Only two more days until I see John Wesley Harding play in Brooklyn. Now, seeing JWH in itself is fabulous, but his backing band is The Minus Five (The Decemberists minus Colin Meloy) and the amazing Peter Buck from R.E.M. How cool will this show be?
I have been a fan of John Wesley Harding for a loooooong time. He first got on my radar with his song The Person You Are from his album ‘The Name Above The Title’ back in 1991. I quickly picked up his earlier disks and have bought everything that he has released ever since. I know without listening that I will like all of the songs.
I even got to see John Wesley Harding, whose real name is Wesley Stace, in 1991 when he played outside the Cambridge Galleria Mall in Cambridge, MA. He was very witty, quick with quips and played an outstanding set in the brilliant sunshine. It is a heavenly memory. I cannot wait to see him again.
As though being a prolific and talented songwriter/musician is not enough, Wesley Stace is also an author with a few books published.
I contacted Mr. Stace, via Twitter, to see if he had any recipe requests and he kindly replied and without hesitation chose curry.
So here is a lovely curry recipe for one of my favorite musicians. (You will want to double the quantity of the naan…maan it’s good!)
Indian Prawn & Chickpea Curry With Curry-Salt Naan
2 Tbs oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 Tbs finely chopped ginger
3 tsp garam masala (I substituted 1 tsp ground coriander and 1 tsp cumin seeds)
2 tsp good-quality Indian curry powder
1 tbs tomato paste
2 heaped tbs korma curry paste (I substituted 8 oz of Tikka Masala Curry Sauce and omitted the tomato paste)
400ml can coconut cream
400g can chopped tomatoes
400g can chickpeas, drained
300g cooked prawns or shrimp, peeled (tails intact)
a handful of chopped almonds or cashews
Cilantro leaves and steamed basmati rice, to serve
Curry-salt Naan ingredients:
1 tsp garam masala (Indian spice mix)
1 tsp good-quality Indian curry powder
2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
4 store-bought naan breads, warmed
20g unsalted butter, melted
1.Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger, then cook, stirring, for 3-5 minutes until golden. Add spices and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
2. Add tomato paste and curry paste (or the substituted Tikka Masala Curry Sauce), then cook, stirring, for a further 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
3. Add coconut cream and tomato, then simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Stir in chickpeas and prawns, and cook for 1-2 minutes or until warmed through.
4. For the naan, combine spices and sesame seeds with 1 Tbs sea salt in a small bowl. Brush warm naan with melted butter, then sprinkle with the curry salt.
5. Garnish the curry with coriander leaves, then serve with naan and rice.
Recipe from Delicious Magazine
John Wesley Harding’s new album is ‘The Sound Of His Own Voice’. In Wesley Stace’s words, “The songs, in order, are about: being yourself, regret, the previous generation, love, the effect of divorce on children, looking back on a break-up, gentrification, the widening of the class divide, sex, science, exams, dying love and the harmony of the spheres. Roughly.”
That covers a lot of territory.
Every song on ‘The Sound Of His Own Voice’ is brilliant and full of the quirky humor, clever lyrics and toe tapping, infectious melodies one comes to expect from JWH. The Minus Five are the backing band on the album. Truly excellent.
My husband doesn’t usually pay attention to lyrics, but one night while Uncle Dad was playing he says to me, “This song is really creepy”. You’ll have to check that one out for yourself. It’s a great (sad) song, but not the one I want to share.
That would be this one. Sing Your Own Song is the opening track of ‘The Sound Of His Own Voice’. Catchy as ever. Fun. Just be yourself.
John Wesley Harding-Sing Your Own Song
Here is the video, too, because JWH is so freakin’ adorable.
See what I mean? Wesley Stace is just completely and utterly adorable. I love this video. I love the tapping of his right foot. I’m tapping right along.
Check out John Wesley Harding on his Website. You can buy his books and music there.
Come see JWH at The Bell House this Saturday. I believe there are a limited number of tickets still available. Robyn Hitchcock is playing that night, too, at 7 pm. I’d love to catch that show, but my ever patient husband might snap if I made him go to that show as well.