Friday, July 27, 2012

FDF Volume 3 Issue 275 - Luka Bloom - The Acoustic Motorbike

Album – The Acoustic Motorbike
Artist – Luka Bloom
Key Players – Luka Bloom – Acoustic/Electo guitar and vocals.
Produced By – Paul Barrett

Release Date - 1992

What caused me to blow off the dust? -This cd has been at work with me for months. Teasing me to give it the full listen. Its a good morning disc, so I decided this was the week

Overview – Luka Bloom was born in Newbridge, Ireland as Kevin Barry Moore. He is the younger brother of Irish folk singer Christy Moore. In his early teens Kevin would support his brother on tour of clubs. He'd release a few records on his own in the late 1970s. He'd front a band called Red Square and then move to the US in 1987. He decided on a name change. “Luka” was taken from the popular Suzanne Vega song of the same name. “Bloom” was taken from the main character in James Joyce's “Ulysses”. The album reviewed here  was his third as “Luka Bloom”.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – (like most “solo” records the band on each track differs. I'll do my best to call stand out moments by name.)

A heavily phased and chorused acoustic guitar starts up “Mary Watches Everything”. Luka has a deep baritone, but has a wonderful range as well. Ed Tomney has a light electric guitar progression under it all but the song really seems to stand on just the acoustic and vocals. A pretty song filled with urgency and drama. A solid opener and builds steam as it reaches the close. Bob Riley slowly strikes the drums as the track “You” begins. The guitars are hushed and Ed Tomney plays a Bouzouki (a lower pitched mandolin basically) and the track slowly builds. Its a much less rowdy track than the opener, but it showcases the other side of what Bloom, and his crew can do. Frankie Kennedy has a short flute section, but you then realize you can hear him more often than not on the track. “I Believe In You” finds Bloom at the start just alone with this guitar, but in looking at the liner notes this is one of the more heavily backed tracks. Tomney is on guitar and bouzouki again, there is drums (Paul Byrne), a double bass (Garvan Gallagher) and organ (Paul Barrett). This is very similar to the prior track, in the laid back presentation and overall calming vibe. Bloom seems to push himself a bit more with his pitch and the guitar playing gets very bright. A very curious cover comes in “I Need Love”. The song, originally done by “L.L.Cool J” has the first appearance of Blooms brother Christy Moore on the track. It is a curious cover, as the lyrics as you could imagine are sung quickly, but Bloom takes a smooth approach to the track. The guitars ring out and the song does not to speed out of control. A curious cover for sure. Check it out down below, curious your thoughts if you never heard it. “Exploring the Blue”is another track that showcases the soulful and deep baritone of Bloom. A pretty song that is filled with a full band and lush soundscapes. Bloom seems to like to go quiet to loud (or slower to quicker) as “This is Your Country” seems to be almost double time than the previous track. Moore appears on this track doing backing vocals and we have the cast of Tomney on guitar gain. Riley on percussive instruments fills out the song. The track, lyrically, name checks Boston and Manhattan, so its more a song about the US than his home land. The title track appears next. “The Acoustic Motorbike” is a quick track as the title would indicate. Bloom sings quickly and his guitar bites the ears. It sounds like a tune that took shape on a front porch. Before you know it your feet are tapping and the banjo, drums, percussion, bodhran and didgeridoo fill out the track even more and you feel as if you are on a bike right with Luka. Elvis Presley made “Can't Help Falling In Love” (as did UB40 and others) a well known track. Bloom and co. give it a solid run as well. Harmonica opens the track before the acoustic guitars come up. Bloom is hushed and laid back on the vocals. A cover tune this well known can be hard to listeners since they are used to one version over another. This version, I find, is more a late night, sort of last call/last dance version. Pretty, to the point and solid. “Bones” finds just the group as four. Bass, drums and the two guitars. Bob Riley on the drums seems to get the most of a work out, and this is the first track you really notice “drums”. Pushing the track using the tom toms Tomney answers with his long sustained guitar notes. Moore appears ago on the dark and somber track “Bridge of Sorrow'. The guitars a long full/sustained sections and Byrne keeps things light on the drums as well. “Listen to the Hoofbeat” is similar to the the Acoustic Motorbike with its driving guitar and foot stomping feel. The album closes out with “Be Well” a solo track from Bloom, just a man and his guitar.

Where are they now? - Luka continues to write and perform live. Since the debut there has been studio, live albums (and DVDs) as well as compilations. His most recent record “The New Morning” was released this year.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – I have never seen Luka Bloom live.

