Fink 'Biscuits For Breakfast'

Fink 'Biscuits For Breakfast'

Wandering through the vault today, I decided to listen to a disc that Aidan had cut together. I'm so glad that I did, as the subject of this review needs special mention.

Prior to 'Biscuits For Breakfast', Fink was happily carving a path through the world of ambient trip-hop. 'Biscuits' sees Fink strike out in a new direction.

Built around his bluesy voice, finger-picking acoustic guitar and the stripped-back live rhythm section, there is a wonderfully intimate smokiness in Fink's approach to his songs. It's intimate, but utterly lacking in sentimentalism.

The featured track, "Pretty Little Thing," on which he plays the whole menagerie: bass, guitar (nylon strings, no less), and B-3 Hammond. The lyrics in this cut are not much to be sure, but as a first track Fink's looking to usher in the set's atmosphere, and as such it works beautifully.

O Brother Where Art Thou

O Brother Where Art Thou

It was quite some time ago but I recall loving the soundtrack when I watched this movie. I recall really enjoying the movie too for that matter - not sure why I've only just gotten around to getting myself a copy of this. You can't really go wrong with well performed Southern American blues/roots music. Really traditional Mississippi styles.

Obviously there are the tracks performed by the The Soggy Bottom Boys (the fictitious group from in the movie) who I believe are actually some sort of super group in real life (were they put together just for the movie?). As an interesting side note it turns out that there's a basis in fact to some of the events in the clip. Some time back a trio were pardoned by the governor after recording a hit some in prison. God bless the legal system.

Barbara Dane and the Chambers Brothers

Barbara Dane and the Chambers Brothers

It only takes a moment to understand the motivation behind what's going on here - it's a revolt against racism in America. It's done in a very uplifting way, you know, so it's positive sounding.

For the most part it's a gospel record. You get lots of great handclappy gospel rhythms which as you well know always goes down well with me. Though actually, there's some sort of weird synchronisation going on in one of the songs, I can't remember which. The claps on the left and right channels are just far enough out of line to be a tad off-putting.

The first half is upbeat then it gets more acapella based during the 2nd half. I really love the major->minor key changes in the harmonies - in Freedom Is a Constant Struggle it's used to great effect. Check out We'll Never Turn Back for that matter.

Interestingly there's a cover of Come By Here (more commonly known as Kumbaya) on here (ah, this has the crazy handclaps in it). I had never looked into the history of the song before. Seems there's a bit of debate about who actually wrote it. Turns out that a cheeky white reverend may well have stolen it and claimed it as his own. Sums up the tone of the album really, eh?

Seasick Steve - Doghouse Music

Seasick Steve - Doghouse Music

Just look at his name! "When you're Hobo Low there ain't nowhere to go, there ain't nuttin lower than Hobo Low." I think that lyric alone should give a pretty good insight into Seasick Steve's sound.

Naturally he has plenty of tales to tell. In Dog House Boogie we're treated to a synopsis of his life and the album is rounded off with a cool little story about a dog he once had.

This is some of the coolest blues I've ever heard. It's just got a great blues attitude - it works so well when it's written/performed by someone who's actually lived the life. Looking at my itunes I've basically just gone through and given everything my top rating.

If there's only one blues album you ever listen to, make it this one. It really is that good.

CocoRosie - La Maison De Mon Réve

CocoRosie - La Maison De Mon Réve

I have to admit that I've raved about Coco Rosie in the past without even really hearing them. Well I've heard them now, and I'm relieved to find that I was within my rights to take the stance I did. I'd become very familiar with Terrible Angels after randomly discovering it on an internet music service (Pandora from memory).

It strikes me how similar this is to a lot of the stuff I've been listening to in Berlin lately - Goldmund goodness like Golden Disko Ship. The fact that this is close to blues dawned on me when listening to Jesus Loves Me. This sounds so much like Sister Rosetta Tharpe that I have to wonder if it's a cover.

Acoustic guitar, twisted female vocals and beats formed from the scraps and rattles of found sounds. Every track, varied as they are, is great. Check out By Your Side, it's adorned with the sort of loop/hook that the hip-hop heads strive for.

Great to finally hear the whole work.

Alexander "Skip" Spence - Little Hands


This is something my brother put me on to after I showed him Karen Dalton. Apparently he's one of the guys behind Jefferson Airplane and Moby Grape.

The production/instrumentation is generally pretty simple - the bulk of the recording consists of distant drums, muffled bass guitar and rambling vocals. His delivery is very Cohen-esk in places - though his voice sounds completely different.

Each song tends to tell a little tale - as they often did back in those days - Weighted Down being a great example. There's lots to enjoy here. Really makes me want to listen to Jefferson again.

I can see why this is a classic.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Oh my god. This must surely be some of the coolest guitar work ever.

Just watch a video of her to see for yourself how cool she is. Damn cool.

Syndicate content

Back to top