Sunday, December 13, 2009

Paul Clayton - Timber-r-r!

Track Listing

Side 1: Side 2:
1. Lumberman's Alphabet 8. Canaday
2. Jerry's Rock 9. Jack Haggerty
3. Little Brown Bull 10. Rackets Around Blue
4. Harry Dunn Mountain Lake
5. James Whalen 11. Backwoodsman
6. Wild Mustard River 12. Lost Jimmie
7. Banks of the Little Eau Plaine 13. Peter Emberly
14. Harry Bale
15. Jolly Shantyboys

Special thanks to Drew Christie who hosts the Democracy for the Cartoons blog. He found this album at a record store we went to in Astoria, Oregon called Mallternative. He and I were out there for a festival called Batwater that included the amazing Michael Hurley and also the talented Freak Mountain Ramblers. I did not get a chance to go this year because I moved to Alaska this summer. Drew is currently working with some people on animation parts for a documentary or Snockumentary if you will, which I believe will be entitled something like Doc Snock and the Land of Lo-Fi. I have a good feeling it should be awesome and I can't wait for it to come out.

The album itself is really good, but there is some surface noise. I still feel it is enjoyable and it kind of gives it a rustic feel, so I would still recommend downloading it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Old-Time Ballads From the Southern Mountains

Hello once again. I do not have the liner notes or track listing for this particular album. However, I personally enjoy it... so i thought I'd share anyhow. A couple of the tracks sound scratchy, but for the most part the quality is good. Whelps enjoy. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Martin Bogan and Armstrongs - Barnyard Dance (1972)

Track List

Side One: Side Two:

Lady be Good French Blues
Carl's Blues Mean Mistreatin' Mama
Corrina, Corrina Old Man Mose
Barnyard Dance Alice Blue Gown
Cacklin' Hen Knox County Stomp
Sweet Georgia Brown
Carl Martin-Mandolin
Ted Bogan-Guitar
Howard Armstrong-Violin
L.C. Armstrong-Bass

I found out about Howard Armstrong from an instructional blues mandolin DVD taught by Steve James . My interest was further piqued when I purchased a blues mandolin book written by Rich DelGrosso. I next found a movie soundtrack from a Terry Zwigoff documentary featuring Howard Armstrong and Ted Bogan. The movie itself was up on Youtube for a while, but Zwigoff had it taken down. I was lucky enough to obtain a copy of the movie myself. If you would like information on where to find it shoot me out an email. It is thoroughly entertaining and I'd say inspiring as well.

I found this particular album at the library and could not find anywhere to purchase it online, so i transferred it to MP3 format. I know that Rounder Records has the rights to it, but I do not believe that it is still in print. Sooo... Enjoy at least for now.

If you end up liking this album, another really good one is an album Carl Martin did called Crow Jane Blues. You can download this album at Muddy Sava Riverbank. Link

Liner Notes:

Carl Martin, Ted Bogan and Howard Armstrong, the core members of the Four Keys which originated in Huntington, West Virginia in 1931, played all throughout the Southeast and North for radio broadcasts, square dances, churches, picnics, weddings, and taverns. They played the tunes most often requested, including many popular songs of the '20s and '30s, the blues and old-timey fiddle tunes. Either the fiddle or mandolin would take the lead, while the other would play around the melody. The guitar would play backup rhythm while the bass was usually bowed.

Carl Martin was born April 15, 1906, in Big Stone Gap in the coal-mining region of virginia, one of 13 children. His father was a stone mason who played the violin, and was known as Fiddling Martin. Carl took up guitar at an early age, and recalls the first tune he played was John Henry. At 17 he moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, where he first met his brother Rolan, some 30 years older than Carl. Rolan had lost his sight to glaucoma while working as a barber, and by the time Carl met him he had taken up fiddle and formed a string band. Carl played guitar and bowed bass with Rolan's band, and although Carl didn't take up the violin until several years later, Rolan's fiddling had a strong influence on him: fiddle tunes like Sourwood Mountain, Downfall of Paris, Cumberland Gap, Cacklin' Hen; blues tunes like Hesitation Blues, Railroad BLues, St. Louis Blues and Wang Dang Blues.

While playing with Rolan's Band, Carl met Howard Armstrong who was 14 at the time and played mandolin, violin and guitar. Carl and Howard broadcast over WNOX in Knoxville for awhile, and then went on the road with an herb medicine show. On returning to knoxville they met Ted Bogan, formed a group and went to Bristol, Virginia, where they broadcast over WOPI. The radio station featured live broadcasts with a studio audience and phoned-in requests. The request they most often received was Nobody Know when You're Down and Out. After playing Bristol several months, they played many towns in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia before forming the Four Keys.

