Songworks #4: Passenger Pigeons by the Handsome Family

This a beautifully observed, concise jewel of a song with a disturbing twist. This description would be true of many, if not most, of the Handsome Family’s songs, but I find this one especially moving. I’ve considered singing it during a solo set, but was afraid I would choke up – it still gets to … Read more Songworks #4: Passenger Pigeons by the Handsome Family

The Moody Blues – a Lost Chord rediscovered

Not moody, not blue, not cool After their heyday in the early 1970s the Moody Blues never seemed to be a ‘cool’ band. The 1977 punk attack on progressive and hippy music of course put them in the firing line. But even as retrospect has showed artists from the Sex Pistols to Nick Cave and … Read more The Moody Blues – a Lost Chord rediscovered

Songworks #3: Feast of Stephen by Mike Heron (and John Cale)

Snow sculpture in Alaska

On the face of it, you couldn’t think of two bands more diametrically opposed than the Incredible String Band and the Velvet Underground. Yet in 1970 two of their number collaborated on an all-star album and, in particular, on one song: Feast of Stephen. Dramatis personae In 1970 Mike Heron of the Incredible String Band … Read more Songworks #3: Feast of Stephen by Mike Heron (and John Cale)