Well, where to start, it’s a Tuesday night in spring time I’m here in good old blighty for a few days and a chance to catch up with all my old mates at SAS. Mates with an s might be a bit optimistic but the old is true of most of them. Not least the blue rinse brigade. Yesss , I know you’re thinking little old ladies in tweed jackets, bouffant hairdos and that blue rinse look after an afternoon under the hairdryer at Mr. Teasy Weasy. But in this case I’m talking about our erstwhile organizer of SAS none other than Mr. Brian Smiley Wylie. Smiley turned up with his hairdo on his chin, a bit like an upside down Mohican cut, with a blue rinse. Either that or he washed his face in Daz, hard to tell really but an interesting look even for an Irishman.
It’s important that you know that a) I have been drinking Leffe and b) that I have no glasses and have forgotten my contacts. This means I can’t play any of the songs I have brought musik to and I can’t see to write the blog. Also I am slightly deaf. These points are necessary information to understand what happens during the evening and the writing of this blog..
There were lots of Musikians tonight, best I’ve seen for a while, it might always be like this and I just don’t know it as I normally inform people when I am going to be in the country hence Len manages to avoid me pretty much on a permanent basis, but this time it was surprise visit. I’m not going to go along the lines 23 artistes turned up tonight as I am sure that some of you can count and those that can’t ask Smiley because with a look like that he has to have something we dont know about ‘cos a sky blue goatee just doesn’t crack it except maybe for Nanny Goat Gruff.
As usual Cap’n SkyBlueBeard was up first with TENNESSEE WALTZ. Smiles thought this was by Hank Williams but I can find no record of old Hank having performed this song. It’s said to be originally written by Jimmy Wilkinson the upright bass player (as opposed to pissed and falling over I assume) for Pee Wee King's Golden West Cowboys. Smiley also thought there was an extra verse written by Leonard Cohen but as he was wrong about Hank Williams my guess is that he’s wrong about Len as well. Anyway, this was followed by THE FLOWER SELLER by Harry O' Donaghue that Smiles had met/heard/seen/not met/not heard/not seen 16 years ago.
As Cap’n Bluberry finished a throng of people came in, probably fascinated by Smileys beard. Now the elephant man has died there might be an opening here Smiles. So we spread further into the pub, This is good, lots of musikians and a tone deaf audience and a blind, deaf blogger.
Jimmy Jukebox took the stool and gave us A LOVE SONG by the Cure. Makes you wonder what the ailment was really, and then a great rendition of CUT ON OUT by the 60’s answer to Dylan, Donovan. Just as a matter of interest Donovan named his daughter Skye, and went to live in the Highlands. Smiles has a skyblue beard and lived in Ireland, I can see the comparison here. Thanks Jimmy, always something different from you
Larry and Adrian next with a Willie Nelson song TIME OF THE PREACHER. Larry and Adrian regularly do cowboy songs and I think they should perform as the Dueling Pancho’s. Moving on! From the album Red Headed Stranger in 1975 by outlaw country singer Willie Nelson.its about a fugitive on the run from the law after killing his wife. Followed by AFTER THE GOLDRUSH by Neil Young. This has been recorded by many artistes including Dolly Parton who once commented about the making of her version of the song; "when we were doing the Trio album, I asked Linda and Emmy what it meant, and they didn't know. So we called Neil Young, and he didn't know. We asked him, flat out, what it meant, and he said, 'Hell, I don't know. I just wrote it. It just depends on what I was taking at the time. Superb!
The comedy act of the Addingham Hillbilly’s. Famous for their rendition of My Old Mans a dustbin, they performed WILD HORSES but perhaps not as you know it. As Mr. Sunshine himself once said, they got nearly all the right words but definitely Not in the right order. To add idiocy on to humiliation one of them ( and it wasn’t the blogger) suggested doing DEAD FLOWERS, pretty much sewn up by Rob Watkins, who was bang in front of them. Disaster. As Mr. Sunshine himself didn’t once said, they got none of the right chords and none of the right words not in the right order. The final humiliation was sitting back in a long black Cadillac. Its f*****g PINK!!! Rose Pink!! Keef ‘ll turn in his grave, sooner or later.
MAC didn’t have much trouble following that. An AA Bondy song WHEN THE DEVILS LOOSE. A. A. Bondy is an American folk/alternative artist from Birmingham, Alabama, and the former lead singer and guitarist in the rock band Verbena, His second album When the Devil's Loosewas recorded in Mississippi, and released in September 2009. MAC followed through with LOST HIGHWAY, but I can’t work out who wrote this and even Wiki didn’t come up with anything. Good to see a couple of capos on MACS axe again it was naked last time I saw it. Fortunately MAC wasnt
Graeme (MC) Morrell. Tonight was the turn of the Yellow Book of songs and a James Taylor number SWEET BABY JAMES. Which serves as the opening and title track from his 1970 breakthrough album Sweet Baby James. Although never released as a single, it is one of his best-known and most popular tunes, and arguably his signature song. As usual Graeme used far more chords than is necessary. Dr Hook and the Medicine Show (to give the band their proper title) SYLVIA’S MOTHER. Released in 1972 is an example of how bad things were at the time. Between verse 2 and verse 3 the cost of the phone call went from 30 cents more to 40 cents more. Now that’s inflation for you.
