Saturday, February 09, 2008

Seven daffodils.

The combination of the Lee Hays/Fred Moseley folk tune and our weird "winter" weather gives us today's title and theme. Almost a month ahead of schedule the flower also known as jonquil down South are beginning to bud and in a few cases bloom. Yes, we had a few very cold days last month and an ice storm, of sorts. But it has been a primarily warm winter if a bit soggy, thus the bad storms/tornadoes of last week.

Your Grandma might have called them Jonquils; your Mom Daffodils, though technically they're Narcissi.

Only The Shadow knows where his Rosemary grows . . .

and grows and grows! Maybe we should have gone with Edison Lighthouse for our title.

The weather's so weird, the confused barn owl, who normally resides in the Great oak at the back of my property and usually only comes out at night, allows himself to be snapped in the open napping (the blob in the picture's center).

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Boom chicka boom.

Our title is a 1990 Mercury album by Johnny Cash or a description of the sound his band, The Tennessee Three made. Take your pick.

My interview with Marshall Grant from last year's debut Pardon Johnny Cash Festival is finally up at Perfect Sound Forever.

They printed an abbreviated version of My Best of 2007 list.

Here's some categories that got left off:

Best Songs
Ex-Supermodel, "Death or Glory" (Clash cover)
Jasion Isbell, "Dress Blues"
The Persians, "Chuck of 8 Chins"
Radiohead, "Wierd Fishes/Arpeggi"
Von Südenfed, "The Rhinohead"
The White Stripes, "Bone Broke"
The Wu-Tang Clan, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
Neil Young, "Bad Fog of Loneliness"
Young Agent Jones, "She Just Happens Sometimes"

Best Reanimated

Pylon, Gyrate Plus
Sly & The Family Stone, Life + Stand!
Muddy Waters, Johnny Winter, & James Cotton, Breakin' It UP, Breakin' It DOWN
Neil Young, Live at Massey Hall 1971
Young Marble Giants, Colossal Youth 3 cd set
Any/All of the Monterey Jazz Festival Records on Concord

I'm working on an appreciation of the London Musician's Collective and an interview with the living relatives of Sonny Boy Williamson II.

Black tornado/that's what love is all about.

This week's BSB demonstrates its bifurcated nature with a dual title. Looking back both to the revelry of Mardi Gras but also the coming of Lent yesterday on Ash Wednesday and forward for the next month but also next week's pagan-cum-Christian-cum floral greeting card commercial on the 14th. We also wish to remember all the victims of the tornadoes of 2008 which appeared on the cusp of a cold front hitting hot air just as Mardi Gras revelry was turning to Ashy piousness, ironically.

February was traditionally a month devoted to Fertility rituals including the Roman Lupercalia celebrated from the 13th through the 15th of the month. Then 2 or 3 Roman martyrs named Valentine were linked to the month and the 14th specifically as it became St. Valentine's Day. The first direct linking between Valentine's Day and romantic love appears in Geoffrey Chaucer's
Parlement of Foules
"Ye knowe wel how, Seynt Valentynes day,
By my staut and thorgh my governaunce,
Ye come for to chese—and fle youre wey—
Your makes, as I prike yow with plesaunce;"
The Riverside Shakespeare (Benson ed.) ll. 386–89.

The Playlist

BSB Intro

Mic Break

Lenten Blues
Charlie Musselwhite, "Christo Redemptor" Stand Back!
Charley Patton, "I Shall Not Be Moved" Screamin' & Hollerin' The Blues: The Worlds Of Charley Patton [Disc 2]
Charley Patton, "Devil Sent The Rain Blues" Screamin' & Hollerin' The Blues: The Worlds Of Charley Patton [Disc 2]

Mic Break

Elmore James, "Standing At The Crossroads" Best of Elmore James
The Fairfield Four, "Lonesome Valley" O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Charles Sheffield, "I Would Be A Sinner" The Best Of Excello Records

Mic Break

Mahalia Jackson, "How I Got Over" [Mono Version] [Live] The Essential Mahalia Jackson [Disc 1]
Mahalia Jackson, "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" [Mono Version] The Essential Mahalia Jackson [Disc 1]
Mahalia Jackson, "Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho" The Essential Mahalia Jackson [Disc 1]

Mic Break

Magic Slim & The Teardrops, "Black Tornado" The Essential Magic Slim
Little Brother Montgomery, "Vicksburg Blues" Classic Blues From Smithsonian Folkways
Leadbelly, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" Lead Belly Sings for Children

