Sunday, April 23, 2017


A new Ear Candy Update podcast that delves into what home means to us, the ways we leave home and why, and how we manage to get back.

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To all my friends who knew me before I set sail, and the ones I've made along the way, this one is for you. This is for those of us still out discovering and for those who are at home, ready for the return.  All my old friends ask me if I'll be around, and one day soon, I'll finally say "I'll be in town."

The tracks:
Home - Marc Broussard
My Home Town - Blitzen Trapper
Miles from Our Home - Cowboy Junkies
Coming Home - Leon Bridges
Take Me Home Country Road - Toots & The Maytals
Coming Home - Stick Figure
Sweet Home Chicago - Robert Johnson
I Feel Like Going Home - Muddy Waters
I'll Be Home - The Flamingos
Get Home - Angus & Julia Stone
Home - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes
Take Me Home - Phil Collins
Take the Long Way Home - Supertramp
Home I'll Never Be - Tom Waits
I'm Coming Home - Robert Earl Keen Jr.
Homeward Bound - Simon & Garfunkel
Long Journey Home - J.D. Crowe & The New South
Homesick - Kings of Convenience
Good to be On the Road Back Home - Cornershop
She's Leaving Home - The Beatles
Can't Find My Way Home - Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood
New Way Home - Foo Fighters
Bring It On Home to Me - Sam Cooke

Monday, February 20, 2017

Sea Fever

A reading of John Masefield's poem "Sea Fever."

Download here: Sea Fever.mp3

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Fishermen at Sea
Exhibited 1796

British poet John Edward Masefield was born in Herefordshire. He studied at King’s School in Warwick before training as a merchant seaman. In 1895, he deserted his ship in New York City and worked there in a carpet factory before returning to London to write poems describing his experience at sea. Masefield was appointed British poet laureate in 1930.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Ear Candy Musicology Vol. 11 - The Amen Break

The story of an obscure B-side instrumental, a bootleg DJ, and early hip hop.

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Download for iTunes here: Musicology_Vol. 11 - The Amen Break.mp3

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In 1969 a funk and soul outfit from Washington D.C. named The Winstons released a B-side called "Amen Brother" featuring Gregory Sylvester "G.C." Coleman on the drums. The song was an uptempo rendition of the Jester Hairston track "Amen," which appears in the Sydney Poitier film Lillies of the Field. 

Amen Brother, an obscure B-side, languished in near-anonymity for 17 years, when a record store employee at Manhattan's Downstairs Records, a young man named Break Beat Lenny, discovered Amen Brother and put in on his Ultimate Breaks and Beats bootleg series. Breakbeat Lenny had stumbled into the audio equivalent of finding Steve McQueen's Mustang Fastback in a garage. His discovery would ultimately reroute the course of hip hop and subsequently popular music. 

Why? The four-bar drum solo G.C. Coleman laid down nearly two decades prior. 

In 1974, DJ Kool Herc invented a technique of extending a track's beat by switching between two copies of a record on two separate turntables while ignoring the rest of the song. By '77 Grandmaster Flash heard the technique and the idea took off. By 1987 E-mu released their SP-1200 sampler and boom, the Amen Brother drum solo would provide the ideal break for this, like an idea who's time had finally come. Breakbeat Lenny hired Louis Flores to re-engineer the break and slow it down, and the revolution would soon follow. 

The success of hip hop's early DJs with the Amen Break, and also quite notably the Incredible Bongo Band's Apache, gained huge attention, and like any good music wave, it broke across the Atlantic and landed firmly in the UK and European dance scenes. The Amen Break found its way into rave culture, and it began to appear in hundreds of breakbeat hardcore records - an aggressive sound that drew heavily from hip-hop pioneers like Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash, and early acid house cuts. A hearty reggae and ragga influence showed up by '91 and piano melodies were introduced. These breakbeats were then cranked up to a frenzied 150 to 170 beats per minute. Jungle music had arrived. As it progressed the term Drum and Bass began appearing in music magazines and in clubs. 

The break never left the hip hop community, however. It's firmly entrenched in Dr. Dre's production throughout Straight Outta Compton. Tyler the Creator and Jay-Z, Salt n Pepa, Lupe Fiasco, Bel Biv Devoe, The Game, 2 Live Crew, and Eric B and Rakim have all made use of the sublimely funky break beat. The website lists the track as having been sampled more than 2,400 times. 

Despite the incredibly pervasive influence of the break, the Winston's, the originators of the song, hadn't seen a dime. Sampling, in its earliest years, didn't require financial recompense. Winston's frontman Richard Spencer lamented in a 2011 interview with the BBC that Coleman, the drummer on the kit for the break, died penniless. 

To that end, British DJs Martyn Webster and Steve Theobald started a Go Fund Me page to get some of that loot back to the surviving members of the band. To date, they've raised $25, 958 for the band. The initial page was so successful that Webster and Theobald have started a new page.

