1. Titus Turner – ‘Devilish Women’ (1954)
Featuring the Danny Mendelsohn Orchestra. I particularly like the part when Titus, inexplicably, lets out a yelp, like a tiny dog.
2. Johnny Little John and Guitar – ‘Johnny’s Jive’ (1966)
An instrumental with words, recorded as if a gang fight with chains, bottles, bricks, rusty blades, dustbins and a kitchen sink inside an old disused Woolworth’s store in Chicago.
3. Aretha Franklin – ‘Tighten Up Your Tie, Button Up Your Jacket (Make For The Door)’ (1966)
Today, in Detroit, Aretha was buried in a 24-karat, gold-plated casket made of solid bronze. The interior finished with champagne velvet, and stitched with her name and her title, Queen of Soul, in gold metallic thread. Way to go sister.
4. Jr. Walker & the All-Stars – ‘Right On Brothers and Sisters’ (1971)
Right on Jr.
5. Gary Chandler – ‘Baby Let Me Take You (In My Arms)’ (1972)
Trumpeter Chandler cut his teeth in the Motown touring bands of the mid 60s before popping up for his one and only LP, Outlook, released on Eastbound which now gets a vinyl reissue. If you’re after smokin’ soul-jazz with horns, Idris Muhammad popping the beat and Caesar Frazier pumping his organ, then look no further.
6. The Four Tops - ‘(It Would Almost) Drive Me Out of My Mind’ (1975)
A 1975 B-side might not sound like a tantalising proposition but the Tops edge a tiny toe in the disco storm while keeping their dignity. Wonderful.
7. Echo & the Bunnymen – ‘The Game’ (1987)
After 30 years of only copping a cursory ear in the direction of the Bunnymen, this month I’ve most been enjoying their first five albums. The production is bit 80s on that fifth one, Echo & The Bunnymen, but it’s the one I’ve listened to the most, possibly due to its similarity with later Manics albums.
8. Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio – ‘Move On Up' (2018)
Yep, that ‘Move On Up’. Hammond, drums and guitar from Live At Kexp! Someone book these Seattle dudes a flight to the UK.
9. White Denim – ‘It Might Get Dark’ (2018)
Anything that sounds like an outtake from Muswell Hillbillies is gonna be okay by me.
10. Tokyo Heavy Industries Inc. – ‘Morning 1’ (2018)
Not for the faint hearted or those of a nervous disposition, this planet vibrating first recording from the factory of Tokyo Heavy Industries Inc. doesn’t so much sound like Morning 1 but the clang of earth’s last orders.