Mic Break

Fred McDowell with James Shorty, "I Want Jesus To Walk With Me" The First Recordings
Junior Wells, "Lord Lord" (Alternate) Blues Hit Big Town
John Lee Williams, "I Been Dealing With The Devil" Broken Heart Blues
Jimbo Mathus, "Old Rugged Cross" old scool hot wings
Jimmie Rodgers, "Memphis Yodel" The Essential Jimmie Rodgers

Mic Break

Guitar Slim, "Reap What You Sow" Sufferin' Mind
Mississippi John Hurt, "Here I Am Lord Send Me" Newport Folk Festival Best Of The Blues 1
Preservation Hall Jazz Band, "Just A Closer Walk With Thee" Best Of Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Mic Break

VD Blues

Albert Collins & The Icebreakers, "If You Love Me (Like You Say)" Live 1992-1993
Albert King, "The Very Thought Of You" King Of The Blues Guitar
Aretha Franklin, "Only The Lonely" Aretha Sings The Blues
Arthur Alexander, "Anna (Go To Him)" Night Train to Nashville

Mic Break

Arthur Gunter, "Baby Let's Play House" The Best of Excello Records
The Avons, "Since I Met You Baby" Night Train to Nashville
B.B. King, "You're Still My Woman" Indianola Mississippi Seeds
Big Bill Broonzy, "Careless Love" Black, Brown & White

Mic Break

Muddy Waters, "Meanest Woman" (Monaural Studios) Muddy Waters At Newport 1960
Big Walter Horton, "Hard Hearted Woman" Mouth Harp Maestro
Blind Joe Williams, "Cold Woman Blues" Screamin' & Hollerin' The Blues: The Worlds Of Charley Patton [Disc 6]

Mic Break

Big Mama Thornton, "Let Your Tears Fall Baby" Duke-Peacock Blues: Best Of
Sonny Parker, "She Set My Soul On Fire" Duke-Peacock Blues: Best Of
Buddy Guy w/Junior Wells, "In The Wee Hours" Can't Quit The Blues (Disc 1)

Mic Break

Edith North Johnson, "Honey Dripper Blues No. 2" Screamin' & Hollerin' The Blues: The Worlds Of Charley Patton [Disc 2]
Ma Rainey, "Booze & Blues" Screamin' & Hollerin' The Blues: The Worlds Of Charley Patton [Disc 6]
Mable John, "Ain't Giving It Up" Stax" We'll Play The Blues For You
Louis Jordan, "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't (Ma Baby)" No Moe! - The Greatest Hits

Mic Break

Little Walter, "You're So Fine" His Best

Here's Hopin' You Avoided The Storms' Fury and that you have a fine Valentine's with Your Sweetheart (if you have one . . .) Otherwise stay safe and remember February and Lent will be over soon enough.

Friday, January 25, 2008

In the bleak midwinter.

Responding to a request from Scribner's Monthly for a Christmas poem, Christina Rosetti wrote "In The Bleak Midwinter" before 1872. It was not published, however, until 1904 in her Poetic Works and it first appeared in The English Hymnal in 1906 with a famous musical setting by Gustav Holst.

Here's the first verse:
In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen,
Snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter,
Long ago.

Bleak for here in Starkville, but as I remember it pretty much an ordinary day in Cambridge, Mass. anytime between the middle of October and mid-March. The picture above mirrors one I took in November when leaves were changing and displayed here.

Yes, we are in a winter weather advisory with a chance for up 1/2" of freezing precipitation. At 3:15 pm, the icicles had started forming.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Baby, what's on your mind?

Here's the playlist for the Sunday January 27th BSB show: the Internet Request show co-presented with TNA. I will continually update the playlist as requests come in and time allows.

BSB intro
Baby What You Want Me to Do–Jimmy Reed Blues Masters: The Very Best of Jimmy Reed
Baby, Whats On Your Mind?–Jimmy Reed The Essential Boss Man (Disc 1)

Mic Break

Jimmy B's set
I Ain't Drunk Albert Collins & The Icebreakers Live 1992-1993
Am I Wrong? - Keb' Mo' Keb' Mo"
Smokestack Lightnin' Howlin' Wolf His Best: Chess 50th Anniversary Collection

Josh C's Set
Still A Fool–Muddy Waters Muddy Water's Best: 1947 To 1955
T.B. Sheets–John Lee Hooker The Cream
Same God-Sean Hayes Big Black Holes and the Little Baby Star (for Jenny I.)

