but why did no-one tell me about 60’s East L.A. Mexican band The Village Callers? So obscure they don’t even have their own Wikipedia page, although a Wiki search reveals that their track Hector has been widely sampled; for example by Ice Cube on ‘Jackin’ for Beats’, Cypress Hill on ‘The Phunky Feel One’ and several others, but you’d need better ears than mine to be able to tell that for yourself. Just as good as Hector is their cover of Ray Charles’ I Don’t Need No Doctor, and there are a few other tracks on their album worth a listen. Get the whole story here.
If you are in the mood for something much more unusual, have you heard the fabulous zydeko Paper In My Shoes by Boozoo Chaivs? There are several recordings of this around, but the only one to listen to is the original from 1954 dug out by Bob Dylan for his Theme Time Radio Show (this is the one the link takes you to.) It meanders in and out of time, Boozoo and the band are in different keys, and, to put it politely, Boozoo sometimes struggles with his diction. But somehow it gets under your – or at least my -skin. And I’d really like to hear the takes they rejected in favour of this one.
Down at the Hop Farm in Kent at the weekend. Fantastic line-up. Van Morrison in great form. Some say they caught him smiling for a split second. Some say it was indigestion. Dylan playing numbers you could recognize even before the chorus. Dr John harmoniously growling along. Seasick Steve getting the sound of a raucous six piece out of three strings. The younger crowd singing along both to Mumford and Sons and to Ray Davies. And then a series of fantastic acoustic acts: Laura Marling, Johnny Flynn, and possible future-tree subject, Pete Doherty, charming us all. Add The Magic Numbers, Stornoway, Richard Thompson, Peter Green, Blondie, Devendra Banhart and many more, and you might have to agree with Marcus Mumford that it was the lineup of the summer.
Enjoyable as it was, it would have been even better had it not been for the incessant funk rhythms booming out from the chicken rotisserie concession, just spitting distance (I know, I tried) from the main arena. Is it time for a rock against rotisserie campaign? I mean, I would have liked to have heard the quieter numbers from Laura Marling but it was never going to happen. And don’t get me started on the screams coming from the fairground rides.
Am I alone? Or do others feel that someone should have a quiet word with Vince Power and his mates to remind them what we have come to hear?