Historical Roots of the Battle of Antietam and Music from Tennessee Ernie Ford and Red Molly!

Burnside_bridge_antietamToday marks the bloodiest day of fighting during the Civil War, on this day in 1862, Union and Confederate forces met near Sharpsburg, Maryland in what became more famously known by the Confederate named The Battle of Antietam. You know I’ve been to Gettysburg many times and the field across which Pickett charged and to Fredericksburg and that bloody hill both touched me, but when we went to Antietam the sight of the Sunken Road and Burnside Bridge hit me really hard. I guess it was just thinking about the sheer number of lives that were lost that day of both sides and the number of lives shattered forever!

Today also marks the day in 1955 that Tennessee Ernie Ford recorded the song “Sixteen Tons”. Now you say big deal but for a certain man whose mother used to put him up on the counter of Keeler’s store in Beverly at 5 or 6 years old to sing the song, it’s a big deal! It’s my earliest remembrance of country type music! So here’s some morning music from Ernie Ford and since we’re on the topic of mining I’ve also included a more recent song “Coal Tattoo” from Red Molly, oh I love that Abbie Gardner’s dobro playing!!

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Today in Music – September 16,1925 – “Blues Boy” Riley King is born!!

B B KingSo today is the 88th birthday of probably the greatest blues musician of all time and certainly the one whose been at the top of his craft the longest, B.B. King!! First, here’s  the obligatory background information from Wikipedia, like he needs and introduction:

Riley B. King (born September 16, 1925), known by the stage name B.B. King, is an American blues musician, singer, songwriter, and guitarist.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked him at No. 6 on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time (previously ranked No. 3 in the 2003 edition of the same list),[1] and he was ranked No. 17 in Gibson’s “Top 50 Guitarists of All Time”.[2] According to Edward M. Komara, King “introduced a sophisticated style of soloing based on fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato that would influence virtually every electric blues guitarist that followed.”[3] King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. He is considered one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, earning the nickname “The King of Blues”, and one of the “Three Kings of the Blues Guitar” (along with Albert King and Freddie King).[4][5][6] King is also known for performing tirelessly throughout his musical career appearing at 250-300 concerts per year until his seventies. In 1956 it was noted that he appeared at 342 shows. King continues to appear at 100 shows a year.
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“Into the Morning” with the progressive bluegrass of Greensky Bluegrass – “Demons”

One of the albums that has been in my rotation since it’s release last week, is If Sorrow Swims from Greensky Bluegrass. GreenskyIf Sorrow Swims Bluegrass is one of my favorite progressive bluegrass bands. I discovered their music a few years back and loved the album Live at Bells,  on that album the band really displays their musicianship. I liked their last album Handguns, but not as much as the earlier albums. If Sorrow Swims reminds me more of their earlier albums. Here’s a statement from the band’s website about the band…

“There’s this great duality to our band,” reflects Greensky Bluegrass mandolinist, vocalist, and songwriter Paul Hoffman. “We’re existing in a few different places at once: we’re a bluegrass band and a rock band, we’re song-driven and interested in extended improvisation.”

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Exploring the Jazz of Post-Bop Drummer – Elvin Jones – Elvin!

Origianally Posted at FreeWheelin Jazz Safari – Sept 14, 2014

Among the Jazz birthdays on September 9th was post-bop drummer Elvin Jones. Jones was born in 1927 and was best known forElvin_Jones_3 his time with the John Coltrane Quartet.  Jones was born in Pontiac, Michigan and was one of  seven children of Henry and Olivia Jones. His family was very musical and his two older brothers Hank and Thad both became respected jazz musicians. Hank was a pianist and Thad played trumpet and coronet.

After  serving in the Army from 1946-49, Elvin moved to New York to make his way in jazz nusic. He played with a variety of musicians including Charles Mingus, Teddy Charles, Bud Powell, From 1960 to 1966 Jones was part of the John Coltrane Quartet with pianist McCoy Tyner and bassist Jimmy Garrison. It was during this period, that Coltrane recorded the classic album A Love Supreme. By 1966 Coltrane’s music was moving in a direction that didn’t really mesh with Jones drumming style. Coltrane added a second drummer, Rashied Ali and Jones departed.

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Loudon Wainwright III from I Don’t Have the Blues (Yet) – “I’ll Be Killing You This Year for Christmas”

I missed this song  from Loudon Wainwright III last Christmas. The first time I heard the song “I’ll Be Killing You I Don't have the blues yetThis Christmas” was last night on my way to work at Target, and as I listened I first thought, OK?  As the songs, continued I soon was smiling and then laughed out loud! The song is included on Wainwright’s new album I Don’t Have the Blues (Yet) and it’s one of the several new treasures , from the folksong master! I have written before that I have never been a big fan of Wainwright but after his last several albums, I have changed my opinion. Of course another reason may be that at 68 years old, Loudon is just slightly older than I am. and many of the songs in his last few albums have dealt with aging, songs like the title of his last album “Older than the Now” which talks about when you become older than your father ever was, and on this album “Brand Ne Dance”. Anyway, I’ve only listened to the album once and I don’t know that I made it all the way through, but as of right now, the Grade for the album is a B+ and rising!!

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High Marks for The High 48s’ Great Northern Railroad – Check them out!!

