elmergantry

' I've lost the power I had to distinguish between what to ignite and what to extinguish' – Rowland S. Howard

Month: December, 2013

Goodbye to 2013 – almost

Will start this post with some good advice for 2014 from Edwyn Collins:
Edwyn Collins, “Low Expectations”:

So, we are nearly at the end of this strange year, a year which I, for one, will be glad to see the back of.

Lost a few great ones this year, although perhaps the most nauseating spectacle I have seen in the past twelve months was the self-regarding and preening behaviour of the collection of political mediocrities who attended Nelson Mandela’s funeral. Not one of them had an ounce of Mandela’s courage, adherence to principle or dignity…

Among those we lost were Lou Reed:

And George Jones:

And Seamus Heaney:
http://vimeo.com/73559117

We also came closing to losing Randy Travis, whose album ‘Influences, Vol. 1: The Man I Am’ showed an artist at the peak of his powers and a singer who came closest to being the true successor to George Jones as the best ‘pure’ country singer:

To round off, would like to thank those who read this blog this year & to hope that 2014 is a good year for you.

To quote, Johnny Rotten, ‘May the Road rise with You”;

And here’s my suggestion for a ‘new’ New Year song to replace the cliched ‘Auld Lang Syne” – Paul Clayton’s great version of ‘Around the Ingals Blazing’:
[Sample Here, its No. 207, for some strange reason} –

http://www.folkways.si.edu/paul-clayton/bay-state-ballads/american-folk/music/album/smithsonian

Surnames and Placenames: More Songs about Cities, Towns & People – 2

There are so many songs on these topics have decided to add a second post.

So here goes:
1. Randy Travis, ‘What have you got planned tonight, Diana’?

2. Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson, “My Mary”;

3. Wilbert Harrison, ‘Kansas City”:

4. Hoagy Carmichael, ‘Georgia on my Mind”;

5. Van Morrison, ‘Cyprus Avenue”:

6. Lyle Lovett, ‘One Eyed Fiona’:

7. Bing Crosby, ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’:

8. Paul Robeson, ‘Joe Hill”:

9. Phil Ochs, ‘Joe Hill”:

10. Al Green, ‘Belle”;

11. The Kinks, ‘David Watts’:

12. Lou Reed, ‘I Love you, Suzanne”:

Surnames and Placenames: More Songs about Cities, Towns & People

I know I said the last one was the ‘final’ themed post, but due to widespread popular apathy, have decided to add another.

1. Will start with The Blasters< 'Marie, Marie":

2. Dave Alvin, 'Gary Indiana 1959":

3. Orange Juice, 'Felicity":

Living in Australia, had to include a few Sheila's
4. Eric Andersen, 'Shelia':

5. The Smiths, 'Sheila, Take a Bow':

6. Kevin Coyne, "Marlene":

7. Elton John, 'Daniel': Can take or leave a lot of Elton John's music, but have always liked this:

8. Gilbert O'Sullivan, 'Claire": Classic pop from the best Paul McCartney wannabe:

9. The Beatles, 'Julia":

10. Bob Dylan, 'To Ramona":

11. Paul Clayton, 'Geordie'
Sample here – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Geordie-Georgie/dp/B001HCL5ZE

12. Chuck Berry, 'Memphis, Tennessee':

13. Johnny Duhan, 'Molly':
Sample here: .amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_srch_drd_B0012E4AIQ?ie=UTF8&field-keywords=Johnny Duhan&index=digital-music&search-type=ss

14. Ralph McTell, 'From Clare to Here':

15. Sean Keane, 'From Galway to Graceland":

16, Randy Newman, 'Marie':

17. Randy Newman, 'Baltimore":

‘Time’s Revenges and Revenge’s Time’: A Theme Time 45 Minutes (or thereabouts) – Part 1

This is the fourth ‘theme time’ instalment. In it, I have included those songs with a substantial historical element under the ‘time’ label. Unlike in earlier instalments, I have also included two songs from those artists who, in my opinion, have handled such themes particularly effectively

So, here goes

1. Phil Ochs, ‘Changes”:

——-, ‘Links on the Chain”:

Apparently ‘Changes’ was one of Drake’s favourite sings

2. Nick Drake, “Time has told me’

—–, ‘Time of no reply’:

3. Bob Dylan, ‘Blind Willie McTell’:

—–, ‘Girl from the Red River Shore’:

http://www.pandora.com/bob-dylan/tell-tale-signs-bootleg-series-vol-8/red-river-shore-736-unreleased-time-out-of-mind (sample only)

4. The Kinks, ‘Victoria’:

—–’Days’:

5. Howlin Wolf, ‘The Natchez Burning”;

6. John Lee Hooker, ‘Tupelo’:

7. Bert Jansch, ‘There comes a time”

——, ‘The Ornament Tree’:

8. Merle Haggard. ‘When times were good’:

8. Dick Gaughan, ‘The World Turned Upside Down’:

9. Pete Seeger, ‘Turn, Turn, Turn”:

——, ‘Guantanamera’:

10. Woody Guthrie, ’1913 Massacre”;

11. The Clash, “Spanish Bombs”:

12. Edwyn Collins and Frank Roussel, ‘Time”:

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Shadows & Light – A Theme Time 45 Minutes or thereabouts

Have decided to include colours in the definition of ’light’, so here goes…

Will start with Bob Dylan’s favourite Lightfoot song…

1. Gordon Lightfoot ‘Shadows’:

Will follow it with another ‘Canadien Errant’:

