Sam Moore and David Sanborn Live on David Letterman

OK, I mentioned in my post on Janelle Monáe that it was one of the best performances I have ever seen on Letterman and I stand by that. But that made me think of this one. This is probably my all time favourite musical piece from the show. For anyone that does not know, Sam Moore is from the legendary soul duo Sam and Dave famous for the hits Hold on I’m comin’You don’t know like I know and Soul Man. To name but three. Despite his age Sam shows no sign of having lost it. David Sanborn is the legendary jazz saxophonist who, apart from his own albums, has played with everyone and I do mean everyone. If you don’t believe me check out his credits on www.allmusic.com

OK here it is, let me know what you think, as long as you agree with me.

Later… With Jools Holland,

A Journey Through American Music,

Planet Rock Profiles

A great nights music on ABC2 tonight. It started with one of my favourite shows Later with Jools Holland. Tonight’s show started with the fabulous, soulful and funky Joss Stone. Truly an old soul in a young body. Strangely that young body was dressed in a pair of curtains and she had another curtain on her mike stand, each to their own I suppose. Fashion sense apart, Joss could not be faulted. She did two superb songs of her own and a great rendition of Ray Charles “I believe to my soul” with Jools at the piano. Jools’piano playing was equally as impressive.

Joss was followed by Alice in Chains. So let’s get the negative bits out at once. I didn’t enjoy Alice in Chains, too heavy a sound for my tastes, which was unfortunate, as they played three songs to everyone else’s one or two. One of them, surprisingly was acoustic, but this still didn’t do much for me. The other act on tonight that I wasn’t too keen on was Delphin. Again capable and probably good in their genre, but electronic music also has little appeal to me.

OK that over with, everything else was well worth tuning in for. Ricky Lee Jonesperformed an acoustic song apparently written by her father, nice song and featured some nice upright bass. Martha Wainwright performed an animated version of an Edith Piafsong. There was some very carefully pronounced French lyrics, so much so that even I was able to understand some of them. The only thing that was a little distracting is that she was obviously reading the lyrics from a music stand, or autocue, you just don’t often see that in modern music.

An act that I had not heard of before was Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears, these guys were really good, very funky. Their first song owed a lot to James Brown and made me feel like getting up off that thang. The second song was a bit too short, but as they say always leave them wanting more. This video can take a while to load and the song starts a bit slow, but play it loud, play it proud and get your funk on. Two things to notice here, first is Joss Stone getting on down with her bad self in the background and second, check out the trumpet player, he bears a remarkable resemblance to the trumpet player in Joss’s band. It’s not the same guy, but it could be him in disguise.

A big surprise of the night was Steve Martin and The Steepcanyon Rangers. I’ve seen Steve Martin play banjo before a few times and although I’ve been impressed with the talent and ability, the music itself was not really appealing, as I’m not a huge fan of country music. But I guess you would call what he did tonight Bluegrass and I enjoyed both tunes. The first was was an instrumental featuring two banjos, a violin, a mandolin, a guitar and a double bass. The second was like a 1940′s style country song with some comic lyrics. It reminded me a little of the The Soggy Bottom Boys from the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” Which is a good thing

The night was rounded off with A Journey Through American Music – Blues Beginnings introduced by Morgan Freeman, followed by Planet Rock Profiles which featured the New York band The Bravery. More on those two programmes very soon.

OK the following has nothing to do with Later with Jools Holland or even anything that was on TV on Friday night. I just stumbled across them when I was looking for video clips and I liked them, I hope you do too.

Martha Wainwright and Charlotte Church, from a British TV special, I believe, performing the Carol King classic Will you still love me tomorrow?

Another sensational performance from Joss Stone and the sensational legs deserve a show of their very own. Here she sings the Dusty Springfield hit Son of a Preacher Manfrom the 60′s and gives it everything that Dusty did back then.

Deals of the day on recordings for Joss Stone, Martha Wainwright, Ricky Lee Jones and Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears

Later with Jools Holland

This is probably my favourite show on TV at the moment. For anyone that hasn’t seen it, it usually features around half a dozen bands/artists each playing at least a couple of songs and it runs the length and breadth of modern music. There’s pop, rock, blues, soul, world music and pretty much any other label you care to think of and usually all in the same show. The one label they generally all come under, which is my favourite type of music, that is Quality.