FDF Overall Take – There are some really fun moments on this record. As an acoustic record you'll expect to hear some ballads and fine playing. It is all here. I am curious to check out more of his stuff based off this lone release.


Fan Page

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

I need Love

The Acoustic Motorbike (Live)

You can track the album down on

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.

Friday, July 20, 2012

FDF Volume 3 Issue 274 - Screaming Blue Messiahs - Totally Religious

Album – Totally Religious
Artist – The Screaming Blue Messiahs
Key Players - Kenny Harris – Drums. Chris Thompson – bass guitar, percussion. Bill Carter – Vocals, guitar, harmonica

Produced By – Howard Gray and Rob Stevens

Release Date - 1989

What caused me to blow off the dust? -I've had this cd on the brain for months now to do an FDF for. It is the lone cd of theirs that I own and I remember seeing the video for the lead off song. It got me to get the whole thing.

Overview – Formed in London England in the early 1980s the Screaming Blue Messiahs would blend rock with punk and mix in the blues and top it off with rockabilly. They'd release three major label albums, each with decent critical praise and become well known for rowdy, noisy shows. David Bowie would sing their praises in the late 1980's and invite them on tour. By this, their third record the label had started to give up and dropped the record just a month after it was released and the band was then released as well. They'd disband the same year.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - Ten Tracks in under 40 minutes gets underway with “Four Engines Burning (Over the USA)”. Carter cuts his guitar over the drum line of Harris. The vocals match the tempo of the song as the power trio moves it along. Carter hits a high vocal point during the chorus and the song clangs back to its almost industrial feel. There are no keyboards from this trio, it just makes a shit ton of noise. That sounds real good to boot. Thompson takes the bass line out of the second chorus before Carter grinds a quick guitar solo that is full of whammy bar delayed chords. A final verse/chorus to bring it all to a close. An outstanding and horribly ignored track, then and now. “Mega City 1” is another really big sounding track. The guitar from Carter might be simple but it really grabs the listener. Harris keeps the drum line simple as well and Thompson seems to be a bit buried in the mix here. The guitar overdubs are great with one giving the short choppy lines and the second buzzing out longer chords. The band is not afraid to offer up the backing vocals either. Carter takes a short solo before the chorus returns and the track works its way to a conclusion. Carter is alone as “Wall of Shame” begins. A clean guitar line rings before he starts to sing. Just a man and his guitar as has been said. With a yell he brings in the rest of the band. The big clang down swallows you up as the drums are struck big and heavy, but remain steady. Carter has a voice made for this type of band. They are hard, but not too hard, so the urgency needs to be there. He has a solid range but also understands his range is not the key focus. This is just a really solid rock track. Thompson gets to show off his chops right out of the gate on “Nitro”. The slap/pop of his bass really stands out as Carter attacks his guitar. Harris continues to keep precision time on the drums. Carter finds that good blend of chopping guitar lines with the big chord bursts every 8th beat for that big “rock” moment. Thompson comes back around in the mix and you realize he has been slapping and popping all along. “Big Big Sky” was a single I recall either having a video for or getting very VERY light airplay. It is odd since the song has a great guitar hook and the lyrics are easy to sing along with. There is even a mouth a harmonica one of those twangy mouth harp things. Come on..that is rock and roll. This is a really solid track, horribly under appreciated. The reason it may have been held up for radio is the 5 minute run time, but a radio edit would fixed that. For a band that is “rockin”the track “Watusi Wedding” really seems to step it up some. A more frantic “rock” tune here. Everything is just faster on this track. The band find their punk roots and get in and out of this track in 2:41. “Here Comes Lucky” is a good stretch for the band. Carter starts singing solo with no music. He sings a full verse and it all comes in at once. The bass, guitar and drums just fall like an avalanche on the listener. Thompson's bass work is up in the mix again which is nice as he has some interesting progressions. The buzz/swirl of the guitar from Carter in to the chorus with long sustained vocal lines is another shining example of their good musical sense. There is a great harmonica section as well, not your typical Bob Dylan/Neil Young type either (not that there is anything wrong with their styles mind you). Speaking of harmonica it is heavily used at the start of “Gunfight”. Buzz saw guitars again are the norm with a tight solid back beat. This is almost a 12 bar blues rock track. The guitar really has a slide to it and the bass and drums seem to just want to keep Carter in check. A quick and decent track. Harris, for the first time, seems to lead“Martian” out of the gate. The drums don't seem to “open”tracks on this record. Usual stuff here, a good solid example of their ability as a trio. We close out the record with “Gassed Up”another rock-a-billy vibe track. Harris just keeps a steady solid beat and Thompson will throw in a few room shakers, but Cater wants the harmonica out one last time and just attacks it, like everything else on the record.

