I am usually trying to post songs and/or write about music on here that aren’t as well-known as Dylan’s My Back Pages, but I have loved this song as long as I can remember. Another Side Of Bob Dylan is equally an album of which the same can be said. Dylan’s version is (of course) excellent as well, and with its simple acoustic guitar accompaniment (and that voice) pretty much unbeatable to me ear. At the same time I think that McGuinn’s vocals and the typical Rickenbacker Byrds sound add considerably to it and make it one of the best songs they have ever recorded (which is saying something about a group with an output as good as theirs)
Richard Buckner is a songwriter I am not listening to enough nowadays, but that wasn’t always the case (see my review of his album Bloomed here). So I am lucky I found this fine, intimate acoustic rendition of Townes Van Zandt’s Still Looking For You.
A musical and lyrical marriage made in heaven, two of my favorite singer/songwriters singing a song heavily inspired/partly written by Jack Kerouac who is one of my most-beloved writers.
The original version of Big Sur can be found on the Jack Kerouac tribute CD/DVD project One Fast Move Or I’m Gone (Music From Kerouac’s Big Sur). Not sure if that is even available anymore (it was released in 2009), but it’s got a very special place both in my heart and book/CD/DVD shelf.
Bill Morrissey, who passed away in 2011 at the age of 59, recorded these songs by Mississippi John Hurt with the stated intention not to record them note for note, as ‘I didn’t see the point’. And of course Mississippi John Hurt has done this better than anybody else ever could, so inimitable and singular is his totally relaxed and fluid, yet swinging guitar playing and equally laid-back singing style. This can never be heard better than on his exceedingly brilliant 3-CD compilation The Complete Studio Recordings, which I am fortunate enough to own and which has given me hours of unadulterated joy since I bought it. So the arrangements on here are somewhat embellished in comparison, although Morrissey’s guitar playing is naturally influenced a great deal by Hurt’s style and his vocals are well-suited to these songs. I have to confess that it took me a bit of getting used to the, for me and my expectations, unusual arrangements. As you may have guessed already by judging the posts on my blog, I like my music rather stripped down and kept simple. Avalon Blues for example featuring a rolling piano and a saxophone (which isn’t my favorite instruments in general) – but it works very well I have to say after getting used to it. Likewise, Louis Collins and I’m Satisfied are adorned by trumpets which I am especially fond of on the former song. The decidedly old-school sounding Funky Butt, Joe Turner Blues and Hey, Honey, Right Away are not merely fabulous songs but arranged on here exactly to my liking so are natural favorites on Songs Of Mississippi Hurt for me. An album holding high the flag for old-style Folk Blues (although there are other influences evident on various tracks), and I can’t think of many people who could have interpreted this batch of classic Mississippi John Hurt songs as convincing as Bill Morrissey.
Dawes were previously unknown to mw, but I just listened to their new album of the same name on iTunes. I wasn’t totally convinced, but this song was pretty much the track that captured my attention straight away. Definitely well worth sharing on here, especially in this fine version. Enjoy.
I swear, I really should be calling myself Johnny Come Lately from now on. Can you believe I never heard that excellent song – a Folk classic, covered by the likes of Dylan and Judy Collins, never before until yesterday? I can’t, and I’m ashamed.
Greg Brown, who recently turned 66, returned to A Prairie Home Companion a year ago to record this song. I do not know if it’s a newly written one or from one of his albums I haven’t yet bought. It’s not one of his most catchy songs but rather shows him at his most introspective, yet hopeful. And I haven’t got to mention that voice. Classic Greg Brown stuff.