RIP Brother Gil S-H Mix

Another dear brother leaves for the Mother Ship. RIP Gil Scott Heron


gil scott poloroid

2016 is already a bumper year for the claiming of musical icons. One from each genre leaves the earthly stage about once a month. Bowie, Haggard and now Gil Scott-Heron.

There is so much to say about this man and I may share my thoughts later in another place, but for now here is a slice of the man’s poetic and musical and political genius.

Track Listing:

01 Bicentennial Blues

02 Winter in America (solo version) 2

03 17th Street

04 Lady Day and John Coltrane

05 Where Did the Night Go

06 Sharing

07 The Vulture

08 Shut ‘Em Down (Live) 2

09 Washington D.C. (Live) 2

10 Guerilla 2

11 Possum Slim

12 A Talk : Bluesology, Black History, Jaws, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (live from Wax Museum, Washington DC) 2

13 Peace Go With You, Brother

14 The Liberation Song (Red, Black and Green)


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Gone: Merle Haggard

merle rip

My first Merle Haggard record, picked up at a shop in Dinkytown in Minneapolis, way back in the early 1980s was called Serving 190 Proof. I really don’t know why I decided to fork out the five or six bucks for a country and western record but I thank my lucky stars I did.


At that point my musical tastes were quite immature. Sure, Johnny Cash was a hero and Willie Nelson was fun, but country music in general was anathema to me. Hoaky music for rednecks.


But I read a lot of music reviews and Merle was someone the rock critics consistently praised. Maybe it was the album cover—a hand coloured photo of Merle looking lonely at a bar—that got me to dish out the cash. I can’t recall from this far up the road, but that album became instantly a favourite. It’s remained so for 30+ years.


More albums followed and my head and cassette tapes filled with Merle Haggard songs: Big City, Driftwood, Okie from Muskogee, Shopping from Dresses, Poncho and Lefty many of which I’ve included in this mixtape to mark his passing yesterday.


Merle’s songwriting is top notch. I have always been drawn more to his mellow side and songs where he seems to be simply reflecting on the wonders and sorrows of the simple life. Merle’s songs are full of nostalgia and hope and a sad resignation to never ending change.   His baritone which has to be one of the smoothest and most expressive natural voices ever gifted to mankind is what consistently delights and enchants me. Be it the rowdy CC Waterback with pal George Jones, the boozy anthem Swinging Doors or the downright classic, Kern River, it is voice that drives the nail into the knotted wood.


From little things big things grow, said another fine singer. And from that one LP purchased three and half decades ago, Merle’s place in my musical estimation has steadily risen. I reckon he is one of three singers whose music I consistently and regularly come back to for more inspiration, insight and pleasure. So his passing is a terrible loss.


Thanks for everything hoss!


Track Listing

01 Mississippi Delta Blues

02 There I’ve Said It Again

03 Crazy Moon

04 I’ll Be a Hero (When I Strike)

05 The Last Letter

06 What Happened

07 You Don’t Have Very Far To Go

08 Truck Driver’s Blues

09 Rainbow Stew

10 Pancho And Lefty

11 Are the Good Times Really Over

12 Going Where The Lonely Go

13 Swinging Doors Strangers

14 Still Water Runs The Deepest

15 Workin’ Man Blues

16 The Fightin’ Side of Me

17 Django and Jimmie

18 The Bottle Let Me Down

19 C.C. Waterback

20 Tulare Dust

21 My Own Kind of Hat

22 I Am What I Am

23 If I Could Only Fly

24 Driftwood

25 Walking the Floor Over You

26 Natural High

27 Irma Jackson

28 Okie from Muskogee

29 Kern River



Sufiana Mix

Sufi mix now available



A mix of rare spiritual, sufiana and nirgun songs from Pakistan and India.

Track Listing:

01 Qawwali Of Amir Khusrou [Bahauddin Qutbuddin Qawwal & Party]

02 Mein Bhi Jaanaan (Shah Hussain)[Mohammad Tufail Niazi]

03 Unki jataan pind khech jo [Ustad Manzoor Ali Khan]

04 Piya Ghar Aaya [Ustad Shujaat Hussain Khan]

05 Laali mori re (Sufi Sindhi) [Sikander & Sufi Sindhi Artists]

06 Subuhanallah [Mohammad Ibrahim]

07 Lere Naam Lere Naam [Sundar Lal Malwi]

08 Lehra (Sufi Dhadi) [Sharif Idu and Group]

09 Ali Mullah (Feat. Transglobal Underground And Natacha Atlas) [Musafir]

10 Asaan Ishq Namaz [Muhammad Jumman]

11 Allah Sain [Attaulah Khan Niazi ‘Issakhelvi’]

12 Justaju [Anandmurti Gurumaa]

14 Naam Bina Mati [Amreek Singh Zakhmi]

15 Sajjan De Hath [Abida Parveen]


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Yep! The time has come to say goodbye.

the-end-of-the-road-columbus-united-states+1152_12816929439-tpfil02aw-24427When I started blogging about music and established the original Washerman’s Dog it was November 2010.  Like the best of such ventures there was no understanding of what I was getting into and certainly no preconcieved notion of how long I would continue.  The driver was a simple desire to share my love of music with ‘whoever’ was out there in the faceless world beyond my computer screen.

