Old dog learns new trick

That old dog would be moi, seeing as how a six-string lap/pedal steel guitar—SIMULATED pedal steel, more like, since I ain’t seeing any foot or knee involvement, as is required with your conventional pedal steel—is something I never saw before.

Man, that ain’t nothing but a sweet, sweet one minute-seventeen seconds of pure country-music Heaven right there. From here, looks like he’s using a Gretsch Filtertron-style pickup on that home-style beastie, perhaps a TV Jones Magnatron, even. Veddy interesting, too, how he has that stainless-steel plate bolted overtop the bridge p/u to keep the heel of his right hand up off of it, thus avoiding any inadvertent dampening of strings he doesn’t want dampened. Altogether ingenius, the whole setup.

MOAR NEW TRICKS update! Dug through the comments to see if I could maybe pick up more info on this remarkable instrument, and damned if I didn’t. Ladies and germs, I present to you…the Duesenberg Fairytale!


Its innovation on countless aspects from the integrated capo nut down to the versatile Multibender bridge system leaves this lapsteel without competition.

“The minute I picked up the Duesenberg Lapsteel I was hooked.

This is a lapsteel that is a complete joy to play,

even if you’ve never picked up a slide before.”

– John Mayer

I don’t doubt it. Clearly, this beaut is made for the serious player who knows exactly what he not only wants but needs from his axe.

The Multibender is an integrated string bending device that can be configured to do a number of different things.

It is used for bending specific strings up or down a semi- or full tone, all done with the heel of your hand while playing. This comes in handy for changing chords from minor to major or all kinds of other intervals. The Multibender takes up to five levers (additional levers available seperately) which can all be set up to do different things.

I said it once, I’ll say it again: remarkable. Also, ingenious. What a wonderful world this can be, no?



Johnny Cash, Travis Tritt, Marty Stuart, and Mark O’Connor’s blazing, inspired sequel to Charlie Daniels’ classic mega-hit, which follow-up I must confess I’d never heard of before.

WHOA, that’s good squishy! But…can it really be 45 years since the original was first released? I can’t believe it; dammit, I WON’T believe it!

(Via Bayou Peter)

Update! In keeping with my long-cherished belief that one good Charlie Daniels tune deserves another, here’s my friend Bart Lattimore with his own re-imagining of another CDB classic.

Back in the day, I used to play backup for Bart on the regular, and came up with a swampy-sounding electric guitar riff (think the intro to the Blasters’ “Dark Night” wedded to CCR’s “Run Through The Jungle,” say; I certainly did) which set this tune off quite nicely, if I do say so myself…and I do.

Nicely enough, in fact, that the BPs ended up adopting his/our version to close our encore sets out with. On the frequent occasions when Bart opened shows for us, he’d sometimes join in and sing it with us, which was always a heck of a lot of fun. Alas, I checked, and there appears to be no Innarwebs-available video record of those BPs/Lattimore collaborations, which is a crying shame. They exist only in my own dusty, cobwebby memory now, and possibly Bart’s.

Updated update! What the hey, since I figger many of y’all won’t be familiar with the Blasters, enjoy yourselves a latter-day live rendition of “Dark Night.”

Blasters fans out there, if any, will realize right away that the above video ain’t them, and they’d be right about that. It’s Blasters lead singer/rhythm guitarist Phil Alvin wailing away in Pittsburgh with what I can only assume are some local unsung bar-band heroes. As it happens, Phil was also on the bill for the BPs farewell performance at CLT’s Neighborhood Theater seven years ago or thereabouts. A genuinely nice guy, Phil Alvin is—warm, friendly, sincere, not a jot or tittle of ego, pretense, or arrogance about the man.


Chevy’s in the Driveway, and Oliver Has a New Song

Another good one, mixed with dogs and Chevrolet’s. The man is the real deal.

Via: Gateway Pundit

Controversy! My wife informs me that some places call the song “Brink of War”.

I have checked his youtube channel and “I Want To Go Home” is correct.


The Oliver Anthony story

In his own words, straight from the horse’s mouth.

Im sitting in such a weird place in my life right now. I never wanted to be a full time musician, much less sit at the top of the iTunes charts. Draven from RadioWv and I filmed these tunes on my land with the hope that it may hit 300k views. I still don’t quite believe what has went on since we uploaded that. It’s just strange to me. 

