Some of the artists on this collection may be unfamiliar to you. Don't be put off!
These are gems from independent record labels operating just outside of the mainstream...exciting, organic recordings made by creative musicians who prefer to do things their own way. This is music to believe in...music that means something.
Sincere thanks to the artists and their labels and management teams.
Album compiled by Bob Harris.
All clearances (in record time) by Trudie Myerscough-Harris, for Myerscough-Harris PR.
Thank you to Nigel Reveler at Active Media Distribution Ltd, Lesley Douglas at BBC Radio 2, Phil Swern, J. J. Johnson and you...for listening.
Superdrag - Lighting The Way
In 1993, Superdrag bolted from the mountains of Tenessee with big aspirations in their beat up tour van. Eleven years, a big record deal, four albums and countless road tours later, they're back, doing what they do best... plugging in the guitar revving up the energy and being one of the greatest rock bands on the planet.
CD: ‘In The Valley Of Dying Stars’. Ryko
Produced by Nick Raskulinecz.
Thea Gilmore - Lip Reading
Independent and intelligent, Thea Gilmore was recently described as waging a 'one woman war against shallow pop and political complacency'. 'Lip Reading' represents her third appearance on the 'Bob Harris Presents...' series and is typically lyric packed and challenging.
From: ‘Songs From The Gutter ’.Flying Sparks TBCDe66
Produced by Nigel Stonier
Weed Patch - Let Go Of The Wheel
Neal Weiss sent me a copy of this album with the following accompanying note: 'Weed Patch has zero marketing and promotional dollars behind it. Weed Patch has never played on a bill with a famous, semi-famous or even slightly famous act. Weed Patch has been played on the radio exactly once, in Belgium and the group was referred to as Weed Path. still, Weed Patch has good, honest spirited songs and that, I most naively submit, is what matters most'.
CD: ‘Maybe The Brakes Will Fail ’. Ohgrowupalready OGUA 00000000001.
Produced by Seth Rothschild & Neal Weiss.
Sally Crewe and the Sudden Moves - Friend Of The City
Equally at home playing The Garage in London or a club gig in Austin, Texas, Sally Crewe comes at you with two minute jabs of no-nonsense narrative set to sharp, sparse musical hooks. 'Drive It Like You Stole It' is her debut recording. A new album is due in the summer of 2004.
CD: ‘Drive It Like You Stole It ’ 12xu 015-2
Produced by Sally Crewe, Britt Daniel and Jim Eno.
Farrah - First and Last
Combining the influences of Supergrass, the Vapors, the Rubinoos and the Fountains of Wayne, Farrah music is rooted in the best traditions of the jingle-jangle guitar bands. Formed in the summer of 1998, the band has so far released two albums, both packed full of fabulous, melodic pop. They also provide the signature tune to my Saturday evening Radio 2 show.
CD: ‘Me Too' Untouchable Songs Admin Sanctuary Music Publishing Kobalt.
Produced by Just A Noise.
Virginia MacNaughton - Night Into Day
5-star reviews for this gorgeous, sultry debut album from outstanding British writer. I've played 'Night Into Day' many times on my radio shows, each time to fantastic response. It's a gem. Enjoy..
CD: ‘Levers Pulleys & Engines ’. Paraphernalia PAVM CD 1001
Produced by Virginia MacNaughton and her studio band.
The Devics - Red Morning
After spending a year in Saint Andrea, Italy, the Devics decided the old farmhouse they were writing in was the perfect place to make the album. Recorded with sparse instrumentation on analogue equipment, this is the haunting soundtrack to a movie not yet made...
CD: ‘The Stars at Saint Andrea ’. Bella Union
Produced by The Devics & Aaron Espinoza.
The Iguanas - 9 Volt Heart
Ten Years after their debut recording, The Iguanas reunited with original producer Justin Niebank in New Orleans for eight days of loose, organic sessions. The result is their best album so far, containing this wistful tribute to the healing power of radio and gentle memories of the past..
CD: ‘Plastic Silver 9 Volt Heart ’. Yep Roc
Produced by Justin Niebank.
Eva Cassidy - American Tune
The bitter sweet Eva Cassidy story continues. Seven years after her death and the release of her magical version of 'Fields of Gold' (included on 'Bob Harris Presents...Volume 1) her music is now being discovered by millions of people worldwide. This track is another part of her legacy... one of Paul Simon's most memorable songs, interpreted by the voice of an angel.
CD: ‘American Tune ’. Hot Blix Street G2-10079
Produced by Chris Biondo.
Mike Silver - Not A Matter Of Pride
It was at Phil Swern's suggestion that I first played this track on my Radio 2 show. The response was immediate and incredible. We had hundreds of e-mails and texts from listeners, telling us how moved they were by this song. It even became a Wogan favourite! All of which helped to complete a circle which began in the early 70's...when Mike recorded a session for my 'Sounds of the 70's' show on Radio 1..
CD: ‘Solid Silver ’.Demon Stockfish Faymus DMBCD001.
Produced by Gunter Pauler
Centro-matic - Argonne Limit Co
Deconstructed Southern rock from Denton TX - from the band whose road gigs are described as '...sweat drenched, beer soaked tornados. Distressed drums splatter against the speakers, guitars whisper and roar, organs moan, pianos explode, with Will Johnson raising his voice over it all like a weather beaten flag'. Ragged glory.
CD: ‘Love You Just The Same ’. Munich MRCD 245
Recorded and mixed by Matt Pence.
Mary Lee's Corvette - Out From Under It
My introduction to Mary Lee's music ws through her brilliant live performance of 'Blood On The Tracks', rescued from a soundboard recording at Arlene Grocery in New York and released on CD in February 2003. Even Bob Dylan thought it was great. 'Out From Under It' is from her follow-up, a wonderful studio album full of rich, original songs..
CD: ‘Out From Under It ’. Southbound
Bar None Records 58 262
Produced by Eric 'Roscoe' Ambel.
Astro Puppees - Over Her Head
Not a band, astroPuppees is the brainchild of Kelley Ryan, who constructs her idiosyncratic, twenty-first century pop songs from an unusual selection of 'found' elements in her home studio in Los Angeles. 'Little Chick Tsunami' is the third astroPuppees album so far and contains contributions from Jesse Valenzuela, formerly of the Gin Blossoms and Jody and Kym Westover, daughters of Del Shannon, one of my great heroes.
CD: ‘Little Chick Tsunami ’. Evangeline Records
Produced by Kelley Ryan.
Michael Carpenter - The One For Me
Recorded at his own Stagefright studio in Sydney, Australia, 'KingsRdWorks' is the first time Michael has recorded with a full-time touring band. Inspired by the Beatles, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and the Zombies, this is guitar pop in a summer breeze.
CD: ‘KingsRdWorks’. Laughing Outlaw Records
Produced by Michael Carpenter.
Dayna Kurtz - Somebody Leave A Light On
'Somebody Leave A Light On' comes from the debut studio album of a self-proclaimed 'road-dog'. Dayna Kurtz has spent much of the past few years running old cars into the ground touring America on solo gigs and supporting Chris Whitley, Olu Dara, Richard Buckner, Kelly Joe Phelps and Richie Havens, who joins her on this magnificent track.
CD: ‘Postcards From Downtown ’. Munich Records MRCD 238
Produced by Randy Crafton & Dayna Kurtz.