TedBogan was born May 10, 1910, in Spartenberg, South Carolina. He learned to finger pick guitar and picked up techniques listening to Blind Blake and Leroy Carr records. HE played in a medicine show run by a Canadian who called himself Dr. Mines. Besides Musicians, the show hired comedians, including Bozo Brown, Ham Bone and Leroy. Two of the dances popular then were Bucking Wing and the Possum Walk. After playing the medicine show several months, Ted started broadcasting over WSPC in Spartenberg.
When Ted moved to Knoxville where he met Carl and started playing with a group, he took up flatpicking the guitar. He developed a stye using chords he called octahaves, with the first and sixth strings the basic notes of the chord. He makes use of minor ninths to elaborate on the chord structure of his songs. and example on this album is Lady Be Good:

G, /, Dm9, G, Cm9, ///, G, /////, F#m9, /
Dm9, ///////, G, /, Em, /, Am, /, D7, /
G, Dm9, G, Cm9, ///, G, /////, F#m9,/
Dm9, ///////, G, /, C, Cm, G, / G7, /
C, ///, Gdim, ///, G, /////, Gaug, /
Em6, ///, A7,///, Dm9, ///////
G, /, Dm9, G, Cm9, ///, G, /////, Ddim, /
Dm9, /////, D7, /, G, ///////

Howard Armstrong was born in Lafayette, Tennessee, and began playing violin at an early age. Howard recalls his mother insisting he play hymns and spirituals, soft and slow, but when she left the house he'd pick up the tempo and add a few blue notes until he got it to where it was sounding really good. He showed an interest in all musical instruments, and could play anything that had string on it. He also learned fiddle tunes from Rolan Martin, such as Cacklin' Hen on this album, and to this day one of the best compliment he could receive when he gets the fiddle singing is that he "sounds like old Rolan on the fiddle.

Howard took to music and went on the road at 16. He's self-educated and speaks some seven different languages, including Mandarin Chinese.

Also and artist, he has contributed the front cover of this album.

L.C. Armstrong, Howard's Brother, was born in Lafayette, Tennessee, and plays guitar and bass. He has played popular music and jazz with several bands, and for many years was the leader of his own highly successful jazz group which broke up only a few years ago. L.C. still plays whenever he gets the chance. He currently lives in Detroit, Michigan.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Paul Clayton - Wanted for Murder

Paul Clayton was an American folksinger and folksong collector, notable for being part of the Greenich Village folk scene in the '50's until his death in 1967. 

Roy Berkeley and Tim Woodbridge



Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tom Paley - Sue Cow 1969

Paley is best known for, along with Mike Seeger and John Cohen, the formation of the New Lost City Ramblers in 1958. He decided to leave the group in 1962 because of political differences as well as a desire for less touring. After the break-up he helped form the Old Reliable String Band with Roy Berkeley and Artie Rose. After this group's break-up, He helped to for the New Deal Stringband. The band has been revived in recent years. Paley has also gained a reputation as a talented solo musician.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Roger Welsch - Postcards From Nebraska- March 8, 1976

I am assuming that the interview I transferred is called Postcards From Nebraska. I became interested in him when my buddy Drew who does the Democracy for the Cartoons blog did a radio show and included one of his songs in it. Below is the Wikipedia post on him. below that is a biographical page link. As with the Utah Phillips Interview, this is not music, but an interview. I thought it was interesting, so I decided to post it. You can download his album "Sweet Nebraska Land" at the Smithsonian Folkways website.

Roger Welsch (born November 6, 1936) is a senior correspondent on the CBS News Sunday morning program, and was featured in a segment called "Postcards from Nebraska". An author, humorist and folklorist, Welsch was born in Lincoln Nebraska, and today lives outside of Dannebrog, Nebraska. Welsch was the 2005 winner of the Henry Fonda Award, from the State of Nebraska Travel and Tourism Division.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Folk and Country Songs of the FDR Years

This album consists of performers Roy Berkeley and Tim Woodbridge.

I'm not trying to plagiarize, but I do not know the original source of this bio Berkeley, but felt I should include it:

Roy Berkeley was involved in the 50's and 60's New York folk scene along with the likes of performers such as Dave Van Ronk and the NewLost City Ramblers (NLCR). Roy Berkeley was a mainstay in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s New York City folk scene along with Dave Van Ronk, The New Lost City Ramblers and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and played flatpick country/folk guitar and sounded like a cross between

Jimmie Rodgers and Woody Guthrie. During these years, along with Van Ronk and others, he wrote a parody of the well known leftist songbook The People’s Songbook that he called The Bosses’ Songbook and Roy was also a political activist who moved from the Trotskyist movement (like Van Ronk he was anti-Stalinist) and later became deputy sheriff in his town of Shaftsbury, Vermont. Unfortunately, Berkeley passed away this last May, but left an indelible mark in the history of the folk movement of the world.

As far as i could tell, he recorded two albums with Woodbridge for two different labels; Longview and Green Linnet. Both seem to be out of print.

In addition to recording this album, Berkeley combined efforts with Artie Rose and NLCR's Tom Paley in the formation of the Old Reliable String Band (Available on Smithsonian Folkways). A side note to this being that Tom Paley left NLCR because he did not wish to perform as frequently as John Cohen and Mike Seeger intended to. The liner notes are free on the Folkways website and are worth looking into.

