New Arrivals, Restocks, Reduced, Other News - spring 2017

This fiery, previously unreleased duo performance from Cleve Pozar (drums & sirens) & Gene Y. Ashton (later Cooper-Moore, piano) was recorded c. late 1973 / early 1974 at a free Sunday night concert produced by WBAI & held at a former church (now gone) on E. 62nd Street in NYC. Cleve fondly recalls the audience response to his sirens: looking around & thinking the show was going to get busted by the cops.

Some historical context: Their first solos / duos performance took place at the Cyclorama Building of the Boston Center of the Arts in January 1973. At the time of this WBAI gig, GYA / C-M had established the 501 Canal performance / living space but had not yet made his recorded debut on Alan Braufman’s Valley of Search LP, c.1975. Pozar would soon issue his Cleve Solo Percussion LP in September 1974.

Deep thanks to Cooper-Moore & Cleve for their permission to post this wonderful performance. See this interview with Pozar for much more about Cleve Solo Percussion; final copies from Cleve's stash are available here. The extensive interview with Cooper-Moore that was published in 50 Miles of Elbow Room no. 1 is newly available online, right over here.

Note also that Cooper-Moore will receive the Lifetime of Achievement award at the 2017 Vision Festival at Judson Memorial Church in NYC on Monday, May 29 (Memorial Day). That night, C-M will perform with Digital Primitives, Gerald Cleaver's Black Host, & William Parker's In Order to Survive. Details at the Arts for Art website.



50 Miles at WFMU Record Fair: Saturday, April 29

50 Miles of Elbow Room will offer an array of fine goods at the WFMU Record Fair, sharing a table with my friend Ian Johnson (a quite deep collector) on Saturday, April 29, at table E16. The fair runs from April 28-30, but Saturday is the only day we'll be selling. For my half, I will mainly bring goods from my own collection: LPs, 45s, & 78s, maybe some CDs, tapes, &/or publications as well? I plan to have just a bit of 50 Miles stock, so please let me know if there's anything you'd like me to bring.

The fair will be held at the Brooklyn Expo Center, 79 Franklin Street in Greenpoint (a very nice space), & the event benefits WFMU. Further details on their website.

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75 Dollar Bill
Southeaster / Like Like Laundry
no label / private release
cassette
$9

“Clocking in at nearly 70 minutes of music, this album features a selection of in-the-rough gems from our ever expanding archive. Track/Side one, "Southeaster" features a collage of phased out guitar & drum jams, spectral fiddle music and percussion/horn blowouts originally assembled for our 2015 South East tour CD-r. Beginning and ending sections feature some great guitar work by old friend and collaborator, Steve Maing. Track/Side two features a side-length performance of "Like Like Laundry". Often a part of our live set whenever we can get Andrew or Cheryl to sit in with us, this is the first recording of "Like Like Laundry" (not to be confused with "Like Laundry") we've made available. Andrew (upright bass) and Cheryl (bari sax) are both in top form here, fusing with Rick's box to create shifting rhythmic pockets in the lower registers to great effect. A half hour of variations on a single rhythmic vamp.” - 75 Dollar Bill. Found a copy of this out of print tape that had fallen down behind the shelves. Download code included. Hear it on Bandcamp: https://75dollarbill.bandcamp.com/album/southeaster-b-w-like-like-laundry

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Clarence Ashley
Live and In Person: Greenwich Village 1963
Jalopy Records
LP
$15

"Clarence Ashley - Live And In Person is the first all-new album in over 50 years by the legendary singer and banjo player who helped introduce old time country music to audiences throughout the nation. Clarence Ashley (1895-1967) recorded for Columbia Records in 1929, was featured on Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music in 1952, and toured the US in the 1960s. Jalopy's vinyl-only release was produced in 2016 by Peter K. Siegel, from tapes he personally recorded in 1963 at the Greenwich Village folk club Gerdes Folk City. All 14 tracks are being released for the first time. John Cohen, founding member of The New Lost City Ramblers, wrote the liner notes and provided never-before-seen photographs of Ashley in Greenwich Village. A 16-page illustrated booklet includes additional notes by Peter K. Siegel and Eli Smith. Live And In Person is Clarence Ashley's first and only live album. He is accompanied on the album by guitarist Tex Isley, a member of Charlie Monroe's Kentucky Partners." - Jalopy Records. Hear a clip of his classic Dark Holler.

