N.E.W. R.E.M.

Okay, not technically new, but definitely previously unreleased.

With all proceeds going to directly to the Mercy Corps’ emergency response efforts in the Bahamas following the battering that the north-west islands endured at the hands of Hurricane Dorian, which caused widespread destruction and left 76,000 people homeless, Fascinating is available to stream for free on the band’s Bandcamp page, or you can purchase it for a minimum of $2.00 (at the time of writing that’s £1.60).

The song first appeared on the original master of 2001’s Reveal but was cut at the last minute (amazingly Chorus & The Ring kept its place), and was re-recorded for 2004’s Around The Sun album, but it was deemed not to fit there either. Many will know that Around The Sun is generally considered to be their worst record, so you can maybe find some hope in that.

And Fascinating is really lovely, and would have provided a much-needed boost to either of those albums.

You should give it a listen (and preferably buy it too):

R.E.M. – Fascinating

More soon.

Sunday Morning Coming Down

A late switch of songs this morning.

All week, I had been planning to post some Merle Haggard, but listening to The Jayhawks tune I posted last night, I suddenly found myself in the mood for some Flying Burrito Brothers instead.

Which leads me to this song, instead.

Released in 1976, Gram Parsons posthumous album Sleepless Nights (formally credited to Gram Parsons/The Flyring Burrito Brothers) is a collection of songs recorded in 1970 (when he was part of The FBBs), and in 1973, as part of his sessions recordings for the Grievous Angel LP (when he wasn’t). Nine of the twelve tracks feature The FBB’s, and today’s pick is one of them.

Written by Merle Haggard, it first appeared on his 1968 album of the same name; Haggard penned it as a tribute to Jimmy “Rabbit” Kendrick, a fellow inmate at San Quentin prison, who devised an escape plan and invited Haggard to join him. However, they both agreed it would be best that Merle stayed in stir, “Rabbit” escaped but was re-captured two weeks later, and was ultimately executed for the murder of a state trooper. I love a story with a happy ending.

Happy because were it not for that unfortunate sequence of events, we might not have had Merle Haggard, and we may not have had his frankly staggering body of work, not least including this one:

The Flying Burrito Brothers – Sing Me Back Home

More soon.

Late Night Stargazing

The Jayhawks are one of those bands who I know of, but no very little by.

So when I recently stumbled across a copy of their 2018 album Back Roads and Abandoned Motels, I snaffled it up, and it’s blooming wonderful, enough to move them pretty high up on my list of bands I must invest more in.

Here’s a track from said album, and it’s absolutely gorgeous:

The Jayhawks – Carry You to Safety

More soon.