Lowcocks Lemonade

When I was a boy Lowcock’s lemonade was the cool drink of choice – we didn’t always get it (sometimes Grey’s (Gray’s?) delivered to the door, had to do – and usually “council pop” was all we had). Today we called in for some huge free range eggs to Ulnaby Medieval Village Farm Shop and Cafe (well worth a visit and soon to be on Time Team). They’ve had a slight rearrangement of displays and stuff and taken on board some new products. Guess what was there? Yup, Lowcocks lemonade. Straight in the basket, carefully delivered home and I introduced the children to the delights of my favourite childhood drink (until Woodpecker cider by the flagon tempted my taste buds). It tasted just as good as I remember.

Lowcocks Lemonade

DVD review – AC/DC – No Bull

Disclosure: I got this DVD for free
Another disclosure: I’m not the biggest AC/DC fan in the world
Third disclosure: This DVD rocks!

Although I’m not the world’s biggest fan of AC/DC, naturally I know many of their songs. Since I started going to Buskers Sessions and getting out and about and seeing some local covers bands, I’ve become more familiar with their songs. I dare say there’ll be one day that I get up and play guitar on one at a buskers session somewhere.

This video has been remastered from the original. It covers a Madrid gig from the Ballbreaker tour of 1996 – a mammoth world tour with well over a hundred dates.

Visually, this is a stunning spectacle – no expense spared on the stage show at the time and it translates very well to this DVD – lots of lights, fireworks etc, but also great shots of the whole of the band. I recognised about half of the tunes (I must know more than I thought!) and the playing is excellent throughout. I had an issue with the level of Brian Johnson’s vocals – I had to tweak a few settings on the TV for his voice to rise above the music, though when I played it on a friend’s 5.1 system it sounded tremendous. I’m rapidly becoming more of an AC/DC fan than I ever was – due in no small part to this dvd.

When I saw in the extras there was an “Anguscam” option I wondered if they’d strapped a camera to his SG. If they had that might have been a little too nausea inducing! However, what actually happens is that the camera focuses on Angus for the whole of the songs. Man, does he sweat! No wonder he’s so small!

If you’re a rock fan you’ll want this – I would suggest that if you’re an open minded music fan who wants to rock out, you should check this out too!

(Now, why did I ever sell my Gibson SG? And where’s my school uniform?)

Blues Show No.1 – BishopFM

Last night (Monday) was my first attempt at broadcasting.
I presented a one hour Blues Show on internet only (for now) station BishopFM at 8pm. With some quick guidance from Terry Ferdinand, Chris and Ian, I was there flying solo! I’d done quite a bit of preparation and tried to choose a good and varied playlist (see below – with links) as well as preparing a few introductions to tunes (not exactly a script, but a trick I’d learned from Stan Laundon a long time ago).

The whole thing seemed to come fairly easily – I don’t think there were any bloopers or major periods of dead air. I felt comfortable pretty quickly – as I said last night it was as if I was born to do this. I got several supportive emails during the show from friends and strangers alike – I might just convert a few of them to blues fans!

(Today, though, I’m feeling dreadful – shivers, sneezes, aches and pains – I’ve got a bad cold and the Doctor says I need to rest)

The playlist is below. The first track “Pickin’ The Blues” by Grinderswitch was used for many years by the late John Peel as the theme tune to his BBC radio show. I was always a big John Peel fan, even though i didn’t like all of the music he played, I did like him and he was a great influence on my musical development. We spoke a few times too. So in tribute to John Peel I played the Grinderswitch tune in full last night and I’ll be using it as my theme tune every week. (Yes! I’m back next week!)

Blues Show 1 Playlist
GrinderswitchPickin the Blues

Robert JohnsonCrossroad Blues

Kelly RicheyLeave The Blues Behind
BB King – See That My Grave Is Kept Clean (from Album Of The Week “One Kind Favor“)

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton – I’m Your Witchdoctor
Stevie Ray VaughanPride and Joy

Smokin’ Joe Kubek and Bnois KingFlamethrower

Marcus Bonfanti – Now I’m Gone

BB King – How Many More Years (from Album Of The Week)

John Mayer TrioEveryday I Have The Blues

Little FeatCan’t Be Satisfied/Hot Tamales

Blind Willie McTellDon’t You See How This World Made A Change

BB King – Sittin’ On Top Of The World (from Album Of The Week)

Canned Heat – Mercury Blues

Landermason on Bishop FM (and me)

Last night, apart from presenting my blues show (more soon) I was a guest on Terry Ferdinand’s Folk Show at BishopFM. I took a back seat to the main guests, the stunning Landermason. They impressed everybody with the quality, standard and professionalism of their performance. The vocals were stunning, the musicianship fabulous. And they’re nice folks too! Terry’s written a great piece here with more details.

I held my end up by playing some of my usual selection of “folk” songs: “Soulshine”, “Know You Rider”, “Willin'” and “Mystery Train”.

CD Review – Duane Andrews – Raindrops

(Disclosure – I got this CD for free)

There seems to always be some interest in so called “Gypsy Jazz” – guitar players from other styles have tried it too, including Peter Frampton on his last album, Jerry Garcia way back in the 80s and more recently tele-twanger John Jorgenssen seems to have embraced this style wholeheartedly. It is, I have to say, a style that I have never tried to play myself, mainly because I wouldn’t expect to be successful at it – I just wouldn’t kow where to start!

This is Duane’s third album and he has garnered all kinds of praise from around the world for his mix of jazz and traditional Newfoundland folk. I love this album, it makes me smile a lot and, in the quieter moments, gives me time to be pensive too. This is a great mix of Newfoundland Folk, Gypsy Jazz and more – all sounding very authentic and enhanced on some tracks by the addition of the Atlantic String Quartet.

The album opens with “bell island” an original composition that would sit just as easily in any album of Django recordings, featuring uptempo guitar runs and great trumpet from Patrick Boyle.

“blue drag” is a Django tune, and features the Atlantic String Quartet and the trumpet of Patrick Boyle again, to great effect – quite a mournful feel to it.

There’s a good mix of tunes here – some Andrew’s originals (I like “dd’s blues” and “cercles” a lot), a great Charles Mingus tune “fables of faubus” and some traditional Newfoundland fiddle and accordion tunes “bees and flowers/joe smallwood’s” and “raindrops” which translate well to the guitar.

Duane has a website here where you can listen to sample tracks, check out his gig schedule, or buy a copy of this or his other albums.

There’s the usual myspace too, with some other tracks and a video – great stuff!

I’ve got this in frequent rotation on my ipod at the moment – and when I’m in shuffle mode it is a great treat to have one of these tracks appear amongst the blues, jamband and other stuff that dominates my ipod. If you appreciate good music, great guitar playing and would like to try something different to to your usual stuff, check Duane out.