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Ends and Odds (Archives)

February 6, 2017

GTO, 10/30/15

Another track from our second show at what was then the “new” Family Wash. (Clicking the graphic will take you to my bandcamp site, which is always good to visit!)

gto

 

 

 

 

 

June 2, 2016

Standing Around Crying, 5/30/16

As I mentioned in the blog post, this is a very informal lo-fi recording, basically me practicing, recording on my phone’s voice memos app:

 

March 11, 2016

Here’s the 2nd installment of odds and ends on this, the Ends and Odds page. A live band performance of Tearing It Down, from the Gloryland record, recorded at the Family Wash here in Nashville on October 30, 2015. With Ron Eoff, Paul Griffith, Joe McMahan.

 

January 29, 2016

Greetings–this is an experiment, a rough draft of an idea . . . somewhere I can share various recordings of mine that haven’t been officially released, and talk a bit about them. Since today is the anniversary of Willie Dixon‘s death, I thought this track would be a perfect place to start.

“The Day Willie Dixon Died” was something I wrote from a journal entry–as the song says, (though it’s hard to hear the vocal in some places–a rough mix of this from a cassette(!) is all I have), I was driving back to Iowa City after spending some time in Louisiana. This was January 29, 1992. I was driving through Mississippi, going up Highway 1 towards Memphis when I heard on the radio that he had passed. It was one of those moments–it just kinda hit me, you know? I was scribbling down lines, images, etc. while I was driving. A very linear song, more meditation than song, I suppose. The fact that this was originally a demo made for my publisher at the time, Mike Robertson, strikes me as funny now. Who the hell were we gonna pitch THIS one to, in Nashville??? Recorded in 1993 or ’94 by Brad Jones at Alex the Great studio; that’s Bo Ramsey on the slide guitar, Paul Griffith on drums, and, I believe, Ron Eoff on bass. No overdubs here–and you might notice I get turned around on a rhyme there toward the end(“Big man made the sound, big man made the song . . .”). Oh well–I’m posting the lyrics here as I recorded them.

 

The Day Willie Dixon Died

(©Kevin Gordon)

I was driving north from my mother’s home

Through the Mississippi Delta where the blues was born

Through Greenville, Rosedale, and Tunica, too

Rust roofs, junk cars, a life I never knew

Pig-tailed girls walking with candy in their hands

Old woman with a cane doing the best she can

I remember I was ten miles out of Memphis town

When the man on the radio brought the news down

The day Willie Dixon died

 

The man he was a child with a way with a word

Chasing Little Brother Montgomery through the streets of Vicksburg

Wide-eyed in wonder at the music that cried

Child was the man who went north in ’35

The man he was fighter till the fighting went bad

Then Baby Doo Caston put a bass in his hand

With the Big Three Trio and the Four Jumps of Jive

The Five Breezes all made that El Mocambo come alive

 

Big man made the sound, big man made the song

With Muddy and the Wolf, brought the whole world around

Wide-eyed in wonder at the music that cried

Big man says the blues is the facts of life

Big man says the blues is the facts of life

Now I’m standing in Memphis, staring up at the sky

The day Willie Dixon died