Jools Holland doesn’t overbear the program, just some low-key introductions and some “quirky” and brief interviews. Then he will sit in on piano with one or other of the bands.

For those of you that may not know, Jools was the original keyboard player in the U.K. band Squeeze and featured on most of their early hits. He also has his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, which features numerous big name guest musicians and singers on their tours and recordings. He is a renowned Boogie Woogie piano player too.

But it’s  a music program, I can’t really do it justice here, watch it, listen to it. I do every week with the sound system cranked up.

Later with Jools Holland is currently aired on ABC2 in Australia around 11pm on Fridays.

Rock on!

I just watched tonights episode of Later. It featured Davendra Banhart, I didn’t think much of his first song “Baby” but his second wasn’t bad, but I didn’t get the name of that one. Jimmy Ruffin performed an adequate rendition of “What becomes of the broken hearted” and told Jools tales of his start at Motown. It’s a great song, but sadly Jimmy’s voice at 70 is not what it was, but it was good to see him.

Magazine were enjoyable they played three songs had a really good bass sound and did a brief and kind of awkward interview with Jools. Wolfmother were also good with Andrew Stockdale giving his best Robert Plant vocals in the second number.

Now we come to the real highlights of the show for me. Paloma Faith was new to me, but apparently she has been really popular in London. She dresses weird and has been a dancer and actor in a couple of films already. She sang great, performed out there and really entertained. As well as her two original songs she sang some Etta James with Jools at the piano. Jimmy Ruffin sitting behind her, like me, was visibly impressed. I will be checking out her album “Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?” tomorrow. I suggest you do too.

Finally Seasick Steve. I discovered Steve on a previous Later in an earlier series. Tonight he did not disappoint. He is an old American blues man, who was an overnight success in his 60′s. Apparently he is much more popular in the UK and mainland Europe than in the States. I love him, he rocked out with his drummer Dan while he played a one string Diddley Bow and some slide on what looked like a four string guitar. It was awesome. For anyone that hasn’t seen him you have something to look forward to.

Another good night on the Later episode shown here on Friday. The fabulous Foo Fighters were featured (on ya Grohly), Norah Jones was good and looked pretty good too. Sting was a bit pretentious, but when you have made as much money as he has, you can do what you like. Still got a great voice, both singing and speaking.

There was a strange interview with Ginger Baker (Ex-Cream) who is no longer Ginger and I’m guessing over 70 by now. He came across as a very weird old man. But I think he probably always was a bit odd. I saw him live once and he was the only musician I have ever known to excuse himself and leave the stage for the toilet in the middle of a gig.

I enjoyed Jay Z and I’m not really a fan of Rap music, but he had a very good band. Stornaway were also interesting. I had never heard of them before and will investigate further.

Now for something really interesting, Erik Mongrain showed us an all new way to play the guitar, it was worth listening to too.

The Voice Australia Videos Highlights and Undiscovered Gems

The first week of blind auditions for The Voice is over, so I thought I would put together what I thought were the highlights of the week.

 

We have reviewed all of this weeks shows on this site. If you would like to see our thoughts and you haven’t already, you can check them out on these pages:-
The Voice – Does Australia have any more talent?
The Voice Australia Premiere
The Voice Australia Blind Auditions
The Voice Australia More Blind Auditions

Included here are some actual clips from The Voice, but some of my favourite singers either didn’t get selected or their clips, for some other reason, are not available. So I have scoured YouTube and found some gems for you, which include audition tapes for The Voice and stuff recorded before these guys got on national TV. Make sure you check all the way to the bottom of the post as there is a real find there.

OK I am going to start with the big closing number from the first episode of The Voice. Karise Eden belts out James Brown’It’s a Man’s World in a style that reminds me in parts of both Joss Stone and Janis Joplin

Melanie Dyer was not selected by any of the judges, which they all regretted once they turned around, so much so that they asked her to sing one of her own songs. This was much better than the cover that she did; it’s called Maybe in Mercury

Here is the whole song recorded at the Sydney Entertainment Centre in 2010. There is no doubt this girl will be a star without The Voice, but I would have liked to have seen her on my TV a few more times.

