“That was Carter Stanley, the forgotten Stanley Brother, the one who died young without ever getting a decent payday, much less an armful of Grammys. In bluegrass circles, his star has never dimmed, and for good reason. Without Carter, there would have been no Stanley Brothers, perhaps the most revered brother act in country music history. Carter was the founding member and the driving force, while kid brother Ralph, at least in the early years, mostly tagged along for the ride.”
“Each person comes to have this musical experience, this moment with us, where they get to sink into our world for a little while. It’s this very unhurried world. It’s fairly quiet, it’s contemplative, but it can be quite panoramic. I think people think interesting thoughts at our shows, and they go rather deeply into some personal experience of their own. I’m really proud that our music seems to connect, because it’s not for everybody. But for the people that our music works for, it really gets down pretty deep in there.”
~Gillian Welch on her live shows (via Acoustic Guitar)
Gillian Welch – The way that it goes @ Cirkus, Stockholm, Sweden, 2011-11-02:
October 2, 1967 (age 47)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Gillian Welch (born October 2, 1967) is an American singer-songwriter. She performs with her musical partner, guitarist David Rawlings. Their sparse and dark musical style, which combines elements of Appalachian music, Bluegrass, and Americana, is described by The New Yorker as “at once innovative and obliquely reminiscent of past rural forms”.
Welch and Rawlings have released five critically acclaimed albums. Their 1996 debut, Revival, and the 2001 release Time (The Revelator), received nominations for the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Their 2003 album, Soul Journey, introduced electric guitar, drums and a more upbeat sound to their body of work. After a gap of eight years, they released their fifth studio album, The Harrow & The Harvest, in 2011.
Welch was an associate producer and performed on two songs of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, a platinum album that won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 2002. Welch has collaborated and recorded with distinguished musicians such as Alison Krauss, Ryan Adams, Jay Farrar, Emmylou Harris, The Decemberists, and Ani DiFranco.
“Stingy critics give Ms. Welch a hard time because she’s a California city girl, not an Appalachian coal miner’s daughter. But as Lucinda or Emmylou might attest, love of the music is not a birthright, but an earned right. Listen to Ms. Welch yodel, in a tune about that no-good “gal” Morphine, and you know she’s as mountain as they come.” ~Taylor Holliday (The Wall Street Journal)
Welch and Rawlings incorporate elements of early twentieth century music such as old time, classic country, gospel and traditional bluegrass with modern elements of rhythm and blues, rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, and punk rock. The New Yorker‘s Alec Wilkinson maintained their musical style is “not easily classified—it is at once innovative and obliquely reminiscent of past rural forms”.
Concert @ BBC4 St. Luke’s Full Concert August 4, 2004 London:
00:30 – I Want To Sing That Rock And Roll
03:47 – Make Me Down A Pallet On Your Floor
07:11 – Elvis Presley Blues
12:17 – Look At Miss Ohio
16:24 – Red Clay Halo
20:10 – My First Lover
23:58 – One Little Song
27:23 – Revelator
35:12 – By The Mark
38:51 – The Way It Will Be
45:04 – Caleb Meyer
48:40 – I’ll Fly Away
52:39 – The Weight (with Old Crow Medicine Show)
Quotes about Gillian Welch:
Geoffrey Himes of The Washington Post described Welch as “one of the most interesting singer-songwriters of her generation“
In 2003, Tom Kielty of The Boston Globe observed that she was “quietly establishing one of the most impressive catalogs in contemporary roots music“
in a 2007 piece in The Guardian by John Harris called Welch “one of the decade’s greatest talents“
Critic Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times wrote, “At every turn, she demonstrates a spark and commitment that should endear her to anyone from country and folk to pop and rock fans who appreciate imagination and heart.“
Elvis Presley Blues:
Album of the day: The Harrow & The Harvest (2011):
I’m a farmer with a mandolin and a high tenor voice.
“To me there’s no difference between Muddy Waters and Bill Monroe.”
~Bob Dylan (to John Pareles, Sept 1997)
“Uncle Pen” from 1956 at the Ryman Auditorium:
William Smith Monroe
Also known as
September 13, 1911
Rosine, Kentucky, USA
September 9, 1996 (aged 84)
Bluegrass, Bluegrass gospel
William Smith Monroe (September 13, 1911 – September 9, 1996) was an American musician who created the style of music known as bluegrass, which takes its name from his band, the “Blue Grass Boys,” named for Monroe’s home state of Kentucky. Monroe’s performing career spanned 60 years as a singer, instrumentalist, composer and bandleader. He is often referred to as The Father of Bluegrass.
