Archive for September, 2009

Mary Travers, R. I. P.

September 16, 2009

Mary Travers has died at the age of 72. Not much to say except “Thank you, Mary!”

Here are Peter, Paul and Mary at Newport with a rousing If I Had a Hammer. That old hammer and that old bell and that old song still have something to say to us, so listen and remember and say your own goodbye to a great performer who touched us all.

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Jonathan Byrd in Somerville Tonight!

September 11, 2009

I know it’s short notice, but I only found out about it yesterday myself. Greg Klyma and Anthony DaCosta will be there too, and the show starts at 8 tonight (Friday September 11) at the Unity of God Church near Davis Square in Somerville, Mass. Directions to the church are here, full details here. Tell them Harry sent you.

For those of you who don’t know Jonathan Byrd, he’s tough to pin down in a few sentences. His first band was a heavy rock outfit he described as “Bad Brains meets King Crimson,” but he’s covered a lot of ground since then, through old-time and folk and country and Americana. The new CD, titled The Law and The Lonesome, comes out on the other side of genre – Byrd has found his voice with this one, and all he needs now is to find an audience as big as his talent.

Byrd himself wrote the perfect blurb for The Law and the Lonesome: “the ghost of Townes Van Zandt meets Hank Williams on the high plains.” I’ll be damned if I’ll try to top that. You’ll just have to listen.

Here’s a video of Wild Ponies, direct from Byrd’s YouTube channel, where you’ll find a bunch more. There’s a different version of this available as a free download on Byrd’s website, too along with more free music, a tour schedule, and much more. Please enjoy.

A Little Health Care Reform Music

September 9, 2009

To get you all set up to listen to President Obama’s health care speech tonight, here’s a song that gives us a (probably incomplete) narrative of the singer’s visit to his family doctor. His symptoms (“feelin’ so bad”) are vague, but I have a hunch that the doctor’s prescription is going to clear things up just fine.

The song is Good Lovin’, the band is Long Island’s own Young Rascals – Felix Cavalieri taking the lead vocal. I used to see them play at the Action House in Island Park and they would tear the place up every time. No lip-synching here, this is live. Enjoy the music and stay healthy!

Labor Day

September 7, 2009

It’s a tough time to be a worker in the good old USA. Unemployment is high, working conditions are bad (if you don’t believe it, check this out), and there’s not much prospect of things getting better real soon.

“Too big to fail” means you get all you need and then some, “just struggling to get by” means you’re on your own. That’s the way it is and how it’s always been, I guess.

The soundtrack for today’s video is Merle Travis singing his classic Dark as the Dungeon, from the equally classic Will the Circle Be Unbroken. Some of the pictures you’ll see were taken long ago, but the way miners work hasn’t changed all that much over the years.

Here’s to better times for all workers everywhere, whether they’ve got a job to go to today or not. Enjoy the holiday.