“This ain’t no part of no unplugged nothin — God, I hate MTV”
~Steve Earle (Liner notes)
I got to thinking,…if I don’t make this record now, I won’t get the chance to make it. .. I’m singing the best I’ve sung in years. Mainly [because of] no dope. Heroin relaxes your vocal cords, it lowers the top of your range a little bit, and then when you try to sing over it…
~Steve Earle (to SPIN in 1995)
I wish I’d never come back home
It don’t feel right since I’ve been grown
I can’t find any of my old friends hangin’ ’round
Won’t nothin’ bring you down like your hometown
Hometown Blues – From Later With Jools Holland 1995:
February 28, 1995
Folk, country, country rock, bluegrass
Train a Comin’ is an acoustic studio album by Steve Earle. The album, Earle’s first in five years, was released in 1995. In addition to Earle, it features Peter Rowan, Norman Blake, Roy Huskey, and Emmylou Harris. The album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album.
If you see her out tonight
And she tells you it’s just the lights
That bring her here and not her loneliness
That’s what she says but sometimes she forgets
Gene Clark will always be best remembered for years as a vocalist with the Byrds. A fine legacy to be sure, but the shame of it is that there was far more to Clark’s body of work than that; he was a superb songwriter, one of the founding fathers of country-rock, and recorded a number of fine albums with an impressive array of collaborators whose quality far outstripped their modest sales figures. (Read more at allmusic.com)
This is an album that has been difficult to get. But now it is finally beeing rereleased on cd (according to Uncut magazine), it was planned released in the summer of 2011, sadly it didn’t happen. I’m hoping all legal issues have been solved now, and that we finally can get a new and, hopefully, remastered version of this forgotten masterpiece. Update: I read somewhere that august 2013 is the new release month for the re-issue, fingers crossed!
Edit: I have done a bit research on different releases, and there appears to have been at least two cd releases before. Well, I cannot find them and have to wait for the much talked about re-release.
I have an old vinyl lp that I have ripped to digital format (I have put the record player away on the loft somewhere…), it doesn’t sound as good but it’s what I got at the moment. I really look forward to getting the re-issue.
Two Sides was Gene Clark’s last solo album for a major label. Signed to RSO Records shortly after his wildly experimental (and occasionally engaging) 1974 Elektra album, No Other, which is often cited as his masterpiece, Clark and producer Thomas Jefferson Kaye released this. Two Sides is a much lower-key affair, and it succeeds on many more levels than the more heralded No Other. Clark’s explorations into country music are much more at home on this album, as tracks such as “Mary Lou” and “Kansas City Southern” demonstrate. Oddly, one of the highlights of this record is a non-Clark composition, the traditional “In the Pines,” which showcases Clark’s brilliant (and underrated) vocal ability. The following year would see Clark team up with ex-Byrd mates Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman on the forgettable McGuinn, Clark & Hillman project. Two Sides shows Clark in full command of his awesome gifts. Essential for Gene Clark enthusiasts.
– Matthew Greenwald
Two Sides To Every Story came out in January 1977 (exact date ?), and for the most part offered more characteristic Gene Clark country-rock. The ballads are the highlights on the records, especially “Give my love to Marie”, “Hear the wind” and the last two songs on the album are outstandig.
“Home Run King” (Clark)
“Lonely Saturday” (Clark)
“In the Pines” (Traditional)
“Kansas City Southern” (Clark)
“Give My Love to Marie” (James Talley)
“Sister Moon” (Clark)
“Marylou” (Obie Jessie, Sam Ling)
“Hear the Wind” (Clark)
“Past Addresses” (Clark)
“Silent Crusade” (Clark)
Give My Love to Marie:
The Critics then didn’t fare well with the album, they were , as always, extremeley negative towards Gene Clark. This didn’t help with his self esteem, and the terrible review in Rolling Stone must have felt like the last nail in the coffin of his career. He never released an album on a major label after this.
Rolling Stone Magazine:
To those who admire Gene Clark, Two Sides to Every Story is a heartbreaker—in the worst way. (“Is this the dullest album ever made?” was my original opening sentence. “Probably” would have been the second.) Lugubrious to the point of laughableness, the once-classy Clark creeps through a series of Gibranian ballads that is so Antonioni-slow the songs actually seem to stop. Dead. Like this. Bereft of either interest or ideas, this plodding work can only be described as California-liturgidical.
Interlarded among the endlessness are some lame bluegrass (“Home Run King,” “In the Pines”), listless rock & roll (“Marylou”) and the worst train song ever (“Kansas City Southern”). Producer Thomas Jefferson Kaye is a great help, offering an interminable supply of nothing but the moldiest clichés.
This is terribly unjust and a review that is not possible to understand when listening to the album. This is an undiscovered treasure, a record that sometimes even surpasses No Other, his masterpiece.
Even with the chaos and missteps, this is a record that overcomes its flaws, offering moments of hard-won beauty and open-hearted grandeur from an artist fighting for his career.
Sister Moon (audio) with Emmylou Harris:
Featured guest musicians include Emmylou Harris, Byron Berline, Doug Dillard and Al Perkins. Like most of Clark’s albums, it failed to get far on the charts.
I have nearly 30 albums by Townes Van Zandt, most of them live and released after he passed away. Most of them better than 99% of everything released today.
My mother and father are heavy smokers. When we went camping when I was a child we drove in our Opel Record. No safety belts, no windows open, just lot of smoke and country music.
It is glued into me, I still love those voices, Waylon Jennings, Burl Ives, Kenny Rogers, Johnny Cash, Townes Van Zandt and a whole bunch of other fantastic singers and songwriters.
