| My Northern Friday 7 |

I Ain’t Going To Drag My Feet No More – Richard Thompson (Across a Crowded Room)
The Edge of the Land – Katie Spencer (The Edge of the Land)
Over the Hill – Càrnan (Single)
Kitesurfing – Brian Willoughby (Twiddly Bits)
Souvenir – Pharis and Jason Romero (Single)
Waiting For A Train – Boz Scaggs (Boz Scaggs)
How Come – Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance (Single)
Orange Blossom Special – Flying Burrito Bros (Last of the Red Hot Burritos)
Rhododendron – Hurray for the Riff Raff (Life on Earth)
Bear’s Tune – Katie Spencer (The Edge of the Land)
In a Perfect World – Chuck Yoakum (Paisley Garden Project)
Louise – Rob Lear (Strange Days)
Breathe Easy – Last Inklings (Single)
Go Your Way – Katie Spencer (The Edge of the Land)
Wild Honey Inn – Alas the Sun (Wild Honey Inn)

Featured Album | Katie Spencer – The Edge of the Land | Lightship LR001 | Review by Allan Wilkinson | 13.05.22

Somehow, it seems like half a lifetime since the release of Katie Spencer’s debut LP Weather Beaten, though it’s actually only a matter of three years, much of the ensuing months affected by enforced downtime, which perhaps makes it feel longer.  This second album has therefore come with a great deal of anticipation and we can immediately hear the extra attention to detail, the refinement of craft and the artistic control in the performances, which effectively transforms this young singer, songwriter and guitar player into a bone fide artist.   The Edge of the Land, evokes the terrain of Katie’s East Yorkshire home, as does its predecessor, with nature once again playing a key role in her music, offering solace in uncertain times.  Like witnessing one of Katie’s live performances, these songs comfort the listener with soothing acoustic sounds and graceful, meditative vocals, leaving no jagged edges, no intrusive cowbells or awkward and unnecessary tangents.  Katie found her voice some time ago and now it’s time for us to enjoy it.  The album opener “Take Your Time” has echoes of Happy/Sad period Tim Buckley, which demonstrates a confident command over jazz-tinged acoustic arrangements, while the opening few bars of “Roads” references Katie’s understanding of traditional folk tunes, something echoed later on the album with a pretty faithful reading of the Anne Briggs song “Go Your Way”.  You feel this is Katie’s time, and not too soon.

Flick the Dust Off | Boz Scaggs – Boz Scaggs | Atlantic K40419 | 1971

After leaving the Steve Miller Band, Boz Scaggs sought the assistance of his old friend Jann Wenner, editor of Rolling Stone Magazine, who helped secure a recording contract with Atlantic Records, the first release for the label being his eponymous second album, which could be described as a ‘blue-eyed soul classic’.  Following his actual debut LP simply entitled Boz, recorded in Sweden six years earlier, this second album was recorded at the Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals and was produced by Scaggs and Wenner, along with Marlin Greene, who employed some of the studio’s skilled session musicians, most notably slide guitarist Duane Allman, credited as Duane ‘Slydog’ Allman on the sleeve, whose contribution cannot be overstated.  The album is both gritty and deeply soulful, with a nod towards Scaggs’ country and blues roots, especially on such songs as Jimmie Rodgers’ “Waiting For a Train” and the twelve-minute blues workout, “Loan Me a Dime”.

Singled Out | Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance – How Come | Warner GMS011 | 1973

Written by Ronnie (Plonk) Lane and Kevin Westlake, “How Come” is the debut single by the former Small Faces/Faces bassist, with his new band Slim Chance, which included within its ranks Benny Gallagher (accordion) and Graham Lyle (mandolin), who went on to enjoy a successful career as a duo in the 1970s.  Sounding strangely enough just like a Faces song, with Lane’s slightly Rod Stewart influenced vocal, the song soon became a recognised pop radio single throughout the year, reaching number 11 on the UK charts.  It goes without saying that Ronnie Lane left us far too early, where in the summer of 1997, the musician succumbed to pneumonia, after suffering from multiple sclerosis for many years.  His musical legacy is stuff of legend.

Fifty Years Ago | Flying Burrito Bros – Last of the Red Hot Burrito | A&M AMLS 64343 | 1972

One of a bunch of American LPs I discovered in the cardboard box under the record player at a Pal’s flat back in the early 1970s, a box that also included a couple of Little Feat albums, several Todd Rundgren LPs and the odd Jackson Browne.  With Gram Parsons now pretty much out of the picture, the Flying Burrito Bros underwent several line-up changes, a few of which are illustrated on the inner gatefold sleeve with only Chris Hillman remaining from the original band.  The Last of the Red Hot Burritos is notable for its guest appearances, including Country Gazette’s Byron Berline on fiddle, helping out on one or two stomping bluegrass workouts, including the exhausting “Orange Blossom Special” and “Dixie Breakdown”, which also features Hillman’s soaring mandolin and Kenny Wertz’s informed banjo playing.  Though this was evidently marketed as the last of the Burritos, there was more to come later in the decade.  It was however the album that led me to the earlier albums, The Gilded Palace of Sin and Burrito Deluxe among others.

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