I couldn't find any images of the album cover or liner notes. I transferred this sometime last spring and neglected to do so then when i had the album. If anyone can help with this, it would be greatly appreciated. Anyways, here is a download link:

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bruce "Utah" Phillips

This may not exactly be old-time but it's Utah Phillips so it's in the old folk-tale/songster tradition. This is a radio Interview done in Spokane on the KXBX-FM radio station. I am not sure exactly what year it took place, but it is on cassette so it's fairly old I'm assuming. Here are the notes that came with the audio cassette:

Bruce "Utah" Phillips tells his own story best:
"I am six-foot-two, well preserved, have a steady gaze, firm hand, and very regular teeth. Our family moved from Cleveland, Ohio, in 1947 and settled in Utah where I lived till late 1969. Briefly, I have washed dishes in Yellowstone, worked building a hospital on the Navajo Reservation, been to Korea and back, tramped and boomed the western freights, worked as a printer, warehouseman and archivist, assisted in the management of a house for migrants and bums, done a stretch as a neighborhood organizer, joined the Industrial Workers of the World and, in 1968, I ran either for or from the U.S. Senate on the Peace and Freedom ticket. 
I won.
". . . After the political campaign [Utah] became very different to live in. So I took me and several thousand songs I didn't make up and a hundred  or so that I did and went East to see if I couldn't make enough money to stay alive and pay off some old debts."
"I don't really have a great voice . . . Mostly I guess my voice sounds like the places I've been and the people I've stayed with. I sing songs about trains, coal mines, Unions, factories, working people, lazy people, the old and new West, bums, politicians, and the different things that happen to you when you're in love. And I tell stories and try to get people laughing and singing together. You know, most of the songs I sing really belong to those people -- they just don't know it yet. That's what I do."


Starlight on the Road, Wooden Shoe Press.

Good, Though, Philo no. 1004
El Capitan, Philo no. 1016
All Used Up, Philo no. 1050
We Have Fed You All for a Thousand Years, Oral Tradition, Vancouver, B.C.
Silly Songs and Modern Lullabies, Sierra Records


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Jazz Podcast

Track List:
1. Charlie Fry & His Million Dollar Orchestra- Happy Days Lonely Nights
2. Lionel Belasco- Caroline
3. Elizabeth Johnson- Sobbin' Woman Blues
4. Cliff Edwards (Ukulele Ike)- Hard-Hearted Hannah
5. Emmett Miller- The Ghost of the St. Louis Blues

Friday, February 13, 2009

Early Country Music Vol. 2

Featuring Joe Evans, Nap Hayes, Matthew Prater, John Dilleshaw, Golden Melody Boys, and Arthur McLaine.      

Liner Notes:
This early album of early country music originally recorded in the late Twenties and early Thirties illustrates the variety and style in this rich and colorful music. Joe Evans (New Huntsville Jail) on side 1 sings a story about his ordeal in jail. A familiar phrase that was frequently used in early jazz bands at Negro funerals, "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust", can be heard in this recording. "New Huntsville Jail" later became popular with the addition of new words as "Down In The Valley". On the next number a kazoo and scat singing are added to give a real skiffle sound to the music. "Sittin' On Top of the World" starts with the violin followed by vocal and guitar accompaniment. This is a beautiful rendition of an old country ballad. The lilting strains on the mandolin in "Nothin' Doin'" are complimented by the sensitive guitar playing of Nap Hayes, and although the tempo is stepped up in "Somethin' Doin'", the saim sensitivity remains. "Old Hen Cackle" and "Sourwood Mountain" were some of the first songs to enjoy popularity in the early twenties in the country field. The next two sides are good snappy versions of these tunes, and show just how exciting mandolin can sound. John Dilleshaw opens up the second side with the warm and free flowing "Spanish Fandango" followed by "Cotton Patch Rag" and interesting contrast to the first number. The next five numbers are played by the Golden Melody Boys. These are very rare sides and little is know about the group. "Sabula Blues" and "Freak Melody" are mandolin and guitar duets listed on the original record label as being played by Demps and Phil. "Way Down South in Arkansas" and "Cross-Eyed Butcher" are country stories set to the music with humorous lyrics. The final number is "Guitar Rag", a duet of mandolin and guitar played at medium tempo. It is difficult to describe the feeling of this music in the liner notes. The real enjoyment can only come from listening to this LP.

 Arnold S. Caplin
Discographical Notes:
Brian Rust
Many thanks to Joe Bussard
for his assistance.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Industrial Ballads Workshop

Hello there. I was recently inspired by my friend, Drew Christie, a fabulous and gifted artist, musician, and amateur musicologist to post "obscurish" music that I have come across. Here is an excerpt of  a folk festival series from the 10th Annual San Diego Folk Festival, that took place in 1976. I found this in the cassette tape section of the library and decided it was interesting enough to transfer. The portion I have chosen to include is a performance by Mike Seeger.