Saturday, January 28, 2017

Week Of Reviews: Herb Jeffiries Couchois

It's been a whirlwind of things going on and Death never takes a day off.  Case in point a lot of known folks moved into the great beyond.  Butch Trucks, the drummer for Allman Brothers shot himself in front of his wife on Tuesday, He was 69.  Dr. Percy Harris, one of the best doctors in town died Wednesday, he was 89.  He had 12 children of his own, including Peter Harris, who was in Bruce Hornsby And The Range for a couple albums.  Mary Tyler Moore died Thursday, she was 80.  Hard to believe that Dick Van Dyke would outlive her.  John Hurt past away as well, he was 77. And while getting the rest of Perry Mason Season One volume 2, I come to find out that Barbara Hale passed away, she was 94.  Della Street is now with the rest of the gang.  Perry Mason remains one of my top five all time best TV shows.  And Geoff Nichols, who played keyboards with Black Sabbath from 1979 to 1996 died from lung cancer at age 68.

I heard from Starman for the first time in many a year as he sent me a CD called Earth Primitive and Deadly from somebody named Dylan Carlson. Primitive And Deadly was released in 2014 and does show a drone line doom metal that owes a lot to The Melvins. It is an album not for everybody and after the first song I had enough to listen to. I will try to listen to it under less strenuous situations and not listening to it going to work.  If you're reading this Starman, it is to acknowledged that I received it and hope you're doing well.  We need to catch up soon.  

So far January has no decent new music for me to listen to unless I want to hear the new Train album, which I really don't want to.  And what's the point of going to Best Buy anymore?  Or K Mart who continues to close their stores.  I have better interaction going to funerals than K Mart.  Moline doesn't even have a CD section anymore.  But I am still finding a few decent CDs in the dollar bins in town.  Such as.

Herb Jeffries-The Bronze Buckaroo Rides Again (Warner Western 1995)

Herb was ancient when he recorded this cd in 1995 at the age of 80.  Recorded on the short lived Warner Western label (Warner Brothers had a bright idea of starting up a label dedicated to the likes of Roy Rogers, The Sons Of The Pioneers  Michael Martin Murphy, a label dedicated to cowboy music), Herb was paired up with the likes of Little Texas when Little Texas was making hits on the radio, Take 6 for shock value, The Mills Brothers ditto, as well as Warner Western labelmates like Micheal Martin Murphy, Sons Of The San Joaquin and Rex Allen Jr.  Herb was a credible jazz singer of the 40s and 50s but also could do pop country western in the style of Ray Price or Dean Martin.  The record isn't very long, it barely goes past 28 minutes but Jeffries even at age 80 could phase a song quite well although he won't make you forget Tennessee Ernie Ford on Cow Cow Boogie and perhaps Jim Ed Norman could have given Herb a Willie Nelson song such as Night Life or something from Ray Price as well.  Still songs like 900 Hundred Miles or Lonesome Rider Blues makes this record a nice effort, the 90s canned production tends to date this album but even in 1995 Herb was truly the last of the singing cowboys.  And he took his craft very seriously too
Grade B+

Couchois-(Warner Brothers/Wounded Bird 1979)

The last of the decent Wounded Bird cut outs at Half Price Books find myself listening to a band that spent a lot of time on the harmonies, in fact the Couchois Brothers Pat and Mike had nice ones to lead singer and other brother Chris.  In fact it does sound a bit like the Little River Band.  Side 1 does move quite like soft rock with the catchy Do It In Darkness and Going To The Races and I think they try for a progressive pop sound on the opener on Side 2 Devil's Triangle but comes across a bit too nice and Kalahari Cattle Drive is just plain weird.   The pop side is provided by Steve Barri (Tommy Roe, The Grassroots) and Eddie Lambert (no relation to Dennis of Lambert and Potter fame).  If you like your music like Little River Band crossed with Orleans, Couchois would be your album.  Not exactly a memorable album but it's harmless fun.  Worth a couple listens.
Grade B

Marvin Sense-20th Century Masters (Mercury 2001)