That's the story of the Break Beat Lenny, the dawn of early hip hop, and six seconds of drums that changed everything. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

My Vinyl Oldies Childhood Vol. II

30 songs from my oldies vinyl collection, archived and presented for you.

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Download here: My Vinyl Oldies Childhood Vol. II.mp3

Oldies FM radio still entrances me. I find myself searching through the radio during road trips, and I hear these sounds still beamed from small stations in the Smoky Mountains and over the Great Plains. These sounds originated with the first rebellious seeds of the earliest rock and rollers and continued on a line through the DIY spirit bursting from garages in the middle '60s, that first weird bend toward psychedelia and then on through the singers huddled near barrel fires - the earliest machinations of doo-wop and soul.
So, this music is for grandparents now, or so I'm told. Music for when my grandparents were young and wild and thoroughly out of control. This is a document of that time. 

The tracks:
  1. Another Saturday Night - Sam Cooke
  2. Werewolves of London - Warren Zevon
  3. Sugar & Spice - The Cryan Shames
  4. Hot Rod Lincoln - Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen
  5. One Toke Over the Line - Brewer & Shipley
  6. Time of the Season - The Zombies
  7. Laugh, Laugh - The Beau Brummels
  8. Red Rubber Ball - The Cyrkle
  9. When Will I See You Again - The Three Degrees
  10. Give Me Just a Little More Time - Chairmen of the Board
  11. Tighten Up - Archie Bell & The Drells
  12. Jim Dandy - LaVern Baker
  13. Home of the Blues - Johnny Cash
  14. Let's Have a Party - Wanda Jackson
  15. The Letter - The Boxtops
  16. Brown Eyed Handsome Man - Chuck Berry
  17. Judy in Disguise (With Glasses) - John Fred & His Playboy Band
  18. Ferry Across the Mersey - Gerry & the Pacemakers
  19. Walk Away Renee - The Left Banke
  20. Never Been to Spain - Three Dog Night
  21. Share the Land - The Guess Who
  22. Everybody Plays the Fool - The Main Ingredient
  23. O-o-h Child - The Five Stairsteps
  24. Game of Love - Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders
  25. Girl Watcher - O'Kaysions
  26. She's a Rainbow - The Rolling Stones
  27. 'Lil Red Riding Hood - Sam the Sham and The Pharaohs
  28. Rocking Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu - Huey Smith & The Clowns
  29. Sea Cruise - Frankie Ford w/ Huey Smith
  30. Here Comes My Baby - The Tremeloes 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

ECU Musicology Vol. 10 - The Saxophone Saga

A 12-minute adventure through the saxophone's sultry sounds and sweet solos.

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ECU Musicology Vol. 10 - The Saxophone Saga.mp3

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If you have any suggestions, bitches, gripes, complaints or praise, email me right here:


The tracks:
L'Arlesienne Suites - Georges Bizet
Washington Post - John Philip Sousa
Sax O Phun - Rudy Wiedoeft
Summertime - Sidney Bechet
Jeep's Blues - Johnny Hodges
Cotton Tail - Duke Ellington
Jumpin' at the Woodside - Count Basie
Body and Soul - Coleman Hawkins
Ornithology - Charlie Parker
Jeru - Gerry Mulligan
I Got a Woman - David "Fathead" Newman (Ray Charles)
St. Thomas - Sonny Rollins
Love for Sale - Cannonball Adderly (Miles Davis)
Take Five - Paul Desmond
Lonely Woman - Ornette Coleman
Giant Steps - John Coltrane
We Free Kings - Rahsaan Roland Kirk
Cheesecake - Dexter Gordon
Pink Panther Theme - Henry Mancini
Yakety Sax - Boots Randolph
The Girl from Ipanema - Stan Getz
I Got You (I Feel Good) - Maceo Parker
Listen Here - Eddie Harris
Sugar - Stanley Turrentine
Brown Sugar - Bobby Keys (Rolling Stones)
Turn the Page - Alto Reed (Bob Seger)
Young Americans - David Sanborn (David Bowie)
Born to Run - Clarence Clemons (Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band)
Water No Get Enemy - Fela Kuti
Aja - Wayne Shorter (Steely Dan)
Baker Street - Raphael Ravenscroft (Gerry Rafferty)
Just the Two of Us - Grover Washington Jr.
G Force - Kenny G
Waltz in A (Saturday Night Live Theme) - Lenny Pickett
Careless Whisper - Steve Gregory (George Michael)
Nothing Personal - Michael Brecker
Jazz Crimes - Joshua Redman
Calabria 2007 - Enur feat. Natasja
Last Friday Night - Kenny G (Katy Perry)
Thrift Shop - Macklemore
Talk Dirty - Jason Derulo
Shotgun - Junior Walker & The All Stars