People in the music industry give me blank stares when I brush off 8 million dollar offers. I don’t want 6 tour buses, 15 tractor trailers and a jet. I don’t want to play stadium shows, I don’t want to be in the spotlight. I wrote the music I wrote because I was suffering with mental health and depression. These songs have connected with millions of people on such a deep level because they’re being sung by someone feeling the words in the very moment they were being sung. No editing, no agent, no bullshit. Just some idiot and his guitar. The style of music that we should have never gotten away from in the first place. 

So that being said, I have never taken the time to tell you who I actually am. Here’s a formal introduction:

My legal name is Christopher Anthony Lunsford. My grandfather was Oliver Anthony, and “Oliver Anthony Music” is a dedication not only to him, but 1930’s Appalachia where he was born and raised. Dirt floors, seven kids, hard times. At this point, I’ll gladly go by Oliver because everyone knows me as such. But my friends and family still call me Chris. You can decide for yourself, either is fine. 

In 2010, I dropped out of high school at age 17. I have a GED from Spruce Pine, NC. I worked multiple plant jobs in Western NC, my last being at the paper mill in McDowell county. I worked 3rd shift, 6 days a week for $14.50 an hour in a living hell. In 2013, I had a bad fall at work and fractured my skull. It forced me to move back home to Virginia. Due to complications from the injury, it took me 6 months or so before I could work again. 

From 2014 until just a few days ago, I’ve worked outside sales in the industrial manufacturing world. My job has taken me all over Virginia and into the Carolinas, getting to know tens of thousands of other blue collar workers on job sites and in factories. Ive spent all day, everyday, for the last 10 years hearing the same story. People are SO damn tired of being neglected, divided and manipulated. 

In 2019, I paid $97,500 for the property and still owe about $60,000 on it. I am living in a 27′ camper with a tarp on the roof that I got off of craigslist for $750.

There’s nothing special about me. I’m not a good musician, I’m not a very good person. I’ve spent the last 5 years struggling with mental health and using alcohol to drown it. I am sad to see the world in the state it’s in, with everyone fighting with each other. I have spent many nights feeling hopeless, that the greatest country on Earth is quickly fading away.

FAIR WARNING: the link is to a post on Anthony’s Fakeberg page, if that’s a problem for ya. This once, it wasn’t for me.

I’ve seen some speculation here and there that Anthony is in reality some kind of false-flag sleeper agent for TPTB, but I can’t honestly say I buy it myself; his story rings true enough to me, especially knowing as I do how these lightning-in-a-bottle moments work in the music biz, and how commonly they actually do occur.

And, per John Nolte, those jackwagons at NRO can STILL kiss my baggy, white ass.

(Via Insty)


Why, as a matter of fact NO, Jason Aldean didn’t “sell out” or “cave”

Faux News did.

Aldean has stood behind his song and its message, and the attempts to cancel it have only made it more popular.

But now some people are reporting that Aldean caved to the woke mob by removing footage of a Black Lives Matter riot from the music video of “Try That in a Small Town.”

“Jason Aldean caved under pressure and removed all the Black Lives Matter footage from his music video despite receiving an outpouring of support from conservatives. So much for that. There are no more heroes,” lamented journalist Ian Miles Cheong. “Gotta have it both ways by pretending to be based for that cash, while folding to the woke in this business if you wanna keep getting invited to the Grammy’s [sic].”

“Jason Aldean quietly edited out the BLM rioters from his ‘controversial’ music video,” Brigitte Gabriel of ACT for America observed. “Very disappointing to see him cave to the woke mob.”

But that’s not what happened at all. According to a report from TMZ, the BLM riot footage used in the Aldean video came from Fox 5 in Atlanta, and the production company behind the video didn’t get the proper legal clearance to use the footage.

From the story Margolis links:

Sources connected to the music video production tell TMZ…back when they were producing the video, the company that produced it reached out to FOX on May 8 and asked for permission to use the 6 seconds of video shot by FOX 5 Atlanta…showing violence at a BLM rally.

We’re told the folks at FOX asked for more information … specifically the lyrics of the song. We’re told the production company sent FOX a link to the song — which was released May 19 — but the protocol was to send the lyrics in writing, which they never did.

