While I saw lots of great shows this year -- 166 total (fests are counted one a day) -- they mostly didn’t reach the highs of last year. My favorite shows of the past year:
1.Robbie Fulks Residency @ The Hideout -- This year the residency had less individual stand-out shows than last year. This ranking is cumulative, but I still feel it is deserved as top ranking. Over the course of this year I saw 31 of the shows. There were more than 400 different songs performed by Robbie and his friends, over 250 of which weren’t performed during last year’s series of shows. Music ranged from Liz Phair's "H.W.C." to George Gershwin's "Lady Be Good" to the bluegrass traditional "More Pretty Girls Than One." In addition to the varied music performed by extremely talented musicians, Robbie is funny and has great chemistry with most of his guests.
2.3/17 Charles Bradley @ Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop, sxsw, Austin -- Being two feet away from an old sweaty guy with crying eyes who was pouring his heart out and just when it seemed he would fall apart dropped to his knees in a James Brown move, well you’d have to be stone not to be moved.
3.6/3 Teddy Thompson @ SPACE, Evanston -- with the 6/2 Schubas show close behind. I can’t explain it, this music and Teddy’s voice just hits me.
4.12/29 Robbie Fulks @ Fitzgerald’s, Berwyn -- The recency of this show may skew a bit in its favor, but it was such a fantastic time. I don’t think I’ve seen Robbie with his band since last year’s end of year show so I was more than ready to hear Robbie songs performed the way I first knew them. For those who haven't been, the show begins with regular music, then has original music and skits covering events of the past year, and then finishes with regular music again. He didn’t do a rap of the dead this year (wisely he let us know at the beginning so people could stop expecting it), but his year-end wrap up was so hilarious it didn’t matter. My mouth was hurting from smiling so much. And then, after the set list was finished they came back for an unplanned second encore and finished with some of their wedding favorites: Shake, Rattle & Roll>Blister In The Sun>I Saw Her Standing There. After that we knew they were done because you simply can’t top that.
5.12/18 The Flat Five @ Hideout -- I’m joining up both early and late shows since this year there was less of a difference in quality between the two. I no longer recall why I was disappointed in last year’s shows -- they were outside my top 10 -- but they were back in great form this year. I do miss Gerald Dowd’s vocals and personality, though, and hope that he eventually takes his spot back from Alex Hall.
6.9/21 Okkervil River @ Pabst, Milwaukee -- After 3 years of being in the band, all of a sudden this fall Lauren learned to (or was allowed to) play guitar; made the fall shows significantly better than the spring ones, plus they had time to rearrange how they played the new songs; loved the rework of “Your Past Life As A Blast.”
7.9/7 Two Gallants/The Mumlers @ Schubas -- So great to have Adam and Tyson back and refreshed. New songs sounded swell.
8.Kelly Hogan & Scott Ligon March residency @ Hideout -- I went to three of the four. I could have randomly chosen a single show here, they were all great, so just listed the residency as a whole. Other than if she was suffering laryngitis, it would be pretty impossible for me not to have a Kelly Hogan show among my year’s best.
10.5/2 Frank Turner @ Beat Kitchen -- This was a solo show, which is my preferred way to see Frank.
11.8/4 Delta Spirit @ Lincoln Hall -- One of the best live bands going today. Because this was a Lollapalooza after-show, I got to see them in a smaller venue than they’ve been playing recently.
12.6/18 Sondre Lerche @ Schubas -- Great show, but the ranking is really because of his absolutely fantastic drummer Dave Heilman. Very possibly my favorite drummer ever. He was really great when I saw him in New York in December, but the Schubas show allowed Dave to show off different styles more. It was also overall better because of Schubas’ intimacy over the Music Hall of Williamsburg.
13.8/9 My Brightest Diamond @ WBEZ -- I took a long time to pay her any attention because of her connection to Sufjan, but it was my loss. I still haven’t heard more than a few studio songs or seen her perform with a band, but she has so much charisma and such a phenomenal voice that I loved this solo show.
14.2/26 Randy Newman @ Park West -- My first time seeing this legend. Great songwriter, great storyteller, and a piano. What more could I want in a show?
15.4/5 The Mountain Goats/Megafaun @ Vic -- The Mountain Goats are always great and this was no exception. The high point was probably John Darnielle’s enthusiasm when Tim Midgett came out to perform the Silkworm song “Plain” with the band. Not being a Bon Iver fan, I had assumed Megafaun were another of those hipster indie-folk bands so I was very pleasantly surprised with the degree of rock in their music and their very down-to-earth and humble manner. In fact, more than surprised, I was in love. I don’t know what happened, though, because when I saw them headline Schubas this fall they were pretty boring.
16.12/15 Alabama Shakes/The Lawrence Peters Outfit @ Hideout -- Based on a few listens to the EP and the first 15 or so minutes of their hour set, I would have joined others in saying The Alabama Shakes are good, but overrated. Then all of a sudden they kicked in and the next 40 minutes carried me -- along with the rest of the packed room -- away. I hope no one messes with the raw energy this band currently has. I always love The Lawrence Peters Outfit so was thrilled when I saw they’d be opening.
17.11/11 Todd Snider/Elizabeth Cook @ Park West -- Todd was in especially great spirits, and had one of the better setlists I’ve heard from him in awhile. I enjoyed Elizabeth Cook, but it’s the third time I’ve seen her in about a year and her shows varied very little. I’m ready to hear some different songs.
18.7/16 Free Energy @ Tour de Fat -- Lots of new songs, but from comments the lead guy made, they embrace the slacker lifestyle so who knows when we’ll actually get the album. Their material is uneven, but more than half their material is fantastic power pop. A very fun show, made even more enjoyable by the fact that it wasn’t well advertised and thus the crowd at this event was not too large, something that’s begun to plague several of Chicago’s street festivals.
19.11/5 Keep A Song In Your Soul w/Carolina Chocolate Drops, et al. @ Old Town School -- A very cool show that will hopefully have legs. The Carolina Chocolate Drops, along with several other performers, including those in a band called Sankofa, performed a history of black vaudeville, tied together with narration, mainly about the Great Migration. They had a Q&A afterward and at that time it was uncertain whether they would perform it live elsewhere, release it on DVD, or continue it in any other way. The sales for all five of the shows did well (several sold out) so hopefully they’ll find it financially feasible to do something.
20.8/24 Langhorne Slim @ Lincoln Hall -- With Delta Spirit as among my current favorite live performers. Langhorne/Sean leaves it all on stage and has a pretty great band backing him up.
Even harder than picking my favorite albums and putting them in some kind of order is accepting how many albums I haven’t heard (or heard enough) that might otherwise have been on my list. That said, my favorite albums at this point in time:
1. The Deep Dark Woods - The Place I Left Behind: -- In picking songs for my year-end mix it hit me how much this album as a whole is better than its individual songs. Don’t get me wrong, the songs are great, but I LOVE this album. I love the sound of this band -- vocally and instrumentally -- and as the album goes on it sets a real mood. This is what grabbed me on first listen and continues to draw me in. I think it will be even better when winter hits. The lyrics are less traditional folk than their last two albums making it harder for me to define what they’re doing.
2. Amy Lashley - Travels Of A Homebody: -- I learned of this album because she’s Otis Gibbs’ girlfriend, I fell in love with this album because it’s great. Lyricist that manages to be highly personal yet also universal, singer with a beautiful, slightly husky voice, and enough instrumentation to move it from just a girl and her guitar. Basically, everything I could want in an Americana album. An added bonus is that Amy is witty without being obviously funny. How many songs -- let alone really good songs -- do you know about menstruation? You can stream the whole album here: http://amylashley.bandcamp.com.
3. The Deaf - Toot Whistle Plunk Boom!: -- The first song on this album is appropriately titled “1973.” A Dutch band playing garage rock with a sound from that era and having my beloved male/female vocals. This is my Codeine Velvet Club of 2011.
4. Crooked Fingers - Breaks In The Armor: -- I fell in love with Eric Bachmann immediately on hearing him for the first time -- opening for The Delgados -- because of his Neil Diamond-like voice. But he’s also a great songwriter, as exhibited on this album. One of the things I find both intriguing and appealing is the great diversity of sound while the tempo doesn’t change very much at all. Even songs that I think of as rockers, like “Bad Blood” and “Went To The City” are really pretty slow.
5. Okkervil River - I Am Very Far: -- The first time since Don’t Fall In Love that an Okkervil album hasn’t been my number one (what was I thinking then; it’s my number 1 album of the decade ranked only no. 5 in 2002). This album makes me think of Michael Jordan leaving basketball to play baseball -- he may have been great at the latter, but he was the best at the former. Will did that with his decision to write abstract lyrics because he didn’t like that people thought they knew what he was writing about. On the other hand, if this is the direction he wanted to go, as an artist I respect, I’m glad he followed his wishes rather than repeating himself because it was safe. But I sure hope he goes back to his old lyrical style.
6. Teddy Thompson - Bella: -- First, I love Teddy’s voice. But I also love his take on loneliness -- mainly self-sabotage.
7. The Steepwater Band - Clava: -- I can’t believe these guys are from Chicago and been around for 10 years, with a whole bunch of albums, and this is the first I’m hearing from them. They’ve played several times here this year, but I seem to miss them every time. It’s rootsy hard rock.
8. Dolorean - The Unfazed: -- Even though anything in my top 10 should be considered high praise as there were more than 40 albums that I really liked this year, I still feel like this is ranked lower than it might have been if (1) I didn’t judge it against two of my all-time favorite albums, Dolorean’s Not Exotic and Violence In The Snowy Fields and (2) I hadn’t been in more of a rock mood lately. While I think over time, if anything, the Okkervil River album may fall in my esteem, this one I expect to grow because when I give my full attention I love most of these songs as much as anything Al James has done before. It just takes more focus from me than his others.
9. Mastodon - The Hunter: -- One of the very few metal bands I like and I’m very glad they’ve moved away from the prog of the last album.
10. The Lawrence Peters Outfit - What You Been Missin’: -- I’ve been seeing Lawrence play many of these songs live for several years so it’s a little hard thinking of this as a new album, but I love it and so glad he finally released something with a much better sound quality than my youtube videos, which was my only option for home listening before. Great honky tonk country; mostly originals though he does a great version of George Jones’ “Poor Little Rich Boy.” If you like traditional country you should at least give this a listen: http://soundcloud.com/lawrence-peters-outfit/sets/the-lawrence-peters-outfit.
11. JEFF The Brotherhood – We Are The Champions 12. The Reigning Sound - Abdication EP 13. The Vaccines - What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? 14. British Sea Power - Valhalla Dancehall 15. Frank Turner - England Keep My Bones 16. Army Navy - The Last Place 17. Chris Isaak - Beyond the Sun 18. Face To Face - Laugh Now…Laugh Later 19. Laura Cantrell - Kitty Wells Dresses 20. Ricky Skaggs - Country Hits Bluegrass Style 21. The Decemberists - The King Is Dead 22. Those Darlins - Screws Get Loose 23. Telekinesis - 12 Desperate Straight Lines 24. The Heavenly States - Oui Camera Oui EP 25. Mind Spiders - Mind Spiders 26. Red Fang - Murder The Mountains 27. Ensemble - Excerpts 28. Alela Diane - Alela Diane & Wild Divine 29. King Creosote & Jon Hopkins - Diamond Mine 30. John Wesley Harding - The Sound Of His Own Voice 31. Frankie & The Heart Strings - Hunger 32. Caitlin Rose - Own Side Now 33. Amor de Dias – Street of the Love of Days 34. Dum Dum Girls - Only In Dreams 35. Charles Bradley - No Time For Dreaming
Links to my year-end compilations -- two songs from my 10 favorite albums and 1 song from my next 25 favorite. You can stream or download.
BEST http://www.box.com/s/45lephpqvs7hubnha8kt 1.White Shadow Waltz - Okkervil River 2.Your Past Life As A Blast - Okkervil River 3.Kiss Indiana Goodbye - Amy Lashley 4.Ode To Middle Age - Amy Lashley 5.Heavy Hours - Crooked Fingers 6.Bad Blood - Crooked Fingers 7.Curl of The Burl - Mastodon 8.Spectrelight - Mastodon 9.Bury My Burden Deep - The Steepwater Band 10.Vanishing Girl - The Steepwater Band 11.Looking For A Girl - Teddy Thompson 12.Over And Over - Teddy Thompson 13.Lonesome Settled In - The Lawrence Peters Outfit 14.Dirt On My Hands - The Lawrence Peters Outfit 15.1973 - The Deaf 16.Live Forever - The Deaf 17.Sweet Boy - Dolorean 18.If I Find Love - Dolorean 19.Never Prove False - The Deep Dark Woods 20.Sugar Mama - The Deep Dark Woods
REST http://www.box.com/s/u9rqp6pd0ytnekuxnb38 1.I Still Believe - Frank Turner 2.Who’s In Control? - British Sea Power 3.Berlin Wall - The Heavenly States 4.The Long Goodbye - Army Navy 5.Dream (Dead Hands) - Amor de Dias 6.Bats In The Attic - King Creosote & Jon Hopkins 7.Les Saisons Viennent - Ensemble 8.New York - Caitlin Rose 9.Cajun Moon - Ricky Skaggs 10.Rox In The Box - The Decemberists 11.Possibilities - Frankie & The Heartstrings 12.It’s Not All About You - Face To Face 13.Shredder - Jeff The Brotherhood 14.Malverde - Red Fang 15.Be Your Bro - Those Darlins 16.I Should Have Stopped - John Wesley Harding 17.If You Wanna - The Vaccines 18.Read Your Mind - Mind Spiders 19.Of Many Colors - Alela Diane 20.Why Is It So Hard? - Charles Bradley 21.Bedroom Eyes - Dum Dum Girls 22.Can’t Hold On - Reigning Sound 23.Gotta Get It Right - Telekinesis 24.One By One - Laura Cantrell 25.Trying To Get To You - Chris Isaak
If anyone wants to download the whole thing in two zip files, here's the links:
So the first half of 2011 has come and gone. Thus far I’ve been to 77 concerts and these are my ten favorite shows (with one video selected from each):
6/3 Teddy Thompson @ SPACE: Teddy drastically changed up the setlists between the two nights. But I think it was the atmosphere I liked more on the second night more than one setlist being better than the other. Such a beautiful voice.
Jan-June Robbie Fulks residency @ Hideout: I continue to be in awe of Robbie's diversity. In the first half of the year, I've seen him 14 times. During those 14 shows he has performed over 200 different songs. He has repeated his guests more than last year, but even when with the same people he's constantly changing it up. This video is from one of my favorite guests, Robbie Gjersoe and Beau Sample.
March Kelly Hogan residency @ Hideout: Robbie had the month of March off from The Hideout and the spot was more than ably filled by Kelly Hogan. She spent much of the shows practicing the new songs she would be recording in California in April. Finally, next summer, we are to get a new album from her. I believe it will be all covers; at least that's all she performed at her shows.
3/17 Charles Bradley @ Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop, Austin: I was completely blown away by this noon performance during sxsw. When something stands out this much in that whirlwind of a week you know it's special. I saw him again in April, that time with The Budos Band backing him up. They were probably the better band, and Charles' performance was still great, but it couldn't match the specialness of that first time.
6/10 Okkervil River @ Phoenix Theater, Toronto: It is almost a toss of a coin as to whether I enjoyed Toronto or Atlanta more, but there just seemed to be a bit more energy at this show.
6/18 Sondre Lerche @ Schubas: Sondre was really great. He has a lot of energy and is extremely charming. But a lot of this ranking has to do with the fact that I was totally enamored with the drummer Dave Heilman. You can see in this video why. Based on this single show, one of my favorite drummers ever.
The first year of Robbie Fulks's residency ended. I attended 31 of the 38 shows he performed. I started the year as a big Robbie Fulks fan, but this residency has greatly increased my admiration. The breadth of his repertoire is outstanding -- roughly 400 different songs were performed in the thirty-one shows I saw and, in addition to country, included pop, jazz, blues, bluegrass, folk, and even classical. If you're ever in Chicago on a Monday night, I can't recommend highly enough seeing Robbie Fulks at the Hideout.
My previous journal was a running posting of setlists with a few videos from each show (which added up to over 100 videos). I thought in this journal I would post a bit about my favorites and then set forth an alphabetical list of all the songs I saw performed (and when).
A pretty hard choice for me (there was only one show that I didn't think worked well), but these were my favorite shows along with one or two words why they stood out.