I don’t mind the smoke as long a s I get the music!
One of my favourite songs from back then is If I Needed You, so sparse and so vulnerable.
My father had a good friend, Reidar, who collected all these great country artists. He was very passionate about the music and he was a very kind man. He died of cancer much too young.
He gave me casettes of fantastic country and western music, I didn’t really appreciate it at the time, but he played a big part in shaping my musical taste.
Townes Van Zandt was his doing. Thank you , Reidar!
If I needed you:
Version 2 by Townes (the song starts about two minutes into the video):
It is a popular song that is covered by a lot of artists. Here are a few of the best known ones:
Emmylou Harris and Steve Earle:
Emmylou in 1982, maybe the best cover version!
Don Williams had a hit with Emmylou Harris:
Very understandable, it’s a fantastic interpretation.
If I needed you, would you come to me?
Would you come to me for to ease my pain?
If you needed me, I would come to you.
I would swim the sea for to ease your pain.
Well the night’s forlorn and the morning’s born
And the morning’s born with the lights of love.
And you’ll miss sunrise if you close your eyes,
And that would break my heart in two.
last but not least, Townes Van Zandt again with the masterpiece if I Needed You:
Gram Parsons (November 5, 1946 – September 19, 1973) was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist. Parsons is best known for his work within the country genre; he also mixed blues, folk, and rock to create what he called “Cosmic American Music”.Besides recording as a solo artist, he also worked in several notable bands, including the International Submarine Band, The Byrds, and The Flying Burrito Brothers. His career, though short, is described by Allmusic as “enormously influential” for both country and rock, “blending the two genres to the point that they became indistinguishable from each other.”
Born in 1946, Parsons emerged from a wealthy but troubled childhood to attend Harvard University. He founded the International Submarine Band in 1966, and after several months of delay their debut, Safe at Home, was released in 1968, by which time the group had disbanded. Parsons joined The Byrds in early 1968, and played a pivotal role in the making of the seminal Sweetheart of the Rodeoalbum.
After leaving the group in late 1968, Parsons and fellow Byrd Chris Hillman formed The Flying Burrito Brothers in 1969, releasing their debut, The Gilded Palace of Sin, the same year. The album was well received but failed commercially; after a sloppy cross-country tour, they hastily recorded Burrito Deluxe. Parsons was fired from the band before its release in early 1970. He soon signed with A&M Records, but after several unproductive sessions he canceled his intended solo debut in early 1971. Parsons moved to France, where he lived for a short period at Villa Nellcôte with his friend Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones.
Returning to America, Parsons befriended Emmylou Harris, who assisted him on vocals for his first solo record, GP, released in 1973. Although it received enthusiastic reviews, the release failed to chart; his next album, Grievous Angel (released posthumously in 1974) met with a similar reception, and peaked at number 195 on Billboard. Parsons died of a drug overdose on September 19, 1973 in hotel room 8 at the Joshua Tree Inn at Joshua Tree, California, at the age of 26.
Since his death, Parsons has been recognized as an extremely influential artist, credited with helping to found both country rock and alt-country.His posthumous honors include the Americana Music Association “President’s Award” for 2003, and a ranking at No. 87 on Rolling Stone‘s list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time.”
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic describes Parsons as “enormously influential” for both country and rock, “blending the two genres to the point that they became indistinguishable from each other. … His influence could still be heard well into the next millennium.”
In his essay on Parsons for Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Greatest Artist” list, Keith Richards notes that Parsons’ recorded music output was “pretty minimal.” But nevertheless, Richards claims that Parsons “effect on country music is enormous[, t]his is why we’re talking about him now.”
The Flyin Burrito Brothers – Chritina’s Tune:
Gram & Emmylou – Streets of Baltimore (Bad quality, but GREAT stuff!!):
A Great documentary about Gram from BBC – “Fallen Angel”:
A showman’s life is a smokey bar and The fevered chase of a tiny star It’s a hotel room and a lonely wife From what I’ve seen of a showman’s life
Nobody told me about this part They told me all about the pretty girls and the wine and The money and the good times No mention of all the wear and tear on an old honkey-tonker’s heart Well, I might have known it But nobody told me about this part ~”A Showman’s life” (one of his best songs)
Buddy Miller (born September 6, 1952 in Fairborn, Ohio) is a country singer, songwriter, musician, recording artist and producer, currently living in Nashville, Tennessee. Miller is married to and has recorded with singer-songwriter Julie Miller.
Miller formed the Buddy Miller Band, which included singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin on vocals and guitar.
He has a signature acoustic guitar made by the Fender company, and frequently uses vintage Wandre electric guitars.
From allmusic.com – Johnny Lofthus:
Soulful Americana songwriter, singer, and producer Buddy Miller began his career in the early ’60s as an upright bassist in high-school bluegrass combos. Later, he traveled the back roads of America as an acoustic guitarist, eventually landing in New York City, where his Buddy Miller Band included a young Shawn Colvin on vocals and guitar. He also forged an enduring relationship with country-rock iconoclast Jim Lauderdale. Miller eventually landed in Nashville, where he did session guitar and vocal work on albums by Lauderdale, Victoria Williams, and Heather Myles, among others. He self-produced his criminally overlooked solo debut, Your Love and Other Lies (Hightone, 1995), and followed it with 1997’s equally superb Poison Love.
By this point Miller was the lead guitarist in Emmylou Harris’ band, and Harris returned the favor with backing vocals throughout Poison Love. …. .. read more @ allmuic.com