Friday, May 25, 2007

Both Kinds of Music: Honky and Tonk

But enough about me, let's talk about what I'm listening to.

Bill Kirchen Hammer of the Honky Tonk Gods

Best album name of the year and one of the most satisfying listening experiences too. Very varied in styles and a hot sound from a crack backing group which includes Nick Lowe. The title song is a rollicking hymn to the Fender and I've been quietly belting out the inspirational refrain for weeks.

It was born at the junction
Of form and function ....
It's the hammer of the honky tonk gods ...


The first thing most profiles will mention about Kirchen is the guitar hero status, but he has a lovely voice for country and soul, see the covers of Devil in a Blue Dress, Skid Row in My Mind and If It's Really Got to Be This Way.

Apart from the title track, my top numbers are the philosophical folky ache of Rocks into Sand and instant rockabilly classic Get a Little Goner.

David Ball Heartaches by the Number

I'm a bit hazy on David Ball's career trajectory. There were some songs, and a Grammy nomination and then not much. Not that I'm a dedicated follower of the US charts so maybe he's been ripping up the joint all these years.

In any event this is my kind of album, on account of: you can never have too many versions of Please Help Me I'm Falling. I don't think there's a song here much over three minutes but it is, to quote a phrase, chock full o' country goodness and you won't leave unsatisfied. I had a dim memory of hearing Hag or someone sing Please Feed the Jukebox until I found out it is the only new Ball-penned song on the album. So maybe not, but it slips in seamlessly next to the classics.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

File Under: Not As Bad As It Could Have Been

Me in The Glebe, which goes with the story linked below. Sorry for bodgy scan, its a big page and a small scanner and yeah its a bad crop but its late. It is not true what it says about us "flocking to the Abercrombie" on Saturday. Abercrombie is where we have (had, perhaps. We might be moving.) the monthly get togethers. Saturday, some of us will be up the road at the UTS/2SER monstrosity for the radio show. You can go to the Abercrombie if you like but ... we won't be there.

Cozzy, note: your blanket is famous!


50 Million Beers

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Bob, For Real

Sydney Dylan page updated with Bob dates for the just announced Aust tour. Sydney is 15th August (YAY) at the Entertainment Centre (BOO). The rest are on the calendar for August.

That's what I'll be doing in August, you can read about what I'll be doing in November/Dec here. At least then I will have an excuse not to blog.

UPDATE: A couple of us have been "profiled" in the local press to publicise the Dylan radio show (see Sydney Dylan page for details). Here's Bill in the Parramatta Advertiser and --hah!-- me in the Inner West Weekly. There's supposed to be an --ugh-- photo to go with it, in the hard copy I guess. News Ltd bandwith is too precious to waste on such trifles.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Real Bob ... #2

The Sydney Dylan Society (Third Monday of the Month! Abercrombie Hotel, Broadway! All Welcome!) now has a website. If you have any problem using the navagation bar across the top of the photo, please let me know but I think they are fixed. Cross fingers.

I was thinking about pictures for it, and didn't want to just rip off a photo in breach of copyright yadda yadda. So I looked into various options, until I saw a link to Elliott Landy's page from Expecting Rain. You may not know the name but you'll probably know the photos, he took the one that is the cover of Nashville Skyline for a start. And Van Morrison's Moondance. The Band's self titled album. And on. He spent time with Bob in Woodstock and the domestic pictures of him and family are really very touching. The Guardian has a good slideshow and you can see them at Landy's website too. So I took a punt and emailed about getting permission to use one of his photos and ... literally two minutes later he replied personally saying yes. Very generous of him and a bit of a thrill for me.

A Real Bob and a Fake

But a really good fake. The Bob Dylan Revue is one of those tribute shows that does the rounds. I went the first time with a heavy heart but, hey!! They were really good and I had a great time. They've got some new dates of gigs 'round Sydney.

19 May - Helensburg Workers Club
24 May - The Bridge Hotel
25 May - The Pine Inn Hotel
27 May - The Brass Monkey

Demos and oher stuff at the website. And they have a blog. Check them out.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Is It True, or Did You Read it in the Telegraph?

"Journeyman???? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. "

This is good news though from the Daily Tele music liftout today. Empasis mine. Dates, please!!

"Dylan fans will be pleased to know the journeyman will definately be in Australia to scare us later this year."

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Simon Bruce's only show in Sydney before heading back to Nashville and Little Big Horn's country rock comes highly recommended too.

CDs, Upcoming

Cribbed shamelessly from PopMatters:


Ike Reilly Assassination—We Belong to the Staggering Evening: Verbose, but nonetheless rocking, Reilly’s music offers a Dylanesque mix of spunk and doggerel.

FEM: Hmmmmspunkanddoggerelhmmmmm. Never heard of him/her/them but it's "Dylanesque" so they say.

May 15

The Avett Brothers—Emotionalism: A higher-profile work from the sweet-voiced, harmonizing, folk-rock brethren.

Maria Muldaur—Naughty, Bawdy & Blue: The roots singer’s third salute to the blues women of the `20s, `30s and `40s. Think Bessie Smith, Sippie Wallace and the like.

Rufus Wainwright—Release the Stars: A more accessible, if no less ornate, work from the fanciful artiste.

Wilco—Sky Blue Sky: The prettiest album in eons from these arty country rockers.

MAY 29

Richard Thompson—Sweet Warrior: Yet more songs from the quick-witted, and oft-recorded, folk-rock mainstay.


Bruce Springsteen and the Seeger Sessions Band—Live in Dublin: Ireland’s literary capital seems the perfect place to stage these songs of historic heft.

Various Artists—Anchored in Love: A Tribute to June Carter Cash: A salute to the country icon featuring artists including step-daughter Rosanne Cash, Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson and Loretta Lynn.

Various Artists—We All Love Ella: A toast to jazz legend Fitzgerald. With contributions from Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, Queen Latifah, Etta James, k.d lang, Linda Ronstadt, Diana Krall and more.


John Doe—A Year in the Wilderness: The ex-leader of X with a solo work that features a gaggle of great female guests, from Aimee Mann to Jill Sobule to Kathleen Edwards.


Bryan Ferry—Dylanesque: A collection of Dylan covers (!) from the king of sorrowful suave.

WEIRD: Hasn't this been out for ... six weeks or so? I bought it in Newtown ages ago.

The White Stripes—Icky Thump: Garage rock at its wildest—and most emotionally rich.


Ryan Adams—Easy Tiger: Alt-country’s most prolific star continues to bulk up the discography with this.

Steve Forbert—Strange Names & New Sensations: New music from one of our most underrated singer-songwriters.

Nick Lowe—At My Age: The British icon follows 2001’s finest album (The Convincer) with nine original songs, plus some covers from country’s greatest scribes.

Kelly Willis—Translated From Love: One of alt-country’s most underappreciated singers, has an album produced by a canny songwriter in his own right: Chuck Prophet.


Kim Richey—Chinese Boxes: The first album in five years by one of the smartest alt-country songwriters around.


Raul Malo—After Hours: The singer from the Mavericks covers country staples.

AUG. 14

Linda Thompson—Versatile Heart: It took the ex-wife of Richard Thompson over 20 years to put out her first solo album, the wonderful Fashionably Late. Thank the Lord she only took about two years to put out this followup. Featuring guest appearances from the younger generation of folk-rockers, like Eliza Carthy, Rufus Wainwright and her equally talented son, Teddy.

AUG. 21

The New Pornographers—Challengers: The latest from the great Canadian supergroup, featuring the power-lunged Neko Case on three tracks sure to please

Friday, May 04, 2007