Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Musical Fruit

My favorite fruit is surely beans,
I eat them with a plate of greens,
I eat them when they're young and green,
I eat them when they're old and mean.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Indolence, thy name is ME!
Waste! and Sloth! and Apathy!

I wake up slow, I sit and pout,
I wonder what it's all about,
I brew a bit of coffee up
I slouch around and drink a cup.

I make a plan to go and work,
But soon find some excuse to shirk,
I Yodel and I pick guitar,
Imagine I'm some singing star.

I sally forth just after noon
Into a gorgeous day in June.
And though I've wasted half of it
I set myself to work a bit.

But soon I find it is the brink
of five, and so I have a drink,
and sit and watch the evening creep
and fade, then shuffle off to sleep.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sales are Extremely Depressed

Time rolled along and so did the fries
in a vending cart parked under festival skies
when you left me I felt alright, I guess
but sales were extremely depressed.

Festival romance is bad they all said
better just stick to a quick turn in bed
now I've got a new girl, and we're heading out west
but my sales have stayed deeply depressed.

With your bright little nod, and your cute little wink,
they might come for the fries but you sold them a drink
as a cook-and-clerk team we were simply the best
but you left me, and sales are depressed.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Tale of two Dickens

In south West Virginia, and poverty stricken,
two singers were born with the same surname: Dickens.

Little Jimmy lit out and he conquered the south,
a diminutive man with a very big mouth.

Hazel went east, where she worked in the city,
Her songs full of pain, her voice lonesome and gritty.

I'm told they're related; I'm not sure how close,
they might be third cousins, or second at most,

but the difference is sharp twixt our two heroes Dickens,
she observed like a bird while he crowed with the chickens.

You can pick out a favorite, there's no harm in this.
I've got my preference, I won't tell you which.

But I'm thankful for both, and the music they sang,
for Hazel and Jimmy, the yin and the yang.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

One Man Band

My playing's Kenny Baker-based,
although I lack his tone and taste

So maybe more like Bobby Hicks
Except I don't know any licks

I pick guitar like Tony Rice
But I can't do it half as nice

I sing a bit like Bill Monroe
but Bill sang high, and I sing low.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Truly Sick Fiddling

As best I can tell, the guy on the left who dances is Monte Gaylord, and on the right is Dale Morris. This is an excellent demonstration of the power of dancing. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Paragus

We saw a sign in front of us
It advertised "a paragus"

I gaped, and said aloud "Good Lord,"
"I'm glad that's all they could afford"

For if they had two paragii
The two might mate and multiply.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Guitar Pickin'

My main man, Tyler Grant, shows you how it's done:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


As we turned off the blacktop at 3am coming home from California, I opened the window to get some air and heard the first peepers of the year (for me anyhow.)

It's a sound that's so ubiquitous in rural WbgVa (West by god Virginia) during the spring and early summer that I don't think I had ever consciously noticed it until Emily asked me what it was one time.

To really appreciate it fully you should drive around some back roads at 35mph with all the windows down. The Doppler effect of the moving car gives the pitches extra variety and you get that special "the martians are landing" sound.

Here's a video of one of the little buggers:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bluegrass Champs

Scotty Stoneman is one of my all-time fiddling heroes. The recording of him playing Live in L.A. with the Kentucky Colonels might be my favorite CD ever. Nine out of ten fiddle albums is basically boring, but I don't think Scotty ever played a boring note in his life. I read Ivan Tribe's biography of the Stoneman Family a few years ago, and learned that one of the reasons why they played as if their lives depended on it was because at times it basically did.
Anyway, here he is with the Bluegrass Champs, including his sister Donna, who steals the show, on mandolin and tenor vocals.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Jerry Reed

If you draw a straight line from Roger Miller to the Nappy Roots, and another one from Ray Charles to Brad Paisley, where those lines cross you will find Jerry Reed. Devilishly handsome, freakishly talented and all too quickly forgotten. Until recently I (like most people) mainly remembered Jerry Reed for "East Bound and Down" and his role in "Smokey and the Bandit." I also knew that he was a great and idiosyncratic guitar player, a fingerpicker in the self-taught tradition of Chet Atkins.

I didn't know he wrote this little ear worm which has been rattling around my head basically since birth.

I didn't know he played lead guitar on Elvis records, or that he acted in "the Waterboy."

Here he is playing and singing the hell out of an old standard.

And here's another classic, performed in the 1970s, when less was less, and more was most definitely more.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Dolly Parton II

Dolly Parton can kill with a look.
With a chop, or a stab, with an axe or a hook.

Dolly Parton can penetrate steel,
with a laser she keeps in her four-inch-high heels.

Porter Wagoner once made her mad
the worst idea that he'd ever had.

She boxed on his ears til she made his face skinny,
Then stretched out his arms while he bawled and he whinnied

She stepped on his toes and she kicked at his crotch,
and she ratcheted up his whole stature a notch.

Then she stood with her foot on the small of his back
and said "tell me some more of those cold hard facts."

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton appeared in my dream
this wasn't nearly as nice as it seems
the one thing I clearly remember she said
was "Boy, I am going to cut off your head."

I know that she's small, and I wouldn't be scared
but god only knows what she keeps in her hair
it could be a knife, it could be a sword
one blow, she could send me to meet with the lord

Dolly is small, but she's hardly a trifle,
you bet on your life she can handle a rifle
when Dolly appears to deliver a threat
you should square your affairs, you should settle your debt.

Friday, January 21, 2011

the Red Hot Poker Dots

These guys rocked my world last summer at the Albino Skunk Bluegrass Festival. I think they ruffled a few feathers with some of their song lyrics though.
Here they are in their native Australia performing Australian Horseback Bass Yodeling. Apparently it's an important part of their traditional mating ritual.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Willie Dixon

Willie Dixon gets nervous. I know the feeling.