Now nearly 5 years later I have run out of steam. So I suppose that is a good reason to say goodbye to the Dog.  What is a blog if its blogger is no longer capable of posting things of interest?  In recent months my posting to WD has been very slow and rarely of the quality I have come to expect of myself.  I’ve never wanted to be a blog that posted music with cut and paste reviews or even worse, no commentary on the music whatsoever.

But as I’ve taken on more structured and intentional writing assignments (mainly for and now with a book on the horizon) not to mention a full time job that has been rather demanding on my energy, my reserves of creative imagination have really run dry. What used to a great joy –sharing an album and writing, sometimes only tangentially I admit, about it–has become a burden. And if it is no longer fun, why do it? How can a burdensome effort spark what was always intended as a joyful celebration of one of Life’s Great Pleasures?

One of the unexpected consequences of my starting the Washerman’s Dog has been just how much my musical horizons have expanded.  What started with a nibbling at the offerings of South African music at Electric Jive led to a mind blowing opening to the utterly stunning variety and quality of music of Africa as a whole.  Other blogs, many now long dead like Toroyloco, Tangled up in Blue, Snap Crackle Pop, Anthems for the Nation of Loubaniya , TajMahal Foxtrot and Twliight Zone (just to skim the surface of the surface of a few that pop to mind) exposed me or deepend my understanding of South Asian music, European folk, Latin American and all kinds of jazz and R&B.  Interestingly, one gap that remains unfilled is a blog focussed on classic country and western music, especially Honky Tonk.  A major opportunity for someone out there!

So I leave with a much broader understanding of music as well as a deeper humility about how little I know about music. Really.  What I’ve learned in 5 years far exceeds anything I’ve shared.

Blogging has also made me comfortable with a shorter, more concise form of writing for which I am also grateful.

I will miss being a part of the keen music lover community that spreads around the globe. To all those who followed and commented and ‘liked’ and downloaded and shared my posts, I say thank you so much. I really got a kick out of hearing from you and am humbled by your suipport and words of encouragement.  It seemed that WD, while not the most popular by any stretch of the imagination, was a well loved little blog by quite a consistently loyal community.  And its been fun to share ideas, and musics with all of you.

I am now going to focus on writing in fulfillment of a book deal I’ve signed (or soon will). The book will be on Lollywood, Pakistan’s little known sibling of Bollywood.  I’ll need all my creative juices flowing as I research and put together the first such history. So I’m excited about that and feel saying farewell to this blog is justified.

The Dog’s companion blog, Harmonium, which focuses on South Asian music will remain active at least for the time being as it may be a good outlet for some of the research I do in connection with the book.

So once again, thanks for all the fun folks. But this really is the last post for Washerman’s Dog.  Bow wow, woof woof and ruff ruff ruff.



Stay Sane at Work: Mixtapes


For those of you /us who struggle from time to time with boredom or cynicism or ennui at work. And restlessness too. Just can’t stand your co-workers and your boss is a ponce? Well what you need is a bit of fresh music and a playlist or two to listen to between meetings (maybe even during meetings).

Here you go. Long live 5 o’clock!

Stay Sane Pt 1

Track Listing (Pt. 1)

01 The Wonder Of It All [Mind & Matter]

02 No No Blues[Culey Weaver]

03 Your Love’s Been Good For Me [Gladys Knight & The Pips]

04 Swing Low, Chariot [Sister O.M. Terrell]                                                                           1

05 Funny World [Johnny Hartman]

06 The Panama Limited [Washington White]

07 Get a Feeling [Kings Go Forth]

08 I Want Jesus To Walk With Me [Shirley Stewart]

09 Ash Can Blues[Cliff Carlisle]

10 Talk To Me Baby[Fleetwood Mac]

11 Signed Gladys[Gladys Knight & The Pips]

12 Kalimba [Mr. Scruff]

13 Sleepin’ Bee [Johnny Hartman]

14 Gotta Make Me a Gun[Basement Freaks]

15 Never Feel Cold (feat. Mendee Ichikawa) [Bosq Of Whiskey Barons]

16 Now That I Don’t Have You[Mind & Matter]

17 Missing You[Billy Paul]

18 Black Family  [Roy Ayers]


StaySane Pt 2

Track Listing: (pt. 2)

