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

Tag: Eric Andersen

“I Followed the River and I Got to the Sea”: 11 Songs with Either Word in their Title

A brief return to the ‘theme time’ format.

Will begin with Creedence

1. ‘Green River’:

2. Woody Guthrie ‘Red River Valley’:

3. Eric Andersen, ‘Blue River’:

4. Johnny Cash, ‘Sea of Heartbreak”

5. ‘Joni Mitchell, ‘River”

6. The Pogues, ‘The Broad Majestic Shannon”;

7. Paul Robeson, ‘Shenandoah’:

8. Paul Clayton, ‘Saturday night at Sea’:

9. Al Green, ‘Take Me To the River”:

10. Screaming Trees, “Ocean of Confusion”:

11. Mark Lanegan, ‘The River Rise’:

Pete Seeger – tributes

A few good tributes to Pete Seeger here – one recent one written by Tom Paxton:


And the other an old piece by Dave Van Ronk, which, given that it was written before Seeger’s death, is, perhaps, even more telling:


It is also worth checking out the liner notes to The Essential Pete Seeger by Eric Andersen – which shows something of the respect which the Greenwich Village songwriters of the early 1960s had for Pete Seeger.

Seeger was very important to me personally as my interest in folk music really stems from a documentary that I saw about him as a young boy of about eleven.

He sang ‘Where have all the Flowers Gone’ on it and it was a revelatory moment for me. I was also impressed by what the programme showed about Seeger’s environmental work, at a time when such concerns did not receive anything like the same publicity that they do today…

Soon afterwards, I pestered my father to get me the album, The Best of Pete Seeger, which I proceeded to play to death for a number of years. Indeed, unlike most people of my generation (those born in the early 1960s) I first discovered Dylan through my interest in Pere Seeger and not vice versa…

‘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:

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):

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’:

Ten Neglected Nuggets

Here is a list of ten neglected nuggets which I originally posted on Michael Gray’s ‘outakes’ site:

Paul Clayton: Spanish Ladies. Beautifully understated version from his classic album of sea shanties.

Barry Moore: Lonesome Robin. Nothing Barry Moore has done subsequently is as magical as this cover of a Bob Coltman song.

Freddie White: Parting Glass. Great Irish singer makes a classic song his own.

Bob Dylan: Rank Strangers to me. The dross surrounding it means this cover has never got the credit that it deserves.
http://www.ultratop.be/en/showitem.asp?interpret=Bob+Dylan&titel=Rank+Strangers+To+Me&cat=s [Sample]

Eric Andersen; Dance of Love and Death. A fine song from an excellent songwriter, whose voice has gained an added grit and resonance with age.

Lou Reed; Think it Over. Proposed to my wife with this one…

Robert Wyatt, Shipbuilding: Maggie Thatcher’s death brought me back to this great, great version…

Kevin Coyne, House on the Hill: One of the best…

The Replacements, Sadly Beautiful: Great song by one of Jakob Dylan’s favourite songwriters..

Phil Ochs: The Scorpion Departs but Never Returns. great song from a greatly neglected songwriter.