Tuesday, December 30, 2008

DELANEY BRAMLETT: Where The Soul Never Dies


It seems that no matter what we get for Christmas, or what friends and family we haven’t seen for ages drop by for the holidays the year always seems to end with a sad passing. Unfortunately this year is no exception. Just a few days after Christmas came the news that Delaney Bramlett had passed.

He may not have been the household name that most of the people he worked with were, but he was more often than not the glue that held the session together. Whether he was sharing the stage with Eric Clapton, Leon Russell, Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, wife Bonnie or any number of others he brought something to the party that made the event special. I urge you to poke around on the Internet and see what you can find out about him and his life. I think you’ll be more than a little surprised at what you discover. I’d also be willing to bet that just about everyone who’s serious about their music has something in their collection that he was involved with.

It was hard to come up with a single clip from all of the great footage available featuring him. Instead of seeing how many iconic guests I could find him on stage with I decided to use this one that shows him doing what he probably did best. Sharing the stage with his then wife Bonnie covering Dr. John’s “When The Battle Is Over.” There is perhaps no better example of what people are talking about when they mention “blue eyed Southern soul” than a performance like this one.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Playing For Change

From the award-winning documentary, "Playing For Change: Peace Through Music", comes the first of many "songs around the world" being released independently. Featured is a cover of the Ben E. King classic by musicians around the world adding their part to the song as it travelled the globe. This and other songs such as "One Love" will be released as digital downloads soon; followed by the film soundtrack and DVD early next year.

Sign up at www.playingforchange.com for updates and exclusive content.

Join the Movement to help build schools, connect students, and inspire communities in need through music.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Deep And Dark December...

Laying Out My Winter Clothes

The grip of Winter brings to mind countless images that take us to different times in our lives. Whether it be a special Christmas, a snowstorm that freed us from school for consecutive days or maybe that unique song that plays in our head as the flakes pile up.

For me nothing sets the mood better than some well chosen Simon & Garfunkel tunes. They mine melancholy as well, if not better, than just about anyone. Everyone has their favorite. The one that “cuts me ’til I cried out” every time though is “The Boxer.” Having once been in New York during Christmas season I’ve come to understand the song in ways I never could have as a thirteen year old buying the single.

The single peaked at #7 in the Spring of 1969 oddly enough. However, some songs take a while to establish their spot in history. In the ensuing years the song has almost become mythic. It’s saga of a restless soul became a metaphoric tale for an all too familiar way of life and a tough as nails city. Depending on their mood on any given night they even throw us an extra verse. Today’s visual aid includes it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What Will The New Year Bring?

We are not taking orders on any of these yet but we thought you might enjoy seeing some things that are coming down the road in 2009.

Justin Townes Earle finishes /Midnight at the Movies/
Justin finished up his follow-up to /The Good Life/ for us and it has all of us in the compound walking around all bug-eyed. How a guy that did such an amazing job on his first record could take an even GREATER leap forward is pretty exciting. The album is called /Midnight at the Movies/ and it will hit the street in March 09 on CD and LP. Justin continues to tour his ass off, both domestically and internationally. Between US shows, he hits Australia soon and revisits the UK in January. Here's the video for "The Good Life" http://www.vimeo.com/1485978

Ha Ha Tonka Hitting Studio for 2nd Bloodshot album
Ha Ha Tonka are starting work on their 2nd Bloodshot album very shortly in St. Louis at Sawhorse Studios. Jason McIntire is at the helm; his most recent success was producing the St. Louis buzz band, Ludo. Ha Ha Tonka's incredible animated video for Caney Mountain is here: http://www.vimeo.com/1429884

Scotland Yard Gospel Choir Recording Now
Scotland Yard Gospel Choir are in the studio currently working on their new album, titled "And The Horse You Rode in On". Expect the follow up to their critically acclaimed self titled album in stores in mid-2009. Elia wrote the majority of the album in Wales, and calls it "An angry, comically heart wrenching record, alternately venting spleen and touching on the poignancy of betrayal and loss."

Bottle Rockets Record with Eric "Roscoe" Ambel
The Bottle Rockets celebrated their 15^th anniversary by recording a spanking new album with producer Eric "Roscoe" Ambel, producer of their renowned album, /The Brooklyn Side/. The new album will be released in spring 2009.

Scott Biram zeros in on completion of new album
The one band destruction machine, Scott Biram, is closing in on the completion of his next album. Highlights include a cover of "I Feel So Good" by Muddy Waters with The Black Diamond Heavies guesting. John Meyers from the Heavies also contributed some keyboards on one of Scott's tunes, titled "Why You Give Me Such a Hard Time?" Album art is slated to be by Mark Todd, known for his work for Scratch Acid and Jesus Lizard.

