Friday, July 25, 2014

Cynic Overlook

Because the name of the artists is in smallish type and in a terrible choice of colors, I initially thought that the band name was Cynic Overlook, which I thought was brilliant. It's still not a bad name for an album, though. Dick and Anne Albin were a married couple who had some minor success on the folk circuit from the late 60's through the mid 80's (at which point they divorced), including founding the Pine Mountain State Park GREAT AMERICAN DULCIMER CONVENTION and touring overseas for the Department of Defense.

This 1981 release is apparently their penultimate LP as a duo. It's humorous and well-played - definitely worth a listen.

Dick Albin (vocals, banjo, autoharp, hammered dulcimer, guitar), Anne Albin (vocals, guitar, dulcimer), Dave Beck (drums), Too Slim Fred LaBour (bass), Woody Paul (fiddle), Doyle Grisham (pedal steel), Barry King (bass/electric guitar), Mike Hutchison (piano), and Denny Inzer (bass).

Dick and Anne Albin - Cynic Overlook

1. Uncle Watt's Original Fantascinatin' Roadside Stand
2. The Rovin' Fiddler
3. Richard and Richard and John and John and Me
4. Beech Branch Run
5. Hometown
6. Customs and All That Snuff
7. Back in Frankie Avalon's Day
8. Bittersweet Woman
9. Who's That Smokin'
10. Stranger Danger
11. Back to West Virginia
12. Big Boys
13. Too Many Last Times
14. Sweet Music

Monday, July 14, 2014

Howdy Folks!

Recorded at the 33d-36th National Folk Festivals, Filene Center, Wolf Trap Farm Park, Vienna, Va., 1971-74.

"The first side of this album is devoted to the mainstream country music tradition...The second side is a sampling of some of the lesser-known types of traditional bands around the country, particularly dance bands."

Folks with better knowledge of the folk scene may be better acquainted with these artists than I am, though I do recognize Martin, Bogan & Armstrong (biography) from living in Knoxville, TN. This video may be from their performance at this festival:


This collection has lead me to search out further repetoire for the jaw harp. For example, The Austrian composer Johann Albrechtsberger - chiefly known today as a teacher of Beethoven - wrote four concerti (in F, Eb, E & D) for jaw harp between 1769 and 1771.

Medley of Irish Reels (John Wright)
Leather Britches (Highwoods String Band)
Lynchburg Town (Wade Mainer, Steve Ledford & Morris Bros.)
Fire on the Mountain (Kyle Creed, Fred Cockerham, Bobby Patterson)
Cabbage Head Song (Clint Howard, Fred Price)
Listen to the Mockingbird (Snuffy Jenkins, Pappy Sherrill)
Uncle Pen (Pinnacle Boys)
Arkansas Traveller (Sam Hinton)
Iko, Iko (Wild Magnolias)
Lady Be Good (Martin, Bogan & Armstrong)
Blackberry Quadrille (Louis Beaudoin)
Parlez-nous à Boire (Balfa Brothers)
Jambalaya (Louisiana Aces)
Decima (Ángel Luis Catala, Ernestine Reyes)
La Negra (Mariachi Tapatio)

National Folk Festival - Good Time Music Philo 1975.

Friday, July 04, 2014

July the Fourth Be With You

An "Officially Recognized Commemorative of the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration", this fairly short LP hits a few of the patriotic/nationalistic milestones, but also offers a bit of dissent with the populist "This Land is Your Land (incongruously sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir) and Burl Ives lending his pipes to "The Times They Are A-Changin'." Plus, there's Johnny Cash, which is never a bad thing.

America The Beautiful Columbia Special Products P12822

Side 1: 
OVERTURE TO "GEORGE M" - Original Cast
FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA - Percy Faith & His Orchestra
HOME ON THE RANGE - The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Richard P. Condie, Conductor
THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND - The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, Conductor

Side 2:
BLESS THIS HOUSE - Mahalia Jackson
 ON THE TRAIL, from "GRAND CANYON SUITE" - The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, Conductor
 AMERICA, THERE'S SO MUCH TO SAY - The Johnny Mann Singers

Thursday, July 03, 2014

With a capital "B," and that rhymes with "P" and that stands for Blog!

