Listmania – My Top 10 All-Time Favorite Folk Artists…….

I have tried to stay away from lists on this blog. The main reason is that I find it very hard to rank artists. I think that’s because my favorite is always the one that I’m listening to at the moment and also that I know I’m going to forget someone. This list actually is a list of the “Roots” of my folk music listening. These are the artists that have been with me for the whole ride, from vinyl to 8 track, cassettes, CD and the iPod. Should there be a woman or two on the list probably maybe Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins Emmylou Harris, probably but these guys are the core!! This is the first hopefully of several posts that will become pages on my site. Let’s see there’s the top branches, artist that I love from the 80s and 90s and then the leaves from the 2000s! How about songs?? I don’t know if I can go there!! Anyway let me know who I forgot and then maybe I need to expand the list!!





Tom Paxton

Tom Paxton

I could fill this whole table with my favorite Tom Paxton songs. Tom can make me laugh make me sad and make me think. I made a quick playliat Spotify and here are the six songs I put on it….”Leaving London”,”Outward Bound”,”Talking Vietnam Pot Luck Blues”, I Can’t Help But Wonder Where I’m Bound”, “Cindy’s Cryin’”Here’s one of my favorites


Jerry Jeff Walker

Jerry Jeff Walker

 Jerry Jeff Walker aka Jacky Jack was born Ronald Crosby in New York. When I first heard his music he was a folk singer. From the moment I heard “Mr. Bojangles”,” “Ramblin’ Scramblin;”,



John Prine

 A while back someone posted on Goggle+ in reference to one of my posts that he never met a John Prine song he didn’t like, and for the most part I agree! I don’t think there are many better debut albums than John’s. And on most nights I work at Target near the end of the night “Illegal Smile” usually rattles around in the jukebox of my mind!Listen to: “Hello in There”, “Unwed Fathers“, “It’s a Big Old Goofy World”


Phil Ochs2

Phil Ochs

 Did you notice the absence of Bob Dylan?  I was a Dylan fan for several years. His Greatest Hits 1 & 2, Nashville Skyline and others are in my vinyl collection. But when it came to the songs that spoke to me as a left-winger in the 60s and 70s Dylan played second fiddle to Phil!Listen to: “Flower Lady“, “Outside of a Small Circle of Friends“, “Changes


Tom Rush

Tom Rush

 Whoa! What is Tom doing way down here! You can probably take the top five on this list mix them up in any order and I would agree with it. I have listened to Tom since the late 60s and the album that started it all was The Circle Game, which may be the top album on my list of all-time favorite albums!! He gets points for releasing a great album What I Know after a 35 year hiatus, but also losses points for it being that long!!Listen to: “Urge for Going”,”No Regrets”, :Child’s Song”, “What I Know”


Steve Goodman

Steve Goodman

 My second favorite all-time debut album my just be Steve Goodman’s self-titled album. I wore that baby out in college! Great songs full of warm, love, and humor. What a loss it was when Steve died so young!Check Out: “City of New  Orleans”, “My Old Man”, “Turnpike Tom” and “Yellow Coat”


Harry Chapin

Harry Chapin

 Speaking of leaving us too soon, Harry we still miss you!! Harry was always my wife and my musician to go see in the early years! One of the first concerts we ever went to together us to see Harry at the Great Southeast Music Hall in Atlanta. Great show! Was waiting for him to whip out a gun during “Sniper” such passion and emotion. Forget “Cat’s in the Cradle”Check out – “Mr Tanner”, “A Better Place to Be”, “Mail Order Annie”. “Corey’s Coming” and of course “Circle” “All my life’s a circle sunrise to sundown…..”


Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen

 My first introduction to the music of Leonard Cohen was the song “Suzanne” and at once I was captivated by the imagery created by his poetry. The first date I went on with my wife was to see the movie McCabe and Mrs Miller. I’m glad my future father-in-law didn’t realize or care that a young college boy took his daughter to see a movie about a gambler and a hooker. Leonard’s music fit that movie perfectly!Check out: “Suzanne”, “The Stranger Song”, “Joan of Arc”. Chelsea Hotel”


Jesse Winchester

Jesse Winchester

 Way back when, my then girlfriend, now wife told me to listen to Jesse Winchester, that he was really good! I did, she was right!! I have been a fan ever since. I  am s glad that I finally saw him in concert a few years ago. I never got to see Steve Goodman or Phil Ochs before they pasted away. Jesse wrote some of the simplest and yet beautiful songs.Listen to::”Mississippi, You’re on My Mind”. “If You Need Someone”, “I Turn to My Guitar”, “That’s What Makes You Strong”



Eric Andersen

 Eric Andersen’s “Is it Really Love at All” and “Thirty Boots” both have a place on my list of all-time favorite songs. In the liner notes for Violets of Dawn Andersen wrote:”Leonard Cohen once came up to me and said ‘I’m a poet and never thought of writing songs until I heard ‘Violets of Dawn’ and then I began to write songs…Kris Kristoffersen liked my sexy songs, my love songs…It helped him write the kinds of things he did in Nashville like ‘Help Me Make it Through the Night”. Good enough for me!!Check out: “Thirsty Boots”, Violets of Dawn”, “Dusty Boxcar Wall”, “Memory of the Future”


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JJW’s Birthday Celebration Continues with “Ramblin’ Scramblin’” and “Morning Song to Sally”

Driftin Way of LifeSo return with me now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, the year was 1969, I was a naïve eighteen year-old and sometime during that year. probably on Gen Shay’s show on WDAS-FM this song from Jerry Jeff Walker.

You know I don’t think I’d ever heard a song that included a drop kick in the crotch or someone getting rolled, let alone in the same song!! The song was from Jerry Jeff’s second release Driftin’ Way of Life. And along with “Drifting Way of Life” and “Morning Song for Sally” was one of my favorite songs from the album. Thinking about JJW and his music, one thing I like about his music is that in one song he can be all “Gonzo” and the next minute he can be singing something as nice and beautiful as “Morning Song to Sally” So before we break out the “Sangria Wine” and “Redneck Mother”, let’s go “into the night” with “Morning Song to Sally”


This Day in Music – Feb 14, 1943 – Happy Birthday No 71 – Eric Andersen!

So today is  the birthday of one of my favorite folk singers, Eric Andersen.(1943) Eric was one of the early pioneers of the Greenwich Village folk music scene, along with Tom Paxton, Tom Rush,  Fred Neil, Dave Von Rank and many others. He made his début in 1964 at Gerdes Folk City in a live audition for Vanguard Records.   I didn’t really start listening to Eric until his most commercially successful album Blue River was released in 1972. “Is it Really Love at All’ is still a favorite. But as soon as I heard Eric’s music I went back and picked up The Very Best of Eric Andersen on Vanguard Records and learned to love those early songs like “Violets of Dawn”, “Come to My Bedside” and many others, including “Thirsty Boots”

Little was heard from Andersen from late 70s, until 1988 when he popped back into the American music scene with the release of Ghosts on the Road. Between the release of Ghosts on the Road and 199′s Memories of the Future, when I picked up his career again, he was living and recording albums in Norway  with Rick Danko and ,Norwegian musician Jonas Fjeld as Danko/Fjeld/Anderson and they were an award-winning band, releasing Danko/Fjeld/Andersen in 1991 and Ridin’ on the Blinds in 1994. The former album is in my music library.

In 2004 he released :The Street Was Always There  and followed that album with Waves in 2005, multi-instrumentalist Robert Aaron produced both albums. On the albums Andersen covers of his own songs and provides  new versions of classics by his sixties contemporaries and friends, including: David Blue, Bob Dylan, Richard Fariña, Tim Hardin, Peter La Farge, Fred Neil, Phil Ochs, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Paul Siebel, Patrick Sky, Tom Paxton, John Sebastian, Happy Traum, Lou Reed, and Tom Rush.

