Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Finished my Xmas list, and Mrs. Mountain isn't taking some of my requests seriously. At least Hank Thompson, one of the trinity of Hillbilly Hanks (with Snow and Williams), understands what I want. Hank, you're the best.
Hank Thompson: I'd Like to Have An Elephant For Christmas (mp3)
Bandwidth is just about gone. If it runs out today, and you can't get the tunes, come back tomorrow when we get it all back again. Hooray first of the month.
The Mountain aint real keen on zoos. Instead, check out your local, independent rekkid store. They might have some Hank Thompson on the shelf.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Notice a Santa theme going on? Not intentional on my part, I assure you. Just seems to work out that way. Today's no exception (nor are the next couple of days). Not a religious fella myself, so I guess I'm more drawn to myth and archetype. Or, more probably, I just like songs about fat, red-nosed folks.
Legendary New Orleans barrellhouse boogie man, Champion Jack Dupree , is a little lonely this Christmas. He wants Santa to help.
Champion Jack Dupree: Santa Claus Blues (mp3)
If you're gonna jump down anyone's chimney, try going local.
Monday, November 28, 2005
Four days in a row. Pretty good for us here at the slacker Mountain.
Today we've got a little chestnut from our patron saint, the eternally lovely Loretta Lynn. I'm gonna assume no introduction is really necessary. This coal miner's daughter is a true legend, in Johnny Cash league. Really.
Loretta gets a little suggestive on this one, threatening to bean ole Santa in his Ho Ho Ho with a snowball. Not a good idea to piss Miss Lynn off, I spect.
Loretta Lynn: To Heck With Ole Santa Claus (mp3)
Note: Tunes will be up for only 3 days during the Holiday fun...bandwidth dontcha know. I'll leave Andre Williams up for an extra day, but tomorrow morn, he and The Youngsters will be gone. Grab em while they're hot.
Local snowballs pack better.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Jack Scott's one of them there late 50's/early 60's country'n'rockabilly fellers you see all the new whippersnappers tryin' to emulate. Early photos show him workin' a Robert Mitchum-style cool detachment and sneer. One of the early legends, a bopper and honkey tonkin' rumbler.
What follows is yet another cautionary tale. Ladies, if you're steppin' out on your man on Christmas Eve with Santa Claus, you gotta figger there's trouble brewin' when you get home. Scott swings the tale Yule style.
Jack Scott: There's Trouble Brewin' (mp3)
If you're steppin' out on Christmas, consider your local, independent Kris Kringle.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Holidays around the world are always, of course, a cause for a drink or ten. Too much time with family will do that to a person. But watch out, kiddies, The Fuzz may be lurking around the corner. Those red lights behind you may not be a mobile Christmas tree, fireworks, or Rudolph. Ooooh, pretty lights.
Here's a cautionary doo wop trash number from The Youngsters.
The Youngsters: Christmas in Jail (mp3)
Support your local, independent Penal colony.
Friday, November 25, 2005
Yup. Day after Thanksgiving, and time for the Big Rock Candy Mountain daily dish of holiday joy. Bet you couldn't wait. We'll start things off with a popular favorite 'round these parts.
If these tunes aint yr cuppa, please come back after Xmas when I'll do my roundup of Big Rock's fave (and least fave) albums of the year, and then we'll return to our normal service of regular ole slabs of non-celebratory honks, hicks, hillbillys and hollerers. But, hey, stick around. You might like a few of these non-Como delights. Got some truck drivin', blues wailing, greaseballin', sex starvin' yule logs on the road ahead.
Who better that Mr. Rhythm hisself, Andre Williams, to kick off our season on the right foot. You know him...you love him. Man's a legend. Got a set on him. Dirty bastard, too. What can I say that you don't already know? This little tune dates back to the early '70's, and he recorded it under the moniker of "Rudibaker". It's a delightful little joint with Andre wishin' all the best to, really, just about everybody. Great randy backup singers too. Enjoy.
Andre Williams (a.k.a Rudibaker): Christmas Wish
Think about yr freezing local record store clerks. Help them buy a trendy '70's sweater by buying from yr closest independent retailer.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Stop what you're doing and git yr ass over to Locust Street. Chris is featuring The Seven Drinks of Mankind, and he's starting with a Big Rock favorite, Beer! It's one of the best blog posts I've read. Consume lustily the whole damn thing, I say.
Y'all done eatin' up my bandwidth (which is a good thing), so I'm gonna let you enjoy Locust Street today,
then go visit all the great sites posted to yr left (I've added some new ones).
I'll return on Friday with the big ole daily (DAILY!) holiday spectacular Big Rock HO HO Xmas blowout super sale (Free Free Free...don't get much better than that).
