Friday, November 28, 2008


Shopping for stocking filler that will satisfy even the most jaded rock fan? Look no further than Julian Cope´s latest book Japrocksampler, out now in paperback from Bloomsbury books. Following in the footsteps of his authoritative and now sadly out of print Krautrocksampler tome, which explored the highs and lows of the German music scene in the late sixties and seventies, Cope now looks eastward and lord, it´s a trip. Thoroughly researched, Japrocksampler first puts the whole shebang in historical perspective before going all out with enthousiastic descriptions of the highlights of Nippon rock. And all that in typical, no holds barred Cope stylee of course. Banzai! A lot of the music featured in Japrocksampler - subtitled ´how the post-war Japanese blew their minds on rock ´n´ roll´ - is for freaks only, but believe me, the genre spawned some real boss sounds... Here´s a few of them.

Yup, that´s them ridin´ their chopped-up Hondas bare ass down the highway on the cover of Copey´s book. Destination? Anywhere of course... The semi-legendary Flower Travellin´ Band made at least two great albums: Satori (more about that ´71 gem in an upcoming post) and their debut Anywhere (´70). Led by wild afro´d singer Joe, they managed to demolish quite a few well-known songs on the latter. Check out their amazing Stairway To Heaven-like treatment of ye olde classic House Of The Rising Sun for proof.

Flower Travellin´ Band - House Of The Rising Sun MP3

A glue sniffin´, amphetamine-crazed, longhaired free-blues power trio anyone? All hail Speed, Glue & Shinki. "I got a big headed woman who talks about herself... she drinks all my liquor and she smokes all off my stuff... yeah she smokes all my dope, she´s baaad..." The incredible ´young loud and snotty´ vocals and even snottier asides come courtesy of singing Filipino drummer Joey ´Pepe´ Smith, while we have to thank the great Shinki Chen for the down and dirty soloing. Heavy stuff that´s in heavy rotation around here at the moment.

Speed, Glue & Shinki - Big Headed Woman MP3

According to Julian, we´re not here to praise the aptly named First Album (´69) by the Helpful Soul, as it´s shit. And he´s right. But he goes on to say: ´...which makes side one´s closing song - the 10-minutes-and-33-seconds of Peace For Fools - all the more remarkable´, and he´s spot on again. Cope calls it ´a strung-out slab of monolithic genius´, while comparing singer Junio Nakahara to the Fall´s Mark E. Smith before he became ´a professional Northerner´... And that´s a mighty fine desciption.

The Helpful Soul - Peace For Fools MP3

Les Rallizes Dénudés are a cult band avant la lettre. Hailing from the Kyoto university scene, their destiny was changed abruptly when their original bass player Moriaki Wakabayashi was involved in the infamous hijacking of an airplane by the Japanese Red Army in 1970. Since then, Rallizes mastermind Takashi Mizutani has led a remarkably reclusive life in the isolated wilderness of northern Japan, releasing his dark, feedback-drenched laments mostly via live bootlegs. The Japanese Velvets? Definitely underground and well worth checking out.

Les Rallizes Dénudés - More Deeply Than The Night MP3

Love Live Life +1 (´71) was one of these ´super sessions´ which were huge in Japan in the early seventies. Its legacy? A mighty impressive, soulful album filled to the brim with freaky cosmic rhythm & blues. Title track Love Will Make A Better You makes one think of a Sly & The Family Stone from the land of the rising sun. Dig these horns and way-out-there guitars, brothers and sisters!

Love Live Life +1 - Love Will Make A Better You MP3

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Rai Rebels

Let´s go for something a little bit more exotic than usual here tonight, you chebs and chabas... Rai (or raï) is the rebel music of Algeria and surrounding countries. Challenging fundamentalist, conservative beliefs in songs about sex, drugs (mainly alcohol) and fast cars, it´s a music that consequently has often been censored by the authorities. With a little imagination, you can call it the punk rock, roots reggae or hiphop of North Africa.

Rai literally means ´opinion´ in Arabic, but in this particular form of music it´s used as an exclamation meaning ´oh yeah´, much like the use of ´olé!´ or ´agua!´ in Spanish flamenco. The singers call themselves cheb (when male) and chaba (when female), which means young or kid, to distinguish themselves from the older generation of singers, the aged and respected cheiks and cheikas of the old order.  

