Two for the price of one today.
Treatment: Wrap in clay mud
(makes sense, early form of plaster I guess)
Cajun Treatment: If you burn your finger while lighting a cigarette, stick it quickly behind your ear
Charm for Burns: Read the ‘fire passage’ in the Bible. Those who know these passages never reveal them till their death, for to do so would cause them to lose the power
Today’s Music: (Reviews taken from the All Music Guide)
Just As I Am/Still Bill – Bill Withers – 2003 (first two albums were arguably his best works, his most personal and unaffected music with a distinctive sound by virtue of their lean production, especially his debut, Just As I Am. At the turn of the 1960s into the 1970s, he was a unique presence, as we’re reminded by this Raven Records two-LP-on-one-CD package. Withers‘ first album is otherwise unavailable on CD, and the mastering here brings the audio quality up dramatically, making the listening experience close and intimate, almost like a private studio performance. Withers‘ songs are so personal that they only gain intensity from this treatment — not just the original songs, such as “Ain’t No Sunshine” or “Grandma’s Hands,” but even his cover of “Let It Be.” The only real decision that fans will have to make concerns his second album, Still Bill, which is available in the United States with two live bonus tracks; for anyone owning this disc, buying Sony’s domestic release of that album may prove superfluous. As an added enticement, Raven has also included bonus tracks of “Better Days,” from the soundtrack to the movie Man and Boy, and a version of “It’s All Over Now,” by Withers and Bobby Womack.)
King Biscuit Time – Sonny Boy Williamson – features Sonny Boy‘s early Trumpet sides from 1951. The original “Eyesight to the Blind,” “Nine Below Zero” and “Mighty Long Time” are Sonny Boy at his very best. Added bonuses include Williamson backing Elmore James on his original recording of “Dust My Broom” and a live KFFA broadcast from 1965.
The Last of the Jelly Roll Kings – Frank Frost and Sam Carr – 2007 – Guitarist and harmonica player Frank Frost was essentially an Arkansas version of Jimmy Reed when he hooked up with drummer Sam Carr in the early ’50s. Carr, the son of bluesman Robert Nighthawk, and Frost worked in Nighthawk‘s band for several years before striking out as a duo in the early ’60s, and when they added guitar player and bassist Jack Johnson in 1962, they became the Jelly Roll Kings (although they wouldn’t use the name for a couple of years yet). Working the Reed side of the street with a distinct Mississippi juke-joint feel, the Kings recorded for the Sun, Jewel, and Earwig labels before Johnson left in the late ’80s — the original trio reunited in 1997 for Fat Possum’s Off Yonders Wall — after which Frost and Carr began working with an ever-rotating cast of guitarists, one of whom was Fred James. James ran tape on the Kings in Helena, AR, in 1998 for an album that was eventually released as The Jelly Roll Kings on Hightone Records a year later in 1999. James also released on his own R.O.A.D. Records a live Jelly Roll Kings set recorded by a Swiss radio crew at the 1993 Lucerne Blues Festival. This collection is made up of outtakes and alternates from the Helena sessions (the first ten tracks) and a few stray songs from the Lucerne gig (the last five tracks). There are no real surprises, since with the Kings what you got was what you got, and that generally meant no-frills Southern juke-joint jams with plenty of harp breaks from Frost. Highlights here include the lead track, “Better Take It Slow,” the spunky “Done with You,” and the majestic and ragged “St. Louis Serenade.”
The Natch’l Blues – Taj Mahal – 1968 – second album, recorded in the spring and fall of 1968, opens with more stripped-down Delta-style blues in the manner of his debut, but adds a little more amplification (partly courtesy of Al Kooper on organ) before moving into wholly bigger sound on numbers like “She Caught the Katy and Left Me a Mule to Ride” and “The Cuckoo” — the latter, in particular, features crunchy electric and acoustic guitars and Gary Gilmore playing his bass almost like a lead instrument, like a bluesman’s answer to John Entwistle. Most notable, however, may be “You Don’t Miss Your Water (‘Til Your Well Runs Dry)” and “Ain’t That a Lot of Love,” which offer Taj Mahal working in the realm of soul and treading onto Otis Redding territory. This is particularly notable on “You Don’t Miss Your Water,” which achieves the intensity of a gospel performance and comes complete with a Stax/Volt-style horn arrangement by Jesse Ed Davis that sounds more like the real thing than the real thing. “Ain’t That a Lot of Love,” by contrast, is driven by a hard electric guitar sound and a relentless bass part that sounds like a more urgent version of the bassline from the Spencer Davis Group‘s “Gimme Some Lovin’.”
Natural Born Days – Tommy Malone – 2013
Nick The Knife – Nick Lowe – 1982 – Following the dissolution of Rockpile, Nick Lowe recorded Nick the Knife with the group’s guitarist, Billy Bremner, and drummer, Terry Williams, accentuating the real reason behind the band’s split — the difference between Dave Edmunds‘ rigid roots-rock and Lowe‘s carefree, funny revisionism. Nick the Knife may work in the conventions of classic rock & roll and pop, but it never sounds enslaved to his roots — any record with a song as infectiously ridiculous as “Ba Doom” can’t take itself too seriously, and that’s the charm of the album. While the songs aren’t as consistently strong as those on Labour of Lust, Lowe contributes a handful of classics, including “Heart,” “Stick It Where the Sun Don’t Shine,” “Too Many Teardrops,” “Burning,” “Queen of Sheba,” “Couldn’t Love You (Any More Than I Do),” and the silly “Zulu Kiss.” And even in its weakest moments, Nick the Knife has a sunny, relaxed charm that makes the album a thoroughly enjoyable listen.
Nilsson Schmilsson – Harry Nilsson – 1971 – Nilsson had a hit, a Grammy, and critical success, yet he still didn’t have a genuine blockbuster to his name when it came time to finally deliver a full-fledged follow-up to Nilsson Sings Newman, so he decided it was time to make that unabashed, mainstream pop/rock album. Hiring Barbra Streisand producer Richard Perry as a collaborator, Nilsson made a streamlined, slightly domesticated, unashamed set of mature pop/rock, with a slight twist. This is an album, after all, that begins by pining for the reckless days of youth, then segues into a snapshot of suburban disconnectedness before winding through a salute to and covers of old R&B tunes (“Early in the Morning” and “Let the Good Times Roll,” respectively), druggie humor (“Coconut”), and surging hard rock (“Jump Into the Fire”). There are certainly hints of the Nilsson of old, particularly in his fondness for Tin Pan Alley and McCartney melodicism — as well as his impish wit — yet he hadn’t made a record as cohesive as this since his first time out, nor had he ever made something as shiny and appealing as this. It may be more accessible than before, yet it’s anchored by his mischievous humour and wonderful idiosyncrasies. Chances are that those lured in by the grandly melodramatic “Without You” will not be prepared for either the subtle charms of “The Moonbeam Song” or the off-kilter sensibility that makes even his breeziest pop slightly strange. In short, it’s a near-perfect summary of everything Nilsson could do; he could be craftier and stranger, but never did he achieve the perfect balance as he did here.