Friday, 29 December 2017


What have we got here for you? A reggae version of a classic song by a rock artist, a legendary reggae artist playing acoustic, a tribute to Tom Petty, a rare Banshees session track, two killer sounding instrumentals and as they say much, much, more. Available for all, the link is at the bottom of this post.

I'm really pleased with the way this has turned out, especially the sequencing and sound levels which are quite balanced. As a diverse compilation of unreleased music it really flows well together. I hope you think so and enjoy it over the holidays. Festive greetings to everyone and have a great new year in 2018.

The 2017 Bootleg promo was compiled from stand-out tracks from bootlegs that were excluded from the document 'Best Bootlegs 2015-17' (the annual update will be available in January). Some of the tracks included were from sessions or live show broadcasts of only two or three tracks and it didn't seem feasible to include such short part sets. These tracks were saved in a folder throughout the year before finalising the selections for this compilation. Those selected for the best bootlegs document are the best, but this promo download will give you an idea of the quality that was necessary to have been included in the forthcoming document.

A previous promo disc from 2015 was mentioned in a Hi-Fi forum, a member was using it to test their audio equipment. Now I know that these tracks are high quality but that was a bit too much, certainly a compliment to the selections and the tapers that recorded them but I would suggest using official studio releases for that purpose.

As for the best boots document itself, work is ongoing. I've dropped the 'Best of the Rest' section (five of those titles have been added to the main body of the document), it was essentially a stop gap to deal with the avalanche of new and upgraded music that invariably appears each Christmas holidays. The season of goodwill certainly extends to the amazing efforts of collectors and uploaders responsible for this deluge.


01. BECK - Black Tambourine (KCRW session, Santa Monica, CA. November 7, 2017) FM
Recorded live in front of a small audience, this is a standout not just from this session but of the album it appeared on. A rhythmic masterpiece from Beck

02. STEVE MILLER BAND - The Joker (live Beacon Theatre, New York. April 12, 1975) FM
An absolute classic and what a performance this is, Steve gets his reggae vibe on during this live extended version.

03. PETER TOSH - Creation (acoustic solo) (WHFS, Bethesda, MD. March 14, 1979) FM
A difficult to find CD 'I Am That I Am' was released with Peter's appearances on US radio, this track is still unreleased.

04. ANTHONY D'AMATO - I Won't Back Down (BBC RS session, Glasgow. November 28, 2017) FM
A poignant tribute for the sad loss of Tom Petty, a true American great.

05. LEONARD COHEN - First We Take Manhattan (live Kongresshaus, Zurich. May 21, 1993) FM
Sadly missed, Leonard is at his humourous best on this track. Taken from the upgraded FM source and not the bootleg included in the 100 greatest bootlegs listing.

06. SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES - The Double Life (BBC R1 session 1994) FM
An electronic dance rhythm collides with the Banshees 80's style on a rare session track, their last ever for the BBC?

07. SLY & ROBBIE - Taxi (BBC R1Xtra session, Jamaica 2017)
One of the most famous Jamaican dancehall riddims ever. The only lossy track here, from a digital BBC radio station session.

08. AUTOMATIC DLAMINI - Johnny Pineapple (Unreleased album 1990) SBD
From an unreleased album, ex-members Polly Jean Harvey and John Parrish went on to greater things but this is an impressive early song.

09. THE FALL - Dramatic (unreleased studio outtake, 2002 or '03) SBD
This instrumental has a real Joy Division feel to it and would have made an epic album track. An outtake from The Country On The Click album aka The Real New Fall Album.

10. SAVAGES - Adore (live Kagelbanan, Stockholm. March 6, 2016) FM
A standout track on this all-girl band's second album 'Adore Life'. This brilliant version is from a live show in Sweden.

11. WILCO - Cry All Day (live Chicago Theatre, Chicago, IL. February 25, 2017) FM
A live performance of one of the better songs from their latest album. This show warrants further investigation.

12. LUCINDA WILLIAMS - Car Wheels On A Gravel Road (acoustic solo) (WFMU session, East Orange, NJ. September 15, 1998) FM
An acoustic version of the title track from Lucinda's best known album.       

13. MARTIN SIMPSON - Blues Run The Game (BBC R3 session, London. September 8, 2017) FM
A heartfelt cover of the Jackson C. Frank 60's classic.                

14. NIRVANA - Marigold (studio outtake with cello)
Appeared during the Elmo leaks as an mp3, here it is in lossless.

15. RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS - Californication (live Whiskey-A-Go-Go, Hollywood, CA. August 31 2000) FM
A rare intimate! show in front of an extremely animated crowd at this small venue. A showcase for the talents of guitar player John Frusciante.

16. STATUS QUO - Roadhouse Blues (live Radiohuset, Stockholm. November 24, 1971) FM
While not reaching the heights of the 1976 version on the 'Live!' album, this is nevertheless a prime example of early Quo.

Dedicated to all those we have lost during 2017...............and for the Hi-Fi guys in France! Try this one on your sound system.

Compiled by the basement67 for the 100 greatest bootlegs blog (December 2017)

PROMO 2017 is here

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

JOHNNY CASH - Radio Broadcasts (1956-59)

Bootleg of the month - November

Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two - Radio Broadcasts 1956-59

 Country Style USA Radio - 12 November 1956
Country Style USA Radio - May or June 1956
Guest Star Radio - 28 June 1959

Johnny Cash - Vocals & Guitar
Luther Perkins - Lead Guitar
Marshall Grant - Upright Bass

There's an amazing twang and reverb on these 1956 sessions. They should have just let the band run through their entire repertoire. The Sun singles don't sound like this. The freshness and vitality of the new blasts through these recordings. They are quite awesome (despite the crackles) and I say that as someone who only owns a single Cash cd. If you know anyone who is a big Johnny Cash fan get this for them, you will make their day.

