Thursday, October 30, 2008

Crawl Back To Crawford

The Blue State Cowboys offer their musical farewell to George W. Bush.

(Matt Farmer)

Well, for eight long years we’ve been payin’ your rent
But now your lease done run
And all our money’s been spent
So pack up your bags
And take a last look around
At how you drove a great nation straight into the ground

And don’t let the door
Hit you in the ass on the way out
Don’t bother with the goodbyes
Just make sure that you stay out
There ain’t no need to call
No need to write
We don’t even need you to turn out the light
Just crawl back to Crawford, brother
Promise that you’ll leave us alone

Every step of the way, your story’s been the same
Just cruisin’ through the world
On your daddy’s name
You had the oilmen friends
You had the Skull and Bones
But it never would have happened if your name was Jones



Slam dunk, privatize, deregulate
Tax cuts, trickle down
The politics of hate
Flag pin, waterboard
Intelligent design
You were handed your throne by just five of the nine

Thanks to my friend Don Grayless (pictured below) for recording this song on short notice.

Thanks, too, to my music-making friends Brian Wilkie (guitar), Stevie Doyle (guitar), Peter Strand (bass), Peter Manis (Drums), Diana Laffey (background vocals), and Gerald McClendon (background vocals) for their work on this tune.

Unfortunately, we couldn't get The St. Louis Horns to town in time to record with us -- not that they would have even wanted to get involved with these partisan antics . . . .

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Eight Long Years

When I started this blog, I decided that music would be its focus. That's why, for the past six months, I've avoided posting entries about sports, religion, sub-prime mortgages, or the joys of alpaca farming.

We are, howevever, counting down the hours until Election Day, and I remain a political junkie -- albeit one who has tried hard for twenty-five years to kick that particular habit. And, to date, I've successfully resisted the urge to write about presidential politics.

This blog entry is no exception. It's about music. Really. It's about a song I penned earlier this month. Granted, the song is my musical farewell to George W. Bush, and its current working title is "Crawl Back to Crawford," but this blog entry is about music - not politics.

So, musically speaking, I'm thrilled to announce that many of my all-star, music-making friends (Brian Wilkie and Stevie Doyle - guitars; Peter Strand - bass; Peter Manis - Drums; Diana Laffey and Gerald McClendon - background vocals) are going to join me in the recording studio on Monday night (October 27) to bring this little ditty to life. We hope to have it ready for your Election Day parties.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Pleasant Surprise

A couple of weeks ago, after the family had turned in for the evening, I wandered down the street to hear Jimmie Dale Gilmore perform a late night set. I've seen Jimmie Dale perform a number of times -- both on his own and with the Flatlanders -- so I knew what I was getting. Nice show, no surprises, the usual stream-of-consciousness rambling between songs.

The wild card for the evening was Jimmie Dale's opening act, Eilen Jewell. Being a music geek, I generally try to learn something about an act -- even an opening act -- before I walk into a club or theater. That night, however, I walked in a blank slate, not having done my usual due diligence. My tuned-in musician buddy Stevie Doyle, with whom I attended the show, hadn't heard of her either. Nevertheless, we were both impressed with what we heard.

The Boston-based singer-songwriter hit town with her crack band and played a tight set of intelligent, swinging music. Her relaxed, behind-the-beat phrasing evoked Willie Nelson, Gillian Welch, and even Billie Holiday. (After citing Lady Day as a big influence, Jewell and the band did their own take on "Fine and Mellow" -- and it worked well.)

I thought enough of Jewell and her band that I bought a copy of their most recent CD -- 2007's "Letters From Sinners and Strangers" (Signature Sounds) -- in the lobby after the show. The disc is excellent. I'm not sure how I missed out on hearing about this band last year.

Here's a clip of the band performing the opening cut from that CD:

Check out Eilen Jewell when she hits your town.