Cleverly mixing traditional instruments with western guitars and synths, it´s an art form that´s not only extremely popular in its native countries, but also in the big Western cities - Paris for instance - where many Arabs make a living. To give you a taste of the hypnotic beauty of rai, here are two tracks from the Virgin Earthworks compilation Rai Rebels, a very good introduction to the genre.

Chaba Fadela & Cheb Sahraoui - N´Sel Fik MP3
Chaba Zahouania - Sahr Liyali MP3

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bobby and the Plugz

On the evening of March 22, 1984, Bob Dylan appeared on the David Letterman show in order to promote his new album Infidels. And man, was he hot that night. Backed by the Plugz, one of the first Chicano punkbands to come out of L.A. in the late seventies , he literally slams into Sonny Boy Williamson´s Don´t Start Me Talking. In true Dylan fashion, it´s a song that doesn´t appear on the album he´s supposed to plug here. And what´s more: Dylan had rehearsed intensively with the band the night before, but this cover had apparently not been tried out, so it´s a small miracle that Justin Jesting (guitar), Tony Marisco (bass) and Charlie Quintana (drums) are able to follow him at all, let alone with such gusto. Dylan himself obviously doesn´t remember the words to the song very well - he even drops Sonny Boy´s to in the chorus - but makes up dummy lyrics that manage to sound utterly convincing.

Later in the show, Infidels-tracks License To Kill and Jokerman also get a fresh, speeded-up (even punked-up?) treatment, with Dylan totally into it, spitting out the lyrics like there´s no tomorrow. It wasn´t really his decade, but the Letterman performance was without a doubt one of the best things Dylan did during the eighties. The sound quality of these tracks isn´t that great, but I´m sure you´ll hear what I mean.

Bob Dylan - Don´t Start Me Talking (live Letterman show´84) MP3
Bob Dylan - License To Kill (live Letterman show ´84) MP3
Bob Dylan - Jokerman (live Letterman show ´84) MP3

Here´s Sonny Boy´s original. "Don't start me to talkin´, I'll tell everything I know, I´m gonna break up this signifying, cause somebody's got to go..."

Sonny Boy Williamson - Don´t Start Me To Talkin´ MP3

And if only for completion´s sake, here are the Plugz in their prime, from their ep debut Move (´78). Fun song.

The Plugz - Move MP3

And finally, here´s the clip of Bob doing Don´t Start Me Talking. Note that Letterman doesn´t get a word out of Bob at the end, although he tries; it was agreed before that Dylan would only play, but absolutely no interview please. Don´t start me talking indeed...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Art Of Pepper

Art Pepper (´25-´82) was the west coast king of the alto saxophone. Where most of his contemporaries never managed to shake off the enormous legacy left behind by the great Charlie Parker, Pepper had a tone all of his own almost right from the start. His personal life was a real mess, with heroin and related jail time being constants. For all the sordid details, read his amazing - and often almost embarrassingly honest - autobiography Straight Life, masterfully transcribed by his wife Laurie.

But no matter how troubled the altoist´s life may have been, the quality of his artistic output was always surprisingly high (no pun intended). Pepper started out playing with the bands of Benny Carter and Stan Kenton, but soon started getting gigs as a sideman and as the leader of his own group, which resulted in a terrific series of albums recorded between ´56 and ´60. Long stretches in the slammer unfortunately put an end to that fruitful period. In the autumn of his career, having finally kicked heroin and getting by on methadone, Pepper made some great albums as well, but let´s focus for now on his early classics. Without further ado: here´s the art of Pepper, in chronological order.

Let´s start off with Pepper´s great collaboration with legendary trumpeter and drug buddy Chet Baker. Released on vinyl in ´56 as Playboys, the album was later re-titled Picture Of Heath, probably because of complaints coming from Hugh Heffner´s titties empire. Shame really, as the album cover is a beauty. The Pepper composition Tynan Time shows exactly what this fine duo could do.

Chet Baker & Art Pepper - Tynan Time MP3

The Artistry Of Pepper combines two hot sessions from ´56 and ´57. The first features Pepper on what´s really a gig by tenor player Bill Perkins, while the second one sees him in a setting arranged by Shorty Rogers, who also wrote all the songs. Noteable sidemen here are Bud Shank on baritone sax and Russ Freeman on piano. The playful Powder Puff is representative of this nonet´s highly original style.