You can hear Sun recording artiste Johnny Cash perform all six sides of his first three singles, released on the label. Cry! Cry! Cry! b/w Hey Porter! released on June 21, 1955,  So Doggone Lonesome b/w Folsom Prison Blues released on December 15, 1955 and I Walk The Line b/w Get Rhythm released on May 1, 1956. Johnny attempts his version of Rock Island Line, then follows it appropriately with an old time gospel cover. The third show on this set is from 1959, a year after Johnny had left the Sun label because of money issues and Sam Phillips refusal to allow him to record gospel music.
Country Style USA was a radio program syndicated by the US Army Band and Recruiting Services and broadcast as a recruiting tool for them. The series consisted of 15-minute radio and film programs produced from 1957 to 1960. To encourage people to listen to them they included sessions by the top country stars of the day. Each year 13 episodes were produced in Nashville, Tennessee, and distributed to local radio and TV stations.

Guest Star was produced by the U.S. Treasury Department in the 1940s and 1950s as a public service program. It featured a different often top-name "guest star" (singer, actor, comedian) each week to promote the sales of savings bonds.

These are from vintage radio broadcast transcription discs (at times you can hear the original vinyl source which adds a certain resonance). The lineage is unknown but the original seeder says 
"I received these many years ago in a trade and transferred them from cassette." There is no information on the transfer process. 

The three shows compromise eleven performances and were originally seeded by ‘brownstien’ on the Dime tracker, 1 July 2006. Then by YardGnome’on the Traders Den, 21 August, 2006. They were then reseeded by Aikowolf (on the Traders Den) in 2015 who discovered the correct show dates. The microgaps between tracks exist on all three of those seeds. 

I have run it through Wavlab and removed a few pops and clicks and repaired the microgaps via Traders Little Helper. The exact date of the second set from 1956 is unknown, it’s thought likely to be around May or June of that year. 

12 November 1956 - Country Style USA Radio 
01. Country Style USA Intro 
02. Hey Porter 
03. I Walk The Line 
04. Join The Reserve For Youth Training Program advertising spot 
05. Rock Island Line 
06. So Doggone Lonesome 
07. Country Style USA Outro

May or June 1956 - Country Style USA Radio 
08. Country Style USA Intro 
09. Folsom Prison Blues 
10. Cry Cry Cry 
11. Reserve For Youth Training Program advertising spot 
12. I Was There When It Happened 
13. Get Rhythm 
14. Country Style USA Outro

28 June 1959 - Guest Star 
15. Guest Star Intro 
16. Country Boy 
17. Chat w/ Johnny 
18. Don’t Take Your Guns To Town 
19. Johnny Cash “Buy Savings Bonds” advertising spot 
20. Buzz Adlam & His Orchestra - When It's Twilight On The Trail 
21. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot 
22. Guest Star Outro

These programmes were originally produced by the US Government and are now in the public domain. HERE

If you have enjoyed these live 50's performances, you may want to hear more and that's where you'll have to go down the official route.

Johnny's first live radio recording is included on Colombia's official bootleg series 'Bootleg Vol II - From Memphis To Hollywood'. He performs four tracks: Wide Open Road, One More Ride, Luther's Boogie and Belshazzar (Dylan fans will recognize this one). Columbia have wisely included the complete KWEM in Memphis show (broadcast on August 4, 1955) with the radio announcements and adverts, giving it a sense of time and place. It's a more primitive recording than the unreleased bootleg.

Johnny Cash & the Tennessee Two returned to Country Style USA Radio in 1957 and that performance including: Stay All Night Stay A Little Longer, There You Go, Give My Love To Rose and Home Of The Blues is available on the DVD: 'Various - Country Style USA: Season 2'    

Finally Columbia's bootleg series 'Vol. 3: Live Around The World' has three tracks live at the Big D Jamboree in Dallas, Texas from 1956: So Doggone Lonesome, I Walk The Line and Get Rhythm.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

TOM PETTY & the Heartbreakers - Capitol Records Tower 1977 / STEELY DAN - The 'Lost' Gaucho

Bootlegs of the Month - October 2017

October began with a storm of bad news and the musical world was heavily involved. No music fan can fail to have been affected by the events of the last month and beyond.

There have been numerous heartfelt and well-deserved eulogies penned about the loss of so many legendary figures. This month both posts are a small tribute to two of the greatest musicians to have come out of the 70's, Tom Petty and Walter Becker of Steely Dan.

TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS - Capitol Records Tower, Hollywood 1977

Tom & the Heartbreakers first found fame in the UK and Europe before being recognised in their homeland during the latter half of 1978. Amongst the punk, roots reggae and new wave explosion of '77, they found immediate acceptance by UK and European audiences.

Pre-dating the 60's classicism that became popular in the 80's, via the Smiths and REM, to name a few examples. The Heartbreakers combined Byrds style riffs via Rickenbacker guitars with a strong rhythmic beat that influenced many bands of the era. Even the Clash were sufficiently impressed to rehearse an instrumental version of 'Anything That's Rock 'n' Roll' on the Vanilla tapes (see the 'London Calling' deluxe edition).

This show is a perfect reminder and celebration, of how brilliant those early songs and live shows were. Anything new by the JEMS team is usually the highest quality circulating version of the show available. The sound on this is excellent as always. If you need to hear more of the best '77 shows, the Record Plant and Roslyn FM broadcasts are commonly circulating.

Studio A, Capitol Records Tower,
Hollywood CA.

