)

Since I’m trapped indoors by Tropical Storm Fay, this seems like a good opportunity to look through my blogroll, make sure everything’s current, and make updates as needed. There are also several sites I need to add because it’s been many, many months since the last update.

I’ve decided, too, to add a couple of new lists of sites I like and visit regularly, although they are not necessarily music-related. If you like ‘em, fine. If not, well, don’t click the links!

My first order of business is saying goodbye to a couple of sites I’ve had linked nearly since the beginning: María Magnética changed her site a couple of times, from English to Spanish, and has apparently shut it down for good.

Small Things Stupid Packages has not updated in a couple of months, and only sporadically in the weeks preceding that. I enjoyed his site, so it is with regret I remove that link.

Finally, and very sadly, I am de-linking Confessions of a Music Addict. Leah, the blog’s founder, moved to New York in June and no longer has the time to keep up her blog. I have long harbored a secret crush on the girls from Confessions of a Music Addict, so I was very sad to see them discontinue.

(NOTE: If any of the above-named blogs are continuing in any form, drop me a note, and I will be very happy to re-add you. I don’t want to do anyone wrong!)

~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~

Now for the good news - some of the sites I’ve found and bookmarked over the last few months. So, in no particular order:

RockStar Journalist. “Music for short attention spans.” Recent posts include a video from The Pills, music from Jay Reatard, and some thoughts on the downsizing of Rolling Stone magazine.

Killed By Death Records. “This is NOT a record label.” An awesome collection of old punk 45s. Recent posts include music from Sudden Fun and London Zoo.

Troubled Souls Unite. A blog with a large variety of musical tastes, something I always like. Recent posts include thoughts on Dave Mathew’s fans, and the art of the tailgate party. Both accompanied by appropriate music.

Battle of the Midwestern Housewives. “A blog about music and other stuff but mainly music. We like music.” MOAR punk rock blogs! Yes! Recent posts feature music from Adolf and the Piss Artists, and some classic, must-have demos from Fear.

I Correct Myself, I Mean All the Time. I Correct Myself is a pretty new blog; I think they started in July. A Tart and Puppet Show (the responsible parties at I Correct Myself) have come out of the gate very strong and I really enjoy the music and the writing. Recent posts include music from Elvis Costello, the Replacements, and the Dead Milkmen.

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Rob Zombie: Genius?

Would I be out of line to suggest that Rob Zombie is some sort of a genius?

Inspired by a post last week on a blog I cannot find just now, I picked up a copy of Rob’s 2003 greatest hits collection, Past, Present, & Future, and have listened to it a ridiculous number of times. I think what fascinates me about the music is the seemingly obscure horror movie references in the lyrics and the use of sound effects, dialogue, and porno-style moans buried underneath the pounding, American-made-music-to-strip-by beat. There is so much going on in the songs that you have to listen and re-listen and re-re-listen to get it all.

Cyclone Jack
Hallucinating Hack
Thinks Donna Reed
Eats dollar bills

“Donna Reed eats dollar bills”? Where does that stuff come from?

Or the spoken dialogue repeated in “Pussy Liquor” from the House of 1000 Corpses soundtrack:

Baby: Yeah, we like to get fucked up
Goober: Yeah, I like to get fucked up too
Baby: Yeah, I bet you do

Mixing that audio into what amounts to Baby’s theme song and knowing as you hear it that “Goober” is going to be killed, makes the song one of the creepiest on the album. It very much reminds of the scene in Natural Born Killers when Mallory seduces the guy at the gas station only to shoot him because he’s too “fuckin’ eager.” Difference being that the Natural Born Killers clip is ultimately more explicit whereas the “Pussy Liquor” dialogue only implies what is to come.

Besides my touting of Rob Zombie as genius for his ability to weave obscure horror references throughout his lyrics, there is also the fact that he has sold millions of albums, both solo and as leader of White Zombie (whose name, by the way, is a reference to the 1932 movie starring Bela Lugosi). Five of his albums have been certified platinum and another two have been certified gold, making him the artist with the most gold and platinum discs on the Geffen Records label.

