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Remember the blind DJ/radio station owner in “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” After the band would play in his little studio, he would say something like, “yes sir, that’s mighty fine playing.” I can hear him voicing his high approval of Tim Grimm and “This Hole.” It’s all good, yes sir.
Tim is also an actor, having credits in films such as “Clear and Present Danger” and “Backdraft,” to name some of those that I’m familiar with. And he has a list of TV credits, my favorite of which is the incredible “The Larry Sanders Show,” (Rip Torn was Brandoish) as well as a co-starring role on Reasonable Doubts.
Timbo now lives with his family in rural Indiana, from whence he hails. Right now he is off touring Italy and The Netherlands. You know that I am proficient in Folk Music and Mr. Grimm passes my talent test with flying colores. I don’t think I have featured his music previously on HarryShots, so you may not have heard him, but I think you ought to, and here he is. -Harry
Our Boston Red Sox are surging, finally. As of this update, the Red Sox have won eight of nine games, including five in a row. On the down side, we are still five games under .500, but a week ago, it was a whole lot worse. Maybe the All Star pause was the break we needed. Everybody is hitting now. Last night we scored 14 against Toronto. And our pitching has been rock solid. Koji is still the best closer in all of baseball, Lester and Lackey aren’t giving up many hits, much less runs. Rubby De La Rosa is the real deal, a bonafide major league pitcher. And nobody tries any harder than Jake Peavy. Recently, even Clay Bucholz, streaky and freaky, has been getting the job done nicely. I will also single out Andrew Miller for his excellence out of the bullpen. I call him “Stop Sign;” when he comes in, the other team grinds to a sudden halt.
Brock Holt. He should win the Rookie of the Year in the A.L. Batting about .330 for the year, he is one of the best lead off hitters of 2014. He could conceivably win the American League batting crown. And what leather! So far this season, Brock has played every position except pitcher and catcher. And he plays them all extraordinarily. Blessed with speed and good reflexes, he is always in position to make a play if the ball is hit in his direction. Of the circus catches Brock has made, a few of them are all world. Brock Holt may be the best position player in baseball this season.
So we’ll soon see if the Red Sox are going to make a run at defending their World Series title, and I know they are in a hole that will be tough to dig out of. But, you know me, I say why not?
Other musings: Like everyone else, I don’t have a good answer for the Middle East. I certainly support Israel’s right to defend itself from attacks. They are surely justified, but the loss of civilian life in Palestine only fuels hatred that lasts a lifetime. That Hamas hides its offensive weaponry among the civilian population, makes for grim circumstances. Hamas, a terrorist organization, won legitimacy in Gaza by being elected, by the very people bearing the brunt of the Israeli incursion. I feel for the Palestinians and want them to have statehood and peace. Of course, Israel deserves lasting security within its borders, which must include the West Bank and Jerusalem. The Palestinians deserve a home, just not where Israel now flourishes. And Israel’s neighbors should turn their swords into plowshares and coexist peacefully, every religion respecting the other. I know the map of the Middle East will change as Shia, Sunni, Kurds, and Christians redraw old boundaries. Someday, kingdoms, dictators, and terrorist organizations will lose power and intelligent, reasoned, and compassionate leaders will find voice.
Further up the Road: For consecutive nights, I have been startled to see the names of two acquaintances in the obituaries. Both died from health related issues, but both were happy and well, when last I saw them. Michael Libin, an old golfing buddy, died yesterday of heart disease. Always quick in commenting on the ironies of life, I never heard him say a word in anger. I think he led a happy life, had a million friends, and I grieve his passing. Last Saturday, my former State Senator died from a brain tumor. Funny, well dressed, and full of knowledge, I had not realized he graduated from Harvard until I read his obit. A former stand out hockey player, he served my town very, very well over three decades. If there was a go to guy, it was Bob Havern. He was very popular, handsome, smart as a whip, funny, knew where all the bodies were buried, so to speak, and could get things done. He was my attorney, off and on, over the years, always was a straight shooter and his opinion was nearly always right when it came to local politics. He once lost a driveway dispute of which I was a party, and refused to take his fee for not winning, despite having worked on the issue for more than a year. I can’t believe he is gone. He died four days ago, two days after his 65th birthday. So it has been a hard week locally and throughout the Big Blue Marble. I know the sun will come out tomorrow, but right now I wish I could smile._________________________________________________br>
“Goin’ Down the Road Feeling Bad” by Eric Bibb (The Transatlantic Sessions) with Aly Bain, Jerry Douglas, etc.