From allmusic.com – Stephen Thomas Erlewine:
Bill Monroe is the father of bluegrass. He invented the style, invented the name, and for the great majority of the 20th century, embodied the art form. Beginning with his Blue Grass Boys in the ’40s, Monroe defined a hard-edged style of country that emphasized instrumental virtuosity, close vocal harmonies, and a fast, driving tempo. The musical genre took its name from the Blue Grass Boys, and Monroe’s music forever has defined the sound of classical bluegrass — a five-piece acoustic string band, playing precisely and rapidly, switching solos and singing in a plaintive, high lonesome voice. Not only did he invent the very sound of the music, Monroe was the mentor for several generations of musicians. Over the years, Monroe’s band hosted all of the major bluegrass artists of the ’50s and ’60s, including Flatt & Scruggs, Reno & Smiley, Vassar Clements, Carter Stanley, and Mac Wiseman. Though the lineup of the Blue Grass Boys changed over the years, Monroe always remained devoted to bluegrass in its purest form. Read more @ allmusic
Awards & Legacy:
made an honorary Kentucky colonel in 1966
inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1970
inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1971
inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as an “early influence”) in 1997
(Jimmie Rodgers, Bob Wills, Hank Williams Sr., and Johnny Cash are the only other performers honored in all three)
As the “father of bluegrass,” he was also an inaugural inductee into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor in 1991.
In 1993, he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
he was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1995
His well-known song “Blue Moon of Kentucky” has been covered not only by bluegrass but also rock and country artists, most notably Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney, and Patsy Cline.
In 2003, CMT had Bill Monroe ranked No. 16 on CMT 40 Greatest Men of Country Music.
Artists that claimed to be influenced by or to be playing the bluegrass genre were often bullied by Bill Monroe. He always considered himself the father and caretaker of bluegrass. He would often say of new bands that did not perform to his standards, “That ain’t no part of nothin’.” Even those who question the scope of bluegrass refer to Monroe as a “musical giant” and recognize that “there would be no bluegrass without Bill Monroe.”
“Blue Moon of Kentucky” – live:
Album of the day: The Essential Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys (1945-1949) (1992):
Rock Me Mama/Wagon Wheel is a song originally sketched by Bob Dylan and later completed by Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show. Old Crow Medicine Show’s version was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in April 2013.
It is a big hit for Darius Rucker this year and nominated for a CMT award.
The chorus and melody for the song comes from a demo recorded by Bob Dylan during the Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid sessions.It is part of the famous bootleg Peco’s Blues, the Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid Sessions.
He started work on the soundtrack for Pat Garret on January 20th, 1973 in Mexico City. The next month he moved over to Burbank, California and was joined by Roger McGuinn, drummer Jim Keltner and bassist Terry Paul. The sessions gave us Dylan’s big hit Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, after finishing that classic they ran through 2 versions of Rock Me Mama.
It was never finished, and they probably forgot all about Rock Me Mama . The sessions got out as bootlegs and that’s how Keith Secor got to hear it.
Dylan had left the song as an unfinished sketch, Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show wrote verses for the song around Dylan’s original chorus. Secor’s additional lyrics transformed “Rock Me Mama” into “Wagon Wheel”. Secor has stated the song is partially autobiographical.
As Chris ‘Critter’ Fuqua of Old Crow told theislandpacket.com in May this year: “ I’d gotten a Bob Dylan bootleg in like ninth grade and I let Ketch listen to it, and he wrote the verses because Bob kind of mumbles them and that was it. We’ve been playing that song since we were like 17, and it’s funny because we’ve never met Dylan, but the song is technically co-written by Bob Dylan. What’s great about “Wagon Wheel” is that it has grown organically. The popularity of it was all based on word of mouth. There was no radio airplay for it. We made a music video for it, but it wasn’t “November Rain” or anything. No one was like, “Oh my God, what’s this video about?” And 16 years later, it went gold, then Darius Rucker cut it.”
Keith Secor: “It’d be my pleasure to dispel the myth and rumor about the song Wagon Wheel, or “Rock Me Mama” as Bob Dylan himself called the song when he recorded it down in Mexico in 1972 for the soundtrack of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. This song was not released, and it was not finished either, this is a demo of a practice session of him, Rob Stoner, and a couple of gals doing the chorus over and over again while the bass player learns the bass line. That’s what I heard on a German bootleg about nine years ago in high school. And I wrote the lyrics to the song because I loved the chorus so much and I sung it in my head for maybe a year straight, and then just penned what I penned, which is something of an autobiographical story about just wanting to get outta town, gettin outta school, and just wanting to go play music. It’s sort of autobiographical like that. But yeah, it’s sort of a Bob Dylan co-write with about 25 years inbetween.”
He works in the folk tradition that Dylan is definitely a part of, getting parts of melodies and lyrics and adding your own verses. He got the year wrong, it was in 1973.The version that he heard was probably the second version of the song, as he describes the chorus. Continue reading The Roots of Wagon Wheel aka Rock Me Mama→