As a filmmaker, besides the cult classics House of a 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects, Rob’s 2007 remake of Halloween grossed $78 million world wide, despite being pretty much panned by critics. It also broke box-office records for the Labor Day weekend last year, pulling in $31 million.

Rob Zombie: Genius.
Disagree? Let’s hear why.

Living Dead Girl.mp3
Pussy Liquor.mp3

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"Paying the Piper at the Gates of Dawn"

I had really meant to get this post up a little sooner, but you know, things happen.

Psychedelic prog-rockers Bigelf released their new album, Cheat the Gallows, last Tuesday. This disk, like their previous release, Hex, is a mix of Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath, resulting in a sound the band has referred to as The Evil Beatles. Blabbermouth.net: “If Bigelf did exist in the heyday of ELO, Queen, or ‘Ziggy Stardust’-era David Bowie, not only would Bigelf be mentioned in the same breath as those acts... they'd give ‘em a fucking run for their money.”

One of the funniest – and probably most revealing – things I’ve read about Bigelf is that they are 30 years behind and five years ahead of what’s happening in music. “Our genetic codes are from the great ones, the great acts and rock groups of the past,” singer Damon Fox said in a recent interview. “We’ve been exploring taboo grounds for a long time, and the oxygen is really thin up here. It’s a very high mentality, and there’s very little room for error. When you get into those psychedelic and progressive rock categories, you’re battling some of the greatest shit that ever existed, so you’re either going to be great, or you’re going to suck.”

Bigelf worked with former 4 Non Blondes front woman Linda Perry on Cheat the Gallows, which was released on Perry’s Custard label. She also contributes vocals on a couple of the songs. The first single, which coincidently is also my post today, is a song titled “Money, It’s Pure Evil.” It’s a look at the dark side of fame and the people who get caught up in the Hollywood dream. Or, as Fox describes it, “The train’s off the track, but people are too busy looking at it to do anything about it.”

Money, It’s Pure Evil.mp3

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“Tremendo Dinero for Tremendo Negocio”

I thought I’d do something a little benevolent for tonight’s post. There’s a fund-raiser going on this Saturday night at Churchill’s Pub here in Miami (5501 NE 2nd Ave). Most fund-raisers, you may know, usually go to benefit some health-related research. Well, this one is a little different.

“Tremendo Dinero for Tremendo Negocio” is a fund-raiser for the thesis film “Tremendo Negocio.” I believe Abdel Fonseca, the film’s director, is the student in question. I further believe Fonseca is a student at Miami International University of Art and Design. The plot of “Tremendo Negocio” involves a group of South American felons who are involved in the human organ trade. The group forces an undocumented immigrant to participate in their illegal activities, which I guess leads the immigrant to make some decisions about his life.

Be that as it may, there are a few local bands and musicians who have agreed to donate their time and talents to benefit the cause. Because, as the ad copy says, “A film without funds is like a body without a heart.”

Scheduled to appear are Nimencia, Kosmic Lover, Melting Mandarin, Steph Taylor and The State Of, and DJ Abdel. If you’re in the South Florida area and want to hear some good music as well as help Abdel Fonseca get his degree, stop by Churchills. The show starts at 8 p.m. and the cover charge is $10.

Jay.mp3 Steph Taylor and The State Of
Thrown Off.mp3 Nimencia

If you’re interested in doing more than just donating money, but would like to flex your thespian muscle, Fonseca is looking actors. Go here for details.

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Untitled Zeppelin post (take 4)

On with the Olympic edition of my temporarily recurring feature here at the Licorice Pizza: The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Sessions disks.

Of the four disks posted so far, this is right up there with the best. There are limited “untitled instrumentals,” and you get to hear the band working through early versions of some classics. The versions of “Stairway to Heaven” alone are worth the price of admission: Listen close and you can hear alternate lyrics as Zeppelin puts the song together. Classic stuff.

