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Americana

“Into the Night” with Chris Knight’s “It Ain’t Easy Being Me” Covered by Blake Shelton Does this song fit Clete Purcel or What?

Clete PurcelSo the other night, when I was reading Light of the World by James Lee Burke (which by the way I finished yesterday so I will be writing about it shortly) I started thinking about the character of Clete Purcel and specifically a song that would fit the character. Now, if you read Burke’s Dave Robicheaux series you know that Clete is Dave’s best friend and right hand man. They were partner in the Homicide Division of the New Orleans Police Department until their self-destructive tendencies got them kicked off the force. Through twenty books by Burke – Clete and Dave have fought the bad guys that live on the underside of New Orleans,  New Iberia and in the case of “Light of the World” Montana. Throughout those books, if there is a wrong decision to be made  Clete made it, if Clete knew he was going too far with a suspect or a bad guy that he was beating the crap out of and he knew he should stop Clete kept gong!  So for me the song that best fits Cletus Is- “It Ain’t Easy Being Me” by Chris Knight!!

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Speeding “Into the Night” with Leon Russell, Glen Campbell and “Henry” going down that road going – fast – fast – fast!!

Hank Wilson's BackOk so how about another little pick me up as we go roaring “into the night”. While I was at Target picking up a few things this evening “Jambalaya” popped into my head. (Hum, was it that I caught a glimpse of Zatarain’s  Jambayla, nah) anyway it wasn’t Hank Williams’ version that jumped in there, but Hank Wilson’s (aka Leon Russell) version from Hank Wilson is Back Vol. 1. After a brief visit with that song my mind raced quickly to “Truck Drivin’ Man” also from the Wilson Hank! When I came home I went to YouTube to look for a video for “Truck Drivin. Man. I found this one with Leon and also John Cowan.

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Folk from the Texas Hill Country – Possessed by Paul James – There Will Be Nights When I’m Lonely

Possessed by Paul JamesNow maybe if I had caught this quote in No Depression back in 2010

“If I were to make a list of the 20 most important singer/songwriters of our time, Konrad Wert / Possessed by Paul James, would undoubtedly be among those at the very top.”

or this one from The Onion ??? back in 2007…..

“One-man band Konrad Wert grew up in a Mennonite family, raised by preacher father and a piano player mother, which accounts for both the baptized-in-fire-soul and musical versatility heard in his gritty Old World music. Wert’s mix of blues and vintage folk howls with a sense of explosive freedom and latent rage-not unlike an Amish kid emerging from the wilderness to discover America that instills his simple guitar/fiddle/stomp-box arrangements with unusual passion.” – The Onion 2007

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Life’s Soundtrack – An afternoon with the songs of Wyatt Easterling from Goodbye Hello!!

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Wyatt EasterlingSo today I spent time listening to two artists whose albums are currently on the Folk DJ Chart for January. The first was Wyatt Easterling whose album Goodbye –Hello is #33 and the second Steep Ravine and their album Trampin’ On which sits a little higher on the chart at #20. Neither of the artists names were familiar to me.

Hello GoodbyeAfter listening to the really well written songs on GoodbyeHello, especially my particular favorites “Teach Me How to Say Goodbye”, “If A Tree Falls” and “A Soldier Comes Home” I wondered where this new songwriter came from, what I found out is that this young songwriter released his debut album Both Sides of the Shore, on Moonlight Records (Warner Bros.) in 1981. Then he headed off to Nashville to make his way in the music business. To pay the bills, while he searched foe another record deal, he wrote for various song publishers. Then instead of writing songs and performing them, he became head of A&R for Atlantic Records. and that led to a twenty year career as a songwriter, producer, executive and/or session player. That career has been full of chart-topping songs including cuts with Dierks Bentley, Joe Diffie, Billy Joe Royal, Paul Thorn, Neal McCoy, Sons of the Desert, Robbie Hecht But these days, Easterling is embracing the life of a troubadour, focusing his energy on bringing his music and his stories directly to his audience. His new CD, Goodbye-Hello, is rich with wisdom, acceptance and optimism. “I must say it’s the most personal album I’ve recorded to date.”

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Thoughts about Dave Van Ronk “The Mayor of MacDougal Street”

The Mayor of MacDougal StreetSo I want to go and see the Coen Brothers new movie: “Inside Llewyn Davis” and surprisingly my wife does, too. I really don’t think she knows that the story is based on Dave Van Ronk’s memoirs because I don’t think she’s a fan of Van Ronk’s music! Anyway, until we get to go I thought that I’d like to read the book The Mayor of MacDougal Street first.So I used some of the money from a Barnes & Noble gift card that my daughter-in-law;law’s parents gave me for Christmas and bought it the other night. I’m not that far into it yet but I’m loving it already. Van Ronk always has had a flair for telling stories and he puts it to good work in his memoirs!! I’ll tell you more about it as I work my way through it. But tonight though my first thoughts were how about I go look up some videos from some of the musicians that populated MacDougal Street back in the day.One of the first names to pop into my head wasn’t Dylan, but Fred Neil and then I thought, hell, why not Van Ronk. The first music from Dave that came to mind was a piece that I heard every Sunday night back in the 60s and 70s and that would be the “St. Louis Tickle”. I heard it as the Gene Shay Folk Radio Show came in and out of commercial breaks. The song is an old piano rag that Van Ronk transcribed to make it a guitar piece. Here’s a good over of the song.

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A Good Run and Happy Birthday, Greg Trooper!!

