Time for a long lazy day with a large Sunday roast a little too much to drink and some kick back blues, funk and soul.
Honourable mention for Michael Kiwanuka’s recent eponymous album. The album is genius and you may need a bonus album today to waste the day with.
Unplugged – Eric Clapton
This is a desert island disc album for me. I have had a love of blues music for as long as I can can remember. this album and the soundtrack to the Blues Brothers are responsible for it. The version of Layla on this record is objectively better than the original (although the riff in the original makes a fir counter argument) and the performance of Tears in Heaven here is heard rending.
If you haven’t heard this record before I am pleased to be able to introduce you to it. A bit like someone introducing someone to Star Wars for the first time. It is great for background while eating with friends (or co-isolation buddies) or late a night with a glass of something strong and expensive. To me it is the backing track for those calm pleasurable moments that life is all about.
Con Todo El Mundo – Khruangbin
Khruangbin are an enigma of a band for me. Are they world music? No, but they sound a bit like it. Are they psychedelia? No, but again, there is heavy influence there. Funk? Maybe. Soul? Not really. Blues. Nope. All the above and a bit more? Yes. This second album from them cemented them as worth paying attention to. I became aware of them through my exploration of Late Night Tales as they are signed to the sister label Night Time Stories but in spite of being recommended them multiple time by the label manager I passed them up until early last year. Between this record, seeing them live and the recent collaboration with Leon Bridges on Texas Sun I’m very excited to see what the future holds for them as I’ve got the sense they haven’t started yet.
Let them Talk – Hugh Laurie
Someone once said that actors should act and musicians should music and never should the two cross over. It may have been Hugh Laurie himself. Incredibly self-aware that he was an English actor encroaching on the blues music tradition of the southern states of America he downplayed his talent and right to be there.
This album is another favourite of mine. Totally unexpected and around the time it came out I had many conversations with music loving friends and they were stunned it existed and even more surprised that it was good. his band are excellent and his American singing voice is not awkward in the slightest and not only because we are all used to it from House MD.
Hugh Laurie is one of those disgustingly talented individuals who creates delight with whatever he turns his hand to and this album is no different. I had the privilege of catching him live a the Hammersmith Apollo a few years back and if he ever tours again I implore you do catch him to as it was a highlight of my entire concert going experience.
Having everyone in the place pulling out their best Thurman and Travolta moves in the aisles to an unexpected second encore of Chuck Berry’s You Never Can Tell as everyone tried to leave was something that will stay with me forever. A reaction like we saw that night is a rare thing indeed but a wonderfully fitting end to what was aimed to feel like a late night blues club.
Follow us on the socials for more tomorrow and Monday and even more music content in future weeks. Send a comment or message letting me know your isolation albums. Let me know about the hidden gems in your collection that I and everyone else should hear.