When I am a famous author, I will be invited on to Desert Island Discs to tell the wonderful Kirsty about my eight favourite records. These are they:
DAVE ALVIN Harlan County Line
Love this. Saw him at The Cluny performing it a couple of years ago, note perfect, of course. Just shut my eyes and I’m transported back to 6th Street, Austin.
TONEY FOUNTAINE I Found The Girl
This has 160 views on YouTube. And I must have watched 150 of those times. What a record. He couldn’t get any label, major or minor to put it out so he sunk all his money into starting his own little record company. The great, great Robbie Vincent played it every week on his soul show back in the eighties, which is when I got to hear it first.
FRED McDOWELL Shake Em On Down
Isn’t this the most thrilling sound you ever heard? This is a master at work. Flawless playing and singing. I saw him live once, in an upstairs room in a pub in South Shields.
RICHARD THOMPSON Mingus Eyes
Which Richard Thompson track to choose? Beeswing? I misunderstood? I’ll take this piece of poetry, please.
SUZANNE VEGA Small Blue Thing
More poetry. I could listen to this a thousand times and never get bored with it. Almost perfect match of melody, lyric and performance.
RUFUS & CHAKA KHAN Ain’t Nobody
The words of this are, well . . . nonsense to be honest. There is a school of thought that considers this to be the greatest ‘pop’ record ever made. Could be, could be. The guy that wrote it allegedly lives in a Central Park Penthouse in New York, all on the royalties from this. It has never dated.
Believe it or not, I saw them once in London; Victoria Theatre? Rufus were okay but she had real star power. Twenty-years old then.
PATTY LOVELESS You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive
This is the real Queen of Country.
JOHNNY DICKINSON Black Jack Davy
I wanted to include some Folk Blues, a musical form I have been listening to around the North East clubs for many years. All my life really. I was actually present when this little film was taken, at the Little Theatre, Gateshead.
No Jazz, not a lot of current stuff, not much Soul or Folk or World. Dvorjak isn’t there either. Not much in fact, with more than three chords. So what.