Bobby Bare Jr & Sr Producing Tribute to Shel Silverstein
Bobby and his dad are executive-producing a tribute to Shel Silverstein that will be released on Sugar Hill/Vanguard in mid 2009. The two of them have the following bands slated to contribute (and quite a few are already recorded):
Emmylou Harris
Black Keys
George Jones & Ray Price
Allison Krauss
Band of Horses
Dr. Dog
Andrew Bird
Kris Kristofferson (backed by members of the Silver Jews)
My Morning Jacket

And last but certainly not least, available March 3, 2009
Buddy & Julie Miller's Written In Chalk
Album Features Robert Plant, Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin and more
Track List:
1 Ellis County/(Julie Miller)
2 Gasoline and Matches/(Julie and Buddy Miller)
3 Don't Say Goodbye/(Julie Miller)
4 What You Gonna Do, Leroy/(Mel Tillis)
5 A Long, Long Time/(Julie Miller)
6 One Part, Two Part/(Dee Ervin)
7 Chalk/(Julie Miller)
8 Everytime We Say Goodbye/(Julie Miller)
9 Hush, Sorrow/(Julie Miller)
10 Smooth/(Julie Miller)
11 June /(Julie Miller)
12 The Selfishness In Man/(Leon Payne)

Friday, November 28, 2008

December Mailer : First Look

Your Early Christmas Present

Due to just about anything you can name (they don't call it stuffing for nothing) we're a bit behind finishing the December mailer. Most, but not all, of the titles have been input at the website, however they lack reviews and information. Due to the limited nature of some titles, and the fact that it's December and restocking will get more difficult with each passing day we're offering blog subscribers first shot at these titles.

That's not to say that we won't be able to get these again, it's just that it will take longer this time of year on some titles and we know some of these will make great presents. Things usually slow down in December, but for some reason there are lots of essential titles and some hard to find ones that we've been trying for months to offer finally showing up at our tree.

This link will take you to the work in progress mailer. Non blog subscribers will not get this opportunity. (Membership still has its
privilege's even in these tough times) You will still eventually get a complete email version just like always, but when you see some of the titles you'll not want to be left out while we wait for additional stock.

Thanks for another wonderful year, and keep checking the site for more great titles.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Long Lost Friend

There aren’t many songs that deal directly with Thanksgiving, (no shortage of movies though) but the sentiment of family, turkey and home has been the mainstay of countless songs throughout the centuries.

This is one of our favorites that has stood the test of time. It hits all of the bases, and unlike a lot of songs from the seventies this one has endured and gets better with each passing season. He may have come off square, but never less than sincere in our book. (Watch for James Burton on guitar)

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us, to all of you.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hard Travelin'

Ry Cooder's America

Will Rogers, Woody Guthrie, John Steinbeck, Studs Turkel, Will Eisner, and Jack Kerouac to name just a few, all had "their" America that they shared with the world through their works and deeds. Ry Cooder has been fashioning his version one album at a time for over forty years. The following story is the latest chapter in his saga.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dave Alvin Answers The Hard Questions

Here is a nice short inteview with one of my all time favorites. Dave Alvin, past, present, and future. He discusses his years with Hightone and the new collection, the lyrics to Fourth Of July, and his upcoming Chris Gaffney project. That is one that will be on my want list next year.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cover Me

It’s a debatable argument as to how much music has gone downhill since the demise of vinyl. However, it’s not much of an argument that album art has been on life support since the advent of the disc. The reasons are obvious owing to the size of the booklets versus the album covers.

I discovered this site that celebrates the heretofore unknown interactive aspect of album art. It lets you (with some effort on your part) become part of your favorite album if you take the notion. If you think we have too much time on our hands by surfing a site like this, think about those who actually put out the effort to collect the content for it.

If you enjoy this site bookmark it because it updates often and the content gets more creative as time goes on.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Three Girls And Their Buddy

Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin and Buddy Miller Announce A Second Run Of Their Collaborative Shows

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (November 11, 2008) — Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin and Buddy Miller have announced they will again join forces for a series of collaborative shows in 2008. The “Three Girls and Their Buddy” tour will perform in the Northeast U.S., beginning in Alexandria, VA. on February 3, 2009 at The Birchmere and concluding in Boston, MA. on February 22 at The Orpheum. A New York City show at the newly reopened and remodeled Beacon Theater will take place on February 20th. The “Three Girls and Their Buddy” shows feature all four artists performing onstage together, sharing the songs and stories that have defined their venerated careers.
The four have a long-established history of musical associations, having been in each other’s bands, produced and played on each other’s albums, covered each other’s songs, and guested on each other’s shows many times over the years. Buddy Miller was Emmylou’s band leader in the outfit Spyboy and produced her live album by that name. Patty Griffin’s song “One Big Love” was recorded by Emmylou, who has made appearances on Patty’s last two studio albums. Emmylou, Patty and Buddy – with Gillian Welch and David Rawlings – toured together as Sweet Harmony Traveling Revue, a special run of collaborative shows. Buddy has performed many times over the years with Shawn Colvin, beginning with her inclusion in The Buddy Miller Band in the 80s in New York City and leading up to the These Four Walls tour in the fall of 2006. The group was recently reunited in October for a spirited performance at San Francisco’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.
Tickets for all shows on the Three Girls and their Buddy tour will go on sale starting 11/21.
Fans can take advantage of a special pre-sale beginning November 14th at 10 am EST. Presale participants will have access to the best seats available, plus the opportunity to pre-purchase a limited edition tour poster signed by all four artists. Anyone who purchases a ticket via the presale will also be entered to win a meet and greet with the artists, with four lucky winners per show.

