About the South...
We're having a "Winter storm"...Yep, raining again!
Hey, no complaints... the weekend was glorious.
Saturday was too busy, though, what with putting on the high school alumni soccer game and then hitting Knoxtown for the "Hoedown" as they called it. The music was good but I thought a hoedown involved some high kicking and low stompin'? I only saw two girls dancing the whole time, and I think they were hearing some kind of different music in their heads from what I was listening to. For you folks from other places, down here we let folks dance, I don't care how big they are. If you feel it, wiggle and stomp to your heart's content. It's up to the rest of us to stay out of the way.
The tickets said it was the Del McCoury show at the Tennessee Theater Saturday night. It was definitely not a full house. We left before the end of McCoury's set, and felt bad about it. Our drive home is pretty long and Del's band was very tight but uncreative, unlike the first two groups. It was an evening of contrasts and Del sure had his fans.
I'm glad I saw and heard him but I came away wondering:
"How can you make a tune like Nashville Cats into something strict and boring, like Mrs. Walton did for third grade?"
Del said he'd never met Richard Thompson, and after hearing Del's version of Vincent 52...That might be for the best. I think this is what happens to your music when there aren't many black folk living in your home town,
AS for the first two thirds of the show, I'm a proud owner of new Steep Canyon Rangers and Old Crow Medicine Show CDs. Both bands had members busting and changing strings at warp speed, and if that doesn't tell you anything, you need to get out more.
The Rangers' new California fiddle player ran everywhere he went. Every tune seemed full of him, and gloriously so. He seems like half the band all by himself, in the same way Jerry Douglas overwhelms Union Station. Creative and interesting, though stuck within the Bluegrass limitations. Their best line:
"We didn't get into bluegrass for fame and fortune...and so far the plan is working perfectly."
The crowd went totally quiet during a wonderful break in harmonics on banjo. Very creative!
You can listen here:
I think I explained Del McCoury, but then how do you explain Old Crow Medicine Show? The two live really close to each other in the Johnson City, TN area. Del even says he gets all his "medicine" from those guys. (His best line) But after listening for a while, I figure they keep the good stuff for themselves.
Crow seems like a jug band having a good time. Very loose and untidy, and Boy, can they sell a song!
Raunchy with a combination of traditional cocaine street blues, Dylan, and their own songs, absolutely my kinda music. Don't think the sound man ever caught up with them. (The stuff they did was actually anti drug, but then people also misunderstood the Reverend Gary Davis's 'You take Mary, and I'll take Sue'.)
Catch a few tunes here, but it's an act to be seen live for sure:
The osprey nest crisis on the Clinch River bridge seems to be drawing some concern. We'll push as hard as we can to turn that into action. This seems like a really simple way for the Town of Kingston to get some good publicity, not that it needs any.
We are researching artificial nest sites. Any info you guys come up with is welcome. Lots of good stuff already.
Now...From our "Questions for George W. Bush" Department:
(You didn't think I was going to let this go without something political, did you?)
"Sir, You've spent more money you didn't have, than any other President in the history of the United States. Exactly when and how do you expect the taxpayers of America to pay it back?"
Charlie has a good take on stilletto diplomacy: