Happy new year, everyone. A bit of housekeeping first: if you haven’t posted your 2011 Top Tens on this thread, please do so asap – I’m going to start adding up the votes end of this week.
My blogging became a little sketchy towards the back of 2011 and, while I’ll certainly be keeping my Twitter account busy, an inevitable new year’s resolution is to be more diligent in these parts.
One casualty of my slackness was that I failed to write about “Poor Moon”; the best, I think, album thus far from Hiss Golden Messenger. “Poor Moon” snuck out at the end of the year on Paradise Of Bachelors, and will get a fuller release soon from Tompkins Square, I believe. If you fell for MC Taylor’s erudite, heartfelt manoeuvres in the interzone between folk and soul on “Bad Debt”, you should definitely check this one – not least because a bunch of “Bad Debt” songs reappear in richer, fleshed-out versions.
Anyhow, I was prompted to mention this because, over the holidays, Taylor emailed me a link to a terrific playlist he’d put together, a sequel to his “Wah Wah Cowboys” comp from 2010 that became a real standby. It’s the work of a truly judicious cratedigger, I think; one with a passion to share great music that’s been unfairly neglected, rather than celebrating it solely for its obscurity.
“Wah Wah Cowboys II” is, essentially, more of the same, and you can grab it from Taylor’s blog. Plenty here I’ve never heard before (the wonderful opening one-two of Mississippi Charles Bevel and Sand, for a start; Linda Martell; David Wiffen), plus some stuff of which I’m almost totally ignorant (JJ Cale) and very little I’m equivocal about (Jimmie Spheeris remains blighted for me by Midlake ripping him off so bloodlessly, I’m afraid). Great start to the year, I’d say but, as ever, let me know what you think.