Three Girls and their Buddy 2009:
Date City/State Venue Onsale
February 3-4 Alexandria, VA The Birchmere Nov 21, 2008
February 5 Harrisburg, PA Whitaker Center at the Forum Nov 21, 2008
February 6 Glenside, PA The Keswick Nov 20, 2008
February 8 Portsmouth, NH Music Hall TBD
February 9 Ithaca, NY State Theatre Nov 21, 2008
February 10 Torrington, CT The Warner Theater Nov 21, 2008
February 20 New York, NY Beacon Theatre Nov 22, 2008
February 21 Kingston, NY Bardavon 1869 Opera House Nov 24, 2008
February 22 Boston, MA The Orpheum

Monday, November 3, 2008

Please Vote Today

No matter how long the lines might be today please stay there. This is important. You can make a difference.


It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation.

Yes we can.

It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom.

Yes we can.

It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness.

Yes we can.

It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the ballots; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.

Yes we can to justice and equality.

Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity.

Yes we can heal this nation.

Yes we can repair this world.

Yes we can.

We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.

We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics...they will only grow louder and more dissonant ........... We've been asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.

But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.

Now the hopes of the little girl who goes to a crumbling school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of the boy who learns on the streets of LA; we will remember that there is something happening in America; that we are not as divided as our politics suggests; that we are one people; we are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in the American story with three words that will ring from coast to coast; from sea to shining sea --

Yes. We. Can.

Celebrities featured include: Jesse Dylan, Will.i.am, Common, Scarlett Johansson, Tatyana Ali, John Legend, Herbie Hancock, Kate Walsh, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Adam Rodriquez, Kelly Hu, Amber Valetta, Eric Balfour, Aisha Tyler, Nicole Scherzinger and Nick Cannon

Hold On, It's Coming


Special Election Issue

We're getting some nervous emails and calls about the November mailer. Not to worry we're almost done with it. It would have been out on time except for the fact that we've been standing in line for two days to vote. The owners have voted, but some of the mail room and graphics people are still in line. Exit polls point to a really strong mailer for this late in the year. In this election it's you the customer that will be declared the winner.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A New Robert Johnson Photo Found?

We found this article from Vanity Fair to be very interesting. Maybe you will too.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ray Wylie Hubbard And Grounded In Music

Ray Wylie Hubbard is involved in two upcoming events to raise money for a very worthwhile cause and we at Village Records are very happy to help promote these.

All proceeds from both the October 25th Songwriting Workshop and the Epiphone Guitar Raffle will be donated to the Grounded In Music Organization. You still have time to sign up for either one of these or both. Who knows you may even win a guitar and learn to write a great song! We hope you will join them.

Grounded In Music works with the Boys & Girls Clubs to expose kids to music starting in grades 4-12. Professional musicians come to the Clubs and give kids lessons on a variety of instruments, many of which have been generously donated. But not only will kids learn to play, they'll learn about other aspects of the music business through visits backstage and to recording studios. As the program develops there will be scholarships available for the study of music beyond high school.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tom Russell and Ian Tyson DVD

We were not expecting this DVD to arrive until November but it will be in stock Monday and start shipping Tuesday, 14th October!

For two days in 2008, Russell and Tyson held court, "mano a mano," at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko,Nevada, and offered a rare glimpse into the creative process of songwriting, plus a friendship and collaboration that spans decades. Tyson speaks of the Dylan days, and both writers cut to the core of their art. This songwriting workshop forms the basis for this DVD which also includes performances by Tyson and Russell and an exclusive interview with Ian Tyson which is included in it’s entirity as a bonus feature. 90 minutes.
Produced by Tom Russell and Eric Temple

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Chris Gaffney's Music Returns

Nothing of course will bring back this talented artist, but he will live forever in the music he's left behind. With the Hightone label now under the Shout Factory umbrella his two solo albums for that label are back in print at popular prices. There's no picking one over the other, you'll want them both.

When you're done devouring those be sure and check out his last recordings with the Hacienda Brothers.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ramblin' Boy

I’m not sure whether a song can truly change the world or not. As noble as that sounds it‘s just too much of a stretch for me. A song can however change an entire day when heard at the appropriate time. Yesterday morning it was raining and I was running behind. When I tapped the on button of my car radio just such a thing happened. The first song I heard was Tom Paxton’s
I Can’t Help But Wonder Where I’m Bound.” He’s written a lot of memorable songs in a long career, but the melancholy of that one fit the morning like few others could have. (Several Leonard Cohen songs are capable of the same magic)

That song along, with “Ramblin’ Boy” and “The Last Thing On My Mind” form a triumvirate of songs that you’d swear were handed down mountain ballads from before there were even trains. No one could have possibly taken a guitar and a sheet of paper to the park and come home with one of them. The timeless quality of those songs never ceases to amaze me when I hear one of them. All are available by him and countless others. Seeking out any version of these songs will at the very least change your day.