Where are they now? - Thompson is in a band called “Killer B's” and they released an album called “Love is a Cadillac” in 2010. Harris appeared on that record as well. Harris is also a published author.
Cater has been quiet, releasing some stuff via his myspace page. He also is an artist.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – I never saw the band live.

FDF Overall Take – There are some really really solid tracks on this record. Power trios might be a cliché and people are always saying how wild it is that “three people can make this much noise” but such is the case here. The band probably didn't have the look or the right folks behind them, but there is some very “radio friendly” rock tracks on this album. If you can track down this record grab it. If you liked that late 80's alternative stuff this is right in your wheelhouse. Dig in.


Myspace for Bill

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

Four Engines Burning (Over the USA)

Big Big Sky

Wall of Shame

Long out of print but you can find a copy here

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.

Friday, July 13, 2012

FDF Volume 3 Issue 273 - Tricky - Pre-Millennium Tension

Album – Pre-Millennium Tension
Artist - Tricky
Key Players – Tricky – vocals, keyboards. Martina Topley-Bird – vocals. Pat McManus - guitar
Produced By - Tricky

Release Date – November 11, 1996

What caused me to blow off the dust? - I can't even think why I bought this record to begin with so its been a very long time.

Overview – Born Adrian Nichols Matthews Thaws “Tricky” grew up in England. His father left the family before he was born and his mother committed suicide by the time he was four years old. Tricky lived with his grandmother and started to work on music as a teen. He'd go on to record with the band “Massive Attack” but would leave to become a solo artist. His debut album “Maxinqwaye” was a hit and brought him fame, which made him uncomfortable. This album here is his third studio album, an intended “heavier punk rock record”. It would be be voted on to “Q” magazines 50 Heaviest Albums of all time list.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The album opens with the track “Vent”. A long slow drum roll and wavering keyboards hover below the slow chant of the vocals. Tricky has/had a long time vocal collaborator in Martina Topley-Bird repeats “can't hardly breath” as the song really tries to come around. The main vocals are difficult to understand and McManus seems to struggle with where to go on the guitar. It is a challenging opening track. Known for his “trip hop” it seems to come around on
“Christiansands” as it begins. A looping keyboard line as Tricky has a raspy spoken lyric line. Topley-Bird sings the same, but of course a bit lighter. She takes the second verse and the music is largely scaled back, not pushing much. The keyboard line seems to loop and the drum track is there to just keep time it seems. The vocals seems gargled, dark and husky. It adds a unique twist to the track.
“Tricky Kid” seems to have a bit more of a drive to it you'd think with a heavy record, but its still not overly uptempo. Tricky finds a dark place with references to “cocaine noses” and “twisted faces”. There are aggressive howls in the back, but the gargled vocals continue and the backing section is simple with not much of an interesting spin on it. The track appears to be autobiographical and warms the listener up some. The guitar is up more in the mix as “Bad Dream” begins. Topley-Bird is the first vocalist and the keyboard loop finds a heavy tension with the drum line slow to work out. Topley-Bird is the vocalist for the duration. The lyrics are spoken, vs. being “sung”. The grinding, slow burn of the track keeps it dark and mysterious. “Makes Me Wanna Die” is another Topley-Bird lead track. A quiet and pretty song, far more “bright” than other tracks on the record so far. The guitar also seems to be more of an important part of the song. Not in the solo sense, but just more a part of the feel of the song. Coming back to the rap/trip hop feel is “Ghetto Youth”. Tricky, who found heavy Rastifarian influences on this record, uses many slang words/phrases and sentences in the dialect. The deep baritone of his voice keeps the song interesting enough, even if you have no idea what is being sung. Clocking in at 5:37 it is the longest track on the album as well. Things, musically, get a bit more chaotic on “Sex Drive”. The harmonica seems to waiver between two long notes played over the looping keyboard and machine gun drum tempo. Topley-Bird takes the second verse and the track, to me, is the most interesting thus far on the record. It just sounds like the album cover, it that makes any sense at all. “Bad Things” has a muted, and semi out of tune guitar as the lone instrument at the start. The vocals are very hushed and the guitar continues to be the lone accompaniment. Its a tough track to get through. “Lyrics of Fury” jumps off the speakers with the quick hip/hop back beat. Topley-Bird is easily the influence for current pop songstress M.I.A. Just listen, and tell me Topley-Bird couldn't have done “Paper Planes” 10 years earlier. This is a fun and interesting track. Wish there were more like this on the record. We are back to schizophrenic tempos and lyrics as “My Evil is Strong”. Another track that seems to struggle to even get off the ground. The gargled lyrics and the off tempo drum rings mixed with the slow guitar part. I honestly had to skip ahead. The album concludes with the track “Piano”. As advertised there is a solo piano with some slow drum beat and the odd vocal delivery. I again, gave up halfway through.

