The Pines : Where Something Wild Still Grows

This is an unofficial video I found on YouTube to celebrate the arrival of my copy of The Pines’ latest, splendid album Above The Prairie (released early February 2016). More info and my review of the album to follow in the next few weeks. In the meantime, all that’s left for me to say is: Enjoy.

Greg Brown : All Of Those Things on A Prairie Home Companion

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.

Pieta Brown : Flowers of Love

I have been sharing videos and writing about one of Pieta Brown’s previous albums on here before, but I still have to get her latest album, Paradise Outlaw, which was released months ago. She’s the daughter of Greg Brown and Bo Ramsey  who I greatly admire for his outstanding guitar work, is her husband, in case you are new to her. This is the latest video to one of the songs from the album and it’s untra-lovely.

Dave Moore : My Perfect Game

Sometime musical partner of Greg Brown, Dave Moore is held in very high regard round these parts (see here and here). He’s still keeping a somewhat low profile, with his last record to date released way back in 1999, so this 2014 recording from A Prairie Home Companion is very welcome indeed. His trademark accomplished fingerpicking, harmonica and sonorous, resonant voice are augmented here to very fine effect by an extremely tasteful, understated accompaniment by the show’s house band.

Chad Elliott : Same, Old Way

I don’t really know all too much about Chad Elliott’s musical work and don’t own his latest album Redemption Man which this track is taken from (yet), but I do know that he’s also a very talented visual artist. Judging from this splendid, relaxed and downright lovely song it’s hight time I rectify that (I will soon). The fact that it also features background vocals by Pieta Brown, who I also admire greatly, as you can tell from checking out this post or this one and was produced by Mr. Bo Ramsey, further add to the appeal this song holds for me.

Greg Brown & Bo Ramsey at D&G’s Tap House in Ames, Iowa

In March 2013 I finally, and belatedly, discovered the music of Greg Brown and through his albums, also that of Bo Ramsey, his long-term musical partner, and not only in my opinion I guess, guitar genius. How fond I have grown of either artist should come as now surprise if you have browsed through this blog before. I posted raving reviews of Greg Brown’s album If I Had Known  and Bo Ramsey’s very fine album Fragile and have been listening to both artists a hell of a lot of time last spring and summer (and still do, actually). When planning last year’s trip through the Midwest which lead me, only partly coincidentally, through Iowa, I was looking to find out if Greg Brown was playing any shows in the 2 weeks I was there – without too much hope that would actually be the case. So I guess you can imagine that I was more then overjoyed to discover that both were playing a show in the central Iowa town of Ames which I could easily fit into my schedule. After spending about 10 exciting and interesting days on the road travelling through Nebraska and Iowa their show on the 27th of September was ideally timed towards the end of my trip so the timing was right too.

Unfortunately I neglected to take notes about the songs they played but it was, naturally, an excellent show. I was especially surprised and delighted about Bo Ramsey’s brief 7 or so song set in the beginning. He sounded quite different compared with his album Fragile, which was the only album of his I currently know (a fact I plan on rectifying soon). He sounded very energetic, slightly rough, with songs, as far as I could follow the lyrics, mainly about travelling on dirt roads, trains and other similarly rustic subject matter, which was of course much to my liking.

Bo Ramsey at D&G's in Ames, Iowa

Their set together was also splendid, but as I wrote above I can’t really remember exactly which songs they played. As Greg Brown has released about 25 studio albums throughout his career, they have obviously got a wide variety of brilliant songs to choose from. Unfortunately I wasn’t really able to take good quality photos as the show was packed and I was a bit locked in the middle of the audience, so the photos on here are rather poor, sorry about that. But just being there was a dream come true and most probably a chance to catch them playing a show together I won’t have again, so I am absolutely happy with how things went.

Bo Ramsey adn Greg Brown in Ames, IA

Bo Ramsey and Greg Brown in Ames, IA

Pretty much the only song I do remember hearing is Here In The Going Going Gone.  As I didn’t possess The Poet Game at the time, it was brand new to my ears. It immediately became one of my favorite Greg Brown songs, in my opinion it’s one of his finest compositions, both musically, but especially lyrically. It was also immediately stuck in my head, so back in my hotel I tried to find a video of it on YouTube, I didn’t find one of his versions but I found this absolute gem of a cover version. I must have watched the video about 10 times that night (and many more since). The guys playing this seem to be only gigging in the Seattle area and I could find very little information about their work, and, sadly, no recording. I was a little bit sceptical about the singer’s voice at first, but have become quite fond of it in the meantime. And that violin is just wonderful. A cover version doing a great song more than justice.