Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cal Carter - Twist Along With Cal Carter

Cal Carter may not have made much of a name for himself as a solo artist, but as an arranger he's pretty prolific. I've seen his name attached to Canned Heat and Clarence Carter, though I'm not 100% it's the same guy. I do know from listening to this 45 (with Cal's name on the minit label) that Our Cal had a hand in it.

It's a good indication of what this album sounds like. Cal stuffs these worn classics so full of embellishment that they sound like new songs. It's almost got a rock & roll meets pep band thing (which is to say, sounds like the Routers) and I wouldn't be surprised if Cal has a background there.

The A-Side of this is way more exciting, despite being much more familiar songs. I was pretty pleased to find our New Orleans favorite "Mother In Law" covered, and he seems to recognize all the things that would make it a great instrumental. If you liked that Steve Garrick two posts ago, I kinda think this destroys it, though it may be a little less goofy.

This isn't a pristine rip, but it plays smoothly at least. Enjoy it!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Joel Smith & Mt. Olive B.C. Choirs - With Jesus You Can't Go Wrong

What better to celebrate Big J McJeezy's birthday with than music shouting his name repeatedly? Nope, I couldn't think of any obscure rock & roll Christmas gems so here you get some excellent, high-energy, well-done Louisiana gospel (if the different locations on the 45 itself didn't give it away, Rosemont is a New Orleans label).

With Jesus You Can't Go Wrong Pt. 1

and Pt. 2

And to double celebrate, I wanna show off one of my presents to myself: This year Arhoolie released one of the most fiery gospel albums I've ever heard.

Rev. Louis Overstreet - An Evening with the Rev. Louis Overstreet

Any rock & roll fan owes themselves to listen to this. It's the raw fun type of gospel that sits easily alongside Utah Smith, Rosetta Tharpe and Charlie Jackson. I won't give you a song off that album, but check this youtube.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Steven Garrick and His Party Twisters - Come On Everybody, Let's Twist

UPDATE: It's been re-upped!

This album is a cash grab. But really, before Rock & Roll became thought of as an art form (around Pet Sounds/Sgt. Peppers) it was probably more worth your while to identify what wasn't done with money as the primary focus than what was. Chubby Checker's version of the twist set a huge gravy train in motion with so many people wanting to take a ride. Plenty of groups tried to fill a niche in another dumbass dance move like The Frug. This album went straight for the honey hole, to the point where the artists' name isn't even on the front cover. 

And I like their approach. Here we have 12 instrumentals that try to expand twisting to whatever ridiculous activity you may be enjoying. Chew gum to the Doublemint Twist! Do the Scientwist in your laboratory! Bullies, intimidate the puny to the Intimitwist(or is it meant for intimate situations?)

It's no surprise the album hasn't found its way into the rock & roll history books yet. That's because those books are horseshit. But also because these are pretty straightforward twistin'. No memorable hooks, though some pretty impressive use of stereo. Some of these, especially the Astrotwist, wouldn't be too out of place in a Las Vegas Grind et. al. compilation, though I wouldn't really say these are raw or raunchy... just simple, well done and enjoyable twistin' tunes.

Anywho, here you go

Friday, December 18, 2009

Reverend Bernard Avant Jr. and the St. James Gospel Choir

Cover impressions: this is a seriously hip gospel choir! And it's on a Stax imprint (Gospel Truth)? 1972? Hunter, can you buy a scanner or something?

Yeah, the blog is back and will hopefully be movin' and I thought I'd kick it off with some gospel because I have plenty of it waiting to go. Don't worry, there's still plenty of capital-R-Rock-&-Roll to come, but I think this is plenty enjoyable stuff no matter what your belief set.

This album is not a raw funk masterpiece. If you want to check it out for that sort of reason, I'd go straight for "The Lord God Is On My Side". I wouldn't expect to be cutting breakbeats from it, but it's got some pretty hot little moments. Aw heck, have a listen

But there's also a pretty impressive breadth to this album. My other two favorites are the traditional gospel stomper "Save All Day" and the sweet sweet soul heartmover "God Really Cares For You". I gotta say, the vocals from Dolly Avant here are really sweet throughout, and the Reverend for which this album is named is pretty deserving as well. 

This is a reasonably clean rip, though I was too lazy to do anything about some of the clipping. Still sounds good. Here, have a tracklisting.

Take a listen