Four ‘must have’ collectable recordings that have heralded soundtracks across the decades.

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FRIDAY THE 13TH of August. (Irish rel. Dates applied)

* available to purchase via iTunes + in all record stores Nationwide.

Four ‘must have’ collectable recordings of blue grass, mambo, jazz, soul, pop & beats that have heralded soundtracks across the decades.

Titles are as follows::

It took a while, ten years in fact, before the music, mood and majesty of the mambo entered the mainstream. Cuban bandleader Perez Prado first introduced the dance at La Tropicana night-club in Havana, and through a natural and gradual process the message quickly spread. Taking its name from a variety of sources including a Haitian voodoo priestess, the mambo was a flamboyant form of self-expression that blended rhythmic swing with ethnic canción. When the trend made its way north, largely through migrants working in the big cities, the hip and the glamorous in New York went crazy over what they heard. Record company scouts hit the ballrooms and saw first hand how dance-crazed enthusiasts, affectionately known as “mambonicks”, were clamouring to hear the authentic exponents like Tito Puente, Machito and Xavier Cugat.

Welcome back to the Ember Lounge where you’re now greeted on the door as a regular. The soundtrack remains an impeccably blended cocktail of predominantly sixties recordings. Equal measures of top notch easy listening (courtesy of John Barry and Mark Wirtz), light jazz featuring some of Britain’s top names (Tony Crombie, Bill Le Sage, Ken Moule and Tommy Whittle) and torch songs from divas Annie Ross and Lita Roza, are blended with sumptuously-arranged pop from Twiggy and Chad & Jeremy, spiced up with a couple of novelty instrumentals and a single shot of funky rock. All sourced from the vaults of British indie label Ember. The mood ranges from breezy, to exhilarating, to exotic, ending on a melancholic note, as you reluctantly take your leave and hail a cab home.

This set has been compiled to represent the three most commercially successful groups of the post-war explosion of traditional bluegrass from its “labour pains” in 1945 through its widespread acceptance in the late 1950s shortly before the revolution in progressive bluegrass. As with the beginnings of all new music, early bluegrass was fraught with animosity between rivals and former colleagues, incestuous relationships between the personnel of the first bands and professional jealousy, but these three CDs contain arguably the greatest examples of this newly-minted music from its greatest purveyors.

There was nobody quite like Lightnin’ Hopkins. John Lee Hooker may have made more records but even he couldn’t match the consistently high level of Hopkins’ creativity. He and his vast repertoire represented the epitome of Texas country blues. No question. He came from a musical family and his unique guitar style was fashioned from the traditions he learned in the presence of Blind Lemon Jefferson and Texas Alexander, a distant cousin. His guitar both underscored and complemented the songs he drew from his own life and the lives of those around him. His recording career began in 1946 and hardly paused for the next three decades.


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