About 1990 thereabouts, there was a co worker named Teri that dropped off a copy of Marvin's first album and on a certain song called Candy Licker wanted me to take part in this song with her.  Which would have been fun I suppose.  Sense came from the latter day soul singers, who his influences may have been Tyrone Davis and Barry White but with a bit of Johnny Guitar Watson thrown in.  He recorded a few albums for London/Mercury to which Universal cherrypicked the songs that made Sense what he was back then.  I have no qualms about Candy Licker but 9 and half minutes of it tends to bore me and so does the fake orgasmic woman in the background.  I doubt in real life she would have came and came like she did on this song.  The rest of the albums tends to repeat the formula (I Ate You For Breakfast, Motel Lover) and the advantages of trying to love two women and not get caught (Stuck In The Middle) but the problem is that the songs go on way too long and Marvin doesn't know when to fade it out.   Even Funky Christmas goes on about 2 minutes too long. Jim Stewart would have chopped most of these songs down half way.  Before rap overtook the R and B scene Marvin Sense didn't fall for rapping and was the throwback to Tyrone or Barry, and that's good.  Unlike Tyrone or Barry, Marvin tended to take his time a bit too much.  I still have good memories of Teri and I'm sure she did find a volunteer to do some candy licking.   As for me, I was more into rock and roll and the bedsheet rumble myself.
Grade B-

From Mark Prindle:

 Johnny Cash - At San Quentin - This is the 2000 CD reissue of the classic 1969 release, which has a different track order and eight additional songs. Good god, is this great stuff! Not only do you get many of Johnny's best songs ("Ring of Fire," "Folsom Prison Blues," "Big River," "Daddy Sang Bass," "I Walk the Line," "A Boy Named Sue"), but you get the fun of him playing up to the prisoners, acting like a tough guy who doesn't give a shit what the guards think. He's funny! Good jokin', good playin', crazy prisoners cheering at the anti-prison lyrics -- a must-own!

 Ozzy Osbourne - Black Rain - I'm an Ozzy fan by trade, but this 2007 album stinks to High Hell. Aside from the final song (which I quite like), it doesn't have any memorable riffs or melodies on it at all! Just macho nu-metal three-chord garbage with Ozzy sort of speak-singing over it. I guess he's trying to sound tough and modern. Or maybe he was just 57 years old when they recorded it.

King Crimson - Live at the Orpheum - From the 2014 tour, featuring "One More Red Nightmare," "Starless" and a few other oldies. It's great! Rest in piece, John Wetton (even though you weren't on this album).

Flamin' Groovies - Shake Some Action - I find it very difficult to believe that this 1976 album wasn't recorded in the mid '60s. This is British Invasion music, plain and simple. The style, the songwriting, the vocals, even the production! I guess it doesn't hurt that almost half the songs are cover tunes from that era (or earlier). This is a very nice listen for any fan of 1965-66 rock singles.

Failure - Fantastic Planet - 1996 CD by L.A. alternative/grunge band. The singer sounds like one of the Alice in Chains guys mixed with Kurt Cobain, and the music is driven by power chords, but the songs are often slow and not always distorted. They're also often morose rather than hooky and explosive. I have to admit that I like an awful lot of these songs, but this radio-ready alt-grunge sound just reminds me that I once gave Everclear a 10/10, so let's forget I listened to it.

Fairport Convention - Liege & Lief (Deluxe Edition) - Excellent 1969 folk-rock album by the British band featuring Richard Thompson and Sandy Denny. Very much rooted in traditional British folk - dark, moody, well-played and sung. The bonus disc features some BBC sessions and non-LP tracks. It's alright, but not necessary (although it's pretty funny to get through 90 minutes of serious folk music only to get to a cornball cover of "The Lady is a Tramp)." You're fine just buying the original album.

Elvis Costello - When I Was Cruel - This 2002 album starts off with two songs I don't like it all, but once it gets going there's some very good songs here. Some stinkers too though. That's my opinion and I stand by it. "Some of it's good; some isn't." - Mark Prindle

Emitt Rhodes - S/T - This 1970 album sounds like a post-"All Things Must Pass" George Harrison album without the religious crap. Emitt has a similar voice, stinging guitar tone and "just okay" songwriting style. Some of the songs also have that Paul McCartney 'bouncy piano' thing going on. Nothing bad on here, but nothing too exciting here. If you like George, try Emitt.

1 comment:

TAD said...

Hey Crabby -- You mean John Hurt, who was British and was in ALIEN and THE ELEPHANT MAN and MIDNIGHT EXPRESS. William Hurt is, I think, still with us, tho I can't remember anything he's done lately.
Too bad about Butch Trucks -- wonder what went on there. His son Derek sure can play the guitar....
Yeah, I'm not finding much recent stuff to listen to, either. That's why I'm stuck looking back at the 1970's! There'll be more of that stuff coming soon, too.
Great quote there from the Prindler: "Some of it's OK, some isn't." I should do a whole post like that....