Much was made of Rachael Leahcar’s appearance before it happened, because she is blind. But all of the hype proved to be worth it when she sang her version of La Vie En Rose

I would love to have included Danni Da Ros singing And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going, here. But the clip was not available and I could not locate anything else by her. Come on Danni get your publicity machine working. I know a man who can help, check out MaxPowerSolutions.com

Gail Page sang a great bluesy version of the jazz standard I Put a Spell on You. Again the judges failed to pick up a great singer. For some reason, best known to her, Gail told the judges she had only been singing for 5 years, but her Myspace page says she started in 1993 and has performed with some of the big names in Australian music. Here she is singing some blues at The Basement in Sydney. The song is called Without You Here

Rebecca Tapia also missed out on qualifying for the next round. I could not track down her appearance on the show, but here is her audition tape. I think you will recognise the song, originally written by Leonard Cohen but covered by everyone from Jeff Buckley to Damien Leith

Interestingly I found a few clips of Rebecca Tapia singing with Guy Sebastian on YouTube. I wonder if he talked all of his friends and family into auditioning for The Voice

Peta Jeffress did qualify for the next round of the voice with her unique cover of the Oasis song Wonderwall. You have got to watch this to understand quite how different it is from the original.

Michael Duchesne performed the Doobie Brothers hit What a Fool Believes on TV. I wasn’t able to find a clip of the audition. But here he is performing his own song Girls, on the radio.

Carmen Smith got through The Voice audition with a great version of the Alicia Keys favourite How Come You Don’t Call Me (actually written by Prince) again that clip was nowhere to be found. But here she is with an Aretha Franklin cover It Won’t Be Long. For one woman with a voice and one man with a guitar this is damn funky.

 

Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Ray Davies

I made the mistake of tuning in a little late for Later this week, damn the ABC for moving it to Thursday nights. I must set up my PVR to record it automatically, so I don’t miss any of the show again. I think I probably missed the first two, or three songs. But something very interesting was going on when I got there. Cyndi Lauper was singing a blues song with Jools Holland’s band. I’ve never particularly been a fan of Cyndi Lauper, I mean, boys wanna have fun too. But this was really good. The first tune I saw was called Shattered Dreams and was excellent. The second was Just Your Fool, it featured some great harmonica, which I believe is played by Charlie Musselwhite on the album Memphis Blues. I don’t think it was him playing on Later, if it was I didn’t hear Jools mention his name. Gilson Lavis the drummer from Jools’s band was particularly getting into the tunes.

Based on these couple of tracks the album will be well worth checking out, it features other guest spots, apart from Mr Musselwhite, such as Allen Toussaint and Anne Peebles and includes the Muddy Waters standard Rolling and Tumbling and Robert Johnson’s Crossroads

Ray Davies was up next, he has released an album of his old songs in a new format. He duets with a number of artists on new versions of his hits. He played Days mixed with a lesser known song This Time Tomorrow backed up by Mumford and Sons. He was later interviewed by Jools Holland and he talked about recording with Bruce Springsteen for the album See My Friends, which also features such luminaries as Jackson Browne, Metallica, John Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora

Anthony from Anthony and the Johnsons did a song at the piano, solo, without his Johnsons. This guy always reminds me of Boy George after a bad night, having neglected his make up and thrown on whatever clothes were around. The song Thank You For Your Love was meant to be heartfelt, I guess, but just sounded repetitive to me.

Imelda May was up next with a song called Mayhem. A friend of mine in London put me onto her some time ago and I like her. The band has the Rockabilly look and feel and Mayhem is a really good song. I think it was one of her songs that I missed at the beginning of the show, damn and blast.

John Legend was interviewed by Jools at the piano and came across as very articulate. He talked about Gospel music and sang a little of I Wish I Knew How It Felt To Be Free. Very nice stuff. Britishreaders will recognise the tune from the long running movie review show Film whatever year it was at the time.

Next up the Ting Tings. If anyone in Australia thinks that they don’t know them, just think about the Hyundai ad that has bombarded us for some time and the tune behind it Shut Up and Let Me Go. They played a song called Day to Day which was much more mellow and featured some nice strings.

John Legend performed Love the Way it Should Be, a lovers rock reggae tune. Nice band, nice song, nice voice. What more can I say.

Next up was a band called Chapel Club performing a song called Eastern Girls. The singer looked a lot like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory and has probably as much chance of becoming a rock star. The song was a bit dark and gloomy and not to my taste at all.