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Kostas Bezos and the White Birds
s/t
Mississippi
LP & CD
$15

"The first-ever compilation of Xabagies ('havagies'), the nearly forgotten Hawaiian-influenced music of 1930s Greece, focuses on the compositions of Kostas Bezos and his ensemble The White Birds. A world-class slide guitarist, political cartoonist, & sleepless Bohemian, Kostas Bezos created some of the most unique music of any era: surrealist guitar portraits blending Athens & Honolulu, haunting tropical serenades, wild acoustic orchestras, & heartbreaking steel guitar duets. Included are a 28-page booklet with extensive notes by Tony Klein & Dimitri Kourtis, unpublished photographs, lyrics, obituaries, & a bonus CD containing 18 additional tracks. Mastered from original 78s, this release is limited to 1000 copies." - Mississippi. Hear White Bird in the Mountains

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Elizabeth Cotten
Shake Sugaree
Folkways
LP
$18

“Elizabeth Cotten's second & most varied LP features some of her greatest performances: blues, ballads, breakdowns, & folk songs as only Elizabeth could play them. This is a limited edition with a 'tip on' cover & 180 gram vinyl.” - Folkways. Hear Ruben & Washington Blues.

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Dezurik Sisters
Sing and Yodel their Greatest Hits
Mississippi
LP
$10

"The Dezurik Sisters (also known as the Cackle Sisters) were Carolyn and Mary Jane Dezurik - two absolutely amazing identical twin sisters with soaring voices that you need to hear to believe. Here we have the first ever LP of tracks by these two incredible entertainers. The ladies sing, yodel, & cackle some of the most impressively acrobatic vocal performances you will likely ever hear in your life. Beautiful & novel country tunes to warm your heart & make you feel alright. This LP contains the only three 78s released by the Dezurik's as well as selections from their radio broadcasts as the Cackle Sisters. A great unsung but important chapter in the history of country music. Old school 'tip on' cover and liner notes with archival photos & interviews." - Mississippi. Nice price, covers show slight rubbing at the corners. Hear their marvelous Arizona Yodeler.

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Arthur Doyle & His New Quiet Screamers
First House
Amish Records
LP
$20

"First House (AMI 048) is the final recordings from free jazz legend and Birmingham, Alabama native, Arthur Doyle. The LP was recorded live at the Stone July 11, 2012 and these six pieces are backed by His New Quiet Screamers, a Brooklyn-based ensemble adding muscle and movement to Doyle’s always already free, non-linear saxophone, flute, and vocal lines.

"Born in Birmingham in 1944, Doyle studied Music Education at Tennessee State University in Nashville. In his early years, Doyle worked with a wide array of musicians and in a broad range of musical styles, from R&B to Soul to traditional jazz, collaborating with everyone from future Sun Ra Arkestra trumpeter Walter Miller to Funk-Soul-Disco diva Gladys Knight. Doyle officially emerged on the international jazz scene, however, playing on Noah Howard’s iconic Black Ark (Polydor, 1968), and later on Milford Graves’ 1976 IPS LP BaBi. In 1978 Doyle debuted as a band leader and soloist with Alabama Feeling, released on Charles Tyler’s Ak-Ba label. Alabama Feeling features Charles Stephens (of the Sun Ra Arkestra) on trombone, drummers Rashied Sinan & Bruce Moore, and bassist Richard Williams. After the release of Alabama Feeling, Doyle continued to ignore boundaries and generic conventions, playing with Rudolph Grey as part of The Blue Humans, which introduced his music to NYC’s Downtown and NoWave scenes, including the likes of Lee Ranaldo, Kim Gordon, & Thurston Moore. In the early 1990s, Doyle’s work was re-introduced to another generation, through releases for labels like Ecstatic Peace & Audible Hiss. Since the late ‘90s, Doyle continued a fevered pace in terms of his collaborations, most notably with Sunny Murray, Hamid Drake, Takahesi Mizutani (of Les Rallizes Denudes), & Sabu Toyozumi, among many others.

