Sunday, November 30, 2008

Higher than I've ever been before

The Byrds - Chestnut Mare (buy album)

Always alone, never with a herd
Prettiest mare I’ve ever seen, you’ll have to take my word
I’m going to catch that horse if I can
And when I do I’ll give her my brand

Well I was up on stony ridge after this chestnut mare
Been chasin’ her for weeks
Oh, I’d catch a glimpse of her every once in a while
Takin’ her meal, or bathing; a fine lady

This one day I happened to be real close to her
And I saw her standin’ over there
So I snuck up to her nice and easy
Got my rope out, and I flung it in the air

I’m going to catch that horse if I can
And when I do I’ll give her my brand
And we’ll be friends for life
She’ll be just like a wife
I’m going to catch that horse if I can

Well I got her, and I’m pullin’ on her, and she’s pullin’ back,
Like this mule goin’ up a ladder
And I take a choice and I jump up on her
Damned if I don’t land right on top of her

And she takes off, runnin’ up on to the ridge
Higher than I’ve ever been before
She’s runnin’ along just fine, till she stops and something spooked her
It’s a sidewinder, all coiled and ready to strike
She doesn’t know what to do for a second
But then she jumps off the edge, me holding on

Above the hills, higher than eagles were gliding
Suspended in the sky,
Over the moon, straight for the sun we were riding
My eyes were filled with light
Behind us black walls, below us a bottomless canyon
Floating with no sound
Gulls far below, seemed to be suddenly rising
Exploding all around...

I’m going to catch that horse if I can
And when I do I’ll give her my brand
And we’ll be friends for life
She’ll be just like a wife
I’m going to catch that horse if I can

And we were falling down this crevice, about a mile down I’d say
I look down and I see this red thing below us, comin' up real fast
And It’s our reflection in this little pool of water
About six feet wide and one foot deep

And we’re fallin' down right through it
And we hit and we splashed it dry
That’s when I lost my hold and she got away
But I’m gonna’ try to get her again some day

I’m going to catch that horse if I can
And when I do I’ll give her my brand
And we’ll be friends for life
She’ll be just like a wife
I’m going to catch that horse
I’m going to catch that horse
I’m going to catch that horse if I can
I’m going to catch that horse if I can


So, what do you think?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

News & Notes

You Send It: You may have noticed that I've been using for recent mp3s. That's because (1) I'm downplaying the mp3 format in favor of more mixed tapes/podcasts and (2) the money is a little tight right now and is free. Songs are available for 7 days.

Example: Kinky Friedman - Top Ten Commandments (buy album)

New Blogroll: The blogroll has been updated with lot's of great new stuff for you to explore.

Acclaimed Music, Adios Lounge, A Fifty Cent Lighter, AM Then FM, An Aquarium Drunkard, Art Decade, A Truer Sound, Bag Of Songs, Big Rock Candy Mountain, Bleedin' Out, Blues Booze Books & Bobs, Bongo Jazz A Speciality, Boogie Woogie Flu, Cable & Tweed, Captain’s Dead, Cardboard Gods, Ceci n'est pas un blog, College Crowd Digs Me, Cover Freak, Cover Lay Down, Culture Bully, Devil's Music, Doctor Mooney's 115th Dream, Echoes In The Wind, Expecting Rain, Fits & Starts, For The Sake Of The Song, Funky 16 Corners, Geezer Music Club, Gentlebear, Harry's Music, Honey, Where You Been So Long?, Ill Folks, Joe Sixpack's Guide To Hick Music, Keep The Coffee Coming, Late Greats, Living In Stereo, Locust Street, Lonesome Music, Moistworks, Mojo Repair Shop, Motel De Moka, Muruch, My Aimz Is True, My Little Ghost Friend, Nine Bullets, Old Blue Bus, One Lonely Horn, Postmodern Sounds In Country, Powerpopulist, Pretty Goes With Pretty, Rag Mama Rag, Randy & Earl's Old Record Club, Retro Music Snob, Rising Storm, Riverboat Captain, River's Invitation, Rock Town Hall, Snuh, Song By Toad, So Well Remembered, Spread The Good Word!, Star Maker Machine, Strawberry Flats, That Off The Wall Jive, There Stands The Glass, There's Always Someone Cooler, This Mornin' I Am Born Again, This Recording, Timedoor, Tsururadio, Tuning Room, Twang Nation, Visions And Revisions, When You Awake, 77 Santas

(If your great music site is not listed, it's probably just due to my negligence.)