“May all your ramblin’ bring you joy…”

Monday, September 8, 2008

End Of The Road : Part One

“Goodbye's all we’ve got left to say…”

There comes a time in every relationship when you have to stop and take stock of what the future holds. It’s no different in our business. As you all know we offer a lot of exclusive music that is not easily found elsewhere, if at all. There comes a time though when the stock eventually dries up or other circumstances cause us to end our relationship with particular titles. It doesn’t mean anyone’s mad or litigation is pending. There are only so many copies of any given title available.

It’s a complicated formula that eventually leads to us deleting these titles from our catalog. In the past we have done this with no fanfare and moved on. However, we thought with this blog we would let our customers have one last chance before we pull the plug. In most cases it means that the artist needs the inventory themselves for sales on the road, or that we feel we’ve possibly sold all that we will ever sell and need the shelf space for newer titles, and in some cases the title is now out of print and we still have a few on hand.

With that in mind the list of titles below are in very short supply and will no longer be offered after October 1, 2008. In all cases with these titles there are less than ten copies in the warehouse. Due to the short supply we will not make this offer in the mailer, this is the only place and time it will be offered.

We plan to do this once a month or so for our blog subscribers so keep an eye out for future liquidations.

As if I have to say it, orders will be filled in the order they are received so don’t delay if you see something you missed.


PETE DROGE Under The Waves

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Neil Young's Songs Of The Times

Neil Young's stance on the US war in Iraq is quite well known. At his site he has a page called Songs Of The Times and it is devoted to songs dealing with this topic. There are over 2,800 songs collected there now. They are ranked by the number of plays. Our good buddies, The Rainravens, have a track there titled "American Beds", that has been hovering in the low forties last I checked.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

BOB DYLAN Bootleg Series Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs

'Twas in another lifetime...
I don't think we have ever taken preorders this far upfront but this is a pretty special item and a very special price. This latest entry in the Bob Dylan Bootleg Series is scheduled to be released October 7. However, if you preorder at the website before September 10 you will get the sale price of $124.99 for the DELUXE 3 CD version. (We will not charge your card until we actually ship.) This is scheduled to be a limited pressing and we want anyone on our list who wants one to be assured of getting one. Preordering at this time will secure you a copy to be shipped the day we take delivery.

2 CD set with 27 songs PLUS 60 page booklet with rare photos, essay, credits.
Exclusive bonus CD with 12 extra tracks. 150 page, 8" x 8" hardcover book of Bob's singles artwork.
All packaged in a hardcover solid slipcase. LISTEN ORDER


Disc: 1
1. Mississippi 6:04 (Unreleased, Time Out of Mind)
2. Most of the Time 3:46 (Alternate version, Oh Mercy)
3. Dignity 2:09 (Piano demo, Oh Mercy)
4. Someday Baby 5:56 (Alternate version, Modern Times)
5. Red River Shore 7:36 (Unreleased, Time Out of Mind)
6. Tell Ol' Bill 5:31 (Alternate version, North Country soundtrack)
7. Born in Time 4:10 (Unreleased, Oh Mercy)
8. Can't Wait 5:45 (Alternate version, Time Out of Mind)
9. Everything is Broken 3:27 (Alternate version, Oh Mercy)
10. Dreamin' of You 6:23 (Unreleased, Time Out Of Mind)
11. Huck's Tune 4:09 (From Lucky You soundtrack)
12. Marchin' to the City 6:36 (Unreleased, Time Out of Mind)
13. High Water (For Charley Patton) 6:40 (Live, August 23, 2003, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada)

Disc: 2
1. Mississippi 6:24 (Unreleased version #2, Time Out of Mind)
2. 32-20 Blues 4:22 (Unreleased, World Gone Wrong)
3. Series of Dreams 6:27 (Unreleased, Oh Mercy)
4. God Knows 3:12 (Unreleased, Oh Mercy)
5. Can't Escape from You 5:22 (Unreleased, December 2005)
6. Dignity 5:25 (Unreleased, Oh Mercy)
7. Ring Them Bells 4:59 (Live at The Supper Club, November 17, 1993, New York, NY)
8. Cocaine Blues 5:30 (Live, August 24, 1997, Vienna, VA)
9. Ain't Talkin' 6:13 (Alternate version, Modern Times)
10. The Girl on the Greenbriar Shore 2:51 (Live, June 30, 1992,Dunkerque, France)
11. Lonesome Day Blues 7:37 (Live, February 1, 2002, Sunrise, FL)
12. Miss the Mississippi 3:20 (Unreleased, 1992)
13. The Lonesome River 3:04 (With Ralph Stanley, from the album Clinch Mountain Country)
14. 'Cross the Green Mountain 8:15 (From Gods and Generals Soundtrack)