Mic Break

If I Had My Way I'd Tear This Building Down–Blind Willie Johnson The Complete Blind Willie Johnson Recordings (for Josh C)
John The Revelator–Blind Willie Johnson Anthology Of American Folk Music, Vol. 2B: Social Music
Dark was the Night–Blind Willie Johnson (The Complete Blind Willie Johnson Recordings (for Kicker of Elves)
God Don't Never Change–Blind Willie Johnson The Complete Blind Willie Johnson Recordings (for Kicker of Elves)

Mic Break

Angel of Mercy–The Fieldstones Memphis Blues Today!
Shake Your Moneymaker–Elmore James Best of Elmore James (for Chapman)
Wrong Blues—Curtis Jones Eisenhowser Blues (for Ike)
Worry Blues-Willie Mabon Shake That Thing(for Ike)

Mic Break

C's Set
Shine On, Moon!–Lightnin' Hopkins Mojo Hand
Will The Circle Be Unbroken–The Staple Singers Oxford American - Southern Sampler 1998
Aberdeen Mississippi Blues–Bukka White Newport Folk Festival Best Of The Blues 1
Jesus Got His Arms Around Me–Delta Big Four Screamin' & Hollerin' The Blues: The Worlds Of Charley Patton [Disc 5]

Mic Break

Not P.C.'s set
St. Louis Blues-Bessie Smith Smithsonian Jazz Collection (Disc 1)
ST. Louis Blues-Louis Armstrong Ken Burns Jazz (Disc 2)
St. Louis Blues–Louis Armstrong Paris, 1934
Part IV (aka Come Sunday)–Mahalia Jackson w/Duke Ellington The Essential Mahalia Jackson (CD2)

Special Kiwi 2-fer-Organon
Roxette-Dr. Feelgood Down by the Jetty
Who Did All This To Me-Hammond Gamble Plugged in and Blue
My Mind is Trying To Leave Me-Albert Collins Don't Lose Your Cool

Mic Break

Little Red Rooster-Willie Dixon I Am The Blues
Washington D.C. Hospital Center Blues-Skip James Vanguard Visionaries
Help Me (A Tribute To Sonny Boy Williamson)-Junior Wells Vanguard Visionaries
Good Morning Little School Girl-Mississippi Fred McDowell Shake These Blues

Mic Break

My Soul's in Louisiana-Otis Taylor Shake These Blues
One Room Country Shack-Buddy Guy Shake These Blues
Call It Stormy Monday-T-Bone Walker Shake These Blues
Love in Vain-Robert Johnson Shake These Blues

3 days in: participation from Mississippi, Texas, Arizona, New Zealand, and England!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Baby what you want me to do.

The Jimmy Reed tune (it could also have been "Baby,What's On Your Mind?") is our theme for an experimental blog/net "all request" show. Tell me what artists and/or songs you'd like to hear. I'll play any and all of them that fit in a 2.5 hour show and that I can get a hold of by January 27, 2008. Go! . . . Oh and if you want the song dedicated to you or someone else mention that iny our comment, as well.

I will publish an actual playlist for the show in due time. This is an opportunity for all you European (Poland Denmark, UK, France, Germany, Holland) and worldwide (Brazil, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand ) lurkers (Thanks Sitemeter!) to influence a MS-based blues shows playlist. And you're welcome to do it anonymously. Just a reminder you can hear The Juke live On WMSVover the Net every Sunday from 6 pm to Midnight Central time which is currently UTC (formerly Greenwich Mean Time)- 6 hours.

This special version of "One Bourbon One Scotch One Beer" will run January 28, 2008 from 8:30 PM-11:00 PM CST or 1/29/08 UTC 2:30 AM-5:00 AM. The deadline for comment submissions is Wednesday January 23rd.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The power of the pontchartrain.

For the first BSB show of 2008 tomorrow night, we look back at the best of ought seven.