You can read his complete biography at Wikipedia: Eric Andersen

But let’s go back now to one of those early songs and go “Into the Night” with “Thirty Boots” from Eric Andersen on his 71st birthday!!


Today’s Album: Steve Goodman – Jessie’s Jig and Other Favorites!!

Jessie's Jig and Other FavoirtesThis morning I was thinking about what to use for the morning music and one of the songs that popped into my head was one of my all time favorites, Steve Goodman’s version of Michael Smith’s poignant “The Dutchman”. Then I thought no, how about Steve’s version of “Mama Don’t Allow”  Yeah, that’s what I use! I went to YouTube and found the video and watched it. As I was watching, I thought about the book Mama Don’t Allow by Thatcher Hurd. I used to read my kids way back when.. The book had been featured on the show Reading Rainbow (starring a young Levar Burton),  and everyone in our house loved it!! I found and  watched portions of the show on Vimeo. (lucky for Peter that Andrew didn’t get to name him, or his name would have been Levar Sam Karn!!)

Anyway back to Steve Goodman. Steve along with John Prine was a favorite of mine back in the 70s, hell he’s still a favorite today and me along with everyone in the folk music community mourned his passing in 1984 when he lost his battle with leukemia at the age of 43. What I decided though was not to just play “Mama Don’t Allow” although that we be coming, but to also write about the album that the song can be found on, :Jessie’s Jig and Other Favorites..

Jessie’s Jig and Other Favorites was released in 1975 and contains some of my favorite Goodman tracks.Of the ten tracks on the album, six were either written or co-written by Goodman. One of the co-written songs starts the album. “Door Number Three” co-written by Jimmy Buffett. I love this version as well as the Buffett version which appears on his album A-1-A. The lyrics always bring a smile to my face, especially….

I chose my apparel, I wore a beer barrel 
And they rolled me to the very first row 
I held a big sign that said, “Kiss me I’m a baker 
And Monty I sure need the dough” 
Then I grabbed that sucker by the throat until he called on me 
‘Cause my whole world lies waiting behind door number three…..

The second track is a John Prine classic “Blue Umbrella”  On this song it’s the chorus that always gets me

Blue umbrella
rest upon my shoulder
hide the pain
while the rain
makes up my mind
well, my feet are wet
from thinking this thing over
and it’s been so long
since I felt the warm sunshine
just give me one good reason
and I promise I won’t ask you any more
just give me one extra season
so I can figure out the other four.

Don’t we all wish that! The humorous Goodman tune “This Hotel Room” is next, followed by Goodman’s cover of Michael Smith’s “Spoon River”  which is based on the Edgar Lee Master’s book Spoon River Anthology. The title track the instrumental “Jessie’s Jig” follows at the midway point of the album.

Steve always had a way of taking old classic’s and reworking them so that they became a Steve Goodman song and there’s no better example of that then Steve’s cover of Billy Mayhew’s “It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie”. The song fits Steve like a glove. It’s a song he was meant to sing! Of the next three tracks, two were written by Steve “I Can’t Sleep” and “Looking for Trouble”. Both are great songs. The other track is “Moby Book” which Steve co-wrote with David Amran. Here’s my attempt at a video for the song!!

And finally, we arrive at the final track, which sends us off at the end of the album with a smile on our face singing “Mama Don;t Allow, no piano playin’ ’round here!! So check out the album at either MOG or Spotify!!

Here’s Steve Goodman’s version of Cow Cow Davenport’s “Mama don’t Allow”!! And Steve will still miss you!!


Morning Thoughts about Website and Music from Tom Rush!