First up on Friday will be a feller y'all love and adore. Give you a hint: his alter ego is "Rudibaker". Google away.
Did I mention you really need to pay a visit to Locust Street? Get goin' then. See you the day after Thanksgiving.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Link Wray may have died. Info is sketchy. Since I just recently posted on the man , I won't bore ya'll with another tribute. Hop over to PCL LinkDump for more information, links to tributes and mp3's, and full on Link Wray love. I'll have some muscic tommorow. Rumble, kids, Rumble.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
That, to your left, is not Ernest Tubb by the way. But this post is.
A few years ago, one of my favorite bands back in Denver featured a picture of Ernest Tubb on the entire front of the bass drum. Just a black and white "howdy folks" kind of picture, and it was funny and apt. While the names Lefty, Hank, George, Merle, Willie, Johnny, and Jimmie often get passed around as the deities of Country and Western, you don't hear so much the name Ernest. Maybe it's the name itself...not a very cool name nowadays. It's a little embarrassing to say out loud, makes one think of a great uncle who was a little special, or something (like Merle's a real hip name). Maybe Ernest didn't have that rebel personality we like to associate with real Country. So far as i know Tubb wasn't a drunk, didn't do jail time, didn't take the pot (sorry, Woodstock reference), didn't really invent a genre, and didn't die tragically.
Like Patsy Montana and Jimmie Rodgers, it's hard now to fully grasp how big Ernest Tubb was in his day, and all the way up through the 70's, racking up top ten hits and legions of fans. Tubb was one of the most honored and revered Country stars on the planet for almost 50 years. Many, myself included, considered Tubb the quintessential sound of country, from the spot-on arrangements and instrumental prowess, to a dead killer voice that rivals George Jones in its perfect blend of honk, yodel, and cry.
But something happened over the last 10 years or so. Tubb's name started disappearing from lists of influences. No features or career retrospective in popular country music magazines. Ernest got traded for Gram. I'm not saying he's completely disappeared. You can still hear "Walking the Floor" and "Thanks a Lot" being covered by any honkey tonk bar band worth their salt. He's still regarded highly, just not mentioned very often. Perhaps it's sour grapes on my part. Along with the Hanks (Snow, Williams, and Thompson), Tubb's on my short list. I'll ramble on about Ernest to complete strangers if given the chance. Not very successfully, it should be noted. Thanks a lot.
Cornpone vs. the big, big city.
Did I miss the mark?
Two tipplin' tunes from Tubb, then. One with a very special guest (Ernest was know for his duets). Guess who.
Ernest Tubb: Drivin' Nails in My Coffin (mp3)
Ernest Tubb w/Very Special Guest: Bartender (mp3)
Please consider shopping from your local independent.
Holiday fun begins in a week and a day. First entry I know y'all gonna really like. I swear.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Sorry about that cockup with the songs on the previous post. The links are fixed, and y'all should be able get yer truckin' fix proper now. Let me know if'n yr still having trouble.
Here's another post about a musician you may be surprised we like up here on the Mountain.
I know I promised pre-70's country, but I'm cheating by just a nudge here. Technically, Sammi Smith started out in the late 60's, but she's best known for her hit from 1970, "Help Me Make it Through the Night." Written by Kris Kristofferson, the song propelled her(and him) towards a top hit and a Grammy or two. And we're real impressed with Grammys here at the Mountain. And that should have been just about it. Smith had only two more top ten hits, and sort of disappeared from popular entertainment. 'Cept, as most of us know, popular entertainment is rarely the full story. More often than not, it's not the story at all.
Thanks to "Help Me Make It...", Smith got the dreaded countrypolitan poster child tag slapped on her. And as countrypolitan went, so did those who practiced it. Straight to hell. But Smith was never a practitioner of that bland, citified urban cowboy crap. The laziness of journalists, A&R types, and critics placed her there. But Sammi had other interests, and other friends. Friends who went by names like Waylon and Willie. Yeah, Smith was much more aligned with the "Outlaw" movement and it's take no prisoners attitude towards the crap coming out Nashville. To put it in modern context, she was Sally Timms to Waylon's Jon Langford. A respect for the old leavened with a rawer, newer spin. It was this fatal "flaw" that made her poison on the charts, and virtually forgotten in quick succession. Too bad.
To keep the comparisons rolling, Smith was the link between "Dusty in Memphis" and Emmylou Harris' "Wrecking Ball". Her voice was sex, but not kittenish, more late night after hours, when the line dancing is done and yr headed back to her place for a nightcap from a bottle with an X on it. Soul filtered through Owen Bradley. So, forget about what you know of "Help Me Make it Through the Night" (which is actually a pretty darned good song if you isolate it from it's surroundings), and give Sammi Smith a spin on yr ole media player. Neither of the following songs contain distorted guitar, organ solos, ranting male strutters, or references to alcohol (one of those is not true...guess which one). Nope, just good old fashioned country. Make way for a lady.