1. 6/7 Steve Dawson [country vs. soul set] 2. 4/26 Greg Cahill [banjo] 3. 12/13 Kelly Hogan [voices] 4. 5/17 Jim DeWan [hilarious] 5. 2/1 & 11/1 Robbie Gjersoe [friends] 6. 5/24 & 7/19 Nora O’Connor [voices] 7. 8/16 Beau Sample [setlist/upright bass] 8. 9/20 Scott Ligon, KC McDonough [setlist/diversity]
Interestingly, more than half of my favorite individual performances weren’t at my favorite shows. The first two are my absolute favorites and after that I can’t rank them (if you've been following through the year, all these videos have been previously posted):
1. The Way I Am 8/23
2. Love Letters (vocals Nora O’Connor) 7/19
3. There Ain’t Nobody Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone 6/28
4. I Know You’re Married (But I Love You Still) (vocals Robbie & Kelly Hogan) 12/13
5. Elevator Lou medley (vocals Robbie & Jim DeWan) 5/17
6. Thirteen (vocals Gerald Dowd) 7/26
7. That’s A Good Enough Reason (vocals Robbie & Gerald Dowd) 5/10
8. God Isn’t Real 9/27
9. After While (vocals Robbie & Beau Sample) 8/16
10. Forgotten But Not Gone 11/15
The full list:
1. A Ragged Old Man [U. Utah Phillips] 5/24/10 2. After Closing Time [Billy Sherrill/Danny Walls/Norris Wilson famous by Barbara Mandrell & David Houston] 12/13/10 3. After While (We Gonna Drink A Little Whiskey) [Willie Dixon] (Robbie & Beau Sample sing) 8/16/10 4. Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens [Alex Kramer & Joan Whitney - famous by Louis Jordan] 6/28/10 5. Amanda [Don Williams] (Trevor McSpadden sings) 4/5/10 6. Amos Moses [Jerry Reed] (Trevor McSpadden sings) 4/5/10 7. Angeline The Baker [trad.] (both Greg & Robbie play banjo) 4/26/10 8. Animal Life [Scott Ligon] (Scott Ligon sings) 9/20/10 9. Anything You Want [Mike Fredrickson] (Grant Tye sings) 11/29/10 10. Apple Tree Swing [Sonny Boy Williamson] (Eric Noden sings 6/21) 6/21/10 - 8/23/10 11. Are You Wasting My Time [The Louvin Brothers] 12/6/10 12. Arthur Koestler’s Eyes 6/28/10 13. Aunt Dinah’s Quilting Party [John Fletcher / Frances Kyle] 8/23/10 14. Away Out On The Old Saint Sabbath [The Carter Family/public domain] 11/15/10 15. Back Up And Push [trad.] 4/26/10 16. The Ballad of El Goodo [Alex Chilton & Chris Bell] (Liam Davis sings) 7/26/10 17. Banks of the Marianne 2/22/10 - 10/18/10 18. The Banshee [trad.] [without Robbie] 10/18/10 19. Bay Rum Blues [Gwen Foster] (Eric Noden sings) 6/21/10 20. The Beaumont Rag [trad.] 11/1/10 21. Because You Can 5/24/10 - 7/19/10 - 10/4/10 - 12/27/10 22. Better Move It On Home [Ray Griff famous by Dolly Parton & Porter Wagonner] 12/13/10 23. Between Lust And Watching TV [Bill Anderson] 2/1/10 - 4/5/10 24. Big Boy [?] 6/28/10 25. Big John McNeil [trad.] 8/16/10 26. Big Mon [Bill Monroe] 2/1/10 - 2/15/10 - 11/1/10 27. Big Mouth USA [Jim Ford] 12/6/10 - 12/13/10 28. Bill Black 5/17/10 29. Bill Cheatham [trad.] 8/9/10 30. Billy Jean [Michael Jackson] 2/22/10 - 9/20/10 31. Blake’s March [Norman Blake] 5/17/10 32. Blaze of Ugly 7/12/10 33. Blanket On The Ground [Billie Jo Spears] 4/5/10 34. Bloodshot’s Turning Five 12/6/10 35. Blue-Eyed Jane [Jimmie Rodgers] 5/17/10 36. Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain [Willie Nelson] (Trevor McSpadden sings) 4/5/10 37. The Bluebirds Are Singing For Me [trad.] 2/1/10 - 5/24/10 - 7/12/10 - 7/19/10 - 10/4/10 - 12/6/10 38. The Blues For Murder Only [Lonnie Johnson] (Tye, Fulks) (Grant Tye sings) 2/22/10 39. Body And Soul [Virginia Stauffer, famous by Bill Monroe] (Don Stiernberg sings) 11/15/10 40. The Book [Mike Fredrickson] 11/29/10 41. Bottle Up And Go [Huddie Ledbetter] (Robbie Gjersoe sings) 9/27/10 42. Bottoms [James Mathus] (Nora O’Connor sings) 5/24/10 - 7/19/10 - 10/4/10 43. Brand New Heartache [Felice & Boudleaux Bryant] (Fulks & Mike Fredrickson sing) 2/22/10 44. Brass Buttons [Gram Parsons] 4/5/10 45. Brenda’s New Stepfather 12/6/10 46. Bringin’ In The Georgia Mail [Fred Rose] 9/27/10 47. Broken Spoke Waltz [Alvin Crow] 8/9/10 48. Brother [Jenny Scheinman] (Jenny Scheinman sings) 8/9/10 - 8/23/10 - 9/27/10 49. Brother That Ain’t No Breakfast [Fulks/DeWan] 5/17/10 50. The Buck Starts Here (without Robbie) 6/7/10 51. Bukowski [Mike Fredrickson] 11/29/10 52. Bury Me Beneath The Willow [trad.] 2/15/10 - 5/24/10 - 6/28/10 53. Busy Not Crying 2/15/10 - 2/22/10 - 5/10/10 54. Caked Joy Rag 2/1/10 - 6/21/10 - 8/16/10 55. Can’t Win For Losing You 2/22/10 - 5/10/10 56. Caravan [Juan Tizol, famous by Duke Ellington] 11/15/10 57. Cecille [Mike Fredrickson] (Mike Fredrickson sings) 11/29/10 58. Check Out The Career 6/7/10 - 7/12/10 59. The Cherokee Maiden [Cindy Walker, famous by Bob Wills] (Don Stiernberg sings) 11/15/10 60. Cheyenne [Bill Monroe] 2/1/10 - 8/23/10 61. Chick Inspector (That's Where My Money Goes) [Dick Curless] 4/5/10 62. Chris Mills Is Living The Dream [Chris Mills] 10/18/10 63. Cigarette State 2/22/10 - 5/17/10 64. Cincinnati Flow Rag [Rev. Gary Davis] 6/21/10 65. Clay Pigeons [Blaze Foley] (Gerald Dowd sings) 5/3/10 - 6/14/10 66. Coal Miner’s Reel [trad.] 10/18/10 67. The Connaughtman’s Rambles [trad.] 10/18/10 68. Country Boy Rock and Roll [Don Reno] 4/26/10 - 11/1/10 69. Common Law Cabin 7/12/10 70. Crooked Road Blues [Eric Noden] (Eric Noden sings) 6/21/10 71. Crossing The Big Sandy [trad. - a/k/a Big Sandy River] 4/26/10 72. Cry Like A Baby [Dan Penn/Spooner Oldham] (KC McDonough sings) 7/26/10 73. Cry To Me [Bert Russell] (KC McDonough sings) 9/20/10 74. Daisy Glaze [Chilton/Andy Hummel/Jody Stephens] (Liam Davis sings) 7/26/10 75. Damn Girl [Justin Timberlake] (Gerald Dowd sings) 6/14/10 76. Dance The Night Away [Jenny Scheinman] (Jenny Scheinman sings) 8/23/10 - 9/27/10 77. Dead As Me 6/21/10 78. The Dill Pickle Rag [Charles L. Johnson] 11/15/10 (comp. only) 79. Dirty-Mouthed Flo 2/22/10 80. Do Right To Me Baby [Bob Dylan] (Chris Neville sings) 5/10/10 81. Don’t Laugh [Revin “Rebe” Gosdin] (Scott Ligon sings) 9/20/10 82. Don’t Leave Me Now [Mike Fredrickson] (Gerald Dowd sings) 11/29/10 83. Don’t Rob Another Man’s Castle [Jenny Lou Carson] 2/15/10 84. Don’t Worry About Me [Beau Sample] (Beau Sample sings) 8/16/10 85. Down The Road [Lester Flat] 4/26/10 - 10/18/10 86. Dream Of The Miner’s Child [trad.] 5/17/10 87. Drinking Thing [Gary Stewart] (Trevor McSpadden sings) 4/5/10 88. E Quando Muoio Io [trad.] 9/20/10 89. East Tennessee Blues [trad.] 4/26/10 90. Eight More Miles To Louisville [Grandpa Jones] 8/9/10 - 9/27/10 91. Eighth Wonder Of The World [John D. Loudermilk] 2/15/10 92. Elevator Lou medley [Fulks/DeWan] 5/17/10 93. The Episcopalian Guitar [?] 8/16/10 94. Farewell Party [Gene Watson] 12/13/10 95. Fat Gal [Merle Travis] 6/21/10 96. Fighting Back [KC McDonough] (KC McDonough sings) 9/20/10 97. Fist City [Loretta Lynn] (KC McDonough sings) 9/20/10 98. Fixin’ To Fall 10/18/10 99. Flame In My Heart [George Jones] 5/24/10 - 7/19/10 - 12/27/10 100. Flowers [Billy Yates] 12/13/10 101. Foggy Mountain Special [Earl Scruggs] 4/26/10 102. Foggy Mountain Top [trad.] 11/15/10 103. For India [Justin Roberts] (Justin Roberts sings) 10/25/10 104. Forgotten But Not Gone 11/15/10 105. 400 Miles From Home [Eric Noden] (Eric Noden sings) 6/21/10 106. Fourteen Carat Mind [Gene Watson] 4/5/10 107. Free Again [Alex Chilton] 7/26/10 108. Fruit Jar [Justin Roberts] (Justin Roberts sings) 10/25/10 109. Galway [Oliver St. John Gogarty/Tony Small] (Kathleen Keane sings) 10/18/10 110. Garry Owen [trad.] 4/26/10 - 10/18/10 111. Georgia Boys [trad.] 5/24/10 - 7/19/10 - 10/4/10 - 12/27/10 112. Georgia Hard 2/1/10 - 2/15/10 - 2/22/10 113. Gimme Little Sign [Jerry Winn, Alfred Smith, Joseph Hooven] 6/7/10 114. Go Now [Larry Banks/Milton Bennett] (KC McDonough sings) 9/20/10 115. God Isn’t Real 9/27/10 116. God's Not Dead [trad.] (Robbie & Nora O’Connor sing) 10/4/10 - 12/27/10 117. Godfrey (Justin Roberts sings) 10/25/10 118. Going Back To Indiana [Michael Jackson] 5/10/10 - 6/28/10 119. Going To A Party [NRBQ] 2/15/10 120. The Golden Globe Award [John Hartford] 8/16/10 121. The Golden Stud [trad.] [without Robbie] 10/18/10 122. Gone Like The Water [Freedy Johnston] (Nora O’Connor sings) 10/4/10 - 12/27/10 123. Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking [Bob Dylan] (Grant Tye sings) 5/10/10 124. Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar [Delmore Brothers] 11/15/10 125. Goodbye Girls, I’m Going To Boston [trad.] 8/23/10 126. Goodbye, Virginia 2/1/10 - 2/15/10 - 5/24/10 - 7/12/10 - 7/19/10 - 8/9/10 - 8/23/10 - 10/4/10 - 12/13/10 - 12/27/10 127. Gossamer Riddle [Baby Ray] (Gerald Dowd sings) 6/14/10 128. Got Me A Woman [Levon Helm] (Gerald Dowd sings) 5/3/10 - 6/14/10 - 12/6/10 129. Gotta Serve Somebody [Bob Dylan] 5/10/10 130. Guantanamerika [Alex Chilton] 7/26/10 131. Guess I Got It Wrong 2/1/10 - 9/27/10 - 10/25/10 (Justin Roberts sings) 132. The Gypsy [Emmett Miller] 12/13/10 (comp only) 133. Hand Me Down My Walking Cane [trad.] 8/16/10 - 10/18/10 134. A Handful of Riffs [Lonnie Johnson & Eddie Lang] 2/15/10 - 6/28/10 135. Hank [Roswell Rudd] 11/15/10 136. Heart, I Wish You Were Here 5/24/10 - 6/7/10 - 7/19/10 - 10/4/10 - 12/27/10 137. Heartbreak Tennessee [Johnny Paycheck] (KC McDonough sings) 5/3/10 138. Helicopter [M Ward] (Nora O’Connor sings) 5/24/10 - 7/19/10 - 10/4/10 - 12/27/10 139. Hey! Hey! Hey! [Stanley Brothers] 6/28/10 140. Hey! Little Child [Alex Chilton] (Gerald Dowd sings) 7/26/10 141. Hillman [Benny Martin] 11/1/10 142. Hot Fingers [Lonnie Johnson] 9/27/10 143. Housework [Mike Fredrickson] 11/29/10 144. Houston [Jenny Scheinman] (Jenny Scheinman sings) 8/9/10 - 8/23/10 - 9/27/10 145. How Deep Is Your Love [The Bee Gees] (Robbie & Steve Dawson sing) 6/7/10 146. How Mountain Girls Can Love [Stanley Brothers] 12/27/10 147. I Always Get Lucky With You [Gary Church/Merle Haggard/Freddy Powers/Tex Whitson] (Steve Dawson sings) 6/7/10 148. I Believe In You [Bob Dylan] 5/10/10 149. I Couldn't Say It To Your Face [Arthur Russell] (Gerald Dowd sings) 5/3/10 - 12/6/10 (Fulks sings) 150. I Died Today [Rodd Keith] 12/6/10 151. I Don’t Care [Mike Fredrickson] (w/o Robbie) (Gerald Dowd sings) 11/29/10 152. I Don’t Know How To Say Goodbye To You [Sam Phillips] 5/17/10 153. I Gotta Get Drunk [Willie Nelson] 6/7/10 154. I Know You Will [Justin Roberts] (Justin Roberts sings) 10/25/10 155. I Know You're Married (But I Love You Still) [Don Reno/Mack Magaha] 12/13/10 156. I Like Being Left Alone 10/18/10 - 11/1/10 - 11/15/10 157. I Love My Fruit [The Sweet Violet Boys] 6/14/10 - 6/21/10 9/20/10 158. I Push Right Over 2/22/10 9/20/10 159. I Say, Hang Him 7/12/10 160. I Wanna Be With You [Rasberries] 6/14/10 161. I Want To Be Mama’d [Jimmie Logsdon] 2/15/10 - 5/10/10 - 6/28/10 162. I Will Turn Your Money Green [Furry Lewis] (Eric Noden sings) 6/21/10 163. I’d Be Lonesome 2/22/10 164. I’d Rather Have What We Had [Bobby Braddock famous by Conway Twitty] 7/19/10 - 10/4/10 - 12/27/10 165. I’ll Be There [Berry Gordy/Bob West/Hal Davis/Willie Hutch] 6/7/10 166. I’ll Love Nobody But You [Jim & Jesse] 4/26/10 167. I’ll Trade You Money For Wine 5/24/10 - 7/19/10 - 8/9/10 - 10/4/10 - 12/27/10 168. I’ll Try [Lefty Frizzell] (Nora O’Connor sings) 12/27/10 169. I’m A Believer [Neil Diamond] 5/17/10 170. I’m Satisfied [Mississippi John Hurt] (Jenny Scheinman sings) 8/9/10 171. I’m The One I Despise [Steve Dawson] 6/7/10 172. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (instrumental) [Hank Williams] 4/26/10 173. I've Never Been So Lonesome [Ted Lundy] 10/4/10 174. If I Were King [The Prisonaires] (Beau Sample sings) 6/28/10 - 8/16/10 175. Imogene 6/21/10 - 7/9/10 176. In A Little Gypsy Tea Room [Bob Crosby] 5/17/10 177. In Bristol Town One Bright Day 2/1/10 - 10/18/10 178. Indian Creek [trad., famous by Arthur Smith] 5/24/10 - 7/19/10 - 10/4/10 - 12/27/10 179. Insane Crazy Blues [Memphis Jug Band] (Eric Noden sings) 6/21/10 180. Isn’t Love Strange [Mike Fredrickson] 2/22/10 - 11/29/10 (Gerald Dowd sings) 181. It Was Love (That Ruined Me) 5/3/10 182. It’s About The Money 2/15/10 183. It’s Been A Great Afternoon [Merle Haggard] 6/7/10 184. It’s My Lazy Day [Bob Wills] (Beau Sample sings) 6/28/10 - 8/16/10 185. It’s Now Or Never [Eduardo di Capua] (KC McDonough sings) 9/20/10 186. It's Too Late To Turn Back Now [Cornelius Brothers] (Gerald Dowd sings) 7/26/10 187. Jackie-Ing [Thelonious Monk] 4/26/10 - 6/14/10 188. Jelly Roll [Charles Mingus] 11/1/10 - 12/6/10 189. Jesus And Bartenders [Larry Cordle] 6/21/10 190. Joan Crawford Love Dance 8/16/10 191. Just A Child [Jenny Scheinman] (Jenny Scheinman sings) 8/23/10 - 9/27/10 192. Just Another Place I Don’t Belong [Miles Zuniga; Al Anderson] 8/16/10 193. Just One More [George Jones] (Scott Ligon sings) 9/20/10 194. Keep On The Sunny Side [Ada Blenkhorn] 6/7/10 195. Keep Those Cards and Letters Coming In [Harlan Howard] 5/24/10 - 7/19/10 196. Lady Be Good (instrumental) [George Gershwin] 4/26/10 - 11/15/10 (Don Stiernberg sings) 197. Leaving Love All Over The Place [George Jones] (Trevor McSpadden sings) 4/5/10 198. Let Me Get Close To You [Gerry Goffin/Carole King] 7/26/10 199. Let’s Kill Saturday Night 2/22/10 - 5/10/10 - 8/23/10 - 10/25/10 (Justin Roberts sings) 200. The Letter [Wayne Thompson] (KC McDonough sings) 7/26/10 201. Life Has Its Little Ups And Downs [Margaret Ann Rich] (Gerald Dowd sings) 5/3/10 - 6/14/10 - 11/1/10 (Fulks sings) 202. Li’l Ole Kiss Of Fire [Lester Allen & Robert Hill] (Scott Ligon sings) 9/20/10 203. Listen Venus [Mike Fredrickson] (Grant Tye sings) 11/29/10 204. Little Annie (a/k/a When The Springtime Comes Again) [trad.] 10/18/10 205. The Little Brown Church in the Vale [William S. Pitts] 12/27/10 206. Little Coquette [Carmen Lombardo] 5/17/10 207. The Littlest Prisoner [Jenny Scheinman] (Jenny Scheinman sings) 8/9/10 208. Lonesome Tears In My Eyes [Johnny Burnette; Dorsey Burnette; Paul Burlison; Al Mortimer] (Scott Ligon sings) 9/20/10 209. Long Tall Mama [Big Bill Broonzy] (Eric Noden sings) 6/21/10 210. The Lost Indian [trad.] 5/24/10 - 12/27/10 211. Louis Collins [Mississippi John Hurt] (Eric Noden sings) 6/21/10 212. Love Letters [Victor Young/Edward Heyman] 5/24/10 - 7/19/10 - 12/27/10 213. Love’s Gonna Live Here [Buck Owens] 9/20/10 214. Lulu Wall [Carter Family] 5/17/10 215. Mad