Rosemary Clooney, perhaps better known now as George Clooney’s aunt, brings back the Latin vibe of Sway, previously popularised by Dean Martin.

This may have been the first jazz song I ever heard. If it’s even jazz. Perhaps it’s blues. Or something in between. It’s also the only song I’ve ever heard by Maria Muldaur. (more…)

Elvis Presley meets Massive Attack in an inspired mash-up that spans 25 years and 4,000 miles to merge Memphis and Bristol. (more…)

A Tuareg band playing psychedelic desert blues live on a sandy Saharan street in front of a suburban house in West Africa. If you don’t have a smile watching this, there’s something wrong with you. (more…)

Marlena Shaw’s spellbinding live version of Woman Of The Ghetto from 1974 transforms a tribute to African-American women into a civil rights anthem.


Aria Wells, aka Greentea Peng, blends blues and soul, jazz and reggae and much more into a lazy, hazy sound that’s all her own – a hybrid that’s quintessentially London.

Not many people know this but Helen Shapiro, famed for being a child star in the early Sixties, made her live debut with her school friend Mark Feld, later to become Marc Bolan. (more…)

Before soul music began, back in the Forties and Fifties, there was doo wop and gospel. And before Marvin Gay became better known as Marvin Gaye, he was one-quarter of The Marquees.

I’m posting this to sum up the wettest May in memory – in the hope that the act of doing so I will immediately banish the never-ending deluge. (more…)

If I was about ten years older, I would probably remember this song coming out in 1965. Instead I heard it years later – but it’s one of my favourite Dylan songs. (more…)