Broadcast by KWST 106 FM
Los Angeles CA
November 11th 1977

1st Generation FM Broadcast from The JEMS Archive  
Transferred and Presented By Krw_co

Set List:
01. Intro
02. American Girl
03. Fooled Again
04. Breakdown
05. Listen To Her Heart
06. Don't Bring Me Down
07. Strangered In The Night
08. Anything That's Rock & Roll
09. Shout

Lineage: FM broadcast master > First generation copy > Nakamichi DR-1 (w/manual azimuth adjustment) > Creative Soundblaster X-FI HD Model #SB1240Wav (24/96kHz) > Magix Audio Cleaning Lab for track marks and edits > Wav 16/44.1 > TLH Flac (Level 8) No EQ or other tampering

The Band:
Tom Petty  lead vocals guitar harmonica
Mike Campbell  lead guitar
Benmont Tench  keyboards backing vocals
Ron Blair  bass backing vocals
Stan Lynch  drums backing vocals

Notes: Capitol Studios, a recording facility which includes eight echo chambers engineered by guitarist Les Paul and three main studios, A, B, and C. 

Thank you to JEMS for allowing us to transfer and present these shows to you.
Special thanks to Jared for his many years of taping & archiving.
Many Thanks to Butterking for making these shows available to everybody.



original blogger's notes:

For many years, this was considered the holy grail of Steely Dan bootlegs, as it features a complete alternative Gaucho album including several unreleased songs from the Gaucho sessions that were not included on the eventual album.

As is known by most SD fans, Becker and Fagen had to endure various misfortunes during the long and grueling process of the making of Gaucho, which caused numerous delays in its release. Becker was hit by a car, one of their favorite new tracks "The Second Arrangement" was accidentally erased by an assistant recording engineer, and there was a dispute over which record company had the rights to their forthcoming album. MCA won the contract dispute (although Fagen and Becker had already signed to a new label, WB) but then decided to increase the album's list price to one dollar more than all other albums at that time. Donald and Walter tried unsuccessfully to fight the price increase.

Through all this, Fagen and Becker grew more and more disenchanted, and eventually scrapped much of what had been recorded previously, including several entire songs. Gaucho was eventually released in November, 1980. But the ordeal, politics, and aftermath of the making and remaking of Gaucho may have lead to Donald & Walter's decision to call it quits after this album.

The 'Lost' Gaucho is a complete album vastly different to what was released. Of the 8 songs included on the 'lost' edition, only three of these were tracks that appeared on the official album, in somewhat different form. 'Were You Blind That Day' was an early rendition of a song with different lyrics that finally appeared as 'Third World Man' on the released Gaucho. 'Time Out Of Mind' on the lost version is simpler, missing the embellishments added on the Gaucho version. And the title track here is just an instrumental. The rest of the tracks are original unreleased Steely Dan songs prepared for Gaucho, but not used. These include 'Kind Spirit', 'The Bear', 'The Second Arrangement', 'Talkin’ About My Home' and 'Kulee Baba', and have never been released in any form.

As to why so many songs were dropped from the final lineup of Gaucho, a case can be made that this early version was too close in style to 1977’s Aja - shorter songs, sweeter melodies and more accessible lyrics. The finally released Gaucho seemed purposely obscure, deep and complex. Was it to spite their record company MCA? Is it possible that The Second Arrangement was never erased but that Becker and Fagen concocted the story to avoid releasing what they thought was the better version of Gaucho? Listen and decide for yourself.

An alert blog reader who had recently downloaded these files, and who happened to be an audio engineer, noticed that the left and right channels were completely (180 degree) out of phase with each other, which resulted in cancellation and loss of sound from some frequencies (particularly low end), and an overall loss of fidelity in the recordings. I found that all the available sources also had the same out-of-phase problem, so it appeared that these were the versions that have been around the trading circles for years. Fortunately, correcting this type of phase issue is quite simple to do, and it is surprising that it has not been fixed before now.

Anyway, my new audio engineer blog friend, Anthony Ochoa, was interested in not only fixing the phase problem, but also going through the recordings and doing some EQ and clean-up work on them to bring them up to a higher sound quality. So, that is what he did, and his resulting work on The Lost Gaucho has restored these files to a much fuller, richer sound, almost to a commercial quality level with greatly enhanced sound quality

Steely Dan - The 'Lost' Gaucho
(Excellent studio flac)

01 Kind Spirit*
02 Were You Blind That Day       
03 The Bear*
04 The 2nd Arrangement*       
05 Talkin' About My Home*
06 Time Out Of Mind       
07 Kulee Baba*
08 Gaucho (instrumental)       
* unreleased in any form

The released Gaucho (November 21, 1980) tracklist is as follows:

Side 1:
Babylon Sisters (5:49)
Hey Nineteen  (5:06)
Glamour Profession (7:29)

Side 2:
Gaucho (5:32)
Time Out of Mind (4:13)
My Rival (4:34)
Third World Man (5:15)

Wiki notes the following:

"In addition to "The Second Arrangement", a number of songs were written for the album, but ultimately left off Gaucho. A number of these songs were included on a bootleg titled The Lost Gaucho, which represents recordings from early in the album's sessions. Song titles include "Kind Spirit", "Kulee Baba", "The Bear", "Talkin' About My Home", as well as "The Second Arrangement". An early version of "Third World Man" with alternate lyrics is included under the title "Were You Blind That Day". This recording dates from the Aja sessions."

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

THE VERVE - Unreleased Urban Hymns / PRINCE BUSTER Special (Flac)

Bootlegs of the Month - September 2017

THE VERVE - Unreleased Urban Hymns

As you may have gathered there was no bootleg of the month for August. A quiet time as per the norm, not just for bootlegs but also official releases. Now the holiday season has passed the music scene picks up with a deluge of new releases scheduled for release before the next holiday season. A deluxe re-issue marking the 20 year anniversary of the release of 'Urban Hymns' by The Verve caught my eye, it's a box set consisting of five audio discs and one DVD.

