The advance in technology over the past couple of years is frightening. I still find it amazing that I can download a song from someone's computer the other side of the world. A fairly new development has been podcasting which comes in the forms of chat shows and the type I want to look at here, music shows which allows you to become a DJ for half and hour. It's a fabulous way to hear new music and can also serve as a vehicle for bands and labels to promote their releases. What follows are a few of the podcasts that I'm aware of, but obviously there must be hundreds more to download and enjoy.2008
Rockin' Podcast of the Month - Number 3
The Rockabilly DJ
Bill Smoker is the Rockabilly DJ, and he's probably the most prolific podcaster on the web, even posting more shows than G-Minus Mark, who I'll cover next month. He brings out a show at least once a week but the one I've chosen goes back a little while, but is well worth a download as it's really interesting. The show covers repro 45's, the represses which allow normal punters to buy singles that in their original form would be right out of their league. He tells some cracking stories about how the companies produced their wares. He enthuses about repros being perfect for DJ's in that they have the great vinyl feel which CD's obviously lack, they're easy to line up compared to LPs and you're not spoiling an expensive original every time you play it, especially on shared decks that they use in clubs. He talks about the lengths the companies went to produce as realistic a product as possible and the measures they would take to avoid getting nabbed. I won't quote everything here, just download it and enjoy an hours quality listening.
The music he plays on this show is almost irrelevant, it's his insight into the repro scene that is so enlightening. That's not to say the music is poor, far from it, it's all good rocking stuff. As he points out early in the show, the songs he chooses are of the less well known variety, many of which were new to me. The show kicks off with McKinley Mitchell's hypnotic Rock Everybody Rock. He describes Billy Barrix's Almost as one of the prime examples of repro heaven, it's such a good song that you have to own it but you're never going to find a Chess original. As his website will tell you, this show also includes "Waxwork wonders by McKinley Mitchell, Bill Carter, Deni Allan, Steve Carl, Billy Barrix, Charles Alexander, Tommy Blake, Aubrey Cagle and other Elvis impersonators." To me the Rockabilly DJ is the best on the web and whatever theme he goes with it's always highly entertaining. His podcasts are available to download either from his site (see link above) or direct from iTunes.
Rockin' Podcast of the Month - Number 2
Preacher meets DJ Mouse -
Space Cadets, Red Hot n Blue.
Preacher DJ has a interesting podcast whereby he interviews a different artist each time, talking about their careers and playing their songs along the way. To date he has about five shows online but I'm sure this is going to hkeep growing. The Paul Ansell shows is well worth a listen as he plays rare items from Paul's career. The Preacher is now completing his third decade as a DJ, at various times playing 60's Soul beat, Northern Soul, 60/70 Funk 45's and of course, our strain of rockin' music. Having spent so long on the scene he is friends with a lot of these guys so the interviews are always laid back and fun.
Mouse seems to be a kindred spirit of Preacher, both of them prepared to listen to and play songs that go beyond the narrow confines of rockabilly. Mouse has been around the rockin' block since the early ’'80s when he formed the legendary Red, Hot n Blue with Andy and Dave Bourne and Ashley Kingman. He also played with the short-lived Switchblade and cult superband The Space Cadets. The interview with Preacher is more than just a re-cap over those bands, and that's the beauty of it. They discuss the rockin' scene from the revival times of the late 70's to today, and it's this part that is most intriguing. It's really hard to tell whether the scene will just die out or whether it might have a fresh injection of life - and if so, by who and when. Mouse seems convinced that it's not all doom and gloom and is upbeat about the future.
The music played throughout the podcast is first class, with songs from all aspects of Mousie's career together with some songs he's chosen by bands he enjoys such as Smokestack Lightnin' the German band that he raves about. One thing that is obvious is both mens desire to keep spreading the word. For more info on Mouse check out his website at http://www.myspace.com/cadetmouse
Rockin' Podcast of the Month - Number 1
(DJ - Dave Penny)
Musicologist and general good egg Dave Penny is pretty much the brainy one of the bunch of delinquents that assemble on the Shakin' All Over Yahoo discussion group. Whereas most of us are happy to discuss Jayne Mansfield's rockets, Dave gives advice and insight into the mechanics of the music business and answers the legal issues such as the Public Domain Act. To date he has only produced one podcast but it's a belter. The blurb on his page describes the music as "Rock 'n' Roll from 1930 to 1960, featuring a tasty musical stew of the best of 1950s rockabilly, rhythm & blues and rock 'n' roll, spiced with hot jazz, hillbilly, western swing and other roots music."
The first episode pays homage to the rockabilly revival label Mr C Records, a short-lived affair from the early 1980s. The first three releases were home-grown local bands very much in the revival style. I'd never heard them before so it was great to finally get the chance. As Dave points out, the amatuerism of them adds to their charm. After these three singles Mr C concentrated on re-releasing long forgotten singles from a myriad of small American labels. Some of them like Benny Ingram's Jello Sal and Sammy Masters' Some Like It Hot have become constants on the scene continue to crop up on compilations. Less common but equally as good is 45 RPM by The Mark 4 originally on Cosmic Records. The podcast ends with a couple of pounding black rockers from Jo Jo Williams and Hal Singer. So, if podcasting is new to you, check the link and either left click to play or right click to save and play at a later time - you won't regret it.
Page Created March, 2008