"DOWN HOME" #153
Saturday, January 20, 2001
"Best of 2000" Special, Part 2
This week -- "Best of 2000" continues with compilations, reissues and some "other favorites", plus some new releases, but I really wanted to start with... PATRICK STREET - Tom Joad [NO. 2 PATRICK STREET/Green Linnet] I just saw "The Grapes of Wrath" for the first time last weekend, and I was lucky enough to see an excellent print on a big screen at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. It was a phenomenal film, and I immediately thought of this great version of Woody Guthrie's song, where he tells the whole story of the Joads in about 20 verses. DONAL LUNNY - Poirt: Across the Hill/An Fáinne Óir (The Gold Ring) [JOURNEY: THE BEST OF DONAL LUNNY/Rounder] From Donal's one-off band he put together in 1987 for a Se´n Ó Rída retrospective concert, and an absolutely brilliant performance. ASHLEY BRODER - Arkansas Traveler [THE BEST OF THE 40TH ANNUAL TOPANGA BANJO-FIDDLE CONTEST/Old Topanga Records] Ashley won first place in the Intermediate Fiddle competition. JOHN MOONEY - Funky Arkansas [GONE TO HELL/Blind Pig] PAUL SANCHEZ with the SONOMA VALLEY BOYS - I Got Drunk This Christmas [SOLD OUT AT CARROLLTON STATION/Paul Sanchez Music] JONES & LEVA - Vertie's Dream [VERTIE'S DREAM/Copper Creek] LIL' BAND O' GOLD - Allons Rock 'N Roll [LIL' BAND O' GOLD/Shanachie] Southern Louisiana rock 'n roll and swamp pop, as good as it gets. Featuring Steve Riley of the Mamou Playboys, Lafayette blues guitarist CC Adcock and swamp pop legend Warren Storm. RYAN ADAMS - To Be Young (is to be sad, is to be high) [HEARTBREAKER/ Bloodshot] This first solo album by the former Whiskeytown frontman has some great songs on it, others not-so-great, but it made it onto my honorable mentions list for 2000 anyway. R. L. BURNSIDE - Hard Time Killing Floor [WISH I WAS IN HEAVEN SITTING DOWN/Fat Possum] Raw. Old. New. This guy's stuff seriously messes with my mind. This track is an old Skip James blues number that's got a little scratching and ambient beats from a DJ in the background, but it's unobtrusive and very atmospheric. Great stuff. More favorites of 2000... MAIGHREAD & TRÍONA NÍ DHOMNHAILL with DONAL LUNNY - Dónall Óg [IDIR AN DÁ SHOLAS (BETWEEN THE TWO LIGHTS)/Green Linnet] This one was released at the very end of 2000, and I barely had a chance to listen to and appreciate it. It's a wonderful and very important record, as we don't hear from these two women nearly often enough. Tríona was, of course, in The Bothy Band as well as Skara Brae, Relativity, Touchstone and Nightnoise, and her sister Maighread was a co-member of Skara Brae and is one of the most respected traditional singers in Ireland. GOLDMAN THIBODEAUX & CALVIN CARRIÈRE - Baby Please Don't Go [LES MISÈRES DANS LE COEUR/LouisianaRadio.com Records] As traditional (and raw) as it gets -- two old Creole men in their 80s, playing and singing their hearts out. DAVE MacKENZIE - Loaded and Laid [OLD, NEW, BORROWED & BLUE/Black and Tan] Technically not a 2000 release, but it's his most recent, and I got it when Dave and his wife Adie Grey performed live on the program last October. Terrific songwriting, fun folk/blues record. Moving on to my favorite reissues and compilations of 2000... ZACHARY RICHARD - Cap Enragé [SILVER JUBILEE: THE BEST OF ZACHARY RICHARD, 1973-2000/Rhino] GRAM PARSONS - Wheel of Fortune [ANOTHER SIDE OF THIS LIFE/Sundazed] THE METERS - Hey Pocky Way [REJUVENATION/Sundazed] Sundazed re-released two of long out-of-print original Meters LPs from the 1970s in 1999, and three more last year. For this feat alone they deserve some kind of Major Award. Absolutely essential for anyone interested in New Orleans music and the origins of funk. LOS LOBOS DEL ESTE DE LOS ANGELES - El Bon Bon de Elena [JUST ANOTHER BAND FROM EAST L.A./Hollywood Records] The more historically significant of the two Los Lobos re-releases last year, I think. Luis Torres, who had produced this first Los Lobos album in 1977, had thought that the original master tapes were lost. Lo and behold, he found them in his garage, and now we have this record again. [WRITER'S ALMANAC, with Garrison Keillor] JOHN DUFFEY - Tennessee Blues [ALWAYS IN STYLE: A COLLECTION/Sugar Hill] Terrific compilation from the late vocalist/mandolinist of the bluegrass band Seldom Scene. I liked it a lot, and not just because it was produced by my friend Fred Jasper, either. NICK DRAKE - Time Has Told Me [FIVE LEAVES LEFT/Hannibal] Ryko/Hannibal LOUIS ARMSTRONG and HIS HOT SEVEN - Potato Head Blues [HOT FIVES AND HOT SEVENS, VOLUME 2/JSP Records] Finally, several tracks from picks for the best reissues of 2000: FRANK PROFFITT - Tom Dooley LEE MONROE PRESNELL - I Went to See My Molly LENA BOURNE FISH - Gilgarrah Mountain (Whiskey in the Jar) "YANKEE" JOHN GALUSHA - Days of 49 ELEAZAR TILLETT & MARTHA TILLETT - Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still [HER BRIGHT SMILE HAUNTS ME STILL: THE WARNER COLLECTION, VOLUME 1/Appleseed] BUNA VISTA HICKS - Drunkard's Doom NATHAN & RENA HICKS - George Collins [NOTHING SEEMS BETTER TO ME - THE MUSIC OF FRANK PROFFITT AND NORTH CAROLINA: THE WARNER COLLECTION, VOLUME II/Appleseed] And then, I ran out of time. D'oh.
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Chuck Taggart (e-mail chuck)