Over the last couple of months I’ve split my time between this blog and its sister blog FreeWheelin’ Music Safari. I have been posting at the Safari new explorations into the world of prog rock, jazz, New Age and Blues and the plan was to keep this blog for Folk, Bluegrass, Roots Rock and Americana. That still may be how it works out, but tonight I was thinking that maybe what would be better is to keep this blog more true to what I originally wanted to do and that is to write about the music I’ve been listening to over the last 50 years. I am constantly amazed when I mention a musician’s name from the past and the young folks at work don’t have a clue about who that is! Anyway what I was going to do was write about those folks and try to get some information about them out there. What the blog morphed into was me exploring new music and having little time for my old favorites! I though tonight that maybe I’ll keep this blog for my favorites and the Safari for explorations into all types new music, with links to both blogs on the sites. Maybe it will work and maybe it won’t, but tonight with that in mind I turned the iPod to an old favorite Tom Rush. Tom RushTom Rush has had an interesting career. He started out in the 60s as part of the Greenwich Village folk scene. He recorded five albums between 1962 and 1967 the first Tom Rush Live at the Unicorn on Nightlife(released for the first time on CD in (2012) and then two each on Prestige and Elektra.. I started listening to his music in 1968, when the classic album The Circle Game was released. That album included covers of songs from Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Jackson Browne well before anyone knew who they were! His covers of “The Circle Game” and “Urge for Going” were just flat-out great in my opinion. He also added a couple of songs of his own including the classic “No Regrets” and “Rockport Sunday” a great guitar piece. Tom went on to record several albums on Columbia. Merrimack County. Wrong End of the Rainbow, Tom Rush and Ladies Love Outlaws. His recording career stopped with Ladies Love Outlaws. Here’s what Steve Leggett writes in his biography at AllMusic about Tom:

With his warm and slightly world-weary baritone voice, solid acoustic guitar playing, and gifted if hardly prolific songwriting skills, Tom Rush was one of the finest and most unsung performers to come out of the ’60s urban folk revival…..   …. A careful, unhurried songwriter, he was also a fine song interpreter, and had a knack for finding just the right song from new songwriters, being the first to introduce work from then-new songwriters likeJoni Mitchell, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Murray McLauchlan,William Hawkins, and David Wiffen, among others, and found ways to breathe new life into any number of traditional folk, country, and blues numbers, as well.  Full Biography

What I knowHe continued to tour. In 1999,  For years I know he was always in Philly right after Thanksgiving. No Regrets:The Very Best of Tom Rush was released and it even contained a new song “The River Song”. Then in 2009 he signed on with Appleseed Recordings and he his first studio album in 35 years What I Know was released and it’s a good one!! You can check out his complete discography here. So last night, on the way to work at Target, I listened to several of the tracks on the fist half of What I Know. Then on the way back I listened to songs from No Regrets: The Very Best of Tom Rush that come from those early years including:”San Francisco Bay Blues”, “Mobile Line” and “Panama Limited”  These tracks especially Panama Limited showcase Rush’s fine guitar playing. Back to What I  Know…Richie Unterberger writes this in his review at AllMusic:

The songs are a comfortable mix of Rush originals (only five; he’s never been the most prolific writer), the traditional song “Casey Jones,” and nine choices of outside material. The most renowned of the other writers being Eliza Gilkyson (who composed “Fall into the Night”), and the most surprising choice of material, the CD-closing “Drift Away,” Rush rearranging that ’70s soul hit into something suitably folky and reflective. The good-natured riding-into-the twilight feel of this record might guarantee it won’t cause any earthquakes, but Rush has never been that kind of artist, and this record is a solid continuation of the mood he’s largely followed all his musical life. Full Review

So let’s kick off our Saturday morning with Tom performing Eliza Gilkyson’s “Fall into the Night” one of my favorites!


A Good Run and Happy Birthday, Greg Trooper!!