Disc: 3
1. Duncan & Brady 3:47 (Unreleased, 1992)
2. Cold Irons Bound 5:57 (Live at Bonnaroo, 2004)
3. Mississippi 6:24 (Unreleased version #3, Time Out of Mind)
4. Most of the Time 5:10 (Alternate version #2, Oh Mercy)
5. Ring Them Bells 3:18 (Alternate version, Oh Mercy)
6. Things Have Changed 5:32 (Live, June 15, 2000, Portland, OR)
7. Red River Shore 7:08 (Unreleased version #2, Time Out of Mind)
8. Born in Time 4:19 (Unreleased version #2, Oh Mercy)
9. Tryin' to Get to Heaven 5:10 (Live, October 5, 2000, London, England)
10. Marchin' to the City 3:39 (Unreleased version #2, Time Out of Mind)
11. Can't Wait 7:24 (Alternate version #2, Time Out of Mind)
12. Mary and the Soldier 4:23 (Unreleased, World Gone Wrong)
"All my powers of expression and thoughts so sublime
Could never do you justice in reason or rhyme
Only one thing I did wrong
Stayed in Mississippi a day too long"

Monday, August 18, 2008

Stock Tips

We just learned that a couple of releases scheduled for this week will not be on time. First, Todd Snider's "Peace Queer" has been pulled from release for the time being with no hard date announced yet. We are canceling all credit card orders for the Snider, check and Paypal orders will be back ordered for the time being. We will re-solicit this when we get more information.

The other delayed release is Chris Knight's Heart of Stone CD. It has been bumped two weeks to September 2nd release date. We will ship those as soon as possible. If you have a large order we may ship the bulk of it now and the Knight will come along later.

On the other side of the coin we have received a few new items for our 'Hard To Find' category. For various reasons these are those CDs that will never make it to your local store and you either get them at the artists' shows or at Village Records.

We have a new seven song CD from Jim Henry, 'King Of Hearts', continuing in the back and forth series with Tracy Grammer. They are now even with two apiece. Check out his cover of Richard Thompson's "1952 Vincent Black Lightning".

Also, the MIA Sammy Walker emerges from twelve years without a new release with 'Misfit Scarecrow'. Check it out.

We finally took delivery on the latest from Hans Theessink and it is worth the wait. This time he teams up with Terry Evans (of Ry Cooder fame) and the results are phenomenal as expected. A semi-acoustic set of covers that includes an aching soulful take on "Dark End Of The Street." The CD is called 'Visions'. We're offering this great import at domestic prices.

Operators are standing by...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Jerry Wexler : RIP

Legendary producer dies at 91

There is no way, no matter what the size of your music collection is that you don't own a CD, album or a single without this man's name on it. Many recordings while not bearing his name, carry his indelible stamp if an artist ever worked with him. Music has lost a vital link in the chain that cannot be replaced or welded back in place, it is simply gone.

There will be many tributes and commentaries on his life and work the rest of the year. I urge you to take the time and acquaint yourself with this man's incredible contributions to music that we take for granted every day. After doing that you can ask yourself, who working today will leave a footprint even close to the one that he's left.

This news release covers the basics, check out a few more in the days and weeks to come or run your own searches.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hightone Records Is Back

As many of you know the Hightone Records catalog has been hard to come by in the last few years. But today we are happy to announce that we have most of their great titles back and at new lower prices on top of it. What an incredible roster!! Dave Alvin, Joe Ely, Buddy Miller, and of course, Tom Russell, among many others.
So be frustrated no longer and see what you are missing and missing out on.
Browse HIGHTONE RECORDS at Village Records

Irma Thomas: Stepping Out From The Shadow Of The Rolling Stones

From telegraph.co.uk

Blues legend Irma Thomas tells Helen Brown how she is winning over a new generation
"So there we were, in a hotel in Austin, Texas, watching the footage of hurricane Katrina on CNN," recalls Irma Thomas.

Irma Thomas: "The secret's in the story of the song"
"And the reporter says: 'We are concerned about the whereabouts of Fats Domino and Irma Thomas.' Well, I knew where I was. But I could see why they were concerned: I'd just seen the helicopter fly over my house and it was under water."
Thomas, the "Soul Queen of New Orleans", lost almost everything....

Friday, August 8, 2008

Dog & Pony Show (A Letter From Dave Alvin)

Dave Alvin, John Doe, Peter Case, Big Sandy and more perform at the Dog & Pony Show benefit festival, Aug 30, 31 and Sept 1

Dear friends, fans and everyone else:

I’d like to let you know about a 3 day benefit called the
Dog & Pony Show that some close friends and I have put together for this coming Labor Day weekend, Aug 30, 31 and Sept 1.

The past year has been very hard health wise for many members of the California music scene. Four friends/musicians of ours (western soul singer Chris Gaffney, superb guitarist Duane Jarvis, blues diva Candye Kane, psycho-billy hot-rodder Drac Conley) were all diagnosed with different forms of cancer and need our help to deal the expense of their various treatments. Instead of putting on four different benefits, I thought it might make more sense to do one BIG one featuring many of the bands and musicians that have played with Chris, Duane, Candye and Drac through the years. Thus, the Dog And Pony Show was born.

Seeing how my late friend (and spiritual advisor), Chris Gaffney, always referred our gigs together as “dog and pony shows,” I thought that his descriptive phrase would be a perfect name for the benefit (though he never did tell me which one of us was the dog and which one was the pony).