Yesterday, I was reviewing the Roots Music Bluegrass Chart and way down near the bottom, I came across a band whose

Great norhern Railroad 2name  was unfamiliar with, The High 48s. Their latest release Great Northern Railroad was fittingly #48 on the chart. Since the album obviously had a train song on it, I thought it would be a good album to check out!! So I headed over to Spotify, found the album, listened to a few of the songs, and since my foot hadn’t stopped tapping since the album began, I knew this one was a winner!!

The High 48s were formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2006 and they are winners! They came to the attention of the national bluegrass scene, when they won the Rockygrass Band Competition in Lyons, Colorado, in 2008! The band’s name refers to railroad slang for the boxcars that carried the troops to the front lines during WWI. The cars carried 40 men and 8 horses! The band members Eric Christopher,( fiddle and vocals), Anthony Ihrig – (banjo and Resonator guitar), Marty Marone (vocals and guitar), Chad Johnson (mandolin and vocals) and Rich Casey (bass and vocals)  have all honed their skills playing with the likes of Special Consensus and James King!

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In Linwoood Barclay’s World there is No Safe House! Read it to find out why??

The first Linwood Barclay books I read were his Zack Walker mystery books, and I loved them! After I fnished the third book andNo Safe House 2 was ready to move on, I discovered that Mr. Barclay had left that series, and moved on to write stand alone thrillers. The first one was No Time to Say Goodbye and it was great! Since then I have read and enjoyed all of his books.  The latest is No Safe House. In No Safe House, Barclay treats his readers to further adventures of the Archer family,  the main characters in No Time to Say Goodbye!

In the prologue an elderly couple is brutally slain in the Archer’s hometown of Mitford, Connecticut by a sadistic duo, who are in search of something or someone…..

When we meet the Archer family, daughter Grace is now fourteen and as she moves into adolescence, she is rebelling, One night during an argument with her mother, Grace is seriously burned. Her mother, Cynthia decides that she needs time away from the family and moves out, leaving husband Terry and Grace on their own. Then disaster strikes, when Grace foolishly follows her date Stuart Koch, into a strange house. Grace ends up with a gun in her had, Stuart hears someone else in the house.  Shots are fired.  Were they from Grace’s gun?, Where’s Stuart? Did Grace shoot him?. Someone rushes past Grace! Stricken with panic Grace leaves the house, calls for help to a friend and her father.

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Otis Gibbs presents some great – Souvenirs of a Misspent Youth!!

Otis Gibbs’  latest release Souvenirs of a Misspent Youth has been in my rotation for about a week now and the Souvenirs of a Misspent YouthIndiana native, East Nashville resident has crafted another fine album. For my money, Gibbs is one of the best songwriters out there today and this collection of songs may be his best effort yet! Gibbs’ songwriting talents rank right up there with the best, comparisons have been made to Woody Guthrie, TomT.Hall, Kris Kristofferson and Townes Van Zandt. His story-songs tell tales of everyday life.

On Souvenirs of a Misspent Youth one of the best tracks is “Ghost of Our Fathers” in the song tells the story of a neighbor who was a bare knuckle boxing champion, but the toughest loss was that of his son who was killed in Vietnam. I love the simple chorus….

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This Day in Music – September 4, 1968 – Stations in Chicago and around US refuse to play Stone’s “Street Fighting Man”!

So this morning I was checking what happened on this day in music, when I came across this item at About.com: Oldies Music….Street Fighing Man

1968: Anticipating a protest firestorm at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, Chicago bans the new Rolling Stones single, “Street Fighting Man,” from its airwaves. The song calls for “fighting in the street” and a “palace revolution.” More at Oldies-About.com

I thought that was pretty interesting and I went to find out more about the song.At songfacts.com I found this about the song….

This song deals with civil unrest in Europe and America in 1968. There were student riots in London and Paris, and Vietnam protests in America. The specific event that led Mick Jagger to write the lyrics was a demonstration at Grosvenor Square in London on March 17, 1968. Jagger (along with Vanessa Redgrave), joined an estimated 25,000 protesters in condemning the Vietnam War.

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Karin Slaughter’s Cop Town – Atlanta – 1974 – A Wild Ride!

Cop TownThe first Karin Slaughter book that I read was Kisscut, which is book #2 in Karin’s Grant County series. After finishing the book; I immediately went out and found Book #1  Blindsighted and read it probably faster than Kisscut. Since then I have read every book she has written which includes both the Grant County and the Will Trent series, which are now intertwined! Cop Town is Karin’s first stand alone novel and for her first book she went back  40 years and recreated wonderfully the  feel of a changing Atlanta in 1974. My wife and I lived in Athens, Georgia from 1975 to 1979 and I remember Maynard Ferguson and Reginald Evans quite well!

The book features Kate Murphy, a female character, much like Sara Linton and Will Trent’s partner Faith Mitchell, that you can empathize with and root for. Kate is a well to do young widow trying to pick her self up,after the death of her husband, Patrick, in Vietnam. Following her bad experience as a secretary, Kate feels that she has to make this job work. But the odds are stacked against her, first she is a  young attractive woman on a misogynistic police force that doesn’t think that women belong on the force, and secondly being young, pretty and well to do i.e from Buckhead, she’s not a favorite of the women either!! To top it off the day she joins the force, the”Atlanta Shooter”, who has already claimed four police officers as victims takes another life, that of Don Wesley. Don is a good cop and the partner of Jimmy Lawson a rising star in the Department. Jimmy’s Uncle Terry is a Sergent on the force and his sister Maggie is a patrolman.

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