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Woody Guthrie’s traveling tune has been recorded by practically everyone. This is surely one of the finer versions you’ll hear. From the Transatlantic Sessions, a resounding geographical and musical tour-de-force that has been ongoing, somewhat irregularly, from 1995 through the present. I would have loved being there for some of them.
A fine mix of acoustic performers have gathered periodically, on location, in Scotland, and have laid down some very good music. The “house band” for the Sessions has included Aly Bain on fiddle, Jerry Douglas on dobro, Donald Shaw, a founder of Capercaillie, playing the accordion, Michael McGoldrick – flute, guitarist Russ Barenberg, with multi instrumentalist Tim O’Brien, plus Danny Thompson on the big upright bass.
Here is Eric Bibb and the Transatlantic Sessions house band with “Goin’ Down the Road Feeling Bad.” – Harry
When you reach the age of 64, as I have; you tend to look at life in two directions. I look forward to the future with cautious optimism; and more and more, I choose to look back and reminesce. I’ve been blessed with four legacies: my two children, FolkTree, and my passion for photography (replacing my passion for golf, which I had to give up (arthritis)). I’m extremely proud of my Son, Andy, and Daughter, Sarah, both of whom, always were, and still are, the stars in my sky.
Although I’m not too technical, I love photography and have a knack for observation, which is at least half the battle. And even though FolkTree Concerts is no more; we had a good run. Nowadays, I primarily listen to Americana music; that mix of folk, country, bluegrass, and the blues. The music I stream here at HarryShots is slightly more eclectic and I hope you’ll find some tunes that float your boat.
As some of you know, I have been working for years on a book of unusual first names that I hope will be published, at least online, in the not too distant future. I have found over 30,000 “unusual” first names, and I keep finding new ones every day.
With the weather warming, and the trees greening up, it’s time for me to get my camera out of hibernation. Remember, you can email me at email@example.com
Don’t forget the sunscreen,
My dear old friend, Jesse Winchester, has died; gone to that far side bank of Jordan. Such a songwriter. Jesse, in person, was a lot like his music, – sweet, observant, slightly weary, with the poet’s intentional melancholia.
I knew Jesse’s music for a decade before our paths crossed. Eventually, I produced a number of concerts and festivals (FolkTree) that Jesse was part of. In fact, the very first Boston concert that I produced, starred Jesse Winchester, and that, dear reader, was not a random choice on my part. My respect for him runs so very deep and I greatly mourn his passing.
We shared the South, and later the North, a fact about which was interesting to both of us and we invariably talked about it whenever we were together. I will always love his lyric “Me, I want to live with my feet in Dixie, and my head in the cool, blue North.” Though he was born in Louisiana, he was Memphis through and through, and damn proud of it, at least it seemed so to me.
If I had to pick three of my favorite Jesse Winchester songs, at least tonight, I would cue up Yankee Lady, Brand New Tennessee Waltz, and Mississippi You’re On My Mind.
But I choose to honor his memory here, with his cover of Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me.”
To quote you, Jesse, on the occasion of your passing, I am comforted by your lyrics “Oh Jesse, look over yonder, the birds are southward bound.” I will listen to your music all of my life. Your songs are part of me and my generation.
So, Godspeed, old friend. -
Harry Lipson, in Boston
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If you go looking for the a 7 1/2 minute instrumental Delta slide guitar tune, this is the one you want. Not that there are any others. Great listening to this. The acoustic slide guitar is my favorite musical instrumental sound. I rank it ahead of French Horns, the Glockenspiel, and the Banjo.
Andrey Dobrovolskiy and a couple of his friends just slide and glide their way, outstandingly, through “Mannerheim Street Blues.” – Enjoy – HL
Glee Club music is close to my soul. I can’t say directly why, but I like the precision and earnestness. They are mostly giving it all they’ve got and I appreciate their effort.
I specifically like chorales, glee clubs, and choruses. They’re unabashedly Teddy Roosevelt, Bull Moose cool.
Here is Harvard’s Glee Club with their rousing medley of Harvard preppy-serious, historic renditions of football fight songs, a few dating back to the mid 19th century. I gotta admit that “10,000 Men of Harvard” is one of my favorite things to hear.br>
We do like to talk about the weather. A conversation ice breaker, yes, for sure. What the hell is going on out there with our weather. Bitter cold, deluges of rain where they don’t need it; insidious droughts were water is desperately in need, storms that are way out of all proportion.
But we signed up for a good deal of what we are getting by the simple facts of where we choose to live. Shorelines get pounded by wind, waves, and periodic storms of great significance. The North East is cold and snowy for three or four months, almost every single year. Parts of the South West and West are drought prone deserts, where water has always been of concern.
I do believe in Global Warming. It’s for real, cut and dried, no doubt about it. It’s the gospel truth. We need to do everything we can do while we have the time to make a difference. The stakes are way too high to twiddle our thumbs.
But weather has been wreaking havoc for as long as anyone ever took the time to look at a cloud, or wipe the sweat off their brow. Hot in the summer, cold and snowy in January and February, and maybe in March, with its lion and lamb metaphor. Shorelines get hurricanes and Nor’easters. Santa Anna winds will blow on cue way out West. It rains a lot in Seattle. Phoenix gets its incredible dust storms, now and again. Boy how we love to talk about the weather, primarily when it conks us on the head. I’ve shoveled snow in the middle of May; Believe me, I have, back in the 1980s. That’s one of my favorite stories to tell. Want to hear it. Of course you don’t. Not a chance, huh. Okay, I’ll tell it to you another day.
I’m sure that Aristotle and Napoleon, Mary the Queen of Scots, and Benjamin “I Love Lightning” Franklin all had more than a few words to say about the weather, from the time they awoke until they nodded off to sleep. (Mary, please forgive the nodding reference). My mistake. Se la vie.
As we know, weather can and does kill folks on a daily basis. 24/7/365.25 Mother Nature needs all the respect in the world. Literally and figuratively. We drive in a blizzard at our own peril. We go down to the ocean’s edge to watch the big waves pile up when perhaps we should take several steps back. We takes our chances and some will lose their lives.
I put up with difficult winters because that’s what is required if you want to live in a New England autumn or enjoy Springtime walking down the middle of Commonwealth Avenue. I enjoy going around the public gardens in late April. It is the prize in the crackerjack box, that is our weather. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of Arizona. Kitchens be damned.
Comfort is what we all want. Security and comfort are way up there on the list of what we would like to have. Weather screws around with both of them. Our friend and our nemesis. Weather is like a box of whatever Tom Hanks said it was. – Can you believe this weather? Yes, I believe you can. -
Harry Lipson 3rd, in cold and snowbound Boston
PETE SEEGER: A Life of Purpose, R.I.P.
Having just heard of the passing of one of my heroes, Pete Seeger; I know that his life was about making a difference. He was somebody who was willing to buck long odds.
He had two purposes, folk music and activism, and he blended the two in furtherance of both.
Brave, foolhardy, and quixotic, Pete showed up and rallied people to causes.
I mourn his passing but I praise his life, his soul, his life-force.
He cut the mustard. He rang the bell. I sing his praises, I sing his praises. – Harry Lipson III / HarryShots.com
Sometimes, mindless and beautiful instrumentals are just the ticket. Easy on the thought processes. That brings me to KAARE NORGE, the Danish, classically trained guitarist. As they say, play it with feeling next time and, no doubt about it, KN plays from an emotional place. His music is beautiful, perhaps a bit over the top, but when you want lovely and wordless, Kaare Norge is, as I said previously, just the ticket.
Blackbird has been recorded ad infinitum, but this is a fairly fresh and imminently listenable tune. Thanks to the incomparable Beatles, Blackbird is reknown and one of the great Beatles songs, known the world over.
The album, HERE COMES THE SUN, has half a dozen quality instrumentals worth your attention.
When you need a break from the English language and want to hear familiar music, Kaare Norge’s Blackbird will do just fine. – Harry at HarryShots.com
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I love Bob Dylan when his songs achieve a “raucous” level. I love it when you can hear his mischief and mirth. You aurally can intuit the good time he’s having as he lays down certain tracks. For me, Duquesne Whistle is a riot. The song chugs along for a while before it gets up to speed, and the rails start rattling.
Bob Dylan certainly does not need my praise. But I get light on my feet when I hear this song. In case you didn’t know, the cat can flat out write (he teams here with Robert Hunter).
Enjoy The Duquesne Whistle by Bob Dylan. It’s the HarryShots.com Song of the Week. - Harry
These guys encompass the best of gospel and of bluegrass. They first recorded in 2007 and their star has risen. Darrin Vincent and Jamie Dailey Mssr. Dailey was the lead singer and guitar player, for eight years, with Doyle Lawson & QuickSilver. Vincent was with Ricky Skaggs Band, Kentucky Thunder, and is the brother of bluegrass’s Rhonda Vincent.
Dailey and Vincent’s six albums have received two Grammy nominations and the duo has won more than a dozen awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association. They record on the Rounder label.
Here is “Winter’s Come and Gone” from the album, Brothers from Different Mothers. Enjoy. – Harry / HarryShots.com
I came to Josh Ritter’s music via John Prine‘s duet with Josh, on My Mexican Home. MMH is one of my favorite Johnny P. songs. His imagery and heartfelt delivery of those understated lyrics always gets to me. A John Prine song will do that to a lot of us, for sure. Man, I love John Prine’s music. Here’s to his health. Long may you run, John.
But back to Josh Ritter. Here is The AppleBlossom Rag, which is the HarryShots.com Song of the Week. - So Enjoy! - Harry
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These “Kids” are really anything but. Some have said they are Simon and Garfunkel Lite, but that may be a bit harsh. Paul Simon is a very under-rated guitarist and the “Kids” are right up there too. They feature two vintage guitars (a Gibson and a Martin). Ken Pattengale and Joey Ryan are The Milk Carton Kids and they are great together. Excellent work by two fine artists.
This is my favorite song of theirs and I hope you like “Heaven” which is on their Ash and Clay cd. Enjoy, - Harry Lipson / HarryShots.com
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You know this dude, Sammy Dee Morton has shucked his share of oysters, gigged his share of frogs, and gone wild on his share of pit BBQ. He’s obviously been doin’ things Louisianne for a good long while. He pours hot sauce in his coffee, eats two muffalettas at the same time, and his guitar speaks fluent alligator. For your listening pleasure… - Harry
As the new year begins, it’s a good time to count blessings. Things could be worse. And yes, things could, sure as hell, be better. At the age of 64, I can no longer die young, having passed by “young.” It is so unreal and amazing to me that all those years have passed, and the accumulated time simply staggers me.
With Facebook I now connect with my old high school classmates and our next Reunion is the big one, the 50th, in about four years.
If you asked me how old I really feel, I would say about forty five. That’s how old I am inside on most days. I am nowhere near 64. But that is where I am in chronological time. As I said, for me, it seems too soon to be this old. Not that 64 is old, but I am no longer a spring chicken. I am too old to be that.
I am still looking for adventure of a sort. I am out there with my camera almost every day, shooting life as I see it wherever I go. That in and of itself is a bit of an adventure. Like a kid with Halloween candy collected, I go back to my computer and download the day’s images and see what I have that’s good. It’s like being a fisherman, except I don’t get paid for my catch. That is a shame and one that I would like to rectify soon.
