Monday morning, crack guitar player, singer, songwriter, and videomaker Mary Spender takes us behind the scenes to her castle, as she gives us a backstage explanation of how she put together her Romeo-and-Juliet influenced music video with zero crew. A really fascinating look at what talent and resourcefulness can do. Oh, and add camera drone operator to that list.
Monday morning, a beautiful song written and sung by Allison Young and Josh Turner. Josh writes:
“When Allison and I started to conceive of this project, we both wanted to do something acapella in the Scots-Irish-Appalachian folk tradition. I had suggested a few covers, and then Allison come to me with a verse and a chorus. We finished the song together over the next two days and recorded it just a few days after that. Allison woke up with her voice feeling terrible the morning of recording but it was one of the last days we had, so when she said she felt good enough to give it a try, I hit record on the camera without even checking it – couldn’t waste time! as a result, it is not a very good shot, with Allison almost out of frame and me blocked by the mic. But the recording I’m very happy with.
Longtime friend of the channel Gabe Terraciano added some subtle fiddle drones after the fact for this one, and I put just a tiny bit of Moog synth on there for bass. Topping it off is a recording of some birds Allison took at Edwin Warner park.”
Monday morning, Tom Paxton, one of the best of the political songwriters of the 60s and afterwards, sings a song for Pete Seeger in 1965 about buying war toys. Little did Tom or Pete realize that the problem of war toys would be fully solved in our time by banning toy guns for children and insisting that they use real ones.
Thanks to Mitchel Cohen for pointing out this video.
I like Joe Pass because he always has such taste. You know that he could do whatever he wants to do on the guitar, but he holds himself back just a bit, restrains himself from showing off too much.
When I was a teenager I worked on a play as a stage manager with a very good professional older cast who I looked up to. I remember one actor, Gene, who came off stage into the wings where I was, after playing a very emotional scene. He was still crying from the scene, and I was impressed by the real tears. I congratulated him on how powerful the scene was. But he shook his head, and said to me, no, he didn’t get it right; he didn’t want to cry at that point in the play, it didn’t serve the playwright. I never forgot that.
From Wikipedia: “Kerry Livgren [ of the band, Kansas] devised what would be the guitar line for “Dust in the Wind” as a finger exercise for learning fingerpicking. His wife, Vicci, heard what he was doing, remarked that the melody was nice, and encouraged him to write lyrics for it. Livgren was unsure whether his fellow band members would like it, since it was a departure from their signature style. After Kansas had rehearsed all the songs intended for the band’s recording sessions of June and July 1976, Livgren played “Dust in the Wind” for his bandmates, who after a moment’s “stunned silence” asked: “Kerry, where has this been? …That’s our next single.”
Let’s be frank, there’ll probably never be a cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” that’s better than the original, but this version sung by British singer and guitar player Mary Spender and Reina Del Cid is quite good. Extra city noises free of charge.
Woody Guthrie’s song version of John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath as sung by Brooklyn’s favorite cowboy, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. Phil Ochs fans might recognize the melody as the same that Phil used for his own song “Joe Hill,” but Phil was just following tradition since Woody had already stolen the tune from an even earlier song called “John Hardy.”
Monday morning, going to the window to hear those kids and birds singing. A great haunting cover of The Train Song by Kelly, Josh and Carson, performing a once obscure song by Vashti Bunyan. Vashti Bunyan’s musical journey is an interesting one in itself: this song was originally recorded in 1966, and released on an album in 1970; the album flopped and Vashti left the music world. Thirty years later, her music is rediscovered, she gains a measure of fame, and now she is playing music dates again.