Saturday, 15 April 2017

TWO EASTER BUNNIES

An old Buuny review only recently discovered and a new one only discovered when trying to relocate the old one 


Blues Bunny, for anyone who knows nothing or not much about them can be found at the following link And for anyone who would like to know more about the music being made and played in Glasgow and thereabouts this is the site to visit
http://www.bluesbunny.com/


The older review first

Title: More Like A River Than A Road
Catalogue Number: Glalell Records
Review Format: Compact Disc
Release Year: 2016


Perhaps it is a sign of the times but I don’t often get to describe any musician as individual or, for that matter, unique. Sheila K Cameron can, however, only be described by using those two adjectives with “More Like A River Than A Road” reflecting seven songs from a copious catalogue of songs on to the mirror of today.
Sheila K Cameron is not one to follow trends or seek critical favour and her songs, perhaps unsurprisingly, tend more towards the poetic than the lyrical. She also has this rather addictive habit of stopping her songs before the finish as if leaving the listener in limbo gives her some perverse joy. Some may well find that irritating but, as with all things that require concentration to achieve appreciation, her alternative approach ultimately proves entrancing.
It is, for example, impossible for your heart to argue with the perfectly poised sentimentality that warms “The House with the Windows” or, indeed, the poetic construction of “Somehow” as, at the very least, they provide evidence that you can intermix language and emotion without becoming maudlin or confused as to actual intent.
Sheila K Cameron is unique and that, my friends, is all you really need to know.
This mini album is available on Bandcamp https://sheilakcameron.bandcamp.com/




And the newer one


Title: Run Through Side A
Catalogue Number: Glalell SKC1705CD
Review Format: Compact Disc
Release Year: 2017


Like most things regarding Sheila K Cameron, this CD just sort of appeared as if blown in through the door by the random breeze that is the Post Office these days. No announcement of intent, no marketing blurb, no hint of purpose. Just a CD called “Run Through Side A” and a piece of paper that managed to generate obscurity through honesty.
So what is on the actual CD? Sheila K Cameron is a true character and she always seems determined to both avoid any accusation of seeking adoration and to weave the spell that only those with the soul of a poet can. Therefore these songs, all performed acoustically with the very minimum of musical backing, are lyrical obscurities in themselves with even my familiarity with her catalogue of curiosities confused by the rambling stream of consciousness that transcends the conventionalities that would be expected by even educated to the point of pretension audiences.
Purpose? Who knows? Nonetheless, Sheila K Cameron remains someone that even the battle hardened would want to hear.



Website: www.sheilakcameron.com
Reviewer: Bluesbunny
Review Date: 
April 9, 2017



Wednesday, 12 April 2017

IAN D HALL'S REVIEW of PAST LOVES

Liverpool Sound and Vision
Reviews from a small country
Sheila K. Cameron, Past Loves. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

Love is a very strange beast, we think back with fondness at those that have taken us for granted, we adore the rose tinted glasses we wear when we think of those that have let us down and we despair at the thought of those that we have left in search perhaps of a greener field or those that left because they could not bear us; modern love is all the rage but Past Loves are the ghosts that spur us on and define our actions in the present.

Past Loves are important, it matters not how long they were in vogue, how much time was spent, they all add to the story of the individual and in some cases can make that person sparkle with energy and triumph, knowing deep in their heart they have done something at least once that made that old lover smile. It is a sentiment carried with great passion by Sheila K. Cameron in her album Past Loves.

In what is described as a one off performance, Ms. Cameron takes on songs that she has sang with great affection over the years and now, with a timbre in her voice and a resonating smile at her disposal, she takes the memory of love down a path, one that shines a light through the canopy of trees, past the bird song and asks it to rest a while with the image of a corn stalk spritely hanging in the corner of a meadow and the love daring to be kissed.
The tracks also have the edge of bending the appreciation of the words, the use of gender within them, the sense of the woman speaking perhaps not to a lover but to her sex, the call of women all over the world who have been let down by a single person and still for some reason carry a torch that shines brightly in the fog and darkness for them. Like a lighthouse hugging the dangerous rocks of a Cornish cove and coast line, it suggests that the skipper of the previous relationship can still see the call of safety, but woe betide taking advantage for the rocks can also, like a woman scorned, kill with a single look.