But about those blessings to count. Let me begin with my children who have essentially, each been a blessing since the day each was born. No problems socializing as a kid. No drug issues or behavioral problems in high school. Both went to great colleges and my daughter, Sarah, likes school so much she is about half way through a double Doctorate at the University of Michigan. The professor in waiting, same as my father and his father before him.
It is a blessing that my son has temporarily moved back home. It is nice to see him daily and hear how his life is going. He has weathered a lot of surgery in the past year and now that that is behind him, he has a lot to look forward to; starting with his Aliyah trip to Israel, next month. Ten days in the Promised Land, will be eye opening and possibly spiritual for him. The Middle East.
On a note of lesser importance than family, my sports teams keep on winning. Alabama vied for its fourth national championship in the last six years, and three in a row. They almost got there. Again! Roll Tide. Roll Damn Tide, Y’all.
My Red Sox just won the World Series. How bout those apples. That is their third World Series in the past nine seasons, after a drought of 86 years. FinestKind.
My New England Patriots are in the hunt again this season, led by Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. The Pats have won three Super Bowls in the past 12 years and been in contention almost every season.
My Celtics are rebuilding this year having traded my all time favorite basketball player, KG, Kevin Garnett. He was my man. My MAN! Things on Causeway Street will never be the same without KG. Even though the Celtics are rebuilding, I take solace in remembering that they are the NBA’s most storied franchise and have won more NBA titles than any other team.
My favorite golfer, Phil Mickelson, keeps winning Majors. All blessings of a sort.
I count my blessings for the health of my family. We are all in pretty great shape healthwise. And that is the ultimate blessing to count.
I am cognizant of the health concerns affecting quite a few of my high school friends and classmates. We have lost over 70 of my classmates, about 10% of the Tuscaloosa High School Class of 1967. A few to wars, most to sickness. Speaking of Tuscaloosa, I am thankful that so much of Tuscaloosa was spared in the Great Tornado of April 27, 2011. I count the blessings there as well as here in Boston, my home for the past 33 1/2 years. Alabama and Massachusetts haven’t got a lot in common, other that great sports teams, but I count both as home and always will.
I know that I am not going to actually change the world at this point in my life. No medical cures, no scientific discoveries will be credited to me. I wish that I had been of more help to more people. But I am mostly happy, and on most days I mentally feel somewhere between OK and Pretty Damn Fine.
As I have edged into my Sixties, I find that I like sleeping. I can nap at the drop of a hat. Pretty much anywhere, I can close my eyes and fall asleep. I count that as a blessing. It relaxes me. Sleep has a calming effect.
And my dreams are fun to participate in. Generally speaking. They too are an adventure. Mostly I don’t remember them, but afterwards I feel that things kinda worked out, and was interesting, if not very important. As John Prine sang, “I can’t complain.”
I can’t complain. I have been blessed. And there are blessings around every day. Some I take notice of.
I feel a sense of well being, that I used to call “Lipson Luck” which I dearly hope provides protection or guidance to my children, in a silent and unseen way, for their benefit and well being.
I wish you all a healthy and happy 2014.
I kept singing Auld Lang Syne as the New Year approached. It has become my favorite song as the years keep passing. On occasions, it can bring me to tears. I even count that as a blessing of a sort, I suppose. My Ipod has several dozen versions of Auld Lang Syne. I listen to this great old Scottish song and find a few lessons and blessings, even there. Folk music has been long with me and it too has been a wonderful blessing for most of my life.
Here’s to a year of mostly good things in 2014.
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Singing in her native Portuguese, here is “Nao Precisa” which translates to “You need not worry” or according to a popular translation of this song title via Google – “You Don’t Need It.”
With locally popular Brazilian singers, Victor and Leo, who lend their enjoyable voices to this catchy, catchy song, we have a duet with Paula taking the lead vocals for much of the song.