So when I turned on my Runmeter app this afternoon, the first thing I saw was my last run – November 18, 2013 and I cringed! I knew it had been a long time since my last run, but I thought that the last one was closer to the end of the month!! It was about the time that the clocks got set back and it started getting dark at 5 o’clock! And then the weather turned nasty and cold and Christmas came along and before I knew it December was gone!! But then I also admit that I am a fair weather runner, when it gets dark and cold, this old body doesn’t really want to go out and run!! But today was nice the high temperature was in the upper 50s and it was sunny with hardly any wind!! I was also off, due to lack of work, (ugh!) and the gave me the opportunity to run in the sun!! I certainly told myself that all I wanted to do was get a 30 minute run in. I didn’t have to set any world speed records and I did a good job throughout the run of slowing down. I often use that trick that if you can talk comfortably you are running comfortably, and I often ask myself (out load) how I am doing and I respond back! If folks are watching they may think I’m crazy,but then again they probably just think I’m on the phone!! Don’t you love that when you are walking along and people come up from behind you and you here their voice and turn to respond only to find that they are talking on the phone!! Happens to me all the time at Target I hear a voice and turn and oh yeah!! But I digress, back to the subject at hand running, or at this point jogging!! So after many thoughts of cutting the run short and mentally figuring where I should turn around I made it to the second mile at between 21-22 minutes and I knew I could make it to the 3o minute mark!! The final distance for the 30:14 minute run was 2.8 miles for an average pace of 10:44 min/mile and I am satisfied with that now I just have to keep going!! The soundtrack for the run was a Prog Rock Album Clessidra from an Italian Prog Band Laviantica. You can read about it at FreeWheelin’ Music Safari Greg TrooperWhen I signed on to Facebook this morning I saw that it was the birthday of one of my favorite Americana musicians, Greg Trooper! Greg was born on this date in 1956 in was born in Neptune Township, New Jersey, and raised in nearby Little Silver. I first listened to Greg’s music sometime around 1999 when his  release Straight Down Rain,found its way into my library. That album was quickly followed by his prior release Popular Demons which had been released  in 1998, on Koch Records and produced by Buddy Miller. His current release Incident on Willow Street is currently number 2 on the Roots Music Report’s Roots Rock chart! Incident on Willow StreetHere’s Greg performing “All the Way to Amsterdam” one of my favorites from Incident on Willow Street! Happy Birthday, Greg!!


This Day in Music – Jan 9, 1941 – Happy Birthday, Joan Baez!

Joan BaezToday we celebrate the 72nd birthday of a true 69s folk icon Joan Baez. Joan was n early folk hero of mine, not only for her music, but also for her soil activism. Her positions on the issues of the day, matched my leftist political leanings Some background from Wikipedia: Joan was…

….. (born January 9, 1941 as Joan Chandos Báez) is an American folk singer, songwriter, musician, and activist.[1] Baez has performed publicly for over 55 years, releasing over 30 albums. Fluent in Spanish as well as in English, she has also recorded songs in at least six other languages. She is regarded as a folk singer, although her music has diversified since the counterculture days of the 1960s and now encompasses everything from folk rock and pop to country and gospel music. Although a songwriter herself, Baez is generally regarded as an interpreter of other people’s work, having recorded songs by the Allman Brothers Band, the Beatles, Jackson Browne, Leonard Cohen,Bob Dylan, Violeta Parra, Woody Guthrie, The Rolling Stones, Pete Seeger, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and many others. In recent years, she has found success interpreting songs of modern songwriters such as Ryan Adams, Josh Ritter, Steve Earle and Natalie Merchant. Her recordings include many topical songs and material dealing with social issues. Read More

Several of Joan’s album can be found in my vinyl collection, including Blessed Are, Diamonds and Rust and several others. What a truly great voice she has. I did get to see her live way back in my college days and she was amazing! Baez has had a popular hit song with “Diamonds & Rust” and hit covers of Phil Ochs’s “There but for Fortune” and The Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”. And is there a song that fits Joan Baez better than Phil Och’s “There But for Fortune”? I think not so let’s give Joan a big thanks for all she’s done over the years both musically and socially and wish here a “Happy Birthday” and go “into the day” with Phil’s song…..


A Holiday Note and Song from Ellis Paul – The Last Tree

Tonignt I received a Holiday email from Ellis Paul. The email contained these Holiday Wishes!

