Wednesday, September 08, 2004

granery america

You know, I can tell I'm getting older. I'm really getting excited about the upcoming American Music Club tour. Two nights in this fair city, and I'll be at both shows. Does this mean I have to revoke my membership in the Official Making Fun of Eagles and Styx Fans Group? Am I now part of the "Reunion Group"? Gad. I could make the excuse that I'm really going for Will Johnson of Centro-Matic, whom I dearly, and currently, worship, but that would be a lie. No, Johnson's just icing on the cake. Too many nigts in college, in the early 90's, drinking cheaply made martinis with my roommate Mark, staring out at the street from our bay window, listenting to the ohsotortured vocals of Mark Eitzel. Sad, yet sadly true. Whoo boy.

So, apparently Fat Possum is suing Epitaph records. Read all about it here. I'm a little mixed on this. Fat Possum has long been one of my favorite labels...I own every album they've released. (hmmm...perhaps an mp3 post is due soon). It's dirty, scuzzy, nasty, dirt-on-the-guitar-strings blues...with great packaging (when yr artists are as "pretty" as theirs, ya gotta find some way to draw people's attention...I mean, who buys cds for the music these days?). I've heard for years how they have no money, creating tensions between themselves and their artists. Epitaph was supposed to solve all that. I haven't found a response from Epitaph in regards to the lawsuit, so I don't have both sides of the story. I'm a fan of Epitaph's subsidary Anti Records, in part because of their signing of Tom Waits and Merle Haggard. I'll leave the whole "Epitaph aint punk rock" argument to the Maximum R'n'R people, but if any of Fat Possum's claims are true, and we may never know for sure, well...

The songs going on today have nothing to do with each other, really, except that they all made appearances on my media player thingy set on random. I guess they're all part of that "old weird america" thing that Magnet erroneously tried to cover a while back. I think my reaction to that belongs on another post, so I'll just give you the tunes.

The first song, "She's a Humdinger", is by a band called The Farmer Boys, from Arkansas. It's oft covered by the best country band in the world, Halden Wofford and the Hi Beams. If anyone can figger out definatively whether they're singing about a girl(human) or a bovine, I'll give them a free Gmail account.

The Maddox Brothers and Rose were a Western Swing Hillbilly band from the '40's. I quote:
"The Maddox Brothers (Cliff, Cal, Fred, Don, and "friendly Henry, the working girl's friend") and their sister Rose called themselves "America's Most Colorful Hillbilly Band." They weren't kidding. On the air in Modesto, California by 1937, the group made their first records, for the 4-Star label, in 1946. From 1951 till 1956, they recorded for Columbia. At that point, the family act broke up, though Rose maintained a successful solo career for many years after. But throughout the 1940s and 50s, the Maddox Brothers and Sister Rose tore down the honky-tonks from the Pacific Northwest to the Gulf Coast with slap-bass boogie and a party-down attitude." More info here, including discography.

Finally, Hobart Smith. Wow. This song, "Fly Around My Blue Eyed Girl", besides having one of the greatest song titles ever, just makes me about as happy as a plum in juice. Think of a great slightly out of tune, rollicking barrellhouse piano playing reels in a church basement. You're about halfway there. Think of one of the finest old timey songs you've never heard, lift yr hands and sing hallelujah. Yessir.

Farmer Boys: She's a Humdinger (mp3)

Maddox Brothers and Rose: Shimmy Shakin' Daddy (mp3)

Hobart Smith: Fly Around My Blue Eyed Gal (mp3)

(click on song...go to briefcase to download...i'll get my own damn server someday, really)

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