"His New Quiet Screamers consists of an acclaimed ensemble of musicians with a wide array of history and associations. Members have played with and/or include: Sunwatchers, Dark Meat, First's Western Ennisphere, & Matana Roberts, among others. This gatefold LP includes a commissioned essay from noted jazz historian Clifford Allen who describes His New Quiet Screamers as 'vault[ing] and envelop[ing] Doyle’s bursts' of sound to the point where Doyle 'sounds positively invigorated.' Doyle’s final recordings offer what Allen characterizes as a kind of 'unfurling' of the free jazz lexicon, offering insights on 'the spidery architecture of an obliquely-referenced standard' that defined this enigmatic artist’s entire career. Standard and experimental improvisation alike, First House offers a window on Doyle’s last performances, an artist very much at the top of his playing and artistic form. The LP is an edition of 300 copies and includes an exclusive digital download (ONLY AVAILABLE WITH LP PURCHASE) of Doyle performing with His New Quiet Screamers at Issue Project Room September 22, 2011." -Amish Records. Hear a bit: https://soundcloud.com/amishrecords/arthur-doyle-with-his-new-quiet-screamers-call-out

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Nancy Dupree
Ghetto Reality
Mississippi
LP
$9

"Nancy Dupree initially found her elementary school music students in Rochester, NY, resistant to participation in class. Once she dropped the standard literature (which asked 'Mr. Bear' to 'come and play') and began composing music that bore relevancy to contemporary society and to their very tuned-in and grownup interests, she found they immediately took to performing. Her songs addressed the contributions icons James Brown and Jelly Roll Morton made to society, the intangible assets each child naturally possessed ('What do I have? Guts...heart...and soul'), and fighting for civil rights ('I want my freedom; I want it now'). Not only did singing about meaningful issues in real musical styles reveal the immense talents the students had, but it gave all a critical lesson in empowerment." - Smithsonian/Folkways. Hear James Brown.

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Blind Uncle Gaspard & Delma Lachney
On the Water's Edge
Mississippi
LP
$11

Restocked & a reduced price on this wonderful collection. "Twelve great songs recorded by two of Cajun musics finest and most unusual artists: Blind Uncle Gaspard & Delma Lachney. All songs originally released on 78 in the late 1920's. Fragile and dignified performances with French vocals accompanied by guitar or fiddle or sometimes both. Impeccable ballads and breakdowns. Old school 'tip on' cover." - Mississippi. Truly sublime music. Hear Blind Uncle Gaspard's Natchitoches (French Town) & Delma Lachney's Le Bebe Et Le Gambleur (The Baby And The Gambler).

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Michael Heller
Loft Jazz: Improvising New York in the 1970s
University of California Press
paperback book, 272 pages
$30

“The New York loft jazz scene of the 1970s was a pivotal period for uncompromising, artist-produced work. Faced with a flagging jazz economy, a group of young avant-garde improvisers chose to eschew the commercial sphere and develop alternative venues in the abandoned factories and warehouses of Lower Manhattan. Loft Jazz provides the first book-length study of this period, tracing its history amid a series of overlapping discourses surrounding collectivism, urban renewal, experimentalist aesthetics, underground archives, and the radical politics of self-determination.” - University of California Press

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Rosa Lee Hill
Vol. 38 of the George Mitchell Collection
Fat Possum
33 1/3 rpm 7" EP
$5

Rosa Lee Hill’s style of acoustic blues is instantly recognizable, with a stark and hypnotic picking technique that mirrored her vocals. A daughter of Sid Hemphill and an aunt of Jessie Mae Hemphill, both legendary figures in the music, her technique draws the listener in to such a degree that subtle changes bring big surprises. Also recorded by Alan Lomax in 1959 during his famous Southern Journey, these recordings were made in Como, MS, on August 23, 1967, the year before she passed. Sample her great Pork and Beans.

