The Riff Burglars / Short List (Roger Chapman) — The Legendary Funny Cider Sessions/Swag
(Mystic MYS CD 165, 1983/2003, CD)
by Mac Beaulieu, Published 2005-09-01Family’s Roger Chapman is somewhat of a workaholic. His departure from Family only saw him tirelessly fronting bands under a number of other names including his own. This package of two albums released in the early 80s finds him visiting some of his favorite blues and R&B numbers. Perhaps it was an unlikely project given the state of popular music in Britain at the time, but considering that very same time saw Chappo nearly dominating the German music scene (including winning album of the year for 1981’s Hyenas Only Laugh for Fun), it isn’t surprising that he could afford to take the odd indulgent detour or two, including originally releasing these discs under assumed names. In keeping with the roots rock concept, the two albums were recorded and mixed with as little production drag as possible. With the aid of a generous selection of well traveled musicians, this would be a breeze. Considering that Chapman is regarded by many (myself included) as one of rock’s great vocalists, one might expect he would have sung all of these songs, but that isn’t the case: Geoff Whitehorn (Procol Harum) sings Cream’s “Strange Brew,” while Tim Hinkley from the classic Jody Grind lends his great voice to Freddie King’s “Big Leg Woman.” An impromptu jam by Hinkley and Whitehorn has the distinct honor of inclusion here, named after Hinkley’s assumed name, “Stovepipe.” In fact, these projects were born from a recording session of Hinkley’s Heroes. The Legendary Cider Sessions has the nod on Swag. It’s a much more vibrant, enthusiastic disc, from the track selection to the performances and arrangements. Swag has more of a sterile, meditated feel, and suffers from a production that sucked some of the life out of it. Overall it’s an entertaining set, but obviously its value depends on the listener’s interest in revisiting old rock standards.
Related artist(s): Roger Chapman
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more