Friday, May 08, 2009

Goodbye Joe, Me Gotta Go...

All good things must come to an end, or at least take an extended break every once in awhile. So that's what I'm doing. Long story short: My kids are getting older, my job is getting tougher, and I want to spend more of my free time outside. That means I can't keep Setting The Woods On Fire going at the level you expect.

You have no idea how much I've enjoyed putting this website together and meeting the people that I've met as a result of it. I hope you've discovered some new music to love. I know I've learned a ton from you guys. Thanks for all the great comments and e-mails.

Before I head down the trail, here's one last STWOF mix. You probably have all these songs already, but they go together nicely. They aren't rarities or little known gems, just a bunch of great tunes that will stand as my closing argument for the brilliance of old-fashioned country music. Most of the big names are here, with a slight tilt towards the Texas artists (naturally). It will fit nicely onto a CD for you to enjoy, or--better yet--for you to give to a friend to spread the word about the music we love.

This ain't "redneck" music.

STWOF Honky Tonk Heroes Mix:
01. Billy Joe Shaver - Honky Tonk Heroes (buy) - 0:00
02. Hank Williams - Why Don't You Love Me? (buy) - 3:01
03. Lefty Frizzell - Long Black Veil (buy) - 5:23
04. Patsy Cline - Walkin' After Midnight (buy) - 8:29
05. George Jones - A Girl I Used To Know (buy) - 11:00
06. Tom T. Hall - I Hope It Rains At My Funeral (buy) - 13:36
07. Merle Haggard - I Can't Hold Myself In Line (buy) - 16:59
08. Buck Owens - Under The Influence Of Love (buy) - 19:50
09. Doug Sahm - Is Anybody Goin' To San Antone? (buy) - 22:06
10. The Flying Burrito Brothers - Sin City (buy) - 25:06
11. Johnny Cash - Man In Black (buy) - 29:14
12. Steve Young - White Trash Song (buy) - 32:04
13. Loretta Lynn - One's On The Way (buy) - 34:51
14. Ernest Tubb - Walking The Floor Over You (buy) - 37:27
15. Bob Wills - Bubbles In My Beer (buy) - 39:29
16. Bill Monroe - I'm Going Back To Old Kentucky (buy) - 41:29
17. The Flatlanders - Dallas (buy) - 43:50
18. Townes Van Zandt - Pancho & Lefty (buy) - 46:35
19. Willie Nelson - Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain (buy) - 50:12
20. Jerry Jeff Walker - Redneck Mother (buy) -52:28
21. Waylon Jennings - Bob Wills Is Still The King (buy) - 56:40
22. John Hartford - In Tall Buildings (buy) - 59:55

You might remember that I almost quit once before because of an apparent change in policy from the music publishers. That didn't stick, but this time it's on my own terms.

I'll still keep doing the quick and easy posts over at Groover's Paradise and Star Maker Machine. If you're a subscriber here, please consider subscribing to--and commenting at--those sites.

Thank you, friends.

Friday, May 01, 2009

One Road More: The Flatlanders cover Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family

The album pictured above is "More a Legend than a Band" by The Flatlanders. Much has been written about this amazing and indispensible album. It was recorded in the early seventies by three soon-to-be legends of Texas country music, Butch Hancock, Joe Ely, & Jimmie Dale Gilmore. It has a sound and feel like no other country album and its easily one of my top 10 favorite albums of all time (right up there with Pet Sounds and Highway 61 Revisited). You can read about it here, here, here, here, and here.

In addition to the stellar tracks on "Legend," The Flatlanders produced four more songs during the same recording sessions. For awhile, these extra tracks were available on on a collection called One Road More and then later on another collection called the Complete Plantation Recordings. As far as I can tell, both of these releases are now discontinued and out of print. That's a shame because these "missing" tracks are just as good as the ones that made the cut.

Here, for your listening enjoyment, are two of the missing tracks. The first is a fun cover of one of Jimmie Rodgers' most famous songs. The second dips into the Carter Family catalog. It's good stuff!

The Flatlanders – Waitin' For A Train
The Flatlanders – Hello Stranger

If you don't have it already, make sure you buy yourself a copy of More A Legend Than A Band.

* * * *

Of course, no masterpiece can please everyone. Check out what one 1-star Amazon reviewer had to say about "More a Legend than a Band":
"Didn't know what a musical saw was, but henceforth I will be on the lookout. Unless you like an eerie wail floating over most of the tunes, this album is nigh unlistenable."
OK, you have been warned.