At A Girl (Justin Roberts sings) 10/25/10 216. Man Gave Names To All The Animals [Bob Dylan] 5/10/10 217. Man In The Mirror [Michael Jackson] 6/7/10 218. Margarita Breakdown [Greg Cahill] 4/26/10 219. Married But Not To Each Other [Barbara Mandrell] 4/5/10 220. Memphis Women and Chicken [Donnie Fritts, Dan Penn, Gary Nicholson] 8/16/10 - 11/15/10 221. Middle Age Crazy [Jerry Lee Lewis] 4/5/10 222. Miss The Mississippi And You [Jimmie Rodgers] (KC McDonough sings) 6/14/10 223. Mississippi Kid [Lynyrd Skynyrd] 6/21/10 224. The Mississippi Queen [John Hartford] (Fulks, Dowd) 2/22/10 225. Moe Hawk [Jenny Scheinman] 12/6/10 226. Molly and Tenbrooks [Bill Monroe] 2/1/10 - 11/1/10 227. The Monahan Twig [trad.] [without Robbie] 10/18/10 228. Moses On The Mountain 7/12/10 - 8/9/10 229. Moving [Justin Roberts] 10/25/10 230. Mr. John [Arthur Alexander] (KC McDonough sings) 5/3/10 231. My Backyard [Nora O’Connor] (Nora O’Connor sings) 5/24/10 - 7/19/10 - 10/4/10 - 12/27/10 232. My Love [Geraint Watkins] 12/6/10 233. My Old Drunk Friend [Freakwater] (Nora O’Connor sings) 7/19/10 234. My Old Man [Jenny Scheinman] (Jenny Scheinman sings) 8/9/10 - 9/27/10 235. Mystery Dance [Elvis Costello] (KC McDonough sings) 9/20/10 236. Mystery Train [Junior Parker/Sam Phillips] 8/23/10 237. Neon Rainbow [Wayne Thompson] (KC McDonough sings) 7/26/10 238. Never Could [Robbie Fulks/Mike Fredrickson] 11/29/10 239. Never Getting Lost [Justin Roberts] 10/25/10 240. Nightime [Alex Chilton] (Liam Davis sings) 7/26/10 241. Nightingale [James Mathus] (Nora O’Connor sings) 5/24/10 - 7/19/10 - 10/4/10 - 12/27/10 242. Nine Bar [Eric Noden] (Eric Noden sings) 6/21/10 243. No Love In You [Harmon Boazeman] (Beau Sample sings) 8/16/10 244. Nuts About You (partial) [Jim DeWan] (Jim DeWan sings) 5/17/10 245. O My Soul [Alex Chilton] (Liam Davis sings) 7/26/10 246. Obsessed By Trucks [Justin Roberts] 10/25/10 247. Old Spinning Wheel [Ray Noble] 6/21/10 248. On A Real Good Day 10/18/10 249. On The Corner Of I Love And You 6/21/10 - 11/1/10 250. Orphan Train [U. Utah Phillips] 2/22/10 251. Over The Hill To The Poor House [George L. Catlin & Dave Braham, famous by Flatt & Scruggs] (Don Stiernberg sings) 11/15/10 252. Pacific Slope [trad.] 11/1/10 253. The Palms of Maracaibo [Lionel Belasco] 8/9/10 254. Parallel Bars (Robbie & Nora O’Connor sing) 10/4/10 255. Pass Me By [Johnny Rodriguez] (Trevor McSpadden sings) 4/5/10 256. Patti Smith [Mike Fredrickson] (KC McDonough sings) 11/29/10 257. Picture Day [Justin Roberts] 10/25/10 258. Please, Please Me [Lennon/McCartney] 9/20/10 259. Potato Chips [Slim and Slam] (Beau Sample) 8/16/10 260. Precious Angel [Bob Dylan] 5/10/10 261. Pure Love [Ronnie Milsap] 4/5/10 262. Purple Rain [Prince] (KC McDonough sings) 9/20/10 263. The Rainy Day [trad.] 10/18/10 264. Rainy Weather Friend [David Mead] (KC McDonough sings) 6/14/10 265. Ramblin’ Fever [Merle Haggard] 4/26/10 266. Real Money 2/1/10 - 2/22/10 - 11/1/10 267. Red Neckin' Love Makin' Night [Conway Twitty] 12/13/10 268. Ring Of Fire [June Carter Cash] 4/26/10 269. The River of Jordan [trad.] 6/7/10 270. Rock Bottom, Pop. 1 2/15/10 - 5/10/10 - 11/15/10 (comp. only) 271. Roving Gambler [trad.] (Don Stiernberg sings) 11/15/10 272. Rub It In [Billy “Crash” Craddock] 2/1/10 273. Run, Run, Run [Jenny Scheinman] (Jenny Scheinman sings) 8/9/10 - 8/23/10 - 9/27/10 274. Scrapple 7/12/10 275. September Gurls [Alex Chilton] 5/3/10 - 6/14/10 - 7/26/10 276. Shanty In The Holler [Jimmy Driftwood] 5/24/10 - 7/19/10 277. She Took A Lot Of Pills And Died 2/1/10 - 5/10/10 278. Sign My Cast [Justin Roberts] (duet - Donna Fulks on vocals, Liam Davis on piano) 10/25/10 279. Single Girl, Married Girl [Carter Family] 8/9/10 280. Sister Golden Hair [Gerry Beckley] (Scott Ligon sings) 9/20/10 281. Sleeping On The Beach [Mike Fredrickson] 11/29/10 282. Sleeping On The Job Of Love 2/22/10 - 11/1/10 283. Slow Train [Bob Dylan] 5/10/10 284. Snake Chapman’s Tune [Owen “Snake” Chapman] 2/15/10 - 6/28/10 285. So Much Wine [The Handsome Family] (Nora O’Connor sings) 5/24/10 - 7/19/10 - 10/4/10 - 12/27/10 286. Someone To Give My Love To [Johnny Paycheck] (Trevor McSpadden sings) 4/5/10 287. Somethin’ Else [Eddie Cochran/Sharon Sheeley] (KC McDonough sings) 9/20/10 288. Sophronie [Jimmie Rodgers] 5/17/10 289. Soul Deep [Wayne Thompson] (Gerald Dowd sings) 7/26/10 290. Soul Music Is Better Than Country 6/7/10 291. Speed The Plow [trad.] 10/18/10 292. Still In Love With You [Mike Fredrickson] (Fulks, Fredrickson) 2/22/10 293. Stone River (Justin Roberts sings) 10/25/10 294. Sunday Best [Bobbie Gentry] (KC McDonough sings) 5/3/10 - 6/14/10 295. Suppertime [Justin Roberts] 10/25/10 296. Sweet Is The Anchor [Steve Dawson] 6/7/10 297. Take Me In Your Lifeboat [Flatt and Scruggs] 5/24/10 - 7/19/10 - 10/4/10 298. Taking Off My Training Wheels [Justin Roberts] (Justin Roberts sings) 10/25/10 299. Tears Only Run One Way 11/15/10 300. Tennessee [Carl Perkins] (KC McDonough & Scott Ligon sing) 9/20/10 301. Tennessee Rock 'n' Roll [Larry Coleman/Irving Reid] 5/3/10 302. That Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine [Gene Autry] 5/17/10 303. That’s A Good Enough Reason [Benny Martin] 5/10/10 - 12/6/10 (comp only) 304. That’s Alright [Fleetwood Mac] (Nora O’Connor sings) 7/19/10 305. That’s Where I’m From 2/1/10 - 11/1/10 306. There Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone [Jimmy Martin] 2/1/10 - 2/15/10 - 6/28/10 - 9/20/10 307. There Won't Be Anymore [Charlie Rich] (Trevor McSpadden sings) 4/5/10 308. There’ll Be No Teardrops Tonight (Don Stiernberg sings) 11/15/10 309. There's An Open Door Waiting For Me [James & Martha Carson] 12/13/10 310. There's More Pretty Girls Than One [Arthur Smith] 12/13/10 311. The Thing You Love Is Killing You [Steve Dawson] 6/7/10 - 10/4/10 (Nora O’Connor sings) - 12/27/10 (Nora O’Connor sings) 312. Think Of One [Thelonious Monk] 12/6/10 313. Thirteen [Alex Chilton & Chris Bell] (Gerald Dowd sings) 7/26/10 314. This Love Is True [NRBQ] (Scott Ligon sings) 9/20/10 315. Train Of Life [Merle Haggard] 9/20/10 316. Treat The New Guy Right [Silkworm] (Gerald Dowd sings) 5/3/10 317. Trick Or Treat [Justin Roberts] (Justin Roberts sings; Robbie sits out) 10/25/10 318. Try Leaving (Robbie & Gerald Dowd sing) 2/22/10 - 7/12/10 - 12/6/10 319. Twelve Bar Midnight [Jerry Reed] 5/3/10 - 6/14/10 320. Twilight Time [Buck Ram; Mortie Nevins; Artie Dunn (KC McDonough & Scott Ligon sing) 9/20/10 321. Two Lane Highway [Mike Fredrickson] 2/22/10 - 11/29/10 (Grant Tye sings) 322. Untie Me [Joe South] (KC McDonough sings) 6/14/10 323. Up A Lazy River [Mike Fredrickson] (Gerald Dowd sings) 11/29/10 324. Up From Under [Jakob Dylan] (Nora O’Connor sings) 12/27/10 325. Uptight Good Woman [Jimmy Johnson/Spooner Oldham/Dan Penn - Solomon Burke version] (KC McDonough sings) 5/3/10 - 6/14/10 326. Vanishing Jane 2/22/10 327. Venus Is Her Name [Freedy Johnston] (Gerald Dowd sings) 6/14/10 328. Waiting [Steve Dawson] (Steve Dawson sings) 6/7/10 329. Waiting On These New Things To Go 5/24/10 - 7/19/10 - 9/27/10 - 12/13/10 330. The Way I Am [Sonny Throckmorton] 8/23/10 - 9/20/10 - 9/27/10 331. We Must Have Been Out Of Our Minds [Earl Montgomery famous by George Jones & Melba Montgomery] 12/13/10 332. Weak Brain, Narrow Mind [Willie Dixon] 2/15/10 - 6/28/10 333. Well You Needn’t [Thelonious Monk] 11/1/10 334. What Do You Mean? [Vic Chesnutt] 6/14/10 335. What Kind Of Girl Are You [Ray Charles] 12/13/10 336. What's Your Sign Girl [Danny Pearson/Anthony Sepe] 7/26/10 337. When He Returns [Bob Dylan] 5/10/10 338. When I Write The Book [Nick Lowe] (KC McDonough sings) 5/3/10 - 6/14/10 339. When Irish Eyes Are Smiling [Ernest Ball] (Kathleen Keane sings) 10/18/10 340. When You Gonna Wake Up [Bob Dylan] 5/10/10 341. Where The Wind Meets The Water [Kathleen Keane] (Keane sings) 10/18/10 342. Where There’s A Road 11/1/10 - 11/15/10 343. White Lightning [Jiles Perry "J. P." Richardson, Jr. a/k/a The Big Bopper] 11/1/10 344. Whitetail Woods Incident 4/26/10 345. Who’s Been Talking [Howlin Wolf] (Eric Noden sings) 6/21/10 346. Who's Gonna Mow Your Grass [Buck Owens] (Gerald Dowd sings) 5/3/10 347. Wichita Lineman [Glen Campbell] (Trevor McSpadden sings) 4/5/10 348. Wild Mountain Thyme [William McPeake] (Kathleen Keane sings) 10/18/10 349. Windy And Warm [John D. Loudermilk] 6/21/10 350. The World Is Full of Pretty Girls (And Pretty Girls Are Full of Themselves Too) 2/1/10 - 8/9/10 - 8/23/10 - 11/1/10 (comp only) 351. Wouldn’t That Be Wonderful [Mike Fredrickson] (Robbie & Mike Fredrickson sing) 11/29 352. You Can’t Go Back 8/16/10 353. You Can’t Put That Monkey On My Back [Hy Heath / Billy Haley / Al Bernard] (Jim DeWan sings) 5/17/10 354. You Know Just What I'd Do [Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn] 12/13/10 355. You Make Me Feel More Like A Man [Mel Street] 4/5/10 356. You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back [Memphis Jug Band] (Eric Noden sings) 6/21/10 357. You May Sing Of The Beauty [trad. hymn] (Fulks/Dowd sing) 5/3/10 358. You Wouldn’t Do That To Me 6/7/10 359. You're The Cream In My Coffee [Ray Henderson/Buddy DeSylva/Lew Brown] 12/6/10 (comp only) - 12/13/10 360. You’re The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly [Lola Jean Dillion/L.E. White famous by Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty 12/13/10 361. Your Motion Says [Arthur Russell] (Nora O’Connor sings) 10/4/10 362. ?? [Robbie Gjersoe] 2/15/10 363. improv birthday song for music critic Mark Guarino 2/22/10 364. ?? new song [Gerald Dowd] (Gerald Dowd sings) 5/3/10 365. audience song title improv 5/17/10 366. Brown Bottle [?] 6/28/10 - 8/23/10 367. ?? “Goodbye Goodbye” (Beau Sample sings) 8/16/10 368. ?? “take me back Sally” [?] 9/20/10 369. Specially written show intro (Robbie & Justin Roberts sing) 10/25/10 370. Specially written show intro pt. 2 (Robbie & Justin Roberts sing) 10/25/10 371. Specially written show closer (Robbie & Justin Roberts sing) 10/25/10 372. “just want to feel like any other guy” [Mike Fredrickson] (Mike Fredrickson solo) 11/29 373. “I made myself a rope” [Mike Fredrickson] (Mike Fredrickson solo) 11/29 374. “you’re the one for me” [Mike Fredrickson] (Mike Fredrickson solo) 11/29
There are likely some repeats in these instrumentals I don’t know the names of, listed chronologically, but I think most are unique. 1. ?? (instrumental) 2/1/10 2. ?? (instrumental) 2/15/10 3. ?? instrumental jam (Tye, Dowd, Frederickson w/o Robbie) 2/22/10 4. ?? instrumental 5/3/10 5. ?? (jazzy instrumental -- Robbie on acoustic, Gerald on bass, KC on piano, plus a drum machine) 5/3/10 6. ?? bluegrass instrumental 6/14/10 7. China Boy [Dick Winfree/Phil Boutelje] 6/28/10 - 8/23/10 8. ?? instrumental [Eddie Harris] 6/28/10 9. ?? fiddle tune 1 8/9/10 10. ?? fiddle tune 2 8/9/10 11. ?? fiddle tune 3 8/9/10 12. ?? banjo/bass instrumental 8/16/10 13. ?? guitar/bass instrumental 8/16/10 14. ?? instrumental 1 8/23/10 15. ?? instrumental 3 [John Coltrane] 8/23/10 16. ?? instrumental [Lonnie Johnson] 8/23/10 17. ?? instrumental 1 9/27/10 18. ?? instrumental 2 9/27/10 19. ?? instrumental 3 9/27/10 20. ?? instrumental 4 9/27/10 21. ?? instrumental 1 10/18/10 22. ?? instrumental 2 10/18/10 23. ?? instrumental 3 10/18/10 24. ?? instrumental 11/1/10 25. ?? instrumental 12/6/10
An Americana artist who mixes the political and personal. This is his fourth album (not including his Christmas album) and he becomes a better lyricist with every release. With the last album he stepped up the production and it’s continued to this one. His voice manages to be uniquely smooth and rough at the same time.
A project started by Jon Fratelli of The Fratellis, a Scottish rock band, who joined forces with Scottish cabaret singer Lou Hickey. The results were fantastic. Also the first in a recurring theme for me this year -- lots of guy/girl harmonies and trading of lead vocals. Unfortunately, this band has already split up, with the two artists working on their own projects now.
Technically this is a double EP, but 8 songs each equals an album. The Night Before was recorded first: the band were not together and shared their ideas and music by uploading to an ftp server. The Morning After was recorded over the course of a few days with the band all together. It’s a more mellow affair. When I first started listening I greatly preferred TNB, but as time went on, I’ve now swung the other direction. It’s a big deal to me that the past two releases from this band have been in my top 3 since I found albums from the latter part of their pre-hiatus to be spotty. Tim Booth probably has my favorite male voice.
Old-school soul album that you can’t help but dance to. In fact, when I saw them this summer I’d say at least 75% of the audience was dancing (not just bobbing and swaying). Outside of summerdance, I’ve never experienced that kind of crowd participation.
Basically I’d call it indie folk-rock, which seems to be very popular with me right now (I’d put Good Old War and The Spring Standards into the same broad category). Matt Vasquez is a very good lyricist with an expressive voice (though not really a good one) and the drums have a very prominent place -- two things that lift this album up above the others, but you can also add in a variety of different sounds, some nice harmonies, and a wide variety of tempos. That the 8 minute closing track holds my interest is an achievement in itself. As good as the album is, though, live is where it’s really at with these guys. I’d say they’re currently one of the best live bands touring.
Yet another indie folk-rock album, this one with male and female voices. Though the entire album is really good, the songs where Heather Robb has the lead are generally the best. On a couple of songs, where she’s belting it out and they’ve got horns, they remind me a lot of Codeine Velvet Club.
A quirky, witty, slightly twee singer-songwriter. I enjoyed this as a bit of fluff from the get-go, but never thought this album would land in my top 10. But the more I listened the more I appreciated his lyrics and he’s got a charming voice. I’ve come to think of him as an Australian Jens Lekman.