Sadly, as many of you may know, Chris passed away recently but the good news is that Duane, Candye and Drac are doing fine and hanging tough through this rough time. Without going into a long dissertation on the state of health care in our country, I would like to point out that they still need financial help with their treatments and recoveries. All the money we raise at the Dog And Pony Show will be going directly to them (or in Chris’s case, to his survivors) to cover their medical expenses.

If you are in California this Labor Day weekend, or even remotely nearby, I’d like to personally invite you to come to the shows. There will be great music, drinks, dancing, barbeque, some memories, some laughs, a couple of tears and a roomful of love. I’ll see you there.

Dave Alvin

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Jon Dee Graham : On The Mend

Looks like a happy ending is in the cards for this near tragedy

Jon Dee Graham is recovering at University Medical Center at Brackenridge after a car wreck Friday night. He was listed in fair condition, according to Seton Hospital officials. Graham was driving home from Dallas when he fell asleep at the wheel, his family said Sunday. Here is the full statement posted on his MySpace page Sunday.

“Hello. We are surprised how quickly news travels. News of Jon Dee’s
accident has aready even been on the radio. A lot of people are really
wanting to know what happened. Jon Dee was on his way home from a gig in
Dallas late Friday night and sadly, fell asleep at the wheel. His oldest
son had just arrived from New York, and Jon Dee wanted to make it home
before breakfast.

Over the decades, he’s driven thousands of miles after
a gig,and to and from gigs, so, it was a surprise for him to suddenly
have his car spinning and derailing. Somehow, even as busy as I-35 can
be he was the only person and car involved in the accident. He was in
intensive care and is improving. He will be in the hospital for several
more days, at least.

Thank you for concerns from all friends and fans.
Jon Dee is happiest when is playing live and he will be on with the
shows when he recovers. He is pretty banged up, with broken bones,
injured insides, etc. Evidently, driving a Volvo really did save his
life. The Volvo died, thank God Jon Dee didn’t. Thank you for your
blessings, prayers, support and good thoughts of healing.


Jon Dee’s family”

Saturday, July 26, 2008

TOM RUSSELL : New Website Announcement

Our friend, and traveling troubadour Tom Russell, has launched his new web site. It's new, improved, and ready for the world at large. This will be the best way for you to see if he's on his way to your town with his guitar and guitarist Michael Martin. You can now access his blog, Facebook and MySpace pages from here to. Pretty much one stop shopping for all things Tom.

Also, get ready for a new two CD career spanning compilation from Shout Factory coming this fall. Final tracks are still being discussed, but there is talk of a few rare tracks that none of us have heard.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Along Comes Mary

Random musings on a Summer Day….

Songs about women were first written within minutes of the first instruments being tooled. Women named Mary have been the beneficiary of some great ones since that time. With no proof I would offer up that it is the most common woman’s name in history. My cousin who’s been married a few times even has two ex’s named Mary. Like I said, this is unscientific, but I stand by it.

Anyway, below is a selective, but compelling list of five songs that use the name of Mary in the title and a few that use a variation of the name. Feel free to submit yours to us. Titles are alphabetical for simplicity’s sake.

Arms Of Mary - Sutherland Brothers If you’ve never heard this, then you’ve never experienced what a girl named Mary could mean to one person. This is perfection from first note to last. The only other song that comes close in this department is “Walk Away Renee.” This one just stops time and allows you to search your psyche for your own “Mary.”

Hello, Mary Lou - Rick Nelson An ode to teenage love that while sounding quaint, never seems overwrought. Rick gives us a gentle reading that recalls the girl a few houses down who seems to notice everyone but our narrator.

Mary In The Morning - Al Martino In his pre “Godfather” days Al offered a credible version of this one for the masses. Elvis Presley though did one for the ages. Check out his soulful reading of it on “That’s The Way It Is.”

Mary, Mary - Monkees Although Mike Nesmith wrote it, Mickey does the vocal honors on this one. It’s a nice slab of pop from the late sixties. Also check out the Paul Butterfield Band’s version for a different perspective.

The Wind Cries Mary - Jimi Hendrix Experience This one arrives like some drugged induced dream with its imagery and stop and start musical passages, then it seems to just float around the room long after it ends.

Some Variations…

Maria - (West Side Story) This one has had its share of covers over the years, but Johnny Mathis delivers its most soulful version. After all of these years seeing the names of Sondheim and Bernstein under the title brings thoughts of seeing McCartney and Dylan together as co-writers.

Marie, Marie - Blasters Early eighties rockabilly that smolders from start to finish. Vocalist Phil Alvin uses the words of brother Dave to woo a local girl for a night on the town. It pulls together all of the urgency of living for the moment, not the times. This is one of those songs that you just can’t play loud enough.