In tracks such as Golden Slumbers, Oh The Summertime Is Coming, Every Night When The Sun Goes In, But Black Is The Colour and Drink To Me Only, Ms. Cameron takes on the world, she gives her love in the spirit of the song and sends it into the world knowing, that like a giving and sensual lover, it will always be remembered fondly and with passion.

Ian D. Hall

This entry was posted in Music and tagged Past Loves. Album Review., Sheila K. Cameron on April 12, 2017.


PAST LOVES AND PRESENT DELIGHTS

In the previous post are comments about my response to Ian Hall's review of RUN THROUGH SIDE A And what I wrote then is similar to what I thought and felt when I read Ian's review of PAST LOVES, another recent re-issue

Both of these albums are small and were intended mainly to contribute to what I thought I was doing i.e tidying up all the material I had lying around and getting it out there more professionally presented and attired than I had managed with my earlier attempts They were also meant to illustrate something of the range of the material I had produced 

That task is ongoing and the possible sixth re-issue is in the making But only when it is complete along with a selection of spoken word tracks will I consider I have got anywhere near to that original intention

But, as the plan was unfolding along came this guy who did exactly what I had needed For some reason which may be a defensive one - although it does not feel like that (and I have said this many times now) I can be delighted, relieved and overall artistically satisfied to receive positive comments about my work from a total stranger Some words entitled A ROUND OF CLAPPIES comes close to explaining my attitude to this whole pre-occupation of song writing 
Perhaps I will post them sometime soon

Now Ian was a desirable stranger when I first read his comments about RUN THROUGH Now however he is not so strange! And what is stranger and contradicts what I have just said - I am responding to his second review with as much delight as I did for the first one 

Impressed then by the way he writes - and doubly impressed of course that he has written so beautifully about my recordings - I have overcome my previous reticence and will post his review in full  And rather than do so along with these comments it will be given its own place in the next post  

Re the title of this one: the songs on the album PAST LOVES were songs I once sang and loved - Ian Hall is a present delight

The link to the album Bandcamp is https://sheilakcameron.bandcamp.com/album/past-loves-2

Saturday, 8 April 2017

IAN DOES IT AGAIN - AND AGAIN

The Ian is Ian D Hall and he has written a splendid review of RUN THROUGH SIDE A and it is so special I am choosing not to copy and paste it here 
It is too good for me 
Have you ever had that rare feeling? 
Well I've got it now

Of all that might have been said about this small album Ian has revealed his truly poetic nature and commented in ways that take me beyond the known me to a different me For now I intend to hang on to it and try not to do anything to scare it away

The review could have only been written by a poet and in a previous post, on this site, in response to Ian's review of MORE LIKE A RIVER I had said


'Fulfilling the oft mentioned desire to discover that some of my songs had been heard and liked by a complete stranger -  along came Ian D Hall - and this is surely the best liking I could have hoped for!'

Below is his photograph and below that is a link to a review for Ian Hall's recently published book Black Book: An Anthology, 2003-2015  










Monday, 3 April 2017

HOOT and CODSWALLOP

The hoot was on hearing the backing for a new track entitled ITS THAT TIME OF MY LIFE - AGAIN  At the time I thought it was a hoot but no longer know why I thought that
It may soon get an airing on Bandcamp or somewhere else

The codswallop was on reading a review of the re-issues of PAST LOVES and RUN THROUGH SIDE A This was by someone who had omitted to read the text on the digi sleeves and was also making inaccurate assumptions about why I had even considered re-issuing these particularly small albums

