Time to get your weekly fix of timeless tunes in Friday´s grab bag again. Here´s a healthy diet of songs that mattered to me over the past seven days, featuring some wild banjo stuff, some pure pop and a Dutch treat amongst others. Like Captain Beefheart said: "You can physically drown in paint, you can mentally drown in music..." Here´s your lifeline.
Let´s kick off tonight´s proceedings with Palace, a former nom de plume of the great Will Oldham (aka Bonnie Prince Billy). Here he uses a song by southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd to paint one of his trademark desolate landscapes. To call this intense would be an understatement. Originally released on 7-inch in ´96, it´s now available on the compilation Guarapero - Lost Blues 2 (Drag City). I´ve never heard the original btw, so I´d be much obliged if someone could help me out here.
Palace - Every Mother´s Son MP3
Uncle Dave Macon was a farmer who played the banjo as a hobby. He later ran his own horse-drawn wagon company. Macon started out as a professional musician at the ripe age of 50, only to find himself immensely popular almost overnight. Also known as the Dixie Dewdrop, Uncle Dave (1870-1952) soon became one of the first Grand Ole Opry stars at age 56. Buddy Won´t You Roll Down The Line (find it on Harry Smith´s incredible Anthology Of American Folk Music) is one of the most infectious pieces of music I know.
Uncle Dave Macon - Buddy Won´t You Roll Down The Line MP3
Pay attention you label bosses and A&R types out there... Yup, I know you´re reading this. Amsterdam´s Bingo Trappers are looking for a new record deal at the moment, so what´s keeping you guys? They already recorded albums for illustrious labels as Shrimper and Animal World in the past, while their trademark lofi sound has been compared to the Kinks, the Velvets and Syd Barrett´s Floyd. This is a brand new song, and I can´t get it out of my head.
Bingo Trappers - Greater Lakes Of Life MP3
For something totally different, check out John Fahey. Both eclectic guitar innovator and allround weirdo, Fahey (´39-´01) left behind a huge oeuvre that´s well worth exploring. Later in his life he also ran a fine record label (Revenant) and published a wonderful collection of short stories called How Bluegrass Music Destroyed My Life (Drag City Books). The delightfully titled When The Catfish Is In Bloom comes from The Essential John Fahey (Vanguard ´74).
John Fahey - When The Catfish Is In Bloom MP3
I still think Black And White should have been a huge hit. It never was of course. Still sounds as fresh and as sharp as the day it was recorded. One of my all-time favorite pure pop songs. You can find it on Stands For Decibels (´81) by the dB´s. Great band, sadly forgotten.
The dB´s - Black And White MP3
We´re going to finish tonight with Al Green, who´s going to take you to the river. I first heard this song in the version Talking Heads recorded for More Songs About Buildings And Food (´79). That was already great, but believe me, the original is even better. Funky as hell. It´s from Al Green Explores Your Mind (74´). Dip me in the water!
Al Green - Take Me To The River MP3