Our sources say a week ago, FOX reached out to the production company and asked them to remove the video to avoid any legal action — which was described to us as a “polite ultimatum” — and the production company complied.

And there you have it; as always, the truth will out, though it may take a minute doing so. But also as per usual, the Left will use any lie they must so as to paper over the truth and claim another “victory” for themselves—even as flimsy, easily-disproven a one as this. Back over to Matt for the finisher, and the lesson to be learned, remembered, and always borne closely in mind.

So, this wasn’t about caving to the woke mob. This was Aldean’s production company being sloppy and not getting permission to use the footage included in the video. While there have been plenty of times conservatives have been rightfully disappointed by someone caving to the woke mob, this wasn’t one of those moments, and conservatives shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions.

Exactly, precisely so. They win enough as it is, without us pre-emptively surrendering when there’s no need for it, reflexively throwing one of our own under the bus at their behest. FUCK all that noise.


This. This right here

In his weekly Sunday Music post, Aesop embeds the Jason Aldean and Austin Moody protest songs I’ve covered here, before going on to tell it like it truly is.

Anybody bitch-slapping the Leftards, and getting rich doing it, deserves a hearty “Hell, yeah!” Libtards hate this, because anytime they’re getting stuck by any genre of music, it underlines that their whacktard kneejerk orthodoxy has become The Man.

That’s about the size of it, yeah. I went a little out of my way in the posts here to indicate my dislike for contemporary country music, much though I do love the great old trad stuff from 50s legends like Faron Young, Ray Price, Jimmie Rodgers, et al. No matter; as Aesop says, Aldean, Moody, any and every other artist who’s willing to stand athwart “liberalism” and yell STOP! is certainly a-okay by me, regardless of what genre-furrow they might be plowing.

Update! Completely unrelated, except insofar as it was gleaned from another regularly-scheduled Sunday music post. But oh my goodness GRACIOUS, this is some wild, wild stuff right here.

The backstory, courtesy of the esteemed and estimable Bayou Peter:

Richard Cheese and his band, “Lounge Against The Machine”, have been performing rock and pop hits in the style of big-band “swing” for more than two decades. The person behind the persona, if I can put it like that, is Mark Jonathan Davis, and his backing band includes Bobby Ricotta, Frank Feta and Billy Bleu. All the stage names, of course, are wordplays on the subject of cheese.

I have to admire their creativity in transforming well-known tunes and songs into a whole new genre of music. I’ve selected just four this morning, to introduce you to their work, but there are dozens more.

Crazy, man, crazy, as the kids used to say. I confess I didn’t listen to the other three over at Pete’s place because I simply can’t abide the original songs, but I’m sure Cheese improved on ‘em a great deal.

Both kinds, country AND western

In the course of a discussion on country music both trad and *ugh* contemporary over at Sido’s place, I was moved to respond to Outlaws Forever’s comment thusly:


This in turn got me headed over to YewToob to reacquaint myself with a few Ray Price songs, when up popped a BPs cover of his classic “Crazy Arms” amongst the rest of the flawless tunage.

Pretty decent homage if you ask me, which of course nobody did.

Update! Moar country-music rebellion.

Another Anti-Woke Country Anthem Is Shooting Up The Charts
As Jason Aldean’s “Try That In A Small Town” continues to top country music charts in the face of backlash from left-wing entities, another anti-woke country anthem is also enjoying its own surge to the top.

“I’m Just Sayin’” by Nashville-based artist Austin Moody — a song that critiques radical positions on crime, gender ideology and college indoctrination — currently holds the number seven slot on iTunes’ top 40 country chart. “I’m just sayin’, have we all lost our minds?” reads the chorus of the song meant to reflect what many think in private, but feel unable to say in the face of pressure from powerful groups and institutions.

“I am absolutely floored by the response I’ve gotten on the song,” Moody told Breitbart News. “It just proves to me there’s still a strong moral compass in this country, and it means that honesty and freedom cannot be independent. You have to be honest even if it costs you.”

In a previous interview, Moody told Breitbart that he felt compelled to write the song due to the creeping influence of woke ideology in popular country music circles. Those sentiments were immediately validated just days after the interview, as Country Music TV (CMT) opted to remove Jason Aldean’s viral “Try That In A Small Town” music video from its lineup.