Random Links: From now on, look for more links to interesting articles, You Tube videos, and great posts at other blogs. It's easier than doing all the work myself and a great way to highlight cool things.

Guest Posts: Speaking of other great blogs, I have been and will be posting on some other (better) blogs than this one. Last week I did a review over at The Rising Storm and I've got something in the works right now for For The Sake Of The Song.

Current Favorite Movie Line:

"This aggression will not stand man."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's too old and cold and settled in its ways here...

Today, This Recording has a really nice piece on Joni Mitchell, of whom I've been enamored for years.

Also check out For The Sake Of The Song, which features a few choice tunes from the "Second Frets Sets" bootleg.

For those of you in Detroit, here's an interesting article about Joni's time living in the Motor City.

Finally, here's one more tune from Joni's "Second Fret Sets" boot, in which Joni explains an interesting songwriting technique that she copied from Bob Dylan: Mr. Blue

Let's hear it for Joni!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Links: Cool Record Collection

As Thanksgiving approaches, I am thankful for the existence of great music blogs like Boogie Woogie Flu.

Go there now to see the latest additions to Ted’s super cool record collection.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Found On You Tube: Christine's Tune

Pretty cool, huh?

Links: Anatomy Of A Flop

Today, one of may favorite websites for intelligent rock music discussion, Rock Town Hall, shines a light on one of my favorite jangly 80’s bands, the dB’s.

Go to this RTH post to find a link over to an interesting NY Times Article by dB’s frontman Peter Holsapple called “Anatomy of a Flop.” (And be sure to bookmark Rock Town Hall while you are there.)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

20 Essential "Alt" Country Albums of the 1970s, Part 1 of 2

STWOF Mix #1:
01. Jerry Jeff Walker - Sangria Wine (0:00)
02. Terry Allen - Amarillo Highway (4:12)
03. Willie Nelson – Devil In A Sleepin’ Bag (7:58)
04. Billy Joe Shaver – Old Five & Dimers Like Me (10:36)
05. Waylon Jennings – Honky Tonk Heroes (13:15)
06. The Flatlanders – Tonight I Think I'm Gonna Go Downtown (16:45)
07. Guy Clark – L.A. Freeway (19:23)
08. Joe Ely – Honky Tonk Masquerade (24:15)
09. Doug Sahm – Faded Love (27:59)
10. Butch Hancock – West Texas Waltz (31:55)

Welcome to my first podcast! I hope you like (or can tolerate) the new format. You'll notice that I am taking baby steps. No talking on this podcast, just ten great tracks in a row. Makes a heck of a mix tape.

The theme is Essential "Alt" Country Albums of the 1970s. In terms of artistic merit and musical diversity, country music really came into its own in the 1970s. The epicenter of that development was Texas. While the term "alt-country" wasn't invented until the 1990's when groups like Uncle Tupelo and Whiskeytown made their mark, the country music coming out of Texas in the 1970's was every bit as "alternative." Alt-country before alt-country was cool. To get a good feel for similar releases from the same era, check out Joe Sixpack's list of 1970's Hillbilly & Outlaw Albums.

The ten albums featured below are one-half of what I would consider to be the 20 essential country, or better yet "alt-country," LPs of the 1970s. (The rest will be presented in STWOF podcast #2.) These are not listed in any particular order, except that I included all Texas artists in the first installment. The only ground rule I followed in making my list was to limit inclusion to one selection per artist. I also left off the more mainstream country artists of the time, even though some are quite deserving. (Remember: Willie and Waylon were "outlaws").

If you like the music featured on this site, then you will LOVE these records, all of which come with the highest possible STWOF seal of approval. If you are looking for a way to stimulate our economy, you couldn't do any better than dropping a few bucks on these classics.

Jerry Jeff Walker – Viva Terlingua (1973)

This one is a ton of fun. Great mood.

AMG Review
Featured Song: Sangria Wine
(buy album)

Terry Allen – Lubbock (On Everything) (1979)

A lost gem from an eclectic and underrated artist.