Thankfully Imelda May was back to close out the show with Tainted Love. The song made famous by Soft Cell, but was originally sung by Gloria Jones, the woman that drove the car into the tree that killed Marc Bolan of T. Rex. All that aside this version featured some very nice trumpet.

Tune in early for next weeks Later, I know I will. I only make the same mistake twice.

Duane Eddy, Cee Lo Green, Steve Miller Band

A great Episode of Later with Jools Holland was shown on Thursday night on ABC2. I am pretty sure these episodes are new to Australia, but were recorded in 2010 in the U.K. I’m sorry to see the show moved to this late spot (10:45) on a Thursday night, as I used to really enjoy my Friday night fix of this, my favourite, show. Not too worry though, it just means I’ll record it and watch it when I feel like it.

Cee Lo Green kicked off the show. Cee Lo is a short, stocky man, almost square in shape. He was dressed in a striking pink suit and has a soul voice to die for. Most people would have probably first come across Cee Lo as the voice on the Gnarls Barkley hit Crazy. He kicked off the show with his number one hit F*#% You, which he cleaned up for the show and sang Forget You. Great pop/soul tune.

I just discovered a strange version of this song, sung(?) by William Shatner (Capt. Kirk, himself), if you are ready for that level of weirdness you can check it out here:- Fook You Jean-Luc Picard

The Steve Miller Band was up next. They had just released their first studio album in 17 years. Bingo is a blues album and Steve Miller looked and played a little like the recently departed Gary Moore. His line up included a single male backing vocalist, which was an unusual look, but it worked musically. Their first track was called Hey Yeah and had some nice guitar and amusing lyrics. Their second song was called Don’t cha Know, not very imaginitive lyrics, but a good sound and feel.

Janelle Monae sang the song Tightrope, which I have reported here before as one of the best music segments I have ever seen on The Letterman Show. This performance was not quite as good as that one. Jools said that she had been ill and had throat problems. I never noticed any voice issues, but there was a little less energy than the earlier performance. That said, it was still an excellent rendition and the studio audience and other musicians were suitably impressed.

Next Jools interviewed the legendary guitarist Duane Eddy. He was accompanied by Jarvis Cocker and Richard Hawley from Blur, who are planning a project with him.

Duane Eddy was one of the early innovators of the electrc guitar, with instrumental hits in the late 50′s and early 60′s like “Rebel Rouser”, “Peter Gunn”, “Cannonball”, “Shazam” and “Forty Miles of Bad Road“. He was also immortalised in the Heinz song Just like EddyDuane played some of his signature riffs and some mention was made of his upcoming project.

The Jim Jones Revue was not what I was expecting from the name and my initial look at them. They were pretty much a Rockabilly band with some of their stuff played at breakneck punk speed and attitude. I really liked them.

C.W. Stoneking is an Australian artist I had not come across before. He dressed like a 1920′s trad jazz man, played the banjo and his band featured a Tuba and a drummer wearing a Bass Drum on his chest, marching band style. He sang a little like Tom Waitsand his style reminded me of Waits too.

Janelle Monae‘s second song was called Faster and again featured a lot of dancing and movement from both Janelle and her band. It would be interesting to see if they kept that up for a whole gig, it would be like running a marathon.

Cee Lo Green was interviewed by Jools at the Piano and he said his earliest influence was Jackie Wilson. They did a few lines of Lonely Teardrops and Cee Lo basically did a note perfect impersonation of Jackie Wilson.

Later would not be Later without a bit of World Music and next up was Cheikh Lo, who sang a nice slow tempo song in his native Senegalese (I assume, I did not recognise the language)

Cee Lo Green followed up with Old Fashioned which was an old fashioned, but very nice soul tune. It reminded me a little of Al Green, but was really all his own. Jools said afterwards “that man could sing anything” and he was right.

Jools then inerviewed Steve Miller, who said the reason he had not made an album for 17 years was because his greatest hits had sold well enough to keep him going. He talked about playing with Lightning Hopkins and T Bone Walker teaching him to play the guitar behind his head and do the splits when he was 9.

For C.W. Stoneking‘s second song Jungle Lullaby the tuba had been replaced by an upright bass and he played a Dobro. It reminded me even more of Tom Waits, but was also true to a blues song of the 20′s or 30′s and had some very nice horns.

