Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Neville Dickie

I found this at the boot sale recently and attracted immediatley by the cover. I love Fats Waller anyway so wondered what Neville had done to these great old tunes. Turns out he did a pretty good job despite no vocals. Certainly better than most "honky tonk" style pub pianists and probably better than Mrs. Mills, Russ Conway and Bobby Crush. Nice guitar too by Brian Fahey. No drummers name on the sleeve notes. An EMI label record from 1970.

Wikipedia says-

"After serving in the RAF, Dickie left Durham and moved to London, where he began playing piano for small wages in various pubs. It was only after Doreen Davies, who was head of BBC Radio 2, noticed him at a BBC audition that he took a notable stride in his musical career. He has played on hundreds of BBC Radio broadcasts.

Dickie has produced scores of records and can be heard on hundreds of jazz recordings, as well as several recordings with the French pianist, Louis Mazetier. Dickie had a Top 40 UK hit single in 1969 with "Robin's Return" on the Major Minor Records label (MM 644). It reached number 33 on the UK Singles Chart.

His 1975 album, Back to Boogie, sold more than 100,000 copies.[1] Dickie remains active, performing in the London area with his trio and with a band, the Rhythmakers, that he formed in 1985."

Neville Dickie - Carolina Shout

Neville Dickie - When Somebody Thinks You're Wonderful

Neville Dickie - Keepin' Out Of Mischief Now

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Frank Ferera and Anthony Franchini

My other half found this on a boot sale the other day. I almost dismissed it as a piano duet but it turns out to be two hawaiian guitars and the sound is quite charming despite the ravages of time.

"Frank Ferera introduced steel guitar and slide guitar playing to an audience that was literally worldwide since many of his recordings were issued outside the United States. He was not the first Hawaiian guitarist to record. That was probably Joseph Kekuku, the steel guitar's reputed inventor (credit has also been given to James Hoa and Gabriel Davion), who performed with Toots Paka's Hawaiian troupe on Edison cylinders, both two- and four-minute, announced in the December 1909 issue of Edison Phonograph Monthly. Another predecessor was W.K. Kolomku, whose guitar solo of "Hawaiian Melodies" was issued on Victor 65341. But Ferera was the first guitarist to enjoy success as a recording artist, his name a familiar one in the catalogs of virtually all record companies of the World War I era and 1920s. His style of playing was a forerunner of bottleneck playing on blues records and "steel" playing on country records, and his popular records must have influenced many guitarists of his generation.

Hawaiian music had been recorded as early as the 1890s but was not especially popular or influential until the World War I era. The most complete examination of pioneer Hawaiian recordings is L.E. Andersen's "Hawaiian Recordings: The Early Years" in Victrola and 78 Journal (Issue 7, Winter 1996). Andersen writes, "The recording industry at first paid little attention to authentic Hawaiian repertoire...The first major offering of Hawaiian repertoire appears to have been made by the American Record Co. of Springfield, Massachusetts and New York City. These are on 10-5/8 inch blue single-sided 'Indian label' discs. By 1904 several Hawaiian troupes were performing in various mainland cities including New York, where American's Hawaiian recordings apparently were made late in that year or early in 1905."

Ferera & Franchini - Dream Kiss

Ferera & Franchini - Isle Of Paradise

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Fairport Convention

A double cassette I found today in a charity shop for a couple of quid. Not sure how rare it is but it says it's an "official bootleg of the 1987 Fairport reunion at Croprety : Oxfordshire".
Those taking part were Simon NIcol, Dave Pegg, Dave Mattacks,Ric Sanders, Martin Allcock with guests Ian Anderson, Martin barre, jerry Donahue,Cathy LeSurf, Richard Thompson, Dave Swarbrick and June Tabor.

I have a soft spot for early Fairports when they were breaking bounderies with early folk/rock fusions. Later on they became rather too folky for my taste and with the loss of Richard Thompson much of the driving force went out of the group.

This live set though is sprinkled with some nice tunes and the Richard Thompson songs "Hand Of Kindness" and "Saturday Rolling Around" make it all worthwhile.

Their official website says of their early days-

"Fairport Convention played its first concert in a church hall in May 1967. Based in suburban north London, the group had coalesced around bass guitarist Ashley 'Tyger' Hutchings.

The youngsters 'convened' for rehearsals at a house named Fairport, the family home of rhythm guitarist Simon Nicol. Thus was born the name of a band that has endured for nearly four decades.

As well as Hutchings and Nicol, there was lead guitarist Richard Thompson and Shaun Frater on drums.

However, that initial line-up only played the one gig. A young drummer, Martin Lamble, was in the church hall audience and he convinced the band that he could do a better job than the incumbent. It was the first of the bewildering flurry of line-up changes that characterised Fairport's first fifteen years.

Fairport soon augmented its line-up with a female singer, Judy Dyble, which set it apart from the dozens of other bands springing up from the fast-moving youth culture of that summer.

Fairport found no shortage of work and was soon a regular act at underground venues such as The Electric Garden, Middle Earth and UFO.

The band had only been playing a few months when they caught the ear of Joe Boyd who secured them a contract with Island Records. Boyd suggested they augment the line-up with another male vocalist and so Iain Matthews joined the band and the first album, Fairport Convention, came out before the end of 1967.

At this early stage, Fairport looked to America for material and inspiration. "The two lead vocalist approach appealed to us," Matthews recalls. "and because of our name and onstage presence, lots of people thought we were American, and we were not about to attempt to dispel that presumption." This led to the band being dubbed 'the British Jefferson Airplane'."

Fairport Convention - John Barleycorn

Fairport Convention - The Hiring Fair

Fairport Convention - Bridge Of Sighs

Fairport Convention - Shame Of Doing Wrong

Fairport Convention - Hand Of Kindness

Fairport Convention - Saturday Rolling Around