Rob and Caroline. Once they had stopped laughing from the AddHillbillys, started with a Patty Griffin song THE LONG RIDE HOME. Beautifully performed as always, This was followed by a Buddy Miller song CANT GET OVER YOU I made a note here “Harmonies” so it must have been good, again, as always. Rob always seems to me to play pretty simple to play songs that he makes sound great. Whenever I try to make my guitar sound that good, it just doesn’t. I know why so don’t send it lots of sarcastic comments, so there!
Finally in part Uno Pam Johnson. I haven’t seen Pam at SAS before, mind you she therefore hasn’t seen Addingham Hillbilly’s, so a treat for me, and a pretty big letdown for her. Pam started with a Johnny Cash Song, THANKS A LOT, which I think was dedicated to his first wife with whom he had a fraught relationship not least of which because he was on a lot of uppers and downers and also s******g June Carter . This was followed by a Mary Gauthier (you didn’t HAVE to spell it for me Pam) song I DRINK. Unusually I’m going to add a little bit of info here because it’s interesting
Mary Gauthier was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Given up at birth by a mother she never knew, she was adopted by an Italian Catholic couple in Thibodaux, Louisiana. At age 15, she ran away from home, and spent the next several years in drug rehabilitation, halfway houses, and living with friends; she spent her 18th birthday in a jail cell. Struggling to deal with being adopted and her sexuality, she used drugs and alcohol.These experiences provided fodder for her songwriting later on. After attending the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, she opened a Cajunrestaurant in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood, Dixie Kitchen (also the eponymous title of her first album). Mary ran, and cooked at, the restaurant for eleven years. She was arrested for drunk driving opening night, July 12, 1990, and has been sober ever since. After achieving sobriety, she was driven to dedicate herself full-time to songwriting, and embarked upon a career in music. There I told you it was interesting.
Part Dos, Better make this a bit shorter as I am going back to Espana on Friday and need to get this done by then.
Cap’n Bluerinsebeard and MAC performed three instrumental Irish tunes, MAC on guitar and Cap’n on the fiddle (no it’s an instrument not his career). They then gave me 3 titles for the 4 songs which were something like DEVIL SOMETHING TAILOR, BLACK SOMETHING OR OTHER, and STEVE THE PLOUGH. No I didn’t understand it either!
Dueling Pancho's next with, I think ANOTHER TEQUILA SUNRISE, I don’t know who it’s by and they might have told me but I’m six Leffes in now so I don’t remember and I can’t read either. Then another James Taylor number the brilliant FIRE AND RAIN, written during James’s drug fuelled days, funnily enough some of his best material was done during this period, in my humble opinion.
Jimmy Jukebox and MAN OF THE WORLD recorded by Fleetwood Mac in 1969, and composed by vocalist and lead guitarist Peter Green. It first appeared as a Fleetwood Mac single in various countries in 1969. CANDY by Paolo Nutini, the song is about the spark, or candy which is there at the beginning of every relationship but leaves after a while. Great song well sung.
The Leffe half of AddHills with KK’s ME AND BOBBY MCGEE ( I call him KK ‘cos I met him so feel we are intimate friends) then Jackson Browne's ROSIE. I call him Mr. Browne ‘cos I haven’t and don’t.
The Orange juice half of the AddHills with Paul Weller’s BRAND SOMETHING SOMETHING I can’t read this on my notes, It doesn’t help not having eye glasses and neither does it help having had 6 Leffe glasses, I’m sure you all know what it was, then a great rendition of Police MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE. You can tell the difference Nixi had glasses for this song, no wrong chords and all the right words AND in all the right order. Well Done!!
Graeme (MC) you know the rest, Black book now and not one but TWO MC numbers. For those of you who didn’t know MC was at Korks in Otley at the end of March, If you wanted to go, too bloody late, Graeme should have told you because he did know but kept it to himself. Anyway. MC THIS COULD BE HEAVEN BUT THERE’LL BE HELL TO PAY somewhere in there is the title and I think it’s about MC having it off with the equivalent of June Carter, Then COWBOY PHASE. I really like this one I just hope that as the first song referred to naughty goings on, I hope this one wasn’t about Brokeback Mountain. (A film I flatly refuse to ever see by the way)
Rob (without Caroline) and Springsteen’s THUNDER ROAD. Rob seemed worried at the start of this song, I think, about remembering it all, but as always he did and it was good! Rob (with Caroline) a (I Think) Sugarland song THE VERY LAST COUNTRY SONG, which is about the very last country song (I think).
Last but certainly not least Pam Johnson. FOLLOW MY TEARS . I have written by something Holden, but it might be Holder, it might be Noddy, equally it might be Big Ears, I can’t read it and the final song of the evening a beautiful Maggie Holland song A PROPER SORT OF GARDENER. Pam said she worked the chords herself because she thought it was just the most beautiful song.
I think all would agree.