Those that have only heard the album 'Urban Hymns' and none of the numerous cd single only tracks, released on the three (double pack) Hut singles in 1997, will be in for a bit of an ear opener. There was enough quality music available for the release of a quick, less comercial follow up to 'Urban Hymns' but a history of internal strife within the band put paid to any further releases, as they again split. They reformed for one further album 'Forth' a decade later. Tensions still exist between band members, recently Nick McCabe wrote on Facebook about the penultimate track on this set: "Richard doesn't want it releasing, because he knows how good it is"

This bootleg has therefore appeared in timely fashion. These eleven tracks were supposed to have been released on the recent 'Urban Hymns' reissue but unfortunately after the band approved them for release, Richard Ashcroft then vetoed them all. Nick McCabe showed a picture of the cd-r online. They were then leaked by an unknown source in the first week of September. Co-incidentally a YouTube uploader claims that they came from someone who works in the distribution department of the record company UMC. Whatever the exact story behind this, many fans have complained that these unreleased tracks should have been included on the box and it is undeniable that it would have made the set more complete.

The only non essential track is Original Insanity with its static noise, tinkling bell and crying baby. It was finished with guitar replacing the static noises and re-titled Deep Freeze for release as a bonus track on the Japanese edition of  'Urban Hymns'. The opener here, Sweet And Sour may sound familiar as it employs a drum track similar to that of Bittersweet Symphony. The Beat Nick mix of This Time is more stripped back and excludes the synth and guitar overdubs of the album track. The previously unreleased songs: Sweet And Sour, Wednesday Madness, Jalfrezi, Tina Turner, All Ways Are Maybes and King Riff 2 are all excellent

Original notes:

2017 Deluxe Edition Box Set Outtakes of fully mastered tracks approved by all band members
except Richard Ashcroft and subsequently leaked allegedly by guitarist Nick McCabe.
These tracks are flawless quality, professionally mastered by the same remastering team
and should have been included in the deluxe edition box.

The Verve - Urban Hymns Unreleased Studio Tracks

1. Sweet And Sour (5:22)
2. Wednesday Madness (4:49)
3. Neon Wilderness (Idea) (1:38)
4. Jalfrezi (4:40)
5. This Time (Beat Nick Mix) (3:49)
6. Tina Turner (6:49)
7. Oh Sister (3:31)
8. Sonnet (Acoustic demo) (3:40)
9. Original Insanity (1:36)
10. All Ways Are Maybes (4:46)
11. King Riff 2 (7:54)



This show can be heard via the BBC I-Player, but be quick as it is only available for 30 days after broadcast date.

David Rodigan began broadcasting his Reggae show for BBC Radio 2 on 14 July 2011. Numerous series have followed throughout the last six years. He has showcased his love for Jamaican music and not only celebrated it’s massive back catalogue, but also looked toward it’s future.

His warm friendly presenting style allied to an encyclopaedic knowledge of reggae music’s history makes these programmes an essential listen. He not only plays some of the greatest music recorded but combines his knowledge with reflective stories and imparts a great deal of wisdom. It is said that there is no reggae artist Rodigan hasn’t interviewed, his massive following is worldwide and he is surely the greatest living authority in reggae broadcasting.

David's latest series has just concluded on BBC Radio 2, the six-part series was recorded from the FM broadcasts. This special celebrating the life of Prince Buster 'The King of Ska' was my favourite from the current series. It's a terrific look at the life and music of  Jamaican legend Cecil Bustamente Campbell AKA Prince Buster. Who played a pivotal role in popularising the new sound of a young independent Jamaica, he called himself The Prince but  would become later known as The King... of Ska. In this show David not only picks a mix of evergreen classics but some glorious obscurities from The Prince's vast back catalogue. Fans of the 2-Tone label will instantly recognize many of these tracks.

Prince Buster - Enjoy Yourself (1963)
Prince Buster - Scorcher (1968)
Prince Buster - Judge Dread (1967)
Prince Buster - Judge Dread Dance (1967)
Prince Buster - Sweet Beat (1967)
Prince Buster - Taxation (1969)
Prince Buster - Bull Buck (1969)
Prince Buster - Everybody Ska (1964)
Folkes Brothers - Oh Carolina (1961)
Prince Buster - Madness (1963)
Prince Buster - Earthquake (1968)
Prince Buster - Johnny Cool (1967)
Prince Buster’s All Stars - One Step Beyond (1965)
Prince Buster - Too Hot (1967)
Prince Buster - Let's Go To The Dance (1967)
Prince Buster - Walk With Love (1968)
Prince Buster - Al Capone (1965)

BBC Radio 2 FM > Denon TU-260L tuner > Audacity > WAV > TLH > FLAC 8

Sunday, 6 August 2017

WOMAD UK - 2017 (Flac)

Bootleg of the month - July 2017

World On 3 from the Womad Festival
Charlton Park, Malmesbury, England
Friday 28 July - Sunday 30 July

BBC Radio 3 lossless stream   

01. Toots & The Maytals - Funky Kingston (6:32)
02. Alsara - Albahr (3:21)
03. Afro Celt Sound System - The Magnificent Seven (4:23)
04. Trad.Attack! - Ysan’Kene (4:56)                 
05. King Ayisoba - Brother They Can See You (3:47)
06. Xaos - Pontos Blues (6:31)
07. Lamomali - C'et Air (4:49)
08. Las Cafeteras - Tiempos De Amour (3:42)
09. Grupo Canalón de Timbiquí - Lolita (5:56)
10. Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Homeless (3:59)
11. Bonga - Mona Ki Ngui Xiça (4:11)
12. Ska Vengers - Frank Brazil (4:02)
13. Oumou Sangaré - Kounadia (7:37)

Recorded from the BBC Radio 3 Lossless FLAC stream > Audacity > editing, tracking and fades > WAV > TLH > FLAC (8)

This was assembled from recordings I made of the BBC Radio 3 broadcast lossless streams from the UK Womad Festival 2017. Eleven hours of music, over four programmes, were broadcast during the last weekend in July. This disc compiles over an hour's worth of those broadcasts to give a sampler of some of the 95 acts that took the stage.

