Sunday, October 19, 2008

Kevin Coyne!

Is there some reason no one has seen fit to hip me to Kevin Coyne before, a looney folky bastard from the 70s that in the first two songs on Marjory Razorblade reflects the greatness of both Captain Beefheart and Nick Lowe, with a fragility and nakedness neither performer could master, like what John Hiatt might sound like if he was singing in the car at a stoplight, unaware you were listening? Did none of you think, "Wow, Alex would really dig this music, like it would hit his sonic pleasure center from at least three different angles?" Here on "Eastbourne Ladies" is the place where you neglected to tell me Elvis Costello nicked his noir narration shtick. Except that Kevin Coyne injects the perfect measure of Roky Erikson and even a little wild-eyed young Van Morrison to give this hammer some extra swing. And the strings on "Old Soldier" how they wrap up the scraps of Gram-influenced Stones in a crazy quilt so that Coyne may hit the road like a hobo mystic... Damn y'all. Really.

This album is one that is perfect for this listener in this moment - a little bedraggled from the previous evening's indulgences, in the house alone after noodling fruitlessly on a guitar for 45 minutes hoping something emerges and all I got from it was dust on my shirt, this record innocently introduced itself as a "similar album" to a Bert Jansch album that was totally not fitting the qualities of this moment. The buzzing hoedown funk of "I Want My Crown!" The Syd Barrett lonely folk tale that is "Nasty!" I am tempted to make song-by-song exaltations like Walt Whitman bellowing Song of The English Folksinger to the butterflies in the wood, expecting no one else to care about my message. Which is fine, since none of you pointed him out to me anyway.


  1. Welcome to the wonderful and weird world of Kevin Coyne. There's a bout 40 other albums for you to discover!
    Pascal's fan page:

  2. I used to love seeing Kevin live in the 1970'. He had some great musicians in his band including Andy Summers before he formed the Police and Zoot Money. I remember him in the 100 Club in Oxford Street, London, imagining the mike lead was a snake - a really creative talent that sang with emotion about taboo subjects. He was a sadly unrecognised great!