This is a departure from our musical norm. Previous songs have been in English, but the vocals are so good that the language barrier is not going to hinder your enjoyment. I am a johnny come lately to the Paula Fernandes bandwagon. But now that I have heard her music, including a number of other songs that she sings; I too join her growing legion of fans. Viva Brazil. - Harry at HarryShots.com
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You can look up all the superlatives in Wikipedia. Look at the album photo and you will begin to know John Hartford.
He had magic in his head and in his hands. You may not know that he was an ambidextrous calligrapher. When I say ambidextrous, I mean he would take a pen or a sharpy in each hand and draw simultaneously with both hands. And the details, as you might imagine, were impressive as can be. He played half a dozen instruments, he clogged, he mimed, he cut the rug. One man band is not the half of it.
Here is Brother John, doing Gentle On My Mind, at State College Pennsylvania, back in the day, in a live concert that captures some of his energy and spark. – Harry Lipson III – HarryShots.com
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“Where in the world is Alicia Keys?” is so out of context in a Bob Dylan song that it ranks right up there with Dylan’s truly memorable lyrics. I wonder if the band calls it Alicia or Thunder when they make out their set list at gigs. Just sayin’.
You probably know the song so I won’t go into it. Bob Dylan and his great band (Denny Freeman and Stu Kimball on guitars, Tony Garnier on bass, George Receli on drums, and Donnie Herron) with “Thunder” or is it….. It is said that the second verse, the Alicia Keys verse, is taken from an old Ma Rainey song. Okiedokie. Here is one of the best songs you’ll ever hear. The other line in this song that is extraordinary, is “I’ve sucked the milk out of a thousand cows.” Who thinks of that? Dylan, obviously. But, wow. This is a great song musically and well, lyrically. I love it.
Harry Lipson III - HarryShots.com
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Bing Crosby’s little bro, Bob, had his own orchestra back in the late 1930s and 40s, and they were no slouches. “Big Noise from Winnetka” is a little short on lyrics, but the tune is catchy. And, oh by the way, little br0ther Bob can sing like a Crosby, which is, excellently. Ran into this song on a PBS fundraiser and it stole the show from my point of view. Ray Baudec on drums and Bob Haggert on bass (and whistling eerily) are showstoppers. Here is the big band jazz of Bob Crosby with a little help from his friends, circa 1938. -
Harry Lipson / HarryShots.com
Fifty years between these two versions of the very same song. From Blind Willie Johnson back in 1927 to Terrapin Station (1977) by Bob Weir and The Grateful Dead, this is the anthropology of the song “If I Had My Way, I’d Tear This Building Down” / aka “Samson and Delilah.”
The killer line, and you should listen for it, is- “And the bees made honey in the lion’s head.” Just my opinion. Yet The Blues will abide, Dude. -
Harry Lipson at HarryShots.com
The Boston Red Sox have a 38 year old pitcher who, by default, is the team’s “closer.” When I say “by default” I mean that the planned closers were Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey. Hanrahan was previously the closer for Pittsburgh and Bailey for the Oakland Athletics. When both went down to season ending injuries, the Red Sox turned to Alfredo Aceves. He was like a box of chocolates and was finally released from the team.
That is when, on June 21, the Red Sox handed the ball in the 9th inning to Koji Uehara.
Since Koji Uehara became the Red Sox closer, he has, statistically speaking, been about the best reliever in all of major league baseball. Not many folks are noticing what is going on with “Ooee,” but here are the statistical facts (Baseball loves stats):
Koji has pitched a total of 60.1 innings so far. Among major league relievers with at least 15 innings pitched, “Ooee” has the lowest WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched) which is 0.63. That is by far the best for any closer in the Big Leagues.
Ooee’s ERA (earned run average) is second best among all closers in baseball, at 1.19. You eventually get to Cooperstown with an ERA like that. Of course, the only way Koji is getting in the HOF is by buying a ticket, like the rest of us. But if your best year in baseball was all that counted, Ooee would be a Hall of Famer.
Koji-san has faced 208 batters this season. He has given up only 29 hits and has walked 9 batters. Unheard of. That means the other 179 batters made “outs”. Koji-san is a lights out closer par excellence.