The Last TreeMerry Christmas Everyone!

I wrote this song with Kristian Bush and drew up a picture book for it and made a video!! Enjoy :)

Very grateful to you all! Have a happy holiday!



After reading the message, I went to Ellis’ website and saw that he is still in the process of fund-raising to finance his next album. You can learn more about the fund-raising at the website and also check out a new song that will be on the album - ”Chasing Beauty”!!  Many of Ellis’ albums are in my library and his voice is one of my favorites!! Like he said enjoy!!


This Day in Music – December 7, 1941 – Happy Birthday, Harry Chapin!!


Harry ChapinHarry’s epitaph is from his song “I Wonder What Would Happen to this World.” It is:

Oh if a man tried To take his time on Earth And prove before he died What one man’s life could be worth I wonder what would happen to this world

Today we celebrate the 71st anniversary of the birth of Harry Chapin (December 7, 1942) unfortunately as we all know (well at least us boomers) Harry only lived to celebrate 38 of them. His life was cut short on that day in July of 1981. But let’s not dwell on how we wished things could have been, rather let’s celebrate the music that we loved and remember. From the release of his first album Heads & Tales  released in 1972,on Elektra,.an album that brought us “Harry the taxi driver and his ex-love Sue to Sequel  his final release before for his death, that completed the “circle” and reunited the two! Let’s remember all those characters from a sniper, the morning DJ at W*O*L*D, Mr Tanner the cleaner and would be singer, the midnight night watchman at Miller’s Tool and Die, and of course Mail Order Annie. Some background on Harry’s early life from Wikipedia :

Chapin was born into a middle-class family in New York City, the second of four children who also included future musicians Tom and Steve. His parents were Jeanne Elspeth (née Burke) and Jim Chapin, a legendary percussionist. He had English ancestry, his great-grandparents having immigrated in the late 19th century. His parents divorced in 1950, with Elspeth retaining custody of their four sons, as Jim spent much of his time on the road as a drummer for Big band era acts such as Woody Herman. She married Films in Review magazine editor Henry Hart a few years later. Chapin’s maternal grandfather was literary critic Kenneth Burke.[2]   Chapin’s first formal introduction to music was while singing in the Brooklyn Boys Choir. It was here that Chapin met ”Big” John Wallace, a tenor with a five-octave range, who later became his bassist, backing vocalist, and his straight man onstage. He began performing with his brothers while a teenager, with their father occasionally joining them on drums. Read More

One or more of the times my wife and I saw him in concert, Steve and Tom were performing with him, and it certainly seemed like they were having a good time. And how can we honor and remember Harry without remembering the his fight to end world hunger. Each and every time that the Republicans try to end social services that would take food away from the poor, I think well Harry just rolled over in his grave one more time! And what would Harry think overall about the gap between the top 1% and the rest of us common folks. He certainly would have been lending his support to many of the Occupied camps throughout the country!!. More about Harry’s social activism:

In the mid-1970s, Chapin focused on social activism, including raising money to combat hunger in the United States. His daughter Jen said: “He saw hunger and poverty as an insult to America.”[6] He co-founded the organization World Hunger Year with radio personality Bill Ayres, before returning to music with On the Road to Kingdom Come. He also released a book of poetry, Looking…Seeing, in 1977. Many of Chapin’s concerts were benefit performances (for example, a concert[7] to help save the Landmark Theatre inSyracuse, New York), and sales of his concert merchandise were used to support World Hunger Year. Chapin’s social causes at times caused friction among his band members. Chapin donated an estimated third of his paid concerts to charitable causes, often performing alone with his guitar to reduce costs. Mike Rendine accompanied him on bass throughout 1979. One report quotes his widow saying soon after his death — “only with slight exaggeration” — that “Harry was supporting 17 relatives, 14 associations, seven foundations and 82 charities. Harry wasn’t interested in saving money. He always said, ‘Money is for people,’ so he gave it away.” Despite his success as a musician, he left little money and it was difficult to maintain the causes for which he raised more than $3 million in the last six years of his life.[8] The Harry Chapin Foundation was the result.