Art Pepper - Powder Puff MP3

Which brings us to what´s his best album without a doubt: Art Pepper Meets The Rhythm Section (´57). A fluid jazz masterpiece featuring the rhythm section of the Miles Davis group at the time. You can´t really go wrong with Red Garland on piano, Paul Chambers on bass and Philly Joe Jones behind the drums, but Pepper climbs to unsuspected heights here. Just listen to Red Pepper Blues and Art´s signature tune Straight Life to see what I mean.

Art Pepper - Red Pepper Blues MP3
Art Pepper - Straight Life MP3

Art Pepper + Eleven (´59) finds the altoist fronting a - you guessed it - eleven piece band, interpreting modern jazz classics by Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and Sonny Rollins amongst others. As a rule I´m no fan of big bands, but here the arrangements by Marty Paich are so brilliant I can´t help myself. Pepper is on fire throughout, as you can hear on the Bird & Dizzy bop original Shaw Nuff.

Art Pepper - Shaw Nuff MP3

As a sort of follow up to Meets The Rhythm Section, Art recorded Gettin´ Together! (´60) with then Miles Davis Band members Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb, adding Conte Candoli on trumpet. Another classic. Bijou The Poodle may be a rather bizarre song title, but it swings like crazy... And believe it or not, Pepper really had a dog named Bijou. Woof!

Art Pepper - Bijou The Poodle MP3

Smack Up (´60) was made months before Pepper went to jail once more on a drug-related sentence. On the whole, he did time from ´54 to ´56, ´60 to ´61, ´61 to ´64 and ´64 to ´65; the final two in San Quentin. But in the meantime he was still groovin´ high, as the powerful title track proves. Jack Sheldon´s trumpet solo is mighty fine too.

Art Pepper - Smack Up MP3

The same year saw Pepper release another fine album, which wasn´t called Intensity for nothing. Art had been listening more and more to the new sounds in jazz as pioneered by Coltrane and Ornette Coleman, so his playing showed a fresh free sound in a surprising series of standards, Gershwin´s Long Ago (And Far Away) being a perfect example.

Art Pepper - Long Ago (And Far Away) MP3

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Townes Live At The Jester And At Carnegie Hall

About time for some Townes Van Zandt here again, the late great singer/songwriter in whose honour this blog was named. I guess most of you know and own his classic studio albums by now, or even the great live covers collection Road Songs (if not, see my earlier post here). But there are two more excellent live albums by the Texan rambler & gambler you should know about, both recorded pretty early on in his career.

First up is Live At The Jester Lounge - Houston, Texas 1966, a registration that didn´t see the light of day until nearly forty years later. By then Townes didn´t have any albums out yet and was still busy learning his trade in small clubs. And The Jester must have been tiny, as the picture on the album sleeve shows Townes performing nearly on top of a stack of podium speakers, which are in turn balanced on a few cases of that weak stuff most Americans call beer. Still with short hair, Townes plays a nice mix of covers (Hello Central by his idol and pal Lightnin´ Hopkins for instance) and originals (the beautiful Black Crow Blues). "Well it´s a funny old world, you can´t walk it alone..." A rough diamond.

Townes Van Zandt - Hello Central (live ´66) MP3
Townes Van Zandt - Black Crow Blues (live ´66) MP3

Three years later we find Townes - he´s got two albums under his belt and wears his hair long - performing at a Poppy Records label bash in Carnegie Hall of all places. This crystal clear recording - A Gentle Evening With Townes Van Zandt - also came out decades after the fact, and it´s a stunner. Sandwiched in between a rock band and a comedian, Townes must have felt somewhat out of place in these plush New York surroundings, but he´s in great form nevertheless. All songs minus one are originals now, and it´s a joy to hear that voice so youthful, not yet scarred by a thirsty life on the road. Was he listening to a lot of Dylan when he wrote She Came And She Touched Me? You bet. An essential document.

Townes Van Zandt - Second Lover´s Song (live ´69) MP3
Townes Van Zandt - She Came And She Touched Me (live ´69) MP3

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bonus Fat (a.k.a. Ball And Cheeseburger)

Used to be you had to show good behaviour to get out of jail before your sentence was up. In these obese times, being fat works just as well... This just in from the newsdesk: a 430 pound (195 kg) convict was released early from a Quebec prison because his jailers could not accommodate his enormous frame. Michel Lapointe served more than two years in jail on drug charges and was released three months early last Tuesday. The decision was made in May by a Quebec judge after prison officials said they were unable to find Lapointe a chair or table large enough to fit him. Sleeping wasn´t easy either, as the standard prison bed proved much too small. Lapointe described his time in prison as ´a living hell´.

