Tuesday, September 27, 2016


"Exclusive Excerpt: Without Getting Killed Or Caught — The Life And Music Of Guy Clark" -- Tamara Saviano

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Harvest songs

Heard these 'harvesting' songs on Jeff Emery's KZSC show today -- quite different in style and approach but both enjoyable.

They were hiding behind hay bales,
They were planting in the full moon
They had given all they had for something new
But the light of day was on them,
They could see the thrashers coming
And the water shone like diamonds in the dew.

And I was just getting up, hit the road before it's light
Trying to catch an hour on the sun
When I saw those thrashers rolling by,
Looking more than two lanes wide
I was feelin' like my day had just begun.

Where the eagle glides descending
There's an ancient river bending
Through the timeless gorge of changes
Where sleeplessness awaits
I searched out my companions,
Who were lost in crystal canyons
When the aimless blade of science
Slashed the pearly gates.

It was then I knew I'd had enough,
Burned my credit card for fuel
Headed out to where the pavement turns to sand
With a one-way ticket to the land of truth
And my suitcase in my hand
How I lost my friends I still don't understand.

They had the best selection,
They were poisoned with protection
There was nothing that they needed,
Nothing left to find
They were lost in rock formations
Or became park bench mutations
On the sidewalks and in the stations
They were waiting, waiting.

So I got bored and left them there,
They were just deadweight to me
Better down the road without that load
Brings back the time when I was eight or nine
I was watchin' my mama's T.V.,
It was that great Grand Canyon rescue episode.

Where the vulture glides descending
On an asphalt highway bending
Thru libraries and museums, galaxies and stars
Down the windy halls of friendship
To the rose clipped by the bullwhip
The motel of lost companions
Waits with heated pool and bar.

But me I'm not stopping there,
Got my own row left to hoe
Just another line in the field of time
When the thrasher comes, I'll be stuck in the sun
Like the dinosaurs in shrines
But I'll know the time has come
To give what's mine


New Kevin Roth release

Kevin Roth has a new CD out titled "Reawakening" and it has a fascinating re-genesis:

"...One evening in 2015, around ten thirty at night, Kevin’s cell phone rang. It was Noel (Paul Stookey) driving home from a concert. He had been listening to the early demos from ‘Awakenings’ and, although previously recorded, Stookey suggested that the songs deserved re-recording with a more ‘supportive ambiance’.

He also convinced Kevin that he should write additional material for the new album which became titled most appropriately: ‘Reawakening’. “I wasn’t overly eager truth to tell, but something said, ‘give it a try’. I was simply amazed at the amount of new material that flowed out of me that seemed almost channeled. The songs emerged from deep reflection, meditation and a new awareness that began to unfold that quite honestly I didn’t think I was prepared for. But as the saying goes, when the student is ready, the teacher shows up!”

Here's a link to the songs:

Here's Roth's bio.

Ranked in order and with video clips of each

"The 14 Best Anaïs Mitchell Songs" -- Monica Hunter-Hart

Friday, September 16, 2016

Three of Springsteen's folkie songs lauded

Three of Bruce Springsteen's folkie songs -- "Nebraska" and "The River" and "The Ghost of Tom Joad"-- received very high rankings in Caryn Rose's "All 314 Bruce Springsteen Songs, Ranked From Worst to Best."

Each appears early on:

9. "The River," The River. There are so many reasons why this is one of Springsteen's best compositions. The title seems so simple and direct, except that the nature of the river changes from verse to verse. It's a device of escape, of purification, of redemption, of solace. The first time I heard this song in Europe, the rapt applause made me remember that this is a story as old as time, as old as dirt, as old as humankind. It was an awe-inspiring, unifying moment. Instrumentally, the track is unparalleled. The harmonica opens the track, keening like a train whistle high in the distance. It's accompanied by an elegant 12-string guitar, the dueling melodies on organ and piano, and the barely controlled emotion lurking behind Springsteen's voice. The fact that he based "The River" on his sister's life is actually the least interesting thing about it.

10. "Atlantic City," Nebraska. "Atlantic City" immediately drags you to the action: "Well, they blew up the Chicken Man in Philly last night." Boom! You're there. The fading glory and distant memories of Atlantic City are right in Springsteen's wheelhouse, and he knocked this one out of the park. "I wanted the music to feel like a waking dream and the record to move like poetry," he wrote of Nebraska in Songs. He absolutely succeeded. Bonus points for the best video he ever made.

15. "The Ghost of Tom Joad," The Ghost of Tom Joad. Springsteen sings with a quiet, solemn conviction that makes you feel like he's telling a story he saw with his own eyes. It's written like a movie, each verse cutting to another scene: current events, snapshots of the past, and parts that could be a mixture of both. The electric version that Springsteen recorded with Tom Morello for High Hopes maintains the core elements of majesty and solemnity from the original, turned up to 11.

Friday, September 9, 2016

"The Traveling Kind"

Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell with a moving and literate tribute to artistic creation.

"We don't all die young to save our spark
From the ravages of time
But the first and last to leave their mark
Someday become the traveling kind

In the wind are names of poets past
Some were friends of yours and mine
And to those unsung, we lift our glass
May their songs become the traveling kind

We were born to brave this tilted world
With our hearts laid on the line
Be it way-crossed boy or red dirt girl
The song becomes the traveling kind

There are mountains worth their weight in gold
Mere mortals dare not climb
Come ye gypsy, sainted, sinners both
And claim them for the traveling kind

When the music slowly starts to fade
Into the light's last soft decline
Let us lie down in that evening shade
And rest among the traveling kind

And the song goes on for the traveling kind"

Written by Cory R. Chisel, Emmylou Harris, Rodney J. Crowell


The menace here flows vividly from a untethered past to a just barely under the surface present as the lead here struggles to maintain self control. But then his life unravels when the metamorphosis of his life is harmed.


I ain’t like that anymore
I don’t kick off like before 
I’m more relaxed, I’m all reformed
I ain’t a firestorm

I played a show in Club Delaney
Long, but still they would not pay me
They said times were tough and I said tough times just abound
They said it’s all misunderstanding
And I should not be so demanding
In the old days I’d have burned the bastards down


I made my way from Spain to France
A naked sort of paper dance
There were stamps to beg for and palms demanding grease
They said there’s nothing they could do
They said there’s tricks that get you through
Was a time I would have nailed those palms to trees


Cause now you’ve turned my eyes to see
A wider view, a kinder scene
I used to blame the forest for the trees
But you hold my hand and step me back
A love that lights a charcoal past
A trail of ash and burned down memories

I used to flap my tongue like fists of flint against the granite fools
Until sparks blazed in my eyes, it’s true 
But now I’m done with that, I haven’t
Torched the woods to kill one rabbit
Not for years, not until they came and fucked with you

I’m still like that some I know
There’s still kindling in my soul
It burns quiet, it burns slow
Until a firestorm explodes