2. Joni Mitchell, ‘Shadows and Light”:

3. Rory Gallagher, ‘Shadowplay’:

4. Joy Division, ‘Shadowplay”:

5. Rowland S. Howard, ‘Autoluminescent’:

6. REM, ‘Green grow the Rushes O”

7. Orange Juice, ‘Blue boy’:

8. Bob Dylan, ‘Its all over now, Baby Blue”:

9. Roy Orbison, ‘Blue Bayou”:

10. Eric Andersen, ‘Blue River”:

11. Michael Martin Murphey, ‘Red River Valley”:

12. Joe Heaney, ‘Roisin Dubh’:

133. Christy Moore, ‘Black is the Colour”:

14. The Pogues, ‘A Pair of Brown Eyes’:

15. Lal Waterson, ‘Red Wine Promises”:

16. Jimi Hendrix, “Purple Haze”:

‘On the Road…again’: a Theme-Time 30 minutes – Part 2

Of course, after finishing the first post, I began to think of a large number of other songs that included the word ‘road’ in the title.

Hopefully, these are some of the best of those

1. Jonathan Richman, “Roadrunner”

2. Ray Charles, ‘Hit the Road Jack”

3. Johnny Cash, ‘Wide Open Road”

4. Robert Earl Keen ‘The Road goes on forever’

5. Luke Kelly, ‘Raglan Road”:

6. Mary Gauthier, ‘Same Road”:

6. Eric Andersen, ‘Today is the Highway’:

7. Schubert, ‘Der Wegweiser (‘The Signpost’) Fischer-Dieskau/Billing:

8. June Tabor, ‘The Turn of the Road’:

‘On the Road…again’: a Theme-Time 30 minutes

‘On the Road…again’: a Theme-Time 30 minutes
by elmergantry

Would like to dedicate this post to the ‘mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars’.

Also for the purposes of this post, ‘Road’ is taken to extend to highways, freeways, railroads, bóithríni and so on…,

Have to start with this one:

1. Willie Nelson, ‘On the road Again’:

Will follow it up with this typically raucous ditty from Kraftwerk

2. Kraftwerk, ‘Autobahn’:

To change the mood slightly, this great song from Nick Drake’s final masterpiece, “Pink Moon’:

3. Nick Drake, ‘Road’:

4. Bert would have been 70 on the 3 November – perhaps the greatest British acoustic guitarist:

5. Woody Guthrie, ‘Goin’ Down the Road feelin’ bad’:

Steve Earle has written at least fine three songs with ‘road’ in the title – this one is my favourite, by a whisker…

6. Steve Earle, ‘Telephone Road”

Not only a great singer, but a great man as well…

7. Paul Robeson, ‘Lonesome Road’

8. Merle Haggard ‘On the Jericho Road”;

As ever, a beautifully understated song from a master…

9. Guy Clark, ‘LA Freeway’:

10. Paul Clayton, ‘Green Rocky Road: There is a sample of this song here:

http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/window/media/page/0,,4764222-14833483,00.html

Although it doesn’t have the word in the title, this must be among the greatest road songs ever written

11. Chuck Berry, ‘Promised Land’:

‘Home Before Dark’: A Theme Time 15 Minutes – Part Two

Should add that I named the original post after one of my favourite books of all time, Susan Cheever’s great memoir about her father, John Cheever. In my opinion, Cheever is, perhaps – along with Raymond Carver and Richard Ford – the best American short story writer.

Have been thinking about songs with ‘Home’ in the title or as a theme and have come up with these additions to the list:

1. Rory Gallagher ‘Philby’ – Rory’s great song about not having a home:

2. Robert Johnson, ‘Sweet Home Chicago’:

3. These are, I think, alternative versions of the same original song (the ‘folk process’, as it were), but they show clearly the differences between these two fine artists:
Paul Clayton, ‘Home, Dearie, Home’:

There is a sample of this song here:
http://www.pandora.com/paul-clayton/bay-state-ballads/home-dearie-home

Luke Kelly, ‘Home, Boys, Home’:

4. John Martyn, ‘Baby Please Come Home; – from his greatest album…

5. Mary Gauthier, ‘Can’t Find the Way’ – a great, great song about homelessness:

6. Eric Andersen, ‘Feel like Coming Home”
There is a sample of this song here (it is track 12):
http://www.amazon.com/Beat-Avenue-Eric-Andersen/dp/B000087DRW

7. Bert Jansch, Running from Home’:

8. Bob Dylan.’I was young when I left Home’: Dylan’s great re-working of ’99 Miles”

9. Eric Bibb, ‘New Home’:

‘Home Before Dark’: A Theme Time 15 Minutes

Decided to go all ‘theme time’ in this post and include a series of songs which feature ‘home’ either in the title or in the lyric.

Will start with Edwyn Collins’ fine song, “Home Again”:

How about some Woody Guthrie? One of his greatest songs

Included this Sam Cooke song, as it does mention ‘home’ more than once…

This great Lorenz Hart lyric does not mention ‘home’, but is full of references to homely comforts. It also includes one of his greatest rhymes in ‘You’ll sew your trousseau and Robinson Crusoe is not so far from worldly cares As our blue room far away upstairs’. Great version by Bing…

Can take or leave a lot of B.B. King’s work, but have always liked this one: