The Paper Hats is an alias for Nashville-based guitarist WIlliam Tyler. Tyler has also played and recorded with the bands Lambchop and SIlver Jews, in addition to releasing music under his own name. Though the work he has done with aforementioned bands generally falls into indie/alt-country territory, his solo work more exclusively features fingerstyle solo guitar. A few of us from the station missed his solo set at Hopscotch Music Festival this past summer (although not without picking up his incredible 7″, featuring JEFF the Brotherhood drummer Jamin Orrall), but his performance is available for download from NYC Taper.
In 1937, Austin Powell, lead singer of the Harlem Harmony Hounds (actually based out of Chicago), joined another Chicago trio comprising Jimmy Henderson, Chuck Barksdale, and Ernie Price to form The Cats and the Fiddle. They first appeared as extras in various films before serving as the backing group for The Dandridge Sisters on the song “Harlem Yodel” in the 1938 short film “Snow Gets In Your Eyes.” Through their film appearances they were able to secure recording time at Bluebird Record’s Chicago studio and recorded eighteen tracks in two marathon sessions. Henderson, who led and composed “I Miss You So,” died in 1940 just as the song was starting to get significant radio attention and the group disbanded in 1951, though by then Powell was the only remaining member of the original lineup. “I Miss You So” can be found on Bear Family Records’ 2012 Street Corner Symphonies: The Complete Story of Doo Wop compilation as well as We Cats Will Sing for You Vol. 1 1939-1940 released by Acrobat Music in 2007.
Suzanne Langille is a longtime collaborator of Loren Connors, making appearances on some of Connors’ earlier, blues-y works released in the ’80s. “Strong and Foolish Heart” comes off Langille and Connors’ 1999 album Let the Darkness Fall. The two joined forces with David Daniell and Andrew Burnes, of improvisational trio San Agustin, to create the record, which they released on Secretly Canadian. In 2010, Langille worked with sitarist and composer Neel Murgai (who was involved in the group Haunted House with Connors, Langille and Burnes) on her solo album Wild and Foolish Heart.
Langille and Connors released their newest concept album, I Wish I Didn’t Dream, yesterday; the work is a collaborative art/music effort between the duo and WFMU DJ Kurt Gottschalk.
I missed Gap Dream’s self-titled debut when the Fullerton, CA-based Burger Records released it at the beginning of the year. Though the album was written (save for a cover of a 1966 B-side by The Squires) and recorded entirely by Gabriel Fulvimar, he plays live with three others. They just finished up a tour, having stopped in Chicago last Thursday for a show at the Subterranean. A few weeks back they also did a live set on WFMU, playing mostly songs from the album but also “Generator” from the recent “Ali Baba” 7” on Suicide Squeeze. Burger has sold out of Gap Dream, but it’s still available on their Bandcamp, and you should absolutely download it.
La Flavour got its start in Ohio in the late ’60s, playing soul covers for live audiences. Today’s track comes off the group’s only album release, 1980′s Mandolay. “Mandolay” had some success in the clubs, peaking at No. 7 on the Billboard dance/disco charts, and it saw similar success on European charts. Mark Avsec, of Wild Cherry (who joined that group just after their recording of “Play That Funky Music”), wrote and produced the album; in 1983, Avsec released his own version of “Mandolay” under the Art Attack name, which doesn’t really stand up to the original. La Flavour’s second album, recorded under the name Fair Warning, was shelved before it could see release—due to label concerns that the new Van Halen album, titled Fair Warning, might cause confusion among the record-buying public. A potential single from the album, “She Don’t Know Me,” was given to up-and-comers Bon Jovi instead.
La Flavour continued to perform in clubs and showrooms through the ’80s, at one point incorporating a comedy bit with a couple of Muppet-like puppets into their act. But as the group entered the ’90s, work started to dry up. The band’s website notes: “While most didn’t find it offensive hearing comedy delivered by two cute puppets in the ’80s, the 1990′s brought on a whole different attitude toward ‘political correctness’.” Despite lineup changes and retirements, the (now-puppetless) La Flavour continues to play gigs around the Ohio area.