My god I love The Band. I always liked the few songs I heard growing up, but beyond "The Weight" I didn't really listen to them until I was in my mid-20's. They truly were some fantastic musicians. If you need to listen to an album that will bring you down and lift you up all in the same 45 minutes or so, it doesn't get much better than "Music from Big Pink".
Now when I listen to that song I picture an Edgar Allen Poe inspired Edward Gorey landscape, cold and grey. I figure its the late 1800's somewhere on the East Coast.
Do you ever go off on weird musical tangents, or strange internet quests? Well I just did that. I knew that "Long Black Veil" was a cover, but I had no idea who the original artist was, so I googled it. It was written by two Hall of Fame Country songwriters and recorded first by Lefty Frizzell. That version is a classic, and of course I wanted to hear it.
According to Wikipedia: "The writers later stated that they drew on three sources for their inspiration: Red Foley's recording of "God Walks These Hills With Me", a contemporary newspaper report about the unsolved murder of a priest, and the legend of a mysterious veiled woman who regularly visited Rudolph Valentino's grave. Dill himself called it an "instant folksong."
Yeah. This is my kind of Country Music. I can dig it. Not going to always want to listen, but I respect it and I enjoy the likes of Johnny Cash, Patsy Clyne, and some of the older legends.
It's amazing how a tempo and style change can completely change a song, made me think of the awesome track "Stagger Lee" from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds seminal Murder Ballads album, which honestly is a desert-island-disc for me. Beware, contains language.
Not the greatest video ever. "Stagger Lee" is not a cover, not really. The character of Stagger Lee is actually from a legend, or a tall tale, he's actually based on a real criminal and all around bad-ass named Lee Shelton who was born in 1865. The most famous version of the folk song is by Lloyd Price and it was a hit in the 50's.
Two completely different songs right?
Excuse me while I continue my musical odyssey.