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Soup Kitchen Liberation / Blog

Excerpt from the Diary of Rev. Riley Woodrow

May 1st, 1871

He had a look on his face, slightly embarrassed, as he walked back to the wagon. I said, "You look like you just made a fool out of yourself."

"A bit," he replied. I asked for an explanation and was quickly interrupted by J.W.'s, "Oh, I'll tell ya!" Mr. Grable then began retelling his folly inside the general store. "Well I was flirting with the clerk and buying some tobacco and whiskey, when Miss Daugherty walked past flipping me off. So I quickly turned and shot her the bird right back. But I didn't see the old lady standing behind me and I guess she didn't see her flip me off but saw me return fire. All of a sudden she said out loud, 'OOOh he done flipped her off! He done flipped her off! Did you see that,' and on and on and she gave me dirty looks the whole time after."

"So what did you do," I asked. "I grabbed my stuff, and got the hell out of there."

Oh J.W.

Rare Historical Recordings Discovered

Soup Kitchen Liberation would like to thank the author, Dr. Jeremiah T. Strongly, and the New Traditional Historical Society for the following article.

Historical Recordings Recently Discovered by Ned Clayton, reporter for NTHS

These are rare recordings from the folk trio Soup Kitchen Liberation, recently discovered inside an old trunk. The trunk is believed to have belonged to the late Evod Yort, vocalist of the group, and the recordings are estimated to be circa. 1932. Further historical investigation uncovered several other facts previously unknown about Soup Kitchen Liberation (SKL for brevity) and those who poured their hearts into the music.

The tracks were recorded in a small, one room studio in St. Joseph, MO, overlooking the Missouri River. The Great Depression had set on the little Midwestern metropolis, and Rev. Riley Mathias Woodrow, whose misconduct and problems with church authority led to him abandoning his faith, found himself unemployed like most Americans were at the time. With only an old resonator in his possession, he began street playing for change. Sometime afterwards, he met two other musicians, Evod Yort, and a factory man known only by the name “Grable”, while in line at the Soup Kitchen. Evod, a singer from the South, found himself stranded in northern Missouri when a train conductor caught him stowed away in the governor’s daughter’s private car, and threw him out. The three were immediately drawn together by similar situations and like visions of the most natural music, honest and pure. They each believed it to be their duty to document and describe the feelings felt and events happening in their area of the country. From this chance meeting, Soup Kitchen Liberation was formed.

Little else is known about the group.

"In these recordings, one can see SKL at a very early stage. The original master recording consisted of simply one long take; they simply hit record and played their music. Each track has a couple of mistakes, and of course the equipment of the day produced very lo-fi sound quality (they have been separated into individual songs and remastered, but there is only so much one can do with tapes this old). But this is the character of Soup Kitchen. It is through the momentary errors and noise within the recordings that people can feel how genuine the music is. You can close your eyes and almost see them in that small room, gathered around a few mics, pouring out their souls through chords and breaths. Listen closely and you can hear Grable and Evod entertain themselves with absurdity, and Rev. Woodrow’s under-breath cursing at a missed beat." -Jeremiah T. Strongly, chairperson, New-Traditional Historical Society

We at the New-Traditional Historical Society hope any listener is as entertained as we are by these, and we hope “The Kitchen Sessions 1932” are recognized and appreciated for their unique historical value as well.

Click the link, the recordings are listed as (circa. 1932)