If you know Meridith Wilson at all, it's likely from The Music Man, or from seeing his name as the writer of the Beatles' cover of "Till There Was You."
I guess you could call this a tie-in/cash-in. It's nicely recorded (Capitol Records having some nice studios available) and has most of the "greatest hits" that you would expect.

Meredith Wilson - Meredith Wilson's Marching Band

Side A
The Washington Post March
The Free Lance
Liberty Bell
Manhattan Beach
High School Cadets
Stars and Stripes Forever
Side B 
March to Freedom:
Colonel Bogey
Marching to Pretoria
Polonaise Millitaire
Yankee Doodle
Scotland To The Brave
Battle Hymn of the Republic
Piet Hein
British Grenadiers
Rakoczi March
The Freedom Song

Friday, June 27, 2014

O sole Mina

Mina is a very successful Italian popular singer. From wiki: "Mina's TV appearances in 1959 were the first for a female rock and roll singer in Italy. Her loud syncopated singing earned her the nickname Queen of Screamers. The public also labeled her the Tiger of Cremona for her wild gestures and body shakes." So, there's that.

By the time of this 1969 album she's unfortunately working more in the Las Vegas style of mild swing and over-blown ballads - she still has quite a set of pipes, though. "O sole mio" stirs the old Calabrian blood.

Mina -I discorsi

Side A    
1.     "I discorsi" 3:05
2.     "Se stasera sono qui" 3:59
3.     "Silenzioso slow" 2:57
4.     "Non ti scordar di me" 2:23
5.     "Canzone per te" 3:38
6.     "Io che amo solo te" 3:11
Side B
1.     "La canzone di Marinella" 3:15
2.     "Roma, nun fa la stupida stasera" 2:29
3.     "Ma l'amore no" 3:34
4.     "Il cielo in una stanza" (Acoustic version) 2:29
5.     "Munastero 'e santa Chiara" 2:34
6.     "'O sole mio" 3:44

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

You are a menace. A walking poohstilence.

I can't say that I was ever a big fan of Winnie the Pooh. As I get grumpier in my old age, I am starting to identify with Eeyore some.

This reading by Maurice Evans in his mellifluous Shakespearean voice is enjoyable - even more-so if you imagine the voice coming out of Dr Zaius.

Maurice Evans - More Winnie The Pooh 1956

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Let's Just Call It Art

[Edit note: this post has been updated with the second audio track and some additional information]

From approximately 1985-1989 I hosted (with co-hosts Walt Montgomery, initially, and R. Scott Carpenter for the final few years) a late night oldies show on WUTK-FM. Initially called the "Midnight Moldies" (since it aired at midnight on Friday), when the show expanded to fill the 10-2 timeslot the name became "The Blast From The Past." The show eventually moved to Saturdays from 6-10 to make room for Friday night band gigs. You can get more of the story and hear some promos for the show here: Blast From The Past.

Sometimes in the downtime of a long song Walt and I would get a little bored (Inna Gadda Da Vida is 17+ minutes long...) and a couple of times we "composed" and recorded pieces that I carted up and slipped into the regular rotation at WUTK. These pieces consist of two open microphones and some found-sound turntable manipulation (I recognize Kraftwerk, a stereo demo record, and a sound effects record that I own). At some point a guitar along with a can played like a cowbell appear. On "Alien Love" Walt and I take turns reading from the liner notes of a Julie Brown album. On "I Like It" I'm not certain exactly what were our vocal inspirations, but I do know that the name "Chanda" that Walt chants is the name of a very young girl that called the station all of the time and would try to get guys to meet her at the mall.

I was always amused when I would be driving around campus and one of these recordings would come on the air, particularly if the DJ back announced it.

The band name (Empty Feels) comes from one of us mis-reading a label on the shelves in the production room marked "Empty reels."

Empty Feels - Alien Love

Empty Feels - I Like It