Believe me, had he just said they were rubbish and he did not like them I might have wept but it would have been for a few brief moments and I might have had something more interesting to say in this post

Now I can admit to having wondered myself for a while about their release But there were reasons - the main one being the intention to present something of the range of my recordings  And these two examples were meant to make a contribution

It may well have been misguided but, as I discovered on reading the reviews of the book BALANCING THE REQUEST TO BE GOOD they often tell you more about the reviewer than the book And on reading this guy's review (and believe me I think only a man could have written it) the word which best suited the occasion was codswallop
I do not as yet have an image to go with this text but hope one will make an appearance soon

PS I see today that the book BALANCING (worth every penny) can be purchased for tuppence on Amazon at https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1853433241/ref=olp_product_details?_encoding=UTF8&me= The postage, alas, is £2.80 

Friday, 31 March 2017

THE RECONCILIATION POLE - HAS NOW BEEN RAISED

A totem pole carved by Master Carver Jim Hart will be raised in the grounds of the University of British Columbia on April 1st 2017

The following links will take you to information about Jim Hart and the Reconcilation Pole 

http://www.vancourier.com/truth-transformation/pole-of-reconciliation-to-be-raised-at-ubc-1.2368758

http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/the-power-and-determination-needed-to-look-towards-the-future-reconciliation-pole-installed-at-ubc


Jim Hart Haida Master Carver with the Reconciliation Pole

WENDY BREAD

The words below the image were written on the morning of March 31st 2017 They came from seeing the photograph of 'Wendy Bread' aka Wendy Riley who ran the cafe and bakery on Haida Gwaii know as Moon Over Naikoon

In a while i expect to record them and add them to a selection of other spoken word tracks which belong with my long ago and more recent days on the islands



Here's another one
There and then gone
Forever

Remembered
With such pleasure
It breaks into your head and heart
More like a pain

And then again
You are left feeling
It's a damned shame

I can speak your name
I can remember your kindness
I can recall seeing the bear across the river
From your kitchen window

And as my eyes can't stop
Filling with tears
I can say again
It's a damned shame
That I can't speak your name
To you

Sunday, 5 March 2017

THE FALL BY THE DUCKPOND

Following on fast from PAST LOVES comes a spruced up RUN THROUGH SIDE A with the subtitle 'another one -off ' And rather than implicating strangers in my decision to re-issue this particular selection the culprits on this occasion are good friends And this is in spite of having tried very hard never to be swayed by their opinion 

But for this album, an almost thirty minute run through of eighteen unrehearsed tracks, those long adhered to restraints have been discarded and as a consequence it has become the fifth re-issue in the series

Also, along with it, has come the discovery that the most enjoyable aspect of preparing the re-issued tracks for release may be the designing of their new attire




For me yesterday, and after days of messing about with the images, it was a delight to see the graphics completed and ready for the printer It felt like the equivalent of standing back as a child to admire a carefully made and well decorated sandcastle And for the album, rather than shells, stones and bits of grass, i had needed images

Those which were used for this album are from the same source as for previous versions of RUN THROUGH - a painting entitled THE FALL BY THE DUCK POND But, as I think will be evident when it has been released (and the image above is only part of the 'picture') there are distinct differences

The album is now available to be pre-ordered from Bandcamp at 
https://sheilakcameron.bandcamp.com/album/run-through-side-a-2 

The image below is a copy of the therapeutically influenced back cover of the digi sleeve in which the CD will reside


Thursday, 23 February 2017

J.J.NILES LYRICS for GO 'WAY

Lyrics for Go 'Way from My Window by John Jacob Niles

Go 'way from my window
Go 'way from my door
Go 'way, way way from my bedside
And bother me no more
And bother me no more

I'll give you back your letters
I'll give you back my ring
But I'll never forget my own true love
As long as songbirds sing
As long as songbirds sing

Go on tell all your brothers
Tell all your sisters too
That the reason why my heart is broke
Is on account of you
Is on account of you

