Tuesday, September 1, 2009

100th post : A new river ?

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band & Michael Martin Murphey - Lost River (buy) (1989)


I'm back from the Briançon area in the Southern Alps where I spent 2 weeks of well-deserved vacations. The town is located at the foot of the mountains, surronded by numerous valleys. The more I come to this place, the more I find it beautiful. Me and my wife took a lot of river pictures while hiking, so this 100th post will be full of images and songs of mountain rivers.

Now september comes with a lot of new ideas. First, I guess I won't be posting as much as I did before. Maybe once a week, sometimes more, sometimes less I guess. I've got a lot of other projects, and especially to start making, recording and writing music again.

Instead of focusing on the roots of popular music as I did in the past few months, I will surf more freely between one era to another; that will mean more music from the sixties and seventies to the present, and possibly new releases if I still receive CDs, and between styles, although I will stick to the "roots" styles : country, blues, world, roots rock.

Now enough said, let's hear more river songs.

Clarence Gatemouth Brown - River's Invitation (buy) (1997)

The very first mp3 I posted here was, of course, the Percy Mayfield version of my blog's title song, but I cherish this recording by Texas guitarist Clarence Gatemouth Brown, from his great album Gatemouth Swings, that he recorded with a big band.

Cephas & Wiggins- Going To The River (buy) (1996)

In contrast with the joyful picture above (yes, that's me with my wife and son), this song, originally written by Dave Bartholomew for Fats Domino is a mournful song of love lost, where the river's invitation is nothing but death calling. I love the way Cephas and Wiggins play it, almost gently, as if to remind us that singing the blues will stop the guy from drowning, as in these beautiful words by Blind Willie McTell :

Now a white man go to the river, take him a seat and sit down
The blues overtake him, he jump overboard and drown
Yes he's weary, weary hearted and blue
And that's why we're cryin' these weary hearted blues

Now a colored man go to the river, take him a seat and sit down
He takes the blues, he come home back to town
And yet he weary, weary hearted and blue
And that's why I'm cryin' these weary hearted blues

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