Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Eine Kline Tag Musik

No, it ain't Mozart I'm listening to. It's the Tarheel Travelers. I've seen and heard this Bluegrass/Mountain Music group several times at a local country church. Right now I'm listening to their CD. I cannot give a web site, 'cause they ain't got one. However, if you Google them, you'll find their concert schedule around the various Mountain Music Festivals in the remoter sections of Appalachia.

They have great harmony in the "high-lonesome" voice/style of Bill Monroe and Doc Watson. And I always love that string sound of mandolin, guitar, fiddle, bass, and banjo. Think "Foggy Mountain Breakdown"; Flatt and Scruggs; The movie Bonnie and Clyde. I guess bluegrass is an acquired taste.

However, this music was born in the Appalachian Mountains by their Celtic ancestors that had to settle in the high country, 'cause the English had all the Piedmont to their selves, and like the colonial English everywhere in the 18th century, they had no space for lessor folk.

So you can hear this music in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and all of "down east" Canada; Ireland, Scotland, and here in the mountain reaches of the Carolinas, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Georgia.

All of this is by way of saying that the banjo player of the Tarheel Travelers showed up at the 75th anniversary of my father-in-law's rural church and joined in with two white gospel groups. Great music, if a little too Jesus centered and preaching for my taste. But, damn, (oops) they could play and sing.

So now I have on Delbert McClinton "Live," and I can give you a link. I cannot classify this music: Blues? Country Rock? Driving Texas Blues and RoadHouse music? Whatever, it works for me.

Who is Delbert McClinton? If you're old enough, you might remember an early Sixties ('62) pop tune called "Hey, Baby" by Bruce Channel. Delbert was on the recording playing the harmonica. He got a "With Delbert McClinton" on the album covers and posters. Damn, he must be older than me. When "Hey, Baby" came out I was learning to drive and fighting pimples.

On this "Live" recording he does the best cover I've ever heard of Otis Redding's "I've Got Dreams to Remember." He writes songs, too. "Livin' It Down" has to be the funniest she-done-me-wrong song ever. He uses nothing but cliches to describe his pain: "I had my ducks in a row and she shot 'em; I had my eggs in a basket and she dropped it"; and on and on; hilarious.

Enough for today. Tomorrow, who knows? Maybe a little Charles Lloyd and Keith Jarrett.

BRB is Write (and knows what he likes)


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