11. Murder by Death - Good Morning, Magpie 12. Phosphorescent - Here's To Taking It Easy 13. Jon Langford & Skull Orchard - Old Devils [On record, I find I typically prefer Langford’s albums under his own name over the Waco Brothers. Better lyrics and greater sound diversity. He’s one of the people I think of when I want to argue with people who say they don’t like political music as his songs tend to be more poetic or obscure than most political music I listen to.] 14. Swans - My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope 15. Barton Carroll - Together You And I 16. Justin Townes Earle - Harlem River Blues 17. Superchunk - Majesty Shredding 18. Rhonda Vincent - Taken [bluegrass] 19. The Unthanks - Here’s The Tender Coming [2010 US release] [Traditional English folk group. The first album (billed as Rachel Unthank & The Winterset) was good, but this one is so much better.] 20. Priestess - Prior To The Fire [2010 US release] [Like 70’s era Aerosmith or AC/DC, but rocking even harder.] 21. Marty Marrone & Tangled Roots - Life Of A Dream [bluegrass] 22. Whitey Morgan and the 78's - Whitey Morgan and the 78’s [There is someone to carry the Merle Haggard mantle and his name is Whitey Morgan.] 23. Roky Erickson with Okkervil River - True Love Cast Out All Evil 24. I Am Kloot - Sky At Night [The past couple albums from I Am Kloot have been mellow, rather unadventurous affairs, especially after their mind-blowing God And Monsters album of 2005, but John Bramwell is still a great lyricist with a beautiful voice.] 25. Mavis Staples - You Are Not Alone [Great album, but it doesn’t come close to capturing the joy, passion, and love of her live show.] 26. Free Energy - Stuck On Nothing [While there are no songs here I dislike, it’s a shame that the latter part of this power-pop album really falls off; if all was like the first four songs this would be a top 5 album. Band is great live, too.] 27. Eels - End Times [I love Mark Everett and this is a really good album, but a bit samey.] 28. The Magnetic Fields - Realism [Indie-rock done Broadway style.] 29. Carolina Chocolate Drops - Genuine Negro Jig [Most of the album is really good, but what really stands out is that Rhiannon Giddens has a heck of a voice.] 30. Suckers - Wild Smile
* * * * *
I've put together a two-volume, year-end mix. The Best, contains two songs from each of my top 10 albums. The Rest, contains one song from my next 20 favorites.
BESThttp://www.megaupload.com/?d=9FES22J6 1. That’s Some Dream - Good Old War 2. My Own Sinking Ship - Good Old War 3. Vanity Kills - Codeine Velvet Club 4. I Would Send You Roses - Codeine Velvet Club 5. Name Calling - Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed 6. Time Will Tell - Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed 7. For Eliza - Pete Molinari 8. Streetcar Named Desire - Pete Molinari 9. It’s Not Me, It’s You - The Rizdales 10. To Have Or To Hold - The Rizdales 11. Outdated, Frustrated & Blue - Otis Gibbs 12. Twelve Dead In Sago - Otis Gibbs 13. 911 - Delta Spirit 14. Salt In The Wound - Delta Spirit 15. Sharks - The Spring Standards 16. Queen Of The Lot - The Spring Standards 17. Ten Below - James 18. Rabbit Hole - James 19. Butterfly Bones - Darren Hanlon 20. Modern History - Darren Hanlon
RESThttp://www.megaupload.com/?d=EXJSHX7P 1. Wrote A Song For Everyone - Mavis Staples 2. Mansions of Los Feliz - Eels 3. Yes - Murder By Death 4. To The Brink - I Am Kloot 5. The Mermaid Parade - Phosphorescent 6. Crossed Wires - Superchunk 7. Roman Candles - Suckers 8. You Must Be Out Of Your Mind - The Magnetic Fields 9. Luxury - Jon Langford & Skull Orchard 10. The Testimony of Patience Kershaw - The Unthanks 11. The Court of Love - Rhonda Vincent 12. Turn Up The Bottle - Whitey Morgan and the 78’s 13. Please, Judge - Roky Erickson with Okkervil River 14. My Birth - Swans 15. Lady Killer - Priestess 16. Free Energy - Free Energy 17. Hit ‘Em Up Style - Carolina Chocolate Drops 18. Rogers Park - Justin Townes Earle 19. Weary Day - Marty Marrone & Tangled Roots 20. Let’s Get On With The Illusion - Barton Carroll
In February, Robbie Fulks began a Monday night residency at The Hideout, which is scheduled to last throughout at least all of 2010 (whenever Robbie is available). Few artists would do such a thing with as great a diversity as he has thus far. So I'll use this journal to keep a record of the shows, updating it throughout the year. [whenever a song title is in quotes, it's a guess on my part]
Feb 1 - with Robbie Gjersoe http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/112-2010-weekly-residency I'm starting this Monday, Feb. 1, with something safe and sound: my duo with the incredible Robbie Gjersoe. We'll be focusing on country flatpick songs. Bring your eighth-note-o-meters. ?? (instrumental) Molly and Tenbrooks [Bill Monroe] Georgia Hard The Bluebirds Are Singing For Me [trad.?] Guess I Got It Wrong Cheyenne [Bill Monroe] The World Is Full of Pretty Girls (And Pretty Girls Are Full of Themselves Too) Real Money Goodbye, Virginia Caked Joy Rag She Took A Lot Of Pills And Died That’s Where I’m From Between Lust And Watching TV [Bill Anderson] Rub It In [Billy “Crash” Craddock] In Bristol Town One Bright Day There Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone [Jimmy Martin] Big Mon [Bill Monroe]
Molly and Tenbrooks
Caked Joy Rag
Rub It In
Feb 8 - with Nora O'Conner http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/114-next-monday-at-the-hideout Come enjoy a mixed-sex duo, Nora O'Connor and me. You know Nora from her performances and recordings with Neko Case, Andrew Bird, The New Pornographers -- I mean, if either of us knows her from that, you do; I only know her as the good-looking mom who lives down the street and sings great. For a long time she only seemed to sing great. Now, after having been invited to sing on Mavis Staples's new record, she is known to. Maybe that's how Nora comes to be so full of herself. The day Mavis asks me to sing on a record is the day I cease all communications with you earth people. Anyway, Nora's and my Monday show is billed as "original and folk songs," which I believe to be accurate. At past shows we've done three songs from her fine solo record (Til The Dawn) and I hope we can do a few more on Monday. Maybe a Michael Jackson song, probably not. A fiddle tune or two for sure. 7PM is when it starts. (missed for Frank Turner show in Austin)
Feb 15 - with Robbie Gjersoe & John Abbey http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/116-this-monday-at-the-hideout A trio: John Abbey, Robbie Gjersoe, and myself. We'll be building the show on the possibilities suggested by upright bass, acoustic guitar, and whatever it is that Gjersoe will play, which isn't nailed down yet. Looks like a good night to swing (e.g. the Monk and Coltrane heads Robbie and I have been fooling with on our off-hours) and get a little abstract (Steve Reich joins the Carter Family?), and a fine occasion to, so to speak, folk this town. (The word "Indian" has also come up, which frankly distresses me, but we'll see; Messrs. Gjersoe and Abbey are worldly instrumentalists who have only one handicap, and its name is "Robbie Fulks.") As almost always, you can expect some of my originals and some fiddle tunes. Going To A Party [NRBQ] Eighth Wonder Of The World [John D. Loudermilk] ?? (instrumental) Weak Brain, Narrow Mind [Willie Dixon] Georgia Hard There Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone [Jimmy Martin] Bury Me Beneath The Willow [trad.] Snake Chapman’s Tune [origins uncertain: http://www.fiddlehangout.com/topic/15356] It’s About The Money A Handful of Riffs [Lonnie Johnson & Eddie Lang] Don’t Rob Another Man’s Castle [Jenny Lou Carson] Rock Bottom, Pop. 1 ?? [Robbie Gjersoe] Big Mon [Bill Monroe] Busy Not Crying ENCORE: Goodbye, Virginia I Want To Be Mama’d [Jimmie Logsdon]
Feb 22 - with his usual band (Grant Tye, Gerald Dowd & Mike Fredrickson) http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/118-hideout-this-monday-night It's "me and the guys," Grant Tye, Mike Fredrickson and Gerald Dowd. Not sure what all we'll be playing, but it looks like I'll duet with all three guys, play a few new tunes and a bunch of older ones, and take a couple requests. Nothing too out-there. If this is the kind of thing you like then you'll really like this. instrumental jam (Tye, Dowd, Frederickson) The Blues For Murder Only [Lonnie Johnson] (Tye, Fulks) Try Leaving (Fulks, Dowd) The Mississippi Queen [John Hartford] (Fulks, Dowd) Brand New Heartache [Felice & Boudleaux Bryant] (Fulks, Fredrickson) Still In Love With You [?] [Mike Fredrickson] (Fulks, Fredrickson) Orphan Train [U. Utah Phillips] Vanishing Jane Banks of the Marianne I’d Be Lonesome Busy Not Crying Real Money Isn’t Love Strange [Mike Fredrickson] Two Lane Highway [Mike Fredrickson] Dirty-Mouthed Flo Can’t Win For Losing You Georgia Hard Cigarette State Billy Jean [Michael Jackson] I Push Right Over Let’s Kill Saturday Night ENCORE: improv birthday song for music critic Mark Guarino Sleeping On The Job Of Love
Brand New Heartache
I Push Right Over
April 5 - with The Hoyle Brothers ('70s country) http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/123-this-monday-at-the-hideout I'll be surveying the country music of the 1970s with the Hoyle Brothers. The Hoyles are one of three bands in the Chicago area who play traditional country music and have good chops, and the other two aren't playing this Monday, not counting the bandleader of one. If the sexy, seen-it-all songs of Don Williams and Ronnie Milsap hit your eardrums like an intoxicating Caribbean breeze, then you should know where to be at 7:00 sharp. (artist noted is one who made it famous, not necessarily the writer; vocals were split between Robbie and Trevor McSpadden) Pure Love [Ronnie Milsap] Drinking Thing [Gary Stewart] Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain [Willie Nelson] Fourteen Carat Mind [Gene Watson] You Make Me Feel More Like A Man [Mel Street] Amanda [Don Williams] Married But Not To Each Other [Barbara Mandrell] Blanket On The Ground [Billie Jo Spears] Leaving Love All Over The Place [George Jones] Brass Buttons [Gram Parsons] There Won't Be Anymore [Charlie Rich] Chick Inspector (That's Where My Money Goes) [Dick Curless] Someone To Give My Love To [Johnny Paycheck] Between Lust And Watching TV [Cal Smith] Pass Me By [Johnny Rodriguez] Amos Moses [Jerry Reed] Middle Age Crazy [Jerry Lee Lewis] Wichita Lineman [Glen Campbell] had to leave early so missed the last few songs
April 19 - with Eliza Gilkyson http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/129-this-monday-at-the-hideout I play with the great Texas songwriter and singer Eliza Gilkyson. I met and played with Eliza in Calgary a few years back and was blown away by her voice and compositions. The adjectives that come right to mind are: sweet, unforced, tuneful, canny, velvet. (missed for Monotonix show)
April 26 - with Greg Cahill (of Special Consensus, a band Robbie was in during the late '80s) (Banjo Wars) http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/131-this-monday-at-the-hideout Greg Cahill on the five-string, me on the six. Expect, of course, some bluegrass (including a few songs from our 1980s heyday in Special Consensus -- those days, to coin a bluegrass-singing phrase, of whine and noses). Also a little swing, a dab of Celt, a smidgen of bebop, a rank trousseau of old-timey, and a lot of...what's that word for when it's old and not very fast and no one knows an exact name for it...folk music. [Tim Tuten missed his flight to DC so we got what has now become a rare Tuten intro. For better or worse -- I'm of the mind, better -- nobody can ramble like Tim.] Foggy Mountain Special [Earl Scruggs] Ramblin’ Fever [Merle Haggard] Crossing The Big Sandy [trad. - a/k/a Big Sandy River] Jackie-Ing > Garry Owen [Thelonious Monk > trad.] I’ll Love Nobody But You [Jim & Jesse] East Tennessee Blues [trad.] I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (instrumental) [Hank Williams] Whitetail Woods Incident Back Up And Push [trad.] Lady Be Good (instrumental) [George Gershwin] Country Boy Rock and Roll [Don Reno] Angeline The Baker [trad.] (both Greg & Robbie play banjo) Down The Road [Lester Flat] Margarita Breakdown [Greg Cahill] ENCORE: Ring Of Fire [June Carter Cash]
Back Up And Push
Country Boy Rock And Roll
Angeline The Baker
May 3 - with Gerald Dowd & KC McDonough (Mystery Theater) http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/134-this-monday-at-the-hideout A trio: K.C. McDonough, Gerald Dowd, and myself, playing different things, such as guitars, piano, bass, percussion, and dobro. In thinking of this trio and its abilities, I had anticipated a crazy-wide swath of music references. As things worked out, after everyone threw his titles in the e-ring, it seems that most of our set comes from 1967. But a few outliers include a 19th-century Baptist hymn, a new Dowd original, and a terrific tune by Silkworm. Come see us if you dare. KC on bass, piano & drums Gerald on drums, acoustic guitar, bass, and kazoo Robbie on electric & acoustic guitar, dobro, banjo, and bass initials after the song indicate who had lead vocals (typically the person who chose it) ?? instrumental Sunday Best [Bobbie Gentry] (KM) It Was Love (That Ruined Me) (RF) Clay Pigeons [Blaze Foley] (GD) Mr. John [Arthur Alexander] (KM)* ?? (jazzy instrumental -- Robbie on acoustic, Gerald on bass, KC on piano, plus a drum machine) (RF) Life Has Its Little Ups And Downs [Margaret Ann Rich] (GD) Who's Gonna Mow Your Grass [Buck Owens] (GD)** When I Write The Book [Nick Lowe] (KM) Twelve Bar Midnight [Jerry Reed] (RF) Treat The New Guy Right [Silkworm] (GD)*** Uptight Good Woman [Jimmy Johnson/Spooner Oldham/Dan Penn - Solomon Burke version] (KM) September Gurls [Alex Chilton] (RF) I Couldn't Say It To Your Face [Arthur Russell] (GD) Heartbreak Tennessee [Johnny Paycheck] (KM) You May Sing Of The Beauty [hymn] (RF/GD) ?? new song [Gerald Dowd] (GD)**** Tennessee Rock 'n' Roll [Larry Coleman/Irving Reid] (RF) Got Me A Woman [Levon Helm] (GD)
*per KC, the only songwriter covered by the Beatles, Stones, and Dylan ** supposedly the first time Robbie's ever played bass *** Andy Cohen was in the audience but refused the opportunity to do vocals due to having a cold **** Gerald is working on a solo album; only about 1/3 done, but hopes it will be out in 2010
By the way, I was surprised (I should know enough about how music works by now not to be surprised by things like this, but that's another story) how far the forethought and care in dressing and arranging these songs for the 1979 recording, together with the fine playing, go toward making them live. (As in rhymes with "give.") Remove these well-wrought structural underpinnings (the contribution, I presume, of Jerry Wexler, primus inter pares), begin anew with the lyrics and chords, and glaring problems immediately come to light. Problems, I mean, for the would-be singer, who must put his or her full weight and sincerity behind passages that are...well, tough words, words like "insane," "childish," "dazed and confused," and "absurdly slapdash," come to mind.
I'm not talking primarily about the Christian fundamentalist content or the ranting wake-up-Americans Ed Anger persona, because to me those supply much of the record's excitement and unique fascination. But by some dark alchemy, the man who crafted "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You" became the man who drafted the lyrics "He saw an animal that liked to growl/Big furry paws and he liked to howl/Great big furry back and furry hair..." and then nodded approvingly at the page: Good enough -- next! Lines like these commingle with word-perfect stanzas, such as the second verse of the title song ("I had a woman down in Alabama..."). Delivered with conviction by a man from whom you're used to a large measure of recklessness in exposing his quirks and enthusiasms, balanced by strong and sympathetic accompanists, the big furry flaws (or great big furry flaws?) attain perspective. But my players and I have to find a different place to start from.