Strike Outs: In the 60.1 innings pitched, Koji has struck out 82 which is almost 1.5 batters per inning. Unheard of. On more than one occasion, Koji has struck out the side when he is pitching the 9th inning.
Less than 5% of inherited runners have scored on Uehara. He has given up 5 homers and only 8 earned runs have scored all season against him. As of today, September 1, 2013, Uehara has saved 15 games ( he was not the closer for the first 2.5 months of the season, so his total saves are no where near other top relievers who have taken the mound for the 9th inning, all season long). Uehara has not lost a game.
I think that it’s time to take a look at what is going on in Boston. Koji-san is the hottest “fireman” pitching. High five!, Ooee.
Harry Lipson III for HarryShots.com
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In this corner, fighting out of West Saugerties, New York, are five guys (Garth Hudson, Robbie Robertson, Richard Manuel, Rick Danko, and Levon Helm) who connected with Bob Dylan, lived in a big pink house, and became what, in my opinion, was the first, and possibly best, Americana band of all time.
They made music for about 12 years, and when they disbanded in 1976, Martin Fuckin’ Scorsese, hisself, would make a movie of their final concert (The Last Waltz). They called themselves The Band, which, if they weren’t in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, would be some kind of chutzpah.
The Band reunited without guitarist Robbie Robertson in the 1980s and continued in various personnel lineups for another decade. They would record ten studio albums, not including their great records with Bob Dylan, with whom they were, and are, so closely identified. Sadly, Richard Manuel, Rick Danko, and Levon Helm have all since died.
Here is the “rough mix, alternative vocal take” of one of their big hits, “Rag Mama Rag.” – Harry Lipson III - HarryShots.com
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Me, I thought that Piggly Wiggly was just a local grocery store, in my hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, back in the late 1950s. Boy was I wrong, and I only figured this out two days ago. I was listening to the MIT college radio blues show and they proceeded to play “The Piggly Wiggly Blues” aka “Groceries On My Shelf” by Lucille Bogan. ” Okie dokie”, I correctly surmised, I may have been slightly myopic and kinda wrong on my facts.
The facts are these. Piggly Wiggly Grocery Stores were founded in 1916 in Memphis. They were the first self service grocery store in the USA. Today it is a large American chain of mostly Southern and Midwestern grocery stores, specializing in serving small towns, which I applaud. Today there are over 600 stores in the Piggly empire (so goes my “Piggly Wiggly is “just in Tuscaloosa” thought).
Lucille Bogans was a blues woman who recorded in the late 1920s and 1930s. She recorded this on July 9, 1933, in Chicago. Bogans has a great voice as you can hear. That she never achieved anything close to fame or recognition is the way the story often goes.
“The Piggly Wiggly Blues” was first heard prior to 1920, with a number of artists recording the PWB. Enjoy “Groceries On My…” or, as most who recorded it, called it, “The Piggly Wiggly Blues.” Eat your heart out Kroger. – Harry Lipson III / harryShots.com
This crossed my mind as they say:
“What is a pickle but a cucumber that’s been fucked with” - Harry Lipson III - harryShots.com
Lately, I have had the good fortune of becoming reacquainted with a great band from the underground FM days of the 1970s counterculture. That was my time. Welcome to Goose Creek was released in 1971. I dearly loved that record album and it was on my turntable regularly. Today, I hear a little Grateful Dead in Goose Creek Symphony’s songs. I hear Crosby, Stills, and Nash, circa their Deja Vu album.
Goose Creek Symphony, from back in the Seventies, happened to be a great bluegrass band that blew up the stereotype of “rigid” bluegrass bands. These guys have mirth in their music. They weren’t necessarily note perfect but the energy came right through the speakers. This was a new generation come calling.
Enjoy “Welcome to Goose“ by Goose Creek Symphony. Their raucous sound and excellent vocals and harmonizing are strong. I can readily imagine that Roy Acuff or Bill Monroe might have scoffed at these “hippies” playing their music. But play it they did, and the bar was raised by Goose. -
Harry Lipson / HarryShots.com