Wednesday, December 08, 2004
Man, I dropped the ball yesterday. Posting in the wee hours of the morning can do this, I think. So...everybody join me in raising a toast and wishing a happy belated birthday to Mr. Tom Waits, who turned 55 (Ol' 55?) yesterday.
Got my first repost request the other day. So in the spirit of giving, you'll find a repost of Roland Kirk and Jimmy Smith following the new tunes from today.
Regular readers will remember that I had been putting up mainly old country, blues, 'n' garage before this holiday bum rush. So a slight return today.
Merle Haggard has always been eclipsed a bit by some of his contemporaries, most notably Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. They got their starts at roughly the same time, came to be known as brilliant songwriters, forged the outlaw image in country and western, had very regrettable 70's and 80's, and recently experienced career rebirths. There's no argument from me about Johnny Cash's place in American music...he was a god. But I'd like to think that ole Hag belongs right there next to him. The craggy, unmistakable voice, the duality of god and the devil, the ability to take the common and transcend, jail time. Actually, legend has it that Hag first heard Cash while serving his own stint in the pokey. One could spend hours debating the merits and intention of Okie From Muskogee, but the truth is, it's a damn fun song to sing along with, and is, frankly, one of his lesser songs. The man has written classics, and has helped keep the legends of Bob Wills and Townes van Zandt alive. Songs:Illinois did a great post on Merle a week or so ago, with some of his more contemporary songs. Like most country and western artists, he was even known to do a christmas tune or so. Enjoy.
Merle Haggard: I Wish I Was Santa Claus (mp3)
Merle Haggard: Christmas in Cabo San Lucas (mp3)
Roland Kirk: We Free Kings (mp3)
Jimmy Smith: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (mp3)
(All files are YouSendIts...click on tune...go to site to download.)