So when I turned on my Runmeter app this afternoon, the first thing I saw was my last run – November 18, 2013 and I cringed! I knew it had been a long time since my last run, but I thought that the last one was closer to the end of the month!! It was about the time that the clocks got set back and it started getting dark at 5 o’clock! And then the weather turned nasty and cold and Christmas came along and before I knew it December was gone!! But then I also admit that I am a fair weather runner, when it gets dark and cold, this old body doesn’t really want to go out and run!! But today was nice the high temperature was in the upper 50s and it was sunny with hardly any wind!! I was also off, due to lack of work, (ugh!) and the gave me the opportunity to run in the sun!! I certainly told myself that all I wanted to do was get a 30 minute run in. I didn’t have to set any world speed records and I did a good job throughout the run of slowing down. I often use that trick that if you can talk comfortably you are running comfortably, and I often ask myself (out load) how I am doing and I respond back! If folks are watching they may think I’m crazy,but then again they probably just think I’m on the phone!! Don’t you love that when you are walking along and people come up from behind you and you here their voice and turn to respond only to find that they are talking on the phone!! Happens to me all the time at Target I hear a voice and turn and oh yeah!! But I digress, back to the subject at hand running, or at this point jogging!! So after many thoughts of cutting the run short and mentally figuring where I should turn around I made it to the second mile at between 21-22 minutes and I knew I could make it to the 3o minute mark!! The final distance for the 30:14 minute run was 2.8 miles for an average pace of 10:44 min/mile and I am satisfied with that now I just have to keep going!! The soundtrack for the run was a Prog Rock Album Clessidra from an Italian Prog Band Laviantica. You can read about it at FreeWheelin’ Music Safari Greg TrooperWhen I signed on to Facebook this morning I saw that it was the birthday of one of my favorite Americana musicians, Greg Trooper! Greg was born on this date in 1956 in was born in Neptune Township, New Jersey, and raised in nearby Little Silver. I first listened to Greg’s music sometime around 1999 when his  release Straight Down Rain,found its way into my library. That album was quickly followed by his prior release Popular Demons which had been released  in 1998, on Koch Records and produced by Buddy Miller. His current release Incident on Willow Street is currently number 2 on the Roots Music Report’s Roots Rock chart! Incident on Willow StreetHere’s Greg performing “All the Way to Amsterdam” one of my favorites from Incident on Willow Street! Happy Birthday, Greg!!

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Ths Day in Music – Jan 11, 1956 – Happy Birthday, Robert Earl Keen!!

REK@So sometime in the late 1980s or early 90s,I heard Robert Earl Keen‘s the “Front Porch Song”, on one if the shows that Gene Shay produced here in Philly, and feel in love with his wit and music and I’ve been a fan ever since. Today Robert Earl Keen, Jr. (that’s the way I knew him first) celebrates his 57th birthday!!!

Robert Earl Keen (born January 11, 1956)[1] is an American singer-songwriter and entertainer living in the central Texas hill country. Debuting with 1984’s No Kinda Dancer, the Houston native has recorded 18 full-length albums for both independent and major record labels, while his songs have also been covered by several different artists from the country, folk and Texas country music scenes (including George Strait, Joe Ely, Lyle Lovett,The Highwaymen, Nanci Griffith, and the Dixie Chicks). Although both his albums and live performances span many different styles, from folk, country, and bluegrass to rock, he is most commonly affiliated with the Americana movements. In fact, he was the first “Americana” artist to appear on the cover of Gavin magazine when the style was officially recognized as its own genre in 1998. Read More

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“Into the Morning” with the music of Mark Erelli -“Volunteer”

Mark ErelliSo tonight I was thinking, I would post a song from one of my favorite folksinger songwriters. The first one that popped into my head was John Gorka, thoughts of John were quickly replaced by thoughts of Mark Erelli. I listened to Mark’ most recent release Little Vigils the other night and was reminded of what a great songwriter he is. .So  I thought that I’d post a video, maybe of one of my early favorites songs “They do it every day” but there was no Youtube video,for the song. Then I thought “Compass and Companion”,but then I spotted this video for his song “Volunteer” on Don Was’ My Damn Channel and I listened once again to this powerful song and again was blown away! Here’s what Don Was writes:

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Today in Music – Nov 13, 1946 – Ray Wylie Hubbard is born – Happy Birthday, Ray!!

Today was a very hard day out in the field lugging around the nuclear density gauge to test the density of the backfill being placed, above the pipe and below Tuckerton Road, during the emergency repair of the dam at Sioux Lake. And right now it hurts to even TYPE, and my mind well it’s gone to sleep well before the rest of my body!! But I’ll try to write something and any errors can be blamed on my tiredness!!

Ray Wylie 4On this date in 1946 on of my favorite Texas Music artist/Americana Artist Ray Wylie Hubbard was born. Now like Booker T  and :”Green Onions” in my music world Ray Wylie is usually associated with one song….. “Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother”! A song that Jerry Jeff Walker made semi-famous on his album Viva Terlingua! Here’s a little information about Ray from his biography at All Music…

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Morning Music from The Devil Makes Three “Hallelu”!

imageLast night,t I gave The Devil Makes Three new album I’m a Stranger Here a second listen. I liked a lot of the songs this time around, therefore, I know after a few more listens it may be a real favorite. So be on the lookout for a review but until then let’s have some morning music from The Devil Makes Three here’s a performance at the FreshGrass Festival of one of my favorite songs from the album “Hallelu”