Angry Samoans - My Old Man´s A Fatso MP3

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bobby and The Band

No, not that Bobby. I´m talking about Bobby Charles here, spilling water melon juice all over his orange sweater in the picture above. His self-titled debut album from ´72 was finally re-released (and for a nice price at that) by Rhino Records UK recently. A rootsy, near-forgotten minor masterpiece with a relaxed but always funky Louisiana feel. "I saw a butterfly and I named it after you..." That´s producer and ´6th member of The Band´ John Simon on piano on the exquisite I Must Be In A Good Place Now.

Official members of The Band make an appearance here too: Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel and Rick Danko all play on assorted tracks. Grow Too Old was written by Charles with Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew. Good company, but hey, Charles just happened to be the author of See You Later, Alligator back in the fifties, so he could throw some weight around I guess. That saxophone´s way too bland though, which is what you get when you hire David Sanborn for the job. Strange choice, but as it´s the only flaw here we can easily live with it.

Bobby Charles - I Must Be In A Good Place Now MP3
Bobby Charles - Grow Too Old MP3

While we´re on the subject of The Band, let´s hear it for Danko/Manuel, a beautiful and heartfelt ballad by the Drive-By Truckers from their much recommended ´01 Southern Rock Opera album.
"Can you hear that singing, sounds like gold...
Maybe I can hear poor Richard from the grave,
singin' where to reap and when to sow...
When you've found another home you have to leave."

Drive-By Truckers - Danko/Manuel MP3

And to wrap this up, here are the two Band members in question, both sadly no longer with us. Whispering Pines was the showpiece of pianist and sometime drummer Richard Manuel (´43-´86). Find it on The Band´s eponymous second album. "Foghorn through the night, calling out to sea..." Amazing vocal. Grow Too Old (yup, same one) hails from a posthumously released album called Whispering Pines, Live At The Getaway Saugerties NY, recorded on 12 October ´85. Check out that piano. Bassist Rick Danko (´42-´99) sings lead on The Unfaithful Servant, also from that classic ´brown album´. "It´s no ones fault, makes no difference if we fade away, it´s just as it was, it´s much to cold for me to stay..."

The Band - Whispering Pines MP3
Richard Manuel - Grow Too Old (live ´85) MP3
The Band - The Unfaithful Servant MP3

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Uncle T´s Last Stand

Have been playing this blistering boot a lot lately, and I keep wondering why on earth it hasn´t gotten an official release just yet. The time sure seems right as the Uncle Tupelo legend lives on. They may not exactly have gotten the popularity they deserved during their existence (´87-´94), but nowadays almost everybody knows they more or less single-handedly defined the alt country genre, while the trio´s legacy keeps influencing loads of young gunslingers with loud guitars and crazy honky tonk hearts everywhere.

Their back catalogue has been milked pretty thoroughly by now - the first 3 albums were re-released with bonus tracks, while a best-of collection saw the light as well a few years back - and their offshoots are doing just fine. As you all know, Jeff Tweedy´s Wilco is one of the biggest bands around, and while Jay Farrar´s Son Volt may not be that famous, it´s still a well-respected combo that has released some pretty great music over the past few years.

So I guess it´s high time the registration of their last ever concert, which has been doing the rounds in collector´s circles for years now as the excellent sounding Not Forever, Just For Now, was made available to everybody. Because as strained as the relationship between Tweedy and Farrar may have been during their farewell tour, that final show - Mississippi Nights, St. Louis on May first, ´94 - was full of fire. Not just worth preserving for historical reasons, although there´s something to be said for that as well, but worthy in its own right.

Here´s some proof. Two powerful performances of their own compositions, complemented with two great covers. Atomic Power is a Louvin Brothers original (with great fiddle!), while Give Back The Key To My Heart was penned by Doug Sahm. Yup, them boys from Belleville had mighty good taste...