Where are they now? - Tricky has had some issues with the press but has continued to write and perform. He most recent studio album was 2010's “Mixed Race”

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – Tricky was part of Lollaplooza 1997. July 8, 1997 at the Tweeter Center would have been the time. I don't really recall the set at all, other than it being during the day and very polarizing of the audience.

FDF Overall Take – I am not sure what “Q” magazine was thinking when they named this a heavy record. It is hardly a rock record, let alone heavy. Even for 16 years later, it was no heavier than anything then. That confuses me. This record is a tough listen. Honestly a real tough listen. This is the first cd in ages, perhaps ever, that I've actually skipped ahead on the tracks. It seems over indulgent at times and really, just not that interesting. Please feel free to comment to point out something I am missing, because this one lost me. Back to the shelf..if not the re-sale shop with this one.


Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

Ghetto Youth

Sex Drive

Lyrics of Fury – Live

You can still find the record at

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.

Friday, July 06, 2012

FDF Volume 3 Issue 272 - Jimi Hendrix - Woodstock

Album: Woodstock
Artist: Jimi Hendrix
Key Players – Mitch Mitchell – drums. Billy Cox – bass. Larry Lee – backing guitar. Juma Sultan – percussion. Jerry Velez – percussion. Jimi Hendrix – guitar and vocals.

Produced By - Alan Douglas

Release Date – August 20, 1994

What caused me to blow off the dust? - I heard his version of the “Star Spangled Banner” on the 4th of July.

Overview – There are a lot of stories about the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival held in August of 1969. An outdoor festival intended to be three days long gets expanded to four due to torrential rains and high winds. Jimi Hendrix was to be the headliner on Sunday. Being offered close to $50,000 to perform (other bands were flat feed 15K) Jimi arrived and was ready to play but things were pushed out. According to the liner notes this was a good thing as Jimi actually fell ill and needed medical attention Sunday evening. Jimi played Monday morning after the band Sha Na Na who were also slated to perform on Sunday. It is estimated only 50 to 60,000 people stayed until Monday and saw Jimi perform. There are countless resources and stories on the day. Dig in. The liner notes of this particular cd contained a lot of very interesting information.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The liner notes have the following note: “As with most of Jimi's festival sets technical problems impeded the recording of the show, however, the best of Hendrix at Woodstock is on this cd. The song order for the first-half is arranged and paced for flow. Authentic festival programming begins with Voodoo Child”.

That being said this review will be in the order of the cd.