“Over the past couple years, I’ve been convicted. Seeing a lot of things happening in this country that I don’t agree with. You sit back and think, ‘what can I do about this?’” Moody said. “All I could hope for is when people hear ‘I’m Just Sayin,’’ they just know it was written to say we’ve had enough. We live in a society bent on the destruction of the individual. If you don’t fall in line you’ll be cancelled or destroyed.”

The Tennessee native went on to add that the birth of his daughter was another massive inspiration to write the song. “In today’s world, what we’re dealing with, it’s not just about politics. It’s about a darkness that’s now coming for our children. I’ve got a 15-month-old daughter. I don’t want her growing up in a liberal-run America,” he said.

Well said, sir. May I say, you have the right idea: jumping on these Woke fucksticks before they can infiltrate the House of Country Music like the termites they are and bring it crashing down on all your heads is definitely the way to go. The rest of the country failed to do so, and just look where THAT got us.

Still no big fan of contemporary country music, and I certainly mean no insult to Jason Aldean, but I gotta say I like Moody’s song better than I do Aldean’s.

I sincerely wish both Jason Aldean and Austin Moody nothing but the best. May you both enjoy all the success in the world, fellas. For courageously taking your stand and standing your ground in such parlous, trying times, you richly deserve it.

Inside-baseball addendum: Lest anyone think this is a hurry-up job by Moody hoping to jump on a bandwagon which Aldean had already gotten rolling, y’all should know that that is NOT the way things work in the music biz. Or at least, not that quickly, anyhow. The song being released just recently means that Moody has almost certainly been working on it for at least a year, if not longer.

He would have to have been, what with composing and editing, bringing it to the band for rehearsals, then booking studio time for tracking and overdubs, mixing, and final mastering all needing to take place before the first CD is even pressed and shipped—a very time-intensive process in and of its own self. Cover art; decisions on the J-card layout, track-listing order, and credits; running it all by the label people for their approval—nosirreebob, don’t think for a second that all this gets done in the blink of an eye.

Getting your music out there to the public, whatever genre you may be working in, is in fact a long, laborious, painstaking process, involving a whole lot of gears that have to mesh before anything happens, IF it happens. There’s a blue million ways it can all fall apart and come to naught, too.

On the upside, though, the day when you finally do get your hands on that first CD and rush down to your favorite watering hole to show off the long-awaited fruits of your labor to all your friends is a frabjous one indeed. All the horizonless hours of frustration, weariness, and self-doubt wash right away like dirt down a shower drain; you open that first box of what the record-label maggots, in their deadened-soul unmindfulness, refer to as “product” with your hands literally a-tremble and the hair on the back of your neck standing straight up, no fooling. There’s no feeling like it in all the world, there truly isn’t.

Updated update! Just checked out the above-referenced Breitbart piece, when what to my wondering eyes should appear but this:

“I’m going to use what God gave me to try to say the right thing. So far, the response has been positive,” Moody says. He also understands what a blessing (it is) to have his wife — Jennifer Wayne, granddaughter of the late film icon John Wayne — as an occasional writing partner.

Because of COURSE she’s the Duke’s granddaughter. A one hundred percent all-American family unit for sure and certain. Bold mine, natch.


Try that in a small town

A tip of the CF Stetson (not that I actually HAVE one, unnerstand) to country crooner Jason Aldean, for telling it like it is.

Jason Aldean’s Rocking Country Song ‘Try That in a Small Town’ Makes Liberal Heads Explode, He Claps Back
Country music star Jason Aldean dropped a song in May, but it seems like a memo went out among the liberal press because they’re suddenly freaking out that it slams woke blue violent cities and the 2020 George Floyd riots while daring to honor gun ownership and small-town values. Ooh, can’t do that.

Here are the lyrics for the first two verses (all caps are his from his YouTube posting. Read the rest there):



Predictably, the left has gone nuts, accusing Aldean of racism and any other of the usual buzzwords they can come up with…Aldean issued a lengthy response to critics Tuesday afternoon:

In the past 24 hours I have been accused of releasing a pro-lynching song (a song that has been out since May) and was subject to the comparison that I (direct quote) was not too pleased with the nationwide BLM protests. These references are not only meritless, but dangerous. There is not a single lyric in the song that references race or points to it- and there isn’t a single video clip that isn’t real news footage -and while I can try and respect others to have their own interpretation of a song with music- this one goes too far.

