1985

This all too brief but beautiful fingerpicked blues was written by Elizabeth Cotten when she was 12 years old. Here she is singing and playing it 80 years later, shortly before her death.

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Ever since I first heard their name, which was long after they broke up for the first time in 1991, I’ve had the idea that The Replacements were the ultimate “critics’ band.”

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There are few aural pleasures greater than accidentally stumbling across an old song you used to love that had somehow slipped from your memory. That’s what happened this weekend when I found an album comprising the early recordings of Kimmie Rhodes.

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Ivor Cutler was an eccentric Scottish poet whose chronicles of Life In A Scotch Sitting Room became popular during the punk era after being championed by John Peel.

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Nothing puts a smile on the face and gets the feet moving like Highlife music. So, to celebrate a century of recorded Ghanaian highlife, here’s a prime example by the late legend Atakora Manu.

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You’d expect a song by David Byrne to be quirky but even by his own eccentric standards this one is… let’s say idiosyncratic. (more…)