Sammi Smith: Sunday Morning Coming Down (mp3)
Sammi Smith: When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again (mp3)
That special tingly holiday time o'the year is comin'. Buy yr loved ones a gift from your local independent retailer. And don't forget the upcoming Big Rock Candy Mountain daily holiday bandwidth blowout. Starts the day after Thanksgiving.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
The links are fixed! The links are fixed! Sorry about that folks. The truckin' tunes are now up and password free. Please feel free to download to your heart's content. Truck away, truckers.
Truck driving music today. (get that out the way for all the RSSaggregatorblogline purposes.)
I don't watch much of that there television thingy. Exceptions being baseball, football, the Daily Show, and the Tuesday night trinity of The Gilmore Girls, My Name is Earl, and The Office (I'd include Scrubs, but I don't know where it went). Now, lest you think I'm about to turn into Stereogum and go all hot entertainment news on you, I only mention this as a prelude to today's musical adventures. Sort of. See, someone at My Name is Earl must have a pretty interesting record collection. And last night's episode was a Big Rock Candy wet dream. Smokey and the Bandit and Jerry Reed's "East Bound and Down" figured prominently in the plot, and left me nearly in tears with hilarity. Hi larity. (and that's not even counting the "Everybody's Talkin'" scene with Ray and Earl passing each other on separate buses...guess you had to be there. Quality programming, folks). Anyhow, I got to wonderin'....how often in recent years have we heard truckin' music on prime time television? Probably not that much. Shame, really. I'd watch more tv then. Or not.
So, in an astonishingly roundabout way, we come to The Willis Brothers. I'm pretty sure I've posted something about them awhile back, but memory fails, and it's a pain in the ass to try to hunt through previous posts. Or laziness.
Starting their career sometime in the mid-30's in the traditional radio broadcasts so popular at the time, the Willis Brothers were a mix of Western and Swing styles, playing tightly loose hillbilly stomps and long road wrangles. One of the first groups to put a signature on the blossoming trucker subgenre, it wasn't 'til the 60's that the Brothers fully capitalized on the style. Now, of course they're known mostly for the truckin', and less for the previous 30 years of music they made. 'Course I'm not helping matters much here, as I'm presentin' the diesel.
I always wanted to form a band called Truck Stop Hookers. Probably not a good idea, but it always seemed like one 5-6 beers into the evening. Not that that's what the following songs are about, of course. Only good clean romancin' here at the Mountain. Call them...errr...Mack Daddies, I guess. Sorry 'bout that.
The Willis Brothers: Truck Stop Cutie (mp3)
The Willis Brothers: When I Come Driving Through (mp3)
Don't blow smoke up the asses of giants. Support your local independent retailers.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Hi. How's it going?
All y'all probably wonderin' where the hell all the country music went. Well, from now 'til Thanksgiving, I'm gonna give you all the pre-70's country you so desperately crave. Yup. And if you're marking your calendars, might as well remind you that come Thanksgiving and all the way through Christmas, the 'Mountain's going daily(daily!) with Holiday music. Goody. Just so's you know.
I'm astonished by the lack of information on the world wide internet thing pertaining to Patsy Montana. Sure, you get lots of hits when searching, but all the biographical entries are virtually identical, and rather gloss over just how important she was/is to country and western music. A footnote more than driving force.
Like Jimmy Rodgers, Montana's primary years occurred long before record sales were properly tracked. By all estimates, and taking into account the population of the time, Montana probably outsold and outdrew by a good margin many of the artists working today. 'Course this was before music tastes split into a million different pieces, where, now, we're only allowed to listen to one type of music.
What's most important about Montana, asides from the great music she made, is the far flung influence she fostered. You can trace that influence to Rose Maddox, on to Wanda Jackson, through Dolly Parton, and living still in every woman working in country-influenced genres. Neko Case fans take note. She was the first woman in country to chart a million-selling album, she played in a "boy's" game, where woman were supposed to be backup singers, eye candy for the cowboys. She composed a good amount of her own songs, long before it was made acceptable to have a mind of one's own in the western tradition. She also had one hell of a great big yodellin' voice, that surely made more than a few lonely cowpokes a little uncomfortable (nudge nudge wink wink).
Patsy Montana died on May 3rd, 1996, after more than 60 years of music-making and trailblazing. Later that year she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Good job, guys. Glad you could, you know, get around to it.
Patsy Montana: I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart (mp3)
Patsy Montana: A Rip,Rip Snorting Two-Gun Gal (mp3)
Lasso yr favorite cowgirls at yr local, independent rodeos and cattle drive