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Monroe "Guy" Jackson
Got the Boogie Woogie Blues / Lonesome Home Blues
Rustron Records
45 rpm 7"
$15

Monroe "Guy" Jackson was a blues musician who lived in the Holly Springs area of north Mississippi, and I have been told that he played mostly in & around that vicinity, though curiously he apparently made a trip to NYC to play at Lincoln Center in 1985. In a preview for the NY Times, Robert Palmer noted that Jackson was 77 years old at the time and “grew up in the northern Mississippi hill country, which nurtured a blues culture much different from that of the better-known Mississippi Delta. Living on small farms, the hill country blacks developed a lilting, strangely archaic sounding brand of music, and Mr. Jackson is a worthy representative of it.”

That's also the year when he cut this highly enjoyable record for the local Rustron label (who also released the James Son Thomas Gateway to the Delta LP that flew out of here recently) that appears to be his only release. The songs heard here have an open-ended feel that suggests a relaxed informality with his music, and he deals in a couple of the eternal themes: 1) returning to his home after a long absence, and 2) being forbidden to take part in the boogie woogie. (maybe why he left in the first place) The A-side is a droney & danceable northern Mississippi blues, while the flip has some nice bottleneck work. Great stuff, and a pretty obscure release that I'm particularly pleased to be able to offer here. Hear some of Got the Boogie Woogie Blues & Lonesome Home Blues.

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Furry Lewis
Vol. 39 of the George Mitchell Collection
Fat Possum
33 1/3 rpm 7"
$5

Two very nice acoustic numbers from Furry Lewis: Good Morning Judge b/w Furry Lewis Careless Love. A similar sweet rolling style is employed on each side, with more of a percussive approach on the flip. Recorded in Memphis, TN, in 1962. Time done been, won’t be no more. Hear Good Morning Judge.

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Melodic Art-Tet
s/t
NoBusiness Records
2LP
$30

Very glad to finally get to hear some music of the Melodic Art-tet, a group who was active on the NYC loft jazz scene in the 1970s and often mentioned by musicians & historians, but who never had any records issued during their lifetime. It’s especially welcome that most of the tunes here are by Charles Brackeen, perhaps best known for the Rhythm X LP on Strata East (with Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, & Edward Blackwell) and whose discography as a leader is fairly modest. The tunes are engaging and open, occasionally a bit Ayler-ish, though not so stratospheric and holy rolling. No liner notes with the vinyl edition but a there is a handsome gatefold sleeve with Raymond Ross’ photographs of the musicians. Recorded October 15, 1974, at WKCR in New York City. Edition of 400. Hear a bit of Above the Cross.

Charles Brackeen: flute, soprano & tenor saxophones
Ahmed Abdullah: trumpet
William Parker: bass
Roger Blank: drums
Tony Waters (Ramadan Mumeen): percussion

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Rev. Leon Pinson
The George Mitchell Collection
Fat Possum / Big Legal Mess
LP
$12

“Rev. Leon Pinson grew up in north Mississippi, then lived in the Delta for over three decades, steadily playing his brand of blues-inflected gospel. Beginning in 1929, Rev. Pinson traveled the northern Mississippi region alongside his musical partner, the harmonica player Elder Roma Wilson. The pair built a strong following on the church circuit, earning renown for their renditions of 'This Train,' 'Lily of the Valley,' and 'Better Get Ready.' In the 1940s, Elder Wilson left Mississippi for Detroit, where he would make his first recordings. Meanwhile, Rev. Pinson settled in Cleveland, MS, where he’d play outside of Charlie White’s barber shop. Later he opened his own shoe shine stand, picking up the guitar when business was slow. Rev. Pinson and Elder Wilson were reunited in the 1970s, when Wilson returned to Mississippi. The pair gained widespread acclaim from appearing at several prominent festivals.” - Sam Sweet

