Archive for June, 2006

Fish and Fried Legs (2006)

In: Miscellany, Travel

In this post from 2006, I drive from Austin to Houston for a show by the great Texas songwriter Tom Russell.

I left Austin feeling a little frustrated, as I always do when plans fall through. Being me, I manage to make it my fault … if only I had gone here instead of there, if only I had done this instead of that … as if any of us can control the twists and turns of life. Hope that one day I get old enough to learn that lesson.

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Two Heroes Are Better Than One (2006)

In: Miscellany, Travel

Originally posted June 30, 2006. In this installment, I’ve just spent a few days in Austin, cosmic cowboy capital of the world, and I’m about to meet two of my musical heroes.

Friday morning, my last day in Austin till winter. I’ve been too busy running around experiencing all the incredible life in this city to write, so this will be a summary of the last few days.

I spent Tuesday making contact with all the people I had hoped to see while here. As usual for this project, schedules change, gigs get canceled, new gigs get added, people who say they’ll be home turn out to be on the road or vice versa.

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The Cowboy Angel of the Saxon Pub (2006)

In: Miscellany, Travel

I’m reposting the most interesting items from a blog I wrote during a three-week trip through the Mississippi Delta, Texas and Alabama in summer 2006.

On Monday [June 26] I left Clarksdale at 6:30 in the morning, picked up two Egg McMuffins and pounded straight through to Austin Texas. Highway 61 for the first couple of hours, as far as Vicksburg Miss., crossed the Mississippi River (big wide and impressive at this point, unlike the muddy stream up at Rosedale), then it was just interstates the whole way.

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In this repost from 2006, I leave Memphis and drive south a couple of hours into another world, the Mississippi Delta, epicenter of the blues.

Clarksdale, Mississippi, is the birthplace of John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin Wolf and Son House, where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil to play guitar like no one else: Ground Zero of the Blues.

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Reposted from June, 2006, on my long roadtrip down the Mississippi to Texas and back.

What a cool city! As my friend Tom Arndt says, you can stand on the corner of 3rd and Beale at 2 in the morning and hear five bands playing “Mustang Sally” at the same time. Come to think of it, even the hotel lobby music in Memphis is cool — I was just treated to the great old Outsiders song “Cowboys to Girls” in the elevator just now.

I

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About the Film

Troubadour Blues is a feature-length documentary that explores the fascinating world of traveling singer-songwriters. We see them in a variety of situations: impromptu performances, concert stages, formal and informal interviews and songwriting sessions. This is a story that needs to be heard. In our media-saturated age of instant pop stardom, there is real danger that the tradition of the itinerant working musician -- the tradition of Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly -- is being diluted or lost. Troubadour Blues explores the hidden corners of our culture, where honest, authentic songs reflecting the human experience are still being made up and sung.

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