Category: CD (page 1 of 2)

The Edinburgh Tapes Volume 1: Black Tin Barns released today

 

Before trailer Star ( Born and died 2001 by the way) I had a brief period as a ‘serious’ singer songwriter. Most seriously whilst in Scotland in 1994-6.
I and my then partner Ana from Zaragoza got on a train and moved to Edinburgh in August 1994.

It was a spur of the moment idea and we then lived there for two pretty gruelling years in which we lived in a very small three room flat at 62 Causewayside , off of The Meadows.

Edinburgh was a fantastic place to be but the work situation for a Spanish nanny and a penniless English artist less good. I was working as a temp in a share-dealing bank on Black Monday which I will never forget as people started crying as their mortgages doubled in an hour. In that financial climate we were at the bottom of the heap.

After two years I said enough and we moved back to Oxford but not before I had a pretty serious go at being a ‘serious’ singer-songwriter. I remember competing in a Edinburgh Songwriters event and of course had met many poets and contributed to the second Shore Poets anthology.

I had forgotten that I had actually recorded two ‘albums’ of songs as well whilst north of the border on a 4-track Fostex tape recorder until yesterday when I found them by chance.

In the mid 1980’s a friend heard me sing ‘Man with no name’ another track on this tape. He said at the time that I was putting my poetry to music and I ignored him..looking back he was spot on the same themes emerge time and again. Perhaps this is my best poetry..I certainly think this works..whatever it…….

Inspired by Seamus Heaney and James Simmons.. Guy Clark and John Prine ……

is..

Planned to be released as number 5 in a horseshoe tapes release schedule I am finally going to do just that 21 years later! Listening to the tapes they sound better than I remembered and I had actually filled out the sound through multi-tracking more than I expected. A few of the tracks went on to form the ‘Suit of Nettles’ art release in 2008 and also appear sung by a variety of artists on the Moon Over The Downs charity tribute cd to Trailer Star from 2003.

All alternate versions and collaborations available to listen to on my songwriting blog here :

www.trailerstar.co.uk/songwriter/

The release will be physically available as a set of two cds or a c90 cassette double and accompanying digital download. I hope to have cassettes ready by end of February along with the still to be completed Chalk Pit Rattle which will be re-recorded

Trailer Star Catalogue Online

cat
From 2001 – 2011 which exactly ten years I recorded a series of lo-fi mini-messes or masterpieces depending on your taste. Inspired by Townes Van Zandt,  Johnny Dowd, Daniel Johnston,  Lucinda Williams, Grant McLennan and Pete Astor I half sang/croaked my poetic lyrics over some ramshackle and rudimentary backings. The results are now complete and uploaded to bandcamp for your delight or derision.

What to expect well Paul Kerr wrote the following health warning……advance at your peril:-) To think Dylan was complaining about people criticising his voice…as Johnny Dowd said we ‘ain’t no Carusos’ 🙂

p.s. for artistic relief and to hear what my songs sound like with ‘singing’ check out the Moon Over the Downs on the bandcamp page:-)

Paul Kerr – Babble and Smoke 2011

As the world goes wonky with financial instability and summer temperatures in October (apart from Scotland where the heavens opened) Blabber’n’Smoke hunkered down in the bunker and set to listening to an album that’s been sitting on the hard drive for some time. Black River is purportedly the final album from Trailer Star, the last in a line of intriguing releases swathed in a mythology summoned from the mind of the man behind it all, Shaun Belcher, Originally Trailer Star was meant to be a legendary Berkshire bluesman who met an untimely end. As his executor Belcher was able to release a series of cassettes and CDs of his music. This culminated in a well received tribute album Moon Over the Downs where Belcher was able to corral a bunch of artists to cover his songs. Now he’s decided to draw to a close this episode with Black River stating

“This is Trailer Star’s final and exhaustive round up. All tracks recorded between 2005-2010. These are all the late great Trailer’s recorded tracks and signals the final volume in the three CD Trailer Archive series from Tstar records.”

Mythology apart the album sounds primitive, home made and home grown. The sound recalls the ambience Neil Young created with Campaigner, stripped down but chockfull of emotion. It’s intimate and ultimately very personal with songs relating to the death of Belcher’s father dominating the latter part. Much is said about the redemptive power of music and one hopes that these stark and dark tales ultimately did some good for the author.
For the listener it’s hard going at times but glory can come from misery. The canon is stuffed full of songs from disenfranchised black bluesmen, poor sharecroppers, troubled minds. Trailer Star mines the same seam as the late Skip Spence on some of the songs here. The fragility and the feeling of being on the edge of toppling over is balanced by the skeletal beauty of the songs.
The album is available in several ways, in fact the whole story of Trailer star can be read on the website where the various albums can be listened to and even on occasion downloaded. Head over there to look at the whole impressive saga.

