and music lovers--
Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you all had some great food and company to celebrate.
I know I am feeling pretty blessed by family and friends and the fact that we really
know how to have fun. Here's this month's index.
-Americana Music Awards
-Thank you and upcoming shows
Americana Music Awards-
I saw a post on face book recently with a link to a song called The Weight. This song has been played a lot this year because it
is so much associated with the great drummer, Levon Helm, who died of cancer earlier
this year. As many of you know, Levon played and sang with a group called The Band,
who's rootsy sound was a great influence on many musicians over the last few decades.
You may recognise the song from it's chorus "Take a load off Annie, take a
load for free". The posted version was performed by several winners of this
year's Americana Music Awards, including Bonnie Raitt, John Hyatt, Booker T Jones,
Emmy Lou Harris, and Richard Thompson. They were joined by the house band including
Buddy Miller, Jim Lauderdale, Larry Campbell, and Levon's daughter Amy. Turns out,
there was a show made from a selection of songs at the awards ceremony which aired
on the PBS program Austin City Limits. The following are some of my favorites from the evening. The show
began with Booker T Jones playing his classic tune Green Onions. When I was a kid we had that song on a record by Herb
Albert and the Tijuana Brass. It would be many years later before I heard the man
himeself play that tune (although it was probably on the radio). Booker T (keyboards),
along with guitarist Steve Cropper and bassist Donald "Duck"
Dunn- who passed away earlier this year-
made up the house band for the Stax recording studio in Memphis starting in the
early sixties. They were the backbone of recordings by Otis Redding, Winson Pickett,
Carla Thomas and Sam and Dave, and, like The Band, they continue to influence many
who came along after them. Booker T was given the instrumentalist lifetime achievment
award. Well deserved. It was cool to hear folks like Buddy Miller and Richard Thompson
play along on Green Onions. Bonnie Raitt was given a lifetime achievment award as
well. She did a great duet with another of my favorites, songwriter/singer/player
and showman- John Hiatt on John's song Thing Called Love. I used to sing this in my blues/ rock band the Revelators. Then
came the younger generation. There was Jason Isabell, who apparently used to play
with Drive By Truckers. He has a great ability to write songs that sound classic
but with a little twist. Here he is with Cigarettes and
Wine. The emerging artist of the year
was a group called Alabama Shakes. Their singer, Brittany Howard, was excellent. The girl
can sing. I was glad they let her have a verse of The Weight. Calvin was asking me recently if I knew
of any classic country sounding sounding songs with lyrics about modern day issues.
His question was answered by this tune from Carl Hayes. He is joined by Cary
Ann Hearst in a very clever duet called Another Like You. I highly recommend you
open a separate page with the lyrics so that you can read along while you listen to the song. This performance includes a great extended intro from
Carl, where he laments the way so many people are all to willing to write each other
off just because the other person has a different political view. It's good to remember
that even those people who voted for THAT OTHER GUY are still in fact people. Here
is an opportunity to lighten up. Also, by the way, www.cowboylyrics.com is a great
place to find the lyrics to an incredible number of old and classic country songs.
Some of them are innacurate, of course, but nevertheless, It's a great resource.
Don't count on the chords being correct either, although some of them are.
Thank you and upcoming shows-
As we all spend time at this time of year thinking
about all the things we are grateful for, I would like to speak for myself. I have
too many blessings to list, but I do want to say that I am especially grateful for
a couple things. One is the amazing bunch of musicians who are currently making
the time to learn the songs I love to sing and play and show up at gigs with me
to play in my band. Scott Williams, Calvin Johnson, John Worthington, Fj Ventre-
it's an honor and a pleasure to have you. My Michigan pickers- Drew "Captain
Midnight" Howard and Frank Youngman; thanks to you for making it possible to
start playing gigs in my old home state.(honorable mention to Seth for giving us
a gig) And to all those who have helped and encouraged me along the way, including
Buddy Ro and Memphis, Roy Brown and Bob Sykes, The Hitone boys, Mel Jones and Donnie
Story, Lj Errante, and so many more. All the hard work and woodshedding isn't worth
a dang if you don't have folks to play and sing the songs with. And then, of course,
there are my Galax pickin' buddies and the old time music community. They have been
with me since I was seriously green, and I wouldn't be near as good today without
thing that is so essential to my ability to do this playing and singing that I love
so much is, of course, all the great people who love my music enought to come out
and dance and enjoy what I am able to bring. Those who listen online and share my
music with your friends and family. And the folks who manage the clubs, restaurants,
festivals, swing dances and events that hire us and provide a place to gather and
dance and play. Thank you all so very much. I really appreciate you!
My next gig is at J Butler's in
Lewisville on Saturday, Dec 22nd. I will
have Scott Williams on guitar and this will be my first show with Roger Kohrs on
upright. Roger spent several years on the road, including a couple with Unknown
Hinson. He came off the road to raise his new son, and has been playing with a bunch
of great bands in the area. He will be able to fill in for Calvin, who keeps busy
with all his other bands. I am hoping that he will help make it possible for me
to play that much more. We have some fun tunes in store, so I hope some of you will
make time for us in the thick of your christmas season. I will be back at the Blue Note Grill in Durham with John Worthington and Fj Ventre on Thursday,
Jan 31st. We start at 7, so it's OK to come out on a school night. They have great
food and it's afordable. Full bar, too. The crowd is always fun here. We wrap around
9-9:30(ish), depending on how long folks want to stick around and dance. Come out
and shake a leg.
you all the very best of the holiday season, and I look forward to seeing you down
Geraniums with Merigold and a little bit of Lantana.
Tonight's 27 degree forcast should be the end of
WIDGETS (Put our stuff on your web pages and blogs!)