The cliche is true -- to sing something you have to feel it personally in some way. To truly feel some of these passages I would have to divorce, eat toxins, wander in the desert for many months, and meet Pat Boone in a dream with Milton Babbitt providing soundtrack. I can't do all that by Monday, but I will work hard to prepare for a task that is a little more challenging than I realized when I first decided to pay homage to a record that I love for its intensity and performance quality. Robbie Fulks - acoustic guitar Grant Tye - electric guitar Gerald Dowd - drums John Abbey - electric bass Chris Neville - keyboard Gotta Serve Somebody [Bob Dylan] Precious Angel [Bob Dylan] I Believe In You [Bob Dylan] Slow Train [Bob Dylan] Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking [Bob Dylan] (sung by Grant Tye) Do Right To Me Baby [Bob Dylan] (sung by Chris Neville) When You Gonna Wake Up [Bob Dylan] Man Gave Names To All The Animals [Bob Dylan] When He Returns [Bob Dylan] INTERMISSION Going Back To Indiana [Michael Jackson] Busy Not Crying She Took A Lot Of Pills (And Died) I Want To Be Mama’d Can’t Win For Losing You That’s A Good Enough Reason [Benny Martin] Rock Bottom, Pop. 1 Let’s Kill Saturday Night
Slow Train Coming
When He Returns
That's a Good Enough Reason
May 17 - with Jim Dewan (The Jim and Rob Show) http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/139-this-monday-at-the-hideout It's the return of the late and very discreetly lamented Jim and Rob Show, which some of you might remember from the early 1990s. Remember when they had the big "Return to Gilligan's Island" cast reunion, how amazingly just-the-same Alan Hale and Dawn Wells looked, how Russell Johnson looked like some Palm Beach witch doctor had left him too long in the mud bath? This show will provide similar cheap spectator thrills. Jim will be Dawn (his last name, DeWan, is a cryptogram) and I will be Russell (because my Johnson is caked with mud). Just like back in our glory days, we'll flatpick, do some of our own songs, improvise a song-of-the-month based on your title suggestions, mock God, and say dirty words to make you laugh. Jim & Robbie Show introduction ?? instrumental Little Coquette [Carmen Lombardo] I Don't Know How To Say Goodbye To You [Sam Phillips] That Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine [Gene Autry] "Monkeys On My Back" ?? [sung by DeWan] In A Little Gypsy Tea Room [Bob Crosby] Nuts About You [DeWan] (partial - begun by Fulks reading, continued by DeWan singing) New Mexico 1947 [DeWan] Bill Black [Fulks & DeWan] Sophronie [Jimmie Rogers] Dream of the Miner's Child [trad.] "Brother That Ain't No Breakfast" [Fulks & DeWan] Elevator Lou medley [Fulks & DeWan] Cigarette State title of the month medley: I've Got That Old Feeling>I Wish I Was A Pretty, Pretty Girl>Mayor Daley>Grandma Get Off The Stove, You're Too Old To Ride The Range [improv songs based on audience-suggested titles] Lulu Wall [Carter family?] I'm A Believer [Neil Diamond] ENCORE: Blue-Eyed Jane [Jimmie Rogers] Blake's March [Norman Blake]
Elevator Lou medley
May 24 - with Nora O'Connor http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/144-this-monday-at-the-hideout Nora O'Connor has just come home from a trip where she sang on network TV with Jakob Dylan. Now she's strumming with me at the Hideout on Wabansia Street. Loser!!! (NO) = Nora had the lead vocal Nightingale [James Mathus] (NO) Bluebirds Are Singing For Me [trad.] Goodbye Virginia Bottoms [James Mathus] (NO) Because You Can Keep Those Cards and Letters Coming In [Harlan Howard] Helicopter [M. Ward] (NO) I'll Trade You Money For Wine Georgia Boys > Indian Creek [Danny Barnes > Arthur Smith] Heart, I Wish You Were Here Waiting On These New Things To Go So Much Wine [The Handsome Family] (NO) Flame In My Heart [George Jones] Love Letters [Victor Young/Edward Heyman] (NO) My Backyard [Nora O'Connor] (NO) A Ragged Old Man [U. Utah Phillips] The Lost Indian [trad.?] Take Me In Your Lifeboat [Flatt and Scruggs] ENCORE: Bury Me Beneath The Willow [trad.] (NO) Shanty In The Holler [Jimmy Driftwood]
Because You Can
So Much Wine
Shanty In The Holler
June 7 - with Steve Dawson http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/146-this-monday-at-the-hideout I first heard Steve Dawson sing at the Beat Kitchen in 1990, with his and his wife Diane's band Stump The Host. I could tell right away why he had no ass. He had sung it right off! Since that night I've admired his singing and writing, as exemplified in Dolly Varden and on his solo records. So I'm glad to get to share the stage with him on the coming Monday. I'm going to sing some of his songs and he's going to sing some of mine. We'll cover some offbeat favorites of ours. Harmonies in thirds and fifths will be deployed. And there is a gimmick underway involving paranormal children, about which I'll say no more. [RF and/or SD = lead vocal] Heart, I Wish You Were Here [RF & SD] I'm the One I Despise [Steve Dawson] [RF] It's Been a Great Afternoon [Merle Haggard] [RF] Waiting [Steve Dawson] [SD] You Wouldn't Do That To Me [RF] Sweet Is The Anchor [Steve Dawson] [RF] Check Out The Career [RF] The Thing You Love Is Killing You [Steve Dawson] [RF] The Buck Starts Here [SD] I Always Get Lucky With You [Gary Church/Merle Haggard/Freddy Powers/Tex Whitson] [SD] Man In The Mirror [Michael Jackson] [RF] I Gotta Get Drunk [Willie Nelson] [RF] Gimme Little Sign [Jerry Winn, Alfred Smith, Joseph Hooven - Brenton Wood] [SD & RF] The River of Jordan [trad. - The Louvin Brothers] [SD] I'll Be There [Berry Gordy/Bob West/Hal Davis/Willie Hutch - The Jackson 5] [SD & RF] Soul Music Is Better Than Country [Fulks & Dawson] [RF & SD]* ENCORE: How Deep Is Your Love [The Bee Gees] [SD & RF] Keep On The Sunny Side [Ada Blenkhorn] [RF]
* The previous four songs were performed with Steve's daughter and Robbie's son as judges, rating the songs in several categories. Country won, but Robbie & Steve were so certain that soul would win that they had written this song in advance and performed it anyway with a bit of modification to reflect the actual results.
The Thing You Love Is Killing You
The Buck Starts Here
I Gotta Get Drunk (country v. soul 1)
Gimme Little Sign (country v. soul 2)
The River of Jordan (country v. soul 3)
I'll Be There (country v. soul 4)
Soul Music Is Better Than Country (country v. soul 5) (if you watch this, be sure you first watch at least one of the four previous videos in order to understand it)
June 14 - with Gerald Dowd & KC McDonough (Mystery Theater) KC on bass, piano Gerald on drums, acoustic guitar, bass, piano Robbie on acoustic guitar, dobro, mini keyboard initials after the song indicate who had lead vocals I Wanna Be With You [Rasberries] (RF) Untie Me [Joe South] (KM) Venus Is Her Name [Freedy Johnston] (GD) Uptight Good Woman [Jimmy Johnson/Spooner Oldham/Dan Penn - Solomon Burke version] (KM) Clay Pigeons [Blaze Foley] (GD) I Love My Fruit [The Sweet Violet Boys] (RF) Miss The Mississippi And You [Jimmie Rodgers] (KM) Jackie-Ing [Thelonious Monk] What Do You Mean? [Vic Chesnutt] (RF) ?? bluegrass instrumental Sunday Best [Bobby Gentry] (KM) Damn Girl [Justin Timberlake] (GD) Life Has Its Little Ups And Downs [Margaret Ann Rich] (GD) Rainy Weather Friend [David Mead] (KM) Gossamer Riddle [Baby Ray] (GD) September Gurls [Alex Chilton] (RF) When I Write The Book [Nick Lowe] (KM) ENCORE: Twelve Bar Midnight [Jerry Reed] Got Me A Woman [Levon Helm] (GD)
Miss The Mississippi And You
What Do You Mean?
June 21 - with Eric Noden http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/148-this-monday-at-the-hideout Sorry I've been away for a bit. 2 kids out of school + 0 wife at home = infinitely distracted dad. Tomorrow night's show is a duo with Eric Noden. I've admired Eric's skill with country blues for many years before he was part of the fantastic group called the Sanctified Grumblers, since way back when we both taught at the Old Town School of Folk Music. From the number of successful Chicago musicians who play nasal twangy music, or who tilt their heads and grumble hoarsely when they speak, I'd say neither of us had a very widespread effect as pedagogues. Be that as it may, both of us are good at making a stringed instrument go doink in a sexy manner, and that's what we'll be doing at 7P Monday on harmonica, banjo, guitar, and banjo-guitar. See you there! Apple Tree Swing [Sonny Boy Williamson] (EN) Windy And Warm [John D. Loudermilk] Bay Rum Blues [Gwen Foster] (EN) Jesus And Bartenders [Larry Cordle] (RF) Louis Collins [Mississippi John Hurt] (EN) Fat Gal [Merle Travis] (RF) Insane Crazy Blues [Memphis Jug Band] (EN) Imogene (RF) Cincinnati Flow Rag [Rev. Gary Davis] On The Corner Of I Love And You (RF) Nine Bar [Eric Noden] (EN) Long Tall Mama [Big Bill Broonzy] (EN) Dead As Me (RF) I Will Turn Your Money Green [Furry Lewis] (EN) Caked Joy Rag 400 Miles From Home [Eric Noden] (EN) Mississippi Kid [Lynyrd Skynyrd] (RF) Crooked Road Blues [Eric Noden] (EN) Old Spinning Wheel [Ray Noble] You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back [Memphis Jug Band] (EN) ENCORE Who's Been Talking [Howlin Wolf] (EN) I Love My Fruit [The Sweet Violet Boys] (RF)
Jesus And Bartenders
Long Tall Mama
June 28 - with Robbie Gjersoe & Beau Sample http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/149-this-monday-at-the-hideout Robbie Gjersoe, Beau Sample, and I are cranking up a trio set. Beau is the longtime bassist for Hot Club of Cowtown, and Robbie is Robbie. It looks like a fair amount of instrumental music (Bill Doggett, John Coltrane, etc.) will be on offer. I've been in NYC this week and was looking at some National guitars with the thought of buying one, but I didn't fall head over heels for any I played; so if you see one Monday, it's Gjersoe's. (BS) = sung by Beau Sample China Boy [Dick Winfree/Phil Boutelje] It's My Lazy Day [Bob Wills] (BS) Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens [Alex Kramer & Joan Whitney - famous by Louis Jordan] Snake Chapman's Tune [origin unknown] Bury Me Beneath The Willow [trad.] Hey! Hey! Hey! [Stanley Brothers] If I Were A King [The Prisonaires] (BS) A Handful Of Riffs [Lonnie Johnson & Eddie Lang] Weak Brain, Narrow Mind [Willie Dixon] ?? instrumental [Eddie Harris] Arthur Koestler's Eyes Brown Bottle [?] Big Boy [?] There Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone [Jimmy Martin] ENCORE: Going Back To Indiana [Michael Jackson] I Wanna Be Mama'd [Jimmie Logsdon]
July 12 - with Paul Turner (Doberman stories) http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/151-this-monday-at-the-hideout An unusual collaboration between me (guitar) and Paul Turner (spoken word). Paul is an actor and monologuist who, among his other talents, is able to turn the scrappy scenes of his raising in and around Cairo, Illinois, into lean, sparkling, honest stories. For this show, he has taken some of my 50-Vc. Doberman songs and built stories around them, and I've done a little musical tinkering around some of his scripts. Let's see what the result is. 7P, give or take 15 minutes, as usual. Bluebirds Are Singing For Me [trad.] Scrapple Reuben in Cairo, IL (Turner story) Moses On The Mountain civil war (Turner story) Common Law Cabin open letter to Miller-Coors CEO Leo Kiely (Turner story) Blaze Of Ugly missing Alexander County this time of year (Turner story) That's Where I'm From (incl. Turner story) Try Leaving Check Out The Career (incl. Turner story) joke about a hole, transmission, and goat (Turner) I Say, Hang Him auctioning off the farm (Turner story) Goodbye, Virginia
Moses On The Mountain
missing Alexander County this time of year
Check Out The Career
July 19 - with Nora O'Connor http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/152-this-monday-at-the-hideout Nora O'Connor is back from overseas this week and, with the sea-salt clinging still to her mane, will join me for a show that will draw from our longtime songbags (does that sound like a singing Golden Girls act?) and our previous Hideout appearances, and feature a couple new ones as well. She's one of my absolute favorite people to sing and play with, and the ease and good grace with which she lives and sings are happily contagious. You can see us at 7P, you know where to go. Helicopter [M. Ward] (NO) Nightingale [James Mathus] (NO) My Old Drunk Friend [Freakwater] (NO) Heart, I Wish You Were Here Take Me In Your Lifeboat [Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs] My Backyard [Nora O'Connor] (NO) Because You Can I'll Trade You Money For Wine So Much Wine [The Handsome Family] (NO) Georgia Boys [trad.] > Indian Creek [trad. famous by Arthur Smith] Bottoms [James Mathus] (NO) Bluebirds Are Singing For Me [trad.] Love Letters [Victor Young/Edward Heyman] (NO) Goodbye Virginia I’d Rather Have What We Had [Bobby Braddock famous by Conway Twitty] Shanty In The Holler [Jimmy Driftwood] Flame In My Heart [George Jones] Waiting On These New Things To Go ENCORE: That’s Alright [Fleetwood Mac] (NO) Keep Those Cards and Letters Coming In [Harlan Howard]
Take Me In Your Lifeboat
Bluebirds Are Singing For Me
I'd Rather Have What We Had
July 26 - with band (I Heart Alex Chilton) http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/153-this-monday-at-the-hideout I Heart Alex Chilton! A band of me and three other gentlemen will play music from across 30 years of Alex's even longer career, which, like Michael Jackson's, was vigorously restless, spanned and assimilated at least a half-dozen vogues in contemporary music, and looked to be, until a premature expiry, all but unstoppable. Alex Chilton = American music. Come revel in its dark glory with us, 7PM July 26. Robbie - acoustic/electric guitar Liam Davis (of Frisbie) - acoustic/electric guitar; keyboard KC McDonough - bass Gerald Dowd - drums names in brackets are composer - performer initials in parentheses indicate who chose and sang the song The Ballad of El Goodo [Alex Chilton & Chris Bell - Big Star] (LD) Let Me Get Close To You [Gerry Goffin/Carole King - Alex Chilton] (RF) Cry Like A Baby [Dan Penn/Spooner Oldham - The Box Tops] (KM) Neon Rainbow [Wayne Thompson - The Box Tops] (KM) Free Again [Alex Chilton - Alex Chilton] (RF) Thirteen [Alex Chilton & Chris Bell - Big Star] (GD) O My Soul [Alex Chilton - Big Star] (LD) Guantanamerika [Alex Chilton - Alex Chilton] (RF) Daisy Glaze [Chilton/Andy Hummel/Jody Stephens - Big Star] (LD) Hey! Little Child [Alex Chilton - Alex Chilton] (GD) Nightime [Alex Chilton - Big Star] (LD) What's Your Sign Girl [Danny Pearson/Anthony Sepe - Alex Chilton] (RF) The Letter [Wayne Thompson - The Box Tops] (KM) Soul Deep [Wayne Thompson - The Box Tops] (GD) It's Too Late To Turn Back Now [Cornelius Brothers - Alex Chilton] (GD) ENCORE: September Gurls [Alex Chilton - Big Star] (RF)
Cry Like A Baby
August 2 - with KC McDonough and Gerald Dowd (Mystery Theater) http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/154-this-monday-at-the-hideout This will be the third time out for the Mystery Trio: K.C. (a.k.a. Casey) McDonough, Gerald Dowd, and me. A more burdensome but accurate name would be Imaginary Jukebox Trio, because we play the songs that we think a musician might hear on a celestial pop jukebox, if a musician were tragically to die and if there were a heaven and...let's just stick with Mystery Trio. The idea was, all of us sing well, play at least a couple different instruments, and have very wide tastes, so that, if we all chose material independently and in equal amounts, we would come up a seriously unpredictable kind of program. This turned to be only sort-of true, because our song list strongly represents 3-minute pop-rock lyric songs from the 1960s and the lineal descendants of the era. This week I am bringing in a Stanley Brothers tune and two others of that ilk that could tilt the show a little more red-state, but the extremely fey selections of Gerald and K.C. look likely to tilt it right back.
There is an ideal in music that I don't always observe but am always in admiration of: communication of depth and sophistication without prodigious technical display. This can be an elusive goal in its realization, because it's easy to play minimally and crappily, and hard to rein in prodigy skills, which tend to be as satisfying for audiences to receive as they are for performers to vent. A natural-feeling, undogmatic kind of underplaying is what I am drawn to, and inspired by, in the approaches of K.C. and Gerald, and most of the songs we play answer to that kind of tactic. (On the Stanley Brothers though, I will try to play my cracker ass off.) (missed for Frank Turner in Hartford)
August 9 - with Jenny Scheinman (Chicklit and Hick Shit) http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/156-this-monday-at-the-hideout Jenny Scheinman drops by to drip some hot waxen fiddlistic brilliancy on the Hideout's sodden green stage carpet. Quite a lot of what I present on Mondays is of a feeling-it-out nature, with some favorite players that I don't get to play with as often as I'd like. But what I do with Jenny (like what I do with Gjersoe or Nora O'C) is at this point more like an act. We do hardly anything that's underrehearsed, let alone un-. Which is a little paradoxical because when we started making music together a year-and-a-half ago, it was sitting in the kitchen goofing on fiddle tunes and screwing around in a tavern down the block, and now we're like the Will and Ariel Durant of the hopelessly obscure, embittered troubadour circuit, you know? A big fucking freakshow. If you live around Chicago and you appreciate seeing a violin well-played, in whatever idiom, you should drop everything and come down. Leaving aside her fearsome chops, nobody I play with has a freer attitude, or a keener bullshit detector. (JS) = Jenny lead vocals (RF) = Robbie lead vocals ?? fiddle tune Newspaper Angels [Jenny Scheinman] (JS) I'll Trade You Money For Wine (RF) Houston [Jenny Scheinman] (JS) 8 More Miles to Louisville [Grandpa Jones] (RF) My Old Man [Jenny Scheinman] (JS) Imogene (RF) ?? fiddle tune Run, Run, Run [Jenny Scheinman] (JS) The Palms Of Maracaibo [Lionel Belasco] Brother [Jenny Scheinman] (JS) Goodbye Virginia (RF) ?? fiddle tune The Littlest Prisoner [Jenny Scheinman] (JS) Moses On The Mountain (RF) Broken Spoke Waltz [Alvin Crow] Single Girl, Married Girl [The Carter Family] (JS & RF) Bill Cheatham [trad.] The World Is Full of Pretty Girls (And Pretty Girls Are Full of Themselves Too) (RF) ENCORE: I'm Satisfied [Mississippi John Hurt] (JS)
8 More Miles To Louisville
The Palms Of Maracaibo
August 16 - with Beau Sample (Doghouse Flights) http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/157-this-monday-at-the-hideout Beau Sample and me. Banjo-bass and guitar-bass duets. Beau is one of those rare guys who knows the entire Slim and Slam catalog by heart and yet is not a drooling, antisocial freak. If you don't know much about that kind of music (small-group swing, or pre-1950s rock-and-roll, whichever you'd call it) you could drop dozens of dollars on itunes and broaden yourself...or come see our show, for only a sawbuck. See? "Sawbuck" -- I'm already talking like one of those drooling fantasyland guys -- it's that delightful. The handsome bassist/singer and I will also play tunes he and I wrote, and touch on Merle Haggard and some others. Please drop by if failing to would gnaw at your soul. (BS) - lead vocal by Beau Sample (RF) - lead vocal by Robbie China Boy [Dick Winfree/Phil Boutelje] > improv'd intro for show "Goodbye Goodbye" ("here am I, I'm so high and dry, goodbye goodbye, ever since you went away you I haven't even said goodbye, goodbye goodbye, Lord it ain't no use, yes I know I cooked my golden goose, and it ain't no use") (BS) Big John McNeil [trad.] It's My Lazy Day [Bob Wills] (BS) The Episcopalian Guitar [title per Robbie, but can find nothing on it] Memphis Women and Chicken [Donnie Fritts, Dan Penn, Gary Nicholson] (RF) Hand Me Down My Walking Cane [trad.] (RF) Don't Worry About Me [Beau Sample] (BS) Potato Chips [Slim And Slam] (BS) The Golden Globe Award [John Hartford] (RF) After While (We Gonna Drink a Little Whiskey) [Willie Dixon] (BS & RF) ?? guitar/bass instrumental Joan Crawford Love Dance [instrumental piece he wrote to go with the silent film Tramp, Tramp, Tramp] No Love In You [Harmon Boazeman] (BS) You Can't Go Back (RF) Caked Joy Rag Just Another Place I Don't Belong [Miles Zuniga, Al Anderson] (RF) ENCORE If I Were A King [The Prisonaires] (BS)
Memphis Women and Chicken
After While (We Gonna Drink A Little Whiskey)
If I Were King
August 23 - with Robbie Gjersoe & Jenny Scheinman (String Wizard Trio) http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/158-this-monday-at-the-hideout It's String Summit of the Demigods, as Jenny Scheinman, Robbie Gjersoe, and I yank mellifluently at each other's chains. We've played tons of shows in every possible combination of twos, but only thrice before as a trio (summer of '09). What the hell will we play? The hallowed names of John Coltrane and Sonny Throckmorton have been bandied about, but words such as "Throckmorton" are easy to say, no? What will actually unfold at this show is anyone's guess, at least until the three of us meet a half-hour in advance at the Hideout and pretend to talk it over while greedily lapping at Courvoisiers, and after that it's an utter mystery. There should be a lot of good playing (there always should be), and it should start at 7PM (it never quite does). ?? instrumental Waiting On These New Things To Go Just A Child [Jenny Scheinman] (JS) Goodbye Virginia Brown Bottle [?] Houston [Scheinman] (JS) Cheyenne Run, Run, Run [Jenny Scheinman] (JS) Apple Tree Swing [Sonny Boy Williamson] Goodbye Girls, I'm Going To Boston [trad.] Brother [Jenny Scheinman] (JS) Aunt Dinah's Quilting Party [John Fletcher / Frances Kyle] Dance The Night Away [Jenny Scheinman] (JS) Mystery Train [Junior Parker / Sam Phillips] (JS) The World Is Full of Pretty Girls (And Pretty Girls Are Full of Themselves Too) ?? instrumental The Way I Am [Sonny Throckmorton] ?? instrumental [John Coltrane] Hot Fingers [Lonnie Johnson] ENCORE: Let's Kill Saturday Night
Just A Child
Apple Tree Swing
The Way I Am
September 13 - with The Hoyle Brothers http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/164-this-monday-at-the-hideout I'm back! Not with Scotty Ligon, as some outlets are advertising. That's the week following. This Monday is classic country with the Hoyle Brothers. We did this last March and had a swell time as well as a big, appreciative bunch of listeners, so we're doing it again, and a good deal of the repertoire will be different from last time. Not sure what "classic" means, except what it usually means in popular culture: from about the time when most movies were filmed in color till 25 years before now, whenever "now" happens to be. So, on the classic movie channel, they're now running classics such as "The Stepfather" starring Jill Schoelen; and on my classic country night, I'll sing -- since there's not much going on in mid-1980s country, we'll set the cut-off date farther back -- Barbara Mandrell, whose pretty-okay music a hip fellow like me wouldn't have been caught dead listening to just a few years ago! If you come see me in ten years, I'll probably be paying solemn tribute to Diamond Rio.