Go on your way, be happy
Go on your way and rest
But remember dear, that you are the one
I really gave the best
I really gave the best

Go 'way from my window
Go 'way from my door
Go 'way, way way from my bedside
And bother me no more
And bother me no more
And bother me no more

Writer: J. J. Niles

JOHN JACOB NILES and GO AWAY FROM MY WINDOW

In many ways the songs on PAST LOVES are no more than remembered remnants from a past life And, with GO AWAY FROM MY WINDOW, it is difficult to know if I ever knew more than the two verses I sing on the album

However, in preparing the track for release it became necessary to locate the composers of the songs and that task brought me to the door of John Jacob Niles

I suspect he is very well known to folk singers throughout the world But as I have never really been one I knew nothing about him until now Of course I wish I had known about him sooner and I would very much have liked to know the complete lyric

GO AWAY FROM MY WINDOW has been recorded by many others but I would recommend the very real performance of this superb song by the man who wrote it


There's not much to say about my own bit performance but I will feel better about it if it becomes in any way responsible for introducing others to JOHN JACOB NILES

Below the image is more information about him and the song It was taken from Wikipedia 


Composer, collector, and balladeer John Jacob Niles, was born in Louisville, Kentucky April 28, 1892.
 Niles came from a musical family. His great-grandfather was a composer, organist, and cello manufacturer; his mother, Lula Sarah Niles, taught him music theory. In 1904, Niles's family moved to a farm in rural Jefferson County where John Jacob began collecting folk music. By 1907, Niles composed his first song, "Go 'Way from My Window," based on a line of song collected from an African American farm worker.

Concerning "Go 'Way From My Window," John Jacob Niles wrote:

"In 1908 my father had in his employ a Negro ditch-digger known as Objerall Jacket. As he dug, he sang, "Go way from my window, go way from my door" -- just those words, over and over again, on two notes. Working beside Jacket all day (I was sixteen at the time), I decided that something had to be done. The results were a four-verse song dedicated to a blue-eyes, blond girl, who didn't think much of my efforts. The song lay fallow from 1908 to 1929, when I arranged it and transposed to a higher key. "Go 'way from My Window" was first sung successfully in Berlin, Germany, in 1930. It has gone a long way since.

The lyrics for the song are on the next post and the link is 
http://sosaidthesap.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/jjniles-lyrics-for-go-way.html



Monday, 20 February 2017

PAST LOVES - with a bit more polish

The fourth album in the series of re-issues is PAST LOVES
It will be re-appearing in a newly designed digi sleeve



The encouragement to make this the fourth in the series came again from a preferred source - unsolicited comments from strangers

It will be available as usual on BANDCAMP but this selection and the previous three re-issues will soon also be accessible on itunes and Amazon 

The official release date will be March 7th 2017 but it is now available to be pre-ordered at https://sheilakcameron.bandcamp.com/album/past-loves-2


Wednesday, 15 February 2017

IN PRAISE OF LOVE

Yesterday, late in the day, I added IN PRAISE OF LOVE to the words I had posted for St Valentine's Day They have all now gone back into hiding 
The 24 second spoken word recording on BANDCAMP has also been removed and will hopefully re-emerge another time
The image is being allowed to stay


Friday, 10 February 2017

CRYING OUT INDEED- with delight!

There is a - what will I call it -  can't find the word - review on www.folking.com
I was made aware of its existence this morning and after an unsettling read I have been wandering around, no wondering aloud - again - if it has anything to do with me! But it has and I feel very honoured to have someone write such positive things about what I do

It can be found at http://folking.com/sheila-k-cameron-alone-on-the-road-glalell-skc1703cd/

The comments in the review also fully recognize how much the tracks are indebted to GEOFF ALLAN, master sound engineer, BRIAN MCNEILL who contributed in many ways to the tracks - including the chorus of the song Alone on the Road, FRASER SPIERS the incomparable player of the blues harp and BRIAN YOUNG, owner extraordinaire of the CAVA SOUND STUDIOS GLASGOW who has patiently dealt with my often idiosyncratic requests with good grace and much expertise for several years now

