What makes you blush?

I was searching for an all out mad hard rocking wig out of a record in the collection this evening.

What I ended up with was an album of folk songs with an at the time unusual brass heavy arrangement with Brass Monkey. This was in the days before Bellowhead when brass instruments were for orchestras and brass bands. So you have the guitars of Martin Carthy, the reeds of John Kirkpatrick and the trumpets, saxophones, flugelhorn and trombones of Howard Evans , Martin Brinsford and Roger Williams. 1983 was an odd year apparently.

I remember at the time the arguments about brass instruments as drunken tankard waving purists insisted it was sacrilege, especially the lack of fiddles. They were usually quieted by the surrounding bearded types. It is a great racket though as proven later on by many a band throughout the years. The arrangement of Sovay is something special. Listening to the record I am reminded how great this band was live, pretty raucous and wild at times, even with those stately instrumentals.

There is something about English tunes that lend themselves to a brass treatment. Let’s also remember that the songs that are not about getting drafted and killed in an imperialist conflict are about dancing and having sex, so all the bases are covered here.

Anyway I was hankering for raucous rock and roll and I ended up with a little folking. And what a sexy bunch of left wing reprobates they are. From a time when hanging out under the overpass was not a dangerous preoccupation.


so many things I would’ve done…

It’s hard to gauge the importance of a band in your life until the members start dropping off this mortal coil.  Sometimes the bit players have more importance than the stars it seems, this became truly self evident this week as Judy Dyble died of lung cancer this week.  Swarb’s death was a blow as was Trevor Lucas and Sandy Denny’s so long ago. Jerry Donahue’s illness was shocking but Jude’s death is something that hurts.

Maybe it’s because I spent an afternoon in a field drinking tea with her , she had met my children and I had stumbled into her with Robert Plant and was too shell shocked to take a picture. No we were not friends, she probably would never remember me, she was however a truly gracious, warm and loving person so when you spent time with her you were important to her. She was generous with her time and her consideration and most importantly her warm caring smile. She was all the things that have been said about her in the many obituaries, self effacing, generous and humble.

Judy Dyble was also cool and I mean seriously cool. She had played at the UFO cub,  hung out with Syd Barrett, knitted on stage as Hendrix jammed was there for the nascent King Crimson, invented the genre of wyrd/psych folk with Trader Horne, Robert Plant had a crush on her and she in her beauty epitomized 60’s psychedelic goddess to a tee. She was also the first female singer with Fairport Convention if you didn’t already know. There was something truly special about her very English phrasing on their covers of American country rock/pop track on that first album.

All of Judy’s albums are worth hearing. They are quirky and wondrous creations that hover in the recesses of your memory after hearing. The musicians that appear on her albums are perhaps the bigger names, however remember they came to play with Judy and were proud of it.

So goodbye Judy and good luck, I hope you are with your greyhounds and hanging with Syd and Jimi again.

I found solace this week in her Anthology Part 1. and I sat here wondering would there be a Part 2 or 3?

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went walking through the trees yes…

It’s been a few weeks of life.


Me and Cody drained the swamp, it was one of the wettest Junes on record here in Oregon and our clay soil really played a number on our yard. We went outside one afternoon and it was almost as if a whole lake had formed in the yard right were we have to walk as well.IMG_7484

We successfully managed to redirect a considerable amount of water away from our vegetable garden.

Pandemic living has taken on a rhythm of its own. Head out to work occasionally visiting programs etc, wearing the infamous mask, avoid as much as you can high risk situations.  The protests have continued and we entered July with all the pomp and ceremony that brings with it.

We finished off the tiny home in the yard or “the shed” giving Ben his independence from us on some level and making ourselves slightly poorer by his absence. Of course he is at the end of the bark chip path, not quite the yellow brick road. Next is the composting toilet out there,


It was hard to celebrate the country so we attempted to celebrate each other, Chris went hiking with his girlfriend refusing to celebrate a country that would hurt his children, of course hasn’t had any yet but he is quite adamant. We barbecued hamburgers and bratwurst and gave my mother in law a 4th she could connect to, Alzheimer’s is stealing her from us day by day so not pushing the boundaries was all we could do for each other, at least she smiled a lot.

This has been a year of conundrums that don’t seem to be clearing up any time soon.

I spoke to my friend John the other day. This made me think of Jethro Tull so I pulled out the 20th Anniversary of Jethro Tull box set which is now something like 32 years old.  It’s funny that in 1988 we were sitting listening to what was I think at the time one of the first of the coming craze of box sets. The first time hearing the radio sessions the Chateau D’Isaster Tapes along with other rare tracks and other essential tracks. My copy doesn’t have the booklet and the box looks like it was used as a table or some other use. The records however are in great condition.

There is something about Tull that is infectious, the bawdy humor, the strange time signatures the over the top posturing that is just a good time for all. Actually I know it is not everyone who can tolerate the quirkiness. If you can get past the posturing however there is a surprising amount of social commentary going on in a very odd way.

This collection probably covers the hey days of Tull, there are however too many omissions to make a fan happy, although it was at the time good to hear the rarities gathered together although now they are freely available to stream, buy, on just about every “definitive” version of every album ever produced by the band.

My main complaint is there is not enough as in nothing from Heavy Horses although I probably missed something I am sure.


if you know what I mean…

It’s Hawkind there are allegedly only 500 copies made and it’s the legendary Greasy Truckers show.

The downside it’s probably three sides of vinyl forced onto one single disc, it is a lost assuredly a CD transfer to vinyl, it’s definitely a dodgy release probably not benefitting a single band member at the end of the day.

The upside, it’s the classic lineup droning on in full on blanga mode rocking the socks off of a crowd of stoned weirdos at the Roundhouse Greasy Truckers Benefit.


The Blanga guide is here: BLANGA, the creators stopped in 2010 and it looks like it is the end of the Blanga guide but it gives you a fine breakdown of this art form even if you find yourself occasionally disagreeing with the scoring. Actually frequently disagreeing with the ranking but thats the fun it’s all an opinion.

So you get the classics, Earth Calling< Master of the Universe Born To Go and the birth of Brainstorm as Brainstorm Jam, that is something worth spreading on your toast in the morning. You also get the original version of Silver Machine before Lemmy overdubbed the vocal and made it a monster, Nothing to complain about and everything to enjoy during these pandemic times when our leaders are doing their level best to kill us and our children. Oh for a happier simpler time when all you needed was to plug in drop a tab of acid and drop out to Hawkwind.

So if you are lucky enough to find a copy, you can’t have mine, make sure you turn it up loud as there is so much on the single disc you will need to and rock out or head into inner space whichever is more palatable to you at the moment and enjoy the zonked out honking of Hawkwind in 1972, somehow it is entirely appropriate that this is a bootleg.