As so many pointed out, I was present at Route 91-where so many lost their lives- and our community recently suffered another heartbreaking tragedy. NO ONE, including me, wants to continue to see senseless headlines or families ripped apart.

Try That In A Small Town, for me, refers to the feeling of a community that I had growing up, where we took care of our neighbors, regardless of differences of background or belief. Because they were our neighbors, and that was above any differences. My political views have never been something I’ve hidden from, and I know that a lot of us in this Country don’t agree on how we get back to a sense of normalcy where we go at least a day without a headline that keeps us up at night. But the desire for it to- that’s what this song is about.

These days, the Left considers virtually everything they don’t like to be racist or related to White Supremacy. In my view, this rocking song is pointing out that the lawlessness happening in our big cities is simply unacceptable and un-American, and owning a firearm is a First Amendment right. And guess what, folks—he’s allowed to like small-town living; it isn’t a crime.

Well, not yet, anyway. There’s a vid of Aldean’s instant classic at the link if you’re so inclined. Not being a fan of contemporary rock-flavored country music myself it really isn’t my cup of tea, but as always YMMV. What the hell, anything that makes Sniveling Shitlibs weep and wail so lugubriously is a-okay with moi.


Glen Campbell, overrated?

Not hardly, chump. UNDERrated, if anything.

Was Glen Campbell a highly overrated guitar player? Isn’t it true that country music is the least complex and simplest to play? The man certainly didn’t have the technical skill to play metal or anything more difficult. Do you agree?
When Eddie Van Halen asks for guitar lessons (via comments made directly by Alice Cooper), it’s a pretty good bet you have something significant to offer. Alice said that Eddie Van Halen did exactly that regarding Glen Campbell.

Glen Campbell was beyond impressive and nary a whiff of distortion to hide behind.

Also, you don’t play with the Wrecking Crew if you are overrated. Just sayin’.

True, dat. But who is/was this Wrecking Crew of whom he speaks, you ask? Oh, just this.

The Wrecking Crew were a group of all-purpose, highly revered studio musicians who appeared on thousands of popular records – including massive hits such as “Mr. Tambourine Man” by The Byrds and “California Dreamin’” by The Mamas And The Papas. The instrumental work by this group of session men (and one woman) defined the sound of popular music on radio during the 60s and early 70s, meaning The Wrecking Crew can reasonably lay claim to being the most-recorded band in history.

The exact number of musicians in the loose collective of Los Angeles session musicians known as The Wrecking Crew is not known, partly because of the informal nature of the hiring and also because much of their work went uncredited. Three of their key members were the magnificent session drummer Hal Blaine, bassist and guitarist Carol Kaye (one of the few female session players in that era), and guitarist Tommy Tedesco.

Among the leading musicians who were members at various times were: Earl Palmer, Barney Kessel, Plas Johnson, Al Casey, Glen Campbell, James Burton, Leon Russell, Larry Knechtel, Jack Nitzsche, Mike Melvoin, Don Randi, Al DeLory, Billy Strange, Howard Roberts, Jerry Cole, Louie Shelton, Mike Deasy, Bill Pitman, Lyle Ritz, Chuck Berghofer, Joe Osborn, Ray Pohlman, Jim Gordon, Chuck Findley, Ollie Mitchell, Lew McCreary, Jay Migliori, Jim Horn, Steve Douglas, Allan Beutler, Roy Caton, and Jackie Kelso.

The great James Burton, just to home in one of those many standout names, was Elvis Presley’s lead guitarist for many years, and a total badass he was, too.

Burton plays better and with more precision behind his damned head than most of us do with the guitar in its usual position. Back before joining up with Elvis in the waning days of the King’s glory, of course, Burton also played on all those great old Ricky Nelson hits way back when, among an incredible roster of others. Happily, the Master of the Telecaster is still with us, alive and kicking at 83 years young.