The photograph below is from the home page of the Cavasound web site and the link is http://www.cavasound.com/Cavasound/Home_Page.html 



The Neve VR Legend at CavaSound

The title of this post is taken from the last paragraph of the review and I am smiling somewhat awkwardly as I reproduce it 


'Sheila K Cameron is a unique artist whose work deserves a wider audience. Her songs cry out to be heard and will no doubt be reinterpreted by singers of the future. This album is a little treasure trove for lovers of the quirky, the downbeat, the blues'.
Su O’Brien

The link to the album on Bandcamp is https://sheilakcameron.bandcamp.com/album/alone-on-the-road-2

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

THE TINKLING APPLE TREE

There have been several different versions and mixes of the song BENEATH THE APPLE TREE and the latest one has acquired the differentiating title used in this post
It is unlikely to stick but for now it suits present purposes

Also, putting it out today is another example of my 'jumping the gun' The longer term plan is to include it in a selection of the songs which were not included in the three re-issues completed so far

However, this new mix is fresh from the mastering magician and the tendency to get a newly completed track out there is not being resisted And there is another reason Since I rediscovered this version several weeks ago it has refused to leave me alone and this might rescue me from it

The link to the song on Bandcamp is https://sheilakcameron.bandcamp.com/track/beneath-the-apple-tree-2
and it will be free there for a while
 Vaguely resembling the writer and the singer of the song
The image is a mock up which has been contrived from a painting called THE BARE TREE And, in the original painting, the tree is bare 

This image has been used and altered numerous times for other purposes A print taken from the original is featured on the home page of the GLALELL site at www.glalell.com

The apple was added to this version of the image long ago
There
have been times when it did not merit a place but whenever it has made an appearance it has always been cherished - for as long as it has stayed around

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

DANGEROUS WOMEN

AMAZING! It was either in search of an image to use on BANDCAMP alongside Joan Ure's song EVERY TIME NOW* - or it was a search involving the words Dangerous Women (more about this another time) that I came across the following link

http://dangerouswomenproject.org/2016/06/24/joan-ure/

It will take you to a page entitled THE DANGEROUS WOMEN PROJECT 
The image below is also from that site




I have read only two articles about Joan Ure's work: this one and Jan McDonald's entitled ‘Is it not possible to have a Poem made out of Theatre?’ An assessment of the dramas and dramaturgy of Joan Ure 
This can be accessed using the link below

For anyone who would like to know more about Joan Ure's work I would recommend both

* A rough acoustic only version of the song Everytime Now can be heard on Bandcamp at https://sheilakcameron.bandcamp.com/track/every-time-now

Monday, 30 January 2017

NEVER HAD ONE - BUT I'VE GOT ONE NOW

CD Review  Sunday, 22 January 2017

Alone On The Road 

SHEILA K CAMERON with ALLAN, MCNEILL, SPEIRS and YOUNG

The enigmatic Sheila K Cameron has her mojo in full flow for Alone On The Road, which is the third in a series of reissues of her work. The 16 tracks which make up the album have been given more than a boost by Geoff Allan, Brian McNeillFraser Spiers and Brian Young.

Sheila K Cameron
Cameron's Cohenesque style of singing comes straight out of the speakers over the top of Spiers' blues harp which sets the tone for what is a real thumper of an album.