Painted Spoken (London)

Shaun Belcher’s unique creation Trailer Star appears on two albums, the first by Trailer Star himself, Suit of Nettles. The second is a beautiful tribute album, Moon Over the Downs on Super Tiny Records, dedicated to the tragic victim of a automobile accident “on a deserted downland bend high above Newbury.” It uses Trailer Stars lyrics set to each of the performers’ own compositions. Trailer Star has the same relationship to Belcher as the nearly real artist Nat Tyler has to his creator William Boyd. Though there is fun to be had in “signalling” Berkshire born and bred Trailer Star’s “pivotal position in the development of English country blues” this is a project with lyrical and musical depth. Belcher on Suit and the dozen plus musicians on Moon play and sing it straight, exploring non-metropolitan England through varieties of American form. Oh, and £4 from every sale of Moon goes to Cancer Research UK.

Richard Price

 

 

 

Threat of Rain added to bandcamp

Finally added this E.P. from 2005 to bandcamp – listen there or here

[bandcamp width=350 height=470 album=960435333 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false]

TSR002 TRAILER STAR: THE THREAT OF RAIN E.P.

Trailer Star comes back from the dead to deliver a E.P. of stunning strangeness…part David Olney, Guy Clark songsmithery,  part new wave, part plain weird death blues like chucking Dock Boggs down a well with a bunch of cats….is this guy serious???

Recorded direct to minidisc on 10th January 2005 in Nottingham

threatfull

LYRICS

CRAB APPLE BLUE

I wish that you loved me as much as I loved you
Every time you appear baby I scuttle out of view
Now my heart is just like a crab

I’ve got the crab apple blues since I met you

I wish that you loved me half as much as I loved you
Then I’d feel so much better than I know I do
I’ve got a heart that’s broken and scuttling out of view
Oh my heart is blue, crab apple blue

You give me nothing, nothing to grip upon
I’m lost on the shore like a crab in a storm
Oh I’ve got crab apple blue, I’m lost, crab apple blue
How I wish you loved me half as much as I loved you
Every time you appear I disappear from view
Crab apple blue
How I wish you loved me half as much as I loved you

If I was a carpenter I’d build myself a box
Put it the post then I’d always be lost
Crab apple blue

RAIN COMING IN

well I’ve been thinking about you all night long
I’ll be thinking about you until the dawn
I sure hope the weather is better there than here
cos it’s dark now and the rain is a coming in

yeah it’s dark here dark here and the rain’s coming in
somewhere on the road in some cold hotel
I lost the warmth of your arms cold sheets I felt
texas summers are too hot but these snows are cold
all the way from Corpus Christi Bay I’ve been alone

yeah it’s dark here dark here and the rain’s coming in
bright sun shining. clear blue skies
i can see for miles and miles
but now the dark it pours across these flatlands
the darkness I tried so hard to push away with these hands
yeah it’s dark here dark here and the rain’s coming in
it’s just a feeling I can’t shake from my soul
no lord I’ll keep on trying, keep a moving down this road
cos it’s dark now and the rain’s coming in

yeah it’s dark here dark and the rain’s coming in
gotta get movin. gotta get moving, gotta get out of here

miles ‘n’ miles before I sleep and the rain catches me

THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S WIFE

It happened in a second
It flashed like a dog tag in her eye
There were splinters of glass all over the place
It was Leeds England ’79
And he was wired and she could see it deep in his eyes
right there and then the revolution turned sour

He used to wear a dog collar
Followed The Clash around
Drove an old Morris Minor
From Brighton to Oxford Town
Yeah it was a riot of his own
and then the revolution turned sour
She’s been crying in the kitchen
Crying for hours

The Photographer’s Wife

They’re still fighting twenty years later
and she’s still crying in the kitchen
He said she walked into the glass
As her blood dripped through his fingers
After he smashed her with his fist
He listened to Sandanista
And he blew smoke rings at the ceiling
She’s still cleaning
She’s still crying

The Photographer’s Wife

2-3-4, 2-3-4
She married an English punk rocker
in the summer of ’79

WHIPPOORWILL HOTEL

Sitting on a fence watching the clouds
Wandering what the my life is about
The last three months I’ve been expecting rain
The creek’s run dry the dirt’s cracked again
When you expect rain
All you get is sun
When you need water
There’s nowhere to run
From Whippoorwill Hotel
Well I didn’t cheat and sir I didn’t lie
But still she left when the the clock-tower chimed
Disappeared in smoke down a dusty railroad line
As the cornfields shimmered in the summertime