James Edward Burton (born August 21, 1939, in Dubberly, Louisiana) is an American guitarist. A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since 2001 (his induction speech was given by longtime fan Keith Richards), Burton has also been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. Critic Mark Deming writes that “Burton has a well-deserved reputation as one of the finest guitar pickers in either country or rock … Burton is one of the best guitar players to ever touch a fretboard.” He is ranked number 19 in Rolling Stone list of 100 Greatest Guitarists.

Since the 1950s, Burton has recorded and performed with an array of singers, including Bob Luman, Dale Hawkins, Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley (and was leader of Presley’s TCB Band), The Everly Brothers, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Glen Campbell, John Denver, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, Judy Collins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Claude King, Elvis Costello, Joe Osborn, Roy Orbison, Joni Mitchell, Hoyt Axton, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Young, Vince Gill, and Suzi Quatro.

Impressive credentials in anybody’s book—anybody who knows what the hell he’s talking about, anyway. But before I forget, let’s get back to Glen Campbell and his by-no-means-inconsiderable guitar-pickin’ chops.

Yeah, like I said: UNDERrated, if anything. With tasty, countrified-jazz riffage like that in his pocket, ready to be whipped out and sprayed across the landscape anytime he needed ‘em, Glen Campbell was about as “overrated” a guitarslinger as the incomparable Roy Clark was.

They just ain’t making guitar wizards like Glen or Roy anymore, folks, and that’s a crying shame.

Update! Well, I shoulda known such a thing would exist out there, but looky what just popped up coinkydinkally in my YewToob after the Roy Clark vids I was listening to as background music for post-writing were done.

I gots no idea why, but Campbell seemed to favor those weirdo Ovation electrics, like the 12-string he’s working over in the above vid. In fact, it appears that he had a longstanding endorsement deal with Ovation to produce a cpl-three Glen Campbell signature-model guitars. Bizarre, if you ask me. But then, I never have been big on them Ovations, and I damned sure ain’t no Glen Campbell, so what the hell do I know?

“Overrated”? In a pig’s eye. Pull the other one, bright boy, it has a big ol’ bell on it.

Wierderer and wierderer update! That mention of Alice Cooper in the Glen Campbell context above? Yeah, well, just get a load of this right here.

Campbell’s was a remarkable career but was not without its share of tragedy. His popularity both soared and waned. He battled the demons of alcoholism and drug addiction, only to emerge a better man. Illness eventually robbed him of his memory. But through it all, Glen was always revered by other musicians. One of whom was shock rock pioneer Alice Cooper. Campbell and Cooper became friends in the 1980s when both had moved to Phoenix, trying to escape destructive lifestyles. The two men remained friends for the rest of Campbell’s life. In this 2017 interview, Alice Cooper reflects upon the unlikely relationship and beautiful bond he had with his friend Glen Campbell.

“You think of Glen, country; Alice Cooper, rock and roll; we couldn’t have been closer.” Cooper elaborated, “It was unique in the fact that I was so far away from him in music, the character of Alice Cooper, and he was so far into the middle. Really mainstream rock and roll, you know. He could go hang out with the Rat Pack, or he could hang out with Donnie and Marie, or he could hang out with the Beatles or anybody. He was in that middle, he was that sort of all purpose, good-looking kid that could do anything. He was the golden boy. And yet him and I were like this when it came to sense of humor, when it came to golf, when it came to music.”

“It was one of those things where I’d be playing golf with him, and this was when he was in good shape, he was out touring, and he was playing guitar and he was playing golf every day, and he was doing Branson. Every once in a while, he would tell me a joke on the first tee. And then on about the fourth tee, he’d tell me the same joke again. And then about the 16th hole, he would tell me the joke again. And we would all just kind of go ‘well, maybe he’s just forgetful’. We could just see the beginnings of it, of him slipping a little bit.”

“We were telling jokes,” Cooper remembered, “I told him a joke, and he was laughing his head off. Came back about 10 minutes later and he says, ‘Tell me that joke again.’ I tell him the joke. He came back like five times.”

“Yet, you put a guitar in his hand, and he was a virtuoso. You would get him on stage, and he was automatic. I don’t care how much he had slipped; he was there. When it came to that, he was there.”

