Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sand between my toes and Shelly in my inbox

Well, here I am, fresh from a chilled out family holiday in sunny Crete. Actually fresh probably isn’t the right word as we are all still adjusting from a sleepness night caused by the 4am pick up from the hotel for the airport. In a few days when I’m back on track I may treat (if that’s the right word!) you to a few musings from said holiday. Then again I may not as not a lot happened, which is as it should be really, it was a holiday after all.

This post represents something of a radical departure from the norm here at Feel It. In my chilled out, quasi zombie state I feel I’m not yet ready to resume normal service and rummage through the vinyl collection, record and scan, research and link. Today you are getting something brand new AND not available on vinyl. Gosh, I’m feeling a bit light headed just thinking about it! :)

Shelly Bhushan dropped me an email while I was away saying she had happened upon this blog and thought I might like to listen to her new CD. Shelly hails from Texas and is making her way in NYC as a singer/songwriter. She has assembled a tight group of musicians around her and just released her first full album length CD “Picking Daisies”. The sound they produce has elements of soul, funk, and rock but is overall genre defying. You can listen to generous snippets from all the tracks here, and a few full tracks on her myspace page. What I have heard so far sounds good to me.

It’s interesting to compare Shelly’s debut album with that of Jean Carn’s, which I featured in my previous entry. Jean’s album was released in 1976 by which time the music scene was very much dominated by the big record companies. Jean had the might of Philadelphia International behind her – heavyweight songwriters, producers and arrangers, and no small amount of marketing muscle. The music on the album itself was lavish and polished. Contrast that with Shelly’s debut. The digital world we live in now is proving liberating for up and coming new musicians wanting to reach a wider audience. Shelly’s foray into the musical world would appear to be largely self publicised, through the Internet and her live shows in NYC. She writes her own songs, the band I believe are the producers and arrangers, and her recordings have an almost live feel to them. Although Shelly’s sound is undoubtedly contemporary her way to market and the production values remind me of a time before the ‘corporate’ 70s – the 60s - when many local and independent record companies existed (in the USA at least), operating on a shoestring. In the 60s local meant a city or State in America, in the 21st Century it seems local means a far flung bunch of like minded music nuts like me sat at a computer (not forgetting of course, in Shelly’s case, her loyal followers on the NYC live circuit). What goes round comes round?

Shelly, I wish you all the best and hope you achieve everything you want to in your musical career.

I’ve ripped a track from Shelly’s myspace page to put up here (hope you don’t mind Shelly) but as mentioned follow the links above to hear more of her work and buy her album.

Shelly Bhushan – Beautiful Me 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I can hear the waves gently lapping…

The weather has shown an improvement recently in our neck of the woods but we (as in the family) had already given up hope of a summer in the UK and booked a holiday in the sun a few weeks ago. We will be jetting off to, hopefully, guaranteed sun and warmth in a few days time so things will be a bit quiet around here for a couple of weeks.

In an attempt to fill the void I have put three tracks up today. All three come form Jean Carn’s eponymous 1976 debut album on PIR. Jean was born Sarah Jean Perkins and became Jean Carn when she married the Jazz pianist Doug Carn. Later in her career she added an ‘e’ to her surname although I’m not sure why. By this time I think her and Doug and parted company so maybe this was the reason.

Since her first solo album Jean has always been a favourite of mine, even though I admit some of her more affected jazz tinged vocals do leave me a bit cold sometimes. But if Jean’s vocal turns aren’t exactly to your taste at all times just listen to those Philly arrangements. In 1976 the Philly crew were turning on the sophistication big time.

“You Are All I Need” is the lead track here, and I think it’s stunning. It came to mind initially as the title was a good fit for a post I was considering doing surrounding bubblegum cards of all things. But then I had a sudden flash of memory and the title seemed no longer appropriate – what am I on about? I’ll tell you some other time, and when I have hopefully confirmed my memory wasn’t playing tricks on me.

But anyway, once “You Are All I Need” was spinning around in my head it needed to be posted. On playing it again for the first time in a while is suddenly struck me that the intro is reminiscent of, although predates, MFSB’s “Mysteries Of The World”. That’ll be Dexter Wansel at the controls.

“You Are All I Need” was the B side of “If You Wanna Go Back” which was Jean Carn’s second UK single. That makes it a real quality double header. I’ve put the album track up here because you get an extra minute or so.

And for good measure I’ve included another track form the album a McFadden/Whitehead/Life/Huff penned, Bobby Martin arranged number. The Philly guns were really blazing on this album.

Right, now where are my sunglasses?, Factor 20 OK? Do these trunks still fit?…

Jean Carn – You Are All I Need 1976
Jean Carn – If You Wanna Go Back (1976
Jean Carn – Don’t You Know Love When You See It 1976

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


I hope you'll forgive me (of course you will), the inclination to spend time putting together a post has deserted me over the last few days. In truth when not in work I’ve been busy taking advantage of the sunshine that has finally visited these shores. If you are from the UK I know you will understand.

Enjoyed a very laid back weekend. The whole family whiled away a pleasant couple of hours in a local wine bar on Saturday. Our children are now in more advanced teenage years and going out as a family is becoming a rare event. We sort of all ended up in the same place after separate local appointments. The impromptu gatherings are often the best. The olds shared a bottle of wine and some feta and olives while the kids (I’ll still call them that) had Smoothies and played Jenga. Quite like old times. Then our daughter drove us all home with our son sat in front and the two of us sat in the back and in fact you realise how fast they are growing up.

Sunday, here, could be described as the only genuine summer’s day we have had so far this year – sunny AND hot (now it’s back to an Autumnal feel). Sat in the garden and did very little. The soundtrack to part of this day was Benji B in The Basement on BBC Radio1Xtra. It has to be the best two hours of music I’ve listened to on the radio in a very long time. The show is available on listen again until the weekend, you need to hear this show.

Here is a random bit of vinyl to go with my random scribblings, a group that needs no introduction I’m sure – which is perfect because in truth I’m feeling too laid back and lazy to write anything about it.

I’ll let the music speak for itself (sorry about the pops at the beginning).

Kool And The Gang – Light Of Worlds 1974

Buy Light Of Worlds