So Long, Marianne - Leonard Cohen With a parable known only to Cohen he weaves his spell around yet another lost love.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Stock Tip

CAPPital Idea

One of our favorite retro country rockers, Brian Capps is offering easily the best deal currently in music. For a limited time you can purchase his three discs of all country covers in one package. All thirty tracks were produced by Lou Whitney and play like a roadhouse jukebox that never takes a break. One disc is entirely covers of Johnny Cash no less. These may not last until our next mailer so we wanted to make sure that our blog subscribers get first shot at them. Not sold in stores and not sold separately.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I Dreamed I Was Flying...

American Tune

Many's the time I've been mistaken And many times confused
Yes, and I've often felt forsaken And certainly misused
Oh, but I'm all right, I'm all right I'm just weary to my bones
Still, you don't expect to be Bright and bon vivant
So far away from home, so far away from home

And I don't know a soul who's not been battered

I don't have a friend who feels at ease
I don't know a dream that's not been shattered or driven to its knees
but it's all right, it's all right for we lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the
road we're traveling on
I wonder what's gone wrong
I can't help it, I wonder what's gone wrong

And I dreamed I was dying
I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly
And looking back down at me

Smiled reassuringly

And I dreamed I was flying

And high up above my eyes could clearly see

The Statue of Liberty
Sailing away to sea
And I dreamed I was flying

We come on the ship they call the Mayflower

We come on the ship that sailed the moon

We come in the age's most uncertain hours
and sing an American tune
Oh, and it's alright, it's all right, it's all right

You can't be forever blessed

Still, tomorrow's going to be another working day

And I'm trying to get some rest
That's all I'm trying to get some rest

(Paul Simon)

Happy Fourth Of July from Village Records

Sunday, June 22, 2008



Today our favorite pilgrim turns seventy two. That's right, seventy two. Hard to believe that he's been around this long considering the hard living and loving of those early days. He must be related to Jerry Lee Lewis. He's left his mark just about anywhere that music is played and has written some of the most enduring modern day standards. Standards about life on the road, wasted days and wasted nights, lovers and friends, pretty much everything but a classic car song when you get right down to it.

Unlike a lot of songwriters you always got the impression that he was the protagonist in nearly all of his songs. While others wrote in the abstract he stuck to everyday life and the struggles from getting out of bed on a Sunday morning to drinking it all away on a Saturday evening. What he lacked in vocal prowess he more than made up for by telling a story that you would never forget. Reminds me of a young kid from Hibbing Minnesota with a limited vocal range that managed to get his point across a few times.

Anyway Kris, it's your day. We'll have a round for you tonight because when it's all said and done "the going up is worth the coming down."

Thursday, June 19, 2008

New Live Steve Young CD

This new Steve Young CD was left at our doorstep this morning, completely unexpected, but here it is. It was recorded live late in 2006 at the Pioneer Pavillion, Mill Creek Park, Youngstown, Ohio. It will be featured in the next mailer, however it is available for purchase now for early bird shoppers.


Ragtime Blues Guitar (Steve Young)
Little Birdie (trad.)
Coal Tattoo (Billy Ed Wheeler)
The White Trash Song (Steve Young)
Tobacco Road (John D Loudermilk)
Seven Bridges Road (Steve Young)
Silverlake (Steve Young)
Lonesome, Orn'ry & Mean (Steve Young)
Ballad Of William Seyamore (Benet/Young)
Peyote Chant (trad.)
Coyote My Little Brother (Peter LaFarge)
Useful Girl (Richard Dobson)
I'm A One Woman Man (T. Franks/Johnny Horton)
Hoboin' (trad.)
East Virginia (trad.)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Like George Harrison before him, the quieter Beach Boy came up with possibly the best solo album of any group members. Dennis Wilson’s “Pacific Ocean Blue” sent white caps through the Beach Boys community. Brian eventually debuted with a really nice one but has mostly been adrift since then. Carl who many expected to run away with it couldn’t seem to overcome the production of the times he recorded his in. Bruce Johnston paddled out a few hundred feet, but never went into open water, while Mike and Al chose to stay on shore and forgo solo careers.

This elaborate two disc reissue finally arrived on our shores yesterday and was it ever worth all those years waiting on the dock. The first thing you notice is that it totally belies its 1977 year of origin. It almost seems like an album out of time. It has the West Coast vibe you might expect, but it remains a more personal statement from the handsome surfer behind the drums.

The biggest surprise though is that the second disc offers the never before released follow up album “Bambu.” I have to say in many ways it may be an even stronger album. One of the reasons is that it is a bit more organic and ever so slightly less polished. In short you get two revealing musical experiences in a single package. And what a package it is, elaborate and with tons of info on the sessions, a forty plus page booklet, essays and more.

He died just after Christmas in 1983 at the age of 39. Swallowed by the waters off of the California coast that had been his second home. Fitting, but way too soon. I can’t help but imagine the character of the Jimmy Buffett song “A Pirate Looks At Forty” when I think of him.

Mother, mother ocean, I have heard you call,
Wanted to sail upon your waters since I was three feet tall.
You've seen it all, you've seen it all.

Watch the men who rode you,
Switch from sails to steam.
And in your belly you hold the treasurethat few have ever seen,
Most of them dreams, most of them dreams.

