Jonas Fjeld (born Terje Lillegård Jensen; 24 September 1952 in Bodø, Norway) is a Norwegian singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He is best known in the English-speaking world for two albums recorded by Danko/Fjeld/Andersen, a collaboration with Canadian Rick Danko of The Band and American singer-songwriter Eric Andersen. Fjeld also recorded two albums with the American bluegrass group Chatham County Line.
He is 60 years old today!
We celebrate him with a collection of his finest songs.
The Bells are ringing for you now (1985):
Paying Back (with The Chatham County Line):
Engler i sneen/angels in the snow (norwegian and english) (with Chatham County Line):
And the same song with Rick Danko, Eric Andersen and Jonas Fjeld:
Blue Hotel (Rick Danko, Eric Andersen and Jonas Fjeld, audio only):
We end this little tribute with the lovely, Mary I’m coming back home (Danko/Fjeld/Andersen):
Gram Parsons was a master songwriter both on his own and in collaboration with others. It is no wonder that his songs are covered by many artists. I have picked some of the best ones and hereby present my Top 7 Gram Parsons Cover songs.
1) Jay Farrar’s wonderful rendition of Drugstore Truck Drivin’ Man (and Christine’s Tune as a bonus). Jay Farrar has a great voice, and he’s a good performer, this music just fits. He gets to pay tribute to the country part of his roots. Just fantastic!
“He’s been like a father to me
He’s the only DJ you can hear after three
I’m an all night musician in a rock ‘n’ roll band
And why he don’t like me, I can’t understand”
Written By Gram Parsons and Roger McGuinn
The song Drug Store Truck Drivin’ Man details a moderately unpleasant on-air exchange between Ralph Emery and Roger McGuinn, the lead singer of the 1960s rock group The Byrds, concerning their 1968 appearance at The Grand Ole Opry. In that performance, the Byrds attempted unsuccessfully to convince traditional country music fans that their developing country rock sound was a legitimate part of the tradition.
2) I’ve chosen , A song for you performed by Whiskeytown (great vocal by Ryan Adams) and performed by Justin Townes Earle.
I couldn’t just pick one them, they’re both so god dam good and very different.
Justin Townes Earle:
“…So take me down to your dance floor
And I won’t mind the people when they stare
Paint a different color on your front door
And tomorrow we will still be there…”
Written by Gram Parsons
Here is a great compliment: “The song is absolutely hopeless, beyond despair. It’s the saddest song I’ve ever heard.” That was Rolling Stone magazine’s description of A Song for You in March 1973, reviewing the album on which it featured, GP.
3)My Uncle performed by Steve Earle.
Steve Earle is a hero of ours and a list like this would not be complete without him. That said, he gives a fantastic interpretation of My Uncle from The Flying Burrito Brothers’ Guilded Palace of Sin.
Steve Earle My Uncle:
“A letter came today from the draft board
With trembling hands I read the questionnaire
It asked me lots of things about my mama and papa
Now that ain’t what I call exactly fair
So I’m heading for the nearest foreign border
Vancouver may be just my kind of town
Because they don’t need the kind of law and order
That tends to keep a good man underground..”
This is The River Has Many Voices according to his bio:
The River Has Many Voices(TRHMV) is Matthew Payne, a singer/songwriter who lives and writes in Dripping Springs just outside of Austin, TX at his ranch house of 126 acres set in the Texas hill country. It is the land where he grew up and it is where he calls home.
Matthew Payne worked as a high school English and Creative Writing teacher for five years. Though incredibly proud of his time there, he decided to leave this work and pursue a life of writing and singing.
There’s a thousand on fire (not released):
It was then, living in a small ranch house, in a span of a month, that he wrote and recorded the tracks that appear on this debut album. Having written for years,
he has developed a musical catalogue much larger than any one album and this comes through with his live shows. He plays many clubs and coffeehouses around
Austin, and some festivals, including Old Pecan Street Festival this fall.
Barton Creek [EP]
Barton Creek is a collection of songs integrating harmony and acoustic melody from genres of Folk, Country, Pop, and Americana. The lyrics take the most
importance and involve various topics, including death, love, and living with both of those powerful forces.
As EPs go it’s a long one, it clocks in at 41 minutes. And it is 41 minutes well spent. The six songs are full of optimism, longing and loss.
It starts off with For Emily, a sweet love song with a hypnotic accoustic guitar riff over Matthew Payne’s husky voice. The Harmonies on the choruses are just beautiful. The Lyrics are bittersweet, as the love affair now seems over, but it’s still a song that praises Emily in a very profound way. I love it.