August 2017


01. Toots & the Maytals
Toots Hibbert is among the pantheon of Jamaican reggae greats. It’s almost half a century since the Maytals’ 1968 single “Do the Reggay”, was the first song to use the word ‘reggae’ as ska and rocksteady morphed into a new beat. Toots and his band have been doing it ever since and Bob Marley even name-checked the Maytals alongside the Wailers in his 1977 hit “Punky Reggae Party”. Expect a righteous roots set featuring such timeless Toots classics as “54-46 Was My Number”,  “Funky Kingston”,  “Monkey Man”, “Pressure Drop” and “Reggae Got Soul”.

02. Alsarah & the Nubatones
The Sudanese singer Alsarah was a child when her family were forced to flee the country following a coup. She was eventually given political asylum in America where, after taking a degree in ethnomusicology she formed the Nubatones in 2010 with percussionist Rami el Aasser.
With a line-up that includes her sister Nahid on backing vocals, bassist Mawuena Kodjovi, and oud player Haig Manoukian, the ensemble released their debut album Silt in 2014.
Alsarah’s mesmerising blend of ancient tradition and East African pop has since entranced audiences wherever they’ve played – including a memorable appearance at the first music festival to be held in Somalia in 20 years.

03. Afro Celt Sound System
When the Afro-Celts re-emerged last year with The Source, their first new album in more than a decade, nobody knew quite what to expect. Would the group’s trademark global dance fusion that had sounded so thrillingly cutting-edge when they first appeared at WOMAD in 1996, now sound out-dated?  We need not have worried, for it transpired that the long hiatus had reinvigorated the band.
With their swirling mix of African rhythms and Celtic melodicism augmented by thundering bhangra drumming, the critics hailed their return as an unqualified triumph in which the Afro-Celts were sounding “bigger, better and bolder than ever.”

04. Trad.Attack!
Trad.Attack! have turned Estonian folk music on its head since releasing their 2014 debut album AH! Combining the bagpipe playing and vocals of Sandra Vabarna, virtuoso guitar of Jalmar Vabarna and inventive percussion of  Tõnu Tubli, the trio take their inspiration from old archive recordings of Estonian traditional songs.
But folk music is merely their starting point and not their boundary as they reconcile past, present and future in a dynamic postmodern furnace of folklore, beats and rock’n’roll.
The trio’s second album Shimmer Gold is due for release in May 2017, neatly timed for this year’s round of summer festivals.

05. King Ayisoba
Apozora Ayisoba has built a huge following in West Africa with his unique update of traditional styles played on the two-string lute known as a kologo and sung in an intense, hard-edged voice.
His current album, 1000 Can Die is a thrilling mix of traditional Ghanaian rhythms and contemporary beats with echoes of hiplife, the local hybrid of traditional African highlife and hip-hop.
Listen out, too, for his definitive hit ‘I Want to See You, My Father’, which announced his arrival a decade ago when it won him song of the year, and is certain to feature prominently in his regal set.

06. XÀOS
If WOMAD had a long-service medal, Nick Page – sometimes known as Dubulah – would be one of its first recipients. Over the years he’s been a key force behind such global fusionist festival favourites as Transglobal Underground, Temple Of Sound, Dub Colossus and Syriana. His latest project XÀOS, finds him exploring the musical heritage of his Greek mother in partnership with the electronic composer Ahetas Jimi and a supporting cast of traditional Greek musicians.
The epic album they made together took a decade to complete, its electronic pulses and traditional shadings uncannily echoing the tensions and struggles which Greece itself has been undergoing in an uncertain world.

07. Lamomali
The French singer-songwriter, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Matthieu Chedid, alias -M- has been collaborating with musicians from Mali for 20 years, including Amadou and Mariam and kora legend Toumani Diabate. His latest project teams him once more with Toumani and his son Sidike Diabate, who in addition to playing the kora is a key mover in Bamako’s vibrant hip-hop scene.
 “With Lamomali I planted the seed and I watched it grow so that a multi-coloured African universe can be born,” says Chedid, who is of partly Lebanese-Egyptian origin. “It must be my African side in me because I felt like I had finally returned home.”

08. Las Cafeteras
Emerging from an ethnically diverse and politically active working-class neighbourhood of East Los Angeles in 2005, this Chicano band have built an enviable reputation with their radical and socially-conscious mix of Mexican folk styles, hip-hop and much else besides, using their songs to tell stories about the streets where they were raised, the communities in which they live and their dreams for a better world. Their second album, Tastes Like LA, has just been released and includes a song titled “If I Was President”.  As singer Denise Carlos puts it: “The President says he wants to build a wall. Las Cafeteras want to build bridges”. Their WOMAD performance will be a UK and European debut.

09. Grupo Canalón de Timbiquí
Nidia Góngora blends felicitously with the African-style chanting of a female chorus.
Hailing from the town of Timbiquí on the Pacific coast of Colombia, Grupo Canalón met in school, where their music teacher taught them the traditional folk songs typical of the coastal region, sung for generations by the women of the town while washing clothes in the river and praising their patron saints. The voice of lead singer Nidia Góngora blends felicitously with the African-style chanting of a female chorus, backed by marimba and folkloric percussion, and between touring and recording, several of the group’s members still dig for gold in the mines around Timbiquí.

10. Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Founded in the early 1960s by Joseph Shabalala, then a young farm boy turned factory worker, the joyous harmonies of South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mabazo have been uplifting audiences for more than half a century.  The a cappella Zulu male choir emerged on to the world stage in the 1980s when they were given a starring role on Paul Simon’s landmark “Graceland” album. Simon returned the compliment by producing the group’s first worldwide release, “Shaka Zulu”, which won a Grammy.  Since then they’ve toured the world endlessly, winning countless further awards and recording with a vast array of guest vocalists ranging from Stevie Wonder to Dolly Parton.

11. Bonga
For veteran and much-loved godfather of Angolan music, 2017 marks the 45th anniversary of Bonga’s seminal debut album Angola 72.
The record became the soundtrack for Angola’s battle for independence from Portuguese colonial rule and was banned, forcing him into exile as a wanted man. Since independence he has divided his time between Europe and his homeland, recording a prolific string of peerless albums characterised by his rasping, powerful voice and the rippling Angolan rhythms of semba.
At 74, he remains a potent and charismatic force-of-nature on stage and insists that he has absolutely no plans to retire any time soon.

12. The Ska Vengers
The name tells only part of the story. The Ska Vengers hail from the Indian capital of New Delhi and their musical palette encompasses not only the irresistible  chk-chk’ rhythms of Jamaican ‘ska’ but  elements of dub, punk, jazz, rap, psychedelia and Latin music.
Formed in 2009, their debut album appeared three years later and has come to be regarded as a landmark on the contemporary Indian music scene. Live their energy is palpable and their first UK tour in 2016, which included a performance at the Notting Hill Carnival, was a revelation that brought them to a new and appreciative audience.

13. Oumou Sangaré
Stylish, elegant, feisty and charismatic, Oumou Sangaré is not only one of  the most powerful female voices in African music but a striking role model who has used her music to campaign fearlessly to improve the position of women in Mali’s male-dominated society, singing against such injustices as polygamy and child marriage. Following an eight year absence from the recording studio she returned to the fray in 2017 with her fifth album Mogoya.  While the record remains rooted deep in Malian culture and tradition, the more contemporary arrangements break new ground on the funkiest set of her career to date.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

LAMBCHOP - Bowery Ballroom, New York - 2017 (Flac)

Bootleg of the Month - June 2017

Bowery Ballroom,
New York, NY.
March 30, 2017


I first saw Lambchop  a few years ago on the anniversary tour, celebrating the release of Nixon. It was a bit surprising to find tables and chairs set out at the venue for the whole audience.
The cabaret-club style of the setting worked immensely in Lambchop's favour and it was fortunate that the audience remained quiet for the majority of the show. Frontman Kurt Wagner also remained seated throughout a fascinating show interspersed with Tony Crow's jokes enlivening the atmosphere. Lambchop often throw in a cover when playing live and on that occasion it was David Bowie's 'Young Americans'.

The current album 'Flotus' is yet another change in style, this time introducing vocoder and electronic sounds to their songs. 'Flotus' is bookended by two lengthy tracks, firstly the 12-minute 'In Care Of 8675309' and the closing 18-minute epic 'The Hustle'. My only disappointment is that the band have performed edited live versions of these two tracks. So you really do need to get the official album available in the US on Merge Records and here in Europe on City Slang Records to enjoy the original extended versions.

This is a masterful performance and an exquisite matrix recording by NYC taper. He has blended an audience recording with a soundboard capture to produce what must be the ultimate live Flotus tour show. I have heard quite a few older Lambchop shows broadcast on FM radio and the engineers and mixers have struggled with the quiet and just a bit louder dynamic of the music. This show is perfectly balanced and mixed.  


01  NIV
02  The Hustle
03  Directions to the Can
04  Poor Bastard
05  Old Masters
06  Writer
07  [banter - physical comedy]
08  In Care Of 8675309
09  [band introductions]
10  The New Cobweb Summer
11  [banter - build character]
12  Howe
13  JFK
14  Relatives No. 2
15  Harbor Country
16  [encore break]
17  My Blue Wave
18  When You Were Mine [Prince]

[Total Time 1:39:16]

This post was kindly made available with the permission of NYC taper.

Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + Audience Matrix
Recorded and Produced by nyctaper 

Soundboard + Schoeps CCM4u Cardioids > Edirol R-44 (Oade Mod) > 2 x 24bit 48kHz wav files >
Soundforge (post-production) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH  > flac

Please support this legendary band:

The following is from NYC taper's original post, he writes:

"In my not so humble opinion, Lambchop’s FLOTUS was the best album of 2016. In a similar regard, “In Care of 8675309” is the best song released this decade. What makes it more remarkable is that the album represents for Kurt Wagner a stylistic pivot from a twenty-five year career of eclectic americana. For FLOTUS, Wagner used modern technology juxtaposed with his intimate lyrics to create a masterpiece about the maintenance of an interpersonal connection in a world increasingly enslaved to machines.

We were fortunate to capture the live debut of the FLOTUS material at Hopscotch in September. Since that time Lambchop has toured the world and performed this material more than fifty times in a live setting, so that by the time they arrived at Bowery Ballroom last Friday, we were excited for the development of the songs. Our expectations were met early in the proceedings when Wagner sweetly crooned a subdued version of “NIV” that blended seamlessly into a guitar-driven truncated version of “The Hustle” that was transformed from the hypnotic electronic bifurcated melody on the album to a more unified alt-folk ballad live. “8675309” was placed in the middle of the set but Wagner’s intense vocal performance of the epic number was perhaps the highlight of the evening. The band’s setlist included a handful of older numbers and one cover, but this night was dedicated to FLOTUS and sans the title track, the album was nearly completely performed. The keyboardist Tony Crow provided several ace solos (and some hilarious banter) and the band also includes veteran bassist Matt Swanson and Wye Oak’s percussionist/electronic wiz Andy Stack, whose expert multitasking we’ve noted previously in this pages. But it was Wagner centerstage, and while his abundant use of vocals effects may have startled some of the old guard, the packed house was clearly on board for the FLOTUS sound and hovered on every note. Lambchop’s current tour comes to a close in the next few weeks, and they’re going back to Europe in the Summer festival season, but we expect that they will return to NYC in the Fall.