The track “Introduction” is just that. An intro of “The Jimi Hendrix Experience” and a whole lot of yelling as the band gets on their gear. Jimi tells everyone to “dig” and understand that the band was not the “Experience” but “Gypsy Son and Rainbows”. He intros the band which leads to the first musical track “Fire”. The chopping biting guitar over Mitchells spastic drumming is tight, fast and loud. The vocals from Jimi are fine, but missing the backing vocals on the chorus. Cox seems to come up in the mix more as Hendrix takes off on the solo about 1:15 in. The capture of the tune is solid all things considering for the time and the surroundings of the event. The backing vocals seem to be more present come the third time as Jimi launches another guitar run. As the track ends there is more of an extended breakdown and then it ends. Jimi was chatty this day between songs with stories. Before “Izabella” start he talks a fair amount. The wah-wah pedal comes out and Jimi has a comfortable vibe going as Mitchell comes in. Cox is low but finds his groove and you can hear the work of Sultan and Velez seem to come out. If you listen to classic rock radio you seem to get hit very often with the same old tunes from Jimi so this is fun to listen to as the band is tight and it has all the makings of a great tune with the solos and the tight rhythm section. “Hear My Train A Coming (Get my heart back together)” finds the blues and Jimi teases the intro and the band comes in with the slow deep groove. Jimi dances over the top as Mitchell sets the tempo. The drums are not flashy, they are there to keep time it seems. Cox is more present on the track as the jam continues and is actually interesting for the duration. “Red House” is next. What makes this song interesting (historically wise) is that Jimi broke the high E string on this tune and played on five strings. The band is comfortable in their slow and steady pace as Cox and Mitchell seem to be locked in and let Jimi run with it. Jimi announces that “Jam back at the House (Beginnings)” is not really the song name, at least as of yet. Its an instrumental romp that changes directions a few times. The base of it is the rock/blues riffs but Mitchell is keen on changing the tempo. The percussion instruments are a bit more up here in the mix and the band seems to play well off one another. Mitchell takes a drum solo on this track rumbling across his kit keeping off the cymbals in the early part and then working them in and then when the full band comes in this really takes off. A really solid session comes of it and the final minute just rips. This would have been something to see. One of the more well known tracks from Jimi is next as “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)/Stepping Stone” begins. The whacka/whacka from the wah wha pedal is instantly recognizable and then the solid build up to the vocals. Mitchell gets on the ride cymbal and Cox just seems to attack his bass. It feels like I am hearing this bass line for the first time. Its melodic, finding the high frets and the rocketing back to the bottom. Jimi is in fine vocal form and you can hear the smile in his voice. This is the longest track on the collection just shy of 13 minutes and the early portions of the jam are a lot of fun to listen. The guys are all locked in and Jimi takes off with soaring and screeching (at times) solos. Jimi intros the band again, and even says “Thank you good night” (out of habit considering this was an early morning show). Jimi is chatty late in the song and requests the band to “keep going” and the jam continues until its just Jimi on the wah wah. I'll be first to admit I always thought that “The Star Spangled Banner” opened the set on this day, when it was actually later in the set.. The mix on this track is a little odd. For the first time you hear the audience yelling for the duration, where all other tracks it wasn't mixed that way. Jimi makes this version his own and there are solid moments I agree and a few parts I am sure Jimi wishes he had back but it really was a watershed moment for the festival. Take it for what it is. It then goes right to “Purple Haze”. This is a pretty cut and dry/quick version. The band is really together by this point and the song has that urgency it needs and they do a solid version of one of, if not the most well know Hendrix tune. As advertised the next track ,“Woodstock Improvisation”, is just that a solid jam that goes in to “Villanova Junction”. The band seems to cool way down on this finding a nice tight space with Cox setting the pace with single bass notes rung out as Jimi plays over the top. Mitchell is calm over the kit not forcing things and you can almost transport yourself to a small smoke filled night club for this track. Its an instrumental track that is the last “musical” track. “Farewell” is the stage announcements at the end of the festival about folks helping clean up and well wishes. The stage announcements were by Chip Monck.

Where are they now? - Gerardo”Jerry” Velez went on to work with Spyro Gyra as well as artists as diverse as David Bowie to Duran Duran. He has won multiple Grammy awards and is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Juma Sultan continues to write and perform music and is a minister.
Larry Lee passed away on October 30, 2007. He was well know for his work with Al Green. Billy Cox remains active and works to take “The Experience Hendrix Tour” on the road each year.
Mitch Mitchell passed away on November 12, 2008. In the mid 70's in to the 90's Mitchell was “semi” retired playing only occasionally. In 2008 he joined the Experience Hendrix Tour and played many shows. The tour ended in Portland Oregon and five days after it concluded he passed away in his sleep while still in Portland. Jimi Hendrix passed away on September 18, 1970.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – Considering Jimi died when I was about 3 months old it wasn't an option.

FDF Overall Take – The album was expanded in 1999 to include more of the set. The one down side to Jimi and his legacy seems to be a constant release schedule. Here is part, 3 years from now another more expanded with new pictures and one more song etc. As a casual fan though you get some of the trademark Hendrix songs and the collection is really “clean”. Considering the venue in which this was recorded the collection is very listenable and the tunes you don't hear very often are a lot of fun to listen to. A decent live album worthy of checking out.


Jimi Hendrix official site
Check out Jerry Velez official site.
If you are stickler for such things you can see the set list, in order right here

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

Jam Back at the House (Beginnings)

Voodoo Child (Slight Return/Stepping Stone)

The Star Spangled Banner

You can buy the cd here

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.