Steve Miller closed out a great show with his 1970′s hit Abracadabra. How this show can be tucked away in the schedules I’ll never know, but as long as they keep airing it I’ll be happy.

Tom Jones, Vampire Weekend, Corrine Bailey Rae

Vampire Weekend were first cab off the rank, with quite a cheery pop tune. It was not what I expected, maybe Vampires aren’t as dark and moody as they used to be. It was an OK tune, but may be better with a few more listens. Their second tune White Sky, was a weird poppy song. The guitarist wore a body warmer, must have been cold in the studio. They finished the show with a song called Cousins. They definitely saved the best for last. It was a very rhythmic rocker, much more fun than the first two.

Corrine Bailey Rae was up next, also with a cheery pop tune called Paris Nights / New York Mornings it had a slow section. She was playing a white Danelectric guitar. Quite a striking look. Later she sang Closer more of a soulful ballad, the stuff she does so well. A very good late night kind of tune.

Metric were next with Gimme Sympathy, a slow, dark tune with a bit of substance, but they lined up like a pop band on a chat show. I quite liked it though. Their second song was Sick Muse. It had a big rock intro. It could have done without the keyboard parts. It was a bit of a reserved rocker, that never really cut loose. But it has potential to be a good live tune. The crowd liked it.

Tom Jones had a short interview with Jools. Nothing much was really said, something about the naming of his album Praise and BlameJools presented Tom with a Birthday cake for his 70th. He said he could blow out the candles if he wanted to, but they employed someone to do that. He sang with Jools at the piano Strange Things Happen Every Day. It was a great gospel boogie song, Tom was in great voice. What Good Am Iwas a slow dark blues, The drummer played with timpani beaters. The backing band was minimal, but Tom sings better than anyone else on the show, although he can give them at least 40 years. His last song was Burning Hell with just him, the slide guitar and drums. It was maybe not quite as good as the version on Letterman that I included here, but still great.

MGMT played Flash Delirium it was a good tune with strange vocals and it was hard to categorise. It was slightly spacey in a`David Bowie sort of style. Their second tune was also interesting, with a nice conga break. Some of the vocals reminded me of Steve Howeand Yes.

Jools interviewed Andy Serkis, most famous for playing Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films. He was promoting a film called Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll that he played Ian Dury in . He was very enthusiastic. They showed a clip, he sang with the real Blockheads. He said Ian Dury‘s family were involved in the making of the film and he had become friends with Chaz Jankel from the Blockheads and played Jazz saxophone with him. I hope it gets released here in Australia.

Crystal Castles played Celestica another spacey type tune. It had a sort of European/German feel. It didn’t really appeal to me, although the singer was cute in a heavy make up, weird sort of way.

Jools interviewed Bob Harris, he was the presenter of The Old Grey Whistle Test. A 1970′s music show that was very big to people of my and Jools’s age. It was an album rock show, that just about everyone appeared on. They showed a clip of Little Featplaying Rock n Roll Doctor with Lowell GeorgeBob is probably a better presenter than Jools (but I doubt that he plays piano as well) so he took over the interview.

This was the last of the current series of Later, next week it’s replaced by a concert from Blur Live at Hyde Park

Gorillaz, Diane Birch, Bobby McFerrin

The show started with Gorillaz playing a tune called StyloDamon Albarn sang lead from the piano facing away from the audience. The band was fronted by two black guys that I never recognized, until their vocals came in, it was none other than Bobby Womackwho is still in good voice. Mos Def rapped over a good funk beat. On their second song, On Melancholy HillDamon Albarn sang from upfront of his all star band, featuring Mick Jones and Paul Simonon of the Clash on Guitar and Bass. Jools interviewed Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, the animator for the Gorillaz. Strangely the animation, that was apparently appearing on screens above the band, was not being shown on television, until after the interview. It then featured heavily, maybe the director needed a reminder. Their third song was a duet between Albarn and Little Dragon called To Binge and featured numerous Japanese beer bottles in the graphics.

The Drive by Truckers played a rock song with some nice slide guitar. It featured some country type vocals that reminded me of Tom Petty when he sings in that style. Their second song was a heavier/grungy rock number featuring a different singer, that this time made me think of Neil Young.

Laura Marlin sang Devils Spoke a folky rock tune with a bluesy feel. Her Bass player used a violin bow on an electric bass for an interesting effect. Her second song, Good Bye Old England Covered in Snow, she played solo on acoustic guitar, finger style. It was a nice Joni Mitchell type contemplative tune. Her last song Rambling Man was more serious young woman music.