There's An Old Sadness in Me is a wonderfully ponderous 12-bar song on which Cameron keeps a tight rein and allows the gobiron of Spiers to have the last word.
This gives way to I Looked Alright This Morning which has a retro feel about it, with the production sounding similar to the rawness of the early days of blues recordings.
The song has more of a travelling cadence with a deep rumbling and almost menacing beat underneath her words which is once again accented by the blues harp. It's a song which almost defies you not to get into stomp mode.
The single strumming of the guitar accompanies Cameron as she sounds like she is standing too near the mic in a small and cramped studio to record Baby How Long.
Cameron's dour and understated way of singing adds a depth of character in the same way someone such as Bessie Smith did.
I'll Play You Sweetly is a great song where Cameron and co pick up the beat and it's one of those where you just can't sit still until she puts the handbrake on in the middle. Her call and refrain with the dancing sound of the harmonica is just a sheer delight to hear.
When The Sun Rose This Morning goes back to the most recognisable strain of the blues with the slow wave of the music and the repetition of the lines. Cameron's voice manages to sound both world weary and menacing at the same time.

It cannot be overstated how much the superb blues harp underneath so many of the tracks add such colour and character to her songs.
She Put My Baby In The Draw is one of those blues songs which is bordering on the nonsense rhyme, where the story is just a simple tale and never intended to be taken seriously. Cameron uses a stripped-back version with just the simple strumming of the guitar to accompany her repetitive verses.
Stay With It Baby runs more like a poem and, once again, that world weary sound Cameron does so well seems to be almost reluctant to move along to the sound of the harmonica.
Fraser Speirs.
Pic Glasgow Herald
Like the previous track, When I Say You Owe Me Nothing is from poet Joan Ure, which was the pen name of Elizabeth Thoms Clark.
Cameron puts some real grit into the song and the way she crams the words to fit in with the rhythm moves close towards rap. It's the type of song which you could easily see Seasick Steve hammering out on his three-string guitar.
Things lighten up slightly for Bluebird Outside My Window which has more of a New Orleans' club feel to it. You can easily imagine a band passing under the balconies through the streets of The Big Easy.
I Don't Believe You Care brings back the world weary sounding Cameron with the blues beat once again lit up with the occasional incidental from the bone playing.
There is a softer and sadder tone to Cameron for Goodbye Baby Blues where she moves into speech and sounds more like a beat poet of the fifties than a blues singer.
Fortunately the blues harp brings her back into the mojo where she adopts an almost lazy and reluctant style of singing.
Motherless has more of an ethnic beat to it and feels like it wouldn't be out of place in Buffy Saint Marie's repertoire. The echoed blues harp underneath gives it the character of a film noir soundtrack. This gives way to the slightly out of sync Mr Moon: I'm Working Against Time which comes across as more of a doo wop than anything.
It's probably the most luxurious track on the album and Cameron gives it the feel of a torch song. This carries on with You Don't Know My Mind, where you can almost see Cameron behind a big lozenge-style microphone in a smoky night club where the customers are hidden in the half shade of small table lights. The slightly lazy sound of the blues harp is almost hypnotic behind her voice which has shades of the legend Billie Holiday.
Sounding more contemporary and carrying the electric sound of the Chicago blues makes When I Was Bad Girl stand out from the other tracks.
The third of the reissues
The combination of the faster pace, the electric guitar and driving percussion makes it feel like is has moved over into rock 'n' roll.
The final and title track keeps that more modern feel which tones down the blues elements.
You can still feel the 12-bar beat but the use of electronics muddies the waters so you are never such which camp the song is supposed to be in.

Cameron has been hidden away for too long and albums such as this one where she puts her own stamp on the blues style deserve to be listened to by a wider audience.
Anyone who has even a passing interest in the genre should listen to it and if you can keep your feet, hands and head still all the way through the album then your probably don't like the blues anyway.

Alone On The Road is available now online and through bandcamp





C

BACK ON THE ROAD - THANKS TO DANNY FARRAGHER












Danny also uses the following image on his site 


His detailed comments about the album can be found on the next post entitled Never Had a Mojo 

A hint of what you'll find there can be found in the paragraph below

'The enigmatic Sheila K Cameron has her mojo in full flow for Alone On The Road, which is the third in a series of reissues of her work. The 16 tracks which make up the album have been given more than a boost by Geoff Allan, Brian McNeillFraser Spiers and Brian Young'