I recorded this set with the Schoeps mounted in our usual balcony spot and mixed with a flawless soundboard feed. The crowd’s great respect for this performer and this material permitted us to capture the often quiet moments of this set without distraction and as a result the sound quality of this recording is superb. Enjoy!"

The links to download this show are available exclusively at NYC taper's site, see the link below which takes you directly to his original post:

There is a review and photographs from the show available here:

 FLOTUS was released on November 4, 2016 by City Slang in Europe
 and Merge Records in the US.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017


Bootleg of the Month - May 2017

BBC Radio 1 FM broadcast
'Lamacq Live' / 'Evening Session' programme.BBC Maida Vale Studios, London.
Broadcast on 20 March 2000

Only 'Blood Money' and Mani's track, 'Keep Your Dreams' are missing from this explosive live set. A promotional appearance for the forthcoming Xtrmntr tour, it was recorded in front of a small audience at the BBC's renowned Maida Vale studios in London.

I heard this when it was initially broadcast in March 2000 and bought a ticket for the tour, the following month. My lasting memories of the show were of the green lights that swathed the stage and the hammering thundering drums of 'Kowalski' as Bobby Gillespie leaned on his vocal stand, John Lydon style and screamed "Kowalski in Vanishing Point, Vanishing Point, Vanishing Point". (pardon the pun and don't forget to see the movie)

The album and single 'Accelerator' were Creation Records final releases, Xtrmntr the first classic album of the new millenium. Once you've heard 'Kowalski' and 'Burning Wheel', you will also be looking for the 'Vanishing Point' album released in 1997.

This BBC Radio 1 FM broadcast is as fine an example existing of how they sounded live. You really do need to 'Turn It Up' when listening to this one. It could not be more different than my last two posts. A real raging, controlled blast of aggression, year 2K style and entirely relevant in 2017.

Xtrmntr drew strong reviews, like the following:

"XTRMNTR is a biting condemnation of government, capitalism, and complacency filled with both damning lyrics and beautiful noise. "Insecticide shots for criminal cops/All jails are concentration camps, all judges are bought," rails Gillespie on the fiercely funk title track. 
Such diatribes are expressed over throbbing electro-funk rhythms, computerized firestorms, and impulsive stabs of free jazz -- imagine Rage Against the Machine as a techno band. 

In contrast to Primal Scream's best-loved album, the definitive Madchester rave-rock platter 'Scramadelica' the angry XTRMNTR builds upon the urgency and claustrophobia of the band's 1997 album, 'Vanishing Point'. 

"Blood Money" is a stealthy, horn-embellished instrumental that would have made the perfect soundtrack to a William Burroughs spy film. 
"Swastika Eyes" is a pulsing, industrial-disco barrage, and "Accelerator" sounds like the Stooges crossed with My Bloody Valentine -- in fact, MBV front man Kevin Shields provides production assistance on several tracks (as do the Chemical Brothers and the Automator), including the droning, mesmeric "Shoot Speed/Kill Light. Rarely have political albums sounded this disorientingly wonderful."

01. Swastika Eyes
02. Shoot Speed, Kill Light
03. Pills
04. Burning Wheel
05. If They Move Kill 'Em
06. Insect Royalty
07. Kill All Hippies
08. Exterminator
09. Kowalski
10. Accelerator

Time: 45 minute 16s

Lineage: BBC Radio 1 FM > ?? > Traded CD-R > EAC > WAV > CoolEdit (manual removal of gaps) > WAV > TLH (SBE fix) > WAV > TLH > FLAC 8 & .ffp


Saturday, 3 June 2017

THE WAR ON DRUGS - In Session (2014) (Flac)

There didn't seem to be a bootleg of the month forthcoming in May. So this post was prepared in response to that possibility. Inspired by the new 11-minute War On Drugs single 'Thinking Of A Place'. I had spent sometime re-listening to these two radio sessions from 2004. As it turned out, the best bootleg for May was downloaded on the 31st, there was too little time to include it in this post and it will be withheld until later this month.

In 2003 vocalist, songwriter and guitarist, Adam Granduciel moved from Oakland to Philadelphia and met Kurt Vile - also a fellow multi-instrumentalist. Sharing the same musical interests particularly Bob Dylan they became firm friends and began working together as Kurt Vile and the Violators.

Adam's own project The War On Drugs officially began in 2005 but it would be sometime later, that the duo released their debut EP titled 'Barrel Of Batteries' in 2008. Later that year a full-length album 'Wagonwheel Blues' was released.Kurt Vile followed this up shortly after with his own debut, titled 'Constant Hitmaker' before focusing on his own solo work. He signed to Matador Records and over the following two year period released two albums and some EP's, all featuring his friend Adam Granduciel, who had continued to perform live as part of the Violators.

In 2011 the War On Drugs second album 'Slave Ambient’ was released to critical acclaim, appearing on the best albums of the year lists, side by side with Kurt Vile's own album 'Smoke Ring For Halo, on which Adam also appeared. 'Slave Ambient' broke the War On Drugs to a wider audience. Vile contributed guitar on two of the album's tracks. Much like the Hold Steady before them, they have assimilated these influences and synthesized their own fresh identifiable sound and perspective.