Uncle Tupelo - Watch Me Fall (live St. Louis 1-5-´94) MP3
Uncle Tupelo - Atomic Power (live St. Louis 1-5-´94) MP3
Uncle Tupelo - Give Back The Key To My Heart (live St. Louis 1-5-´94) MP3
Uncle Tupelo - Whiskey Bottle (live St. Louis 1-5-´94) MP3

Sunday, November 9, 2008

People Take Warning! pt.3: Man V Man (And Woman, Too)

It´s time to scream some bloody murder... In this third and final post about the amazing People Take Warning! box set (see below for the others) we´re going to take a closer look at disc 3, which is called ´Man V Man (And Woman, Too)´. The best of them all in my not so humble opinion, featuring lots of amazing murder ballads from that golden age 1913-1938. Take warning, y´all!

From the liner notes: "...performers of these songs early on learned that to stimulate sales of broadsides (one page song sheets hawked at the conclusion of a performance), natural calamities did well, murder ballads did better, and murder ballads written in the first person (with their voyeuristic ´you-are-there´ feel) did best of all. And if the murders could be related to the elimination of an unwanted pregnant lover - as so many seemed to be - so much the better". 

"Railroad Bill, ought to be killed, never worked and he never will, now I´m gonna ride, my Railroad Bill..."
Morris ´Railroad Bill´ Slater (that´s him pictured above, on the ´cooling board´) actually used to work in the terpentine plantations of Southern Alabama, but later took to robbing trains. He was gunned down in March 1897 by a railroad detective while eating crackers and cheese on the porch of a general store in Atmore, Alabama. The whites demonized him as a ´notorious negro desperado´, while the blacks saw him as a kind of black Robin Hood.
"Got a thirty-eight special on a forty-four frame, how in the world can I miss him when I´ve got dead aim, now I´m gonna ride, my Railroad Bill..."
That thirty-eight special type of gun Will Bennett´s powerful song (from 1929) mentions was actually introduced years after Railroad Bill got killed, but what the hell.

"Frankie went out a-walkin´, she did not go for fun...
For under her apron she had concealed a forty-four gatling gun...
Gonna murder the man... that done me wrong."
A great version of this oft-performed song by the splendidly named Dykes Magic City Trio. Here the tune´s called Frankie, but over the years it also became known as Frankie And Johnny or Frankie And Albert. It´s not known if this classic story of a jealous shooting was based on a true event, but with a song this good, who cares.

Frank Dupree had a girlfriend named Betty, and she wanted him to show her how much he loved her by giving her a diamond. Since he had no funds, he proceeded to steal one from an Atlanta jewelry store in 1921. Dupree fled to Memphis and later to Chicago, but the windy city brought him no luck whatshowever. Cornered there, he killed a detective named Walker (no relation to the singer of this song I presume) and wounded several other policemen. Caught sometime later while getting his mail, Dupree was sent to Atlanta for trial and executed for murder on September 1, 1922. "See here, mama, what you caused me to do?" Great song, great vocals, great guitar playing, and that second vocal - by an unknown accompanist - really is the cream on the cake.

Will Bennett - Railroad Bill MP3
Dykes Magic City Trio - Frankie MP3
Willie Walker - Dupree Blues MP3

Friday, November 7, 2008

Just A Little Green

As it´s Joni Mitchell´s birthday today, let´s celebrate with a couple of nice live performances from my beloved Canadian soprano. The songs below were recorded at the Second Fret club in Philly back in ´67, when she was still ´a little green´.

Joni Mitchell - Little Green (live 12 Oct. ´67 Second Fret, Philadelphia) MP3
Joni Mitchell - Marcy (live 12 Oct. ´67 Second Fret, Philadelphia) MP3
Joni Mitchell - Go Tell The Drummer Man (live 12 Oct. ´67 Second Fret, Philadelphia) MP3

Thursday, November 6, 2008

People Take Warning! pt. 2: Man V Nature

The second disc from the labour of love that is the People Take Warning! box set - for the first one, see my post below - is called ´Man V Nature´ and deals with natural disasters. Floods. Fires. Epidemics. Hurricanes and cyclones. Earthquakes. And dude, lets not forget that nasty boll weavil. 

From the foreword by Tom Waits: " These are emotional obits and cautionary tales by brave and sobered survivors. The scratches on the 78´s sound like the ocean in a shell and the songs are riding inside across time..." Here are some highlights. Take warning, people.

"The water´s gonna come and I´ll have no place to stay..." Decades before Led Zep, Kansas Joe & Memphis Minnie performed their When The Levee Breaks, a fantastic song about the mighty Mississippi flood of 1927. That great lead guitar is played by Minnie btw, a real blues pioneer. Go gal, go!

