Thursday, February 22, 2007

Lazy Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday Blogging

Away for the weekend tomorrow so this is all I got.

Random iTunes 20.

Done Somebody Wrong The Allman Bros Band
Highway 17 Rodney Crowell
It's All in the Game Tom T Hall
Shine Hallejulah Shine Bill Monroe
New York Times Cat Stevens (but I couldn't listen all the way through. Ugh.)
Boulder to Birmingham Emmylou Harris
Norwegian Wood Tim O'Brien
Ways of a Woman in Love Charlie Rich
Gotta Get it Worked On Delbert McClinton
Take Me Away Hayes Carll
A Boy Named Sue Johnny Cash
Streets of London Tony Rice
A Widow's Toast Neko Case
If I Can't Have You Etta James
Red River Sonny Terry with Woody Guthrie/Cisco Houston/Alec Seward
Little Sadie Clarence Ashley and Doc Watson
Just a Little Talk with Jesus The Stanley Brothers
Unfaithful Servant The Band
Good News Blues Todd Snider
Wide Open Road Johnny Cash

Monday, February 19, 2007

A Stunning Plan

A few weeks ago my sister -- newly relocated to Route 66 at Flagstaff, Arizona -- emailed about maybe going to see "some bluegrass guy." Meh, you know, if nothing else is on. Some chump the name of Ralph Stanley, never heard of the guy.

Anyone else I would have blogged that puppy and made delicious fun but as The Boss sang (sort of) "you turn your back on your sister, you ain't no friend of mine." So I confined my mockery to a few private emails and politely suggested it would be most edifying for her and husband if they were to attend.

She has.

I kid, because I love.

But you know what was also funny? Reading Tim McGraw's message boards at when Dr Ralph beat him out for "Best Male Country Vocal" at the 2001 Grammys. Hee hee.

See also: Bob Dylan Ralph Stanley.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


I was very shocked yesterday to read at Honky Tonk Highway of the sudden death of Les Scott. He'd been a fixture on the scene ever since I have been going to gigs here, and for along time before that, the heart of a lot of bands on bass, guitar and harmony.

Tamworth Rage Page has a moving tribute page, including details of a memporial event at the Cooks River Club on the 25th, although all the gigs this weekend I'm sure will be for him. Vale Les.

Monday, February 12, 2007

West 2

I moped about the new Lucinda Williams album West at Hickory Wind. You can read it here.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Category Error

This David Hadju article republished in The Oz earlier this week stirs something I've thought for a while. We need a new definition of rock music and to stop being so hung up on the meaning established fifty plus years ago.

The Rolling Stones ply a nostalgia for the 1960s and '70s, as do various Motown acts that are on perpetual tour in the arts-centre circuit. For musicians disinclined to work in self-tribute bands, however, it is not easy to rock and age. Rock, at its crude best, is a music of disgrace, anathema to ageing (or doing anything else) gracefully.

It's the music of youthful rebllion because in the 1950s and 1960s its practioners were youthful rebels, or carefully marketed that way at least. The definition arose out of the circumstances of its practice and its place in the popular culture, right nor 1967 wrong for 2007. Why are we obliged to accept this (in popular culture terms) archaic definition and judge "aging acts" by it, as if everything in the world changes except the definition of appropriate people to play rock music.

High Noon for Frankie

This is probably the defining album of my childhood. Maybe it and Blood on the Tracks are the only albums I can say I know all the words to every song. (Born in the USA maybe too. OK and Cash's Bitter Tears and Emmylou Wrecking Ball probably now I think about it. You get the picture though, its an exclusive list.) "Rawhide" of course is the name recognition song but the western genre doesn't get much better than "Wanted Man":

She had spangles on her red dress
She had laughter in her voice
When he tried to put his hands on her
My heart left me no choice
But was she really worth it?
Well, I guess I'll never know
She'll be drinking someone else's rye
When I'm six feet below

You can hear his Italian crooning roots in the smooth delivery but he totally works that gunfighter's snarl and you actually get thirsty listening to the anguished clippety clop of "Cool Water."

Which is best? A wanderin' fool or a heart at rest? I never have found out. Vale, Frankie.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Art Imitating Life Imitating Art ...

This story did the rounds last week,

A fugitive who apparently fled to Tennessee to see his ailing mother was being sought yesterday in Florida in the theft of a tour bus owned by country singer Crystal Gayle.

A man believed to be Christopher Daniel Gay, who is being sought on felony theft and escape charges, was seen Thursday with the bus at a racetrack in Lakeland, Fla., telling the manager he was there to pick up NASCAR driver Tony Stewart.

Convict. Dying mother. Country star (in her own right and sister of Loretta Lynn). NASCAR. Wanted in numerous states. Inevitably everyone said, "this should be a country song!"

Well, now it is. Master bluegrasser Tim O'Brien does a very fine job on short notice, to the tune of Pretty Boy Floyd. (link direct to MP3) I especially like the bit about the colour of his momma's eyes.