These tracks all come from sessions at Headley Grange Studios in England, during January and February 1971, while Zeppelin was recording the fourth album. These songs are all so well known they really need no introduction or additional information. I did, however, come across some interesting trivia about the album itself:

• The painting on the front of the album, showing an old man carrying a bundle of sticks, was supposedly purchased by a Led Zeppelin roadie from a junk shop in Reading, Berkshire, (although Jimmy Page has said it was actually Robert Plant who bought it). The painting was affixed to the internal, papered wall of a partly demolished house for the photograph to be taken.

• At one time, Led Zeppelin had considered releasing the fourth album as four EPs, but because of various delays, they ultimately decided to release the single album.

Stairway to Heaven.mp3
untitled instrumental.mp3
Black Dog.mp3
Black Dog.mp3
Black Dog.mp3
Black Dog.mp3
Black Dog.mp3
Black Dog.mp3
Black Dog.mp3
No Quarter.mp3
Stairway to Heaven.mp3
Stairway to Heaven.mp3
Stairway to Heaven.mp3
Stairway to Heaven.mp3
untitled instrumental.mp3
Stairway to Heaven.mp3
Stairway to Heaven.mp3
The Battle of Evermore.mp3
When the Levee Breaks.mp3
Four Sticks.mp3
Black Dog.mp3

UnZip 'em all here.

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Music from My Mailbox

As usual well past due, here’s the latest (and not-so-latest) from the Licorice Pizza mailbox. There’s a pretty good selection of stuff here; something for everyone’s palate, I think.

My personal pick of the litter is the tune from Brooklyn’s TK Webb & the Visions, “Teen is Still Shaking.” This is a spacey metal song with Dylan-esque vocals. My vote for weirdest song is Lexicon’s hip-hop take on the Ramones “I Wanna Be Sedated.” And winning the honor for “Singer I’d Most Like to Leave Everything For” is Kirsten Price.

Like always, follow the links for more info.

Ed Laurie
Acoustic / Folk
From: United Kingdom
Band MySpace
Meanwhile in the Park.mp3

TK Webb & the Visions
Folk / Metal / Psychedelic
From: Brooklyn, NY
Band MySpace
Teen is Still Shaking.mp3

John & Roy
Folk Rock/Roots Music/Reggae
From: Victoria, BC, Canada
Another Noon.mp3

The Electric Soft Parade
From: Brighton, South United Kingdom
Band MySpace
Summer’s Slow Meander (2003 b-side).mp3

Kirsten Price
Alternative / Soul
From: Down Underneath the Manhattan Bridge Overpass
Band MySpace
Bring Me Back.mp3

Lonely Boy
Indie / Pop / Acoustic
From: Sweden, Norway
Band MySpace
Girls and Love.mp3

That Handsome Devil
Rock / Alternative / Pop
From: New York
Band MySpace

Rock / Indie rock / Alt-country
From: Tucson, Ariz
Band Web site
Two Silver Trees.mp3

John Paul Keith & The One Four Fives
Indie / Rock / Country
From: Memphis, Tenn.
Band MySpace
Lookin’ for a Thrill.mp3

Audrye Sessions
From: Oakland, Calif.
Band MySpace
Turn Me Off.mp3

Hip Hop / Rock / Indie
From: Los Angeles
Band MySpace
I Wanna Be Sedated (Ramones cover).mp3

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The Real McKenzies

All right friends and neighbors – I’m back home from Arizona. Nothing new to report from there except it is brutally hot and monsoon-y.

Looking through my mail, I found a new release from a band called the Real McKenzies. Scottish by way of Vancouver, Canada, The Real McKenzies are a punk band deeply rooted in their Scottish heritage with a sound best described as the Sex Pistols meet Scottish folk legend Robbie Burns. Off the Leash, released Aug. 5, is their fourth release for Fat Wreck Chords.

McKenzies front man Paul McKenzie started the band in 1994, and cites his family as a motivating factor. “As a lad, my parents and grandparents would dress me up in a kilt and make me sing and dance to traditional Scottish music,” he says. “Starting a Scottish punk band is my way of getting revenge.”

