Thursday, July 19, 2007

Roaring a different gospel


James Yorkston has a new album out, called Roaring the Gospel. It’s not really a new album as such, more a compilation of b-sides and other rarities released throughout his recording career. The collection goes back to before he recorded under his own name – his first release was as J Wright Presents, a 7 inch on Bad Jazz Records in 2001. It takes in his first release for Domino, the magisterial 10 minute epic The Lang Toun, through to a song left off his latest album Year of the Leopard. Although there’s plenty familiar stuff on here, there are still some songs I hadn’t heard. I particularly like Sleep is the Jewel (left off second album Just Beyond the River for being ‘too poppy’) and The Hills and the Heath. It’s also good to be able to play Blue Bleezin’ Blind Drunk, an old folk song that anyone who’s seen James play live in recent years will know and love (originally on a limited 10 inch EP).

Rather than post tracks from this terrific compilation, I’m going to post some alternative JY rarities. I’ve had a dig around the James Yorkston archives section of my computer, and I now present you with these.

Thar She Blows is a cover of a song by fellow Fence Collective member Jenny Casino (aka HMS Ginafore), which appeared on a bonus CD of solo acoustic versions of Year of The Leopard, given away free with the album in superior independent music shops. James has been know to play this one live. The next track is a combination of two traditional folk songs which appeared on a bonus CD attached to early copies of Just Beyond the River. The third track is a similar combination which was on the b-side of the Tender to the Blues single. Pepparmyntste is actually freely available on James’ website (it was originally on a now-deleted Fence Records CDR). Roaring the Gospel contains Blue Madonnas, the b-side to the first widely-available Domino single St Patrick, but what’s not included is the other b-side, the lovely Catching Eyes. Finally, a track I’ve posted before, but since then I’ve changed my file host, so here it is again. This remix is not really available anywhere (unless like me you forked out good money for the 10 inch from eBay) so it’s worth re-posting. Fans of Four Tet should watch out though – the original is still better.

Download: James Yorkston – Thar She Blows
Download: James Yorkston & The Athletes – Fearsome Fairytale Lover / Safe Haven
Download: James Yorkston & The Athletes – Hares on the Mountain / Old Maid
Download: James Yorkston & The Athletes – Pepparmyntste
Download: James Yorkston & The Athletes – Catching Eyes
Download: James Yorkston & The Athletes – The Lang Toun (Four Tet Remix)

Buy Roaring the Gospel.

The other good thing about this comp is that it’s got one of my very own photos in the CD booklet – yep, that one at the top of the post. Nice.

Just in case anyone’s wondering who The Athletes are, don’t worry. It’s nothing to do with the South London band who don’t have the definite article. Rather, they’re a group of friends and musicians who sometimes accompany James on tour and in the studio. The first two albums for Domino were recorded as James Yorkston & The Athletes, though for the last release he’s reverted to using just his own name.

3 comments:

erawk said...

thanks for these. JY is one of my all time faves. sometimes i think i'm the only one on this coast who's ever heard of him. does he ever tour the states? i would drag all my friends to see him in sf if he ever came around

The Daily Growl said...

Unfortunately I don't think he gets over your way much. The odd jaunt to Europe maybe, but not that much outside of Scotland and London. Keep an eye on his myspace though, you never know!

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