More Fan Labors of Love
October 3, 2002 9:19 PM   Subscribe

Folk Music. Stefan Wirz and Hideki Watanabe pay homage to their favorites. Check out Hideki's Muscle Shoals page for another slice of his Americana pie. Or click on a name--Eric Von Schmidt, say--on Stefan's completist, slow loading page and wallow in pictures and stories... Then there's the Richard & Mimi Fariña website. Jan Hoiberg's Band site is another. I love labors of love.

And don't forget the Bauls of Bengal or the secrets of John Wesley Harding revealed!

And note, newsfilterians, you can now order Mickey Jone's home movies from the '66 tour, too. I'm going to see the Bobster tomorrow, so I've been thinking of these things.
posted by y2karl (18 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Great links y2karl, thanks! I'll be spending hours at some of these sites...the first folk link helped me recall a lot of musicians I used to listen to often but haven't thought of in years. I would add Ian and Sylvia to the lineup too - I always liked them. They were also part of Great Speckled Bird, a country rock band that issued at least one great album. GSB also featured Buddy Cage one of my favorite pedal steel guitarists.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:21 PM on October 3, 2002

Wirz and Watanabe between them just above cover any sane person's folk music needs. I'm having a difficult time staying away from Wirz - it's click heaven... Thanks, y2karl. Enjoy your concert tomorrow - you deserve it. I think.

Btw, "The Bauls of Bengal" links are unfortunately unreadable - but you knew that already. Else it wouldn't be a mystery, right? ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:56 AM on October 4, 2002

How come blind-as-a-bat me can read it then?

Hey, I came across Wirz's site while originally looking for information on the guitarist Bruce Langhorne--the man Dylan named as the inspiration for Mr. Tambourine Man --well, the phrase, at least... Here's Mimi and Richard's Reflections In A Crystal Wind with his most distinctive electric guitar. Langhorne was Odetta's guitarist. Her bassist was Bill Lee, father of Spike. Now, Spike Lee, there's a guy who I'd like to interview vis-a-vis the Folk Revival.

I'd also like to try Langhorne's Brother Bru-Bru's African Hot Sauce.

Hey, madamejujujive, I was just looking at Rounders' Singing In The Saddle Series--slobber, drool--Vol. 4 has a cut by Ian Tyson.I still have my copy of Play One More...
posted by y2karl at 7:22 AM on October 4, 2002

Anyone interested in folk music (the real thing, not '60s rehash) should check out Richard Dyer-Bennet, a great guitarist and singer who studied with the Swede Sven Scholander in the '30s and sang the old, old songs (as well as recording a hilarious reading of Mark Twain's 1601). In his later years he was working on a project to record a bardic version of Robert Fitzgerald's Odyssey translation, but unfortunately died before he could do it.
posted by languagehat at 7:48 AM on October 4, 2002

Darn it, I thought for a moment that you linked to the other John Wesley Harding (real name, Wesley Harding Stace, so it's really not that much of a stretch).

Oh well. I do recommend him muchly, though.
posted by eilatan at 8:16 AM on October 4, 2002

Singing in the Saddle looks fabulous - I listened to a few cuts from the first volume and there's some serious hollerin and yodelin going on - c&w before it became corporate. Plus, I love Riders in the Sky too, a proclivity not shared by a single living soul that I know, haha. Great pointer, but damn, I just can't afford all these "must haves" on my music list!

Very interesting about the Langhorne trail to Spike Lee. I am curious too about Hideki Watanabe - some years back, I recall a few folk singers crediting a guitarist named Carl Watanabe and wondered if there might be a connection. I didn't find much on Carl via google - see FT9344 - just that he had recorded some music with Eric Anderson.
posted by madamjujujive at 2:23 PM on October 4, 2002

Nice job, y2karl! Folk on!
posted by Lynsey at 10:24 PM on October 4, 2002

Great links. I actually graduated from Muscle Shoals High School - a good friend of mine's Dad OWNED Fame Recording Studios. It always amazed us who he had over at his house for supper.....
posted by insulglass at 12:32 AM on October 5, 2002

Just an after concert update--I was rather blown away, seeing Dylan this time--the band was multi-instrumental, multi-genre and hot and went from lacy acoustic filigrees to full tilt kickass. He played a lot of keyboards, there were several unfamiliar songs,--
The hurt gets worse,
the heart grows harder


I'm standing here stark naked
And I don't even care
sound like lines he might write or at least he sang them that way. Then, too, he did that whole grandpa doing Chuck Berry for the kids slanty dance thing, with his piano or his guitar ambling along in a Venus and Mars thing with the band. There were a couple of covers--Brown Sugar!--and his singing, given what he has left to work with, was intense. He wasn't punching the clock--meant every word. There was a subtle light show on the curtain that began with a shadow skull--and you know he did Knocking on Heavens Door--so many songs drenched in mortality and the nearer presence of death.
All Along The Watchtower was the last song of the encore and he resang the first verse at the end--so his last words to us all were

Nobody of it is worth. ..

