Hello friends. Choosing the song for this week was a difficult decision for a number of reasons. Firstly, I’ve been listening to a fair amount of really chaotic jazz by Nels Cline Singers and Tony Malaby. Both are stunningly good but are a little… free for this audience. We’ll certainly get there one day but today it would feel a little like throwing you into the deep end of the pool.
Secondly, I’ve had Prince’s Purple Rain in my head for a few days now but he’s notorious for hunting down bloggers who post his songs and having lawyers send letters. I’d rather avoid that, though it would be cool to think that Prince may have read my blog!
So, true to the name of this post, here is a new song. Or rather, a new version of an old song. Hey, why don’t I just let you hear both.
This is Freight Train by the newly released, Buddy Miller’s Majestic Silver Strings, which along with Buddy include guitarists Marc Ribot, Bill Frisell, and Greg Leisz.
Aside from Leisz, the other three guitarists on this record are probably my three favourites – amazing for them to record together. And if you’ve heard much of the work of Ribot and Frisell, that they are doing a fairly trad country tune may be a bit of a shock for you.
The original version of the song is by Elizabeth Cotton.
“Libby” Cotton was a maid in the very musical Seeger family household when she was already in her 60s. She hadn’t played guitar for decades when she decided to pick up one of the instruments lying around the house. She was “discovered” and recorded by the family and became part of the folk music revival of the 50s and 60s in America. As far as I’m aware, she is one of the few female guitarists of her generation whose name is still known, respected and loved amongst guitarists all over the world. This song is her signature tune and is still part of the guitarists canon in the southern U.S.
As always, I’d appreciate your comments.
Have a great weekend!