Saturday, November 15th, 2014
Some folk music for your perusal --
The Modesto Kid -- Very happy with this playlist of folk tunes and covers that I've been recording over the past few months. (Primarily happy about this since I am really enjoying listening to it -- the thing that most strongly motivates my playing music is how much I enjoy listening to the tapes -- is this an embarrassing thing to admit? And happy as well about the prospect of other people digging the tunes. So please take a listen!) Here's a track listing and a couple of annotations.
I seem to have happened on a rhythmick formulation through which one can transform a song: a way to create a totally new song on the structure of a traditional or a popular tune. I've been recording a lot of songs transformed through this method -- this method of altering the song's beat and key and (in consequence) twisting even the melody and lyric itself as necessary -- and here lay out some of the fruits of that project.
"Here Comes the Sun" is the most recent of the group -- I made this recording on the spur of the moment and it is what revealed to me that the project was complete.
"Bring it in over to my house, mama," by Blind Willie McTell. Excellent, excellent, exciting ragtime lick! (Thanks, Dylan, for the introduction to Blind Willie McTell -- thanks, Erik Frandsen, for teaching me this song.)
"Ballad of Hollis Brown" is one of the saddest songs I've ever heard. (The three saddest songs I can think of are all by Bob Dylan; the fourth is a traditional number sung by Dylan.) I'll put this in a category with several other trax here as a song that I could picture being traditional. Just hoping I can do my bit to help turn these songs into traditional numbers :)
We been playin' some old-time favorites. Here's "Tell Old Bill." I know this song from the Chad Mitchell Trio. Not totally sure whether it is by Dave Van Ronk or traditional* :)
"Richland Woman Blues" by MS John Hurt, which I know via Jim Kweskin & the Jug Band. I'm no Maria Muldaur but I sure do love to sing that lilting melody! Another one I learned from Erik Frandsen.
(Turning the recorder back on, here's) "Stagger Lee" (hey finally an actually traditional traditional!) -- another tune that I know via Mississippi John Hurt. He's the first delta blues artist I ever really got into.
alright now here's something a little different. A version of John B. (this is a song deeply rooted in my memory of childhood campfire sing-alongs.) I'm never quite sure what to make of this narrative (to tell the truth) but I love the melody/the sound and sentiment of it.
This recording has a flaw and I ought to redo it, same goes for a couple of other trax here. Apologies if I have not addressed this already. Oh my god I feel so broke up.
dig the solo. (now let's see how that came out.)
kooky little instrumental. was finally able to figure out a dramatic way to end this lick. nice.
Oh yes! Lady waters and the hooded one! made up changes! This is a song off Element of Light by Robyn Hitchcock. Seems totally like a much older, traditional ballad. Great story! (Each time I sing it I wonder why exactly, the hooded one would have recoiled from Lady Waters' sickness? -- seems like as Death he'd have been into that kind of thing.) Extremely erotic song about death and Death.
"desolation row." (grin, shrug) A possibly self-indulgent tribute to an idol. If you're not into that sort of thing, skip it. Otherwise enjoy! :) This song's story-line is a bit harder to follow -- definitely there are moments of insight if you look/listen closely enough. Listen to Cinderella sweeping up, on Desolation Row.
another kooky little instrumental to bracket the two long vocals :)
"wish you were here" (speaking of tributes to idols), featuring me and John as Mountain Station. dig the solo/dig the harmony!
"12 gates to the city". Hey everyone: if you haven't gotten to see "Harlem Street Singer" yet, go find a way to see it! I've rewritten a Gary Davis gospel number a fair bit, came up with something new :) -- threw in a little Apocamon imagery. You owe it to yourself to listen to Gary Davis, and to watch the film if you get the chance.
"taps" (on balalaika :)) -- goodnight.