Now that was a Bob Dylan concert. It so much exceeded my expectations and hopes. Now I'm revved--I'm going to go play guitar.
posted by y2karl at 12:40 AM on October 5, 2002

insulglass, I didn't see your comment--I am like so envious: that is so cool. Oh, man...
posted by y2karl at 12:43 AM on October 5, 2002

there were several unfamiliar songs--Most by Warren Zevon? Who'd a=thunk...
posted by y2karl at 7:04 AM on October 5, 2002

y2karl, thanks for the compliment. I don't live in Muscle Shoals anymore (I'm about an hour away), but my parents do. There's still a ton of musical talent there. You might find these links interesting:

Fame Recording Studios

Muscle Shoals Music

Alabama Music Hall of Fame

In fact, one of the guys who works for me is a studio musician on the side and still jams with a bunch of guys listed on the Muscle Shoals Music Association site. I think you'll find their site most interesting. Unfortunately, you just missed Songfest (Marshall Tucker Band, Walt Aldridge, Gary Baker, Barry Beckett, Jimmy Johnson, Steppenwolf) which happened a couple of weeks ago.

By the way, the same site also has a link to the groups/acts that have recorded in Muscle Shoals before , with perhaps the most famous being the Rolling Stones.
posted by insulglass at 9:19 AM on October 5, 2002

Oh, and I forgot - across the Tennessee River lies the city of Florence - home of the W.C. Handy Music Festival, which honors the Father of the Blues. Lots of Jazz going on here - but once again, you just missed it. Typically held in July or August every year.
posted by insulglass at 9:23 AM on October 5, 2002

Peter Guralnick's Sweet Soul Music pays much tribute to Dan Penn asnd Spooner Oldham, as noted here, and then, too, there were Booker T & the MGs as Stax's house band. Soul music was such an integrated thing in the studio, at least--until Martin Luther King's assassination drove such a wedge between blacks and whites...
1968 was the annus horriblis of all time for all of us who were alive then, what with the assassinations of King and Bobby Kennedy and the Chicago convention and all--So many dreams died that year...

I did a phone interview with Al Green for the Rocket once and prepped for it by re-reading Sweet Soul Music and quoted it in my questions. Still have the tape: I'm asking a question about how he met up with Willie Mitchell one night in a club and caught a ride back to Memphis, and was sitting on the transmission hump of Mitchell's band van listening to Mitchell tell him about how he was going to become a star--and then Al Green is saying stuff like Man, I haven't thought about that for years! and he starts asking me how to spell Guralnick... I'm spelling it out to him and he's repeating it back to me while he's writing it down. 'G-U...' G-U... and so forth.

Then at the end, I go from interview to fan gush and I'm telling him how transcendent it was to first hear So Tired Of Being Alone where he gets to that falsetto swoop where he sings H-e-e-y Ba-bee! and he breaks into it pitch perfect over the phone and everybody in his hotel room cracks up along with him and me. It was so delightful. The Rocket never ran it because we talked too much about how we liked Johnny Mathis and stuff--philistines! But it was fun. Best. Interview. Ever. And his speaking voice is as beautiful as his singing voice--Man, I was trippin'
posted by y2karl at 1:50 PM on October 5, 2002

Annus horriblus is have so many hopes and to have them all dashed. sigh.

Great Al Green story, y2karl. Al Green and oh how I loved Mr. Otis Redding, another casualty of the era, but my my my, wasn't he something.
posted by madamjujujive at 2:51 PM on October 5, 2002

If you'll be so gracious as to grant me one more "by the way...", the Old Time Fiddling Convention has also been going on in North Alabama.
posted by insulglass at 4:39 PM on October 5, 2002

Upon reflection

None of them along the line know what
any of it is worth

is the last line he, the Bobster, sang last night--D'oh!
And he did draw it out...
My brain is a sieve.
posted by y2karl at 8:13 PM on October 5, 2002

One other thing re Bob Dylan--he has a logo now. This was on the curtain behind the stage at the concert, and it's on the t-shirts they sold--link courtesy of my man Karl Erik at Expecting Rain--I've Googled and Googled and asked Karl Erik about its origin and have found nothing and he didn't know where it comes from. Any of you know about this? If so, send me a note...
posted by y2karl at 8:47 AM on October 6, 2002

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