“We were both songwriters. We were both musicians. We were both in the business 50 years. So, we understood the business.” Alice would go on to say, “I loved being with Glen. I loved playing golf with him. He had a million stories about his world. And I had a million stories about my world. In other words, he would tell me a story about Roger Miller. And Bobby Goldsboro. And this guy, and this guy. And I’d laugh and I’d say, ‘Okay, I’ll tell you a good one on Paul McCartney and Jimi Hendrix’. We could both tell a lot of stories because we were both in those different worlds. And sometimes it crossed over. We did know all the same people. We knew the Sinatras, and we knew Elvis Presley. We both knew the Beatles so a lot of it was just telling stories about the stuff that happened to us. And Glen had some good ones. He got around.”

“I always said as an amateur, 60 yards in, the best player I ever played with. He was a master short game player. We had some really fun times. I played at least one or two times a week with Glen when he lived here.”

“You know if Glen called up and was like, ‘Alice, let’s play tomorrow?’ I’d go, ‘absolutely, let’s go.’” said Cooper. “I loved being with Glen.”

Whodaevvathunkit, huh? What an amazing, heartwarming story. Strange bedfellows, perhaps. But one can only be happy for them that somehow, against all odds, they found each other and developed such a beautiful friendship to gladden their hearts and lighten their burden just that little bit extra.

Deep dive update! Okay, I’m really down the rabbit hole here, but the mention earlier of the Wrecking Crew got me to thinking about some of the great session groups of yore: Booker T & the MGs, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, the Mar-Keys, &c. To wit:

Session musicians (also known as studio musicians or backing musicians) are musicians that are hired to perform in recording sessions and/or live performances. The term sideman is also used in the case of live performances, such as accompanying a recording artist on a tour. Session musicians are usually not permanent or official members of a musical ensemble or band. They work behind the scenes and rarely achieve individual fame in their own right as soloists or bandleaders. However, top session musicians are well known within the music industry, and some have become publicly recognized, such as the Wrecking Crew, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and The Funk Brothers who worked with Motown Records.

Many session musicians specialize in playing common rhythm section instruments such as guitar, piano, bass, or drums. Others are specialists, and play brass, woodwinds, and strings. Many session musicians play multiple instruments, which lets them play in a wider range of musical situations, genres and styles. Examples of “doubling” include double bass and electric bass, acoustic guitar and mandolin, piano and accordion, and saxophone and other woodwind instruments.

Session musicians are used when musical skills are needed on a short-term basis. Typically session musicians are used by recording studios to provide backing tracks for other musicians for recording sessions and live performances; recording music for advertising, film, television, and theatre. In the 2000s, the terms “session musician” and “studio musician” are synonymous, though in past decades, “studio musician” meant a musician associated with a single record company, recording studio or entertainment agency.

Session musicians may play in a wide range of genres or specialize in a specific genre (e.g. country music or jazz). Some session musicians with a Classical music background may focus on film score recordings. Even within a specific genre specialization, there may be even more focused sub-specializations. For example, a sub-specialization within trumpet session players is “high note specialist”.

The working schedule for session musicians often depends on the terms set out by musicians’ unions or associations, as these organizations typically set out rules on performance schedules (e.g. regarding length of session and breaks). The length of employment may be as short as a single day, in the case of a recording a brief demo song, or as long as several weeks, if an album or film score is being recorded.

Thanks to my then-gf’s best friend Neil working out of Hit Factory, I got called in myself for some occasional—VERY occasional, they had plenty of bigger and better names than mine on the in-house Rolodex—session work there when I lived in NYC. It was…demanding, to say the very least. Extremely so, in fact. Nonetheless, I loved every minute of it; the pay was good (union scale, usually, which back then in NYC was 500/hr), and I was hugely flattered to even be asked at all. Quite the compliment it was, really.

Just a-doin’ my job

I’m the Highway Patrol.

That’s guitar-pickin’ legend Junior Brown, working out on his classic “Highway Patrol.” Brown is surely one shit-hot guitarro, one of the best there is, in fact. Some background on that peculiar-looking git-fiddle he’s wailing away on.