01 My Baby’s Got A Dead Man’s Number [Chris Gaffney]

02 Almost Persuaded[David Houston]

03 Amos Moses [Jerry Reed]

04 King of California [Dave Alvin]

05 I Wish I Didn’t Love You So [k.d. lang]

06 Polk Salad Annie[Tony Joe White and Johnny Cash]

07 Sad Songs And Waltzes [Cake]

08 Old River[Hazel Dickens/Ginny Hawker]

09 Ashgrove [Dave Alvin]

10 She Thinks I Still Care [Johnny Paycheck]

11 Are You Sure                [Ray Price]

12 California Women  [Hoyt Axton]

13 Another Place, Another Time [Jerry Lee Lewis]

14 Holding On To Nothing [Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton]

15 Rings Of Gold [Dottie West]

16 Alchoholidays [Chris Gaffney & The Cold Hard Facts]

17 Is Anybody Goin’ To San Antone? [Charley Pride]

18 Collection Box [Thomas Jefferson Kaye]

19 In Time [Kelly Hogan]


Joyful for Jesus: The Radio Four

The Gospel Singers

The Gospel Singers

The Radio Four a jubilee gospel group from the southern United States recorded on the famous Nashboro label beginning in 1952. The group, as its name suggests, got started singing on the radio station WBDL out of Bowling Green, Kentucky. Oddly, the group was a collective of 5 brothers: Ray, James, Claude, George and Morgan Babb.   The last, was the guitarist and ‘substitute’ singer but soon became the lead voice of the group and probably the most highly regarded and best known of the brothers.

That’s about the sum of the information we have on this group but there are more snippets to be found here and there such as this article on the powerhouse Nashboro label out of Nashville, Tennessee.

I picked this record up in a second hand shop in Brussels last year and have only recently started listening to it. My verdict is that it is solid and full of pleasure and uplift (but then, I’m a sucker for gospel music).

If you are too then you’ll definitely enjoy the Radio Four.


There's Gonna Be Joy

Track Listing:

01 An Earnest Prayer

02 If You Miss Me From Praying

03 How Much I Owe

04 Building A Home

05 I Feel The Spirit

06 The Road’s Rocky

07 There’s Gonna Be Joy

08 That’s All I Need

09 The Road’s Rough And Rocky

10 How About You

11 When He Calls

12 Whisper To Jesus

13 I Received My Blessings

14 One More River

15 What He’s Done For Me

16 Walk Around My Bedside

17 Jesus Never Left Me Alone

18 What Kind Of Man Jesus Is

19 In My Father’s House

20 Believe In Every Word He Says

21 On My Journey Now

22 One Day

23 Heaven Is My Goal

24 Jesus Is Your Friend


Incredible and Alive: Infamous Stringdusters (FRESH LINKS)

Infamous Stringdusters

Infamous Stringdusters

There are those occasions in daily life when nothing suits other than bluegrass music. Music that is genuine, heartfelt, earnest, melodic and intoxicating. One of those occasions has come upon me in recent days and without too much psychobabble it is probably because I’m not feeling very melodic or genuine at the moment. Forget even thinking about intoxicating.

Like soukous, the repetitive chords, the lightening paced picking and the building of a song the blends melody and rhythm into a orgasmic crescendo, bluegrass when done right is unbeatable and completely uplifting.

Here is a record of the Infamous Stringdusters performing live at the John Hartford Festival a couple years back. What I like about these guys is there commitment to the tradition but also their determination to jam. Many of these songs would make Jerry Garcia flip over in this grave with joy and anticipation.

I commend highly!


Track Listing (v1)

01 It’ll Be Alright’

02 Fork In the Road

03 Get It While You Can

04 Getting Down The Road

05 How Far I’d Fall for You

06 A Hundred Years From Now

07 It Don’t Mean Nothing

08 Deep Elem Blues

09 Keep On Truckin’


Track Listing (v2)

10 The Little Girl And The Dreadful Snake

11 My Destination

12 The Other Side

13 Steam Powered Aeroplane

14 Sunny Side of the Mountain

15 Uncle Pen

16 Instrumental

17 Cents

18 Walking On The Moon


Belated Birthday Salutations to: Miles Davis


Amid the congratulatory messages for Bob Dylan’s 74th birthday and the commiserations and condolences for B.B’s passing, another milestone slipped by without much notice (at least from the Washerman’s Dog). The birth anniversary of Miles Davis on the 26th.   The man most consider to be the second most influential personality in jazz after fellow trumpeter, Louis Armstrong, would have been 89 last week.

Rather than try to add my paltry thoughts to the millions of words already penned about Mr Davis, I refer you to this nice appreciation by fellow blogger and journalist Shaun Mullen.

The Dog has put together a couple volumes of Miles music to honor the man which I hope you will enjoy.

Happy Birthday Miles!

miles to go v 1

Track Listing (vol 1):

01 So What [Green Dolphin Street, Amsterdam (9 Apr)]

02 Walkin’ [In Stockholm 1960 Complete (CD4)]

03 On Green Dolphin Street [The Complete Live at the Plugged Nickel 1965 (CD5)]

04 I Thought About You [The Complete Blackhawk Sessions CD4]

05 Cobra [Amandla]

06 ‘Round Midnight [Live in Stockholm 1960 Cd 1]


miles to go2

Track Listing (Vol. 2):

01 Joshua [In Europe]

02 Round Midnight [Green Dolphin Street, Amsterdam (9 Apr)]

03 Back Seat Betty [We Want Miles (Disc 1)]

04 Chez le photographe du motel [Ascenseur pour l’echafaud]

05 What I Say [Live-Evil (Disc 1)]

06 The Arrival [Dingo]