Yes, I am a pirate two hundred years too late.
The cannons don't thunder there's nothin' to plunder
I'm an over forty victim of fate
Arriving too late, arriving too late.

I've done a bit of smugglin'I've run my share of grass.
I made enough money to buy Miami,
But I pissed it away so fast,
Never meant to last, never meant to last.
I have been drunk now for over two weeks,
I passed out and I rallied and I sprung a few leaks,
But I've got to stop wishin',Got to go fishin',
I'm down to rock bottom again.
Just a few friends, just a few friends.

I go for younger women, lived with several awhile
And though I ran away, they'll come back one day.
And still could manage a smile
It just takes awhile, just takes awhile.

Mother, mother ocean, after all these years I've found
My occupational hazard being my occupations just not around.
I feel like I've drowned,
Gonna head uptown.

(J. Buffett)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Stock Tips

The new Scott Kempner CD, Saving Grace, (originally due the 10th) has been delayed slightly. It is now scheduled for release on 24 June. Sixteen years between albums and they still have a few bugs to work out apparently. Give it a listen, it will be worth the wait. In related news we've learned that the Del-Lords recordings will be coming back in print and given the deluxe treatment later this year.

All orders for Emmylou Harris were shipped on time and I am sure many of you are already enjoying that one. One listen and you'll realize that she has made the right album at the right time in her incredible career. The return of Brian Ahern to the producers chair is the icing on the cake. (She was scheduled to appear at the Wakarusa Festival here but unfortunately her show was rained out.)

We just received the new one from Texas honky tonker, Jim Stringer and his AM Band. It is called Triskaidekaphilia and all I can say is that it is an Instant Party in a jewel box. It's modern retro at its finest. Ten new originals and three well chosen covers including Duane Eddy's "Rebel Rouser" to kick off the disc. In stock and shipping now if you can't wait for the July mailer.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Signature Sounds

Way down the road we see plenty to look forward to from Signature Sounds. This small but mighty label has had one of the most consistent rosters in folk music and every year they seem to bring us another new artist to add to the "must have" list. Plus they are a pleasure to work with.
August 6th will bring us the release of the Sacred Shakers' new self-titled album. (For the uninitiated, the Sacred Shakers is Eilen Jewell's Gospel band! Need we say more?)

Then, on September 2nd, we'll see the release of Mark Erelli's seventh Signature album, Delivered. Mark worked with Zack Hickman (of Josh Ritter's band) for this album, and it's a beauty.

Looking ahead to Fall... We'll get a new Winterpills album in late September/early October.

And, last but not least, Richard Shindell! His new album will be out in late October/early November.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bo, Chess, and Riffs

We were celebrating the life and music of Bo Diddley the other day. As you might have guessed we did raise a few in his honor. We also dragged out a whole slew of discs with tracks that "borrowed" his trademark Bo Diddley Beat. They run the gamut from Springsteen, Jefferson Airplane, The Byrds, U2, and on and on.

As we were scrutinizing the riffs of every song recorded in the last fifty years we stumbled upon these two tracks between trips to the liquor store. Although this is not a qualifier for the "Bo Diddley Beat" playlist it is still kind of interesting as the common riff no doubt has its origins with some other unacknowledged Chess label artist. Give it a spin and see what you think. Just for fun.


Monday, June 2, 2008

Another Sleepy, Dusty Delta Day...

Ode To Billy Joe

I can never let June 3rd pass without stopping to think about this song and the impact it had on me and music in general forty one years ago. I'm not sure there had ever been anything like it before and very few since. Probably only Merle Haggard's "Kern River" could compare to its imagery and stunning sense of sudden loss. I'm not sure Bobbie Gentry ever swam Kern River, but she certainly understands why Merle will never do it again.

This link will take you to my defunct personal blog, and an essay I wrote for the song last year at this time.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Stock Tips

The much delayed Sam Phillips we solicited earlier this year is now ready to ship. If you paid by check you will get your backorder automatically. If you ordered any other way you will need to reorder it from the June mailer. If in doubt, give us a shout and we’ll let you know.

The stock shortage with the limited edition Darden Smith live album is finally over. We have begun shipping them again today. Again, if you don’t know where you stand contact us.

The Mavericks covers disc and the Richard & Linda Thompson Live disc are just about gone so don’t delay. Ditto on the new Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson disc. These are fine discs that are in short supply that we will likely not be able to import any longer.

Gretchen Peters fans will be thrilled to know that we are now able to offer all of her in print discs at popular prices.

Avett Brothers sneak preview

Click the link below to stream the new single from North Carolina's favorite sons, The Avett Brothers, "Murder in the City," from their upcoming EP, The Second Gleam.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Minor Flyght Delay

Still circling the runway...

We got word this afternoon that the Byrds reissue "Live At Royal Albert Hall, 1971" is still a few more days away. From what we can tell thirty seven years wasn't enough time to get this one out on time. Trust me, this stuff drives us crazy too.

All orders are still in the queue and will ship as soon as the discs land at our hangar. Please amuse yourself in the meantime and don't let your luggage out of your site while inside the terminal.