George Mitchell: “We found him playing outside this little store. We recorded him a lot on acoustic, but when he was in public, he had a little loudspeaker and an electric guitar, and he made some noise. His gospel felt like blues. He had a really beautiful sound.” These lovely recordings were made in Cleveland, MS, in 1967. Hear Hush, Somebody is Calling My Name. LP includes download card.

Alan Young’s Woke Me Up this Morning book includes this tantalizing bit of info: “These days, he carries cassette tapes for sale at concerts and other performances. But he has eliminated the recording studio and the need for professional duplication. When he decides to make some tapes, he sets up his portable recorder and sings and plays into it. When he has filled up a 60 minute cassette tape, he uses another twin-deck recorder to run off a dozen or so copies. He sells them at $11 each; when they’re all gone, he loads his little red portable recorder, sets up his instruments, and makes another tape. He keeps no store of ‘master tapes’; each batch of tapes he makes contains new recordings.” (!)

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Christian Schwindt Quintet
For Friends and Relatives
Frederiksberg Records
2LP
$35

"Finnish Holy Grail Jazz! Expanded from a single disk to a double 140g vinyl album in old school deluxe gatefold with new liner notes insert telling the story of the group and the Finnish jazz scene in the '60s, includes unpublished photos, remastered from the original tapes, limited to 500 copies." - Frederiksberg Records. Hear Helsinki at Noon.

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Elder Utah Smith
I Got Two Wings
CaseQuarter
book, 128 pages, and CD
$12

"Despite waxing three of the hottest electric guitar records of the pre-Rock and Roll years, almost nothing has been known about the life of the sanctified electric guitar preacher the Elder Utah Smith. African-American music scholar Lynn Abbott's years of research has produced a remarkable biographical study finally shining a light onto the preaching, healing, and guitar playing ministry of this path breaking performer. I Got Two Wings firmly places Utah Smith within the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) tradition along with such COGIC contemporaries as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Elder David Curry, and Rev. F. W. McGee. Filled with fascinating anecdotes and first hand remembrances and testimonies, I Got Two Wings also features many rare and unpublished photographs and an 18-track CD. The music CD includes 5 previously unknown Utah Smith songs along with relevant performances by Tharpe, Curry, McGee and two rocking, sanctified performances by Utah Smith's daughter, Sister Sarah James and the Sanctified Six." - CaseQuarter. Last copies of this fantastic release, now out of print. Slight rubbing on the covers. Hear Two Wings & Take a Trip.

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John E. Tinsley
Country Blues Roots Revived
Manufactured Recordings / Steady Sounds
LP & 7"
$18 (also available on CD for $12)

"Manufactured Recordings is pleased to announce they’re co-releasing a very special reissue of John E. Tinsley’s Country Blues Roots Revived with Steady Sounds. This recording has not been available since the 70’s and is a rarity treasured by lovers of the piedmont blues style.

"John E. Tinsley was born in 1920 in Chestnut Mountain, Virginia and later moved to Henry County in an area just outside of Martinsville. According to the liner notes of Virginia Traditions: West Piedmont Blues, Tinsley began playing guitar at the age of 15 at the behest of his neighbor and was influenced by other Piedmont & East Coast bluesmen such as Blind Boy Fuller, Josh White, & Buddy Moss.

"Tinsley and friend, Fred Holland, first recorded 'Truble Blues' and 'Keep Your Hands Off Her' as a 78 for Bassett, Virginia's Mutual Records in 1952. Following the poor sales of the 78, Tinsley briefly left the world of secular music behind, playing religious music exclusively in the mid-1950s. However, in 1978, he recorded this session on Country Blues Roots Revived for the primarily bluegrass label Outlet Recordings, accompanied on most cuts by his son William on piano & J.P. Young on harmonica. [This reissue] also includes his lone 78rpm release as a bonus 7"." - Manufactured.