"The boll weevil said to the doctor: you can put out your little pills...
But when I get through with the farmer, he can´t pay no doctor bills..."
The boll weevil sure was no joke back in the day. It had migrated into the US from Mexico in the late 19th century and by the 1920s had infested all American cotton-growing areas, devastating the industry. Fiddlin´ John Carson´s song about that ole boll weevil is very funny though. Especially when he replaces the expected rhyme of ´hell´ with ´Griffin, Georgia´ at the end of the song.
"The boll weevil says to the farmer: I certainly wish you well,
the farmer says to the boll weevil: I wish you was in... Griffin, Georgia."

"The wind was like like a demon that tore across the land..." On a ´warm September night´ in 1928, the hurricane San Felipe hit Puerto Rico. Carson Robinson released his song about the disaster - that left more than forty people dead and the whole island in disarray - exactly two weeks after the event. Pretty fast, no? "And we should all remember each one must meet his fate, and get right with our maker before it is too late."

Next up: People Take Warning! pt 3. Murder ballads galore! Watch this space...

Kansas Joe & Memphis Minnie - When The Levee Breaks MP3
Fiddlin´ John Carson - Dixie Boll Weevil MP3
Carson Robinson Trio - The Porto Rico Storm MP3

Sunday, November 2, 2008

People Take Warning! pt. 1: Man V Machine

The great Nick Tosches, one of my fave writers on music, boxing, the mob and a lot of other subjects, recently said the following about the People Take Warning! box set: "I've been sitting here watching the remains of this short-lived country go down the drain, and there is no better soundtrack to this than People Take Warning!, a grand and beautiful set - in every sense, from the remastered recordings to the notes to the extraordinary design work - that gives perspective both to these days and those of the past. This is white-hot history, a danse macabre, and, above all, a wealth of great old and timeless music."

Can´t agree more, Nick. People Take Warning!, subtitled ´Murder Ballads & Disaster Songs, 1913-1938´, is a treasure trove of lovingly compiled old 78´s that sounds absolutely timeless. Released last year on the tiny Tompkins Square label, there´s some overlap with other compilations of the period such as Harry Smith´s Anthology Of American Folk Music, but not nearly so much to give it a miss.

The informative and beautifully designed booklet includes a foreword by none other than Tom Waits. "All are contained here: tragic chronicles of the perils of being human. Songs that are roadside graves dug quickly with crosses made from kindling while the grief was still fresh," he writes, and he´s right on the mark. In the era they were recorded (often mere days after a certain incident took place), these songs more or less served as newspaper articles.

We´re talking about a three disc set here, all with their own theme. Disc 2 is entitled Man V Nature and covers songs about natural disasters such as floods, epidemics and tornadoes. Disc 3 is called Man V Man (And Woman, Too) and deals exclusively with murder. In this post, let´s take a look at the first disc, Man V Machine, which is all about train wrecks, crashing cars and planes, and of course sinking ships, with special attention to the Titanic disaster.

Wreck Of The Old 97 is probably the most famous of all old time disaster songs. Johnny Cash played it a lot. It´s about the crash of mail train #97, which ran off the track and fell into a ravine somewhere in Virginia back in 1903. Nine people were killed. "They were goin' down the grade makin' 90 miles an hour, when his whistle broke into a scream... He was found in the wreck with his hand on the throttle, and scalded to death by the steam."

A great lonesome whistle serves as the intro to Cliff Carlisle´s Wreck Of Number 52, which chronicles the event of a trainfull of cattle getting derailed when it struck a spike left on the track by a small boy at play. "On his deathbed Allen lay from the burns he got that day, his wife and his children by his side... Then he heard the Master call, and he left them one and all, for Allen had taken his last ride." 

Down With The Old Canoe is one of many great songs about that seemingly infallible ship hitting the fateful iceberg, and probably my favorite of them all. "They all went down to never rise no more..." The concept of calling the Titanic an old canoe alone is priceless...

Watch this space for People Take Warning! pts. 2 and 3, containing many more goodies of the Depression era. Soon!

Skillet Lickers - Wreck Of The Old 97 MP3
Cliff Carlisle - Wreck Of Number 52 MP3
Dixon Brothers - Down With The Old Canoe MP3