You can check out the Harry Chapin Foundation here, the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida here, Long Island Cares founded by Harry here, and the latest release from his daughter Jen here Now I was going to use Harry’s “Taxi” to end this post kinda’ like going back to the beginning, you can watch it here…. but after writing the post I could not end with that, no the end just had to be a “Circle” Happy Birthday, Harry and we all still miss you!!!


“Into the Night” with the Music of Jesse Winchester – “I Turn to My Guitar”

Love filling StationSo I was just flipping through some of the music that in on my work phone and one of the songs that popped up is on of my favorite songs from a favorite musician – “I Turn to My Guitar” from Jesse Winchester’s latest Love Filling Station. Like many musicians Jesse and I go back a long way. All the way to 1971 and his self titled release that my wife, then my girlfriend turn my on to. Through the years I’ve remained a bigger fan than she. She likes more of the rustic tunes that are lacking in his later albums. Here’s some background from AllMusic:

Jesse Winchester Album

Jesse Winchester was the music world’s most prominent Vietnam War draft evader, though his renown came from a body of wry, closely observed songs. After growing up in Memphis, Winchester received his draft notice in 1967 and moved to Montreal, Canada, rather than serve in the military. In 1969, he met Robbie Robertson of the Band, who helped launch his recording career. In the same way that James Taylor‘s history of mental instability and drug abuse served as a subtext for his early music, Winchester‘s exile lent real-life poignancy to songs like “Yankee Lady,” which appeared on his debut album, Jesse Winchester (1970). He became a Canadian citizen in 1973.


Despite critical acclaim, his inability to tour in the U.S. prevented him from taking his place among the major singer/songwriters of the early ’70s, but he made a series of impressive albums – Third Down, 110 to Go (August 1972), Learn to Love It (August 1974), Let the Rough Side Drag (June 1976), and Nothing But a Breeze (March 1977) — before President Jimmy Carterinstituted an amnesty that finally allowed him to play in his homeland. By that time, the singer/songwriter boom had passed, though Winchester continued to record (A Touch on the Rainy Side [July 1978], Talk Memphis [February 1981], Humour Me [1988]) and even scored a Top 40 hit with “Say What” in 1981. Read More

Jesse WinchesterFor me there are few songwriters who surpass Jesse, he has a gift for turning that simple phrase and making you feel and  don’t think many other artists can create that “sense of place” in their songs as well as Jesse! Jesse gave us a scare in 2011, when he was In 2011, Winchester was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus and had to undergo treatment for several couple of months. Since then Jesse has been given the all clear from his doctor and has resumed touring!!

So let’s go “into the night:” with “I Turn to My Guitar” Listen and follow along with the wonderful lyrics!!


I Turn To My Guitar – Jesse Winchester

The woman in my dreams
Too beautiful to touch
And I’m afraid to speak
I may say too much
And I’ll begin to plead
And I’ll begin to pray
And show the fool I am
And she’ll just run away

I turn to my guitar
And touch her silver strings
O the more I hurt
The prettier she sings
I live on the earth
And love is on a star
And if I can’t have love
I turn to my guitar

The lovers from my past
Have vanished in the wind
But they come to my room
To see me now and then
They kiss me on the cheek
And they tell me “Please don’t cry”
They say they love me still
And then they say goodbye

I turn to my guitar
And touch her silver strings
O the more I hurt
The prettier she sings
I live on the earth
And love is on a star
And if I can’t have love
I turn to my guitar

You hold me to the fire
And read me like a book
I’m older than I act
Younger than I look
And knowing me so well
No, it’s no surprise
To see it isn’t love
But pity in your eyes

I turn to my guitar
And touch her silver strings
O the more I hurt
The prettier she sings
I live on the earth
And love is on a star
And if I can’t have love
I turn to my guitar
And if I can’t have love
Then I’ll turn to my guitar