BSB Intro
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss-"Through The Morning, Through The Night" Raising Sand
Phantom Blues Band-"Yield Not to Temptation" Out of the Shadows
ZZ Hill Jr.-"Down Home Giorl (Goin' to Mississippi" Goin' To Mississippi
Tab Benoit-"One Foot in the Bayou" Power of the Pontchartrain

Mic Break

Phantom Blues Band-"Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?" Out of the Shadows
Tail Dragger-"Prison Blues" My Head Is Bald - Live at Vern's Friendly Lounge, Chicago

Mic Break

Tinsley Ellis-"I Take What I Want" Moment of Truth
Mannish Boys-"Carpet Bagger Blues" Big Plans
Phantom Blues Band-"Big Boy Pete" Out of the Shadows
Tab Benoit-"Midnight and Lonseome" Power of the Pontchartrain

Mic Break

Phantom Blues Bad-"Baby Doll" Out of the Shadows
Burnside Exploration-"Poor Man's Blues" The Record
Gov't Mule-"Soulshine" The Deep End, Vol. 1

Mic Break

Big Joe Shelton-"In Mississippi" Black Prairie Blues
Homemade Jamz Bluseband-"Cadillac Assembly Line" Tupeloms
The Cate Brothers-"Back To Memphis" Play By The Rules

Mic Break

Mannish Boys Featuring Finis Tasby-"Lonesome Bedroom" House Rockin' And Blues Shoutin'!
Jimbo Mathus-"Peaches" Old Scool Hot Wings
Tinsley Ellis-"Shadow Of Doubt" Moment Of Truth

Mic Break

Lester Chambers-"Every Day I Have The Blues" Tell Us The Truth
Little Walter-"Juke" His Best
Ensemble (Chambers/Bragg/Earle/Morello)-"Time Has Come Today" Tell Us The Truth

Mic Break

Elmore James-"Madison Blues" The Sky is Crying: The History of Elmore James
Jimmy Reed-"HGonest I Do" The Essential Boss Man Disc Two
Robert Lockwood Jr.-"C. C. Rider" House Rockin' And Blues Shoutin'!
Fabulous Thunderbirds-"Horsin' Around" House Rockin' And Blues Shoutin'!

Mic BNreak

Jimbo Mathus-"Torture Blues" old scool hot wings
Mavis Staples-"At The End of the Day" Have A Little Faith
Mahalia Jackson-"In The Upper Room" The Essential Mahalia Jackson

Mic Break

Lightnin' Hopkins-"Awful Dream" Mojo Hand
John Lee Hooker-"Teachin' The Blues" The Ultimate Collectrion Disc 1

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Rattled by the rush.

Well Stormy Day 2008 has gotten off to a dud-ly start so far. We've been in Tornado watches and warnings virtually all day; they even cancelled classes at Mississippi State. The storm siren across the street has sounded its loud Klaxxon on three distinct occasions and so far we had 45 minutes of hard rain around 1:15 or so and some wind. There's another line of storms due within fifteen minutes or so and then the watches cease at 4:00 PM CST.

5:05 postscript: storms blown through and clearing now. Poker (Texas Hold'Em) por moi at 7:30. If you've never done this, you should try it once in your life when next you're in Memphis.

6:07 pm Our thoughts and prayers with the good people of Caledonia, MS.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Laissez les bon temps roulez.

More or less instant reactions to the college football season just ended.

A fitting end to the craziest football season I've seen in my 43 years. Don't buy the hype about how this is the new paradigm; this year was exceptional in the purest sense of that word (not great necessarily, but merely very different from the norm), an outlier, unreal, even insane at times if a season can be to said to have something akin to consciousness.

Yes, I know that the game has changed (longer kickoffs, no tearaway jerseys blah blah blah), and scholarship reductions are bringing about some semblance of parity. But c'mon a D I-AA (excusez moi NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision and doesn't THAT phrase just mellifluously roll of the tongue) team goes to the Big House and lays smack down in a pre-conference=schedule "fluff" game; o.k., Appalachian State WERE 2-time defending national champions at their level and, after a mid-season blip, became thrice national football championship subdivision champs.

Speaking of famous I-AA defeats of their higher brethren in football (Maine over Mississippi State par example), I do remember the FAMU Rattlers knocking off the Miami Hurricanes the year they won the inaugural Division I-AA championship behind the brilliant Tallahassee Godby High Product, Albert Chester, Sr, winning the first football national championship for the state. Yes folks the 1970s were something of a football wasteland in the Sunshine State. It's really Miami's first win in 1983 that sets the table for the ersthwile big three: UF, FSU, Miami to dominate until at least the 2000 Sugar Bowl and BCS Championship for FSU. But in 1978 Miami was mediocre at best, although their 6-5 record was only their second winning record in over a decade. You get the picture: Definitely Not the Cane's of 4 national titles in a legendary nine-year-run (1983-1991).

So back to this peculiar college football season, where #1 teams seemed to lose weekly. A historical season and one like no other. If I was picking on merit at the end of the season, National Champion: LSU! The weirdness of this season surely deserves a legitimate 2-loss National Champion. 2nd best team: UGA Bulldogs—putting an exclamation point on the year that the SEC had. Sorry USC: you lost at home in the L.A. Coliseum to a frankly terrible Stanford Cardinal (my graduate alma mater my prerogative to call 'em out), and your schedule was generally weak. For an alpha and omega thing: how about my MSU Bulldogs winning 8 games including the Liberty Bowl after beginning the season with a crushing 45-0 home loss to those same LSU Tigers. Maybe it wasn't such a crazy year after all . . . Will you Big 10 apologists please just shut up!

P.S. My undergrad alma mater ultimately had a fine year too, says the proud 1982 inductee of the Harvard Varsity Club! Undefeated in the Ivy League, champs with a crushing and somewhat unexpected 37-6 away victory over the hated Eli—"Yale: They make locks, don't they?"

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Carolina on my mind.

Christmas with the family at Lake Junaluska.

A bit more of our house:


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Pump it up!

Went to the Haywood Health and Fitness center on the Haywood Medical Center grounds every day for 8 days minus Christmas day while in the mountains. A nice 54,00 square foot 2 floor facility.

Unlike a typical urban or University health club, this place does reek of young, pretty things. Especially give it's role in the rehabilitative services of HRMC.

I hit the treadmills hard for 40-45 minute sessions with 5 or 10 minutes of warm up and warm down time alternating between Calorie Burn and Aerobic workouts, including an imaginary walk up Cold Mountain switchbacks, illustrated here with the lower level 7% grade.

Room with a view.

The song by Mitch Easter and Chapel Hill's Let's Active not the Forster novel nor the Merchant Ivory movie.

In updating The Lightside, a 1940s home, my parents first finished the upstairs attic by adding two dormer windows and making a huge suite with bathroom. The two dormer extensions include one desk area, a built-in bookcase, and one sitting area. Indeed a room with a view!

The view out either dormer window is basically this:

The rest of the house is pretty homey too! Here's part of the downstairs master bedroom.

The living room/cum den is quite comfy.

Here we sit and read, watch TV, and make fires, sometimes the later two together as the third of this montage of Christmas 2007 fires makes clear!

Hearth 2, LJ.jpg

Fire 2, LJ.jpg

Fire 1, LJ.jpg

Hearth 1, LJ.jpg

Cheers and a Happy New Year to you and yours!

Cast iron

Went into downtown Waynesville on several occasions to browse, shop, and hit the library for Internet access. First place I hit was the famous outlet for Just Ducky to get some Baby and kiddie Christmas gifts, a fun store despite the ridiculous 30 dollar Gund infant T-shirts.

On another trip, I would have a fantastic lunch with my parents at The Sweet Onion Restaurant née Wildfire: sweet onion soup and a tomato and feta stack for me.

No trip to Waynesville is complete without stopping in two stores: Mast General and Home Tech: "The Kitchen Shop." I walked around The Sweet Onion and entered Mast from below and behind, fighting my way past the crowd checking out near the Candy shop on the lower level, als home to a great selection of kids toys and the cook shop where cast iron implements abound, formerly lodged on the second floor loggia.

Headed upstairs through the main floor of winter clothing and out to Main Street.

Headed upstairs through the main floor of winter clothing and out to Main Street.

I also had fun browsing in two book stores: Osondu Booksellers and Blue Ridge Books & News, where on a good day you can get that day's Financial Times.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Gone to carolina.

Thanks to Shooter Jennings for this entry title, one of Yes! Weekly's "10 Best songs about North Carolina." I left Starkville around 8 am on Tuesday, December 18th and arrived after dark at Lake Junaluska to a lit up Lightside.

The house sits literarrly in the shadow of Cold Mountain which is North of Waynesville in the Great Smoky Mountains. You wind up the Southern spine of Col Mountain to get to the Blue Ridge Parkway on your way to Mt. Pisgah and the Pisgah Inn, which serves fine fresh whole mountain trout in the summer season, a favorite day tri of mine then.

Here's the house in daylight.

The next morning after breakfast I walked around the lake. At the first bend met the horse of Canadian geese.

Soon we came to the first overly decorated Christmas house and two of the more dramatic hilltop homes on the lake.

Crossed the lake on the footbridge to get to the southern side and complete my loop.

Walked along the Rose Walk, by the Terrace hotel, past Long's Chapel, and up the hill by Lambuth Inn which we view from across the lake near my house shrouded in mist on a typically "smoky" day!

In fact the local mountains get their very name from this weather phenomenon; here's a series of shots of the same.