I wonder what the fantastic and delectable Jill Schoelen is up to now? (missed for MusicFest NW in Portland)
September 20 - Scott Ligon (The Kook Duo) http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/165-this-monday-at-the-hideout Out On A Limb With Scott Ligon. It started as a duo. The genius multi-instrumentalist of the Heatersons, the Terry Adams Quartet, Kelly Hogan and..., the Western Elstons, and the Flat Five would be my sidekick in a night of hetero-genial kookery. Then, as the date fast approached, a bassist was added. Cute tropes were toyed with and discarded. Individual titles were discussed, with bated breath and clenched jaws. Rehearsal began in earnest. Two days later, all agreed-upon titles were thrown decisively overboard. Next, deleting all conventional gestures of planning and adding a drummer were suggested. [Scott Ligon + suitable past-tense verb can be fairly substituted in all passive constructions.]
At present I have no idea where this stands. I am basically positive -- I devoutly believe -- that on Monday shortly past 7PM, Scott and I will step onto the grim Hideout proscenium, accompanied by -- don't quote me -- one or two or three other people who play instruments, perchance to create, if only via furtive glances and shared memories and reckless improvisation, a shaky illusion of musical order. Whether it happens to be good or bad, I can't say, but I can say with total assurance that it will happen only once. And, if you've ever seen Scotty play live, or paid attention to music performance over the last 100-odd years, you'll probably agree that focused visionaries working off the cuff (e.g., Louis Armstrong, Jonathan Richman) may trump diligently prepared acts working from a script (e.g., Verve Pipe). Robbie Fulks - acoustic guitar Scott Ligon - electric guitar; piano KC McDonough - electric bass Alex Hall - drums Fighting Back [KC McDonough] (KM) "Take Me Back Sally" [?] (RF) Lonesome Tears In My Eyes [Johnny Burnette; Dorsey Burnette; Paul Burlison; Al Mortimer] (SL) Cry To Me [Bert Russell] (KM) The Way I Am [Sonny Throckmorton] (RF) Love's Gonna Live Here [Buck Owens] (SL) Mystery Dance [Elvis Costello] (KM) E Quando Muoio Io [trad.] (RF) This Love Is True [NRBQ] (SL) It's Now Or Never [Eduardo di Capua] (KM) I Push Right Over (RF) Just One More [George Jones] (SL) Fist City [Loretta Lynn] (KM) I Love My Fruit [The Sweet Violet Boys] (RF) Li'l Ole Kiss of Fire [Lester Allen & Robert Hill/Homer & Jethro] (SL) Purple Rain [Prince] (KM) Please, Please Me [John Lennon; Paul McCartney] (RF) Animal Life [Scott Ligon] (SL) Somethin' Else [Eddie Cochran; Sharon Sheeley] (KM) Train Of Life [Merle Haggard] (RF) Tennessee (modified to include references to the guys on stage) [Carl Perkins] (SL/KM) Twilight Time [Buck Ram; Mortie Nevins; Artie Dunn] (KM/SL) There Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone [Jimmy Martin] (RF) Don't Laugh [Revin "Rebe" Gosdin] (SL) ENCORE Go Now [Larry Banks, Milton Bennett] (KM) Billy Jean [Michael Jackson] (RF) Sister Golden Hair [Gerry Beckley/America] (SL)
E Quando Muoio Io
Li'l Ole Kiss Of Fire
Sister Golden Hair
September 27 - with Jenny Scheinman (Sex and Violins) http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/167-this-monday-at-the-hideout Well, what about this Sunday at the Old Town School of Folk Music? If you came to see me and a dark-eyed lady who plays the violin like no one else living now or before, you wouldn't be disappointed, just a little crazy; because the main and proper attraction is Ms. Connie Smith, the incomparable genius of country music. Some fellow said to me not long ago: "Chuck Berry -- I love the whole thing -- the music, the lyrics, the peeing on women." That's how I feel about Connie Smith. I like the repertoire ("Cincinnati, Ohio" and two dozen other hits that encapsulate the grown-up melancholy and the dewy innocence, or so it looks now, of 1970), the pitch-perfection, the good-lookingness and poise, the soul and the control. Even, the post below notwithstanding, the witnessing to Jesus. Yes, it's the whole thing I love and nothing less; and though our generation's connection to a certain era, when dressed-up entertainers stood in tents and village meeting-halls before ordinary unglamorous citizens giving stentorian voice to their angels and demons, has not yet been sundered, surely it soon must be, in which eventuality you will deeply regret not having seen Connie Smith deliver an impeccable show in September 2010, where she sang all your feelings as you would if you had had the lungs.
As with that sentence, you will need to clear your head after the Connie show. How better than to see me and the violinist, whose name rhymes with Any Fine Hen, shake up the Hideout on Monday the 27th with Robbie Gjersoe alongside, making it all more jocular and mentally turbulent than it would be. This trio offered one of the Hideout's most insanely marvelous Monday nights of the year back in August, so come on out either to see what you missed or to swim senilely in the warm pool of memory. ?? instrumental The Palms Of Maracaibo [Lionel Belasco] Goodbye Girls, I'm Going To Boston [trad.] Guess I Got It Wrong Just A Child [Jenny Scheinman] (JS) Hot Fingers [Lonnie Johnson] The Way I Am [Sonny Throckmorton] Run, Run, Run [Jenny Scheinman] (JS) Bottle Up And Go [Huddie Ledbetter] (RG) Houston [Jenny Scheinman] (JS) Waiting On These New Things To Go Dance The Night Away [Jenny Scheinman] (JS) Eight More Miles To Louisville [Grandpa Jones] God Isn't Real (RF & RG) My Old Man [Jenny Scheinman] (JS) ?? instrumental ENCORE: Brother [Jenny Scheinman] (JS) Bringin' In The Georgia Mail [Fred Rose]
God Isn't Real
October 4 - with Nora O'Connor (The Bramble and The Rose) http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/169-this-monday-at-the-hideout Duo with Nora O'Connor. Country, folk, and bluegrass. Come on by after work. Helicopter [M. Ward] (NO) Gone Like The Water [Freedy Johnston] (NO) I'll Trade You Money For Wine I've Never Been So Lonesome [Ted Lundy] Bottoms [James Mathus] (NO) So Much Wine [The Handsome Family] (NO) The Bluebirds Are Singing For Me [Mac Wiseman] Because You Can The Thing You Love Is Killing You [Steve Dawson] (NO) God's Not Dead [trad.] (RF & NO) Georgia Boys [trad.] > Indian Creek [trad. famous by Arthur Smith] My Backyard [Nora O'Connor] (NO) Nightingale [James Mathus] (O) I’d Rather Have What We Had [Bobby Braddock famous by Conway Twitty] (RF & NO) Parallel Bars (RF & NO) Heart, I Wish You Were Here Your Motion Says [Arthur Russell] (NO) Goodbye Virginia ENCORE: Take Me In Your Lifeboat [Flatt & Scruggs]
Gone Like The Water
God's Not Dead
Georgia Boys > Indian Creek
October 11 - with full band (Thelonious Monk vs. The Monkees) http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/171-this-monday-at-the-hideout-thoughts-on-thelonious A 4-piece band explores the superficially (as well as deeply) nutty concept: Monk vs. Monkees. We'll be doing versions of some better-known songs of each, as well as mashing the two together in unexpected ways. I don't think there are that many musicians around that can convincingly touch on both these styles, with feeling and vigor, but I've got a stellar cast playing with me on Monday -- I won't say who, but if you've seen many of my Hideout shows then you've probably seen them. The piano will be played some, for obvious reasons, but not too much, for almost equally obvious reasons.
Cramming my hillbilly head with Monk heads all week has been like a refreshing but disorienting holiday. (First time out for that sentence.) The appreciation I've long had for him, as a casual fan, and a guy who could play only a couple of his tunes on the guitar, has deepened as I've learned more and somewhat harder tunes (knew "Blue Monk," for instance, but didn't know "Think Of One"), read a little about him, and reflected on his gift and his accomplishment. With the caveat that I know jazz about like Pat Boone knows metal, I'll throw caution to the wind and tell you some of what I'm thinking.
It seems that only so much can be said about Monk's mastery before the red-flag words, like "peculiar," start to color the discussion. ("Genius" is a related backhanded euphemism, as Gary Giddins notes in his typically keen and educational appraisal, collected in Visions of Jazz. Not far from there to the wide-eyed neighbor on the 11 o'clock news meaningfully intoning, "He was always a loner.") So, to give proper stress to what's primary about Monk at the risk of banality -- he invented a fresh and wonderful way of playing his instrument, and wrote a few dozen of the great songs of the twentieth century. In both, instrument al technique and composition, he drew on the same bag of homemade tools; "percussive touch, concentrated dissonances, bold rests," Giddins's six-word phrase, looks irreducibly complete to me. If you try to list other musical pioneers who made similarly prodigious contributions in the realms of instrument and song, you'll see that "peculiar" doesn't come into it -- the list is really too short to be subdivided, or to suggest norms.
Onto the odd. One of the things you notice about learning the head of, say, "Straight, No Chaser," is that effect of those goddamned rests, and the displacements of and tiny variations on a childishly simple five-note phrase, is to make the 12-bar head quite frustrating, the first day or two, to get lodged in your fingers and mind. Whereas one of the things you notice about having learned it is that the rests and displacements feel exactly right. You could hardly think of another way to do it. It sits in your head, germinating and generating new "meanings."
This kind of qualified learnability -- at cost and concluding in unforgettability -- is, everywhere and always, the hallmark of a great composition. That includes the one-or-two-days part. Tunes you can learn in an hour are as often as not trivial, and any random group of notes on a page of staff music can be internalized in a week. But it'll take you a day or two, if you haven't heard it, to commit Paul Simon's "Still Crazy After All These Years," or Raymond Scott's "Bumpy Weather Over Newark," to memory; and once you do, you're a richer person for the trouble.
That the building blocks of all these beautiful songs are sharp 11's and wild interval leaps and startling out-of-the-blue chord clusters is a bit of a mystery. I mean that when you put it on paper like that, or when you try it yourself, as many pianists after Monk have, all those devices appear as the pinnacle of uncreativity: gimmickry, a short cut (as Coleman Hawkins referred to Coltrane's technique), an easy retort against lushness and the obligation to tradition. I guess that it comes down to Monk's having made his own world, there on 63rd Street. He sealed himself off from European and scholastic influences with determination, according to Giddins. The vocabulary that resulted is accordingly sealed-off, imaginary-universe-like. But the heads in which it's put to use are as pretty as "White Christmas," as simple as classic TV themes, and -- the entrancing paradox -- as logical as either.
Something a musician friend said about Monk's soloing: he plays with all of the knowledge and none of the experience. I think that's pretty profound, and nails it. Listen to Monk come upon, as he often does, a pair of notes he likes, and repeat them joyously seven times, like a kid dabbling with color. To know as much as he knew, but to be able wipe away the experiential crust, to summon the sincere joy, each time you sat down before the keys...it would take some kind of two-brained lunatic.
On my XM show a couple years ago I made a farfetched remark relating Monk and Doc Watson -- both Carolina boys. I know the Internet is no place for reckless, out-on-a-limb speculating. And I know that Thelonious left North Carolina at age 4, or 6, depending on whether you go by the New York Times or Giddins. But Monk and Watson, born 5 years apart, must have listened to a lot of the same music when they were young. Country Monk -- untrammeled ground, but really not so crazy. People from the country hold music in a different light than people from the city. Country people are more immune to the fashionable, to shiny new concepts flown in from abroad and trumpeted in glossy journals. Country people don't care so much what you make of them -- they are likelier to wear the hat they want and dance when they feel like. And most of all, country people are not easy to shake from the conviction that music is inseparable from fun. Hot, wild, sexy, unvarnished fun. What long odds against a guy with Monk's considerable handicaps -- absent father, racist society, dismissive professional peers, banishment from professional work in NYC clubs for most of his peak years, the usual philistinism of the record-buying public -- giving the world something 1) new 2) beautiful 3) insidiously grammatical 4) fun. But that's what happened.
As for the Monkees -- they're included in all this only by cheap syllabic coincidence -- I guess that shit is okay. (missed for A.A. Bondy)
October 18 - with Kathleen Keane (Robbie Goes Irish) http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/172-this-monday-at-the-hideout Did I mention my deep Irish roots? There's a good reason I didn't. But on Monday, with my dear friend Kathleen Keane and Jim Conway, who I only met once briefly in an airport lounge, I'll be all pink hearts, orange stars, yellow moons, &c. Lots of whistle, fiddle, harmonica, guitar, and misty-eyed singing; lots of me trying to keep up with Kathleen's tempos too. She played in the renowned band Gaelic Storm, has a good feel for the world of song outside the borders of Eire, writes well, and looks good. That's why, this Monday at the Hideout, "If you're a Mick/Around you will stick." Kathleen Keane - fiddle; tin whistle Jim Conway - harmonica; tin whistle Robbie Fulks - acoustic guitar ?? instrumental 1 > ?? instrumental 2 Little Annie (a/k/a When The Springtime Comes Again) [trad.] Where The Wind Meets The Water [Kathleen Keane] (KK) Fixing To Fall On A Real Good Day Garry Owen > The Connaughtman's Rambles [trad.] I Like Being Left Alone Down The Road [Lester Flatt] Wild Mountain Thyme [William McPeake] (KK) Banks of the Marianne The Golden Stud > The Banshee > The Monahan Twig [trad.] [Robbie sits out] Chris Mills Is Living The Dream [Chris Mills] Coal Miner's Reel > Speed the Plow > The Rainy Day [trad.] Galway [Oliver St. John Gogarty/Tony Small] (KK) In Bristol Town One Bright Day Hand Me Down My Walking Cane [trad.] When Irish Eyes Are Smiling [Ernest Ball] (KK) ENCORE ?? instrumental
Fixin' To Fall
Garry Owen > The Connaughtman's Rambles
Chris Mills Is Living The Dream
Hand Me Down My Walking Cane
October 25 - with Justin Roberts (Down With Children) http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/174-this-monday-at-the-hideout Last year I caught Justin Roberts and his band at Symphony Space in NYC. It was great! He's the first kids' performer I've seen who just does his thing without great affect -- doesn't jump around mugging like a retarded clown, doesn't look like he's too cool for school, doesn't wink-wink at the parents...just stands and delivers. As a writer he manages to dig up fresh yet broadly resonant themes of childhood experience ("Picture Day," "Stay-at-Home Dad," "Obsessed By Trucks"), and he seems actually to care for his characters. He was a Montessori teacher who kind of stumbled into the business, unlike the typical children's music act, which...you know. But why am I telling you all this? If you're a bobo-class parent with a five-year-old around the house, then Justin is "more popular than Jesus Christ." As for what I'm gonna do with him and his band this Monday (some kids' music will definitely happen, but please do not bring your kid), you'll have to be present. Robbie Fulks - acoustic & electric guitar Justin Roberts - acoustic guitar Gerald Dowd - drums Liam Davis - bass & piano Specially written show intro (RF & JR sing) Willy (Davis) & Timothy (Dowd) puppets converse with Robbie Specially written show intro pt. 2 (RF & JR sing) Taking Off My Training Wheels [Justin Roberts] (JR sings) Never Getting Lost [Justin Roberts] (RF sings) Obsessed By Trucks [Justin Roberts] (RF sings) Let's Kill Saturday Night (JR sings) For India [Justin Roberts] (JR sings) Godfrey (JR sings) Moving [Justin Roberts] (RF sings) Guess I Got It Wrong (JR sings) Trick Or Treat [Justin Roberts] (JR sings; Robbie sits out) Picture Day [Justin Roberts] (RF sings) Sign My Cast [Justin Roberts] (duet - Donna Fulks on vocals, Liam Davis on piano) I Know You Will [Justin Roberts] (JR sings) Fruit Jar [Justin Roberts] (JR sings) Mad At A Girl (JR sings) Suppertime [Justin Roberts] (RF sings) Stone River (JR sings) Specially written show closer (RF & JR sing)
Never Getting Lost
Obsessed By Trucks
Guess I Got It Wrong
November 1 - with Robbie Gjersoe http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/175-this-monday-at-the-hideout A duo with Robbie Gjersoe. A lot of these Monday shows haven't been featuring music I've written, so I'll catch up a bit with that. We'll also play some of our favorites from the different Monday configurations in which we've both figured throughout the year, like our trios with Jenny Scheinman and Beau Sample and John Abbey, and the Monk/Monkees night. A handful of new songs as well, and some requests would be nice.
