Posts tagged ‘country music’
In my research for someone unrelated in the old Denton High Bronco yearbooks circa 1962, I came across the following photo of one “Steve Fromholz”…
I figured it had to be the singer-songwriter because it fit the era and that name is kinda unusual. The next one is pretty sweet:
Which led my brain to vaguely remember a picture of him at NTSU. Sure enough, here he is in the 1964 Yucca yearbook with the more well-known Michael Martin Murphy singing an old appalacian tune that the Stanley Brothers recorded and Ralph Stanley made hugely popular about a decade ago thanks to the “O Brother, Where Art Thou” soundtrack and movie.
Some kind of unbroken circle, what with the resurgence of folk-influenced music of current Denton bands such as Hares on the Mountain. The so-called “folk craze” of the early ’60s swept many a college campus but, I don’t know how many could say in retrospect that they had two very fine musicians in the making. You can read about Steve here and Michael here and about the Folk Music Club at North Texas State here.
Few musicians are able to revolutionize how their instrument is played and Earl Scruggs was one. He belongs in that category of rare species that mark a point in the evolution of an instrument where you can say there’s a ”Before” and an “After” along with Charlie Christian on electric guitar, Jaco Pastorius on electric bass, Coleman Hawkins on tenor sax, Clarence White on flatpicking acoustic guitar, etc.
Earl passed away on March 28, 2012 at the age of 88. We have his music here at the Denton Public Library and of course there are great videos on YouTube- specifically look for parts of the great documentary from about ’71-’72 when he formed a band with his sons and featuring a few folks named Dylan, Monroe, McGuinn, Doc, etc. Highly recommended!
The Louvin Brothers, Ira and Charlie, have been called one of the most influential duos in Country Music. And, as so often happens with brothers who collaborate, they fought like dogs but made moving sounds. Yin-yang. I just finished Charlie’s autobiography “Satan is Real”, completed shortly before his death at age 83 in 2011. Here is the cover in full pulp fiction glory:
Pretty cool idea for a book cover: make it look like a dime store pulp fiction novel and base it on one of the cheesiest, classic album covers of all time. The thing is, its all true and reiterates my belief that reality is oftentimes stranger than fiction and more powerful because of it.
Charlie may have followed a straighter path than Ira’s womanizing, alcoholic one, but his storytelling pulls no punches both in language and subject matter. The reader gets a good sense of their hardscrabble upbringing, life on the road, and the volatile nature of their relationship. In full Nudie suit glory: Ira on the left, Charlie on the right-
Posted by Chuck
I’m digging the CD “Two Men With The Blues” featuring Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis. Back in 1930, Louis Armstrong recorded with Jimmie Rodgers on the latter’s “Blue Yodel, No. 9“. I like to think this recording was inspired by that pairing of 80 years ago. Sadly they don’t do that tune, but there is plenty of goodness for the ear anyway.
Bet you didn’t think of Willie as a jazz musician, did you? Well, his vocal phrasing and guitar style exhibit his affection for Django, Bob Wills and Hoagy Carmichael.
Here’s Louis Armstrong and Johnny Cash paying tribute Jimmie Rodgers in 1970 on the Johnny Cash show. Johnny was deep.
Tomorrow and Sunday, The Denton Black Chamber of Commerce will host the 12th Annual Denton Blues Fest http://www.dentonbluesfestival.org/. Son of Muddy Waters, Big Bill Morganfield, headlines on Saturday and Guitar Shorty headlines on Sunday. We have a Guitar Shorty CD available at the North Branch library.
We, naturally, have many blues CDs for your enjoyment and edification.
The Boxcar Bandits http://www.boxcarbandits.com/ have had a weekly residency at Dan’s Silverleaf on Monday nights since at least this past July. We have their CD to help you get in the mood for acoustic/folk/bluegrass/twang. I really like the description on their homepage: “drinkers with picking problems”.
posted by Chuck.