July 18, 2019

Modcast #432: Blues in the Beginning

Everyone knows that jazz and soul played a big part in the early mod scene, and so of course did the blues. Mostly white British youth became enamored of delta blues belted out by black American musicians in the mid to late '50s. The sounds of Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Slim Harpo, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddly, Lightning Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, and Sonny Boy Williamson swamped London music clubs. A first wave of older players latched on to the music like Alexis Korner, Zoot Money, George Fame, Cyril Davies and Graham Bond. These early blues adopters took other younger musicians under the collective wings and mentored the future stars of the British invasion in rhythm & blues such as Long John Baldry, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Manfred Mann, Eric Burdon, Rod Stewart and more. It was these stars that the early mods embraced and turned into the icons of their burgeoning teen music scene. This then is the blues in the beginning of the mod era.

Listen Now
Download

Cyril Davies & His R&B All Stars -- Country Line Special (1962)
Davie Jones & The King Bees -- Liza Jane (1964)
George Fame & The Blue Flames -- Do The Dog (1963)
The Steampacket -- Baby Baby (1965)
The Artwoods -- If I Ever Get My Hands On You (1964)
Spencer Davis Group -- Midnight Train (1964)
Them -- Don't Start Crying Now (1964)
The Rolling Stones -- I'm A King Bee (1964)
The Kinks -- Bald Headed Woman (1964)
The Who -- Daddy Rolling Stone (1965)
The Yardbirds -- A Certain Girl (1964)
The Birds -- Next In Line (1965)
The Pretty Things -- Big City (1965)
Downliners Sect -- Tiger In Your Tank (1966)

The Birds - That's All I Need You For (cameo in The Deadly Bees 1966)


Mick Jagger talks about Cyril Davies


Eric Burdon, Stevie Winwood, Long John Baldry, Julie Driscoll and Rod Stewart (Steampacket) - I Feel Alright


Them - Here Comes The Night clip






July 1, 2019

Modcast #431: Jerry Dammers' Bootcamp

In 1980 musical currents were steeped in punk, post-punk, power pop, and new wave. The Specials were riding high off the success of their debut album, and founder Jerry Dammers pushed the band to immediately record a follow-up, More Specials. But rather than continue the DIY, punked up ska and reggae they had mastered on their first LP, Dammers pushed for doing something entirely different, something new and contrary to the popular sounds of the era.

In an interview in mid-1980 Dammers said: "It's time for 2-Tone bands to begin getting experimental. Some of the home-grown ska has started to become a cliche. We've got to start all over again." So he drove The Specials in hard left turn creating an album of easy listening, exotica, lounge music. And young mods like yours truly ate it up.

We didn't realize we were cutting our teeth on lounge music and that it was training us up for the coming cocktail revolution of the 1990s. There's no doubt that Jerry Dammers trained mods to like lounge, exotica, tiki and other incredibly strange music that we embraced decades later. So who are the people Jerry really trained? Who are the graduates of Jerry Dammers' Bootcamp? DJ Ken from The Shingles joins me in highlighting a few of Dammers contemporaries and his musical progeny.

Listen Now
Download

The Specials - Holiday Fortnight (1980)
Beautiful South - Tonight I Fancy Myself (1990)
Colourfield - Thinking of You (1985)
Blur -- To The End (La Comedie, feat. Francoise Hardy) (1995)
Everything But The Girl - I Must Confess (1984)
Animal Nightlife - Love Is Just the Great Pretender (1985)
Buster Poindexter - Knock 'em Down Whiskey (1994)
Combustible Edison -- Blue (1994)
Love Jones -- Alcohol & Little Pills (2011)
Madness - Return of the Las Palmas 7 (1980)
English Beat -- Can't Get Used To Losing You (1980)
Supergrass -- Coffee In The Pot (2005)
Style Council -- Luck (1985)
Jerry Dammers -- Riot City (1985)

Jerry Dammers interview 2014


"It would never have happened without Jerry Dammers. It was Jerry Dammers made all that happen." The Specials / Jerry Dammers (2 Tone)


Paul Morley talks to Jerry Dammers