The Chicago Sun-Times is running a piece about musical residencies in this Sunday's paper, and it seems a lot of the focus will be on my Hideout series. Personally I think having a regular room to play music in one night a week, a stream of various incoming collaborators, and a little group of quiet citizens to listen to it satisfies 90% of what I want from music performance, now and for the rest of my days. What does the missing 10% consist of? Income, high-concept pageantry, ass-shaking rock-and-roll with drumkit, and quantity (50 shows a year doesn't quite do it for me). But the fact that all those concerns and desiderata, even money, are crammed into that little pie slice shows how much things change, or, it might be more accurate to say, how much they regress. As a young adult I found the romantic prospects of 200 nights on the road and a catalog of recordings paid for and distributed by prestigious companies to be strong motivators (and, I have to admit, celebrity and pussy did flit into one's head from time to time). As a 10-year-old or a near-50-year-old, though, the excitement is mainly generated by learning good new music, working on chops, and finding people whose talents and perspectives may put you in a relationship of mutual advantage. The music itself trumps the driving and the drinking and the fucking. This could be due to senility, or self-justification. I'm not bragging, just describing.
Maybe this is a good moment to say as a coda to the above, in case anyone is still interested and reading, that my series will be continuing next year and in fact indefinitely. I'd quit if I moved from the Chicago area, or Tim and Katie stopped wanting me at their club, or enough people stopped showing, but it's proved a good regular situation, so why change. Well, there are actually a couple reasons why. There's been a few people that come every week (!), and I suspect (actually, they've said as much) that their insanely loyal attendance is based partly on an idea of scarcity, the residency being something special that won't go on always so love it while it lasts. While I don't want to let them down, and some kind of self-rationing, pace my friend Jon Langford, has to be exercised to keep your value from completely eroding, I'm liking the engagement too much, and getting too much out of it, to stop myself out of canniness.
One aspect will be modified next year, though, and that's the hardcore blue-plate-special ethos. I don't think I have enough friends to draw from among people who live here or are passing through on a tour to plug in 52 Mondays a year; and learning an hour and a half of new music every week is hard. But the main and the positive reason that I want to focus on a finite, rotating set of groupings is that I would rather go deep than wide. I feel sure it will be much more productive to play more frequently with people like Nora O'Connor and Don Stiernberg and Gerald Dowd and Robbie and Beau and Jenny, people with whom I have established good working ties, than to extend the preoccupation with variety programming. So in 2011 I'm going to concentrate on a half-dozen or so duos, trios and quartets, with an occasional conceptual night, as I did this year covering Slow Train Coming, paying tribute to Alex Chilton, and mashing up Monk and the Monkees. Those nights were way fun. Fun has to be a factor. ?? instrumental Where There's A Road Real Money Hillman [Benny Martin] The Beaumont Rag [trad.] Molly And Tenbrooks [trad.] On The Corner Of I Love And You Life Has Its Little Ups And Downs [Margaret Ann Rich] Country Boy Rock And Roll [Don Reno] I Like Being Left Alone Well You Needn't [Thelonious Monk] Jelly Roll [Charles Mingus] Pacific Slope [trad.] Sleeping On The Job Of Love That's Where I'm From The World Is Full Of Pretty Girls (And Pretty Girls Are Full of Themselves Too) ENCORE White Lightning [Jiles Perry "J. P." Richardson, Jr. a/k/a The Big Bopper] Big Mon [Bill Monroe]
On The Corner Of I Love And You
Life Has Its Little Ups And Downs
Well You Needn't
November 15 - with Don Stiernberg (semi-erect duo) http://robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/179-this-monday-at-the-hideout Don Stiernberg plays and sings with me. Roving Gambler [trad.] (DS) Tears Only Run One Way Foggy Mountain Top [trad.] The Cherokee Maiden [Cindy Walker, famous by Bob Wills] (DS) Caravan [Juan Tizol, famous by Duke Ellington] Forgotten But Not Gone Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar [Delmore Brothers] There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight [Hank Williams] (DS) The Dill Pickle Rag [Charles L. Johnson] Hank [Roswell Rudd] Where There's A Road Over The Hill To The Poor House [George L. Catlin & Dave Braham, famous by Flatt & Scruggs] (DS) Body and Soul [Virginia Stauffer, famous by Bill Monroe] (DS) Rock Bottom, Pop. 1 I Like Being Left Alone Away Out On The Old Saint Sabbath [The Carter Family/public domain] Lady Be Good [George Gershwin] (DS) Memphis Women and Chicken [Donnie Fritts, Dan Penn, Gary Nicholson]
Forgotten But Not Gone
Over The Hill To The Poor House
I Like Being Left Alone
November 22 - with Scott & Chris Ligon and Jubal Fulks (Brothers vs. Brothers) http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/182-this-monday-at-the-hideout Brothers on brothers! The Ligons (Chris, Scott) in a death match against the Fulkses (Jubal, etc.)! The details of the competitive aspect are under discussion as of this writing, but count on lots of music. Jubal's a classical violinist, I'm a country guitarist, Scott is a retro-pop multi-instrumentalist, and Chris has some murky, ungovernable relationship with the keyboard and music generally. This raises an obvious question about our quartet, and the answer is, "God only knows." Robbie Fulks - acoustic & electric guitar, banjo Jubal Fulks - violin Chris Ligon - keyboard, piano, banjo, upright bass, bongos Scott Ligon - acoustic & electric guitar, upright bass, piano, accordion, ukulele, bongos, kick drum initials indicate who played on that song if it was not all four sorry for such a poor job at coming up with a set list brother vs. brother match introduction - non musical Family Feud individual introductions emceed by Donna Fulks - non musical Halfwit [Chris Ligon] (Chris Ligon sings) ?? "Here she comes that girl in yellow" [Chris Ligon] (CL) I'll Trade You Money For Wine (RF) ?? "That makes me a fool" [?] (SL) ?? a ballade [Eugene Ysaye] (JF) ?? "Bump to the head" [Chris Ligon] (CL-v, SL) Look At The Birdy [Chris Ligon] (CL-v, SL) ?? "three little gals have just come out of mammy, little ol' Miss Wynette says let's name them all Tammy" [Chris Ligon] (CL-v, SL) Different From Each Other [Chris Ligon] (CL-v, SL) Look Around It's Finally Springtime [?] (CL, SL) ?? "I took me a ride to candy mountain" [Chris Ligon] (CL-v, SL) ?? "Bluebirds of Michigan" [Chris Ligon] (CL-v, SL) ?? instrumental (CL, SL) ?? [Sergey Prokofiev] (RF, JF) ?? "I am no kindly Christian, sweet heaven knows not my ways" (new, unfinished song) [Robbie Fulks] (RF-v, JF) Common Law Cabin (RF-v, JF) Bury The Bottle With Me [Hank Cochran/Darrell McCall] (RF-v, JF) Brotherlywed game (based on The Newlywed game) emceed by Donna Fulks - non musical Pluto (Robbie & Scott Ligon sing) Fun [Chris Ligon; added to by Robbie Fulks] (Chris, Jubal, and Robbie sing) We'll Burn Together After The Masquerade [Chris Ligon] (Chris Ligon & Robbie sing) ?? "Look at me now, I'm on my feet " "before the spirit moved my legs were just two useless hunks of meat" [Chris Ligon] (CL) ENCORE: ?? instrumental
Sergey Prokofiev piece
After The Masquerade
November 29 - with band (the art and music of Mike Fredrickson) http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/183-this-monday-at-the-hideout A salute to Mike Fredrickson's music and art. More than a few of my favorite pop songs of the last 15 years were written and performed by the Milwaukee musician and painter Mike Fredrickson, whether with his group the Mosleys or under his name. I first stumbled across his sweetly melodic, jittery-tempoed recordings in Nashville, at the home of John Sieger, so for me it's a nice touch that John's stopping by to sing a number Monday. At some point I became aware that Mike was also an excellent photorealist painter. It might have been the first time I played at Milwaukee's version of the Broken Spoke Saloon, the Uptowner, where Mike is a celebrity and whose walls are bedecked, or used to be anyway, with his garish, gimlet-eyed, homely-beauty-loving brushwork. It'll be a 5-piece band playing 14 of his songs over at the Hideout. Mike won't be in the band, but he'll be on hand to talk about his paintings, and several of them will be hanging at the Hideout for a limited time as an exhibition. As a three-time Christmas Fredrickson special-commissioner, I can tell you that they make unbelievable holiday gifts! Robbie Fulks - acoustic guitar, bass, banjo Gerald Dowd - drums, acoustic guitar Grant Tye - electric guitar KC McDonough - bass, keyboard, tambourine, drums Robbie Gjersoe - electric guitar; bass initials after song indicates who sung Sleeping On The Beach [Mike Fredrickson] (RF) Two Lane Highway [Mike Fredrickson] (GT) Housework [Mike Fredrickson] Listen Venus [Mike Fredrickson] (GT) Don’t Leave Me Now [Mike Fredrickson] (GD) The Book [Mike Fredrickson] (RF) I Don’t Care [Mike Fredrickson] (w/o Robbie) (GD) Isn’t Love Strange [Mike Fredrickson] (GD) Bukowski [Mike Fredrickson] (RF) Patti Smith [Mike Fredrickson] (KM) Up A Lazy River [Mike Fredrickson] (GD) Anything You Want [Mike Fredrickson] (GT) interview with Mike Fredrickson Wouldn’t That Be Wonderful [Mike Fredrickson] (RF & MF) Cecille [Mike Fredrickson] (MF) ENCORE “just want to feel like any other guy” [Mike Fredrickson] (MF solo) “I made myself a rope” [Mike Fredrickson] (MF solo) “you’re the one for me” [Mike Fredrickson] (MF solo) Never Could [Robbie Fulks/Mike Fredrickson] (RF) Mike Fredrickson was only on stage from the interview to the end
Isn't Love Strange
Wouldn't That Be Wonderful
December 6 - with horn section (Me so horny!) "Me So Horny." This will be the biggest Hideout show so far, in terms of onstage personnel -- 4-man horn section and rhythm section -- not necessarily talent or emotional intensity. Time Out Chicago has this to offer: "The groan-inducing title of tonight's program, Me So Horny!, is just another way of spelling out the fact that Fulks has enlisted a horn section to do his folk-rock bidding." Hey, fuckers! "Tonight's program," indeed. The cover of the magazine in question has a sideways picture of a young man with a 2-day beard, chubby cheeks, and uncombed hair, wearing a Desi Arnaz expression of "Lu-u-u-cy!" comic bemusement; the caption below him says, "Andrew Mason is about to change the way you shop -- again." So I assume Time Out is seeking to enlist a large army of overprivileged lily-white urban trendriders to do its idiotic-conspicuous-consumption bidding, and that that depressing seasonal spectacle is less groan-inducing than an aggressively idiotic pun. But, upon inspection of the issue's contents, idiot puns are perhaps not at issue after all. A story about an art gallery is titled "Framing the Issue." "True Brit" is the drop-dead bit of brilliance adorning an article on an English chef. Headline for a piece on the star of a reality show called The Vice Guide to Everything -- beat the groany editors to this one if you can: "Vice Cop"! A pictorial on holiday parties is called "Wear It's At." For tips on recycling everyday household goods, "Tossed and Found" was deemed a corker. A quick flip through the rest of the rag reveals (you don't need to know the story subjects to enjoy these delicious wordplays) "Clothes Encounter," "(Face) Time Machine," "Presidential Selection," "Gospel Untruths" (a groan unducer!), "Purple Reign," and "Buke and Gass." Oh, that's a band name, but, ha ha ha: after you get inured to the parade of whimsical phraselets, even non-puns look a lot like puns. See if Buke and Gass what I'm thinking!
What I'm thinking is that at next Monday's show, I'll read the long list of all the worse wordplays I discarded on my way to "Me So Horny!," which, the La Rochefoucaulds at People Magazine for Dummies notwithstanding, still makes me chortle. Robbie Fulks - acoustic guitar, banjo Gerald Dowd - drums KC McDonough - bass Nate Lepine - saxophone ? - trumpet ? - trombone ?? instrumental Big Mouth USA [Jim Ford] Brenda's New Stepfather I Couldn't Say It To Your Face [Arthur Russell] Moe Hawk [Jenny Scheinman] My Love [Geraint Watkins] HORNS LEAVE STAGE Are You Wasting My Time [The Louvin Brothers] Got Me A Woman [Levon Helm] (Gerald Dowd sings) The Bluebirds Are Singing For Me [trad.] They Want Me Here [request - 1st verse & chorus only as he couldn't remember the next verse] Try Leaving [request] That's A Good Enough Reason [Benny Martin] HORNS RETURN You're The Cream In My Coffee [Ray Henderson/Buddy DeSylva/Lew Brown] Jelly Roll [Charles Mingus] Bloodshot's Turning Five I Died Today [Rodd Keith] Think Of One [Thelonious Monk]
Big Mouth USA
I Couldn't Say It To Your Face
Bloodshot's Turning Five
December 13 - with Kelly Hogan (Let's make love) http://www.robbiefulks.com/blog/posts/187-this-monday-at-the-hideout Well, 2010 has been a pretty decent year for ole Robbie, and Hideoutwise it couldn't be coming to a more boffo climax, with two of American music's most golden-throated vixens joining me seriatim. This Monday it's Kelly Hogan, who, when she's not adding sparkle to the many-splendored programs of Jakob Dylan, Mavis Staples, Neko Case, the Flat Five, and Lynda Barry, is busy going quietly insane in her rural Wisconsin bunker. Come catch some of the pre-holiday madness -- nope, I see from the sidebar that insanity is the wrong metaphor. The evening's hook is lovemakin'. That's the term for what we do out here in our quiet little towns and rural bunkers, while you in your fancy metropolises conjugate. Expect a good strong dose of Conway Twitty, Emmett Miller, Porter and Dolly, and, if someone is good enough to send a carboy of rye to the stage, a brief tribute to the fashion innovations of Mr. Gordie Tapp. Let me just finish with a "bottom line," in the style of mass-market magazines for harried consumers. "Bottom line: Ignore the overheated and opaque website prose, come listen to Kelly Hogan sing." Red Neckin' Love Makin' Night [Conway Twitty] We Must Have Been Out Of Our Minds [Earl Montgomery famous by George Jones & Melba Montgomery] Better Move It On Home [Ray Griff famous by Dolly Parton & Porter Wagonner] Waiting On These New Things To Go There's An Open Door Waiting For Me [James & Martha Carson] Big Mouth USA [Jim Ford] I Know You're Married (But I Love You Still) [Don Reno/Mack Magaha] There's More Pretty Girls Than One [Arthur Smith] You're The Cream In My Coffee [Emmett Miller] The Gypsy [Emmett Miller] Flowers [Billy Yates] Farewell Party [Gene Watson] You Know Just What I'd Do [Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn] What Kind Of Girl Are You [Ray Charles] Goodbye Virginia You’re The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly [Lola Jean Dillion/L.E. White famous by Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty] ENCORE After Closing Time [Billy Sherrill/Danny Walls/Norris Wilson famous by Barbara Mandrell & David Houston]
Waiting On These New Things To Go
I Know You're Married (But I Love You Still)
There's More Pretty Girls Than One
You’re The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly
December 27 - with Nora O'Connor (Xmas hangover duo) No show description from Robbie Up From Under [Jakob Dylan] (NO) I’d Rather Have What We Had [Bobby Braddock] (RF & NO) The Lost Indian [trad.] Because You Can Helicopter [M. Ward] (NO) Flame In My Heart [George Jones] So Much Wine [The Handsome Family] (NO) The Thing You Love Is Killing You [Steve Dawson] God's Not Dead [trad.] Love Letters [Victor Young/Edward Heyman] (NO) I’ll Trade You Money For Wine Nightingale [James Mathus] How Mountain Girls Can Love [The Stanley Brothers] I’ll Try [Lefty Frizzell] (NO) Heart, I Wish You Were Here My Backyard [Nora O’Connor] (NO) Georgia Boys > Indian Creek [trad.] The Little Brown Church in the Vale [William S. Pitts] ENCORE: Goodbye, Virginia Gone Like The Water [Freedy Johnston] (NO)
I'll Trade You Money For Wine
How Mountain Girls Can Love
The Little Brown Church In The Vale
And that wraps up 2010 (31 out of 38 shows for me). I hope to post a summary of the year in a separate journal entry. Even though his residency will continue next year, I don't expect that I'll continue to keep a running journal on it. But you can always search youtube for "Robbie Fulks" as I will keep posting videos there.