Jools interviewed Bobby WomackBobby was kind of evasive and gave some vague answers about spirituality, then rushed into If You Don’t Want My Love on acoustic guitar with Jools playing some nice piano fills. Bobby said this song was not a hit, but it has been covered by numerous people, from the Four Tops to Ron WoodBobby still has the most soulful voice and I am sure if you looked up Soul in the dictionary there would be a picture of him there. .

Diane Birch played Valentino on piano, an up beat funky tune that also had country feel. There was a nice trumpet break. She has a good vocal range and huge saucer like eyes. Her second song was called Fools and was very Carol King like, but I think Diane is a better singer than the legendary songwriter.

Bobby McFerrin played the old song Smile, that I believe was written by the silent film star Charlie Chaplin and was Michael Jackson‘s favorite song. This was kind of an instrumental on voice. He never actually sang the lyrics and had 2 or 3 things happening at once. It must require an amazing amount of practice and training to achieve these skills. He keeps time by beating his chest, which also changes the tones. He got a big reaction from the crowd. This really took me back, because in the 80’s Bobby Womack and Bobby McFerrin were two of my favorite artists. In fact I remember one Bobby McFerringig as one of the best I have ever been to and it featured no instruments all night. The support act was a local all girl acapella group called the Mint Juleps. Then Bobby came on with no supporting musicians, or instruments. But he called up people from the audience to rap and break dance with him. At the end he called back the Mint Juleps to join him and two of the singers from the Flying Pickets, who had a huge acapella hit in the UK with Yazzoo’s Only You, were in the audience and they joined him too. What a night!

Mos Def did a solo spot with a tune called Quiet dog bite hard. It sounded a lot like a Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five track. Mos Def played drums and rapped at the same time, with only a bass and some decks spinning for backing.

Gorillaz closed out the show with a song called Superfast Jellyfish, with De la Soul and Gruff Rhys from the Super Furry Animals rapping.

The next edition of Later will be on the 12th November on ABC2 at 10:20PM featuring Hole, Joanna Newsom, Mumford and Sons, Angelique Kidjo, Lissie, Ian Hunter andThe Rant Band

Later with Jools Holland Fri 29th October

This weeks Later started with Kate Nash singing a song called Do-Wah-Do. She played piano and sang in a strong cockney accent very reminiscent of Lilly Allen. The Lyrics to her songs were very similar to Lilly Allen’s too, domestic issues, kitchen sink dramas etc. Kate’s songs are far more musically sophisticated and I am sure she is a more competent musician, she played guitar too, but I don’t feel the world needs another Lilly Allen. Don’t get me wrong I’ve got nothing against a cockney accent, I’ve got one of my own, but it just does not seem appropriate for music in most cases. I am reminded of the story of the Small Faces hit Lazy Sunday AfternoonSteve Marriot the lead singer, who was from the heart of London’s East End and spoke with a strong cockney accent, was asked by Alan Clarke of The Hollies why he never sang in his own accent. So they wrote and recorded Lazy Sunday Afternoon. It was meant to be a novelty album track, but the record company chose to release it as a single. Although it was a big success, the band were never happy about it, as they wanted to be taken more seriously and Marriot chose never to emphasise his own dialect in music again, as far as I am aware.

Band of Horses played three songs ComplimentsFactory and North West Apartment. These were all good songs and well played. Quite diverse, there was an up tempo pop tune, a slower more elaborate song with strings and horns and a good rocking tune, in that order. Apparently the band was stranded in London unable to get back to their native Seattle because of the Icelandic volcano that caused the cancellation of all flights in Europe earlier this year. But this meant they booked their spot on the show and we got to see them. I would have liked to have included a clip of NW Apartment, the rocker, but I couldn’t find one I was happy with, so here’s the orchestrated Factory

Jerry Dammers Spacial AKA Orchestra followed. Now musically they were very interesting, if a little weird. The band were all dressed in costumes from around the world, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian African etc. many of them wearing masks. Jerry Dammers was however dressed like he lived on the streets, with scruffy hair, shaggy beard, no front teeth and many, many dinners heavier than his Rude Boy days with the Specials. Their first tune was kind of big band modern Jazz, their second was sung by a girl in a mask and the whole look reminded me of the party scenes from Eyes Wide Shut, except with more clothes. They finished up with a version of the Specials Ghost Town which they called Ghost PlanetDammers did not sing this either, but a genuine reggae man did and was pretty good, although the tune was even more of a dirge than the original. Jools Holland interviewed Dammers and asked about the recent Specials reunion, to which he was not invited, I think I understand why. He said just because they couldn’t do what he did it didn’t mean he couldn’t do what they do. Not a good look airing your grievances in public.