In 1985, Brown created a new type of double-neck guitar, with some assistance from Michael Stevens (former Fender Custom Shop designer and luthierM). Brown called the instrument his “guit-steel”. When performing, Brown plays the guitar by standing behind it, while it rests on a small music stand. The top neck on the guit-steel is a traditional six-string guitar, while the lower neck is a full-size lap steel guitar for slide playing. Brown has two guit-steels for recording and live work. The original instrument, dubbed “Old Yeller”, has as its standard six-string guitar portion the neck and pickups from Brown’s previous stage guitar, a Fender Bullet. The second guit-steel, named “Big Red”, has a neck laser-copied from the Bullet neck; but in addition to electric guitar pickups, both the standard and lap-steel necks use identical Sho-Bud lap-steel pickups. There is a pocket in the upper bout of the guitar to hold the slide bar when it is not in use. Brown also commissioned a “pedal guit-steel” which adds pedals to the instrument for more musical control. Brown has stated that the invention of the guit-steel was always a matter of convenience so that he could play both lap steel and lead guitar during live performances and not directly motivated by a desire to be a “one man band”.

A danged Fender Bullet, of all things—an el-cheapo piece of junk if ever there was one, but somehow Junior makes that humble plank sound awful good, which is the mark of a seriously outstanding player.

As it happens, the BPs did a show with Brown once—Horton’s Holiday Hayride, early in Dec of 2017 (Christ, has it really been that long since I last set foot on a stage?!? That can’t possibly be right, can it?)—a performance that turned out to be our farewell show, although we hadn’t actually planned or announced it that way beforehand. All in all, it was a fantastic night; the Playboys dug down deep and just positively killed it, as did everybody else on the bill.

Here’s what really frosts my nuts about that night, though: I did not see one single damned note of Brown’s set, dammit. I was hanging out in the green room chatting away the whole while with Horton Heat and Big Sandy, both of whom are dear old friends I hadn’t seen in a good, long while. The green room at Neighborhood Theater was situated far enough from the main stage and insulated thoroughly enough that I couldn’t even hear the other bands from in there.

Can’t honestly say I much regret taking the opportunity to catch up with those guys, but still.

Ah well. Don’t know what got me to thinking about Junior Brown earlier today, but something or other did. That’s okay, now y’all get to reap the benefits of my earlier unfocused mental meandering.

Update! It only just occurred to me that I really should’ve appended a Horton’s Holiday Hayride post-show pic to this post. Ah well, better late than never, right?


And to think, you assholes just assumed I was making the whole thing up. Ahem. Pictured, from left: moi, Big Sandy, Jim Heath a/k/a the Reverend Horton Heat. Foreground, a chick I pest-listed for the show. Can’t recall her name, but she was a bartender at my erstwhile CLT haunt, The Diamond. Told me she really wanted to go one night at the D, so I fixed things up for her so’s she could, gratis. As you can see, she was quite the happy girl when she got to hang out with the Boys In The Band après les festivités.

Good times, good times.


Get Woke, go…

Well, not broke, exactly. Somehow, that never seems to happen. But still.

Country Music Mega-Star Travis Tritt Drops Anheuser-Busch Products From His Tour
With Bud Light going ultra-woke by embracing transvestite Dylan Mulvaney as their new spokesman, conservatives across the spectrum have spoken out and threatened a boycott.

Country music mega-star Travis Tritt is one of them. He has removed all products of Bud Light’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch, from his tour’s hospitality rider.

For the uninitiated, which I’m guessing would be most non-showbiz types, that “hospitality rider” business simply means that there will no longer be any Anheuser-Busch products chilling down in big buckets of ice in Tritt’s backstage Green Room. I’d like it a lot better if he’d announced that, henceforth, there would be no A-B pisswater beer being sold at his shows, but of course he doesn’t have control over that; no artist, however “mega” a star he may be, does. Kudos to Tritt anyhow, for doing what little he can to slap back at the cringing, cowardly rumpswabs at Anheuser-Busch. Calls for a celebratory embed, I do believe.

The old Charlie Daniels chestnut, of course, capably done justice to by Tritt, who’s a damned fine guitarist. I’ve been known to pull that one out of the hat now and then my own self, back in my pickin’ and grinnin’ days.

Update! Kid Rock goes Tritt one better.

TELL it, Grampa.

(Via GP)


Everything’s coming up Cowboys

BCE commended this vid to my attention on the phone the other day, and despite the fact that I am by NO means what anyone would call a New Country fan, it’s actually pretty good.

There’s an equally good backstory to the vid, the band, and particularly the old dude who takes a real star turn in it, which you can click on over to Big Country’s joint to check out.


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