London based three-piece Miraculous Mule release Two Tonne Testimony, their second album, on 24 March. A wonderful melange of blues, gospel-driven rock ‘n’ roll and psychedelic soul, it’s the perfect collection of songs for living in troubled times. We asked brothers Michael J Sheehy (guitar/vocals) and Patrick McCarthy (bass/vocals) along with childhood friend Ian Burns (drums) to put together a playlist of some of their favourite songs for us.
Hot Chocolate – Brother Louie
Hot Chocolate, unafraid to take on the issues of the day. Brother Louie charted in the US at number 1 and peaked at number 7 in the UK, a hit with a subject matter like this would be a real long shot today. I love the groove too, great guitar playing and a very distinctive sound from Harvey Hinsley, Errol Brown weren’t no slouch either.
Nina Simone – The Ballad Of Hollis Brown (Live)
What can I say, Nina doing Dylan and doing it hard, one of my favourite artists of all times.
Jimi Hendrix – Hear My Train a Comin’ (acoustic)
I love this footage of Hendrix, it shows off his talent and vulnerability all at the same time. There’s not much acoustic Hendrix out there and this is quite a gem by anybody’s standards.
Funkadelic – Cosmic Slop
The king of weird with a funky, rockin’, soul edge, George Clinton and Funkadelic doing the Cosmic Slop. I’m sure you’ll agree that this video is other worldly in both sound and vision.
Magic Sam – Magic Sam’s Boogie Live 1969
LORD! How does he do that? I have probably watched this footage 1000 times, I’ve had it on DVD for a long time and every time, without fail, it has me over. Magic Sam never has there been a more appropriately named artist, wow.
Marvin Gaye – Inner City Blues
Can not stop listening to this recently. The lyrics seem to adapt to the times of Present. Timeless classic.
Prince, Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne and others — “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
Cracking bit of song writing and of course the Genius Guitar solo at the end. Dhani Harrson sums it up with his excitement at the Prince solo. Beautiful.
Portishead – Roads
Love the bass solo. Brings a tear to the eye. So Simple. Wish I could play it!
The Birthday Party – Happy Birthday
My first moment with Nick Cave. Lost my mind to this track…. what a surprise, a metal surprise …. it’s a Samurai sword. Hahahaha
Ol’ Dirty Bastard – You Don’t Want To Fuck With Me
I just love this. He did not give a s**t. Wish I could be a bit more like him!
Sly and the Family Stone – I Want To Take You Higher Live At Woodstock
If I was forced to choose my favourite band of all time I’d have to make a tough choice between these cats and the Stooges. It’s all about the energy, this clip never fails to raise the spirits.
Buddy Guy – Money
This is taken from the documentary Festival Express, a cracking film about the 1970 tour of Canada featuring Janis Joplin, The Band, Grateful Dead and others. As well as being a blistering guitar player I think Buddy Guy is underrated as a singer.
Baby Huey – Hard Times
This track comes from the one and only album Baby Huey made before his untimely death. It gives just a glimpse of what might have been.
Esther Phillips – Home Is Where The Hatred Is
This song and this version in particular breaks my heart. What a voice! From the superb album from a Whisper To A Scream.
Big Bill Broonzy – When Did You Leave Heaven
Just beautiful, Big Bill Broonzy could play and sing a wide range of styles and this is a great piece of footage.
Miraculous Mule’s new album Two Tonne Testimony is out 24 March 2017