Though I've been a fan for a while, I was pleasantly surprised this record was reissued. Tinsley was a fairly obscure artist, no big backstory, and his appeal & approach are generally low-key: it's "just" enjoyable, easygoing music. Hear Rattlesnake Daddy: https://soundcloud.com/manufacturedrecordings-1/john-e-tinsley-rattlesnake-daddy

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Various Artists
African American Spirituals of Alabama
Alabama Traditions
CD
$12

“Recorded both within and outside of a church setting in Alabama from 1947-2011, these selections present an American sacred folk music tradition. For over thirty years, Steve Grauberger and his colleagues Joey Brackner, Joyce Cauthen, Dr. Maggie Holtzberg, Anne Kimzey, Dr. Brenda McCallum, & Joe Wilson contributed to the collection of African American spirituals by conducting fieldwork. Two additional selections are included on the CD, one from the Byron Arnold collection held at the University of Alabama and one permitted by Ernestine Hill Robinson, director of the Plantation Heirs from Auburn, AL.” - Alabama Traditions. Beautiful collection with some very deep sounds. Hear a couple favorites: Oh Please Lord Have Mercy by Mary Lee Bendolph (celebrated quilter from Gee's Bend) & China Pettway and Child of God Keep Marching, led by the Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Choir.

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Various Artists
Ghost Memories
Mississippi
LP
$13

"The long awaited sequel to our Six Feet Under compilation! Absolute killer country and rock and roll songs from the late 1950's - early 1960's. Minor chords abound in both rocking tunes and straight up weepers. The real stuff - no goofy novelties or commercial palp. Honest people's music. All incredibly hard to find tunes from small label 45s." - Mississippi. Hear Willie Hays' Walkin' the Streets After Dark & Harold L & the Offbeats' Three Years.

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Various Artists
Lost Train Blues
Jalopy Records
LP
$14

Lost Train Blues features 22 selections from the vast holdings of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, 13 of them have never been issued before. The record includes work songs, ballads, blues, political and union songs, guitar, banjo & fiddle music, and Native American vocal music. These recordings were made between 1933 and 1950 and represent the birth of the folk music collections at the Library of Congress, now the largest repository of folk and enthographic holdings in the world. The record demonstrates the groundbreaking work of Alan Lomax and his father John Lomax, but also places them with the context of other important early field workers.

“The deluxe record includes liner notes by Alan Lomax archive curator Nathan Salsburg, as well as a 14 page booklet with photographs and original research about each song, artist and folklorist. The cover features an original lithograph by artist Jeff Tocci. Each selection has been retransferred from original discs and tapes at the Library of Congress and has been carefully remastered by sound engineer Don Fierro making for the best possible audio fidelity.” - Jalopy. Hear Camp Morris & Group's Captain Haney Blues & Buster Buzz Ezell's Roosevelt & Hitler.

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Arthur Williams
Forgiveness Suite
NoBusiness Records
LP
$22

Trumpeter Arthur Williams was active on the NYC loft jazz scene in the 1970s. He played with Jemeel Moondoc’s Muntu, William Parker, Frank Lowe, Milford Graves, Cecil Taylor, & Peter Kuhn, among others. Very fondly remembered by his compatriots, he didn’t record often, one reason why this LP, the first document of a group under his leadership, is so welcome. Its open, searching, & free-flowing spirit brings later groups such as Other Dimensions in Music to mind. Recorded at WKCR in New York City on December 19, 1979. LP only edition of 400. Hear a bit of Forgiveness Suite.

Arthur Williams: trumpet
Toshinori Kondo: trumpet
Peter Kuhn
: saxophone
William Parker
: bass
Denis Charles: drums