Benjamin Paul Ballance-Drew is Plan B and sometimes known as Ben Drew. He appeared immediately after the Jerry Dammers band and funnily enough looked more like Jerry Dammers in his Specials days than Jerry Dammers did. He sang a nice soul/funk tune, but rapped in a Jamaican accent. He was later interviewed by Jools and explained how he learned song writing from Smokey Robinson’s Tracks of My Tears. When he sang his second song Writings on the Wall, a break up song, you could hear the Smokey influence.

There was a brief interview with Jack Bruce at the piano. He was there to promote his new book and talked about Blues in London in the early 60’s, mentioning pioneers he played with such as Cyril Davies, Alexis Korner, Charlie Watts and Ginger Baker. He also talked about how he wrote Sunshine of your Love, the opening line “it’s getting near dawn” being something his lyricist Pete Brown said after they had been up all night. Interestingly, Bruce said he would consider another Cream reunion, where as Ginger Baker said never again, when he was asked on an earlier show. Jack does seem to be in better nick health wise, so maybe that’s why.

Melody Gardot is a Jazz singer, who has been through life’s wringer. The victim of a serious road accident at 19 she suffered multiple head injuries and pelvic fractures. Her music served as a therapy for her and brought her to where she is today. Having recorded two albums she still finds touring difficult. She appeared sitting on a stool with a guitar, showing an acre of thigh (very nice legs). Her hair is blond, she wore huge dark glasses and looked like a 60’s Italian film star. Her first song Baby I’m a Fool was less Jazzy than her normal fare. The second song, Who Will Comfort Me? was more like a Jazz Gospeland featured scat singing, a nice Jazz cello solo, an Acappella break and a sing along. I enjoyed both her performances, legs and all. See what you think.

Joss Stone on Craig Ferguson

She was sensational. This girl really is an old soul in a young body, with a fantastic voice to match. She came on all glammed up for the performance. Which both she and Craig Ferguson mentioned. She had a very casual interview with the ex-pat Scotsman, which she seemed to enjoy and he seemed a little besotted. They had a little break and then she was back to perform her new song Newborn, which was apparently produced and co-written with Dave Stewart formerly of the Eurythmics and he knows something about girl singers.

I love the Craig Ferguson Show, he is really funny. He rarely has music on there and when he does, so far what I have seen has been pretty awful. But Joss as always was sensational. If you would like to catch some more of her after this check out my TV review site Oz TV Reviews and there are some great clips of her there.

The track Newborn is from her new album LP1 which is on her own independent label Surfdog Records

Mavis Staples on Later with Jools Holland

Mavis Staples Rocks Her Peers

Mavis Staples closed out the episode of Later with Jools Holland that was aired in Australia last night (30/6/11). There were some excellent performances on the show including Robert Plant, Arcade Fire, Adele, Mona and Indian singer Raghu Dixit. But 71 year old Mavis took them all there with her final number the gospel I’ll Take You There.

 

All the other bands could be seen joining in. Robert Plant and his female backup singer/guitarist were particularly enthused. Mavis involved everyone. While her backing band played solos, she wandered around shaking hands with the other musicians and rearranged the lyrics to include the host Jools Holland.

When you see performances like this, from septogenarians like Mavis Staples and Tom Jones, with such enthusiasm and obvious enjoyment in what they do, it makes you think that getting old can’t be all that bad. Let’s hope we all still have that zest for life in our 70′s

Jools Holland interviewed Mavis at the piano and she sang a tune with him. Joolsplayed an old Video clip of Mavis‘s father Pops Staples, who died in 2000 and Mavisshed a few tears. But his legacy remains. The Staple Singers were probably the best soul/gospel group of all time and were widely influential in both pop and rock music, as well as their own genres. If you are not familiar with their music, I highly recommend you check them out and catch up with some music history.