AMG Review
Featured Song: Amarillo Highway
(buy album)

Willie Nelson – Shotgun Willie (1973)

Willie had a few other LPs in the running for this list, especially Red-Headed Stranger, but in the end something told me to go with this one.

AMG Review
Featured Song: Devil In A Sleepin’ Bag
(buy album)

Billy Joe Shaver – Old Five And Dimers Like Me (1973)

Billy Joe's debut is a Texas tour de force.

AMG Review
Featured Song: Old Five & Dimers Like Me
(buy album)

Waylon Jennings – Honky Tonk Heroes (1973)

A surprisingly close call between this landmark album and Waylon's other masterpiece, Dreaming My Dreams, but HTH just can't be denied. One of my all-time favorite records of any era or genre.

AMG Review
Featured Song: Honky Tonk Heroes
(buy album)

The Flatlanders – More A Legend Than A Band (1972)

This one's definitely a desert island disc for me, though it probably would play better on a barren plain. Legendary is no exaggeration for this collection from Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely, and Butch Hancock. Recorded in 1972 and only released on 8-track for a limited run until this reissue in 1990.

AMG Review
Featured Song: Tonight I Think I'm Gonna Go Downtown
(buy album)

Guy Clark – Old No. 1 (1975)

Guy is one of the great Texas songwriters. His debut is chock full of classics.

AMG Review
Featured Song: L.A. Freeway
(buy album)

Joe Ely – Honky Tonk Masquerade (1978)

Joe Ely was born to be a country singer. Even if he had wanted to be a dentist or an accountant, his voice would have compelled him to switch careers. When you hear him, you hear country. This album is probably his best.

AMG Review
Featured Song: Honky Tonk Masquerade
(buy album for cheap!)

Doug Sahm – Doug Sahm and Band (1973)

This album, which is as much blues as it is country, just feels like Texas. (That's why I picked a Bob Wills song to feature.) For more about Doug Sahm, check out The Adios Lounge.

AMG Review
Featured Song: Faded Love
(buy album)

Butch Hancock - West Texas Waltzes & Dust-Blown Tractor Tunes (1978)

Here is the "roughest" voice of The Flatlanders accompanied only by harmonica and guitar. Very Woody Guthrie-esque. Maybe the least accessible of today's features, but definitely worth checking out.

AMG Review
Featured Song: West Texas Waltz
(buy album)

Any guesses on the other 10 albums? (Hint: The next batch is a bit folkier and not all from Texas.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Links: Cash At Folsom Prison

Check out this nice article about Cash's Folsom Prison concert.

From the author, Jason Gross:

"When Johnny Cash walked into the gloomy Folsom Prison on January 13, 1968, he had no idea how it would change his life or the course of popular music—he would put the 40-acre property on the map and the penitentiary would return the favor for him."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Coming soon to an i-pod near you...

Hey there folks! I've been holed up in my north woods cabin for the past couple of weeks cooking up the next move for STWOF (and sipping on some of that Wild Turkey liquor).

The answer is . . . podcasting!

Once I figure out how to operate all of the bells and whistles, I'll start sending out a monthly(?) podcast of STWOF-style music. Each edition will be accompanied by a blog post discussing the theme and the high points of the selected tunes. The first podcast will be called "Alt-Country Before Alt-Country Was Cool: 21 Essential Twang Albums of the 1970's."

It could take me a little while to get back to civilization, so hang in there!

And keep buying records.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

UPDATE: A common criticism of the podcasting format is that you get stuck with a big wad of music when you really just want to cherry-pick one or two songs. Truth be told, that's one of the reasons I'm switching over to a podcast. I don't want this blog to be a free substitute for i-tunes. If you want a single track, listen to it on my podcast (I'll provide the times so you can easily find it), and then buy it! Actually pay money to an artist.

I realize that this change will probably make my blog less popular, but I really don't care. I'm doing this for fun, at my own expense. And I'm not going back to the old way. It's this or nothing. (Of course, if nobody listens then I guess I will care. So hopefully a few of you will stick around.)

Sorry, but I'm ornery today.

Monday, November 17, 2008

John Prine Review at The Rising Storm

Hey everyone: Check out my review of John Prine's debut album over at The Rising Storm.