When you expect rain
All you get is sun
When you need water
There’s nowhere to run
From Whippoorwill Hotel
Well that was 10 summers past and I’m still here
Clinging to a memory and a pint of beer
Seems like nothing but dry days is my fate
I’m waiting for a cloudburst to wash me away
When you expect rain
All you get is sun
When you need water
There’s nowhere to run
From Whippoorwill Hotel

DREDGING THE SERPENTINE

It’s so quiet on The Serpentine
Nannies pushing carriages
little boys running behind
And out on the cold Atlantic
The Lusitania’s still on time.

The Nanny sits on the bench
Little boy runs to the waters edge
He’s got a model liner in his hand
He lets it go it sails out west

And out in the Atlantic
The Lusitania’s still on time
John Thompson’s got two little kids
Today he’s working a extra shift
Dredging the Serpentine
His bucket empties against the sky

And the liner falls through the blue sky
And the liner falls through the blue sky
And somewhere off Ireland
Somewhere in the cold Atlantic swell
The Lusitania is still on time
The Lusitania is still on time
The Lusitania is still on time
He picks it from the mud
He washes it under a tap
And its hull starts to shine
Just like it was always on time
Out on the Atlantic
In the deep cold swell
The Lusitania has been blown to hell
The Lusitania has been blown to hell
The Lusitania has been blown to hell
So quiet on the Serpentine
Nannies pushing carriages
Little boys running behind
And out on the Atlantic
The Lusitania’s on time
And his parents are still alive…

THREAT OF RAIN

Standing looking out on my garden
everything seems OK
Hasn’t been a storm for three months
Fields are needing rain
Where was it we were going
When the black clouds turned grey
Seems like the whole world
Is living with the threat of rain

I watched my father die
It wasn’t a pretty sight
I spent the last five years
living with the threat of rain
I see the clouds coming in
I wonder about my death
Wonder about the threat of rain
The threat of rain will it take my friends away

We’re all living with the threat of rain
oh lord the threat of rain
I go down on my knees and pray
With the threat of rain
Relieve me from the threat of rain
Relieve me from the threat of rain

Trailer Star complete – the boxset

boxset

Inspired by Pete Astor’s songbox project I have put the three Trailerstar discs together in the Suit of Nettles Art Show box.

Each CD individually hand drawn. Very limited and available for £10 plus post and packing of £2.00

All tracks available for FREE download at Bandcamp

http://trailerstar.bandcamp.com/

Black River – the final Trailer Star tracks released

Available FREE the full album in a range of formats and a free pdf booklet telling the Story of Trailer Star

This is Trailer Star’s final and exhaustive round up. All tracks recorded between 2005-2010. These are all the late great Trailer’s recorded tracks and signals the final volume in the three CD Trailer Archive series from Tstar records. Inclues a pdf ‘Moon Over The Barns’ telling the story of the late great Thames Valley Bluesman.

moonoverthebarns PDF

released 19 July 2011

[bandcamp width=350 height=470 album=4188831579 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false]

Last Farmer of Rattledown Row – re-release

Track ‘City of stars’ renamed ‘Big City Nights’ on re-release CD

famer1

trailer star records TSR005

Originally released 1993 as a Horseshoe Tape

‘LAST FARMER OF RATTLEDOWN ROW’ – 1993 Horseshoe Tape (HS 003)

The story behind the songs…

The Big Time! Moved back to London -got my Fostex working overtime ( well three out of four channels anyway) and made the tape that would ensure I’d go down as the Berkshire Hank Williams! Ended up playing some pretty ridiculous gigs with a drunken bunch of HIGH PRIESTS which gained some attention and a debut 7″(click name to see full story).

Thought I was Tom Waits/ Raymond Carver and the ghost of Old Hank Williams until I sent out the tapes to all and sundry and received just two replies from a head honcho at EMI believe it or not who said the words were good -the music and singing not -and someone at Roundtower Records who was too polite to tell me I wasn’t the next Tom Russell but who sent me some of Tom’s discs anyway (for guidance?) so that made me feel a lot better.

Guess what …I still think 17 years later that I’m the Berkshire ghost of Hank Williams…too late to stop now……………..and there’s a bloke down the chip shop swears he’s Elvis…no really he’s the spitting image……

Original cassette sleeve art

Older posts