The third album 'Lost In The Dream' was released in March 2014 and built further on that success with positive and enthusiastic reviews. To promote the album, the group set out on a national US tour. Before playing at their next scheduled stop at the Neptune Theatre in Seattle, earlier that day, they dropped in to KEXP and recorded the session and interview included here. It was broadcast in 16 bit lossless.

The group are:

Adam Granduciel: guitar, vocals
Dave Hartley: bass
Charlie Hall: drums
Robbie Bennett: keyboards
Anthony LaMarca: acoustic guitar (also keyboards, not this KEXP session)

The interview by DJ Cheryl Waters was particularly illuminating, and the most salient questions and answers with bandleader Adam Granduciel follow below.

Adam, I know that the new album was born out of a difficult period in your life and maybe you've put all of that emotion in the record, but do you feel that there is a difference between this and 'Slave Ambient'?

"Definitely I guess I just wanted to be more disciplined with writing and recording. I wanted to showcase what the live band had become over the years. 'Slave Ambient' made us, like it forced us to tour for a year and a half and become a band. We were learning how to play together but also re-interpreting these songs. They weren't solo recordings but they also weren't band recordings. I really liked the way that the band changed the way that those songs happened live. 

So for the record I wanted something that could do that again, and really play to everyone's strengths in the studio. Without really, maybe making a band record the same way, that you'd think, you want to make one. So it's still the same kind of recording approach but just with the idea in mind, that I wanted Robbie to play beautiful piano and Dave to play all the sweet bass. To bring Charlie in on songs that I thought were right up his alley, anytime that happened it always transformed the recording."

I heard that you had a long time, like a year, to make this record, writing and recording it. Is that true?

"Yeah, all the songs I started in my home studio between June and December of 2012. They were all kind of sketches or just sparse, pretty loose structures and then I spent for the most part of 2013, overdubbing and stripping away and re-doing stuff."

Was that a luxury? Did you ever have that much time to work on music?

"Well 'Slave Ambient' took a long time too but it wasn't the only thing I had to do. This time around, this was the only thing. It was a luxury, it was different, with 'Slave Ambient too I realized that I couldn't make a record the way I had made that one again and I don't think I could make one, like the way I made this one. I think personally the goal is to just try to get to a point, where you can sit in a room with your band and make a record in maybe a few months. Live as a band, like all the records we love so much but I think it's a process trying to get there."

I get the idea that song writing is maybe more of an intensive process for you?

"Sometimes it's just a matter of exhausting all the possibilities. I mean pretty much all of the songs on this record were built up from all the stuff I started at home. We'd build them up and take them to the studio, just kind of build them up as we go. There wasn't really a moment when we were all together in a room playing a song. Some of the songs were written fairly quickly, 'Eyes To The Wind' I wrote that in my kitchen in like a few minutes strangely enough, but the finished recording of that took about a year. When I first had the idea I knew what the song meant to me. I knew it had a feeling, like a magic about it. I guess the recording process is about trying to unlock that feeling and also make it sound huge but also try to hold on to whatever like little naiveties, when you first had that little idea."

Do you know when you hear that magic? That seems to be what's going on with people with this album; you've just really hit it on every song. Do you find yourself questioning over and over or changing things all the time?

"Yeah, I usually know when I start the song in my house and I listen to it for days and days in a row, it's like the only thing I can think of, it might be really sparse but I can hear what the mood is. Like in that first song we played 'An Ocean In Between The Waves' that was like, it started off super raw in my house, just an organ, some guitar, a drum machine but I just knew it had something important. We were trying to chase that for a long time. How do you keep this beautiful little sound but also make it full band arrangements, because that's what I want. I want songs that sound like what this band sounds like."

You've got a lot of shows and quite a tour ahead of you?

"We do actually, we just drove from Denver to Seattle (1,333 miles / 2,145 km), we did that yesterday, pretty much. We have all the West Coast; Portland, San Francisco, LA, San Diego and over to Europe in May."

Later in the year, the band toured Europe for a second time, before flying off on their debut tour of Australia. The Studio 105 session in Paris was recorded in front of a small invited audience, as part of the promotional commitments on that second European tour. The live sound on this is different from the KEXP session, more like that of the tour where the keyboards have greater prominence.

The War On Drugs
Studio 105, Maison de la Radio, Paris, France
1st November 2014
Excellent FM

Broadcast by France Inter radio: November 1, 2014 on the "Coming up sessions" show.

01. Eyes To The Wind
02. Burning
03. An Ocean In Between The Waves
04. Under The Pressure
05. In Reverse
06. DJ and band introduction
07. Red Eyes
08. Suffering
09. Coming Through
10. I Hear You Calling (cover  Bill Fay 1971)

Lineage: Marantz tuner with a Zoom H4 > Sd card to PC, wav to Audacity (volume and tracks), FLAC (TLH)Original upload by letsgo - November 2014

The War On Drugs
In Studio Performance
Seattle, WA
March 28, 2014

01. intro
02. An Ocean In Between The Waves
03. chat
04. Eyes To The Wind
05. interview & band intros
06. Red Eyes
07. chat
08. Suffering
09. outro

Source:  KEXP-FM Windows Media stream @ 1.4Mbps > Sound Forge Pro 10.0a @ 24 bit/48 kHz
Recorded and transferred By:  Dennis Orr

Transfer:  .WAV > Sound Forge Pro 10.0a (fades & normalize) > CDWav (tracking) > iZotope MBIT+ (dithered and downsampled to 16 bit/44.1 kHz) > Trader's Little Helper (level 5) >
FLAC > TagScanner 5.1 (tagging)