The Real McKenzies are proven warriors of the road, having toured North America six times and Europe (where they draw huge crowds) five times. They’ve toured and played shows with Rancid, Shane MacGowan, NOFX, Flogging Molly, The Bay City Rollers (yep, it’s true), The Briefs, and many more. Always touring, always drinking, and always rockin’, the haggis-fueled McKenzie clan is a hearty bunch that desires only to bring their brand of Celtic punk rock to every remote corner of the globe.

Check these guys out. If you’re a fan of the Dropkick Murphys, I think you’ll like the Real McKenzies.

The Lads Who Fought and Won.mp3

Go here to buy your very own copy of Off the Leash or any of the McKenzies’ earlier releases.


I'll be a Rock 'n' Rollin' Bitch for You

I mentioned a week or so ago that I had recently got a copy of the newly-officially-released David Bowie album Live Santa Monica ‘72. This album is an absolute must if you’re a Bowie fan. Or even if you’re not a Bowie fan, because it's that damn good.

Santa Monica ‘72 finally saw official release on July 22 here in the States. Taken from an FM broadcast, it was available only as a bootleg for more than 20 years. Possessing a copy was the test of a “proper Bowie fan,” according to author David Buckley. There have been two previous “official” releases: One in 1994, by the UK label Golden Years, and one in 1995 by Griffin Music in the U.S.

The Santa Monica recording is generally considered a superior representation of the Ziggy Stardust concerts both in terms of sound quality and the standard of playing. This recording also features a different set list than the one found on Ziggy Stardust - The Motion Picture. This show comes from the Oct. 20, 1970, show at the Santa Monica (Calif.) Civic Auditorium, whereas the music on the “Motion Picture” album is from the tour’s final show nine months later in London.

Los Angeles Times critic Robert Hilburn (a copy of his original review is included with the album) wrote: “Bowie’s arrival on stage was accompanied by a marvelously designed slice of rock drama. The flashing strobe lights and strains of Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ combined perfectly with the band’s futuristic space suits and Bowie’s own bisexual image to provide an aura of Clockwork Orange, not so much in the sense of violence as in an incredible sense of ‘nowness’ and the wave of the future. Future shock had arrived.”

I’ve got for you tonight just a small taste of Live Santa Monica ‘72.

Moonage Daydream.mp3
Buy it now!

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How about some Pretty Whores?

Not just any pretty whores, but Pretty Whores of Manhattan.

Before you get out your credit cards, let me tell you these Pretty Whores are actually a three-piece rock band from Sweden. They came almost two years ago out of Lund, Sweden. Since then, guitarist Anton Collinder, bass player Viktor Rinneby, and drummer Viktor Fagerqvist have been the opening act for bands such as Be Your Own Pet and Electric Eel Shock.

Swedish radio station P3 recently voted them “Demo Band of the Month.” The Pretty Whores have also been featured in several Swedish rock magazines. One of them, Scandinavia’s punk rock and garage magazine Denimzine, said, “There’s something about the attitude that feels genuine; no posing, just pure joy and an everlasting energy!”

The Pretty Whores of Manhattan compare their sound to early Beastie Boys (the pre-Licensed to Ill, punk days). I’m not sure I see that exactly, but I feel the Beasties' energy in the Pretty Whores. These Swedish rockers are garage with a big ol' dose of punk rock. As they say, “Either you’ll like it or you’ll pass out.”

Pistol in My Hand.mp3
200 Dollar Girl.mp3

For more information and a couple more songs, check out the Pretty Whores of Manhattan’s MySpace.

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Untitled Zeppelin post (take 3)

Live from Arizona, my temporarily recurring feature here at the Licorice Pizza: The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Sessions disks.

I’ll be honest with you here: This set is probably going to appeal mainly to the hardcore Zeppelin fans. There are 45 tracks, of which 39 are named either “untitled instrumental” or “unknown song.” Of the instrumental tracks, the majority are less than a minute in length and consist of Jimmy Page playing and expanding on various riffs or just noodling. There are no songs here with the full band. The “unknown song” tracks are mainly Robert Plant working out some vocals alongside Page’s guitar playing. Unfortunately, there are no hidden treasures here.

