Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tour Songs - Episode 8

Well I'm finally getting around to writing about how this blog idea ever came about.  A few months ago we were in Columbia, SC with our fellow Northeast Band, The Alternate Routes, playing a show at Sudworks.  They came as a duo, I can't remember the exact reason why.  But we watched their set, they watched ours, we hung around, drank some whiskey, and traded CD's.  Great dudes and a great set of music.  

So the next morning on our way to some other Southeastern Town, can't remember where exactly at this moment, we popped in The Alternate Routes, A Sucker's Dream.  Pretty cool stuff, very catchy, very well-done, and then this song came on somewhere around track 5 I believe.   It hit us like a freight train.  We must have listened to the song 20 times at least before getting back to NYC from that tour.  During these repeat listening sessions I thought of the idea to record cover songs we loved listening to on the road for a video blog.  The original idea was to right about them but then I thought we should just play the tune and video it, much more fun for the reader (viewer).  This was the song we were hoping to do for Episode 1, but Ricky B. stole the CD from the car that tour and we never had a chance to figure it out.  Luckily my roommate is The Alternate Routes' manager and gave me a copy of the CD a couple months prior to that night in Columbia, that I recently uncovered in my apartment.  

It took us 8 episodes to get to it, hope we didn't butcher it too bad.  The song is called Desdemona and was co-written with Patty Griffin.  Absolutely brilliant.  

FUNNY SIDE NOTE:  I'm in a hotel in Columbia, SC writing this blog right now.  Weird.  

That's all for now folks, we'll be back.  

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tour Songs - Episode 7

Trevor and I have been playing this song since we were in high school.  We would often jam on this tune at house parties and suburban fire pits.  In New York City about 8 or so years ago we started playing it again on a few gigs as a duo.  It was first performed by The Grateful Dead on February 28, 1970 at The Family Dog in San Francisco, California.  Which is kind of funny because Trevor, Shane, and I's old band was called Blake & The Family Dog.  If you ever feel like checking out what we were up to before Yarn, go to iTunes and search Blake & The Family Dog - Stolen Days, our first and only record.  

There is a recording of this song on the Garcia/Grisman Acoustic record which is definitely my favorite version ever put to tape.  Portions of that record have gotten a lot of airtime in good old Big White, and I am sure will continue to do so.  Here is Trevor, Andrew, Rod, and I stammering through The Grateful Dead's, "Friend of the Devil."

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

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tour Songs - Episode 6

Ricky Nelson has been a part of my life ever since I can remember.  My father is a die-hard fan.  Half the songs he played me on the guitar  growing up were Ricky Nelson songs.  There was no escaping it, I too would become a huge fan.  And it happened, and I believe it happened fairly quickly.  Perhaps I might have rebelled against Ricky some time between the ages of 15 and 17, but I'm not sure.  I can only embrace his music now and you all should too.  

The song we chose to do this episode is the song my father claims to have courted my mother with.  My dad is a smart man for sure, if there is a song out there to make a woman swoon, this is it.  Rick Nelson's "Sweeter Than You", and here is our go at it:  

I just realized there is a great sadness to half these blogs we've written.  Blaze Foley, Townes Van Zandt, and Ricky Nelson, all taken from us long before they should have been.  What is it about the great ones?  Whatever you do, don't turn out to be great.  Stay mediocre people and you'll live a nice, long, heathy life.  

And we'll leave you with a short clip of us butchering a great Ryan Adams song.  Perhaps we'll try this again sometime.  

One more kiss before we go...

That's all folks, see you next time.