There are far too many great albums that I left off my top of the decade list, but I can't see not including anything I have here. These are the albums I have listened to most, which seems the surest indicator of favorite. I couldn't bring myself to go so far as to limit each artist to one album, but in an effort to avoid seeming like a complete obsessive and to get more great artists on the list, I did limit it to two. No 2009 albums and I was extra hard on 2008. This was out of a pool of 1,185 full-length, studio albums I own, which were released between 2000-2008.
1.Okkervil River - Don't Fall in Love With Everyone You See (2002) From the attention-grabbing opening lines of “Red is my favorite color; red like your mother’s eyes after awhile of crying about how you don’t love her,” through the modern murder ballad classic of "Westfall" and finishing with birds tweeting along the desolate Okkervil River, this is a perfect album. Over time, my favorite album switches between this, Down the River, the Appendix, and even, occasionally, Stars. So in ranking I chose the frequency with which each of the albums is a favorite. This is the last of the albums where Will’s voice frequently wails and breaks -- something that puts a lot of people off, but I love even more than his new, "better" voice. This is their alt-country album (each Okkervil album has a distinct identity).
2.Okkervil River - Down the River of Golden Dreams (2003) Though none of the albums do the verse-chorus-verse thing, there’s something more complex about the lyrics on this album than any of the others -- at least, it took me a lot longer to learn the words to many of these songs than any of the others. A more restrained album than previously and the only one since Don’t Fall In Love to not be produced by Brian Beattie. The strings are great, even more impressive as they were written by Sheff and Meiburg in just a few hours when neither of them have any idea how to write music. This is their orch-pop album.
3.Dolorean - Not Exotic (2003) Best $2.00 I ever spent, and if I hadn't seen they were playing around the corner from me hours before I saw this album in the sale bin I may never have found one of my favorite bands. This is some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard.
4.Dolorean - Violence in the Snowy Fields (2004) Slightly more poppy than Not Exotic and with a whole lot more religious references -- Bible used as literature rather than to sermonize. Another beauty. If I ever get married, “Dying In Time,” will be played at my wedding.
5.I Am Kloot - Gods and Monsters (2005) Musically and lyrically a blend of the ordinary and extraordinary. It’s very lowkey and at the same time so produced as to have many varied sounds each contributing to create a very deliberate mood depending on the song. Love John Bramwell’s voice as well.
6.Social Distortion - Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll (2004) There’s something about this album that, in the postcard poll, even people with little to no other rock albums listed, were ranking this one (the only other rock album in my list is British Sea Power). I think the country music influence is so deep with Ness than even when his songs don’t sound especially country there’s something that comes through. This is almost just a super-charged roots rock album. Great lyrics as well; it’s nice when an artist gets older and writes songs that reflect the age they are.
7.Jens Lekman - When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog (2004) Lekman has always released a collection of songs rather than a deliberately planned album. This one happens to have more of my favorite songs than any of the others. One of the best lyricists today; the fact that he’s not writing in his native Swedish makes his ability to write so uniquely and beautifully more amazing…or maybe that’s what allows him to write the way he does. The phrasing and stories he tells are ordinary, but sound like poetry. “Turn on the radio, clean the windows. Do it in slow-mo, as the day unfolds. Oh how the sun shines inside you, just like I do. These days are gold.”
8.Otis Gibbs - Grandpa Walked a Picket Line (2008) I don’t know if it’s Otis himself or the production and players -- probably both -- but, while none of his albums would be out of place on this list, there’s just something a little better about this album than his others. The pedal steel is particularly wonderful. It seems like Otis has honed his ability to write a very specific song that feels so universal. He’s got something really unique in his voice which can only be described as both scratchy AND smooth with just a hint of a southern accent.
9.Grey Delisle - Homewrecker (2002) I’m so disappointed that Grey doesn’t like performing live and, without doing that, it’s pretty much impossible to keep releasing albums. Maybe one day she’ll release another one anyway. She has such a beautiful voice and some really great songwriting. The Graceful Ghost is an album I love, but I like the greater variation of vocal delivery on this one. So many great songs, two of my favorites being “Beautiful Mistake” about a woman giving her baby up for adoption and “The Hole” about being in love with a drug addict.
10.Thelonious Monster - California Clam Chowder (2004) Beautiful Mess was a desert island disc for me at the time this came out. But they hadn’t released an album in over 10 years so I definitely didn’t have high hopes for this. Boy was I wrong. 15 songs, each of which has some inspiration taken from its namesake, e.g. “The Curtis Mayfield Song,” “The Rolling Stones ’77 Song” and finishing with a bonus track of “Rainy Days And Mondays.”
11.Geoff Berner - We Shall Not Flag or Fail, We Shall Go On to the End (2003) Throw together folk and punk, but with the added twist that his instrument -- the predominant one on the album -- is accordion. Some of his songs are in-your-face political, but those and many others tend to be written very humorously with titles like “Porn Queen Girlfriend” and “The Way That Girl Drinks Beer.”
12.Frog Holler - Idiots (2001) As their recordings have continued, their bluegrass influence has diminished to almost nonexistence. It was still pretty strong on this album, yet the songwriting had improved from the also-great Adams Hotel Road, leaving Idiots as my favorite Frog Holler album. Lots of tempo and mood variations to keep things interesting.
13.The Coup - Pick A Bigger Weapon (2006) The Coup first came to my attention when I saw Boots Riley backed only by a bassist on the Tell Us The Truth Tour in 2003. This is the first album I bought of theirs and remains my favorite. Since then I have been trying more and more hip-hop, but I have yet to find anything I like anywhere near what I feel for this. I don’t exactly know why The Coup stand head and shoulders above the rest. One thing is they seem a little more melodic, less electronic beat driven, than much of what I heard. And the melody is funky rather than the smooth R&B that’s so popular these days. Lyrically he is witty at the same time as makes serious commentary on life in the U.S. And, importantly, he delivers those words clearly. Even the skits are kept brief so they add their humor without dragging.
14.Frida Hyvönen - Until Death Comes (2006) Another Swede with a gift for words, though quite different than Jens. Her primary instrument is piano. An extremely feminine album, yet doesn’t fall into the Lillith-Fair type category of artist, which tends not to appeal to me.
15.British Sea Power - The Decline of British Sea Power (2003) BSP have released several good albums, but none have matched the greatness of this first album -- at least partially because none have had the same intensity and uniqueness. I’ve never really known how to describe this album, I think because I’m not familiar enough with 80’s Brit music of which they are heavily influenced. Angular is the singular word I would use to describe the album, but I couldn’t tell you exactly what I mean by that.
My next group of favorites from the decade include: 16.Okkervil River - Black Sheep Boy / Appendix (2005) (really #4) 17.Okkervil River - Stars Too Small To Use (2000) (really #6) 18.Karen Poston - Real Bad (2001) 19.ballboy - A Guide for the Daylight Hours (2003) 20.Ladyhawk - Ladyhawk (2006) 21.The Weakerthans - Reconstruction Site (2003) 22.Naked Omaha - The Blue Route (2005) 23.Two Gallants - What The Toll Tells (2006) 24.Nick Cave - No More Shall We Part (2001) 25.The Foundry Field Recordings - Prompts/Miscues (2006) 26.Josh Ritter - The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter (2007) 27.Rock Plaza Central - The World Was Hell To Us (2003) 28.Mission Of Burma - ONoffON (2004) 29.Teddy Thompson - A Piece Of What You Need (2008) (in time there’s a good chance this album will make the list) 30.Frank Turner - Love Ire & Song (2008) (in time there’s a good chance this album will make the list)
01. Red - Okkervil River 02. The War Criminal Rises And Speaks - Okkervil River 03. So You're A Touring Band Now - Dolorean 04. Dying In Time - Dolorean 05. Sand And Glue - I Am Kloot 06. Nickels And Dimes - Social Distortion 07. You Are The Light (By Which I Travel Through This And That) - Jens Lekman 08. Caroline - Otis Gibbs 09. The Hole - Grey DeLisle 10. The Big Star Song - Thelonious Monster 11. Beautiful In My Eyes 12. Spiders & Planes - Frog Holler 13. My Favorite Mutiny - The Coup 14. Straight Thin Line - Frida Hyvönen 15. Remember Me - British Sea Power
I don't know why everyone is in such a hurry to wrap up this decade. So many forums (along with Pitchfork) are already making their best of the 2000's lists. As is the music list I participate in. It seems to me a more appropriate date would be January 2011, but absolutely no earlier than June 2010. Give people time to listen to 2009 releases for awhile and try to get a feel for whether they hold up. Not to mention that most of us discover albums the year after their release, as they get written up on year-end lists and we hit a dry spell for new releases early in the year.
So, for my own list, which I've just started to work on, I'm not including anything from 2009. I also excluded live albums, compilations of previously-released material, and EP's (however, since rules are meant to be broken, Okkervil's Black Sheep Boy Appendix is in the running; it's practically perfect in every way).
I've gone through my list of albums, and with quite a bit of work have got it down to an initial 65. So many great albums already taken off (Sebastopol, Bubblegum, etc.). Several of these I haven't listened to in quite a while, so maybe when I do I'll find they haven't held up and I can do a little elimination. But getting this down to a top 15 -- the number our poll is allowing -- is going to be close to impossible.
1.Ash - Free All Angels 2001 2.ballboy - A Guide For The Daylight Hours 2003 3.Bare, Bobby Jr. - Young Criminals' Starvation League 2002 4.Bern, Dan - New American Language 2001 5.Berner, Geoff - We Shall Not Flag Or Fail, We Shall Go On To The End 2003 6.British Sea Power - The Decline Of British Sea Power 2003 7.Cave, Nick & The Bad Seeds - No More Shall We Part 2001 8.Cleaves, Slaid - Broke Down 2000 9.Coup, The - Pick A Bigger Weapon 2006 10.Deep Dark Woods, The - Hang Me Oh Hang Me 2007 11.DeLisle, Grey - Homewrecker 2002 12.DeLisle, Grey - The Graceful Ghost 2004 13.Dolorean - Not Exotic 2003 14.Dolorean - Violence In The Snowy Fields 2004 15.Dropkick Murphys - Blackout 2003 16.Eaglesmith, Fred - Falling Stars And Broken Hearts 2002 17.Eaglesmith, Fred - Milly's Café 2006 18.Eels - Shootenanny! 2003 19.Escovedo, Alejandro - A Man Under The Influence 2001 20.Foundry Field Recordings, The - Prompts/Miscues 2006 21.Frog Holler - Idiots 2001 22.Fulks, Robbie - Georgia Hard 2005 23.Gibbs, Otis - 49th and Melancholy 2002 24.Gibbs, Otis - Grandpa Walked A Picket Line 2008 25.Great Lake Swimmers - Ongiara 2007 26.Guthries, The - Off Windmill 2000 27.Holloways, The - So This Is Great Britain? 2006 28.Hyvönen, Frida - Until Death Comes 2006 29.I Am Kloot - Gods And Monsters 2005 30.James - Hey Ma 2008 31.Kaiser Chiefs - Employment 2005 32.Ladyhawk - Ladyhawk 2006 33.Lekman, Jens - When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog 2004 34.Lõkõriq - Undsõn Ilman 2004 35.Meiberg, Jonathan - Buteo Buteo 2004 36.Menomena - Friend And Foe 2007 37.Mission Of Burma - ONoffON 2004 38.Naked Omaha - The Blue Route 2005 39.Okkervil River - Stars Too Small To Use 2000 40.Okkervil River - Don't Fall In Love With Everyone You See 2002 41.Okkervil River - Down The River of Golden Dreams 2003 42.Okkervil River - Black Sheep Boy 2005 43.Okkervil River - Black Sheep Boy Appendix EP 2005 44.Poston, Karen - Real Bad 2001 45.Ritter, Josh - The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter 2007 46.Robison, Bruce - Eleven Stories 2006 47.Rock Plaza Central - The World Was Hell To Us 2003 48.Rock Plaza Central - Are We Not Horses 2006 49.Shazam, The - Tomorrow The World 2002 50.Shearwater - Winged Life 2004 51.Shearwater - Palo Santo 2006 52.Snider, Todd - Happy to be Here 2000 53.Snider, Todd - East Nashville Skyline 2004 54.Social Distortion - Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll 2004 55.Streets, The - A Grand Don't Come For Free 2004 56.Strummer, Joe & The Mescaleros - Streetcore 2003 57.Thelonious Monster - California Clam Chowder 2004 58.Thompson, Teddy - A Piece Of What You Need 2008 59.Turner, Frank - Love Ire & Song 2008 60.Two Gallants - What The Toll Tells 2006 61.Two Gallants - Two Gallants 2007 62.Ward, M - Transfiguration of Vincent 2003 63.Weakerthans, The - Reconstruction Site 2003 64.Weakerthans, The - Reunion Tour 2007 65.Zevon, Warren - Life'll Kill Ya 2000
For someone who generally doesn’t care for it, I’ve listened to a fair amount of hip-hop over the years. I’m not comfortable not liking an entire genre so I try and find something I like in every broad style of music. I saw and fell in love with Boots Riley on the Tell Us The Truth tour back in 2003 and ended up buying several albums by The Coup and seeing them in concert a couple times. I don’t just think it’s pretty good for hip-hop, I rate this toward the top of any music I listen to. Having discovered that I can love a hip-hop performer, I have been seeking something I like anywhere near as much ever since. I’ve sought recommendations elsewhere with no luck. So I thought I would try last.fm.
I’m not just seeking hip-hop albums that people think are great. There's a lot of excellent hip-hop albums that just don't appeal to me. I want to try and describe some of the things I like about The Coup to try and up the chances I will like any recommendations I might get.
First, I like his lyrics. Not only are they not misogynistic, but even in the negative, it’s more one of hope. Not just beating down “The Man,” but raising up the underdog, which may involve the former. I think it’s inspirational more than hate-mongering (I’m a big fan of political music). I also like his sense of humor. Being a lyric-oriented genre, I also like the fact that he enunciates clearly, it doesn’t seem to be all about how fast he can get the words out. Also, his rhymes don’t fall into the same repetitive pattern I frequently hear and soon grate on me. I like that it’s very musical, not just beats, and there’s relatively little scratching. Because of liking the more musical side of things, I tried The Roots, but they didn’t do it for me. I like the strong sound of funk that I haven’t often heard in hip-hop. There’s also a fantastic use of samples.
Others in the genre I like, but don’t love like I do The Coup: Black Star and Talib Kweli (the solo Mos Def I’ve heard isn’t as musical and I thus tend to get bored with quickly).
So, if anyone reads this and has any recommendations for me to try, please pass them on.
A handy place for me to keep a list of albums that I think are coming out, especially since several of these aren't discussed by anyone I know so I may forget to keep an eye out.
Have been promised: The View - Which Bitch (2/2 UK release) Dan Auerbach - Keep It Hid (2/10) X Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You (2/10) Deep Dark Woods - The Winter Hours (2/17) X M Ward - Hold Time (2/17) X Robbie Fulks - 50-Voice Doberman (February) X Justin Townes Earle - Midnight At The Movies (3/3) X Neko Case - Middle Cyclone (3/3) Cursive - Mama, I'm Swollen (3/10) Madeleine Peyroux - Bare Bones (3/10) Willie Heath Neal - Out Of Highway (3/10) Mastodon - Crack The Sky (3/9) X Frog Holler - Believe It Or Not (early March) X Superdrag - Industry Giants (3/17) Great Lake Swimmers - Lost Channels (3/31) X Akina Adderley & The Vintage Playboys - s/t (March) 20 Years of Merge Records: The Covers (4/7) X The Felice Brothers - Yonder Is The Clock (4/7) Bob Mould - Life and Times (4/7) Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish I Were An Eagle (4/14) X Fastball - Little White Lies (4/14) Jill Sobule - California Years (4/14) Superchunk - Leaves in the Gutter EP (4/14) Broken Family Band - Please And Thank You (Mon 4/20 UK release) Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career (4/21) X Slaid Cleaves - Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away (4/21) X Alasdair Roberts - Spoils (provisional title, out April/May) Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (5/26) Rock Plaza Central - At the Moment of our Most Needing... (5/26) X Eels - Hombre Lobo (6/2) X Rancid - Let the Dominoes Fall (6/2) Street Sweeper Social Club (Boots Riley & Tom Morello) - Fight! Smash! Win! X Todd Snider - The Excitement Plan (6/9) X Daddy - Daddy For A Second Time (6/16) X Deer Tick - Born on Flag Day (6/23) Dinosaur Jr. - Farm (6/23) X Flaming Lips (June) The Reigning Sound - Love and Curses (early July) Son Volt - American Central Dust (July) David Bazan - Curse Your Branches (8/25) Frank Turner - Poetry of the Deed (9/8) Langhorne Slim - Be Set Free (9/29) Glossary - Feral Fire (Sept.) The Bottle Rockets - Lean Forward (fall) Dolorean Foundry Field Recordings Gentlemen Jesse and his Men Dave McCann & The Ten-Toed Frogs The Shazam - Meteor Shearwater Lhasa - Lhasa +
About due: Aqueduct Barn Burning Dan Bern The Blue Van [1/22 edit - this is why I need such a list; I just now learned they had an album come out at the end of October called Man Up] The Casting Couch The Coup Darling New Neighbors David & The Citizens Dropkick Murphys Einstürzende Neubauten The Elected The Figgs Holloways Bonnie Koloc The Living End [1/22 edit - learned earlier today they released an album last summer called White Noise] Menomena [supposedly in 2010] Mission of Burma Shifter - Heartache Time Social Distortion Two Gallants The Wailin' Jennys Mike Watt The World Record The Wrens
Way past due and still unlikely: Iris DeMent Grand Champeen Hayseed Kelly Hogan The Lawrence Peters Outfit Tom Leach Karen Poston Red Star Belgrade Splitsville