Friday, April 24, 2009

Tour Songs - Episode 3

It was a rainy day in Portsmouth, NH and we had a few hours to kill before our show that night, so we decided to hit up the mall.  A luxury relatively unknown to New York City people, so it can be quite exciting, even if only for a few minutes.  Our drummer Jay unknowingly scored us our next Episode of Tour Songs.  He bought Neil Young's 1994 album, Harvest Moon, brilliant from start to finish.  It was a used copy, and there appeared to be one pretty hefty gash in the CD, so before we left the parking lot we decided to give a quick jump through the tracks to make sure it wasn't skipping.  So, we listened to a bit of Unknown Legend, moved on to From Hank to Hendrix, then a small piece of You and Me, paused for a minute on Harvest Moon, but when we got to track 6, not a word got spoken, not until it finished...  What a great song.

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That's all for now.  Thanks for watching.  

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tour Songs - Episode 2

Our first song this episode was written by the great Kris Kristofferson. Kristofferson wrote this song while working as a janitor in a recording studio in Nashville, and it changed his life forever. He actually flew his helicopter to Johnny Cash's house and landed in his front yard to deliver the demo of "Sunday Morning Coming Down" to Cash personally. I don't believe he ever cleaned a toilet again after that day. Kristofferson put it on his first record and Johnny recorded it in 1970 and took it to #1. It just doesn't happen like that anymore. I wish I had a helicopter, and Johnny Cash was still alive, and I knew where he lived. Although I'm not quite sure I would have a song quite as good to hand to him.

Anyway, there is always time for this tune on the road, especially after a hard night. Here is mine and Rod's best attempt at not butchering a very sacred classic.

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Upon recording what we thought was the most appropriate and accurate representation of the song, we thought that maybe an up-tempo version was in order. But the gods said, "NO."

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Yarn loves the sad songs, and Townes Van Zandt sure knew how to write one. This next song is called "No Place To Fall" This is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard, Van Zandt was a true genius, and deserved a much happier life, although maybe he didn't really want one. Rest in peace Townes, we'll see you soon.

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That's all for now, see you next time.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tour Songs - Episode 1

I had an idea to blog about the music we listen to when we are out on the road. We spend hours upon hours riding around in our 12 passenger Chevy express (AKA: Big White), a lot of music gets heard. But there are always a few tracks during each trip that we tend to listen to a lot, so why not talk a little bit about them and give credit where credit is more than due.

On our trip last weekend to Maine and New Hampshire, Trevor handed me a burned disc and told me that he found this website, it's kind of like Archive.org, but instead has recordings of old live radio broadcast performances and studio outtakes. On the disc was Crosby, Stills, & Nash doing a version of "Everybody's Talkin'". Harry Nilsson did a great job making this song famous, but this CSN version really nailed it. So needless to say we listened to it several times on our journey through New England. Instead of just talking about it, we've decided to take a stab at recording our own version, while trying to do justice to the one we listened to over and over again in the van.

And that is the basic idea behind the blog, "Tour Songs". Who knows how many of these we will actually get done, but we will try to do at least one or 2 every month. So here is a video of Trevor and me singing "Everybody's Talkin'":

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That song was originally written by a Greenwich Village folk-singer named, Fred Neil. Neil actually hung around with Stephen Stills and David Crosby back in the late 60's. What a tune. Hats off to Fred Neil. Thanks for the music.

Trevor and I decided to give one other tune a try last night. This next song has hung around through several trips and deserves a big old spotlight. On our last journey down south it got a whole lot of play time. Alison Krauss, Robert Plant, and T. Bone Burnett made one really great album last year called "Raising Sand" and they did a version of the tune "Killing the Blues" on it. The song was actually written by Chris Isaak's bass player, Roly Salley in 2005. I decided this would be the song I would throw on when things were feeling a little tense, it just sets a great mood, beautiful melody + dark lyrics, my kind of song. Not sure if we did it any justice at all, seeing as how this was our first attempt at playing these tunes, but here you go:


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That's all for now. Thanks.