I am nostalgic in the new year, having the COVID blues as bad as I do. I reckon you have it, too. We all do. So much Covidity, so much time to mourn what we miss, and I am missing making music with my friends. I’m missing it so bad, I’d even play music I don’t like with people I like less just to get to do so. Well, maybe not.
The sullenness that has overtaken me kind of led me to listen to some old Jang-A-Lang String Band stuff we captured years ago, some from The Sucarnochee Revue radio show, and some from my home with us just sitting around and picking for the joy of it. Live music has a way of sounding great in our ears as we make it, yet not-so-great when we get home and listen to the recording. That is true most of the time, but not always. Sometimes it gets better with every listen, not that there are not flaws and mistakes, but that something magic was captured, and you can tell it is magic even if you can’t define it.
I will post links to a few songs. All are LIVE, and a few are even from rehearsals, though rehearsals were more like just having fun. You can have fun with us. I hear something special on each of these songs. I hope you do, too.
I am nostalgic not only because of COVID restrictions, it is extra worse for me since my immune system is kaput because of my CLL, and the CLL is growing increasingly bellicose, if that word can be used to describe it. I am steadily headed towards needing treatment again. This time, it will not be chemotherapy, but immunotherapy. It is still a cancer treatment, and the drugs used are powerful. More on this later.
The Jang-A-Lang String band was an outstanding ensemble. The regular members were Ed Dye, Clint Jordan, Bryan Hayes, Augie Joachim, and me. I was pleased and privileged to play music with these men. For ten years we kept this band together, which is a remarkable achievement. I love and admire each of my band mates. And, Lord help us all, we sorely miss Ed Dye. The very thought of him simultaneously beings the sadness of loss and the joy of reunion, but nowadays mostly the joy.
In this mix of tunes we were privileged to have have phenomenal banjoist Butch Robins on a few. Having Butch play with us was a great honor for me since he is one of my musical heroes and mentors. He coaxed us into some unique arrangements which vastly improved the music, challenging us to be better musicians. If you hear a banjo, it is Butch.
Terry Baker sits in on fiddle and harmonica on a few tunes.
There’s an Open Road Here’s a song I wrote. It’s one of my favorites.
Friend Another of mine. I sang this at Ed Dye’s memorial and have hardly been able to do it since.
Cornbread Man Everyone loves cornbread!!
Lonesome Esteban The marvelous Jang-A-Langer Clint Jordan composed this tune. Clint is playing the resonator guitar. I am playing the mandolin. Bryan Hayes is on the guitar, and Ed Dye is somewhere in here, probably calling the play by play. Of course, the remarkable Augie Joachim is on the bass.
We’re All Just Passing Through This recording of We’re All Just Passing Through was right after I was diagnosed with CLL. I was tired, scared, and or pasty complexion. We had had trouble with this song during rehearsals, but the band nailed it at showtime! I was so proud of them. I still am.
Rock Island Line This some came to us via Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee, but it came to them through Huddie Ledbetter, better known as Leadbelly. I think Leadbelly is credited with this song, but who knows its origin? Leadbelly works for me. And I thank him for giving it to us.
I’m Going Fishing We had a lot of fun with this song at my house. We’d never played it in quite this manner before, but never played it the old way after. Music is powerful.
Across the Great Divide A fabulous song written by the late Kate Wolf and sung by may daughter, Piper Myers. We wring it out, enjoying playing it so much that we didn’t want to quit.
Those Shoes That You’re Wearing My benediction for you!
And this file is the entire set above, in the order listed. If you like it, let me hear from you.
Except for Rock Island Line and Across the Great Divide, all songs are ©2000-2009 Stump Whipped Music.
It’s not too late to say Happy New Year!!
P.S. It’s late when I’m writing this. No doubt, tomorrow, I’ll see a dozen things that need editing.