In some respects it is interesting to hear a guitar genius like Page working out a riff and hearing some familiar chords in different contexts. Particularly interesting is hearing the evolution of "That's the Way." On the other hand, you truly have to be a Zeppelin fanatic to listen to Page strum the same few chords over and over. I’ll leave it to you to decide what group you’re in.

To help you out, what I’ve done is pull the tracks I feel are the most interesting and post those individually. I’ve dropped the entire thing into a zip file if you’re interested in hearing the recordings in their entirety.

According to the notes that came with the file, these were recorded at Bron-Yr-Aur Cottage, Machynlleth Gwynedd, Wales and Headley Grange Studios, Hampshire, England, in May and June 1970. That would put this as part of the Led Zeppelin III sessions, probably early on, before John Bonham and John Paul Jones joined Plant and Page at Headley Grange.

Complete Track List
1. I Wanna Be Her Man
2-19. untitled instrumentals
20. Hey Hey What Can I Do?
21-26. untitled instrumentals
27. Down By The Sea Side
28. unknown song
29. untitled instrumental
30-32. unknown songs
33-34. untitled instrumentals
35. Poor Tom
36-37. untitled instrumentals
38-41. That's The Way (four versions)
42. Bron-Yr-Aur
43-45. untitled instrumentals

Selected Track List
I Wanna Be Her Man.mp3
10. untitled instrumental.mp3
11. untitled instrumental.mp3
17. untitled instrumental.mp3
Hey Hey What Can I Do (inst).mp3
21. untitled instrumental.mp3
Down by the Sea Side.mp3
Down by the Sea Side.mp3
Poor Tom.mp3
That’s the Way.mp3
That’s the Way.mp3
That’s the Way.mp3
That’s the Way.mp3
43. untitled instrumental.mp3
44 untitled instrumental.mp3

Un"Zep" it all here

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Blues Calendar Blues: Beverly "Guitar" Watkins

I gotta hit the Blues Calendar Blues a day early this month because I’m going tomorrow to Arizona. Work stuff that I hope manages to keep me out of the 100-plus degree temperatures I'm seeing there.

This month’s featured artist is Beverly “Guitar” Watkins. Watkins is another of those artists about whom I knew nothing before she turned up on my calendar. I learned, though, not only is she highly regarded within the blues community, she’s considered somewhat unique as an African-American female blues guitarist.

Blues writer Sandra Pointer-Jones: “Beverly Watkins is a pyrotechnic guitar maven whose searing, ballistic attacks on the guitar have become allegorical tales within the blues community.”

From the calendar:
Born in Atlanta, Beverly Watkins (b. 1940) was raised by female relatives who loved swing music. A group of aunts, known professionally as the Hayes Quartet, collaborated with a banjo-playing uncle during holidays to put on a frolic, and she recalls strumming her guitar along with her grandmother’s gramophone at the age of eight. In high school she played bass in a band that gigged in small towns near Atlanta. Later she joined a band that took the name Dr. Feelgood, the Interns, and the Nurse: to her distress this obliged her to don a white cap. After playing guitar in many bands led by men, Watkins now leads her own band, with her son on bass. She describes herself as a versatile musician, but it’s clear she has a special fondness for “real Lightnin’ Hopkins lowdown blues.
The American Blues-Music Maker Relief Foundation has a Beverly Watkins page, with excerpts from a 1999 interview. In addition to talking about her life and career, she sort of summarizes how she got to where she is. “The older I get, the more seasoned I get,” she says. “People [are impressed] to see a black woman, what I'm sayin', handle a guitar. To see a black woman play like a man. But that came from, I had back-ups when I was young. I had older peoples to stay on my butt. My dad taught me you gotta learn how to meet the public. And you got to have patience.”

Watkins is still out there, working steadily. She played the Main Stage at the Ottawa Blues Fest in 2004, and continues to play around Atlanta. She was temporarily sidelined by surgery in 2005, but reportedly is recovered and seeking bookings.

Today’s music comes from Beverly “Guitar” Watkin’s 1999 album Back in Business. This album, considered one of her best, earned her a W.C. Handy Award nomination.

Red Mama Blues.mp3
Too Many Times.mp3
Back in Business.mp3